Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick Links

NAB 2012: DSLRNewsShooter panel on ENG shooters 'Going Large' with Philip Bloom, Den Lennie, Rick Macomber and Matt Allard | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
Boston's own Rick Macomber joined this panel of ex- and current ENG shooters who are now shooting with DSLRs and other large-sensor cameras:
I am joined by former and current ENG news shooters Philip Bloom, Den Lennie, Rick Macomber and Matt Allard to discuss how large sensor cameras have helped each of them further their careers. We also talk about the uses for shallow depth of field in factual programmes and where the future lies.

DaVinci Resolve v9 Highlights | Peter Chamberlain | Lift Gamma Gain
A list of the highights in the new release of DaVinci Resolve:
  • Log grading includes contrast and pivot with low and high range controls
  • Composite RGBA clips using embedded Alpha
  • Stereoscopic 3D floating windows include position, softness and rotation
  • Separate 3D monitoring controls for GUI/SDI/WFM mesh
  • Camera Raw palette offers real time direct control of raw images

NAB 2012: Technicolor CineLights from the GoPro booth | Scott Simmons
| ProVideoColation
A look at the $99 CineLights application, launching later in the summer:
There’s a familiar 3-way color corrector as well as a tab for curves so anyone with any color correction experience will feel right at home. A keyer is another tab called Key Selector but from what the rep said it isn’t a secondary keyer for color correction but an actual green/blue screen keyer but from reading the product documentation it says for “selective color treatment”. This application will also be a cheap way for someone without an NLE to jump in and learn some color correction basics. Of course they could always download the free DaVinci Resolve as well I suppose but that’s a lot more complex.

FCP, Color Grading, and the irritating gamma shift... | Aaron Williams | Blog
An answer to the question: Is there any way to properly stop gamma and colours changing when you export from FCP?
So if you’re pulling your hair out because of a gamma shift from FCP, and you happen to have a copy of After Effects, try this: Export an XML of your sequence from Final Cut Pro. Import it into After Effects using Automatic Duck’s (now free) Pro Import AE. Export from there (or for the more unexperienced AE user, don’t “Export”, but add to the Render Queue).

Sign Up for the Pre-Release Smoke Trial | Autodesk
Sign up now at Autodesk for the trial of the new release:
Note: A pre-release trial of Autodesk® Smoke® 2013 video editing and effects software is expected to be available for download in June 2012. Fill out and submit the form below and we will notify you as soon as it is available.

Sony NEX-FS700 | Jeremy Stamas | Camcorderinfo
Camcorderinfo looks at the Sony NEX-FS700:
With an expected retail price of around $10,000 dollars, the Sony NEX-FS700 is actually priced competitively in the 4K camcorder market. At $5000, the JVC GY-HMQ10 is a cheaper option, but its 4K workflow solution is downright silly (it requires the use of four SDHC memory cards simultaneously). Then there are the RED Digital Cinema camcorders, which cost an upward of $15 grand before you count the cost of all the necessary add-ons

NAB 2012: PluralEyes 3.0 from Singular Software | Scott Simmons
| ProVideoCoalition
Scott Simmons looks forward to PluralEyes 3.0, the latest release of the audio-sync application:
...for version 3.0 of PluralEyes they’ve remade it into a totally different application. That means PluralEyes is more than just a dialog box with a few settings. It now uses its own timeline, it’s own viewing window and all your syncing, slipping and adjusting can be performed right in the application. When you’re done then export to the desired NLE.

Following Joe: The Ongoing Persecution and Epic Street Skating of Joe Pease
| The Predatory Bird
An interesting video that shows how you can jump-cut from one scene to another, and have the effect seem continuous, providing the major element in the scene that the viewer is watching remains somewhat consistent:
Joe Pease is currently employed as the warehouse manager at Antics distribution. He grew up in the town of Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, Australia, where he progressed as a skater alongside such Aussie luminaries as Jake Duncome and Shane Cross.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Quick Links

NEX-FS100 Firmware V2.0 | Sony | Website
The v 2.0 firmware update for the Sony NEX-FS100 is now officially available from Sony US.
  1. Added 50Hz recording system (PAL): 1920x1080 50p, 50i, 25p and 1280x720 50p.
  2. Camera Profile (camera settings can be saved to and loaded from a memory card).
  3. Additional 4x and 8x Expanded Focus magnification: (with user selectable focus area).
  4. Selectable ISO or GAIN sensitivity display.
  5. Selectable Focus indication in FEET or METERS (E-mount lens only).
  6. Selectable Shutter indication as EXPOSURE TIME or SHUTTER ANGLE.
  7. Added the following Aspect-Ratio markers: 2.35:1, 1.85:1 and 1.66:1.
  8. Display ON/OFF button enables Zebra and/or Histogram overlay onto video output.
  9. Compatible with the new A-Mount to E-Mount adaptor, model LA-EA2. One push Auto-IRIS and continuous 15-point, Phase-Detection Auto-Focus operation with most Alpha A-Mount lenses is available. Lens metadata is displayed onscreen and stored real-time to image file.

Out of the Black: BlackMagic`s new Cinema Camera – why they got it right, but so wrong | Frank Glencairn | Blog
Frank explains the problems he has with the camera, including the placement of all the ports, and the Mac orientation of the hardware/software:
There is a touchscreen and some buttons on the rear (where you want to mount your V-mount battery, but that´s an other story). That might be workable on a tripod, but on the shoulder its a pain in the ass. I understand that they can add features or change things better in firmware that way – even some things that would be impossible with hardware buttons, but some barebone switches in better places would be really nice.

Blackmagic not just by name – why the Cinema Camera is the future | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Meanwhile Andrew thinks this camera will turn the market upside-down.
Until now a viable raw codec cinema camera had not been anywhere near under the $15,000 mark. (The Scarlet isn’t ready to be used at $10,000 for the brain only). Is it any wonder these products are seen as niches when they are priced for a niche?

Blackmagic Cinema Camera - Graded Screen Grab 3 | 144
This poster took some footage shot with the Cinema Camera and graded it:
Regarding the image quality. I like it a lot. Lots of grading options and you can push it a long way. I noticed some stuck pixels when grading it (you can see them in some black areas) but apparently this is just a pre-production issue.
Main issue for me is there's fairly unpleasant red/green noise in the blacks. Quite noticeable when the blacks are lifted, quite apparent in the tone remapped version for instance.
Might be a pre-production issue again and whatever it would clean up easily in Neat Video or Denoiser etc (not ideal though obviously).

FreshDV NAB 2012 – JVC 4K Camera | Kendal Miller | FreshDV
Dave Walton of JVC talks about the GY-HMQ10 street price of $4995 and 4K "fully self-contained" camera. This was announced a few months ago, and as of this date isn't yet shipping.
There's some interesting information, including that the lens doesn't close down below f/5.6 due to lens limitations.
The GY-HMQ10 uses a single 1/2.3" CMOS 4K sensor, which provides 3840 x 2160 images.

Sony NEX FS700 : a post by James Tonkin | F-Stop Academy
Video example and article with impressions of using the NEX-FS700:
The 24Mbs AVCHD codec is much more efficient than expected and produces a very clean output for a majority of situations. In fact often when A/B’d against a higher bit rate codec, it is almost impossible to tell the difference. However, extremes in both lighting and movement can cause the native AVCHD codec to break up and artefact. In the case of live concert recording I would always use a secondary external recording device, both as backup but also to employ a higher bit-rate recording to reduce these artefacts.
Den Lennie also posted this 16 minute long hands-on discussion of the camera:
Sony NEX-FS700 Hands on Video Overview

NAB 2012 Video Blog - Tom Guilmette | Vimeo
If you didn't get to NAB, Tom Guilmette provides the next best thing; a quick video tour:
I took a few minutes to walk around the crowded halls with a Sony SR11 and ask a few vendors questions about gear that I thought was interesting.
For those of you who could not make it to Vegas this time, please sit back and enjoy just a sampe of what you missed! I highly recommend that you make NAB a priority and do whatever it takes to get time off from your busy schedule to check out the convention.

Adobe Prelude: A Symphony of Pre-Event Options | Tim Siglin | StreamingMedia
Article explaining the features and benefits of Adobe's new ingest and simple transcoding tool
This combination of simple features within Prelude allows the add-on application to both lower the pain point of ingesting content as well as shortcutting the need to always reach for Adobe Media Encoder to do simple transcoding jobs.

Canon 5D Mark III underwhelms on sensor test | Stephen Shankland | C|Net
Interesting news that the 5D Mark III isn't that much better in low-light than the MarkII:
DxO gave the 5D Mark III sensor a score of 81 on the DxOMark test of image sensor performance when shooting raw photos. That's an all-time Canon best, but it's only a bit ahead of the 5D Mark II's score of 79 and well behind that of the camera's top competition, Nikon's D800, whose score of 95 tops the DxOMark list.

NAB 2012: TECHNICOLOR Show Cinelight simple colour correction and grading software | Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
Technicolor gets into the digital color grading business:
Technicolor’s new CineLights software is marketed as a straightforward way to colour correct and grade footage shot with log style gamma curve material. We speak to the company about it.

NAB 2012: Ikan show new D series monitors and Elements rigs | Matt Allard\
| DSLR News Shooter
Ikan offers slightly cheaper monitors (than Marshall!):
Ikan have a big range of new products here at NAB 2012 – the most interesting is the D range of mini monitors which feature Waveform monitoring options.

Fear and loathing at NAB 2012 | Ryan Lawler | Gigaom
A look at the changing audience at NAB. Many of the people I know that went aren't in the broadcast television production business:
In attending a few of the higher-profile sessions, I got the feeling that this year’s NAB Show wasn’t actually about broadcast TV, at least not in the way that it’s sold or distributed. It was instead about the multiplatform piece, and seemed specifically to shine a light on those who were leading the charge in that arena. The only problem is that the creators and distributors it highlighted weren’t broadcasters, at least not in the traditional sense, but those mired in the online-only or online-first world.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quick Links

Canon stopping EOS 5D Mark III shipment (?) | CanonWatch
It appears that Canon might have suspended shipments (though unless confirmed by Canon, these sorts of reports should be regarded with skepticism):
Canon Canada has begun informing dealers that shipments of the EOS 5D Mark III have been suspended while the company sorts out a solution to a metering error problem that can occur in dark environments when the top LCD backlighting is switched on.

FCPX Multicam - 7Lions - Born2Run | Chris Fenwick | One On One
Odd that Chris posts this as he has hardly been a fan of Apple and Final Cut Pro X:
FCPX 10.0.3 with the new Multicam tool was released the day before the shoot and I decided to give it a go. To be honest… I don’t know a better tool for a job like this. The 20 angles synced up perfectly and Paul and I actually had a blast cutting the piece. After a few minutes the technology sort of dissolved into the background and we were just picking shots and tricking out the cut.

Lightworks Technology previews at #NABSHOW: 64-BIT Lightworks & Lightworks for Linux | EditShare | Posterous
Lightworks v1.0 for Windows will officially be available in May, with versions for Linux, followed by Mac after that.
But, when they rolled out the Windows pre-view over a year ago they said they were also going to develop a Mac version, but it appears they haven't even started, so I wouldn't bet money on a Mac version coming out this year.
Lightworks has been completely re-architected to make it easier to port to multiple operating systems, with the Linux version being the first non-Windows version to be shown by EditShare, Lightworks will be the only tri-platform professional NLE and will allow users of multiple operating systems to enjoy the benefit of Lightworks’ lightning-fast workflow. Although this is a technology preview, progress is expected to be rapid and announcements will follow in due course.

Carl Zeiss Lenses - Tumulus | Carl Zeiss Lenses | Vimeo
A demo video shot with the new Compact Prime CP.2 Super Speed lenses and a Sony PMW-F3.

NAB ’12: Canon EF Cinema Zooms | Mitch Gross | CineTechnica
A look at new cinema lenses from Canon:
Previously, we reviewed the 14.5-60mm (T2.6) and 30-300 (T2.95-3.7) lenses. Now Canon has added two lightweight versions designed for handheld work. The zooms come in both PL and EF mounts and have focal ranges from 15.5-47mm (T2.8) and 30-105mm (T2.8). We are excited to see all the new lenses here at NAB and look forward to getting our hands on these in the future. These two zooms lenses should start shipping by the end of the year.

Fear and 4K in Las Vegas: Filmmaker IQ Peeps at Canon’s Pixels | John P. Hess
| FilmmakerIQ
Interesting discussion of how the Canon C500 works, and how that 4K image may give DP's some headaches:
I have been a more than a little skeptical of 4K in the past. I’m not necessarily reversing my opinions on 4K but I can really appreciate the beauty of it when blown up on a large screen.

But speaking as a low budget filmmaker I’m really concerned that 4K will make things worse rather than better. When you have sharp focused images popping out, it just highlights the other shots that aren’t quite in focus. And that’s not to mention the post pipeline needed to handle it.

NAB ’12: Sony PMW-100 | Andy Shipsides | CineTechnica
Oh, yeah, Sony announced cameras other than the NEX-FS700 this year:
The Sony PMW-100 is the latest addition to the XDCAM HD422 lineup. It has many of the same features found in the PMW-EX1R camera, but with the addition of 50 Mbps 422 XDCAM recording to SxS cards. This makes the camera a perfect companion for the PDW-F800, PDW-700 and PMW-500 cameras. It features a newly developed 1/2.9-inch “Exmor” CMOS sensor with full 1920×1080 resolution.

The Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 / Cineflex RC Helicopter | Cinescopophilia
A very cool looking - and I assume expensive - remote control helicopter for camera work!
Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS integrated with CINEFLEX is the ultimate gyro-stabilized solution for aerial cinematography. The CINEFLEX is a multi-axis coordinated gimbal control system that provides layered isolation, steering, and fine correctional movements to stabilize a wide selection of precision optics to a sub-pixel level.

How the Jobs Act will transform film financing | Matthew Savare, Esq & Richard Jaycobs | Filmmaker Magazine
The Jobs Act may effect crowd funding, amongst other things:
The portion of the law that has received the most attention thus far is the creation of an entirely new and novel exemption from registration under Section 302 of the Act in connection with “crowdfunding.” Although many people mistakenly believe crowdfunding is currently legal, sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are not investment platforms. Instead, they allow producers to raise money through donations, usually in exchange for a copy of the film, some branded merchandise, or other swag, but not for an interest in the production itself.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quick Links

NAB 2012: Matt Allard talks in detail to Blackmagic about their $2995 Digital Cinema Camera | Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
A video interview with Tim from Blackmagic:
It has a Micro 4/3 sensor which utilizes a crop that is slightly smaller (16.64 x 14.04mm) than the whole sensor and marries that with either a Canon EF or Nikon lens mount. Footage is recorded at 2.5K (2432 x 1366) in 12bit RAW and the company claim a dynamic range of 13 stops.

Digital Bolex D16 vs. Blackmagic Cinema Camera (comparison table) | Nikita Pavlov | Blog
A table comparing the features of these two similar cameras (except that the Blackmagic Cinema Camera will be out sooner):
Well, I knew that putting my money in Digital Bolex Kickstater’s project just few days before NAB is risky. But then I saw prices of Canon’s C500 and 1D Cinema, and I thought that there couldn’t be two miracles in one time. And I can always sell Digital Bolex and buy that 5D Mark III.
Seems like there is a place for two miracles.

NAB update: Exclusive interview with Blackmagic Cine shooter John Brawley / Panasonic AF100 successor ‘deleted’…? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
An interview with John Brawley, who has got to play with a pre-production camera. Also some interesting speculation that Panasonic has given up on the AG-AF100:
EOSHD: Does the camera have a rolling shutter, or global readout? If it is rolling how is the skew, pretty well controlled?

JB: I believe it has a rolling shutter. Like any camera with a rolling shutter, it’s there if you go looking for it. But it’s no worse to me than any other dSLR camera in this price range. It was the first thing I asked about and wanted to address. But it’s just a simple fact that for a camera with a CMOS sensor at this price point, it’s not something you can just “magic” it away. The rolling shutter is very acceptable and I would happily shoot with it, knowing it was there.

NAB 2012: Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera featured live on Matt and Dan's NAB Geek Out | DSLR News Shooter
An hour-long video chat about different gadgets, including, "the single most-coveted item at the show..:"
We’ve just finished our second live show from NAB on Livestream. We were extremely lucky to get an exclusive first live Q and A session about the new Blackmagic Design’s Digital Cinema camera with the company’s Director of Sales Simon Westland. He brought the camera to the booth and you can check out what he had to say in the video below:

NAB 2012: Matt Allard talks to Den Lennie about shooting with the Sony NEX FS700 | DSLR News Shooter
Den was involved in the planning of the NEX-FS100 and he's been able to play with the NEX-FS700. This video goes through the features of the camera and discusses the pros of the FS100 and FS700.

No more | Peter Prevec | Too Much Information
Peter also got to play with the NEX-FS700, and posts another shoot done with the camera:
I mainly used the new lens from SLR Magic HiperPrime CINE T0.95 for the romantic scenes as it is perfect for this kind of stuff. Soft backgrounds, creamy bokeh. The lens was also very kind to the skin. I really enjoyed working with it. I put an old lens gear from shoot35 on the lens as the lens has quite small radius and using zip gears from Half Inch Rails wouldn’t be enough for Genus Follow Focus to make contact with the lens. I also used Fader ND on the lens for finer control of the exposure in relation with the built in NDs.

Sony NEX-FS700 cinema camera hands-on (video) | Zach Honig | Engadget
Engadget also looks at the camera:
Company reps confirmed that the camera is expected to retail for "under $10,000" when it hits the market in June, while that 4K update should hit before the year is out, once Sony's external recorder becomes available

AJA Ki Pro Quad 4K & 2K Recording | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
AJA has a 4K capable recorder that will be available later in the year for $3,995 US:
Ki Pro Quad is capable of capturing high-quality edit-ready files in formats including 4K (4096 x 2160), Quad HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), and HD (1920 x 1080), for the fastest path from camera-to-editorial with 10-bit 4:4:4 and 10-bit 4:2:2 color support.

Gemini RAW 4K Recorder : NAB 2012 | Wide Open Camera
Gemini doesn't want to be left behind either:
Karol talks with the folks over at Gemini about how they plan to record all the new high speed frame rates and large frame sizes (4K) with their new Gemini RAW recorder.

Adobe and AMD Bring OpenCL Powered Real-Time Editing and Effects to Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 | AMD
An article at AMD about their work with Adobe on OpenCL acceleration:
AMD and Adobe have been hard at work collaborating on integrating OpenCL into Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. In fact, I ran into Adobe’s Director of Video Product Management, Bill Roberts at the Adobe booth (#SL2624) here at NAB, where they are showcasing the OpenCL powered real-time editing and effects, and he reiterated their enthusiasm for bringing open standards to life through Adobe Premiere Pro:

Audio interview with Steve Forde of Adobe about the latest innovations in After Effects CS6. "He says this is the biggest release of After Effects in over 10 years."

ALEXA Advances Anamorphic Cinematography | CreativePlanetNetwork
Arri announces a new camera. It's not 4K (shock!) but it is anamorphic. Note that they say "It is not possible to upgrade from any version of the ALEXA to the ALEXA Plus 4:3 since the yield for ALEXA 4:3 sensors is lower than that for 16:9 sensors."
ARRI unveils the ALEXA Plus 4:3, a new ALEXA model with similar functionality to the ALEXA Plus but featuring a 4:3 Super 35 sensor, the ability to switch from 16:9 sensor mode to 4:3 sensor mode and built-in licenses for high speed shooting, anamorphic de-squeeze and DNxHD.

GoPro Partners with Technicolor to Incorporate CineStyle™ into GoPro’s new Protune™ Firmware for HD HERO2 at NAB 2012 | GoPro
GoPro announces CineStyle support for their cameras!
GoPro, the world’s most versatile camera, and Technicolor, a worldwide leader in technology and color-science, announced today at the NAB 2012 Show in Las Vegas they have worked to embed Technicolor’s CineStyle™ color profile for the debut of the new GoPro Protune™ (a free firmware upgrade available for the HD HERO2 camera, available this summer).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quick Links

An abbreviated NAB update today...

| Filmmaker
DP’s are probably aware of Blackmagic Design’s capture and playback devices such as the HyperDeck Studio or UltraStudio SDI. They may have even heard of their Davinci Resolve color grading software. But I don’t think anyone expected Blackmagic to announce a digital camera, which is what they did yesterday at NAB.

Blackmagic Design have announced a high spec digital cinema camera at a breakthrough price of $2995 US. We have spoken at length to Blackmagic today and will have more detailed info later.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera - John Brawley | Vimeo
I wanted to see how the camera would perform in low light. Again, using the EF mount "R" series Leica lenses, I went for a walk down my local street just as it went towards dusk.
It was hand held, and I only had the 35mm F2 prime. I was still able to get some pretty amazing results. A lot of people think you need super high ISO for low light, and to some degree that's true, but you still also want high dynamic range. At night time, you still want things to actually feel like it's dark, and you also often have lights on in shot. This means you have very high contrast.

BlackMagic Design's Cinema Camera is a 2.5K RAW Shooter with Built-in Monitor and Recorder for $3K | Ryan Koo | No Film School
The fact that it’s a S16 RAW camera makes it a competitor to the Digital Bolex camera we mentioned previously, though I would note the fact that BlackMagic is an established company — and the fact that it comes with the full version of Resolve and Ultrascope — makes this one more appealing in theory.

| Filmmaker
So why no serious update or replacement for the AG-AF100? Surely Panasonic knew that Sony and Canon would continue to develop new cameras? Is it selling so well that Panasonic doesn’t see these other cameras as a threat? Or have they been unable to come up with a sensor that produces a noticeably better image? Was betting on micro 4/3rds the wrong thing to do?

RED Dragon upgrade revealed: $6k for 6K and a big new sensor | Chris Davies
| Slash Gear
High-end camera company RED has announced the next generation of its modular system, the Dragon sensor upgrade for EPIC and Scarlet cameras, complete with the superlative specs we’re used to from the firm. Dragon will be offered as a $6,000 upgrade for the EPIC, with 6K resolution and 15+ stops native Dynamic Range. It’ll also record 120fps Full 5K video footage.

Carl Zeiss Launches Compact Tele Zoom Lens at NAB 2012 | Carl Zeiss
Carl Zeiss will show its first Compact Zoom CZ.2 lens to complement the Compact Prime CP.2 line of lenses. According to customer requests it is the first compact zoom lens of its kind with interchangeable mount and full frame capturing capability. The Compact Zoom CZ.2 70-200/T2.9 gives the filmmaker the choice of a single lens in the short-long telephoto range, perfect for separating the fore- and background areas or for situations when the subject is a distance from the camera.

Carl Zeiss 35mm, 50mm & 85mm T1.5 Super Speed lenses | Cinescopophilia
Carl Zeiss have dropped three new Super Speed lenses with fast T1.5 aperture and in focal lengths of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. [...]
As with the rest of the CP.2 family, the Compact Prime CP.2 Super Speed lenses feature a 14-blade aperture, which creates a round iris opening and a natural, out of focus rendition.

Richard Schleuning of Zeiss took the time to talk me through the company’s new line of lenses. In Cine style these include the new 70-200 T2.9, 15mm and 135mm Compact primes and 35, 50 and 85mm super speed CP.2s. He also showed the new 15mm f2.8 ZF stills lens. All very impressive indeed.

| DSLR News Shooter
This is the first of our live panels from NAB2012. Today’s is on the state of newspaper video moderated by Sean Samuels of Hungry Eye mag with Chuck Fadely of the Miami Herald, Duy Linh Tu, professor and director of digital media at Columbia Journalism School, Matt Allard of Aljazeera and myself. Many thanks to Teradek and Livestream for hosting the event.

The Next Gen in Digital Film Capture: Canon’s 4K 1DC | Shane Hurlbut | Blog
When Canon approached me to test and shoot a short film for their new 1DC 4K DSLR, I was more than excited. This is the world that I have been trailblazing for quite some time. When the camera was delivered to Hurlbut Visuals, my Elite Team and I sent it through various tests, using what we had learned from our collective experience with the Canon 5D MK II. After the first night of testing, one word came to mind. WOW!!!

After a hugely successful 18-month beta program, EditShare is pleased to announce the official release of Lightworks, the world-class NLE, on the 28th May 2012.

The hotly anticipated release of Lightworks includes a host of new features for editors, resulting in a lightning-fast NLE that runs on wide range of PC hardware. Completely re-architected and optimised for multi-platform deployment, this will be the first time a professional NLE has been available for free, with a low cost upgrade for the pro version.

Davinci Resolve | Blackmagic Design | Product Page
Davinci Resolve 9.0 comes with a completely overhauled user interface for an extremely elegant and modern look, while optimizing the workflow for speed. A job can be up and running in three clicks: one to log in, one to drop media into the project and the next to grade. Also includes other new workflow features such as streamlined project import, export and selection workflow, scrubbable media thumbnails to speed up shot selection, production metadata fields for entering on set shot notes and larger color control palettes to give faster access to grading tools. It will be available in July as a free of charge update for all Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve customers.

GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac remote and viewfinder coming this summer for $99 (hands-on) | David Pierce | The Verge
We first got a glance at GoPro's Wi-Fi BacPac at CES, but the company's back at NAB showing off the device and revealing a few more details. Basically, the BacPac is a small module that attaches to the back of any GoPro camera and gives you remote control of the device via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quick Links

NAB 2012: Autodesk Unveils a New Smoke | Debra Kaufman | Creative COW
Autodesk has announced a new version of Smoke that is more Mac-like....and they dropped the price to $3,495. I've seen impressive demos of Smoke in the past, but was always turned off by the non-intuitive interface, so this could be interesting:
More specifically, the brand new design is intuitive and gestural or, as Hamaker put it, "Mac-like where it needs to be." "It unifies in a single application all the effects tools that an editor will need," he says. "But it's designed in a way that editors are used to using." That means that common tasks are on the menu bar and the UI is dynamic. ConnectFX enables Smoke users to work in the timeline.

Autodesk Smoke 2013 - First Look | Oliver Peters | Creative Planet Network
Oliver offers his take:
Autodesk was successful in attracting a lot of trial downloads, but realized that the biggest hurdle was the steep learning curve even expert Final Cut and Media Composer editors encountered. Previous Mac versions of Smoke featured a user interface and commands inherited from the Linux versions of Smoke and Flame, which were completely different from any Mac editing application.
Smoke - Features | Autodesk

Future Features in Final Cut Pro X | Larry Jordan | Blog
Apple isn't at NAB officially, so instead they whisper in Larry's ear, and then Larry tells us that Apple really is serious about this editing business:
Here are the bullet points (none of this was demoed):

  • Multichannel Audio Editing Tools
  • Dual Viewers
  • MXF Plug-in Support
  • RED camera support

4 Days with the Sony NEX-FS700 | Andrew Young | Vimeo
If you're interested in this camera, you'll want to watch this video: Andrew had a pre-production NEX-FS700 to test for a week, and he does a fairly extensive (16min) demo/review of the camera that includes lots of sample footage. There's lots of slow-mo "will I over-user this feature? Yes; and I'll enjoy every minute," and he also demonstrates pulling focus with the mythical Birger Canon EF adapter.

There's also some interesting comments about using an auto-focus Alpha lens with the camera; while it wasn't perfect, he found it did better than when he tried to pull focus manually during some action sequences.

He doesn't like everything about the camera; he finds the EVF awkward, and the camera is a bit too heavy to hand-hold in front of you; he thinks it wants to be shoulder mounted with an EVF mounted in front, and wishes Sony would make one.

Panasonic Sleeps Through 2012?

Interesting non-news from Panasonic so far. They announced a software update for the AG-AF100, a sneak peak at a 4K camera that looks like it just came out of the lab and isn't ready for release, a new P2 small-chip camcorder, and new P2 support for SD media that won't be out until 2013!
Good thing for them Sony and Canon aren't announcing anything interesting(!)

Panasonic Announces Software Release for AG-AF100 Large Imager HD Cinema Camcorder | Creative Planet Network
Panasonic plans only a little software update:
The upgrade (AG-SFU100) will enable acquisition in the 1080/60p and 1080/50p HD recording formats (in new 28Mbps PS mode), and will substitute the 2.39:1 aspect ratio marking for the current 2.35 marker.

Sneak Peek Pictures of the Panasonic 4K Varicam Camera? | Cinescopophilia
Release date? Price?
Panasonic have given us a very quick sneak peek at what looks to be a modular 4k Varicam camera during their NAB press conference. The camera looks to sport 3 separate units which may be upgradeable with new technology from Panasonic like their AVC-Ultra codec.

Panasonic AG-HPX600 P2 HD Camera AVC-ULTRA Recording Coming
| Cinescopophilia
Panasonic unveiled the AG-HPX600 a new P2 HD camcorder with 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording and the lowest weight of a shoulder-mount unit. Weighing less than 7 pounds and using low power, the HPX600 incorporates a newly-developed 2/3 type MOS sensor to produce beautiful HD and SD images.
Panasonic Press Release | "At NAB 2012, Panasonic unveiled the AG-HPX600, a new P2 HD camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording and the lowest weight of a shoulder-mount unit."

Panasonic Announces Dramatic Innovation in P2 Media with the Introduction of MICROP2 Card Series | Panasonic
Interesting stuff; but it won't be out until NAB 2013!!
The microP2 media and microP2 Card Adaptor will be available in spring 2013.
* The microP2 card and microP2 card adaptor will not support all P2 products. To use the microP2 card adaptor, a firmware upgrade of current P2 hardware is required and a fee will be charged.

Adobe Production Premium CS6 | Vincent Laforet
Vincent and his team offer their thoughts on the new release which they have been playing with:
Premiere Pro has some cool new features – the most noticeable of which is the new default "two up" workspace, which places the source monitor and program monitor side by side at the top of the screen. Both monitors have also been given a sleek, new look, with panel bars that can easily be reconfigured. You will also notice that the Audio Mixer has undergone a redesign – acquiring some features from Adobe Audition.
Offer terms | Adobe
If you buy CS5.5 now, you'll get CS6 for free:
Customers who purchase the most current Adobe® Creative Suite® software version, available through the online Adobe Store or Adobe Call Center, from 12am (PDT) on March 26, 2012, through 11:59pm (PDT) on May 6, 2012, will receive a one-time upgrade to the equivalent Adobe Creative Suite 6 product (download version only) at no additional cost when it ships publicly

Carl Zeiss Lenses - Introduction NAB 2012 (Part 3) | Carl Zeiss | YouTube
A short video with Michael Schiehlen, Sales Director at Carl Zeiss, talking about what Zeiss will be showing at NAB, including the two lenses they have already announced (see below), as well as a sneak peak at three new CP.2 lenses that are superfast (1.5 compared to the standard CP.2 lenses that are T2.1)

Carl Zeiss Is Expanding its Compact Prime CP.2 Product Range with 15mm and 135mm lenses | CreativePlanetNetwork

NAB 2012 is Underway: Canon, Sony, and RED are in a 4K RAW Battle (Panasonic and Aaton Aren't Far Behind) | Joe Marine | No Film School
Joe offers his own thoughts on the HD and 4K cameras currently available, complete with a table comparing prices. Includes some interesting observations comparing the cameras:
What’s Canon doing? I’m not really sure, but they are certainly pricing themselves out of the market in features alone. Both of their new cameras are going to produce amazing images, but their top-of-the-line camera should really be much more comparable to the F65 or the Epic. If you’re going to make a camera that expensive, it makes sense to me that you would go all out and put the biggest sensor and the highest bit depth and frame rates that you can into it. The C500 fits much, much better as a $15,000 camera, and the 1DC should be half that price at around $7,500 (closer to the FS700).

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quick Links

Canon Issues Advisory on Exposure Metering Problem for 5D Mark III DSLR (UDPATED) | PDNPule
Canon confirms the light-leak issue in the Canon 5D Mark III:
Today, Canon released the following advisory for the 5D Mark III, noting that in extremely dark conditions, the LCD panel can cause what appears to be a metering issue that can affect the displayed exposure value. The exposure fluctuation may occur “as a result of the AE sensor’s detection of light from the LCD panel,” according to Canon.
Canon Confirms “Light Leak” Issue in the 5D Mark III | Michael Zhang | PetaPixel
Problem is, the issue isn’t limited to the LCD’s backlight in a dark room. Apparently any light (e.g. sunlight) shining onto the LCD screen can affect exposure.

Here’s a video that shows how sunlight shining down onto the LCD affects the camera’s metering

NAB 1: The 4k exposition continues…4k Canon DSLR and the C500 | Philip Bloom
| Blog
Philip offers his thoughts on the Canon new camera announcements:
So…what do you think? The C500 sounds very interesting. It’s essentially my C300 with a much better output, as it can output 4k raw at up to 60 frames per second to a compatible external recorder. Internally, it looks like it can do up to 60fps in full HD as a “proxy” which I expect will be of similar quality to the C300…just with 1080p instead of 720p at 60fps. Outputting 2K seems to be a 12 bit 444 signal, very nice and if you drop to 10 bit you can output 120fps. From what I can see…and the info is very scarce, that will only be externally for those frame rates.

4K AND THE FUTURE | Dylan Reeve | Edit Geek
More thoughts on the importance of 4K:
There’s also the matter of demand. There is currently no distribution system for 4K (beyond DCP for a very limited digital projection market). RED want to change this with RED Ray, but they are working alone on that and I’m sure we can recall how Beta/VHS and Blu-Ray/HD-DVD hampered technological advancement. Currently there are no broadcasters, distributors or film festivals that demand (or accept) a 4K deliverable. Of course that’s likely to change, but without standards, formats and platforms for that distribution, the demand is going to take a while.

Canon Cinema EOS 1D C | Stu Maschwitz | prolost
Stu isn't that excited about Canon's 4K DSLR:
More confusing, imperfect, and expensive options for making beautiful images. Canon is starting to remind me of that scene in Bridesmaides where Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne keep grabbing the microphone from each other.

Making sense of the Canon Cinema 1D 4K DSLR from a film industry perspective
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew offers his thoughts:
This camera is a departure for Canon because it is 100% a tool for industry. It isn’t really aimed at the lone professional, freelancer or pro photographer. At $15,000 the Canon 4K DSLR is a b-camera to the Canon C300 on set which fits in a tighter space and offers the option for 1080/60p slow mo and cropping into a 4K image (giving the ability to re-frame in post). As a stand-alone camera it offers a very future proof 4K recording format from an APS-H crop and it is also a professional full frame stills camera.

Zacuto launch C300 Recoil rigs, Tornado Remote Follow Focus, Plasma Lights and more at NAB | Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
A look at new products from Zacuto:
There is a new Recoil kit designed to work with the Canon C300. Cleverly it relocates the original Canon handgrip from the side of the camera down to the rig’s handgrip position. You can start and stop the camera rolling just as if the handgrip were still on the camera. There is also the Tornado remote mechanical follow focus that allows you to pull focus from the other handgrip.

Should I buy the Canon C300? Broadcast Cameraman Daniel Haggett gives his impressions | Daniel Haggett | DSLR Models
Daniel looks at the C300, while offering some thoughts on the C500:
From my perspective, as a mainly broadcast cameraman, I just don’t need to shoot 4k. The camera will certainly cost more money, and that is cash that I will have to make back by increasing my day rate, and my clients really won’t want to pay the extra for resolution they just don’t need. That said, it does shoot 120fps at 2k, which could be very useful. If I was going to spend more money on a camera, I would want something that has more functionality, that is more user friendly in terms of ergonomics. For me a camera is not just about the processors and technology inside the box.

Pre-NAB video blog: Vinten Vision Blue 5 & Kessler motion control systems
| Tom Guilmette
Tom will be working for Vinten at NAB, and here he offers a pre-show preview:
Vinten has released a new fluid pan and tilt head to their Vision Blue range called the “Blue 5″. I have been using Vision heads for many years with broadcast ENG cameras and was very excited when Vinten introduced the Vision Blue designed for smaller light weight cameras. I was now able to get the perfect balance and silky smooth action I expected from a Vision head, in a tighter, smaller and less-expensive package.

[FStoppers Review] Atomos Ninja External Recorder With Nikon D800
| Patrick Hall | FStoppers
Interesting write-up on using the Ninja to record from the D800:
In conclusion, we were really surprised by our findings. Before our tests, we thought the Atomos Ninja would provide us files with more latitude for better post processing. What we actually found was the Nikon D800 files contained more detail. The Ninja files, while ever so slightly more sharp, had more contrast than the D800. This increase in contrast destroyed data in both the shadows and in the highlights and provided less editing latitude compared to the files directly out of the camera.

New Marshall 5.6″ monitor | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent likes the new field monitor from Marshall:
Of course, the 1280×800 LCD monitor also works well for single-user operating. It supports 720p resolution, which is a nice resolution to operate and pull focus with. However, it also supports the reception of a 1080p signal through both its HDMI and modular 3G-SDI inputs, so there is the inclusion of an improved pixel-to-pixel feature which blows the image up to show its native resolution.

Looks 2.0 Good to Go with FCPX 10.0.4 | Andrew Cheyne | Red Giant
Red Giant releases a quick fix for a problem that appeared in Looks 2.0:
Well, that was fun! As you may have seen already, a recent update to FCPX ended up causing a bug with Previews in Magic Bullet Looks 2.0. We jumped right on getting a fix in place and are happy to say that the fix is ready to go! So, go ahead and update FCPX, update Looks to the latest (2.0.7) and you’re good to go.

Okay, So I'm a Little Addicted to This Thing | Strobist
A web tool for virtually experimenting with lighting arrangements:
Virtual Lighting Studio.
Yeah, he may look a little like a mass murderer. But he's your mass murderer, to light any way you like by playing with knobs and buttons at VLS.

Chris Nolan Discusses 3D, Shooting on Film & More in DGA Interview
| Alex Billington | First Showing
Thoughts from Chris it really cheaper to work on film?
"For the last 10 years, I've felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I've never understood why. It's cheaper to work on film, it's far better looking, it’s the technology that's been known and understood for a hundred years, and it's extremely reliable. I think, truthfully, it boils down to the economic interest of manufacturers and [a production] industry that makes more money through change rather than through maintaining the status quo.

More on Adobe CS6

Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition CS6 FAQ and Highlights | ProDesignTools
Some interesting Q&A's on different products, including the new SpeedGrade:
Q: Do I need a special graphics card to run SpeedGrade CS6?
A: The SpeedGrade CS6 Lumetri Deep Color Engine is entirely GPU accelerated and requires a certified graphics card for optimum performance. Adobe recommends using an NVIDIA Quadro 4000, 5000, or 6000 graphics card.

Premiering Adobe Premiere | Mike J. Nichols | The Edit Doctor
Mike lists some of his favorite new features in Premiere Pro:
4. Colored Clips in Timeline. Always wanted this in FCP. You can colorize STOCK FOOTAGE for instance and at a glance see that you’ve used in the timeline. Colorize Audio too and choose a particular stock audio library to color for easy detection later. Lots of uses.

How Premiere Pro CS6 was used to create new music video for Keith Urban’s “For You” | Michelle Gallina | ProVideoCoalition
Adobe released an article (available as a PDF document [Uniquely Moving:PDF]) on the making of the video. This post goes over the highlights:
Shot with ARRI Alexa Studio and Canon Cinema EOS C300—new formats which can be mixed on a single timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6—as well as Canon EOS 5D and 7D cameras, the project incorporates the newest digital cinematography processes. Features such as the enhanced multicam editor in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 gave the team creative freedom to tell the story in the most impactful way.

Adobe presents SpeedGrade CS6 | ColorGrader
More on Speedgrade:
SpeedGrade CS6 brings advanced color grading capabilities to Adobe Production Premium, the Creative Suite edition production professionals rely on to get great results efficiently. Offering best-in-class applications for editing, motion design, compositing, and audio, this comprehensive post-production hub now offers professional color grading to a new generation of artists and filmmakers.

Adobe Media Encoder User Interface Changes | Todd Kopriva
A short video that looks at the changes in Media Encoder:
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 has lots of new and enhanced features in many areas of the program, from importing and exporting to editing and audio. In this free course, Adobe Technical Support Lead Todd Kopriva walks you through all of them, including dynamic trimming, the new Warp Stabilizer and Rolling Shutter Repair effects, and improvements to Dynamic Link, multicamera editing, and the Three-Way Color Corrector. You’ll also learn about changes to performance and the user interface, and how these can affect your workflow.

Adobe Audition CS6 Multitrack Enhancements | Ron Day | Adobe
A list of some of the new features in Audition:
Clip Stretching: The return of clip stretching also brings new options and the ability to perform real-time or rendered stretches using iZotope Radius. We have also implemented a varispeed clip stretching option to allow independent adjustments of time vs pitch. We plan to have a more in-depth post about this feature later, but I suggest taking a peek at the reveal video posted on the Production Premium Reveal page for more details.