Sony Unveils Wireless Shooting Grip for Mirrorless Cameras

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony Unveils Wireless Shooting Grip for Mirrorless Cameras
Jan 152020
 

In a continued attempt to woo vloggers and travel shooters, Sony today unveiled the GP-VPT2BT: a “wireless shooting grip” for mirrorless cameras that lets users switch seamlessly between shooting video and stills on the run.

The GP-VPT2BT is a “shooting grip with wireless remote commander” that’s compatible with all of Sony’s latest mirrorless cameras—the a9 II, a9, a7R IV, a7R III, a7 III, a6600, a6400, and a6100—as well as the RX100 VII and RX0 II, as long as you’re running the latest firmware. The grip allows you to securely use the camera at arm’s length, while putting control of key camera functions right on the handle.

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Sony VENICE Firmware V5.0 is Out Now – New HFR Modes

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony VENICE Firmware V5.0 is Out Now – New HFR Modes
Jan 152020
 

The Sony VENICE does not follow the common throw-away-get-a-new-one scheme of many consumer products. It’s a proper pro-camera, aimed at pro users and rental houses with deep pro-pockets. Sony just released the already teased firmware V5.0 for their flagship digital cine cam. This piece of software breathes new life into the VENICE hardware, enabling extended HFR modes, internal HD ProRes 4:4:4:4 recording and other niceties.

Sony VENICE

image credit: Sony

Not only the camera itself is modular, the software is modular, as well. Only buy what you really need. In this case we’re talking about the HFR capabilities the current firmware V4.0 offers: The upgrade itself is free of charge but if you want to use the extended HFR modes found in V4.0 you’ll have to pay. Firmware V5.0 is, again, free of charge. If you still need a paid license for using certain HFR modes is a bit uncertain for me at the moment. However, you can’t just download the FW package yourself, you’ll have to contact your reseller for that. And, very important: Your VENICE needs to be on FW V4.0 or V4.01 in order to upgrade. Do not attempt to upgrade from V3.0 or V3.01!

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Panasonic Announces Three New 4K 60p Camcorders – HC-X1500, HC-X2000 and AG-CX10

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic Announces Three New 4K 60p Camcorders – HC-X1500, HC-X2000 and AG-CX10
Jan 092020
 

During CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Panasonic announced three new compact camcorders with 1/2.5″ sensors. The HC-X1500, HC-X2000 and AG-CX10 all offer 4K 60p recording capability (4:2:2 10-bit up to 4K 30p) along with 24x optical zoom (25mm-600mm full-frame equivalent) lens. They offer 5-axis O.I.S, two manual rings, ND filters, a built-in LED video light, 24-bit linear PCM audio recording, a built-in Wi-Fi module for streaming, and more.

New Panasonic Camcorders. Image source: Panasonic

With the recent rise of full-frame cinema cameras, it might look like that large sensors are taking over the whole video industry and Super 35 will become the bare minimum. In reality, there is always the right tool for the right job, and often a larger sensor is actually counter-productive. Compact broadcast cameras with smaller sensors still have their use and camera manufacturers want to offer such camcorders for this market segment – albeit it’s admittedly shrinking.

During CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Panasonic announced three new camcorders with small image sensors, but all are capable of 4K 60p recording, H265, and 4:2:2 10-bit internal video in some modes. Let’s take a quick look at what they offer.

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Insta360 Unveils the One R Modular Action Cam ‘Co-Engineered’ with Leica

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on Insta360 Unveils the One R Modular Action Cam ‘Co-Engineered’ with Leica
Jan 082020
 

Insta360 has just revealed the (painfully) teased Insta360 One R “adaptive” action camera. The modular creation was co-engineered with Leica, and features a “unique interchangeable lens design” that lets you swap between modules for standard 4K, 360° video, 5.3K with a 1-inch sensor, and more.

It’s hard to see the Insta360 One R as anything other than a more versatile version of the GoPro Hero 8. While GoPro is showing off their Media Mods with attachable mics and lights at CES 2020, Insta360 just released an even more versatile creation that combines a “core” processing unit with a bunch of very useful modules.

“The concept is simple — one battery, one processor and a selection of quick-swapping lens Mods,” explains Insta360. “In an instant, ONE R transforms from a dual-lens 360 shooter to a standard action cam.”

Here’s the One R intro video just released by Insta360: 

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Nikon Gets Closer to a Z Mount Trinity by Announcing the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Gets Closer to a Z Mount Trinity by Announcing the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens
Jan 082020
 
Nikon Gets Closer to a Z Mount Trinity by Announcing the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens

Nikon has announced the launch of the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S for its full-frame mirrorless cameras, filling one of the two gaping holes in its lens lineup for professional shooters.

Nikon says that this high-end zoom has been “reimagined” in order to exploit the newly designed lens mount. With a constant f/2.8 aperture, it brings Nikon a step closer to completing the trinity of fast zoom lenses that are regarded as critical to any system due to their quality and versatility.

The NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 has a stepping motor for quiet autofocus and reduced focus breathing, a minimum focus distance of just under 20″ (50cm), a nine-blade diaphragm, weather-sealing, and five stops of stabilization. It’s one of two Nikon lenses to feature the company’s newly-developed Short-Wavelength Refractive (SR) lens element for better control of chromatic aberration.

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Dull, Brilliant, Disappointing, Fun: Fstoppers Reviews the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 for Sony

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Dull, Brilliant, Disappointing, Fun: Fstoppers Reviews the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 for Sony
Jan 062020
 
Dull, Brilliant, Disappointing, Fun: Fstoppers Reviews the Tamron 24mm f/2.8 for Sony

There isn’t exactly a wealth of affordable options when it comes to 24mm prime lenses for Sony full-frame cameras, so Tamron’s new lens is a welcome addition to the line-up, though it does have its idiosyncrasies.

Following on from the success of its two affordable Sony mount zooms made with some smart compromises (the 17-28mm f/2.8 and 28-75mm f/2.8), Tamron has launched a batch of f/2.8 primes. Prior to their release, fans were excited at the prospect of relatively quick glass that was compact and reasonably priced, so when Tamron announced this selection of f/2.8 lenses, there was a degree of disappointment.

In Tamron’s defense, with the 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2, it has released something relatively unique at this focal length. With one notable exception, all of the other options start at more than double the price, albeit with much wider maximum apertures, so if you’re looking for a compact, lightweight, low-cost 24mm prime that’s not going to get anyone excited, the Tamron may be a smart choice.

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Nikon Z 6 and Atomos Ninja V ProRes RAW Recording Option – First Look

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Z 6 and Atomos Ninja V ProRes RAW Recording Option – First Look
Jan 062020
 

The Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 have been around for quite some time but now it’s getting a new life. Something that will greatly elevate its performance thanks to the collaboration with Atomos. While Nikon is bringing to the table a full frame sensor camera, 12 bit RAW output via HDMI and a flat picture profile recording option (N Log), Atomos is contributing to this duo its external monitor/recorder expertise together with the built-in Apple’s ProRes RAW 12 bit recording option. There are many “industry firsts” in this exciting combination, including transferring the information between the camera and monitor/recorder on a consumer HDMI protocol interface. Now, openly speaking, is offering full frame, up to 4K, 12 bit ProRes RAW external recording option, enough to bring Nikon back to the center of attention of the aspiring filmmakers and content creators? Please read on.

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Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard Review – Beautiful, Yet Not for Everyone

 Gear  Comments Off on Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard Review – Beautiful, Yet Not for Everyone
Dec 192019
 

NAB 2019 saw the somewhat surprising introduction of the Blackmagic Design Editor Keyboard. A $995.00 keyboard for video editing, containing specialized keys and a multi-mode jog wheel, with functions that are hard to even imagine, much less assign to keyboard shortcuts, a mouse, or any combination of third-party control panels. We took a closer look at this keyboard and put it through its paces. Here’s our take.

DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard. Image credit: cinema5D

Blackmagic has been offering their full-sized Advanced Panel for grading in DaVinci Resolve for years now and these have become standard inventory at grading houses all over the industry. But it was only a few years ago that Blackmagic started taking into account the needs of smaller production houses and individual filmmakers or colorists which couldn’t afford the $30,000 Advanced Panel, as well as the rather large grading suite to put it in, by offering the Mini and Micro Panels. However most major versions of Resolve since version 14, seemingly building on the software’s almost unchallenged dominance in the color grading realm, have been trying to improve on DaVinci Resolve’s usefulness to editors, VFX artists and sound editors alike, brushing up on the editing side of things by adding loads of features already present in other NLEs and integrating Fairlight and Fusion into Resolve without any additional cost upgrading. Consequently, versions 15 and 16 have, at least across Youtube and the Blogospheres, seen people announcing their switch to Resolve in troves, either from Adobe Premiere or Final Cut (arguably not as much from Avid though).

So is this new keyboard part of the same strategic push by Blackmagic Design to further differentiate and distinguish DaVinci Resolve as a full-featured editing suite for editors or teams without the dreaded, time-wasting round trips? And who would actually seriously buy a keyboard for a thousand dollars? We will try and return to these questions a bit later on.

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In Depth Comparison of the DJI Mavic Mini, Air, Zoom, and Pro Drones

 Gear  Comments Off on In Depth Comparison of the DJI Mavic Mini, Air, Zoom, and Pro Drones
Dec 192019
 
In Depth Comparison of the DJI Mavic Mini, Air, Zoom, and Pro Drones

With the latest Mavic Mini release, DJI now offers four drones in the Mavic line-up, ranging from entry level aircraft to professional grade quadcopter. But picking the right model might be confusing. Here is clear and comprehensive comparison based on direct, hands-on experience.

Criteria of Comparison

Price: The price point is an obvious criterion, but one must not forget all the associated costs of ownership, especially spare batteries which can run up to $159 each.

Portability: The drone size and weight will often dictate which model to buy. While the DJI Mavic Mini falls below the FAA registration threshold (250 grams), the Mavic Pro will take more space in your bag. The size also plays a role in public perception. Larger or louder drones look more intimidating to the public and attract more attention (visibility and noise).

Image quality: Larger drones tend to carry better sensors and optic. Entry-level models are often limited to lower video resolution format and can only record JPEG images.

Flight performance and features: While small aircrafts may struggle in windy conditions, larger drone can be more stable. The maximum speed may be an important feature when filming moving subjects such as racing cars and boats. The battery life is also a critical factor to consider.

Additional features: Anti-collision system, type of radio transmission technology, etc.

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The Most Unfair Camera Comparison Ever: iPhone vs $250K TV Camera

 Apple, Cinematography  Comments Off on The Most Unfair Camera Comparison Ever: iPhone vs $250K TV Camera
Dec 182019
 

You’d have to look long and hard to find a more absurd camera comparison than this. After putting together a very useful video that explains why broadcast TV cameras are so huge and expensive, YouTuber Zebra Zone pit this $250,000 setup against its most obvious rival… the iPhone 11 Pro.

As a quick refresher, the broadcast “camera” that is being used is a combination of several very expensive elements:

  • BlackMagic Ursa Broadcast Camera – $3,000
  • Fujinon UA107 Box Lens – $212,000
  • Tripod and Fluid Head – $20,000
  • Remote Control Handles – $9,000
  • Camera-to-Lens Adapter – $7,000
  • Monitor – $1,800
  • Fiber Optic Transmission Module – $3,000

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Canon C500 Mark II Low-Light Test & 6K Raw Clip to Download

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Canon C500 Mark II Low-Light Test & 6K Raw Clip to Download
Dec 122019
 

Our friend Ollie Kenchington used to be a regular cinema5D writer until recently, but since his day job at his production company KORRO is keeping him extremely busy, he is now an irregular contributor to the site. In this post, he tells us about his first experiences with the new Canon C500 Mark II in low light. Full disclosure: Ollie is not a Canon Ambassador, though he does occasionally do paid work for them as a trainer/speaker.

Back in September, at IBC, I had the opportunity to have a play with some 6K raw footage captured with the C500 Mark II. It occurred to me then that it would be great if more people could have the same opportunity to experiment with this powerful codec. I therefore proposed to Canon that they send me a unit prior to release, with the intention of capturing content that could be made freely available for interested users to download and play with at home. I finally got the chance to do just that last week.

6K Raw Demo

You can see the short sequence I cut together from the 6K raw footage here:

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SteadXP+ First Look Review – A Promising Camera Stabilization System

 Gear  Comments Off on SteadXP+ First Look Review – A Promising Camera Stabilization System
Dec 122019
 

Five years ago, a little company from France called SteadXP shook the Internet with a “game-changing” small box and stabilization technology made for GoPro and DSLR/Mirrorless cameras. This box attaches to your camera and records all the motion data of your camera so that you can stabilize your footage in post-production. The concept was revolutionary back in the days. Nowadays, with action cameras that feature in-body image stabilization that works just as well – if not better –, SteadXP is trying to move to the cinema market with SteadXP+. But is this product and technology still relevant? Let’s take a closer look at it in this hands-on review.

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Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens Review

 Gear  Comments Off on Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens Review
Dec 032019
 

I couldn’t find a great deal about this lens online, so I thought I would film a review with a of mixture of test shots and looking at how I have used the lens in my own portfolio. Here are my thoughts.

From a Canon shooters point of view, the Carl Zeiss Milvis f.2m Macros lens is a more expensive offering than the own brand’s pro line. It doesn’t have as many features due to a lack of true 1:1 marco, autofocus, and image stabilization. So, this lens is certainly not a versatile tool. However, it does offer a lot for a certain type of photographer. 

For me, the lens offers incredible details as well as a beautifully rendered image, especially when wide open. The lens gives the image a look that can’t be achieved with the Canon offerings, partially due to the f/2 aperture, but also due to the way that Zeiss constructs their lenses. 

Although the test shots don’t show any huge gains over something like a Canon USM or L lens, when put to practical use, the rendering, colors, and build quality are superb. What is really impressive is how sharp the lens is wide open and the way that the lens can control highlights. It wasn’t something that I noticed until I shot the same scene with some Canon lenses and realized that it was the lens causing the highlight to blow out in a rather unpleasing way.

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Aputure 120d MK II with Spotlight Mount Review

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Aputure 120d MK II with Spotlight Mount Review
Dec 032019
 

Our colleague, Nino Leitner, originally went hands-on with the Aputure 120d MK II back in April of 2018 at NAB and since then the light has shipped and we’ve even reviewed the 300D MK II, but it’s time to circle back and put the 120d MK II to the test. Along with the fixture, this is the perfect opportunity to try out the brand new Aputure Spotlight Mount. The full review of the light and new accessory is below: 

Image Credit: Graham Sheldon

Aputure LS C120D II LED COB Light:

I recently reviewed the MC series and the new 300D MK II and it seemed like an oversight to not spend more time with the 120D II. As a longtime user of the first generation 120D, I was particularly interested in the design updates in the second generation. Is it worth upgrading? Or, if you own the original 120D are you okay waiting? Let’s dive in.

On paper, the 120D MK II boasts a 25% output improvement over the MK I and it also balances out of the box to 5500 kelvin, versus the 6000 kelvin of the first generation. You could always correct that 400 Kelvin difference in the older version to “standard daylight” using gels, but I prefer a fixture that works out of the box in either 32K or 56K as it’s just easier to use in most situations and matches other light brands better. Also, color temp correction gels are feeling a little old school these days given the ubiquity of RGB panels that allow precise kelvin color temperatures to be dialed in with a quick button press.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blind Spot Gear

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

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

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ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses Add More Character to Supreme Line

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

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

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

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

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

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

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

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

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

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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