After several camera announcements where slow motion was a main feature instead of an afterthought, things have been calming down until the next wave which will break closer to NAB 2018 from April 7th to 12th in Las Vegas. There will probably be quite a few announcements in the professional space which is mainly where things heat up when it comes to higher quality resolution at higher frame rates.
We expect Sony to steal the show with probably the a7s Mark III which by any measure will probably retain the low light king title for the foreseeable future. If the a7 III released recently is any indication then a lower megapixel sensor anywhere between 12-16MP Full Frame with the same technology in a stacked sensor will give us a camera so capable that room for improvement will be mainly on the ergonomics, interface and higher frame rates going forward.
By now between the Oscars Galaxy sponsorship & a lot of tech Vloggers going wild about the Samsung handset you should be pretty well informed on the Galaxy S9 capabilities. We covered it last week and went into the particulars of the super slow Motion feature which allows for 0.2 seconds of recording at 720p in 960fps frame rate. Needless to say, we were unimpressed with the quality initially based on early tests and we called it out for not really delivering 720p but some low-res aliased abstraction.
But with the new crop of video samples, we were impressed by some footage and let down by other attempts. There is a lot to like in this phone but also something to keep in mind is that a dedicated slow-motion camera will keep the edge over a phone at least for the next few years in quality and detail retention. Dig in for the samples and judge for yourself…
Samsung has unveiled the heavily leaked and rumored Galaxy S9 at MWC Barcelona 2018. It is now a reality and the rumors got most of it right but the frame rate mostly expected which was 480fps at full HD has now morphed into 960fps at HD 720p. You would be heavily excited about the new frame rate options except for the fact that the resolution is not really 720p but a heavily soft and aliased version.
Camera companies are too loose to call video formats HD and Full HD when they are really just upscaling lower resolution video up to save in an overly compressed format. The inclusion of now 1080p 240fps has to be the better spec here as the 960fps mode tops out at 0.2 seconds for a 6-second playback at 30fps. Hardly ideal and much like what we saw in the Sony Xperia XZ phones of 2017.
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