This week we had the announcement by Samsung of the Galaxy S21 phone line which is the de-facto Android handset in most of the world. The Galaxy S21 Slow Motion has essentially the same feature set as the Galaxy S20 of 2020 when it comes to high-speed video. The Galaxy brand went serious with Slow Motion since the Galaxy S9 with the 960fps mode at 720p which we can still see here with somewhat improved resolution and recording time.
The S21 line is by almost any standard a refinement of the line with very subtle but important updates on the previous S20 phones. We get the Snapdragon 888 which is the brightest and fastest SoC in non-Apple land. We get 120Hz adaptive screen refresh rate and 108MP telephoto camera on the Ultra version with 10x hybrid zoom, and half that at 64MP on the regular S21 and S21+ which only offer 3x hybrid zoom. We also get 8k video recording on all of the phones at 24p which we will have to test if it is really delivering on the promise.
Canon has now released the final specs and estimated release dates for the EOS R5 and R6 cameras. There is a lot of good advancement in features especially in video mode as what many believe is an afront to Sony and Panasonic who dominate video recording on ILCs. The R5 can record 24fps and 30fps 8k video or 8192 x 4320 pixels in RAW quality which is a staggering 1TB of storage or 2600 Mbits/s for only 51 minutes of recording time. That means that every hour you will eat up through a full TB of your RAID backup storage. We see this mode being transcoded to an intermediate format like Blackmagic RAW or BRAW or Apple ProRes as soon as possible.
There is more bad news, on the 120fps 4k front there is no other option of recording but All-I which saves every frame independently in 10-bit 4:2:2 which is good for excellent quality but at the cost of 1,880 Mbits/s which is 224MB/sec or 13,447MB / minute of recording time. Better get a ton of memory cards and hard drives ready!
We were very skeptical earlier in the year when the R5 specs were just a rumor. Canon has not really been delivering powerful video features out of their Cinema line and we expected this new camera to be a crippled continuation of the trend. We were not only wrong but now know that Canon is banking the future of the EOS line on cameras like the R5 with features that really put it in a class all by itself.
The original video darling was the EOS 5D Mark II which made it possible to use the EOS line of lenses with a video mode that delivered good enough quality for the web and some careful productions. The camera had issues like severe rolling shutter and a tendency to moire and alias so bad that many shots were really ruined. However, the excellent Canon color quality and lens choices made it so popular that it really forced companies to change the video options forever. Now Canon intends to do as big a splash with the introduction of 8k video internally on the new camera.
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