Apple has finally announced the iPhone 13 which may be one of the most underwhelming refreshes of the handset in many years. While there is a lot of new stuff, nothing added is really groundbreaking in the way previous phones have awed when it comes to features in imaging. It is certainly a clear refinement of nearly every aspect of the hardware and software with better low light gathering and a first for a phone the addition of ProRes recording at 1080p and 4k 30p depending on the phone storage spec.
There are neat features like rack focusing which allows for AI-assisted machine learning depth of field selection based on people’s faces whenever their eyes are visible and or enter or exit the frame. It is kind of gimmicky as it seems to do away with precise manual control of the feature but this is yet to be explored fully by reviewers. When it comes to Slow Motion capture, we have essentially no change for the 4th year in a row!→ Continue Reading Full Post ←
DJI has unveiled the Mavic Air 2 consumer drone with incredible specs and a fit and finish that rivals their more expensive lineup. We have been waiting for a successor to the original Mavic Air to see where the platform was taking high frame rates but while we now have a 240fps 1080p mode, it hardly what we would call usable for production. There is a softness and compression that while they look ok for amateur and some Youtube videos it fails for professionals that need that quality output.
There is a lot to like here like the 48MP sensor with 8k hyperlapse and stills mode with RAW along with a better than most other drones 4k UHD mode at 60fps with 120Mbps codec. It is really a steal if you were waiting for a drone that can do it all and not break your budget. You get many high-end features on a minute package that while a little big compared to mini drones, it is really small compared to the full-sized Mavic line.
DJI Mavic Air 2 Main Specs:
24mm (35mm Equivalent)
Lens Field of View
Minimum Focusing Distance
3.3′ / 1.0 m
Photo ISO Range
100 to 3200 (Auto)
100 to 6400 (Manual)
Video ISO Range
100 to 6400
4:3: 8000 x 6000
3840 x 2160p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (MP4/MOV via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-4)
2688 x 1512p at 24/25/30/48/50/60 fps (MP4/MOV via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-4)
1920 x 1080p at 24/25/30/48/50/60/120/240 fps (MP4/MOV via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, MPEG-
DJI Mavic Air 2 REVIEW & First Look – 4K 60p, 1080p 240fps by cinema5D:
We can clearly see the video quality in the 1080p 240fps mode is soft and compression obliterates fine detail like that of the grass and girl’s hair. There is really no point in getting this drone for its slow motion capabilities in Full HD.
That said, this new drone is probably the most exciting release for portability and 4k 60p users that lends itself well for less jittery pan motion and for slowing down overhead views. It really is hard to justify a larger more capable drone for most video enthusiasts considering how much of their more expensive counterparts is here.
The newly announced Sony a6400 is what the a6300 should have been almost two years ago. It is still missing a key feature that was introduced with the a6500 that of IBIS or Sensor Stabilization which works with any lens added to the system. However, if you remove the IBIS fail from the equation this is a killer camera for just $900 which in this day and age of $1000+ cellphones, it is quite a bargain for the body only.
We were amazed by the 120fps full HD quality of other sony alpha cameras like the a9 and the a7 III which fully track subjects while recording in super slow motion which really makes the feature stand out compared to other cameras which force you to go manual while on that mode. The codec quality has also been bumped in this camera for 120p to 100Mbps from 60Mbps on earlier cameras like the a6300 which should preserve more detail while sacrificing little in image crispness.
a6400 Main Features:
24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
BIONZ X Image Processor
Real-Time Eye AF & Real-Time Tracking
XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF
3.0″ 921.6k-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
Internal UHD 4K Video, S-Log3, and HLG
S&Q Motion in Full HD from 1-120 fps
Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
425 Phase- & Contrast-Detect AF Points
Up to 11 fps Shooting and ISO 102,400
a6400 Video Mode:
3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 25 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Yes, 4k 60p is missing from this entry level camera but it still generates oversampling in 4k from its 25MP sensor and down converts to 4k UHD for a beautiful image with less noise and no perceptible moire/aliasing artifacts.
This a6400 camera is really crying to have IBIS in the sensor but with a small gimbal stabilizer, it should work wonders for their intended Vlogger audience.
The video above by Jenna Ezarik shows why IBIS is needed in a camera like this, it is quite shakey and the rolling shutter is apparent. The audio from the built-in microphones is very acceptable as is the video quality which rivals some of the best 4k out there. Which means the higher-end model which is planned for the alpha line will probably have IBIS and even better features for under $2000 USD.
The newly announced Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones do impressive things with machine learning when it comes to their camera app. The ability to do resolution comparable 2X zoom to an optical lens by using exposure merging is genius. Their portrait mode is also the best ever made on a phone with incredible separation of background and foreground depth of field based on learning algorithms that can tackle hair transitions and other objects all with only a single lens.
When it comes to video however it is not as good as either the Samsung’s or Apple’s latest flagship phones. The pixel tops at 4k 30p and the slow motion while doing 240fps which matches the iPhone XS it is only 720p instead of 1080p. Google seems to have beefed up the phone for still images and selfies and left the video features on a secondary plane. The slow motion mode is essentially identical to last year’s Pixel 2 and 2 XL at 120fps 1080p and 240fps 720p.
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones are competitive and according to initial reviews, it shows it to be the main contender for the still image and selfie picture crown for the year. Video mode seems improved in dynamic range, low light, and stabilization but there are no new frame rates or even a timelapse feature that is included in other phones.
People waited with extreme patience for the Canon Full Frame Mirrorless line for several years. The Verdict? Pretty good start but feels like a mid-range product. It lacks IBIS stabilization on the body sensor which has become one of the most coveted features for camera enthusiasts. It lacks dual card slots and most important of all for us it is 2014 frame rates for a camera of this class.
The camera does shoot 4k up to 30p but it has the same crop that has made the Canon 5D Mark IV a bad proposition for videographers that want 4k footage. The crop is 1.7x which is essentially a Micro 4/3rds sensor size with a speed booster but without all the benefits of those bodies like IBIS and very low rolling shutter with the added benefit of better frame rates. This feels for all intents and purposes like a base product for a line that needed to be released to compete but is still evolving technologically.
Canon EOS R Main Features:
30.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
DIGIC 8 Image Processor
UHD 4K30 Video; C-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
1080p Full HD up to 60fps
720p HD up to 120fps
Dual Pixel CMOS AF – 5,655 AF Points
3.69m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
3.15″ 2.1m-Dot Swivel Touchscreen LCD
Expanded ISO 50-102400, 8 fps Shooting
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, SD UHS-II Card Slot
Multi-Function Bar, Dual Pixel RAW
EOS EF Lens compatibility with adapters including ND
Canon EOS R Slow Motion Features:
3840 x 2160p at 23.98/24/29.97 fps
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/24/29.97/59.94 fps
1280 x 720p at 29.97/59.94/120 fps
Frame rates are capped at 720p 120fps which is so 2011 in some instances and quite unacceptable for a camera in this price range. The 60p max at full HD is also something that was all the rage back in 2013 but now feels geriatric by comparison to Sony, Nikon, Fuji and Panasonic products.
Canon EOS R Sample Video – Lake Natron by CanonUSA:
The slumbering Nikon has awakened to the mirrorless present and future and has shown their cards in a very strong but not class-leading mirrorless product line. The Nikon Z7& Z6 are nearly identical bodies with changes in the sensor and AF. The more expensive and higher resolution Z7 screams pixels with a 45.7MP Full Frame sensor ISO 64–25600 range which should be a direct replacement for D850 users. The other Z6 is a better low light camera geared more at wedding shooters and videographers at 24.5MP which should produce outstanding low light ISO 50–204800 with ISO expansion.
There is a lot to like in these cameras like a real 5 axis (5 Stop) IBIS stabilizer on the full frame sensor which also works on adapted lenses and works with Nikkor VR lenses from DSLR cameras to increase the 3 stops to a real 5 stops hybrid stabilization feature. The video modes offer 4k at 24, 25 and 30p which is so 2014 as is the 120fps full HD 1080p slow motion mode. AF also changes between models at 493 points on the Z7 and 273 on the Z6.
As you can see the Nikon Z series is all about taking the wind out of the sales of Sony Alpha Mirrorless cameras and to a lesser extent from Olympus and Panasonic. The cameras do have an Achilles heel when it comes to storage as the trend now is dual card slots on professional cameras. Since these only have a single slot, many professionals will not be able to use them in the field which may be a protectionist move to still keep DSLRs alive a little longer. This is a completely wrong move in our opinion as it cements Sony’s leadership in reliability.
Others point out to the lack of Eye AF which is a Sony feature that uses your eye to track subjects you are looking at in the frame. This is a minor omission but one that Sony users have become accustomed to using for dependable subject AF tracking in the viewfinder. Battery wise it should be a good set of cameras as the 300 shot spec when tested yields much more in normal use which is standard for mirrorless cameras.
Nikon Z Slow Motion Features?
Right off the bat, there is no 4k UHD 60fps or 48fps or 50fps which have been used successfully in current high-end video mirrorless cameras for over two years now. This is a big omission as the Z6 should be able to do this with the lower MP count.