Friday, April 13, 2012

Quick Links

Canon Announces Development Of 4K Digital Cinema Cameras | Canon Press Release
Canon sort of surprises by announcing a 4K DSLR and a 4K version of the C500. The later has no release date or price yet, though it's rumored to be around $30K
Designated as the Cinema EOS C500* for use with EF-mount lenses, and the Cinema EOS C500 PL* for use with PL-mount lenses, the cameras will be capable of originating 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) resolution digital motion imagery with uncompressed RAW output for external recording, in response to growing expectations for higher levels of imaging performance in premium Hollywood films and other production markets requiring the utmost in picture quality.

Canon U.S.A. Introduces EOS-1D C Digital SLR Camera Featuring 4K High-Resolution Video Capture | Canon Press Release
At $15,000, I'm not too sure who this is aimed at:
Delivering outstanding video performance, the compact, lightweight EOS-1D C provides video recording at 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) or Full HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) resolution to support high-end motion picture, television production and other advanced imaging applications.

Making sense of the Canon Cinema 1D 4K DSLR from a film industry perspective
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew offers his thoughts:
For professional 1080p acquisition the camera seems a good companion to the Canon C300 or Arri Alexa. As a 4K camera it can be intercut with the Red EPIC, Sony F65 and the FS700 once that camera becomes 4K with an external recorder. So the Cinema 1D – despite being a very difficult camera to anything else – does fit well into existing industry infrastructure and on Hollywood sets.

Sony FS700 - Skateboarding at 480fps | Nigel Akam | Vimeo
Back to a $10,000 camera, more impressions of the NEX-FS700:
There is definitely less resolution, and aliasing at 480fps. But last week our only option was the Phantom. Features like super slow motion up to 960 fps in a camera that's sub $10k is something that will make the FS 700 very attractive.
It is slower to work in super slow mo. You record into a buffer, then when you stop recording, it writes it to the card. Makes it difficult in a run n gun situation. We lost opportunities to shoot skaters because the camera was still writing to the card. Just have to pick the right moments.

Making of VS – Sony NEX FS700 | Den Lennie | FStopAcademy
Den offers a behind-the-scenes on shooting with the NEX-FS700:
It will shoot up to 240 fps at 1920×1080, 480 fps at 1920 x 432 skipped readout interpolated to 1920 x 1080, and 960 fps with reduced resolution interpolated to 1920 x 1080.

The 200fps is pretty amazing.

THE STILLMOTION 5D MK3 REVIEW | Patrick | Still Motion Blog
A review of the Canon 5D Mark III, which also goes into why they prefer this camera over other alternatives:
the Epic and Scarlet provide great images – absolutely stunning with an incredible amount of room to move in post – but the workflow isn’t the right fit as a main camera for many television applications. the Sony F3 (which we once owned) and the Canon C300 are sort of in-between options offering more robust features at a medium price point and size. with the added features also comes an increase in size and complexity. yes a C300 is fast and the image may be great, but we still aren’t as fast as a MKIV and now a MK3 on a monopod. does that difference really matter? for us, it absolutely does.

Adobe CS6 Production Premium Revealed | Richard van den Boogaard | ReelSEO
The other excitement of the day; Adobe announced CS6, offering news on all kinds of things, including Speedgrade:
Although I still have to start playing with SpeedGrade (I like and use Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite), it certainly looks like a professional grade application, right up the alley with Davinci Resolve and Assimilate Scratch. Professional graders may tend to disagree and prefer a node-based system, but I firmly believe that, over time, SpeedGrade will evolve and be used by the pros, in the same way that editors are now making the switch to Adobe.

Adobe to unveil Production Premium CS6 at broadcasters confab | Jackie Dove
| Macworld
More thoughts on the new features:
Expanded multicam editing The new version of Adobe Premiere Pro offers expanded multicam support, allowing you to work with as many cameras as you want. Previously, you could work with multicam footage from four cameras. Now, you’re limited only by the formats you’re working with and the power of your editing computer.

After Effects CS6: New Features Workshop | Brain2Brain
A free tutorial:
Adobe After Effects CS6 has lots of new and enhanced features in many areas of the program, from importing and compositing to effects and especially 3D animation. In this free course, Adobe Technical Support Lead Todd Kopriva walks you through all of them, including extruded text and shapes, the ray-traced 3D renderer, the 3D camera tracker, fast previews, and variable-width mask feathering. You’ll also learn about changes to performance and the user interface, and how these can affect your workflow.

Adobe CS6 is Announced | Carey Dissmore | Blog
This post actually links to some other interesting articles on the announcement.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sony NEX-FS700 Pre-NAB Chat

Yesterday Sony Europe held a chat on Facebook covering the three cameras they have announced for NAB, including the NEX-FS700. You can review the chat log here, but I've assembled the discussion of the NEX-FS700 into a more coherent - and readable - format below:

Alvaro Ortiz, Kanta Yamamoto, Dave Stannard from Sony and Den Lennie of F-Stop Academy are on hand to answer your questions!

Q: I have just bought the FS100, will sony be offering a trade in on for the FS100 when the fs700 arrives?? The FS700 addresses several issues that I have with the FS100. will Sony be able to help with thus upgrading??

Den: The FS700 is not an upgrade from FS100 it's priced at a different level so is designed to compliment rather than replace the FS100. There are times ie in my studio where Fs100 is great and FS700 would be overkill.

Dave Stannard: As Den said the NEX-FS700 addresses a different market segment on both pricing and feature set. At this point in time there is no plan for a trade in. The NEX-FS100 is still a fantastic camcorder for many applications!

Q: Have Sony a finally date to public release in Europe? and a more correct price? 

Alvaro: So far, release date is for the end of June. We cannot confirm more accurate prices with the information we have right now.

Dave Stannard: Pricing is tentative at this stage (so may be subject to change) but our tentative NEX-FS700EK list price is currently €8,800, NEX-FS700E is €8,100

Alvaro: The date of availability will be End of June 2012. So less than 2 months.
Price for FS700E is currently €8100, while for FS700EK (with lens) it's 8800.

Q: I have the EX3 and was wondering if it uses the same batteries/cards etc..?

Dave Stannard: The FS700E use NP-F series batteries - same as the NX5E or Z5E

Alvaro:  Batteries are different (F-type) and cards will be Memory Stick or SD/SDHC/SDXC, that you can also use on your EX3 through a MEAD-SD01 adapter

Q: What functions in the menu about the picture style... gamma contrast etc.. ?

Den: There are brand new Cine Gamma's on FS700 they are fantastic and we felt that we were getting even more dynamic range than expected. FS100 is 11.5 stops and it's amazing, the FS700 appears to go further but as yet we've not tested scientifically. We were able to pull back highlight detail from shot of birds on River at opening of Launch film. We were shooting directly into the sun..

Kanta: The FS700E has PictureProfile and you can control Gamma, Knee, Colurt, Details and more. It is almost same as FS100E.

Q: Curious about the "reduced" resolution for 960fps and how long is the record time. Also, is there line skipping with the 480fps? What is the image quality tradeoff for those modes? 

Alvaro: When working at Full HD 24p, if you want to keep Full HD resolution, you can reach up to 240 fps. For higher frame rates, resolution is lower than FullHD: 1920X432 at 480 fps during 9 seconds, 1920x216 at 960 fps during 19 seconds

Q: When is the 4K recording option due to be released?

Kanta: For 4K recorder, we haven't decide the details of the external recorder including its release data. We will listen to the market feedback then decide.

Alvaro: 4k will not be available at the launching time (End of June). That's one of the reasons why we called it "4k-ready". We cannot provide more information about the future firmware upgrade, sorry.

Q: Is there still a (albeit 1 frame a second like with the FS100) option to record timelapse internally?

Den:  You can shoot 1 fps as in opening shot of launch film

Q: Is the dynamic range of the new sensor improved over the fs100's? How many stops? And are there log type gamma curves, compareable to c-log or at least the technicolor cinestyle for the 5d available?

Kanta: We don't disclose the dynamic range specs but the sensor was purely developped for professional motion picture. The picture quality is like what Den created in the sample footage.

Den: We have not had a chance to test dynamic range, FS100 we did recently and it cane out around 11.5 stops. FS700 felt like a little more. Frank Glencairn has been playing with cine gammas. The cine gammas give a log like picture profile.

Kanta:  FS700E doesn't have Log type gamma but we can find user's favourite PictureProfile settings on the web, which gives you Log like image.

Q: Can I use Canon EF lenses on the FS700 ? Has Sony tested the Metabones adaptor yet ?

Alvaro: Sony cannot guarantee that every lens adaptor will work properly. Despite this, many third-party manufacturers have had access to E-mount diagrams, in order to develop many lens rings.
As of today, dozens of adapters for up to 35 lens systems can be attached to E-mount, and, of course, Canon EF lenses can be used on both NEX-FS700, FS100 and even VG10 or VG20
Face detection is a feature that doesn't depend directly on the lens (unless it's a very bad quality, so that everything is blurry, as an example), but on the camera. So, it's kinda independent of the lens.
And almost every kind of lens can be used over E-mount, so there should not be any problem on using Nikon lenses for face detection

Den: I have camera in front of me and just tested metabones on EF 13-35 and works no problem

Q: How will the latitude of the FS 700 compare to very high end cameras, such as the Epic and Alexa? Is it comparable to these cameras at all?

Kanta: For the latitude, we don't disclose the official spec but the sensor was purely developped for professional motion picture with 4K capabiluty. The picture is realy nice as you can see in the sample footage.

Den: Sorry but trying to compare Alex to FS700 is crazy. totally different machines. However at recent Revenge of great camera shootout, Rodney Charters ASC walked into grade and we had FS100 split screen with Alexa and he couldn't tell them apart

Q: What data rate is the FS 100 capable of? Is it 50mbs?

Alvaro: Maximum bandwidth of the AVCHD codec on both NEX-FS700 and NEX-FS100 is 28 Mbps (1920x1080/50p, 60p), as it's AVCHD 2.0 (also on HXR-NX70 and HXR-NX30). Higher recording quality can be reached through HDMI (FS100) / HDMI and SDI outputs (FS700)

Q: Is the output from the SDI/HDMI 8 or 10 bit, and is it limited to 4:2:2? Is there any drop in quality/heavier compression vs 1080p 25p when recording 1080p 200/240 fps?

Kanta: The FS700 can give your 4:2:2 8bit. And no picture degradation at Super Slow-mo at 240 fps. Faster scanning, you will see degraded image but it is good for analysing motion or Standard Definition video.

Q: Will S-log ever be offered as an upgrade to the FS-700? If not are there other picture profiles that are shared between F3, FS100 and FS700?

Kanta: For S-log type mode, FS700 doesn't have it but it has a preset for F3 users to match the colour. For log, you can find PictureProfiles of customers on the web such as "G-Log".

Q: Is there any chance of a crop sensor mode? I'd like the ability to have increased apparent focal length for event situations where the camera can not be close to the subject.

Kanta: there is no cropping mode.

Q: Any plans for a Sony lens with powered zoom? I know F3 has zoom rocker switch.

Alvaro:  As you could see on some photos, zoom rocker has been incorporated on the hand grip. It will have a future usage. E-mount allows data interchange between lens and camera

Q: Will the fs700 have the same 'type' of plastic body. I appreciate to fit such amazing imageing into the price range there must be fall backs (the plastic body and less then amazing buttons) but will the fs700 be an improvemnet so i can be happy taking my fs700 out of the bubble wrap! :)

Dave Stannard:  The FS700E will feature an enhanced ergonomic design and a robust chassis - bubble wrap not required!

Alvaro: Despite I couldn't have the chance to have it on my own hands, FS700 will be very similar to FS100 in aesthetical terms. We haven't had any report about broken chassis nor malfunctioning buttons.
We need to keep that design in order to preserve low weight, agility and affordability
Regarding the iris and shutter, many users are working with non-Emount lenses, so it mainly depends on the adaptor ring you're using. For instance, at IBC, MTF showed us a couple of remotely-operated rings for FS100 and F3 in which EF lenses could be operated

Den: I don't really get this obsession with the build quality. It has a magnesium alloy frame, and Robin Schmidt has thrown his FS100 around in all conditions and it hasn't broken so I think too much is made of plastic build quality. It hasn't caused me any problems whatsoever in real world shooting. You can see more here:

Mick Jones : As far as build quality. I also had the FS100 put into lots of trying situations such as an external car mount for a 4WD mitsubishi commercial driving it off road and through mud... it held up fine.

Robin Schmidt : Yes indeed, I've hammered mine all over the place, in choppers, on beaches, attached to cars and all over the gaff, it's been brilliant.

Den: there are obsessions with the 'what a camera doesn't and it does irritate me yes. I've been shooting over 20 years and no camera is ever perfect but when I see the tools that are now available it blows my mind over even 3 years ago. So when I experience repeated comments outside of this discussion about 'build quality ' it irritates me. As I mentioned I have several friends shooting in extreme environments all the time without problems. I throw it around - no problems. I'd rather discuss the awesome functions at your fingertips in a camera that costs the same as an EX-3 did 3 years ago. We have never had this much power in a camcorder , super 35mm, 200fps at 1080, ND filters, HD -SDI, stills mode and 4K ready....its incredible.

Q: Will there be an option for a better remote? im thinking only iris and shutter but they would be a huge benefit to have on a remote?

Kanta: For the remote, the FS700E has LANC compatible remote connector. The contorable functions are up to lenses. E-mount lens, you can cotrol focus.

Q: Should I be aware of overheating if using the 240fps slow mo feature regularly throughout a shoot in a hot climate, and does the FS700 feature a fan?

Kanta: No worries. No over heating. But please use it in 0 to 40 degree temperature.

Q: Does the FS700 Have a waveform/vectorscope option as well as the histogram?

Alvaro: So far, just histogram will be available on the LCD VF

Q: Is the data rate of the FS700 50mbs - ie - will it be capable of BBC HD broadcast?

Dave Stannard: The data rate of the FS700E is 28Mbps @ the highest quality. For many of the target users this is no problem. If you need to record at 50Mbps (or higher) you can use one of the many 3rd party recorders on the market

Q: Does either hdmi or sdi allow for external recording of the high frame rates? I know 60p works, but what about 240/480/960fps? Can an external recorder handle that data or is that only possible with the internal cards?

Alvaro: Bear in mind that recording times at slo-mo are limited (I can tell them to you). So, outputs will not be real-time during that slo-mo shooting

Den: I've tested Atomos Samurai and what happens is that when the Super slow mo buffers then writes to card, you can also write those files to Samurai simultaneously

Kanta: Slow-mo is recorded only on memory card in AVCHD but as Den said, you can get normal speed while slow-mo is cached. You can have both slomow on card and real-time image on an ext recorder.

Q: When using something like G-Log and recording that over HDSDI to a recorder, is it possible to apply a LUT or a different Picture Profile to the HDMI out for monitoring?

Kanta: G-log is log "like" flat setting. There is no LUT function on FS700E.

Q: Can the histogram be seen on an external monitor?

Alvaro: There's no dedicated output for histogram, but you can, for instance, use SDI output for recording, and HDMI/EVF for monitoring. And you can superimpose menus/status on the outputs

Q: With the faster readout for slow motion, does this mean rolling shutter is reduced from the FS100?

Alvaro: NEX-FS700 and NEX-FS100, though having both Super35 sensor, have a different imager. We couldn't provide accurate figures about rolling shutter,

Q: When slowmo is stored in the buffer: is it still 'raw sensor data' or is it already compressed? (This is a reply to the Samurai anwser that it writes to recorder when it writes to memorycard from the buffer)

Kanta: The cached slow-mo is compressed by AVCHD and recorded on memory card. While caching, FS700E can give you normal speed output from SDI/HDMI.

Q: Does that mean you can have menus showing on the HDMI and not the SDI?? That would be fantastic

Alvaro: Sorry, I couldn't test it by myself, so I'm not sure if different signals could be driven to different outputs (superimposed to HDMI, clean signal to SDI). Sorry for that; maybe Den can help us...

Q: Is it possible to take a still image while the FS700 is filming?

Den: Yes it is but you will lose live action while image is taken.

Alvaro: You could even select a frame from a recording and convert it into a photo still image, but you cannot capture still images while recording video.

Den: you get the audio recorded under the still image so the still is just laid don on the file

Q: The FS100 isn't quite a full 1080 lines of resolution, but with the new 4K downres have you noticed the FS700 is closer to that or a full 1080?

Kanta: for the resolution, FS700E could have the better resolution than FS100 theortically but I cannnot be sure because it was still prototype.

Q: I've seen the demo video and the new cinegammas look great but does the larger sensor mean there are any other differences in picture quality compared to the FS100?

Alvaro: Sensor on FS700 isn't actually larger than FS100's. Both are Super35 mm sensors. Size is the same. Resolution is different (FS700's is called "4k ready", as it is capable of outputting 4k video images natively)

Kanta: Because the sensor is different there are some differences. But the images from FS700E was just excellent. Great resolution, rich colour. It was a prototype. Our engineer will try to fine-tune by the shipment.

Q: Will the Cinegammas also be available for other cameras such as the EX1R or PMW500 so they can be used on the same productions side by side?

Kanta: The PictureProfile data is dedicated to FS700E. It is not possible to copy to other type cameras.

Alvaro: Apart from Kanta's comment, please bear in mind that you can store/copy picture profiles: you can have up to 99 picture profiles in the same card, for different situations. But you can also copy a picture profile from 1 camera to another, so that you don't need to adjust each camera independently, and, so, it's much more cost-efficient. This feature will be available for NEX-FS100 soon, also (with new free-of-cost firmware upgrade)

Q: Will the camera support recording to SSD drives? (internally)

Alvaro: Yes; in fact, the recording device HXR-FMU128 can be smoothly attached to the right side of the chassis for NEX-FS700, in order to provide up to 128 GB storage

Q: Does it have to be a Sony SSD or can it be Kingston, Samsung, Etc.?

Alvaro: It's just Sony's. It's a reference that is designed to fit in NEX-FS100, HXR-NX5 and NEX-FS700's bodies. It's not just an HDD that you can insert on a slot

Q: How is low light performance? And how is the noise at higher iso? (I don't expect it to be as clean as a F3 or C300, but can you say anything about it?)

Den: if you watch the launch film and note Gavins comments about shooting in candle light at native ISO he was very pleased with lack of noise

Alvaro: Den will be the man to reply, according to his own experiences. But low light performance on NEX-FS100 was really nice... it had THE SAME sensor as F3! In this case, sensor is not the same, but similar. While not getting into high resolutions (photo sensors), low light performance is expected to be nice. Are you used to work with DSLRs for recording video?

Kanta: The FS700 can have ISO500. It is very clean at low light.

Alvaro: One of the most typical discussions we use to have about DSLRs usage is that most of the people are looking for shallow DoF, but they finally realize that sensor resolution is also a bottleneck. The higher resolution, the more problems you could face: as pixel size is smaller, more noise is captured. As resolution is higher than FullHD, interpolation is needed. As more information needs to be outputted from sensor, more time it takes to output it, and more rolling shutter is experienced... so resolution is a VERY important parameter to be aware of when looking for a shallow DoF, as it can generete more problems than the ones it can solve (basicall DoF)

Q: I understand that the profile is for the FS700, but will you offer additional profiles for your other cameras that attempt to match the new standard cine gammas? Many productions want to use cameras like the FS700 for b-roll in quick turn around edits to cut into EX1R or PMW500 etc. I find the F3 hard to cut against the EX1 for colour (obviously not DOF).

Kanta: For your reference, the FS100 is using the same sensor as F3. It is very clean. The FS700E is similar to the FS100. You can imagine the image.

Alvaro: Normally, we use to receive feedback from users that use to publish different configurations, profiles, adjustments... in order to match different types of cameras. But also bear in mind that video recording space of color (it's just to set an example), is not the same as on a cinema-oriented camera. EX1, EX3, 500.. are much more video-looking picture cameras than F3, F65, F35, FS100, FS700... which are cinema or cinema-looking picture cameras. To sum up, that's usually developed by users.

Kanta:  The preset will have F3 colour but you can freely change the settings to match the colour and save the setting on a card to copy or recall. Or you can copy anothr FS700E user's settings if he/she has it.

Q: How does the F700 sensor work? is its bayer shift? does it sample for every RGB pixel or does is interpolate?

Kanta: For the sensor spec and technology, we don't disclose it.

Q: Is it true that I can touch the screen to change focus between objects..or kinda?

Kanta: for Sony E-mount lenses, yes.  You can set A point and B poin in advance. Then FS700E can change the focus position from A to B (or vice versa) smoothly. It is one of the advantages when using Sony E-mount lens.

Q: Are the menus and camera settings identical to the FS100?

Alvaro: The menus will be similar. Obviously, they cannot be identical: as an example, on FS100 you don't have SDI output. But the menu structure keeps very similar

Den: yes mate menus layout is identical to FS100 with some added sub menus ie super slow mo. You can set rate and how to short cut access. In addition you can select start trigger, end trigger or somewhere in between

Q: Would this camera be suitable for event videography?

Alvaro: As many other things... it depends. Obviously, if you're going to capture "reality", it's way easier to do it on a video camera, as video sensors use to be smaller, and, so, DoF is bigger, so you have more "reality" focused, without loss of information. The opposite case is "fiction": on a controlled environment, you can use focus as a dramatic tool, not capturing "everything" that happens in front of the camera. So, for fictional/dramatic purposes, a big sensor is preferred. Despite all this weird explanation, we have noticed that videographers use to use their cameras for "anything", and that shallow DoF is a wanted "effect" very likely to appear in any production... even in nature documentaries! (seen by myself).

Q: Is the FS700 compatible with Final Cut Pro?

Den:  I've been cutting with DCP X an its seamless. James who cut launch film has been using FCP7 with no problems. AVC HD is a great codec

Kanta: Yes because of AVCHD. But the 1080/50p/60p, the FCP itself hasn't support yet. Sony cannnot make comment other company's product development.

Q: With only one HDMI output would you need a splitter to use external monitors and how would it be possible?

Den: you have HDMI and HD-SDI we used Zacuto EVF on HDMI Looped through to external monitor and HD-SDI was used to Samurai

Q: Was the promo video shot entirely on FS700? I mean, even the interviews?

Den: Interviews were shot on FS100

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quick Links

Racing with planes – shot on Sony NEX-FS700 | Peter Previc
| Too Much Imagination
Peter continues his posts on using the NEX-FS700, this time concentrating on the slow-mo function:
I only shot at full 1080P resolution so I didn’t test beyond 240fps. Reduced resolution didn’t interest me. You can record 8 seconds at 240fps and 9.5 second at 200fps (at 50Hz setting) and you end up with 1 minute and 15 seconds of super slow motion footage. You can set the trigger to be at the start, middle or at the end of action. I choose end trigger as you can wait for action to happen. You don’t need to expect it.

An NEX-FS700 Amuse-Bouche | Adam Wilt | ProVideoCoalition
Adam compiles a list of other posts about the NEX-FS700, while adding some of his own thoughts about shooting with the camera:
480 line-skips a fair amount (and appears, on the charts, to pixel-skip as well, though that might simply be an artifact of different demosaicing in slo-mo); 960fps further decimates the vertical resolution and windows down to half-width on the sensor, too. You’ll see increased noise in the 480 and 960 fps clips as a result, though Sony cautions me that the multi-layer circuit boards still need to be optimized to reduce crosstalk: this camera is a “fairly good, stable, underperforming engineering sample”, and shipping versions may well yield cleaner images.

90 Seconds - Shot on Sony NEX FS700 | James Miller | Vimeo
Finally, another short film shot with the NEX-FS700, by James Tonkin & James Miller, in association with Den Lennie

Canon EOS C100 & C500 Coming? [CR1] | CanonRumors
Rumors of Canon announcements are heating up too; now two cameras?!
I received some info that 2 new cameras would be talked about at NAB next week in Las Vegas. The names C100 and C500 were mentioned.

Canon to unveil EOSRAW recording format? New high end camera specs
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew adds to the rumor mill:
What I am hearing as of the beginning of this week is that Canon have developed a new raw recording format in-house.
This is called EOSRAW and it will be efficient enough to be recorded to CF cards.
It is capable of up to 12bit 4K (as the new AVC Ultra format from Panasonic is expected to do).

How I opened my 5D Mark III – and why you have to be crazy to do it | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
What seemed to start out as an April Fools joke has turned into a fad; removing the optical low-pass filter on the 5DMkIII. Andrew explains how he did it, adding a list of cons:
The anti-aliasing filter (optical low pass filter or OLPF) contains a coating that blocks light in the infrared (IR) wavelength. Infrared light mainly affects the colour balance of black fabric – shifting them toward red for a purple hue. You need to use an IR block filter on the lens with some light sources especially where non-reflective objects like grey and black fabrics are in the frame.
and the pros:
The fabled increase in natural sharpness and resolution for video (also for stills)

Prolost Flat | Stu Maschwitz | prolost
Stu explains the settings he uses when shooting with Canon DSLRs:
For shooting video, I’ve set up every Canon HDSLR I’ve owned the same way since the very beginning, and the 5D Mark III is no different.

Start with the Neutral Picture Style
Set Sharpness to zero—all the way to the left
Set Contrast all the way to the left
Set Saturation two notches to the left

Final Cut Pro X Updates to 10.0.4 | Danny Greer | Premiumbeat
An update that adds very little:
Improvements to broadcast monitoring. Image quality and responsiveness get a boost and compatibility is expanded to include PCIe and Thunderbolt devices.

Sony Revises Expected Loss to $6.4 Billion | HIROKO TABUCHI | New York Times
Sony announces bigger than expected loss, but doesn't confirm job cuts:
During a news conference at its headquarters in Tokyo on the projected annual loss, equivalent to $6.4 billion, the electronics and entertainment company stopped short of confirming reports that it planned to eliminate 10,000 jobs

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quick Links

LumoLabs: Nikon D800 video function demystified | Falk Lumo | Blog
Everyone says you should be more concerned about the image; than how the image is created, but I'm always intrigued by the tech. Falk looked at the D800 and works out how it downsamples the data from the sensor to create the final image:
The big discs are constructed such that the 1080p Nyquist frequency emerges at its outer circle. The two center discs have their edge at twice this Nyquist frequency and the four tiny discs at four times this frequency. Therefore, the false color moiré disc emerges at (149px/258px x2) or 1.155x the 1080p Nyquist frequency (1247 px). This means that the Nikon D800 samples ~1247 horizontal lines from its sensor.

A dynamic range test between Alexa, RED MX and Super 16 | Daniel Freytag | Blog
Daniel posts stills from cinematographer John Brawley's test video comparing the dynamic range of the Alexa, RED MX and Super 16 cameras:
Alexa was shot in LOG mode, recorded to PRO RES 4:4:4.
RED MX processed via R3D's natively in Lustre.
Super 16 was transferred to 2K DPX via Spirit. First setup was KODAK 250D and subsequent setups were KODAK 500T. NO noise reduction was used (though this would normally be applied)

Sony NEX-FS100 & FS700 | Alphatron
Zunow has introduced a lens for Sony E-mount camcorders: the Super Wide Vari-Angle lens E 11-16mm F2.8:
11-16mm Focal Lenght
F2.8-22 IRIS
1.1 feet M.O.D.
85mm Diameter
945 gr. Weight
4K Ready

New Zeiss wide angle SLR Lenses – and how they stack up against their Canon EF counterparts | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent looks at Zeiss lenses:
This is a general statement – but the Zeiss and Canon lenses tend to be pretty even when you look at the focal lengths from 85mm and longer. That being said, Zeiss lenses are generally sharper amongst the wide focal lengths. You’ll notice this pretty significantly when you look at the edges of your frame, and when you shoot wide open (when you compare the Zeiss and Canon lenses that is – see below for examples that illustrate this point.)

Professional workflow for finishing 8bit HDSLR footage and applying film grain
| Rgrain | Vimeo
A tutorial from Rgrain on using their film grain filters:
This tutorial demonstrates how to cleanup 8bit DSLR footage, render to a 10Bit codec for more freedom during color grading and how to apply film grain.
This workflow uses After Effects, Neat Video, Synthetic Aperture Color Finess, Colorista II and ProRes. You can adapt the workflow using your own tools and codecs, this technique is the one we used for all our examples.

Panasonic jumping into the world of 4K at NAB 2012? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew thinks that Panasonic will be announcing a 4K camera at NAB, and several people on Twitter today have heard similar stories. There's also a rumor that Canon will show an even more expensive video camera (than the C300):
The AVC-Ultra cameras may consist of a AF100 replacement (circa $6k point) and is likely to be 1080p. Then I’m expecting two higher end offerings with 4K and 12bit 4-4-4 intra frame codecs between $10,000 and $16,000 to compete with the Sony offerings.

The Future Of Digital Cinema | Mike Sutton | Wide Open Camera
Mike has written a column for Wide Open Camera on what he thinks the future of digital video will, and should be. He says most people he knows want everything in 4K with frame rates from 1-2564fps and a workflow as simple as ProRes.
Reality is that regardless of image resolution what the majority people (I am generalizing) really want is a camera that takes great images, has decent dynamic range, is easy to use and most importantly has a stable and simple workflow. This is why the Arri Alexa, F3 and C300 are so popular. Obviously the latter of the two are also affordable by most professionals but they also require a bit of rigging to suit most needs.

T3i Showing up “Discontinued” | CanonRumors
It's probably not going to be a big surprise if Canon does announce a T4i; but will it's video be any better than the T3i?
A large retailer in the US is showing the Rebel T3i as “discontinued” in their stock system. Could the arrival of the T4i be around the corner?

Contour+ vs. GoPro HD Hero 2: through the desert and into the skies
| Brian Heater | Engadget
An interview with Tim and Brian [Brian wrote the article, right? but who is Tim? -Ed] about shooting with these two cameras:
Tim: I've actually used both of them on my helmet when riding my motorcycle. At high-speeds you can absolutely feel the difference between the two. Plus, with a GoPro stuck up on top of my helmet I always feel about 10 times more conspicuous. This is also true when snowboarding. The goggle strap mount from Contour is very discrete. And it's also a lot easier to use with gloves on, thanks to the big slider on top.

Final short film for Sony using the FS100 “Portrait of a boxer” | Philip Bloom
| Blog
Philip was hired by Sony Europe to produce a series of films with the NEX-FS100. This blog post explains the making of the last one, along with a lot of BTS stills:
The FS100 is a bit of funny camera. It shoots amazing pictures but is ergonomically awkward and the highlights have a tendency to go a bit yellow when blown out, but it’s the best camera for the money by far.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III “light leak” exposure meter concern | PlanetMitch
| Planet5D
Mitch tries to come to grips with the light leak issue:
While I agree that Canon should (and is) investigate this issue, I haven’t yet found any video proof that there is a problem for either full sun or nighttime shooting. People say they see something, but without seeing the conditions, how are we to know if it is an accurate test? (And yes, I can see people saying the same thing about my tests since I didn’t take a camera… but I’m a busy man and didn’t want to take the extra time on editing and uploading).

YouTube Adds 3D Video Capability and Nobody Cares | Danny Greer
| Premiumbeat
YouTube has been supporting 3D video for some time - I didn't realize they were now adding 3D to 2D video:
We use a combination of video characteristics such as color, spatial layout and motion to estimate a depth map for each frame of a monoscopic video sequence. The generated depth map and the original monoscopic frame create a stereo 3D left-right pair.

Sony to cut 10,000 jobs and slash bonuses, says Japanese newspaper |Sharif Sakr
| Engadget
Bad news from Sony, if true:
...come an announcement on April 12th, Kaz Hirai will reveal plans to clear out 10,000 jobs by the end of this year -- that's six percent of his workforce.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Quick Links

An Examination of: Sony F3 and Red Scarlet; a Direct Comparison | Timur Civan
| Blog
A pretty detailed post that compares footage from the RED Scarlet and the Sony PMW-F3. Neither camera lands a knock-out punch, though Timur notes "When it needs to look natural, I use the F3. When it needs to look crisp and slick, RED."
The RED is simply razor sharp, has a punchy slick look, and has the easiest onset ergonomics and workflow. The footage is 16bit 4K RAW. I mean, the camera is the size of a Hassleblad and gives you amazing images.

The F3 on the other hand, is night vision, which makes for simpler indie shooting on lower budgets where you dont have access to bigger units. It also has more useable dynamic rage, and its color is in my opinion the best in digital right now short of the Alexa.

Canon 5D Mark III Light leak
A little more info is popping up about the "light leak problem" with the Canon 5D Mark III. Is it a problem or is it not? There continues to be differing opinions:

The “Light Leak” Update | CanonRumors
So is this an issue?
On the body I tested, it doesn’t appear to be. If the camera acts properly with the lens cap off, who cares how it acts with the caps on? So please don’t return your 5D Mark IIIs, or cancel preorders or overreact. This “issue” may have a simple explanation.

Canon 5D Mark III Light Leak Example | Ron Risman | Vimeo
Ron Risman did discover a problem while shooting a timelapse:
I discovered that the every other frame got brighter, then darker, then brighter again. I only scrolled through the first four frames and decided to scrap the idea of an HDR nightlapse since something wasn't right. I switched over to a standard long exposure and re-started the time-lapse.
When I read about the light leak issue it dawned on me that during the first few frames I was checking the exposure settings using the backlight on the LCD.

Tutorial - Logo Treatment | Chris Fenwick | Blog
If you are just starting out with After Effects, this tutorial might be helpful:
Julien Lasseur encouraged me to do a little tutorial on the logo treatment I did for Hurlbut Visuals. There is some workflow tricks in Illustrator and After Effects that may be useful.

Intro to Color Correction | Larry Jordan | Blog
A good introduction to color grading:
When we use the Waveform Monitor to view an image, all color is ignored — the scope just examines the gray-scale values of the image; which is what I am illustrating here with the black-and-white photo. When we color correct a clip, the first thing we adjust is the gray scale, which is also called “exposure” or “contrast.” You can’t get colors to look right if the grayscale values are wrong.

Adobe Audition: Quick Power Tips | Larry Jordan | Blog
Larry also provides an introduction to Adobe's Audition, the audio editing app:
As Apple was phasing out Soundtrack Pro, Adobe announced the CS 5.5 release of Adobe Audition which brought this audio recording and editing software to the Mac. I’ve been looking at it ever since. As every editor knows, making the transition from one major editing application to another is fraught with all kinds of stress and as more of my work involves audio than video, my stress level was higher than usual.

Glidecam Tips and Tricks | Joe Simon Films | Vimeo
In this short video Joe Simon describes the operation and setup of the Glidecam 4000HD, and even the lens he likes to use (with a Canon DSLR).

Sorting and Sifting Video in a Nonlinear Editor | Richard Harrington | Blog
A recommended way of naming and organizing clips in your NLE media bins (with an emphasis on Adobe Premiere Pro).

Shooting in London on the 5D Mark III with Iscorama 36 1.5x anamorphic
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew explains how to shoot anamorphic with the Iscorama 36 anamorphic lens:
This lens cost me around 1500 euros in December and I’m very happy with it. Very small and light, focussing is a breeze. It is a 1.5x stretch. You’re getting a wide angle field of view horizontally with it and a standard 50mm frame vertically.

It does flare more than my CentaVision which is good, but not as much as I was expecting. It isn’t the multi-coated MC version.

IVÁN CASTELL shoots music documentary “TROVADORES” with the Canon 5D MKII | Iván Castell | DSLR News Shooter
Shooting a music video with DSLRs:
I even got the chance to shoot some aerial shots over the city at nightfall. That time I couldn’t get the 5D, and we used two 550Ds. I was really worried about the low light capabilities and the jello effect of the cameras. To be honest these cameras are not made for these kinds of shots, the plane vibration was too easily transferred to the camera and the image bubble, but when you can get 10-20 good seconds of clean footage, with some software stabilization it looks really beautiful. I mean, for the price of those babies, what you get is really nice.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Quick Links

Canon 5D Mark III Light Leak? | CanonRumors
A report of a problem in the 5DMkIII where the light meter is being affected by the LCD light:
A light leak issue in the 5D Mark III has been reported over the last couple of days. It seems the top side LCD may be to blame. I can confirm this is happening on at least one of the 5D Mark III’s I own (the rest are out for rent), I will look into the issue with more bodies in the coming days.
This has caused some excitement;
*UPDATE* REPORT: EOS 5D Mark III – Light Leak Issue? | HD Cam Team
This is absolutely frustrating. How can Canon release a $3,500 camera body without carefully testing this? Just by turning LCD backlight on, or under bright light you get a wrong exposure metering?
Who go on to use the occasion to point out problems they see in compression and the sharpening functionality of the camera.

Yet several people on Twitter don't this as much of a problem, as the following post - which notes there's no leak to the image on the sensor - explains:

Canon 5D mark 3 top LCD Light Leak…Is it actually an issue? | V. J. Franke | Points in Focus
Under normal use, I’m having a hard time finding a situation where there’s an change in metering that 1) I can attribute directly to the top LCD leaking and not a change in the composition, subject, eye-placement at the viewfinder, or lighting, and 2) where said error in metering is appreciable enough to affect the captured image in any appreciable way.

New Sony PMW-F3/RGB Offers Widest Latitude on Lens Choices and Dynamic Range with 10-bit S-Log Pre-installed | Sony Professional | Google
Sony press release on the PMW-F3 hi-lights the now included S-Log, but suggests no other changes in the short term for this camera:
Sony is continuing the evolution of its PMW-F3 camcorder, with a series of new product introductions and high-performance upgrades. Available now the new models PMW-F3K/RGB and PMW-F3L/RGB come pre-installed with Sony’s performance leading 10 bit S-Log RGB 4:4:4 and 10 bit S-Log 4:2:2 upgrade at no additional cost. These products and enhancements will unleash the camcorder’s full range of capabilities, with 800% Dynamic Range, with over 12.5 stops of latitude, giving professionals greater production flexibility.

Bringing it together | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR4Real
This article breaks down a short video piece, explaining how it was shot:
The Action -Again two cameras are a boon because they gave real continuity, actually this could be done single camera.
A simple way to make the shots cut is to have one camera at the side and another almost front on.
I try and keep the camera lively both with panning and also little moves say from the cyclists feet to their head. You will see Misha opperating the Bcam on a wide does some nice little moves like lifting the camera up during a take.

3Ality Technica to Debut New 3D Rig at NAB | Carolyn Giardina
| The Hollywood Reporter
If 3D is still alive at NAB, 3Ality will be showing off some gear, including a rig using the Sony PMW-F3:
3Ality will introduce a new Sony PMW-F3 accessories kit, designed in partnership with Sony for the F3 2D camera.
At NAB, NEP Broadcasting will exhibit an outside broadcast truck outfitted with 3ality Technica technology.

Amazon Studios announces slate of films for development and two writing assignments | Adi Robertson | The Verge
Amazon Studios started a couple of years ago as an attempt to encourage filmmakers and writers. They have now changed the terms for any submissions and have some new "assignments":
Amazon Studios, the crowdsourced screenwriting and filmmaking project by the bookselling giant, has announced its "Development Slate," a set of the "most promising" ideas to come out of the pitches it's received. Among those, it's offering $33,000 to rewrite either of two projects: fairy-tale comedy 12 Princesses and I Think My Facebook Friend is Dead, a story about an introverted teen trying to save his Facebook crush.

Canon C300 Comparing CF vs SDI Output Compression and Key Results using Hyperdeck Shuttle | Scott Bryant | Vimeo
I was under the impression that there was little difference between the image captured internally, and that sent out of the C300, but it appears there is some:
Based on this information I've conduced this simple test, comparing the two acquisition options from the camera.. The C300 produced very crisp clean footage that any compositor would have no problem keying, but the uncompressed footage really shines as it avoids the compression pass.. We'll be using this method to complete a number of upcoming commercials and VFX based TV promos. ( I'm adding a link to a higher quality 1080 HD clip for your review and comparison)

C300 vs FS100 Which is which? | Kv Films | Vimeo
Video shot with the Canon C300 and Sony NEX-FS100 match pretty closely:
Quick example of similar shots with the Canon C300 and FS100, C long and CPF-LOG them Color Corrected and a some light Grading.
my point is: is difficult for me to tell which is which.
Build Quality of the C300 is outstanding and ND wheel is Great, You can feel it worth that much. But at the end of the day what is important (at least for me) is bang for the bucks. For the price of one C300 you can buy 3x Fs100.

Do We Really Want To OWN Our Media? | HOLLYN-wood (Norman, that is) | Blog
Meaning, do people want to own DVD's and CD's?:
Jennifer Holt, who was the sole academic on the panel and who runs the Media Industries Project at UC Santa Barbara, said the following fascinating thing. “People don’t want to own media anymore.” People, she said, want to view (and, I assume, rent), not own.

Nikon speeds up digital camera race | Debra Kaufman
Is Nikon finally competing with Canon - in the video space?
Will the Nikon D800 ignite DSLR wars? "Quite possibly," says McHugh, who reports that she's observed a "big battle" between proponents of the Mark III and D800 on an online filmmaker forum. "I think Nikon has given Canon a run for its money this go-round with the D800. And it is most definitely good for the market to have competition."

Is Working On Stills Easier in After Effects or Photoshop? | Sebastien Lavoie
| TutsPlus
Interesting demonstration of After Effects as a still image manipulation tool:
Non-destructive workflow is a must, especially when working within a team. Since After Effects is designed for animation nothing is destructive. That means that every effect value can be stacked as desired and modified later. The only way to get that kind of non-destructiveness in Photoshop is often to create multiple layers to achieve the same result and will sometimes be impossible. Let’s see the same effect applied in both After Effects and Photoshop.

Picturing ‘Silent House’: DSLR Video Goes Big Time, in Real Time | Jay Holben
| Creative Planet Network
Article about the making of a movie with a couple of unusual elements:
Behind the camera for Silent House was director of photography Igor Martinovic (Man on Wire, The Tillman Story, Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980, Nurse Jackie). “I had spoken with the two directors [Kentis and Lau] previously about another project, and they came to me and said that they wanted to do a horror film and do it in one continuous shot,” recalls Martinovic. “I thought, ‘What a great opportunity!’