Cameras Cameras Cameras

Between IBC and Photokina, the past couple of weeks have seen numerous interesting camera announcements.

Panasonic LX100

Panasonic announced the LUMIX LX100. The name makes as much sense as camera names ever can, as it's bigger and badder than the single-digit LX models that were my point-and-shoots of choice for years. Some of my most-loved photos were made with my LX1, LX2, and LX3. I have an eight-foot-wide print from my LX2 hanging in my home. The LX100 is a MFT camera with a 10.9–34mm ƒ/1.7–2.8 lens (24–75mm AOV equivalent), that you can operate one-handed, even if you can't fit it in a pocket. For stills only, this is a tempting street-shooter at $899 (Amazon pre-order).

Oh, but it does shoot 4K video. Which means everything shoot 4K video these days.

Except the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Here it is. Don't buy it.

Samsung NX1

Samsung announced the NX1 Mirrorless Digital Camera. It features a Super-35 sensor and shoots 24p 4K to HVEC H.265, which is a next-generation codec that promises higher quality and smaller file sizes than current popular codecs such as H.264. The price for all that is insanely low at $1,499 (Amazon pre-order), but it's a Samsung lens mount, so get ready to do the adapter dance.

Canon, time to wake up and smell the Samsung.

AJA CION

AJA announced the CION at NAB 2014, and they perplexed me with their statements that the camera, while capturing an alleged 12 stops of dynamic range and recording to 4:4:4 ProRes, would not have a log recording option. Well, the demo footage they brought to IBC seems to corroborate my suspicion that, while AJA might have designed a great form factor for their first camera, they might not have figured out how to make it produce competitive imagery. Check out this deep dive on the footage by Art Adams.

Question: What is in this reel that shows me what an amazing camera the Cion is? Answer: nothing.

AJA proudly labels the footage "ungraded," but it's contrasty and color skewed. Adams spends a lot of time on the color problems he observed, but my biggest issue is the luminance response. This camera should shoot log, period.

Apertus AXIOM Beta

The Apertus AXIOM beta crowdfunding campaign has 13 days left to raise $100,000. Once again, I find myself skeptimistic.

Sony PXW-FS7

Super 35, 4K up to 60 fps, HD up to 180 fps. Configurable viewfinder and super cool handgrip included. All for $7,999 (B&H preorder).

When the CION and Blackmagic URSA were unveiled, I joked that the companies had announced "camera-shaped cameras." But the FS7 is a camera truly designed to be operated by a human being, right out of the box. I want one.

Alexa 65

Meanwhile, in the big kids department, ARRI announced the Alexa 65. From newshooter.com:

The sensor is slightly larger than a 65mm 5-perf film frame and is comprised of three Alexa sensors that are arranged vertically and seamlessly stitched together.

The camera uses rehoused Hasselblad medium format lenses that cover the sensor and are of the highest quality. The lens mount is a larger PL type.

Damn.

This is How You Geek Out on Cinematography

If you're going to geek out on cinematography, this is the way to do it.

In the first five minutes of this video, there's more wisdom about 4K than than can easily be found on the entire rest of the internet.

What matters far more than spatial resolution are acquisition dynamic range and display contrast (which is driven by black levels much more than brightness).

From there they go on to discuss everything from distibution to lighting to, of course, cameras.

Smart guys, good stuff.