Tag Archives: campaign

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 ←

thCam Slow Motion Camera Kickstarter Campaign Canceled!

thCam Slow Motion Camera

(Note: As of November 23rd this campaign has been canceled due to lack of funding in time. )There is a new dedicated Slow Motion Camera being built by engineer enthusiasts and a Kickstarter campaign has just launched with the goal of gathering enough funds for production.  The camera is called thCam Slow Motion Camera and is capable of shooting above 3,000fps at reduced resolution with a 1920px horizontal. The 1080p frame rate maxes out at 266fps  and 576fps at 720p.

What is most impressive about this camera is the Machine Vision applications that can run with the platform like being able to train it to recognize QR codes, objects, and possibly even people. It could theoretically be used as a quality control camera that operates at very fast speeds. The other big deal is the price which is about $1,000 USD or €899 Euros which is a first for a camera of this kind.

thCam Slow Motion Camera Specs:

  •  Image sensor: 1920×1200, 10 bit Raw CMOS 2/3″ on 2MP Version
  •  Framerate: 240 fps (@ full resolution: 1920 x 1200), 576 fps (@ 1280 x 720), 1524 fps (@ 640 x 480), 3134 fps (@ 320 x 200)
  •  Pixel pitch: 4.8 µm
  •  Shutter: Global shutter
  •  Lens: included, compatible with every other C- / CS- Mount lens
  •  Image Sensor Size: 2/3” Optical Format
  •  Spectrum: Just visible light, no NIR (but the built-in NIR-cut filter can be removed or exchanged with another filter if you are willing to disassemble the thCam)
  •  Min. Exposure Time: 1 / 25,000 seconds
  •  Screen: multitouch capacitive lcd touchscreen
  •  Memory: 8 GiB (record time 12s)
  •  Battery: replaceable and rechargable li ion battery (continous recording time: > 2 hrs, stand-by mode: > 6 hrs)
  •  USB: USB 3.0 SuperSpeed connectivity
  •  Synchronization: External Monitorsignal and Trigger/Sync Port
  •  Software: Open Source, running on Windows (7 and above) / macOS (10.15 and above) / Linux
  •  Supported File Formats: Image Sequence (Raw, Jpg, Png), Video File (Mp4 / H.264)
  •  API: Open Source, use the camera in your own code (C++, Python, Java)
  •  Case: Aluminium case
  •  Dimensions: W x H x D = 14 cm x 8 cm x 5 cm (estimated values)

As you can see, the camera is no slouch, it can record up to 12 seconds of RAW video and can be used and controlled remotely with programming commands if needed. It uses a C mount much like other cameras in its class and has a 2 hr battery life while recording and up to 6hrs standby.  The batteries are a couple of 18650s which are common and widely available.

There are also options to only get the PCB boards with a sensor instead of a fully built camera at a lower price of €649 for the 2MP sensor version.  Some engineers are more inclined to adapt the PCB to their own pipeline instead of using a self-contained camera unit.

The Kickstarter Campaign:

The campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thdevices/thcam-3000-fps-slowmotion-camera

The creators of the camera a Swiss and German engineer team are asking for a pledge goal of $94,779 USD or about €80k Euros.  For under $1000USD depending on the exchange rate, this is a cheap slow motion camera that has a lot of potential with RAW image quality that seems above good just looking at the provided samples.

Footage is recorded as 10 Bit RAW Image Sequences, full control of white balance, color tone, contrast, and brightness no compression. After editing you may compress your video to standard formats (H.264).

The camera features a Global Shutter so no rolling shutter artifacts to spoil your experiments.

The thCam comes with an equipped 8 GB memory module, enough to record about 12 seconds in full resolution with maximum framerate. Standard SODimm 204 DDR3 Computer memory modules are used, so you are free to upgrade your camera later on.

The camera also comes with a Super Speed USB 3.0 port. This high transfer rate allows you to stream images from the camera in realtime and low latency.

The camera also has an Open Source SDK that allows for programmability and full remote control of the camera via USB 3.

Supported Languages will be Java, Python and C/C++.

thCam Slow Motion Camera Video Samples:

Camera Timeline:


Follow them on:

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/thdevices/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ThDevices-GmbH-101338128342338

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/thdevicesgmbh

(Development-) Blog: https://blog.thdevices.com/

Our Take on the thCAM:

This is a pretty neat little camera with a lot of potential for labs, engineers, education, sports, and imaging enthusiasts/hobbyists.

It has a great interface with easy controls that is working and ready to go. It has extensibility via software and can be controlled remotely by USB 3.0 with instant feedback.

The video samples do show some noise, chromatic aberration, and softness but looking at some of the other demos, it is clear these are mainly due to either low light or a pretty bad quality lens used. If you coupled this image sensor with better high-quality glass like we have seen in other C mount cameras, it is easily going to produce beautiful imagery.

For $1,000 USD for a fully assembled and working camera, we do not believe there is a deal out there that can compare. Sure you only get a maximum of 266fps in 1080p but we do get 576fps at 720p which is better than what many prosumer cameras can shoot at and the fact that we have RAW here makes it that much sweeter.

For production houses and serious videographers, it is clear this camera will not fit the bill as the smallish 2/3rds sensor could pose problems with image quality for broadcast and film unless the conditions were ideal with ample light control. This camera is not intended for that market in our view. This camera is intended for serious scientific experimentation and motion analysis with the possibility to extend its capabilities with software.

As a sports training device, it could be the best-priced camera of it’s kind with enough quality to analyze body motion on the fly and on location with its portability and 2hr recording and 6hr standby battery. We can see golfers and gymnasts gravitating to a solution like this especially with the flexibility and price.

The team of the Ackermanns is entering the space with the thCam but hopefully, we will see a more image quality-oriented camera as a future product with a higher price but not extremely above this first iteration. If they could produce a similar 1080p camera at 1000fps or 2000fps we are sure it would make a gigantic splash.

We wish the team luck on their campaign which looks to be ready for production, hopefully, we will continue to see impressive engineering from this team for years to come. -HSC

Pledge your support and possibly get a camera at The Kickstarter Campaign here:

The campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thdevices/thcam-3000-fps-slowmotion-camera

fps1000HD Software Update Ads USB3!

fps1000HD Software Update

Warning: The parent company of FPS cameras “The Slow Motion Camera Company Ltd.” went out of business and entered liquidation proceedings. No further development of cameras is expected. More information here on Google Search

The fps1000HD camera has been shipping to the majority of the Kickstarter backers and initially it was limited in scope to a specific ISO, frame rate and other common settings.  That all changes with the latest firmware update which unleashes ISO, resolution selection, and USB3 support for live monitoring , control and real time video transfer up to 60fps.

While the software is still not downloadable it will be in a few days when a few bugs have been squashed. All owners of the fps1000HD will be able to upgrade their cameras and all future shipped cameras will also have the new firmware.

fps1000HD Software Update:

Below is the update by Graham Rowan explaining the features that will be available once the software is upgraded:

“New Software Release

I’m sorry for the delay in getting this update out – I was waiting until everything was complete but I realize that this never seems to come!

I have been working on a new software release which will enable the full functionality of the fps1000HD. Most of this is complete but I am still working on one piece which will allow you to exploit this functionality to the full (see below).

First, the new software provides the following new features:

ISO Control

There are now 4 ISO settings. As well as the standard 100, there are now 300, 600 and 1200 settings. The more sensitive settings allow the camera to be used in lower light conditions. However, as always, these settings will not be as good in terms of noise as the standard 100 setting. It is always best to use the best lighting possible but this does provide flexibility now where good lighting is not possible and the extra noise can normally be compensated for in post production.

Bee – fps1000HD 1280 x 720 @ 1,000fps 50% exposure by Graham Rowan:

Resolution and frame rate control

The following resolutions and frame rates are now supported:

  • 1280 x 720 @1,000fps
  • 1280 x 600 @1,200fps
  • 1280 x 540 @1,300fps
  • 1280 x 480 @1,500fps
  • 1280 x 420 @1,700fps
  • 1280 x 360 @2,000fps
  • 1280 x 300 @2,400fps
  • 1280 x 240 @3,000fps
  • 1280 x 180 @4,000fps
  • 1280 x 120 @5,000fps
  • 1280 x 60   @10,000fps
  • 640 x 360 @4,000fps
  • 640 x 300 @6,000fps
  • 640 x 180 @8,000fps
  • 640 x 120 @10,000fps
  • 640 x 60   @20,000fps

These are settable via the user LCD touch screen.

USB3 Interface

This is probably the most powerful feature opening the fps1000HD up to a range of new applications.

The USB3 interface offers 2 main functions.

Firstly, it allows the camera to be controlled from a host computer. For many applications the compact, hand-held camera is most suitable – where you want to be on the move and be prepared to snap anything that moves. However, many applications are in a controlled environment where the camera is set up on a mount focused on a fixed target. In many such applications the ability to control the camera remotely is required – for example filming explosions. You can now send commands over the USB3 interface to control all aspects of the camera. Everything that is available from the touch screen is now available via the USB3 interface.

But the most powerful features are enabled by the streaming functionality of the USB3 from the camera to host computer. Video can be streamed from the camera and viewed live on a computer screen. This offers the advantages of a USB3 camera but with the added benefit of the high speed image capture into the in-camera memory. The streaming of image data is at standard video rates (30-60fps) and is not required to be at full video speed as is normal with most USB cameras.

There are many use cases for this streaming of video data. First it can allow remote live preview of the target. This, in conjunction with the USB3 control feature described above, means the camera can truly be used in a remote situation. It also allows the host computer to be used as a live preview monitor. The live preview is available before and during image capture.

Next, the playback in slow motion of captured images can be performed via the streaming interface. This also allows movement back and forth through the captured images at any speed to locate clips of interest. This mimics the interface available via the LCD touch screen.

Finally, the fast streaming of captured data means that images can be saved also at real video playback speeds. This is orders of magnitude faster than saving images onto the SD card. Raw video can now be played back and saved at high speed.

I’m really happy to have finally implemented the features that I knew the USB3 interface would bring. All cameras already shipped have the necessary hardware to make all this possible with the latest software update.

Alfie 3 fps1000HD by Graham Rowan:

Software Status

The new software is fully implemented with just a few minor bugs to be ironed out. The USB3 interface is fully functional with the streaming initially running at 30fps. This will be increased with subsequent software releases – there is a lot of extra bandwidth available.

I will be providing a host side application to allow camera control and view streamed video. This is in an advanced stage and should be available next month. Initially PC support will be provided but Mac and Linux support is planned as well.

If anyone wants to use the USB3 control interface with their own applications then please contact me and I will give you the list of USB3 control codes.

Shipping Status

With the new software complete in the next few days I will be shipping out the remainder of the cameras to those who haven’t received their’s yet. I will also be sending out the new software to existing users. I have started on a download area of the website but will need to spend more time on this after the software release is out.”

We will keep you updated with fps1000HD and other cameras in the fps1000 roster once more information is released. – HSC

You can look at the specs and order an fps1000HD if so you choose at the: http://theslowmotioncameracompany.com

fps1000HD – the low cost high frame rate camera Campaign Video:


fps1000HD is Now Shipping in Quantity!


Warning: The parent company of FPS cameras “The Slow Motion Camera Company Ltd.” went out of business and entered liquidation proceedings. No further development of cameras is expected. More information here on Google Search

The second fps1000 Kickstarter campaign the fps1000HD has reached a milestone with full production and all backer cameras to be shipped by mid January 2017.  The camera design was finalized before the campaign so no unforeseen technical problems would impede it’s production.

Most orders will ship via UPS unless a special request is made. The cameras ship with 256GB of Fast Flash Memory that give them a continuous recording of 720p video at 1000fps for up to 2 full minutes which is enough time for 83 minutes when played back at 24p on a video timeline.  The cameras record in DNG RAW sequences so that will be quite a lot of files.

Shipping Update by Graham Rowan:

“Shipments are beginning now for the fps1000HD. A little later than I had hoped due to slow deliveries from the factory. However, all cameras have been built and are going through final test and packaging. Deliveries will spill over into the new year for which I apologize. I hope to have shipped all cameras by the second week in January.

I thank you all for your support and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.” GR

What about the fps1000 4k and Hex?

The Gold, Silver and Platinum variants of the original fps1000 cameras are being scrapped due to unforeseen problems with the camera sensors not performing up to the claimed manufacturer spec. The quality of the image and frame rate characteristics with heavy fixed pattern noise were the main reasons.  Graham has stated that all of these camera backers will have a chance to receive an fps1000HD instead with an upgrade mark up and or receive a refund as time permits so they choose.  The fps1000HD is a vastly more powerful and better camera than the Gold, Silver or Original Platinum ever were in spec and this is a major upgrade. Graham will communicate upgrade pricing at a later date when he gathers enough responses from backers. We haven’t seen clamor from backers for refunds which should prove more solid for the fps1000HD option as a realistic upgrade with ready to ship on order production line.  This is a good option for backers of the project who want a high speed camera, and you get 2min rec time at HD resolution.

As far as the fps1000 4k and Hex models are still being worked on and working prototypes are being tested; Graham stays firm and continues to work on these projects fully and intends them to be products. We will share more information on these projects when it becomes available.

For More Information, pricing and ordering page for the fps1000HD camera you can visit the Company’s Website: http://theslowmotioncameracompany.com/

Dog Captured with the fps1000HD by Graham Rowan:

Barnacle Action Camera 2.0 with Slowmo!

Barnacle Action Camera 2.0

The Barnacle Action Camera 2.0 is a Kickstarter project from Canberra Australia, that aims to democratize good quality action cameras for every one.  They have just 14 days left in their funding goal with just under 1/3rd of the required pledge total.  This is an unconventional camera that aims to go toe to toe with the best action cameras out there.

The shape and tiny size is different with everything controlled from Apple or Android devices besides a basic power and record buttons on the top of the camera.  It however aims at the professional market with features that are usually twice the cost on other brands. It is a decent camera for very little money in the end.

Barnacle Action Camera 2.0 Main Features:
  • 4K (Ultra High Definition): 3840×2160 30fps
  • 2.5K (Quad High Definition): 2560×1440 60/30 fps
  • Full HD: 1920*1080 120/60/30 fps
  • HD 720P: 1280*720 240 fps
  • Photo: 12 Mega Pixels
  • Modes: Video, Photo, Time Lapse
  • Battery: 1200mA/H – 2 Hours Recording HD
  • Lens: 166 FOV, F2.8
  • Storage: 64gb microSD card File tyoe: JPEG, MOV, MPEG4
  • Kickstarter Price $183 USD
  • Ships Worldwide!

As you can see the Barnacle 2.0 is no slouch when it comes to video recording specs. In fact it matches the GoPro Hero 5 Black and Sony’s Latest Action cams. Slow motion features are excellent for a camera this size with 60p 2.5k, 120p at Full HD 1080 and 240fps at 720p.  However there are no samples we could point to that show these modes in recording. 4k is however prominently displayed and offers similar quality to the GoPro Hero 5 including the distortion from the 166 degree field of view which is close to that camera’s 150 degrees. It is according to the campaign using nearly the same electronics as their competitors but without the high price tag.

Barnacle Action Camera 2.0 Campaign Video:

More Features:

  • Lightweight – 60 grams
  • Tough – strong enough it can be run over by a car
  • Waterproof – now to 5m without a housing
  • Tech Friendly – apps available for both Apple and Android
  • Low Profile – more discreet and won’t get in your way
  • Adaptable – using different mounts you can use it anywhere
  • Safety – Due to its small size and compact design, the Barnacle is much safer than current Action Cameras and less likely to hurt you when you’re using it, or if you fall on it or with it
  • Compact – smaller form factor than a credit card
  • Advanced Material – a durable outer coating on the case, we achieve a super strong and durable action camera
  • Pocket Friendly – perfect for everyday carry
  • Australian – designed + tested + assembled

The Kickstarter project says that it is aiming to be the most durable action camera ever and besides being waterproof to 5 meters or 16.4ft  without a housing and dust-proof it also has a cool magnetic mount included if you pledge in one  of their packages.

We cannot really tell or give our opinion about the slow motion quality but it will probably be close to what the GoPro Hero 5 is able to deliver since they are using similar components.

For more information and to help their project reach their goal visit their Kickstarter project site:
Barnacle Action Camera 2.0 Kickstarter Campaign Page!


Disclaimer: Kickstarter campaigns aim to reach funding from a large number of backers. Some campaigns are not able to deliver on their promises so make your own due diligence before pledging. HSC is not directly recommending the purchase of any camera; we only inform of the options out there to make your choice easier.

fps1000HD Production Status + Double the Memory!

fps1000HD Production Line!

Warning: The parent company of FPS cameras “The Slow Motion Camera Company Ltd.” went out of business and entered liquidation proceedings. No further development of cameras is expected. More information here on Google Search

The latest update from the fps1000 camera front shows the production line of sensor boards with memory and other parts. Production is ongoing and cameras are on schedule to start shipping to Kickstarter Backers next week or Dec 12-18+.  This is on schedule as planned and after testing and quality control they should start reaching buyers by the end of the month which is a welcome development.

The other update is that due to flash memory chips having density increases on the same die; the fps1000HD cameras will now be shipped with 256GB of fast Flash memory instead of the  128GB initially planned at no extra cost to the buyer.  This effectively increases recording time from 1 minute to a full 2 minutes which is an eternity in slow motion cameras.

To put this in perspective; it is effectively yielding 4,000 seconds or 66 minutes played back at 30fps when recording at 1000fps 720p. Which could jump to 4 hours playback time at 30p by lowering resolution and shooting at 4,000fps.  This could be extremely exciting for production lines that take several minutes for a specific segment of the line.

fps1000HD Update By Graham Rowan:

“Production Status

During the last month production of the fps1000HD cameras has been progressing well. I have started to receive back completed cameras ready for final assembly and test. This is on schedule for December deliveries – in fact shipments will start next week.

I have attached some pictures from our sub-contract production company which may be of interest.

Memory Bonus (For Free)

Since the production of the first fps1000HD prototypes the market has moved on in terms of memory technology and the camera was designed to accommodate such improvements. When I came to order the components for this production run I was delighted to find that I was able to buy 256GBit memory chips for the same price as the original 128GBit chips. So all cameras will now be shipped with 256GBytes of memory at no extra cost. This doubles the record time to 2 minutes. The product will be renamed the fps1000HD-256. You don’t need to do anything – you will receive your camera with the upgraded memory.

I will post another update in about a week to tell you how things are going.” –Update END!

HSC: There you have it… cameras being built, tested and shipped very soon. fps1000HD owners will probably have some cameras by Christmas which is in line with the campaign timeline expectations.  This will of course accelerate the outstanding development of other fps1000 camera models which are very close to being finalized as well.  We will have more information of the fps1000 line of cameras as it becomes available.

For more information about the fps1000 HD be sure to visit: http://theslowmotioncameracompany.com/

fps1000HD Kickstarter campaign Video!