» Posts Tagged ‘cameras’

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Sony F$ 4KFor the past few years, the practice of hacking a camera’s firmware in order to increase the feature-set of said camera has been commonplace and quite popular, especially in the case of the original GH2 hack and, of course, Magic Lantern with Canon DSLRs. However, up to this point, we haven’t really seen or heard about folks hacking higher-end cameras in order to increase performance. Until now, that is. Paul Ream, a working cinematographer, recently figured out how to hack the Sony F5 so that it enables the camera to shoot 4K internally, a task which significantly closes the performance gap between the F5 and its much more expensive big brother, the F55. Furthermore, this hack raises some interesting questions about the ethics of companies limiting the functionality of their products in superficial ways. More »

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metabones speed booster lens adapter canon ef to mft micro four thirds m43Metabones has already provided shooters with a variety of Speed Boosters — lens adapters that optically counteract crop factor, increase light transmission, and in many cases even maintain smart lens control. Now, Metabones has announced a new addition to the Speed Booster line: a Canon EF to Micro 4/3 mount model that will effectively allow the Panasonic GH4 (and other Micro 4/3 cameras) to have the field of view of a Super 35mm camera and also increase your lens’ maximum exposure one stop. Metabones is also going to offer an equivalent adapter without the expensive optics just to control Canon lenses on your MFT cameras. More »

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ARRI AMIRA 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 ProResWe’ve heard some talk about a 4K ARRI camera, and even a rumor about a 6K 65mm camera from the company, but nothing has really materialized until now (mostly because they haven’t felt it was necessary). The first 4K camera from ARRI will not be a new model, but a software update to the AMIRA that will let it shoot internally to ProRes at 3840 x 2160 UHD up to 60fps. The AMIRA, which has recently started shipping and is being used extensively by NFL Films, will get the software update by the end of 2014. But what about the fact that the AMIRA and the ALEXA share sensor technology and ARRI doesn’t yet have a 4K sensor in their cameras? More »

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c300 canon color science4Even though Canon DSLRs might not be getting a whole lot of love from filmmakers these days, the Cinema-EOS line of cameras from Canon, the C100 and C300 in particular, have been widely adopted in the professional video production world, especially for documentary-style work. Since these cameras are fairly ubiquitous at this point, it makes sense for us to know how to get the most out of them. A recent video from AbelCine helps us do just that by teaching us how to maximize dynamic range on the C100 and C300 by tweaking the internal gamma settings. More »

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Sony a5100 FrontEarlier in the week, we were introduced to a brand new bite-sized camera from Sony, the A5100. We already knew that Sony’s new camera, which comes in at $550 for the body, would have the ability to output uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 via the mini HDMI port and be able to record to the XAVC-S codec, both firsts for a camera of this size and price. However, we had no idea what kind of performance (in terms of dynamic range, rolling shutter, and overall image quality) would be possible with the camera’s CMOS sensor. Luckily, just like they did with the A7s, the folks at Cinema5D put the A5100 to the test, and their results are fairly exciting. More »

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RED DRAGON Hero Image[Update: Looks like all of the cameras they had are completely gone now.] Once every blue moon, RED puts a truckload of lightly used cameras on sale, giving customers a chance to snag one at a highly reduced price. Well, No Film Schoolers, right now just so happens to be one of those times, as Jarred Land posted on his Facebook page that RED just received a few varieties of their cameras back, each with less than 5 hours of total use, and that those cameras are now available first come, first serve at a reduced price (and the deal will not be on their website). More »

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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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Dolly Zoom TimelapseThe internet is practically overflowing with timelapse videos. Some of them are good, some are not, and some of them are truly mind-blowing. As we know, modern motorized camera movement equipment has really paved the way for all sorts of inventive movement to be included in the timelapse format. In general, if a camera move has been done in a live-action environment, someone has probably done it in a timelapse. Although I could very well be wrong, until today I had never seen someone perform a dolly zoom during a timelapse. Eric Stemen recently put together a video not only showing how the technique looks (mind-blowing), but also how he pulled it off using traditional hyperlapse techniques and a little ingenuity. More »

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CompressionAs filmmakers, most of us consider ourselves to be creative people. Having a creative intuition and knowing how to use it is incredibly important in this field, but many of us — especially folks like me who are scientifically and mathematically inept — tend to overlook many of the technical and scientific aspects of modern digital filmmaking. As boring and convoluted as some of it might seem, having a working knowledge of the various engineering concepts that are used in the digital image creation process can make us better filmmakers, because that knowledge can inform the creative decisions that we make. Luckily, there’s no need to go to engineering school for that knowledge, as most of it can be found on YouTube in some form or another. For instance, here’s most everything you need to know about video compression. More »

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REMUSJust in time for the best 7 days of the year: Shark Week — some truly incredible footage of a shark attack. A team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution were shooting a nature show for the Discovery Channel entitled Jaws Strikes Back. The plan was to pick up some footage of sharks being sharks: swimming, mating, eating. But sharks also attack things from time to time, and this time, a great white decided to try to make a meal out of the team’s shark-tracking camera, fitted with 6 GoPros, resulting in video that allows us all to get up close and personal look at this “man-eater”. More »

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Ursa SunriseLast week, we got word that the highly anticipated Blackmagic URSA cinema camera was at last starting to make its way out into the wild. With the camera landing in the hands of some capable cinematographers, it was only a matter of time before footage started to surface. As was the case with the previous Blackmagic cameras, Australian DP John Brawley was among the very first to spend some quality time with the URSA, and now, we finally have some footage to sink our teeth into. 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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CropperCapture[90]We’ve all heard it. “If only (fill in the blank) camera had a full frame sensor, I’d be able to use it.” Or, “The image from the GH4 sure is great, but I just couldn’t get used to a Micro 4/3 sensor.” If you’ve spent any time reading editorial comments about digital cameras in the past 5 years, then you’re almost certainly familiar with these types of statements. While different sized sensors can provide substantial differences in both aesthetic qualities and low-light performance, the argument that’s most often thrown around in these discussions is about “crop factor,” or the relative field of view from one sensor size to the next. Personally, I think it’s about time we put the issue of sensor size into perspective so that we can stop making goofy, arbitrary statements like these. Zack Arias over at DedPxl agrees, and his new video does a fantastic job at providing that perspective. More »

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera - FrontIt’s unclear what Blackmagic may be doing with their lowest-end camera in the future, but one thing is for sure right now: the $500 discount on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is only for a limited time. How limited? Though they mentioned it would last until the end of the summer, the other stipulation was that the special price was “subject to limited availability.” This means that once a certain amount of stock runs out, retailers will begin charging the full price again. This seems to already be happening in many places, though a few, like B&H, still have the camera listed at its discounted price for a little while longer. More »

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5D3 Magic Lantern RAW in Canon AdMagic Lantern RAW video has been out for over a year now, and the resulting footage is unquestionably a giant step up from the normal compressed H.264 files. While Canon representatives rarely say too much about the hack, I’m sure many of them are familiar with it by name if nothing else. At the very least, there has been a sort of symbiotic relationship between the two, with Canon being more or less hands-off about Magic Lantern and its use on their cameras. If it sells more cameras, I doubt they would complain, but they’ve never outright condoned its use, which is why its interesting that footage shot with the hack has appeared in a Canon ad. More »