Tag Archives: Mount

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 ←

GoPro Hero 9 Black Slow Motion Fail!

Gopro Hero 9 Black Slow Motion Fail

GoPro has released the Hero 9 Black and in many respects, it is the best camera they have ever made. It is a little larger to accommodate a slightly larger battery and screens and it offers a new 5k mode that is very filmic like with pretty good dynamic range.  It has Hypersmooth 3 technology which does away with most gimbal situations and it can serve as a minute and reliable blog camera.

However, the GoPro Hero 9 Black is in some ways the end of an era for GoPro and the action camera market. It now heralds a new subscription model that aims to hook their market with a  lower price for the camera if the subscription to GoPro.com is added at check out.  Gone are the days of class-leading technology and in are the days of survival at all costs. Can we really blame GoPro for trying to make it?

GoPro Hero 9 Black Main Features:

  • 23.6MP Sensor, 5K30 Video & 20MP Photos
  • 240fps 1080p Video* 8x Slo-Mo
  • Live View Front Display/Rear Touchscreen
  • Webcam Mode & 1080p Live Streaming
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 Image Stabilization
  • 33′ Waterproof without External Housing
  • PowerTools & Protune Feature Suites
  • Time-Lapse & Night-Lapse
  • Built-In Flip-Out 2-Prong Mount
  • 30% Longer 1720mAh Capacity Battery

1080p Frame rates:

  • Linear Lens 240, 120, 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Linear + Horizon Leveling 240, 120, 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Narrow Lens 240, 120, 60, 30, 24 fps

2.7K Frame Rates:

  • Wide Lens 120, 60 fps
  • Linear Lens 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Linear + Horizon Leveling 60, 30, 24 fps
  • Narrow Lens 60, 30, 24 fps

If you decide to get a Hero 9 which in our view is still the best action camera you can buy, you may be inclined to lower your cost by subscribing to GoPro.com and shaving $100USD from the camera price.

HERO9 Black

$349.98 includes

1-year subscription to GoPro1

or
$449.99
without subscription Subscribing to GoPro gets you:

  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Up to 50% off at GoPro.com2
  • Total camera replacement3

32GB SD card included

So what is wrong with this camera?

There are few things we don’t like on this camera which is a good thing, it has outstanding 5k 30fps footage, it has larger screens and better Hypersmooth in 4k, it has a larger battery, and it is a very refined product with a  quality build. It is in fact the best GoPro we have ever seen but sadly there are things we need to mention.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Slow Motion Fail:

The biggest issue we have is the stagnation of 1080p frame rates. 120 and 240fps in full HD remain essentially the same quality as they were in the Hero 6 Black.  Sure you get better Hypersmooth stabilization in 240p but quality-wise, the pixelation, and overall soft look of the slow motion footage is here with no apologies.

There has not been a consolidated effort to offer 480fps or even 320fps footage in 1080p even as the camera has grown to accommodate 4k 60p and 5k 30p recording modes.  In other words, slow motion is mostly frozen in place except for one little glimmer of hope. GoPro needs to become a leader in frame rates again, it was and still is one of the most important considerations for its users.

That hope is in the form of 2.7k at 120fps which is detailed, offers excellent color and dynamic range for such a small camera and sensor. They did a really good job extracting those 120 frames and we feel that this should be your default slow motion option on this camera. 1080p is simply to soft to even consider it for full HD quality, it is still more like a 720p upscaled mess.

5k is essentially the star on this camera and it is probably the main reason to get this camera over the Hero 8 Black.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Video Test 5K by KabyNougat: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Cronos HD 2.1 First footage samples surface!

Cronos HD 2.1 First footage samples

The team at Krontech.ca has been shipping the first units of the Chronos 2.1-HD 4/3″ Sensor high-speed camera to their customers and in turn, footage has started to become available online showing what this new super affordable 1080p slow-mo cam can do.  We will be reviewing a unit in the future once the firmware is more polished and will give it a good spin to finally rank it in our camera guide.

At first glance, we have a very positive reaction to the footage shown. The noise control and per-pixel detail are excellent and a clear cut above what the much smaller 2/3″ sensor on the Chronos 1.4c was able to deliver.   Larger sensors are a must for high-speed cameras to make use of more available light locations.   We have gathered some excellent video examples that will let you have a pretty good idea of what you can shoot and at what quality level with this camera.

Chronos 2.1 HD Main Specs:

  • 1080p, 4/3” format image sensor
  • 2.1 gigapixels per second
  • 1000fps @ 1080p
  • up to 24 046fps at
    lower resolutions
  • 8GB, 16GB and 32GB high-speed RAM buffer options for 2.7, 5.5 and 11.0 second record time respectively.
  • High sensitivity base ISO of 500 (Color) and 1000 (Monochrome) enables shooting with modest lighting.
  • l battery lasts for 1 hour of recording
  • Runs indefinitely on AC adapter or external power source
  • Many lenses supported: Nikon F, Canon EF and C mounts available as field-swappable options
  • Starting at USD $5,000.00
Resolution and Frame Rate Table as of February 2020 (Could differ in future firmware):

There is also a new monthly newsletter on the Krontech website so you are up to date with the news on these camerashttps://www.krontech.ca/chronos-newsletter/

Cronos HD 2.1 First footage samples:

A few notes before you look at these video samples: These are early beta firmware samples which means that the quality will probably improve from here in several aspects. The most obvious will be the vertical column banding artifact that can show up on higher frame rates and less than ideal lighting conditions.   We also see room for improvement in the color-science especially in reds and maybe some highlight tweaking.

However, at first glance, they look really good and a clear improvement from the earlier product from Krontech.ca the Chronos 1.4c.  This camera can now go head to head with much more expensive competitors as the image quality has increased greatly. Enjoy the samples!

Water Drop Slow Motion by Laurent NICOLET:

Chronos 2.1 HD Initial test at 1000fps 2142fps 3385fps 5406fps by Scott Aichner: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Octopus Cinema Camera Upgradeable Slow Motion Kit?

Octopus Cinema Camera Upgradeable Slow Motion

The recently announced Octopus Cinema Camera with a modular sensor, mount, and other components could, in theory, become a customizable professional solution slow motion camera that is unencumbered by firm specs but by a fluid and upgradeable sensor and component path.  The Axiom camera is also something akin to this but has yet to ship. The Octopus has in prototype form been fitted with a 4/3 sensor capable of up to 240fps in 2k RAW and a full-frame that allows 3k up to 100fps.

The body looks eerily similar to Phantom cameras with the white machined exterior with fans and ports protruding the body.  While 240fps at 2k is not what we could call really professional slow motion, it is based on an open architecture in hardware and software that could window the sensor down and possibly offer more frame rates at 1080p and 720p for maybe a 480fps RAW capture in HD.

Octopus Cinema Camera Specs:

The 4/3 sensor is the Sony IMX253 which offers a global shutter mode and high frame rate support. You can read more about this sensor here: Sony IMX 253 information. This sensor should be able to record 480fps at HD 720p if the camera is programmed to do it.

At 4/3 you get 240fps at 2k which will probably allow that at 1080p which is not bad considering you get 12 bit RAW DNG capture. You can also save in HEVC h.265 codec at up to 900mbits/sec which is a great option.

The full frame sensor will be the CMV20000 (Information here) which is a pretty advanced 20MP sensor allowing 5k capture at up to 48fps.  This sensor will be geared more for cinema people while the 4/3 would cater markets for TV, Web, and documentary. For slow motion, it is clear the 4/3 sensor makes more sense.

We can already fantasize of another sensor option that allows higher frame rates and a possibility to program the camera to be a true slow motion powerhouse with pre-record, post-triggering and remote monitoring.

Sample footage Samples Low Light in B&W at normal frame rate:

“INTERCHANGEABLE SPECIALIST IMAGE SENSORS

XIMEA provide a range of high-performance imaging modules which can be interchanged allowing the OCTOPUS CAMERA to have a fully upgradable image sensor.

Specialist sensors available include specifications such as full-frame 35mm, Global Shutter, native Monochrome and more.”

The power of a platform like this is based on what you can do with the customizability. If you could place a 2000fps 1080p sensor, for example, you could have a very capable production camera that really shoots slow video that can be analyzed professionally.

“UPGRADEABLE OPEN-PLATFORM HARDWARE
The OCTOPUS CAMERA uses the compact Intel® NUC as the processing board. Components can be removed and upgraded including the board itself when newer boards are available.”

Since the main component board is also upgradeable you can, in theory, get a board full of fast DDR memory for loop record at a fraction of the cost of a phantom camera.

The big If!

All this sounds great but the release date for the initial camera is sometime in 2020 with no price mentioned. The amount of work this camera needs to become a reality is pretty huge. Projects like the Axiom have thousands of hours of work by really incredible people and has yet to ship in final form.

The Octopus team is small according to information on the web and there is only a prototype product shown.  We saw the Fran camera go down in flames with big promises just recently and there is no reprieve when you mess up in the camera business.

We wish the Octopus team much success and hope to see a high frame rate sample or better yet, a module of sensor and board that shoots 1000fps or more in the future.  A camera like this could allow for an upgradeable slow motion camera system that grows as fast as technology allows, making it a first in the high speed market. Disruption could be the best thing in slow motion gear or just a spark that fizzles out by bad execution. Lets hope is the former. -HSC

You can find more information about Octopus Cinema Camera at the official website. http://octopuscinema.com 

They also have a mailing list to get updates at the same site.

Z Cam E2 Starts Shipping To Customers!

The Z Cam E2 has finally started shipping and is now available for direct order at their site. The camera caught our attention for its low price of just $1999 and the high frame rate features of 240fps 1080p and 120fps 4k.  It seems to be using the same 4/3 sensor as the great Panasonic GH5s but with extended features.

The camera company ZCam has also released some samples in a variety of scenarios so you can see what the camera is capable of. At first inspection, it is clear this camera is a clear step up from the Z Cam E1 which had some image quality issues. The E2 seems to go out of the box ready to produce class-leading imagery and offer some very nice high frame rate action. There are also some rumored comments that suggest the team is testing 300fps at 720p as an added bonus for future software.

Z Cam E2 Main Features:

  • 4K @120fps, 10-bit color
  • 4/3″ Dual Native ISO sensor
  • 13 stops dynamic range
  • 16 Stops in Extended DR Mode
  • Gigabit Ethernet for data, control & live streaming*
  • iOS app for control setting & live preview
  • Multi-cam synchronization**
  • HDMI Clean Signal Out!
  • Monitoring Required*

Z Ca, E2 Sample footage at 120fps:

Max Variable Frame Rate 120 fps for 4096 x 2160
120 fps for 3840 x 2160
59.94 fps for 3696 x 2772
240 fps for 1920 x 1080300fps 720p (Rumored Testing)

16 Stop Dynamic Range Test:

More footage from the Z Cam E2 Here at their official company Vimeo Page!

Z-Cam E2 Testing at Afton by EatsTooMuchJam:

It is clear the Z Cam E2 camera is capable of some very high-quality video output and could be easily used for cinema productions as a crash camera with remote access built in.  However, the camera’s lack of screen and irregular cuboid shape may put off some buyers and it may not be for everyone.  Add the fact that it shoots 4k 120fps and 240fps at 1080p makes it a desirable higher frame rate solution.  For under 2k this is one camera you may be able to afford as a production assist with also the quality needed for drone imagery without being too bulky. HSC

More info on the Z Cam E2 at their official website here!

and Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/zcamera/

Z Cam E2 Best Value 4k Slow Motion Cam?

Z Cam E2

Z Cam the relatively new Camera company from Shenzhen, China has announced the Z Cam E2 at NAB 2018 MSRP $1,999.00 USD. It is not a direct replacement for their ambitious but half-baked Z E1 m4/3 camera which costs $399.   The new camera is a beast specs wise with up to 120fps 4k  and full HD 1080p at 240fps.  The codecs will be H.264 and H.265 at 10 bit but no RAW support so far which might be acceptable if the codec is clean enough and their promised Log Flat curve preserves the estimated 13.5 stops of dynamic range.

The camera is still being developed for a June 2018 estimated ship date. It lacks a back screen and relies on a Wifi or Gigabit Ethernet link to their dedicated control application. They intend to support iOS devices and or a PC client. No mention of Android support or Mac which should be included in order to maintain the widest compatibility.  We feel lacking Android control is a big deal and should be promised in a future update. It is also unclear if the camera will be possible to use by using a touch screen field monitor which probably will not be the case. Using an iPhone or an iPad as the control interface is probably the best use case.

Z CAM E2 Main Specs:

  • 4K @120fps, 10 bit color
  • H.264 & H.265 (10 bit) Codec With Log Flat S-Curve.
  • 4/3″ Sony CMOS sensor
  • pixel size = 4.63m
  • 13.5 Stops of Dynamic Range In Flat Log Profile.
  • Micro Four Thirds lens mount
  • Auto, Manual (ISO 100-6400)
  • Gigabit Ethernet port for control setting & live streaming
  • iOS app for control setting & live preview
  • 4K @60fps HDMI 2.0
  • 4K 60fps, 10bit
  • 4K 60fps SDI 12G (optional accessory)
  • Deep Learning Engine built in with SDK
  • Global Shutter Option Planned
  • MSRP $1,999.00

Z Cam E2 4K m43 camera with 4K 10bit 120fps by Personal View:

Frame Rate Options:

4096×2160 4k DCI @120fps/60fps/50fps/
30fps/25fps/24fps

3840×2160 4k UHD @120fps/60fps/50fps/
30fps/25fps/24fps 

1920×1080 Full HD @240fps/120fps/60fps/
50fps/30pfs/25fps/24fps

There are no image samples of the camera aside from snippets in their NAB 2018 Booth demo which shows a deep learning algorithm that can be programmed to recognize people or objects in real time which may prove to be a very useful tool for surveillance, research laboratories, and educational object recognition programming.  It may also be used to control AF with compatible micro 4/3 mounted electronic lenses to keep diverse objects in focus as the camera moves.

Z Cam E2 4K 120fps Cinematic Camera First Look | NAB 2018 by CreatorUp!: → Continue Reading Full Post ←