Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quick Links

1st Production Sony F65 | Twitter
"1st production Sony #F65 SN10001 was presented by CEO Sir Howard Stringer to Otto Nemenz In Hawaii Thursday night"

@AlexBuono | Twitter
"Just learned that our "Chantix" parody on last #SNL was the official broadcast debut of the #Canon #C300. Cheers!"

Rodney Charters Reviews Canon C300 and Accessories | Zacuto
I linked to Rodney's video earlier, but incase you missed it, here Zacuto adds some notes:
Charters further explains that he wants Canon to offer the C300 without the XLR/monitor add-on that mounts to the top of the camera to get below the elusive $10,000 price point. He goes on to say that because the C300 stamps each frame with timecode, it’s not really a problem syncing up audio from a secondary audio capturing device. It would definitely make sense for some people and other manufacturers could possibly create an XLR add-on that comes without the screen.

Colorimetric and Resolution requirements of cameras | ADDENDUM 70 : tests and settings on a Canon EOS C300 [PDF] | Alan Roberts | Canon
A thorough test of the Canon C300:
This camera performs well. Resolution is very well maintained and is refreshingly alias-free, far more so than other CMOS single-sensor cameras. Detail controls work well, and the factory settings are generally good. Noise levels are similar to those of 2⁄3” cameras with 3 sensors, as is sensitivity. Dynamic range is unusually high, at least 12 stops. Operating the camera at significantly higher gain produces more noise, but not dramatically so. The specified noise level of -54dB is achievable only at -6dB gain and with noise reduction switched on. Noise distribution is non-uniform, which gives the pictures a more film-like appearance.

It’s More Than Just Words On The Screen – It’s A Message | Fix It In Post Prod
Thoughts about video titles:
2) Does your screen have a proper balance to it?
Belive it or not, where you put the words on the screen in relation to what’s behind the font can affect what people see. It’s called screen balance…creating a weighted symmetry to your screen, so that not one thing overpowers or is overshadowed by something else? Consider this…you have a picture of a person on the right side of your screen, and you have some font you need on the screen. If you put it across the bottom of the screen, the left side is empty, making your picture right-heavy. It`s the same reason why, when you shoot a sitdown interview with two people, you make sure the framing is the same on both shots. That way, going back and forth from one camera to the other is not jarring.

Real World Editing: From Avid to FCP and Back Again | Mark Raudonis
| Creative COW
An look at Bunim/Murray Productions trip from Avid Media Composer to Apple Final Cut Pro and back again.
In fairness to Apple, I also wanted to give them a chance to address all of the criticism that came up. Since then, I've seen enough of their development to know that the direction they're headed in still isn't the right choice for us. As a result, after years of building our editing workflow around Final Cut Pro, we have decided to return to Avid Media Composer and Avid ISIS as the heart of our post process.

This was not a decision that we took lightly. Change is inevitable. But, different is not necessarily better. Our editorial process requires some specific features that seem to be disappearing from Final Cut.
I guess they won't be needing Larry Jordan's latest book: Final Cut Pro X: Making the Transition

Understanding the Nikon D4 battery's lower capacity rating | Rob Galbraith | Blog
This post explains Nikon's adoption of a lower capacity battery for the D4 based on an interview with Toshiaki Akagi, an engineer and senior manager at Nikon in Japan:
Put simply, if you're using the D4 to take a steady stream of photos, Nikon's contention is the EN-EL18 will give you more frames per charge than would have been possible with the EN-EL4a. Conversely, if the camera is kept awake but is spending far more time idle than it is taking pictures, the EN-EL4a would last longer on a single charge than the EN-EL18.

Anatomy of a 60 Minutes hidden-camera interview | 60 Minutes Overtime Staff
| CBS News
Might be useful for documentary filmmakers...or not:
So, producers Michael Rey and Oriana Zill spent two days in the hotel suite with a team of undercover camera specialists, carefully rigging the room with small cameras and developing a plan. (If you've watched any mobster movies, you won't be surprised by the lamp cam in this video.)

Ecklund came to the suite expecting to meet with a family seeking his medical help for their son with cerebral palsy. Soon after Ecklund arrived, Pelley emerged and said, "I'm Scott Pelley from "60 Minutes."

TS3Cine High-Speed, High-Resolution Camera on 1.11.12 | Rule Boston Camera
| Vimeo
A look at the high-speed TS3Cine camera:

TS3Cine High-Speed, High-Resolution Camera on 1.11.12 from Rule Boston Camera on Vimeo.

An introduction to EQ and filters | David Franz |
For those starting out in audio:
Brian Lee White explains how air is compressed and rarefied to create waveforms in his Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters course. Check out his explanation in the video here, and then dive further into learning about using EQ and filters to improve the sound of your waveforms…I mean, music.

Lighting Principles #2 - Lighting Tools | Den Lennie | Blog
Den continues his series on lighting, getting into the types of light:
1) Tungsten Lighting
This is lighting that essentially mimics the household bulb and is measured in 'watts'. They come in output intensities of anywhere from 150w, up to 10,000w, in the case of some large studio lights. The color temperature is tungsten and so you can expect a reading of 3200K from these lights.

Another week in After Effects | Rich Young | ProVideoCoalition
Links to multiple resource sites for After Effects:
Here’s another summary of the last week or so of some news on After Effects tutorials, plug-ins, and scripts. The return to the regular news cycle caught idle hands by surprise with a promise of a big CS6 release, snakes in AE, tracking offscreen, plug-ins, and more.

Magic Bullet Suite 11.2 – Includes Avid Media Composer Support | Aharon Rabinowitz | Red Giant Blog
An update to Magic Bullet:
The 2 big highlights in this release are:
MB Looks is working in Avid Media Composer 5.5 & 6
The Single Suite installer now has individual product install options

Apple Motion 5 and mocha Track Import | Imageneer Systems
A video that shows how to use mocha with Motion 5:
Video tutorial covers the workflow to import mocha's advanced planar tracking into Apple Motion 5. Note: all mocha, mocha AE and mocha Pro versions after v2.5 support Apple Motion. The bundled Adobe AE version does not.
Also, mocha, mocha AE & mocha Pro have been updated to v2.6.2: Downloads

Episode 40: Will we be outsourced or automated out of existence?
| The Terence And Philip Show
Audio podcast for the paranoid:
In this episode Terence and Philip discuss the outsourcing of editing jobs, remote (a.k.a cloud) editing and automation in production. What’s happening now and how will it evolve in the near future. Philip also sneaks in a preview of an interesting show he’ll be involved with in 2012.

Anatomy of a Shoot: Creating Dramatic Color With Gelled Speedlites | Syl Arena
| Speedliting
While this is oriented towards stills photography, the discussion of gels and light positioning is applicable to video too:
My hero shot happened at frame 69. I like the intense blue on Arian’s face and how it contrasts boldly with the warm light in the background. Look at the wall near the right edge. You can see that I’ve feathered (angled) the blue Speedlite so that most of the light flies in front of Arian and then bounces onto him. (1/30″, f/4, ISO 200)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quick Links

What We Thought Of The Canon C300 – Four Working Pros Give Their Views
| Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
An interesting video with four people chatting about the C300. Their views on lenses is interesting too as they are more interested in short-throw lenses. Also, three of the four have already ordered a C300:
After a long day shooting out on location with a pre-production Canon C300 I invited DOP Andy Jackson, James Velacott of Cherryduck productions and Guardian freelance shooter Felix Clay to discuss their thoughts about the new camera with me. Below is a quickly thrown together video of our discussion.

C300 For 10G I expect a big smile.. | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR4Real
Partly in response to Dan's article, Sam think's the C300 doesn't wow him enough; for the price:
If you do any interviews the camera will need a rig, and canon seem to have placed the lens height just wrong - that will force you to buy a new rail block at least

8 Bit -We are seeing some clips now - the image is great- ish still its going to fall over on those tonal skies and grey walls or if you get your colour balance off by a few kelvin

CES 2012: Canon C300 Digital Cinema Camera is a Badass Beast | Wired | YouTube

'Pull Back,' My RED SCARLET Test Short | Ryan Koo | NoFilmSchool
Ryan and friends did a short shoot with his new Scarlet. There's an interesting note about problems caused by infrared pollution:
I sketched out a dialogue-free scenario on my phone and emailed DP Timur Civan, who had a SCARLET of his own on order, but had not yet received it. I emailed him, “I have a SCARLET and no lenses, and you have lenses and no SCARLET,” and so it was set. Timur brought his Cooke Panchro primes, I brought the SCARLET and some batteries, Raafi brought in actor Harlan Short, and we grabbed some shots on the Brooklyn roof for a few hours.

Live from the Engadget CES Stage: an interview with Red (update: video embedded)Engadget
Interview with Ted Schilowitz of RED. Interesting that the two 4K movies that Sony was showing in their booth at CES were shot on the RED.

Lighting Principles # 1 - Why We Light? | Den Lennie | Blog
This article isn't about how to light, but why to light (it's not just to reduce noise in the picture!):
Create contrast
Video is a 2 dimensional medium. Yet we experience life in 3 dimensions. Setting aside the evolution of 3D shooting and 3D video technology, light is used to create the illusion of a 3rd dimension in 2 dimensional video. DoP's use light to give the scene a sense of perspective. By creating contrast between shadow and highlight, you give the viewer a sense of depth.

Update Alert: FxFactory 3.0 | Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
FxFactory, the filter engine for FCP and After Effects gets an update:
This update to the popular plug-in architecture introduces not just a lot of new effects but a new interface to the actual FxFactory program. This release sees an interesting new color correction tool from Yanobox and the first FxFactory tools from Nattress and an FCPX only transition package from idustrial revolution.

Tech Tues: New Portable & Studio Recorders, Featuring the CineDeck RX
| Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | AbelCine
If you're in New York next week, there's a three hour look at digital recorders with Daine Pearson from CineDeck and AbelCine's Andy Shipsides. They'll be looking at:
Atomos Samurai
AJA Ki Pro and Ki Pro Mini
Cinedeck EX and RX
Convergent Design NanoFlash and Gemini 4:4:4
Fast Forward SideKick
Sound Devices PIX 240

Making a Norwegian kid’s dream come true | Andre Rettedal | Denton Distribution
Ed Burns made a movie for $9,000. This kid shot his film in 6 days with £2700 and sold it at the Cannes Film Festival (2011). Note that this report is from the distributor:
Denton Distribution have made a Norwegian kid, who struggles to even speak English, a very ecstatic person and are now distributing the film worldwide. Who says you need £1million to make a film? Andre has proved all you need is £3000 and a lot of determination. Recently lauded as the “Norwegian Tarantino” by Norwegian Press, Andre’s future is bright!

How Stanley Kubrick Invented the Modern Box-Office Report (By Accident)
| Mike Kaplan | moviefone
This article explains how Kubrick went about handling the roll-out of his movie A Clockwork Orange.
And so, for the next six weeks, Maureen, a sweet lady from St. Albans, entered the figures from The Music Box in Chicago and The Orson Welles in Boston and the Bijou in St. Louis and a thousand additional American cinemas onto individual pages of accounting paper, which were then compiled into looseleaf notebooks, alphabetically listed by city and subdivided by cinema. This hand-crafted data base would be our bible, guiding our directives to Warner Bros. concerning which cinemas should show A Clockwork Orange.

Book Review: Cinematography | Jason Spencer | digital hippos
Review of the book FilmCraft: Cinematography:
This book isn't really here to be a how to guide but rather a look into the world of the people behind the camera and what all goes into the choices they make on a daily basis. There is plenty to learn from what they say but if you're looking for someone to tell you what to do you are reading the wrong book. The best thing that this book teaches is that each and every film you may work on is going to be different and you will have to adjust to fit the needs of the story being told.

George Lucas says Hollywood won't support black films | BBC
Lucas appeared on The Daily Show earlier this week and said that he couldn't get any major studio to touch Red Tails:
He claimed major film studios would not back the movie because "there's no major white roles in it at all".

"I showed it to all of them and they said, 'No. We don't know how to market a movie like this,'" he said.

"They don't believe there's any foreign market for it, and that's 60% of their profit," he added.

Portable EntertainmentHome EntertainmentComputersCamcorders Digital Cameras & Gear Pro Audio You go to B&H

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick Links

Canon EOS C300 Pub Night with Larry Thorpe on 1.5.11 | Rule Boston Camera
| Vimeo
Rule Boston Camera has posted a video of last week's Pub Night with Larry Thorpe:

Canon EOS C300 Pub Night with Larry Thorpe on 1.5.11 from Rule Boston Camera on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Interview #13 – Robin Schmid | Neil Rolland | Write.Shoot.Cut
An interview with D.P. Robin Schmidt aka El Skid:
All my paid work now is about exploiting the opportunities of social media through film, converting brands into stories and helping them understand how to market themselves through content. Sounds boring, but it pays very nicely. As a filmmaker you basically get used to spending the whole time skint. When the funding bodies all go bust you have to fund things yourself and this is a real pain in the ass. I refuse to accept that you can’t have your cake and eat it and now I’m managing to earn a decent amount through filmmaking and carve out a chunk of that to fund my own endeavours. Still skint though!

Digital Convergence Podcast Episode 57: Nikon D4, Lightroom 4 Beta, Mirror-Less Cameras, FCP X, And More | DigitalFilm.TV
Carl Olson is joined on the Digital Convergence podcast by Mitch Aunger (aka planetMitch of and Chris Fenwick (editor, Slice Editorial):
We talk about the new Nikon D4 and dissect it's video capabilities. The subject of mirror-less cameras come up - do they mean the death of DSLR's? This is a debate that Trey Ratcliff started on his StuckInCustoms blog. We talk about the new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 beta and it's new video editing features. We haven't talked much about the maligned FCP X so we jump back on that soap wagon. Could it be we're slowly warming up to it?

3 Effective Sites For Learning After-Effects To Use In Your Film Projects
| Joshua Lockhart | MakeUseOf
A look at three sites offering After Effects tutorials: Video Copilot, Motion Works, and AE Tuts Plus:
These sites are great, but there are probably hundreds of YouTubers out there who have dozens of tutorials for After Effects if you just go search for them. By no means should you only use these sites to build your After Effects repertoire. Heck, some of them are only kids, and I would watch them as closely as I would any professional – sometimes even more so.

JVC Unveils World’s First Handheld 4K Camcorder | ProVideoCoalition
JVC press release for their 4K, $5,000 camcorder:
“We’re witnessing the birth of what is destined to become a broad market for full 4K end-to-end production,” said Edgar Shane, general manager of engineering. “The GY-HMQ10 is a breakthrough product that opens up 4K imaging to users who previously wouldn’t have considered it.”

Will 2012 be Thunderbolt's year? Devices arrive in force at CES | Chris Foresman
| ArsTechnica
I keep wondering where the Thunderbolt devices are:
Seagate showed us Thunderbolt docks for its GoFlex line of adaptable mobile and desktop external drives. Company representatives told Ars that its GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter for 2.5" mobile GoFlex drives should be available within the next couple months, and sells for $100. The GoFlex Desk Thunderbolt won't be available until the second half of the year, and will sell for about $200. One nice benefit of Segate's solution is that GoFlex users can immediately upgrade existing drives to Thunderbolt using the new adapters.

Upgrade offer for CS3 and CS4 customers | Adobe
Adobe has been tinkering with their upgrade policy, and it appears they've changed it again - at least temporarily:
With these great new releases coming in the first half of 2012, we want to make sure our customers have plenty of time to determine which offering is best for them. Therefore, we’re pleased to announce that we will offer special introductory upgrade pricing on Creative Suite 6 to customers who own CS3 or CS4. This offer will be available from the time CS6 is released until December 31, 2012. More details on this offer, as well as any introductory offers for existing customers to move to Creative Cloud membership, will be announced when CS6 and Creative Cloud are released later this year.

Edward Burns: More Independent than Ever | Ron Bennington | the interrobang
Edward Burns has been popping up in a lot of places talking up his $9,000 movie:
We had the script written, he and I went on the train from Tribeca up to 34th street to B&H, buy the camera [Canon 5D] for $2800 dollars. Take the train back downtown, I call a buddy of mine who owns a gym, and my character plays a trainer. I said look, we’re going to come by the gym to test shoot a scene. No lights, just the DP and I. I did the sound by just putting a microphone on myself and the recording device in my pocket. And we shot a half of a phone conversation. We take it back to the editing room which is just a computer with Final Cut on it, put the flash card in, look at the footage and the scene looked great. We said, alright, let’s make a movie like this. And that scene ended up in the finished film.

13 Power iPhone Apps for Filmmakers | Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
Shane offers a bunch of iPhone apps he finds useful including sun tracking, figuring out depth of field and more:
The past 3 years have been a very exciting time to be a filmmaker with the many changes in digital technology. I think back to a time before “Act of Valor” and if I was asked to shoot a movie on a still camera, I would have thought the director had gone mad. The speed that you now have to function at has increased dramatically. Budgets are getting tighter and time is more valuable. Multi-tasking is one of the only ways to survive.

How to Accomplish Push/Pull Moves Using Kessler Crane Gear - Full Length
| Kessler Crane | Vimeo
Preston Kanak has put together an 8 minute tutorial on doing nice push/pull moves with your clider/crane:

How to Accomplish Push/Pull Moves Using Kessler Crane Gear - Full Length from Kessler Crane on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quick Links

One Reason to Get a Sony F3 Instead of the Canon C300: Flexibility | Ryan Koo
| NoFilmSchool
Ryan's ordered a Scarlet, but here he tries to persuade those interested in the C300 that they should really buy the Sony PMW-F3.
C300 has no such “S-Log with external recorder” equivalent (just a flat picture profile setting). But it is much smaller and lighter. The amount to which the C300′s small size is an advantage depends on your own needs… if you’re trying to steal locations the diminutive profile of the C300 may be worth the price of admission alone (though a DSLR will be equally if not more incognito).

Using the C300 to create believable pictures – Late Night Chatter with Rodney Charters, Drew Gardner and Lan Bui – part 2 | VU BUI | The Bui Brothers Blog
Another part of the series of video's posted by these filmmakers:
Rodney talks about true guerrilla filmmaking with a camera like the C300. It’s not only about having a smaller form factor, but the “handholdability” of the camera that makes it such a great tool for truly low-budget shooting. Also, when compared to other cameras around the same price range, you’ve got a true self-contained package. There aren’t boxes to hook up to capture to or wires to plug into the wall… it’s a stand-alone unit that does everything it needs to without hooking up a bunch of stuff just to get it to a workable state.

Bob The Aviator - a Canon C300 short | Dan Chung | Vimeo
A short video shot with the C300:
Shot entirely on a pre-production Canon C300 by a team of shooters. They are DOP Andy Jackson, dslrnewsshooter's Dan Chung, Owner of Cherryduck productions James Velacott and freelance shooter Felix Clay. The whole short was shot in one short winter's day and edited by Cherryduck's in house team.

The Making of Cinema EOS: Sneak Peek | Production Hub
A sort of best-of of the behind-the-scenes videos made on the Canon C300:
A behind the scenes look into the making of the Cinema EOS films, featuring insights from the directors and cinematographers, in their own words.
Shot exclusively with Canon XF series camcorders.

Live Q&A with Nikon reveals D4 video shortcomings | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew loves to hate Nikon, and he's found some reasons to dislike the Nikon D4:
The downsampling of the sensor is similar to the Nikon J1, a $499 mirrorless camera. According to Nikon, “subsampling is only along each horizontal video line; there’s no sub-sampling between video lines.
” Frankly this is bloody ridiculous. I’ve seen the results of this on the J1 and it isn’t pretty – sheering on fine diagonal patterns and very soft detail. I expect better from a pro DSLR. With that in mind don’t expect resolution on the D4 to beat the GH2 or Canon 1DX with DIGIC 5.

Red Scarlet-X #562 "Nova" Unboxing | Wade Yamaguchi | Vimeo
A fun little unboxing:
I recently purchased the Red Scarlet-X and decided to shoot a motion controlled timelapse of me opening the box. I used a 5D with the 16-35mm lens and the Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly with the Basic Controller to capture the timelapse. Got to love the little Christmas tree in the background since the Scarlet with be my Christmas present for the 10 years haha!

4p Judder and 60i Conversion | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
Here's why 24p looks jumpy. Includes sample videos:
24p is ‘jumpy’ by its nature, but the look of 24p video in a digital video camera can still come across a little more ‘jumpy’ then you’d expect. There are several reasons for this, which I explain in article for HDVideoPro magazine called “Did I Judder.” As part of the article, I put together these two videos to show the difference between native 24p video and 24p converted to 60i. I did this because much of the 24p content we see has been converted to 60i already, which has a smoothing effect that is very noticeable on television.

JVC GY-HMQ10 available from March for £4340 | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
A small 4K camera that will cost about $5,000. Who will buy it?
JVC’s exclusive Falconbrid LSI processing takes raw image data from the camera’s CMOS device and dematrixes (deBayers) it in real time. Unlike many high end 4K cameras, the GY-HMQ10 is able to output 4K images to a monitor or projection system in real time with virtually no latency. This capability opens up applications in cinematography, medical microscopy, telepresence, specialised observation / surveillance, and live wide-view event coverage.
JVC Introduces a Compact 4K Camcorder, shipping in March | FreshDV

Sony Handycam HDR-PJ760V | Jeremy Stamas |
I agree with Camcorderinfo; it might be nice but would anyone buy this just to get the projection capabilities?
The Handycam HDR-PJ760V is essentially a combination of two previous Sony camcorders: the HDR-PJ30V and the HDR-CX700V. Sony took the built-in projector from the PJ30V and strapped it onto the body of the CX700V, which had all the controls and features one would expect from a flagship Sony camcorder. The result means the HDR-PJ760V is a top-line camcorder with professional features and plenty of manual controls—and a built-in video projector.

Sony Releases LED Video Light for Its Camcorders | Daniel Brun | Videomaker
Sony announces their own little LED video light:
The light, which looks very similar to LitePanels’ MicroPro LED offering, can be mounted on any Sony camcorder with a shoe mount. The LED light will be adjustable from 10% to 100% brightness and will include 60 powerful LEDs (which should be good for 1800 lux).

Lights Galore | Cristina Valdivieso | Shoot Edit Learn
A blog post about getting some lights and setting them up for the first time:
So I had everything I needed and the main test was going to be actually putting all of these to the work. We had been planning on shooting the first episode of our new cooking show for editors for a while now but I wanted to wait till we had all our new gear. What I didn’t think about was just how small our kitchen is and how challenging lighting my first scene ever would me. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy but I didn’t really think how hard it would be to deal with space limitations, glass everywhere, and way too many stainless steel appliances.

7 G&E Techniques Useful to Camera Assistants | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
More tips for the camera grip:
1. Place the Sandbag on the Foremost Leg of a C-stand
This is Gripping 101 — make sure you place the sandbag on the tallest leg of a C-stand and make sure that leg is underneath the weight.
But let’s back up a bit further: you should always add a bag of dirt to stands that are holding something valuable, heavy, or high in the air.

Digital Broadcasting Group Goes Online With CS5.5 |
Another software editing suite switching article. It seems to be a trend that they are short on details:
“We were moving to an HD workflow and needed a new, nonlinear editor,” explains Davyeon Ross, CEO and founder of Digital Sports Ventures. “The integration of Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 software with our Dixon Sports Computing video management system made Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium the clear pick.”

Canon PowerShot G1 X Brief Hands On | CanonRumors
A short hands-on with the new large-sensor point-and-shoot, the Canon G1 X:
The first think you notice is the size of the camera. It’s nearly the same size as the PowerShot G12 at first glance. The one glaring size difference is the rather large lens. Even when the camera is at it’s widest focal length, the lens sticks out a fair bit. Zoom in and the lens extends further.

Adobe After Effects | Facebook
Adobe is looking for input from users:
We are hosting a series of round table discussions to get thoughts from design professionals on a proposed new Creative Suite product offering. We want to understand the challenges you face and if our proposed solution would enable you to solve critical business needs & make sense for a variety of workflows. Meetings typically take two hours and can be held virtually or in person. If you are interested participating please email Victoria Selwyn at to see if you qualify.

edelkrone - The Pocket Rig - First Look | edelkrone | Vimeo
A brief video of the Pocket Rig a small portable and lightweight DSLR Rig. I tried a rig like this that rests against your chest, and didn't like it, but your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quick Links

DP’S DISCUSS THE CANON C300 | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
At last week's intro to the C300 I interviewed some of the attendees for their reactions to the camera for this article for Filmmaker Magazines website:
...what I’m most impressed about tonight, having already seen footage before, is that this camera has a really nice feel in my hands. The controls are really obviously laid out; I’ve got my confidence indicators right on the screen for ASA, color temperature, and wave form. Everything is very beautifully laid out, there’s only a couple of buttons the operator really needs to deal with that set everything you need to know. It’s very obvious how to use it at a glance and it feels really comfortable.

First Impressions of the Canon CinemaEOS C300 | Tom Talbot
| Rule Boston Camera
Tom Talbot of Rule Boston Camera offers his own thoughts on the camera, including some interesting notes on camera bags for this unusually shaped camera!
I will devote a future blog entry to the C300 menu structure but I can say that the interface was very intuitive and familiar. The menu can be superimposed on the EVF, the LCD or the external outputs. In the case of the external connectors you do not get all superimposed info such as WFM, VECT or some other items. There is also a very handy rear display below the EVF that gives you access to ISO/Gain, White Balance, and shutter angle. I found this to be the place where I would quickly choose the Function button and toggle between and change these core settings.

The Director's Chair: the One Man Band | Raafi Rivero | NoFilmSchool
Looking to shoot a movie on a constrained budget? This article has some tips!
Stealing means shooting somewhere without permission. Now, let’s get this straight. I highly recommend getting permission to shoot… you know, producing. But sometimes it’s just not going down that way. And if that’s the case, these are some simple ideas for how to steal a shot. First off, if they see you walk in there with a slate and all kinds of microphones and lights rigged to your camera, you’re getting stopped. But if they see you there with the camera1 alone and a couple actors? Maybe you’re tourists. Use this to your advantage. Free extras!

"Season On the Edge" Shoots on Panasonic AG-AF100 Camcorders | TV Technology
An unfortunately very short article on using the AF100 for shooting a television series:
“We've had the AF100 in all sorts of nasty places for Season on the Edge, and the camera has been a workhorse for me,” Halberd said. “It’s a great tool. This is hard core fishing in extreme environments, with all the elements against us. Not to mention a hefty workflow.”

Advanced Roto Brush In After Effects | Colin Smith | AdobeTV
Colin has been producing a series of video's on how to use After Effects:
Adobe introduced the powerful Roto Brush in After Effects CS5 allowing you to increase your productivity when compositing layers together. Colin has some great tips to help you get the most out of Roto Brush including how to help After Effects make the best choices when propagating new frames.

How does Vimeo's encoding affect the colors in your video? | Forum | Vimeo
Have you had color problems with your video's on Vimeo? If so, they'd like to hear from you:
Some users have observed that the colors in their videos change after uploading to Vimeo. We realize that this is a real issue for many of you and we want to do something about it. Before we do, though, we'd like to get a better understanding of what is going on here.

Have you experienced color shift in your videos after uploading them to Vimeo? If so, please post below and explain how your video's colors changed.

Once we compile enough information, we are going to take steps to correct the problem so that your videos' colors stay as true as possible on Vimeo.

LaCie Reveals New Drives and Hubs with Thunderbolt Technology | Daniel Bruns
| Videomaker
It's interesting when companies announce Thunderbolt devices; but it would be even more interesting when they start shipping them:
What’s even more interesting is that LaCie has also designed a new eSATA hub using Thunderbolt in order to hook up to 2 eSATA drives to a Thunderbolt interface at full eSATA speeds. In addition, the hub includes another Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining making it possible to use up to 12 eSATA drives via a single Thunderbolt connection at the full 3GB/s speed.

Canal Plus drops 3-D | Philip Hunter | Broadcast Engineering
Things are not looking too good for broadcast 3D in Europe; probably a good time for the manufacturers to start selling 4K TV sets instead:
The move reflects growing loss of momentum for 3-D in Europe, caused by a combination of lukewarm consumer response and lack of available content. The first signs of this were apparent early in 2011 if not before, with the publication by analyst group Ovum of a report called The State of 3-D (Strategic Focus) identifying a lack of enthusiasm among broadcasters as 53 percent of survey respondents regarded it as low priority.

How to Keep Your Home Office Professional and Productive | Ron Dawson
| Dare Dreamer
Some tips for those working from home:
Don’t work in your PJs all day. The way you dress has a profound impact on how you act during the day. It will subtly affect how you talk on the phone, how you sit at your desk, and the mindset you have when you go to work. So do at home what you would do if you went to an office. Shower, brush you teeth, put on your clothes, then go to work.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Sony CES Videos

B & H Pre-orders

You can't pre-order the Canon EOS-1D X yet, but B & H is already accepting pre-orders for the Nikon D4 [$5,999.95]

And, they are also taking pre-orders for the Canon PowerShot G1 X Digital [$799.00] camera which was just announced as well.

Sony's CES Announcements

I watched some of Sony's CES keynote with Howard Stringer. He announced a Wi-Fi enabled Bloggie (it seems that 2012 is the year of Wi-Fi cameras) pushed 4K in the home (with a home projector, Bluray upscaling players and demo 4K TV's allegedly in the booth. They also had a walk-on from Will Smith after showing the MIB3 trailer, and a bit of back and forth that must have been written by the Oscar show scriptwriters. Very awkward and unnatural.

They also announced an updated 3D consumer camcorder, the HDR-TD20, which is thinner than the previous model.

Sony reveals Spring Handycam lineup, including HDR-CX760V, XR260V, and CX190 | Christopher Snow | Camcorderinfo

CES 2012: Sony offers new cameras and projection camcorders | Terry Sullivan
| ConsumerReports

Sony Bloggie Live Lets You Live-Stream Video Over Wi-Fi | Tim Moynihan
| PCWorld

Sony's slim new HDR-TD20V 3D camcorder hands-on pictures | Paul Miller
| The Verge

Canon CES Camcorder announcements

Canon made the obligatory announcements of new consumer camcorders, promising improved low light performance, and Wi-Fi support.

2012 Canon VIXIA Camcorders Bring New Social Sharing Capabilities And Strong Low-Light Performance
Features Include a Newly Designed HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor to Improve Resolution, Enhance Low-Light Performance and Expand Dynamic Range

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 9, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced a new line of six VIXIA High Definition flash memory camcorders - three compact VIXIA HF M-series models and three entry-level VIXIA HF R-series models - for 2012. Focusing on the social network experience, Canon has enhanced select models with Wi-Fi connectivity, the option to capture videos in MP4 or AVCHD file format and full Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compatibility, unleashing on-the-spot creative video sharing and still-image uploads. The MP4 file format option helps make content easier to share across mobile devices and to social networks online, while DLNA connectivity allows wireless transmission of videos to DLNA-compatible HDTVs. Encouraging users to shoot and share, the Canon VIXIA HF M52*, VIXIA HF M50*, VIXIA HF R32* and VIXIA HF R30* models have the ability to upload videos directly to social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook over a Wi-Fi network, or to mobile devices such as an iPhone or iPadi utilizing a free Movie Uploader app.

"Imaging devices are a key component of the interactive social experience, therefore, they must connect," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. "We are excited to include Wi-Fi connectivity and DLNA technology, among other new features, in our new VIXIA models that will allow consumers to easily share high-quality videos with friends and families."

Canon has included a range of features and functions to help users capture stunning video to share including improved low-light image capture, a new Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) system and the ability to capture MP4 video recordings. Canon has included dual codec recording, giving users the option to record in AVCHD, for the highest quality viewing on an HDTV, or in MP4 format, for easy sharing with mobile devices or social networks. The new 2012 VIXIA models feature a 20 percent improvement in low-light performance compared to previous models as a result of enhancements made to Canon's HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor. The sensor boasts a minimum illumination rating of 1.2 lux, Canon's lowest lux rating to date in a consumer HD camcorder.ii Another enhancement to select models in Canon's 2012 VIXIA lineup is the ability to export content directly to an external hard-disc drive through an optional USB adapteriii for simple file sharing and archiving without the need of a computer.

Canon M52

Quick Links

Canon C300 Test Film | Mark Moreve | Vimeo
Another film shot on the C300, this one by Mark Moreve and others:
This film is a Test of the Canon C300 camera using Canon ef lenses.
We filmed different scenes around Chelsea in London to see how the C300 dealt with the varied conditions offered on a London street.
[...]It performed very well holding detail in highlights and also shadows where we didn't expect and because of the quality of the LCD screen and viewfinder it is much easier to operate.
The Camera was set to 1920 x 1080 @ 50m/bs - 25p we used the Normal 3 Gamma curve & Matrix.

French film director Pierre Deschamps is amazed by Canon’s EOS C300 cinema camera | Canon
He may be amazed, but it's a pretty short article...with a short video:
“I wanted to shoot as neutral as possible,” says Deschamps. “As one guy shooting, it’s very important not to complicate things…it’s easier to handle it in post afterwards.” To test the camera in the daylight he shot into the sun with the Fisheye zoom and captured a quick sequence of his daughter eating an ice-cream using the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM at various focal lengths. “The benefit of the C300 is that the built-in ND filters enable you to get the cinematic depth-of-field,” he says.

Why 4K Jan | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
A look at 4K sensors, cameras and post:
There is no single 4K size, since it varies with how it is used and the related aspect ratio. For example, full aperture film 4K is 4096 x 3112 pixels, while academy aperture 4K is 3656 x 2664. The RED One and EPIC use several different frame sizes. Most displays use the Quad HD standard of 3840 x 2160 (a multiple of 1920 x 1080) while the Digital Cinema Projection standard is 4096 x 2160 for 4K and 2048 x 1080 for 2K. The DCP standard is a “container” specification, which means the 2.40:1 or 1.85:1 film aspects are fit within these dimensions and the difference padded with black pixels.

Bunim/Murray Productions Replaces Final Cut with Avid for All 2012 Shows
| Beth Marchant | Studio Daily
The surprise for me isn't so much that they switched away from Final Cut, but that they chose Avid over Adobe (though that's not really a surprise either!):
Dealer Key Code Media helped Bunim/Murray complete the new, or more aptly, renewed relationship with Avid. In a prepared statement, Bunim/Murray's senior vice president of post production Mark Raudonis said the decision to switch came after considering the sheer volume of content the facility generates, as well as long-term workflow needs. “As we talked with Avid, it was clear that the company has really forged ahead since we worked with them years ago," he said. "Their commitment to the needs of their professional customers, like us, is clear. And, with the introduction of Media Composer 6, they really raised the bar and have a vision for the future that makes them the right choice for our business.”

Using FCPX on long format broadcast productions |
A Q&A with Dustin Hoye, the Lead Editor/Developer at Sour Squirrel Studios: Has Final Cut Pro X been stable?
I am very impressed with the 1.2 update- proves to be very stable for a version 1.0 piece of software. Uses RAM more like After Effects, so a minimum of 16 GB of ram is necessary, I think. I personally use the full 32 GB in my 6-core, so I can run Motion 5 and After Effects, Compressor, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. at the same time. Also, who needs to save or remember to save or have auto-save crashing your projects?

Yes, FCP X crashes, sometimes a lot, depending on what you are trying to force it to do- But, every time you open it back up, no matter what I have been in the middle of, my project is EXACTLY where I left it every time.

Final Cut Pro X Advanced Tutorial - Media Management using Disk Images
| Dan Allen | YouTube
Using Disk Images to manage your media. A bit of a pain if you ask me, but one way to do it:
FCPX Advanced Tutorial. in this hD Voice Tutorial for Apple Final Cut Pro 10, we learn some princiciples and problems of media management and using final cuts open events and project system which shows us all the events we have. This enables us to use media from other events regardless of the project you are wokrign with, but what if we don't want people to see the projects and events.

Love Like Hers and colour grading (Video Blog) | Danny Lacey | YouTube
Danny shot his film "Love Like Hers" on Super16mm, and here he live blogs his trip to visit the color grading shop. The grading is done on DaVinci Resolve, and there's a shot interview with John, the long-suffering color grader.

CES 2012: LaCie Hub Connects eSATA Drives to Thunderbolt Macs
| Arnold Kim | Mac Rumors
Finally, another Thunderbolt device announced, and expected some time in the first quarter, but no price yet:
The hub comes with two Thunderbolt ports and two eSATA ports. Users can connect up to two eSATA drives to the hub for use on their Thunderbolt equipped Macs. The additional Thunderbolt ports can also be used to daisy chain additional Thunderbolt peripherals off the device.

OSCARS: Academy Tightens Documentary Rules; Too Much Power To LA-NY Times? | Pete Hammond | Deadline Hollywood
It used to be that to qualify, a movie had to have a 7-day run in LA or New York that was advertised in a major paper. Now a change is planned:
But now, in an attempt to further weed out the influx of docs generally designed to run only on television, a review of the film MUST appear in either the LA Times or the NY Times at the time of opening along with adhering to the previous rules. According to Academy COO Ric Robertson, the new requirement is a further step in eliminating docs that have no real intention of gaining distribution or having a legitimate theatrical run.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Quick Links: the Nikon D4 and Canon C300 edition

Nikon D4 News

Dan checks out the D4 and it's video capabilities:
Yesterday I had a chance to get a hands-on with a pre-production Nikon D4 at the company’s UK headquarters. James Banfield of Nikon UK demonstrates the video functions in the video below.

We tried the camera’s clean HDMI output with the Zacuto EVF and Atomos Ninja and I can confirm that it works. We also tried the headphone output and the audio functions of the camera and I’m pleased to report they also work as expected.

Nikon D4 Brochure [PDF] | Nikon
You can download a PDF of the Nikon D4 brochure at the above link.

Another film shot on the D4, this one by Corey Rich

WHY - Nikon D4 Release Video from Corey Rich on Vimeo.

Nikon D4 vs. Canon EOS 1Dx specs comparison | NikonRumors
A comparison chart for the two new cameras; on the face of it, there's not a whole lot of differences.

Nikon D4 [Commnet] | Prolost
A comment in this thread about the D4 announcement ponders why full frame in video mode uses 91% of sensor width. Another commentor takes a guess:
the processor (whatever they call their digic equivalent) has a set of hardwired demosaicing algorithms, that take the original 4928x3280 bayer pattern and create jpg files of different sizes; the one closest to 1920x1080 is the algorithm that leads to 2048x1360 images

Canon C300 News

Alex Buono, a DP for Saturday Night Live tweeted yesterday:
For those whom the otherwise random characters "#C300" mean something, look for 2 spots on #SNL tonight right after the monologue.

Playing with Fire | Cadu Medina | Vimeo
Shot by Bruce Dorn with the new Canon Cinema EOS C300, edited, animated and graded in Final Cut Studio by Cadu Medina.

Playing with Fire from Cadu Medina on Vimeo.