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DJI Pro Cinema Camera Announcement 20 October


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Have to say it looks really cool! Not sure how many lenses you can actually fit onto this thing but the feature set looks amazing.  Really good ideas they combined into one package. 

The LIDAR wave AF system is really innovative too, plus the wireless transmission.  0% chance I can actually own one but I'm still excited about the advancements, hopefully it will spur others to actually innovate!

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

DJI deserves a giant high five for this. No single feature is super innovative. The r5 shoots 8k raw after all. But it’s the kitchen sink approach - two different sensors, a ton of ND’s, prores raw internal, multiple media options including two that aren’t DJI proprietary, swappable lens mounts, the 4-axis, the LiDAR AF, the crazy amount of customization with the grips and the external monitors. They didn’t hold anything back and created a pretty slick ecosystem. Kit out the a7sIII with a Ninja, RS2 gimbal, ND’s, cage, XLR’s and so on and you’re pretty close to the 6k version. Too bulky for me as I mostly work out of a 40l backpack. Hopefully the x9 camera finds its way onto a drone. That would interest me since the x5/7 are really long in the tooth. 
 

Chris

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41 minutes ago, ntblowz said:

That LIDAR Waveform focus asset is quite awesome, way more advanced than peaking for manual focus.

I’ve been asking a few range finder manufacturers for this very feature and DJI have implemented it very well! 
Camera/Gimbal looks kinda weird but DJI have done an amazing job. Without using it, I can’t think of a single thing DJI have left out of it that I need. 
I do a lot of B Camera gimbal work and if that 4th axis works as well as advertised, then the biggest issues with gimbals have been solved with this . Firstly, rigging and balancing them up with different bodies and lens combos can be tedious and getting them as smooth as a Steadicam on the 4th axis still requires some kind of vest/Steadicam type setup. This looks to have solved these issues for the most part. 
Interchangeable lens mounts, internal ND, great codecs, and a clean menu system that looks to rival Blackmagics……this thing has it all! ….now if it can make me an espresso on set l…..

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1 hour ago, Eric Calabros said:

It can't be useful for any pro project, but many pros would love to use it. At least somebody is thinking out of the box in the industry. 

You said it perfectly. I love the concept and DJI really thought outside of the box for many of the features in this camera but it is so bulky with the permanent gimbal attachment that I have no wish to ever own one and ironically it is not well suited for shooting handheld.

I love shooting handheld now and rarely pull out my Ronin S these days with IBIS being as good as it is. I only pull out the Ronin for walking shots, dolly, truck, crane, etc movements. For everything else I go handheld. Having a camera permanently married to a gimbal is the last thing I would want.

Also, my gimbal is the biggest PITA when I'm shooting than most of my other gear combined. I have to balance the camera on it, there's no easy way to store or carry it, it is one more battery that needs to be charged, and I have to calibrate it each lens change or after taking the camera off of the gimbal. It also greatly increases my traveling footprint.

I still say the next evolutionary step forward will be when something like GoPro's Hypersmooth technology is applied to mirrorless cameras. With Hypersmooth 4.0 they now have horizon leveling and truly amazing stabilization. If that technology ever comes to mirrorless or pro cameras then gimbals will almost be a thing of the past and  you will be able to dial in how smooth you want the footage to be even when walking or driving.

The LIDAR AF looks pretty amazing, it will be interesting to see if later generations get smaller.

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1 hour ago, Eric Calabros said:

It can't be useful for any pro project, but many pros would love to use it.

I completely disagree.  Unless it's got poor IQ (which we haven't seen yet) or you're talking about brand anxiety and status on set, it's actually a superior option in many cases, because its competitor is not a shoulder rig, it's competition is a ronin / easyrig combo because it has a z-axis stabiliser:

dji-ronin2-pro--easyrig-stabil-combo-pac

or perhaps even a ronin / steadicam, depending on how easy it is to do big vertical moves:

19137206-7523347-image-m-94_156990231993

25 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

I love shooting handheld now and rarely pull out my Ronin S these days with IBIS being as good as it is. I only pull out the Ronin for walking shots, dolly, truck, crane, etc movements. For everything else I go handheld. Having a camera permanently married to a gimbal is the last thing I would want.

Amusingly, Hollywood seems to be voting against you, as the default approach for high-end cinema appears to be stabilised unless otherwise required, rather than the other way around, which seems to be your preference.

I find that one of the fastest ways to make footage look amateur is to have the cameras location (not rotation) shake.  ie, IBIS and gimbals stabilise the cameras rotation so the image doesn't move around, but the cameras position often shakes giving that terrible effect of having the background stay stable and the items in the foreground shake due to the parallax error.  

Hollywood doesn't do parallax shake because the camera is on sticks / crane / slider which controls the cameras location, or on the shoulder of someone standing still which provides more rotational movement than location movement, or on a steadicam where the cameras location is very fluidly controlled.  The only exception is when "hand held" was in the brief, in which case it's appropriate.

I film exclusively hand-held for all my projects using IBIS, which is appropriate to their aesthetic, but I try and avoid moving the camera at all while filming to avoid the shaky parallax error.

3 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

DJI deserves a giant high five for this. No single feature is super innovative. The r5 shoots 8k raw after all. But it’s the kitchen sink approach - two different sensors, a ton of ND’s, prores raw internal, multiple media options including two that aren’t DJI proprietary, swappable lens mounts, the 4-axis, the LiDAR AF, the crazy amount of customization with the grips and the external monitors. They didn’t hold anything back and created a pretty slick ecosystem. Kit out the a7sIII with a Ninja, RS2 gimbal, ND’s, cage, XLR’s and so on and you’re pretty close to the 6k version. Too bulky for me as I mostly work out of a 40l backpack. Hopefully the x9 camera finds its way onto a drone. That would interest me since the x5/7 are really long in the tooth. 

Tragically, this level of innovation is not remarkable.  In any other tech sector, this would be normal.  The only reason this stands out is because the rest of the industry is lazy and complacent.  I include companies like Panasonic in this comment.  

The industry has lowered our expectations dramatically to the point where the only ones we actually complain about (eg, Canon) are, when compared to other tech sectors, positively comatose.

Imagine an app developer coming out with a big release - "here's version 48 or our app - it's got 25% more resolution than v47 but as usual the 16 most significant issues are unchanged, just like every other release since the first version of our app over a decade ago".  The camera industry will get eaten by tech companies eventually, and it can't happen soon enough TBH!

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15 minutes ago, kye said:

I film exclusively hand-held for all my projects using IBIS, which is appropriate to their aesthetic, but I try and avoid moving the camera at all while filming to avoid the shaky parallax error.

You pretty much said exactly the same thing that I did....I shoot handheld when the camera does not have to move much and only use a gimbal when I want to move with the camera; since most of my type of work does not need the camera to move much I almost never use a gimbal which is exactly why this type of camera is ill-suited to the type of work I typically film. Of course Hollywood has a focus on stabilized shots...their cameras do not have IBIS and they have multi-million $$ budgets. For the run and gun shooter the handheld aesthetic can actually be more pleasing than gimbal shots when done properly if you know your IBIS's limits.

Also, IBIS jitter that you are describing only happens if you try to make large or quick movements with the camera handheld. As I mentioned I don't do this...but I also do not try to keep the camera perfectly stable either. If you have proper camera holding technique you can prevent the IBIS wobble/jitter while also adding a natural handheld look to the footage. The ability to do this is why people still like glidecams for certain shots vs gimbals...sometimes gimbals and IBIS are a little too steady.

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14 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

The more I see the more I like!

95% of my b-roll is on Gimbal, the only time I'm on sticks is for interview/talking heads.

Maybe I'll wait for version 2... 

If I didn't just get an FX6 I might be convinced to try one of these out.

 

Although I have no intention of getting one, I am curious to see more detailed tests for dynamic range, low light capabilities, how well the AF works in more real world situations etc and of course some sample footage shot with it by working pros not just the campaign videos. Also, I would imagine that due to its weight for longer takes it would still need to be mounted to some kind of rig that moved the weight from the arms to the back and shoulders.

I am liking the fact that they will release an XLR module as well, since at the moment it seems to be lacking that. It is way too bulky and ill fitting for my particular use cases, but definitely a really cool concept overall. Also I wonder if it has any focusing system other than the LIDAR one; does it also have CDAF AF capabilities or is the radar unit required for all AF.

I think my biggest dislike is that it is just so married to that gimbal. If anything goes wrong with that gimbal you have a perfectly working camera but no way to use it. And with that form factor it just doesn't look very durable to me.

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30 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

You pretty much said exactly the same thing that I did....I shoot handheld when the camera does not have to move much and only use a gimbal when I want to move with the camera; since most of my type of work does not need the camera to move much I almost never use a gimbal which is exactly why this type of camera is ill-suited to the type of work I typically film. Of course Hollywood has a focus on stabilized shots...their cameras do not have IBIS and they have multi-million $$ budgets. For the run and gun shooter the handheld aesthetic can actually be more pleasing than gimbal shots when done properly if you know your IBIS's limits.

Also, IBIS jitter that you are describing only happens if you try to make large or quick movements with the camera handheld. As I mentioned I don't do this...but I also do not try to keep the camera perfectly stable either. If you have proper camera holding technique you can prevent the IBIS wobble/jitter while also adding a natural handheld look to the footage. The ability to do this is why people still like glidecams for certain shots vs gimbals...sometimes gimbals and IBIS are a little too steady.

You didn't get my point.

The problem with IBIS and any stabilised footage is parallax error.  This is where the IBIS stabilises the rotation of the camera but not the position.  This gives the 'gimbal bounce' when walking, but also means that any time you have something in the foreground it will bounce around while the background is completely stable.

This camera has a Z-axis stabiliser built-in, which would be a huge upgrade to anyone using just a normal gimbal.

The more I think about it, the more that stabilised rotation and unstabilised location is the Achilles heel of the amateur.  Of course, I see it a lot in YouTuber content, but you could argue that professional you tubers are professional entertainers rather than professional film-makers.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

You didn't get my point.

The problem with IBIS and any stabilised footage is parallax error.  This is where the IBIS stabilises the rotation of the camera but not the position.  This gives the 'gimbal bounce' when walking, but also means that any time you have something in the foreground it will bounce around while the background is completely stable.

This camera has a Z-axis stabiliser built-in, which would be a huge upgrade to anyone using just a normal gimbal.

The more I think about it, the more that stabilised rotation and unstabilised location is the Achilles heel of the amateur.  Of course, I see it a lot in YouTuber content, but you could argue that professional you tubers are professional entertainers rather than professional film-makers.

 

No I get your point, my point is, it does not happen if you use proper technique. The problems you describe are from bad technique or from trying to perform camera movements that are simply impossible to stabilize without a stabilizer (i.e. dolly, crane, truck, etc.), not from the IBIS system. If you maintain multiple points of contact with the camera, use heavier rigs, optimal focal lengths, and properly correct for camera drift when/if it occurs then you stay well within the capabilities of the IBIS system and its corrections are not noticeable.

The whole "bounce" that you describe is when the IBIS has to correct for a problem that is beyond its capabilities. For example if the IBIS provides 5 stops of correction but you ask it to correct for a 7 stop jerk you will have problems. If you use proper technique and can keep a 5 stop IBIS system within 1 or 2 stops of correction then the corrections are not visible or they are reduced to the point of being statistically insignificant in the grand scheme of things; this is no different from combining an IBIS system with a gimbal; the purpose of the gimbal is to provide stabilization that falls well within the capabilities of the camera with or without IBIS.

A great practicing technique is to turn on the cross hairs of whatever camera you own, turn off IBIS and point it at a spot and practice keeping those cross hairs on that spot while performing different slight camera movements. Your technique will improve pretty quickly. Of course side handles and a heavier rig help here as well. 

Yes this gimbal has Z axis stabilization, but you can get very close to the same results by using proper technique and using your arms and the ninja walk to reduce z axis instability in a gimbal that does not have it so I wouldn't call it a huge upgrade. A glidecam in Devin Graham's hands shows the art of the possible when it comes to making the z axis bounce disappear without an electronic gimbal.

Pixel peepers will always find something wrong with every second of footage that they look at; but the reality is as long as the paying client is happy or if the footage is for personal use and you are happy with the footage that's all that really matters at the end of the day.

Overall I think this camera is a cool concept and for someone who shoots most of their footage on a gimbal this might be a serious contender but there's plenty of run and gun shooters like myself who much prefer smaller kits, faster setups, and shoot mainly handheld.  

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4 hours ago, kye said:

The industry has lowered our expectations dramatically to the point where the only ones we actually complain about (eg, Canon) are, when compared to other tech sectors, positively comatose.

Canon: we've released dozens of cinema cameras over the decades, with hundreds of firmware updates - we're really innovative!

DJI: releases first cinema camera ever, and first version of the firmware includes LiDAR Waveform, including colour coding the points identified as a face....

image.thumb.png.fcb86259467b8220cef8facd99e8d1b2.png

Comatose.  The rest of the industry is comatose.

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1 hour ago, herein2020 said:

 

No I get your point, my point is, it does not happen if you use proper technique. The problems you describe are from bad technique or from trying to perform camera movements that are simply impossible to stabilize without a stabilizer (i.e. dolly, crane, truck, etc.), not from the IBIS system. If you maintain multiple points of contact with the camera, use heavier rigs, optimal focal lengths, and properly correct for camera drift when/if it occurs then you stay well within the capabilities of the IBIS system and its corrections are not noticeable.

The whole "bounce" that you describe is when the IBIS has to correct for a problem that is beyond its capabilities. For example if the IBIS provides 5 stops of correction but you ask it to correct for a 7 stop jerk you will have problems. If you use proper technique and can keep a 5 stop IBIS system within 1 or 2 stops of correction then the corrections are not visible or they are reduced to the point of being statistically insignificant in the grand scheme of things; this is no different from combining an IBIS system with a gimbal; the purpose of the gimbal is to provide stabilization that falls well within the capabilities of the camera with or without IBIS.

A great practicing technique is to turn on the cross hairs of whatever camera you own, turn off IBIS and point it at a spot and practice keeping those cross hairs on that spot while performing different slight camera movements. Your technique will improve pretty quickly. Of course side handles and a heavier rig help here as well. 

Yes this gimbal has Z axis stabilization, but you can get very close to the same results by using proper technique and using your arms and the ninja walk to reduce z axis instability in a gimbal that does not have it so I wouldn't call it a huge upgrade. A glidecam in Devin Graham's hands shows the art of the possible when it comes to making the z axis bounce disappear without an electronic gimbal.

Pixel peepers will always find something wrong with every second of footage that they look at; but the reality is as long as the paying client is happy or if the footage is for personal use and you are happy with the footage that's all that really matters at the end of the day.

Overall I think this camera is a cool concept and for someone who shoots most of their footage on a gimbal this might be a serious contender but there's plenty of run and gun shooters like myself who much prefer smaller kits, faster setups, and shoot mainly handheld.  

I think we're mostly talking about the same things, but the terminology is letting us down.  Sadly, I find that the level of knowledge out there about cameras is woefully inadequate, which means that things are actually named incorrectly (or at least misleadingly), which then gets in the way of even knowledgeable people talking.

The "bounce" I'm talking about isn't when the IBIS hits its limits, its when the person can't do the ninja walk and the vertical height of the camera goes up and down.

Anyway, this isn't a camera aimed at people who shoot handheld relying on IBIS, this is a camera for people who shoot with a gimbal attached to a z-axis stabiliser.

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8 hours ago, Eric Calabros said:

It can't be useful for any pro project, but many pros would love to use it. At least somebody is thinking out of the box in the industry. 

It can and will be used for ‘Pro’ projects. I have a second camera body permanently rigged to a Gimbal 90% of the time that gets used  just for gimbal shots. It has a second monitor, wireless transmitter and remote FF system all mounted to it in a rather clunky (but by far cleaner that most I see out there) way. The Ronin form factor just isn’t great but this, by having two grips to spread the load more evenly looks much better in every way. Sure, I don’t think if have it as my one and only camera but as a second camera this replaces lots of different bits of kit. Full frame body, gimbal, wireless FF, Wireless image transmitter….

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image.thumb.png.b5e94562e950486da548d5ed8a40aa49.png

https://youtu.be/TiVJnRXUwKw?t=418

These LiDAR waveforms look incredible! Wonder how it is in real life. Is anybody else doing this already?

Been chatting a lot today with a high end professional 1st AC I know. Seems that nobody else is doing exactly this. 

Perhaps the closest to this that exists might be this:

But they're using this blocky bar chart method of displaying the info, which is neither as informative or as elegant as showing a focus waveform like DJI is showing off. 

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16 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

But they're using this blocky bar chart method of displaying the info, which is neither as informative or as elegant as showing a focus waveform like DJI is showing off. 

I think you nailed it by calling it 'elegant'.  So simple, especially colouring the face-detect with green, but very powerful.  I can imagine future updates having another colour for the other faces detected in the scene and showing them as well, which would be great for focus pulls during dialogue scenes.

What do you think of the ergonomics and image?  Do you think that there would be people willing to use this on a set that could afford a cine camera and a gimbal / steadicam?

I have no idea how DJI is regarded at the ARRI level of film-making.  I'm assuming that if you wanted to fly an Alexa Mini or Komodo you'd be using one of the high-end DJI drones?

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