Firefly just announced their latest model Firefly 8S, their first real 4K action camera with electronic image stabilization. In this article I’d like to give an overview of the new camera and show a comparison to the earlier Firefly models.

Hawkeye Firefly 8S - fron- & backside

Hawkeye Firefly 8S

 

Firefly 8S Specs

Image Sensor:
Firefly 8S features a 12 MP Sony IMX117 sensor, same model used in GoPro Hero4, SJCAM SJ7 Star or Thieye T5.
The earlier models Firefly 6S and 7S also featured a 12MP Sony sensor, but a different model: IMX078.

Chipset:
Whereas 6S and 7S featured a Novatek chip, the new Firefly 8S offers an Ambarella A12 sensor. Again similar to SJCAM SJ7 Star or Thieye T5.

Lens:
This time from the beginning there will be 2 different versions with different lenses available. A 170° FOV model and a non-distortion version with 90° lens. Notice the slightly larger lens on the right model.

Firefly 8S - 170 degree and 90 degree lens

Firefly 8S – 170° FOV vs 90° FOV version

 

Video Resolution:

  • 4K – max. 30fps
  • 2.5K – max. 60fps
  • 1080p – max. 120fps (max. 60fps in Super View)
  • 720p – max. 120fps

Image Stabilization:
According to the product description the Firefly 8S will offer “Six-axis gyro video stabilization that can produce very stable video image without losing any view angle”. I’m not sure by now if the sensor is stabilized or if this is just another term for electronic image stabilization. Based on my tests with Firefly 6S the stabilization of Firefly is very good compared to others.

Recording Format:
The videos are recorded in .mp4 files, .h264 codec.

Display:
Firefly 8S offers 2″ live view display on the backside but no data screen on the front side compared to 6S and 7S. (Resolution: 640×480).

Battery:
Battery is stated with 1200 mAh. Whereas Firefly 6S used a battery with the same shape as GoPro Hero3’s battery, Firefly 7S used a battery similar to EKEN’s rounded battery. Now Firefly 8S seems to use a different new type of battery.

Hawkeye Firefly 8S battery slot

Hawkeye Firefly 8S battery slot

 

Storage:
microSD card, up to 128 GB are supported, class 10 recommended. I recommend U3 cards for 4K resolution.

Connectivity & Ports:
The camera offers wifi to connect via App (NEW Firefly App for iOS and Android available),
and Bluetooth for a remote controller. It seems that Firefly 8S will work with the YI remote.
Firefly 8S offers a mini USB port with microphone support as well as A/V output!

Firefly 8S and YI remote

Firefly 8S and YI remote

 

Dimension & Weight:
59 x 41 x 21 mm; weight: 70g

Included Accessories:
Waterproof Case (20m water resistant), J-shaped Mount, Connectors, Bike Handlebar Mount, 360 Degree Rotation Adapter, Adhesive Mounts, Cleaning Cloth, Frame & Clip, AV Cable for FPV and manual.

 

Retailer / Price Comparison:

Firefly 8S – 170° Lens Version

Firefly 8S – 90° Lens Version

  • Banggood: n/a
  • Gearbest: 135.99 USD
  • Geekbuying: n/a
  • Aliexpress: n/a

 

Comparison of Firefly 6S vs 7S vs 8S

 Firefly 6SFirefly 7SFirefly 8S
Firefly 6S - 4K Action CameraFirefly 7SHawkeye Firefly 8S
Sensor12 MP Sony
IMX 078
12 MP Sony
IMX 078
12 MP Sony
IMX 117
ChipNovatek 96660Novatek 96660Ambarella A12
available as 90° FOV versionnoYesYes
4K Resolution24 fps
(interpolated)
24 fps
(interpolated)
30 fps
(real)
1080p HD Resolution60 fps60 fps120 fps
RAW photonoyes?
Back Displayno2" live view2" live view
Front Displayyesyesno
Image Stabilizationyesyesyes
Battery1600 mAh
GoPro Hero 3 shape
1050 mAh
EKEN rounded shape
1200 mAh
?
wifiyesyesyes
Bluetooth
(remote control)
nonoyes
USB Portmini USBmicro USBmini USB
A/V out:yesyesyes
Microphone in:nonoyes
Case & Mounts:includedincludedincluded
Price:54.99 USD61.99 USD119.99 USD

 

Conclusion

Based on the specs Firefly 8S seems to be similar to Thieye T5, Andoer C5 and EKEN H8 Plus. The announcement of a “aix-axis gyro video stabilization that can produce very stable video image without losing any view angle” seems to be bold. Already Firefly 6S showed very good results in terms of image stabilization. A great and rare addition is the use of an external microphone which can’t be used with micro USB. Therefore above mentions cams don’t offer this feature. Only the SJCAM SJ7 (as well mini USB) and the newer YI 4K+ and GoPro Hero5 (USB-C port) can be used with an external mic.  I’m looking forward to test Firefly 8S.

 

Demo Video

Hawkeye released a video comparing Firefly 8S with YI 4K Action Camera:

 

here’s a comparison of Firefly 8S with 170° and 90° lens:

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