An Introduction to the Canon EOS C700 Cinema Camera

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on An Introduction to the Canon EOS C700 Cinema Camera
Sep 282016
 

The Canon EOS C700 was announced last month and raised a lot of interest, but also criticism among our readers. The new flagship model for Canon’s Cinema line was on display at IBC 2016 and we took the chance to take a closer look at the new camera.

A Closer Look at the Canon C700

With the C700, Canon moved on to a different form factor for the first time in quite a while. The Canon EOS C700 is reminiscent of competitor cameras such as the Panasonic Varicam, Arri Amira or the Sony F55/F5, and its features and pricing clearly target it at the higher end of filmmaking.

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Manfrotto Befree Live – Ultra Compact Video Tripod

 Gear  Comments Off on Manfrotto Befree Live – Ultra Compact Video Tripod
Sep 282016
 

Looking for an ultra compact video tripod solution? The Manfrotto Befree Live might be the setup for you.

The Befree Live is the most portable tripod in the range, with legs that fold around the centre column and lock in place. Instead of carrying a tripod over your shoulder, this now fits in your bag.

Designed for travel, vlogging and journalism, the Manfrotto Befree Live is orientated around video and filming, with a new fluid head for smooth panning and tilting. This uses the standard Manfrotto tripod plate, so you don’t need to switch between a QR plate and standard plate.

An advancement on this compact video tripod is the leveling system in the centre column. The ball leveling system is adjusted close to the video head, rather than at the bottom of the column, for quick adjustment. The tripod feet are also wider for more grip and stability.

Although you can’t adjust the amount of friction, there is a locking brake you can use to adjust the level of friction before the panning is locked. The load of the fluid head is up to 4kg, enough for a mirrorless or DSLR camera and lens for on the go shooting.

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DJI’s New Mavic Pro Has All the Smarts of the P4, None of the Bulk

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on DJI’s New Mavic Pro Has All the Smarts of the P4, None of the Bulk
Sep 282016
 

While drones can navigate pretty freely in the air, they’re still a hassle to port around on the ground. DJI’s newest aerial camera, the Mavic Pro, looks to change that. It boasts a foldable design that shrinks the drone down to a device that basically fits into the palm of your hand and slips easily into a backpack or purse.

The Mavic Pro may be far more compact than DJI’s Phantom models, but it doesn’t skimp on features. It features a 4K camera that can record at up to 3o (full HD at 96p) and snap 12-megapixel still images in the DNG or JPEG format. The lens has a 78-degree field of view and you’ll enjoy about 27 minutes of flight time with a top speed of 40 miles per hour in sport mode.

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Why the Olympus E-M1 MK II Might Just Be Your Next 4K Video Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on Why the Olympus E-M1 MK II Might Just Be Your Next 4K Video Camera
Sep 242016
 

Just a few days ago, Olympus unveiled their new MFT camera, the Olympus E-M1 MK II. It is not only the Japanese company’s first foray into 4K video, it is also a technology milestone in terms of image stabilization and pro video features.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II

Please make sure to read Graham’s article for a good overview of this new camera. As a reminder, here are the specifications:

  • New 20 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • 4K UHD Video up to 30fps (3840×2160) and Cinema 4K up to 24fps (4096×2160)
  • 3.0 Articulating Touch Monitor
  • 121 Point Dual Auto Focus
  • Pre-Record Feature
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Dual SD Card Slot (UHS II Compatible)
  • Weatherproofing: dust, splash and freeze-proof
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds.

One of the real achievements of this newly developed camera is the implemented image stabilization. As Janne Amunet puts it:

It really gives new possibilities in terms of moving the camera without having a huge production budget.

And that’s really it! The quality of stabilization that the Olympus E-M1 Mark II can achieve seems to be quite impressive, and can be even further improved when used alongside an Olympus lens with image stabilization. In a scenario like this, the result of both camera and lens add up to almost gimbal-like performance.

The other buzzword surrounding this camera is, of course, 4K. It’s a first for Olympus, but it’s good to see other manufacturers adopting more and more camera systems to choose from. The Olympus E-M1 MK II caters the micro four thirds system, just like the Panasonic GH4.

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The New Panasonic FZ2000 Bridge Camera – 10bit 4K DCI External in Vlog for $1200

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on The New Panasonic FZ2000 Bridge Camera – 10bit 4K DCI External in Vlog for $1200
Sep 242016
 

We get hands on with the Panasonic FZ2000, a compact bridge camera with great video functions. It’s the first of its kind with a 1 inch sensor, built in ND filters and 4K DCI recording on a super zoom lens. We talked to Mark Baber from Panasonic, who explained a little more about the camera. Also, make sure to check out the footage we recorded directly on the Panasonic FZ2000.

The Panasonic FZ2000 was one of the many announcements by the Japanese manufacturer at Photokina 2016. It has a 20MP 1 inch CMOS sensor with a zoom range of 28-480mm at f/2.8 – 4.5. It shoots 4K video internally in both DCI and UHD resolutions, which is a feature many filmmakers will be pleased about. Although it has a fixed lens, the FZ2000 has built-in ND filters (a feature usually exclusive to video and cinema cameras) which means a shallow depth of field at wide apertures can be used even in bright sunlight.

It can also output 4K 24p in 10bit 4:2:2 via HDMI to external recorders like the Atomos Shogun Inferno, giving greater colour depth. The inclusion of 10bit in both this camera and the GH5 is pushing the boundaries of mirrorless and DSLR technology, meaning other camera manufacturers will now need to keep up. Both CINELIKE D and CINELIKE V picture profiles are included in camera, with the V-Log L picture profile to be available as a paid upgrade, ideal for grading in post production.

At wider angles, the 5-way optical and digital stabilization works very well to compensate shake and movement. This of course struggles to keep up at the telephoto end.

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Xeen 16mm T2.6 – Samyang Further Expands Cine Lens Lineup

 Gear  Comments Off on Xeen 16mm T2.6 – Samyang Further Expands Cine Lens Lineup
Sep 212016
 

Samyang has been quite busy lately. Among other mostly photo-related lens announcements, they have just unveiled the newest addition to their cinema lens line-up: the Xeen 16mm T2.6.

The Xeen 16mm T2.6 Cine Lens

Samyang keeps adding lenses to their current Xeen cinema lens line-up, with their newest addition just unveiled at this year’s Photokina. Sitting in between the 14mm T3.1 and the 24mm T1.5, the new Xeen 16mm T2.6 could become your new favourite wide angle lens. Due to its faster aperture, it might also prove to be much more versatile than the 14mm T3.1 option.

Samyang’s Jeon Min, Shin claims that the decision behind introducing a model with these specs is that the former wide angle option, the Xeen 14mm T3.1, may be just a little bit too wide (and more importantly, too slow) for most cinematographic needs.

This newest addition brings the whole Xeen range of lenses up to a grand total of 7 primes to choose from:

  • 14mm T3.1
  • 16mm T2.6
  • 24mm T1.5
  • 35mm T1.5
  • 50mm T1.5
  • 85mm T1.5
  • 135mm T2.2.

Maybe we’ll even see some more focal lengths to choose from in the future? At this rate of development, this might just be the case.

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GoPro Karma: Foldable, Removable Stabilizer, ‘More than a Drone’

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on GoPro Karma: Foldable, Removable Stabilizer, ‘More than a Drone’
Sep 212016
 

karma_feat

GoPro finally revealed their Karma Drone, but in CEO Nick Woodman’s words: It’s so much more than a drone. Foldable, easy-to-use, and equipped with a removable stabilizer that you can use hand-held or mounted to something else, this is an incredibly impressive all-around machine.

Announced during this morning’s live stream, Karma is a big deal for GoPro. Not only does it let you take your Hero 5 Black, Hero 4 Black, or Hero 5 Session to the skies, the attached stabilization system can be removed and inserted into the included “Karma Grip” that lets you use it handheld or mount it to your helmet, bike, car, or self.

Combine that with GoPro’s built in digital stabilization and the stabilizer allows users to create buttery smooth footage never before possible with any action cam.

The included "Karma Grip" lets you take the stabilizer off your drone and into the world.

When it's folded, the Karma drone fits snugly into the included backpack case, alongside the Karma Grip and the Karma Remote.

When it’s folded, the Karma drone fits snugly into the included backpack case, alongside the Karma Grip and the Karma Remote.

Details like controller range, flight time, and other details that you would expect GoPro to mention right away were left out of the announcement.

Woodman, and by extension GoPro, instead focused on the experience of the thing. Like how easy it is to fly using the “game-style flight and camera control, how portable it is all folded up and packed in the Karma Case, and how cool it is that the stabilizer is removable.

Not to mention the The GoPro Passenger App, that lets a friend control your camera and see what you’re capturing using an iPad or iPhone while you pilot the drone itself.

passengerapp

If you dig into the landing page, you’ll find some details though. For instance, you’ll find out that that the Karma drone features built-in “No-Fly Zones” to keep you out of trouble, and a simple land button that brings the Karma drone back to you or the launch location, no matter where you’ve flown it to.

Battery wise, Karma will run for 20 minutes on a 1-hour charge, and GoPro has gone out of its way to make the drone easy to repair. Not just the “efficient” and “quiet” propellers that allegedly generate more lift with less noise, but the arms themselves can be replaced, and replacement arms come with all the tools you’ll need to do it yourself.

Here are some video intros to the Karma Drone, Karma Grip, and Karma Controller, along with product shots of the drone from all angles:

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