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PannySVHS

The pleasure and beauty of a NO lowlight camera! the beauty of AJA CION

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The Aja Cion is  a well known camera. It provides astonishing, rich and subtle color and encourages the search and appreciation for the beauty of light.

Unlike other cameras, which are abused to promote the appreciation for artefacts in crappy light or no-light, such as the exellent DSLM by the name of Sony A7sii. The AJA shows, just like the BMProduction Camera or the Digital Bolex, that a luxurious, luscious look can be easily achieved with 12 stops of DR. No DSLM comes close to this beautiful representation and rendering of color and light.

 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I believe the AJA camera uses exactly the same sensor as the BMD 4K one. Which was BMD's worst ever choice of sensor. 

Plus the very high cost of the AJA Cion at launch (relative to BMD with the same sensor), and a bunch of other quirks with it, set it back and the camera never took off. 

 It is a pity, I'd have liked to have seen an AJA Cion mk2!

But yes, it shows what you can do even with lower DR and terrible lowlight performance!

Heck, even I'd rather shoot with a BMPC4K + URSA Mini 4K combo than shoot with one RED ONE MX. (which the two cameras together secondhand would cost similar, or less, as what a RED ONE does)

Will be seriously putting forward this as a proposal for the feature film I might be shooting this year, as an alternative over the RED ONE (which unfortunately the director/producer has their heart set on! We have had a shoot already last month for this feature film with 2x RED ONE I was DoP for). I'll certainly have a few other suggestions up my sleeve as well to try and swing away from the RED ONE preference, such as Sony PMW-F3 or Sony FS700 4K raw output.  (EVA1 + GH5S would be the dream! But probably way out of the budget)

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You can get a bmpc4k + ursa mini 4k all kittet out for less than $3k... sign me up.

Imo, the bmpc4k is the best image from any blackmagic so far. Its HD kicks the butt of gh5, a7sii or any other 4K consumer stuff. Much more detail without the over sharpened look.

The DR and Lowlight is what it is. Manageable.

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8 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

You can get a bmpc4k + ursa mini 4k all kittet out for less than $3k... sign me up.

Well I use eBay sold listings as my guide:

And either come at around US$1.5K ish. 

But I'm sure with your secret bargain sources you could easily do better? ;-) 
As I keep on being told my eBay prices I see are not bargains after all :-/ :-( 

12 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

The DR and Lowlight is what it is. Manageable.


Damning faint praise indeed! ;-)

But I'd agree with you. 

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The AJA has 60p 4K, 2k and some other stuff. Don´t know if the BMPC4K has RAW in its 2K or HD modes beside having it in 4K. Don´t know if it has compressed RAW like the BMCC 2.5K has. The 4K Ursa mini seems to offer what the AJA provides, large variety of framerates, and that in RAW as well.

Sensor is said to be the same, providing global shutter. Nice!

4 minutes ago, Liam said:

Yeah it's gross

 

Posted that video in the GH5s thread to make everybody calm down a bit from the heat of conversation.:) Such awesome image!

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Eh...I'm with Art on the Cion. That release demo reel is actually gross. 

http://www.dvinfo.net/article/acquisition/a-critical-look-at-cions-new-demo-reel.html

I've heard they actually improved the color a great deal in firmware later on, but that footage is not something I'd use to sell people on the camera.

That said, I've always loved the rendition of that sensor in the BMPC/UM4K. Not great in low light, not amazing dynamic range, but rich and pleasing in a way that reminds me of slide film. Add the excellent rendition of fine detail and global shutter, and for the right place, I see it having a place on some productions. 

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39 minutes ago, TheRenaissanceMan said:

Eh...I'm with Art on the Cion. That release demo reel is actually gross. 

http://www.dvinfo.net/article/acquisition/a-critical-look-at-cions-new-demo-reel.html

I've heard they actually improved the color a great deal in firmware later on, but that footage is not something I'd use to sell people on the camera.

That said, I've always loved the rendition of that sensor in the BMPC/UM4K. Not great in low light, not amazing dynamic range, but rich and pleasing in a way that reminds me of slide film. Add the excellent rendition of fine detail and global shutter, and for the right place, I see it having a place on some productions. 

I love the look of the reel. Looks like oil paint with some touches into Dario Argento land.

Art was all about logically correct color and editing bonanza, plus he has nothing agaiinst stills photographers. That´s great to read.

Gross- I find this not to be the term, which inspired me to start this thread, that´s for sure.

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Not a fan of the highlight rendering, magenta skin tones, or lack of hue discrimination in several areas of the color wheel. I just don't find them pleasing to look at; nothing technical about it. To each his own. 

That said, I've seen better samples out of the camera since. Does anyone know if there was in fact a firmware update addressing color?

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To be clear, I'm only referring to the release reel Liam posted that's referenced in the Art Adams article (say that five times fast). The 2015 reel you posted looks quite lovely in comparison. Much stronger colors and more neutral skintones. 

I think the fact that the Cion/BM4K sensor looks better than a lot of "better" models out today bears closer examination. Often, cameras trade off low light performance and dynamic range for inferior color rendering. For example, by letting the blue filters in the array pass a bit of green as well, boosting the signal in that channel, they contaminate the blue signal and make it harder for the camera to separate the channels in processing. The early Reds had a problem with this, and it resulted in a lot of muddy color. 

Some interesting insights into the CMOSIS sensor vs its competitors in the current marketplace: 

http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?17318-No-more-love-for-the-4K

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I've yet to see any pleasing footage from the Cion. Though to be frank, after the horrible demo reels and the ugly videolike footage from early adopters, I haven't really sought it out much either.

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52 minutes ago, TheRenaissanceMan said:

I think the fact that the Cion/BM4K sensor looks better than a lot of "better" models out today bears closer examination. Often, cameras trade off low light performance and dynamic range for inferior color rendering. For example, by letting the blue filters in the array pass a bit of green as well, boosting the signal in that channel, they contaminate the blue signal and make it harder for the camera to separate the channels in processing. The early Reds had a problem with this, and it resulted in a lot of muddy color.

Exellent point! I was hoping to get one of these elegant beautiful cameras for a small price, so to say as a poor mans Digital Bolex. But it would have to be the other way around, the Digital Bolex being the 2K 24p version of a poor mans AJA:)

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4 minutes ago, Emanuel said:

C'mon... the gal flawed your evaluation ; ) Don't fool yourself ;-)

Well, the shot looks like she was a scream queen from a Dario Argento color fest, doesn´t she? I just didn´t worry about logical color nor about polluted highlights. It still looks creamy and luscious, just not accurate but giving the estimation of a cinematic image, still miles ahead of DSLM color, being rich and luxurious.:)

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1 minute ago, PannySVHS said:

Well, the shot looks like she was a scream queen from a Dario Argento color fest, doesn´t she? I wouldn´t worry about logical color nor would I about polluted highlights. It still looks creamy and luscious, just not accurarte but giving the estimation of a cinematic image, still miles ahead of DSLM color in the richness department.

+1

Cinema is inaccurate coloring the world... ;-)

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I am also a big fan oft this sensor, i was on the verge of buying the Ursa Mini 4k before Christmas when CVP offered it for 2400€ but the price is back over 2800.

I found this showreel on youtube and I love the image:

 

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5 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

Exellent point! I was hoping to get one of these elegant beautiful cameras for a small price, so to say as a poor mans Digital Bolex. But it would have to be the other way around, the Digital Bolex being the 2K 24p version of a poor mans AJA:)

Don't the AJA Cions still sell secondhand for a lot more than a secondhand URSA Mini 4K would? Which is my preferred option over it. 

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