The Sony A7S, new X70 on the big screen at Pinewood Studios plus hands-on the Atomos Shogun

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On a trip to Pinewood Studios I saw for the first time Sony A7S 4K footage projected in a theatre. The surprise was just how well the 1080p held up for cinematic projection. I also had my hands on the Atomos Shogun 4K recorder / 7″ monitor, the new Sony PXW X70 1″ camcorder with 10bit XAVC codec and more…

Read moreThe Sony A7S, new X70 on the big screen at Pinewood Studios plus hands-on the Atomos Shogun

James Miller adds £167 hardware 4K scaler box to Sony A7S with stunning results

Picture (“Buddy”) courtesy of James Miller, inset – the CYP 4K HDMI scaler

The picture above (click for 1080p original) is from the 4K full frame sensor inside the Sony A7S (ISO 3200, S-LOG2).

Internally the camera does a simple downscale of the 4K signal to 2K for standard 1080p XAVC or HDMI recording – but James discovered adding a hardware scaler on the end of the 4K HDMI signal results in a more detailed 1080p image which is light and day different. The great news is this scaler is only £167 in the UK.

Add to that an Atomos Ninja Blade or Ninja Star for taking the image from the scaler and recording it to ProRes – and you have one of the best 1080p images available at any price.

Read moreJames Miller adds £167 hardware 4K scaler box to Sony A7S with stunning results

Slashcam test reveals Sony A7S 1080/60p softer than 24p mode

Slashcam have chart tested the A7S internal recording modes and the results for the regular frame rates 24-30p are incredibly positive.

However it seems that in 60p the camera cannot utilise the full pixel readout of the sensor, which results in a worse image with moire and aliasing.

You can read my take on this below or head over to Slashcam to read the original piece (Google translated)

Read moreSlashcam test reveals Sony A7S 1080/60p softer than 24p mode

Best small camera for 1080/60p – Panasonic GX7 and A6000 review

NB: Sample videos will come next week

The Panasonic GX7 is available at B&H for $897.99 and the Sony A6000 is $648 at B&H here

If you want a nice 1080p camera that is packed with features and doesn’t cost very much then there’s now two really good options available from Sony and Panasonic.

The A6000 is certainly Sony’s best performing mirrorless camera yet for video with an APS-C sized sensor vs the Micro Four Thirds sensor in the GX7.

I’ve been shooting with both to decide which one is most fun to use for video.

Read moreBest small camera for 1080/60p – Panasonic GX7 and A6000 review

Shooting 4K for 2K on the Panasonic GH4 plus my pre-review short film

My full review of the Panasonic GH4 (final retail unit) is coming next week. Until then I am enjoying Philip Bloom’s views on the camera here!

A big thanks to B&H Photo & Video in the US for shipping internationally a GH4 unit with no recording limits, I got it before it was even available in Europe. Delivery took just 2 days! Impressed! Also thanks to Susanna, the star of my video above shot in Berlin.

Read moreShooting 4K for 2K on the Panasonic GH4 plus my pre-review short film

Panasonic GH4 – Slow-mo at 96fps and 4K rolling shutter test

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.

Read morePanasonic GH4 – Slow-mo at 96fps and 4K rolling shutter test

Panasonic GH4 4K Production Diary – Day 3 – EOSHD Shootout

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?

Read morePanasonic GH4 4K Production Diary – Day 3 – EOSHD Shootout

Discovery: 4K 8bit 4:2:0 on the Panasonic GH4 converts to 1080p 10bit 4:4:4

Pros are wondering what the benefit of 4K is to them in terms of overall image quality, when mastered and delivered for 2K / 1080p. A lot of work is still shot in 1080p and cameras like the Canon C300 are the workhorses of the moment.

In the case of the GH4 it may appear from the specs that it’s just an 8bit 4:2:0 camera internally.

Actually the theory is 8bit 4:2:0 4K material from this camera can be taken through a workflow in post that converts it to 10bit 4:4:4 1080p – with all the smoother tonality, better colour and workflow advantages that format brings. This is a big leap for 1080p based on the much more expensive C300 which only does 8bit 4:2:2.

I asked Go Pro’s David Newman (Sr. Dir. Software – follow on Twitter) whether this theory was correct…

Read moreDiscovery: 4K 8bit 4:2:0 on the Panasonic GH4 converts to 1080p 10bit 4:4:4