Friday, February 11, 2011

Hardware Reviews

Panasonic AG-AF100 / AG-AF101
Peter Lundström at the editman blog has published his thoughts on using the AG-AF101, and compares it to the images you can get shooting with Canon DSLRs. He notes that he's having problems with getting the color right:
You must be extremely careful when selecting colour temperature. Having white anything other than spot on and exposure higher than 85% will make yellow/orange to clip. It's one ugly clipping so you must avoid it no matter what. Blue, red and green are not as sensitive but watch out for yellow and orange. Under daylight balanced bulbs clipping is not bad. It clips but really nothing ugly about it. It's under tungsten one can run into problems. 
In his latest post, he suspects that in bright sunlight, more ND (neutral density) might be the solution.
theeditmanGetting to know the AF101
B & H: Panasonic AG-AF100

Playing with the Phantom Flex
Tom Guilmette went to Las Vegas to shoot a Ping Pong tournament, and had with him a Phantom High Speed Digital Cinema. He put together some amazing footage shot at - in some cases - 2,564 frames per second. It's a very expensive camera, but you can rent it!
The most surprising thing about the new Flex camera is its light sensitivity and native noiseless 1000 ISO. Dave and I were able to record 600 FPS under Rule office fluorescent ceiling lights! The picture was not perfectly exposed, but we were making flicker-free images at that insane frame rate. If you are not familiar with high speed, a ton of light is needed and flicker is almost always a problem. But this camera is the most sensitive yet. The new Flex is “simply magic”.

Kessler Slider Review
Sebastian Wiegärtner reviews the Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly 2.0 and prefers it over the Glidetrack HD and Igus sliders. He does note that it's expensive, but seems to think it's worth it.
On a side note, it's interesting that he personally doesn't think a 3 foot long track is really necessary for a slider, and actually causes more problems; it's difficult to support on one tripod.
The Kessler Pocket Dolly 2.0 has a ball bearing wheel design and gives it a great fluid feel. It has also a custom CNC machined firm rail to reduce or eliminate flex. If you would compare this dolly with an IGUS components slider you would feel the difference! Today I’m using the Pocket Dolly for nearly every shoot. 
Note: Kessler Crane donated to a Facebook promotion that Sebastian ran.
Kessler CranePocket Dolly™ v2.0
B & H GlideTrack HD
Igus: Linear guides for camera sliders

DitoGear Slider
And if you're interested in a motion-control slider, you might want to check out the DitoGear DryEye kit. EOSHD has an interview with Patryk Kizny of DitoGear, to reveal the origins of DitoGear and what's in store in terms of future products.
EOSHDEOSHD DitoGear Interview - the story behind the sliders

Sony PMW-F3 & Rogue Lens Sample Video
Nigel Akam has posted to Vimeo a sample video shot with the PMW-F3 in use with the incredibly expensive Angenieux Optimo DP Rouge 30-80 mm Zoom lens.
VimeoRouge - Sony F3
B & HAngenieux Optimo DP Rouge 30-80mm Zoom Lens with PL Mount [$20,499.95]

Panasonic GH2 Review
An extensive review of the Panasonic GH2 - with video - is posted at CameraLabs. The GH2 has gotten a lot of interest for it's video capabilities; one thing it seems to do better than Canon's DSLRs is handle very fine details in video. Even better; the video's are shot in Queenstown, New Zealand!
...but the icing on the cake for pros is the ability to output a clean 1080i output over HDMI while recording video; this is very useful when connecting and composing with an external monitor. Most DSLRs and hybrid cameras may output 1080i over HDMI in Live View, but scatter it with icons and downgrade the feed to standard definition as soon as you start recording. Not so with the GH2 which can drive external monitors with a nice, clean 1080i image, while recording, and even maintain a duplicate image on the camera's own screen if desired; you could even have icons and level meters on the latter while keeping the HDMI output clean.
Unfortunately, one downside: it's very hard to get at the moment.
CamerlabsPanasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 review
Amazon: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 16.05 MP Live MOS Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD and 14-42mm Hybrid Lens (Black)

Okii USB Follow Focus Controller Demo
The Okii USB Follow Focus Controller is a remote control that works with Canon DSLRs and can be used to control focus (on auto-focus lenses.) The 5D Mark II Team website has been in contact with the developed of this device, and have posted a sample video showing the unit in operation.
VimeoVideo Test 4 - Okii USB Follow Focus Controller
5DMarkII TeamUSB Follow Focus Controller PRE-ORDERS

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