Tag Archives: tech

Samsung ISOCELL GN2 does 480fps!

The hegemony of phone sensors has been the purview of Sony with their Exmor sensors for many years but now Samsung has started making inroads in the space with their ISOCELL chips. The latest is currently mass-produced and shipping in handsets already which is not a paper launch, but a real thing. The chip is capable of massive low light improvement compared to other sensors because it is essentially a near 1″ sensor with 1/1.12-inch measurements. This is close to what Sony RX cameras use as a main sensor, and a first for a phone.

As to how they are able to fit this sensor on phones, it is a dance between a protruding camera bump that is a little larger than usual and also a lens system that creates a full imaging circle from a minute distance. The GN2 is capable of recording 480fps in HD 720p, 4k 120fps, 30fps in 12.5MP windowed size and 10fps in 100MP mode which uses a clever algorithm and three RGB exposures to derive a 100MP image from the 50MP source. → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Krontech Gets a Visit From Linus Tech Tips!

Krontech Gets a Visit From Linus Tech Tips! 1.4 Linus Tech Tips

Linus Tech Tips is probably the most well-known hardware enthusiast show on the net today. You can find all sorts of cool geeky stuff tested, assembled and destroyed in some cases.  This time it was the turn for Krontech.ca to get a visit from the Linus team which funnily enough is very close to them geographically in the vicinity of Vancouver BC, Canada.

There is a quick tour around the startup headquarters as well as a nostalgic look back at the prototype cameras that evolved in what we know today as the Chronos 1.4c which is capable of 1,502fps at 720p resolution and recently able to record in RAW 16bit DNG format which makes it professionally usable in any setting given an adequate amount of light.

Fast growth for a brand new company!

We got our own Chronos 1.4c camera about a year ago and the company has now shipped its 500th camera out into the world which is really big news for slow motion gear in such a short time.  They are being used in a variety of settings from gun ranges to school labs and the low price helps it to be adopted by many as an affordable alternative to testing out the high-speed waters.

We love the camera’s ability to point and shoot with the built-in screen and more so now that you can save in RAW format and get all of the data possible out of the sensor. The H.264 footage the camera records now needs a better de-bayering algorithm to extract color information without so many artifacts which are due in part to the small 2/3″ sensor.  The RAW cures the issue given enough light is used but we are told they are working to better the camera output each day. You can see the progress in the official forum here!

We congratulate Krontech.ca on reaching so many milestones quickly and growing fast to accommodate the firmware and software features that the camera was designed to support.  We expect great things in the future from this company and hope they can branch out of the 720p resolution in a future product and support 1080p or 4k.  In the meantime check the Linus Tech Tips Krontech video and have a laugh! -HSC 

More Info on the Chronos 1.4c Camera and order information here!

This Cheap High-Speed Camera is Made in Canada!! by Linus Tech Tips:

Sony New IMX382 Sensor Tracks Objects at 1000fps!

Sony New IMX382 Sensor

Sony is not only pushing the frame rate boundaries of CMOS sensors with their Stacked technology; but now it’s implementing and improving on the design with circuitry that can track objects with pinpoint electronic precision based on pixel colors, contrast, and motion vectors. The result the IMX382 is a complete tracking sensor solution that could one day be used for full AF during high-speed video capture by accurately representing the scene.

While 1000fps is not the end all be all of high-speed frame rate, the fact that it can accurately track with very little lag the object motion in front could one day translate into perfect autofocus capability for many types of cameras. Not only the focus department is improved by this technology but now you can use the sensor in all sorts of industrial, law enforcement, traffic cameras and monitoring solutions for robotics.

Sony New IMX382 Sensor Could Change Everything:

The demo shows the technology on things like coin counting machines that have to scan at superhuman speeds. But we can glimpse at a future where the camera is intelligent enough to track you, focus and become a full camera assistant that pulls focus precisely, becoming the ultimate Vlogger tool that will not break the bank or require a salary.

Auto Focus systems today do show promise by leveraging the power of phase detection along with intelligent algorithms to keep subjects in focus. Canon has as of now the most natural looking and dependable solution with its dual pixel AF technology present in cameras like the 80D and the 5D Mark IV. However these systems are not intelligently tracking subjects based on the preference on the shooter, with a few machine learning algorithms it could use the new Sensor’s 1000fps power to create a customizable tracking solution that could communicate motion to a free motion base or drone that tracks subjects and focuses accordingly without the ill effects of misfocus.

The sensing power of the sensor is limited to just above HD resolution at 500fps with 4 bits or 1000fps at just under VGA. This is not a problem for image quality as this is used only by sensing; not image capture.

500fps
1000fps
Quad-VGA (1280×960) 4bit
640×470 4bit

Sony is making leaps in technology with their sensors that are leapfrogging the rest of the market. In a few years, the Stacked sensor technology will probably be present in most cameras, phones, and monitoring solutions.  Robotics are in need of this technology as well by needing hyper fast optical input for decision making.

Will Autonomous cars use the new sensor?

Level 3 autonomy in cars will require the best sensors possible and ones that can detect in fractions of a second if the obstacle in front is a person, a deadly object or something soft. Cars will be making decisions that will either save lives or take them based on the least damage possible. Sensors like these could scan the scene much faster and be able to analyze things like motion of target, colors, and shapes before feeding it to the main onboard computers and make car autonomy safer than any test before it.  The future will be driverless cars and technology like this will make it possible.

How Google self-driving car sees a road by Yury Yurevich:

We hope to see these sensors in cameras soon, but take a look at the test cases below withing the press release by Sony. It is quite an impressive technology.  High speed is no longer just for shooting invisible time stamps but now could be incorporated in devices all over the environment.

You will now be monitored at 1000fps, so even magicians will have to up their game when playing card tricks!

Full Press Release and Demo Video Below:

Sony Releases a High-Speed Vision Sensor that Makes Detection and Tracking of Objects at 1,000 fps Possible
Stacked CMOS Image Sensor that Combines High-Frame-Rate Imaging and High-Speed Sensing

Sony Corporation
Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation

Tokyo, Japan—Sony Corporation today announced the release of the new IMX382 high-speed vision sensor, which enables detection and tracking of objects at 1,000 frames per second. Sony will begin shipping samples in October 2017.

This vision sensor features a stacked configuration with a back-illuminated pixel array and signal processing circuit layer. The circuit layer is equipped with image processing circuits and a programmable column-parallel processor, delivering high-speed target detection and tracking. This configuration enables high-sensitivity imaging thanks to the back-illuminated pixel array, with target detection and tracking at 1,000 frames per second. The new sensor uses information such as color and brightness obtained from pixels to detect objects, then extracts the object’s centroid, moment and motion vector, and finally outputs the information from the vision sensor in each frame.

  • High-speed vision sensor IMX382
Model name Sample shipment date Sample price (excluding tax)
High-speed vision sensor IMX382 October 2017 100,000 JPY

This vision sensor has achieved imaging, target detection and tracking at 1,000 fps on a single chip. This not only expands the scope of application but delivers new value that was difficult to obtain with conventional systems.

On past systems equipped with a 30 fps processing image sensor, it was not always possible to capture fast-moving objects and/or phenomena. At 1,000 fps, approximately 33 times faster in imaging speed than conventional chips, the new product can capture fast-moving objects and detect objects from image information, while using high-speed processing to extract information such as centroid, moment, and motion vector. Because the processing results can be output from the sensor in each frame, feedback to the system is faster than conventional methods. Delays in detecting anomalies or malfunctions in production lines at factories and other places can produce fatal results. However, this vision sensor makes it possible to instantly capture such events, so that orders can be issued quickly to stop the system.

Conventional industrial robots are normally operated by specifying motion coordinates using a program. Utilizing the high-speed tracking functionality of this vision sensor, however, enables real-time feedback to robots, enabling autonomous robot operation that is responsive to the movement and status of objects. This helps make robot teaching more efficient, contributing to improved productivity.

On conventional systems, the image processing required for detecting and tracking of objects has to be carried out at a later stage (on a computer, or other computing device). This vision sensor changes all that by delivering imaging, target detection and tracking image processing on a single chip. Not only does this make the later stage devices more compact and help to save overall system power; it also expands the new system development potential by eliminating certain physical limitations.

Timed with the sample shipping, Sony will also be providing evaluation kits. The evaluation kit consists of the camera and control software, making it easy to evaluate the sensor in diverse customer environments.

Sony is focusing intently on the sensing field and seeking to leverage its potential in the image sensor market. By integrating the imaging technology that it has developed over the years with sensing technologies that enable information acquisition and utilization, Sony strives to pioneer new applications and new markets for image sensors.

Main Features

1. Enables detection and tracking of targets at 1,000 frame per second

  • The signal processing circuit layer on the bottom of the stacked configuration is equipped with image processing circuits and a programmable column-parallel processor, delivering high-speed target detection and tracking. This construction enables high-sensitivity imaging with back-illuminated pixel array and achieves target detection and tracking at 1,000 frames per second.
  • The new sensor uses information such as color and brightness obtained from pixels to detect objects, then extracts the object’s centroid, moment and motion vector, and finally outputs the information from the vision sensor as a signal in each frame.

2. Built-in sensing function for a compact system and power savings

  • The product achieves imaging and image processing on a single chip. Not only does this make for a more compact overall system and power savings; it also expands the new system development potential by eliminating certain physical limitations.
  • For system output, in addition to the image data output pathway the chip is also equipped with an output pathway solely for sensing information, so users can select between them for their particular application.

3. Evaluation kit allows the sensor to be evaluated in diverse usage environments
The evaluation kit consists of a camera and software and is designed makes it easy to evaluate the sensor in a variety of customer usage environments.

  • IMX382 high-speed vision sensor configuration

Key Specifications

Number of effective pixels 1304 (H) ×976 (V), 1.27 megapixels
Image size Diagonal 5.68 mm (type 1/3.2)
Unit cell size 3.5μm (H) × 3.5μm (V)
Frame rate Viewing 60fps
120fps
Quad-VGA (1280×960) 12bit
640×470 12bit
Sensing 500fps
1000fps
Quad-VGA (1280×960) 4bit
640×470 4bit
Power supply 2.9V / 1.8V / 3.3V / 1.1V
Image format Bayer RAW / Black and white
Output MIPI (CSI2) D-PHY 864Mbps/lane

More information on this new sensor at the Sony site here:

https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201705/17-051E/index.html

fps1000HD Software Update Ads USB3!

fps1000HD Software Update

Warning: The parent company of FPS cameras “The Slow Motion Camera Company Ltd.” went out of business and entered liquidation proceedings. No further development of cameras is expected. More information here on Google Search

The fps1000HD camera has been shipping to the majority of the Kickstarter backers and initially it was limited in scope to a specific ISO, frame rate and other common settings.  That all changes with the latest firmware update which unleashes ISO, resolution selection, and USB3 support for live monitoring , control and real time video transfer up to 60fps.

While the software is still not downloadable it will be in a few days when a few bugs have been squashed. All owners of the fps1000HD will be able to upgrade their cameras and all future shipped cameras will also have the new firmware.

fps1000HD Software Update:

Below is the update by Graham Rowan explaining the features that will be available once the software is upgraded:

“New Software Release

I’m sorry for the delay in getting this update out – I was waiting until everything was complete but I realize that this never seems to come!

I have been working on a new software release which will enable the full functionality of the fps1000HD. Most of this is complete but I am still working on one piece which will allow you to exploit this functionality to the full (see below).

First, the new software provides the following new features:

ISO Control

There are now 4 ISO settings. As well as the standard 100, there are now 300, 600 and 1200 settings. The more sensitive settings allow the camera to be used in lower light conditions. However, as always, these settings will not be as good in terms of noise as the standard 100 setting. It is always best to use the best lighting possible but this does provide flexibility now where good lighting is not possible and the extra noise can normally be compensated for in post production.

Bee – fps1000HD 1280 x 720 @ 1,000fps 50% exposure by Graham Rowan:

Resolution and frame rate control

The following resolutions and frame rates are now supported:

  • 1280 x 720 @1,000fps
  • 1280 x 600 @1,200fps
  • 1280 x 540 @1,300fps
  • 1280 x 480 @1,500fps
  • 1280 x 420 @1,700fps
  • 1280 x 360 @2,000fps
  • 1280 x 300 @2,400fps
  • 1280 x 240 @3,000fps
  • 1280 x 180 @4,000fps
  • 1280 x 120 @5,000fps
  • 1280 x 60   @10,000fps
  • 640 x 360 @4,000fps
  • 640 x 300 @6,000fps
  • 640 x 180 @8,000fps
  • 640 x 120 @10,000fps
  • 640 x 60   @20,000fps

These are settable via the user LCD touch screen.

USB3 Interface

This is probably the most powerful feature opening the fps1000HD up to a range of new applications.

The USB3 interface offers 2 main functions.

Firstly, it allows the camera to be controlled from a host computer. For many applications the compact, hand-held camera is most suitable – where you want to be on the move and be prepared to snap anything that moves. However, many applications are in a controlled environment where the camera is set up on a mount focused on a fixed target. In many such applications the ability to control the camera remotely is required – for example filming explosions. You can now send commands over the USB3 interface to control all aspects of the camera. Everything that is available from the touch screen is now available via the USB3 interface.

But the most powerful features are enabled by the streaming functionality of the USB3 from the camera to host computer. Video can be streamed from the camera and viewed live on a computer screen. This offers the advantages of a USB3 camera but with the added benefit of the high speed image capture into the in-camera memory. The streaming of image data is at standard video rates (30-60fps) and is not required to be at full video speed as is normal with most USB cameras.

There are many use cases for this streaming of video data. First it can allow remote live preview of the target. This, in conjunction with the USB3 control feature described above, means the camera can truly be used in a remote situation. It also allows the host computer to be used as a live preview monitor. The live preview is available before and during image capture.

Next, the playback in slow motion of captured images can be performed via the streaming interface. This also allows movement back and forth through the captured images at any speed to locate clips of interest. This mimics the interface available via the LCD touch screen.

Finally, the fast streaming of captured data means that images can be saved also at real video playback speeds. This is orders of magnitude faster than saving images onto the SD card. Raw video can now be played back and saved at high speed.

I’m really happy to have finally implemented the features that I knew the USB3 interface would bring. All cameras already shipped have the necessary hardware to make all this possible with the latest software update.

Alfie 3 fps1000HD by Graham Rowan:

Software Status

The new software is fully implemented with just a few minor bugs to be ironed out. The USB3 interface is fully functional with the streaming initially running at 30fps. This will be increased with subsequent software releases – there is a lot of extra bandwidth available.

I will be providing a host side application to allow camera control and view streamed video. This is in an advanced stage and should be available next month. Initially PC support will be provided but Mac and Linux support is planned as well.

If anyone wants to use the USB3 control interface with their own applications then please contact me and I will give you the list of USB3 control codes.

Shipping Status

With the new software complete in the next few days I will be shipping out the remainder of the cameras to those who haven’t received their’s yet. I will also be sending out the new software to existing users. I have started on a download area of the website but will need to spend more time on this after the software release is out.”

We will keep you updated with fps1000HD and other cameras in the fps1000 roster once more information is released. – HSC

You can look at the specs and order an fps1000HD if so you choose at the: http://theslowmotioncameracompany.com

fps1000HD – the low cost high frame rate camera Campaign Video:

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Slow Mo Quality!

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

We have gotten a few questions about the EOS 5D Mark IV when it comes to it’s 120fps 720p slow motion mode.  We covered it back in August but samples were hard to find back then; all that has changed and now we can rate and position the camera in our HSC Camera Guide ranking.  While it will not win any contests for resolution or frame rate we think it is a good all around camera with useful features for video enthusiasts.

The negatives like high price,  Moire & Aliasing prone slow mo resolution, huge inefficient 4k bit rates on an old codec, 1.74x crop in 4k recording and big system bulk still apply for this camera.  The Panasonic GH5 for instance destroys the 5D Mark IV in the video spec department but that is ok considering the 5D Mark IV is a stills workhorse with a full frame sensor first and an excellent AF and high ISO performance package.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Ranking:

The final ranking on our Camera Guide for the 5D Mark IV is on the #20 spot as of today.  It edges just past the Panasonic GH4 because of the slightly higher frame rate and comparable softness but impressive High ISO which trumps that camera. It is below the excellent 120fps 1080p of the Samsung NX1 camera at #19 which was discontinued after it’s introduction due to lack of robust sales; a shame considering how many things the camera did well.

All in all the 120fps mode on the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is nothing to write home about; but it allows the professional still photographer to get some higher frame rates in video mode with twice the frames as the 5D Mark III which capped 720p at 60fps.  You still get aliasing and moire and a tendency to crop the sensor / line skip to get the final frame rate at 720p.

The 5D Mark IV is an excellent Stills camera with very robust Auto Focus Tracking in video mode however it is hardly a slow motion enthusiast’s first pick for their arsenal.

The Slow-Mo Video Samples:

Below are 10 120fps 720p samples from the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV for you to see and judge quality.

5DIV Slow Motion Test 120fps by Robert Patterson:

Canon 5D Mark IV – Cat Slow Motion Sample Movie // 720p @ 120fps by Aperture Media:

5D Mark IV 120fps Slow Motion High ISO Test by  Stephen Diaz:

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV】1280 x 720 120fps Ocean by mobile01:

5D Mark IV 120fps ring shot water drip by Ronnie Chan:

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV】1280 x 720 120fps Train by mobile01:

Review canon 5d Mark iv Slow Motion (720p/120fps) by Blessings The Wedding FotoMakers:

Canon 5D Mark IV 120fps test Water Glass by Ronnie Chan:

Canon EOS 5D IV】1280 x 720 120fps Tennis by mobile01:

Canon 5d IV 120 FPS by WEAP0NIZE:

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fps1000HD is Now Shipping in Quantity!

fps1000HD

Warning: The parent company of FPS cameras “The Slow Motion Camera Company Ltd.” went out of business and entered liquidation proceedings. No further development of cameras is expected. More information here on Google Search

The second fps1000 Kickstarter campaign the fps1000HD has reached a milestone with full production and all backer cameras to be shipped by mid January 2017.  The camera design was finalized before the campaign so no unforeseen technical problems would impede it’s production.

Most orders will ship via UPS unless a special request is made. The cameras ship with 256GB of Fast Flash Memory that give them a continuous recording of 720p video at 1000fps for up to 2 full minutes which is enough time for 83 minutes when played back at 24p on a video timeline.  The cameras record in DNG RAW sequences so that will be quite a lot of files.

Shipping Update by Graham Rowan:

“Shipments are beginning now for the fps1000HD. A little later than I had hoped due to slow deliveries from the factory. However, all cameras have been built and are going through final test and packaging. Deliveries will spill over into the new year for which I apologize. I hope to have shipped all cameras by the second week in January.

I thank you all for your support and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.” GR

What about the fps1000 4k and Hex?

The Gold, Silver and Platinum variants of the original fps1000 cameras are being scrapped due to unforeseen problems with the camera sensors not performing up to the claimed manufacturer spec. The quality of the image and frame rate characteristics with heavy fixed pattern noise were the main reasons.  Graham has stated that all of these camera backers will have a chance to receive an fps1000HD instead with an upgrade mark up and or receive a refund as time permits so they choose.  The fps1000HD is a vastly more powerful and better camera than the Gold, Silver or Original Platinum ever were in spec and this is a major upgrade. Graham will communicate upgrade pricing at a later date when he gathers enough responses from backers. We haven’t seen clamor from backers for refunds which should prove more solid for the fps1000HD option as a realistic upgrade with ready to ship on order production line.  This is a good option for backers of the project who want a high speed camera, and you get 2min rec time at HD resolution.

As far as the fps1000 4k and Hex models are still being worked on and working prototypes are being tested; Graham stays firm and continues to work on these projects fully and intends them to be products. We will share more information on these projects when it becomes available.

For More Information, pricing and ordering page for the fps1000HD camera you can visit the Company’s Website: http://theslowmotioncameracompany.com/

Dog Captured with the fps1000HD by Graham Rowan: