Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sony NEX-FS100 News

Sony NEX-FS100 review | Sharif Sakr | Engadget
Engadget has an indepth review of the NEX-FS100. The camera may be a step above Engadget's usual "gadget" category, but this is a reasonably thorough review, touching most of the major issues. I'm not sure I agree with all of the explanations and interpretations, the prices are a bit off (the body sells for $4,999, not $5,900) and the kit lens is f/3.5-6.3 (not just f/3.5) but that's quibbling. [Note: the author is English and may be using UK prices.]

There's an interesting note about using the camera in low-light and not believing that it will perform as well as it did:
There wasn't a great deal of noise visible on the small LCD, but all our instincts shouted at us that this 18db footage would be speckled worse than a speckled hen when we got home and saw it on a large monitor. So we switched back to 12db and did our best to hunt out decent shots at that level of gain, which turned out to be mission impossible. Eventually, we gave up altogether and went for a beer. Terrible mistake: we should have allowed the camera to shoot at whatever gain it wanted, and then done our best to re-work the lighting in the studio to make it more flattering.

FD/FL lens test | Jim Kallemeyn | Vimeo
Jim just got an FD/FL lens adapter for his NEX-FS100 and posted a quick handheld video shot wide open at 60fps. Now that's shallow depth-of-field.
The two lenses are a Canon FL 50mm f1.4 and a Kiron FD 105mm 2.8 macro. The Canon is not a high quality lens but the low light capability with the super35mm sensor is awesome. The FD lens adapter is made by Dot Line Corp.

Signal output RGB or 422? | CineAlta Blog
Following up on yesterday's blog about the NEX-FS100's RGB 4:4:4 output, Peter Crithary at the Sony CineAlta Blog has a post about how the FS100 determines what signal to output:
The HDMI 1.4 port used on the FS100 outputs uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 or 8-bit RGB signals. Auto negotiation (EDID) takes place when an external recorder and FS100 are initially connected via HDMI and cable. During the EDID exchange, the FS100 and external recorder negotiate the highest quality signal common to the FS100 and recorder. From then on, the FS100 will output the negotiated signal. There is no menu in the camera to force a particular mode.
There's also a note about how 24p is wrapped in the 60i signal:
Early on, Sony approached all major recorder manufactures to implement time-code and pull-down removal. Some recorders already record native 24p from the FS100's HDMI. I will follow-up with a list of compatible recorders.

Why did I give up my Canon 7D for the Sony FS100? | Sam Morgan Moore
| DSLR News Shooter
Sam has been blogging about getting the NEX-FS100 at his own blog, and has now written about it for DSLR News Shooter. He provides a mixed review of the kit lens:
I also have the Sony 18-200mm NEX kit lens. I seriously recommend buying this thing. The auto focus is pretty cool and so is the image stabilisation, not to mention the zoom range and the price: about the same as a regular 18mm prime lens for the camera. The lowlight performance of the camera makes up for the F6.3, the base ISO of the FS100 is said to be 800ASA. It’s a great ‘grab a shot’ lens, but the less-than-responsive fly by wire focus and aperture adjustment, make it inappropriate for my finer cinematography moments – those are when I pull out one of my little Nikkor primes.
as well as a pros and cons list at the end.

16x9 FS100 PL adapter | Michael Sutton | ProPic
I didn't know this adapter existed until Mike posted a picture of the 16x9 PL mount adapter for E-mount attached to an NEX-FS100 (see link). The mount retails for about $540.

Below is a product shot of the mount.
B & H: 16x9 Inc. Cine Lens Mount (PL to Sony E Mount) [$539.95]

Car Mount Test | Brian Leisring | Vimeo
A short low-light test shot using the NEX-FS100 at 12,600 ISO (+27 db)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sony News

Amazon US: The NEX-7 gets more preorders than the A77! | SonyAlphaRumors
SonyAlphaRumors is shocked that as of yesterday, the NEX-7 had more pre-orders on Amazon than the A77 does. [Best Sellers in Digital SLR Cameras]

Today the Sony NEX-7 Body Only [$1,199.99] and the Sony NEX-7 with 18-55mm Lens[$1,349.99] rank 6 and 10, while the A77 With 16-50mm F2.8 lens[$1,99.99] is at #15. Should we really be surprised, given the price difference?

What really surprises me is that the Sony NEX-5N With 18-55mm Lens only makes an appearance at #16 [$699.99]. I thought it would be much higher than the NEX-7, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that the NEX-5N is an upgrade of an existing camera, while the NEX-7 is "totally new" (so existing owners of the NEX-5 may be buying the NEX-7...)

The NEX-VG20 is not yet available for pre-order (it's not supposed to ship until November) so doesn't appear in any lists yet!

Which is best for low light? Sony NEX 5N or NEX 7 and A77? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew finds some tests at Imaging-Resource, and discovers that the NEW-5N appears to have lower noise at the highest ISO than the A77 does.

This is not necessarily surprising, because if the chip technology is the same, then you would expect that the more pixels in the sensor, then the smaller the size of the individual sensor photosites, and the smaller the size of the photosite, then the higher the noise.

But, as others have pointed out, the A77 is still a pre-production camera, so it's possible that the final camera will perform better.

LA-EA2 Alpha to E-mount adapter and NEX-5n
LA-EA2 Adapter
According to DPReview, the LA-EA2 Alpha to E-mount adapter does have it's own tripod socket, which could be really useful when hanging large lenses off a small NEX camera body.
DPReview: Sony NEX-5N Body & Design

The Sony NEX-FS100 and the unimportance of RGB 4:4:4

An issue that's come up now and again about the Sony NEX-FS100 is it's reported support for 4:4:4 RGB output via it's HDMI port. Sony brochures mention it, but the interesting thing is that practically no video recorders seem to support 4:4:4 RGB, and I've spoken to representatives of AJA and Blackmagic, and they seem as unclear on what 4:4:4 RGB is as I am!

But, 4:4:4 RGB is clearly better than 4:2:2 YCbCr (right?), so people have been very interested in this capability.

Now comes Philip Johnston from HD Warrior, who has managed to get an actual reply from his contacts at Sony UK, and they have added new details to the story. The really important part is this:
...the data of the image created by the FS100/NX70 processor is just 4:2:2.
Then it is lifted up to 4:4:4 in the HDMI processor if the connected device is 444 capable.
That's right, even if you have a display device or a recorder that supported RGB 4:4:4, the signal you are getting from the NEX-FS100 is just the 4:2:2 signal, converted to 4:4:4. So really, there's no reason to worry about this format at all; as Sony notes, the camera simply outputs it if the device that it is connected to supports that protocol.

So you can cancel your order for the Sony SR-R1 digital recorder (the only digital recorder I know of that claims to support 4:4:4 RGB) if that was the reason you were buying one! You might as well just stick to the Key Pro Mini or the Ninja!

HD Warrior: SONY UK deliver amazing news about the FS100 and NX70

NOTE: If you've never quite understood color sub-sampling and the differences between 4:2:0, 4:2:2 and 4:2:2, then read this post from Andy Shipsides at CineTechnica: HD Formats: Color Model & Color Sub-Sampling

See also:
SetaFilms: Report from CineGear – FS100 does 4:4:4
Cinema5D: Doug Jensen says FS100 hdmi is 4:4:4
Vimeo: Sony FS100 with Juan Martinez from Sony
ProVideoCoalition: Untapped features in Sony NXCAM’s new HDMI output

Panasonic announces new point-and-shoots and "X" brand lenses

Panasonic announced the DMC-FZ150, a 24x Super-Zoom Camera with Full HD Video (1080p) Recording, the DMC-FX90 point-and shoot with Wi-Fi connectivity, and two new Micro Four-Thirds lenses; a wide-angle and telephoto zoom that are small and offer improved performance.

I'm going  to skip the cameras, but the lenses may be of interest to Panasonic GH2 or AG-AF100 owners. Unfortunately, while these lenses should appeal to still shooters, and will work with any Micro Four-Thirds camera, they probably won't appeal to the video shooter. The pancake lens particularly seems to be very small, and with it's electric powered operation, and "manual focus lever" I'm thinking it might be rather difficult to operate. The longer zoom may be less finicky, but it's also not a constant aperture lens.

It's perhaps notable that they are calling these "premium" lenses, and not "professional" lenses, which is what I had thought they were going to be when I first read rumors about them.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm Lens
Panasonic's new LUMIX G “X” lens retracts to help minimize its size, without compromising its focal length or image quality.With electric-powered zoom operation, the retractable Power Zoom H-PS14042 lens is extremely compact, approximately 26.8mm in length, and weighs approximately 3.35oz, offering ultra-high portability.

The convenient zoom lever on the lens barrel gives users a stable way to zoom. Manual focusing is also available with a manual focus lever for even more precise control.

The LUMIX GF3X will be available in a black body and black lens or a silver body and silver lens kits options in October 2011 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $749.99. T

DPReview already has a hands on preview of this lens.

Panasonic’s New Premium LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm Lens
The LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-PS45175), is the company’s first cutting-edge digital interchangeable lens with electric-powered zoom operation. This marks the launch of the company’s premium lens brand “X” which is compatible with the Panasonic LUMIX G Series and complies with the Micro Four Thirds system standard.

A unique Nano Surface Coating technology minimizes reflections at entire visual light range (380nm-780nm) for a dramatic reduction of ghosts and light flare, resulting in outstandingly clear picture quality.

The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-PS45175) will be available in black and silver starting September 2011 with a suggested retail price of $449.99.

Engadget: Panasonic shrinks its Micro Four Thirds lenses, launches X-series with wide-angle, telephoto zooms
DPReview: Panasonic launches Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS
DPReview: Panasonic launches Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 OIS pancake
DPReview: Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS Hands-on Preview
SlashGear: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Official

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sony News

Sony UK Webchat
Yesterday Sony UK had a live video webchat with Sony Rep Paul Genge. I only caught some of it, but here's my notes:

He showed the LA-EA2 A-mount to E-mount adapter. It’s got a translucent mirror in it and the base houses the auto-focus module. It will be compatible with previous models he says, but the cameras will require a firmware upgrade. It’s coming in a couple of months and a firmware upgrade will come then too.

Someone asked about overheating. He said that the overheating issue of the A55 was caused by the steadyshot mechanism moving the shift mechanism, contributing to the overheating. This caused a thermostat warning to appear quite quickly. If you turned off steadyshot you got the full 29 minutes of recording. They have reverted to an electronic image stabilization system to counteract the overheating.

He noted that you can record for "the full" 29 minutes. An earlier article suggested that the 29 minute limit was technology related, but it sounds like it is a forced limit caused by the added tax on video recording devices that record for more than 29 minutes.

The touch screen on the NEX-5n was highlighted, though it was noted that the NEX-7 doesn't have a touch system, because, he said, it has the "NAVI System."

A77 & A65
Sony’s new A77 – So close yet so far | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
Dan is concerned about two issues with the A77, which is supposed to have really good video, BUT no manual audio controls, and:
DPreview has a full rundown of the camera here and notes that the A77 only does AF in Program mode and not manual exposure, due to the need for the camera to control aperture. They also note that there is a sensor crop when entering movie mode that is greater than just a regular 16×9 crop of the S35 sensor.

Sony A77 – No moire but HDMI output not full HD? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew sat in on the live webchat too, and asked about the HDMI output from the A77. He got some answers (with a few caveats.)
The camera was hooked up to a Sony Bravia during the talk and there was a lot of shooting info cluttering the screen but the feed didn’t seem to change resolution when record was hit – instead a black box appeared for a few second saying that recording was starting – but the video feed then didn’t become full screen and all the display info was still visible including AF points.

NEX Cameras
First Look: New Sony Alpha NEX-5N mirrorless camera is surprisingly fast
| Theano Nikitas | Macworld
A generally favorable first look at the NEX-5n:
In movie mode, focus automatically adjusts as the camera moves across and through a scene. Again, and as expected, focus adjustments are faster when you're shooting at wide angle. In my trials at close range, while using midrange and telephoto focal lengths of the 18 mm to 55mm lens, I found the focus slightly slower to catch up during panning but not excruciatingly so. And I saw little noticeable, distracting focus search.

Sony NEX 5N – Video dark horse? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew likes the look of the NEX-5n:
Full manual control in video mode – this is a huge surprise. We knew the A77 and A65 had it from the leaks. I was relieved when I saw the NEX-7 had it. I am frankly over the moon to see the affordable NEX-5 with it

Sony NEX-5N replaces NEX-5, adds 16.1 MP sensor, 25,600 max ISO, OLED viewfinder option (video) | Zach Honig | Engadget
A good image of the OLED add-on viewfinder for the NEX-5n; it only works with the NEX-5n, and the NEX-7 has a similar viewfinder built-in. At $350, it might be a bit of a luxury.

Introducing the new NEX-5n | YouTube
A Sony commercial for the NEX-5n

B & H: Alpha NEX-5N Digital Camera (Body Only) [$599.99]
B & H: Alpha NEX-5N Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black)[$699.99]

Sony Alpha NEX-7 preview | Gordon Laing | Camera Labs
A preview of the NEX-7:
Those who were frustrated by the automatic nature of the previous NEX-5 will be delighted to learn the NEX-7 now supports PASM modes for video, allowing full manual control over exposure, and while there's still no standard microphone input, Sony says you can still connect the optional ECM-SST1 microphone accessory.

NEX-VG20 Promotional Video:

Sony unleashes new interchangeable-lens camera lineup
| Tim Moynihan
| PCWorld
An overview of all the products.

Sneak Peek New Sony NEX-7, NEX-5N, a65, NEX-VG20 Cameras | Sony Electronics | Vimeo
A promotional video, but it's actually interesting. For example, I hadn't realized that the NEX-7 has the OLED viewfinder built-in (one is available for ~$350 for the NEX-5n.) Close-ups on the LA-EA2.

Sneak Peek New Sony NEX-7, NEX-5N, a65, NEX-VG20 Cameras from SonyElectronics on Vimeo.

Quick Links

The great 'Get' mystery has been solved, it's now called Boris Soundbite |
AV3's phonetic search engine for Final Cut Pro, "Get" was recently discontinued, reportedly after Nexidia, the company that owns the technology, ended the relationship with AV3. Now the software has turned up as Boris Soundbite.
Note that there's no mention of "Get" on Boris' website, and as writes:
We are pleased to see it back, it would have been a shame for this product to have slipped away and not returned. We cannot comment on the rumour that next year it will be called 'Grab" from Red Giant.
Soundbite currently runs under Final Cut Pro 7 or 6.0.2, but the prodcut page says that a FCP X version will be available soon as a free upgrade.
You can buy it now for $295 (discounted from $495), though whether Nexidia will end the agreement with Boris after a year, who knows.
BorisFX: Soundbite

DualEyes 2.0 now available | Singular Software
Signular has updated their standalone sound synch product DualEyes. This version is much faster thanks to multiprocessing and algorithm improvements and is a free update for existing customers of DualEyes.
There's a 30-day trial version available.

What's it like to have your film flop at the box office? | Sean Hood | Quora
This is fascinating. Sean was one of several writers who worked on Conan the Barbarian 3D and he's written a lengthy post on what it was like to go through the opening weekend. He describes it as similar to working on a political campaign:
A few months before release, "tracking numbers" play the role in movies that polls play in politics. It's easy to get caught up in this excitement, like a college volunteer handing out fliers for Howard Dean. (Months before Conan was released many close to the production believed it would open like last year's The Expendables.) As the release date approaches and the the tracking numbers start to fall, you start adjusting expectations, but always with a kind of desperate optimism. "I don't believe the polls," say the smiling candidates.

5D Mark III & The Rest [CR2]
| CanonRumors
The 5D Mark III in October? CanonRumors is starting to think so, but who knows? I've heard a couple of people talk about something from Canon coming in the next couple of months, but whether it's a DSLR or a large-chip camcorder, or some hybrid, it's hard to know.

BIRTV 2011 – E-Image launch follow focus and carbon fibre tripod range
| Dan Chung and Sarah Li | DSLR News Shooter
A look at E-Image's new follow focus, carbon fibre tripod and a basic shoulder support with battery plate. E-Image is described as: "one of the biggest tripod manufacturers in China...Their quality is good compared to other Chinese tripod makers"

3D tech titans tie the knot | Variety
A merger in the 3D technology world:
Tech provider 3ality Digital has acquired all of manufacturer Element Technica for "several million dollars in cash, plus equity," said Steve Schklair, formerly CEO of 3ality Digital and now CEO of the combined company, which takes on the moniker 3eality Technica.
3D’s 3ality Buys Main Competitor | HD Magazine

CineSkates Camera Sliders | KickStarter
Justin Jensen put together a very nice design for skates to turn a GorillaPod Focus and Ballhead into a small dolly. You can buy one through his Kickstarter campaign (without the tripod) for $150.
This campaign has gotten a lot of attention the last couple of days; today it's on Engadget!: CineSkates smooth your camera's roll (video)

Vimeo on AppleTV | Vimeo
Viemo highlights that fact that the Apple TV 2 now supports Vimeo.

FS100 5DMkII AF100 - Crop Factor - Magnanimous Media | Vimeo
In this video we show you the crop factor between the Canon 5DMkII, Sony NEX-FS100, and the Panasonic AG-AF100. The test was done with the Canon 24-70mm L-Series lens at 24mm.

Nikon: we don't need mirrorless cameras | Amy Davies | TechRadar
Nikon continues to go their own way, ignoring trends - video, mirrorless cameras - that other companies are embracing:
Although the press and rumour sites undeniably like to speculate about the possibility of a Nikon mirrorless, according to Loader, customers aren't really asking for it. "When we were at Focus [an imaging trade show held annually at the NEC] last year, it didn't get asked for. It's really only the press that constantly want to know," he said.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Letter from Steve Jobs

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


Source: Apple

Latest Sony News

Sony UK Announces Live Q&A on Facebook | Photography Blog
Sony UK is having a webchat today at 7:30pm BET (that's 2:30pm EST) with their photography expert Paul Genge. You need a Facebook account to friend them at: Sony UK - Facebook

Sony A77, NEX-7, VG20 and NEX 5N video modes – new information | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew Reid reports that there's a recording limit on the cameras of 29 minutes per clip in AVCHD mode even NTSC. This is reportedly a technical issue (overheating?!)

Which new Sony to get – or wait for Canon? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Meanwhile, he's giving serious thought to getting an NEX-5n.

Hands-On With a Pre-Production A77 and Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 Lens
| Luminous Landscape
A first impressions review. Note the comment about rolling shutter:
Though I know that I promised not to discuss image quality in this pre-production review, I have to mention one thing that I noticed while shooting some test video. There is much less visible rolling shutter with this camera than I've seen before. If this holds true with a full production camera then DSLR video makers are going to be all over this camera like a kid with a bowel of strawberry jello.

Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM SAL1650 Review | SLRGear
A review of one of the lenses is up already:
The Sony 16-50mm ƒ/2.8 DT presents itself as a capable walk-around zoom lens; mated with the newer A65 or A77 bodies, which appear to correct its slight issues with chromatic aberration, the combination works to produce excellent photographs.

B & H has a writeup about the camera, and both options lised, but no pre-ordering yet:
NEX-VG20 Interchangeable Lens HD Handycam Camcorder (Body Only) [$1,599.99]
NEX-VG20H Interchangeable Lens HD Handycam Camcorder (with Lens) [$2,199.99]

Quick Thoughts on Sony's Announcements

Some quick initial thoughts on the new toys that Sony announced.

A77 & A65
These may be very nice "DSLRs", but as the owner of a Canon 7D, and several Canon lenses, I'm not keen to jump ship to another platform. At least not yet. And to be honest, I'm not a fan of shooting video with a DSLR camera body anyway; I just don't like the ergonomics.
Since it's not a true DSLR, and the viewfinder is actually an EVF it should be useable while shooting video, which might be a plus. On the other hand, when taking stills, I really like having an optical viewfinder, so I'm not sure whether I'll like this camera at all...

Holy Cow! Over $1,000 for this puppy?! That's a DSLR in sheep's, well no-clothing prices. I'm a bit surprised that it's basically twice the price of the NEX-5n! I'd get the 5n.

The really interesting thing about the NEX-5n is that it appears to have the same sensor as the NEX-VG20. Does it? And if so, does it's video closely match that produced by the NEX-VG20? Would it make a nice B camera? We'll have to wait for the reviews.
I'd buy the NEX-c3, but it only supports 720p video.
If you have an NEX-VG10/20 or NEX-FS100, this might make sense as a B or C camera; after all, it shares the same mount.

Interesting camera. Obviously not the same sensor and controls as the NEX-FS100, but I actually find myself more drawn to this camera than I was to the previous model, the NEX-VG10. That's partly because of the new manual controls and 60p/24p support, and partly because some of the drawbacks I perceived in the previous camera (the lack of ND filters, the rather average kit lens) were duplicated in the NEX-FS100. The NEX-VG20 doesn't look quite so bad now (and if you really don't like the kit lens, you can now buy the camera without it!)

The lenses
Only a couple of these are really of interest to me:
Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Lens for Sony NEX
This should be nice, but it's $999. At that price, I'd probably buy a "real" Zeiss lens with a Nikon mount and use an adapter!
50mm F1.8 OSS
Optical Image Stabilization, and "only" $300. Could be nice, though I'd want to wait for some reviews; the 16mm pancake E-mount lens was not that great.
LA-EA2 A-mount adapter
Interesting; I'd like to try this out. I wonder how much light is lost when you use this?

For much more information about the new products:
NotesOnVideo | Sony LA-EA2 Lens Adapter
NotesOnVideo | Sony' new NEX-VG20
NotesOnVideo | Sony Announces Cameras

Quick Links

Make These Quick Adjustments Everytime You Move the Camera | Evan Luzi
| The Black and Blue
Important tips on what to do whenever you move your camera - especially if you're in a hurry:
It’s easy to think once you’ve lugged the camera to its new spot, raised it to the right height, and spun it around to point the right direction that you’re done — that is until you see an unintentional dutch angle in the works.

Zacuto EVF Saves the Day | Zacuto
Interesting story about how DP Rodney Charters used a Canon 60D (with EVF) to quickly capture a crane shot:
The director is screaming, “I must have my crane shot,” knowing there is not enough time to get the shots that are left and then mount one of the Alexas on the jib. The Director of Photography, Rodney Charters, promptly turns to a camera assistant and calmly says, “Mount the 60D on the Jib.”

Recommended affordable Sony A77 lenses | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Thinking of switching to Sony? Andrew Reid offers some suggestions for lenses to get (with an eye to shooting video, rather than still photography.)

Some Avid Tools You Might Not Already Be Using | Scott Simmons
| ProVideoCoalition
Some tips about Avid Media Composer you might not be aware of, including:
  • Top and Tail editing
  • Stereo audio tracks
  • Head and Tail Fade Buttons
  • Sync Point Editing

Adobe’s Al Mooney Hurlblog Interview Part I | Hurlbut Visuals
Adobe Premiere Pro's Product Manager, Al Mooney, talks about Adobe's entire product line and philosophy. I was going to put this in to the Switching section of the Final Cut Pro X resources post, but really this is an Adobe product pitch. Nicely lit and shot though.

How Does Everyone Expect Filmmakers To Promote Movies? | Ted Hope
| Indiewire
Interesting thoughts on the economics of indie filmmaking:
...we spend about two years minimu developing, packaging, financing a film. Add a year to make it, and for the director 18 months to two years promoting it. That is five years of work. On a $3M movie (if one can be as fortunate enough to raise that kind of money) that breaks down to a whopping $30K/year salary.

The Art of Digital Color | Mike Seymour | FXGuide
Make sure you scroll down to read this lengthy article on the history of digital color:
Color management and color workflows have evolved over many years. in this article we will trace from Cineon to Scene Referred Linear OpenEXR format. Cineon is such a backbone of the industry but it is now over 18 years old and perhaps it is time we moved to a more robust, flexible and accurate system.

DV|TV: SmallHD DP4 EVF Review, How to Light Outdoors | NextWaveDV
A video review of the SmallHD DP4 EVF hybrid field monitor and electronic viewfinder and a tutorial on how to re-light an outdoor scene on a limited budget.

The Economics of Attention – Social Media and the Box-Office | Dr Bernardo Huberman | movieScope
Can social media predict box office?
Huberman’s co-authored article ‘Predicting the Future With Social Media’, published in March 2010, demonstrates a direct, measurable correlation between the number of ‘tweets’ referencing a given film title in any week, and the film’s box-office takings the following weekend.

The 5 Best Ways to Use Social Media to Build an Audience For Your Movie
| Sheri Candler | indieWire
And here's some tips on promoting using social media:
1) Don’t spend all of your time talking about your film.
Constant selling is boring and that’s counterproductive: You’re trying to build interest. This is why you should be careful about entrusting outside agencies with building and maintaining your social media presence: They can’t effectively be the voice of your work.

Six Tools for Online Film Distribution: Distrify, Dynamo Player, and other DIY Tools | Nic Baisley | MasteringFilm
A look at different services for distributing your movie online:
The truth is that no matter how passionate the business entity behind your distribution platform of choice is about independent film, they are not going to give your film more than several passing glances unless it is going to put coin in their pockets.

podcast #48 Vincent Laforet | Planet5D
Monday's webchat with Vincent Laforet is now archived online at Planet5D.

PHYX Keyer | Cfen | Cfen's Behind the Scenes
A review of the PHYX Keyer, which the writer prefers over the keyer in Final Cut Pro. Note that while he's using it in Final Cut Pro 7, it also works in Final Cut Pro X.

Syd Field Script Launcher | Syd Field | iTunes
Screenwriting teacher Syd Field has an app to help you write you script, and it runs on the iPhone. It's $7.99

Sony LA-EA2 Lens Adapter

Sony already offered an A-mount to E-mount adapter, the LA-EA1, but the LA-EA2 adds a translucent mirror and continuous phase-detect autofocus. It should work with the NEX-VG20 (see photo below) and other NEX cameras (including possibly the NEX-FS100.)

Price around $400, and shipping in November. According to Engadget, owners of the NEX-3, 5 and C3 will need a firmware upgrade for it to work, which raises the question whether it will work with the NEX-VG10 and FS100 without a similar update.

Engadget | Sony LA-EA2 lens adapter gets ready for its close-up in 'leaked' render
Engadget | Sony reveals three new NEX E-mount lenses, LA-EA2 A-mount adaptor with translucent mirror
PCMag | LA-EA2 Lens Adapter
PhotographyBlog: Sony LA-EA2
B & H : Sony Alpha LA-EA1 Camera Mount Adapter [Earlier model]

NEX-VG20 and LA-EA2

Sony' new NEX-VG20

Sony announced the NEX-VG20, and on first impression, it looks very much like the NEX-VG10:

The specs are pretty much what was expected:
  • Effective 16.1megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
  • AVCHD Full HD video plus 60p, 30p and 24p progressive modes
  • DSLR-quality 16 megapixel stills with RAW support
  • Improved audio with Quad Capsule Spatial Array microphone and stereo/5.1 sound recording
  • Manual controls and revised ergonomics with new hand grip, Assignable Dial and dedicated function keys
  • 7.5cm (3”) Xtra Fine LCD touch-screen with Tru-Black technology
What is a little bit unexpected is that they will be selling it with and without the lens (the kens is that same one as the one sold with the NEX-VG10.) So while the NEX-VG20 goes up $100 to $2,199, you'll be able to get it without the lens for $1,599.

It's expected to be available in November.


SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2011 – The new Handycam® NEX-VG20 camcorder from Sony allows videographers to explore the artistic potential of the growing range of E-Mount lenses for shooting cinematic Full HD video and high-resolution still photos. The new camcorder offers several enhancements over Sony’s acclaimed NEX-VG10 – the world’s first consumer HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses – including comprehensive manual controls, improved imaging quality and upgraded sound. Significantly refined ergonomics include enhanced grips for balance and low-angle shooting, and a second record button, among many others.

“Whether you’re shooting video or stills, this camcorder’s large sensor rivals the expressive picture quality of a DSLR camera,” said Andy Bubala, director of camcorders at Sony Electronics. “We’ve also made several enhancements to deliver the type of camcorder that video enthusiasts will love.”

With a resolution of 16.1 effective megapixels, the camcorder’s Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor assures outstanding video image quality, with extremely low noise in low light. It also captures pristine 16 megapixel still photos, with RAW format support for all the post-processing flexibility that’s familiar to DSLR users. The sensor also allows the creation of background defocus ('bokeh') effects with a user’s E-mount lenses.

Full HD video shooting in the AVCHD™ format is now complemented by a choice of 24p and 60p (progressive) frame rate options. Footage shot at 24p can be enhanced with Cinema Tone Gamma™ and Cinema Tone Color™ for an even richer, more cinematic look.

Dialogue and other sounds are captured by the precision Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone that now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround. The camcorder also offers a new audio level control.

Several ergonomic refinements let videographers shoot HD video and stills in even greater comfort. The camcorder’s handgrip has been redesigned for excellent stability. Allowing manual adjustment of exposure, iris and other settings, the control dial can now be accessed even when the LCD panel is closed.

The button layout now features “hard” function keys, direct access to each shooting mode (Iris, Shutter speed, Program AE), a second REC button for low-angle shots and expanded focus button – all located for intuitive operation so users don’t have to take their eyes away from the electronic viewfinder.

Shooters can frame and review footage on the three-inch (7.5cm) Xtra Fine LCD™ display that features TruBlack™ technology for clear, high contrast images. The screen can rotate up to a 270-degree range for easy framing in any position, even with the camera held low. A touch-panel simplifies fingertip operation of shooting functions.

The NEX-VG20H camcorder comes with the SEL18200 F3.5-6.3 E-mount lens. With a wide 11x optical zoom range and built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, this versatile lens offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation during movie and still shooting.

A choice of seven E-mount lenses can cover virtually any shooting situation. The optional LA-EA2 lens mount adaptor provides even wider compatibility with the established family of A-mount optics. Sony is also planning to develop a third-party “eco-system” to allow consumers to use the camcorder with other brands’ lens assets.

The new camcorder is compatible with Sony’s Memory Stick PRO-HG™ Duo HX series as well as Sony’s full line of SD memory cards. Available in capacities up to 32 GB, both media enable necessary transfer speeds for stable and optimal performance of Sony hardware features such as full HD movie shooting.

The Handycam NEX-VG20H Full HD E-mount system camcorder will be available with a retail price of about $2,199. A body-only version, the NEX-VG20, will be available for $1,599.

Sony Announces Cameras

As expected, Sony announced a mass of new cameras and lenses:







Most are alredy available for pre-order on Amazon:
and lenses:

Sony NEX-5n Specs on Amazon!

UPDATE: Ten minutes later, it appears the link no longer'll probably come back later today...
The following comes from Amazon's webpage for the Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Camera with Touchscreen - Body Only (Black)
Price is $599.99 for body only.

NOTE: I think the Phase Detect AF for E-mount bodies adapter may be what was pictured with the NEX-VG20.

16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor
You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise.

BIONZ image processor
The brain of the camera is a refined version of Sony's BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 25600 sensitivity. Also enables fast processing for up to 10 fps continuous shooting of data-intensive 16.1 megapixel images, 2D/3D Sweep Panorama modes and 6 image layering.

Full HD movie shooting 60p/24p
Record Full HD 1920x1080 video in a variety of frame rates from 60p for super smooth action to 24p for a more cinematic feel. The NEX-5N utilizes the AVCHD codec, the industry standard for high quality HD video capture, as well as the MP4 codec for easy upload to the web due to it's smaller file size.

Optional XGA OLED viewfinder
The optional FDA-EV1S OLED Tru-Finder offers a large, bright and wide-view of the scene. With high resolution 2.395K dot, and unprecedented speed, contrast and color accuracy, the FDA-EV1S provides an extraordinary view.

Peaking AF display
The Peaking AF display makes precise manual focusing much easier by highlighting the edges that are in focus in your choice of three colors ( white, red, or yellow). This is especially helpful during macro or portrait photography where your focal plane can make or break your shot.

Auto HDR
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining the best highlight detail from one shot and the best shadow detail from another for one incredible shot. Until recently, you needed a computer and editing software. Sony builds HDR in. Handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)

Phase Detect AF for E-mount bodies w/ adapter
Both the LA-EA1 and EA2 adapters (sold separately) allow you to attach A-mount lenses to your E-mount camera. However, the LA-EA2 is the world's first adapter to leverage Sony's exclusive Translucent Mirror Technology to provide super fast and accurate Phase Detection AF as well. The LA-EA2 adapter has a translucent mirror built-in between the two mounts that directs a small portion of the light to the phase detection AF sensor in the bottom of the unit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

USA Today confirms Sony announcements

SonyAlphaRumors has a page from Wednesday's USA Today that seems to confirm everything about the new Sony cameras; the 24MP A77 will be $1999 (with 16-50mm 1.8 lens) and the A65 $899, and will be available in October. These "DSLRs" feature a translucent mirror and electronic viewfinder, improving auto-focusing. The 24MP NEX-7 with kit lens will be $1350 and the 16MP NEX-5N with lens will be $700, and will be available in September.

Interestingly, the 14MP NEX-VG20 camcorder will be $2,199, that's $100 more than the VG10 (though if it has the improved manual audio controls, 24pm video etc, then it will be worth it!) No date is quoted for it.

I'm sure there will be a lot more information when the official announcement rolls out later on Wednesday.

SonyAlphaRumors: Hot! Sony new products on US Today!!! With official price of A77!

VG-20: Source: SonyAlphaRumors

Included with the article is a small picture of the VG-20 (above) that's captioned that it is with an "Alpha Lens." But there appears to be something odd hanging off the side of the lens mount; is this a new Alpha-Mount to E-Mount Adapter, or some other attachment?
UPDATE: It is probably the LA-EA2 Adapter.

Final Cut Pro X Information & Resources 20


Using the Video-in-Text Title for Final Cut Pro X | Steve Martin & Mark Spencer | Ripple Training
Nice little tutorial on how to accomplish this effect.

Canon XF workflow with FCPX | Daniel Houghton | Houghton Multimedia
Final Cut Pro X doesn't recognize files from the Canon XF100, so here's a workaround using Adobe Media Encoder (which suggests that you have to own Premiere Pro already!)


Final Cut Pro X Grade Presets | Color Grading Central
Final Cut Pro X's Color Board makes it possible to save presets. You can get 3 presets for free from Color Grading Central, (the complete set of 20 is $49.)
You can also see a demo/tutorial for the presets at Vimeo: FCP X Luster Grade Presets QuickStart Guide and Overview

Rays | DigitalFilmTools
Add light ray effects to your shots in post with this filter that works with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro (including FCPX), Apple Motion 5 and Avid Editing Systems. $99

Free FCPX Plugins and Templates | FCP.Co
Don't forget that maintains a directory of free FCPX plug-ins and templates.

Final Cut Pro X Roadshow Sponsored by ScreenLight | Screenlight
ScreenLight is part of a free Final Cut Pro X roadshop taking place in Toronto, September 8th and Vancouver September 13th.

Quick Links

Sony Announcements Tomorrow
Don't forget that Sony is expected to announce a bunch of things tomorrow. While most of them are more still camera oriented, all of the still cameras are expected to have pretty impressive video capabilities. The current list:
  • A77 & A65 "DSLR" -like cameras
  • NEX-7 and NEX-5N mirrorless cameras
  • External viewfinder for the NEX-5N
  • NEX-VG20 large chip consumer camcorder
  • 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM lens
  • Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 for E-mount
  • Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS for E-mount
  • Sony 55-210mm OSS for E-mount
Should be an interesting day!

Mako’s Marvelous Mini Cams | Mako Koiwai | Film & Digital Times
Photographer and DP Mako Koiwai offers some thoughts on mini-cams, encourages you to give them a try, and offers some tips:
The popular GoPros, even though they come with a underwater housing, do not deliver crisp underwater images with their Domed Ports. Those ports were OK for the Standard Def versions of these cameras, but the HD Hero versions require an aftermarket Flat Port to deliver professional results. Fortunately there are a number of aftermarket suppliers who can supply you with Flat Ports and other helpful accessories. The most comprehensive supplier is Oculus (search on eBay) and Makospearguns (no relationship!) also supply inexpensive flat ports.

Lessons Learned from The Social Network | Danny Munso | movieScope
Interesting article looking at a number of lessons you can learn about writing from The Social Network:
When you are working with real-life characters and events, as Sorkin was here, it is important to decide for yourself what kind of story you want to write. Are you only going to write the facts, or will you take creative license with some of the material you are given to make improvements to the ‘story’ you are telling?

Shooting with the Basics | Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
Matt describes how he travels light:
I had a Canon 7D, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, Canon 50mm f1.2 and a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro (non IS). The only other things I had were a mini light stand and a gorilla pod. I didn’t have a Z-finder, monitor, slider, audio, ND faders or anything else with me.

Happy Birthday to reader Paul Antico of Need Creative, who is getting old!

Cominatcha! -3-D TV is here! But do we really need to tune in?
| Matthew Gilbert |
Another in a long line of "do we really want 3D?" articles:
“It’s a technology that demos very well,’’ says David Katzmaier, senior editor of home theater at CNET. “But it’s not the kind of thing that HDTV was, or that people initially thought it would be… . Even the hardcore techies who’ve seen it don’t express much enthusiasm. It’s not listed high on their considerations when buying a new TV.’’ Steve Safran, Natick-based editor of the website Lost Remote, agrees: “I don’t see 3-D TV ever being a substantial part of our media diet.’’

Connected TVs stalled by replacement cycle | Advanced Television
Researcher STL thinks the replacement cycle will limit the adoption of connected TVs:
“While we expect internet connectivity to become a pretty standard feature with TV over the next couple of years we are sceptical about their active use for viewing video. The content offering is currently too limited. We would be surprised if within a couple of years, there are more than one million homes regularly using TVs to watch video over the internet,”

Do Docs Matter? Ask the Newly Freed West Memphis Three | Bryant Frazer
| Studio Daily
An update on the documentary Paradise Lost 3:
It’s almost certainly the year’s biggest story in documentaries — and one that pretty much guarantees a Best Oscar win next year for Paradise Lost directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Today, just as the filmmakers scramble to get Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory ready for festival screenings beginning next month in Toronto and New York, a surprise hearing in West Memphis, Arkansas, is seeing the release of the “West Memphis Three.”

New Canon Consumer Cameras Announced

Canon has announced three new consumer point-and-shoot cameras: the PowerShot SX150 IS, the PowerShot ELPH 510 HS (the world’s thinnest digital camera with 12x optical zoom and a 28mm wide-angle lens1) and the PowerShot ELPH 310 HS.

PowerShot SX150 IS
Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Digital camera | DPReview
A 12x optical zoom with 28mm wide-angle lens, 720p HD video recording, Intelligent IS and Smart AUTO, a 14.1-megapixel CCD sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor. Available in black and red, scheduled to be available at the beginning of September for an estimated retail price of $249.99.

PowerShot ELPH 510 HS
Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 HS and ELPH 310 HS Digital cameras | Canon Rumors
A 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with a 12x optical zoom and 28mm wide-angle lens, Canon's HS SYSTEM and 1080p Full HD video recording. The ELPH 510 HS Digital camera also includes a High-Speed Burst mode, Intelligent IS and Smart AUTO. Available in red, black, and silver, this camera has a 3.2-inch wide, touch-panel LCD screen, offering fast and easy menu navigation. The ELPH 510 HS Digital camera also has Touch Shutter, simply touch the screen where you want to focus and release your finger to take a photo. The ELPH 510 HS Digital camera is scheduled to be available at the beginning of October for the estimated retail price of $349.99.

The PowerShot ELPH 310 HS Digital camera has a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with an 8x optical zoom and 28mm wide-angle lens, Canon's HS SYSTEM and 1080p Full HD video recording. The ELPH 310 HS Digital camera features a High-Speed Burst mode, Intelligent IS and improved Smart AUTO. The ELPH 310 HS Digital camera includes a 3-inch LCD screen and comes in five vibrant colors: purple, blue, pink, green and silver. The ELPH 310 HS Digital camera is scheduled to be available at the beginning of October for an estimated retail price of $259.99.

Also announced, the Canon HF-DC2 High-Power Flash.
Increases the effective flash range up to approximately 30 feet and supports 24mm wide-angle shooting with the wide-panel attachment. The HF-DC2 automatically fires in-sync with the camera's built-in flash and operates wirelessly to capture subjects at twice the range of the camera's built-in flash. The HF-DC2 includes a mounting bracket that attaches to the camera, but it can also be hand-held or mounted on a tripod. The HF-DC2 High-Power Flash is scheduled to be available in December for an estimated retail price of $149.99.

Canon: Canon's Latest Powershot Cameras Set New Standards For Image Capture

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Big Ole' Lens Test Party, 2011

Last week, Rick Macomber told me about a lens test that was going to be happening over the weekend and asked me if I was interested in going; Well, sure! And so it was that I found myself at a get together of camera pros this last Saturday, soaking up the knowledge and trying to keep my mouth shut so that I only appeared stupid.

The event was hosted by Ben Eckstein, and was the brain child of Ben and Chris Loughran, who had been having a discussion about the differences between the expensive and budget lenses, and whether you could really see the difference in most situations. They decided to resolve [no pun intended!] the issue by shooting a short scene with different lenses on the same camera, and then see for themselves how different the results were. And thus the 'Big Ole' Lens Test Party of 2011' was born.

They begged, borrowed and rented from Rule Boston Camera a variety of lenses, including a Cooke S4 35mm, Zeiss Superspeed 35mm, and Zeiss CP2 35mm, as well as some more everyday lenses like a Nikon 17-55mm, an Olympus 4/3 14-35mm, and even a Canon 17-55mm. They also rented a Hot Rod PL mount and Ki Pro Mini, and hooked everything up to a Panasonic AG-AF100.

The event started with a bar-b-cue and beer; what a nice way to start a shoot! Then Ben and Chris set to work lighting the scene, ably assisted by Ben Pender-Cudlip, Brandon Vincent, Matthew Stappleton and Rick. It turns out that events like these can be useful in answering existential questions like: how many DP's does it take to change a light bulb?

Keith Wasserman had been roped into the project to act as the "talent," and he did a tremendous job improvising a scene, with Brandon bravely stepping in to play a part as well.

While the test itself was shot on a single AF100, there was no shortage of photographic gear present; Brandon was shooting some Behind-The-Scenes with his Sony NEX-FS100, Rick was shooting with his Canon 60D, and I shot some stuff with the Canon HF G10. Even Matt and Ben took out their cameras for a while, though I think they quickly realized that actual work needed to be done by someone.

The original plan was to do a couple of setups, but we didn't start work seriously until about 2:30, and with setup, rehearsal, adjustments, and then running through the different lenses, we didn't finish the first setup until 6pm.

Chris was acting as focus-puller and really had to work hard, as the different lenses are very different in operation; some have very short throws, others are very long. For some he was using a follow-focus, and on others he was simply twisting the lens barrel itself.

I'm not going to give away the results today; Ben and Chris are editing together the video and will be posting that next week. In the mean time, here's some pictures from the event, along with a few observations.

Some of the lenses

Those Cooke lenses are huge!
The Zeiss Cp.2 lenses are pretty massive (bottom right), but the Cooke lens was even more so. And, it had a huge travel on the follow focus. Chris really had to crank to keep focus on that lens!

Directors Ben Eckstein (left) and Chris Loughran

Ben Pender-Cudlip works the iPad clapper

The iPad FilmSlate app is mostly useful
They planned to slate each shot with a little dry-erase board, but then I remember I had my iPad with the FilmSlate [$4.99] app with me. I think this was only the second time it had been used as a slate, and it proved pretty useful; except that it's sound sync function didn't always work accurately! Fortunately we weren't doing dual sound, so that wasn't really an issue!

Never assume
I had brought along a Canon to E-mount adapter I'd been sent, and was going to try it out on Brandon's NEX-FS100. But I never actually checked that I'd received the correct adapter. Only when he opened the box did Brandon discover that it was a Canon EOS to 4/3 mount! So much for that experiment!

Smile, you're on (multiple) cameras. Brandon Vincent with the NEX-FS100

Keith Wasserman makes a banana call

Can you see a $25,000 difference? - reviewing the output
(clockwise from bottom left) Chris Loughran, Ben Pender-Cudlip,
Brandon Vincent (behind Ben P.), Ben Eckstein and Rick Macomber

It's dangerous hanging out with nice gear
Don't hang out with the pros; it can get really expensive. Both Matt and Brandon were talking up Vinten tripods, like the: Vinten VB-AP2M Camera Support System. Matt had one set up, and yes, it has a really nice fluid head! But it costs over $1,100! I went home thinking seriously about buying one. Fortunately, I lay down for a while and the feeling passed.

A really nice large monitor is required
Ben had a Panasonic field monitor set up, and it proved vital to be able to review a take and see whether everything was okay, particularly focus. They'd shoot a take, review it on the large monitor, then shoot again, or move on to the next lens. Small monitors might be useful, but you really need a large one to see everything that's going on.

The Panasonic AG-AF100 is a nice camera
With all the attention that the Sony NEX-FS100 and PMW-F3 have been receiving over the past six months, it's been easy to overlook the Panasonic AG-AF100. It's perhaps too easy to forget how good all these cameras are now, especially if the scene is lit correctly.

Stay tuned for next week when Ben and Chris will be posting the videos, Rick has a Behind-The-Scenes video he will be posting, and I may have a BTS video as well!

See also:

Quick Links

Testing the Noktor 50 f/0.95 for Sony E Mount with the new NEX- C3
| Steve Huff | Steve Huff Photo
Steve reviews the Noktor, which is now available in E-mount. He looks at it's capabilities as a still lens, not a video lens, though he describes it as a cinema lens because the aperture ring does not click and you can lock the aperture down with a twist of a metal knob.

He previously reviewed the micro 4/3 version, and had reservations about that lens, but he thinks this one is an improvement, even though it can still be a challenge:
As with the Micro 4/3 version, this lens is a CHALLENGE to use. I shot it all night in the Fremont street area of Las Vegas and it was tough to get sharp images. Why? Well, this lens is NOT really that sharp when wide open. It CAN be a teeny bit sharp if you nail the focus, or if you stop it down to 1.4 but using focus peaking, shooting quick, and shooting wide open was a HUGE challenge.
The lens is about $1,000 (the price on Noktor's website is in Hong Kong dollars, not US!): Noktor Products.
Note: He used it on the Sony NEX-C3, and he praises the peaking feature on the NEX-C3 for helping get focus.

Simple Workflow for Removing 2:3 Pull Down | Andy Shipsides | Cine Technica
Andy explains how to extract 24p video from a 60i file using Apple's Compressor app or JES Deinterlacer. This is useful for owners of several Sony camcorders, including the NEX-FS100:
Some cameras, such as Sony’s FS100, will record in 1080 24p, but output only 1080 60i over HDMI. The FS100 does this to make its output compatible with monitors and other devices. The internal video recording is true 24p, but the output has gone through a 2:3 pull down process, whereby the 24p is converted into 60i.

Sony NEX-VG20H Handycam Camcorder | Photo Rumors
A very low-res picture of the NEX-VG20H - which looks exactly like the NEX-VG10 - along with some specs. The camera is expected to be announced later this week.

Color Grading "Bridge of Names" at Fini | Rachel Bites | Elyria Pictures
A few pictures from Rachel of Patrick Inhofer (The Tao of Color) using DaVinci Resolve 8 "at the helm of what looks like the Starship Enterprise..."

The Swiss Army Knife Filmmaker
| Robin Schmidt | Zacuto
Interesting thoughts about being a jack-of-all-trades, and the limitations thereof:
I’ve reached a major barrier in my own development as I need to take a big step up in the level of work I do but I don’t want to give up my independence. Collaboration is the only way to make that big step assembling talents to complement what little I possess myself. The only way to retain your independence is to think big, commit far beyond what is normally considered correct and bring everyone else with you.

Zacuto Clearance | Zacuto
Zacuto has a clearance page where they are selling a limited quantitiy of gear, including reconditioned EVF's. [I have no affiliation with Zacuto.]

Free Isn't Always Free | Alexis van Hurkman | vanhurkman
How do people make money from content?
Popularity in and of itself doesn’t pay for anything, unless the audience is buying the content, buying schwag, or buying access to live performances (for an episodic science fiction series, touring is probably not a realistic option). So, if you’re not charging your viewers, then most monetized free-to-the-public models of which I’m aware pay the bills with advertising, and then hope you buy something material like a t-shirt, DVD, book, or poster.

Odd & Ends
  • Fauxgo: This is fun; a collection of fake logo's from fake companies that appeared in various movies.
  • Cinemgraph | FilmmakerIQ: a series of still photographs in which a minor and repeated action occurs created from Kubrick movies.