Saturday, October 02, 2010

News from Here & There

Canon 60D vs 550D vs 7D - which one is better?
A video from DigitalRev takes a look at the three cameras, comparing them for you. It's an interesting intro if you are trying to decide between them.
Favorite quote: "With the 60D, the buttons are utterly hateful"

RED says Scarlet will add HDRx capability and $1,000 price increase
...and it will only cause a 'slight' delay

RED's DSLR killer Scarlet has been promised for some time. Unfortunately there's still no firm date, and now RED has announced they plan to add HDRx capability, but there will be a slight delay.
REDuser: Scarlet...

Fake Documentaries
Xan Brooks at The Guardian looks at how documentaries are increasingly being "faked" with recreated sequences or actors standing in for real people.
Particularly interesting; the submission of faked footage to the crowd-sourced project "Life in a Day"
The Guardian: Can 'fake' documentaries still tell the truth?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Steadicam Workshop @ Rule Camera, Boston Oct 9-10

Instructor Peter Abraham returns for a Steadicam Pilot and Zephyr Workshop, Saturday October 9, 8:30am to 5:00pm and Sunday October 10, 8:30am to 6:00pm
In this comprehensive hands-on, two day workshop, you'll learn the core skills required to operate a Steadicam as well as an intensive examination of aesthetics of the moving camera. Students will view clips, create shots and then examine them as a group.
Limited to 9 students. All Steadicam systems and materialcs along with breakfast and lunch are provided. Tuition: $500

Other location/dates:
  • Nov 13 - 14, 2010, Toronto, ON
  • Dec 5 - 11, 2010, Whitesburg, GA
  • Jan 15 - 16, 2011, Denver, CO
  • Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2011, Lake Arrowhead, CA
Register: Tiffen Steadicam Workshops

News from Here & There

Low-cost Filmmaking; the good and the bad
Vincent Laforet's latest blog post is an interesting one because it goes into the pros and cons of doing ultra-low budget filmmaking, and asks the question; if you make an ultra-cheap video using unpaid talent, loaned equipment, and without paying for all the time you put into it, are you hurting yourself by setting up an unrealistic expectation in clients about what things cost?
I guess that I’m suggesting that we as filmmakers be more responsible about this in general - myself included - because I hear these claims more and more often these days as the cost of technology drops. And perhaps my main point is: I’m not concerned with what we say to one another - but what we communicate to producers / clients out there when we make these claims. When they hear of these low numbers - they come to expect us to do the same for them… and the fact the we produced these things “on our own” and “with friends” all too often gets lost.
The article is good because Vincent acknowledges that he's done it himself.
VincentLaforet: FAST-CHEAP-GOOD

Speech Recognition in Premiere Pro
Chris Fenwick at One On One takes a look at the speech recognition in Premiere Pro. He also gives some examples of how good/bad it is:
OneOnOne: X2PPro 011 - Speech Recognition

F-mount and K-mount adapters for Sony NEX cameras
Cosina/Voigtlander has announced two new lens adapters for the F-mount (Nikon) and K-mount (Pentax). I've seen a K-mount adapter on eBay already from another source - I'm going to have to find my K-mount lenses and see what shape they are in...
1001Noisy Camera: Cosina/Voigtlander announces F-mount and K-mount adapters for Sony NEX cameras

Making Light Paintings Using the iPad
This is just amazing!

News From New Zeland

AnimfxNZ 2010, Wellington New Zealand, 4-6 November
AnimfxNZ is an Animation, Games and Visual Effects conference held annually in one of the world's leading cities for Digital Media creation-Wellington, New Zealand. Now in its fifth year, AnimfxNZ 10 brings together a mix of international speakers, including animation feature directors, vfx supervisors, digital artists and game developers, to present, share and interact with attendees from all over the world. AnimfxNZ is organised by the NZ GAV Trust, a group of digital media professionals dedicated to advancing the Games, Animation and VFX industries in New Zealand.

Fire Damages N.Z. 'Lord of the Rings' studio
Portsmouth Miniatures Studio, which was used by Weta Workshop to film the miniatures scenes in the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy and "King Kong" caught fire at 3.10 p.m. local time, according to NZ press reports.

A spokeswoman for the studio told The Hollywood Reporter that no-one was hurt in the fire and there were no films currently in production at the studios.

Panasonic HDC-SDT750 Reviews

The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D camcorder isn't shipping yet - the date being quoted is October 15th - but some people are getting their hands on it and are starting to write reviews. Here's a sample. Interestingly three of the reviews are almost glowing, but the third isn't as impressed...see if you can pick out which one.

I did not realise that you have to align the 3D part at the front, fortunately I only shot about 30s worth of footage to see it back to realise there was something seriously wrong with the 3D picture.
This one £1,300 domestic 3D camcorder from Panasonic will in my opinion make the 3D plasma a worth while investment
Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D camcorder “First Play” £1,300

Electronics Blog
The 3D experience wasn't very compelling. There wasn't enough depth between foreground and background, certainly less than I'm used to with broadcast 3D programs. Nor was the effect at all like that in the Fuji W1's photos, which had really pulled me in. I'm not saying I didn't see any 3D effect. The images definitely showed more depth than those shot with a normal 2D camcorder. But not much more.
First Look: The 3D Panasonic HDC-SDT750 camcorder

It should be noted that, with the 3D converter engaged, the zoom is disabled. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it prevents overeager cinematographers from zooming back and forth simply because they can. Unfortunately, a whole host of other creative tools are also benched in 3D mode, including the zoom mic, 'intelligent auto' mode and face recognition. This could be construed as a little restrictive.
The camera shoots in the side-by-side 3D format, much like Sky 3D, so it's not Full HD. But images are sharp enough, and the 3D effect itself can be really spectacular. Careful composition is the key to creating engaging 3D footage
Panasonic HDC-SDT750 review

Trusted Reviews
As we predicted, in 3D mode the SDT750 does not perform as well in low light as other high-end Panasonic HD camcorders. The image is darker, although colours are still quite faithful.
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is the first serious 3D camcorder for consumers, and it performs its job commendably. However, the current price is nearly twice that of a similarly specified 2D-only Panasonic HD camcorder, such as the HDC-TM700. So you're paying a significant premium for the 3D lens and shooting abilities.
Panasonic HDC-SDT750 Review

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

The 3D conversion lens

Thursday, September 30, 2010

DualEyes for WIndows released

While it was previously available as a beta, Singular Software has now formally released DualEyes™ for Windows®, which employs the same automatic synchronization technology as PluralEyes to streamline the process of syncing dual-system recordings with the corresponding video. Unlike PluralEyes, which is a plug-in for Final Cut Pro, DualEyes is a standalone Windows Application designed to work alongside almost all video editing applications, including Adobe® Premiere Pro®, Avid® Media Composer®, and Sony® Vegas Pro®.

"Unlike PluralEyes, DualEyes works as a standalone application, with an emphasis on the dual-audio workflow. No more of the 'hunt, trim, hunt, trim' steps required by manual synchronization; DualEyes is quick and easy, and can incorporate the highest quality audio for any video production," says Bruce Sharpe, CEO, Singular Software.

DualEyes - Pricing and System Requirements
DualEyes is available to purchase for $149 USD via the Singular Software website ( Introductory pricing: if purchased before October 30, 2010 the price is $119; a 20% discount.

DualEyes requires Windows® XP®, Vista® or Windows 7®. A version for Mac® OS X users will be released at a later date.

A free 30-day trial version is also available for download from:

Singular Software: DualEyes
NotesOnVideo: PluralEyes 1.2 for Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro update in 2011

AppleInsider carries a reports from the French site HardMac about rumored development issues with the next rev of Final Cut Pro. However, at the very end of the article they point out that "Recent rumors reported by HardMac have missed the mark."
"Some fundamental differences of opinion about the ideal interface have hamstrung this part of the project which has now been deferred to the next version, in 2013," the report said.
AppleInsider: Troubled development, 2011 launch rumored for Apple's Final Cut Studio

News from Here & There

Canon 5D Mark II used in Iron Man 2
I think I read this somewhere before already, but the Canon 5D Mark II was used for some production work in Iron Man 2:
Cinematographer Matthew Libatique used 5D Mark II DSLRs to shoot parts of the Monaco Grand Prix scene in the movie in which Tony Stark is attacked by Ivan Vanko (AKA Whiplash) at the historic race. 5D Mark IIs were mounted to all four sides of a moving vehicle to capture moving background plate footage that was later combined with race car footage shot in Hollywood.
PetaPixel has some pictures showing a camera mounted in a Pelican case with a hole cut in it for protection.
PetaPixel: Canon 5D Mark II Used for Iron Man 2

Photocine Expo Report
Freelance director and editor Robin Schmidt, also known as El Skid, has written up his impressions of the Photocine trade show in LA:
I’ve seen a Zeiss compact prime cut in two, I’ve used the Redrock Ops rig camo edition, I’ve tried the new Marshall 5″ (love it, fabulous bit of kit) I’ve used the Zeiss badass zoom lens and I’ve eaten a lot of Mexican food but what have I learned? Well, lots of things really but these things in particular:
And you can also read about PhotoCine at RedRaven:
HDSLR has matured so much in the last year. The time to be mesmerized on out of focus shots, and on what Stu Masovich so cleverly named as bokake porn, is coming to an end. You still find many people focusing on the shallow depth of field, but few, talking on how impractical it is to use a 5D MKII with a fast lens, wide open (meaning at it’s shallowest depth of field), and that’s where Snehal started, just to get things into perspective.
RedRaven: PhotoCineNews Expo 2010 – Day 1

Don't wear a hoddie and use a camera at the airport
The TSA put out a poster showing a guy wearing a hoodie taking a picture at an airport and looking suspicious....and telling people to report anyone suspicious. The National Press Photographers' Association complained to the TSA about it.
Poynter: NPPA Contends TSA Poster Equates Photographers with Terrorists

Field of View Comparator
Never really understood how the size of the camera's sensor effect's the field of view of a 35mm lens? CineTechnica has a nice little interactive guide:

CineTechnica: Field of View Comparator

Tony Curtis 1925-2010

Two of my favorite movies: Some Like It Hotand Operation Petticoat.

I was born in and worked in a period that could be called enviable.
Tony Curtis

They gave me away as a prize once - a Win Tony Curtis For A Weekend competition. The woman who won was disappointed. She'd hoped for second prize - a new stove.
Tony Curtis

But my longevity is due to my good timing.
Tony Curtis

IMDB: Tony Curtis

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Digital Grading: The downside

In the course of my travels I came across these interesting pieces on digital color grading in Motion Pictures, and while they aren't exactly timely, they are interesting and worth reading.

Back in March, Todd Miro put together a blog post documenting examples of the teal and orange world that Hollywood seems to have descended into, and gives a little history lesson starting with the - arguably - first film digitally color graded: "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" it's worth looking at for the examples:
Kuler, shows what happens when you apply complementary color theory to flesh tones. You see, flesh tones exist mostly in the orange range and when you look to the opposite end of the color wheel from that, where does one land? Why looky here, we have our old friend Mr. Teal.
Into The Abyss: Teal and Orange - Hollywood, Please Stop the Madness

This lead Phil Hoad to look into it, and wonder if there's a conspiracy:
It's no conspiracy, though, says Stefan Sonnenfeld, a leading Hollywood colourist who worked on the Transformers films (Miro counts them among the main offenders). "There's no specific colour decision-making process where we sit in a room and say, 'We're only going to use complementary colours to try and move the audience in a particular direction – and only use those combinations,'"
The Guardian: Hollywood's new colour craze

Meanwhile, Phelim O'Neill at the Guardian, decries the orange-faced consistency of modern films, preferring instead the aesthetics of bad transfers and YouTube videos:
There are a lot of different looks films can have and it's a shame more directors don't exploit this more. Really though, no matter what the quality or format, it's all preferable to having the orange-faced likes of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz gurning at you from an 80ft screen.
The Guardian: Why I'd rather watch a scratchy old film print than an orange-faced Tom Cruise

An interesting article about the history and current practices of Digital Grading in Motion Pictures can be found at the CGSociety: The Colorists

Online Workshop: Premiere Pro & Photoshop CS5 Extended for DSLR video shooting

Online workshop at Adobe Connect on using Premiere Pro and Photoshop CS5 Extended with your DSLR happens this Friday, October 1 from 10-11am. Guests will be let into the session 10-15 minutes early. The session is presented by Richard Harrington - co-author of From Still to Motion: A photographer's guide to creating video with your DSLR.

There's a Facebook page for the event that is kind of vague on how you access it; it appears to be at:

Facebook: Ask a CS Pro: Premiere Pro & Photoshop CS5 Extended for DSLR video shooting

Apple TV news

The Apple TV is now in the hands of users, and they have been playing with it, and reviewing it.

Engadget: Apple TV review (2010)
When streaming 720p content (particularly new movies) the clarity of video was impressive. There was certainly some very minor compression artifacting, but far far less than you would see on HD video on demand from your cable provider, and considerably less than with Amazon's HD streaming
The question is ultimately about ease versus options -- right now it's hard to whole-heartedly recommend the Apple TV even at its $99 price point given the thin list of partners Apple has courted. If you just want a dead simple movie rental box and you're not that picky about content, the Apple TV is a no-brainer. If, like us, you're looking for options good enough to make you can the cable, Apple's new box still feels a lot like a hobby.

AppleInsider: First look: Unboxing Apple's new $99 Apple TV with streaming HD content
Setup is painlessly simple. From the time we plucked the Apple TV from the box, it took less than a minute to plug in our AC Adapter, HDMI cable and optical audio cables and get the box booted up into the setup dialog

Crave: Apple TV: The case for waiting
...AirPlay could well be the killer app for the Apple TV. But the problem is that we still don't know the details, and they could make or break a feature like AirPlay. Is it a content-agnostic "screen scraper" that works with all iOS-based media, or is it only compatible with iTunes content? Does it stream the content directly from the iPad/iPhone, or does it merely "hand off" the viewing of a cloud-based source from the handheld product to the Apple TV? Will third-party app providers need to update their apps to be AirPlay compatible--and will the primo content providers like Hulu Plus, ABC, and Pandora be onboard with adding that functionality?

TUAW: Apple TV Lowtide (Front Row) running on iPod touch
Now, developer Dustin Howett has managed to port Lowtide to an iPod touch and run it under iOS 4.1. You can see him running the Apple TV Lowtide software in this video. It's really amazing to see just how compatible the diverse systems are.

[UPDATE 4:00 PM]

iFixit: Apple TV 2nd Generation Teardown

News From Here & There

Letus35 Hawk Review
If you aren't saving your pennies for the Zacuto EVF or Redrock microEVF, maybe you would be interested in a more "traditional" optical viewfinder? If so, the Letus35 Hawk, looks interesting and Dan Carr takes a look at it:
It looks, feels and more importantly performs like a quality product that I would happily recommend to someone who wants to shoot with an HDSLR. It’s going to be compared a lot to the ubiquitous Z-Finder and I would say the Hawk has the edge over the Zacuto product. The aluminum construction is solid and the new quick release system really puts it a step above the others because it actually IS quick to release. No fumbling around with screws and knobs. The current price for both the carbon and aluminum models is $385 which is comparable to the Z-Finder but feels worth every penny.
Dan Carr Photography: Aluminum Letus Hawk review with Quick Release system
B & H: Letus35 Letus Hawk DSLR Viewfinder [$374.95]

ikan 48-hour Sale
The Basic Fly camera rig is $149.50, %40 off...
ikan: 48hr blowout sale

Sony NEX-VG10 News
Christopher Mayer posted an interesting video showing how a "Caprock" anti moire filter can reduce aliasing/moire effects. The clip also includes some footage shot with a Nikkor 50/1.4 and ND fader
Vimeo: Nex-VG10 moire reduction and 50/1.4 ND tests has a review of the Zeiss Biogon ZM T* 35mm f/2 Lens on a Sony NEX camera using a third-party Leica M to E-mount adapter. You lose auto-focus and auto-aperture with this kind of setup and note that the VG10 does not provide the magnified focus view in LiveView that the NEX-5/3 does, though users seem to be able to focus okay (see Chris' use of a Nikkor lens above. Zeiss Biogon ZM T* 35mm f/2 Lens on Sony NEX Series Review by PhotoZone

I Can Be...News Anchor Barbie:
Coming 12/15/2010

Mattel: Barbie® I Can Be...™ News Anchor Doll

The Future of Exhibition - Opening the Box Office
This looks like an interesting panel at the Open Video Conference in New York on Saturday:
If cinema going and exhibition is to filmmakers what gigs and concerts are to musicians - a live, unique experience that people are still happy to pay for - why is it a space so dominated by major media companies?

And given the rapid technological shifts in film and videomaking, why has the film-going experience barely changed in 60 years?

In this session we'll look at how people are taking exhibition into their own hands - from microcinemas and indie film clubs, to VJing and visual art, fan-driven screenings and audience interactivity, exploring how the future of exhibition goes way beyond the multiplex.
Netribution: The Future of Exhibition: Opening the Box Office - our panel at OVC

Just What The World Needs: Star Wars in 3D
Sources indicate that George Lucas is set on rereleasing the "Star Wars" franchise in new 3D conversions beginning in 2012. Although 3D versions have been rumored for some time, Lucas purportedly was waiting until there were enough screens available to make the release a sizable event.
The Hollywood Reporter: 'Star Wars' saga set for 3D release starting 2012

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PluralEyes 1.2 for Final Cut Pro

Singular Software has released a free update to PluralEyes, their plug-in tool for automating the synchronization of multiple audio and video clips. The cool thing about it is that you don't need to use clappers or time code; it "looks" at two audio tracks and figures out how to match them up. If you're doing multi-camera (or dual-sound) recording, this can really be a god-send.

The newest release of PluralEyes adds an assortment of enhanced and brand-new workflow capabilities, including the merged clips feature, options for single output sequence and support for locked tracks. According to Bruce Sharpe, CEO, Singular Software, "Users will find syncing DSLR video and other dual-system audio workflows even easier than before."

What's New in PluralEyes 1.2 for Final Cut Pro:
  • Merged Master Clips – A powerful new feature that automates creation of merged master clips in the browser; a great starting point for the creative editing process.
  • New Project and Sequence Sync Select – Version 1.2 sports a more convenient and intuitive project and sequence sync select option.
  • Single Output Sequence – The new single output sequence option simplifies working with groups of synced clips.
  • Replace Audio – This lets you automate replacement of existing audio with higher quality audio: ideal for productions using DSLR video cameras and external high-quality audio recording device.
  • Locked Tracks Support – The new support for locked tracks makes it easier to update a previously synced sequence.
  • Integrated Help – A message-specific help system provides in-depth information on each status message.
  • Enhanced Multiclip Management – The new PluralEyes 1.2 update offers improved multiclip handling, including better support for subclips and in/out points.
  • Optimized File and Project Management – Version 1.2 also improves the management of temporary files and handling of large projects.
PluralEyes 1.2 for Final Cut Pro is available immediately through the Singular Software web site ( for an MSRP of $149.00 USD. Existing PluralEyes 1.1 for Final Cut Pro owners may download the update at no charge from:

Zacuto EVF

Zacuto has announced the Z-FInder EVF; a 3.2” high resolution monitor that can be used in conjunction with all current Z-Finder models. It will be available in February 2011 (limited supply) and they are estimating the price to be $775.00.

The Z-Finder EVF allows you to operate the DSLR camera with the correct form factor for video with the camera "in-line" to your rod system (the most stable way) and your eye in the Z-Finder EVF.

  • Actual 16×9 screen
  • 800×480 resolution
  • .087 dot pitch
  • Focus Assist
  • Iris Assist
  • HDMI loop through
  • Operates off Canon LP-E6 Camera battery (1/2 day power)
  • Includes a hot shoe mount or optional articulating arm kit.
  • Can mount to other manufacturer's rig (RedRock, Cinevate, Letus, etc.) via 1/4 20 screw, 15mm rod or articulating arm
  • All Z-Finder models snap on and off the EVF and can be used interchangeably between the camera screen or EVF screen
  • Includes mini HDMI cable
The Zacuto Z-Finder EVF monitor resolution is a true 800×480 making the resolution 56% greater than the on-board DSLR camera screens. The Zacuto monitor also has a tighter dot pitch which also improves the quality, making you see a much tighter pixel pattern.

The Z-Finder EVF is currently in prototype stages.  They will be updating customers who are interested along the way with news and videos. They will be taking deposits in December for customers to hold their spot in line; you will be notified via email.

Zacuto: Z-Finder EVF

News From Here & There

Zacuto EVF
It seems to be the week for HDSLR viewfinder/monitor announcements. First came news that Marshall's 5-inch monitor might finally be shipping, then Redrock Micro came out of no where with the microEVF electronic viewfinder. Now it seems Zacuto will be announcing their own Electronic View Finder either today or tomorrow. (Official announcement still pending...)

LED Light Panels
I just spent last night playing with some inexpensive LED light panels. You can get some quite impressive little light packages for not much money (under $100), and when combined with the low-light capabilities of today's cameras, it's possible to use these to great effect for interviews, etc. The best part; they don't put out the heat that your standard lights do. I'll be posting more - along with some video - later in the week.

The Latest in HPX and AVCCAM Camcorders
Rule Boston will be hosting an event this Wednesday with Bill Kennedy from Panasonic talking about the AG-HPX370 P2 HD and the AG-HMC150. I wonder if he'll talk about the AG-AF100?
Time: 10am - 12 noon
Rule: Events @ Rule

Open Video Conference Oct 1-2, New York
I'd like to go to this, if only to hear Adam Chodikoff, senior producer of The Daily Show:
Adam Chodikoff, senior producer of The Daily Show, prefers the moniker of “investigative humorist.” He’s the guy who plumbs the archives to find juicy video clips of politicos, cable news talking heads, and other public figures contradicting and embarrassing themselves. And he’s a big part of why video is today’s medium of record—though he doesn’t write the gags for Jon Stewart, he brings the intangible genius that makes The Daily Show pop.

At this year’s Open Video Conference, he’ll talk about how he sources the awesome video montages for the show, and walk us through some of his favorite video picks.
Profile of Chodikoff at The Washington Post
Open Video Conference

So You Thought They Were Giving Away H.264?
Just incase you thought that the announcement that H.264 would be Royalty Free Forever (on the Internet) meant it was royalty free for all uses [how'd you get that idea?!] Peter Csathey, CEO of Sorenson Media, has the blog post to scare you straight:
Sorenson Media: Think H.264 is Now Royalty-Free? Think Again – and the “Open Source” Defense is No Defense to MPEG LA

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sony NEX-VG10 and Sony FX-1 comparison

Vladimir Verendeev has posted a short video comparing footage taken with the Sony NEX-VG10 and the Sony FX-1 (the latter is a six year-old 3-chip HDV camcorder.) I'm particularly interested in this comparison because I have an FX-1.

It's really useful to see this kind of thing, though I wish he'd included exposure information. The FX-1 definitely looks to be darker and less saturated compared to the NEX-VG10, but while the images from the NEX-VG10 look brighter, they also look like they might be a little too over-saturated (it's hard to tell without knowing what the actual colors are.)

Also, the angles aren't exactly the same, so it's difficult to tell if that's what is creating some of the differences

The NEX-VG10 footage at the beginning looks particularly appealing with the neon red pickle jar, though the apple cutting looks somehow artificial.

I downloaded the .MPE file, and looked at the still images at 1080, and that's when you really notice the differences. Well, firstly, the FX-1 is interlaced, while the NEX-VG10 is not, so you nearly always have feathering in a still frame from the FX-1 footage (something you don't see when playing the Vimeo footage; the Vimeo compression has the effect of deinterlacing the footage.) It also has noticeably less detail (hardly surprising given that it's recording at 1440 x 1080, rather than 1920 x 1080.)

The last two shots are the most interesting because though they are taken from different angles, both have part of the image blown-out by light pouring in through a window. The NEX-VG10 does a very good job of handling what must be a back-lit subject on the very last shot (again, I'd like to know what settings/modes were used.)

Sony NEX VG10 vs Sony FX1 from Vladimir Verendeev on Vimeo.

Marshall 5-inch HDMI monitor shipping from Adorama

Reader Darryl Yee reports that Adorama has the Marshall 5-inch HDMI monitor VLCD50HDMI in stock;
I ordered one last week and the tracking number shows scheduled delivery for wednesday. looks like a great monitor!

Adorama: Marshall 5" Small 800 x 480 Camera-Top / Portable Field Monitor with HDMI $529

NotesOnVideo: Marshall 5 inch HDMI monitor coming in two weeks
Marshall Electronics: V-LCD50-HDMI [Product Page]

Philip Bloom workshops in Boston, July 17th & 18th

The Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group is bringing Philip Bloom back to Boston for another set of workshops. There will be a one day intermediate class on Saturday October 16th ($99), and an Advanced Class (limited to 15) on Sunday 17th. Registration for the Saturday class is open now; details and registration for the Sunday class isn't up yet.

BOSFCPUG: Register now for October Philip Bloom DSLR workshops

Panasonic AG-AF100, Sony NEX-VG10 and more

Panasonic AG-AF100 News
Over at the Vimeo Sony NEX-VG10 User Group, member bunofurko wrote that he got to play with the AG-AF100 briefly last week, and noted:
Image on the live model in tele settings looked pretty much identical to me what the Sony F23 could deliver. No moire at all, and at whiplash pan test, rolling shutter FX were invisible as well.
[...] Panny technical folks told us that the camera is still in progress of being finalized, what we had tested was only about 70% full.
[...] AG-AF100 camera will come with VF, battery, charger, AC adapter. No lens, of course, unless Panny decides to throw in the stock zoom found on the DMC-GH1. However, with the proper adapter you can use just about any lens on it. However, unless there is a lens power jack on it (I am pretty sure there is none), you will not be able to use a video-style zoom lens with servo zoom, servo iris, etc. on the AG-AF100.
Vimeo Sony NEX-VG10 User Group: Sony NEX-VG10 Test Run [1080p HD] -

Sony NEX-VG10 review
Outback Photo has published a review of the NEX-VG10. They like the large sensor, LCD and EVF, handling and sound. The lens they find slow, and makes the front of the camera heavy, but they save their biggest criticism for the aliasing/moire:
We hoped that the dedicated video camera NEX-VG10 would show less moire than the NEX-5. This does not seem to be the case as this test video shows. The moire is as bad or maybe slightly worse than the Canon 7D.
All in all, there's nothing in the review that's surprising, but it makes for a good overview for those not familiar with the camera.
Outback Photo: Sony NEX-VG10 Camcorder

NEX-VG10 Backordered at
All of last week, was listing a shipping date of one day for the NEX-VG10, but now they list it at Backordered and temporarily out of stock. Amazon does list the camera in stock: Sony NEXVG10 Full HD Interchangeable Lens Camcorder (Black)

The more: Sony's Filmlike Camera
Very little is really known about the Sony "Filmlike", or 35mm cinematic-like camcorder that Sony has shown at NAB and IBC, other than it's coming sometime next year. There's so much confusion that there's been prices from 6,000 - 50,000 tossed around.

But Philip Johnston at HDWarrior thinks it's going to be lower, rather than higher, and he makes a compelling case for it; the current prototype is a curious combination of low-end and high-end features; a high-end PL mount, but "low-end" two position ND filter, 2 channel audio and even what looks like a "domestic" viewfinder. Of course, as a prototype, this might be a much earlier prototype than we're used to seeing. On the other hand, the PL mount might be illusory; it might actually be a PL mount adapter, and the camera might support other lenses; either the Alpha A-mount or even the NEX mount. Interestingly, an article at Photoclub Alpha quotes Paul Genge of Sony UK saying that the NEX (E-mount) could support a full frame sensor:
[...] it was possible to create a full frame NEX, using the same mount and the A-mount adaptor, but never the same lenses as the APS-C NEX. The mount had been designed to allow this and it might one day happen, in which case full-frame adapted Leica lenses (and so on) would be even more useful.
Yet over at NoFilmSchool, they seem to think this camera will be a RED killer, not a DSLR/AG-AF100 killer:
Listening to the rest of the chatter, it seems this camera will be targeted at the actual pro market, not the prosumer one. It’s not a DSLR-killer, it’s a RED-killer. So whereas the AF100 uses the AVCHD codec and has a Micro 4/3 sensor, the mystery Sony cam will likely have a much better codec (and it will definitely have a larger sensor).
There's some chatter, but very little information out there...

HDWarrior: Sony’s Mystery FilmLike Camcorder “Re visiting the Sony Press Picture”
Photoclub Alpha: NEX firmware update details in full
NoFilmSchool: Sony Guns for RED with Compact 35mm Mystery Cam

Redrock Micro Rocks Electronic View Finder for HDSLR

Redrock Micro has announced an electronic viewfinder for HDSLR's, the microEVF.

Key features of the microEVF include:
  • A full color HD viewfinder designed specifically for the compact, lightweight needs of HDSLR cameras. The microEVF weighs in at less than 8oz.
  • Ultra-high resolution display that is higher resolution than the Canon EOS cameras’ rear LCD and even the Red BOMB EVF from Red Digital Cinema.
  • LED backlight maintains bright crisp picture with minimal power consumption
  • Electronic assist features that will be announced closer to production release
  • Infinitely configurable mounting options to position the microEVF exactly where desired
  • Self-contained battery and low power consumption for a full day’s continuous viewing
  • 1,245,816 total dots resolution
  • LED backlight, low power requirements
  • Internal battery power lasts 10+ hours
  • Weight: approximately 8 ounces
The price currently being quoted is $595.

Redrock makes some great rigs, and this makes for an interesting choice compared to rigs like the Zacuto Z-Finder, which is $200 less, but is fixed optical (so not good for low and high angles.) On the other hand, the 5-inch Marshall monitor mentioned yesterday offers peaking and false color, but are not quite as useful for the camera operator and more difficult to use in bright sunlight. Don't forget that some cameras (especially the Canon 5D Mark II) don't output HD during recording, further complicating the choice of monitoring using the HDMI port (the Canon 7D doesn't send out the full 1080 image either, but it does send out an HD image.)

My one concern is that Redrock still hasn't shipped the electronic follow-focus that they announced several months ago (and which went through some price escalation after the initial announcement.) So if you're in need of either an optical viewfinder or monitor, I'm not sure I'd wait on this given that they haven't announced a shipping date yet.

Dan Chung at DSLR Shooter News has a short video clip showing the rig: REDROCK MICRO LAUNCHES THE MICROEVF FOR HDDSLR

Redrock Micro: microEVF

Apple TV shipping

The new $99 Apple TV is now shipping. [And just last Friday, some sites were reporting that it had been delayed 2-3 weeks!]

I already have the previous version and - fortunately - the new version doesn't really seem to offer any new features I want/need.

Engadget: Apple TV now shipping

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marshall 5 inch HDMI monitor coming in two weeks

Cinema5D has a short video up about the upcoming Marshall 5-inch HDMI monitor VLCD50HDMI. This small field monitor looks like a great choice for DLSR shooters who want to use an external monitor, but don't want something too large. While there are some cheaper small monitors out there, this one looks to be more rugged, and it offers features like false color, peaking, lines and programmable buttons. It also runs on 4 AA batteries. Bernie Keach from Marshall says it's a couple of weeks away from delivery and will list at $599.
This compact LED-backlit confidence monitor offers amazing picture performance and excellent viewing angles for users simply looking for a portable, yet versatile monitoring solution. The V-LCD50-HDMI offers standard features including a wide variety of formats and markers, 4 user-configurable front panel function buttons, RGB Check Field / Field Detect, RGB gain and bias control. Major features include Marshall's industry leading FALSE COLOR and PEAKING Filters, along with Image Flip, Freeze Frame, and HDMI Auto Color Space and Ratio detect.
Check out Marshall's product page for the monitor, which has visual explanations of how false color is used to check exposure, and peaking is used to check focus.

Both B & H and Adorama have it listed available for ordering; B & H says delivery in 7 to 14 days, while Adorama has no delivery information.

B & H: Marshall 5" HDMI ON CAMERA MONITOR - $517.95
Adorama: Marshall 5" Small 800 x 480 Camera-Top / Portable Field Monitor with HDMI $529

Marshall Electronics: V-LCD50-HDMI [Product Page]
Cinema5D: Photo Cine Expo 2010 Marshall 5″ Monitor