With the end of 2016 fast approaching I thought it would be a good idea to have a look back at some of the big announcements and articles the team at Newsshooter brought you throughout the year. It was a busy year here at Newsshooter as we posted more than 800 articles and covered industry shows and events across the globe. In part 1 of our year in review we will be looking at the months of January, February, March and April. Grab a cup of coffee – there’s a lot to get through.
The year started off with a bit of controversy with some users of Sony’s FS5 reporting artifact issues that were triggered when changing exposure and using the electronic variable ND. In reply to these issues Sony said: “We are aware of this perceived issue with the PXW-FS5 performance. Sony is investigating this matter as a matter of priority and will work with users to understand the specific issue they are facing. Any actual issue will then be addressed in the most appropriate manner by our engineers.” To their credit, Sony engineers then looked into the issue and issued another statement saying “Sony has investigated the PXW-FS5 image artifact issues reported by users. Our engineers have been able to duplicate these issues and identify their root cause. Sony plans to provide a firmware update. Our goal is to issue this revised firmware toward February/end.”
At CES in Las Vegas Kodak went back to the future announcing a Super 8 film camera. Unfortunately there has still been no sign of the camera even though it was expected to start shipping several months ago. Kodak did respond to a Twitter question, saying that the camera is still coming.
Also announced at CES was a new version of DJI’s Phantom 3 drone that upgraded the built-in camera to 4K and swapped the company’s Lightbridge downlink system for a WiFi connection that was similar to the one fitted to the Phantom 3 Standard. DJI also announced a black version of the Inspire 1.
Nikon announced their new D5 and D500 4K capable DSLRs as well as KeyMission 360 Action camera.
Al Jazeera America closed up shop after failing to grab enough traction in the American market. Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, Al Anstey, wrote in a memo that the decision was made because “our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the US media marketplace,” the New York Times reported.
Some of the first vision from the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K started to appear online.
Atomos dropped the prices on their popular Shogun and Ninja Assassin 4K recorder/monitors. The Shogun got a $500 price reduction, and became available for $1495 US. The retail price of the Ninja Assassin also fell by $300, to $995 USD.
Sony announced their latest consumer camera, the a6300. The successor to the excellent a6000 brought most of the high end video features of the a7 series and placed them into an consumer level APS-C sensor body.
Along with the a6300 Sony announced a new line of ‘G-Master’ FE lenses, primarily aimed at users of their full frame a7 series cameras. These included the E 24-70mm F2.8 GM, FE 70-200 F2.8 GM, and FE 85mm F1.4 GM.
Samyang added two new cine lenses to their XEEN lineup. The XEEN 14mm T3.1 and 35mm T1.5 complemented the existing 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5 and 85mm T1.5 lenses to create a versatile five lens kit.
SLR Magic launched three 1.33x Anamorphic PL Cine lenses, the ANAMORPHOT-CINE 35mm T2.4, ANAMORPHOT-CINE 50mm T2.8, and ANAMORPHOT-CINE 70mm T4.
Panasonic announced the Varicam LT, a lighter weight, more compact version of the Varicam 35 aimed at owner/operators.
Canon unveiled a entry level 18-135mm zoom lens. The EF-S18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM also has the option to attach the new Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1.
Sigma dropped a bomb shell with the announcement of the 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art and the 30mm 1.4.
Newsshooter had teams at both the CP+ expo in Tokyo, and at BVE 2016 in London. At CP+ we went hands on with the new Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art, Voigtlander’s World’s first rectilinear 10mm F5.6 lens for full frame, and Canon 18-135mm lens and Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E1. At BVE we brought you the Genus electronic ND control for Sony E-mount cameras, and the Zeiss ExoLens wide angle lens adapter for iPhones.
In February we also reported Alan Robert’s detailed appraisal of the Canon C300 Mark II, Jason Wingrove had a hands-on with the Varicam LT, Phil Holland shot with RED’s new 8K Weapon, and we got an inside look at the mind-blowing OK Go zero gravity music video.
DJI announced the Phantom 4 just two months after releasing a 4K version of the Phantom 3. As we now know, this was not to be the last new drone from the company in 2016.
A new copy and verification program called Hedge For Mac was launched.
DJI released a new firmware for the OSMO brushless gimbal camera that added improved battery performance, digital zoom, optimised D-Log and D-Cinelike colours.
The REVL Arc 4K action cam with built-in gyroscope was launched on Indiegogo. The camera was supposed to start shipping this month but the last update from REVL was more than two months ago saying that “The tooling for our camera bodies is complete and we have produced our first batch.”
Video Devices announced the PIX-LR audio interface that added useful XLR inputs/outputs to the PIX-E series monitor/recorders.
Atomos unveiled the Ninja Flame and Shogun Flame, two high brightness, HDR-capable 4K monitor/recorders.
Chinese company Kinefinity launched the TERRA, a compact RAW- and Apple ProRes-shooting cinema camera available in 5K and 6K versions.
Sony unveiled the RX10 III hybrid camera that featured a 25x zoom with 4K video and 1-inch sensor for $1300US.
We had Alan Roberts evaluate the Sony a6300, we reviewed the Duclos Lenses Macro Extension Tube for PL lenses, the Richard Gale Optics Flare Factory 58 PL lens, the Azden SMX-30 Stereo/Mono Switchable Video Microphone and SMX-15 Video Microphone, the Tokina Cinema ATX 100mm T2.9 macro PL mount, Dan field-tested the Sony a6300 using just the camera’s autofocus, DJ Clark reviewed the DJI Phantom 4, cinematographer Geoff Boyle said “ARRI have a problem” and Dan reviewed the Sony G Master 24-70mm f2.8 and 85mm f1.4
Fuji started off a busy month of lens announcements by unveiling the Super35 ENG style Premier PL 20-120mm T3.5 Cabrio lens.
Sony announced a full-frame, E-mount 4K action cam called the UMC-S3C
SoftPanels launched a Kickstarter campaign for new LED lights with automatic colour adjustment and skin tone optimisation. The lights were originally supposed to start shipping in May, but they didn’t end up shipping until mid-October.
Lytro Cinema’s light field camera was unveiled with the highest resolution video sensor ever designed, capable of capturing 755 megapixels RAW at up to 300 FPS.
Canon announced the CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S, a lightweight and affordable cine zoom, but only in EF mount. An optional servo handgrip for it was also announced. Later in the year it was revealed that it also supports autofocus with some Canon cameras.
Canon also unveiled the ME200S-SH, that offered similar specs to the C100 MkII in a ME20-style cube form. Canon told us it was aimed at gimbal or drone users who wanted a smaller, more lightweight camera.
Zacuto announced a new version of their Gratical HD electronic viewfinder, which is smaller, lighter and easier to rig than the current models called the Gratical Eye.
The biggest trade show of the year, NAB, was held in Las Vegas and Newsshooter once again provided comprehensive coverage. While a lot of manufacturers choose to pre-announce their products ahead of the show, there was still plenty to cover. We reported on a huge range of products and here are just a few of them:
* Atomos announced the Shogun Inferno and free HDR update for the Samurai Blade, Ninja Blade, Shogun and Assassin
* Kinefinity TERRA 6K for $6K
* $600 Sony FS5 Raw upgrade to offer continuous external 4K/60fps and 1080/240fps Raw recording
* Edelkrone Jib Plus system provides focus and subject locking for any jib system
* DP Rodney Charters takes a closer look at Canon’s 18-80 T4.4 cine lens
* Kessler announce ‘medium format’ Shuttle Dolly, Digital Jog Dial and updated Second Shooter Plus
* Bright Tangerine Titan Articulated Arm
* Movcam demonstrates its autofocus and control systems
* Rodney Charters gets his hands on the Fujinon Premier PL 20-120 Cabrio XK lens and wide-angle diopter
* Lytro show their new 755MP RAW Cinema Camera
* Dedolight’s new Felloni lights push the brightness levels
* Aladdin prototype 1×1 LED lights are waterproof, adaptable, foldable
* Dotterel Drones UAV prop shrouding aims to make drones more stealthy
Newsshooter also conducted two hours of live panel discussions on the Teradek Live Show at the Vitec stand on the show floor each day. Some of those discussions included:
* Bill Bennett ASC, Geoff Boyle, Rodney Charters ASC and David Lightner
* Teradek live show featuring Canon’s 18-80 cine lens
* Women In Cinematography
* Live VR streaming and monitoring with the Teradek Sphere
* Watch the Newsshooter Awards live from Las Vegas
* Phil Arntz and Tony Augustinack talk about filming the viral smash “Hello Jetman”
It was a busy start to the year for the team here at Newsshooter and in Part 2 of our year in review we will look at the biggest stories and announcements from May, June, July and August.