Saturday, October 11, 2014

Top 3 most boring new cameras - Nikon D750, Canon 7D Mark II and GoPro Hero 4

I haven't written much lately, and readership has gone down as a result. It's not that there are no new cameras to talk about - it's that the new cameras are not very exciting - in fact, they are downright boring.

Some blogs, for example, are touting the full-frame goodness of the new Nikon D750, to which I say "meh."

So what if Nikon has finally figured out how to compress video without moire. They should have done it years ago.

And while others are promoting the Canon 7D Mark II as worthy successor to the 7D for video - I say...well, my answer isn't printable on a blog intended for polite audiences.  And as for Canon's latest marketing campaign, "See Impossible" - I won't dignify it with a response.

Nikon may have figured out moire-free compression, but Canon hasn't. And they'll nevertheless advertise this thing as a video capable camera and charge shooters $1800 for it.

Anyone who has read this blog for long knows that I have not been hesitant to promote new products (when there was actually something new and worthwhile about them), but I just can't bring myself to recommend these cameras for shooters who care about video - even if Canon has finally put a headphone jack on an interchangeable lens camera under $2000 - or if Nikon has finally eliminated full-frame moire.

Neither of these cameras gets rid of the major liability that comes with the reflex mirror - the lack of a video viewfinder, which is the dirty little secret of the DSLR. As I've said elsewhere, the lack of a video viewfinder is a hidden tax on filmmakers, who are often surprised to learn that they can't see their LCDs in bright sunlight and end up buying expensive and cumbersome LCDVFs and/or EVFs just so they can see what they are shooting.

Until these manufacturers give up on the mirror (and the 30 minute limit for cameras sold outside of the EU), it will be hard to take them seriously when they advertise the video features of their cameras.

As for the GoPro Hero 4 Black and 4K, there has been a 4K/30fps action camera on the market for over 6 months, it's called the Panasonic HX-A500, and no one seemed to care until GoPro released the Hero 4.

But some of it is the fault of Panasonic's marketing people. Here's Panasonic's tired and slow moving 4K A500 demo on YouTube, which has garnered a pitiful 9,200 views between March of 2014 and this post:







Contrast that with GoPro's fast moving Hero 4 4K demo video - which has had over 9.5 million views in a few weeks - over a thousand times more than Panasonic's A500 video:






To me, GoPro is a little like Canon - riding a wave of brand recognition while trailing Panasonic in innnovation.

All three of these cameras are the equivalent of "New Coke" for me - corporate marketing designed to sell repackaged version of old products rather than meeting the needs of contemporary consumers.  I don't recommend them, and won't be posting links to them, even if it costs me money.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Price breakthrough - 50" Vizio 4K TV with 240Hz refresh rate for less than $1000






This is a big deal - for both producers and consumers of Ultra High Definition content. US-based Vizio is the first of the major manufacturers to break the $1000 barrier with a 50" 4K TV.

They are also the first to deliver a 240Hz refresh rate at this price point - which will reduce or eliminate blur and artifacts.  It is also 802.11ac and H.265 ready for ultra fast, high quality streaming.

Interestingly, this TV does not have 3D capability.  Vizio seems to have made a conscious decision to ditch 3D in favor of higher resolution.   Good riddance, I say.

Announced at CES in January, this milestone TV is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

As with 1080p a few years ago, screen prices will have to continue to come down for more UHD "4K" content providers to come on board - creating a virtuous cycle and driving screen prices down even further.

In this interview on the Verge, Vizio CTO Matt McRae says "One of the things we like to do is drive transitions faster...use disruptive technology to get people technology they thought they couldn't afford..."

Their stated goal is to "get people to transition to an Ultra Hi Def living room quickly".  Specifically, they want to compress the HD to 4K transition from 3-4 years down to 1-2 years.

With YouTube's rollout of 4K delivery in December 2013, Netflix's delivery of House of Cards and Breaking Bad in 4K - and the Weather Channel's recent announcement of conversion to '4K in 4 years', it looks like the Ultra High Definition era is well and truly on its way.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sony PXW-X70 4K-ready camcorder shipping now!



If you're tired of waiting for your pre-order from one of the big online retailers - you can get the brand new Sony PXW-X70 right now from Electronics Valley via eBay if you're willing to pay $2402.46.

This is the first 1" sensor pro camcorder with XLR inputs, dual SD card recording, a built-in ND filter, HD-SDI out and the robust 10-bit 4:2:2 XAVC codec - and Sony has promised a 4K (UHD) firmware upgrade soon.

DSLR/DSLM shooters who want to upgrade to 4K, but are ready to give up on lugging around external recorders, screw-in ND filters and multiple lenses - may want to take a very serious look at the new X70.

Here is what this camera can do:




If anything here has helped you to make a purchase decision, please shop using the links above or the displays below and in the margins. And, even if you're not in the market for a new camera, please comment and make suggestions below. It won't cost you anything extra, and it will help to keep these posts coming.

For the latest deals, news, tips and techniques, please follow HCR on Blogger, Twitter and YouTube and circle us on Google+ Thanks for your support of the revolution!






Friday, September 19, 2014

Deal - Panasonic GH4 with Rokinon 14mm T3.1 cine lens and 32GB U3 card for $1999.95

If you've been looking for a 4K camera with a lens, but are on a budget, here is the best 4K deal out there right now - the 4K Panasonic GH4 with a Rokinon 14mm T3.1 cine lens and a 32GB U3 SD card for less than $2000 from Adorama via eBay .

You'll essentially be getting the lens and the SD card for $300. A great value for your money.

As of this post, there were only two left at this price. If you want one, you should pull the trigger on this deal now.

More GH4 bundles from the Adorama store on eBay here:





And, if you miss out on these Adorama deals, there are some pretty good GH4 bundled deals at Amazon too :)






Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blackmagic URSA in stock at Adorama - hands-on video!

Blackmagic URSA EF - now in stock at Adorama! (click on the image to order)


Ok - not only are we starting to see early footage, it looks like retailers are starting to get them in stock. Here's the announcement and hands-on video from Adorama TV:




My guess is that, as with most Blackmagic rollouts, this first shipment will be limited. If you want this camera, you should order it soon.


Blackmagic URSA pre-orders shipping - first footage from the wild!

The Bear is in the house - Blackmagic URSA EF - $5995 at Adorama


The 4K Super 35 Blackmagic URSA, introduced at NAB 2014 in April, has started shipping. Guy Fiorita at New York production house Shout Chorus appears to be one of the first shooters in the US (and one of the first shooters without a connection to Blackmagic) to get his hands on the camera  - and has taken the time to post a mini-review plus few NYC street scenes (video after the break).

Guy didn't have the shoulder kit, so URSA wasn't on his shoulder very long and he used a tripod for most of the shots.  But he also says that the camera's weight isn't a deal breaker.

I'll let Guy's review and video speak for themselves, but at $5995 (EF version) or $6495 (PL version), shooters might be willing to put up with a little extra weight to get 4K (UHD) RAW or ProRes at 60p plus a global shutter. Goodbye CMOS skew and "jello-vision"!

You would have to pay $28,990 to get UHD/60p and a global shutter from Sony.

It looks like Blackmagic Design is absolutely committed to revolutionizing the price model for cinema cameras - all the way from the sub-$1000 RAW capable Pocket Cinema Camera to feature production with the Super 35 URSA. Good news for filmmakers.  Bad news for the traditional camera manufacturers


Here's Guy's video:




If anything here has helped you to make a purchase decision, please shop using the links above or the displays below and in the margins. And, even if you're not in the market for a new camera, please comment and make suggestions below. It won't cost you anything extra, and it will help to keep these posts coming.

For the latest deals, news, tips and techniques, please follow HCR on Blogger, Twitter and YouTube and circle us on Google+ Thanks for your support of the revolution!





Monday, September 15, 2014

RX100 Mark III Killer? Panasonic LX100 - the world's first 4K compact camera




The news is coming fast and furious from IBC. Panasonic has just announced the long-awaited successor to the classic LX7 - the new 4K (UHD) capable LX1000 (available for pre-order at Amazon, Adorama and B&H).

Here's the press release.

And here is the UHD video image quality you can expect (please watch at your monitor's highest resolution):




With its UHD video resolution, micro 4/3 sensor, and hot shoe (in lieu of a built in flash), this little enthusiast camera is the world's first "4K" compact and will be a great alternative to the similarly priced Sony RX100 Mark III - especially with its smaller 1" sensor, HD video resolution and lack of a hot shoe.

Here are more pictures and video of this lovely little camera:






If anything here has helped you to make a purchase decision, please shop using the links above or the displays below and in the margins. And, even if you're not in the market for a new camera, please comment and make suggestions below. It won't cost you anything extra, and it will help to keep these posts coming.

For the latest deals, news, tips and techniques, please follow HCR on Blogger, Twitter and YouTube and circle us on Google+ Thanks for your support of the revolution!