The Chronos 1.4c team based in B.C. Canada has been hard at work unleashing the features of the camera hardware and adding software features that should make the camera more valuable to video professionals everywhere. The new firmware adds HDMI live mirroring support for monitoring which is clean and lets you record its output. Another feature is the inclusion of native CinemaDNG save format image sequences which retain 16bits of color data and allow you to really streamline the workflow without time-consuming conversions.
In our testing over the last 4 days, we have really put the firmware “available here” through its paces and found very minimal issues in the software related to usability but no freezes and rock solid operation over around 14hrs of operation. By saving to CinemaDNG we have no issues with cards getting write space errors due to saving the 1.8MB files individually. We feel this format is really unleashing the camera’s quality fully with a faithful sensor capture representation.
The Chronos 1.4 team has been hard at work on firmware improvements. The latest pre-released software patch shared with HSC improves the h.264 file quality at the pixel level by using a new demosaic algorithm to better match the real camera output. We did a few sample tests to see how big an improvement it is and also to maybe ditch the slow and space eating RAW 16bit workflow which is our preferred file saving format as it retains all the sensor information.
The new improvements are already available to the community as a beta in this post. It is very stable it should immediately improve the way you work with the camera. Also, a new roadmap of upcoming firmware releases was shared in the forums which include HDMI monitoring and a complete OS change to Debian Linux from the current Arago distro for the camera which should improve development and speed in implementing features.
The FUJIFILM X-H1 which offers 120fps 1080p slow motion was a worthwhile effort to offer high frame rates that are usable to their video-centric base. It still was not as good as the Sony or Panasonic slow motion options due to aliasing, moire, and noise but with a little post work, it could be used with success in an edited piece. FUJI then with a firmware update for their stills flagship the X-T2 allowed the camera to now shoot the same 120fps 1080p slow motion which makes sense considering they use the same sensor on both cameras.
The camera site CVP has done a full comparison review here which pits the X-H1 against the X-T2 to see which camera strengths are ahead on each body and if it makes sense for X-T2 owners who are invested in a FUJI lens system to upgrade. Their findings are interesting and as far as slow motion it is clear that while they use most of the same imaging pipeline; the X-H1 has the edge with less crop, less aliasing, and better artifact suppression when using the 120fps slow motion mode.
The slow motion phone that was gathering a lot of interest regarding it’s capability was the Lenovo Zuk Z2 Pro with a spec reported to be 960fps. Such a spec would leapfrog the current iPhone 6s and Google’s Nexus 6P 240fps 720p spec. However it seems such bold claims are usually met with a reality that does not match such claims.
The Youtube channel C4ETech “Subscribe Here” has had a go with the Zuk Z2 and found that the spec is pretty much smoke and mirrors. The 960fps spec which was supposed to be HD quality and full frames is nothing more than 120fps 720p interpolated by software up to 960fps. It doesn’t even allow real 240fps like other competitive phone options.
The Zuk Z2 has been released and as it’s customary from many manufacturers they omit the slow motion or just mention it as an afterthought. According to the press release it does support 960fps video recording but nothing else is mentioned. There is a mention of the feature still not active in the pre release phone due to software lag which will be released at a later date.
That however has not deterred us from crunching some numbers and getting a good estimate from the Samsung 13MP ISOCELL sensor used which gives us clues as to what to expect in terms of higher frame rate support. lets dig in!
This week’s announcement of the Lenovo ZUK Z2 Pro smartphone has been plagued with misinformation and spec sheets that were not complete. We have received a full spec sheet for the phone now translated from Chinese that confirms the existence of 960fps video.
The phone will have 4k UHD video as well and a plethora of features that are completely new in smartphones like the ability to read wet fingerprints with it’s sensor and several health directed sensors like UV light, heart rate and blood oxygen which were also present in the Galaxy S6 last year. The slowmo spec is the standout feature for us!
The Latest on Hi Speed Affordable Imaging!