DP David Kaufman Captures MLS Soccer and Indie Film Short with AJA CION

August 6, 2015

David Kaufman is a video producer and editor for Sporting Kansas City, one of the region’s most popular Major League Soccer clubs, and a freelance cameraman. For Sporting Kansas City, he shoots and produces web videos, commercials, introduction videos for the Sporting KC Video board, and feature content for the SKCTV broadcast team.  His latest feature, “Road Wins: Sporting KC in Vancouver” followed the team as they traveled to Vancouver and defeated the Whitecaps.  Recently Kaufman used AJA’s CION production camera to shoot during an evening match versus Dallas FC and a short film project in Kansas City.

“I’ve shot with a wide range of cameras, from my standard Sony FS700, to the Canon C300, and RED Epic.  Shooting with the CION was great to experience in both run-and-gun environments and on well lit production sets,” said Kaufman. “The camera performed well in both scenarios and the footage looked great. Working with the stadium's lighting, I was nervous that the match footage would be underexposed. I was maxing out the EI in camera to make up for the amount of light in the stadium during a night game. In post, I added a simple curves adjustment to lift the shadows. I retained nearly all detail and the final image was exactly what I wanted.”

Kaufman shot the match on his own, using the CION equipped with the Wooden Camera Simple Canon Mount with EF mount lenses.  For game action he shot primarily on Canon 24-105mm and Canon 100-400mm telephoto zoom lenses. “The telephoto lenses allow me to get up-close and personal during a match. I'd love to shoot a game on all primes, but the zooms give me the range that I need,” says Kaufman. He used a Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Pro for a viewfinder. All of the match footage was captured in 2K 10-bit ProRes 422 at 60 frames per second.

For the short film he worked alongside local DP/Producer James Rico, operating the camera and assisting with lighting. EF mount Rokinon Cine DS Prime Lenses paired perfectly with the CION Production camera for this project.  All of the short film footage was captured in 2K 12-bit ProRes 444.

“Having high-quality ProRes files instantly out of the camera is great,” says Kaufman.  “I really like the high contrast look the CION can give to its image; it’s super crispy. You can definitely tell when you hit your focus—and it all held up great in color grading.”  

“I’m a camera nerd...I like working with all kinds of cameras. I enjoy testing cameras out to see both how they perform and if they would work for an upcoming shoot. CION has a solid image straight out of the camera—it’s ideal for action/suspense content, like a gritty soccer match, and perfect for short films,” concluded Kaufman.

• Road Wins: Sporting KC in Vancouver

CION Test Footage

Curves Adjustment Comparison

About CION

Ergonomic and lightweight in design with unparalleled connectivity, the CION production camera 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 120 fps via 4 x 3G-SDI or up to 4K 30 fps via Thunderbolt™. 

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.

Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high-quality, cost-effective products to the professional, broadcast and post-production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.

Products Used