Tagged: Review

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Sony A7R II lens mount

Sony just made another quantum leap.

They have added internal 4K across the board to their new cameras, the A7R II, RX10 II and RX100 M4.

There’s some exciting new technology that makes all this possible. I’ll also touch on the RX10 II’s party trick – incredible slow-mo abilities.

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For those waiting for that camera body that does absolutely everything, the A7R II is finally it in terms of specs.

We finally have all those much anticipated features in one body like 5 axis image stabilisation, internal 4K, and because it is mirrorless it won’t handle like a 1970’s camera with an LCD bolted on.

Sony A7R II rear LCD

Interestingly Sony have made special mention of AF speed improvements for Canon lenses. If you attach your existing Canon lenses to this Sony body you should get very reasonable AF via the latest Metabones adapter. This seems to be Sony being pragmatic, because nobody dumps their large lens collection overnight in favour of newer models that can only be used on a Sony. If you do buy Sony FE lenses they have numerous advantages though – more modern optics, smaller physical size and silent AF. The A7R II features Hybrid AF in video mode with these lenses.

The 4K picture in video mode comes from the entire full frame sensor area with no crop, but this is pixel binned on the chip. However switch to Super 35mm mode (remember Speed Booster makes this full frame anyway) and a full pixel readout kicks in like on the A7S. Here the S35 4K image is oversampled by a factor of 1.8x. This will offer less (practically none) moire, less aliasing and less rolling shutter than in full frame mode.

The 42MP sensor probably won’t lend itself to top of the range performance when it comes to rolling shutter – but lets wait and see… Incidentally the sensor does do a full 8K (7952 pixel horizontally) 42MP readout in stills mode when the silent shutter is enabled and readout is 3.5x faster than with the older CMOS technology.

Thankfully the bitrate for XAVC-S in 4K mode is 100Mbit/s (like on the GH4) and not 50Mbit/s like on the AX100. The codec is H.264 based. You get 30p and 24p in NTSC mode and 25p in PAL mode. The HDMI output is also 4K.

The great thing about Sony adding internal 4K finally, is that it is confirmation the video optimised A7S II will also get it. That only one of Sony’s own models gives me doubts over owning an A7R II is a very bad sign for the competition, who currently – lets face it – have no answer to Sony’s specs.

RX10 II and 960fps

The RX10 II is the super-zoom 1″ sensor bridge camera we know well, retaining the same constant F2.8 Zeiss lens (24-200mm) but this time it has internal 4K and some crazy slow-mo frame rates. The RX100 M4 is the pocket size version. Continuous recording in 4K is a big difference between the two – it has the usual 29 minute cap on the RX10 II but due to heat issues the RX100 M4 is restricted to 5 minutes, which limits its usefulness for event and interview situations.

For the first time the RX cameras get S-LOG 2. But the big news here is the slow-mo performance…

980fps (1000fps in PAL cameras), 480fps and 240fps.

Sony’s innovation in semiconductor technology is evident here as well. The sensor has a unified memory architecture like the forthcoming Nvidia GTX 1000 series of PC video cards. My understanding is the buffer memory for video and continuous shooting is on the same die as the CMOS sensor itself which makes for much faster access and makes those very high frame rates possible, before the pictures are emptied to the memory card.

The stacked sensor and memory result in 5x the readout speed of conventional sensors.

The RX 10 II and RX100 M4 also have anti-rolling shutter technology which corrects skew on the fly, with no need to fix it in post.

The RX10 II only has a small crop in 4K from 24mm to 28mm at the wide end. The 240fps slow-mo almost uses the entire sensor giving 26mm at the wide end, this reduces to 28mm in 480fps and 41mm in 980fps.

Slow-mo has a quality priority and recording time priority mode. In the lower quality mode, the crop increases a little bit more.

Availability

July for the RX cameras and August for the A7R II. Pre-orders will be taken from mid-June onwards at B&H.

See the summary of all specs for the A7R II.

Specs for the RX10 II and for the RX100 M4.

EOSHD Opinion

At $3200 the Sony A7R II is by no means a camera that the masses can afford but it is accessible enough to be a game changer in the way the 5D Mark II was for video. We’ve had a few cherries drop from the tree before but never like this. The A7R II is a veritable basket of cherries.

While other cameras have offered 4K compromised by heavy crop factors (GH4), difficult to edit codecs (NX1) or ridiculous pricing (1D C) – Sony have succeeded in balancing it all out. Low light performance shouldn’t disappoint given the new sensor design. In this regard it is likely to soundly beat the Canon 5DS R and Nikon D810E when the ISOs rise. The maximum is 102,400.

A7R II Sample Photo

The RX10 II looks to be creatively very interesting with the extreme slow-mo abilities. This is a great run & gun camera for 4K and certainly a lot cheaper and more capable than a certain fixed lens Canon 4K camera of a model number I merely forgot in my month off from the site. The ability to maintain a constant F2.8 from the Zeiss zoom is a killer feature for video.

One thing is clear – almost all out cameras are made firmly obsolete in a technological sense by the A7R II.

Whether that power on paper translates into feelings and ideas however, is not always the case. The sheer detail of 4K can be clinically revealing of faces and unflattering. In my time off from EOSHD during May I began to wonder if the ‘space race’ of camera technology may have lost sight of what actually makes a flattering picture, leaving it more and more up to the cinematographer to inject a more organic feeling into over-detailed images by using softer lenses and softer lighting. This is a consideration necessary to bring the excitement and A7R II internet hype down to a more realistic level.

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The post Finally, something worth talking about – Sony A7R II with internal 4K / RX10 II with 980fps slow-mo / watch the sample footage appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

I’ve been using the Saramonic SR-AX107 for the last two months off and on for various things. As far as XLR audio adapters go, it sounds good. In fact you’d be hard pressed to find a major difference in audio quality between the SR-AX107 and something like the Beachtek DXA-SLR XLR audio adapter.

While the Saramonic SR-AX107 does provide a little more gain (20db vs 16db on a beachtek) and offers up a few more features like backlit level meters, cold shoe mounting points, peaking, and AGC disable for older cameras, but the real benefit of the SR-AX107 is the price. At $199 and $169 for it’s very similar brother the SR-AX104, Saramonic’s offerings are $100 or so less then the nearest competitors.

Saramonic SR-AX107 (1 of 7)

On the down side, the Saramonic SR-AX107 is very large compared to any of it’s competition. So the trade off here, is really price vs size. If you want to save some money and don’t mind dealing with a larger XLR audio adapter the SR-AX107 or SR-AX104 is a good choice. If size is important, you might want to spend the extra on something smaller.

Saramonic SR-AX107 (4 of 7)

I know a lot of you will probably ask “Why not use a field recorder?” and while I could try and write out all of my thoughts on the pros and cons of field recorders vs XLR audio adapters, I think Devin and I did a pretty good job of covering it on the last podcast.

In short use an XLR audio adapter if you don’t have a sound guy and are working with limited resources, use a field recorder when you have the time or sound guy to handle it. Alternatively hybrid units like the Tascam DR-60D and Tascam DR-70D might be a better compromise for both field recording and camera adapters. Still haven’t had a chance to play with the DR-70D but it’s on my list.

Saramonic SR-AX107 (6 of 7)

All in all, I think the Saramonic SR-AX107 is well priced for what it offers and it’s a great budget XLR audio adapter if you don’t mind the size. Hopefully they’ll continue to improve on the design in future models.

The post Saramonic SR-AX107 Review appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay

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The EOS M3 features Canon’s new flagship 24MP APS-C (Super 35mm) sensor, the flag bearer for future Canon APS-C DSLRs such as the 760D.

Now released in Europe and Asia but not in the US, does the M3 rage against the dying of the light or go quietly into the night?

canon-eos-m3-review

First I would like to congratulate Canon. Video quality on the EOS M3 has finally caught up with the GH2 from 2011.

4 years later and with a staggering mirrorless lens range of four, the EOS M3 is truly a force to be reckoned with!

However I should dampen my enthusiasm just a touch as the EOS M3 doesn’t quite match the GH2. There’s plenty of moire and aliasing in video mode.

It’s 2015 and the Panasonic LX100 does 4K video for the same price (around $700 euro) in the same size and class of camera. It also has a built in EVF where the M3 does not. It’s a pricy add-on.

However despite the justified cynicism most people feel towards Canon right now, the EOS M3 is actually a lot of fun and a great stills camera and video quality is certainly an improvement from the 70D.

The AF system is interesting on this camera. Dual Pixel CMOS AF III works well with the 18-55mm kit lens. With 22mm F2 though, or with EF and EF-S lenses via the official EOS M adapter, AF varies from dreadful (fails altogether with the Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 VC) to acceptably good (Canon 24mm F2.8 EF-S STM or EF 35mm F2.0 IS). So if you want to use your Canon lenses on a mirrorless body and get AF which is actually usable, the M3 gives you that. The Metabones adapter on a Sony does not.

With the 18-55mm kit zoom, the M3’s AF is very nice to use as a walk-around point & shoot for stills and video. Great for beginners. It’s really fast to shoot video with compared to manual focus. It reliably locks to your subject and doesn’t waver, hunt or pulse during a shot (in good light). The touch screen works well to select your subject quickly and begin recording. It’s very quick to lock focus simply by hitting the MF button before recording.

lx100-eos-m3-size-comparison

With moving subjects it isn’t reliable enough to replace a focus puller of course. But for locked down shots it’s a great aid to quickly establish focus without having to magnify to confirm manual focus, which is just as well as the focus zoom assist doesn’t work in movie mode! In stills mode it does but if you record movies in this mode even if the dial is set to M, movie exposure is automatic.

While recording with manual focus, if you change your mind and want to shift focus around usually you have to stop recording, magnify the screen or enable peaking. With the EOS M3 you simply touch the screen on what you want to focus on and it goes there in Servo AI mode. Great for consumers.

For manual focus the M3 has peaking! Yes peaking on a Canon stills camera!! Is that a first? This is one of the better implementations I’ve tried too, right up there with Blackmagic.

The upshot of having such solid AF in live-view as well as peaking for MF is this is a VERY easy camera for beginners to focus and for pros it is very quick to establish focus with.

Image quality

I’m very happy with the stills from the new 24MP sensor. Video quality on the other hand is mediocre to say the least and would not even have been the best for the money 4 years ago.

This judgement of course depends on your benchmark. Even for 1080p viewing, quality is pathetic versus the Panasonic LX100’s 4K acquisition. On an Apple retina display or 4K TV the difference is even more noticeable between the two. However the EOS M3’s interchangeable lens mount helps it out when it comes to an atmospheric shallow depth of field & low light performance vs the fixed lens Micro Four Thirds LX100. Video quality on the M3 is broadly in the same ballpark as the Sony A6000 but isn’t as clean or as moire resistant as the Nikon D5200/5300 or D5500.

The good news is, the M3 is a significant improvement on the 70D and the 7D. Detail is just short of the ageing GH2 which was highly rated in its day for delivering crisp 1080p. The M3 however is sadly more prone to moire than the GH2 and it is likely the 750D and 760D will inherit the M3’s standard of video with the same sensors. I wouldn’t expect a miracle any time soon…for as long as Canon have nominated their Cinema EOS cameras for video quality.

Usually Canon’s APS-C sensors are 1.6x crop. I noticed when setting up my studio test scene for the 70D and EOS M3 that the field of view with the same lens – a Canon EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM – was slightly wider on the M3 compared to the 70D. Sony’s APS-C sensors are 1.5x crop. This begs the question – does the M3 feature a Sony sensor in a Canon body, like the 1″ Canon G7X?

The studio shootout heralded other surprises. The LX100 came out as a clear winner for resolution as you’d expect – but its dynamic range came out significantly better than the Sony A7S or Nikon D750 could manage in a rec.709 colour space on default settings. The Sony A7S and A7 II only pull out a dynamic range advantage over the LX100 when shooting S-LOG2 or raw stills. So if you don’t want to grade SLOG2, the LX100 offers a very good image.

So if you ignore the very large variable of lenses and sensor size, the LX100 tops the shootout, amazing considering this is essentially a $700 compact! The A7S comes in second followed very closely by the Nikon D750, whose flat picture profile merely needs a curve adjustment and nothing else in post, so much easier than handling S-LOG 2 unless you have pre-built LUTs for it. The A7 II trails, with worse aliasing and moire. The EOS M3 sits slightly ahead of the A7 II for detail. The 70D and 7D come firmly last with heavy false colour, moire, aliasing, weak colour and very poor detail for 1080p. The LX100’s only weakness was it’s low light performance… even at ISO 400 there’s a fine noise over the shadows.

It’s worth noting that even with sharpness turned all the way down on the EOS M3 picture profile (Faithful) video has noticeable signs of digital sharpening being applied in camera. The A6000 could dial down softer.

Now for some 1:1 crops of 1080p. Curiously, the oldest Canon model for video, the 5D Mark II is able to resolve the same amount of detail as EOS M3 but more smoothy when equipped with the VAF-5D2 anti-aliasing filter (and in H.264), let alone when shooting raw video with Magic Lantern where it far exceeds the quality of the EOS M3. Not bad for a 6 year old camera and it shows how little progress Canon have made in all this time.

eos-m3-vs-5d2

As you can see below, the A6000 most closely resembles the EOS M3 for video quality. Does it have the same 24MP CMOS from Sony?

eos-m3-vs-sony-a6000

The GH2 offers a good level of detail in 1080p but is starting to look dated by modern standards. The EOS M3 offers similar detail, but there’s moire & aliasing isn’t as well controlled lending a ‘scratchy’ texture to fine detail.

EOS M3 vs GH2

The 4K of the Panasonic LX100 soundly thrashes the EOS M3 and offers perfect 1080p with a wider dynamic range and better colour. The extra detail brings out far more red and green in the shot of the cherry blossom tree below. This camera also looks far more pleasing on an Apple retina display or any computer display at close viewing distances for that matter so is the better choice for Vimeo and YouTube.

The LX100’s price and size makes it cheaper AND smaller than the EOS M3 which makes it all the more amazing that the LX100 has a far brighter F1.7-F2.8 zoom lens, built in EVF and 4K video.

This 1:1 crop is taken from my edit after the LX100’s 4K has been down sampled to 1080p –

lx100-vs-m3

But here’s the real difference at 1:1 with the LX100’s 4K and the same sized crop from the EOS M3’s 1080p at 1:1. The Canon video looks like it came from a fax machine.

lx100-vs-m3-4k

Subjectively the quality of video on the EOS M3 depends a lot on your shot focal length and focus distance. Close-ups work better as do macro and telephoto shots. Shots with background separation and a shallow DOF also look ok so get those fast aperture primes out! Wide angle shots or subjects at infinity focus look poor. Subjects that command fine, sharp detail look scratchy and digital on the EOS M3. Subjects that are softer or closer to the lens look much better. Faces look ok. The prime example in the video I shot above, is that coins under the water at the start – they look fine as do the flowers up-close – but as soon as the focus tracks to the finely detailed background further way you really notice the drop.

Even if you don’t care for 4K and are fine shooting 1080p the M3’s video quality is definitely a league below the Sony A7S, Panasonic GH4, LX100 and Samsung NX1. That said, on the GH4, LX100 and NX1 you will need to acquire your footage in 4K and downsample to 1080p in post (this is trivial to do) as their internal 1080p modes are nothing to write home about. The A7S has the best internal H.264 1080p of any stills camera right now.

Despite my clear misgivings as a pro, indeed an enthusiast, for the most part I feel most M3 users will be satisfied-ish with video quality. The target market of this camera isn’t as demanding as we are and neither are their audiences on Facebook. It’s an easy camera to get nice results with quickly. File sizes are small and the output on the camera’s screen or when connected to a family TV and viewed at a reasonably far viewing distance looks better than on a computer display.

Stabilisation

With EOS-M lenses that feature optical IS like the 18-55mm, the M3 has two modes of stabilisation, both very effective but one involves a field of view crop. Mode 1 is the steadiest and best for walking, but this crops FOV and magnifies any flaws in the image like aliasing. Mode 2 is a bit less effective, but as it only utilises optical IS so there’s no field of view crop from the digital stabilisation (and you can apply this in post with Adobe’s Warp Stabiliser anyway). IS works with Canon EF lenses too via the Canon adapter but rather than a menu option for IS you use the lens-switch to toggle it on or off and there’s no “Mode 1″ for enhanced digital + optical stabilisation.

Here’s my demonstration of IS on the M3 (note the crop in Mode 1 compared to Mode 2 or Off). In mode 1 the system is almost as effective as the 5 axis IBIS on the Olympus E-M1 – but not with any lens, only the limited EOS-M range with IS (the 22mm F2.0 doesn’t have it).

Ergonomics

Outwardly the EOS M3 drops the more playful look of the predecessors and does look more serious, but not in the way a Fuji X-T1 is. Rather, it looks like your boss’s bland holiday camera.

However I really like the ergonomics of the EOS M3. It’s simple without being too dumbed down. It has just enough physical control to pass the grade as an enthusiast mirrorless camera. As a stills camera, it does compliment a larger full frame Canon DSLR by being smaller, cheaper, lighter – yet compatible with the same lenses. It’s not pocketable with a zoom like the Panasonic LX100 but with Canon full frame primes like the 35mm F2.0 IS EF the M3 makes for a small-by-DSLR standards 70D-a-like. What’s not to like about that?

Suppose like me you have a big expensive DSLR like the 1D C or 1D X. You keep it aside for serious work and the M3 gives you the ability to bring it along on trips or for more casual shoots. OK video quality would be far better on an LX100 or GH4 – but for stills the M3 is perhaps the better choice because of the AF with modern Canon lenses and the larger, higher resolution sensor. The Sony A6000 is a match for stills quality but more fiddly ergonomically and lacking that decent AF with Canon lenses via the adapter. It does however have a built in EVF, something which has been standard on non-Canon mirrorless cameras for years.

The M3 has an articulated screen which is very welcome indeed, but the exposed ribbon cable for the LCD is not; very delicate and easy to snag

m3-lcd-cable

Conclusion

I don’t think Canon see mirrorless as a serious alternative, even to their low-end DSLRs. Canon know that mirrorless sales haven’t made significant inroads into the billion-dollar DSLR market. Instead a different future-facing technology has. The smartphone.

I don’t think Canon see stills cameras as a viable alternative to video cameras either. Once you forget the enjoyable hassle-free handling and excellent stills quality, video quality on the M3 is a bad joke compared to some of the competition. The tiny Panasonic LX100 is in a different league, with 4K even when down sampled to 1080p looking far more detailed with a much wider dynamic range and better colour.

Where does that leave the M3 and its place in the world? Isn’t it a bit pointless? Not entirely. The EOS M3 feels uninspired but I actually quite like it. It banishes the AF woes of the EOS M1 and improves video quality over the 70D while offering the next generation of Dual Pixel CMOS AF. As a consumer point & shoot it gets the job done and is fun to use for both video and stills as long as you don’t expect much from the 1080p quality itself. I think it’s a solid platform for Canon to develop their mirrorless technologies and mirrorless lenses while taking a few sales off Sony. It competes most closely with the A6000 although Canon chose not to put some of the Sony’s features in this camera such as 1080/60p or a built in EVF. That comes across as a rather cynical cost cutting measure.

eos-m3

Should you get it? Video enthusiasts looking for outright image quality – NO. Steer well clear. If you want something small get the LX100. If you want something with interchangeable lenses get the A7S and a Metabones EF adapter, the GH4 or the NX1. As a stills camera though the M3 appeals more broadly. Canon 70D, 700D or 100D users who never use the optical viewfinder and don’t need the faster AF via the viewfinder might prefer the M3. It offers similarly robust AF in live-view as the 70D but with much shorter live-view blank-out times between shots. The high quality articulated touchscreen is like having semi-manual focus without the hassle of zooming to confirm a sharp image. If you use a lot of legacy glass then the mirrorless mount and peaking will come in handy as well. Other Canons need Magic Lantern for that.

Video on the M3 looks best when using a longer focal length or focussing closely your subject, rather than going for wide angle shots of landscapes. Moire and aliasing is a problem with certain subjects such as the rippling surface of a lake or fine patterns shot from a distance. Stabilisation is a plus point though, it’s very effective with the 18-55mm OIS kit lens in mode 1 (digital + optical IS). This is an easy camera for beginners to get a shot in focus and steady. Also for those looking for solid AF in video mode, the EOS-M3 is pretty good in that department versus other mirrorless cameras.

Bottom line – the M3 is a fun stills camera which does ‘OK’ video for consumers, like a GH2 but with moire! The thing is, it’s certainly no worse than the Sony A6000 in 1080/24p and that customer is the real target of the M3, not filmmakers. It belongs to the Canon eco-system which is an advantage over Sony and I enjoyed Dual Pixel AF III for stills and for video – I find it great fun to use, even with some of my non-STM lenses like the EF 35mm F2.0 IS. The sensor is APS-C of course, larger than Micro Four Thirds for stills and certainly higher resolution. Will I be keeping the M3? I really don’t know. I suppose when I don’t want to risk my more expensive kit like the 1D C or just want a smaller Canon body to have some fun with, mainly for stills, then the M3 fits the bill.

I just can’t shake my disappointment about Canon’s offerings for enthusiasts looking for quality video though. Do they really expect us to upgrade from a sub $1000 70D or EOS M3 to a $5500 Cinema EOS C100 Mark II if we want better video? Do Canon really think Mr Pixel Peeper is going to be satisfied with mushy 1080p and moire and aliasing when Panasonic offers 4K for $750? You have to assume they don’t care about enthusiast video shooters at all. And that’s a shame.

Pros

  • Easy for beginners to shoot video without having to worry too much about focus or stabilisation
  • Good stills quality for the price
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF III useful in movie mode for quickly confirming focus before locking with single press of the MF button
  • Very good peaking for manual focus
  • AF has little to no hunting in good light with 18-55mm kit lens
  • High quality touch screen effective for quick focus racks during a shot
  • Good display visibility in daylight
  • Good ergonomics
  • Effective IS for both stills and video
  • Reasonably fast AF for stills with EF-M STM lenses

Cons

  • Moire and aliasing
  • Uninspired video quality
  • Extremely weak EF-M lens range
  • No built in EVF
  • 60p limited to 720p and no higher frame rates
  • Delicate LCD ribbon cable heavily exposed by tilting mechanism
  • Weak battery life
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF III performs poorly with most EF lenses via official Canon adapter
  • Somewhat charmless design
  • Panasonic LX100 offers much better value for money not to mention 4K video and fast Leica lens
  • Video record button and playback button require heavy presses to activate
  • No US release
  • 18-55mm F3.5-F5.6 is a bit soft
  • Magnification assist for MF doesn’t work in movie mode
  • Movie recording in M manual stills mode ignores exposure settings and goes full-auto
  • Canon are starting to p*** me off in general, as a brand
  • Doesn’t make tea without shimmering moire contamination on surface

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All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

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Camera provided by Kinefinity and HDVideoShop. Final hardware but pre-release firmware with some modes such as “Golden 3K” for 16-stop dynamic range not yet enabled.

The Kinefinity KineMAX is a serious piece of kit. It is possibly the best image I have ever shot with.

The 6K Super 35mm sensor delivers an absolutely incredible raw image, internally recorded and also a CineForm Proxy for quick editing.

pillow-fight-1DC_0538

AJA CION, Blackmagic URSA, Sony FS7 – the market is buoyant at the moment for 4K cinema cameras under $10,000.

Enter the KineMAX and in many ways this has a better image than all of them aforementioned cameras.

It is the most impressive camera yet from Chinese cinema camera manufacturer Kinefinity and shows serious ambition, coupled with an equally serious follow-through into reality. It delivers.

The first part of the review focuses not so much on the headline spec of 6K but on the raw slow-mo, which I found spellbinding.

Like the Red Dragon it does crop the sensor, but the advantage of this is there’s no moire or aliasing from pixel binning. It is a 1:1 readout in 2K at 110fps. The final firmware I believe will go to 120fps. 4K meanwhile goes to 60fps. And all this raw internally recorded. Outside of Red this is pretty unique – raw slow-mo and 6K. Not many cameras have it. Certainly not under $10,000. The effective sensor size at 110fps in 2K is around the same as the GH4.

KineMAX / Andrew Reid

kinemax

The 6K mode is Super 35mm and I found dynamic range to be remarkable, bordering on 14 stops. The final firmware will include a “Golden 3K” mode which uses in-camera HDR sensor processing to increase this to 16 stops. This is still raw, so you have access to the full 16 stops in post.

Now consider this – the KineMAX brain costs $9997 with EF mount, 6K capability and high speed mode. EPIC-M Dragon for the brain alone minus mount starts at $29,000.

If you just need 4K and no 6K or high speed mode then the KineMAX body only with mount starts at $7999 / 8000 euro. Adding your own lens, SSD and power makes it all shootable or you can go for one of the Kinefinity kits, which include their own high performance KineMAG SSDs.

International pillow fight day

kinemax-pillow-fight

I enjoy a good “Berlin moment”! The mass pillow fight was definitely a strange one and a great chance to try out the raw slow-mo. We also shot 4K at 60p and 6K at 25p, which I will save for the next edit and part 2 of the review. At the same time we shot some 4K on the 1D C to act as an anchor point for quality.

The pillow fight was organised chaos and over quite quickly. The tiny 1D C was well suited to this quick point & shoot with no complexity. However the KineMAX has presets to enable much quicker setup and swapping of modes during a fast paced run and gun shoot like this. For slow-mo we had the Canon 18-135mm EF-S STM lens offering a very versatile range. Had I been more used to the camera I’d have been able to get more out of it on this shoot but to say I am happy with the footage anyway is an understatement. Many of the shots I left in the capable hands of Michel of HDVideoShop and Liu Qingqing.

The menus are improved over the KineMINI with far more dedicated buttons (for things like ISO) and a settings LCD on the camera’s left side panel.

As the sensor is completely different to the one in the KineMINI, I felt a very different response in the images when it came to grading the raw in Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 11. It has a richness of colour, cinematic feel and enormous dynamic range.

Here’s a teaser of the 6K

The whole Super 35mm frame measures 5760 × 2400.

kinemax-6k-berlin-tv-tower

So let’s crop into that and see what we get…

kinemax-6k-crop-1

Pretty impressive. Actually that is just half-way in.

Here’s the 1:1 crop from 6K –

kinemax-6k-crop-2

These images are pro-DSLR / 1D X raw still quality at motion picture frame rates.

Indeed the 1D X / 1D C raw stills are 5184 pixels wide, these are 5760.

This close up the image lacks for nothing. It also has a film like texture to it, which cameras like the Sony FS7 can’t produce with a compressed codec.

The raw codec on the KineMAX is compressed, but of course file sizes are enormous… but then the quality is enormous as well. I’ll take a closer look at file sizes and Cinema DNG workflow in DaVinci Resolve in part 2.

Part 1 conclusion

KineMAX 6K vs 4K

6K dwarfs 4K and annihilates 1080p for resolution.

However I feel whether 2K, 3K, 4K or 6K the image coming out of this camera has an all-round niceness to it that goes beyond the specs sheet. I am seriously considering selling my Canon 1D C for one.

The KineMAX is essentially only Kinefinity’s third camera. Already it is gunning for the Dragon at 1/3rd of the price. It far exceeds the quality of imagery you get out of the Blackmagic URSA and AJA CION. Whilst it isn’t the all-round practical run & gun solution the Sony FS7 is especially for event shooters who record for hours onto small cards, it is more cinematic. I feel the raw coming off this camera has more life to it.

One of the things I didn’t have the opportunity to try yet is low light performance and the 16-stop Golden 3K.

However with raw you can lift ISO in post, or you can apply it to the sensor at the time of shooting. When I lifted one of my EI 320 shots in 6K raw by 4 stops in post (equivalent to ISO 6400) what I found was astonishing. Noise was much lower than expected and super fine even at a 1:1 crop (as seen below). 6K to 4K downsampling in post then made for even less visible grain. Take this as a preliminary finding for now until I have the chance to shoot in various low light situations with the camera at various settings.

KineMAX ISO 6400

EI 320 blacks boosted 4 stops in post!!

The Golden 3K with 16-stops is coming in a firmware update but I find the 14 stops in 6K quite amazing frankly. It is like having the good old BMCC 2.5K back again, bringing those 3 stop over exposed shots back to life!

Availability and pre-ordering

The KineMAX is available to pre-order now on both the Kinefinity site (in USD) and European site via HDVideoShop based here in Berlin. In fact based on what I see, I might be clicking those links along with you!!

You can see the Kinefinity KineMAX in action at NAB on booth C12419!

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The post KineMAX Review Part 1 – Adventures in 6K Raw and 110fps Slow-mo appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

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Click here to view the embedded video.

Camera provided by Kinefinity and HDVideoShop. Final hardware but pre-release firmware with some modes such as “Golden 3K” for 16-stop dynamic range not yet enabled.

The Kinefinity KineMAX is a serious piece of kit. It is possibly the best image I have ever shot with.

The 6K Super 35mm sensor delivers an absolutely incredible raw image, internally recorded and also a CineForm Proxy for quick editing.

pillow-fight-1DC_0538

AJA CION, Blackmagic URSA, Sony FS7 – the market is buoyant at the moment for 4K cinema cameras under $10,000.

Enter the KineMAX and in many ways this has a better image than all of them aforementioned cameras.

It is the most impressive camera yet from Chinese cinema camera manufacturer Kinefinity and shows serious ambition, coupled with an equally serious follow-through into reality. It delivers.

The first part of the review focuses not so much on the headline spec of 6K but on the raw slow-mo, which I found spellbinding.

Like the Red Dragon it does crop the sensor, but the advantage of this is there’s no moire or aliasing from pixel binning. It is a 1:1 readout in 2K at 110fps. The final firmware I believe will go to 120fps. 4K meanwhile goes to 60fps. And all this raw internally recorded. Outside of Red this is pretty unique – raw slow-mo and 6K. Not many cameras have it. Certainly not under $10,000. The effective sensor size at 110fps in 2K is around the same as the GH4.

KineMAX / Andrew Reid

kinemax

The 6K mode is Super 35mm and I found dynamic range to be remarkable, bordering on 14 stops. The final firmware will include a “Golden 3K” mode which uses in-camera HDR sensor processing to increase this to 16 stops. This is still raw, so you have access to the full 16 stops in post.

Now consider this – the KineMAX brain costs $9997 with EF mount, 6K capability and high speed mode. EPIC-M Dragon for the brain alone minus mount starts at $29,000.

If you just need 4K and no 6K or high speed mode then the KineMAX body only with mount starts at $7999 / 8000 euro. Adding your own lens, SSD and power makes it all shootable or you can go for one of the Kinefinity kits, which include their own high performance KineMAG SSDs.

International pillow fight day

kinemax-pillow-fight

I enjoy a good “Berlin moment”! The mass pillow fight was definitely a strange one and a great chance to try out the raw slow-mo. We also shot 4K at 60p and 6K at 25p, which I will save for the next edit and part 2 of the review. At the same time we shot some 4K on the 1D C to act as an anchor point for quality.

The pillow fight was organised chaos and over quite quickly. The tiny 1D C was well suited to this quick point & shoot with no complexity. However the KineMAX has presets to enable much quicker setup and swapping of modes during a fast paced run and gun shoot like this. For slow-mo we had the Canon 18-135mm EF-S STM lens offering a very versatile range. Had I been more used to the camera I’d have been able to get more out of it on this shoot but to say I am happy with the footage anyway is an understatement. Many of the shots I left in the capable hands of Michel of HDVideoShop and Liu Qingqing.

The menus are improved over the KineMINI with far more dedicated buttons (for things like ISO) and a settings LCD on the camera’s left side panel.

As the sensor is completely different to the one in the KineMINI, I felt a very different response in the images when it came to grading the raw in Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 11. It has a richness of colour, cinematic feel and enormous dynamic range.

Here’s a teaser of the 6K

The whole Super 35mm frame measures 5760 × 2400.

kinemax-6k-berlin-tv-tower

So let’s crop into that and see what we get…

kinemax-6k-crop-1

Pretty impressive. Actually that is just half-way in.

Here’s the 1:1 crop from 6K –

kinemax-6k-crop-2

These images are pro-DSLR / 1D X raw still quality at motion picture frame rates.

Indeed the 1D X / 1D C raw stills are 5184 pixels wide, these are 5760.

This close up the image lacks for nothing. It also has a film like texture to it, which cameras like the Sony FS7 can’t produce with a compressed codec.

The raw codec on the KineMAX is compressed, but of course file sizes are enormous… but then the quality is enormous as well. I’ll take a closer look at file sizes and Cinema DNG workflow in DaVinci Resolve in part 2.

Part 1 conclusion

KineMAX 6K vs 4K

6K dwarfs 4K and annihilates 1080p for resolution.

However I feel whether 2K, 3K, 4K or 6K the image coming out of this camera has an all-round niceness to it that goes beyond the specs sheet. I am seriously considering selling my Canon 1D C for one.

The KineMAX is essentially only Kinefinity’s third camera. Already it is gunning for the Dragon at 1/3rd of the price. It far exceeds the quality of imagery you get out of the Blackmagic URSA and AJA CION. Whilst it isn’t the all-round practical run & gun solution the Sony FS7 is especially for event shooters who record for hours onto small cards, it is more cinematic. I feel the raw coming off this camera has more life to it.

One of the things I didn’t have the opportunity to try yet is low light performance and the 16-stop Golden 3K.

However with raw you can lift ISO in post, or you can apply it to the sensor at the time of shooting. When I lifted one of my EI 320 shots in 6K raw by 4 stops in post (equivalent to ISO 6400) what I found was astonishing. Noise was much lower than expected and super fine even at a 1:1 crop (as seen below). 6K to 4K downsampling in post then made for even less visible grain. Take this as a preliminary finding for now until I have the chance to shoot in various low light situations with the camera at various settings.

KineMAX ISO 6400

EI 320 blacks boosted 4 stops in post!!

The Golden 3K with 16-stops is coming in a firmware update but I find the 14 stops in 6K quite amazing frankly. It is like having the good old BMCC 2.5K back again, bringing those 3 stop over exposed shots back to life!

Availability and pre-ordering

The KineMAX is available to pre-order now on both the Kinefinity site (in USD) and European site via HDVideoShop based here in Berlin. In fact based on what I see, I might be clicking those links along with you!!

You can see the Kinefinity KineMAX in action at NAB on booth C12419!

Comment on the forum

The post KineMAX Review Part 1 – Adventures in 6K Raw and 110fps Slow-mo appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Saramonic SR-AX107 (1 of 7)

The Saramonic SR-AX107 just showed up today. Build is solid and the finish is on par with what you get from Juicedlink and beachtek. The red faceplate on the Saramonic will do little to improve audio quality, but it’s starting to grow on me. 

Saramonic SR-AX107 (4 of 7)

Setting next to a Beachtek DXA-SLR, you can see that it’s a little on the chunky side. The Saramonic SR-AX107 is about a half inch taller and an inch and a half wider than the DXA-SLR but doesn’t stick out as far forward. On the other hand it’s about half the size of the Tascam DR-60d.

Saramonic SR-AX107 (7 of 7)

It might be a little easier to visualize the size of the Saramonic SR-AX107 by attaching it to a Canon 6d. I’d say it’s ruffly the size of a battery grip. The best use for the Saramonic SR-AX107 will most likely be mounted to a rig or on a tripod which is the case with most of these camera mount audio adapters.

Saramonic SR-AX107 (6 of 7)

I haven’t had a chance to play around with the audio yet, but I did manage to pop a battery in and power things up. The screen in backlit and the on board level meters look pretty nice. A few of the switches like  S/M (Stereo/Mono) and AGC disable, have on screen displays and there is also a battery indicator.

I should have some audio samples of the Saramonic SR-AX107 up towards the end of the week. So far, it looks like a nice design and it should be interesting to see how this guy sounds.

 

The post Saramonic SR-AX107 – First Impressions appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay

Saramonic SR-AX107 (1 of 7)

The Saramonic SR-AX107 just showed up today. Build is solid and the finish is on par with what you get from Juicedlink and beachtek. The red faceplate on the Saramonic will do little to improve audio quality, but it’s starting to grow on me. 

Saramonic SR-AX107 (4 of 7)

Setting next to a Beachtek DXA-SLR, you can see that it’s a little on the chunky side. The Saramonic SR-AX107 is about a half inch taller and an inch and a half wider than the DXA-SLR but doesn’t stick out as far forward. On the other hand it’s about half the size of the Tascam DR-60d.

Saramonic SR-AX107 (7 of 7)

It might be a little easier to visualize the size of the Saramonic SR-AX107 by attaching it to a Canon 6d. I’d say it’s ruffly the size of a battery grip. The best use for the Saramonic SR-AX107 will most likely be mounted to a rig or on a tripod which is the case with most of these camera mount audio adapters.

Saramonic SR-AX107 (6 of 7)

I haven’t had a chance to play around with the audio yet, but I did manage to pop a battery in and power things up. The screen in backlit and the on board level meters look pretty nice. A few of the switches like  S/M (Stereo/Mono) and AGC disable, have on screen displays and there is also a battery indicator.

I should have some audio samples of the Saramonic SR-AX107 up towards the end of the week. So far, it looks like a nice design and it should be interesting to see how this guy sounds.

 

The post Saramonic SR-AX107 – First Impressions appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay

Startech Docking station (1 of 3)

I’ve been using the MSI GS60 for the last 4 or 5 months as a high powered editing laptop. Lately I’ve been wondering if it could end up being a desktop replacement, so I started searching for some kind of docking station. After a bit of research I came across the Startech Universal 4k docking station.

Startech Docking station (2 of 3)

The docking station has a lot of extra ports and manages to provide 4k video via a single USB 3.0 port connected to the MSI GS60. There aren’t a lot of other docking station options to choose from so I thought I’d give this one a try.

One of the disappointing things about the docking station is that it’s limited to 30 hz in 4k mode. While this docking station does allow for a 4k output via the displayport output, it isn’t something you’ll probably want to game with. The Startech Universal 4k docking station is probably fine for productivity applications like video editing and spreadsheet work but gaming is likely off the table.

Startech Docking station (3 of 3)

Over all, the Startech Universal 4k docking station isn’t a bad buy, but i’m a little disappointed in the 4k refresh rates. I’m already limited by the 48hz screen on the MSI GS60, I think I’ll end up using the displayport output with my Samsung 4k panel and using the docking station for it’s assortment of usb ports.

The post StarTech Universal USB 3.0 4K Laptop Docking Station Review appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay

Smallrig EVF arm (1 of 2)

I’ve been testing out the Smallrig 1422 EVF Nato mount arm a little more this week and I ran into a bit of a problem. The setup above (MustHD 5.6 inch panel on the Smallrig EVF mount) seems to be a dangerous combination. I’ll admit that the MustHD is one of the heaviest monitors in this form factor with it’s dual battery mount, and thick plastic body, but it was surprising to me that it had enough weight to defeat the holding power of the Smallrig EVF mount.

Smallrig EVF arm (2 of 2)

Thinking it was simply a matter of tightness, I decided to snug the tensioning thumbscrew all the way down. Turns out that doesn’t actually fix anything. In fact, after looking over the design, it’s probably a bad idea. While the normal urge is to tighten things down as tight as you can with this sort of device, that’s not really a good idea with Smallrig’s design as you’ll see in a second.

Smallrig EVF fix (1 of 3)

Since the Smallrig EVF mount wasn’t really functioning correctly, i decided to take it apart. Basically what’s inside is a plastic spacer. In the right position it’ll snug up the clamp against the rotating portion and lock it into place. However if it gets into the position above, it wont clamp down anything.

Smallrig EVF fix (2 of 3)

While I had the Smallrig 1422 EVF Nato mount apart, I decided to take a closer look at the plastic spacer. It appears to be a cut off piece from a very large zip tie. If you look close, you can actually see the uneven cut marks on either side of this little “spacer”.

Smallrig EVF fix (3 of 3)

In order to fix the problem, I had to rotate the spacer on the Smallrig EVF mount to the position above. Once that was done the locking power of the clamp seems return.

While this is a pretty easy fix and probably not the end of the world, it’s still a problem worth noting. If the spacer were a bit longer, there wouldn’t be the opportunity for the spacer to slip into a position that disables the clamp. As is if the Smallrig EVF mount’s spacer ring slips into the wrong spot, the clamp will provide almost no holding power.

After making this change, I was able to get the MustHD 5.6 inch panel to stay in place. If you are having experiencing this problem with your adapter, you might want to give this a try. Hopefully Smallrig will address this problem in the future.

The post Smallrig EVF arm slips under pressure, here’s a quick fix appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay

Sony a7s Smallrig build (1 of 7)

I’ve been looking for a small mounting frame for the Sony a7s and a few of you recommended I check out Smallrig’s offering. Smallrig sells a lot of bits and pieces so it can be a little confusing when you are trying to figure out what parts you need/want for a rig. It took me a little time trying to visualize the layout I was looking for on the Sony a7s and this is what I came up with:

Sony a7s Smallrig build (2 of 7)

The handle I selected has a vertical Nato clamp instead of a horizontal Nato clamp and includes a cold shoe adapter. Most of Smallrig’s handles have horizontal Nato clamps. I’m guessing this is because they were intended to slide across the top of the camera in order to balance things out, but I wanted to use the handle in a slightly different manner.

Sony a7s Smallrig build (3 of 7)
I was also looking for a compact monitor mounting option and the Smallrig 1422 EVF Nato mount seemed like a decent solution. While it is intended for an EVF, it’s also perfect for a small 5 inch monitor.

Sony a7s Smallrig build (4 of 7)

For those of you not familiar with Nato rails, they’re simply a plate with ridges on either side that allow you to clamp on extra gear. These rails were originally developed as a method for gun mounting flashlights and scopes, but companies like Smallrig and Wooden Camera have started to use them on camera rigs.

Sony a7s Smallrig build (6 of 7)

I used the Nato rails on the top and side of the sony cage. In one configuration I can hold the Sony a7s hand grip in my right hand and the handle in my left hand for an easy two handed minimalist rig.

Sony a7s Smallrig build (7 of 7)

Slide the handle off the side and move it to the top of the unit, then slide on the Smallrig 1422 EVF Nato mount and you have a nice setup for a slider or tripod. Strip the handle and EVF mount off and you are basically back to the form factor of the Sony a7s with a few extra mounting options.

Sony a7s Smallrig build (5 of 7)

Overall i’m pretty impressed with Smallrig’s system. All the parts and pieces set me back about $165 plus shipping which is a little pricy for a minimalist rig but far less than Wooden Camera’s small dslr cage system.

If I were to place this order again I think I would trade out the Nato rails I picked for the Smallrig 1409 rail or Smallrig quick release Nato rail. While the 1437 Smallrig Nato rail I choose works well on the side of the unit, I was only really able to get two of the three screws in on the top of the unit. I don’t think it’s a problem, but if you are looking to duplicate my setup, those two options are worth looking into.

I’ll post a review video on this when I get some more time this weekend. It’s not quite perfect yet, but i’m still pretty happy with how it turned out.

The post Smallrig Sony a7s custom camera cage appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay