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!
GearComments Off on 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.
GearComments Off on Review: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras
The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens is less than half the price of Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. Does this lens live up to the hype?
I had a chance to finally use the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD which was notoriously backordered for months and months after its release. Surprisingly, the lens’ performance blew past my expectations, especially when it came to sharpness. A couple things I never really paid attention to before testing were its weight and size, but it really was impressive to hold in my hands and feel that difference. It does not seem like a full frame f/2.8 zoom lens.
It’s very sharp and the resolution holds up on the 61-megapixel Sony a7R IV.
Slim and light for its class; has a 67mm filter size.
The continuous autofocus kept pace with Real-time Eye AF in a studio setting.
Some level of weather resistance. Not sure if it’s the lens mount’s rubber gasket making a good seal, but it’s a notably tight fit to get on and off the camera body. I guess if it’s doing its job, that’s a good thing.
GearComments Off on Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens Review
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.
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.
GearComments Off on Nikon D850M vs D850: A Comparison of Monochrome and Color DSLRs
Nikon introduced the Nikon D850 in 2017 with a 45.7-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) Nikon-specified/Sony-designed/TowerJazz manufactured sensor. The Nikon D850 is regarded as one of Nikon’s best cameras and continues to range at the top of consumer DSLRs.
Full disclosure: I’m the president of MaxMax.com, which makes the monochrome D850 (D850M), and this article is blatantly self-promoting. That being said, everything happens to be true.
My business MaxMax has been converting a limited range of cameras to monochrome since 2009. After being encouraged by The Desert Fireball Network of Curtin University in Australia to convert a Nikon D850 to monochrome, MaxMax decided to try it.
GearComments Off on Panasonic S1 & Canon FD lenses – Full Frame, 10-bit Recording Kit Under $3500
Are you playing with the thought to enter into the 10-bit full frame filmmaking world but think it’s prohibitively expensive? Here is a sub $3500 suggestion. If you are willing to invest money and time, the combination of working with the Panasonic S1 equipped with Canon’s FD lenses is fun and a good reason to collect some older items too.
Panasonic S1 with the Canon FD 35mm f2 lens. Image credit: Gunther Machu
If you are like me, an enthusiast hobbyist who is digging the full frame look but don’t want to go back to 8-bit codecs, then I’m sure we are sharing the same dilemma. I’ve started filming 10 years ago with a Panasonic GH1 and later moved to the original BMPCC camera but the full frame “look” always fascinated me and 8 vs 10-bit became a deal breaker when choosing my next camera.
My Wish List When Considering a Camera
a full frame sensor camera to get this creamy shallow depth of field with fast primes
a robust 4K 4:2:2 10-bit internal codec
the cam has a LOG image picture profile that provides good dynamic range and is flexible enough for grading in post
in body image (sensor) stabilization (IBIS) would be great
the audio department should provide good sound quality with a headphone output, of course
a good viewfinder and/or screen is mandatory
decent battery life
lenses should cover wides and moderate tele and should be fast (below f4, ideally f2) – otherwise you would defy the purpose to go for full frame
in addition, the lenses should provide robust mechanics, a buttery smooth focus throw to allow for precise manual focus adjustment with hard stops at close and infinity focus
I don’t like messing with rigs, external recorders, HDMI cables, and all the auxiliary stuff and need a compact footprint
As a hobbyist, I just don’t want to spend more than $3500 all in all
GearComments Off on ZY Optics Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 1-5X Super Macro Lens Released – Extended Working Distances
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?
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 ART Lens for E-Mount is Half the Price of Sony’s Version
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.
GearComments Off on QooCam 8K – The World’s Smallest 8K 360 Camera
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.
GearComments Off on SIGMA fp LOG Picture Profile and RAW Output Recording via HDMI Coming Next Year
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!
Gear, Mirrorless, NewsComments Off on 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.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Tokina Unveils Updated 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs
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.”
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers
Blind Spot Gear, the British company specialized in niche products for filmmakers, just released its 7th Kickstarter campaign: the Power Cage & Bracket. This 10.000 mAh power bank with 45W of power output is designed with filmmakers in mind. The Power Cage features two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a 7.2V DC barrel to power your camera and your accessories. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Blind Spot Gear
Blind Spot Gear is a British company well-known for launching innovative products on the market via Kickstarter campaigns. Earlier this year, they successfully launched the Crack Light. In the past, they also released the Scorpion Light V2, the Tile Light Duo, and the Power Junkie – you can watch our review here – which is a tiny and convenient Sony NP-F style batterie distribution box.
Nowadays, cameras and accessories require a lot of power to run for hours. Small internal batteries don’t get the job done; this is especially true with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4Kand 6K, Sony mirrorless cameras, and so on. To solve that problem, you can run your camera and accessories with a V-Mount or Anton Bauer battery. But, this kind of external power source is expensive and quite bulky.
GearComments Off on ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses Add More Character to Supreme Line
ZEISS Supreme Prime cine lenses might not be the go-to glass for an average indie job but these lenses certainly are a cutting-edge state of the art pieces of technology. The latest addition to the family goes by the name ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance. Optically superb, yet slightly warmer and with added character.
ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses. (image credit: ZEISS)
This new line of high-end cine lenses comes in seven focal lengths to start with: 21mm / 25mm / 29mm / 35mm / 50mm / 85mm and 100mm. All of them share the same specs other than focal length:
fast T1.5 aperture
length: 119mm (4.7″) / front to PL mount flange
95mm (3.7″) front diameter
weight: 1.22 kg (3.13 lbs) -> 50mm up to 1.7 kg (3.74 lbs) -> 100mm
close focus (from image plane): 0.26 m (10″) -> 25mm up to 1.1m (3’9″) -> 100mm
new T* blue coating
These are the facts, but what’s the story?
ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance
These new lenses are branded Radiance, as in Glow or Luminosity, even Vibrancy, maybe. According to ZEISS, they produce a slightly warmer overall look in comparison to the original Supreme Primes. However, the real magic here is how these Radiance lenses handle flares. The cinematographer should be able to obtain control if and how a given lens is flaring and to use these ‘optical errors’ to a creative benefit. And that’s exactly the promise of the new T* blue coating.
GearComments Off on Tiny and Capable: A Review of the DJI Mavic Mini
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.
GearComments Off on 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.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on FilmConvert Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H Now Available
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
Gear, MirrorlessComments Off on Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Sensor with 5K/30P and 4K/60P 10-Bit Video Internally
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.
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.
Gear, MirrorlessComments Off on A First Look at the Fujifilm X-Pro3 Camera
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.