The company that crowdfunded more than a million dollars in pre-orders for the smallest 4K camera is back — and with an even smaller camera. Mokacam Alpha and Alpha S are 4K wearable cameras with enhanced sensors, manual shutter speed capabilities, and an add-on screen, but they are about 20 percent smaller than the previous Mokacam and about 35 percent smaller than the GoPro Hero5 Black.
Already nearly three times their initial funding goals, the Alpha reached full funding in a week and will continue to crowdsource funding for another month on Indiegogo. The Alpha is the third camera Mokacam has funded, including 2016’s original model, a 360 version funded earlier in January, and now the Alpha.
The latest cameras use a 1/2.3-inch sensor designed by Sony. The Alpha S captures 4K video at 30 fps or 1080p at 120 fps, opening up slow motion possibilities, while the Alpha shoots 4K at 25 fps and half the HD speed. For both variations, that is all packed into a camera that is about 4.5 centimeters wide and weighs just 2.2 ounces.
But the tiny camera also now has a sleek companion — an optional add-on screen aids composition. With a new shutter wheel at the top of the screen, the upgrade also makes it possible to shoot long exposure stills. The screen doubles as an extra battery to expand life to up to four hours, though there is also an extra magnetic battery that can snap onto the back of the camera.
The company says it has taken user feedback from the original camera funded about a year ago to make upgrades to the Alpha version. The Alpha S still uses the original’s shape, waterproofing, and magnetic backing but improves low-light quality with a sensor with bigger pixels. The camera also now uses the same Ambarella processor that is inside the GoPro Hero5 to allow for that 120 fps slow motion capability.
While the Mokacam is no longer the smallest 4K camera since the GoPro Hero Session launched with 4K at 15 fps, it is only a centimeter larger than the Session with twice the 4K framerate. Mokacam appears to be aiming for a bit of GoPro’s potential sales with a similar spec list, an add-on screen, and a lower price. The Mokacam Alpha is lacking a few of the action camera giant’s more recent features, including the Black’s voice control capabilities and telemetry overlays. The Mokacam Alpha S is expected to retail for $259, with the Alpha at $199.
The Alpha and Alpha S are still in the prototype stage, but with full funding already reached, the company anticipates shipping in May. Backers willing to take the risk to help get the prototype going could get the cameras for as much as half off the expected retail price.