The Freefly systems Wave camera has been released and it is certainly a market disruptor. It is not your average high speed camera since it is essentially using an internal SSD M.2 card to continuously record slow motion events it functions more as a live capture device than a shot by shot trigger traditional slow motion camera. This is essentially the idea behind the fps1000 camera line by Graham Rowan which sadly was dissolved last year. A new way of capturing high speed by leveraging the speed of SSD flash storage with ultra-high frame rates.
The Wave is no slouch in specs with a 4k spec of 420fps which is not as good as the Phantom Flex 4k which records 1000fps but costs a whopping 160k USD. The Wave costs $9,995 and using an E-Mount with no power or AF functions, can be adapted to a variety of lens systems because of the plethora of adapters that can be used due to the short flange distance. We take a look at the wave specs and why it may be the camera you were waiting for – if you can get one!
ChrisVTV a filmmaker from Portland Oregon and fabulous slow motion professional has hinted at the existence of a new camera by the makers of the Movi stabilizer, and Astro drones is said to be launching soon at a price about $10,000 USD and could go head to head with Vision Research’s Phantom Flex 4k. There is no specific information other than it seems to be a 4k camera capable of high frame rates, possibly 1000fps.
Since this is a rumor please take it with a grain of salt but it sure seems to be legit. A camera that really de-thrones the Phantom or at least competes with it head to head at less than 1/10th the price will be an explosion in the world of high frame rate camera options. We may be close to having an option that shoots cinema-quality footage for a fraction of the cost in UHD at 4k!
Regardless of what the GoPro and Ambarella marriage can provide in tandem hardware it is clear the company wants to branch out of the fledgling sales of GoPro which have tanked in recent quarters and the stock price from a high near a $100 USD is now trading at a mere $12 which is half the IPO price. By branching out it seems they want their chips in many more imaging devices and be less affected by the GoPro product cycle.
The announced H2 and H12 chips are able to provide beefy 4k specs at high frame rates for mobile devices at a mere 2 Watts of power. As to 1080p frame rates it will remain to be seen how this powerful new chip can handle that in a camera design and how it is implemented to squeeze that performance. 120fps at 4k from the H2 in theory should be able to yield 480fps at 1080p just counting the Pixel processing. This however can be limited by the rest of the components like imaging sensor.
With 4k TVs, projectors and computer displays entering the marketplace in droves it is only a matter of time until 4k finds it’s way into the super slow motion realm for TV, Cinema and scientific analysis.
There is a strong argument for the increased resolution when it comes to capturing at 4k in any frame rate. It gives freedom to crop or punch in for a Full HD shot and or stabilize footage with crop leeway on the borders without trashing a shot. It is also crisp in a way that can only be described as looking through a window; which is a funny analogy because when Full HD came out in the early 2000s that was used often to sell TVs and the new experience. Now we are told the real window is 4k and your perfectly functional 1080p 240Hz tv is next to useless. This is of course hardly a realistic view or currently installed TV technology.
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