Saturday, January 15, 2011

Panasonic AG-AF100 Starts Arriving

As promised, the Panasonic AG-AF100 (AG-AF101 in Europe) started arriving in the hands of happy customers around the 27th of December. Note: it's availability is limited; B & H still lists it only as available for pre-order.

Over at HD Warrior, Philip Johnston has been wowed by it's low light performance, and general fit and finish, though he's found a few interface/design quibbles. In general, he seems to be happy:
The AF101 excels in every way, solid punchy pictures, sharp as a tac and with the odd NOKTON lens shot for that Hollywood shallow depth of field and best of all it’s not a heavy camera to use so you dont feel as tired or sore after a days shoot and a client who is very happy with the new look.
Note that Philip is also the creator of the website:, which is devoted to the AG-AF100 (AF101) so he might be a little biased!

HDWarrior: Something I wasn't expecting
HDWarrior: Early conclusion on the Panasonic AF101

Sebastian Wiegärtner gives his impressions, though they are with a pre-production model. He was also impressed by the low-light performance, and thinks that moirè issues are improved. When it comes to Rolling Shutter:
I haven’t seen any rolling shutter in the footage, but I used only wide angles. If you are using a tele lens you can still the the rolling shutter issues. But it’s still better than any Video DSLR’s out right now.
Sebastian Wiegärtner: THE PANASONIC AG AF 100 / 101 CAMERA QUICK TEST

Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 quick test from Sebastian Wiegärtner on Vimeo.

The OutBack Photo blog bought their own AF100 and have been blogging about their experiences with it:
  • We like the control the AF100 provides (Zebras, Wave Front Monitor)
  • Moire and Aliasing is lower than any HDSLR we have used so far
  • ND filters are so helpful
OutbackPhoto: Panasonic AF100 Journey

Andrew Saunderson has posted a "natural light" test shot by Justin Alpern with the AF100. You can see some examples of shallow depth-of-field (they used Zeiss Cine lenses) in this video.

Panasonic AF-100 Test from Andrew Saunderson on Vimeo.

For a less enthusiastic view, read John Pope's thoughts after going to a launch event for the AF100
...after pulling in the clips into FCP and viewing the raw footage…I was disheartened to see Panasonic’s familiar noisy, creepy crawly blacks…even at ISO 200.
[...] At the end of the day, I feel that Panasonic missed their opportunity to reclaim their crown with the indie film market. Yes, it’s capable of great imagery and I’d be happy to use it for the right job. But coming from one of many who have adopted the Canon 5D and 7D, I will continue to favor them for the time being.
JohnPope: Panasonic AF-100 Launch Event (Part 1)

Sony PMW-F3 News

Sony PMW-F3
According to Sony:
New, important information about PMW-F3 coming on Monday
No idea what that will be.
[UPDATE 1/17: Sony now says the information release has been pushed back to Tuesday]

Meanwhile, there's a growing collection of video clips about/made by the PMW-F3 on Sony's site.

And Sony is looking for established filmmakers who would like to shoot with the PMW-F3 and to be judged for an upcoming Sony film contest. They provide the camera! If you're in the USA, drop an mail to

Finally, at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Sony is throwing a party to celebrate the PMW-F3.

Date: Sunday, January 23, 2011 | 6pm - 9pm |
Screening starts promptly at 7pm
Location: High West Distillery | 703 Park Ave, Park City UT 8406

If you would like to attend RSVP here You’re invited to Sony's PMW-F3 celebration at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival!

Sony: PMWF3 35mm Camcorder

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rode VideoMic Pro

Rode Microphones already have a video mic (the VideoMic [$149.00]) that's been popular with a lot of DSLR users, and now they have released the VideoMic Pro [$229.00], which is smaller and lighter, with a redesigned shockmount. The +20dB mode improves gain for recording on some cameras.

Philip Bloom says:
It’s smaller than the VIdeo Mic, the perfect size for your DSLR, has better rubber bands for suspension and overall sounds A LOT better 
  • Broadcast recording quality condenser microphone
  • Compact design (only 150mm/6" length)
  • Ultra lightweight (only 85g/3oz)
  • 9V battery powered, with up to 70 hours battery life (alkaline)
  • Integrated shock mounting
  • Integrated foam windshield
  • 3.5mm stereo mini-jack output (dual mono)
  • Two step High Pass Filter (flat, 80Hz)
  • Three position level control (-10dB, 0, +20dB)
  • Camera shoe mount with 3/8" thread for easy boompole mounting
  • Free DeadCat VMP furry windshield*
  • Ten year warranty*
*following online registration

B & H: Rode VideoMic Pro Compact Shotgun Microphone [$229.00]
Rode: VideoMic Pro Specs
PhilipBloom: I can officially announce the RODE Video Mic Pro

News From Here & There

Advanced Photoshop After Effects Color Magic
Richard Harrington's latest podcast shows how to use Lab Color in Photoshop Extended CS5 to do some secondary color correction. Richard then imports the PSD into After Effects to do some additional compositing.
This is one of my most advanced, deepest, and most useful techniques. I show you how to isolate the color of a single object in moving video and swap it to anything you want. The magic is done with LAB color mode and tracking mattes. If you watch only one Motion Graphics or Video tutorial this month... this is it.
Creative COW Podcasts: Photoshop for Video Podcast (SD)

Another Swat At Google
Following up on Google's announcement that it wants to use "open" video formats in Chrome rather than H.264, Tom Sneath at Microsoft has a little fun suggesting that the United States should adopt the Esperanto language.
TomSneathBlog: An Open Letter from the President of the United States of Google

Sony's View of The Future
Imaging Resource has an interview with Mark Weir, Senior Manager of Technology and Marketing at Sony Electronics. The discussion covers Sony's latest and future products, including the promise of 3D capture across several of its products, and the company's intention to produce the long-awaited followup to the Sony Alpha A700.
While this is primarily a talk about still cameras, they talk a lot about video:
Last year, we delivered AVCHD, Full HD 60i capability in a compact camera, and this year at the show we've shown a model that can capture 1,920 x 1,080 60p video. With that kind of video capability in a compact camera, there are some real appealing benefits to compacts these days.
Imagining Resource: Mark Weir, Sony

And On Mount Olympus...
They also talked to Olympus, who have a different view of video in still cameras:
Sally Smith Clemens: Right now, 720p is fine. Yes, there are a few people [talking about 1080], but do you really need it? I mean, do you really see a difference in that? Most of your broadcast television -- network shows -- are broadcast in 720p, if they’re in HD. There are very few that are broadcast in 1080p. If you’ve got digital HD, like Comcast, and you look at the pixel dimensions, very few of them are in 1080p.
Imaging Resource Interview: Peter Ewen, Katie Roseman, and Sally Smith-Clemens, Olympus

JVC 4K Camera
Did you know that JVC showed a 4K camera prototype at CES? Me neither.
Crave: JVC demonstrates 4K camcorder, transports us from Vegas to New York

How does a Canon 7D compare to an Arri Alexa?
Probably not well, but Nick Paton says he gets asked to use them side by side daily and he needed to know where he would have issues, so he shot this latitude test. He notes that the "Alexa responds very well where as the 7D footage fails in highlight exposure detail and its codec compromises its ability to be pulled up in the darker regions. It's interesting and telling and goes part way to explaining the more than substantial price difference."
Vimeo: Alexa vs 7d latitude tests

More on the Sony 3D Bloggie

Yesterday I came across a Sony video from CES which seemed to suggest that the output from the 3D Bloggie was only viewable with Red-Blue Anaglyph glasses, even on 3D TVs. Sony has since informed me that this is not correct. According to Sony:

The 3D Bloggie records the 3D video in a side-by-side format in an MP4 file (i.e. a full regular frame is divided in half and the left image is stored on one half, and the right image is stored on the other half.) Note that this essentially halves the resolution being recorded, but is also one of the easiest methods to implement 3D encoding using existing file formats.

When connected to a 3D TV, you can watch the video using active shutter glasses.

When uploaded to YouTube or played on a 2D PC, you use anaglyph glasses.

The built-in screen uses a "parallax barrier" to enable viewing the 3D image without glasses.

NotesOnVideo: Engadget's curious "Best of CES"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Engadget's curious "Best of CES"

Engadget has published a "Best-of-CES" list, and since they were actually there you'd figure they would know. ...BUT, their Best Camera List is puzzling:
  • BEST: Sony Bloggie 3D (and other 3D Handycams)
  • RUNNERS-UP: RED Scarlet and Olympus XZ-1
Let's take a look at the runner-up list first. Putting the RED Scarlet on any list makes little sense, but you cannot give a "Best of Show" award to a camera that was pre-announced two years ago, has been through redesigns, repositioning and repricing, still doesn't have a firm ship date, and wasn't formerly on the show floor. They weren't even showing footage shot with the thing!

On to the winner, the Sony Bloggie 3D. Engadget did give themselves a bit of wiggle room by sort of including the "other 3D Handycams"-  i.e.  the HDR-TD10 - but they pictured the Bloggie and only wrote about it, and I'm sorry but I'm not convinced it's going to be anything but a toy. Does it have stabilization? Can you zoom? Does it really work with 3D TV's? The Sony video from the show with Amy Koppman from the Bloggie Product Team makes it sound like you'll have to use Red and Blue glasses to view the content on even 3D TVs:
You can upload video from here to YouTube and then using those Red-Blue glasses that you've seen, like you used to get in the movie theatre, you can put those on and view the content fro your Bloggie on your computer or your friends can view it in 3D. With very little effort needed
And on 3D TV's I'm assuming?
If you're doing it with a 3D TV you would still need those Red-Blue glasses because of the way it's recorded. So if you have one of the newer 3D TV's that uses the Active-Shutter glasses, it's not the same format we're using here. But you're also looking at a product that's only $250
Even the dedicated 3D consumers are going to get sick of the red-blue glasses.
[UPDATE 1/14: This is incorrect: More on the Sony 3D Bloggie, though it doesn't change my rating of best-camera below!]

My Best Camera of CES 2011
If I'm going to write-off their choice, I guess I should counter. Here's my choice of best video cameras of CES:

  • BEST: Canon VIXIA HF G10: This looks like a consumer priced camcorder with a "professional" quality chip in it. We have to wait and see the reviews, but the image quality from this camera might be a big step up.
  • RUNNER-UP: The Sony HDR-TD10 (the 3D Handycam!) Sure, Engadget put it as an asterisk for the winner, but this camera is the one to consider. Even so, I can only put it as a runner up; 3D is still a big question mark. But this camera seems to have a good mix of functionality and image quality. All those people who spent serious money on 3D TV's should give this thing a good look over. I don't think the 3D Bloggie will be in consideration, even at $250.

Engadget: Best of CES 2011
NotesOnVideo: Sony Announces it's Own Consumer 3D HD camera
NotesOnVideo: Canon VIXIA HF G10 and "Pro" XA10 Cameras

[UPDATE 1/4: noted that Red-Blue limitation of 3D Bloggie is incorrect and added link to additional info]

News From Here & There

Sony's view on DSLR's
DPReview interviews Masashi 'Tiger' Imamura, President of Personal Imaging & Sound Business Group and gets some interesting perspective on Sony and their Alpha and NEX cameras. He even mentions the NEX-VG10:
'As well as the easy-to-use and DSLR capabilities, we're also thinking about the camcorder style shooters and technologies. The NEX VG10 is one example of that. The barriers between compacts, DSLRs and camcorders will merge - not necessarily in a single device but with technologies and capabilities being shared between them. Our mission is to create new markets - we don't want to make the same products as everyone else and just cannibalise each other in the existing market.'
DPReview: Sony looks to change the world of DSLRs

Luca Visual FX Announces Film FX 2.0
Film FX Transitions Pack 2.0 provides 23 unique "grungier" film effects, including more light leaks, film burns, scratches and dirt. With this new release we are also introducing new leaders and old film textures. For the first time we are offering unparalleled natural-like 'scratch on film' transitions, purposely manipulated to create striking edge wipe effects with a retro touch. Through January 14th the pack can be purchased for $59 (the special “launch” price).
FCP Daily has an interview with LucaVisual about the new filter pack.
FCPDaily: Luca Visual FX Announces Film FX 2.0 New effects and interview with the creator
Luca Visual: Film FX Transitions Pack 2.0

Banjo Documentary
Marc Fields has been working on a documentary about the banjo for nine years now, and it's still not quite done. An interesting article at The Boston Globe charts it's history;
“Let’s put it this way: If I had known how big it was when I started, I wouldn’t have done it,’’ he says, before cracking a joke about how he had a full head of hair when he started it in 2002. “Other people have tried something like this, but I outlasted them. I feel like I’m going to be the one to tell this story.’
TheBostonGlobe: A banjo lesson a long time in the making

Looking forward to The Green Hornet?
I hope not, because IndieWIRE eviscerates it:
Loud, clamoring, haphazardly thrown together and risibly scripted from what feels like a poor first draft, Michel Gondry‘s unfunny, unengaging “The Green Hornet” lands in a January release date because it’s exactly warranted: it’s a throwaway action picture meant to fill the early new year void, but contains zero substance and few genuine joys or laughs.
indieWire: Review: ‘Green Hornet’ Lacks Sting, Anything Else Even Remotely Interesting

Digital Effects
Brainstorm Digital's before and after shots from season 1 of HBO's hit series "Boardwalk Empire". (courtesy of Home Box Office, Inc)

Boardwalk Empire VFX Breakdowns of Season 1 from Brainstorm Digital on Vimeo.

More on Sony CLM-V55

I mentioned this monitor that was shown at CES yesterday, but Sony has now pushed out a press release on the device. It doesn't confirm the price, though it does suggest that it will work with other manufacturers devices. Certainly, the pics with the NEX-VG10 suggest that it's not just for the Alpha cameras:
The CLM-V55 with the Sony NEX-VG10

The CLM-V55 is a portable video monitor featuring a high-resolution WVGA (800 x 480) (5”) LCD panel. Attaching easily to most Interchangeable Lens Digital cameras and compatible HD camcorders via the supplied adaptor, it displays video footage during shooting/playback with excellent clarity and a wide viewing angle.

Pixel magnification mode assists with accurate focus confirmation, giving an enlarged pixel-perfect view of a selected portion of the Full HD image. It’s complemented by a colour peaking function that highlights the edges of accurately-focused areas of the video image.

An intuitive control wheel allows quick, positive adjustment of a wide range of monitor settings without interrupting shooting. Adjustable parameters include aspect ratio (16:9/4:3), volume, brightness, contrast, colour tone (phase), colour temp and auto dimmer. On-screen markers aid precise framing by giving precise indication of a TV’s 16:9 or 4:3 actual display area. The LCD monitor’s on-board mono speaker is complemented by a headphone jack for accurate audio monitoring during shooting.

The CLM-V55 attaches easily to a wide range of Interchangeable Lens Digital cameras from Sony and other manufacturers that support HD video shooting. The supplied adaptor simplifies mounting on any camera or HD camcorder that features an auto-lock accessory shoe or ISO shoe. Signal connection from camera to monitor is via the supplied HDMI cable, while power can be supplied using a battery pack or AC adaptor (both optional). The CLM-V55 comes with a detachable LCD hood for more comfortable viewing when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight.

The CLM-V55 LCD video monitor by Sony is available from March 2011.

Sony: Clip-on LCD monitor from Sony for HD video shooting with Interchangeable Lens Digital cameras

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

iOS 4.3 adds gestures

According to a report on AppleInsider, the developer pre-release of iOS 4.3 includes gestures for app switching and going to the Home screen. That's exciting news. I was enthusiastically looking forward to the arrival of multi-tasking on the iPad because - unlike the iPhone - I found I was often switching between apps while doing tasks (or just popping over to check mail while writing something.) Quitting and relaunching apps - particularly those that open documents - adds seconds to the process.

But the multi-tasking as first implemented in the last iOS update (not that I'm complaining) requires that you double-tap the home button and then choose the app you want to switch to from a tray. Oddly enough, that's not as smooth, easy and fluid as you'd like.

The new release evidently allows you to swipe to switch apps. That will be so cool!

And, they changed the orientation lock switch to an audio-mute button. In the new release, you can "switch" it back if you want.

I can't wait!
AppleInsider: Apple issues iOS 4.3 beta with Personal Hotspot, new multitouch gestures

3 Minutes

3 Minutes is a three-minute feature produced with no budget. An interesting plot and some imaginative effects, it's definitely worth watching. Even if you don't enjoy it, check out editor Ross Ching's website, where he explains in some detail how the movie was made and how some of the effects were produced.

RossChing: 3 Minutes

Save $98 on Sony NEX-VG10 and NP-FV100 battery

B & H is currently including a free NP-FV100 battery ($98) with the Sony NEX-VG10 [$1,998.00]

News From Here & There

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Review
Scott Simmons has posted a very detailed review of DaVinci Resolve, comparing it to Apple's Color. He's impressed by it's powerful features, though it may cost much more than it's $995 list price due to hardware requirements, and users of Color trying to switch might find it more difficult to learn and master.
When compared to Apple Color, Resolve's power comes at an expense: the expense of buying the proper hardware to get optimal realtime performance out of Resolve and the expense of a necessary control surface (sorry, there are no iPad apps out yet for control). And then there's the ultimate expense: the time to learn and use Resolve to its full potential. I think it's safe to say there are a lot of Color users out there who will not be able to afford the full monetary cost of installing Resolve for the Mac.

StudioDaily: Review: Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve for the Mac

Color Grading Tips
Aaron Williams has been continuing his series of tips for color grading. Color Tip 21 is about producing the "Blockbuster" look:

The “Blockbuster” or “Transformers” look = Cool shadows – usually blue or teal, and warm skintones, usually an orange color. Pushing the skintones warmer usually means the midtones, but it can be the highlights too if the footage is bright.

Before and after
He shows the adjustments in Apple Color, as well as before and after screen images. Personally, I like the adjustments to the face; though I don't like the loss of detail in the black shirt.
AaronWilliams: Colorist Tip 21 – Blockbuster Look

Easy Motion Graphics in Final Cut Pro
In the latest Episode of Red Giant TV, Apple Certified Master Trainer, Simon Walker shows you how to quickly create animated motion graphics backgrounds and text treatments in Final Cut Pro - with NO KEYFRAMES!
RedGiantSoftware: Episode 51: Look, No Keyframes! Easy Motion Graphics in Final Cut Pro

Kessler SmartLapse Tutorial
Tom Guilmette has been playing with the Kessler Crane and has put together a video tutorial on motion timelapses.
I have been testing out the new firmware over the last few weeks and I am very happy with the results. You can playback a ElektraDrive motor equipped Cineslider, Pocket Dolly, Shuttle Pod or Revolution move from 30 minutes to nearly 30 days.
TomGuilmetteKessler SmartLapse Tutorial

The First iPhone Major Motion Movie?

First Major iPhone Movie?
I know that lots of people talked about making a feature-length movie, but was South Korean director Park Chan-Wook it first to actually produce and premiere an iPhone-created major motion picture? He seems to think so. Night Fishing cost just $133,000 and 10 days to finish.
“The quality of the cinematography is quite good, except for a little shakiness in the beginning. And the fact that the screen is coarse works to the film’s advantage, especially on the night scenes given its life-and-death theme.”
PhotoCineNewsA movie shot solely on an iPhone

Movie & TV News

Baby it's snowing outside here in the Northeast. Maybe time to watch a movie? Here's some movie making news:

Ghostbusters 3?
Dan Aykroyd and Sony want to make a Ghostbusters 3. Bill Murray isn't so sure it's a good idea, and Sony says they won't make the movie without him.
IndieWIRE: ‘Ghostbusters 3’ Reportedly Budgeted At $150 Mil; Sony Won’t Make Film Without Bill Murray

Thunderbirds are.....Go?
If you're a male of a certain age, you might have a fondness for the Thunderbirds TV series made in the 60's in "Supermarionation." A live action movie made in 2004 flopped, but Gerry Anderson - who is 81 - yesterday told a radio show that he's working on a new series. No details on whether it will be animated.
TheTelegraph: Gerry Anderson to make new TV series of Thunderbirds

The End of Independents
The age of the independents may be over. With the closing of New Line Cinema, Miramax, Fine Line Features, Picturehouse, Warner Independent Films, Fox Atomic and Paramount Vantage, and with foriegn distributers stepping away, it's getting much harder to finance an independent movie
TheWrap: Why Indie Movies Are an Endangered Species

James Bond will be back
On hold due to MGM's bankruptcy, James Bond 23 is now in preparation with Daniel Craig officially back. It's scheduled to be released November 9, 2012.
IndieWIRE: Daniel Craig Offically Back As 007, New Bond Set For November 9, 2012; Sam Mendes Directing

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Google to drop H.264 support from Chrome

The Chromium Blog has announced that Chrome will be moving to WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs in the next couple of months, and dropping H.264 support:
we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
John Gruber at Daring Fireball wonders what a move away from H.264 would mean for mobile platforms:
The big problem WebM has versus H.264 is that there are hardware decoders for H.264. This is key for mobile devices. It’s the hardware video decoding that allows mobile devices to get such long battery life and smooth performance for video playback. There’s no way publishers can drop H.264. To support Chrome, they’d have to add WebM-encoded versions of each video.
He also wonders why Google says they are doing this because their “goal is to enable open innovation” when they already ship an embedded copy of the Flash player within Chrome; Flash is hardly an open standard.

I still think that Google wants to get away from H.264 use on YouTube, and this is their first step in hurrying that along...

Chromium Blog: HTML Video Codec Support in Chrome
Daring Fireball: Google Dropping Support for H.264 in Chrome

BBC Accepts Canon XF300 and XF305

Canon has announced that its XF305 [B&H: $7,499] and XF300 [B&H $6,499] camcorders have been added to the BBC list of approved HD cameras, allowing them to be used to produce programs for broadcast on the corporation’s HD channels.

Both camcorders were approved in June 2010 for use by independent productions, but have now also been accepted for internal BBC production use.

The broadcaster has bought some XF305 camcorders, the first of which were delivered in December 2010.

Canon UK: Broadcaster adds Canon’s XF305 and XF300 to list of camcorders approved for both internal and external HD production

Rule Camera: Media Assets & Shared Storage - postponed

Rule Camera's LeanringLab Media Assets & Shared Storage that was scheduled for tomorrow, Jan 12th has been postponed to February 23rd due to weather.

Here in Boston we're expecting a "biggish" storm with maybe a foot or more of snow tomorrow, much of it falling during the morning commute. I've seen several other events cancelled or postponed already. Everyone, be careful out there!

News From Here & There

BG Renderer for Adobe After Effects
Stu Maschwitz of the prolost blog says that if you use After Effects "you need [BG Renderer, it's the] best Jackson you'll spend on something you can't drink."

BG Renderer is a script that allows you to render your Render Queue items in the background while you can continue working in After Effects. It runs as a dockable panel that is saved as part of your workspace.

There are two versions:
  • With the basic version you can just render your queue in the background. Simple and easy and works every time.
  • If you need options, then the Pro version is what you want. Besides being able to set prefs for the render, the pro version offer the very powerful post render actions which allow you to get growl notifications, send email (with log), send sms and even iPhone push notifications when your renders are done or you have an error.
They are introducing the new version with an introductory price of $4.99 for the basic version and $19.99 for the pro version. These prices will go up to $9.99 for the basic version and $29.99 for the pro version in a couple of months.
AEScripts: BG Renderer

More on the Sony HDR-TD10 3D Handycam
Crave takes a brief look at the camera:
We got a hands-on with the camera, and the 3D image it produces looked impressive on a Sony active 3D TV, at least in the tightly locked-down Sony booth at CES. The same can't be said about the built-in, glasses-free fold-out display, which sent us cross-eyed in no time at all.
 Crave: Sony Handycam HDR-TD10E is first full HD, 3D camcorder

Meanwhile, there's a short video singing the praises of JVC's competing camera:
YouTube: JVC at CES 2011 -- Full HD 3D Camcorder

Sony Alpha Monitor
At CES Sony also showed a 5-inch monitor for their Alpha (A33, A55, A560, A580) cameras. It can be attached to the camera via the hotshoe, and then connected to the HDMI port of the camera. Powered by an Sony M-series battery, it comes with a shielded hood and has a 3.5mm mic jack for monitoring. Settings include: color temperature, Peaking (highlight clipping, magnification, audio volume, screen brightness and contrast. U.S. List price is $399.

Note that Sony is also going to release a firmware update for their cameras to allow for full streaming from the HDMI port (useful even if you don't buy this monitor.)

Also, it might make an attractive option for use with other cameras; if it will work with them. I wonder how will it compare to the Marshall 5-inch display, the V-LCD50-HDMI?
Pocket-lint: Sony Alpha CLM-V55 movie monitor hands on

[Parts of] BBC to standardize on Final Cut Pro?
Back in September the BBC announced it had adopted 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."

Turns out that in November they also announced in a memo that they had "chosen Sony XDCAM models PMW-350 and Sony PMW-500 for its next generation of electronic news gathering shoulder cameras," and, noting that it makes sense to standardize the editing application being used, added: "The aim will be to move to FCP 7 over the next year."

Puzzled? Well the memo also said:
The reality is that the BBC is far too complicated for a single approach to work.
TVBEurope: BBC chooses XDCAM for ENG
NotesOnVideo: News From Here & There

Monday, January 10, 2011

eBook Deal of the Week

Peachpit Press is offering an "eBook Deal of the Day," and this week the title is Richard Harrington's Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques. The book sells for $41.99 on Amazon, and $37.79 in the Kindle edition, but you can get it this week for $9.99 at Peachpit: Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques

NOTE: If you go to Amazon [this link:] Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques you can "Look Inside" to see the contents of the book.

Interesting Reading

35 Years of Digital Cameras
Macworld has a visual history of digital cameras, and I remember most of them - though not the first one!

If I was putting together a list, I would add at least a couple more; while the Canon EOS D30 was significant, it was the Canon EOS 10D that was the first DSLR to drop below the $2,000 price point; in fact it dropped below $1,500 (and was also the first digital DSLR I bought!)

And an important development that they overlooked was the arrival of video on DSLR's with the Canon 5D and Nikon D90.
MacworldLooking back at 35 years of the digital camera

Arri Alexa
At the Prep Shoot Post blog, Eric Escobar talks about his experiences with the Arri Alexa, and also bashes the flood of camera demo reels set to emo-y guitar music on Vimeo

The visual effects behind “V”
A short piece about the creation of visual effects for this ABC series.
idesignyoureyes: The visual effects behind “V”

The Shot You Can Make
Stu Maschwitz has put together an interesting article about how different sensors/focal length lenses effect the image a camera produces. Rather than go out and shoot the same scene using these different combinations, he's created a simulation image in Adobe After Effects that he has then used to reconstruct how the same scene would look using different camera/lens combinations.
ProLost: The Shot You Can Make

DSLR Equipment List
Filmmaker and DP Friedhelm Fischer has put together a visual list of the equipment he uses for DSLR filmaking. Equipment for dslr-filming

Upcoming Events

Planet5D Chat with Philip Bloom today
There will be an online chat with Philip Bloom at Planet5D in the HDSLR chat room Monday January 10th - 4pm EST - 21:00 GMT

Stereoscopic at San Francisco Cutters, January 11
SF Cutters is San Francisco's Apple Final Cut Pro User Group. This months meeting is on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 from 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM (PT) at Adobe Systems, 601 Townsend at 7th
An Evening of 3D with Kevan O'Brien, Marek Poray and Karl Soule Special Guest Filmmaker Jon Felix
SFcutter: website

DigitalVision2011 Virtual Trade Show January 19
This virtual trade show includes several online chats, including:
  • Tools for DSLR Post — DV Magazine
  • Large Single-Sensor Cameras — Videography
  • Live Sound: Digital Mixing and Virtual Processing vs. Outboard Processing
As well as Conference Sessions;
  • What's Next in 3DTV Program Production, Distribution and Retail
  • HDSLR Cameras and Lenses
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Sunday, January 09, 2011

News From Here & There

Sony PMw-F3
If you can't get to the Boston event to see the PMW-F3 on January 19th, you might want to check your local Sony Pro Dealers and see if they have special events planned. I know of at least one other event being held at Professional Video & Tape, Oregon on the 20th.

3D Without The Glasses
Toshiba has something to show you at the Consumer Electronics Show — televisions and a laptop that can display 3-D video without requiring the viewer to put on glasses
Sounds interesting, even though:
A shortcoming of a no-glasses approach is that only one person at a time can see the 3-D effect, and another is that you cannot move around too rapidly.
But right after I saw that article, Alex Buomo, tweeted:
Sorry Toshiba: glasses-free 3D lenticular screen = headache in 5 minutes. FAIL.
NYTimes Gadgetwise: 3-D Without the Glasses

Letus Hawk Viewfinder Review
Robin Schmidt takes a look at the new Letus Hawk [B & H: $364.95]:
As you can probably tell I’m not going to give the Hawk a glowing endorsement because I don’t think it truly deserves it. Ask me to pay $375 for a loupe and I don’t want niggles, I want it to be amazing. I don’t want to have to glue on the rubber join myself, I don’t want to have to buy my own soft cup, I don’t want it to rattle on the frame. The aluminium version I tested is not the lightest bit of kit in the world and adds a chunk of weight to your overall setup. It’s not like a great big anvil hanging off your camera but you definitely notice it and it’s considerably heavier than my old Z-finder.
It isn't a glowing review, but he doesn't pull any punches; and he doesn't like the Zacuto viewfinder any better. Actually, it's clear he thinks you're better off with an external monitor than a viewfinder in most situations.