Atomos Shogun 7 – Hands-On with Jeromy Young

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Apr 302019
 

Ahead of NAB 2019, Atomos announced the Atomos Shogun 7 which we reported about here. This workhorse can record in ProRes RAW up to 5.7K resolution, it features live switching capabilities, and the 1500 nits HDR display can show you up to 15+ stops of dynamic range. We had the chance to talk with Atomos’ CEO Jeromy Young about their new flagship recorder and the main differences with the Atomos Inferno.

Atomos Shogun 7 Tech Specs and Features

The Atomos Shogun 7 is one of the most powerful external recorders in the market. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Accepts RAW signals and records it to ProRes RAW, ProRes, CinemaDNG and Avid DNxHD.
  • Recording up to 5.7K at 30fps, 4K at 120fps and 2K at 240fps.
  • Color sampling in 10-bit 4:2:2 available in ProRes and DNxHD up to DCI 4K at 60fpd and 2K at 240fps.
  • Four 6G/3G-SDI or dual 12G-SDI inputs, two 4K-SDI 12G or HD-SDI 3G/6G outputs.
  • One HDMI 2.0 input, and one HDMI 2.0 output with HDMI-SDI cross-conversion.
  • Optional audio breakout cable available for XLR audio input, with phantom power. Also, there is a 3.5mm mini-jack output.
  • It is powered via Sony L-series batteries. Two slots support hot swapping for continuous power.
  • Record to 2.5″ SSD/HDD media. This can be approved SATA SSD drives, using the included Master Caddy II, or AtomX SSDmini drives.
  • Four ARRI anti-rotation mounting points on the top and bottom for secure mounting.

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Why the World’s Best Photographers Are Sticking With DSLRs

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Apr 292019
 

Following the announcement of the winners of the World Press Photo competition last week, Spanish photography website Photolari.com compiled the metadata to examine what the leading photojournalists are using to capture their images. The results are quite interesting and demonstrate that the mighty DSLR is going nowhere. Here’s why.

In terms of brands, there are no great surprises when it comes to the most popular choices: Canon leads the way, with Nikon close behind. More surprising is the fact that only one finalist was shooting on Sony — the same as the number working with Leica, and significantly behind Fujifilm. Sony may have produced one of 2018’s most popular full-frame cameras in the shape of the a7 III, but photojournalists seem to prefer to stick with what they know.

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Yashica Unveils Three 35mm Cameras and Two New Films

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Apr 292019
 

Yashica’s Y35 digiFilm camera drummed up a great deal of excitement on Kickstarter but was universally panned by reviewers and early adopters when it finally launched in 2018. Apparently unfazed, Yashica just returned to Kickstarter with plans to launch three new film cameras and two new films.

The project is called “Absolute,” and it’ll be rolled out in three “episodes” for the three cameras.

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Atlas Lens Co. New Orion 25mm T/2.0 Anamorphic Lens and LF Extender

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Atlas Lens Co. New Orion 25mm T/2.0 Anamorphic Lens and LF Extender
Apr 242019
 

Wide-angle anamorphic lenses, and especially 2X ones, are not easy to manufacture and usually comes at a high price. During NAB 2019 we had a chance to talk with Dan Kanes from Atlas Lens Co. about two new exciting products: an Orion 25mm T/2.0 anamorphic lens and an LF Extender.

Atlas Lens Co. Orion 25mm T/2.0

If you are not familiar with Atlas Lens Co., the young American company is specialized in anamorphic lenses. In 2017, they released a 2X anamorphic lens set called Orion. There are six lenses in total; they are all T/2.0 aperture and range from 32mm up to 100mm. However, a wide-angle anamorphic prime was missing, and it looks like the set will soon expand to seven lenses with a new 25mm T/2.0 anamorphic prime.

This new Orion 25mm T/2.0 anamorphic lens is a unique lens. Indeed, the lens features very low distortion, which is familiar with wide-angle anamorphic lenses. The front of the lens is 134mm wide, and the lens mount is interchangeable from PL-Mount to EF-Mount. While it is still a prototype – Atlas Lens Co. built it two weeks before the show – the build quality looks fantastic, like every other Orion lens.

There are not a lot of info around this new lens, we don’t know when it will be available, but expect the price to be around $8000 to $10.000.

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Gnarbox 2.0 – Backup Your Footage, No Computer Needed

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Gnarbox 2.0 – Backup Your Footage, No Computer Needed
Apr 242019
 

Hot off the heels of a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the backup storage device dubbed the Gnarbox 2.0 is ready and shipping soon. For photographers and shooters in the field, the Gnarbox promises to be a safe and reliable alternative to putting a pile of media in your pocket to offload later at night at the hotel.

The Gnarbox 2.0 will come in three flavors based primarily around their internal storage capacity. 256, 512, 1TB versions will all be available – and each one features an SD card slot for offloading cards, as well as a USB C port and a removable battery. Obviously, for users not shooting with SD cards, you’ll need to attach the applicable reader to the device to offload footage. We checked out the device at NAB 2019 and there is a lot to like here. For users shooting raw images or HD footage then 1TB is plenty for a full day of shooting. Once you get into high resolution footage from RED and other 4K+  resolution raw-capable cameras, then this may not be the right device for you.

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Foton 25-300mm T2.8 Cine Zoom – Not Ready for Primetime

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Apr 242019
 

A new lens company called Foton, owned by China-based parent company DZO, has a new spherical T2.8 25-300mm S35 12x zoom on display at NAB. We tried the very, very large lens on the show floor and had some thoughts…  

Lens manufacturing is tricky and this lens is admittedly not yet in production, but we noticed a few flaws during the show. For one, the lens was displayed on a large format RED Monstro, so the S35 lens would crop at anything over 5K as displayed in the booth.  The build quality is also a little suspect. We tried to set the lens to T2.8 and the lens ring stopped just short of the point marked at T2.8 on the lens body.

I also had trouble finding focus in the booth for just a quick test because the min focus distance is 6.5 ft (or 2 meters) and the booth wasn’t quite large enough for focusing on too many different objects. The lens also appeared a little soft in my opinion. While the price point is more affordable to other zooms of this scale there are a few things that need to be worked out before this zoom is ready for primetime in my opinion.

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The Cameras That Shot the Winning Photos of World Press Photo 2019

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Apr 222019
 

World Press Photo just announced the winning photos for the 2019 edition of it’s world’s most prestigious photojournalism contest. Camera metadata shared alongside the top photos is again providing us with an inside look at what gear the world’s top photojournalists are using at the moment.

The Spanish photography site Photolari gathered all the data and published a breakdown of the brands, systems, cameras, and sensor formats used this year.

While Nikon surprisingly took the crown from Canon in 2018 with 52% representation among winning photos compared to Canon’s 30%, Nikon’s time at the top didn’t last long. This year, Canon struck back and was behind 46.4% of the winning photos compared to Nikon’s 36.8%.

While Sony has made huge strides in the camera market over the past year — it became #1 in full-frame cameras in the US last year — its use by the photojournalists in World Press Photo hasn’t changed. Only a single finalist photographer was confirmed to have used a Sony camera (the a7R II) for their work.

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Canon May Build LED Lights Into DSLR Pop-Up Flashes, Patent Suggests

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Apr 152019
 

Canon is apparently looking into building continuous LED lights into the pop-up flashes on DSLR cameras, something that could come in handy for certain situations when shooting photo or video.

Canon News first reported on the development after it was spotted in a patent (2019-056787) filed by Canon over in Japan. The patent describes a solution for dealing with the heat that’s generated the continuous LED light source in order to prevent it from deteriorating. Here’s an excerpt:

[W]hen using LED which carries out a continuous light as a light source of a lighting system, the measure against the heat which occurs from LED serves as problem. If the measure against heat is not performed sufficiently, LED deteriorates for a short time and there is a possibility that it may become impossible for light volume to be deteriorated or to switch on the light. If it is a lighting system removable to a camera […], in order to radiate heat in the heat which occurs from LED, it is possible to provide a radiation substrate with a large area, but in the type which has a pop-up function, it is difficult to provide a radiation substrate with a large area near the LED.

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Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Battery Grip

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Apr 082019
 

First things first: There is no new camera from Blackmagic Design at this years NAB. But, if you happen to own a Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, you might be happy about this: They introduced a new BMPCC4K Battery Pack which enables shooting for 2 hours straight.

This new BMPCC4K battery pack is really pretty straightforward: Remove the little battery cover from the camera, mount the battery pack to the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, replacing the Canon LP-E6 style battery inside the camera and put two Sony L-series batteries into the pack. Wait, what?

BMPCC4K Battery Pack

So this device takes two Sony L-series batteries. That’s good because these hold much more power in comparison to the Canon LP-E6 style batteries you had to carry in order to power the BMPCC4K before. But Blackmagics decision to swap battery sytsems is still a bit odd, I think. Why not using L-series batteries for the camera in the first place?

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Tokina Vista Lenses – Cine Primes and 50-135mm T2.9 mk II Cine Zoom Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Tokina Vista Lenses – Cine Primes and 50-135mm T2.9 mk II Cine Zoom Announced
Apr 072019
 

Tokina entered the cinema marked with the introduction of their Vista line of fast and full frame cine prime lenses. Now, a few years later, they introduce a limited edition, called the Tokina Vista One. The Ones sport a single-coated front element, resulting in more cinematic character. There’s also a new 50-125mm T2.9 mk II cine zoom lens!

While many cinematographers applauded to the optical quality of the original Vista series, some were missing a certain character. And that’s a thing in the high end cinema market: you don’t want a clinical look (sometimes you do but that’s another story). You want some soul, something that support the story at hand. That’s where the Tokina Vista One series of lenses come into picture.

Tokina Vista One Prime Lenses

The Tokina Vista One lenses tick all the boxes when it comes to serious cinematographic tools: full frame (even beyond that), 8K resolution, fast 1.5 T-stop, virtually no focus breathing, low chromatic aberration, 9-blade curved iris for pleasing bokeh, 300 degree focus throw, all-metal design with geared rings.. it’s all there. And still, something is missing from the original Vista primes: Less coating. The Tokina Vista One primes come with only a single-coated aspheric front element.

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Sharp 8K Micro Four Thirds Camera – Prototype First Look and Footage

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Apr 072019
 

During the be beginning of the year, Sharp Corporation came up with a surprising, small handheld Micro Four Thirds 8K camera – but back then we had very few details about it. Now, just before NAB 2019 is about to begin, we had the opportunity to talk to Kaino-san from Sharp, who was kind enough to answer our questions and also let us have a short spin with it.

PLEASE NOTE: The camera is currently at a very early stage of development and the footage it creates is in NO WAY final! For now, this new Micro 4/3 sensor camera can record 8K/30p in H264, Long GOP, 8Bit 4:2:0, 200Mbps wrapped in an mp4 container to an internal SD card. More details below.

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Teradek and SmallHD Make 1st AC’s Dreams Come True

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Apr 012019
 


Teradek and SmallHD (both part of Vitec) have joined forces once again! All recent models of OS3 powered SmallHD monitors, including the FOCUS Bolt 500 RX or 703 Bolt are capable of receiving lens data from the Teradek CTRL.1 single axis lens controller. The data is being displayed as an overlay on the screen which is pretty neat and a first in wireless video!

So you’re on a pro shoot and your team involves a dedicated 1st AC (aka focus puller). That’s great but how to avoid having the 1st AC glued to the camera because of one of the following: No wireless video and/or no wireless remote focus control? And even if you have both, he/she will stick around for a glance at the focus scale of the lens.. This seems to be solved now, because with this new firmware update 1st ACs see exactly what’s going on without being anywhere near the lens.

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New Samyang 85mm F1.4 FE-Mount Autofocus Lens – Now Available for Pre-Order

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on New Samyang 85mm F1.4 FE-Mount Autofocus Lens – Now Available for Pre-Order
Apr 012019
 

The new Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE prime lens for full-frame Sony E-mount (FE mount) is now available for pre-order. The lens has fast autofocus, 9 blades aperture for round bokeh, and features a lightweight design.

For a long time, Samyang (in some markets known as Rokinon) was known for producing fully manual lenses within the affordable market segment. Since 2016 the company has started to incorporate autofocus in their lenses and currently they have nine auto-focus lenses built for various lens mounts. The AF 85mm f/1.4 prime lens for Sony E-mount  is their 6th Sony FE mount AF lens.

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE Prime Lens

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Leica Q2: A 47MP, 4K Weather-Sealed Full-Frame Compact Camera

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Mar 132019
 

Inside the magnesium alloy Leica Q2 is a new 47.3-megapixel full-frame sensor that offers the highest resolution for any camera in this class. Backed by a Maestro II image processor, the Q2 has an ISO range of 50-50000 and can shoot up to 10 frames per second.

On the front of the camera is a Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens that has “optimum picture quality” and “exquisite bokeh characteristics.”

If 28mm seems a little wide for an all-purpose compact camera, you’ll be happy to know that the camera features a built-in crop function that allows you to shoot with the equivalent focal lengths of 35m, 50mm, and 75mm. And when shooting cropped raw (DNG) photos, the Q2 still captures the full uncropped view, allowing photographers to under or change the crop they shot with.

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Fstoppers Compares the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 and XF 16-55mm f/2.8

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Fstoppers Compares the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 and XF 16-55mm f/2.8
Mar 102019
 

Fujifilm has become quite well known for it’s excellent APS-C lens lineup and now has enough lenses that several of them overlap significantly. One pair of lenses that bare consideration for many getting into the Fujifilm X system are the “kit” XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS and the “professional” XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR. Let’s take a look at the differences between them.

The XF 18-55mm is a renowned lens among the kit lenses of the world. It is known for being fast, silent, and having excellent image quality. But, just how good is it? How does it compare to the “professional” XF 16-55mm f/2.8? Could you potentially save yourself a lot of size, money, and weight if you don’t need f/2.8 at the long end of the zoom? Let’s find out.

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Will The Next Nikon Z Be An Entry-Level Camera?

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Will The Next Nikon Z Be An Entry-Level Camera?
Mar 102019
 

Now that Canon has recently announced the EOS RP, is the next Nikon Z camera on its way? And if it is, where will it fall in the Nikon Z lineup of cameras? If rumors are correct, the next Nikon Z camera will most likely be aimed at an entry-level full-frame user. Perhaps called the Nikon Z5?

Numerous sites are reporting that a Nikon executive has confirmed that a new Z series camera is being developed for the entry level user. It appears that Nikon is going to follow Canon’s lead of offering a mirrorless full-frame camera to the entry-level community. With the vast majority of the photography community panning the Canon EOS RP, will this be an opening for Nikon to grab a share of the entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera market? Or will Nikon succumb to the same reviews as the Canon EOS RP?

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Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2 Introduced, Pocket 4K Gets Blackmagic RAW, No More DNG

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2 Introduced, Pocket 4K Gets Blackmagic RAW, No More DNG
Mar 062019
 

Blackmagic Design just announced the URSA Mini Pro G2, the second generation of its flagship shoulder camera, plus the long sought-after Blackmagic RAW update to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

To get an extensive run-down of all the new products and features that Blackmagic Design introduced today, watch CEO Grant Petty in this 35 minute video below:

But if you want to save some time, you can also read my summary here:

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2

This is the new second generation of the popular URSA Mini Pro. It replaces the previous model and while it looks similar, Blackmagic have redesigned all the electronics inside the camera and it includes a new generation 4.6K sensor. Blackmagic claims that this camera has 15 stops of dynamic range. (Here’s our dynamic range test of Blackmagic RAW on the original URSA Mini Pro in case you missed it.)

The new electronics allowed them to ramp up the camera frame rates. They have doubled the frame rate in Blackmagic RAW and in ProRes.

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New Budget Portrait Lens for Sony Shooters: Meike 85mm f/1.8 Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on New Budget Portrait Lens for Sony Shooters: Meike 85mm f/1.8 Announced
Mar 062019
 

Today, Meike announced their latest full-frame E-mount lens with the 85mm f/1.8.

The Meike 85mm f/1.8 is a manual focus lens constructed of nine elements in six groups. It has a minimum focusing distance of 2.78 feet (0.85 meters) and accepts 67mm filters on the front. It measures 3.93 inches (100 millimeters) long and has a diameter of 3.14 inches (80 millimeters). Product photos supplied by Meike show it with a lens hood, so it is possible that it will come with one although I haven’t seen confirmation.

Pricing of the new Meike 85mm f/1.8 is currently unknown, but it joins two other full-frame lenses they have developed, the $99.99 50mm f/1.7 and $269.99 85mm f/2.8 Macro. Meike does sell a similar 85mm f/1.8 lens in Canon EF mount, and is priced at $189.99. Knowing this, it is predictable that the new E-mount lens will be much less expensive than Sony’s own $573 85mm f/1.8.

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Fstoppers Takes a Hands-On First Look at the Fujifilm X-T30: Best Camera Under $1000?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Fstoppers Takes a Hands-On First Look at the Fujifilm X-T30: Best Camera Under $1000?
Mar 062019
 

They say the third time’s the charm, and that’s certainly the case with Fujifilm’s new X-T30. I got a chance to take a hands-on look at a pre-production X-T30 and put it through its paces recently. How did it do?

As some background, I’ve been an X-series user for the past few years with an X100T and later an X-T1. I’ve been a big fan of the X-T1 for journalism as a second camera to a DSLR or a primary camera for certain events. I also carry it along to weddings for the gorgeous color and sharp Fuji lenses, such as the 56mm f/1.2 R. The X-T30 is technically two generations newer than the X-T1, though it sits below the single digit T-series model (X-T3) in the lineup. That said, my X-T1 has always been the bridesmaid and never the bride in my shoots, always being a second camera to my battle-tested full-frame DSLRs.

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Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II and TZ95 – New Bridge and Travel Cameras Announced

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II and TZ95 – New Bridge and Travel Cameras Announced
Feb 182019
 

Panasonic releases two new LUMIX consumer cameras – the LUMIX FZ1000 II and the LUMIX TZ95. The FZ1000 II is a 1-inch sensor bridge camera with a 16x telephoto zoom lens and a flip-out touchscreen. The LUMIX TZ95 is a new compact travel zoom camera with a very small body, 1/2.3-inch sensor, 30x zoom telephoto lens and a tilting LCD. Both cameras record 4K UHD video at up to 30fps. Ready for pre-order now.

Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II

The first generation FZ1000 was introduced already five years ago. Now the time has come to release its successor – the FZ1000 II. It is a bridge camera, meaning it has a rather bulky form with an ergonomic grip and a built-in long range lens. In other words – it is a fixed lens ultrazoom camera that looks like a DSLR.

The camera incorporates a 1-inch 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor with 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ (optical image stabilizer). The sensor should have improved lowlight capabilities, thanks to its high signal-to-noise ratio. Video recording is possible in 4K UHD (3840×2160) resolution at 30/25/24p. In the official press release, there was no information about 1080p modes, codec or bitrate. There is a 4K photo function, which can help users choose the best photo (frame) from a 30fps burst. Other 4K photo functions include Post Focus, Focus Stacking and the ability to combine multiple images for a “stromotion” effect.

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