Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quick Links

Low light comparison between the RED Scarlet & Canon C300 | Nino Leitner
| Cinema 5D
Nino does a low light test with the Scarlet and C300, and finds the Scarlet noisier:
4K sounds vastly superior - it’s 4 times the resolution of 1080p. But apart from the computing-heavy post production, there is one other downside to it: light sensitivity. If the pixels sit densely on a chip, they absorb more light, less resolution leaves more light for the individual pixel. The other part of the reason is the fact that the Mysterium-X sensor inside the Scarlet is now around 3-year-old technology. It’s not the most recent tech anymore and light sensitivity is an area where sensor technology seems to improve exponentially in recent years. RED will be bringing a new sensor to market which is supposed to be much better in low light.

DP David Kruta and the Red Epic | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
After seeing Dave talk about the Epic at a recent Rule Boston Camera event, I interviewed him for Filmmaker Magazine. There's a second part coming where he talks about using the camera on a recent feature film shoot:
Q: There’s been some question about reliability? What’s your take on that?
A. I haven’t had an issue with it. To be honest, I’ve actually had more problems with the Alexa than I have with the Epic, although I’ve used the Alexa about twice as much as the Epic this year.

On the new build that I just installed the other day, it’s a beta build, it’s frozen on me a couple of times. Not during a take, just playing around with the touch screen or going into playback, but otherwise it’s been completely rock solid.

Portland Lens Test 2011 | Ryan E. Walters | Getting Elemental
An extensive test of different lenses that includes observations from other cinematographers:
As a final note I would like to discuss the importance of mechanics when determining your lens selection. As a director of photography we are responsible for both aesthetics and making our days. If we use a set of lenses only for their optics without considering their mechanical properties then we are only doing part of our job when considering which lens to use for that project. For example, If a lens swap requires one additional minute over a mechanically superior lens then over the course of a feature film that may add up to hours of wasted time.

Lens Test | Shane Hurlbut | HurlbutVisuals
Another lens test done with multiple lenses from three manufacturers: Canon, Leica and Zeiss
Overall the Canon glass produced great skin tones and colors. The reds seemed to be slightly more saturated then the other lenses with slight bleed between red and magenta on our color charts. Very sharp images as well from the primes and the zooms were a bit softer. The images were almost too sharp in some cases which caused small amounts of moire in hair especially. Also the Canon lenses tended to breath more than the others.

Editor’s Take on FCPX: Mario Feil | Final Cut Whiz
Part of a series of opinions on Apple’s Final Cut Pro X from different editors. This post is particularly interesting as Mario offers an extensive list of notes from working with the program:
Anyhow, I will continue to work with FCPX because it saved me hours and hours of time and that’s what it’s all about – the best editing software is the one that doesn’t keep you away from working creatively.

Final Cut Pro 7 was very slow at the end, countless hours of rendering to see final results is a pain in the ass. I never liked the huge “unrendered” screen and the red bar above the timeline. It’s great to finally watch footage in the timeline which didn’t need to be rendered to be reviewed.

Letus Follow Focus Overview | Letus Direct | Vimeo
A short video demoing the Letus35 Follow Focus [$758.95]
1:07 Installation
1:59 Positioning the follow focus
2:42 Setup Tips
3:44 Moving the drive gear

Wim Wenders on the Bittersweet Making of His 3-D Pina Bausch Documentary
| Miranda Siegel | NYMag
Interview with Wim Wenders on the film about his friend Pina Bausch, a German choreographer. He explains why - and how - it was shot in 3D: was the answer to twenty years of worrying and questioning and torturing my mind about how to do this film with Pina. That was the solution, I realized. We had finally a new tool, space — and that new tool would allow me to be in the realm of dance, no longer just staring at it. Space, after all, is the dancer's key element: They create space with every step and gesture. In filmmaking, space had always been so fake. You make cameras fall out of windows and put them in cars and helicopters and airplanes, but in the end it was always on a two-dimensional screen. For the first time, I had a tool that wasn’t fake.

The Top 5 Reasons Citizen Kane is Crap | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
A fun little post:
1. Depth of Field. You could sink the Titanic in how deep Wells’ Depth of Field (DoF) is. You would think an auteur like Welles, who’s supposed to know about filmmaking, would know about the importance of a really shallow DoF. Did the word “bokeh” not exist in 1941?

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