by Richard Lackey | 25th September 2015
If you don’t already own a RED, chances are you’ve dreamed of owning one. The RED Raven may be a dream come true for many. It’s also the first sub-$10,000 RED camera. RED are accepting deposits on orders beginning today and will begin shipping in Feb 2016. RED have launched a brand new RED Raven microsite here: RED Raven. So I’m not going to list all the specs. I will however touch on the highlights that make Raven such a compelling new player in the sub $10k space. RED Digital Cinema are the original badboy revolutionaries. The RED One was forged from the dream of no compromise 4K+ digital cinema tools for everyone. The story of RED’s inception and early days, as well as how its founding members came together makes for some very inspiring reading. The people involved, their passion and drive to push digital cinema technology beyond the limits imposed by large, slow moving corporate behemoths is what makes RED, and its various personalities so loved by its advocates. Jim Jannard was and is still a genuine hero to many, and Jarred is now leading the company, its team, products and dream forward into ever deeper uncharted technological territory. If you haven’t caught this interview with Jarred Land yet by Jon Fauer over on Film and Digital Times, it’s well worth the read: Jarred Land, Pres of RED. Over the years RED have delivered on close to all of their promises, some would say all but one. While we have all watched every new sensor, every new camera body and iteration with longing, ordering a RED package remains for many of us as unachievable as driving a brand new Ferrari out of the showroom. The #4K4ALL moniker finally looks set to put that right… for some. With the Raven brain only at $5,950 and two packages, the “Jetpack” package and “Base I/O” package at $9,750 and $9,950 respectively there’s still a massive part of the digital cinema camera market that won’t be submitting an order. RED RAVEN BRAIN ONLY – $5,950 ($500 deposit) – ships February 2016 RED RAVEN JETPACK PACKAGE – $9,750 ($1,000 deposit) – ships February 2016 – Includes a RED RAVEN BRAIN, JETPACK, Battery Belt Clip, RED MINI-MAG 120GB, 4.7” LCD, AC Power Adaptor, and DSMC2 Outrigger Handle. RED RAVEN I/O PACKAGE – $9,950 ($1,000 deposit) – ships March 2016 – Includes a RED RAVEN BRAIN, Base I/O V-Lock Expander, RED MINI-MAG 120GB, 4.7” LCD, AC Power Adaptor, and DSMC2 Outrigger Handle. The fixed Canon EF lens mount will disappoint some people, still, I believe the price is more than fair when you acknowledge exactly what you’re getting. 4K Dragon Sensor You get one of the best imagers on the planet right now, a 4096 x 2160 Super 35mm 4K Dragon sensor promising the same 16.5+ stops of dynamic range and color science as the Dragon in Scarlet, Epic and Weapon. It may not be quite as large at 20.48mm in width, but realistically it’s still large enough for all the shallow DOF anyone could really need. Impressive Frame Rates Raven promises to deliver 4K (4096 x 2160) at 120fps, 3K (3072 x 1620) at 160fps and 2K (2048 x 1080) at up to 240fps. R3D Redcode RAW REDcode RAW is arguably one of RED’s most valuable and important technologies. It is the most efficient, fastest and most workflow friendly RAW codec in existence. R3D is a pleasure to work with and offers a whole spectrum of compression ratios. 3:1 maximum available REDCODE for 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24 fps 7:1 maximum available REDCODE for 4K (4096 x 2160) at 60 fps 13:1 maximum available REDCODE for 4K (4096 x 2160) at 120 fps Simultaneous ProRes Recording Raven is capable of recording R3D and 2K Apple ProRes (422 HQ, 422 or 422 LT) simultaneously providing even more flexible post workflow. Compact and Lightweight The Raven is RED’s lightest camera yet at 1.6kg (3.5lbs). It is the same body shape as Weapon and is compatible with the Weapon modules. This is something to consider seriously when weighing up other camera options especially if you plan to fly your camera on a gimbal or drone. Conclusion While many will criticise RED about its expensive proprietary media and accessories, I believe Raven represents fantastic value considering RED’s position as one of the main pillars of digital cinema. Where some relative newcomers are still proving their worth, stumbling over features, design and reliability to get into the game, RED pretty much invented it and have proven themselves over and over again. I don’t see the RED Raven necessarily taking huge numbers of customers from Sony, Canon or Blackmagic Design that are not in the market to spend $10k on a basic camera package in the first place, however I do see a very good reason for anyone who really cares about creating extraordinary images to stop, think twice and consider stepping up their investment if they can. RED Digital Cinema have just brought Dragon to the table for a lot more people. When you consider all of the camera options for $10k or less, one thing is certain, we are totally spoiled for choice.Read more
by Kevin Alexander | 19th May 2015
Today Panasonic announced a new camera, and it’s a bombshell. The Panasonic G7, like its big brother the GH4, shoots 4K video… at a whopping introductory price of $800. But just how does the G7 compare to the GH4? Well, besides the ability to record 4K there are some similarities. Both are Micro Four Thirds cameras. Both have an ISO range of 200 – 25600 (Extended range is 100 – 25600). And both use SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards. But for half the price it’s obvious that the G7 won’t have all of the features of the GH4: Panasonic G7 vs GH4 4K Video: The G7 will not record DCI 4K (4096 x 2160). It can handle UltraHD (3840 x 2160) up to 30fps (100Mbps). File Formats: No .MOV recording. The G7 only records to MP4 and AVCHD. Video System: PAL or NTSC recording (region restricted. Not a world camera) Bit Rates: 100 Mbps max bit rate. The GH4 can record up to 200 Mbps on some file formats Video Clip Length: 29 Minutes, 59 Seconds is the max recording time. The GH4 can record for up to 220 minutes. Shutter: The G7 is a mirrorless camera and features an electronic shutter for silent recording. It also has a mechanical shutter like DSLR’s. Other Video Features: The G7 does have Cinelike D and V picture styles like the GH4, but does not have other professional features like timecode, colour bars, audio tones, zebras or headphone jack. There are a couple of other features about the G7 worth noting. It weighs 14.64 oz, has an OLED viewfinder, a flip out 3 inch LCD screen, an internal mic and external mic input, and a 4K burst photo mode that can shoot 8 MP stills at 30 fps for up to 29 min. 59 sec. This camera lacks some of the features that makes the GH4 so attractive. But it’s still an amazing camera, especially when you consider the price point. The G7 with 14-42mm lens (35mm equivalent: 28-84mm) will sell at roughly $800. Another kit with a 14-140mm lens (28-280mm) will sell for around $1100. So, a 4K video camera that weighs less than 1 pound and costs less than $1000. This looks to be a great option for those looking to buy their first camera, but also a good B camera for those already shooting on the GH4. The camera is expected to ship at the end of June. For now, check out this video shot on the G7: Specs Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds Pixels: 16 MP File Formats: MP4, AVCHD Memory Cards: SD, SDHC, SDXC Video System: NTSC or PAL (region restricted) Video Format (for NTSC region): UltraHD MP4 3840 x 2160p / 30 fps (100 Mbps) 3840 x 2160p / 24 fps (100 Mbps) High Definition MP4 1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps) 1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (20 Mbps) High Definition MP4 1280 x 720p / 30 fps (10 Mbps) Standard Definition MP4 640 x 480p / 30 fps (4 Mbps) High Definition AVCHD 1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps) 1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (24 Mbps) 1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (24 Mbps) High Definition AVCHD 1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (17 Mbps) Video Clip Length: Up to 29 Minutes 59 Seconds Audio Recording: Built-in Mic, Optional External Mic Display Screen: 3″ LCD Touchscreen Swivel ISO: Auto, 200-25600 (Extended Mode: 100-25600) Weight: 14.64 ozRead more
by Sebastian Wöber | 14th April 2015
Blackmagic Design just introduced the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera and Micro Studio Camera 4K. Both of which target the camera market along the lines of GoPro. Obviously aerial and gimbal movement is becoming very popular among serious filmmakers and videographers recently, even Arri went into the market of small and lightweight designs with their Arri ALEXA Mini. The new cameras by Blackmagic are seriously tough competition to any manufacturer producing small cameras for cinematic images. They capture 12-bit RAW inside a tiny form factor. The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera has a super16 sized sensor and has a global shutter that prevents motion artefacts on drones or other fast paced recordings. [UPDATE: Blackmagic has introduced the camera without the promised global shutter feature] The Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K has a rolling shutter but the advantage of recording UltraHD internally. Both cameras feature an expansion port with numerous connection features that let you remote control the camera via existing ATEM hardware or aerial control hardware. It has a single cable S.Bus and 4 PWM channels. The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera is available for pre-order for $995 The Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K is available for pre-order for $1,295 Both cameras are said to ship in July. Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera Key Features: • High resolution 1080 HD, 13 stops of dynamic range. • Switchable 60 fps rolling shutter or 30 fps global shutter. • Features built in 12-bit RAW and ProRes recording and captures true digital film quality images. • Features an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount. Easily adaptable to other lens mounts. • Includes built in buttons along the front to quickly and easily change settings. • Includes an expansion port with a DB-HD15 connector and breakout cable. Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K Key Features: Operates up to 2160p30 when operated in Ultra HD or up to 1080p60 when operated in HD. Supports SDI camera control protocol allowing full remote control vis single SDI connection. Compatible with high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses. Compatible with other mounts via commonthird party adapters such as B4 broadcast lens mount. Includes built in buttons along the front for quick access to menu navigation and settings. Includes a 12V power input or users can add an LP-E6 compatible battery for backup power. Includes an expansion port with a DB-HD15 connector for power, reference, PTZ and B4 connections. Expansion port supports multiple control connections such as PTZ serial output, B4 lens data linkoutput and S.Bus input allowing customers to build customized camera control solutions. Built in, two way digital quality talkback connector using iPhone compatible headsets. Compatible with ATEM range of live production switchers for full SDI control of cameras. [UPDATE: Blackmagic has introduced the camera without the promised global shutter feature]Read more
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