» Posts Tagged ‘cameras’

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Sony a7sEarlier in the week, we shared a comparison of the dynamic range of the Sony A7s to a few other popular cameras, and the results were enlightening. It turns out that the combination of the massive pixels of the A7s sensor and the ability to shoot with an S-log2 gamma curve provides for some impressive dynamic range, to say the very least. Of course, we all know that no camera system is perfect, and the A7s is no exception, especially in regards to rolling shutter. In another comparative test from Cinema5D, they measured the effects of rolling shutter on a variety of popular CMOS cameras, and unfortunately, our beloved A7s didn’t fare well at all. More »

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CineVerse Camera Comparison ChartDiscerning cinematographers know that different jobs and projects often require different tools. With digital cinema technology proliferating at an incredible rate, cinematographers now have such a wide variety of camera systems to choose from that the process of deciding which one meets the technical and aesthetic needs of any given project can often be entirely overwhelming. If only all of the relevant technical information for each high-end digital cinema camera could be aggregated into one place, maybe into the form of a well-organized chart –Luckily for us, Tom Fletcher over at CineVerse, a nationwide rental house, put together just such a chart with all of the major digital cinema cameras on the market today (the high-end ones, at least), and it’s an insanely helpful graphic that puts our top-of-the-line digital cinema technology into perspective. More »

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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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CropperCapture[77]There are many jobs in the filmmaking process. It all starts with a script, a story waiting to be told. Then there’s the director, the visionary, the person with the plan. But we all know that filmmaking is highly collaborative, so a team begins to emerge, with a group of like-minded artists all striving towards the same goal. You’ve got your art directors and production designers, and new worlds are created. You’ve got your editors, who lovingly craft the footage into the final piece of art. You’ve got your makeup artists and VFX artists and loads of other craftspeople who ultimately shape the film in some unique way. And then there’s the cinematographer, the person behind the lens. But what exactly does a cinematographer do, and what does it mean to be a cinematographer? The following short video from the EFTI School of Cinematography in Spain has the answer. More »

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VICE News C300Canon cameras might not get a whole lot of love these days (especially in the comments on our site), but the truth is that the C300 (which is now cheaper than ever) might just be one of the best documentary-style cameras around because of its tremendous versatility and low-light ability. Nowhere is this versatility more apparent than in the hands of the cinematographers of VICE News, one of the more engaging journalistic outfits around today. Their travels, and dare I say adventures, have taken them twice the world over as they’ve captured footage from every major international conflict in recent memory. In a recent collaboration with Canon, VICE DPs Jake Burghart and Jerry Ricciotti shared the standard VICE camera package, as well as their unique camera rigs that allow them to be ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. 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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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema CameraOf the myriad cinema-style cameras that have hit the market over the past year, none are as inexpensive or have as tiny of a form-factor as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Add to that the camera’s 13 stops of dynamic range and internal ProRes/CinemaDNG recording, and it seems like one hell of a bargain at $995. As most of you know, Blackmagic has a distinct history of reducing prices on their cinema cameras, and they’ve done it once again — at least for the time being — with the BMPCC. For the next month and a half, you’ll be able to snag one of these little cameras for only $495. 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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GH4 BMCC Green Screen ComparisonCommon knowledge tells us that codec and compression are two of the most important factors (after lighting, of course) when it comes to green screen work and being able to pull a quality key from your source footage. Anybody who has ever had the opportunity to shoot green screens both with DSLRs and higher quality cameras with more robust codecs can attest to the fact that it’s significantly easier to pull a key from the latter. However, seeing as the GH4 keeps blowing past people’s expectations, it was only a matter of time before we started to see green screen comparisons to cameras with better internal codecs. The fine folks at Video Alchemy performed one such test recently, and ran the GH4 up against the BMCC’s ProRes and CinemaDNG. The results are surprising, to say the least. 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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Fisheye hackFisheye lenses are great for so much more than skate videography and videos of cute animals being cute to cute polka music. They can also be used to create stunning, artistic images, as demonstrated by Australian filmmaker Max Piantoni. He has shared a short tutorial that shows you how he repurposed the lens in his Lomo Fisheye No. 2 still camera by mounting it onto an old Nikkor prime in order to capture some truly interesting, beautiful, and unpredictable video on his DSLR. 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 »

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GH4 Dave DugdaleAnybody who has been learning the ins and outs of shooting video with DSLRs during the past few years is likely very familiar with Dave Dugdale and his excellent educational site Learning DSLR Video. Like the rest of us, Dave started out from square one, with a Canon T2i, a few lenses, and an insatiable hunger to learn anything and everything about the process of DSLR filmmaking. A few years later, Dave is shooting corporate and real-estate videos, and doing it quite well. While his gear has changed a bit since that first DSLR, he has been a Canon shooter since the beginning. Until now, that is. His 45-minute review of the Panasonic GH4 explains why. More »

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Metabones Canon EF to MFT Speed BoosterLast year Metabones came out of nowhere with the Speed Booster, a product that seems too good to be true until you look at the results. While it does have its faults, your lenses do really become faster and wider, giving you a lot more options for mirrorless cameras that have smaller than full-frame sensors. We’ve heard rumors about a Metabones Canon EF to Micro 4/3 Speed Booster that would give full iris control on MFT cameras (we’ve already got the Nikon version which is all-manual), but nothing was concrete until now. The first product out of the gate is for the Blackmagic Pocket, which is going to make the camera that much more usable with full-frame lenses. More »

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cinema5D ARRI AMIRA ReviewARRI introduced the ENG-style AMIRA back in September of last year, surprising quite a few people who were expecting a low-cost ALEXA, but not necessarily aimed at a different audience. ARRI sees this new camera as more of a TV or documentary tool, since it is designed to fit more comfortably on your shoulder and has better access to functions on the operator side. Even though it has a max resolution of 2K, it has the same sensor as the ALEXA, which means the footage has that signature ARRI look. Sebastian from cinema5D recently reviewed the camera and shot some beautiful footage with it. More »

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Sony X160Sony stunned us all when they introduced their ultra-sensitive 4K a7s camera to the world at NAB, proving that innovation is still one of their priorities. Not quite as stunning, though still impressive, are Sony’s two new additions to their XDCAM line, the PXW-X160 and PXW-X180 cameras, both equipped with a the world’s first electronic variable ND filter that allows users to more precisely choose their density range from 1/4ND to 1/128ND. Though these cameras aren’t outfitted with large sensors (three 1/3″ sensors), they do pack a pretty powerful prosumer punch with other features that might appeal to those shooting documentaries, news, and event filmmakers. More »