February 26th, 2014

Cinetics Intros Axis360 Motorized Camera Slider and Quickly Hits Kickstarter Goal

Axis360-1Cinetics is a company we’ve been following since its deceptively simple CineSkates camera dolly system caused a splash back in 2011. That product, which was introduced on Kickstarter and quickly made its funding goal, was followed by CineMoco, a more sophisticated motorized camera dolly that also easily hit its Kickstarter pledge mark.

So what does Cinetics do for another encore? It introduces the Axis360, a compact, motorized tripod head and slider system which — you guessed it — made its Kickstarter goal of $75,000 yesterday, less than 24 hours after it was launched.

The Axis360 slider, which is designed to help photographers and cinematographers create dynamic panning, tilting and sliding video along with timelapse photography, has collected nearly $110,000 in pledges from 150 backers at the time of this writing.

Here’s how Cinetics describes its new motorized slider in a press release about the product:

“Axis360 is an automated motion control system that rotates and slides a camera. Designed specifically for small production crews and extreme portability, the system is compact and lightweight, sets up quickly and easily, and is extremely versatile. Compatible with most DSLR, mirrorless, and cinema cameras weighing less than 11 pounds, Axis360 can move at a wide range of speeds, fluidly or incrementally, and the number of system combinations to suit specific shooting needs is virtually endless. Axis360 is controlled by the CineMoco motor controller, which is compatible with most video cameras and can synch moves and timelapse photos on most Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras with cables included with the system. Many other cameras support timelapse photography with built-in timers (intervalometers) and do not require a camera cable.”

Axis360-with-Rail-Low-Res-2

The Axis360 will sell in three kit configurations: Basic, Plus and Pro. The Basic Kit ($450) including the CineMoco controller, tripod, and ballhead. Tripods with ¼”-20 or 3/8”-16 attachments can also be used.

The Axis360 Plus ($550) includes the components of the Basic Kit plus a Tilt Kit for balanced, motorized tilting moves. The Axis360 Pro ($900) adds a slider rail for automated horizontal and vertical camera moves.

You can get more information about the Axis360 at its Kickstarter page. Also, check out the demo video below.

January 6th, 2014

Nikon Says New D4S Flagship DSLR Is Coming; Camera Will Be On Display At CES in Las Vegas

Nikon_logo.svgNikon made what will perhaps be the only true professional photography announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas tonight, saying it’s developing a new flagship pro DSLR to be called the Nikon D4S. The company said the D4S will be on display at the Nikon booth at CES from January 7-10 in Vegas.

So, in other words, if you’re attending CES this week, expect to see big crowds of excited photographers huddled around the Nikon booth hoping to get a glimpse of the successor to the D4, which was announced exactly two years ago today.

Nikon is not offering many details about the new D4S, saying only in a press release that it will feature “enhanced image quality enabled with adoption of a new image-processing engine.” This could suggest the new camera will be using the same 16.2-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor as the previous model but we could not verify that.

Read more of this story and see the Nikon press release about the D4S here.

March 1st, 2012

Canon Launches 22.3MP 5D Mark III DSLR (Hands-On Preview with Photos)

Hold onto your hats, folks! Canon has officially unveiled its long-awaited EOS 5D Mark III, the 22.3-megapixel, full-frame, HD-shooting successor to one of the company’s most popular pro DSLRs of all time.

We got to spend some hands-on shooting time (see further down in this story) with a prototype of the Canon 5D Mark III this week, and as successors go, this camera is fairly loaded; even if its image sensor is only a tick higher in resolution that the 21.1MP 5D Mark II from 2008. (In contrast, the Canon 5D Mark III’s direct competitor, the Nikon D800, uses a 36.3MP full-frame chip.)

But let’s get the important stuff out of the way first: the 1080p-shooting Canon 5D Mark III is slated to go on sale at the end of March for $3,499 (body only) and as a kit with the 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens for $4,299.

While that’s nearly $1,000 more than the 5D Mark II initially sold for, Canon argues that the amount of new tech in the 5D Mark III justifies the bump up in price.

“The feature set on this thing is so far superior to the 5D Mark II, it’s worth it,” Chuck Westfall, Canon USA’s Technical Advisor in the Professional Engineering & Solutions Division told us during a hands-on preview with the new camera on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Canon 5D Mark II will remain in the line and its price will drop next week. Westfall wouldn’t say how much the price will be lowered on the 5D II but at least one site predicts it will go down by $300, starting this Sunday.

“The 5D Mark II will remain in the line for at least the next six months. It might go longer than that but it depends,” Westfall said. “There are people who will say I can get by with less so the 5D Mark II is there for them.”

Read more of this story and see additional photos by clicking here.