Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quick Links

Arri Alexa vs. Sony F3 w/S-log vs. Canon 7D | Hello World Communications | Vimeo
This video includes ungraded and graded versions of several scenes shot with the three cameras. The Alexa and Sony PMW-F3 were set at 800 iso and 5600k. The Alexa recording ProRes4444 in Log C, Film Matrix on. PMW-F3 recording on Cinedeck in ProRes4444 in SLog. The 7D was added as a base reference shooting at 400 iso, 5600K.
An interesting comparison, though I wish some of the framing of the different shots were closer between the cameras.

Digital Negative Sony PMW-F3 | TV Specialists | Vimeo
Comparing standard REC 709 video vs "digital negative" (i.e. S-Log video) shot with the Sony PMW-F3. The S-Log capability - which is a paid firmware update for the PMW-F3 - really makes a difference.

A Short Rant: Sony has been using the term "digital negative" for the S-Log encoding, which is actually a gamma function used to better reproduce the entire tonal range that comes from the CCD imager. [Yes, that's quoted from Wikipedia, I don't completely understand it either] From what I understand, it's a more efficient way to interpret and store the picture data coming from the sensor. That's great, but to me, a "digital negative" would be the equivalent of a RAW file; i.e. the unprocessed image data coming from the chip. If you're going to use the term "digital negative" then that seems the most appropriate thing to apply it to. Otherwise, it's just being used as a marketing term.

F3 Solutions: AbelCine ProVFM Viewfinder Mount Kit | Mitch Gross | CineTechnica
One of the complaints about the PMW-F3 is the placement of the viewfinder, which isn't optimal if you are using the camera on a shoulder rig. Abel Cine has put together the ProVFM Viewfinder Mount Kit which allows a Sony or Panasonic 1920×1080 HD viewfinders to be mounted to the F3.

Lytro Light Field Camera 8GB (Electric Blue) | CNet TV
A short clip on the Lytro “plenoptic light-field camera," which allows you to refocus the image after-the-fact. It's a stills only camera at the moment, but what would it mean if they made a video camera?

And how does it do it? I have no idea, and haven't found a good explanation yet. I even read the "Science Inside" section of the Lytro website, and I'm none the wiser.
The Christian Science Monitor has an article about the camera:
Early impressions are pretty positive, and although many reviewers griped about the tiny viewfinder and low-resolution images, the fact is there’s nothing else like these cameras on the market.
see also: Lytro light-field cameras: shoot now, focus later | Christian Science Monitor

I Talk with James Beltz About the 1D X | Canonrumors
Canonrumors talks to James Beltz at about the new camera.

Canon has posted it's own video about the development of the camera:

Canon EOS-1D X Needs Firmware Update | HD Cam Team
A look at "missing" features in the forthcoming camera, including the surprising lack of 60p video.

'Expose to the Right' is a Bunch of Bull | Ctein | The Online Photographer
Previously people were told to push the exposure of their digital images as high as possible to avoid noise, but with newer sensors noise is much less of a problem, and now it's more important to avoid blowing out the highlights:
Unless you're sure you're dealing with a low contrast subject, pushing your exposure to the high side makes it likely you'll blow highlights. If you're trying to improve your odds of getting a good exposure, pulling away from the right is a much smarter thing to do. If you know your subject is really high in contrast, pull far, far away from the right. Keep those highlights under control and let the shadows go where they may.

Are the Myriad of Names in Filmmaking Helping or Hurting the Industry?
| Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
An interesting rumination on all the job titles that are sort of the same thing:
Photographers for the most part have it easy. They’re just photographers. All you have to do is precede the correct descriptor (e.g. portrait photographer, wedding photographer, commercial photographer, etc.) Unless, heaven forbid, they also shoot video, then they have a worse case of identity crisis then those of us who are JUST videographers/producers/cinematographers/filmmakers/directors/DPs.

Look out, Google: Siri is poised to take Apple into search (q&a)
| Paul Sloan | C|Net
Earlier this week I wrote about Siri and it's possible impact on Google and the computer industry. I was therefore fascinated to see this interview that says almost the same thing. The interview is with Gary Morgenthaler, a partner at the venture capital firm Morgenthaler Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif. Morgenthaler was the first investor in Siri.
Search is limited. When you search, what you want back is not a million blue links. What you want back is one correct answer. Siri, because it has the semantic layer, is not just responding to keywords; it's responding to a conceptual understanding of what it is that you said. And therefore it's able to retrieve for you exactly the right information you want. Or, better still, if you intend to do something with that information--to make a transaction, say--Siri could take you all the way to that transaction.


Ben Cain said...

The reason Log encoded video material is referred to as a "digital negative" is because it's very similar to a scan off color negative in terms of saturation and tonality. Color negative motion picture film stock has white balance "baked in" just like log encoded digital material originating from something like the Alexa or F3. And just like a film scan at a telecine, you must apply saturation and contrast to these images in order to view them in a normal video color space. RAW doesn't really apply to motion picture film because this refers to bayer sensor data where gamma and white point are applied in processing. Referring to Log encoded video material with white balance baked in as a "digital negative" is actually quite accurate.

Michael Murie said...

Hmm...okay, but they are actually taking the bayer pattern data, creating the 1920x1080 image (the chip isn't a one to one pixel match to an HD frame) and adding the gamma and white point. What happens if next year they come up with a slightly improved S-Log? You can't really go back to your "digital negative" and convert it using the new S-Log.

It's not like it's a huge issue, if they want to call it a digital negative I'm not going to start a protest march and petitions!