Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sony NEX-VG10 Latest News

21 things You Should Know About the Sony Handycam NEX-VG10 Interchangeable Lens Camcorder
A list of interesting things about the NEX-VG10 at Two things that were a surprise:
8. LCD Pivots, but not toward front: The 3.0" LCD screen is both bright and sharp but it only pivots up or down - and not forward. This prevents you from flipping the screen to the front so that it's visibile when you're in front of the camera [...]
9. Lens lacks AF/Manual Switch: Yes, you can still manually focus but you'll have to press a menu button on the side of the camera (under the LCD) to make the change. There is a zoom 'lock' on the lens to prevent the lens from extending during travel. 21 things You Should Know...

Sony NEX-VG10 Test Run
H. Paul Moon posted another text video from the NEX-VG10. This was shot hand-held because evidently it's illegal to use a camera with a tripod without a permit in Washington D.C.
Sony's Active Steadyshot image stabilization is best-in-class as a mechanism, but seems to perform slightly worse than their previous flagship high-end consumer camcorders, the HDR-XR500V and later HDR-XR550V (makes sense, since the sensor in the NEX-VG10 is dramatically larger and requires more than just micro-movements for stabilization). That's where I'm coming from.

Read about the video on the Vimeo page: Sony NEX-VG10 Test Run -

Nex VG10 Day 1
Adam Mizrahi of Mizrahi Films has a short film shot with the NEX-VG10, which he loves:
Here is day one of my tests I will be doing the the new Nex VG10. MY first thoughts, I love this camera! It is amazing and feels amazing. I have no idea what everyone else is saying for what it is 9 out of 10 from day one I will let you know what I think in detail soon.
This includes some video shot with a 50mm f/2.8 Alpha lens, which just reinforces my belief that the camera will perform so much better in low light [and shallow depth-of-field] with a wider aperture lens.

Nex-VG10 from Adam Mizrahi on Vimeo.

Camera controls aperture on Alpha lens
I'm assuming (and that's dangerous) this applies only to the Sony Alpha-NEX lens adapter, not to the multiple third-party adapters that are out there, but the NEX-VG10 can control the aperture of Alpha lenses reports Steve Mullen on the
I keep finding the so called "reviews" are wrong. For example, an Alpha 50(90)mm/1.8 does have its aperture controlled by the VG10.

However, everyone needs to understand HOW these STILL camera lenses work via the adaptor. They STEP from one aperture size to another. That means the step-size is determined by the lens itself. That means, you cannot use a STILL lens and have it work like a camcorder lens. Now that's not a huge surprise, but I'll bet there will be screams about it.
Amazon: Sony LA-EA1 - Lens adapter Minolta A-type - Sony E-mount
B & H: LAEA1 Adapter f/A-MOUNT Lens Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder

Friday, September 17, 2010

App Tamer for Mac

How many of us quit all other applications while we're editing video (or doing some other processor intensive task?) it probably makes sense, but I just don't do it...

Macworld takes a peek at App Tamer, an application that halts any application when it's switched to the background (I wish it would do that for individual Safari Windows!) Reviewer Jeff Porten says he's spent about an hour with it, and so far it seems to do what it claims; and it only costs $15.

Could be worth a look.

Macworld: App Tamer halts your apps to speed up your Mac

News from Here & There

Sony's Filmlike camera
The problem with reading reports about un-released cameras is that you can get conflicting information. Often from the same source.

On the first day of IBC, Philip Johnston at HDWarrior reported somewhat negatively about Sony's Filmlike camera, and said that it would have a price of around $20,000. But since then, the post has been rewritten a couple of times;
Alister Chapman told me about the footage and he was very exited about the lack of noise, I must say after further investigation he is 100% correct…fantastic pictures.
and in a "Time for Reflection" piece yesterday he says that maybe it will be priced about £6,000.
I asked Bill for a price and he told me that announcement was for early next year. Bill knows Panasonic have a head start in the FilmLike field and that their camcorder is £4000 so we can only wait for that important announcement, my bet is about £6000.
Will it be an HDSLR killer? Probably not; I think it's more likely going to go after RED.
HDWarrior: IBC 2010 “Time for Reflection”

Sony 3D Camera
I also missed this being reported anywhere else, but it seems Sony showed a 3D camera at IBC, though it appears it was just a prototype, and they didn't announce even an intention to make an announcement.
TelevisionBoradcast: Sony Unveils Prototype 3D Shoulder Camcorder at IBC

How do they write The Daily Show?
While reporting the cover story on Stewart and The Daily Show for this week’s magazine, Chris Smith sat in the post-run-through rewrite room for the show's August 12 episode, listening in while Stewart and staffers tightened, massaged, and riffed on a segment of "Indecision 2010" about the primary defeat of Karen Handel, a gubernatorial candidate in Georgia
Read the transcript of the meeting:
New York: Read a Writers’ Room Transcript That Shows How Daily Show Segments Get Made

Shooting Long Form Drama on an HDSLR
El Skid writes about the things he learned shooting with an HDSLR while making an ultra low budget pilot for British television called “Ladies and Gentlemen”. His first two insights:
  1. Shooting handheld is nothing to be scared of
  2. Monitoring – Buy Marshall, don’t bother with anything else
PhotocineNews: 8 Things I’ve Learned From Shooting Long Form Drama on the 5D That I didn’t Know Before I Started

Virtual Moviemaking
Autodesk has a whitepaper (in PDF format) on Virtual Cinematography:
Virtual cinematography is a new style of filmmaking that allows directors to manipulate virtual cameras within textured and lit 3D environments, populated with highly detailed characters and props in real-time. Directors can also see their computer graphics (CG) elements in the ‘viewfinder’, while working on the live-action set. These new possibilities are ushering in a new era for interactive technology.
Autodesk: Virtual Moviemaking

And for the Avid reader...
Dermot Shane is extensively quoted in this article about using Avid DS to finish a project shot on the RED and initially cut in Final Cut Pro.
digitalfilms: Avid DS shines for Metric

The stuff of madness

After seeing a sample clip from the NEX-VG10, I couldn't help thinking "that's disappointing." The low-light performance was only so-so, and the bokeh wasn't that impressive; making me wonder why bother with this large chip camera?

But then I was thinking that perhaps the lens was the real problem; add on something that was f/2.8 or less - rather than the f/3.8 it comes with - and that might make a big difference.

And just after that, I happened across an article at SonyAlphaRumors about using third party lenses with the NEX-5 (which uses the same E-mount found on the NEX-VG10.) One of the lenses they high-lighted was the Zeiss Planar ZM T* 50mm f/2 which is just $781. Of course, then you need an adapter to attach the ZM-mount to the E-Mount, but those are available at Amazon ...

Wait a minute! I've already been buying lenses for the Canon 7D; am I now going to go down that route for another camera?! Worse, it's not even worth getting an NEX adapter for the Canon lenses; they don't have aperture control. Clearly, I'm stuck, unless I were to do something really silly and go and buy Nikon glass and an adapter for the Canon so I can use the lenses on both cameras....okay that is crazy talk!

The NEX-VG10 might be an okay camera - we really need to wait for more definitive reviews and user reports - but it's clear to me that if I was even to touch the thing, I'd need to spend quite a bit of money on lenses too - probably third party lenses or Alpha lenses, which is going to increase the cost even more, and also means I lose the auto controls. Which means I'm kind of back to what I have with the 7D anyway; except the NEX-VG10 is not limited to 12 minute clips.

For the moment, I think I have to stop looking at the NEX-VG10. I don't think it's going to kill my DSLR.

SonyAlphaRumors: Photozone tests new lenses on the NEX-5!
SonyAlphaNex: Sony NEX E-mount Lens Adapters on Amazon

Meanwhile, Cameratown has an "unboxing video" which is mostly description. They promise more later, and already have some in-the-field notes; "I couldn't find anyway to control audio levels." That's true; there's no manual audio control on the NEX-VG10.

ikan HDSLR Revolution 2010 Short Film Competition

Deadline: November 29th

Create a film using your HDSLR camera that utilizes the ikan name, logo or an ikan product in a creative, positive manner. Your film must adhere to the simple, one-word theme of ‘revolution'.

To Enter the Competition:
  • Join the “HDSLR Revolution” vimeo group.
  • Create your entry of no more than 3 ½ minutes.
  • Upload your video to the “HDSLR Revolution” vimeo group.
  • Send us your completed entry form.
  • Kick back until the winners are announced December 15.

Judging Criteria:
  • Adherence to the theme (yes, we know it's broad… but we know you're creative!)
  • Mastery of the HDSLR medium: winning videos will push the limits of the HDSLR in new and innovative ways.
  • Originality in the usage of the ikan name, logo or an ikan product of your choice.
  • Overall creativity of the entry, the story and the method of storytelling.
  • Make sure to keep it clean. Nudity, foul language from small children and obscene or profane behavior are not recommended!
Details: HDSLR Revolution Short Film Competition

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sony NEX-VG10 the latest

It's listed back in stock at Amazon, has been sighted in a camera store in Cologne, and has more than one Facebook community: Sony Handycam NEX-VG1, and Sony NEX-VG10 User Group.

More people seem to be receiving them; or expect arrival in the next couple of days.

Another Zoom H4n Horror Story?

There's a lot to like about the Zoom H4n. For $300 you get a small, compact recorder than can record four tracks simultaneously (using the two onboard mics, and two XLR inputs) and it has good sound quality.

BUT, lately it seems that all I hear are professionals putting it down; not for it's recording quality, or even that you can't adjust gain for the channels independently. It's that the device has a habit of corrupting tracks - i.e. they are unreadable - if it runs out of batteries or otherwise stops recording "unexpectedly."

The latest is a post by Anthony Quintano at Quintano Media who got some corrupted files and says they weren't caused by low batteries; though a respondent suggested that he might be using the wrong SD cards with the device (something owners of the H4n might want to check

Philip Bloom doesn't like the H4n, and at a recent workshop recommended the Tascam DR100; because it also has level controls for both channels.

If you already own the H4n, should you ditch it? Probably not, though for those once-in-a-lifetime shoots, or if the camera isn't close enough to get backup audio, you might want to have a second recording device going just in case.

Quintano Media: Zoom H4N corrupt files for no good reason...

Amazon: Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder
Amazon: Tascam DR100 Portable Digital Recorder

2001: A Documentary [NOT]

I first saw the movie 2001:A Space Odyssey shortly after seeing Star Wars. I think that was a mistake because I was expecting Star Wars II and was rather surprised that I got something very different instead. It was slow, confusing, and what was that whole sequence of visuals towards the end? Did it have to be that long?

I'd read an article that explained most of the elements of the movie before seeing it (the bone changing to the orbiting nuclear weapon represents the transition from mans first to ultimate weapon) but that only made me a little less confused, it didn't make me enjoy it more.

And yet, it's still an important, evocative movie. Perhaps it's the whole computer to personality thing that intrigues me most.

Now, here comes Douglas Trumbull, who was the special effects genius behind 2001, with a plan to make a documentary about the movie. And Warner Home Video was interested; BUT then they pulled out.

Everyone write to Warner Home Video and tell them not to pull a HAL.

Here's a clip of Trumbull talking about it, and showing a brief clip they had produced to promote the project.

I guess we do have the promise of the book by Dave Larson to look forward to.

Slashfilm: Movie Trailer: ‘Beyond the Infinite: The Making of A Masterpiece,’ Douglas Trumbull’s Documentary About the Making of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ [The trailer doesn't appear to be there anymore, though there is a short article]

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Apple: Pro Applications Update 2010-02

Apple has released an update to Final Cut Studio. This update includes Log and Transfer compatibility with Sony NXCAM SD.

Pro Applications Update 2010-02 adds compatibility for new camera formats, improves overall stability, and addresses a number of other minor issues. This update is recommended for all users of Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Server, and Logic Studio.

Issues addressed in this update include the following:

Final Cut Pro

  • Real-time compatibility with Sony XDCAM HD422 720p24/p25/p30.
  • Log and Transfer compatibility with Sony NXCAM SD.
  • Control-G not closing the correct gap in the Timeline under the playhead.
  • Closed captioning data is now preserved when outputting to AJA Io HD with Print to Tape/Video.
  • Performance issue when importing AVCHD with LPCM audio.
  • AVCHD thumbnail images in SD are now the correct 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • XML export now retains the carriage return when working with text and third-party applications.
  • Several memory fragmentation issues have been resolved.
  • Localized versions of Final Cut Pro now recognize HDV devices that use the 1080i60/1080i50 FireWire Basic Easy Setups.
  • Log and Transfer supports ingesting more than one format recorded to the same SD card.

  • Corrupted display of the camera controls with certain graphics processors.

  • Adds a compression setting optimized for iPad and iPhone 4.

  • Adds compatibility with XDCAM HD422 720p24/p25/p30.

Sony NEX-VG10 comparison video

H. Paul Moon has posted a video comparing the NEX-VG10 to a Sony EX1 professional video camera - a very different camera - though he also throws in some footage from the Canon 7D and a Canon HF S200 (camcorder).

Compared to the EX1, sensitivity is definitely a lot lower, and it's lower than the HF S200 too BUT the EX1 is brighter with the same aperture and gain setting (see the street at night portion of the video [1:53].) Also, the HF S200 will go down to f/1.8, which may be the reason it appears to perform better (see the vase and chair clip at the end of the sequence [2:35]).

In looking at the video, I can't help thinking that the f/3.5 minimum lens might be the biggest mistake...the aperture is just not wide enough. A lot of what attracts people to the HDSLR images they see in demo videos is the incredibly shallow depth of field you can get with a big aperture. But in the examples here you can see that f/3.5 certainly gives you a little blur; but not the big dramatic differences. Of course, you could always buy another lens for the camera...

Don't forget, the EX1 has smaller chips; that's why the depth of field is different between the two cameras at the same aperture (i.e. the f/5.6 clips of the second shot of the fence [0:20].)

Read what Paul has to say here: NEX VG10 and some other cameras/camcorders

NEX VG10 and some other cameras/camcorders from paramon on Vimeo.

Camera Flat Settings

If you have been following the world of HDDSLR film making, then you no doubt know that most serious users are using "flat" settings for their picture settings. Reducing sharpness and contrast all the way down, and saturation a little, produces an image that doesn't look as good out-of-the-camera, but is easier to color correct and fine tune in post.

But how flat is too flat? And should you go "super-flat," as some users do?

Director, author, and producer of Colorista II tutorials, Stu Maschwitz, posted some interesting Tweets about color settings for HDSLR's yesterday:

Had an Interesting conversation with a colorist about difficulties he had with 5D footage shot with one of those flatter-than-flat settings.
He confirmed my experience, that the in-camera flat settings like the ones I use are good. Anything "flatter" adds nothing, causes issues.
...he was just having to work hard to achieve natural skin tones. The superflat setting had rendered them very pasty.
There's a sweet spot with compressed originals. There's such a thing as too flat, and such a thing as not flat enough.
A few folks have asked, so sorry for the repeat - I am still using and loving these settings on both my 5D and 7D: Flatten Your 5D

Read Stu's post linked above to see the actual settings he recommends.

Of course, if you have no intention of doing color correction in post, then you might want to leave things the way they are!

Note: Maschwitz is also Creative Director for Red Giant Software's Magic Bullet product line.

ProLost: Flatten Your 5D
On Twitter: 5tu

Avid DS

I don't normally cover Avid because I don't know much about them [when does that stop you from writing about other things? - Ed] and they tend to be used more in the film and big Pro field, but reader and VFX Supervisor Dermot Shane is quoted in the press release for Avid DS 10.5, so that's enough of a connection to justify reporting on the announcement of Avid DS 10.5.

Avid DS 10.5 was announced at IBC, and is Avid's high end finishing system, aimed at 2K, 4K, DI & GFX / VFX heavy HD.
“Software-only DS means I can say ‘yes’ to clients and projects that were previously off limits,” said Dermot Shane, owner of mZungu Post Production. “As a smaller shop, we can now scale our finishing operations at a fraction of the cost and fill in any holes we may have previously had in the post workflow, like adding in a seat to handle effects and digital make-up process between conform, color grading and mastering. DS 10.5 offers a one-stop shop for finishing projects, wrapped in the convenience of a software package.”
Avid DS 10.5 software will be available beginning October 21, 2010. Pricing begins at $6995 USD for educational institutions and $9995 USD for professional licenses and each comes standard with a copy of Media Composer® 5 software.

MacVideo: IBC 2010: Avid Introduces Software-Only Version of Avid DS

Nikon D7000 official

It's been expected for a while, and now it's official; Nikon has announced the D7000. For those not up on Nikon's offerings, think of this as a competitor to the Canon 60D. It has a 16.2 Megapixel sensor and will be priced about $1,200.

More importantly, it adds support for 1080p/24 video (and also supports 720p/24/30.) No 1080p/30 though (which the 60D does support.) : D7000 Product Page : Video settings and sample movie

Crunchgear: Comparison between Nikon D7000 and 60D

You can see some sample videos shot by Chase Jarvis at Cinema5D: Nikon D7000 16MP And 1080p 24fps HD Video. Chase Jarvis

You can preorder at Amazon: Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR with 3.0 Inch LCD (Body Only)

The wonderfully named SNOB Film Festival has a Filmmaker's Challenge: come up with a quick, 30-second film on the courtesy of silencing your cell phones before the feature film starts. There's no prize, but it's a free way to get a (short) film shown at a film festival!

Submit your film to: "Filmmaker's Challenge", c/o SNOB Film Festival. PO 956, Concord, NH 03302-0956

SNOB Film Festival: Submit Your Film

In the Press

Some interesting articles that have appeared recently:

Salon: How to write a TV show, sort of
With two seasons of HBO's "Bored to Death" under his belt, Jonathan Ames offers an explanation of how they go about writing and producing the show in a list of ten steps. They include:
4. Once the general stories have been determined, a new discussion is begun -- breaking the stories down into specific outlines, scene by scene (our episodes will generally have about 15 to 18 scenes). This probably takes two to three weeks.

American Society of Cinematographers: The Cinematographer Today: Evolution or Devolution? — Part One
John Bailey runs through the history of cinematography, and then considers the impact of digital on the film making process. Some interesting quotes:
It was also common, even mandatory, in silent days for the cinematographer to own his own camera.
Over a famous liquor-fueled weekend, Gregg Toland is said to have instructed the tyro film director Orson Welles in the principles and techniques of the motion picture camera.
The abandonment of 35mm film dailies starting a decade ago followed the rise of digital editing on the Avid.

This article caused Garrett O'Brien to pen his own criticism of digital, and the idea that anyone can be a cinematographer:
Democratization is a great way to run a country. But that doesn’t mean it works on a film set. But the neutering of a cinematographer doesn’t end there. This idea of shots being “DATA” is taken into post.
...a lesson I learned from one of my most influential teachers, Dave Insley, one of the DPs for “The Wire”. We were doing a very slight dolly move, maybe only moving a foot in distance. I jokingly said we could have done that movie in post. He then told me to never give that sort of freedom up on your images. Otherwise editors will take it and f*%^ it up. (something along those lines anyways).
Garrett O'Brien VisualsThe Future of Filmmaking: Neutering Cinematographers?

LA Times Blogs: Is Werner Herzog's new 3-D documentary a huge forward leap or total folly?
Werner Herzog's only experience with 3D before beginning his latest project was watching the film Avatar, and that wasn't a great success: "I felt uncomfortable seeing 3-D images nonstop. It was very difficult for my mind to follow." And yet he decided to use it to film Cave of Forgotten Dreams which shows the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave art in the South of France. Will this be Herzog's own Fitzcarraldo? We'll have to wait and see, though from the article, it sounds promising.

Still, Herzog sees 3D as a tool suitable only for certain projects:
I've never used the process in the 58 films I made before and I have no plans to do it ever again, but it was important to capture the intentions of the painters. Once you saw the crazy niches and bulges and rock pendants in the walls, it was obvious it had to be in 3-D."
He concludes: We shouldn't ever have a romantic comedy in 3-D

Over at, Andrew O'Hehir also talks about the movie: Toronto: Werner Herzog's 3-D cave movie

Variety: Producers adjust to changing landscape
Deals are up a bit, but things are still tight for movie Producers:
While the tally of deals has seen an uptick over the past six months, that number remains less than half of what it was a decade ago, when 292 deals were listed in Variety's 2000 report.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The daily Sony NEX-VG10 update

I have to do at least one update on the NEX-VG10...because, well I'm clearly fixated. has a review up of the camera. They like the look of it, and most of the features - they aren't evaluating it for professional use - and generally like the image quality:
Colours are reproduced quite accurately, although some shades are sometimes a little dull. The level of detail is excellent, and the VG10 easily beat the CX550 with our test card. We were a little disappointed by sensitivity, and found a lot of noise in low light levels for a CMOS sensor using Exmor R
This is the second article to note that the low-light sensitivity isn't as good as was expected, which I really think is more due to the somewhat slow f/3.8 lens, than to the processor. I'm hoping someone will put the 16mm f/2.8 E-mount lens on the camera and see how that performs. Sony NEX-VG10


The manual is now available at in English!

Operating GUide [PD]
Handbook [PDF]

News from Here & There

New Still Cameras With Video Support
A bunch of new cameras have appeared that add HD video - unfortunately, it's 720p video, but that's not necessarily bad.

Olympus jumps in with the E-5 DSLR, Samsung has the "mirrorless" NX100 and Canon has the G12. I'm not sure I'd buy any of them just to do video, or even to upgrade an existing camera if you have a previous version. Canon also announced the SX30IS, but previous versions of that camera already supported video.

Sony NEX-VG10
It may or may not be shipping today, but you can look at an online copy of the manual for the NEX-VG10 - In Croatian: User Manual


The manual is now available at in English!

Operating GUide [PD]
Handbook [PDF]

Zoom H1 vs Tascam DR-08
Thinking of buying the cheap (about $99) Zoom H1? Ot maybe a Tascam DR-08? There's a comparison over at CheesyCam: Tascam DR-08 vs. Zoom H1 continued..

Vimeo Festival +Awards
The Vimeo Festival +Awards starts October 8th and includes workshops and speakers. Looks interesting:
The Vimeo Festival will bring the global creative community together and give attendees a rare opportunity to see, explore, and meet the people behind the profiles. Over the course of two days, we’re packing in as many talks, workshops, screenings, and special events covering the themes of Innovation and Inspiration.

BBC Goes All In On Premiere
Last week the BBC announced it is adopting Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 "to support its Creative Desktop Initiative, through which the corporation is improving workflow efficiency, creating a tapeless environment and reducing costs."
MarketWatch: UK Broadcaster Adopts Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Software

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sony NEX-VG10 about to ship from Sony Style

Reader Paul Moon reports that his order through Sony Style just changed to "Ready for Shipment" with a shipping date of 9/14.

Lets hope it's accurate!

He's reporting at

[UPDATE: and right now it's listed as IN STOCK at, with a shipping date of 9/14 too!!]

Problem with iDVD Fullscreen playing as Widescreen

I love the internet. You can nearly alway find an answer to your problems, as long as you keep trying different search terms in Google until it returns what you want.

Over the weekend I was building a simple DVD in iDVD. There was ONE video clip - and admittedly it was a PAL project, and the video was originally in NTSC DV format - but there was no reason why it shouldn't work.

But I selected a 4:3 project, added the clip, and when the clip played in Preview, it was displayed as though it was a widescreen clip (with text even warning that it was in Widescreen Preview at the bottom of the preview screen.)

I tried exporting the clip in PAL format from Final Cut, and that had the same problem. Tried creating a new project and that didn't help either... I even burned the disc to confirm that, yes, the disc played back "wrong."

The first couple of searches "iDVD widescreen problem" and "iDVD 4:3 widescreen problem" didn't bring anything up; sending me to some help forums on unrelated topics. But changing 4:3 to fullscreen, turned up the following post (on an Apple forum):
After looking at several threads about this I decided to try another approach. I opened the video I exported from FCP in the Quicktime player and it showed that it was a 4:3 movie. So I re-saved it as a self-contained movie and put that into iDVD. It seems to have worked. Obviously you need the pro version of Quicktime player to do this but anyone with FCP should have the pro QP. Hope this helps.
Funny how a simple change in your search terms can make a huge difference!

And as mad as it sounds, simply opening the movie in QuickTime Player and doing a Save As to create a new copy of the movie (and not changing anything else!) fixed the problem!!

I don't think I would have thought of that in a million years!

Apple Discussions: widescreen preview mode, how to disable?

Book Reading Oct 18: 101 Things I Learned in Film School

Screenwriter Neil Landua, author of 101 Things I Learned in Film School will be giving a book reading at Harvard Bookstore on Monday, October 18th. He will be joined by creator of the 101 Things I Learned series, Matthew Frederick.
How does one effectively set a scene? What is the best camera angle for a particular mood? How does new technology interact with scenes? And how does one even get the financing to make a movie?

These basic questions and much more are covered in this book on the film industry and making movies as a profession. With insights for someone who wants to make movies as a full-time career, or just someone who is interested in film, 101 Things I Learned in Film School offers an inside view of the art and craft of filmmaking.

DATE: Monday, October 18th
TIME: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Avenue
TICKETS: This event is free; no tickets are required

Neil Landau is a screenwriter whose television and film credits include Don′t Tell Mom the Babysitter′s Dead, Melrose Place, Doogie Howser MD, The Magnificent Seven, and Twice in a Lifetime. He has developed feature films for 20th Century Fox, Disney, Universal, and Columbia Pictures, and television pilots for Warner Bros., Touchstone, Lifetime, and CBS. He works internationally as a script consultant and teaches at UCLA′s School of Film, Television, and Digital Media.

More Info: Harvard Bookstore

Pricing for Panasonic AG-AF100

News from Panasonic; the release date and price for their new large-sensor camera, the AG-AF100. It will be available in Japan for 837,900 yen ($9,967).

Interestingly, Engadget says it will be "around" $6,000 in the U.S.

Engadget: Panasonic announces AF105 Micro Four Thirds camcorder, interchangeable lenses not included

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sony NEX-VG10 - September 17th?

The Technology Talks website quotes an eBay seller as saying the shipping date for the NEX-VG10 is now September 17th. Maybe. I'm not sure I'd put much stock in a quote from an eBay seller... [UPDATE BELOW]

Meanwhile, a guy on Vimeo claims this is his first NEX-VG10 clip.

NEX VG-10 FIRST CLIP TEST VIDEO AUDIO from Mattia Santino Merli on Vimeo.

[UPDATED Sep 13 - Amazon's product page now gives an "In Stock" date of September 30th.]

Some interesting new products

Some new products from IBC that look interesting...

Sony HXR-MC2000

Sony have rolled out a tapeless version of the HVR-HD1000, and called it the HXR-MC2000. It has a single 1/4" CMOS sensor (ehhh), and manual lens ring (sweet), but the audio input is just a mini-plug; no XLRs. Oh Sony! That was the primary reason I bought the Panasonic AG-HMC70U over the HD1000 a couple of years back. I don't understand Sony's reasoning; anyone buying a large shoulder camera these days is probably going to want to do more with audio than your typical "consumer" camera buyer.

The camera has 64GB of internal flash memory, and accepts Memory Stick and SD cards (it's unclear, but I think it just has a single slot....if true, I'd rather they ditch the internal memory and had two card slots.)

Reportedly, the camera will sell for about the same as the HD1000 (somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000.) HXR-MC2000E

Sony's "Affordable" 35mm filmlike camcorder
Sony showed off a 35mm cinema style camcorder at NAB, and they did it again at IBC, though there's not a lot more information about it, so it's still a ways off. HDWarrior says they were talking about a price of $20,000. If so, they are clearly going after the RED and ARRI market, not the DSLR/Panasonic AF100.
HDWarrior: 1st Day at IBC “Sony gO retRo”

Ki Pro Mini (left) and the Ki Pro

AJA Ki Pro Mini
The original AJA Ki Pro is a memory recorder that supports 10-bit 4:2:2 using ProRes, but it's rather large and costs $4,000. They have now announced the Ki Pro Mini, which does much the same thing, in a smaller form factor, and for half the price.

This would be awesome with a Canon's DSLR if the damn camera's output the full HD resolution image over HDMI in recording mode. And I'd be tempted to marry one of these to my trusty HDV Sony FX1, but it's really not worth it to me to buy one just for that.

And yet, Sony told me than the Sony HXR-NX5u sends out 4:2:2 video out it's HD-SDI port. Add the AJA Ki Pro Mini, and you have 4:2:2 recording for $6,000, i.e. a little less than the Canon FX300

The Ki Pro Mini is expected in October for $1,995.
AJA: AJA Announces Ki Pro Mini, Portable File-Based Recorder at IBC 2010

Atomos Ninja

Atomos Ninja
$2,000 too much for a digital recorder? What about $1,000? Atomos has the Ninja, a digital video recorder that also uses Apple ProRes, and saves to 2.5" Notebook HDD or SSD drives. It will be available in December for $995. this might work well with the FX1...

Zacuto Z-Finder
Finally, this video pupports to show a Z-Finder V3, with the Canon EOS 60D. Not sure if that is actually a new version of the Zacuot finder, or the Z-Finder Pro 3x. There's nothing on about a new version.

Either way, I got a little nervous watching him pry the frame off the LCD panel.

Live video stream of Amsterdam SUPERMEET at 13:00 EST Today

Today is the third annual Amsterdam Final Cut Pro User Group SUPERMEET. If you can't make it there, you can watch it streamed at 13:00 EST today (that's 1PM EST, right?)

FCProUserGoup: SuperMeet Live