Saturday, December 03, 2011

Quick Links

Technicolor Cinestyle Test 5 - Canon 60D Color Correction - Manual
| Braden Storrs | Vimeo
Some test with the Technicolor Cinestyle Picture Style for Canon DSLRs:
This is TEST FIVE I am doing to see the range of the Technicolor Cinestyle For Canon EOS HDSLRS.

So far I have been very impressed. There has been a large increase in detail in the shadows before grading/color correcting, when compared to the default Standard or Neutral Picture Styles or even the Marvels Cine 3.3 Picture Style.

In this test I took the Technicolor Cinestyle clips from the first three tests and Manually Color Corrected in Adobe Premiere CS5.

The Sony Nex 5N Kicks The Red Scarlet’s Ass! TBOE Opening Sequence Footage
| Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
Ignore the inflammatory headline, the Sony NEX-5N is still a pretty good camera.
I honestly bought it as part of my blogging gear stuff, etc but have totally fallen in love with it. It is so small and portable that I am inclined to have it in my hands all the time while shooting. It is also super cheap at around $600 for the body and $30 for an adapter. We have been using Contax primes and especially dig the Contax 28-70mm f3.5 here

For now, editing is a commodity and less a craft | Walter Biscardi | Blog
CNN recently announced they were relaying off production staff and replacing them with unpaid iReporters. Walter offers his thoughts on what this may or may not mean:
Basically editing is just a commodity right now in the minds of many. The craft is associated with cheap tools rather than the artist using the tool. There are millions upon millions of folks who use word processing software but that doesn’t make all of those millions writers. Writing is a craft that some folks can do and others….. well they can write letters, recipes, but you wouldn’t ask them to write your next script or promo.

Sony's new 18-252mm power zoom lens for the PMW-F3 | Sony
The new zoom lens for the Sony PMW-F3, the SCL-Z18X140 [$9,900] is now shipping, and there's a couple of rebates being offered on it:
REBATE OPTION 1: PMWF3 EARLY ADOPTERS ($1200 mail-in rebate):
End users who took delivery of PMWF3(K/L) November 30, 2011 or prior will be eligible for a $1200 cash mail-in rebate if they purchase the recently announced SCL-Z18X140 power zoom lens between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.

REBATE OPTION 2: NEW PMWF3 CUSTOMERS ($500 mail-in rebate):
End users who purchase a SCL-Z18X140 between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 and a PMWF3(K/L) between December 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 will be eligible for a $500 end user cash mail-in rebate.

canon c300 vs nexfs100 | geco campos | Vimeo
Since he's using a compressed video from the C300 that was downloaded from Vimeo, I'm not sure how much you can compare noise, but you get an indication of how the two cameras perform in very low light.
the c300 video was downloaded from vimeo in .mov from the original review; and you can see that the nex-fs100 stand up very well against the c300, or even better; and the nex is about US$15000 cheaper than the C300

Vincent Laforet at B & H | B & H
Vincent will be speaking about his new book, and working with the C300 at a couple of lectures at B & H in New York:
Vincent Laforet on Technology, Reverie, and his new Short Mobius Sponsored by Canon
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 | 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Vincent Laforet on Technology, Reverie, and his new Short Mobius Sponsored by Canon
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 | 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Sony Announces New Upgrade of Vegas Pro Software |
Upgrade to Sony's video editing application has been announced.
Vegas Pro 11 adds significant performance improvements to the award-winning NLE, courtesy of OpenCL and highly optimized GPU hardware acceleration for video processing and rendering. Vegas Pro 11 is the world's first Windows-based OpenCL NLE, broadly supporting the open standard for core video editing operations, video effects and rendering. Other new features include NVIDIA 3D Vision support for single-display 3D computers such as the VAIO F Series 3D laptops and L Series 3D desktops, an enhanced video stabilizer tool, and new software tools for creating animated titles.

Cheap CFL Octo Softbox | Olivia | OliviaTech
Several vendors are offering these softboxes for under $50. For those on a budget they might be worth trying (note: most don't include a stand.)
There are other kits which will ship with a CFL bulb, and sometimes with a light stand. In the video we’re using a 65 watt bulb rated at 5500K. You can use a different CFL bulb with different wattage if you wish, but keep in mind that the diffusion panel may not fit if the bulb is too long.
Amazon: ePhoto Octagon Photography soft box Softbox Video Studio Portait Lighting Light ]$34.99]
Amazon: Cowboystudio 24in Octagon Photography Softbox for Video and Portait Studio Continuous Lighting [$45.00]

CBS sports using GoPro cams for behind the net POVs. Cutting them in w/...
| TwitVid
Tom Guilmette posted this short video showing how CBS is using GoPro Hero cameras for some of their hockey coverage.

Tutorial | Lake Keene
There are several tutorials for After Effects posted here, including these two that were posted this week:
How to track footage and make a matte with Mocha AE
This demonstration shows how to utilize Mocha AE and the Mocha Shape plugin to quickly track and rotoscope an object. Mocha AE data is then passed to the Mocha Shape plugin in After Effects and used as track matte.

Keying in After Effects with Keylight + light wrapping
This demonstration shows how to quickly pull a chroma key to create a matte using Keylight and After Effects. After the initial Key is created a light wrap is made, giving a more accurate final compositing result.

Top After Effects feature requests for the past year or so | Todd Kopriva
| Adobe Blogs
Adobe has posted a summary of the most common feature requests they've received, including some commentary. They are also asking for more detailed explanations of feature requests:
Which parts of the Vector Paint effect do you miss? Is it just the ability to paint in the Composition panel? The ability to wiggle the stroke/path? If you’re going to submit a feature request asking for the functionality of the Vector Paint effect to be brought back, please let us know exactly which pieces are important to you. There are many, many parts of this effect that are redundant with the existing paint tools, shape layers, and other features, and we think that we may be able to satisfy this request by just adding back in the specific features that are still missing, without resurrecting the entire Vector Paint effect–which would be a huge amount of work and would displace much other feature work.

Zeiss 25mm f2.0 ZE Distagon Review | J Torralba | Zeiss Images
This new lens isn't widely available yet, but here's a review:
I am a large person at 6'2" with fairly large hands and when I held this lens for the first time, it felt as is if it was designed to custom fit into my hands. I know this sounds a bit odd since we are concerned about more important aspects of the lens. But, it is worth noting that this lens should be the new reference standard for design and ergo. Outside of the Zeiss line up, there is no worthy contender to match up against this lens for build, look, feel and that feeling of you get what you pay for. Of course, if you are into the new plastic light weight lenses then that is a different story.

The Rise Of The Bread Maker | Glidetrack | Blog
There are some nice shots in this short video:
Filmed by Éric Dorchain using a Canon 550D, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod and 701HDV head, plus a Glidetrack SD Shooter, Handmade Portraits: Yvan & John is a really cool video about two French bakers (Yvan and John funnily enough) being filmed creating a batch of bread from start to finish in a very traditional manner.

The Amazon movie revolution ... one year on | Ellen E Jones | The Guardian
A look back at one year of Amazon Studio's, Amazon's attempt to promote film making:
In fact, if there is one finding that seems to have emerged from Amazon's year-long experiment, it is this: the crowd isn't necessarily more creative than a traditional Hollywood studio. We'll have to wait till the first production hits cinemas to be sure, but based on the synopses for prize-winning scripts displayed on the site, Amazon Studios looks like a textbook case of a phenomenon observed by the influential web 2.0 critic Jaron Lanier in his book You Are Not a Gadget. "There's a rule of thumb," he writes, "you can count on in each succeeding version of the web 2.0 movement: the more radical an online social experiment is claimed to be, the more conservative, nostalgic and familiar the result will be."


Friday, December 02, 2011

Quick Links

Jim Jannard’s(RED) thoughts on the Canon C300, Sony F65, Final Cut X, Etc.
| Aspect:Ratios News
Jim Jannard of RED posted some thoughts to the REDUser forum, but then there were deleted...but nothing is deleted on the Internet, and you can read them at the above link!
I'm not too sure I like his diagnosis of the world economy...
RED is about budget. If you can afford an EPIC… buy one. If not, buy a Scarlet. If you can’t afford a Scarlet… wait.

The world economy is headed for disaster. If you can’t afford a camera… don’t buy one. If you can’t make money on a camera… don’t buy one. Especially don’t buy one that isn’t upgradeable. Rent.

Don’t borrow money unless you have an immediate return.

The Sony NEX-FS100 and the First-Ever FS100 Lens Shootout | Shawn Lam
| EventDV Live
Shawn has put together a lens test with the NEX-FS100, using a variety of zoom lenses. Note, it appears you can only read it online using a Flash player:
And then there is image quality. I actually thought I would see a larger difference between the lenses, especially with the thirty year-old lenses that I tested. But because the Super35 sensor that Sony designed is specialized for HD video and not photos, it doesn't require lenses with a higher resolving power, as you would on a smaller sensor video camera or with full-frame photography.
[...] Of all the lenses that I tested, only three produced results that I would consider significantly different from the rest.
When it comes down to it, image quality is less of a concern than whether the lens is parfocal, constant aperture, and mechanical operation of the lens.
There's a video that goes with the article: EventDVLive Winter video

How To Shoot 4,000FPS Footage On a 60FPS Budget | Gizmodo
David HJ. Lindberg used his Canon 550D/T2i and the application Twixtor to slow video down with tremendous effect. Note: Twixtor can do amazing things; with certain types of footage. It doesn't work with everything!

Bloggie® Software Mac OS® X Lion (10.7) Update Now Available | Sony
If you have a Bloggie and are running Lion, there's a software update:
This update supports the following Sony Bloggie models:
  • Bloggie Touch™ 2Hr camera (MHS-TS10)
  • Bloggie Touch™ 4Hr camera (MHS-TS20)
  • Bloggie Entry camera (MHS-FS1)
  • Bloggie Duo camera (MHS-FS2)
  • Bloggie 3D camera (MHS-FS3)

This Canon Cinema EOS C300 Sings | Christopher Swainhart | Blog
An enthusiastic post about the C300, with a big "But" collects together a few different sources of information and muses on the camera, coming to the following conclusion:
After you are done you may agree with me that this is one fine camera, but it is priced about 10 grand past the “Honey, I swear I’ll make it up to you” limit. This Canon may sing, but it’s me that is singing the blues.

Digital Dividend – Why the digital revolution has yet to benefit independent film
| Mike Gubbins | movieScope
A look at the impact of the switch from film to digital distribution, and alternative exhibition:
One of the factors that may influence change is new forms of exhibition. We tend to see change through the prism of its effect on existing business, yet among the stories over the next year will be moves to show films in new venues. The industry standard governing D-cinema projection—the so-called DCI specification—both drives up costs and limits new business but low-cost projection of high quality is now more than possible and some distributors are taking an active interest.

EVF Scaling 2 | Steve Weiss [Zacuto] | Vimeo
Vide demonstrating the video modes for the Zacuto EVF.
A brief tutorial of the Zacuto EVF’s scaling menu with the release of firmware 2.00. Follow in-depth descriptions of the EVF’s auto playback, format presets, user presets and overscan functions.

B&H Unboxing Contest | Facebook
B & H has a competition (prize a Canon 5D Mark II). Contest runs through January 2, 2012:
Contest Instructions
1) Capture a short video of a B&H package being unboxed. Keep it simple! Use any video capture device!
2.) Enter the contest and upload your video!
3.) Share with your friends!

Made With After Effects Competition | Motion.TV
A competition for all those who are good with After Effects, to win....After Effects:
three easy steps:
1) upload your 5-minute or less piece to the Vimeo group by midnight on Monday, December 12, 2011
2) fill out our online entry form, providing a link to your piece on our Vimeo group
3) attach your After Effects project file to the entry form (so we can verify it was made in After Effects)

Software within Software

Why will Denoiser Be Temporarily Removed? | Nate Sparks | Red Giant
Just a couple of months ago the software application "Get' from AV3 software was pulled when the licensing for the underlying technology was ended. Now the same thing appears to have happened to Red Giant's Denoiser:
Because of the Google acquisition, Red Giant no longer has the legal right to sell Denoiser. Unfortunately, you will not be able to purchase or download Denoiser from us, as we have to remove all current and past versions from our website and product catalog. With the next update of Magic Bullet Suite in mid-December, Denoiser will no longer ship with the Suite.
Red Giant does say that they are working on a new version of Denoiser they plan to release next year, and will offer it free to existing owners:
Our Red Giant team is hard at work developing a new version of Denoiser. In early 2012, the new Denoiser II will be included in Magic Bullet Suite and sold individually.
NOTE: Due to the restriction of the Green Parrot Pictures license, Denoiser II will not be backward compatible with earlier Denoiser projects.
I can understand that licensing can change, but both Denoiser and Get were pulled after (exactly) a year on sale. What's the matter with these people and only having a one year license; do they need better lawyers?!

To have an application end because it was unsuccessful is one thing, but to have it disappear because the license ended and it was sold to someone else seems ... disconcerting. I feel like software makers should have to disclose if their application is dependent upon some underlying technology that may disappear in a year.

Perhaps I'm being unreasonable. In the case of Get, existing owners were offered a free crossgrade to the "new" Boris FX product, and Red Giant is promising a new application, so at least it appears that existing purchasers are only out some inconvenience.

It just seems like an odd trend.

See also: NotesOnVideo: An important announcement for owners of 'Get'

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Quick Links

Documentary Shooter Pierre Deschamps Talks About His Work And Using The New Canon C300 | Pierre Deschamps | DSLR News Shooter
Pierre got to spend a day with the C300 and use it as a documentary shooter:
My interest was in getting specific answers as a documentary shooter. I was on my own for a day. I wanted to see how this camera would react on a shoot. Would it fit my one-man configuration in my future projects. Would I be able to work with this camera and combine it with a lightweight rig and would all the technical stuff work flawlessly?

Picking the Path of an Independent Contractor vs. Studio | Ron Dawson | Planet5D
First article in what appears to be an ongoing series on working in the video/film industry:
One question you need to ask and answer is, “What kind of business do I want to start? Do I want to primarily be a ‘gun for hire,’ or build a studio?” Over the next couple of weeks, I want to address the path of the independent contractor (“IC”). This is the person who determines he or she would prefer to work for other studios, larger companies, or ad agencies as a single individual vs. building a studio with a team, extended services, leasing studio space, etc. This week I’ll address things to consider when starting out, as well as some links to successful ICs. Next week I’ll address branding. How do you see YOU as a brand.

First Look: ARRI L7 LED Fresnel Lights | Mitch Gross | AbelCine
ARRI's LED Fresnel lights look really cool; unfortunately they are expensive (from just under $2,000 to up to $2,500)
ARRI’s latest lighting innovation is the L7 series of LED-based Fresnels. The line is made up of three fixtures: the L7-T (3200K tungsten-balanced), the L7-D (5400K daylight-balanced), and the L7-C (color-controllable). The L7-C can be adjusted from 2700K-10000K, with an additional green/magenta control. It also features a “Hue Mode” for theatrical color effects.

How to Fix a Shaky Camera | Richard Harrington | Blog
Demo video on how to use the WarpStabilizer in After Effects.

How To Build A Beautiful Camera Stabilizer | DIY Photography
Instructions and video showing how to build a simple, and quite sophisticated looking camera stabilizer; some metal work required!

Rocking the RC Heli | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent gives a shout-out to the people that did the opening and closing shot for his film "Mobius"
The best compliment I can pay Tabb is that he and gimble operator Hugh Bell (the gimble is the pan/tilt/roll head at the front of the RC [one person controls the helo and the other the camera for obvious reasons]) are responsible for both the opening and closing shot of "Mobius." We had a very tight schedule and I was pretty slammed during that production. I gave both of them several notes on what shots I was looking for in terms of aerial coverage of the scene and had to run over to work w/ the actors with the main unit. Tabb and Hugh did such a perfect job that they earned BOTH the opening and closing shot of the film.

Q&A: Who Gets Credit For A Screenplay? And What’s the Deal With the Ampersands and Ands? | Peter Sciretta | Slashfilm
Ever wondered how credit is apportioned? Here's the explanation (and it's much more complicated than this explanation):
The word AND is used when two screenwriters worked separately, and the ampersand (&) is used when screenwriters worked as a team.

2012 Filmmaker Workshop Tour [Australia/New Zealand] | Rode
Rode is bringing Philip Bloom to Australia and New Zealand next year:
The day-long workshops will focus on both DSLR and the latest large-chip camcorders, and include a dedicated audio segment with Australian sound icon Ric Creaser.

There will be prize packs and give aways at each session, as well as the opportunity to meet with and learn from the experiences of two highly respected creatives. For a limited time, early bird tickets will be $120, increasing to $170 after December 31st. Select your city below and book now!

5D Mark III Information [CR1] | CanonRumors
Now that the C300 has been announced, it's time for the 5D MkIII rumors to start up again! Very few details though..

NPPA Seeks Repeal of D.C. Regulations Limiting Street Photography | NPPA
Regulations against street photography in D.C.:
Specifically, §24-521.1, states “No person, firm, or corporation shall engage in the business of taking photographs of any person or persons upon the streets, sidewalks, or other public spaces of the District of Columbia, for profit or gain, without first having obtained a license to do so from the Mayor (emphasis added). Section 24-522.1, states “No individual not licensed under §521 shall take a photograph of any person or persons, for either direct or indirect profit or gain, upon any of the streets, sidewalks, or other public spaces of the District of Columbia persons, without first having obtained a license to do so from the Mayor as provided in this section” (emphasis added).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quick Links

Canon EOS C300 = Awesome | Jonathan Yi | Vimeo
Canon evidently asked Jonathan Yi to shoot a video with the C300, but once he finished it they didn't like his sense of humor and decided not to use it. But you can see it on Vimeo. The video shows the use of a variety of different Canon EF lenses and operation of the camera in different situations:
I believe that Canon made a beautiful camera that is sensible, reliable and portable in a way that I've always dreamed a camera could be. It prioritizes great skin tone and has higher ISO sensitivity than any other camera out there.

I know there's nothing I can say to change the minds of the RED fan club. For the rest of the skeptics, I think once you get your hands on it you'll understand how great this camera really is. Please buy this camera in January and go film some good skin tones in the dark. You'll love it.
Jonathan also wrote this piece about the camera that's posted on Canon's Website: EOS C300 for Cinematographers
Canon Log is a custom picture setting that has log gamma and high dynamic range, leaving maximum freedom in post-production with color correction in mind. The image is recorded with a flat image quality with subdued contrast and sharpness. This setting helps provide the most image information, subject detail and texture from the sensor. Canon Log is therefore ideal for the film cinematographer who doesn't want to rush to commit to a look on set, but would rather adjust color carefully during the editing process, in a proper viewing environment with a trusted colorist. Canon Log gamma can be selected and activated via the CUSTOM PICTURE button, on the camera's left side.

DPX, ProRes and EX 35Mb/s comparison tests – what a nightmare!
| Alister Chapman | XDCAM User
Alister wanted to compare the Convergent Design Gemini and Atamos Samurai codec performance, but then ran into a lot of problems:
However all sorts of strange things are happening when I bring the clips into my edit applications. What’s worse I get different results with different apps. For example bringing in all the material in to Adobe CS5.5 results in different luma levels for all the clips. Not only that, I also created some ProRes 4444 clips from the uncompressed DPX files and these are different again.
He does note some interesting things; the Sony PMW-F3's internal 8-bit recording compares very favorably with the 10-bit recordings, that ProRes is noisy, and the DPX files from the Gemini were the best!

ZEISS CP.2 VS. ZF.2 | Matthew Duclos | Circle of Confusion
Zeiss's CP.2 lenses use the same optics as their ZF.2 lenses, but is the CP.2 just a ZF in a different case? Matthew compares:
The ZF.2 lenses use a fairly standard 9 bladed iris whereas the CP.2 lenses utilize a much more rounded 14 bladed iris. This isn’t just a numbers game. A rounder aperture makes for rounder bokeh, smoother background blur at wider apertures. This brings me to my next difference. The Compact Primes will provide a much smoother, creamier bokeh thanks to the 14 bladed aperture design but you won’t be able to pull off the crazy shallow depth of field shots because the CP.2 lenses are all limited to f/2 (T2.1) at most.

Sony NEX FS 100 Picture Profile Test | Michael Solomon | Vimeo
Michael has posted some test videos shot with the NEX-FS100, including this one showing the different picture profiles - graded and ungraded:
Profiles Tested
1) AB Normal
2) GLog A
3) GC 1
4) GC 2
He also posted: Sony NEX FS-100 Test Shoot
Shot on Sigma 20mm f/1.8 nikon mount using a novoflex adapter
Picture profile used was ABNorm
Shot on a Blackbird stabilizer
Beach panoramas shot at 60fps 1080

The Technicolor CineStyle | Craig Fields | Blog
Short example clip and instructions for installing the Technicolor CineStyle on a Canon DSLR:
A Picture Style (profile) is simply a look you can apply to your footage while shooting. The EOS camera’s come with various different ones, like Standard, vivid, black and white etc… but when working under a professional group of people where there are people who want a more specific ‘look’ they’ll turn to someone who colour grades footage. When doing this, it’s vital you get a flat image! This is what the CineStyle by Technicolor does.

Camcorder Of The Year 2011 | Trusted Reviews
Three consumer camcorders are picked as winner and runners-up for the year, with the Panasonic HDC-TM900K [789.95] coming out on top (it is a three-chip camera, which is unusual for consumer camcorders in this price range):
With a 12x optical zoom and 700x digital zoom, this camcorder records outstanding image quality in virtually all conditions. Our panel was impressed at the test footage we shot, which was smooths[sic] and pin sharp.

Killing the Film Fest Panel | Brian Newman | Sub Genre
Kill the film panel, but replace it with something else:
We need more one on ones, more panels where two people debate (or agree) on a topic. Let’s hear just from the expert. Let’s talk just with the director. Let’s hear what the entertainment attorney thinks for one solid hour. Let’s hear what the DP learned on set for one hour. Let’s hear a talk between just two festival programmers.

Douglas Trumbull Sees a Better Filmgoing Future | Debra Kaufman | Creative COW
Trumbull did the effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and directed Silent Running and Brainstorm. This is an interview with Trumbull, who is now an advocate for high frame-rate movies:
Higher frame rates give a strong sense immersion and realism, made possible by the tremendous reduction of blurring. Showscan was based on photographing 65mm film at 60 fps and then projecting it using 70mm prints at the same rate.

We had done laboratory tests to see the impact of high-frame rates images on viewers. Viewers were shown identical films shot and projected at 24, 36, 48, 60, 66 and 72 fps, and all of them were monitored with electromyogram, electroencephalogram, galvanic skin response and electrocardiogram. The results were conclusive that the 60 fps profoundly increased the viewers' visual stimulation.

You Better Be F—ing Serious: David Fincher on Directing | Fincher Fanatic | Blog
Fincher on being a director, and the differences between the American and Swedish film industry:
"I think the Swedish film industry is probably more like the future. The directors of the future are going to come from YouTube. I'm telling you, Steven Spielberg tells me, 'check this out!' – and he's watching YouTube. People are sending him links to stuff. Here's some dude in Argentina, who's made some short, and he's watching it on Vimeo or whatever. It's totally decentralized."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quick Links

Movie debut: How Canon's C300 camera was created | Olivier Laurent
| British Journal of Photography
Olivier Laurent interviews Peter Yabsley, Canon Europe’s manager of the business development professional, video division, about the C300's features and evolution:
The C300 doesn’t offer 4k resolution, an increasingly popular format in Hollywood, but Yabsley says Canon is getting there. “The basic gist of it is that we felt it was the most appropriate way to go to start with. This is a camera that is going to be used for a lot of different purposes – especially in broadcast. For that broad market, it made sense to have an HD product [as opposed to one offering a resolution of 4096 × 3112 pixels].” Even so, he adds, the Cinema EOS system is here to stay. “As we explained in Hollywood, this is not a one-shot deal. The C300 is just the start and, while we’re launching with this camera, we’re already looking at what will be the next step and how we’re going to go forward.”

The Latest (8) Bits on the Canon EOS C300 | No Film School
Ryan Koo has already placed his order for a Scarlet-X because he thinks it's best for narrative film making, but here he posts some more thoughts on the C300, the 8-bit controversy, as well as what others have said about the camera:
Thorpe says (paraphrasing), “this was the codec we had to use, but future cameras will not be 8-bit.” Regardless of the C300′s merits, I’ve never heard of a manufacturer being so upfront about the planned obsolescence of a product.

Scarlet-X – RIG madness all over again – C300 wins | Cinema5D
Yet another comparison of the two cameras, this time looking at lens mount position, weight, and what this means for using the cameras on shoulder rigs:
The weight of an HDSLR is light enough to be tolerated in front of our faces, but the Scarlet-X (over 2.5kg / 6lbs) really needs to rest on the shoulder thus creating the need for a different than HDSLR shoulder setup and an EVF.

In comparison the Canon C300 (3lbs / 1.25kg) will allow for a much simpler, more backwards compatible and much more affordable setup.

Canon C300 selects for commercial | Nigel Akam | Vimeo
Short segments shot using the C300:
We used Canon 16 -35L 2.8, 24-70L 2.8, 70-200L 2.8, and a Zeiss 85mm ZF 1.4 with a Nikon to EF adapter for one of the interviews. Mostly at iso 850, with one at iso 1000, in Canon log 4:2:2 50mb to CF cards.

Canon C 300 The Cake Test | Nigel Akam | Vimeo
Low light test shot with the C300:
I wanted to see some low light with a single candle, as well as flashes, and finally a very aggressive whip pan to see any rolling shutter.
All shot with the Canon C 300 in Canon log at 4:2:2 50 mb/s. Using a 24-70L 2.8 and 100mmL 2.8 macro lenes

Sony F3 S-Log test | Wiegaetner | YouTube
A low-light test shot with and without the S-Log upgrade for the Sony PMW-F3. Pretty impressive difference in sensitivity.
Just a short test, showing the performance of the S-Log upgrade for the Sony F3. Shot with a Carl Zeiss 35mm lens at 1.4 and 18db. Also used a KiPro Mini recorder. The room was totally dark!

Sony Professional: Philip Bloom 'Evening Waltz' in HD | Sony Professional | Vimeo
I previously linked to an article about how Sony hired Philip Bloom to shoot a video with the NEX-FS100. They have now posted it in HD on Vimeo.
Following your feedback, we have uploaded 'Evening Waltz' - a short film shot by Philip Bloom as part of Sony Professional's 'Extra.Ordinary' project - in full and in HD.

To find out how Philip shot this footage, go to You can also enter a competition to win a Sony NEX-FS100EK and have your idea made into film reality by Philip Bloom!

Just remember, when you publish to YouTube or Vimeo you are broadcasting to the World | FCP.Co
I'm not sure I agree with this complaint about people saying things on camera and then removing the clips from YouTube. Mainly because it's blaming the people that say those things, rather than the people that posted the videos (probably) without getting permission in the first place.
We do have a problem with people appearing on a panel discussion that is clearly being filmed, giving out previously unheard information rumour based or not and then complaining when people watch it online.
2) Don't say anything on camera that you haven't first hand knowledge of being true. We are not lawyers here, but a date stamped video of somebody saying something they shoudn't have is pretty damming evidence.

Zacuto customer service | Bill Pryor | DVFreelancer
This customer support story was originally brought to my attention by Zacuto's Twitter account, but it's a good story:
Over the years I've done quite a number of customer service training programs (both video and workbooks). In my experience to date Zacuto is the poster child for great customer service. People say they are expensive, and they are (though not significantly more than similar quality competitors) but their products are excellent, and the way they deal with their customers is first class. I don't mind paying a little more when I get that.

THE SOFTWARE CAMERA | Michael Murie | FilmMaker
An article I wrote for Filmmaker's website about cameras and software/firmware updates:
It used to be that when a camera was released its features were set in stone, and only the arrival of a new model – or a very rare recall – saw any changes in the capabilities of the camera. That has changed as the computer-like functionality of video cameras has expanded.

SplitScreen X Lite [Free effect for Final Cut Pro X] | CrumplePop
CrumplePop has released SplitScreen X Lite, a free version of their SplitScreen X effect for FCP X. SplitScreen X Lite contains three complete split-screen styles. According to the developer, "it is a completely usable product, and does not expire or nag you or anything like that."
SplitScreen X Lite is for FCP X only.

Free Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) Transition: Fade with Freeze Frame | fxmah
| YouTube
A video demonstrating this  transtiion for Final Cut Pro X:
More simple than retiming a Hold frame from the storyline, plus audio progresses normally into and out of the transition. You can Freeze going into the transition, or coming out of it on the other side (Fade In to "action").

Christmas Slideshow Template | NocoDave | FCP.Co
A Christmas scene with an insert for video clips, along with a simple transition between clips.
I've made a Christmas Slideshow Template for FCPX. It's simple, traditional looking and can be used with any number of photo's. It can be found on my site where I'll be adding free templates every so often.

Dr. Strangelove in Sony 4K: or How I learned to Start Worrying that My Standard 2K Cinema Pictures Don’t Cut the Mustard | On Benny's Desk
Reaction to seeing 4K projection vs 2K:
The first was scanned at the current digital standard of 2K, (2048 x 1080 pixels) and the second at 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels). It was a close up of Peter O’Toole’s face, covered in a desert head covering, full of texture and grain, and the two images were switched between. As Crisp himself said, “the detail literally goes away when you look at the 2K version.”
...It was quite literally an eye-opener as while I would have tended to think of 2K as pretty impressive, the 2K version looked relatively blurry by comparison. I think I actually feel short-changed by mere 2K now – I want all my movies in 4K.

Pro Audio To Go | RevUp Transmedia
This app promises 48 kHz recording on your iPhone. It's $29.99. XLR (!) cables are sold separately: Books, eLearning Courses & Cables
Pro Audio To Go turns your iPhone into a 48 kHz professional audio recorder for use on location by news reporters, journalists, documentarians, musicians, DSLR videographers, filmmakers, producers and editors. With a single tap on your phone, you can record an AIFF audio file in 48 kHz. Upload the file directly to an FTP server or email it, then download and instantly begin using it in your editing system's Timeline. No conversion necessary!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quick Links

CANON EOS CINEMA INTERVIEW | Mat Gallagher | Amateur Photographer
Interview with Peter Yabsley, Canon Europe's business development manager for professional video, Michael Burnhill, Canon Europe's professional support specialist and Kojiro Yoshikawa, professional business manager for Consumer Imaging, Canon Europe:
MB: The Holy Grail for video cameras is to have a 3-chip design, which is difficult with a large sensor. This is the best solution to give us a 3-chip output from a single chip. There's also a design consideration because, while anything is possible, if you make a bigger chip it uses more power, needs more circuitry and cooling and therefore a change of body design. So when we're considering that we want this to be a small unit, and HD, the question is how we put it all together. We think what we've done with this one is the best overall balance.

Canon showcases Cinema EOS System at European Launch | Canon
On this page there's a short video with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle offering his first impressions of the new Canon Cinema EOS System C300.
When I was looking at this camera and exposing with a torch in the dark on a face at 20,000 ASA, I watched this extrodianry appearance of image, really where my eyes couldn't see what the camera was seeing...

Why the Scarlet Sucks (because you’re too stupid to get context) | The Wire |
A look at the Scarlet workflow:
With inflammatory title in hand, John Hess considers the additional Post Production details of RED shooting for folks who may not have a clue what they’re getting themselves into in this response to the C300 vs Scarlet debate.

Sony Nex5N 60P Test For TBOE Opening Sequence | jared abrams | Vimeo
Video shot at 60P on the NEX-5N, then slowed down...
This is some very nice footage from our opening sequence shoot today for The Board Of Education Doc. We are grinding our way through principal photography now and wanted to show you some of our work so far. This is going to b a great opening sequence! We are so thankful to have the opportunity to make this film.

SONY FS100: SMOOTH SLOW RECORD, GIMMICK? | El Skid | Wide Open Camera
Robin writes about his experiences using the NEX-FS100, as well as the Smooth Slow mode:
As I’ve begun post production on my longer projects with the camera I’ve begun to really like it however, and the 1080 slow motion is just a wondrous thing. One of the more curious features of the camera is a little button on the side labelled ‘smooth slow rec’. Selecting this option sets the camera to record 3 seconds of high-speed footage at SD resolution. This gives you 12 seconds of footage so logic says this must be 100 fps. As soon as you say SD, then most users turn their noses up at the feature and never use it. But why?

The 99th Birthday of Hollywood Technicolor Films | Michael Pinto | Fanboy
I never guessed the Technicolor process is that old!
This was because it was the first film to use the two-color Technicolor process which allowed the film to be shown on a standard film projector, [while] previous color films required a special projector which would simultaneously [run] several reels of film that were projected through a beam splitter.

Netflix To Take A Loss In 2012, Which Should Be Good For Consumers
| Christophor Rick | ReelSEO
Things not looking so good for Netflix, and they expect to post a loss next year too:
The real reason this is all great for consumers is that, there is far more online streaming video competition both in the marketplace now and coming soon. Services like Hulu, Amazon, Flixster, Ultraviolet, Cinema Now, etc are all making it easier than ever to get the video content we want on our own schedule.

The Sketchbook of Susan Kare, the Artist Who Gave Computing a Human Face
| Steve Silberman | Plos Blogs
Not really video related, but a look at the work of Susan Kare, who designed the original Mac fonts and GUI elements. It concludes with an interesting thought about art:
I asked Kare if she had any feeling at the time that the work she was doing at Apple 30 years ago would be so pervasively influential. ”You can set out to make a painting, but you can’t set out to make a great painting,” she told me. “If you look at that blank canvas and say, ‘Now I’m going to create a masterpiece’ — that’s just foolhardy. You just have to make the best painting you can, and if you’re lucky, people will get the message.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quick Links

Sony F3 4:4:4 RGB uncompressed workflow | Christoph Tilley | _mxr blog
Christoph explains the capture workflow he's using with the Sony PMW-F3:
I am capturing the 4:4:4 output of the F3 into the Ultrastudio 3D connected via Thunderbolt to a 17″ MacBook Pro. The Blackmagic software running on the MacBook Pro is capturing in 10-bit uncompressed RGB and saving the files on a Promise Thunderbolt RAID5. Because the Thunderbolt RAID is so fast I can run an additional task while capturing. Adobe Media Encoder is watching the incoming folder on the RAID and is encoding the uncompressed files to ProRes4444. The finished ProRes files are saved on a 3,5″ SATA HDD docked in an eSATA dock. The dock is connected to the MacBook Pro via an ExpressCard eSATA adapter from Sonnet (that’s why it has to be a 17″ MBP for now until Thunderbolt to eSATA adapters are available).

First Short Subject Shot On RED Epic - Austin Orth - Frontside Coffee
| Tom Guilmette | Blog
Tom writes about how he approached this short piece, and the equipment used:
I had four Zeiss CP2 lenses with me. I used the 21mm t2.9, 35mm t2.1, 50mm t2.1, and 85mm t2.1. These lenses are very light and super sharp. The only problem with them is the fact they are slow and require more light. Plus I found the Epic not as light sensitive as a Canon 5dmk2 DSLR or other large sensor cameras.

Apple made a 64bit Final Cut Pro 8 and then decided to kill it | FCP.Co
Richard Harrington speaking at a meeting of the Television, Internet & Video Association of Washington DC claims Apple did a 64-bit version of Final Cut Pro 7 (i.e. 8)
"There was a Final Cut 8 and it was 64bit and it was done and they looked at it and said 'This is not what we want to do, this is evolutionary, this is not revolutionary' and they killed it."

GoPro HD Hero 2 review | Camera Labs
A video review of the new GoPro HD Hero 2:
Once again the headline upgrade is the ability to capture Full HD 1080p video with ultra-wide 170 degree coverage, whereas the earlier HD Hero could only achieve this at 720p (16:9) or 960p (4:3). If you're into slow motion, a new 120fps mode at 848x480 will slow the action by four times. The still photo resolution has been boosted from 5 to 11 Megapixels and you can now take a burst of ten shots in one second. The timelapse feature which takes photos automatically at preset periods is now available at half second intervals, and there's now both HDMI and external microphone ports. Perhaps most exciting of all is the upcoming Wifi accessory which will allow you to remote-control up to 50 HD Hero 2 cameras using a smartphone and even view their feeds on-screen.

Balancing the NEX-FS100 on Steadicam Merlin | DerranNL | Blog
Configuration and setup for using the Sony NEX-FS100 on the Steadicam Merlin, along with video:
I chose this camera and lens configuration especially for use on the Steadicam Merlin. Because the 16mm pancake lens is very light weight and has auto iris and focus capabilities, it makes it an ideal partner for the camera and Merlin. Also the ability to put on the ultra wide converter (I always like the ultra wide look on a Steadicam) makes it a great choice.

SONY FS100 100FPS 'BLOG' STYLE EDIT | Robin Schmidt | Vimeo
Shooting in Smooth Slow Rec mode (slow motion) with the Sony NEX-FS100:
The edit on this film is dire, the music I used is a cheap trick to make the film seem more important and it's way too long. Like I said, 'blog' style.

Sony E 24mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* ZA SEL24F18Z (Tested) | SLRGear
A review of the forthcoming Sony/Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens for NEX (E-mount) cameras.)
The Sony 24mm ƒ/1.8 Sonnar T* ZA is a quality lens, nicely finished in a matte black finish. The lens feels very sturdy and fairly heavy, weighing in at 8oz: it's worth noting that the NEX-7 weighs just over 12oz, so for the camera platform it provides, this is a very light combination. The lens has only one control on it, the manual focus ring. The lens uses a metal body mount, and plastic 49mm filter threads. There is no depth-of-field scale, distance scale or infrared index.

Panasonic AG-AC160 Gets AVCHD Progressive Firmware Update | Cinescopophilia
Firmware update expected next year:
Panasonic announced new firmware for its AVCCAM handheld camera recorder AG-AC160 will be available in 2012. The new firmware will allow AG-AC160 to record in Full HD Progressive formats complying with AVCHD progressive standard.

A useful plugin to see your Mac’s performance: MiStat | Daniel Freytag
| Freytag Film
Short post about an interesting app, MiStat, for monitoring Mac performance:
MiStat shows detailed information for your CPU, memory, disk usage, disk activity and network activity. You can view realtime history graphs for CPU, memory, network and disk activity.

Tascam iM2 Stereo Microphone for Apple iOS Products | B & H
You can now pre-order th2 iM2 plug-in mic for the iPhone 4/iPad and iPod Touch for $79.99


Peachpit Press is offering an "eBook Deal of the Day," and this week the title is Richard Harrington's Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques. The book sells for $41.99 on Amazon, and $37.79 in the Kindle edition, but you can get it this week for $9.99 at Peachpit: Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques

NOTE: If you go to Amazon [this link:] Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques you can "Look Inside" to see the contents of the book.