Saturday, December 07, 2013

Digitial Wireless Audio For $400 ? Yes But -

Friend Ty Ford takes a look at the Audio Techinca DIGITAL Wireless system. Its $300-$400, 24bit 48Khz, no compander. It uses 2.4ghz which is a little limiting but range is 100ft at 10mw. Sounds perfect for a camera hop in the price range. Downside ? You knew I was getting to this part didn't you. No camera  or audio bag usable reciever. Its an AC powered unit that looks a lot like a WiFi Router. Well we can only hope that AT will come around with a mobile unit, or some one else will. I find it crazy that a digital 2 channel camera hop should still cost several grand.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tamron 400 6.9 on C100 ?

Ok, so I do crazy things sometimes ! C100 sporting vintage 1970's Tamron 400mm lens. Just finished video review and waiting for youtube to finish uploading ! Interesting results. Would love to try matching canon 400mm lens ! I also had a Vivitar 85-205 F3.8 in the mix too made in 1969. How good could it be ? video VERY shortly

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Real LED Lighting

I like LED lites IF they have a decent CRI. Close up of a light I've talked about for a bit. 4300K but 94 CRI and can gel to whatever w/o too much loss or thought. I have several of them in 4300K temp which means easy 5600K or 3200K with 1/2 correction or less. They dim which is great and 250 FPS safe because of HF power supplies.

The difference here is the high CRI that makes gelling these a lot like tungsten but no where near the power draw. I have several of these lites and I'm thrilled with them for their overall performance. The 24 emitter versions get lots of use in all sorts of secondary use - hair light, background key or fill. dimmable to whatever level you need. The only real downside is you can't get one unless you know me or the guy who has the last parts to build them. Prototype production run. If a few of you contact me, maybe another production run. You will be very happy IF enough people  are willing to commit !

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Canon Announces Continous AF For C100

Canon has not yet shipped the C100 firmware update due this month...ok we'll place bets very end of the month, however this did make this announcement : There will be a mod for the C100 to allow for 2X faster one shot focus and continuos AF while shooting that can be toggled on or off while in record. Nice feature for some if you have better EF glass. If you don't and have mainly manual lenses like me I guess this one doesn't matter. The upgrade will be $500 and require the camera to be a sent to authorized service center, available Feb 2014. So I suspect its more than just a firmware update and that a board in the camera is also probably being replaced. Cool feature if you need it and have glass that supports it. So the question is, what about the C300 and 500 ? Next question, will this be standard for all new C100's ?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Get Your Sleep and leave the Snooze Button Alone

Words to live by, get your rest. I usually wake up slow when I smack the snooze button never going back to sleep. I just like to take 10 minutes to get going for the day. This video has some insight in if you really do go back to sleep. If anything I'll set 2 alarms if I think I won't make it up on the first ring. After all a lot of production work is having back up, and a back up alarm is a cheap simple easy one !

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This Is My Week

My Week started with that usuall phone call - hey what are you doing tomorrow ? can you crew a 2 camera shoot plus audio ? An hour later it was booked.  I was on the road before sunrise, worked most of the day on a physically demanding job, drove home watching the sun set. The rest of the week looks just as busy so posting here has been slow. Add on that I'm working on finishing my short that I shot several weeks ago. Basic edit its pretty good, I've started grading it and the mix is in decent shape. So that is getting close too.... and it all takes LOTS of time. It'll all get there.

On my short I used one of my 60D's to shoot some close ups. Well that was interesting.Basically I'll give you the very short version : I'm selling one of my 60D's because I don't need 2 still cameras and the video from them isn't making me happy. I"ll go into it a lot more soon when I have some time talk about it... or even do a video :) !

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Will I Really ?

Buy the new Mac Pro ? Hmmm. I said this a few days ago before the big apple reveal of the New Mac Pro and most importantly, its price -

For me, the lack of dual 16X PCIe slots is simply a deal killer outright. Those slots are probably some sort of mini PCIe 16X bus, but if apple isn't sharing that spec with nVidia thats not good. Also consider that ANY card for those slots will be premium priced because of the limited product production. Thats another deal killer. The rest of the box is what I expected for the most part.

At $5k I don't see good ROI, especially if you have to add on another $1K + in TB storage & I/O. I mean really, not even an single extra drive hole ?

I have a 3.1 mac thats plenty productive. How ? the simple answer is I've upgraded it completely - 3 drive array and SSD have made a huge difference. Most importantly a new current gen GPU. SInce so much of the work I do uses the GPU that has been the critical difference in keeping this machine relevant. Most of my AE work isn't that CPU intensive and I have 2 more i7 macs to spread the load onto if I really have to. you know what ? I rarely do that. Most of my AE work these days doesn't entail long renders. AE has gotten much better as using machine resources is a part of that.

I don't need a 24 core machine. What I could use is a i7 6+6 core machine with a reasonable price.

so my need and want to upgrade to the new mac pro is pretty much zilch. if anything I'll get a last gen tower used or refurb so I have have the slots I need for stuff like my mxo2 and bmd extreme and my GPU's. Fact is those about to be old towers with much faster RAM and bus speeds to feed the CPU's / GPU's play more of a difference over older machines than some other differences. my laptop is a very productive machine for rough cutting and often finishing projects. Full PP cut, maybe some AE work, grade in resolve, mix, export to whatever. However, since apple has quit making 17" laptop's I'm again kinda screwed - I'll have to keep this machine working a lot longer than I'd anticipate since apple isn't making a replacement I want.

All of this will over time will probably force me off of OS X because apple simply isn't making a machine to fit my needs and wallet. Thats sad for all the money I've directly spent with apple, never mind all the apple product I've installed for clients back in my consulting days. I don't view a hackintosh as a reliable way to run machines you depend on everyday to make your living. Living one accidental upgrade away from not being able to work is just too scary. Apple should just licence OS X to run on a couple select towers and laptops from HP and be done with it and be done with it. They have lost us as customers already, just give us a graceful exit strategy.

Today I mostly stand by those words. I'm not editing 4K. No real plans for that right now because I don't have a BUSINESS model or need for it. As much as I drove the local market early into HD production this is a bit different. While Retina aka HDI displays will make 1080 become a somewhat postage stamp format on the screen of 2K or even 4K res, it still holds up. Its not SD. Part of my reasoning in getting a C100 was its much sharper as good as 1080 gets image. Its 4K downsampled to 1080 and I think that will stand up very well.

Don't get me wrong, I've seen a decent amount of 4K on 4K displays or projection and it makes 1080 look like VHS.... but we are very early into 4K. Its not really a consumer concern. So I'm taking the we'll see approach on this one. If anything I'll probably grab a used last gen Mac Tower to move production onto, if the price is right.  While the new Mac Pro is probably a very fast machine, it will drain your wallet just as fast. $3k for a 4/4 core machine doesn't make so much sense. I was hoping to see the 8 core machine come in at that price, but not using those stupid Xenon processors. Lets face it, Intel gouges for them and its a big part of driving the price of the machine. Apple slashed its costs on the cases and other aspects of the machine build, but has other expensive parts inside. Its part of how I imagine they killed the tower otherwise the case costs would of added an easy $500 onto the price of the machine. Of course the new machine also pulls a lot less power, especially when idle. Perhaps you might make back a few hundred in electricity useage on the new machines. Nice savings, but it doesn't offset their steep price. In many respects the 27" imacs are where I think a lot of production pro's will end up because the price is more palletable if you really want to stay on mac.


 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

You Have a Plastic Bag, Right ?

One of the most important things you always have in your camera case, a ( preferably clear ) plastic bag. While a real rain coat for the camera is nice, you don't always have it when you need it. A month ago I went out on a nice sunny day, but saw some thunder clouds forming to the north. Didn't worry too much, but 40 minutes later, deep in the woods it was clear they were coming my way. Walking fast it was clear I wasn't going to make it back to the car. Of course my new camera had been here for only a week and it was about to get soaked !. Thankfully I had a waist camera bag with me. Took the handle and lens off, packed it all in and minutes later got simply soaked. I mean it poured, wind and it took 15 minutes to get back to the car. Stuffing a plastic bag in your camera case can mean all the difference between a dry camera and a wet one.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tokina 16-28 Cine

 

Based on Tokina's photo lens. the AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX, this is the cine version. Now Rokinon has been doing this for a while adding $50 onto the price. However Rokinon's cine lenses has a significant short coming in terms of  reasonable focus distance and missing DoF markings. Tokina clearly got that here. However, they also seem to think that it allows them to charge, not say a premium but a HUGE GOUGING premium of $5,900. I'm come on, Dulcos will rehouse your lens like this for about half of that. Yes I understand limited production and all but this is just a little out there. While DSLR's brought S35 size sensor cameras to the masses as insanely cheap prices compared to what cameras cost 10 or 15 years ago, lenses like this remain fixed in the stratosphere. Now granted good glass will last you for many cameras and many years if treated reasonably well, but this is still excessive. 

So as much as I applaud Rokinon and what they are doing, I don't think there is any reason some of the other lens makers couldn't shave their prices a bit and be more competitive in the market. The optical performance of all this glass is often pretty similar for sharpness - most all modern glass that is ! Bokeh varies but in general all seems good, just different between lenses. What you are paying for is better mechanics, less breathing, better lens markings that are properly calibrated. While that's import at some level for all users, some of those things simply aren't that critical to getting shots made. We've all worked with glass where you could pretty much just ignore the lens markings and simply use lens tape or marks on your follow focus to hit marks. Based on your needs there are some reasonable trade offs. Perhaps my main concern with the Rokinon's is how durable they are. I just had my 35 cine get warranty repaired ( replaced actually ) due to a sticky iris that didn't close down when you turned the ring. The stills version I had was warranty replaced because the focus had a weird clunk in it. Perhaps I got lucky twice... I hope. Lets understand that I don't beat on them, they didn't get any crazy amounts of use, travel, vibration, ect. We'll see how it goes !

Sunday, September 08, 2013

DaVinci Resolve 9.1.6 Released

BMD has release another update for Resolve, V9.1.6 with "performance and stability improvements". I was hoping we'd have 10.0 in our hands right now. Well I'm going to install it and see how it goes. I've had some major performance problems with MOV's in Resolve that came from a C100. Oh, did I say I just got a C100 this week ? :) and that I'm cooking up a review on it ? nope !

I'm also aware that some posts here have been spammed up. I'll be trying to work on cleaning it all up this week again. I'm going to turn off commenting before implementing something like Discus. I had Facebook commenting working for a while, but FB changed their API and killed off the one being used here. No gentle transition, thats for sure. Thats ok as I don't think it was working all that well anyway. Always something to do !

UPDATE : This update is important. On my laptop I had 9.1.4 installed. I used clipwrap ( demo for the moment ) to re-wrap the AVCHD clips out off of the SD cards in the MXF folder structure to be self contained QT files. They totally killed 9.1.4 and it was nearly non-responsive. In 9.1.6 performance is back to normal for the laptop ! so if you work with C100 native h.264 files or other AVCHD native files, go get this update !

UPDATE2 : C100 shots are still pegging out Resolve's performance. Opening up a EOS based project it worked fine but the C100 material was still causing all sorts of sluggish response, but still better than before.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

New Canon C500/300/100 Firmware Update With ISO 80,000

Ok, cool. My C100 arrives tomorrow ( or today depending on when you read this ) and there is a new firmware update with some good stuff. No, VERY good stuff. Maybe nice if they kicked up the C100 to 50m/bit recording.... ok thats next if ML doesn't make it sooner !

UPDATE : Available "sometime in Nov" ! I hate having to wait..... and where it the improved recording data rate for the C100 ? I mean really Canon, you put Mpeg2 50mbit 422 into your "pro" palmcorders that sell for 1/2 the price of the C100. What are you protecting ? Should I buy a Sony palmcorder instead ? 


Canon EOS C500 Firmware Updates

  • ACESproxy output from the camera's 3G-SDI monitor terminal - Allows filmmakers to grade their footage (which is being recorded in RAW) immediately on-set using a compatible ACES monitor with ASC CDL. This provides an accurate representation of how the footage will look after being color graded in the DI suite when a project uses ACES.
  • Support for DCI-P3+ color gamut (Cinema Raw Development) - DCI-P3 is the standard color gamut for digital movie projection. DCI-P3+ is an expanded gamut. This color space shares the same white point as DCI-P3, but encompasses a much greater range of color. By exceeding the DCI-P3 standard, the Canon EOS C500 camera offers filmmakers, in particular the cinematographer, an increase in saturated colors which can be faithfully reproduced, as well as a more accurate representation of the original subject color.
  • Canon Proprietary Cinema Gamut - Cinema Gamut is the widest color space currently available for the EOS C500 Cinema Camera. Canon's Cinema Gamut is wider than both Rec. 709 and DCI-P3+, allowing end users to faithfully record highly saturated color while retaining fine variations of both hue and saturation.
  • Canon Log LUT (look-up-table) available over the 3G-SDI monitor terminal - When the camera is recording in Canon Log format, the image that is simultaneously outputted over the 3G-SDI terminal to an external monitor can be viewed in its original color space without the apparent lack of contrast and color saturation, resultant of the Log format.
  • 4096 x 1080 RAW resolution - In this new shooting mode, in full RAW recording, the vertically cropped center of the EOS C500 camera's Super 35mm CMOS sensor can now record in 4096 x 1080 native resolution, up to 120fps.

Canon EOS C500, C300 and C100 Camera Firmware Updates

  • Peripheral lens correction feature - This maintains even illumination from corner to corner of the image and virtually eliminates vignetting across the image. There are 14 Canon EF-Series photographic lenses that benefit from this feature including the EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, the EF500mm and EF600mm f/4L IS II USM. The seven Canon CN-E Series Cinema Lensesi that benefit from this feature include the CN-E15.5-47mm and CN-E30-105mm T2.8L S compact Cinema zooms, the CN-E14mm T3.1L F, the CN-E24mm T1.5L F, the CN-E 50mm T1.3L F, the CN-E85mm T1.3L F, and the CN-E135mm T2.2L F Cinema prime lenses.
  • ISO increased up to 80,000 - This provides the EOS C500, EOS C300 and EOS C100 cameras with greater light sensitivity than ever before. Great for documentaries and other forms of reality production, this ISO increase can help capture shots that may have been previously impossible to capture.
  • Ability to shift the magnification location in the viewfinder - Allows users to manually move the magnification view area to one of 25 different locations using the joystick on the camera. With this feature, the camera operator can easily check focus even on subjects that are not located directly in the center of the frame.
  • Record button lock - The lock setting on the Key Lock now makes it possible to lock all operations, including the RECORD button, to prevent accidental operation during takes.
  • Canon EOS C500 and C300 Camera Firmware Updates
  • Multi-person log-in for the Canon Wi-Fi® remote application - This allows two users to log-in to a single camera, allowing for camera operation/control with one log-in and metadata to be inputted by the second log-in simultaneously. This is essential when time is critical and production tasks need to be completed immediately.
  • Ability to assign ISO and iris adjustments to the control dial (or, on the EOS C300 camera, the dial on the removable side grip handle) - This gives operators the option to allocate whichever setting they prefer to either dial, allowing for specific changes at a moment's notice.
  • Canon EOS C300 Camera; XF305 & X300 Camcorder Firmware Updates
  • GPS Support - Provides accurate metadata on the location and time of each clip, including longitude, latitude, and altitude for the EOS C300 camera when used with Canon's optional GP-E1 or GPS Receiver and for the XF305 and XF300 camcorders when used with Canon's optional GP-E2 GPS Receiver. This is an especially handy feature for documentaries, ENG (Electronic News Gathering) and reality programming.

Canon EOS C300 Firmware Updates

  • Wide DR gamma - With a high dynamic range that maintains highlight detail and preserves perfect gradations of color, this feature is designed to help achieve perfect color without adjustment. Optimized for display monitors, wide DR gamma is well-suited for productions that do not allow for lengthy postproduction processing and color grading, such as budget-conscious indie films, web series, or documentaries.

  • 1440 x 1080 35Mbps for broadcast requirements - This highly utilized recording mode (at 60i or 50i) is designed to enable the EOS C300 camera to seamlessly align with the standard workflows used by many major broadcast news networks.

  • Push auto iris/one-shot AF - These new additions make the EOS C300 camera increasingly attractive for solo, run-and-gun style cinéma vérité shooting. These features (which are already included in the EOS C100 camera), automatically adjust the exposure and/or focus to the most suitable setting at the push of a button. They also provide support for the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom lens. The new peripheral lens correction feature further benefits the use of this lens by virtually eliminating vignetting and maintaining even illumination across the image.

  • Automatic Exposure (AE) Shift/ Selecting the Metering Mode/ Flicker Reduction - AE Shift can be used to compensate the automatic exposure set by the camera when using the push auto iris function. Users can engage AE Shift in the camera menu to make slight adjustments to the image brightness helping compensate for scenes that are slightly over or underexposed. The new AE Shift capability provides 15 steps, from -2 to +2. The new firmware also enables three light metering mode options to be selected: Standard, Backlight or Spotlight. By selecting a light-metering mode to match one of three recording conditions, users will help ensure the EOS C300 camera obtains a suitable exposure level when the push auto iris function is used. When recording under artificial light, the camera's monitor may flicker depending on the shutter speed. By setting Flicker Reduction to "Automatic" the EOS C300 camera will automatically detect and reduce flicker on the camera's monitor.


Canon EOS C100 Camera Firmware Update

  • Menu Navigation now possible through buttons on camera body - Previously menu navigation on the EOS C100 camera was only possible through the removable joystick - when the joystick was detached, menu navigation ceased. Allowing users to easily navigate menu options, even with the removable joystick grip detached, buttons on the rear of the camera body will be able to navigate menu options with this new firmware. The buttons on the rear of the camera under the built-in monitor can be assigned as follows: 1) Set, 2) Up, 3) Left, 4) Down, 5) Right.
     

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Garmin Has Two New Action Cams

Garmin has 2 new action cams to compete with GoPro's offerings. They are indeed interesting having a more video camera like shape and some cool features.The VIRB and VIRB Elite will go on sale in September, priced at $300 and $400. What does an extra $100 get you ? The VIRB Elite model has with an accelerometer, high-sensitivity GPS, an altimeter, and built-in Wi-Fi. Data such as location, speed, elevation, and heart rate (monitor not included) can be recorded while shooting and optionally overlaid on the video. Sounds great for athletic training, bad for everyone else.  SInce the Elite version has built-in Wi-Fi, it can stream live video using Garmin’s mobile app for iOS and Android  running on your smartphone. The apps also function  as a remote control to turn the camera on and off.

Another plus is that both cameras have digital image stabilization and lens distortion correction which I'll assume is an option to turn on or off. Yet another good thing : A built in 1.4-inch transvective display uses sunlight to help illuminate the screen and save on battery life. Nice not to have to spend extra for a screen, especially if its even modestly viewable in daylight.

Now a big minus :  they are only waterproof  to 1 meter for 30 minutes.  To me thats pretty sad and just asking for trouble. Drop it into the deep end of a pool and the camera may be toast. They should really improve this. While I don't take my cameras to 150ft under water, its pretty easy to get them down to 10 or 20 ft for most users. I guess we'll have to find out if these housings are a little better than rated or not.

Something thats going to make GoPro sweat : recording time of up to  three hours of 1080p video on a single battery charge. If you have a Hero3 you know its a power hog and easily eats a batter in 1hr, 2hrs using an external battery pak. This for me has been a big weakness in an otherwise great product. 

Image quality ? well Garmin has a demo video on their site and image quality looks good. The black levels are all too high though. Not sure if this is from the camera or who ever edited / graded this wasn't on their game. Also whats weird is that some of the video looks really good - sharp and clean while others look soft. Not sure what that is about. Perhaps the camera has a bunch of modes and who ever was using it used one of the lower res modes, or recompressed the footage after shooting. I suspect the camera probably makes really nice pix.

Worth keeping your eye on once they start shipping in sept.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Countour Cameras Closes Its Doors

Wow. Countour, vendors of another action cam that started at the same time as GoPro has closed their doors very abruptly. Employees had no notice until they showed up for work monday morning and found the doors locked with a notice there about the closure. Thats the wrong way to close a company even when you know its coming. Perhaps it was the responsible thing to do... or not. Maybe we'll see Countour's technology make some sort of come back. However, you also need to consider how huge GoPro has gotten - Foxconn has put a $200 MILLION dollar investment into them. Very sobering number to think about considering where GoPro was not so many years ago. Marketing counts and GoPro has done a great job of marketing... a great product. Lets face it, in side by side comparison's of GoPro's cameras and others, the Hero X always seems to make the best pix. The Hero3 doesn't hold anything back with 2.4K res images @ 23.976 or its many other modes that cover everyone's bases. The better product won. You have to wonder about JVC and Sony trying to compete in a market that GoPro pretty much owns...Now waiting for Hero4 !

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sanken CS3e First Look Review

I bought a Sanken CS3e a few weeks ago for this job from TrewAudio . The first day or two I wasn't quite so thrilled with the mic. However after a few days is burned in and I was really starting to like it. Its bright on the high end, but not Audio Techinica burn your ears out bright. It has that boosted upper end that seems to work when using full zeppelin and being a few feet out from the frame where HF tends to loose a bit. This gave me an overall sound that cut and mixed well which is all you can ask. Lets consider this is shot at an airshow, the jeep engine is running, and its all good. Expect more soon with a review on this mic !

RIP : Paul Izbicki

Monday nite this week Paul had another heart attack which did him in. The passing of a great community leader ( IMUG and local film groups ) , a guy of great humor and intelligence who's word you could respect. Thank you for everything that you gave and rarely  who asked for anything back. Goodbye.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Premiere Pro CC 7.0.1 Update Now Live Today, Prelude Update Too

 

 

Less than a month after Creative Cloud launched, Adobe as released significant update to Premiere Pro. This isn't just bug fixes, but actual features added. The first one is a personal favorite of mine I'd been asking for from them for a long time. Its great to finally have it and it makes life a lot better. As for the CC critics, well told you so. Adobe is keeping their word about delivering product updates on a more timely basis now that they aren't tied up by the stupid SEC rules. You aren't waiting another year or so to get some nice new features and improved behaviors in the app, you're getting them when they are ready for use.

Oh, and did I also say Adobe Anywhere is also now shipping today :) ?

Other updates for Prelude to support Anywhere and bug fixes is also now live.

Here is a list of whats new.

  • Duplicating a title in a sequence creates a new, unique title, which can be independently edited from the original.
  • Lift and Extract can be used when only an In or Out point is set (if only an In is set, Lift/Extract will use the end of the sequence as the Out point; if only an Out is set, the beginning of the sequence will be used for the In point).
  • Copy, Cut, and Clear commands work between In and Out points on targeted tracks when no clips are selected.
  • When a sequence is loaded in the Source Monitor, keyboard shortcuts can be used to navigate to edit points (Up/Down keys by default).
  • Keyboard shortcuts can be used to clear In/Out points on clips in the Project Panel.
  • The Enable Clip command now works as a toggle when multiple clips are selected, such that any disabled clips become enabled and vice versa.
  • The Match Frame command will prioritize a selected clip over a targeted track.
  • The Relink command can now be used on a sequence containing offline media.
  • The Export EDL dialog now contains the option to include or exclude Transitions and the Key Track.
  • The Reveal In Project command now works from the Source Monitor.
  • A preference has been added to select whether or not playback jumps to the beginning of the Timeline or a Clip once the end has been reached.
  • A button has been added to the Timeline Panel to globally Link or Unlink all clips in the sequence.
  • An assignable keyboard shortcut has been added to enable toggling between the Source and Program Monitors.
  • The Reveal In Finder command can now be used on clips in a sequence.
  • A default start timecode value for all new sequences can be set in the Timeline panel.
  • Clips can now be dragged from the Finder or Explorer directly into the Source Monitor.
  • The Match Frame command now works on Nested or Multi-Camera Source Sequences, first matching to the source sequence, then stepping back further to the original master clip used in that source sequence.
  • Offline audio clips are now displayed in red, matching offline video clips.
  • The Source Settings dialog can be accessed by right-clicking on Clips within the Timeline Panel.
  • A preference has been added to allow the Timeline Panel to be automatically focused after an Insert or Overwrite edit is performed.
  • The Auto-Save dialog is suppressed during editing, and auto saves will not occur if no changes have been made to the project.
  • The Tone Settings dialog allows users to set the amplitude and frequency of the Bars and Tone synthetic clip.
  • Closed Captions are displayed on thumbnails in the Captions panel.
  • Options have been added to the Automate To Sequence dialog for Still Clip Duration, giving control over whether still clips use the In/Out range or a specified number of frames per clip (for timelapse workflows).
     

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A.R.T USB PreAmp Review

In need of a Phantom power capable USB interface and preamp I found the A.R.T. USB Dual PreAmp  Audio Interface with Dual Microphone Preamps. Quality unit at a great price.There are some compromises which I talk about in the video but none that would really stop you from buying one if this fits yours needs.

Techincolor Kills Color Assist, And Who Cares ?

Um, Yawn. Really who cares about Color Assist unless you just happened spend (waste) cash on it recently. With far more serious established apps and plugins available, I wondered what this was doing out there. To be honest, this is the very same company that sent me dubs of major hollywood features to edit into trailers that were dark and green. For 2 years of complaints they denied it until finally, they realized the one VTR doing the dubs "had a bad board in it, its now fixed". Technicolor is a dinosaur that has adapted poorly with the times, trying to use their brand to hang on. Lets face it, if they had not fed off the hollywood feedbag for years they wouldn't be where they are. They made it because of location and at best mediocre service. Their cinestyle is a bad mess, killing this app before its time a dumb mistake, so really, who cares. Its all about a company that tried to milk the system for as long as possible while resisting change. So as I said, who cares...

Monday, July 01, 2013

Canon 70D Is Now Officially Launched and Available For PreOrder • Adds Time Code Support

 

 

As you may of heard around the net, the 70D is finally showing up. Perhaps the big thing here is the new 20MP sensor replacing the old and now a bit worn 18MP that Canon has been using for years across many of its APS-C sensor cameras. The obvious specs :

  • 20.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 5+ Image Processor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Live View
  • 3.0" 1,040k-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • Full HD 1080p Video with Move Servo AF
  • Built-In Wireless Connectivity
  • 19-Point All Cross-Type AF System
  • Continuous Shooting Rate Up to 7 fps
  • ISO 100-12800 (Expandable to ISO 25600)
  • Scene Intelligent Auto Mode

Of course read the specs carefully - LCD TOUCH screen is new for better or worse. WiFi is a very nice addition - wonder if there will be an iPhone / iPad app to read images from the camera or do previews like the GoPro's can. Extended ISO, we'll see if it makes a usable image or not. On the video side, no 1080p60. Surprised at this  lack of a higher frame rate. As for aliasing and moire - we don't know yet but I'm sure there will be something over the next few days.

There is a really  horrible sneak peak video up on youtube. Completely burried near the end if you made it that far is the very quick screen shot showing time code options. Interesting, but the question is can you lock more than one camera together ? It would be nice for sure. However with automatic audio sync via Pural Eyes or Premiere Pro CC's built in audio sync this has become a lot less of an issue than it once was. I wonder if you'll be able to feed TC into the audio in on the camera via TC Buddy or hardwire, of course probably at the sacrifice of ambient audio. One thing I do on multicam DSLR shoots is simply put a wireless receiver onto each camera  and send them usually the mixer output. Makes for a clean reference in post and backup recording. It'll be interesting to get more details on this over the next few days.

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Rokinon 16mm F2.0 Lens

 

 

Monday brings about this nice one : The New Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens for Canon EF-S Mount. Its your typical full manual lens which is sure to make APS-C and Micro Four Thirds shooters happy. Its available in a number of mounts including Canon EF-S, Nikon, M4/3, Sony and others. MSRP is a reasonable $479 with expected shipping end of July or Early August depending on lens mount. Its fast speed makes it a very welcome addition to the line up. Can't wait for the Cine ver which I'm sure will follow.

Monday, June 17, 2013

5D Mk3 + anamorphic adapter + RAW MOV = Great Images

The quality of the video is amazing. Much better than what we are used to getting from a DSLR. The anamorphic adapter makes for some tasty flares most of the time. Good to watch while we all wait for Adobe CC to launch sometime today !

Monday, June 10, 2013

No I Don't Love it, At ALL ! The NEW iWasteBasket

I love my 27" i7 iMac. Great screen, single unit, enough connectors on it for most people's needs. Its a great machine to download SD cards, sync sound, do rough cuts on. AE CPU rendering is quite respectable, oh and that great screen !  Also great for PS and IL work. Its a fine mid range machine.

Enter iWasteBasket. Innovative ? yes. Remember the very cool G4 based Cube ? is this a Mac Mini on 'roids ? yup. Too bad its an already dated design. It'll be even more dated by the time it ships. If Intel gives Apple any sort of deal, those old CPU chips are still nothing great but wil more than likely drive the price of this to a non-seller. Unless apple is gonna sell a 2 CPU version for well under $2k I can't see ANYONE spending money on this.  Why not i7 6 or 8 core ? or exchangeable CPU module ? How about room for even a pair of 2.5" spinning drives because, hey when it comes to drives space size does matter. Even a single 3.5" SATA drive hole at the borromw would of been fine to stuff a 3 or 4TB drive in. This is a PRO machine, right ? well maybe just serious enthusiast machine. Anemic fixed GPU's by the time this ships. Okay, maybe apple will sell upgrade GPU's down the road for a crazy price. 

Of course I did more or less predict most of the machine a while ago. I fully expected 2 PCIe 16X slots for GPU's or 1 GPU + 1 PCIe card.I did say to expect ThunderBolt to replace most PCIe slots and thats exactly what they did. I'm mostly ok with that as my Matrox hardware could move on with ThunderBolt adapters. My BMD 3D Extreme card is stuck in the tower which is fine because its perfectly good as a second tier machine.

So putting this all together, realistically you still want an iMac. Without real pricing its hard to make an exact comparison but if apple sells this for  $2500 which I think is realistic what would you get ? A 4 ( or 6 core when they happen )  i7 iMac will be  bit faster than whatever base model of the iWasteBasket comes with which will almost for sure be a single CPU ZEON. The iMac will have that nice big screen, enough RAM for most users, but lack the dual GPU. However, given how fast GPU's are advancing an its easy to see an updated next gen iMac easily smacking this machine to the ground... oh and add in a nice 27" screen for free for the same price. If an iMac delivers better value for the same price or less, who wants this ? 

UPDATE

Posted just a little while ago by Grant Petty of BMD

Re: New Mac Pro with AMD GPUs and now?
Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi,

We have been testing with DaVinci Resolve 10 builds and this screams. Its amazing and those GPUs are incredible powerful. I am not sure what I can say as I am only going off what Apple has talked about publicly here in the keynote for what I can say right now, however there is a whole new OpenCL and DaVinci Resolve 10 has had a lot of performance work done to integrate it and its really really fast. Those GPUs are very powerful and have lots of GPU memory so this is the Mac we have been waiting for! We have lots of Thunderbolt products too so video in and out is taken care of.

We will have more details once the guys get back from WWDC and we get some more info from Apple on what we can talk about etc.

Overall we could not be happier! 

-----------

Will I get to eat my words ? we'll see ! it just depends on the price :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

GoPro Hero3 Review

Meyer Optik 50 1.8 / 60D • Click for full size image

I've had this camera for more than a month now. I've gotten to shoot some tests I've already shared over the last few weeks. Lets take a closer look at the GoPro HERO3 Black edition camera.

First this camera comes in 3 versions. The White, Silver and Black Editions. The main differences :

The White is the most basic model with fewer shooting modes in terms of FPS and resolution, 5MP stills ( and presumably sensor ) 1080p30 / 960p30 / 720p60 and built in WiFi, Wifi Remote MSRP $199.99

The Silver edition has a 11MP stills mode, 1080p30 / 960p48 / 720p60 built in WiFi, includes WiFi remote and has more shooting options than listed here. MSRP 299.99

The Black edition has a 12MP stills mode with an amazing 30FPS burst rate, 4Kp15 and the coveted 2.7Kp30, 1440X1080(4:3 1080)p48, 1080p60, 720p120, improved low light performance, Wifi remote MSRP $399.99

I'm taking a look at the Black Edition simply because its the top of the line unit and I think the most appealing unit for pro's given the small price difference between models.

Meyer Optik 50 1.8 / 60D • Click for full size image

The new camera is physically about 30% smaller. Thats good and bad. It means that it won't fit into your old cases, but your mounts and mounting accessories will still work. Suction cups, body mounts, bar mounts, 3rd party extenders are all good. Your 3rd party flat lens housing for your Hero 1 or 2 won't work. The new camera also has a new bare bones housing that goes around the pretty much only the outside of the camera body which is perfect for indoors shooting.

The next thing is all the connectors have changed except the mini USB port. Thats still the same for charging, powering the camera or using it to dump the internal storage card. The old analog connections are gone in exchange for a multi purpose mini USB breakout cable that can give you : Composite video plus R/L audio out, 1/8" audio input, a combo cable that provides composite out, 1/8" mic input and USB input ( for power presumably, maybe full connection ). There is no component cable or option. The HDMI connection is a micro ( not mini ) connection. None of these cables are provided with the camera which is a bit surprising since the original camera gave you everything. I would of expected the HDMI cable since its really helpful to use a small battery powered monitor for precise aiming of the camera.

The next new thing is the change to a micro SD card. They are tiny ! I went with a SanDisk 64GB microSDXC Memory Card Ultra Class 10 UHS-I with microSD Adapter. You can exceed 32gb with ProTune enabled before the battery gives out during continuos recording. ProTune is the 45mb/sec high quality mode thats available for all Hero's with appropriate firmware update. Back to the micro SD card, don't skimp. ProTune is more demanding than the normal 24mbit mode and so are the higher stills burst rates like 12mp 30FPS for 1 sec. You'll also save lots of time dumping cards provided you have a fast USB 3.0 / FW 800 / PCIe card reader. I got a PCIe34 SD card reader for my laptop and it maxes out the data rate of whatever card I put in and it was under $15.

New battery! its smaller than the old battery but gives about 1.5 hrs of run time provided you aren't using the LCD BackPac or WiFi. Using either one of these will bring battery life down to about 1.25hrs. Use both and you should look at externally powering via the USB port. You could rig up a 12V battery + USB 12V->5V adapter and have several hours of run time or use a wall power USB supply. One thing I have not tried is powering the Hero3 on external USB power in the skeleton case ( full frame housing with access holes ) to see if it overheats. I know the Hero1 was more picky and using the skeleton housing plus open back was a requirement. I had drilled a regular case out for USB and video out access and that would over heat the Hero1 if I didn't use one of the backs with the open slots. I at some point also drilled a few more holes in the top of a Hero1 housing and then all was good.

Note 1 : shooting at higher resolutions may eat the battery faster depending on frame rate. GoPro has a chart on the topic.

Note 2 : Wifi on eats battery faster, about 5 min of total run time

Note 3 : If using the WiFi App to view your footage, expect 15min less run time then no Wifi + App

Meyer Optik 50 1.8 / 60D • Click for full size image

Yet one more thing to note is that the battery door now opens with a thumb nail button you have to slide to get the door to release. Its more tricky than the old battery doors but more secure. Removing the battery takes a pull using a tape tab on the back of the battery. I'm not sure how many change cycles this will survive. You may find yourself grabbing some thin clear tape to replace it in an emergency. I've done a few battery changes and I'm not convinced its terribly durable. Ask me again in a few months if I think the same way.

Given that its easy to eat batteries pretty quick I'd recommend at least one extra battery if you are going to be shooting a lot during a single day. A problem with GoPro's product line is lack of a battery charger. Using the cameras the charge batteries is just not workable at this point. Off to an online retailer and I found Wasabi Power has a charger for these new batteries and 2 spares for about $25. Thats pretty much a no brainer.

The other thing I don't like about the Hero3 is its lack of accessories in the retail package. They provide a couple of sticky mounts and bits, but no suction base. Thats disappointing but I have enough in my case to not to notice. Also don't forget that the plate they give in the packaging is a free bonus - you can tape it down or screw it into stuff so its a free mount. I had one mounted under the bumper of my old van with a couple of screws.

So once you add on a 64gb SD card, battery charger + spare batteries, micro HDMI to regular HDMI cable and a suction mount if you don't have one there's a solid $100 worth of extra bits to have a really shootable setup if you are starting from nothing. Extra bits is the story of Hero cameras. I have an entire case now dedicated to carrying all sorts of mounts, links, extensions, cables, batteries and chargers, solid and open backs for LCD mounted or no LCD mounted, links and extensions. Its a lot of extra stuff to be sure.

A couple of my favorite extra items is a maffer clamp with ball head + 1/4" tripod adapter. I've used this to mount the camera on things like forklifts that are too dirty for the suction cups to work but have plenty of surfaces I can grab with the maffer without worry. Another favorite tool is a mini long nose vise grip. Perfect for grabbing those stubborn cap nuts or stuck bolts. Oh, one more thing to buy, a couple extra 10-32 stainless steel cap nuts in case you loose any, another $1. Oh wait, those nuts I got in the local hardware store don't fit into the  holes in the brackets but the threads work. They used non-standard nut size .... but we got a DEAL on them !

Lets get shooting

Here are a couple of my previous tests. First a test with the Hero 1, 2 and 3 models.

 

 

The camera does much better in low light as this test clearly shows. Its quite usable down to some fairly dim light levels. The old cameras would of turned to very globby noise under the same circumstances. Check the end of the low light test when I ride in and out of sodium vapor to mercury vapory and back. The camera clearly likes the 5600K or so mercury light but the sodium lights it doesn't care for at all. Then again show me any camera that does nice under the same all yellow lights. Overall the claims of improved low light performance are here. The Hero3 is usable in many marginal lighting situations the old cameras would not of done well in.

 

 

TimeLapse GoPro Hero2 Kayaking Test

Next I tried a time-lapse on a recent kayaking trip. My first reaction was that the images where a bit dark or under exposed. Looking carefully I see the camera retained detail in the sky while holding everything else. With a mid tone boost and a little grading it would like quite nice and its really kind of impressive. This is shooting 4000X3000 pixel image. I have a graded and non graded version running side by side for a better idea. I could of switched to center metering at the risk of blowing out the sky. Overall the image is sharper and with lower noise than the previous Hero's which I thought always made nice still images. The other thing I noted is that the white balance seemed to be rather warm for some reason which was easily fixed these days.

Back to video. The camera has a few goofy quirks in its shooting settings you'll want to know. Probably the most useful mode most folks will use is the 2.7K 16:9 shooting mode except : in "standard" 2.7K mode you can only shoot in 30P ( NTSC ) or 25P (PAL). No 24p. To get that you have to change to 2.7K cine mode and then 23.976 will also be available. Note this is real proper 23.976, not the 24.000 I got with the older Hero2. No idea who messed that one up !

Here is the chart listing all the modes with frame rate, res, codec, Field Of View  on the GoPro site.

Now they want to call the cine mode RAW. Its not. Its fake RAW like people having been trying on DSLR's. It has reduced contrast and lower saturation then standard mode. That means you have to grade it. Does it net you anything extra ? maybe a little bit in the highlights but as I've shown all shooting like this really does is reduce the amount of information available to start with by reducing gradation. When you do grade it bars of emptiness are clearly visible on the waveform. Welcome to 8bit colorspace :(

ProTune is their 45mbit/sec improved codec. I like it. Its much better than 24mbit and pretty much where you should leave the camera set for most shooting unless you are stuck with a 16gb or 32gb card. Since this camera does require you to get a micro SD card, might as well get a 64gb one and never have to think about this. What I wish they'd do is look at a 75-100m/bit setting, ProTune 2 ? I could picture the image quality gets even better at this point. ProTune is available for all modes except the SD / WXVGA mode which is fine.

4K ? well its 15 FPS. I'm sure that might be cool but its not quite a usable 24fps. Even still its a hint that if and when a Hero4 ever shows up its on their radar to get to a usable 4K recording. You might also think of this as a continuos 15FPS stills mode !

Photo Burst mode is new. It lets you fire off a round of shots in ranges such as : 3 photos/1 second, 5 photos/1 second, 10 photos/1 second, 10 photos/2 seconds, 30 photos/1 second, 30 photos/2 seconds or 30 photos/3 seconds.

Photo continuos modes of 3 / 1 sec, 5 / 1 sec, 10 / sec. are available. Shooting at the higher frame rates you can create some cool matrix style effects although from a single view point.

Timelapse mode allows intervals of .5sec, 1,2,5,10,30,60 secs.

New : shooting stills during video. I wish my canon's did this without interrupting video shooting . Imagine shooting a picture while shooting continuous motion video and tripping a still off at the right moment, then being able to do some fx on the high res still. Very handy and I like it. It does require making sure the camera is in the right mode to do this.

Lets talk about the camera body itself. Besides its smaller, and has a nice grippy rubber sides. It also has a redo of the LCD display on the front of the camera. Its a nice matrix type display with better icons. When you change modes they go full screen so its much easier to see what mode you went into. If you have the camera set to upside down shooting, the display inverts. When shooting video there is a min:sec display like the Hero2 so you know you are rolling.

Another very good thing in the Hero3 is that the 2 main buttons are now nice and big. They are easy to press even in the case. This is a huge improvement over the older models.

LEDs are all over the body so you can see if its in record, provided they are turned on. There is also a blue LED for WiFi to indicate its on.

 

WiFi and the Control App

Read the manual. Its tricky to set up the first time or two but once you do get it set up it works really well. Did I saw read the manual ? well at least the multi step process to get everything talking to each other. Using the WiFi app its vastly faster to setup the camera using the iPhone or iPad then any other way. You can control up 50 cameras at once so the pain of setting them up goes away pretty quickly. I wish I could set up cameras with a USB connection though when I'm not needing to do the full WiFi thing.

Pairing to the WiFi remote is a bit annoying but once you get the hang of it you should only need to do it once. You can setup 50 cameras onto one remote. The WiFi remote which has been around for a while uses an internal rechargeable battery for better or worse. I don't know if you can change it or not. There are also a number of extra mounting accessories for the WiFi remotefor mounting on places like bike handle bars, your wrist or other places so you can trigger your cameras into record at the right time rather than having them just roll. The WiFi Remote has the same display as the camera making for easier set up change if you need to do that. Its pretty well thought out and done once you get it setup. The idea of setting up to 50 cameras into the same setting as once, well... makes me very happy :).

Your next question : why does the WiFi require a password ? well imagine not having a WiFi password and anyone who shows up at your shoot with the WiFi app could take control of your cameras, not a good time at all. Use a reasonable password.

The camera itself has 3 WiFi modes : Off, App, Remote. Easy enough to figure out, but on the camera's front display a bit hard to read. Using the LCD back makes it a lot easier, or external LCD monitor. You have to set the camera(s) to the correct mode : Wifi Remote or App. A new button on the side of the camera directly takes you into this menu to enable WiFi and pick the mode.

When using WiFi video monitoring has about a 5 sec delay. Its pretty annoying but better than nothing. Being able to use your iPhone or iPad to frame the cameras is very worthwhile.

3D

Not yet. No housing for the camera, no sync cable. I"m sure its on their to do list.

Conclusion

The Hero3 is an amazing and very worthwhile upgrade to the previous cameras. The improved low light abilities alone make this a no brainer compared to the older cameras. All the extra features, increased resolution, improved faster lens, more shooting modes just make this an even more versatile camera for getting amazing shots.

 

 


 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

PhotoShop Clone In Your Web Browser ?

There are some online forums where people are just going nuts over Adobe offering only Creative Cloud software as basically a rental. I see there point about wanting access to be able to change their work. However maybe they should close their mouths and open their eyes a little for other options, that is while Adobe figures out a solution that will hopefully keep everyone happy. Here is a PhotoShop clone with a nice UI running in your web browser. The funny part ? it uses flash ! it runs fine and does all the BASIC photoshop things you'd want for picture retouching and basic graphics work. Its an option to consider....

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A Look At SpeedGrade CC

Interested in SpeedGrade CC but can't stand waiting until its officially release ? Adobe has posted some new tutorials today

Robbie Carman shows how to use the new SpeedGrade CC Look Manager http://adobe.ly/17JynOt

Color grading with masks in the redesigned SpeedGrade CC UI http://adobe.ly/15mOmEU

Discover the amazing new Shot Matcher in SpeedGrade CC http://adobe.ly/ZDShVS

Working with the new Snapshot Browser in SpeedGrade CC http://adobe.ly/YrWMWc

New Luma Waveform gives you even greater precision in SpeedGrade CC http://adobe.ly/12amWNO

Color grading Premiere Pro CC sequences in SpeedGrade CC http://adobe.ly/ZN3lDP
 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

GoPro Hero3 Here

GoPro HERO3: Black Edition is here ! Took advantage of NAB discount deal. Short review : the hype it true, its that much better. Sharper, higher FPS at any frame rate, 45mbit/sec  ProTune mode. All good, all better.

Not often I say so many good words so fast but this camera earns it.  More to come soon but the Hero3 is amazing

April snow shower bring what ???? Shot with stills mode. Amazingly clean, sharp , detailed.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My First and Only TimeLapse This Year in Utah

My first and only timelapse on my trip to Vegas this year. Rokinon 14mm T3.1 Cine Lens with 60D shooting RAW. Processed in Adobe camera raw and AE. Pleasantly surprised to see AE accept the native canon RAW files. I allowed me to get a lot more out of the image than was initially appeared. I still may want to grade this a bit more, in particular to fix the tree.

Meanwhile I have a new van. Looks a lot like the old one. Just based on what was out there, same color, but next version up from the old model. Nice to have it and just itching to customize it a bit for production needs including some LED interior lights, removing the built in 3rd row seat and a cover for the floor well where the seat would normally fold down. If I can gain a 100lbs of cargo hauling ability I'll take it !. I can always put the middle seats in if I need to. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My NAB 2013

This is the strangest NAB I've ever been too. I've been to 14 now and I've seen a lot of stuff I can't talk about :) and gone to more parties than I can remember. This year seeking something of a more different experience I drove out. My plan was to take a week off after the show and spend some time camping out in the desert among several areas in southern UT and northern AZ. It was all depending on where the road took me. The road however took me to a different place than I expected.

I left home in WI with plenty of time. I didn't have a hard drive at all and took a some good stops once I hit Denver and the Rockies. Hiked in some snow ( should of brought snow shoes ! ) and came down the far side of the Rockies following sections of the Colorado River. Rt 70 over the Rockies is a spectacular drive, in particular the Virginia River section which is like driving thru a smaller version of the Grand Canyon. I even got out in a few places where ever I could.

Rokinon 14mm T3.1 Cine Lens 60D • click for full size image

Heading further down the road I got into some more deserted areas of Rt. 70. How deserted ? well nothing for 60 miles between 2 towns. Thats better than a few years ago when it used to be 103 miles. There are however exits leading to dirt roads tha wander off into mountains.

 

Dawn at Ghost Rock UT, 60D + Rokinon 14mm T3.1 Cine Lens • click for full size image

 I eventually stopped at Ghost Rock and spent the night camped out there. I spent time doing some cool nite shots and time-lapse. 

 

ghost rock rokinon 8mm canon 60D

Rokinon 8mm T/3.8 Cine 60D hand held !  click for full size image

 

time lapse ghost rock UT 60D rokinon 14 8

Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine Lens wide open • click for full size image

My Rokinon 14mm T3.1 Cine Lens did TL duty while the Rokinon 8mm T/3.8 Cine gave me a few good shots, and the 35 1.5 also made a few great shots as well. All good fun and a great start of what I figured was another week of this after the show.

Sunday I went to the lake Mead area. Climbed a small mountain, had fun. The shot above is interesting because if you look you really can't tell the scale of things. How big is that tree really ? 5 ft ? 15 ft ? actually its about 1ft tall and shot with my 8mm from about a foot away.

 The Lake Mead area really isn't the most spectacular area, but it was close to town and I could drive into Vegas the back way which I had never done. Well on my way into town, about 12 long blocks from the strip fate raised its hand. The front seal on the transmission had given out a ways up the road and was leaking. Actually the real problem was a clogged transmission filter prevented proper circulation of fluid causing it to overheat and foam. The front seal released it all out. I lost power and dove across 2 lanes of traffic onto a side street using just momentum and quick thinking. Getting out and looking underneath tranny fluid was pouring out the bottom.  This was REALLY bad.

When I pulled off  the street it was right next to a garage. I bought 3 quarts of tranny fluid and poured it in. It was just enough to get it off the street. The mechanic wasn't in, but would be the next morning to take a look at it. I took a cab to the room pretty freaked out I was in deep shit with no way back home that was going to be easy.

Monday, the next morning I talked to the mechanic at the garage and he gave me his thoughts on why it failed and what to do - replace the filter, refill the fluid and add some leak seal, then see what would happen. He did it and all seemed ok… maybe. The problem is once the seal lets loose its only a matter of time before it fails again requiring replacement. That replacement of a cheap part means taking the engine and tranny out making for a very labor expensive repair. I hoped the fix worked. I went to the show and was there for the BMD press conference, various other show events, the Media Motion Ball and Adobe parties that nite. They where all great. Honestly after the BMD 4K S35 camera and the Adobe announcements / technology demo's you could mostly of gone home. Sure there was some other very cool things but there were the two that were the biggest I think.

Media Motion Ball Crew... Hey I'm in the shot for once !

Now if you have ever been in Vegas on the strip you know internet can be hit or miss and usually its barely functional if you can get it. The hotel internet was useless where I was staying. My iPhone was getting very intermittent data access varying from slow to nothing. My wonderful partner Sharon back at home managed to get me some flight info and give me some options to get back home if it came to it. Matthew my business partner was sharing the room with me was also having hit or miss internet.

All this time I'm trying to figure out what the plan is. Is the van really fixed ?  Is the fix good enough to get me home on a drive that goes over the Rockies to 11K ft in altitude ? Would it survive a demanding drive for the transmission with long uphill and downhill grades ? or was it plan B to fly back home ? and what did I do with the van ? and what did I do with all the extra stuff I have with me ? Its a lot more than a suitcase of clothes this trip. Could I get things done in a day or two or would I have to stay around in Vegas or even LA to get things done ?

Tues I got my van back. I drove it back to the hotel and all seemed ok. Went to the show, made my appointments and all was good. I checked underneath the van when I got back and there were signs of some leakage.

Wednesday I took my van out to drive it a bit and parked it in a new spot. I looked underneath to see I had clean concrete and hoped for the best. Wednesday finally got me to the central hall and I was able to check out yet more 4K cameras, projectors and LED screens. Looked amazing. No doubt 4K will become the new production standard for work with shelf life. That said 1080HD is still good for most work… well just keep telling yourself that until you see how much better 4K looks. 4K makes 1080 look like SD. Of course I've seen 8K too and thats just another class unto itself as well. Back in the real world 4K I think will creep into TV production and high end corporate work over the next year or two and become somewhat common. Give it 5 years and it will pretty much be standard even if consumer penetration of the market is still low for displays. Util you have sub $2k displays consumer adoption will be slow.

Wednesday nite I looked under the van. Crap ! small 2-3 inch sized puddle. I tape some paper over the spot in an arch to triple check its really my van making that spot. I come back a few hours later Wednesday nite after another party and the paper is wet, just a little. In my mind the leak seems to be enough that if I where to drive like this there would be no telling if it would let go or not, or if I would be pouring fluid in very 50 miles just to keep going. Thats not how you want to drive thru some of the most desolate and arid desert. You also have to consider complete seal failure. So I'm forced to plan B.

All this time I've been talking to various friends to setup some options. Several friends from LA offer me a place to crash for a few days if I need it. THANK YOU to all of them, Doug and Greg and Phillip. This is part of simply knowing the IMUG community for over 15 years -  having friends across the globe. However I was hoping to stay local if possible.

I had been posting on Facebook about my travels to the show over the last few days. I had 3G service in most areas which was great. One person following my trip was an old friend from NY who had moved to Vegas many years ago and said hello. Next thing you know he is VERY generously offering me a place to stay and to help me dispose of the van. Its so rare that I ever ask anyone for a favor, but this time I am. I was really pretty overwhelmed that some one would do this. Needless to say, I owe Warren Markowitz Esq. a big favor for helping me out. Warren is an old friend from way back when I was living in NY shooting stills and video there. Amazing what happens on facebook !...oh and if you have too much fun in Vegas he'll get you out of jail smiley

I drove out to his place with the van. I stopped twice to check to see if or how bad it was leaking. It wasn't !$@#$@#! I then start thinking maybe what I had seen leaking with nothing but the last of the fluid from the original leak finally draining out. Without having a few more days to test it, there was no real way to know. The risk of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with almost no simple options to get home was more than daunting and potentially life threatening.

On the way to his house I found a UPS store. I shipped 2 large boxes of stuff back. One of the things that had been stressing me out was getting back all the extra stuff I had brought. Some camping gear, some extra clothes to deal with all the different climate changes of basically winter to summer, and the collection of bits I just always have in the van for production work. Needless to say this got some odd looks from the 2 folks in the UPS store while I packed stuff until I told them what had happened. Well 2 large boxes and $167 later it was on its way back via ground shipping. OUCH! but done.

I made it to Mark's house on the far edges of town just fine. Nice place away from the commotion of the strip. He helped me out with getting a nearby hotel room for $33 for the night. The hotel was a WAY off strip casino and it was fine. It was reasonably quite and I even played the penny slots for a $1 profit and a cocktail. Fun… I needed it after the last couple of incredibly stressful days. Oh and of course while I had struggled to find anything beyond dial up speed internet this place had one of the fastest internet connections I've ever had in a hotel. 

last look good bye !

Mark agreed to help me get rid of the car - to either scrap it or sell it or give it away to some one who could use it. He also got me to the airport on time where I'm writing this in the plane thats taking me back home.

Update : After getting back home I  sent Mark a text. The car sat had there for a few days for me to send the title back. It had a small puddle under it so I guess the leak really wasn't sealed after all... too bad, it had been a good van. Would of been a bad drive, I made the right call.

 

Me on top of mountain in Lake Mead Area. Can't wait to go back. Rokinon Rokinon 8mm Cine + 60D • clicl for full size image

I'm coming back home without a car. I don't care I can manage that. It just snowed again dumping 6 inches of it in my area. Spring is just not showing up ! I don't care. What I do know is that my loving partner is going to be at the airport to pick me up and thats all I really need. I also found I had some friends I count on who helped me get through a hard one. Thank you all… because if I've said it before, NAB is about the people.
 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NAB 2013, I'm Here

After Effects 20th aniversay media motion ball

This is what NAB is really about - the people. Here is a shot I took at the Media Motion Ball thats a bit of history celebrating the aniversery of AE turning 20 ! and to think it seems like a couple years ago when I started with V3.1. Even though its wed morning right now I still haven't had a chance to visit the central hall and look at cameras. Ok, Monday morning I saw the camera that counted, the BMD 4K S35 camera for $4k. Shipping june or july, yes it has a lossless cinemaDNG RAW ! and is otherwise mostly identical to the current cinema camera in production. The funny part is that RED was right next to BMD and the backside of BMD's booth looked like is was part of RED's. 

Adobe is SHOWING technology and features it expects to have in CS Next which is all very good and steady improvements that show they are taking the pro users very seriously. 

I"ve also had a rather weird trip that I post about when I get back... how ever long that takes. I drove out here, had major car problems, and have to decide how to get back. Each has its ups and downs. I'll have to decide tonite. With great luck I've had several people offer to help me if I need to stay here in Vegas or in LA for a few days to get things setup so I can get back home. That is the magic of the internet, facebook. Its great that people are still willing good to each other and offer help when some one needs it. That for me is a far better experience at NAB, 2000 miles from home than any new camera or bit that hangs onto it. NAB is about the people...and the gear very secondarily.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DataColor Spyder3Elite Has Software Update To V4.0.7

DataColor as made a minor update to the software for its Spyder3 series products. When you download be sure to download the version for your model as the software is model specific. I'm also curious if anyone has tried the the Spyder4 and if its actually any better than the 3. Speak up !

UPDATE 1 : so far calibration on the laptop looks better and seems to actively be working. Before with 4.0.5 it seemed to have problems actually being applied.

UPDATE 2 : calibrating 2 different screens attached to my main edit system seemed better... sort of. The damned ASUS P248 10bit panel is still a bit red, the samsung I added a bit dark. Interesting note, seems like the now have the room light detector turned off as a default now. YA! because who works in a black room with no windows where 130nit is bright ? no one. Please give me flamethrower mode brightness :)

This release address the following

Spyder3Elite 4.0.7 Macintosh

What's Fixed in 4.0.7

issue on OS X 10.8 with multiple monitors of differing gamuts
particularly with wide-gamut monitors this may result in improper plot of monitor gamut
What's Fixed in 4.0.5

OS X 10.7 compatibility
all installers require authentication (i.e. user must enter username and password to install software). This fixes permission errors during installation that occur on some systems.
 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Its Busy

Busy week doing a studio shoot. Studios are nice, easy, fast, but  expensive. Pick your compromise like a lot of things in life.

We shot a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 and 2 60D's. It'll be interesting to see how it works. I had my Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine on the GH3 as the main camera. Sure there is a crop factor that makes it more like a 70mm for full frame or 50mm for S35 but that worked ok here. Its really an amazingly small camera for what it is. It was the "straight" chromakey angle and we'll see how well it keys. We set it to 70mbit Iframe recording. The 60D's used a mix of Rokinon 8mm T/3.8 Cine Lens and mostly the Rokinon 14mm T3.1 Cine and several other lenses including an OM 50 1.4, Jupiter 9 85 2.0. Sound went to each camera via wireless and recorded on Sound¤Devices 552 Portable 5-Channel Production Mixer and Stereo Recorder. A skateboard dolly plus the 14mm made for some great dramatic moves in less than 10ft of "track" aka PVC pipe. The GH3 had my Rok 35 1.5 mounted on it with an EF->M4/3 adapter. Looks amazingly sharp :) which is a good thing for keying. 

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Make Patent Trolls Pay All Costs Associated With Their Frivolous Lawsuits If They Lose

There is a petition on Whitehouse.gov to get the government to do something to slow down patent trolls - make them pay for all legal costs when they loose. Sign it here. Given that patents can be very expensive to defend ( really they should be ! ) the trolls simply take advantage of that to extort money from businesses everyday because its cheaper to pay them off than to go to court and win against them. Send a message to companies like LitePanels enough is enough.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

BMD Releases V1.2 Firmware for Cinema Camera

 

New Blackmagic Cinema Camera 1.2 software update includes time lapse recording, aperture indicator, ExFAT disk format and Thunderbolt support for Windows!

Blackmagic Design today announced a new software update version 1.2 for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera which adds exciting new features including time lapse recording, aperture indicator when using compatible EF lenses, as well as ExFAT formatting for SSD disks. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera has now been certified by Intel for capture and playback with Thunderbolt™ computer hardware operating under Windows™. Blackmagic Cinema Camera 1.2 software update is available to download now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design Website.

The exciting new time-lapse recording feature allows customers to capture incredibly stunning time-lapse video in CinemaDNG RAW 2.5K, Apple™ ProRes or Avid™ DNxHD. Customers have an extremely wide selection of capture rates with this new time lapse recording feature as they can select from every second frame all the way up to one frame per 10 minutes.

The addition of the new aperture indicator on the status strip and SDI output overlay for EF compatible lenses allows customers to easily check F stop settings on the LCD display screen!

With the addition of Windows for Thunderbolt, users with certified Thunderbolt hardware will now be able to use a wide range of Windows based software as well as Blackmagic Design’s UltraScope and Media Express software over Thunderbolt with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Support for Windows formatted ExFAT SSD disk adds flexibility for customers to use either HFS+ or ExFAT formats. ExFAT is a Windows based operating file system that features state of the art technology, including large sized disk and file support, wide compatibility and high performance. In addition, Mac OS X also supports ExFAT disks, so ExFAT formatted disks can be plugged into both Windows and Mac OS X machines without any third party software required. Simply insert the formatted disk and the camera will automatically detect format, ready for recording!
 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Tamron 400 6.9 vs Vivitar 400 5.6

 

Big impressive lens vs. small almost embarrassing lens. The winner ? you guessed wrong already !

 

I was more than expecting that the Vivitar 400 5.6 was a good lens. In fact I'd already reviewed this lens and its been a part of my regular package for a while. Its true I don't often have a need for 400mm, but when I do, its there. I've used it to get a number of memorable shots that needed the reach.

 

A few weeks ago I came into a pile of lenses. In the bunch was a great Takumar 50 1.4 that had my attention. Several weeks later I got to try the Tamron 400 6.9 and wasn't expecting too much. Its a wimpy looking skinny lens thats very light weight  and not at all impressive or interesting. Its even an M42 screw mount making it even more dated.

 

Lets go take it out and shoot a few shots. Its 10 deg F ! I quickly learn why screw mount lenses suck in the real world ! changing lenses is miserable because of the precision required to get it to go together.  Then turn and turn until it locks. Its a far cry from "modern" breech mount twist lock mounts that are 45 to 90 degs. So I fire off a bunch of shots on the Tamron 400 6.9 and then do matching shots on the Vivitar (Tokina made) 400 5.6. 

 

 

Ok, its not impressive and down right wimpy looking.

 

 

Far more impressive looking and a bit nicer handling. A much more pro looking lens.

 

RESULTS

 

Judge for yourself which lens came around to surprise me.

 

Vivitar 400 5.6 { click for full size image }

 

Tamron 400 6.9 { click for full size image ]

 

 

 

 

These images are full frame images from the 5K original stills. The difference in sharpness came to surprise me to say the least. This is especially true since the Tamron 400 6.9 you can't give away, at least until now !

 

Now for the 1:1 crops -

 

Vivitar 400 5.6 1:1 image crop

 

Tamron 400 6.9 1:1 crop

 

Once I warmed up back home I took a look at the images and got a surprise. The ugly near worthless on ebay lens made better images than the Pro looking lens. Poking around online it seems for STILLS purposes the Vivitar 400 5.6 is not that great of a lens. I guess every company makes a stinker and this was theirs. That said, when shooting 1080 it looks just fine, at least on a canon dslr. There in lies the rub - what is your purpose ? if its 1080 video that's incredibly more forgiving than 5K stills  are or video via something like a Scarlet or Epic. Another factor is the  handling of one lens may well be  better than the other for sure or just the client impression level when needed.  The Vivitar 400 certainly works well with a follow focus. Until you ride focus at 400mm wide open you haven't lived. I found the Tamron focus is a bit stiff in 10F temps and a follow focus probably wouldn't turn the lens very easily.

 

This quick test has even me thinking about what makes the best image for a given job... and that one should not get too hung up on what a lens looks like or seems to be rather than the images it actually makes ! TEST TEST TEST ! you don't know if you gear is hitting its marks or not utnil you do and this is a great example of being surprised by a lens I never expected would be that great. In fact I was expecting it would have a real funky look instead of being sharp and reasonably contrasty. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

100 Year Old Ultra Vintage Lens

Ok, so it only took me 2 years to get done ! Here is shooting on a really old Kodak lens for yet another unique look. This setup seems have a more muted color palette  which is cool. The lens also vignettes a LOT smiley. Very much a period look. What surprised me a bit was that the DoF wasn't as shallow as I was expecting. The lens starts at F4 and goes down to F128 ! That's something you don't see on modern glass. In fact focus was less critical than I expected.  I think the focal length is around 75 or 80mm which is a modest wide angle for what amounts to a 6cmX9cm or so negative. The lens itself appears to be a very simple 3 or 4 element design uncoated. 

Some extra details - I'm shooting the back of the camera on a ground glass I got on ebay. I had to cut it to fit the image area. I mounted the ground glass using velcro. This makes it easy to remove to clean the other side if I need to. What I will say is that shooting off the ground glass you are loosing some resolution. Some other tests I did with paper seemed to produce a sharper image. Maybe I need a thinner ground glass but the one I got was fairly cheap and got the job done. I did add noise to the images to break up the ground glass pattern. 

Last, to mount the camera I made a simple mount. I drilled 2 15mm holes 60mm OC into a block of 1"X3" maple. this let me use the camera's own 1/4-20 mount to mount it onto my wood block. A simple set up that works great. So I hope you enjoy this ultra vintage look because after this, its wet plates !

Have a great new year.

Monday, October 29, 2012

DaVinci Resolve 9.0.3 Adds The Ability To Read And Sync TC from and Audio Track

BMD continues making some very worthwhile improvements in Resolve. Here is the news :

Fremont, CA - October 29, 2012 – Blackmagic Design today announced the release of DaVinci Resolve 9.0.3, a new update to the world’s most advanced color correction tool. The update includes a new timecode feature to add timecode to non timecode cameras, improved CinemaDNG control palette, AAF and XML clip management, enhanced stereoscopic 3D grading and support for XML round tripping in the new release of Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.6. Resolve 9.0.3 is available immediately for free for existing DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Lite users.

This new DaVinci Resolve software allows, for the first time, cameras that do not support timecode to be used for professional shoots and still offer accurate and synced timecode for editing and conforming. By simply recording timecode from a timecode generator onto one of the cameras audio tracks, combined with the new Resolve Media Pool timecode reader feature, any camera can become integrated into professional workflows. Through the feature, Resolve is able to read the linear timecode from the audio tracks and instantly update the video timecode for those clips.

Blackmagic Design feels that this timecode reader feature will allow dozens of cameras to be used in high end production workflows where previously their lack of timecode support would have limited their ability to sync audio and be used in the post production process.

The new DaVinci Resolve software update also includes the ability to display camera metadata related color temperature and tint on the CinemaDNG color palette, giving colorists more precise color correction capabilities when working with CinemaDNG files, such as from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Additionally, Resolve users now have the ability to specify clips that are located in multiple folders in the Resolve storage library when importing AAF/XML, as well as the ability to reset automatic image transform alignments while adjusting stereoscopic 3D convergence.

DaVinci Resolve 9.0.3 is the latest version of the recently introduced DaVinci Resolve 9, which includes a completely redesigned user interface to optimize workflow speed. This significant user interface overhaul was created to harness the power of multiple new technologies added to DaVinci Resolve in the last few years, including automatic 3D eye matching, multi layering timelines, XML support, plus more camera and file type support. The new user interface is extremely fast to use and eliminates unnecessary clicks and settings. A job can be up and running in three clicks: one to log in, one to drop media into the project and the next to grade.

Other updates in Resolve 9.0.3 include:

Enhanced ARRI RAW de bayer;
Support to playback and grade grayscale DPX files;
Support to playback and grade Phantom Cine grayscale images;
Enhanced Canon C500 RAW support;
Burn ins are now also available for SDI output;
Improved audio waveform GUI update speed;
Updated JL Cooper panel connection for OS X 10.8.2;
Support for single frame sequences without numbers in the frame;
Output sizing is now linked to the track mode;
Addition of new keyboard shortcuts;


Adobe CS6 Premiere Pro XML speed changes support; A very welcome fix as I ran into this a day ago. thanks... now lets try it out !


Additional fields for ALE export.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Rokinon 35 T1.5 Lens Review

Done ! Check it out. I shot this a few days ago and it looks great. I took advantage of fall colors and now I don't want anything less smiley. It was also nice to have help from Josiah Winterhoff running camera for me - THANKS !

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seagull Steals GoPro

A great short clip. Yes they get the camera back ! Moral of the story, gear theft may not always be done by humans.

Of course GoPro's are near indestructible. Here one falls from 12,500ft in free fall without its case. It lands in the grass and continues to run catching the skydiver's actually landing. Hmmm... these cameras seem to take images all on their own !

Monday, August 06, 2012

Rokinon Introduces Cine 35mm T1.5 With PreOrder

Today Rokinon announced yet another cine lens - the 35mm T1.5. Given the great optical performance of the stills version, I really want to try this one out.

B&H has them available for pre order here.  Pricing at least at B&H is $539 which is only $40 more than the stills version. A VERY reasonable price considering you could spend $15 or so just for a lens gear. Also of note - this lens has DoF markings ! So I'd expect that the other cine lenses they have should be shipping soon for not much more than the stills. This also means I"d expect the 85mm 1.4 to also get the cine treatment. This is all pretty exciting that we finally have affordable cine glass with great performance. For about the price of one Ziess cine lens ( the "cheap" ones or cine modded still lenses ) you can have the entire set of Rokinons.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Long Week of Work

I've got a long week of work doing mainly audio and some B roll shooting on my GoPro's. I picked up a new one yeasterday and like it so far.... and remember just try to have fun on long jobs like this !

I'm also working with a pile of new Sennhieser wireless and their new amazing lav mic thats super tiny and sounds great. More on this next week

 

grabbing shots of planes arriving at EAA Oshkosh's week long airshow and plane meet ! The next time you are out on a shoot complaining a plane made some noise in your outdoor interview shot, just try it with nearly 1000 planes around !

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One of My Projects

Sometimes your best work gets done under crazy deadlines and unrealistic budgets. I think this qualifies as one. Its a promo video for the regional United Way Charities. Special thanks to Pam Rucinski of Rucinski & Reetz Communications who wrote and produced this.  Another special thanks to Colleen Parquette who did a lot of shooting on this and about half of the editing. 

 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jay Holden : ISO, EI, ASA and You: Understanding and Interpreting ISO Ratings

Jay is one of those writer's I really respect because he's always (99%) right on techincal subjects he writes about. Thats the kind of writing I like. So here is one on ISO, EI and ASA. Don't dismiss this as a 101 level article. While it starts that way, it does get into some good stuff on how to evaluate your own camera. Worth checking out .

The Full article is here

 

Coming Up

I've mentioned a couple of product reviews. They are all close to being done. The problem ? I keep jumping back and forth between them and never seem to get ONE of them done. Its not just writing, taking product pix but also putting together supporting material like a video samples I shot in Hawaii last week with this lens. I was also expecting to get a lens to add to my vintage lens shoot out, but it never happened. This of course had me put it on hold waiting... so its just been a series of events like that.  However, that said I am committing to finishing one review for release next week including all its sample material. Its *that* close to being done ! Have a great weekend everyone, and a safe fun Canada Day and 4th of July next week !

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Beta coming of Source Filmmaker

I don't do 3D. Its an entire series of careers unto itself and I know better. That said this is worth a look because it shows something completely new - using a 3D game engine to create 3D animated movies. Even editing happens live in the app which had formely been an internal tool only. Its got 7 years of development now and looks pretty nice. The question is how long before you get asked to do mocap or shoot green screen live performers mixing into something like this... maybe sooner than you think.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

New Interview & Stands Ups Reel

Finally got this done ! of course the hard part is getting new shots as you work, and wanting to swap them in which means taking something out... An endless delema with the world's worst critical. Comments welcome... but be polite :) !

Monday, June 04, 2012

This Week - WORK !

This is work ! Bad politics mean lots of work as the mud flies this week here in WI. Stay tuned.

Also planned is a new product review at the end of the week if things stay on track. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

After Effects 11.0.1 Released Today, Adds Kepler Class GPU Support

 

 

 

Adobe released AE 11.0.1 update today. Various bug fixes are there, but the big news is official support for Kepler class nVidia GPU's like the 680. Official word is here. You get the update automatically via the Adobe Updater.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Something Great To Watch

Its been a while since I turned up something special to watch. Great music, great shooting, great editing. How often do I ever say that ? well today :) enjoy some pure pleasure.

 

Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Camera We All Want But No One Is Delivering

 


I had some high hopes about this NAB and new cameras. Lets face it, we all did actually. In some respects the dslr revolution has stopped evolving. Canon has expensive and really expensive new offerings but has totally missed the market that started it all. Nikon has at best modest offerings, but since you can't mount any EF glass onto their bodies thats a lost cause. I'm not sure you can even mount PL glass to Nikon bodies.

 

Panasonic ? GH2 is cool but its M4/3's. They had no new large sensor camera at NAB this year and the AF100 is again M4/3's. 

 

Sony ? Ok, the FS100 continues to be the maybe camera in my eyes. Its a bit pricey, but not crazy to the point of where the pay off time on the camera is very long. F3 ? well its a year old, but looking more than over priced by a crazy amount and the new FS700 spanks its pants off for 1/2 the price. The F3 is a very nice camera, but not for $16K and the C300 does better in low light for the same price.
 
BMD camera ? I'l probably add one to my camera collection because its price is right and I can use it on some ENG type jobs. Its smaller than M4/3's bigger than 2/3" means easy focusing compared to S35 sized cameras. It has SDI out to feed the truck and takes audio in so it all stays in sync. Its a great basic video camera. However, because the sensor is small, its not going to replace the look of my 60D's
 
Lets look at my package today. I started with a T2i to test the waters. I still had a JVC HD100 and that camera worked a lot. While somewhat pleased by the T2i, I also saw its short comings. This was mainly in the non-native ISO's that made the camera noisy. As soon as the 60D came out, I bought one, selling the T2i and not looking back. Its was good as the 7D for a lot less. It continues to be the sweet spot under these conditions : APS-C / S35 sensor vs overall image quality vs PRICE !
 
I now have 2 60D's and love them for the image quality vs price EXCEPT for the alaising and moire problems. You just never know when its going to bite you on stuff like fabrics, slightly off horizontal lines, ect. Really its pretty ridiculous when you consider it. There are other cameras in this price range without the problems.
 
So where is the $1,000ish APS-C /S35 size sensor camera without moire and aliasing problems ? for now it doesn't exist. I'd even go to $2000 or so. The 5D MkII is too dated, the 5D MkIII is too soft unless you mod the camera and remove the 2nd low pass filter. Then this camera starts to shine at almost reasonable price. However, its still not what I want. The sensor is too big. Canon has no APC-C camera that's not $8K or more and makes artifact free images. The next cheapest camera is the Sony FS100 for $5K. However, add on a Metabones EF adapter, some batteries and bits and you are at about $6500. The onboard codec is ok for some work and it shoots to SD cards which is even better. However for best quality add on another $1100 or so for an Atmos Ninja to record 8bit ProRes. Not great, but perhaps livable and still a bit expensive.
 
The reality is this : the sub $2K APS-C sensor market is completely wide open and unguarded. Any company that comes along with a camera with this size sensor, a decent codec and a EF mount is going to clean up. There is huge pent up demand here and no one is responding. Canon could do it, but some how I expect they are going to miss the boat. They are gonna do an FCP X move.  I actually think they have just plain old gotten greedy thinking that the dslr folks will just pay ANYTHING for a better camera. While I'm sure C300 sales have been very strong initially, I"ll also bet they taper off nearly as quick as people like me just sit and wait. Hopefully the wait won't be much longer for a 70D model that makes reasonably a sharp artifact free 1080 image… or some company will.  If anyone may come along, it could be Panasonic, or some Chinese company we've never heard of that just drops a bomb. O f course Canon can claim they didn't see it coming as the loose customers to the upstart. In the words of Mr. Jobs "If you aren't prepared to cannibalize yourself, your competition will."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sale over, but $59.95 for 64gb ! Still a great deal

I have 4 32G Sandisk Extreme cards and they work great. For the normal price of a 32G card, get a 64G card on this 50% off weekend sale.  Sorry you missed this great deal, but even for $59.95 its a great deal.

Click on the image to directly go to B&H. Yes it does has a link which gives this site a small commission, so if you need a card, please consider supporting this site. Its very much appreciated !

Monday, April 23, 2012

Demo Reel 2012

You all know about the cobler's kids... right ? so a look at some of mine :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Avid Stock Down 17%

Not happy news today for Avid right before NAB. Stock is down 17% to $8.50 after a poor quarter. Read more here. As others have said, their editing products are actually a small part of the company's revenues. Much comes from shared storage hardware and software as well as their other product lines like M Audio and ProTools. While they have made great efforts to turn their business around over the last 2 to 3 years, the marketplace doesn't seem impressed. Perhaps crapping on your customers for years is a hard thing to wipe off.... While the New Avid isn't the old one, time will tell how things works out.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Would You Drop A Zeiss Lens ? Zeiss does !

A nice behind the scenes look at the QA process at Zeiss - vibration, shock, thermal extremes. Good stuff and part of the reason why they cost as much as they do.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NAB 1991 : More HOT D2 Excitement From Ampex

Do you even remember who Ampex is ? If you needed a hint today, here you go. Finding these things has been pretty entertaining. Meanwhile I'm making progress on the vintage vs new lens shootout. Its just a monster to edit.

 

Friday, March 23, 2012

NAB 1961 : 72 Special Effects and Editing With Tape ! Its Cheap !

Actually this classic video is from KTTV LA, 1961. 72 Special effects and A / B Roll tape editing on Quad. I am not responsible for keyboard damage when you spill your coffee on this one.

 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shot ! Vintage vs New

Finally shot ! My mini-epic lens shoot out Vintage vs New Lens test. Just going thru the footage and stills was great today. Some surprising and not so surprising results. I'm off to edit and get it out sometime next week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In Production:DaVinci Resolve #6 - Grade Off !

Its Live ! Show #6 where Carey and I go head to head in a grade off, working on each other's projects. Check out our best show and see what happens when you swap projects

 

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Show #5 of “In Production:DaVinci Resolve”!

Show #5 for you viewing pleasure! Dedicated control surfaces and monitors. We've got some great info on how to select a good or great monitor for your suite.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In Production:DaVinci Resolve 03 - Resolve Workflow Overview

Today In Production Releases Part 3 of our looks at Davinci Resolve - Workflow. How to get your projects in and out of Resolve.

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Production Webisodes Goes Live Today !

So here is my promised surprise today !  

“In Production” is a brand new video chat program where hosts  I and long time friend and friend Carey Dissmore discuss tools and topics related to the video production business. I think we both have a unique perspectives as independent production business owner/operators. We aren't just here to talk about stuff in a generic review sort of way, but to share insights on using those tools in the real world. Does this thing _really_ work work better, does it make you money faster & easier ? Can you use this with a client in the room ? 

This show will be produced periodically as series around specific topics. Our first series is on the topic of Color Grading and DaVinci Resolve. This series is comprised of 6 episodes, to be released weekly. The first two episodes are embedded below.

We hope you like this show and, as always, welcome your comments.

In Production : Intro To DaVinci Resolve 

Direct YouTube Link

 

DaVinci Resolve : Grading Basics

direct youtube link 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Matrox Releases Beta V2.5 Drivers for MAC & MXO2

Friday present, new drivers from Matrox for the MXO2 series products.

For  more info & links to the drivers CLICK HERE

Beta Version of new MXO2 2.5 for use with Adobe CS5.5


Matrox is pleased to provide a Preview Release of Matrox MXO2 2.5 for use with Adobe CS5.5 software on Mac OS.

This beta release provides many fixes and improves overall stability for users of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5.

Important: This software is provided as is. We recommend that you back up your system before installing new software and we do not recommend that you update your MXO2 software if you are in the middle of a project. Please report all of your findings (positive or negative) to the special section on the MXO2 web forum. Your feedback is important.

Tech Support will be handled through this dedicated forum section of our user forum; no phone support will be available until the final release is available to the public.

These beta drivers available here, will only work and install in conjunction with Adobe CS5.5 software. No other version of Adobe Premiere Pro will work with these drivers. If you do not have Adobe Premiere Pro 5.5, then you do not need to download and install these drivers.

We recommend all Adobe CS5.5 users upgrade to Adobe Premiere 5.5.2 before installing the Matrox Utilities 2.5 driver version.

This 2.5 beta release also supports the following additional NLE's:


- Apple Final Cut Pro 7.0.3


- Avid Media Composer 5.5.3 (only for MXO2 Mini & MXO2 Mini with MAX)
 

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Dear Pustishka123 asyalolita@mail.ru

Sorry to break your heart today but since you and some of your spammer friends where making a mess of things here, we had to change things. It had just gotten completely out of hand.

I had been wasting way too much time cleaning up your defacements of my site, so now you can't anymore. No more comments, at least not as they had been. Now you have to be a real person to comment.

Honestly, do you think ANYONE would every click on one of those links ?

At the end of the day, are you doing the world any good ?

Are you bringing happiness to anyone ?

Are you easing anyone's burdens ? or making them worse ?

Karma is a  bitch my friend, in this life you get what you give. I hope you consider finding a better way in life.

To My Visitors

I spent a lot of time cleaning all the spam off the site. A thankless task but done.If I some how removed one of your comments... sorry !

Going forwards you'll need to be logged into facbook to post comments. That is my best assurance you're a legit user. I know this might be an inconvenience to some but I had few choices given how bad things had gotten. Over the last couple of weeks it went from a couple of bad posts to a situation where I'd remove them, and a couple days later there were new ones. It simply got crazy and I needed the best _fast_ fix. The old comments will still display, but you can't add new ones that way. 

Perhaps the guilty party may decide to apologize, but some one I don't think that will happen.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Avid on your iPad

Avid released an editing app for the iPad. Cool we can have a computer with 2001ish computing power choking thru h264 clips. Maybe the iPad3 will be decent with this. Now I'm sure it works ok, but I couldn't see really trying to edit something on an iPad. The screen is too small, and clicking and dragging too coarse for what editing really needs to do. Even still, I'm sure some cheap TV stations will send reporters out with these and tell them to edit stories... and it will happen. 

avid on ipad

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Blackmagic Design Releases Support For Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 Broadcast Monitoring

JUST ANNOUNCED ! Blackmagic has support for FCP 10.0.3 broadcast video output. Press release follows-

Fremont, USA - February 1, 2012 - Blackmagic Design today released Desktop Video 9.2 beta 1, a software update for its capture and playback products that adds broadcast monitoring support with the new Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 update. < \br> Desktop Video 9.2 beta 1 for Mac OS X is available for download now and is free of charge for all Blackmagic Design customers. This update includes support for all current DeckLink, Multibridge, Intensity and UltraStudio models.

Broadcast monitoring in Final Cut Pro 10.0.3 allows video output to external monitors and other equipment using the SDI, HDMI or analog video outputs from Blackmagic Design video hardware.

Desktop Video 9.2 beta 1 includes a new control panel for selecting the video output format from Final Cut Pro X for output to devices such as broadcast quality monitors, HDTVs and projectors, so you can see exactly what your master will look like in television colorspace.

Desktop Video 9.2 beta 1 also includes Media Express 3.1 beta. Media Express provides capture, logging and management of video files to Final Cut Pro X compatible formats including ProRes and uncompressed video. Media Express features timecode accurate video capture from professional VTRs with RS-422 control, the ability to log additional metadata and to create custom bins for managing all project video media.

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 includes XML 1.1 for exporting primary color grades to DaVinci Resolve. This improved XML support makes it easier to move projects from FCP X to Resolve as any primary color changes carried out during editing can now be imported and applied automatically within Resolve. Once a project has been color graded with DaVinci Resolve it can be reopened simply within Final Cut Pro X for any further editing.

“We are extremely pleased to provide immediate support for the new monitoring feature in Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “Now working with Final Cut Pro X is even better since our customers can accurately view projects on whatever monitor they choose and can ensure that their final output meets crucial broadcast standards.”

Availability and Price
Desktop Video 9.2 beta 1 for Mac OS X is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design support page at www.blackmagic-design.com/support.

Press Photography
Images of all Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagic-design.com/press/images.

About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s DaVinci EmmyTM award winning color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check www.blackmagic-design.com.
 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shallow Enough Depth of Field ?

Tamron 70-200 2.8 wide open, max close focus. From this weekend, shot hand held actually. Near Macro. Full res shots are equally nice. Who says modern glass doesn't have nice bokeh ? or at least has to be super expensive to get it.

 

tamron 70-200 2.8 shallow depth of field

tamron 70 200 2.8 sample example macro

Monday, January 16, 2012

Yet Another C300 Short

Ok Canon, when do I get MY turn ? Nice shoot including some great low light shots showing just an amazingly clean image. As I had noted before, and this shooter also concludes, the C300 as its set up right now seems to hard clip highlights rather fast. So the ideal sitiuation is to under exposed to protect the highlights as much as you can. Nothing really that new with a video camera, but worth noting as the C300 doesn't seem to handle highlights as nicely as the others - F3 / Epic / and even eos dslr's with less dynamic range.

On the other side the C300 doesn't shy away from being sharp in a pleasing way. I think its pretty much very film like when film is having a good day. 

 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just Get Out There

A few shots from this weekend. Yes I did get out on the ice for a few of these shots. This shot was done on a Vivitar 24 F2.0 + 60D. The lower shot was on the Vivitar / Tokina 400 5.6 + Kenko 1.4X converter. Hate to say it but its not an ideal combination for stills. With an 800mm full frame equivalent it was more then too tempting to not use when the chance to shoot eagles over the weekend came by. Many hours of standing in 10-20deg F temps. While not the shots I expected to get, I still got something nice. For video purposes, it may or may not of been usable. Thats why you go out and shoot tests and learn your gear so you know what it will and will not do ! 

Vivitar 24mm f2.0 sample

Vivitar 24 F2

imature eagles play inflight vivitar 400 5.6

Vivitar 400 5.6 + Kenko 1.4X 60D

 

Even still, with nearly 500 frames shot, a couple great images did emerge. They weren't the ones you'd see in certain national wildlife mags, but maybe ones that dealt more with the art side of photography.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Musgo Shot on GH2

We've all heard about how dslr's should let  people make movie's free of big financial concerns. All you need is a good script, good actors, camera, sound, pizza and locations. Here is perhaps an actual example of it happening. These are pretty few and far between. Here is a micro budget production at its bare essentials. Looks pretty cool to not be tied to too much gear as many of the jobs I'm on are. 

What caught my eye was that this was shot on a GH2 that I had been thinking about getting, but in the end opted for another 60D.

 

 

And the actual trailer. I'm not a huge horro film fan, but it looks pretty good.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Great C300 Test Short

Another C300 test video makes the light of day. Ungraded, "normal" settings. What you'll notice right away is that the camera is sharp ! no more detail dialed down low. There are some really nice night shots in here towards then, all very clean at ISO 800 and sharp. 

What did did notice is some hard knee effects in the highlights where the camera seems to hold them up to a point and then just blows out. Maybe some better camera adjustments will make for a bit less harsh of an edge. Either way, its still looking very nice.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Scarlet Test Video So Sharp It Hurts

Scarlets are making it out into the wild. While not a cheap camera, or simple camera to use in production this sample came by my eyes. The thing you'll notice right away is how sharp it is, even for Vimeo which sometimes tends to smooth things out a bit. Really suprisingly sharp. This could be the camera that makes or breaks some lenses as being suitable for work or not.

I think we've all gotten used to dslr material with the sharpness dialed down. Me personally, I got tired of the look and I've had my sharpness up a bit. If the camera is gonna moire, its gonna do it and there isn't much you can do about it by dialing down the sharpness. It does help a little in smoothing it out, it may help on really small borderline cases. However with nasty ones like you get on fabric, they are gonna happen regardless. Ok, maybe if you put some REALLY strong diffusion on the lens it will be ok, but otherwise it'll be there. 

SO enjoy - even from the vimeo preview you can see the sharpness. As for the short story, whatever, its a test shoot.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

HDR From Magic Lantern ? Sort of

Announced a day or two ago the folks creating magic lantern have announced bring HDR to eos cameras. Sort of. Its a hacked 2 frame expsoure scheme with one normal frame and 4+ stop exposed frame. That means you have to shoot 60fps to get 30fps, with the obvious problems like what if things move enough during those frames that the images don't align. Ok, maybe talking heads might work, but I think with a lot of other things it won't. 

And I Quote from their forum

" Frame rate is an issue. In this test, the raw data was shot at 25 FPS meaning the effective output rate was 12.5 FPS. So if we want 30 FPS then we have to shoot at 60 (bummer). Since we are peaked at 1080p @ 30 FPS, and 720p @ 60 FPS, we can only do HDR 1080p @ 15 FPS and HDR 720p @ 30 FPS. Rather, with the Scarlet you should be able to do 3k @ 30 FPS with HDRx if I remember correctly."

thats right, in 1080 your max frame rate is 30 so this is 15fps output. 720 isn't so great with these cameras, but you could get 60->30. Its a fun experiment and  not a practical production tool.

MORE HERE

Don't get me wrong, I really like what these guys are trying to do, but ML just isn't practical to use on real production work where you are running around shooting like crazy and dealing with all the things you need to. The very last thing I want to worry about is loading ML every time the camera gets shut off. Then if you do like most folks and format your cards clear in the camera, you have to reload ML onto the cards. Really not practical !

So my challenge to the ML guys - load your code into the camera's firmware assuming there is room for it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More Vivitar / Tokina 35-105

It seems that Tokina released the 35-105 3.5 they made for Vivitar once Vivitar went on to a model II which was 3.2-4. Here is a sample of the Tokina 35-105 ( mislabeled in the video BTW ) which looks pretty nice. These shots have been "graded" so its hard to say what the real look of the lens is, but according to the author its sharper wide open then the original lens.

More investigation shows there are at least 2 models. The RMC version is different from the generic Tokina which appears to be the same as the Vivitar version.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

First C300 Test Video - Well Done

Just watch. C300 looks awesome. Being from NY I loved seeing the regular locations rather then the ones the features always seem to always shoot. Whats beyond impressive is how well this camera works in natural night light. Having shot around NYC, its generally pretty bright, but these guys shot in places with even lower light levels. Its impressive to say the least. This camera means you don't have to have 12K's and 18K's to light up a night scene ( well unless you plan to light up mountains :) ), Far more modest 575's, 1200's and 1800's will get the job done. I think it would  be really liberating on every level to not be tied to big lighting gear for nite scenes. So like I said, just watch it. They also did some quick gamma setting tests and the main thing I was : The EOS mode is over exposed by 1-2 stops, and the graded S log shots really didn't display what I thought they would. They probably needed to drop the exposure 1-2 stops to try to gain something back.

Canon EOS C300 = Awesome from Jonathan Yi on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Its 9:30 PM, what are you doing tomorrow at noon ?

The answer is, yes I can be in Chicago tomorrow for a noon start to shoot for 2 days. Ok, so that lets me somewhat off the hook for a block post today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Real Cost of RED

 

As much as RED would like you to buy into their $9750 Scarlet is $15K shootable out the door, you'd be hard pressed to really have a production ready package. Lets say you already have glass, but which kind ?
 
If you have PL glass and want to use some EOS / EF mount lenses, thats an extra $2K. Now why would you do that ? well maybe because there's some great EF mount lenses you can't get in PL.
 
How about media ? RED is getting $995 for a 64G SSD card. Add in 2 or 3 cards, $2-3K
 
Even though you may already have some rails and matte box, you'll probably want either a cage to protect the camera and mount all those extra bits I haven't gotten to on, or some other 3rd party gear. RED's is $1200.
 
Are you editing RED material yet ? if you want to edit the material natively, add on a $5K RedRocket card. If you can live with the time to transcode RED 4K to 2K or 1080 ProRes…. well, ya, that'll just last so long before you plunk down for a RedRocket card. Honestly the RedRocket card looks like an ATI GPU of some sort that's probably worth a few hundred bucks at best. So far though, no one has hacked it.
 
So we're at about $26K and running. I'm sure there are some other bits I've missed, maybe there are some cheaper accessories you can use, or not. However, its pretty clear that unless you already own a RED ONE you can borrow bits from, a Scarlet isn't a $10K camera and the C300 doesn't look so bad right now. 
 
Sure the Scarlet is 4K, but until you've tried editing and working with that material you may not realize that you need a maxed out NLE box to work with it. Its like when your machine worked great with SD and then along came 1080 and you bogged down to nothing in speed, drive space, render times, ect. It wasn't pretty. 
 
I'm  not knocking 4K, its just that how many productions really need it ? How many productions have future life of 5 or 10 years ? no many. In fact very good 1080 may well work just fine into 4K anyway when its all said and done. There are too many factors that go into making an image to say that 1080 won't hold up ok if its well shot, sharp and not too noisy.
 
Its an interesting time to be in production to say the least. What will be more interesting is a few years down the road when Canon has pushed out another generation of product and C300's become boat anchors. Will we be 4K in 5 years ? I have no doubt because we'll finally have computers that can push the bits thru fast enough to make it tolerable to work again. 
 
I can't emphasize the speed factor enough. Today I had to re edit a project because everything had been changed. New VO, new on camera shots. Premiere Pro on CUDA just let me play thru stuff including a bunch of multilayer segments with 3 layers of live video. I was done in an hour and a half because I could make changes and just hit play. If working with 4K meant rendering rendering rendering rendering I'd pass on it. I don't have the time or tolerance to do stuff like proxy edits, then replace with the real stuff because most of my work has turn around times that just don't permit this. Its silly to work this way anyway, well at least if you can afford the biggest and badest hardware you can. So for now 1080 and 2K are just fine. I'm over it, it works for me and most importantly I'm making money with it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

An Amazing Video For You, Lots Of Work For Me

First I have to save I've been working the last 3 days on a reality TV show pilot for a network. Long hours, but I met some great people. 

On this shoot the camera of choice as a Sony Z5U palmcorder. Runs for hours and hours on its large size built in battery. I wasn't thrilled to shoot 1080i60 but if thats what they want, its what I'll do. These cameras are perfect for long days of fast moving shooting in tight spaces. I also had my GoPro's shooting some great POV angles and timelapse. On this shoot I setup the GoPros in a couple of places I could not be because there was live ammo being fired. Don't panic, this is WI. Everything was VERY safe !

While I was working, this amazing video came to my attention. Yes its shot on dslr's, and some full size shoulder cams ( looks like varicams ) and 35mm. If you don't like Duran Duran, you'll still like this video, I promise ! Watch it in 1080 because its a lot easier to see the various grain patterns or lack thereof. Its got some interesting very well produced shots in it. 

Ok, add in 5 super models and great locations just to make this great. 

The point though - this great peice clearly mixed and matched various formats and mixed them into a smooth seemless flow. Editing and grading where also very well done.

Check it out. In this day and age of no budget music videos, this one shines as to why spending money with talented people does matter ! 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

$ony Annouce$ New F3 Update$

 

Sony had announced a new 14X zoom lens last week with a slow variable aperture... for only $12K. Lets get real, the dslr revolution came about because of cheap and good. This lens isn't either. I suppose to add insult to F3 injury its that its crippled from the factory by not having S Log installed. You pay $4400 extra for that. Perhaps Sony hasn't heard of this company that sells a camera called RED MX that does 4K RAW for the same price ( add VF and some storage ).  

Well at least they are going to deliver some big camera features like LUT on one SDI out and SLOG on the other... so you can record the SLOG to their $12K SolidState SR recorder. Sure thats a bargin compared to a tape based SR-1, but for the lower to mid market which is where big sensor cameras started and continue to dominate, its not gonna fly. Those old days of paying $50K for a SD betaSP or digibeta camcorder are over. Wake up, new world. I'm won't be the one to be suprised when some one comes along and hacks some new firmware up for the F3... and FS100

 

Product/update Price/availability Details
Firmware v1.10 Free
Available now
  • Simultaneous HD-SDI and HDMI output
  • Adds LUTs for monitoring in S-LOG mode (requires purchase ofCBK-RGB01, below)
CBK-RGB01 $4440
Available now
  • Adds RGB444 and S-LOG output
Firmware v1.20 Free
November 2011
  • Allows use of SCL-Z18X140 14x zoom lens, below
  • Enables S-LOG EI mode (requires purchase of CBK-RGB01)
  • Enables 3D-link (requires purchase of CBK-3DL01, below)
CBK-3DL01 (3D-link) $5500
November 2011
  • Synchronizes two F3s for stereo-3D shooting
SCL-Z18X140 $12,200
November 2011
  • High-power 14X zoom lens
  • FZ mount (F3 native)
  • 18-252mm
  • T3.8 (at widest)
Firmware v1.30 Free
January 2012 or sooner
  • Enables 4:2:2 output on Link A HD-SDI
  • Enables S-LOF 4:2:2 1080 50p/59.94p output via dual-link or 3G-SDI
  • Allows use of SCL-P11X15 1.5x wide zoom lens, below
SCL-P11X15 $7700
January 2012
  • Wide-angle zoom 1.5x
  • PL mount
  • 11-16mm
  • T3.0
  •  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5D vs iPhone 4S Camera Shoot Out

Ok, maybe not quite like the Zacuto camera shoot out, but still very revealing. No the 4S iPhone doesn't quite outgun the 5D, but.... well.... I did say "not quite". To be sure the 4S has more compression, and lower quality glass, ect but stll you could certainly use it for a quick B roll shoot, POV shot, ect, slip it in and at least on lower sized web mov's no one would probably every notice. really ! Ya the pixel peepers will gladly point out the differences, but clients, most of them won't know the difference unless you point it out. Would you really do that ?

The shooter here used settings on the 5D to try to mimic the 4S as much as possible including using AWB. The 5D is a bit cooler / less saturated, but nothing you couldn't correct in 10 secs of mouse twitching. The 4S also seems to have a bit more highlight compression and shadow compression. It seems biased towards protecting highlights, which is fine as a consumer camera. The 5D in stock settings seems set to preserve more shadow detail assuming the shooter will do what they need to do to hold highlights. Still, you could mix these cameras together and have a minor effort to match them if shot this way AND you are outputting smaller web mov's where the differences, well, may just not be there once color corrected.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bizarre Fun Music Video

You know I don't post vids here that aren't worth your time, at least I hope you think that way when watch them. All over the web you'll here about "brilliant" direction which is usually pretty bad. Here is one thats a lot of fun, there's a a bunch of details that are interesting, and this video really makes fun of music video, yet still says something. Ya, shot on dslr, but nice directing for a change, girls in skimpy out fits, and a chicken suit head. Need anything else in a music video ?

 

Monday, September 05, 2011

Shot On dslr : Stop Motion Johnny Quest Sequence

Think you work hard on shoots ? dig this. Totally worth the watch, then check out how it was done. Hint : no store bought expensive slider but a lot of cool DIY gizmos and lights.

Here is the Main Page for how this was created. Click on each storyboard image to see a complete  how it was done of each shot.

 

On this page all the rigs used in shooting this but alas no peek at the camera or shooting setup. 

 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Samyang announces new 24 F1.4 prime

Another lens from Samyang. Nice specs, full manual lens, to bad it focuses backwards. What here they thinking ? Maybe they will have another version that focuses the right way like the 85mm.

Complete Info Here

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

QT Change, an app you need if you shoot on DSLR

QTchange is one of those small must have apps. It lets you change all sorts of bits in a QT mov file likes its TC, reel name and even FPS rate. For example, shoot at 60fps and change the QT file to play at 24. 

My biggest use is setting TC for all the dslr clips I shoot. With this QT app you can set them to Time Of Day along with setting a reel name of your choice. Of course you can batch process an entire folder of clips, but new in 1.8.4 is the ability to process single selected files for special cases. Of course that new feature may of been my special request :).  For $25 this app is a no brainer for its utility and time savings. Even though dslr's won't take external TC, at least being able to set it from either file creation or the companion .THM file can make syncing audio much easier. It can also create TC burns as well. It does those sorts of fixes nothing else does for a price that pays for itself in one use.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Happy 4th of July, What could be better then MOUNTING a camera on fireworks ?

Have fun, be safe, new challenge for your little camera -

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hitler on FCP X

If it weren't so true....

 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

FCP X Non Review : The Day After and the Sky Isn't Falling

There is a LOT of over reaction right now about project / XML import. apple has been clear its coming, and given the uproar, probably REAL soon.  this is OS X 10.0, which was more an experimental / beta release then anything else. then 10.1 got better, faster, and finally 10.2 was usable for everyday work. I remember those transition days.  How many of you remember starting up 10.0 and poking around, looking for apps that worked, ect ? There was a lot of the same fallout back then, but look where things have gone.

 
Apple hasn't left everyone high and dry. FCP7 will continue to work while you can start learning X.  There is a lot of great stuff in X if you look, like color's CC tools, AV foundation that makes the app faster, a better TL model, ect. 
 
Acting like this is the end of the world, your NLE just stopped working is silly. It all still works fine, in fact X and 7 will happily coexists  on the same system w/o any hassles like dual boot ( except BETA AJA drivers  right now ).
 
X is about new world workflow - tapeless to web or file delivery. That is in fact most of my work now, tape is very much the exception for input or output. 
 
So relax, by the time X.1 is out, XML input will at least be there, as will a FCP7 -> FCP X XML translator, all your plugins will be updated, ect. Apple has been clear to some people they are going to address the major short comings, so lets give them a little room to do so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ver 1.0.9 Firmware for 60D released • Installing Technicolor Cinestyle

This firmware release  is a bit old dated 3/24/11 but no one seems to of noticed much.

 if you are trying to get the new techincolor cinestyle installed, you need this and the latest version of the EOS utility FOUND HERE.

To actually install this and get it to work :

Install Firmware 1.0.9 onto the camera

Install V2.10 of the EOS utility

Set camera to M or B mode, go to what canon calls the menu item, but its actually a part of their funky UI in the small window.

Hit the Camera Icon in the small control window, then under the Shooting Menu part of the window, select a user defined setting.

You'll now notice that Register User Setting is now available. Hit it

A dialog opens, and hit the Open File button. Select the style and load it, Hit Ok

This will only work in STILLS mode on the camera. If the Load File Icon is grayed out / doesn't work your in video mode.

Now change the camera on its dial to video mode.

Go to the Shooting Menu area of the small UI window

Select Register User Setting however this time when you go to load the style, the Load File button is grayed out. 

I bet you just had a WTF moment, this is supposed to work, right ? Check this out :

Open the pop up menu, Cinestyle is at the bottom !

Talk about convoluted screwed up UI ! ok, at least it works but hopefully you won't have to waste an hour messing around to figure all of this out.

Now on for some camera tests.

Very Cool 5D music video

"Turn The Screw"  

This is NOT your average low budget music video. Its got some really great images, CG and composite work. Shot on a 5D. It looks like far more money was spent on it. Some great treatments and imagination. Take a look.

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Magic Lantern Update 60D Coming In The Next 24-48 Hrs !

You heard it hear first, just sit and wait with anticipation :) !

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

RIP Tim Hetherington

 Sad breaking news today as we get word that Restrepo Documentarian Tim Hetherington Confirmed Killed in Libya. Photographer Andre Liohn wrote from Misrata on his Facebook page

 " Hetherington died in Misrata when covering the front line. Chris Hondros is in a serious status. Michel Brown and Guy are wounded but fine."

 

Further updates say that Chris Hondros is now also dead.

Monday, April 18, 2011

NAB Trend #2 : Tungsten Lighting Is Dead

 

One trip around the middle hall would of made this one jump out at you: there were very few tungsten fixtures out there. There were lots of fluorescent fixtures to be sure, but LED's where out in force. Many LED lights where taking on the form of conventional tungsten lights. The big guys are of course Arri.  Their new LT-7 series lights that are more like HMI's in case size and shape are 220W of LED power that lets them put out 1000W of conventional light. If you work on location, you know juggling power loads on wall outlets can be a pain. Now consider that 9 ARRI L7 Fresnels can be run off a single 20 A, 110 V outlet, as opposed to only two 1000 W or three 650 W tungsten fresnels.
 
 
There's more, these lights have computers in them ! The light engine is fully upgradeable, ensuring that the fixtures can take advantage of technology advances as and when they happen. The firmware is upgradeable through the USB port on the rear of each unit, accommodating future control protocols such as ACN and incorporating other system enhancements that may become available in due course. Updating firmware on a light is just weird.
 
Last but not least there is the color temp adjustable version going from 2700K to 10,000K. 
 
This is great, this is amazing, and so is the price. The LT-7C adjustable light I heard was MSRP of $2900! I mean lets get real, I have no doubt that  they are putting something into these lights, and those high power LED's and cooling them isn't simple or cheap, but thats expensive. You can pick up 1200W HMI's in the same ball park. 
 

Enter Lights From China

 
The other big part of this trend is that there where a number of Chinese companies selling LED lights. However, many of the MSRP's weren't that cheap, and I'd call them down right expensive. They weren't leaving a penny on the table at NAB, but on ebay thats another story. I'd suggest shopping there and buying direct where the prices are reasonable. I know if you have never bought stuff directly from China it might seem a little scary, but I've bought a number of production items from lights to lenses without a problem except shipping times can sometimes be really slow. Be careful on how they ship things because I've had anything from 2 days to an average of 2 weeks to 2 months in one case.  
 
Now while I was at NAB, I was doing  some shooting and had just bought 2 120 battery powered LED lights. The manufacturer of the lights was there and I had a good conversation with them. They are seriously interested in listening to customer feedback and improving their products way faster then the old lighting brand companies are. While I was there they had an updated version of the light I had just bought which had an external DC power connections added. I had just bought old stock !  They suggested I contact the guy I'd bought them from to see if they could hook me up with an adapter.
 
The big name light companies have not had any reason to really do anything differently for the last 20 or 30 years. Sure there are electronic ballasts over magnetic : a mixed blessing of much lighter weight versus lower reliability and higher startup current. A couple years back tungsten PAR lights came about, but really things have been pretty static for movie lights. Kino's are old school now !
 
With all these new companies competing, its a new game out there. Arri seems to be seriously working at it, but as to the other guys, who knows, we'll see.  Its good to see competition once again in lighting gear. LED lights are great power and heat savers for location work in real places not wired for movie making. If you don't own any yet, I think you will soon. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back From NAB, Almost

I'm back from NAB, almost ! I'm in the minneapolis airport posting this saturday afternoon. The very best stuff at NAB I can't talk about.. NDA's and all. What I won't talk about is the zillion product announcements you've read everywhere a dozen times. What I will talk about are some emerging trends at NAB which requires a bit more thought and consideration in taking in so many things.

First I went and did some rock climbing with my GF. Good for concentration ! Dig the lectrosonics T shirt :)

 

 

The shots were taken with my 60D + Tamron 17-50 2.8 and I didn't shoot any video while there ! I was really in civilian mode. However, some of the peace and quite was broken up by some guys shooting a car commercial with a helicopter, hanging a RED out the side on a Tyler mount. Pretty hard not to make amazing pictures in a place like this ! Its the same spot they shot parts of Star Trek "Generations"

 

The rest of the week as I catch up with work and follow ups from NAB conversations, I'll start putting up some things I saw at the show worth thinking about, but here is a starter : Tungsten lighting is dead.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another Great TimeLapse

Another great timelapse ! Ok, terrible sound track, but the shots make up for it.

__________________________________________

Photographer Terje Sorgjerd braved -25 degree Celsius (-15 F) temperatures to capture this mesmerizing collection of photographs. Then, by assembling the 22,000 photos, he created a time-lapse video of the rich color and dynamic shapes of the Northern Lights that would normally be difficult to see. Adding the atmospheric Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard song "Now We Are Free" from the movie Gladiator to the mix, and Sorgjerd has created a masterpiece.

__________________________________________

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Watch

Was this really shot on a dslr ? probably some of the flash back sequences say viddyho, but the rest was almost for sure a RED or Alexa given how clean it is and no dslr artifacts. Well shot, well written, well done. Blinky™, 12 min, great compression for vimeo in HD.
 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Cool Timelapse

 
Another well done timelapse shot at nite, in sub zero temps. 
 

Sub Zero - winter night timelapse from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

History of the Wah Wah Pedal

Shot on dslr, my guess 5D based on its look. This is a who's who of not just guitar players, but of all the key people involved with the creation of this amazing effect. 57 mins and worth your time, if for nothing more then the cool soundtrack. Only complaint - a few jump cuts in interviews weren't covered up with B roll, but given how much other great material is in here, its a minor point.
 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Techincolor LA downsizing

Technicolor is shutting down its Hollywood facility, putting 360 people out on the street. This is due in part to their loosing a contract to Deluxe for handling Universal's work. They are opening a new facility, but only hiring back about 100 people when it opens. LA Times article . Part of the reduction is also due to falling demand in film processing. There simply isn't any other work around to make up for the loss with Universal. Many of us may be saying good riddance to that last century medium called film, but its also taking away some needed jobs as well. Hopefully every one finds something new. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

CES started today, No News From Canon to Get Excited About, Well Maybe

Canon basically revamped it consumer line of HD palmcorders, the Vivixa series. Some nice improvements to be sure. They also announced the XA10 camcorder which is a continuation of their pro-ish camera line. Its small, its AVChd, it has a decent lens with 8 blade aperture. There was no dslrnews though today. Maybe they will put out some firmware updates over the next day or two, maybe not. Given that CES is a consumer event, this isn't too suprising that there's no dslr news. Here is...

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crazy In Camera Bokeh Effects

This is supposed to of been done entirely in camera. very cool and worth a look.

How was it done ? look below -

 

Light Works from Supernormals on Vimeo.

 

Ok, here is a pic of the setup - easy enough.

bokeh masters on camera

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Canon Releases V1.0.8 Firmware for 60D today

Get it HERE What is new in it ? ------------- Firmware version 1.0.8 incorporates the following fixes. Fixes a phenomenon in which captured images may become overexposed when using the camera's built-in flash or an external Speedlite in combination with the lenses listed below:* a) EF300/4 L IS USM b) EF28-135/3.5-5.6 IS USM c) EF75-300/4-5.6 IS USM d) EF100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Firmware version 1.0.8 is for cameras with Firmware Version 1.0.5. If the camera's firmware is already...

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sony Shows off more F3 Material on its UK launch

Here you go....
It looks video-y to me. I'd expect more from a $16K camera. Maybe they didn't let anyone tweak these cameras on the shoot, or the color grading was flat. The F3 does look very sharp, and no moire or other problems to be seen with that sharpness. Might kick RED around if you don't care about 4K RAW at all. However, slapping a HDcam SR deck onto it could hardly be called cheap. Sony also showed a prototype memory HDcam SR recorder too, no price.
Here is another F3 test video.
 
Have you had enough yet ? here is one more. whats interesting is that the Sony video uses some of the same shots, but they are graded flatter... and can I say boring ? well yes I can can't I :)
 

Convergence - Short Film shot on Sony PMW-F3 from Martin Scanlan on Vimeo.

Will I get one of these  cameras, or the panasonic ? only if I get demand for it. Right now my new 60D I'm trying to find even a few hours to go shoot tests on is calling me. What little I have gotten with this camera has been impressive. I wanted to shoot some tests when I was in Chicago a few days ago, but that was just impossible. Maybe I'll go take a trip down again in a few weeks.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vivitar 35-105 3.5 Lens Test, FINALLY !

35-105 Lens Test Finally Done !

Ok, I know, it took forever to get done. Gotta pay the bills sometimes ! so here is a lens test of the vivitar 35-105 3.5. its really a great lens. What I also found was that this Lee Resin ( Plastic ) ND .9 I have needs to be replaced with a glass filter. It softens the image for sure. While this does help reduce moire problems, it also softens the image a bit more then I like. Well I'm off to 3 days of shooting, including a music video this weekend ! enjoy.

Vivitar 35-105 3.5 LENS TEST from Steve Oakley on Vimeo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

P+S Technic Bought by Sensor Maker

 

In the weirder news category, P+S Technic was bought by another company. One might of figured Arri, or even RED might of bought them. The actual company is Augusta Technologie AG.
 
A much more interesting concern - how does this play out for Silicon Imaging who's SI-2K cameras had their bodies redesigned by P+S T ? This should be interesting to see. Really I have no idea why SI got in with P+S the way they did. It took their camera from being priced right ( under $10k ) to being way over priced, especially when you could have a RED for the same money. Time will tell.
 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stillwater to Minneapolis Lens & Filter Shoot

A few weeks ago I got to spend some time in Stillwater MN on a shoot. I also spent a nite in Minneapolis. This was a chance to try out some vintage glass and filters again along with some modern glass. Many of the shots where taken with a Tiffen Black Softnet 3B filter. Placed in front of my Vivitar 28 1.9, it made for some interesting effects. With my tamron 70-200 2.8, I got some really great organic starbursts around car lights completely with some funky CA.
Right in the middle of this video is a shot illuminated by the full moon. Thats right, F1.9, ISO 1600, and there was an image there ! its truly amazing what these cameras can do. If I get the chance, I'll put up a version with the lens / filter info on each shot. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Nite In Cincinatti

A Nite In Cincinatti

 
This is a cool little night time test shoot that I did. I was trying out some of my lenses, and ISO settings. I put some cool vintage glass to the job including a Olympus OM 50 1.4, OM 35-70 F4, 1 shot with a Vivtar series 1 28 1.9, a new Tamron 17-50 2.8 and 70-200 2.8. It was fun, gave me sore feet, and I think I learned quite a bit.
 
 
 
The OM 35-70 F4 would seem to be a dark lens in comparison to the others, and it is, but I still got some quite usable shots. Its a nice compact lens with a solid feel to it. I'll also say the area was pretty bright, so it wasn't a problem to use this lens. On a 7D @ 1250 ISO, it would still be very usable for all except the very darkest places.
 
This alternate version shows which lenses I used on each shot. You might be a bit surprised at a few.
 
If you want to know, I did do some color correction on some shots. It seems the street lights have something of a green cast, and I did do a minus green correction on them. I also think I did adjust one or two shots for exposure too, but it was gentle. I did the editing and color correction in Premiere Pro CS5 Mac using mainly RGB Curves. Having a QuadroFX 4800 let me work on this in realtime, at full resolution which was a real pleasure. It also really let me get done with this a lot quicker.
 
I've got another video in the works, just as soon as I can edit the thing. Meanwhile I've been watching as canon announced the new 60D a few days ago.