Richard Sisk

I am a photographer, in particular since 1993 a full time photographer. I have specialized in landscapes and city skylines. It has been an interesting journey that has taken me all around our great country. I have visited many historic sites and most of our magnificent cities. One thing that has struck me has been the kindness and helpful spirit of the many people I’ve met along the way. It has been an opportunity to learn a great deal about many remarkable locations and people. I was able to travel a remote portion of the Oregon Trail in Idaho. I visited the source of the Missouri River in Montana, and reached down to taste the cold, crystal clear water, as Meriwether Lewis had done 200 years earlier. A few months later I found his final resting place along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. There have been many moving moments during this long journey. However, the wonderful and kind people of America have been the greatest source of inspiration throughout my travels.

Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 ART Lens for E-Mount is Half the Price of Sony’s Version

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 ART Lens for E-Mount is Half the Price of Sony’s Version
Nov 182019
 

One of Sigma’s most anticipated lenses for the full-frame Sony E-Mount cameras has an official price tag, and it’s shockingly affordable. The recently announced Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art lens—a direct competitor to Sony’s expensive 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master—will begin shipping in early December for just $1,100.

The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art—which is designed from the ground up for full-frame mirrorless cameras—will be available for both the Sony E-Mount and Sigma/Panaasonic/Leica’s own L-mount, but it’s gotten the most attention from Sony a7 series users who want a native 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for less than the (admittedly exceptional) $2,200 Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. The main third-party alternative, up until now, has been the even-more-affordable Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, but that’s not a true 24-70.

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QooCam 8K – The World’s Smallest 8K 360 Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on QooCam 8K – The World’s Smallest 8K 360 Camera
Nov 182019
 

Kandao has launched the world’s smallest 8K 360 camera. The QooCam 8K offers 8K 10-bit video up to 200Mbps at 30fps and 4K at up to 120fps.

Kandao 8K – Image source cinema5D

I’ve been using the original QooCam for about a year. I’m also using the Insta360 One X and have used the Insta360 One before that. However, there’s two things that have been holding me back. The first thing I’ve been waiting for is 8K in an affordable, accessible 360 camera. The second thing is 10-bit video encoding at high bit-rates (something that also really needs to come to smartphones very soon). The fact is, 8K is really a minimum to capture a full 360 with sufficient detail and clarity. QooCam has delivered this and more with the QooCam 8K.

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SIGMA fp LOG Picture Profile and RAW Output Recording via HDMI Coming Next Year

 Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA fp LOG Picture Profile and RAW Output Recording via HDMI Coming Next Year
Nov 182019
 

During Inter BEE 2019, we had the chance to talk with SIGMA about the upcoming firmware update for the fp camera. We’ve been told that a firmware update will bring exciting new video features such as in-camera playback of cinemaDNG footage, and something that a lot of shooters are waiting for: a LOG picture profile and RAW output video recording via HDMI. Let’s take a closer look at it!


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The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon

 Gear, Mirrorless, News  Comments Off on The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon
Nov 152019
 
The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon

Canon is slowly filling out its mirrorless line, but there are still some cameras and lenses that photographers are waiting to complete their kits or to justify switching. The good news is that Canon seems to be planning a lot of releases for their mirrorless line in the first half of 2020.

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Tokina Unveils Updated 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Tokina Unveils Updated 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs
Nov 152019
 

Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s leak, Tokina has officially revealed its redesigned full-frame 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for the Canon EF and Nikon F mounts: the Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 Macro FF.

According to the press release, the Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 features the “same great optics” as the older AT-X macro its replacing, but a “brand new look.” Like its predecessor, the new 100mm f/2.8 is made for full-frame Canon and Nikon DSLRs, and it produces a 1:1 magnification ratio at 11.8 inches (30cm) from the sensor plane, giving you “a very comfortable 4.5 inches of working distance.”

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Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers
Nov 142019
 

Blind Spot Gear, the British company specialized in niche products for filmmakers, just released its 7th Kickstarter campaign: the Power Cage & Bracket. This 10.000 mAh power bank with 45W of power output is designed with filmmakers in mind. The Power Cage features two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a 7.2V DC barrel to power your camera and your accessories. Let’s take a closer look at it!

Blind Spot Gear

Blind Spot Gear is a British company well-known for launching innovative products on the market via Kickstarter campaigns. Earlier this year, they successfully launched the Crack Light. In the past, they also released the Scorpion Light V2, the Tile Light Duo, and the Power Junkie – you can watch our review here –  which is a tiny and convenient Sony NP-F style batterie distribution box.

Nowadays, cameras and accessories require a lot of power to run for hours. Small internal batteries don’t get the job done; this is especially true with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4Kand 6K, Sony mirrorless cameras, and so on. To solve that problem, you can run your camera and accessories with a V-Mount or Anton Bauer battery. But, this kind of external power source is expensive and quite bulky.

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Apple Unveils 16-inch MacBook Pro with Up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of Storage

 Apple  Comments Off on Apple Unveils 16-inch MacBook Pro with Up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of Storage
Nov 132019
 

The long-awaited, long-rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro has officially landed, and it promises to fix all of the gripes that users had with the previous flagship 15-inch MacBook Pros while increasing performance by “up to 80%” for designers, photographers, video editors, and everyone in between.

The point of the 16-inch MacBook Pro seems to be two-fold.

First, Apple wanted to address many of the complaints that users have voiced about the previous flagship 15-inch models: a poorly designed keyboard that broke easily, no escape key, insufficient cooling, and maximum specs that had fallen behind the competition. Second, Apple wanted to try and pack in as much power as possible, putting the top-of-the-line specs of this machine into a league of their own, at least compared to every other Apple notebook ever made.

We haven’t yet had the chance to test this computer ourselves (stay tuned for that…) but Apple seems to have succeeded on both counts.

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ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses Add More Character to Supreme Line

 Gear  Comments Off on ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses Add More Character to Supreme Line
Nov 132019
 

ZEISS Supreme Prime cine lenses might not be the go-to glass for an average indie job but these lenses certainly are a cutting-edge state of the art pieces of technology. The latest addition to the family goes by the name ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance. Optically superb, yet slightly warmer and with added character.

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses. (image credit: ZEISS)

This new line of high-end cine lenses comes in seven focal lengths to start with: 21mm / 25mm / 29mm / 35mm / 50mm / 85mm  and 100mm. All of them share the same specs other than focal length:

  • fast T1.5 aperture
  • length: 119mm (4.7″) / front to PL mount flange
  • 95mm (3.7″) front diameter
  • weight: 1.22 kg (3.13 lbs) -> 50mm up to 1.7 kg (3.74 lbs) -> 100mm
  • close focus (from image plane): 0.26 m (10″) -> 25mm up to 1.1m (3’9″) -> 100mm
  • new T* blue coating

These are the facts, but what’s the story?

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

These new lenses are branded Radiance, as in Glow or Luminosity, even Vibrancy, maybe. According to ZEISS, they produce a slightly warmer overall look in comparison to the original Supreme Primes. However, the real magic here is how these Radiance lenses handle flares. The cinematographer should be able to obtain control if and how a given lens is flaring and to use these ‘optical errors’ to a creative benefit. And that’s exactly the promise of the new T* blue coating.

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

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Tiny and Capable: A Review of the DJI Mavic Mini

 Gear  Comments Off on Tiny and Capable: A Review of the DJI Mavic Mini
Nov 122019
 

The DJI Mavic Mini is a ludicrously small drone, but that does not necessarily mean it does not come without a set of professional features. This great review takes a comprehensive look at the new drone to help you decide if it is the right one for you. 

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An Experiential Review of the Atomos Shinobi External Monitor for Photography

 Gear  Comments Off on An Experiential Review of the Atomos Shinobi External Monitor for Photography
Nov 122019
 
An Experiential Review of the Atomos Shinobi External Monitor for Photography

The use of external monitors in shooting stills at honestly seemed unnecessary at first, especially in shooting more pace-sensitive kinds of photography. But as an architectural photographer who generally has more room for precise compositions, it seemed more feasible. 

External monitors are more commonly used in shooting videos than photos. There is a wide variety of external monitors that are compatible with most modern cameras (at least those with an HDMI port). Atomos is one of those brands most known for such, especially their bigger monitors that come with a built-in recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V. Given that architectural photography deals with very crucial precise composition and attention to details, the use of the Atomos Shinobi seemed sensible. 

Build and Design

The Shinobi comes in a 5.94 x 3.6 x 1.24 inch polycarbonate body that weighs only 196 grams (battery not included). It has 1/4” female mounting threads on the top and bottom parts, a 3.5mm audio output port, HDMI port, and an SD card slot on the sides. The SD slot does not function as storage but works as a way to import color profiles instead. Personally, the only thing I would change about this is to give it a more rugged exterior probably with rubber protectors on the corners. 

Display and Features

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FilmConvert Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H Now Available

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on FilmConvert Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H Now Available
Nov 072019
 

FilmConvert has announced the addition of a new camera pack for the Panasonic S1 and S1H cameras. If you are a FilmConvert Pro or FilmConvert Nitrate user, you can download these new profiles for free. Let’s take a closer look


FilmConvert
 Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H

The Panasonic LUMIX S1 and LUMIX S1H – the version for filmmakers – are currently on fire! Indeed, the S1H is the first Netflix approved mirrorless camera. Also, if you want to learn more about the S1H, you can take a look at our complete S1H review by clicking here and our lab test by clicking here.

FilmConvertS1S1H_Featured

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Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Sensor with 5K/30P and 4K/60P 10-Bit Video Internally

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Sensor with 5K/30P and 4K/60P 10-Bit Video Internally
Nov 072019
 

Leica has announced its new L-Mount full-frame mirrorless camera. The Leica SL2 features a 47MP full-frame CMOS sensor with 5-axis image stabilization. It is capable of recording 5K video at up to 30fps, 4K video at up to 60fps, and FullHD video at up to 180fps, all in 10-bit H.264. The camera features a high-resolution EVF, full-size HDMI port, two 3.5mm jack ports for headphones and microphone, and an all-metal magnesium body. It will be available from November 21st, 2019 for $5,995.

Leica SL2 full-frame mirrorless camera. Source: Leica

It has already been four years since the German premium brand introduced its Leica SL full-frame mirrorless camera. Our Leica SL review and Lab test articles from 2015 are a good reminder of its video capabilities. The newly announced Leica SL2 promises to bring even more video-oriented features. Let’s take a look!

Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Stabilized Sensor

The new Leica SL2 features a 47.3MP 3:2 full-frame CMOS sensor and Maestro III image processor, which enables up to 20 fps continuous stills shooting with an electronic shutter, 10 fps with a mechanical shutter, and 6 fps with a mechanical shutter and AF-C, for up to 78 consecutive DNG files with a color depth of 14 bits per RGB channel. The sensor features a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system, which minimizes the appearance of camera shakes when shooting handheld.

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A First Look at the Fujifilm X-Pro3 Camera

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on A First Look at the Fujifilm X-Pro3 Camera
Oct 292019
 

The X-Pro3 is the latest camera from Fujifilm in their highly lauded X Series, and with it comes a highly interesting design with lots of features and power to spare. Is this unique camera the right one for you? This excellent first look video will give you a pretty comprehensive overview that should help you decide. 

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Blackmagic Camera 6.6 Firmware for BMPCC 4K and 6K Released

 Gear  Comments Off on Blackmagic Camera 6.6 Firmware for BMPCC 4K and 6K Released
Oct 292019
 

Blackmagic Design is continuously working hard to improve its BMPCC 4K and BMPCC 6K video cameras, and they now released a new firmware update: Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6. This update unlocks a couple of new recording modes, a built-in camera horizon tool, improvements to the autofocus performances, and many other features. Let’s take a closer look at it!

BlackmagicCameraSetup6_6_Featured

Image credit: Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6

Blackmagic Design has now announced a new firmware update for its BMPCC 4K and 6K models called Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6. This firmware update improves a lot of features on both Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras including:

  • Added support for Blackmagic Pocket Battery Grip. The Battery Grip was announced during NAB 2019, and support up to two Sony NP-F style batteries for extended battery life.
  • Added support for language localization.
  • Added support for built-in camera horizon tool. This feature is useful for making sure your camera is perfectly level.
  • Added support for pinch to zoom up to 8x magnification.
  • USB PTP control support.
  • You now can type in customized frame guide ratios; you have no limit anymore to the built-in ones.
  • It has improved autofocus performance.
BlackmagicCameraSetup6_6_01

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Panasonic S1H Lab Test – Dynamic Range and Rolling Shutter Results

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Panasonic S1H Lab Test – Dynamic Range and Rolling Shutter Results
Oct 292019
 

Finally, we were able to put the Panasonic S1H to the test in our cinema5D lab. Looking at the various frame rates and resolutions, as well as the full frame and Super 35 modes of this camera, this turned out to be quite an endeavour. Ready for a lab marathon? Read on…


Panasonic S1H – Image credit: cinema5D

I have long waited for the day to come when I would be able to put the Panasonic S1H through our lab test procedures. I sold my Sony a7S II a while ago expecting a successor to be announced soon, now finding myself impatient in the waiting position for my next camera purchase … will this cam be it?

Spoiler alert: lab results are very impressive – the Panasonic S1H is the first camera in our tests, that shows nearly identical dynamic range results for the two ISO settings of the dual gain sensor! I will share most of the results in detail with you, so this is going to be a long read. Sorry about that…

As described by my colleagues Nino, Jeff, and Johnnie in detail here, the Panasonic S1H is designed with a “video first” mindset by Panasonic and ticks a lot of my personal boxes. I was even hoping for an internal ProRes recording option, but dream on my friends (just to be clear, Panasonic and Atomos are working together in delivering 5.9K ProRes RAW data output to Atomos Ninja V recorder. More info can be found here).

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Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens Announced – Popular Ultra-Wide Comeback

 Gear  Comments Off on Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens Announced – Popular Ultra-Wide Comeback
Oct 242019
 

Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF is a new ultra-wide-angle APS-C lens based on Tokina’s long seller – the AT-X 116 PRO DX II model. It comes in two versions to fit both Canon EF and Nikon F DSLR cameras. The lens features internal focus, water-repellent coating, one-touch focus clutch mechanism, and 77mm front filter thread. It offers overall good optical performance with a lightweight body at an affordable price – $449.

Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens announced. Image credit: Tokina

The original AT-X 116 PRO DX II 11-16mm f/2.8 lens from Tokina was the ultra-wide angle lens of choice for many filmmakers and photographers. It was a very good deal and especially filmmakers liked the lens for many reasons – it offered constant aperture f/2.8, front filter thread, lightweight design, and a friendly price tag. The new Tokina atx-i 11-16mm kind of builds on its success.

Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens

Based on the widely popular AT-X 116 PRO DX II, the model atx-i 11-16mm F2.8 CF is designed and optimized for contemporary APS-C sensor DSLR cameras in terms of improved specifications and renovated design.

Together with its predecessor, it is the only f/2.8 fast ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for APS-C sized DSLR cameras in the current market. A constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range is useful for low light environments, like interiors.

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Panasonic S1H Review – Is it the Best Full Frame Mirrorless Camera for Filmmakers yet?

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Panasonic S1H Review – Is it the Best Full Frame Mirrorless Camera for Filmmakers yet?
Oct 242019
 

The Panasonic S1H is now finally available for purchasing and we took it for a spin in order to put it through its paces. If you are in a rush and have no time to continue reading, here is my conclusion first: Currently it is the best mirrorless camera that can shoot video in the market. Of course, no filming device is perfect, but any manufacturer who would like to produce something even better will have to work harder to achieve this. Ready to dive into details? Keep on reading. 

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Tamron Expands Their Sony Mirrorless Lens Line-Up with 4 New Lenses

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Tamron Expands Their Sony Mirrorless Lens Line-Up with 4 New Lenses
Oct 242019
 
Tamron Expands Their Sony Mirrorless Lens Line-Up with 4 New Lenses

Tamron really has their focus on the Sony mirrorless camera users. The existing Tamron lenses for Sony mirrorless, the 28-75mm f/2.8 and 17-28mm f/2.8 have been quite successful due to their superb quality and competitive pricing. That is why many users have been awaiting the lens that would complete this zoom lens trinity, a fast telephoto lens, certainly. 

Today, Tamron announced the development of the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD. However, aside from that, a lot are still yet to be revealed by the third-party lens brand. In addition, however, they finally revealed the 3 new prime lenses for the Sony mirrorless line-up. The 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F050), 24mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051), and 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F053). The 24mm and 35mm lenses will be available on November 20th and the 20mm will be available in January 2020. All three prime lenses share the same price tag of $349. 

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Zhiyun Weebill-S Compact Gimbal for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras Announced

 Gear  Comments Off on Zhiyun Weebill-S Compact Gimbal for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras Announced
Oct 172019
 

After the massive success of the Kickstarter campaign for their SMOOTH-Q2 smartphone gimbal, Zhiyun is back with a new gimbal for DSLR and Mirrorless cameras: the Zhiyun Weebill-S. This compact and robust handheld gimbal is a follow-up to the previous Weebill LAB that was announced at Photokina 2018. Let’s take a closer look at it!

Zhiyun Weebill-S Design

Zhiyun has just announced their new handheld gimbal for mirrorless and DSLR cameras: the Zhiyun Weebill-S. This fresh stabilizer is a follow-up to the previous Weebill LAB, but it is not a replacement. Overall, the one-of-his-kind design is similar between the two. If it works, don’t fix it.

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Nikon Releases NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens – World’s Fastest Z-Mount Lens

 Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Releases NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens – World’s Fastest Z-Mount Lens
Oct 172019
 

Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct manual-focus lens, which is currently the fastest lens for the Z-Mount and one of the world’s fastest lenses ever. It covers full-frame sensors, offers a function button, and comes with a dedicated case. This unique lens is now available for pre-order for slightly under $8,000.

NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct lens released. Image credit: Nikon

Nikon works hard to extend their mirrorless Z-mount lineup. The Japanese company recently announced the new APS-C camera Nikon Z50 along with two new budget DX lenses. Nikon also released an announcement including the fastest lens in the Z-mount lineup – NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens. Let’s take a look at its features.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is an ultra-fast, standard prime, manual-focus lens for the Nikon Z mount system’s full-frame (Nikon FX-format) mirrorless cameras – the Z 6 and Z 7. It takes advantage of the large-diameter (inner diameter of 55 mm) of Z-mount and 16 mm flange focal distance to realize an f/0.95 maximum aperture.

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