11th Sept and it’s a nice sunny day in Amsterdam for the International Broadcast Show's first day. IBC's door opened at 9:00 and we were waiting outside eager to get in. Well ok we were a bit late.
First off and straight to Sony and probably the most interesting camera to be launched in the show for us. The FS7's baby brother the PXW-FS5. With its 0.8kg compact body and super cute looks and reasonable price tag this will sell so well that we predict Sony will have another nightmare filling orders. Its got the same sensor as big uncle F5 and older brother FS7 so that means images will sparkle. The Super 35mm sensor will not get the beefier codecs but there is still plenty to play with. It still has high speed with 240 FPS but this is limited to 8 second bursts. This is because the recording media is SD cards so a buffer is needed to get that much information down to these slower type of cards. At the moment we are not sure which cameras this will pose a threat to but it is most likely to take a few jobs from a variety of cameras. Some people will choose this instead of a C300 or even a C100, and some people may even choose it instead of the FS7 because of the smaller price point. But also there will be people who upgrade from smaller sensors cameras because of the cheap price. You can remove that long arm and attach the control handle directly to the body so at last you can put the camera safely on the floor when hand holding it with out it falling over. CVP has the price at £4100 and we feel that thats to close to the FS7 at £4830. We did however play guess the price with Sony and they did not seem too annoyed at our suggestion that the camera will be priced to the consumer at around £3100, so lets see. All prices plus vat of course.
Another offering from the Sony stand was the A7s MkII, with 5 aces stabilisation and 400,000 plus ISO with 120FPS recording in HD and 4K internal recording. The first A7s is an excellent camera so this should be even better.
Moving on the the Zeiss stand and there R&D have been busy bringing out three new sets of lenses for all you FS7, C300/100 A7 users but the lenses are designed for a mixture of photography and video.
First of all is the Zeiss Milvus Lenses, there is 6 lens in the range, from 21mm to a 100mm macro. They are manual focus for SLR cameras and come with Canon or Nikon Mount. Lovely looking pieces of glass with great build quality and they will make stunning images. Next up for Zeiss is their new Batis lenses. So far there is two lenses in the range the 25mm F2 and an 85mm F1.8 but we expect more. They are auto focus lens for full frame cameras with e-mount such as the Sony A7. And finally the Zeiss Loxia. They are like little jewels and you will just want to get your hands on them as soon as possible. They are a manual full frame lens for Sony e-mount cameras such as the Sony A7, the FS7 and New FS5 video cameras. So far the range consists of a 35mm F2 and a 50 F2 but we have been told that Zeiss are planning a wide range of new friends for these lenses. We have already ordered some and can’t wait for them to arrive.
Canons C300 MkII was the most interesting thing for us on their stand. We have already tried it but could not resist having another look. We have already put our order in and hope they will be arriving in the next week or so, checking them out at the show reminded us why we are excited about them. Its a more robust, more thought out and more professional camera than the MKI with 4K and high frame rate. Face Detection AF is great for you Movi DJI ronin users. It has an extended ISO range with reduced noise at high ISO and a dynamic range of 15 stops. Canon have high hopes that the C300 MkII will be used as a B camera on film and commercial shoots and with that aim in mind they have helpfully added settings that match the look of Sony F55, Red Dragon and the Arri Alexa. Nice!
So thats what got our initial interest but before we go we must talk about our industries latest buzz subject and that’s HDR (High Dynamic Range). So what is HDR? It’s the ability to show highlights without losing detail in the dark areas of an image, i.e. more detail in the dark and lighter areas of your image so more like the way that you and me see the world. Currently there are 4 systems that exist and the industry has not settled on a standard yet. This was the first time that we’d seen HDR and it is impressive but it makes us wonder what new technology will make it’s way to the market next. High Frame rate or 8K anyone?
Rob Shaw and Mark Tredinnick