The headline feature of the Panasonic GH4 is that it's a Micro Four Thirds camera that can shoot 4K video for under $2000, capturing either Quad HD (3840 x 2160) at up to 29.97p or 'Cinema 4K' (4096 x 2160) at up to 24p. Seattle-based photographer Erik Hecht recently took the new Panasonic GH4 for a spin to test the dynamic range and to see how well it takes color correction. See video
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These days shots from a flying drone are a dime a dozen - when engagement shoots are being covered from a hovering photographic robot you know that the technology is ubiquitous. It's getting increasingly hard to impress someone with images or video from drones. So it's lucky that privately-owned SpaceX happens to own its own rockets because it gives them the ability to capture stunning video, like this launch and landing test of its Falcon 9 Reusable rocket. See video
Earlier this week Sony got a lot of attention with its Alpha 7S announcement - a 12MP full-frame mirrorless camera with 4k video capabilities and ISO expandable to 409,600 for stills and video. This sounds impressive, but how does it actually perform? See for yourself as Sony just released a video demonstrating the high ISO performance of the Alpha 7S. Watch video
Atomos has released the latest in its series of field video recorders, the Shogun, at the NAB show in Las Vegas. It's capable of 4K Apple ProRes and Raw recording in 24, 25 or 30p, and up to 120p in HD. The device features a 7-inch touchscreen for operation, and accepts two SSD or HDD drives. Additionally the Shogun offers wireless remote control to trigger recording. Learn more
Touted as 'the world's smallest broadcast camera with the world's largest viewfinder', Blackmagic Design has announced its new Studio Camera. The Studio Camera employs a 12.48mm x 7.02mm sensor and a Micro Four Thirds lens mount. It also has a 10-inch viewfinder and a four-hour built-in battery. Learn more
AJA has announced the Cion - a production camera featuring a 4K APS-C sized sensor - at NAB in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is AJA Video System's first camera, the company being known primarily as a manufacturer of video interface and conversion products. The camera accepts lenses with a PL mount and records to a single proprietary SSD drive. Learn more
Update: Consumer electronics maker JVC Kenwood has joined the Micro Four Thirds standard and said it will develop products for the system. The company is showing two prototype 4K-capable cameras, including a compact, handheld model at NAB in Las Vegas. We stopped by the JVC Kenwood booth and got a first glimpse of the cameras on display. Interestingly, the company says both cameras will have Super 35 sensors (around 21 x 12mm), which is wider than the original Four Thirds sensor format which the standard was designed around. Learn more
Blackmagic Design has unveiled its latest and most expensive camera to date, the URSA. The camera features a changeable sensor design, allowing the user to swap out the Canon EF lens mount and 4K Super 35 image sensor for a similar sensor with a PL mount. The URSA features touch screens for operator control - including a 10-inch flip-out screen. It also has another 5-inch screen showing timecode, histogram, and other indicators such as a spectrum scope for checking focus. Learn more
Canon has introduced its new compact XF205 and XF200 professional camcorders aimed at broadcast news and wedding videographers. They come equipped with a wide-angle 26.8 mm (35mm equivalent) 20x optical zoom lens and support two recording formats - MXF, a file format used by broadcast stations, and MP4. The XF205 and XF200 will be available in mid-July for $4,400 and $3,900 respectively. Learn more
Canon has announced its new Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens for shoulder-mounted application or as a traditional cinema lens. It has an ENG-style Digital Drive handgrip with zoom rocker switch and will be available in either PL- or EF-mount. Canon has also launched the HJ18ex7.6B portable HD zoom lens for broadcast news and documentary situations. Learn more
Panasonic has announced the HX-A500, a wearable video camera with ultra HD 4K at 30p capability. Along with Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity options, the HX-A500 can also shoot 1080p at 60fps, 720p at 120fps and 480p at 240fps. Panasonic's action camera is also dustproof and waterproof for up to 30 minutes down to 10 feet (3 meters). The HX-A500 has a separate body unit that has a 1.5-inch color LCD display and camera unit that is connected by a cable. Learn more
Using a similar model as Adobe’s Creative Cloud, video effects maker Red Giant - creators of Trapcode and Magic Bullet - is making their post-production tools and plugins available via subscription. Instead of buying individual software licenses, Red Giant's service called Universe allows you to pay monthly or yearly for access to their suite of products that work in popular video editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. Learn more
Blackmagic Design has announced it is shipping its 4K, global-shutter camera for $1000 less than originally suggested. The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is built around a Super 35mm (roughly APS-C-sized) sensor and can shoot 4K and 1080p footage in Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) or Adobe CinemaDNG Raw formats, direct to SSD. The camera offers 4K at 30p, 25p, 24p and NTSC equivalents. It has a Canon EF-compatible lens mount, offering electronic aperture control with Canon and Zeiss lenses. It is available for $2,995.
Filming fire has come a long way since the 1991 movie Backdraft. Emerging Director Brendan Bellomo and DP Greg Wilson shot a slow motion short using the Phantom Flex4K camera, which shoots 1,000 FPS in full 4K resolution. The results are riveting. See video
Metabones has introduced two new versions of its Nikon-F to Micro Four Thirds mount Speed Booster adapters. This time they are designed specifically for the Blackmagic Cinema and Pocket Cinema cameras. The new 0.64x Speed Booster reduces the full-frame crop factor of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera from 2.39x to 1.53x. The 0.58x Speed Booster reduces the crop factor of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera from 2.88x to 1.75x. Learn more
Blackmagic Design has announced its Camera 1.5 software update which adds new 12-bit Log CinemaDNG RAW recording to the Pocket Cinema Camera. The CinemaDNG Raw lossless compression works like a ZIP file where the Raw files are compressed during 1080p recording without the loss of any part of the image. This allows videographers to capture files with wider dynamic range for increased flexibility during color correction.
As of now there are not many consumer products, aside from a from a few smartphones (and the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition), that can shoot 4k video. However the SD Association's announcement of new Ultra High Speed Class 3 (U3) card labeling anticipates it becoming more common. The U3 designation guarantees a 30 MB/s constant minimum write speed, making it easier for buyers to know which cards are '4k ready.'
Canon is offering owners of its Cinema EOS C100 the chance to add Dual Pixel AF to this video-centric camera. This will enable continuous autofocus during recording with all Canon EF lenses, and double one-shot AF speed with 104 fully-supported lenses. Interestingly the upgrade doesn't involve a change of sensor, but instead enables a hitherto-unused hardware capability. However it will require the camera to be sent to a Canon service centre, and isn't free (in the US it will cost $500).
Sony has announced a consumer 4K camcorder, the FDR-AX1 Handycam, which gives enthusiast videographers a way to capture four times the resolution of a Full HD camera. The AX1 is able to save the massive amounts of data gathered by a 4K, 60fps camera thanks to its XQD memory card. Its G lens covers a 20x zoom range equivalent to a 31.5 - 630mm, and includes Optical Steady Shot. Click through for more.
Sony has updated its Action Cam with a new name, a lighter waterproof housing, and GPS. The Action Cam HDR-AS30V can capture an 11.9-megapixel still image on its back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor as well as Full HD footage. Its new waterproof housing is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and also a little less rugged. Built-in Wi-Fi offers easy connectivity to a smartphone, as well as the new Live View Remote wristwatch. Click through for more details of this, and also the new 'Music Video Recorder' announced at the same time.
Back in April we posted about the GSS C520 - a five-axis gyro stabilized 4K cinema system being used by Teton Gravity Research to shoot a feature film about skiing. If the preview footage is any indication, it'll be pretty intense, putting the 4K rig to work in some impressive locations. The trailer is available online now - click through to see the preview footage in all its high-definition glory.
Garmin has taken a leap into the rugged action camera market with the Garmin VIRB and VIRB Elite, designed to capture video and stills in extreme conditions. In a market segment currently dominated by GoPro, the VIRB steps into the ring with a 1.4-inch display, 1080p video capture, integrated weatherproof housing and ANT+ connectivity. The VIRB Elite is a step-up model with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. Both are capable of 16 megapixel still images, as well as time-lapse photography. Click through for the full press release and pricing.
Magic Lantern has been enhancing the features of Canon EOS digital SLRs for some time now, most recently giving the EOS 5D Mark III a significant increase in dynamic range. One feature found in the second alpha version of their EOS 7D software adds the ability to capture Raw video, albeit at a relatively low 1736 x 1156 resolution. A 7D owner named Florian has put this feature to the test, by combining a series of DNG files into a 33 second video which looks fantastic. See the video for yourself after the break.
Blackmagic Designs has announced it is shipping its Raw-video-shooting Pocket Cinema Camera and is reducing the price of its original, larger Cinema Camera. The Pocket Cinema Camera is built around a 'Super 16mm' sized sensor (12.5 x 7mm) and can shoot Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) or lossless compressed CinemaDNG 1080 footage at 23.99, 24, 25, 29.97 or 30p. Meanwhile the company has knocked $1,000 off the price of its original, 2.5K resolution Raw-shooting Cinema Camera model.
Looking more like a projector than a camera, the Canon Vixia Mini made its debut today, its aim to serve bloggers, youtubers and apparently guitarists. Its 16.8mm equivalent fisheye lens is designed to capture video and stills with a unique perspective, and users can switch from wide to close-up mode while recording for an interesting live 'cut' effect, while maintaining Full HD video recording. Its built-in touch-sensitive LCD flips to face forward or backward, and a tripod mount can hold the device firmly in place. Click through for more information, and images.
The folks at Magic Lantern are no stranger to adding new features to Canon DSLRs, courtesy of their EOS Camera Tool software. Their latest creation, Dual ISO, increases the dynamic range of the 5D Mark III and EOS 7D by four stops, bringing the total dynamic range to 14EV. This allows you to pull detail out of the shadows with a lot less noise than with the 'stock' firmware. Click through for more details.
Camera feature modifier Magic Lantern has piqued interest in the five-year-old Canon EOS 50D by enabling video recording on this previously stills-only camera. The development work is still in early stages, but a user has posted raw video footage at 1592 x 720 resolution at 24p. Click through to see why videographers are excited about this newly added feature. (via EOSHD.com)
Camera feature modifier Magic Lantern has developed a version of its software enabling 24fps Raw video output from the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This news has grabbed videographers' attention as it allows for individual frames of 14 bit output, yielding a much wider dynamic range than you'd get from standard 8 bit video files. EOSHD's Andrew Reid has had his hands on the latest version and discusses its implications. Click through for his accounts of this potentially game-changing capability.
High speed camera maker Vision Research has put together its first footage with the forthcoming Phantom Flex4K video camera. Capable of capturing up to 1000 fps at 4K resolution, the Flex4K features a 10MP Super-35 sensor, records either RAW or compressed footage and will come in PL, Canon EF and Nikon F/G mounts. For this video, NYC-based cinematographer Greg Wilson and director Brendan Bellomo captured the Hebron and Glastonbury Connecticut Fire Departments in action, highlighting the camera's slow motion capabilities. Click through to watch the video.
Blackmagic Design has announced the Production Camera 4K, a Super-35 format, 4K-capable camera with global shutter for smooth panning and image motion. The company says it will cost $3995. It can capture footage in Apple ProRes 422 HQ or losslessly compressed CinemaDNG Raw - promising 12-stops of dynamic range. The camera is built around a Canon EF mount and an internal SSD recorder to cope with the data rates. Blackmagic says it will be available from July 2013.
Digital video site www.newsshooter.com is at this year's NAB show in Las Vegas, and has been taking a look at the Pocket Cinema Camera from Blackmagic. The Pocket Cinema Camera is a small, 1080 video camera with a Micro Four Thirds lensmount and an eye-opening MSRP of $995. Click through to see newsshooter's video, straight from the floor at NAB.
Blackmagic Design has announced a pocket-sized 1080p movie camera capable of 422 ProRes capture with promises of lossless CinemaDNG to be added via firmware. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses a Super 16 imaging area (around 12.5 x 7.4mm - slightly smaller than a 1" sensor), and an 'active' Micro Four Thirds lens mount, giving full aperture control of native lenses. The camera can capture footage in Apple's 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes format Blackmagic promising to add the open, lossless CinemaDNG Raw standard later. The company has said this will cost just $995 and be available from July.
Action sports video production company Teton Gravity Research (TGR) has posted the first video shot with the GSS C520, a five-axis gyro-stabilized 4K cinema system by GSS (Gyro-Stabilized Systems). The C520 is compatible with the RED Epic, Arri Alexa M and Sony F55/HDC-2500 video cameras. For this video, the system was fitted with a RED Epic video camera and mounted on a helicopter to capture 4K stabilized footage of San Francisco, California. (via FStoppers)
Sony has introduced two 4K-capable modular cameras, including the PMW-F55 which has a Super 35-sized sensor with a global shutter. The specifications of the two cameras are pretty overwhelming - 16-bit Raw recording, parallel 2K and 4K recording, but the biggest news is the global shutter - the ability to capture all pixels simultaneously, rather than one line at a time - totally eliminating rolling shutter effect. (via EOS HD)
Industry body CEA has defined a minimum standard for '4K' video and has chosen the terms 'Ultra High-Definition' and 'Ultra HD' to describe it. The consumer electronics body, which includes most major camera makers, has concluded that devices must be capable of showing 3840 x 2160 pixel video to be classed as Ultra HD devices. Despite being a member of CEA, Sony has said it will continue to use the term 4K, and will brand its products as 4K UHD.
GoPro, the action camera maker, has refreshed its entire range, including the addition of the 4k-capable Hero 3 Black Edition. The existing Hero HD and Hero 2 models have essentially been re-housed in smaller cases with updated user interfaces and will sit alongside the Black Edition as the White and Silver Editions, respectively. The Hero 3 Black Edition can shoot at up to 3840x2160 pixels at 15 frames per second. It also has 2.7k mode (2716 horizontal pixels) at 30 or 24fps, and a Protune mode that offers higher bit-rates and a neutral color profile better suited to post-processing.
Photokina 2012: Sony has announced the NEX-VG900, a full-frame NEX camcorder along with the VG30 APS-C model and an 18-200mm powerzoom lens for APS-C E-mount cameras. The VG900 is built around the company's 24MP sensor that also appears in the SLT A99 and RX1 and confirms the theory that the E-mount can accommodate a 36x24mm sensor. The lack of full-frame E-mount lenses means the VG900 must be used with an adapter such as the LA-EA3 which allows the use of full-frame A-mount lenses. The SELP-18200 E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 adds a third 18-200mm lens to the NEX system, this time with a lever-controlled powered zoom for video work. The VG900 will sell for around $3,300 with A-mount adapter, the VG30 will cost $2,700 with 18-200mm or $1,800 body-only.
Carl Zeiss has announced the Compact Prime CP.2 25/T2.1 cinema lens. It's a replacement for the existing CP.2 25/T2.9, offering a whole stop greater light-gathering ability. The CP.2 25/T2.1 uses the company's interchangeable lens mount system, with Arri PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E options all available. It will start shipping on October 1st, 2012, with an expected retail price of €3,300 (excl. VAT) or $4,500 (excl. VAT).
Carl Zeiss is displaying a 28-80mm T2.9 cinema zoom lens at the IBC trade show in Amsterdam, that will complement the 70-200mm T2.9 optic it announced earlier this year. Designed for use on 35mm full-frame format video-capable SLRs, as well as HD video cameras and professional cine cameras, the Compact Zoom CZ.2 28-80/T2.9 will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E and Arri PL mounts. It will be available in the second quarter of 2013 for €14,900 or US$19,900 (excluding VAT).
Canon has officially announced the EOS C500, the professional 4K video camera output that it promised at the NAB trade show in April. A continuation of the concept of the C300, it can capture Raw 4K video footage and offers frame rates of up to 120fps in compressed 4K. It also captures 2K footage (2,048 x 1,080 pixels) at 12-bit, with 4:4:4 Y'CbCr chroma sub-sampling for high colour resolution. The company has also confirmed four cinema EOS lenses alongside it - the EF mount CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L S and CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L S, and the same optics in PL mount (known as the CNE15.5-47mm T2.8 L SP and CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L SP respectively). The C500's price will be in the region of $30,000.
Canon has announced a the EOS C100, a 'budget' addition to its Cinema EOS range of professional video cameras. Designed for independent videographers, the C100 offers the same core technology as the C300, including its 8.3MP Super 35mm image sensor, in a smaller package. Its EF lens mount means it's compatible with all of Canon's SLR lenses, as well as the company's specialist Cinema EOS optics. The C100 records 1920 x 1080 Full HD movies to SD cards at a bitrate of 24Mbps, offers an ISO range of 320-20000, and can output uncompressed video directly to external recorders. It will be available from November 2012 at a price of $7,999.
DSLRnewsshooter's Dan Chung has been speaking to Canon USA Technical Advisor Chuck Westfall for more details about the company's 4K Cinema EOS offerings. Both the 500C and 1D C are skewed towards cinema and high-end television production, rather than documentary and news work, Westfall says, but hints that 'peaking' and 'zebra' focusing and exposure aids could be added to the 1D C if the market demands it.
Blackmagic Designs, a company perhaps best known among film-makers for its external recording boxes, has announced its first camera - the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It captures 2.5K (2432 x 1366) 12bit RAW footage with a claimed 13 stops of dynamic range on a sensor that is, at 16.64 x 14.04mm, slightly smaller than the Four Thirds standard. It features a Canon EF mount and the compact body includes a capacitive touchscreen and a Thunderbolt connection. EOSHD.com has published first impressions of the camera and what it offers the market.
Photojournalist and videographer Dan Chung has just got back from Canon's 4K demonstration and product launch, where he saw some footage from pre-production EOS-1D Cs. He also asked some more questions about the EOS-1D C and C500. He spoke to Canon's Tim Smith, who further clarified how the company's Cinema EOS range fits together and says the inability to shoot in PAL-compatible 25p footage 'might need to be looked at.'
Canon has announced it is developing the EOS C500, a 4K (4096 x 2160 pixel) capable camera in both EF and PL mounts. The camera will be a continuation of the concept of the C300, will be able to capture of Raw 4K video footage and will offer frame rates of up to 120fps in compressed 4K. It will also be be able to capture 2K footage (2,048 x 1,080 pixels) at 12-bit, with 4:4:4 Y'CbCr chroma sub-sampling for high colour resolution. Canon adds that it plans for the camera to be available later in 2012 at a target price of around $30,000.
Sony has announced the NEX_FS700 pro-grade 4k-capable E-mount camcorder. The camera will initially offer 1080p video, switchable between 50Hz and 60Hz frame rates (including 60p, 50p, 60i and 24p). A later upgrade will enable 4k capture and Raw output from its built-in 3G-SDI connector. The camera is also able to capture slow-motion footage, shooting at up to 960 fps at reduced resolution (240fps in Full HD). It also offers built-in 2- and 4-stop ND filters (which can be combined), to allow lenses to be used at wide apertures in bright light.
Apple has updated Final Cut Pro X, its high-end video editing package, to v10.0.3 with the ability to import projects from Final Cut Pro 7. The upgrade includes several pro-level options, such as multi-camera syncing, that were not included when the first release replaced the more expensive and complex Final Cut Pro 7. Initially its different way of handling clips made look like Apple wouldn't be able to get Pro 7 projects to work in Pro X but a $9.99 Apple app called 7toX has found an xml-mediated method of doing so.
Astrodesign, a high-end Japanese video manufacturer has signed-up to the Micro Four Thirds system. It offers a 4K camera system (including separate camera head, processor and control unit) that captures 3840×2160 4K video at 60p. The company suggests its use for movie and broadcast shooting, live monitoring of medical operations and other applications requiring super-high resolution video. While the move is unlikely to directly affect most Micro Four Thirds camera users, it could boost the system's position within the video industry, encouraging the creation of an eco-system of accessories for video makers using the system.
Pre-CES: Samsung has announced three camcorder models: the Q20, F80 and the W300 pocket camcorder. The Q20 shoots 1080i HD footage and incorporates a 20x zoom lens. The company is also offering a Wi-Fi capable QF20 variant. The less expensive F80 model shoots 720p30 video and a 52x optical zoom lens. Finally, the W300 is a rugged pocket camcorder that can shoot 1080p30 movies.
Pre-CES: Canon has updated its camcorder range with three M-series and three R-series Vixia HF models. The more advanced M-series cameras feature an enhanced version of the HD CMOS Pro chip used in last year's models and share a 10x optical zoom lens. The Vixia HF M52 and M50 feature DNLA-compliant Wi-Fi connectivity along with 32Gb and 8Gb of internal memory, respectively. The less expensive M500 misses out on both features. The R-series models follow a similar pattern, with the R32 and R30 offering Wi-Fi capability and 32Gb and 8Gb of memory, with an R300 model stripping out both. The R-series models have smaller sensors, allowing a 32x optical zoom. There will also be an optional waterproof case for the M-series models.