Menu

IBC Gear Roundup: Loads Of New Announcements From Sony, Blackmagic, RED, DJI & Atomos!

The last couple of weeks have been filled with camera and gear announcements, many of which came out of IBC 2015 (Europe’s answer to NAB). The usual suspects – Sony, Blackmagic, RED, and others were there to announce their latest products, and I’ve rounded up some of the highlights for you guys here.

Sony A7S II & FS5

Sony finally made the official announcement about the successor to their hugely popular A7S mirrorless camera, and in my opinion it was the perfect time to do so. The original Sony A7S was and is a fantastic camera in many respects, but there were a few notable drawbacks that prevented certain types of users from buying the camera. The lack of internal 4K wasn’t ideal for many filmmakers, which is why when the A7R II was released (and featured both internal 4K and 5 Axis stabilization), the original A7S started to look far less tempting. That said though, the A7S was still the better low light camera and it was only a matter of time until Sony gave us a Mark II version with those additional features added. Here are the official specs:

  • Full-frame 35mm 12.2 Megapixel Sensor
  • Full Pixel Readout (no binning) of Entire Sensor Means No Aliasing
  • Shoot 4K UHD Using the Full-Frame Image Area
  • 3840 x 2160: 30 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps
  • 1920 x 1080: 120 fps, 100 fps
  • 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
  • XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (30p/100Mbps, 30p/60Mbps, 24p/100Mbps, 24p/60Mbps)
  • XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/50Mbps, 30p/50Mbps, 24p/50Mbps, 120p/100Mbps, 120p/60Mbps)
  • AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28Mbps/PS, 60i/24Mbps/FX, 60i/17Mbps/FH, 24p/24Mbps/FX, 24p/17Mbps/FH)
  • MP4: 1920 x 1080 (60p/28Mbps, 30p/16Mbps), 1280 x 720 (30p/6Mbps)
  • ISO 100 – 102400, Expandable to ISO 50-409600
  • 0.5″ 2.36m-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF
  • S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3
  • New Gamma Assist Display
  • Enhanced Zebra Function
  • HDMI Output: [NTSC] 3840 x 2160 (30p/24p) / 1920 x 1080 (60p/24p) / 1920 x 1080 (60i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit/ RGB 8bit
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • 30 Minute Clip Length
  • Availability: Fall 2015
  • Price: $3,000

A7S Mark II

 

Sony A7S II – $2999 at B & H

At $3000, this camera isn’t cheap but is still reasonably priced considering what you’re getting. Personally, I am still leaning towards the A7R II as I love the fact that it can also be used as a high res stills camera. Also, I don’t shoot a ton of material without any lighting, so for me the biggest benefit of the A7S II (being able to shoot without lights) isn’t a huge selling feature. Regardless, this camera is destined to be a big seller.

Sony also announced a brand new camera, the PXW-FS5 – which as the name suggests is the new little brother to Sony’s FS7. If Sony’s FS7 is intended to compete with the Canon C300 Mark II, then the FS5 would be their answer to Canon’s C100 Mark II. It’s noticeably smaller and lacks some functions of the FS7 (fewer recording options, no LCD loupe, etc.), but still packs a huge punch and includes some truly innovative features… One of which is the integrated electric Variable ND which can extend to 1/128 ND, and is separate from the built in manual ND filters. Here are the specs:

  • 4K Super35mm EXMOR sensor — 4352 x 2662, 11.6 Megapixels (8.4 Megapixels Effective)
  • Native E-Mount
  • Native 3,200 ISO, Goes up to 32,000 ISO
  • 14 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • Manual ND Filter: OFF: CLEAR, 1: 1/4ND, 2: 1/16ND, 3: 1/64ND
  • Built-in Electric Variable ND from 1/4ND to 1/128ND
  • S-Log2 and S-Log3
  • On-board XAVC-L  recording
  • 3840 x 2160 8-bit, 4:2:0, up to 30fps continuous.
  • 1080 10-bit 4:2:2 up to 60fps continuous & 120, 240, 480, 960 fps buffered.
  • Less than 5 sec boot time, Direct Access Menu, No rebooting for Rec format changes, etc., 2K Center Crop
  • OLED Viewfinder: Approx. 1.44M dots
  • 3.5″ LCD: 1.56M dots
  • Magnesium frame & body with active cooling
  • 4K 4096×2160 output capable with paid future firmware upgrade
  • 4K RAW in Future Firmware
  • Dual SD Card Slots, Can Record Proxies
  • 3G-SDI, 4K HDMI, WiFi, Wired LAN, 2 XLR, Built-in Mic
  • 2X Digital Zoom in HD, 1.5x in UHD and 2K Center Crop for Super 16mm Lenses
  • Same batteries as FS7
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Availability: November 2015
  • List Price: $5,600 without lens, $6,100 with 18-105mm f/4

sony_pxw-fs5_smart_side

 

Sony PXW-FS5 – $5599 at B & H

If I were in the market for an FS7, I would have to think long and hard about the FS5 as it seems to offer nearly the same amount of functionality, but does so in a smaller package and for less money. Again, the FS7 has some bells and whistles that will certainly be important for certain types of shooters, but for many the FS5’s $5600 price tag will be very enticing.

Blackmagic URSA Mini B4 & DaVinci Resolve

Blackmagic made a number of announcements recently, but perhaps the most exciting news centered around the new B4 adapter for the URSA Mini and the full release of DaVinci Resolve 12.

The B4 adapter will work specifically with the PL Mount version of the URSA Mini and is of course designed to adapt broadcast/ENG style B4 lenses to the URSA Mini. I think this will prove to be an invaluable tool for many shooters, especially those planning to use the URSA Mini for run and gun work. B4 lenses have been around for ages and are often still the best option for unscripted television, news, documentaries, and other similar types of production environments.

It makes sense that the B4 adapter was made for the Mini version of the URSA as that camera will be more suitable for ENG-style work as it is, given it’s lighter weight and smaller footprint.

The adapter is only $300 and will be available soon.

URSA b4 Upgrade

DaVinci Resolve 12 was also officially released, and is now out of Beta. I have been so impressed with what Blackmagic has done with Resolve over the last few years and this iteration of the software is by far the most substantial. More than 80 new features have been added to this version, including multi-cam editing, on screen controls for motion graphics, the ability to output straight to ProTools and much more. Resolve is truly becoming one of the most powerful non-linear editing systems out there, and if you haven’t already tried it I would highly recommend heading over to www.blackmagicdesign.com to download the free version.

RED’s Cheaper New Camera & OLPF

As expected, RED had some announcements of their own including a new OLPF (optical low pass filter) that will offer current Weapon, Epic & Scarlet users another option for eliminating aliasing issues on their cameras. This new “standard” OLPF seems like it will be the most versatile of RED’s other OLPF options, which have previously been designed more specifically to handle either low-light work, or skintones. The Standard OLPF will run $200 for the standard version and $300 for the 6K Weapon version.

RED Weapon New OLPF Standard

What’s more interesting however, is that RED has teased a new (and likely much cheaper) 4K camera. No concrete details have emerged yet, but Jarred Land of RED did post this photo to Facebook with the hashtag: #4K4ALL:

RED 4K Cheaper Camera Scarlet

I think it’s safe to assume that this new camera will either replace the Scarlet, or possibly will be an even lower cost option to serve the entry level market. In my opinion, this is something RED should have focused on years ago, as that market is gigantic and in need of more options from a company like RED. Up until now, RED seems to have been trying to compete primarily with Arri, but the very high end digital cinema market is still primarily Alexa-centric, and RED have probably finally realized they need to cater to the true low-budget indie filmmaker too.

I assume that this new camera is a way for RED to show their customer base that they aren’t only focused on serving the highest end user any more, which would be a smart move on their part. That said, I can only hope that this camera also has the ability to record to more universal media (such as CFast cards) and has more unviersal connections for monitoring, etc… Because really, even if the camera only costs a few thousand dollars, the accessories are still going to be extremely pricey and would make the camera unattainable for many.

It’s also worth noting that RED announced a number of accessories for the Weapon, including a new 120GB Mini Mag, 4.7″ LCD, and 1080p EVF.

Atomos Ninja Assassin, Shogun Studio & More

I’ve been really impressed with the speed in which Atomos has refined their product lineup, and the overall quality of the products they’ve been offering. Their latest batch of announcements certainly didn’t disappoint, with their new Ninja Assassin sparking a lot of interest across the board:

The Assassin is a 7″ full 1080p HDMI monitor/recorder that offers some truly fantastic features. It records 10 bit 4:2:2, has focus peaking, false color, built in anamorphic de-squeeze, time-lapse functionality and much more. Here are just a few of the specs:

  • 1920 x1200 IPS Touchscreen Display
  • Records 4K (3840×2160) up to 30 fps
  • Records 1080p up to 120 fps
  • ProRes, DNxHD, DNxHR and Encoding
  • UHD 4K-Capable HDMI Input
  • Stores to Single HDDs or SDDs
  • Video Playback and 4K Down-Conversion
  • Single Master II Drive Caddy Included

The Assassin gives you a lot of bang for your buck and will certainly be a no brainer for many DSLR and mirrorless shooters.

Ninja Assassin Price

 

Ninja Assassin – $1295 at B & H

The Shogun Studio (also just announced), will provide broadcast professionals with an excellent tool for capturing, monitoring, and converting two streams of media simultaneously. It is a rack mounted unit that boasts two 7″ monitors, and as such is intended to be used in a studio style environment. Here are the specs:

  • Dual 7″ Monitors in a Rack Mount Chassis
  • 4K/1080p60 Recording to Multiple Codecs
  • Records 4K (3840×2160) up to 30 fps
  • Records 1080p up to 120 fps
  • ProRes, DNxHD, DNxHR and Encoding
  • SSD, HDD, CFAST in Drive Caddy
  • Supports 4:2:2 at 8/10/12-bit Recording
  • UHD 4K-Capable HDMI Input
  • 12G-SDI Input and Loop-Output
  • Stores to Single or RAID HDDs or SDDs

The Shogun Studio will likely find it’s home in broadcast facilities, at live events, and in various other types of studio environments. The fact that it can not only record two streams simultaneously, but can do so in different resolutions, formats, codecs, and frame rates, will inevitably make the Shogun Studio an extremely versatile tool.

Atomos Shogun Studio

 

Atomos Shogun Studio – $3495 at B & H

Atomos also just cut the prices of their Ninja 2, Ninja Blade and Samurai Blade dramatically. The Ninja 2 which was sold previously for $695 is now only $295. And both the Ninja & Samurai Blade have dropped from $995 to $495.

DJI Zenmuse X5 & X5R

DJI surprised many customers last week when they announced two brand new cameras – the X5 and X5R. Both are interchangeable Micro Four Thirds mount cameras that are specifically designed to be used with their Inspire 1. Because of their ability to utilize industry standard MFT lenses (including their own 15mm MFT lens), many creative possibilities have just opened up for aerial cinematographers that are using the Inspire system. Not to mention, the larger MFT sensor size will likely improve low-light performance, which has always been a hindrance for those using smaller sensor cameras (such as GoPros) on drones.

Here are some of the spec highlights:

  • Micro 4/3 CMOS sensor
  • Average 1.7 Gbps bitrate (2.4Gbps maximum)
  • Removable 512GB SSD
  • 16 MP
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Max resolution: 4608×3456
  • Video resolution: UHD: 4096×2160 (24/25p); 3840×2160 (25/30p); 2704×1520 (25/30p)
  • ISO range: 100~25600
  • Lens: DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH

Zenmuse X5

There are some notable differences between the two cameras (for instance the X5R can record to cinema DNG RAW, while the X5 can not), but both cameras look really great on paper. The pricing on the Zenmuse X5 has been set at $1700, however there isn’t currently a price listed for the X5R.

That’s about it for now.

Overall it’s been a huge year on the technical side of this industry, and it’s really amazing to watch so much innovation and competition in the market. Check back soon for more updates, videos, reviews, and tips!

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

2 Comments

  • jason
    September 17, 2015 at 3:24 am

    Really excited to see what Red comes up with but wow that Sony F5 is going to be really big in the market place! If it works well then why would anyone get a C100 Mark II over that camera. I owned two C100 and moved to Gh4s because of the 4k ability 🙂 but this Sony is really temping.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      October 2, 2015 at 12:22 am

      Totally – Sony is killing it right now!

      Reply

Leave a Reply