Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sony NEX-EA50 Webchat

Yesterday Sony Europe hosted a webchat on the new NEX-EA50. For the next 30 days you can read an archive of the webchat here:
Below is an edited version of the chat (primarily I have grouped the answers with the questions):

Q: Why no ND filters?
Alvaro Ortiz: ND filters included on FS700 were completely newly developed, and they are extra-thin due to the short flange-back distance (sensor to mount), so their inclusion on EA50 would've involved a significant increase of price
Kanta: The FS700E has the ND filter in it but it makes body big and it is rather costy part. For EA50EH, you can find several types of variable ND filter from optical filter manufacturer, which gives you seamless ND control.

Q: I have the Sony EX3 with the ST-7 Shoulder mount with heavy duty battery fitted. I can see that this cam has a shoulder mount that can be retracted and used how ever is there provision for a heavy duty batter to be added?
Dave: the camcorder has 2 x 1/4" screw holes on the retractable brace to allow you to mount accessories or counterbalance weights

Q: I see on shoulder mount part, when 'expanded out', I see we can attach something on top (as there's seem a screw or hole something' - how heavy an accessory can I put there? Anton Bauer like batteries?
Kanta: It has screw hole plate on top which is similar one on bottom for tripod. You can attach an external recorder or power kit such as a battery. I think the Anton battery weight has no problem.

Q: I'm curious about the extending shoulder mount on the EA50: does this not make it rather front heavy? Why was it not designed like an ENG camera where the body weight is over the shoulder, not in front?
Alvaro Ortiz: Well, in fact, EA50 was designed to be capable of being used in both handy and shoulder configuration. So, with that sliding pad, it would've been really difficult to keep the weight on the shoulder without compromisin the ergonomy of the camcorder

Q: How good is the low light comparred to the EX3?
Alvaro Ortiz: Bear in mind that EX3 sensor is older, and, apart from that, bear in mind that usually, when using a Large Format Sensor, the quantity of light that goes into the sensor is bigger. Also, it depends on the sensor resolution, as it influences the pixel size. Obviously, dynamic range should be smaller than that of the FS100, but will probably be better than that of the EX3
Anna Doublet: The PMW-EX3 has a 3 CMOS 1/2 inch sensors, EA50 has a large APC-S sensor, during shooting in low light EA50 provides one of the better sensivity on the market for this type of sensor.

Q: How good is the low light comparred to the nx5?
Alvaro Ortiz: As in my prior reply, we need to bear in mind two main aspects: the age of the sensor (NX5 is "old", but very effective), and the sensor size. We learned a lot [about] Large Format Sensors at an affordable price when developing the sensor of the FS100/F3, and we have been able to use such knowledge for developing very powerful moving picture sensors
Kanta: It is difficult to compare these two models because the NX5 has fixed lens and EA50 is interchageable lens camcorder. The EA50EH sensor is good at low light. If you use fast lens for EA50EH, the image can get brighter and cleaner.

Q:It's described as an APS-C sensor rather than a Super35 (which the FS100/700 has) but if you're shooting with a 50mm lens in video mode, is the focal length going to be any different for this camera vs. the FS100?
Kanta: In terms of the sensor size, the APS-C is similar to Super35 which has been used in professional cinema cameras. So the focal length and angle of images will be same as FS100E/700E.
Alvaro Ortiz: APS-C sensor size (Sony, Nikon, Pentax): 23.6 x 15.8 mm = 373 mm2 (EA50)
Super35 sensor size: 23.6x13.3 mm = 314 mm2 (FS100, FS700, F3...)

Q: I was just wondering who you see using the EA50 and why would I choose this above the FS700 or FS100?
Dave: The EA50EH is perfect for event videographers who want to achieve a 'cinematic' look but also need an element of convenient operation. The 'FS' range are more suitable for use in a controlled environment

Q: This is the third 18-200mm lens Sony has released in the E-Mount (I think) does it have the same optics as either of the other models, or is it optically completely different to either of those?
Alvaro Ortiz: This time, you can purchase our model with a motorized zoom (the black version of the lens that you might have seen shown at IBC). It's an improved version of the SEL18200 lens, but basically, it has the same optical behaviour
Kanta: The 18200 motor zoom will be available as one of E-mount lenses but there is no detail information about price and availablity as of today.

Q: Why no LCD?
Alvaro Ortiz: well, in fact, the EA50 actually has LCD; maybe you were referring to EVF in the rear part of the camera... The LCD is a high-quality screen in which users can even install the "loupe" that was shown for the first time with the FS100, and it's included by default with EA50.

Q: Is that a small speaker on the side above the memory card? If so, how do you adjust the volume; is there a dial, or do you have to do it through menus?
Anna Doublet: You can adjust the volume with volume buttons on top of the camcorder

Q: Is the image out of HDMI compressed or uncompressed? 4:2:2 or 4:2:0?
Alvaro Ortiz: HDMI output is 422, standard. Recording is AVCHD H.264 420 8 bit, at a maximum speed of 28 Mbps and maximum quality of 1080/50p, 60p
Anna Doublet: The HDMI output is 4:2:2 8 bits with TC out. You can also send the SD signal with HDMI
Alvaro Ortiz: So, yes, any external recorder with HDMI input can be used

Q: Is the external mic it comes with, the ECM-XM1 stereo or mono? If it's stereo, can you record it to one track and use the XLR as input to the other track?
Anna Doublet: The NEX-EA50 is also compatible with new microphone - ECM-MS2 [$349.95] Affordable compact stereo microphone from Sony.
Alvaro Ortiz: Did you all know that NEX-EA50 has 2x XLR (Line/Mic, +48V) audio inputs?

Q: Is that external mic considered the built-in mic? or are there also built-in mics on the camera?
Anna Doublet: Yes, EA50 has a built-in microphone
Alvaro Ortiz: Internal mic, in fact, was highly demanded, not just for high quality recording, but when using some external recorder, for synching purposed. This time, with EA50, you could even avoid such situation, by inputting the Audio source (i.e. from an audio mixer) directly to the Audio XLR inputs. So, any configuration is likely to be used with EA50

Q: Does EA50 have the same sensor as FS100 ?
Kanta: NEX-FS100 and FS700 are using motion picture sensor. Everything is optimised for motion picture in terms of number of pixels for example. It has very small moire compared with the APS-C sensor used in VG10/20 and EA50EH. But I can say the picture qualiy of these cameras are also very good.
Alvaro Ortiz: EA50 uses the "same" sensor size, but not the same sensor. In fact, FS100's is a Super35 mm sensor, FS700'S is a 4k Super35 mm sensor, and EA50's is an APS-C sensor. All them with Exmor CMOS technology. Sensor size of Super35 is 23.6x13.3, and APS-C size (from Sony, Nikon and Pentax) is 23.6x15.8. So, the width is the same, but APS-C is slightly larger, due to being "taller". When outputting the panoramic image from it, they're the same sensor size; APS-C is "letterboxed" or "cropped" on the upper and lower parts of the sensor

Q: What about moire and aliasing? is better than nex-vg20 or vg10? or is similar to nex-fs100?
Dave: Both the EA50 and FS100 will produce fantastic images that are difficult to achieve on your current camcorders. However it is really down to your application and of course your budget.
Alvaro Ortiz:  As an introduction, our wide experience with Large Format Sensors allowed us to use the APS-C format in a "video" workflow much more effectively than ever. Our way to downconvert 16 Mpx into FullHD is a very powerful algorhythm, different from simply "wasting" image lines to get a FullHD image from, for instance, 21 Mpx sensors. Also, bear in mind that APS-C is the same size (in width; in "tall" it's even larger) as a Super35, so the "geometry" and the aspect of the image will be the same as on classic cinema

Q: It's great that all these full frame sensor cameras are coming out, but I don't get you guys on codec. Why don't you use 50Mb/s into your cameras? It doesn't seem to be a cost factor as the PMW-150 was just released with 50Mb/s 422. I have an FS700 an it seem to be crippled just for marketing sake.
Alvaro Ortiz: Please bear in mind that a Full Frame 35 mm sensor is NOT the same as a Super35 mm sensor. This comes from the Cinema tape times: both photo and video were using 35 mm width tape, but photos were recorded with their wide sides parallel to the tape, and, due to signal correlation, video images were recorded transversal to the tape. That's why it's not the same working on 35 mm on photo (Full Frame) than on Video/Cinema (Super35). Also, the Depth of Field of a Full Frame is so shallow that in most of the productions for video, a great part of the time the image is out of focus.
Using a 50 Mbps chipset would increase A LOT not only the price of the camcorder, but also the cooling demand for this small-size cameras. And, nowadays, recording with an external device is very likely to happen; that's why we don't use that "interface" connector as the only solution, but also HDMI (EA50 & FS100) and SDI + HDMI (FS700)
Kanta: The NXCAM series including NEX-EA50EH and FS700E are using AVCHD codec as you know. Because it is globally generic codec. It can be played back on Playstation3, consumer camcorders, television (such as Bravia with USB slot), Blu-ray player etc. without installing any special software. Also the AVCHD was born from Blu-ray specification. Many are enjoying the Blu-ray Disc quality, it means they can also enjoy the AVCHD quality.
Anna Doublet: Each camcorder in the NXCAM line up has different benefits: FS700 - 4K recording in future and super slow motion, FS100 design and quality/price ratio and EA50 - weight, shoulder design with shallow depth of field. The good news that you can keep all your accessories from Z1, S270 - NXCAM camcorders are compatibles with Z1 batteries and S270 light

Q: If the PMW-150 can manage 50mbps why can't the EA50?
Alvaro Ortiz: Because PMW-150 was designed to work with 50 Mbps from the moment it was engineered. Let's take an example: for a low/mid-budget music video, or a en event recording, a wedding... is not Blu-Ray quality more than enough? That's what AVCHD internal recording allows. Most of our users for these models don't usually work on a Broadcast environment. And, if they do, and they really demand the high-quality cinematographic images that a FS100, FS700 or EA50 can provide, I'm sure most of them are able to hire an external recorder (for example, an Atomos Ninja). That will be always cheaper than incorporating the 50 Mbps in the camcorder, and hearing complains about the overprice it would involve...
Alvaro Ortiz:  I agree that 50 Mbps is not just for broadcast. But the customer profile that uses to demand 50 Mbps uses to have money enough to afford, for instance, an Atomos Ninja. So, we prefer you, the users, to choose an upgraded configuration from a basic one, than limit our customers park to only those than can afford a 50 Mbps chipset. I mean: with no 50 Mbps inside the camcorder, you can record externally with additional cheap equipment, and the camcorder is still affordable. If the 50 Mbps recording is internal, then the camcorder would be not affordable for the same quantity of people. I used Broadcast environment as an example...

General Comments:

Event Admin: If you haven't seen it already, Bill Drummond introduces the NEX-EA50 at this year's IBC in this short Sony video blog.

Kanta: Lens lineup. NEX series camera can take any E-mount lenses. Also by using LA-EA2, you can use A-mount lenses as well. LA-EA2 gives you continuous auto focus in motion picture shooting.

Alvaro Ortiz: BTW, you can use the same Solid State Flash Memory unit that could be used for HXR-NX5, NEX-FS100, NEX-FS700, and now NEX-EA50: the FMU128, which can be attached to the camera body, and incorporates a direct USB connector to download materials to your system
And, of course, apart from that FMU128, SD cards and Memory Stick cards can be used, allowing recording up to 28 Mbps bandwith with AVCHD coded, with LPCM for audio, and with 1920x1080/50p, 60p for Video...

Dave: The NEX-EA50EH is comaptible with the new MS-PX64/32/16 Mirroring Memory Stick products that provide a dual recording function - giving immediate back-up onto a single card

Kanta: Did you know the zoom rocker can work not only for the supplied zoom lens but also a prime lens? The EA50EH has newly developed smart digital zoom technology. It can gradually magnifying the image with small picture degradation when you press the zoom in rocker key. It just looks like optical zoom. It offers zoom upto 2x.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quick Links

The Year Sony Kicks Ass | Michael Britt | PhotoCineNews
Some people are thrilled by Sony's new full-frame camera announcements, the A99 DSLR, NEX-VG900 camcorder and RX1:
The full frame Sony Alpha A99 DSLR style camera is everything you’d expect from a company trying to dethrone the 5DMkIII. Full frame sensor, check. Amazing OLED electronic viewfinder, check. Great low light performance, check. 6 Frames per second capture rate, check. Uncompressed video out via HDMI (like the MarkIII should have had), check. Microphone and headphone monitoring jack, check.

Sony NEX-VG900 Lens Sample | Focus Pulling | Vimeo

Sony NEX-VG900 Lens Sample from Focus Pulling (.com) on Vimeo.

IBC2012: Blackmagic Cinema Camera |  FilmTVVideo | YouTube
Stuart Ashton, Director EMEA at Blackmagic Design, explains the concept and the handling of the Cinema Camera from Blackmagic Design.

Tamron's new full-frame lenses: 90mm macro, 70-200mm tele
| Stephen Shankland | C|net
Tamron's new 70-200mm lens has 23 lens elements, including one extra-low dispersion element and four low-dispersion elements to cut down on chromatic aberration. It weighs 51.9 oz (1,470g), is 7.4 inches (188mm) long, has nine aperture blades, and has a close-focus distance of 51.9 inches (1.3m).]

Turning a Slider into a Small Orbiting Dolly | Sean Meehan | Cross River Pictures
The slider was mounted onto my tripod, with the camera, rods and follow focus mounted directly onto the carriage. Rather than locking off the tripod and simply sliding back and forth, I came up with a way to create an orbiting effect by panning the fluid head as I slid the camera back and forth on the Pocket Dolly. 

Roger Deakins’ Digital Odyssey Not in 4K | Studio Daily
Some thoughts on Roger Deakins at IBC:
It is the relative merits of 2K vs. 4K resolutions in both acquisition and digital cinema distribution and projection that gives this debate its context here at IBC. On the opposite side of the ring sit manufacturers like Sony, with its F65 camera and CineAlta 4K digital cinema projector, and RED, with its boundary-pushing 4K and 5K cameras and developing 5K laser projector.

Is That a Glockenspiel? | Nicholas Britell | Slate
Slate has hosted a series of columns with different writers discussing the merits of the movie 'Sneakers'
Instead of simply emphasizing the fact that the police are about to catch Cosmo—with, for instance, pulsing drum percussion and sustained, ominous strings—the music presents us, right from the outset, with a set of more complex emotions. There is something melancholy in the air, something regretful. We begin to understand the relationship between Cosmo (who gets caught) and Martin (who escapes) in a way that would be completely lost had the music simply reinforced what was already clear on the screen.
Other entries include:
Entry 4: Wow, Dan Aykroyd can dance. | Julia Turner
Entry 1: Celebrating the endlessly rewatchable and amazingly prescient caper film on its 20th birthday | John Swansburg

Frenzy | Nick Wrigley |
Nick discovers serious problems with the credits in the latest re-issue of Hitchcock's Frenzy:
Bad practice, lazy, revisionist, disrespectful, fraught with potential catastrophe which has indeed backfired through sloppy execution. They’ve used unintelligent apostrophes and quote marks which smack of desktop publishing (post-1985) rather than a 35mm film from 1972; they’ve misspelt “fictitious” as “ficticious” and mucked up two crew members’ names.

Why I Am Done with Traditional Publishing | Richard Harirngton
Prolific author Richard Harrington is giving up on the traditional press:
So its time I make a change. I have decided to stop writing new printed books. I will no longer write new books for traditional publishers (including my current publisher, Peachpit Press). It is time to embrace the digital platform and do the project that are important and essential without the constraints traditional publishing brings.

FREELANCE FINANCE: Tips on how to do business and accounting as a freelance filmmakerIndie Filmmaking from an Indie Filmmaker
Tips and links:
  • Dues to professional societies.-YOUR FILM SOCIETIES THAT YOU’RE IN
  • Home office or part of your home used regularly and exclusively in your work. -THIS ONE GETS A BIT TRICKY, so make sure to have “seperation” between your home office and your living space

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quick Links

Sony A99 Field Test with NEX-VG900 Preview | TheCameraStoreTV | YouTube
In addition to the VG900, Sony also announced a full-frame sensor DSLR, the A99:
The A99 is Sony's new flagship, with the SLT design promising amazing autofocus. To test this, Chris Niccolls from The Camera Store went to Wild Rose Motocross Park to see how the stills and video stack up.Also this episode, Jordan Drake takes a quick look at the Sony VG900, the first full frame camcorder.

Sony A99 revealed with new video optimised full frame sensor | Andrew Reid
On the audio side there are on-screen meters, a mic socket, headphone jack and even a XLR battery grip (XLR-K1M) for $800 which includes a shotgun mic. There’s a ‘silent’ control dial on the front of the camera. It isn’t a touch control though. The codec is AVCHD 2.0 and for the first time we officially have 1080/60p on a full frame DSLR. 24p/25p are there too but no word on whether it is region switchable yet.

Sony NEX-VG900 Camcorder Trailer [720p HD] | Focus Pulling | Vimeo
The NEX-VG900 is a new E-mount camcorder equipped with a full-frame sensor specifically designed for shooting motion pictures ideal for commercials and music videos, as well as action scenes in budget drama, for example. The large-format sensor's high sensitivity enables it to produce footage with shallow depth of field similar to that of a film camera.

Sony's New NEX-VG30 | Michael Christensen | B & H
Among the most notable advancements, the NEX-VG30 was built with a powered zoom seesaw lever, which will operate the new 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens and, when used in conjunction with manual zooms or even prime lenses, it will facilitate a 2x lossless digital zoom. This ground-breaking, new type of digital zoom is achieved by cropping the sensor in real time, as pioneered by Sony’s NEX-EA50UH, and entails no loss of resolution.

Canon EOS 7D Firmware Update 2.0.3 Released | HD CamTeam
Minor fixes:

  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera stops working when the auto power off setting takes effect.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the maximum number of images that can be captured in a burst may be less than the actual number displayed in the viewfinder.

My IBC round-up | Alister Chapman | XDCAM-User
Alister writes about Sony gear, and some other bits and pieces. He's surprisingly impressed by the NEX-EA50:
The zoom speed is variable but the maximum speed is quite slow, so no crash zooms with this lens. I also noticed some focus shifts as you start to zoom and throughout the zoom range. This was expected, after all this is a very cheap servo zoom based on a stills camera lens and stills zooms are rarely par-focal (constant focus throughout the zoom range). If you used autofocus the lens would hold focus as you zoom, but this isn’t always going to be ideal. 

Blackmagic Camera Part Deux: BMCC & Workflow | Jon Carr | Vincent Laforet
Vincent had serious reservations about the Blackmagic Diesign Cinema Camera, but his colleague liked it:
Most manufacturers are pushing 4K+ and I believe RAW video is also part of the future. Many of us who shoot stills with DSLR’s can’t imagine going back to shooting JPEG images because of the flexibility the RAW image gives you. In a few years we will think the same thing in terms of video especially as workflows evolve and hardware improves. It is important to become familiar and comfortable with RAW video now especially since it is so accessible with the BMC.

Zacuto's First Look at the Canon EOS C100 Camera | Zacuto | Vimeo
Join Steve Weiss and Jens Bogehegn as they take a first look at the Canon EOS C100 camera. Zacuto got a sneak peek at the prototype and we have been building rigs & accessories just for this camera ever since. The big development was the C100 Z-Finder, just like our Z-Finder Pro but we made a wider skirt extension and change the lens to accomodate the much wider screen on the Canon C100. 

Making Low Budget look like Big Budget | Alex Walker | Wide Open Camera
Some tips on dealing with difficult problems both during and after a shoot:
Hopefully this situation shows you how, despite having very little to control the light with, you can still succeed in delivering a product that will please your client. Just remember to focus on choosing the right locations, time of day for each scene, and know what you are capable of pulling off; also, keep an eye out for every day items you can repurpose to improve your lighting

iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S: Image comparison | Digital Photography Review
Is there much difference between the two cameras? It doesn't appear so:
Looking at the EXIF data of the images confirms Apple's assertion that this is a new sensor, despite the pixel count remaining the same. Close examination shows the iPhone 5 is using a 4.1mm lens to give a 33mm equivalent field of view, rather than the 4S's 4.3mm lens, which gave a 35mm equivalent view. This means the new sensor is a tiny fraction larger. The iPhone 5 has also selected ISO 50, 1/3EV below the 4S's minimum sensitivity of ISO 64.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quick Links

(SR5) First picture of the Full Frame E-mount VG-900! | SonyAlphaRumors
Rumors are that Sony is going to announce another camcorder that's full-frame (not Super35 or APS-C), uses the E-mount, and will be called something like the NEX-VG900 and cost about $3,000. How that fits together with the already announced Sony NEX-EA50 and the existing NEX-FS100, which are also in the same approximate price, is a puzzle I'll leave to Sony:
This is the first image of the first E-mount Full Frame camera! It’s actually a camcorder to be correct, the new VG-900. [...] It finally proves that a FF sensor indeed fits into an E-mount. 

First Impressions: Sony NEX VG-900 | CHRIS GAMPAT | The Phoblographer
Before today's Quick Links was even posted, the camera has been confirmed! It appears very similar to the Sony NEX-VG20 (which is now replaced by the NEX-VG30). I'm really curious to see what the image looks like, and how this camera fits in between all the others (the VG20 and FS100 specifically.) Who is going to buy this $3,000 camera that wouldn't be looking at the FS100?
I’m interested to see how the footage performs when different gain is used though. As a former news videographer (you have to start somewhere as an intern) I would want to stop my lens down to around F8 or so when interviewing someone with a full frame camcorder. With that said, I would surely need lite panels like the Switronix Bolt that we reviewed if the gain needs to be kept down lest there be too much noise in the image.

Sony Handycam NEX-VG900 | Jeremy Stamas | Camcorderinfo
The Sony Handycam NEX-VG900 is an impressive feat of technology and design, but the camcorder itself raises more questions than answers. Since the NEX-VG900 is limited to 1920 × 1080 recording, how much will the Full Frame sensor, with its whopping 24 megapixels, actually improve video quality? Is this model simply a stepping stone to a 4K Handycam in the future—something that would take full advantage of the Full Frame sensor?

IBC 2012 – Sony NEX-EA50 hands-on & footage | Claytom Burjhart | Cinema5D
Clayton gets his hands on the NEX-EA50, and is a little underwhelmed: "far from a perfect camera - a little bit disappointing." He also found the focusing rather slow...
We recorded some footage and realized the quality that comes from the same APS-C sensor that's also used in the older Sony VG-20 is not as nice as we initially expected. Granted, what we recorded was grabbed at 24db, in a really bad lighting environment, but it must be said that it's a different kind of image than the ones we've seen from cameras like the Sony FS100, 700, the Canon C100, or other Canon HDSLR's for that matter, that pretty much spoiled us in that regard. 

The Sony Trio “Too many cameras, not enough output” | Philip Johnston
| HD Warrior
I think Philip might be on to something; Sony is coming up with too many cameras. In the small chip world (1/2 and 1/3") they have released/announced three similar cameras: the PMW-100, PMW-160 and PMW-200 (actually, the 100 and 200 make sense, the 160 seems close to the 200):
Sony in my opinion are three camcorders too late, it’s unprecedented for a video camera manufacturer to produce 3 similar spec cameras, let alone 3 cameras in four months.It all started with the PMW-100 which was an MC50 single chip in a bigger body and the ability to record at 50Mbps, the chip size alone put a lot of people off this camera.
For Sony's take on this, you can watch this video from IBC: Sony Professional - IBC 2012: Latest updates for professional camcorders | YouTube

Production Audio is Ripe for Revolution | Stu Maschwitz | Prolost
Stu makes some brilliant suggestions about how the field of sound recording could be revolutionized, maybe by using the iPhone as an interface:
Don’t even think it’s enough to use it as a platform for new, sexier UI. Put that little pocket supercomputer to work to make my life as a filmmaker easier. 
Rate the quality of my incoming audio on the screen, live. Warn me when I have a bad echo, or background noise. Suggest fixes. I’ll move the mic around as instructed and watch the quality level change, and then stop moving when it’s great.

Audio Recorder Comparison – Digital Recorders vs Preamps | Olivia | Olivia Tech
Robert from JuicedLink performs a really great audio test comparing popular external audio recorders and popular preamps. He compares and reviews signal to noise tests of the Zoom H4n, Tascam DT-100 MKII, Sound Devices 702, Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO, Edirol R44, Tascam DR-680 and the juicedLink Riggy Micro / Assist.

Dynamic Link: After Effects & Premiere Pro | Clay Asbury | Premiumbeat
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to work smarter (not harder!) by taking advantage of Adobe’s Dynamic Link tool.  Now you can seamlessly move back and forth between Premiere and AE without all the hassles.  A major timesaver for creating support graphics for your video projects!

Building and Working with a Film Community | Lewis McGregor | Dare Dreamer
Great article about building up a local film making community:
Look out of your window and hopefully for the purpose of this paragraph there’s an old man cutting the grass. Boom, that’s your onset electrician, the teen riding past on the scooter, he can be your runner. You turn to your community for help. That’s what I have done with Grim: A Tale of Death. Bar myself and James, everyone on board were complete strangers to us two years ago.

Ep. 12 - Prelude to Analog [Pt. 1] (with Rick Macomber and Matt Allard)
| NeedCreative Podcast
This podcast is interesting not just because of the history, but because Rick explains how he decided on the Canon C300:
In this first of two parts (2nd part comes in Ep. 13), the group talks various subjects influenced by the topic of Analog vs Digital. In Part 2 (Ep. 13) we get into a lively talk about analog, looking back into Matt and Rick's long history with analog formats and how they helped, or hurt, creativity. Artist picks of the week come in Part 2 as well. 

Samyang to show 24mm F3.5 tilt-and-shift lens at Photokina | DPReview
I've always wanted a tilt-shift lens (even before they became a 'fad') but couldn't justify the price. Maybe the new Samyang will be affordable:
Optical design of Samyang T-S 24mm 1:3.5 ED AS UMC comprises of sixteen lenses arranged in eleven groups, including two aspherical lens and two lens made of ED glass with low dispersion factor. Thanks to this solution, the lens perfectly reproduces detailed elements and gives splendid image plasticity, also with the T-S function on.

Samyang 24mm T1.5 Cine Lens for Canon EF-Mount [$749.00 - September 15] | B&H
Meanwhile, Samyang has entered the world of "cine" lenses, and now have four models in a number of different mounts; the 8mm and 35mm are already available, while the 14mm and 24mm are expected soon: Samyang 35mm T1.5 Cine Lens for Sony Alpha [$549 - available now], 14mm T3.1 Cine Lens for Nikon F-Mount [$449 - September 15], 8mm T/3.8 Fisheye Cine Lens for Canon [$349 - available now]
I already have their 'standard' 35mm lens, which is very nice and $50 cheaper, but I wish I'd known the cine lenses were coming:
The Samyang 24mm T1.5 Cine Lens for Canon EF-Mount was developed primarily for film and video applications. The cine version of Samyang's 24mm lens features industry-standard gearing for the focus and aperture ring, and the aperture ring has been "declicked" for smooth iris pulls. The aperture and focus scales have also been relocated to the side of the lens, where it is easier for focus pullers to read them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quick Links

JUST C IT ! (EOS C100) | Sebastien DEVAUD | Vimeo
The promo movie for the new Canon C100 proves that if you use a common element in all the shots of your movie, you don't need to have a coherent story. Though why is that guy shooting with a Canon XA10 on the beach, rather than the C100? That's the one thing I don't understand:
Earlier this year, i was contacted by Canon Inc to create a new exclusive film for the worldwide launch of the new EOS Cinema camera : The EOS C100Given the difficult task awaiting me, I decided to call upon and challenge the C’brothers to highlight and validate the strenghts of this new technology…Join the new C generation !Just C it ! was shot with three C100 bodies and 12 EF lenses. AVCHD compress recorded on SD Card
You can see the behind the scenes movie here: Sample Movie | Canon Japan

Canon to Nex adapter with AF | EOSHD Forum
Link to a video showing a Canon EF to NEX E-Mount lens adapter that includes Auto Focus control. Of course, there have been promises of something like this for over a year from other developers.

Three Developments in Post I’m Watching (From Afar) at IBC | Scott Simmons
| StudioDaily
Scott describes the three things he's watching from IBC: Adobe Anywhere, RED Meizler Module, NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac:
I don't think Adobe Anywhere was a total surprise. Collaborative video editing is an important tool as we move into the future of video editing. But while watching a preview of this upcoming technology I was struck by how simple it is going to be to use once it ships (probably as a part of CS7). Adobe is clearly pushing Premiere Pro front and center with the Adobe Anywhere technology

What's a Kickstarter's responsibility if the project isn't completed?
Interestingly, the creator’s legal responsibility to his or her backers concerns the rewards, not the project itself. A failed project for which the creator sent out all the rewards couldn’t prompt a legal challenge from a backer. But a project whose rewards were tied to the production itself, a project that didn’t send that DVD of the finished film, or the signed Polaroid from the first day of shooting, or the private screening for the $5,000 backer — that project could place its creator in legal jeopardy.

19-Year-Old Director Emily Hagins Talks 'My Sucky Teen Romance,' Making Movies About Teenagers & More | Benjamin Wright | The Playlist
“Right now, even at 19 if I made 'Pathogen,' I would make a completely different movie based on the way I view middle school now – as opposed to the way I viewed middle school when I was in middle school,” she continued. Though the most important insight into the teenage experience are the smaller details. “What I like about teenagers is the genuine awkwardness, and kind of taking advantage of those little moments...

Avid Supports New Standards and Provides Flexibility with the Pro Tools|HD Native Thunderbolt Interface | Avid
Avid today announced the new Pro Tools|HD Native Thunderbolt interface, delivering the lowest latency and the highest sound quality of any host based audio workstation for Thunderbolt technology equipped CPUs. The Pro Tools|HD Native Thunderbolt interface brings the industry-standard Pro Tools HD toolset and premium conversion of Pro Tools HD Series interfaces to a broader group of customers who use a laptop or other computer with Thunderbolt technology, at a great value.

Sony announces new pro audio suite for OS X | Mel Martin
| The Unofficial Apple Website
Sony says the software is not a port of Sound Forge for Windows, but was built from the ground up to support OS X. "People who work on audio editing platforms recognize the need for a fresh option in the marketplace, one that's built for OS X as opposed to something that's simply been ported over,"

Sony Professional - IBC 2012: Bringing 4K one step further
| Sony Professional Europe | Vimeo
Sony's Peter Sykes gives his update on developments in 4K for the Sony IBC2012 video blog.

Sony Professional - IBC 2012: Bringing 4K one step further from Sony Professional Europe on Vimeo.

Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Cinematic Compositions | Gustavo Mercado
| Mastering Film
4. Have a clear understanding behind the narrative function of your composition. A good storyteller knows how to emphasize certain moments in a story and details in a frame. It is imperative that you understand the dramatic purpose behind the moment you are capturing so that you can arrange the visual elements within the frame accordingly. Ask yourself: what do I want the audience to get out of this particular shot and how can I make it express that?

Fuji To Cease Motion Picture Film Manufacturing By End Of The Year
| Nancy Tartaglione | Deadline
Fujifilm won a Sci-Tech Oscar this year for its contribution to motion pictures, but Deadline hears the division of the company that produces motion picture film is set to close by December 31.

TIFF Review: 'A Liar's Autobiography' Is An Imaginative But Not Wholly Satisfying Biopic Of Monty Python's Graham Chapman | Drew Taylor | The Playlist
A whole host of animation styles and textures are used – traditional 2D animation, Flash animation, sophisticated 3D animation, and wonderful combinations of any and all of the above. For animation freaks like this writer, it's an embarrassment of riches.
Of course, the problem arises when you really want to know who Graham Chapman was, as a person and a comedian.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quick Links

IBC 2012: Den Lennie Talks to DOP John Brawley about the M4/3 Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
My good friend Den Lennie has been at IBC in Amsterdam this weekend. He got a chance to speak to DOP John Brawley about the new M4/3 Blackmagic Design cinema camera. Brawley has been working with Blackmagic Design to develop the camera. This is what they had to say:

DAY 6 – Are you listening? Audio and the BMCC | Frank Glencairn | Blog
Frank continues his diary on the Blackmagic camera, this time looking at sound:
Q Since the BMCC has no VU meters (yet), how do I see what my levels are?
A: You need a outboard monitor anyway, so get one, that has build in VU meters. Even if BM updates the camera with VU meters, they are still on the build in monitor, where they are hard to see under certain lighting conditions.

KineRAW-S35 (tm) I1 2K boxed 1920x1080 full range (grade a1) "Daisies and Windmills" | Dan Hudgins | Vimeo
Some video from that Chinese Super35 camera:
These are some grading tests processed in my "freeish" DI system from CinemaDNG (tm) frames shot the in KineRAW-S35 (tm) sample camera I am doing some calibrations with. The KineRAW-S35 (tm) also shoots Cineform (tm) I sent the Cineform (tm) to (sm) you can email them for the link to download those *.mov clips and to get the needed 3D-LUT for use in the Cineform (tm) codec tool.

CAMERAS: A New Chart for Film-Style Production—The DSC OneShot | Art Adams
| ProVideoCoalition
Art explains why an 18% gray card isn't enough to check color on a video camera:
Film color is determined by chemistry, so shooting a gray card is usually enough to ensure that properly exposed and processed film is printed properly. Video gamma curves are numbers in a table and don’t always track perfectly, so color references matter more.
Gray cards and white cards are not always enough. If you want to see what the camera is really doing you must look at color—and not just any color, but known colors like the ITU 709 primaries and secondaries.

Zeiss Introduces New Anamorphics and a DSLR Lens at IBC | Joe Marine
| No Film School
They just recently announced new CP.2 lenses as well as a new CP.Z zoom lens. This year they’ve introduced a brand new DSLR lens, a 135mm f/2.0 Apo Sonnar T* at the show.

Time-lapse Using Photoshop CS6 | Richard Harrington | Blog
In this episode Rich demonstrates how to set up a video timeline, organize the files, process the images, and prepare for export and posting. Join Rich in this step-by-step tutorial of how to build time-lapse animations using Adobe Photoshop CS6.

FCP X: Create a Gradient Wipe | Larry Jordan | Blog
Here’s an easy way to create a very intriguing wipe – called a gradient wipe – without ever going into Motion. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Roger Deakins talks ARRI Alexa

At this year's IBC, Cinematographer Roger Deakins talked about using the Arri Alexa. Deakins has been using the Alexa for some time, and recently completed shooting the latest Bond film, Skyfall. The ARRIChannel Twitter feed had the following comments from Deakins:

UPDATE: They've also posted a video of the event (below):
"There was so much more latitude in ALEXA than a 4K scan of film" when he first tested it for In Time

Deakins on resolution race: "there is such a thing that is too much resolution, it becomes too sharp and synthetic"

Deakins feels ALEXA can mimic film identically by adding grain "You can get there with the image but you can take it elsewhere as well"

"Now when I go to the cinema & when I see grain, I don't like it. It's too much for me."

Roll-off of highlights and detail in shadows is what he likes about ALEXA vs other digital cameras

Deakins manipulated color temperature in camera on ALEXA often for Skyfall

Most of the film was shot with 1 camera, for the train sequence we used 11 ALEXAs

Regarding optical viewfinder on the Studio "I like seeing exactly what is in front of me, that is how I light"

Deakins does miss the sound of film running through the magazine, joked with his AC about rigging a sound effect for ALEXA

"My wife says I slept better than ever once I started shooting ALEXA"

A conversation with Roger Deakins - Part 2 | YouTube

A conversation with Roger Deakins Part 3 | YouTube


Peachpit Press is offering an "eBook Deal of the Day," and this week the title is Final Cut Pro X: Visual QuickStart Guide. The book sells for $24.05 on Amazon, and $14.40 in the Kindle edition.