ZEISS launch Batis 25mm f2.0 and 85mm f1.8 full-frame autofocus E-mount lenses

by JamesNYCApril 22. 2015 14:35

Zeiss has announced a duo of lenses designed specifically for use with Sony’s Alpha range of mirrorless full-frame system cameras (a7, a7R, a7S and a7 II). The Batis 25mm f2 and 85mm f1.8 lenses have Sony’s E-mount and will also work on video cameras like the FS7 or FS700. The two new lenses are available to order now and will ship in July 2015. The recommended retail prices are $1299 US for the ZEISS Batis 25mm f2 and $1199 US for the ZEISS Batis 85mm f1.8.

In a break with tradition, Zeiss has decided to equip the Batis lenses with a OLED display instead of a conventional focus scale. The little screen is illuminated, enabling users to see it even in low light conditions, and shows the distance to the subject as well as depth of field.

Both Batis lenses are constructed to high Zeiss standards and feature dust and weather seals. According to Zeiss the new AF drive system is fast and quiet, with linear motors allowing for rapid AF shooting in a variety of situations. If you don’t want to use the AF function a rubberized focus ring supports manual focusing, although it appears that this is of the fly-by-wire type.


This from Zeiss:
ZEISS Batis 2/25:
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 wide-angle lens has ten lens elements in eight groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and five are made from special types of glass. The aspheric lens design ensures consistently high image quality over the whole image field and a sharpness that extends right to the edges of the frame. The moderate 82 degree image angle combined with a minimum focusing distance of 0.2 meters makes this wide-angle lens the perfect choice for architecture and landscape photography and many other applications besides. It encourages the user to make creative use of depth of field which can often yield surprising results, particularly in close-up photography.

ZEISS Batis 1.8/85:
The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a moderate tele lens which offers 11 lens elements in eight groups and features the ZEISS Sonnar optical design. The lens elements are made from special types of glass and designed to ensure superior image quality. The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a particularly good choice for wedding photography and portrait shots, offering the high speed which provides plenty of creative scope to bring out the main subject. Thanks to its optical image stabilization, the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 can capture outstanding images even under difficult, shifting light conditions.

“The Batis family of lenses is the first time we have launched autofocus lenses for Sony’s full- frame E-mount cameras which are ZEISS through and through – in other words exclusively developed and distributed by us,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Product Manager at ZEISS Camera Lenses. The Sony alpha full-frame E-mount system, which currently consists of the α7 family of cameras, is one of the most innovative camera systems on the market and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for professionals and people considering switching from DSLRs. “The ZEISS Batis lenses are our way of acknowledging this trend and providing creative and ambitious photographers with the expert tools they need,” says Pollmann. The lenses are easy to use yet offer professional performance, so they are a sound investment for amateur photographers, too: “Camera sensors are constantly evolving, and so are photographers. Our Batis lenses are the perfect answer to these changing trends and herald a new era of professional photographers using mirrorless full-frame cameras,” says Pollmann.

The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lenses offer an initial choice of two focal lengths which have proved to be the most popular among users of the system: a moderate wide-angle focal length and a tele portrait focal length. The lenses make optimal use of the camera sensors, capturing every last detail with impressive contrast and high resolution. As well as offering fast and reliable autofocus, the lenses also support manual focusing, allowing users to choose the best option for each individual situation. The sleek, modern design – with smooth surfaces reminiscent of the high-end ZEISS Otus lenses – emphasizes the superior quality of this new lens family and gives the Batis lenses an unmistakable look and feel.

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Broncolor FT-System Continuous Lights With New Parabolic Reflectors

by JamesNYCApril 21. 2015 12:57

Hot lights have become common place in the studio for some time now, especially with the advent of video DSLRs.

And While BRIESE Lighting has been the dominant player in the CONVERTIBLE LIGHTING sector for the last 18 years; it' appears that Broncolor is finally taking a cue from them and following suite with ere latest offering.

The newest Broncolor light is made to fit into one of Broncolor's new parabolic reflectors which are known for being pretty great, yet expensive. Although the prices have yet to be released it's far to say that these are for a select clientele and the new FT-System is fit for both pro photographers and videographers alike - giving a good deal of bang for your buck.

One of the biggest benefits of the new system is that the light is completely flicker-free, according to Broncolor. This is amazing news for blink-of-an-eye paced shooting as well as cinematography. There are two models for the new product, the 1600 and the 2000. The 1600 is a 1600 watt daylight balanced light, while the 2000 is the 2000 watt tungsten balanced light. Each head attached to an electronic ballast and has a lamp head and focusing device. 

The complete Broncolor FT System is set to start shipping September 2015



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Adobe rolls out Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 with HDR and panorama tools

by JamesNYCApril 21. 2015 12:37

Adobe has announced new standalone and Creative Cloud versions of its image management and Raw conversion software, Lightroom. The latest versions gain simple HDR and Panorama merging tools that create DNG files from the merged results (16-bit floating point DNGs in the case of the HDR mode). Also added is the ability to paint-out regions of gradient filters, to allow more flexible overlays. Face Recognition tools have also been added, to simplify the tagging and retrieval of images.

The CC version of the software is also designed to tie-in with the iOS and Android versions of Lightroom, by allowing for collections you choose to be synced and available across multiple devices, as well as on a web platform. The CC version also works with Voice and Slate: two new programs for creating image-based animations and presentations.

Read more here

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GoPro HEROCast – New GoPro Streaming Solution for Live Broadcasting – NAB 2015

by JamesNYCApril 17. 2015 14:41

The new GoPro HEROCast makes GoPro streaming of live events a reality. It’s built for professional live broadcasting of GoPro HD footage and works with any receivers.GoPro HEROCast has just become the smallest and lightest professional live-broadcast transmitter on the market. The add-on accessory connects to any GoPro HERO 4 or previous generation.


For those in the live event business this is important news as it opens up new possibilities, new perspectives when covering an event. So far GoPro style shots were mostly limited to a non-live workflow.

HEROCast was developed together with Vislink who already offer a solid broadcast receiver ecosystem. It will also work with third party receivers and is said to offer a low-latency transmission with minimal to no signal interruptions.

The new GoPro streaming solution can be powered off a GoPro battery for minimum weight or through an external power source.

HEROCast    $7,500 MSRP

  •       Optimized for body mounting and engaging POV shots
  •       Separate units for versatile mounting and easy accessibility
  •       Easily attached to GoPro mounts including Chesty and more
  •       Connects via [supplied] HDMI cable

HEROCast BacPac    $7,500 MSRP

  •       All-in-one solution for immersive live-action footage
  •       Camera, transmitter, housing, and BacPac in one convenient unit
  •       Mounts to walls, cars, and other larger surfaces
  •       *Water resistant to IP67 specification

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Avid Announces Free Version of Media Composer

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 22:47

Avid recently announced a free version of it’s popular video editing software. Media Composer | First is coming sometime in 2015, but has released some information on what to expect.

Media Composer | First will be a trimmed down option of the full version of Media Composer. The concept is to make video editing more accessible to those just learning or who do not have the funds for purchasing a full NLE.

Just how limited will it be? Well, one thing to note is that there will be a limited number of projects available, projects will be stored in the cloud, and there will be limited cloud storage space. Additional project and storage space will be available as an extra purchase. Avid does have a FAQ up on their website, and had this to say about limitations of the software:


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Red's latest 'Weapon' is an 8K full-frame camera

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 12:35

Red launched the first mainstream 4K camera when 1080p seemed like overkill, and now that this whole 4K thing might work out, it's got an 8K RAW model. The Weapon 'Vista Vision' features a mind-boggling 8,192 x 4,320, 35-megapixel sensor that can do up to 75 fps, widescreen 8K. The chip is also 40.96 x 21.6mm or Vista Vision-sized, considerably larger than the full-frame sensor on a camera like the Nikon D810. Video can be recorded in RAW and scaled-down ProRes formats simultaneously, just as with the company's 6K Weapon models.

So, how much does it cost to be on par with Peter Jackson and James Cameron? A helluva lot. If we're reading the (rather confusing) pricing correctly, you'll need to order the company's 6K Weapon Woven CF "brain," or bare camera for a cool $49,500, then add another $10,000 for the 8K sensor upgrade. That makes $59,500 by our counting, plus whatever your accessories, storage and lenses cost. The upgrade price is only good until the end of NAB on April 16th, after which time it'll be $20,000. If you already own a Red Scarlet or Epic camera, you can get credits in various amounts towards the Weapon models.

Other specs are still unknown, as is the exact shipping date. Red actually launched its 6K Weapon camera just a few months ago, and it's still not shipping. We're not sure who exactly needs 8K, since there aren't a lot of TVs out there in that format -- but it might look great blown up to IMAX size. Red said the sensor would arrive by the end of the year.;

8K VISTA VISION FORGED WEAPON from RED Digital Cinema on Vimeo.


See more video - RED at NAB 2015


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OWC Envoy Pro Mini is a Desktop Class SSD in a Thumb Drive

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 12:29

OWC announced the Envoy Pro Mini SSD drive back at CES 2015 but is getting closer to shipping the drives. The Envoy Pro Mini will be available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB.

Using an USB 3.0 interface, the Envoy Pro Mini can deliver up to 433MB/s transfer speeds. The form factor is pretty incredible given that is slightly larger than the chintzy USB thumb drives. However, the Envoy Pro Mini can be formatted for use as a dedicated external drive.

Pricing will be $119 for the 120GB version and $199 for the 240GB version. Pricing has not yet been announced for the 480GB version but it is likely to be $299.

find them on OWC’s website.

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EOS 5D Mark IV To Use EOS C300 Mark II Technology?

by JamesNYCApril 10. 2015 22:39

CanonRumours.com says that the upcoming Canon EOS 5D Mark IV sensor will employ the same dual-channel readout as the EOS C300 Mark II.


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Motion Graphics Studio Creates Website to Help Amateurs Get Organized

by JamesNYCApril 10. 2015 12:54

WICHITA, KS APRIL 9, 2015 – Justin McClure Creative has launched Get Your Shit Together, a hub for animators, editors and motion-graphics artists. The website offers industry insight on creating project folder structures, project naming conventions and After Effects project folder scripts.

The site also offers free downloads from Justin McClure Creative and other top professionals in the industry including David Bennett of CMT, Jonathan Winbush of Winbush and Harry Frank from GrayMachine.com. 
“The way you structure and name your files might just be the biggest tip of the hat that you’re still a rookie,” said McClure.

“It wasn't until I landed a job as a designer/animator at CMT in Nashville that I really learned what it meant to be organized. From naming conventions to folder structures, I learned that everything had a place and a name.”

McClure hopes the site will help freelancers and rookies save time, headaches and possibly that next big gig. 

“It takes years to craft your style and technique,” stated McClure. “As designers and animators we have to keep track of many different types of assets, so the last thing you want to do is lose a client because you just didn’t have your shit together.”

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At $2,500, Canon’s New 4K Camcorder Is Actually a Bargain

by JamesNYCApril 10. 2015 12:43

Most of Canon’s camera designs are pretty straightforward. But the company has also thrown some interesting and super-weird models into the mix over the years: The tubular 35mm film Autoboy Jet, the submarine-themed PowerShot D10, and the buttonless and belt-buckle-sized PowerShot N among them. But 99 times out of 100, Canon’s design sense skews conservative.

 Not this time, and it’s nice to see that Canon can still bring the funk. The new Canon XC10 ($2,500) splits the difference between a camcorder and a camera, although Canon is billing it primarily as a camcorder. The company says the XC10 was built with roving journalists in mind. It captures 4K video and 12-megapixel stills with its mechanical shutter and 1-inch-type sensor—the same size sensor found in Sony’s RX100 cameras and AX100 4K camcorder. This time, that imager is baked into a body that looks like it should be comfortable to use when shooting both stills and video, and that’s a rarity.

 Sensor size isn’t the only trait this hybrid video-and-photo machine shares with Sony’s hardware. Its adjustable swiveling handgrip and unique body hearken back to retro jams such as the Sony Cybershot DSC-F828 and its predecessors. The XC10 is a little more advanced, though.

 At its highest resolution setting, it captures 3840×2160 video at 30 frames per second. It will also record 1080p clips at up to 60fps, and 720p clips at up to 120fps for those slow-motion sequences. For the Ultra HD video, the camera uses Canon’s proprietary XF-AVC codec, which is also used in its just-announced Cinema EOS C100 Mark II professional camera. Here’s the kicker: That codec supports a bitrate of up to an insane 305Mbps. That should mean absurd detail.

In order to handle all that data per second, the XC100 won’t work with your average SD card to capture 4K video. It uses a CompactFlash-sized CFast 2.0 card—a 64GB SanDisk card and reader is included with the camcorder—although you can use SDHC/SDXC cards for 1080p and 720p recording.


It’s a fixed-lens camcorder, making it sort of a step-down non-interchangeable companion to the CX100 series, and its optics range from 24mm wide angle to 240mm telephoto (10X) with a maximum aperture of F2.8 to F5.6 at the respective ends. Manual focus is adjustable via a control ring around the lens, and there’s a physical mode dial and control wheel on the grip for tweaking manual, shutter-, and aperture-priority controls. An adjustable 3-inch tilting touchscreen around the back lets you tap to focus and access deeper menu selections, and there’s a separately sold clip-on unit to turn that screen into an EVF.

One thing that’s missing for anyone thinking about picking this thing up as an independent-filmmaking tool: There are no XLR mic inputs. There are stereo mics built in, and a hot shoe on the top of the camera for other lower-end mics, but you’ll need a step-up Cinema EOS camera for XLR.

Compared to those higher-end EOS cameras, the $2,500 XC10 seems like a bargain. Just keep in mind that it has a much smaller sensor than a full-frame 4K-capable shooter such as the EOS-1D C. And compared to Sony’s similarly sensored 4K Handycam AX100, it’s a thousand dollars more. Just like it splits the difference between a still camera and a camcorder, the XC100 will also split the difference between a consumer camcorder and a professional-level model when it comes out in June.


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