Sony gives 50mm f/1.4 G Master treatment, Blackmagic has a switcher and studio cameras, and RØDE gives the NT1 5th Gen a digital upgrade.
Week of February 19, 2023
Nearly all the bases were covered this week with some pro video equipment, a bunch of new lenses, a new microphone, and a few other items. It was another exciting week, which only adds to the fun since we are currently working through the CP+ trade show and WPPI is coming up. But in the meantime, we are likely to have a few more things show up.
Sony gives the 50mm f/1.4 a G Master makeover
How many 50mm lenses does one system truly need? With the release of the FE 50mm f/1.4 GM, Sony apparently thinks at least one more, bringing its total up to five.
There is a lot to like about this new 50mm and, if somehow you are still on the hunt for a new normal lens, this one will be hard to beat. The f/1.4 aperture is plenty fast, the G Master glass is as good as you would expect, and it is a relatively small and lightweight lens.
It beats the f/1.2 model in price (by a huge margin) and in size/weight. And it easily beats the older f/1.4 and slower f/2.5 and f/1.8 options in terms of optics. It lives in that sweet spot if you are okay spending $1,300 on a premium lens option.
There isn’t much more to say about this lens. It’s another great 50mm in a lens series that continues to impress. If you want a new 50mm for Sony, this one will be hard to beat.
Blackmagic Launches ATEM Television Studio HD8 & Studio Cameras
In a stream―Blackmagic’s usual form of handling product announcements―the brand revealed some serious new production equipment for broadcast. This includes the ATEM Television Studio HD8, an all-in-one production switcher with a full broadcast control panel, and the Studio Camera 6K Pro, a compact camera that uses the great tech from the Pocket series and transforms it into a studio-ready device.
This thing has almost too many features to talk about because it truly is a full production switcher and control panel. There are 8 SDI inputs, 2 aux outputs, 4 chroma keyers, 2 downstream keyers, and a ton more. For more details, I would recommend heading over to the product page. Plus, there is an ISO model that can record all 8 inputs for editing.
The real shocker for many may be the price. Blackmagic has aggressively gone after pro markets with highly capable and affordable products. This is no exception. The ATEM starts at just $3,000, which is an incredible deal.
The Studio Camera 6K Pro released alongside the ATEM is a huge increase in video quality for the lineup. The Super 35mm 6K sensor and ability to use Canon EF glass should bring it closer to cinema-level quality while the lightweight body, large 7" screen, and upgraded connections make it well suited to studio spaces.
It is a great match for the new ATEM because it supports remote camera control, including changing things like the internal ND filters. It doesn't always have to remain in the studio or hooked up to a control panel since it can record Blackmagic RAW to USB drives and become a powerful cinema camera in its own right.
RØDE Gives the NT1 a Digital Makeover with 5th Gen Update
Microphone upgrades are not always the most exciting. The 5th Generation NT1 from RØDE just might be for beginners and pros alike. It took an already great condenser microphone and packed in a full digital audio pipeline alongside the classic analog hardware.
This is one of the first mics that can provide a digital (USB) or analog (XLR) signal, which makes it extraordinarily versatile. On top of that, it is the first to offer full 32-bit float technology. Without getting too into the weeds, 32-bit float means that you can forget about setting your levels. The computer will record an impressive digital file that can always be adjusted to recover anything that looks clipped and bring up anything recorded too low without any degradation of audio quality.
As for the actual mic hardware, there aren't too many changes. Why mess with a good thing? It features a 1" cardioid condenser capsule with the transducer internally shock mounted with Rycote's Lyre system. It also managed to get the noise floor a touch cleaner with only 4 dBA of self-noise.
Using it digitally via USB-C allows users to work with RØDE Connect for some added processing. One of the most interesting aspects of the digital workflow is that you can plug in multiple NT1's to the same computer and they will all be recognized as their own audio source. Using multiple USB mics at the same time has been a pain in the past, and this is a huge step in the right direction.
It's a handy, interesting mic option for podcasters, streamers, musicians, and others.
Tamron and Sigma Bring Old Lenses to New Mounts
Over the past couple of years, Tamron has brought out FUJIFILM X-mount versions of many of its existing lenses. That trend continues with the reveal that an X-mount 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens is in development. It is a great, compact, and fast APS-C lens that was a huge hit for a6000-series shooters.
That's not all for new mount news. That wasn't even all for APS-C lens news. Sigma dropped the news that it was coming out with its first lenses for Nikon Z mount. The brand went with one of its most popular Global Vision sets: the trio of f/1.4 APS-C primes. This includes a 16mm, 30mm, and 56mm Contemporary lenses that are all small, lightweight, and capable of impressive quality.
It is very encouraging to see an expansion into wider compatibility from these third-party lens manufacturers. They aren't available yet, but expect them soon.
In other news…
Lensbaby released a new optic if you like creating those special effects in-camera. The Double Glass II has a tiny spot of sharpness surrounded by extreme blur.
SmallHD has brought camera control functionality to the Indie 5 Touchscreen Monitor. The first release is designed for the RED KOMODO and other DSMC3 series cinema cameras.
Godox continues to push out new (and very affordable) lighting options. This week includes the KNOWLED RGB Pixel LED Tube Lights. Tubes are getting way more popular these days.
That was a good set of releases. See you next week!