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The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
EDITORIAL Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Staff writer Chelsea Fearnley Contributing editor Kingsley Singleton Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young ADVERTISING Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 email@example.com DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Designers Lucy Woolcomb, Man-Wai Wong, Bruce Richardson, Emily Lancaster & Emma Di’Iuorio PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck MEDIA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS OF:
Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ Pro Moviemaker is published quarterly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. ISSN number: 2045-3892. Pro Moviemaker is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Pro Moviemaker that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted are street prices. In sterling they include VAT but US dollar prices are without local sales taxes. Prices are where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
It’s been the most wonderful time of the year if you’re an unashamed gearhead, like I am. A glut of new cameras that use 6K sensors (or very nearly as to make no discernible difference). The constant stride towards the ultimate quality thanks to Raw recording. Full-frame capture finally coming to cinema cameras in a marginally more affordable way. And real anamorphic shooting on a Netflix-approved camera, that just happens to be mirrorless and very affordable. I’ve been in the very privileged position to have tried all this new tech, and each one takes moviemaking kit to a new level. OK, like many, I don’t ever have to deliver films in 6K, but having that resolution is a bonus, as you can crop in significantly. Coming from a background as a pro still photographer, I’m already sold on the benefit of shooting Raw, as well as full-frame sensors for lower noise. And I’d love to afford a real anamorphic prime to shoot a project, even though my ham-fisted efforts to shoot with the ultra-wide CinemaScope format means I have a lot to learn when it comes to composition. As you can see from the frame grab at the top of this page when I tried out the new Panasonic S1H with an Atlas anamorphic lens. But for me, the biggest improvement in technology I have witnessed is the adoption of very clever, very high-tech autofocus in both the new full-frame Sony FX9 and Canon EOS C500 Mark II cinema cameras. Yes, I know real filmmakers use manual focus exclusively. Especially ones who can afford to hire professional focus pullers. That’s not me, then. I admit I have been spoiled by the clever systems that combine on-sensor phase detection, contrast detection and AI technology, as used in the latest mirrorless cameras. I scoffed at face detection and eye detection AF, until I used the latest versions and it blew my mind. The same for intelligent focus tracking on moving subjects. But it’s not been available on vaguely affordable full-frame cinema cameras until now, thanks to the new Canon and Sony wondercams. And it’s not just me. I spoke to Brett Danton, a professional filmmaker with many high-end advertising clients in the motoring world, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Chevrolet. He used a 600mm f/4 lens wide open on the new Canon C500 Mark II to track a fast-moving car and it locked on better than any focus puller could. Of course, any auto system can get it wrong and it’s the job of a professional filmmaker to understand and learn when it will work, and when it won’t. Whether it’s the imminent arrival of working AF that excites you, or Raw, 6K, anamorphic or some of the other new technology, the message is clear: we are in a golden age of cameras that perform better than ever, and at more affordable price points. Enjoy the issue, and I hope you are inspired by all the latest new gear, which should allow you to express your creativity in storytelling even more.
ADAM DUCKWORTH, EDITOR IN CHIEF WINTER 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
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AGENDA NEWS IBC SHOW
Amsterdam show stoppers! Here are the coolest things we spotted at Europe’s biggest filmmaking show, the IBC in Holland WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH
f you want to see the latest and greatest in the world of filmmaking, the annual IBC show at Amsterdam’s sprawling Rai Convention Centre is the place to be. It’s the biggest show in Europe catering for all aspect of filmmaking, from kit and rigs to broadcast trucks and television studios. Lots of professional filmmakers and cinematographers get together to participate in seminars and workshops, and check out the latest and greatest kit. Of course, there are lots of services and kit aimed at TV, broadcast and live streaming, but there is also a lot there for independent filmmakers.
Legendary German lens giant Leica had its full range of glass on show, at prices that are equally famous for being very expensive. There’s the range of M-mount primes called the M 0.8, from 21 to 90mm and based on M-mount photo lenses. The Thalia range comprises fully-specced cine primes from 24-180mm, for full-frame cameras that have a distinctly softer, characterful look. And, for the ultimate
in quality, a range of Leitz primes and zooms. The primes are available in 18180mm focal lengths, with all but the longest lens being a T1.8; the 180mm is T2. And for zooms, there are the 2575mm and 55-125mm T2.8 lenses. All these come in PL mount and LPL with the Cooke/i metadata interface. These cover the big, 46.5mm image circle for VistaVision-size, large-format cameras. Prices are on application.
Leica zooms target the same high-end market as the Fujinon Premista zooms, such as this 80-250mm T2.9-3.5 mounted on a Sony Venice full-frame camera. The lens stays at T2.9 until 200mm, then ramps up slowly to T3.5 at the long end. The price is around 40k, in U.S. dollars or pounds.
This year the biggest stars of the show were the new breed of high-resolution and full-frame cameras, from Sony FX9 to the Panasonic S1H, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and Sigma fp. We have hands-on with all these stars in this issue, plus the Canon EOS C500 Mark II, which attracted the fans as it was displayed in a glass case with all its modular parts that turn it into a full broadcast camera.
PRO MOVIEMAKER WINTER 2019
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Anamorphic shooting is all the rage, with cameras like Panasonic’s S1H leading the charge towards affordable yet capable capture for the CineVision format. If you fancy having a go, then you might like this P&S Technik 40-70mm Technovision Classic lens with a 1.5x anamorphic squeeze. Also available are a 70-200mm zoom, as well as 40, 50, 76, 100 and 135mm 1.5x anamorphic primes, all in PL or LPL mount. This 40-70mm costs £25,000/$31,625.
If you want the biggest and best camera crane, and money is no object, then take a look at this monster. It’s the Technocrane – developed over 20 years ago by cinematographer Horst Burbulla and now an industry staple. As well as being able to swing left and right it can also extend out as the arm is telescopic, can run on rails and be totally computer controlled.
The Creamsource SpaceX definitely looks like it’s come from another planet, with its six powerful LED lights arranged in a circle on the fixture itself. You can adjust the beam from wide to punchy by fitting different optical lenses in front of each of the light fittings. Total power is 1200W, the temperature is adjustable from 3200-6500K, and the head weighs 18kg/40lbs. The Australian-made light costs £8491/$6500.
Marginally more affordable are the German-made IBE Optics Raptor Macro large format lenses, ideal for use on Alexa LF, Sony Venice or Red Monstro cameras, which take a PL mount. The lenses are designed to have a creamy bokeh and artistic look, and come in 60, 1000, 150 and 180mm focal lengths. They offer 1:1 macro close-focusing and all have a maximum T2.9 aperture. This 180mm lens costs £15,778/$17,515. If you don’t need the macro capability, there are now faster 40mm and 80mm T2.4 primes, also in PL mount. A full range of focal lengths will be revealed soon, as will prices.
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GEAR OF THE YEAR
Have your say in the annual Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards, where the best kit is voted for by real filmmakers
echnology continues to revolutionise our lives at every level, and there are few places where this is more obvious than in the world of professional filmmaking. Use of clever technology in well-designed and reliable equipment can really have a positive effect on the life of a working filmmaker. And rewarding the companies who are pushing the envelope by making truly impressive equipment and software is what the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards are all about. Now in their third year, the awards are firmly established as the Oscars of filmmaking equipment, where only the best and most useful gear is honoured by the very people who use it – working professionals. Obviously the cameras themselves are often the biggest
film stars in the moviemaking process, and the past year has seen a glut of new launches in all the different categories as well as established gear continuing to give great service. But the cameras are far from the only products that can make a positive impact on the lives of working professional filmmakers. Lenses can make a huge difference to your work, as can everything else, from stabilisers and audio accessories to editing software. The editorial team and gear testers of Pro Moviemaker magazine have pulled together a shortlist of some of the best kit. Some is proven as workhorse equipment that simply delivers, others are new products already having a big impact. But it’s not just our opinion that counts; readers of Pro Moviemaker are the most vital
ABOVE From cameras and lenses to SSDs and mics, check out some of the kit shortlisted in our 2019 awards
part of the judging process. We’re calling on you to cast a vote in favour of the products that have made a significant difference to the way you work. Vote for the piece of kit that has opened up new possibilities or made life just a little bit easier for you and your business. Add your feedback to the mix and we’ll be reporting back in the next issue to let the world know who has come out on top in this battle of the best. And this year, we will be awarding six Editor’s Choice awards, too, for equipment we feel deserves special recognition in certain key categories. These are: mirrorless cameras, cinema cameras, audio, support, lighting and the special innovation category. Read on to find out what’s been shortlisted and please do vote and have your say!
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PANASONIC ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
Hollywood dream machine Shooting a full-length feature film in glorious CinemaScope was made possible for director Peter Hamblin by Panasonic’s Lumix S1H
irrorless cameras have already revolutionised the world of filmmaking for many independent production companies around the world with their small form factor and highquality results. But they’ve not made much of an inroad into feature films. That looks set to change thanks to the new full-frame Panasonic Lumix S1H, as it offers features and quality to allow commercial filmmakers to take their creativity to the next level, but it also represents a new zenith of production capabilities for feature films in such a small camera. The first to grasp on to this is DOP and director Peter Hamblin, who used a prototype of the camera in his new film In Hope of Nothing, which is currently in production. It was the ability to shoot in
“It’s quite spectacular how we pulled it off – it looks stunning” full CinemaScope due to the camera’s anamorphic shooting mode and full-frame 6K sensor that sold the new camera to Hamblin and his team. The work shot so far was aired in Hollywood at the official launch of the camera, which was an apt location as the story centres on Tinseltown and its underworld of lost souls who moved to LA in the hope of ‘making it’. “After finding out the camera could record the full 3:2 sensor in 6K for anamorphic shooting, I thought it would
ABOVE Peter Hamblin directs his actors in his film In Hope of Nothing. It is one of many low-light scenes
be a great opportunity to bring my idea to life,” says Hamblin. “I have always liked the look of central symmetry, where your subject is in the centre of the frame, and with anamorphic, you’re forced to do that. But I had never worked in anamorphic before, so it was like learning a new language. It’s just an evolution of filmmaking for me. “I did have a backup camera on set, but there wasn’t any need to use it; when I first saw the image in the monitor, it was exactly how I envisioned it. I think we were destined to work with the S1H on this film,” he explains. Of course, to shoot real anamorphic, you need the right lenses and a way of mounting them to the camera. The new Panasonic Lumix S1H uses the large L-Mount, which works perfectly with lens adapters, such as the PL mount, that the majority of true cinema lenses have. Hamblin chose Cineovision Anamorphic lenses, which are Japanese lenses from the seventies and eighties, for a unique look. “Although the S1H is designed to produce a sharp image, the lenses have, by contrast, created an organic softness and a fall-off around the edges,” says Hamblin.
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PANASONIC ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
THE COLOURIST’S SEAL OF APPROVAL
“And this, to me, speaks in volumes as to what this camera can actually do, because it’s a transparent communicator of what the lens is capturing. It has personality.” In Hope of Nothing centres around two brothers, one of whom has lost all hope, while the other is still in pursuit of their shared dream of becoming filmmakers. So, to get across the gritty side of real life in Hollywood, the film has lots of dimly lit atmospheric scenes with mixed lighting. It’s a real test for any camera, but with a wide dynamic range and incredible suppression of noise even at high ISO, the Panasonic Lumix S1H delivered. “We didn’t have any real problems with the light. If you look into two of the scenes, especially in the bowling alley, there are so many different lights, but that’s what we wanted,” says Hamblin. “We wanted it to look a bit crazy, with neon lights coming in from all angles and, although the lens flare is big, it doesn’t overwhelm the image. Everything held up really well.” With such a small form factor, the advantages of the Panasonic Lumix S1H’s lightweight and portability really shone through, as it was possible to rig up the camera quickly in scenes where a lot of
action and camera movement was required. “In the first scene, you see both brothers in a sort of dream sequence; dressed to the nines and surrounded by adoring fans,” explains Hamblin. “There are 50 extras that we paid for just an hour and a half of their time. We needed to be quick and agile, so Steadicam was our best option. “We only had 12 hours to prep and shoot the whole thing, because of where it was set [the RIBA Library in London]. Usually, I would spend a day or two beforehand prelighting and blocking scenes, but it was all go, go, go. It’s quite spectacular how we pulled it off, because it looks stunning.” It was this speed and ease of use, ultra-high quality and, of course, the 6K sensor that helped Hamblin create his vision of shooting a full feature film in CinemaScope. “We’ve pulled off things I didn’t think were possible; we wrote a script, found the locations, prepared the sets and shot all three scenes in just one week,” he says. “It’s a good job the S1H was so reliable, because it meant that we could have a little more leeway for everything else.”
You have to have total confidence in a camera to let one of the world’s top colourists take a critical look at the footage. But that’s exactly what happened when award-winning colour grading artist and one of the leading developers in the area of colour science for digital film cameras, Dado Valentic, was given the job of grading the footage from Peter Hamblin’s film. Valentic is based at Warner Bros studios in LA and is known for his unique approach to the processing of digital images and his film stock emulation technology. A veteran of more than 30 films and TV series, such as Ridley Scott’s Exodus, Guy Richie’s Sherlock Holmes, plus Game of Thrones, he had to turn the film around in two days for its debut screening. He was impressed. “I’m really surprised about the quality. The material was shot in high ISO, but it’s really clean. There was absolutely no noise, which is very interesting,” he says. “Even though the material was a compressed H.265 file recorded in the camera, there were no artefacts, which was a big surprise. “I’d love to learn how Panasonic made the sensor record footage as clean as that. There is very little or no noise even in the dark scenes, and this movie had lots of dark shots and exterior night shots. It looked better and cleaner than cameras that cost ten or 20 times as much.” Valentic was impressed by the look from shooting anamorphic lenses, usually the realm of large and expensive cameras. “Anamorphic with a large format sensor gives beautiful filmic results with a great cinematic quality. We are used to seeing images like this coming out of big cinema cameras, not a small camera,” he says.
More information panasonic.com/uk
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GEAR PANASONIC LUMIX S1H
PANASONIC LUMIX S1H
S1H IS WORTH THE WEIGHT
Panasonic’s new full-frame mirrorless camera might be slow to come to market and larger than its rivals, but packs a heavyweight punch WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH
anasonic definitely knows what the modern filmmaker wants from a camera, even though it might have taken a while to deliver it. With all the experience of the GH5 and GH5S mirrorless Micro Four Thirds models as well as the EVA1 and Varicam cinema cameras, the Japanese giant has talked to lots of professionals at all levels before making its move into the red-hot cauldron of full-frame mirrorless cameras aimed at filmmakers. The rugged new S1H is the camera designed by filmmakers for filmmakers, and handsomely out-specs even the latest rivals from Sony, Canon, Nikon and Leica.
The Panasonic has 6K resolution, 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording, Dual Native ISO and V-Log just like the Varicam models, waveforms, vectorscopes, peaking, zebras, LUT support, punch-in zoom monitoring, time code in/out, shutter angle adjustment, 4K time lapse, audio level monitoring and lots more. And there is a lot more. There’s a built-in anamorphic desqueeze, which is ideal not just for big-money productions using super-pricey glass, but also the new breed of slightly more affordable anamorphic lenses. Apple ProRes Raw is coming very soon thanks to a deal with Apple and Atomos, which will be a big deal for anyone
ABOVE The new Panasonic S1H is the biggest mirrorless camera on the market with the highest spec
interested in squeezing the ultimate quality out of the 6K sensor. And there is no limit on recording time, so the camera isn’t just resigned to short interviews. This isn’t simply down to the camera removing the 30-minutes recording time cap for spurious import tax reasons, but because Panasonic has come up with a solution to stop the overheating problems and power issues that blight many other mirrorless fullframe cameras. A USB-C socket means you can power it up from an external source so you don’t need to worry about the battery going down, and hotswappable twin SD memory cards
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PANASONIC LUMIX S1H SPECIFICATIONS Price: £3599/$3999 body only Sensor size: 35.6x23.8mm, 24.2-megapixels with OLPF Formats: 6000x4000 6K, 4272x2848 5.4K, 3024x2016 in 3:2 format; 5238x4000 5.9K, 3792x2848, 2688x 2106 in 4:3, 6000x3368, 4096x2160 C4K, 4272x2400, 3840x2160 4K, 3024x1704, 1920x1080 FHD 16:9. 6K 24p, 5.9K 24/30p, 5.4K 30p 4:2:0 10-bit 200Mbps; C4K 24/ 30p 4:2:2 10-bit All-I 400Mbps: 4K 24/ 30p 4:2:2 10-bit All-I 400Mbps. FHD 24/30/50/60p 4:2:2 10-bit All-I 200Mbps Maximum frame rates: 180fps FHD, 60fps for C4K in Super 35 crop ISO range: 100-51,200. 50 and 204,800 extended. Dual Native ISO 100/640, 640/4000 in V-Log, 400/2500 HLG, 200/ 125 Cinelike D2/ V2 Shutter speeds: 60secs-1/16,000sec Lens Mount: L-Mount Focusing: 225-area AF. Auto detection (face, eye, body animal), tracking, zone (vertical/horizontal), zone (oval and square), single area, single area pinpoint, custom modes, full area touch. Contrast detect Stabilisation: Image sensor shift 5-axis Screen: 8cm/3.2in LCD tri-axial tilting touchscreen, 2.33 million dots Viewfinder: OLED with 5760k dots, 100% view, 0.78x, three magnification options, 120/60fps Audio: 3.5mm input Connectivity: HDMI 4:2:2 10bit, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB-C 3.1 Storage: 2xSD Dimensions (WxHxD): 151x114.2x110.4mm/ 5.94x4.50x4.35in Weight: 1052g/2.32lb
“The Panasonic has 6K resolution, 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording, Dual Native ISO and V-Log, waveforms, vectorscopes, peaking and lots more”
BELOW The screen not only folds out, but also tilts, which is a huge bonus when the camera is on a tripod
mean you can keep shooting for as long as you have space on your cards. Once a card is full, the camera can be set to automatically keep shooting to the second card. Simply take out the full card and put in an empty one. Keep doing this and there is no limit on file space. Or you could record to huge USB-C external drives, although this means there is no additional power input. At least you have a choice. Getting rid of heat from that large sensor is the big issue and Panasonic has solved this by not only making the chunkiest fullframe mirrorless camera on the market to act as a heat sink, but also fitting a silent fan and air cooling ducts. They even managed to keep the weatherproofing of the sibling S1 and S1R models, despite these additions. The cameras may look the same, but the S1H is marginally bigger in every dimension. Many of the improvements over the more photo-biased fullframe Panasonic S series cameras are specifically for filmmakers. Although the S1H shares the same basic 24-megapixel sensor as the S1, Panasonic claims it’s engineered totally differently. The S1H omits the S1’s optical low-pass filter, which marginally reduces ultimate stills resolving power, but is far better at controlling moiré, which is far more important for video use. If you’re looking at an S1H for its
ultimate resolution in stills mode, frankly you’re buying the wrong model, as the S1R or S1 are more suitable for you. In a recent test, we said the S1 was incredible for low-light performance. Although the footage from the S1H was only a prototype sample – so the final production version may be different – it was clear to see it’s also great when the ISO gets cranked up. We’d have to do back-to-back tests with a S1 and a final-production S1H to really see if it’s better, but from the sample we used, the S1H is very clean. It has a maximum ISO of 51,200 with Dual Native ISOs. These vary according to the settings, so for stills and normal video it’s ISO 100 and 640, but 640 and 4000 in V-Log for video use. At the lower settings at 640 in V-Log, quality is excellent. When the ISO creeps up, the sensor switches to another circuit to provide a second base ISO of 4000. The Varicams do this, and it works incredibly well. Now this tech is on a mirrorless full-frame camera – which, thanks to its larger sensor, is even better at low light. Shooting Log, you do need to add some noise reduction, as you’d expect at such high ISO settings. The sensor is claimed to have more than 14 stops of dynamic range in V-Log, but we couldn’t check this as the camera was a prototype. But it certainly had lots
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GEAR PANASONIC LUMIX S1H INTERVIEW
Masanori Koyama talks about why the S1H is ideal for next-generation filmmakers
fter working for four years as an engineer in Panasonic’s compact camera division, Masanori Koyama switched over to the firm’s new mirrorless camera project 11 years ago and has been behind all the major new launches since. It’s his mission to work out what the market will want from its next camera, then oversee its spec, design and final delivery. Koyama has seen the market change from photographers using DSLRs to hybrid stills and motion picture shooters using mirrorless cameras.“Product planning is about strategy - deciding which cameras to launch to predict what users will want in the near future,” he says. He was in the right place at the right time when mirrorless cameras
were launched, and was quick to see their advantages for shooting video as well as stills. “I predicted mirrorless would not be just for stills, but for stills and filmmakers, as the technology used is similar to video cameras. A DSLR has a mirror that moves out of the way and takes one shot. Mirrorless is always capturing, so it’s far more like a video recording system. He continues: “We believed mirrorless systems were good for hybrid stills and video shooters. But in the beginning it was very hard to get people to understand this, especially as in the camera industry we had very big competitors, so we struggled to get accepted as we tried to compete with them.” But it was the rise in technology, especially the explosion of YouTube,
ABOVE Panasonic’s mirrorless champion Masanori Koyama with his team’s latest creation, the S1H
mobile phones and social media, which helped Panasonic grow. “Now it’s much less about paper-based communication. Especially on social media, it’s not only about pictures, but also shooting video. Video has had massive growth and the GH series has always been strong in video recording, so it has been successful,” he explains. But Koyama realised the next step was to move on from social media users and tackle the needs of professional filmmakers and cinematographers who wanted the ultimate quality. And that required a different set of specs and a fullframe sensor for its low-light performance, as well as ability to more easily create a cinematic shallow depth-of-field.
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PANASONIC LUMIX S1H INTERVIEW He says: “We got feedback from GH users that was positive, but we realised the potential was for the production of films and more creative professionals, not only social users. For the cinema industry, Micro Four Thirds cameras like the GH5 have certain limitations. The next step for Lumix is full-frame cameras for the cinema industry.” But with Panasonic already offering cinema cameras like the Varicam line and EVA1, the discussions of whether to build a full-frame mirrorless line were heated, says Koyama. “But if you look from top to bottom of the range, we had a space in the whole line-up. We wanted one very strong product between cinema cameras and the GH5.” The Lumix team cooperated with the cinema camera engineering team in terms of hardware, software and image quality. “We all worked together. The communication between the two groups was not difficult as what we really needed was the know-how for professional filmmaking production,” he says. “The most important, but most difficult thing is to know what professionals are going to use the camera for. We can develop many features, but knowing what the industry is actually going to do and understanding their needs is the most difficult and important thing.”
The response came back from professionals that the camera needed to have very high resolution, fit within existing professional workflows and not have any time limit on recording like many rival cameras. “6K was important for resolution, and unlimited recording was absolutely necessary so the camera can be used in many ways. The big problem there is overheating,” says Koyama. “The decision to use a built-in cooling fan was one of the biggest challenges as it’s the only one in the industry. We wanted to step up higher in terms of image quality so we can meet the need of the highest professionals to match to Varicam. We are very proud to have achieved this.” Koyama also reveals that ultimate image quality is why phase-detect autofocus was not implemented in the camera, which retains Panasonic’s contrast detection and Depth from Defocus Technology.“We may lose some imaging information due to phase detection algorithm. If we use some pixels on the sensor for phase detection, the resolution might be reduced or some information lost. If we compare the reduction in image quality with phase detection, we think it’s not satisfactory for cinema professionals.” Yet Koyama is adamant the camera is not only aimed at highend cinematographers, but also
BELOW The Panasonic S1H is aimed at highend cinematographers as well as the hybrid stills and video pro
full-time filmmakers and the hybrid stills and video pro.“The S1H is the only camera that has everything a filmmaker needs, as well as a hybrid shooter who wants to improve their skills in cinematography,” he says. “This is what the S1H can offer to professional stills or growing filmmakers. If they get the S1H, they can do everything - photos and filmmaking. For the top-end cinema industry used to huge cameras, they can use new, smaller form factor cameras and get the same results.”
“The most important, but most difficult thing is to know what professionals are going to use the camera for”
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GEAR MINI TESTS
The round-up of great kit tested in this issue includes the Irix Cine 150mm T3.0, a powerful LED soft light, Lexar SSD and SDXC cards and more WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH
ATOMOS SHOGUN 7 £1558/$1499
Just when you thought field monitors couldn’t get any more advanced, Aussie firm Atomos continues to push the envelope with its Shogun 7 precision HDR monitor recorder that now adds functionality as a switcher to its already packed spec. Long gone are the days when external monitors were just that – to help monitor what the camera was capturing. First came recording, thanks to large-capacity and fast SSD drives that often unlock higher bit rates and colour depth from the majority of cameras, and Raw recording from others. All converted to edit-ready ProRes in a variety of formats. Add in efficient monitor tools like waveforms and vectorscopes, then make the
screens very bright for outdoor use. Next came HDR for the nextgeneration TV screen and, in high-end Atomos units, the ground-breaking Apple ProResRaw offered the benefits of Raw without the huge file sizes. Now the Atomos Shogun 7 adds in live switching, making it ideal for event coverage, especially with the boom in live streaming platforms. Of course, for £1558/$1499, it’s not going to replace a dedicated switcher for outside broadcast TV as it’s limited to four inputs, but for the majority of small crews, it can be used as a flexible master recording and production station for livestreaming. The Shogun 7 can monitor, record and switch between four live HD SDI
LEFT The Shogun 7 has a 3000-nit screen upgrade coming soon
video streams with genlock in and out. After the streams are recorded, you can then import the Atomos XML file into your editing software and your timeline populates with all your edits in place. The mixed analogue stereo audio is also imported, as well as two channels of digital audio embedded in each stream. With HDMI 2.0 you can capture up to 4K60p or via Quad Link, Dual Link or Single Link SDI. It also allows slowmotion capture in 2K up to 240p. You can also check how your content will look on high-resolution TV sets in real time with Dolby Vision output. We’d love to report how good the unit is at doing all this, but unfortunately the switching, 240fps slow motion and Dolby Vision support is not available at launch. It will come via a free firmware upgrade very soon, promises Atomos. Until then, the unit performs very much like Atomos’ Shogun Inferno monitor recorder, although it does have a different body and new user interface that makes it a step above the well-known unit. And new screen technology makes the screen appear more consistent right to the edges. The HDR screen uses what Atomos calls Dynamic AtomHDR backlit technology, with 360 zones that give a 1million:1 contrast ratio with ultrawide colour for very deep blacks, with lots of detail and, thanks to the 1500 nit LCD, vivid, bright performance. We couldn’t measure the claims, but the unit does look brighter and more consistent across the screen even when compared to the Shogun Inferno, which itself is one of the best screens on the market. And best of all, a forthcoming free firmware update will see the output boosted to 3000 nits. As a seven-inch unit, the Shogun 7 is best suited for cinema cameras, although it can work well on small mirrorless cameras, which, thanks to their large sensors, need critical focusing. The Shogun 7 helps thanks
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MINI TESTS SPECIFICATIONS Functions: Dolby Vision HDR monitor/Raw recorder/switcher Screen: 7.2-inch touchscreen, 1920x1080, 3D LUT support, 2x, 1.5x, 1.33x, anamorphic desqueeze HDR: AtomHDR, monitoring for Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Arri Alexa, JVC, Red, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020 Brightness: 1500 nits (3000 nits with forthcoming firmware upgrade) Video formats: ProRes Raw, ProRes, CinemaDNG, Avid DNxHD. Sony 4K DCI to 60p, 2K to 240p, Canon 4K to 30p, Panasonic 5.7K to 30p (EVA1 ProRes Raw only), 4K to 60p, 2K to 240p Memory: 2.5-inch SSD/HDD Audio: 12 channels 24-bit 48kHz to proper monitoring tools like focus peaking, which you can use to set not only the colour, but also the on-screen effect. For mirrorless cameras, an external monitor recorder makes sense as recording to SSD cards means there is no time limit and, in most cases, higher-quality footage is recorded. The majority of these small cameras record 4:2:0 in 8-bit internally, but via HDMI can output 4:2:2 in 8- or 10-bit. That gives more colour information and is a huge benefit if you are shooting Log footage. This is all via HDMI, but the Shogun 7 also has SDI inputs for use on cinema cameras like the Sony FS series, Panasonic EVA1 and Canon EOS, where Raw recording for the ultimate quality is one of the biggest benefits. These are recorded to standard SSD cards, which fit inside Atomos caddies that slide into the back of the unit. Next to this are two battery slots for NP-F style cells. Using two large batteries does make the unit a bit top-heavy, so we powered it from the camera battery, which has a D-Tap outlet, using the correct Atomos cable to link to the screen. The screen can also be powered via mains for on-set use if there is a mains supply.
Connections: HDMI, Quad Link 4x 3G/6D SDI, 4x 3G SDI, 12G single link SDI, 2 channel balanced XLR in/out, line/mic in, 3.5mm headphone out, HDMI in/ out, remote
The Atomos 7 has the latest AtomOS operating system, which is quick and easy to navigate, with menus that are straightforward and obvious. The screen itself is responsive to the touch. To monitor the signal there are waveforms, false colour, vectorscope, focus peaking, instant zoom and Atomos’ own HDR feature, as well as viewing LUTs. The Shogun 7 feels like a solid unit and has lots of connection options, such as the SDI connectors, a 3.5mm headphone jack, remote jack and fullsize HDMI input and output sockets, so you can link it up to another monitor. The top and bottom of the unit has standard 3/8-inch accessory mounts and we used a SmallRig mini monitor connector with no problems once it was tightened enough. For audio, there is a mini XLR input that is missing on Atomos’ smaller units like the five-inch Ninja V. So you can use 48V stereo mics via the balanced XLR breakout cable. Select Mic or Line input levels, and you can record up to 12 channels of digital audio from HDMI or SDI. The Shogun 7 comes in a very lightweight case with enough room for
Power: NP-F series batteries or continuous with adapter Dimension (WxHxD): 214x127x45mm/8.4x5x1.8in Weight: 709g/1.56lb
some accessories. And there is even a calibration chart printed that’s decent, although not truly pro quality. For not a lot more money than the Atomos Shogun Inferno, the Shogun 7 is a step ahead in terms of its screen and user interface, so is ideal for cameramen who want a better view, clients on-set or focus pullers. And when the firmware upgrade brings live switching as well as 240fps in 2K and Dolby Vision monitoring, plus double the brightness, then it will truly be in a class of its own that many will find hard to resist. Remember to factor in the cost of an SSD drive, batteries, the right leads for your cameras and a monitor clamping set-up, as this can add significantly to the overall price. AD.
LEFT The Shogun 7 has an intuitive operating system
PRO MOVIEMAKER RATING: 9/10 This is now Atomos’ best ever monitor/ recorder as it offers switching for live editing and streaming Pros: Nothing else on the market has the same spec Cons: Switching, 240fps and Dolby Vision not available yet
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