AJA Cion Review – All You Need to Know About the AJA Camera

Last year AJA surprised us with the announcement of a high quality, affordable, 4K shooting, cinema camera. The AJA Cion was a tool we were looking forward to use and now, after a long wait and after the public release we could finally analyse and test it thoroughly.
Here is our complete AJA Cion review with some awkward surprises and a long list of pro’s and con’s. This is a camera that needs careful observation before the shooting can start. Read on to see all our findings.

If you plan on shooting with the AJA Cion we recommend you read our new article:
10 important tips to help you master the AJA Cion

In this review we will present objective test results from our labs, compare the camera to other contenders, and try to give you a subjective observation of how the camera worked for us.

aja-cion-review

We will look at the following aspects:

AJA Cion Review – Features at a Glance

Sensor:
The AJA Cion’s sensor has some great technical features. It is a 4:3 APS-C sized global shutter sensor that upon closer inspection had a striking resemblance to the sensor we find in the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K (We do not claim it is the same sensor). The sensor also performs very similarly in terms of lowlight and dynamic range. More on that later.

  • Global shutter CMOS sensor
  • 4K pixel readout
  • 22.5mm x 17mm 4:3 APS-C sized sensor (a little smaller than super35)

Recording Formats:
The camera records in the ProRes format. This is fantastic, a great recording format, easy to edit.
Additionally the Cion does 120fps RAW via the 4 SDI ouputs on the back. This didn’t work with the Atomos Shogun in our tests.

  • Apple ProRes 4444 (up to 30fps) 12-bit
  • Apple ProRes 422 (up to 60fps) 10-bit
  • RAW externally (up to 120fps)

Useful Connectors:
The AJA Cion is a camera that gives you lots of connections. The idea of an “open architecture” camera, that is highly compatible is one that any operator will welcome.

  • 6 SDI outputs in total
  • 2 hdmi outputs (one of them supports 4K)
  • 2 XLR balanced analog inputs (with phantom power + dedicated boost), 24bit 48khz
  • Well positioned headphone jack for audio monitoring
  • Thunderbolt for direct recording via PC (up to 30fps)
  • 2 LANC connectors for remote control
  • D-tap connector to power an accessory
  • and more

Battery (life):
The AJA Cion comes with a 2-pin battery connector behind its back plate so you can install your own V-mount or Anton Bauer battery plate. Battery life is extensive on the Cion. It lasts forever.

  • Standby time on our fully charged 126Wh V-mount battery: 3h 15m

GO TO PAGE 2 → Sensor Tests

$4,995.00 exc. VATSpecial Order
 
BUY IT

30
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
avatar
20 Comment threads
18 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
ErvaniPiDicus RexDan ESebastian WöberTim Naylor Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Ervani
Guest

More than three years later I’m testing the Cion and got mixed feelings about it. It got a learning curve and I think some settings used in this review are not the best for this camera. Other settings give much better results. This camera is not an all men friend and needs to be operated with care. But when you do the results are still amazing. I’m working on a set of test video’s that can be found on YouTube just search for hdslr35 + AJA Cion to see my test results. Test is still in proces :-)

Joseph Tammel
Member
Joseph Tammel

Great review! Lots of usefull information here.

I really cant believe they have used the same sensor as in the blackmagic camera. It is a many times cheaper camera. Now they have the downsides of it in this camera.

James Ignaz
Guest
James Ignaz

They got the playback part right :)

DOWNLOAD OUR MAVIC PRO LUT
Please enter a valid e-mail address. We will send the download to your inbox.
We hate spam! Your e-mail will be stored with cinema5D.com exclusively and you can unsubscribe from our newsletters at any time.
c5d-logo
PLEASE CHECK YOUR INBOX AND CONFIRM YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS
THANK YOU
Please check your inbox and confirm your e-mail address.
c5d-logo
DOWNLOAD OUR DJI INSPIRE 1 LUT
Please enter a valid e-mail address. We will send the download to your inbox.
We hate spam! Your e-mail will be stored with cinema5D.com exclusively and you can unsubscribe from our newsletters at any time.
c5d-logo
PLEASE CHECK YOUR INBOX AND CONFIRM YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS
DOWNLOAD OUR PANASONIC GH5 instaLUT B1010
Please enter a valid e-mail address. We will send the download to your inbox.
We hate spam! Your e-mail will be stored with cinema5D.com exclusively and you can unsubscribe from our newsletters at any time.
c5d-logo