Sony's popular A7S Mark II and A7R Mark II have had their prices cut in Europe. Official dealers are offering up £500 or 600Euros off the Sony mirrorless cameras which are often bought by filmmakers. In the UK, it means the high-resolution A7R Mark II has dropped from £2999 to £2499 and the more film-ready A7S Mark II from £2899 to £2499 at many retailers.
Both cameras has a similar price increase last summer, blamed on currency fluctuations and other global factors at the time.
The move fuels speculation that Sony is getting ready to reveal Mark III versions of the cameras.
Canon has revealed new firmware for many of its cameras including the C700, C 100 Mark I and II, XC10, XC15 and ME series.
Of most interest is the change to the C100 Mark II which allows a shutter angle priority mode. This maintains the shutter angle when frames rate are changed and is ideal for switching between normal speed and slow-motion. Sony cameras have this feature and it’s been very popular.
The C100 Mark II also now works better with the popular EF 24-105 f/4 L Mark II lens, compensating for changes in aperture as you zoom. The Mark I C100 gets the similar peripheral illumination correction for the 24-105mm lens as well as 50mm f/1.8 STM, 35mm f/1.4L and 18-135mm EF-S zoom.
The range-topping C700 gets extra recording modes when using the Codex recorder, including 4K/QFHD ProRes, 4.5K Max at 100fps, 4.5K cinescope at 120fps and 422 HQ 10 bit at 60fps.
The XC10 and XC15 hybrid cameras get increased compatibility with 130-standard CFast cards, and the ME cube cameras have lots of updates including new auto exposure modes, improved white balance and monitor support, and support for more lenses.
All the firmware updates can be downloaded from the Canon download page.
Sony’s entry-level handheld XDCAM camcorders, the FS5 and Z150, are to get firmware upgrades in July to increase their capability to record HDR. For the FS5, Hybrid Log-Gamma will be supported, in addition to S-Log3. This mode can be set-up quickly through the option of the newly added picture profile. HLG mode will also be supported in the PXW-Z150.
It’s part of a raft of changes Sony has made to expand the HDR capabilities of many of its professional products, to meet the growing requirements for HDR content across all production genres.
The new enhancements deliver HD HDR Live broadcasting and Instant HDR workflow in products ranging from live camera systems, servers, monitors and camcorders via updates to software or firmware.
High Dynamic Range adds increased realism to moving images and creates a significantly more immersive viewing experience.
Fujifilm's push into the video market continues with a special offer of 25% discount on rental of all Fujifilm cameras and lenses from Hireacamera.com. The deal includes the latest XT-2 mirrorless camera and the GFX medium format camera, which shoots up to 30p in full HD from its large sensor. There is no news of whether the new MK cinema lenses will be included when they are released for general sale, but Hireacamera.com do say new lenses will be added to the rental stock when they are available. The official information says:
Camera technology has changed virtually beyond recognition over the years, and this is really obvious in the BBC's ground-breaking Planet Earth series. From film cameras of the 1980s to infra-red and thermal cameras, this behind-the-scenes documentary highlights what the teams use now to film their amazing night time scenes. The Red Dragon and the Sony A7S are highlighted as two of the tools that have transformed low-light filmmaking.
And if you want to see more, check out this feature and video of the making of Planet Earth II by our sister magazine Definition.
Blackmagic Design’s new URSA Mini Pro is a big upgrade from the current URSA Mini 4.6K, although it still uses that camera’s Super35 size sensor. The Pro model now features built-in ND filters, user-changeable lens mounts and a new control layout to make it faster and easier to use – especially for faster run-and-gun type work. It’s designed to mix a cinema-style camera with an ENG-type camera and is aimed at stealing sales from the popular Sony FS7 and Canon C300 Mark II.
The changeable lens mounts are unique in a camera of this type. The camera comes with a Canon EF mount, but you will be able to buy PL, B4 and Nikon mounts. You just unscrew the EF mount and bolt on the mount of your choice.
The camera has four card slots, two for C-Fast 2.0 and two SD. There will also be optional SSD recorder that fits between the camera and battery.
The LCD panel is now easier to read and there is a now a dedicated high frame rate button. Frame rates are the same as the URSA mini and go up to 60fps in 4.6L although you can overcrank to 120fps in a cropped 2K size.
The camera will record resolutions of 4608 x 2592, 4608 x 1920 (4.6K 2.40:1), 4096 x 2304 (4K 16:9), 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI), 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD), 3072 x 2560 (3K Anamorphic), 2048 x 1152 (2K 16:9), 2048×1080 (2K DCI), and 1920 x 1080.
The camera is available now for £5902/ $5995 and comes with a full version of DaVinci Resolve. The full press release says: