Las Vegas — At NAB, AJA turned heads with the introduction of its new camera. That’s right, an AJA camera: the Cion. While there were some rumblings prior to AJA’s announcement just before the show opened, it was still a kick to hear president Nick Rasby describe the shoulder-mount 4K/UHD/2K/HD offering. And when they announced the price ($8,995) there was an audible gasp in the room… a room filled with your typically cynical journalists. The camera will be available for purchase this summer.
Cion, which is based on the Apple ProRes family of codecs — including 12-bit 444 — comes with Thunderbolt connectivity and allows for PL Mount glass. According to the company, they opted for ProRes codecs because they are well established in many post workflows and offer wide compatibility with editing, color correction and finishing apps. AJA’s Bryce Button came by the postPerspective booth to talk more about the Cion as well as updates to the Kona and Corvid line of products. Watch the interview here:
Here are some Cion details provided by AJA:
• Sensor: 4K APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an electronic global shutter. 12-stops of dynamic range.
• Recording Formats and Resolutions: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and Apple ProRes (Proxy); 4K (4096×2160), Ultra HD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080), HD (1920×1080). 2K and HD are hardware scaled from the full 4K sensor for high-quality over-sampled images and retention of field-of-view.
• Media: Record to AJA Pak SSD media available in 256GB and 512GB capacities. Transfer via Thunderbolt or USB3 with optional AJA Pak Dock; Complete 10-bit and 12-bit workflow from HD to 4K.
• Raw Support: Output AJA Raw via 3G-SDI at up to 4K 120 fps or via Thunderbolt at up to 4K 30fps.
• Lens Mount: Industry standard PL mount
• Connectors: 4x 3G-SDI/HD-SDI outputs (4K/Ultra HD/2K/HD); 2x 3G/HD-SDI monitor outputs with overlay support; 1x HDMI output offering support for 4K and Ultra HD or scaled 2K/HD; 1x HDMI output for 2K/HD; 2x mic/line/48v XLR analog audio inputs; 2x LANC control ports; 1x LTC input connector; 1x reference connector; 1x USB connector; 1x 10/100/1000; Ethernet LAN connection; 1x Mini TRS headphone jack; 1x 4-pin XLR power connector; 1x input power connector for attaching third-party battery plates; 1x output power connector; 1x Thunderbolt connector.
• Optical Low Pass Filter and IR cut filter: An integrated OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) reduces unwanted moiré effects while still retaining vital image detail. The infrared (IR) cut filter produces high quality colors within the image by blocking unwanted light wavelengths.
• Back Focus Adjustment: The mechanical calibration of the distance between lens and sensor allows finely tuned adjustments to ensure the sharpest image quality possible.
• Industrial design: Lightweight magnesium chassis, built-in confidence monitor, standard playback controls and connectors placed to optimize functionality. Integrated “cheese plates” fitted to both the top and the bottom of the chassis provide easy mounting of accessories. All Cion accessory connection points use open standards, including 15mm rods, 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes, and M6 hirth-tooth rosettes.
• User interface: Via operator side panel display, control knob and buttons or via LAN connection using a web-browser; no software installation required.
The AJA Pak SSD media is available for $695 (256GB) and $1,295 (512GB). The AJA Pak Dock is available for $395. Optional Cion accessories will also be ready for purchase when the camera ships this summer.