» Posts Tagged ‘cameras’

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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 »

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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 »