Tagged: Review

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Comment on the forum I got to play with the new Olympus E-M1 II today, a pro Micro Four Thirds camera they hope will sell for $2000. It certainly pulls out all the stops to imitate a miniature 1D X Mark II. This camera does NOT crop the sensor in 4K mode like the GH4. Instead, it [...]

The post Olympus E-M1 II mini-review – a sign of things to come with the Panasonic GH5? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Comment on the forum I got to play with the new Olympus E-M1 II today, a pro Micro Four Thirds camera they hope will sell for $2000. It certainly pulls out all the stops to imitate a miniature 1D X Mark II. This camera does NOT crop the sensor in 4K mode like the GH4. Instead, it [...]

The post Olympus E-M1 II mini-review – a sign of things to come with the Panasonic GH5? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

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The Samsung NX1 and Sony A6300 have been warned. Fujifilm has arrived! No really. The X-T2 shoots the best 4K I have yet seen for $1500, with a great lens range, pleasing colour science, less rolling shutter and a different approach to ergonomics to Sony. Recently I did some filming in Venice, Italy. I had with me my Canon [...]

The post Shooting with the Fuji X-T2 in Italy – Samsung NX1 and Sony A6300 beater? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

The Samsung NX1 and Sony A6300 have been warned. Fujifilm has arrived! No really. The X-T2 shoots the best 4K I have yet seen for $1500, with a great lens range, pleasing colour science, less rolling shutter and a different approach to ergonomics to Sony. Recently I did some filming in Venice, Italy. I had with me my Canon [...]

The post Shooting with the Fuji X-T2 in Italy – Samsung NX1 and Sony A6300 beater? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

The unveiling of the DJI Inspire 2 yesterday took us all by surprise. This new professional camera drone offers a plethora of features and impressive specs. At Inter BEE 2016 in Japan we had a chance to look at the new DJI Inspire 2, and found out a few more tidbits like information regarding the improved RAW offload speed.

In a nutshell, the DJI Inspire 2 offers a 5K RAW camera that also includes Apple ProRes and H.265 codecs, obstacle detection, an additional front-facing camera for navigation, an interchangeable lens system, higher speeds, redundant systems, increased flight time and more.

DJI Inspire 2 at Inter BEE 2016

Taketoshi Kumada from DJI Japan, an experienced Inspire 1 user, had the chance to fly with the new drone, and what seems to have impressed him most is the overall more advanced flying experience with the DJI Inspire 2. In comparison, he says the new drone now really stays in the air with its new vision positioning system. Kumada could only use the Inspire 2 indoors, but he describes the experience as fantastic.

DJI Inspire 2 SSD Slot

Interesting for many will probably be the battery flight times he reports about. As I can confirm, the Inspire 1 with the Zenmuse X5R RAW camera had an air time of a mere 10-12 minutes on a single charge. In comparison, Kumada claims, that same Zenmuse X5S RAW camera on the new Inspire 2 gets you 25 minutes in the air. That’s impressive.

Another very important piece of information for me as a shooter is the offload time Kumada talked about. This is still one of the main problems on the DJI Inspire 1 RAW: offloading a full 512gb magazine could take up to 5 hours, and the lack of an option to delete individual clips meant you were sometimes stuck offloading for hours until you could resume flying. It seems like this issue has been resolved with the introduction of the onboard CineCore 2.0 system that stores all files in a readable format on the SSD and lets you use them like any other external hard drive.

I’m yet to find anything I don’t like about this drone, besides the fact that a failsafe algorithm for single propeller damage is obviously missing on this quadcopter design. Other than that, I’m impatiently waiting to test this cinema camera / drone marvel soon.

The DJI Inspire 2 is available for pre-order now. The basic version will cost around $3600, while the Zenmuse X5S (RAW) version will set you back by about $6,000.

cinema5D at Inter BEE 2016
none Came-TV F&V Tilta Blackmagic Design none

The post A Closer Look at the DJI Inspire 2 – 25min RAW Airtime and Faster Data Offload appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DSebastian Wöber

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Canon have made the biggest step forward with their DSLR technology in 2016 than I’ve seen since 2009’s 5D Mark II. It isn’t the 5D Mark IV that has excited me so much as the 1D X Mark II, a camera that will see out the next 6 years as the benchmark for others to follow. Let’s get the [...]

The post Canon 1D X Mark II review part 1 – why superior colour means it’s game over for my Sony A7S II appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Is the Macbook Pro 2016 Fast Enough for 4K?

As you probably know, Apple recently unveiled an entirely new line of Macbook Pros that introduced several changes to their design and functionality. Many professional users voiced concerns about the removal of ports, among other things. The high price and low specs on paper have also earned criticism in many articles and forums. But even for those who choose to overlook such shortcomings, one question remains unanswered: is the MacBook Pro 2016 fast enough in real life for 4K video editing?

Macbook Pro 2016 Fast Enough for 4K or Not?

Reviews for the Macbook Pro 2016 without the touch bar have been flooding the internet for the last two weeks, and we know for a fact that it isn’t fast enough to cope with a real life 4K workflow. But the new touch bar 13-inch and 15-inch models only arrived at customers’s doors today. A few reviews and the first benchmarks have been published, and the results are rather surprising in both directions.

While we do not have a Macbook Pro 2016 model for review at cinema5D just yet, we were very curious to see what other professionals are writing so far, and what the first benchmarks tests are revealing. This way, we can start to make out if the upgrade to a Macbook Pro 2016 is worth it for 4K video editing.

Macbook Pro 2016 Screen - Ready for 4K editing

Macbook Pro 2016 Benchmarks

We all know that 4K editing performance is to a large degree dictated by a the speed of your machine. In other words, we need good specs and performance. The entry level Macbook Pro 2016 13-inch has a 2Ghz i5 processor, which sounds rather underwhelming considering my 2011 Macbook Pro had a 2.4ghz i5 processor. Is it slower than that? No, in reality it’s not that simple. When you look at benchmark scores you quickly see that even the entry-level, non touch bar 2016 model has some more power under the hood than expected.

Macworld has taken a closer look at the specs of all new Macbook Pro models in their Macbook Pro 2016 review.

13-inch Macbook Pro 2015 opened up

iFixit opened up the 13-inch Macbook Pro 2016

CPU

Image Courtesy of Macworld.com

Image Courtesy of Macworld.com

These are Macworld’s multicore CPU results of the new Macbook Pro 2016. As you can see, the entry-level 2Ghz Macbook Pro 2016 13-inch model is slightly faster than last year’s 2015 retina Macbook Pro model with 2.7Ghz. What?

On the other hand, if you expect the 2016 13-inch model with touch bar and 2.9Ghz CPU to score much higher, you’d be mistaken again, as the 2.9Ghz version is only 3.8% faster than the non-touchbar version. So even though the touch bar CPU has 30% more Ghz, it is only 4% faster.

Although I’m confused by these results, they are also revealing, and looking at benchmarks before making a purchase decision seems like a very good idea. This tells me the non touch bar version and the touch bar version have a very similar speed. And if the touch bar is the only deciding factor between the two, then many people will probably decide to live without it.

As expected, the 15-inch model scores much higher in terms of CPU performance, and just like last year’s model, it runs in a completely different class. Its CPU multicore score is about 41% higher than the 13-inch models, but surprisingly it is weaker than the 2015 model…

These results are in line with Engadget’s findings on their review, so they seem to be accurate.

GPU

Image courtesy of Macworld.com

Image courtesy of Macworld.com

Graphics performance is another revealing aspect about 4K editing performance. I’m relieved that at least in this aspect the 2016 machines outperform the 2015 models of Macbook Pros. We can see the 15-inch Macbook Pro 2016 features very high speeds in comparison to all other models. Also, the 13-inch models are faster than the old Macbook Pros, but again the touch bar version seems only slightly better than the non touch bar version of the Macbook pro 2016.

Disk Speed

Apple claims disk speed on their new Macbook Pro’s is insanely fast. As it turns out, this was no exaggeration. 9to5mac tested drive performance of the entry level 13-inch model and sees read speeds of up to 3GB/s and write speeds up to 2GB/s, which they say is basically the fastest drive read and write speeds of any stock computer available today. That is great, but unfortunately disk speed is only one of many important factors when it comes to a machine capable of editing 4K video.

Macbook Pro 2016 fast processor inside

iFixit opened up the 13-inch Macbook Pro 2016

What else?

According to another source (arstechnica.com) there are some other technical differences between the touch bar and non touch bar models that are worth pointing out:

Aside from the CPU and GPU clock speed differences, the touch bar model’s 28W CPU can run faster for longer and throttles less frequently in comparison to the non touch bar 15W CPU.

The non touch bar 2016 Macbook Pro only has two Thunderbolt 3 ports vs the four on the touch bar model. But according to arstechnica.com:

The two ports on the right side of the MacBook Pro have “reduced PCI Express bandwidth,” which Apple says means they have two PCIe 3.0 lanes worth of bandwidth at their disposal instead of the four lanes dedicated to the ports on the left side

This seems to be worse when connecting high-performance storage arrays like 4K editors usually do, so you should connect those only to the left-side ports.

In terms of RAM, unfortunately all Macbook Pro 2016 models max out at 16GB. 32 would be better and recommended for 4K video editing. There is one more difference though: it seems like the non touch bar Macbook Pro uses 1866MHz LPDDR3 RAM while the touch bar version uses 2133MHz LPDDR3, making the RAM faster. Again, faster RAM unfortunately does not make up for the 16GB limit. In reality, the RAM speed should only have a minor impact on editing performance.

4K in the Real World?

So, how do these facts translate to real world 4K video editing? In their review of the 13-inch touch bar Macbook Pro 2016, the Verge offers some insights. They say that the 13 inch is snappy and “without hiccups” in day-to-day use, 1080p video editing in Adobe Premiere is no problem, but apparently 4K video “becomes unworkable”. In their tests, however, the 13-inch MacBook Pro could handle small 4K files smoothly in Final Cut X.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro can handle small 4K files smoothly in Final Cut Pro, but that isn’t the app that most editors use. It’s not a win where it counts.

In their review, it was a different story with the 15-inch model. According to the Verge, it is a step up from older 15-inch Macbook Pros and it was capable of handling smaller 4K projects in Premiere and Final Cut. But on larger project files “the computer starts lagging pretty seriously” and the performance was better on the 2013 iMac. Wow.

As far as I can tell, this is probably due to the 16GB RAM limit on the Macbook Pro 2016. In terms of speed, at least the 15-inch Macbook Pro 2016 seems to be ready to perform basic 4K video editing tasks, but as soon as you’re working on a bigger project, unfortunately none of the 2016 Macbook Pros seem to be ideal.

Positive Voices

But there are positive voices too. Thomas Grove Carter is a professional editor at Trim who had a chance to spend a week with a 15-inch Macbook Pro 2016. In his article at Huffington Post Tech, Thomas shares his experience working on Final Cut X as “buttery smooth” and says:

the software and hardware are so well integrated it tears strips off “superior spec’d” Windows counterparts in the real world.

Thomas would consider the 15-inch Macbook Pro 2016 his 24/7 edit suite for both office work with 2 connected 5K displays as well as work in the field. He also equipped his setup with USB-C SSD’s, eliminating the need for additional dongles.

Thomas enjoys the touch bar on Final Cut X and seems to suggest that people need to adapt to the design decisions Apple laid out with the new Macbook Pros. If they do, then there’s a lot of power and potential to be harnessed from these machines. In his words:

For me, I love it and I think most people will do too… once they actually touch it.

There are more reviewers saying good things about the new Macbook Pros, but few of them are using the laptops with a 4K editing workflow in mind. As machines for day-to-day office tasks, photo and 1080p video, they probably perform remarkably well, and the build quality and simplicity is beautiful and enjoyable.

Conclusion

I’m trying really hard to love the new Macbook Pros and probably many professionals find themselves in the same position. Even if we don’t like to admit it, Apple has cleverly bound users to their eco system and has been making them adapt to and rely on their systems for a while. With the need for higher resolutions like 4K, more color depth and ever-more complex processes during a 4K workflow, the need for higher performance machines has risen in recent last years also.

So is the new Macbook Pro 2016 fast enough for 4K Video Editing? Unfortunately, it seems like the power of the new 2016 Macbook Pros is not up to speed with this development. Instead, Apple focused on consumer interests, like port simplicity, a more immersive display and sound experience, thinness and lightness. Regardless of whether that touch bar turns out to be a great asset or just a gimmick, the fact of the matter is: we are left with a machine that is too weak to cope with current professional editing trends and standards, and lacks the ergonomics professionals depend upon, like long battery life, versatile ports and the still much-needed SD card slot.

apple-macbook-pro-2016-top

Apple has always had a very narrow set of options that users have had to embrace and adapt to. They dictate the way users should be getting their work done, but this time the changes and decisions seem too drastic and probably many professionals will be left behind. If it is really true that you can only edit 4K video on a maxed out 15 inch Macbook Pro 2016 with Apple’s proprietary software, that will be certainly be considered by many not to be professional enough, and we’re going to have a problem.

What is your conclusion? Tell us why you think the Macbook Pro 2016 is great / not so great in the comments below.

The post Is the New Macbook Pro 2016 Fast Enough for 4K Video Editing? appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DSebastian Wöber

A couple of weeks ago Cinevate released the Duzi 4, the Canadian-based companies latest answer to a lightweight, compact camera sliders. I’ve been using one for the last few weeks, here’s my Duzi 4 review.

cinevate_duzi_4_review_7

Duzi 4 Review

I’ve had a good relationship with Cinevate over the years, having been fortunate enough to try out pretty much every slider they’ve made.

It’s neither coincidence nor a biased opinion that I rate their sliders; my position with them is very much the chicken over the egg in that scenario.

Having used a good chunk of different sliders on the market, I decided on the Cinevate FLT way-back-when as my compact single-tripod slider solution. It was my documented praise of a decent well-made product that had Cinevate sending me every model of Duzi Sliders to check out since.

cinevate_duzi_4_review_1

So here we have the Cinevate Duzi 4, perhaps its most significant evolution with inclusion of an integrated flywheel.

One of the main highlights of my Cinevate Hedron review was the optional flywheel feature; I felt this was the single best selling point of the system.

Hedron has its drawbacks however, it’s a lot heavier and therefore less portable than the then Duzi 3. Duzi 4 is a whole new product however.

Specification

Duzi 4 comes in two lengths, 24” and 32” I’ve been using the 24” version; for me it’s the best length for a compact slider, and by compact slider I mean useable on one tripod/stand and flies without question.

I have a 32” Duzi 3 also and this is a little long for true compact use.

Duzi 4 is wider, adding further stability whilst accommodating the integrated flywheel.

Making it wider drops 20lbs off the load capacity, but this is still a hefty 100lbs so little is lost.

The Duzi 4 is heavier than previous at 6lbs (versus 4.23lbs) .

cinevate_duzi_4_review_11

What’s The Difference?

Without spending too much time on comparing new to the old, the main new features of the Duzi 4 are integrated flywheel on the carriage, and quick retractable all terrain feet.

The Flywheel

Duzi 3 (I’ll stop comparing them soon) was incredibly smooth, check out my review of the original system where I overload it with a front weighted camera setup. In some incidences it was almost too smooth, human error could be seen on your footage when sliding slowly and on a long lens.

The flywheel helps attenuate that motion. I knew what to expect after using the Hedron flywheel, and the Duzi 4 is no different; in operation it’s hard to get a none-smooth slide with it. In addition, it’s a belt-less design so requires no further setup.

cinevate_duzi_4_review_3

A flywheel is designed to gain momentum and move with your slide, smoothing out those bumps. It certainly does this, additionally it takes some time to get used to, as poor operation of your slide can cause ‘kick back’ that can only be described as smooth wobbles.

Whilst I didn’t have time to do a full video review as previous models, I did find 20 mins on a shoot recently to fire off some test footage.

Here’s a sequence pieced together, mostly from out of the same room in an East London venue.

All footage is shot north of 100mm, using a slow slide just to show you the potential of the new flywheel (long lens slow slides are often a good test for a slider).

All Terrain Legs

The all terrain legs haven’t change drastically in design, however their fixing to the end blocks has been tweaked so that you can switch quickly between active and stored mode.

The old all terrain legs did fold down like this, but you had to unscrew the ratchet levers all the way and re-organize the legs slightly.

This new design is a significant improvement; I long gave up on my Duzi 3 all terrain legs due to their fiddly nature.

cinevate_duzi_4_review_5 cinevate_duzi_4_review_4

The design could still be improved upon, a single press ratchet design like the Shape FS7 Extension Arm would be great and make them incredibly speedy, however I appreciate the necessity to keep costs to a minimum; this new design is probably as good as you can get with off-the-shelf Cinevate parts.

The Great

cinevate_duzi_4_review_2

I think the flywheel is such a critical feature, it makes the purchase 100% worthwhile, whether you’re looking to upgrade from the Duzi 3 or generally just looking for a new slider.

This plus the two lengths means for me, Duzi now competes in the lightweight compact and heavyweight sectors.

For larger setups, I’d always turn to my Hedron, a 32” Duzi 4 would make me rethink.

Having used their products for so long it’s sometimes easy to talk about the improvements they’ve made, forgetting what makes the system great in the first place.

I’ll say it again, I’ve used Duzi sliders for years, and a great testament is that I’ve given them a chunk of abuse, throwing them in bags with other grip items, flown all over the world, literally climbed mountains with them.

They’ve always held up, and that is down to a well designed system, one that’s reliable over a long period of time. I’ve used other sliders in the past that have been great on the first few jobs, but fall apart over time leading you to look elsewhere.

One thing that’s helped their endurance is use of rubbers for each of the rails. This is the same rubber you find on the Hedron slider systems; I really think Cinevate should consider shipping all their Duzis with this, adds a lot of protection when travelling about.

cinevate_duzi_4_review_12

The Not So Great

The Achilles heel of the original Duzi was the lock; it was a faff beyond belief. Cinevate looked to address this in v3, with a completely new lock design.

The Duzi 4 locking system hasn’t changed much; it’s certainly much, much better than the original, but still not great.

The Hedron and FLT had reliable, hold anywhere on the rail locks. The one found on the Duzi 4 has the same flexibility across the length, but doesn’t take a great deal of persuasion to come loose when using heavier setups; take this into consideration when transporting it (the carriage has hit me in the head a few times carrying it).

As mentioned previously, the weight has increased on the Duzi 4. Whilst I wouldn’t consider it a big deal, I’ve noticed it having used the Duzi 3 in the past.

This is mostly down to the inclusion of the new flywheel, and a welcome sacrifice as the feature is that good. But the system is that refined now, I’d pay good money for a carbon fibre one! (maybe just me…_).

cinevate_duzi_4_review_6

Summary

There’s a reason I’ve been using the Duzi for so long; reliable, smooth and portable. Add the flywheel to that mix and you really have a strong product, I’m yet to find another system out there that challenges Duzi in it’s functional performance as a portable slider.

For people looking to upgrade from the 3, yes it’s worth it.
If you’re after a smooth, reliable, portable slider system and are not concerned about having complex motion control expansion, look no further.

The post Cinevate Duzi 4 Review – Best Portable Slider In Town? appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DTim Fok

Sony FS7 II hands-on featured image

Sony just introduced the new Sony FS7 II as successor to their flagship single-operator large sensor camera, the successful FS7 (should we call it “mark 1”?). Recently, I had a chance to have a hands-on with the new Sony FS7 II and in this article I’ll run you through all the new features. For those who have been expecting something big: I must warn you, that the new specs will probably not throw you off the seat.

Sony FS7 II Hands-On

The introduction of the original Sony FS7 was a huge event. With the launch of this camera, 2 years ago, large sensor shooters received an amazing tool that was ready for a variety of 4K productions at a competitive price point and it holds that position until this day. The Sony FS7 II marks the next step in the evolution of the successful FS7 line – or so it seemed.

After being introduced to the new features we had half a day with the new camera and during my FS7 II hands-on, it quickly became clear that this is rather an “update” than an entirely new camera. If your expectations are low, you will probably enjoy the new features, but if you though you’ll see a rival to the Canon C300 mark II, you are likely to be disappointed.

Sony FS7 II hands-on review

Sony FS7 II hands-on – literally

The Sony FS7 II Has an Electronic Vari ND Filter

Sony first introduced the electronic Vari ND Filter technology on their X180 and X160 cameras in 2015, but the feature received more attention when it was implemented in the Sony FS5 as besides the added convenience, it made step-less adjustment of ND filtration possible.

The new filter is an LCD layer placed between the sensor and the lens-mount. The strength of the filter can be assigned to presets or dialled in via the “Variable” wheel on the side of the camera. This allows you to keep the same aesthetics, while changing the amount of light that hits the sensor during a scene (see a sample of the technology here).

Sony FS7 II hands-on electronic Vari ND

It’s certainly nice to see the electronic Vari ND filter added to the Sony FS7 II. Users report they find this feature handy and adds to the ergonomics of the camera. In my opinion this is not a “must have”, but a useful update indeed.

E-Mount Lever Lock – A New Locking Mechanism

E-Mount is a great lens mount. It’s sensor distance makes it possible to use a variety of third party lenses via adapters, and it is so popular that almost any lens manufacturer produces specifically for e-mount by now. What is not so great about e-mount is that after all it was made for stills photography lenses and thus is lacking stability and a rotation-less locking mechanism. Sony addressed both issues with the E-Mount Lever Lock.

Sony FS7 II E-Mount Lever Lock

Sony FS7 II E-Mount Lever Lock Mechanism

The innovation about the E-Mount Lever Lock mechanism is that is very similar to the PL mount system used in cinema productions – Instead of swinging the lens you now swing the collar. This helps lock lenses more tightly and is ideal for large camera setups when you have a matte box and follow focus readily setup as you don’t need to twist the lens.

This mount is ideal for cinema, large lens setups and when the camera is on a tripod. For everyone else and I assume this will be 90% of FS7 II handheld users, this new mount will probably be a huge problem. It’s nice that we don’t have to twist the lens, but twisting the lens mount and pressing the lock release, while holding the lens is an almost impossible task to perform for any single-operator shooter.

Sony FS7 II E-Mount Lever Lock

Yes, there is innovation here and I applaud Sony for introducing this system, but as you will need an assistant to conveniently use this mount, most people will probably not find this update so welcome. The way I see it this camera is targeted at single operators, broadcasters and handheld shooters and it will rarely be used in environments where this mount will make a positive difference.

Sony FS7 II, What Else Ya Got?

These two updates are the biggest updates of the Sony FS7 II in comparison to the Sony FS7 mark 1. Internally the camera is 99% the same machine. They’ve only added a color space option (BT.2020) that we’re likely to see on the FS7 mark 1 via firmware soon. Besides that, we have the same super35 sensor, 4K DCI resolution at up to 60fps, the same internal slow motion in HD up to 180fps, XAVC-I codec, etc…

Sony FS7 II hands-on

Externally there are a few more tweaks Sony added to the new Sony FS7 II:

We now have a power LED next to the on/off switch.
So you can see wether the camera is turned on.

There’s now a thumb screw on the grip arm extension.
The mark 1 required a screwdriver there.

10 assignable user buttons.
The mark 1 only had 6.

The XQD cards now stick out 4.3mm more than on the FS7 mark 1.
So you can grab them easier.

Improvements to the big viewfinder loupe.
One of the two flimsy loupe attachments has been removed. They also added a nice foldable sunhood as an alternative to the loupe when using the LCD in sunlight.

The LCD attachment was improved.
They’ve replaced the round rod with a square one, so the LCD doesn’t tilt so easily. Unfortunately the rod is still too short for proper shoulder work with the big loupe.

Sony FS7 II hands-on - LCD rod attachment

New square rod on FS7 II LCD mount

Sony FS7 II XQD card slots

Sony FS7 II XQD Card Slots

Sony FS7 II New User Buttons

4 New User Buttons on the Sony FS7 II

Why Should You Get the Sony FS7 II?

At the time of its release the new Sony FS7 II retails for about $10,000 (body only). In comparison to the Sony FS7 mark 1, that will be a rough $1,500 step up in price. If you are surprised about the lack of innovation and improvements to the Sony FS7 II, then you are probably not alone. For most other people who attended this Sony FS7 II hands-on session this was one of the more puzzling moves Sony has pulled off.

While it is frankly rather underwhelming as a camera release, I am sure there are users who are looking to buy a camera that will give them the best options. If you are one of those, at the end of the day the decision probably comes down to wether or not you should go for the camera with the E-mount Lever Lock (FS7 II), or the normal E-mount. I personally would go for the mark 1, just because I think the Lever Lock is a big potential problem for my work as a single operator with this single-operator camera.

Sony FS7 II with Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Lens

Sony FS7 II with Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Lens

Another reason to go for the Sony FS7 II would be the new Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 lens the camera will probably come optionally bundled with. This lens has been introduced in September and as the successor to the 28-135mm, it is the ideal choice for FS7 users. In the bundle, the lens could be cheaper than when bought separately, to save on its standalone $3,500 price-tag. This is only a theory, because for the FS7 mark 1, the bundle comes down to the exactl same price as buying the body and lens separately…

I hope you liked our little Sony FS7 II hands-on. If you have any questions or thoughts let us know in the comments. Is the new Sony FS7 II worth the step up in price? Would you go for the Sony FS7 II or rather the mark 1?

The post Sony FS7 II Hands-On – Here’s the Difference to FS7 mark 1 appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DSebastian Wöber

Sony FS7 II hands-on featured image

Sony just introduced the new Sony FS7 II as successor to their flagship single-operator large sensor camera, the successful FS7 (should we call it “mark 1”?). Recently, I had a chance to have a hands-on with the new Sony FS7 II and in this article I’ll run you through all the new features. For those who have been expecting something big: I must warn you, that the new specs will probably not throw you off the seat.

Sony FS7 II Hands-On

The introduction of the original Sony FS7 was a huge event. With the launch of this camera, 2 years ago, large sensor shooters received an amazing tool that was ready for a variety of 4K productions at a competitive price point and it holds that position until this day. The Sony FS7 II marks the next step in the evolution of the successful FS7 line – or so it seemed.

After being introduced to the new features we had half a day with the new camera and during my FS7 II hands-on, it quickly became clear that this is rather an “update” than an entirely new camera. If your expectations are low, you will probably enjoy the new features, but if you though you’ll see a rival to the Canon C300 mark II, you are likely to be disappointed.

Sony FS7 II hands-on review

Sony FS7 II hands-on – literally

The Sony FS7 II Has an Electronic Vari ND Filter

Sony first introduced the electronic Vari ND Filter technology on their X180 and X160 cameras in 2015, but the feature received more attention when it was implemented in the Sony FS5 as besides the added convenience, it made step-less adjustment of ND filtration possible.

The new filter is an LCD layer placed between the sensor and the lens-mount. The strength of the filter can be assigned to presets or dialled in via the “Variable” wheel on the side of the camera. This allows you to keep the same aesthetics, while changing the amount of light that hits the sensor during a scene (see a sample of the technology here).

Sony FS7 II hands-on electronic Vari ND

It’s certainly nice to see the electronic Vari ND filter added to the Sony FS7 II. Users report they find this feature handy and adds to the ergonomics of the camera. In my opinion this is not a “must have”, but a useful update indeed.

E-Mount Lever Lock – A New Locking Mechanism

E-Mount is a great lens mount. It’s sensor distance makes it possible to use a variety of third party lenses via adapters, and it is so popular that almost any lens manufacturer produces specifically for e-mount by now. What is not so great about e-mount is that after all it was made for stills photography lenses and thus is lacking stability and a rotation-less locking mechanism. Sony addressed both issues with the E-Mount Lever Lock.

Sony FS7 II E-Mount Lever Lock

Sony FS7 II E-Mount Lever Lock Mechanism

The innovation about the E-Mount Lever Lock mechanism is that is very similar to the PL mount system used in cinema productions – Instead of swinging the lens you now swing the collar. This helps lock lenses more tightly and is ideal for large camera setups when you have a matte box and follow focus readily setup as you don’t need to twist the lens.

This mount is ideal for cinema, large lens setups and when the camera is on a tripod. For everyone else and I assume this will be 90% of FS7 II handheld users, this new mount will probably be a huge problem. It’s nice that we don’t have to twist the lens, but twisting the lens mount and pressing the lock release, while holding the lens is an almost impossible task to perform for any single-operator shooter.

Sony FS7 II E-Mount Lever Lock

Yes, there is innovation here and I applaud Sony for introducing this system, but as you will need an assistant to conveniently use this mount, most people will probably not find this update so welcome. The way I see it this camera is targeted at single operators, broadcasters and handheld shooters and it will rarely be used in environments where this mount will make a positive difference.

Sony FS7 II, What Else Ya Got?

These two updates are the biggest updates of the Sony FS7 II in comparison to the Sony FS7 mark 1. Internally the camera is 99% the same machine. They’ve only added a color space option (BT.2020) that we’re likely to see on the FS7 mark 1 via firmware soon. Besides that, we have the same super35 sensor, 4K DCI resolution at up to 60fps, the same internal slow motion in HD up to 180fps, XAVC-I codec, etc…

Sony FS7 II hands-on

Externally there are a few more tweaks Sony added to the new Sony FS7 II:

We now have a power LED next to the on/off switch.
So you can see wether the camera is turned on.

There’s now a thumb screw on the grip arm extension.
The mark 1 required a screwdriver there.

10 assignable user buttons.
The mark 1 only had 6.

The XQD cards now stick out 4.3mm more than on the FS7 mark 1.
So you can grab them easier.

Improvements to the big viewfinder loupe.
One of the two flimsy loupe attachments has been removed. They also added a nice foldable sunhood as an alternative to the loupe when using the LCD in sunlight.

The LCD attachment was improved.
They’ve replaced the round rod with a square one, so the LCD doesn’t tilt so easily. Unfortunately the rod is still too short for proper shoulder work with the big loupe.

Sony FS7 II hands-on - LCD rod attachment

New square rod on FS7 II LCD mount

Sony FS7 II XQD card slots

Sony FS7 II XQD Card Slots

Sony FS7 II New User Buttons

4 New User Buttons on the Sony FS7 II

Why Should You Get the Sony FS7 II?

At the time of its release the new Sony FS7 II retails for about $10,000 (body only). In comparison to the Sony FS7 mark 1, that will be a rough $1,500 step up in price. If you are surprised about the lack of innovation and improvements to the Sony FS7 II, then you are probably not alone. For most other people who attended this Sony FS7 II hands-on session this was one of the more puzzling moves Sony has pulled off.

While it is frankly rather underwhelming as a camera release, I am sure there are users who are looking to buy a camera that will give them the best options. If you are one of those, at the end of the day the decision probably comes down to wether or not you should go for the camera with the E-mount Lever Lock (FS7 II), or the normal E-mount. I personally would go for the mark 1, just because I think the Lever Lock is a big potential problem for my work as a single operator with this single-operator camera.

Sony FS7 II with Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Lens

Sony FS7 II with Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Lens

Another reason to go for the Sony FS7 II would be the new Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 lens the camera will probably come optionally bundled with. This lens has been introduced in September and as the successor to the 28-135mm, it is the ideal choice for FS7 users. In the bundle, the lens could be cheaper than when bought separately, to save on its standalone $3,500 price-tag. This is only a theory, because for the FS7 mark 1, the bundle comes down to the exactl same price as buying the body and lens separately…

I hope you liked our little Sony FS7 II hands-on. If you have any questions or thoughts let us know in the comments. Is the new Sony FS7 II worth the step up in price? Would you go for the Sony FS7 II or rather the mark 1?

The post Sony FS7 II Hands-On – Here’s the Difference to FS7 mark 1 appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DSebastian Wöber