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Freefly WAVE is a 4K Slow-Motion Camera with Global Shutter

WAVE is a super-compact, 4K high-speed camera with continuous recording!

freefly wave slow motion 4k camera sony mount
Image by Freefly

Freefly announce WAVE – a 4K slow-motion camera with global shutter and Super 35 sensor capable of some crazy slow motion!

Yes, Freefly Systems made a slow-motion camera! The company usually associated with high-end commercial drones and camera stabilizer systems made a purpose built 4K slow-motion camera that you can fly on a drone or use as a crash cam. 

And more interestingly, Freefly say Wave is a first in a new line of cameras, so expect them to grow the ecosystem in the future. Exciting times await ahead for sure. 

4K S35 High-Speed Camera with Continuous Recording

Furthermore, WAVE is capable of 422fps maximum in 4K (4096 x 2176) and 2K up to 1440fps, which will give you some super-smooth slow-mo. Made out of high grade 6061 aluminium, the WAVE is featherweight at just 716g. 

Sensor size is S35, which is great,  however, as this is a specialised high-speed camera, don’t expect to see high dynamic range. Controlled lighting studio setups will yield better images, but remember – high-speed cameras are super-light hungry, and generally prioritise speed over colour accuracy and DR. 

freefly wave slow motion 4k camera
Image by Freefly Systems

Native Locking-type Sony E Mount

In addition, Freefly chose to go with a native (and removable) Sony E mount for maximum lens compatibility with adapters. The Sony E mount on the WAVE is also a locking type, ensuring a secure lens fit. And more interestingly, RED DSMC mounts are also supported with an optional spacer.

There is no electronics in the mount, so sadly no autofocus support at all. Check out the list of recommended lenses towards the end of this post. 

Freefly WAVE 4K High-Speed Camera Specs and Features

  • Super35 4K sensor (4096 x 3072) native resolution
  • 4K/422fps and 2K/1440fps continuous slow-motion
  • 1TB or 2TB internal SSD
  • Global Shutter
  • HDMI output
  • Recording format:
    • 10bit Compressed Bayer RAW
    • Compression ratios: 5:1 and 6:1
  • Continuous Recording Times:
    • 4096 x 2176, 422fps, 1TB – 19min
    • 4096 x 2176, 422fps, 2TB – 39min
    • 2048 x 1088, 1461fps, 1TB – 23min
    • 2048 x 188, 1461fps, 2TB – 45min
  • Internal Battery – 11.1V, 2200mAh
    • rated at 90 mins standby
    • or 60mins in Max Recording
  • Inputs/Outputs
    • HDMI Type A – 1080/30p output
    • 6-Pin JST GH – for Start/Stop
      • to be enabled with API soon
    • USB
      • Type C (Reversible)
      • USB 3.2 Gen1x1
      • SuperSpeed 5Gb/s
    • Wireless (to be enabled in future)
      • WiFi 802.11b/g/n
      • Bluetooth v4.2

WAVE – Sensor Specifications:

  • Sensor Format: Super 35
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Pixel Size: 5.5μm x 5.5μm
  • Native Resolution: 4096 x 3072
  • Active Area: 22.53mm x 16.90mm
  • Shutter Type: Global Electronic
  • Native ISO: 250
freefly wave slow motion 4k camera sony mount
Image by Freefly

External Monitor is Required

Since WAVE does not have a built-in monitor, an external HDMI monitor capable of receiving a 1080p30 signal is required. This allows users to preview what their shots and also use the camera menus.

Freefly recommend an Atomos Shinobi 5-inch, or a SmallHD FOCUS monitor. 

freefly wave high-speed 4k camera
Images by Freefly Systems

Recommended Lenses:

freefly astro and wave high-speed camera
Image by Freefly

To learn more about the specifics of the new Freefly camera do check out their launch livestream below.

Pricing and Availability

The Freefly WAVE with 1 TB storage option is priced at $9,995 USD, and $10,995 for the 2TB option. Compared to a $150,000 Phantom 4K camera, this price is a steal. 

Again, this is a highly specialised camera, which won’t give you great dynamic range, but will give you super-slick slow motion in unheard of frame rates in 4K at this price point. If you are someone who shoots, sports, food commercials, or anything that relies on heavy slow motion, you should definitely check out the Freefly WAVE. 

First batches of the WAVE camera are expected to ship towards end of November 2020.

Head over to Freefly’s website here to learn more and pre-order if interested.  

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