Freefly EMBER SYSTEMS – 5K 600fps and 4K 800fps in ProRes – Newsshooter

Freefly Systems has unveiled a new slow-motion camera called EMBER. The camera is capable of 5K 600fps and 4K 800fps capture in ProRes to an internal 4TB SSD.

Key Features

  • 5K maximum resolution at 600 frames per second
  • 4K, 800fps
  • Gpixel sensor
  • Fast iOS app workflow
  • Apple ProRes codec
  • Global Shutter
  • Wireless control
  • USB 3.2 Type C.

Freefly Systems has engineered EMBER to be the most efficient high speed camera ever built. The goal was to make it small, light and fun to use. What makes EMBER unique is that it can record continuous high-speed footage with no RAM-based clip limit directly to its internal 4TB SSD. Essentially what this means is that you can use Ember like any normal camera. Just click on record and it will capture the material like any other camera.

If you want to see footage of EMBER, Freefly Systems has quite a few clips Vimeo page.

The camera weighs 820 grams and according to Freefly regulations it can handle light rain, but it is not IP rated.

You will need a lot of light

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The sensor in EMBER is an S35 CMOS (23.04 mm x 18.43 mm) with a native resolution of 5120 x 4096 (21 MP). It has a pixel pitch of 4.5 μm and a global electronic shutter. While this all sounds good on paper, the sensor’s native ISO is only 300. This means that you will need a lot of light if you plan to shoot at 800fps.

The sensor is claimed to have 11 stops of dynamic range and is made by Gpixel.

According to Freefly Systems, the EMBER footage is very similar to the BlackMagic 6K

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As I mentioned earlier, EMBER records internally to a 4TB NVMe drive. While this is a nice feature, you can’t remove this drive, so when it gets full you’ll have to offload footage before you can use the camera again. Internal storage is upgradeable according to Freefly systems.

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Above you can see the frames and resolutions that EMBER can record. If it’s 5K 16:9 (5120 x 2880), you can capture up to 765fps.

It’s interesting to see that at 4096 x 1728 (2.37:1) you can actually shoot over 1000fps. If you like to shoot with anamorphic glass, you can record at a resolution of 4096 x 31072 (4:3) at up to 578fps. You should be aware that the 4K footage comes from a crop center.

Everything is recorded in 10-bit Apple ProRes. Freefly systems don’t list the codecs you can choose from, but I’m assuming it’s 422 or 422HQ. The camera does not record any sound.

Currently, the camera can only record in Rec.709, and there are no LOG or RAW recording modes.

There is an EMBER app for iOS that lets you go from capturing to sharing in just seconds.

What lens holder is he using?

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The EMBER features a positive locking E-mount, but it’s removable, so you can attach other lens mounts if Freefly systems launch them. One thing to note is that the E-mount is not electronic, so you can’t use autofocus or any stabilization.

What lenses and adapters can you use?

  • E-Mount lenses (not Sony AF lenses, as they require a powered lens mount)
  • E-Mount lens adapters (EF, PL, etc, but not RF due to rim depth mismatch)
  • KipperTie lens mounts

How much force do you draw?

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EMBER can be powered via a 12-26V supply through a 4-pin Molex Microfit with the camera itself being able to draw a maximum of 40W while recording.

input outputs

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EMBER is basically just a box so you don’t get any monitoring solution with it as standard.

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Above you can see what inputs and outputs Ember has. For monitoring, you’re stuck with a full-size HDMI output, no SDI output.

How do you get one and how much does it cost?

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Freefly Systems has booked the first shipments of EMBER for existing Wave customers. So if you already have Wave, you simply tell them and they will tag your application accordingly.

If you purchased a Wave recently, Freefly Systems offers trading software, and if you purchased one in the last 30 days, they will let you return your Wave for Ember (as long as you don’t mind waiting a bit).

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EMBER retails for $17,999 and for that you get the following items:

  • Quantity 1 – Ember S5K Camera Body (4TB Internal SSD)
  • Quantity 1 – E-Mount Lock (non-electronic, pre-installed)
  • Quantity 1 – Rear Accessory Mount Brackets (Pair)
  • Quantity 1 – USB CC 3.0 Cable
  • Quantity 1 – D-Tap-Ember Power Cable
  • Quantity 8 – M3 x 10mm SHCS anchors for accessory mounts
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Freefly also sells a large number of accessories that you can use with EMBER.