Saturday, January 07, 2012

Quick Links

Nikon D4 Digital SLR - The New King of the Hill for DSLR Video? | Cameratown
A look at the promising video capabilities of the new Nikon D4:
The uncompressed HDMI output allows the video feed from the camera to be fed to an external HD field recorder for a more streamlined workflow in some circumstances. Unfortunately, it's been reported that the camera cannot record to it's own memory cards while sending the signal to it's HDMI port. I'm not sure if this is only true when mirroring the signal to the camera's LCD. If not, this could pose a big problem for those looking to use an external monitor for monitoring.

Nikon D4 | Amazon
No price, and you can't order yet, but you can sign up to be notified when it's available.

And so it Begins… Nikon D4 HDSLR Announced! | Paul D
A list of specs for the D4.
I recently wrote “..if you thought 2011 was an important year for cameras, photographers and filmmakers…you ain’t seen nothing yet!” Well we’re only 6 days into the new year and one of the most important cameras of 2012 has just been announced…the Nikon D4!

Nikon D4 supports iPad as field monitor and remote | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Another look at the video features of the D4:
The Nikon D4 has the ability to monitor and control the camera via a web browser on a portable device like the iPad.

Nikon chose the HTTP protocol to do this, which is the same data protocol that websites use. With a WIFI or internet connection you can control the Nikon D4 through Safari on your iPad, iPhone or Mac, indeed any other personal computing device with a web browser.

D4 Delicious | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR 4 Real
Sam is generally happy with the D4, with a few reservations:
All is not perfect. I have some concerns about the D4.

It appears to have Mini HDMI - the worlds worst connection interface

One the sound side 3.5mini jack is far from ideal too - BeachTek may come back into fashion big style or of course my Sound Devices 702 recorder - a solution like the 702 that records a master to a CF card and feeds out to the camera is probably ideal

A sample video that Nikon has posted:

Killing TV lighting, 4k and 10-bit - Canon C300 late night chat with Rodney Charters, Drew Gardner and Lan Bui part 1 | The Bui Brothers | Blog
A video chat with Drew, Rodney Charters and Lan Bui on New Year’s eve covering a long list of topics:
Kelvin meters vs in-camera waveforms
Using the existing light on large productions
Shooting without lights or with very minimal lights
The biggest light needed on a TV set
Generator equipment and operators are not needed anymore
Good lenses for handheld camera use, especially for 12 hour days

Colorimetric and Resolution requirements of cameras Alan Roberts ADDENDUM 70 : tests and settings on a Canon EOS C300 | CVP Blog
Tests done with a pre-production model of the C300:
The sensor is a single CMOS, total 4206×2340 photo-sites, of which a central patch of 3840×2160 is used for the video signal (the implications of this will be discussed in detail in the measurements section).. Recording is onto Compact Flash card (two slots) in MPEG-2, long-GoP, with MXF file format. Three bit rate options are available: 50Mb/s CBR (constant bit rate) at 4:2:2 colour sampling (1920×1080 or 1280×720), 35Mb/s 4:2:0 VBR (1920×1080 or 1280×720) and 25Mb/s 4:2:0 CBR (1440×1080 only). Thus it complies with broadcast requirements for bit rate and offers more economic rates for greater economy (the 25Mb/s option matches HDV format).

Getting High on the Fs100 | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR 4 Real
An article about how the NEX-FS100 highlights go yellow, instead of white, and how to expose to avoid the problem:
Firstly we want to choose, where possible, our composition, subject matter, use of lights or reflectors to reduce the dynamic range in an image.
We then need to choose our exposure.
We then need to expose not to protect our 'super highlights' but must be careful to protect the important highlights, for example faces.

As a guide I think I would want to place a face at 70 or 80% across the histogram, but with these cameras I will be looking to place a face at around 50% across the histogram. This image will look too dark on a calibrated monitor and we will see some of those horrible colour shifts in the image

Part 1 and 2 now live!! The Christmas mini shootout with the C300 (pre-production), F3, FS100, hacked GH2 and more!! | Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip has posted the second part of his Christmas shootout:
Kind of hypocritical to say this as this whole shootout is about it, remember pixel peeping will make you go blind and give you hairy palms!! Shoot with the camera you have/can afford! There is a lot more to filmmaking than pixel peeping!

Write Shoot Cut | Website
Neil Rolland is a scriptwriter based in Edinburgh, Scotland, who has been posting a series of interviews with actors and filmmakers.
Brett Harvey is a filmmaker I met during my time in Falmouth at University. He was part of a collective of Cornish filmmakers and friends who were doing some exciting stuff, running monthly short film nights and competitions for new talent. It was (and still is) such a vibrant community and it is no surprise to me that there are several feature films coming out of Cornwall this year from this creative hub.

EVF035W-3G Electronic Viewfinder | TVLogic
A very sneak peak at a new EVF, with more details to come February 2nd.
3.5" 960x640
HD-SDI loop-through
HDMI in/out
Focus assist

SOPA Is a Symbol of the Movie Industry's Failure to Innovate | Steve Blank
| The Atlantic
More reasons not to like SOPA:
One of the claims that studios make is that they need legislation to stop piracy. The fact is piracy is rampant in all forms of commerce. Video games and software have been targets since their inception. Grocery and retail stores euphemistically call it shrinkage. Credit card companies call it fraud. But none use regulation as often as the movie studios to solve a business problem. And none are so willing to do collateral damage to other innovative industries (VCRs, DVRs, cloud storage and now the Internet itself.)

free sample video tutorials from After Effects Learn By Vide | Adobe | Blog
A resource for the After Effects user:
The fine folks at Peachpit Press and Video2Brain have just posted some sample videos from the 14+ hours of video training in After Effects CS5: Learn By Video. This DVD and book provide an introduction to After Effects that is designed to bring you from the beginner level to the intermediate level, as well as to warn and educate you about all of the common pitfalls and gotchas in After Effects.

Video from the Canon C300 Pub Night

Unfortunately, this video wasn't shot with the Canon C300, but you get to see four C300's!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Correction on Canon C300 frame rates

A correction to today's report on the Canon C300 supporting 60p out the HDMI port. This is incorrect and a result of working from my incomplete notes taken during the meeting. Here's what Larry Thorpe actually said about the HDMI/HD-SDI output and 60p support:
Q: I was wondering if you could discuss what’s coming out the HDMI and the SDI spigots out the back?
A: HD-SDI is coming out, base band, 4:2:2, 8-bit in a 10-bit carrier, as I described earlier. HDMI, same signal, base band HD
Q: And all the frame rates will come out?
A: Yes, all the frame rates will come out. Oh, frame rates, now that's another thing I have to say, because there’s a limitation there, the image sensor that I described can go all the way up to 60p, it’s very fast. The processor and the codec that we lifted out of the XF305 to put in this camera, at 1080 it can’t deliver 60p, it’s limited to 30p, so we have 24p, 23…oh by the way we do 24.00 and 23.98, if you want to do film or television work. We’ve got the 59.94, we’ve got the 30p, but 30p is the maximum progressive on the HD-SDI spigot coming out. 720 60p comes out on the spigot no problem there, but at the 1080 we’re limited to 30p.

The Canon C300 comes to Boston

Rule Boston Camera has been running their Pub Nights - a slightly less formal, evening lecture series - for about a year now, but I’m pretty sure that last night’s “Canon EOS C300 New England Debut” had the largest attendance of any of them. A large crowd turned out to eat the free pizza and drink the beer, and hear Larry Thorpe explain what’s so different about the C300. Larry brought with him four cameras, including one with a PL mount, and they were set up in different configurations and rigs for those present to handle.

But they couldn’t tell us one thing; the price. They won’t tell us that until January 17th. Until then, all they will say is “the list price is $20,000.”

Introduced by John Rule as “an engineers’ engineer,” Larry began by asking how many creative people were present - at least two thirds of the crowd put up their hands - and then, how many techie people were present. When only two or three people put up their hands, he continued, “Oh great, no PowerPoint tonight!”

While they are clearly proud of the camera, Larry said he was going to explain what the C300 is, and what it is not. “It’s the first in a road map” Larry said, adding “it is a true-blue 4K sensor, but we elected not to make a 4K camera.” They feel that the action at the moment is in high definition for television etc. Even for most movie making, he pointed out, much of the current digital work is being acquired in an HD format. But this camera isn’t their final statement; “Where the market goes, we will be there.” He also added that the new lenses they have developed are 4K lenses.

Larry Thorpe

The camera uses a standard Bayer array sensor, with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, or “Quad HD.” They don’t de-Bayer the sensor, but use the Bayer mask to do the color encoding. The readout from the sensor gives a 1920x1080 red image, and a 1920 x 1080 blue image. The green image is 1920 x 2160, or the equivalent of two 1920 x 1080 frames. These two green images are combined, which raises the sensitivity and dynamic range of the green and creates a very clean, sharp image.

The imager is producing a true 4:4:4 image. That’s the good news. But according to Larry, they were in a hurry to get it to market, and didn’t have enough time to produce a new image processor and codec, so they used the one from the XF305, which is 8bit MPEG. And MPEG is limited to 4:2:2. The camera sends out the same 4:2:2 8-bit image - on a 10-bit carrier - out the HDMI and HD-SDI port. But, Larry argues, if they do the processing well, “You don't lose a lot…you lose a little. That's our argument,” he continued, “but seeing is believing.”

Rolling Shutter, while still present, is virtually eliminated by reading the sensor at 1/60th of a second. At 60fps it’s read at 1/120.

One of the demo movies, “XXIT,” produced by Stargate Studios, featured a lot of green screen work, and the images looked very clean. They also shot some interesting material strapping the camera to some motorcycles, so it’s worth checking out if you haven’t seen it.

An interesting addendum is that while the sensor can produce 60p at 1080, the processor and codec can’t, so you would have to use an external recorder for 60p [CORRECTION: The camera supports 60p at only 720]. Also, the camera supports both true 24p and 23.98p.

The other “secret sauce,” according to Larry, is that the photo sites in the sensor are totally new and very sensitive. “Is there noise? Yes, but the noise, it's not what you're used to seeing when you jack up the gain in a camera.” They’ve managed to eliminate the fixed pattern noise. “It's not grain, but it's evocative of film grain.” Noise starts to appear at about 6400, and is noticeable at 12,000.

Rick Macomber checks out the PL mount Canon C300

When asked what the ISO of the sensor was, he said that at Master Gain Zero, it’s 640, but for best image results you should use 850 and Canon Log. They think the camera is reproducing 12 stops of latitude, though “Some say we’re getting more.”

The C300 is, said Larry, “a legacy of the unexpected reaction to the 5D Mark II.” Canon spoke with over 100 DPs in 2010 to find out what they wanted. “One overriding message; the 5D is marvelous for hand held shooting. If you can make a video camera as easy and light to hold, that's what you should do.” When asked why the audio is a separate (included) module, Larry said that most of the people they spoke to shoot audio separately, and they wanted to be able to strip the camera down. Striped down, the camera and EVF weigh 3.1 lbs, yet Larry says the robustness of the mechanical design is quite remarkable.

Taking a veiled swipe at Red, Larry said; “We make all the accessories, they are in the box, unlike some others. You don't have to go out and buy a viewfinder separately. We think it's best for the majority [of users].”

Talking about lenses, Larry briefly mentioned the new 4K lenses they have announced. They will be producing these in both EF and PL mounts, with the EF versions arriving first, and the PL a few months later.

He said that they debated creating one camera with an adapter to support EF and PL mounts, but ultimately decided to make two cameras. ‘They felt they could keep the back focus precision if they made dedicated EF and PL cameras.”

Later this summer, variants, of these 4K lenses in a wide and telephoto PL and EF will be produced that will be lighter, slightly smaller, and about half the price. They’ll have somewhat lower performance, still 4K, but with not quite the same MTF. When asked what the benefit of a 4K lens is for a 1080 camera, Larry said that you still get higher resolution, and less chromatic aberration, though he didn’t add that with a 4K lens you’ll be ready for that next camera they release.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Canon C300 tonight at Rule Boston Camera with Larry Thorpe

Due to a power outage(!) and other issues, there will be no posting this morning, but I will be at the Rule Boston Camera event tonight to see the Canon C300 and will post on it either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Quick Links

Canon C300 – the ultimate low light test with Rodney Charters, Drew Gardner and Lan Bui | The Bui Brothers | Blog
Another post from the adventures of Rodney, Drew & Lan and the C300:
... then shot this non scientific test for low light with the Canon C300. Rodney shoots a lot of TV stuff and has much more knowledge than I do on how good this test really is. I was blown away at how well we were able to see Drew when we lit him with just an iPad. Yes thats right we lit a person with just an iPad and shot it with a C300. Now some of you might we thinking it is unrealistic to actually use an iPad in a production to light something. I’m not going to tell you if it is right or wrong… but it is a possibility.

The Ultimate low light test with a Canon C300? perhaps not, but a real eye opener as my eyes were starting to close | Drew Gardner
Drew also posted the video, with only a few more details:
It was a fun day, but by close to 2AM on the 1st January I was fading FAST. At this point after much, much rambling about life the universe and everything Rodney suggested we do a low light test shot with the Canon C300.

With an iPad

Yes, an iPad as a light source.

SONY FS100 K-Tone Picture Profiles Preview | Frank Glencairn | Blog
Frank continues his experiments with Picture Profiles for the Sony NEX-FS100:
K-Tone Picture Profiles are the first “out of the box” profiles I made. That means, it does not require color grading (of course you can grade it though if you want).
I look at it, as I look at specialty lenses. Some odd vintage glass, that I may find on a flea market for a few bucks and adapt it on the camera for some special looks and shots.
What I want to say is, this is not an everyday production profile. It´s more experimental, vintage, sweet-home-Alabama looking. So play with it and let me know what you think.

The Winner in reverse order | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
In a two-part article, Philip first looks at the six top cameras he got to play with in 2011 [Camcorder of 2011…6 cameras 1 winner,] and crowns the NEX-FS100 the winner:
I was told by a Sony birdie when I asked the question “Whats the difference between the FS100 and the F3 ?” Sony “The FS100 is slightly noisier than the F3 and has no SDI or ND filters” Kidology as far as noise in my books this camera may not have S-Log but the picture is rock solid and bloody brilliant up to 18dBs and this comes from a man who has witnessed the F3′s fantastic noiseless pictures for himself.
[...] Once you get your head around the ND filter problem and in my case bought a smashing GenusTech Rig which then allows you to swap Vari-ND filters very easily and the fact that my Sony PVM-740 monitor has an HDMI socket…your sorted.

Kodak warned by NYSE that its shares may be delisted if they don’t rally back above $1 | AP | Washington Post
Things aren't looking good for film, or for Kodak:
Under NYSE rules, the Rochester, N.Y., company has six months to regain compliance with the minimum share price requirement. That means its stock must have a closing price of at least $1 a share on the last trading day of any calendar month during the period and must maintain that average over the previous 30 trading days or on the last day of the six months.

Final Cut Pro X Tips | Larry Jordan | Blog
Larry posts a lot of short tips on using Final Cut Pro, and Final Cut Pro X, including:
FCP X: Quick Color Correction
You know the drill… The deadline is crashing down around you and one of your clips was shot by a color-blind orangutan and it is ruining your entire opus. But, you don’t have time for a complete color grade – in fact, the video scopes are pretty much of a mystery. What to do?
Easy – read this. This color correction technique isn’t perfect, but it is REALLY fast and gets you close enough to keep your job.

FCP X: Create a Picture-in-Picture Effect
A picture-in-picture effect is a very popular effect in that it allows us to see two images at once. This tutorial shows you how to create this in FCP X.

FCP 7: Putting Video Inside a Shape
Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I thought I would use it as the example for one of my favorite effects – putting video inside a shape. This effect is also called a “traveling matte.”

Screenwriting Structure | Jill Remensnyder | Zacuto
Jill offers some tips on story structure:
Your audience subconsciously expects certain things to happen at certain points in a movie. Your job is to reveal the information so seamlessly they forget it’s coming and are hooked to keep watching more. Pacing the release of information is critical to keep your audience on the edge of their seats. Remember, every great film (even comedies) have suspense. Don’t think of suspense in terms of its genre, think of it in terms of keeping your audience glued to the screen.

OK, let’s try again: this is the Nikon D4! | Nikon Rumors
Rumors about the D4 are that it will be announced this Friday, and it may support uncompressed video out HDMI?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Quick Links

New Year's Resolutions For Filmmakers | Scott Macaulay | Filmmaker
Scott offers ideas for the coming year:
4. Work for a friend. Take a page from Lucas McNelly and his Kickstarter project — don’t just obsess about your own work, make yourself crew for someone you know. UPM, do locations, cast, take sound for a project of someone other than yourself. Commit to the level of your free time.

New MTF Services Lens Adapters" Electronic EOS To Sony F3/FS100/Panasonic AND B4 To EOS/Sony F2/FS100 | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
We've been looking for a good EOS lens adapter, and maybe MTF has one:
The MTF EOS electronic lens adapter is the first to actually be available to order for the Sony F3 and NEX. It also works with Micro 4/3 cameras like the Panasonic AF100 where it joins the already available Redrockmicro livelens adapter in offering aperture control, but adds the benefit of image stabilisation. American company Birger Engineering have also been working on a similar adapter for some time now and have even shown it working at the NAB show, but it is still not available to buy.

Techniques for Slowmotion Video | Richard Harrington | Blog
A Creative COW video with Robbie Carman and Richard Harrington creating slow motion in different tools:
In this video tutorial with Robbie Carman and Richard Harrington, learn various ways for converting DSLR footage into instantaneous, buttery smooth slow motion using After Effects, Twixtor, or Cinema Tools; you might also use Optical Flow in Apple Motion, Advanced Frame Blending in AE, and FCP.

The Really Good Things In Indie Film Biz 2011 | Ted Hope | IndieWire
A look back at changes in Indie Filmmaking over the past year:
1. 2011 Was The Year That Crowdfunding Took Off
  1. Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (H.R.2930) was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this November.
  2. Films readily surpassed their goals.
  3. Many exceeded $100K

Do-it-Yourself Acoustical Treatments: How to Build a Diffuser | Sloane | Audio Undone
A section from the book Audio Engineering 101: A Beginner's Guide to Music Production that explains how to build a "quadratic diffuser;" something I didn't even know existed until a read this!
A diffuser is a great way to control reflections in a room and make your room sound flatter. If your room is on the “dead” side, diffusers may be more suitable than adding absorptive sound control. Diffusers are often placed on the back wall behind the engineer’s head. They can also be placed in the studio to help tighten up a room, reduce flutter echo, and control reflections.

You Need a Logline | Xander Bennett | MasteringFilm
Another screen-writing tip:
What’s a logline, you ask? It’s two sentences that sum up the entire essence of your story, from protagonist to setting to plot. Here’s one I prepared earlier:
Dorothy, a naïve farm girl from Kansas, is carried away by a tornado to the mystical land of Oz. With the help of her new friends, she must defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and find her way back home.

Birth of the Flex Lens Shade | Planet5D
A small flexible lens shade:
Four years ago, while shooting boxing ringside at Staples Center in Los Angeles, I was furiously working on my standard gaffers tape and cardboard extension to my lens shade to block light flare from the HBO lights that hang over the ring. The shot I had been waiting for, happened; a perfect knockout right in front of me, I quickly chimped the back of my camera and the framing was perfect except….my homemade gaffers tape hood extension drooped down and block the fighters face. Agh!! As the night wore on I ended up so paranoid of “the droop” that I found myself worrying about “the droop” as opposed to getting the shots I needed. Shooting without a shade extension was not an option as the light flare was brutal.

Fight for 35mm | Julia Marchese | The Petition Site
I don't think there's much hope, but here's an effort to "save" 35mm film as a medium for projection:
The major film studios have decided that they eventually want to stop renting all archival 35mm film prints entirely because there are so few revival houses left, and because digital is cheap and the cost of storing and shipping prints is high.

I firmly believe that when you go out to the cinema, the film should be shown in 35mm. At the New Beverly, we have never been about making money - a double feature ticket costs only $8. We are passionate about cinema and film lovers. We still use a reel to reel projection system, and our projectionists care dearly about film..

Monday, January 02, 2012

Quick Links

So You Want to Buy a RED Scarlet? | Matt Jeppsen | ProVideoCoalition
Subtitled "Do you really need that new camera? An intervention," Matt offers reasons not to buy that new Scarlet, C300 or PMW-F3:
Oftentimes client requirements and expectations do not push the capabilities of your camera…and while YOU personally might want something more powerful/interesting/snazzy, can you justify the additional cost? Will you honestly use those features? Will those features add value to your work? Be honest. Some questions relevant to the Scarlet might be; How often do you really overcrank? Are you aware of Crop Factors when overcranking Red? Does that have to be slower than 60fps? Do you honestly need higher resolution acquisition, or will you most likely still work in 1080p? Are you pushing the limits of your current acquisition codec, and why specifically?

Red Scarlet X Footage at ISO 320-6400 & at 3K 48fps & 4K | Cinescopophilia
Three tests shot with a Scarlet; at ISO 320-6400, 3k 48fps, and 4k:
Phil Holland and the Scarlet X camera called Skully have joined forces to do some camera tests. We are lucky enough to see RED Scarlet X footage at ISO 320-6400 at 3K 48fps and at a full strength 4K from Phil and Skully.

Cinema EOS White Papers | Canon
Canon has some white papers and articles on the upcoming C300, including:
New 35mm CMOS Sensor for Cine Motion Imaging:
Canon's EOS C300 has a totally new CMOS imaging sensor, dedicated to outstanding video image quality. This White Paper takes an extremely detailed look at the technologies that make this happen.
Sensitometric Characteristics of the EOS C300 Digital Cine Camera:
A technical analysis of the EOS C300's sensor and processing system, and how they combine to produce the camera's tonal reproduction and contrast range.

Canon C300 January 1, 2012 1:06 PM | Rodney Charters | UStream
Another video from Rodney Charters of Drew Gardner and Lan Bui playing with a C300. They demo a rig with a Zacuto LCD Viewfinder, and there's some interesting information; like the fact that waveform isn't sent out HDMI. This is a recording of a live stream they did.
"Suffice it to say, in a general way, we are ecstatically thrilled with this camera, and the excitement builds, and we can't wait to get hold of it for real use. I'm hopeful there's one of these in my future quite soon."
Rodney also posted this picture with the caption: This is the camera of the decade! | Mobypicture

Canon C-Log on the C300 compared to S-Log | Alister Chapman | XDCAM User
A look at C-Log compared to S-Log, which begins by suggesting that S-Log works well with 10-bit, but Canon couldn't do that same because it's an 8-bit device:
Anyway, back to the Canon C300. From what I can tell, C-Log is an extension of the cinegamma type of gamma curve. It appears to have more in common with cinegammas than true S-log. It looks like the compression starts at around 60% and that there is a little more gain at the bottom of the curve to lift shadows a little. This earlier start to the compression will allow for a greater dynamic range but will mean fewer bits of data for skin tones etc. The raised lower end gain means you can afford to underexpose more if you need to. As the curve is not a full log curve it will look a lot more agreeable than S-Log on an uncorrected monitor, especially as the crucial mid tone area is largely unaffected by strong compression and thus a large gamma miss-match.

The Canon C300 For a Day | MiH INC | Vimeo
"Mike Gurley gave me this great opportunity to test out the New Canon C-300 for a Sunday. Great fun working with such a beautiful camera."

Canon C300 Day 2 - Discussing shooting with the C300 | The Bui Brothers | Vimeo
"Today I finally got the Canon c300 out and shot some stuff with it! Drew and I discuss, footage to follow very soon."

FS100 Solid Cat | Golden Wedge | Vimeo
Attaching a Vivitar 800mm F11 Solid Catadioptric Telephoto Lens to the NEX-FS100 and ending up with the equivalent of a 1200mm lens. He's using a Novoflex T to E-mount adapter, and shows a special adapter plate he had made to mount the combined lens/camera. The lens he is using is from the 70's, and I don't know if it's the same as this one: Vivitar 800mm f/8 Series 1 Manual Focus Mirror Lens

SLR Magic announces HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 M-mount lens | DPReview
An interesting lens which won't be available until September 2012.
Hong Kong lens maker SLR Magic has announced the HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 lens for the Leica M mount. The lens, which can be easily adapted for Micro Four Thirds or Sony NEX cameras, is designed for low light and shallow depth-of-field videography and available-light photography. The lens features 12 elements in 7 groups and, the company says, is optimized to be shot with the aperture wide open.

A Cameraman's New Year Message | Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
Opening with the statement "I feel we are becoming overly obsessed with new technology and buying the latest product" Matt looks at some of the new gear of the past year, as well as what will be coming soon:
How much will the 4K concept camera be? Well given the 1D X is going to be between $6-7K US I can’t see it being any less. How the 4K camera will record and to what media remains to be seen. Regardless of price and features I’m sure the 5D mkIII will be a big seller for Canon. The 5D mkII still remains one of the best bang-for-your-buck cameras around. In my view DSLR cameras with HD video will continue to flourish. The quality of the image and the price point ensures they will remain relevant for years to come.

The quest for a small, light, levelling video tripod and head | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew is looking for a new tripod head, though I suspect that if you're looking for a video tripod head it's a case of: small, smooth, cheap, pick two.
There are some fluid 3 way heads but these are all designed for photographers. None of them seem to match the smoothness, adjustability and consistency of torsion throughout the travel of the head that a dedicated video head gives you. But none of the video heads have levelling or the 3rd axis for a roll built into the head itself.

PluralEyes for FCP X: Beta Update | Email | PluralEyes
An update to the PluralEyes beta for FCPX is available:
Syncing multi-camera and dual-system audio projects has never been easier now that the widely used and much-loved PluralEyes works with Final Cut Pro X.

We won't mail you every time there is an update, but some people had trouble even getting started with the first beta, so we wanted to be sure everyone knows that a new version is available. This release fixes lots o' bugs and is recommended to anyone who wants to try PluralEyes with FCP X.

Reminder: when it is released, the upgrade with FCP X support will be free for all current users of PluralEyes for Final Cut Pro.
Download the free beta here.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Quick Links

The Best of The Black and Blue 2011 | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
The Black and Blue blog is a great resource for the camera operator. Evan has put together a look back at the best articles of the year.
Whether you’re stepping on set for the first time or the fiftieth time, reviewing the essential skills of camera assisting is never a bad idea. Even a small reminder of how or why can have a huge payoff. Below are some articles which didn’t introduce any ideas particularly revelatory or new, but reinforced old ones that have stood the test of time.

Top 5 Video Production Industry Trends 2011 – Part 1 | Shawn Lam | Blog
Shawn is putting together a series of the top industry trends of 2011. The first part looks at Final Cut Pro X:
You can’t tell the story of the rise of Adobe Premiere Pro without first mentioning the failure of Apple Final Cut Pro X. The two stories are linked and it wasn’t so much that Adobe did anything special with their CS5.5 release that lead to their unprecedented increase in paid users (22% overall and 45% on the MAC year-over-year, as of IBC in September) as it was that Apple failed to deliver a suitable follow-up for the aging Final Cut Pro 7.
The failure of Apple Final Cut X and the rise of Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 is my top video news story of 2011.
Top 5 Video Production Industry Trends 2011 – Part 2
In part two, the death of the video magazine, which are being killed by blogs and the web:
Freshness of content is one factor but ultimately the print medium is not where videographers go for their information and writing letters to the editor and waiting for a response a month or two later is not conducive to a great dialogue for both the readers and writers. A blog or online magazine that allows comments, on the other hand, is much better suited for the degree of interaction that readers crave. As a writer I value the opportunity to respond to comments and questions – I’m not perfect and if I get something wrong I want the opportunity to make changes and show the changes that I have made.
Video Magazines R.I.P. (Rest In Print) is my number two video production industry news story of 2011.

Want Better Photos or Video? Avoid Lens Flares | Richard Harrington | 3 Exposure
Tips on avoiding lens flare (even though I like the judicious use of lens flare...)
Keep the Lens Clean and Clear
Most lenses have an anti-reflective coating to cut down on lens flare. Of course greasy fingerprints and other smudges can also cause their own problems. When you clean the lens, be sure to use a proper lens cleaning cloth to remove smudges without damaging this coating.

Embracing the bold look of PARIAH | Arri News
This film was shot on Arri film cameras and there's an interesting discussion of color:
Young and Rees discussed how the look and feel of PARIAH could be used to communicate character. For Alike, the young woman is on a journey to discover her true self. He notes, “We came up with the whole notion of chameleons. They change colors based on where they are, what they step on, or which space they cross through. That developed into the overall mantra for us, mainly in the lighting.”

Happy New Year!!!!!