youtube channel for steve oakley
Facebook logo for steve oakley

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'd Post Something Useful, But What ?


This must be the strangest post yet....

Stop ! ?

Well because.... I've been silly busy the last month with work. Its all good, happy to have it. Bought a few new toys, I've been working on 2 new lens review videos, and taking time OFF ! Ya, thats right, time OFF ! Its perhaps the most important time you have. Time you spend perhaps by yourself, or with your partner of the time. Its funny how I've posted several times about off time. Its important. Life management. Self respect to say no sometimes, or have some one else you trust cover for you. 


Presque Isle River South Branch... somewhere in the MI U.P.

Right now its just been all production work and I'm happy. Do your day, done. Not so bad, next. That doesn't mean I haven't been doing post. In fact I'm working on a TV show series as well. All good too but leaving me little time to post here. Well I'm not slacking off, just picking my jobs carefully, all of them ! That means working in the rain today and the next day. No complaints ( to much ), just get it done, show goes on. Life in TV. If you balance your off time with your on time, it'll be ok. Well hopefully you have a partner who understands life ins't always M-F, 9-5. It can mean tues at 6AM, thurs finish at midnight. I'd get pretty bored with 9-5 everyday, I think... Oh yes I would. Work when it comes, time off whenever you get it and make the most of it !

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hero4 4K



It may of taken a little longer than expected but the Hero4 info was leaked. 4k @ 30fps is the expected news, 1080 @ 120, 2.7K @ 50. Also there is supposed to be some manual control now - "ISO", exposure, and better long exposures in dark lighting situations. All the things we wished had been in the H3. These specs are for the Black edition. Silver edition with lower frame rates but with touch screen. The Black vers will also have LCD on back of camera. Another couple of new toys to buy..... Glad I got rid of my H1's but my H2 still makes useful shots in daylight. In fact just used 2 shots from it on a product video a month ago. As for the H4 I wonder how fast it will eat thru batteries. The one thing I really hate about the H3 is the smaller battery and shorter run times. In fact leaving the battery in the camera tends to drain even if its off. So getting some extra batteries and seperate charger is a requirement.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

You Just Have To Get It Right

So we're about to do a live shot and these guys are hard at work. Not ONE leave blower, how about 12 ! You can't see the others on the opposite of me. Its the old curse of location work - leaf blowers ! Well guess what, they aren't going to shut down and we have a shot to do. Hand held to the rescue and sound was perfectly clean. While the request had been a lav it was simply picking up way too much of the noise so we simply had to ignore the request of style over getting good sound. Got the job done. It meant having all the gear ready to go.

Of course once the lead blowers where done... then came the sprinklers ! Well at least

the grounds crew talked with us so we knew it was coming... and just left what didn't matter if it got wet setup, which was almost nothing.

30 minutes later we did our next shot. Just a typical day in TV !

Monday, September 15, 2014

So Then Samsung Drops The Bomb !



So everyone at least turned when Canon announced the 7D Mk2, even if it was to yawn. It would of been a very nice upgrade 2-3 years ago but now its almost a who cares. Even if you shoot stills, while a nice upgrade its still pretty late. Then, today, along comes Samsung with the NX1. Its the camera the 7D Mk2 should of been, at least for a stills camera. Compare :

7Dm2 10 fps ( yawn ) vs NX1 15fps !

APS-C sensor, Check !

NX1 4K h.265 ( not typo ) vs 7Dm2 1080p60 h.264

The list of nice NX1 features -

  • 6.5K Super 35mm sensor with 4K (4096 x 2160 at 24p) and Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) video mode
  • 14bit raw stills at 28MP (6480 x 4320) from effective 28.2MP, total 30.7MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor
  • HVEC codec (H.265)
  • 3″ AMOLED screen and OLED viewfinder
  • Extended ISO range 100-512000
  • UHS II speed SDXC card compatible
  • Backside illuminated sensor (common with compacts, but very unusual to see this in a large sensor)


In short Samsung simply kicked canon's ass down the street. There is no other way to put it. Oh, magnesium body and weather sealed, sorry 7Dm2. All the specs the 7D should of had but canon has been to conservative with.

Meanwhile Sony of course introduced the $8K FS7 4K video camera. In camera recording of 4K 120 FPS, 1080p180 ! Another words the C200 / C400 / C800 Canon should of introduced at IBC this week. I'm sure canon is having a world of ugly feedback. Its really bizarre they don't get it, or think they can sit on their butts with the widespread acceptance of the C300 for broadcast and doc work. Don't get me wrong, I have a C100 + Ninja Blade and I love the look I get from it. Its amazing low light abilities at ISO 3200-6000 simply smack the others down and 12-12.5 stops of dynamic range is nothing to ignore, but... where is the C100 firmware update to enable 50 or 100mbit H.264 ? even for 8 bit ? ditto C300 100mbit Mpeg2 ?

We aren't stupid, stop acting like we are ! Enough already. Its pretty old, but maybe canon management needs to again read the ClueTrain Manifesto and memorize it. repeat it every day. Your Customers Are Communicating And Aren't Stupid Like You Think !... because we do think !

Thursday, September 11, 2014

512GB SD Card From SanDisk

You just read that right, 512 GigaBytes on a SD card !. 90mb/sec R/W times. Expected street price $800 and shipping soon. As will many things new a steep starting price but if you are trying to shoot high data rate video aka RAW then this is exactly what you have been looking for. You can now have reasonable shooting time without swapping cards every 5 minutes. On a compressed format  you could have days of shooting time. In case you're curious, the max size of a SDXC card is 2TB and this is certainly starting to push that limit. Interesting times !

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Jupiter 9 Vs Rokinon Cine 85 - Which Is Better ?

A new lens shoot out comparing two well known and popluar lenses - the Rokinon Cine 85 t1.5 and the classic Jupiter 9 85 f2. Which is better ? what are their differences or similarities ? watch the review where I shot the same setups on the same camera. Sorry no lens charts but instead real world shooting situations like a back lit by the sun shot to see how these lenses each handle flare. Some interesting results as always.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Improvise !

$80K lens. $25K camera. $8k tripod head. Lens shade ? what would you need with that ???? Good thing the truck crew during setup lashed 2 old 416's onto the lens with #8 Sash ( grip favorite ! ). That let me slip my hat under the mics for some lens shading until sun was actually into the shots. Unbelievable that a lens for this price has no shade available... hell not even velcro to mount a quickie shade with foam core !


B&H has this lens listed for $92K and ships in 2-4 weeks... ie built to order !

Shot With Some 85mm Lens....

click for full size image

This Canon 100 2.8L Macro is great, shot this hand held on a 60D at F8. Did you hear me just lie ? How would you know ? The astute pixel peeper wouldn't of been fooled by the sharpness, contrast and color rendition. They would of looked at the bokeh which was the dead giveaway I was lying. Its got nice even round highlight blooms. The Canon would of made octagons stopped down. So what fine, did I say very affordable ? 85mm lens really took this shot ? a 40 year old Jupiter 9 from the 80's. The Jupiter 9 has a 15 blade iris that's simply awesome when you stop the lens down as the highlights still render like the lens would wide open. As I have often said, stop a lens down and most make very acceptable to great images. In fact just to make a point I did a shoot out between the Jupiter 9 and another fine lens, the Rokinon Cine 85 1.5. Video tomorrow !