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 ('Pak' storage modules come in either a 256GB or 512GB configurations). The camera is constructed out of magnesium and with its integrated suede shoulder pad, it's intended for flexible use in the field.
The sensor can output up to 120 frames-per-second at full 4K resolution, as well as a handful of other ProRes resolutions. The camera's global shutter also eliminates rolling shutter. Interestingly, the Cion features an ethernet port to allow network access to the camera, letting the operator activate, change settings, as well as remotely view images obtained by the camera in real-time. The AJA Cion will be available in summer of 2014 and sell for $8,995 (~£5,413).
AJA Debuts CION: 4K/UHD/2K/HD Professional Camera
Las Vegas, NV, NAB Conference, Booth SL2505 (April 7, 2014) — AJA Video Systems today announced CION, an entirely new professional camera. CION features an ergonomic design and is capable of shooting at 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD resolutions. AJA pioneered lens-to-post Apple ProRes workflows with the introduction of the Ki Pro product line in 2009; CION builds on this achievement by offering in-camera recording directly to the Apple ProRes family of codecs - including 12-bit 444 - for pristine image capture. ProRes codecs are well established in many post-production environments and offer wide compatibility with editing, color correction and finishing applications. CION enables today’s growing demand for high frame rate support and offers the ability to output 4K raw data at up to 120 fps via 4x 3G-SDI outputs. CION can record directly to AJA Pak SSD media at up to 60 frames per second.
“CION represents a new direction for AJA. Bringing this sophisticated camera to market underscores our passion to support filmmakers, broadcasters and content creators,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “We are incredibly proud of CION. We believe that the thoughtfully considered design, along with a powerful feature set, will make it extremely useful and versatile for productions worldwide.”
CION embraces a familiar and tested camera form and ergonomic layout. It includes a built-in shoulder mount and standard connectors in logical positions. CION features a PL lens mount for compatibility with industry-standard lenses. When recording in HD or 2K, the image is oversampled from the full 4K sensor, retaining focal length as well as providing a vibrant and detailed image. A built-in filter combines an optical low pass filter (OLPF) to eliminate unwanted aliasing and moiré with an infrared (IR) cut filter to produce appropriate colors. Additionally, a back focus adjustment means the sharpest image possible can be produced. Also included are several 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs, which are all simultaneously active and supply signal to a variety of 4K/Ultra HD and 2K/HD monitors. A power output connector is conveniently placed at the front of the unit to make electronic viewfinders easy to use. Professional audio inputs round out an unmatched amount of connectivity.
CION features an uncomplicated user interface that can be easily managed from the operator-side. The camera’s menu parameters are also remotely configurable via a web interface and can be accessed through any web browser via a LAN connection. CION’s sleek chassis is formed of magnesium, which is lightweight yet extremely strong. Integrated steel rosettes allow for mounting of industry-standard accessories such as handgrips and handle extensions directly to the camera body. The open approach to design also includes integrated cheese plates with standard tapped holes. These cheese plates are fitted to both the top and the bottom of the chassis to provide easy mounting of accessories from both AJA and third parties.
CION is the culmination of years of development; AJA has used a considered process to create a production camera with a feature set and form factor that offers the user a wide variety of options both in the field and the studio. CION is an elegant union of great design and functionality, an engineered aesthetic that AJA is proud to describe as “Science of the Beautiful”.
- Sensor: 4K APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an electronic global shutter. 12-stops of dynamic range.
- Recording Formats and Resolutions: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and Apple ProRes (Proxy); 4K (4096x2160), Ultra HD (3840x2160), 2K (2048x1080), HD (1920x1080). 2K and HD are hardware scaled from the full 4K sensor for high-quality over-sampled images and retention of field-of-view.
- Media: Record to AJA Pak SSD media available in 256GB and 512GB capacities. Transfer via Thunderbolt™ or USB3 with optional AJA Pak Dock; Complete 10-bit and 12-bit workflow from HD to 4K.
- Raw Support: Output AJA Raw via 3G-SDI at up to 4K 120 fps or via Thunderbolt™ at up to 4K 30 fps.
- Lens Mount: Industry standard PL mount
4x 3G-SDI/HD-SDI outputs (4K/Ultra HD/2K/HD)
2x 3G/HD-SDI monitor outputs with overlay support
1x HDMI output offering support for 4K and Ultra HD or scaled 2K/HD
1x HDMI output for 2K/HD
2x mic/line/48v XLR analog audio inputs
2x LANC control ports
1x LTC input connector
1x reference connector
1x USB connector
1x 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN connection
1x Mini TRS headphone jack
1x 4-pin XLR power connector
1x input power connector for attaching third-party battery plates
1x output power connector
1x Thunderbolt™ connector
- Optical Low Pass Filter and IR cut filter: An integrated OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) reduces unwanted moiré effects while still retaining vital image detail. The infrared (IR) cut filter produces high quality colors within the image by blocking unwanted light wavelengths.
- Back Focus Adjustment: The mechanical calibration of the distance between lens and sensor allows finely tuned adjustments to ensure the sharpest image quality possible.
- Industrial design: Lightweight magnesium chassis, built-in confidence monitor, standard playback controls and connectors placed to optimize functionality. Integrated “cheese plates” fitted to both the top and the bottom of the chassis provide easy mounting of accessories. All CION accessory connection points use open standards, including 15mm rods, 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes, and M6 hirth-tooth rosettes.
- User interface: Via operator side panel display, control knob and buttons or via LAN connection using a web-browser; no software installation required.
Pricing and Availability
CION will be available Summer 2014 via a worldwide network of AJA resellers at a US MSRP of $8,995. AJA Pak SSD media is available at a US MSRP of $695 (256GB) and $1295 (512GB). AJA Pak Dock is available at a US MSRP of $395. Optional CION accessories will also be available when the camera ships. For more information about AJA products please visit www.aja.com.
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