Here are some of the most asked questions received from our readers in the past two months about slow motion gear , phones and other imaging devices:
Q) What will the iPhone 6s be able to do?
A) While still in the rumor category the new 6s will feature 4k video for the first time in an Apple Phone along with 240fps backfacing camera video and also 240fps selfie front camera video. As to the resolution we expect the back camera to do slightly better line wise but the actual resolutions may not vary from the regular iPhone 6.
Q) Should I get a Gopro Hero 4 now or wait for the Hero 4 Plus?
A) While we do expect a new Hero model in the Black category to show up this year sporting slightly better specs. There is absolutely no solid information of what the specs might be in a Hero 4 Black replacement however most rumors point to 60fps at 4k and 240fps at 1080p instead of 720p for the new release. We do expect a refresh before the end of 2015 for the Hero Black Line.
Q) When will I get my fps1000 camera?
A) While there have been delays in the delivery of this Kickstarter project, the cameras are near the point of ship-time according to the creator of the project. The 4k upgrade is also advancing rapidly with 4k sensors in some cases already charged to backers. We expect big updates about these cameras soon.
Q) Is Sony ever going to release an FS700 successor?
A) There is no concrete information out except from some rumors around the web of Sony implementing the On-Chip memory design close to the one in their latest released cameras “Sony RX10 II and RX100 IV” into a pro body with an APS-C sized sensor. The rumors claim higher frame rates at 1080p then the original FS700 and 4k at 120fps. While it is plausible Sony will implement this packaged sensor and memory technology on new cameras; there is no firm confirmation it will be in an FS700 Mk II.
Q) What ever happened to the Helios X10 480fps phones from Mediatek?
A) We are as surprised as anyone regarding the adoption of the 480fps 1080p feature on the Mediatek SoC X10 or X20. It seems that even when several new phones had the sensor and chipset combination to produce the frame rate spec; it was scrapped from the feature-list for internal reasons. However we expect phones to have the feature implemented at some point when teh adoption increases. It seems many vendors buy Mediatek chips for battery life conservation and not performance so adding 480fps on a cheap phone makes no sense. A startup called Ono is claiming to have a phone coming out with those specs but we are still on the fence if this is areal release , a scam or just a vaporware product. In any case we hope it is the real thing but would not buy until real footage of the phones and reviewers have them in their hands for testing. If confirmed these will be the first release phones to sport full HD 480fps modes.
Q)What is the best value camera that does high speed available today?
A) While an easy cop out would be to point to the HSC Camera guide; we believe that until fps1000 and products of the kind ship to the end user, the Sony RX10 II and RX100 IV offer the best quality slow motion for the most affordable price today. This does not mean however that these are the best cameras for the job. If you need higher frame rates there is the edgertronic at full 720p 701fps “see our review here“. The recording time on these Sony cheap cameras is also extremely limited at 2 seconds for anything 240fps and up so you can hardly shoot long sequences. The right answer is to get the best camera for the job at a price you can afford. There is good value in the market today compared to just a year or two ago.
A) Buy it now if you need it for a paid job and can afford it without breaking the bank. If you can wait, there will always be cheaper and more capable options in the future as technology marches forward.
Q) Why get a high speed camera when I can use Frame Interpolation i.e. Twixtor instead?
A) There will never be software that can create and capture data of moments in time from in between frames with accuracy. There is no substitute for a high speed camera when it comes to capturing a really quick event. Interpolation can always help with even slow motion recorded with a high speed camera but it has no real scientific value and while it pass as good enough for a movie or TV show it is in the end cooked up data that will not be anything more than a conjuring from thin air.
Q) Why wont high speed camera companies show the prices on their websites for their units?
A) They cater to a very small and custom market of labs, research, education and manufacturing. Their whole business model is based on high performance cameras that are rolled out on very small numbers at a high price. The development of these cameras is not cheap and the components they use are very expensive “Like the sensor or memory”. They are usually tailored to a specific buyer by including software and other customized peripherals for their intended use. They have been doing business like this for decades and will continue to do so. The democratization of high speed equipment is happening so they will have to start catering to smaller buyers at reduced prices in some of their models in order to compete. Some vendors are already doing it but they are still more expensive than your average ENG camera.
Q) I want to shoot skateboarding and other sports “surfing, tennis, baseball etc…” Which camera and frame rate do I need?
A) Human motion is usually very good from 240fps and up and some sports look great at these frame rates, however sports like tennis, badminton and boxing for example look so much better at 500fps or 1000fps. See this sample of the RX100 IV shooting Football:
RX100 IV Slow Motion test: from snap to throw by Andy Lopušnak:
The clip above shows the goodness of higher frame rates, it also suffers from flickering which can be fixed with a little post workflow. See our flickering article for easy correction here!
These are the Readers Questions and Answers we thought might be relevant to many of you. As always drop us a comment or question at any time and will be happy to answer to the best of our ability. Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: Some of the answers on this page are based on rumors and unreleased products, we do not claim the veracity of these and all specs are subject to change. Rumors do not have substance until they are confirmed by a physical release.