Tag Archives: compact

Ember S5K camera by Freefly Systems

The Ember S5K camera by Freefly Systems is a high-speed cinema camera that has garnered attention for its impressive capabilities. Here’s a summary of what the reviews say:

  • Imaging Sensor: The camera features a 5K Super 35 imaging sensor with a global shutter design, allowing for high-quality slow-motion capture¹.
  • Frame Rates: It can shoot continuously at up to 616fps in 5K and 809fps in 4K in 16:9 mode. These rates increase to 809fps (5K) and 1011fps (4K) when using a 2.37:1 aspect ratio¹.
  • Storage: The built-in 4TB NVMe SSD drive can store approximately 40 minutes of footage shot at maximum frame rate. Future modules may support removable media².
  • Connectivity: It includes a USB-C port for file transfer, HDMI output for monitoring, and an Ethernet port for expanded live broadcasting capabilities in the future².
  • Design: The camera is compact and lightweight, measuring 10×10.4×8.6 cm and weighing 820g. It has a native Sony E lens mount system².
  • Control: Ember S5K lacks a built-in screen but can be controlled via physical buttons when connected to an HDMI monitor or through a dedicated iOS app².
  • Applications: Its compact size and high frame rate capabilities make it suitable for sports, wildlife, FPV drone applications, and professional cinematography⁵.
  • MSRP for Ember S5K : $17,995.00

Overall, the Ember S5K is praised for its combination of high frame rates, compact design, and quality image capture, making it a strong competitor in the high-speed camera market⁵. → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion 240fps disappoints!

Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion

The recently released camera called the Fujifilm X-E4 shares many of the traits of their lower brethren but also from the higher-end models in a compact package. It ditches the better viewfinder for a small 2.36 million dot EVF that makes it a bit hard to see your composition but that also allows the camera to be smaller and more stylish than the beefy SLR style Fujis out there.

The Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion feature is the same as found on cameras like the excellent Fujifilm XS-10 which is a 120fps or 240fps full HD component that records in camera. Why are we not excited? well, the quality is lower than expected with some aliasing and moire characteristics that are so last decade. When are manufacturers going to offer the same 1080p quality at all frame rates instead of relegating the 120fps and 240fps modes to the lower bitrate and detail bin?

Fujifilm X-E4 Main Specs:

  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor
  • DCI/UHD 4K at 24p, 25p & 30 fps
  • 2.36m-Dot 0.62x OLED EVF
  • X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • Compact classic body
  • 3.0″ 1.62m-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
  • 425-Point Hybrid AF System
  • Film Simulation Modes
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Lens Kit includes: XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR Lens
  • MSRP: 1,049.00 USD Lens Kit or $849.95 Body only!
  • Release date March 11th, 2021

Fujifilm X-E4 Slow Motion Specs:

Full HD (1920 x 1080)

  • 50p/59.94p
  • 100p/119.88p
  • 200p/239.76p
  • [100 to 200 Mb/s]

While we get the same frame rates as the best value/performance on Fuji’s arsenal the XS-10, you get the aliased version of the footage. While the final quality is passable for your Youtube Vlog, it will not be ready for more professional uses, the pixelation and stair-stepping looks like badly captured 720p video in a 1080p wrapper.

The video below by the amusing and great Kai W, has a sample of 200p video on the camera at the 4-minute mark.  You can clearly see the aliasing in the footage when you load it at full resolution.  We expect the 120fps mode to be much better but we already get pretty good 120p footage from most cameras nowadays. The 240fps mode is the standout here and it disappointed us fully.

Fujifilm X-E4 Hands-on Impressions WIN THIS CAMERA! by: Kai W

But what about?

Can you still make a remarkable slow motion shot with this camera?  In a word, Yes take a look at the Fujifilm’s XS-10 240fps mode which is probably the same as the one in the X-E4 as they share a lot in common feature-wise. Look closely at the very well shot video below:

Fujifilm X-S10 – 240fps slow motion test by Coastal Bay 4K: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90 with 120fps HD!

Panasonic Lumix ZS70

Panasonic has released a new compact super zoom camera in the  Lumix DC-ZS70 (TZ90 outside of US & Canada). The camera is no slouch with a 20.3 MP new MOS Sensor with their Lumix Depth from Defocus or DFD AF technology; present in cameras like the GH5 & GX85. The camera also re-stocks the bundle with the compact lens that is able to offer 30X, 24-720mm in 35mm equivalent terms.

The camera also has 4k video at 30fps but excludes for some reason the 24p mode which film makers crave. Slow motion features are present but modest at 1080p 60fps and 720p 120fps which work across the entire 30x zoom range.  This camera is a powerful point & shoot option that won’t break the bank at $447.99 USD MSRP.

Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90 Main Features:
  • 20.3MP 1/2.3″ MOS Sensor
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmar 30x Zoom Lens
  • 24-720mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 1.166m-Dot Live View Finder
  • 3.0″ 1.04m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • UHD 4K Video Recording at 30p
  • 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.
  • ISO 6400 and Up to 10 fps Shooting
  • 4K Photo Modes
  • Focus Stacking and Post Focus
Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90 Video Features:
Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Shooting Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1280 x 720 @ 120p / Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC

Panasonic Lumix TZ90 by Panasonic:

Looking at the video performance it’s easy to see the Panasonic TZ90 will not win any prizes with a 30x lens zoom range. The images look a bit dreamy and soft depending on the lens mm range. The 4k footage is detailed but not class leading with chromatic aberration apparent. It is also hindered by it’s smallish 1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm) BSI sensor which at 20MP is a little cramped for light gathering. The dynamic range suffers greatly in harsh contrast conditions but there is no doubt the camera will match or exceed most smartphones.

The AF uses the Depth from Defocus algorithms that work most of the time but the continuous performance is not good for VLoging as faces will come in focus but hunt sporadically creating a completely blurred image at times.  The DFD technology works perfectly for still images but suffers in video as evidenced in the GH5 Autofocus tests that have created quite a bit of negative press for that camera.  Panasonic needs to fix these algorithms in video mode to be able to at least remain in focus with face detection.  Loosing focus while perfectly still on faces with little motion makes this technology a no go for the needs of VLogers worldwide.

The Slow Motion capability should be marginal and the zoom range will be good for far away subjects like birds and other wildlife. 120fps is hardly class leading as the Sony RX cameras offer better value for money “See our Best Slow Motion Cameras of 2016”  albeit with a more limited zoom range.

There is a small crop when shooting 4k compared to 1080p so you will for instance get 35mm in 4k when full HD will use the whole wide aspect at 30mm. You will have to keep that in mind.

Vlogging with the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 by Photogearnews:

We will try to get slow motion samples of the Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 camera when available but rest assured this is not a slow motion enthusiast’s tool.  You should look at Sony’s RX100 III & IV for a better overall camera. We expect the RX100 IV to be price competitive within $100 USD in less than a year’s time as new models are introduced. If you can afford a more pricey but increasingly future proof camera with amazing Slow Motion and continuous AF capabilities then we suggest you check out the RX100 V.

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New LUMIX TZ90 / DC-ZS70 Press Release:

24mm Ultra-Wide-Angle 30x Optical Zoom* in a Compact Body for 4K VIDEO/4K PHOTO

Newark, NJ (April 18, 2017) – Panasonic is proud to introduce a new LUMIX DC-ZS70 as a new model in the popular “Travel Zoom” ZS series. By upgrading the sensor to 20.3-megapixel resolution, the LUMIX ZS70 boasts a 30x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-720mm) packed in a pocket-sized body while enabling 4K VIDEO/4K PHOTO capture. The new tiltable rear monitor allows users enjoy a variety of selfie shots including 4K selfies and panoramic selfies.

The versatile ultra-wide-angle 24mm 30x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens is useful in virtually all situations. Having passed Leica’s stringent standards, the LUMIX ZS70 boasts exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity and minimum distortion and flare. 

The new 20.3-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor allows users to capture high-quality images even for high-sensitivity recording in dimly lit environments. 

The LUMIX ZS70 is capable of recording smooth, high-resolution QFHD 4K videos in 3840 x 2160 at 30p (60Hz) in MP4. *1*2 Taking advantage of 4K technology, users can capture fleeting photo opportunities at 30 fps in 8-megapixel equivalent resolution as a 4K PHOTO. Additional functionality based on 4K technology are also available. Post Focus enables users to easily select the in-focus area after shooting. The Focus Stacking function allows users to adjust the depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images shot with the Post Focus function, all inside the camera. In addition, the LUMIX ZS70 incorporates a Light Composition function with which the camera synthesizes the images by choosing and saving brighter pixels. This makes it possible to produce more luxurious, dramatic images of situations such as fireworks or night scenes inside the camera with ease. 4K Live Cropping in video recording achieves stable panning or zooming with high-resolution 4K video footage. Users can make perfect Full-HD videos by adding impressive effects after recording the original footage in 4K. Thanks to camera’s digital operation, this can be done without physically moving the lens.

For even faster response and higher mobility, the LUMIX ZS70 integrates the DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology*3 to achieve ultra-high-speed AF of approx. 0.1 sec. It contributes to high-speed burst shooting at 10 (AFS)/5 (AFC) fps. The LUMIX ZS70 also features a variety of AF functions, such as Touch AF, 49-point AF, and Low-light AF that help users to get the best results in a wide range of shooting situations.

The 3.0-inch 1,040k-dot rear monitor with touch control tilts up by 180 degrees and the camera goes into Self Shot mode automatically once the monitor is flipped. In Self Shot mode, various functions for selfies are available on the LUMIX ZS70, including a newly added 4K Selfie mode. The beauty functions enable users to shoot portraits – especially of women – more attractively with Soft Skin, Defocusing and Slimming effects. After shooting, aesthetic/make-up retouching can even be applied inside the camera with the Beauty Retouch function. And users can choose to capture the background clearly or defocus it depending on the situation with Background Control mode. Panoramic pictures can also be shot in Self Shot mode. A 0.2-inch 1,166k-dot EVF (Electronic View Finder) with eye sensor is also equipped for easy shooting even in sunny outdoor conditions. The Control Ring on the lens barrel enables quick, intuitive operation. For more creative freedom, RAW image recording, Creative Control filter mode, and Creative Panorama mode are available.

With Wi-Fi® connectivity, users can also connect the camera to their smartphone or tablet to expand the flexibility in shooting, storing, and sharing images. 

Packing a powerful 30x optical zoom and 4K VIDEO/4K PHOTO shooting performance in an ultra-compact body, the new LUMIX ZS70 offers the enjoyment of a high-quality photo/video shooting and selfie experience in versatile ways any time and any place.

Other Features

5-axis HYBRID O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)+*4, Creative Control, Panorama Shot, AC/USB Charging

Nikon DL is Killed Off, Now What?

Nikon DL is Killed Off

The Nikon DL was really the only strong contender in the pro-sumer compact camera line from Nikon to offer fast frame rates if it had shipped.  The only other remotely considerable high speed option by the company is the Nikon 1 series in their V and J options which haven’t been updated in a while.

The cancellation of the Nikon DL series was due mainly to technical issues with the image processor which made the company miss the June 2016 target ship date & second, a  restructuring effort after the company reported a net loss of ¥831 Million Yen or 7.3 Million US Dollars .  This is no small predicament as the company had reported in the same time frame last year a net profit of  ¥=&0=&

The Nikon company cites market pressures as well as retirement benefits costs for it’s employee base as main culprits for the capital loss in the 9 month time period. See this official Nikon Document for more details!

Nikon DL is Killed Off – What now, why should I care?

The loss of the Nikon DL camera line strikes a deep blow to pro-sumer fixed lens imaging products. The Sony RX100 and RX10 camera lines are the dominant products in the category today with some Panasonic and Fuji cameras making some inroads. For slow motion fans the Nikon DL was supposed to bridge the gap and compete with the Sony RX series and offer similar features.

Now with less competition the drive to innovate further might be eroded as other camera lines become just another casualty of the cellphone adoption trend which has severely eroded profits and the bottom lines of established camera companies.  And sadly to say it will only get harsher from here on out as the market transitions to even more portable image capturing devices like Snapchat like glasses, AR and wearables.

However the fact that the Sony RX line continues to be a best seller in the compact camera market goes to show that if you innovate and offer performance and value the customers will come. Nikon DL never shipped or had an opportunity to be a crowd pleaser. It still was below the Sony RX in features but it did offer competitive frame rates as a secondary option.   Sony also controls most of the camera CMOS sensor market in compacts and most Phones.  Their recent announcement of a 1000fps capable sensor for cellphones makes that advantage even wider since we really can’t see competitors stepping up to the plate anytime soon.

Nikon 1 Series?

The Nikon 1V and 1 J series are still breathing with rumors last year of being killed off as well.  However the J series is very popular in Asian markets with 10% market share in the segment. The V series however with it’s higher price tag is much less so and that is where the rumors suggest that the next iteration of the Nikon 1 V line maybe a 1 V4 will sport a larger sensor and stronger capabilities to get some market share away from Sony and justify a higher price tag and profit.

We like the Nikon 1 line with it’s 400 and 1200fps slow motion modes which at low resolution cannot compete today with Sony’s RX series but with a few tweaks and technology improvements could in theory go the distance and offer an alternative.

The problem with less competition is that the drive for innovation slows down and with no pressures to create new technologies; camera lines might stagnate for many years and offer few improvements.  We want to see continued progress in frame rates and resolution and while Sony is delivering marked improvements every year; we really can’t be sure if that will continue with lower sales and lower competition.

Overcrowding in a camera space is bad for all participants but a full share of the market is also bad for consumers and innovation.  Nikon did the right thing by killing of the DL line since it really was not class leading or profitable; however we believe they should really push the envelope on the Nikon 1 series and deliver the features that consumers now expect thanks to the Sony RX line.

While the DL did reach some professional photographers to create some great promo pieces as the one below; it was never to see the light of day. All the development cost and technology is now officially a write off.

Nikon’s DL24-85 f/1.8-2.8 Premium Camera | Drew Gurian byNikon Europe:


Nikon image quality and glass are world renowned; the company still has the mojo, technology and know how to build the next generation of cameras. Even if that means using Sony stacked sensor technology! -HSC

DJI Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma Slowmo!

DJI Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma

There has been extreme excitement over the last month for both the GoPro Karma Drone and the DJI Mavic Pro being the first truly portable and collapsible drones that offer professional features and a quality camera. However when we focus on the video quality it is clear that by several measures the Mavic Pro seems to be a step down compared to the DJI Phantom 4 and here lies the main issue between these two competing platforms.

GoPro has not been a quality champ ever since the DJI Phantom 3 came out. The Hero Camera with much more wide angle distortion and less sharpness was a letdown by being pretty much the same since the last refresh of the GoPro Hero 3+ several years ago. The GoPro way has been footprint reduction and feature addition instead of image quality hikes.

There have been improvements in the GoPro line since the Hero 4 Black in image quality by the processing, color science and distortion correction in post and now in camera but we have not seen the big jump in bit-rate and dynamic range.  Most drone enthusiasts prefer the DJI cameras with less distortion and more detail from edge to edge along with superior still frame quality and no resolution loss from the video frame after distortion warp correction on the GoPro.

But what about Slow Motion?

Here are the specs for both cameras concerning frame rates and resolutions:

GoPro Hero 5 Black

VIDEO RECORDING MODES 4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p
2.7K: 24/25/30/48/50/60p
FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/80/90/120p
HD: 1280×720 24/25/30/48/50/60/100/240p


4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p
2.7K: 2704×1520 24/25/30p
FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/96p
HD: 1280×720 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p

As you can see both cameras offer 4k, 2.7k, 1080p FHD and regular 720p HD in a variety of frame rates but it if of note that the clear winner when it comes to slow motion or higher frame rates is the GoPro Hero 5 Black.  It offers 120fps at full HD 1080p, 240fps at HD 720p and even 2.7k at 60fps.   There is no question the GoPro handles more choices and it is ultimately of higher performance.

The Mavic Pro looses with a maximum frame rate at 1080p of 96fps whic is 4x slow motion if played back at 24p which is 1x less performance than the 120fps on the GoPro Hero 5 Black.

DJI Mavic Pro: Active Track + Slo-mo mode Dirt bike following by Maximus Potestas:


The video above shows the Mavic Pro at 96fps Full HD spec. Clearly the quality when it comes to jagged edges and other artifacts is not up there with the best. Even with the Youtube factor of lower compression; things like aliasing and moire come from the source as well as most fine detail retention in key frames.

Hero5 Black – 1080p 24-120 FPS Quality Sharpness Comparison by MicBergsma:

The excellent test above by MicBergsma shows how the GoPro Hero 5 black falls off a cliff when it comes to 90fps and 120fps in 1080p full HD quality. Dynamic range and color stay the same but detail, aliasing and moire starts to creep in severely compared to lower frame rates.   The camera is starting to skip lines being read and that translates into sub par slow motion quality footage. But even then it looks a little better at 120fps than the Mavic Pro’s 96fps 1080p.

Another aspect to consider is that the sensor crops in the GoPro Hero 5 Black slow motion modes which will get rid of most distortion. This will mute the distortion negative off the GoPro argument.

GoPro Hero 5 Black Slow Motion 120fps, 240fps + JBL Splashproof Test by RuHmVu:

The 720fps mode in the GoPro at 240fps handily beats the 120fps mode on the Mavic Pro aswell.  The GoPro quality is passable and twice the number of frames. No contest there!

What to buy?

If you are a die hard GoPro fan the Karma Drone and or the GoPro Hero 5 Black is a no brainer. The Karma also has the benefits of the included handheld gimbal  handle, The DJI portable gimbal is a different costly product for either your Phone or a Zenmuse DJI camera.  The GoPro has the frame rate flexibility but it is also no quality champ. If you want mostly portable slow motion you will be better served by a Sony RX100 V camera with up to 1000fps with much better quality. However if what you want is a drone there is no question that the DJI Mavic Pro is the most advanced package with follow me feature, altitude and obstacle awareness sensors and even more portable.

While the GoPro clearly wins in video quality and frame rates it is behind when it comes to drone performance metrics.  GoPro is probably already working on a Karma + drone or Karma 2.0  to better compete with the DJI Mavic Pro.  As a drone we recommend the Mavic over the Karma since the video quality in the GoPro Hero 5 Black is not that much better and if you can live without higher frame rates then by all means get a Mavic Pro for the holidays.  It is the best drone this year.

Another thing to keep in mind is that DJI will probably have a drone refresh either late this year or early next hopefully improving their Mavic Pro camera which is the Achilles heel for the drone. If they are able to get the camera to the level of the DJI Phantom 4k drone then they can easily keep the drone crown for 2017; unless some unexpected product is announced by a competitor which could be very possible.  / and if you are in the US please go out and Vote if you haven’t – HSC! 

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DJI Mavic Pro Drone Takes Aim At GoPro Karma!

dji mavic pro drone

DJI the maker of the Phantom drone has answered GoPro back with a direct competitor to the Karma drone announced last week. The new DJI Mavic Pro drone is extremely portable; even more so than the Karma and has obstacle avoidance technology along with ground awareness which is missing from the GoPro completely. It also has the follow me feature in more modes than ever which makes shooting with it a breeze. → Continue Reading Full Post ←