Announced during NAB 2014 last April, the AJA CION took centre stage at the show and was one of the most awaited cameras to be released last year. As AJA’s first foray into the camera business the journey as expected hasn’t been easy and they’ve hit a few bumps in the road. The camera was delayed and just started shipping towards the end of last year to customers who had pre-ordered the camera. On the upside, AJA have been committed to support the camera and have recently announced a new firmware update. They recently released v1.2 firmware for the CION 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD professional production camera during NAB 2015.
The field-upgradeable software update brings CION users around the world additional image improvements, new features and several other enhancements.
AJA CION Firmware 1.2 updates:
- White Balance —Improved white balance performance for over exposed image portions
- Video Levels — Improved video levels with higher IRE values available for various EI, gamma and colour correction combinations.
- Gamma/Colour correction — Additional gamma and colour correction options for higher EI 800 and EI 1000 values.
- New LUT support —Internal video gamma LUT for external monitoring of the Expanded 1 or Disabled gamma selections when an external LUT device is not in use.
- Auto White Balance Alarm — Notifies users if an image does not contain a sufficient value of white or grey to perform an appropriate white balance and reverts to the unity setting.
- Time Lapse Function Indicator — Interval record (time lapse) indication for the superimposed monitoring overlay.
- Expanded RGB output — SMPTE or full RGB range values can now be selected for the main SDI outputs.
Ergonomic and lightweight with unparalleled connectivity, CION is capable of shooting at 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD resolutions. In-camera recording directly to the Apple ProRes family of codecs, including 12-bit ProRes 444, enables incredible image quality capture to cost-effective AJA Pak SSD media at up to 4K/60p, and offers compatibility with a wide range of post production applications. CION can also output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps via 4 x 3G-SDI or up to 4K 30fps via Thunderbolt.
“We’re thrilled by the enthusiasm we’ve seen for CION from the community thus far and we’ve been blown away by the incredible images our users are creating; it’s fueling our team’s efforts to regularly bring users new features and improvements that will help solve common production problems,” says Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems. “CION already offers so many great features at an incredible price point, and this software update is just another example of our commitment to make it even greater with the integration of some of our most popular user-requested features.”
AJA CION Highlights & Features
- 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
Here’s the latest CION showreel AJA recently released during NAB 2015:
The new reel looks great, but the marketplace has changed significantly in the last 12 months with new, more aggressively priced 4K cameras like the Sony FS7 and the freshly introduced at this year’s NAB Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K camera. The recently announced support for AJA Raw on 4K external recorders like the Atomos Shogun and Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+ makes the AJA CION more appealing than before and would certainly open more doors towards further adoption of the CION with camera professionals, rental houses and production companies looking for a solid built, 4K ProRes internal and slow-motion capable Super 35 chip camera with PL mount.
CION firmware version 1.2 is field-upgradeable, easily uploaded to the CION camera via a built-in web UI with a standard web-browser, and recommended for all CION users. It is available as a free download here.
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