Atomos Shogun Review – Part 1

Atomos Shogun review

Atomos Shogun on the A7S

This is an early look for now, my unit has only just arrived!! I will be posting some ProRes samples in 4K from the A7S later this weekend.

This is a device that’s set to unleash total magic from the Sony A7S in 4K. It also offers a way for Panasonic GH4 users to record 4K in 10bit to ProRes rather than heavily compressed 8bit 4:2:0 H.264. For the Samsung NX1 it is also compelling, offering us a way to bypass the compression of H.265 altogether (and the lengthy transcoding stage), instead going straight to 4K ProRes in various flavours.

It’s also an IPS 1920×1200 field monitor, so detailed you can nail focus on without even having to dive into the focus assists. The monitoring function is ably assisted by one of the best touch screen user interfaces on the market and recording can be triggered from the camera (the A7S does this already while the GH4 awaits a firmware update in January for it).

It’s a tantalising prospect, so let’s take it out of the box and get acquainted with it!

Read moreAtomos Shogun Review – Part 1

Atomos Shogun sneak peek and EOSHD review coming soon

Three of the most exciting cameras of the year, the Sony A7S, Panasonic GH4 and Samsung NX1 are about to go into a different league as far as video quality and monitoring go. The Atomos Shogun 4K monitor / recorder is now shipping ($1995 / £1220 + VAT) and one is on the way to me, scheduled to arrive this week. I plan to put it to use with all 3 of the aforementioned cameras. I’ll do a shootout comparing them. We’re unlocking as yet unexploited features like 4K mode on the A7S and 10bit 422 on the GH4. For the NX1 it will be useful to record straight to an editable format for a quick turnaround rather than having to transcode from H.265. I’m also expecting image quality gains across the board.

Read moreAtomos Shogun sneak peek and EOSHD review coming soon

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

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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

Exclusive: here is the first app to resample Panasonic GH4 4K 8bit to 10bit 4:4:4

A few days ago Thomas Worth of Rarevision (5DToRGB and RAWMagic) asked me for some original files from the GH4 so he could develop an experimental app he had in mind. The result is an embryonic new command-line app for the Mac, which takes 8bit 4:2:0 4K H.264 files from the GH4 and resamples them to 10bit 4:4:4 in 2K DPX format.

Read moreExclusive: here is the first app to resample Panasonic GH4 4K 8bit to 10bit 4:4:4

Calling all colourists – Grade Panasonic GH4 4K ProRes next to Arri Alexa 2K ProRes

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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.

Read moreCalling all colourists – Grade Panasonic GH4 4K ProRes next to Arri Alexa 2K ProRes

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

Panasonic GH4 4K

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

First ProRes files from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera released

BMPC ProRes

Download now
(Mirror provided by Copy – sign up and get 20GB free storage. Better than Dropbox)

The BMCC 2.5K EF and mFT cameras are now in-stock at Hot Rod Cameras, where you can also pre-order the Pocket Cinema Camera

John Brawley has released a few ungraded ProRes files from his card, shot with the Pocket Cinema Camera and SLR Magic 35mm F1.4.

Read moreFirst ProRes files from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera released