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4K for $1k


Andrew Reid
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[img]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Flea-3-4k-usb3-camera.jpg[/img]

Above: ‘Micro Epic’. The 4K Flea 3 brain with Sony sensor

Machine vision company Point Grey have been getting some attention [url="http://www.ptgrey.com/products/flea3_usb3/Datasheet_Flea3_USB3.pdf"]for their new 4K camera[/url] which retails at just $945. For those who want to build their own cinema camera, this is a solution which provides both the ‘brain’ and software necessary to do so. The camera is also usable out of the box tethered to a PC, delivering 4K video via a 5Gbit USB 3.0 port which can then be recorded in 16bit raw format to an SSD.

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/8336/4k-for-1k/"]Read full article[/url]

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It'd be interesting to know if you can crop the frame in the software to speed up the fps. Cutting it to QuadHD (3840x2160) isn't quite enough, it would only get you to about 22.4 fps. A setting about 3600 pixels wide should be enough for 24fps

What is it about Flycap that is so frustrating? I've never used it
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Sorry, I misspoke. The Flea 3's we're using aren't the 4K units, the res on ours maxes out at 2080x1552. The issue with Flycap (earlier version) that we have had from time to time is unexplainable crashes/lockups. The software quits running - usually when you are trying to do something difficult to repeat. To be fair, we've recently updated the Flycap version we are running, and haven't had any problems yet. I haven't run it enough to judge it cured, but so far so good. The cameras are well made and pretty robust though. If you've got the money to spare, it's probably worth a look as a curiosity, but I wouldn't expect miracles.
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It would be interesting to see if it can get to higher frame rates by cropping (ROI, or region of interest). Apparently the sensor is capable of 4K@60fps so I'm assuming the 21fps limit is due to some bottleneck somewhere else in the camera. Whether cropping will speed it up is unclear; you would think they would advertise this on their site somewhere but I can't find any mention of it, all they say is that it supports partial imaging modes including ROI and the dreaded binning
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