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TESTED: CANON’S EOS C500MARK II REVIEWED
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The perfect audio kit to suit all budgets SOUND ADVICE BUYERS’ GUIDE
CLASSY GLASS! 10-PAGE SPECIAL
Pint-sized Panasonics pack a potent punch New tech for super-speedy hard drives
The ultimate guide to the very best lenses you can buy
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Staff writer Chelsea Fearnley Contributing editor Kingsley Singleton Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young EDITORIAL ADVERTISING Group ad manager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 email@example.com Senior sales executive Jemma Farrell-Shaw 01223 492240 firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Designers Lucy Woolcomb, Man-Wai Wong, Bruce Richardson, Laura Bryant & Emma Di’Iuorio PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck MEDIA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS OF:
If you ask me, there’s one major improvement that pretty much every new video camera is screaming out for. It’s not more resolution, bigger sensors, faster frame rates, or any of the other good stuff that comes on just about every new launch nowadays. Cameras are currently all so good that any improvement is icing on the cake. What really makes me frustrated is the overcomplicated menus that assume an astrophysicist’s level of expertise. I’m not the only person that yearns for menus you can easily understand, that are logical and easy to use in a hurry. Of course, some cameras are better than others and some menus need to be deep and complicated. Ask anyone who has to regularly adjust knee – or even really understands what that means – then I’ll show you someone with a better grasp of the technical than 95% of filmmakers. The rest of us just want simplicity, with obvious settings that you don’t have to commit to memory. For example, howmany times have you gone to set a certain frame rate, only to see it not listed or greyed out in a menu, even though you’re sure your camera can handle it? Why do we have to commit to memory all the available frame rates and crop factors for each individual codec we can use? Surely a system can be worked out to show a representation of what you can and can’t set, rather than everything being a memory test that leads to trial-and-error menu changing. It’s a bit like those signs on smart motorways that advise things like ‘Congestion between A456 and M32 junction with B7689’. In the days when we used maps and made a note of road names and junctions, this may have been useful. But led by my satnav or smartphone’s mapping app, I certainly don’t feel the need to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all major roads and traffic junctions for every journey. The world is full of cheap apps and smart devices that are easy to use, or else people wouldn’t use them. Even massive websites can take a wild guess at what you might want. Buying a new hammer? Perhaps you should have some nails, too? Changing your camera resolution to 4K? Here are the frame rates you can use, all listed for you. Or perhaps the option to select a frame rate with the resolutions that can handle it, so you can make a decision. Not that hard, is it? Yes, some things need detailed menus. But surely changing frame rates for some slow-motion might be something a filmmaker wants to do pretty often. Ditto changing white-balance, or altering audio levels. Yet often these things are buried beneath a matrix of settings that seem to have little bearing on where they are. Let’s hope the ease-of-use revolution is the next big thing in video cameras.
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Pro Moviemaker is published quarterly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. ISSN number: 2045-3892. Pro Moviemaker is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Pro Moviemaker that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted are street prices. In sterling they include VAT but US dollar prices are without local sales taxes. Prices are where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
ADAM DUCKWORTH, EDITOR IN CHIEF
SPRING 2020 PRO MOVIEMAKER
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
SPRING 2020 CONTENTS AGENDA 6 SPOTLIGHT ON NEW PANASONICS Built-in LED lights are a new feature on a brace of new camcorders from Panasonic that bring big-camera technology to pint-sized kit. 8 THE DSLR STRIKES BACK Canon takes the wraps off the professional-level EOS-1D X Mark III that sets new standards for video performance from a stills-based camera. 1O NEWS FROM NIKON Mirrorless technology comes to the new D780, plus new lenses launched for Z and F-mount cameras. 12 FINGERPRINT TECH IS HERE! For the ultimate in security, a fingerprint reader makes your data safer than ever on Samsung’s latest hard drives. Plus new Cooke lenses and a retro-style bag. 14 IT’S SHOWTIME! The BSC Expo comes to London and lots of lovely new kit gets its first public airing. 16 PAY-AS-YOU-GO COLOUR GRADING An affordable new way to get your colours right is revealed. Plus bright newmonitors from SmallHD and cheaper memory for Red cameras..
18 TOP GEAR: AWARD WINNERS REVEALED The winners in the third annual Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards are finally revealed. GEAR OF THE YEAR
ACADEMY 36 ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GLASS
From cinema primes and zooms to manual and autofocus lenses and even special effect optics, we take a look at the very best gear you can bolt to the front of your camera. 52 SHOULD YOU BE A RAW RECRUIT? The latest cameras and recorders make shooting in Raw possible for an increasing number of moviemakers. But should you make the leap to the ultimate file format?
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2020
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
MOVIE MATTERS 59 SAVE CASH ON HARDWARE
Cashflow is king to all small- and medium-sized filmmaking businesses. We look at how you can make very real savings by choosing what kit to buy and how you pay for it in our real-world guide to doing business the modern way.
64 CANON’S RAW POWERHOUSE On paper, the new Canon EOS C500 Mark II is a stunner, as it takes the Raw Light format of the C200 and mixes in the high bit rate codec of the C300 Mark II. But what is it like to use in the real world and is it worth the steep asking price? 72 MINI TESTS We review a huge swathe of great new kit, including the latest GoPro Hero8 Black action camera, affordable and compact new DJI motorised gimbal, a 24-70mm f/2.8 premium standard zoom to fit Sony E-mount cameras and an award-winning Manfrotto camera slider. And we take a look at a compact V-Lock battery from IDX that suits smaller camera set-ups. 82 GROUP TEST: MIDDLEWEIGHT TRIPODS We take a five very different tripods at a range of prices and put them through their paces to see which is worth the cash. From carbon fibre to aluminium, single-tube legs to traditional twin- tube, and even a hybrid tripod that has multiple uses, we take a look at some stunning sticks. 92 BUYERS’ GUIDE: AUDIO EQUIPMENT Take a look at our guide to some of the very best sound equipment you can buy. From XLR- and DSLR-style mics to recorders, wind jammers, wireless kits and more, we probe the professional sound gear that deserves a place in your kit bag.
SPRING 2020 PRO MOVIEMAKER
AGENDA CAMCORDER TRIO
sees the light Panasonic
A built-in LED light is just one of the technical innovations on a range of featherweight 4K 60p professional cameras WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH T he first lightweight pro camcorders with built-in illumination have been revealed by Panasonic, aimed at broadcast
rates (although autofocus still works). Recording at 10-bit is supported, and full-frame images with the image area uncropped is recorded, even at high frame rates. In terms of autofocus, it is contrast- detect only – but there is Face Detection AF and AE. Subject tracking with colour recognition can be activated by just touching the LCD panel. For manual focusing there are various Focus Assist functions, including Expand, Peaking and One-push AF. In both UHD and FHD, the camera combines the len’s Optical Image Stabilisation systemwith Electronic Image Stabilisation in five axes, including rotational blurring. Taking a leaf from the just-launched Panasonic S1Hmirrorless camera, the camcorders have a newly developed fan that pulls in air from the rear panel of the camera and disperses it from the front panel, to allow 4K 60p recording with no time limits. There is a bright, new 3.5-inch touchscreen monitor
audio recording. They record video in 4:2:2 10-bit to an SD card in 4k/30p and 60p in FHD using the high-efficiency HEVC codec. Built-in Wi-Fi supports HD livestreaming using just the camcorder. The flagship £2299/ $TBA CX10 supports the broadcast-ready P2 MXF file format, including AVC-Intra100 and AVC- Intra50, which are due via a future update in summer 2020. It is also equipped with Ethernet HD Live Streaming and an NDI- HX compatible IP connection function, with connectivity for use as a live camera. The £1849/$TBA X2000 and £1449/$TBA X1500 don’t have the MXF file option. When set to 10-bit, the camcorders deliver 4K 60p 4:2:2 via HDMI output for external recording. HEVC recording – LongGOP, 10-bit 4:2:0 in MOV – is also supported for recording 59.97p at a high bit rate of 200 Mbps. File formats are MOV, MP4 and AVCHD, plus MXF for the CX10. In FHD, slow-motion recording at up to 120fps is possible, but no audio is recorded at 100fps or 120fps frame
professionals, news gatherers and live streamers. A family of three of the smallest and lightest 4K 60p camcorders – the X1500, X2000 and CX10 – use a 8.29-megapixel ½.5-type CMOS sensor and a bright Leica f/1.8-5 24x zoom, which ranges from the equivalent of 25mm at the wide end to 600mm at telephoto. The two higher-spec models come with a built-in video light as part of the handle grip (the light can be bought as an accessory for the lower-spec X1500 model). The handle unit also has two-channel XLR audio input, as well as audio controls. The newmodels might be among the smallest and lightest cameras on the market, but are designed for professional use. They have two manual rings to control the lens, built-in ND filters and 24-bit high resolution Linear PCM
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HANDS ONWITH THE NEWPANASONICS
end is an eye-opening experience, and the advanced image stabilisation does a great job of keeping everything relatively shake-free, even handheld. The range replaces the X1000 camera, and the cameras are not only significantly smaller – the X2000, for example, has a body size of 129x159x257mm/5.08x6.26x10.1in – but out-spec the popular X1000, too. The X1000 had lots of the same technology as the GH4 mirrorless camera range, but the new camcorders share technology from the latest GH5 range. There are no V-Log gamma settings, but the units do have two flat cine-style settings, to maximise dynamic range. All three cameras have a professional, robust feel, with good build quality. They all offer full manual control, plus auto modes so they can potentially be handed to an assistant to use as a point-and-shoot, behind-the-scenes or B camera.
If you want to make cinematic-style Hollywood blockbuster-type films, with wafer-thin depth-of-field thanks to a massive sensor – then the new Panasonics aren’t for you. But for covering events, news gathering and for easy livestreaming to Facebook or YouTube, they offer an affordable, high-quality option that allows professional controls. They are the first Panasonic camcorders to provide built-in Wi-Fi, and the top two models have 3G-SDI output. This means you can offer your clients easy livestreaming to the most popular live services, and still record in a high-quality format for high-quality editing afterwards. Weighing in at just 1.5kg/3.31lb complete with handle, lens hood and battery, the cameras are very light and compact, and have a super-wide zoom range (although an optional super-wide adapter could be useful for extreme angles). Zooming into the 600mm long
with 2760K-dots of resolution, and a 1555K-dot tiltable viewfinder. The image being recorded can be also seen on the LCD monitor while viewing it on the EVF. The battery does not protrude when attached and enables around 4.5 hours of continual operation. For streaming there is built-in Wi-Fi, so there is no need for a separate wireless LAN module. A smartphone app allows wireless remote control of camera and lens settings, and RTSP/RTP/ RTMP/RTMPS-compatible HD streaming allows direct connection via Facebook and YouTube. transmission and camera control by IP connection can be obtained without an external converter. The CX10 is on sale in April, a month after the X2000 and X1500. The CX10 has an NDI-HX mode via wired LAN capability, so data
IMAGES In use, the new Panasonic camcorders feel robust and solid, while delivering high-quality footage for events and news on the go
“Subject trackingwith colour recognition can be activated by just touching the LCD panel”
More information www.panasonic.com
SPRING 2020 PRO MOVIEMAKER
Canon’s new pro-level EOS-1D XMark III hits back at the mirrorless onslaught with incredible new technology
J ust when it seemed the DSLR had been overlooked as a professional filmmaking tool in favour of full-frame mirrorless cameras, Canon delivers its new£6500/$6500 EOS-1D XMark III. It might be designed primarily for professional sports photographers, but it has the highest spec of any non-cinema camera for filmmakers. The headline news is that it offers 5.5K 12-bit Raw video internal recording to twin CFExpress cards, the first camera outside the Canon cinema EOS range to offer Raw video. It also records uncropped 4K/60p with Canon Log in 10-bit 4:2:2, giving up 12 stops of dynamic range. Thanks to its new full-frame sensor and fast processor, the EOS-1DXMark III can record video as 12-bit CRMfile at 5.5K (5472x2886), allowing very detailed oversampled 4K footage. DCI 4K recording is possible using the full sensor area or in a croppedmode while 5.5K Raw uses the full width of the sensor. The camera can also record using Canon Log, captured as a 10-bit HEVC/H.265 file, and supports file recording in theMP4 format for fast transmission of files. In Log, the lower limit of the automatic setting range of ISO sensitivity is ISO 400. Other picture profiles are Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Fine Detail, Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome, plus three user- defined customised settings. The camera also shoots at 120fps in HDmode for super slow-motion. When shooting 100/120fps, the recording is limited to 7m29secs and is 8-bit, MPEG- 4 H.264 / AVC, and the recording format is MP4 only.
camcorder, rather than the super- fast snap-in of a stills camera. This Movie Servo AFmodemeans you can set tracking sensitivity, AF speed and Face Tracking priority. Using Touch AF on the rear screen, you can track focus by touching the relevant area. Subject tracking in moviemode is improved due to the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system’s ability tomaintain focus whenworking within changing scenery. The new EOS-1 has a fast new DIGIC X processor, 20.1-megapixel sensor and brand newmirror system and shutter. This allows 16fps stills shooting when used with the optical viewfinder, but switch to live view and the camera can shoot stills at 20fps withmechanical or electronic shutter, with full AF. The new sensor offers Canon’s widest ISO range yet, with extended settings from ISO 50-819,200. It’s the first camera to use a High Detail Low-Pass Filter, which samples the light point over a greater number of points, achieving sharper and higher resolution images while preventingmoiré. It’s the first of Canon’s pro EOS-1 series cameras to feature built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. TheWi-Fi can be used for FTP or connecting via EOS Utility, as well as connecting to a smartphone. Its Bluetooth connectivity uses the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol, providing a constant connection to a compatible smart device yet requiringminimal battery power. By opening Canon Camera Connect, the EOS-1D X Mark III automatically connects to compatible devices, allowing image review, sharing, and remote Live View shooting.
It’s the first EOS-1 series camera to support Move Digital IS – providing five-axis image stabilisation as found in the Canon EOS C500Mark II cinema camera, which costs almost three times the price. However, this doesn’t work when shooting Raw. The EOS-1D XMark III also uses Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus in 4K and Rawmode, apart from at 50/60p. The new EOS iTR AF X autofocus systemuses 191 focus points and enables Face Tracking and Head Detection AF functions. These use what Canon calls Deep Learning Technology, tomaintain focus onmoving subjects. When working in live view, Dual Pixel CMOS AF uses 3869manually selectable points and provides a smooth, natural focusing quality similar to the smoothness of a
ABOVE A rugged, weather-sealed exterior houses a whole heap of tricks and gizmos for serious filmmakers
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RIGHT The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III offers very good connectivity, in the shape of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
WORKING WITH RAW
To process the EOS-1D X Mark III’s Raw files you have to use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional 4 software, where you make adjustments and then export your clips to your editing software. It’s likely some plug-ins will be available to use in the most popular NLEs, and some sort of dedicated Canon Cinema Raw software will follow soon, too. Working in Raw adds complexity and huge file sizes, so to combat this the camera can record 4K proxy files in MP4 at the same time as recording Raw internally. So, you can edit the proxy files then replace with the high-res versions converted from Raw at the final stage. Sadly, there is no Canon Raw Light version, as found in the C200 cinema camera. Shooting 5.5K Raw at 24p fills up a 256GB card in under 20
minutes, as the data rate is 1800Mbps. Upping it to 5.5K Raw at 60p, the rate is 2600Mbps, so there’s even more of a strain on cards and hard drives.
There is inbuilt GPS to capture location data to images, and the camera transfers data faster than the EOS-1D XMark II when using the built-in ethernet, or a new optional wireless file transmitter. As it’s designed for outdoor shooters, the body ismagnesium alloy with full weather sealing. The control buttons now illuminate for low-light use, and the new battery is good for 2850 still shots per charge. Of course, being a DSLR, in video mode themirror flips up and blocks the viewfinder, so only the rear screen is visible. To use the camera with a viewfinder, therefore, you will have to buy either a loupe or accessory EVF that plugs into the HDMI socket. canon.com widest ISO range yet, with extended settings fromISO 50–819,200” “The new sensor offers Canon’s
SPRING 2020 PRO MOVIEMAKER
NikonD780gets mirrorless spec
The £2199/$2299 F-mount D780 is a replacement for the six-year-old D750 and has a fast, dedicated hybrid AF system for Live View shooting in video or stills, and a fast, 51-point phase detection AF system for viewfinder shooting. In Live View, the camera uses the same 273-point hybrid AF autofocus system as used in the Nikon Z 6 mirrorless camera. There is eye detection AF for stills only and low-light AF that works down to -6 EV. The sensor is a 24.5-megpixel full-frame CMOS sensor using Nikon’s EXPEED 6 image processor. The D780 boasts a wide ISO range of ISO 100–51,200, extendable up to 204,800 and down to ISO50. The 0.70x optical viewfinder gives 100% coverage, while the tilting 2359k-dot LCD monitor offers touch shutter release and AF. For stills use, the camera shoots at up to 7fps when using the viewfinder and 12fps during Live View shooting. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000sec, and there is in-camera time-lapse. Nikon is expected to launch the specs of its flagship D6 DSLR soon, to compete with the new Canon EOS-1 DX Mark III. A mock-up of the camera was unveiled at the CES show in Las Vegas in January, but no details were revealed. nikon.com
Nikon has revealed a new D780 full-frame DSLR that uses lots of the technology seen in the company’s full-frame mirrorless cameras. The 6K image sensor resolution is used to produce 4K/UHD footage at 30p/25p/24p with zero crop factor, and you can record in Nikon’s own N-Log colour gamma for maximum dynamic range. You can also shoot 4K in DX cropped mode. When recording in HD, fast frame rates up to 120fps are supported. And by using an external recorder, 10-bit and HLG HDR footage can be captured. There are two SD slots, plus a headphone jack, mic jack, mini HDMI, USB-C connection; the screen tilts but does not fold out. There are zebra and peaking tools for nailing exposure and focus.
Nikon has unveiled its AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR superzoom. Available soon, it costs £9500/$9500, weighs around 3.2kg/7lb, and has a claimed four stops of image stabilisation. It uses ED and fluorite elements, and a new Short Wavelength Refracting (SR) element to reduce chromatic aberrations. The lens can focus down to two metres/6.5 feet at all focal lengths. Aimed at sport and wildlife shooters, it’s weather-sealed and features Nikon’s Arneo and Nano Crystal coatings, with a front element coated in fluorine to repel water and oil. The lens has switches for AF/MF, focus distance limiter, VR mode, memory recall/ AF-L/AF-On and a focus confirmation beep.
Fast telezoomfor mirrorless Z cams
The new Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S (£2399/$2599) is the first full-frame telephoto zoom to fit Nikon’s Z-mount mirrorless cameras. It offers five stops of vibration reduction when used with the Z 6 and Z 7’s in-body image stabilisation. The lens has both internal focus and zoom, and is designed for minimal focus breathing. According to Nikon, it is parfocal, so the subject remains in focus Wavelength Refracting (SR) to reduce longitudinal chromatic aberration, as well as one fluorite, six ED and two aspherical elements. It also features Nikon’s Nano Crystal and Arneo coatings to minimise flare. The weather-sealed lens weighs in at 1.4kg/3lb and uses 77mm filters. A customisable control ring allows for quick adjustment of aperture or exposure compensation, and a digital display shows aperture and focus distance. as you zoom– essential for filmmakers. It has 21 elements, including one Short
RIGHT At last, a full- frame telephoto lens for Nikon’s Z mount mirrorless cameras
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If you want to carry around your DSLR or mirrorless kit in stealth but with a retro style, then Think Tank’s new Retrospective camera backpack might be just what you need. The 15-litre size classic-styled rucksack features rugged yet form-fitting canvas that is treated to repel the elements. A zipped flap under the lid tucks away to provide rapid top access, while the back panel offers full access to your gear including a 15in laptop. There is a tripod attachment on the side or front panel, two collapsible water bottle pockets, a removable webbing waist belt and it comes with a rain cover. It comes in black or stone colours for £229/ $229. snapperstuff.co.uk THINK IT’S TIME TO GO RETRO?
Fingerprint security fromSamsung
The first built-in fingerprint scanner to an SSD is an addition to password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption. The T7 Touch has a solid aluminium casing to make it rugged yet weighs just 58g/0.13lb. Available in black or silver, it comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes, for £130/$130, £196/$230 and £366/$400 respectively. It comes with a USB Type-C-to-C cable and a USB Type-C-to-A cable, and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Android operating systems. A standard version without the fingerprint technology will follow later this year. samsung.com
Samsung has revealed a new addition to its already large range of external storage devices with the portable T7 Touch SSD, which features a built- in fingerprint scanner for the ultimate in personal security. The unit is sleek and compact and has the fastest transfer speeds currently available for the USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard. The SSD T7 Touch has a read speed of 1,050MB/s and a write speed of 1,000MB/s, which is roughly twice as fast as its predecessor, the T5, and up to 9.5 times faster than external HDDs. The T7 Touch can reach its maximum speed when used with the NVMe interface.
World famous British lens maker Cooke has revealed its full range of anamorphic full-frame lenses in both standard and special flair coatings to give a unique, more vintage flare. The set now includes 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, 135mm and 180mm, and a brand new 85mmmacro will go on sale soon. All focal lengths feature a 1.8x squeeze and a T2.3 stop, except for the 85mmwhich is T2.8. They could be an ideal rental option for a use on a full-frame Panasonic S1Hmirrorless camera, for example. Cooke also has a new 35mm-140mm Anamorphic/i SF zoom lens. Like the primes, the lens’ characteristics are designed for a specific dimensionality, roll-off and edge fall-off for the unique ‘Cooke look’. cookeoptics.com BRITISHANAMORPHICS FOR FULL-FRAME
One of the UK’s top retailers, Wex Photo Video, will open the doors to two new stores in 2020, expanding to nine locations. A brand new, 3000 sq ft store in Milton Keynes will be open seven days a week. And an even bigger new showroom in Birmingham has already opened. It will host a variety of exhibitions, talks and workshops plus product demonstrations from major photo and video manufacturers. wexphotovideo.com Wexwidens itswares
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2020
Lots of new kit, great workshops and many top cinematographers gathered at Battersea in London to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the British Society of Cinematographers, at the BSC Expo. There were lots of new products from major manufacturers such as Red, Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, Arri, Panavision, Cooke, enabling visitors to test products such as the Steadicam, Arri Trinity, Easy Rig, ReadyRig and Tillta, and a chance to examine the latest in motion control. For the first time a monitor wall featured more than 35 monitors, ranging from five to 17 inches, synced via a video router to enable genuine like-for-like comparisons. Cinema big guns come toLondon Atomos, Sigma and Panasonic, as well as the Canon C500 Mark II and EOS-1D X Mark III, and the Sony PXW-FX9. Mega-retailer CVP had the largest stand, with a huge lens bar displaying glass from Zeiss, Cooke, Arri, Angenieux, Leitz, Canon, Sigma, Sony, Kowa and more. There was a newWearable Zone,
Apair of new Trimasters
MTF REVEAL AFFORDABLE KIT British firmMTF revealed a range of affordable yet high-quality kit, including a lens mount service for L-mount, a Sirui anamorphic lens and a new range of good-value tripods. The lens conversion kit allows you to fit Fujinon MK zoom lenses to the Leica L-mount – as used on the new Panasonic S1H and Sigma fp full-frame mirrorless cameras – and costs £270/$355. The company has also revealed an L-mount to PL adapter for £438/$577. MTF will now be importing Sirui’s extensive range of video tripods, heads and gimbals, as well as the Chinese company’s first lens – the 50mm anamorphic. This f/1.8 1.33x manual focus optic comes in a Sony E mount, MFT or Fujifilm X Mount and covers a Super35 image circle. Price has not yet been confirmed but should be around £700/$775. mtfservices.com
reducing backlight brightness in low-luminance areas. The Dynamic Contrast Drive also changes backlight luminance, to adapt to each scene or frame when transferring images from the newmonitors to existing Sony OLED ones. No prices have been announced, but the monitors go on sale in July. Sony marked its return to the BSC show by demonstrating its latest FX9 full-frame cinema camera, and its Venice cinema camera. The latter has had a firmware upgrade to shoot 90fps at 6K 2.39:1 and HD ProRes 4444 internal recording. sony.co.uk
Sony has revealed a new set of high-grade location monitors from its Trimaster range, the 24-inch PVM-X2400 and the 18.4-inch PVM-X1800, which offer ultra- high definition of 3840x2160 pixels, and all-white luminance of 1000 cd/m2. The wide colour gamut matches the industry- standard BVM-HX310 Trimaster HX master monitor, so is ideal for getting colours right on set. The monitors are compatible with 4K HDR production and feature new Black Detail High/ Mid/Low adjustment. This helps maintain accurate colours by
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2020
American monitor expert SmallHD unveiled what is claimed to be the world‛s brightest and toughest 24in production monitor at the BSC show in London. The 2403HB features an aluminium chassis for durability and is 25% lighter than the previous 24in high-bright model. The monitor has 1600nits of brightness, so is ideal for outdoor productions. It has two 3G-SDI and HDMI inputs/ outputs, 1920x1080 resolution and will be on sale soon for $2999. A UK price has not yet been announced. smallhd.com SmallHDgo big and super bright!
The price of shooting Red cameras has just dropped as British firm Kippertie has revealed the Red-approved memory to fit the American- made cameras. Its Longtake SSDmags cost £1620/$2139 for a 2TB memory drive, where the official Red Mini- Mag is only available at less than half the capacity, 960GB for £2340/$2350. The Longtake mags use an SSDmodule made in China for Samsung, while the rest of the drive is made in England. The Longtake 2TB is an M.2 SATA device, where the Red Mini-Mag is mSATA. The 2TB drive can be supplied with a USB-C Gen.2 port, for fast offloading to hard drives. This port is covered and deactivated when the mag is in use by the camera, but provides high-speed offload without a mag reader. Inside is a Samsung 860 EVO M.2 SATA SSD, rated for over 450MB/s sustained write speed even at 80°C. It also comes with data recovery software. For many years Red has refused to allow any other manufacturer to make memory to fit its cameras and their high prices have often been a big stumbling block for filmmakers. kippertie.com LONGTAKE CUTS RED MEMORY COST
PAY-AS-YOU-GO COLOUR GRADING
increasingly varied flavours of Log,” he says. “Most filmmakers just need their projects to look crisp, clean, realistic and consistent. Our services were only really serving the top 5% of users and a considerably larger segment of filmmakers was essentially being ignored. We aim to give a great and affordable service to commercial filmmakers who can work out precisely howmuch it will cost. “We don’t use LUTs. We assess the dynamic range of your shots using a waveformmonitor and make sure your black and white points are placed precisely, retaining as much highlight and shadow detail as possible.” Filmmakers send a flattened, edited file which is colour corrected to make it technically perfect, rather than having a stylised look put on it. “We do not apply a creative look. So black will be black, white will be white and skin will be natural.” justgrade.it
Getting the colours of your films accurate and consistent between different shots has always been a tricky but vital process, and one that many filmmakers struggle to get right. High-end professional grading is often just too expensive for most smaller productions, so lots of filmmakers try it do it themselves or add a LUT in the hope it’ll magically solve everything. Top British colourist Ollie Kenchington is coming to the rescue by offering a new service of professional post-production colour grading charged per minute of finished film. For £69/$91 per minute of delivered footage, his new Just Grade It company offers professional colour services for footage up to 8K in all codecs including Log and HDR. Subscription plans are available and you can even try the service for free with a short clip. “Clients now expect you to provide professional colour-grading services from
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2020
GEAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Kit that’s better than all the rest gets the votes of thousands of working filmmakers – in the annual ProMoviemaker Gear of the Year Awards P rofessional filmmaking is all about creative ideas, a clear vision to fulfil the brief, and the skills and experience of the people involved to We’d like to think of the awards as the Oscars of filmmaking equipment. They’re the only awards where the gear is voted for by the people who use it, rely on it and put it through its paces, continually, in a professional, working environment. The stars of the show tend to be stabilisers, tripods, audio, lighting, hard drives, editing software and lots more are vital equipment. All have been chosen by readers of Pro Moviemaker magazine and users of our website, who have voted for
pull it off. But technology and equipment play a massive part in turning that vision into a final film. Well-designed, reliable equipment is essential for the working filmmakers who call on their gear every day to make a living. And honouring the companies who make and sell the hardware and software we all rely on so heavily is what the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards are all about.
the products that make a difference. Those votes have been counted and it’s time to reveal the winners of the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards. For the first time this year we are also giving out six Editor’s Choice awards, for products we feel deserve special recognition in some key categories. Read on to find out what kit has been named as simply the best!
cameras, and we have seen lots of new launches in all the different categories, as well as established cameras continuing to be popular over the past year. The winners may surprise you, as it’s not always the newest that take the honours. Of course, cameras are just one part of the filmmaking process. Lenses,
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2020
SHURE ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
Be Shure of excellent audio The VP83 is a robust yet light camera-topmicrophone that ensures top-quality sound for your films
C risp and clear audio is crucial to all filmmakers, and getting it right can be as easy as putting a highly-directional shotgun microphone from leading sound specialists Shure on top of your DSLR or mirrorless camera. The Shure VP83 is a camera-mounted condenser microphone that allows you to capture detailed audio with any camera that has a standard 3.5mm mic input, or portable audio recorders for even better quality sound. The VP83 is small and portable and comes with a windscreen, a three-position audio gain switch, switchable low-cut filter and Rycote Lyre shock mounting to cut out any vibrations. It’s a plug-and- play solution that always deserves a place in your bag, ready for use. The Shure VP83 is designed for very natural audio reproduction with its wide frequency range, high sensitivity, low self-noise and full low-end response. And its shotgun-style construction enables it to provide a supercardioid/lobar polar pattern, which is the most tightly directional pickup pattern possible, effectively blocking out extraneous background noise.
“The VP83 has a durable, all-metal construction designed to legendary Shure- quality standards” There is a three-position audio gain switch of -10 dB, 0 dB or +20 dB, which lets you compensate for the loudness of different sources, so you can record anything from loud music to whisper- quiet speaking with no fuss. A switchable low-cut filter reduces pickup of distracting low-frequency background noise, too, so you can get rid of annoying hum from things like air conditioning units to ensure the focus is totally on the subject. And thanks to Shure’s legendary audio technology, the VP83 has a stunning level of RF immunity to protect against unwanted audio artefacts from nearby cellular and radio devices. It’s typical of the level of engineering that’s gone into the VP83,
and just one of the reasons it has been awarded the Editor’s Choice in the Microphone DSLR category of the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year awards. The VP83 comes with a foam windscreen to protect against wind noise when shooting outdoors without impacting sound quality. But for really blustery conditions, it’s also fully compatible with the Rycote Windjammer synthetic fur windscreen for truly professional results. The Shure VP83 can run for up to 130 hours from a single AA alkaline battery, and has a standard-size hotshoe or coldshoe mount for on-camera use. And there is a standard ¼in thread on the unit’s base, for easy mounting on a stand for off-camera use. “Shure has long been one of the legendary names in microphone technology and its expertise really shines through with the VP83,” says Pro Moviemaker editor, Adam Duckworth. “It is ultra lightweight at just 133g, yet has a durable, all-metal construction designed to legendary Shure-quality standards that will keep on delivering top-quality audio for a very long time.”
SPRING 2020 PRO MOVIEMAKER
GEAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS CAMERAS
For full-sensor 4.6K images you can go as high as 120fps, while windowed 4K DCI and 4Kmaxes out at 150fps, and windowed 2K DCI and 1080 HD gives the headline 300fps, all in Blackmagic Raw. When recording in ProRes 422 HQ, this drops to 4.6K 80fps, windowed 4K at 120fps and HD at 240fps. When Blackmagic launched the Ursa Mini Pro a couple of years ago, we said that, for the money, there’s nothing on the market to come close to it in terms of spec, usability and quality of the footage. The new G2 improves on the quality, adds insane frame rates and costs the same as the oldmodel when it was launched. In the mirrorless category, Sony’s A7 III took the honours, despite it not being specifically aimed at filmmakers. It makes a great camera for video use, with fantastic quality, resolution, tonal range, sharpness and colours that you’d expect from the latest high- tech sensors made by Sony. It evenmakes the videocentric Sony A7S II look underwhelming. As a pure video camera, the A7 III largely outperforms the 12.4-megapixel A7S II just about everywhere, apart from at the very highest ISO where the S model has a slight edge. And for shooting slowmotion at 120fps, the Smodel uses a 2.2x crop, so the A7 III is significantly better and even cheaper. As purely a video tool,
The digital camera is the beating heart of every filmmaker’s kit, and choosing the right one is something that canmake a real difference to not only the quality of your films, but how easy they are tomake. The past year has not only seen some amazing newmodels hit the market in the cinema camera, mirrorless and camcorder categories – DSLRs continue to be a popular choice for the working pro. Pro Moviemaker readers have voted for their clear favourites. For cinema cameras, one emerged as the winner by a big margin thanks to its amazing spec and price, and proof you don’t need to have a full-frame sensor to pack in the latest tech. The Super 35 Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro G2 builds on the older Ursa Mini Pro by speeding it up, so it has frame rates to embarrass just about anything else on the market, adds some of the very latest spec and colour science – but keeps the list price the same. The Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is one of the best-performing, most affordable cinema cameras you can buy. It has fast new electronics, and a new Super 35 4.6K HDR image sensor that gives up to 15 stops of dynamic range. The old data-hungry (and largely unpopular) CinemaDNG Raw has gone, replaced by the faster Blackmagic Raw. This allows the camera to shoot in up to 300fps in some codecs – faster than anything else on the market apart from super-exotic cameras that just do fast frames and very little else.
RIGHT The G2 version of the Ursa Mini Pro sets new standards for Super35 cameras in terms of frame rates
Cinema camera • Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro G2 Editor’s Choice: Canon EOS C200 Mirrorless • Sony A7 III Editor’s Choice: Fujifilm X-T3 DSLR • Canon EOS 5DMark IV Camcorder • JVC GY-HC500
then, the A7 III is a winner, as it borrows heavily from the
Canon’s EOS C200 is the Editor’s Choice in the Cinema Camera class, as it packs the sensor of the far pricier Canon C700 and C300 Mark II into a much smaller and lighter body. This makes for a similarly huge ISO and dynamic range, plus all the regular pro features like dual XLR inputs, built-in ND filters and the tall body style Canon users have become accustomed to. And it can be stripped down for use on gimbals and big drones. But the ace up the C200’s sleeve is that it shoots Raw and records it internally. No need for a paid firmware upgrade or external recorder as it writes to a CFast card. The C200’s Raw gives better results than far more expensive cameras, with its gorgeous 12-bit Raw Light format. Shoot Raw and you are rewarded with the ultimate in quality that you can grade as you please. It’s more work, but you can definitely tell the difference. EDITOR’S CHOICE: CANON EOS C200
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2020
EDITOR’S CHOICE: FUJIFILM X-T3
The Fujifilm X-T3 is winner of the Editor’s Choice award in the mirrorless category. A great all- rounder, it’s affordable and has great video spec. It may look like the older X-T2 but has more resolution from an all-new sensor, is faster in terms of file processing (with the knock-on effect of quicker autofocus and frame rates), has the viewfinder of the flagship X-H1, and video spec that outperforms it. Thanks to the new sensor and processor that’s triple the speed, the X-T3 out-performs the X-H1 in just about all areas – except for the reinforced lens mount, and the X Series omits in-body stabilisation. It can also record 4K video at 60p, something that’s become the new industry standard but not one that
many cameras can do yet. The X-T3 might not have the full- frame sensor of some of its rivals, but it’s smaller, cheaper, and a great all- round performer.
professional campaign, as well as 4K video footage. And in the all-in-one camcorder category there is no shortage of innovation, with higher resolution, bigger sensors, improved audio, better codec and live streaming capabilities really becoming increasingly important. It’s the company that focuses on streaming technology that has taken the award, with JVC’s HC500. It uses a one-inch 4K CMOS sensor, plus a 20x lens with traditional three-ring control. There is a high-resolution viewfinder, and the camera can record up to 12 stops of dynamic range with support for standard, HDR and HLG colour. It uses the latest generation codec that’s also used in JVC’s HC900 shoulder-mount camera, and it can record to SSDmedia in 10-bit ProRes 422 at 4K in 50/60p frame rates. And, of course, there is class-leading connectivity, offering live streaming, FTP file transfer and remote camera control.
sports-orientated A9 flagship, using a version of its very advanced autofocus system for amazingly quick and accurate AF. It is Sony’s best-ever mirrorless camera for shooting video. The DSLR camera still has a place in the bag of the professional filmmaker, although it’s unlikely to be the main camera nowadays. Many filmers started offwith a Canon EOS 5DMark II, as it was the camera that kickstarted the whole full-frame HD video revolution. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the latest version of that camera, the Canon EOS 5DMark IV, once again took top honours as the choice of Pro Moviemaker readers for DSLR of the year. It might not have the spec of big brother EOS-1D XMark II, but it’s smaller andmore affordable, and, of course, takes EF lenses that many already own. Now capable of shooting Canon Log, the EOS 5D Mark IV is a genuine hybrid camera that can shoot stills worthy of a
BELOW Innovation in live streaming has bagged this year’s all-in-one camcorder award for the JVC HC500
SPRING 2020 PRO MOVIEMAKER
MANFROTTO ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
The science of excellence Manfrotto’s award-winning Nitrotech tripod head uses revolutionary fluid technology to produce perfectly smooth and counterbalancedmovements W hether you’re on location or in the studio, using one of the latest crop of compact cameras or a large RIGHT Manfrotto’s Nitrotech 600 fluid video head series features a precise, continuous counterbalance system for smooth, controlled movements
cinema camera loaded with accessories, Manfrotto’s Nitrotech video head provides not only the silky smooth fluid movements you need, but also the confidence that your gear is going to stay perfectly balanced at every angle. Today’s storytellers – from vloggers to outdoor and travel videographers, independent content creators or even the most demanding high-end broadcast professionals – need equipment that works flawlessly every time to allow them to concentrate on their creativity. And the new Nitrotech 600 series, which has been voted a winner in the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards, uses Manfrotto’s revolutionary fluid technology in an open, sleek design to deliver incredible levels of performance and style. The Nitrotech system is an industry- first, using pressurised nitrogen to control the counterbalance of the camera and lens, meaning you never need to worry about the camera suddenly taking a nosedive. And it works for a huge range of cameras, from the lightest compact camera to an 8kg/17.6lb cinema camera and matching lens plus accessories on the Nitrotech 608 model, to a huge 12kg/26.4lb on the Nitrotech 612 version.
“The newNitrotech 600 series has a sleek design and delivers incredible levels of performance”
it can quickly be used on all the latest video accessories such as sliders, gimbals, jibs, cranes and dollies. It gives the head incredible versatility in a huge range of applications. To use it on a tripod with a bowl top, it mates up perfectly with a Manfrotto Half Ball kit. The Nitrotech 600 also has a 3/8-inch Easy Link connector built on the side, designed to accommodate Manfrotto arms equipped with an anti-rotation system or arms equipped with Arri locating pins in order to fasten external monitors or other accessories. Top-quality materials and precision construction from a company that has been making well-engineered photo and video products for decades means a Nanotech 600 series head is an investment in a serious bit of professional-level video equipment that will deliver for decades. With such a huge range of payloads that can be used, it will work for all your growing camera needs and it exceeds the most demanding filmmakers’ needs for precision, speed, versatility, fluidity and performance.
The Nitrotech 600 series head’s precise, continuous counterbalance system (CBS) uses a redesigned and ergonomic CBS knob, which is easy to adjust and safely holds your precious camera equipment in perfect equilibrium. What matters most when using a video head is smooth, controlled movements in both panning and tilting and the Nitrotech head controls this with professional-level fluid cartridges for both movements. This variable fluid drag system (FDS) lets you dial in the precise amount of controlled drag to suit your camera and the speed of movement that you need, which results in beautiful, judder-free shots. And the FDS control knob has a new camera to the head, the Nanotech 600 series has a fast, quick-release fitting, so you simply lower your camera into place from above and it clicks in firmly. You then lock and unlock it from the side. This side-lock sliding plate mechanism is fast, safe and easy to use. The sliding mounting plate is long enough to work for most camera combinations, and is marked with a metric ruler to make the set up even easier, every time. There’s also an illuminated bubble spirit level on the base to aid speedy set up of the head, even when it’s dark. The Nitrotech 600 series has a flat base, so rubber cover for enhanced grip. To quickly and securely fix your
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2020
Zoom lens • Sigma 18-35mm T2 Prime lens • Zeiss CP.3 XD 50mm T2.1 Lens accessory • Schneider-Kreuznach True-Streak filter
little aberration or vignetting, and is as close to being parfocal and free of focus breathing that the vast majority of users will ever need. The Sigma 18-35mmT2 is a fast, useful and well-built lens. Accessories for your lenses can make a big difference. This year, you voted in big numbers for such goodies as the Vocas MB-256matte box and SLRMagic Anamorphot adapter to give the cinemascope look for affordable money. But in the end it was the Schneider-Kreuznach True-Streak filter that was voted the clear winner. The True-Streak filter is available in lots of subtly different options so you can choose the precise look for each shot, and are designed to recreate the classic anamorphic streak effect without the use of eye-wateringly expensive anamorphic lenses. Traditionally, the blue True-Streak filters are used to create this effect so beloved of sci-fi filmmakers, but Schneider offers eight other colour options to choose from, as well as clear. With a wide aperture, highlights take on the lovely anamorphic flare that can give a great look to a shot for creative effect. OK, it’s not a real anamorphic flare – but it comes pretty close. The quality provided by the filters is incredible, and it shows why Schneider is at the top of its game when it comes to supplying kit for professional filmmakers.
compact without compromising on optical quality. The lens coatings have been improved for sharper images with less ghosting, and there is smoother focusing thanks to an internal redesign. CP.3s also have user-interchangeable lens mounts to fit EF, PL, Nikon F, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E. For the ultimate in framing flexibility and to replace a whole set of prime lenses, many filmmakers swear by zooms – despite their smaller maximum apertures. Proper cine zooms are parfocal and have little focus breathing, but DSLR or mirrorless-style lenses can have advanced autofocus and image stabilisation. The winner is definitely in the former class, as the Sigma 18-35mmT2 cine zoom is the Pro Moviemaker victor. Any zoom lens is always a compromise, as you can’t break the laws of physics and get ultra-fast maximum aperture, zero distortion, a total lack of focus breathing and a total parfocal lens all in one light package. However, the Sigma 18- 35mm comes pretty close to it. With its fast T2 aperture, it can replace a set of fast primes with a shallow depth-of-field and image quality that almost match them. The images are crisp and contrasty without being too clinical, the lens controls flare well and produces pleasing flare when pushed, has smooth bokeh, very
Quality always stands the test of time, and nowhere is this more true than with lenses. Readers of Pro Moviemaker have had their say and voted for their choice of lens and lens accessories, and it’s top quality optics that have clearly won through in all three classes, rather than budget glass. Good lenses can last for a lifetime and hold their value, and if you go for any of our winners then you’re on to a good thing. If you are a total convert to the look and feel of prime lenses, thanks to the fast maximum aperture with lots of blades to give smooth bokeh, as well as uncompromised quality, then you can’t go wrong if you buy our Prime lens of the year: the Zeiss CP.3 XD 50mmT2.1. Of course primes can be autofocus, but many filmmakers love the feel of proper manual-focus cine lenses, with their lack of focus breathing and precise focus control (and they can be very compact). All those factors come together in the Zeiss CP.3 series, which in the latest XD guise offers communication with your camera. The Zeiss CP.3 range is based on the successful CP.2 range but is more
ABOVE The cine zoom from Sigma and cine prime from Zeiss are top quality
lenses that will deliver for years
“For the ultimate in framing flexibility, many filmmakers swear by zooms”
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