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Sony Makes Inroads with Their new 4K Offering, the FS7

Sony-FS7-image

Sony has manufactured yet another 4K video camera. In and ever crowed and competitively priced market, Sony has finally made a sub $10,000 interchangeable lens, ASP-C 4Kinternally recordable camera. However, it seems like Sony may be late to the dance. There are some great features on this camera, which we will look at later in this article. However,what Sony does not get at times is the more forward thinking manufactures who are new tothe dance and are delivering democratization of cinema in droves, where Sony is still stuck, in some ways, in a twentieth-century, their hand in your proprietary-pocket paradigm. If we compare this camera and its proprietary nature to the competition, this camera fails to

Sony’s first affordable 4K option was the FS700. A very good and viable option for a my riadof video applications, the FS700, however, did not shoot 4K video internally. It came with a price tag of $7,699, which was for HD only. In order to shoot 4K video, one need to spendan additional $5,350 dollars to purchase Sony’s proprietary recorder called the AXS-R5.The total set back for acquiring 4K video less lens was $13,049. In addition to that, a firmware update was needed (at a cost) and a Sony proprietary v-lock battery to run the recording unit.

There are four well-known manufacturers, which made external recorders: AJA, Atomos,Blackmagic and Convergent Design. Two of which have taken their expertise with videodata recording and parlayed that expertise and technology into sub $10,000, professional4K video cameras. The first of which is the AJA Cion. The Cion retails for $8995 and is completely vacant of proprietary connectors. This camera is light (about 6lb) and balances nicely on your shoulder. It also comes with a PL mount for professional glass applications.Two XLR inputs for audio as well as either V-mount or Anton Bower mount depending onyour battery needs. It also shoots 4K video internally to removable solid-state drives.

The Blackmagic URSA (A Detailed Look – Blackmagic URSA and CFast Cards) , on the other hand retails for a little less. The Blackmagic URSAretails for between $5,995-$6495, depending on which lens mount option you choose. ThePL mount option is $500 more than the Canon mount, which gives one a nice variety of Cinema lensesa nd DSLR to use. The URSA, like the Cion, records 4K internally, thetrade off being less money for the URSA, more money for the recording media. Instead ofusing solid-state drives, the URSA uses CFast media, which is of compact flash linage. Theadvantage being, with CF media, you can record CinemaDNG RAW, a lossy compressed format with a 4:4:4 color space. The Solid state drives for the Cion can record a 4:4:4 colorspace in ProRes. The Blackmagic URSA also comes with a full HD 1920×1080 10.1-inchmonitor, which folds in flush the camera body when stowed. The Cion needs either anexternal monitor or electronic viewfinder solution—an accessory not included with thecamera.

Let us look at the Sony FS7. There are many features on the FS7 that are well thought outand value based for the consumer. The first of which is the electronic viewfinder. Similar tothe viewfinder solution first seen on Sony HD video cameras like the PMW-EX3, the view finder solution on the FS7 uses a small OLED monitor with a diopter and eyepiece for magnification. This is a very nice option, where in some other cameras in this class, most likely a third party solution is needed via an Alphatron, Zacuto or Cineroid EVF. Another feature of note on the FS7 is the stow able smart handgrip. This handgrip, reminiscent of theAaton LTR 54 and the XTR Prod, makes it easier to not only balance the camera, but also have start stop record, assignable buttons and zoom control. On the audio side, Sony has placed two XLR inputs neatly on the right hand side of the camera, facing toward the rear ofthe camera, thus is reminiscent of the Arri Amira. TheFS7 unlike its predecessor, the FS 700will shoot 4K internally via Sony legacy CODECS, however, if you want to shoot RAW or toan external recorder, Sony’s proprietary monster rears its ugly head.

A further investigation into Sony’s new 4K camera, the FS7, the lowdown. The first item ofnote is that the FS7, comes with a proprietary lens mount. Fitted with an E-mount, the FS7will only take Sony and a few Zeiss DSLR lenses, none of which have manual iris and hardstop focus control. However, that may change. As a kit option, or individually, Sony has anew lens, which has manual focus and aperture as well as a full auto feature. Called the FE-PZ, this lens has a generous 15x zoom range from 28-135mm, with a consistent maximum aperture throughout. Kit price was not available, however, this lens is available for individual purchase. Pricing according to B&H and Adorama is $2,499, a relative bargain for a manualfull-frame lens with zoom control. Because this lens is also a full-frame design, it is also aviable option for Sony’s A7S Full-frame DSLR, which also can shoot 4K, via HDMI output toan external recorder. The drawback to this lens would be the moderate f-stop (f4) and lackof bokeh found with faster lenses.

Sony adds more proprietary devices. In addition to the above-mentioned items of glass,mounts, audio placement and multi-function handle, you need more accessories to shootcomfortably and professionally. The first item of note would be the fact that the FS7 doesnot rest comfortably and or ergonomically on one’s shoulder. The size of the camera with lens is something in between an ENG camera and a camcorder. To accessorize this kit, youneed to purchase a shoulder pad and rail solution. This is especially evident when you add Sony’s interface box, which allows you to export RAW video. The interface also has a battery solution, however, this is proprietary as well, taking a Sony v-lock. There are noother battery options like the ones available on the Blackmagic URSA and AJA Cion.Additionally, if you want to output RAW or ProRes files, youwould need to purchase the interfacebox accessory from Sony for around $2,000. This would allow you to connect Sony’s own AXS–R5 orany of the other external recorders from AJA, Atomos, or Convergent Design. The FS7 records internally to Sony’s XQD recording media, which has transfer rates (read/write) upto 180MB/s. These cards are reasonably priced with a 64gb card retailing for $298.95.

In a confluence of two former divergent paths, Sony’s FS7 has made up a great deal ofground. Although not a perfect camera, it does make substantial inroads towards the Democratization of Cinema. For $8,000 you get a 4K camera, which can record 4Kinternally, a first for Sony at this price point. However, the camera is not without its flaws.Other manufacturers such as AJA and Blackmagic have very completive offerings—givingyou more professional features such as internal recording of 4:4:4 color space. Moreover,the lensing options for theses new comers covers a wider range of glass. Sony with its blinders on has focused its competitive gaze not on the new comers, but more on Canonand their C500, which retails for $19,999. With the FS7’s ability to record higher bit rates with and more professionalCODEC options, Canon may be the real laggard in this race. Completion is good. It causeslegacy companies to rethink their business model and manufacturing paradigm and itcreates innovation from new companies willing to think beyond the status quo. As RED hadd one a decade ago, giving us the first 4K production camera, one of the legacy giants,Sony, has now awoken with a substantial new offering their own, the FS7.

About the Author: Thomas Cznarty is a lecturer at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Currently, he teaches in the Communication and Media department. He writes poetry, short fiction and screenplays. Thomas Cznarty is also a filmmaker and media producer with a strong background in film and television production.

Canon G7 X First High ISO Test Images

Canon G7 X first High ISO test images are now available, take a look at the images below and share your thoughts with us…

Canon-G7X-high-ISO-Test-imaAs we can see from the test images above the Canon G7 X images are usable upto ISO 1600, from ISO 3200 significant amount of noise is visible.

Buy Canon G7X from Amazon
Buy Canon G7 X from B&H Store

Canon G7X review & Sample images via mattgranger.com

image credit – whatdigitalcamera.com

Canon G7 X Sample Images

Canon-G7-X-image
Lot of Canon G7 X sample images surfaced over the web, we have added few galley links below…take a look

#1  whatdigitalcamera.com Many sample images with High ISO test

#2 engadget.com have some few but nice images

#3 imaging-resource.com has only three, so take a look

New Hasselblad H5D-50c CMOS Camera with WiFi

Hasselblad-H5D-50c-CMOS

Thanks to Hasselblad for updating us, new Hasselblad H5D-50c CMOS Camera now come with built-in WiFi connectivity, now you can fully control your Medium format DSLR iPhone/iPad on location via Phocus Mobile software, more details available at the press release

Press Release

Hasselblad is set to showcase prototypes of its brand new H5D-50c Wi-Fi medium format camera at photokina (Hall 02.1: Stands A021 – B020)

The new model – a feature-rich upgrade to the H5D-50c CMOS unit launched earlier this year – provides photographers with more freedom than ever before, thanks to an innovative Wi-Fi module.

The H5D-50c with Wi-Fi makes it possible for users to fully control the camera and browse/view images on iPhone/iPad on location via Phocus Mobile software, without the need for a computer. It also features a ‘Live View’ function, allowing photographers to see and zoom in on a live image on the rear LCD even when the camera is untethered.

The new model will be available first in Europe at the end of November and will retail at €21,400 excl. tax.

Michele Channer, Hasselblad International Sales Director said: “When we launched the new H5D-50c CMOS camera earlier this year we promised photographers ultimate image quality, regardless of lighting conditions. Now we have developed a unique Wi-Fi upgrade for this camera enabling photographers to work unplugged but still very much connected.”

She added: “Now users can enjoy total freedom – direct camera control and image browsing, without a computer in sight. Our innovative ‘Live View’ functionality is another first for us. Previously photographers could not directly see at the back what they could see through the lens.

And of course this new model boasts all the functionality of its sibling, including a 50Mpixel CMOS sensor and excellent high ISO performance at up to ISO 6400.”

New features on the H5D-50c with Wi-Fi include:

  • Wi-Fi: Control the camera and browse/ view images on iPhone or iPad, even on location.
  • Live View: See a live image on the rear LCD even when the camera is untethered.
  • Capture rate: The capture rate now enables 50 captures per minute.
  • Longest exposure time: The longest shutter speed is now 34 minutes. And no extra black exposure is necessary.
  • Film: Now you can use film magazines on the H5D-50c.
  • Spirit level: Employ the built-in electronic spirit level even in tethered mode.
  • Display modes: Select different display modes even when the camera is tethered.
  • ISO and White Balance: Settings now available on viewfinder display.

Between January and March 2015 Hasselblad is offering photographers the opportunity to upgrade their H5D-50c model for the new Wi-Fi version for €500.

All new features (except Wi-Fi) will be available to H5D-50c and CFV-50c owners as a firmware upgrade shortly after the photokina trade show event.

Leica Medium Format Camera S and S-E Announced

The information we have published about the successor of Leica S2 was 100% true see here Leica S2 Successor Leica S Coming , Finally today Leica announced two variants of the new medium format camera one is Leica S that packed with newly developed Sony Medium format sensor and supports 4K video capture @ 60fps and the other camera is Leica S-E that boats a traditional CCD sensor inside it, have couple of new features compared to its predecessor and cost less than the Leica S camera.

Leica S ( Type 007)

Leica-S-Medium-Format-Camer

The recently announced Leica S camera features a 37 megapixel medium format CMOS sensor and Maestro II Image Processor, take a look at the major features below of Leica S camera

  • 37.5MP 30 x 45mm CMOS Sensor
  • Maestro II Image Processor
  • No Optical Low-Pass Filter
  • 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Pentaprism 0.87x-Mag. Optical Viewfinder
  • 4K Video at 60 fps, 4:2:2 Color
  • Up to 3.5 fps Shooting, ISO 6400
  • DNG File Format, 16-Bit Color Depth
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and GPS Connectivity
  • Weather-Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body

The Leica S is available for pre-order at B&H storeand shipping date is not know yet.

Leica S-E (Type 006)

Leica-S-E-Medium-Format-CamThe Leica S-E features a traditional contrast based sensor, the features are bit less so you have to pay approx $8500 less than the Leica S medium format camera, take a look at the major features below

Leica S-E Medium format camera Major features

  • 37.5MP 30 x 45mm CCD Sensor
  • Maestro I Image Processor
  • No Optical Low-Pass Filter
  • 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Pentaprism 0.86x-Mag. Optical Viewfinder
  • Up to 1.5 fps Shooting, ISO 1600
  • 12-Stop Dynamic Range
  • DNG File Format, 16-Bit Color Depth
  • Weather-Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
  • Anthracite Cover, Silver Anodized Dial

The leica S-E will cost you apprx $16900 and available for pre-order at B&H store, the shipping date is not known yet.

Panasonic CM1 Smartphone with 1-inch sensor

Panasonic-CM1-SmartphonePanasonic announced new CM1 smartphone, the CM1 is world first smartphone to feature a 1 inch sensor and Leica-branded fixed f/2.8 lens that  equivalent of a 28mm lens, the sensor used inside the CM1 is 7X larger than the sensor are being used in current smartphones worldwide, the available MAX ISO range is approx 25600 and also captures 4K video, the camera allow you to have extensive manual controls over the setting…

Panasonic GM1 Major Specification

  • 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor
  • F2.8 aperture
  • 28mm equivalent focal length
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 4K-video
  • Raw capture
  • 1.1MP front camera
  • 4.7-inch 1080p display
  • Android 4.4
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • microSD cards up to 128GB
  • 2600mAh batttery

The samrtphone loaded with a Android 4.4 OS, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. The memory can be further expanded upto 128 GB.

Panasonic-CM1-Smartphone-ToThe best part of the announcement is CM1 started a new breed of Android based smartphones that focused on image quality as well as performance, At first CM1 is limited to few countries only available for 900 Euros (approximately US$ 1160) from November.

Panasonic LX100 Announced - World First Compact to Feature M4/3 Sensor

Panasonic-LX100-front-imageThe Panasonic LX100 announced today, the camera features large 16.8MP M4/3 sensor and a bright Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7-2.8 Lens (approx 3.1 X optical zoom), the MAX ISO range is 25600 and you can also shoot 4K videos with the new LX100.

Panasonic-LX100-imageOn the rear side of the camera we get a large 3.0″ 921k-Dot Rear LCD display unit and also a decent 2,764k-Dot EVF, the Manual Control Rings and Dials are available that gives you extensive manual controls, plus you also get Built-in Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC for remote sharing and shooting.

Buy Panasonic LX100 from Amazon || B&H Store

Press Release

The LUMIX DMC-LX100 with New Micro Four Thirds MOS Sensor and F1.7 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens

Featuring 4K Video Recording Capability

NEWARK, NJ (September 15, 2014) – Panasonic is proud to introduce the DMC-LX100 (LX100) with Micro Four Thirds High Sensitivity MOS Sensor for the 6th generation model of Panasonic’s world-renowned LX high-end compact camera series. The new LX100 is not just a successor to the DMC-LX7 but a jump-up that even inherits the DNA of DMC-LC1 – the Panasonic’s first full manual compact camera released in 2004.  The LX100 will be available at www.shop.panasonic.com and valued channel partners at the end of October.

To achieve even higher picture quality and multi-aspect capability, the LX100 incorporates the Micro Four Thirds High Sensitivity MOS sensor. It lets subjects stand out of the background impressively with a rich stereoscopic effect. By keeping the resolution at 12.8-megapixels*1, the amount of light is enough to improve the S/N ratio, making it possible to capture clear image with minimum noise even when shot at high ISO. The Venus Engine is also newly developed to feature multiple noise reduction systems such as Multi Process NR, Random Filter and Aperture Filter, to achieve high color reproduction and high image quality with natural description.

A newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX lens (35mm camera equivalent: 24-75mm) boasts F1.7-F2.8 high speed and high descriptiveness in detail and resolution to each corner. It also produces stunningly beautiful defocus together with the large MOS Sensor. In addition, newly adopted 9-blade aperture diaphragm help produce bokeh with a smooth, circular shape. The versatile zoom range of 24-75mm (35mm camera equiv.) is suitable for wide-ranging photography to portraits. Notably, landscapes can be captured in dynamic 24mm ultra wide angle in any 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect thanks to the multi-aspect sensor.

The LX100 integrates a LVF (Live View Finder) with 2764K-dot equivalent high resolution and approx.100% color reproduction. This 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts approx.1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification and 100% field of view. A variety of advanced functions are equipped with DMC-LX100 to spur potential of advanced photographers. It allows direct, intuitive control with dedicated rings and dials such as aperture ring, control ring, shutter speed dial or exposure compensation dial.

The LX100 is capable of smooth, high quality video recording not only in Full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p (NTSC) AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format or MP4 at 60p (NTSC) but also in 4K (QFHD 4K: 3840×2160, at 30 fps(NTSC) in MP4). With this 4K video recording capability, Panasonic is proposing a new way of photo creation called “4K Photo”.  By grabbing a 3840×2160 8-megapixel equivalent image from the 4K video footage it is possible to capture the spur-of-the-moment which is often missed in still photography. This functionality is now easier with the newly added Hybrid Photography 4K Photo mode.

The LX100 is also superior in response. Featuring newly combined DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology made famous in the LUMIX GH4, not only accuracy but also speed is improved to achieve Light Speed AF of approx. 0.14 sec*2 to capture fleeting shooting photo opportunities. High speed burst shooting can be shot at 11 fps in full resolution. It also complies with max.1/4,000(mechanical) and 1/16,000(electronic) high speed shutter speed.

For more creative freedom, Creative Control (Filter), Creative Panorama and Photo Style are available. Notably, aperture and shutter speed can be adjusted while applying Creative Control filter, to further inspire the photographers’ creativity. The LX100 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology camera to offer more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. More practical functions including Focus Peaking, Level Gauge, WB (white balance) bracket, highlight/shadow control are also equipped. Now LX100 can develop RAW images into JPEG in camera. A compact external flash (GN7/ISO100・m, GN10/ ISO200・m) that goes with the body color of the camera is bundled to be mounted on the hot shoe.

While the interchangeable lens camera should pursue performance and functionality, compact cameras are more intuitive tools that simply drive people to photography. Combining the best-possible components with state-of-the-art Panasonic’s digital/optical technologies, LX100 is the one and only digital premium compact camera of this age that surely satisfies users not only with the high picture quality but also with a host of advanced functions and operational ease.

*1 Sensor total pixel is 16.8-megapixel.

*2 Based on the CIPA standard, when using Live View Finder.

Other Features
External Flash (Bundled), Highlight / Shadow Control, RAW data development in Camera, Focus Peaking, Level Gauge, Multi-Aspect Bracket, WB (White Balance) Bracket, iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode for Photo and Video