Freefly Wave: Slowing Things Down – 1440fps 2K / 420fps 4K Super slow motion for the "masses"

If you were thinking that the 120fps of at 4K of the new Sony A7S III and Canon R5 are impressive feats of slow-motion technology than how about a new camera that can shoot almost 4X times as slow… Welcome the new Freefly Wave camera which can shoot more than 420fps at over 4K and even do almost 1500fps at 2K.

Freefly systems specialize in different types of cinematic accessories including high powered drones (like the Alta X and 8 pro), gimbals (like the Movi Pro and XL) as well as different cinematic controllers and even robots.

The wave is an interesting camera it has a super 35mm global shutter sensor (APS-C) with a passive Sony E-mount (so no AF but you can use any type of E-mount lens or easily adapt from other mounts), it is very compact in size (a little larger than A6XXX series camera, made entirely from Aluminium for heat dissipation and comes with 1TB/2TB of ultra-fast NVME internal storage which allows up to 35 min of uninterrupted recording (that is for the 2TB). The camera has a full-size HDMI, USB-C, and DC for power besides its internal battery (that should last for over an hour of recording). The camera has no monitor (so the back can be used as a heat sink) but you can connect any HDMI capable monitor to it for viewing and control.

The Wave shoots at compressed RAW (5:1/6:1 compression) at 10 bit which at the moment requires the user to view and convert the files to a different format using a dedicated PC software (it is possible that in the future some NLEs will be able to read the Wave format directly). At the moment there is also no app for the camera although the company is looking into that and the camera does have WIFI and BT internally.

So how fast (or actually slow) can you shoot with the wave? well, the camera can shoot up to 422fps at 4K DCI (4096×2176 pixel resolution actually, just a bit over 4K DCI) but if you are willing to go down to 2K (2048×1088) you can go up to 1461 fps which is certainly very impressive (in theory you can go up to 9259fps but that means you are shooting at a super-thin frame of 2048×128 pixels only).

Here are some examples of what the Wave can shoot at different resolutions/speeds courtesy of chris vanderschaaf

The pricing of the wave is both good and bad news. The camera will sell later in 2020 starting from just shy of $10K (that is for the 1TB version, the 2TB will cost $11K). If you comper this price to an industry-standard like the Phantom Flex4K (that can shoot about 1000fps but at 4K DCI~) you are looking at about 10X the price (over $100K), however, the soon to be released Chronos 2.1-HD camera can shoot up to 1000fps in 1080p and cost about half (although the camera has a much smaller sensor and has a much more DIY feel to it).

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