Category: Reviews

Sony A6000 with Zeiss 50mm F1.4 on Speed Booster

Sony A6000 with Zeiss 50mm F1.4 on Speed Booster

Buy the new Sony A6000 on eBay

Pre-order the new Sony A6000 for $648 at B&H

The Sony A6000 is the best Sony consumer camera yet for video. A Nikon D5300 in a mirrorless body, with far more features, the image quality is closer to the FS700 in 1080p than to a NEX 7 or A5000. The pristine sharp EVF, a magnified focus assist which can be activated whilst recording (rare!), peaking, zebra, 16:9 screen and of course the mirrorless form factor. This is arguably the best current ‘cheap’ camera for video, de-throning the GH2 and GH3. At just $650 it is an absolute bargain.

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Above: GH4 test footage shot in 4096 x 2160 Cinema 4K DCI mode. Academy 1.85:1 aspect ratio. CineLikeD profile for best dynamic range.

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Below: Cooke S4i Mini (uncoated Panchro/i version) on the GH4 with Ciecio7 PL adapter (buy it on eBay here)

GH4 Cooke PL lens

Andrew Reid (EOSHD) and Frank Sauer (Filmmaker) are shooting with the Panasonic GH4

On Day 1 of shooting with the GH4 we did a location scout at the Spreepark abandoned theme park in Berlin. The park has granted us paid access to do a proper shoot with the free runners so I am going to save the location scouting footage for when it comes to that edit and the final piece. Frank is near Frankfurt now with the GH4 to shoot a piece with a new aerial drone and gimbal (similar to MoVi) and I have been out shooting with the GH4 around Berlin to get an idea of the image quality when it comes to 4K. I’ve also tried grading the 100Mbit/s 4K codec in Premiere to see how well it holds up. Here are the results in glorious 4K!

Disclaimer 1: This GH4 is a pre-production model. Firmware version is v0.5. The image quality may not represent the final camera.

Disclaimer 2: Because I don’t have NDs big enough or good enough for the Cooke lenses yet, most shots were shot at higher shutter speeds than 180 degrees (1/50)

Tip: if you don’t have a Vimeo Plus account to download the original file and pixel peep I’ve uploaded some short GH4 4K clips here in ProRes LT format. Try grading them and looking at the detail 1:1!

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The Digital Bolex has stumbled into the world. It is alive. Now it must find a place for itself. Most importantly of all – is this new replicant Bolex actually convincing?

Time to find out.

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In my opinion the Canon 7D is currently the best budget solution for shooting raw video. There’s plenty of used bodies going for $750 on eBay here – and that is practically a steal for 14bit raw video from a Super 35mm sized sensor… Stills camera is a mere bonus!

So to the big question – does the Mosaic Engineering VAF-7D filter completely cure the 7D’s raw video of moire and aliasing?

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d4s-full-throttle

I decided to get my hands on a Nikon D4S at a local store in Berlin, to see if the much hyped ‘new image processor’ gives a real improvement in video quality. Nikon have made a lot of marketing noises about this ‘HD-SLR’ and video. It’s a camera which according to their management “started out as a small update but became much bigger”. Hmm.

This isn’t a comprehensive review of the D4S, rather it seeks to answer one simple question that Nikon themselves so far have been dodging. Has video got better on it?

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Sample footage! You can download the full resolution 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD file from Vimeo here if you’re a ‘Plus member’.

Keep an eye open for my Production Camera review in a forthcoming issue of Mac User magazine available at all good newsagents in the UK.

I am currently shooting 4K with the Blackmagic Production Camera on loan from their British office which features a global shutter and Super 35mm sensor for $3000. For this shoot yesterday I found myself at an aeropark built in 1930′s Berlin, thanks to a suggestion from Lars Rehm of DPReview who also finds himself in Berlin for some reason! The girls are shot opposite an old wind tunnel and a giant egg shaped concrete structure which the Germans used to test the aerodynamics of fighter planes in, until the Russians came and nicked the fan. Part of the wind tunnel still has an inscription from the invading Russian forces branding the buildings “free of mines”, which cleared the way for them to take all the advanced technology back to the Soviet Union with them.

Today the aeropark is part of a university campus and parts of the Charlize Theron movie Aeon Flux were shot there. (This shoot was my own experiment and not a commercial one).

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Original music by Berlin electronic act Herdwhite – see more on iTunes

Join EOSHD on Facebook – we broke 10,000 likes and counting yesterday – thank you everyone

I’ll start this review with a parable. It is a parable about an old man, who fell asleep…

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gh4 and external HD-SDI XLR unit

Based on a pre-production model

Since the GH1 I have been shooting with Panasonic’s mirrorless system for video. Without this series of affordable cameras my early work as a cinematographer and filmmaker simply wouldn’t be the same. The GH4 marks a much needed major leap for the line, the first to shoot 4K to an efficient internal codec AND output 10bit 4:2:2 1080p over HDMI to an affordable external recorder like the Atomos Ninja!

On a visit to Panasonic I got to see the camera, see 4K sample footage and give my feedback. Here’s an account of what I saw…

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Featuring original music by HERDWHITE –  “I Already Know What For”. Buy a special $1.49 expanded version of this song in MP3 format directly from EOSHD -

The E-M1 is a real surprise for a video.

For this review I decided to set myself a challenge with a musician friend, where we’d shoot a music video ‘Dogme 95′ style.

  • Entirely handheld with the Olympus 5 axis stabliser
  • Very basic lights (iPhone torch and a flame)
  • Maximum of 2 shooting days

In the process I learned a lot about what makes the E-M1 such an effective camera for filmmakers.

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slr-magic-anamorphot-konica-a7r

Above: A7R with the new SLR Magic “Anamorphot 50″ anamorphic lens

Micro Four Thirds vs full frame. America has answered this question pretty resoundingly – mirrorless sales are apparently down 47%. I don’t think this will be a lasting trend because mirrorless is moving forwards in terms of image quality and features far faster than DSLRs are.

The Sony A7R is the highest spec of all of them, at least in terms of the sensor and EVF. But does it have what it takes for Sony to erode the dominance of Canon and Nikon?

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e-m1-vs-a7r

Can Olympus survive? The scandal is over, but sales are faltering. Their prized position in the mirrorless market is threatened by a revitalised Sony and their Alpha range. This supersedes the high end of the NEX line (and dispenses with the NEX brand altogether); bringing full frame sensors to the table and in the case of the A7R – 36MP and nearly 14 stops dynamic range.

My full review of the Sony A7R is coming soon, ditto for the E-M1.

Until then let’s take a look at how the top of the range mirrorless cameras perform head to head – not just at video but stills too.

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Today Metabones release two new Speed Boosters for Blackmagic shooters.

I’ve been using some demo samples for this special review and I’m absolutely stunned.

Metabones and Caldwell Optics have given us a Zeiss / Kubrick / NASA special! These adapters are completely new and purpose designed to fit only the Blackmagic cameras. Offering super bright apertures as fast as F0.74 and finally some great wide angle possibilities, I put both new adapters through their paces…

BMPCC Metabones Speed Booster

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Super 8 and Super 16 movie cameras took a free-roaming Henri-Cartier Bresson style to documentary filmmaking and “run & gun” for the first time (as early as the 1960′s). Cadid footage of JFK on the election trail. French New Wave cinema in the 80′s. The run & gun simplicity of Bolex Super 16mm cameras is timeless.

The Sony RX10 on paper is perfectly equipped to be a cinematic run & gun camera. The lens for example: a stunning Zeiss 8.5-73mm F2.8 (constant aperture) zoom, would be worth $10,000 on a 16mm cine camera.

But does the camera as a whole deliver a cinematic image?

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I would really love to see how this lens does against a $47,000 + tax cinema lens like the Optimo 15-40mm T2.6 because I honestly think it would come close.

Blackmagic must share a similar philosophy, because the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera gives an image that in many ways exceeds the $15,000 Canon C300 especially when paired with the Metabones Speed Booster.

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In part 2 of the SLR Magic anamorphic coverage we’ll look at how the prototype lens looks and performs on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

There’s also a poll in which you can help influence the final lens flare this anamorphic produces.

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Speed Booster on the GH3

Buy the full range of mFT and E-mount Metabones Speed Booster adapters here

There’s more from EOSHD on the Speed Booster for Micro Four Thirds here, and for E-mount here

The Speed Booster has come to Micro Four Thirds where it turns the smaller sensor into a Super 35mm / APS-C equivalent – the cinema standard. I have been testing the Leica R, Nikon G and Contax Yashica Speed Boosters for Micro Four Thirds for a while now.

Here’s the verdict!

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Magic Lantern’s raw recording module for the 7D is a perfect illustration of why colour depth and dynamic range are more important than resolution.

It’s also a huge step up for Canon APS-C video shooters and free.

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Andrew Reid shoots KineRAW MINI

Thanks to Michel and Ludwig at HD Videoshop in Berlin for the test unit. Essential primer details on the MINI are here.

The KineRAW Mini is a very cool option in the emerging raw market. With an almost identical range of features and the same 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor found in the larger, more expensive KineRAW S35, this baby version has a form factor I absolutely love. It is not just small but light as well – very suited to the kind of art-film-on-location shoots I love.

EOSHD takes a brief hands-on look at what the camera offers.

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When I reviewed the Sony RX100 exactly a year ago it was genuinely novel. The closest image quality yet to a DSLR in a pocket camera.

Can the RX100 Mark II improve enough to stay interesting?

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Buy the Panasonic G6 on eBay

The G6 achieves a certain yin-and-yang. With the GH3 now occupying a higher position in the line, the G6 has moved up to occupy the position once taken by our much loved GH2. It shares the same sensor which of course was always pretty special for video, yet adds a lot of significant new features like 1080/60p, a faster processor, high resolution LCD and something the GH3 doesn’t even have – focus peaking.

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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