Saturday, July 07, 2012

Quick Links

Canon Cinema EOS 1D C – Vimeo footage and 4K source file direct from card
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
A sample from the Canon 1D C that was posted recently:
I’ve had a look at the 4096 x 2048 MOV file in Adobe Premiere Pro at 1:1 (100% view). What do I think of it? Well viewed at 100% it is certainly on the soft side. It does not contain the kind of resolution a standard 1D X still JPEG has but for video it is very good. It is not near what true 4K should look like, but then the only 4K cinema camera on the market than can really be considered ‘true 4K’ is the $70,000 Sony F65 with an oversampling 8K sensor and RGB 4-4-4 colour sampling.

Work In Progress: The Digital Bolex Camera Is A Crowdfunded Filmmaking Revolution | Jonathan Poritsky | The Creators Project
An interview with the creators of the Digital Bolex.  They say it's on tack for August release, but while there's a lot of history of the project, there's not a lot about the status of the camera itself:
...I wanted to find a camera that was under $10,000 that would allow me to shoot 24 raw frames a second. I realized it just didn’t exist, so I started researching companies because we’d made a lot of our own technology before. As I started doing that research I realized that, if I can pull this off, a lot of other people will be interested in this also. So I just started networking with other people, other companies and ended up at SXSW with Bolex, an electronics company called Ienso and a whole bunch of other people attached to the project that could make it happen in a really good way.

5D vs FS100, How to Match Footage from Canon and Sony | Swainhart
Comparing footage from the Canon 5D Mark II and the Sony NEX-FS100:
I thought you would be interested in just how well the FS100 and the 5D matched up. The interview portion was shot with LED lighting, the rest was available lighting. We used a white card to color balance during the interview, Phil with the WB button on the FS100 and I just eyeballed it using the Kelvin dial on the 5D. For a HDSLR user the WB controls on the FS100 offer an upgrade in convenience and speed. The 5D settings are serviceable, but slower.

BBC don’t give Sony’s 50Mbps PMW-100 the thumbs up | Philip Johnston
| HD Warrior
Interestingly, Sony went and put 50Mps support into their new small camera, the PMW-100, but it appears it won't be getting approval from the BBC (which would be one of the only reasons form them to add that support.)
Note: there's currently a $500 rebate on the PMW-100, bringing the price down to $3,480:
Just goes to show you that just because you stick a 50Mbps SxS recorder onto a lower spec camera that does not give you safe passage to the coveted BBC HD approval stamp. A source within the BBC has just informed me that the PMW-100 will not get the HD stamp of approval although they would not go any further with specific details.

Choosing the right GPU to take Adobe Workflows to the Max | David Helmly
| Nvidia
nVidia GPU recommendations (from nVidia). Note: there's currently a ~$50 rebate on the Quadro 4000 cards:
For those of you who use all the tools but spend most of your time in Premiere Pro (using the other apps to create assets for your Premiere sequences), you can use the Quadro 5000 or 4000 for starters and when you need more GPU power you can drop in a Tesla board at any time to get a nice “bump” in performance. Mac Pro users should choose the Quadro 4000.

Record Better Sync Sound with a DSLR | Richard Harrington | AdoramaTV
A video tutorial from Richard Harrington. It appears that Adorama is planning a series of these:
Most DSLR cameras have a built in microphone, but to accomplish good professional audio you need more. Audio is one of the most important elements when producing video. Having an dedicated microphone to capture your audio can increase the overall quality of your video. In this episode, Rich demonstrates how to capture audio with various devices that are compatible with DSLR cameras.

Correcting White Balance | Brian Mansi
A tutorial from early this year on white balance in your NLE:
One of the main things that is essential to get right on set, is the white-balance. Depending on how you choose to set it (Manually using Kelvins, using the Set White-balance feature or even using presets) you are likely to make slight errors, or in the case of this example, quite severe ones. Ideally, it would be best to re-shoot, but if you correct the white-balance efficiently enough, you can make unusable footage usable.

Is the AVID ship sinking! | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
News from last week, but Philip offers his thoughts on Avid's woes:
Avid in my opinion should have gone for broke with Avid Media Composer 6 priced at around the £600 mark rather than the £1799 which enticed almost no one to jump, with FCPX at just under £300 and Premiere Pro at £700, Avid is well off target. Do what Adobe do and sell the editing software as a stand alone then add the peripheral sound and colour grading tools as a separate upgrade suite.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Quick Links

Canon C300 large sensor camera: the budget Alexa? | David Fox | TVB Europe
A round-up of views on the Canon C300 from European DPs:
"Buying the first of anything is always a bit of a gamble,” but it has paid off, because the C300 is now flavour of the moment and is “perfect for TV”.
He [DoP Tim Sutton] didn’t consider buying any other large-format camera at the time as nothing else ticked all the boxes for picture quality, usability, cost and specification -- mainly the TV friendly codec. “It delivers good looking pictures, is easy to use and producers are not bewildered with yet another format or codec given the C300’s workflow is identical to that of the XF305.”

Hands on report on the BlackMagic Cinema Camera | Matt Battershell | Planet5D
Matt got to see the BlackMagic Cinema Camera prototype, and is very excited about the camera:
I was never too worried about my pre-order on faith, never having touched the camera nor seen really many samples, but now, I am not worried in the least. I’m excited. The quality, DR, noise and sharpness are cinema in nature, the FOV was not as bad as I was thinking based on everyone’s talk and worry. I’m going to have a go with my 16-35 L 2.8 and probably get a Samyang 24 1.4. I may not have the camera as soon as I want, shipping is going to be a little crazy, but we must have patience.

Firmware Version 3.3 | RED Digital Cinema | Vimeo
RED releases a video showing the new features in their latest firmware release for the Red and Scarlet:
Some of the features included in this tutorial are:
Pro I/O Integration, True Frame Rate and Shutter, Soft Keys, Group Presets, Fans / Indicators / Recording Options, Monitor Control, Audio Options

ALEXA captures the beauty of Dubai | ARRI
Babak Amini of Eclipse Production in the United Arab Emirates, offers his perspective on the ARRI Alexa in this ARRI piece:
BA: In fact my DP, Shahram Aderangui, was the person who insisted on going with ALEXA! I work as a cinematographer myself from time to time, so I could clearly recognize the many advantages of using the ALEXA system to capture our content. For example it was useful to be able to shoot at 60 fps [ALEXA now goes to 120 fps with a special license] as some of the most memorable scenes in this film were shot on a Steadicam at 60 fps and I think they look fantastic. But yes, my DP was over the moon.

Creating Fire in After Effects | Rich Young | ProVideoCoalition
A roundup of tutorials and free projects for After Effects:
Attempts at creating fire in After Effects have resulted in outputs of various styles and quality. Projects have used CC Particle World, Fractal Noise, and other tools built into AE, 3rd party plug-ins, and composited stock footage often used as a particle source.

Why All Acoustic Foams Are Not Created Equal | Mike Sorensen | Audio Undone
A round-up of different sound absorbing materials:
There are many sound absorbing products currently in the marketplace. One popular technology is acoustic foam. This lightweight foam can easily be manufactured into many different sizes and designs. It comes in two flavors: open cell and closed cell. These terms refer to the manufacturing method used to produce the foam. Open cell foam has pores or open areas in the surface of the foam. Closed cell foam is exactly what the name specifies−the cells used to produce the foam are actually closed and sealed. Each type of foam has different absorption properties.

First Slow Motion Test 240 FPS | markinmaine | YouTube
Another slow-motion video from the Sony NEX-FS700:
First Slow Motion shots with the new Sony NEX FS700. I think I will be sleeping with this camera for the next few weeks as I get ready to use it on a feature length film called Dark Minds.

Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II Delayed Again | CanonRumors
Another Canon lens is delayed:
Contrary to what I was told recently by a few retailers, Canon has delayed the release of the EF 24-70 f/2.8L II again. This time until mid September 2012. The reason for the delay is said to be for “final adjustments in production”.

Final Cut Pro Killer Secrets | Digital Heaven
An ebook on Final Cut Pro 7 is now free:
Final Cut Pro Killer Secrets is an eBook packed with the hottest tips and time saving techniques for editors using Final Cut Pro 7 or earlier. Written in a clear and accessible style, its 10 chapters cover a comprehensive range of subjects including capturing, importing, editing, effects, audio and exporting.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Quick Links

My First Weekend With Sony's New FS700 | Ro Tierney | Blog
A fairly detailed report on the first few days with the Sony NEX-FS700. Seems they are turning up in New Zealand already:
The handle and grip are obviously a massive improvement over the FS100. The built-in ND’s, XLR inputs and HD SDI & HDMI outputs reminded me of what video cameras are supposed to have. As for ease of use, well it will take some getting used to with regards to button placement, etc, but everything seems well thought out and I found myself getting used to it very quickly. It is a breath of fresh air.

FS700 vs F3 talking head | Mskogstrom Photography
Comparing the footage from the NEX-FS700 with the Sony PMW-F3:
First inital reaction is Yes. Footage looks very good and looks easy enough to match to the F3. All footage shot to a PIX240 in Prores 422HQ. Both cameras are white balanced in the Key light. Both read 3000K, but there is a distinct difference in the red wall. Both cameras are shot in STANDARD out-of-the-box-setting. One camera comes very close to the actual color of the wall and that is…… the FS700.

Sony NEX-FS700 User Group | Ken Steiger | Facebook
Ken offers his first thoughts on the NEX-FS700:
I compared similar shots to a 5D mkii that I used for a week in March. Everybody loves the shallow DOF on that thing. But I never felt like I could get an image in razor sharp focus when I wanted it. Now I understand. The low level and shadow detail is awful. Very murky with low contrast fine detail in the shadows. When comparing the shots suddenly my image is crisp. And not "edge enhancement" crisp. So I will figure out how to get a "grip" on the ergonomics, because the image I am seeing out of this puppy is beautiful.

And more sample footage:
FS700 - 240FPS Beach, water, waves, dogs | Charles Wood | Vimeo
Lens is a Canon 70-200mm IS I, ISO 500, Shutter speed 500-1000, 240fps

Smoke | Ro Tierney | Vimeo

10 Lightworks Tutorials for Video Editors | Danny Greer | Premiumbeat
Lightworks is a free video editing application that's very powerful; here's links to some tutorials:
For many editors Lightworks is foreign territory, with a unique user interface and editing workflow. To address this Editshare recently released a series of free Lightworks video tutorials that cover the basics of working in the application.

Canon EF 40mm F2.8 Pancake Review | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
A review of this $199 pancake lens:
Canon have produced a decent lens here for the price. It does make your Canon DSLR more stealthy like a mirrorless camera. Well – 50% of the way there. It has advantages with an anamorphic as outlined above although that is a very niche use for it, it is the main reason I bought one. AF on the lens although not silent is fast, and the aperture seems to have the ability to be continuously variable rather than stepped in movie and live view mode on cameras that support it.

How To Improve Your Color Corrections Using “The 60-Second Rule” | SpliceVine
This month, Patrick Inhofer is posting a series on color correction here:
Professional colorists all agree that when you first look at an image, you’ve got 45-60 seconds to make your initial judgement about how the shot looks and what’s wrong with it, and then apply your initial corrections. After those first 60 seconds pass, your brain takes over and re-works the image to balance out the inconsistencies, dulling the quality of our work.

Learning To Fly: Steadicam Gold Workshop 2012 | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
Dan reports on the Steadicam workshop he participated in; at least I think it was a Steadicam workshop:
Jerry explained the physics of the Steadicam and had a multitude of practical pointers on how to operate correctly. He taught us how to set up a rig, how to hold it and how to operate in the missionary, Don Juan and Goofy positions. If you want to get into Steadicam the very first thing you should do is buy his book – The Steadicam Operator’s Handbook. It details all the theory we learned on the course and there is no more comprehensive guide to Steadicam around. All the students received a copy of the manual.

Applying LUTs to Log Footage in FCP, Premiere, Avid and Resolve | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
Working with LUTs in NLEs:
We are often asked how to use these LUTs and work with Log in general, so I have put together some methods for using LUTs and other plugins to work with Log footage in different NLEs. There are a lot of great programs available that make this process very easy, like Scratch Lab, YoYotta, ColorFront OSD, and many more. For the purposes of this demo though, I’ll focus on some inexpensive (or free) utilities that can tackle the problem.

Canon EOS 7D SLR Digital Camera (Body Only) | B & H Photo Video
For 36 hours (ends sometime today) B & H is offering a special deal - a couple of hundred dollars off - on the Canon 7D, with a free accessory.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Quick Links

Focus On Sony NEX FS700 | | Vimeo
An intro to the Sony NEX-FS700 - which is just starting to ship - with some nice pictures of the camera, a demo of camera operation, and video demoing the ND filter, low light, and slow motion:
We were very excited to get our hands on the Sony NEX FS700U. We put it through it's paces and showcase some of the cool new features of this awesome camera including the built-in ND filters, and the super-slow motion at several frame rates.

And if you're in Boston, check out the Rule Boston Camera Learning Lab on July 11th which will be on the Sony NEX-FS700.

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson's miniatures | Jim Emerson | Sun Times
This article looks at how scenes are set up and how the camera movies through the movie:
I would estimate that 98 percent of the time (I wish I had a graph), Anderson's camera is situated on a tripod or a dolly, moves only at right angles, and always with clockwork smoothness. (There's a Keatonesque boat that sets sail with a similar comically pure, precise and idealized motion that I can only describe as deadpan. It's miraculously urgent and serene at the same time.)

NeedCreative Podcast Ep. 2 - The Accessibility/Motivational Complex
| Anticipate Media
The second episode of this new podcast is up:
In this second episode chock full of discussion regarding music and sound and story, Jason and Paul with special guest PlanetMitch (Mitch Aunger) from Planet talk about:

The Incident at Marmont short film co-produced by Mitch - the importance of sound and choosing the music
Licensing of music - what are good sources to get great music for your piece?
How music motivates Paul (and on-camera talent) to create visuals, often influencing the meaning of the visuals before he edits... or shoots

Tiffen/Dfx Webinars
Tiffen/Dfx is offering some free webinars:
Specialized Workflow Series: Color Grading with Richard Harrington
Wed, July 11th, 2012 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM EDT

Specialized Workflow Series: Creating a Film look on a Video budget with Richard Harrington
Wed, July 18th, 2012 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM EDT

Specialized Workflow Series: Better Keying from Production to Post with Richard Harrington and Marco Paolini from DFT
Wed, August 22nd, 2012 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM EDT

Fantastic film competition: “RØDE ROCKUMENTARY!” | Philip Bloom | Blog
RØDE launches a new competition, the “RØDE Rockumentary,” which has a prize of an all expenses paid trip to LA to make a film/ documentary of the winners of “RØDE Rocks:”
So that’s right. Any camera you want, it’s up to you. You decide how you want to shoot this and you will get it made with myself and Jason Wingrove there to help and mentor you throughout the filming and editing which will be 6 days in total! We get to hang out, you can buy me lots of Hendricks and Tonics (with cucumber please!)

Canon C300 “Run & Gun” with manual sound! | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip explains how to adjust audio levels while in 'Run & Gun' mode - with a Rode microphone. You can have it in manual mode and with a limiter switched on.

Canon EOS-1D X Availability in North America | CanonRumors
The Canon 1D X (not the 4K C) is starting to arrive.
We have unconfirmed reports that a few retailers in the US and Canada will be receiving their initial Canon EOS-1D X shipments this week.

5 Tips for Directing Kids Under 10 | Ryan E. Hoffman | Fresh DV
2. Monkey See Monkey Do
At their age, kids learn best by watching you do it and imitating you. In baseball, we exaggerate the proper throwing motion, so that they imitate and repeat. Same thing in film. If you want them to do something, it’s your responsibility to step out from behind the camera, and take them through it slowly and clearly. Act it out for them, and they’ll get it. Trying to explain the motion, or emotion is pointless and will only frustrate you.

Scorsese Abandons Film to Shoot in Digital | movieScope
A quote from his long-term editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and other notes about the end of film:
Speaking to Empire, Schoonmaker said: “It would appear that we’ve lost the battle. It’s just impossible to fight it anymore, the collapse of film. I think Marty just feels it’s unfortunately over, and there’s been no bigger champion of film than him.”

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Three-Minute Film Challenge

Yesterday I went out to Salem MA where a group of enthusiastic DPs and actors had gathered together for a Three-Minute Film Challenge. Organized by Paul Antico and Rick Macomber, everyone was invited to bring a scipt with the object of shooting a three-minute movie. The other wrinkle was that the plan was to shoot it all using a Canon C300.

I'll be writing more about it later - once the video's are complete - but here's some pictures from the event:

Paul Antico attaches a rig to the Canon C300. (clockwise from left: Paul, Matt Stapleton, Todd Mahoney, Adam Kerchman, Rick Macomber)

Using a slider in the grass.

Paul Antico and Sean Meehan discuss a setup

Todd Mahoney brought along this little gem. A Shur-Line 06572L painters-pole with an adapter that lets him mount a GoPro Hero.
I always find it interesting to watch other's when they are shooting; how they set things up, placement of the actors and camera, and how they handle lighting. And when it's a project like this; where time is of the essence, but ultimately the only client is the person that had the idea, you can learn a lot. Fortunately, it was also a nice day - not too hot - and it was a really good group of people who showed up. The only downside; we could have accomplished a lot more with a second C300!


Paul has already posted a trailer for his movie:

Sunday, July 01, 2012

What Do You Think Of The Apple TV?

That was the question a friend asked me the other day. It was a loaded question because he’s a rabid Windows/Android user, and I’m a rabid Mac/iPhone user, which means that we usually don’t talk about computers or phone’s at all…it’s just easier that way.

The original Apple TV

But the Apple TV…was he thinking of getting one? And what did I think of the Apple TV anyway?

I’ve had the original Apple TV since it first came out, and to be honest, it’s been nothing like the iPhone and the iPad. The latter I don’t think I could ever give up, and the former has proved to be a very useful tool for meetings and for trips when I don’t want to take the MacBook along. I could live without the iPad, but that’s primarily because I also have an iPhone.

But the Apple TV? To be honest, I hardly use it. I do use it to rent movies, on those few occasions that I do rent movies. That’s probably once every two months. It works really well for that. It’s simple and easy to rent movies, and now that my local video store has closed, about the only way I can rent movies! The only downside is those occasions when they don’t have the title, OR, you can only buy a title; they don’t have it available to rent - which seems to happen to me a surprising number of times.

Perhaps the other thing I don’t like about it is using the little remote to type in the name of what you want to search for. It can get a little tedious. Now you can synch your iPhone to the Apple TV as a remote, but because I shut the Apple TV down between uses, I can’t be bothered going through the reconnecting steps required to do that! So the little remote is annoying, but not that annoying. If I was using it every day, I’d probably throw it through the window.

The old Apple TV does have a small hard drive in it. I thought that would be useful for storing video’s I want to watch, but because it has to sync with your Apple iTunes library, it proved a little more tedious that I thought it would. I guess that was true for everyone, as Apple did away with that feature with the Apple TV 2.

I had also thought I would use the Apple TV to watch my own video’s on the TV as a way of checking them. I find that I don’t do that as often as I thought I would; partly because most of the stuff I do now is only viewed on the computer - so I don’t need to review them on the TV - and partly because it was a little more involved than I had hoped (you have to copy the video into iTunes, then sync the Apple TV and your iTunes account.)

The Apple TV 2

A friend has the newer Apple TV 2 [$96.99 B & H], and uses it primarily to watch Netflix. She seems happy with it; as long as Netflix has the movie she wants to watch!

So as you can see, I have mixed feelings about the Apple TV

But what to tell my friend?; because he’d just use it against me. But I had to be honest too, and so I told him that I didn’t use it that much, but it was quite good for renting movies from iTunes.

I did also tell my friend that I’d seen rumors that Apple was going to add app support to the Apple TV, and if that were true, it was also very possible they would be updating the hardware at the same time. Honestly, I’m not sure I want to use apps on my TV (I have the iPhone and iPad for that!) but who knows…maybe there will be some kinds of apps that will make that worthwhile.

I also had to tell him that if I was going to buy anything at the moment, it might be the Roku box. Not so much because I was unhappy with the Apple TV, but because the Roku box could play back Amazon Prime movies. I have an Amazon Prime account and you get access to some old movies for free through that, and that could be a really useful feature for me, one that unfortunately the Apple TV does not support.

So I have mixed feelings about the Apple TV. It doesn’t do everything I wish it did - Amazon Prime - but it does work well for what it does; renting movies through iTunes. I just don’t do that a lot.

And that’s what I told my friend.

And he told me that he was only asking for a friend of his who was thinking about it. And that he loved his Roku [$76.00 Amazon]