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Camera FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions related to Ember Camera

Sensor and Recording

What's the dynamic range?

11+ stops.

What's the bit depth?

10-bit.

What's the codec?

Apple ProRes 422 LT in all resolutions and frame rates. ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ may be supported for lower frame rates in a future update.

What's the color profile?

Rec. 709 and HLG (Beta) tone curves are currently available. See OETF for more details. There isn't currently a LOG profile available, as it would require a couple more stops of sensor dynamic range.

What's the base ISO?

ISO 100, 200, and 400 are available. These are analog gains implemented at the sensor, with minimal noise tradeoff between the three.

Who makes the sensor?

Gpixel! We are using the GSPRINT sensor and it has been awesome. Gpixel also has been awesome to work with.

Is there sample footage available?

Yes, untreated sample footage is available here.

What is the recording media?

Ember records to an internal 4TB NVMe SSD. There are currently no external media formats fast enough to support the maximum write speeds.

What's the difference between (capture) Frame Rate and Project Frame Rate?

Capture Frame Rate is the recording speed of the camera. Project Frame Rate is the playback speed of the recorded clip, usually chosen to match the time base of a project for easy file import. The ratio of capture speed to playback speed is the amount of slow motion applied. For example, a 600fps capture with a 24fps Project Frame Rate gives 600/24 = 25x slow motion.
By analogy to film cameras, (capture) Frame Rate is how fast the film is pulled through the camera. Project Frame Rate is how fast the film is pulled through the projector.

Lens and Mechanical

What are the lens mount options?

  • A passive universal mount is included.
  • PL and PL with internal ND mounts are available from KipperTie.
  • There are additional 3rd party mounts available from c7Adapters.
Adapters are available for many other lens formats. Please note that the lens mount is passive, so lenses with electronic aperture and/or focus-by-wire are not currently supported.
The Ember lens mount interface drawing is available on the Ember CAD page.

How much does it weigh?

852 grams, with the included lens mount.

What kind of mounting points does the camera have?

  • 1/4-20 top and bottom.
  • M3 and easily-mountable NATO rails on all sides.

What does the accessory ecosystem look like?

Look here.

What's the operating temperature range?

0ºC to 40ºC

Is it IP rated? Can it handle light rain?

The camera is IP52 and can handle light rain, but is not waterproof.

Power and I/O

What's the input voltage range and power requirement?

12-26V, and up to 55W for maximum frame rate in 5K. Look here for battery and power connector options. The camera cannot be powered through the USB-C port. For continuous power, we currently recommend the FXLION battery, which can be charged via USB-C while powering the camera. A dedicated AC power adapter is planned for Q3 2023.

How is footage offloaded from the camera's internal SSD?

The camera mounts as an external SSD when connected to a host via USB. Recorded clips are available in the root folder of the camera drive. Even at USB 3 speeds, offloading large clips can take a long time. We recommend opening clips in-place on the camera drive and exporting trimmed sections to a local drive if your workflow allows.

What buttons / switches / indicators does the camera have?

  • Physical slide switch for power on/off.
  • Illuminated record start/stop button.
  • High-resolution scroll wheel for menu navigation and playback scrubbing.
  • Select button.

What video outputs are available?

1080p HDMI with on-screen display that can be hidden. An external monitor is required to operate the camera. There is no built-in LCD.

Does the camera record audio?

No. The front-facing ports are for future expansion but are not currently enabled.

Can the camera be controlled remotely?

Yes, there are several methods:
  • The Ember App can be used to control the camera and view, trim, and export clips over Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
  • A simple start/stop trigger can be implemented using the GPIO port. See Pinouts and Remote Control for more details.
  • A host can fully control the on-camera menu via UART. See Pinouts and Remote Control for the public interface definition.
  • (Planned Q3 2023) Long-range control when used on Mōvi Pro, Mōvi XL, and Mōvi Carbon will be available through the Mōvi Controller.

What other I/O is available?

Gigabit Ethernet, CAN, and PCIe interfaces are available for future expansion.

Miscellaneous

Why did you guys build this camera?

We are on a mission to build the smallest, fastest, lightest, most fun camera the world has ever seen. This brings us a bit closer to that goal.

What are the unique things about this camera?

  • Ultra tiny, ultra fast, ultra simple, ultra fun.
  • Continuous high-speed ProRes recording to non-volatile storage, limited only by storage capacity. No RAM buffer or trigger setup. It operates like a normal camera.

How does the camera do on an FPV drone?

Really well! Tiny, global shutter, built super light and tough, and remote start/stop easily wired up to flight control of your choice with 46min record time.

What are your favorite parts about Ember?

  • 4K 800fps images look dreamy, it’s like being in a Marvel film.
  • 5K 600fps leaves some room to reframe/stabilize.
  • Fast and responsive UI.
  • Great form factor for gimbals, FPV. Cable entry on top is great for packaging.

What's your least favorite?

  • Needs SO MUCH light.
  • Lack of active mount that can control small lenses (for FPV / drone shooting).
  • It took us so long to get done.
  • Would like to have more dynamic range.

What would win in a fight, a llama or a raccoon?

Llama, as long as the raccoon isn’t hopped up on matcha or adderall.