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HDVideoPro Industry News Update: December 2, 2019

Par By Terry Sullivan

Here’s a quick overview of some of the stories that have caught our attention in the world of cameras and photography.

Headlines & Details:  

Sony Takes The Lead: Two new reports show Sony’s camera market strategy appears to be working. Or at the very least, Canon’s and Nikon’s strategies are not working as well as Sony’s. First, earlier today, DPReview’s Brittany Hillen published an article “Sony Overtakes Canon And Nikon To Dominate The Full-Frame Camera Market In Japan.” In the story, Hillen writes: “Sony has overtaken Canon and Nikon to claim the top slot for full-frame camera market share in Japan, according to BCN Ranking. Sony showed growth in the overall full-frame, APS-C and fixed-lens digital camera categories from November 2018 to October 2019, as well.” DPReview says Sony’s “total full-frame camera market share in Japan increased from 31.6% to 38%.” Canon dropped to 36% market share and Nikon plummeted to 24% of the full-frame market.

Second, over the weekend, Michael Zhang published the following story on Petapixel: “Sony Now #2 In Digital Camera Sales As Nikon Falls To #3” Zhang writes, “There’s a changing of the guard at the top of the camera market. Sony has reportedly become the #2 brand in overall digital camera sales behind Canon, dropping Nikon to #3.” Zhang also writes that Nikon will soon suffer “its first loss in its core Imaging Products business.”

Panasonic Exits Making Image Sensors: Late last week Reuters ran a news story titled “Panasonic To Sell Its Chip Unit To Taiwan’s Nuvoton For $250 Million”. According to the tech website anandtech.com, “Panasonic has announced plans to almost completely withdraw from semiconductor business and sell all of its related assets to Taiwan-based Nuvoton Technology,” which it had been active in since the 1950s. Among the many division that Panasonic will sell to Nuvoton Technology includes its image-sensor division.

Other Industry Stories and News:  

  • Stock Photo Secrets: “Getty Images Is Dropping Rights Managed Licensing In 2020”: According to many in the stock photo industry, including Stock Photo Secrets, the news that Getty Images has decided to get out of the rights-managed (RM) image licensing business is a big deal. 

 

The post HDVideoPro Industry News Update: December 2, 2019 appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 3 décembre 2019 à 03:08

Resurrecting Old Footage

Par Daniel Brockett

Hi-8 was actually a fairly popular analog video tape format in the early to mid-1990s.

I’ve been on eBay, looking for the right playback device. What kind of playback device? Hi-8, of course. What, might you ask, is/was Hi-8? If you’ve been in professional video for more than probably 10 years, you may have encountered the Hi-8 format in the wild, or in the machine room of a duplication house, post house or school. Hi-8 was an analog videotape format from Sony that used 8mm cassettes with metal evaporated (ME) or metal particle (MP) tape. Introduced in the early 1990s with 400 lines of resolution, Hi8 was an improvement over the original 270-line Video8 format as well as VHS tape. Hi8 also supported a digital audio track. Digital8 superseded the format.

It’s funny, even in the early 1990s, when I first got into professional video, Hi-8 was clearly a consumer format that had aspirations of becoming a prosumer format, used by lower-end professionals. Hi-8 was never that format for me; it was simply a way to shoot home video with a small Handicam form factor. At the time Hi-8 came around, I was shooting professionally with a big, heavy, expensive Sony Betacam and an Arri Super 16 film camera mostly, neither very conducive to carrying around Disneyland or to the park for the kids’ Soccer game. I bought the Sony Hi-8 camera and began using it to shoot essentially home movies of family events. Most of the footage I eventually transferred to other formats that I ended up using professionally, formats like ¾” SP, then DVCAM. I recently came across a stash of old Mini DV, DVCAM and Hi-8 Camera Masters in storage.

In Search of Playback

Resurrecting Old Footage
Luckily, I kept our Sony DSR-40 DVCAM deck as well as a pile of different material sored on dozens of Mini DV and DVCAM tapes.

I realized that I still owned our DVCAM deck, the Sony DSR-40 so that would take care of playing back the Mini DV and DVCAM tapes. But what about the pile of Hi-8 tapes. Many of them are not labeled either so I have no idea of what is on the tapes in some cases. Unfortunately, the Sony Hi-8 camcorder that I used to shoot these Hi-8 videos on broke down in the early 2000s. I kept it around for a few years and it became more and more difficult to even find a repair facility that could find the parts needed to do repairs. I eventually threw the camera into the recycling bin, it’s tough to give away or donate an older video camera that doesn’t work any longer. 

Formats And Yet More Formats

Resurrecting Old Footage
Yes, I actually used to edit footage feeding off of a 1” Type C composite video reel to reel recorder the size of a small refrigerator. That was state of the art in its day.

Unfortunately the transition from analog to digital has only accelerated the pace at which new formats become the state of the art and yesterday’s format becomes passé’, then outdated, then an antique. I think of all of the various formats I have worked with, shot, edited with and used a dubbing tape masters over the years and it boggles the mind. 1” D1, D2, D5, MII, ¾”, ¾” SP, Betacam, Betacam SP, Betacam SX, MPEG IMX, Digital Betacam, HDCAM, HDCAM SR, DVCPRO, P2, P2 Express, Mini DV, DVCAM, the list goes on and on.  

 

Back To Ebay

The Sony EVO-9850 was a pretty nice Hi-8 professional deck.

I thought about sending these Hi-8 tapes to a transfer service. They transfer them for you to the digital format of your choice and you can then view, copy and edit all of your old precious memories. It gets expensive though, especially when you aren’t sure of what’s on at least a good chunk of these tapes. I’ve now gone down the Rabbit Hole on Ebay of searching for the best deal on a used Hi-8 deck or camera that I can use to transfer the Hi-8 master to a more modern format. There are quite a few different Hi-8 Decks but amazingly, many of these decks, while they are obviously outdated antiques, are still selling for $400.00 all of the way up to $1,000.00, sometimes even more for the nicer prosumer models with all of the bells and whistles. Some of these decks have S-VHS and even a few have component analog video outputs, which would result in a better quality video than merely using the composite video output.

My aim though is to merely play back the Hi-8 tapes, viewing them as they copy to either a better, more modern tape format like DVCAM or to simply ingest them into my editing system so that I can cut down all of these undoubtedly too long and boring camera masters. Hi-8 was never a great format to begin with. It looked okay for it’s era, but I recall being constantly plagued with analog tape dropouts. It used to drive me crazy, especially when editing to a more robust professional format like Betacam SP. At this point, I’m not even sure if all or any of these Hi-8 tapes will playback.

Camera Land

Hi-8 camcorders are fortunately still around on eBay.
Hi-8 camcorders are fortunately still around on eBay.

Fortunately, for me, there is a large surplus of Hi-8 camcorders on Ebay, many in pretty good condition around or even under $100.00. It’s confusing though, many of the models, the owners have posted on Ebay that they were Hi-8 playback and not just Video 8, the previous iteration and not Digital 8, the successor to Hi-8. Got all that? So I have to look up the old Sony owner’s manuals on-line and cross-reference if the camera model number the seller has listed can “actually” play back Hi-8. Sony, not to mention Samsung and a few other camcorder brands made dozens of the different models, some of which could shoot and playback Hi-8, many of which couldn’t play back the Hi-8 but are listed on eBay as being Hi-8 compatible. It’s mind-numbing, trying to figure out what is what.

Lessons Learned

A Sony EV-S3000 Prosumer Hi-8 Deck. I wish that I had transferred all of my Hi-8 masters to a better digital format earlier. To do it now, so many years later, is kind of a pain.

What my Hi-8 experience has taught me is that no matter which video file, codec, media type you are shooting today, if the material is to last and be accessible in 20 years, you need to think ahead. Transfer your digital files to different, new and alternative formats, if possible. If the card reader, drive reader, etc., is inexpensive, buy a few of them. Unlike analog Hi-8, which if I can find a camera to play them back on, the tape and image quality will likely be degraded, digital signals, if you clone them digitally are lossless. So keep on cloning those digital files to new digital formats if possible. Most of the work I was shooting twenty years ago isn’t very precious to me; I don’t care if I ever see it again. But special events in the life of your family are irreplaceable. Fingers crossed that I can find the right Hi-8 camera to rescue this footage.

The post Resurrecting Old Footage appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 29 novembre 2019 à 21:01

Black Friday 2019 Deals: For Filmmakers & Content Creators

Par By Staff

It’s that time of year again, when cinematographers and content creator look for great deals on cameras, lenses, software or accessories. If you’re looking to pick up some gear during this Black Friday 2019 week, check out the following list for rebates, sales, price drops and more.

HDVideoPro’s Black Friday 2019 Deals:

  • Adobe: Now through this Friday, November 29, you can buy a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop and more, for around $29 a month or, if you want to pre-pay for the entire year, you’ll pay around $359. After the sale, it’ll go back to the usual monthly fee of around $52 or $599 for the whole year. For more, go to Adobe’s Creative Cloud page: adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html?red=a
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera with 24-105mm f/4L II Lens and Accessory Kit: At B&H, you can save $800 on the this full-frame DSLR kit from Canon, which includes a 24-105mm f/4L II lens and an accessory kit. There are other sales on Canon’s mirrorless cameras, both full-frame and APS-C models, and, of course, lenses. To check out the EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera with 24-105mm f/4L II Lens and Accessory Kit, go to B&H.
  • DJI: You’ll find up to 40 percent off on DJI drones, action cams and other equipment. For more, go to the DJI store
  • Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body (Accessory kit): You’ll get $200 off at B&H this mirrorless camera from Fujifilm, which also comes with a memory card and case.
  • Insta360: Get up to 40 percent off selected 360-degree cameras and other items at the Insta360 store.
  • Manfrotto Nitrotech N12 & 545B Dual-Leg Tripod System with Half Ball Adapter & Bag: This is a great deal. Manfrotto’s Nitrotech N12 & 545B Dual-Leg Tripod System combines the Nitrotech N12 video head, with its 26.4-pound load capacity, and aluminum legs with a mid-level spreader. At B&H, you’ll find tripod system for $400 off, for around $699. Go here for more.
  • Moza: Save up to $169 on various Moza hand-hand gimbals and other stabilizers. Check out the savings at B&H.
  • Panasonic LUMIX GH5 Camera Body & Accessory Set: You’ll get an excellent deal on the Panasonic GH5, which is still a favorite among some filmmakers. You’ll also get a free memory card, spare battery and camera bag. Buy and save $700. For more, check out the deal on B&H.
  • Sony: Sony has dozens of cameras, lens, kits and bundles on sale. (The discounts run through Dec. 1) at its Alpha Universe site, including $200 off the Sony a7 III kit as well as body-only configuration, and $500 off the Sony a7 II body-only configuration. Check the following site for all the deals and more: alphauniverse.com/promos/
  • Sigma’s 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens is $250 off, for just $649. The lens is great for a high-quality, wide-angle perspective on landscapes, portraits, still-lifes, close-ups and casual snaps. Save on other high-performance Sigma Art Prime lenses. Deals end December 5. For more, go to  sigmaphoto.com/black-friday

 

 

The post Black Friday 2019 Deals: For Filmmakers & Content Creators appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 28 novembre 2019 à 01:56

Which Way Wireless?

Par Daniel Brockett

This blog is really about wireless spectrum, not wireless gear itself, but alliteration is so much catchier in headlines and titles, isn’t it? It’s been a while since I’ve written about wireless spectrum, and in the time since I last wrote about what was happening with the spectrum, the world of wireless has evolved quite a bit. A few years ago, when we talked about wireless in production, we were generally speaking about wireless microphone systems and the FCC’s over-reaching, frustrating and continual selling off of the space in the UHF bandwidth.

To bring you up to speed if you aren’t a location sound mixer or very audio-centric, in June 2010, the FCC instituted regulations that made it illegal to operate wireless microphones within the 700 MHz frequency range in the United States.

With the transition to digital television, TV broadcasters vacated a large section of the UHF spectrum (from 698 to 806 MHz) so the FCC auctioned the 700 MHz band to the highest bidders (including AT&T and Qualcomm) to facilitate the development of wireless broadband internet service throughout the United States. There were a LOT of expensive UHF wireless microphone systems that were basically made worthless in the United States by this FCC move.

Again? Seriously?

So a decade ago, we lost the entire 700 Mhz band for wireless microphones. What’s been happening with our wireless spectrum since then? This quote from the FCC website helpfully explains, “Wireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz service band (the 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz frequencies) will be required to cease operation no later than July 13, 2020, and may be required to cease operation sooner if they could cause interference to new wireless licensees that commence operations on their licensed spectrum in the 600 MHz service band.” Basically, we’ve lost another sizeable chunk of the UHF spectrum, this time to T-Mobile.

Governmental Overstep?

It seems sort of unfair that the government can just arbitrarily pull the rug out from underneath our feet a second time, only a decade later, but that’s what has happened. Many of us always thought of wireless spectrum as something owned by the populace our country/society, you know, “By the people, for the people,” and regulated through governmental oversight and enforcement of FCC rules. What many of us now realize is that the FCC essentially has decided, on their own and through a series of weakly publicized hearings and memos, that they can basically auction off any spectrum they’d like to the highest bidder. While many people use wireless spectrum, the amount of Americans who actually need to must be numerically low because, throughout both of these incidents, there has been very little public protest or outcry from citizens or politicians.

What Does This Mean?

Besides wireless microphone users—most typically location sound mixers, live venue sound mixers and video users who utilize wireless microphones in their work—what other factors have come into relevance since 2010? Think about it, the answer’s right on the tip of your tongue, the camera department. Which accessories used to be fairly rare and not used by most low- to mid-range users? How about wireless focus, iris and zoom control systems? What about wireless video monitoring? If you’ve been paying attention or buying camera accessories over the past few years, wireless follow focus, iris and zoom controls (often referred to as FIZ) have become de rigueur in the camera department. As cameras have become smaller, lighter and easier to move thanks to the incredible popularity of gimbals, Steadicam-like devices and sliders, wireless monitoring has also made leaps and bounds from once an extremely expensive, not that high performance tool for high-end production to a relatively low cost, much higher performance tool that’s accessible to almost everyone.

Wireless Video Monitoring

Wireless video monitoring like the Teradek Bolt 4K represents the state of the art in wireless video monitoring.

Teradek Systems recently introduced the Bolt 4K, a wireless video monitoring system capable of transporting a 4K video and audio signal from camera to monitor wirelessly at distances up to 5,000 feet with less than 1ms delay. The Bolt 4K is at the high end of the cost/performance spectrum and retails for around $10,000 for the top-of-the-line system. Contrast that with devices like the Accsoon Cineeye, a small 5G wireless video transmitter. The Cineeye can only send up to 1080 60p signal about 300 feet. No audio and the signal is 5G, so viewable on smartphones and tablets, not video monitors but the real kicker is the Cineeye retails for a mere $249.00. When you have a market with products that are effective with a price range of $249.00 to $10,000.00, I think it’s fair to say that wireless video (and audio) monitoring is fully in the mainstream.

Which Spectrum Are These Wireless Non-Microphone Systems Utilizing?

In order to understand which spectrum these new reasonable cost wireless devices are using and what it means to wireless microphone users, some context may help. Most wireless FIZ units seem to be operating in the 2.4Ghz spectrum. Does 2.4Ghz sound familiar to you? It should because 2.4Ghz is where wireless Internet lives. The wireless Internet router you have in your home is beaming its Internet goodness out all over your home at 2.4Ghz. How does a wireless FIZ unit using the same spectrum as wireless Internet work? Turns out surprisingly well. Most people on set tend to have a smartphone sitting in their pockets so you’d think that wireless FIZ units would suffer all kinds of interference and clashing with all of the wireless Internet routers and devices that often surround them.

Then Along Came 2.4Ghz Wireless Microphone Systems

The Røde Video Wireless Filmmakers kit has worked very well for me for the past three years.

Some audio companies saw the writing on the wall a few years and were able to come up with a new type of wireless microphone system utilizing the 2.4Ghz spectrum. It seems counterintuitive to think that a wireless microphone system that utilizes some of the most crowded, commonly used spectrum available could work, but the 2.4Ghz microphone systems seem to work pretty well in the real world. Part of the key is these systems utilize a 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption, the system is able to constantly monitor and hop between frequencies to maintain the strongest possible signal level at a range of up to around 100 yards. I purchased the Røde Video Wireless system a couple of years ago and it has worked surprisingly well, even on a crowded trade show floor in San Francisco for a computing convention. The 2.4Ghz systems lack the range and signal strength of professional UHF wireless systems (up to 250Mw for a UHF transmitter is allowed in the United States), but for a lower cost prosumer type product, they can be surprisingly effective, often at locations where UHF systems that cost much more aren’t usable because there is too much interference in a particular area.

UHF Crowding

Examining current bandwidth allocation presents a sobering reality that UHF bandwidth for wireless audio is disappearing quickly.

If you think about it, in the United States, for UHF wireless microphone systems, up to 2010, we used to have the 700MHz spectrum, but the FCC sold that off, and today we have the 600MHz spectrum, but will be losing that in July 2020 thanks to the FCC. In the UHF spectrum, that means there is very little spectrum left. Most of not all of the former 700MHz spectrum and soon, the 600Mhz spectrum users have now all been crowded into the remaining A1 (470 – 537MHz) and B1 (537 – 607MHz) spectrum. The result is, in many areas of the country, it can be nearly impossible to find a clean, unused portion of the wireless spectrum for wireless audio microphone systems. Hundreds of thousands of users have now been crammed into a space that is less than half the size of the spectrum was in 2009. UHF, when there’s usable spectrum, is still your best bet to record a clean, strong, noise-free audio signal wirelessly. But if you have a single or multiple UHF systems, you bring them to a given shoot location and do the frequency scan and there is nothing open that is available to you, what do you do?

My Multi-Tiered Strategy

Thankfully the wireless audio manufacturers like Lectrosonics, Wisycom, Audio LTD., Sennheiser and others haven’t been asleep at the wheel since 2010. They’ve known these huge changes have been coming to the industry to for our use for location sound recording, there have been some interesting and intriguing innovations that provide some alternative to the shrinking UHF spectrum. I’ve been using a three-tiered approach that looks like this:

I prefer to try to use UHF wireless as a primary technology on set.

For when UHF wireless spectrum simply isn’t available or reliable, I carry three of the 2.4GHz systems as alternatives that will sometimes function perfectly when UHF won’t.

As a third tier, my sound kit contains three small, wireless lavaliere sized Tascam DL-10R recorders.   

2.4GHz/1.9GHz Wireless Microphone Systems

The New Deity Connect 2.4GHz System has sophisticated features and represents an extremely appealing value.
  • Røde, Deity and Sennheiser, as well as others coming to market, are all making wireless audio systems that operate in this spectrum.
  • Shorter effective range compared to UHF.
  • Wireless microphone systems in this range tend to be lower cost, and possibly not be as ruggedly constructed as the top of the line UHF offerings from Lectrosonics, Wisycom, Audio LTD. and others.
  • Fewer channels – 2.4GHz doesn’t have the spread or amount of channel solutions that UHF systems have.
  • 2.4GHz needs no license, registration needed worldwide in almost all territories.

Remote Recording

Unfortunately, remote recording with wireless monitoring in the United States market is limited to only high-end, not inexpensive Zaxcom products.

Zaxcom holds the U.S. Patent on a wireless microphone system that can record to a separate internal SD card while it’s transmitting to the receiver.

Other manufacturers (Lectrosonics, Tascam, Deity, just to name a few) are introducing various models wireless microphone systems that can record internally but because of the patent in the U.S. that Zaxcom has, none of these units can record and transmit simultaneously, in the U.S.

It’s reassuring to see that even though the FCC is kind of acting irresponsibly in selling off UHF spectrum without involving the majority of population that needs to use wireless spectrum, there are alternatives to keep on recording location sound effectively. Stay tuned for more new audio innovation throughout 2020.

The post Which Way Wireless? appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 27 novembre 2019 à 20:29

Making The Right Proxies

Par Michael Guncheon

Do you experience dropped frames either from using an underpowered computer or from editing higher resolution files with harder to process codecs? Using proxies for playback while editing can help but getting them to work can be difficult.

I previously talked about a proxy workflow with Adobe’s Premiere Pro. There are a couple of ways to start the process. This blog covers using proxies that were created either during the shoot by the camera or after the shoot by a DIT or someone else.

Once the proxies are created, it’s just a matter of attaching them to the already ingested/imported files. Even if your files are named correctly, as discussed in my previous blogs, you may still run into issues because the proxies’ audio must exactly match the camera originals’ audio.

One of the common errors is not matching the number of audio channels. If the camera file has two channels, the proxy must have two channels. If there are 5 channels in the original clip, you can’t attach a 2-channel proxy.

Unless the audio matches exactly you won’t be able to attach the proxies.
Unless the audio matches exactly you won’t be able to attach the proxies.

Beyond audio channels, you also must make sure that the type of audio channels is correct. That means a proxy with a single stereo audio pair layout will not attach to a camera original with two channels of mono audio. Why? I can only guess, but I think it relates to the way the audio tracks will be inserted into a sequence. A stereo pair has to be treated differently than two mono audio channels.

For example, if you edit a stereo clip into a sequence that has stereo tracks, everything lines up. But what if you want to edit a clip with two channels of mono audio onto those stereo tracks? How should the mono tracks be laid out? Should they be panned left and right, or not panned at all? If they are not panned, should they be summed together and put on both tracks? And if that is done should the tracks be reduced in volume?

Maybe you have answers to all those questions. But what happens when you switch between proxy playback and original playback? You can’t expect the software to change the audio routing on the fly.

It’s only a guess, but that’s my thinking on why there is such inflexibility when it comes to attaching proxies and not matching audio channels. So, you must make sure that your proxy audio matches the original audio or it won’t work.

This can be frustrating. There are cameras out there that can create proxies, but if the proxy audio layout doesn’t match the original files, the proxies won’t work unless you recompress them with the correct audio. At that point you might as well create new proxies.

Even if you recompressed, you might still run into a problem. Let’s say you look at an original camera file, see that it has four mono audio channels and then set up an encoding preset that creates reduced resolution proxies that have four mono audio channels. After spending several hours rendering proxies for multiple days of footage, you try to batch attach proxies and realize that at times no audio was recorded. Perhaps this was because of a different frame rate, or maybe the audio recording was simply turned off.

For whatever reason, now you have to search through the footage and figure out which files have audio, and which do not. It might be just a couple of files, or maybe there are a lot. So you could have just a little work ahead of you, or you may have a lot.

Next time, a better way to create proxies that work.

The post Making The Right Proxies appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 27 novembre 2019 à 19:17

Olympus Adds Two New Lenses To Product Roadmap

Par By Terry Sullivan

Olympus has updated its lens roadmap with two new zoom lenses: The ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO standard zoom lens and ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS super telephoto zoom lens.

Today, Olympus announced it will be adding two new zooms to its M.Zuiko digital lens roadmap, which provides an overview of what new lenses the company will be producing for its mirrorless camera-bodies, like its flagship OM-D E-M1X or the new E-M5 Mark III. The two Micro Four Thirds lenses Olympus is developing are the ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO standard zoom lens and the ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS super telephoto zoom lens.

The Olympus Lens Roadmap for M.Zuiko and M.Zuiko PRO lenses.

Since this is a development announcement, Olympus didn’t offer specific details beyond the names of the two new lenses and that the company would make a more official announcement on each lens, with detailed specifications, sometime in 2020. When the new zooms do come to market and we get them in for testing, we’ll be sure to report on how well each performs.

For more, visit the Development Announcements page on the GetOlympus.com website, found here: getolympus.com/roadmap

The post Olympus Adds Two New Lenses To Product Roadmap appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 27 novembre 2019 à 19:05

Hive Lighting Unveils Two New Modular CX-Series Lights

Par By Terry Sullivan

Hive Lighting’s new CX line: The Wasp 100-CX and the Hornet 200-CX

Hive Lighting has just recently announced two new modular CX-series LED lights: The Wasp 100-CX and the Hornet 200-CX. According to the company, the new CX line is “the new affordable version of Hive’s original C Series. The CX models are all single-point source, single shadow, full-spectrum ‘Omni-Color’ LEDs, with full white light and fully saturated color control.”

At the moment, the new line comprises two lights: The Wasp 100-CX, $799 and the Hornet 200-CX, $1,299. Hive Lighting says that the two new lights are very modular “with Fresnel, Par Reflector and theatrical Leko Spot options as well as fully Profoto compatible.” That means they can work with a wide variety of third-party softboxes and modifiers, according to Hive Lighting.

Here’s more detail on each lighting unit:

 

The Wasp 100-CX

The Wasp 100-CX draws 75 watts and uses Hive’s proprietary Omni-Color array. It’s compatible with all Hive C-Series and Profoto modifiers, and features a new, enhanced Bluetooth range. Here are some additional tech specs for the Wasp 100-CX:

  • Source: Omni-Color Led
  • Power: 75w
  • Light Index: Up To 98 CRI / 97 TLCI
  • Dimming: 0 – 100% Control
  • Color Temp: 1,650k – 8,000k
  • Control: DMX, App
  • AC Power: 100 – 240 V Input
  • DC Power: N/A
  • Weight: 7.8” / 198 Mm
  • Length: 2 Lb / .9 Kg
  • Diameter: 4” / 100mm
  • Mounting: Profoto, Hive, Adapters

Hornet 200-CX

The Hornet 200-CX weighs just 2.2 .lbs and draws 150 watts. Like the Wasp, it’s compatible with all Hive C-Series and Profoto modifiers, and features a new, enhanced Bluetooth range, as well. Here are some additional tech specs for the Hornet 200-CX:

  • Power: 150W
  • Light Index: Up To 98 CRI / 97 TLCI
  • Dimming: 0 – 100% Control
  • Color Temp: 1,650k – 8,000k
  • Control: DMX, App
  • AC Power: 100 – 240 V Input
  • DC Power: N/A
  • Weight: 8” / 200 Mm
  • Length: 2.2 .lbs / 1 Kg
  • Diameter: 4” / 100mm
  • Mounting: Profoto, Hive, Adapters

Both models can be controlled via the company’s free wireless, Bluetooth mobile app (available for both Android and iOS iPhones). Both models should be available soon direct from the company or at various retail outlets. For more, go to hivelighting.com/     

 

The post Hive Lighting Unveils Two New Modular CX-Series Lights appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 27 novembre 2019 à 08:50

Review: Atomos Shinobi SDI

Par Daniel Brockett

The Atomos Shinobi SDI is plenty bright indoors, but I was interested to see how it would perform outside.

Several years ago, when we moved to using the Canon Cinema EOS C200 as our main camera, we avoided investing in a new camera monitor. That’s because we simply used a Hoodman H400 sunshade with the C200’s touchscreen, a set-up that worked effectively for most shooting situations.

However, times—and gear—continue to change. We began looking at some of the recent 5-inch camera monitor introductions. But the price needed to be right since we were pairing it with more budget-level gear: Fujifilm’s X-T3 mirrorless camera ($1,400) and the Crane 2 gimbal ($500). In other words, a $2,000-plus camera monitor wouldn’t make much economic sense. So, we set our budget at $500 for a monitor and started our research.

The Shinobi SDI is an affordable, accurate 5.2-inch 1080 monitor that’s useful for a number of different purposes on set.

Specifications, Brightness, Weight And Design

I read through the specifications on the Shinobi SDI, and it sounded like a good candidate for what we were looking for. However, one downside was that the Fujifilm X-T3 only comes with a Micro HDMI output, and it’s the only way to get video output out of the X-T3. Still, our Canon C200 has SDI out as well as HDMI. So I knew that I could use the SDI output when using the Shinobi as a small client monitor with cable runs of 20 to 50 feet, as required.

The Shinobi SDI features a full-sized HDMI input (no HDMI loop-through, unfortunately) as well as 3G SDI input and loop output.

Another concern was the brightness of the Shinobi screen. Shooting under direct, bright sun, there’s really no substitute for brightness output from a monitor. The Shinobi is rated at 1,000 nits, which is bright. But I wouldn’t characterize it as “super bright,” as many other camera monitors now advertise. The two other monitors I was considering—the PortKeys LH5 HDR and the new PortKeys BM5—are both considered “super bright” or “daylight viewable” with the lower-cost LH5 HDR rated at 1,500nits while the more expensive (also $499) BM5 monitor is rated at 2,000nits.

Since I shoot with the Fujifilm’s XT-3 mirrorless camera, the only way to send video from the camera to the Shinobi SDI, is via the Micro HDMI port, the worst video connector available.

One of my buying criteria was weight. Since I planned on using this monitor mounted to the Zhiyun Crane 2 extension handle, every additional ounce was a concern. It’s one thing to try to operate a small mirrorless camera on a gimbal smoothly. But it’s another to consider a small mirrorless camera, the gimbal, extension-mounting arm, a monitor, monitor battery, sunshade, an external microphone, cables and filters.

All of this extra weight really can add up, and it affects how long you can actually hold the camera and gimbal steady for long periods of time. That’s important since I mostly shoot documentaries, and I generally follow my subjects through their day-to-day experiences.

The Shinobi SDI offers some handy tools that neither of our cameras provide, like False Color, which assigns different colors to areas of different exposure in the image. Instead of just showing what parts of the image are overexposed, it gives a more complete picture of what’s going on in the image by using a range of exposure values.

Comparing Three Monitors

To get a better sense of how the Atomos Shinobi SDI compared to the competition, I first considered price, weight and build materials between the three monitors before buying:

  1. Atomos Shinobi SDI ($499): 7.97 ounces, polycarbonate.
  2. PortKeys LH5 HDR ($289): 7.05 ounces, polycarbonate.
  3. PortKeys BM5 ($499): 12.3 ounces, aluminum.

All three monitors are powered by Sony NP-F batteries or DC, and all three have the ability to load custom LUTS.

But I wanted to compare other features, as well.

Atomos Shinobi SDI:

  • HDMI and SDI i/o; 1,000nits; Atomos user interface has a wide array of measuring and monitoring tools; good experience with brand and customer service.

PortKeys LH5 HDR:

  • HDMI only i/o; 1,500nits; PortKeys user interface is not as intuitive as Atomos, although it’s equipped with most video measurement tools. But Atomos has more. The LH5 HDR is lighter than the Atomos. Also, use the Long Arm Control Box to control certain camera functions from the monitor but only for specific cameras.

PortKeys BM5:

  • HDMI and SDI i/o; 2000nits; PortKeys user interface; it’s heavier than the Atomos. Also, use the Long Arm Control Box to control certain camera functions from the monitor but only for specific cameras. (At the time of this review, I wasn’t able to get this unit in to compare it on other features.)

The fact that the PortKeys BM5 wasn’t shipping in time for a big out-of-state shoot I had coming up really ruled it out.

And even though having high brightness was appealing to me, since I’ve been shooting outdoors so much lately on our docuseries, I didn’t like that I’d have to deal with a potentially clunky and unintuitive menu system on the PortKeys monitors. I also wasn’t looking forward to the additional weight of the PortKeys BM5 model for use on our gimbal.

In the end, though, I needed a monitor for an upcoming production that would largely be shot on the road, shooting an ultramarathon in the Florida Keys.

I ordered the Atomos Shinobi SDI for $499, along with $90 AtomX Sunshade. I really wanted a higher brightness monitor, but I had hoped that the sunshade would allow me to use the 1,000nit screen under bright sunlight. And so far, it’s worked: I’ve been shooting with the Shinobi SDI for a couple of months now, and my overall impression has been very favorable. Overall, it’s a very handy tool.

Left: The ¼-inch 20 sockets on the top and bottom of the Shinobi SDI work, but the ARRI anti-rotation connector that the Ninja V features would have been far superior. Right: Up top, eight different LUTs can be loaded into the Shinobi SDI’s memory via this SD card slot on the right side of the monitor.

The Pros And Cons Of Aluminum Vs. Polycarbonate

The Atomos Shinobi is basically just a Ninja V without the recorder. But let me qualify that: One major structural difference is that the Ninja V recorder has an aluminum body, while the Shinobi SDI uses polycarbonate.

The downside is that aluminum construction has a more robust and tactile feel than polycarbonate. Aluminum is also a better passive heat conductor.

But the Blade is a recorder, while the Shinobi is merely a monitor. So I didn’t anticipate that heat buildup would be an issue with a monitor.

The upside is that polycarbonate is lighter, significantly so over the PortKeys BM5. For my use, primarily on a one-handed gimbal with a small mirrorless camera, secondarily on our Canon C200 and rented cameras mostly on tripod, occasionally shoulder-mounted, the minuscule weight of just under 8 ounces was a definite selling point.

This Shinobi SDI features a 3G SDI input with loop output, meaning it supports 1080 but not 4K input.

Toolset, Accessory Mount And Color Accuracy

The Shinobi toolset is deep, and the monitor includes many features with useful functions that help you make sure your images are properly exposed. It also ensures your camera audio is recorded at the proper levels—for example, the basic on-screen toolset Waveform, RGB Parade in black and white, Waveform with RGB, Vectorscope, Vectorscope Zoomed, Histogram, Histogram With RGB, Zebra, several Frame Crop modes and more.

The Shinobi SDI has two ¼-inch 20 mounting points, one on top of the screen and one on the bottom. Unfortunately, the Shinobi lacks the same ARRI accessory mount that the Ninja V has: a mounting system that has anti-rotation pins to keep the monitor from rotating once mounted.

On recent shoots, with the monitor mounted on our gimbal, we found that the anti-rotation function is sorely missed

The screen on the Shinobi has accurate colors, and with the addition of HDR and LUT support, you get what seems to be a fairly accurate representation of what your images will look like back in the edit bay. In my opinion, a camera monitor should be close to broadcast accurate, but I also know that a real, broadcast-accurate monitor for an edit bay can easily cost $20,000. So I’m realistic about how color/gamma-accurate a $500 camera monitor will be.

I loaded in two LUTs for our Fujifilm X-T3 for when we are shooting F-Log and three different LUTs for our Canon C200. The Shinobi’s intuitive and simple menu system makes it quick and easy to choose between the LUTs you want to apply to your signal. The LUTs are loaded into the Shinobi via an SD card slot on the right side of the monitor. The process was simple and painless. 

The Shinobi SDI menus were intuitive and simple to navigate and the locations and implementation of the various functions made sense to me.

In The Field, Battery Life, Menu System And Analysis Tool

The Shinobi SDI screen is a full 1920×1080 at 427 ppi. The HDMI input can accept a 4K or 1080 signal, but the SDI input is only 3G SDI, not 12G, so it only accepts a 1080 signal.

When it’s in use in the field, I find that you don’t gain anything by feeding a 4K signal to a 1080 monitor screen. It looks fully detailed and precise enough to judge focus with a 1080 input signal since it’s just a 1080 native screen.

In a 5.2-inch display, even if it was a true 4K screen, it wouldn’t matter; you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. (If you haven’t seen it, this online TV monitor viewing distance calculator, stari.co/tv-monitor-viewing-distance-calculator, is a handy reference guide for where resolution and distance converge and are a factor in the degree of sharpness apparent in a monitor.)

Battery life on the Shinobi SDI is excellent. Using one of my large Sony 7800mAh NPF970 batteries, the monitor ran for about eight to nine hours.

Navigating the Shinobi menus and tools is a pleasant, intuitive experience, and it’s one of the primary reasons I chose the Shinobi over either of the PortKeys monitors. With the Shinobi, all of the functions are accessed through two screens of icons at the bottom of the screen. It’s very much like perusing the controls on your phone. It feels intuitive and natural in comparison, and I could easily do it while holding the gimbal without having to put it down.

The Shinobi has a new “Analysis” tool that I find handy for a quick “all systems” check. You tap it and instantly see a slightly shrunken version of your subject, flanked by a waveform at the bottom, histogram to the right bottom, vectorscope to the right and audio meters above the vectorscope. This is a great way to get a quick check of every most commonly used monitoring feature all at once.

One of the coolest options is that you can adjust the brightness level of the scopes, making the lines thinner or thicker for checking the resolution of the measurement.

I’d recommend purchasing the AtomX Sunshade (above, left), which is a must with the Shinobi SDI. The screen is visible outdoors on cloudy days, but in bright, direct sunlight, the shade helps the image visibility.

AtomX Sunshade Accessory

With the Shinobi’s 1,000nit screen, if you decide to purchase it, you’ll also want to purchase the AtomX Sunshade. Buying it was a bit confusing because the sunshade is marketed as being only designed for the Ninja V, but, rest assured, it also fits the Shinobi SDI perfectly. While I bristled at the price ($90 for a small plastic ring that clamps to the monitor and a small folding sunshade that inserts into grooves in the ring!), I must say that functionally, it’s easily the best sunshade I’ve used.

In the bright Florida sun, with the addition of the AtomX sunshade, I was able to view the monitor, compose and easily nail focus and exposure. The shade is small and light enough to not really be a factor as far as weight and size, but its depth shades the monitor screen an adequate amount to make viewing in most circumstances practical.

One advantage of the 1,000 nit screen is that colors are generally a bit more accurate (super bright monitors typically compromise color accuracy for brightness). Additionally, a 1,000 nit screen uses considerably less energy, prolonging battery life and shooting time.

On a recent documentary shoot for “Year On The Water,” a character study about two female athletes, the AtomX Sunshade helped the Shinobi SDI perform flawlessly on the challenging two-day shoot.

The Bottom Line: An Exceptional Value

At $499, the Shinobi SDI is an exceptional value, and I don’t regret choosing it over any of the other competing monitors available in the sub-$500 price range.

For me, the Shinobi offers the simplest and easiest-to-use software/interface of any monitor on the market I’ve seen, paired with proven reliability and solid LUT and HDR support.

Its 1,000 nit rating means that it’s useful for shooting outdoors on cloudy days or in indirect sunlight sans the sunshade, but in bright sun, the sunshade is a must. I was impressed enough with the Shinobi that I bought one, along with the AtomX sunshade, and have been using it the past two months in a variety of situations. It’s been a valuable addition to our camera packages.

The Shinobi SDI will be useful for gimbal shooting, as well as with almost any camera I rent, borrow or own. Unlike cameras that seem outdated every few months, I anticipate that the Shinobi SDI will give me years of useful performance, and if my experience with it is anything like the past four years I’ve had with the Ninja Blade, it will have been a wise investment.

If you need an affordable camera monitor, I strongly recommend this Atomos monitor. It’s an excellent choice for a versatile monitor for shooting projects on a tight budget.

The post Review: Atomos Shinobi SDI appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 27 novembre 2019 à 00:08

Rode Microphone Introduces The VideoMic NTG

Par By Terry Sullivan

This week, Rode announced a new model in its VideoMic line of on-camera mics: The new VideoMic NTG is a lightweight, versatile, on-camera shotgun microphone. According to the company, it’s a hybrid microphone that “brings the signature broadcast-quality sound of our NTG shotgun range to a compact, feature-packed VideoMic.” It will be available at the end of this month for around $250.

Rode says that the new mic includes a number of impressive features, including:

  • A unique acoustic design: It has a similar design to the NTG5. Rode says it delivers unmatched acoustic transparency “and a natural, uncolored sound.”
  • Highly directional, supercardioid, polar-pattern and very flat frequency response: This allows it to be used in a variety of scenarios, from filmmaking to broadcast and other content-creation applications.
  • Claims to have a unique, infinitely variable gain control. This lets the user to precisely adjust the mic’s output, from mic level to line level to headphone level.
  • Auto-sensing 3.5mm output automatically switches between TRS and TRRS (avoiding the need for adaptor cables).
  • USB output: This turns the VideoMic NTG into a fully-featured USB microphone that can record direct to a computer, tablet or smartphone.

 

 

The microphone also includes a headphone output, digital switching (controls high-pass filter, -20dB pad, high frequency boost and safety channel),  dB peak warning light, built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery and more.

For more information, see the press release below. Or go to vmntg.rode.com

 

press release:

Introducing The Videomic NTG

The Most Versatile VideoMic Ever

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Wednesday, November 20, 2019—Introducing the latest addition to RØDE’s best-selling VideoMic range, the VideoMic NTG. Released fresh off the back of the NTG5, which set a new standard for broadcast shotgun mics, the VideoMic NTG is yet another gamechanger from RØDE – an incredible-sounding, supremely versatile on-camera shotgun microphone unlike anything else out there.

RØDE VideoMics are the original and the best. We pioneered the compact on-camera microphone with the release of the very first VideoMic in 2004; and over the past 15 years, we have continued to reinvent the category with groundbreaking products like the VideoMicro and VideoMic Pro+, which have become the go-to for filmmakers of every ilk. Today, when creators think video mic, they think RØDE.

WHAT IS THE VIDEOMIC NTG?

“It’s in the name,” says RØDE Founder and Chairman Peter Freedman AM. “The VideoMic NTG is a hybrid microphone that brings the signature broadcast-quality sound of our NTG shotgun range to a compact, feature-packed VideoMic.”

“This is the next chapter in the VideoMic story, combining decades of research and development of high-quality microphones for professional filmmakers and broadcasters with a deep understanding of the needs and wants of the modern content creator. With the VideoMic NTG, we have once again redefined what on-camera microphones are capable of.”

KEY FEATURES OF THE VIDEOMIC NTG:

Revolutionary acoustic design – first introduced with the NTG5 – which delivers unmatched acoustic transparency and a natural, uncoloured sound.

Highly directional supercardioid polar pattern and very flat frequency response – it sounds superb in a wide range of filmmaking, broadcast, and content creation applications.

Unique infinitely variable gain control, allowing the user to precisely adjust the mic’s output, from mic level to line level to headphone level.

Auto-sensing 3.5mm output automatically switches between TRS and TRRS to accommodate both cameras (TRS) and mobile devices (TRRS) – no need for adaptor cables.

USB output – turns the VideoMic NTG into a fully-featured USB microphone that can record direct to a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Headphone output – for seamless audio monitoring (while using the USB output).

Digital switching – controls high-pass filter, – 20dB pad, high frequency boost, and safety channel.

dB peak warning light – to ensure distortion-free audio.

In-built rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides 30+ hours of recording – more than enough for the most demanding shoots. Charges via USB-C in just 2 hours.

High-quality Rycote® Lyre® shock mounting with cable management, plus a sliding rail mount to adjust mic placement on a camera cold shoe.

Lightweight (just 94g) and rugged – aerospace-grade aluminium construction.

SHOTGUN SOUND, VIDEOMIC SIZE

The VideoMic NTG features the same annular line tube technology as the NTG5, our new broadcast shotgun mic, which employs acoustic perforations along the length of the microphone in place of the linear slots found in other shotguns and on-camera microphones. This revolutionary acoustic design delivers unmatched transparency, and a natural, uncoloured sound.

Add to this an incredibly flat frequency response, highly directional supercardioid polar pattern, and very low self-noise, and what you have is a compact on-camera microphone that contends with the world’s best shotgun mics. It sounds simply stunning.

THE MOST FEATURE-PACKED VIDEOMIC EVER

Building on breakthrough developments made with the VideoMic Pro+, the VideoMic NTG serves up an array of powerful tools to ensure users can easily adapt to any recording situation.

These include a switchable high-pass filter (at 75Hz or 150Hz) to curtail troublesome low frequencies from wind, traffic, air conditioners, and other environmental noise, plus a high frequency boost to enhance detail and clarity – particularly useful when using a furry windshield. There’s a switchable -20dB pad for recording very loud sound sources, and for added security, a switchable safety channel that records a separate channel at -20dB in case the main channel clips—an absolute lifesaver.

The unique infinitely variable gain control on the rear of the mic allows users to precisely tailor the output level to their recording device. This is an active control that has a greater output range than any other microphone on the market – it can deliver anything from mic level signal all the way to a headphone level output, providing incredible flexibility and improving DSLR sound quality.

An auto-power function automatically switches the mic on when the camera is turned on, ensuring it’s always ready to record, and also helps conserve battery life by switching the mic off when it’s unplugged or the camera is turned off. Speaking of battery life, the VideoMic NTG contains a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides 30+ hours of recording – more than enough for the most demanding shoots. This is charged via USB-C (empty to full in 2 hours), meaning continuous recording is possible with a power pack.

On top of these features, an auto-sensing 3.5mm output intelligently switches between TRS and TRRS to accommodate both cameras and mobile devices – no need for adaptor cables! Finally, a handy dB peak warning light indicates when the internal preamp is clipping – this is particularly useful when recording loud sound sources. In these situations, the -20dB pad can be quickly engaged to attenuate the incoming signal.

USB CAPABILITY

The VideoMic NTG is also a fully-featured USB microphone. Its class-compliant USB-C output allows users to plug directly into a computer, tablet, or smartphone, turning it into a studio-quality desktop USB mic, perfect for recording voiceovers, podcasts, gaming or livestreaming.

If that weren’t enough, headphones can be plugged into the 3.5mm output for seamless monitoring of audio while using the USB output. The headphone level can be adjusted by the variable gain control. This also means the VideoMic NTG can be used as a desktop headphone amp!

THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE OF MICROPHONES

The VideoMic NTG is so much more than just an on-camera mic. With its high-quality shock mounting, sliding cold shoe rail, and integrated cable management, it’s perfectly at home atop any DSLR or mirrorless camera. But it’s also light and compact enough for use with smartphone rigs and small cameras, and rugged enough to be used on a boom pole or pistol grip on-location, and it can be used on a desktop as a USB mic.

Never before has a microphone packed in so many features. The VideoMic NTG is a do-it-all, Swiss Army Knife microphone that is capable of handling anything thrown at it. Forget what you thought you knew about VideoMics. This changes everything

The post Rode Microphone Introduces The VideoMic NTG appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 22 novembre 2019 à 05:39

Shutterstock Announces Unlimited Music Subscription Plan

Par By Terry Sullivan

Earlier this week, Shutterstock announced a new unlimited music subscription plan for its royalty-free music service, Shutterstock Music. According to the company, the plan is “geared toward digital content creators, including YouTubers, podcast producers, and social media managers, offering a cost-efficient solution to licensing unlimited high-quality tracks at $149 per month.”

The company also announced that in order “to meet the needs of short-form content projects, Shutterstock Music now offers shorter tracks for all license plans.” This could be particularly useful for videographers who create very short-length videos for social media channels, for example.

“Shorts, or shortened versions of a song (15, 30, and 60 seconds in length), and loops, a segment of a longer song that repeats indefinitely, are now available with every license purchased at no additional cost, enabling users to save time on edits after purchase.”

For more information, see the press release below, or go to shutterstock.com/discover/shutterstock-music-subscription

Press release: 

Shutterstock Announces Unlimited Music Subscription and New Features

Content creators now have access to a range of track lengths as well as flexibility to license as needs arise

New York, NY, November 19, 2019 – Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK), a leading global technology company offering a creative platform for high-quality content, tools and services, today announced the launch of an unlimited monthly subscription for Shutterstock Music . The new plan is geared toward digital content creators, including YouTubers, podcast producers, and social media managers, offering a cost-efficient solution to licensing unlimited high-quality tracks at $149 per month.

Additionally, to meet the needs of short-form content projects, Shutterstock Music now offers shorter tracks for all license plans. Creating content for digital and social media channels requires tighter budgets, shorter timelines, and attention-grabbing messaging. Shorts, or shortened versions of a song (15, 30, and 60 seconds in length), and loops, a segment of a longer song that repeats indefinitely, are now available with every license purchased at no additional cost, enabling users to save time on edits after purchase.

With over 11,000 tracks, the Shutterstock Music library includes world-class music curated by professional musicians. The platform offers powerful filtering tools that allow users to search by genre, mood, popularity, among others. With hundreds of tracks added every month, the content is always fresh and Shutterstock Music publishes curated playlists of popular genres and regions. All Shutterstock music tracks are royalty-free and the standard license covers web-based and business usage, including conference presentations and trade-show booths.

“Today’s creatives are often working across multiple channels to create content for various projects and audiences. We launched the music subscription to make their lives much easier,” said Christopher Cosentino, VP of Product at Shutterstock. “Whether creating a social video, a conference presentation or a podcast, our new unlimited licensing option empowers creators to license music as their needs arise and frees them to focus on the creative vision rather than worrying about budget.”

Learn more about the new Shutterstock Music offerings here.

https://www.shutterstock.com/discover/shutterstock-music-subscription

 

 

The post Shutterstock Announces Unlimited Music Subscription Plan appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 21 novembre 2019 à 20:35

Reducing The Load With Proxies

Par Michael Guncheon

I’ve gone through several posts on various ways to use proxies and how to make sure that workflow is successful. But, I haven’t talked about using proxies side-by-side with your original footage on an edit workstation.

You might ask, “Why use proxies if the real files are available?” As camera resolution has increased, the load on edit computers has increased as well. Throw in raw recording—and the need to debayer each frame on the fly—and you’re asking a lot of your hardware. (If “debayer” is a new term for you, keep reading my posts. It will be covered in a future one.)

Instead of using the original footage, proxies—with their reduced resolution and, if representing raw files, the elimination of debayering—reduce the load on the system. But you’re not locked in with viewing only proxies. The workflow I’m talking about still keeps the original footage available at a moment’s notice.

Note: I’ll be talking about Adobe Premiere’s method, but Final Cut Pro X and Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve also have similar methods they refer to as using “optimized media.”

The concept is to “attach” proxies to the original camera footage in Premiere. Then, via a button under the source or record window, you can toggle between playing back the proxies or the original footage.

Switching to proxy playback frequently lessens the scourge of dropped frames. But viewing the camera original is just a button push away—no need to disconnect the proxy. And, fortunately, when you need to render or export your sequence, Premier uses the camera original file.

If done right, proxies are a great way to work when your computer can’t keep up. How do you do it right? That’s for next time.

The post Reducing The Load With Proxies appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 19 novembre 2019 à 01:24

An Archeological Expedition

Par Daniel Brockett

Much like a modern-day Indiana Jones, join me as I dig through the relics and remnants of production laying around our office.

I’ve been doing some straightening and organizing around the office lately. Upon excavating several storage boxes that I haven’t looked through for quite a while, some of them it’s been even years since I have gone through them, I’ve discovered that I have quite a collection of miscellaneous bits and pieces that I had forgotten about. It kind of makes me wonder why I bought all of this stuff, what I used it for and why I’m no longer using it. More than just a random collection of junk, going through these crates revealed some memories of not only older gear, but older projects that were fun and interesting.

Production Memories

Once you’ve been in our business for a while, you realize how much of what we do centers on gear. It’s all gear, all of the time for many of us. Much of that gear is used for a short time, then it’s cast aside when your gear or configuration changes, often with the vague thought of, “Oh, I should put that on eBay or Craigslist,” but I find that for me, selling small, low dollar accessories is often an exercise in hassle and frustration. Especially when you factor in shipping and the accompanying trips to buy packaging, packaging it up, driving to UPS/FedEx/Post Office, time is so much more valuable than recouping a few bucks on something you bought a few years ago and no longer use, if it’s a relatively low dollar item. Hence I find myself with lots of these smaller things lying around, too valuable to throw in the recycling bin but not valuable enough to put the hours and efforts into an earnest sales drive.

Without further ado, here are a few candidates:

The Lockport HDMI Port Saver

Production Memories
The Lockport Port Saver was an indispensable part of our production package when we were shooting with the Panasonic Lumix GH-4.

I bought this about four or five years ago when I bought our company’s first 4K capable camera, the Panasonic GH4. The GH4 had a super fragile Micro HDMI output jack. Unfortunately, here we are years later and our current mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm XT-3, is still using this infernal connector. Micro HDMI is so bad, so fragile, it’s like a joke of a connector, even for a consumer, much less for professional use. The Lockport was a plate that attached to the bottom of the GH4 and inserted a micro HDMI connector into the port, made a 45-degree turn and output a full-sized HDMI connection. It was great and worked well. It protected the super fragile micro HDMI connector on the camera and gave you a better, more robust full-sized HDMI “A” connection to hook up to your external recorder or monitor.

I recall I had the Lockport listed on Amazon, eBay and some boards and it wasn’t cheap, I think we paid around $150 for it, but even at half price, nobody was interested in it, so rather than give it away for free, we threw it in storage. Here it is, four years later and it’s still in storage. Anyone want to buy a Lockport for their GH-4?

Nikon DSLR Wireless Remote

Production Memories
Back not so many years ago, DSLR cameras lacked Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and you had to buy one of these to release the shutter remotely.

Wow, I had no idea we still had this in storage! We sold off all of our Nikon cameras and lenses quite a few years ago, but this was small enough that it must have slipped through the cracks. It’s a quaint reminder of when Nikon, Canon and other camera manufacturers used to offer “high tech” infrared remote controls to release the camera shutter and take a picture. Today, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras almost exclusively use Smart Phone apps for camera remote control and monitoring. The amount of control that these apps have, via Bluetooth, is quite amazing in comparison to what was offered versus simple, primitive remote releases like this one. This remote even had this cute little woven fabric bag to carry it in, although it was so small that it was definitely easy to lose.

Canon 5D MKII Remote Shutter Release

Production Memories
The Canon 5D MKII started the DSLR Revolution, but it wasn’t its wired remote that excited users, it was the image.

We were an early adopter of the DSLR that started the “DSLR Revolution,” the Canon EOS 5D MKII. At that time, we were mostly shooting with our Panasonic HVX-200 and HPX-170 P2 cameras. Both were HD capable but fixed lens with tiny 1/3-inch sensors. This meant they were extremely difficult to obtain any kind of shallow depth of field with. At the time, when we wanted shallower DOF and a better picture, we would rent 2/3-inch sensor cameras like the Sony F900 and the Panasonic first-generation Varicam. When the 5D MKII came out, we were kind of blown away, like everyone else, by the shallow depth of field and color science of the sensor. This was a wired shutter release that we also forgot to include when we sold the 5D MKII, just a few years ago. I’m sure we paid a good amount of money for it, but since we hardly used it, we had put it into storage. Imagine, a “WIRED” shutter release. Isn’t everything wireless in 2019?

15mm Rod To Arri Rosette Adapter

Production Memories
This Arri Rosette to 15mm rod adapter for a handgrip is all that’s left of our first attempt at building a “Franken rig” to hold our Canon EOS C100 and EOS C200 on the shoulder.

Why did we not end up using this? Why did it end up in the assorted odds and ends boxes? As I recall, we bought this in an effort to build a usable shoulder-mounted rig a few years ago for our Canon EOS C100 and C300. As you know, neither of these cameras and even our present-day EOS C200 are very good shoulder-mounted cameras. But we seem to run into situations where we need to shoot with these cameras mounted on our shoulder. Mainly scenarios where more mobility and movement is needed than can be gained from just shooting from tripod, which you can get with the Canons by shooting handheld cradled, but shooting with the camera held out in front of your body, especially with bigger, heavier lenses, monitors, external recorders, wireless mic receivers and other “stuff” that must often be hung off of our cameras, shooting “cradled” soon turns into an exercise in cramped and fatigued muscles, so up onto the shoulder the camera must go.

Unfortunately, almost all popular digital cinema cameras these days are NOT designed to work very well shoulder mounted. If you think about, a large percentage of cameras that people shoot with today are really, really terrible on the shoulder. REDs, Arri Alexa Mini and Mini LF, all of the Canons, the Panasonic EVA-1, even the Sony FS7 is no joy to shoot shoulder mounted with, although it can be done. We bought this adapter to attach a handgrip to some 15mm rods that we were using for lens support, extension handles and other operations on the Franken rig we created to support our C100/C300. After using the rig on a couple of long shoulder-mounted shoots, we came to the realization that we needed a better balanced and constructed solution, so we upped our game and moved into the Zacuto VCT Pro Baseplate Shoulder Mount and built out a better shoulder-mounted rig from there. It’s still not perfect, but it’s leagues better than our first attempt, which this fitting was used to help construct.

Cosmos Wrap Gift Keychain

Production Memories

Production Memories
This Sterling Silver keychain was a wrap gift from the nice producers of the Cosmos TV Series that I worked on a few years ago. It was too nice to actually use.

I stumbled across this interesting looking, expensive silver keychain that I received from the producers of the Cosmos TV series. It’s pretty cool, the keychain itself is shaped like the “ship of the future” that Neil DeGrasse Tyson rides around the universe in in the series. I had some great times working on that project, and looking at this souvenir brings back fond memories. The problem with actually using it as a keychain was that it was too nice to use. It’s polished silver in a fancy, black-velvet-lined box, and if I actually used it as a keychain, it would become all scratched up and I’d probably eventually lose it. Usually, I have no problem using gear and it getting worn, but this was different, it was a thoughtful gift in recognition of my contribution to the series.

Thanks for going through this super exciting, one of a kind, adventure through the detritus of my time in production over the past few years. As they say, everything and everyone tells a story, sometimes it’s fun to reminisce and recall what you were doing in production when you look at something from that era.   

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  • 14 novembre 2019 à 00:38

Apple Announces The New 16-inch MacBook Pro—A Probable Game-Changing Laptop For Cinematographers And Content Creators

Par By Terry Sullivan

Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro laptop

Today, Apple unveiled its new line of 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops, which replaces its current line of 15-inch MacBook Pros, the powerful and portable workstations you’ll most likely catch cinematographers and professional content creators carrying around with them. The new models, which will be available in two impressive, but pricey configurations, for $2,399 and $2,799, will go on sale later this week.

Physically speaking, the new laptops have merely gained an inch in size. But what will really entice filmmakers of all genres are the many new upgrades, features and capabilities inside the new MacBook Pro. It’s why this could be a very significant product introduction for Apple, one that might even be called a game changer for cinematographers and creatives of all sorts.

Here’s why: According to Apple, the new 16-inch MacBook Pros come with “an immersive 16-inch Retina display, a new Magic Keyboard, dramatically faster performance, an awesome sound system and new pro options in system memory, video memory and storage.” Those features and enhancements are all well and good, but during a two-hour meeting I attended in New York with Apple, a day before the official product launch of the new laptops, I got a chance to see exactly how the new mobile workstations performed in a number of scenarios, and how in many cases the laptops breezed through challenges and roadblocks that generally slow down most other laptops. (I’ll also be testing the laptop shortly to see how it performs.)

The Retina display on this MacBook Pro has a pixel resolution of 3072 x 1920, with a total of 5.9 million pixels. It also has a higher pixel density (226 ppi) than what’s found on previous screens.

Retina Display, Keyboard and Processors

The 16-inch Retina display is the largest-ever Retina display on a Mac notebook, Apple says. It delivers “an immersive front-of-screen experience and the P3 wide color gamut delivers brilliant, true-to-life images and video.” It has a pixel resolution of 3072 x 1920, with a total of 5.9 million pixels. It also has a higher pixel density of 226 ppi than previous screens. Overall, I found it to be quite an impressive display, although I haven’t yet done all that much testing on it yet.

Apple has seemingly fixed its keyboard problem. No more butterfly keyboard design. Instead, this MacBook Pro includes a keyboard called the Magic keyboard, which was “inspired by the keyboard that comes with iMac Pro.” Apple is promoting it as a very comfortable and satisfying typing experience. Plus, they brought back a dedicated Escape key.

The laptops have other significant upgrades, including a 6-core and 8-core Intel processors: Apple says the MacBook Pros have the “latest 6-core Core i7 and 8-core Core i9 processors and feature Turbo Boost speeds of up to 5.0GHz, for performance that’s up to 2.1 times faster than the fastest quad-core 15-inch MacBook Pro.” Another very intriguing development on this new line is that Apple says it overhauled the architecture of the laptop, providing a new thermal design, which cools MacBook Pro more effectively. Apple says the design allows the MacBook Pro to run with 12 watts more of power.

Other performance and storage specs include: an AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics GPUs with GDDR6 memory deliver up to 2.1 times faster performance on standard configurations. It’s also available with 8GB VRAM. You also get a faster 2666MHz DDR4 memory, and is now configurable up to 64GB, for the first time.  

In terms of storage, at 512GB and 1TB, the SSDs on standard configurations are “double the capacity of previous models, with a new 8TB SSD option—the largest SSD on any notebook.”

Yet despite all the changes on this laptop, it’s still only 4.3 pounds and is only about .6 inches thick.

Audio, Battery Life, Size & Weight

The new laptops come with a very impressive 6-speaker sound system that really cranks out the bass and mid-range tones when playing music. It’s hard to image that these woofers would sound as good in a laptop this thin. Plus, the 3 internal-microphone array that come with the MacBook Pro offer impressive quality with very little hiss (at least for the demos I attended)—in fact, Apple claims it’s 40 percent less hiss.

Not surprisingly, Apple tweaked its battery in order to better handle all the increases in hardware and software. Even so, Apple says it designed a new battery—a 100-watt-hour battery for 11 hours of battery life. Additionally, Apple says it “redesigned the adapter to deliver 9 more watts of power. However, the new 96W USB-C Power Adapter is the same size as the previous 87W adapter for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Yet despite all the changes on this new model, it’s still only 4.3 pounds and is only about .6 inches thick.  

A Cinematographer’s MacBook Pro

Filmmakers, videographers and cinematographers should be happy with the new system. Apple says “The new MacBook Pro lets video editors edit 11 multicam streams of 4K video simultaneously. And they’ll also enjoy smooth real-time playback of videos with complex color-grading effects applied.” That’s due to the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics with 8GB of video memory. Also, Apple says that you can add more Amp Designer plug-ins when composing or playing music in the Logic Pro X14

Apple Mac Pro & Pro Display XDR Monitor

Additionally, Apple provided more details today on its powerful workstation, the Apple Mac Pro, as well as its Pro Display XDR Monitor. For starters, Apple said both would be available this December, although no word yet on pricing.

Stay tuned for my additional tests on this new MacBook Pro, along with several “test” multimedia projects that I plan to try on this system.

Apple brought back the dedicated esc key.

The post Apple Announces The New 16-inch MacBook Pro—A Probable Game-Changing Laptop For Cinematographers And Content Creators appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 13 novembre 2019 à 16:10

Zeiss Introduces Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses

Par By Terry Sullivan

 New Supreme Prime Radiance lenses from Zeiss

Today, Zeiss introduces the Supreme Prime Radiance lenses, a new set of seven high-end cinematography lenses. According to the company, the lenses “are based on the high-speed Zeiss Supreme Prime lens family with the benefit of the new T*blue coating, which offers a distinctive look and consistent flares without any compromises.” This line comprises the following seven focal lengths: 21mm T1.5, 25mm T1.5, 29mm T1.5, 35mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5, 85mm T1.5 and 100mm T1.5.

The new line also seems to be in keeping with cine lenses from other brands, including models announced from Canon and Sony, in which “optical qualities” like lens flare, previously seen as optical elements you didn’t want in your footage, are now promoted and marketed.

The new set of Supreme Prime Radiance lenses from Zeiss

How Much Flare? 

But according to the company, filmmakers are looking for such effects. In response to demand, the company says it is integrating “flares to ensure greater creative freedom with the lenses.” Zeiss also says it is creating tools that “would allow this effect to be achieved at any time and in a controlled manner.” According to Zeiss, it’s the T* blue coating that allows filmmakers to create flares in the right light without any loss “in contrast or transmission.”

As noted earlier, the new line comprises seven primes with focal lengths of between 21 and 100 millimeters. Each lens has a maximum aperture of T1.5, which Zeiss claims will make it “possible to capture subtle nuances, even in poor light.” Zeiss also says the lenses have a smooth depth of field and elegant bokeh, plus they have an image circle diameter of 46.3 millimeters, which means they can cover the current large-format cinematography sensors, including Sony Venice, ARRI Alexa LF and Mini LF and RED Monstro. The lenses also have a front diameter of 95 millimeters, and weigh around 3.3 lbs. on average.

The new 100mm T1.5 Supreme Prime Radiance lens on the ARRI Alexa LF cine camera.

Availability

Zeiss Supreme Prime Radiance lens set will hit the market in April, 2020. You can order the set now through March 31, 2020, but you have to buy all seven focal lengths. At press time, there was no pricing on the set. 

For more, see the press release below or go to zeiss.com/cine/radiance

 

 

[[ press release ]]

ZEISS Unveils New High-End Cinematography Optics: ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses

A Modern Lens, based on ZEISS Supreme Prime lenses, with Controlled Flares

– orders possible by 31st March 2020!

Oberkochen/Germany, 7 November 2019–ZEISS has unveiled the ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses, an exclusive new set of seven high-end cinematography lenses. The lenses are based on the high-speed ZEISS Supreme Prime lens family with the benefit of the new T*blue coating, which offers a distinctive look and consistent flares without any compromises.

“The ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses deliver stunning, consistent flares across all focal lengths that cinematographers can create at will,” says Christophe Casenave, Product Manager for Cinema Products at ZEISS. “The new lens family has been infused with ZEISS’s experience and passion for premium-quality cinematography lenses – combined with its aspiration to support filmmakers throughout the creative process,” says Casenave.

Controlled images that exude artistic flair

The ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses are available as a set of seven focal lengths of between 21 and 100 millimeters, all with a maximum aperture of T1.5. This makes it possible to capture subtle nuances, even in poor light.

“When we spoke to filmmakers and industry experts, we took a close look at the appeal of flares and their unique impact on the atmosphere of a movie,” says Casenave. He describes how ZEISS is responding to users’ needs to integrate flares to ensure greater creative freedom with the lenses: “We didn’t just want to reproduce the effects, but to create tools that would allow this effect to be achieved at any time and in a controlled manner, and so the T* blue coating was born.” The new coating allows users to create flares in the right light without any losses in contrast or transmission – and in the high quality that customers have come to expect from ZEISS.

The versatility of the lenses can be used to create this visual look, which is due to the smooth depth of field and elegant bokeh, thus meeting users’ every artistic wish – from a blockbuster to a high-end commercial or a film d’auteur.

In addition to their flare behavior, the new lenses offer all the benefits of the ZEISS Supreme Primes. Thanks to their image circle diameter of 46.3 millimeters, they cover the current large- format cinematography sensors and are as such compatible with the latest camera models, such as the Sony Venice, ARRI Alexa LF, and Mini LF and RED Monstro. Moreover, they feature a front diameter of 95 millimeters with consistently positioned focus and aperture rings. They weigh around 1,500 grams on average.

The lenses are equipped with the ZEISS eXtended Data metadata technology launched in 2017, providing frame-by-frame data on lens vignetting and distortion in addition to the standard metadata provided using the Cooke /i technology1 protocol. This simplifies and speeds up workflows, particularly for VFX and Virtual Production.

Limited availability

The ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses are available to order from announcement until March 31st, 2020. The seven focal lengths – 21 mm T1.5, 25 mm T1.5, 29 mm T1.5, 35 mm T1.5, 50 mm T1.5, 85 mm T1.5 and 100 mm T1.5 – are available exclusively as a set from ZEISS Cinema dealers. The lenses will be delivered from April 2020 after the end of the ordering period.

From November, 9th -16th ,2019, ZEISS will be unveiling its ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses for the first time before a large audience at the CAMERIMAGE International Film Festival in Toruń, Poland. The short film R&R by Rodrigo Prieto (DOP of movies like The Irishman, The Wolf of Wall Street and Brokeback Mountain) shot with ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses, will also be shown at the festival. After CAMERIMAGE, ZEISS will be running a series of events at various rental houses around the world to give cinematographers the chance to try out the new lenses.

To find out more, please visit: www.zeiss.com/cine/radiance

1: /i is a registered trademark of Cooke Optics Limited used with permission.

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  • 7 novembre 2019 à 12:01

Proxy Assumption

Par Michael Guncheon

Previously, I talked about creating proxies to use for remote editing. The original footage remains in one location—not linked to the project—and only the proxies are used. I emphasized that you should make sure that the proxy files are created in such a way that they easily and faultlessly link up with the original footage. You can’t just assume that you did it right because if you didn’t, it may not be an easy fix.

Before you start any editing, it’s important to test to ensure everything will link. In addition, it might prevent you from having to take some of the drastic steps I mentioned last time, like changing filenames or timecode.

Testing is simply following the steps you’ll use to finish the project. Ingest your proxies into the edit software that will be used for the offline cut. Put all your proxy clips onto a timeline and then export that timeline via whatever method your finishing software requires: XML, project, etc.

Next, using another edit machine, import the sequence into your finishing software and relink to the original footage. Did the software find all the clips? And did it find the right clips?

Using another machine should accurately simulate what will happen when you finally relink the footage to the sequences. Moving to another machine ensures that all the links are “broken” to start with. But if you don’t have a second machine to simulate the workflow, try things like removing your original footage drive or renaming proxy folders and original footage folders and originals and then see if you can relink.

When you point to different folders, it might take a few steps to relink. Usually, the software finds all the clips in the selected folder and also in subfolders. I don’t consider a few steps like that a failure.

A failure is if you have to manually relink lots of files, one by one. A failure is if files link to the wrong clips. And a failure is if some clips can’t be linked at all. While doing this testing might seem tedious, it’s not as tedious as relinking files one at a time. Believe me.

If you’re using a specific application and have found a proxy workflow that tests well, don’t assume other applications will work just as well with that workflow. In my experience, two applications perform better than others in relinking footage:

  1. Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve does a good job. With its core focus originally on color correction, Resolve, at its inception, had to deal with relinking footage that didn’t originate in the application.
  2. I’ve often heard that one of Avid’s advantages is that it has “a strong and reliable database.” With Avid’s Media Composer being used in features and television series—think lots of footage—the software needs to have a database that’s reliable so that relinking is robust.

But even with those applications, testing is still important.

I’m not through with proxies. Next time, I’ll talk about using them to reduce the performance requirements on your edit machine.

The post Proxy Assumption appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 6 novembre 2019 à 21:48

Sigma Introduces 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art Lens For Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Par By Terry Sullivan

Sigma’s new 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art lens

Today, Sigma announces a new Art lens, the 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art lens, which is the second newly-designed Art zoom from Sigma, which follows the 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art zoom for mirrorless cameras. The new 24-70mm lens is a large-aperture standard zoom for full-frame mirrorless camera systems and is available as a Sony E-mount or L-mount lens.

The new Sigma zoom includes three aspheric lenses (to minimize axial chromatic aberration or sagittal coma aberrations), a super multi-layer coating and Sigma’s proprietary Nano Porous Coating. It also features a dust-and-splash-proof body, plus a zoom-lock mechanism for preventing the lens barrel from extending unexpectedly. The minimum focusing distance is about 7 inches at the wide-angle end. Other features include an 11-blade rounded diaphragm, a high-precision, rugged brass-bayonet mount and a lens hood with a lock.

Sigma says the 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art will be available in L-mount and Sony E-mount versions in mid-November 2019, but at press time offered no pricing information.

For more information, see the press release below.

Sigma’s new 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art lens

[[ press release ]]

Sigma Announces New 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art Zoom Lens for Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras; Available in Sony E-mount and L-mount

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art Lens

This second newly-designed Art zoom lens from Sigma is a large-aperture standard zoom for full-frame mirrorless camera systems and is available in Sony E-mount and L-mount. The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 offers best-in-class performance due to a sophisticated optical design that delivers high resolution throughout the entire zoom range. This new Art zoom lens from Sigma follows the debut of the lauded 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art zoom for mirrorless cameras. 

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art lens exerts superiority in mirrorless camera-dedicated designs, resulting in a reduced lens size and weight while achieving uniformity and high resolution from the center to the periphery throughout the zoom range. Compatibility with the latest mirrorless camera bodies and functions assists in various photographic environments and meets the high demands of both professional and advanced amateur photographers.

Key features include:

  1. Best-in-class optical performance. The F2.8 Art flagship zoom lens series is developed to achieve superior optical performance. By employing three aspheric lenses, this zoom lens thoroughly subdues aberrations such as axial chromatic aberration or sagittal coma aberrations, which are difficult to correct in post-processing, tailors the resolution and achieves uniformity and superior optical performance from the center to the periphery throughout the zoom range. In addition to Super Multi-Layer Coating, Sigma’s proprietary Nano Porous Coating is employed to achieve high-contrast and clear image quality. This lens is designed to be less affected by strong incident light such as flare.
  2. Ensuring compatibility with the latest full-frame mirrorless camera bodies. The Sigma 24–70mm F2.8 DG DN ensures compatibility with various types of the latest full-frame mirrorless camera bodies for Sony E-mount and L-mount, (including the new Sigma fp camera), capable of exerting the best performance under any photographic circumstances.
  3. Flexibility for various uses and photographic environments. Featuring a dust and splash-proof body and zoom lock mechanism for preventing the lens barrel from extending unexpectedly, the 24-70mm F2.8 meets a wide range of needs for a variety of photographic environments. The maximum magnifications are 1:2.9 at the wide-angle end and 1:4.5 at the telephoto end, which provides a wider range of expression for close-up photography. The minimum focusing distance is 18 cm at the wide-angle end.

Additional features:

  • Zoom lock switch
  • Lens hood with a lock
  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof structure
  • Compatible with the Lens Aberration Correction
  • Available Mount conversion service
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Evaluation with Sigma’s own MTF measuring system: A1
  • 11-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, rugged brass bayonet mount
  • “Made in Japan” craftsmanship

The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art will be available in L-mount and Sony E-mount in mid-November 2019 through authorized US dealers. Pricing will be announced at a later date. 

More details are available at: http://www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/cas/concept.

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  • 6 novembre 2019 à 08:00

The Camera Business Case

Par Daniel Brockett

Over the past six months, it’s been a season of new camera releases, each more tempting than the last. The latest crop of mirrorless hybrids and digital cinema cameras present some compelling new features and innovations designed to make shooting more efficient and the output, to me, more impressive.

The past few months have seen several new cameras announced, but the ones that come to mind immediately as the most interesting are:

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K — $2,495

The Camera Business Case
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is an extraordinarily featured digital cinema camera with a very good value equation.

Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H — $3,997

The Camera Business Case
Introduced at CineGear 2019, the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H is a $4,000 mirrorless hybrid aimed squarely at video production.

Sony PMW-FX9 — $10,998

The Camera Business Case
The Sony PMW-FX9 is a more capable, fully featured full-frame successor to the PMW FS7 MKII.

Canon EOS C500 MKII — $15,999

The Camera Business Case
The Canon C500 MKII is a full-frame 6K digital cinema camera that occupies the space between the C300 MKII and the top of the line C700FF.

Within such an enormous price range, what features make these cameras so interesting? Let’s review what makes the latest crop of cameras compelling:

6K Sensors

The Camera Business Case
Sony has introduced a new 6K FF sensor in the PMW FX-9 that’s said to offer lower noise, and up to 15+ stops of dynamic range.

One of the new cameras feature 6K sensors with 4K recording (the Sony PMW-FX9), while the other three cameras all feature native internal 6K recording.   

Internal RAW Recording

Two of the cameras (the Blackmagic and the Canon) allow for internal RAW recording. The Sony and Panasonic will both allow external RAW recording, which, to me, is a non-starter. Once you’ve shot with internal RAW recording, shooting RAW externally seems like a step backward, but it’s nice that all four cameras at least have the option to shoot RAW period.  

Modularity

The Camera Business Case
The Canon C500 MKII offers an extensive range of new accessories that allow you to configure the camera in ways that previous EOS C cameras could only dream of.

The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K can interface with a Blackmagic external battery grip, which goes a long way to solving its too short internal single battery life. The Panasonic S1H can interface with the same optional Panasonic external audio interface that the GH5 and GH5S have utilized over the last few years.

Both of these lower dollar cameras pale in comparison with the Sony FX-9 and Canon C500 MKII when it comes to modularity. The Sony will interface with an accessory back that allows for various additional external interface functions, and the Canon C500 MKII has a whole new lineup of optional EVFs, camera backs and other accessories that will allow you to customize the cameras connections and interfaces to a degree that no other C Series camera has had before.

Higher Bit Rates And Data Rates

The Camera Business Case
The Canon C500 MKII utilizes a new non-proprietary media card format known as CFexpress, which allows for data rates as high as 2600 Mbps.

Some customers require certain bit rates and data rates. It’s fair to say that 8-bit video recording is now considered passé’, at least on pro digital cinema cameras, although 8-bit recording is still common with mirrorless cameras. All four of these cameras offer a minimum of 10-bit recording with some offering 12-bit recording and even 16-bit output. All four of these cameras offer data rates that are impressively robust and would have been unheard of just a few short years ago. As the recording media has improved, so too have digital cinema and mirrorless cameras ability to record in higher and higher data rate formats, including RAW, which records at up to 5.9K (5952 X 3140) at an astounding 2.1 Gbps, which requires the new CFexpress card format.

I ‘ve shot with two of these four new cameras, the Blackmagic and the Panasonic. Unfortunately, the Sony and the Canon aren’t yet available to review, but based upon previous experience with the Sony PMW-FS7 and FS7 MKII, the Canon EOS C100, 100 MKII, 300 MKI and MKII and that I own the C200, I can surmise at least roughly at how the Canon and Sony will perform. In my opinion, we’ve finally reached the point where any new cameras hitting the market will be better, but how many of us really need a better camera than this crop of technology?

Are We Hitting A Wall?   

The Camera Business Case
An illustration of how a 5.9K RAW signal ends up as a 4K/UHD Debayered signal.

A question I see being raised repeatedly on discussion boards and in digital cinema forums is the assertion that we’re basically already at the saturation point for new digital cinema technology in cameras. What do we mean when we say “saturation point”? In order to answer what a saturation point is, let’s take a look at what customers and clients are looking for when they hire you to shoot either footage for them as a production services provider or when they hire you as a production company to shepherd their project all of the way through the creative process, from idea to final product.

Client Resolution?

The Camera Business Case
A Promise 24 TB RAID. Do your clients have storage and editing media options like this? If not, they may struggle with 4K or 6K editing.

Now that the latest crop of cameras has hit the 6K barrier, perhaps it makes sense to take a look at what real clients in the real world are actually asking for.

In our personal experience over the past two or three years, the majority of clients in the markets we shoot and produce in predominantly are still requesting 1080 acquisition. Wait, aren’t we in the era of 4K video already though? Well, yes and no. What we’re hearing over and over again is that many of our client’s internal workflows for editing, monitoring, archiving and outputting are mostly still optimized for 1080.

4K is four times the size of 1080, creating a resolution profile that’s two times wider and two times higher than 1080 HD, thus giving a total screen resolution that’s a bit over 4 times larger overall. Some of these clients are fine shooting a project in 4K UHD, but the final output still needs to be 1080 for the majority of projects we’re hired for. About 35 to 40 percent of the time, the clients don’t specify which format and frame size they want to shoot in, and we often recommend shooting a project UHD (3840×2160) even if we’re going to edit the footage in a 1080 timeline. In this way, at least the client’s footage, if not the edit, will be somewhat “future-proofed” as they could always go back and re-edit the project in UHD resolution. About 20 percent of the time, clients specify and request that the project be entirely shot and delivered in UHD.

Listening To Who Pays The Bills

What conclusions can we draw from what our customers are telling us? Simple. The sum of all projects being shot in at least 4K and delivered in 4K is still quite a bit smaller than many in our industry would have projected just two years ago. If we look at where we are today with shooting and delivering 4K, does it make sense to be buying any camera based upon its ability to shoot and record in 6K resolution? What about 8K? That’s a question you have to ask yourself. We now know that with Bayer sensors and the DeBayering process, to obtain the optimal down-sampled UHD 4K footage, it helps if the sensor in the camera can shoot at a native 5.7k to 5.9K resolution since you lose resolution during DeBayering. If a 4K native sensor is used instead, the DeBayered image will be lower than UHD resolution and will always fall short of fulfilling the potential of a UHD specification. Of course, this is all resolution discussion and not image quality or image characteristic talk, which is a totally different set of criteria. 

The Business Case

A lot of your decisions and my own decisions about when to buy a new camera and which camera to buy should center on the business case. Here’s an example. Right now, in 2019, in our market, which is centered in Los Angeles, mostly in the entertainment media, shooting EPK, BTS and documentary type footage mostly, with some occasional corporate work and event work thrown in for good measure, we’re able to charge clients a day rate for the camera package of around $450 to $650 per day, which includes the camera, media, batteries, charger, tripod and a zoom lens. We can add wireless video transmission and a monitor, better and longer length lenses and external recording to Prores HQ as options that take the base $450 rate to the upper rate of around $650.

The Camera Business Case
The nearly two-year-old Canon C200 sells for less than half the cost of the new C500 MKII yet shoots 4K DCI 12-bit and 10-bit Cinema RAW Light, the same format.

Looking at our clients, their needs and preferences, our current C200 package fulfills most of their needs, most of the time, so we can surmise for the majority of our clients, our camera, or a similar one like it (Panasonic EVA 1, Canon C300 MKII, Sony FS7/MKII) would fill their needs nicely. A Canon C200 or any of the competitors would cost around $6,000 to $7,500 new for the camera body only. While I find that the two new digital cinema camera offerings, the Sony FX-9 and the Canon C500 MKII would be a delight to shoot with and either would offer superior features in some areas over our C200, I can say with some confidence that none of the features either camera would offer would motivate our clients to pay more than the current $450 to $650 per day for our camera package.

In extrapolating this financial strategy, I’ve come to the conclusion that it won’t be worth it, from a business perspective, for us and our clients, to upgrade from our C200 to the FX-9 or the C500 MKII in the near future. This is not to say that the entire situation couldn’t change and evolve, but viewing the situation through a lens of today’s work with today’s clients with their current needs, we feel no immediate urge to sell off our year-and-half-old C200 to update to the latest and greatest successors.

If we were new to buying digital cinema cameras, we might find the new features offered by either to be very appealing and either could prove to be the right choice as our new first digital cinema camera. For quick turnaround day playing, the Sony FX-9 seems as if it will be a very worthy successor to Sony’s immensely popular FS7/FS7 MKII cameras. For higher budgeted, more involved projects that will be color corrected, graded and have longer production timelines, the internal RAW capability will make the C500 MKII appealing for a large population of users, clients and projects.

The real question is, what’s your business case for buying a new camera or for trading up from your current camera to the latest and greatest?

The post The Camera Business Case appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 5 novembre 2019 à 21:08

New Lighting Accessory: Rock N’ Roller Wheel

Par By Terry Sullivan

Matthews Studio Equipment’s new rugged on-set Rock n’ Roller Wheel Sets

Matthews Studio Equipment has introduce a new accessory: Rock n’ Roller wheel sets. According to the company, Rock n’ Rollers quickly and simply slip on and are ready to “smoothly roll over rocks, power cables, cable crossovers, gravel, asphalt, uneven concrete, and soft grass.” The company says the new accessories were designed by request and input from DITs, Steadicam ops, video assistants, grips and gaffers.

The new Rock n’ Roller wheel set accessory includes:

  • 3 foam semi-pneumatic tires (3” wide by 8” diameter) that won’t go flat and enhance stability.
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Dependable, face-locking pedal brake with an adjustable pad to ensure strength
  • A dual-lock mechanism,
  • Round top plate
  • Proprietary Spring Steel Sleeve, which attaches the wheels to the stand

The unit is available in 3 versions and pairs with the Monitor Stand II and Slider Stands, or with any stand with a 1” square tube leg. For more information, see the press release below.

[[ press release ]]

Rugged Movement On-Set With Matthews Rock n’ Roller Wheel Sets

Burbank, California – Matthews Studio Equipment, known for smart solutions that ease life on set, introduce new Rock n’ RollerTM Wheel Sets. Already becoming an essential addition to Matthews’ hallmark grip and lighting stands, Rock n’ Rollers quickly simply slip on, ready to smoothly roll over rocks, power cables, cable crossovers, gravel, asphalt, uneven concrete, and soft grass.

Designed by request and input from DITs, Steadicam ops, video assistants, grips and gaffers, these useful add-ons feature 3 foam semi-pneumatic tires, 3” wide by 8” diameter that won’t go flat and enhance stability. With 360-degree rotation, they maneuver in any direction yet can maintain a straight line when rolling across the set. The dependable, face locking pedal brake features an adjustable pad to ensure strength throughout the life of the wheel. A dual-lock mechanism, it secures both wheel rotation as well as caster swivel. The smartly engineered round top plate is a real foot-saver, keeping pointy corners out of the way when engaging and disengaging the brake. Plus, Matthews’ proprietary Spring Steel Sleeve attaches the wheels to the stand for a secure fit without damaging the legs’ sidewall. 

Available in 3 versions to suit every situation, the Monitor Wheel Set pairs with the Monitor Stand II and Slider Stands. The Combo Wheel Set goes with Matthews Combo Stands or any stand with a 1” square tube leg—a real benefit for moving large lights like 18Ks. The Mombo Combo set is compatible with 1-½” square tube leg stands so it’s a workhorse when breaking down huge overheads whether moving the it only a couple of feet—or across the stage.

Rock n’ Rollers are available through Matthews Studio Equipment dealers. For more information visit www.msegrip.com

The post New Lighting Accessory: Rock N’ Roller Wheel appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 5 novembre 2019 à 17:34

Adobe Updates Premiere Pro, Audition And Premiere Rush

Par By Terry Sullivan

Premiere Pro’s Auto Reframe Feature

Today, Adobe announced a slew of updates and upgrades to the apps in the Adobe Creative Cloud service, the company’s subscription based set of applications and services. There were several updates targeted at cinematographers, filmmakers and content creators, including updates to Premiere Pro, Audition and Premiere Rush. For each app, Adobe was looking to improve performance and stability. Adobe said the new version of the Creative Cloud would include “faster and more powerful products spanning multiple surfaces.”

The news was announced in conjunction with Adobe’s annual Adobe MAX conference, which will run from November 4 through 6, 2019. What’s intriguing to note is that Adobe has been working to add artificial-intelligence features into its apps and services. (Adobe Sensei is the company’s banding for artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.) The new features that include Adobe Sensei-like features include, “Auto Reframe in Premiere Pro, Object Selection in Photoshop, Auto Tone in Photoshop Camera and Live Brushes in Fresco, as the company continues to enable creatives to work faster and smarter than ever before.”

Auto Reframe and Enhancements to audio on Adobe Premiere Pro: One of the things video editors and content creators often need to create are new formats for existing videos. Which is we they need tools that streamline the creative process and empower them to deliver better stories faster. “The latest release of Adobe Premiere Pro (version 14.0) helps you do that with workflow refinements, performance improvements and new Auto Reframe,” say Adobe. What ‘s ice about the Auto Reframe tool, is that it “automates the process of reformatting video in Premiere Pro for square, vertical, cinematic 16×9 or custom aspect ratios.” It can also be applied to individual clips as an effect or to whole sequences. Adobe says that Adobe Sensei uses “AI and machine learning technologies to accelerate production workflows, automating manual tasks without sacrificing creative control.”

Additionally, Adobe has enhance Premiere Pro’s audio performance as well: Audio gain in Premiere Pro is now available up to +15dB, on par with Audition. For more, go here: https://theblog.adobe.com/streamline-video-editing-and-deliver-better-stories-faster/ 

What’s new on Adobe Audition: Adobe has just announced it has improved routing for multichannel effects. According to Adobe, this enhancement “could reduce hours of time setting up complicated track configurations for broadcast and immersive sound mixing to just a few clicks…. This new functionality in both Premiere Pro and Audition provides support for third-party audio effects to be queried for their channelization options, and route specific audio clip and track channels in and out of those effects.” For more, go here: https://theblog.adobe.com/sound-is-half-the-experience/

Sharing Adobe Premiere Rush on TikTok: Adobe has just announced that it is partnering with TikTok, a social media video app. So, now, users can use Premiere Rush, Adobe’s “all-in-one, cross-device video editing app” and then directly share that video to TikTok. For more, go here: https://www.adobe.com/products/premiere-rush.html

The post Adobe Updates Premiere Pro, Audition And Premiere Rush appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 4 novembre 2019 à 16:56

Wireless Video In Production

Par Daniel Brockett

Wireless video has become the latest must-have?

Not sure if you’ve felt that distant or perhaps not-so-distant call yet, the siren song of wireless video? What exactly do we mean when we say wireless video? It’s a somewhat amorphous term in the production world but generally, wireless video transmission is used by either:

A. Assistant Camera operators to pull focus, iris and/or zoom or DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) who’ll also monitor picture, tweaking the camera settings as the shoot progresses.

B. Directors, to see what the camera operator is shooting

Video Village?

Wireless Video In Production
Video Village is a generic term for the area where monitor have been set up on set for the director and sometimes others to view what the camera(s) are seeing and recording.

Of course, there’s also video village, which if you’ve never been on a larger production set, you may not be familiar with the term. Video village is usually one or more video monitors that are set up and receiving the video feed from one or more cameras on multiple camera shoots. Depending on the production and the size of it, video village could just be the director and possibly producer, all the way up to good-sized video villages that may be occupied by a script supervisor, producers, writers, ad agency people on commercial shoots, along with clients and possibly the DP on larger shoots where the DP may not be operating a camera. Outdoors, video village is often placed under a pop-up tent and may have walls of curtains or Duvetyne to make the environment inside conducive to viewing the monitor(s) in ideal lighting.

This is all on the receiving end, but what about on the camera end—how do you send your video signal to the various people on set who may need or want to view what your camera is shooting? Just a few short years ago, wireless video systems were pretty costly and were really the exclusive domain of higher-budget Hollywood shoots. Since then, like every other form of technology, the costs for wireless video systems have steadily fallen while the quality and features have just as steadily climbed. Wireless video systems have become the cool thing to have on the many different types of sets.

Who Can Benefit From Wireless Video Transmission?

Even on small documentary shoots, for instance, if you’re a camera operator working in close quarters with a sound mixer, it can actually improve the sound that the sound mixer is capturing. How does wireless video improve sound? It’s simple, if your boom operator has a small monitor they can view as they boom, they can carefully ride the frame line, placing the microphone as close to the edge of frame as possible, making sure using the monitor that they can see when their boom mic intrudes into the shot. The closer the mic can be located to talent, the better the signal to noise ratio, which can give you better sound.

Hair and makeup artists, production designers, wardrobe and countless others can all benefit from an occasional look at what the camera is seeing as well. But there isn’t usually room for the entire production team to hover around a monitor in video village. Now that we’ve established how wireless video can actually improve the end product on set as projects are shot, let’s take a look at:

The Newest Way To Get Into Wireless Video With Little Budget

Wireless Video In Production
The Accsoon WIT08 Cineeye is a category redefining wireless video transmission system.

I recently shot BTS footage on a series of commercials. I was shooting on closed sets where space was at a premium. As the camera operator, I was able to carve out a tiny space, underneath some grip gear on set to shoot BTS footage of the commercial being shot. Unfortunately, the space on set was so tight; there literally was no place for my producer to be on set, so she had to wait outside the set. I realized that it would be valuable if my producer could at least see the shots I was shooting on set to offer her feedback and notes and to give me direction on other potential shots she wanted me to shoot.

I did a lot of quick research for this article and realized that even for the lower-end option, I was looking at probably over $3,000 to get set up with a wireless transmitter, receiver, monitor, battery system for all, cases, cables, sun shades, etc. Unlike on some higher-end projects we shoot, I didn’t think the client for this project would be willing to pay additionally for wireless video. If you can’t bill out the wireless system as a line item, you aren’t paying it off and eventually gaining profit from renting it to your clients, it’s just an expense. Sure, if we were shooting the commercials themselves, the client would pay for things like wireless video systems because the spots have higher budgets. But for BTS coverage, based upon our experience, the client would probably not want to pay for wireless video.

It seemed that wireless would help my producer do a better job and would ensure that I was shooting all of the shots she wanted and would make the end product closer to the producer’s vision for the shots she wanted. After doing some digging, I discovered that an interesting product that was shown at IBC 2019 was finally shipping, the Accsoon WIT08 Cineeye. I immediately ordered it to try it out to see if it would solve my issue.

Wireless Video In Production
The Accsoon WIT08 Cineeye features an HDMi Type A Input, but no SDI input.

There were two things that made the Cineeye extremely interesting to me, the first being that it was inexpensive. Perhaps too inexpensive, I bought it from B&H Photo Video for a mere $219. The second thing was that the Cineeye has no receiver because it uses wireless internet video instead of HDMI or SDI output, which is plugged into a video monitor. To view the output of the Cineeye, you merely download an app to your phone or tablet; select the Wi-Fi signal that the Cineeye is transmitting and you have live video in the palm of your hand. Amazing. And the app is no slouch as it has lots of different viewing tools and options, and you can even download LUTs into it to view LUT corrected output.

I ordered the Cineeye after the first day shooting when I discovered it might be helpful on set. It arrived before the day two and three commercial shoots the following week. The packaging was nice, the unit came with a ¼” 20 female socket on the bottom that would provide easy mounting points. The unit came with a variety of cables to adapt full-sized, mini and micro HDMI output to the full-sized HDMI input on the unit. The internal battery on the unit is rated to last around 3 to 4 hours, but the good news is the unit can be used as it charges. I first ran the Accsoon Cineeye with the D-Tap from my V-Mount battery powering my camera, but on the next shoot, I instead mounted a small Lithium-Ion candy bar battery to the rear panel of the Cineeye to save space and stretch the run time for the unit to all day.

Wireless Video In Production
I had an iPad that wasn’t being used much since it was retired from drone service, but it now has a new life as a client monitor.

I happened to have an iPad laying around that I used to use with our drone but replaced it with a Crystal Sky Monitor for the drone, so I decided to turn the iPad into a dedicated client monitor. I even happened to have a Hoodman for it and a ¼” 20 mount so it could be mounted to a light stand, allowing the iPad to be used in direct sunlight with the sunshade.

I put the Cineeye to work over the next two days of the commercial shoot and then the following week on a live event with three cameras so the other two camera operators could see my shot to make sure their shots were significantly different and editable against my shot. I attached one of my inexpensive Anker batteries to the back of the iPad holder so that the iPad could also operate for long periods of time. On both shoots, the clients were happy and impressed that I was able to provide them with a wireless video feed, quickly and painlessly.

Wireless Video In Production
The Accsoon WIT08 Cineeye at work on a live event production, providing my shot and framing to the other two camera ops on the shoot.

If you mostly work in higher-end production, wireless video has almost become a given. But for BTS, EPK and documentary shooting that I often work on with lower budgets and leaner resources and crews, wireless video often has remained out of reach as many of these types of clients actually need wireless video for their shoots but haven’t yet become conditioned to budgeting for wireless video transmission. This will evolve. Once clients have used wireless video, they’ll want it and will value it.   

Wireless Video In Production
The Accsoon WIT08 Cineeye can be mounted with any common ¼” 20 threaded mounting accessories.

The Cineeye is far from perfect. It uses a decent amount of battery power to run. The app isn’t great yet, but it’s very functional and usable. The transmitter is one more thing you have to hang off of your camera rig and one more source that you need to power. When you turn your camera and the Cineeye off to save battery, you sometimes have to reboot the app to see the live feed again. The Cineeye only accepts HDMI video, not SDI, so luckily our A camera has both types of outputs, but this does mean one more cable on your rig as well.

The range of the Cineeye is limited, around a 300-foot line of sight, but considerably less if there are walls between you shooting and your viewing audience on their phones and/or tablets. Speaking of which, the Cineeye supports being viewed by up to three devices at once. The app is available for iPhones, iPads and Android, although from what we’ve read, the performance on Apple devices is better. The picture is surprisingly good, but the Cineeye only transmits video, not audio, so your viewers will be able to see what you’re shooting but won’t be able to hear what your camera is recording.

The way I look at it, it was a very handy, easy, simple and inexpensive way to dip my toes into the wireless video experience. If it begins to pay off, it could be time to invest in a higher-end, more capable system, but if it doesn’t pay off, it’s still one nicer feature/service we can offer with our day rate that can be incredibly helpful in certain situations. I suggest picking one up and trying the wireless video thing, if you never have. It’s quite handy.   

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  • 31 octobre 2019 à 17:31

Post Hoc Ergo Proxy Hoc

Par Michael Guncheon

As I mentioned previously, there are lots of uses for proxies: dailies/client viewing, transcriptions and more. But they’re also used for editing. I’m an editor so proxies for post is what I care most about, and I’ve had both successes and failures with them.

There are several reasons to use proxies in editing. For example, when you don’t want to send out original footage. Maybe the amount of footage is such that somebody editing offsite won’t have the storage required.

Perhaps you’re spreading a project across multiple editors in different locations. Or you’re traveling and want to work on a laptop. Because the proxies are compressed copies of the original footage, storage requirements are reduced.

Another reason for not sending out the original footage is to protect it from misuse. You might use proxies compressed with watermarks and/or timecode burned in to minimize—or at least track—unauthorized usage.

In the above examples, the workflow starts with ingesting the proxies rather than the original footage. Then—after the edit sequence is “locked”—the original footage is linked to the clips in the sequence, replacing the proxies. For that to happen, there has to be a specific link between each camera-original file and its proxy.

To ensure that link, you must make sure proxy filenames are accurate and unique. Accurate, meaning they resemble the filenames of the original clips that they represent. Unique, in that you don’t have folders and folders of CAM01.mov files.

If the filenames aren’t accurate, you could have a mess when you go to finish. A “clip” in your sequence named Proxy_WilmaIntvw_01.mov won’t automatically link to the original clip if the original is named Interview_Wilma01.mov, let alone A002C001.mov. And if the clip names aren’t unique, CamA_008.mov in one folder might be confused with CamA_008 in another.

While I’m not a fan of renaming original footage, renaming might be necessary in order to relink the work. But the time to rename is before any editing starts.

Timecode becomes important particularly if you aren’t able to address unique filenames. If some of your clips were shot by a camera that starts timecode at 1:00:00:00 for every take, you could have multiple drone01.MOV clips that start at 1:00:00:00. To editing software, these clips appear to be identical.

In situations like this, relinking the original footage stops being an automatic process and moves into a tedious “one clip at a time” operation. Easy enough for a few clips, but if you have multiple days of shooting with multiple cameras, it can turn into a very long relinking job. And this all needs to happen before you can even start finishing.

Of course, you could change the timecode, especially if you want to transcode files to another codec. For example, you might have some h.264 files that you know won’t perform well during edit and that need to be converted to another format—like ProRes. During that process, you could also change the starting timecode to something other than zero.

But how can you ensure that the original footage relinks correctly? Test, test, test!

More on that next time.

The post Post Hoc Ergo Proxy Hoc appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 31 octobre 2019 à 16:47

Mavic Mini Is DJI’s Smallest And Most Lightweight Drone

Par By Terry Sullivan

DJI’s new Mavic Mini

Today, DJI, a market leader in producing drones, introduces the new Mavic Mini, which is the company’s smallest and most lightweight drone, weighing just 249 grams or a little over half a pound. Because it’s a drone targeted for consumers, its lightweight form factor makes it much more likely to be a safe drone, according to experts, says DJI. The new model will cost $399 and will be available November 11.

Interested in the DJI Mavic Mini? Check it out on B&H!

 

The Mavic Mini includes a variety of photography and video features, including:

  • the ability to shoot video at 2.7K video at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 60 fps,
  • the ability to photograph 12-megapixel photographs using the 1/2.3-inch image sensor,
  • a three-axis motorized gimbal, for supporting and stabilizing the camera, for smooth and cinematic video footage,
  • a new DJI Fly mobile app
  • and compatibility with new accessories, including a 360° propeller guard, a charging base, a propeller holder and a two-way charging hub.

 

 

 

For more information, see the press release below.

Interested in the DJI Mavic Mini? Check it out on B&H!

[[ press release ]]

Take To The Skies With Mavic Mini, DJI’s Lightest And Smallest Foldable Drone

The ultra-light Mavic Mini makes drone flight easier and safer than ever

October 30, 2019  – DJI, the global leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, today opens a new frontier in drone possibilities with the DJI Mavic Mini, an ultra-light folding drone designed to be the everyday FlyCam. Weighing just 249 grams, Mavic Mini is portable, easy to fly, designed for safety and perfect for everyone who wants to experience the fun of flying.

Mavic Mini builds on the technological innovations in DJI’s renowned series of folding Mavic drones, from the original Mavic Pro through Mavic Air and Mavic 2, to pack professional-quality drone features into the lightest possible frame. That puts Mavic Mini in the safest drone category, which in many areas exempts it from regulations that apply to other, heavier drones. Drone pilots must always understand and follow local laws and regulations.

Mavic Mini’s high-grade camera captures compelling footage in high definition, and its new DJI Fly app’s suite of creative features seamlessly transforms photos and videos into professional-quality productions. Its enhanced, stable flight performance provides more opportunities to explore using one of the longest flight times for a drone of its size. Users can unleash their imagination with Mavic Mini’s exciting accessories, including a DIY Creative Kit and a 360° Propeller Guard for added safety.

“To design a drone as lightweight, compact yet capable as Mavic Mini was one of the most challenging projects we’ve ever tackled at DJI,” said Roger Luo, President, DJI. “Distilling top-of-the-line features into a palm-of-your-hand drone is the culmination of years of work, and we are ecstatic to bring a new class of drone to the DJI lineup. Mavic Mini’s long flight time, ultra-light weight and high-quality camera makes it DJI’s everyday drone – and most importantly, it’s easy to fly, no matter your experience level with drones.”

Portable and Safe

Mavic Mini is the smallest and lightest DJI drone ever made, and is the perfect creative tool for life’s daily adventures, whether seeing your everyday world from a new perspective or capturing incredible views of your getaways with friends and family. Mavic Mini incorporates DJI’s renowned safety technology, including geofencing to help drone pilots avoid restricted areas; AeroScope remote identification to help protect sensitive locations; built-in altitude limits; and automatic return to the launch point if the drone loses connection to the controller or reaches critically low battery level.

Mavic Mini is the first DJI drone to weigh below 250 grams, which aviation regulators around the world consider to be safest category for drone flight. In many countries, drones below 250 grams are considered safe enough that they can be used in new and exciting ways. Users should consult their country’s drone laws and regulations to learn more about what they can do there with Mavic Mini.

An Optimal Flight Experience

Created to be the drone for everyone, even those new to drones, Mavic Mini is simple to operate and fly using the dedicated remote controller. The ultra-light design and high-grade motors provide Mavic Mini with up to 30 minutes of flight time, giving users with more time to explore and capture content. A Wi-Fi transmission signal[[1]] delivers stable control and an HD live feed for a clear, confident flying experience. GPS receivers and downward visual sensors detect the ground below Mavic Mini, enabling precise hovering, stable flying and accurate landing both indoors and out

Quality Content Captured with Ease

Mavic Mini offers pilots the ability to capture high-quality footage including 2.7K video at 30fps, 1080p at 60 frames per second, or 12-megapixel photographs using the 1/2.3-inch sensor. A three-axis motorized gimbal supports and stabilizes the camera, ensuring the footage is smooth and cinematic, making it perfect for sharing on social media. 

Advanced Features Created to Inspire

The new DJI Fly app is intuitively designed, simplifying the flying and content capturing experience so that pilots of all skill levels can make the most of Mavic Mini. Dedicated tutorials are included to help new pilots learn about flying, and pre-set editing templates add a new level of creativity to the footage. New pilots can choose to fly in Position (P) mode for basic operation, more experienced pilots can unlock more capabilities in Sport (S) mode, and content creators can choose CineSmooth (C) mode to lengthen braking time for smoother shots and more cinematic footage. Pilots can also choose from several pre-programmed flight maneuvers known as QuickShots. Simply tap the desired mode and Mavic Mini will automatically create stunning, cinematic content:

  • Rocket – Mavic Mini flies straight up into the air with the camera pointing downward following your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 feet.
  • Circle – Mavic Mini will circle around your subject at a constant altitude and distance.
  • Dronie – Mavic Mini flies backward and upward, with the camera tracking your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 feet.
  • Helix – Mavic Mini flies upward and away, spiraling around your subject. Set a height limit of 40, 60, 80, 100, or 120 feet. 

Get Creative with New Accessories

Exciting and unique accessories allows pilots to get the most out of their Mavic Mini. Customers can choose from options including:

  • 360° Propeller Guard: Provides a 360° guard for added safety.
  • Charging Base: Charge and display Mavic Mini with this unique, illuminated station.
  • Propeller Holder: Travel easier with Mavic Mini with the propeller holder that locks the props into place.
  • DIY Creative Kit: Personalize your Mavic Mini with custom stickers or draw your own design.
  • Snap Adapter: Attach a toy building brick or a mini LED display to Mavic Mini to write custom messages.
  • Mini Travel Bag: Bring Mavic Mini everywhere with the custom bag that fits Mavic Mini and the controller perfectly.
  • Two Way Charging Hub: Charge up to three Mavic Mini batteries or use the charging hub as a power bank.

Price and Availability

Mavic Mini will be available for pre-order beginning October 30 at store.dji.com, flagship stores and authorized retailers and partners. Mavic Mini will come in two purchase options, the standard version which includes Mavic Mini, remote controller, one battery , extra propellers and all necessary tools and wires for $399 USD. Or the Mavic Mini Fly More Combo which includes all of the components from the standard version with the addition of the 360° Propeller Cage, Two-Way charging Hub, three batteries in total, three sets of extra propellers and a carrying case for the price of $499 USD. Mavic Mini will begin shipping on November 11. Accessories for Mavic Mini will be available for pre-order beginning October 30. For additional information on both Mavic Mini and its accessories, please visit: www.dji.com/mavic-mini

Detailed information on these accessories can be found here: www.dji.com/mavic-mini

[1] Mavic Mini Wi-Fi system has a maximum range of 4 km when unobstructed, free of interference, and FCC compliant. Maximum flight range specification is a proxy for radio link strength and resilience. Always fly your drone within visual line of sight unless otherwise permitted and check local laws and regulations in the region being operated.

The post Mavic Mini Is DJI’s Smallest And Most Lightweight Drone appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 30 octobre 2019 à 11:01

Olympus Unveils New OM-D E-M5 Mark III Mirrorless Camera

Par By Terry Sullivan

The new Olympus E-M5 Mark III

There are various features I could write about on the new OM-D E-M5 Mark III mirrorless camera, but one of the most intriguing aspects of this camera has more to do with industry competition and whether a brand follows the pack. I found it fascinating that Olympus continues to buck the trend that most other camera manufacturers embrace, which is making mirrorless cameras with full-frame sensors and large bodies.

In some ways, Olympus is smart to offer a very portable, travel-style camera to those photographers who might not need full frame or super-high resolution.

Olympus E-M5 Mark III (front)

 

So, with this model, Olympus continued its tradition of keeping the camera body small, which extends to the lenses, since the E-M5 Mark III is based on a smaller Micro Four Thirds image sensors. In short, you can buy a much smaller telephoto lens than you’d have to with a camera with a full-frame sensor.

Plus, that Micro Four Thirds imaging sensor, is a 20-megapixel Live MOS sensor—one-third the megapixels you’d find on the new 61-megapixel Sony a7R IV. That’s a downside for some photographers. But others may not need 61 megapixels. And those with the E-M5 will find their hard drives filling up with files less quickly.

Interested in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III? Check it out on B&H!

 

Olympus E-M5 Mark III (back)

The E-M5 also has other important features, including:

  • A 5-axis in-body image-stabilization system (with between 5.5 to 6.5 stops of compensation).
  • The ability to fire off 30 frames per second in sequential shooting modes.
  • Intriguing shooting modes, like live-composite and focus-stacking modes.
  • The ability to capture 4K-resolution video.

But there’s more. The E-M5 Mark III is also weather-sealed as well as being dustproof and freezeproof, which can be an important factor for some photographers, particularly when traveling!

There are tradeoffs. The E-M5 Mark III controls can be a little too small for those with larger-sized hands. Or that 20-megapixel Live MOS image sensor may not be enough if your workflow includes extensively cropping your images.

Still, there will be some photographers who will find a lot of value in the new Olympus E-M5 Mark III, which sells for $1,199 (body only) or $1,799 (with the M.ZUIKO ED 14-150MM f4.0-5.6 II zoom kit lens).

Olympus E-M5 Mark III (top)

Interested in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III? Check it out on B&H!

For more information, see the press release below.

[[ press release ]]

NEW OLYMPUS OM-D® E-M5 MARK III EMPOWERS YOU TO BREAK FREE FROM HEAVY GEAR

 

The post Olympus Unveils New OM-D E-M5 Mark III Mirrorless Camera appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 25 octobre 2019 à 20:54

Canon Makes Development Announcement of EOS-1D X Mark III And Introduces Two Lenses

Par By Terry Sullivan

Earlier today, Canon made several product announcements. The most significant for pro photographers and content creators was the news that Canon is developing an update to its flagship pro DSLR: The new model is the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR, which is the successor to the EOS-1D X Mark II, introduced in early 2016.

Because this is a development announcement, Canon couldn’t provide all the features and tech spcs for the new 1D X Mark III, but they did deliver a pretty impressive list of features.

Canon said the new flagship would have vastly superior performance to the previous version, shooting up to 16 frames per second (with AF/AE tracking) and a RAW max buffer that will be five times faster than the 1D X Mark II. Also, Canon said the new AF algorithms will be improved using artificial intelligence-like technologies. The camera will also have a wider dynamic range than its predecessor. Additionally, Canon said when using the optical viewfinder the camera will use a new autofocus sensor, with approximately 28 times the resolution in the center of the EOS-1D X Mark II.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR

Other features include:

  • Support for an all new, Canon-developed, CMOS sensor and DIGIC processor, that will deliver greater image quality, at even higher ISOs, with the ability to capture stills in 10-bit using the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File) file format.
  • Canon says the new DSLR will shoot 4K videos including 4K60p with 10-bit 4:2:2 Canon Log internal recording.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low-energy connectivity in addition to GPS technology.
  • A magnesium alloy body, illuminated buttons, weather-sealing throughout the body and dramatically improved battery life – with the same LP-E19 – will allow professionals to shoot for longer periods of time, without having to change batteries, helping reduce the chance of missing a shot.
  • Canon also said it was developing a higher class of EOS R mirrorless cameras, which will take advantage of various tedchnologies, like the R-systems built-in images stabilization.

Interested in the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III? Check it out on B&H!

Today, Canon also introduced two new lenses, the , Canon RF 70-200MM F2.8L IS USM Lens and the RF 85MM F1.2L USM DS

Canon RF 70-200MM F2.8L IS USM

Here’s a short list of some of the features and specs on the Canon RF 70-200MM F2.8L IS USM zoom lens:

  • Has an f/2.8 aperture across the zoom range
  • It’s 27 percent shorter and 28 percent lighter than its EF counterpart
  • It features two Nano USM motors providing an even greater level of high-speed autofocus for still image shooting and quiet and smooth autofocus for video shooting.
  • Includes a floating focus control that drives the two lens groups individually
  • Customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO
  • 17 lens elements in 13 groups including two aspherical lenses, one super UD lens and four UD lenses, that help to reduce chromatic aberration
  • its optical image stabilizer should provide five stops of compensation

Interested in the Canon RF 70-200mm? Check it out on B&H!

Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS

And here’s a short list of some of the features and specs on the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS:

  • Includes a DS coating that is a vapor-deposited coating technology that is applied to the front and rear surfaces of a specific lens element inside the lens, to provide enhance bokeh or beautifully blurred backgrounds.
  • Has a bright f/1.2 aperture
  • Minimum focusing distance of 2.79 feet
  • A customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO
  • Includes one aspheric lens and one UD Lens, along with BR optics that help to reduce chromatic aberration

Interested in the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS Lens? Check it out on B&H!

There were no availability dates for the new EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR. For the two lenses, Canon said the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS lenses are scheduled to be available late November 2019 and December 2019, respectively, for an estimated retail price of $2,699 and $2,999 respectively.

For more information, click on the links to the press releases below:

Powerful, Faster And Rugged: Canon Announces The Development Of The EOS-1D X Mark III Camera

The RF Family Grows By Two: Canon RF 70-200MM F2.8L IS USM Lens Is The World’s Shortest And Lightest Lens In Its Class And RF 85MM F1.2L USM DS Is The First Lens To Feature Defocus Smoothing

 

 

The post Canon Makes Development Announcement of EOS-1D X Mark III And Introduces Two Lenses appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 24 octobre 2019 à 17:37

Tamron Announces Four Lenses Sony E-Mount Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Par By Terry Sullivan

Today, Tamron introduced four new lenses, which are designed to work wiht Sony E-Mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. Three of the lenses—20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, 24mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 and 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2—are close focusing. The 20mm will be available in January 2020, but the other two primes will be available late November. All three will cost $349.

Tamron 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2
Tamron 24mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2
Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

The fourth lens is a development announcement on a high-speed telephoto zoom lens, also for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. The 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD will be availability in the Spring 2020.

Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD

 

Interested in the Tamron 20mm F/2.8 Di III? Check it out on B&H!

Interested in the Tamron 24mm F/2.8 Di III? Check it out on B&H!

Interested in the Tamron 35mm F/2.8 Di III? Check it out on B&H!

For more on all of these lenses, see links to the press releases below.

Tamron Announces Three Close-Focusing Prime Lenses For Sony E-Mount Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Tamron Announces the Development of Compact and Lightweight High-Speed Telephoto Zoom Lens for Sony E-Mount Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

 

The post Tamron Announces Four Lenses Sony E-Mount Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 23 octobre 2019 à 22:11

NAB-NYC And AES Trade Shows In New York City

Par By Terry Sullivan

Last week, filmmakers, producers, audio engineers and content creators flocked to the Javits Center in New York City to see new hardware, software, apps and services in the world of video, cinema and audio.

BlackMagic Design’s G2 cinema camera

But it wasn’t just to attend one show—there were actually two shows taking place: The first was the NAB-NYC show, the smaller New York-based version put on by the National Association of Broadcasters of the larger Vegas-based show that takes place in the spring each year. Like the larger show in Vegas, it’s a hodge-podge of vendors, from broadcasters and streaming services to lighting and cine camera  makers.

The other show was the annual AES show, which is put on by the Audio Engineers society, and focuses on audio, including microphones, audio interfaces, speakers, audio-editing systems and more.

Here are a few products that caught my eye from both shows:

BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (front and back)

Blackmagic Design: At the NAB-NYC show, the Australian digital cinema company and manufacturer had one of the largest booths and was demonstrating its DaVinci Resolve video-editing software. They also had two of their cinema cameras on display—the BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and the latest version of the URSA Mini Pro, the G2.

MixPre10 II audio recorder and USB interface

Sound Devices: There were a number of audio companies at both shows, but most were at the AES show. Sound Devices has always been of particularly interest to cinematographers and movie makes, and they had three very intriguing updates to its MixPre line of audio recorders: At their small, but very busy booth, content creators could see the MixPre-10 II, MixPre-6 II and MixPre-3 II. What the new update means is that you can now record audio in “superior quality—all the way up to 32-bit float bit depth and a 192 kHz sample rate.” The company claims the new design provides “increased performance and an astounding 142 dB of dynamic range.”

Demos and tutorials at the Maxon booth

Maxon Software: The maker of Cinema 4D software—3D modeling, animation and rendering software—had a nice crowd at their booth. As digital imaging and video continues to change, the interest in motion graphics, visual effects, visualization and 3D modeling continues to morph along with it, and Maxon is right there in the mix.

Area 96 Color LED by BB&S

Lighting at NAB-NYC: Cinematographers and content creators continue to require more versatile lighting systems. Luckily, the industry continues to change. For instance, take BB&S Lighting, which was showing a number of impressive lighting systems at NAB-NYC, including the brand new Area 96 Color (left, the large red-colored light), which is twice as wide as its popular Area 48 Color (right, blue), which is their popular full-color LED panel light, which ranges from 10,000K to 2500K, with 13,000-lumen output and which draws 160 watts.

Westcott’s Solix Bi-Color LED unit

Another lighting company showing at NAB-NYC was Westcott. They had a few lighting systems on display as well, including its versatile Solix Bi-Color LED unit, designed for convenience and professional performance. According to the company, the LED has just a “single control dial with digital display is used to adjust color temperature and intensity to eliminate any guesswork.” It’s also adjustable 3200K tungsten to 5600K daylight and complements any environment.

Check in later this week as we report on the news from PhotoPlus Expo.

 

 

The post NAB-NYC And AES Trade Shows In New York City appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 22 octobre 2019 à 09:18

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs

Par Daniel Brockett

Many users are looking for the ideal high quality, light and affordable tripod package for their mirrorless camera, like this Fujifilm XT-3.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been searching for a certain tripod package for a long time. Since the beginning of the DSLR revolution, I’ve been on the lookout for a smaller, lighter-weight but still smooth, fluid tripod head to go with my DSLRs or my mirrorless camera package.

Tripod Quest

Even when paired with some larger Canon lenses, the standard package still only tips the scales at around 3 to 5 pounds when shooting with the Fujifilm XT-3, one of the smallest and lightest-weight on the market.

Mounting it on our huge, heavy Sachtler/Miller in-house tripod combo isn’t always a good match, as the Sachtler/Miller package negates the benefits of our small-sized, lightweight XT-3.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
The Gitzo GHF2W Fluid Head is a reasonably priced fluid head with counterbalance for smooth tilts and pans.

The tripod we’ve been looking for would need most of the following:

  1. Must be lightweight, easily transportable and fit into the bottom compartment of our rolling duffle bag suitcase.
  2. Must have a true, fluid video head, with counterbalance.
  3. Must be capable of smooth pans and tilts, with a minimum amount of effort.
  4. Must be well made and able to hold up under years of professional usage.
  5. Must be available for less than $1,200.

Gitzo’s Two-Way Fluid Head

In reviewing some new products that were shown at NAB 2019, I came across a press release for a new two-way fluid head that Italian manufacturer Gitzo was introducing to the market.

The Gitzo brand has always been well regarded by still photographers but not very well-known by video or digital-cinema shooters because they primarily make still ballheads that just aren’t well suited to video shooting.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
The included Swiss Arca plate features the ability to hand-tighten the ¼-inch 20 camera screw without tools.

I looked up some of the specifications of the GHF2W head, and they intrigued me:

  • Quick-release plate and clamp: Swiss Arca Type.
  • Load capacity: 8.8 pounds.
  • Lateral tilt: -60 degrees to +90 degrees.
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds.

Swiss? Arca?

If you aren’t familiar with what a Swiss Arca plate is, I recommend you acquaint yourself with this type of plate. Here’s why: Unlike still shooters, many video users mount our cameras on a variety of different devices each shoot.

For instance, with our Fujifilm XT-3, we use the camera on tripod, gimbal, slider and in a cage for a handheld rig. Each of these devices commonly comes with its own proprietary tripod plate. When switching the camera back and forth between devices, you may find yourself trying to hurry, laboriously switching out tripod plates to switch between devices to mount your camera on.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
Behind the scenes with the XT-3 with a Fringer Pro lens adapter and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 IS II lens on our shoot in Florida.

A few years ago, we switched all of our small gear, like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, over to Swiss Arca tripod plates, simply to ensure universal fit on all of our devices. The good news is that the Gitzo GHFW2 head comes standard with its own rather wide Arca plate, but the tripod head will accept any Swiss Arca plate.

For all of our proprietary tripod heads and devices, it’s a simple matter to affix a Swiss Arca receiver to each, making it quick and easy to mount our Fujifilm XT-3 onto almost anything.

What’s The Real Weight Capacity?

As far as the load capacity, 8.8 pounds sounded like plenty of capacity for our XT-3 with most of our lenses, other than perhaps our Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II, which itself weighs 3.3 pounds. More on this later, but in my experience with gimbals and tripods, always take weight ratings with a v grain of salt. Few devices function at their best when they’re even remotely near their maximum weight capacity.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
The location of the pan-and-tilt tie-down knobs shows that Gitzo’s design engineers thought about functionality in the field.

The Gitzo GHFW2 heads weigh 1.3 pounds, which sounded promising. I decided to ask Gitzo if it could set me up with a review copy of the new head and an appropriate set of CF legs for a long-term review, where I wouldn’t just review the package but actually put it to work on some client projects and real-world testing.

Gitzo sent me a GHFW2 head, along with a set of its GT2543L carbon-fiber tripod legs. I unpacked the head and legs, and immediately began playing with the controls and was struck by several first impressions: First, the build quality on both head and legs is excellent. Interestingly, the included Swiss Arca plate is larger and wider than the ones that I already had my camera set up with. The specs on the actual mounting part of the plate were standard, but overall, the Gitzo Swiss Arca plate had some overhang that could prove handy on some larger camera bodies.

Also, the Gitzo plate has a small, curved lever on the tie-down knob, allowing you to tighten and loosen the knob without tools, which can be handy in certain situations. The tripod handle affixes to the head using a standard, conically shaped, threaded tie-down knob, allowing you to determine the angle the handle connects to the head quickly.

Nicely Designed Features

One feature I really liked was that the Gitzo GHFW2 has both the pan-rotation and tilt-resistance knobs clustered together, the larger inner ring allowing you to set tilt resistance, the smaller outer ring allowing you to adjust panning resistance.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
These angle leg locks can be handy for positioning your camera at lower levels or controlling the amount of leg spread on the tripod.

On our other tripod heads, these two knobs are typically placed in two different locations on the head, making adjusting one or the other less convenient since your hand needs to dart from one tie-down knob to the other.

The Gitzo arrangement shows that the designers were thinking of ways to streamline the operating process for camera ops—a nice touch. 

Leg Leveling Isn’t Fun

One feature the Gitzo head lacked was a flat-base head, meaning that the only way to adjust leveling the head and camera is to individually adjust the height of each tripod leg until the head and camera are level.

To be fair, I’m not singling out the Gitzo on this; almost all sub-$1,000 tripod heads are flat base, too, but coming from decades of shooting with both 75mm and 100mm video ball heads where adjusting level takes just a couple of seconds, to go back to having to adjust the legs to level just feels backward.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
This knob allows you to engage or disengage the fixed-weight counterbalance.

A $320 Fluid Head?

Gitzo has also included a fluid counterbalance control on the GHFW2 head. This allows you to balance your camera and lens on the head even when the center of gravity is off-center, as it often will be depending on the size and length of the lens you have mounted to your camera. Basically, the counterbalance control allows you to perform smoother tilts.

Gitzo specifies that the counterbalance will balance on off-center loads of up to 5.5 pounds. There’s a catch to weight ratings, though: The head is rated to hold up to an 8.8-pound load but will only counterbalance to 5.5 pounds.

I found that in real-world shooting, my XT-3 with smaller and lighter lenses like my FUJINON XF 18-55mmF2.8-4.0 OIS, the counterbalance helped smooth out shots and made it so that if I left the tilt lock loose, the camera wouldn’t tip forward or backward on its own just from the weight.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
The Gitzo GHFW2 head includes witness marks on the counterbalance scale and rotation scale for repeatable moves.

However, conversely, if I mounted larger, heavier lenses, like my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 IS II or my EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II, they’d fall forward or backward if I neglected to tighten down the tilt tension.

Once again, my expectations here have been possibly clouded by decades of using heads like our Sachtler that allow up to 10 manually selected levels of spring counterbalance. Of course, our Sachtler head cost many times more than the Gitzo, but it would be nice if Gitzo had engineered in two or three counterbalance levels.

The counterbalance on the Gitzo head is fixed; you cannot lighten it or make it heavier than the preset. Depending on the total weight load you intend to use, the counterbalance could be effective and helpful, as I found it with the XT-3 body and the kit lens, but I wouldn’t encourage using long, large and heavy lenses on this head. Regardless of the total package weight, the head performs much better with a mirrorless camera with smaller and shorter-length lenses.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
The Gitzo GHFW2 head includes witness marks on the counterbalance scale and rotation scale for repeatable moves.

Are You A Weight Watcher?

Overall, I found the motion characteristics of the head to be fairly smooth as long as I was well under its weight limits. I liked that the head features a counterbalance scale as well as a rotational scale for when you’re panning. These allow you to observe starting and stopping points when panning and tilting and trying to create repeatable moves.

Another feature I liked was that the entire Gitzo head and all of the metal fittings on the tripod are covered in Gitzo’s speckled “leopard-like” finish, which is covered with a nice, clear coat that makes handling the head and center column height adjustment easy, even when wet or when your hands are cold.

All edges have been cast and machined to be smooth. There are no sharp edges to cut you when adjusting the head.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
Shooting B-roll for a TV project in Redondo Beach, California, using the Fujifilm XT-3 with the Gitzo.

Putting It All To Work On Shoots

I had a chance to use the Gitzo head and tripod in several client shoots, all in varying conditions, including covering a runner competing in a 100-mile ultramarathon through the Florida Keys, and the tripod and head performed admirably in the rain, the searing heat and wind the same day (it was Florida, after all!).

I also used the combo on a shoot gathering b-roll all day around a couple of southern California cities using various size and focal-length lenses.

Lastly, we used the combo on three different shoots at beaches, covering boat racing, where I often had the tripod legs buried in the sand and around saltwater all day each shoot. The Gitzo head and legs performed well in all of these situations, and the sand and salt washed off both the legs and head easily.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
The Gitzo GHF2W has a logic to the layout and the design features.

Tripod Features

Besides being made of high-quality carbon fiber for weight savings and rigidity, the Gitzo GT2543L tripod also had nicely designed three-way leg locks, allowing you to position your camera lower to the ground quickly, but the center column of the tripod precluded being able to position the camera lower than about 18 inches off the ground.

The center column post has a metal hook at the bottom, allowing you to place your backpack or a sandbag as a stabilizing weight on the tripod.

Also worth mentioning are the Gitzo G-Lock legs, allowing you to rotate the lockdown collar just a fraction of an inch to extend or lock the legs, which saves time.

Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs
This metal hook at the end of the center column allows you to affix a backpack or sandbag as a counterbalance to stabilize the tripod when shooting in windy conditions.

Overall Impressions

The Gitzo GHF2W head and GT2543L carbon legs met the criteria we set for our ideal mirrorless tripod in specs. The head is easily detachable and light, the legs have a 24-inch folded length, extending all of the way to 70.3 inches so it will easily fit in our luggage for traveling. The combo does have a true fluid head with counterbalance, although I wish it had some variable counterbalance settings.

The combo is capable of smooth pans and tilts, but only if your camera package is under the 5.5 pounds counterbalance rating. If you are over it but under the total head-weight limit of 8.8 pounds, it’s more difficult to obtain smooth pans and tilts. 

The combo came in at just under our $1,200 budget, with a street price of $1,190.  If you are looking for a solid tripod package and you have similar criteria, I would definitely consider the Gitzo GHF2W head and GT2543L legs as long as your total rig weight is under 5.5 pounds and your rig is well balanced.

The post Review: Gitzo GHF2W Head And GT2543L Carbon Fiber Legs appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 14 octobre 2019 à 06:01

Proxy Matters, Part 2

Par Michael Guncheon

Previously, I wrote about what can happen when someone asks for proxies without talking about what they’d be used for.

In my example, the proxies were to be used by a transcription service. The issue was file size. With all the uploading and downloading, very small files would have been helpful instead of the 1920×1080 mp4s provided.

However, there’s another issue to consider: timestamps. Transcripts usually have a timestamp at the start of a bite, change of thought or change of speakers. The times come from a counter that is started at the beginning of the file.

Transcripts that have timestamps that start at 0:00 can’t really match up with the original footage unless it also starts at timecode 00:00:00:00. If you’re working on only one clip, this might not be an issue. If you have several hours or days of interviews, it can be a real issue.

Although you could try to modify the timecode of the original clip so that it starts at 00:00:00:00, that can get messy as you move through the post-production workflow. It’s better if you try to keep all the metadata unchanged.

There are also ways to enter timecode at the transcription service. But if you have multiple clips, that’s a lot of work. An easier option is to use a transcription service that can sync transcripts to the timecode of the clip instead of just starting at 0:00.

In other words, the transcript of the start of a sound bite will use the actual footage timecode, like 13:25:14:00, as opposed to simply 0:00. That way you can easily track bites within your footage. Some editing applications even allow you to attach the transcripts to the clips in your bin.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? It is, if that’s what actually happens. But if you merely send “a proxy”—a generic, one-size-fits-all proxy—to the transcription service, there’s a good chance it won’t work. It won’t have timecode. Why? If the proxy maker created a typical mp4, it won’t have timecode.

Note: There is a way to get timecode into mp4s, but it’s not easy. Even then, it might not be supported by the transcription service.

But, if the proxies that are created are QuickTime movies (.mov), there’s a timecode track in the file that can be used. The QuickTime movies can even use the h.264 codec (like you would for an mp4) to reduce the file size.

By sending a QuickTime movie that has the timecode of the original footage embedded in it, you’ll be able to get transcripts with all the bites timestamped properly. No need to add a timestamp offset—it just happens.

All of the above is just another reason for people to ask a few questions when someone “needs proxies.” But what about proxies for actual editing? Next time.

The post Proxy Matters, Part 2 appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 11 octobre 2019 à 19:37

Nikon Announces Unique NIKKOR Z 58mm F/0.95 S Noct Lens And Battery Pack

Par By Terry Sullivan

Nikon’s new NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens

Today, Nikon has introduced a unique, powerful and pricey prime lens: The new NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens, which will run photographers and filmmakers $7999 and will be available October 31, 2019.

According to the company, the new prime “is a one-of-a-kind lens that pays homage to the extraordinary optical legacy of the previous Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 lens.” Nikon also says that the previous prime, introduced in 1977, was renowned for “its ability to reproduce point light sources as point images.”  The design of the new Z-series Noct lens “evolves with the most advanced optical technology for photographers and videographers, boasting an immense f/0.95 maximum aperture, staggering low light ability and enticing bokeh characteristics.” With such an exceptionally wide aperture of f/0.95, photographers and filmmakers should be able to produce rather unique images and video footage with very shallow depth-of-field.

Interested in the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens? Check it out on B&H!

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens on the Nikon Z 7 full-frame mirrorless camera.

The new 58mm f/0.95 is constructed with 17 elements in 10 groups, which Nikon claims ensure “a well-balanced lens that delivers incredibly sharp results.”

The new lens will also feature various coatings to minimize lens flair: its ARNEO coat “provides anti-reflection performance to combat incident light reaching the lens surface from a vertical direction….alongside the Nano Crystal Coat, which effectively reduces incident light from a diagonal direction. ”

Nikon’s new MB-N10 optional battery power pack for both the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6.

Also, today, Nikon announced the new MB-N10 battery power pack, which is an optional accessory for both the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6, for $199 and will be available in November. The new battery pack enhances battery life and “adds an additional hand hold, providing photographers and videographers even more freedom and comfort when using the Z 7 and Z 6.”

Nikon’s new MB-N10 optional battery power pack on the Nikon Z 7.

 

For more information, see the press release below.

[[ press release ]]

A COVETED CLASSIC REBORN AS A MODERN MASTERPIECE:

NIKON RELEASES THE FASTEST NIKKOR LENS EVER CREATED, THE NIKKOR Z 58MM f/0.95 S NOCT

 

Nikon Also Announces the New MB-N10 Battery Pack: Enhances Battery Life and Adds Additional Grip for Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 Users

 MELVILLE, NY (October 10, 2019 at 12:01 AM EDT) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the fastest NIKKOR lens ever made, the new NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens. The 58mm Noct is a one-of-a-kind lens that pays homage to the extraordinary optical legacy that the previous Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 lens established, while demonstrating the superiority and potential of the Nikon Z Mount. Created for the most discerning photographers, the new Noct lens is an exclusively manual focus prime lens with an incredible maximum aperture of f/0.95 for a truly dramatic depth of field and next-level low light performance.

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is in a class of its own, offering low light ability and extreme sharpness that excels in the hands of a capable creator. From stunning portraits to landscapes or astrophotography, all images are rendered beautifully thanks to its vast depth-of field control, seductive bokeh and superb point-image reproduction.

“This is why the Z mount was created. The Noct is a testament to Nikon’s commitment to optical innovation driven by more than a century of expertise,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “We promised a new dimension of optical performance for the Nikon Z series and NIKKOR Z lens lineup, and by announcing our fastest NIKKOR lens ever made, the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, we are making this claim a reality.”

THE NEWEST ADDITION TO S-LINE OF NIKKOR Z LENSES 

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct joins as the apex to the ever-expanding series of S-Line lenses, which also includes the recently announced NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S and NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S, all hailed for their sharpness and optical performance.

A LEGENDARY LENS REBORN

The original Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 was released in 1977, its name said to be derived from “Nocturne.” Made for nighttime photography, this lens became renowned for its ability to reproduce point light sources as point images. The design of the new Noct lens evolves with the most advanced optical technology for photographers and videographers, boasting an immense f/0.95 maximum aperture, staggering low light ability and enticing bokeh characteristics.

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct implores an extensive depth of field, producing elaborate bokeh and blur characteristics with good continuity for more compelling, three-dimensional imaging. Even when the distance between the subject and the background are insufficient, the new 58mm Noct lens can still capture sharp images with beautiful background blur due to the reproduction of an extremely sharp focus plane and vast shallow depth of field. Additionally, shooting point light sources at maximum aperture would normally produce sagittal coma flare. However, with the new Noct lens the causes of sagittal coma flare are eliminated across the entire frame with point light sources being reproduced as tack-sharp point images even at the peripheries, for clear and crisp night landscapes and astronomical shots.

A lens like the new NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is possible today because of the large Z mount, which allows for more light capture and faster data sharing between lens and camera, as well as improved flexibility for lens optics and design. The new Noct lens also boasts a large-diameter ground aspherical lens element crafted from the finest glass with outstanding surface accuracy, providing a higher refractive index that would otherwise be unobtainable. This pro-level lens is constructed with an optical formula consisting of 17 elements in 10 groups, ensuring a well-balanced lens that delivers incredibly sharp results.

Like the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens announced earlier this year, the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens includes an ARNEO Coat, which provides anti-reflection performance to combat incident light reaching the lens surface from a vertical direction. Alongside the Nano Crystal Coat, which effectively reduces incident light from a diagonal direction, the new Noct lens can capture clear and sharp content with minimal ghosting and flare effects across a wide variety of backlit situations that are normally challenging. Additionally, the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct includes a lens information panel allowing photographers and videographers to confirm aperture, focus distance and depth of field at a glance. Users will also enjoy the increased number of functions that can be assigned to the lens Fn button, matching the Fn1/Fn2 buttons on both the Z 7 and Z 6 cameras. Additionally, an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism is incorporated, providing stable aperture control even during continuous shooting. The fluorine coat of the new Noct lens acts as a dust, dirt and moisture repellent coating.

In addition to the refined and durable exterior design, the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct offers excellent operability and a feeling of precision in hand. The focus ring enables accurate manual focusing, allowing for the appropriate amount of torque and a large rotation angle, even for the extremely shallow depth of field afforded at f/0.95. The new Noct lens also adopts a control ring, where functions like aperture setting, and exposure compensation can be assigned. Furthermore, the inside of the lens hood is felt-lined, delivering clear rendering by effectively preventing light reflection inside the hood.

THE NEW MB-N10 BATTERY PACK FOR THE NIKON Z 7 AND Z 6

The new MB-N10 battery power pack is an optional accessory for both the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6. The battery pack significantly enhances battery life and adds an additional hand hold, providing photographers and videographers even more freedom and comfort when using the Z 7 and Z 6. The battery pack is designed to hold two EN-EL15b batteries (sold separately), effectively increasing the number of shots possible and movie recording time by approximately 1.8X, based on CIPA standards. The MB-N10 offers the same weather sealing and modern design of the Z 7 and Z 6, plus it will support USB charging.

Price and Availability 

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens will be available October 31, 2019 at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $7999.95* and will come with a special premium custom padded case (Trunk Case CT-101), in addition to the HN-38 Hood. The new MB-N10 battery power pack will be available in November 2019, for an SRP of $199.95*. For more information on the latest Nikon products, including the new NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens and MB-N10 battery power pack as well as the full Nikon Z mount system, please visit www.nikonusa.com.  

 

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Specifications, equipment and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

All Nikon products include Nikon Inc. limited warranty. Images are for illustrative purposes only. All Nikon trademarks are trademarks of Nikon Corporation. Nikon Authorized Dealers set their own selling prices, which may vary. Nikon is not responsible for typographical errors.

 

The post Nikon Announces Unique NIKKOR Z 58mm F/0.95 S Noct Lens And Battery Pack appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 10 octobre 2019 à 06:14

Proxy Matters

Par Michael Guncheon

I’ve recently written about proxies and how at times they’re treated like a one-size-fits-all panacea. As capture resolutions keep increasing, file sizes grow, too. Proxies become a way to tackle the enormous amount of data that has to wend its way through the post-production workflow.

But simply asking to “create proxies” without care oftentimes ends up making more work or the proxies provided aren’t used and end up in the virtual trash can. When I say “without care,” I mean not providing enough information. Such as “Why?”

I’m not trying to be flippant here. If you ask for proxies, a valid way for the person creating them to make sure the proxies are useful is to ask you, “Why do you want them—what will they be used for?”

For example, let’s say that you need interview transcripts created and you ask for proxies. If the person creating them never asked you what you’d use them for, they might pick a preset that they use for proxies. So they render out a bunch of mp4s and send you a link to download them. No need to put them on a drive because they’re proxies, not original footage, and they’ve been compressed.

But you’re on the road and the WiFi isn’t great, so it takes a long time to download. Then you have to look at them to make sure you have all the right clips, including the last day’s reshoot because the audio wasn’t great.

Now you want to upload them to the service that creates the transcripts. As usual, the upload speed is even worse than the download was. As you watch the progress bar during the upload, it dawns on you that while the proxies are compressed, they’re also 1920×1080. You ask yourself if you really need to send HD movies to a transcription service. Do they even look at the video? And if they do, wouldn’t a 320×180 size file have worked just as well?

Maybe if a more detailed conversation happened before the proxies were created, you wouldn’t have had to wait so long on uploads and downloads.

But file size isn’t the only problem in this situation. File type should also be a concern. I’ll talk about that next time.

The post Proxy Matters appeared first on HD Video Pro.

  • 8 octobre 2019 à 06:01
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