Canon introduced their first servo-driven Cine Zoom Lens with autofocus at NAB 2016. But the new Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 compact servo zoom comes with an odd trait for a cine lens: it has no focusing hard stops. Here is Canon’s response. No Hard Stops on Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 COMPACT-SERVO The new 18-80mm is a very welcome lens for documentary style, large sensor shooters. Just like the newly announced Sony 18-110mm lens, it has a lightweight design, super35 (and APS-C) coverage, features autofocus and servo zoom functionality with a price tag of just over $5,000. We first noticed the missing hard stops when we took the lens for a spin at NAB 2016. The lens has a gear ring for focusing with a follow focus or remote focus, but the lack of hard stops is reminiscent of traditional Canon photo lenses. Video shooters and cinematographers alike will have a more difficult time controlling focus, especially when using focusing tools. According to the response from Mr Yuya Suzuki we got at IBC this year (see video above), in order to achieve the much applauded Dual Autofocus functionality they had to incorporate soft stops on the lens. The lens is clearly positioned as a professional tool for (indie) filmmakers and marketed as a cine lens, so the missing hard stops will probably leave some questions open. On the other hand, follow focuses are rarely used by single operator shooters, and this might just be the perfect lens for those looking to equip a Canon C300 Mark II documentary style. The lack of hard stops might justify the competitive price tag of the Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 lens, but could be a tradeoff that some are not willing to accept. What do you think about this issue? Dealbreaker, or worth overlooking for the Dual AF functionality?Read more
Yesterday we saw the announcement of the Sony 18-110mm F/4 lens for super 35 cameras here at IBC 2016. Here is a hands-on video checking out the new features. For FS5 and FS7 shooters, the wider focal length of 18mm will be a pleasing addition when compared top the slightly longer 28mm (equivalent to 27-165mm in full frame). The Sony 18-110mm has a constant aperture of F/4, and, weighing only 1105 grams, it keeps camera setups compact and light. Sony 18-110mm features and specs at a glance: 18-110mm focal length (27-167mm full frame equivalent). Constant F/4 aperture. Smooth Motion Optics minimizes breathing, axial shift and focus shifting. Reversable zoom control (change the zoom ring direction from clockwise to anti clockwise). New removable lens tripod mount. New removable lens cover and lens cap included. The new lens will be around €3,999 ($4,500 from B&H) and will be available from December 2016. For the full article please click here.Read more
Canon has announced a new pro-sumer DSLR, the Canon EOS 80D comes as an update to the 70D bringing us Dual Pixel Auto Focus, 50/60p in 1920X1080 and a new 18-135mm Nano USM kit lens with power zoom adaptor. The double digit 80D sits beneath the single digit pro-line (1D,5D,7D), but above it’s triple digit smaller brothers and sisters. Equipped with a 24.2MP APS-C sensor and DIGIC 6 processor, video users can expect 1080 50/60p, Dual Pixel AF and a headphone & mic port. The 3″ display is swivel and touchscreen, it has NSF (near field communication) built-in for instant sharing via WI-FI, and the rest you can pretty much predict if you’ve seen a Canon DSLR before. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects on the announcement is the new kit lens and accessories. The new 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS is a nano USM lens: “This the first Canon lens equipped with Nano USM, a new type of focusing motor that combines the benefits of a ring USM (ultrasonic motor) for high-speed AF during still photo shooting and lead-screw type STM (stepping motor) for smooth and quiet movie AF, and improved AF speeds up to 4.3x (Tele) and 2.5x (Wide) faster than the previous model” It has an optional adaptor dock adding a handheld servo zoom with speed control. Canon also offer up a compact stereo shotgun mount, the DM-E1 mount directly to the shoe mount of your DSLR, connecting via the 3.5mm mic port. For the rest including full spec on the Canon EOS 80D, check out the B&H website. It may seem a little lazy writing half an article on a new product before referring to another site, but there’s very little in this new camera for filmmakers. Why write the article at all then? In the same month Sony announced the A6300, I think these two announcements are the perfect example of how each manufacture views the market. As a filmmaking website, I can only assume the reaction of many readers. Why this, when you can get this for less money? Well, aside from the very handy Dual Pixel Auto Focus there’s no a real answer for that. The Sony A6300 trumps the 80D is almost every feature battle for video. More compact, better codec, 4K, higher framerates, log mode. To be perfectly honest I’m very reserved about the Sony/Canon divide. I’m a long term user of Canon EOS Cinema cameras and whilst some may consider that as a form of bias, it actually provides more clarity – all my lenses fit Sony and my C100 paid for itself years ago so I have no financial attachment to either, but using the EOS Cinema Line for so long (where to be frank usability is Canons USP) it gives me a good vantage point on properly comparing the two formats. By specification, Sony will always win. This grasps so many users from the go, comparing two cameras side by side you will never find a Canon that comes out on top. Canon goes the other way and implements robust product lines; late to the punch, price and feature weak but very reliable and ergonomic. The latter will only get you so far however. And in terms of Canons DSLRs, I think this stopped at the 5D Mark III. Every DSLR since then has been completely and utterly forgettable for video. And speaking candidly, I don’t really mind the perceived “Canon Video DSLR decline”. I get that Canon have an EOS Cinema Line & lens-reflex-compatible lens line to protect. I understand that our market, the professional & pro-sumer is less in revenue than the consumer. I get that 1080 50/60p and a stella video auto focus is likely enough for the consumer; the Average Joe won’t actually know what to do with 4K or log mode right now. But the fundamental problem right now is that Canon is providing us – the professionals & prosumers of the industry with no alternative. 2016 has to be a big year for the EOS Cinema Line. There needs to by a seismic shift with new announcements that gives professionals a reason to stick around. By all means, cull the bottom end, burn the bridges of photo & video, consumers will get by fine with a Canon XXXD/XXD, professionals will buy multiple bodies. The fact that Canon are doing nothing in the lower end video DSLR market is not the worry, it’s the fact that they’re not moving fast enough/at all in the professional end of video and cinema.Read more
We had the chance to get some hands-on experience with Sony’s new and long-awaited FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS cine lens and talked directly to Sony’s cine product manager Sadanobu Ueda who explained all the details about the new lens on (see above) and off camera. Why is this lens important? Many users of large sensor cameras, be it dslr video users or those who use larger cinema cameras, have had to resort to photo lenses for large sensor video use. The new Sony FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS cine lens is the first dedicated video lens for large sensor cameras. Here’s a list of the most important features: It has an ideal zoom range for most applications ranging from wide angle to close-up focal lengths. It has a continuous aperture of F/4.0. The lens can be controlled with accessories like motors or manual follow focus units due to it’s geared design, yet the focus rings are rubberised for easy handheld use. The focal length can be controlled with a built-in zoom rocker (zoom). The built in motors can also be controlled remotely from cameras with a zoom rocker (Sony FS7). With the flip of a switch the aperture can be clicked or de-cllicked for smooth operation. The lens features an optical image stabiliser. Hands-On Experience We had some hands-on time with a prototype of the lovely new lens and we can tell you that it truly is a lovely and sharp lens. Unfortunately we are not allowed to publish the footage we shot, but will reveiew the lens more in-depth in the future. The aperture F/4.0 seems to go all the way through, unlike Canon’s own and frequently used Canon 24-105mm that gets darker at the far end. The images appear very sharp and clear and we couldn’t see any obvious chromatic abberation or softening at F/4.0. We were told it is made for 4K applications. The optical image stabiliser behaved very nicely and smoothly and a lot like the one we know from the Canon 24-105mm, probably even a little better. We could use the 135mm focal length and get an extremely stable image from a handheld A7S. A very very welcome feature is the fact that you don’t lose focus when you change the focal length. So you can zoom all the way in to focus and zoom out again to retain a focused image, just like on a proper ENG lens. The declicked aperture is a wonderful feature to have. Overall the lens feels very well manufactured and strong. What we didn’t like so much was its size and weight. The Canon in comparison is definitely a more compact lens. Also we realised that the zoom was always motor-controlled. So even if you change the focal length with the zoom ring on the lens itself, it’s always a motor inside that actually controls it resulting in less precise and slower focusing possibilities. The lens will be available early next year and cost $2.499. It is already available for pre-order.Read more
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