Saturday, October 08, 2011

Quck Links

Camera Review: Sony FS100 | Chris Adams | Blog
Chris has used the Sony NEX-FS100 for a couple of shoots and so far he's happy with it - particularly happy with the small size - but he has complaints too:
First off, the camera just feels fragile and plasticky. The buttons are very awkward, especially when its on a shoulder mount. One record button is on the top and one is under the lens on the right side of camera, this makes for some fun fumbling around when you’re trying to get that quick shot. The LCD is nice in that it swivels, but again, on a shoulder mount it is essentially useless because it is on top of the camera. Also if you are doing any kind of high angle shot, you better get a ladder to see the LCD.

The Sony FS100 and Large Sensor Acquisition | Shawn Lam | Blog
A short comparison of the image qualities of the NEX-FS100 and the HXR-NX5U. The HXR-NX5U is a three chip, 1/3" sensor camera, and it was released a year and a half before the NEX-FS100. The HXR-NX5U's strength is that it's an all-in-one camera, that's easy to operate and is good for run-in-gun situations. Most people who are looking at one of these cameras, probably aren't comparing it to the other (i.e. if you're thinking of buying an NEX-FS100 then you're probably comparing it to the Panasonic AG-AF100, not the HXR-NX5U) but it's still interesting to see the differences between these two Sony cameras.
This side by side comparison is between the 1/3″ Sony HEX-NX5U and the Super 35mm Sony NEX-FS100. Because they have different internal codecs I captured the uncompressed HDMI output from each of the cameras and recorded them on an ATOMOS Ninja using the 145 Mbps ProRes 422 codec. Notice how flat the NX5U image is. The FS100 isn’t 3D but is as close to 3D as you can get on a 2 dimensional medium. The NX5U image is also very noisy. Just make sure to click on the image to open a 1920×1080 image (and then you might need to click a second time on that image to view it at 100%)

Colorimetric and Resolution requirements of cameras : PMW-F3 [PDF] | Alan Roberts | BBC
Alan Roberts does tests and write-ups on most cameras that the BBC approves for their production, and now he's done one for the Sony PMW-F3:
The same assessment procedure was used as for other HD cameras, partly attempting to get a good “filmlook”, and the settings reflect that. In the search for a “film-look” setting it is normal to think of the camera to be mimicking a film camera and telecine, with “best light” transfer to tape, with about 11 stops of tonal range. Assuming that a grading operation will be used in post-production, the settings attempt to give the colourist the same range of options as with film.

Sony NEX5N Fix Not Fixing Anything?
Sony has offered a "repair" fir the clicking noise in the NEX-5N, but at least one person didn't have much success when he returned his to Sony:
I sent in my @Sony NEX 5n for "clicking" repairs. It was returned unfixed and scratched up @EOSHD @goforjared @PhilipBloom #SonyNex5N #FAIL
- @iFilmFlops

YouTube launches online movie rental service in the UK | Josh Halliday | The Guardian
YouTube is now offering movie rentals in the UK for £3.49 (new releases) while some older titles are renting for £2.49.

A Tough Week for Film | Scott Simmons | Studio Daily
ARRI, Panavision and Anton have ceased film camera manufacture, FilmCraft, a film processing lab in Detroit closes, and Kodak is in serious financial difficulties. Things don't look good for film.

Episode #6 (06Oct11) Patrick Inhofer - Tao of Color | High Desert Shorts
An audio interview with professional Color Grader Patrick Inhofer about his online business the Tao of Color. Covers multiple areas including equipment, philosophy, pricing, and starting out in the business.

The new iPhone does 1080p. But what about Apple TV? | Ryan Lawler | GigaOm
The iPhone 4S adds support for 1080p video, but Apple's Apple TV only supports 720p. What will that mean for users?

Steve Jobs: Biography

The publisher has moved the date of publication of the Steve Jobs biography up from November 23 to October 24, 2011. Amazon [$17.88]

Friday, October 07, 2011

TEXPO October 18 @ Rule Boston Camera

This year's Boston TEXPO at Rule Boston Camera is fast approaching. A partial list of vendors has been released:

Quick Links

DataVideo's iPhone & iPad Teleprompters | Taz Goldstein | Hand Held Hollywood
Taz is impressed by the budget priced Datavideo teleprompters that work with the iPad and iPhone (he seemed to particularly like the iPhone model.)
B & H: TP-200 Teleprompter for Apple iPad [$575]
B & H: Datavideo TP-100 Smart Phone Teleprompter [$479]

A short Q and A with Automatic Duck about their Adobe move | Scott Simmons | The Editblog
Scott interviews Wes Plate of Automatic Duck about what the new relationship with Adobe means. Reading between the lines - and given Wes is now a full-time employee of Adobe - it seems that although the Automatic Duck website will continue to sell existing product, it doesn't sound like there will be much else.

Everyone Will Be a TV Station Soon
| Quentin Hardy | NY Times Blog
Notes from a speech by John Chambers, Cisco’s chief executive about the future of video:
As cameras in smartphones like the new Apple iPhone 4S get better, and memory gets cheaper, there will be more video on the fly. Within the corporate world, Cisco and competitors like Polycom and Microsoft are benefiting from the growth of so-called telepresence meetings over the Web where people meet virtually through individual cameras on their desks. The “hangout” feature on Google’s Google+ social networking software is the latest version of this, and Google is working on ways to tie those video sessions to its calendar, spreadsheet and document sharing office productivity products.

Media in conflict: Social Media and broadcast distribution rights | Geert Faber | The End of Television
Interesting post about how television shows are increasingly using social media to build and engage their audience, but how that causes conflicts when shows are broadcast to specific geographical regions:
However, this international attention is not part of the social media strategy and online distribution rights. When you live outside the US and you are excited by the Facebook post below which invites you to ‘revisit another amazing Voice performance…Javier Colon and Adam Levine team up to perform Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror!” You end up on the NBC website of The Voice telling you that the clip you selected isn’t available from your location and asks users to ‘select another clip’.

Dispatch from Hollywood: Web Video Producers Keeping their Cred and Building Businesses with Advertisers | Beet.TV
Where are we with online video? A question asked in this video of a 35-minute session with web creators Yuri Baranovsky, Actor, Writer, Producer; Brandon Laatsch, Cinematographer, Taryn O’Neill, Actor, Writer, Producer and Freddie "W" Wong, Actor, Producer.

Is Sony’s 4K Digital Cinema Sensor Better Than Film? | SonyAlphaRumors
A look at the capabilities of the Sony F65, which has a 14 stop dynamic range.

Adobe’s Al Mooney Hurlblog Interview Part II | Hurlblog
Part II of an interview with Premiere Pro Product manager, Al Mooney, that details the process of creating a piece of Adobe software. Mooney also discusses his inspiration and source of passion for this line of work.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Quick Links

The Great Camera Shootout 2011: Part 3 | Zacuto
The third and final part of this web series, evaluating a variety of large-sensor cameras, was posted yesterday. This episode is mostly technical test looking at motion artifacts and color reproduction.

A variety of cameras were tested, but as with nearly all these efforts, by the time it's all put together there's always something that just came out and didn't make it it (for example, the S-Log for Sony's PMW-F3 wasn't out, and neither was the RED Epic.) Even so, the gap between film and digital is so small now, it's still there, but it's small.

They also tease the "Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout," a new series that will include newer cameras, and a slightly different slant on comparing cameras.

More Rumors About Canon Super 35 Video Camera. *Update* 3 Cameras | Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
Jared updates his reporting on the Canon rumors with word of a third camera, but from what I've heard, there's just two.

Sony’s A77 for video? – So close yet so far | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
Dan got to spend some time with this new DSLR from Sony, and discovered several problems and limitations, including lack of manual audio control, and:
The problem I immediately found was that in order to use the AF system you had to set the camera’s video mode to Program exposure Manual exposure is simply not possible in combination with AF it seems. For me that is a deal breaker, I need to control my shutter speed and aperture in video.

GenArts Releases Sapphire 6 | Beth Marchant | StudioDaily
Announcement about the latest release of Sapphire.

iPhone 4S camera sensor actually capable of 4K 24p video | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
A look at the technical specs of the camera in the iPhone 4S.
According to the official sensor specs on the Omnivision website the sensor can run at 24fps in 8MP mode, that is 3264 x 2448 in 4:3. Amazing!
Andrew wonders why we don't get the full capabilities of the camera, ignoring the fact that you have to have the processing technology on the other side to deal with everything.

Plans for a Somerville/Cambridge MA art/film studio

Alex Ezorsky-Lie and a fellow filmmaker are hoping to create a film/video/art studio in the Boston area. The plan is to lease a large (3,000-5,000 sq/ft) space in Somerville/Cambridge MA that would have offcies for permanent tenants, as well as a large (900 sq/ft+) studio.

I spoke briefly with Alex about the project at the latest Boston Media Makers meeting:

Steve Jobs in video and print

Steve Jobs narrates this ad (this version was not officially released.)

MacRumors: Steve Jobs Has Passed Away
Quotes from industry leaders and politicians

KuoDesign: Steve Jobs on Magazine Covers

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs. 1955-2011


JVC announced a digital still camera / video camera hybrid, the JVC GC-PX10, that shoots 12 megapixel stills and HD 1920 x 1080/60p video. It is capable of capturing 60 still images per second, 300 frames-per-second video recording for super-slow motion and the ability to capture still images from video.

The JVC GC-PX10 will be available this month for $899.95

Press Release:

Debut of Dashwood Stereo3D CAT in NYC, LA and Toronto

Dashwood Cinema Solutions will launch the commercial version of its stereoscopic 3D (S3D) production technology – Stereo 3D CAT - at three events held at: New York (October 14, 2011), Los Angeles (November 2-3) and Toronto (November 10). Stereo3D CAT is a monitoring and analysis solution that helps professional stereographers quickly solve spatial disparities that commonly disrupt 3D shoots.

SplitScreen X for FCP X + 1 week discount

Today CrumplePop released SplitScreen X for Final Cut Pro X, a plug-in for quickly creating split screens in Final Cut Pro X.

Switronix announces the Torch LED BOLT

Switronix has announced a new LED light, the Torch LED BOLT (part# TL-BT200).

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Singuler Software announces support for Final Cut Pro X

Singular Software has announced that it will be updating its audio and video synchronization tools to support Apple Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.1.

"With the 10.0.1 release, we now have the necessary infrastructure for our applications to integrate with Final Cut Pro X. We look forward to offering our customers this compatibility soon," says Bruce Sharpe, CEO of Singular Software

Existing Singular Software Presto and PluralEyes for Final Cut Pro customers will receive a free update when support for Final Cut Pro X becomes available. Customers will be notified of the Final Cut Pro X support update availability via the Singular Software Newsletter.

Singular Software

Quick Links

Sony NEX-5N Review | Kelcey Smith | DPReview
A favorable review of the NEX-5N:
In addition, the support for the newly announced LA-EA2 SLT alpha mount adapter makes it possible to expand your range of lenses beyond the somewhat limited E-mount offerings at the moment, while gaining the added benefit of quicker phase detect AF. The adapter coupled with the NEX-5N's full manual video exposure control makes this camera very attractive for videography.

Sony NEX 5N - what's new? (Filmed with A77) | DigitalRevTV | YouTube
It must be review time for the NEX-5N; here's Kai from DigitalRev with a review on YouTube.

More Rumors About Canon Super 35 Video Camera | Jared Abrams
| Wide Open Camera
Another rumor about the upcoming Canon video camera expected to be announced on November 4th. Seems Canon is also going to make some PL mount lenses for it (though personally, I have to admit a bit of surprise at that news).

Tiffen Indie ND Kit: First Impressions | Brandon Vincent | Blog
One of the biggest complaints about the Sony NEX-FS100 is the lack of internal ND filters, requiring that you use some sort of external filter to be able to shoot wide open in bright light. Brandon tried out the 77mm Tiffen ND Kit [$258.50], and despite a few complaints, likes it:
I was able to shoot almost wide open in both situations, one at mid-day around 12:30pm, and one just before sunset around 5:00pm. Achieving f/2.8 was easy – I would start with the highest ND I had (1.2) and add on from there to get where I needed to be. If I needed something less than 1.2, I could just use a single .9 or .6 but it was too bright for that.

Is Kickstarter the best solution for independent creators? | Liz Shannon Miller
| Gigaom
An overview of Kickstarter, how it works, and the areas in which people are having success. Interestingly the Film and Video category is the most successful of Kickstarter’s categories:
Yaffe warns, though, that Kickstarter isn’t necessarily the savior of the independent creator. “It’ll always be there as a solid tool to getting your full budget, but it’s not something you can rely on entirely.” he said. “More people are considering [Kickstarter] as an option, which is good, but the impact is a little less. We raised more money for Girl Crazy than Remember When, but it took more effort,” Yaffe said.

Zeiss 85mm Plays Nice With Sony FS100 | Matthew Duclos | Circle of Confusion
Blog post describes the conversion of a Zeiss ZF .2 series 85mm Nikon mount lens for motion picture use:
I performed the standard three part Cine-Mod which includes an 80mm front ring (77mm filter thread), 32-pich (0.8 module) seamless focus gear, and of course the de-clicked, dampened aperture ring. In addition to the standard Cine-Mod, I also added one of our semi-permanent Canon Eos mounts.

Handycam HDR-CX160 | Jeremy Stamas | CamcorderInfo
Seems that the Sony HDR-CX160 [$499] has a bunch of new features compared to the HDR-CX150, but doesn't really improve upon the performance of it's predecessor.
While we do like the improvements Sony made to the CX160, the camcorder is not the best model in its class. The Canon HF R21 held a slight edge in terms of performance, although there were areas where the CX160 was the better model (battery life and image stabilization, for example).

Dude, Where’s My Audience? Audience-Building Tips for Filmmakers | Nic Baisley | MasteringFilm
Acknowledging the importance of Social Media, Nic still thinks you have to get out there and work for an audience:
The onus once again falls on filmmakers to make the most of their public appearances. They need to put out postcards, have their posters prominently displayed in key areas, dance around in front of the theater in a costume promoting your screening if they have to, and build local relationships in the regions their films are screening. This might extend your stay in a particular town by a day or three while you prepare for your film to screen, but the results can far exceed the cost.

Only in Japan: Toshiba's Regza DBR-M190 serves 5TB of home media | Jesse Hicks | Engadget
A 5TB home media server for $2,600; in Japan. Not sure what the advantage would be over a couple of 3TB USB drives and a Mac Mini for ~$1,000.

Monday, October 03, 2011

First impressions of the Sony NEX-5N

I've spent a little bit of time with the Sony NEX-5N [$699.99 with 18-55mm lens], and this is what struck me about it so far:

It's small! It's not tiny, and I knew it was small, but still, I was surprised how thin the body is!

The size does make me worry about attaching a large lens to it; especially if I want to put it on a tripod. I might have to get a lens/tripod ring...though I see they can be expensive!: Canon Tripod Mount Ring D for IS 100mm F2.8 Macro Lens. Anyone got a source for cheaper third-party lens tripod mounts?

People have been talking about the build quality of the NEX-7 [$1,199.99 body only]; it's supposed to be pretty impressive. But I'm quite impressed by the quality of the NEX-5N, especially when you compare it to some consumer camcorders that cost twice the price (i.e. the Canon HF-G10 is very plasticky and cheap by comparison.)

Speaking of camcorders, having been spending so much time with them recently, I sort of forgot that the NEX-5N is a still camera. And I was almost surprised by the fact that it comes with a separate charger and you have to take the battery out of the camera to charge it. Most consumer camcorders come with a charger that charges the battery in the camera. Odd how that works.

The screen is really good. One of the things I noticed when playing with it is that it seemed to be much easier for me to tell whether something was in focus by looking at the screen; or at least I have that impression. I'll have to see how it works in actual operation, but it certainly was better than using the LCD screen on the back of the Canon 7D.

Lens: I'm learning to like the 18-55mm lens it came with. It seems smoother to zoom than the only other E-mount lens I've spent any time with; the 18-200mm.

Focus Peaking! It's almost a shock to find that this consumer still camera has both color peaking, and doubles the image while you are focusing. Those features have only recently been showing up in consumer camcorders. I really like this.

Menus and things. The menu system has been derided by some as being consumerish. I have no real opinion at the moment; it just seems like something new to learn. What did surprise me was the fifty or more icons that decorate the LCD screen while the camera is in operation! I wonder how many users of the camera will know what half those icons mean!

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Michael Aranda edited together footage from NASA of the last launch of the Atlantis. Some great angles I've never seen, though what's with the shots of the Shuttle flying across the screen? Not sure about that!

via: The TaoColorist Sunday Morning Reading