SIGMA fp Update – Cinema DNG RAW Internal Recording and More

 Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA fp Update – Cinema DNG RAW Internal Recording and More
Sep 162019
 

The SIGMA fp is very close to being in our hands. At IBC 2019 we talk to the Yamaki-san, creator of the SIGMA fp camera for a development update. The camera has come a long way since our last post about it, and SIGMA can confirm a number of specifications in our exclusive interview.

Back in July we reported about the surprise announcement about the SIGMA fp camera; the worlds smallest full frame, mirrorless camera. Check out what we found out in our article here.

The SIGMA fp hardware is now complete, and the camera itself is in production. SIGMA are still developing and fine tuning the firmware, which is in it’s beta stage.

SIGMA has previously used Foveon sensors in its mirrorless cameras, however this was not possible due to the required readout speed of the sensor. A CMOS sensor has been used instead.

SIGMA fp Recording Formats

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Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G Full-Frame E-Mount Lens Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G Full-Frame E-Mount Lens Announced
Sep 162019
 

During IBC 2019, also announced a new E-mount lens to be added to its already comprehensive line-up of glass: the Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G. This lens is a cinema lens which can also be controlled with AF, and it is compatible with all E-mount Full-Frame cameras, including the recently announced Sony FX9. Let’s take a closer look at this lens.

Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G

The Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G is Sony’s latest G master Full-Frame compatible lens. Indeed, this lens is compatible with the latest Sony FX9 camera but also with every other Alpha camera and even the Sony VENICE.


Sony is already teasing other Cinema G series lenses.

The lens design consists of two XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements, three aspheric lenses, and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glasses to reduce color distortions. On top of that, a Nano AR (Anti Reflection) coating should minimize lens flares and ghosting.

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SIRUI 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Lens Announced – Affordable APS-C Anamorphic Lens

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on SIRUI 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Lens Announced – Affordable APS-C Anamorphic Lens
Sep 162019
 

SIRUI announced their new 50mm f/1.8 1.33x anamorphic lens during this year’s IBC show in Amsterdam. The lens produces image circle covering APS-C sensors and will come in versions with Sony-FE mount, FUJIFILM X-mount, and Micro four thirds mount. Compared to other anamorphic lenses, it will be very affordable.

Anamorphic lenses can produce unique images with special characteristics (lens flares, oval bokeh, etc) and that’s why they are very popular for certain genres. For years, there have only been very expensive anamorphic lenses on the market and the only affordable alternative was to use an anamorphic adapter (like this one from SLR magic). This is changing and there are more and more affordable anamorphic lenses available. My colleague Gunther recently reviewed the VAZEN anamorphic 1.8x 40mm T2 lens fo M4/3 cameras. SIRUI is now introducing their own anamorphic lens.

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Sony a7R IV is Still a ‘Star Eater’ After a Certain Shutter Speed: Report

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Sony a7R IV is Still a ‘Star Eater’ After a Certain Shutter Speed: Report
Sep 162019
 

If you were hoping that Sony had finally completely removed the long-exposure noise reduction that causes its high-resolution a7R cameras to “eat stars,” you’re going to be disappointed. According to Jim Kasson, the Sony a7R IV eats stars to about the same degree as the a7R III.

Over on his blog, Kasson posted dark field spectra results for the Sony a7R IV at 1/8000 of a second, 2.5 seconds, and 3.2 seconds. The dark field spectra for each color “plane” at 1/8000 and 2.5 seconds look mostly flat: in other words, the way they’re supposed to.

But once you hit 3.2 seconds, as Kasson puts it, “all hell breaks loose” in every channel, and it’s particularly bad in the blue channel. You can see all the charts over on Kasson’s blog.

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Godox AD200 Pro Versus Geekoto GT-200, the Two Best Value Strobes

 Gear  Comments Off on Godox AD200 Pro Versus Geekoto GT-200, the Two Best Value Strobes
Sep 132019
 

The Godox AD200 Pro is considered by many to be the best value in photography strobes but Geekoto recently created their own competitor, the GT-200. Is this new strobe a better option? Let’s find out. 

Size

The Geekoto GT-200 is slightly smaller than the AD200 because it doesn’t have a removable flash head. If you don’t need the extra flashheads, you’ll appreciate the extra room in your bag.

Accessories

The Godox AD200 Pro comes with two flash heads; one speedlight style head and one barebulb style head while the GT-200 comes with a fix speedlight style flash head. The Geekoto comes with a removable handle that makes holding it easier.

Geekoto does sell a larger package that includes a softbox, light stand, grid, gels, and dome for $120 extra. These accessories are quite good and I believe they are worth the extra money. 

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Is Tamron About to Announce a 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras?

 Gear  Comments Off on Is Tamron About to Announce a 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras?
Sep 132019
 
Is Tamron About to Announce a 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras?

Rumors are circulating that Tamron is about to announce the launch of a lens that would complete its trio of fast zooms for Sony full-frame cameras with the 70-180mm f/2.8 lens. Will it be tiny, how much will it cost, and how will it stack up against Tamron’s two other amazing Sony f/2.8 zooms?

Sony Alpha Rumors is confidently reporting that the announcement will come from Tamron next month, and it would be very much in line with expectations. A few weeks ago, Tamron teased four new lenses, and a longer zoom would make their range of fast zooms for Sony complete. In keeping with the 17-28mm and the 28-75mm, Tamron seems intent on compromising on focal range rather than quality in order to keep size and cost down.

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Why I Bought the Sony a7R IV for Wildlife Photography

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Why I Bought the Sony a7R IV for Wildlife Photography
Sep 132019
 
Why I Bought the Sony a7R IV for Wildlife Photography

Before today’s launch of the Sony a7R IV in the U.S., I had the opportunity to use the new 61-megapixel camera on a few occasions. Ultimately, these hands-on experiences led me to purchasing it for animal photography and in this article I list a few reasons behind the decision.

First, a quick disclaimer. What I write below is not in defiance against any other camera system. Every major camera brand has absolutely killer options for bird and wildlife photography. My list consists of some features and specs I identified wanting in priority over other nice things to have in a camera, and everybody’s own personal requirements will be different.

Sony a7R IV, FE 200-600mm G, 1/1000 s at f/6.3, ISO 200. Crop mode active.

Megapixels

Hey, don’t laugh. I didn’t think a million megapixels would be a defining factor either. Yet here we are.

As all the headlines are quick to point out, the a7R IV has a 61 megapixel sensor. For some genres of photography, this is surely overkill. For me, I crop just about every single photo of wildlife I shoot to enlarge the animal in the frame. With the a7R IV, I’m never cropping down into the “danger zone” territory where the final resolution is pretty much only good for Instagram sharing.

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LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Announced

 Gear  Comments Off on LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Announced
Sep 122019
 

LockCircle announced the new ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 mirrorless cameras. The cage features modular design with detachable right sidebar to switch between half cage and full cage design. It offers many mounting threads and compatibility with LockPort connector savers. Top handle, mount supports, and 15mm rods baseplate are also available.

LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z cameras. Source: LockCircle

LockCircle is an Italian camera accessories manufacturer. They designed and built cages for many popular cameras in the last years. Now the company is announcing a new cage for Nikon’s full frame mirrorless cameras – Nikon Z 6 and Z 7. Let’s take a short look at them.

LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z Series

The LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE is designed for a tight fit around the Nikon Z cameras. It is not a one-piece cage, but rather a modular cage held together by multiple screws. It comes as a half cage – LockCircle calls it “asymmetrical design approach” – which leaves the right side of the camera unobstructed for right-hand camera grabbing and controlling with the original camera ergonomic feeling.

The cage can be, however, upgraded to the full cage design with a sidebar, which provides more mounting threads on the right side of the camera. It seems that the sidebar is very subtle, so holding the camera grip should not be a problem even with the full cage mounted. The cage is CNC machined from billet aircraft grade aluminum and offers a huge amount of 1/4-20 threads and couple of 3/8-16 threads.

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Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 Smartphone Gimbal on Kickstarter

 Gear  Comments Off on Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 Smartphone Gimbal on Kickstarter
Sep 122019
 

After the Zhiyun Smooth 4 mobile gimbal, the Chinese company recently launched a new Kickstarter campaign featuring a lightweight and pocket-sized smartphone gimbal: the Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2. But, with the recent release of the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, how does the Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 makes a difference? Let’s take a closer look.

Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 Ergonomics

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the compact form factor of the Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2. It doesn’t fold like the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, but the side-by-side size comparison below is impressive. Once the Osmo Mobile 3 is folded, the form-factor is similar to the SMOOTH-Q2. Otherwise, the Zhiyun gimbal looks easier to transport and bring with you.

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Fujifilm Unveils the X-A7, Its New $700 Entry-Level X Series Mirrorless

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Fujifilm Unveils the X-A7, Its New $700 Entry-Level X Series Mirrorless
Sep 122019
 

Fujifilm has announced the new X-A7 mirrorless camera, a $700 entry-level mirrorless X Series camera that replaces the X-A5.

“The X-A7’s compact, lightweight form factor, outstanding image quality, and multitude of new and enhanced features position it as an ideal and timely entry into Fujifilm’s popular family of X Series mirrorless cameras,” Fujifilm says.

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iPhone 11 Pro a very tempting upgrade. But should you?

 Apple, Gear  Comments Off on iPhone 11 Pro a very tempting upgrade. But should you?
Sep 112019
 
iPhone 11 Pro a very tempting upgrade. But should you?

There might be some wisdom to Apple’s once-a-year launch cadence and seemingly more modest upgrades year after year. Android OEMs launch twice a year or more, making the gaps between each flagship model smaller and the features so much closer to each other. 

When Apple finally does make big changes, it makes huge changes. That happened with the iPhone X and we might be seeing the same revolution with the iPhone 11 and especially the iPhone 11 Pro. While the new camera bump is the center of attraction, it’s not the only reason iPhone fans and users will be thinking hard about upgrading to this year’s latest.

What’s New This Year

It’s hard to deny that the cameras are the star of Apple’s 2019 iPhones and, fortunately, they’re not as terrible as leaks made them out to be. Going beyond appearances, the new cameras are definitely worth talking about and considering.

Of course, they still have to be tested in the wild but Apple has not been one to terribly disappoint in that arena. The 12 megapixel front camera is also a groundbreaking jump from a company that has been rather stingy when it comes to FaceTime iPhone cameras.

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Overview of the Sony a6100 and a6600 APS-C Cameras for Photo and Video

 Gear  Comments Off on Overview of the Sony a6100 and a6600 APS-C Cameras for Photo and Video
Sep 112019
 

Sony has introduced two new crop-sensor camera bodies with the a6100 and a6600. Were they worth the wait?

In this first look at the two new Sony APS-C cameras, Dan and Sally Watson try them out for both stills and video and give their impressions. Sony also announced two new APS-C lenses alongside the a6100 and a6600, the E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS and E 16-55mm f/2.8 G, and the couple share the general takeaways after using them as well. Overall, these two cameras keep the APS-C line up to date for new Sony customers but lack any real head-turning features.

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Fstoppers Reviews the Haida M15 150mm Magnetic Filter Holder System

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Fstoppers Reviews the Haida M15 150mm Magnetic Filter Holder System
Sep 102019
 
Fstoppers Reviews the Haida M15 150mm Magnetic Filter Holder System

With extreme wide-angle lenses on the market from all the major players now that don’t accept screw-in filters, filter manufacturers have stepped up their offerings with larger filter holders and dedicated attachment rings. One such offering is Haida’s M15 Magnetic Filter Holder

As with my last review of Haida’s M10 system, this test unit was provided for me by their marketing division. I’ve had a couple of weeks with it and the Fujifilm 8-16mm f/2.8 and am now ready to share my thoughts on the holder. 

While the M10 will be fit for most people’s purposes, those using ultra-wide lenses like a 12-24mm will likely need a dedicated filter system. Haida offers adapters for all the major ultra-wide angles including the Sony 12-24mm f/4, Canon’s 11-24mm f/4, and Tokina’s 16-28mm f/2.8. You can see the rest of their dedicated adapters on the product page

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Apple Reveals Entry-Level iPhone 11 with Dual Cameras and Night Mode

 Apple  Comments Off on Apple Reveals Entry-Level iPhone 11 with Dual Cameras and Night Mode
Sep 102019
 

Today at a “Special Event” at Steve Jobs Theater, Apple revealed what it has in store for the much-leaked iPhone 11, and the news is good for smartphone photography lovers who were hoping Apple would catch up with Android phones like the Google Pixel 3.

The iPhone 11 is the next generation of the entry-level iPhone XR model, and it adds much more capable photography features to what was previously a single-camera smartphone. The new dual-camera setup on the rear ditches the telephoto camera for dual 12MP wide-angle and ultra-wide angle cameras, giving you a lot more versatility in the photos you can capture. 

The 12MP wide-angle camera uses a 26mm f/1.8, 6-element lens with optical image stabilization and 100% on-sensor PDAF pixel coverage. The 12MP ultra-wide angle camera goes a lot wider, giving you a 13mm f/2.4, 5-element lens with a 120° field of view. From what we can tell, this one will NOT be optically stabilized.



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Apple Unveils iPhone 11 Pro with Triple Camera and ‘Deep Fusion’ Technology

 Apple, Gear  Comments Off on Apple Unveils iPhone 11 Pro with Triple Camera and ‘Deep Fusion’ Technology
Sep 102019
 

In addition to the dual-camera, “entry-level” iPhone 11 that Apple introduced today, the electronics company also revealed the much-anticipated triple camera smartphone that everyone has been expecting. Called the iPhone 11 Pro, it is the first iPhone to get the “Pro” monicker previously reserved for the company’s computers.

The iPhone 11 Pro will come in two flavors: a 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. Both phones feature Apple’s latest A13 Bionic processor and an impressive new ‘Super Retina XDR’ OLED display that offers a reported 1,200 nits peak brightness and a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio while somehow also being 15 percent more energy efficient.

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A Review of Sigma’s 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Lens

 Gear  Comments Off on A Review of Sigma’s 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
Sep 092019
 

Traditionally, the most extreme supertelephoto lenses have mostly remained the purview of first-party manufacturers aside from a few exceptions, but Sigma recently dipped its toes back into the waters with the 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports lens. Can it keep up with Canon and Nikon’s variants? This great review will answer that question for you. 

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Canon C500 Mark II First Look – 6K, Full Frame, Cinema RAW Light, Modular Concept

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Canon C500 Mark II First Look – 6K, Full Frame, Cinema RAW Light, Modular Concept
Sep 092019
 

Canon just introduced the Canon C500 Mark II, the long-awaited successor to the C500, which takes a much more modular approach than previous cameras in Canon’s Cinema line-up. Let’s take a look!

It’s been over 7 years since the introduction of the original Canon C500, which used to be Canon’s flagship cinema camera before the C700 was introduced in 2016. And it’s also already 4 years ago since the C300 Mark II was introduced. So with the competition heating up and new cameras being released left and right, it was definitely time for an update of Canon’s cinema line. And today is the day this is happening. 

Before we take a look at the modular design of the camera, let’s look at the tech specs.

The bare-bones body of the Canon C500 Mark II – Photo © cinema5D 2019

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Z CAM ZRAW vs. Blackmagic RAW Underexposed – Which One is Better? Our Lab Test

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Z CAM ZRAW vs. Blackmagic RAW Underexposed – Which One is Better? Our Lab Test
Sep 092019
 

Z CAM E2 newest firmware (0.89) is already available for downloading (see our article by clicking here), and the big news is, it allows internal RAW recording. That made the Z CAM E2a perfect candidate for our cinema5D latitude test. How does it fare? How does it compete directly with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K? Interested in finding more? Please read on…

BMPCC 4K and Z CAM E2. Photo credit: cinema5D

For quite a while I have been using the Z CAM E2, a camera made by the Chinese manufacturer Z CAM. I shot a mini documentary with it in India (see my hands-on review here) and currently I am testing the VAZEN Anamorphic 1.8x 40mm T2 lens with it as it offers this nice almost full sensor 3696×2772 mode in ProRes HQ which desqueezes to a 1:2.4 ratio (review is coming soon).

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Atomos Shogun 7 – Hands-On with Jeromy Young

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Atomos Shogun 7 – Hands-On with Jeromy Young
Apr 302019
 

Ahead of NAB 2019, Atomos announced the Atomos Shogun 7 which we reported about here. This workhorse can record in ProRes RAW up to 5.7K resolution, it features live switching capabilities, and the 1500 nits HDR display can show you up to 15+ stops of dynamic range. We had the chance to talk with Atomos’ CEO Jeromy Young about their new flagship recorder and the main differences with the Atomos Inferno.

Atomos Shogun 7 Tech Specs and Features

The Atomos Shogun 7 is one of the most powerful external recorders in the market. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Accepts RAW signals and records it to ProRes RAW, ProRes, CinemaDNG and Avid DNxHD.
  • Recording up to 5.7K at 30fps, 4K at 120fps and 2K at 240fps.
  • Color sampling in 10-bit 4:2:2 available in ProRes and DNxHD up to DCI 4K at 60fpd and 2K at 240fps.
  • Four 6G/3G-SDI or dual 12G-SDI inputs, two 4K-SDI 12G or HD-SDI 3G/6G outputs.
  • One HDMI 2.0 input, and one HDMI 2.0 output with HDMI-SDI cross-conversion.
  • Optional audio breakout cable available for XLR audio input, with phantom power. Also, there is a 3.5mm mini-jack output.
  • It is powered via Sony L-series batteries. Two slots support hot swapping for continuous power.
  • Record to 2.5″ SSD/HDD media. This can be approved SATA SSD drives, using the included Master Caddy II, or AtomX SSDmini drives.
  • Four ARRI anti-rotation mounting points on the top and bottom for secure mounting.

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Full LEITZ PRIME Set and Two LEITZ ZOOM Lenses Announced

 Gear  Comments Off on Full LEITZ PRIME Set and Two LEITZ ZOOM Lenses Announced
Apr 302019
 

After last year’s exclusive sneak peak, Leitz/Leica recently finally unveiled their new LEITZ PRIME lenses and LEITZ ZOOMs. While the PRIMEs come in a full set of 11 lenses, the ZOOMs come as two lenses covering focal lengths from 25mm to 125mm. And all 13 lenses are color-matched!



Just a brief history course before we get started about these new primes and zooms: Regarding the company names Leitz and Leica, there might be some confusion, but to clarify things, here it is in a nutshell: it’s basically the same company. It was founded as Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH and –much later, in the 1980s– transformed into Leica (Leitz Camera).

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