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Posted 03/17/21
Canon has never been one to sit out an opportunity to enter new markets, and during the past year, a need has manifested itself in the world for remotely controlled, networked cameras to create high-quality broadcast productions with minimal staff and crew over the Internet, from just about anywhere. To meet the requirements of the times, Canon has just announced a new line of 4K PTZ cameras, including the CR-N300 and CR-N500, as well as the new RC-IP100 PTZ camera joystick controller. Each camera fits the needs of specific production styles and features NDI|HX compatibility, high-resolution sensors, UHD 4K video capture, as well as a variety of remote control options for easy, remote pan/tilt/zoom operation. These cameras fall into a lower price range in comparison to other Canon and PTZ camera categories and specs, so they may be worth a side-by-side look. The CR-N500 will be the first to be released, with the more serious specs of the two cameras, to fit into applications that might have more cinematic requirements to match other Canon cinema cameras in your production, and you might need an additional remotely controlled camera to match your color and depth of field. The features include: Canon’s 1" CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus Canon’s DIGIC DV6 processor UHD 4K30 and 1080p60 video output via HDMI and 3G-SDI Built-in NDI|HX support Wide dynamic range Sensitivity to 1.5 lux Built-in ND filters Scene modes PoE+ for direct power Serial, IR, and IP (wired or Wi-Fi) control Professional gamma support, such as Canon Log3, to make post-production camera matching and color correction a breeze 15x zoom (25.5-382.5mm 35mm equivalent focal length) offers a highly adjustable field of view Genlock Dual XLR inputs and a mini mic input jack to fit right into a professional production The NDI|HX high-resolution/low-bandwidth compression is ideal to drop right into a professional NDI broadcast environment, with minimal configuration. The advantage of this is that many PTZ cameras on the market require a separate purchase for NDI functionality, but the license is included with these Canon PTZ cameras. If you are not using NDI, the camera can also stream over a LAN using RTP/RTMP/RTSP protocols. Another professional feature is the inclusion of built-in ND filters, mostly unheard of in today’s PTZ camera design, and the N500 includes 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64 filters. You can also power the camera via PoE+ so you can cut down on cabling on your existing PoE+ supported LAN. To remotely control the camera, you have several choices, including Canon’s IP/serial controller, IR, RS-422 serial, or via Wi-Fi using Canon’s freely downloadable camera control software. Up next is the  RC-IP100 camera joystick controller, which provides an easy way for a single operator to control multiple cameras. The controller’s bright 7" touchscreen, along with a precision joystick, provides the ability to control up to 100 PTZ cameras. It supports the Canon IP protocol, a proprietary IP protocol that allows you to create a fast, private network to control your cameras, or you can utilize RS-422 serial protocol to connect to the cameras. The controller features six customizable function buttons and stores up to 100 presets, and the joystick allows for fine control of pan, tilt, and zoom for smooth camera movements. The following table provides a spec comparison between the new PTZ cameras and Canon camcorders: CR-N300 PTZ XA40 Camcorder CR-N500 PTZ XF705 Camcorder Sensor 1/2.3" CMOS 1/2.3" CMOS 1" CMOS 1" CMOS Zoom 20x 20x 15x 15x Format UHD 4K30, 1080p60 UHD 4K30, 1080p60 UHD 4K30, 1080p60 UHD 4K60, 1080p60 Outputs USB, 3G-SDI, HDMI Mini-HDMI 3G-SDI, HDMI 12G-SDI, HDMI Control IP, IR, RS-422, UVC, Wi-Fi n/a IP, IR, R-422, Wi-Fi RS-422, Wi-Fi NDI|HX Yes, License Included n/a Yes, License Included n/a ND Filters n/a Optional on Lens Clear, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64 Clear, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64 Gamma n/a n/a Wide DR, CLog3, HLG Wide DR, CLog3, HLG Inputs Audio Mini Jack Mini Jack + 2 x XLR Mini Jack + 2 x XLR Mini Jack + 2 x XLR Recording Output Only 2 x SD Slots Output Only 2 x SD Slots Power PoE+ Battery or DC PoE+ Battery or DC Genlock n/a n/a Yes Yes Last, and available in Q3 2021, is the CR-N300 PTZ camera that falls into a more accessible category, aimed at houses of worship, corporate conferencing, event spaces, broadcast, government, streaming, or documentary-style productions. It shares the same IR, RS-422, Wi-Fi, compatibility with Canon’s IP controller, DIGIC DV6 processor, wide dynamic range, NDI|HX support, PoE+, and scene modes as the CR-N500, but its features are focused on ease-of-use and affordability. The N300 features include: A 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF Canon’s DIGIC DV6 processor Wide dynamic range 1.5 lux 20x optical zoom (29.3-601mm 35mm equivalent focal length) Support for UHD 4K30 and 1080p60 video capture NDI|HX support Scene modes PoE+ Serial, IR, and IP (wired or Wi-Fi) control In addition to IP, HDMI, and 3G-SDI outputs, it also features a USB Type-C output with UVC support so you can utilize it as a tethered webcam There are no XLR inputs, but it does feature microphone input using with a mini jack Both cameras will be available in Satin Black and Titanium White finishes, and they are compatible with the Canon camera control software that is free to download. It allows you to see a 9 x 9 live view grid of your cameras, control your camera, change settings on multiple cameras, view tally information, and load settings configurations from an external drive. It is compatible with Windows OS as well as USB joysticks. Be sure to check out the newest Canon PTZ offerings on the B&H Photo website to compare their specs and features side-by-side, and we’ll keep an eye out for their release dates. Are you excited by these new releases? Feel free to tell us why in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 02/23/21
Emphasizing compactness, Sony's FX3 Cinema Camera is the latest take on blurring the lines between Sony's Cinema and Alpha lines of cameras, marrying the top-end video capabilities of the FX cameras with a portable, handheld-optimized form factor like the a7S III. As a camera straddling the lines of capability and versatility, the FX3 takes some of the most coveted features from both to make the ideal camera for solo shooters, for travel needs, for use as a B-camera on high-end shoots, or simply as the main camera for filmmakers who treasure the idea of a sleek and well-spec'd full-frame cinema camera. Correction: The Sony ECM-XM1 Microphone is not included. Sony FX3 Full-Frame Cinema Camera What Is It? Covering the imaging tech, the FX3 has a familiar set of features, which is honestly fine because it's complementing two lines that have just been marked by homeruns in terms of imaging assets. • Just like the a7S III, the FX3 features Sony's full-frame 12.1MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and BIONZ XR processor. This sensor-processor combination gives you that desirable "full-frame look" along with 15+ stops of dynamic range, impressive write speeds to help limit rolling shutter, ISO 80-102400 sensitivity that can expand to ISO 409600, and the BSI design limits noise and promotes clarity for low-light shooting. • UHD 4K recording up to 120p using the full-frame recording area, as well as Full HD shooting at 240p within a Super 35mm area. • Internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording to CFexpress Type A or SD memory cards. Recording externally, via the full-size HDMI port, 16-bit raw output is possible along with 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, too. • XAVC HS codec uses H.265 encoding to retain detail at smaller bitrates while the XAVC S-I ALL-I H.264 codec supports recording up to 600 Mb/s. • S-Cinetone support for distinct film-like colors and matching to VENICE, FX9, and FX6 sources, or even a7S III or Alpha 1 cameras. Also, S-Log3/2 gamut support and 10-bit HLG for simple HDR productions. • Fast Hybrid AF, which uses 627 points covering approximately 89% of the image frame, is a feature well known to Alpha-series users and also affords Eye AF, Eye and Face Detection, and subject-tracking capabilities. • Built-in cooling fan and heat-dissipating design for uninterrupted recording up to 4K 60. • Weather-sealed body features a magnesium-alloy chassis, stainless-steel components, and an anti-dust system to reinforce working outdoors further. • USB Type-C port for in-camera battery charging or power delivery via an external battery pack. • Same NP-FZ100 battery as the a7S III; however, offers more efficient performance for 1.6x longer battery life. The core specs are great, and what you'd expect from a camera of this class. The FX3 relies heavily on the well-regarded a7S III capabilities, but with a bit more emphasis on just video rather than catering to photo users. So, What's Unique About It? The design. The FX3 is distinct because of how it looks, how it feels, and how it operates. While it borrows a bit from the FX6 in terms of imaging, it leans more into its video-oriented nook with regard to operation and handling. • It's compact! Measuring roughly 5 x 3 x 3", it's about the same size as the a7-series of cameras but sheds the viewfinder hump for a more streamlined and minimal rectangular shape. There's still a large right-hand grip for handheld shooting, and the touchscreen 3.0" LCD flips out to the side and tilts for working from high and low angles. • As a camera meant for handheld shooting, it features the Alpha series 5-axis image stabilization, which offers an Active mode to help steady shots when walking, even without a gimbal. • Catalyst Prepare/Browse software can use the "shake metadata" to help compensate for shake and realign footage during post. • Included removable handle attaches via the Multi-Interface Shoe and makes it easier to shoot handheld from low angles. • Newly designed body is specifically meant to be used without a cage; it features five ¼"-20 mounts for direct accessory attachment, as well as three more threaded mounts on the handle. • While the physical exposure controls match Cinema Line cameras, and it includes direct dials for adjusting Iris, ISO, and Shutter settings, along with integrated zoom adjustment and a tally lamp, the menu system is taken from the a7S III for intuitive navigation. • The removable handle incorporates dual XLR/TRS connectors to make use of the four-channel, 24-bit digital audio interface. The body itself also has 3.5mm ports for a mic and headphones. • Wireless connectivity using 2.4 or 5 GHz speeds, along with 2x2 MIMO support, for mobile tethering. Also compatible with optional USB Type-C to Ethernet adapter. The FX3 feels inspired by the Alpha series, because it's a camera that's more at home in the hand rather than atop a tripod in the studio. It's something that's meant to be used outdoors, on the go, and it has the feature set to complement this type of shooting. FX3 versus a7S III Anyone considering the FX3 may also be thinking to themselves, "How does it differ from the a7S III?" The two are fairly similar in many ways but are apparently targeting different imaging sectors. According to Sony, the a7S III is still very much a photo and video camera, whereas the FX3 is a cinema camera that can shoot stills in a pinch. More than just a twist of words, the FX3 is deliberately lacking some of the photo assets to make room for more video operability. Whereas the a7S III has the built-in EVF, and the characteristic viewfinder "hump," the FX3 opts for a more minimal and functional rectangular profile with purpose-built design elements, including multiple ¼"-20 mounts on the body and a removable top handle that slots into the Multi-Interface Shoe for improved audio and low-angle ergonomics. FX3 Cinema Camera a7S III Mirrorless Camera 12.1MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor BIONZ XR Processor Sensor and Processor 12.1MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor BIONZ XR Processor FF: UHD 4K 120p S35: FHD 240p Video Resolution (FF/S35) FF: UHD 4K 120p S35: FHD 240p 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal Bit Rate 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal ISO 80-409600 (Extended) ISO Range ISO 80-409600 (Extended) S-Cinetone S-Log3, S-Log2, HLG Cinema Look/Gamma S-Log3, S-Log2, HLG 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Fast Hybrid AF with Eye AF and Subject Tracking Autofocus Fast Hybrid AF with Eye AF and Subject Tracking Removable Top Handle 5 x ¼"-20 Mounts Handle/1/4 "-20 Mounts 1 x ¼"-20 Mount Front, Top, and Rear Tally Lamp- Yes Zoom Lever- 2 x XLR/TRS via Handle 1 x 3.5mm Headphone 1 x 3.5mm Microphone 1 x 3.5mm Microphone via Handle Linear PCM 4 Channel/24-Bit Audio Recording 1 x 3.5mm Headphone 1 x 3.5mm Microphone Linear PCM 2 Channel/16-Bit 16-Bit Raw Output via HDMI Raw Output 16-Bit Raw Output via HDMI Internal Fan Active Cooling- 2 x CFexpress Type A/SD Memory Card Compatibility 2 x CFexpress Type A/SD NP-FZ100 Battery NP-FZ100 5.1 x 3.1 x 3.3" Dimensions 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.2" 1.4 lb / 640 g Weight 1.35 lb / 614 g Looking at the two side by side, there's little in it if you just want to go spec by spec. The biggest practical differences for filmmakers, beyond form factor, will be access to improved audio recording via the XLR ports in the handle of the FX3 and the inclusion of an internal fan to regulate temps for longer, unrestricted takes, and the FX3's inclusion of the S-Cinetone profile to make it a better fit within the Cinema Line of cameras, which includes the VENICE and FX6. When you take those advantages, plus the optimized body design, you get what the FX3 is all about: a great option for solo, handheld shooters and a perfect choice for a B-cam when the FX6 or VENICE is your A-cam. FX3 versus FX6 While the FX3 versus a7S III is the more realistic comparison for most, you might also be curious how the FX3 stacks up to its bigger brother, the FX6. The ergonomic and operability differences alone make the FX6 a more serious option for high-end productions, and also contribute to the FX3's position as being an ideal tool for solo, portable use. The FX6 offers improved exposure control via its built-in variable ND filter, support for timecode in/out, and raw output possible via 12G-SDI. However, the FX3 does have some distinct capabilities of its own compared to the FX6, including mechanical image stabilization and the obvious smaller form factor to better suit handheld shooting. FX3 Cinema Camera FX6 Cinema Camera 12.1MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor BIONZ XR Processor Sensor and Processor 12.9MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor BIONZ XR Processor FF: UHD 4K 120p S35: FHD 240p Video Resolution (FF/S35) FF: DCI & UHD 4K 120p S35: FHD 240p 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal Bit Rate 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal ISO 80-409600 (Extended) ISO Range ISO 320-409600 ISO 800 Base ISO 12800 High-Sensitivity Base S-Cinetone S-Log3, S-Log2, HLG Cinema Look/Gamma S-Cinetone S-Log3, HLG 709 (800%) LUT 709 (800%) / s709 Custom User LUT- Variable ND Built-In 1/4-1/128 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization- Fast Hybrid AF with Eye AF and Subject Tracking Autofocus Fast Hybrid AF with Eye AF Removable Top Handle 5 x ¼"-20 Mounts Handle/1/4"-20 Mounts Smart Handle Smart Grip 8 x ¼"-20 Mounts 2 x XLR/TRS via Handle 1 x 3.5mm Headphone 1 x 3.5mm Microphone Linear PCM 4 Channel/24-Bit Audio Recording 2 x XLR via Handle Linear PCM 4 Channel/24-Bit 16-Bit Raw Output via HDMI Raw Output 16-Bit Raw Output via SDI 2 x CFexpress Type A/SD Memory Card Compatibility 2 x CFexpress Type A/SD NP-FZ100 Battery BP-U35, BP-U70, BP-U100 5.1 x 3.1 x 3.3" Dimensions 6 x 4.6 x 4.5" 1.4 lb / 640 g Weight 2 lb / 890 g In terms of imaging performance, the FX3 and FX6 are certainly complementary and can be a great pair for two camera setups or when mixing studio and handheld footage within a production. The FX3 punches high in its class, and it's too bad it's missing a couple of the key features of the FX6 (namely timecode support and an ND filter) that would make it a no-brainer for professional filmmakers looking for a portable option on the next shoot. So, Who's It For? At its core, the FX3 appears to be a marriage between the photo/hybrid-oriented Alpha-series of mirrorless cameras and the high-end series of Cinema Line video cameras. There has been a major push, within the Alpha series and photo-based cameras in general, for cameras to address the multimedia shift in image making. More photographers are turning to video, more videographers are looking for photo capabilities. The lines are blurring and the FX3 is in the middle but strongly leaning toward the filmmaking end of the spectrum. Surprisingly, this makes the FX3 a strong contender for photographers or primarily stills-based image makers to make the jump to high-end video, especially if they're already a Sony Alpha shooter and have a stable of E-mount lenses. For those already working in the video world, the FX3 is a trickier piece to fit into the puzzle. Its greatest and most distinguishing assets are its form factor, its inclusion of image stabilization, and its physical design that's meant to shed the need for a cage to add on whatever accessories you're likely to use, ranging from monitors to mics. However, despite the FX3 missing out on some features of the FX6, if you were already contemplating an a7S III strictly for your filmmaking needs, the FX3 makes an enticing option from a workflow standpoint. What are your first takes on the FX3? How do you see it fitting into your workflow? Let us know, in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 12/29/20
Every filmmaker has their own needs on set, so which Canon camera is right for you? In this cinema camera comparison, Doug takes a look at the Canon C70, the Canon C300 Mark III, and the Canon C500 Mark II, as well as rigging options for the latter two. After watching this video, which of these cameras would best suit your next film production? Tell us your choice and why in the Comments, below.
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Posted 12/10/20
Go behind the scenes on our team’s latest video production as they try the Z CAM E2-S6 with the Atomos Ninja V. Doug Guerra shows you his ProRes Raw workflow for filming and color grading, and he also compares the E2-S6 to the ZCAM E2. Have you used either cinema camera on a film production? What are your thoughts on these cameras? Tell us in the Comments section. We hope you enjoy the video, and we invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at BandH.com.
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Posted 11/17/20
In this video review, Doug Guerra explores the features of the Sony PXW FX6, a full-frame 4K cinema camera. This compact camera sits between the Sony FX9 and a7S III and was built for filmmakers who demand light, mobile tools that don’t sacrifice image quality or control. The FX6 is versatile, allowing you to use it on a variety of shoots—from gimbal to drone to documentary work. Features include a 10.2MP full-frame BSI CMOS Sensor, 15+ stops of dynamic range in S-Log3, a base ISO of 800, a high-sensitivity ISO of 12,800, 627 phase-detect points and face detection, internal 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, full compatibility with more than 50 Sony E Mount lenses, and more. After watching the video, do you think you'd be interested in using this cinema camera on your next film or video production? Share your thoughts or ask us questions in the Comments section, below. 
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Posted 11/16/20
The RED KOMODO 6K Digital Cinema Camera marks a first for many features never seen before in a RED DIGITAL CINEMA camera. It features a built-in LCD screen, 19.9MP Super35 Global Shutter CMOS, phase-detect autofocus system, 16+ stops dynamic range, the ability to record up to 6K at 40 fps, 5K at 48 fps, 4K at 60 fps, and 2K at 120 fps in REDCODE RAW for incredible flexibility in post-production, and more. Check out Doug and Dave’s camera test and tell us your thoughts in the Comments below! Click here to learn more about the KOMODO 6K.
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Posted 05/03/20
The B&H film crew took the RED Gemini 5K S35 out for a real-world test to see if this cinema camera could work in a run-and-gun situation. Bobby takes you behind the scenes on an independent WW1 film to see this camera in action, then Doug takes you through the post production process and tells you how color grading worked for this 5K cinema camera. To learn more about the RED Gemini 5K, watch this  hands-on review, then read  Part 1  and  Part 2  of B&H Explora's “In the Field” series for an even closer look.
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Posted 04/20/20
Jake talks to Paul and Ryan from Canon about the new EOS C300 Mark III Digital Cinema Camera and the CINE-SERVO 25-250mm lens. The Canon C300 III is made for versatility and flexibility. Built on Canon's new Super 35mm Dual Gain Output Sensor and DIGIC DV 7 Image Processor the camera's features include over 16 stops of dynamic range, internal RAW recording, 4K 120p, and Dual Pixel Autofocus. The CINE-SERVO 25-250mm lens provides a compact, lightweight design with 4K Optical Performance, an 11-Blade Iris, full external servo control and is available in EF Mount or Cooke/i Technology PL Mount Options.
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Posted 09/12/19
Sony has just announced the Sony FX9 XDCAM Cinema Camera. Jeff Rojas sat down for an in-depth first look of the camera with Sony's Tom Cubby. A worthy successor to the Sony FS7 and FS7II, the PXW-FX9 features a new full-frame 6K Exmor R sensor, 15+ stops of dynamic range, dual native 800/4000 ISOs, a variable ND and fast hybrid auto focus.    Also announced, Sony’s new XDCA-FX9 extension unit and 16-35mm T3.1 G FE Cinema Lens Read more about the Sony PXW-FX9 Cinema Camera:
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Posted 09/04/19
Canon has just announced the return of the EOS C500 Cinema Camera with the new C500 Mark II. The most outstanding feature of this new cinema camera is that Canon has added a 5.9k full-frame sensor, capable of more than 15 stops of dynamic range, to bridge the gap for documentary and feature filmmakers. The newly developed DIGIC DV 7 Image Processor expands functionality and flexibility by enabling features such as 5.9k recording, internal recording of Canon Cinema Raw Light, and Dual Pixel Autofocus with support for Touch AF and Face Detection AF. Three expansion units and compatibility with EF and PL* lenses with user-changeable lens mounts enable operators to build their ideal cinema system. The new system also includes anamorphic lens support and electronic image stabilization, making it a great option for filmmakers who want flexibility and portability.
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