While we spend a good deal of our time here on this site covering the many, many different cameras being released by the likes of the major camera and gear manufacturers like Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Blackmagic, etc… we do have a soft spot for the smaller, and more up-and-coming developers as well.

Perhaps known more for their drones and gimbal systems, Freefly has actually been quite successful with developing their own stand-alone cameras as well. And the Freefly Ember S5K Camera is perhaps their best offering yet.

We don’t know how many of y’all out there have this camera (or have even heard about it), but if you are at least intrigued by it, you’ll be interested to know that it’s set to be one of the first cinema cameras to be connectable to the iPhone 15 Pro.

Let’s take a look at the Beta iOS Freefly Ember app and explore how it can provide sync connectivity with the latest Apple iPhone for all your needs.

The Freefly Ember App

Launched as a Beta program for now, the new Freefly Ember app is currently available on Testflight. (Where you’ll also need to join the Beta to download.) While it’s touted as being connectable with the iPhone 15 Pro, which is great, it’s actually also compatible with any iOS or iPadOS app from the iPhone 13 or newer, and any iPad with iOS 14 or later.

The app only works with the Ember camera and it’s currently developed to mostly just serve as a fast export means. You aren’t currently able to live preview. However it should be as simple as just pressing the record button, recording as much as you’d like, then sharing your best shots directly to your iPhone.

You can also export to an attached HD/SSD source, which should help with larger (and more) files when needed too, and might ultimately be the best use of this workflow.

The Freefly Ember S5K Camera

Now, before we go into the full firmware update and the rest of the bells and whistles for this Ember app, we do have to at least mention this Freefly Ember S5K camera and how it fits into this equation. After all, this Ember app only works with an Ember camera, so this isn’t a workflow you’ll be able to setup for, say, your favorite Canon cinema camera or anything.

The Ember S5K camera is really designed for high-speed drone video and features a S35 sensor which is capable of 5K resolution at 600fps (or up to 800fps at 4K), ideally for high-speed, slow-motion recording. With 10-bit ProRes format video capture directly to an internal SSD, it’s nice to know it has options, but the app should add even quicker transfer.

Here are the full specs and pricing:

  • High-Speed Compact S35 Drone Camera
  • Up to 5K at 600 fps, 4K at 800 fps Video
  • S35 Gpixel Sensor, Sony E Mount
  • Capture Video in 10-Bit ProRes Format
  • 4TB Internal NVMe SSD, GPIO/Microfit CAN
  • Global Shutter, Wi-Fi Control via iOS
  • 1080p24 HDMI Preview
  • USB-C 3.2 Data Output

FREEFLY Ember S5K Camera

Capture high-resolution, high-speed 5K drone video with the Ember S5K Camera from FREEFLY. The compact S35 camera is designed for continuous high-speed recording and is small enough to mount as a drone payload.

The Gpixel S35 sensor captures up to 5K resolution at 600 fps or up to 4K800 to capture clear high-speed, slow-motion video. It features a Sony E mount for use with a variety of stock lenses, and it has a global shutter.

Jourdan Aldredge

Firefly Ember App Firmware Update

As mentioned above, the Freefly Ember app is currently available on Testflight. To get started you’re going to need the latest version with the firmware update v1.4.14, as it features more support and controls as well as system improvements.

You can read all of the latest features here below.

  • Adds setting for Project Frame Rate (Time Base). This sets the playback speed of captured video, which gets encoded in the video file. Common settings from 23.976 to 120.000 are available. See Menu and Settings for more information on how Project Frame Rate and capture FPS are related. Note: Changing Project Frame Rate may also change the HDMI output frame rate, which will cause monitors to resynchronize.
  • File system improvements including safe shutdown, SSD TRIM (improves write performance), and reduced delays with many clips on the SSD. Note: Formatting may take up to 60s now.
  • Support for App Control, Playback, and Export via Ethernet.
  • Support for App Playback and Export via USB (fastest method).
  • Improvements to App Playback and Export speed across all interfaces.
  • Support for Remote Menu Control via UART. See Pinouts and Remote Control for the public interface definition. MōVI Pro/XL/Carbon support via MōVI Controller also coming soon.
  • Improved timestamp accuracy for frame and IMU metadata.
  • Restored User FPS all the way down to 1fps.
  • On-camera UI tweaks including dedicated Play Icon (►) for one-click switch to Playback, HDMI viewport scaling to not be covered by on-screen display, new FPS list w/ speed multipliers.
  • Bugfix for occasional sensor link training failures on some cameras that would cause magenta blocks to appear until a reboot.
  • Other minor bugfixes and optimizations.