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
Today Canon reduced the price of their 4K video DSLR, the Canon EOS 1DC, by $4,000, taking the retail price from $11,999 down to $7,999. The camera was first introduced 3 years ago in April of 2012 and its high cost was always a mystery, considering that the camera’s hardware was almost identical to the 50% cheaper Canon 1DX DSLR (that lacks 4K video shooting capabilities). Still, the Canon 1DC was in many ways unique on the digital video market offering 4K resolution, as well as producing some outstanding results for its relatively small body size and weight and was used on many professional productions. During 2014 many camera manufacturers introduced 4K capable yet compact large sensor cameras, like the Sony A7S or Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, that were a lot more affordable than the Canon 1DC. However the 1DC price tag remained unchanged, until now. Today, on February 1st 2015, 1DC owners lost $4,000 of value on their investment when the price was dropped overnight. There is no indication as to why the price was dropped so radically or why it remained unchanged over such a long period of time in the first place. Fact is that many 1DC owners that intended to sell their cameras used are furious over such a radical price drop. It is presumed that we will see the introduction of several new pro cameras by Canon in April of this year. There are numerous rumours out there as to what we will see, but it’s clear that there’s something quite interesting on the horizon as the product cycle of several C cameras has come to an end. On the other hand, for those looking into purchasing a 1DC the camera just became a lot more interesting again. While $7,999 is still a hefty sum, the camera is certainly worth considering for those seeking superb lowlight capabilities and picture quality at 4K resolution. via nofilmschool.comRead more
I would actually like to start my A7s article with writing about the Canon 1DC…Since it came out during March 2013, the Canon 1DC was my primary working tool be it for broadcast (when ever I could choose the equipment to work with), documentary, corporate, or any other narrative project. The combination of a clean full HD full frame video or 1.3 crop 4K internal recording plus what I consider to be “irresistible colour and general warmth” gave me the maximum flexibility to be creative and cater my customers with what needed best for the project. On the downside, the hefty price tag prevented it from becoming a popular camera and further more, it always felt to me like Canon was treating this camera like the “stepchild” of the “C” family, meaning, no real meaningful updates that could enhance and simplify shooting experience like “punch-in zoom” while recording, peaking, or good internal audio quality to name a few. Those shortcoming forced me to always work with an external monitor or EVF, external audio recorder, plus a rig when needed. Then came the Sony A7s. After purchasing that camera the first feeling I had was “liberation”…Now I could choose if I want to work with a rig or perhaps an external monitor/EVF, or “stay compact” and not defeat the purpose of its small size by using the build in excellent OLED EVF as my run&gun monitor. The key word was/is flexibility. Depending on the shooting scenario, I can now quickly adopt the camera to be “small” or “big”. Further more, Sony (unlike Canon) cleverly designed the camera to be part of a total solution for the documentary shooter. With the attached hot-shoe audio module XLR-K2M (or XLR-K1M if desired) or alternatively using Sony’s URXP03 (wireless solution) together with the SAMD-p3 adapter, one can now have high quality and up to 2 channel XLR audio solution connected directly to the camera. Additionally, Sony’s 28-135mm f4 stabilised ENG type motorised lens due to be release soon and will create a total working solution opposed to Canon ‘s “camera only” situation. Now regarding the above video. Together with Bethany Bell my BBC corespondent, we wanted to capture one of Vienna’s traditional art, the “Dudeln” (Vienna’s own indoor yodelling). Since I was visiting similar local places like this before, I knew that lighting will be challenging especially when I was required to minimise my disturbance to the restaurant guests and staff. For the task I opted for 3 800W redheads. Those allowed me to increase the restaurant’s light levels by pointing them indirectly to the white walls. Additionally, I could lit the dudler singer Agnes Palmisano from few meters away, again without disturbing her singing and her fellow guitar and accordion players. Next was sound. As I was alone without a soundman with Bethany in this assignment, it was rather challenging. Balancing alone and at times 2 audio channels (one of them with music) is not that easy…. For the opening sequence I’ve asked Agnes the singer to be aware of my queue signalling when Bethany is starting to talk and help me by lowering her voice to the point that Bethany’s voice is clear, then on my second queue, raise her voice again and continue singing. After 2-3 tries we were perfectly synced and able to execute a nice engaging opening scene. In order NOT to waste too much time and also keep simplicity, I’ve decided that the musicians won’t have their own microphone but rather be heard from Agnes’s one. A bit risky but here it worked perfectly!. My lens selection for that evening was all from Samyang. (14, 24, 35, 85mm). Those are modestly priced and perfect for lowlight situations work. When editing, I dropped the S-log 2 footage into Premiere CC 2014 (allows native XAVC-S editing) and after I was done, I’ve added 1 adjustment layer with “filmConvert” on it and chose the look I wanted. (Profile: Cine 1-Cinema, KD 5207 Vis3). On a second adjustment layer I’ve added 20% sharpness for enhancing the general look. Below you will find few “before” and “after” S-log shots: All in all, I had a very positive experience working with the A7s for broadcast. My next full length documentary feature is schedule for spring. I won’t hesitate using the camera again. The original BBC link to Bethany’s report can be found here. Many thanks to Bethany Bell and Agnes Palmisano Johnnie Behiri is a freelance documentary cameraman/editor/producer working mostly for the BBC and other respected broadcasters. He is also co-owner of cinema5d.comRead more
This is a rolling shutter comparison between the new Sony A7S, the Arri Amira, Panasonic GH4, (Canon C300), Canon 5D mark III and Canon 1D C. In the first part in this series of tests we compared the usable dynamic range of the A7S and found that it comes surprisingly close to the dynamic range of the Arri AMIRA (find the dynamic range test here). Rolling shutter is a phenomenon where straight vertical lines look bent on moving objects, or a “jello effect” appears when the recording device itself is in motion. It is a common issue with CMOS sensor cameras that read out a frame line by line over a certain period of time. A sensor with a global shutter however reads out the entire image at once, avoiding the rolling shutter effect altogether. A severe rolling shutter can be disturbing in certain shooting scenarios.Read more
This is a dynamic range test and comparison between the Sony A7S, Arri Amira, Panasonic GH4, Canon C300, Canon 5D mark III and Canon 1D C. The dynamic range is the range in luminance any given camera can capture. More range allows for more flexibility in post production and usually provides a more natural and hence more cinematic end result. What is the cinema5D test lab? cinema5D has established their own scientific testing facility to accurately measure and evaluate the performance of cameras. As a platform for reviews about cinematic cameras we strive to provide objective comparisons and share insights to help you choose the right camera for your projects.Read more
Canon has released a firmware update to fix an issue some EOS-1D C users were having with the latest features. Firmware Version 1.3.4 brought line level audio support to the 1D C, however there were some issues with a few camera bodies regarding this feature. Information taken from the Canon website: Details Firmware Version 1.3.5 incorporates the following improvements. Fixes a phenomenon in which the line-level audio input function of some EOS-1D C cameras does not operate as expected with Firmware Version 1.3.4. Affected Product The phenomena described above will occur in cameras running Firmware Version 1.3.4 whose sixth digit from the left of the serial number is “1”, “2”, “3”. Examples of affected serial numbers are: “xxxxx1xxxxxx”, “xxxxx2xxxxxx”, “xxxxx3xxxxxx”. Support Canon USA will perform Factory Updates on the EOS-1D C free of charge. Shipping and handling charges may apply. Please contact the Canon Customer Support Center for details. This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region. Contact Information for Inquiries Canon Customer Support Center Phone: 1-855-CINE-EOS (toll free) 1-855-246-3367 TDD: 1-866-251-3752 Email: CinemaEOS@cits.canon.com For additional support options: pro.usa.canon.com/support via/CanonRumorsRead more
Shooting in 4K is just became popular then ever and certainly more affordable with the introduction of the Panasonic GH4. But how practical is it to shoot in a “real life production”? In episode number 6 of our successful “ON THE COUCH” series recorded at NAB and hosted by my friend and colleague Nino Leitner, Rodney Charters, ASC, is questioning the necessity of 4K filming in modern digital cinema and TV productions. I admire Rodney and find his thoughts very interesting and extremely helpful, but from my personal experience and after getting the chance to participate as a DOP in a low/no budget production, I came to the conclusion that shooting in 4K (regardless to your final full HD output be it TV or web) is a must. When the young and promising Austrian director Jan Woletz and his talented colleague Christof Dertschei (VFX effects specialist) asked me to join shooting the teaser for “Wienerland“, their up coming web series, we went into short discussion regarding the question, “which camera to use”?. As it was a no budget production, Jan was in favor of using his Canon C300 as our main camera, while I was suggesting shooting on my personal Canon 1DC. For many professionals using a 4K camera for a “web production” might look as an extremely “over kill” decision, nevertheless, my arguments for using the Canon 1DC were very clear: -We had only 3 shooting days. In those packed days (or should I say nights), we had to film a great variety of perspectives. One of the ways to overcome the shortage of time and give my director freedom while editing (freedom in the sense of deciding on a certain perspective taken from the 4K frame and also be able to “travel” within the frame” was to shoot in 4K and edit on a 1080 timeline. -In this specific production we were under staffed and short in equipment. There was no doubt that only a camera which can produce a nice, clean looking image at high ISO values would be an option. The Canon 1DC was chosen as the best available option. Now, a short pause from the 4K talk and a little bit about the “Wienerland project”. Actually, I will let Jan and Christof describe it best in a short 3 minute video they made exactly for this purpose. Back to our discussion, unlike other “fashionable” filming trends, I’m sure 4K shooting is here to stay. It is up to us the users to make the most out of it and make it serve us best in our productions. As more companies like Panasonic, Blackmagic and Kinefinity to name a few are now offering affordable 4K recording, I am sure more companies will follow with modestly priced solutions too. And what about “Wienerland”, where does the project currently stand? As this is a “web based series”, the creators are looking for a large fan based audience which will follow and support them during the different stages of the production. A crowdfunding campaign is also planned. Cinema5D will continue to accompany the project and share when progress is made. See the list below to find out which equipment was used for this teaser. Lenses: Zeiss ZF 21mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm – modified by LOCKCIRCLE (PrimeCircle) Main grading was done in DaVinci Resolve (no film look plugins used). Pre-grading & matching (respectively most of the grading of the shootout) was done in After Effects with Colorista II. Photos by: Daniel Nuderscher I would like to thank the most amazing dedicated crew. Without them any of it wouldn’t have been possible. A special thanks to my “Swiss army knife” gaffer Uli Neuburg and electrician Elias Jerusalem. Please stay tuned to cinema5D as we will soon post another episode of “ON THE COUCH“, where Nino Leitner hosted a very engaging discussion with Jan Woletz, Christoph Dertschei and the Bui Brothers, talking about exactly that subject: Is it worth shooting in 4K or not? The episode will go live in the coming days. A full actors/crew list of “Wienerland” can be seen here Making of and behind the scene:Read more
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