Tag Archives: SC2

edgertronic firing on all cylinders!

edgertronic

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. → Continue Reading Full Post ←

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2020!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2020

As the end of 2020 nears, it’s time to take a look back through the year’s camera releases amid the COVID 19 chaos, and see which delivered on the price/performance bracket with slow motion frame rates as the primary goal.  Phone slow motion took a back seat this year as the interest of the feature in phones was subdued or even eliminated. Our Best Slow Motion Cameras Of 2020 have been selected and ordered by recommendation!

We saw some surprises including a mostly affordable 4k slow motion solution and the adoption of 4k 120fps on many cameras which makes us think 240fps at UHD should be something to think about in the coming years as a regular option once 8k video is commonplace on consumer recording devices and TVs. The increase in resolution should theoretically allow for a lot of 4k frame rates to be offered as 8k delivers 4x the pixel count of 4k for any given frame rate. Keep on reading for our 2020 picks!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS of 2020:

Without further ado here are what we believe are the best value slow motion cameras in their respective categories for the year 2020:

Best Slow Motion Phone Category:

3rd Place) Sony Xperia 5 II:

The Sony Xperia 5 II is all about capturing the best video possible on a smartphone and in HDR. The kick here is that the phone is capable of 4k 120fps in full HDR which is pretty much class-leading.

The footage below will give you a taste of what the phone can do. In good light, it will let you capture excellent quality 4k 120p footage with the possibility to grade as it records a gradable flat profile.  In low light, it will be a pretty unremarkable image with grain and artifacts as could be expected from the light requirements when shooting at high speed.

Sony Xperia 5 II: 4K 120fps video footage by CNET Highlights:

Sony Xperia 5 II Slow Motion Specs:

  • 120fps 4k
  • 60fps 1080p

This is one of the first phones to offer 120fps in 4k which will probably become a standard spec in 2021 for flagships. However absent is the slow motion at 1080p which considering the 4k oomph, it should have been capable of 480fps at 1080p or similar. It is a shame that the spec was completely avoided considering HDR in 120fps 4k requires 240fps full pixel readout before merging.  In theory, 240fps non-HDR is possible on this phone but not available for unspecified reasons. Phones are becoming more powerful by the day and this is one that has our attention. The just under $1k price tag is not ideal but some of the best phones are going to cost you.

2nd Place) OnePlus 8T:

One Plus continues to offer compelling slow motion features on their phones with 480fps 1080p and up to 480fps at 720p.  It gives you a quad 48MP camera module which is literally insane considering the phone sells for under $750USD and has 120hz refresh rate. Feature-wise it has probably everything under the sun and then some and will not disappoint in the performance realm.

Fireworks in Slow motion – OnePlus 8T 480fps in dark by sternking: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2019!

As 2019 comes to a close its that time to take a look back through the year’s camera releases and see which delivered the goods at an affordable price in slow motion.  Phone slow motion continues to be a strong category, so strong in fact that we made a Best Slow Motion Phones of 2019 list that you can see here.

Stagnation in many camera segments aside from phones is still ongoing, the semi-professional and pro markets stay at 120fps and 240fps with the occasional 320fps camera that delivers just a tad better quality but at a price.  For professional slow motion, there were announcements but not a shipping product yet, however previously released cameras like the Chronos 1.4c and edgertronic still own the affordable quality market. Read on for our best of 2019 results!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS of 2019:

Without further ado here are what we believe are the best value slow motion cameras in their respective categories for the year 2019:

Best Slow Motion Phone Category:

We had 5 finalists for slow motion phone of 2019 and while the Mate 30 Pro below got the top marks, the iPhone 11 and OnePlus 7 series had great showings, go to the dedicated article for the rest of the phone options.

 Huawei Mate 30 Pro:

Coming out of left field from a company that has been in the news as being in trouble with the US government, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro which is not shipping in the US officially but can be found from online import sellers, is the slow motion phone champ of 2019.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro Slow Motion Specs Dissected:

  • 120fps 1080p Continuous
  • 240fps 1080p Continuous
  • 960fps 1080p for 1 full second (960 frames in total)
  • 1920fps 720p for 1/2 second  (960 frames in total)
  • 7680fps 720p interpolated 4x (lasts for 32 seconds on a 30p timeline.)
  • All super slow motion modes at 960p and above last 32 seconds of playback at 30fps regular speed.
  • The entire buffer for the slow motion feature is 2GB and gets filled by data then dumped and encoded on the fly by the Kirin 990 chip.

This is the first phone that truly records 1920fps slow motion in 720p mode for 1/2 a second or 960 frames and then does excellent interpolation to a whopping 7,680fps 720p to create mind-bending images.   It is especially good for people, animals, and hard non-deformable objects. It will of curse fail as any algorithm with fluids, powders, and heavily detailed objects and will create a soft mushy in-between frame in those cases.  If you do not choose interpolation mode then you can get real slow motion for up to 32 seconds of playback on a 30p timeline which is excellent for a phone.

If you decide to buy it, the phone has a few issues to keep in mind. Due to US government restrictions, it will not ship with a  full version of Android with the Google Apps and not have access to the Playstore.  However several workarounds have been worked out in forums to make this phone usable. The other is that it is a Chinese phone which may need you to get help from someone who understands/reads Chinese to make the setup and get to work in English after.    We do not recommend this phone as your main handset as the support of updates will probably be negated in the US but if you are in China, this is a great flagship phone.  If you are outside of China, make sure you can live with the limitations in the software.

960fps,1920fps and 7680fps test – Huawei Mate 30 Pro incredible Slow Motion by Slow Experiment:

As you can see from the sample above and these other samples at HSC, the quality is quite good and the time is usable easily as a sports and experimentation high speed mode.  It will of course not replace a dedicated slow motion camera for quality work but it is still an amazing development to get real 1920fps 720p and 960fps 1080p even with some artifacts in a portable device.

Huawei may be in hot water with the US government for some time but they have consistently delivered amazing hardware that is probably the cutting edge worldwide.  We are excited about the future of phone slow motion and considering the giant leap that happened here, it is not unrealistic to think that really good 1080p 2,000fps or similar could be very close.  At least for a small-time recording but it will really be magical.

Huawei has made an incredible slow motion phone on the Mate 30 Pro and if they read this, send a handset our way to test and offer samples of reference.  As of now, their new handset is the one to beat. -HSC

Mid Range Professional Cameras:

This year the semi-pro camera market had some very good surprises when it comes to cameras that can shoot RAW files at very high quality and also allow for windowed slow motion modes.

Two of our picks are from Blackmagic design which is a known name in the affordable quality camera market. They have been able to deliver RAW and compressed RAW with BRAW format for very little investment compared to many other brands.  The quality delivered by these cameras are really cinema-quality so the trade-offs when stepping down are more to do with changing a camera system for producers rather than giving up the footage grading ability or low light performance.

Third Place: URSA MINI PRO 4.6K G2

The URSA Mini Pro G2 had a firmware update mid-year that allowed for 300fps in a windowed 2k pixel mode that has great quality and can be stabilized for excellent 1080p production quality.  For under $6k for body only the price is not that high for a camera that can really bring your production values up.   It gets a third place because the cost of owning the camera goes up with accessories like media, lenses, batteries, monitoring, and storage for editing. A good kit can easily get in the 15k range. The BRAW format is excellent but not for everyone.  ProRes is also a possibility and probably what many producers will shoot in when need to deliver in a rush.

High Speed Frame Rates on the URSA Mini G2:

Blackmagic RAW 8:1

4.6K Full – Up to 120 fps
UHD Windowed – Up to 150 fps
HD Windowed – Up to 300 fps

With 4k UHD at 150fps it makes for a killer feature rarely available on other cameras and the 300fps in HD or 2k allows for that extra oomph within your creative shoot.

300fps UMP G2 test 190629 by Reel Eagle Studios: → Continue Reading Full Post ←

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2018!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS 2018

As 2018 comes to a close it is time to look back through the year’s camera releases and see which delivered quality at an affordable price in slow motion.  Phone slow motion options above 480fps were a big surprise this year and the frame rate quality improved in other cameras up to 240fps.

There has been a stagnation in the mid to professional camera range at the 240fps with no big improvements afterward. The best quality and value once again came from the Chronos 1.4c from Krontech and the edgertronic cameras which offer professional quality results at a very reasonable price. Read on for our best of 2018 results!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS of 2018:

Without further ado here are what we believe are the best value slow motion cameras in their respective categories for the year 2018:

Best Slow Motion Phones:OnePlus 6, 6T, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 9, Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ3 series!

The best slow motion phones of 2018 are in our view the OnePlus 6 & OnePlus 6T which offer the same Slow Motion quality and features at 480fps 720p with a recording time of 3.75 seconds which translate to a full minute of playback at a 30p frame rate timeline. This is unmatched by any phone and while the quality is still not ideal, it is, however, the undisputed king of usable slow motion.

Other phones in the running like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 offer 960fps recording for up to 0.2 and  0.4 seconds which is a very short time frame to catch the action. Sure they offer twice the frame rate as the OnePlus 6 at 720p HD as well but the time restriction just gets it to second place. The Samsung phones do have better 240fps continuous recording which is something to take into consideration.

The Xperia Sony Phones XZ2 and XZ3 are 960fps phones that record at 1080p resolution which is a first for any phone. Problem is they record at just a very tiny sliver of time. The 0.1-second recording is so small a window that the phones are just next to useless for serious slow motion use.  Furthermore,  the phones at 720p only double that time recording to 0.2 seconds which is 6.4 seconds of slow motion at 30p playback.

OnePlus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S9+ super slow-mo by Fun4sure:

The big surprise in the phone space was the iPhone is no longer a class-leading slow motion phone, same goes for the Google pixel which capped performance at up to 240fps only.  Both of the big tech companies nearly forgot about slow motion this year while our phone leaders OnePlus, Sony and Samsung used it as one of the top features to tout the feature set.

As a Side Note, OnePlus just released a new variant of the OnePlus 6T called the 6T McLaren Edition which also offers the exact same camera performance in the regular 6 and 6T. The big change comes in faster charging and a 10GB RAM memory configuration which will probably be unnoticeable compared to an 8GB 6T in real use. The extra price tag is mostly for the look and feel so we recommend the 6T and regular 6 OnePlus variants as better options for value. All of these phones have the exact same slow motion specs.

Winner: OnePlus 6T and OnePlus 6!

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Mid Range Professional Cameras: Panasonic GH5s, Sony a7 III, and Sony PXW-Z90V!

3rd Place: We were excited by the announcement of the Panasonic GH5s earlier in the year as the rumors showed 240fps 1080p continuous recording.  Sure the spec was included in the camera but the results were an aliased and moire prone image that made it unusable for professional use at 240fps. The camera does offer excellent 1080p at 120fps and slightly reduced resolution at up to 190fps.  The 240fps mode is usable but you will not want to shoot anything for a client with it as the quality drop is severe.  The Panasonic GH5 of 2017 is actually a higher quality 180fps image than the GH5s which seems to be based on the sensor itself being able to out resolve and scale the image down with more detail retention. We still think that unless low light is your prime focus, the Panasonic GH5 is still the better choice for frame rates in the Panasonic portable Mid-Range Professional cameras.

Panasonic Lumix GH5S + DJI Ronin-S | 240fps Slow-Motion Footage by Tom’s Tech Time:
→ Continue Reading Full Post ←

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS OF 2017!

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS

The end of 2017 is upon and its time to look back through the year’s camera releases and see which delivered quality at an affordable price in slow motion.  HD quality slow motion options took a big leap this year in the phone space and on new entrants in the semi-professional camera fields. It was quite a year in many respects!

Many promised cameras still have not seen the light of day which means they will not be counted in the running. Only cameras that are shipping in quantity with a reasonable wait time and available now are being considered for this post. We will still make note of what may be coming soon for high-speed enthusiasts.

BEST SLOW MOTION CAMERAS of 2017:

Without further ado here are what we believe are the best value slow motion cameras in their respective categories for the year 2017:

Best Slow Motion Phones: iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X & Sony Xperia XZ series!

The best slow motion phones of 2017 are the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X with no real resolution match competitor.  They offer 240fps at 1080p and 240fps at 720p with improved quality from their older siblings the iPhone 7.  Furthermore, they offer frame rates in a continuous recording stream which is not the case for the other important slow motion phones of 2017 the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, XZs, and  XZ1 which are time-limited.

The iPhones also have 4k 60p continuous recording which is a first on a phone with pretty respectable quality. It will not match dedicated 4k cameras like the Panasonic GH5 but it is by far the best phone video quality we have seen when it comes to 4k and higher frame rates. The 240fps 1080p mode is higher quality than 720p but slightly lower than true 1080p so keep that in mind. If you need a phone with excellent video quality the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are hard to beat and they all feature the same quality recording.  We, however, would pick the iPhone 8 Plus as the best value of the three handsets due to the optical stabilizer inclusion at a lower price.

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Option #2 The Xperia XZ premium from Sony was the flagship release for the year for the brand and it introduced what they call Motion Eye™ technology. It is a sensor module with built-in DRAM like what we see in their Sony RX camera line. It allows for 960fps recording in US Phones and 1000fps in Europe at 720p resolution. There is a catch however as the recording time is limited to 0.2 seconds which translates to 6 seconds at 30p of 960fps like super slow motion. Pressing the button again lets you capture another burst.  The built-in memory is too low for full recording more than 200 frames in a single burst.  The quality is also lower than 720p if you inspect the footage which is aliased and with compression artifacts which is not ideal.

This, however, will be useful for people looking for recording true slow motion for some time albeit short.   Sony released two cheaper phones with the XZs and XZ1 being much more affordable.  Out of the three, we believe the XZs is a good value and a better balance of price/features. If you only want the Motion Eye feature the XZ1 will have comparable quality for much less. The XZ phones will be our #2 choice for a slow-motion phone in 2017 after the iPhones.

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Mid Range Professional Cameras: Panasonic GH5, Sony a9, and Sony a7R III!

We were quite surprised by the Panasonic Lumix GH5 this year as it not only supports a higher frame rate of 180fps 1080p to its two year older sibling the GH4 at 96fps 1080p but did so with improved quality. It also delivered the goods with 60fps 4k recording at 150Mbits/sec and 10 bit video recording 4:2:2 at 4k 24,30,25, 1080p up to 60fps 10 bit and anamorphic 6k with the latest firmware update. There is no question that the GH5 is the most capable bang for your buck in the video world for 2017. It has so many video-centric features like waveform monitor and XLR audio inputs via the optional adapter.  All frame rates are continuous shooting as well with no time limitations.

In our GH5 image quality analysis, we saw that the camera did excellent resolution at 1080p 60-120fps with no drop in quality but anything above that 128-180fps did have resolution loss that created aliasing and moire artifacts with some detail drops that were not ideal. Still, the 180fps mode is usable for many situations that do not need extreme detail retention. The 4k 60p mode is also excellent quality and can be relied upon if you do not use it to record things like water splashes or grains of sand which can break the 150mbps codec.

The elephant in the room when it comes to the GH5 is the recently announced Lumix G9 which is a photo-centric camera that offers 180fps 1080p and also 4k at 60fps just like the GH5 for $1699 instead of $1,998. However, there are recording time limitations on all video modes, no 10 bit recording,  No XLR adapter, Lower bit rates and it also ships in February 2018 which makes it ineligible for our list.  Still, it may be good enough for your needs. Pre-order here at Amazon.com the Panasonic G9.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is our #1 Mid Range Professional pick of the year for high frame rate enthusiasts! 

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Option #2 As for our other picks in quality Mid Range professional slow motion capable cameras, we have the Sony a9 and Sony a7R III which both offer Full HD 1080p 120fps with a twist. You can Autofocus continuously in the 120fps mode like you would on the other video modes and the focus is not only quick but highly accurate in tracking subjects. The Lumix GH5, in contrast, has no AF in 180fps mode.

The 120fps 1080p modes in these cameras are also flawless in detail and color quality with no aliasing or moire to speak of. The quality is derived from a higher megapixel supersampled image which delivers the best 120fps slow-motion quality we have seen on an affordable camera yet.  If you are happy with 120fps then any of these two cameras should be your pick for 2017. If you need more, however, there are other options.

Of the two Sony cameras, we recommend the a7R III for the $1,300 USD savings compared to the Sony a9 at just $3,198 for the a7RIII instead of $4,498 for the a9 which is a sports photography geared camera.  The 4k footage at 24, 25 and 30p coming out of these cameras is also magnificent with an incredible low light performance that the Lumix GH5 cannot match along with better still image performance from full frame sensors.  The Sony a7R III and a9 are our #2 pick for 2017 in this category! 

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Action Cameras: GoPro Hero 6 Black & Sony RX0!

We saw the resurgence of GoPro as a brand in 2017 with it posting much-needed profits and more market penetration. The Hero 6 Black announcement and subsequent adoption by many as the new standard in image quality for action cameras made it an easy choice for our action camera of the year.  With 240fps 1080p recording and 4k 60fps with a new stabilization system that relies on gyro information and crops the sensor to create a very gimbal-esque looking image left us impressed.   The 1080p 240fps quality left us wanting more as the resolution does drop and suffer in this mode with aliasing and moire showing in shots and it is basically unavoidable.  The 1080p 120fps is better and offers a good compromise but we were expecting a broadcast quality 1080p 240 format from GoPro.  The killer weapon on the Hero 6 black we believe is the 2.7k 120fps mode which offers very good quality and ability to crop and stabilize afterward.

=&0=&

Video Resolution Frames Per Second (fps) – NTSC [PAL] Field of View (FOV) Screen Resolution
4K 60 [50] Wide 3840×2160
30, 24 [25, 24] Wide, SuperView 3840×2160
4k 4:3 30, 24 [25, 24] Wide 4096×3072
2.7K 120 [100] Wide 2704×1520
60, 30, 24 [50, 25, 24] Linear, Wide, SuperView 2704×1520
2.7K 4:3 60,30, 24 [50, 25, 24] Linear, Wide 2704×2028
1440p 120, 60, 30, 24
[100, 50, 25, 24]
Linear, Wide 1920×1440
1080p 240 [200] Wide 1920×1080
120, 60, 30, 24 [100, 50, 25, 24] Linear, Wide, Superview 1920×1080
720p 60 [50] Linear, Wide 1280×720

 

As you can see the Hero 6 black Action camera is a frame rate monster.  We think it is the best value for money in this space for 2017.   Until Sony or Yi create something more compelling but likely in 2018.

Absent is the 720p high frame rate modes which were always in GoPro Cameras. The Hero 5 Black had 720p 240 and we were expecting 480fps at 720p for the Hero 6 Black which did not materialize. It seems to be hardware limited to the sensor as it cannot sample frames at that windowed or downsampled resolution. We hope GoPro creates a sensor/camera combination in 2018 that resurrects this capable HD slow-motion mode. The Hero 6 Black is our #1 Choice for 2017 in this category!

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Option #2 The Sony RX0 is a strange camera. It is not capable of recording 4k internally and requires an external recorder but it does offer quality geared for TV and film production.  It has a 1″ CMOS sensor with BSI technology delivering outstanding image quality at full HD up to 60fps.  It Outputs 4:2:2 UHD 4K Video via HDMI which is a first for a camera of this size.

RX0 Slow Motion HFR Mode 1000 fps Recorded at 1920 x 1080p
960 fps Recorded at 1920 x 1080p
500 fps Recorded at 1920 x 1080p
480 fps Recorded at 1920 x 1080p
250 fps Recorded at 1920 x 1080p
240 fps Recorded at 1920 x 1080p

It has the same technology as the RX series of cameras when it comes to slow motion but the quality is not up to par with those cameras.  Still, we believe the 240fps quality is a match for the GoPro and why it competes head to head with it when it comes to high frame rates.  Even when the camera can record 1000fps at 1080p it is really a sub VGA resolution interpolated codec and one you should avoid if you plan to broadcast.  All of these HFR modes including the 240fps mode are time limited to just under 3 seconds so that is another big negative.

It could be the camera you can fit in a crash vehicle where you need higher frame rates but it is far from ideal with its limited resolution in internal recording and hardly the best when it comes to usability. Still, the quality recorded from this camera matches or exceeds the GoPro with less distortion at 1080p.   The RX0 Price at $698 USD compared with the Hero 6s $499 and $399 when on sale may put off some buyers. What we want to see from Sony is an RX0 Mark II with internal 4k 60 or 120p and 1080p 240 unlimited recording time.

The Sony RX0 should be an option for you if you want broadcast quality 1080p and can live with limited time recording of ultra-fast frame rates on a 1″ sensor which is huge for a camera this size. A strange but powerful camera that has room to improve.  Let’s get 4k internal recording next year Sony!

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Professional but Affordable Slow Motion:  edgertronic SC2X & Chronos 1.4!

In 2017 there is no contest when it comes to excellent quality slow motion cameras you can afford. The edgertronic SC2X with over 2000fps full 1080p HD quality using an APS-C sized sensor is our pick for uncompromising broadcast quality high-resolution slow motion gear.  See our full review of the SC2X here!

The camera launches with 1910fps 1080p as a top broadcast spec just a few months ago but Sanstreak the company behind the camera has released an Overclocking Software Update that transforms the camera into a 2000fps, 2200fps and up full 1080p HD monster. As with all software updates on the edgertronic line, these are free of charge.

While the camera’s price tag at $15,990 may put off enthusiasts and small studio buyers, it is really a steal for this kind of quality. A camera that does full HD 1080p at over 2000fps is usually reserved to $50k USD kits without it being ready to shoot. Those other cameras require expensive memory modules, cabling, monitors and more just to start recording.   The edgertronic SC2X comes in a ready to shoot package which also includes a Nikon f1.8 50mm lens and all the cables you need to start shooting out of the box. It even includes an 8GB SD card which allows you to save about 40 clips in H.264 high-quality 1080p format and over 60 clips in lower quality compression which is still better than most.

In our full review, we took the camera through its paces and it impressed us with the ability to retain excellent detail across all of our adapted lenses with no hints of aliasing or moire that could ruin shots. This camera is ready for TV and Film production which is the primary market of the SC2X.   The camera also does 2,814 fps at 720p HD if you need more speed and if you add overclocking up to 3,642fps at that resolution. The camera tops out at over 24,000fps at the reduced resolution of 1920*96 pixels.

The edgertronic SC2X is the first affordable Full HD 1080p camera that you can really own, with ease of use to boot; this makes it our professional camera of the year and should be top on the list for any serious video producers that want that edge in super slow motion!

For more information and ordering an edgertronic camera visit: https://edgertronic.com/our-cameras/sc2x

Option #2: Chronos 1.4c

The Chronos 1.4c was a camera that got its Kickstarter Campaign late 2016 and was featured in our upcoming camera section last year.  This year the camera shipped as promised and has surpassed 300 delivered cameras

The camera is a self-contained ready to shoot block with included 5″ touchscreen and it is very easy to use once you get the hang of it.

  • 1280×1024 1057fps CMOS image sensor with 1.4Gpx/s throughput  1,502fps at 720p HD
  • Global shutter LUX1310 image sensor –  8.45 x 6.76mm, 6.6um pixel pitch

As you can see for $2,999 USD, there is a lot of value here for run and gun shooters.  Its price is really groundbreaking when it comes to serious slow motion devices.

Krontech.ca has really done a good job of providing a solid camera at this price.  However, it is not our #1 recommendation because the small 2/3″ sensor has several drawbacks compared to the APS-C of larger cameras like the edgertronic.  The low light ability is limited, with pixels at 6.6 µ instead of the SC2X at 1.0 µ which are gigantic by comparison.   Compression on the Chronos 1.4c is very good at about 40mbps for 720p but image artifacts are also encoded due to the smaller sensor.  Noise and banding become problems in non-ideal conditions which means this camera needs a lot of light to deliver a good HD image.  There is also some moire and aliasing patterns in detailed objects and the extra kit lens is an ok lens but quite soft wide open.

The Chronos, when shot properly, can deliver excellent image quality when not using C mount lenses which tend to be softer and full of aberrations compared to Nikon or Canon for example. The Camera with adapted 35mm lenses really shines and allows for extreme reach with a  4x crop. For example, a 100mm lens is equivalent to a 400mm, while a 400mm lens becomes a 1600mm lens. This is a plus for nature enthusiasts but a pain for studio shooters. You will need to use super wide angle lenses for tight spaces.  We found the camera with a 20mm lens is pretty usable indoors giving it enough back throw space for 80mm.

The Chronos 1.4c is a very new camera which is still evolving in software. Support for most of the side camera ports as of this writing is not ready but planned to be released next year, this, however, doesn’t impede the camera to shoot as is.  It is certainly a great option for 720p shooters who do not need very sharp and detailed image quality for a client that demands broadcast quality.

It is a great camera for education, experimentation, and youtube but if you need uncompromising quality you need a different camera with a larger sensor area. Maybe Krontech will release a 1080p camera with a larger sensor one of these days.

For more information about the Chronos 1.4c camera and ordering information please visit:  http://www.krontech.ca

P&S / Prosumer Cameras: Sony RX10 IV & Sony RX100 V!

For the second year in a row, we had to include the RX100 V Point & Shoot camera from Sony as there was no RX100 VI release. The little camera has up to 960fps in the US and 1000fps in Europe as specs and has up to 3.8 seconds recording in high-quality mode at higher frame rates.

The new RX10 IV brings all the technology of the RX100 V but with the added reach of a 25x 5 axis stabilized super zoom lens and incredible AF performance with continuous subject tracking. In our view, the RX10 IV is very hard to beat for value and has excellent image quality.

Sony RX10 IV Camera Specs:

  • 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.4-4 Zoom Lens
  • 24-600mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 2.36m-Dot OLED Tru-Finder EVF
  • 3.0″ 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • UHD 4K30 Video, Full HD 1080p at 960 fps
  • Fast Hybrid AF System with 315 Points
  • ISO 12800 and 24 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • MSRP $1,698.00
Sony RX10 IV Recording Frame Rates & Resolutions:
Video Recording Yes, NTSC/PAL
Resolution 3840 x 2160p: 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
1920 x 1080p: 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
1920 x 1080i: 60 fps, 50 fps
1280 x 720p: 30 fps, 25 fps
1920 x 1080p: 240 fps, 480 fps, 960 fps
1824 x 1026p: 240 fps, 480 fps, 960 fps
1676 x 566p: 240 fps, 480 fps, 960 fps
1920 x 1080p: 250 fps, 500 fps, 1000 fps
1824 x 1026p: 250 fps, 500 fps, 1000 fps
1676 x 566p: 250 fps, 500 fps, 1000 fps

Be aware that all the RX series only record near Full HD quality at up to 240fps, everything after that resolution the quality drops considerably and pixels are up-sampled to 1080p for final recording.  Resolution above 240fps is under 720p HD and at 1000fps its under NTSC VGA.

Greenfinch and Chaffinch argue. Sony RX10 IV slow motion 250 fps by Lothar Lenz:

The Sony RX Series continues to be the best slow-motion camera for value in the point & shoot market. Their CMOS Stacked Sensor technology with included memory and 1/32000 shutter speed allows for some amazing capabilities with a lower price tag. If you want to dabble in these cameras and do not want a larger more expensive RX10 IV, then last years favorite camera in the segment the RX100 V is a great deal at $948.00.

The Sony RX10 IV and RX100 V earn our HSC Top Pick for 2017 for this segment!

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End of Year Message:

Nearly 4 years ago we started this website with the hope of illuminating the affordable high-speed camera space for all readers. We are now approaching 7 million readers and hundreds of regulars which shows our mission is working.

However, all this success also brings in extra costs in hosting, maintenance and staff.   Hence why it is important for our readers to purchase gear and other products from our recommendations and banner ads. Also disabling your ad blocker helps us in an enormous way, ad blockers are good in moderation but really destroy our ability to offer you free timely content. Without your patronage, we would not be here.  Please support us by also shopping through our website links which give us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

We thank all of our readers and those who have supported us in one way or another this year with comments, information, and recommendations.  Our mission is to continue to cover the affordable slow-motion market for 2018 and beyond.

We thank you all and we hope you have a pleasant holiday season with your loved ones!   Shoot great stuff! -HSC

Check out: Best Slow Motion Cameras of 2020!

Check out: Best Slow Motion Cameras of 2019!

Check out: Best Slow Motion Cameras of 2018!

Check out: Best Slow Motion Cameras of 2016!

Check out: Five Best Slow Motion Cameras of 2015!

edgertronic SC2X Review – Part 3!

edgertronic SC2X Review - Part 3

Over the last seven weeks testing and shooting with the edgertronic SC2X  high-speed camera we have a complete picture of what this camera can do and where it can really shine. This camera is a special one in its own right because it is the breakthrough 1080p Full HD camera that achieves 2,000fps at excellent quality for film and TV productions.  This is a camera we have been waiting for a long time and it is all that we were expecting and more concerning quality and frame rates.

Part 3 of this review will focus on the camera’s portable setup capability.   We will also go into the newly introduced overclocking feature which makes the camera a lot more capable, things still left to add into the software platform that could improve the user experience and help in getting the shot plus, a conclusion for the SC2X review.

SC2X Camera Portability:

Being portable can be easily done with any laptop Mac/PC/ChromeBook connected to the camera Ethernet directly but unless you have a full rig support it becomes an exercise in frustration to carry a laptop all day. You will need a surface to support the computer while working in the field. That is not a problem for indoor use but for outdoor it becomes a harder setup to use and cabling can get in the way.

WiFi Router Wireless Setup:

The first idea was to create a wireless setup for the edgertronic that would let the camera be controlled by an un-tethered terminal computer.

By Connecting the edgertronic to a wireless router via an Ethernet cable we were able to control the camera from a WiFi setup by a Laptop or even a Tablet computer capable of running Google Chrome browser.

The delay came at about 1.3-1.4 seconds, so any adjustments in focus or position would be quick.  Be advised that the camera connected straight through an Ethernet cable to a PC or Laptop has about a 1 second delay.  So adding .3 or .4 seconds to form a wireless control machine is not bad at all.

At times the feed went down close to 1.1 seconds or close to par with a direct Ethernet connection. This was affected by distance, signal range and or position of the laptop or tablet. By using a Wireless N router we were able to have a consistent feed through a couple of walls and over 100ft without disconnections.  The camera was easily controlled and could be used from a different location within the range.   By using a 50ft Ethernet cable it was easy to connect the camera to the wireless router which was plugged far away.  By freeing the camera from a short tether it becomes a much more versatile tool.  You also have to think about power cords or portable batteries.  We went with the bescor power pack with 12v car adapter.  It gave us about 6.5hrs of continuous camera use.  After it ran out of juice the recharge was done over night.  Amazon has the battery kit with charger for under $80 here!

Another recent battery option is the Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini $239.95 MSRP. Which lets you power devices via standard AC Plug like your Laptop, charger and the edgertronic camera for up to 10 hours continuously.

 But why not go further and go even more portable? Wifi routers are good and all for a building, factory or laboratory but what if I just want to take the camera out for a spin and catch some nature shots?

Tablet Control With Ethernet Adapter:

By connecting the edgertronic to a tablet directly you get the low latency of 1 second refresh of the live image and complete touch control of the interface.  The setup will work either with Android powered tablets like the Galaxy Tab series and or the Apple iPad with an Ethernet adapter that works with it.

We found an Ethernet adapter for our Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ Tablet on eBay for around $12 US.  Here is a link to a search for this particular adapter on eBay! Be advised that many sellers on eBay sell refurbished products that are not new. If the price is too low it probably is a re-manufactured unit even though it is listed as new.

Our Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ has about 10hrs battery life normally at half brightness, with the Ethernet adapter it was reduced to under 6hrs at medium brightness. When out in the sun we needed full brightness which reduced the battery life to 2.5 hrs for a 100% charge.  Once focused and set up if you have access to a wired controller we suggest locking the tablet to save battery.

The configuration to connect to the camera on Android looks as follows, probably close on Apple iPads:

  • IP Address: 10.11.12.1
  • NetMask: 255.0.0.0
  • DNS address: 10.11.12.13
  • Default Router: 10.11.12.13

It was a completely different experience to use the edgertronic while on a portable setup with a Tablet.   The camera, the adapter, the lens, the trigger and battery all fit in a small shoulder bag. With a lite tripod added to the mix you have a portable high speed solution that can go anywhere and film wildlife or other nature subjects.  If you get an edgertronic camera you really need to try a setup that is as portable as this, it becomes very close to what a DSLR is able to do for portability when shooting video. 

We recommend you choose a larger tablet as our 8.4″ Galaxy S did have it’s battery drained too quickly and the interface sometimes required portrait orientation to adjust settings.  A 12″ tablet would make this setup even more impressive while a 10″ will make it very portable still.

Nano USB powered Router and Tablet/Laptop:

The last method for edgertronic portability came courtesy of =&0=&who also=&1=& Marcus decided to try the ZyXEL nano wireless router.=&2=&

The router is so small that you can Velcro it to the side of the edgertronic and by connecting it to USB on board the camera “powered by the edgertronic SC2X itself it becomes a full featured wireless access point that can be accessed by laptops, PCs, tablets and even smart phones. We did not try this method first hand but many edgertronic owners use this method for portability. We expect the delay from live preview to be around 1.2-1.4 seconds same as our wireless router test. Very nice!

Here is the setup; Camera is connected to the router by USB for power and a small 1ft Ethernet cable is connected from the edgertronic SC2X to the router. Then the Router feeds wireless data to any device with a chrome browser and WiFi. Pretty ingenious setup!

If you want complete freedom from the camera and want to control it wirelessly and with minimal cabling, having the nano router setup is the way to go.

Notes on SC2X Portability:

The power of the portability options create a camera setup that is able to be anywhere and everywhere.  Underwater setups would require something more sophisticated as wireless signals are unreliable when it comes to water, they will either not reach anywhere or reflect too much to be a coherent stream.  For setups in every other scenario the portability of the edgertronic is both easy and relatively cheap to achieve.

Be aware that using the camera out in nature will need a very bright screen to be able to read the interface in the sun. Tablets and laptops even at full brightness may become hard to read or judge focus on the interface.  Having a shade screen for a tablet or laptop will help when dealing with sun issues.  Dealing with the California intense sunshine at HSC is great for high shutter speeds and frame rates but it’s torture for judging camera settings, so get a good bright screen that performs well in direct sunlight. Many of the newer OLED sceens with HDR do much better in sunlight due to newer coatings that are anti reflective.

We also can’t stress enough the unsealed aspect of the camera. The vents are not prepared for water splashes of any kind or sand/dust getting in there which includes the mount when changing lenses. Your camera might be wrecked if subjected to inclement weather in seconds.  Plan ahead with an EWA marine or other type of camera weather case/sleeve if you plant to be in humid or flying particle environments like the beach or industrial scenarios.   The camera can take enough heat to be in a sealed case for a while so that is a plus for harsh climate use.

Interface/Software Feature Checklist:

During our edgertronic SC1 & SC2+ reviews in the past we had suggestions for new features for the camera software and we will review progress on these and new unexpected features here.

I/O Points Before Saving (Implemented and Solid!)

Review Before Saving Feature √

We were expecting this feature for a while but now that we have it, there is no way we can go back and use the edgertronic without it. It works extremely well and saves so much time that we really cannot be more pleased with it.  Gone are the days of waiting for the entire buffer to be saved to the SD card and recording unnecessary information.  Now you can only record whatever you need of worthy information.  We set the feature to On and never looked back.  This is an excellent free upgrade to all edgertronic users from the SC1, SC2, SC2+ and now the SC2X.

 

Histogram: (Still Missing X): While the edgertronic SC2X has good dynamic range and hardly misses exposure it does present a problem with highlights when over exposed or shadows under exposed clipping data.

Having a histogram is an ideal way to avoid under exposure and over exposure in the footage. The absence of RAW shooting makes this feature needed even more.  While exposure has to be judged on the live screen, it is sometimes extremely hard to know if highlights will be blown out or shadows completely cut.   Judging exposure will become less of a guessing game.   A simple histogram is one of the most needed features for the camera to preserve all luminance values in a frame and dial the correct settings to maintain balance.

The Histogram should be live and positionable on screen. A color histogram with RGB values for the color edgertronic would be the icing on the cake!

Focus Peaking (Still Missing X)Focusing on the edgertronic is somewhat easy and if you have a large monitor more so. However, when you are outside in the sunshine or under extremely bright light, focusing is very hard.  Having Peaking with color accent on high contrast areas would be ideal to be able to accurately focus on the camera by adjusting the manual lenses.

The peaking issue and the histogram could be addressed by having HDMI out from the camera as many portable HD video monitors could be adapted and have both features instantly implemented as many brands have both exposure information and many more settings like false color, peaking and even LUT support.  Since the edgertronic has no HDMI out we have to wait for the software to offer these features if possible.

White Balance (Still Missing X): Balancing to white or gray should allow for a custom White Balance setting and some presets like tungsten, incandescent, daylight and maybe Kelvin. The edgertronic is already balanced to daylight right off the bat which is great if you are using 5600k light sources or sunshine as your main light sources.  Which should do well for most shots; however, if you are in different artificial lighting conditions the inability to adjust white balance is hard to cope with.

This feature is especially needed for TV and Film production.  The lack of RAW support (Which allows White Balance changes after the fact) makes this feature a must-have for serious filming.   Since the edgertronic SC2X is intended for the TV and film markets there is a real need for custom white balance or at least presets.

RAW File Support (Feature Request):

Since the edgertronic SC2X is geared to the TV and Film crowds then RAW file support while saving is very important.  Many times you have to grade the look of a file to match other cameras, RAW support allows for your editing program to make this process much easier as both color correction and S curves can be applied after the fact.  It may be even possible that ISO value could be factored in after the fact like the RED cameras do. But we will be more than happy with white balance, a flat image and the ability to recover highlit/shadow information. This will liberate the image from the 8 bit wrapper constraint which the sensor is subjected to by loosing at least two stops of dynamic range in the process.

The camera is still gradeable and most images taken with it can be tweaked and fixed in post to fit your needs but the RAW support will be an excellent feature for TV & Film production users.

If implemented we wish to see Adobe DNG RAW as the standard used. It is freely available, no royalties for camera manufacturers, easy software compatibility and should be relatively easy to implement.   Saving to this format will require a longer recording time and probably will not be ideal for SD cards. a Portable Hard Disk which can be plugged into the edgertronic is an easy solution as is Ethernet and python scripted file server if needed.

File Browser: (Included but some missing features and GUI):  The SD card and camera file system can be accessed by a new tab and typing the following address: 10.11.12.13/static/mnt/sdcard/DCIM/

Note: The IP address of your camera can change depending on the connection used.

The file system HTML viewer lets you download any file from the camera be it a configuration file or a video.  There is no ability to rename and or delete a file if needed. This is better than having nothing but we would love to see a GUI file system accessed by the main user interface like the one below:

Ability to browse the SD card contents and Preview Saved Footage besides the current last recorded.   A simple HTML 5 based file system with the ability to rename, erase and copy clips to and from the SD card to a connected USB device.  Erasing a video should also erase it’s Exif file along with the clip.

NOTE: A way to access files and interface with them is planned for a future release of the camera software. 

Python Programming Support (New in camera software version 2.2 & Up):

The camera SDK here in the WIKI Page has allowed for some clever ways to program it for scientific purposes and or create party slow motion video booths. However, the Python support creates avenues for new features like the ones below:

Example uses:

  • Multishot auto save – Automatic save of multi-shot videos if the camera is idle for more than a specified timeout value.
  • Hardware watchdog timer – Enable the DM368 hardware watchdog timer to reboot the camera if the python code stops responding.
  • Auto download videos – After the camera is finished saving the video file, copy the file over the network using ftp or scp.
  • Email alert – Send an email when the storage device starts getting full.

Here is a larger explanation of Python Support from the edgertronic Wiki if you need more information:  http://wiki.edgertronic.com/index.php/Adding_python_code_and_URLs

NOTE: We have to point out that the absence at this time of these features above does not impact the usability and or performance of the camera today.  It works as a great slow-motion camera and it does so reliably with a robust set of features.  The open architecture allows for all sorts of features to be added in the future and if you do not see a feature you desperately need you can probably program it to fit your needs.

edgertronic SC2X Overclocking Feature Software v2.2.2g3 and Up!

 

During the middle of our review we received a new software update for the edgertronic SC2X camera. The new v2.2.2g3 patch discussed here at HSC allows for overclocking the SC2, SC2+ and SC2X cameras to offer even faster frame rates.  We spent a great deal of time making the most of this update and finding what setting you will probably want to apply in order to extract the most out of the new feature.

 

As you can see from the interface screenshot above you can apply overclocking easily from the main interface. Off means, there is no overclocking applied and all factory settings are used. A,B,C & D will each boost the camera’s speed by 5% for a total of 20%.

We have created a table that shows the frame rates that you can expect to get while using overclocking with the edgertronic SC2X Below:

As you can see from the table above, the gains in frame rate are pretty extreme in some cases.  It makes the camera a true 2,000fps 1080p Full HD capture device as we found the Overclock A setting to be nearly as clean as the stock 1,910fps 1920*1088 pixel stock setting.

The lower in the resolution you go, the more frames can be extracted from the sensor, overclocking makes the 1920*96 pixel 20,132fps now an effective 24,940fps camera if you need to capture a really fast event.  The camera at 1920*720p which is the HD 720p equivalent it goes from 2,940fps to 3,642fps over 700fps more which is the original edgertronic SC1 stock speed.  Nothing short of amazing by those numbers.

Overclocking is not a free lunch “In Our Sample”:

While the overclock settings in A and B showed consistent performance without much image quality degradation, the C & D modes started to show some line artifacts in some frames. They may or may not show depending on your camera as with all electronics; the yield on some of the chips can be different depending on the batch.  Some cameras may do better than others.  We found that under the 1st second of recording there were no artifacts in the image even in the C & D overclocking but anything past that point they did show up the further in the buffer we went.  Either information gets corrupted as more of it is written or the memory is generating signal noise at those speeds.

Note: According to edgertronic our camera sample is alone in showing these color artifacts. Their other SC2X cameras do not exhibit these artifacts in testing.  As we mentioned above, some semiconductor yields are better than others and that may be part if it. All cameras work fine in standard modes, overclocking is an experimental feature and should be treated as such. Also, a fix could be in the works for the artifact if it affects more cameras.

That said the A & B settings are completely usable and free of the artifact in our review camera, but will require you to properly light the scene being shot by filling every shadow that you want to conserve detail with some extra lights.  Overclocking increases the image noise and the higher you go the more it shows up.  Overclock A setting is good enough for production if lit properly while B, C & D will be a matter of experimentation.

We consider the edgertronic SC2X a 2,024fps production ready 1080p camera due to it maintaining image quality with Overclock A and delivering excellent performance.  Like with any circuit overclock, your mileage may vary but a little should do fine for most users.

We recommend you stay at A & B settings and at 1920*1088 or 1920*1024 for TV and film shooting as these are the most reliable high-resolution overclock settings.   

You get nearly 2,300fps at the 1024px setting with overclock B.  A simple scaling to 1080p will not be too harsh and still could maintain broadcast quality. Not bad for a free out of spec feature!

Overall the overclocking feature is a win for the SC2X camera, it makes it even faster at capturing events and if you stay within the A & B settings quality is still very good.  For anything mission critical and only single take shoots then we would not venture above Overclock A setting. However, you should do some tests before you decide to use it on paid shoots.  The camera is excellent with overclocking turned Off, and usable with it on.   It will be a matter of weighing your priorities.   We, however, feel confident with the A setting as a usable feature on most occasions especially in well-lit scenes including full sunshine.

edgertronic SC2X Review Conclusion:

The edgertronic SC2X camera is a full featured high-speed option for TV & Film production in a segment of the market dominated by very few and prohibitively expensive equipment which is orders of magnitude more in price.

It creates a new market for 1080p full HD 2,000fps at “$15,990 USD”.  It gives film students, creative video professionals in television & film unfettered access to their very own professional grade high-speed camera at up to 20,000+fps at reduced resolution and a killer maximum shutter speed of 1/800,000 sec. Most consumer high-speed solutions cannot surpass 1/30,000 sec, so that is one crazy good spec.

It works with just about any terminal that can run the Google Chrome browser including Laptops, PCs, Macs, Android Tablets, Smart Phones or iPads with an Ethernet interface or wireless with the addition of a router to the mix.  The interface is straightforward and easy to operate with many features that will help catch the hardest of shots.  Pre-triggering and Post-triggering will allow any capture combination you can think of with an interface that lets you know in advance the maximum shot duration without doing any math.

edgertronic SC2X Footage Samples Part 2 – 1080p:

Resolution wise it delivers Full HD 1080p at 1,910fps stock and 2,024fps in the Overclock A setting. The closest competitor that is available and can shoot an anything close to these speeds costs at least 5x the price of the edgertronic SC2X. It is quite a marvel of a camera.

As an evolving platform, you get support now for preset favorites that let you recall settings commonly used and a way to browse within the browser the file system and download files to the host computer if needed. You get overlay data and a logo image if needed as well as a very useful frame counter for scientific and industrial uses.

The non-electronic Nikon F mount allows for a large combination of lenses to be used with manual focus properties and with the use of adapters several other lens brands. While some will want access to a Canon mount, it is a small compromise as it was intended for non-electronic operation in the first place. It is after all one of the better mount options out there.  If one mount could be chosen, we would go for the Sony NEX mount that has adapters for dozens of mounts including Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Leica, Pentax and PL. However, the Nikon F mount is a good compromise that performs as needed.

The edgertronic camera delivers very good resolution that when looked at in a 1080p display or TV; feels very sharp and detailed.

For those of you looking for the Realm of affordable 4k slow motion, you will have to wait a bit longer.  Most content is still delivered at 1080p and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. 4k Delivery on cable is close to non-existent and only services like Netflix, Hulu or Youtube allow for 4k delivery and with some serious bandwidth bottlenecks. The affordable 4k slow motion product will come in the future but 1000fps today costs over $100,000 USD in the Phantom Flex 4k , we estimate a long time before 4k high speed becomes commonplace.   You will be better off up-scaling the excellent 1080p image from the edgertronic SC2X to 4k and forget about 4k for now.  The camera has enough detail for most discerning viewers.

In the image above you can see that the camera delivers excellent 1080p sharpness across the board.  Upscaling to 4k UHD above yields excellent results that should be able to intercut with a film or TV show shot in 4k if needed.  Use your favorite scaling software and add a little sharpness to improve the results of your end product.

Image Artifacts: The Camera does have a few issues when detail gets extreme in shots with angled lines; like color moire.  High-speed cameras and regular cameras with no low pass filters exhibit the same artifacts. The edgertronic does not have a low pass filter which makes moire and aliasing more apparent and at the same time allows for a lot more of detail captured to be retained in the frame. However, the SC2X delivered excellent results with barely a hint of a moire problem in regular use. We were hard pressed aside from the chart test to see the appearance of color moire.

We did encounter some aliasing in shots containing strands of fibers like hair or fur, common in most cameras.  For the times for when detail will show these artifacts, you could always de-focus just a tad or add a softening filter to the lens. This will get rid of most artifacts the very few times when they will show up. Also, you can try an optical low pass filter like those made by Mosaic Engineering and adapt it to the edgertronic if needed see here!  The video below shows a low pass filter applied to a Nikon camera. It can make wonders to reduce artifacts from the lack of a built-in OLPF in your camera.

That said the edgertronic SC2X is able to handle almost every scene without artifacts showing up, the extra resolution if good enough to counter these compared to the previous edgertronics with 720p sensors. Resolution has its benefits and lack of artifacts in shots is a big one!

Codec: The H.246 codec in the edgertronic SC2X is very good at retaining detail and motion with no visible artifacts,  it is a great implementation of the variable bit-rate codec.  The case for RAW gets stronger if you need more dynamic range or want to process images with a RAW converter and the flexibility it allows when it comes to color, sharpening, white balance and noise suppression.  However, we were impressed by the cameras near 13 stop Dynamic range and beautiful color rendition.  The detail, color, and codec are all at professional levels of quality, certainly, there is no lack of motion bitrate for even demanding users here.

Files grade and are edited seamlessly on any modern computer system with beautiful color, tonality and highlight roll-off that are at the limits of what an 8 bit image can provide with nearly 60 megabits/sec when using high quality encode mode on a detailed scene at 1088p which is extremely high by any standard.

The open architecture of the camera allows for adding features or automated functionality for your applications. Be it a laboratory experiment or an automated photo booth.  You can completely automate the camera capture process and have an autonomous high-speed terminal for any use. The new Python language programming additions allow for even more customizability by allowing files to be saved on a remote server or computer for instant backup after the first save. These and other features are ages ahead of other prosumer cameras that shoot pseudo-slow motion like the Sony FS5 or FS700 which offer no programmability.

Who is it for: educators, scientists, industrial production line monitoring, hobbyists, imaging geeks, nature researchers, party photo booths, small and large video production companies for TV & film, sports coaches, universities and even NASA as the cost is so low compared to the performance achieved.

If you ever wanted to have your own high-speed camera for capturing nature wildlife, people, cinematic scenes, products for TV ads, food, people, and pets in full 1080p slow motion at up to 2000fps this is the camera for you! 

Who should pass on it: Soccer Moms, people that look for better low light ability and higher frame rates at 720p resolution “like the edgertronic SC2+ here”, point and shooters, scientists that care not for detail, industrial testing that is fine with 720p resolution and needs better low light and higher 720p frame rates.

The workflow on the edgertronic is simple but it is not for everyone, if you think that you want it to record your kid at soccer or baseball it could be a frustrating experience because of the lack of a built in screen. If you install a wireless nano router and use a tablet it becomes much easier but it is hardly at the level of a camcorder or point and shoot camera.  You need to think your shot, pre-focus, frame and prepare for every recording prior to clicking the trigger shutter.  Waiting for the camera to write a clip can also make you miss the next moment if you choose a very high frame rate that takes minutes to record and save. However, all of these issues become transparent after using the camera for a few days and becomes second nature with it becoming easier every time. The camera is very easy to use compared to most other professional slow motion options out there and this is no small detail.

Pros:
  • Dependable and solid design with 24/7 operation in mind.
  • High Quality 1,910fps Full HD 1080p is a first for this price range.
  • Large APS-C sensor with large 10um pixels excellent in low light.
  • Nearly 13 stops of Dynamic Range.
  • Well controlled noise pattern, easy to improve with NeatVideo if needed.
  • Costs less than 20% of competing high-speed products.
  • Excellent new feature Review Before Saving – Saves Time/Space!
  • Programmable/customizable with SDK and Python support.
  • Multi-Camera Triggering Capability – Genlock and Network Sync
  • Ethernet 10/100 and dual 5v Powered USB ports included.
  • Nikon Mount allows for the use of hundreds of available lenses.
  • Complete kit with 50mm lens, cables and Trigger shipped in box
  • Wiki page has a wealth of information on the camera and more.
  • Uses H.264 codec with high-quality encoding to SDHC Cards.
  • Controlled by any device that runs Google Chrome browser.
  • Easy to use out of the box with Automatic Sensor Calibration.
  • Includes Mechanical Shutter for Automatic Black Calibration!
  • Multi-Shot Support which allows several recordings before save.
  • Small footprint allows for portability and custom enclosures.
  • Small Portable 12v batteries allow it to work for up to 10hrs+.
  • Custom info, frame# and logo can be burned in footage if needed.
  • Can be operated remotely with an Ethernet network connection.
  • Active software development continuously adds new features and fixes found bugs.
  • Easy upgrade and switch for edgertronic SC1 or SC2, SC2+ Camera owners. Plug and Play Replacement!
Cons:
  • Camera lacks weather sealing, requires external casing for wet and dusty environments. Like an EWA Marine Bag see here.
  • No Peaking to aid Focus, No Histogram to judge exposure, No Custom White Balance (Camera is Daylight Balanced) and No RAW/Flat Profile Support above 8 bits in color H.264.
  • Lack of built-in touch screen requires a device like a tablet or laptop for on the field portability. (This is by Design for encased environments)
  • Lack of internal WiFi module requires low-cost external solution.
  • Lack of HDMI Out means you cannot use portable monitors that offer peaking for focus aid and LUTs. (needed for TV and Film Production) – You will have to use an Apple or Android Tablet instead.

Verdict:

The edgertronic SC2X is a camera that the high speed imaging market had been expecting for a decade. Advancements in processing, sensor design, and economies of scale are used to port what is normally a $50k+ USD camera into a $15,990 package that is ready to shoot. This is a point that we have to emphasize because the performance offered here for the price is astounding  when compared to the rest of the market.

There is nothing shipping today that gets close to the features of this camera at 1,910fps Stock and up to 2,300+fps 1080p with overclocking enabled in this price range. If you want high-quality Full HD slow-motion video that is affordable above 240fps, 700fps, 1000fps or 2000fps the edgertronic SC2X is the only game in town as of this writing.

The camera is rock solid with no crashes or reboots at all during our 7 week testing. The camera is designed for 24/7 operation and it shows engineering that is refined and time-tested.

It’s open architecture and programmability makes it adaptable and extensible going forward. Continued software development improves the camera with every release and they do listen considering features we asked for in our earlier edgertronic reviews.  The implementation of Review Before Saving and further image quality improvements are just two features that are already implemented in the current release for all edgertronic cameras.

This shows a dedication to the user base that most other manufacturers ignore after a couple of years of a camera’s release.  Your investment in a camera like this will continue to become valuable over time aside from the estimated revenue generated from TV, Web or Film production if that is your intention.

That said we wish they implemented a few remaining features like Peaking for focus, Custom White Balance with presets, RAW/Flat Profiles and a Histogram display in upcoming software revisions. All of which should be doable if there is high demand from users. edgertronic caters to the industrial and scientific crowds for the most part and are a strong name in those markets with heavy numbers of cameras being deployed by fortune 500 companies and research labs. The new edgertronic SC2X is their push to get into the TV, Web and Film production markets and as it ships today, it delivers on the majority of the features this crowd expects.  Having those missing features implemented will just make it easier to pull the trigger for this camera against competitive products or rentals.

We give the edgertronic SC2X camera our highest praise with the “Platinum Award” for making available for the first time to anyone with a mid-range professional camera budget; a high-quality Full HD super slow motion video camera that breaks the 1,000fps barrier at 1080p and goes above and beyond by doing it twice at 2,024fps using the excellent quality Overclock A.  The camera was a joy to use and the footage that you can record will leave you speechless most of the time.

The SC2X is a technological marvel that takes full advantage of modern technology.  If you are serious about video production, are tired high rental prices for dedicated slow-motion cameras and are looking for an edge over the competition, you should really take a deep hard look at the edgertronic SC2X which will probably be a crown jewel in your camera gear line-up!

MUST HAVE FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION!

Thanks to Mike Matter of Sanstreak for providing HSC the edgertronic SC2X color camera for this review & to the Sanstreak staff for support.

For more information about the edgertronic SC2X camera including ordering information please visit  http://edgertronic.com/

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Written and reviewed by James Benet © 2017

Footage Samples for this review:

Samples 2: