CinematographyComments Off on Sony Develops Super Slow Motion Sensor for Smartphones by; Jakub Han
The capabilities of image sensors are constantly getting better, also in the area of the ubiquitous small smartphone sensors. Sony has developed a new 3-layer stacked high speed CMOS sensor with DRAM. It promises to minimise image distortion and add super slow motion capabilities to future smartphones.
Sony announced the development of the industry’s first 3-layer stacked CMOS sensor for smartphones. Compared to traditional 2-layer sensors, the new Sony sensor features an added DRAM layer. The purpose of this extra layer is to increase data readout speeds and make it possible to capture still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion (something we also call “rolling shutter”) as well as super slow motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second in 1080p.
Cinematography, Gear, NewsComments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon
The GH5 was announced back in September last year, but Panasonic kept many features of the camera close to the chest. Today, at CES, Panasonic pulled back the curtain. We have the full feature list and were invited to an exclusive prior GH5 hands-on event in Los Angeles. Spoiler alert, the camera looks great and it’s a cinematographer’s dream. Features, pricing and availability below:
The built-in flash found in the old GH4 is gone and a whole new array of magical features aimed squarely at indie filmmakers have taken its place in the MFT Panasonic DMC-GH5, unveiled today at CES in Las Vegas. However, the Panasonic GH5, like a fine wine, will need to age gracefully into the summer to reach its full potential. More on that later.
Back in May of 2014, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 hit the market and became an instant favorite. Lauded for its internal 4K, variable frame rate option, XLR input module and professional video features such as peaking, zebras and cinema color profiles, it was clear that Panasonic built the camera with the cinematographer in mind. On paper, engineers have outdone themselves in every way with the new GH5.
Panasonic will be squishing features like 4:2:2 10bit 4K with a bitrate of 400Mbps and 180fps FHD variable frame rate recording into the tiny 2.0 pound body of the GH5. Over the years you get used to seeing specs like this from companies such as RED Cinema, but with the price point of a BMW 5-series. For the GH5, we are more in 1998 Honda Civic territory with a camera body price point of $2,000.
In short, the GH5 looks stylish, feels great to hold and shoots gorgeous video.
The camera launches with a max resolution of 4096×2160 up to 60fps with a bitrate of 150Mbps. Notice the differences from the features in bold above? That’s because Panasonic is rolling out a free firmware plan upgrading the camera into the summer, and 4K (400Mbps) All-Intra recording will unlock by July.
Of course, it would be great to have all the banner features right as you open the box, but like many video games these days, you’ll need to wait for updates before the camera has its full feature list, but what a list of features it is.
Here is the full firmware breakdown:
GH5 Firmware Upgrade Path:
4:2:2 10bit – Available April, 2017
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
(200 Mbps) FHD 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available Summer, 2017
(400Mbps) 4K 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available, Summer 2017
V-Log Color Profile – Available at launch, Cost: $100
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode is available in a 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the very fact we are talking about getting 6K, or close, Anamorphic out of a $2,000 MFT body is exciting. Panasonic is calling this upcoming mode: “High Resolution Anamorphic” as it is 6K resolution in terms of pixel density, but not 6000 pixels of horizontal resolution.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Olympus OMD E-M1 II controls and handling for video – a first look
The new flagship Olympus OMD E-M1 II has been getting quite a lot of attention lately thanks to its amazing imagestabilisation capabilities and high bitrate internal DCI 4K recording. We’ve just received the highly specced Micro 4/3rds camera to test and will be taking a closer look at it over the coming days.
In this first article I’m going to look at the design and handling of the camera for video. In later articles we’ll examine the image stabilisation system, autofocus and image quality. Bitrates, crops and colour settings will have to wait till then. (spolier – there is no Log profile on the camera)
The camera body is nicely put together.
The body of the camera is nicely put together and is weather sealed. There is a good sized handgrip that felt good in my hands.
The LCD screen is a flip-out type similar to cameras like the GH4. You can angle it up, down or a full 180 degrees around for selfies – video bloggers will be happy. The electronic viewfinder has a 120 hz refresh rate and is very good, with little noticable lag or image judder. There is a histogram function, peaking and also focus magnification. These all work well, but the one major annoyance is that the magnification function doesn’t work while recording – unlike the competing Sony a7 and a6xxx series.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Compact Wireless Video Gets Range Boost – Teradek Bolt 500 Announced
Teradek has announced a new compact wireless video system. The Teradek Bolt 500 keeps the small form factor of the Bolt 300, but with an increased range of an impressive 500-foot distance, as well as offering HDMI/SDI conversion.
Teradek has become one of the industry standards for wireless video transmission systems. They offer robust solutions for when you are you looking to transmit your video signal to a wirelessl, whether for providing a separate monitor for client viewing, director viewing and/or your camera is situated where running a cable isn’t practical, such as when sat on a gimbal, high out of reach or across a long distance.
The Bolt 500 is, however, still placed in Teradek’s short range category, a product that will favour users looking to keep their wireless systems small. The Bolt 500 is similar in size to its smaller 300-foot range brother, but step up to the Bolt 1000 and above and you’ll have to deal with a larger physical system when taking antennas into consideration.
Weannounced the new Sigma Cinema lenses line back in early September and my colleague, Nino, was hands on with the new glass at IBC a few weeks later. Now, we have the pricing details below:
Sigma had been promising a price well bellow $5,000, and true to their word both the Cine High Speed Zoom 18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2 now have a price tag of $3,999 and will begin shipping on December 9th.
Both of these zooms are built around the S35 standard and are compatible with 6K – 8K shooting. Available in E, EF and PL mounts.
This price point puts Sigma in unique territory, well clear by a large margin of other cine zoom competitors like Angenieux, Cooke and Arri/Fujinon. For other budget cinema zoom offerings I would recommend looking into the Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9/T3.9, with a price point of $9,900, or the $5,000 Canon 18mm-80mm T4.4 Servo. While both Zeiss and Canon have cinema zoom glass that covers a wider useful range, neither are faster then the first Sigma cine zoom offerings out of the gate.
I have no new information on a price or ship date for the full frame Sigma Cinema 24-35mm T2.2. More updates on that when we have it.
While I wasn’t able to capture any footage, I was able to mount the cine high speed zooms and upcoming primes on a variety of camera bodies at a hands-on event a few weeks ago, and I can tell you that the glass feels great and the image holds up well in-camera. Check back at cinema5D.com for footage and a full-fledged review coming in the near future.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Saramonic CaMixer Adds a Headphone Jack to Your Sony a6300 / a6500
If you’re a proud owner of aSony a6300, you might be in desperate need of some sort of audio interface due to its lack of a headphone jack. Saramonic has your back here with the release of a very compact and very affordable audio mixer. Meet the Saramonic CaMixer.
The Saramonic CaMixer
This little audio interface could be just what you need if you’re after a a small, lightweight and affordable audio solution. Saramonic claims it is brand new, but actually it looks very familiar to me. Last year they released a very similar audio interface, the SmartMixer, intended to be used with smartphones. It’s a little more expensive, as it comes bundled with a smartphone holder and a grip. The new CaMixer comes in professional black rather than in consumer red.
Spot the dfference! Saramonic CaMixer (left) and SmartMixer (right)
Anyway, the functionality for a device like this is still very relevant, as a lot of smaller cameras like theSony a6300or even the freshly announced Sony a6500 lack a decent headphone jack for monitoring audio. You also get two detachable directional microphones plugged into 3.5mm mic inputs, a phantom powered mini XLR jack and of course an audio out port for connecting the Saramonic CaMixer to your camera. A lot of stuff for such a tiny preamp device, indeed.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Laowa 15mm f/2 E-Mount and 7.5mm f/2 MFT Mount Lenses Announced
At Photokina, Chinese lens manufacturer Venus Optics, who sell lenses by the name Laowa and specialise in niche glass for various cameras, announced two new fast wide angle lenses:
After their 12mm f/2.8 E-Mount which we reported about in August, they now also offer a new 15mm f/2 for E-Mount, which is very fast for such a wide angle lens. It covers the full frame 35mm sensor of Sony A7 series E-Mount cameras and is fully manual with hard stops and manual aperture. It features a filter thread which isn’t a given on all wide angle lenses at 15mm. No info on pricing yet.
Their other new lens is a fully manual 7.5mm f/2 prime for Micro Four Thirds cameras. It will feature a comparable wide angle field-of-view given the 2x crop factor of MFT sensors compared to 35mm full frame cameras. What’s particularly noteworthy about this lens is its tiny size and weight which, when combined with the wide angle field-of-view and the staggering f/2 maximum aperture, make it an ideal choice for drone operators flying a GH4 (or GH5 in the future) on their multicopter. There is no word on pricing on this lens either, but they promise to be “competitive”, which has usually been the case with their lenses so far indeed.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Sony a7S II – Which One is the Best Mirrorless Video Camera?
The Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera is quickly becoming a candidate as the new gold standard in affordable 4K video. But will it be replacing the famous Sony a7S II as the best mirrorless video camera for cinematic shooting?
Video shooters live in good times. Every few months, a new video shooting mirrorless camera rocks the market and gives us better cinema-like quality and features. Last year, theSony a7S II quickly became the best mirrorless video camera you could get, with a nice 4K image, numerous useful video features and impressive lowlight performance.
Just two weeks ago, the Panasonic GH5 was announced and raised the bar once more with its specs, offering internal 4:2:2 10bit in 4K, though this camera will only see the light of day in 2017. For now, the Fujifilm X-T2 has landed on our desk and stands a serious contender against theSony a7s II as the new gold standard. Let’s take a look.
We recently tested the Fujifilm X-T2 in a documentary style situation (check out our review). Few people expected that this camera would be quite so interesting for both photographers as well as video shooters. This is only Fujifilm’s first attempt at implementing 4K video into one of their mirrorless cameras, yet they got a lot of things right, and even since our review some new features have been implemented via a firmware update: Now you can get extended dynamic range (H-2, S-2) when recording internally.
Both the Fujfilm X-T2 as well as the Sony a7S II are designed as mirror-less cameras in a photo body. The FujifilmX-T2 has the Fuji X-Mount and houses an APS-C sized sensor. The Sony a7S II has the Sony E-mount and houses a full-frame sensor. There are fans for both sensor sizes, but in terms of the lens-mount, there are only a few adapters for Fuji right now, while there are many options for Sony E. This could change in the future, if user interest for Fuji X-Mount adapters rises.
The Cinevate Duzi 4 slider arrives with a clever integrated carriage and flywheel for smoother shots without weight compromise, and is a re-vamped design to Cinevate’s popular portable slider system.
I’ve been using Cinevate sliders for years, including all versions of the Duzi since its original release. Having tried out most popular brands of sliders, the Duzi has always impressed me the most in relation to weight, operation, longevity and cost.
Only my Cinevate Hedron has ever given me smoother results, and this comes down to one single feature – the flywheel.
As the flywheel gains momentum, it irons out any knocks and fidgety motion resulting from user operation. But it comes at a cost: the Hedron is a far heavier system than the Duzi, and with the flywheel bolted on it’s much longer as well.
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.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on The New Panasonic FZ2000 Bridge Camera – 10bit 4K DCI External in Vlog for $1200
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.
Here at IBC 2016, we go hands-on with the freshly announced Zeiss LWZ.3, the newest addition to their lightweight zoom range. Although the lens gets slower at the far end, from T2.9 down to T3.9, it might nevertheless be the next big thing for documentary work. Make sure to read Nino’s in-deptharticle for all about the details of this lightweight cine zoom lens.
As there is no such thing as the perfect lens (14 – 200mm T 1.5 with full frame coverage in a 1,2 kg parfocal lens for $800, anyone?) you’ll always get some downsides, that’s for sure. In the case of this lens, even though it is really lightweight for the focal range it covers, there are also some downsides to it. The Zeiss LWZ.3only covers super35 sized sensors, for example. The bigger Zeiss Compact Zoom versions cover full frame, but they are double the price for half the focal range.
The one thing I find really annoying is the drop of T-stop towards the end of the focal range of this lens. But Zeiss has managed to implement a technology called gradiant T-Stop which will ensure very smooth and linear transition of aperture over the focal range.
Must be action cam season again. The recent Yi 4K camera—which is about as capable as a GoPro Hero4 Black for only half the price—really impressed me. While we’re all waiting to see how 800-pound gorilla GoPro will respond to that threat, Garmin has stepped into the game. Clearly, the company is swinging for the fences.
Innovative features like voice control and excellent case-on audio quality set it apart from a crowded field. Same resolution, framerates, and shooting mode as its competition. On-board sensors let you incorporate ride/stunt/adventure data into your videos. Works with most of the common mounts and accessories on the market.
Battery life is only meh. Image stabilization feature fails to impress.
The Virb Ultra 30 is the latest in Garmin’s Virb lineof action sports accessories. There have been Virb-branded action cameras before, but the Ultra 30 represents a thorough rethink. It’s Garmin’s attempt at a kitchen-sink style, high-end action camera, and for the most part it really succeeds. Its resolution and speed reach up to 4K at 30 frames per second, or 1080p at 120fps, just like GoPro’s Hero4 Black. In fact it looks almost identical to a GoPro. Like the Yi 4K (another GoPro dead ringer) it also has a touchscreen on the back—something which the Hero4 Black lacks, but the mid-tier Silver edition has.
Remarkably, you can continue using the touchscreen even with its case on, which is waterproof to 133 feet. But that’s not the most notable thing about the case; Garmin specially designed a mic port for the waterproof case, and you may not believe it, but the sound is just as clear with the case on as it is with the case off. Crazy, I know, but watch the video comparison and you’ll see what I mean. It’s totally unprecedented in the arena of action cams, and its audio quality blows the doors off everything else.
Another terrific idea Garmin has implemented is voice control. You alert it by saying “OK Garmin…” and then “start recording,” “stop recording,” “take a photo,” or “remember that” (to add a tag to that part of the video). I tested it thoroughly while mountain biking some singletrack in the badlands of North Dakota, and I quickly grew to love the feature for one very important reason: It meant I didn’t have to take my hands off the handlebars. It’s always the dodgiest moments that you want to capture, which are the exact moments you really shouldn’t be letting go. Obviously, this applies to many different sports. It certainly doesn’t work perfectly, and your videos will always end with “OK Garmin, stop recording,” but true hands-free control is a major advantage.
In a week packed full of new camera announcements, the Sony FDR-X3000R action cam shows us that its not just about top-of-the-range, flagship cameras. With this significant announcement, Sony takes aim at the GoPro market yet again with their latest 4K-capable action cam with optical image stabilisation.
One of the main characteristics of the FDR-X3000R is the adoption of the Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology found in some of Sony’s handicam models. The B.O.SS system works by moving the entire optical path rather than just individual elements, and is supposed to achieve even greater shake reduction, making it ideal for action cam applications such as helmet or handlebar mounted operation.
In terms of hardware, the FDR-X3000R weighs only 114g, and features an 8.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor backed by a BIONZ X processor, the very same brains inside the Sony ɑ7 range, which allows for a full pixel readout without pixel binning. In addition, the new low-distortion Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens is adjustable in-camera to f=17 mm, f=23 mm and f=32 mm for Wide, Medium and Narrow settings respectively, and features a 3x smooth zoom while recording. All of this is housed in a splash and freezeproof body, making this action cam suitable for a variety of situations.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Cinemartin VENUS – 10 Bit High Brightness Monitor Under $1000
The Cinemartin VENUS is a recently announced high-brightness slimline monitor that provides a professional solution at a competitive price. For a limited time only, it is available with a very attractive rebate offer.
Rated at 1000 NIT, theVENUS‘s high brightness makes monitoring and focusing easier when shooting in sunlight, or in situations that present a wide dynamic range. 10-Bit processing allows for more colour information to be displayed too, with up to 1.07 billion colours. This is achieved by FRC (8+2 Bit) ‘that produces an effect to see cleaner, natural, and a greater range of colours’.
The monitor is slimline, with an average depth of only 11mm that makes it thinner and lighter than the Atomos NinjaFlame and the SmallHD 702 Bright. Its aluminium chassis makes for a small and light monitoring package that can be used with many cameras via HDMI.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Kipon Adapter Puts Medium Format Lenses Onto Sony A7 | Keep Angle Of View & Gain 1 Stop Speed
Top quality and top prices are typically associated with Medium Format lenses, which only adds to their appeal. Medium format lenses are generally regarded favorably for their build quality and how they deliver contrast, saturation, the quality of the bokeh, and how they deal with certain light abnormalities. And now, thanks to Kipon Baveyes (a brand under the umbrella of Shanghai Transvision working with German IB/E Optics), HasselbladV-Mount optics can now be adapted to work with the Sony A7, Leica SL, and Leica M mount cameras.
When Metabones released their first Speed Booster focal reducer some years ago now, who would’ve guessed they’d be setting off a trend in the way they did. But as with all good ideas, when they hit they take off, and photographers bought them in spades, and of course other manufacturers caught on. This though, is the first time MF lenses will be able to be used on these full frame cameras.
You probably know a lot about film lighting already. However, it might be a good idea to revitalize that dusty knowledge a little bit from time to time. Mark Vargo, ASC, is here to help. His video about the history and physics of film lighting may not be dew-fresh, but the concepts and physics are timeless, that’s for sure.
The Concepts of Film Lighting
The video you are about to watch is almost 3 years old but the concepts and the physics are still the same. LED sources and other technologies yet to come can’t alter the laws of nature, so don’t be afraid, dim the lights and watch this:
Mark Vargo is definitely a pro in his field of work. He has an enormous list of credits on IMDB, ranging from VFX for the original Star Wars movies, to second unit DP for films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes. With such an amount of experience, wisdom is not far away, as you can see in the tip of the day section on his personal website:
Don’t be fooled by thinking you have to shoot
with only expensive movie equipment. Get with
a handy friend and build a cheap slider or go to
the hardware store and find a utility fixture to use
as a light. Be creative in new ways!
Matt Damon on set during during production of Jason Bourne. Credit: Universal Pictures
Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio was used to complete the online edit, color grade and HDR delivery for Jason Bourne.
Goldcrest Post, London provided full post production services for Bourne director Paul Greengrass. The ever growing community of professional and aspiring colorists and editors who rely on DaVinci Resolve will be happy to see one more high-profile production finished using this software. It’s yet another testimony to the power of the system, as well as of the hard work and innovative development that has been invested in Resolve by Blackmagic Design.
While some were skeptical when Blackmagic Design made the move to add NLE functionality to Resolve, it is arguably the most significant decision in the history of this software. Turning Resolve into a fully-featured NLE, with the most seamless workflow of any editing or grading solution on the market has catapulted Resolve into the hands of more creators than anyone could have imagined. Resolve is now relied upon as the heart and brain of more post production workflows than ever before.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on How the Fujifilm X-Pro2 Was Designed for ‘Decisive Usability’
Digital cameras are notoriously difficult to design and get right. Where do you start? Who is the customer? What features do you include on the camera? There are uncountable ways to approach a camera development and design program.
For example, you can create a spreadsheet listing current and near-future ‘must-have’ specifications and cross them out one-by-one to please the techno-consumer. Or you can specialize and excel in specific areas—a more difficult proposition altogether. For the X-Pro2, Fujifilm chose the latter simply because of their heritage of crafting cameras for particular needs.
If you take a look at Fujifilm’s history of cameras, you get a sense of a company that sees photography not only as a technological endeavor but also an artistic one. For example, I have in the past used two remarkable Fujifilm cameras — the GX680 III and the GA645. The GX680 III is the largest SLR ever made. It’s a very specialized camera catering to product, interior and architectural photography. The superb Fujinon EBC lenses were attached to a front standard that in turn connected to the camera body with bellows. This enabled not only close-up shots with any lens but also enabled the front standard to have view camera movements — rise/fall, tilt, shift and swing. With this combination, you could shoot a small product that was completely in focus, as well as photograph interior and exterior architecture while correcting for converging parallels. It shot a rare 6 x 8 cm image on medium format film, which is close to magazine page proportions in order to minimize cropping.