Tag Archives: Chronos Kickstarter Camera

Chronos Camera m43 Lens Adapter with Speedbooster Support!

The two existing Chronos cameras, the 1.4c 720p at 1502fps & the Chronos 2.1 -HD 1t 1080p 1000fps are identical when seen from the outside but very different inside as they contain different sensor and memory boards. However one constant is that both use the C mount as the default for lens adapters. The camera usually comes with a Canon EF or Nikon F mount adapter depending on the buyer preference which screws on the C mount thread and allows for support of classic lenses from Macro to telephoto. 

One request from the community has been the support for other lens mounts like Micro 4/3ds which lets you adapt a variety of lens mounts and the much coveted speedbooster adapters which allow a 1 f-stop improvement in light gathering for micro 4/3ds systems. Today Krontech, the company behind the Chronos high-speed camera is introducing a passive Micro 4/3rds adapter for both the Chronos 1.4c and 2.1-HD and uses the body screw terminals near the lens thread mount to place a solid connection that allows such lenses. → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Chronos 1.4 Firmware 0.3.1 b9 Unleashes New Features!

Chronos 1.4 Firmware

The Chronos 1.4c team based in B.C. Canada has been hard at work unleashing the features of the camera hardware and adding software features that should make the camera more valuable to video professionals everywhere. The new firmware adds HDMI live mirroring support for monitoring which is clean and lets you record its output. Another feature is the inclusion of native CinemaDNG save format image sequences which retain 16bits of color data and allow you to really streamline the workflow without time-consuming conversions.

In our testing over the last 4 days, we have really put the firmware “available here” through its paces and found very minimal issues in the software related to usability but no freezes and rock solid operation over around 14hrs of operation.   By saving to CinemaDNG we have no issues with cards getting write space errors due to saving the 1.8MB files individually. We feel this format is really unleashing the camera’s quality fully with a faithful sensor capture representation.

Chronos 1.4 Firmware – HDMI Mirroring is here!

Since the release of the camera, the HDMI port had been turned off until the code was mature enough to support it. We are glad to report that it is hot plug and play and on 3 different 1080p monitors it had no issues feeding a signal and displaying raw video data. Footage capture should be possible to an external HDMI recorder offering another way to store the camera’s images.  The playback buffer allows the camera to playback at 30p, for example, making it possible to externally and cleanly record slow-motion footage in any format your recorder supports.

The Chronos also allows recording in H.264 with a new and updated de-bayer algorithm which should yield better edge detail and fewer color artifacts. Still, we cannot compare it directly to the quality of the RAW data in CinemaDNG for example. If you want to capture the entire data stream you need to use RAW which will let you change white balance and use your preferred converter. We used Adobe’s Camera RAW CC 2018 to convert the DNG sequences and were really amazed with the detail retained.

The white balance interface has been reworked and now allows you to edit the color matrix information manually if needed and have a custom white balance setting which should suffice for matching shoots.  In our experience, we used the custom WB only sparingly as our lights are 6500k balanced which offered near-perfect color reproduction in the Cinema DNGs.

Final Notes:

The firmware has a lot of minor and major fixes and tweaks that really bring the camera to a solid footing and dependable on the field. So many bugs have been squashed and usability has taken a step forward which is not to be dismissed as just one more feature. The camera is a breeze to use and has finally unleashed its potential for image quality and dependability with all these fixes.

The camera exposure can now be adjusted by the jog wheel and allows for shutter angle degrees to be used easily. We, however, wish we could have the option for using shutter speed in the fractions of a milli-second format i.e. 1/2000, 1/4000, 1/8000 which are ideal to match the look and feel of other camera motion blur characteristics.  This should be an easy software feature to implement.

One other thing on our wish list is the ability to have the shoot interface be on the bottom of the frame while allowing the 720p preview, for example, to go from edge to edge on the screen. The way it is implemented right now makes a real estate sacrifice on the preview image which could be better used for easier focus and framing.  A re-work of the video settings and slider interface would have to be factored in. One possibility is to do an interface overlay on video and allow on off of the buttons and slider area on command.  Since the camera software will be ported to a new OS it will be possible to iterate further and maybe allow for custom themes by users who require specific features on screen.

Future Wishlist: Live histogram in B&W and Color positionable on the screen.   Zoom feature to check focus before recording.

Firmware Verdict: In a word… Great!– Well done Chronos team!

You can find the firmware download at the official Chronos Forum post here: http://forum.krontech.ca/index.php?topic=423.0

Make sure you follow the update instructions to the letter and to save your calibration data beforehand to avoid any unforeseen problems in case an error occurs. Be kind and keep the Chronos team informed of any bugs that may crop up during your camera use.

Look at this accessories article here for improving your Chronos Camera!

Chronos Firmware V0.3.1.9  Release notes below:

Notable Changes:
– New Demosaic algorithm based on AHD, which should improve color reproduction and reduce edge noise.
– Standalone daemon to operate the video system, with DBus API.
– External HDMI displays are supported at 1080p and 720p resolutions.
– Recording speed improvements.
– Add CinemaDNG and TIFF as save file formats.
– Deprecate Raw 16-bit right-justified save format in favor of CinemaDNG.
– Add a demo mode to replay a section of recorded video in a loop.
– Add option to overlay frame statistics onto processed video formats (H.264 and TIFF).
– Jog wheel can be used to adjust the exposure, and navigate the settings menus.
– New video memory recovery tool to download video (slowly) in the event of a software crash.
– Redesign of the white balance window, including a new dialog to edit the color matrix.

– Add white balance preset for 3200K/Tungsten lighting.
– Adjust highlighting of text when selecting text boxes.
– Auto-record and auto-save modes independent of one another.
– Improved algorithm to estimate framerate during file save.
– Date format in the Utility window changed to shorten the Month string.
– Display separate version strings for both the Application and Filesystem/Release.

Fixed Bugs:
– Crash causing the video to freeze after approximately 45 recording attempts.
– Trigger delays would scale incorrectly when using segmented recording mode.
– Abort recordings when the free space drops below 20MB to avoid crashing when the disk is full.
– UI bug causing the selected save location to always select the first mounted disk.
– First frame of a raw recording would contain corrupted NV12 image data.
– First pixel of a Raw 12-bit packed frame was sometimes being dropped.
– Corrupted pixels at the end of a Raw 12-bit packed frame.
– Add crosshairs to the white balance window.
– Add Qt stylesheet to improve focus visibility.
– Main window exposure now is shown in microseconds and shutter angle.
– Jog wheel now adjusts exposure logarithmically, or by degrees when pressed.
– The ‘close’ button on the soft keyboard now applies the entered text.
– Reorganization of the soft keyboard to include a negative key.
– Black areas of the UI become transparent after an HDMI hotplug.
– HDMI hotplug while on the playback window would revert to live display.
– Add missing ColorMatrix1 and CalibrationIlluminant1 tags to CinemaDNG files.
– Fix possible crash of the video system when aborting a file save.
– Fix possible crash of the UI when rapidly aborting and re-starting a file save.
– Fix color correction math so that saturating the image sensor tends towards white.
Also, some bugs that were introduced in beta-4 but now fixed:
– Monochrome TIFF now pads the pixel values with least-significant zeroes.
– H.264 bitrate setting was being ignored and defaulting to 0.25 bpp.

Compatibility Issues:
– The pixel packing order in Raw 12-bit mode has been changed for the v0.3.1 release.
Given a pair of two 12-bit pixels in hexidecmal as (0x123, 0xabc), the bytes produced
by the Raw 12-bit packing mode changes as follows:
v0.3.0 and earlier: (0xab, 0xc1, 0x23)
v0.3.1 and later: (0x23, 0x1c, 0xab)

Known Bugs:
– The first frame of an H.264 recording is erroneously copied from the display buffer before the recording starts.

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Chronos 1.4 New Firmware Improves h.264 Image Quality!

Chronos 1.4 New Firmware

The Chronos 1.4 team has been hard at work on firmware improvements. The latest pre-released software patch shared with HSC improves the h.264 file quality at the pixel level by using a new demosaic algorithm to better match the real camera output.  We did a few sample tests to see how big an improvement it is and also to maybe ditch the slow and space eating RAW 16bit workflow which is our preferred file saving format as it retains all the sensor information.

The new improvements are already available to the community as a beta in this post. It is very stable it should immediately improve the way you work with the camera. Also, a new roadmap of upcoming firmware releases was shared in the forums which include HDMI monitoring and a complete OS change to Debian Linux from the current Arago distro for the camera which should improve development and speed in implementing features.

Chronos 1.4 New Demosaic Tests:

We were given the opportunity to test the new software a few days ago and while we have found a few minor glitches here and there which the development team is aware of, the camera is heavily improved in the h.264 video quality.  We see better moire and aliasing control across the board compared to the previous implementation.

Notes from Krontech on what changed for h.264: “This replaces the old bilinear demosaic with one based on AHD (Adaptive Homogeneity-Directed), with some modifications for fewer color artifacts around single-pixel objects, and lower resource utilization.”

As you can see from our frame grab above there is a pretty nice improvement in the h.264 files from the Chronos 1.4c using AHD. You can see reduced color moire and reduced aliasing with much less mosquito noise artifacts which were pervasive in the earlier demosaic method.  Notice the feather detail in the bird getting an acceptable rating now before unacceptable before. Still RAW wins easily by saving perfect detail.

The differences in color are also apparent between RAW and h.264 which shows how the Adobe Camera RAW DNG converter in default settings trumps the compressed format in color fidelity and contrast.  That doesn’t mean the h.264 file cannot be improved in post since you are getting a somewhat flat curve profile by design from the camera to save the most dynamic range possible and with a little Noise Reduction and Unsharp Mask, the images become much more pleasing.

The chart test which was better matched in color and contrast in post shows that the h.264 detail is better than before in most metrics but still is a far 2nd place to the RAW 16 bit DNG files. While color moire is visible on both samples to an extent the criss-cross nature of the demosaic from the compressed file shows up in high detail and in the text where it loses resolution.   If you need the utmost quality from the Chronos 1.4 files there is no substitute for RAW capture yet.

Video Samples: Chronos 1.4c Firmware 0.3 With Improved h.264 Demosaic Processing Tests by HSC!

In the footage samples above you can see how h.264 vs RAW 16 bit compares in the exact same captured clips.  One benefit of the Chronos is that you can save the same captured memory to a variety of formats before advancing on to clear the buffer. This permits us to save the exact same clip in both compressed and RAW formats for direct comparison.  We adjusted curves and contrast on some h.264 clips to better match the default Adobe Camera RAW  settings which do an amazing job out of the box preserving detail at every pixel site and maximum color fidelity.

The RAW format is also better at handling noise since the RAW converter is doing some de-noising as default. Even when Adobe Camera RAW was set to NR 0  the noise was less visible than on h.264, especially in the shadow areas.

The camera needs black calibration to get noise and banding down like any other camera. We have found that you need to do at least 2 black calibrations spaced 20 minutes apart to really allow the camera to warm up and reduce the banding and noise.  Once the calibration is done the images are very pleasing with the ability to reduce the noise in post even further with de-noising software.

Our Initial Conclusions on the new Firmware:

The Chronos team is advancing rapidly towards a feature complete software for the camera.  This new demosaic algorithm makes it possible to preserve image quality in a better way compared to previous releases. However, this does not make it a complete replacement for the RAW data capture. You lose color accuracy, you sacrifice per pixel detail and the de-bayering algorithm Adobe is implementing for the RAW DNG data in Camera RAW is an outstanding piece of code that really makes it look as sharp and detailed as a 1080p full HD image. The h.264 in the camera still now is not a replacement if uncompromising quality is what you are after.

For us, at HSC we value image quality right up there with frame rates in a slow-motion camera.  The Chronos is capable of producing some of the best 720p video imagery we have ever shot with when using RAW. The new demosaic patch brings it closer to usability and will save the day when the speed and storage needs of RAW 16 bit capture can’t be met.  You cannot put a price on time and the savings from h.264 are extremely significant by saving anywhere from 10x to 14x faster than RAW 16bit into the SD cards or even a USB Hard drive.

Without any reservations besides a small glitch that has dark lines above and below in the h.264 frame “Which the Krontech team is aware of and will correct soon” we recommend you install this new patch which is very stable. We ran the camera for about 5 hours without any issues in Southern California heat which is now a toasty 84° F or 28.90° C.

You can download the new firmware demosaic patch (Here) after you apply the regular v0.3 firmware (Found Here) .  Be sure to do it in this order:

  1. Install Firmware v0.3 and let the camera reboot.
  2. Replace the patch in the USB stick with the Demosaic Patch Install directory.
  3. Install the Demosaic Patch then Camera Reboots.

Please share your Chronos software testing anecdotes below and findings regarding the new firmware patch. The work on the firmware is ongoing and constant, be sure to check the Krontech forums here for more information about the camera and the community using it.  -HSC

More information about the Chronos 1.4c Camera including ordering details follow this link: https://www.krontech.ca

Upcoming Software Roadmap for the Chronos 1.4 including an OS Change and the much-awaited HDMI Out for monitoring:

The team at Krontech is getting a lot of features implemented on the camera. The ones to look out for are HDMI out, faster RAW recording and Native Camera Support for native DNG sequences without having RAW files be converted on a computer afterward. All three features would be big workflow improvements and many more are planned.  The new software team at Krontech is speeding development tremendously, hopefully freeing David Kronstein up to build and design new cameras for the future which is his forte as a hardware engineer. -HSC

The following is a direct quote of a post at the Krontech forum here from developer DDR:  Original Post Here!

What is happening with the Chronos’ software? What is in the works, and when will it be available?

Keeping in mind “The best laid plans of mice and men will often go awry”, here’s what we have planned:

    • 0.3.1 (expected late August)
      • Improved image demosaic for .mp4 (less colour-fringing around high contrast areas)
      • Overlay frame number on video.
      • Save .dng for raw video.
      • HDMI port supports video out.
      • Basic remote video control. (play, pause, seek)
      • Save more than 45 videos.
      • Possible raw video save speed increase.
      • Additional minor bugfixes and tweaks.
        • 0.3.x (expected mid-September)
          • Power controls (turn on when connected to power, turn off when not)
          • Basic overlay controls. Maybe.
            • 0.4.0 (expected late October)
              • Debian replaces Arago as the camera operating system.
              • Python is available to script the camera.
              • External HTTP API available for custom scripting. (may be delayed)
              • Internal D-Bus API available for custom scripting. (may be delayed)
              • UI is ported to Python, prettied up, and made to use the D-Bus API.
                • 0.4.1
                  • Bugfix release for 0.4.0.
                  • APIs, if delayed.
                  • 0.5.0
                    • Remote control app, using the HTTP API.

                    Behind the scenes, the main delay is that we’ve discovered that it’s impractical to continue development using our current operating system, Arago Linux. It lacks some basics such a C compiler, a scripting language, and several basic Linux debugging utilities. Arago’s video subsystem also crashes after saving 45 videos.

                    For example, developing the back-of-camera user interface using Arago entails a ~5-minute delay between making a change and seeing the change in the UI. Using Debian, changes made to the UI are live in seconds.

                    We’ve been working on getting Debian running, on and off, for the past year. However, a few months ago a combination of near-success and issues with Arago’s video system meant we decided to officially devote engineering time to the problem. This, naturally, delayed the progress we were making on the internal D-Bus API for 0.4.0, because now we were working on something else.

                    Currently, from my user-interface-centric perspective, here is how our progress is looking for version 0.4.0. The new UI and APIs will be debuted when this is complete.

                    tap for full resolution ↗️

                    Green means “completed”, yellow is “in progress”. Arrows show what depends on what. For example, the final implementation on the right depends on the D-Bus API, which has had the video control component made, and the D-Bus API Mock, which is currently being developed. Implementation is done by adding behaviour to a laid-out UI (labeled “Shell & Nav”), which I sketch up in Designer as a separate step. Each screen can be done more or less independently.

                    I hope this helps clear things up. I’ll try to keep this thread updated as things progress. One of the big reasons we don’t like to announce things is that they frequently turn out to simply be untrue. For example, we thought we’d fixed raw save speed, but then it turned out we hadn’t a few times. We really don’t want to promise something we won’t deliver on, so we keep to ourselves quite frequently. What are your thoughts on this?  -DDR

Chronos Kickstarter Camera One Year Later!

Chronos Kickstarter Camera

David Kronstein has published a walkthrough video of the Krontech warehouse, assembly installations, and offices located near Vancouver Canada, in what could be described as a rapid expansion of a startup that just a year ago was just coalescing.  With now 337 Chronos 1.4c cameras shipped to Kickstarter backers and also direct purchase buyers; this is a significant number of units for any high-speed camera and we can probably expect that number to increase!

David also goes shares his thanks to the people who helped make the camera project possible and where the company can grow from here. We expect great things from Krontech not that they have shown the ability to mass produce gear that works and as it continues to improve with software releases. We are excited about their future and congratulate them on their success thus far.

Chronos Kickstarter update – One year later Video:

We are eager to see what David and his team of software engineer coders and electrical engineers can cook up now that their first project is maturing.  We would love to see a 1080p camera with a larger sensor and possibly a 4k capable high-speed unit with windowing in the 1080p and 720p modes.  All of this with the touchscreen ability of the Chronos 1.4c which makes it a breeze to run and gun with the camera.

Chronos Kickstarter Camera announces- Open Source Code on Chronos 1.4c:

“At long last, the Chronos Camera application source is now available at the following git repository:

: chronos-cam-app

Currently, we only support Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as a build environment. 17.04 is known to NOT work due to different compiler versions included. You’re welcome to try other environments, please let us know what works and what doesn’t.

Follow the instructions in the repository readme to set up your build environment.

We suggest not doing any significant changes or customization right now. We are in the process of breaking out the low-level camera control into a daemon controlled over D-Bus. This will allow the cam app to talk to the camera seamlessly, whether local or operating remotely over a network connection. Ideally, the exact same application will be able to be compiled to run on the camera or on a PC.

Once you have the application compiling, you can connect to your camera over SSH. Plug the mini-USB port into your computer, and it will enumerate as a USB to Ethernet bridge (serial numbers 00050 and above, earlier cameras need an update, this should be available in the next day or two). You can then log into the camera using root/<no password>

I’m sure there will be many questions, please let us know any problems so we can provide better build instructions.


It is encouraging to see that the source code for the Chronos 1.4c is already up, ready to be explored and played with by enthusiasts.  We expect many new features and improvements added by the community over time with the possibility as well of improved UI and automation.  The Chronos 1.4c code is still maturing with it still in the testing phase to support the majority of the ports on the camera side. The LAN support is taking longer than expected because it requires a host interface to be supported with it as well for it to be useful for the common user.

Releasing the code is a big first step and we can’t wait to see what talented coders are able to do with it.

We are also working on an initial look at the Chronos 1.4c which will have answers to several questions we have been asked. We will look into the quality and shooting experience as well as the continued feature evolution. We received a new camera last week that will allow us to review it without setbacks which caused a delay with an early unit we received. -HSC

For more information about the Chronos 1.4c camera and ordering information please visit:  http://www.krontech.ca –

“Please mention HSC if ordering a camera from any manufacturer, helps us measure the reach of our blog”.