I wasn’t expecting to hear any more NAB product announcements until tomorrow morning, but was pleasantly surprised to learn of two major (and unrelated) announcements from AJA and Atomos.
Let’s start with the Atomos Shogun – The 4K HDMI/SDI recorder/monitor
This 4K recorder is the next step up in Atomos’ already fantastic lineup of hybrid SSD recording/monitoring/deck systems. The new Shogun boasts a 7″ monitor and will accept both SDI and HDMI inputs, and has the ability to record not only to ProRes/DNxHD, but also to uncompressed CinemaDNG RAW. It was inevitable that Atomos was going to have to come out with a 4K recording solution – especially since this year we are going to see a lot of new 4K DSLRs, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as feature rich as the Shogun seems to be on first glance. The most exciting feature to me (other than the obvious 4K ability), is the fact that unlike many other Atomos devices, this can accept both SDI and HDMI inputs – not one or the other. That means this will be a perfect companion for shooters that have multiple cameras (like the BMCC/5D for instance), and don’t want to use any type of converter to use it with multiple devices. It also seems to be the perfect companion for the recently announced Sony A7S, which will need an external recorder to capture 4K.
Next up, let’s take a look at AJA’s new 4K Cinema Camera – The CION
This camera came completely out of left field, and in a way reminds me very much of the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera announcement, just a couple of years back now. I say this because that AJA has never made a camera before (let alone a cinema camera), but like Blackmagic they have the post-production/workflow end of things down really well, which makes them an ideal fit as a new cinema camera manufacturer.
We are still waiting on more information about the camera, but what we do know is that it shoots 4K, has a global shutter, PL mount, supports high frame rates, shoots to prores (not sure about RAW yet), and it has a thunderbolt connection built right in. We also know that it is priced in the range of $9000, which is quite reasonable given the specs.
Unlike Blackmagic though, who came out of the gate with a gorgeous looking camera that didn’t seem to be designed with ergonomics in mind, AJA has done just the opposite. From the photos, it seems that this camera is built quite well ergonomically speaking, but leaves a bit to be desired as far as the physical appearance. That said, if it shoots great images, that’s all that matters!
Check back soon for more updates from NAB as the week progresses and after the show for highlight roundups, and thoughts about what the new announcements mean going forward.