In an continuing effort to push sales of their first camera, the CION, AJA just announced that they are giving out free loans of their CION camera to interested shooters. My colleague Sebastian Wöber reviewed the camera earlier this year with very mixed results, with cinema5D being the first medium to cover the camera extensively. In a surprising move, AJA dropped the price by almost 50% in May, and now loans it out for free for people who want to test it on their own projects. It’s great to see a manufacturer reacting as open as this to criticism and user feedback. AJA has a long-standing history of providing reliable tools for the post production industry, but they are new to the highly competitive camera market, and as Blackmagic Design have already shown in their first years as camera makers, no expert has ever grown on trees – but everyone’s getting better over time. To sign yourself up for a free AJA CION loan, head over to the AJA #TRYCION website to fill out the form. There are separate programs for North America (click here) and EMEA region (click here). Of course, AJA reserves the right to deny this service to anyone, it’s only logical that they want to know a bit more about you before handing over an expensive piece of kit with a bunch of accessories for free. However the questions you need to answer are reasonable, simply telling them what kind of cameras you usually shoot with, what workflow you are using and what type of productions you specialize in. And of course, for how many days you would actually want a CION. If any of our readers tries the CION themselves, we’d be very happy to get your feedback about it and how the camera worked for you compared to our experience.Read more
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. We will look at the following aspects: Page 1: Features at a Glance Page 2: Sensor Tests (& comparison to Blackmagic Production Camera 4K) Page 3: Ergonomics & Handling Page 4: Pro’s & Con’s | Conclusion 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 • Page 1: AJA Cion Review – Features at a Glance • Page 2: AJA Cion Review – Sensor Tests • Page 3: AJA Cion Review – Ergonomics & Handling • Page 4: AJA Cion Review – Pro’s & Con’s | ConclusionRead more
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