Tag Archives: apple

Alice Camera and why the Future is Bright!

Alice Camera

The Alice Camera, launched to great success this month has to be the most hopeful product for the future of cameras that we have seen lately. It marries the Sony IMX294, a 10.7 megapixel 4/3 sensor with a custom chipset including the Edge TPU chip from Google for AI and an FPGA for calculations.  The result is a camera body with the same sensor as the GH5s which is a killer low light camera capable of excellent 4k footage and images with super low noise.

Then the camera back is attached to your Android or Apple smartphone to gain an interface and software to control it. The camera is capable of using the latest research for computational photography including HDR with multiple exposures merging, tracking, night mode, averaging of pixels, and as an open-source architecture, you can add features by other coders or your own to make the camera increase the feature set. → Continue Reading Full Post ←

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2020!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2020

As the end of 2020 nears, it’s time to take a look back through the year’s camera releases amid the COVID 19 chaos, and see which delivered on the price/performance bracket with slow motion frame rates as the primary goal.  Phone slow motion took a back seat this year as the interest of the feature in phones was subdued or even eliminated. Our Best Slow Motion Cameras Of 2020 have been selected and ordered by recommendation!

We saw some surprises including a mostly affordable 4k slow motion solution and the adoption of 4k 120fps on many cameras which makes us think 240fps at UHD should be something to think about in the coming years as a regular option once 8k video is commonplace on consumer recording devices and TVs. The increase in resolution should theoretically allow for a lot of 4k frame rates to be offered as 8k delivers 4x the pixel count of 4k for any given frame rate. Keep on reading for our 2020 picks!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS of 2020:

Without further ado here are what we believe are the best value slow motion cameras in their respective categories for the year 2020:

Best Slow Motion Phone Category:

3rd Place) Sony Xperia 5 II:

The Sony Xperia 5 II is all about capturing the best video possible on a smartphone and in HDR. The kick here is that the phone is capable of 4k 120fps in full HDR which is pretty much class-leading.

The footage below will give you a taste of what the phone can do. In good light, it will let you capture excellent quality 4k 120p footage with the possibility to grade as it records a gradable flat profile.  In low light, it will be a pretty unremarkable image with grain and artifacts as could be expected from the light requirements when shooting at high speed.

Sony Xperia 5 II: 4K 120fps video footage by CNET Highlights:

Sony Xperia 5 II Slow Motion Specs:

  • 120fps 4k
  • 60fps 1080p

This is one of the first phones to offer 120fps in 4k which will probably become a standard spec in 2021 for flagships. However absent is the slow motion at 1080p which considering the 4k oomph, it should have been capable of 480fps at 1080p or similar. It is a shame that the spec was completely avoided considering HDR in 120fps 4k requires 240fps full pixel readout before merging.  In theory, 240fps non-HDR is possible on this phone but not available for unspecified reasons. Phones are becoming more powerful by the day and this is one that has our attention. The just under $1k price tag is not ideal but some of the best phones are going to cost you.

2nd Place) OnePlus 8T:

One Plus continues to offer compelling slow motion features on their phones with 480fps 1080p and up to 480fps at 720p.  It gives you a quad 48MP camera module which is literally insane considering the phone sells for under $750USD and has 120hz refresh rate. Feature-wise it has probably everything under the sun and then some and will not disappoint in the performance realm.

Fireworks in Slow motion – OnePlus 8T 480fps in dark by sternking: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

iPhone 12 Pro Slow Motion is best yet for Apple!

iPhone 12 Pro Slow Motion

The iPhone 12 line is a continuation of what Apple has been hinting at since it got serious about video recording on their phones.  However, there is no increment in the maximum frames per second the phone is able to record with the 120p and 240p at 1080p as the maximum the phone is able to record. There is also what could be a feature that is missing that of 120fps 4k considering the phone is already recording 120fps at 4k for HDR video and then delivering it in a 60p wrapper.

With all that said the phone has impressive video and photo specs that will have rivals trying to compete in outlandish features like super zooms or more than 3 cameras to be able to get the spotlight off the iPhone.  There is no question the iPhone 12 is the best camera phone Apple has ever delivered but isn’t this the same result every year when a new device from the company is released? Yes and there lies the problem of yearly upgrades only getting incremental updates and not leapfrog features.

Video Recording iPhone 12 Pro:

  • HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Optical image stabilization for video (Wide)
  • 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 4x optical zoom range (iPhone 12 Pro)
  • Digital zoom up to 6x (iPhone 12 Pro)
  • 2.5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 5x optical zoom range (iPhone 12 Pro Max)
  • Digital zoom up to 7x (iPhone 12 Pro Max)
  • Audio zoom
  • Brighter True Tone flash
  • QuickTake video
  • Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
  • Time‑lapse video with stabilization
  • Night mode Time-lapse
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 60 fps
  • Cinematic video stabilization (4K, 1080p, and 720p)
  • Continuous autofocus video
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video
  • Playback zoom
  • Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264
  • Stereo recording

Video Recording iPhone 12 (NON PRO):

  • HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 fps
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Optical image stabilization for video (Wide)
  • 2x optical zoom out
  • Digital zoom up to 3x
  • Audio zoom
  • Brighter True Tone flash
  • QuickTake video
  • Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
  • Time‑lapse video with stabilization
  • Night mode Time‑lapse
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 60 fps
  • Cinematic video stabilization (4K, 1080p, and 720p)
  • Continuous autofocus video
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video
  • Playback zoom
  • Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264
  • Stereo recording

IPhone 12 Pro Slow Motion Samples are pending:

We received some so-called slow motion samples from the iPhone 12 but we have determined that they are fake and not from the phone themselves.  The iPhone 12 ships on October 23rd so any samples you might see online could only be from review units and there was no real video quality review that was authenticated. We will have to wait some time for the iPhone 12 video samples to start coming out.  We expect increased dynamic range and better overall noise profile on the iPhone 12 vs the 11, hopefully, we will see a real improvement in the way the phone captures slow motion in 1080p without much in the way of artifacts and aliasing.

Dolby Vision Recording on iPhone 12:

Dolby Vision | Demo | Dolby by Dolby:

In the video above you can see that Dolby Vision is basically a set of technologies that encode video in HDR with high precision color and brightness values that try to mimic reality. The new iPhone 12s record in Dolby Vision which probably use the high frame rate recording (60p for 30p) and 120p for 60p) HDR.

It is of note that slow motion video at 120fps or 240fps in 1080p will not use Dolby Vision as you would need those frame rates doubled to record it. It is a technology best used by 4k recording up to 60fps.

Of course, you will not get Hollywood production quality footage on the phone but it is still going to deliver a better image than your average camera due to the color science behind it.  Also of note is that you will need a TV, monitor or projector that has Dolby Vision compatibility to experience this high dynamic range video footage recording feature.

If you have such a TV we can recommend the clip below to test it:

Perfect Black HDR 8k Dolby Vision by Eugene Belsky: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K is Frame Rate Beast!

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K

The Black Magic Design URSA camera line has been one of our favorite high frame rate options for many years now as it is a blend of excellent quality at a relatively low price with the added bonus of RAW recording and ProRes options.  Now the company has announced the latest iteration of the camera with a monstrous pixel size of 12k or 80 Megapixels per frame. All of this in an APS-C super 35mm crop from Full Frame sensor that is built to satisfy the requirements of their Black Magic RAW codec or BRAW for short which is in this camera the only recording format available.

What interests us as always are the high frame rates and this camera does not disappoint when it comes to this spec. The only real problem we see is that recording is made only from 4k resolution and up, completely avoiding 3k, 2k and HD resolutions which could yield even higher frame rates with probably a huge crop in the 80MP frame which will probably yield a noisy and artifact prone image hence why they probably avoided recording down on those modes.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Main Specs:

High Speed Frame Rates:

  • 12K 17:9 full sensor up to 60 fps
  • 8K DCI full sensor up to 110 fps
  • 4K DCI full sensor up to 110 fps
  • 8K 2.4:1 and 4K 2.4:1 up to 140 fps
  • 6K Super 16 up to 120 fps
  • 4K Super 16 up to 220 fps

Shooting Resolutions:

  • 12,288 x 6480 (12K DCI)
  • 11,520 x 6480 (12K 16:9)
  • 12,288 x 5112 (12K 2.4:1)
  • 7680 x 6408 (12K Anamorphic)
  • 8192 x 4320 (8K DCI)
  • 7680 x 4320 (8K 16:9)
  • 8192 x 3408 (8K 2.4:1)
  • 5120 x 4272 (8K Anamorphic)
  • 6144 x 3240 (6K Super16)
  • 4096 x 2160 (4K Super16)
  • 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI)
  • 3840 x 2160 (4K 16:9)
  • 4096 x 1704 (4K 2.4:1)
  • 2560 x 2136 (4K Anamorphic)

Built in ND Filters: Four position ND filter wheel with clear, 2-stop, 4-stop and 6-stop IR ND filters

Effective Sensor Size: 27.03mm x 14.25mm (Super35)   80MP

Lens Mount: PL mount included. Interchangeable with optional EF and F lens mounts.

Lens Control: 12pin broadcast connector for compatible lenses and electronic control via EF mount pins on optional EF lens mount.

Dynamic Range: 14 Stops

MSRP: $9,995.00 (PRE ORDER HERE at Adorama)

Blackmagic Design Camera Update by Blackmagic Design:

https://youtu.be/sV8iFzpuecA?t=1808

The camera looks very familiar because it shares the exterior with other URSA Mini cameras but the inside components are completely revamped. This makes sense as DPs and other BlackMagicDesign camera users want to jump straight into a tried and true design without having to re-learn muscle memory or new controls. The cameras work well and are ready to shoot. Simply put if you have shot with an URSA Camera you are easily ready to shoot on this new 12k beast within a few minutes.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Test Footage and Highlights by Love What You Do: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

iPad Pro Slow Motion includes 240fps!

iPad Pro Slow Motion

The iPad Pro has been making accessible the best iPhone Camera features for a few years now and the latest 2020 model seems to be in lockstep with the iPhone 11 Pro but with only 2 cameras instead of 3.  However, the quality is close but not as good lens wise, but they make up with a new LiDAR scanner in place of the third camera lens that makes it possible to accurately scan physical objects and surroundings to improve AR capture and interaction.  The demos are early but the technology holds promise.

What interests us at HSC is the slow motion features and we see a continuation of the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 camera modes with Wide and ultra-wide cameras supporting all slow-mo modes of 60, 120 and 240p which is identical to the mobile line up.  We looked at the iPhone 11 Pro’s camera quality which impressed us with the best 240p and 120p quality on a phone to date see here

Camera Specs:

  • Wide: 12MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • Ultra Wide: 10MP, ƒ/2.4 aperture, and 125° field of view
  • 2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 5x
  • Five‑element lens (Wide and Ultra Wide)
  • Brighter True Tone flash
  • Panorama (up to 63MP)
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Hybrid IR filter
  • Autofocus with Focus Pixels (Wide)
  • Tap to focus with Focus Pixels (Wide)
  • Wide color capture for photos and Live Photos
  • Exposure control
  • Noise reduction
  • Smart HDR for photos
  • Auto image stabilization
  • Burst mode
  • Timer mode
  • Photo geotagging
  • Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

While you would not want to buy an iPad Pro 2020 for its slow motion performance, it is encouraging to see that it will perform as good as the mobile iPhone version.  The larger size makes it harder to maneuver if handheld but it also helps with stability by shaking much less.  In slow motion, however, it makes little difference to have stabilization if you are just holding normally and don’t have a large peak in motion.  The higher the shutter speed the more clarity you will get at high frame rates but that also calls for more light in the scene.

Video Recording  Specs:

  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps (Wide); 60 fps (Ultra Wide)
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Brighter True Tone flash
  • Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps (Wide); 240 fps (Ultra Wide)
  • Time‑lapse video with stabilization
  • Cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p)
  • Continuous autofocus video
  • Noise reduction
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video
  • Playback zoom
  • Video geotagging
  • Video formats captured: HEVC and H.264

iPad Pro Slow Motion Sample?

As you might expect with a product so new we have no samples at this time but according to the excellent first look review below you can probably tell the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro will have slightly better camera quality than the iPad Pro 2020. Why did Apple not just include all the same camera modules as the other phone variants? Well, it comes down to cost, in order for it to be sub $1k they had to cut corners and created a cheaper optical and DSP system for imaging. It is still remarkably good but not a champ like the ones in their flagship phones.

iPad Pro (2020) Review by Rene Ritchie:

We will have slow motion samples in a future post, we don’t feel the iPad Pro 2020 is worth it if you need slow motion video or 4k 60. You can get better quality in a more portable device on the iPhone 11 line. However, if you are an iPad user and need to upgrade from the iPad Pro 2018, we feel there is no question this new iPad along with the floating keyboard will be an ideal setup.

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We don’t expect video quality to be masterful here but we don’t think it will be bad at all.  All in all a great overall product that is, of course, expensive but if you want the best Apple can offer you will have to pay up.  We will re-visit this device when slow motion 120p and 240p samples start to be available in quantity.  -HSC

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2019!

As 2019 comes to a close its that time to take a look back through the year’s camera releases and see which delivered the goods at an affordable price in slow motion.  Phone slow motion continues to be a strong category, so strong in fact that we made a Best Slow Motion Phones of 2019 list that you can see here.

Stagnation in many camera segments aside from phones is still ongoing, the semi-professional and pro markets stay at 120fps and 240fps with the occasional 320fps camera that delivers just a tad better quality but at a price.  For professional slow motion, there were announcements but not a shipping product yet, however previously released cameras like the Chronos 1.4c and edgertronic still own the affordable quality market. Read on for our best of 2019 results!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS of 2019:

Without further ado here are what we believe are the best value slow motion cameras in their respective categories for the year 2019:

Best Slow Motion Phone Category:

We had 5 finalists for slow motion phone of 2019 and while the Mate 30 Pro below got the top marks, the iPhone 11 and OnePlus 7 series had great showings, go to the dedicated article for the rest of the phone options.

 Huawei Mate 30 Pro:

Coming out of left field from a company that has been in the news as being in trouble with the US government, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro which is not shipping in the US officially but can be found from online import sellers, is the slow motion phone champ of 2019.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro Slow Motion Specs Dissected:

  • 120fps 1080p Continuous
  • 240fps 1080p Continuous
  • 960fps 1080p for 1 full second (960 frames in total)
  • 1920fps 720p for 1/2 second  (960 frames in total)
  • 7680fps 720p interpolated 4x (lasts for 32 seconds on a 30p timeline.)
  • All super slow motion modes at 960p and above last 32 seconds of playback at 30fps regular speed.
  • The entire buffer for the slow motion feature is 2GB and gets filled by data then dumped and encoded on the fly by the Kirin 990 chip.

This is the first phone that truly records 1920fps slow motion in 720p mode for 1/2 a second or 960 frames and then does excellent interpolation to a whopping 7,680fps 720p to create mind-bending images.   It is especially good for people, animals, and hard non-deformable objects. It will of curse fail as any algorithm with fluids, powders, and heavily detailed objects and will create a soft mushy in-between frame in those cases.  If you do not choose interpolation mode then you can get real slow motion for up to 32 seconds of playback on a 30p timeline which is excellent for a phone.

If you decide to buy it, the phone has a few issues to keep in mind. Due to US government restrictions, it will not ship with a  full version of Android with the Google Apps and not have access to the Playstore.  However several workarounds have been worked out in forums to make this phone usable. The other is that it is a Chinese phone which may need you to get help from someone who understands/reads Chinese to make the setup and get to work in English after.    We do not recommend this phone as your main handset as the support of updates will probably be negated in the US but if you are in China, this is a great flagship phone.  If you are outside of China, make sure you can live with the limitations in the software.

960fps,1920fps and 7680fps test – Huawei Mate 30 Pro incredible Slow Motion by Slow Experiment:

As you can see from the sample above and these other samples at HSC, the quality is quite good and the time is usable easily as a sports and experimentation high speed mode.  It will of course not replace a dedicated slow motion camera for quality work but it is still an amazing development to get real 1920fps 720p and 960fps 1080p even with some artifacts in a portable device.

Huawei may be in hot water with the US government for some time but they have consistently delivered amazing hardware that is probably the cutting edge worldwide.  We are excited about the future of phone slow motion and considering the giant leap that happened here, it is not unrealistic to think that really good 1080p 2,000fps or similar could be very close.  At least for a small-time recording but it will really be magical.

Huawei has made an incredible slow motion phone on the Mate 30 Pro and if they read this, send a handset our way to test and offer samples of reference.  As of now, their new handset is the one to beat. -HSC

Mid Range Professional Cameras:

This year the semi-pro camera market had some very good surprises when it comes to cameras that can shoot RAW files at very high quality and also allow for windowed slow motion modes.

Two of our picks are from Blackmagic design which is a known name in the affordable quality camera market. They have been able to deliver RAW and compressed RAW with BRAW format for very little investment compared to many other brands.  The quality delivered by these cameras are really cinema-quality so the trade-offs when stepping down are more to do with changing a camera system for producers rather than giving up the footage grading ability or low light performance.

Third Place: URSA MINI PRO 4.6K G2

The URSA Mini Pro G2 had a firmware update mid-year that allowed for 300fps in a windowed 2k pixel mode that has great quality and can be stabilized for excellent 1080p production quality.  For under $6k for body only the price is not that high for a camera that can really bring your production values up.   It gets a third place because the cost of owning the camera goes up with accessories like media, lenses, batteries, monitoring, and storage for editing. A good kit can easily get in the 15k range. The BRAW format is excellent but not for everyone.  ProRes is also a possibility and probably what many producers will shoot in when need to deliver in a rush.

High Speed Frame Rates on the URSA Mini G2:

Blackmagic RAW 8:1

4.6K Full – Up to 120 fps
UHD Windowed – Up to 150 fps
HD Windowed – Up to 300 fps

With 4k UHD at 150fps it makes for a killer feature rarely available on other cameras and the 300fps in HD or 2k allows for that extra oomph within your creative shoot.

300fps UMP G2 test 190629 by Reel Eagle Studios: → Continue Reading Full Post ←