Stepping into the wayback machine, I can recall the excitement I felt when I finally bought my first digital cinema camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Canon didn’t intend to start the DSLR revolution, but that’s what ended up happening. While I had owned many film and digital video cameras, I had never dreamed that a low-light-sensitive, large-imager,... Read more
For creatives who require top-notch photo quality and high-end video capability in the same body, this is the best option out there
When it was first released, I was so impressed by the photo and video quality of the Sony a7R II that I was willing to look past an enormous list of inconveniences in order to shoot with it. Battery life was terrible, the single card slot was slow, the menu, impenetrable, and the controls were imprecise. Despite that, the a7R II was a clear sign to... Read more
Making spectacular images—“tiny planets”—with the mini-drone
You’ve seen them before, those really cool images dubbed “tiny planets,” where your immediate surroundings are wrapped around a sphere into an impossibly small “planet” hovering in the sky! Typically produced by 360˚ cameras, they now can be generated by drones—specifically, the DJI Spark. I had an absolute blast this week flying the drone... Read more
With the release of firmware update 2.1, it seems like the right time for a detailed report on the 20.3-megapixel mirrorless camera that shoots 4K video
I’ve been a huge fan of the Panasonic GH mirrorless camera series almost as long as I’ve been producing TCSTV. As someone who regularly jumps between stills and video capture, yet focuses on video professionally, the concept of a capable stills camera that is optimized for high-end video production has always appealed me. I’ve used the GH3 and... Read more
With the usability and image quality the D850 can provide video shooters and Nikon’s intent to deliver a pro mirrorless camera, videographers and cinematographers finally have a great reason to hang on to their Nikkor lenses
I’ve always been a huge fan of Nikon’s DSLRs for photography, but as far as using them for video capture is concerned, calling myself ambivalent would be generous. I’ve tried several times to shoot TCSTV episodes with Nikon cameras, but I’ve always come away frustrated with their operation and underwhelmed by the final image. With that background,... Read more
With video quality increasing, today’s action cameras are finding their place in productions
Editor’s Note: This piece first appeared in our May/June issue and reflects the products available at the time of publication. The recent big introductions in this market include the GoPro HERO6 Black and Sony RX0 cameras.
GoPro HERO6 Black
When Felix Baumgartner stepped off of a floating platform at the edge of space in 2012, seven GoPro cameras... Read more
This marvel of miniaturization features a 1-inch sensor, and combined with the speed of the Sony a9, you can easily fill an SD card and get your shot
It was just about a year ago that I reviewed the Sony RX10 Mark III for another publication. I was impressed then and even more impressed now. That’s because this update adds the a9 image processing to a compact body already chock full of Sony’s tech.
If you consider the camera for more than the specs and where it sits in the marketplace, it’s... Read more
A look back at some of the best new products we saw at the industry’s leading trade show, a number of which we’ve since had a chance to review hands-on
Canon EOS C700
We’re taking a look back at some of the new products we got to check out at NAB 2017. We’ve since had a chance to review a number of them hands-on since this article appeared in print, so look for the links throughout this article.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas is a massive, sprawling affair each... Read more
A look at the camera that ushers the company (back) into a new era of cinematography
When Blackmagic Design branched out from development of their color-editing and video-processing software to announce the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, few realized that it would signify the beginning of a range of video camera systems that would come to capture a large part of the budget-minded high-end cine and video space. The new Blackmagic URSA Mini... Read more
How to do more with less for one-man-band and small-crew shoots
Sony a7R II
I recently had a conversation with a videographer who was searching for cases for his lighting kit. When I asked what kinds of lights he wanted to bring on his shoots and what kind of shooting he did, he replied that he was looking for just the right case to hold his ARRI 650w, 300w and 150w Fresnels, as well as two Lowel Rifa lights. In... Read more
We evaluate the images from the Sony a9 and its autofocus performance
The new Sony a9 camera arrived in a flurry of promises of image quality, autofocus speed and performance. When we tested the Sony a9 at the company’s media event, we found that the camera largely lived up to those promises. In my first testing of the camera, at two different sporting locations, we found that the AF was generally spot on, with the... Read more
From aerial photography to remote control operation, powerful and versatile features in a tiny and extremely capable dedicated video system
By David Alexander Willis
With RAW video capture, the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera is a dream solution for special-purpose video needs, like hiding in a scene or aerial photography.
Incredibly compact at external dimensions of only 3.25 x 2.74 x 2.57 inches, the 11-ounce $995 Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera saw some POV usage on a fast-moving commercial for Mountain Dew recently... Read more