Medium Format Video is slowly becoming a thing, as anyone with an attentive eye walking the floor of Photokina 2016 this past week could tell you. After numerous talks with medium format camera manufacturers at the show, I can certainly see a pattern evolving. We also managed to get some clean footage from the Phase One XF camera with the new IQ3 module. Is Medium Format Video Coming? Of all the current trends in digital cinematography, one of the most interesting is the shift towards larger sensors. We can also observe this in the photo segment, and as photo and video move closer and closer together, Photokina 2016 proved to be a very important show indeed. In the case of the Phase One XF camera, it seems almost like a déjà-vu from the time when we started cinema5D, back when the Canon 5D Mark II came out. Back then, Canon and Nikon were clueless that they had created an entirely new tool that caused a revolution and blurred the border between high end cinema and entry level video shooting. A similar transformation of the market seems to be in progress on the medium format front. Phase One XF and the IQ3 camera back Upon showing up with an Atomos Shogun Flame at the Phase One booth at Photokina, everyone seemed quite confused. We wanted to do was capture the HDMI stream from their new medium format camera. Of course, they focus on the kind of high-end photography that their expensive cameras really excel at, so they have little interest in video at all. But they didn’t seem to suspect that, with a few tweaks, this system could become a valuable asset for video shooting photographers and filmmakers alike. Unfortunately, many manufacturers today are often looking at their existing user base and sometimes miss an opportunity like this. I’m certain that in the not too distant future medium format video will be a standard in these cameras, likely in 8K, just like 4K is now a standard in every new mirrorless photo camera that comes out. Atomos Shogun Flame connected to Phase One XF via HDMI As you can see in the video we shot, the video capabilities of the Phase One XF with IQ3 back is still taking baby steps. In fact, it looks like the clean HDMI output with manual controls that we were able to record with the Atomos Shogun Flame is more a coincidence than a conscious decision. We really hope Phase One will take this functionality further and add some kind of log gamma output or a reduced contrast mode allowing for capture of the full dynamic range of the output, because the footage surely looks very very nice. The bokeh was soft like butter the way that only a medium format camera can capture, and the quality was very nice, without any noticeable aliasing or noise. Just an external, clean HDMI output in 4K would certainly make a big difference. Why is large format video a thing? Read our popular article: Full Frame and Beyond – Large Sensor Digital Cinema Who Else is Doing Medium Format Video? As mentioned, there are a few medium format companies that are on the brink of incorporating usable video functionality in their cameras. I believe none of them realise the potential for filmmakers. Fujifilm GFX 50S The Fujifilm GFX 50S presented at Photokina 2016 is a compact medium format camera that introduces a new lens mount and lens family altogether. The Fujifilm GFX 50S has a 51.4-megapixel resolution (8256 x 6192) and is confirmed to shoot video internally. We had a talk with Fujifilm general manager Theo Georghiades, but unfortunately our microphone system died during this video interview. In short, there will be no 4K in this camera, but we’re looking forward to the HD footage this new medium format will produce. Hasselblad H6D-100c This camera was introduced in April of this year and brings with it 4K RAW video. At Photokina 2016, the people from Hasselblad showed us the first 4K footage from this camera and it looked amazing. Like others, they mostly pointed at the photo functionality and see this merely as a bonus for photographers. We hope to review this camera soon. Hasselblad X1D-50c Then there’s the X series. The Hasselblad X1D-50c medium format camera will also capture HD video at 25fps (?) and in an H.264 format. Leica S (Typ 007) Then there’s the Leica S (Typ 007) of course, which captures 4K DCI at 4:2:2, but does so with a S35 crop of the sensor. Sinar S30|45 Digital Back [Update:] As cinema5D reader Josh Evans pointed out, Swiss camera manufacturer Sinar also just released a digital camera back that records 4K video internally. The Sinarback S30|45 has a Leica CMOS-sensor and Leica Maestro II image processor. This camera back is specifically designed to shoot both stills and video. What’s next? Clearly the medium format camera manufacturers have some more work to do if they want to make these cameras also fit the needs of filmmakers, but these first steps are a good start and give us something to look forward to. Among filmmakers, large format is starting to make a comeback: Arri took an important step with the Arri ALEXA 65 to establish a larger digital sensor size, just like the Phantom 65, Panavision DXL or RED’s VistaVision 8K camera. What do you think? Where are we heading with medium format video? Are we likely to see 4K or even 8K video on medium format cameras anytime soon? Would you adopt it? Let the camera manufacturers know. Some are still listening.Read more
Angenieux have just announced their new EZ series zoom lenses, which feature user switchable mounts and user switchable formats. EF on s35, E mount on FF, and anything in between. Your choice. Now that’s something worth exploring! The Angenieux Type EZ series So many choices… Which lens kit should I buy (or rent)? What are the requirements for the next job? These choices aren’t always easy ones to make, and we still can’t predict the future in terms of what the next camera will require. The new Angenieux Type EZ series zoom lenses could be the solution, as they not only offer user interchangable mounts but also another very neat feature: you can switch out the whole rear optical blocks to have the lens fit a s35 sensor or a full frame one. With a massive 46mm image circle in full frame mode, you can put this thing on whatever you like. Even a Red Dragon 8K sensor won’t be a problem for these zoom lenses. In fact, any Red camera recording at resolutions higher than 5.5K, ARRI Alexa Open Gate, ARRI Alexa 65 with VistaVision crop and also Full Frame DSLR cameras such as the Sony A7s Mark II, Canon EOS 5D mk 4, 5DS, 1DX Mark II. Again: your choice. In s35 mode, the diagonal of the image circle is up to 30mm. While the process of switching mounts is rather easy, switching out the rear optical block is a little bit trickier, and certainly shouldn’t be done on a busy set on the side of the road. But it is possible and that is the real point here! It’s also worth mentioning that when switching the rear optical block from FF to s35, it acts a little bit like a Speed Booster, increasing the aperture from T3 to T2. Not having to choose between either version when investing in glass certainly can bring great peace of mind, especially in a time when new cameras are coming out every few months. With the EZ Series, Angenieux is filling a wide open gap between their highly acclaimed (and very expensive) Optimo cine zooms and standard ENG style zoom lenses which often lack the distinct cine look. Two Versions, Multiple Choices There are two versions of the EZ series zoom lenses, the EZ-1 and the EZ-2. As mentioned above, both of them can be configured as either s35 or full frame versions. Here are the differences between them: The Angenieux Type EZ-1 is a standard zoom lens with a zoom factor of 3x. When configured for S35mm cameras, the focal range and aperture are set to 30-90mm F1.9 / T2. By exchanging the rear lens group, the lens becomes a 45-135mm F2.8 / T3 covering an image circle up to 46mm diagonal. The EZ-1 in s35 mode The Angenieux Type EZ-2 is a wide zoom lens with a zoom factor of 2.7x. When configured for S35mm cameras, the focal range and aperture are set to 15-40mm F1.9 / T2. By exchanging the rear lens group, the lens becomes a 22-60mm F2.8 / T3 covering an image circle up to 46mm diagonal. the EZ-2 in FF mode On top of that, every version is compatible with either PL, EF, or Sony E mounts. Your choice, remember? Another nice thing are detachable ENG style zoom servo grips and other accessories which will be made available by MOVCAM in the near future. Specifications of the EZ Series: EZ-1 FF mode 45-135mm T3 / f2.8, image coverage up to 46mm diagonal Lightweight (2,050g / 4.5 pounds) EZ-1 s35 mode 30-90mm T2 / f1.9, image coverage up to 30mm diagonal Extremely fast T2 across zoom range with no ramping Lightweight (2,150g / 4.7 pounds) EZ-2 in FF mode 22-60mm T3 / f2.8, image coverage up to 46mm diagonal Lightweight (2,070g / 4.6 pounds) Extremely wide coverage with minimal distortion EZ-2 in s35 mode 15-40mm T2 / f1.9, image coverage up to 30mm diagonal Extremely fast T2 across zoom range with no ramping Lightweight (2,120g / 4.6 pounds) Extremely wide coverage with minimal distortion Also, all EZ zoom lens share the following features: Internal focusing & zooming, lens size remains constant throughout zooming & focusing range. Traditional Angenieux look: colorimetry matches those of Optimo & OPTIMO STYLE series. Short MOD 0.6m / 2 feet In-lens thermal compensation, significantly reduces temperature drift. Precise and ergonomic focus ring with scale rotation of 300 degrees Luminescent FTZ markings, easy reading in dark Available with PL lens mount, easy conversion to EF or E mount by users Front diameter 114mm, matte boxes compatible with those used on OPTIMO & OPTIMO STYLE compact zooms Detachable ENG style zoom grip available from MOVCAM Conclusion What do you think? Are we seeing the start of a revolution? Depending on the price that’s yet to be announced, this developement could be a real investment saver for many of us. With the shorter lifespans of cameras it’s nice to have some peace of mind when it comes to the often very expensive lenses we use with them. Deliveries are expected to start from the 1st quarter of 2017. If you happen to be around for IBC, stop by at the Angenieux booth as some prototype lenses will be shown there. Booth #12.E33 For more information, please head over to Angenieux’s website.Read more
Everybody was wondering when Arri would jump into the 4K camera race. Today we were surprised with the announcement of their new 6K camera, the ALEXA 65 that uses a giant 65mm sensor. The camera’s sensor is a new sensor developed by Arri that is slightly larger than a 65mm 5-perf film frame. Some sites claim that the sensor is comprised of three Alexa sensors that are arranged vertically and seamlessly stitched together. To cover the large sensor Arri is introducing a new line of lenses based on Hasselblad medium format stills lenses. This is all very intriguing news. We will let you know when we see the first footage from the camera and get a chance to test and review. Technical Specifications: 65mm digital cinema camer ARRI A3X CMOS Sensor Aperture equivalent to 5-perf 65mm film 6560 x 3102 Resolution 54.12 x 25.58 mm Sensor size (active image area) Sensor image diagonal: 59.87 mm ARRI XPL Mount (64 mm diameter) LDS metadata Same accessories as ALEXA XT cameras Electronic Shutter 5° – 358°, adjustable in 1/10° incrrements 0.75 to 27 fps (upgrade to 60 fps planned for early 2015) EI 160 to EI 3200. Base is EI 800 Dynamic Range greater than 14 stops Shoots: Uncompressed ArriRAW Check out the full documentation about the ALEXA 65 project in this 35-page pdf: LINK via newsshooterRead more
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