Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quick Links

*UPDATE* 5D Mark III – February 7, 2012 [CR2] | CanonRumors
The rumors of a Canon 5D Mark III announcement are getting more frantic!
A few more people have mentioned February 7, 2012 as the announcement date for the 5D Mark III. The sources are good, though I am waiting for the definitive word on the matter.

It’s mentioned that Canon will also announce new PowerShot cameras, a new Legria camcorder and Selphy printer(s).

Nikon D4 or Canon 1DX? Comparison | Fenchel Janisch | YouTube
A side-by-side video comparison of the two cameras:
Second test with the Canon EOS-1D X and the Nikon D4: In this video comparison we tested the low light capabilities of the upcoming pro cameras!

Lenses on both cameras: Sigma 50mm F/1.4 + Sigma 85mm F/1.4
Settings on both cameras:
ISO 1600
Aperture F/2 + F/2.8
Shutter speed 1/50s

Adobe Prelude Previewed and Promises Color Grading | Twitter
Adobe was at last nights SuperMeet in San Francisco, and mentioned plans for Color Grading in CS6, as well as demonstrating Prelude for logging and transcoding:
#Adobe #Prelude Logs, annotates, transcodes, exports! #CS6 #FCPUG #Supermeet

FCPUG to CPUG, The Creative Pro User User | Twitter
And at yesterday's SuperMeet the FCPUG announced a name change to The Createive Pro User Group. This is hardly surprising given that the BOSFCPUG had already dropped the F!
Mike and Dan (@lafcpug and @bosfcpug) announce name change from #FCPUG to #CPUG, The Creative Pro User User Group...

The importance of being agnostic… with cameras | Chris Marino
| WideOpenCamera
Chris argues that all the different cameras are now the equivalent of the different film stocks of old. Which is an okay analogy, except that it was a lot easier to change film stocks back when you had film cameras than it is to switch from the PMW-F3 to the C300; unless you only rent your cameras:
This brings us back to the question at hand. What is the best? Digital sensors are our film stocks of today. Find out for yourself and test, test, test. Each new digital medium has its benefits and drawbacks.

Tangent Element panels are now shipping | Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
A $3,495 color control panel that doesn't currently support DaVinci Resolve:
Word came out today from Tangent Devices that the first Element panels are now shipping. If you don’t remember the Element is Tangent’s newest color grading control panel that uses a modular design that is four separate pieces that can be purchased separately. They are designed to work together to make a more full featured panel than the Wave with trackballs and rings, knobs and buttons and transport controls if the buyer so desires.

Adobe Panel At Sundance - How Technology Is Influencing Stoytelling And Film
| Adobe TV
An hour long video of a panel with Rob Legato, Jacob Rosenberg, and Vincent Laforet.
Our first panel at Sundance 2012 featured talented panelists and filmmakers Rob Legato, Jacob Rosenberg, and Vincent Laforet; the panel was moderated by Sharlto Copley. The panelists shared insights on how technology and tools have impacted the way they create films and tell stories.

Creating a Redrock Micro DSLR hand held rig for under $450 | Kurt Lancaster
| DSLR Cinema and Video Journalism
How to put together an inexpensive rig; though personally, I don't like rigs that you rest on your chest, and if you haven't used one before I'd try one out before buying:
If you’re like most independent filmmakers, you’ve purchased gear for HD video cameras. Now that the HDSLR cinema revolution has hit the market, for many of us we’re being encouraged to purchase new equipment for HDSLRs. I’ve purchased plenty of new gear, but I’ve hesitated on getting a handheld/shoulder mount adapter put out by such companies as Redrock Micro and Zacuto to name just two.

EXCLUSIVE: Hands on Review- Rokinon 8mm f2.8 Fisheye (Sony NEX)
| The Phoblographer
An 8mm lens for the Sony E-Mount cameras:
The Rokinon 8mm f2.8 is not only a small lens, but it’s super light and very well balanced with the Sony NEX 5n. In fact, it feels like it was designed to be used with the camera. When in the hand, it feels so much like an old vintage SLR camera with its small aesthetics and size.

Woody Allen talks 'Midnight in Paris' | Making Of | YouTube
Audio interview with Woody Allen:
In this roundtable discussion director and screen writer Woody Allen talks about shooting in paris, and working with Owen Wilson.

Canon C300 Unboxing | Vimeo
Some fun for the weekend; unboxing the Canon C300:

Canon C300 Unboxing from Texas Media Systems on Vimeo.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quick Links

Thoughts on the Canon EOS 1DX | KarelDonk | Blog
A look at the expected EOS 1DX, from a photographers point of view:
For the last 4 years I’ve been bashing Canon here on my blog for their poor quality control, poor product releases (50D, 5D Mark II, 7D, 60D) and questionable business practices (5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.2L). I’ve also often mentioned how it seemed like Canon was out of touch with the market
Meanwhile, rumors are flying thick and fast about an impending 5D Mark III. Who will cancel their order for the C300 if Canon announces a 5D Mark III?!
CanonRumors | 5D Mark III Brief Specs? [CR1]

Panasonic's HDC-Z10000 Is A Pro Camcorder Contender | Ned Soltz |
The HDC-Z10000 [$3,325] is a surprisingly inexpensive, semi-pro, 3D camcorder and Ned seems to like it:
Before discussing the other features of the camera, I will note that it helped me out of a potentially disastrous situation. I was shooting a pro bono event for a non-profit and intended to use two cameras: one of my own as A-camera and the Panasonic loaner Z10000 for some B-camera shots. I got both cameras set up and had my assistant roll the A-camera. It didn't roll. I shot the entire event with the Z10000 in 2D. A little color correction in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Lite and the organization was thrilled. And I was really impressed with what it delivered.

Small LED Light Panel Showdown | Dave Dugdale | Learning DSLR Video
A comparison of a  Lite Panel MicroPro LED Light panel vs. a budget Konova Ledgo CN-B150. The Konova wins as much because the Lite Panels isn't a very well engineered product:
The Lite Panel fails again on it circuitry design, when each battery falls below 1.2 volts the panel starts to flicker. The Konova does not do this at all when when it drops below this voltage. I thought Lite Panels were the leader for all this LED technology, why is this thing so poorly designed?

Tech Demo: Windows 7 64 bit, MacBook Air,Thunderbolt, and Premiere Pro
| Dave Helmly | YouTube
Running Windows on a MacBook Air and testing out Thunderbolt to edit RED footage? Now that's extreme!
Here's a quick look at some Thunderbolt solutions I've been testing in my lab. In this video, you'll see an Apple MacBook Air 13" running Windows 7 64bit via Boot Camp with an activeThunderbolt port connected to Sonnet Chassis with a RED Rocket installed delivering full 4K playback on Ultra Lightweight notebook.

The Talk on the Street | Adobe TV
It's Sundance, and Adobe is there, putting together this little man-in-the-street video:
Despite snow fall, the crew explores the streets and venues to hear what people have to say around Park City, Utah

Using 3rd Party Filters in FCPX: Who Needs a Colorist Anymore? | 20k films
I saw this because Patrick Inhofer tweeted that it was; "A seriously non-sensical take on our industry," and while I agree that the article jumps to conclusions about color grading in FCPX, the basic premise - that software will make it easier for the average filmmaker and shooter to grade their own stuff - is basically correct. Computers won't be happy until they have put us all out of business.
Most recently, colorists were using the software, Color, Apple’s branded software, but now with FCPX, apparently all of the coloring you would need is built right into the program, so you don’t need Apple’s Color software (which came with FCP7 as part of a suite and was $1,000+ when it was new). Apparently, there is another color program called Da Vinci out that just made their software more affordable because Apple is discontinuing Color and will no longer release newer versions nor updates.

Demand for Video: The Good News and Bad News | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Another post on a similar theme; why hire professionals when you can do an okay job yourself?
The bad news is that more and more of these organizations are doing it themselves. The aforementioned video by Chris goes into detail on how he lights his video blogs, how he captures audio (at least he recognizes the importance of good audio), etc. And as programs like FCPX become more powerful and more accessible to the average Joe, you can expect even more DIY videos to hit the market. That could mean less work for you…and me.

A Sony and a Canon Walk into a Bar... | Gabrielle Paciorek | Blog
A comparison of specs for the Sony PMW-F3 and Canon C300, with a few additional comments and observations:
But I think what this boils down to is that the F3 is a camera that needs an external recorder to get the best out of it, and boy, you can get a lot out of it. But the C300 is ready to go, with a better internal compression, codec, and gamma than that of the F3, but won't get much better with an external recorder.

The Cameras Are Arriving!
Band Pro’s First 25 F65 Cameras | Jon Fauer | Film & Digital Times
The Sony F65's are arriving!
Why is this man smiling? Sony F65 cameras have landed. Amnon Band (above) had his first twenty-five Sony F65 cameras delivered to Band Pro headquarters in Burbank.

@rulebostoncam | Twitter
Rule Boston Camera received their first shipment of Canon C300's:
First shipment of #C300 just rolled in the door at @rulebostoncam

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sony F65 at Rule Boston Camera Pub Night

Rule Boston Camera held it's second Pub Night of the month last night with an event dedicated to the Sony F65. Dhanendra Patel, Senior Product Manager, Beyond HD Production Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc., spoke about the technical features of the camera and showed a short video shot with the camera. They'd brought in the Sony 4K projector again (a big black box the size of a fridge that makes about three times as much noise) and I wish they had shown more than the one video; though they did show it twice, once with a director commentary.

The crowd wasn't as large as had turned up for the Canon C300 event, but then at about $100,000 once you add in the rotary shutter and the digital recorder, we are talking about a different class of customer.

I was just there for the beer and pizza.

For those of us used to DSLRs and NEX-FS100's, the F65 is huge, and quite heavy, though Rick Macomber, who slings around a huge ENG news camera all day, didn't think it was that heavy. Rule had a couple of Shape pre-production rigs intended for the F65, and at the end of the event they put the camera on the rig and Rick, Mike Sutton and even John Rule carried the camera around for a moment.

I'm not sure it's really a shoulder camera! It's shape - particularly the front - does remind me a bit of an old slide projector!

The camera comes standard with an electronic shutter, or you can get a rotary shutter (which is an add-on, and reduces rolling shutter.) I asked Dhanendra why someone would get it without the rotary shutter, and he said that of the approximately 200 already ordered, they had all been ordered with the rotary shutter!

The camera will ultimately support up to 120fps, but this isn't yet implemented; it will be available as a free software upgrade later in the year.

The camera began shipping four days ago, and they'll be shipping about forty cameras every ten days. Boston is lucky in that Rule is one of only three distributors for the F65 in the country. John Rule said that they intend to have one available for rental, and it will probably cost about $1,500 per day.

The following is a few seconds of video from the event:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Digital Film Tools Brings The Magic Of Film To New Film Stocks Plug-In

Los Angeles, CA – January 25, 2012 – Digital Film Tools, developer of visual effects software, today announced the release of Film Stocks with plug-in support for Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom®, Adobe After Effects® CS5 and up, Adobe Premiere® Pro CS5 and up, Apple® Aperture®, Apple Final Cut Pro® 6 and 7, and Avid® editing systems. Film Stocks offers artists simulations of 288 different color and black and white photographic film stocks, motion picture film stocks, and historical photographic processes. "The new Film Stocks plug-in draws on our experience creating visual effects for hundreds of feature films and our expertise with film scanning and recording techniques. We have laboriously researched and analyzed different film stocks to come up with a set of interesting analog photographic, motion picture and vintage looks that will serve any project requiring that special analog film stock simulation," comments Marco Paolini, founder and president, Digital Film Tools.

Film Stocks offers a wide range of preset looks as well as the necessary controls to create analog film stock presets from scratch, including color correction, curves, colored filters, sharpness, diffusion, vignetting and film grain. Apply one of the many presets and customize the settings, or create your own interesting looks and simulations and save them as presets to use in the future or share with colleagues.

Film Stocks Feature Highlights
  • 288 analog photographic film presets
  • Select from Agfa®, Fuji®, Ilford®, Kodak®, Polaroid® and Rollei® color and black and white film stocks
  • Choose from a wide range of historical photographic processes
  • Get the skewed color look of cross processing
  • Apply Lo-Fi photographic looks from Lomo and Holga toy cameras
  • Age your images with the look of faded films
  • Create your own film stock presets
  • Layering system for multiple film stock application *
  • Sophisticated but easy to use masking tools *
  • Add a vignette to any preset
  • Modify images with presets or sliders
  • Quickly search for presets
  • 8/16 bit image processing
  • Multi-processor acceleration
  •   * Photo plug-in versions
Availability and Pricing
The Film Stocks photo plug-in is available now for 95.00 USD and is compatible with the following applications: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Users can download the Film Stocks photo plug-in from

The Film Stocks video/film plug-in is available now for 195.00 USD and is compatible with the following applications: Adobe After Effects CS5 and up, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and up, Apple Final Cut Pro 6 and 7, Avid Symphony™, Media Composer®, Newscutter® and Xpress Pro®. Users can download the Film Stocks video/film plug-in from

For more information, examples and downloads please visit:

Digital Film Tools is currently investigating Film Stocks compatibility with FCP X for a future release.

Nattress Releases First FxFactory Based Filters For Final Cut Pro, Motion and After Effects

Boston, MA – January 25, 2012 – Noise Industries' latest partnership with Nattress Productions brings a finer degree of image control to the editor through Levels and Curves, a filter pack that allows users to color grade in film-log space. The new curve-based color adjustment plug-in, available now on FxFactory 3, is compatible with Final Cut Pro® 6, 7 and X; Motion 3, 4 and 5; and Adobe® After Effects® CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5. Offered at 29 USD, users can download a free trial version of Nattress Levels and Curves from

Nattress Levels and Curves feature highlights include:

  • Film-Log Space – Editors have all the benefits of fine control over the tones in an image and film-like contrast handling.
  • On-Screen Curve Display – The on-screen curve display helps editors fine-tune curve and/or level adjustments. The curve display can easily be turned off when footage adjustment is completed.
  • Library of Presets – Users can quickly apply popular level corrections, or create and save custom presets to use again and again.
  • Levels – The Black and White level inputs and outputs can be easily set, plus gamma curve control allows for fast and functional levels control.
  • Curves RGB – Individual control over the RGB channels in an image is made simple. The control set is duplicated for each channel allowing for precise control over image tones and colors.
  • Curves Luma – Users can work on the luma component of an image only. When a user adjusts luma curves, it only alters how bright or dark the tones of the image appear; color and saturation are not affected.
  • Curves - Curves work in RGB space equally across all three channels. As contrast increases, so does the perception of image saturation.

More Information on Levels and Curves

Levels and Curves Tutorial
Users can learn more about Nattress Levels and Curves by watching the online tutorial at

About Nattress Productions and Founder Graeme Nattress
Nattress Productions was founded by Graeme Nattress in 2004. Graeme, who is originally from England, makes his home in Ontario, Canada, where he uses his mathematical training and unique insights to program creative solutions for image processing. Graeme also applies his knowledge of color science, image manipulation, compression and digital video to the development of the RED Digital Cinema camera systems.

PluralEyes for Final Cut Pro X Now Available

Vancouver, British Columbia, January 25, 2012 — Singular Software™, a developer of workflow automation applications for video production, is pleased to announce the availability of PluralEyes® for Apple® Final Cut Pro® X (FCP X). The multi-award winning PluralEyes technology works alongside FCP X to quickly and accurately sync video and audio clips for dual-system audio and multi-camera productions, saving hours of tedious manual syncing during post-production.

"The auto sync function that is built into Final Cut Pro X is a start, but most professional editors will want more. They want to be able to sync many clips at once, see the results right away, and be confident that the sync will work across a broad range of real-world video projects," says Bruce Sharpe, CEO, Singular Software. "PluralEyes for FCP X is built on the same technology that is used countless times every day to sync weddings, corporate videos, documentaries and a host of other video production types. With a time-tested, proven technology powering the automation, FCP X editors can confidently offload their entire sync task to PluralEyes and be hands off until the sync is complete, regardless of the type of project they are working on."

PluralEyes for FCP X went through an extensive public beta before its release with thousands of editors putting the software through its paces. Photography Bay reviewed the PluralEyes for FCP X beta release, commenting on its ability to better handle real-world sync projects, "…syncing multiple takes to a single audio clip is a challenge in FCP X, but is something that the new PluralEyes beta shreds through easily." The full Photography Bay review can be viewed at

PluralEyes for FCP X Pricing and Upgrades
PluralEyes for FCP X is available today via for 149.00 USD.

Existing PluralEyes for FCP customers can upgrade to PluralEyes for FCP X free of charge at

FCP X editors can test-drive the new release by downloading a 30-day trial version from

BOSCPUG Quick Report

Here's a quick report on last night's Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting held at Emerson College's Bright Family Screening Room.

Dan Bérubé began the evening by recounting the history of the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group, which began about 11 years ago. But he said that since 2008, the focus has moved increasingly away from Final Cut Pro. "I don't care what you use" he said. For that reason, and with the "death" of Final Cut Pro 7, Dan decided to change the name of the group to the Boston Creative Pro User Group, though the focus and direction of the group won't really change at all.

Final Cut Pro 7 may be dead, but it still made an appearance!

He did say that he hopes to provide more ways to encourage filmmakers to collaborate on different projects in the upcoming months.

The event was billed as Visual Storytellers, with two featured speakers/presenters: Rick Macomber and Paul Antico, though several other local filmmakers were invited to show their work as well.

A Canon C300 was present

DP/Editor, photojournalist and multimedia specialist Rick Macomber works as a news cameraman for CBS Boston and is the winner of four Emmy Awards, nominated for eight Emmys in Videography and Editing and is a ten time first place winner for the Boston Press Photographers’ Association. Rick has really honed his craft, and has the ability to tell a story quickly and beautifully while shooting quickly and efficiently.

Rick talked about how he got into the business, recounted some of his experiences through the years, and showed some of his news reporting as well as several of his personal projects. One of theses was the piece shot for the 2011 One Day On Earth project. The clip, and the story he told about shooting it, can be found on Vimeo:
Up until the final moments before sunset I still had no idea what I was going to do for One Day on Earth this year. As a matter of fact, I had been so busy working all day, I was about to blow the whole thing off and head home... until I saw the sun setting across the street from the TV studio along the Charles River, a place where only a few weeks ago had been the staging area for the world famous Head of the Charles Regatta. I hustled over there with my gear and slogged through soaking wet grass and 3 inches of mud to get to the river just in time to set up my sticks as the sun was going down. At the time I had no clue that I was about to be surrounded by flocks of geese that probably come to the very spot in which I was currently encroaching upon at dusk every day. I suddenly found myself in the midst of them, flying around me and landing right next to me. I was so still while documenting them, I think they saw that I wasn't a threat to them so they stayed within reach of my lens. I got lucky on this one and I was glad that I had thrown my gear bag and sticks in the car when I left the house for work in this morning!

11-11-11 One Day on Earth - Boston from Rick Macomber on Vimeo.

Paul Antico works for The Department of Homeland Security/TSA, and showed for the first time publicly the DHS/TSA Boston-produced documentary "Why We're Here." Shot using the Sony NEX-FS100 and Canon DSLRs, Why We're Here explores the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01 and how it has changed the lives of those at DHS. The project was shot on a small budget, and with an even smaller crew, yet has very high production values.

Produced for internal use, Paul had to jump through some hoops to get permission to show the video publicly, and this may be the film's only public showing!

Why We're Here

A number of other filmmakers showed clips from projects they are working on. Ben Eckstein showed his latest entry in the Boston 48 Hour Film Project. You can read about his experience here.

A Path Through Fire - 48HFP Boston 2011 from Benjamin Eckstein on Vimeo.

Oddly enough, I interviewed one of Ben's collaborators on the project some months ago: Keith Wasserman: On the 48 Hour Film Project. The Boston film scene is a small world...but I wouldn't want to paint it.

Following Ben was Benjamin Chou with the film his team made for the same 48 Hour Film Project!

Rook - Boston 48 Hour Film Project

Rook - Boston 48 Hour Film Project from Christopher Lee on Vimeo.

Emerson Alumnae Nathaniel Hansen showed a segment from his documentary The Elders. The following is the trailer for movie, not the clip that Nathaniel showed. The clip was a really interesting - and poignant - interview with a man who worked on the first rocket-powered aircraft ejection seats.

The clip actually provoked a rather lively discussion, including a question about whether including the voice of Nathaniel asking a question at one point was a good thing; the questioner felt it was unnecessary, and that it interrupted the emotion of the moment.

I wish I could point you to the clip, because I thought it was an interesting question; though I don't personally agree that it was a problem.

The Elders - Official Trailer from Nathaniel Hansen on Vimeo.

Matthew Hashiguchi, also an Emerson Alumnae, showed the trailer for his movie The Lower 9, saying that this was the first time it had been shown in a theater.

The Lower 9: A Story of Home trailer from Matthew Hashiguchi on Vimeo.

Other films shown included a short segment shot for NASA in the early 90's on which Dan worked as the sound man! The audience got to see a diverse set of locally made films, and the evening provided a great opportunity for the filmmakers to see their work projected on a large screen.

Finally, Dan had teased us at the beginning of the evening with the promise of footage taken with the Canon C300 that had been shot the night before. I know there were at least three of us there who were eager to see it! ...And we ran out of time!

Maybe next time?

All we saw of the Canon C300 footage.... (*cries*)

Quick Links

Buying Mics & Hacking Audio for Your DSLR Video Setup | chase jarvis
Should you buy a Rode Stereo Videomic or the Zoom H4n?
2. The Rode. I recently did a blog post about the Rode Mic a few months ago. You should read it, but to summarize; I love the thing for its straight forward simplicity. It allows me to just shoot and not worry about sound, but…
3. The Zoom. …When I DO need to worry about the sound (such as an interview or a scene in a narrative film) I bust out the Zoom H4n. It captures better files that the straight camera – remember it’s sole function is audio.

Get Lit: Using Sidelight for a Dramatic Effect | Chris Collins | Wide Open Camera
Getting lighting right can be difficult. It takes practice, and in my experience, the fewer lights the better (because every light you add, adds shadows!) Here's a guide for getting dramatic lighting:
I am a sucker for dramatic lighting. That’s why I was so excited when Jared Abrams decided that we should go with a moody look for the interviews in The Board of Education documentary. I decided to go with a fairly contrasty, side-lit look for the interviews which I have accomplished on the road with a few Ikan 312 LED lights. We were fortunate enough to get hooked up by Roman France with a studio in New York for this particular interview. Here are two fairly similar lighting setups.

White Balancing Your Camera (Part 1) | Richard Harrington | Triple Exposure
Auto White Balance can be wonderful; and it can be the devil:
By default, your camera is probably set to use an automatic white balance (sometimes called AWB). The way that auto works is that the camera will analyze the frame and create an automatic setting that attempts to neutralize any color shift. This setting works pretty well for indoor shooting where lighting is consistent.

Episode 39: Building a Flexible Top Handle Rig | DSLR Video Shooter
A flexible top handle rig built from a collection of different manufacturer's parts. It could cost you a bit of money to buy the parts though...

Ed Burns On Making an Indie with the 5D Mark II | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Tips from Ed Burns taken from a podcast "The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith"
  • Shot with all available light.
  • Shot with one 5D Mark II and an M audio recorder with lav mics instead of a boom.
  • Edited on Final Cut Pro.
  • 3 person crew.

eye3 The Affordable Radio Controlled Camera Helicopter | Cinescopophilia
A remote-control camera platform for $999? I got quite excited; until I realized it's a Kickstarter campaign:
$999 gets you a professional quality yet affordable radio controlled camera helicopter called the eye3. Almost anyone attempting to build a platform like the eye3 will be stunned by the complexity involved and the years of hands on experience needed to create a functional, safe device. The incredibly steep learning curve combined with the high cost of failure has kept this powerful tool out of the hands of thousands of creative people until now it seems.

Get Your Own Damn Movie Soundtrack! | Lloyd Kaufman | Mastering Film
Lloyd offers his typically unique perspective and experiences of music licensing:
And what about Nina Paley? She is a genius filmmaker who produced Sita Sings the Blues, the only animated movie entirely in Flash, as far as I know. She, too, has limited resources, so she decided to score her film with public domain music whose “sync” or publishing rights cost zilch. Unfortunately, Nina did not know that the “performance rights” of the folks performing the music were not public domain, and those singers, performers and musicians wanted to be paid. So far this has been a huge problem for Nina and has stood in the way of her making distribution deals.

Sony PMW-F3 & PMW-EX1R vs HDR-AX2000E | Владимир Кольцов | Vimeo
Umm...uhh...okay this is just weird. It might have been interesting if the PMW-F3 was used to shoot closeups like the PMW-EX1R and HDR-AX2000E, but since it's used only for a wide shot it's not very useful.

This video does raise an interesting issue though; if you are shooting with multiple - different - cameras, do you use the best camera for the wide shot or the close-ups?

If I have a couple of different cameras, I usually use the worst cameras for the shots that I'll be using the least (which usually means the wide shot, and any fixed closeups) and then I use the best camera to float around capturing different things.

Sony PMW-F3 & PMW-EX1R vs HDR-AX2000E from Владимир Кольцов on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Playing with the Canon C300

Last night I was invited to sit in on some DP's shooting with the Canon C300. Daniel Bérubé of the Boston Creative Pro Users Group (formerly the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group) arranged for the location, and the use of an EF mount Canon C300. Also present were Don Bérubé (who helped configure the camera and shot a lot of stills of the event), Baylee Ricci who graciously acted as a model, while DP's and shooters who got to play with the camera included Rick Macomber, Chris Loughran, Benjamin Eckstein and Norman Lang, with several others dropping in.

Officially, we only had three hours to set-up and do some test shots, and it's always surprising how much time can be spent setting up and lighting even a simple test scene. A variety of Canon lenses were used, including the 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, a 14mm and the 16-35mm f/2.8L lens. The camera was used on a variety of support devices including a tripod, a Kessler CineSlider, a Kessler Crane and a Glidecam.

The low-light performance, as has been mentioned by many people, is very good. The location was a billiards bar with not a lot of light, and very little additional lighting was needed to produce very good images.

The camera is quite light, but it's not even close to DSLR weight unless you strip off the side handle and the LCD and top handle.

I think the small size and weight made it possible - and encouraged - doing things with the camera that you might not do with a larger camera. Of course, if you're shooting with a DSLR already, you might not notice much difference in that regard!

Chris Loughran

The LCD display is pretty good, though we were using a large external monitor for most of the work, which really makes a big difference when shooting, no matter what kind of camera you use.

We didn't do anything with audio; we didn't even try and record audio with the camera. Partly because this wasn't what we were most interested in testing, and partly because it would have added considerably to the production time.

Operation of the camera was pretty straight forward, though since most of those operating the camera had never used it before, there was a bit of time spent figuring out how to do things like change ISO, turn off the zebras, and how to start and stop recording!

Chris Loughran, Ben Eckstein and Dan Bérubé

I believe there are plans to edit together the video that was shot and put it online, but at the moment I don't have any details on that.

Included here are some pictures snapped with my iPhone. I also shot some behind-the-scenes video which I will put together and post; probably in a couple of days as this week is proving to be a very busy one with tonights BOSCPUG meeting, and tomorrow nights Sony F65 event at Rule Boston Camera.

Note: the Canon C300 will be at tonights BOSCPUG presents "Visual Storytellers" event.

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

Monday, January 23, 2012

New iMac report

I just bought a 21.5" iMac - the 2.7GHz model. I did it for a few reasons; though it was immediately prompted by the Lion requirement for iBooks Author.

But my three year-old MacBook Pro was starting to feel a little confined; it really needed more memory, and the SuperDrive had stopped working, which amongst other things, was going to make it difficult to upgrade with the Lion install disk I had!

And secretly I'd been wanting to get a slightly larger screened, faster machine with more memory. It just seemed right to get an iMac, though I'll still be using the MacBook Pro.

Here's some notes from the experience so far:

Why not the 27-inch model?
I bought the smaller model iMac not so much because it was cheaper, but because I just came to the conclusion that the 27 inch iMac was too huge for my liking. I mean, it's HUGE!! The 21.5 inch screen is plenty large enough for me; at least at the moment, though this is coming from someone who has mostly been using a MacBook Pro and smaller external displays. The 21.5 inch screen seems large enough for me.

More memory
I'm ordering a 16GB upgrade for the machine. I'll probably get it from OWC; they have a great reputation for memory and I've bought from them before. One nice thing about the current iMac design; replacing the memory seems to be pretty straight forward.

Bluetooth keyboard and mouse
This is the first time I've had a wireless mouse and keyboard. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. So far, I'm having a little trouble getting used to the way the scrolling in the mouse works; which is opposite what you're used to if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel in it. I know you can change the setting in Preferences, but I'm leaving it as is for now.

Wi-Fi network issues
I've encountered an odd problem with the machine not detecting the Wi-Fi network when first started. Restarting solves the problem. A thread at Apple's support forum suggests that not turning on the keyboard and mouse during start-up will solve the problem. I will have to try that.

Barely gotten to know Lion so far, so I can't really comment on it yet.

Adobe Serial Numbers
Another reason I decided I needed to get an iMac with more memory, faster processor and bigger screen is I'm hoping to spend more time with After Effects. So one of the first things I installed was Adobe Creative Suite.

As always seems to happen, though I could find the discs, I couldn't find the serial number; did you know that if you have registered your software with Adobe, you can go into your account and find out your serial number? That's useful; and saved me searching all over the place!

And Adobe does allow you to install the software on two computers; as long as you don't run it at the same time on both!

It is nice to have a new machine to play with!

Platinotype for Final Cut Pro X

CrumplePop's latest filter for Final Cut Pro X is Platinotype, which recreates the platinum photographic process.

Platinotype makes it easy to apply a platinum photographic process to your footage. By simply dragging and dropping Platinotype onto your clip, you can create rich, textured portraits and landscapes very quickly. Platinotype works with Final Cut Pro X only.

For the next week, Platinotype will be $39. After that, the price will move to $75.

Here is the coupon code for the $39 price: PLTY-0036-INTR-0120

CrumplePop Platinotype from CrumplePop on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quick Links

60 Minutes with the C300 | Cristina Valdivieso | shoot.edit.learn
Notes from Joe Simon spending an hour with the Canon C300, includes an interview and video:
Having shot on the 5D/7D for the past few years it was a bit different finding what button did what on the C300. Once I did find my way around it was great. I do love the way the C300 feels in my hands, the grip is nice. It’s a bit heavier then the 5D but feels super solid. It’s amazing to have all those “Video” features back like peaking , XLR, headphone jack etc. Technically the image looks beautiful, the highlight rolloff is great and coming from the 5D where the highlights blowout, this is awesome. I know everyone keeps say the grain looks nice, but it really does. It looks more organic then the digital noise you get from the 5Ds.

Dolly | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR4Real
Sam decided most sliders are too small for his needs, and constructs a pretty large home-built dolly:
Now a lot of the slider shots we see in Vimeo Hell have the camera fixed directly to the slider - but in my opinion that doesn't really work. You need to be able to slide and pan at the same time to keep your subject centre of frame (as one would have to do during an interview). Of course one needs to be capable to do all the other schlep of filming an interview too, monitor, sustain focus, keep power and monitor sound too. To get my camera to do all of that I build it up to quite a size

But It’s Just For the Web | Alexis van Hurkman | Blog
How "just a few minutes" can improve an image:
It’s natural, over the course of days, weeks, or even months of editorial, to get used to the way footage looks. You can get so used to it that it’s easy to imagine that there’s nothing to improve. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a client bring me a project and say something to the effect of “we think it looks good the way it is, it probably doesn’t even really need color correction, but I thought maybe you could take a look at a few shots.”

Metabones EF – NEX adapter has firmware fault | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew receives an email from the developer letting him know the adapter doesn't seem to work with all E-mount cameras:
Sorry! We find some “data transfer problem” on our adapter when use on NEX5N & NEX7 camera.

But no any problems on other model like NEX5, NEXC3, FS100, VG10…..

Sony NEX-FS100 and NEX-VG20 hands-on (video) | Sam Byford | The Verge
A CES booth video looking at the two cameras. If you're already familiar with these cameras, you won't learn anything new, but for those who aren't...

Ira Glass On The Strange Life Of The Producer | Scott Macaulay
| Filmmaker Magazine
Ira explains how little fun there is in the movie business:
When Mike Birbiglia asked This American Life‘s Ira Glass to produce his first feature, Sleepwalk with Me, premiering here at Sundance, Glass thought it sounded like it might be fun. “I’d read a couple of scripts, look at a couple of rough cuts,” he remembers thinking.

Glass’s presumption was far from the truth… very far.

Accounting Tips From Michelle Brown. Shoot, Invoice, Get Paid!
| Wide Open Camera
Don't forget the billing!
Before you get to that invoice, you need to look at your contract. Each job you get should begin with a contract of some kind. Verbal is friendly, but if money is changing hands you want to protect yourself. Make sure you read the language and understand it as much as you can. Pay attention to the payment terms. Standard terms for most companies are Net 30, which means the invoice is due 30 days after the date posted on the bill.

Your Film Festival | YouTube
YouTube announces another film competition:
15 minutes to tell a story. Millions of people to watch it. $500,000 to make a new one for the world to see.

This is Your Film Festival. You have until March 31st to submit a short, story-driven video. There's no entry fee. It can be any format - short film, web-series episode, TV pilot - and any genre. In June, audiences around the world will vote, sending 10 deserving storytellers to open

More on iBooks Author

In response to my earlier post about iBooks Author requiring Lion, reader Martin Koch posted a link to a couple of sites that explain how to install it on Snow Leopard (by sneaking into the System and changing the version number temporarily!)

He says he did it successfully!

Here's a couple of articles:
The Verge: How to run iBooks Author app in Snow Leopard
(Very short description)

OS X Daily: Install iBooks Author on Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard
(more detailed, step-by-step)

Meanwhile, I decided to take another route and just bought a new iMac...