Looks like there's a big price drop over the summer: http://www.redsharkn...-now-just-$4995
Edited by Brian Drysdale, 27 May 2015 - 03:54 AM.
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AJA Video 4k camera - Cion
68 replies to this topic
Posted 27 May 2015 - 09:58 AM
Initially I saw that camera as a competitor to Red and Arri products but they didn't position themselves that way at all. They kind of lonewolfed it as a camera that shoots a "final image" on the day and that's it. Bizarre.
Posted 27 May 2015 - 11:50 AM
I gather that the Cion can do better than people may think and grading is possible (but seemingly easier with some grading programs than others), although you do have to understand the camera's settings.
Posted 27 May 2015 - 06:38 PM
Welp, I'm shooting with one next Thursday, so here's hopin'
Posted 28 May 2015 - 02:26 AM
The Cion Manual for v1.1 says:
"CION also offers the ability to output raw sensor data via the SDI 1-4 Main Output connections or the Thunderbolt connection.
NOTE: Raw output is dependent upon specific CONFIG menu parameter selections.
AJA's Corvid Ultra hardware and TruZoom software may be used to record the 4K or UltraHD SDI raw output from CION up to and including 120Hz."
Posted 28 May 2015 - 03:01 AM
Let us know how it goes Phil. I've been dying to hear some in field info.
Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:03 AM
I used one for a week. It's a great camera for the field. I found the menu to be very simple and straightforward, and the camera itself to be versatile for run-and-gun shooting.
The expanded gamma is nice, but one thing I found was the highlights tend to clip rather quickly. Very little headroom, which I didn't expect from a 2015-made camera.
I'll post some low-light tests soon, shot with candles and a 40w bulb. The 1000ISO setting is pretty clean, which I liked. It's a pretty robust image, but the clipping highlights killed it for me. Not that it's a deal breaker, I just didn't expect it with a modern sensor.
Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 28 May 2015 - 10:04 AM.
Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:09 AM
Thanks for the report, Kenny.
Do the shadows @1000 ISO look okay when they are boosted in post, or do they get noisy?
Maybe the sensor would benefit from "exposing to the left" and protecting the highlight?
Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:28 AM
On CML it was said that, subjectively, 320 and metering for 400 or 500 with a small gamma adjustment in Speedgrade got great images. So it seems to be one that needs a bit of testing regarding the clipping.
Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:58 AM
I'll post a clip over the weekend with some of my results. I didn't find the shadows to be terribly noisy at 1000 ISO, and depending on the amount of adjustment, the high bitrate capabilities go a long way in retaining color information. As to your point Brian, I will definitely play around with gamma a little bit more and make a workable image.
Posted 28 May 2015 - 11:05 AM
I don't have Speedgrade, but Resolve has been useful in highlight recovery. It's quite unlike other digital cameras I've used, in that the Log image it creates still sort of looks and feels like a Linear-gamma image. Difficult to explain. That said, it does gather a great deal of information so it is still very gradeable. I'm eager to hear what others think, and will report with footage soon!
Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 28 May 2015 - 11:06 AM.
Posted 19 October 2015 - 12:55 PM
I just got done with a short film on the Cion, 8 days of shooting. Full 4K, Prores 422 HQ. I can attest that the highlight issues are true, though you can still underexpose a stop and push it no problem in post. But sometimes you get a weird flicker in the shadows, some sort of fixed pattern noise. It's mostly in the completely black areas of the frame, though I saw it creep into the lower mids. It happened inconsistently, sometimes 2 scenes with nearly the same lighting would come out differently concerning the noise, which leads me to believe it might be an overheating of the sensor causing it.
The camera is Fairly easy to color grade, though the white balance settings are crap. I shot everything at Unity, which to my understanding is no white balance, and it's easy to correct that using the gamma wheel and vectorscope. But the tungsten setting causes a nastly blue tint over the entire screen, as with the fluorescent. Daylight (corrected from Unity) looks beautiful on this camera, as long as you're able to expose for your subject and the sky at the same time. Sometimes to do this I had to underexpose a stop or 2 on my subject because blown out highlights on the Cion are the worst I've ever seen on a camera, with a NASTY bluish fringing surrounding the pure white blown out area. Basically the highlight rolloff is crap, happens way too early above good exposure.
It's very hard to shoot in a location and balance for the windows, and letting them blow out is absolutely not an option with this camera. For reportedly having the same sensor as the Blackmagics, they're basically a step behind where Blackmagic was with the 2.5k, with the only advantage over that old camera being framerate and resolution. I don't know about you, but framerate and resolution don't sell cameras for me, the integrity of the image is what sells.
ISO wise, you cannot use this camera over 500. Don't even try. You gain almost no exposure because you're not able to use Log gamma on 800 and 1000.
I wish I got the chance to use it with AJA Raw. We have 2 Cions at school now, so I'll probably be testing that in the spring to see if it improves the image. But honestly the Ursa FAR outperforms this camera at a comparable price point, even with the $5000 summer price. And CFast is barely more expensive than AJA Paks, though the price is dropping while the price of AJA Paks is likely to remain what it is.
That being said, in a controlled environment, yes I'm sure you can create a beautiful image with this camera. I know I did some of my best work ever with it. I'll post a trailer once we get it cut and graded and get the website up. Maybe some of you will feel inclined to donate to the campaign, we'll likely be offering both an HD and UHD download.
If anyone has any questions or would like clarification, please ask, I'd love to answer as well as I can.
On the flipside, just started 8 days on the RED Dragon and I'm in love.