The Kinefinity Terra 4k camera which starts at $3,999 body only and a ready to shoot package at $5,499 has now released information of a new firmware upgrade that will be released in May of this year which increases the slow-motion capabilities of the camera markedly. The camera was no slouch before when it came to frame rates which had 240fps at 2k and 100fps at 4k. It actually records in RAW and has excellent quality with no moire and aliasing since it is effectively cropping the sensor area to get a 1:1 pixel read-out for the slow mo.
For this low a price you really have no viable options that shoot these frame rates in excellent quality except for the recently announced Chronos 2.1 HD which does 1000fps at 1080p in DNG RAW. The Kinefinity line of cameras has started to become a go-to place for cinema quality at reasonable prices. Many Video Pros are actually becoming owners of the camera and praise the rock-solid quality of the build, operation and beautiful image quality with ample dynamic range. The Chinese have really built the Cinema camera for the common man.
It seems that the cellphone has once again taken no prisoners when it comes to the portable consumer camera. Casio which was probably the most influential affordable high-speed camera developer 10 year ago with the EX-F1 has now decided to retrench and effectively end their portable consumer camera development due to mounting losses with no clear path to profitability for the division.
The Japanese hi-tech company generated a loss of 500 million Yen (or $4.6 million U$) in the 2017 fiscal year for the division. They will effectively pull out of the market to stop the bleeding. It is quite sad to see a company that created the EX-F1 and the excellent EX-FH20 eliminate their entire consumer camera division. Could things have been different and could they have avoided the phone camera erosion that has obliterated the sales of most manufacturers? Our only thought would be that they did not innovate fast enough to remain competitive for the consumer to be a real alternative.
The Chinese Smartphone Maker ZTE has released the Axon 7 handset with some impressive camera features like a newly released 20MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor, F1.8 lens aperture, sapphire glass lens front element for scratch-proof and flare resistance, optical image stabilization in the lens elements and dual pixel on-sensor phase detection auto-focus; not to mention a handy dual LED Flash.
Other phone specs compete well with other more well known brand flagship devices like the Galaxy S7. such as a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD resolution with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 4 and a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset.
The Just announced Olympus TG-Tracker Action Camera is something of a cross between an ultra-portable camcorder and a Sony Action Cam. It has a flip LCD screen, 4k 30p video, built in LED light at 30 Lumens Continuous, GoPro Mount compatibility, No need for a housing, Sensors that record vector data much like the Garmin VIRB of last year and pretty good ruggedness.
The action camera space is getting more crowded and the Olympus TG-Tracker must work overtime to get attention away from Sony and GoPro Hero as the established leaders. As to the ruggedness of the camera Olympus claims 100ft water tightness which may seem optimistic but doable.
The GoPro Hero 4 series has been quite successful for the company and many are thinking what can they offer next when it comes to camera specs. The Hero 4 Session showed that miniaturization and form factor change is possible at GoPro and we will not be surprised to see a change in shape and size on the Hero 5 to reduce it’s footprint. The GoPro mount has also been holding back the platform miniaturization as to remain compatible with accessories and grips of all kinds. What could happen is to remain compatible but introduce a stronger and smaller mount with some sort of adapter for backward compatibility. This transition will open the way for more portable and stealthy cameras.
Our biggest hint of where the platform is going is what the new Ambarella H1 chip provides. It is an evolutionary chip-set with a few features geared to UHD recording which suggest that 4k will be the focus going forward.
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