Feb 14, 2013
Ambarella A9 Chip (GoPro HERO4) Feature Summary
- 4K @ 30 frames per second
- 1080p @ 120 frames per second
- 720p @ 240 frames per second
- Burst image capture – Sixty 12MP images per second
- 1GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex
GoPro has not yet announced whether or not they will release a GoPro HERO4. However, the maker of the System on Chip (SoC) on board the GoPro, has released the all new A9 SoC. The Ambarella A9 chip boasts some very exciting upgrades to the current A7 chip that can be found on the GoPro HERO3 Black Edition. In case you were not aware, the GoPro HERO3 Black Edition is capable of 4K @ 15 frames per second, 2.7K @ 30 frames per second, 1080p @ 60 frames per second, 720p @ 120 frames per second, and WVGA mode @ 240 frames per second.
The A9 chip supports the same video modes as the A7 chip in the HERO3 Black Edition, except it will be capable of higher frame rates. What I am really curious about is what the maximum frames per second will be with the A9 chip. The highest frame rate the A7 could achieve was 240 frames per second in the WVGA mode (less than 720p quality). Since it seems that the frame rates have been doubled in the new chip, it’s almost safe to say the A9 will support 480 frames per second in WVGA mode. That should allow for some sweet slow-mo videos.
Now that companies figured out how to release consumer cameras capable of capturing 4K at a smooth frame rate, and at a decent price, how will we make use of it?
When I got my first HD camera back in 2007, I was amazed by the quality and it was in no way comparable to my old SD DV camera. I eventually came to the point where I wanted to edit some video. I had the Dell XPS Generation 3, it had a Pentium 4 Prescott 2.4GHz hyper threaded CPU, 2 GB of RAM and I have no clue what the video card was. I was using Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 to edit my videos. Back then I didn’t know much about editing and exporting HD, I mean how much could you know it was new. I eventually had my first edit complete, and I wanted to burn my exported HD footage to DVD. Big FAIL. You can’t burn HD onto DVD. I then finally realized I would need a HD DVD burner or Blu-Ray burner. Cha ching, they were over $1,000! I gave up on trying to burn my videos, and uploaded to YouTube. Back then YouTube didn’t support HD, ahhhh. HD cameras was a great technology released at a stage where it was hard to play it back, but are we in the same position today with 4K?
The next page will discuss 4K Editing and 4K Playback: Page 2
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