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What Occurred to the AJA CION 4K?


It appeared to have appeared and vanished within the blink of a watch, however do you know that AJA created a full-fledged cinema digicam referred to as the CION?

Feeling comparable in type and coming across the similar time to when Blackmagic began totally diving into the digicam world – which was in all probability a part of the issue for AJA – the CION was a well-spec’d 4K-shooting full-size digicam that regarded thrilling on the time. So what occurred to it?

Body Voyager has been making a collection on deserted cinema cameras and so they took a take a look at the AJA CION of their newest video.

The CION was focusing on the identical markets that ARRI and RED have been dominating. It was Tremendous 35mm and had a worldwide shutter—one thing nonetheless uncommon at present. It may do 4K as much as 120 fps. And, the worth level on the time was comparatively low cost for what they have been providing. It in all probability would’ve performed effectively, if not for the Blackmagic URSA.

AJA has numerous parallels to Blackmagic Design. They made a reputation for themselves with mini converters and comparable {hardware} for post-production. Folks very a lot recognize AJA merchandise. They wished to simplify video workflows and likewise began providing their merchandise in worth ranges the place the common shopper may decide them up. Tremendous comparable.

Quick ahead to NAB 2014 when AJA first introduced the CION. It was meant to fill the hole between high-end cinema cameras and prosumer cameras.

The worldwide shutter and 4K 120p output have been spectacular. Whereas full dimension the digicam was light-weight at round 6 lb with a magnesium alloy exterior. Operation was easy and designed for single operators who doubtless would even be the house owners.

The opposite benefit of the CION was all of the connections. Is smart contemplating the businesses roots. It had six SDI outputs, two HDMI outputs, two XLR inputs, Thunderbolt for PC direct recording, two LANC connectors, and a D-Faucet output for accent energy.

It may very well be constructed as much as work for any workflow you wanted. Ergonomics and adaptability have been the objective and that was based mostly on the truth that comparable choices within the inexpensive tier have been finicky to make use of and normal not optimized for true productions. 

Picture Credit score: AJA

Sadly, Blackmagic occurred to be engaged on a really comparable product with their URSA. Nonetheless, competitors isn’t at all times a demise sentence.

One space the place issues began to go improper was with the sensor. As we have been speaking concerning the rarity of a few of the choices you would see that the CION was restricted by the potential of the sensor they have been capable of purchase. World shutter is a pleasant function, however on the time it got here on the expense of extra vital issues like dynamic vary.

It was solely 8.2 stops, which was a lot decrease than the listed vary and examined poorly in comparison with the Blackmagic URSA that was launched within the following years.

Value was one other level of failure. It was launching at practically $9,000, which made it one of many dearer 4K choices on the market. Blackmagic got here in swinging with the very comparable URSA at $6,000 and even the Manufacturing Digicam 4K with comparable high quality was solely $3,000. There have been extra compelling choices for a lot much less cash.

Competitors hit AJA on the worst attainable time and Blackmagic was relentless. Yr after 12 months Blackmagic was dropping new, even higher cameras at wonderful worth factors. Even with worth cuts and firmware updates, AJA was combating a shedding battle. In 2018 AJA determined to discontinue the digicam.

Timing was what actually killed the CION. If it had not sat in manufacturing for as lengthy and launched a 12 months or two earlier they could have gotten a bounce available on the market and will’ve used that momentum to make developments. AJA was so shut.

The fascinating factor is that even the URSA in its unique kind didn’t have too lengthy of a life both. However that’s a complete different video in case you are .

Do you keep in mind the AJA CION? What are your ideas on how its launch was dealt with?

[source: Frame Voyager]

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