Freefly’s S2.5K High-Speed Camera Ditches E-Mount At Sony’s Request

A split image featuring a large telephoto lens camera on the left and a rocket engine firing with visible exhaust on the right against a blurred launch tower.

Cinema company Freefly Systems, best known for its Movi camera stabilization system and high-speed cameras, announced a new Ember S2.5K high-speed camera at NAB 2024. However, something somewhat surprising about the latest camera is that it ditches the E-mount that Freefly has previously used.

“[The Ember S2.5K] completes the vision we had three years ago to deliver the world’s smallest, easiest, most fun, high-speed imaging system,” Freefly explains. “This new camera can shoot up to 2,900 frames per second at 2K resolution with options for even higher frame rates at a reduced image height. Our 2.5K sensor has nine-micron pixels so it retains the same crop factor as Ember S5K.”

This note is tucked a bit further down in the press information: “We are also announcing an active EF mount that can control aperture and focus of select EF lenses.”

This information may not be that strange for those who don’t keep up with Freefly Systems. However, considering the company has long used an E-mount for its cameras, the sudden switch to an EF mount is odd. And as described by Sony Alpha Rumors, it is “bad news.”

It is not necessarily bad news because there’s something wrong with an EF mount — even though E-mount is more in vogue these days — but it’s troubling because of what Freefly says about the switch.

In the video above, Freefly says there are “three things” that it expects people to be confused about as the S2.5K launches. The first potential confusion is the active EF mount, which is not only the only mount for the new S2.5K camera but will also be an option for other Freefly cameras moving forward.

“We’re shipping all S2.5K [cameras] with this mount,” Freefly explains. “A little bit more on that. The E-mount that we originally launched Ember with, Sony asked us to no longer produce that mount. We complied with their request, so we’re no longer making that mount. That’s what necessitated the switch to the EF mount on this new camera, the S2.5K.”

PetaPixel asked Sony about Freefly’s claim and why Sony reportedly requested that Freefly stop using the E-mount. Sony has not responded.

In any event, the Freefly Ember S2.5K is a slick-looking camera. It has a 5.2-megapixel image sensor can record at 2,277 frames per second at its maximum resolution. By dropping the resolution a bit, users can record at up to 3,563 fps. That is very fast. However, the speed doesn’t come cheap, as the S2.5K is $24,995.

Complete specifications for the Ember S2.5K and other Ember cameras are available on Freefly’s website.

Image credit: Freefly