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Ultracker Aleta S2 and Aleta S2C high resolution 12K photo (66 megapixel) 360 camera (updated May 15, 2018)

Ultracker Aleta S2 and S2C high resolution 360 cameras
Ultracker Aleta S2 and S2C high resolution 360 cameras (photo by Ultracker used with permission)

Ultracker Aleta S2C is a 360 camera with one of the highest photo resolutions on the market and it will be available in June.  Here are new full-resolution sample photos from a prototype of the Ultracker Aleta S2 and S2C, a pair of 360 cameras that can capture 12K (66-megapixel) 360 photos and shoot 360 video in 4K. May 15 update: features updated, price and availability updated.

Table of Contents:
Specifications and features
Sample photos
Price and availability

There are many 360 cameras on the market, and they’re leapfrogging each other with video resolution.  But most 360 cameras have a resolution of only around 16mp and very few have a resolution higher than 32mp.  Seeking to fill the need for high resolution photo, Ultracker’s Aleta S2 is a new 360 camera that will take 12K (66 megapixel) 360 photos.  There will be two versions of the Aleta S2: S2C (Light) and S2 Pro (Professional), which differ in video quality.

Here is a product video:

Ultracker Aleta S2 and S2C Specifications and Features

Here are their specfications.  Note: Aleta S2 and S2C specifications are the same, except for the video framerate at 4K.

Lensesfive 2.6mm fisheye lenses (four horizontal + 1 zenith)
Field of viewFully spherical
Sensorsfive 14mp CMOS sensors
Photo resolution11520 x 5760 (66mp)
Video resolution3840 x 1920 @ 30fps (S2 model)
3840 x 1920 @ 10fps (S2C model)
3072 x 1536 @ 24fps
1920 x 960 @ 30fps
Time lapse7680 x 3840 @ 2fps
5760 x 2880 @ 3fps
Live streamingHDMI, Wi-Fi, RTMP, RTSP
AudioLine in, Microphone input
Stabilization9-axis IMU (gyroscope, accelerometer, e-compass)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Micro USB
Micro HDMI
StorageMicro SD
CompatibilityAndroid, iOS
Battery18650 Li-ion battery (2600 mAh) x 2
Operating temperature-10C to 40C (14F to 104F)
Operating humidity0 to 90%
Dimensions103mm diameter x 158mm height
Weight425g

One of the key features of Ultracker is its in-camera optical flow stitching.  For users who prefer to stitch with their own software, it is also possible to save the photo as five unstitched photos.

Aleta S2C will also feature HDR.  It will take 3 exposures a mere 0.1 secs apart (which makes it less likely that there will be noticeable ghosting).  In July, Ultracker will update the firmware to enable the camera to enable the HDR shots to be blended automatically.

The in-camera stitching and HDR mode will be particularly useful and convenient for virtual tour photographers.

Aleta S2C Sample Photos

Here are new full resolution photo samples.

The detail and resolution on these samples look excellent, similar to the level of detail you would expect from a panoramic shot from a DSLR with a fisheye lens.  Here is a 100% crop:

Aleta S2C 100% crop shows excellent detail
Aleta S2C 100% crop shows excellent detail

Stitching looks pretty good although there is a little bit of warping in a few of the stitch lines on these early samples.  What is most interesting to me is that the minimum stitching distance seems significantly shorter than those of other professional 360 cameras.

Dynamic range looks impressive.  In the screenshot below, the photo was taken in sunny 16 conditions, yet even the highlights on the metallic lions and the white sphere were all preserved, as were the details in the shadows of the trees in the background.

Ultracker Aleta S2C has impressive dynamic range
Ultracker Aleta S2C has impressive dynamic range

Chromatic aberration and flare appear well controlled.   There appears to be no reduction in contrast.

Aleta S2 has well controlled flare and virtually no visible chromatic aberration
Aleta S2 has well controlled flare and virtually no visible chromatic aberration

Please note these samples are from prototypes.  The final image quality will definitely be better.

PRICE and AVAILABILITY

Ultracker Aleta S2 high resolution 12K 360 camera
Ultracker Aleta S2 high resolution 12K 360 camera

I will be posting a hands-on review and more samples within 3 weeks.  The price will be $1195 for the S2C (MSRP for S2 Professional is not yet known).  It will be available for preorder from Amazon end of May, with delivery mid-June.  Meanwhile, please check back here for the specific launch date.  What do you think of the Aleta S2 so far?  Any features that you want to be added?  Post your questions and suggestions in the comments!  Ultracker’s official website is here.

About the author

Mic Ty

29 Comments

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  • Interesting. Yes needs some work with stitching and exposure.

    A good example of higher resolution photos possible from a multi-lens camera. Pump up that video resolution a bit and they might have something.

  • Hi,

    Just had a further email from Aleta, they have provided the following two outdoor samples;

    https://goo.gl/maps/XSbvPyhinNH2

    https://goo.gl/maps/m6JNyu6Dzqq

    They again wanted to stress that this is a prototype camera and the quality is not reflective of the final product.

    I have no link to this company other than first seeing the Aleta S2 preview on this website and taking an active interest in it. I’ve had plenty of other 360 cameras, but the photo resolution has never really inspired me. Personally, I think the Aleta S2 however looks like a step in the right direction.

    Mic – fantastic site! Keep up the excellent work!

  • The website for Ultracker does not work any more, looks like another hi res 360 camera plan bites the dust along with Sphericam 2 and NCTech Iris360 Pro, why is it that no one is producing a really High Resolution one shot camera capable of producing High Quality 360 x 360 still images, the Panono is the closest but does not quite cut it with 36 low res lenses and no 4 k Video.

    • Hi Brian. Personally I’m quite happy with Panono. It doesn’t do video but the photo quality is waaaay better than anything else. I plan to compare it to a DSLR panorama soon.

      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Hi Mic, the camera and specs look very impressive. But the samples are terrible and would not inspire confidence. I can’t understand how a marketing team would release such bad samples. I presume it will improve with some more development and as always I look forward to your expert analysis. I wouldn’t buy a 360 camera without first looking at your in-depth review, it has never let me down yet.

    • Joe, I have found this with many 360 camera manufacturers. Seems they do not like to release full resolution images and try to play down their actual optical and processing qualities until final release to market. I agree this seems a strange practice, maybe it is about IP and competitive edge rather than marketing for potential customers? The true proof will be in the hands of reviewers using actual production cameras and not in prototypes in the hands of tech boffins who are not 360 photographers with experience in getting the best out of the camera in the field.The choice of Google street view is an odd one to show images as well, as Google recompresses and tweaks images for their site… I doubt any professional marketing teams are involved here, just the boffins and other Aleta employees.

      • Are you getting a production camera Mic, or a pre-release version that will have different firmware to final release? I assume this company will be active in honing their firmware and software after release to iron out any bugs…

          • Thanks Mic, Well I am sure the you will be able to provide back to them very valuable feedback and provide to us all your considerable skill and knowledge of how this camera performs vs others such as Panono, and I guess focussing on the potential of the camera if this is not the final version we can all buy 🙂 Stitching and processing is tweak-able with firmware and software improvements, issues with the lens performance and dynamic range of the sensors less easy to adjust later. I hope that raw output is possible. So much more useful than jPG in post processing of the stitched images. Regards, Steve

  • Cool, this is a camera I have been waiting for since the end of 2016 🙂 I mentioned it many times in posts. Methinks I shall be buying one 🙂

    • Hi Steve yes I was trying to tag you on Facebook but for some reason other Steve Swaynes kept coming up instead… Glad you saw the article!
      best regards,
      Mic

  • Is there going to be an interval mode and can you run a few minutes of 7680 x 3840 @ 2fps through Cupix?

      • The specs are intriguing and I do like the footprint including the inset perimeter lenses which appear to be well protected by rubber nubs. In addition to video, it would be interesting to see how quickly and repeatably full resolution photos can be captured in sequence (or interval).

        • I agree with Scott, interval shooting is very important for flexibility in various types of usage situations. Regards, Steve

  • Looks very promising.
    I realize the images are from a prototype.
    I hope all of the weaknesses I noticed are fixed (exposure difference between the lenses & stitching).
    The HDR function is VERY important to me.
    I hope it actually has a good range or an adjustable range with the app.
    Can’t wait for your review.
    I’ll definitely order this based on your review of a shipping product.

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