Saturday, April 09, 2011

Links From Here & There

3D News
CamcorderInfo does in-depth review of JVC GS-TD1
Camcorderinfo got their hands on the 3D pro-sumer camera from JVC, the GS-TD1, and while it does a better job than the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 they already reviewed, they note a lot of problems including: a slow menu system, confusing playback interface and a headache inducing "glasses-free" 3D LCD. And they had problems with the footage and shooting good 3D:
The 3D footage captured with the camcorder, while better than what we saw from the HDC-SDT750, still had problems with trailing and interference, and it was nearly unwatchable if you moved the camcorder around too fast during recording. Shooting the perfect 3D video clip requires precise camcorder movements, intricate staging, and proper lighting.
If you have the money and want to play with the latest 3D gadget, it might be the one to get, but you're paying for it.
Camcorderinfo: GS-TD1

Sony Handycam HDR-TD10 First Look
DigitalCamera Review posts a first look at Sony's pro-sumer 3D camcorder, the HDR-TD10. This isn't a full review, but they do note that while the Sony's glasses free LCD has a "limited sweet spot for viewing" they do describe it as "novel and a heck of a lot of fun."

They talk a lot more about the issues you encounter and have to deal with when shooting 3D:
...high contrast situations like a black couch against a white wall, can result in “ghosting,” or a splitting of the image. Also, it’s important to retain all the action in the frame. Any subject cut off of the edge of the frame warps the 3D effect and appears unnatural.
as well as discussing convergence, and the TD10's manual and automatic modes for handling convergence. They warn that Sony - and the manufacturers - have their work cut out for them:
There is a learning curve and it’s easy to do it wrong. It’s also easy to see consumers being turned off to the technology because their 3D footage is blurry or jarring.
DigitalCameraReviewSony Handycam HDR-TD10 First Look

Arri Alexa News
ARRIRAW recorder
ARRI has formed an agreement with Codex Digital - the leading developer of digital media recorders and media management systems for film and television production - to manufacture a Codex ARRIRAW recorder for use with the ARRI ALEXA and ARRIFLEX D-21 cameras: ARRI Group News

Alexa User Interviews
ARRI has posted a couple of "on the set" type articles about the Alexa. They talked to cinematographers Alik Sakharov, ASC and Marco Pontecorvo, AIC for the upcoming HBO series Game of Thrones:
Marco Pontecorvo: First of all the ALEXA was extremely user-friendly, but yes - the dynamic range was fantastic. Of course there's always room for improvement, but I can't see why I'd need more dynamic range - and my style for the show was to shoot with a high contrast ratio. That was the case even in Northern Ireland, when we were shooting on the stage; I had a lot of contrast, with strong shafts of light and lots of shadow. The range could easily be from T2.8 to T22, so I did need the ALEXA's dynamic range and it performed very well. If you give me the stops, I'll use them!
ALEXA wins the Game Of Thrones

Shooting in 3D
An interview with "The Three Musketeers" cinematographer Glen MacPherson, CSC, ASC. This movie is being shot in 3D and the interview talks much about shooting in 3D, though also talks about the camera's low-light capabilities:
I tried to stick to the 800 EI as much as possible, although we got up to 1280 or 1600 EI at some points I think, in extreme low light situations. We had some night exteriors at Bamberg in Bavaria with huge expanses we had to light and I just don't think I could have shot it on film, with the equipment we had. I'd walk out of my tent and think there wasn't nearly enough light, but we'd be shooting at T2.8; it was amazing.
Alexa Shoots The Three Musketeers in 3D

You want fries with that?
The ARRI Facebook page has an interesting report:
Yesterday we visited a rental house in LA and saw an ALEXA that had been burned to a crisp in a fire. On a whim, we powered the camera up. Not only did the camera start up, but the display worked, it output images and we recorded footage on an SxS card. What a testimony to the ruggedness of this camera! Thanks to camera owner David Wells from Moving Pictures Electronics Services for permission to post this.
Facebook: Burned ALEXA still works!

General News
Red Giant Colorista Free and LUT Buddy
Stu Maschwitz explains some details about these two new - free! - tools, and notes that Colorista Free supports CDL compatibility. CDL stands for Color Decision List and is a method of sharing simple, primary grades between different systems. It was created by the American Society of Cinematographers and is supported by nearly all high-end color grading systems.
ProLost: Two Free Color Correction Plug-ins from Red Giant Software

Documentary Shooting with the Canon T2i and Panasonic HPX-170
An article from Greg Sucharew and Frank Trotta about shooting "The Bicycle City" in Nicaragua, where they decided to use the Canon Canon EOS Rebel T2iDSLR as well as a more traditional HPX-170.
The 170 offered us the benefits of the traditional video camera – high quality sound, ease of use, and stability. The T2i gave us a DSLR’s ability to change lenses based on shifting shooting environments/objectives, a compact lightweight body, high-resolution video, and the capability to capture still images that made it perfect for time-lapse photography.

Multi-camera video production iPhone app - Collabracam
This is both amazing and a little bit puzzling; a multi-camera video app for the iPhone! Collabracam links up to four iPhone 4, 3GS or iPod Touch 4G cameras as sources, and then away you go editing on a fifth. It seems to have some impressive functions, including the ability to send camera move or angle cues to the camera operators. BUT, you're editing at 640x480. You could always upload the videos and re-edit, but it doesn't look like the program

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