February 19, 2015 at 5:33PM

0

AJA Cion 4K Cinema Camera Hands on

For all who were wondering, what the AJA Cion Camera is like, I figured I would post my experience from an owners perspective, being able to work with it a few times now.

First off I do want to state that AJA has been a wonderful company, every time I email support with a question or suggestion, they get back to instantly. As well, there first firmware update actually resolved, or close to it, problems I had written them about (probably had nothing to do with me, but it did feel nice though). Now with that said, my experience is completely based off of firmware 1.0 and 1.1, this camera is really in its infancy and will go through a ton of maturing over the next few months and years, I am sure.

The camera has amazing ergonomics, it is super light weight, and clearly had a ton of thought put into its design. The amount of outputs they put on this camera makes it ready for almost every type of production. I found it very easy to handle, and could shot with it on my shoulders for a very long time without feeling fatigue.

Now onto the stuff everyone wants to know, the image. The quality of color and clarity that comes out of this camera is amazing, the image is very nice to look at with little post effort. How it picks up skin tones, colors, and the tiniest detail is very impressive.

But, at this point, it probably isn't ready for EVERY production. If you are thinking of buying, or renting this camera, really consider what your production is going to be like. If you do not have ND Filters, Framed Opals, a decent amount of lights, or control over lights, I would not suggest this camera at this stage of its development. The Cion does not handle very bright or very dark well, it has a habit of blowing out bright, fairly easily, and does not pick up much in low light at all with an EI that only goes up to 1000 (at this point).

Now if you happen to be on the other side of the spectrum, where you have the budget and resources to properly light a scene, I would highly recommend this camera. The look is very distinct and I could see it becoming a desired aesthetic for a reasonable cost. I also can see that AJA is a company concerned about its costumers and totally believe they will put the effort into making this the best camera they can through their firmware updates, considering the last one aimed at the cameras biggest problems.

I have taken some screenshots of some footage, straight out of camera, if you want to follow links bellow. Hopefully by Monday we will be posting the footage from that test.

https://twitter.com/DecreePictures/status/568515028900401152
https://twitter.com/DecreePictures/status/568514431228866561/photo/1

3 Comments

Thanks for this! Did you find the image had much increased noise at 1000 or in low-light in general? If so, was it more grainy, or blocky? I heard the sensor is similar the BMPC (if not the same), and as beautiful an image as the BMPC4k produces, the noise can get quite blocky and ugly in certain situations I found.
Everything I have seen out of the Cion is really quite nice!

February 26, 2015 at 7:50PM, Edited February 26, 7:50PM

0
Reply
avatar
Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1009

We are examining some footage we just shot so I will get back to you on that, but thus far there actually hasn't been a ton of noise. I do believe it is the exact same sensor, but how they collect information through the cion is a lot more impressive. We actually did discover that they are still only using 80% of the latitude of the camera thus far, I am sure that they will get it up to 100% in the next update or two, we are kinda the beta group on this. This will hopefully correct the clipping on this camera.

March 1, 2015 at 10:06PM

0
Reply
avatar
Caleb Pearson
Director / Producer / CEO
175

That's awesome news, only 80% wow, and not a ton of noise. Really great to hear hands on experience. This camera is so intriguing in so many ways...also looks like a lot of fun to shoot with!

March 2, 2015 at 2:57PM

0
Reply
avatar
Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1009

Your Comment