Category: Latest News

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The D800 has re-emerged!

We have the Mosaic Engineering VAF-D800 filter, CFast $299 Atomos Ninja Star ProRes recorder coming soon and now even a hack project based around the camera.

So I’ve picked up a D800 and plan to see what I get out of it.

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All tests based on pre-production model

Here we come to some areas which aren’t perfect on the GH4, but which nevertheless are both a step forward from the GH3. I like what Panasonic have started here with 96fps slow-mo. This is the first consumer camera to deviate from the video standard of 60p to give us a genuinely useful creative tool which sets the ball rolling for improvements in future models.

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UPDATE: Filmmaker Andrew Wonder who conducted the test gives his views about it here

Here’s a test which shows what I feared and what very few seemingly dared ask Sony in interviews at NAB. The A7S looks to have similarly extreme rolling shutter to the AX100, at least in the early pre-production firmware stages.

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GH4 final firmware

First bit of news – the highly anticipated Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART now has a price. Lower than expected at $995. Early reviews say this lens is close to the $3.5k Zeiss Otus in performance terms.

This will be an exceptional piece of glass to use on the GH4 with Speed Booster. Pre-order the Nikon mount version at B&H for $995 if you plan to use Speed Booster. The Canon mount version is also available. If you prefer to buy from Adorama you can order the Nikon mount version here as well as the Canon EF one for the same price.

Now onto the GH4. The above shot by EOSHD forum member Julian confirms that Panasonic have now completed the final production firmware for the GH4 (version 1.0). The unit pictured above was loaned to Julian but it is a good sign the camera will be shipping on time from stores – possibly by the end of this month in less than 2 weeks.

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Above: Prospect, a short film shot on the 2.5k Blackmagic Cinema Camera

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera was the first foray for the company into the camera market and was announced 2 years ago this month. I know many users were expecting more from firmware updates in the meantime to add basic features and also features promised by Blackmagic themselves. Many were expecting these to be announced this week at NAB. Instead Blackmagic revealed new cameras, one in particular the URSA being packed with new features.

So I asked Blackmagic some tough questions and here are the answers…

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leica-s-front

Because full frame is just too small, Sony are supplying a 4K video capable sensor to Leica and Pentax in the region of 40 to 50MP. According to a Leica rep at NAB the company is planning 4K video for their implementation of the sensor in the Leica S. Indeed Pentax have already announced that their 645Z will record 4K video.

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A few days ago Thomas Worth of Rarevision (5DToRGB and RAWMagic) asked me for some original files from the GH4 so he could develop an experimental app he had in mind. The result is an embryonic new command-line app for the Mac, which takes 8bit 4:2:0 4K H.264 files from the GH4 and resamples them to 10bit 4:4:4 in 2K DPX format.

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These images (download the original 4K file at Vimeo to get even a clue of the full performance of the camera) are rather lovely. I’m also very impressed with the 2K slow-mo at 96fps. It is an improvement on the KineRaw MINI from last year which only shot 96fps at 720p, though there is still some moire and aliasing at the higher frame rate.

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Sony A7S APS-C mode

One of the enigmas emerging from the A7S is whether you can shoot 4K in APS-C crop mode as well. APS-C is Super 35mm in cinema language. I really would like to use my Cooke S4i Minis via a PL adapter on this camera! Taking advantage of the low light sensitivity. APS-C crop mode would also allow the use of standard Sony E-mount / NEX lenses, Canon EF-S and Nikon DX lenses.

Sony’s information (above) implies that is the case with “both resolutions available at both full frame and APS-C size”.

I dug a little deeper to find out more…

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recording

Blackmagic are launching not none, not one but TWO new cameras at NAB 2014. One as you can see packs quite a punch with a quite revolutionary design. The aim of the URSA is to take all the accessories you’d normally rig onto a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and integrate them. That is a sensible idea. However the execution looks to have produced a 7.5KG monster. There’s even an HDMI version of the URSA which has no sensor block or lens mount but a cradle on the front for any camera with HDMI output, such as the tiny Sony A7R. That would give you a full frame 4K URSA recording to CFast cards.

The URSA is aimed at a large crew, large scale productions with multiple operators on one camera – and in doing so somewhat does a u-turn on Blackmagic’s existing user base. It is disappointing to see so much effort having gone into the URSA but not even histograms or format options in firmware updates for the BMCC, Pocket and Production Camera.

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studio camera

Source: Twitter

I can guarantee this announcement will not please any of Blackmagic’s existing user base, unless backed up by some really good news in the form of significant firmware updates for the Cinema, Production and Pocket cameras plus Resolve 11.

The latter is definitely coming and takes Resolve’s editing capabilities up a notch.

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Atomos Shogun NAB 2014 (Sony Mount)

Atomos have just sent me some info on their upcoming 4K recorder, primarily for use with the A7S and GH4.

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UPDATE: I am hearing the price has been confirmed at just $1699. If true that is quite a bargain. But don’t forget the cost of external recorder for 4K. These are expected to be announced at NAB on Monday.

Here’s some sample footage from the A7S, you can stream it at 4K on YouTube.

Impressive at high ISOs.

Remember the HDMI output in 4K is uncompressed… YouTube does not give you the full image quality, but still it looks good.

Unfortunately the shots are stopped down very dramatically for a deep depth of field on full frame….hmm… I’d like to see some F1.2 50mm action on this beast.

Sony A7S

Breaking news… The Sony A7S has been announced at NAB 2014.

It records 1080p internally in XAVC-S format at 50Mbit but the big news is the support for full 4K output via HDMI to an external recorder.

Unfortunately it does NOT have an internal 4K recording codec like the Panasonic GH4.

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Sony is making some 4K related camera announcements at NAB

Watch the live announcement here or scroll down on the home page

Here are my running thoughts as we watch the Sony presentations…

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As we get closer to the press conference, more unconfirmed rumours on the A7S have come in from NAB.

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Announcement is now live here

Message to sources – if you have any more specs, anonymously tip me about the A7S here!

NAB 2014 kicks off today (Sunday) with the first major announcements. Here’s a look at what could be in store for filmmakers at the biggest video and broadcast trade show of the year…

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A7S would be beautiful with the Canon 50mm F1.2L

I’ve just had some information from a source that may be of interest to those awaiting Sony’s NAB announcement.

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Grade original 4K MOV files from the pre-production Panasonic GH4 here - https://copy.com/EoeMcoA2T9L4

Is the GH4 a match for full frame in low light? The answer, surprisingly, is yes…

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4K A7S

Various sources have told Sony Alpha Rumors that an A7S is coming on Sunday “in Las Vegas”. It isn’t hard to figure out what is starting in Las Vegas this weekend. If the rumours are true the Sony A7S will be at NAB 2014 – the largest video, broadcast and cinema trade show of the year.

Is Sony about to give us a ‘full frame GH4′?

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The EOSHD Panasonic GH3 Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD 5D Mark III Raw Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD Anamorphic Shooter's Guide - Second Edition
More EOSHD Guides