Tuesday, June 07, 2011

News From Here & There

Comparing Six Cameras
While we are waiting for the Great Camera Shootout 2011, John Brawley and Kate Dennis in Australia went and put together their own little test with 35mm film, Super 16mm film, RED MX, Arri Alexa, Sony PMW-F3 and the Canon EOS 1dMKiv.

John says this was really intended to be viewed projected, rather than on the net, noting that on the Viemo version the blacks look a little crushed:
We also made a definite choice to NOT edit them exactly the same way, but to favour each edit to be the best it could be with the available material.  This extended to the grade.  Instead of trying to match everything to one camera, we simply tried to make each camera look the best it could.
JohnBrawley: Posted – Available light tests are finally online

Sony FS100 First Look
Paul Antico at Need Creative got his NEX-FS100 yesterday and after only an hour or so of playing with it, has posted his impressions. He notes that the LCD is awesome, it feels a bit plasticy but quite solid, and it's easy and intuitive to operate:
Now how about low-light performance? One thing these stills won't show you well is the characterization of the noise. The noise on the Sony FS100 and F3 is a filmic-kind of grain, vs the very digital noise in the Canon 5D Mark II. It's quite pleasing as far as noise goes, seems confined to luma, and is easy to remove in post.

And there's far less of it. As this camera can virtually see at night.
NeedCreative: Sony FS100 First Very Brief Look

For more low-light samples, Production Junction posted this video shot at night in Washington DC using a Nikon 70-210 zoom lens.
VimeoSony NEX-FS100 Footage: DC Girls

Baby Primes - what are Baby Primes?
A little back ground; Zeiss sells a line of ZF.2 still lenses which retail for between $1,000 and $1,800 each. They also make the CP.2 line, which reportedly have the same or similar optics, but have a very different housing that is designed for film and video work; Calibrated Lens Scales etc., and cost from $3,900 up.

Now it appears some Italian company claims they will be selling "Baby Primes" that will offer film/video features (95mm front diameter, focus and iris markings etc) and will cost about $2,500.

Cinema 5D has some photos from the factory.
Cinema5D: Exclusive Look – babyPrimes factory photos
NoFilmSchool: Italian Camera Company Announces babyPrimes, Zeiss CP.2-Equivalent Lenses for 35% Less
HDWarrior: babyPrimes coming soon…

3D Video Editing
Thinking of doing some 3D video editing? - Madness. But if you insist, Matt Brown offers some options for shooting and editing. Unfortunately, the editing option isn't cheap:
A popular stand-alone application for professionals is a program called Cineform Neo3D ($3000). The software takes the left and right channels of video information and combines it into one AVI or MOV video file, which makes the dual-channel video compatible with most video-editing programs.
I'm pretty sure there are other options out there.
MacWorld: An insider's guide to editing and sharing 3D video

Prepping for a shoot with the Sony PMW-F3
Giuseppe Pugliese explains how he went about evaluating the Sony PMW-F3 for shooting a feature length movie in Africa. He discusses the tests they conducted, as well as lens and storage choices:
Our goal was to test the camera’s dynamic range, skin-tone rendition, and low-light capability — the latter with just candlelight. We then took the F3 out to shoot in hard sunlight to see how it handles highlights and blown highlights. The footage was then dumped into a Final Cut Studio editing bay for analysis. It was then brought into Apple Color to see how the footage handled grading in various degrees of strength. Jordan and I were very pleased with the results, and the camera handles like a mini ARRI Alexa. Sony PMW-F3 Goes to Nollywood

Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Review
Nino Leitner reviews the Zacuto Z-Finder EVF:
The built quality is hard to describe as you really need to hold it in your own hands to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into it. To sum it up, I would say it feels as solid as any Zacuto gear I’ve used so far, and that is a huge thing to be said about something as fragile as electronics. It does not feel like other monitors that are usually clearly not designed to go into your gear bag without additional protection It’s more like the rigid enclosure of a heavy-duty pelican case.
NinoFilm: Zacuto Z-Finder EVF – Review

Journalism with HDSLR's
DSLR News Shooter has a short piece from the the head of the Digital Media department the Columbia University’s School of Journalism about their year-long intensive program that included HDSLR news production.
The basic kit that students use at Columbia includes a Canon T2i, a Canon 17-40 F/4L lens, an Olympus LS-10 audio recorder, and a Rode NTG-2 shotgun. Besides the T2i’s, most of this gear was salvaged from previous cameras that had been retired. Students did not have Zoom H4N recorders, Small HD monitors, or any fancy Zacuto gear. Being an academic institution, we were working on the cheap. But, in retrospect, the fact that we had fewer accessories to confuse ourselves was a big bonus.
DSLRNewsShooterColumbia J-School teaches students to create video journalism – the Canon HDDSLR way

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