Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tell Me About the Canon XF100 & XF105

It's not all C300's and Scarlet X's here at NotesOnVideo. In fact, I don't even have the budget to dream about those cameras, so let's talk about something I might be able to afford...

One of the most popular video's I've posted on YouTube is oddly enough this little piece on the Canon XF100 [$2,995] XF105 [$3,999] taken at last year's Canon Expo in New York. [Yes, I have no idea why it had 57,000 views either...-Ed]

I think people must assume I work for Canon or something, because I get questions about the camera, like the one's below. And even though I've never even used the camera, I'm happy to take a swipe at answering them:

Hi there... here are some questions I have about this camera:

1. Has it got a good zoom? How much?
It's pretty good. 10x (30.4mm-304mm, 35mm equivalent] I don't know how smooth the zoom is on the camera (or whether that's important to you.) I'm told that it has the same lens block as the HF G10 [$1,298] and VX10 [$1,899]. I have the HF G10 and it has okay zoom control control - for a small consumer camcorder - but it's NOT the best I've ever used; sometimes it's a bit difficult to get exactly the speed I want when zooming.

2. Is it 1080p full HD?

3. Is there a single button that you press and it focuses?
I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but there's fully auto focus and manual focus modes. There is a focus ring, and peaking to help with manual focus. You can switch between Fully Automatic and Manual by pressing a button.

4. If I am VERY far from the camera, will it capture my voice?
The microphone is pretty good, but if you're VERY far away, you'll need to use an external microphone, either wired or wireless. Pretty much no camera mic will solve that problem, even shotgun microphones. That being said, I suspect this camera mic will do about as well as any other camera mic that's out there.

5. What format is it?
Video format? The files are MPEG-2 in a .MXF wrapper.

6. Can I import footage from this camera into Sony Vegas or After Effects?
You can definitely use it in After Effects. I checked, and Sony Vegas Pro 10 definitely works with the .MXF files. Earlier versions may not work.

7. What's the price(euros)?
No idea. You'll have to check with a dealer there.

8. Do you recommend it for PROFESSIONAL movie making?
It's a professional video camera, yes, but whether it's the camera for you really depends on what you're doing. For documentary, web and television work, it should be acceptable. It has 4:2:2 color sampling, XLR audio inputs, and two CF card slots for relay recording etc. It's also fairly small. It's possibly even useable for indie film making, but it's probably not a camera you'd use to shoot a feature film.

Many would consider it's biggest limitation is that it's a small sensor camera, so it's much harder to get very shallow depth-of-field shots. For that reason, it may not be as useable for advertising work (dreamy product shots etc.,) and narrative shooting. Ultimately, it all depends on the look you are trying to achieve and the situations you are shooting in.

A follow-up:
Just one more question... does it record well in lowlight conditions?
Hard to answer that. It certainly does pretty well from what I've seen (and when compared to cameras of a few years ago it's very good.) However, I don't think it does as well as some of the even newer large sensor cameras (partly because the cameras are newer, and their sensors are larger.)

For example, the Sony NEX-FS100 probably does better in low light.

But I don't think the XF100 will compare badly, and the NEX-FS100 would end up costing you twice the price!

Another follow-up:
So is the Sony NEX-FS100 a better camera?
It's difficult to say that, because it's a very different camera with different strengths and weaknesses. The simple answer might be "Yes," but it's more expensive, and more complicated to work with. The lens that comes with the kit NEX-FS100 (you can buy the camera with or without the lens) is rather slow, but you can buy other lenses and get really great shallow depth-of-field. And it has a sensor that seems to do spectacularly well in low light.

However, it's more complicated and awkward to use. The auto-focus with the kit lens is good, but you lose auto-focus with most third-party lenses.

If I was doing documentary work, and wanted something small and quick to use, I think I'd get the XF100.

The NEX-FS100 is sort of a cross between a DSLR and a video camera. If I was doing primarily creative material, I might prefer the NEX-FS100.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quick Links

5D Mark II Firmware 2.1.1 Sighting | CanonRumors
A link appears on Canon USA site, but it's not live...yet.

Confirmed, Panasonic bringing 25p to the GH2 | Andrew Reid | Tumblr
And a firmware update for the Panasonic GH2 is expected in December:
I contacted a source at Panasonic about what the ‘new video mode’ is on the official GH2 firmware update that is coming in December. It is a 24Mbit 1080/25p output stored in a AVCHD 50i wrapper, meaning you can finally extract a clean high bitrate 25p (progressive) feed from the camera for PAL broadcast work.

ARRI Alexa Now Has in Camera Support for Avid DNxHD Codec | Cinescopophilia
An update for the Arri Alexa:
The ability to record native Avid DNxHD, as MXF files in-camera, creates a unique proposition for the 35 mm digital capture industry and is another first for the ALEXA camera system.

Autumn Trail - Shooting for Fun | Jon Palfrey | Blog
A short video shot with a Glidetrack slider, with an interesting shot at 1:10:
This is actually one of the best shots I feel I've ever done, its something just a bit more creative than any of the other shots, I did it by pointing the camera on a Glidetrack and tripod straight up, because of the Glidetrack I could offset the camera so that when it rotated it was actually going around the centre point rather than staying on it.

On-Set Footage, 'J. Edgar' | Making Of
Behind-the-Scenes footage from the new Clint Eastwood movie. There's no commentary, and some really annoying fades to black .. between .. every .. shot. Undescores how boring behind-the-scenes videos can be.

ONSIGHT OS 3D Plugin Download | Onsight
A free plug-in for Final Cut Pro designed to simplify the process of preparing and editing with 3D files:
Our post production facilities manage a large amount of S3D rushes and have tried a number of approaches in dealing and managing files in a user friendly manner. OS 3D provides users with a intuitive way of working in 3D, be it with discrete left and right eye files or side by side, it allows you to make stereoscopic corrections and decisions during the editorial process.

Review: Joby’s portable GorillaPods are great for steady shots on the go
| Lauren Crabbe | Macworld
A review of those bendy tripods. The GorillaPod Hybrid [$39.95] (reviewed) and the SLR-Zoom GorillaPod [$58.95] (not reviewed) are the one's you'll find most useful for small video cameras and SLRs.

Twentysomething | johnbrawley | Blog
How an Australian television show was shot using DSLRs.
The footage was edited together then graded at deluxe by Amanda Short. We were all surprised at how close the 1D came to the RED in terms of dynamic range and grade-ability. Josh and Jess certainly liked the idea that we could be a little more discreet. We discovered another reason to consider shooting with a DSLR. It would mean we could afford to shoot with two cameras.
[via: cinescopophilia]

Big trouble in Tokyo | The Economist
Very weird financial goings-on at Olympus.
He says Olympus’s underlying operations, especially its medical-devices business, remain sound. But he believes that the company’s very survival is threatened by the ongoing uncertainty as to what has happened to its accounts.

EditShare Presents From The Cutting Room: Tariq Anwar - The King's Speech | The Straight Cut
Highlights from a talk given by editor Tariq Anwar about editing the award winning film "The King's Speech."

Read What the Media and Beta Testers Have to Say About Avid Media Composer 6
| Avid
Collection of comments about the latest Avid release:
All in all I am very pleased with the current release. It might not have all the WHIZ BANG POW that people might have been expecting with the 64-bit architecture, but it does pack a punch. I was very pleased with the performance on the timeline when scrolling through footage, and when the system was able to keep pace with my keystrokes, no matter how fast I went, how many bins I had open and how big my timeline was. I like the fact that the UI has an updated look, but didn’t change where the buttons are, and didn’t change the editing workflow.

H A P P Y   V E T E R A N ' S   D A Y

Canon C300 and RED Scarlet-X latest news

Hands-On Impressions of the Canon EOS C300 | Angelo Lorenzo | No Film School
He did get to handle the camera at the announcement event, but this is really a summary of his thoughts about the C300 vs the Scarlet, the image quality of the demo's shown, and a conclusion that we really need more than 2K.
The C300’s base sensitivity is rated at 640 ISO or 850 ISO (if you’re using Canon Log color) and spans a full 12 stops even at 20,000 ISO (higher ISO settings are known to reduce exposure latitude). A Canon rep pulled me aside to hint that their spec sheet is conservative, with 13+ stops in the field.

What is the point of the Canon C300? | Phil Rhodes | HD Magazine
The Canon 5D Mark II not withstanding, Phil believes that "Canon really do seem to have a talent for failing to do the obvious thing at the obvious time," and that the C300 is too expensive and/or too late. He's heard that the image quality is very good, but has concerns about the compression and output options:
The recording situation might have been slightly more understandable if the thing had a high-quality SDI output, but it's limited to 8-bit 4:2:2. I've made arguments in the past that few if any camera sensors actually have 10 bits of noise-free dynamic range, but nobody seems to believe me and I would therefore have expected Canon to try harder here. 4:4:4 isn't a necessity, though it's nice, and should be trivial to implement once the thing has a 3Gbps SDI port on it (which currently it lacks)

Canon C300 16000 ISO With Canon 14.5-60mm PL Zoom Lens Test Footage. Update .MXF file Link | Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
Some footage shot with the C300; you can now download the actual .MXF file to play with.

Cameras Make Headlines – The C300 and Scarlet | Chadwick Paul | Blog
Asks the question; Do You Really Need One Of These Cameras?
I see a lot of people (myself included, “me too”) react to announcements like this one and think – “If only I could or would purchase this camera THEN, I could really make something amazing“. This is a flawed mindset that I fall victim to far too often. Our DP here at the agency, who also moonlights as a shooter for NFL films, told me something that has stuck. It’s just another light tight box!

My view on the Canon C300 and RED scarlet | The Photographic World of Drew Gardner
Looking at what the announcement of these two cameras means:
I always felt it was only a matter of time before one of the seemingly sleeping mainstream giants, in the shape of Canon, Panasonic or Sony, woke up to what RED had been doing, and came up with their very own alternatives.

I believe that is the scenario that is with us right now.

I do hope that RED continue to thrive though, as more choice for the end user, inevitably means more competition, and better product.

EOS C300: Display- und XLR | YouTube
Video demo of the external monitor and XLR inputs for the C300, shot at the announcement.

ActionProducts Modular Solutions for the RED EPIC (Electra) | Cinescopophilia
Different power modules for the RED Epic (I have no idea if these will work with the Scarlet...)

Tapeless Workflows Utilizing AVID’S AMA Plug-In: Wed, Nov 30

SMPTE/New England's next meeting is Wednesday, November 30

Please join SMPTE New England and The Boston Avid Users Group as we welcome Steve Sarafian of Sony for a presentation on tapeless workflows utilizing Avid’s AMA plug-in. Mr. Sarafian will focus on the theory and practical applications of this technology allowing direct access and editing of Sony metadata and media on Avid editing systems without the need to transcode, copy, or import your footage.

Steve’s presentation will covers topics including:

XDCAM and XDCAM EX – AMA workflows
Metadata and Logging with XDCAM Browser
Working with XDCAM EX spanned clips
HDCAM SR - Working with the SRW-5800 file based workflows
SR-R1000 and the SRR1 SRMaster Recorder AMA Plug in.
XDCAM Station - AMA workflow with a hybrid Optical Disc/SxS deck.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Doors open at 6:30pm
Presentation at 7:00pm

Avid Headquarters
75 Network Drive (off Middlesex Tpk., near Rte. 62)
Burlington, MA 01803
Tel. 978-640-6789

SMPTE New England

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Redrock microRemote update

Everyone has been waiting a long while for Redrock to ship their microRemote follow-focus system, but they've just sent out an update that suggests they are closer to shipping:

The microRemote is Alive and Well and (Almost) Ready to Rock
This is an update on the Redrock Micro microRemote system. We know you have been patiently waiting and wondering the status of the microRemote. Since our last update, we have been working tirelessly to perfect the microRemote performance and features while maintaining its extraordinary affordability. Now, we have some breakthrough news to share with you.

How Far We've Come
First, a little background. As you may know, the microRemote has already been demonstrated and used at many events to rave reviews. Users have reported microRemote performance is on par or better than their own current wireless focusing systems costing 10 TIMES the microRemote. Everyone loves the revolutionary iPhone/iPod Touch interface, a groundbreaking advance that not only displays focus information, but helps you better understand and learn focus. A real-time view of available depth of field, actual distance to subject (from the microTape), and where the remote is currently focused makes focusing simple and intuitive to novices and pros alike. DV Magazine recognized the truly innovative nature of the microRemote with the Black Diamond Award for Best of Show at NAB. There is simply nothing else like it anywhere at any price.

But we weren't finished. While we were pleased with progress on all the components of the microRemote for performance, functionality, and revolutionary price, the missing piece of the puzzle was affordable, high performance motors.

Until now.

Redrock Torque Motors Have Arrived
Introducing the Redrock Torque motors: no-compromise strength, ultra-compact design, and amazingly priced. These motors deliver the power needed to move cinema lenses, and the finesse required to focus still lenses. The Torque motors are amazingly compact and give you the freedom to place motors in more places, on more rigs and with more cameras than ever before. The microRemote system maintains compatibility with Heden digital motors for those that have already purchased Heden or want to stay with that brand. Heden are fantastic motors and we love working with them. Between the Redrock Torque and Heden, you have two great choices for your microRemote motors.

microTape Rangefinder Now Shipping [NOTE: The site currently lists shipping in 15 business days]
We aren't quite ready to announce the full microRemote system availability and final pricing, but we assure you it's not far off, and the price will astound you. In addition to the great news about Torque motors, we are also announcing immediate availability of the microTape real-time rangefinder. The microTape is fantastic as a standalone accessory to help camera operators, ACs, and steadicam operators better judge subject distance, and also works seamlessly with the microRemote once it's available. More information is available at

Updated details can be found on our microRemote page at These details plus updates can be found on our microRemote facebook page , and we recommend "liking" the page to keep up to date.

Thanks - that's it for now. Stay tuned for more updates on as we move closer to shipping the incredible microRemote system.

BAVUG Event: The Powderhouse Punch Tuesday, Nov 15

The Boston Avid Users Group is meeting next Tuesday at Powderhouse Productions. If you're interested in attending you might want to hurry over to the registration page as there's only a few seats left (particularly in the General Admission category.)

How do you make consistently entertaining television programs on tight budgets and tight deadlines? Ask Rob Kirwan at Powderhouse Productions.

At our next BAVUG meeting, Rob will discuss how Powderhouse grew up with Avid and how they use Avid products such as Media Composer, Symphony and Interplay in their current setup and workflow. He will also touch on how the products have changed production models, business, etc.

Rob will also discuss his theories of editing style and how Powderhouse uses those theories in every program they produce to create a consistent product.

Powderhouse Productions
212 Elm St
Somerville, MA 02144

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (ET)

FInal Cut Pro X News

Organizing Media in the Event Library | Connor Crosby | Final Cut Whiz
Customizing the appearance of the Event Library and organizing media in Smart and Keyword Collections:
Keyword Collections are – you guessed it – collections made from keywords. To create Keyword Collections, simply click on the key icon (found between the Event Library and Timeline). Now select a clip you want to apply a keyword and type it in the text box on the popup window. Final Cut Pro X allows you to create shortcuts for keywords by typing words next to the short keys (look at image below).

Using Roles to Manage Complex Projects | Larry Jordan | Blog
On a related note, this post is from last month, but I think I missed it. Larry explains the role of 'roles' in FCPX:
These are a new kind of labels which allow us to flag clips by type. Roles can help us in two significant ways: tracking and managing clips during the edit and exporting just the clips we need.
This article talks about the first option, I’ll write about the second in a second article.

Improving FCP X Nov | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
Oliver put together a list of features he thinks Final Cut Pro X needs to make it appeal to pros:
1. Make audio trimming and transitions as easy as and comparable to video trimming. Currently audio seems to take a back seat to video editing when it comes to trims and transitions.

Color Grading in Final Cut Pro X | Mark Spencer, Steve Martin | PixelCorps
An quick intro to color grading in Final Cut Pro X, and a trick to get Color Wheels in Final Cut Pro X by adding a color picker filter. This is also on YouTube: MacBreak Studio: Episode 141 - Color Grading in Final Cut Pro X

TKY Free FCPX Security Camera Effect | Simon Ubsdell | FCP.Co
Simon has posted a simulation of a security cam, with controls for:
Brightness, contrast, blur and noise;
Waviness, roll, static, color sync, saturation;
Scan line brightness, percentage and number of lines;
Tint color and intensity;
Fisheye radius and amount;
Vignette opacity.

Digital Heaven update DH BoxX and DH ReincarnationX for FCPX | FCP.Co
Digital Heaven have upgraded two of their filters; DH BoxX for custom resizing and cropping, and DH ReincarnationX that fixes dead pixels.

Background Rendering in FCPX | Connor Crosby | Final Cut Whiz
How background rendering works, and can be configured in FCPX:
..background rendering isn’t really rendering-while-you-edit. It’s more like render-when-you-aren’t-playing-a-clip. So, if you’re watching a clip or selecting in and out points, FCPX won’t render. You can tell Final Cut how long to wait after you become “inactive” by adjusting the amount of seconds next to “Start after”. It’s set to 5 seconds by default.

Exclusive Interview: Walter Murch talks about Final Cut Pro X (part 1) | MacVideo
An interview with Walter recorded on the day of the Boston SuperMeet talk. He opens with the observation that everything he's edited in the past four years was acquired digitally, not shot on film.
I think Apple with Final Cut X has tapped not only into that completely digital world, but are looking down the decade to a world that we get occasional glimpses of.

Filmmaker Magazine Column

In case you haven't been following me on Twitter, I'm now writing a column for Filmmaker Magazine's website on Cinematography. You can find the second piece, which was posted Tuesday, here: REACTION TO THE CANON C300 AND RED SCARLET-X.

This is an exciting new challenge, and I plan to cover a wide range of topics in this column. And if you have ideas for topics, let me know!

Also, there's no plan's to change this blog, or reduce the frequency of posting here, so you'll still find the usual collection of news and feature items here!

- Michael

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Quick Links

Adobe to lay off 750 workers, restructure around digital media, marketing
| Christopher Trout | Engadget
Just last week Avid did some restructuring and laid off some workers, and now it seems Adobe is sailing through some troubled waters too. Maybe I'll have to switch to Final Cut Pro X after all!
According to one of the two press releases, the master of Flash plans to continue offering the Creative Suite as well as expanding "tablet-based touch apps" and cloud-based software.

Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro | Richard Harrington | Blog
In this video Richard Harrington covers customizing your keyboard in Premiere Pro CS5.5.

Low Light FS-100 | Brasil Filmes | Vimeo
Shot with the Sony NEX-FS100 using Canon 50mm 1.4 [$379], Canon 16-35mm 2.8 [$1,659] and Sigma 10mm 2.8 [$649]

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt SSD review | Michael Gorman | Engadget
It's taken longer than expected, and they may be more expensive than we'd hoped, but Thunderbolt devices seem to finally be close to shipping, and they do seem to offer the performance that was promised. Engadget got to review the LaCie 240GB Little Big Disk [$899.95]. Projected shipping is January:
Those speeds translated to a 200MB file being transferred in 2.5 seconds, a 1GB file in 12 seconds, a 5GB file in 57 seconds and a 10GB file in just under two minutes. We also backed up 89GB worth of data using using Time Machine in 23 minutes and 22 seconds, and created a bootable backup using the included Intego software in 38 minutes and five seconds at an average speed of 41.8 MB/sec.
While they note that LaCie is pitching this $900 beast to audio and video pros, Engadget dismisses it as too expensive for backup for consumers [Duh - Ed].

Kodak sells Image Sensor Solutions business | DPReview
Kodak sells it's Image Sensor business. The end of Kodak? The end of film?
While the financial details were not disclosed, Kodak will have continuing access to the image sensor technology involved in this transaction for use in its own products. Kodak has previously communicated that it would sell assets that are not central to its transformation to a profitable, sustainable digital company. This sale is aligned with that strategy to generate cash to complete the transformation.

Canon C300 and RED Scarlet X News

Canon C300 “Organic” Noise | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent talks about the noise patterns produced by the Canon C300 sensor:
While digital sensors are slowly closing the gap with film in terms of dynamic range – most don’t have the same granular structural beauty that film offers. It seems that too is changing.

The RC #100 C300 with Dir. Laforet & RED ScarletX | audio podcast | FXGuide
Discussion of the Canon C300 and RED Scarlet X, includes an interview with Vincent Laforet:
"I'll be very honest, and very blunt, and say that when I first saw the camera I thought it was one of the ugliest things I'd ever seen, and when I read the specs, I was completely unimpressed. I was like "Oh God, here we go, what kind of magic are we going to have to pull with this?" And it wasn't until the second or third shot on set, during that first day of shooting, that I went up the camera rep and said "You know what, this pretty unbelievable."

Canon’s new EOS C300 digital cinema line - competition for Red or Sony?
| Mike Curtis | ProVideoCoalition
Mike from HD for Indies wrote up this look at both cameras back when they were announced:
Canon breaks no new technological ground with the specs on this camera, nor do they keep up with other players on the field - there’s no RAW recording, no full res stills recording, no 4:4:4, no 1080p60, no OMG awesome new tech.

Canon's Larry Thorpe on the C300's design and origins - Audio | HD Magazine
An audio interview with Canon's Larry Thorpe:
We caught up with Canon's Larry Thorpe at last week's C300 launch and he explained to us the design of the new sensor and how the camera was born from the requests of the industry and designed by both the EOS and professional camcorder departments of Canon in Japan.

New Wooden Camera RED EPIC Accessories Available Now | Cinescopophilia
Ignore the posturing in the first paragraph and jump to the details of these accessories for the EPIC and Scarlet X. [And I don't think they are made of wood - Ed]
Do even a just a small amount of research and you can find guys like Wooden Camera that do great RED accessories for the EPIC and Scarlet X + DSLR cameras at very cost effective prices.

ARRI Pro Camera Accessories for Canon C300 | ARRIChannel | YouTube
In this video Arri shows their accessories with the Canon C300.

RED Scarlet X and EOS C300 Shoot Out | Film Cast Entertainment
Not really a shoot-out so much as a review of the history of the two companies, and a look at the specs of the two cameras:
Filmmaking after all, is about telling a story, not about how many pixels or megabits I have on my blender, and both cameras deliver a fine picture to hold any storyline. So, today all cinematographers can enjoy more top rated accessible working tools to choose from at a very low price point for whatever we decide to shoot.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Canon C300 and RED Scarlet-X latest news: Part II

RED Announces New Scarlet X 5K Camera and Pricing | Daniel Bruns | VideoMaker
A look at the Scarlet announcement:
The more serious issue is that the camera only films at a maximum 6 fps in 5K mode, effectively making that resolution worthless for video (though useful for still photography). Even so, it does include the ability to shoot at 23.98 fps in 4K which should make many professionals happy and even at 120 fps when shooting at only 1K.

Did Canon Just Steal the Future of Filmmaking? | Louis Bedigian | Forbes
Some people - especially RED fans - take issue with this article about Canon and RED's announcements. Interestingly, it also talks about Sony too (though I'm not sure I agree with those conculsions either):
Sony had a stellar opportunity here to step in with a lower-cost model and take control of the market, but it completely missed the boat. The company has been taking losses in nearly every division. If RED holds onto its market position, and if Canon takes another chunk of the market, where will that leave Sony? Right now, the cheapest professional, high-def camera that Sony makes retails for nearly $17,000.

Filmmakers Dilemma: Canon C300 or RED Scarlet | Clinton Stark | StarkInsider
A few thoughts on the announcements from someone that admit's he's still mastering his Canon 60D and T2i. Includes some interesting comments from around the web:
“I’ve worked with a ton of middle-to-big commercial productions shooting DSLRs and I will assure you none of them are going to jump on this $20k camera any time soon. For that kind of money you might as well go Red but then again, that kind of money is hard to come by even for what you would think of as high budget productions.”

More Info And First Impressions: Canon’s New C300 Pro Cinema Camera
| Devin Doldeway | TechCrunch
This was posted just after the release, but I failed to include it in the links then:
The most obvious thing about the new camera is how compact and handling-friendly it is. I sought out the most minimal setup, which is pictured above and (except for the lens) the default package for purchasing the C300. It was quite light and well-balanced, and the controls felt convenient for thumb or off-hand operation.

podcast #60 - Erik Allin on the Canon EOS C300 | planetMitch | Vimeo
Interview with Erik Allin - a Canon Marketing Supervisor just after the Canon EOS C300 announcement. There's some questions about the future DSLR:
"They gave me a list of anticipated Q&A questions, and most of the answers were "We cannot say..."

Canon Tackles Pro Filmmaking With $20,000 EOS C300 | Jim Fisher | PCMag
PCMag's report on the Canon announcements:
Even though the C300 is compatible with existing Canon SLR lenses, these are not always ideal for use in cinematography. Canon has announced five dedicated lenses for the Cinema EOS system, all available in an EF mount. Two of the lenses are zooms, the CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S and the CNE30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S, covering wide and telephoto ranges alike. The lenses are designed to outlast the camera, as they are each rated for use in 4K productions. In addition to the EF mount, the zoom lenses will also be made available in PL mount versions.

Sample Movie | Canon
Four movie's shot with the C300, as well as behind-the-scenes: Max Is Back, XXII, Sword and Mobius.

Canon Cinema EOS C300 launch | Service. Support. Education | Casey Warren | MINDCASTLE | Vimeo
This is really an advertisement for the Canon Professional Services unit Canon is opening in Hollywood:
Canon asked us to create a cinematic piece that highlights the new professional level service/support/education that will accompany the launch of the Cinema EOS product line.

This video premiered at the Hollywood CINEMA EOS C300 launch event on Nov. 3rd.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Quick Links

Sony SAL1650 on NEX-FS100 | Shawn Lam | Blog
Shawn plays with the Sony SAL1650 16-50mm F2.8 [$699.99] lens on a Sony NEX-FS100 and compares it to the Konica Minolta 28-75 f/2.8 [$799.99] and Tokina ATX-Pro 28-70 f/2.6-2.8. His conclusion: Buy it!
I’ve been waiting to try out the Sony SAL1650 16-50mm F2.8 lens since it was announced in August. My interest in this particular lens is for use on my Sony NEX-FS100, for which I had not been able to find a suitable wide zoom lens. There aren’t too many 16-50′s on the market yet (B&H is still not showing any inventory) so rather than wait another few months (like I expect to for Sony LA-EA2 FS100 firmware) for someone else to review it, I decided to see if I could beg, borrow, or buy an SAL1650 that I could test on one of my two FS100s.
UPDATE 6:00PM: Removed incorrect link to Konica Minolta lens: that lens is now discontinued, and is not the same as the current Sony/Minolta 28-75.

Sony NEX-FS100 Q&A - Lens Adapters | Aaron Nanto | Vimeo
A short video looking at using the NEX-FS100 with different types of lenses; specifically Canon and Nikon. He has two budget adapters bought from eBay, and a more expensive Fotodiox adapter which he doesn't think is worth the extra money.
The adapters featured in this video are considered "dumb" adapters and will not allow you to control aperture or focus from the camera body. The Berger FS-100 adapter is currently scheduled to be released in early 2012 and will control aperture in most Canon lenses.

The Adobe Premiere Pro timeline for Final Cut Pro users | Scott Simmons
| The Editblog
For those switching from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro [Hands? - Ed] a comparison of the timeline:
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that they look similar in that both are track based. There are video and audio tracks just waiting for media. Both applications have a “patch bay” on the left for routing source media into the desired tracks. In PPro the source side media patches don’t disconnect or break like they do in FCP7 but rather you turn them on and off with a click, which highlights when the tracks are on.

Devilish Ways | Michael N Sutton | Vimeo
Slow-motion pumpkin smashing and other fun, shot with the Phantom Flex & 25mm Zeiss Super speed.

LUMIX GX1 from Panasonic - Sample video in Turkey Part 2 | Panasonic | YouTube
Impressive video that was shot with the recently announced Panasonic LUMIX GX1, a micro 4/3rds point and shoot that will shoot 1920x1080 video quite nicely it seems.
PanasonicUK: The Panasonic LUMIX GX1: Ultra-stylish photography in the palm of your hand

Buying Software Online: Part II

Last week I reported on buying the Adobe Production Premium Suite, and how I had gone for delivery on DVD rather than downloading. see: Buying Software Online.

Funny thing happened.

The discs arrived [ahead of time too!] and I went to install them and the MacBook Pro wouldn't read the discs: it just spit them straight out. Spat out the second disc from the set too. I tried a different disc just to be sure it wasn't the drive, and that disc loaded fine, so either the discs are faulty, or this drive doesn't like those discs. I will have to try them in another computer when I can.

In the mean time; what to do? Well, I downloaded the trial version of the entire Suite from Adobe's website, put in the serial number from the box when it asked whether I wanted to run in trial mode, and everything went fine!

Seems I didn't need those discs after all!

Note: The download file was just under 9GB. The download took a little over two hours. I don't know how much space the install took. The box said you needed 20GB for the software, however it also said that you needed more than that during installation from the discs.

Canon C300 and RED Scarlet-X latest news

10 Things You May Not Know About The Canon EOS C300 & Future Of Cinema EOS | Dan Carr | Blog
Some interesting facts about the C300:
Inside the C300 is a system of 4 glass ND filters which have 0, 2, 4 and 6 stops of light blocking capability. The filters have to be used individually they cannot be stacked together and they are electronically moved into place at the push of one of the side buttons on the camera. If you happen to be on location and the electronic motor system breaks, Canon have designed a a small hatch on the right side of the camera that can be opened to allow a screwdriver to turn the gears and change the filters.

Scarlet, Canon C300, and “Super 35” | Stu Maschwitz | Prolost
The slightly different sensor sizes of several "Super 35" cameras:
The Scarlet X has a larger sensor than the Canon C300, but you won’t be using it all to make movies. You can only achieve 24 fps at 4K and below—where the window you’re shooting to is actually smaller than the C300’s near exact match to the Super 35 frame width.

These are interesting times for filmmakers – the tools keep getting better
| Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent posts his thoughts on the two cameras, the importance of competition, the image quality of the C300 vs the 5D Mark II, and on the pricing of the RED and Canon cameras. He thinks the C300 is worth the price, and the Scarlet-X will end up costing almost as much once fully kitted out, but he does think RED has the mental advantage:
I think that while (in the end) the RED Scarlet will likely cost as much, if not slightly more than the Canon C300 when it comes to shooting it on any production big and small – Jim Jannard’s pricing of the base kit gives RED an advantage for what is on paper, clearly a higher performing camera (4K resolution at 25fps and in RAW.) The RED system is also built to be upgradable with new sensors and logic boards over time (not to mention accessories and modules.) The C300, Sony F3, and HDSLRs have not been built to have their sensors etc changed at a later date. Another important consideration.

Why Canon’s CF300 Wins this Round against the Scarlet X | John Hess | The Wrap
An audio podcast discussing the C300 and Scarlet-X announcements:
With calmer heads, FilmmakerIQ’s John Hess explains why the Canon CF300 will be a more stable and useful platform than the newly announced RED Scarlet, at least in the near term.

The Truth About 2K, 4K and The Future of Pixels | John Galt | Creative Cow
With sensor size becoming such a "big" thing, here's an article looking at what's behind sensor specs for single-chip cameras, the Bayer pattern, and whether 4K is really 4K.
So 4K is not these 8 mega pixel or 9 mega pixel or 10 mega pixel CMOS images for the Bayer pattern where they add up all the pixels in a row and say hey, we got 4K. The great perpetrators of that mythology have been RED and Dalsa. That's why I call these “marketing pixels." It's intentional obfuscation. Because they really do nothing to improve image quality. They may improve sales volume. But they don't do anything to quality.

Poll: Which Camera Announcement Impressed You the Most? | Poll
| The Digital Visual
A poll on which announcement interested people the most. No totals are provided, so no idea how many people have actually voted, but at the moment the RED Scarlet-X has 53%, while the C300 and 4K DSLR concept are tied at 22%.

Canon Hollywood Anouncement Expo Technicolor DP Lights C300 Canon Log
| jared abrams | Wide Open Camera
Demo of the DP Lights system working live with the Canon C300.

Zacuto at Canon Event in Hollywood | Zacuto | Facebook
Zacuto has posted on their Facebook page some stills taken at last weeks event.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Quick Links

An In-Depth Tutorial for Using a Light Meter to Find Your Camera's Exposure Latitude | Angelo Lorenzo | No Film School
Yesterday I was playing with a Canon EF lens on the Sony NEX-VG20 using an EF-to-NEX mount adapter; no more fully automatic mode for me! So maybe it's time to buy a lightmeter and figure out how to do exposure properly...this article explains how to:
Don’t know your camera’s limitations? Experimenting with a new in-camera gamma curve or picture style? Renting a camera you haven’t used before? You’ll want to run this test to see where you stand with exposure latitude.

Canon 4K mirrorless DSLR available within 12 months | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Now that Canon has announced the C3000, it's time to speculate about the next camera:
I also think that this full frame DSLR with be mirrorless. In order to work with PL mount lenses, a DSLR cannot have a mirror in between the mount and the sensor. Also in a cinema orientated DSLR an optical viewfinder is totally useless for motion. Removing the mirrorbox would be totally necessary, and Canon have already pictured the DSLR with a PL cinema lens attached.

On Set Data Management with the EOS C300 | Jem Schofield | Canon
Tech articles about the Canon C300; something to wet your curiosity until the camera is shipped!
This article will focus on the benefits of using Canon's 50Mbps 4:2:2 Constant Bit Rate (CBR), XF Codec and how you can work effectively with the codec using the EOS C300's CF card based system in production environments. While the EOS C300 is capable of recording at lower bit rates and resolutions, this article is about getting the most out of your camera when recording directly to the widely available, cost-effective and production proven media, CF cards.

Understanding the EOS C300's Canon Log Gamma | Jem Schofield | Canon
With the C300, Canon has given filmmakers and cinematographers an affordable Super 35mm based digital cinema camera that contains wide latitude and high dynamic range without the need for dramatic workflow changes. To achieve this, Canon's C300 combines their brand new Canon Log Gamma along with a number of innovations such as their new 35mm CMOS sensor, the DIGIC DV III processor and Canon's XF Codec, to produce images that are ready for the rigors of today's post-production workflows.

Canon C300 16000 ISO With Canon 14.5-60mm PL Zoom Lens Test Footage | Jared Abrams | WideOpenCamera
Some footage shot with the C300:
I managed to bootleg a little more footage. This time I used one of the Canon C300 cameras with the new Canon 14.5-60mm PL Zoom lens. This was a little test area Canon had set up in the Hollywood Expo area.

Shape Composite Stabilizer - Assembly and Overview | Preston Kanak | Vimeo
Preston does a video review of the Shape Composite Stabilizer, a stabilizer for DSLR or video cameras.