Saturday, September 25, 2010

NEX-VG10; the latest

Camera Comparisons
Ron Risman at Cameratown took the NEX-VG10, a Canon 7D, 5D and VIXIA HG10 (camcorder) down to the beach and set them up side-by-side so that you can compare the NEX-VG10 with each of those cameras. Is it just me, or does the Canon 5D footage look much sharper?
Cameratown: Sony Handycam NEX-VG10 Interchangeable Lens Camcorder Review

Moire Tests
A couple of moire tests have been posted by members of the Sony NEX-VG10 User Group.
Christopher Mayer compares the NEX-VG10, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon T2i and the Panasonic HVX200 (video camera.)
As you'll see, all the large chip cameras exhibit moire and aliasing. As I predicted, the t2i and NEX on a par with each other. The 5D moires just about the same, but handles better in different focal lenghts. HVX, a real video camera now 7 years old holds up best

T2i in my miond is the worst of all of them. Not only moire but the blacks just crush (I had to double check if I had my settings right, and they were).

moire tests-nex10, 5dmk2,t2i, and hvx200 from Christopher Mayer on Vimeo.

See also a test from Uwe Steinmueller: Moire Test VG10

Upcoming Firmware Upgrade
Luminous Landscape got to play with the firmware upgrade on the NEX cameras (not the NEX-VG10, but some aspects should be similar.) They note that the auto-focus with the A-mount adaptor worked, but was slow.
I tried six different lenses and all autofocused fine, but I found that the AF speed ranged from about two to four seconds. I would therefore judge this to be one of those nice to have capabilities, but frankly not something that I would use often, and certainly not at all if the subject is moving.
Also explained was how the firmware update in the adaptor was installed:
The LA-EA1's firmware is updated by attaching it to the camera and running the update application with the USB cable attached, just as when updating the camera's firmware.
Finally - and perhaps more concerning - the update they were given was MS Windows only, and they don't know if/when a Mac update will be available.
Luminous Landscape: Sony Updates the NEX Firmware

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blogger Telephone: What Apple's Apple TV delay email said

We've all heard about the bad things about blogs; that in their haste to be topical they often serve to simply repeat and broadcast inaccurate information without proper fact checking. But a phenomenon that I don't think get's enough coverage is what I call "Blog Telephone:" how a story on one blog gets repeated on another, but subtly changed, adding unrelated information that gets weaved into the original story. That story then gets reinterpreted and retold, creating a whole new inaccuracy. Like this example:

1). Yesterday, at 8PM, AppleInsider published a note that Apple had sent out an email to some customers informing them that shipping charges will be refunded due to a possible 'delay.' It quotes the email:
"Our records indicate that when you placed your order you paid for upgraded shipping," Apple wrote in the emails. "Due to a delay, we may have not been able to meet our delivery commitment."
It also notes that early pre-orders continue to be listed as shipping in September, that Apple started authorizing credit cards on Wednesday, and that Apple started charging orders for the iPad roughly a WEEK before that device started shipping.
AppleInsider: Apple issuing refunds for Apple TV rush orders, citing delay

2). This morning (about 10:00am) CrunchGear posted it's own article referencing only the AppleInsider article, with the headline "Apple TV Delayed By Weeks" and noting:
The Apple TV product page always listed September as the ship date, but now it says 2-3 weeks.
It also separately printed the quote from the AppleInsider email. And I should note that Readers pointed out that CrunchGear might be conflating unrelated facts, but the article remains unchanged at the moment.
CrunchGear: Apple TV Delayed By Weeks, Cable Company Execs Heard Rejoicing

3). At 10:39am, Gizmodo published: Apple TV Orders Delayed Up to 3 Weeks, and in it's article combined the email and the information CrunchGear had added to say:
Apparently several customers have gotten emails from the company indicating a 2-3 week delay, and offering a refund for the shipping charge. According to Apple Insider [...]

So in three posts, we went from an email from Apple saying "we may not be able to meet our delivery commitment" to an email from Apple saying "2-3 week delay."

Stories change fast.

NOTE: Since there's a chance there was a second (unpublished) email from Apple saying that there is a 2-3 week delay, I have emailed Gizmodo asking them to clarify their sourcing. I haven't heard back form them.

P.S. Yeah, I know, I screw up sometimes too. It' not my intention to blame these sites for their mistakes and errors - we are all human and make mistakes - but to point out how problems occur even when people are attempting to honestly report on subjects, and that the reader should always check sourcing.

Final Cut Support for ARRI Alexa and Phantom Cine cameras

If you have an ARRI Alexa or Phantom Cine camera, then Glue Tools has the plug-ins for you! They have just released updates to the following plug-ins for Final Cut Pro:

ARRIRAW Toolkit for Final Cut Studio 1.5
This software allows MacOSX and Applications to work with ARRIRAW “.ari” image sequences which are shot with the ARRI Alexa and ARRIFLEX D-21 cameras. With this Toolkit, Finder is fully aware of these files, including support for Spotlight, Previews, and basic QuickTime Playback. Other applications that are QuickTime aware, will also work with ARRIRAW file format.
This release: Initial support for Alexa ARRIRAW footage.

Phantom Cine Toolkit for Final Cut Studio 2.5
This package lets the user open the raw Phantom Cine movies and choose from different debayer algorithms, color correction matrices, as well as white balance and gamma modes. A SMPTE Timecode track is created from the timestamps inside the Phantom Cine. As with any QuickTime component, the Operating system is fully aware of the new file format, allowing for Finder Thumbnails, and Spotlight integration.

They also have
Cineon/DPX Pro for Final Cut Studio 3.5
A professional set of QuickTime components to read and write Cineon or DPX images. Features include:

Shane Hurlbut

Ever see the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever? Jimmy Dean plays a reclusive billionaire (see also: Howard Hughes) who is rescued by Bond. Watching Shane Hurlbut at the recent Canon Expo NY, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Jimmy Dean character. Loud, in your face, cracking jokes while dashing about the stage, if they decide to remake the movie they should definitely get Shane to play the billionaire role.

But seriously, Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (Into the Blue, Terminsator Salvaltion) talked at the Expo about film making with the Canon 5D Mk II. He had recently completed principle photography on Act of Valor - a film centered around the US Navy SEALs - where the Canon 5D was used extensively for action shots, low light and under-the-radar shooting.

How He Got Started
In January 2009 I went to an ASC function at Sammy’s Camera, and there were a lot of my peers around, checking this camera out, and I put this thing in my hand, and I saw the future. I saw the future of the movie business and I saw change. That is one scary-ass word. Change.
Guerilla Filmmaking
We took eight cameras, flew them in our overhead bin space, landed and walked through customs, just like that. “Hey, how ya doing?” “How’s it going?” Voom, out the door! No custom papers, no sheet to tell me what’s there and what’s not, just walk straight through, we were photographers.

We wanted to take advantage of this market that had all these mopeds and bicycles and all this stuff, and have the advantage of 15,000 extras, and not pay a cent.
Low Light Performance
I lit [a street] with two people. The Art Department hung a string of bulbs. I used all practical lights. I used three keno flows and two 1200 Pars to light this five block exterior. [...] What I find about this camera is it’s about taking light away, and adding accents. If this was film, I would have had to intensify all those lights because they wouldn’t have read. I would have had to add some kind of ambiance because it would have never seen into the shadow. And it would have taken me about four or five days with pre-rig crew. What I’m doing now is I’m showing up on the day and I’m sending one electrician around to black wrap stuff.

Manicuring and shaping the light is what I found is the recipe for success.

You can’t compare this camera to like the ISO of film. If film is 500, people say "why don’t you just take film and push it a stop? What would that look like?" – crap. "Well, what if you pushed it two stops?" – crap.

You’ve got to understand, I shot this sequence at a 4. The light [here] is a .7. That doesn’t compute with any light meter that I know. So you can’t compare that to film. The only thing you can compare to film is side-by-side, this s$%^ looks good next to it.

You can do a lot of stuff to put cameras on the ground [...] just give me a hammer and a stake. You can drive over these things, they’re only five inches tall. We’ve had to do a lot of stuff in the film business to get you to drive over film cameras. Not doing that anymore. You just put the camera down and drive over it.

I was on a job with a very limited budget, and I had to be able to get a helicopter shot. I needed scope. The helicopter bid came in at about $20,000, I didn’t have that. This cost me $700. It's a Cessna with a student pilot that needed his hours. That guy scared the s&$% out of me. I rigged three cameras; I’ve got a 24mm straight down, and a 50mm at a 15 degree tilt and a 35mm at 5 degree tilt.
Rolling Shutter
It doesn’t exist. If you have very qualified operators you’re going to be moving that thing in a way that [won't cause a problem.] The only rolling shutter we had on the whole picture, after exposing the equivalent of 1.6 million feet of film, was when the M-4 rifle fired a foot and a half from my face. When the muzzle flash hit the sensor only read a third of the frame. And there was a black band across the bottom. So what I did was I went down to 1/30th of a second made that light area bigger, and the black band smaller and then we went in post and actually painted it out.
The Future
If I have anything to do with this, it is all going to change. It is my mission. This camera technology is the greenest thing out there. I have two kids; I want them to have a planet after I leave it. It recycles all it’s cards, it uses two thirds less light. It uses less fuel, less power, less everything, except creative expression.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Director Mark Romanek on Fresh Air

Mark Romanek wrote and directed the feature film One Hour Photo, a psychological drama starring Robin Williams as a lonely photo technician. His latest film is Never Let Me Go, based on a book by Kazuo Ishiguro, who also wrote The Remains of the Day. He was interviewed by Dave Davies on today's episode of Fresh Air's.

There's several interesting parts to this interview, including why (and how) he came to use Robin Williams in One Hour Photo, and the making of the Hurt music video with Johnny Cash.

You can listen to it on the web: Director Mark Romanek Tackles 'Never Let Me Go'

Museum of Irony: Top Gear - too big to download

I'm a big fan of the British TV car show, Top Gear. Even if you're not a big gearhead, you should check it out (particularly the latter series; there's some pretty impressive cinematography and production work in the show.)

The problem for those of us in the ex-colonies is that it doesn't play on any national U.S. TV network. It does play on the cable network BBC America, but even then, they play it weeks/months after release in the UK, and cut it up to put in commercials.

Some of the seasons are available on iTunes - though not all of the past seasons - and the latest one's only appear after they are shown on BBC America. The Top Gear UK site even sometimes blocks their videos from US visitors.

Which means that if you're a fan here, you might be tempted to go to other sources....

BBC America is about to start broadcasting the latest season, and to celebrate they will be showing all the past seasons over the coming weekend. Ironically, in it's add campaign for this broadcast they actually encouraged people to watch it because it's "Too big to download"

BBC Ameria: Top Gear

BOSFCPUG Meetup: Wed October 6

The Boston Final Cut Pro User Group will have a special Meetup as part of the FutureM Conference on the use of video on the iPad in Production/Post. The event takes place at Apple's Boston Boylston store.

They will also be announcing details on, and taking registration for, the October 15-17th PHILIP BLOOM DSLR Workshops and Meetup.

BOSFCPUG: BOSFCPUG "FutureM" Meetup: iPad in Production/Post

NEX-VG10 stuff

More on the Firmware update
A post on SonyAlphaRumors notes that with the NEX firmware update that will support autofocus with A-mount lenses, there will also be a firmware update for the lens adapter itself. It's unclear how that update is made...
NOTE, though, that you actually have to upgrade the firmware in the lens adapter, as well as in the camera itself. (We were surprised to learn that the A-mount to E-mount adapter actually has a chip in it, to translate data between the lens and the camera body. As part of the update process, then, you’ll need to attach your Sony A-mount adapter to the camera, so the camera can update the adapter’s firmware.) Sone NEX firmware brings lots of improvements! And it goes underwater :)

Video Test with ND Filter
A nice video shot with a Neutral Density filter...looks like that's the first accessory you want to get for your camera!

Lensbaby makes a line of inexpensive tilt/shift lenses. They have now announced one with the NEX E-mount which will be available sometime before the end of the year. They also have the Tilt Transformer that has a neat trick up it's sleeve; you can attach Nikon lenses to it! The Tilt Transformer alone will cost $250, or you can buy it with the Composer (a Lensbaby lens) for $350. Lensbaby is carried by Adorama.
Lensbaby: Lensbaby Unveils Composer with Tilt Transformer: Two New Products in One for Micro Four Thirds and Sony α NEX cameras [PDF]

Director Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy, will be interviewed on NPR's OnPointRadio today at 11am EST.

[Stream it live at at if you don't have a local NPR station, or listen to a replay over the web after 7pm tonight at OnPointRadio]

Three unrelated video news items?

Blockbuster files for Chapter 11
It's been expected for some time, but Blockbuster has filed for Chapter 11. It's suspected that 1/3 of their 3,000 stores will close.

Apple TV orders being processed
Apple has started charging the credit cards of people who placed an order for the new Apple TV. Expect them to ship at any moment.

Microsoft doesn't like Blu-ray either
Joining Apple's Steve Jobs, Microsoft's Stephen McGill, UK Xbox Boss, said in an interview that it's just not worth supporting Blu-ray on Xbox
People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. So, who needs Blu-ray?
xbox360achievements: Interview - Stephen McGill, UK Xbox Boss Talks The Future, Halo, Rare & More

The future for video is the web.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Officially official price on the Panasonic AG-AF100

Jan Crittenden, Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems Product Manager, has confirmed on the dvxuser forum that the price of the Panasonic AF100 will be $4995. Start saving those pennies...

If I was Canon, I'd be worrying not so much about what this camera might do to sales of DSLRs, but what it could do to sales of the HF300/305...

dvxuser: AF-100 Confirmed List Price: $4,995
B & H: Panasonic AG-AF100 Micro Four Thirds Professional HD Camcorder

Scosche freedomMIC

This is interesting; a Bluetooth microphone that plugs into the new accessory port of the Flip Ultra. The Scosche freedomMIC. Sure, Blue has announced the Mikey for Flip, and if I had to guess, I would guess that the sound quality of the Mikey is going to be better than the freedomMIC, but when using a camera, often the first, biggest problem to solve is the distance between your source and your mic. Moving the mic up to the source is - generally - going to make more of a difference than getting a better microphone that's further back.

Of course, what you want is a really good mic, close enough.

The freedomMIC features a condenser microphone with DSP noise cancellation and has a range of 100 feet, and powered by lithium ion batteries (in both transmitter and receiver) that gives 4 hours of operation. Users can wirelessly control record and stop functions remotely from the microphone/transmitter. The receiver features a pass-through tripod mount for securing the receiver to the camera and retaining the ability to use a tripod.

The big question; how does it sound? We'll have to wait and see.

The freedomMIC will be available at and from retailers that sell the new Flip cameras that feature the new FlipPort line in mid to late December 2010 for $99.99 MSRP.

Blue: Mikey for Flip

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NEX-VG10 Firmware update in November

I somehow missed it in the original release, but the NEX-VG10 will also get a firmware update to support auto-focus with A-Mount lenses. The update will be available in November.

Sony: Sony showcases digital imaging solutions at Photokina

Boston Avid Users Group Meeting

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
RULE | Boston Camera
395 Western Ave
Boston, MA 02135

Kenton VanNatten - Fixing It In Post!
We've all heard producers say "We'll fix it in Post!", join us at our next BAVUG meeting to see how Paint, Animatte and other Avid tools were used to clean up customer testimonial interviews to create a seamless marketing message for a corporate client, without b-roll.

Kenton VanNatten has worked as a professional editor for over 12 years in corporate/educational video, independent documentary and cable/broadcast television and is also currently the Chairman/President of the Boston Avid Users Group.

Limited seating, be sure to register through Eventbrite registration to get your free ticket.

More info: BAVUG

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 (now for Mac too!)

Adobe has announced Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, and Adobe Premiere Elements 9. This is the first time Premiere Elements has come to the Mac.

Actually, even though Adobe Premiere Pro has come bak to the Mac, it's almost a bit of a surprise that they bought Premiere Elements to the Mac; given that they have to compete with Apple's free iMovie.
Improved Organization and Sharing
With Premiere Elements, it is easier than ever to upload and import from popular Flip Video camcorders and DSLR cameras. The Organizer allows users to tag and view photos and videos in one central place. The Auto-Analyzer helps users tag the best photos and videos and also identifies specific faces in photos. Users can quickly post photos and videos directly to Facebook, combine media together into dynamic interactive Online Albums, and create an online DVD-like viewing experience to share with friends and family. Users can customize flexible scrapbook and photo book layout designs, with drag-and-drop simplicity, for automatic placement of photos within a template or easy access to any Photoshop Elements editing feature from directly within the software. Creations can then be printed at home or through an online print service provider.

Adobe: Adobe Unveils Photoshop Elements 9 & Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Bundle for Windows and Mac
Adobe: Adobe Premiere Elements 9
Amazon: Adobe Premiere Elements 9 (Win/Mac) [Price is $99 with a $20 rebate available]

Panasonic GH2

As expected, Panasonic announced the GH2 at Photokina. Notably this update has the following video support:

  • 1080/60i video mode, as well as 1080/24p at 24Mbps (the highest in AVCHD format)
  • The HDMI output is also uncompressed

The GH2 will be available in early December for $899.95 (body only).

3D Lens for Lumix cameras
Panasonic also formerly "released" the world's "first interchangeable 3D lens," the H-FT012 (which had previously been announced in July.)

The 3D lens LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (35 mm camera equivalent: 65 mm) features two optical systems installed within the diameter of the lens mount, creating stereo images from the left and right lenses, to be processed with a 3D image processing system.

The lens is compatible with the DMC-GH2 and DMC-G2 with the firmware ver.1.1. A 3D media player that supports the MP (Multi-Picture) format is required to view 3D images

The price will be £249.95, ad it will be shipping in November. No U.S. price available yet

This makes two consumer options from Panasonic for producing 3D video; this lens, or the HDC-SDT750 3D camcorder (which is essentially a consumer video camera with a 3D lens attachment. I look forward to seeing reviews of the two unit and how they compare, though all things being equal, I think I'd rather buy a GH2 and the H-FT012 lens.

[UPDATE - It appears the lens is fixed focus, with a focus point of about 6 feet (1.5 meters). Also, the aperture of f/12 might be fixed too!
A lot of sites quote the price as $249, but DPReview quotes £249.95. Perhaps both prices are right]

DPReview: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 announced and previewed
DPReview: Three New Lenses for LUMIX G Micro System

Steven Poster - Cinematographer

Cinematographer Steven Poster is the ex-President of the American Society of Cinematographers, current president of the Local 600 (the International Cinematographers Guild), a still photographer and DP of many films, including Rocky V, RocketMan, and Donnie Darko. He is possibly the only American Cinematographer ever to shoot a French movie for a French director in France.

At the recent Canon New York Expo he was interviewed by Canon's Tim Smith and talked about still photography, making movies, and the move from film to digital.

Do You Light For Motion?
The thing about light, light becomes the entire subject for me. I was a student at Arts Center, and at the first lecture by a man named Charlie Potts, who was wonderful, I realized that everything that I did was about light, and light became the subject. So do I light for still? Do I light for motion? I light, and then I add the motion. The ability to light has nothing to do with knowing where to put the lights. It’s everything about seeing light, knowing how to see light.
Ridley Scott
I did some additional shooting on Blade Runner. It was one of the shots that actually made my career. I did the shooting of what they call the Spinner, Harrison Ford’s car; driving through that tunnel with the reflections on the tunnel. Ridley had sent out three other people to shoot that shot, and he never was happy with it, and I came in. He didn’t tell me what they wanted, he just said go out and shoot it, and I came back with the shot that’s in the movie. But I didn’t have any lights, I was not allowed to bring them. By that time the studio was so disgusted with the situation, they said just go out there and shoot it. You can have a water truck and that’s it.
- Don’t you wish you could have patented that? Because that shot has been stolen a thousand times.
Switching to Digital

Donnie Darko
There is a scene where the characters are introduced at the school, and it’s a very fluid, very long scene, and Richard wanted to do it in one take. […] the producers were hysterical, they came to me “You’ve got to tell him he can’t do it,” and I said “I’m not going to tell this man that he can’t do it, but I do want a rehearsal. Let’s get the camera operator and Richard together at the school on a Saturday and lets rehearse it and we’ll see what happens.”

So we got to the school, and Richard said, “Lets go in and figure out the shoot,” and I said “You know what, you go in with the camera operator, but first, here’s a stop watch, I want you to take this stop watch and I want you to figure out how long it’s going to take this scene on the screen.”

And about twenty minutes later he came out and said “Okay, we’ll do it in three shots.”

It’s not a matter of saying no, it’s a matter of helping someone understand how to do it.

Using HDSLRs
I thought that the 7D’s were just going to allow me to place cameras anywhere, while we were shooting with the main camera, which were the RED’s. Everybody said “There are motion artifacts, there are things that this camera doesn’t do well.” But you know what? I started looking at the material that I was getting with these cameras and I said “I can use them as my main camera." I don’t see any reason not to include them when I can put it in a place that I couldn’t get a another camera, or when I want an additional shot very quickly.

You need to modify the camera in a way that you can use film lenses. The thought of going in to a Best Buy and buying a camera and coming out and making a movie is a very attractive thought. [...] You need to have lenses that an assistant cameraman can focus while you’re shooting. The reason for that is in real narrative work, the camera operator needs to operate the camera, and not be concerned about the focus. You need an assistant cameraman to focus with it.

You need to have monitoring, you need to have camera mounts, you need to have matte boxes, you need to have a way to put filtration on, you need to have a way that you can get the image off to the digital imaging technician so that you can control the image. You cannot do this without the amount of crew that you need to operate any other camera. It’s a fallacy. If you’re doing a documentary, if you’re doing something special or a one-off shot, that’s a different thing, but when you’re making an actual narrative motion picture there are certain reasons that the crew exists as it does, and if you try and bypass that, it’s a mistake.

How do you feel about 3D?

There is a price to pay for the quality of the image in 3D and you have to live with that as a cinematographer. It’s not easy. I think the 2D version of Cats and Digs has a much more cinematic quality to it.

Do you see a time when film doesn’t exist for motion pictures?
You know, I’d like to say no. I think the Zytgyst goes in waves. At [some point] it will become popular not to do film, and then it’s going to wave back where some directors going to say “you know, I’m going to do it differently, and I’m going to do it on film.” I don’t know if film will ever completely disappear, unless the economic forces are such that it is no longer profitable for Kodak to make film.
At one point you said 60-40 when is it 50-50? In six months or six years?
I don’t think it’s six years. I think it’s coming more rapidly. As the cameras develop, as the technology develops. I’ve not finished the movie that I shot using the 7D’s and the REDs, but the tests that I’ve seen, and this may sound blasphemous, but the Canon material looks a lot better than what I see in the RED material. That’s just in the tests that I’ve seen. Now when I finish the movie it may be different. But I have done tests and I feel that the Canon is a much better chip than what exists in the new RED.

Sony announcements including E-mount lens roadmap

Sony has announced the E-mount lens roadmap:
  • Wide fixed focal length CZ : available from 2011
  • Telephoto zoom : available from 2011
  • Macro : available from 2011
  • Portrait : available from 2011
  • High performance standard zoom G : available from 2012
  • Wide zoom : available from 2012
  • Mid-telephoto : available from 2012

I've been unable to find more details about the lenses (i.e. image stabilization?)

Sony has also announced new A-mount lenses: Sony expands A-Mount lens line-up for Alpha DSLR cameras with three new lenses

NEX-3/NEX-5 Firmware Update
Sony has announced a firmware update for the NEX-3/5 that adds autofocus support when using A-mount SAM and SSM lenses with the LA-EA1 Mount Adaptor. A new custom function that allows assignment to buttons of frequently-used functions, and to record movies with setup aperture. The update will be available in October.

[UPDATE - the NEX-VG10 will also have a firmware update in November.]

Sony: Sony showcases digital imaging solutions at Photokina

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Sony NEX-VG10 videos

If you're interested in the NEX-VG10, there's been a bunch of video's posted over at the Vimeo NEX-VG10 User Group that are worth checking out.

Mattia Santino Merli posted the following video which was shot with two cameras; the camera-car is a Lumix TS1 while the rest of the footage was shot with the NEX-VG10. The stock lens was used for all the track footage, but a Leica summicron 90mm and Yashica 50mm f1.4 were used for the pit footage (which perhaps explains the greater depth of field present on some of those shots.) Note that color-correction was added to the video footage.

Super Drift Professional Challenge Round 3 from Mattia Santino Merli on Vimeo.

Maarten Heilbron posted this piece "Floral Bokeh" shot using the standard lens, which he describes:
Shot in aperture priority at the minimum DOF end, manual gain (0) and manual focus, AWB and standard. In nearly all cases, I'm very close to the subject and at the maximum zoom (200mm on the kit lens) and the f-stop is 5.6 or 6.3

Floral Bokeh from Maarten Heilbron on Vimeo.

Finally H. Paul Moon posted this clip of a concert to show how the microphone and audio limiter performs in these situations:

Sony NEX-VG10 Sound Test [1080p HD] - from H. Paul Moon on Vimeo.

PAL NEX-VG10 @ B & H
The NTSC NEX-VG10 is now listed as "in-stock" at B & H: Sony NEX-VG10 but they also now list a PAL version, though with no arrival date: Sony PAL/NEX-VG10 INTRCHNGBLE LNS HD CMCRDR

Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder priced

It's not available for order yet, but B & H does list a price for Panasonic's upcoming consumer 3D camcorder ($1399.95) and an availability of "October."
Amazon also lists it at $1399.95, but says it will be released on October 15th. You can pre-order at Amazon.

B & H: Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder
Amazon: Panasonic HDC-SDT750K, World's First Consumer 3D Camcorder

The 3D conversion lens

News from Here & There

Zacuto HDSLR V-Mount Battery Pack POWERBASE-70
Zacuto offers a Lithium Ion Battery pack for use with Canon OEM batteries.

The PowerBase 70 mounts under the camera doubling as a grip or attach to a HDSLR support via its 1/4-20 release plate or V-mount.
Wired as a 14.8v battery pack it can provide extended power to up to two additional 12vdc devices, as well as other devices requiring lower voltage through an additional XP power regulation cable. The pack is also furnished with a 1/4-20 on either side to mount accessories.
Zacuto: POWERBASE-70

Flip announces the ultraHD
Flip has announced updates to their cameras, most notably increasing the frame-rate to 60fps (video is 720p) and adding image stabilization. The ultraHD also adds a FlipPort connector that can be used for attaching accessories (companies are evidently working on microphones and chargers for the camera.)
The addition of image stabilization could almost make me want to carry this camera in addition to my iPhone!
Flip: ultraHD
Amazon: Flip UltraHD Video Camera -- Black, 8 GB, 2 Hours (Newest Model)
[available now]

Indie filmmakers: Piracy and Google threaten us
Greg Sandoval at Cnet writes:
While the antipiracy efforts of the top studios, such as Disney, Paramount, and Warner Bros., and their trade group, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), have attracted plenty of attention, the impacts of illegal file sharing on indie studios are much more dramatic, according to three indie movie makers who spoke to CNET.
CNET: Indie filmmakers: Piracy and Google threaten us

Photokina starts tomorrow!
The Photokina camera show starts tomorrow, and already there are several still-camera announcements. Whether there will be any interesting video announcements (i.e. HDSLRs) remains to be seen.

One Day On Earth

On October 10, 2010 (10.10.10), across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students, and inspired citizens will record the human experience over a 24-hour period and contribute their voice to the largest participatory media event in history.

Founded in 2008, ONE DAY ON EARTH is creating an online community, shared archive, and film. Together, we will showcase the amazing diversity, conflict, tragedy, and triumph that occur in one day. We invite you to join our international community of thousands of filmmakers, hundreds of schools, and dozens of non-profits, and contribute to this unique global mosaic. Through the One Day on Earth platform, we will establish a community that not only watches, but participates.

One Day On Earth

One Day on Earth Participant Trailer from One Day On Earth on Vimeo.

ikan News

48 Hour Blowout Sale
ikan, designer, manufacturer and distributor of video and film production support equipment is having a 48 Hour Blowout Sale on Wednesday, September 22. Every following Wednesday for the next three months, ikan will offer discounts from 40-80% on select ikan gear.
ikan: ikancorp

Affordable 3D Rig
While they don't appear to be selling it yet, ikan also has an affordable 3D rig in development called the ELEMENTS Stereoscope.
...after you’ve scrounged through your couches for change to go buy your Canon XF105′s or XF100′s, you can then skip gleefully over to Ikan and badger us about the ELEMENTS Stereoscope, which will allow you to mount both camcorders to one rig for your optimal shooting pleasure. That way, when you’re done configuring all Canon’s built-in assist features for capturing 3D, you don’t have to worry about; 1: spending the rest of your budget on a wallet-burning camera rig, or 2: inventing a “rig” of your own consisting of two friends who you decided to tie together as they attempt to hold the cameras the correct distance from each other.
ikan: Affordable 3D Shooting? Say what?!