Friday, February 15, 2013

Quick Links

EOS C300/EOS C300PL, Firmware Version | Canon
Canon officially releases a firmware fix for the color fringe issues in early C300's:
Firmware Version incorporates the following fixes and improvements:
Some of the EF lens products that can be mounted on the camera can be controlled more reliably.
Corrections to the Spanish and German language texts in the View Assistance function [View Assist.].
Efforts to correct image color fringing when a subject is of high contrast have been made.
Note: Firmware version incorporates items 2 and 3 above.

Battle of the Bokeh - Canon, Nikon Sigma 35mm f/1.4 | DigitalRev
Battle of the Bokeh is back and we're looking at some fast 35mm lenses from Canon, Nikon and Sigma with the Canon 35mm 1.4L, Nikon 35mm G AF-S and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM, respectively. This time, however, it's up to you to vote, and the video shows you the results of the blind-bokeh test. Which lens has the best bokeh?

Visualizing ‘Django Unchained’ | MEKADO MURPHY | New York Times
“Skin naturally reflects and moves in a way that makeup doesn’t,” Mr. Richardson said. “So we had to figure out a way to light him.” He and his team decided to put lights a little closer to Mr. Jackson to raise his light value. “Because the primary story circles slavery, of course every shot will, in one way or another, deal with the contrast of black and white. That was a balancing act. I hope we succeeded.”

The Need for Speed: Tools to Help You Edit Faster | Joey Daoud
| Filmmaker Magazine
For years the standard of working with NLEs has been left fingers planted on J, K, L, right hand on mouse. It’s not a terribly bad way to edit. Doing it for years you build up a fast muscle memory, but there are still keyboard tasks that stretch the limit of what you can remember, along with the span of your thumb and pinkie.Is there a faster way? We’ll look at two options, one an iPad app and the other a program to customize the trackpad.

Using Color Temp to Create Depth and Dimension with your HD Video
| Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
While working with one of my favorite directors, Maurice Marable, we were doing a spot in an underground parking garage. When you went with the color temp of the lights that existed in the space, the mood was blah, no depth, no dimension. I got on the scroll wheel of the Alexa and cranked it down to 2700 deg. Kelvin, and Maurice was like “Wow, that looks bangin!!!” Just the simple use of this tool can create a whole other chapter in the way you light.

That rogue employee and no legal action | HD Warrior
Pixel Film Studio lays the blame for their use of another companies footage on a rogue employee: 
“Even though we don’t buy this story, we accept the apology. We will not start any legal action against Pixel Film Studio. Let’s all move on. I hope this article will be a great lesson for everyone.”
Szymon Masiak Motion VFX

How to Clean a Camera Lens Without Damaging the Glass | Evan Luzi
| The Black and Blue
What’s in this video?

  • The best tools and supplies for cleaning lenses
  • How Rosco lens tissue can scratch a lens
  • When you should remove a lens to clean it
  • A dirty Minolta Super 8mm camera
  • And more

The grip relocator is key to making the whole thing work. The Canon original handgrip is moved off the side of the camera and down onto the rig, with a short cable allowing it to control the camera as if it were still attached. I have used the original for a while and truly love it; the new version looks even better for my needs.

1. Networking is Key
Now that you know what you’re looking for, you can try to obtain some of it for free or cheap. The first place to look is within your networks. Check with family and friends who may own video equipment, and ask them to talk to anyone they know who may work with equipment.

In the Can: Days of Gray | Kira Simon-Kennedy and Ani Simon-Kennedy
| Filmmaker Magazine
As it’s probably the case on all indie shoots these days, we could have used a bit more of everything. More people, more time, more money. But in the end, “mo’ money, mo’ problems”, and limitations led to creative problem solving. Everything happened so fast we barely had time for worry, and we were excited to get the ball rolling.

Source Code for Original 1990 Version of Adobe Photoshop Released
| Michael Zhang | Peta Pixel
Starting today, you can download a free and legal copy of Photoshop. That’s right — free and legal. There’s a catch, though: it’s the original 1.0.1 version of the program that was released back in 1990.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Quick Links

Testing the Blackmagic Cinema Camera | Blake | The Martini Shot
You need to use the right camera for each job. And while the BMCC will work in a lot of situations, it wouldn't be ideal in others. I personally feel it's a great fit for medium to low budget commercial work and narrative indie films.  It'll also probably get a lot of work as a B Camera to Alexas on bigger shoots. Documentary or run and gun stuff? Not ideal. 

RED Epic versus Blackmagic Cinema Camera – Part 2 – Resolution and conclusion
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
At 1080p, the Epic still has an advantage in fine detail and how clean the image is – if you think 5K doesn’t make a difference on the web think again! That amount of oversampling makes for a very sharp image relative to the 1080p workhorse cameras such as the Canon C300. BUT – the false colour streaks become a bit more noticeable.Raw on the Blackmagic looks cleaner at 1080p than native 1080p in ProRes on the camera. This is why I prefer to buy a few extra SSDs and shoot raw before converting it to ProRes in post.

Exploring Issues with Infinity Focus and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera
| Joe Marine | No Film School
Some conversations have been appearing recently talking about infinity focus issues with specific lenses and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. One of the biggest offenders so far has been the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, which is one of the few faster wide options for the EF mount BMCC. Unfortunately, it seems that many people have replicated these issues, and a recent video posted online shows just how bad the situation can be.

Scoring Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome | Bear McCreary | YouTube
Tonally, “Blood & Chrome” departs from the heavy political and religious subtext of the previous two series and emphasizes action, adventure, sex and aerial dogfights. The visual palette of the film forgoes “BSG’s” gritty documentary approach in favor of a glossier, brighter and more dynamic look, fitting for the depiction of the military at its peak. Even at my first viewing of the film, I knew that my score had to take the audience on a ride, allowing them to get lost in the adventure.

Samyang 35 mm f/1.4 AS UMC | Robert Olech |
If Samyang is able to launch a 540$ lens which, when it comes to the image quality, is only slightly worse than the Canon 35L, which can compete on equal terms with the Nikkor 1.4/35G and leaves far behind the Sony 1.4/35G; if such a lens is able to correct the lateral chromatic aberration, coma and vignetting the best of all instruments in this group and it is not worse when it comes to the distortion and astigmatism correction, what else could be said here?

Shooting Angels with the Panasonic GH3 in Mexico | Joey Daoud
| Filmmaker Magazine
When the Panasonic GH3 was listed on B&H I did something I had never done before. I pre-ordered a camera, sight unseen. And after returning from a shoot from Juarez, Mexico with it, I don’t regret it one bit.A little more than a year ago I bought the GH2. For the longest time I refused to get on the DSLR bandwagon. I was quite satisfied with my Sony EX1 and its XLR inputs and ability to shoot hours on end. However, even a minimal kit was bulky.

RED Takes Civil Action Against Sony Over Camera Patents | Cinescopophilia
RED claim Sony’s alleged infringing sales of the F65, F55, and F5 cameras are likely to cause irreparable harm to RED, which can not be compensated by damages. Accordingly RED seeks a preliminarily and permanent injunction enjoining Sony Corporation of America and Sony Electronics Inc from making, using offering to sell, and selling the Sony F65, F55 and F5 cameras.

How to make money on violating copyrights! | Szymon Masiak | Motion VFX
One of my Twitter friends, Nate B. sent me a question: "Did Pixel Film Studios straight up resell your dust stock as their own "ProDust?" Ironic that they came out with it days after you guys did." I read the message twice, because I couldn't believe in what I was reading and then I got petrified. I nervously went to their website, watched the promo movie and my blood pressure measurements went through the ceiling.The process of creating such elements is characterised by remembering certain unique elements or moments (e.g. one speck of dust blown by the vacuum cleaner moving in a specific way).

Autodesk Releases 123D Creature, A Tool To Design, Paint, And Print Your Own 3D Monsters | John Biggs | Tech Crunch
As a fan of monsters and 3D printing, in that order, I was intrigued by Autodesk’s new iOS app, 123D Creature. Aimed at beginning 3D modelers, the app allows you to build cute (or scary) monsters right on your screen by pinching, grabbing, and rotating a lump of virtual clay hanging on a skeleton.

Mahout Behind the Scenes | Sony Professional USA | Vimeo
Behind the scenes of "Mahout", a short film produced by Sam Nicholson, ASC, and Stargate Studios and shot on the Sony F55.

The Whangarei Quarry Gardens (New Zealand) | Dennis Murphy | Vimeo
Shot with a Sony FS100. Lenses used: Sony 16mm F2.8, Nikon 50mm F1.4, Nikon 135mm F2.8, Tair 300mm F4.5.
I love how a camera lens can view the world in a completely different way as to how the human eye sees it… the different widths/fields of view, depths of field, the way an out of focus area of a shot can become more interesting than that which is in-focus. The never-ending challenge of juggling the different contributing factors to an image: the composition, point of focus, exposure, shutter-speed, frame rate, how the camera moves, how the light is hitting a subject… whether to isolate or draw attention to the subject in the context of its greater environment. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick Links

Dear Avid Community | Avid
Louis Hernandez replaces Gary Greenfield as Avid president/CEO:
From my perspective, Avid has never been better positioned to deliver products and solutions that help meet your current and future business challenges. Over the past 25 years, Avid has built a strong heritage of industry leadership with the customers who create the most listened to, most watched, and most loved entertainment in the world.

10 Rules for a Successful Interview | Larry Jordan | Blog
1. Who Are You.
Be able to explain what your company does in a single, succinct paragraph. You get BONUS points if you can avoid using words like: “solutions,” any acronym with more than three letters, or hyphenated-techno-speak. If you can’t explain it in English, no one listening will understand you.

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting |
The Academy's Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. Up to five $35,000 Fellowships are awarded annually. The competition has received a record 7,197 entries for 2012.

Film tax credit is doing its job | The Boston Globe
Don Packer of the Massachusetts Production Coalition responds to a column that criticized the MA State Film Tax Credit:
JEFF JACOBY’S use of 2010 figures in his criticism of the state’s film and television production incentive distorts the program’s successful record of encouraging investment in Massachusetts. (“A guaranteed flop,” Op-ed, Feb. 6) In a column arguing against offering a similar incentive for theater producers, Jacoby used data that highlighted a year when the film industry avoided Massachusetts due to proposals to eliminate or cap the film and television production incentive, proposals which, regrettably, are being discussed again this year.

Bower 24mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle Lens for $200 off | B & H PhotoVideo
The Bower 24mm f/1.4 is actually the Samyang lens rebadged and B & H is offering it for $200 off in different mounts. At $499 it's a good deal and I'm sorely tempted (I have the 35mm lens already.) But they now make a Cine version which has "industry-standard gearing for the focus and aperture ring, and the aperture ring has been "declicked" for smooth iris pulls": But the Samyang 24mm T1.5 Cine Lens is still $749.

Sony CineAlta 4k Cameras are now shipping, 0% down, 0% financing | Sony
Canon is offering 0% financing on their C300 and C500, and now Sony is doing the same for the new F5 and F55:
0% down, 0% interest for up to 12 months.* Now, for a limited time order your F series camera and Sony Accessories today and take advantage of no money down and 0% financing.

The Eight Sequences | The Script Lab
A sort of script skeleton:
SEQUENCE ONE - Status Quo & Inciting Incident
Establishes the central character, his/her life, and the status quo and the world of the story. It usually ends with the POINT OF ATTACK or INCITING INCIDENT, but this plot point can sometimes appear earlier in the first few minutes of the film.

Sony Vegas now with Native XAVC editing, SR Codec and more | Community Sony
Support for 2K and 4K editing in Sony Vegas...

The first set of Digital Bolex Lenses | Joe Rubinstein | Digital Bolex
The digital Bolex project continues apace:
You may have heard we are making fixed focus / fixed aperture lenses, this is true, but it’s not the complete truth, because we’re working on a system that will allow these lenses to be focused. This method is completely unique and creates super sharp images with very simple lens structures lowering the cost of the lenses and the overall cost of the system.

Zylight LED Lighting | Michael Sutton | Wide Open Camera
Mike review's two LED lights...they aren't that inexpensive: the IS3 LED Light Kit costs ~$2,200 and the Zylight Z90 LED Light Head costs $985
Why make ZyLight your LED light of choice?  Simply put, in a time of smaller crews, lower budgets, etc ZyLight allows for a scalable set of lighting tools that will save you money and manpower in the short term and long term.  It allows for more creative options that are simply not found in other lights.  Innovations that stand out like a wide spread remote capability, color adjustments, reliability and performance that far exceeds any of the top brands.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reader Questions: FS700, Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 1D?

Reader Varun Gathani added the following comment to the post: The Canon C300 or the Sony FS700?

Hey Guys, I've read what all of you guys have had to say... and I agree with all of valid points made. For me the only two options at this point is either to buy an FS700 or Not! As thats all i can afford right now. However would you guys say its a better option to a Canon 5d Mark 3 or a 1D with its 4K for that matter. I am really confused weather FS 700 is worth investing all my savings into?


One of the most important things to remember is that there is no perfect camera, no one-size-fits-all, and no one 'right' answer that applies to everyone...

That said, if I was trying to decide between the Sony NEX-FS700, the Canon 5D Mark III or the Canon 1D C, I'd pick the NEX-FS700 every time. Why? Because it's a video camera. It has built-in ND filters, good audio monitoring, an LCD that's pretty good for monitoring, XLR audio inputs, and on and on.

I'm not saying the Canon 5D Mark III is a bad choice; there's reasons why you might even prefer that camera. Briefly, it's smaller and more discrete, and it's a full-frame sensor, which provides a slightly different 'look' to the Super35 sensor in the FS700. And if you already have a bunch of Canon L lenses that you like, I can understand why you might like a Canon camera that will work seamlessly with those lens. Finally, you can get a nice image out of the 5D Mark III. For that matter, I’ve also seen great things shot with the T4i. But you have to work harder (no ND, more difficult to monitor, etc.)

You don’t say what you are shooting (what’s the delivery medium; web? TV? Film?) That obviously could alter the decision. I think you can shoot great things with a DSLR, but you have to work harder and they have limitations.

The Canon 1D C is a DSLR as well, admittedly with 4K capabilities. Also, it’s more expensive than the NEX-FS700, so I’m wondering if you really meant that camera? In the US the 1D C is $11,999, which I think is way too much. Do you really need 4K? If you do, you would probably be better served by the NEX-FS700 and the AXS-R5 recorder, which enables 4K recording with the NEX-FS700. In the US, the camera and recorder together will cost you about $13,500.

Now you’ve said that the NEX-FS700 is the most you can afford (which is why we’re not talking about the Canon C300, which was the subject of the original article.) But what about the Canon C100? That’s a little cheaper than the NEX-FS700. There’s pros and cons to both the NEX-FS700 and the C100, which I’m not going to go into here. But if I had an $8,000 budget, those are the two cameras I would be looking at because they are both video cameras, and I’d ignore the DSLRs.

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t justify spending so much, then buy the 5D Mark III.