FREEFLY Announces Ember S2.5K with Incredibly High Frame Rates

FREEFLY Announces the Ember S2.5K with Incredibly High Frame Rates

It’s not often we see camera companies release higher-cost, lower-resolution versions of existing models, but with FREEFLY, innovation and creativity take priority. Case in point, the newly announced Ember S2.5K camera, a costlier cousin of the popular Ember S5K. By cutting the resolution in half, the S2.5K can achieve astonishingly high frame rates—2.5K at 2277 fps, 2K at 2900 fps, and up to 3563 fps with a heavier crop. FREEFLY admits the S2.5K is probably best used in scientific and product-testing scenarios, but the high frame rates and accompanying new features could still unlock some fun filmmaking potential, especially with many of the features also coming to the S5K via an impending firmware update.

FREEFLY Ember S2.5k
FREEFLY Ember S2.5k

FREEFLY states their mission as creating the “smallest, easiest, most fun to use high-speed imaging system,” and it’s easy to see how the S2.5K achieves that goal. The body size and layout are the same as the S5K, weighing less than 2 lb and keeping the same box shape for easy rigging and portability. Gone is the Sony E mount, replaced by an active Canon EF mount that lets you control exposure and focus from the camera or FREEFLY app. One of the most notable physical upgrades is a new high endurance 2.56TB pSLC SSD built into the camera. This is the latest and greatest in SSD tech, enabling customizable pre- and post-record trigger settings and sporting a data write rating of 80PB.

Do you need to shoot your next feature in 3563 frames per second? Probably not. FREEFLY knows this, which is why the S2.5K is positioned  as a solution for industrial, scientific, defense, and product analysis. Think crash-testing vehicles, experimenting with drone drag, or documenting intricate chemical reactions. For traditional filmmakers, FREEFLY still recommends the S5K, as you’ll benefit more from the detail retained in the extra resolution. The S5K’s also getting a firmware update that brings over some features from the S2.5K, most notably Amplify, a post-processing technique that isolates and augments subtle motion in the frame for more dynamic shots. New post-stabilization options are coming to the Embers as well, using the internal inertial measurement unit (IMU) to stabilize footage based on user-selected smoothness and crop factor.

Both models use 2×2 pixel binning, but it's the S2.5K that has a new Quad Bayer array to enable the higher frame rates. After the firmware update, the S5K will be able to hit the same specs, but only in monochromatic mode. Color mode on the S5K takes a serious hit in resolution when upping the frame rate past 800. The active EF mount and pSLC SSD can be added to the S5K, but you’ll need to send your camera to FREEFLY or have a bit of technical know-how to install them yourself. So it all comes down to application. Do you want to squeeze every last frame out of your footage? Go with the S2.5K. Do you prefer extra pixels and see yourself using the Ember more as a specialty camera on larger shoots? Stick with the S5K.

The iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps for both Ember cameras are also getting updates, unlocking full control, capture, and playback abilities for both cameras. Paired with a MagSafe Mount, the iPhone can be your ideal Ember monitor, keeping your setup small and flexible with control via USB-C or Wi-Fi. Considering the portability, customizability, and UI simplicity of the Ember cameras, FREEFLY’s goal of small, easy, and fun suddenly snaps into focus.

For more information on the FREEFLY Ember S2.5K, including features, specs, and highlights, be sure to check out the detailed product page. How do you think you could use the camera’s insanely high frame rates? Drop us a line below, and we’ll do our best to reply to your comments and questions.