HDR Photography vs. HDR TV Explained

 HDR Info, HDR Software, HDR TV  Comments Off on HDR Photography vs. HDR TV Explained
Apr 132017
 

You’re going to hear a lot about High Dynamic Range, or HDR in the next few years. HDR imaging is already leaving a mark on the photography industry. Now, HDR displays are making a splash too, although it will be some time before they become commonplace.

As a photographer, you might be tempted to purchase an HDR TV or and HDR screen. At least for now, that isn’t necessary or practical.

 

HDR TV vs. NON-HDR TV. Is there a difference?

HDR display and HDR capture, which we’ll discuss, aren’t the same things, although they have a similar goal. Each process makes a digital copy, whether it be a video or photograph, look more like the real thing.

With HDR for monitors or TVs, this display process refers to the device’s ability to recognize specialized content that standard devices cannot. Here, the goal is to make bright images even more so, while keeping the darker parts dark. This difference between light and dark, known as the contrast ratio, is greater on HDR-capable devices than on standard ones.

As CNET notes,

“In its simplest state, it means a brighter TV, but only in the areas on the screen that need it. The result is an image that really pops and looks more like what you’d see in the real world.”

Not surprisingly, the first HDR monitors are very expensive. One from Dell, for example, is expected to launch for $4,999, while the studio-grade Sony BVM X300 costs $18,000.

 

What are the alternatives to expensive HDR TVs?

Rather than paying for an HDR display, purchase an entirely new Apple Mac instead.

Apple currently offers a 21.5-inch iMac with a Retina 4K display and the 27-inch iMac with a Retina 5K display. It also offers a 12-inch MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 15-inch MacBook Pro — all with Retina displays too. Each of these devices are ideal for professional and novice photographers alike.

The 21.5-inch iMac with a Retina 4K display features 4,096 x 2,304 resolution and 9.4 million pixels, which is 4.5 times more than the standard 21.5-inch iMac display. The 27-inch iMac features 14.7 million pixels, seven times more pixels than an HD display. Both iMacs are supported by a wider P3-based color gamut, which provides 25 percent larger color space than previous models.

How can I capture HDR with my camera?

By contrast to HDR display, HDR for cameras is a capture process where a display shows a wider and richer range of colors, crisper whites, and much deeper blacks.

Many of today’s most popular smartphones have HDR capabilities, including current generation iPhones, Samsung, and Sony devices. High-end cameras also utilize HDR.

 

From a technical standpoint, smartphones and cameras handle HDR imaging differently. Regardless, each has a similar goal: providing a greater contrast between light and dark images, by combining several photos taken during a single burst.

You capture each of these pictures at a different exposure called “stops” or “brackets,” during the HDR process. The first stop offers an extremely dark image, while the last one is extremely bright. When merged into a single image, the final photograph includes a greater exposure range.

Taking  HDR shots isn’t easy, and in some situations, not recommended. HDR mode requires a steady hand because it doesn’t capture action well. When movement is involved, alignment can be off, and double exposures can occur. Because of this, you should use a tripod.

HDR mode works best for high-contrast scenes such as landscapes or in scenes with backlighting. HDR is also nice when capturing objects in direct sunlight.

 

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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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New Marshall 7″ On-Camera Monitor V-LCD70W-SH by; Olof Von Oss

 Gear  Comments Off on New Marshall 7″ On-Camera Monitor V-LCD70W-SH by; Olof Von Oss
Mar 262017
 

Marshall Electronics has just unveiled their latest LCD on-camera monitor, the 7″ V-LCD70W-SH. Originally planned for IBC 2016, it’s now finally available, so let’s have a quick look.

Marshall 7″ V-LCD70W-SH LCD monitor

There’s a wide range of decent on-camera monitors to choose from, and now there’s one more candidate: the new Marshall V-LCD70W-SH. It’s a 7″ HDMI and SDI LCD monitor with pretty much every feature you would expect in this class of monitors.

It features a detachable sun hood that’s also foldable, which can be quite useful for stowing away when not needed. Those tiny brackets look like they may be a little fragile, though…

Folded and extended sun hood.

When the sun hood is attached, all buttons remain accessible as they are located on the outside, which is nice. Three user-customizable buttons for common functions such as focus peaking can be found on the left-hand side of the monitor. The other buttons are for input, menu access and on/off.

In terms of connectivity, you can use both the HDMI and SDI signals as an input. There’s a cross converter built right into the V-LCD70W-SH, so you’re able to loop through whatever signal is needed to a client monitor, for example. As an addition, this 7″ LCD sports a built-in tally light with two colors to choose from: red or green.

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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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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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Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon

 Cinematography, Gear, News  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon
Jan 052017
 

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.

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DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han
Dec 112016
 

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.

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Olympus OMD E-M1 II controls and handling for video – a first look

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Olympus OMD E-M1 II controls and handling for video – a first look
Dec 062016
 

The new flagship Olympus OMD E-M1 II has been getting quite a lot of attention lately thanks to its amazing image stabilisation capabilities and high bitrate internal DCI 4K recording. We’ve just received the highly specced Micro 4/3rds camera to test and will be taking a closer look at it over the coming days.

In this first article I’m going to look at the design and handling of the camera for video. In later articles we’ll examine the image stabilisation system, autofocus and image quality. Bitrates, crops and colour settings will have to wait till then. (spolier – there is no Log profile on the camera)

The camera body is nicely put together.

The body of the camera is nicely put together and is weather sealed. There is a good sized handgrip that felt good in my hands.

The LCD screen is a flip-out type similar to cameras like the GH4. You can angle it up, down or a full 180 degrees around for selfies – video bloggers will be happy. The electronic viewfinder has a 120 hz refresh rate and is very good, with little noticable lag or image judder. There is a histogram function, peaking and also focus magnification. These all work well, but the one major annoyance is that the magnification function doesn’t work while recording – unlike the competing Sony a7 and a6xxx series.

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DJI announces the M600 Pro drone for payloads up to 6kg

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on DJI announces the M600 Pro drone for payloads up to 6kg
Nov 162016
 

DJI has announced yet another drone, but this time it is a lot larger than the Mavic Pro. The Matrice 600 Pro inherits 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.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-09-35-pm

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.

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Google adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) video support to YouTube

 Technique  Comments Off on Google adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) video support to YouTube
Nov 162016
 

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.

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Compact Wireless Video Gets Range Boost – Teradek Bolt 500 Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Compact Wireless Video Gets Range Boost – Teradek Bolt 500 Announced
Nov 122016
 

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.

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Sigma Cinema Zooms Pricing Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sigma Cinema Zooms Pricing Announced
Oct 242016
 

We announced 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.

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Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Sony a7S II – Which One is the Best Mirrorless Video Camera?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Sony a7S II – Which One is the Best Mirrorless Video Camera?
Oct 062016
 

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?

Fujifilm X-T2 – Best Mirrorless Video Quality?

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, the Sony 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 the Sony 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.

Comparison: Fujifilm X-T2 vs. Sony a7S II

Both the Fujfilm X-T2 as well as the Sony a7S II are designed as mirror-less cameras in a photo body. The Fujifilm X-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.

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An Introduction to the Canon EOS C700 Cinema Camera

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on An Introduction to the Canon EOS C700 Cinema Camera
Sep 282016
 

The Canon EOS C700 was announced last month and raised a lot of interest, but also criticism among our readers. The new flagship model for Canon’s Cinema line was on display at IBC 2016 and we took the chance to take a closer look at the new camera.

A Closer Look at the Canon C700

With the C700, Canon moved on to a different form factor for the first time in quite a while. The Canon EOS C700 is reminiscent of competitor cameras such as the Panasonic Varicam, Arri Amira or the Sony F55/F5, and its features and pricing clearly target it at the higher end of filmmaking.

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Why the Olympus E-M1 MK II Might Just Be Your Next 4K Video Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on Why the Olympus E-M1 MK II Might Just Be Your Next 4K Video Camera
Sep 242016
 

Just a few days ago, Olympus unveiled their new MFT camera, the Olympus E-M1 MK II. It is not only the Japanese company’s first foray into 4K video, it is also a technology milestone in terms of image stabilization and pro video features.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II

Please make sure to read Graham’s article for a good overview of this new camera. As a reminder, here are the specifications:

  • New 20 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • 4K UHD Video up to 30fps (3840×2160) and Cinema 4K up to 24fps (4096×2160)
  • 3.0 Articulating Touch Monitor
  • 121 Point Dual Auto Focus
  • Pre-Record Feature
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Dual SD Card Slot (UHS II Compatible)
  • Weatherproofing: dust, splash and freeze-proof
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds.

One of the real achievements of this newly developed camera is the implemented image stabilization. As Janne Amunet puts it:

It really gives new possibilities in terms of moving the camera without having a huge production budget.

And that’s really it! The quality of stabilization that the Olympus E-M1 Mark II can achieve seems to be quite impressive, and can be even further improved when used alongside an Olympus lens with image stabilization. In a scenario like this, the result of both camera and lens add up to almost gimbal-like performance.

The other buzzword surrounding this camera is, of course, 4K. It’s a first for Olympus, but it’s good to see other manufacturers adopting more and more camera systems to choose from. The Olympus E-M1 MK II caters the micro four thirds system, just like the Panasonic GH4.

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The New Panasonic FZ2000 Bridge Camera – 10bit 4K DCI External in Vlog for $1200

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on The New Panasonic FZ2000 Bridge Camera – 10bit 4K DCI External in Vlog for $1200
Sep 242016
 

We get hands on with the Panasonic FZ2000, a compact bridge camera with great video functions. It’s the first of its kind with a 1 inch sensor, built in ND filters and 4K DCI recording on a super zoom lens. We talked to Mark Baber from Panasonic, who explained a little more about the camera. Also, make sure to check out the footage we recorded directly on the Panasonic FZ2000.

The Panasonic FZ2000 was one of the many announcements by the Japanese manufacturer at Photokina 2016. It has a 20MP 1 inch CMOS sensor with a zoom range of 28-480mm at f/2.8 – 4.5. It shoots 4K video internally in both DCI and UHD resolutions, which is a feature many filmmakers will be pleased about. Although it has a fixed lens, the FZ2000 has built-in ND filters (a feature usually exclusive to video and cinema cameras) which means a shallow depth of field at wide apertures can be used even in bright sunlight.

It can also output 4K 24p in 10bit 4:2:2 via HDMI to external recorders like the Atomos Shogun Inferno, giving greater colour depth. The inclusion of 10bit in both this camera and the GH5 is pushing the boundaries of mirrorless and DSLR technology, meaning other camera manufacturers will now need to keep up. Both CINELIKE D and CINELIKE V picture profiles are included in camera, with the V-Log L picture profile to be available as a paid upgrade, ideal for grading in post production.

At wider angles, the 5-way optical and digital stabilization works very well to compensate shake and movement. This of course struggles to keep up at the telephoto end.

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Xeen 16mm T2.6 – Samyang Further Expands Cine Lens Lineup

 Gear  Comments Off on Xeen 16mm T2.6 – Samyang Further Expands Cine Lens Lineup
Sep 212016
 

Samyang has been quite busy lately. Among other mostly photo-related lens announcements, they have just unveiled the newest addition to their cinema lens line-up: the Xeen 16mm T2.6.

The Xeen 16mm T2.6 Cine Lens

Samyang keeps adding lenses to their current Xeen cinema lens line-up, with their newest addition just unveiled at this year’s Photokina. Sitting in between the 14mm T3.1 and the 24mm T1.5, the new Xeen 16mm T2.6 could become your new favourite wide angle lens. Due to its faster aperture, it might also prove to be much more versatile than the 14mm T3.1 option.

Samyang’s Jeon Min, Shin claims that the decision behind introducing a model with these specs is that the former wide angle option, the Xeen 14mm T3.1, may be just a little bit too wide (and more importantly, too slow) for most cinematographic needs.

This newest addition brings the whole Xeen range of lenses up to a grand total of 7 primes to choose from:

  • 14mm T3.1
  • 16mm T2.6
  • 24mm T1.5
  • 35mm T1.5
  • 50mm T1.5
  • 85mm T1.5
  • 135mm T2.2.

Maybe we’ll even see some more focal lengths to choose from in the future? At this rate of development, this might just be the case.

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Hands-On With the ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9 – T3.9

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Hands-On With the ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9 – T3.9
Sep 152016
 

Here at IBC 2016, we go hands-on with the freshly announced Zeiss LWZ.3, the newest addition to their lightweight zoom range. Although the lens gets slower at the far end, from T2.9 down to T3.9, it might nevertheless be the next big thing for documentary work. Make sure to read Nino’s in-depth article for all about the details of this lightweight cine zoom lens. 

Hands-on with the Zeiss LWZ.3

As there is no such thing as the perfect lens (14 – 200mm T 1.5 with full frame coverage in a 1,2 kg parfocal lens for $800, anyone?) you’ll always get some downsides, that’s for sure. In the case of this lens, even though it is really lightweight for the focal range it covers, there are also some downsides to it. The Zeiss LWZ.3 only covers super35 sized sensors, for example. The bigger Zeiss Compact Zoom versions cover full frame, but they are double the price for half the focal range.

The one thing I find really annoying is the drop of T-stop towards the end of the focal range of this lens. But Zeiss has managed to implement a technology called gradiant T-Stop which will ensure very smooth and linear transition of aperture over the focal range.

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New Sony FDR-X3000R – 4K Action Cam with Optical Stabilizer

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on New Sony FDR-X3000R – 4K Action Cam with Optical Stabilizer
Sep 032016
 

In a week packed full of new camera announcements, the Sony FDR-X3000R action cam shows us that its not just about top-of-the-range, flagship cameras. With this significant announcement, Sony takes aim at the GoPro market yet again with their latest 4K-capable action cam with optical image stabilisation.

One of the main characteristics of the FDR-X3000R is the adoption of the Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology found in some of Sony’s handicam models. The B.O.SS system works by moving the entire optical path rather than just individual elements, and is supposed to achieve even greater shake reduction, making it ideal for action cam applications such as helmet or handlebar mounted operation.

In terms of hardware, the FDR-X3000R weighs only 114g, and features an 8.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor backed by a BIONZ X processor, the very same brains inside the Sony ɑ7 range, which allows for a full pixel readout without pixel binning. In addition, the new low-distortion Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens is adjustable in-camera to f=17 mm, f=23 mm and f=32 mm for Wide, Medium and Narrow settings respectively, and features a 3x smooth zoom while recording. All of this is housed in a splash and freezeproof body, making this action cam suitable for a variety of situations.

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