May 26, 2015

Massive Price Drop on the AJA CION, Get It for $5K from Now Until the End of Summer

If you wanted to get your hands on an AJA CION, now might be the absolute best time to do it.

AJA's "Summer of Savings" promotion launched today, cutting down the prices of their global shutter Super 35mm 4K CION camera, as well as their Ki Pro Quad, Ki Pro Mini, and Ki Pro portable/field recorders. And when I say "cutting", I really mean slashing, slicing, dicing, even mincing, because from now until the end of the summer, you can get a CION for $5000 -- that's almost half of its original price.

Here's a breakdown of the promo prices:

Furthermore, if you purchased the CION before May 26, 2015, you can receive two AJA Pak 512 SSDs for free (that's a $2495 value) by submitting a request to cionpromo@aja.com.

Even at $9000, the CION, with all of its features (global shutter, 4K, 12 stops of latitude, high frame rates) is a pretty good deal, but now that customers can save $4000 on all that and more, this summer will prove a huge opportunity for budget filmmakers to get their hands on an impressive professional camera. In the Summer of Savings press release, AJA President Nick Rashby says:

“CION already offers so much in terms of cinematic image quality, functionality, workflow flexibility, and with this new lower price we’re completely removing the barrier to entry for so many in the indie and commercial filmmaking market.

If you're unfamiliar with the CION, here are some basic specs:

  • 4K APS-C CMOS Image Sensor with Global Shutter
  • Internal DCI 4K/UHD & 2K/HD Recording
  • ProRes 4444 & 422 to AJA Pak Media Cards
  • AJA Raw via 3G-SDI Output up to 4K 120p
  • AJA Raw via Thunderbolt Out up to 4K 30p
  • PL Lens Mount with Back Focus Adjustment
  • 12 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • Remote Operation over Ethernet
  • Contoured Shoulder Pad & Top Handle
  • Media: AJA SSD Pak
  • Reader: AJA Pak Dock

Your Comment

39 Comments

Do you smell that? Smells like desperation

May 26, 2015 at 5:17PM

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Max Ciesynski
Gaffer
660

Yep.

May 26, 2015 at 5:33PM

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Had this been the original price all along...perhaps we wouldn't be reading this article at all.

May 26, 2015 at 5:33PM, Edited May 26, 5:34PM

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May 26, 2015 at 5:56PM

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Austin Welch
Director of Photography
81

One of the biggest problems with this camera for me is that it is PL mount only. Most people don't own PL glass and probably only shoot certain projects on PL glass. At least thats been my experience.

May 26, 2015 at 5:22PM

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Dave Christenson
Director of Photography, Creative Direction, Marketing
81

The EF or Nikon mounts are pretty reasonably priced for the AJA Cion.

May 26, 2015 at 6:12PM

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Caleb Pearson
Director / Producer / CEO
156

"Reasonably Priced" = $650 for no Electronic control....

May 26, 2015 at 8:40PM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
987

Good news! A quick visit to lensadaptor.com and $5 screwdriver will fix that problem.

May 26, 2015 at 6:24PM

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William Stewart
Director of Photography
581

This is amazeballs. If I had the cash I'd get two of these right now.

May 26, 2015 at 5:27PM

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I just am confused as to this: This camera is out, people have it, have shot stuff on it. So what's the base iso sensitivity? I think the fact that it was never in any of the promotional materials made a lot of people wary of it.

May 26, 2015 at 5:46PM

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Derek Olson
Directomatographeditor
741

Base ISO is 200 !!!!!!!!!!!

May 27, 2015 at 11:45AM, Edited May 27, 11:45AM

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Mich Fawgel
Master of Wisdom
420

Definitely desperation. Aja knows that when the Ursa mini 4.6K comes out, no one will want a Cion.

May 26, 2015 at 5:49PM

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Steven Huber
Director of Photography
156

I have to agree with you there. I own the Cion and ever since the new updates on the firmware I have loved this camera, but once I saw the URSA and Mini I knew they were going to have to do something big to keep selling.

May 26, 2015 at 6:18PM

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Caleb Pearson
Director / Producer / CEO
156

Caleb, what do you think of the Cion?

May 26, 2015 at 6:25PM, Edited May 26, 6:25PM

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William Stewart
Director of Photography
581

Personally I love the Cion, I think the color is way better than Black Magic's 4K camera's, the ergonomics are fantastic, and it is true they had a terrible highlight issue on firmware 1.0 but ever since 1.1 and 1.2 they have addressed all the major issues the customers have brought to them. They have been one of the best company support teams I have ever worked with BUT... Now withe the URSA 4.5 and Mini I do think it was timely for them to drop the price, they can not beet the 15 stops of dynamic range, the extra .5K doesn't really make a difference but the dynamic range is remarkable. I will probably be purchasing an URSA Mini soon, because of those features, but I love my Cion, it goes fantastically with my Angenieux Lens, and I hope that AJA can keep putting out cameras, but there business strategy wasn't as strong as it should have been for a market evolving so fast.

May 27, 2015 at 11:55AM

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Caleb Pearson
Director / Producer / CEO
156

Does the new firmware update increase the dynamic range past 8.2 stops of usable dr?

May 28, 2015 at 4:22PM, Edited May 28, 4:23PM

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I was about to buy one but was investigating the highlight issue. How has that worked out since the update? To me it's a perfect camera except for the highlight issue. If Aja solve the problem and can stretch out the DR to exactly 12 stops they will be in great shape.

May 26, 2015 at 10:01PM

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Nigel Thompson
Director / Editor / Producer
259

Too little, WAAYY too late. Heres hoping they get it right with mark 2

May 26, 2015 at 10:49PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
1206

If they make it to a mark 2. From the outside, this looks like a potentially gigantic financial loss for AJA.

May 28, 2015 at 12:22PM

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Taylor Russ
Director of Photography
647

I do like the name though! ;-)

May 26, 2015 at 10:55PM

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Donovan Vim Crony
Director, DP, Editor, VFX, Sci-Fi Lover
583

Cion 12 stops dynamic range vs Ursa Mini 4.6 15 stops dynamic range.
ursa mini 12 stops is only $2995.

May 26, 2015 at 11:50PM, Edited May 26, 11:52PM

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exactly, we need a DR comparison test video out of these cameras , saving up for an ursa mini

May 27, 2015 at 1:32AM

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Humza Yousaf
Director of Photography
163

cinema5d made the test, they say 12 but 8,5 usable. It's on vimeo https://vimeo.com/122435372

May 27, 2015 at 2:30AM, Edited May 27, 2:31AM

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Roberto Mettifogo
Behind Cameras.
368

What's the matter with these double, triple and quadruple posts lately?

May 27, 2015 at 3:10AM, Edited May 27, 3:10AM

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Gerard M.
1111

Cant really be surprised since the Cion is not actually worth more than that in the first place.... Still wont touch it though :/

May 27, 2015 at 6:32AM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
1093

Just thinking about the menu makes me not want this camera.

May 27, 2015 at 8:16AM, Edited May 27, 8:16AM

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Danny T
Photographer
454

Boy they are truly desperate.

May 27, 2015 at 11:02AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1586

Also, a 4000$ price drop on the camera still doesn't justify to charge 695USD for one 256gb ssd. You'll still need to spend at least 4000$ on batteries and ssds. That still 8000$ for a camera that doesn't do much compare to competitors.

May 27, 2015 at 11:28AM, Edited May 27, 11:28AM

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Danny T
Photographer
454

What do you think CFast 2.0 cards cost? Everyone raving about the Ursa Mini is going to be in for a rude awakening when they realize how much they are going to have to spend to get a days worth of media/battery life out of that thing.

May 27, 2015 at 1:49PM

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Joshua Bowen
Editor
636

Where did I mention the URSA MINI? I know CFast cards are also expensive, my points being that ssd are proprietary in the case of AJA. I don't think we will see any kind of third party compagnies making ssd for the CION cause AJA probably won't share thier ssd patent. Convergent Design SSD, per exemple, even if there are also proprietary are still only 395USD for 256gb. (I think they also now endorse other ssds) That's still 30% cheaper than AJA which have been around since the Ki Pro Quad. What are your choice with AJA? Only 256gb and 512gb

And...CFast Cards comes in varierty of size, 32gb, 64gb, 128gb, 256gb... from 100USD to 600USD, and I'm only looking at Lexar. Soon the technologies will evolve and we'll see better and cheaper.

May 27, 2015 at 4:29PM

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Danny T
Photographer
454

Cfast 2.0 has dropped by almost half the price is the last 2 months. They should continue to drop within the coming months.

May 31, 2015 at 8:26PM

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As someone who got one for the #trycion campaign I couldn't be more disappointed in a camera. Even at $5000.00 it's still too much. The DR on this camera is embarrassing. The latitude is even less. Sure the color is great but skin tones are about a 1/2 stop below exposure so if you want them at exposure you're loosing another stop of highlight detail. After doing a test in the studio we actually canned our idea for a short simply because the camera couldn't do it justice.

Also the whole camera feels like a Kickstarter project out of someone's basement (in a bad way) and the menus...oh god the menus. Completely unforgivable at that price point (I'm talking $5k, let alone $9k).

The fact that it comes with a PL mount says one of two things:

1. They have no idea who they are marketing to

or

2. They are trying to market to the professional shooter which is even sadder because the camera can't hold a candle to anything in that class. I'd rather shoot on a BMCC/GH4/a7s rigged out any day than touch this thing again.

*whew*. I feel better!

May 27, 2015 at 12:02PM

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Matthew Lynn
Director of Photography
81

Could they saw off the back and call it CION Mini ?

May 27, 2015 at 12:23PM

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Saied M.
1356

I applied to test the camera out for kicks, so it will be coming along shortly. I don't remember, but it seemed that there was talk about a similar potential for sensor upgrades that the blackmagic has. I feel like their problems are pretty much solved with a better sensor. Color science so far looks really great. Biggest weakness just seems to be dynamic range and a slow menu, the latter of which could likely be fixed with firmware.

May 27, 2015 at 1:29PM

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Steven Bailey
Writer/Director/Composer
1015

AJA CION: 4K, PRORES/RAW, 12 stops dr (8.5 usable) native iso 200 = 5000 USD
Blackmagic Ursa Mini: 4.6K, PRORES/RAW, 15 stops dr (usable? 12?) native iso 800: 5000 USD

May 28, 2015 at 10:23AM, Edited May 28, 10:23AM

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Mich Fawgel
Master of Wisdom
420

Why would anyone buy this CION?

May 28, 2015 at 10:25AM

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Mich Fawgel
Master of Wisdom
420

Yes, AJA has made a company killing mistake..
Even tho I am Australian and like to see an Australian company doing well, we need competition. I don't want this to end AJA. Its a real possibility.. The desperation shows this..

They simply bet too big on a massive lose. They are likely 10s of Millions in the hole..

I wish them well, but sorry, after reading the above, the CION is a dead duck.

May 28, 2015 at 6:17PM

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James Gardiner
CineTechGeek
169

All these comments make me feel a little sad...
The 'local' price for the Cion has just been announced as $7899 AU.
MFT / LensAdaptor dot com will make me a one off adaptor for my lenses for close to $1000AU,... I could do it at home for about a 10th of that in materials.
There's no adaptors for Sony A or E mounts, none for Pentax K or M42, and the Cion won't support m4/3 mounts (neither will MFT), which rules out the most useful version of Samyang's Cine range.
Atomos's Shogun will record Aja Raw output, IIRC, that's on the HD-SDI, and makes for a far more budget friendly alternative media then the bespoke, and excessively expensive per unit Pak media and docking station, especially as a Shogun can be used with every camera equipped with SDI or Clean Feed HDMI.
Is the Dynamic Range really as bad as shown in the reviews?
The Connectivity and Ergonomics were big pluses for my purchase decisions, but 8.5 stops doesn't even come close to my $899 Pentax K-01.
( There's a whole other HDMI rant with that one,... )
After experiences with BMD product, they're not a credible alternative,... The JVC LS300, KiniMini4K and A7s+Shogun all just started to look a whole lot better in comparison for the cash spent....

May 29, 2015 at 2:02AM

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Stewart Fairweather
Cinematographer
448