Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Large Sensor News

The Horror In Japan
Dan Chung at DSLRNewsShooter links to two pieces shot in the aftermath of the devastating Tsunami.

The first piece, by Matt Allard for Al Jazeera, was shot using the Sony PMW-F3 and a Tamron 18-270mm cheap lens to provide "maximum flexibility."

The second piece, by Dan (while on assignment for The Guardian), was shot with a DSLR.
DSLRNewsShooter: DSLRnewsshooter’s Matt Allard and Dan Chung file reports from the Japan Tsunami zone

Kitting out your camera
At the Zacuto site, director Timur Civan talks about kitting out your camera, focusing on the PMW-F3:
Sometimes starting a camera package over from scratch is more complicated than it seems.  You need to look at all the work flow issues, power systems, monitoring, connectors, cables, converters and approximate what you need as far as camera support. However, until you actually put the camera together and see where all the parts go, you won’t know what you really need.
Zacuto: Stepping Into the Big Leagues ~Timur Civan

Panasonic AG-AF100 News Reporting
Mickey Grant reports on using the Panasonic AG-AF100 to cover the uprising in Libya. Much of the article covers preparing and making the trip, which perhaps is even more interesting than his comments about the camera, though those are also insightful:
The worst problem I discovered was the ergonomics of the AF100’s volume controls. They are small and the access to control them is very flat. I may need to grow the fingernail on my left hand index finger long in order to be able to quickly control the little volume wheels. There is an electronic sound limiter but it’s not nearly as functional as the auto setting I had on my Z1, which worked like a champ in volatile situations such as the demonstration. People next to me were even firing AK47s into the air, which is something that will really peak your meters. The AG-AF100 Revolution

Panasonic AG-AF100 Review
Nino Del Padre reviews the AG-AF100 at Studio Monthly. After going through the history and desirability of shallow-depth of field and HDSLRs, he talks about the features of the camera and then concludes:
The AG-AF100 has a lot of potential, and I’d definitely choose it if the alternative was an HDSLR. Its layout and controls are familiar and it’s designed to do what it does, so it’s much faster and easier to program, judge focus and expose than an HDSLR. It also doesn’t create moirĂ© or rolling shutter artifacts the way an HDSLR will.
StudioMonthly: REVIEW: Panasonic AG-AF100 Camcorder

That AG-AF100 Sensor Flare Thing
Last week I mentioned that there had been a bit of a tiff on the DVXUser list about a supposed problem with sensor flare and the AG-AF100.

Barry Green has posted a fairly exhaustive set of tests showing that the problem exists on most other cameras.
Well, what do you know. There it is. The exact same lens flare. The same "sensor flare" is happening on a 16mm film camera. (No video to show it, because the viewfinder opening on the camera is about 1/4" in diameter and I couldn't figure out how to film the ground glass through that opening). But I assure you it's there and looks very similar to the AF100/GH2.

Clearly, this is a DESIGN FLAW of all movie cameras, right? Perhaps my 1970's-era movie camera is a prototype and needs to be sent back to the drawing board?
DVXUser: "Sensor Flares" - what's the truth?
NotesOnVideo: News From Here & There [Mar 8]

Arri Alexa and RED 1 MX
Gunleik Groven compares these two high-end cameras in a very extensive write-up and concludes:
That both are good cameras, really.

The Alexa has about 1.8 stop more in the top and “a bit” more in the bottom, judging from my images, but dependent on ISO settings on the Alexa (for the bottom).
The Alexa has an advantage for uncontrolled light/nature doco situations because of the extra headroom in the top and baked Rec709.

The RED has an advantage for cinematic release, keying and VFX work because of its resolution.

The Alexa has a much more reassuring representation of available DR on-set than the R1MX

The R1MX has much more flexibility in post for many applications.
Note that Stu Maschwitz, after tweeting about this test, then added: " the MX examples were shot at ISO 320. Invalidates the whole test?" Arri Alexa and RED1 MX

RED Epic-M Test Video
Digital FX has posted some test video shot on the Epic.

Epic Weekend from Digital FX on Vimeo.

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