AJA CION 4K/UHD and 2K/HD Production Camera

AJA CION 4K/UHD and 2K/HD Production Camera

AJA CION 4K/UHD and 2K/HD Production Camera

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Expected availability: 7-10 business days

Product Highlights

  • 4K APS-C CMOS Image Sensor
  • 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
  • Electronic Global Shutter
  • PL Lens Mount with Back Focus Adjustment
  • 12 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • Remote Operation over Ethernet
  • Contoured Shoulder Pad & Top Handle
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AJA CION overview

  • 1Description

The AJA CION 4K/UHD and 2K/HD Production Camera features an APS-C sized 4K image sensor capable of capturing both DCI and UHD 4K as well as 2K and HD resolution video. Video is recorded using Apple ProRes 4444 and 422 codecs up to DCI 4K (4096x2160) at 60 fps to AJA Pak media. The camera can also output AJA Raw video at up to DCI 4K at 120 fps via quad-link 3G-SDI output, and up to 30 fps over Thunderbolt. With an ergonomic yet flexible design and industry-standard connections, the CION is ready for professional use in the field or in the studio.

The 4K APS-C sized CMOS image sensor provides 12 stops of dynamic range and utilizes an electronic global shutter to eliminate motion skew associated with rolling shutters. An integrated Optical Low-Pass and IR cut filter serves to reduce moiré while yielding sharp images with high quality colors. The camera uses a PL lens mount for use with industry standard cinema lenses. And because APS-C is very similar in size to that of Super 35mm, your Super 35mm PL lenses will cover the imaging area of the sensor. Mechanical back focus adjustment has been included for fine-tuning the distance between the lens and the sensor for optimum image sharpness.

The CION is designed to be user friendly in form and operation. A contoured shoulder pad provides comfortable shoulder-mounted operation, and the included top handle features an integrated LANC start/top button. All of the audio and video connections are industry-standard and have been placed so not to interfere with camera operation. Camera interface controls are located on the side of the camera facing the operator for easy access in single-user setups. The menu is also easy to navigate using a dial knob. The integrated monitor displays the menu information as well as a preview of your real-time image. The camera can also be controlled remotely via a LAN connection, and even ganged with other CION cameras for multicam shoots.

4K APS-C Sensor
CION features a 4K APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an electronic global shutter and 12 stops of dynamic range. Super 35mm lenses cover the imaging area of the sensor, while the global shutter eliminates the negative effects associated with rolling shutter-based sensors.
Recording Formats
CION can record at DCI 4K (4096x2160), UltraHD (3840x2160), 2K (2048x1080), and Full HD (1920x1080). 2K and HD resolutions are hardware scaled from the full 4K sensor, resulting in over-sampled images, which retain your lens' angle of view at any desired resolution. Frame rates up to 50 and 60 fps can be recorded to AJA Pak media, while outputting AJA Raw in frame rates up to 120 fps via 4x 3G-SDI outputs.
AJA Pak Media
The camera records to AJA's SSD-based Pak storage. The robust high-speed compact storage slots directly into the camera and allows recording of both DCI 4K and UHD 4K in addition to 2K and HD as ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 (HQ), ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT), and ProRes (Proxy). Pak media is available in 256GB or 512GB capacities and by utilizing the optional AJA Pak Dock, you can transfer your footage over high-speed Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. AJA Pak media features a multi-insertion rated connector. Connecting to CION via the LAN connector provides real time information regarding the Pak currently in use and by utilizing a Thunderbolt enabled RAID storage drive you can quickly back up your Pak media as you shoot.
AJA Raw Workflows
CION can output frame rates up to 120 fps as either DCI 4K or UHD 4K from its 4 x 3G-SDI outputs as AJA Raw. You can also output AJA Raw up to 30 fps via the camera's Thunderbolt connector. With the use of AJA's Corvid Ultra in conjunction with TruZoom software (both sold separately), you can even take the AJA Raw output and replay it at up to 60 fps, for live broadcast applications.
PL Lens Mount
The camera uses PL mount lenses that are the industry standard for professional cinema cameras. Additionally, the lens mount has been designed to be removable so third parties may develop mounts for other lens types.
Optical Low Pass Filter and IR Cut Filter
An integrated Optical Low-Pass Filter reduces unwanted moiré effects while still retaining image detail. The infra-red cut filter helps produce high quality colors within the image by blocking unwanted light wavelengths.
Back Focus Adjustment
The inclusion of a mechanical back focus adjustment allows for proper calibration of the distance between lens and sensor. By making finely tuned adjustments, the sharpest image quality is assured.
CION is designed to let you customize the camera to suit your shooting style and needs. All of the audio and video connections are industry-standard and audio and video connectors have been placed where they will not interfere with camera operation. 3G-SDI and HDMI monitor outputs, as well as a power output, make it easy to add a monitor or viewfinder to the camera and, utilizing internal scaling, these dedicated monitoring outputs are always active even when shooting at DCI 4K and UHD resolutions.
User Interface
All the interface controls are found on the side of the camera facing the operator for easy single user functionality. The menu structure is designed for ease of use, without cumbersome sub-menu navigation. Settings can be adjusted confidently using a selection knob. The integrated monitor displays the menu information as well as a preview of your real-time image. CION also offers powerful network-based control. Via the LAN connection, a web-browser UI allows for remote configuration of the camera, making it completely controllable whether it's on a crane, jib, or other mount.
Multicam Gang Control
CION makes multicam shoots easier to manage by using a laptop with a simple Ethernet switch and LAN cables. The web UI allows complete and independent set up of multiple CION cameras; you may name each camera and consolidate control of the cameras from within a web browser using the unique gang recording feature. The web UI will also allow real-time monitoring of the capacity of the Pak media used in each CION.
The sleek chassis is formed of gravity molded magnesium which is lightweight but strong. Integrated steel rosettes allow you to mount industry standard accessories including hand grips and handle extensions directly to the camera body.
Aluminum cheese plates are fitted to both the top and bottom of the chassis to provide easy mounting of accessories from both AJA and third parties, with standard thread sizes to offer a wide range of compatibility.
CION is designed to be comfortable, convenient, and flexible for a variety of shooting environments. A contoured shoulder pad fits comfortably to your shoulder for hand held use. An included top handle made of high grade aluminum and wood features an integrated LANC start/stop button. The handle base itself uses a LWS 15mm rod and through hole to allow you to mount additional third part accessories.
In the Box
AJA CION 4K/UHD and 2K/HD Production Camera
  • Handle Grip
  • Handle Mount
  • LANC Collar
  • LANC Cable
  • Standard Rear Door Plate
  • Alternate Rear Door Plate
  • Battery Adapter Plate
  • AC Power Supply
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    AJA CION specs

    Image Sensor
    Image Sensor Size 22.5 x 11.9 mm (Super35)
    Sensor Type CMOS
    Shutter Type Global Shutter
    ISO 320 to 1000 (Expanded)
    Advertised Dynamic Range 12 Stops
    Lens Mount PL Mount
    Built-In ND Filter None
    Recording Media 1 x AJA Pak Card Slot
    Internal Recording
    Recording Modes ProRes 4444:
    4096 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30 fps 
    3840 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30 fps 
    ProRes 422:
    4096 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60 fps 
    3840 x 2160p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60 fps 
    External Recording
    Raw Output SDI/BNC:
    4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60 fps 
    4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30 fps 
    Video Connectors 1 x HDMI (HDMI 1.4) Output
    2 x BNC (3G-SDI) Monitor Output
    4 x BNC (3G-SDI) Output
    1 x HDMI (HDMI 1.3) Output
    Audio Connectors 2 x 3-Pin XLR Mic/Line Level (+48 V Phantom Power) Input
    1 x 1/8" (3.5 mm) Stereo Headphone Output
    Other I/O 1 x RJ45 LAN 
    1 x BNC Timecode 
    1 x BNC Reference Input
    2 x 2.5 mm LANC Control Input
    Battery Type None
    Power Connectors 1 x 4-Pin XLR (12 to 18 VDC at5 A) Input
    Power Consumption ≥47 W
    Operating Temperature 41 to 104°F / 5 to 40°C
    Storage Temperature -4 to 140°F / -20 to 60°C
    Accessory Mount 1 x Cold Shoe Mount
    1 x 1/4"-20 Female Thread
    Weight 7.4 lb / 3.4 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 14.0 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 17.1 x 13.4 x 13.0"

    AJA CION reviews

    CION 4K/UHD and 2K/HD Production Camera is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 8.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Company with a Great Camera! I have to be honest, I was a little hesitant with the cameras performance when I first got it (with Firmware 1.0), but I talked to the company about my complaints and with in two weeks they had released a firmware update that addressed each of the problems I had pointed out, a month later they released firmware 1.2 that went even further. Now it is truly a phenomenal camera, for a fantastic price, the image is beautiful and flexible, they have solved the highlight issues while maintaining the wonderful color profile they have created. The company goes the distance to please the customer, they are very willing to help and they make fantastic products.
    Date published: 2015-05-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Do Not Be Afraid Used it on a lengthy and important shoot and could not be happier at the quality of the image. The 4K is amazing and the image looks beautiful. If you were nervous about purchasing this camera... don't be. It's a steal at this price. Only one disappointment... currently no one provides a way to capture AJA Raw video to a portable hard Drive which is curious considering AJA manufactures hard Drives. Im hoping someday in the future that a company will build one that allows us to unlock this feature. It will be amazing!
    Date published: 2016-03-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good camera! The performance is great, especially for that price! It's definitely not a camera to just unpack and start, you should test it and find your workflow. When working with this camera you must work with your light since it clips very fast. An additional ND filter is a must. The only bad point: no external RAW options for oddyssey 7q+, even after years of announcing it. Convergent Design still use the Cion logo on their website, shame on them!!!
    Date published: 2016-06-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Aja = 70% of Arri Ideal for using on Films, Commercial and Music Videos. With EF-Mount and Rokkinon Cine Lenses it's completely good product with great price.
    Date published: 2015-12-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from 90% of an Alexa for 10% of the price When AJA introduced its CION camera at NAB in 2014 our small production company was immediately interested. Not only did the CION offer the technical specs we were looking for but it had the form factor and general layout of a very well thought-out design together with AJA's reputation for delivering top quality products. For us the CION appeared to be 90% of an Arri Alexa for 10% of the price.As opposed to other manufacturers who want to lock the user into a boatload of proprietary accessories, AJA has designed everything about the CION to be open-sourced. No bizarre connectors, non-standard threads or mounts. The only proprietary component required is the use of AJA's well-proven Pak Media and while this might seem to be an expensive requirement, take a look at the options for media with the speed and capacity required: Pak media currently costs about $/GB as compared with $/GB for CFast (used by the BlackMagic Ursa) and $/GB for a Red Mini-mag.Built on a very sturdy magnesium chassis the basic CION weighs in 7.4 pounds. For me it has a light, fast feel reminiscent of the old CP-16 film cameras I cut my teeth on back in the 1970's. Compared to the CION, BlackMagic's ponderous Ursa, at more than twice the weight, seems more like a Mitchell BNC.Operationally, the CION is designed to set up in a minimum of time. The menus are on a single level so you don't have to dig through layers to get where you're going. There aren't a lot of knobs to twiddle AJA knows that at this point in the development of digital cinema everyone is going to be doing any significant color correction in post so they have not weighed down the CION with complex color correction or LUTS in-camera. It boots in a fast 28 seconds and you're ready to go. The CION ships with a mount for PL lenses. In case you don't have a closet full of PLs, AJA has made the mount easily removable and a number of third-parties are offering mounts for other lens such as the popular Canon EF. For those moving up to the CION from a Panasonic AF-100 or Canon EOS C-100 or maybe a DSLR, this is a great feature. We chose the American-made EF mount from Harusa which incorporates a behind-the-lens filter holder. In the interest of mechanical simplicity AJA elected not to include in-camera ND filters in the CION so having the ability to put a filter in the mount keeps the front of the lens free for any other filter you might need without having to stack filters on the lens or in a mattebox.We have now logged several hours of footage on CION chassis 727 and can say everything works exactly as advertised. The global shutter is much appreciated, as are the built-in cheese plates top and bottom. Shooting directly to Pro-Res (444 or 422) without transcoding improves video quality and streamlines and standardizes workflow. Obviously the CION is not an Alexa but for us it is 90% of one and it has completely fulfilled our expectations for it.
    Date published: 2015-03-22
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible I spent a few days using two Cions on a commercial job and I couldn?t believe a pro video company like AJA would release a product this bad into the wild. The cameras clipped highlights worse than I?ve ever seen, no matter how I set them up. The only reason I?d ever pick one of these up again would be to throw it into a flaming dumpster. Get an FS7 or URSA Mini Pro instead.
    Date published: 2017-10-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent.....!!!!! I hesitated for a while before I bought it. Needed an all round camera to do many different types of productions, this fits the bill in every way. Exposure is critical, always have a matte box and a host of NDs .... firmware 1.2 works beautifully, firmware 1.3 needs a little work in my opinion. But fantastic experience overall.
    Date published: 2016-09-04
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible Camera We shot with this at every setting and even with the gamma changes to flatten the image into a log-like profile, the image still clipped very quickly and genuinely looked worse than a DSLR. Don't make the mistake of buying the Cion
    Date published: 2016-06-18
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