Tagged: Review

GH4 with Cooke cinema lens

Read my thoughts at DPReview in the Panasonic GH4 review (page 7), here

As was the case with the GH3, the GH4’s video capabilities were enough to achieve a gold award at DPReview.

You can read my full contribution to the DPReview at the link above, but here in shortened form is the crux of it –

The biggest single advantage of the $1600 Panasonic GH4 is how complete it is straight out of the box and how affordable it is relative to professional cinema cameras. The GH4’s video capability is well specified even in comparison to professional cinema cameras upwards of $10k. Although there are many reasons why outright specs are not the whole story, the GH4 has found favour in the professional filmmaking community because it’s small and simple to capture 4K with.

The GH4 however still requires a few add-ons for a professional workflow, especially on the audio-side. The appeal of cameras like the Canon C300 at $15k to pros is that the blocks come integrated and ready to use out of the box. XLR audio interfaces, ND filters and a top handle are examples of features the GH4 needs to be outfitted with whereas often more expensive pro video tools like the Canon C300 often don’t (although often cinema cameras like the Epic and Alexa, conversely, do). However the fact is that the GH4’s image is better specified for today’s world than the C300. The 4K output of the GH4 can produce oversampled 1080p in post at a higher bitrate and colour depth than the C300, at a price of $1600 compared to $15,000. Also the C300 does not capture true 24p on the sensor, instead scanning at 60fps in all modes and skipping frames to produce 24p on the image processor. The GH4 also benefits from a smaller size, smaller lenses, lower weight and even the option for 60p and 96fps slow-mo whereas the C300 tops out at 30fps despite the sensor being capable of 4K at up to 60fps.

Panasonic GH4 with Canon 85mm F1.2L

Whilst it’s true many pros became fed up with the workflow of DSLRs for video, many of them came back to cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S this year as another tool for the job alongside their existing ones and sometimes in-place of their existing ones (notably the 5D Mark III). In the past, the need to sync audio from a separate recorder, the lack of proper audio inputs like balanced XLR jacks with phantom power, the lack of basic focus and exposure aids and wobbly HDMI connections were the bugbear of professional DSLR shooting. The YAGH interface unit for the GH4 solves all of the workflow quibbles pros left DSLRs for the C300 for and most consumers don’t actually need the same fast, robust workflow as pros do as they have the time on their hands to deal with workarounds.

Whilst the C300 still has a low-light advantage over the GH4, the same cannot be said by comparison to the Sony A7S – so that camera makes a great pairing with the GH4, covering for the only major weak-area of the camera – the smaller sensor and noisier image.

Conclusion

A professional will always gravitate towards the best tool for a particular job rather than a single camera for everything. In this respect the GH4 has already carved out a place for itself with a small and light physical form-factor and small data footprint of the 4K recordings. The small size and internal 4K codec makes it ideal for projects involving MoVi-like gimbals, steadicams and aerial imaging from drones, where the final delivery of material will be 4K. This is true right up at the highest leagues of the filmmaking industry because higher end cameras don’t share the same light footprint of the GH4. Especially in the case of aerial work, the extra resolution of 4K is an undoubtable advantage over 1080p.

In fairness though, the GH4 is not so much a ‘replacement’ for a professional cinema camera, more an additional option for the filmmaker which will be selected when the unique abilities of the tool are required by certain work. The simple fact that there’s even a comparison to be made to a $15,000 cinema camera says a lot about how far Panasonic has reached to connect with filmmakers.

The post DPReview give Panasonic GH4 gold award, with filmmaker’s perspective by EOSHD appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

GH4 with Cooke cinema lens

Read my thoughts at DPReview in the Panasonic GH4 review (page 7), here

As was the case with the GH3, the GH4’s video capabilities were enough to achieve a gold award at DPReview.

You can read my full contribution to the DPReview at the link above, but here in shortened form is the crux of it –

The biggest single advantage of the $1600 Panasonic GH4 is how complete it is straight out of the box and how affordable it is relative to professional cinema cameras. The GH4’s video capability is well specified even in comparison to professional cinema cameras upwards of $10k. Although there are many reasons why outright specs are not the whole story, the GH4 has found favour in the professional filmmaking community because it’s small and simple to capture 4K with.

The GH4 however still requires a few add-ons for a professional workflow, especially on the audio-side. The appeal of cameras like the Canon C300 at $15k to pros is that the blocks come integrated and ready to use out of the box. XLR audio interfaces, ND filters and a top handle are examples of features the GH4 needs to be outfitted with whereas often more expensive pro video tools like the Canon C300 often don’t (although often cinema cameras like the Epic and Alexa, conversely, do). However the fact is that the GH4’s image is better specified for today’s world than the C300. The 4K output of the GH4 can produce oversampled 1080p in post at a higher bitrate and colour depth than the C300, at a price of $1600 compared to $15,000. Also the C300 does not capture true 24p on the sensor, instead scanning at 60fps in all modes and skipping frames to produce 24p on the image processor. The GH4 also benefits from a smaller size, smaller lenses, lower weight and even the option for 60p and 96fps slow-mo whereas the C300 tops out at 30fps despite the sensor being capable of 4K at up to 60fps.

Panasonic GH4 with Canon 85mm F1.2L

Whilst it’s true many pros became fed up with the workflow of DSLRs for video, many of them came back to cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S this year as another tool for the job alongside their existing ones and sometimes in-place of their existing ones (notably the 5D Mark III). In the past, the need to sync audio from a separate recorder, the lack of proper audio inputs like balanced XLR jacks with phantom power, the lack of basic focus and exposure aids and wobbly HDMI connections were the bugbear of professional DSLR shooting. The YAGH interface unit for the GH4 solves all of the workflow quibbles pros left DSLRs for the C300 for and most consumers don’t actually need the same fast, robust workflow as pros do as they have the time on their hands to deal with workarounds.

Whilst the C300 still has a low-light advantage over the GH4, the same cannot be said by comparison to the Sony A7S – so that camera makes a great pairing with the GH4, covering for the only major weak-area of the camera – the smaller sensor and noisier image.

Conclusion

A professional will always gravitate towards the best tool for a particular job rather than a single camera for everything. In this respect the GH4 has already carved out a place for itself with a small and light physical form-factor and small data footprint of the 4K recordings. The small size and internal 4K codec makes it ideal for projects involving MoVi-like gimbals, steadicams and aerial imaging from drones, where the final delivery of material will be 4K. This is true right up at the highest leagues of the filmmaking industry because higher end cameras don’t share the same light footprint of the GH4. Especially in the case of aerial work, the extra resolution of 4K is an undoubtable advantage over 1080p.

In fairness though, the GH4 is not so much a ‘replacement’ for a professional cinema camera, more an additional option for the filmmaker which will be selected when the unique abilities of the tool are required by certain work. The simple fact that there’s even a comparison to be made to a $15,000 cinema camera says a lot about how far Panasonic has reached to connect with filmmakers.

The post DPReview give Panasonic GH4 gold award, with filmmaker’s perspective by EOSHD appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

1 YU2A9504 640x359 Canon 7D mark II Review   Footage and First Look at Video FeaturesThe Canon EOS 7D mkII was announced a week ago. For a long time the old Canon 7D was one of the best video shooting DSLR’s. Now the new addition to the Canon DSLR family offers many improvements in video mode. At cinema5D we took the camera into the field and tested it thoroughly to give you an impression of what it offers

Note: This review and footage were shot on a beta camera. There may be improvements in the final production version of the camera.

I got into a nostalgic mood when I sat down to write this article, as the original Canon 7D served me very well despite its limitations. Be it a BBC news pieces or a National Geographic Video, that camera was truly a working horse for me.

5 years to the date, and its successor landed on our desk raising modest expectations when it comes to the video side, as this camera according to its specifications isn’t offering all the features we would wish for and that other large sensor cameras already offer.

Watching Canon’s 7D mkII promotional video led us to believe that an extensive amount of sharpening was used in post and indeed our own findings support the assumption that the 7D mark II footage is a bit soft. We can tell you the video quality of the Canon 7D mark II is comparable to that of the Canon 5D mark III. Soft but very clean. In the above video, 25% sharpening was used in post in order to make the clean picture “alive”.

1 YU2A9498 640x360 Canon 7D mark II Review   Footage and First Look at Video Features

Besides the nice looking clean video mode it seems that Canon for the first time added audio output via HDMI. For a long time this feature was requested by professionals who worked with Canon DSLR’s on news assignments or when using external recorders.

Another enhancement from the original model is the headphone jack. Now it is possible to monitor your audio while recording video, but mind you that on this “beta camera” the preamps were rather noisy. Also audio and video were not in perfect sync as you can see in the video. Probably this issue will be resolved in the production version.

Other than that the added full HD in 50p and 60p mode is a very nice addition, but limited to IBP compression only. Normal video is recorded in ALL-i coding like on the 5D mark III. Other “basic video features” like peaking or magnifying video while recording did not make it into this camera.

Another noticable improvement is the brighter and larger LCD screen, dedicated video overlays, better lowlight capabilities, Dual-Pixel CMOS AF (as on 70D) and the ability to use both CF and SD cards.

All in all the Canon 7D mark II offers surprisingly nice looking and clean video with lovely and accurate colors and no aliasing or moiré. We will go into detail in our upcoming lab test where we will compare sharpness, colors, dynamic range and lowlight to other cameras including the old 7D.

One or two years ago this camera would probably have sold like hot cakes. 5D mark III video in a much more affordable APS-C body and slow motion in full HD. But now that 4K is here for many the video might be too soft.

Many thanks to Sonja Völker from herzilein-wien.at

Music by themusicbed.com
The Light the Heat – Autumn Eyes

The post Canon 7D mark II Review – Footage and First Look at Video Features appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsJohnnie Behiri

Click here to view the embedded video.

For those who find video very lacking on small cameras especially the Fuji X100S and X100T, Panasonic now have a high end retro-styled compact with 4K video.

The sensor and EVF come from the GX7, which in turn is quite close to the GH4 in performance terms. We are talking a gigantic sensor here for a compact, larger even than the 1″ sensor of the Sony RX100 M3. As well as a large sensor, the camera packs a large aperture Leica 24-75mm which opens to an impressive F1.7 at the wide end.

This adds a premium zoom lens to your small-camera-large-sensor arsenal whereas the X100T only has a fixed focal length prime.

One of the most frequented cameras at Photokina by visitors was the LX100. Indeed the busiest stalls were all set up around 4K video at their core. Sony, Samsung and Panasonic all pushing it hard, Fuji, Canon, Olympus and Nikon not. It’s interesting to note that all the camera manufacturers pushing 4K have 4K TVs on the market which are now accessibly priced for most consumers and the cameras should encourage uptake of those. I recently saw a Sony 4K on the high-street in Berlin for 1300 euros, hardly any more than a higher end 1080p set.

The LX100 is a perfect travel camera, something you can shoot 4K on with the minimum of fuss, get back and watch it on your 4K TV. As a result of 4K video the camera captures all pixels to record video and that improves all aspects of the image not just resolution. Thanks to large sensors in stills cameras doing 4K video, those 4K TVs will be done justice to with a wider dynamic range and more natural colour from cameras like the GH4 and LX100.

Panasonic LX100

Olympus did not allude to any 4K this year and their stand certainly wasn’t the busiest. Fuji rolled out the X100T with the same old lens as the other models, but the X-T1 does look lovely in grey. Canon has no 4K solution under $10k and the one they do have (1D C) has not sold very well. Nikon have no 4K solution to speak of. It’s just odd!

Along with retro styling the LX100 also has a Leica D-LUX variant which costs a surprisingly small amount extra by the usual Leica standards. Compared to the Sony RX100 M3 the LX100 has a significantly larger sensor and lower megapixel count. This makes for better low light performance and a shallower depth of field. It’s the only camera of its kind to shoot 4K video whereas the RX100 M3 only shoots 1080p XAVC-S at 50Mbit. The 4K codec on the LX100 has double that bitrate.

The Panasonic LX100 costs just $899 (pre-order at B&H). This is very democratising. Soon everyone will be casually shooting 4K, and those left shooting 1080p on older Canon and Nikon cameras will be missing out on the better quality.

Even if you feel you “don’t need 4K” you do actually need 4K if you want high quality 1080p. With 4K on the LX100 and GH4 you don’t lose a huge amount of the image through line-skipping or pixel binning. On an iMac 27″ screen for example, line-skipped 1080p looks extremely soft full screen, whilst 4K from the LX100 looks like oversampled pin-sharp 2.5K at the native screen resolution and on a Macbook 15″ Retina display it looks incredibly detailed and retina-standard.

I use small cameras a lot alongside my iPhone for casual shooting and visual documenting. The LX100 appears to satisfy my yearning for a high quality small camera, and a ‘pocket GH4′ I can take anywhere for 4K video and stills. The Sony RX1 I have used a lot and although that is full frame with a lovely Zeiss 35mm F2.0 the video quality is a long way of the A7S to say the least.

I hesitate to call the LX100 a ‘compact’ because about the only thing it shares with a traditional compact is size. The performance of the LX100 and image quality makes it worth thinking twice about taking snaps on an iPhone. The sensor is DSLR-class, the EVF mirrorless class and the lens frankly a class of its own. If sold separately for Micro Four Thirds it would be a premium offering with a premium price. I found the performance of the Leica zoom to be superb, in keeping with the recent Panasonic-Leica 15mm F1.7 for Micro Four Thirds it is pin sharp wide open and offers punchy colour. Bokeh is pronounced and creamy.

LX100 Leica lens bokeh

The camera goes easily into a jacket pocket. The EVF on the LX100 is excellent given the challenges posed to the viewfinder by such an extreme miniaturisation effort. I believe it is the GX7’s EVF transplanted into the new smaller body. I found it to be functionally good but not quite as comfortable to use for long periods at a time compared to the larger one in the GH4. The new Panasonic GM5 has a much smaller EVF, so given the LX100 is only fractionally larger they have done well to fit the GX7’s EVF inside.

The LX100 has a doppelgänger in the D-LUX Typ 109. Essentially the same cameras but for a different front and rear grip, subtle body styling differences and square Leica-M style buttons on the back instead of round Lumix ones. Here are the differences side by side at the back –

LX100 and Leica D-Lux Typ 109

The LX100 has a 4K Photo Mode for stills photographers to use 4K as a capture format in their work.

The mode can record continuously or in a mode which keeps the last 15 minutes and deletes the rest on a rolling basis. This is great for storm chasers and sports shooters, or for capturing unpredictable things like lightning strikes. The camera will get the shot and you don’t have to worry about timing, simply stop capturing once you have what you want. Then you can cut down the amount of post work dramatically with a simplified way to grab 8.3MP stills from the 4K capture feed in multiple aspect ratios.

Normal 4K video has a 2160 line resolution but the multi-aspect ratio sensor in the LX100 allows a greater vertical recording area to be used with taller aspect ratios. It doesn’t merely crop the sides. 1:1 extends vertical resolution to an enormous 2880 lines. That’s almost 3x the resolution of 1080 full HD.

Multiple aspect ratios like 4:3 and 3:2 will also be of interest to filmmakers using anamorphic lenses.

The 4K Photo Mode has 30p and 25p but not yet 24p (it might be added in a firmware update later). The thinking behind this is stills will often be shot at high shutter speeds to avoid blurry frames, and 30p syncs to 60hz lights in NTSC regions, whilst 25p syncs to 50hz in PAL regions to avoid flicker. So 24p is not there for the fact that stills shooters don’t need it in a 4K Photo Mode. Anamorphic shooters and filmmakers do, and on that subject Panasonic are listening intently in particular Matt Frazer at Panasonic US.

The general responsiveness and layout of the camera is good, though the video button is quite close to your nose when shooting through the EVF. It’s a small camera and sometimes feels a bit cramped but generally it is lovely to use, especially the retro Fuii X series style top plate with shutter speed dial. The styling and looks of the camera makes it easy to mistake for a Leica, the silver version in particular.

The lens has a nice manual focus ring and focus aids are very effective like on the GH4. Peaking and a high quality magnified focus assist windowed or full screen are very useful. Like the previous LX cameras there’s an aspect ratio switch on the top of the lens housing, allowing you to make use of the multi-aspect ratio sensor.

When I have had a meaningful amount of time with the camera I’ll bring you a full review. The camera is due to hit the streets in late October / early November.

The post Panasonic LX100 first impressions review and 4K footage appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Click here to view the embedded video.

For those who find video very lacking on small cameras especially the Fuji X100S and X100T, Panasonic now have a high end retro-styled compact with 4K video.

The sensor and EVF come from the GX7, which in turn is quite close to the GH4 in performance terms. We are talking a gigantic sensor here for a compact, larger even than the 1″ sensor of the Sony RX100 M3. As well as a large sensor, the camera packs a large aperture Leica 24-75mm which opens to an impressive F1.7 at the wide end.

This adds a premium zoom lens to your small-camera-large-sensor arsenal whereas the X100T only has a fixed focal length prime.

One of the most frequented cameras at Photokina by visitors was the LX100. Indeed the busiest stalls were all set up around 4K video at their core. Sony, Samsung and Panasonic all pushing it hard, Fuji, Canon, Olympus and Nikon not. It’s interesting to note that all the camera manufacturers pushing 4K have 4K TVs on the market which are now accessibly priced for most consumers and the cameras should encourage uptake of those. I recently saw a Sony 4K on the high-street in Berlin for 1300 euros, hardly any more than a higher end 1080p set.

The LX100 is a perfect travel camera, something you can shoot 4K on with the minimum of fuss, get back and watch it on your 4K TV. As a result of 4K video the camera captures all pixels to record video and that improves all aspects of the image not just resolution. Thanks to large sensors in stills cameras doing 4K video, those 4K TVs will be done justice to with a wider dynamic range and more natural colour from cameras like the GH4 and LX100.

Panasonic LX100

Olympus did not allude to any 4K this year and their stand certainly wasn’t the busiest. Fuji rolled out the X100T with the same old lens as the other models, but the X-T1 does look lovely in grey. Canon has no 4K solution under $10k and the one they do have (1D C) has not sold very well. Nikon have no 4K solution to speak of. It’s just odd!

Along with retro styling the LX100 also has a Leica D-LUX variant which costs a surprisingly small amount extra by the usual Leica standards. Compared to the Sony RX100 M3 the LX100 has a significantly larger sensor and lower megapixel count. This makes for better low light performance and a shallower depth of field. It’s the only camera of its kind to shoot 4K video whereas the RX100 M3 only shoots 1080p XAVC-S at 50Mbit. The 4K codec on the LX100 has double that bitrate.

The Panasonic LX100 costs just $899 (pre-order at B&H). This is very democratising. Soon everyone will be casually shooting 4K, and those left shooting 1080p on older Canon and Nikon cameras will be missing out on the better quality.

Even if you feel you “don’t need 4K” you do actually need 4K if you want high quality 1080p. With 4K on the LX100 and GH4 you don’t lose a huge amount of the image through line-skipping or pixel binning. On an iMac 27″ screen for example, line-skipped 1080p looks extremely soft full screen, whilst 4K from the LX100 looks like oversampled pin-sharp 2.5K at the native screen resolution and on a Macbook 15″ Retina display it looks incredibly detailed and retina-standard.

I use small cameras a lot alongside my iPhone for casual shooting and visual documenting. The LX100 appears to satisfy my yearning for a high quality small camera, and a ‘pocket GH4′ I can take anywhere for 4K video and stills. The Sony RX1 I have used a lot and although that is full frame with a lovely Zeiss 35mm F2.0 the video quality is a long way of the A7S to say the least.

I hesitate to call the LX100 a ‘compact’ because about the only thing it shares with a traditional compact is size. The performance of the LX100 and image quality makes it worth thinking twice about taking snaps on an iPhone. The sensor is DSLR-class, the EVF mirrorless class and the lens frankly a class of its own. If sold separately for Micro Four Thirds it would be a premium offering with a premium price. I found the performance of the Leica zoom to be superb, in keeping with the recent Panasonic-Leica 15mm F1.7 for Micro Four Thirds it is pin sharp wide open and offers punchy colour. Bokeh is pronounced and creamy.

LX100 Leica lens bokeh

The camera goes easily into a jacket pocket. The EVF on the LX100 is excellent given the challenges posed to the viewfinder by such an extreme miniaturisation effort. I believe it is the GX7’s EVF transplanted into the new smaller body. I found it to be functionally good but not quite as comfortable to use for long periods at a time compared to the larger one in the GH4. The new Panasonic GM5 has a much smaller EVF, so given the LX100 is only fractionally larger they have done well to fit the GX7’s EVF inside.

The LX100 has a doppelgänger in the D-LUX Typ 109. Essentially the same cameras but for a different front and rear grip, subtle body styling differences and square Leica-M style buttons on the back instead of round Lumix ones. Here are the differences side by side at the back –

LX100 and Leica D-Lux Typ 109

The LX100 has a 4K Photo Mode for stills photographers to use 4K as a capture format in their work.

The mode can record continuously or in a mode which keeps the last 15 minutes and deletes the rest on a rolling basis. This is great for storm chasers and sports shooters, or for capturing unpredictable things like lightning strikes. The camera will get the shot and you don’t have to worry about timing, simply stop capturing once you have what you want. Then you can cut down the amount of post work dramatically with a simplified way to grab 8.3MP stills from the 4K capture feed in multiple aspect ratios.

Normal 4K video has a 2160 line resolution but the multi-aspect ratio sensor in the LX100 allows a greater vertical recording area to be used with taller aspect ratios. It doesn’t merely crop the sides. 1:1 extends vertical resolution to an enormous 2880 lines. That’s almost 3x the resolution of 1080 full HD.

Multiple aspect ratios like 4:3 and 3:2 will also be of interest to filmmakers using anamorphic lenses.

The 4K Photo Mode has 30p and 25p but not yet 24p (it might be added in a firmware update later). The thinking behind this is stills will often be shot at high shutter speeds to avoid blurry frames, and 30p syncs to 60hz lights in NTSC regions, whilst 25p syncs to 50hz in PAL regions to avoid flicker. So 24p is not there for the fact that stills shooters don’t need it in a 4K Photo Mode. Anamorphic shooters and filmmakers do, and on that subject Panasonic are listening intently in particular Matt Frazer at Panasonic US.

The general responsiveness and layout of the camera is good, though the video button is quite close to your nose when shooting through the EVF. It’s a small camera and sometimes feels a bit cramped but generally it is lovely to use, especially the retro Fuii X series style top plate with shutter speed dial. The styling and looks of the camera makes it easy to mistake for a Leica, the silver version in particular.

The lens has a nice manual focus ring and focus aids are very effective like on the GH4. Peaking and a high quality magnified focus assist windowed or full screen are very useful. Like the previous LX cameras there’s an aspect ratio switch on the top of the lens housing, allowing you to make use of the multi-aspect ratio sensor.

When I have had a meaningful amount of time with the camera I’ll bring you a full review. The camera is due to hit the streets in late October / early November.

The post Panasonic LX100 first impressions review and 4K footage appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Click here to view the embedded video.

Dave Dugdale has published his Sony A7S review ahead of time. In it is an enlightening video review of the differences between the Sony A7S and Panasonic GH4.

The two most innovative and highest performing stills cameras for hybrid video and photographic work are not from Canon and Nikon.

Dave sold his 5D Mark III for video and has chosen to pick up the Panasonic and Sony.

There’s no place for the mirror in a video camera and increasingly there’s less benefit to one in a stills camera.

Yet the smaller size of the GH4 and A7S are NOT the selling point for me. It’s the performance.

The GH4 has the cleanest 1080p in post from an internal 4K recording mode, the best resolution when shooting 4K. The A7S has the best low light performance on the market, whether you’re a photographer or a videographer. Canon and Nikon don’t have an answer. Canon do not have a high megapixel 36MP sensor and ageing factories. Nikon do not have a meaningful presence in the video segment. Neither companies have a low light 12MP sensor at their disposal. Sony do.

The is one of the best reviews Dave’s ever put out. Congratulations and count me as a regular reader.

Particularly liked the timelapse of the low light interview setup at night in the video and some of Dave’s stills from the cameras are lovely…

dugdale a7s shot

Dave makes some great points in the video…

The ingenious battery runtime of the GH4 which can shoot 4K constantly for over 4 hours on a single charge. How do they do that? The A7S can’t shoot 1080p for half that amount!

The GH4 with internal 4K avoids the banding in blue-skies you will get with sensor downsampling. It isn’t actually an artefact of 8bit as both cameras record 8bit internally. The GH4 does have the advantage of 10bit over HDMI but I find this of increasingly less benefit.

The only thing I disagree a bit with Dave over in this review is the assessment of S-LOG 2 on the A7S. It’s not really there just to increase dynamic range, rather to give you more flexibility in the grade. It’s just so flat and pushes around so much in post that a professional colour grader can do to colour what they like. It’s almost as powerful as raw video. I really hope for a LOG mode on the GH4 with a firmware update, though grading LOG is not for the consumer. They’re better off without it.

In the video is a very interesting comparison with the Epic. It’s amazing just how much more detailed the GH4’s 4K output is compared to the Red and how much cleaner at the native ISO of 3200 the A7S compared to the very noisy Epic sensor. Versus the newer Dragon sensor would be a different story I expect but I don’t think anyone has the answer to the low light abilities of the A7S yet.

Interesting to note too the audio delay of the GH4 by approximately 1 frame on an external mic. That definitely needs a firmware fix.

A7S firmware update suggestions

Without spoiling Dave’s conclusion, a large part of his review should absolutely be required reading by the Sony engineers. There’s several things about the camera that just don’t make any sense at all!

The histogram disappears when you change the aperture, which is when you need it most. We don’t want an animated F-stop scale instead, taking up valuable screen space and vanishing the on-screen information we need the most.

In S-LOG 2 on the A7S the histogram is a vital requirement as the exposure meter isn’t accurate.

The lack of F2.8 zooms is due to Sony wanting to minimise the size of the lenses, but the selling point of the Sony flagship should be performance not small size. Let’s see a bigger bodied mirrorless camera that dispenses with the Japanese electronics industry obsession with ‘small’ to the benefit of ergonomics.

There will always be a place for size reduction and light equipment which is easy to rig and carry. That’s always been one of the advantages of DSLRs in the film industry, that they can go where an Alexa can’t and weigh a lot less incidentally! But let’s not be silly about it. Maximum aperture is more important so give us that choice.

In these snaps from Dave’s video it is abundantly clear there are times when ‘small’ is an advantage…

5D Mark III vs GH4 vs A7S size comparison

And times when it just isn’t!

GH4 & A7S battery size comparison

Does the A7S battery and body really need to be as small as they are? No. The GH4 strikes that balance better.

On the software side Sony need to make a lot of improvements. The apps store is not available in so many countries and the apps that are available are poor, many of which crash the camera. For such a large company, Sony can do better on software. They really do need to be at the Apple level and not at the camera-firmware level when it comes to both the design and sophistication of their software.

The conclusion of my own Sony A7S review and footage are both coming on Monday 15th September just before Photokina 2014.

The post Dave Dugdale compares the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7S appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

In this gear review, we check out the XUME Quick Release Lens Filter Adapters and how they can increase your speed on set.

All credit is given to author NextWaveDVTony Reale

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Sony A7s for about a month now and have shot a couple projects on it. Lovely camera that fills in some gaps other cameras possess. In this episode, I do an in-depth review of the Sony A7s and compare it to the current alternative and popular Panasonic GH4.

Sony A7s $2498

sony-a7sSpecifications

  • 12.2MP Full-Frame Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Gapless On-Chip Lens Design
  • 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
  • XGA 2.36M-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • Full HD Recording in XAVC S
  • 4:2:2 UHD 4K Output via HDMI
  • Full Pixel Read-Out, S-Log2 Gamma
  • Expandable Sensitivity: ISO 50-409600
  • Fast Intelligent 25-Point AF System

Pros

  • Incredible low light sensitivity
  • Full-frame sensor
  • Great dynamic range
  • S-Log2
  • APS-C capture option
  • 60FPS @1080p
  • Flexible mount
  • EVF
  • Included port protector

Cons

  • Rolling shutter
  • Terrible ergonomics
  • Finicky screen
  • Confusing menu layout
  • 8 bit camera even through HDMI
  • No internal 4K

Show Notes

Various gear and links mentioned in the video.


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The post Sony A7s Review appeared first on DSLR Video Shooter.

All credit is given to author DSLR Video ShooterCaleb Pike

sony a5100 300x235 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]3 days ago Sony announced the new Sony Alpha 5100 mirrorless camera that has made some headlines on the film blogs as it brings the powerful new XAVC S codec as well as 1080p at 60 frames per second.

At cinema5D we already had this new camera in our test labs today and we have some interesting things to share. We tested dynamic range, rolling shutter and observed sharpness and aliasing.

c5d lab logopsd21 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]What is the cinema5D test lab?
At cinema5D’s new test lab we accurately measure and evaluate the performance of cameras in a controlled testing environment. We are using precise imaging tools, techniques and software to measure each camera’s performance.

At $550 the Sony A5100 is indeed a “video camera” that looks quite interesting. After Sony’s success with the Sony A7S everybody’s wondering if the same intriguing video functionality can be found in the much smaller sized mirrorless successor of the Alpha 5000. Well let’s take a look.

Dynamic Range

Testing the dynamic range on this camera wasn’t easy. We didn’t have an official native ISO and looked at all ISO combinations ranging from ISO100 up to ISO1600 and measured each with different “Creative Styles” that would provide the best rendering.

Clearly the strongest ISO values are ISO200 and ISO800, while ISO800 provides slightly more dynamic range reaching 13 [UPDATED!] 10.5 measured stops with Creative style “Portrait (-3, 0, -3)”.

Here is a chart that shows you dynamic range in comparison to other important cameras:

[UPDATE Aug. 22 '14:] These test results are the exact numbers the software IMATEST provided in our test at a signal to noise ratio of 1/0.5 in the camera’s respective resolution and compression. Many factors influence these numbers and each sensor has its own characteristics. At this point we want to emphasise that these numbers differ from the subjective opinion we have about the camera, which for us at cinema5D is a very big point as we want to give you an ideal understanding of what the cameras can actually do for you. So we decided to mention it here. Subjectively, in comparison to the other cameras the maximum rating we would give to the Sony A5100 is 12 stops.

[UPDATE 2 Aug. 25 '14:] The software manufacturer informed us that their software had a bug that misinterpreted the Sony A5100′s blacklevels (that seem to inherit green noise) and strongly affected the results for the Sony A5100 dynamic range test. We apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused. At cinema5D we will no longer rely on software results should they ever again differ from subjective evaluation. The software we use has been updated and the bug has been resolved.

Test Scores DR sonya5100 corr LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]

sonya5100 zeiss 300x168 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]Interpretation
Here we tested usable dynamic range of the given cameras. [UPDATED:] The 10.5 stops of usable dynamic range the Sony A5100 provides is good considering it’s just a $550 mirrorless camera.
As you can see it performs slightly worse than the GH4.

We will go into more detail concerning overall handling and usage in the field in our upcoming video review. But one should point out at this point that the camera feels very much like a consumer camera (which it is). In that sense you will not find the log-curve picture profiles like on the A7s or other prosumer models. Instead the A5100 offers “creative styles” where as mentioned Portrait performed best. We also tested “Picture Effects” like “Soft High-key” which may seem to improve dynamic range, but in our tests we found it doesn’t.

On all our tests we use the same ultrasharp Zeiss 50mm T/2.1 Macro lens and the DSC Labs XYLA 21 step dynamic range chart. If you want to know how we test, we explain that in this article: Sony A7S dynamic range test.

Rolling Shutter

On the rolling shutter chart we can see how the Sony 5100 is also a winner. The Sony A7s while providing amazing images has a really bad rolling shutter performance, meaning the images tend to wobble on fast motion. The Sony A5100 however reads out the image even faster than the very well performing Panasonic GH4.

Test Scores RS SonyA5100 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]

It is interesting to see that rolling shutter performance is identical in 25p (PAL model) mode as well as in 50p. On other cameras rolling shutter is usually half as severe in slow motion. This tells us about how the sensor reads out the image in slow motion mode.

Sharpness / Detail / Aliasing

SonyA5100 SUB iso800 portrait 300x168 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]We just talked about how the sensor reads out the picture similarly in slow motion as in normal mode.
This can also be observed when we take a subjective look at the image which looks identical in both modes as opposed to how the Sony A7s behaves. (Meaning 5100 is better in this regard)

SonyA7s SUB iso3200 ff 300x168 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]sony a5100 crop1 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]On the left you can find full frame grabs from the Sony A5100 and the Sony A7s for comparison.
Each frame is an i-Frame extracted from the original files. They were recorded under identical lighting conditions. The A7s was set to ISO 3200 (F/11) which produced a very dark image, as opposed to the A5100 shot at ISO 800 (F5.6). In both cases measured with a light meter.

On the left we’re displaying some 1×1 crops of the original images in which the Sony A7s image was brightened up with a curve where highlights were retained.

sony a5100 crop2 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]You can see that in terms of sharpness and detail the Sony A7s outperforms the A5100.

In the image with the sector stars (kindly provided by Danes Picta) it becomes apparent that there is some aliasing going on in the A5100 and that it can’t hold up to the crispy clean image of the A7s.

Here’s another crop of the dark cat that shows us the soft rendering of shadow areas on the A7s where I must say the A5100 actually doesn’t perform so bad. We’ve seen much worse and this is most probably due to the good dynamic range and noise performance on all of Sony’s latest cameras including the A5100.

sony a5100 crop4 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]The overall pink tint of the A5100 is a weird shift in the Portrait Creative Style, but the color you can see in the dark fur, that seems to be moiré.

Where moiré can more clearly be seen on the A5100 is in the tie. It must be noted that most other DSLR kind of cameras have had worse moiré and aliasing performance. The 5100 will look good next to a T3i or most Nikon cameras for example.

sony a5100 crop5 LAB Review   Sony A5100 [UPDATED!]Highlight rendering on the A5100 is good. But the A7s really shines with its Slog2 profile that has a beautiful, organic highlight rolloff.

You can clearly see how nicely the Sony A7s renders all the highlight details while they seem less organic and slightly overblown on the A5100.

You might think the Sony A5100 was exposed much brighter, but then again, they were exposed with the same exposure values and the Sony A7s’ Slog2 simply has a different way of storing the data inside the luma range which isn’t an option on the consumer A5100 (yet).

Conclusion [UPDATED]

The Sony A5100 clearly comes in behind the Sony A7s in terms of image quality, with a softer, less clean image. However for $550 (what do you expect) it is still a good performer among DSLR cameras that currently shoot video on an APS-C sized sensor. On top the slow motion mode gives you the same image quality as normal shooting mode.

In terms of dynamic range the Sony A5100 surprises with the measured results and beats most other important cameras we tested, even more expensive ones. [UPDATE:] As mentioned above the subjective impression we have about dynamic range on the A5100 is lower than the software results and can’t compete with the Sony A7s.

It also shines in rolling shutter performance. Overall it seems Sony has built its latest processing technology into this little mirrorless camera, providing good lowlight noise levels as well, which however we see nowhere close the A7s (not tested scientifically yet).

Add to that the internal XAVC S codec as well as the uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 output via hdmi in up to 60p and you’ve got a very interesting entry-level large sensor video camera in a tiny form factor.

We will take the Sony A5100 into the field and see how it performs in terms of usability. Watch out for our upcoming video review.

The post LAB Review – Sony A5100 [UPDATED!] appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber

This is a rolling shutter comparison between the new Sony A7S, the Arri Amira, Panasonic GH4, (Canon C300), Canon 5D mark III and Canon 1D C. In the first part in this series of tests we compared the usable dynamic range of the A7S and found that it comes surprisingly close to the dynamic range of the Arri AMIRA (find the dynamic range test here).

Rolling shutter is a phenomenon where straight vertical lines look bent on moving objects, or a “jello effect” appears when the recording device itself is in motion. It is a common issue with CMOS sensor cameras that read out a frame line by line over a certain period of time. A sensor with a global shutter however reads out the entire image at once, avoiding the rolling shutter effect altogether. A severe rolling shutter can be disturbing in certain shooting scenarios.

c5d lab logopsd21 Rolling Shutter   Sony A7S vs. the othersWhat is the cinema5D test lab?
At cinema5D’s new testing lab we accurately measure and evaluate the performance of cameras. As a source for reviews about cinematic cameras we strive to provide objective comparisons and share insights to help you choose the right camera for your projects.

The test lab has been developed over the past 6 months. We are using precise imaging tools, techniques and software to measure each camera’s performance. The following test measures one of several attributes we test about a camera sensor. Stay tuned for more.

IMG 384820 300x300 Rolling Shutter   Sony A7S vs. the othersThe Sony A7S is a stunning new compact camera that currently makes a lot of headlines due to its amazing lowlight capabilities. In this regard it outperforms any other cinema camera we know and therefore offers interesting new applications.
See Johnnie Behiri’s comprehensive video review on the A7S HERE.

Some of the strengths include not only lowlight performance, but also the high resolution OLED viewfinder, a strong cinematic picture, full-frame coverage, ease of operability, 50p mode, crop-mode and more.

In this scientific test we take a look at the aforementioned rolling shutter phenomenon in comparison to several other very important cameras. The C300 needs further testing and will be added soon.

Let’s take a look at the results:
rs chart a7s Rolling Shutter   Sony A7S vs. the others

Interpretation
Over the past weeks several people reported a severe rolling shutter on the Sony A7S. Many people disliked the strong “jello effect” that appeared when shooting with the camera handheld without any form of stabilization like a handheld rig. Some claimed it was more severe than on any other camera out there.
Our test results show that the A7S’ rolling shutter in full frame HD mode is severe, but we also found that the Canon 1D C performs similarly in 4K mode. Among DSLR style cameras in our test the GH4 in 4K mode performed best and is more or less on par with the A7S’ crop mode, and the 5D mark III coming in right behind that.
As expected the Arri AMIRA has an outstanding shutter readout speed almost looking like a global shutter.

rs grab Rolling Shutter   Sony A7S vs. the othersHow did we test?
On the left you can see a framegrab from the A7S video file used to determine its rolling shutter. We used a rotating test chart framed identically with all cameras. We used the sharp Zeiss 50mm CP2 T/2.1 makron on all cameras with which we could come so close to the small rotating chart. The amount of horizontal offset between the first and last line of pixels determines the severity of rolling shutter which we measured in milliseconds. These are approximate values (Precision is limited by our method of testing as it involves a slight amount of motion blur).

Stay tuned for more tests which we will publish over the course of the next two weeks. In our upcoming tests we will compare actual resolution (sharpness), lowlight performance, line skipping issues, moiré and will also give you an insight at codec performance and color reproduction. We will certainly try to include more cameras in the future.

Please share your opinion and thoughts on these test results in the comments.
Disclaimer: We’re not getting paid to do these tests. If you consider buying a camera please help us continue our efforts and investment by simply buying your gear through our links to B&H in USA and Marcotec in Europe. Thank you!

The post Rolling Shutter – Sony A7S vs. the others appeared first on .

All credit is given to author » NewsSebastian Wöber