Lots of Canon Lenses Likely Coming at the End of August [Rumor], by Alex Cooke

 Gear  Comments Off on Lots of Canon Lenses Likely Coming at the End of August [Rumor], by Alex Cooke
Jul 162017
 

I think few people can argue that Sigma hasn’t been killing it lately, particularly with their 85mm f/1.4 Art and borderline audacious 135mm f/1.8 Art lenses turning in mostly rave reviews. It was only a matter of time before the big manufacturers responded, and from the looks of things, Canon is preparing to do just that.

Our friends over at Canon Rumors are reporting that Canon is preparing to announce the fabled EF 85mm f/1.4L IS lens at the end of August, along with three other lenses. Which mount these additional lenses will be for is unknown at the moment, though with Canon continuing to update their mirrorless models, it’s possible they may be looking to expand the EF-M line. Other lenses getting long in the tooth include the 50mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2L. The 85mm f/1.4L IS will not replace the legendary 85mm f/1.2L II lens, but if it improves wide-open sharpness over its f/1.2 cousin (bringing it at least near that of the Sigma Art) and adds image stabilization while only giving up a third of a stop, it could be an extremely intriguing lens for Canon users and would complicate the choice for fans of the Sigma lens’ performance. Be sure to check out the full report over at Canon Rumors for more.

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DDJI Spark, Mavic, Phantom, or Inspire – Which Drone Should You Buy? by Oliver Kmia

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on DDJI Spark, Mavic, Phantom, or Inspire – Which Drone Should You Buy? by Oliver Kmia
Jul 162017
 

DJI has released many drones over the past few years. The different models may seem similar to a newcomer, but each one actually addresses a different need. In the end, it all boils down to size and portability versus image quality and performance. Here we’ll analyze the main differences between the DJI drones to help you determine which one is the right fit for you.

Criteria

Price: The price point is an obvious criteria, but one must not forget all the associated costs of ownership, especially spare batteries which can run up to $169 each.

Portability: The drone size and weight will often dictate which model to buy. While the DJI Mavic won’t take more space than a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens in your bag, the mighty DJI Inspire requires a dedicated case for transportation. If you travel frequently, you may prefer a smaller model that fits in the plane’s carry-on compartment. The size also plays a role in public perception. Larger drones look more intimidating to the public and attract more attention (visibility and noise). Also, in some countries the applicable regulation on drones is based on weight threshold. The heavier it gets, the more constraints you will face (registration, mandatory parachute, and flight restrictions to name a few).

Image quality: Larger drones tend to carry better sensors and lenses. Entry-level models can only film in 1080p while the Inspire 2 can shoot up to 5.2K raw video. The Inspire 2 is also the only one to offer an interchangeable lens system while other models come with fixed focal length.

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A First Look at the Canon 6D Mark II Camera, by Alex Cooke

 Gear  Comments Off on A First Look at the Canon 6D Mark II Camera, by Alex Cooke
Jul 082017
 

Canon recently released both the 6D Mark II and SL2 cameras. The 6D Mark II was particularly anticipated, as it is Canon’s cheapest and lightest full-frame DSLR. Here’s a helpful and practical first look at the newest DSLR in the Canon family.

Kaiman Wong recently had a chance to play with the new Canon 6D Mark II. With 45 cross-type AF points, a fully articulating screen, improved burst speed, and dual pixel autofocus, it’s an intriguing option for those looking to break into the full frame world. Of course, it’s missing features to distinguish it from the 5D Mark IV, most notably 4K and a second card slot.

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The Citograph 35 is a 35mm Pancake Lens That’s Always in Focus, by Will Nicholls

 Gear  Comments Off on The Citograph 35 is a 35mm Pancake Lens That’s Always in Focus, by Will Nicholls
Jul 082017
 

C.P. Goerz has unveiled a new lens called the Citograph 35. It’s a 35mm f/8 lens that promises to “always be in focus”. Cito means spontaneous in Latin, and that’s where the name is derived from. The German start-up behind the Kickstarter campaign wants to bring spontaneity back to photography and Instagram on a more professional level.

So how exactly does this lens work? With a fixed focus set to the hyperfocal distance point, everything at 9 feet or more from the lens is in focus.

The key thing about this lens is how compact it is, weighing only 120 grams. It’s “one of the thinnest lenses in the world,” and looks almost unnoticeable on your camera.

It’ll be available for Nikon, Canon Sony, Leica M, Micro Four Thirds, and Fuji cameras. The creators envision this lens being used on all sorts of DSLR and mirrorless bodies, bringing impulsive photography back to professional cameras.

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New Nebula 5100 Slant Gimbal and Other Accessories from Filmpower, by Fabian Chaundy

 Gear  Comments Off on New Nebula 5100 Slant Gimbal and Other Accessories from Filmpower, by Fabian Chaundy
Jul 012017
 

Filmpower — the company behind the popular Nebula gimbals — have announced the new Nebula 5100 Slant 3-axis gimbal, a new line of shotgun microphones and a wireless follow focus system.

Nebula 5100 Slant

A couple of years ago, the Nebula 4000 from Filmpower was one of the many popular choices among a new breed of affordable 3-axis gimbal stabilisers for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. A few incarnations later, the Nebula 5100 (covered HERE) offered amazing battery life, time-lapse support, unlimited rotation on all axis and strong encoded motors that needed very little balancing. The newest model, the Nebula 5100 Slant, has already been announced, coming only a few months after the original 5100 and offering some interesting structural improvements.

The Slant part of the name refers to the new design of the roll-axis arm, which now sits at a 45-degree angle from the camera rather than totally perpendicular behind the screen. According to Filmpower, not only does this improve the overall rigidity of the unit, but it also allows for a heavier total payload: the 900g Nebula 5100 Slant can take camera systems up to 3.2kg — a whole 700g more than its predecessor. Additionally, the new design allows for a clear view of your camera’s rear LCD monitor for easier use.

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How to Improve the Sound of Your Speech in Premiere Pro, by Alex Cooke

 Technique  Comments Off on How to Improve the Sound of Your Speech in Premiere Pro, by Alex Cooke
Jun 232017
 

You can have the most visually stunning videos, but if you sound like you’re talking to your audience from two rooms over, they won’t be engaged by your work. Here’s how to get better-sounding speech in Premiere Pro.

Part of being a good video editor means getting your sound editing skills up to speed. Premiere Pro borrows some tools from Audition, Adobe’s audio editing software, to give video editors the ability to improve their sound within the program.

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FUJINON MK 50-135mm Review – A Worthy Cine Zoom For Your Kit?, by Sebastian Wober

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on FUJINON MK 50-135mm Review – A Worthy Cine Zoom For Your Kit?, by Sebastian Wober
Jun 232017
 

Earlier this year FUJINON introduced a new line of affordable E-Mount Cine Zooms made for documentary-style shooters. Here’s our FUJINON MK 50-135mm Review, where we take a look at the second of the two complimentary zoom lenses from FUJINON .

Featuring a non-breathing focus mechanism, par focal design and fully-geared focus, iris and zoom, I took this lens for a spin, after having already reviewed its little brother – the MK 18-55mm T/2.9 – earlier this year.

FUJINON MK 50-135mm Review

I tested the FUJINON MK 50-135mm over the course of several days and, while at first I was hesitant, I really enjoyed working with the lens after I had gotten the hang of it and seen the footage. Together, the FUJINON MK 18-55 T/2.9 and the new FUJINON MK 50-135mm T/2.9 cover a good focal range: 18mm to 135mm.

I recently tested the Sony 18-110mm cine style lens which is also a good alternative to the FUJINONs if you don’t want to carry two lenses and if you don’t mind that a lot Sony’s science is done electronically. Of course, the Sony lens is missing the 110-135 range, which admittedly will not be a huge tradeoff for many. The MKs are all-manual and in comparison to the Sony they also feature a constant aperture of T/2.9. This is great, especially because to me it seemed like they do look good wide open.

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HIVE LIGHTING Wasp 100-C – Omni Color LED Ready to Go!, by Fabian Chaundy

 Cinematography  Comments Off on HIVE LIGHTING Wasp 100-C – Omni Color LED Ready to Go!, by Fabian Chaundy
Jun 142017
 

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, HIVE LIGHTING are just a few weeks away from finally bringing their much-awaited Wasp 100-C LED fixture to market.

Like we originally reported back in December 2016, the Wasp 100-C is an 85W LED spotlight with the kind of output you would get from a 650W tungsten fixture. In addition to the usual advantages of LED — such as lower power consumption and heat generation — the Wasp 100-C also offers Omni Color LED technology, allowing it to reproduce millions of different hues thanks to an array of LEDs of various colours, in addition to pure white.

In comparison to something like the ARRI Skypanel — a very desirable Omni Color LED fixture — the Wasp 100-C comes in a compact form factor that allows it to be a lot more portable than something in a panel form-factor. The light can also be powered with anything above 95Wh, so you can stay mobile with a V-Lock or Gold mount and a D-Tap to 4-pin XLR adapter.

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Apertus AXIOM Beta – Your Open Source Camera. An Update and Recent Footage, by Johnnie Behiri

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Apertus AXIOM Beta – Your Open Source Camera. An Update and Recent Footage, by Johnnie Behiri
Jun 142017
 

It has been a while since we last reported about the status of the apertus AXIOM beta camera, so last week I took the opportunity to meet and talk to Sebastian Pichelhofer who is acting as AXIOM’s project leader, association chairman and one of the software developers, in order to find out what is new and in what shape and status the project currently is.  

AXIOM Beta Developers kit

It was nice to hear and see that this unique open source/open hardware motion picture camera system venture is really moving forward to the point where developers and early adopters alike can now already get their kit. Mind you, if you are an “end user” like me, then the camera is NOT YET ready for us as the enclosure and actual  operating system of the camera are still under development. Without those, operating the camera can be a tedious work.

 

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Sony 18-110mm Review – One-Of-A-Kind Versatile Video & Cine Zoom, by Sebastian Wober

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sony 18-110mm Review – One-Of-A-Kind Versatile Video & Cine Zoom, by Sebastian Wober
May 192017
 

The conveniently-named Sony E PZ 18-110mm F/4 G OSS lens has been on our radar ever since it was announced in September, as it is one of the only lenses of its kind made for large sensor video cameras. In my Sony 18-110mm review, I will be looking at all the benefits and limitations of this lens. See the video review summary above, or read on for the details.

Sony 18-110mm Review

When looking at the new Sony E PZ 18-110mm F/4 G OSS, it makes sense to first look at its predecessor, the FE PZ 28-135mm F/4 G OSS (Review HERE). Back when Sony introduced their first lens in this series, it was the only “affordable” video lens made for large-sensor cameras with video functionality. Unfortunately, some aspects about it were not ideal: while it gave us a great focal range on full-frame cameras like the Sony a7S and Sony a7S II, the field of view was too narrow on crop sensor cameras (super35) like the Sony FS7, which it actually shipped with as a combo package. Also, the electronic zoom functionality was a big downside for many.

Fast forward to 2016 when Sony introduced the E PZ 18-110 F/4 G OSS, the subject of this 18-110mm review. Tailored to super35, it introduced a manual zoom functionality alongside several other improvements. Now this lens is finally on my desk and, even though the Sony FS7 is out for a shoot, I have no reservations to slap it onto our Sony a6500 to take it for a spin.

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Sony Introduces the S3CA – A Sony a7S II Without Recording Limit by; Sebastian Wober

 Cinematography  Comments Off on Sony Introduces the S3CA – A Sony a7S II Without Recording Limit by; Sebastian Wober
May 022017
 

Many were hoping to see an announcement of something like a “Sony a7S 3” camera at this year’s NAB. Instead, we saw a new version of the Sony a7S II called S3CA. While there is indeed an “S3” in its product name, this is rather a “special version” of the a7S II for certain applications. Here’s all about the new Sony S3CA.

Sony S3CA

The S3CA is an interesting camera – it features the same sensor and processing as the popular Sony a7S II, but doesn’t limit your recording to 30 minutes, meaning your card size is really the deciding factor on how long you can record for.

The Sony a7S II was introduced in 2015 and has made headlines as being one of the best cinema cameras on the market, especially because of its impressive lowlight capabilities (see my lowlight review here).

On top of its a7S II heritage, the S3CA has a slightly smaller, box-shaped and more durable body and it has no screen or buttons – it requires a USB connection with a PC or Mac as a control interface. For some applications this could be a very interesting solution. The S3CA could for example be used during a live production and be controlled from the mixer instead of a camera operator.

The camera on display was hooked up to a computer app, in which I noticed that the image lagged and stuttered. The app, however, is not intended for monitoring. Instead, the camera features an HDMI output up to 4K for monitoring and external recording.

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Panasonic 360 4K Video Camera – A Prototype No Longer by; Graham Sheldon

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic 360 4K Video Camera – A Prototype No Longer by; Graham Sheldon
May 022017
 

360 video is still very much the talk of NAB, and Panasonic is not one to be left behind. First announced late last year, the AW-360C10 – AKA the Panasonic 360 camera –  features four cameras shooting at 3840×1920 resolution and uses real-time active stitching. It’s aimed at the live event 360 world and we have all the details below: 

We first announced the Panasonic 360 prototype camera (Panasonic-360C10) and its base unit back in November of 2016 at Inter Bee, and now it seems the camera has made the jump from prototype into production. Four cameras mounted along the head of the unit shoot 4K video at up to 59.94fps in a 2:1 image format ratio, a.k.a equi-rectangular video.

Panasonic is hoping that their low latency system will find a home with sports, concerts, and other live, stadium-based events.

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This is What 20fps with the Sony a9 Sounds Like (Spoiler: Nothing)

 Gear  Comments Off on This is What 20fps with the Sony a9 Sounds Like (Spoiler: Nothing)
Apr 242017
 

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.

Some DSLRs can shoot at relatively fast rates as well — check out 12fps with the Nikon D5 and 16fps with the Canon 1D X II — but with DSLRs you’ll have audible sounds from the mirror and/or shutter flapping up and down.

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Hasselblad H6D-100c Review – Shooting Medium-Format Video by; Christoph Tilley

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Hasselblad H6D-100c Review – Shooting Medium-Format Video by; Christoph Tilley
Apr 242017
 

In this guest review, Vienna-based filmmaker Christoph Tilley takes a close look at the Hasselblad H6D-100c – a 100MP, 4K Raw-capable medium format camera. Intrigued? Read on for his hands-on impressions.

Christoph Tilley reviews the Hasselblad H6D-100c

Shooting Medium-Format Video

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.

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Leica Thalia Lens Line Announced for Alexa 65 and Vista Vision by; Tim Fok

 Gear  Comments Off on Leica Thalia Lens Line Announced for Alexa 65 and Vista Vision by; Tim Fok
Apr 022017
 

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.

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Rumor Has It Sigma Is Releasing a 70-200mm f/2.8 Sport Lens in Late 2017 by; Alex Cooke

 Gear  Comments Off on Rumor Has It Sigma Is Releasing a 70-200mm f/2.8 Sport Lens in Late 2017 by; Alex Cooke
Mar 062017
 

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 the SP 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.

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New FUJIFILM X-T2 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2 by; Jakub Han

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on New FUJIFILM X-T2 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2 by; Jakub Han
Mar 062017
 

LockCircle is introducing their new FUJIFILM 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 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2

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 our real 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.

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Cinematic Motion with GoPro ND Filters – PolarPro Cinema Series Filter Review

 Action cams  Comments Off on Cinematic Motion with GoPro ND Filters – PolarPro Cinema Series Filter Review
Mar 062017
 

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!

Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/gunmac

The timelapse sequences were shot on my Sony A7s II

 

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FUJINON MK18-55mm Technical Review – The New E-Mount Cine Zoom in the Lab by; Sebastian Wober

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on FUJINON MK18-55mm Technical Review – The New E-Mount Cine Zoom in the Lab by; Sebastian Wober
Mar 062017
 

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 Sony 28-135mm was the first of its kind (reviewed here), Canon was next, and now FUJINON is the one to catch our interest.

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Sony Develops Super Slow Motion Sensor for Smartphones by; Jakub Han

 Cinematography  Comments Off on Sony Develops Super Slow Motion Sensor for Smartphones by; Jakub Han
Feb 162017
 

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.

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