OnePlus has finally released its new flagship 2021 phones. And they have built a new 3 year partnership with medium format camera maker Hasselblad to build their phone camera modules. On this first iteration, we get Ultra Wide 50MP, Wide 48MP or standard and a 3.3x telephoto with 8MP which is the lower quality of the bunch.
OnePlus has respected its own heritage when it comes to frame rates as the new 9 handsets retain the 240fps in Full HD 1080p and 480fps in HD 720p mode for somewhat super slow motion and a new mode of 120fps in full 4k which is exciting. OnePlus had the edge in recording duration in previous phones and this new variant might keep that edge. However, we feel disappointed the resolution did not go up to full HD at 480fps and allow for a 960fps HD mode like many other phones out there.→ Continue Reading Full Post ←
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)
Brighter True Tone flash
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
Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264
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
Brighter True Tone flash
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
Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264
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.
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:
As it was initially unveiled at Photokina last year, the Panasonic Lumix S1 and S1R cameras are their answer to the domination of larger sensors in stills and video mirrorless cameras. Is there any reason now to buy a Full Frame DSLR when mirrorless is so advanced? The only thing we can think of is to have marginally longer battery life. The mirror is on its last legs and fans better start offloading their lenses if they don’t want to mess with adapters. In the case of Panasonic however, it is not possible to use Lumix Micro 4/3 lenses on the Leica/Sigma/Panasonic Full Frame L-Mount.
The S1 and S1R will both shoot up to 180fps 1080p video with a crop that may or may not be impactful. Seems the S1R has less crop on 1080p than the video geared S1 which is an odd spec. We will have to wait for more samples and info on the HFR mode to see which of these cameras offers the best slow motion performance. From the limited samples, we can say that the quality looks very good and at least on par with the Lumix GH5 at 120fps.
Panasonic Lumix S1 Main Specs:
24.2MP Full-Frame MOS Sensor
Venus Engine Image Processor
5.76m-Dot 0.78x-Magnification OLED LVF
3.2″ 2.1m-Dot Triaxial Tilt Touchscreen
UHD 4K60 Video; HDR and 10-Bit Recording
1080p Slow Motion 180fps HFR
ISO 100-51200, Up to 9 fps Shooting
Contrast-Detect 225-Area DFD AF System
Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization – 6 Stops Dual IS
96MP High-Res Mode, Dual XQD/SD Slots
The video below by HDblog Italy shows at the 2:04 Time a small sample of 180fps slow motion video.
Panasonic LUMIX S1 e S1R in TEST video: le FULL FRAME da battery by :HDblog it
There is no question that Panasonic is a leader in video quality in mirrorless cameras ever since they shipped the initial GH1 camera. Today the Lumix GH5 and GH5s are some of the most revered video-centric cameras for professionals that opt-in a mirrorless system instead of traditional ENG/EFP style video cameras.
The samples are few because the cameras are still pre-production but it will be a short wait until the beginning of April when these cameras ship to see how they perform.
Over the last seven weeks testing and shooting with the edgertronic SC2X high-speed camera we have a complete picture of what this camera can do and where it can really shine. This camera is a special one in its own right because it is the breakthrough 1080p Full HD camera that achieves 2,000fps at excellent quality for film and TV productions. This is a camera we have been waiting for a long time and it is all that we were expecting and more concerning quality and frame rates.
Part 3 of this review will focus on the camera’s portable setup capability. We will also go into the newly introduced overclocking feature which makes the camera a lot more capable, things still left to add into the software platform that could improve the user experience and help in getting the shot plus, a conclusion for the SC2X review.
SC2X Camera Portability:
Being portable can be easily done with any laptop Mac/PC/ChromeBook connected to the camera Ethernet directly but unless you have a full rig support it becomes an exercise in frustration to carry a laptop all day. You will need a surface to support the computer while working in the field. That is not a problem for indoor use but for outdoor it becomes a harder setup to use and cabling can get in the way.
WiFi Router Wireless Setup:
The first idea was to create a wireless setup for the edgertronic that would let the camera be controlled by an un-tethered terminal computer.
By Connecting the edgertronic to a wireless router via an Ethernet cable we were able to control the camera from a WiFi setup by a Laptop or even a Tablet computer capable of running Google Chrome browser.
The delay came at about 1.3-1.4 seconds, so any adjustments in focus or position would be quick. Be advised that the camera connected straight through an Ethernet cable to a PC or Laptop has about a 1 second delay. So adding .3 or .4 seconds to form a wireless control machine is not bad at all.
At times the feed went down close to 1.1 seconds or close to par with a direct Ethernet connection. This was affected by distance, signal range and or position of the laptop or tablet. By using a Wireless N router we were able to have a consistent feed through a couple of walls and over 100ft without disconnections. The camera was easily controlled and could be used from a different location within the range. By using a 50ft Ethernet cable it was easy to connect the camera to the wireless router which was plugged far away. By freeing the camera from a short tether it becomes a much more versatile tool. You also have to think about power cords or portable batteries. We went with the bescor power pack with 12v car adapter. It gave us about 6.5hrs of continuous camera use. After it ran out of juice the recharge was done over night. Amazon has the battery kit with charger for under $80 here!
Another recent battery option is the Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini $239.95 MSRP. Which lets you power devices via standard AC Plug like your Laptop, charger and the edgertronic camera for up to 10 hours continuously.
But why not go further and go even more portable? Wifi routers are good and all for a building, factory or laboratory but what if I just want to take the camera out for a spin and catch some nature shots?
Tablet Control With Ethernet Adapter:
By connecting the edgertronic to a tablet directly you get the low latency of 1 second refresh of the live image and complete touch control of the interface. The setup will work either with Android powered tablets like the Galaxy Tab series and or the Apple iPad with an Ethernet adapter that works with it.
We found an Ethernet adapter for our Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ Tablet on eBay for around $12 US. Here is a link to a search for this particular adapter on eBay! Be advised that many sellers on eBay sell refurbished products that are not new. If the price is too low it probably is a re-manufactured unit even though it is listed as new.
Our Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ has about 10hrs battery life normally at half brightness, with the Ethernet adapter it was reduced to under 6hrs at medium brightness. When out in the sun we needed full brightness which reduced the battery life to 2.5 hrs for a 100% charge. Once focused and set up if you have access to a wired controller we suggest locking the tablet to save battery.
The configuration to connect to the camera on Android looks as follows, probably close on Apple iPads:
IP Address: 10.11.12.1
DNS address: 10.11.12.13
Default Router: 10.11.12.13
It was a completely different experience to use the edgertronic while on a portable setup with a Tablet. The camera, the adapter, the lens, the trigger and battery all fit in a small shoulder bag. With a lite tripod added to the mix you have a portable high speed solution that can go anywhere and film wildlife or other nature subjects. If you get an edgertronic camera you really need to try a setup that is as portable as this, it becomes very close to what a DSLR is able to do for portability when shooting video.
We recommend you choose a larger tablet as our 8.4″ Galaxy S did have it’s battery drained too quickly and the interface sometimes required portrait orientation to adjust settings. A 12″ tablet would make this setup even more impressive while a 10″ will make it very portable still.
Nano USB powered Router and Tablet/Laptop:
The last method for edgertronic portability came courtesy of =&0=&who also=&1=& Marcus decided to try the ZyXEL nano wireless router.=&2=&
The router is so small that you can Velcro it to the side of the edgertronic and by connecting it to USB on board the camera “powered by the edgertronic SC2X itself“ it becomes a full featured wireless access point that can be accessed by laptops, PCs, tablets and even smart phones. We did not try this method first hand but many edgertronic owners use this method for portability. We expect the delay from live preview to be around 1.2-1.4 seconds same as our wireless router test. Very nice!
Here is the setup; Camera is connected to the router by USB for power and a small 1ft Ethernet cable is connected from the edgertronic SC2X to the router. Then the Router feeds wireless data to any device with a chrome browser and WiFi. Pretty ingenious setup!
If you want complete freedom from the camera and want to control it wirelessly and with minimal cabling, having the nano router setup is the way to go.
Notes on SC2X Portability:
The power of the portability options create a camera setup that is able to be anywhere and everywhere. Underwater setups would require something more sophisticated as wireless signals are unreliable when it comes to water, they will either not reach anywhere or reflect too much to be a coherent stream. For setups in every other scenario the portability of the edgertronic is both easy and relatively cheap to achieve.
Be aware that using the camera out in nature will need a very bright screen to be able to read the interface in the sun. Tablets and laptops even at full brightness may become hard to read or judge focus on the interface. Having a shade screen for a tablet or laptop will help when dealing with sun issues. Dealing with the California intense sunshine at HSC is great for high shutter speeds and frame rates but it’s torture for judging camera settings, so get a good bright screen that performs well in direct sunlight. Many of the newer OLED sceens with HDR do much better in sunlight due to newer coatings that are anti reflective.
We also can’t stress enough the unsealed aspect of the camera. The vents are not prepared for water splashes of any kind or sand/dust getting in there which includes the mount when changing lenses. Your camera might be wrecked if subjected to inclement weather in seconds. Plan ahead with an EWA marine or other type of camera weather case/sleeve if you plant to be in humid or flying particle environments like the beach or industrial scenarios. The camera can take enough heat to be in a sealed case for a while so that is a plus for harsh climate use.
We were expecting this feature for a while but now that we have it, there is no way we can go back and use the edgertronic without it. It works extremely well and saves so much time that we really cannot be more pleased with it. Gone are the days of waiting for the entire buffer to be saved to the SD card and recording unnecessary information. Now you can only record whatever you need of worthy information. We set the feature to On and never looked back. This is an excellent free upgrade to all edgertronic users from the SC1, SC2, SC2+ and now the SC2X.
Histogram: (Still Missing X):While the edgertronic SC2X has good dynamic range and hardly misses exposure it does present a problem with highlights when over exposed or shadows under exposed clipping data.
Having a histogram is an ideal way to avoid under exposure and over exposure in the footage. The absence of RAW shooting makes this feature needed even more. While exposure has to be judged on the live screen, it is sometimes extremely hard to know if highlights will be blown out or shadows completely cut. Judging exposure will become less of a guessing game. A simple histogram is one of the most needed features for the camera to preserve all luminance values in a frame and dial the correct settings to maintain balance.
The Histogram should be live and positionable on screen. A color histogram with RGB values for the color edgertronic would be the icing on the cake!
Focus Peaking(Still Missing X): Focusing on the edgertronic is somewhat easy and if you have a large monitor more so. However, when you are outside in the sunshine or under extremely bright light, focusing is very hard. Having Peaking with color accent on high contrast areas would be ideal to be able to accurately focus on the camera by adjusting the manual lenses.
The peaking issue and the histogram could be addressed by having HDMI out from the camera as many portable HD video monitors could be adapted and have both features instantly implemented as many brands have both exposure information and many more settings like false color, peaking and even LUT support. Since the edgertronic has no HDMI out we have to wait for the software to offer these features if possible.
White Balance (Still Missing X): Balancing to white or gray should allow for a custom White Balance setting and some presets like tungsten, incandescent, daylight and maybe Kelvin. The edgertronic is already balanced to daylight right off the bat which is great if you are using 5600k light sources or sunshine as your main light sources. Which should do well for most shots; however, if you are in different artificial lighting conditions the inability to adjust white balance is hard to cope with.
This feature is especially needed for TV and Film production. The lack of RAW support (Which allows White Balance changes after the fact) makes this feature a must-have for serious filming. Since the edgertronic SC2X is intended for the TV and film markets there is a real need for custom white balance or at least presets.
RAW File Support (Feature Request):
Since the edgertronic SC2X is geared to the TV and Film crowds then RAW file support while saving is very important. Many times you have to grade the look of a file to match other cameras, RAW support allows for your editing program to make this process much easier as both color correction and S curves can be applied after the fact. It may be even possible that ISO value could be factored in after the fact like the RED cameras do. But we will be more than happy with white balance, a flat image and the ability to recover highlit/shadow information. This will liberate the image from the 8 bit wrapper constraint which the sensor is subjected to by loosing at least two stops of dynamic range in the process.
The camera is still gradeable and most images taken with it can be tweaked and fixed in post to fit your needs but the RAW support will be an excellent feature for TV & Film production users.
If implemented we wish to see Adobe DNG RAW as the standard used. It is freely available, no royalties for camera manufacturers, easy software compatibility and should be relatively easy to implement. Saving to this format will require a longer recording time and probably will not be ideal for SD cards. a Portable Hard Disk which can be plugged into the edgertronic is an easy solution as is Ethernet and python scripted file server if needed.
File Browser: (Included but some missing features and GUI):The SD card and camera file system can be accessed by a new tab and typing the following address: 10.11.12.13/static/mnt/sdcard/DCIM/
Note: The IP address of your camera can change depending on the connection used.
The file system HTML viewer lets you download any file from the camera be it a configuration file or a video. There is no ability to rename and or delete a file if needed. This is better than having nothing but we would love to see a GUI file system accessed by the main user interface like the one below:
Ability to browse the SD card contents and Preview Saved Footage besides the current last recorded. A simple HTML 5 based file system with the ability to rename, erase and copy clips to and from the SD card to a connected USB device. Erasing a video should also erase it’s Exif file along with the clip.
NOTE: A way to access files and interface with them is planned for a future release of the camera software.
Python Programming Support (New in camera software version 2.2 & Up):
The camera SDK here in the WIKI Page has allowed for some clever ways to program it for scientific purposes and or create party slow motion video booths. However, the Python support creates avenues for new features like the ones below:
Multishot auto save – Automatic save of multi-shot videos if the camera is idle for more than a specified timeout value.
Hardware watchdog timer – Enable the DM368 hardware watchdog timer to reboot the camera if the python code stops responding.
Auto download videos – After the camera is finished saving the video file, copy the file over the network using ftp or scp.
Email alert – Send an email when the storage device starts getting full.
NOTE:We have to point out that the absence at this time of these features above does not impact the usability and or performance of the camera today. It works as a great slow-motion camera and it does so reliably with a robust set of features. The open architecture allows for all sorts of features to be added in the future and if you do not see a feature you desperately need you can probably program it to fit your needs.
edgertronic SC2X Overclocking Feature Software v2.2.2g3 and Up!
During the middle of our review we received a new software update for the edgertronic SC2X camera. The newv2.2.2g3 patch discussed here at HSC allows for overclocking the SC2, SC2+ and SC2X cameras to offer even faster frame rates. We spent a great deal of time making the most of this update and finding what setting you will probably want to apply in order to extract the most out of the new feature.
As you can see from the interface screenshot above you can apply overclocking easily from the main interface. Offmeans, there is no overclocking applied and all factory settings are used. A,B,C & D will each boost the camera’s speed by 5% for a total of 20%.
We have created a table that shows the frame rates that you can expect to get while using overclocking with the edgertronic SC2X Below:
As you can see from the table above, the gains in frame rate are pretty extreme in some cases. It makes the camera a true 2,000fps 1080p Full HD capture device as we found the Overclock A setting to be nearly as clean as the stock 1,910fps 1920*1088 pixel stock setting.
The lower in the resolution you go, the more frames can be extracted from the sensor, overclocking makes the 1920*96 pixel 20,132fps now an effective 24,940fps camera if you need to capture a really fast event. The camera at 1920*720p which is the HD 720p equivalent it goes from 2,940fps to 3,642fps over 700fps more which is the original edgertronic SC1 stock speed. Nothing short of amazing by those numbers.
Overclocking is not a free lunch “In Our Sample”:
While the overclock settings in A and B showed consistent performance without much image quality degradation, the C & D modes started to show some line artifacts in some frames. They may or may not show depending on your camera as with all electronics; the yield on some of the chips can be different depending on the batch. Some cameras may do better than others. We found that under the 1st second of recording there were no artifacts in the image even in the C & D overclocking but anything past that point they did show up the further in the buffer we went. Either information gets corrupted as more of it is written or the memory is generating signal noise at those speeds.
Note: According to edgertronic our camera sample is alone in showing these color artifacts. Their other SC2X cameras do not exhibit these artifacts in testing. As we mentioned above, some semiconductor yields are better than others and that may be part if it. All cameras work fine in standard modes, overclocking is an experimental feature and should be treated as such. Also, a fix could be in the works for the artifact if it affects more cameras.
That said the A & B settings are completely usable and free of the artifact in our review camera, but will require you to properly light the scene being shot by filling every shadow that you want to conserve detail with some extra lights. Overclocking increases the image noise and the higher you go the more it shows up. Overclock A setting is good enough for production if lit properly while B, C & D will be a matter of experimentation.
We consider the edgertronic SC2X a 2,024fps production ready 1080p camera due to it maintaining image quality with Overclock A and delivering excellent performance. Like with any circuit overclock, your mileage may vary but a little should do fine for most users.
We recommend you stay at A & B settings and at 1920*1088 or 1920*1024 for TV and film shooting as these are the most reliable high-resolution overclock settings.
You get nearly 2,300fps at the 1024px setting with overclock B. A simple scaling to 1080p will not be too harsh and still could maintain broadcast quality. Not bad for a free out of spec feature!
Overall the overclocking feature is a win for the SC2X camera, it makes it even faster at capturing events and if you stay within the A & B settings quality is still very good. For anything mission critical and only single take shoots then we would not venture above Overclock A setting. However, you should do some tests before you decide to use it on paid shoots. The camera is excellent with overclocking turned Off, and usable with it on. It will be a matter of weighing your priorities. We, however, feel confident with the A setting as a usable feature on most occasions especially in well-lit scenes including full sunshine.
edgertronic SC2X Review Conclusion:
The edgertronic SC2X camera is a full featured high-speed option for TV & Film production in a segment of the market dominated by very few and prohibitively expensive equipment which is orders of magnitude more in price.
It creates a new market for 1080p full HD 2,000fps at “$15,990 USD”. It gives film students, creative video professionals in television & film unfettered access to their very own professional grade high-speed camera at up to 20,000+fps at reduced resolution and a killer maximum shutter speed of 1/800,000 sec. Most consumer high-speed solutions cannot surpass 1/30,000 sec, so that is one crazy good spec.
It works with just about any terminal that can run the Google Chrome browser including Laptops, PCs, Macs, Android Tablets, Smart Phones or iPads with an Ethernet interface or wireless with the addition of a router to the mix. The interface is straightforward and easy to operate with many features that will help catch the hardest of shots. Pre-triggering and Post-triggering will allow any capture combination you can think of with an interface that lets you know in advance the maximum shot duration without doing any math.
edgertronic SC2X Footage Samples Part 2 – 1080p:
Resolution wise it delivers Full HD 1080p at 1,910fps stock and 2,024fps in the Overclock A setting. The closest competitor that is available and can shoot an anything close to these speeds costs at least 5x the price of the edgertronic SC2X. It is quite a marvel of a camera.
As an evolving platform, you get support now for preset favorites that let you recall settings commonly used and a way to browse within the browser the file system and download files to the host computer if needed. You get overlay data and a logo image if needed as well as a very useful frame counter for scientific and industrial uses.
The non-electronic Nikon F mount allows for a large combination of lenses to be used with manual focus properties and with the use of adapters several other lens brands. While some will want access to a Canon mount, it is a small compromise as it was intended for non-electronic operation in the first place. It is after all one of the better mount options out there. If one mount could be chosen, we would go for the Sony NEX mount that has adapters for dozens of mounts including Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Leica, Pentax and PL. However, the Nikon F mount is a good compromise that performs as needed.
The edgertronic camera delivers very good resolution that when looked at in a 1080p display or TV; feels very sharp and detailed.
For those of you looking for the Realm of affordable 4k slow motion, you will have to wait a bit longer. Most content is still delivered at 1080p and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. 4k Delivery on cable is close to non-existent and only services like Netflix, Hulu or Youtube allow for 4k delivery and with some serious bandwidth bottlenecks. The affordable 4k slow motion product will come in the future but 1000fps today costs over $100,000 USD in the Phantom Flex 4k , we estimate a long time before 4k high speed becomes commonplace. You will be better off up-scaling the excellent 1080p image from the edgertronic SC2X to 4k and forget about 4k for now. The camera has enough detail for most discerning viewers.
In the image aboveyou can see that the camera delivers excellent 1080p sharpness across the board. Upscaling to 4k UHD above yields excellent results that should be able to intercut with a film or TV show shot in 4k if needed. Use your favorite scaling software and add a little sharpness to improve the results of your end product.
Image Artifacts: The Camera does have a few issues when detail gets extreme in shots with angled lines; like color moire. High-speed cameras and regular cameras with no low pass filters exhibit the same artifacts. The edgertronic does not have a low pass filter which makes moire and aliasing more apparent and at the same time allows for a lot more of detail captured to be retained in the frame. However, the SC2X delivered excellent results with barely a hint of a moire problem in regular use. We were hard pressed aside from the chart test to see the appearance of color moire.
We did encounter some aliasing in shots containing strands of fibers like hair or fur, common in most cameras. For the times for when detail will show these artifacts, you could always de-focus just a tad or add a softening filter to the lens. This will get rid of most artifacts the very few times when they will show up. Also, you can try an optical low pass filter like those made by Mosaic Engineering and adapt it to the edgertronic if needed see here! The video below shows a low pass filter applied to a Nikon camera. It can make wonders to reduce artifacts from the lack of a built-in OLPF in your camera.
That said the edgertronic SC2X is able to handle almost every scene without artifacts showing up, the extra resolution if good enough to counter these compared to the previous edgertronics with 720p sensors.Resolution has its benefits and lack of artifacts in shots is a big one!
Codec:The H.246 codec in the edgertronic SC2X is very good at retaining detail and motion with no visible artifacts, it is a great implementation of the variable bit-rate codec. The case for RAW gets stronger if you need more dynamic range or want to process images with a RAW converter and the flexibility it allows when it comes to color, sharpening, white balance and noise suppression. However, we were impressed by the cameras near 13 stop Dynamic range and beautiful color rendition. The detail, color, and codec are all at professional levels of quality, certainly, there is no lack of motion bitrate for even demanding users here.
Files grade and are edited seamlessly on any modern computer system with beautiful color, tonality and highlight roll-off that are at the limits of what an 8 bit image can provide with nearly 60 megabits/sec when using high quality encode mode on a detailed scene at 1088p which is extremely high by any standard.
The open architecture of the camera allows for adding features or automated functionality for your applications. Be it a laboratory experiment or an automated photo booth. You can completely automate the camera capture process and have an autonomous high-speed terminal for any use. The new Python language programming additions allow for even more customizability by allowing files to be saved on a remote server or computer for instant backup after the first save. These and other features are ages ahead of other prosumer cameras that shoot pseudo-slow motion like the Sony FS5 or FS700 which offer no programmability.
Who is it for: educators, scientists, industrial production line monitoring, hobbyists, imaging geeks, nature researchers, party photo booths, small and large video production companies for TV & film, sports coaches, universities and even NASA as the cost is so low compared to the performance achieved.
If you ever wanted to have your own high-speed camera for capturing nature wildlife, people, cinematic scenes, products for TV ads, food, people, and pets in full 1080p slow motion at up to 2000fps this is the camera for you!
Who should pass on it: Soccer Moms, people that look for better low light ability and higher frame rates at 720p resolution “like the edgertronic SC2+ here”, point and shooters, scientists that care not for detail, industrial testing that is fine with 720p resolution and needs better low light and higher 720p frame rates.
The workflow on the edgertronic is simple but it is not for everyone, if you think that you want it to record your kid at soccer or baseball it could be a frustrating experience because of the lack of a built in screen. If you install a wireless nano router and use a tablet it becomes much easier but it is hardly at the level of a camcorder or point and shoot camera. You need to think your shot, pre-focus, frame and prepare for every recording prior to clicking the trigger shutter. Waiting for the camera to write a clip can also make you miss the next moment if you choose a very high frame rate that takes minutes to record and save. However, all of these issues become transparent after using the camera for a few days and becomes second nature with it becoming easier every time. The camera is very easy to use compared to most other professional slow motion options out there and this is no small detail.
Dependable and solid design with 24/7 operation in mind.
High Quality 1,910fps Full HD 1080p is a first for this price range.
Large APS-C sensor with large 10um pixels excellent in low light.
Nearly 13 stops of Dynamic Range.
Well controlled noise pattern, easy to improve with NeatVideo if needed.
Costs less than 20% of competing high-speed products.
Excellent new feature Review Before Saving – Saves Time/Space!
Programmable/customizable with SDK and Python support.
Multi-Camera Triggering Capability – Genlock and Network Sync
Ethernet 10/100 and dual 5v Powered USB ports included.
Nikon Mount allows for the use of hundreds of available lenses.
Complete kit with 50mm lens, cables and Trigger shipped in box
Uses H.264 codec with high-quality encoding to SDHC Cards.
Controlled by any device that runs Google Chrome browser.
Easy to use out of the box with Automatic Sensor Calibration.
Includes Mechanical Shutter for Automatic Black Calibration!
Multi-Shot Support which allows several recordings before save.
Small footprint allows for portability and custom enclosures.
Small Portable 12v batteries allow it to work for up to 10hrs+.
Custom info, frame# and logo can be burned in footage if needed.
Can be operated remotely with an Ethernet network connection.
Active software development continuously adds new features and fixes found bugs.
Easy upgrade and switch for edgertronic SC1 or SC2, SC2+ Camera owners. Plug and Play Replacement!
Camera lacks weather sealing, requires external casing for wet and dusty environments. Like an EWA Marine Bag see here.
No Peaking to aid Focus, No Histogram to judge exposure, No Custom White Balance (Camera is Daylight Balanced) and No RAW/Flat Profile Support above 8 bits in color H.264.
Lack of built-in touch screen requires a device like a tablet or laptop for on the field portability. (This is by Design for encased environments)
Lack of internal WiFi module requires low-cost external solution.
Lack of HDMI Out means you cannot use portable monitors that offer peaking for focus aid and LUTs. (needed for TV and Film Production) – You will have to use an Apple or Android Tablet instead.
The edgertronic SC2X is a camera that the high speed imaging market had been expecting for a decade. Advancements in processing, sensor design, and economies of scale are used to port what is normally a $50k+ USD camera into a $15,990 package that is ready to shoot. This is a point that we have to emphasize because the performance offered here for the price is astounding when compared to the rest of the market.
There is nothing shipping today that gets close to the features of this camera at 1,910fps Stock and up to 2,300+fps 1080p with overclocking enabled in this price range. If you want high-quality Full HD slow-motion video that is affordable above 240fps, 700fps, 1000fps or 2000fps the edgertronic SC2X is the only game in town as of this writing.
The camera is rock solid with no crashes or reboots at all during our 7 week testing. The camera is designed for 24/7 operation and it shows engineering that is refined and time-tested.
It’s open architecture and programmability makes it adaptable and extensible going forward. Continued software development improves the camera with every release and they do listen considering features we asked for in our earlier edgertronic reviews. The implementation of Review Before Saving and further image quality improvements are just two features that are already implemented in the current release for all edgertronic cameras.
This shows a dedication to the user base that most other manufacturers ignore after a couple of years of a camera’s release. Your investment in a camera like this will continue to become valuable over time aside from the estimated revenue generated from TV, Web or Film production if that is your intention.
That said we wish they implemented a few remaining features like Peaking for focus, Custom White Balance with presets, RAW/Flat Profiles and a Histogram display in upcoming software revisions. All of which should be doable if there is high demand from users. edgertronic caters to the industrial and scientific crowds for the most part and are a strong name in those markets with heavy numbers of cameras being deployed by fortune 500 companies and research labs. The new edgertronic SC2X is their push to get into the TV, Web and Film production markets and as it ships today, it delivers on the majority of the features this crowd expects. Having those missing features implemented will just make it easier to pull the trigger for this camera against competitive products or rentals.
We give the edgertronic SC2X camera our highest praise with the “Platinum Award” for making available for the first time to anyone with a mid-range professional camera budget; a high-quality Full HD super slow motion video camera that breaks the 1,000fps barrier at 1080p and goes above and beyond by doing it twice at 2,024fps using the excellent quality Overclock A. The camera was a joy to use and the footage that you can record will leave you speechless most of the time.
The SC2X is a technological marvel that takes full advantage of modern technology. If you are serious about video production, are tired high rental prices for dedicated slow-motion cameras and are looking for an edge over the competition, you should really take a deep hard look at the edgertronic SC2X which will probably be a crown jewel in your camera gear line-up!
MUST HAVE FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION!
Thanks to Mike Matter of Sanstreak for providing HSC the edgertronic SC2X color camera for this review & to the Sanstreak staff for support.
For more information about the edgertronic SC2X camera including ordering information please visit http://edgertronic.com/
Thanks for your support of HSC, if you decide to acquire an edgertronic or any other camera please mention this website to the manufacturer. We do not get a commission or remuneration for sales but it helps us measure the reach of our blog.
Now the SC2+, for example, can shoot above 5000fps at 720p full resolution from the maximum stock of 4456fps. Overclocking settings come in four settings and while your mileage may vary according to your camera, most settings should work as advertised. We tested the SC2X at all settings and find that Overclock A 5% and B 10% offer quality very close to the stock setting and allowing for over 2000fps.
Overclocking edgertronic specs using C Mode:
SC2X high speed camera 2,252 frames/sec at 1080P resolution
SC2+ high speed camera 5,134 frames/sec at 720P resolution
SC2 high speed camera 3,350 frames/sec at 720P resolution
SC1 high speed camera 882 frames/sec at 720P resolution
“The frame rates quoted above are using overclock C setting, which produces videos comparable to those taken with overclock set to (off)! edgertronic.com”
Improvements since software release version 2.2.1:
Overclock support for SC2+ and SC2X similar to SC1 overclock support.
Improved web U.I. response time when configuring the camera.
Reduced time from post-trigger buffer full until the next multishot can be triggered. Time reduced to around 100 ms.
Improved SC2 and SC2+ image quality by reducing image sensor noise.
Clean up user-supplied configuration file line endings when the files are installed into the camera.
Added support to pipelines file to allow preview while saving to be disabled to improve file save performance.
Improved camera temperature range for a few cameras that didn’t tolerate colder temperatures. Thanks to the Boise camera owner who reported the problem.
Fixed defect wherein review mode if you relocate the status boxes then would jump around to a different location.
Improved user experience when using the overlay notes helper buttons to add camera-specific information to the notes field.
Fixed defect where the web UI didn’t work properly if the cookie was in an unexpected format. No clue how that customer created a browser cookie in an unexpected format.
Added support for keyboard control when in review before saving. Tab, space, left arrow, right arrow, page up, and page down now allow the review sliders to be controlled via the keyboard. This is helpful in sunlit areas when the laptop screen is hard to read.
In our testing of the new 2.2.2g3 firmware, we were able to put it through its paces. We found that the Overclock A and B Settings were nearly as good in quality as the stock maximum 1910fps 1080p mode but did show some extra noise in the shadows which is expected with overclocking. The B setting started to show some shadow banding but did not show any artifacts when properly lit.
If you need to shoot with overclocking frame rates be sure to give it excellent illumination. If you light a scene with proper lights and fill in every shadow you will have an excellent image on the SC2X at A and B settings. We, however, had some color noise artifacts when shooting in the C and D overclocking modes. It seems some sensors are more forgiving than others in this mode and our copy of the camera seems to have hit a wall at the C setting. These artifacts are of no concern for analyzing data in a lab if needed but they are not usable for broadcast TV or film. Stick with Stock speeds up to 1910fps on the SC2X for the utmost quality and use Overclock A and B as you see fit to get nearly 500fps more if needed.
SC2X Overclocking mode / Frame Rates:
1910 fps 1920*1088“Stock Setting” (Overclock Off)
2,24.41 fps 1920*1088 Using Overclock A 5% Increment
2,138.44 fps 1920*1088 Using Overclock B 10% Increment
2,252.46 fps 1920*1088Using Overclock C 15% Increment
2,366.55 fps 1920*1088 Using Overclock D 20% Increment
This is a very significant update!
With all the news coming out this year about new cameras it is of note that this new edgertronic firmwareis a significant step forward for slow motion frame rates on an affordable camera. The SC2+ breaking 5000fps with excellent quality means the camera is now even more coveted by motion analysis uses at 720p.
The SC2X breaking 2000fps and offering beautiful performance at 2,024fps at full 1080p resolution makes this the camera to get for small studios that need a high-speed solution on a budget that you can own and not rent. The SC2X might be the best slow-motion camera of 2017 when it comes to frame rates, resolution and performance. This update only cements that position and makes it much harder for the competition to offer a counter punch.
If you own an edgertronic SC2+, SC2 and or SC2X be sure to publish your overclock findings below. We are still hard at work on Part 3 of our review of the SC2X which will delve deeper into the overclocking function and explore it on lower resolutions to find the best quality/performance balance. -HSC
The edgertronic SC2X is the culmination of a lot of engineering prowess and expectations for a full HD 1080p capable high-speed camera that is both capable and usable for the most demanding image quality trials. The 1,910fps speed is ideal for capturing a plethora of human and physical events that do not happen in the blink of an eye but over a few seconds. Sports videographers and Nature shooters will feel right at home with the resolution finally being big enough for the minimum submission guidelines of TV production and Film post.
Connecting and firing up the camera for the first time:
Once placed on a tripod or other stand using one of the two 1/4″ bolt screw mounts it is time to wire the camera up. The sequence in which you attach the cabling can be out of this order but we found it easier to do it in the following steps:
1)Insert a compatible SDHC card on the SD slot of the camera. The kit comes with an 8GB card but we tried a Sandisk 32GB Extreme 30MB/sec video rated card and had no issues (Make sure it is SDHC and not SDXC).
The cards have to be formatted in the FAT32 filesystem common to Windows machines of the last decade. FAT32 works on smaller sized storage fine and up to 32GB it should have absolutely no performance difference compared to other more capable file systems like NTFS. SDXC Cards will not work with the edgertronic so keep this in mind!
2) Connection of the 10/100 Ethernet cable shown in blue. Connect the other end to your PC, Laptop or wireless/wired router for easy connectivity to portable devices like smartphones or tablets.
3)Connect the wired trigger remote in its port. Connect the extender if you need extra reach (advisable)!
Once you connect the power cable the camera turns on automatically and starts the bootup process “There is no Power Switch”. Booting up takes about 15-20 seconds including calibration it is really a non-issue since you still have to open the control interface on the PC, Mac or Laptop. The camera runs on Linux and you never have to fiddle with the system unless you want to test your own software code with the camera using the SDK here.
Setting up Networking:
The camera needs to be accessed through a 10/100 networked device that runs a web browser. edgertronic works best with the Google Chrome browser and while it worked fine on explorer and Apple’s Safari you really want reliability and stability when using the camera. Just use Chromeand save some headaches. We used Version 61.0.3163.100 64Bit of Google Chrome during our review and it was rock solid.
The easiest way in our view to access the camera without many configuration steps in a studio; is to use a router either wireless or wired with the camera. Plug in the Ethernet cable on a router that is also feeding a signal to your computer and just find the device by typing the IP address on the browser bar.
The router we connected to had the following IP address 192.168.0.1 and the camera had an address in that range, in this case, it was just a matter of changing the end number .1 to .2,.3,.4,.5.6 etc to find the camera. Our router assigned the number http://192.168.0.6/ to the edgertronic and worked every time on that address for the length of the review testing on the local network. Once you punch the address you are greeted with the edgertronic interface.
Network setup by direct cabling to computer:If you need to access the camera from your computer directly it needs to be configured first in order to talk with the edgertronic. The Ethernet cable needs to be connected from the edgertronic to your computer network port.
Network setup by direct cabling to computer:If you need to access the camera from your computer directly it needs to be configured first in order to talk with the edgertronic. The Ethernet cable needs to be connected from the edgertronic to your computer network port.
Your computer network settings should look like this:
IP address 10.11.12.1
Sub Net Mask 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway: 10.11.12.13
Once you set up your computer this way you will lose your current networking except for being able to access the camera. If you have a laptop or desktop with an Ethernet cable and WiFi interfaces you can access the camera while retaining internet/local network connectivity without issue if you connect to your network through WiFi.
To connect to the camera in this mode you just need to type the following URL in the Chrome browser:http://10.11.12.13
The Camera’s IP is always =&1=& unless you decide to change it by entering the firmware change through a Telnet command line. We saw no sense in changing this easy to remember IP number.
If you want portability we urge you to get a wireless router like the ZyXel here for about $20. We used it a lot and it worked like a champ. The edgertronic begs to be portable and with this router, you can use any Apple or Android tablet with the Chrome browser and take the edgertronic anywhere with little trouble. As long as you have a good portable battery the router can be connected to the USB ports on the camera and be powered from there.
Once you connect to the camera you are greeted by a first connect greeting and agreement, once you say ok you are then presented with the basic main interface parameters.
The interface is programmed using HTML 5 with Bootstrap and is very responsive while looking modern. Floating windows and panels are movable around the screen to fit workflow.
Settings are divided into two columns, one for Input which is the Requested column and the Actual which is the value that will be applied. Actual lets you see in advance how the hardware will behave with a certain set of parameters before applying the changes and start calibration. This saves time and guesswork and lets you learn the features of the camera and its limitations.
Settings available on the standard interface as follows:
-Sensitivity: Lets you input ISO sensitivity in single unit increments see our ISO 1202 below. You have the freedom to choose the ISO increment according to your available light to within a single unit and not to hard-locked parameters. This is a great feature to have to use the best quality compared available light! For example, ISO 1250 can be used to add just enough sensitivity without altering the quality of the image perceptively.
The ISO on the color only edgertronic SC2X goes from 1200 to 19,200.
-Shutter: Lets you choose a specified shutter speed. The scale goes from 1/30th of a second to 1/797,619th of a second. This box also lets you set shutter speed by the single digit, in this case, a frame by frame increment. If you need a specific number to avoid some flickering in your light source you can do so by finding that parameter by increasing or decreasing the value with 1 unit precision.
-Frame Rate:Lets you choose a specified frame rate you need for the shot. The scale goes from 30fps all the way up to 20,132fps- resolution dependent and fixed in the horizontal at 1920 pixels. It can be adjusted by single digits and while not all values result in an actual precise value, the frame rate is within 1fps from the requested input value. It is still an extremely flexible frame rate that very few cameras allow. (Note: Sometimes you will have to increase the shutter speed at least 1/100 more than the desired frame rate to get such speed. Has to do with some sensor parameters)
Vertical:Lets you select the vertical resolution of the frame. From a low of 96px to a high of 1088px. Single digit input but with auto adjustment to the closest sensor supported resolution.
-Horizontal:The edgertronic SC2X is Locked at 1920 pixels for the horizontal at all resolution settings and frame rates.
-Duration: Lets you specify the shot recording duration in seconds up with up to hundreds of a second or two decimal places. i.e. 1.22, 2.38 3.88, 4.87 etc… The maximum duration is dependent on resolution and frame rate, for example recording at the lowest settings of 1920x96px which is the lowest the camera can go resolution wise, will yield a memory buffer recording of 3,106 Seconds at 30fps and 4.63 seconds at 20,132 fps the highest the camera sensor can go. That is a whole lot of recording at 30fps which is not really that useful unless you are recording a live event of 74 minutes non stop, of course, you will not be using a high-speed camera for that.
At the other end of the spectrum at the Full HD resolution which is 1920px * 1088px and at 1,910fps using the 16GB memory buffer on the SC2X, delivers 4.305 seconds which is actually a pretty long time in slow motion action. That would be 8,222.55 frames recorded or 274 seconds played back at 30p or 4.56 minutes.
The following chart shows common resolution and frame rates possible on the edgertronic SC2X:
Resolution edgertronic SC2X
1920*1088 Full Sensor
1920*736 HD 720p equivalent
1920*768- 1024*768 equivalent
1920*672- 768*688 equivalent
1920*480- 720*480 NTSC equivalent
1920*480- 640*480 VGA equivalent
640*352 Half HD
1920*224 Half VGA Equivalent
1920*96 Lowest Res
Note:All resolutions on the table above can only work at 1920 px horizontal. This does not impact final frame rate performance. The sensor is locked on the horizontal resolution!
-Pre-Trigger: Most high-end high-speed cameras have what is called a Pre and or Post trigger function to be able to predict and catch the action during the limited time frame the camera records.
The bar above shows a pre-trigger of 50% default which is highlighted in green. The 16GB in the camera memory is segmented in two at 50%, 8GB in green and 8GB in gray. For a 10 second record time, for example, it means you get 5 seconds recording before you push the trigger and five seconds after.
You can alter the pre-trigger number in single digit increments from 0% which means you won’t have to record unless you press the trigger in which case will give you the full buffer after and or at 100% which means the camera records up until the point the trigger is pressed.
Depending on your shot you will need to alter the pre-trigger value in order to capture the action. If you are a single shooter that will also be performing the action “i.e. popping a water balloon” it makes sense to allow a pre-trigger of 100% to capture the pop until by pressing the trigger you stop recording. The balloon has already exploded, water comes out and no action remains. If you are waiting for a lighting to strike you will also need a large pre-trigger value or the like so you capture the lightning in the pre-trigger buffer and stop after it passes when you press the physical trigger.
Shorter pre-trigger values are needed for catching wildlife like birds and dogs as a 30% for example gives you time to react press the trigger and record the secondary motion after the initial subject movement. If you want to run yourself or jump framed in the shot you will need no pre-trigger and put it at 0%, then after clicking the trigger you will perform your action and it will record for the specified duration in seconds.
The flexibility of this system cannot be understated as it reduces the chances of false captures or failed keepers and the buffer is long enough to allow for some or a lot of wiggle room depending on your agility and preference.
-Shot Count:This setting is quite a wonderful addition to the camera. It was planned to be supported in hardware from the start and it works by splitting the buffer into the shots specified according to the time allowed. For example, if you have 9 seconds of the buffer at your specified resolution and frame rate at 1 shot, then you could ask for 3 shots in this parameter and get shots that last 3 seconds each all with their respective Pre-trigger percent number % as selected in the pre-trigger box.
If you record in shot count mode you get the interface above which lets you know how many shots remain and lets you record them to the SD card before all of them have been shot in case you don’t need another take. If you are doing a lot of repetitive actions that require patience and endurance then multi-shot Shot Count is for you. If you wanted to record lightning during a storm you could record quite a few before the card writing process begins which will give you more chances to get a great sample.
At 1,910fps 1080p Full HD we were able to get 4 shots of 1 second each which considering how slow a time frame it is you will spend several minutes waiting for the camera to record the actions.
Recording the first shot:
Calibration With Included Shutter for Black Cal: After settings have been entered and the settings window is closed on the X close mark or the mouse clicks outside the settings window area; the camera will do a quick black calibration step which sets the sensor mode to the parameters requested by the user and does a series of dark frames by closing the physical camera shutter “making an electronic audible noise” for an instant and taking some exposures. The image will momentarily change to a series of vertical noise pattern lines which is the sensor’s noise pattern. The camera uses this frames to cancel out the signal noise and produce the best image quality for that mode.
The edgertronic SC2X does this automatically which is a big plus as some other more expensive high-speed camera solutions require manual calibration after each settings change which is a time-consuming process. This is an impressive feature that works perfectly and makes the camera extremely friendly and dependable at the same time.
The camera is ready and the blue and green LEDs on the back are steady which means settings have been entered, calibration happened and it is awaiting a trigger event from the controller, software or the back plate multi-function button.
The above shot shows our settings on the right, 1800 ISO, 1/4000 shutter, 1088p resolution, 4.305 seconds duration and 1,910fps.
The camera icon is the interface trigger button and if pressed it will start a recording event. You can also do this by pressing the manual trigger controller or the Multi-function button on the back of the camera. Once pressed the buffer will begin to fill and record the shot.
Files and Saving the recording:
The saving process shows the post-trigger buffer filled in Magenta color and the actual SD card or Hard drive saving process on blue filling on the bottom dark gray line. For every second that passes in the blue saving bar, the camera has saved give or take 30+ frames or a little over a second. However, depending on frame content the encoder could take more or less time to save depending on the complexity of the image. For extremely detailed shots saved in the high-quality mode which is default, the 1080p capture could go as low at 22fps encoding. The process is still quick considering the camera is encoding to H.264 at huge bit rates for 1080p video, orders of magnitude higher bit-rates than common portable camcorders. In our testing, it was common for a 1 second of high speed recording at 1080p Full HD, 1,910fps to meet or exceed 500MB in space when saved in at 30p frame rate. So a buffer of 4 seconds would record 2GB of data to the card which is a time-consuming process. Your pre and post trigger events, as well as the Review before save feature, will help you reduce your card usage and get action more precisely in the time allotted. With practice, it will become second nature.
The video encoder:The H.264 encoder in the edgertronic SC2X is a variable bit rate encoder. It allows for low bit-rates when the frame contains few elements and or very high bit rates when the frame has huge detail. The encoder is so good that it delivers a very gradable image with great highlight roll-off and very few artifacts. You would be hard-pressed to find any compression artifacts in edgertronic footage. Even after heavy grading and curves adjustment the codec held it’s own. Motion is beautifully smooth and small details like minute dust particles are completely retained. Click on the image below for a full frame sample at 1080p.
In the above sample, the encoder delivered 57.6 Mbps for the 1080p image. This is a huge amount of bit rate for slow motion Full HD resolution. Most consumer and some professional Full HD 1080p cameras record at a rate of 15-24Mbits/sec. You are getting a quality image here no doubt about it. The encoder can predict in advance any significant changes in the image as the data has already been captured. On the fly camcorder encoders have very little buffer to look ahead which means a harsher motion vector implementation that can cause image tearing artifacts. The edgertronic is cheating in a good way as it delivers the utmost image quality from its H.264 encoder by looking ahead and back at the data and choosing the appropriate amount of bits that won’t sacrifice image quality.
The camera can record anywhere from 35 Mbits/sec to 60+ Mbits depending on scene complexity with its variable bitrate encoder.
Video Encoding Quality Options:The edgertronic SC2+ allows for High, Medium and Low predetermined settings plus a Custom Mode.
Medium offers around 20% file size savings compared to High and similarly Low saves around 30%.
Custom, is for those who want to control the camera’s video processing pipeline. The pipeline is described in a text file which can be provided by the user in the form of a configuration file.
The video processing pipeline file used by the camera can be retrieved from the web address here:
The case for RAW Recording: Most professional high-speed cameras deliver their data as RAW image data sequences or TIF image sequences. Which give 10, 12 or even 14 bit color data in the process. The edgertronic captures in H.264 at 8 bit which is perfectly usable for most jobs but lacks that extra bit depth that can save that under or overexposed shot. If you needed perfect gradation with no banding even in extreme circumstances you would need RAW but while testing the camera we found no instance where we thought we needed that extra information when it came to color gradation.
1080p Full HD resolutionis high enough to be more demanding than the typical 720p camera that shoots high-speed. Furthermore, the color accuracy of the camera is exemplary with less than 2% deviation from our chart when using 5,600K daylight LED lamps and the Sun. The highlight retention and dynamic range of the camera which we think is close to 11-12 stops have been proven more than adequate for our tests. If highlight retention is your goal then dialing a faster shutter speed would alleviate any overexposure on the image.
The shadow areas are very clean at base ISO 1200 and lifting them produces very few artifacts. The files are very gradable and applying color 3D LUTs works fine if needed when used in moderation. We wish there was a way to scrap the edgertronic’s default S curve and get a flat profile out of the camera. This would allow for easier grading to mix it with other cameras.
TV and film are the edgertronic SC2X’s primary market so this is something that should be offered in a future firmware update. Furthermore, RAW DNG support should be an option at the time of saving as a simple checkbox on the GUI interface. RAW DNG is an open standard that should be implemented on the SC2X to give full sensor data for highlight recovery and uncompressed quality. Recording time and file sizes would take a big leap but a camera that aims at the production market needs the utmost quality possible.
If in the future the edgertronic allowed for RAW capture on DNG sequences or similar formats we have little doubt the vast majority of users would still default to H.264 for High Quality Setting encoded footage. It works, it is of very good quality and your storage will thank you!
File Wrapper:The video files are saved as H.264 codec video streams in a Quicktime .mov wrapper. This is ideal and compatible with both Mac and PC computers and Linux workstations with compatible players. If needed, changing the file extension from .mov to .mp4 lets the files play on any player that can playback MP4 files. In short, you won’t find any video compatibility issues with this camera video file format.
File size and cutting length of files: The file size of the videos captured is based on the bit rate size, image frame size and the duration. Some of our clips passed the 2GB mark but most were under 500 MB as we truncated the duration either with time or while saving a clip with the interface Truncate Button or the new Review Before Save feature implemented in the latest software.
While saving a video you can stop the recording at any time which will cut or truncate the video from that point forward. If the action in your footage has already happened you can cut the tail end of the footage and save time and space. Our 32GB card was able to record about 70 1080p resolution 1 second 1,910fps videos before filling up. That is quite good mileage for a high-speed camera of any sort. If it was RAW the entire card would fill before reaching 10 clips. You will get tired way before the camera has filled up from an entire day of shooting. Our longest stretch was 7 hours of shooting and we filled the full of the 32GB card.
Exif Information: The edgertronic camera records a complete exposure and recording information file Exif along with every video recorded as a separate .TXT text file an example of one below…
Camera time: Mon Oct 9 20:58:14 2017
Model: SC2X Color 16 GB
Sensitivity: 2400 ISO
Shutter: 1/4000 Seconds
Frame Rate: 1909.97 Frames/Second
Horizontal: 1920 Pixels
Vertical: 1088 Pixels
Duration: 4.30529 Seconds
Pre-trigger: 80.0073 percent
Overclock: 0 level
Extended Dynamic Range: 0
genlockForce monochrome: Off Sensor behaves normally
Multishot Buffers: 1 buffers
External trigger debounce: On 5 ms debounce delay after external trigger falling edge
As you can see, a lot of information is recorded which lets scientific, industrial and creative users extract useful information about the settings and conditions of the camera when a recording occurred and replicate a shot settings precisely if needed. This is a very easy and useful way to gather camera data. And or troubleshoot a camera if any problems arise This easily beats digging in the video file information for the data. This is a big workflow plus for the edgertronic.
Once a video has been saved it can be played back directly from the SD card or hard drive that is connected in the USB slot. Only the last saved video can be accessed; if you need to see a previous video you need to examine the SD card or hard drive itself after un-mounting. Below is a screenshot of the video preview window after recording. You can start/Stop and expand full screen. This is a full resolution sample and identical to the one recorded on the card.
The Camera can also download to the host computer the last saved video .mov file from the SD card to the computer’s local storage. If you want piece of mind about a great shot and want to keep it as a backup it is a good option to have.
If you need to remove the SD card or USB Hard drive or Stock device for any reason you have an un-mounting button available that lets you do it. If you pulled either the SD card or hard drive while the camera is on, without using this eject button you risk of damaging the file system in the card causing corruption. Be sure to keep this in mind!
There is a Help button accessible from the main interface which opens a new tab in the browser and gives you a complete user guide and other troubleshooting information for the camera. This is independent of internet access as the information is located on the Micro SD card inside the camera body. You can never lose the manual because it is readily available. Good Thinking!
The wrench button is just the way back to the original settings dialogue box.
You will be using this button plenty. Going in and out of this mode will trigger a camera calibration event if frame rate, ISO, shutter speed settings change.
In Multi-shot recording mode you loose the ability to play back your last shot or download the last clip. Which when a sequence is fully recorded should be available. You get new icons of record and stop recording which let you record all the multi-shot recording buffers or cancel the remaining buffers at any time.
Auto Fill Camera Settings Intelligence: The entire interface value panel adjusts to the entered numbers or by the lack of them. The interface and software for that matter are intelligent enough to show in the “Actual” column the outcome of filling or leaving fields empty. This is an extremely easy way to get to know the camera features and limitations. It is as if a genius of high-speed values was guiding you through the whole process and won’t let you make a mistake.
Lets say that your main interest for this shot is frame rate, If you Input 5,000 fps in the “Blue Marked” field you will not get a solution immediately because the camera defaults to 1/500th of a second shutter speed; this is too low for 5k fps you need at least the same number of frames as shutter speed in order to capture that many. The edgertronic will always like a bit more shutter speed than the frame rate requested so we gave the shutter speed a value of 20,000 shown in “Yellow“. Now if you look at the “Actual” column you are given the effective resolution for 5000fps which is 1920*384 pixels along with the duration and a base ISO of 1200 which is the default. If you continue to modify values like upping the ISO or the resolution all the values will adjust accordingly.
The benefit of this entire intelligent Actual system is that without looking at a manual or spec sheet you can experiment with any resolution, shutter speed, ISO, duration and frame rate combination to get a shot. This is especially useful to get a vertical resolution like 1088p to stay fixed regardless of other settings. In that case, you will fill the Horizontal value with: 1920 pixels and the Vertical with: 1088 pixels. If you had a great idea for a shot rest assured, by using this system you will arrive at your desired settings very quickly.
Using the camera becomes second nature after a few days of use. You will estimate and learn how to apply the settings for any shot you might need by playing the values in your head and then trying them out. There is no harsh learning curve. Not only is the camera powerful & affordable compared to similar options, its also very user-friendly and logical.
edgertronic SC2X Footage Samples Part 1 @ 1910fps 1080p:
Settings – Beyond Standard Camera Features!
Clicking the Options Tab in the main interface, gains access to them.
The edgertronic SC2X Options let you go at it with several very useful features to get the most out of the camera and use it in a professional setting with more controls.
-Genlock: To quote Wikipedia “Genlock (generator locking) is a common technique where the video output of one source, or a specific reference signal from a signal generator, is used to synchronize other television picture sources together. The aim in video applications is to ensure the coincidence of signals in time at a combining or switching point. When video instruments are synchronized in this way, they are said to be generator locked, or genlocked.
Basically what that means is that a device or camera will sync or be synchronized by other deices or cameras. If you need to start recording on multiple cameras at the same time; like that needed for 3D recording applications Genlock is your friend.
Master- If clicked the camera will feed the signal to other devices. You will need to only record on this camera and the others will start recording at the same time.
Slave- If clicked will make the camera expect a signal from another camera to start recording and be timed synced. You will need to record from a device or another edgertronic on Master mode to start recording.
External-This mode lets an external timing source to control the cameras, could be made by a computer or custom Genlock timer.
Limitations on Genlock from the Wiki:
There are limitations:
All cameras have to be configured for compatible timing (see below). For one-to-one frame lock, each slave has to be set to a frame rate that is greater than or equal to the master’s frame rate.
The user is responsible to make sure all cameras can be triggered before issuing a trigger. There is no automated check that verifies whether or not a slave camera has completed saving the previously captured video, finished the calibrate operation, has available storage, etc.
When using genlock the cameras can have different duration, iso, percentage pre-trigger, and shutter speed settings.
-Force Monochrome:Allows the color version of the edgertronic SC2+ camera to record in Black and White only. This generates a slightly sharper image and compression data savings but will not equal the per pixel quality of a Monochrome sensor on an edgertronic. The Bayer filter on the sensor pixels will cause a resolution loss on any camera and the edgertronic SC2+ is not immune to this. If you need the utmost sharpness and low light ability then a Monochrome edgertronic is the way to go. In fact many labs and enterprise buy Monochrome cameras much more than color versions as they need it to analyze motion and not look at the colors.
-Video Encoding:Lets you select Low, Medium or High quality plus custom which allows you to tweak the settings in the configuration text file if you need other parameters outside the basics.
-Trigger Debounce: For code version 2.2.1 and above there is a user-settable debounce setting. If debounce is on, a 5 ms debounce delay occurs between the falling trigger edge and when the camera processes the falling edge. With debounce off, there is no delay and the falling edge is processed immediately.
-Review Before Saving: With the newest versions of the software it is now possible to enable reviewing a clip with easy In-Out Points on all edgertronic cameras. This was a major gripe we had while reviewing previous edgertronic cameras. This is a big dealand it is easily the most important feature added since our last review. It works solid and you can save any amount of clips with pre-determined in-out points you desire. If a shot contains events far apart it is very easy to isolate them and not save the entire frame buffer. Saves card space and isolates action. The camera is now frustration free in the save clip department.
You can see the (^) time selectors above which let you isolate a time frame for any framebuffer you have recorded. Only the selected clip region will be saved. The feature can be turned on and off if you need autosave of the entire buffer without user intervention.
-Status Timeout:Allows you to set a second limit for the interface overlay icons to fade away including all information and buttons. Goes from 1 sec to 100 seconds If you set it to 0 they will never go away!
Overlay allows the edgertronic camera to display custom information and data on the screen and burn it in the recorded footage as well. This is ideal for all sorts of tests and scientific experiments as you can record the actual frame number associated with the time slider and add features like Notes “we used it to title shots” and a custom logo which you can edit. The camera pulls the logo from a file on the internal micro SD card on the camera. You can create custom logos and have the camera overlay them as needed.This is perfect for identification purposes and file logging. Overlay is a must-have feature for many and the current release of the edgertronic software has it available on all models of the camera; the SC1, SC2, SC2+ & SC2X all have the same software support.
The camera saves Presets or Favorites of the settings so you can recall them easily. It saves every parameter and overlay setting for easy set-up. This feature is a must-have for TV and Film production to get solid repeatable results for multiple cameras and lighting environments. The usefulness of this feature cannot be under-stated.
You can save up to 6 settings which will recall the entirety of the camera options with a single click. You get a dialogue box to confirm the selection and or overwrite. For example, 1088p 1,910fps is our most requested resolution setting and we have it in different shutter/ISO configurations.
With the Favorites, you can save odd resolutions and ISO setting depending on the shot you need without guesswork and time wasted. In the field, the recall of presets can mean getting the shot or missing it. Glad to see this implemented so well!
ISO Performance “Sensor Noise”:
The edgertronic has large pixels 10 micro-meters which is huge compared to common DSLRs which have 3.5 to 4 micro-meters pixel diodes. However the global shutter circuitry introduces noise and reduces the performance significantly compared to those rolling shutter prone DSLRs. See part 1 of this review for more on why the Global shutter is essential on a high-speed camera. Still , however, he edgertronic SC2X is extremely clean at base 1200 ISO, and holds well up until ISO 5,000. Given enough light the edgertronic works well up to ISO 8,000. Above that banding starts to appear and the signal degrades. It is still usable for scientific purposes but not ideal for TV or film production even with Noise Reduction post-processing.
Staying at ISOs 1200-4800 for image quality reasons yields excellent results. With some Noise Reduction using Neat video ISO 3,000-8,000 is very usable. ISO 10,000 has horizontal & Vertical banding that cannot be removed easily. We were hard-pressed to go above ISO 3,000 in our entire review. High-speed cameras need lots of light and if you give them that; high ISO settings are not used much as they will not be needed. If in doubt just add one more light before bumping the ISO. ISO 2400 is almost as clean as base and yields excellent results with good lighting.
Banding starts to appear at ISO 9600 so ISO 4800 should be ok for the highest quality in lower light levels. We took these tests in full LED 1000w equivalent lamps at 30fps. Only shutter-speed was altered to compensate for the ISO variance.
However, the camera can move up the ISO scale by single units so you can experiment up by 1 digit increments until you get the desired result. We used ISO 5,220 with good results as we needed more light for a few shots.
edgertronic SC2X ISO test & Neat Video Profiles Applied:
Using Noise Reduction Software with edgertronic SC2X:
Neat Video is your friend: Looking at how the noise is compressed by the H.264 codec it’s apparent not much is being thrown out compared to a RAW or high-quality JPG image. Neatvideo is an application for video editors and compositing applications like After Effects; that analyses video footage frames and averages the noise out with some very clever algorithms for retaining image detail. We created some profiles at ISO 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600 and 19200. You can see the results in the video above. It is clear the performance of Neat Video in the latest v4 is much better in preserving detail while getting rid of even some banding at higher ISOs.
We created the profiles from ISO1200 to ISO 19200 out of 50% Grey frames for the edgertronic and for use in Neat Video v4.0.
Download Profiles for Neat Video v4 for the SC2X Here:
-Sync Time: Will modify the camera’s time to your computer browser’s time. This is useful if you are shooting in a different time zone and want to keep track of the time there in your shots this is a handy way.
-About This Camera: This button will tell you hardware information among other parameters like time, date, software version, hardware information like color or monochrome and memory configuration. The most useful ones for the average user would be the MAC Address, time/date and the temperature of the sensor and FPGA processing circuitry. It is good to have access to the internal temperature to see if the camera is overheating and or at what temperature the sensor starts to degrade image quality. Too cool a sensor and or too hot makes image quality not optimal.
During our testing camera never overheated or locked up. It is a very solid product that is built for 24/7 year-round operation if needed.
Some more important points:
The edgertronic software is in constant evolution. Features like overlay, Favorites and multi-shot “Shotcount”, and Review before saving were not available at first with the SC1 camera but now are, this is a great thing for people that want their camera to grow in functionality over time. All software updates are free of charge to all edgertronic owners.
The http://wiki.edgertronic.com/ edgertronic wiki page is also a great resource for users of the camera to get the latest on development, footage samples and more on the camera and it’s community of users.
SDK For Camera Customization & Programming:
There is a robust SDK for software developers that want to customize the edgertronic for custom installations. You can get more information about it here. This makes the platform ideal for a variety of custom applications.
Many edgertronic customers have used the SDK with success in labs, testing facilities, education and multi-camera setups that can really take the camera and it’s time recording possibilities to the next level. You can program it to record and sync with other edgertronic cameras using Genlock for example to create a custom rig for TV or Film sets. A series of SC2X cameras shooting from different angles could really make an average shot, a truly incredible visual reward to the senses. The relatively low cost of the camera means you could build a 6 camera slow motion setup for the price of a single camera competitor’s rig. We expect to see the SC2X being used in these types of setups which will make the art of super slow motion capture evolve to higher aesthetic levels.
We expect to see the SC2X being used in these types of setups which will make the art of super slow motion capture evolve to higher aesthetic levels.
Moire and Aliasing:
During the review of the camera, some shots exhibited color moire and some aliasing in very detailed textures and diagonal lines. This is not a problem for the majority of shots and it is a clear improvement from other 720p edgertronic cameras. 1080p resolution makes shooting detailed objects much less of a problem with ample levels of detail retained in the frame without seldom an artifact.
The effect will be visible on the monitor at capture time so you can tell if it will show up beforehand. The edgertronic SC2X has an excellent sensor with very good characteristics which suffers very little from aliasing and moire.
See the ISO video test above for a detail vs Low pass filter live comparison!
As you can see in the test above of a resolution chart, the edgertronic SC2X has excellent detail but does have some color moire when lines get too close. This is normal for all sensors that use the Bayer color array. The edgertronic itself does not have an optical low pass filter installed which means the camera will allow all available detail to be recorded. We installed an optical low pass filter on demo camera temporarily to essentially create an OLPF effect. As you can see moire and aliasing are gone using this method, the resolution does take a small but perceptible hit if using a filter.
If you need a shot that needs to be free of moire and aliasing, you can use an OLPF and have it done with good results “We used a modified filter for our test. There is no OLPF made for edgertronic cameras that we know at this time”. Search around for OLPF filters on Google as they can be purchased relatively free. Trial and error is a must since OLPF can be too strong or weak depending on the camera they are being applied to.
We encourage you to have a large monitor to be able to spot such artifacts before recording in case they show up. The camera like many recent DSLRs and Mirrorless are shipped without an OLPF which makes aliasing and moire an unavoidable trade-off. However, this way you get the most detail possible from the sensor with no artificial softening.
We consider the absence of an OLPF a plus feature for the SC2X camera and not a negative.
Wrapping Up Review Part 2:
Using the edgertronic camera over the last month, and being able to see how it performs in a variety of situations has been a very interesting experience.
Shooting with the camera is a rewarding endeavor that will have you looking for new angles and subjects to shoot every day. You will be getting better at catching action and setting up shots in a few days of use and will make you a certified expert in a few weeks.
The camera is very user-friendly and has a lot of features to help you in getting the shot quickly. understanding how to best tailor the hardware to your needs will take a few sessions. The ongoing development of features is a plus and gives the camera room to grow and expand what it can do.
Over time you will start to think of even larger slow motion shoot projects than what seemed possible at first and the limit will be your imagination. You will easily run out of ideas before the camera has run out of frames. The SDK extensibility will also allow you and or your team to create customized rigs of multiple cameras for demanding video production environments for TV or Film.
The edgertronic SC2X is built on a mature product platform which inherits years of hardware and software development on a very solid & dependable platform. You get to finally have 1080p full HD high frame rates in what is essentially the same camera platform in shape and size to previous edgertronics.
You can just replace the camera by swapping it on your lab or studio and you are up and running. The cameras share the same user interface and the learning curve is the same. If you are an edgertronic SC1, SC2 or SC2+ owner, the SC2X is a clear image quality/resolution upgrade ready for demanding video production requirements and new levels of resolving power compared to 720p cameras. 1920*1088 pixels is a pretty huge leap to 720p HD and at near 2000fps you are not loosing much in the way of high frame rates. At this point, we can safely recommend the SC2X for your video and Film production needs without hesitation.
The quality of the files, noise pattern and resolution achieved are class leading when compared to many competitive cameras. A number of quality shots you will achieve will only be limited by your imagination and or will to prepare the shots, not by the hardware possibilities.
Over part 3 of this review, we will be looking at portability out on the field, rigging and recommendations for the future of the edgertronic as-well as the final verdict for the SC2X and why we feel this might be the camera you have been waiting for in the affordable slow-motion camera space. Coming Soon!
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For more information about the edgertronic SC2X camera including ordering information please visit http://edgertronic.com/