GearComments Off on Yi Erida tricopter drone carries the new 4K+ 60p Action Camera to new heights
Yi has launched a new version of what they are claim is the world’s ‘fastest tricopter drone’ (although we have no idea which tricopter drone previously held the record so its a bit hard to verify), the Yi Erida. The company says the Erida is exceptionally fast and agile, and can reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (120 km/h). To put that speed into perspective the DJI Inspire 2 can fly at up to 58 mph or 94 kph in Sport mode.
The only major difference between the new drone and the one that was originally announced in the middle of last year, is that it will now include the company’s latestYI 4K+ Action Camera. The 4K+ the only action camera in the world that can capture UHD video at up to 60fps. The Erida also has a built-in advanced gimbal system.
For those not familiar with the drone, the Yi Erida features patented folding rotors which helps make the drone more portable. It can be controlled from any mobile device using the compatible YI Erida mobile app, which means there is no need for a remote control. From the app, users can set the flight mode, choose the height and shooting angle, control takeoff and landing, and check battery status, distance and flight time. If you don’t want to use a smart phone or tablet to control the Erida, it is possible to connect a regular RC remote control.
The Erida also has a claimed maximum flying time of up to 40 minutes. The drone weighs 1.3 kg (2.86lb) and is made out of carbon fibre. The company also uses a very unique three-rotor design and innovative aeronautics to make the drone capable of flying at such high speeds.
As far as built in safety features go the Erida uses Yi’s custom LIDAR system. This system has built-in laser scanners that automatically increases the altitude if the surface elevates. The LIDAR system operates at altitudes up to 6,000 meters, and is effective at up to 30 meters. The Erida also works with Beidou, GPS and GLONASS satellites to provide high accuracy and safety of flight. Supporting messages include integrity protection, geofencing, and spoofing detection.
GearComments Off on Insta360 Pro VR Camera – 8K, Up to 100fps 4K, HDR and RAW by: Graham Sheldon
This week at CES 2017, Chinese camera manufacturer Insta360 announced their Insta360 Pro VR camera with a truly impressive spec list: 8K maximum resolution, 100fps in 4K, HDR, RAW and a great price tag. All the details including pricing and availability below:
I have had the opportunity to try several different types of 360 video cameras from a number of manufacturers, and anything below 4K tends to look blurry in my opinion. Some may scoff at the push for higher and higher resolution camera tech in the 2D world, but for VR I believe it’s absolutely necessary.
The Insta360 Pro VR camera has a few major features that could all add up to some gorgeous-looking VR video experiences in the future. Its 6 independent HD lenses can capture 360-degree video in up to 8K resolution in both RAW and HDR. When in 4K mode, the camera can also record up to 100fps. Specs like these put the camera more in line with premium 360 cameras like the $45,000 Nokia OZOor the $15,000 Google Jump, versus the cheaper Samsung Gear 360($278.00).
With a price tag of $3,000, the Insta360 Pro could appeal to both professional and hobbyist shooters alike when it hits the market later in the year. There is no word yet regarding the potential overheating issues that other 360 cameras in this category have also suffered from.
The “3D Video” mode lets you shoot 3D 360-degree video up to 6K, or up to 4K with real time stitching (H.265 or H.264). You can also live stream 360-degree video over Ethernet, WiFi and 4G (this will destroy your data plan) to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
GearComments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD by: Graham Sheldon
TheGH5 wasannounced 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.
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 will be available in a 4:3 aspect ratio in the Summer and 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.
**Update: The camera ships with Anamorphic 4K (4:3) with H.264 compression enabled. Come Summer 2017, 6K (4:3) will be shootable in H.265 compression with free firmware update. Firmware schedule below.
Unfortunately, if you previously purchased V-Log for your GH4 you will not be able to transfer that update over to the newGH5. A new purchase is required.
While the GH5 has the same dynamic range as thePanasonic GH4, it has slightly improved lowlight performance, but I wouldn’t call this a lowlight camera by any means. We were presented with a ISO 6400 video sample and noise in the picture was very evident. On top of that, when shooting with high ISO settings, the camera will automatically reduce noise internally. This feature cannot currently be turned off and can only be controlled via the menu with high/mid/ and low settings. Panasonic is certainly willing to listen to feedback and might consider adding a complete “off position button” if there is a demand for it.
Color depth is improved and the GH5 will eventually shoot internal 4:2:2 10bit, compared to the 4:2:0 8bit of its predecessor, but launches with 4:2:0 8bit only in IPB compression. 4:2:2 10bit color is double the information of 4:2:0 and provides greater grading flexibility in the post process before the image falls apart.
Here is some gorgeous footage, shot on GH5, from the good folks over at Neumann Films:
But how do they work? Is HDR just another marketing gimmick to sell TVs and other gear, with no technology behind it? What does it claim to do, and why is that better?
Well folks, if those are your questions, you’ve come to the right place.
For the basics about what HDR is, check out What is HDR for TVs, and why should you care?. The short version is an HDR TV, when showing special HDR content, has a wider dynamic range (i.e. contrast ratio), along with more steps in brightness (for smother transitions and more detail in bright and shadowy areas). Also, usually, HDR is paired with Wide Color Gamut (WCG), which offers a greater range and depth of color.
Unlike 4K resolution, curved screens or 3D, HDR is a TV-related technology we’re actually excited about. In the best cases it actually improve the image beyond what you’re used to with non-HDR video (standard dynamic range, or SDR), including conventional high-def, Blu-ray or even 4K. How much of an improvement–if any–depends first and foremost on the capabilities of TV itself, but also on the content.
Of course you’ll need to be watching actual HDR content on a new HDR TV to see the benefits. Fake HDR “upconversion” is available on some products, but it’s not the same.
Action cams, GearComments Off on DJI’s New Mavic Pro Has All the Smarts of the P4, None of the Bulk
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.
GearComments Off on Why the Olympus E-M1 MK II Might Just Be Your Next 4K Video Camera
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Action cams, GearComments Off on Garmin’s First 4K Action Camera Takes on GoPro
Garmin has unveiled its first-ever 4K action camera, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, with live streaming, voice control and image stabilization, now available on Amazon for $499.99.
It’s a step up from its olderGarmin Virb XE Action Cam, which maxed out at 1080p video, but costs $100 more than its predecessor.
The camera’s sensors and GPS help it track location, distance traveled, and speed, which we’d expect from Garmin products, but it adds an LCD color touch screen that can be operated through its waterproof housing and voice control that allows users to tell the camera when to start and stop recording.
Image stabilization works on three axes, and live streaming can be activated with one touch, according to the company. The waterproof housing, which protects the camera in water up to 40 meters deep, comes free with the camera.
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.
Apple, CinematographyComments Off on In the Frame: Eleanor Mannion on shooting a 4K doc for RTÉ on an iPhone
The Collectors tells the stories of six regular people who all share an enthusiasm: an all-consuming passion for very specific stuff, whether that’s Lego, Barbies or Coca-Cola memorabilia. The project was directed and shot by Eleanor Mannion for Irish state broadcaster RTÉ and airs tonight. It was mastered in 4K for HD delivery, and unusually for the station everything was shot on an iPhone 6S+.
Mannion pitched the idea for the doc as part of a secondment to the station’s documentary unit, and made a sizzle reel to demonstrate her idea had legs. “I filmed it on my iPhone and presented it to the commissioning editors… they were really impressed and they couldn’t believe it was done on an iPhone.”
After the initial footage was recorded in HD, for the doc itself the team decided to shoot in 4K, reasoning that “If that’s the best quality you can film in using Filmic Pro on the iPhone then why not do it?”
A 128GB iPhone 6S+ dedicated to filming gave Mannion two to three hours of recording time, which actually suited how she dealt with her subjects. “You can’t really film for much longer than two hours with someone before they start to tire… and that was part of my decision as a director was that you have to know when that person needs a break.”
The new XEEN 135mm T2.2 lens just announced by Samyang is the latest addition to their rugged, 4K-capable line-up. After successive releases of the 14mm and 35mm XEEN lenses earlier in the year, this completes the line up of premium optics from Samyang, the infiltrator of the cinema optics market.
The new XEEN 135mm boasts a T2.2 aperture, which is nearly equivalent to F2, a perfect focal length for intimate portrait shots of subjects. Not limited to Canon EF or Nikon F mount, the lenses are also available in PL, Sony E and MFT mounts also.
The minimum focus distance on the spec sheet of the XEEN 135mm is 0.8m, but as displayed on the image of the lens itself, it’s 2.9 feet, which is roughly 88cm. This is closer than the Zeiss CP.2 135mm, which comes in at 1m.
Unsurprisingly, it is also the heaviest lens in the range, weighing 1.382kg, although that is not a surprise considering the full metal body.
The XEEN range is designed for inter-operability, allowing the quick and easy switching with other XEEN lenses without adjusting your current setup, whether that be matte boxes, follow focus or the camera itself.
There is no mention of price, but as all the other lenses in the range are priced at £2495 (£1600), I would assume the price would follow suit. There is no release date for the 135mm model yet, but expect news from IBC and Photokina with more info!
The launch of the Leica SL has led many to believe that Panasonic could be about to launch a full frame CSC with 4K video. But is that really a possibility?
The announcement of the Leica SL has led some to speculate that Panasonic will announce a full-frame compact system camera, but is there any evidence that this could happen?
It’s no secret that Panasonic and Leica have a good working relationship. Panasonic designs, manufactures and tests Micro Four Thirds lenses to quality standards that ensure Leica is then happy to wear the iconic red dot badge. And in return, Leica re-badges and tweaks Panasonic compact and bridge cameras as Leica models. Somewhere in between there’s obviously an exchange of ideas and information, but does this mean Panasonic will follow suit and announce it’s own full-frame CSC?
Action cams, GearComments Off on Wave goodbye to your brushless gimbal? Say hello to the REVL Arc 4K action cam with built-in gyroscope
Brushless gimbals are great tools for stabilising your camera and creating smooth footage, but imagine if you could get similar results with just a small action camera with no add-ons.
A new company, formed by a group of passionate kiteboarders and action sports lovers, called REVL is claiming to do just that. The REVL Arc is a tiny stabilised 4K Action Camera that has just launched on crowd funding platform Indiegogo. It uses a hybrid stabilisation system, which combines both electronic and physical stabilisation to keep the footage smooth. A built-in gyroscope keeps the view level to the horizon – even if you’re upside down, or the camera is being moved around. The launch video shows several shots that are made possible due to the camera’s small size, including one where the camera is attached to the centre of a moving car wheel.
One of REVL’s partners in this project is Sony, so it is pretty safe to assume that is who is making the camera sensor. The Arc can record 4k at 30 fps, 1080p at 120,60,30 FPS and 720p at 240,120,60 FPS. There is no mention or indication that the camera can record the more cinematic 24 or 25p frame rates and unless these are added this will limit its usefulness for professional filmmakers. There is no mention anywhere of what type of manual camera controls are available, if any.
The FAA is mulling a change in proposed regulations for drones, and big tech will have its say.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday a committee to draft recommendations for rules that could ease restrictions on operating drones in crowded or public places. The FAA has invited mostly commercial stakeholders, including Alphabet‘s Google X, Intel and GoPro, to the group.
The committee will start working on recommendations next month and give a final report to the FAA by April 1, when the agency will review its findings and file a proposal. It comes as business interests have ramped up pressure on the FAA and Congress for wider drone use amid concerns about public safety and privacy.
With the mass release of VR devices imminent (you can now pre-order your own Oculus), everyone’s hopping on the 360-degree video boat. Kodak, accordingly, is hustling to get its offerings up to spec with a 4k update to its SP360 Action Cam. For $500, it’s pretty good, too.
When it comes to shooting 360 video for VR you have a lot more screen pixels to cover, so the upgrade to 4K is a welcome step up from the previous Kodak model. The old film company has done a good job about making sure that using this thing in the field is as easy as possible, too. The tiny camera comes packed with all the tools you need to create your own 360-degree videos, including various mounts and attachments that allow you to connect your SP360 to any GoPro accessories you may already own. (The SP360 is also the only VR camera that comes with a lens cap, which is a definite plus because the 360 fisheye lens is prone to finger prints.)
With interest in adding high dynamic range (HDR) to feature and TV content running high, global standards body Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers opened its annual Technical Conference & Exhibition on Monday with the release of a 50-page HDR study group report that it hopes will help standards bodies and stakeholders to find some commonality and sidestep a potential format war.
High dynamic range is a term used to describe a wider range between the whitest whites and blackest blacks in an image, and is viewed by many in Hollywood’s technical community as a feature that will create a more noticeable different to consumers, compared with resolution (Ultra HD or 4K) or high frame rates.
But with numerous companies and organizations using the term HDR in different ways, there’s concern that this could confuse consumers and possibly even start a format war.
The SMPTE report includes definitions, guidelines and other information. Importantly, it raises “red flags” by identifying key areas that require consensus, including brightness levels, compression and distribution, said SMPTE standards director Howard Lukk.
The company that has made its name putting cameras in the air is bringing them back to the ground.DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, announced today at the London Film Festival a new product called Osmo, which isn’t intended for drones at all. It’s a tiny, hand-held device (what’s known as a “three-axis gimbal” in videography) that integrates with cameras made by DJI and allows for video shot by people on the ground to have the smooth, gliding look of footage shot by an airborne drone. An Osmo costs $649, and also comes with a 4K, 12-megapixel camera.
I spent the best part of this morning lining up outside a London Apple store waiting to collect my shiny new iPhone 6S. I had wanted the larger 6S Plus for its optical image stabilisation, but there were none to be found anywhere within about 200 miles.
I’d seen a number of tests over the past few days where people had tried to compare the new iPhone against other 4K cameras. I’m not really concerned about whether the iPhone is ‘better or worse’ than my Sonya7R II; what matters is how usable the footage looks and whether I could cut it in with other cameras if necessary. The trouble is that most testers hadn’t tried to optimise the iPhone image or grade it in any way. So having finally got my hands on the phone – and given it a quick charge – I set out to see what it was really capable of.