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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A Review of the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

 Gear  Comments Off on A Review of the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens
Dec 122019
 

Tamron’s 28-75mm f/2.8 lens has been a runaway hit for the company among Sony users, with its combination of a useful focal length, f/2.8 aperture, light weight, image quality, and affordable price making it highly popular. The 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD is the accompanying wide angle zoom, and this great video review takes a look at the lens to help you decide if it is right for you. 

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Panasonic S1 – EXCLUSIVE $400 cinema5D Discount + Free $200 V-Log Upgrade

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic S1 – EXCLUSIVE $400 cinema5D Discount + Free $200 V-Log Upgrade
Dec 102019
 

Panasonic is offering a sizeable discount on our “Mirrorless Camera of the Year“, the Panasonic S1, exclusively to cinema5D readers. Read on to learn more!

Last week, we published our long “mirrorless camera of the year” post, and while there have been MANY contenders, the Panasonic S1 came out on top for its perfect price/performance ratio. And Panasonic seems really happy about this result – they got in touch offering an exclusive $400 discount for cinema5D readers, plus the V-Log Filmmaker Upgrade worth $199 for free!

In order to get hold of this offer, you have to order the Panasonic S1 via this exclusive link at B&H.

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Samsung Is Making a Smartphone Camera That Should Make Astrophotographers Very Excited

 Gear  Comments Off on Samsung Is Making a Smartphone Camera That Should Make Astrophotographers Very Excited
Dec 052019
 
Samsung Is Making a Smartphone Camera That Should Make Astrophotographers Very Excited

Smartphone users might see an interesting development with the release of the Samsung Galaxy 11 next year as the phone is rumored to feature a camera sensor that is specifically designed for low light photography.

Like many smartphone manufacturers, current Samsung models feature “Bright Night,” a software-based feature that uses AI to stack multiple images to create a better exposed photograph. By contrast, this would be a dedicated low light camera on the back of the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy 11. It’s said that Samsung is also working on a “Night Hyperlapse” mode for capturing low light time lapses.

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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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ZY Optics Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 1-5X Super Macro Lens Released – Extended Working Distances

 Gear  Comments Off on ZY Optics Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 1-5X Super Macro Lens Released – Extended Working Distances
Dec 022019
 

ZY Optics announced a new Zhongyi Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 Super Macro lens. It offers 1-5X magnification and extended working distances. The closest working distance at 5x magnification is 3.93” (10cm) and at 1x magnification it is 10.7” (27.2cm). This fully manual lens is made out of metal, covers full-frame sensors, and comes in a variety of lens mounts. It is available now for $499.

ZY Optics Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 Super Macro lens. Background image credit: Richard Wong

ZY Optics (Zhong-Yi optics) is a Chinese company manufacturing affordable lenses under their brand Mitakon (Zhongyi). Their newly announced Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 lens brings 1-5X magnification macro feature with extended working distances. What are its features?

Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 Super Macro Lens

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Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 ART Lens for E-Mount is Half the Price of Sony’s Version

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 ART Lens for E-Mount is Half the Price of Sony’s Version
Nov 182019
 

One of Sigma’s most anticipated lenses for the full-frame Sony E-Mount cameras has an official price tag, and it’s shockingly affordable. The recently announced Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art lens—a direct competitor to Sony’s expensive 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master—will begin shipping in early December for just $1,100.

The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art—which is designed from the ground up for full-frame mirrorless cameras—will be available for both the Sony E-Mount and Sigma/Panaasonic/Leica’s own L-mount, but it’s gotten the most attention from Sony a7 series users who want a native 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for less than the (admittedly exceptional) $2,200 Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. The main third-party alternative, up until now, has been the even-more-affordable Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, but that’s not a true 24-70.

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QooCam 8K – The World’s Smallest 8K 360 Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on QooCam 8K – The World’s Smallest 8K 360 Camera
Nov 182019
 

Kandao has launched the world’s smallest 8K 360 camera. The QooCam 8K offers 8K 10-bit video up to 200Mbps at 30fps and 4K at up to 120fps.

Kandao 8K – Image source cinema5D

I’ve been using the original QooCam for about a year. I’m also using the Insta360 One X and have used the Insta360 One before that. However, there’s two things that have been holding me back. The first thing I’ve been waiting for is 8K in an affordable, accessible 360 camera. The second thing is 10-bit video encoding at high bit-rates (something that also really needs to come to smartphones very soon). The fact is, 8K is really a minimum to capture a full 360 with sufficient detail and clarity. QooCam has delivered this and more with the QooCam 8K.

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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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Apple Unveils 16-inch MacBook Pro with Up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of Storage

 Apple  Comments Off on Apple Unveils 16-inch MacBook Pro with Up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of Storage
Nov 132019
 

The long-awaited, long-rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro has officially landed, and it promises to fix all of the gripes that users had with the previous flagship 15-inch MacBook Pros while increasing performance by “up to 80%” for designers, photographers, video editors, and everyone in between.

The point of the 16-inch MacBook Pro seems to be two-fold.

First, Apple wanted to address many of the complaints that users have voiced about the previous flagship 15-inch models: a poorly designed keyboard that broke easily, no escape key, insufficient cooling, and maximum specs that had fallen behind the competition. Second, Apple wanted to try and pack in as much power as possible, putting the top-of-the-line specs of this machine into a league of their own, at least compared to every other Apple notebook ever made.

We haven’t yet had the chance to test this computer ourselves (stay tuned for that…) but Apple seems to have succeeded on both counts.

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Tiny and Capable: A Review of the DJI Mavic Mini

 Gear  Comments Off on Tiny and Capable: A Review of the DJI Mavic Mini
Nov 122019
 

The DJI Mavic Mini is a ludicrously small drone, but that does not necessarily mean it does not come without a set of professional features. This great review takes a comprehensive look at the new drone to help you decide if it is the right one for you. 

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An Experiential Review of the Atomos Shinobi External Monitor for Photography

 Gear  Comments Off on An Experiential Review of the Atomos Shinobi External Monitor for Photography
Nov 122019
 
An Experiential Review of the Atomos Shinobi External Monitor for Photography

The use of external monitors in shooting stills at honestly seemed unnecessary at first, especially in shooting more pace-sensitive kinds of photography. But as an architectural photographer who generally has more room for precise compositions, it seemed more feasible. 

External monitors are more commonly used in shooting videos than photos. There is a wide variety of external monitors that are compatible with most modern cameras (at least those with an HDMI port). Atomos is one of those brands most known for such, especially their bigger monitors that come with a built-in recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V. Given that architectural photography deals with very crucial precise composition and attention to details, the use of the Atomos Shinobi seemed sensible. 

Build and Design

The Shinobi comes in a 5.94 x 3.6 x 1.24 inch polycarbonate body that weighs only 196 grams (battery not included). It has 1/4” female mounting threads on the top and bottom parts, a 3.5mm audio output port, HDMI port, and an SD card slot on the sides. The SD slot does not function as storage but works as a way to import color profiles instead. Personally, the only thing I would change about this is to give it a more rugged exterior probably with rubber protectors on the corners. 

Display and Features

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FilmConvert Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H Now Available

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on FilmConvert Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H Now Available
Nov 072019
 

FilmConvert has announced the addition of a new camera pack for the Panasonic S1 and S1H cameras. If you are a FilmConvert Pro or FilmConvert Nitrate user, you can download these new profiles for free. Let’s take a closer look


FilmConvert
 Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H

The Panasonic LUMIX S1 and LUMIX S1H – the version for filmmakers – are currently on fire! Indeed, the S1H is the first Netflix approved mirrorless camera. Also, if you want to learn more about the S1H, you can take a look at our complete S1H review by clicking here and our lab test by clicking here.

FilmConvertS1S1H_Featured

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Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Sensor with 5K/30P and 4K/60P 10-Bit Video Internally

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Sensor with 5K/30P and 4K/60P 10-Bit Video Internally
Nov 072019
 

Leica has announced its new L-Mount full-frame mirrorless camera. The Leica SL2 features a 47MP full-frame CMOS sensor with 5-axis image stabilization. It is capable of recording 5K video at up to 30fps, 4K video at up to 60fps, and FullHD video at up to 180fps, all in 10-bit H.264. The camera features a high-resolution EVF, full-size HDMI port, two 3.5mm jack ports for headphones and microphone, and an all-metal magnesium body. It will be available from November 21st, 2019 for $5,995.

Leica SL2 full-frame mirrorless camera. Source: Leica

It has already been four years since the German premium brand introduced its Leica SL full-frame mirrorless camera. Our Leica SL review and Lab test articles from 2015 are a good reminder of its video capabilities. The newly announced Leica SL2 promises to bring even more video-oriented features. Let’s take a look!

Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Stabilized Sensor

The new Leica SL2 features a 47.3MP 3:2 full-frame CMOS sensor and Maestro III image processor, which enables up to 20 fps continuous stills shooting with an electronic shutter, 10 fps with a mechanical shutter, and 6 fps with a mechanical shutter and AF-C, for up to 78 consecutive DNG files with a color depth of 14 bits per RGB channel. The sensor features a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system, which minimizes the appearance of camera shakes when shooting handheld.

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A First Look at the Fujifilm X-Pro3 Camera

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on A First Look at the Fujifilm X-Pro3 Camera
Oct 292019
 

The X-Pro3 is the latest camera from Fujifilm in their highly lauded X Series, and with it comes a highly interesting design with lots of features and power to spare. Is this unique camera the right one for you? This excellent first look video will give you a pretty comprehensive overview that should help you decide. 

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Blackmagic Camera 6.6 Firmware for BMPCC 4K and 6K Released

 Gear  Comments Off on Blackmagic Camera 6.6 Firmware for BMPCC 4K and 6K Released
Oct 292019
 

Blackmagic Design is continuously working hard to improve its BMPCC 4K and BMPCC 6K video cameras, and they now released a new firmware update: Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6. This update unlocks a couple of new recording modes, a built-in camera horizon tool, improvements to the autofocus performances, and many other features. Let’s take a closer look at it!

BlackmagicCameraSetup6_6_Featured

Image credit: Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6

Blackmagic Design has now announced a new firmware update for its BMPCC 4K and 6K models called Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6. This firmware update improves a lot of features on both Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras including:

  • Added support for Blackmagic Pocket Battery Grip. The Battery Grip was announced during NAB 2019, and support up to two Sony NP-F style batteries for extended battery life.
  • Added support for language localization.
  • Added support for built-in camera horizon tool. This feature is useful for making sure your camera is perfectly level.
  • Added support for pinch to zoom up to 8x magnification.
  • USB PTP control support.
  • You now can type in customized frame guide ratios; you have no limit anymore to the built-in ones.
  • It has improved autofocus performance.
BlackmagicCameraSetup6_6_01

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Panasonic S1H Lab Test – Dynamic Range and Rolling Shutter Results

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Panasonic S1H Lab Test – Dynamic Range and Rolling Shutter Results
Oct 292019
 

Finally, we were able to put the Panasonic S1H to the test in our cinema5D lab. Looking at the various frame rates and resolutions, as well as the full frame and Super 35 modes of this camera, this turned out to be quite an endeavour. Ready for a lab marathon? Read on…


Panasonic S1H – Image credit: cinema5D

I have long waited for the day to come when I would be able to put the Panasonic S1H through our lab test procedures. I sold my Sony a7S II a while ago expecting a successor to be announced soon, now finding myself impatient in the waiting position for my next camera purchase … will this cam be it?

Spoiler alert: lab results are very impressive – the Panasonic S1H is the first camera in our tests, that shows nearly identical dynamic range results for the two ISO settings of the dual gain sensor! I will share most of the results in detail with you, so this is going to be a long read. Sorry about that…

As described by my colleagues Nino, Jeff, and Johnnie in detail here, the Panasonic S1H is designed with a “video first” mindset by Panasonic and ticks a lot of my personal boxes. I was even hoping for an internal ProRes recording option, but dream on my friends (just to be clear, Panasonic and Atomos are working together in delivering 5.9K ProRes RAW data output to Atomos Ninja V recorder. More info can be found here).

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