I saw a new press release over on DPreview today about a Sony cell phone that was just announced with a title that extolled its ability to shoot 4k HDR footage. The Sony Xperia XZ2 can be read about by clicking on that link. Now, I have very little interest in cell phone cameras…but that title of bring 4k HDR to a cell phone intrigued me. That is some serious files and data crunching we are talking about…so I took the click bait and dove in for a read. 4k HDR aside, there was something even more crazy in the feature set. That’s when I realized that either I am getting old and you young folks know something I don’t…or that we have seriously run out of gimmicks to sell devices with.
To quote the article, “The 2017 Sony flagships could record 960 frames per second at HD resolution for 0.2 seconds, resulting in 6 seconds of playback time…On the new XZ2 Sony has taken things one step further and offers the same frame rates at 1080p Full-HD resolution. On the downside, recording time is cut in half, to 0.1 seconds, resulting in 3 seconds of playback time.”
Let’s hope technology advances again next year…maybe we can capture .05 seconds of footage for 1.5 seconds of playtime! The article continues, “Super-slow-motion clips can be embedded in standard video, though, so there is plenty of opportunity to get creative with the super-fast frame rates.”
The only opportunities I see for getting creative are in how creative you can get about pressing the shutter at just the right time. Holy cow! Let’s back up for a second and think about this.
We have always as photographers had two options for really capturing the decisive moment. We had to be either excellent with timing and anticipating just the right moment or we had to use technology like a sound or motion trigger to release the camera for us. That allowed us to capture a balloon popping, or lighting strikes, etc… (forget long exposure for the moment) Another path we could take was shooting video, and extracting a still image from just the right moment. That works too. Olympus and now some other companies are giving us an option with features like Pro Capture to get that perfect moment because the camera is “pre-capturing” several seconds prior to our shutter release. We still have to anticipate the moment…but we can now select the best frame easier.
I feel as if Sony has now made a feature out making the decisive moment even more elusive! 960fps slow motion!?!?! That is insane. I figure that is generally used for capturing some pretty unique moments. Especially moments that go by very quickly. And that is just the point. If they go by so quickly… how do we capture them in video if we have to time perfectly for a .1 second worth of video capture? Is it just me or does this seem kind of crazy. Maybe there are lots of other “Creative” uses for it that I haven’t explored yet. I would love to see examples of this. Have you used this feature on their previous phones? If so i’de love to see results.
.1 seconds capture for 3 seconds playback… maybe that is all our attention span is resulting in lately. Maybe Sony knows something we don’t. Thoughts? I want deeper illumination on this feature (no pun intended!) … anyone tried it?