Presented as the ideal drone camera, the Z from ImagineVision is built around a 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, giving the camera access to a wide range of lenses from Olympus, Panasonic and other brands. This is an asset for a model with which the Chinese company wants to enter the market for cameras used with drones. When it comes to weight, the ImagineVision even beats the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera, which weighs 11 oz against the 7 oz of this model, although we are talking of different cameras.
There is no doubt that the weight factor is an important aspect of the package, but only a real world test will confirm if the camera offers the specifications to give users the image quality intended. The information available from ImagineVision states that the camera can shoot at 102,400 ISO, but that’s probably more a marketing gimmick than a real asset. It can, but it does not mean the results are usable! There is no real information on the sensor used, but it is logical that this is not the most recent generation of the sensor.
ImagineVision claims that the camera achieves the ultra high ISO of 102,400, allowing to capture what the human eye cannot see, through the use of advanced MCTF – motion compensated temporal filter technology. Motion compensation is an algorithmic technique used to predict a frame in a video, given the previous and/or future frames by accounting for motion of the camera and/or objects in the video.
The info from ImagineVision also indicates that “our advanced 3D Noise filter removes the noise without sacrificing sharpness, even in low light and night time scenes” but there is no more data explaining effectively how it it achieved. It should be noted, though, that 3D Noise technology is often associated with video surveillance systems, where the importance of noise reduction is paramount. ImagineVision use of the techniques mentionned might well allow their Z camera to “see” in low light levels.
The ImagineVision Z camera supports 3840×2160 at 30fps or 4096×2160 at 24fps, recording the signal in H.264, one of the most common video coding formats used for the recording, compression, and distribution of video content. Promising super fast autofocus for capture of photographs and continuous autofocus (CAF) for video capture, with provisions for manual and AF, the camera uses WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Control, live streaming and file management are available through iOS and Android and the Z also offers an expansion port, allowing for control through a third party device, ideal for when the camera flies attached to a drone.
There is no indication of price, but Chinese products tend to offer lower prices – and many times lower quality too – so it will be interesting to see what ImagineVision will do with this new 4K MFT contender for aerial videography.
ImagineVision Technology Ltd, established in March 2013, is a high-tech company targeting audio and video related products. Founded by a group of aspiring young people who worked, before, at Ambrella and other semi-conductor companies, in software/hardware development, the team worked for companies like Sony, Philips, GoPro, Kodak and others. Some of the members are experienced engineers on developing Linux/Android middleware and applications.
Find more information and other products at ImagineVision website.