The AJA Cion has a Super 35mm-sized sensor, with global shutter and 12-stops of dynamic range, and records using various Apple ProRes codecs, including 12-bit 444. It builds on AJA’s excellent reputation for external recorders, such as the Ki Pro, Ki Pro Mini and, most recently, the 4K Ki Pro Quad, so it had already built the back-end of the camcorder.
The $8,995 Cion will take PL-mount lenses (although given its relatively low price, it would have been nice to see a version that takes less expensive lenses, such as Canon’s EF mount).
The shoulder-mountable Cion has an ergonomic design, with standard connectors in logical positions, and can shoot at 4K, Ultra HD, 2K or HD resolutions.
It can output 4K raw data at up to 120 frames per second via 4x 3G-SDI outputs, to an external recorder. Internally it can record directly to AJA Pak SSD media (256GB or 512GB) at up to 60fps in: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and Apple ProRes (Proxy), at 4K (4096x2160), Ultra HD (3840x2160), 2K (2048x1080) and HD (1920x1080). HD and 2K are hardware scaled from the full 4K sensor for high-quality over-sampled images and retention of field-of-view.
Users can also transfer material via Thunderbolt or USB3 with an optional AJA Pak Dock. It will also output Raw video via Thunderbolt at up to 4K 30fps.
It has four 3G-SDI/HD-SDI outputs (4K/Ultra HD/2K/HD); two 3G/HD-SDI monitor outputs with overlay support; an HDMI output offering support for 4K and Ultra HD or scaled 2K/HD; an HDMI output for 2K/HD; two mic/line/48v XLR analogue audio inputs; two LANC control ports; one LTC timecode input connector; one reference connector; a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN connection; a Mini TRS headphone jack; a 4-pin XLR power connector; an input power connector for attaching third-party battery plates; and one output power connector.
The 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs are all simultaneously active, to supply signals to 4K/Ultra HD and 2K/HD monitors.
A built-in filter combines an optical low pass filter (OLPF) to eliminate unwanted aliasing and moiré with an infrared (IR) cut filter to produce appropriate colours. It also has a mechanical back focus adjustment to make it easier to properly calibrate the distance between lens and sensor, to get the sharpest possible image.
The camera’s menu parameters are remotely configurable via a web interface and can be accessed through any web browser via a LAN connection.
The Cion has a lightweight magnesium chassis, plus integrated steel rosettes for mounting accessories such as handgrips and handle extensions, and integrated cheese plates fitted to both the top and the bottom of the chassis to provide easy mounting of other accessories.
“Cion represents a new direction for AJA. Bringing this sophisticated camera to market underscores our passion to support filmmakers, broadcasters and content creators,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “We believe that the thoughtfully considered design, along with a powerful feature set, will make it extremely useful and versatile for productions worldwide.”
The AJA Cion should be available by late Summer (one dealer says it will ship in mid August). The AJA Pak SSD media will cost $695 for 256GB or $1,295 for 512GB, while the AJA Pak Dock will be $395.
By David Fox