Sony announced several updates at this year’s NAB show, including the much-anticipated firmware update for the Sony FS5 camera. A month later, the company has quietly released their version 2.0 update as a free download. Among other things, this update unlocks a very promising feature: Auto ND. The little Sony FS5 grows up To get you up to speed, make sure to check out our previous coverage about the Sony PXW-FS5 camera. Johnnie did an excellent real life video review and way back in October 2015; Nino had the chance to do a nightly hands-on with a preproduction model of the camera. The Sony FS5 with the 18 – 105mm kit lens attached The 2.0 firmware update is letting the camera push new boundaries by enabling a killer feature, unique to the Sony FS5 for now: Auto ND. With this feature mapped to an assignable button and enabled, you will get a wide automatic exposure compensation range. Especially when the Auto ND feature is combined with Auto Iris (an appropriate lens is mandatory, of course). With this feature, the Sony FS5 becomes a tool for filmmakers which is capable of acquiring shots that would be impossible for other cameras. For example, you could do a “depth-of-field rack” — remember the famous deep-focus shot from Citizen Kane? Well, if Orson Wells had an FS5 with Auto ND handy at that time, he could have done something like this: Left: original frame. Right: shallow depth of field. Imagine a smooth transition between the two frames. A seamless transition from deep focus to a shallow depth of field within one take is something I haven’t seen before. There’s a lot of potential, for sure! With the combination of Auto ND and Auto Iris, you could achieve beautiful day to night transitions without getting into trouble because of fixed ND filters, too. Another way of using the variable ND can be to work with a fixed aperture and fixed ISO to create a consistent look and feel to your footage. The variable ND can then be used to dial in the correct amount of ND to achieve the proper exposure — without affecting the optical characteristics of the image. Neat, especially if you are working with photo lenses lacking a de-clicked iris ring. Other features of firmware 2.0 The Auto ND feature is not the only one, of course. Here is a complete list of new features: The ND filter density can now be adjusted automatically. Shooting and recording in RAW mode are now supported. (“CBKZ-FS5RIF”, sold separately, is required) The zebra function has been enhanced, allowing you to select two types of setting. Also, the level settings can now be adjusted in 1% increments. You can now select the audio that is output in the headphones. You can now acquire and record position information when shooting using the GPS function. The ability to adjust the zebra levels in 1% increments is a very useful and much-needed update. It’s also nice being able to select the audio channel which you want to listen to through your headphones. Also, the previously announced GPS functionality is now being enabled. If you want to get even better image quality from your Sony FS5, you’re in luck — the RAW mode is now supported, too. All you need is the paid upgrade which comes with a software key and will set you back $600. Remember, you will need a decent external raw recorder (the Atomos Shogun Inferno or the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+ for example). With the RAW module enabled, you can record 4K (4096×2160) at up to 60fps externally. If you need even more, however, there is 4 sec burst mode at 4K RAW 120 fps. And if 2K is fine for you, in this mode you can speed things up to 240fps. There are no regular framerates available for the 2k mode, though. Sources: Sony firmware update / Sony RAW upgradeRead more
It is quite possibly the coolest camera around. Due to its price, it is unfortunately out of reach for most users. With the capability of shooting 1000fps at 4K resolution, the Phantom Flex 4K is a beast to be reckoned with. The data media management side, on the other hand, has always been troublesome. 64GB are used for a 5 second shot (in real time terms), with only limited ways to access the footage from the camera. That is where PHANTOMfuse from Kamerawerk comes in. Digital Image Technicians fear the word “Phantom.” Converting Phantom Cine Files is cumbersome and takes a lot of time. In order to combat this, Vision Research recently launched a new firmware upgrade for the Phantom Flex 4K camera, which allows for simultaneous CineRaw and ProRes422(HQ) recording. This has almost completely cut out the need to convert Phantom RAW files on set. It does however also mean that less space is available on the CineMag, thus enforcing a faster turnaround to make safe and verified copies. To get access to the Phantom’s CineFiles, DIT’s connected a CineStation via a 10GB ethernet hub to a Mac or PC. Only limited software such as Seance on MacOS or PCC on Windows could read the CineMag. It doesn’t show on the desktop as a card or a virtual drive, it had to go through specific software to get access to the Cine RAW files from the Phantom, and then to be able to download CineFiles from the CineStation. The Files would be processed through this software, and then copies would be made afterwards. With PHANTOMfuse, you can knock two birds with one stone. By just installing the software, it creates a virtual drive of the CineMags that are docked in the CineStation and displays it in the File Browser. This either allows for easy drag-and-drop from the card straight onto a drive, or for media management software, such as Pomfort’s Silverstack, to recognize the card and perform verified and safe copies on-set within their Browser. PHANTOMfuse automatically detects CineMags and creates reels for them. Usually, the Phantom is not an A Camera on-set, and I haven’t been able to figure out whether one can change the naming convention from A to something else. This could be a slight setback. The software is currently in BETA stage, available for OSX and is free to test for 14 Days. Price is yet to be determined. Feel free to look at PHANTOMfuse website.Read more
At this year’s NAB show, Atomos released their new Flagship recorder, the Shogun Inferno. This device is capable of 4K RAW and almost everything else you could ask for when it comes to recording a high-quality video stream. The Atomos Shogun Inferno In our NAB video above, Nino chats with Atomos CEO & founder Jeromy Young, who takes us through Atomos’ new 4K RAW recorder in a little more detail. We already covered the Shogun Inferno extensively in our previous post, so be sure to check it out! Otherwise, as a quick reminder, here’s the list of features: AtomHDR; AtomHDR lets you shoot with the high brightness range of your camera’s Log profile and preview the final, vibrant post-production HDR result. 4K 60p; Record and play out pristine ProRes/ DNxHR in 4K resolution and 24/25/30/50/60p frame rates. HD 240p; Apart from 4K recording, high frame rate HD from 50p to 240p can be recorded from cameras that output these high frame rates. Quad SDI; The Quad SDI inputs let you connect from cameras with 1.5/3/6/12G SDI outputs without the need for converters. Raw recording; Capture the 4K RAW output from Sony FS7/ FS700 and Canon C300MKII/C500 over SDI, recording to either ProRes, DNxHR or CDNG. 10-bit monitor; 10-bit monitor processing increases the number of colors from 16.7 million for standard 8-bit panels to 1.07 billion, minimizing color banding on screen. 7” 1500nit brightness; For Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) shooting ramp the brightness slider up to 1500 nit for hood-free outdoor monitoring. Apple ProRes & AVID DNxHR recording; Record to visually-lossless Apple ProRes or AVID DNxHD in Rec709 or Log formats as an edit friendly, visually lossless industry benchmark independent of the camera brand used. PQ in/out; Take PQ out into larger HDR compatible screens or feed HDR from your NLE into the PQ input for HDR grading using the Inferno. Custom looks; Apply a custom look to footage by uploading and applying “.cube” 3D LUT’s. View in full/half mode on screen, output it to a monitor or record into the footage. Continuous power; Our patent pending Continuous power system automatically swaps to the second battery when power is low for uninterrupted recording in the field. Playlist generation; Create playlists easily, either entire clips or tagged parts of clips, for playback on the unit or out to a larger screen. HDR upgrades on other Atomos recorders Atomos has announced another cool update to their line of recorders: HDR support for the better part of their lineup of recorders. This means that even if you own an older model, such as a Ninja Blade, this (software) update will enable your device to display HDR content. The whole range of compatible recorders for the HDR update This is a really nice move from Atomos since many companies would leave their previous products lacking, in an attempt to increase sales on their new line. Instead, Atomos maintains compatibility with older models (within the range of given hardware limits, at least). So if you don’t need all the features of a Shogun Inferno recorder, maybe you could grab an older model and still get all the latest (compatible) updates. Get all the details about the new Shogun Inferno on the Atomos website.Read more
Video Devices just released firmware update v1.10 for their PIX-E5 and PIX-E5H recorders with several key features that dramatically enhance their capabilities. If you follow our magazine you’ve probably seen our PIX-E5 Review back in August. At that time the recorder offered great functionality and stability with its release firmware. Some firmware updates later the PIX-E5 and PIX-E5H recorders saw some improvements that further enhance their usability. The new PIX-E5 firmware enables up to 120fps at 1080p resolution via hdmi which means that now the PIX-E5 and PIX-E5H recorders can capture slow motion from the Sony a7S (Note: The a7S outputs 720p at that framerate) or Sony a7S II. (Update: Apparently that Sony feature has not been enabled yet, although it was announced with the release of the cameras) Another feature they added is 6G-SDI which lets you record high data rates via a single SDI cable. This is used for 4K and RAW recording that currently only the Blackmagic URSA and URSA Mini cameras support. Last but not least with the new PIX-E5 firmware v1.10 they now implemented 4:3 anamorphic desqueeze which is a nice feature for those using anamorphic lenses on cameras like the Panasonic GH4. With those new features and the other small changes through firmware updates in the last months this makes the Video Devices PIX-E5 and PIX-E5H recorders even more competitive when it comes to choosing the right device for your project. On that topic you also might want to check out our PIX-E5 vs. Atomos Shogun comparison article. Of course there are some more new features. But for those of you just looking for the download link for PIX-E5 firmware v1.10 go to videodevices.com/support/. All new features at a glance: Added 6G-SDI to support 4K recording over a single SDI cable for cameras with 6G-SDI output, such as Blackmagic URSA. Supports up to 30 fps. Added new 3:2 pulldown removal option for input to file conversion. Added high frame rate (HFR) recording up to 1080p120 over HDMI, which is ideal for slow motion format. Added support for external timecode via the 3.5 mm line inputs and via HDMI. Timecode from the line inputs may also be striped to an audio track. Added 4:3 anamorphic desqueeze for the LCD and outputs, ideal for cameras such as the Panasonic GH4. Added the ability to enable or disable LUTs on SDI output. Enhanced playback capabilities to include frame-by-frame jog, shuttle (from 1/8x to 32x), plus fast forward and rewind at 2x and 16x speeds. Added ability to select next or previous recorded file from Stop by pressing Rewind or Fast Forward soft key buttons. Added ability to turn on peaking and zebras at the same time, thereby checking focus and exposure simultaneously. SDI audio de-embedder issues fixed. ProRes Proxy macro-blocking on playback fixed.Read more
Let’s face it, slow motion is bad ass. You don’t get more bad ass than this amazing shot of a .500 S&W Magnum by Herra Kuulapaa (www.kuulapaa.com). While this may be an extreme example, and it’s a still, not a grab from motion, nothing gets the imagination going quite like the ability to shoot high frame rates. Give yourself the edge by understanding the fundamentals of global vs rolling shutter, shutter angles and exposures at high frame rates. A few weeks back I wrote an article “8 Essential Steps to Perfect Exposure – The Knowledge Any Cameraman Should Have”. If you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time to do that, and then come back to read this one. 1. Mechanical Shutter In a film camera, the shutter is a mechanical rotating mirror. As it rotates 360 degrees per exposure it alternates covering and uncovering the film gate for a particular amount of time. The RPM of the shutter is mechanically fixed and determined by the frame rate, and the exposure time is determined by the shutter angle. During exposure the film is held perfectly still, often with registration pins. While the mirror shutter covers the film gate, the pins mechanically disengage and the pull down claw physically advances the film to the next unexposed frame. 2. Rolling Shutter Many electronic shutters in digital cinema cameras feature a rolling shutter, where data is read out line by line from the top of the sensor to the bottom before being reset ready for the next frame exposure. A rolling shutter can exhibit a noticeable skew of would-be vertical lines in the image if either the camera or subject is moving quickly across the frame. This can create unwanted motion artifacts warping the whole image if the sensor read-out is particularly slow and there is fast motion in the frame. Most rolling shutters are incredibly fast, minimizing potential problems. Red and Arri among many others employ rolling shutters, and the results can lend a more “cinematic” feel than a global shutter. Even extremely high frame rate cameras such as the Phantom digital cinema cameras from Vision Research employ rolling shutter, but with a readout-time of only 1 millisecond. In this chart you can compare rolling shutter readout-times of different camera models we tested in our lab: 3. Global Shutter A global shutter differs from a rolling shutter in that at the end of a full exposure, light is blocked entirely across the sensor all at once while data is then read and it is reset for the next exposure. A global shutter preserves the perfect vertical alignment of vertical lines or objects moving horizontally through the frame. However, the feel of motion can be noticeably different. Depending on how a global shutter is implemented, there can be a small cost in light (fill factor) and possibly dynamic range when compared to a rolling shutter. 4. Shutter Angle Shutter angle is a term that refers to the actual physical angle of the opening in a rotating mechanical shutter in degrees. The angle of the opening determines the duration of the exposure as the shutter rotates. Mechanical shutters for the most part are gone in digital cinema cameras, but often the terminology has stuck. Shutter angle is your control of motion blur. The longer the exposure, the more motion blur, the shorter the exposure, the sharper any moving objects will appear. It can be calculated easily to a fraction of a second exposure time. Exposure time (1/x sec) = Frame Rate x (360 / Shutter Angle) For example, at a frame rate of 24fps at 180 degree shutter (180 degrees is considered normal): 180 degrees: 24 x (360 / 180) = 1/48th second Here is a whole table calculated for 24fps for shutter angles up to 220 degrees: 15 degrees = 1/576 sec 20 degrees = 1/432 sec 40 degrees = 1/216 sec 60 degrees = 1/144 sec 80 degrees = 1/108 sec 100 degrees = 1/86 sec 120 degrees = 1/72 sec 140 degrees = 1/62 sec 160 degrees = 1/54 sec 180 degrees = 1/48 sec 200 degrees = 1/43 sec 220 degrees = 1/39 sec Any change in shutter angle changes the exposure time, and will need to be compensated for with a change in aperture to maintain correct exposure. Of course a change in aperture will affect depth of field. So if depth of field needs to remain unaffected also, the only thing left is to add ND filters (if reducing light to compensate for a longer exposure time) or increase the actual light levels illuminating the scene (if compensating for a shorter exposure time). If we consider 180 degrees as the base (normal) angle as “Full Exposure”, the following compensation table applies. Shutter Angle F-Stop/T-Stop Compensation 197-200 Close 1/4 166-196 Full Exposure 148-165 Open 1/4 135-147 Open 1/3 121-134 Open 1/2 111-120 Open 2/3 99-110 Open 3/4 83-98 Open 1 74-82 Open 1 1/4 68-73 Open 1 1/3 61-67 Open 1 1/2 56-60 Open 1 2/3 50-55 Open 1 3/4 42-49 Open 2 37-41 Open 2 1/4 34-36 Open 2 1/3 31-33 Open 2 1/2 28-30 Open 2 2/3 25-27 Open 2 3/4 22.5-24 Open 3 5. High Frame Rates In the age of digital cinema, more than ever before there is a demand for high frame rates in our cameras. This used to be a specialty requirement but is now expected. Capturing the spray of ocean waves in crisp frozen detail, liquids pouring or simply the beauty of smooth slow motion is no longer out of our reach. Many cinema cameras can now shoot at least 60fps if not much higher. Vision Research has been on top of extreme high speed cinematography for some time. While 1000 – 2000fps is still out of reach for most of us, cameras like the Phantom Flex 4K are pushing the limits of what can be achieved. Be aware of how high frame rates impact your exposure (and light requirements). For any camera, regardless of sensor, regardless of manufacturer the same rules are true when it comes to high frame rates and exposure. It’s purely mathematics. Every time you double the frame rate, you are halving the exposure time for each frame… and halving the amount of light hitting the sensor. For an example, lets assume a “normal” shutter angle of 180 degrees. At 24 frames per second, with a 180 degree shutter gives us an exposure time of 1/48th sec. If we double the frame rate to 48fps, with the same shutter angle we halve the exposure time to 1/96th sec. We’ve just lost a full stop of light and are only at 48fps. Let’s extrapolate this out and I’ll rather use 25fps as a starting point instead of 24fps because it will multiply out with round numbers: 25fps @ 180deg = 1/50th sec 50fps @ 180deg = 1/100th sec (1 stop loss) 100fps @ 180deg = 1/200th sec (2 stop loss) 200fps @ 180deg = 1/400th sec (3 stop loss) 400fps @ 180deg = 1/800th sec (4 stop loss) Of course frame rates can be anywhere in between these numbers but I’ve simply doubled it every time for the example. So you can see we’re losing a stop of light every time we double the frame rate. Losing a full stop is not a small amount of light. Every stop lost is a halving of light. 1 stop loss = 1/2 the light 2 stop loss = 1/4 the light 3 stop loss = 1/8 the light 4 stop loss = 1/16 the light Just as a change in shutter angle at a normal frame rate affects exposure time and requires a compensation to be made in lens aperture or lighting, high frame rates require even more compensation beyond just opening up the lens. This means if you have enough light for a correct exposure at 25fps and you don’t want to affect your depth of field (by opening up your aperture), you’ll have to double the amount of light used to light your scene or subject to get the same correct exposure at 50fps. You’ll have to quadruple the amount of light on your subject to have a correct exposure at 100fps. This just doubles every time, so to have a correctly exposed image at 200fps you need 8x the amount of light on your scene as you would at a normal 25fps frame rate. The sun gives us plenty of light for this, so outside under daylight, compensating for the much shorter exposure times when shooting high frame rates is much less of an issue. However, inside under artificial lighting… you have to crank up the light seriously (double it) every time you double the frame rate. It’s normal that high speed table top shoots for instance require a ton of light. If you are on set when shooting a product shot involving a liquid pouring and they have a Phantom on set shooting at 1000fps, they will have serious light on that product. 6. Base Sensitivity When it comes to high frame rates, a higher “native” base ISO or exposure index (EI) is always beneficial. Keep this in mind when comparing cameras. Every sensor is different and every camera will perform differently capturing high frame rates. If a particular camera gives brighter images at high frame rates, it’s either because the sensor has a higher base ISO or it can be pushed above its base ISO with acceptable noise. Base sensitivity of a sensor is down to many things, simplest of which is the size of the photosites (but that is a huge simplification), and this is determined by how many of them are crammed onto the sensor. If you increase resolution (or number of photosites) and keep sensor size the same, the photosites get smaller and as a generalization, base sensitivity will decrease. The amount of space between photosites is also a factor, and the amount of space needed for circuitry at each photosite. 7. Shot Noise In the end regardless of all this there is “shot noise”, a minimum level of “noise” when counting or detecting small numbers of photons that is due to variations in quantum probability. If you throw one single photon at a surface with 50% reflectance, there is a 50% probability that it will be reflected or absorbed. So that surface could show up if the photon is reflected and detected at a photosite, or it could be black if the photon is absorbed rather than reflected. The more photons that are thrown at the surface, eventually probability dictates that 50% will be reflected and 50% will be absorbed. If you flip a single coin, it will land either heads, or tails but there can only be one possible outcome and the probability is equal it could land either way. If you flip 1000 coins, you should on average count 50% heads and 50% tails. I don’t want to over-play “shot noise”, it’s only a factor at extremely low light levels, but I just want to point out that even if an image sensor is otherwise perfect (which none are), it does define a impenetrable minimum noise floor that is simply down to quantum physics. Other types of noise also come into play such as Fixed Pattern Noise (FPN) which is caused by non-uniformities of the sensor in the manufacturing process. FPN is fixed and can be mapped out, however other types of temporal noise are more difficult to reduce. 8. Light A image sensor will always perform best when there is plenty of light, and when you have very short exposure times for each frame (as in pushing higher frame rates) the only solution is more light. As I have explained before in “8 Essential Steps to Perfect Exposure – The Knowledge Any Cameraman Should Have” exposing your sensor properly is the single most important key to achieving the image you envision seeing beautifully graded and finished after post production.Read more
Canon today announced the long-awaited successor to its popular C300 camera, the C300 Mark II. Canon EOS C300 Mark II After a long wait for a successor to the immensely popular C300 – which has been my main cameras for many years – telling from the specs it truly seems like Canon won’t disappoint with the C300 Mark II. Canon uses a new high-bitrate codec called XF-AVC (which sounds remarkably similar to XAVC, which is what Sony is using in all their new cameras), with up to 410 Mbps (Sony’s XAVC I codec records up to 600Mbps). They have switched recording from CF cards to CFast 2.0, which is also used by Arri in the new Alexa Mini. While still not exactly cheap, we have seen these cards come in price recently a lot (e.g. this Lexar 128GB CFast 2.0 card), and they compare favorably to Sony’s own XQD standard which is used in the FS7. High-speed recording, which is something where Canon was clearly lacking behind the competition in the past, has been significantly improved as well: The C300 Mark II records up to 120 fps in 2K / 1080p (and 30p in 4K). That’s not as impressive as Sony FS7’s up to 180 fps, however a huge step up from the C300’s original 60p in 720p only. Here is a rundown of the significant tech specs: 10-bit 4:2:2 in 4K recording (UHD 3840 x 2160 & DCI cinematic (4096 x 2160 pixels) up to 410Mbps (in 4K) 10/12-bit 4:4:4 in 2K & Full HD up to 30p in 4K, 120p in 2K/Full HD 4K RAW files to external recorder dual DIGIC DV5 processors dual CFast 2.0 slots 15 stops of dynamic range with new Canon Log2 Dual Pixel CMOS AF New XF-AVC Intra, Long GOP and Proxy H.265 codecs in 4K, UHD, 2K and 1080p 4-channel audio in 16 or 24 bit and 48 kHz sensor-read out 2x faster than C300, less rolling shutter The new C300 Mark II will be priced at $15,999, which is the original price bracket of the C300. It’s expected to be available in September, but B&H has started to take preorders today. Full press release: The EOS C300 Mark II – Stunning 4K quality, creativity and versatility City, Country, 8 April 2014 – Canon today unveils the EOS C300 Mark II, a new 4K video camera allowing filmmakers and broadcast producers to realise their creative vision in stunning cinematic detail. Building on the unprecedented success of the acclaimed EOS C300, the more rugged EOS C300 Mark II features an advanced imaging engine with dual DIGIC DV5 processors, new professional codecs and outstanding dynamic range, making it the most capable, flexible and accessible Cinema EOS video camera to date. Supreme 4K image quality and versatility With the ability to record 10-bit 4:2:2 files internally at up to 410Mbps in 4K, or 10/12-bit 4:4:4 files in 2K/Full HD, with up to 15 stops of dynamic range, the EOS C300 Mark II provides footage suitable for extensive post-production work, producing crisper images across the full colour spectrum with reduced “colour bleed”. The camera offers professional filmmakers and broadcasters alike the very best image quality, recording 4K in both broadcast (3840 x 2160) and DCI cinematic (4096 x 2160) resolutions. The EOS C300 Mark II can record high bitrate 4K files internally to dual CFast 2.0™[i] media, while simultaneously recording 4K RAW files to an external recorder, offering the flexibility and universal appeal for production at the highest quality available today. Additionally, the ability to record 2K/Full HD Proxy files to an internal SD card, at the same time, further streamlines the production workflow process. The new Canon-designed Super 35mm CMOS sensor and an increased ISO range up to ISO 102,400 deliver exceptional low light performance, allowing operators to capture low-noise footage across a variety of challenging environments without compromising on image quality. To meet the requirements of a diverse range of shooting applications, the EOS C300 Mark II offers both full manual control, ideal for cinematic environments, as well as automatic modes. These include, enhanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF (now covering approx. 80% of the frame vertically and 80% horizontally), auto white balance and Face Detection AF, all making it easier for independent news gatherers and documentary filmmakers to shoot on the go. Instant integration into professional workflows Canon’s new range of XF-AVC H.264 codecs, designed to be compatible with industry standard Non-Linear Edit systems, makes integrating both 4K and 2K/Full HD footage into workflows effortless, while maintaining the highest image quality. The range features XF-AVC intra for 4K, and XF-AVC Long GOP and Proxy options for 2K/Full HD recording, both of which utilise H.264 codec, offering post production flexibility and ease of use. Filmmakers can select the resolution and codec type that best suits their production, with the EOS C300 Mark II capable of shooting at up to 30P in 4K or up to 120P in 2K/Full HD. The EOS C300 Mark II offers support for a wide range of colour space options, including BT.2020, the Canon Cinema Gamut and DCI-P3. The camera is also the first Cinema EOS model to feature brand new Canon Log2 technology, which enables the 15-stops of dynamic range, significantly wider than previous Cinema EOS cameras. The camera offers new versatility for sound recording too, supporting 4-channel audio recording in 16 or 24 bit and 48 kHz. Designed for versatility The EOS C300 Mark II boasts the iconic Cinema EOS design DNA – a modular body that can be adapted to suit the needs of each shooter and filming situation, through the extensive range of compatible accessories. Internally, the EOS C300 Mark II also includes built-in electronically controlled glass ND (neutral density) filters, which reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor by up to 10 stops in expansion mode. Compatibility with the RC-V100 remote control and optional Wi-Fi control also enables ease of use in a wider range of locations. The camera’s sensor read-out speed is now twice as fast as the original EOS C300, and further reduces rolling shutter distortion, allowing for crisp image capture in a moving environment, making it perfectly suited for capturing action sequences. Leveraging Canon’s rich heritage in lens design, the EOS C300 Mark II is compatible with more than 90 current EF and EF Cinema lenses allowing operators to use their existing EF mount lenses. In addition, the EOS C300 Mark II comes equipped with Canon Cine servo zoom lens support, delivering one of the most comprehensive selections of lens possibilities for movie and broadcast production available in the market today. For further flexibility, shooters can opt to change the lens mount from the default EF Mount, to EF Mount with Cinema Lock, or to the industry standard PL mount, as a service option[ii]. EOS C300 Mark II key benefits: High bitrate internal 4K recording with external RAW High dynamic range files, ideal for post production Seamlessly integrate with professional workflows Automatic features make independent shooting easy Shoot with confidence in low light with low noise [i] Canon is an authorised licensee of the CFast 2.0™ trademark, which may be registered in various jurisdictions [ii] Available via chargeable serviceRead 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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