The Week In Cameras

Latest News About the Tools We Use by Michael Murie

  • Samyang/Rokinon Announce New Cine Lens Line: XEEN

    Samyang [also sold under the Rokinon brand] attracted quite a bit of attention from budget filmmakers when it started selling its budget line of “Cine” lens. These were their traditional still lenses with standard geared focus and aperture rings, de-clicked aperture ring, and remarking for T stops rather than F stops. The lenses received generally positive reviews from users — particularly as they provide a good mix of image quality/construction for the price. They are, however, fully manual lenses, with no auto-focus support or image stabilization built in. But adding teeth to the focusing ring of a lens doesn’t truly, a…  Read more

    On Aug 13, 2015
  • AJA Drops Price of 4K CION Camera Significantly

    AJA has slashed the price of their 4K CION camera in half to $4995. It’s part of their “Summer of Savings” promotion, which they say will run through the end of the summer. Other price reductions announced: Ki Pro Quad (their 4K recorder) is now $2995, Ki Pro Mini is $1495, Ki Pro is $2495, and Ki Pro ND is $2295. AJA customers who purchased the CION production camera before May 26, 2015 will receive two AJA Pak 512 SSDs for free, directly from AJA (valued at $2495). AJA is well known for their video hardware, and the Ki Pro file-based recorder,…  Read more

    On May 27, 2015
    By on May 27, 2015Production
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Blackmagic Announces New Cameras at NAB

    It’s NAB, and Blackmagic have once again announced some exciting new cameras. Blackmagic has developed a bit of a reputation for announcing cameras with amazing specifications at incredibly good prices. They may not be as refined as the cameras from Sony, Canon et al., and they may not always ship on their announced dates, but if you’re a shooter on a budget you have to look at Blackmagic’s camera offerings. Blackmagic’s first camera was the Cinema Camera. Despite its unusual shape and user interface, this camera was a hit because of its high dynamic range, reasonable price, and its support…  Read more

    On Apr 14, 2015
    By on Apr 14, 2015Cinematography
  • Panavision’s Dan Sasaki on their Large Format Digital Lenses, the Primo 70

    Late last year Panavision introduced a new lens line, the Primo 70. These lenses are specifically designed for use on larger sensor digital cameras and, according to Panavision, cannot be used on film cameras. We spoke with Dan Sasaki, VP of Optical Engineering at Panavision, about the development of these lenses, and how they differ from film lenses. Filmmaker: What was the impetus for developing digital lenses? Sasaki: Our Primo 35 lenses have been around since the late ’80s, early ’90s, and they are designed to work with film cameras. The Primo lenses have what’s called the blue line shift on…  Read more

    On Mar 18, 2015
    By on Mar 18, 2015Cinematography
  • ARRI’s New Small Camera and Other News

    ARRI has announced a smaller ALEXA camera, the ALEXA Mini, that can record 4K UHD video. With a design described as “optimized for use on brushless gimbals, multicopters, and other specialized rigs,” the Mini has a lightweight carbon housing and is 7.3” long, 5.5” inches high and 4.9” inches wide. There’s also built in WiFi connectivity, a new internal sensor mount to ensure a stable flange focal distance when using heavy lenses, and motorized, remote-controllable internal ND filters, With a 4:3 sensor the Mini offers 4:3 and 16:9 recording modes as well as an automatic de-squeeze mode for anamorphic lenses. Frame rates from…  Read more

    On Feb 24, 2015
    By on Feb 24, 2015Filmmaking
  • Has Rode Solved the Curse of Wireless Mics?

    I’ve been using wireless microphones for years. Even if you’re doing an interview with someone ten feet away from the camera, it’s just so much easier to use a wireless mic than have to deal with cables running everywhere. But one of the dirty secrets of wireless mics has been that they have been using open spectrum which wasn’t officially designated for that purpose. Fifteen years ago, when I bought my first wireless system, it was a Sony unit operating in the 700 MHz spectrum. Then in 2007, with the transition to digital television, the FCC went and reorganized the…  Read more

    On Jan 24, 2015
    By on Jan 24, 2015Production
  • Sony's ultra thin X900 C 4K TV at CES CES Roundup: 4K TVs are Great, But Pay Attention to What’s Going on in Streaming Platforms and Services

    As expected, 4K has dominated the TV news at CES, with manufacturers announcing models that are bigger (Samsung) thinner (Sony) and have even higher resolution than 4K (Sharp.) But while the manufacturers continue to build bigger and better displays, it’s in platforms and streaming services that the real changes seem to be happening. Platforms Back in June Google unveiled Android TV, a platform to compete with the likes of Apple TV and Roku. Sharp, Sony and TP Vision have all announced TVs based on Android TV. The platform will also be coming on a set top box from Huawei and…  Read more

    On Jan 7, 2015
  • 2014: The Year of 4K

    At the end of 2013 I wrote: 2013 wasn’t so much the year of 4K, as the year of “do we need 4K?” For most of the year I was a skeptic, but now I’m starting to think that 2014 will bethe year of 4K. And here we are at the end of 2014 and I look back and think, “I really hit that one out of the park!” Not that it took a lot of genius to read the tea leaves or see the writing on the wall: 2014 was definitely the year of 4K. Whether it was the F5/F55…  Read more

    On Dec 29, 2014
    By on Dec 29, 2014Cinematography
  • At the Illumination Experience Tour with Shane Hurlbut

    Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut has been touring the country with The Illumination Experience. This day-long workshop primarily covers lighting: how to get the best results, basic and advanced setups, and even how to do lighting on a budget. But the class also covers a lot of other material for the working cinematographer, everything from the advantages of different cameras and lenses to the correct way to hand off a C-Stand. The class begins with a demonstration of Hurlbut’s “Pirate Death Ship,” three lights attached to a dolly on a 360 degree rail system. With an actress sitting in the middle, the…  Read more

    On Oct 27, 2014
  • Canon C100 Mark II Adds New Features, But Not 4K

    Canon has announced a refresh of the Canon C100, and on the face of it this update fixes many of the issues found in the original model. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF function that was a paid upgrade for the original C100 is included, though it’s still limited to the center of the image area. Also new is Face-Detection AF, which will focus on off-center faces. The EVF, which was widely panned in the first model is now larger, with a redesigned eyepiece, and it now tilts. The rear screen is now a 3.5” 1.23 megapixel OLED, with a new…  Read more

    On Oct 24, 2014
    By on Oct 24, 2014Cinematography
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