August 2014

BLACKMAGIC STUDIO

Featuring a massive 10-inch viewfinder, four-hour internal battery, wired talkback communication, tally indicators and connections, including balanced XLR, SDI and optical fiber, the Blackmagic Studio Camera is built as an all-in-one, economic camera choice for live productions whether in the studio or in the field. Available in two models, the lower-cost Blackmagic Studio Camera incorporates frame rates of up to 1080p60 while the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K with 12G-SDI is capable of UHD resolution (3840×2160) at up to 60p. Otherwise, the cameras are the same, sporting an active Micro Four Thirds mount that allows the use of virtually any lens via available adapters. A commonly available MFT-to-PL-mount adapter, for example, allows cinematic 35mm lenses, or a B4 lens-mount adapter will attach large zoom broadcast ENG lenses designed for 2/3-inch sensors. Unique for digital cameras at this price point, the built-in fiber-optic cable will connect directly to a switcher at up to 28 miles. It’s also bidirectional, carrying HD or Ultra HD through a single channel alongside embedded audio, talkback, tally and even remote-control features. The body includes a tough magnesium casting and large sun shield, while the LCD screen has a very wide viewing angle and is bright enough for use in direct sunlight. Talkback with a director is provided through commonly available aviation headphones. List Price: $2,995 (Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K); $1,995 (Blackmagic Studio Camera). Contact: Blackmagic Design, www.blackmagicdesign.com.

FULL-FRAME 4K

As a still shooter, the Sony a7S mirrorless camera has a 12.2-megapixel-resolution Exmor CMOS sensor, and for video, the camera is very capable, with 15.3 stops of dynamic range, extensive low-light abilities, 4K output in UHD resolution (3840×2160) without binning or downsampling and the "flat" S-Log2 gamma setting, which can improve dynamic range by up to 1300%. Savable Picture Profiles offer programmable adjustments for gamma, black, level and color, while light sensitivity has a massive ISO 50-409,600 range. The new XAVC S-format compression has a 50 Mb/s data-rate capture for better image quality, and the camera can capture 1080p at 60p/i, 30p and 24p with 720/120 fps available through an APS-C crop mode. A new multi-terminal interface shoe is compatible with Sony’s XLR Adaptor Microphone Kits for use with professional microphone systems, and there are many other pro video features like timecode, audio levels, synchronous recording with compatible devices, and marker and zebra displays. List Price: $2,499. Contact: Sony Electronics, www.sony.com.

COMPACT LENSES

The CZ.2 15-30mm T2.9 from Zeiss is the third lens to join the Compact Zoom family of cinema zooms and is the first wide-angle model available in the series, complementing the standard zoom CZ.2 28-80mm T2.9 and the telephoto CZ.2 70-200mm T2.9. Each lens in the set is designed for the imaging requirements of high-quality filmmaking with full-frame 36x24mm coverage and an interchangeable-mount system compatible with cinematic PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E cameras. At roughly six pounds in weight per model, the zooms are compact and low profile for use with stabilization systems. Each lens has a constant T2.9 aperture, robust oversized cine-style housing, no focus breathing over the zoom range, circular bokeh, flare suppression, calibrated focus scale and 4K-resolution capability, as well as color-matching with Zeiss’ corresponding set of cinema primes, the CP family of Compact Prime lenses. List Price: $23,900 (CZ.2 15-30mm T2.9); $59,900 (CZ.2 Complete Set). Contact: ZEISS International, www.zeiss.com.

OPTIMO NOT PRIMES

Thales Angénieux has introduced the Optimo Style Series of zoom lenses, with three new models capable of resolving to 4K. Two models are more lightweight for handheld use, but there’s also a larger, heavier model in the 25-250mm zoom for cinema productions, which weighs 16 pounds thanks to its all-in-one 10x coverage. The much more compact 16-40mm and 30-76mm zooms, on the other hand, weigh only 4.2 pounds each for shooting from the hip or the shoulder. The optional Angénieux Servo Unit is compatible with a number of wired and wireless remote systems for remote control over zoom, focus and iris on all three lenses. It generates lens metadata based on the popular Cooke/i format, and each ASU device is matched and calibrated to lenses at the factory prior to shipping. The lenses have an easily interchangeable-lens mount for use with PL, Canon EF, Panavision and other systems. List Price: TBD. Contact: Thales Angénieux, www.angenieux.com.

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