AJA Cion: The Camera Nobody Talks About Pt 3 -
Hello all again!
It's now been a few weeks since I've worked with the camera and wrote my last blog. I've had some time to sit and digest my thoughts of it. Just to recap, I recently shot a music video for the artist Kitayah using the AJA Cion with Zeiss Ultra Prime lenses. The video had a good size crew and budget, meaning we had some firepower & manpower to actually put this camera through real production scenarios.
I had two AJA Cions ("A" & "B" cameras) and a Blackmagic 4k (C camera) for additional coverage and inserts. The Cions were PL mount, and they rocked the Zeiss glass. The BMPC was EF, and rocked Rokinon primes and Canon zooms. Even though I had multiple cameras, I treated this shoot like a single cam one. A camera was mostly used on a dolly, handheld, or sticks. B camera lived on steadicam, and C camera was inserts/alternate coverage.
Steadicam Operator Gary Kent (pictured above) loved working with the camera. He said the camera was light and easy enough to balance. Changing settings were easy enough as well. I'd say the one perk of this camera is definitely it's weight. B cam was equipped with a wireless follow focus and a wireless video feed. B cam 1st AC Eric Hanson loved having his own monitor to pull from!
The video was quite the challenge. We had 12 1/2 hours to pull off 5 locations within the property. We had a junkyard w/ zombies, a skate pool, a motel room, a diner exterior and diner interior. Both my G&E and Camera teams were on point. We finished well within the timeframe, including wrap out!
We had an onsite editor/media manager, and thoughout the day we were dumping cards and seeing the video come together before our eyes. The final cut was finished two days later and now it sits waiting for release. I'll be sure to post a link a soon as I can. Below are a few BTS shots, as well as ungraded stills from the video!
As for the Cion itself, I really like the camera. The sensor is solid, the flexibility of the image in post holds up, and the form factor & weight are amazing. For $5k, I'm tempted to pick one up. The cons to me are the menu design, and the small learning curve of the camera's features. Learning the profiles & gammas takes some time too. Overall, I'd put this camera in the ranks of RED's and Canons. Can it hold up to an Alexa? I can't say, I'd have to use them side by side to say. It's AJA's first try at a camera, and for a first attempt, well done AJA!
Until next time,
Camera: AJA Cion, Blackmagic 4k
Codec: 4k ProRes 422 HQ
FPS: 24, 60
Lenses: Zeiss Ultra Primes (16, 24, 40, 50, 135), Rokinon Primes (24, 35, 50, 85), Canon Zoom (70-200)
Lighting: 5 ton truck (M18s, Kinos, Bounces)
Support: Steadicam, Doorway dolly, Oconnor 50D, hi hat