Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quick Links

When You Find Me – Awesome Canon C300 / 5D Short Film | Paul Joy | Blog
Canon had a competition where they invted people to submit photographs and Ron Howard would shoot a movie based on those pictures. Originally the movie was supposed to be shot on DSLRs, but evidently mush of it was shot on the C300. You can see it on the web at YouTube: Project Imagin8ion
I’ve not seen any details from Canon confirming that camera that were used on the film but it’s widely reported that a prototype of the Canon C300 was the main camera with some HDSLR’s being used as well. I’ll update this post when more info comes to light.

“Sugared Art”, a new short film on the Sony FS100 | Philip Bloom | Blog
Sony hired Philip for this project. You can read about it, and see some BTS footage, though Philip notes he was'nt a very happy camper because he'd put his back out the day before:
Gear wise, obviously the FS100 and Zeiss ZF macro lenses 50mm and 100mm. The Zeiss ZF 50mm and 85mm F1.4 too. I widest lens I used was the Samyang 35mm F1.4. So no wide angles in this piece! Lights were the Litepanel 1x1s. One bi-colour and 1 bi-focus. One Dedo 150. One 2k light blasting through the window for the baking shots. The monitor was my trust TV Logic 5.6″.

First Look at the $10K RED Scarlet X Camera | Jon Snyder | Wired
This isn't a review, just a note that they got their hands on one to review:
The good people at RED came by the office today and gave us a new Scarlet X to mess around with. It takes gorgeous, über-HD video at 4096 x 2160. It’s also their cheapest offering, coming in at around $10k, depending on options.

RED EPIC-X Now Available for Ordering, SCARLET-X Increasing in Price by $2K
| No Film School
Better hurry and order that Scarlet-X; the price is going up!
So, let’s do the math: the Aluminum mount is $500 (you can’t buy it by itself, only as part of a SCARLET package for the time being). The Side SSD Module is $1,500. All told, the SCARLET is effectively going up by $1,950 (you’re no longer getting $2,000 of accessories bundled in the base model, but you save a whopping $50).

Sony A65 first impressions review – documentary shooting evolves | Andrew Reid
That's the A65, not the F65!! And the first half of the article wonders why you'd want to use the camera in the first place:
But still that burning question – why does the A65 deserve a place in your bag when the GH2 is just so damned good? The GH2 is more adaptable to different lenses, it has been hacked into the stratosphere codec wise, it has by far the cleanest image from a stills CMOS sensor, the best image processor in class and the most ‘real’ resolution of any DSLR video offering.

Engadget Primed: Why your camera's sensor size matters | Sean Arbabi | Engadget
An in-depth look at sensors and sensor size, and why - in most cases - size matters:
DxOmark considers 9EVs or less too limiting for image sensors, showing less than smooth gradations between shades and colors below this level. Leaf -- a digital back manufacturer that entered the market in 1992 and partnered with Phase One in 2009 -- claims its latest full frame 53.7 x 40.3mm sensor can cover an "unsurpassed 12 f–stop dynamic range."

10 Tips for the Best Holiday Video | Jennifer O'Rourke | Videomaker
Some tips for those year-end memories you never get around to editing:
Soft twinkle lights and candle-light are everywhere during winter holidays – take advantage of their soft glow to get some artistic cutaways. Pre-focus on the light then shooting from a distance [too close will blow our your shot] slowly zoom in. As you zoom into the light[s] or candle, slowly rack the focus ring to take the shot out of focus, being careful to not jerk the camera. This shot is best done using a tripod.

Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC adopts digital capture on the sci-fi thriller In Time
| American Cinematographer
Article includes interview with Deakins about using the ARRI Alexa for the movie In Time:
“The Alexa is a game-changer,” Deakins maintains. “This moment has been coming for a long time, really, but with the Alexa I believe digital has finally surpassed film in terms of quality. What is quality? It’s really in the eye of the viewer, but to me, the Alexa’s tonal range, color space and latitude exceed the capabilities of film. This is not to say that I don’t still love film — I do. I love its texture and grain, but in terms of speed, resolution and clarity of image, there is no question in my mind that the Alexa produces a better image.

PMW-F3 and Samurai Codec Tests | Ingenious TV | Vimeo
Sample clips posted shot in S-Log:
These are a few test shots done with a PMW-F3. The F3 was set to S-Log. First you will see the shots in their original size with a slight grade/correction effect applied half way through each clip. The colour correction filter used is exactly the same for both the internal recordings and the Samurai recordings. The third set of clips are side by side crops of selected parts of the image where you should be able to clearly see the differences between the images.

The Christmas mini shootout with the C300 (pre-production), F3, FS100, hacked GH2 and more!! | Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip is updating this post as he goes...he's already posted some frame grabs.

Xto7 for Final Cut Pro | Assisted Editing | iTunes
This new Mac App translates the Final Cut Pro X Project XML (fcpxml) and converts it for import into Final Cut Pro 7. The Final Cut Pro X Project becomes a Final Cut Pro 7 Sequence.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Quick Links

14 New Cameras in one year (Part One) | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
The first part of a look back at 14 interesting cameras that were announced this year:
I decided to take the F3 through to Edinburgh one cold January evening to film some low light footage and I was astounded at the footage I brought back, this was indeed the king of low light filming.

Stage 4 - Reservations are now Open | Jarred Land | RedUser
Order an EPIC now and save!
Given the price increase coming in the new year, We are opening up EPIC Stage 4 for deposits today so everyone interested in stage 4 can lock into 2011 Pricing.

We have a few Stage 2 orders to still mop up, so Stage 4 will not start shipping until those have been completed and the process of Stage 3/3.5 has begun . Since Stage 3 and 3.5 have the opportunity to be a lengthy processes ( sending in cameras, inspected, etc. ) Stage 4 orders and Stage 3/3.5 will be shipping in the same time frame.. with Stage 3/3.5 orders given shipping priority.

Ryan Koral of Epic Motion “Shares” Some Valuable Advice | Ron Dawson
| Dare Dreamer
Part of a series of "bite-sized" bits of advice; a short video clip:
Today Ryan Koral of Epic Motion ”shares” some advice that has helped his wedding and event studio become an award-winning studio admired by videographers around the world.

$26,000 OKTOCOPTER Crash with Sony FS-100 Camera From Abel Cine
| ItsNotFlare | YouTube
Moral of the story; be careful who you let fly your camera on an RC plane:
I was looking to hire an R/C Helicopter pilot for something I was shooting when I found this guy. He seemed legitimate - but I was a little concerned about letting him fly my Red Epic Camera - so instead He went and got a Sony FS-100 from Abel Cine in Burbank.

Igus W1080-B Slider Review And Dollarama Bokeh | Benjamin Von Wong
| DIY Photography
A review of the budget Igus slider:
Overall, I have to say that I was rather pleased with the rails: It’s lightweight, easy to transport, very simple to use and simply does the job. I did find it was slightly fragile so I would highly recommend transporting it in a case. In addition, I did notice that there was a slight but distinct noise when sliding the camera around… so if you record audio, that’s definitely something to keep in consideration. That being said, price/quality ratio, I do not know of any system that comes even close to the quality you are getting.

Quality Visual Effects Make Video Advertising Worth Watching | Press Release
GenArts paid for the survey, so the results may not be surprising:
As online video advertising expands, the case study demonstrates that advertisers can use visual effects to differentiate their brands as effectively online as they traditionally have offline. In fact, VFX were shown to drive a 13% increase in downloading a coupon, a 9% lower abandonment rate, and an increase in purchase intent of up to 12%.

Universal has 'Tech News Today' episode yanked from YouTube for reporting on MegaUpload promo video | Nilay Patel | The Verge
Things are getting silly in the new copyright bill debate:
Host Tom Merritt and crew played two clips of the "Mega Song" video while discussing the issue and MegaUpload's pending lawsuit Monday afternoon, which was too much for Universal: it filed a copyright dispute and had the episode pulled from YouTube by Monday night. Never mind that news reporting and commentary are core elements of the traditional fair use analysis, of course — or that no audio from the video was even played during first clip.

Circumventing the Pesky DVD Region Code on Your Mac | Lou Lesko
| Photo Cine News
If you have a Mac, it's been a pain playing DVDs with different country codes, but here's a way around the problem:
VLC is an open source media player that ignores region code on RPC-1 firmware drives making it a region-free player. Unfortunately every time I put a DVD in my laptop, the Mac DVD player would open up and start playing the video or give me a choose a region code message. To get around that I went to my System Preferences in the CD/DVD section and changed the default behavior of the DVD.

On the road again | Ben Eckstein | Blog
Ben writes about a recent trip with some interesting notes on the bags he uses while travelling:
I had 5 bags in total, 3 checked and 2 carry-on (Kata HB 207 backpack with the cameras and lenses, etc, and a laptop bag). My big checked bag is a Kata OC-88 which I can fit lights, stands, and other gear in (and my clothes). The second was the Pelican 1510, which I usually use as an audio case, but I rearranged the dividers to use it for audio, some lenses, and the KiPro Mini and batteries. Third, I had a tripod case with a tripod, boom pole and another light stand. The biggest issue I find is getting my Kata bag to stay under 50lbs.

I Have Been Saying This For Awhile; Why 24FPS? It Sucks | Peter Jackson
| Cinebasics
Peter Jackson stands up for 48 frames per second:
Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok—and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years—but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or “strobe.”

Shooting and projecting at 48 fps does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike, and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3-D. We’ve been watching HOBBIT tests and dailies at 48 fps now for several months, and we often sit through two hours worth of footage without getting any eye strain from the 3-D. It looks great, and we’ve actually become used to it now, to the point that other film experiences look a little primitive. I saw a new movie in the cinema on Sunday and I kept getting distracted by the juddery panning and blurring. We’re getting spoilt!

The Christmas mini shootout with the C300 (pre-production), F3, FS100 and more!! | Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip Plans to do a shootout with the C300 and other cameras this weekend:
C300 of course as it’s the catalyst for this test, F3 (with and without Slog) as this is the best camera in it’s class, the FS100 as it’s the budget F3, the AF101. DSLR wise the 7D for a change rather than the 5DmkII as it has a similar size sensor to Super 35mm, the Gh2 with AVCinta Driftwood hack and the NEX5N.

Critique: Part 2. Turning The Knife On Myself | El Skid | Wide Open Camera
A followup to a previous post about critiquing work, El Skid decides to critique his own work:
Directing and DoP'ing a video yourself is a big ask, and not something I enjoy.] Some of the shots are too hot and you can tell. It’s at its most successful when its handheld, some of the lock off shots are just a little flat. The masks are a blessing and a curse. They give you something very interesting in closeup, but for the performers they take away that vital connection between the performer and what they’re singing. This is particularly bad in the second verse where the video feels like it’s just padding, getting us to the rap verse where we get to see a different phase of the idea.

PluralEyes For Final Cut Pro X Enters Public Beta Stage

Vancouver, British Columbia, December 15, 2011 — Singular Software, a developer of workflow automation applications for video production, is pleased to announce that the PluralEyes for Apple Final Cut Pro X Public Beta is now available. The multi-award winning PluralEyes technology works alongside Final Cut Pro to instantly sync multi-camera video and audio tracks; saving hours of tedious, manual syncing during post.

"We have a large PluralEyes for Final Cut Pro user base, so it was imperative that we added support for the latest release," says Bruce Sharpe, CEO of Singular Software. "Many of our PluralEyes for Final Cut Pro users employ multi-camera and dual-system audio workflows...relying heavily on PluralEyes to facilitate the media sync. Whether editing with Final Cut Pro version 7 or X, we want to ensure our customers enjoy all of the same advanced synchronization capabilities that PluralEyes has to offer.

Final Cut Pro X editors can download the new PluralEyes public beta at When it is released, support for Final Cut Pro X will be a free update for all current users of PluralEyes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

αNEX Cameras:New Firmware Enables Translucent Mirror Adapter Compatibility

Sony has released a firmware update for several NEX series cameras: the NEX-3, NEX-5, NEX-C3 cameras, NEX-VG10 Handycam Camcorder and the Sony NEX-FS100U.

Firmware update 2.0v specifically adds support for the LA-EA2 [$333.05] translucent mirror Lens Mount Adapter
In these cases, the new firmware provides compatibility with the recently launched LA-EA2 translucent mirror Lens Mount Adapter. Prior to this firmware update, the LA-EA2 only worked with the αNEX-5N , NEX-7 and NEX-VG20. We know owners of the previous models were eagerly asking for compatibility to enjoy phase detect autofocus when using one of Sony’s A-mount lenses.
I can't find what it does for the NEX-FS100U (whether this adds the international frame rate support they were promising, though I doubt it) but it does add the focus peaking feature to the NEX-VG10 and the other NEX still cameras. There don't appear to be any other changes.

αNEX Cameras:New Firmware Enables Translucent Mirror Adapter Compatibility | Sony

Blackmagic Design Releases DaVinci Resolve for Windows™ Public Beta

Milpitas, USA - December 15, 2011 - Blackmagic Design today announced DaVinci Resolve 8.2 for Microsoft Windows™ public beta is now available for download. DaVinci Resolve for Windows public beta is available in both the full featured DaVinci Resolve 8.2 and free DaVinci Resolve Lite versions. The DaVinci Resolve 8.2 for Windows license is included with the Mac OS X version, so all current Mac OS X customers automatically get a license for the Windows version, and can download it now to use in their facility.

Read rest of the: Press Release

Quick Links

First look of Canon C-300 | Paul Steinberg | Vimeo
C-300 with Directors Commentary
Paul was lucky enough to borrow a C300 from Canon Canada for a weekend and did some shooting with it. The two clips he has posted are essentially the same, but the second one has a commentary track added.
A couple sensitivity shots at the end of the video including a 20,000 ISO shot.

Details for my fellow nerds; Camera was left in 5400K, Canon Cinema mode | 50Mb/s
Lenses: 15mm f/2.8 fisheye, 17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 300 f/2.8

DSLR Lighting techniques from Eve Hazelton | Eve Hazelton | Philip Bloom Blog
Eve Hazelton, DP of the Underwater Realm, provides an introductory lighting tutorial:
First off – don’t just point a light at your subject and hope that’s enough. You are painting with light here, be a little more subtle! There are a number of problems with this shot – but first off we are going to tackle the lack of contrast between myself and the background…

A R3D Workflow | Chris Marino | Wide Open Camera
A workflow for RED with Premiere. Includes an observation about RED cameras reliability:
It freezes, stalls, crashes, or quits on you in the most unwanted situations. But, when Venus is rising and you have a mild barometric pressure that day, the camera miraculously works like a charm. I had the opportunity to DIT and edit/color a spot this past weekend and would like to share my experience with the workflow I used.

Size Matters: Sky News Beijing Bureau Cmaeraman Andy Portch Reports On A Year With The Panasonic AF101 and GH2 Cameras | Andy Portch | DSLR News Shooter
Andy recounts using these cameras in a number of different settings, and the pros and cons of each:
Shooting a progressive image rather than interlaced looks less newsy. Some prefer this, but I think it makes the footage less ‘real’ for viewers watching our news broadcasts and so for now we have reverted to interlaced shooting. The compact AF101 camera is not suited to every shoot. Long lens stuff is most difficult. I wouldn’t choose it for a live press conference or a shoot over the North Korean border. Juggling lenses is troublesome

INdTV spotlights Rick Macomber & A.T.C. | INd Television | Vimeo
Boston based DP and friend-of-the-blog Rick Macomber gets a nice shout-out from INdTV. They also show the video for group Air Traffic Cotroller which Rick produced at the end of last year: NotesOnVideo: Shooting a Music Video: Air Traffic Controller

Recently in After Effects | Rich Young | ProVideoCoalition
A collection of resources for the After Effect's artist:
Here’s another summary of the last week or so of some news on After Effects tutorials, plug-ins, and scripts—with a new training section on AE Scripts, a new danger in the orange and teal saga, and much more.

Moving Host edit from Final Cut Pro over to Premiere Pro CS5.5 | Danny Lacey | Blog
In this video Danny explains the steps to move a project from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro without using XML:
In this video blog I’ll take you through the various stages I had to go through to transfer the film over. I couldn’t do this via the usual (and easier) route of XML, for technical reasons, so had to go about it in a slightly different way.
1. Setting up the Final Cut Pro timeline ready for export (video and audio)
2. Exporting the EDL and AIFF files
3. Getting Adobe project ready for import
4. Importing the EDL and AIFF (Audio) files
5. Linking the EDL with the R3D 5K video on the Premiere timeline

Wisdom for Editors from Leading Post-Production Professionals | Danny Greer
| Premiumbeat
Using Twitter, Danny asked others for advice for new or aspiring editors. He then assembled the advice into several categories (Client Relationships, Organization, Storytelling and more):
@Philiphodgetts If you don’t understand: ask! Don’t assume anything – confirm you’ve understood correctly.
@ericosterberg Be someone people can sit in a room with for 10 or 15 hours at a time and you’ll get many freelance calls.

Blackmagic Design Announces New Teranex Prices | Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic just bought Teranex, and now they have announced a huge price drop (from $70,000!) for the Teranex VC100. I still can't afford it; whatever it does!
Orlando, Florida, USA - December 13, 2011 - Blackmagic Design ( today announced new prices for its Teranex VC100 dual channel video processor, now at US$19,995.

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.0.4 | Digital Rebellion
This tool for "cleaning up" Final Cut Pro and other NLE files, has been updated. This release added support for Avid Media Composer 6:
The suite contains tools to repair corrupt QuickTime movies, locate corrupt clips within a timeline, diagnose crash logs, manage plugins, repair Final Cut Pro projects, manage autosaves, salvage movie data from corrupt files, and much more.

Loud Television Commercials to Be Limited on Vote by U.S. FCC | Todd Shields
| Bloomberg Businessweek
The FCC brings in regulations against loud commercials; though as someone observed; they'll just find another way to be annoying:
The regulations affecting television broadcasters, cable and satellite companies cleared the commission today on a 4-0 vote at the agency’s monthly meeting in Washington. Commercials can’t be louder than surrounding programming under the rules.

New USB Card Readers Make Transferring Large Amounts of Data a Snap
| Richard Ober | Videomaker
Verbatim releases new card readers, some supporting USB 3.0:
These new readers support a wide variety of memory card formats and are 100% compatible with all USB ports. Verbatim indicates that the USB 3.0 device delivers transfer speeds of up to 5GB/second, while the USB 2.0 version transfers data at a rate of up to 480MB/second.

Sony NEX-7 In-Depth Review | Andy Westlake | DPReview
A pretty positive review of Sony's new NEX-7:
In the flesh, it lives up to almost all of that initial promise. The EVF is excellent, stills image and video quality both superb, and the handling is remarkably good for such a small camera. The use of three dials to control each of the main exposure parameters makes so much sense that it seems odd no-one's done it quite like this before. The fact that these dials can also be used to change a wide range of other settings, cycled through by pressing a button on the top plate, borders on genius. In fact the NEX-7 is so good in so many respects that any criticism almost feels like nit-picking. It's not perfect, but then again no camera is, and its imperfections can generally be overcome.

Behind The Lens: Steven Fierberg, A.S.C. | Debra Kaufman | Creative COW
A look at how Steven got into the business. Includes some useful tips about green screens:
I learned a lot about doing greenscreen when it was on film and had to be perfect, and used that knowledge on Once Upon a Time. Covering up areas of green that aren't in the shot is crucial because green spill is the worst obstacle to a successful greenscreen composite. For the same reason, you want to make the greenscreen as dark as it can possibly be and still be able to pull a matte. As I'd done on other movies, for Once Upon a Time I shot extensive tests of different exposure levels and determined the lowest possible level that would still allow the VFX people to pull a clean matte.

Cutting Yourself Out of a Corner | FilmakerIQ
Several clips from a EditFest NY panel with film editors Thelma Schoonmaker, Mark Livolsi, Sabrina Plisco, David Salter, and Allan Title. They discuss how they solved problems in editing projects:
In Part I, Thelma Schoonmaker discusses her experiences in editing an improvisational scene from “Raging Bull.”

The Explanation for Quantum of Solace from Daniel Craig | Lou Lesko
Photocine News
I always wondered why Quantum of Solace was so bad compared to Casino Royale. Turns out they lost their writers...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Links

F65: Hands On Review | Steve Marshall | FearSomeSteve
Despite initial skepticism about Sony's past offerings, Steve seems impressed by what he saw of the F65 at a recent demo event:
Only time will tell but I think the F65 is going to catch on big time. It’s workflows will appeal to TV shows and feature films alike. It’s price point is low enough to attract a number of owner-operators, albeit not as many as RED. The 8k sensor at the heart of it seems to produce really good, clear images (from what I’ve seen). They definitely have some traction in the true 4k argument. I’d really like to see Epic and F65 footage side by side. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some comparison tests in the new year.

Canon EOS C300 at BBC Scotland…First Impressions | Philip Jonhston | HD Warrior
Philip's impressions of the C300 after seeing it at a demo event:
We also had a chance to see the iPad working with the C300 now here is my dilemma, it looks the business but has a small delay in transmission making your moving shots staccato, personally for the extra £950 for the Wi-Fi dongle I love the concept but feel its a lot of money for a non realtime image.
And if you're in Boston, make sure you check out the previous post about an upcoming event on January 5th at Rule Boston Camera featuring the C300.

RED SCRALET X - First Review & Impressions Part I | Tonaci Tran | Blog
A blog on using the Scarlet X, though this first part mainly addresses the recent reliability concerns (and has some sample images and video):
There are literally thousands and thousands of Red Cameras working day in and day out without any problems. This is not to say there are never any problems with the cameras…sure there is. This is the nature of electronic devices. Canon 5ds go bad too, right? (My friend sent his in for repair last week.) What I can tell you is that Red staff have gone above and beyond to help me whenever I have questions or issues. I'm positive that thousands of owners will share similar experiences with me on that.

Behind the Scenes on an EPIC Short Film, 'Cannis Belli' | Robin Schmidt a.k.a. El Skid | No FIlm School
Yesterday Robin had an article about living with the Sony NEX-FS100 on Wide Open Camera, and today he has the first in what appears to be a series about shooting a short film with the Red EPIC. The first article doesn't have much about the camera itself; more about why he decided to work on this film:
While the blogotwitosphere was declaring war on itself over which camera was bestest, we were going to war producing a film about war, on the camera everyone is now keen to get close to: the Epic. Suffice it to say, our interest in what the Epic could offer us was more than a little spiced up by these announcements.

Anatomy of a Steadicam/Segway "step off" shot | Pedro Guimaraes | YouTube
A cool little BTS video showing shooting using a Segway, and "stepping off" the Segway in mid shot.

DaVinci Resolve 8.2 Beta 1 for Mac | Blackmagic Design
The latest Beta of Resolve adds support for the Canon C300.

Handling the new GH2 25p footage and FAQ | EOSHD
A new "official" firmware update that adds a high bitrate 25p or 30p depending on PAL or US support.
Yes. Panasonic seem to have quietly accepted the hack as ‘a good thing’ so they have not encrypted the new firmware or attempted to block the hack this time. If you install the official V1.1 firmware but then want to go back to the high bitrates of Vitaliy’s hack you can use PTools as normal to put V1.0E back on the camera.

NVIDIA Maximus and Premiere Pro CS5.52 | Dennis Radeke | Adobe Blogs
Adobe now supports NVIDIA's Maximus; a Quadro card combined with a Tesla card (a Quadro card without the display outputs.) Performance for some things - like scrubbing AVCHD - is 'Incredible," but the cards start at about $2,000:
What I’d like to see is NVIDIA and Adobe working together to certify other Maximus combinations that are more affordable to a broad set of Premiere Pro users. Give me a Quadro 4000 + C2050 or something similar. I’d love for Adobe users to have a $800 investment in a NVIDIA card and then be able to double it and get a significant boost in performance.

Producing 3D for TV and the Challenges | Jay Ankeney | TV Technology
Profile of production company Vertical Ascent producing 3D documentaries with the Panasonic AG-3DA1:
Among the lessons editor MacGowan and producer/editor Kennedy have learned from this series so far is that you can't cut as quickly in 3D as you can in 2D; wide shots can tell their own story and should be allowed to linger; and it is best to limit the amount of images that pop out of the screen in what is called "negative space."

Sol Negrin, ASC | David Heuring | American Society of Cinematographers
Sol Negrin will be receiving the Society of Camera Operators' Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to the Industry. You can read a profile of Sol, who received the Presidents Award in 2010 here:
“I had an adviser who asked whether I had an avocation,” Negrin recalls. “I told him I liked photography, and he suggested I pursue that. It was good advice. I passed the exam for the High School of Industrial Arts [now the High School of Art and Design], showed some of my artwork and got in. It was the only school at that time that taught both still photography and filmmaking, and I gravitated to the film work. I shot short films for the school, which had a lot of Army surplus equipment, including 16mm Cine Special cameras.”

Canon 5D Mark II $1,999.95

The link in yesterday's post was botched, and also the price has dropped another $40 (so just as well you didn't buy it yesterday!) but B & H is currently selling the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera (Body Only)  at $1,999.95. (Note: this site is a B&H affiliate.)

Will it drop further? Does this mean a 5D Mark III is coming soon? I don't know! I doubt it means the Mark III will be announced for CES, but it seems likely that something will appear next year...surely?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sony F65 and Canon C300 in Boston in January

Looks like the fun just continues next month. Rule Boston Camera is going to be hosting two great Pub Nights:

Jan 5th, 6-8pn Canon EOS C300 Pub Night (Beer & Pizza)
Jan 25th, 6-8pn Sony F65: True 4k and Beyond Pub Night (Beer & Pizza)


Quick Links

Sony Steps Up Manufacturing After Pre-Orders Land F65 4K Camera in U.S. Top 200 | Carolyn Giardina | Hollywood Reporter
If you thought the Canon C300 was expensive, then don't even look at this baby, which costs $65,000:
Sony plans to begin shipping the camera to customers in early January and started to take pre-orders in September.
Kanemura said US-based resellers of the F65 would include AbelCine, BandPro and Rule Boston Camera.

Sony's F65 Camera Get First Shoulder Rig | HD Magazine
SHAPE of Canada has developed a shoulder rig for the F65; how much does that thing weigh? - 35 pounds!
There's a short teaser video: SHɅPE WORLD PREMIERE F65 TEASER | SHAPE | Vimeo

THE SONY FS100: A LIVED IN REVIEW | El Skid | Wide Open Camera
After spending some months with the NEX-FS100, El Skid offers his thoughts:
It really is that kind of camera, on the one hand infuriating, on the other hand, just brilliant. Funnily enough though, all those reasons that bugged the hell out of me when I first got the camera, don’t bother me at all now. I’ve just got used to them, the same way we all did with those posed by DSLRs. You find solutions to the problems, and while they’re not always the most elegant, they get you through.

Director David Cronenberg on Working with Actors | AFI | YouTube
In a clip from a recent AFI Harold Lloyd Master Seminar Director David Cronenberg talks about working with actors.
"I leave them alone, the actors. That really is good. Get good actors and let them be good."

Where Is Thunderbolt? | Larry Jordan | Blog
Another report on how Thunderbolt peripherals haven't yet lived up to expectations/hopes:
Basically, Thunderbolt was released to the market too early. Thunderbolt requires not just one chip from Intel, but a master chip and a variety of supporting chips to be able to handle all the signal processing.

The first problem was that there was a shortage of both the master chip and the supporting chips.
There's a discussion thread on the topic at Creative COW: Why Thunderbolt drives are taking so long to come to market - Larry Jordan explains

Some Magic Bullet Goodies, Just in Time for the Holidays | Andrew Cheyne
| Red Giant
Updates to PhotoLooks 1.5.2, Looks 2.0.4, Colorista II 1.0.5, and Grinder 1.5.1:
The elves at Red Giant have been merrily working away on some updates to the Magic Bullet Suite, checking a few items off our lists to try and ensure your latest film project doesn’t end up looking like a lump of coal. This will also be the first Magic Bullet Suite installer that will not contain Denoiser 1.0 (more below).
The Ultimate Secret Santa: Red Giant is also having a sale sometime this week:
During the week of December 12-16, 2011, we are running a very big sale... a Secret Sale. This Secret Sale will last ONE DAY ONLY.
We are not yet revealing the particular day and what is included -- that's why it's a secret! You can check our home page each day beginning Monday, Dec 12. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for details. Or look for a newsletter next week with the Secret Coupon Code inside.

Is the Camera Department Right for You? | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
A video (with transcription) of all the reasons why you might not want to work in the camera department of the film industry:
When you’re working in the camera department, you don’t get a lot of free time or a lot of breaks. You’re pretty much gonna show up, you’re gonna be one of the first people on set, and while everybody else is having breakfast, you’re probably just gonna grab something to go, and eat it while you’re building the camera. Then you’re gonna work all the way until lunch — you’ll get your lunch break. And then you’ll work all the way until wrap.

RedRock Micro's MicroTape Review | Kyle Wullschleger | RedUser
A short - but to the point - review of Redrock Micro's Microtape [$795], the new digital tape measure:
My review -

It works!

That is all.

An IQ Interview with Philip Bloom (the Wrap) | FilmmakerIQ
Audio podcast with Philip Bloom that cover's several topics:
FilmmakerIQ’s John Hess sits down with Philip Bloom, one of the internet’s leading sources for digital cinematography. We chat about what cameras to consider, the Red Scarlet X and his decision to withdraw his order, his career and what advice he has to give to aspiring filmmakers.

If IKEA made a Steadicam then this World Be It: The Stead i Cam | Cinescopophilia
Another budget steadicam, this one is a very intriguing design for a stabilizer; though it appears you need a laser-cutter to really do a good job.
The design, in Adobe Illustrator format, is available here: STEAD I CAM OFFICIALLY OPEN SOURCE!

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera (Body Only) | B & H PhotoVideo
B & H, and others, are selling the 5D Mark II at discounted prices; at the moment it's $2,039.00

Panasonic announces pricing/availability of HDC-Z10000 compact, twin-lens 2D/3D handheld camcorder

SECAUCUS, NJ (December 12, 2011) – Panasonic today announced pricing and availability for its latest professional 3D camcorder, the HDC-Z10000, delivering in December at a suggested list price of $3500. The Z1000 achieves the industry’s nearest close-up of approximately 17.7 inches (45cm) for a twin-lens 3D camcorder, while maintaining an equivalent 32mm wide angle of view. It records close-up images that would be conventionally difficult to capture in crisp detail.

The Z10000 is Panasonic’s first integrated twin-lens 2D/3D camcorder that is fully compatible with the AVCHD 3D/Progressive standard. Based on the AVCHD format, which offers high quality, efficient compression and excellent compatibility, this new standard has been upgraded to AVCHD 3D, which uses MVC (Multiview Video Coding) to record and play 3D images via the Frame Sequential Method (each frame is full resolution). AVCHD 3D/Progressive is the latest format in the 3D domain and assures frame-by-frame beautiful results.

Press Release: Panasonic

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick Links

BTS Of Reverse Parthenogenesis | Wide Open Camera | YouTube
A short video where Jared Abrams shows the lighting setup they are using for a scene.

Phantom Flex Test Shot - 2000 FPS - ISO 1250 | Tom Guilmette | Vimeo
Tom has posted a very short video shot with the Phantom. at 2,000 fps. The explanation is well worth reading:
The set we were on was huge. That meant a large area had to be lit. I asked the DP to use large wattage lamps to avoid 60 Hz flicker in the high speed footage. I also wanted plenty of room to work. Even in front of the key source.

We had a 3 ton grip truck. The main key source were two nine lights camera right through silk. The fill was camera left and consisted of a 5k and 2k through silk.

An EF 70-200 f/4L IS II in Mid January? [CR1]
EF 35 f/1.4L II & EF 24-70 f/2.8L II | CanonRumors
There are reports that Canon will be updating several lenses in the springtime. You just have to wait until CES to find out (CES runs January 10 - 13) I'm most interesting in the 70-200 f/4L IS II:
  • It will include a newer version of the Canon fluorine coating reducing light scatter within the lens.
  • The new coating will drastically increase the scratch resistance on the front element.
  • The lens will be fully metal, besides the zoom and focus rings.
Of course, these lenses will more than likely be more expensive than the current versions, and for video, some of the advancements may not really be needed, maybe it would be better to get the current version: EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens [$1,131.00 with rebate through Jan 7]

Mobislyder Test Clips | Glidetrack | Vimeo
A video shot with the Mobislyder; the inexpensive slider for the iPhone or other small camera. This was evidently shot with a Canon SX200is. Pretty impressive...

DIY HDSLR automated timelapse and slider rig from Greg Royar | Planet5D
Another automated slider based on a DryLin Igus slider (NOTE: the model he used is currently unavailable.)
I decided I wanted to make an automated slider/timelapse rig, but didn’t want to pay the hefty cost that some of the manufacturers charge. I did some reasearch and found all the parts I would need to create my own. Here is a list of parts you will need if you decide that you want to make your own as well.

Thunderbolt devices are still irritatingly thin on the ground | Richard Gaywood
A look at the small number of Thunderbolt devices, and their relative expense. The picture doesn't look too rosy for rapid price drops:
None of these are remotely mainstream devices. The 2 TB LaCie disk is almost twice the price of an equivalent eSATA/Firewire model, at $329, which will be just as fast using eSATA as it is Thunderbolt.

Philip Bloom wants a Canon C300 for Christmas | RockySmokey | Vimeo
Okay, this is just crazy! Santa made Philip Bloom a special video.

The Case of Philip Bloom.. | Jim Jannard | RedUser
Looks like Santa had already given Philip one present: the whole Philip Bloom / RED Epic saga ends with Jim calling off the fanboys:
I guess everyone makes mistakes... this one was mine.
A lot has been posted about this so I thought I would clarify from our perspective.
This situation is my fault... no one else's. My apology was offered to Philip and apparently accepted.
Philip has returned his EPIC and cancelled his Scarlet order.
We will not allow any disrespectful posts here on Reduser about Philip or anyone else...

Jagged Edges w/ CS5.5, FS100 1080p30 | Brandon Vincent | DVX User
Brandon is having problems with NEX-FS100 footage in Premiere. Premiere seems to think it's interlaced, not progressive:
so after doing a little digging in some other threads on this board, I found someone else running into this problem with Premiere as well. It's interpreting the .mts files straight from the camera with an Upper Field First for some reason. When you go to the clip and choose Modify -> Interpret Footage it verifies this. This is clearly wrong and I can't figure out how to make it default to what it SHOULD be.

Videomaker's Best Video Products of the Year 2011 | Videomaker
Feel free to disagree with Videomaker's best-of list for 2011 (that's why they make lists like these!):
Most Groundbreaking Camcorder: Sony NEX-FS100
BEST Professional Camcorder: Canon XF300
BEST DSLR: Nikon D7000
BEST Advanced Editing Software: Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11

Fun Facts and Dates in Digital Editing ‘Firsts’ | Ashley Kennedy | PremiumBeat
A history of digital editing; make sure you also read the comments for some additional information:
1985: Quantel released The “Harry.” The Harry was the first all-digital video editing and effects compositing system. Due to technical limitations, it could record and apply effects to a maximum of 80 seconds of 8-bit uncompressed digital video.

Do You Recognize These 10 Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking? | Brian Clark
| copyblogger
Some useful tips/warnings for if you're finding it difficult to start that project:
9. Being Wrong is Bad
We hate being wrong, and yet mistakes often teach us the most. Thomas Edison was wrong 1,800 times before getting the light bulb right. Edison’s greatest strength was that he was not afraid to be wrong.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In Support of 3D?

In a recent post I Don’t Hate Stereoscopic Films, Alexis Van Hurkman makea an interesting defense of 3D films. Firstly, he takes apart the argument that 3D adds nothing to narrative story telling by wondering what cinemascope adds to narrative:
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t cinematic advantages to be mined from the different shot compositions that widescreen allows. However, plenty of spectacular films have been made without it...
Then acknowledging there are good examples (Hugo) and bad (Clash of the Titans) of 3D, he also lists the drawbacks:
I’ll be the first to say that the reduced light output in projected 3D venues is depressing, and the reduced and shifted color that results saddens my colorist’s eye. Similarly, I don’t wear glasses in my everyday life, and I’m not terribly thrilled at having something sitting on the bridge of my nose in the theater.
But then he gets to the most interesting argument:
Rudolph Arnheim, an early film critic and theorist, was a well-documented opponent of synchronized sound/dialog in film, believing it to push cinema towards an undesirable level of realism, defeating the symbolism that a more purely visual cinema manifested.
He goes on to argue that other film technologies, including sound and color, had their neigh-syers too (and look how wrong they were.)

There's nothing worse than being wrong in the face of advancing technology, and who among us hasn't thought or said some new gadget or technology would never be popular, only to be proved wrong? But - and this may be surprising - I wasn't around when sound and color were introduced, yet while I'm sure there were those who questioned these advances, was the public as ambivalent about "the Talkies" as they seem to be about 3D? And don't forget that 3D is currently on it's third revival; I don't think they brought out sound in movies, didn't get it quite right, and tried again twenty years later.

So I'm not convinced by stories of those that questioned sound and color. I am moved by his anecdote about an 11 year-old that saw the movie "Up" in 3D, then in 2D, and then in 3D again:
At the first and third showing, she was so emotionally involved that she cried. At the second, while she still enjoyed the film, she didn’t.
If 3D creates a heightened emotional experience for viewers, then it will be a success. Oddly, this is the first time I've heard someone suggest that it can. I have heard before that younger audiences seem to be more enamored with 3D than older viewers. So perhaps I can't really even judge the effectiveness of 3D.

If you're interested in 3D production, check out this article (listed in the comments section of Alexis' article) Cutting in the Third Dimension by Gordon Burkell of

Quick Links

F3 - C300 - 1D side by side | Mario Feil | Vimeo
Mario posts another short video featuring the Canon C300, this time showing how it compares to other cameras shooting some different scenes.
We put up a simply light setup, didn't change anything and just switched the cameras.
1Dmk4 - Cinestyle
C300 - Canon Log
F3 - basic PP
You can also now download some of the MXF files from Nino Leitner's article: UPDATE – MXF files available for download!

Philip Bloom, Seeing RED! | Steve Hall | Blog
Philip's return of his RED Epic continues to percolate around the web:
He does not have a C300(yet) and he only had a brief look at the camera in a coffee shop. so to say that he is promoting it is crazy (I read this on the gh2 hack forum )
If canon wanted him to promote their camera, wouldn’t the logical thing be to ask him to make one of the short films for its big release????

Clean those Adobe Media Cache Files | Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
If you're not careful, Premiere can fill up your disk space with work files:
While cleaning and preparing my system drive for a backup recently I was looking through the great visual disk management application DaisyDisk and I saw a big chunk of files on my boot drive in an Adobe folder called Media Cache Files.

Tom Guilmette | Twitter
Tom Guilmette tweeted this: Classic one-liner... Lighting director to director of photography:
"so how many suns are on this planet of yours?
 ...feel free to use that.

Sony F65 iPad Control | Post Magazine | Lockerz
A picture of the iPad app for the Sony F65 uploaded by Post Magazine.

Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Pro HDSLR Viewfinder Review | Videomaker | Mark Holder
A positive review of the Zacuto EVF:
The future of the Z-Finder EVF Pro looks very bright indeed. It solves one of the greatest deficiencies in today's HDSLRs by providing a small frame, high-resolution remote monitor with a plethora of focusing, exposure and other professional features, while at the same time getting it off the camera where it can be easily used regardless of how and where it is mounted.

Smoke for Final Cut Pro Users | Grant Kay | ProVideoCoalition
A short introduction to getting started with Autodesk Smoke, by a Smoke trainer, with a link to additional material:
To introduce FCP users to Smoke, I recently partnered with Rick Young of to produce a series of blog posts specifically designed to give FCP editors an overview of Smoke in familiar terms. While I can’t promise that watching these videos will have you moving around Smoke as quickly as you do Final Cut Pro 7, you should end up with a better understanding of what Smoke is and how its capabilities compare to your current FCP workflow.

RED Scarlet X Rentals Now Available! (PL Mount) | TJR FIlms
A rental package for the Scarlet-X costing $645 a day. That's probably about what you'd pay for a Sony PMW-F3 (depending on what accessories you wanted.)

DVTV: Kessler Crane Tour, Beachtek DXA-5Da Review | Tony Reale | NextWaveDV
A video program looks at Kessler and the Beachtek DXA-5Da [$219.95]:
This week we take a tour of Kessler Crane‘s headquarters with Eric Kessler and Chris Beller. Together they show us how Kessler Crane started and some new gear they are working on including the Stealth Slider and Fusion Motion Control System. Then we review the Beachtek DXA-5Da audio adapter for DSLR video.

Boston startups driving the future of web video innovation, despite the incumbents | Kyle Psaty | Boston Globe
YouTube just introduced advanced analytics, but here's a look at two companies that have already been offering similar features:
"For example, one of the most blogged-about new features on YouTube -- “audience retention reporting,” which shows where viewers get bored -- solves a problem Wistia solved for its clients long ago; they called it "video heat mapping" when the service launched in August 2009. Brightcove launched its own analytics module, which included a similar tool, a week later and had clearly been working on the problem simultaneously."

Creating Subtitles with Sony Vegas | montagical | YouTube
A video tutorial showing how to create subtitles in Sony Vegas.

Free Yellow Submarine Book | iTunes
Apple has released a new interactive book; The Beatles Yellow Submarine. It includes animations and a read-aloud function. Performance is a bit iffy - at least on my iPad 1 - but it is pretty. Get a copy if you have kids!