GearComments Off on This is What 20fps with the Sony a9 Sounds Like (Spoiler: Nothing)
Sony made quite a splash in the photo industry this week by announcing the new a9, a mirrorless camera that can shoot 24MP full-frame photos at a whopping 20fps. We soon got a look at what 20fps on this camera looks like. If you want to see what 20fps sounds like, check out the video above.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Hasselblad H6D-100c Review – Shooting Medium-Format Video by; Christoph Tilley
In this guest review, Vienna-based filmmaker Christoph Tilley takes a close look at the HasselbladH6D-100c – a 100MP, 4K Raw-capable medium format camera. Intrigued? Read on for his hands-on impressions.
Not too long ago DSLRs revolutionized the way we make films. These days, we are seeing the emergence of the first medium-format stills cameras capable of shooting video. What would it be like to shoot video on an such an extremely large sensor?
Enter the Hasselblad H6D-100c, a 100 Megapixel Full-Frame Medium-Format Stills Camera. The resolution is absolutely incredible on this thing – each Raw image has a file size of 216,3 Megabytes. But why in particular is this interesting for us filmmakers? Well, this thing can also shoot 4K Raw video.
But what kind of results will you get when shooting video? And how does this large sensor compare to Super35 in the real world? To find out, we shot a typical interview scene on the RED Dragon with a 50mm lens wide open at f/1.4. Right alongside we had the Hasselblad H6D-100c with a 100mm lens at an f-stop of f/4.
GearComments Off on Leica Thalia Lens Line Announced for Alexa 65 and Vista Vision by; Tim Fok
Leica has just announced a new set of primes for the 65mm Cinema format, compatible also with smaller sensor sizes. The Leica Thalia spherical lenses are compact, come in 9 focal lengths, and will cover a 60mm image circle.
The new Leica Thalia lens line.
The Leica Thalia collection has been designed with large format cinema in mind – think Alexa 65 and Vista Vision (RED Weapon 8K VV). The large image circle, however, will also enable their use on smaller, more regularly-used formats in Super35 film and digital.
Leica has announced 9 focal lengths straight off the bat, with no drip-feeding over time: 24, 30, 35, 45, 70, 100, 120, and 180mm, with T-stops ranging from 3.6 to 2.2 (see the graph further down for itemised T stops).
The Thalia lens line features a PL mount, with i Technology contacts for providing metadata.
GearComments Off on Rumor Has It Sigma Is Releasing a 70-200mm f/2.8 Sport Lens in Late 2017 by; Alex Cooke
Sigma is showing no signs of slowing down. As their line of unique and high-quality lenses continues to expand at an explosive rate, it appears they’ll be adding a lens almost every photographer should own later this year: the 70-200mm f/2.8.
The 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is arguably the most important lens most photographers can carry, along with the 24-70mm f/2.8. Every major manufacturer has their own native version:Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax, all of which represent some of their best optics and performance. Tamron also recently released theSP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, an update that provides improved AF, stabilization, and optical quality. With Sigma on a roll, having released four new full-frame lenses, it’s only logical to hear that they’re planning an update to their 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, which is a holdover from the days before their revamped design that started with their Art series. Such a lens would surely be widely welcomed by photographers who have mostly embraced Sigma’s new lenses, while the continued pressure put on the mainstay manufacturers by increasingly tempting third-party options is always good for the market.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on New FUJIFILM X-T2 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2 by; Jakub Han
LockCircle is introducing their newFUJIFILM X-T2 cage called Kinetics XT2. Its asymmetrical design approach lets you hold the original grip of the camera, and features various threads for accessories as well as a baseplate, and HDMI and USB ports protectors.
LockCircle Kinetics XT2 cage with all the features
FUJIFILM X-T2 is a very interesting mirrorless camera for filmmakers that is especially capable in 4K. We tested this little camera couple of months ago, os if you haven’t yet, make sure to take a look at ourreal world video test and also our Lab test where we compared it against the Sony a7S II. LockCircle is now introducing their ergonomic cage for the FUJIFILM X-T2, which is designed to fit around the camera with an “asymmetrical design approach” for a right-handed camera grip. This means it is possible to hold the camera using the original grip even when the cage is mounted, as visible in the product photos. The weight of the cage itself is 300g (10 oz).
All camera controls remain visible and available as the FUJIFILM XT-2 cage has many cutouts, and offers multiple threads to mount various accessories – 79x 1/4”-20 threads and 3x 3/8”. The cage has also several threads to mount the AC tape measurement titanium hook.
Action camsComments Off on Cinematic Motion with GoPro ND Filters – PolarPro Cinema Series Filter Review
A little edit of my recent skiiing holidays in Flachau, Austria. I used the GoPro Hero 5 black with the Karma Grip Gimbal and PolarPro ND filters – combo that works very well! Music is “High Speed Chase” by Terry Devine-King, licenced from audionetwork.com
Let me know how you like it and feel free to share it!
Cinematography, GearComments Off on FUJINON MK18-55mm Technical Review – The New E-Mount Cine Zoom in the Lab by; Sebastian Wober
FUJINON just introduced a new line of affordable E-Mount Cine Zooms made for documentary-style cine shooters. The FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 is the first of two complimentary zoom lenses and it’s already on our test bench – here’s our FUJINON MK18-55mm Review.
Featuring a claimed non-breathing focus mechanism, par-focal design and fully-geared cine lens controls, let’s confront this newcomer with our 8K test chart and compare it to the infamous new Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 and a similarly-specced Canon photo lens.
Also, check out our Hands-on FUJINON MK 18-55mm with Footage HERE.
Why is this Lens Interesting for Cine Shooters?
First of all, let’s look at why this lens is interesting for us! For many years, large-sensor video shooters have been forced to use photo lenses with our Canon, or Canon-adapted large-sensor cameras. As many of us shoot documentaries or documentary-style projects, using photo zoom lenses has been a real frustration as they’re designed for photography, meaning they have a short focus throw, no hard stops, no manual iris control, clunky zooming, breathing, are non par-focal… the list goes on, as these are considerations that aren’t really relevant for shooting still images. Only recently manufacturers have finally started delivering zooms that are fit for video production and are not as heavy on the lens barrel and the wallet as high-end cine zooms. The Sony28-135mm was the first of its kind (reviewed here), Canon was next, and now FUJINON is the one to catch our interest.
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.
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.
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.
GearComments Off on Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han
Sphere Pro lens is a new product from Sphereoptics — a young startup from New York. It brings 360 video capability to conventional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. No stitching is required so converting videos to spherical format is easier and faster.
The Sphere Pro lens is intended to be mounted (for best results) or held pointed upwards and it is designed to capture a 360° horizontal and 180° vertical field of view. That makes it one of a kind. It is a 35mm full frame format lens and has a Nikon F mount, but you can mount it to most cameras using an applicable adapter. The aperture is fixed at f/8 and focus is fixed as well (best at 40″/1meter).
From the test video you can see the image quality is not perfect, but for a quick VR experience it is sufficient. This lens gives you the ability to shoot conventional content with your personal camera and then quickly switch lenses and record a spherical video with the same body. If you wanted a better quality image you could mount the lens to a RED Cinema camera and shoot in significantly higher resolution, such as 6K. The image outcome will get better in line with the sensors used, which is an excellent feature of the device.
How does Sphere Pro lens work?
The device uses a special toroidal mirror with a reflective surface and series of optical elements to capture the full sphere of light around the lens into a circle-like image on the camera sensor. The resolution is therefore only dependent on the smallest dimension of the sensor. Converting the video to a spherical shape for VR viewing is easy and fast through pixel mapping. According to the creators, the process is so easy it can be done on your average iOS or Android device.
GearComments Off on DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han
If you’re a smartphone videography enthusiast maybe considering to step up your game, check out DreamGrip. You can use it with any smartphone, and allows you to mount plenty of accessories.
The quality of smartphone cameras has been steadily improving in recent times, with more and more people starting to use smartphones to generate high-quality video content. We brought you 10 useful Tips for cinematic smartphone videos in the past, but I think we will continue to see huge progress in smartphone videography in the coming years. This means more smartphone-oriented filmmaking accessories will start making an appearance.
DreamGrip is a Hong Kong-based company but with offices in Vancouver, Canada, and have been developing their smartphone rig since August 2015. After testing their first prototypes during the past year, they are now taking pre-orders.
What does the DreamGrip smartphone rig offer you?
Adjustable lens mount, so you can use any smartphone.
A variety of lenses: Fisheye, Wide Angle, Telephoto x2, Telephoto x3.
Bluetooth wireless remote with free app for Android and iOS.
Two cold shoe mounts on the handles.
Additional mounting possibilities through ¼” – 20” mounts and screws.
Adapter with a 52mm CPL filter.
One of the issues when filming with a smartphone at high resolutions while using Bluetooth is of course battery life. While I am not sure where you could mount a powerbank on this rig, it seems like it could accomodate one of those power cases for extra battery life. These are not available for all smartphones, though.
GearComments Off on Fstoppers Reviews the New Best Portrait Lens, the Nikon 105mm f/1.4, By Quentin Decaillet
Canon has always been known for its fabulous portraits lenses: the 85mm f/1.2 and the 135mm f/2. I used to own and love both of them, with a preference for the first. When I bought into the Nikon system, I was afraid I would miss these two optics. But truth be told, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is at least as good as its Canon equivalent if not better! Regarding the 135mm, that’s a whole different story as the Nikon’s is quite old now. However, they recently announced the 105mm f/1.4, and I had the chance to put my hands on it for a few weeks! Let’s see how it compares with other portrait lenses and if it could potentially replace a 135mm.
Many people regarded the 105mm f/1.4 announcement as very bizarre. The new portrait lens is not extremely different from the 85mm in terms of focal length and most people probably expected a 135mm replacement instead. Nonetheless, the 105mm in itself is an interesting focal length for many uses, especially for someone who owns a 58mm even though they don’t share the same image quality or look at all.
When taking the lens in your hands for the first time, you immediately notice its weight and size. It’s not small by any means. For someone used to the Canon 85mm f/1.2, it’s nothing very surprising, but for Nikon users, it might feel beefy.
Canon 5DII with 85mm f/1.2 vs. Nikon D810 with 105mm f/1.4
Canon 5DII with 85mm f/1.2 on the left and Nikon D810 with 105mm f/1.4 on the right
Action cams, GearComments Off on DJI announces the M600 Pro drone for payloads up to 6kg
DJI has announced yet another drone, but this time it is a lot larger than the Mavic Pro. The Matrice 600 Proinherits everything from the M600 with the addition of improved flight performance and better loading capacity. The M600 now comes with pre-installed arms and antennas to help reduce the setup time. This is perhaps the biggest improvement over the older M600.
The airframe is equipped with the A3 Pro flight controller, Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system, intelligent batteries and battery management system. All Zenmuse cameras and gimbals are natively compatible and there is full integration with third party software and hardware.
TechniqueComments Off on Google adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) video support to YouTube
For some millennials, YouTube stars are more important than popular pop musicians or famous Hollywood actors. Older folks may not understand this phenomenon, but it actually makes a lot of sense — YouTube is a platform where many young people spend their time.
Today, Google announces that it is making YouTube even better. The service can already stream video in 4K, and is available on countless devices, but now the videos are gaining High Dynamic Range (HDR) support too. This means the content will be presented with better contrast and more vibrant colors. Of course, the benefits will only be relaized with displays that support HDR.
“Starting today, you can watch YouTube videos in HDR on supported devices, such as HDR TVs with the new Chromecast Ultra, and soon on all 2016 Samsung SUHD and UHD TVs. If you’re using a device that doesn’t yet support HDR, don’t worry, videos will still play in standard dynamic range. As more HDR devices become available, YouTube will work with partners to enable streaming of the HDR version”, says Steven Robertson, Software Engineer, Google.
Robertson also shares, “any creator can upload HDR videos to YouTube. To make sure creators can tell awesome stories with even more color, we’ve been working with companies across the industry. We’ve worked with the DaVinci Resolve team to make uploading HDR just as simple as SDR videos to YouTube. We’ve also outfitted the YouTube Spaces in LA and NYC with all the gear needed to produce great HDR content”.
Google shares the above side-by-side images to show the potential benefits. As you can see, the HDR image on the right is more detailed and vibrant, while the simulated SDR image on the left looks washed-out.
Want to check out some HDR content now? Google shares the following YouTube playlist that contains videos that are already compatible.
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.
GearComments Off on Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo
The Chronos 1.4 camera is the result of the efforts of a single engineer, David Kronstein, who is working diligently to bring slow motion to a wider group of filmmakers. The device – now “production ready” and headed to Kickstarter in the “next few months” for funding – is capable of 1050fps at a resolution of 1280×1024. Read on for all the details, including footage samples:
Shooting great-looking slow motion is really, really expensive and usually requires renting a Phantom high-speed camera for the best shots at 300 fps+, or an equally pricey RED Epic Dragon or Weapon for anything below 300 fps. Slow motion, however, is almost always worth it. Don’t take my word for it – just look at the trailer for Planet Earth II here, which includes some epic slow motion moments.
The YouTubers over at the “TAOFLEDERMAUS” channel have gotten their hands on a prototype production model of the Chronos 1.4 and have in-camera footage to show as well:
As you can see from the video, there are still a few kinks to work out: there is a 30 second boot up time from the moment the power button is pressed, and saving to SD card takes a considerable amount of time as well, but hopefully we’ll see improvements as the project progresses.
This is very much a speciality tool, especially given the lack of full 1080p resolution, but it is cheap and shows promise at being a no-fuss slow motion solution in the future.
Once fully funded through Kickstarter, the 8GB base model of the Chronos 1.4 is expected to cost a (comparatively speaking) very affordable $2,500.
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 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.