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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quick Links

Canon C300 News Roundup
First the Good News:
EOS C300 receives coveted broadcaster approval | Canon Europe
The C300 receives the BBC's stamp of approval:
Canon has announced that the groundbreaking EOS C300, the first camera in Canon’s Cinema EOS System, has met the standards the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) requires from cameras tested to the European Broadcasting Union’s recommendation EBU R118 for High Definition TV production.


CANON C300: Trimming White Balance, Plus a Look at Daylight vs. Tungsten Color | Art Adams
This may not seem completely good news; it's an article about how the C300 white balance isn't totally "white," but it offers some tips to address this:
This isn’t unusual at all. A lot of cameras do this. Even the Arri Alexa white balances cyan, which is why I use it primarly on preset—and even then I have to pull some green out of the image to suit my taste. (For daylight I use 5600K CC-3 preset, and under tungsten light I use 3200K CC-2.) The Sony F3 is notorious for white balancing with a cold green cast, and I regularly warm it up by white balancing through 1/4 CTB and 1/8 plus green gel. The Sony EX1 and EX3 are similar, although not quite as bad.

Now, the Bad News:
C300 Aliased Fringe – Not so Awesome? | Paul Antico | NextWaveDV
Paul Antico writes about the color fringing problem with the C300:
However Paul Joy, a friend of mine in England, contacted Twitter about an issue that he had seen. I responded. He mentioned that he saw fairly bad green/pink and pixelated blocks that shimmer along hard contrast edges like the one I just mentioned. This info in hand, I took my C300 out and try to create the problem. And low and behold, I was able to do so, mostly by intentionally overexposing my subject and keeping it focused at the same time.

Defects in a Large Sensor Video Camera: Purple and Green Fringing on the Canon C300 | Joe Marine | No Film School
Joe Marine follows up:
It’s definitely not chromatic aberration, because it’s been shown to happen regardless of the lens (and it’s very clearly solid blocks instead of a smooth green or purple gradient on highlight edges). It seems to only be appearing on highly overexposed areas of the image – and not anywhere else.


The Rest Of The News

Canon and the h.264 encoding profile | William Patin | Blog
Interesting blog that speculates that Canon's DSLR lower quality image problems may be to do with encoding:
when it comes to h.264 encoding, there are huge differences from software to software and there are even more parameters influencing the encoding quality in the background of most GUIs. So what could be the issue for the poor output quality of Canon DSLRs? The answer seems quite simple to me: it’s the h.264 profile.


*UPDATED* 5D Mark III Issue with EF 200 f/2L IS Official Canon Response
| CanonRumors
Two Canon lenses, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.0 L IS USM Lens and the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM Lens, have problems with the Mark III. Canon has an official announcement:
“We have acknowledged that when using the camera with specific lenses, there is an abnormal noise during IS operation when the shutter button is pressed halfway (or remains pressed halfway), and we are now considering the countermeasures. We will let you know about the countermeasures as soon as they are finalized”


MacBreak Studio - Episode #158: DaVinci Resolve Part 1 | YouTube
I said I should do more with DaVinci Resolve the other day, maybe I should watch this...
Steve Martin is joined by special guest, Alexis Van Hurkman, to show Steve how to get started and navigate through Blackmagic Design's color grading software, DaVinci Resolve.


FCP X: Improving Performance | Larry Jordan | Blog
Final Cut Pro X performance tips article has recently been updated:
Another issue that affects performance is your graphics card. Earlier versions of Final Cut were totally dependent upon the speed of the CPU. Final Cut Pro X changed that by tightly integrating the graphics chip with video editing.
Don Smith pointed this out recently to me, when a reader complained of very slow performance on his MacBook Pro.


Help Desk: LUTs, Looks And Scene Files; What’s the difference? | Andy Shipsides
| HDVideoPro
Andy outlines the differences between these things:
LUT is an acronym for lookup table, which in computer science is a data structure used to replace a computation. In other words, a lookup table is a defined set of data that's used instead of actually doing much processing. In the video world, a lookup table does much the same thing; it's a set of data offsets that, when applied to an image, will alter it in some way.


Taiwan market: HDD prices expected to drop at end of April
| Ocean Chen, Taipei; Jackie Chang | DIGITIMES
Hard drive prices may soon come down:
Retail channels of HDDs in the Taiwan market will lower prices by about 10% at the end of April in order to adjust inventories and promote sales. Pricing for a 3.5-inch 500GB model is expected to drop from NT$2,200 (US$75) currently to below NT$2,000, according to industry sources.


Choosing Between Making Money and Doing What You Love
| Leonard A. Schlesinger, et.al. | Harvard Business Review
Leonard A. Schlesinger, the president of Babson College, Charles F. Kiefer president of Innovation Associates, and Paul B. Brown, a long-time contributor to the New York Times tell you why you should be happy in what you do:
Based on the research we did for our book, we're convinced that when you're heading into the unknown, desire is all-important. You simply want to be doing something that you love, or something that is logically going to lead to something you love, in order to do your best work. That desire will make you more creative and more resourceful, and will help you get further faster.


Why Film School Isn’t as Bad as You Think (But Still Not Required for a Career)
| Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
It's that time of year when high school seniors are deciding what to do next:
I think film schools tend to get a bad rep online and in the blogosphere because so many of the filmmakers who end up at a keyboard are doing it without going through that system. As a result, they equate their ability to be successful without film school as it having no value for anybody.
But what they fail to recognize is that for some (not all, but some), it’s their yellow brick road to the emerald city of Hollywood.


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Friday, March 30, 2012

Quick Links

Canon Rumors. Possible 4K HDSLR. Why I’m Not Buying A 5D3 Just Yet
| Jared Abrams | WideOpenCamera
Repeat after me: "there will always be a better camera in the future." Though I will admit that the time between releases seems to be accelerating. Jared explains why he isn't buying a camera right now:
Canon Rumors is reporting a possible 4K DSLR from Canon on April 16th at NAB 2012. There is also another event on the 15th. Two big announcements from Canon on the heels of the new 5D3 makes me want to wait and see what will be shown at NAB. I also think we may see a 4K camera from Sony.


Hustle: Color Grading Canon C300 Footage | Chris Portal | Blog
Chris blogs about the other half of this weeks presentation at the Boston Creative Pro Users Group:
The whole color grading process took a total of 7-8 hours over the span of 2 days. Having worked with 5D, 7D, Alexa, Red, 16mm, 35mm, and now C300 footage, Rob described the C300 footage as having significantly more latitude compared to the 5D and 7D. For example, keying the C300 held up in cases where 5D and 7D footage would have quickly torn and become pixelated. In general, Rob described his color grading process in 2 parts:


WARNING: Don't hot-swap lenses | CanonEOSUser Forum
Interesting warning about hot swapping lenses on the C300; but theres no information about where it's coming from; officially from Canon? A user had a problem? This is not something I've heard of with Canon DSLR's, so I wonder why the C300 would be troubled by it:
When changing glass on your C300, be certain to turn the camera off. Otherwise, cross-contact connection may occur, causing a short and blowing a fuse. This is more likely with 3rd party lenses, but the camera should be turned off with every lens exchange, Canon glass or not.
UPDATE: It appears the manual contains this warning!



Filming a web commercial with the Canon C300 | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip continues to post short notes about his experiences with the C300:
I discovered the on board mic holder to be a real pain, the holder itself being totally non standard, in other words the diameter is far bigger than it should be causing major problems with all my short shotgun mics as they are far too thin and need bulking up to fit in the holder.
This does not apply to PL mount cameras as there are no electric contacts in play.


Canon 5D Mark III vs. 5D Mark II Video Test: Moiré, Rolling Shutter, Dynamic Range, High ISO | Nathan Lee Bush | Adorama Rentals
Some video tests to compare:
  • moiré patterns
  • rolling shutter (the dreaded “jello effect”) during pans
  • high ISO performance
  • a high contrast scene to test dynamic range


Workflow: Green Screen Tutorial | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent talks about shooting green screen shots, often impromptu using the RED and a handy little green screen:
Enter the Chroma Pop, a 5 ft. x 7ft. green screens that folds up like a reflector (or blue on the opposite side). We didn’t have any huge lights laying around, and so thanks to the portability of the green screen, we headed outside and used the sun. To achieve the most even light possible, we put the back of the green screen to the sun and used the ambient daylight to fill the green screen. We pulled the subject (Marcus) away from the screen so that he was catching some of the sun as a backlight as well. This gave us a little extra separation between him and the green screen, as well as an overall more pleasant image.


Why Switch to Adobe Premiere Pro? Ask the Oscar Winners | StudioDaily
In this - ad? - Adobe customers explain why they use Adobe products:
According to Jacob Rosenberg, partner, chief technology officer, and post producer of Bandito Brothers, “With Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium, we can simplify everyday tasks with small changes that make a big difference. From the ability to work tapelessly with DSLR formats to DPX output straight from Adobe Premiere Pro through the Adobe Media Encoder,

Adobe has made every step from ingest to output more streamlined.”

Adobe Audition CS6 Sneak Peek | Adobe
...And you better get saving those upgrade fees; Adobe is showing lots of previews of CS6, so it must be coming soon!





What will Sony announce at NAB?

Hot news for those waiting for NAB announcements; the Sony leaks have started appearing!

EOSHD reports: The Sony NEX FS700 – 4K for $8k
At NAB 2012 next month, Sony will shake the digital cinema market to its core. Sony’s answer to the C300 is a 4K Super 35mm update to the FS100. It will be available in June for a provisional $8000.

My source (based in Taiwan) says that the FS700 does 4K via 3G HD-SDI to an external recorder. The FS700 is said to include 3 internal ND filters yet retains the NEX E-mount. Looks like they found some space for those missing FS100 NDs after all!
ND filters and 4K for under $10K? Where do I sign up?!

They claim that it will be in the same body as the FS100; but this seems unlikely to me...it might resemble the FS100, but they'd have to do some surgery to put in ND filters. Of course, just because last year they told us they couldn't put ND filters in there because there wasn't enough space, doesn't mean that they won't suddenly be able to do it this year..


Meanwhile, SonyAlphaRumors reports that there will be new NEX cameras announced soon, including an "NEX-F3". There's no additional details, and I think the name is totally wrong; I can't see Sony announcing an NEX-F3; it would cause too much confusion with the PMW-F3...wouldn't it? They already have the VG models and the FS100, if they are going true 4K, you'd think they'd change part of the model number (unless it's a 4K chip, but still pumping out HD...)

SonyAlphaRumors: (SR5) Big Sony event in early April! New NEX, SLT and camcorder stuff!

And if Sony does come out with a 4K "FS100," what happens to the PMW-F3? Surely an upgrade to that won't be too far down the road.


The only other rumor I've heard is of a model that's less expensive than the FS100.

Armed with this information, you should be able to imagine just about anything...

Exciting times...

UPDATE: I've already had an email from someone suggesting the rumor is basically correct. The "does 4K via 3G HD-SDI to an external recorder" may be an important note...



Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Canon 5D Mark III and grading the C300 at BOSCPUG

Last night's Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting at Rule Boston Camera featured pizza and beer, Carl Peer of Canon U.S.A. discussing the Canon 5D Mark III, and Rob Bessette, colorist at Finish Post discussing grading the short "Hustle" (shot on the Canon C300 and graded on DaVinci Resolve.)

I'm not going to write at length about the meeting as they were video taping it, so it's probably is going to appear on the web near you somewhere soon. But here's the pieces that stood out to me:


Canon 5D Mark III
  • ISO 25600 on the Mark III is about equivalent to 6400 on the Mark II
  •  
  • How are you reducing Moiré?
    "It starts at the sensor, but then afterwards, it is about how you are going from 22MP down to a 1920 x 1080 image, which is about 3MP. So how you get down into that is how you are going to reduce moiré in the large scale. On the small scale, it does happen at the sensor, but on the large scale, it is about how you are reducing that [frame size].
    "The next logical question you may want to ask is 'well how are you doing it?' - We don't say. We drastically improved it, but we don't ever reveal the technical part of it.
    "To quote a much smarter man than myself at Canon, 'that's our secret sauce, and we don't divulge our secret sauce.'"
  •  
  • Carl is not a fan of the new menus
    If you're used to the old camera, you're going to have to do some relearning
  •  
  • Canon 7D Overheating
    While talking about the improved weatherproofing, he mentioned that the 7D suffered from overheating - in some situations - because it's weatherproofing was keeping the heat inside the body. He said that while the Mark III has improved weatherproofing, it won't suffer from over-heating.
    When pressed about how long it could operate without over-heating, he suggested that users didn't really have to worry about it, though he also said that because it's winter there hadn't been much chance for end-users to test it!
  •  
  • Why no swivel screen?
    This was to improve durability and waterproofing. Evidently the 60D's number one repair issue is a broken swivel screen.
  •  
  • ALL-I and IPB
    ALL-I files are much larger (it runs about twice the bit-rate of the IPB files) BUT it handles motion better than IPB.
  •  
  • Silent Recording
    In additional to the "Silent Movie" setting that lets you adjust recording levels "silently," Carl said that the buttons on the camera have been dampened to reduce noise while recording.
  •  
  • "No, it's not a clean out"
    The camera doesn't send out an uncompressed feed; and what it's sending out is not as good as what the camera is recording, and it displays at least a red dot at top right of the frame. At least it doesn't shut off while switching into recording like the Mark II did! This is clearly something that users want he says, adding "these were a couple of things that we are still studying putting into the cameras, and we're not quite there yet."
  •  
  • Auto-focus is not advisable during recording
  •  
  • No real improvement in Jello.
    They have made a slight improvement, but it may not be noticeable. Note that he both said that some users were saying they were seeing an improvement, while he said that it may not be noticeable.
  •  
  • Battery life
    Due to a more efficient sensor, battery life is actually slightly better than the Mark II (about 5% better.)
Interesting aside: At the beginning of the meeting it was noted that Rule had two 5D Mark III bodies available for sale. By the end of the evening, at least one of those had been sold!


Color Grading "Hustle"

Rob Bessette talked about color grading the shot video "Hustle" that was shot on the Canon C300. Rick Macomber, DP for the project, and Dan Bérubé also talked about shooting the project.

I don't really have any tips from this presentation to pass on; just the one observation: I really should download the free version of DaVinci Resolve and give it a try!

Note: Rick has posted an excellent article about the production of "Hustle:" How a BOSCPUG Canon C300 test film became “HUSTLE”





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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quick Links

The C300 and the Ice Cream Factory for “You and your Canon C300″
| Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Despite the title, this is not a post about shooting with the Canon C300. It's about looking for "the shot," and creating visually interesting shots with some imagination and lighting:
I planted two 600W LED lights behind the mixtures but the white light destroyed the effect I was looking for so I added red and yellow gells to the lights and then added a third camera light at the back and lay a blue gel on top of it.


Review of the Canon 5DmkIII now with full video review and footage
| Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip has expanded his review, adding a 17 minute video that you can view on his blog or on Vimeo: "I am much happier with this camera now, than I was a few days ago when I first got it." There's some nice footage of New Zealand too:
EDIT: After doing some experimenting do some work on it in post. Bit of grading and post sharpening the footage is coming to life beautifully. Detail that is not there before is coming out….thankfully! I am still shooting footage and testing camera out. I will update this review in a few days…
Canon 5Dmk3 video review | Vimeo



Nikon D800 Test Footage | LensRentals.com | Vimeo
And here's some footage shot with the D800:
We went and took some test footage at Shelby Farms in Memphis, TN with the Nikon D800. Shot with a Nikon 35mm f/1.4 lens.
They also have some 5D Mark III footage too | Vimeo
Or you can check out Nikon D800 Barbie Fashion Show from Yves Simard on Vimeo.



Analyst: Online video to overtake DVD, Blu-ray viewing in 2012 | Jared Newman
| PCWorld
The end of the optical disc? Steve Jobs would be happy:
Online movie consumption will rise to 3.4 billion views or transactions this year, IHS projects, compared with 2.4 billion views for physical media.


Filmmaking Book Recommendations | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent mentioned the first book on his list, Save The Cat, at his recent talk at the Boston Creative Pro User's Group:
The following are a list of books that deal with filmmaking which I would recommend. They range from the technical to the anecdotal – but there is something to learn about the craft of making films in each of them. I have broken them down into three different sections: Screenwriting, Filmmaking, and Post-Production.


Will Canon launch EOS Movie line as well as 4K Cinema EOS at NAB 2012?
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
I would not bet money on Canon announcing another DSLR - or even a video camera - at NAB; they always seems to bring things out much later than when I expect them to. Of course, I've been wrong before...
In my opinion, the reason the 5D Mark III is not all we hoped for on the video side is not to protect the C300, it is to differentiate it from something we’ve not yet seen. Something big. How else to explain the lack of video features on the 5D Mark III?
So I wouldn’t be surprised to see an FS100 competitor from Canon at NAB. Sharing the C300′s sensor, but dropping the HD-SDI, broadcast codec and robust build quality. It would hopefully still maintain an ND filter, giving it one up on the Sony rival around the $5000 mark.


Which to get as a low budget shooter – 5D Mark III or GH2? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
A look at these two cameras from an interesting angle; lens costs:
Here’s a gear guide along with a round-up of footage for low budget shooters. There’s a big difference in price between the very capable Panasonic GH2 and the new 5D Mark III. One is $800 new and the other $3500. All the discussion so far has been about the camera – is it worth $3500? Well unless you’re going to drill a hole in your lens cap and do pinhole photography, it all comes down to the price of lenses not the body.


Tutorial: A Dynamic Look at Adobe Dynamic Link | Pete Bauer | DVInfo
An After Effects tutorial:
  • What Adobe Dynamic Link does for you and how it goes beyond import / copy-and-paste, and how it differs from “Edit Original…”;
  • The basic data paths and work flows;
  • Some additional tips and caveats, including a particular circumstance when Dynamic Link may NOT be the right tool for the job.


The “Paying To Work For Free” VFX Business Model | VFX Soldier
Ooh oh! VFX house Digital Domain tells investors how good it is now that it's going to be a "school"; suddenly, lots of cheap student labor!
Classes starting in the education space, what’s interesting is the relationship between the digital studio and the college. Not only is this a first in a number of ways that we’ve talked about, but 30% of the workforce at our digital studio down in Florida, is not only going to be free, with student labor, its going to be labor that’s actually paying us for the priviledge of working on our films.


Hands on with the Bloggie Live Wi-Fi camcorder | Bryan Hastings | Macworld.com
A review of the Sony Bloggie. Mostly positive, but I do think these are a had sell to someone with an iPhone or Android phone:
In reality, the Live Streaming setup took time to figure out and it didn’t always work smoothly. I had to sign up for a live-streaming service (in this case, qik.com), and sign into the same account from both the camcorder and the smartphone at the same time to get Live Streaming to work.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick Links

C300, the good the bad and the ugly! | Paul Joy | Blog
More on the color aliasing issues in highlights with the Canon C300:
As you can see the issue appears as alternating green and red pixels which is really distracting and darn right nasty to look at when watching the moving images. I’ve done a lot of testing with this issue now and it happens with any lens, at any aperture and with or without ND engaged. It happens regardless of any picture profiles or gammas too.


Panasonic GH2 vs 5D Mark III | Andrew Reid | EOSHD PanasonicHD
Except for the shallower depth of field and color rendition (for some things) that the Mark III provides, Andrew really prefers the GH2:
The 5D Mark III is an incredible stills camera and the sensor is much improved in low light. However the video image is not really an improvement on a nearly 4 year old predecessor aside from cleaning up a bit of moire. The 5D Mark III is as soft as the 5D Mark II, and almost as poor as the old 550D and 600D, the improvement here is minimal at best.


Canon 5D MK III Mini Review | Scott Bourne | Photofocus
This is really a still camera review. Several people assure me that the 5D Mark III is an awesome still camera, which is great, but this is a video blog, and that's my primary "focus":
I only shot a few minutes of video on the camera and that just to test the manufacturer claims as best I could. I do see a decrease in rolling shutter – not a dramatic decrease mind you – but noticeable. The overall video quality seems about the same to me.


Grading Great Expectations | Definition Magazine
An interview with colorist Jet Omoshebi on grading this TV series:
“Each camera system has its own characteristics and you grade around those characteristics. The Alexa has a certain set of advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are the way it captures. It has a much more filmic curve, which means you get a very soft roll-off on the highlights and shadows. It captures a huge amount more in those two areas which is where you get all your flexibility. So in that way it responds a lot more like film does which is really lovely. It has a kind of ‘dirtiness’, thats the wrong word for it but it has a texture to it that is much more filmic. It’s not noise and it’s not grain, dirtiness is the only way I can describe it.


iPad 3 Color Gamut | Andy Shipsides | Pinterest
"The iPad 3 has nearly the same color gamut as a Rec709 display. So maybe it's not so bad for Color Grading."



Nikon announces price rise for D800 and D4 | Audley Jarvis | Trusted Reviews
Nikon UK announces a profit price increase:
Response to the announcement has, as might be expected, been relatively damning with the members of one photographic forum questioning the validity of the “internal systems error” explanation, along with the timing of the announcement coming, as it does, only a couple of weeks after the launch of the Canon 5D Mark III.


Behind the Scenes w/ the Sony PMW-F3 Super 35 | Greg Hren | Blog
In this short video, Greg talks about lenses and accessories they are using with the Sony PMW-F3.



Collins College Students Experience the Big Picture with the AG-AF100
| Critical View | Panasonic
A short article about Collins College (Phoenix, AZ) switching to the Panasonic AG-AF100:
“The quality of the image the AF100 produces is so great that I’d put it up against virtually anything I see on television or at the movies,” Johnny said. “The camcorder is durable, capable of being set-up and broken down quickly, affordable to run, expandable, and affords better immediate results that the previous generation of classroom gear: in short, it’s ideal in an educational setting.”


Cameras -- NAB Show 2012 | Craig Johnston | TVTechnology
The NAB show is drawing close, and TV Technology rounds up news on some camera manufacturers plans.
ARRI will showcase its Alexa range of 4K cameras, the Alexa, Alexa Plus, Alexa M, and Alexa Studio, which boasts 14 stops of dynamic range, a base sensitivity of EI 800 and cinematic image quality. Their ergonomics, menu systems and functionality are based on film cameras to provide ease of use for experienced film professionals.


Will Avid be the company selling out editors? | Philip Hodgetts | Blog
Does editing through the cloud mean that US editors will soon be undercut by editors in China?
That’s the positive side. But what of expanded capacity? Surely NBC could equally employ editors in the US, Brazil, India or any other country, in any time zone, running off that same Avid server.

In other words, Avid’s upcoming technology provides big media companies with an effective and efficient way to outsource the editing (of some types of content) to anywhere in the world, wherever labor is cheapest.


New 16mm & Super 8mm Packages from RGrain | HDCamTeam
A new set of film grain loops that "Work with all professional MAC or PC NLE and compositing suites":
Rgrain has recently expanded its offerings by adding new 16mm and Super 8mm packages. They have also added a new 35mm “Ultra Fine” plate to their regular package for an even more subtle look.


Apogee MiC review | Billy Steele | Engadget
I do quite a bit of casual audio recording with the iPad - especially lectures - and I'd like to get a better microphone than the internal mic, but $249 is a bit above my budget! Still, the Apogee MiC seems to do okay in the review:
Immediately, we noticed the clarity of the MiC and picking up exactly what we intended it to. Though the A/C was running in the office we recorded in, the microphone only picked up a smidge of ambient noise that wasn't coming from our D10SCE guitar. The overall warmth of the instrument was captured nicely and string noise was welcomed while remaining super clear.




Monday, March 26, 2012

The instability of media

At the MIT forum "Documentary Film and New Technologies" I was taken by this answer from Patricia Zimmermann to a question about the difficulty - particularly with interactive work - of knowing which platform to use. I found the answer fascinating because it is really about the longevity of mediums. I look at the floppy disks I still have lying around, with documents created in old applications; should I be trying to preserve them? or should I be thinking of the medium as more like theater; something that exists for a moment - or a year - in time, and is then gone?


Q: How do you deal with the broad question of the instability of platforms? What does an aspiring young documentarian do facing not only the enormous number of choices, but also the deep, deep question about whether the chosen platform will be around in five years? What do we do about being in a moment where platforms are very instable?

I’d like to take this on. It’s interesting to me when you use the words chaos and instability, because as somebody who’s spent a long time working in critical historiography, post-colonial and post-structuralist theorists are constantly asking for instability and looking at chaos. I mean, if we look at for example [the] Indian historiographer who argues ‘why is it we cannot discuss the ghosts that don’t exist,’ the specters who are in history.

Chaos and instability I think are really important. Because I think that the work we are looking at now, across all these different forms, actually we’re in the realm that art historians call the post-object. I don’t think we’re really looking any more in the same way or thinking the same way about ‘we are going to preserve this film or this particular interface or this algorithm.’ I think that in the realm of the post-object, where the performative and the iterative, and precisely the instability and the chaos are part of the build of the work. It’s almost like the co- or the algorithm of the work, that we are shifting into a different set of concerns.

Maybe all that matters is that we can describe what Sam Green did, but we may never have a documentation of what that’s like [...] many of the projects I am interested in change wherever they are shown, change in particular locations, and it’s exactly this chaos and instability that is the break with the past.

And then I’m going to just provide something very Zen. I think sometimes in Western cultures, we want everything to be saved. But everything is always deteriorating, and as historians we know this. I’ve spent my whole career looking at work that’s not saved in archives, and it’s just never there, so you are endlessly dealing with absence. Instead of - for want of a better word - being hysterical about the absence, we have to embrace the absence and embrace the deterioration, because we don’t really want anything to stay the same if we adopt post-colonial historiography, and this means realizing everything will become a ghostly specter.


Patricia R. Zimmermann is professor in the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts at Ithaca College and codirector of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. She is the author of Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film (Arts and Politics of the Everyday) and States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracy and coeditor of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quick Links

$3000 Nikon D800 thrashes flagship $6000 Nikon D4 for video | Andrew Reid
| EOSHD
Another comparison of D800 and D4 video:
The resolution is not compromised although there is some aliasing on horizontal lines and false colour moire on very fine fabrics. The issue doesn’t seem as bad as on the Canon 5D Mark II or 7D from what I’ve seen but it is there if you look closely. To be fair though it does not flare up as easily as some cameras do.


Nikon D4, D800 Compared with Canon 5D Mark II and Sony FS100 | Den Lennie
| Blog
Den and Guy Thatcher spend some time playing with different cameras, including the D4 and D800:
Here is a very short low light comparison with the cameras set roughly around 2000 ISO (although we set the D4 to 4000 ISO because it looked dark in the LCD)

Scene is only illuminated by the screen of my 27" iMac. Lenses used were Zeiss 35mm f1.4 on Nikon's and on FS100 and Canons a 24mm f1.4 L series.


Geotagging location surveys | Jeff Heusser | fxhd
Location, location, location; a tip for those doing location scouting:
Jeff Heusser shows us a great workflow for geotagging in Lightroom 4. This is a perfect approach for your next location survey. Jeff recently flew up to Adobe and did both a geotagged photowalk and sat down with the great team there. As a bonus, Jeff shows how this can then integrate with sun position apps like LightTrac and other apps on the iPad or iPhone.


Jordan’s Furniture Warwick Sony F3 | Barry Clegg | Blog
Barry talks about figuring out how to work with PMW-F3 footage:
All I had to do was create a 1080i/59.94fps project, AMA the footage into a bin and edit in that format. Avid automatically does a pulldown motion effect on any mixed frame rates on the timeline. I will say though that in my opinion the pulldown that was done with the JH-3 HDCAM deck is more “solid” then the software based motion effects you get in Avid.


"Sprung Spring" - shot on the iPad3 (new iPad) with the Padcaster
| Manhattan Edit Workshop | Vimeo
Shot on the iPad; pity it wasn't entirely edited on the iPad!:
Video test shot with an iPad3/new iPad and "The Padcaster", a prototype video rig built for iPads, tablets and phones.

Shot and Cut on the iPad3 (with some help from FCP7 & X)


Edit sound from Adobe Premiere in Audition | Hollin Jones | MacProVideo
Brief tutorial on editing audio in Audition:
Imagine that you have some rumble or hiss in a section of audio, but no other sound. Then there is dialogue, but the rumble or hiss is still there. By capturing the noise print from the section with only rumble or hiss and then applying noise reduction based on that print to the other areas of the audio clip, you could do a pretty good job of removing it from the clip without risking affecting the other sounds, as might happen if you used filters or EQ.


12 Tips for Better Film Editing | Oliver Peter | digitalfilms
A post from a few years back that gives some good advice on editing:
1. Cut tight – The best editing approach is to cut tight scenes without becoming too “cutty”. This means taking out unnecessary pauses between actors’ delivery of dialogue lines. Sometimes it mean tightening the gaps within dialogue sentences through the use of carefully placed cutaways. It may also mean losing redundant lines of dialogue, after the director has reviewed your cut.


Theaters will charge premium on 2D movies in order to lower the cost of 3D movie tickets | Cory Doctorow | Boing Boing
I wasn't a fan of 3D before; and now even less so:
As Roger Ebert put it, "Oh, no! In a move to recoup their unwise investment in 3D, theaters discuss, and I quote, 'patrons will have a single price for both 2D and 3D films. 2D prices will increase and 3D prices will decrease.' In other words, punishing those who dislike 3D."