Our of our readers Chinito Pinoy has shared a pretty remarkable video with us that we would like to share. It is upscaling of sub HD resolution high-speed video at 240p, 480p and 960p from the Sony RX10 IV at 480 and 960fps and the A7S Mark III at 240fps from Sub HD to 4k UHD.
One of our favorite high speed camera companies has shared a lot of information regarding it’s COVID pandemic operations as well as unit shipments for their cameras. It looks like Sanstreak corp the parent of edgertronic is considered an essential business to the government which is probably because of the support and software development they do with clients for important government agencies. They have sold thousands of cameras to date and the company seems to be on firm footing to continue solidly into the future.
Their product line has the SC1, which is the 700fps 720p camera that started it all, as well as the SC2/SC2+ 720p at over 4000fps and SC2X over 2000fps at full HD 1080p. Check our page here for full in-depth reviews on these three cameras. Our favorite the SC2X is capable of a beautifully detailed and artifact-free image that can be used for cinema and broadcast. The SC2+ has the edge in frame rates with speed as a primary focus being able to record 6x the frame rate of the original edgertronic. The cameras have Color and Monochrome options if needed.
There are many new phones about to be announced including the most awaited Samsung release of the year, the Galaxy S21 which is due in a day or so. However the Xiaomi Mi 11 which was recently announced has been making a great impression on reviewers with a fluid 120Hz display, above-average camera features, 8k video, and our main interest the slow motion recording modes.
The high speed mode includes a 240fps 1080p mode but most interestingly this extends to 1080p 480fps which might be of comparable quality. The Xiaomi brand has been making cameras and phones for a few years now and while it is usually discounted as a budget brand, the inclusion of pro features like a Snapdragon 888 processor and a whopping 108MP main camera make it stand apart.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Slow Motion Modes:
- 4k video at 30p/24p/60p
- 1080p Full HD: 30/60/120/240/480fps
- 8K video recording: 24/30fps
|MAIN CAMERA||Triple||108 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
13 MP, f/2.4, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.06″, 1.12µm
5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), 1/5.0″, 1.12µm
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||20 MP, 27mm (wide), 1/3.4″, 0.8µm|
|Video||[email protected], [email protected]|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 11, MIUI 12.5|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 (5 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680|
MSRP Price: $739.74
We are happy to see such a plethora of frame rate and a very high-end performance package all for under $1000USD, in fact, it has an under $750 price tag which is very tempting.
We are also happy to see 120Hz becoming commonplace as a default refresh technology for displays on most mid to high end phones. This makes the experience fluid and for slow motion video it allows you to see 120fps live if needed before getting to a video editor.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Slow Motion Samples:
We found what we assume are legitimate samples of the slow motion mode. The quality is not class-leading but not that awful either. You be the judge:
Xiaomi Mi 11 Camera Test Slow Motion. by Mohsin EDITZ:
Xiaomi Mi 11 – Super Slow Motion by INCEPTION SK:
Now that the surprise camera of 2020 has been out for a while, it is time to revisit the 240fps mode included in the video features. At first glance, it delivered 720p quality or less in an upscaled 1080p wrapper. However many Fuji fans asked us to revisit the slow motion quality of this camera as early samples supposedly did not do justice to what this mode was able to deliver.
We have to agree to some extent that the quality of this camera in 240fps Full HD slow motion is better than other even more expensive options but we still feel that Fuji cut corners when it comes to image quality here by dropping lines and having a pretty noisy output unless there is an ample amount of light. We have some samples that will let you see what this camera is capable of and make you decide if it is a good enough option for your camera collection.
Fuji X-S10 Slow Motion 240fps Samples:
The camera can shoot up to 6 minutes in high frame rate mode and saves the file in a 60fps Full HD file for playback according to the official manual here. You can always lower the frame rate further to conform for 24p, 25p, and 30p if needed.
Fuji X-S10 Video Samples Below:
Fujifilm X-S10 Slo Mo 240fps test by Abu Habeeb:
Fujifilm X S10 240 FPS slow motion ,IBIS.Handheld Shooting without colour grade (ETERNA) by Aju Eapen:
We just received a video link for a Raspberry Pi imaging platform that allows for 660fps slow motion video capture using the computing unit along with it’s memory and a $6 USD camera to record slow motion video with better than expected results. The video from 2019 by RobertElderSoftware explains the way the camera and R-Pi were able to capture the footage using some scripting and writing a windowed wide but not tall imaging rectangle directly to memory to create the cheapest slow motion camera.
Of note is the apparent low resolution of less than VGA at 640 x 64px and the somewhat appraisal of rolling shutter artifacts on some of the coins. However, RobertElderSoftware also has a step by step instruction video set on how to get a $40 Raspberry Pi computer and a $6 USD camera module to build your own homebrew slow motion camera with some scripting. After a lot of scripting and patience, you should be able to mimic his results.
Cheapest slow motion camera using a Pi Unit:
It is literally amazing what a dedicated engineer with an extremely limited set of tools and cameras is able to do on a project like this. Now imagine RobertElderSoftware using something like a more powerful ARM-based Mac M1 or similar with way more RAM disk for capture along with a better camera and sensor combination.
You can visit and subscribe to Robert Elder’s Channel here and learn many more from his cool projects and coding guides!
Maybe in the future, we could see some homebrew project kit that could be able to shoot 500fps or even 1000fps in 4k for a limited investment. In any case, we feel that you should take a look at the project below and get inspired. We thank our reader Nacho Simon for the heads up on this awesome project and Mr. Elder for his creativity and drive! -HSC
Video Sample and Step by Step Guides Below:
World’s Cheapest High-speed Camera For $6 With 660FPS!? by RobertElderSoftware:
Part 1) How To Record Video At 660 FPS On A $6 Raspberry Pi Camera – Part 1 by RobertElderSoftware:
(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 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:
Follow them on:
(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