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
EDIT: Camera is now officially announced. 1080/25P is confirmed (H.264 Compressed ), Lightweight body (725g), 50 megapixel sensor, Mini HDMI, Audio In/Out, USB 3.0, duel SD cards and 14 stops of DR are also in the specification list although it is not clear if those last two are relevant for the photo side of the camera only or video related too. Two new XCD lenses for the new system were announced too (45 and 90mm). 30mm will follow around September, right at the time when the camera will be available for purchase. A day before Hasselblad will unveil their latest product, the folks over at PetaPixel managed to get some leaked images of the Hasselblad X1D, the new mirrorless medium format beast. We all knew about the unveiling event that Hasselblad had lined up for tomorrow, in which the Swedish manufacturer had promised to release “The World’s First” something. What? We didn’t know exactly. But we had an idea … PetaPixel may have just given us the answer, though. They have just released some leaked photos of the alleged Hasselblad X1D, the world’s first medium format mirrorless camera. We have all seen camera body sizes get smaller and smaller with the advent of mirrorless technology, but as you can see, “mirrorless” has some serious connotations in this case. The body is drastically reduced in comparison to what you might normally expect a medium format camera to be, perhaps even entering the realm of what one might consider “compact”. The reverse shot shows us a large LCD with the video camera icon, answering the question that many had in mind. Yes, it seems this camera will shoot video. Rumours surrounding this camera include a 50 megapixel sensor, and a price tag of $8,995. These will be confirmed at the official Hasselblad unveiling event tomorrow June 22nd, at 2pm Swedish time. You can find the stream below, so make sure to tune in!Read more
In a bold move from Hasselblad, the new H6D-100c looks set to include some impressive video capabilities in the form of 4K Hasselblad RAW video up to 30fps.While it’s been clear for some time that a move beyond super 35mm and even full frame sensors would materialise at the high-end of digital cinema acquisition, the likes of Arri’s Alexa65 reaches a niche demographic among the world’s top cinematographers, and is rental-only. It’s never been totally clear where a more mainstream offering would come from. At EUR 28,900 the H6D-100c is hardly mainstream in the sense of the average DSLR, but it will be a commercial production camera, stocked by dealers, and accessible by anyone willing to part with the cash. If you are craving the ultra shallow depth of field, and the commanding imaging aesthetic of the ultra large format look in video (think Lubezki’s arresting cinematography with the Alexa65 in The Revenant, and Robert Richardson’s work with Ultra Panavision 70 in The Hateful Eight), it looks like the new Hasselblad H6D-100c might give you just that. Now let’s be clear, the Hasselblad H6D is primarily a tool for professional photography, and it’s not in any way, shape or form an answer to the Arri Alexa65 or RED’s VistaVision 8K Weapon. It’s clearly not a cinema camera – it’s a Hasselblad, a descendant from a long line of Hasselblad medium format bodies. It’s not intended for rods and matte boxes and all the cinema add-ons. However, it is interesting that a camera of any form capable of recording 4K UHD RAW video from a massive 100MP 53.4mm x 40mm medium format sensor at this price point would come from a stills camera manufacturer, and not Arri, RED, or Sony. In a sense, it’s not at all surprising. The worlds of photography and videography have been colliding for some time now; RED Digital Cinema coined the term “DSMC” (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) to encapsulate this direction. This collision is coming from two different perspectives and technological histories. From the standpoint of the digital cinema cameras we all know and love, super 35mm has been the standard. Up until now, the love-child of the photo and video worlds has been the full frame 36mm x 24mm (or thereabouts) video from DSLR’s, and RED, of course, have taken this format and run with it in the VistaVision 8K Weapon. What Hasselblad have done in this sense is a natural progression of that technological confluence. If anyone knows medium format, it’s Hasselblad. Go Big or Go Home Let’s look at a quick comparison of some of the largest video capable sensor sizes to date. This is sensor size only, I’m not getting into comparing overall resolution or pixel pitch here. Full Frame DSLR: 36mm x 24mm RED Weapon 8K VistaVision: 40.96mm x 21.6mm Phantom 65: 52.1mm x 30.5mm Arri Alexa 65: 54.12mm x 25.58mm Hasselblad H6D-100c: 53.4mm x 40mm It’s still early days, and of course, we don’t have any footage to share and haven’t touched or seen the H6D in the flesh yet. There is much more of this story to be told in the coming months, there’s a lot of specifics and details we don’t yet know. All we can say is it looks very interesting on paper, this is a camera worth keeping an eye on. Hasselblad H6D-100c Video Specifications Here’re the important highlights of the Hasselblad H6D-100c’s video capabilities. Sensor Type: CMOS, 100 megapixels (11600 x 8700 pixels, 4.6 x 4.6 μm) Sensor Dimensions: 53.4mm x 40mm Video Size: HD (1920 x 1080p) and UHD (3840 x 2160p) File Format: H.264 Compressed (30 fps) (HD only), Hasselblad RAW (HD & UHD) (24fps currently) Color: 16 bit Dynamic Range: 15 stops ISO Speed Range: ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 Lenses: Hasselblad H system lens line with integral central lens shutter HDMI Out: Clean 1080p output Download the full datasheet here. There are of course important questions to be asked. The most important one in my mind for any high end video application is the performance (read-out/reset time) of the rolling shutter. If it’s fast enough, fantastic, if it’s too slow, there’s the possibility that jello might kill the H6D-100c’s potential appeal. Of course, with a maximum frame rate currently of 24fps in 4K RAW, it’s not going to be attractive to high frame rate aficionados but for some, 24fps and perhaps 30fps to come is just fine (30fps is currently available only in 1920x1080p H.264). It’s also important to consider lensing options, Hasselblad offers a fantastic line-up of H system lenses ranging from 24mm to 300mm and 50-100mm, and 35-90mm zooms. You can see the whole lens line-up here. It’s important to remember however that these are photographic lenses with electronic aperture. Coming from a 35mm background, you’ll also need to be aware your field of view is a lot wider with a medium format sensor for any given focal length. Note: Hasselblad will be offering a similar model (H6D-50c), with a reduced pixel count (50MP) and a slightly smaller sensor. The 50c model offers 1080p H.264 video capabilities only. While we don’t yet have full international pricing details, the price in Europe for the H6D-100c body will be EUR 28,900 (ex VAT) and B&H are taking pre-orders, it’s listed at $32,995. For more information, please visit the Hasselblad H6D site: http://www.hasselblad.com/h6dRead more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Watch part 1 and part 2 of episode 20 by clicking here – in case you missed it! In the 3rd and final part of episode 20 of ON THE COUCH, I talked with pro photographers Kamil Tamiola, Tom Barnes and Lucas Gilman about the sheer amounts of data we have to deal with in photography and filmmaking these days, and how to deal with these amounts. Kamil mentioned that he is shooting a lot for Phase One with their own cameras, producing 50 or 80 Megapixels per frame – in 16 bits. After layering changes onto his files in post production, he ends up with photos which are 5 to 6 Gigabytes easily. Tom talks about how he is almost exclusively shooting tethered on his photo shoots – even going so far that his clients get iPad Mini’s into their hands to check out the shots and rate them right after he took them, which of course speeds up his selection and post production process tremendously. On the stresses of photographing new prototype cars for JEEP, Kamil said how he can see Wifi connected cameras are the future especially when you have fast turn around shoots with little time to mess stuff up – clients can get an idea of what’s being shot while they are there, which also keeps them off your back as a shooter. Additionally, an assistant can already do temporary image processing for previews. Finally, Tom showed off his incredibly portable location workstation, a custom built Pelican 1510 Case which houses a MacBook with a large external battery that can power it three or four times over a normal charge, plus a couple of tethered G-Technology G-Drive ev SSDs for instant backups when shooting tethered with a DSLR. For details, head over to Tom’s blog post about his location workstation. In the next episode of ON THE COUCH, we will have representatives from ZEISS, Samyang and SLR Magic talking about their different – and similar – approaches when it comes to lens development, as well as their new products. Tune back in next Friday! Watch all other episodes of ON THE COUCH so far by clicking here! Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology, Røde Microphones, Movidiam, FilmConvert & F&V.Read more
Canon’s legendary 5D DSLR series has a history of huge market impacts. The 5D mark II changed the movie industry, the 5D mark III despite its limits brought a new area of clean HD video and beautiful RAW recording through hacks. Today, three years later, Canon tries revolution again by bringing medium format resolution into a “normal” DSLR. The Canon 5DS & 5DS R are here. Oh, and they can also do video, but nothing fancy it seems. Sporting a 50.6-megapixel sensor (8688 x 5792 pixels), the 5DS & 5DS R are now the highest-resolution DSLR cameras in existence. In comparison the Pentax 645Z does 51.4 Megapixels and the new $25,000 Leica S delivers 37.5 Megapixels. There’s no question this will stir up the photography market once again. Because if you’re into stills then you know that pixels become more relevant every day and medium format photography has been out of reach for the prosumer type photographer, just as until recently 2K & 4K have not been an option for the prosumer filmmaker. Speaking of which, what about video on the Canon 5DS? Well it seems Canon wouldn’t call this one a “C” camera, as they refer to their line of movie shooting large sensor bodies. The Canon 5DS & 5DS R is limited to do HD video in these modes: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 video with linear PCM stereo audio. • 1920×1080 at 29.97, 25 and 23.98 fps • 1280×720 at 59.94i and 50i Just like the 5D mark III, the 5DS & 5DS R come with ALL-i and IPB compression modes. Something new is the port protector the 5DS comes with, intended to protect hdmi connections as they are prone to break the connector on the camera. A feature hint that we yet have to confirm comes from a comment on Ken Rockwell’s website who had a chance to play withe the camera and states that “The shutter button can be programmed to capture stills while rolling video.”. This sounds like the 5DS will allow you to shoot stills without interrupting video capture. As always the real video quality of a camera has to be tested properly and can’t be judged by a feature list alone. We will soon test the Canon 5DS in our test lab and compare its video functionality to similar cameras on the market. 5DS, 5DS R, what’s the difference? You guessed it, the 5DS R eliminates the low-pass filter effect to make images sharper while in turn having a greater potential for moiré and other color artifacts. There’s a video on the Canon channel that shows off all the new features of the Canon 5DS & 5DS R: The Canon 5DS & 5DS R will be start shipping in June and costs $3699. The camera is already available for pre-order here. We expect to see more new cameras by Canon in the next months.Read more
Leica just announced the new Leica S (Typ 007) that is worlds first medium format camera that can shoot 4K video in 24p. This is the first day at Photokina 2014 in Cologne Germany and Leica just announced a few new cameras updating their range from compact mirrorless up to their flagship Leica S medium format cameras. This is very intriguing news (with a downside) as the only camera that has been able to record video on a sensor this large was the Pentax 645Z that left a lot to be desired in terms of the video functionality. The sensor is a 37.5MP 30mm x 45mm CMOS sensor providing a very unique look. Medium Format cameras are often used in high-end photography like billboard shots. Seeing the new products in photography at Photokina we can make out that more and more manufacturers are going into the video market. This is a very interesting development creating more competition and bringing more intriguing technologies into the video- and cinematography field in the near future. Video Features of the Leica S (007) As mentioned the full sensor size is 30mm x 45mm CMOS. The camera can record 4K video, but uses a super35mm sized portion of the sensor for that. Pixel to pixel readout without downsampling for high quality 4K video. HD video 1080p uses the full sensor size (down sampled) and can record framerates of 24,25 and 30p. Unfortunately only MJPEG as an internal codec (same as Canon 1D C). Uncompressed, clean 4:2:2 8bit output via hdmi. Focus and exposure precision, focus peaking and a histogram with exposure clipping display. Note that there is false information circling the web that the camera can do 60p at 4K. We have spoken directly to the product managers from Leica here at Photokina, so our information comes from the source. The major downside if you consider working with this camera is the pricepoint of $25k and the expensive medium format lenses required to shoot with it. If however the look is something you are after as a cinematographer this camera might be an interesting and unique tool for your work. Certainly photographers who already invested in this technology will benefit from the unique video features and we’re looking forward to be testing this camera as soon as we get the first sample at cinema5D. Stay tuned for much more coverage from Photokina 2014.Read more
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