The Compact EarthCam X1 Shoots 4K Video and 5-Gigapixel Panoramas
EarthCam’s latest rugged outdoor streaming video and time-lapse photography platform, the GigapixelCam X1 delivers 4K and 5-gigapixel photos.
The EarthCam brand is already known for creating devices of this kind. In 2021 the brand’s publicity even went viral when the company shared a 120-gigapixel photo of New York City that was the largest ever taken of the metropolis.
This whopping panoramic shot was captured with EarthCam’s GigapixelCam X80 system.
Given these previous credentials, the new X1 system doesn’t seem quite as impressive, but for its compact form factor, it too can deliver plenty to users.
This and other camera platforms like it from EarthCam are especially useful because they can be situated nearly anywhere.
Common use cases include visually recording the progress of a complex construction project, or tracking urban and natural changes in a given location.
Live-stream videos and time-lapse sequences created by this camera system can not only be useful, but they’re also quite impressive to behold.
The X1’s maximum panoramic resolution may not be extraordinary, but it delivers extremely high-quality resolution and superb panoramic image quality in a compact package for specific uses.
EarthCam has also given the X1 HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) to compress and stream 4K video. This means 25% to 50% better image quality than video systems using older compression methods.
Furthermore, the X1 also renders a high-quality dynamic range that according to EarthCam makes it especially useful for real-world, live streaming in places. These could include areas that see sharp mixes of both sunlight and shadow.
A recent sample image showing the resolution quality of the X1’s 5-gigapixel images demonstrates how much detail they capture. Their quality is far from that of the 120-gigapixel stunt the company delivered with its NYC panorama, but it’s excellent for most uses.
Another cool feature of this panoramic shooting mode is that the camera automatically stitches its panoramas together, letting users avoid doing it manually.
EarthCam has also given the X1 compatibility with remote control via joystick, web interface, and a mobile app.
For users who aren’t sure how to manually choose the best video or panoramic quality, the X1 also comes with something called LiveCam AI. This automatically optimizes camera orientation for viewing angle and exposure.
According to EarthCam this AI function in the camera system is quite robust: “LiveCam AI uses time, day, month, year, the position of the sun relative to the subject, and even historical data for best conditions including color saturation and depth of field,”
The company also adds that “Over 24 values are considered when making a decision on how, when, and where the camera is positioned for the most dramatic imagery – even tracking celestial events like sunrise, sunsets, and moon position.”
As for the camera inside the X1 and its surrounding technology, EarthCam hasn’t said. However, the promised resolution and a history of collaboration with Sony suggest a Sony camera is working behind the scenes.
EarthCam is selling the GigapixelCam X1 system for a hefty $19,995. It’s expensive, but for certain professional field uses, it can be an especially useful tool.
Image credits: EarthCam