Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quick Links

Arri Alexa vs. Sony F3 w/S-log vs. Canon 7D | Hello World Communications | Vimeo
This video includes ungraded and graded versions of several scenes shot with the three cameras. The Alexa and Sony PMW-F3 were set at 800 iso and 5600k. The Alexa recording ProRes4444 in Log C, Film Matrix on. PMW-F3 recording on Cinedeck in ProRes4444 in SLog. The 7D was added as a base reference shooting at 400 iso, 5600K.
An interesting comparison, though I wish some of the framing of the different shots were closer between the cameras.

Digital Negative Sony PMW-F3 | TV Specialists | Vimeo
Comparing standard REC 709 video vs "digital negative" (i.e. S-Log video) shot with the Sony PMW-F3. The S-Log capability - which is a paid firmware update for the PMW-F3 - really makes a difference.

A Short Rant: Sony has been using the term "digital negative" for the S-Log encoding, which is actually a gamma function used to better reproduce the entire tonal range that comes from the CCD imager. [Yes, that's quoted from Wikipedia, I don't completely understand it either] From what I understand, it's a more efficient way to interpret and store the picture data coming from the sensor. That's great, but to me, a "digital negative" would be the equivalent of a RAW file; i.e. the unprocessed image data coming from the chip. If you're going to use the term "digital negative" then that seems the most appropriate thing to apply it to. Otherwise, it's just being used as a marketing term.

F3 Solutions: AbelCine ProVFM Viewfinder Mount Kit | Mitch Gross | CineTechnica
One of the complaints about the PMW-F3 is the placement of the viewfinder, which isn't optimal if you are using the camera on a shoulder rig. Abel Cine has put together the ProVFM Viewfinder Mount Kit which allows a Sony or Panasonic 1920×1080 HD viewfinders to be mounted to the F3.

Lytro Light Field Camera 8GB (Electric Blue) | CNet TV
A short clip on the Lytro “plenoptic light-field camera," which allows you to refocus the image after-the-fact. It's a stills only camera at the moment, but what would it mean if they made a video camera?

And how does it do it? I have no idea, and haven't found a good explanation yet. I even read the "Science Inside" section of the Lytro website, and I'm none the wiser.
The Christian Science Monitor has an article about the camera:
Early impressions are pretty positive, and although many reviewers griped about the tiny viewfinder and low-resolution images, the fact is there’s nothing else like these cameras on the market.
see also: Lytro light-field cameras: shoot now, focus later | Christian Science Monitor

I Talk with James Beltz About the 1D X | Canonrumors
Canonrumors talks to James Beltz at about the new camera.

Canon has posted it's own video about the development of the camera:

Canon EOS-1D X Needs Firmware Update | HD Cam Team
A look at "missing" features in the forthcoming camera, including the surprising lack of 60p video.

'Expose to the Right' is a Bunch of Bull | Ctein | The Online Photographer
Previously people were told to push the exposure of their digital images as high as possible to avoid noise, but with newer sensors noise is much less of a problem, and now it's more important to avoid blowing out the highlights:
Unless you're sure you're dealing with a low contrast subject, pushing your exposure to the high side makes it likely you'll blow highlights. If you're trying to improve your odds of getting a good exposure, pulling away from the right is a much smarter thing to do. If you know your subject is really high in contrast, pull far, far away from the right. Keep those highlights under control and let the shadows go where they may.

Are the Myriad of Names in Filmmaking Helping or Hurting the Industry?
| Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
An interesting rumination on all the job titles that are sort of the same thing:
Photographers for the most part have it easy. They’re just photographers. All you have to do is precede the correct descriptor (e.g. portrait photographer, wedding photographer, commercial photographer, etc.) Unless, heaven forbid, they also shoot video, then they have a worse case of identity crisis then those of us who are JUST videographers/producers/cinematographers/filmmakers/directors/DPs.

Look out, Google: Siri is poised to take Apple into search (q&a)
| Paul Sloan | C|Net
Earlier this week I wrote about Siri and it's possible impact on Google and the computer industry. I was therefore fascinated to see this interview that says almost the same thing. The interview is with Gary Morgenthaler, a partner at the venture capital firm Morgenthaler Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif. Morgenthaler was the first investor in Siri.
Search is limited. When you search, what you want back is not a million blue links. What you want back is one correct answer. Siri, because it has the semantic layer, is not just responding to keywords; it's responding to a conceptual understanding of what it is that you said. And therefore it's able to retrieve for you exactly the right information you want. Or, better still, if you intend to do something with that information--to make a transaction, say--Siri could take you all the way to that transaction.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fastec TS3Cine @ Rule Boston Camera TEXPO

At the recent Rule Boston Camera TEXPO I got to see the prototype of the Fastec TS3Cine high speed camera. The following are notes from a presentation given by Tom Talbot, and a short video I shot that shows the body of the camera. You can see samples of video shot with the camera sensor on the company website, and in the full video of the presentation [link below].

The Fastec TS3Cine is a high-speed, comparatively compact camera that can shot 720p at up to 720 frames per second. The developer of the camera, Fastec, is a San Diego company, but they are partnering with Rule Boston Camera, who is the sole US and Canadian distributor for the camera.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The last disruption of Steve Jobs

Notes to Steve Jobs at Boston Apple Store

Even though I never met him, Steve Jobs had a profound impact on my professional life. Both directly, through his personality and vision, and indirectly through the Mac and iPhone. The graphics/arts/video capabilities of the Mac have made it possible for me to do things that seemed unimaginable when I first typed a FORTRAN program onto punch cards.

But I'm not going to bore you with all that.

I did, however want to note one thing that struck me just a day or two after he died: Siri may well be the last major disruption of the computer industry that Steve Jobs will be associated with.

Steve may not have actually invented these things, but his fingers are all over WYSIWYG, menus and mice, the death of the floppy, USB, the digital music player, and on and on.

It was therefore interesting to see this segment of an interview with Walter Mossberg at the D10 Conference, where Mossberg asked Jobs about Google's Android competing with Apple, and then asked about Siri (a company Apple had acquired.)
Walter Mossberg: Last year at our conference we had a small search company called Siri.
Steve Jobs: Yeah, well I don't know if I would describe Siri as a search company.
Walter Mossberg: Okay, but it's a search related company...
Steve Jobs: No, they're not in the search area, they are in the AI area.
Walter Mossberg: So you're not planning to go into the search business through them?
Steve Jobs: No, we have no plans to go into the search business. It's not something we know about, it's not something we care deeply about. Other people do it well.
And then I watched the ad for Siri on Apple's site, and I noticed two things:
One: They are using Wolfram to provide their search results, so they aren't going into search
Two: Siri could still have a dramatic impact on Google and the traditional search industry.
Why? Notice that many of the questions i.e. "Find a restaurant" and "How many ounces in a cup?" are things that, today, I go to Google to find out. Siri may not replace Google completely, but I could see it easily cutting in half the amount of time I spend on Google.

That should be a concern to Google.

I was even more convinced of this after trying out Siri at the Apple store this past weekend. Even though the store was fairly loud and noisy, I was impressed by how well Siri did in recognizing my voice, and how useful it was to ask questions and get answers. Here was Hal from 2001, in a much smaller device.

As luck would have it, I also happened to spend a bit of time using FaceTime on my iPhone this weekend. This was actually only the second time I've used it in the entire time I've had the iPhone 4 (which I bought on the day of release.)

Clearly, the product hasn't been a huge hit with me, and at the time I predicted that FaceTime's success would be dependent upon the number of devices that support it and the number of people that I know that I can reach with it. Mac and iPads now support it, which is a help, but I still don't think that video chats replace phone calls in most cases; yes it's great to see the kids while you're away, or to show someone something in real time, but for many situations it's irrelevant.

Still, I wouldn't right it off, even though it hasn't had a dramatic impact on everyday life.

Which brings me back to Siri. With Siri, I think we'll know a lot sooner if it's going to be a long term success, or a short term curiosity.

Quick Links

Panasonic AG-AC160 Video Review | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip's video review of Panasonic's AG-AC160 [$4,675]. This is a 1/3"-Type 2.2 Mp 3MOS Sensor camcorder with a 22x lens. He demonstrates a number of things including the digital zoom functionality that works well at 2x, but falls apart by the time you get to 10x (i.e. 220x!!). He really likes the optical lens, which is very sharp, and does some comparisons to the Sony HXR-NX5U [$3,999], which has a similar lens and sensors, but is 18 months older; he thinks the AG-AC160 is slightly better.
I like the way he answers email questions from readers in the review.

Sound Design on Tom Guilmette’s PhantomFlex Vegas Hotel Video | Ron Dawson
| Dare Dreamer
Ron looks at Tom Guilmette's "Locked in a Vegas Hotel Room with a Phantom Flex" and thinks that part of the reason it has been so popular is because of the creative use of sound in the video:
But, IMHO, what makes this video so entertaining is NOT the crazy slow mo. It’s the sound design. Tom Guillmette (filmmaker, cinematographer, and edumactor) enhanced the video by adding sounds to the images that take it to a whole new level. It’s an excellent example of the power of audio to make even the most simple divine.

"Sound" | SoundCloud | Vimeo
Speaking of sound, a short video that explores the importance of sound in our world.

The Shane Hurlbut Master Cinema Series | Ton Guilmette | Blog
Speaking of Tom, he went to the launch of the Shane Hurlbut Letus Master Series Rigs and offers his thoughts. These aren't going to be cheap - the complete package will cost about $6,500 - but this is designed from the ground up for the professional cinematographer
I am really impressed by the ‘Man Cam‘ and ‘Shoulder Cam‘. These two configurations renewed my love for the Canon 5dmk2. I can now comfortably shoot aggressive handheld with the small camera systems and achieve the results I want. The leveling viewfinder option on ‘Studio Cam‘ is also exciting and will help me when I work off a tripod or dolly system.

SLICING And DICING With Chris McCaleb!!! | BlackBoxTVExtras | YouTube
Chris talks about making web videos, and provides a tutorial on post-production:
Tip #3: Make sure that your Sequence Settings match the footage that you shot.

CatDV Supports Translating Final Cut Pro Projects from FCP7 to FCPX
| Danny Greer | PrmeiumBest
A quick look at CatDV, which offers the ability to translate sequences between Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X:
With most workarounds, it’s not a perfect situation. It’ll be a cuts only version of your original project (no transitions, no plug-ins added, etc). You’ll likely lose some clip metadata you may have had in your previous project. Multiclips and nested sequences won’t be supported.
It’s definitely not ideal….and not the workflow I hoped for when I first heard FCPX announced. But it’s better than nothing.

Phone 4S 1080p Video Is Great, But Can’t Beat a DSLR | Christina Bonnington
| Wired
A look at the comparison between the iPhone 4S and Canon 5D Mark II posted by Robino Films (I think the article primarily draws from the description and comments on the video page itself.):
Despite its great-for-a-smartphone camera specs (which we describe below), Robino Films said the iPhone fell short of the DSLR in six areas: compression (the iPhone 4S produces noisy video, even in daytime shots); sensor size (the iPhone’s is extremely small); lens quality (great for a smartphone, but nowhere near that of a DSLR); and the inability to adjust frame rate, shutter speed or picture style. However, Jones said, “the iPhone 4S is holding very well against the 5D’s standard picture style.” The smartphone also produces a warmer image overall.

Dragonframe 3.0 | Website
If you're interested in stop motion work, then you might be interested in Dragonframe. Previously called Dragon Stop Motion, it has been rechristened, and version 3.0 was recently released. Features include: a new frame-based timeline editor, lip-sync for multiple characters with replacement mouth and eye sets, directly within the audio workspace, and new vector-based drawing tools.

The Death of the Creative?

I was going to post this in today's Quick Links, but I think it's so important I want to high-light it on it's own:

Random Thoughts and upcoming speaking engagements | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent offers brief thoughts on Steve Jobs, Siri, the upcoming Canon and RED announcements, and the Canon 1D X, and concludes with some comments he made while speaking recently at the College of Southern Nevada:
Then I asked two other questions:
"How many of you expect to make your living from creating or providing content?"

Close to half of the audience responded by raising their hands up.

When I asked the same audience:
"How many of you believe that you should pay for content?"

Less than a dozen people kept their hands up…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Workshop: From DSLRs to Large Sensor Camcorders: Taking the Next Step

Another event coming up in November for those in Boston from Rule Boston Camera:

PHILIP BLOOM and MIKE SUTTON offer two, one-day workshops covering lensing options and solutions, high-speed demos [with footage], storytelling via camera movement with Kessler gear [as both demos and footage!] Cameras include the AF100, FS100, Alexa, Epic, Red One MX and Phantom Flex [and TS3Cine if Available!]

WHEN: Saturday, 11/19 from 9am to 5pm or Sunday, 11/20 from 9am to 5pm

WHERE: Rule Boston Camera, 395 Western Avenue, Brighton MA 02135

COST: $199 for one-day workshop Breakfast and Lunch included.


LockPort7 for the Canon 7D

LockPort has announced the LockPort7, a smart mini to full-size HDMI adapter that clamps to the side of the Canon 7D and protects the camera's HDMI port. The company already sells a LockPort5 for the Canon 5D.

In addition to providing a full-size HDMI connection, the company says that the device protects the expensive to repair mini-HDMI plug on the camera. The LockPort7 adapter is designed to attach easily to the RedRock Micro DSLR Baseplate [$229.50]. The adapter has gold plated contacts and the HDMI 90° output is available as either FRONT or REAR orientation (2 different adapters.)

Delivery is expected in mid November, and the list price is $99.

The company says that they are also developing a LockPort UNIVERSAL (for 5D and 7D).

Lockport7 attached to Redrock Micro DSLR Baseplate

More Thoughts On The Canon 1D X

Here's some more thoughts on the Canon 1D X from around the web. Most of these center on it's video capabilities. Understand that even though several of these articles are sort of negative, I wouldn't knock the 1D X as a professional still camera: it's just not a good investment if you're buying it as a video camera, particularly given that Canon is expected to announce a large-sensor video camera (or cameras) in a couple of weeks:

Canon 1D X: What the compression? | Chris Marino | Wide Open Camera
A discussion of the new compression options in the 1D X, as well as speculation whether the expected forthcoming large-sensor video camera will use the same compression, or will have the 50Mbps 4:2:2 MPEG-2 compression found in Canon's current professional video cameras?

If I had to bet money, I'd say the upcoming video camera will have MPEG-2 compression as I suspect this camera is being developed by the video camera division rather than the DSLR division.
Also included is a new intra frame compression mode. Instead of compressing groups of pictures it compresses each individual frame captured maintaining frame to frame picture information. Each frame now is compressed. The downside is a larger file size but a better looking, lesser compressed image. With the addition of the new DIGIC V processors and the 1D X’s new CMOS sensor this should make for a better EOS movie file than we’ve been used to seeing.

Why Not To Get The Canon 1DX For Video | Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
Jared offers 6 reasons why you shouldn't get the 1DX, including the expensive battery system and the lack of 60p, but #6 is the real reason:
6. Cheaper models with similar features to follow.

Canon EOS-1D X Has Multiple Trigger Options For Video | Dan Chung
| DSLR News Shooter
Dan has confirmed that the the 1D X offers more options for remote triggering of video recording:
With the EOS-1D X you can now customize the camera to start and stop video from the remote release socket using a regular Canon remote. You can also assign the video trigger to main shutter button or use an infrared remote.

Evolution | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR 4 Real
Sam thinks the camera is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, and what it really needs is better sound:
Now what does the "Olympian" still mo shooter want.. they want sound

And until that is delivered by a DSLR in some serious manner – im talking connectivity – robust connections I will be happy with a Nikon D3 for stills, an FS100 for A cam video and a Canon 5dmk2 for Bcam video
He should probably wait for the Nov 3rd announcement...

Canon EOS-1D X Preview | Shawn Barnett and Mike Tomkins | Imaging Resource
A good overview of all the cameras new features:
Another new feature is the ability to automatically span videos that exceed the maximum 4GB clip length across multiple files. Canon notes that no frames are lost in this process, and so the files can be joined back together seamlessly in post processing. The maximum capture length is still limited to 29 minutes and 59 seconds, however.

Quick Links

Shoulder Pad Kit, 15mm | Half Inch Rails
A set of soft malleable plastic pads for 15mm rails that can be used as a simple shoulder pad. Watch the video to get a good idea of what they are.

MPEG-2 basic training | Ned Soseman | Broadcast Engineering
A technical introduction to the MPEG-2 compressor. The article describes how the MPEG-2 specification defines the decoder, but not the encoder. Different companies can write and use their own encoders, as long as the bit stream created is MPEG-2 compliant. The same policy is true for AVCHD enocders/decoders.
MPEG-2 has two main compression components: intraframe spatial compression and interframe motion compression. Encoders use various techniques, some proprietary, to maintain the maximum allowed bit rate while at the same time allocating bits to both compression components. This balancing act can sometimes be unsuccessful. It is a tradeoff between allocating bits for detail in a single frame and bits to represent the changes (motion) from frame to frame. Which is more important?

Can H.265 save us from the mobile video tsunami? | Ryan Lawler | Gigaom
Video is increasingly saturating networks, and the new H.265 spec might help lesson the traffic, though it probably won't be finalized until next year, and won't start appearing in applications until 2013.
The format, which is being developed by the ISO/IEC Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) and the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG), is expected to need 25 to 50 percent fewer bits for the delivery of H.264 video of the same quality.

Run and gun style streaming | Colleen Kelly Henry | Google+
A fairly extensive writeup about how to broadcast/stream live events. It's oriented towards recording a protest, but the tips could be equally applicable to covering other live events.

Note that this article covers the does and don't of setting up, and covering the event, but doesn't go into details about the services that you might use to broadcast, or how to use them. There is a list of services included:, livestream, stickam, qik, YouTube live and ustream.

Kinect TV And Sesame Street Hack The Next Generation Of TV | Gregory Ferenstein | Fast Company
A look at an interactive TV project that uses Kinect TV on the Xbox. One of the stated goals is to "prepare children for the new media world."
Downloadable, linear episodes run like a normal television show but give children opportunities to play simple games with familiar characters and don virtual costumes that mold to their bodies and play around with the show's environment. A series of interactive children's books is also in the works.

Serious fraud at Olympus alleged, share price | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
It appears there's been some financial shenanigans going on at Olympus (or it might be just a nasty split between the British CEO and the Japanese board.)

Apple releases minor 4.4.1 software update for Apple TV [u] | AppleInsider
Apple released a 4.4.1 update for the AppleTV yesterday, but it now appears to have been pulled due to problems according to this report.

Animoog | Moog Music | iTunes
Finally, this is not video related, but if you're familiar with the Moog synthesizer, or a fan of electronic synths and keyboards, check out the iPad app Animoog. They claim it's the first polyphonic synthesizer designed exclusively for the iPad. Whether it is or isn't, for the next 30 days it's $0.99. After that, it goes to $29.99!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quick Links

iPhone 4S vs iPhone 4 Video Footage Comparison | AWMTstudios | YouTube
Another comparison of the video quality of the iPhone 4S and it's predecessor:
Various shots from both iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s filmed holding at same time with shake to test stabilisation. iPhone 4S shows dramatical increase in latitude and the stabilization is amazing too. Same field of view. Shows flickering in Europe, but overall is a major improvement.

Creating Subclips in Final Cut Pro X | Larry Jordan | YouTube
Yes, you can still create Subclips in Final Cut Pro X, but they aren't called Subclips any more; you create "Favorites" instead. In this short video tutorial, Larry Jordan shows you how to create Favorites, and attach keywords.

There's one important limitation: you can't have overlapping Favorites.

Here Are Ten Tips To Create A Viral Video | James DeJulio | Business Insider
Want to create a viral video hit? Maybe this article will help you:
3) Create videos that automatically seed themselves within communities and fan bases. Hives of enthusiasts for everything from RoboCop to Glass Blowing are everywhere and rabidly engaged--if you give them some content that plays to their fanaticism, either negatively or positively, chances are that they'll be seeding the content and posting it everywhere for you.

Digital Video | October 2010
You can view the electronic edition of Digital Video magazine at this link.

YouTube Now Allows Music Partners To Sell Merchandise, Digital Downloads And Event Tickets | Leena Rao | Tech Crunch
YouTube is expanding to take advantage of their 800 million visitors a month :
Through a feature called the Merch Store, YouTube partners will be able to sell artist merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and other experiences to fans and visitors. YouTube has partnered with a number of companies to launch these stores. Topspin is helping power merchandise sales, concert tickets and experiences; SongKick will help sell tickets for concerts; and iTunes and Amazon will power transactions for music downloads.

Adobe demos amazing deblurring tech (new video) | John Nack | Blog
Remember that amazing deblurring a still picture demo from last week? Well there's a better video of it here, along with an actual image showing the before and after. I'm not sure that the image is the original size of the image that was processed; I'm assuming that it isn't, as it's a little difficult to see how they could have reconstructed the detail in that image based on the blurred original.

Sony SCL-Z18x140 FZ Mount 14x Power Zoom Lens | H. Paul Moon | Vimeo Forums
Specs for this lens that Sony previously announced, and should be available in November. Notably, this lens uses the F3 lens mount (FZ mount) that's native to the PMW-F3 (the PMW-F3 also works with PL mount lenses, but requires an adapter that Sony includes with the camera.) One nice feature of this lens is that it is compatible with the integral zoom rocker of the PMW-F3 for electronic control of its zoom position. MSRP $12,200.00
See also: AbelCine: SCL-Z18X140 Sony FZ Mount 14X Power Zoom Lens [Product Page]

Canon EOS 1D X Updates

The announcement of a ~$7,000 DSLR is probably of interest to only a small minority of video shooters, but the announcement of the EOS 1D X should be of interest to everyone because of what it could mean for a future 5D Mark III or 7D Mark II or other DSLR Canon might release.

In particular, the minimization of moiré - reportedly because they are no longer doing line skipping when scaling the image from the sensor down to HD resolutions - should make for a noticeable improvement in image quality. Hopefully that will flow on to all of Canon's other new DSLRs.

Here's what others are saying:

FINALLY the full frame Canon 1DX DSLR featuring “improved video” | Philip Bloom
| Blog
We also now have a single clip length of up to maximum of 29 minutes and 59 seconds (that stupid EU tax rule stopping it going longer!) which is terrific news! Manual audio is featured and levels can be adjusted WHILST recording with meters on screen during recording!…but I still see no sign of the most basic feature we need…a headphone jack!!

Canon EOS-1D X | Jon Fauer | Film & Digital Times
The camera has two new compression schemes: intraframe (ALL-i ) that’s quick and easy to edit (but results in larger files), and interframe (IPB) for better data compression (smaller file size, more challenging to edit). SMPTE timecode can be generated as Rec Run or Free Run. Multiple cameras, digital slates, and external sound recording devices can be synced.

| DSLR News Shooter
More importantly for me, it also promises improved advanced video features. Canon claim that the new camera will have significantly improved video image quality especially in low light. They say it should also reduce false colour and moire patterning, which plague the current Canon DSLRs like the 5D mkII. Also added is a choice of two new compression formats – intraframe (ALL-i ) compression for easier editing and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data compression.

Canon EOS-1D X overview | R Butler | DPReview
In addition the camera can keep track of how long it has been recording, using standard timecoding methods. There's also greater-than-ever control over the microphone input volume, with 64 manually selectable levels, auto and a wind-cut filter. It's also possible to mute sound recording while shooting.

Canon Launches Stunning New EOS-1D X | Dan Carr | Blog
It looks like this camera is not going to be available for quite some time. Possibly not until late March 2012. Why would they announce it so far ahead of time ? I’m not sure, perhaps they are preempting a Nikon announcement which they know to be coming soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Canon EOS 1D X

Canon has announced the Canon 1D X, their new flagship DSLR which has a number of new features, including the DIGIC 5+ image processor and a $7,000 price tag:
Featuring advanced video-capture capabilities, the Canon EOS-1D X’s upgraded imaging system and Dual DIGIC 5+ deliver greatly enhanced movie quality. In particular, the camera minimizes the occurrence of color artifacts and moiré, and enables the shooting of low-noise video even in dark conditions.
Notice that they say the camera "minimizes" moiré, which is, of course, a good thing, and the camera has an ISO of 25600. The proof though, is in the video, and we'll have to wait for that...

On the other hand, it's still using AVC/H.264 and it seems as though it's evolutionary in it's video capabilities rather than revolutionary. There doesn't appear to be any 4:2:2 HDMI out or anything like that. The only really startling thing might be the Gigabit-Ethernet connection. I also want to know if it's HDMI out is clean and full frame; hopefully it is.

Personally, if the 5D Mark III is like this - which it probably will be - it may be a bit of an anti-climax. Roll on November 3rd!

CanonRumors: Canon EOS 1D X Press Release
EOSHD: Canon 1D X – Official
Photography Bay: Canon EOS-1D X Confirmed – BREAKING

Fron the US Press Release:

Enhanced EOS HD Video – New Compressions, Longer Recording

Centered around an all-new full-frame CMOS sensor with larger pixels than those found on the EOS 5D Mark II image sensor, the EOS-1D X utilizes new HD video formats to simplify and speed up post-production work. The two new compression formats offered on the EOS-1D X include intraframe (ALL-i ) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data compression, giving professionals the options they need for their ideal workflow. Answering the requests of cinematographers and filmmakers, the EOS-1D X includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing multiple cameras or separate sound recording to be synced together in post production.

Canon’s all new full-frame CMOS sensor ensures that video footage captured on the EOS-1D X will exhibit less moiré than any previous Canon model, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. A desired feature for many documentary filmmakers using Canon DSLRs was to enable recording beyond the four gigabyte (GB) file capacity and the EOS-1D X is the answer. The new camera features automatic splitting of movie files when a single file exceeds 4GB. The new file splitting function allows for continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files; no frames are dropped and the multiple files can be seamlessly connected in post production, providing filmmakers the recording time they want in the same convenient DSLR form factor. The camera records Full HD at 1920 x 1080 in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); and 720p HD or SD video recording at either 50p or 60p (59.94). SD video can be recorded in either NTSC or PAL standards.

The Canon EOS-1D X also includes manual audio level control, adjustable both before and during movie recording, an automatic setting, or it can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input.

Canon: Canon U.S.A. Introduces The New Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera, Re-Designed From The Inside Out

Interview with Canon’s Chuck Westfall
Planet5D interviewed Chuck Westfall about the new camera and has some more details:
HDMI output
HDMI functionality matches what is in the Canon EOS 7D in that the image won’t downres during recording.

Planet5D: the new Canon EOS-1D X – what’s inside? the nitty gritty details you won’t get in the press release

Quick Links

Apple iPhone 4S vs 4 Low Light Comparison | Anticipate Media | Vimeo
Paul Antico shot a short video with both phones (I nearly wrote cameras) in a kitchen illuminated only with small fluorescent bulbs. There's some noticeable differences in color and image stability. Event though he doesn't think it will replace his NEX-FS100 (!) he does think the iPhone 4S is usable as a B or C camera:
The hallmark of the new 4S camera, for video, at first is both its detail at 1080P and real time image stabilization. It is also significantly lower in noise (stills and video). And the white balancing is better, so the colors are more true.
NOTE: I got to try out Siri for the first time this weekend. I'll be writing about that separately, but I was quite impressed!

iPhone 4S / Canon 5d MKII Side by Side Comparison | Robino Films | Vimeo
From the sublime to the ridiculous; or is it? A comparison of the iPhone 4S and the Canon 5D Mark II, with side-by-side and full frames of video. The most noticeable problem in the iPhone 4S footage is the banding in the electronic street signs:
This test shows that the tiny F2.4 lens and sensor on the iPhone are pretty nice. It even got a little depth of field!

I did not overlay the exact ISO and Stops 5D settings per shot. It was too much to keep track for this simple test. To be fair I matched 5D exposure to the iPhone so no "Cinestyle" / 24p here.

A lesson learned from my FCPX to Resolve roundtrips | Scott Simmons | The Editblog
Scott did some experimenting with roundtripping between Final Cut Pro X and Resolve 8.1 and discovered some gotchas:
I learned a hard lesson today about Final Cut Pro X after doing some roundtrip testing between FCPX and the newly released Resolve 8. That lesson was to be very careful when using clips that FCPX is referencing in other video applications. If some piece of metadata is modified in the file, even if the video stays exactly the same, FCPX may not be able to see it. Also, if you’re doing extensive audio mixing in FCPX be aware that the mixed clips won’t roundtrip.

Adobe MAX 2011 “Sneak Peek” Videos Live | MAX Blog | Adobe
Didn't get enough of the new tech that could soon be coming from Adobe? They've posted a collection of clips from the sneak peaks at the recent Adobe MAX event:
The always-popular sneaks give MAX-goers a look at potential future technologies, which may, or may not, make it into future versions of Adobe products. And this year, we’re making them available for everyone to watch. See Adobe engineers do their best Dwight Shrute as they demo the sneak peeks.

Sony and Toshiba battle to bring 4K TV tech home | Marc Chacksfield | Tech Radar
Hmmm...maybe with 3D not driving as many sales of new TVs as expected, the consumer giants are setting their sites on 4K?
Toshiba revealed its 4K glasses-free television for the Japanese market, the Regza 55X3, while Sony showed off its 4K home projector, the VPL-VW1000ES.

Masters in Motion | Tyler Ginter | Blog
I haven't heard much about Masters in Motion, but it's being held from November 14-16 in Austin, Texas and will include the likes of Vincent Laforet, Philip Bloom, and Tom Guilmette.

Introducing The EOSHD Panasonic GH2 Shooter’s Guide! | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew has put together an electronic book on the Panasonic GH2:
I really have put everything I know in this book and it is very personal to me. As long time followers of EOSHD will know I’m a big fan of the GH2 (and the GH1 before it) and I don’t think anybody has really got under the skin of the camera yet or written any good guides for it!

Upcoming Events in New England

Just a reminder of what's coming up this week and next...

Oct 18 TEXPO @ Rule Boston Camera
A smaller trade-show event with several dozen vendors including 16x9, AJA, ARRI, Avid, Birger, Cinedeck, Fujinon, CatDV, Matrox, Panasonic, Steadicam and Studio Network Solutions.

Oct 18 SMPTE New England
Sean Olive, Director of Acoustic Research, Harman International talks on "Some New Evidence that Teenagers May Prefer Accurate Sound Reproduction" at Boston College, Fulton Hall, Newton, MA.

Oct 27 Boston SuperMeet
This all day event (seminars during the day, meetings in the evening) will feature Oscar & BAFTA Award-Winning Editor Walter Murch.

Nov 2 2011 New England Broadcast & Cable Expo
The 3rd annual New England Broadcast and Cable Expo in Worcester, MA will be held in conjunction with the 14th annual Media Educators of America (formerly Video Educators of New England) fall conference.

Nov 11-12 Futures of Entertainment 5
An annual event exploring the current state and future of media properties, brands, and audiences. MIT, Cambridge MA.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quick Links

Canon Rumors
There's all sorts of rumors about what Canon will announce on October 18th and November 3rd. The Canonrumors site thinks a 1D model will be announced on October 18th, while Jared Abrams, who's been talking a lot about the two video cameras expected on November 3rd, now thinks they will announce a 5D Mark 3 on that day.

Behind the Lens: Tips for shooting video | Mike Yoder | LJWorld
A photojournist who finds himself increasingly shooting video, Yoder offers some tips for those "exploring the new world of multimedia storytelling."
Think in sequences. If you later want to piece together your footage and create a short film, consider gathering video from different points of view to provide the viewer with varied perspective. Still photographers tend to move around a subject with the goal of capturing just one moment that best documents the subject. With video, you need all the perspectives and cutaways to create a flow of visual information rather than one stationary shot. Vary your shots with wide, medium and tight framing of your subject.

A video shot on the iPhone 4S | Benjamin Dowie | Vimeo
With nothing better to do, Benjamin decides to shoot some video with his new iPhone 4S, and now he thinks he should dump the Canon 7D! He posted this video:
It's actually amazing. The automatic stabilisation seems to work wonders, and gets rid of most the jello. Depth of field is flipping awesome. Colours are really good straight out the camera, but I did give this footage a slight grade.

With the iPhone 4S improved camera and 1080p HD video, should I go 32GB or 64GB? | Justin Horn | WhenWillApple
And for those thinking of shooting large amounts of video with their iPhone 4S, here's some calculations on how much space the video takes:
... the iPhone 4S 1080p video takes up about 2.5 times as much space as the iPhone 4. So using a more moderate estimate of keeping 60 minutes of video on your camera roll you are looking at 10.4 GB of storage vs 4.6 GB for the iPhone 4, so that can add up quick.

Hurlbut Visuals Master Cinema Series Launch Photos | Matthew Jeppsen | FreshDV
Shane Hurlbut and Letus have worked together to produce a new module rig system. The system has four basic configurations: Studio Cam, Shoulder Cam, Man Cam and Action Cam:
After seeing the thought and focus that went into the design of these systems, and using them at a variety of common set locations they had created on-site, it coalesced for me; these are complete systems…designed to take away the annoyance and complexity of DSLR shooting, and replace it with a solid, comprehensive set of rigs designed for specific tasks.
see also: HollywoodReporter: Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, Manufacturer Letus Launch DSLR Support Gear
Hurlblog : Shane Hurlbut, ASC Master Cinema Series

Streamlined Primary Color Correction with Premiere Pro | Jeff Sengstack
| ProVideoCoalition
For those starting out in color correction, or just switching to Premiere Pro, this short tutorial looks at the basics:
To do the bulk of color correction in Premiere Pro, all you need to use are one or two video effects and two or three scopes.

Share Your Story | Contest | Sony
A Sony fan? You could be in a Sony commercial:
Tell us a story about your favorite Sony product and our judges will pick a winner to get a Sony Prize Pack and a role in our next T commercial.
The prize includes a trip to LA, a 55" TV and the Sony NEX-5N. Deadline is November 4th.