Tag Archives: features

Oppo Find X3 Pro brings microscopy to phones!

Oppo Find X3 Pro

There is always an outlier when it comes to phone innovation and we have to give it to Oppo in 2021 as it seems to have created a phone that really delivers features that seemed impossible just months ago.  The Oppo Find X3 Pro can deliver the usual 4k 30p and 60p video and up to 720p 480fps slow motion along with the common standard of 240p at 1080p.  Where the phone jumps ahead of the pack is the inclusion of a real microscopy camera module that has a ring light to boot.

The Microscope camera can deliver a mind-altering 60x microscopy range magnification that looks so good that you might think it was taken with a professional clinical microscope.   It will not be enough to show blood cells that usually require over 100x to be appreciated but it delivers detail on small insects, fibers, textures, and electronics that previously required a complicated camera setup attached to a multi-lens instrument. → Continue Reading Full Post ←

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 ←

Lumix G95 120fps Full HD and Why Its a Pass!

Lumix G95 Slow Motion

Let us start by saying that we are huge fans of the Lumix line by Panasonic and their cameras in general. The GH5 is still a powerhouse of a camera for serious video work and the 180fps FUll HD slow motion is better than many others before or since at that frame rate while at 120fps is as good as the best Sonys out there.  However, the recently announced Lumix G95 drops the ball in several fronts when it comes to really good video performance which has become a trademark for Panasonic.

The G95 has all the looks and character of a great hybrid camera but has a crippled video mode that may put off many buyers looking for the perfect intermediate camera. The 4k, for example, has a 1.25x crop on top of the nearly 2x crop of the micro 4/3 sensor. Making it a little larger than the area of a 1″ sensor. This will sacrifice video quality in the lack of supersampling and low light will suffer from the added megapixels.

Lumix G95 Main Features:

  • 20.3MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • Venus Engine Image Processor
  • UHD 4K30p Video, Pre-Installed V-Log L
  • 5-Axis Sensor Stabilization; Dual I.S. 2
  • 120fps, 90fps and 60fps Slow Motion in 1080p*
  • 0.74x 2.36m-Dot OLED Viewfinder
  • 3.0″ 1.24m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen
  • Advanced DFD AF System; 4K PHOTO
  • ISO 25600 and 9 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens

So the G95 camera has the latest Dual IS 5 axis IBIS stabilization including IS Lock which was on the GH5 and is a near tripod like substitute on the go.  It has a mic jack and headphone jack but all of those great video features including the V-Log L bundled in have little to do with recommending this camera.

The 1.25x crop in 4k is massive as it is added to the already smaller Micro 4/3rds sensor compared to a 35mm full frame camera. It becomes an exercise in frustration to use wide angles here. Sure telephoto and macro video will benefit but you have to deal with cramped pixels and much more noise in low light.

1080p has no crop but the slow motion mode at 120p, 90p and 60p have a lack of manual controls. That means that setting a shutter speed and aperture combination is left to the camera with only exposure compensation available as a setting to aid the shot.  As you know slow motion requires precise control of the shutter speed to be able to avoid motion blur and get a crisp subject.  In a sunny day with bright objects, you might give the camera a pass but anything else and you are leaving the creativity behind and entering the decision making of the software which will surely get it wrong more often than not. That is why the slow motion mode cannot be counted for serious users.

Same fail of DfD Auto Focus, Why?

The GH5, G9 and GH5s all suffer from the use of the Depth from DeFocus AF system from Panasonic. Works amazingly well in still images but it is horrendous in video mode especially when you want to keep a subject in focus and not hunt around the background or foreground. It is always stuttering and breathing in and out of focus even in situations that should be extremely easy.  Panasonic needs to grow up and accept that this AF mode is a keeper for stills at best and a total failure for continuous video AF.  Phase detection with dual pixel AF on the sensor is a proven technology that works wonders for video mode and photo mode. It is time to bring a camera in the Lumix line that uses that tech and eliminates DfD for video.  Competition is only improving on an already great system while the stubbornness of the Panasonic team is only frustrating owners with sub-par video AF performance.

Panasonic, its time to do the right thing and offer Dual Pixel AF in video mode!

The video below by Richard Wong who has been a Lumix AF tester for a couple of years now shows the problem with the DfD system in the G95.  His perseverance is admirable but Panasonic needs to accept defeat here unless they crack real smart AI for a camera AF system.

Panasonic Lumix G90 | G91 | G95 Face Tracking Video Continuous Autofocus Test by Richard Wong:

Lumix G95 Slow Motion Quality:

One good thing about the G95 is that the 1080p video quality is very good and that translates to the slow motion HFR mode as well.

With Lumix G95 Slow Motion we have performance very close to the GH5 and G9 in Full HD which means there is excellent supersampling to 1080p and 90p and 60p on this camera. The detail and overall sharpness is very good at higher frame rates.  You also have to know that you are not getting 4k 60p which is available on the GH5 and G9.

Panasonic G95 slow motion at 120fps by Panasonic Lumix Québec: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Google Pixel 3 Slow Motion is Lackluster!

Google Pixel 3 Slow Motion

The newly announced Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones do impressive things with machine learning when it comes to their camera app. The ability to do resolution comparable 2X  zoom to an optical lens by using exposure merging is genius.  Their portrait mode is also the best ever made on a phone with incredible separation of background and foreground depth of field based on learning algorithms that can tackle hair transitions and other objects all with only a single lens.

When it comes to video however it is not as good as either the Samsung’s or Apple’s latest flagship phones. The pixel tops at 4k 30p and the slow motion while doing 240fps which matches the iPhone XS it is only 720p instead of 1080p. Google seems to have beefed up the phone for still images and selfies and left the video features on a secondary plane. The slow motion mode is essentially identical to last year’s Pixel 2 and 2 XL at 120fps 1080p and 240fps 720p.

Google Pixel 3 Main Imaging Camera Features:

  • Rear Camera
  • 12.2MP dual-pixel
  • 1.4μm
  • Autofocus + dual pixel phase detection
  • Optical + electronic image stabilization
  • Spectral + flicker sensor
  • f/1.8 aperture
  • Field of view: DFoV: 76°
  • Rear Camera Video
  • 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps
  • 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps
  • 4K @ 30fps
  • Dual Front Cameras
  • 8MP wide-angle and normal FoV cameras
  • Wide-angle: f/2.2 aperture, 97° FoV
  • Normal: f/1.8 aperture, 75° FoV

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones are competitive and according to initial reviews, it shows it to be the main contender for the still image and selfie picture crown for the year.  Video mode seems improved in dynamic range, low light, and stabilization but there are no new frame rates or even a timelapse feature that is included in other phones.

Dpreview did an incredible interview with the Pixel 3 camera team that goes deep into what the phone is capable of and what is really new and innovative. See the interview here!

Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL hands-on by The Verge:

The video by The Verge above should give you a good indication of the features.

iPhone XS vs Pixel 3 XL Slow Motion?

In the video below it is clear the Google Pixel 3 video mode is inferior to the Apple iPhone XS in almost all metrics except for image stabilization. There is a good direct 240fps comparison at the 16min mark between both phones!

Pixel 3 XL vs iPhone XS Max – The ULTIMATE Camera Comparison! by ZONEofTECH: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Insta360 One X Breaks the 3k 100fps barrier!

Insta360 One X

The Insta360 seems to be on a roll by delivering several products this year in quick succession. They want to own the 360-degree video market and they have no plans of letting go of that goal by making some very cool new features available to the masses.  The new Insta360 One X camera is able to stabilize the footage on the fly with incredible accuracy and steady-cam like feel without gimbals with its high-resolution capture and by using cropping along with telemetry data and a proprietary algorithm they are able to deliver rock-solid imagery in heavy motion environments.

The small camera is also able to shoot 100fps at 3k which is a first in the segment will let you crop if needed to get a better frame of the action.  There is also a very clever rubber housing that is designed to be thrown aerodynamically  “Drift Shot” while leaving the camera well protected on impact. This revolutionary technique is really something out of the box and what this camera will probably be known for. Expect to see an explosion of these shots in TV and film pretty soon as others copy the technique.

 Insta360 One X Main Features:

Aperture: F2.0

Photo resolution: 18 MP (6080*3040)

Video resolution: 5760*[email protected], 3840*[email protected], 3840*[email protected], 3008*[email protected]

Photo format: insp, jpeg(can be exported via App), RAW(dng)

Video format: insv, mp4(can be exported via App), LOG

Video coding: H264

Stabilization: Built-in 6-axis gyroscopic stabilization

Compatible devices iOS :Phone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone X, iPhone8/8 plus, iPhone 7/7 plus, iPhone 6s/6s plus, iPhone SE iPad Pro(10.5-inch), iPad (2018)

  • Insta360 ONE X Android minimum configuration requirements:
  • 1. OTG: Supports OTG
  • 2. System on Chip(SOC): Qualcomm 653/Qualcomm 820/Kirin 950/Exynos 8890 or above
  • 3. System Version: Android 5.1 or above
  • 4. RAM: RAM 2G or above
  • Insta360 ONE X Android compatible devices (Phones not included in the list do not necessarily mean they are incompatible. Please refer to the minimum requirement of phone configuration.)
  • HUAWEI: P20 Pro/P10/P9/Mate 9/Mate 10/Honor 9
  • Samsung: S9/Note 8/S8/S7/S7 Edge
  • XIAOMI: Mix/Mix2/Note3/6/8
  • OnePlus: 5t
  • Google:Pixel/Pixel 2
  • Vivo: X9Plus L
  • OPPO: R11
  • Waterproof 5m and 30m with optional enclosures!
  • MSRP $399

Insta360 ONE X – Introducing the Insta360 ONE X:

The camera does a lot of things right like really great stitching, color accuracy and by reducing the mega-pixel count to 18MP from 24MP in their previous consumer camera they have improved per-pixel quality while gaining better low light and detail remains very close.

The slow motion at 3k 100fps is a great feature that can be accessed in real time and you can switch on the fly while recording from 30, 50 and 100fps modes with the expected resolution loss all recorded in the same clip without interruption which is pretty amazing.

FlowState Stabilization:

The 100fps 3k quality looks like a good 720p but not close to a good 1080p when you are looking at a specific portion of the 360 frame. That is to be expected as all-around video tends to be intended for VR displays which need full coverage. Your 100fps 3k frame will look extremely distorted if you want to do  a planar projection but can look good as a special effect with spherical deformation. Do not confuse this camera as a 100fps 3k rectangular camera because the resolution un-wrapped will be just regular HD in your vision. It is a good image overall but we could spot some aliasing and moire in the 3k 100fps mode which is still in its infancy when it comes to cameras targeted to consumers.

INSTA360 ONE X: Best 360 Camera of 2018? by Ben Claremont: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Panasonic S Series Could Taper Slow Motion Curve!

Panasonic S Series

The announcement of the Panasonic S series is a complete acceptance that smaller m4/3 sensors are not the future but the past. As now Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sony, Leica and now Panasonic have shifted priorities to Full Frame Sensors as mirrorless has allowed the smaller form factor without compromising low light performance and absolute stills image quality.  Fuji is also going strong on Medium Format stills oriented cameras like the new portable GFX 50R which meshes a rangefinder camera with a huge MF sensor.

The move by Panasonic, which had been leading in mirrorless frame rates in continued recording with their Lumix GH5 and GH5s Series up to 240fps 1080p,  will now focus on larger sensors that produce more heat and may be much slower to read at high speeds.  Sony has so far been able to only have 120fps 1080p recording in their a7 series for example.  If the Panasonic S1 at 24MP can only do 120fps 1080p which is still unknown, it will not bode well for slow motion frame rates for some time.

Panasonic S Series Main Features Shared So Far:

  • LUMIX S1R  47MP Full Frame sensor. Still Shooter Oriented!
  • LUMIX S1 24MP Full Frame sensor. Hybrid Shooter Oriented!
  • Same Body Will be used on both cameras, only sensor changes.
  • 4K in 50p/60p is confirmed for video.
  • Newly announced L-Mount which will use current Leica lenses and upcoming Panasonic and Sigma lenses.
  • First full-frame mirrorless cameras to offer dual I.S.  IBIS included!
  • XQD cards and SD card dual slots.
  • 3-axis tiltable LCD screen  (No Vari-Angle Video Friendly LCD).
  • Micro 4/3ds will still be a supported format with new cameras!

From the information shared above, it is clear this technology announcement is to stave off the take over of mirrorless full frame and the only way Panasonic can offset the migration from m4/3ds to other camera manufacturers like Sony before and now pretty much every other large manufacturer.

LUMIX S Series Press Conference Video by PanasonicLumixVideo:

While we may not see more than 120fps in video mode as a starting point for the Panasonic S Series, there will still be development for Micro 4/3rds cameras for some time. This may mean that a GH6 camera is already being built with the possibility of higher than 4k video and with a smaller sensor, the higher frame rates that can be bundled in such a package.  We, however, do not estimate more than 240fps in any Lumix camera for some time as their implementation on the GH5s low light camera is still not that good with moire and aliasing problems in the smaller resolution sensor.  We rather see a perfected 240fps mode with excellent quality before they jump into 320 or 480fps modes.

Sony continues to be the major consumer camera manufacturer with the best slow motion specs with the RX series at 960fps with in-between 480p and 240p modes which are better than most of the competition.    Phones, as we have seen, are able to jump faster into the slow-motion train with faster reading sensors and cheaper manufacturing with on sensor memory buffers: i.e Sony Motion Eye Technology.

Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1R Full Frame Cameras Explained  by cinema5D: → Continue Reading Full Post ←