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

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

The capabilities of image sensors are constantly getting better, also in the area of the ubiquitous small smartphone sensors. Sony has developed a new 3-layer stacked high speed CMOS sensor with DRAM. It promises to minimise image distortion and add super slow motion capabilities to future smartphones.

Sony announced the development of the industry’s first 3-layer stacked CMOS sensor for smartphones. Compared to traditional 2-layer sensors, the new Sony sensor features an added DRAM layer. The purpose of this extra layer is to increase data readout speeds and make it possible to capture still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion (something we also call “rolling shutter”) as well as super slow motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second in 1080p.

Read More:

cinema5d

~

Schneider Optics Announces New Cine Prime Tilt Lenses by; Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on Schneider Optics Announces New Cine Prime Tilt Lenses by; Jakub Han
Feb 022017
 

A few days ago, German optics manufacturer Schneider announced a new range of full-frame cine prime tilt lenses. This dynamic functionality allows for extended focusing possibilities and tweaking of the depth of field in your shots.
Introduced on January 27th, these new Xenon primes from Schneider are the world’s first full-frame Cine Primes tilt lenses. In terms of design, they are basically regular Schneider Xenon full frame primes, just with the added tilt function. If tilt is left at 0°, there is no loss of image quality or sharpness compared to standard Xenon primes.

Read More:

cinema5d

~

Honest MacBook Pro Review Says the New Laptop is Apple’s 5D Mark IV

 Apple  Comments Off on Honest MacBook Pro Review Says the New Laptop is Apple’s 5D Mark IV
Jan 242017
 

In a single sentence, photographer and reviewer Jaron Schneider summed up the problem with Apple’s new MacBook Pro: it’s basically Apple’s 5D Mark IV. Too much time and build-up meant insanely high expectations, and Apple didn’t come close to matching them even if they did release a good product.

Schneider’s MacBook Pro review is one of the best we’ve seen. It does a great job of staying neutral, starting out on a positive note, explaining what it is Apple “fanboys” are chasing and why they’re willing to put up with so much, and then giving Apple a well-deserved lashing for the ways in which the new MBP falls short.

The question he’s really trying to answer is: is the MacBook Pro really “Pro,” and the answer seems to be “sort of.” The ultimate problem is that Apple tried to please everyone, and in the process didn’t really satisfy anyone. In Scheider’s words, “[The MacBook Pro] is a wonderful, beautiful product… that is in constant disagreement with itself.”

Read More:

petapixel

~

The Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera is Finally Here and Shoots Video, by Sebastian Woberr

 Gear  Comments Off on The Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera is Finally Here and Shoots Video, by Sebastian Woberr
Jan 212017
 

A few months ago Fujifilm unveiled its new mirrorless medium format camera that also shoots video, the Fujifilm GFX 50S. Today they’ve finally released all the details, including the GFX 50S video capabilities, pricing and availability.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S is a Big Thing for Photographers

We’re all about video functionality here at cinema5D, but first and foremost, the Fujifilm GFX 50S is significant news for photographers as it introduces a much more affordable medium format system, including lenses and accessories, in comparison to other systems in this field. Now it’s official, that the new GFX 50S goes for $6,499.

Other benefits of the Fujifilm GFX 50S is its compact size, the removable OLED viewfinder with close to Full HD resolution and of course the high sensor resolution of 51.4-megapixels (8256 x 6192). Fujifilm is also releasing three lenses as part of the new GF series, which cover a variety of focal lengths and promises more lens releases throughout 2017.

 

Read More:

cinema5d

~

Yi Erida tricopter drone carries the new 4K+ 60p Action Camera to new heights

 Gear  Comments Off on Yi Erida tricopter drone carries the new 4K+ 60p Action Camera to new heights
Jan 112017
 

Yi has launched a new version of what they are claim is the world’s ‘fastest tricopter drone’ (although we have no idea which tricopter drone previously held the record so its a bit hard to verify), the Yi Erida. The company says the Erida is exceptionally fast and agile, and can reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (120 km/h). To put that speed into perspective the DJI Inspire 2 can fly at up to 58 mph or 94 kph in Sport mode.

The only major difference between the new drone and the one that was originally announced in the middle of last year, is that it will now include the company’s latest YI 4K+ Action Camera. The 4K+ the only action camera in the world that can capture UHD video at up to 60fps. The Erida also has a built-in advanced gimbal system.

For those not familiar with the drone, the Yi Erida features patented folding rotors which helps make the drone more portable. It can be controlled from any mobile device using the compatible YI Erida mobile app, which means there is no need for a remote control. From the app, users can set the flight mode, choose the height and shooting angle, control takeoff and landing, and check battery status, distance and flight time. If you don’t want to use a smart phone or tablet to control the Erida, it is possible to connect a regular RC remote control.

The Erida also has a claimed maximum flying time of up to 40 minutes. The drone weighs 1.3 kg (2.86lb) and is made out of carbon fibre. The company also uses a very unique three-rotor design and innovative aeronautics to make the drone capable of flying at such high speeds.

As far as built in safety features go the Erida uses Yi’s custom LIDAR system. This system has built-in laser scanners that automatically increases the altitude if the surface elevates. The LIDAR system operates at altitudes up to 6,000 meters, and is effective at up to 30 meters. The Erida also works with Beidou, GPS and GLONASS satellites to provide high accuracy and safety of flight. Supporting messages include integrity protection, geofencing, and spoofing detection.

Read More:

newsshooter

~

The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu by: Fabian Chaundy

 Gear, News  Comments Off on The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu by: Fabian Chaundy
Jan 082017
 

With the expected shipping date for the Panasonic GH5 just over the horizon (here’s our detailed feature GH5 hands-on post from earlier today), we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu to chat about some of the more technical aspects of the next member of the popular GH line of mirrorless cameras. Check out our interview at cinema5D HQ… shot, of course, on the Panasonic GH5.

We all know how much of a cut-throat business the camera world is, with manufacturers constantly trying to one-up one another in a constant and quick succession of new camera releases. As the first big camera release of 2017, the Panasonic GH5 aims to come out swinging, promising to bring a host of truly nice features for indie filmmakers. And about time, too, as after almost 3 years, the popular GH4 was slowly starting to lag behind next to the competition.

But before diving into the great features that the GH5 will bring in a couple of months, we first wanted to know why Panasonic didn’t decide to go all out with some much-requested bells and whistles, especially given its popularity among filmmakers both amateur and professional. So, Panasonic, why didn’t you include internal ND filters and RAW recording?

Read More:

cinema5D

~

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

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD by: Graham Sheldon
Jan 082017
 

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: 

Watch our new interview about the GH5 with Panasonic advisor M. Uematsu in this new article by clicking here.

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 will be available in a 4:3 aspect ratio in the Summer and 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.

**Update: The camera ships with Anamorphic 4K (4:3) with H.264 compression enabled. Come Summer 2017, 6K (4:3) will be shootable in H.265 compression with free firmware update. Firmware schedule below.  

Unfortunately, if you previously purchased V-Log for your GH4 you will not be able to transfer that update over to the new GH5. A new purchase is required.

While the GH5 has the same dynamic range as the Panasonic GH4, it has slightly improved lowlight performance, but I wouldn’t call this a lowlight camera by any means. We were presented with a ISO 6400 video sample and noise in the picture was very evident. On top of that, when shooting with high ISO settings, the camera will automatically reduce noise internally. This feature cannot currently be turned off and can only be controlled via the menu with high/mid/ and low settings. Panasonic is certainly willing to listen to feedback and might consider adding a complete “off position button” if there is a demand for it.

Color depth is improved and the GH5 will eventually shoot internal 4:2:2 10bit, compared to the 4:2:0 8bit of its predecessor, but launches with 4:2:0 8bit only in IPB compression. 4:2:2 10bit color is double the information of 4:2:0 and provides greater grading flexibility in the post process before the image falls apart.

Here is some gorgeous footage, shot on GH5, from the good folks over at Neumann Films:

Read More:

cinema5D

~

Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han
Jan 012017
 

Sphere Pro lens is a new product from Sphereoptics — a young startup from New York. It brings 360 video capability to conventional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. No stitching is required so converting videos to spherical format is easier and faster. 

The Sphere Pro lens is intended to be mounted (for best results) or held pointed upwards and it is designed to capture a 360° horizontal and 180° vertical field of view. That makes it one of a kind. It is a 35mm full frame format lens and has a Nikon F mount, but you can mount it to most cameras using an applicable adapter. The aperture is fixed at f/8 and focus is fixed as well (best at 40″/1meter).

From the test video you can see the image quality is not perfect, but for a quick VR experience it is sufficient. This lens gives you the ability to shoot conventional content with your personal camera and then quickly switch lenses and record a spherical video with the same body. If you wanted a better quality image you could mount the lens to a RED Cinema camera and shoot in significantly higher resolution, such as 6K. The image outcome will get better in line with the sensors used, which is an excellent feature of the device.

How does Sphere Pro lens work?

The device uses a special toroidal mirror with a reflective surface and series of optical elements to capture the full sphere of light around the lens into a circle-like image on the camera sensor. The resolution is therefore only dependent on the smallest dimension of the sensor. Converting the video to a spherical shape for VR viewing is easy and fast through pixel mapping. According to the creators, the process is so easy it can be done on your average iOS or Android device.

Read More:

cinema5d

~

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.

Read More:

cinema5d

~

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy

 Gear  Comments Off on The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy
Dec 112016
 

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is a new, third-party dual-lens system for the iPhone 7 Plus. It features a sleek and slim design that makes it unobtrusive and quick to use.

Smartphone filmmaking is certainly a thing these days. Modern smartphones feature decent cameras that can be used in conjunction with a variety of apps, stabilisers and other accessories to produce very high quality content. Just take a look at this short film shot simultaneously on an iPhone 7 and a RED Weapon for the kind of end result you can achieve. By the way, if you want to learn more about iPhone filmmaking, make sure you check out this excellent article by cinema5D’s Richard Lackey.
One of the limitations you may find on your journey as an iPhone cinematographer is your camera’s lens. Camera accessory manufacturer Kamerar has announced a product that promises to help you achieve more interesting images: it’s the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit

The main difference to other third-party lens options out there is how seamlessly it integrates with your iPhone 7 Plus. The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is based around an actual functional protective phone cover with access to all ports, meaning that you don’t have to whip out lens mounts whenever inspiration strikes and you change from phone mode to shooting mode.

 

The back of the case features a slot in which to insert the different dual-lens setups, allowing you to quickly flip up the optics when you want to change your field of view and optical characteristics. This removes the need to screw and unscrew different lenses, and helps you save time when trying to get that unexpected shot.
Kamerar claims their removable dual-lens system for the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is the first in the world, and this does in fact seem to be the case, as other third-party offerings only appear to make use of one of the cameras.

Read More:

cinema5d

~

Why I’m Leaving Apple for Microsoft: Switching as a Photographer

 Gear  Comments Off on Why I’m Leaving Apple for Microsoft: Switching as a Photographer
Dec 062016
 

applemicrosoftfeat

iPhones, MacBooks, Mac Pros, heck, even the Apple Watch, it was a good run indeed. However, times have changed, and that beauty that was once your innovation has now been covered up with the makeup that is nice marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am writing this on iMac number three, but like all other Apple products, it will soon be slower and barely usable due to some OS update that, while not mandatory, will show me an “update” banner ruthlessly until I succumb. But as I look back on the good times, I start to see what our relationship really was.

I was young and easily influenced. I didn’t just like Apple products, I looked up to them, for they were what professional photographers used. But now that my career as an advertising photographer is no longer new, I find the “need” that once existed is no longer there. When I get asked by strangers how I can get by as a photographer without having an iPhone, the reality of the relationship is drawn into complete focus.

It all started with a MacBook Air…

I was just out of college, and starting this career that is photography. I didn’t have a lot of money, but knew I wanted an Apple computer since they were made for creatives. Watching the keynote where Steve Jobs pulled the MacBook Air out of an envelope, I was smitten.

Unfortunately for me, I had to wait until I could buy a used one on Craigslist because the price new was too much. Creepy/shady transaction aside, there I stood with my first Apple product. It was perfect in every way, from the battery life, to the size of it, to how it felt to type on it. Over the years, many a blog post would be written on that little laptop and some incredible photo shoots would see their files transferred on its hard drive as I flew home.

However, as time went on, it got slower and slower. Through the latest and greatest OS updates that claimed to make it “faster,” my little MacBook Air would barely run Safari. But not to worry, I had been fortunate to have some success in this career, so I could buy a new MacBook that ran like the old one used to. On top of that, I could get a powerful laptop on which I could do all my editing while on set.

Enter the MacBook Pro…

Immediately upon taking it out of the box I remember thinking, it’s a bit big, but it’s like having a desktop that I can take with me everywhere. This argument fought in my brain, only to be quelled by the words of Jonathan Ive telling us that the fans were not symmetrical in it so it would be quieter. I carried around the MacBook Pro to every shoot for years, even to set with me as recently as last week. However, I have yet to ever edit a file on it, sans a quick resize.

While it may be possible to adjust files from smaller DSLRs, the idea of manipulating a 100 megapixel file on it is humorous at best. In short, my laptop has been what I have always wanted it to be, a file transportation system that I can write blog posts on.

So with that in mind, I began to crave the return of the MacBook Air. It was small, light and easy to chuck files on before getting on a plane. However, what we got was a new laptop that costs more to have less buttons (but at least we can select emojis on the keyboard). Herein lies my concern about Apple and the reason for my change.

1

Read More:

petapixel

~

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.

Read More:

newshooter

 

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.

Read More:

newsshooter

~

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.

Read More:

betanews

~

Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo

 Gear  Comments Off on Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo
Oct 312016
 

The Chronos 1.4 camera is the result of the efforts of a single engineer, David Kronstein, who is working diligently to bring slow motion to a wider group of filmmakers. The device –  now “production ready” and headed to Kickstarter in the “next few months” for funding – is capable of 1050fps at a resolution of 1280×1024.  Read on for all the details, including footage samples: 

Shooting great-looking slow motion is really, really expensive and usually requires renting a Phantom high-speed camera for the best shots at 300 fps+, or an equally pricey RED Epic Dragon or Weapon for anything below 300 fps. Slow motion, however, is almost always worth it.  Don’t take my word for it –  just look at the trailer for Planet Earth II here, which includes some epic slow motion moments.

The YouTubers over at the “TAOFLEDERMAUS” channel have gotten their hands on a prototype production model of the Chronos 1.4 and have in-camera footage to show as well:

As you can see from the video, there are still a few kinks to work out: there is a 30 second boot up time from the moment the power button is pressed, and saving to SD card takes a considerable amount of time as well, but hopefully we’ll see improvements as the project progresses.

This is very much a speciality tool, especially given the lack of full 1080p resolution, but it is cheap and shows promise at being a no-fuss slow motion solution in the future.

Once fully funded through Kickstarter, the 8GB base model of the Chronos 1.4 is expected to cost a (comparatively speaking) very affordable $2,500.

Read More:

cinema5D

~

Saramonic CaMixer Adds a Headphone Jack to Your Sony a6300 / a6500

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Saramonic CaMixer Adds a Headphone Jack to Your Sony a6300 / a6500
Oct 182016
 

If you’re a proud owner of a Sony a6300, you might be in desperate need of  some sort of audio interface due to its lack of a headphone jack.  Saramonic has your back here with the release of a very compact and very affordable audio mixer. Meet the Saramonic CaMixer.

The Saramonic CaMixer

This little audio interface could be just what you need if you’re after a a small, lightweight and affordable audio solution. Saramonic claims it is brand new, but actually it looks very familiar to me. Last year they released a very similar audio interface, the SmartMixer, intended to be used with smartphones. It’s a little more expensive, as it comes bundled with a smartphone holder and a grip. The new CaMixer comes in professional black rather than in consumer red.

Spot the dfference! Saramonic CaMixer (left) and SmartMixer (right)

Anyway, the functionality for a device like this is still very relevant, as a lot of smaller cameras like the Sony a6300 or even the freshly announced Sony a6500 lack a decent headphone jack for monitoring audio. You also get two detachable directional microphones plugged into 3.5mm mic inputs, a phantom powered mini XLR jack and of course an audio out port for connecting the Saramonic CaMixer to your camera. A lot of stuff for such a tiny preamp device, indeed.

Read More:

cinema5d

~

Sony RX100V & Sony A6500 Hands-On Video – Rolling Shutter & Overheating Solved?

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony RX100V & Sony A6500 Hands-On Video – Rolling Shutter & Overheating Solved?
Oct 182016
 

Yesterday’s press event at Sony’s European headquarters was very informative. We were given the possibility to record with the new RX100V but not with the a6500 as this camera was not yet ready for primetime, although we did get a A6500 Hands-On too.

Here are, in short, the new features that these cameras have to offer:

On both cameras: 

  • The Sony RX100V and Sony a6500 both share the same BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI chip as the new Sony a99II, which allows for high volumes of data to be processed.
  • The buffer has been increased, which allows for capture of more photos per second and longer slow-motion videos.

Sony RX100V – Better rolling shutter effect control

Sony RX100V: 

  • Video image quality has been slightly improved.
  • Rolling shutter effect has been greatly improved because of better processing.
  • Autofocus is now faster and more accurate than before.
  • Photo mode allows up to six seconds of 24fps in RAW, theoretically allowing to create short 5.5K video clips.
  • New underwater housing (Marine pack MPK-URX100A, up to 40m/130ft).

Read More:

cinema5d

~

We Compared the iPhone 7 Plus Camera to a Nikon DSLR

 Apple, Gear  Comments Off on We Compared the iPhone 7 Plus Camera to a Nikon DSLR
Oct 122016
 

Another iPhone has hit the market and once again Apple has claimed that its camera creates “DSLR quality pictures.” I never believe when any cell phone manufacturer makes this claim, so I decided to put it to the test.

The iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras on its back: one 12 MP sensor has a wide-angle lens with optical stabilization and excellent ISO performance, and the other has a standard/telephoto lens with poor ISO performance. Our iPhone cost us around $1,000 but we certainly can’t claim the camera itself is worth that much. It’s one of many included features of this smartphone and therefore we couldn’t compare it to a $1,000 DSLR. We decided to compare this phone to a Nikon D300s and a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. Both cameras shoot 12 MP files and both of them have a wide to standard “zoom” range. On eBay this kit sells for around $500. Honestly this is still too expensive to be a “fair” comparison because the camera in the iPhone certainly isn’t half of its value, but it’s what we had available.

Image Quality In Ideal Light

Winner: Nikon D300s

I expected the Nikon to absolutely destroy the iPhone in this test and I was shocked to see how well the iPhone’s wide-angle camera performed. If you printed both of these files out, I’m not totally sure you would be able to pick out which is which, but if we zoom in to 100% on a computer we could tell the iPhone had more grain and noise than the Nikon.

Camera Speed

Winner: Tie

The Nikon D300s shoots at 7fps but the iPhone seemed to shoot around 15fps. That being said, the iPhone didn’t give us manual control and chose a slow shutter that produced blurry images. In short, the iPhone is faster but the Nikon got the better shot.

Shallow Depth Of Field

Winner: Nikon D300s

Once again the iPhone lost but was still quite impressive. The new “portrait mode” on the iPhone allows you to create a fake shallow depth of field that looks quite convincing, especially for web use. One major downside is that the longer lens on the iPhone used in this portrait mode does not perform well in low light.

Video Quality

Winner: iPhone 7 Plus

This test wasn’t even fair. The D300s was one of the first DSLRs to ever shoot video and it can shoot a very poor 720p. The iPhone shoots an incredibly crisp 4K. It’s amazing to see just how far technology has come in seven years.

ISO Performance

Winner: iPhone 7 Plus

This was the biggest shock to me by far. I never would have believed that a cell phone could beat a DSLR, even if that DSLR was seven years old. Well, the iPhone was extremely impressive in low light and easily beat the ISO performance of the D300s.

Versatility

Winner: Tie

This is a tough one to judge. A DSLR will obviously give you access to unlimited accessories like lenses and flashes, but the iPhone has access to the App Store. Currently, many apps are allowing you to shoot raw on your iPhone 7. If you want to shoot a long exposure, a DSLR is your best bet, but if you want to do almost anything else, an iPhone probably has an app available.

Read More:

fstoppers

~

 

Laowa 15mm f/2 E-Mount and 7.5mm f/2 MFT Mount Lenses Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Laowa 15mm f/2 E-Mount and 7.5mm f/2 MFT Mount Lenses Announced
Oct 062016
 

At Photokina, Chinese lens manufacturer Venus Optics, who sell lenses by the name Laowa and specialise in niche glass for various cameras, announced two new fast wide angle lenses:

After their 12mm f/2.8 E-Mount which we reported about in August, they now also offer a new 15mm f/2 for E-Mount, which is very fast for such a wide angle lens. It covers the full frame 35mm sensor of Sony A7 series E-Mount cameras and is fully manual with hard stops and manual aperture. It features a filter thread which isn’t a given on all wide angle lenses at 15mm. No info on pricing yet.

Their other new lens is a fully manual 7.5mm f/2 prime for Micro Four Thirds cameras. It will feature a comparable wide angle field-of-view given the 2x crop factor of MFT sensors compared to 35mm full frame cameras. What’s particularly noteworthy about this lens is its tiny size and weight which, when combined with the wide angle field-of-view and the staggering f/2 maximum aperture, make it an ideal choice for drone operators flying a GH4 (or GH5 in the future) on their multicopter. There is no word on pricing on this lens either, but they promise to be “competitive”, which has usually been the case with their lenses so far indeed.

Read More:

cinema5d

~

Cinevate Duzi 4 Slider Gets Compact Flywheel

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Cinevate Duzi 4 Slider Gets Compact Flywheel
Oct 042016
 

The Cinevate Duzi 4 slider arrives with a clever integrated carriage and flywheel for smoother shots without weight compromise, and is a re-vamped design to Cinevate’s popular portable slider system.

I’ve been using Cinevate sliders for years, including all versions of the Duzi since its original release. Having tried out most popular brands of sliders, the Duzi has always impressed me the most in relation to weight, operation, longevity and cost.

Only my Cinevate Hedron has ever given me smoother results, and this comes down to one single feature – the flywheel.

As the flywheel gains momentum, it irons out any knocks and fidgety motion resulting from user operation. But it comes at a cost: the Hedron is a far heavier system than the Duzi, and with the flywheel bolted on it’s much longer as well.

Read More:

cinema5d

~