While RED Digital Camera and other manufacturers like JVC are keeping the prices of 4K cameras in the non-palatable price range for the vast majority of consumers, Point Gray has released a $945 camera capable of recording video in 4K quality (full 4096×2160 resolution).
4K video, i.e. 3840×2160 or 4096×2160 resolution represent the next step, "the beyond HD" resolution in digital cinematography. With pioneering cameras such as RED One, Scarlet or Epic as well as JVC's GY-HMQ10 are priced in thousands of dollars, a small Canadian company is changing the pecking order.
Point Grey Research Inc. is a Canadian company out of greater Vancouver area, with all the design, research and manufacturing located on one spot – no Made in China here – dedicated to bring the next generation of technology in surveillance. While majority of companies are stuck in a race to the bottom, Point Grey Research wants to reach the top, and Flea3 webcam represents the next stage of evolution in the crowded webcamera space.
Flea3 is one of world's first, if not the first webcam that uses the USB 3.0 standard, capable of delivering Full HD (1920×1080) resolution in up to 150 frames per second. If that level of fidelity is not high enough, you can capture up to 21 frames per second using the 4096×2160 (True 4K) pixel resolution. The camera uses Sony Exmor R (IMX121) 8.8 million CMOS sensor known from Cyber-Shot cameras, with electronics extended in a way that capturing 4K video is not a gimmick, but a real thing.
If you're interested in shooting 4K video and are running on a very tight budget, this webcam just might be the thing you need. You can mount various lenses onto the CS mount as well. While not ideal, this just might be the closest thing we have to a sub-1000 dollar 4K camera.