Just in time for the Japanese Olympics if they ever take place, Sony has released the Sony Alpha 1 or A1 for short which is probably the most powerful mirrorless camera ever produced. Customary for Japanese camera manufacturers in Olimpic years, the likes of Canon and Nikon have released their professional flagship products like the 1DX and D6 which are still SLR mirrored products that have the highest possible Autofocus features for a camera of that type as well as speed and dependability.
Sony has had some inroads in that space with the Sony a9 series but they were missing a higher megapixel count version that could really differentiate it from the pack and the A1 seems to be just that kind of product. By shooting 8k video at 24,25 and 30p it becomes future-proof for the next decade as far as resolution goes and by taking 30 images per second in stills mode at the full 50MP resolution with AF Tracking, it is one blinding fast beast. The fact that it also shoots 120fps 4k and 240fps Full HD doesn’t hurt it either.
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.
Quite a few of our readers have asked for HSC to comment on the rumors of a Canon R5 Mirrorless camera that according to unsubstantiated information claims 120fps at 4k and 8k at 30p. The R5 may be the modern non-DSLR successor camera to the EOS 5D Mark IV and could become a major release for the company for this decade. As rumors go we can probably believe some of it but we have to be skeptical on the full specs because Canon has not shown the willingness to push the envelope as far for many years and has calmy let Panasonic and Sony take the firsts spots on video features.
We would love to see Canon go ahead and push the envelope with amazing video features that can revive the platform for serious video production the same way the 5D Mark II did back in 2008 when it took the video world by storm and made it possible to shoot quality video that looked a lot like the 5D still images that have dominated certain segments of still imagery business like weddings.
Ambarella has introduced two new SoC chipsets for portable electronics that shoot video. The H3 capable of up to 8k video or dual 4k 60fps streams for 360º VR video and also the H22 which is a souped up version of the H2 found on cameras like the Yi 4k+ that will be shooting 4k 60p and up to 120fps 1080p video.
No real leads were given into what specific cameras will be incorporating the new chipset but from indications of past releases it is safe to say that the best action cameras, some high end phones and drone centric cameras will be sporting this new SoC in their specs by the end of this year. If we had to bet we will probably see a Hero 5+ using the H22 before the H3 as 8k video seems a huge jump for a refresh model.
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