One of the Photokina announcements that peaked our interest was the Nikon KeyMission 170 Action Camera which aims to disrupt the already crowded space of all weather sports segment. We have a plethora of options from the leader GoPro and close competitors like Sony, Xiaomi, Olympus, Garmin and even Panasonic. So another entry by Nikon seems to go by unnoticed however this hardware looks to be very capable and can go head to head with the best.
The slow motion capabilities are the standard for high end action cameras here with 120fps at 1080p and 240fps at 720p. While these are becoming standard frame rates for the most part; there is a clear distinction on quality between cameras with Sony Action Cam being clearly superior in compression with XAVC S to GoPro for example. ProTune on the Hero 4 and 5 does make a difference but Sony has the edge with an overall better codec that is low artifact.
The Blackmagic URSA 4k Professional camera is one awesome powerhouse for standard frame rate productions with it’s three high quality LCD screens and RAW / Prores recording at just $5,995 USD. Prior to the most recent 1.9.9 Firmware it was capped at 60p for 1080p and 4k but after the update the camera gained 80fps for both 4k and 1080p.
Although the frame rate at 80fps is still low compared to most high speed offerings, the fact that it is 4k makes it a special milestone for the resolution. The URSA uses the CMOSIS CMV12000 Global shutter sensor which is the same to be used by the prototype 4k fps1000 camera upgrade option. The sensor is capable of producing from 150-300fps at full sensor resolution and it will be exploited by the fps1000 4k in full resolution. The URSA will record in a 12 Bit 3:1 RAW format for the high frame rate of 80fps costing no quality but saving space in memory and cards. As of this writing the URSA is the highest quality RAW 80fps image under $8k. It is an expensive camera which cost it some points in our camera guide as quality is not a definitive factor in final ranking . Price and workflow also are important. If you need RAW 4k up to 80fps the URSA at $5,995 is your cheapest option until the fps1000 ships. You can also get 4k at higher frame rates like 240fps on the Sony FS700 or FS7 but you will need an expensive external recorder or Sony module which is orders of magnitude more expensive. If you don’t need RAW or 4k Slow motion other cameras like the FS700 plain or the edgertronic are less costly options with higher frame rates.
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