Over the last days we’ve conducted several scientific lab tests, reviewed and taken the new Sony A7RII out into the field. In this article we are looking at the Sony A7RII rolling shutter performance and see how good the sensor is in comparison to several other cameras. Links to our other tests: Sony A7rII Review – First Impressions & Footage Sony A7RII vs A7S Lowlight Review How Good is the New Sony A7RII – First Look in the Lab Rolling Shutter The so called “rolling shutter” is a phenomenon that skews a camera image when fast moving objects are recorded or during fast pans and handheld camera movement. The reason for this is that most sensors read out the image line by line via a buffer. On many CMOS cameras the rolling shutter effect has become a common issue, but some cameras have a stronger rolling shutter than others. When comparing the Sony A7RII to other cameras we can see that the rolling shutter effect is quite severe in 4K (UHD) Crop Mode. See the comparison below: We test the rolling shutter with a rotary chart. It always spins at the same speed and has a scale printed on it. The horizontal shift between the top and bottom line of pixels lets us roughly calculate the rolling shutter latency in milliseconds. In Crop Mode we measured 29ms of latency on the Sony A7RII whereas in Full Frame Mode we only measured 16ms. In HD (Crop Mode) Rolling Shutter is minimal with 7ms, not far off the famous Arri AMIRA camera that has the lowest rolling shutter rating in our tests. Below you can see a chart comparing rolling shutter between several cameras: As you can see the Sony A7RII joins the Samsung NX1 which had the most severe rolling shutter we ever tested. The Canon 1DC and Sony A7s perform a little better and the Panasonic GH4 has the best values among small cinema cameras. Conclusion Rolling Shutter is for many not a purchase criteria. The phenomenon is mostly an issue when there is overly fast handheld movement or you film fast moving objects. However a rolling shutter of 29ms raises concerns. It is the highest measured rolling shutter among all cameras we every tested. As we found out on Friday the Full Frame Mode is quite acceptable in terms of quality and offers a much better rolling shutter behaviour, but we also noticed that it performs badly in lowlight. It might come in handy when a better rolling shutter performance is needed and you have sufficient light available. Comparing the Sony A7RII HD mode with that of the Sony A7s we can see that the Sony A7RII performs much better. So rolling shutter on the new Sony A7RII is both good and bad. If you need a camera with good rolling shutter performance in 4K (UHD) you can either resort to the Sony A7RII Full Frame Mode or avoid this camera altogether and go with the Panasonic GH4 instead. The Sony A7s performs better, but the difference is not huge. Please consider getting your camera and gear through this link. Thank youRead more
What an unfamiliar sensation to write the words “lightweight” and “ARRI” in the same headline. But here it is: Camera manufacturer ARRI just surprised us with the announcement of a new cinema camera: The ARRI ALEXA Mini. A small and lightweight, carbon fibre version of their hugely popular ARRI ALEXA cinema camera. ARRI seems to have been quite busy lately. After announcing loads of cool upgrades for their documentary style AMIRA camera just last week, here’s another piece of gear for filmmakers to drool over. Cinema camera manufacturer ARRI is known for their heavy duty, tank like professional cameras. Even the ENG style ARRI AMIRA with its “documentary style” single-shooter approach is quite a heavyweight at 5kg body weight. The body design of the ARRI ALEXA mini is a lot lighter than all their previous cameras. It is optimised for use with brushless gimbals, multicopters and other specialized rigs. It is compact enough to allow the use of space-constrained rigs, such as gyro-stabilized aerial systems. The ARRI ALEXA mini is not featherlight though, it’s still a solid piece of gear, but at 2.3 kg it is a lot lighter than its bigger brother. Interestingly 2.3kg is exactly the weight of its main competitor, the RED Epic (Dragon) camera. Observing the design and ergonomics of the ARRI ALEXA mini, there’s a startling resemblance to the RED cameras… The ARRI ALEXA mini has an extremely cool set of features, also very similar to the RED Epic line. Interestingly RED’s new camera, the WEAPON was also recently announced. In their press release ARRI prides itself to have made “the most future-proof camera system available today“. The camera will work in a 4K environment, supports 4K HFR technology up to 60p, as well as featuring HDR (High Dynamic Range) capture for upcoming higher dynamic range displays. Most important features at a glance: 35mm format sensor (4:3 or super35) HD, 2K and 4K (UHD) recording options 14+ stops of dynamic range like ALEXA ISO 800 base sensitivity CFast 2.0 memory cards (Like AMIRA) Recording Codec: ProRes 4444XQ, 4444, 422 (HQ), 422, 422(LT), ARRIRAW Up to 200 fps in 2K (60fps in UHD) MVF-1 OLED Viewfinder (with flipout LCD) Built-in radio interface for ARRI lens control motorised internal ND’s (can be remote controlled with iPhone via WIFI) tons of additional features… How cool is that part about the iPhone remote controlled motorised internal ND’s?! The ARRI ALEXA Mini is scheduled to begin shipping in May 2015, with orders being taken from March. There is no word on pricing yet, but from the looks of it this camera won’t be an affordable one (thinking $40k and beyond). A prototype of the ALEXA Mini will be on show at the British Video Expo (BVE) from February 24-26, 2015, in Booth J30. The ALEXA Mini microsite: www.arri.com/alexaminiRead more
Arri just announced a run-and-gun camera that seems to fulfill every documentary filmmakers dream. A complete “compact” working tool with Arri Alexa quality, slow motion capabilities, zoom control and no setup time working right out of the box. You could think of it like an old fashioned video camera that had all the ergonomics and versatility laid out for fast one-man poduction, be it a documentary film or news gathering or old fashioned home videos. Here’s a complete solution that brings back all these qualities but made for “cinema” grade results made by the most reliable camera manufacturer of our time. This is an exciting product, so exciting we know it’s going to cost a lot more than most of us could afford. This is definitely a rental camera, not like a 650D you’ve got lying around in your equipment drawer. This is a serious cinema camera, not only for its sensor design, but also because it brings what the Arri Alexa provided: the ergonomics, quality and workflow that helps filmmakers make the best images possible. In terms of workflow Arri integrated “CFast 2.0” which is an in-camera CF memory slot with super-quick data rates. CFast 2.0 is an open format said to deliver a fantastic price-performance ratio through incredible transfer speeds, long recording times and compatibility with standard IT tools. Costs per GB are brought down and higher-than-broadcast-quality image pipelines are made available even to low budget productions. Here are the key features of Arri’s new Amira: • Ready to pick up and shoot straight out of the camera bag. (including startup) • creative liberation through functional, user-friendly design. • same amazing sensor as Arri Alexa. • records HD 1080 or 2K (with 4K imager). • 14 stops (clean!) dynamic range. • up to 200fps. • ProRes LT, 422, 422HQ or 444 codecs. • Integrated, motorized ND filters. • peaking, false color, zebra. • OLED viewfinder with extendable LCD on the side. • comes with a number of preloaded 3D LUT-based looks for fast grading. And here’s a sentence from the press-release concerning durability that just has to be quoted: AMIRA is a highly durable product constructed of the strongest possible materials. Sealed electronics provide top-level protection against humidity and dust, while an integrated thermal core results in highly efficient cooling. Productions can take AMIRA anywhere, from jungles and deserts to snow-capped mountain tops, sure in the knowledge that it will not let them down. There are many productions this product is perfectly tailored to. You can be sure this camera will take the video and cinema production world by storm.Read more
Even though Arri’s digital cinema camera, the Arri Alexa has been around for several years and is at this time still limited to HD / 2K resolution, many popular productions and reknown cameramen choose this tool to realize high budget projects. It becomes obvious that there must be other ingredients more important than frame size. Arri revealed that they’re working on a 4K camera, but also mentions that resolution is not everything. When the Arri Alexa XT was announced I mentioned how Arri is focusing on image quality and the ergonomics of its cameras so they become a perfectly balanced working tool that helps filmmakers achieve the best. Now that 4K is on everyones dinner plate Arri’s managing director Franz Kraus gives us some food for thought on the topic.Read more
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