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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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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Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 – New Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K

 Gear  Comments Off on Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 – New Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K
Oct 142019
 

Kinotehnik just introduced their new LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K. It features 200% magnification, AR coated and optically corrected lens, magnetic frame, and 46mm threading to attach diopter correction lenses.

LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for BMPCC 4K and 6K. Image credit: Kinotehnik

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras 4K (our review) and 6K  (our review) have gotten very popular among filmmakers. They offer great image quality with solid codecs for a very affordable price. Numerous third-party accessories for this camera have already been released to compensate for these cameras’ downsides – particularly battery life and support for SSD media. When it comes to ergonomy, another downside of BMPCC 4K and 6K is the absence of a viewfinder.

Kinotehnik is a camera accessories manufacturer based in Estonia. They are known mostly for their LCDVF viewfinders and Practilite series of lights. The company just introduced LCDVF BM5 – their new viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras 4K & 6K.

While Kinotehnik claims their LCDVF BM5 is a world’s first viewfinder for the BMPCC 4K and 6K, I personally know filmmakers who have been using viewfinder from a Brazilian company GRID with their BMPCC 4K. To be fair, GRID 5.0 viewfinder is quite expensive at $241 and the distribution might be a bit problematic. My point is, that Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 certainly isn’t the world’s first in this regard.

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CINE-X BMPCC 4K and 6K Battery Grip First Look

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on CINE-X BMPCC 4K and 6K Battery Grip First Look
Sep 272019
 

During IBC 2019, we met Dimitar from CINE-X to talk about their new battery grip solution for the BMPCC 4K and 6K cameras. This CINE-X battery grip can be an excellent alternative to the official Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Battery Grip that was announced a couple of months ago. Indeed, the CINE-X version features additional D-taps and USB ports. Let’s take a closer look at it!

CineX_04

The back of the CINE-X battery grip features two Sony NP-F slots. Image credit: cinema5D

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Tilta BMPCC 4K and 6K Flipscreen & M.2 SSD Modification Kit

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Tilta BMPCC 4K and 6K Flipscreen & M.2 SSD Modification Kit
Sep 172019
 

In somewhat of a surprise move, Tilta showed off a kit that will allow you to modify the screen of your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K, to flip 180° up and 90° down. In addition to that the modification kit comes with a housing for an M.2 SSD drive that will bridge over to the cameras internal USB-C port and thus enable recording directly onto it. Furthermore the kit contains what Tilta considers an enhancement to the housing of the camera’s ports.

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Fujifilm Unveils the X-A7, Its New $700 Entry-Level X Series Mirrorless

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Fujifilm Unveils the X-A7, Its New $700 Entry-Level X Series Mirrorless
Sep 122019
 

Fujifilm has announced the new X-A7 mirrorless camera, a $700 entry-level mirrorless X Series camera that replaces the X-A5.

“The X-A7’s compact, lightweight form factor, outstanding image quality, and multitude of new and enhanced features position it as an ideal and timely entry into Fujifilm’s popular family of X Series mirrorless cameras,” Fujifilm says.

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

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Leica Q2: A 47MP, 4K Weather-Sealed Full-Frame Compact Camera
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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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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DJI Osmo Pocket – Tiny 3-Axis Stabilized Camera with 4K 60fps Recording

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on DJI Osmo Pocket – Tiny 3-Axis Stabilized Camera with 4K 60fps Recording
Nov 282018
 

DJI just announced the smallest camera with mechanical gimbal ever – DJI Osmo Pocket. It can take 12MP stills and record true 4K video at up to 60fps. There will also be a handful of accessories available for the new Osmo Pocket.

DJI Osmo Pocket – Smallest Osmo ever. Source: DJI

Right now, DJI is having an event in New York City called “Because Life is Big” and they announced their smallest camera with a 3-axis mechanical gimbal ever – the DJI Osmo Pocket. Nino Leitner from the cinema5D team is attending the event to bring the fresh information to our readers – we will also share a video about the announcement with a first hands-on tomorrow.

DJI Osmo Pocket

Just like previous generations of Osmo, this is a very compact camera with a mechanical gimbal and a handle. Although the word compact is getting a whole new dimension here – the DJI Osmo pocket is incredibly tiny – it only weighs 4.1 oz (116g) and it is 4.8″ (122mm) long. The camera can record true 4K video at up to 60fps with 100Mbps bitrate.

The DJI Osmo Pocket uses built-in dual microphones and advanced noise-canceling algorithms to ensure high quality audio. The built-in Li-Po battery offers up to two hours shooting video in 4K (30fps), but it is not interchangeable. On the back of the camera grip there is a touchscreen display to monitor the image and control the camera, two buttons for quick controls and a universal port to connect various accessories.

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Skydio R1 – Impressive Fully Autonomous 4K Drone

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Skydio R1 – Impressive Fully Autonomous 4K Drone
May 032018
 

The California-based startup Skydio has introduced a fully autonomous drone named Skydio R1. Its development took 4 years. The R1 is an artificial intelligence-powered quadcopter capable of shooting 4K video of a subject and maneuvering complex environments entirely on its own. It uses 13 onboard cameras and vision-based computer system to actually see the obstacles and avoid them while following and filming the desired subject.

There were initiatives to make autonomous drones before. We still remember the sad story behind the autonomous drone Lilly, which never made it in production. It is obviously quite a challenging task to design a drone that can safely fly in busy and changing environments. Skydio seems to have succeeded with the R1. Interesting fact is that their first batch of drones called “the frontier edition” is being assembled directly in their facility in the USA. The company did not say anything about outsourcing their production to China yet.

The Skydio R1 does not come with a controller. It can be controlled with a smartphone using the Skydio mobile app. Since this is an autonomous drone, users will not need the controls so often though. Mostly only take-off and landing of the drone are being managed through the app. Furthermore users can see video previews of footage there or control how the drone captures that footage with presets like:

  • follow – drone follows and films the subject from behind
  • side – drone films the subject from the side
  • lead – drone films its subject from the front
  • tripod – drone hovers at one place and turns to have the subject in the picture
  • orbit – drone circles around the subject to create 360-degree shots

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Sony Interview: FS5 II, What’s REALLY New?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sony Interview: FS5 II, What’s REALLY New?
Apr 092018
 

I spoke with Claus Pfeifer from Sony about the newly announced FS5 II and the other new cameras. And I asked the tough question: What’s REALLY new about the FS5 II?

A few hours ago Sony announced the FS5 II, an update to Sony’s little FS7 brother (see our report here). Some of our readers were asking: What’s REALLY new about it though? It seems to use the same sensor and have the same exact body as the original FS5. And while the FS7 II at least got the Vari ND feature that the FS7 was missing, the original FS5 already had that.

 

RAW for “free”, Better Color Science & “Instant HDR”

Sony is teasing the integrated RAW output functionality in the FS5 II, which was a payable firmware upgrade in the original FS5 – a welcome addition of a feature becoming standard, especially with the newly announced ProRes RAW (article here) and the upgrade of the Atomos Shogun Inferno and Sumo19 recorders to support ProRes RAW recording (article here). Now also the formerly payable high frame rate output and internal high frame rate recording capabilities are included with the FS5 II.

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K Camera Hands on with CEO Grant Petty

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K Camera Hands on with CEO Grant Petty
Apr 092018
 

No longer only a mysterious billboard outside NAB 2018, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K camera is here and it shoots 12-bit RAW cinema 4K 60fps and full HD at up to 120fps — all at an impressive price point. The specs, pricing and more are below including an interview with Blackmagic Design CEO, Grant Petty: 

 

Unlike its HD-only predecessor, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera, the new 4K version shoots full cinema 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) at up-to 60fps with a newly designed M4/3 (21.60 x 17.30mm) sensor. You’ll also be able to capture full HD 120 fps cropped (no info on how much of a crop) slow motion in both 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW and 10-bit Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) varieties. Unfortunately you won’t be able to shoot in the newly announced Pro Res RAW  at least not yet.

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Pre-Order Now:

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Body Only with Active Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount

$1295 with Free Expedited Shipping.

Canon M50 Hands-On Review – The Best Vlogging Camera?

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon M50 Hands-On Review – The Best Vlogging Camera?
Mar 142018
 

The Canon M50 was recently announced, and now I had a chance to review a pre-production version of it. Is Canon’s first attempt at a 4K mirrorless camera also the best vlogging camera out there? Let’s have a look.

A Beginner’s Camera

I can’t stress this point enough before diving deep into the camera’s functions: This is a beginner’s camera and its price point (below $800 or €600) make it a great deal compared to its competition. So whenever I lament about a missing function, this should be kept in mind. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison with the more expensive entry-level camera from Sony, the A6500, which is almost twice as expensive.

Tiny Footprint

The Canon M50 has a tiny footprint, and is sturdily built around Canon’s EOS M lens mount. A smaller version of the EOS lens mount – which is also backwards-compatible, but an adapter is needed. The camera feels very sturdy despite its entry-level status and it feels like it can take a beating. It seems like Canon designed this as a “family camera” that can be in anyone’s hand from time to time. The flip-out screen makes it very convenient to use from every angle. It gives a lot of  nice flexibility that their higher-end DSLR offerings are missing – lightness and the flexible screen, plus a decent viewfinder which can of course also be used for video. “Of course” because this is a mirrorless camera – on their DSLRs, the optical viewfinder becomes useless when you switch to the video modes, because the mirror blocks your view.

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LG Reveals Its First-ever 4K HDR, Compact and Affordable Home Cinema Projector

 Cinematography  Comments Off on LG Reveals Its First-ever 4K HDR, Compact and Affordable Home Cinema Projector
Jan 142018
 

At CES 2018, LG wants to hit the jackpot. Armed with its new invention to enhance the home cinema experience, LG has just announced the HU80KA projector, its first 4K UHD model designed to deliver ultra-sharp video in a compact, beautiful design.

As stated by Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA: “LG’s first-ever 4K UHD projector represents the pinnacle of innovation in the portable entertainment market… Offering superb brightness coupled with a design that offers true versatility, the new HU80KA will lead the way in changing how consumers enjoy 4K content in their home and on the go.”

150-inch screen, 2,500 lumens and HDR

The HU80KA projector has the potential to deliver a 150-inch screen projection with 2,500 lumens, making it LG’s brightest projector. Furthermore, it supports HDR content (HDR 10).

Regarding sound, external speakers can be connected via optical output, HDMI or wirelessly through Bluetooth for enhanced audio performance.

As stated by Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA: “LG’s first-ever 4K UHD projector represents the pinnacle of innovation in the portable entertainment market… Offering superb brightness coupled with a design that offers true versatility, the new HU80KA will lead the way in changing how consumers enjoy 4K content in their home and on the go.”

150-inch screen, 2,500 lumens and HDR

The HU80KA projector has the potential to deliver a 150-inch screen projection with 2,500 lumens, making it LG’s brightest projector. Furthermore, it supports HDR content (HDR 10).

Regarding sound, external speakers can be connected via optical output, HDMI or wirelessly through Bluetooth for enhanced audio performance.

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FUJIFILM X-E3 Review – Sample Footage and First Impressions

 Gear  Comments Off on FUJIFILM X-E3 Review – Sample Footage and First Impressions
Nov 132017
 

The new FUJIFILM X-E3 is the latest edition to the ever growing family of FUJIFILM’s X-mount line. This APS-C sensor-sized, mirrorless stills camera, can shoot high quality 4k (UHD) video and, dare I say it, is the best they have produced so far! As a reviewer, I had the chance to work with the X-PRO2, X-T2, X-T20 and the GFX 50S. While all produce nice looking images, the new X-E3 sets itself apart from the crowd by offering greater ease of use (mostly due to the added focus lever and LCD touch screen), enhanced autofocus capabilities and very pleasing video quality. Read on for my FUJIFILM X-E3 review. 

FUJIFILM was kind enough to supply me with a production sample that I could use and explore for a few days; here are my findings from my FUJIFILM X-E3 review:

Ergonomics

The first thing I noticed when taking the camera out of the box was how light-weight it is, to the point of not being sure if FUJIFILM had decided to pull my leg and send me an empty camera shell! In a world where every gram counts, particularly in relation to international travel, this is a big advantage.

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Canon XF405 Review – Sample Footage and First Impressions

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Canon XF405 Review – Sample Footage and First Impressions
Oct 262017
 

With the introduction of the new Canon XF405, XF400, LEGRIA/VIXIA GX10 – as well as the whole of Sony’s new line – one can assume that the fastest growing market for news and documentary shooting is coming in the form of 4K (UHD), handheld 1” sensor-size cameras. It is not that we haven’t had them before, but they certainly have been getting better and more feature-rich with time. When it comes to affordability… well, it totally depends on who you are talking to and the model you choose.

Canon XF405 camera

If you are an independent filmmaker looking for an all-round shooting device that can produce a bit of a cinematic look thanks to a slightly larger sensor than those traditionally found in these type of cameras, or if you’re a broadcaster looking to equip news crews with a versatile and affordable piece of equipment, then the Canon XF405/400/LEGRIA GX10 might be the right cameras for you. Sound tempting? Then read on for my full Canon XF405 review.

Before continuing, it is important for me to make it clear that the image coming out of the camera I tested may be slightly different than that of the final product.

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LG’s V30 Smartphone: 10-bit color, LG Cine-Log Video in a Phone?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on LG’s V30 Smartphone: 10-bit color, LG Cine-Log Video in a Phone?
Oct 162017
 

Move over Apple, there’s a new kid in town. The LG V30 takes mobile video to new heights with a 10-bit HDR Image Sensor and LG Cine-Log gamma.

In case you didn’t catch that: the LG V30 promises to record 4K video at 10-bit color depth with log gamma encoding. Before getting too excited about this, it is important to separate fact from fiction, and cinema5D will do exactly this with the LG V30 after some thorough tests, the results of which you can expect in a subsequent article.

Meanwhile, check out Parker Walbeck’s LG V30 vs RED Weapon video on his YouTube channel Fulltime Filmmaker:

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Phantom Flex VEO 4K-PL Exclusive Hands-On

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Phantom Flex VEO 4K-PL Exclusive Hands-On
Oct 022017
 

Vision Research has recently introduced a new Phantom VEO 4K-PL, which like its older brother Phantom Flex 4K, can shoot up to 1000fps at full 4K DCI resolution, but in a smaller and more compact body.

What is the Phantom VEO line?

They say that when you touch a Phantom camera you go straight to heaven. At least that’s how I feel. Vision Research is a company that started out with high-speed cameras for military testing and analysing car-crash impacts, only to later turn its eye to the film industry with its revolutionary tech. In 2014, Vision Research introduced the mind-blowing Phantom Flex 4K camera, capable of 1000 frames-per-second at full 4K DCI resolution, in what many would consider the best quality 4K RAW compared to RED and even ARRI. Last year, Vision Research introduced the VEO line, a more compact version of their film industry cameras that continue the trend set by the ARRI Mini and RED – that smaller is better. Less weight and a more compact design mean more possibilities, such as the use of stabilisation platforms and even UAV. In comparison, the Phantom Flex 4K body weighs an incredible 5kg without ANYTHING on it. Add a lens, follow focus, rods, viewfinder, batteries, monitor and you can easily accumulate a weight that not many gimbals can handle.

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GoPro HERO6: This Is the Moment in 4K!

 Cinematography, Gear, News  Comments Off on GoPro HERO6: This Is the Moment in 4K!
Sep 282017
 

 

This Zunow Cine Wide Attachment CWA-114 Promises High-End Performance on Cine Zooms

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on This Zunow Cine Wide Attachment CWA-114 Promises High-End Performance on Cine Zooms
Sep 242017
 

The Zunow Cine Wide Attachment is the latest by the optics converter manufacturer. It promises x0.75 conversion with minimal light loss.

Zunow is known for its wide-angle converters, such as the DWA-075 for DSLR lenses or the WCX-100 for 4K zooms. The latest offering from Zunow is the CWA-114, an attachment specifically made with larger-diameter cinema lenses in mind.

Zunow Cine Wide Attachment: The CWA-114

The Zunow Cine Wide Attachment makes the focal length of your wide-angle cinema lens 0.75x larger through a 130mm front element that offers a minimal distortion of 1%, an almost maximum light transmission of 97% and 4K coating for maximum resolution from corner to corner. It aims to quickly offer a wide-angle option without the need to change lenses.

But what does this mean in numbers? Some of the examples provided by Zunow include:

  • FUJINON 20-120mm T3.5, which becomes a 15-75mm T3.6.
  • Canon 17-120mm T2.95-3.9, which becomes a 14-75mm T3.0-4.0 (with vignetting at 12.75-14mm).
  • ZEISS 21-100mm T2.9-3.9, which becomes a 15.75-75mm T3.0-4.0.

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