Saturday, August 13, 2011

Quick Links

FS100, 5D MKII, & AF100 Depth of Field Comparison | Cinescopophilia
Magnanimous Media from Chicago have put together a DoF comparison for the Sony NEX-FS100, Panasonic AF100, and Canon 5D MKII using the same two lenses; a Canon 24-70mm and 70-200mm L-Series. As expected, the 5D has the shallowest DoF and the AF100 the widest.

3D Haters Beware: Peeking at a 3D Future with the JVC GS-TD1 Twin-lens Camcorder | Zack Lieberman | NoFilmSchool
Zack is aware that there are a lot of 3D haters out there, and seems to spend half of this article alternately saying that's okay to be that way, but 3D is real cool. Either way, he got to spend some time with the 3D JVC GS-TD1 camcorder [B & H $1,699], and really liked it. He's also at work on his feature film debut, which will be shot in 3D.
Shooting 3D takes some getting used to; while I’m steadily learning, I definitely wouldn’t call myself truly skilled. That said, the camera makes it as easy as possible and has great automatic settings (and lots of “manual” settings to boot), and although I have some small quibbles (battery life, resolution on the glasses-free 3D screen is kinda whack, but definitely passable, as it’s in 3D — without glasses), this is a seriously cool little camera.

2012 Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship |
They are now accepting submissions for the 2012 Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship, awarded annually to honor the memory of editor Karen Schmeer [IMDB]. Eligibility requirements:
  • Applicant must be based in the United States and reside there throughout 2012.
  • Applicant must have edited at least one feature-length film (documentary or fiction), but no more than three feature-length films.
The fellowship includes mentorship with an ACE editor, festival and workshop passes, a $1000 equipment rental credit and a $1,000 cash award. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2011

Still Waiting for Mac Pro Updates, Suitable Intel Processors Due in Q4
| Arnold Kim | MacRumors
Speculation that updates to the Mac Pro line have been held up because there were no Mac Pro-suitable Sandy Bridge processors. That problem might be solved soon; of course, that's assuming Apple still thinks it needs to sell desktop Macs.

Amazing algorithms to enhance or transform images | Scriptol
A collection of links to articles and/or products that perform some amazing image restoration/manipulation techniques, including: Depixelizing images, Color a black and white image, Restore a picture or make a HDR, and Remove an object. Most of these are still image tools, but could be applied to video.

Leaked Sony Lens Adapter Has Mirror and Speed-Boosting AF Sensor
| Charlie Sorrel | Wired
This interesting box essentially adds an SLR mirror-box to an NEX (E-mount) camera, so think of it as turning an NEX-C3 into a DSLR... In theory it will also improve autofocus when using Sony Alpha mount camera.

Johnny Depp's 'The Lone Ranger' Shut Down By Disney | Matthew Belloni
| The Hollywood Reporter
Depp was supposed to play Tonto, but that may not happen now as the project has been halted due to budgetary concerns, not creative differences, according to sources. Except that the article then goes on to say that the studio and director couldn't agree on a budget, which sort of sounds like creative differences to me!
One concern for the studio, according to an insider, is that even though Depp is the biggest star in the world, the project is a western, and the genre is having some dark days, particularly in light of the recent poor showing of Cowboys & Aliens.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Samyang pre-preannounces 24mm f/1.4 ED lens

It's dated September 12, 2011 on their website, so it's unclear if they entered a time warp or accidentally pre-released an announcement, but Samyang has posted a press release for their upcoming 24mm f/1.4 lens.

There have been rumors about this lens for the past couple of months, and their 35mm f/1.4 (sold under different brand names) has received many favorable reviews, so this should be an interesting lens! No firm ship date or price yet.

September 12, 2011
Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC is coming.

Samyang Optics is proud to inform about the upcoming release of the new Samyang lens 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC. 

Optics of the lens has been constructed based on the system of 13 lenses arranged in 12 groups. It should be noted that 4 lenses has been made of the low-dispersion glass (ED), while two another are aspheric lenses. We have also employed multi-layered and anti-reflexive coatings of UMC type adding to the perfect light transmission. Samyang 24 mm F1.4 ED AS UMC has been designed to work with most popular reflex cameras produced by renown manufacturers and equipped with small-image sensors or smaller. The lens will be available with a mount for the following systems: Canon, Four Thirds, Nikon AE, Pentax, Samsung NX and Sony Alpha.

24mm focus is tailor-made for most of the sensors available on the market today. In the case of full-frame cameras, it constitutes a high-quality wide-angle lens perfect for street, landscape and architecture shooting. Whereas photographers using DX sensors will get just perfect lens for the purposes of calmer journalist and landscape photography. The lens attached to Four Thirds cameras will create a universal and bright construction corresponding to the 50mm focus.

The lens should be available for sale by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2012. The exact price will be announced at a later date. Soon, we will be able to present sample photos taken with this sophisticated device.

Samyang: Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC is coming.

Quick Links

Upgrading to After Effects CS5.5? | Chris and Trish Meyer | ProVideoCoalition
A collection of resources that explain what’s changed in the latest release.

Is This a Video of the Sony A77 Camera in Action | Cinescopophilia
The Sony A77 is expected to be announced in a couple of weeks, and some are speculating that this video features the new camera.

Personally, I wouldn't put a camera in the sand like that, no matter how water and dirt proof it is!

After Hollywood: the rise of the international box office | Phil Hoad
| The Guardian
A look back at 2004 when Hollywood's supremacy faltered:
As the studios shut their specialty arthouse divisions in the second half of the decade, they were setting up international arms to produce local-language hits in individual countries: Warner, an early overseas player, was making 40 films a year for these markets by 2009. The double-front offensive seemed to be working: last year, American films still took nearly 60% of international box-office.

ALEXA’s Anamorphic De-Squeeze Explained | Ian McCausland | CineTechnica
A paid firmware update that unsqueezes video shot with an anamorphic lens.
The Anamorphic De-squeeze includes four modes for monitoring: De-squeeze off, De-squeeze 2.0x, De-squeeze 2.0x & magnify, and De-squeeze 1.3x.

Coming Tech & More [CR2] | CanonRumors
Interesting rumors about upcoming Canon DSLRs, suggesting a "massive jump in dynamic range" and 4:2:2 video (now RAW).

If they move to 4:2:2, I wonder if they will switch to the MPEG2 codec at 50 Mbps like that used in Canon's professional camcorder line (i.e. the XF100.) This would seem to make sense, even though someone recently told me that the video division of Canon and the DSLR division don't talk to each other!

Canon Rebel T3 DSLR Camera Review | Jeremy Stamas | Camcorderinfo
A review of the video capabilities of the Canon Rebel T3 [B & H $549]
The biggest disappointment we had with the Canon T3’s video mode was the camera’s lack of essential manual controls when shooting video. Unlike it’s more expensive sibling, the Canon T3i, the T3 does not allow you to adjust aperture, shutter speed, or ISO in video mode, which doesn’t bode well for those who were hoping to use this reasonably-priced DSLR as a professional video recording device.

Birmingham riots: how Sangat TV is scooping the big networks | Josh Halliday
| The Guardian
Interesting article about the success of a small video operation reporting on the riots. These kind of events provide a great opportunity for small run and gun operations.
Sangat TV ( or Sky channel 847), a four-man operation in a makeshift newsroom in Edgbaston, Birmingham, has had a good riot. Its guerrilla journalism – mostly broadcast live using a handheld camera – has been rebroadcast by CNN, the BBC and media outlets in India.
Philip Johnston of HD Warrior offers some thoughts too: The “Minority Report” a lesson for us all!, which also prompted him to recall his start in Cable TV: The pitfalls of working in Cable TV
We are so used to watching polished, perfect television these days…Sangat gave us a raw no frills version of events even although they seem to take the words “live” beyond its true meaning they opened a door only seen many years ago when TV was first introduced and we were all in awe of its “liveness”.

  • Red Rocks Amphitheatre | TMDFilms | Vimeo
    Shot on the NEX-FS100 using a Nikon 17-35mm and a 80-200mm zoom.

  • Moon Harvest - FS100 Low Light Glory | Frank Glencairn | Vimeo
    Some pretty amazing low-light shots made handheld at 21 & 30 db with the kit lens.

  • Cinestar 6 air to air | Jeff Scholl | Vimeo
    Interesting aerial sequences with two prototype Cinestars with Panasonic GH2's and a Sony NEX-FS100. This is footage of the small flying craft in action as much as examples of footage from them. Pity they start at $4,500!

  • Livin Proof July | WeAreHQ TV | Vimeo
    Shot with a Sony 50mm f1.4 and Minolta 16mm Fisheye at 30db GAIN. I like this comment "The club was so dark I needed the camera to see where my friends were."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quick Links

Choosing your lens – which stills lenses for video? | Matt Allard
| DSLR News Shooter
This article looks at things to consider when buying lenses:
The second thing you have to decide is whether to get a prime lens or a zoom lens. There is no right or wrong choice here: it comes down to the individual operator and what he or she needs the lens for. Zooms can save you a lot of time as you don’t have to keep changing lenses, you don’t have to move around as much and you don’t need to buy as many lenses. When looking at a zoom lens you want to make sure you get something that has a constant aperture eg f2.8. If you have a zoom lens with variable aperture, the aperture will change when you change the focal length – this is a major pain for video.

Nikons biggest error yet - talking lenses | Sam Morgan Moore | Dslr 4 Real
Canon DSLR owners looking to move to cameras like the Sony NEX-FS100 have been faced with a problem because their Canon lenses aren't easily used in manual mode, but Sam thinks this disadvantage may soon be an advantage
I told Robin ‘El Skid’ (who is considering the FS100) that he had made a schoolboy error investing in Canon glass

Now I’m not so sure and here is why..

[...] We all want external control for a comfortable rig, or to control the lens while its on a crane or steadicam

Well I want external control anyway

Do You Make Marks on the Lens or Follow Focus? | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
If you pull focus, do you place marks on the lens, or the follow focus? Evan lists the pros and cons for each:
Best Accuracy:
By far the most accurate, unless the lens housing comes undone, in which case you have bigger problems to deal with. A more accurate mark makes pulling focus a much easier job to do because, when you mark on the lens at 8 ft. 5″, you know everytime you pull to that distance it will be exactly right.

How to build your own video equipment | Eric Warren | MatadorTV
Collection of videos from YouTube showing how to make budget Steadicams, shoulder mounts, camera mounts, dollys and jibs.

Film Shot with Canon 7D Bought for $4 Million, Hits Theaters Later this Month
| Michael Zhang | PetaPixel
Like Crazy” will be released on October 28th and was was shot using a Canon 7D. Not sure what the budget for the movie was.

Some Really Cool [FREE] FCP Plugins | Steven Trauger |
A collection of free plug-ins and tools for Final Cut Pro (most won't work with Final Cut Pro X)

In case you missed it: 5DtoRGB v1.5 | Chris Marino | Wide Open Camera
Short post and video about this conversion utility for "cameras that record to the AVC/H.264 video format":
5DtoRGB’s algorithm takes your HDSLR footage from the YCbCr color model and interpolates the chroma subsampling in the footage and transcodes it to a RGB color model. This new file will play nicely with any NLE, compositing software, or color correction suite.

7 Pro Tips to Surviving the 48 Hour Film Project | FilmmakerIQ
If you're thinking of taking part in your first 48 Hour Film Project, this advice could really make a difference:
Tip 2: Separate out Preproduction, Production and Postproduction duties
As a team captain you really don’t have much choice but to be involved in every step of the production of your film. However you will see much better results if you delegate various stages of film to different people. Why? – Because each person will be required to put in less but more highly concentrated time into their part of the project.

Alcatraz BTS | Vincent Laforet | Vincent Laforet Blog
Vincent goes to Alcatraz with a Red Epic and five Canon 5D's (for timelapses) as well as a 3D microphone:
We used the the Mitra 3D audio mic and got some pretty stunning results. Normally I would hire a sound engineer but in this case we couldn’t have gotten an extra body on the island. And to be honest we weren’t asked to do audio – but I was able to "throw it in" if you will – given how little effort we had to put into collecting the audio. (But pls don’t misinterpret this – there is NO SUBSTITUTE for a solid audio engineer on all of your jobs. None.)

11 Most Influential Cinematographers of All Time | OnLine Degress Hub
A look at the work of Janusz Kaminski, Wally Pfister, Conrad L. Hall, Jordan Cronenweth, Haskell Wexler, Charles Rosher, Gordon Willis, Vilmos Zsigmond, Gregg Toland, Sven Nykvist and Kazuo Miyagawa.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sony NEX-FS100 News

BlackMagic Hypershuttle vs. FS100 AVCHD | Frank Glencairn | Vimeo
Should you use the AVCHD internal recording of the NEX-FS100, or should you send the signal out HDMI and record it using an external device? Frank does a test with the BlackMagic Shuttle and finds the difference very hard to see, he even says that he doubts he'll use the Shuttle very much at all:
As you can see, you can´t see barley any difference at all. Only in fast motion some minor differences are visible. Even with excessive grading to the material (much more than you would normally do) both material holds up about the same, before it falls apart.
Actually I´m shocked how good Sony´s implementation of AVCHD is.
One reason the difference doesn't appear to be that large may be because the NEX-FS100 is sending out an 8-bit signal rather than a 10-bit one.

SONY NEX FS 100 35mm Digital Video Camera [Updated] | Zane Egginton
| ZedSpace
Zane updates an earlier post with notes from playing with a camera. He adds some important reminders:
Check to make sure AGC (auto gain control) is switched off. I didn’t notice it at first until I was checking light levels and noticed things getting brighter and darker, also the gain selection switch wasn’t working. This can be changed using a button on the side of the camera labelled gain. I was looking in the menu system. Also the camera was set up with Cinegamma on by default (ie Picture profile was set to PP1), as this was a greenscreen shoot that was going to go through a lot of post work it’s best to set this to a standard gamma curve

New Music Video shot on FS100 | Gavin Fisher | DVXUser
Gavin posts two music videos shot with the same artist and director, but two different cameras; the RED MX and the Sony NEX-FS100.
At the end of the FS100 video, there is a night time exterior. We had no time to light this so I cranked the camera to 24db and went for it. The only light is coming from the windows of the building to the left. It was actually very dark, much darker than what appears in the video.

"Gimme Shelter"-Sony FS100 | Timothy Mollen | Vimeo
Shot on the NEX-FS100 with the Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 and the Sony 17-200mm.

"Gimme Shelter"-Sony FS100 from Timothy Mollen on Vimeo.

Bower/Samyang/Rokinon 35mm f1.4 / Fenway Park | Boston Pixel | Vimeo
The Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 (used in the "Gimme Shelter" video above) is made by Samyang and sold under different names, including Bower. It sells for $499 and has received several favorable reviews, including this video review which was made using the Canon 7D:
But simply put, the Bower 35mm f1.4 is a fast, manual lens designed specifically for DSLR video shooters who don't have much of a use for autofocus. So if you don't need it, why pay for it? That's at least what this Korean company thinks, and I'm jumping on board.
B & H: Bower 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon [$499.95]

Quick Links

D|Zoom Gear Review | Justin Gustavison | Blogspot
A video review of the D|Zoom, a gear-driven zoom lever for pulling focus. This review finds the device works well, though he felt he could do the same effects without it; it just made it easier to do some moves: "The D|Zoom worked flawlessly, and did everything it was designed to do."

Sony FS100 AVCHD holds better in color grading than anything else
| Frank Glencairn | Frank Glencairn Wordpress
An interesting post about grading video from the NEX-FS100 using the original AVCHD footage, vs converting it to Cineform, or Black Magic codec uncompressed, 8 Bit YUV, 10 Bit YUV and 10 Bit RGB. It appears that he's doing this in Avid Media Composer.

In truth, this really has less to do with the NEX-FS100 and more to do with the vagaries of working with different file formats, as well as converting between formats.

3 Great Reasons To Use a LCDVF DSLR Viewfinder | Glidetrack Blog
Describes "three more great reasons" to use an LCDVF:
1. Sunlight is the LCD Viewfinder’s enemy
If you shoot a lot outdoors and especially in strong sunlight then you will know that LCD viewfinders are pretty useless.

Hidden local backups with Mac OS X Lion filling up your MacBook hard disk!
| Roberto Valerio | Posterous
It seems that Apple's new Lion OS will backup your system to your local drive if the Time Machine backup drive is not attached. This article also explains how to disable this feature:
If you go to "About this Mac" and "More information", check the "hard disk" tab. You will find some information on how many GB are used for "Backup". In my case there were 35GB stored on my local drive. Without me even noticing.

Product Article: Simplified Shooting Using the Panasonic AG-3DA1 and AG-3DP1 Cameras | Markus Naegele, Panasonic Broadcast Europe | 3D Roundabout
While this is mostly an advertising piece for Panasonic's 3D cameras, it does offer some advice for those thinking of doing 3D work:
Importantly, and as an example of how 2D filming differs from 3D, the operator should think about the complete scene being filmed, taking into consideration how the 3D effect will appear on screen for every element in the shot. The position of the convergence point will determine whether subjects come to the front or sink back into the screen.

Sony’s Portable Monitor (CLMV55) Unboxing & Demo–Video | Gina | SonyStyle
Sony does their own unboxing and demo of their CLM-V55 Portable Monitor [$399] for DSLRs. This little viewfinder should work with any camera that has HDMI out.

I got to play with one briefly at a show and it has focus assist functions - zoom and peaking - and is quite useable, though it's a monitor not a viewfinder like the Zacuto EVF. It may not be quite as useable outside in bright light, and it's not as fully featured as the Zacuto, but it's cheaper.
See also NotesOnVideo: More on Sony CLM-V55

Directors Tell the Story: Master the Craft of Television and Film Directing
| Facebook
A new book on directing that should be available shortly has a Facebook page you can follow:
Learn what it takes to become a director: master the technical aspects, appreciate aesthetic qualities, and practice leadership, all while exuding that "X" factor that distinguishes the excellent director from the merely good one. Covering everything from prep, the shoot, and post, the authors emphasize how aspiring directors can develop a creative vision-because without it, they are just technicians.
You can also preorder it at Amazon: Directors Tell the Story: Master the Craft of Television and Film Directing

Panasonic, Sony, Samsung Team For Universal 3D Glasses Standard | Lisa Johnston | Twice
Three manufacturers have gotten together and decided to create a standard for active 3D glasses. While it says that they are 'targeted to be backward compatible with 2011 3D TVs' it's a bit unclear where this leaves first generation 3D TV/glasses owners.
The license is targeted to be released in September, at which time the development of new standardization-applied active 3D glasses will begin, and universal glasses with the new protocols will be available in 2012, the group said. The glasses "are targeted to be backward compatible with 2011 3D active TVs."
Panasonic Press Release: Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, & Xpand 3D join forces in ‘Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative'


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

E-mount or other-mount for NEX cameras?

I had earlier wondered if the forthcoming Sony/Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens that SonyAlphaRumors has mentioned was an E-mount or on A-mount lens. Today's post at the site confirms that it will be an E-mount lens and will cost about $999. [1]
Which raises an interesting question; if you have an E-mount camera, such as the NEX-FS100 (or the forthcoming NEX-VG20), should you buy an E-mount lens, or spend money on another lens and use a lens mount adapter?

It's an interesting question, because Sony's E-mount has a short flange focal length[2] and because of that it's possible to use lens adapters for many other lenses with the E-mount.[3] However, the reverse is, I believe, unlikely; it won't be possible to use an E-mount lens on your Canon, Nikon or 4/3rds camera.

On the other hand, there's a lot to like about a lens that works with your camera without an adapter, not least of which is that you don't have to deal with an extra piece of equipment. Secondly, unless you buy an A-mount lens and the Sony A to E-mount adapter, the camera can't communicate with the lens, so you're always in full manual.[4]

So should you buy a lens that's limited to the E-mount, or would it be better to buy a lens that's useable on other cameras? As the owner of some Canon cameras and lenses, it's a question I'd have to think seriously about. Of course, it's not a real problem for me at the moment as I don't currently have an NEX camera.
[1] SonyAlphaRumors: A source explains why the 24mm E-mount Zeiss is so big
[2] As defined at Wikipedia: the flange focal length is: the distance from the mounting flange (the metal ring on the camera and the rear of the lens) to the film plane.
[3] Wikipedia: Sony E mount
[4] Birger Engineering is working on an EOS to E-mount adapter which provides lens communication, but the adapter is still not shipping.

Amazing Shuttle Photos

The History of the Space Shuttle | The Atlantic
Lots of interesting - and some amazing - photos from the Shuttle space program collected together in an article at The Atlantic. Some of them seem more like works of fiction than photo's of actual events.

{All Photos: NASA)

Quick Links

Video Review: SONY HX9V – almost the ultimate run and gun cam
| Johnnie Behiri | Vimeo/Cinema5D
Lots of people have said good things about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V[$349] a little point-and-shoot camera that produces surprisingly good video. This review covers just the camera's video shooting capabilities and judges that, used in the right way, it will produce results that rival a real video camera. Unfortunately, there's little manual control.
Interestingly, he demonstrates using the camera with a Zacuto Z-Finder.
Note: 50p setting is for Europe. Set it to 60p in the US.

Streamlining Color Correction in Premiere Pro | Jeff Sengstack | ProVideoCoalition
An introduction to color correction in Premiere Pro:
In this tutorial I show you how to do all of your so-called primary color correction work using only one video effect and two scopes. Primary color correction changes the tonality and color of an entire clip. You use secondary color correction techniques to change tonality and color in areas within a clip’s frame.

Sony NEX C3 vs Oly E-P3 vs Panny GF3 - Manual Focus Face-Off!
| DigitalRevTv | YouTube
While this video seems to set out to show which of these three mirror-less cameras has the quickest focus capabilities, it really ends up spending much of it's time on the Sony NEX-C3 [$649.99], and it's peaking feature for helping to get focus. Verdict; it works really well.
Note that DigitalRevTV did an earlier review of the NEX-C3 that wasn't quite as enthusiastic.

I think there are 45 art directors on this shoot. 2 hours in and we're probably a week behind schedule.

3 Ways To Reject Rejection | Elliot Grove | Raindance
Everyone has to deal with rejection, here's some tips on handling it:
1. Don't take it personally
...every moment I spend taking rejection personally means I can't move on - and I might end up feeling sorry for myself. When that happens no doctor in the world can cure you.

Top 20 Tips for Creating A Successful Demo Reel | Danny Greer
If you're putting together a reel, read this!
These days it seems that many folks in production have multiple skill sets. When applying for a position, ensure that your demo reel is targeted specifically to an individual skill or job function (i.e. Director, Editor, Director of Photography, Animator, Gaffer).

Lion Recovery Disk Assistant | Support | Apple
Apple posts information about Lion Recovery:
The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant lets you create Lion Recovery on an external drive that has all of the same capabilities as the built-in Lion Recovery: reinstall Lion, repair the disk using Disk Utility, restore from a Time Machine backup, or browse the web with Safari.

Online New England Film Festival |
The 2011 Online New England Film Festival will launch on September 1, 2011 and they have posted a list of films that will be shown. You can also read a sneak preview of the upcoming festival in's August issue.

The Hidden Cost of RED Epic and Digital Cinema | Evan Luzi | The Black & Blue
As data rates go up, the amount of data that needs to be copied, backed up and manipulated, keeps going up:
What many are underestimating, or don’t realize, is that Epic is going to balloon the amount of data productions will move by double, possibly even more.
This is directly the effect of an increase in resolution and the lowering of compression.
Estimates are showing that, “At 5k 2:1 and REDcode 5:1 (which will likely be what most features shoot with), a 64GB SSD will be about 12-13 minutes,” said Deanan Dasilva from RED.

New Phantom v1610 Is 60 Percent Faster than Any Other Digital High-Speed Camera in Its Class | Vision Research
The Phantom is already known for it's high frame-rate capabilities, and now Vision Research announces a model that can capture up to 16,000 frames per second at full resolution and 1,000,000 fps at reduced resolution.

Z-Finder EVF Video Series - Part 11: Scaling Options | Zactuo
Zacuto has been posting a series of videos about the capabilities of their new EVF. The latest video is a brief explanation of the EVFs camera preset function as well as a short walkthrough featuring the device's automatic and manual scaling abilities.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Sony NEX-FS100 news items

How did we do our Last Snooze… | Tirso | Rocanblog
Notes from a shoot using the NEX-FS100 with additional comments about lighting, Zacuto rigs and Magic Bullet Looks.
Exposure and white balance preset buttons: makes balancing and recalibrating WB a bliss. In our case we were moving from shooting looking to a window, to shooting from the window looking inside the room. This gave two very different lighting conditons and having the switches, allowed us again to improvise and then… if we were already past the sequences from the window, we could always go back and recall the Exposure and WB setting.

Testing the new Sony FS100E | HÃ¥var Karlsen | hkarlsen
Mixed, but mostly positive impressions of the NEX-FS100, along with a sample video:
It's really puzzling to me why Sony has left so much great qualities from the F3 in the FS100. Its the same large S35 sensor and therefore very similar great low light capability. Sure, the FS100 is only AVCHD, but so is its main competitor (the Panasonic AF101, which is not great in low-light). And the F3 is has only XDCAM EX (35mb/s) onboard, which also makes it unable to capture 50p at 1080p.

Ghost Town of Dearfield | TMDFilms | Vimeo
Dearfield is a ghost town in Weld County, Colorado. The town was founded in 1910.

Sony FS100 test | Joe Lawry | Vimeo
Shot in New Zealand, using a 24mm Nikon 2.8 & a 135mm Nikon 2.8.

Dory Fleet | Cody Cha | Vimeo
Shot at Pacific City, Oregon using Canon EF 24-105mm f/4, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MkII and Canon EF 500mm f/4

Sony FS100 balanced on the shoulder | Sam Morgan Moore | Vimeo
Short video of the NEX-FS100 balanced on a rig. See also: How strong should a monitor arm be?

Canon USA Rebates Through September 3rd

Canon USA routinely offers rebates around this time of year. Once again they are offering them on several lenses, here's some that might be of interest for video use:
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens
[Rebate $70, price now: $979.00]
I have this lens and really like it for it's macro capabilities.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens
[Rebate $100, price now: $1,249.00]
The f/4 70-200 often gets overlooked because of the fantastic f/2.8 lens from Canon, but there's a couple of advantages to the f/4 lens; it's half the price, and half the weight (1.67lbs vs 3.28lb).

Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Autofocus Lens
[Rebate $120, price now: $1,499.00]
At f/1.2 this is a pretty neat lens, though I think I'd be more interested in it if I had a full-frame camera, rather than a crop-sensor, which turns this into an 80mm lens.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Autofocus Lens
[Rebate $150, price now: $2,049.00]
I'm sure this is a great lens, but it's too expensive for me because it's not really a lens I think I'd use much.

Canon Super Wide Angle EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens
[Rebate $160, price now: $2,199.00]
Love to have this lens, but it's too expensive for me!

See the full list here: Lens & Speedlite Instant Rebate

Entertaining television, or fake reality? UK "Top Gear" stages test so Nissan Leaf fails

It appears that BBC's Top Gear show might have done some manipulation when they went for a drive in the all-electric Nissan Leaf. Or so reports George Monbiot in The GuardianTop Gear's electric car shows pour petrol over the BBC's standards.

While the car was delivered with a full charge, Top Gear rigged that test by starting their drive with the batteries depleted. They set out on a 60 mile trip with the car telling them that the range left was only 30 miles, something that wasn't mentioned in the show. But even that may not have been enough for the producers: order to stage a breakdown in Lincoln, "it appeared that the Leaf was driven in loops for more than 10 miles in Lincoln until the battery was flat."

When Jeremy Clarkson was challenged about this, he admitted that he knew the car had only a small charge before he set out. But, he said: "That's how TV works".
Monbiot's article mainly takes Top Gear to task for crimes against BBC's Standards and Practices, but I'm more concerned about continuing crimes against documentary. When it becomes routine for events and situations to be faked in programs that appear to be documentary (i.e. non-scripted) will the audience soon believe that everything is fake?

Full disclosure here; I've been a fan of the show for sometime, but lately I've felt like they have been faking things rather than just creating unusual - maybe even extreme - situations (see: Has "Top Gear' jumped the shark?). I should also add that I recently drove a Nissan Leaf, and quite liked it; even though I think the range isn't great enough for me.

But I'm more perturbed about the underlying principle; if "reality" and non-scripted shows are creating or forcing outcomes, then they should be labelled as drama or fiction, rather than classified as documentary/fact.

I know I'm fighting a losing battle here, one that was probably lost when so-called "reality" programs adopted that label, but I will continue to fight it!

NotesOnVideo: Has "Top Gear" jumped the shark?

Quick Links

The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter | Rob Walker
| The New York Times
Another look at Kickstarter, though this time from the perspective of the site management rather than those who have created Kickstarter campaigns. There's some interesting information that I didn't know; for example just under 2,000 proposals are received a month, and about 40 percent are rejected, although mostly for not following the rules:
With so many ideas pouring in, Kickstarter could adopt a passive stance and simply let “the Internet” take over. But instead, approved projects often get a little advice: make a video, adjust your rewards, lower your funding goal and so on. Kickstarter is as much about unlocking creators’ marketing potential as their creative potential. The company takes a cut — 5 percent — of the money raised on successful projects. (The transactions are processed through an service, which takes a slightly smaller cut.) The founders say it is profitable.

Zacuto EVF Lag w FS100 | Paul Antico | Vimeo
Paul posts a video comparing video lag for the Zacuto EVF when used with the Sony NEX-FS100. While there, the lag does seem very slight.
As you can see there is a very minor amount of lag, but nothing I would call unusable or that's going to mess with pulling focus. I get minor lag with my Marshall 7" monitor too, though it's nearly imperceptible there.

A photographer moving to video – David Paul Carr talks about his experiences
| David Paul Carr | DSLR News Shooter
A photographer talks about his movement to video, he opens with an interesting thought: "Video allows me to record things that would previously have gone unrecorded. It sounds obvious but for me it’s quite magical."
I am convinced that it’s only a matter of time before the divisions between photography, video, etc will become completely blurred. As computers become cheaper and more powerful and video resolution and frame rates increase it will become easier and easier to grab quality frames from moving images. And when raw video becomes more accessible that quality will only get better and better. In 2009 one of my corporate clients shot a very expensive TV commercial campaign and made excellent billboard-size ads from the video footage. When I saw that I realized that everything was going to change…

How do I get into this filming lark and make money from it? Part 2: Rates and surviving | Philip Bloom | Philip
Philip puts together a very long post on rates based on information he got from others, as well as his own experiences. He also offers some tips and advice on getting work:
4: Treat every job, no matter how tedious, as if you are doing a Terrence Malick film. If you slack off it’s a slippery slope. Always make an effort even on the dullest jobs. It keeps you interested and makes YOU stand out. I have seen people not bother on jobs they don’t care about and it shows. That same client may then not give them a great gig because of this.

Fox Intl To Stop 35mm Print Distribution In Hong Kong-Macau: Digital Only After Jan. 1 | Nikki Finke | Deadline Hollywood
The move away from film accelerates with companies announcing the switch to all-digital distribution:
After that date all Fox feature film content in cinemas will be provided exclusively through DCI-compliant digital media formats. Through December 31, 2011 Fox will provide its films in both 35mm print and DCI-compliant digital formats to the region.

Lab pact heralds twilight of film | David Cohen | Variety
Another sign that film distribution is coming to an end:
Citing collapsing demand for film prints as theaters shift to digital projectors, lab giants Technicolor and Deluxe have struck subcontracting agreements that edge them toward an end to their century-old competition in 35mm release printing.

Premiere Pro Video Adrenaline: Roundtripping with Audition | Richard Harrington | CreativeCOW
Richard Harrington looks at Adobe CS55 and how it integrates with Audition. This podcast covers moving back and forth from a Premiere Pro sequence to edit in Adobe Audition.

Do you see what I see? | BBC
Interesting article about how we perceive color:
This is why you see optical illusions, because when looking at an image that is consistent with your past experience of "real life", you brain behaves as if the objects in the current images are also real in the same way.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Deals of the Day

$9.99 eBook Deal of the Week
This week's $9.99 eBook Deal of the Week from Peachput Press is:
Nuke 101: Professional Compositing and Visual Effects
By Ron Ganbar
Published Apr 13, 2011 by Peachpit Press.
Pages: 464
Watermarked eBook, includes PDF and EPUB
For many visual effects artists who are just starting out or are moving from After Effects, Shake, Fusion, or another compositing tool, they are learning that Nuke is quickly becoming the feature film compositing industry standard. While there are several online turorials and courses available, there is currently no book on the market for those who need to know all the ins and outs of the software. Until now.

It's $28.59 for the Kindle edition at Amazon: Nuke 101: Professional Compositing and Visual Effects

Canon VIXIA HF G10 Amazon Discount
The Canon HF G10 has been appearing discounted $30-$50 by various resellers on Amazon. The price has been changing day by day and even Amazon has discounted it up to $30 a few days ago.

Storyboard Composer HD - $4.99 introductory offer
Cinemek has released Cinemek Storyboard Composer HD, an updated version of their existing iPhone storyboard program: Storyboard Composer [which sells for $19.99]. This week Storyboard Composer HD is on sale for $4.99!! [NOTE: I don't know when the week expires; it's been on sale for several days already.]