Archive for the ‘Third Party Cameras’ Category

The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

An EF mount 4K cinema camera
For the second year in a row, the biggest buzz from the show has come from Blackmagic Design (you’re a close second Freefly).

Last year they launched a 2.5K cinema camera that has been plagued with availability issues. People that have got their hands on one seem to genuinely like the camera. Although there are still a lot of people that have been frustrated by their inability to get one.

This year Blackmagic Design launched two new cameras, a compact cinema camera for $995 and the very exciting 4K camera for under $4000. The camera itself has a Super 35 sensor and has a global shutter, which eliminates the rolling shutter frustration.

From Blackmagic Design
“Shoot Ultra HD TV or 4K feature films with the new Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. You get a large Super 35 size sensor with professional global shutter combined with precision EF mount optics, high quality visually lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)™ file recording for a complete self contained solution. The built in touchscreen lets you monitor, change settings and enter metadata directly on the camera!”

I spent a half an hour or so with Blackmagic Design along with my friend Mitch from Planet5D. It was a good talk and has changed my view of Blackmagic Design and how successful I think they can be.

First up, the production issues of the first camera. The company feels those are behind them, they’ve learned a lot from the issues. The first camera had issues with sensor production, one of the only a handful of parts inside the camera that Blackmagic Design doesn’t manufacture themselves. For the last year, they have had an abundance of camera bodies without sensors inside them. The new sensor comes from a new supplier and they’ve made sure they are going to be able to meet demand. Blackmagic Design wouldn’t tell us who that manufacturer was at the time of writing this, as they don’t feel it matters to consumers where the sensor comes from. As long as they can produce them, and the camera gives good results, who cares? I agree with that point, but I do appreciate the passion of camera lovers.

That being said, the speculation is the sensor is made by CMOSIS , as it shares some physical similarities to the Leica M sensor. CMOSIS also makes a Super35 sensor that is in the Apertus camera.

The camera will only be available in EF mount, as the distance to the sensor prevents a PL mount version of the camera. The image circle is also too big for Micro 4/3 lenses.

The camera is slated for release in July, so there should be decent stock of them in August if what were told today about product was true.

This may not be the only cinema camera you own, but it’s shaping up to be one a lot of people with add to the kit. At under $4000, it’s almost a no brainer. One may appear in my camera bag, so I can continue to make bad movies, but at 4K resolution!

Thanks for your time Blackmagic Design.

Visit Blackmagic Design | Preorder the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K $3995

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera

From OneRiver Media
The folks at OneRiver Media decided to compare the EF model of the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. They put both cameras through a battery of tests to compare sharpness, dynamic range, lowlight performance as well as a few others.

OneRiver recommends that you download the video to your computer, as they weren’t completely happy with the compression on Vimeo. Although, even the compressed file shows the differences in the two cameras pretty easily.

Release Information

After several DAYS of trying to upload this video to Vimeo, we’ve ultimately had to reduce the bit-rate compression down to 18mbps (Vimeo recommends 5mbps, ha!), which is down from our minimum quality level of 40mbps. This means the SOURCE file you can download will also inhibit some amount of compression blocking and smearing, even in the Cinema Camera footage, which doesn’t originally exist in our ProRes master file. We’ve tried EVERYTHING, multiple types of uploads, different encoding methods, you name it. This is as best as it will get unless someone can host our 40mbps H.264 file (about 3GB) on their server that the world can download from.

Although the downloadable source file is a little better than the streaming version, it still doesn’t compare to the original ProRes source file which imposes no banding, compression artifacts, or chrominance sub-sampling (down from 4:4:4 to H.264′s 4:2:0 space). Please keep this in mind when viewing.

Unfortunately Vimeo only allows 100 downloads per day, so check back to download the 2GB file if the queue is filled. And remember to always watch in FULL 1080 HD or you will have added scaling and moiré issues on some of the tests than what is already been added by Vimeo and our horrid bit-rate restrictions.

Background: This video compares the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera and the Canon 5D Mark III in several tests. This includes dynamic range, sharpness, pushing levels, banding, artifacts, rolling shutter, chromakeying, wide/telephoto lengths, DOF (depth of field), low light, macro blocking, contrast, and more.

Thanks for watching. Hope this is as informative for you as it was for me making it.

Marco Solorio

Source: [Planet5D] via [OneRiver Media]

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*UPDATED* Big Megapixel Camera Next Week.

*UPDATED* Big Megapixel Camera Next Week.

*UPDATE 1* Nikon Announcements Next Week
A reader has written in about this post and says the big megapixel camera is from Nikon.

A Nikon division (I won’t mention the country) will be showing new Nikon products on August 24, 2011. The showing is “confidential” and will require an NDA. We already know the Nikon mirrorless will be coming.

Please don’t yell at me for posting Nikon stuff on Canon Rumors (trust me, it’ll happen).

Whatever Nikon does, could give some insight into what Canon and others in the industry will do. Photographic equipment companies rarely one up each other in the span of a month or so.

Upcoming DSLRs
I received word that one manufacturer will surprise everyone with a big megapixel camera next Thursday, August 25, 2011.

The report is very vague, but comes from a bang on source. I’d almost [CR3] this.

5D Mark III
Two great sources are both saying Canon is extremely quiet at the moment. There hasn’t been a real whisper about anything upcoming.

I am finished posting spec lists until I hear something more concrete.

A lot of people are talking about price drops of the 5D Mark II. It’s pretty interesting to me too. We’re coming up to 3 years on the Mark II. Maybe there will be something announced in 2011.

No one has received any press invites to a Canon event yet.

It looks like Nikon will announce first.

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Red Epic with an EF Mount

Red Epic with an EF Mount

Vincent Laforet is at it again

The angle of video of a Canon 600mm f4 EF Lens with a 2X converter on a RED Epic, is roughly one degree. (1 Degree, 45 arcminutes horizontally to be exact.)

The focal length in terms of 35mm is more than 3400mm – not too shabby when you consider this was shot at 4K, 120fps in full RAW on the Epic.

So who cares? Is this just a case of “just because you can…”

The yet to be released EF mount for the RED system fully supports IS, autofocus, digital aperture control, touch to focus, touch to rack focus and distance readout. All you need to convert your RED to EF is a Torx screwdriver.

Vincent shot this film at Mono Lake 45 minutes after sunset until it was dark. He used an ISO range of 800 to 2000.

Visit the Vincent Laforet Blog to see more images of the setup.

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The Leica M9 Experience

Yes, I wrote a Leica review
Please don’t give me heck for it, Leica and Canon can get along. Rest assured no Nikon review will ever appear here.

I did this because people ask me why I use one, so this seemed like a good way to tell them. It’s more of an experience review than a technical review of the camera.

I also did this because it’s a 1 of a kind camera, there is no other full frame camera like it. There should be more of them, and Canon should make one.

If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

Read the review

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