B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of June 2nd, 2024

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B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of June 2nd, 2024

It’s been a packed week for announcements, with lots of happenings in the cine world, some key lens announcements for photographers, and even a couple of new products in the lighting realm. All of this, plus some new in-house content, made for a busy past seven days as we head into the start of summer.

Canon introduces C400 cinema camera and updated Cine-Servo lens

Leading the trio of major announcements for the week was Canon’s launch of the EOS C400 Cinema Camera. The C400 is a full-frame model meshing many of the best features from the C300 and C500 platforms, but also carving out its own niche with the inclusion of an RF mount, among other tech upgrades. A new 6K CMOS stacked sensor has a back-illuminated design that, beyond excellent image quality and fast readout speeds, offers “better autofocus, triple base ISO, and a diverse suite of RAW and compressed codecs.”

This should prove to be a popular model that suits a wide variety of filmmakers and use cases, including scripted pieces, documentary work, and run-and-gun shooting—all thanks to its portable size, expanded base ISO range, and major AF improvements.

EOS C400 Cinema Camera with Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 Lens
EOS C400 Cinema Camera with Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 Lens

The second piece of this cine-focused announcement was for an upgraded Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 lens, which features a new e-XS V Servo Drive Unit for fast focusing and iris transitions that will also support Canon’s Focus Breathing Compensation feature. The lens will be available with an RF mount, to fit the C400 or other more recent Canon cine cameras, as well as an ARRI PL mount with Cooke/I and ZEISS eXtended Data support.

Canon also announces RF 35mm f/1.4 L VCM and Speedlite EL-10

Not content with one major announcement this week, Canon also decided to launch a new RF-mount hybrid lens as well as an updated mid-range Speedlite.

The RF 35mm f/1.4 L VCM is an interesting lens release as it sits on the boundary between being decidedly a cine lens and a lens more suitable for photographers—Canon deems is a hybrid series lens.

Canon RF 35mm f/1.4 L VCM
Canon RF 35mm f/1.4 L VCM

Physically, it’s sized similarly to photo lenses, is measured using f/stops, and uses the RF mount that is still a bit more common among hybrid and photo cameras rather than pure cinema cameras. All this said, the lens does sport a manual aperture ring that is permanently de-clicked—perfect for those smooth, silent iris transitions but necessitating photographers to use the A position for autoexposure shooting. The other key distinction is the inclusion of a VCM (Voice Coil Motor) and Nano USM combination that drives focus in a precise and rapid manner to benefit both recording mediums.

Canon Speedlite EL-10
Canon Speedlite EL-10

The second piece of this announcement on the photography side of the fence is for the Speedlite EL-10—a mid-range flash meant to directly replace the very popular 430EX-III RT. The key update this replacement strobe brings is Canon’s new Multi-Function shoe, which makes it directly compatible with their newest EOS R cameras, like the R3, R6 Mark II, R7, R8, R10, and R50. Design-wise it’s similar-but-smaller to the EL-5, it uses four AA batteries instead of a proprietary lithium-ion pack, and it retains built-in radio transmission and E-TTL support for intuitive multi-flash triggering and exposure control.

Panasonic updates its iconic GH platform with the GH7

More big news in the video world this week: Panasonic announced its latest cine-forward Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera, the Lumix GH7.

Three key updates are gained with this latest generation of the renowned GH system: phase-detection autofocus (finally!), internal ProRes RAW recording, and 32-bit float audio recording when working with the optional DMW-XLR2 XLR Microphone Adapter.

The 25.2MP Live MOS sensor is similar to G9 II, where PDAF first debuted in their Micro Four Thirds line, but the GH7 gains improved video capabilities like internal ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ recording. ProRes RAW can be recorded at up to C4K 60p or 5.7K 30p directly to a CFexpress Type-B card inside the camera or external SSDs up to 2TB. Also, assuming you’re working in relatively mild conditions, the GH7 supports nearly unlimited ProRes RAW record times which is ideal for interviews, nature work, and long-form content.

One other unique introduction with this model is an optional paid upgrade to gain ARRI LogC3 format support for 10-bit recording in ProRes 422 and ALL-Intra modes. This enables adding a GH7 to larger production situations, where it can serve as a compact B or C-cam or even a crash cam.

Panasonic Lumix GH7
Panasonic Lumix GH7

Also, on top of all of the video benefits, the GH7 still remains a top-of-the-line photography camera, on par with Panasonic’s G9 II. It has 60 fps continuous shooting, 100MP Handheld High-Res mode, and includes the Leica Monochrome profile for a decidedly classic photography look.

Tamron’s unique 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Super Zoom

All-in-one zooms are rarely interesting; they’re typically a lens that is what it is…but Tamron has found a way to inject uniqueness into a lens that’s conventionally a jack of all trades. The 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD starts at a wider 50mm position than the typical 70-300mm; this extra bit of field of view means the lens covers everything from normal to super-telephoto perspectives and can be an especially useful lens for travel photography.

Tamron 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD Lens
Tamron 50-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD Lens

Profoto introduces the L1600D Mono-LED light

Profoto, best known for producing some of the highest quality strobe lights, monolights, flashes, and flash modifiers around, made a surprising announcement today with their L1600D Mono-LED light—a constant LED COB point-source light built specifically for cinema use. Profoto has conventionally been a photographer brand due to the nature of their products, but it’s interesting to see their attention to detail and quality applied to a new market.

Profoto L1600D Mono-LED Light
Profoto L1600D Mono-LED Light

The L1600D is a fixed daylight-balanced LED meant to be used as a key or fill light, using a 1600W power draw to output 3850 lux at 16.4’ with a CRI of 97 with the built-in wide reflector or an immense 49,000 lux with the included Boost Reflector.

Physically, it’s a large light—coming in at 25.8’ and it’s fully integrated, compared to separated heads and ballasts. While this adds some size and weight, it also means Profoto could build it to be IP54-rated for water- and dust-resistance.

In other news…

  • The latest episode of the Picturing World Cultures podcast series has been released, featuring Guatemalan photographer, Juan Brenner, speaking about photographing Guatemala’s western highlands region

Juan Brenner
  • We had a chance to get our hands on the new Sonos Ace headphones; read Gabby Bloch’s review of the latest wireless noise-canceling over-ear headphones.

  • It’s been a couple of weeks since the debut of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Series chips; learn more about the latest Copilot+ PCs with the Snapdragon X Elite and Plus processors.

  • Samsung announced new ViewFinity, M-Series, and Odyssey OLED monitors.

Phew, we’re ready for some time off before we get back to it in a couple of weeks with more news and content to share.

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