Post Magazine

November 2015

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REVIEW tions, the "Normal" or "Video" selections get either better skin tones or a color setting that is more dialed-in for live production. You pretty much know that you aren't going to post production ei- ther because of time constraints or you are doing a live shoot. Great thinking when you want to build a camera with a lot of "usability" (a.k.a. bookable hours). On the other side of the equation, when you know you are going for a certain "look," "Gamma," "No Gamma," and "Expanded Gamma" each brought a ton of flex to post. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the test shots… I shot both interiors and exteriors using the supplied Zeiss CP.2 Super Speed 35mm lens (awesome glass). The first day was mostly just straight up with all the settings on normal (as though there was no time for post — it happens). They were all very cinematic-looking (warm) images that were locked on to true skin tone and the color of the backgrounds. Then, on the next day, it was almost all exteriors. At first I tried to go away from the recom- mended EI (Exposure Index) of EI320. Not a good result, as the sun was setting. I went back to standard exposure index and then went in, shot with flat color cor- rection and disabled (no curve applied) gamma and several other combinations but basically shot with little or no correc- tions applied. On some of the shots, I was pretty sure I was way over exposed and that the images would not be usable. Until I went to Expanded 1 Gamma. The ex- posures were in the high range but were quite usable. Time to head to post! TAKE FOUR: HEADING TO POST As I noted earlier, taking the footage onto the Adobe Premiere timeline was pretty straight forward. But pay really close at- tention here. The footage I shot wasn't to- tally overexposed, but very high contrast that I was able to drag back down to an acceptable level. It got even better from here. When my editor and I took the no gamma/flat color corrected footage into Lumetri Looks, I was blown away. Now it all made perfect sense because we had total control of the look and feel of the entire image. If I wanted "cold," I got cold. If I wanted almost a "burnt orange" or warm image, I got it. It was as though we had a clean slate to manipulate and really create something totally different in color/ post because we had set it up in the CION before I shot anything. Cool. So very cool. TAKE AWAYS AJA has really outdone itself with this entry into the camera segment. Is the CION without faults? No. But in the end, and at this price point, it does compare favorably to other cameras in this same space. With the amount of flex built in and that beautiful cinematic look and feel, you owe it to yourself to check out the AJA CION. The AJA CION was a very solid performer. 47 POST NOVEMBER 2015 The CION offers a range of connections for field and studio-based productions, including HDMI output, Mini TRS headphone jack, LAN and Thunderbolt connectors (left). It also features a Zeiss CP.2 Super Speed 35mm PL lens (below).

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