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Freefly Systems Ember S5K Camera Introduced – 5K at 600fps

December 21st, 2022 Jump to Comment Section 7
Freefly Systems Ember S5K Camera Introduced - 5K at 600fps

Freefly Systems has just released its second slow-motion camera: the Ember S5K. This compact camera sports a Super35 image sensor capable of capturing footage in 5K resolution at up to 600 frames per second and 4K at up to 800fps. Furthermore, the Ember S5K has a built-in 4TB internal SSD and can record continuous high-speed footage with no ram based clip limit. Let’s take a closer look at all the specifications of this $17,995 cinema camera!

Freefly Systems is well-known for creating the world’s first 3-axis digital handheld stabilizer in April 2013: the MōVI M10. Over the years, the company released several other gimbals, including the MōVI M15, MōVI XL, and MōVI Pro, to carry heavier camera packages. More recently, Freefly Systems released high-end drones like the ALTA Pro and Astro.

In October 2020, Freefly Systems released the Wave, its first compact, high-speed camera that sold out quickly thanks to a very “affordable” price. Indeed, high-speed cinema cameras from companies such as the Phantom from Vision Research are usually rental-only units due to their very high price tag. However, Freefly Systems saw a market for tools to allow content creators to capture slow-motion footage without breaking the bank. So, two years later, and with some experience in camera manufacturing, Freefly Systems introduced its second high-speed cinema camera: the Ember S5K.

Freefly Systems Ember S5K camera body

The Ember S5K is a relatively compact little camera that measures 10 x 10.4 x 8.6cm with a weight of 820g/1.8 lbs. To give you an idea, the Ember S5K has a similar form factor to a RED Komodo.

Image credit: Freefly Systems

The front of the camera features a Sony E-Mount with a positive locking mechanism. Unfortunately, there is no electronic in the lens mount, so you won’t benefit from Autofocus or aperture control from Sony E-Mount lenses. However, you can use E-Mount PL/EF lens adapters, but not Canon RF, as the flange depth is mismatched. Lastly, you can use KipperTie lens mounts to benefit from rear lens filters.

Image credit: Freefly Systems

The Ember S5K does not have any built-in status display or screen; it’s pretty much a box with an On/Off switch, a record button, a menu button, a scroll wheel to navigate inside the menu, and a couple of IO ports.

Image credit: Freefly Systems

Input and output ports

At the front of the camera, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a 3.5mm microphone input. Unfortunately, these ports gave me a bit of a headache since Freefly Systems mentioned that the camera does not record audio.

At the back of the camera, you’ll find:

  • One RJ45 Ethernet port.
  • One HDMI output with a maximum resolution of 1080p30.
  • A USB-C 3.2 Gen1x1 port for firmware update and data transfer.
  • A 4-pin Molex Microfit with CAN power input. The camera can take voltages from 12-26V. It draws a maximum of 40W when recording.
  • Built-in WiFi 5, compatible with the Ember app for iOS.
  • Lastly, a 6-Pin JST GH port for start/stop/sync.

As you can tell, there is no SDI output port, which is a bit hard to understand. But wait, there is no recording media port?

Image credit: Freefly Systems

Recording media and framerates

The Ember S5K records internally to its internal 4TB NVMe SSD. You can upgrade/change this drive by yourself, but this is not something quick and easy. Once you’re out of internal recording media, you’ll need to stop shooting and offload your footage onto a computer.

According to Freefly Systems, you can capture up to 36min of 5K600p footage and 45min of 4K800p footage on the built-in 4TB NVMe SSD.

Image credit: Freefly Systems

Above are all the recording resolutions and framerates you can shoot at. The Ember S5K only captures footage in Apple ProRes 10-bit codec, and you can’t change that. As you can tell, if you shoot in 4K with a 2.37:1 aspect ratio, you can reach a maximum of 1011 frames per second, which is quite impressive!

Image credit: Freefly Systems

Image sensor

The Freefly Systems Ember S5K features a 21MP 5K Super35 image sensor that measures 23.04mm x 18.43mm. In addition, the camera has a global shutter, so you won’t get any jello effects issues.

However, the biggest drawback of this image sensor is its native sensitivity of only 300 ISO. So if you plan on shooting indoors, you better have fast lenses and a ton of light!

Image credit: Freefly Systems

Freefly Systems Ember S5K accessories

Freefly Systems also released multiple accessories for the Ember S5K, including NATO rails, monitor mounts, a MagSafe multi-threaded mount, a D-Tap cable, a side handle, and a cheese plate.

Image credit: Freefly Systems

Price and availability

Freefly Systems is reserving the first shipments of Ember for existing Wave customers that can contact the company to place their order, get a discount, or trade in. The launch color for the first 200 units is Olive Green. The first cameras will ship in March 2023 for a regular price of $17,995.

For more information, please visit Freefly Systems’ website here.

What do you think about this second high-speed camera from Freefly Systems? Do you often shoot slow-motion footage? Do you think it would be an exciting addition to your kit? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments down below!

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