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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sony Gets 4K Serious

If you want the specs, see Sony's Site HERE. It would be silly for me to repost the same info. So that said, F5 = 4K 16bit RAW ( with extra cost external recorder )  OR 10bit 4:4:4 HDcam SR 4K = $18K MSRP estimated. What else so you need to know ? When does it ship smiley ? Feb 2013.  F55 with global shutter and 240FPS vs F5 120fps = $25k estimate

What I like : its like a mash up of all the good parts of a RED + Alexa + F65 in a much smaller lighter body. RED I'm sure will cut the price of scarlet to match, they have to !  The side panel looks walk up to it simple to operate. Not endless key settings buried in menu's. The ergonomics look really good for a box camera and clearly Sony considered that you would want to handhold this with the design of a real shoulder pad with integrated rod mounts.  

The PL mount which can be changed for other mounts is great. This camera has yet another new lens mount : the Sony FZ with 18mm flange back. That should make adapters for just about any lens easy to do.

A new set of primes... econo priced ? we'll see... this is Sony ! Econo price would be about $1k per lens...

Its nice to see a setup thats this well thought out and isn't a Frankenrig like a lot of dslr's are set up. The side panel is great.

All that said, what I don't like is the price. I think its overpriced even with a street price of about $15K for the body. Sorry, its a new world out there. Pay off time is too long once you add options like batteries, VF ( which should be spectacular ), ect. If you work in some markets, this camera would pay for itself in under a year, but I don't measure pay off time that slow. Days, thats my threshold. How many days does it take to  pay off. Too many and you probably shouldn't be buying this. 

Now this is a camera you could settle into using for several years rather easily...but I'm a hard ass on the financial side these days. This camera doesn't make sense for me... but it may for some in some markets. Certainly an easy  rental item. 

Again I get to lament that what fired off the dslr and indeed large sensor revolution a couple years ago is now devolving into the old business model of overpiced gear. There has not been a APS-C / S35 camera priced right without image problems. The 60D is way over due for replacement now, and none of Canon's competitors have stepped up with a camera I'd part with cash to own. So I wait along with a lot of other people. Oh, now really glad I didn't get a F3 which I expect will see a big price cut now, or simply be killed off. They'll probably drop it to about $10K... we'll see.

UPDATED : Nothing solid yet on pricing, especially since RED has done the 50% price reduction. Interesting times.

Monday, October 29, 2012

DaVinci Resolve 9.0.3 Adds The Ability To Read And Sync TC from and Audio Track

BMD continues making some very worthwhile improvements in Resolve. Here is the news :

Fremont, CA - October 29, 2012 – Blackmagic Design today announced the release of DaVinci Resolve 9.0.3, a new update to the world’s most advanced color correction tool. The update includes a new timecode feature to add timecode to non timecode cameras, improved CinemaDNG control palette, AAF and XML clip management, enhanced stereoscopic 3D grading and support for XML round tripping in the new release of Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.6. Resolve 9.0.3 is available immediately for free for existing DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Lite users.

This new DaVinci Resolve software allows, for the first time, cameras that do not support timecode to be used for professional shoots and still offer accurate and synced timecode for editing and conforming. By simply recording timecode from a timecode generator onto one of the cameras audio tracks, combined with the new Resolve Media Pool timecode reader feature, any camera can become integrated into professional workflows. Through the feature, Resolve is able to read the linear timecode from the audio tracks and instantly update the video timecode for those clips.

Blackmagic Design feels that this timecode reader feature will allow dozens of cameras to be used in high end production workflows where previously their lack of timecode support would have limited their ability to sync audio and be used in the post production process.

The new DaVinci Resolve software update also includes the ability to display camera metadata related color temperature and tint on the CinemaDNG color palette, giving colorists more precise color correction capabilities when working with CinemaDNG files, such as from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Additionally, Resolve users now have the ability to specify clips that are located in multiple folders in the Resolve storage library when importing AAF/XML, as well as the ability to reset automatic image transform alignments while adjusting stereoscopic 3D convergence.

DaVinci Resolve 9.0.3 is the latest version of the recently introduced DaVinci Resolve 9, which includes a completely redesigned user interface to optimize workflow speed. This significant user interface overhaul was created to harness the power of multiple new technologies added to DaVinci Resolve in the last few years, including automatic 3D eye matching, multi layering timelines, XML support, plus more camera and file type support. The new user interface is extremely fast to use and eliminates unnecessary clicks and settings. 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.

Other updates in Resolve 9.0.3 include:

Enhanced ARRI RAW de bayer;
Support to playback and grade grayscale DPX files;
Support to playback and grade Phantom Cine grayscale images;
Enhanced Canon C500 RAW support;
Burn ins are now also available for SDI output;
Improved audio waveform GUI update speed;
Updated JL Cooper panel connection for OS X 10.8.2;
Support for single frame sequences without numbers in the frame;
Output sizing is now linked to the track mode;
Addition of new keyboard shortcuts;

Adobe CS6 Premiere Pro XML speed changes support; A very welcome fix as I ran into this a day ago. thanks... now lets try it out !

Additional fields for ALE export.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meyer Optik 50 1.8 Review Live

Here you go ! Lots of shots actually taken with the lens including a side by side of where I shot this.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Historial Timelapse

A lot of people worked to shoot this bit of history. Thank Matthew Givot for getting everyone together to pull this off.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NEW GoPro Camera Is Out ! Hero3

Didn't I just post about the Hero2 being New ? Well here we go again. I think this pretty much sums it up below what the key good new things are.

Image link goes to site sponsor

So its very cool to have all these improvements but.... all new accessories too. Not sure what to say because I literally have an entire case filled with GoPro bits and peices. I expect the mounts and the arms are the same, but the cases are different. Of major importance is the flat outside lens on the cases for good underwater performance. The most expensive black model also claims to have better low light performance, guess I'll have to get one and find out. Its great they have a new camera, but its a bit odd to bring out 3 models. Clearly its mostly the same camera with a different chip in it. I guess they wanted to hit different price points but it also adds a bit of a confusion now to their product line and the inevitable mix ups in models.... real pros will fork out for the top of the line model of course.

The other question is how well GoPro will continue to support the Hero 1 : seems like not much or at all since the last Hero 2 firmware update didn't see its most important new feature, 24fps show up in the Hero 1. I've done the Hero2 firmware update but haven't had time to mess with it yet. Next production job I will ! So we'll see how GoPro does with supporting their not so much older product.


Some interesting details on the Black model

Simultaneous Photo + Video:
12MP + 1440p24 fps
8MP + 1080p30 fps 8
8MP + 720p60 fps

Got that ? you can shoot TL stills while shooting video. No more double rigs to do this ! very very cool.

2.7K 24fps 35mbit/sec 'cinema' mode... thank you !

Storage Media : MicroSD class 10 or higher required  


Not so thrilled about that. SD cards are small enough, but the micro ones are just too small. Not my choice when working in cold conditions, rain, wind, boats, ect. I guess making it smaller required this. Plan your media changes more carefully, thats for sure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Work or Post ?

Work Work Work ! Simple as that why I've been so slow with posting stuff. All good for keeping the lights on. That said I've got a couple video reviews in production in between a very heavy post schedule right now. One day at a time. Meanwhile I'm testing some new gear out and getting ready to put it into production. Busy is good !

That said this pic shows a couple of my LED lights working. I love these things. Somewhat compact for tight spaces, super low power draw, 5600K and no heat to speak of. When surrounded with people like this LED's are just way safer to operate. Its one of the products I'm working on a review of. Yes I really do use the gear I review, wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

AE 11.0.2 Update Goes Live

Adobe release AE update 11.0.2 friday. Many fixes outline here and available via automatic updates. Include more GPU's in the officially supported list including the nVidia ones in the new MacBook  Pro's.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GoPro FINALLY does 24P

Don't even get me started how many times I've asked GoPro to do 24 aka 23.976fps. Don't please. Today finally they have a download to enable this in the Hero2 camera... so what about the Hero 1's that we all have ? sorry but your boned :( At least for now. Maybe they will produce an update shortly but not good. Don't get me wrong, I really like GoPro cameras, I have a bunch of them and an entire case of mounts and bits to make them work. So to the guys at GoPro, please support the original Hero 1 HD camera which is the camera that really put you on the map.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Rokinon 35 T1.5 Lens Review

Done ! Check it out. I shot this a few days ago and it looks great. I took advantage of fall colors and now I don't want anything less smiley. It was also nice to have help from Josiah Winterhoff running camera for me - THANKS !

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Doing The Right Thing

It never ceases to amaze me what some people will do on shoots. Mostly inexperience combined with not knowing when to say NO ! its dangerous, its not safe. Here are a couple of examples I ran into over the last day or so. 

One of the worst things I've seen... do these guys seriously think that little lift will hold this with more than a small breeze ? Thats scrap metal waiting to happen. Note camera under 20X.... maybe if the camera gets smashed, the public won't have to worry about these guys shooting anymore. Also note : Full Sail on the side of the truck....

Now dig this dslr rig. Ok, we all know they are smaller and lighter but... never mind the aluminum pole will bounce the camera silly... maybe enough to smash it into the pavement saving these guys from a shaky cam shot.

Of course even productions with money do dumb things. I couldn't even watch what happens with the bridge up the street.... or if they go around a right corner even slightly too fast.

Unfortunately there are plenty more examples of productions of all sizes doing dumb stuff like this. If you are just starting out, use an extra dose of common sense. If it doesn't seem like a good idea, its not. Never ever do a rig thinking "I can get away with it this time" because that doesn't always work out. Learn from some experience people first. Remember, its just a movie... or commercial... or some corporate thing, its not your arm, your leg, your life or some one else's.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Goodbye Film ? One BIG Step Closer !



Fuji Film has announced that they will cease production of motion picture film around the time frame of March 2013. I'm not surprised at this. In fact I can say this is pretty much inline with what I had expected with one difference, I had expected Kodak to go first while Fuji ran for a while with what was left of the market. Of course while production used to consume as much film in a year as all consumer use did, release prints have been where they were still selling product the last several years. With theaters switching over to digital projection rather quickly this has probably been the larger factor in the end of production - the decline of the need for release prints.

This may give Kodak a last minute round of cash for another year or so as they struggle with bankruptcy and attempts at patent trolling to make cash. Really on some level I'm sad. I've shot 16 and 35mm and it was always a different level of production when you did. Now, well, its different. When pushing the button meant $75/minute ( film / process / transfer ) was going by people tended to get their acts together at all levels. The video spray and pray shooting mentality now has worked its way up. Cards are cheap, drives are cheap... but not people's time to wade thru hours and hours of junk for the good takes. In fact thats what I'm doing this week - making my way thru 9 hrs of material for 6 two minute pieces.  Maybe we should  bring film back just to get producers to get things together... or we need to start charging a per minute rolling fee to handle all this - storage, copying, backing up to media #2 and #3, ect. The back end of digital media shouldn't be free when its costing you time and real money for all those drives. Food to think about as we watch film in its final hours.