» Posts Tagged ‘camera’

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Blackmagic-Histogram-Audio-Meter-Time-RemainingWhile the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K got a histogram, time remaining, and audio levels last month, many were wondering when the other Blackmagic cameras — the Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera — were going to get these important features as well. That day is today, as the company has announced firmware 1.9.3, which will finally allow you to know exactly how much footage you’ve got left to shoot on both the BMCC and the BMPCC, and let you see what kind of levels you’re recording for audio. More »

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OnePlus One vs Canon 5D Mark IIIThe Canon 5D Mark III was never the sharpest camera in DSLR land, but it did improve on many of the image issues of the previous Mark II. Now over two years old, it’s to be expected that newer cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and the Sony a7S would be steps up in image quality, but what about a smartphone camera? The Chinese OnePlus One smartphone, which uses a Sony sensor to shoot 4K video, is sharper than the Canon 5D Mark III when both are shown at 1080p. More »

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Sony a5100 FrontSony’s track record of introducing small, light, and higher-megapixel mirrorless cameras is pretty solid and consistent at this point. While the a7S is probably the biggest step up in terms of video quality we’ve seen with these cameras, some other interesting features are making it into lower-end models. Just introduced today, the new APS-C a5100, in addition to uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 HDMI up to 60fps, has added an interesting option for a consumer-level camera: a “broadcast-ready” 50mbps codec. More »

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ARRI AMIRANFL Films, the production company that has dazzled our eyes and ears with beautiful 16mm footage and slow motion aerials of the National Football League, will stop shooting its regular season and postseason games on film. For 2014, they are now moving to the ARRI AMIRA as their main production camera, with likely a number of other supporting cameras that have already been in use. While film got a shot in the arm thanks to the news that Hollywood will continue buying Kodak stock, this is certainly a setback. More »

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Blackmagic URSA PL 4K Camera BoxBlackmagic’s newest camera, the URSA 4K, was announced at NAB 2014, and is quite a departure from their previous offerings. Though it currently shares the same sensor as the one used in the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, it has the ability to change sensors, which means that if a better one comes out, you can plop it right in your camera. While all of that sounds great, for people to take advantage of that feature, the cameras actually have to be shipping to people, and it looks like at least one (likely more) have made it outside of the Blackmagic labs and into the hands of actual shooters. More »

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How Not to Clean You Camera and LensesThe best way to ensure that your cameras and lenses are working optimally is to make sure that you clear dust and debris from them on a regular basis. The dirtier a camera is, the more chance that dust or dirt is going to wind up on your sensor and you may not know it until you’re looking at the footage in post. We’ve shared some tips from Canon about keeping your gear clean, but here’s the opposite end of the spectrum: what not to do. More »

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Sony a7S Slog2 409600We know the Sony a7S has quite a bit of dynamic range and terrific low-light performance, but how does it stack up against the Panasonic GH4, and a much more expensive camera, the RED EPIC? James Drake, with some help from Dave Dugdale, took the camera for a spin along with his personal EPIC and a GH4, to see just how far he could push all of them in a scene with minimal light. Though the MX sensor in the EPIC is around 5 years old, it’s interesting seeing how far the newest tech has come. More »

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Shane's Inner CircleLearning about cinematography online is no easy task. Since there is more educational material about cinematography on the internet than one person could possibly sift through during an entire lifetime, finding relevant, topical information when you actually need it can be a bit of a drag. Luckily, there are a few online resources to combat this. Shane Hurlbut’s fantastic blog has always been one of them, but since Hurlbut and his team are entirely devoted to educating the next generation of cinematographers, a simple blog wasn’t enough. That’s why they created Shane’s Inner Circle, an interactive educational gathering place for up-and-coming cinematographers, where Hurlbut will generously share his wealth of knowledge, as well as a hefty set of tools, with followers. More »

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Video thumbnail for vimeo video Out With the Old Sensor, In With the DRAGON: RED EPIC Exposure Comparison - No Film SchoolWith DRAGON now available for purchase or upgrade in RED‘s EPIC and SCARLET cameras, it’s about time to see how well the new sensor outperforms its predecessor, the Mysterium-X. Cinematographer Ryan Walters has recently done just that at Indie Cinema Academy. His battery of tests compare everything from overall latitude, highlight handling, recoverable underexposure, low light performance, IR pollution, and more between two EPICs — one old and one new. Needless to say, if you’re thinking of upgrading or simply wondering how all the DRAGON hype stacks up to reality, you definitely want to check out his results.
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Blackmagic 4K Firmware 1.9 Addresses Fixed Pattern NoiseIt’s been a huge issue for many users, and while the severity has been inconsistent camera to camera, the new 1.9 firmware update released today for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K should address fixed pattern noise on all cameras. Though it may not be completely removed in all situations, this was a much-needed fix for those who’ve gotten some models that have suffered from excessive noise. They’ve also added some really essential features, like a histogram, audio meters, and a time remaining indicator so you can see how much recording time you’ve got left depending on your shooting format. More »

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Sony a7S at NAB 2014While the full-frame 1080p/4K a7S from Sony is proving to be an absolute beast in low-light situations, it’s far more than just a night-shooting camera. Besides resolving what looks like a very solid 1080p image (an external recorder is required for 4K), it’s also got some pretty fantastic dynamic range. How good? Well the folks over at cinema5D took the camera for a spin, and measured it at over 14 stops, right next to the ARRI AMIRA, which uses the same sensor as the even higher-end ALEXA, which is being used on tons of Hollywood and indie features. More »

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ro11020201_02_nexfs100uk_nmPrice cuts seem to be in the air this month. First it was the Canon C300 dropping to $12,000, then it was the 7D hitting a grand, followed by a big cut on the DJI Ronin gimbal, and then a pretty insane 50% reduction for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Now we’ve got another significant cut on Sony’s budget large sensor video camera, the FS100, which is currently running body-only for just $2,500. More »

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CropperCapture[70]The App Store and Google Play Store are rife with apps aimed at providing helpful tools for filmmakers. Some of these apps are truly useful — apps like Shot Designer and pCAM and Cine Meter II – while others really aren’t. For users of RED cameras, there has never really been an app specifically designed to aid with the operating of these cameras. Until now, that is. Last week, RED released their REDTools App for the iOS platform, and it includes a number of tools for RED cinematographers, including depth of field calculation, recording time calculation, crop factor calculation, and more. More »

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Canon 7D Body OnlyWhile we recently saw a dramatic drop in price for the Canon C300, another Canon camera is getting a significant price reduction. This time it’s the Canon 7D, which is now being offered for just $1,000. The APS-C camera has seen a ton of use for both filmmaking and photography since its introduction in 2009, and was even given some extra life as a RAW-shooting DSLR with the Magic Lantern video hack (It’s also capable of up to 2.5K RAW in a cropped shooting mode). There have been plenty of rumors, but does this drop mean a 7D Mark II is on its way very soon? More »

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FARGO -- Pictured: Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo -- CR: FX/Matthias ClamerWhen I first heard that the Coen brothers’ iconic Minnesota masterpiece Fargo was going to be adapted into an FX miniseries, my first thought was, “Well jeez, that sure is a swell idea,” (in a thick Minnesotan accent, of course). After my initial excitement, the skepticism set in. How could anybody possibly create an episodic variation on Fargo, while appealing to modern audiences and paying homage to the original? Despite the enormity of that undertaking, show-runner Noah Hawley and his team not only created a show that lives up to the Coen classic, but a show that is easily one of the year’s (if not the decade’s) best. The show’s DP Dana Gonzales recently sat down with Ben Consoli on the Go Creative Show to talk about everything from Fargo’s locations to its glorious, yet understated cinematography. More »

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C300The Canon C300 was announced nearly three years ago (alongside the RED SCARLET), and since its release it has been a workhorse for many TV, doc, and reality productions, with quite a few movies thrown in there like the Cannes-winning Blue is the Warmest Color and the recent indie hit Blue Ruin. Its light weight, good dynamic range, EF lens compatibility, and excellent low light abilities have brought many productions out of the 1/3″ or 2/3″ realm and into the large sensor arena. While the price dropped $2,000 a little over a year ago, the C300 is seeing yet another price drop, this time to an all-time low of $12,000. More »

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Blackmagic URSA 4K with PL MountA little over two years ago, Blackmagic Design completely disrupted the cinema camera market, and changed expectations about how much we should be paying for excellent image quality. Their goal with the first 2.5K Cinema Camera was to make something with as much flexibility in post as possible, and would be a companion to cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II — which is why they chose the Canon EF mount. They haven’t stopped with just one camera model, as they have since introduced the Pocket Cinema Camera, Production Camera 4K, and the URSA 4K Digital Cinema Camera, which features interchangeable sensors. At the recent NAB show, I interviewed Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty and asked him all sorts of questions about their camera line, firmware updates, and what he thought about the image issues some people have experienced with the Production Camera 4K. More »

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blackmagic-ursa small[UPDATE: You can hear the full interview here.] I had the chance to talk with Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty back at NAB 2014, and while it’s taken a while to get the interview together, it will finally be going live on Monday. Grant offered up tons of fascinating details about his mindset with hardware, his take on the rest of the industry, and what’s going on with the Production Camera 4K, and he also gave some interesting tidbits about the new URSA 4K Digital Cinema Camera, which was first announced back at NAB. I’ve put together a teaser in which Grant mentions that the URSA is not only capable of frame rates higher than 60fps, but that they should be coming this year. More »

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Dave Dugdale Downscaling 4K to 1080pDave Dugdale of Learning DSLR Video recently produced a terrific review of the new Panasonic GH4, which shoots 4K internally to SD cards. Since the majority of work is still being finished in 1080p, he’s been downscaling most of the stuff he’s shot to 1080p, but he wanted to explore the differences between downscaling in the timeline or after he’s finished editing in a 4K timeline in Premiere. He also addresses people accusing him of being paid off by Panasonic for his review. More »

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Nikon D810 FrontEven though Nikon was the first DSLR out of the gate with 24p video, it was Canon that really made a splash with the Mark II not long after. Nikon tried to get back some of that market with the D800 and D4 aimed at video shooters, and now they are pushing even harder with the new D810, which adds 1080p 60fps, higher ISO capabilities, and simultaneous recording to both internal cards and an external recorder. While there is a big push to add 4K recording to these kinds of cameras, neither the newer D4s nor the new D810 have it. More »