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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Test footage shot by Frank Sauer and Andrew Reid

Something I have discovered while editing all this GH4 4K material is that the 8bit codec Panasonic uses is quite complex and requires more power than ProRes. I have also found that the sequence settings and video proxy settings in Premiere are a good thing to pay attention to this time… the default ones no longer cut it.

Along the way I have found a few tricks to get the colours in GH4 footage to absolutely sing with Film Convert and Premiere using the Alexa Rec 709 profile.

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Tip jar EOSHD just $5 if you think this article is useful

Nerd alert!

I’m afraid it’s time to put the creative urges to one side and get down to the nitty gritty. Just exactly how does the GH4′s image stack up against the competition?

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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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PSR20007b

gh4-3

The GH4′s internally recorded 4K files can be converted to a chunky 2K 10bit ProRes 4444 image which grades extremely well.

To test this theory I call on colourists to have a go at it.

Arri Alexa ProRes files are available from their FTP server. Details below.

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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.

Tip jar EOSHD just $5 if you think this article is useful

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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Frank Sauer, Andrew Reid test the GH4

Myself, Andrew Reid (above right) and Frank Sauer (be sure to check out his work here) are currently shooting with the Panasonic GH4!

So the big question has arrived – is the GH4 worth kicking your girlfriend out of bed for at 5am to catch the magic hour light? The answer is yes and we are putting our new girlfriend through her paces with a week of action packed shooting, featuring free-runners, drones, gimbals, abandoned theme parks and apocalyptic Berlin factories.

Here’s day 1 of our GH4 production diary -

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Canon-C500-close-up

According to a professional DP, Canon may in fact have some excitement for us in store at NAB. (Important to note this is a rumour and may just be speculation on behalf of my source).

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YouTube Preview Image

The Sony AX100 takes the relatively large 1″ sensor from the RX10 and puts it in camcorder form factor with built in ND filter. However it appears that in reading out all the pixels on a 20MP sensor, Sony have created a skew-monster in rolling shutter teams. What’s remarkable about this video is that the panning and trains aren’t even moving very fast. This is some of the worst rolling shutter I’ve yet to see on any camera available on the market.

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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