April 10, 2014

Early Footage, Full Specs, & Why the AJA CION is the Most Exciting New Camera at NAB 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.26.34 PMThis week has been a crazy one for camera announcements. Not only did Blackmagic blow the lid off of NAB once again with the announcement of the URSA camera, but Digital Bolex brought their A-game to the world of black and white cinematography, and Apertus (despite the fact that they couldn't make it to NAB) announced that the Axiom Beta is well on its way. Perhaps the most interesting camera announcement, however, came from hardware-manufacturer AJA, as they announced the arrival of a brand new 4K cinema camera simply called CION. We just got wind of the full specs on this camera, and even caught a glimpse of some early footage. Check it all out down below.

First and foremost, here's the product launch video for AJA CION, which contains a brief glimpse at the first footage from the new camera:

And here are all of the tech specs that AJA has listed on their website.

  • 22.5mm x 11.9mm Super 35mm sensor with a global shutter
  • 12-stop Dynamic Range
  • Lens Mount: PL (positive lock), replaceable
  • Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) and IR Cut Filter (combined)
  • Removable Storage: AJA Pak media (proprietary SSD)

Recording modes:

  • 4K (4096×2160), Ultra HD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080) (2K limited to 60p)
  • Progressive 23.98 to 120 fps
  • Apple ProRes 4444 or Apple ProRes 422 to 30 fps
  • Apple ProRes 422 to 60 fps
  • SDI output support for 119.88/120 fps (SDI 1-4 Raw) (2K limited to 60p)
  • 1080 HD (1920×1080) progressive 23.98 to 60
  • Apple ProRes 4444 or Apple ProRes 422 to 30 fps
  • Apple ProRes 422 to 60 fps
  • SDI output up to 60p

Output:

  • 4x 3G-SDI (main), 2x 3G-SDI (Monitor) (AJA RAW 4K at 120 fps)
  • 2x HDMI
  • Thunderbolt (limited to 4K at 30 fps)

Audio Input:

  • 2x 3-pin balanced XLR connectors with dedicated line/mic/48v phantom
  • Audio Output
  • 1x 3.5mm Headphone Jack

Inputs:

  • 1x Reference Input (BNC)
  • 1x LTC (BNC for Timecode)
  • 2x 2.5mm LANC connectors
  • 1x LAN RJ45 connector 1 Gbps

Weight:

  • 7.4 lbs / 3.4 kg (with top handle attached)

Power:

  • AC Range: 100-240 VAC 50/60Hz
  • DC Range: 12-18Vdc, 5A maximum, 4-pin XLR or 2-pin input connectors
  • Power: 38-42W typical, 45-47W maximum
  • (Note: does not include power draw from 2-pin output connector)

And for those of you that missed our interview with the folks at the AJA booth about this camera, here it is again:

Of the announcements made this week, the AJA CION has me the most excited. It's not necessarily that the CION has the most impressive specs of the cameras announced this week, as the Blackmagic URSA takes the cake in that respect. However, Blackmagic has a bit of a shaky track record when it comes to delivering their cameras, both in terms of the timing and the firmware bugs that often go unaddressed. AJA, on the other hand, has a stellar reputation for delivering products that work exactly as advertised on day 1 (although this is their first camera, so who knows what unexpected problems they might encounter). With that said, having worked with several AJA products like the Ki-Pro Mini and Quad, and having had nothing but fantastic experiences with all of them, my intuition tells me that AJA will deliver everything that is promised with the CION.

In a market that is now saturated with fairly inexpensive digital cameras aimed at independent filmmakers, reliability and ease of use are often not the first things on the camera manufacturers' minds. Image quality should definitely be the first and foremost concern, but we, as independent filmmakers, need tools that will offer us the rock-solid stability and reliability of cameras like the ALEXA. If AJA plays their cards right, it looks like the CION has the ability to become the poor man's ALEXA, which would be one hell of  a compliment for AJA.

Beyond the fact that AJA will most likely meet and perhaps exceed the hefty expectations for a camera of this caliber, the camera itself signals a major shift in design ethos that all of us should be massively excited for. Cameras like the CION are a breath of fresh air -- it's simply designed, entirely utilitarian, and it's meant to sit on the shoulder with proper balance without additional rigging. Of course, AJA isn't the first to put out a camera with these design principles in mind, but to this point, they have certainly done it the best. I mean, the CION is not only beautiful, but ergonomically functional in all respects.

Now let's talk about price. At $9000, it's certainly not the cheapest option out there. However, I think that the CION will perfectly fill the gap in the market between low-end solutions like DSLR's and the Blackmagic cameras and seemingly middle of the road cameras like the F5 and beyond. For many independent filmmakers, this is a crucial piece of the market with very few legitimate options (except for the FS700). However, if the folks at AJA really nail the color science and image pipeline of the CION, then there is little doubt that it will be a powerhouse for independent filmmakers.

I'm curious to hear if you guys are as fond of the AJA CION as I am. Leave your thoughts down in the comments!

Link: CION: Science of the Beautiful -- AJA

[via WolfCrow]

NFS's coverage of NAB 2014 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel and Limelite. Subscribe to the No Film School YouTube channel for the latest video updates direct from NAB, as well as filmmaker interviews, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes features.

Your Comment

98 Comments

I'm quite curious about the Cion. I've got an FS100 and was preparing to upgrade to an FS700 and 7Q, but I'm gonna sit tight a little while and see what comes of the Cion. There are big questions remaining to answer for me: what's the ISO? It's not LOG, so how does the highlight roll off? (not well on the FS100) Any lag across the HDMI when using an EVF? (an FS700 issue) Does it have any of the BMPC artifact problems? Who's got a recorder that will capture the 120fps raw and how much will that cost? And most importantly, what does the image look like?

If all those answers are positive, I definitely would consider this over the FS700/7Q rig.

April 10, 2014 at 7:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Roger

I'm in the exact same boat. Was thinking the FS700 was the easiest upgrade path for us but both this and URSA have me waiting to see what the images/issues will be with these cameras. Need to know how this performs in lowlight, highlight rolloff and is it me or do the specs confuse?
Wish there were built in NDs like the C100 and an EF option but that is easily fixed. I do like the design of this and seems really ergonomic, just need to set aside another 1K for an EVF.

April 11, 2014 at 1:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I love this camera! But Also I love the fat that Blackmagic Ursa is upgradable and has 3 monitors,The 10" monitor is a plus and you can record Raw internally . I don't like the weight of the Ursa but lets see the review after it shipped.

April 10, 2014 at 7:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jason

This looks great, one problem I see is Hollywood is full of healthy, animal loving vegans ( nothing like vegetarians) they're infront and behind the cameras. Aja please lose the suede animal skin, leather is negative nasty cruel negative silence of the lambs product to use, don't associate that skin trade with this awesome camera please

April 10, 2014 at 7:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stac

maybe they used vegan suede (or they should have).

April 10, 2014 at 9:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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matt

Exactly - all the cows who donated their suede were 100% free-range, grass-fed and air-chilled..mmm I'm getting hungry. I love the suede shoulder pad and suggest vegans look toward petroleum based pads like those on the Alexa - much more earth friendly.

April 11, 2014 at 12:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lance Bachelder

I was just about to post the same thing! Ditch the animal cruelty and I'm in.

April 11, 2014 at 4:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nick

Agreed.

There really is no need to place dead animal skin on my shoulders while shooting.

I am hoping it is fake.

April 12, 2014 at 1:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Greg P.

Are you implying that one is better than the other (vegan/veg)? Bit obnoxious, no?

April 13, 2014 at 8:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kal

Vegan? Suede? These are negatives? Worrying about what a repressive minority might think is insulting.

July 4, 2014 at 6:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Scartissue

I hope they offer a log gamma curve like the film mode on the Blackmagic cameras. ProRes is a great alternative to raw, especially at 444, but only if you get that expanded range of recording.

April 10, 2014 at 7:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Will

Agreed.

April 11, 2014 at 11:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Josh

Lookin good

April 10, 2014 at 7:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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VinceGortho

That is a beautiful camera. But why no built in NDs? They are so useful. I like the replaceable Lens mount.

April 10, 2014 at 7:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene Sung (non-...

Because its a 1. Its a pure cinema camera and 2. they're also significantly expensive to implement.

April 10, 2014 at 8:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

Agree with Gene Sung. Lack of ND's is a big turn off on such an otherwise lovely looking camera.

They might intend this to be a 'pure cinema camera'. But in the real world it will more likely be used for a variety of shooting. I would definitely want to use this on doc work, and the balanced shoulder design is just asking you to do that! Anyone who shoots in the field will know how incredibly frustrating a lack of ND's can be!

This camera looks like it wants to take a slice out of the Amira/F5 market. Both of which have built in ND's!

April 11, 2014 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Don

The Cion is not a pure cinema camera by any stretch. Aja themselves are marketing it for use on everything from drama to documentary and beyond. It is a great shame that there no ND filters on it.

August 17, 2014 at 12:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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WaiLung

LOL alllll the specs huh? How about native ISO? Log format? Audio configuration? C'mon NFS you should know better. Also to the the person who has issues with it being leather.... I don't see you bitching about portabracevand they've sold thousands of products for decades. Eat your salad with fake cheese and shut up.

April 10, 2014 at 7:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Loo

@Loo, easy there bro! Leave the politics out of it, no one comes here for that. NFS does a fantastic job overall, I too, am curious about the LOG but don't see that as a deal breaker. The main point of the article was that AJA has solid, reliable products and a spotless track record for delivery. looking from my perspective, right now I am still on DSLR (5DII still cranking out beauty), plus I just got a couple of BMPC's for a doc to be shot in Hatti (where discretion is a must). At work as a producer/MMJ, I use a variety of ENG cams from JVC and Sony, and I know what a pain in the ass all of those are, but the form factor is great. I see the CION appealing to us in the News/Entertainment biz for run and gun daily packages as well as being able to crank up the res for promos and special projects, and if the PL mount can be switched out to accommodate cheap, ENG lenses it would be an amazing camera for our shop. Having said that, I will probably be lobbying hard for the URSA cameras as those are more in line with our budget, and for our studio the new Blackmagic Studio cameras are very interesting. Plus, I have had very positive experiences with my BMPC's so far in my personal testing, and Blackmagic has responded to the one problem I had with one of the cameras and immediately replaced it, so I do have confidence that they will keep getting better in both product and customer service. Great piece, Robert, and do update as more specs become available.

April 10, 2014 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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pacificbeachca

I wasn't impressed with those images at all. With that said, I don't think they have a properly working camera yet. I was told by the guys at NAB, and I think by even the designer himself, that they think they can get more than 12 stops of DR out of this camera. That was unofficial though. From what I can tell they have got everything in order but the sensor. When they get that going these images may be really nice. We'll see.

April 10, 2014 at 7:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jonesy

Uhoh. Everything ready but the sensor? Kinda important

April 12, 2014 at 1:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Greg P.

Does it *really* use the same sensor as in the BMCC and Ursa? You seem to hint as much at around 5:55. That just sounds like a really bad idea.

April 10, 2014 at 7:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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GromitInWA

I'm interested to see footage out of this once they get the color science figured out. I'm a professional colorist. working to match footage from different cameras not he same project is pretty revealing. Some cameras have great specs, but capture a limited spectrum.
I'm looking forward to shots of actual people moving around. Bees and clocks are great, but I imagine the limited time most of us spend looking at bees and clocks is why these were selected for the video. It's the same reason every marketing seminar or still frame to advertise color correction tools features a car or sunset in the monitor window. It's easy to make cars and sunsets look "Awesome"
It's when somebody's face gets up there that we start caring about how good it actually looks.

I love the design though. Top handle and shoulderable. This is a good shape. Remember when it was wait time for the original scarlet? And the red rock micro was just out replacing the DIY DOF adapters? Things have definitely changed. http://www.prototypen.com/blog/falk/archive/pics/red_3k_scarlet_hero.png

April 10, 2014 at 7:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Without knowing where that sensor is coming from, I'm not sure the AJA track record of shipping products can really apply here. Sensor quality issues are what hurt Black Magic and thats a result of them having to source these sensors from places that don't necessarily have the ability to scale up production and maintain quality thats needed for cinema use. Like AJA, they also lacked the experience of dealing with these manufacturers to actually have a working camera supply chain in order on launch day. It's growing pains and it took BM 3 years to make head way on it. I'm sure AJA has at least tried to plan to avoid those mistakes, but we wont really know if they've got it under control until these start shipping in bulk. I'd expect delays and probably some issues with sensor quality, so I think its probably wise to view the camera with a healthy dose of skepticism and that says nothing of the cameras performance.

April 10, 2014 at 8:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Its almost certainly the same as the BM4k.
There seem to plenty of those sensors floating around :-)

April 10, 2014 at 8:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

If you were AJA and you were monitoring everything that went wrong with Blackmagic and probably having a good laugh about it, there's no way you'd launch yr product until you were certain those issues wouldn't affect you. That doesn't mean there aren't a whole bunch of other issues to worry about but what I Iike is that these guys have basically reconfigured their existing kit to accept a sensor and rehoused it. No extra bells and whistles. No gimmicks. Working around the place I do hear a lot of grumbling about the way the c300 looks which is why it's a little surprising they haven't given this cam an EF option as for owner operators looking to jump ship that would have made it easier. It all boils down to lenses. If we see a good range of budget pl glass coming out then maybe it'll make sense to own this camera, but the base ISO is somewhere around 400, not a lowlight monster which could handle slow pl glass. So... In conclusion. This one's a rental for those who might have gone for a scarlet or c300. A doc maker friend of mine is very excited about this, particularly if those mooted servo zoom pl's make an appearance soon. Interesting camera for sure but it's niche.

April 11, 2014 at 3:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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what resolution is Progressive 23.98?

April 10, 2014 at 8:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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dave g

what resolution does it shoot 120fps at?

April 10, 2014 at 8:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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dave g

4k to both your queries.

April 11, 2014 at 8:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Anyone know what "replaceable" means regarding the PL mount? User replaceable? Factory? Any idea the cost? The other mounts? Just askin'

April 10, 2014 at 8:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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ronn

Third party vendors, go to WolfCrow website (link in the post) and in the review video AJA's man is saying that.

April 10, 2014 at 8:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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k

And for me it is a deal breaker, because at first I thought it will be PL mount only forever. Third party vendors could make it with ND filters as well... Possible or not?

April 10, 2014 at 8:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kamil

From what I've read/seen, AJA won't be making any other mounts besides the PL, but, it's attached with four mounting bolts and they expect 3rd party developers to make additional mounts. Also has a mechanical back focus adjustment, so one could adjust that per mount.

April 10, 2014 at 8:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Roger

It is user replaceable. Just unscrew the four screws on the front and swap it.

It is swappable with other style mounts. Right now AJA is only making the PL Mount but 3rd parties will be making other style mounts you can use.

April 10, 2014 at 9:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Cheese Please

call me crazy but i just might buy this... you think it'd rent?

April 10, 2014 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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brian merlen

Nah ... it'll never be in stock ... 'cos everyone will be shooting 4K 4:2:2 with them ... on every job for every studio ... and with the fast EF lenses too ... and, even if AJA designers don't nail the image perfectly, it'll be still be super popular due to price, convenience and the workflow ... (ND filters can easily be stuck to the front of the lens ... especially if you're using primes) ... the only thing that might count against them down the road is any reliability problems and (the currently non-existent) competition ... they absolutely can not have the defect rate higher than Sony, Panasonic, Canon, and Arri ... a workhorse cam can not be like Red or BMD units ... most people will not care about Raw ... that's the feature film problem and those folks will be using F65, Varicam and Alexa (including Alexa II, whenever it's out) ...

April 10, 2014 at 9:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

The camera checks a lot of boxes, the big one is pro res 444 internal. Having the option to shoot 422 60 fps internal and 4k 120 fps via SDI is another great feature as well. The other outstanding feature is it is built like an old school camera; not a sensor with a lens, a camcorder or a DSLR but an actual camera that fits on your shoulder. Ergonomically, this camera is very well thought out. What we need now is more footage, especially footage of people so we can evaluate the skin tones and highlight roll off. This camera may end up being very disruptive if the image is beautiful (I hope it has a Log mode to help that along) and the camera is reliable.

April 10, 2014 at 9:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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What are thinking it will be disrupting? I want to know you thoughts on that. It certainly has all the features most people ask for.

April 10, 2014 at 11:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Price, pro res 444 with options of slow mo is disruptive. Having these ergonomics and having 444 at this price point will have a large impact, if the footage matches the specs.

April 11, 2014 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Well, I would like to see more images from this camera. Mainly I am interested how skin tones are reproduced and how it performs under different light. The choice of their footage is quite strange.

April 10, 2014 at 10:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Andrey Valentsov

They really need to come with something more than 3 or 4 little shots. The Amira sold me with it's press vid because it showcased the strengths of the camera, even when Arri doesn't necessarily need to. Lots of competition

April 10, 2014 at 10:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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XML

By far the most interesting camera announcement at NAB 2014. I find the CION about 1000 times more appealing than Blackmagics monstrosity. Just the fact it takes the same sensor [?] and ads full 4k 4096x 2160 and an OLPF tells me it will most likely significantly outpoint the URSA's image. Can't wait to see more footage from this thing and for it to start shipping.

April 10, 2014 at 11:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Moose

OMG, what a beauty!

Global shutter, 4k 120fps, and hey! Thunderbolt. I live the live stream preview too.

April 10, 2014 at 11:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

I think the only thing really right about this camera is the form factor. Well see if AJA can do better with that BMC sensor (if it was a different sensor i'm pretty sure they would atleast just say that the sensor they have is different and hasn't been used in other cameras yet...or they would have to be partnered with any camera manufacturer)

internal pro res 4444 LOG is a necessity I would say that is what makes the alexa so perfect. even 10bit pro res hq 4222 LOG would prob suffice

at the end of the day it needs to make pretty images the stats don't tell the whole story hence why a camera like the f5/f55 are not big winners and alexa competition the image just isn't there regardless of the stats on the DR and high bit rate

April 10, 2014 at 11:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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jon smith

@Jon Smith. I'm curious about your comment that the F5/55 are not big winners. What exactly do you mean by that? They seem to be fairly highly regarded and produce beautiful footage.

April 12, 2014 at 9:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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if its the BMC sensor too sensitivity is for sure an issue. that mid range camera market that has a lot of cinema/video cross over and shooters want higher ISO atleast acceptable images at 1,600.

...PL only too is probably not the best call on a 9,000$ camera a lot of people would probably want an active EF mount

April 10, 2014 at 11:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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jon smith

It's not a BMC made product ... it's a fairly established Cmosis CMV 12000 S35 4K , capable of 15 F-stops and 180 fps in 12 bit ... whatever problems BMPC4K camera had were not related to the sensor itself ... or it wouldn't be offered by various manufacturers, including Apertus ...

April 11, 2014 at 1:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

So what are the big differences that separate the URSA, Cion, FS700 + Odyssey 7Q, and the F5?

URSA: 4K internal 422 and RAW @ 60fps, output (??), 12 stops DR. $6,000
Cion: 4K internal 444 and 422 @ 30fps/ 2K 422 @ 60fps, output 4K RAW @ 120fps, 12 stops DR. $9,000
FS700: HD internal 420 @ 240fps, output to Odyssey 4K RAW @ 240fps, 14 stops DR. $10,000
F5: 2K 444 @ 60fps, 422 @ 240fps, output 4K RAW and 444 @ 180fps, 14 stops DR, $17,000

Is that about right? Or have I got some specs way off>

April 10, 2014 at 11:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben Howling

I believe the Cion does 4k 422 @ 60fps not just 2k I could be wrong though.

April 11, 2014 at 12:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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If you're interested in recording 4K with FS700, Odyssey 7Q only records (uncompressed?) Raw at the moment .... and, once you add the licensed codecs and SSD's, you're looking at close to $13,000 combined. Granted, Cion uses the proprietary AJA's SSD's but they will record 4K in ProRes (Q7 may be licensed to do so in the future).
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And one more new unit , A7s+Shogun (expected to have the rolling shutter effects but a low light beast) will run about $5K for 4K in ProRes but you will get to use the off-the-shelf SSD's, so you might be able to get by with ~ $6,000 out the door.
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The lowest 4K investment, once it ships in a couple of weeks, is still GH4 at $1,700 + media or well under $2,000.

April 11, 2014 at 1:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Sony alpha rumors thinks the A7s price is around $4100.00 (2500 BP) just for the camera IMHO that changes everything.

April 11, 2014 at 9:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Anthony Marino

can't help but notice it not sitting properly on the dude's shoulder in the picture...

April 10, 2014 at 11:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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dp

One of the things that's been so good about the f55/5 is the roadmap for firmware developments. There's a nice feeling that the camera can evolve grow up and provide long term value. My question for these guys would be what that roadmap is likely to look like and you can make a judgement on whether it makes any sense long term.

I keep thinking back to where we were at in 2009 when I went freelance. We had red one... And then film. Now look at us... Crazy.

April 11, 2014 at 3:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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A very interesting camera, but why the need for their own special little SSD? I understand it's extra income, but I'm not gonna replace all SSD's I have with every camera upgrade if the technologie is basically the same...

April 11, 2014 at 3:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The reason they use SSD carriers is that SSD connectors are not designed for repeated insertions. Your SSD will work being inserted repeatedly... until it doesn't - with your footage trapped inside you can kiss your SSD goodbye.

Those SSD carriers are duty cycle rated to stand up to a long life of repeated use. And if for some reason the carrier is damaged (e.g. dropped) you can take the SSD out and plug it into your computer.

The same logic applies to the matching connector in the camera - it is also rated for repeated insertions. If those aren't reliable then you are hosed...

April 11, 2014 at 12:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ken Mondale

Am I the only one that finds the design to be hideous?

And the example video strikes me as too clean and 'video' looking, not cinematic.

April 11, 2014 at 6:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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djfern

Yes you seem to be the only one.

For those of us with a nice set of cini-fied Zeiss still lenses though the PL only mount is a bit of a bummer. I realize there could be a third party fix but still...

April 11, 2014 at 7:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Billy Barber

Interesting times indeed. We are all now officially spoilt for choice.

For me this camera is a winner here at NAB. And could be the clear winner for the year providing they get the colour science correct and fine tuning done right. The URSA's 10 inch screen is impractical and I see it as a marketing gimmick. It will simply get in the way.
The other camera the got my attention is the Kinefinty Kinemini. Same 6k price tag as the URSA and if you want prores, stick on an Atomos or pix. You can use off the shelf SSD's if you want. Full 4k 4096 x 2160 interchangeable mounts and glorious images IMHO ...... Cion for episodicals/TV and Kinefinty for cinema ....... All Indy market ...... Indy market is huge BTW and that's what these guys are going after. 'Hollywood' is small and Arri owns them already so why fight it

April 11, 2014 at 7:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nigel Thompson

I say to hell with HWD and ARRI.

I'm an indie filmer and writer...totall belief in goin VOD to global aus, most of them in their homes.

I'm all for indie theatrical...but if I can get a commercially viable indie genre budget feature out of the gate, on an actuall budget of 100 k or less? And that means using BMCC URSA? I'll do it in a heartbeat.
I don't need ebvery signle bell and whistle. Just watch every penny of my bottom line...do my light and camera tests to see what i can clean up in post...and wear 4-5 hats at same time.

That's what you do with a budget of 100 k or less.
It's sweat equity and continual outside the box thinking and creating.

Of course, since it's all about story predominating over all else, it's good to have a
SCREENWRITING MFA from UCLA film school as I jump into directing.

April 11, 2014 at 10:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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MARK11

An MFA in screenwriting? Why not just get one in English or even Creative Writing. That'll help you more.

April 11, 2014 at 8:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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sixme

What heck was the point of his post?

April 12, 2014 at 2:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Greg P.

This seems like the perfect camera to meet my needs and style of shooting. It even goes past my needs. I don't usually ask for pro audio to go into my cameras as I usually record sound externally. The only qualm I have is the PL mount. I'm not sure where I'd get lenses for that. Assuming the kinks are worked out in the next few years I will be in the market to move up to this as my next camera for my productions.

April 11, 2014 at 6:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Peter P.

I'm still curious to see if AJA have less issues designing the code and colour science than Black Magic did, especially since BM should have a little more experience on that front with the whole resolve background. Took Red a few years, too. AJA can capture what other companies are putting out, but can they make quality code to get out the best quality picture in the first place?

(Honest question, not a thinly veiled BM apology)

April 11, 2014 at 9:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben Howling

The difference, as I see it, was that BMD tried to fit the processor and the rest of the electronics into a very small case and therefore had self-imposed limitation on the number of instructions/code lines that its cameras could do internally. AJA made a concession to size and was able - presumably - to put together a combination of sensors, codecs and processors to make a seven pound shoulder mounted camera. Given how much Panasonic packed into a hand-held GH4 (less that 1.5 lbs total weight), Cion really shouldn't be considered extraordinary, only well timed. Its appearance came in when the major equipment manufacturers were caught in between models. Theoretically, nothing is stopping Sony from offering a combination of A7s and Atomos Shogun for about the same price (rumored to be around $5K total) but in one FS-700 style body. And, of course, they and Canon and Panasonic and JVC will do just that soon enough.

April 11, 2014 at 11:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

OK, I don't know if this proves my point ... but see for yourself ... http://vimeo.com/91674434

April 11, 2014 at 11:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

I think this could be big. Ergonomically, this camera makes complete sense. The lower CG fro the recessed shoulder pad looks better balanced than an Alexa or F55. My only concern is the one stat they fail to mention - sensitivity. At 22.5mm x 11..9, global shutter and 12 stops DR it sounds suspiciously identical to BMD's 4k chip - which could mean equally low sensitivity.

Otherwise, what's not to like. Pro rez, 4k, global shutter, balanced, XLRs, etc all for 5 G less than a C300.

April 12, 2014 at 1:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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No built in ND

April 13, 2014 at 12:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Matt

who cares?

..news ENG? its a super35 sensor, so this camera is already an out for that market.

April 15, 2014 at 5:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Well, remember that the black magic 4k sensor is a different size - 21.12mm x 11.88mm. That's the same chip for both the production camera and the URSA. Cion is 22.5mm x 11.9mm. So I'm not too sure how they're the same?

April 13, 2014 at 11:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Grant

If you look at Cmos manufacturing companies, and their product lines, most 35mm Cmos sensors only have 10-12 stops of dynamic range (60 dB to be precise, and that equates to 10 stops in Linear Dynamic range, which in Log should come out to roughly 11-12 stops) in them.

The chip may also be manufactured by Dynamax as well.

June 23, 2014 at 1:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

To all the persons that are wondering how we will be able to record 120 fps on AJA cion.
Aja Cion looks really promising! And to be honest, when I first saw the specs, I was thinking that for 9K, 120 fps raw at 4K sounded really great. But then I did some research. I saw every single video on youtube of NAB, and then FINALLY someone asked the right question. Cion records 120 fps via 4x 3g sdi ... but what do we use to record that? ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yKSCkxqcEI ) at 2:21 .
From what I understand, ( maybe I' m mistaken ) there is no recorder out there at the moment who can do that. So AJA is waiting for other people to make recorders.
There is something else I don t understand, why can t they output 120 fps at lower res? let s say at 2K, or HD ? On their website, they say that you can achieve 120 fps only when you shoot raw. I hope they change that, and they give CION the possibility to shoot 120 fps internally , even at lower res than 4K. What do you guys think. Do you think with firmware updates the camera will be able to shoot even 240 fps at lower res. ?

April 12, 2014 at 6:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kimon

Ki Pro Quad records 4 x 3G SDI.

April 12, 2014 at 8:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Thank you DLD. did know about the Ki Pro Quad records 4 x 3G SDI.
cheers

April 12, 2014 at 10:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kimon

( I meant didn' t know )

April 12, 2014 at 10:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kimon

but the Quad can only do 60fps as well ..... Im guessing The Odyssey 7Q will pop up as a viable option by the time of release. and or a firmware update for the quad will give the 120fps option

April 12, 2014 at 11:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nigel

Well, one has to presume - much like everyone was presuming correctly that the NAB would have a new 4K recorder from Atomos - that AJA won't starve its own baby and will release a 4K Raw companion recorder just in case no one else does. After all, that is pretty much their bread and butter.

April 12, 2014 at 12:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

So, you seem to be worried about a completely secondary issue here. The first thing you should worry about as a shooter, is picture quality. Any comments about picture quality? Or is it that you would buy any lemon that goes up to 240fps (btw, what do you use that for? storytelling??? get a specialty camera for that). So, why not to focus on the main issue here: does this camera offer anything in terms of picture quality? Or is it that it will in the future, after they make some return selling the units equipped with an off the shelve, low quality sensor? Because this is crucial. If the sensor is the same as the BMPC, then, where is the gain? Who cares about off speed? If you need to shoot off speed you can rent a Phantom or an Epic for only that day. You will 90% of your time shoot 24fps, 23.98fps or 30. The recorder issue it has already been addressed. Aja makes recorders. An if the camera shows to be any good, you'll have many 3rd part manufacturers making or adapting already existing recorders for it. Then, the 2nd more important issue: can you shoot with this camera? that means, can you operate?? Or is it a ridiculous piece of gear like the BMCC, with great pic quality and awful to operate?? This involves a myriad of issues from overheating, noise, bugs, up-gradable firmware, ergonomics, quality and versatility of view finder, type of shutter, connectors in and out and where they are located, balance, ruggedness, easiness of workflow, type of battery power, type of media, codec, files size, transfer speeds, etc, etc. All these features determine if you can use it for instance, to shoot narrative pieces. Off speed frame rates is the LEAST of the concerns at this point, since it isn't a camera marketed for that.

April 13, 2014 at 10:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bestfrontman

I'll second that!

April 14, 2014 at 11:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Darren

The 120 Frames goes into an AJA system called the Corvid Ultra with TruZoom which is then utilized for 'live' action playback in a sports acquisition setting only.

April 15, 2014 at 1:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Scion

The really good thing about this camera, is that it's going to get the price of the F5 down.

April 13, 2014 at 9:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bestfrontman

I hope it really is all that inside, from the outside it looks quite crude with its design and built quality. I also don't understand how they can advertise the camera as well designed ergonomically and show a picture in which the camera clearly does not fit the operator's shoulder (the picture above). Still exciting.

April 13, 2014 at 8:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mark Jack

You're forgetting that who ever set it up didn't put long enough rods on the hand grips which is clearly why it isn't sitting on the shoulders correctly another inch or so and it would fit perfectly. Very small thing detail wise and not a valid complaint.

April 16, 2014 at 5:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gary

We are all supposing the picture will be good if not even excellent because aja almost never failed a product in their 20 year history...in my canes the fps means a lot because it is a must for most of our commercial shootings and we don't want to rent phantoms because fps between 100fps and 200 fps are just what we need...not more and not less....so on this subject I am on the same page as Kimon....my only concern is that additional huge external cables for the recorder will make this camera less mobile and less run and gun friendly...and of course the lack of internal nd filters is also a huge miss concerning my needs...I mean cmon...arri amira, sony f55 and f5 all have internal nd filter for a reason...remember you can steal use external nd's if you want and need to...can't wait to see some proper test footage...this one might be a strong contender...if not this year then maybe next one...when they fix internal high frame rates and internal nd's...

April 14, 2014 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Article says Super 35mm sensor but CION's site says APS-C.

April 14, 2014 at 5:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Super 35 and APS-C are virtually the same thing.

May 24, 2014 at 2:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Damon

12 stops? Meh. Sony and Arri are already pushing 14 and Dragon probably has more.

April 14, 2014 at 8:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Richard

the white text on almost white background ... didn't they watch Austin Powers? (I'm sure it's not their original joke, but it was easy to find on youtube)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQFfMyxa04A

Anyways... I really like the approach of the camera. decent pricing and ready to shoot package

April 16, 2014 at 2:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I was very excited about this camera...cool design, great specs, and its from a company with a reputation for bullet proof hardware. But then I started pricing viable zoom lenses for studio/event use and freaked out. Maybe someone has a lower cost option -- I hope, because it really is a sweet camera.

April 17, 2014 at 9:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bill

Has anyone seen any skin tone tests?

April 19, 2014 at 3:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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What's the crop factor?

May 10, 2014 at 9:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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jimdaugherty

Super 35 sensor so there shouldn't be any. It will appear tighter than a 5D but the 5D is not the correct size for cinema. The 7D/70D is much closer to the real thing. APS-C sensors are only "crop" sensors relative to photography but not with regards to video.

May 24, 2014 at 2:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Damon

Around 1.6. So, multiply the lens markings on ANY LENSES you use by 1.6 to get your full frame FOV equivalent.

"For example, a 28 mm lens delivers a moderately wide-angle FOV on a 35 mm format full-frame camera, but on a camera with a 1.6 crop factor, an image made with the same lens will have the same field of view that a full-frame camera would make with a ~45 mm lens (28 × 1.6 = 44.8)." (WIKIPEDIA, 2014)

June 15, 2014 at 7:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sam Sloan

Sam.. Damon was already correct. The "crop factor" question depends on what you're used to. If you're in the cinema world, you should have to make any "conversions".
If you come from full-frame 35mm still cameras, then yeah, 1.6.

June 19, 2014 at 12:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Drew

I met the designer and personally handled this at Abelcine recently. Extremely well balanced and felt really good on my shoulder. Felt better than the Amira if I'm totally honest...

May 24, 2014 at 2:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Damon

I have several AJA products,very good quality.
If the Cion ,follows this quality and put,s out
A very good picture quality,I,m in,when can I buy.
By the way, no one mentioned Luts,can we create
Our own Luts,with this camera.
Thanks

June 9, 2014 at 5:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Robert

That's my biggest question. Louts and Log recording ...... You NEED that in today's world

June 21, 2014 at 7:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nigel

All the fuss about the camera what about the glass? Go nuts. Get a Fujinon PL Zoom. You will see the difference. Internal filter? Is that really a deal breaker. Speaking of breaking its another thing to f..k up.
Did you ever have an Arri SR or an AAton? Keep it simple. I am very excited to see this camera. If they develop a lut like the Canon Wide DR - I'm happy.

August 19, 2014 at 10:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Peter

I would love this camera...if it was 13+ stops of dynamic range. I used a BMCC and really loved the Dynamic range. I have a C100 now and thats the only thing I miss about the Blackmagic. Even 13 on the GH4 is great. I don't know if I can buy another 12 stop camera.

September 22, 2014 at 7:36PM

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Levi Stutzman
Director-Filmmaker
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