Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Sony camera news and other things

Sony RX10 Review -- First Impressions | Imaging Resource
I'll admit that I didn't really look that closely at the new Sony still camera announcements yesterday, but now reading more of the press these cameras look to have some interesting video functionality.

Reading this write-up on the RX10 it appears that it reads out the whole chip and has improved video processing, and it has built-in neutral density filters (at least that's what the articles say.)

Is this going to be a killer video camera in disguise? At over $1,200  with a fixed lens you might be better to save your money for a real video camera, but it's intriguing. Will have to wait for more reviews:
It didn't completely eliminate moiré patterns, but they were greatly reduced relative to just about every other camera we've seen, and there were no false-color artifacts to be seen anywhere. Not only that, but the video itself was very clean and crisp-looking, so the reduction in false color and moiré didn't seem to come at the expense of mushy subject detail.

A look at the new video features of the new Sony A7, A7R and RX10 | EOSHD
It also didn't occur to me until I was reading about the improved video in the A7 and A7R that maybe the  $1,698 A7 could be the Canon 5D Mark III killer? Or is it the $2,298 A7R? Either way, if you're looking for a full-frame video camera under $3,500, previously you were limited to the 5D Mark III. And Canon really hadn't done much to improve the video quality of the Mark III over the Mark II.

But these two Sony cameras can do 60p (if you want that) supposedly have improved video processing AND will output uncompressed 4:2:2! Oh Canon, what are you going to do now? Makes you wonder why anyone would buy the 5D Mark III if all they're buying the camera for is to record video...of course, we don't yet know how the low-light performance compares, and all the other niceties, but on the face of it the A7, if nothing else, makes full-frame video more affordable.
The new image processor is Sony’s most video orientated one yet. The processor takes a 14bit raw feed from the sensor. The HDMI interface has been upgraded to the latest spec and is capable of 4K output. However this resolution is only available in playback mode for displaying stills at 4K. In video mode we have an uncompressed 4:2:2 feed at 1080p.

Hands on 1st Impressions: The Sony A7, A7r and RX10 | Steve Huff
Capture Full 1920 x 1080 HD uncompressed clean-screen video files to external recording devices via an HDMI® connection in 60p and 60i frame-rates. Selectable in-camera AVCHDTM codec frames rates include super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p. MP4 codec is also available for smaller files for easier upload to the web.

Other News

The Mark III doesn't appear to be available yet, but you can buy the Bravo Deluxe model for $429.95 ($200 off list).
More recently, some manufacturers have started to offer follow focus units with custom-made gearboxes at lower prices. Genus is one of those companies and the latest version of their Bravo follow focus has some high end features at a reasonable $499 US price tag.

To Fellow VFX Artists: Be Not Afraid | Michael "Dorkman" Scott
Don’t fall into the “team player” trap of killing yourself for no compensation because you think you’re building up some kind of intangible credit you can call in later. You’re not. To anyone working for free out of a sense of company loyalty, tell me: if the roles were reversed and your company had no work to do, do you think they’d just keep you on the payroll, doing nothing, until something came in?

What novelists can teach you about editing film and video | Kylee Wall | Creative COW
Don't go into great detail describing places or things. – Elmore Leonard
In unscripted stuff particularly, I've seen a tendency for editors to use a whole bunch of b-roll at the beginning to describe a place.

Karl Taylor's Hi-End Product Shoot - Made Easy! | YouTube
Interesting demo on setting up a product shot.

Never mind Retina Displays: Get ready for 4K on the new Mac Pro | iMore
the newly redesigned Mac Pro is going to leapfrog that by offering something that so far, no other Mac can handle - 4K video. And not just 4K video, but 4K video on three screens.

This review at VideoMaker of Redrock's One Man Crew is very positive. The only downside; it's back-ordered until November 20! ($1,495)
Redrock Micro visited the Videomaker Studios to show off the One Man Crew. We got our hands on it, and took it for a spin. See what it is, how it works, and why we love it!

Viewing the Night Sky in Summer | Vimeo

Exploring the limits of resolution and dynamic range when using the F55 in 4K RAW mode, this film was shot on location at the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory. A handmade structure of the highest grade worn by a hundred years of service, the Observatory presents a wide variety of very high detail backdrops, contrasted by a model for skin tone reference. Hard sunlight provides a very high contrast image which also tests the ability of the camera to capture wide dynamic range images, while also showing what happens when that dynamic range is exceeded. A filmic highlight roll off is possible when images are captured in 16-bit precision.

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