Genus unveiled a very interesting product at IBC. The prototype is an electronic lens adaptor that will remotely control your lens and most importantly, offers an electronic variable neutral density filter.
ND (or lack of) has been an ongoing saga in the compact camera body world. The DSLR filmmaker was highly trained in the fast operation of switching his/hers variable ND filter as they changed lens. This is a skill that has been carried through to the use of mirrorless cameras; camera manufacturers simply have not, and are not installing any kind of ND system in their compact stills/video cameras.
Third party companies have tried everything to solve this issue; we’ve seen fader NDs, lens adaptors with in-built filter wheels, magnetic lens threads that enable fast mount and remove of filters; there hasn’t been a definitive solution. With the sensitivity of mirrorless camera nowadays, this issue is more apparent than ever.
Genus have a working prototype that looks very interesting indeed, a remote control adaptor with inbuilt electronic variable ND. Our friends at newsshooter.com took a closer look at the new product:
To be clear, this is a prototype. The black box that the adaptor currently sits on will not make the final cut; this is merely proof of concept.
The ND works using a liquid crystal display that when voltage is applied you can accurately dial in the level of ND.
We’ve seen the same kind of technology being implemented in the new Sony FS5 camera that works with a variable electronic ND system as well.
Genus make a point of this not simply being billed as an electronic ND; it is a remote control lens adaptor. This means you can adjust the aperture and focus of the lens remotely, which is very useful where you can’t reach your camera (drone, crane) and/or you camera doesn’t offer any native wireless support for such features.
Little is given away by Genus in the above interview at this point. It sounds as if they’ve had some issues with color shift (as with many variable ND systems) and won’t disclose anything on sharpness (or reduction of).
The ND will be effective around 2 to 12 stops, the prototype is adapting Canon EF to Sony E mount, a very popular conversion in this sector however the interview leads reason to believe that other adaptors will follow.
Genus are hoping to launch the product by BVE 2016 (February) if not by NAB 2016 (April).