NAB: Hollywood Camera Business Gets New Competitor in AJA

"It was a natural progression since we were effectively creating the back half of cameras already," AJA president Nick Rashby tells THR of the $9,000 4K Cion.
AJA Video

LAS VEGAS—AJA Video is entering the camera business, just two years after its main competitor, Blackmagic Design, made the same move. Broadcast and postproduction technology maker AJA—widely known for converters and portable recorders—revealed that it is developing a $9,000 4K-capable camera, dubbed Cion, on Monday at the NAB Show.

The camera—the first in what will be a camera line—is aimed at filmmakers, TV series and broadcast production. AJA president Nick Rashby told The Hollywood Reporter that he sees the Cion sitting in the midrange of the market, between high-end camera such as the Arri Alexa and Red Epic and low end DSLR and prosumer cameras, meaning he sees this as a competitor with cameras such as Sony’s F55 4K model.

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According to AJA, the new camera incorporates a 4K APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an electronic global shutter, and offers 12-stops of dynamic range. It supports PL mount lenses, and in-camera ProRes recording. AJA said it can output AJA Raw via 3G-SDI at up to 4K 120 frames per second or via Thunderbolt at up to 4K 30 fps.

Asked why enter the market, Rashby told THR: “We started working on this almost five years ago after we did the Ki Pro (portable recorder). “We were so close—we had everything expect the sensor. It was a natural progression since we were effectively creating the back half of  cameras already.”

Several production models are already being tested in the field, but AJA declined to name these collaborators. It's scheduled to ship this summer.

Twitter: @CGinLA