Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The News

Oh, this explains the Merlin 2 price drop...
I was wondering the other day why Steadicam had dropped the price on the Merlin 2 to $399, and here's a video from News at IBC on the answer: the Steadicam Solo which was previewed at NAB, and should be shipping in November for.....$499.

Watch this interview Dan Chung of News Shooter has with Robin Thwaites of Tiffen/Steadicam.

This is interesting because:

1) You can see Dan is itching to ask some questions like "why is this is a lot cheaper than your usual gear?" and "are you worried about brushless gimbals?" (both questions he actually gets to.)

2) Some discussion of brushless gimbals vs Steadicam. Ignoring price (I don't think any brushless gimbal system other than home-built ones are close to $499) the issues that are highlighted are:
  • Problems with up and down motion while walking (a problem that can also apply to Steadicam's if you don't have the vest and arm)
  • Problems with accurate start and stop framing.
  • Having a unit between you and the subject
  • Battery power
Don't get me wrong, I'm still intrigued by the brushless gimbal systems.

3) They also briefly mention the Steadicam Curve for the GoPro Hero.

But just to be fair, here's a MōVI BTS

Review: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera | David English | StudioDaily
According to the folks at Blackmagic Design, the RAW file option will be available through a firmware update. Apart from the small size and 13-stop dynamic range, the RAW capability is the most exciting aspect of this camera.

LED lighting specialist F&V has jumped into the camera support world with their first product being a cage for the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera. The lightweight but durable aluminum cage can be used with an attratice wooden handle and has a variety of mounting points surrounding the camera.

Everyone likes a bit of slow-mo at 240fps | Vimeo
Earth Air Fire Water was shot with the Sony F55 and AXS-R5 recorder using beta firmware to record raw at 240 fps in 2K.The film was shot by Cinematographer Steve Lawes and Directed by Martin Scanlan. Colour grading by Dado Valentic of Mytherapy and music by Micah Berek of Hearfilm. The film will be premiered at IBC 2013.

Could the Amira be the ultimate indie digital cinema camera? | Freya Black | Red Shark
Finally, a price guess for the ARRI AMIRA:
Regardless of what is coming down the line however, it looks like the Amira is going to fly off the shelves. There are a lot of rumours flying around right now, ranging from “The Camera will be in the Sony F55 price range” to “the camera will be as little as $25,000“ Whatever it turns out to be, it would appear that the camera is going to be significantly cheaper to buy than even the lower cost Alexa HD camera

Panasonic on their 4K Varicam, “Is the demand for 4K there yet?” | Cinema 5D
We had a chance to talk to Panasonic Europe representative Aisling Magill about their 4K future. As we have already reported (click here), they have announced that they are working on a 4K Super35 Varicam which will be released in about one year. 

There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Lens | Roger Cicala | PetaPixel
I get asked a couple of questions every time I publish a graph showing Imatest results for multiple copies of lenses like the one below. Most people understand that some copy-to-copy variation is inevitable in the manufacturing process. Most are surprised, though, at how large the sample variation seems to be. Heck, I was surprised at how large the sample variation was when I started doing this kind of testing.

Neil Gaiman’s Advice to Aspiring Writers | Brain Pickings
Echoing E. B. White, who famously scoffed that “a writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper,” and like Chuck Close, who declared that “inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,”

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