A view of Cine Gear 2019 at Paramount Studios.
Video/digital cinema production in 2019, to me, feels as if there are some groundbreaking changes underway. I’m not sure if you have felt this lately, but I definitely have.
As you may or may not be aware of, Blackmagic Design had major new product announcements recently. Buried within those new announcements was word that Resolve 16.1 public beta has been released. Contained within Resolve 16.1 is the new Smart Indicator. The new cut page in DaVinci Resolve 16 introduced multiple new smart features, which work by estimating where the editor wants to add an edit or transition and then allowing it to be applied without the wasted time of placing in and out points on the exact locations of the clips. While I’m not positive, I believe that the language Blackmagic Design is using indicates that these new features are at least a basic form of Ai, in that the software anticipates some editing decisions that the editor might want to make and then does them.
This is supposedly faster because the software guesses what the editor wants to do and just does it by adding the inset edit or adding a transition to the edit closest to where the editor has placed the CTI. The problem is in complex edits, where it’s hard to know what the software would do and which edit it would place the effect or clip into. This is where the new smart indicator provides a small marker in the timeline so customers get constant feedback on where DaVinci Resolve will place edits and transitions. The new smart indicator constantly live updates as the editor moves around the timeline.
The other feature notable in Resolve 16.1 is the Boring Director. DaVinci Resolve 16.1 introduces a new Boring Detector that allows the whole timeline to be highlighted where any shot is too long and would be boring for a viewer to watch. The boring detector can also show jump cuts where shots are too short as well. The analysis is constantly showing which parts of the timeline are boring so as editors work and add shots to their edit, they can see the remaining parts of the edit that are considered boring. The boring detector is great when using the source tape, as editors can perform a lot of edits without playing the timeline, so the boring detector will be an alternative live source of feedback.
The question is, how do you feel about your editing software functioning as a sort of Ai powered assistant versus a passive tool? For me personally, I’m all for it. If I’m editing a piece, in the end, all that matters is if the edit works and if the visual and narrative story is engaging. I don’t really care that much about the process of how I got there. All that matters to me is if my clients and the audience like what they see. However, keep in mind, editing, for me, is a means to an end. I’m not a full-time editor who only edits for a living; it’s just a component of what I do. If I was a full-time editor, I might feel differently. Or I might not. How do you feel about this development from Blackmagic Design?
If you haven’t heard about this, you will be soon. I won’t go into all of the detailed analysis because that would probably be pretty boring to read, but let me glean a few headlines for you about what’s been happening in our industry:
What conclusions can we draw from these numbers? Keep in mind that these statistics and numbers are global and that they focus more on consumer cameras than professional digital cinema cameras. It’s obvious that the majority of the camera market hasn’t disappeared, but it has changed platforms, obviously to smartphones. A lot of buyers who would have previously just bought a digital point-and-shoot now are just using the increasingly capable cameras in their phones. The cameras in the highest-end smartphones especially have grown to be better and better as far as image quality and features.
As a consumer of professional cameras, why should all of these numbers concern me? The problem is, we have a trickle-down effect at work here. Canon USA recently laid off a sizable amount of its workforce and closed their Jamesburg, New Jersey, service facility. Sony has been dragging their feet, not introducing any new digital cinema camera in 2019, although they did introduce the Venice in 2018. Panasonic did introduce a new mirrorless 6K camera, the S1H, at CineGear 2019, but no new digital cinema camera from them this year either. Nothing but a $6k price reduction on their older Varicam LT.
As you can plainly see, the massive shrinking of the consumer camera market is affecting the professional digital cinema camera market as well. We’re also seeing the encroachment of the Chinese into the pro digital cinema camera market with new cameras like the Z Cam E2 and the Kinefinity Mavo. Both of these manufacturers are offering features and specs that were recently only available on the very top of the line cameras like the RED lineup, but for a fraction of the cost.
Is the camera market actually dying? I guess that depends on how you view the camera market. For traditional camera manufacturers, yes, this is a very difficult time as sales volume has dropped off tremendously. For professional users, we’re facing much longer product refresh cycles compared to the frantic pace of new cameras and innovation over the last few years. For some of the newer and smaller players, the camera market worldwide still presents opportunities to flourish, but the rules of the market and what the customers expect are changing rapidly. Witness Blackmagic Design who just introduced their new Pocket Cinema 6K camera at $1,500 less ($2,495) than Panasonic’s S1H 6K camera that isn’t even shipping yet. Stay tuned to see what craziness will envelop camera buyers next.
In a nutshell, consolidation, competition and streaming ascend. Consolidation is really all about the D-word, Disney. Is there anything that the Disney monolith hasn’t yet swallowed? Star Wars? Check. Pixar? Check. Marvel? Check. Fox? Check. Next up is the launch of the Disney Plus streaming service that will go head to head in the marketplace with Netflix and with Apple’s upcoming TV Plus streaming service. The players are changing as traditional studios like Sony, Paramount and Warner Bros. are being somewhat passed over by these new streaming monoliths. Sure, the old “traditional studio” players will still be around and providing content for the new players, but the days of theatrical and episodic television over broadcast being considered “Hollywood” are drawing to a rapid end.
What does all of this mean for us content creators? It’s hard to say. All three streaming services will have a huge appetite for new original and derivative programming, which is good for us. The competition is intense, though, as almost everyone is now more interested in pitching content to the new players than the older established studios, so it’s not like there’s a huge welcome mat on the front door of each streaming service inviting you in to pitch your series, movie or web series.
I predict a wholesale shakeup in the kind of programming that will be popular though. In the era of streaming, it feels as if the audiences will have more to say about the kind of content they watch since they’re more in charge than they were in the previous era. Audiences today aren’t afraid to activate a streaming service just for watching a particular series or event, then turning their subscription to that service off before moving on to the next show, series or outlet. There’s very little loyalty to a single streaming service like there used to be for watching “must-see TV,” so the landscape is becoming more fractured and individualized.
There have been some bright spots: The global theatrical and home entertainment market generated $96.8 billion in 2018, a 9 percent increase on 2017, according to a new report from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). As you’re probably aware, gaming surpassed filmed entertainment about 15 years ago and ever since then, filmed entertainment has been on a long, slow downward trend, so seeing that much year-on-year growth is encouraging for us all. Here’s to that number increasing!
You might think that the image that leads this post is missing. Or maybe it’s a mistake. I can assure you that it’s not. It’s exactly the image that should be there. In fact, it’s perfect.
Before I explain the image, I want to talk about the tools that editors have at their fingertips. A lot of the tools are all about making a difference on the screen. They may be included in the editing package or they may be plug-ins added to the software.
I use some tools not to make a difference but to make sure there isn’t a difference. There are times when shots or sequences leave my realm and are returned to me later in the project. These shots might now include effects or color work. In other cases, someone might have taken my cut and recut for another use, then sent it back to me to finish.
In any case, shots or sequences that I had no control over may be returned to me and I now need to incorporate them into my sequence. In doing so, I want to make sure that the only changes that were made outside my control were done on purpose.
One of the tools I use is found in the composite method assigned to each clip in the timeline. Depending on the application this setting might be called Composite or Blend mode. Usually, a pull-down menu appears when you click on it, displaying a dizzying array of options for this tool. Each one is a formula for overlaying the current clip on the clip below it.
I use some of these selections in order to composite graphics or footage to achieve a certain look, but that’s for another discussion. The option I use for comparison is the Difference mode. Difference mode causes the software to compare the RGB values of each pixel in the clip with the clip below it.
It’s really a simple mathematical equation. Each pixel is defined by its red, green and blue values (RGB). If the RGB values of a pixel in the top clip are R123, G210, B27 and the value of the pixels of the bottom clip are also R123, G210, B27, then when you subtract the RGB values you get 123-123=0, 210-210=0 and 27-27=0. That leaves R0, G0, B0. That represents black. That’s what the image is at the top of this post. That result, from a comparison perspective, is perfect.
So, if nothing changed between the top and bottom clip, you get black. If something did change, you’re left with a different kind of image. That image can be strikingly psychedelic or it can be more nuanced.
Using Difference blending, I can quickly compare an offline cut with a finish cut to look for flash frames where edits don’t line up or shots are wrong. Sometimes, there might be accidental scaling applied where the clip has been enlarged or reduced by 1 percent. Or, there might be a clip that has a different speed change applied to it.
Quickly scrolling through a sequence that’s mostly black makes the “mistakes” pop out. A 1 percent scale difference is obvious using Difference blending but difficult to see when just looking at the scene.
There are also times when a client might ask if a particular version of a shot was used. A client might call and ask, “Is that the version where we went back and made his eyes a little more intense?”
If I wasn’t involved in that revision to his eyes, it might be hard for me to see the difference. Using Difference blending, I can compare the versions of the clips to see changes—they’ll be subtle but easier to see than looking at a split-screen.
There are lots of tools available to an editor, but not all their effects show up on the screen. I rarely use Difference blending as part of a composite on a clip, but it is still an indispensable tool. With it, I can make sure I get things right when finishing.
The Panavision Millenium DXL 2 was announced in 2018 but has just come into use on major features and some episodic in 2019.
It’s basically two-thirds of the way through 2019, and I felt it would be clarifying and helpful if I were to sit down and put fingers to keyboard to take a look at what’s happening with 2019 production cameras so far this year. A sort of state of the union for camera technology for video/digital cinema users. What sorts of changes, announcements, game plans and trajectories seem to be falling into place for the tools that we use to do our jobs? Let’s take a look at what we know and perhaps I can coax out a few prognostications about where I see the camera technology business going over the next year or two.
The big camera news from Arri this year was the March announcement of the Alexa Mini LF. Yes, at first glance, big deal, Arri put a large frame sensor into their smallest camera, the Mini. This announcement is almost more notable for what it means than what the product is. This camera is Arri tacitly saying that the new reality of Hollywood and high-end production is really all about the streaming services, with the implication that up until now, Netflix has been the primary driver since the Alexa Mini LF was almost certainly created as a response to Netflix’s now-famous camera mandate that all commissioned programming must be created with cameras with at least a 4K native sensor.
As you’re probably aware, the various Alexa variants, up until the recent past, featured a native 3.4k imager, not high enough resolution for Netflix evidently. The creation of the Alexa Mini LF shows that Arri can still be nimble and responsive to market requirements, even though Arri has used basically the same imager over the past nine years. This camera’s existence also shows that the OTTs (Over the Tops – Netflix, Amazon and Hulu) have collectively equaled or possibly surpassed the traditional Hollywood studios in importance for most content creators.
While Blackmagic Design is impressively growing the depth and breadth of their offerings to form an end to end production pipeline with cameras, converters, recorders and an editing suite of software with the release of Resolve several years ago, the latest news was the announcement of the Ursa Mini Pro G2 (Generation 2) and just this past week, the new Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. The UMP G2 is significant in the improvements it brings to the existing UMP. They redesigned the electronics and added a new S35 4.6K image sensor with 15 stops of DR as well as the ability to shoot at up to 300 fps.
The new Pocket Cinema 6K Camera brings some new updates to the existing PCC 4K. Not only can the new camera record up to 6K resolution, it also features a S35 sensor as well as a new Canon EF lens mount, different than the 4K version’s M43 sensor and lens mount. The 6K features dual native ISO with up to 13 stops of DR, internal Prores recording up to 4K and Blackmagic RAW at up to 6K recording. At only $2,495, the PCC 6K will be a nice companion B camera for UMP G2 users.
Canon has been conspicuously absent in releasing any new professional digital cinema cameras in 2019. The sole Canon camera announcement was in February for the EOS RP, a lower cost, less featured version of the Full Frame EOS R mirrorless camera, more of a consumer hybrid camera than a pro digital cinema camera. No new C300 MKIII, C500 MKII or any other new surprises this year so far. There are rumors about Canon possibly introducing something new at September’s IBC tradeshow in Amsterdam, but at this point, those are just rumors.
Canon has been one of the top three camera manufacturers in digital cinema over the past few years, so their non-announcements are probably a reliable indicator of the overall growth potential of the digital cinema market. Or they could just be laying low? Canon recently went through a round of layoffs at Canon USA’s Melville, NY US HQ and closed their large service center in Jamesburg, New Jersey. These obviously aren’t indicators of a healthy, growth-focused company division, so take that for what it’s worth.
The main reason I’m including Fujifilm in their analysis is that with the 2018 announcement of the XT-3 mirrorless, IMHO, Fuji has jumped over the wall separating still cameras from digital cinema cameras. The addition of their MKX Cine zooms reinforces this notion. As you probably know, Fuji also makes various lines of high-end digital cinema lenses, as well as B4 mount broadcast lenses, so in my mind, these factors move Fuji into the digital cinema camera realm.
The video/digital cinema-focused XT-3 has been a solid hit for the company, instantly jumping into the mix, representing between 20 and 30 percent of sales for Fujifilm—very impressive for a new product to instantly become almost one-third of the company’s sales. The addition of the medium format GFX 100 with 4K recording at up to 4K 30p, as well as the addition of the X-Processor 4, means that even though this is more of a still than digital cinema camera, I have the feeling Fuji may have a pro digital cinema camera in the pipeline. The company has an interesting philosophy in keeping the XT and XH cameras using a S35 sensor with the GFX lineup using a relatively huge medium format sensor and no cameras in between utilizing an FF imager.
Nikon is a DSLR and mirrorless company, right? Yes and no. The introduction of the video-capable Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras wouldn’t be that significant if it wasn’t also for the announcement from Atomos that they partnered with Nikon to figure out a way to record RAW video directly from the HDMI output of the Z series to the Atomos Ninja V. Considering the relatively low cost of the Z6 especially, the idea of pairing a low-cost Atomos recorder with a relatively low-cost mirrorless camera fired the imagination of lots of different users.
Other than the recently announced BMD PCC 6K and the existing PCC 4K, no other mirrorless-style, small cameras are capable of RAW internal video recording or output a RAW stream to external recorders like the Ninja V. Yet.
The problem is the Atomos/Nikon announcement in January 2019 was over eight months ago; it’s August 2019 and there has been no update or release date about when this marriage of the Z cameras and the Ninja V will actually happen. In the meantime, RAW recording in low cost self-contained mirrorless-type cameras is happening elsewhere. Nikon may be too late to the party.
Over the past couple of years, it’s been an interesting case of Panasonic’s consumer (Lumix) and professional (professional/broadcast) camera divisions sort of taking turns in introducing products that interest pro digital cinema camera users. Of course, the GH5 and subsequent introduction of the GH5S came from the Lumix division. The cameras are very good mirrorless, video-centric designs with a still impressive specification and feature list. The Pro Video division then introduced the EVA 1 professional digital cinema camera at the same time Canon introduced the C200.
The EVA 1 has some amazing features for the price range but has been hamstrung by its lack of a viewfinder, usable LCD and internal RAW recording. It does have a 5.7K sensor and can record in a plethora of codecs. The Lumix division introduced the FF S1 camera last year, but they were a bit more aimed at still shooters than video, although both of the variants are pretty video capable and feature the L lens mount that Panasonic and Leica designed. At Cine Gear 2019, the Lumix division introduced the S1H, a 6K FF video-centric variant that will sell for $4,000 and will be available in the fall of 2019. An interesting factor is that the Lumix S1H is a mirrorless hybrid that very much out specs the more expensive pro video EVA 1, yet sells for $2,000 less.
Video camera design at the house of Panasonic has had a big year. The rest of the lineup, the Varicam series haven’t had any new model variants introduced this year, although Panasonic did give the Varicam LT a huge discount from its selling price, down to $9,995, but to put together a fully usable, functional package, you still need to add an EVF, P2 Express cards, etc. which puts you back up in the $20k to $28K price bracket, depending on the options and amount of P2 media you need.
Let’s just bring it right to the forefront: If you’ve been following what’s been going on over at RED, it’s been an insane 2019 to date. There haven’t been a lot of new camera announcements from RED this year although they’ve just teased something called the Komodo, which it appears is a camera module for the Hydrogen cell phone/camera? Not sure yet, as all they have released are teaser images with a few words. RED also released a rental-only camera package known as the RED RANGERTM. Basically, it’s a camera system that’s all-inclusive and all included. As you may or may not know, when you rent a RED camera system, it’s very much similar to how we used to rent 16mm and 35mm film cameras, meaning that you rent a basic body and then customize your rental with any of several dozen accessories that are configured in various ways to result in a camera package that’s custom configured for your needs whether that’s for handheld, tripod, slider, Steadicam, drone, vehicle mount, etc.
The end result of this is that usually when I’ve rented RED packages, the paperwork is several pages long and I have to keep track of dozens of smalls bits and pieces that combine to make a RED camera functional for my particular use. The Ranger comes preconfigured with a top handle, PL-Mount, rod brackets, 7-inch LCD, power supply, etc. Many of these pieces are integrated into the Ranger body rather than having to be attached via hex screws to the basic RED “shoebox” form factor that their camera brains come from the factory as.
The insane factor has been the entire RED Mini Mag debacle. I don’t have room to recount it here in all of its glory, but let’s just say that a third party has publicly accused RED of some false advertisement and misleading public statements having to do with RED media, the SSDs contained within them and the money that RED charges for their proprietary media. In my opinion, RED’s response to these accusations has been a good example of how NOT to respond to a public accusation, there have been lawsuits and threats of lawsuits flying from both sides and in the end, a lot of RED customers have been, at the least, confused about what RED has said and sold as their proprietary media and at the most, furious with the company.
The entire issue has been a bit of a media circus, just Google “Red camera media” and you’ll see what I mean. It’s difficult to say if this is just a bump in the road for RED or if it may come to mean something more serious for them. Time will tell.
2019 has been an interesting year for the Sony Pro Video division. In a way, Sony has behaved in a very similar manner to competitor Canon. They haven’t really introduced a new digital cinema camera this year. They did release a V3.0 firmware update for the Venice that adds two new imager modes, 5.7K 16:9 and 6K (full-width) 2.39:1. Later in the year, they released the 4.0 firmware, which added 4K 120 fps and 6k 60 fps.
Sony also just released the A7R IV mirrorless, but all of its innovation was centered on still photography, with its video still hobbled to 2014 standards of 100 Mbps 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording to protect sales of the Sony FS5 MKII and FS7 MKII. There has been a rumor of a new video-centric A7S III for years now, but nobody outside of Sony knows when that camera will drop or if it will be in 2019. So basically, business as usual at Sony.
As the new kid on the block, Z cam is the latest Chinese camera manufacturer to try to make inroads into the U.S. market. I’ve never personally shot with a Z Cam camera, so I have no first-hand knowledge of their image quality, responsiveness, features or reliability.
I’m able to glean a little information from their press releases and from one colleague who purchased one of their cameras for professional use, so I can make the following observations about them and their cameras.
They’re aggressively pursuing market share against the established big three camera manufacturers (Canon, Panasonic and Sony). This is apparent from their expanding lineup, their availability at a lot of U.S. dealers and their kind of unusual form factor and robust feature sets at relatively low cost.
Z Cam currently offers two models of M43 imager cameras currently, the E2 and the E2C. The E2 is a $1,999 M43 shoebox camera with impressive specs, meaning that when you buy the camera, you literally just get a box with an imager inside. You must furnish a battery, media, EVF, handles, baseplate, really everything needed to make the “box” into a functional camera for your shooting situation. Apparently, some people like rigging up what are known as Frankenrig cameras, meaning that the end product is going to be festooned with cables dangling and weird ergonomics, depending on how well you understand camera ergonomics and can buy the right accessories to end up with a compact, ergonomically viable rig.
An observation, most people don’t and end up with a weird, Rube Goldberg (Google it) contraption with a camera buried in all of the Gak (Gak is a Hollywood term used to describe various messy cables, batteries, plates and rods that especially DSLR and mirrorless cameras are often rigged up with, but any camera package can have excess Gak). If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and like having to shop for a bunch of disparate accessories and try to make them into a workable pro camera rig, have at it. Personally, I dislike camera rigs that are like this; I find that the ergonomics are mostly terrible and the cables snag on everything you walk past or operate near, which can result in losing footage. Others, like RED operators, seem to like the “shoebox with tons of GAK” model. Your mileage may vary.
I’d like to offer my observations and predictions about where professional digital cinema camera tech is headed and what to watch for as you navigate the murky waters of production for the rest of this year.
The mania for FF continues unabated, especially in the higher-end cameras. Doesn’t matter if you like it or not. Collectively, the industry and users have decided that if it’s not FF, it’s nor worth buying in 2019. Other than in the low end of the market where cameras like the Z Cam E2, even though it’s M43, continue to sell a lot of units.
You can’t ignore the facts. Fact: no manufacturer other than BMD has introduced a new mid-range ($5k-$12k) digital cinema in 2019. No FS7 MKIII. No EVA 1 MKII. No C300 MKIII. BMD did introduce the UMP G2, which is really just a slight update to the UMP, not a whole new camera. Interestingly, all of the action is at the high end (Alexa Mini LF, RED RANGER, VENICE Upgrades) and at the low end (Panasonic Lumix S1H, Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 6K). What does this mean? I honestly think it could mean that a lot of users who used to buy the mid-range cameras are either stepping up to the high end with rentals and “slumming it” down at the low end, simply because these new low-end cameras offer such tremendous value and sophisticated features for the money. The $4,000 Panasonic S1H has better technical specs than the more expensive EVA 1. The $2,495 Pocket Cinema 6K has better technical specs than the more expensive UMP G2. Notice a trend here?
I know it has for me. Our A camera is the (used to be) $7,500 Canon C200. When we went to buy a new b-camera/gimbal camera, we didn’t spend another $5,000 on a C200B, we spent $1,399 on a Fujifilm XT-3 simply because the XT-3 is so good for the money and offers so many impressive features and specs for a prosumer mirrorless camera. I personally doubt if I’ll ever buy another mid-range camera. I’d rather rent high-end cameras, and it’s fun for me to see how far I can push a prosumer camera like the XT-3. Sure, the C200 is a better camera, but it should be for five times the cost. The XT-3 can do 85 percent of what the C200 can do, save for RAW, internal NDs, real audio connections and the client impress factor with its appearance. But the Fuji was inexpensive, works pretty well for video and the output is close to that of the C200, even though the C200 RAW is better.
I’ll go ahead and say it, 2019 is the year the number of lenses available, both still and cine, went nuts. Almost every day there’s a press release for a new optic or new optic company waiting for me in my email. I’m not complaining, this is the best time we’ve had for lenses in the history of our business. No matter what your taste is, you can find multiple lines and brands of lenses that can give you whatever look and optical characteristics you seek.
It seems as if the bar has raised from 4K with the masses fully convinced that in order to optimize 4K, because of the image loss through De-Bayering, you have to have a 5.7K, 5.9K or 6.0K sensor. Strictly from a techno nerd/imaging engineer standpoint, it makes sense. In the real world, though, my Canon C200 has a 4k imager and I have yet to shoot anything with the camera, especially with Cinema RAW Light, that suffers from any mosaic artifacts, low resolution when viewed on a 5K screen or other optical anomalies. So, like everything in our business, there’s the theoretical, which at times you or your audience may or may not notice, then there’s the reality of what your clients and their audiences may or may not see.
It seems that going forward, I doubt if you’ll see many, if any at all, new digital cinema cameras that aren’t at least 6K native. It’s what is hopefully the end of the resolution wars, but I suspect those will go on at least until 8K and possibly might end at 12K or 16K? Who knows for sure?
I hope you’ve found this blog interesting and perhaps a little fun. In 2019, we’re at a place with professional digital cinema cameras where they’re literally all at least decent and the vast majority are really impressive. We’re definitely spoiled with options—a nice place to be.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K is a groundbreaking camera in features and in price.
I recently attended the webinar that Blackmagic Design held to make four new products announcements. I have to admit that I didn’t know what Blackmagic Design was planning on introducing, so I went into the webinar with a clean slate without any pre-conceived notions about what they were going to intro. The rumor sites and grapevine had been basically silent about much new coming from Blackmagic Design, so this webinar was looking to be quite interesting. I wasn’t wrong; the announcements were significant and kind of covered a wide swath of product categories, both in hardware as well as software.
As you’re probably aware, the big buzz from Cine Gear 2019 was Panasonic’s announcement of the S1H, a 6K FF mirrorless camera that will be available in the fall of this year. It will utilize Panasonic’s relatively new L lens mount, it’s 6K and has a lot of other tricks up its sleeve. The excitement was that the S1H looked to be the first native 6K camera in the $4,000 price range. Impressive, right? It looks as if Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty and company figured out a way to steal a lot of Panasonic’s thunder with the announcement of the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. It will sell for, wait for it…$2,495! Wow, kudos to Blackmagic Design, that’s a pretty impressive headline just for including the words Cinema, 6K and $2,495 in one breath. The other bullet points are:
A bit more about the rest of those 6K imager specs, it will shoot up to 50 fps at 6144×3456 16:9 or 60 fps at 6144×2560 2.4:1 and 60 fps at 5744×3024 17:9. For higher frame rates, you can shoot up to 120 fps at 2.8K 2868×1512 17:9. You can even work in true anamorphic 6:5 using anamorphic lenses in 3.7K 60 fps at 3728 x 3104.
Best of all, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 6K Camera is available now. Kudos to Blackmagic Design for announcing a shipping camera.
On to the next product announcement.
Blackmagic Design also announced DaVinci Resolve 16.1. The new features are focused mostly on the new cut page, which Blackmagic Design is continuing to work on in their goal to make it the world’s fastest editor, which as a FCP X user, I think they have their work cut out for them to claim that title as currently FCP X is by far the fastest editor on the market, followed closely by Resolve and AVID Media Composer with Premiere at the back of the pack as far as sheer editing speed.
Changes in the bin now allow customers to place media in various folders and isolate clips from being used when viewing clips in the source tape, sync bin or sync window. Clips will be seen in all folders below the current level, and as customers navigate around the levels in the bin, the source tape will reconfigure in real-time. There’s even a menu for directly selecting folders in a customer’s project.
DaVinci Resolve 16.1 Features:
I personally can’t wait to put the “Boring Detector” through its paces. DaVinci Resolve 16.1 public beta is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design website.
As you may or may not know, Blackmagic Design has a long history in building all kinds of cool, interesting and useful video convertor boxes of various types that do all kinds of cool, interesting useful things if you need to interface with, you know, real video tools like switchers for live television, projectors, recorders and other hardware.
At $995, the UltraStudio 4K Mini is essentially a tool that gives you hardware connections to the outside world for editing, archiving from legacy old broadcast video decks (do you ever need to access HDCAM or formats like DVCPro or Digital Betacam?), outputting broadcast graphics to a switcher or even, most relevant for 2019, live streaming for webisodes, webcasts, Facebook Live and other streaming kinds of things. What has enabled all of this input/output power has been the advent and almost standardization of Thunderbolt 3.
Some key features of the UltraStudio 4K Mini:
All in all, it seems like a pretty useful box that many users will find appealing for doing all kinds of different and unusual video workflows.
Blackmagic Speed Test has been an industry-standard tool that many of us have counted on to check system data throughput for years. If you set up a new RAID and want to benchmark, the Blackmagic Design Speed Test has been an invaluable testing tool to get a real-world measurement so you know your new RAID’s speed capability.
Blackmagic RAW Speed Test is a CPU and GPU benchmarking tool that users can use to test the speed of decoding full resolution Blackmagic RAW frames on their system. Multiple CPU cores and GPUs are automatically detected and used during the test so that customers get accurate and realistic results. Simply select Blackmagic RAW constant bitrate 3:1, 5:1, 8:1 or 12:1 and the desired resolution to perform the test. Although Blackmagic RAW Speed Test will run multiple resolution and frame rate tests on their system, customers can also select a specific test resolution to run on the main meters and the test will continue to run constantly, allowing stress testing of host computers.
Blackmagic RAW Speed Test Features:
While not a huge new product innovation, the new Blackmagic Speed Test is a welcome new version that updates the older version with new tools and new capability. Also, it’s free on the Blackmagic Design website, which is very cool—who doesn’t like free?
I don’t claim to be the Oracle of the video industry, but these new product announcements seem to indicate a few new ideas that occur to me about Blackmagic Design and their role within the industry. It’s 2019, and we have to acknowledge that video production is going through a lot of change right now. As predicted for the past few years, today we have amazingly sophisticated and capable products available that can do things that were inconceivable just a few short years ago.
What’s astounding is that we’re not only able to choose from all of these very capable products from dozens of different companies, we’re able to buy them for next to nothing. Products like the new Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 6K camera must be giving the strategists and designers at Canon, Sony and Panasonic a lot of sleepless nights. I’d seriously question if it’s even worth introducing as many new cameras as these companies have in the past when the price floor is going so low for such high-end features. Sure, it doesn’t have built-in NDs and TC i/o exactly (although it does work with external TC generators like the Tentacle Sync Es!), but each new camera seems to include more and more professional-level features, so much so that the lines are blurring between consumer/producer and professional cameras quite a bit.
If you’d have told the average person in production that the hottest cinema camera in 2019 was a 6K capable, tiny, lightweight removable lens body that could record Prores at up to 4K and Blackmagic RAW at up to 6K, nobody would have believed that was possible. When you’d have told them that all of this could be had for a mere $2,495, they’d have shaken their heads. That’s significantly less money than a camera back accessory cost for your average cinema camera sold in 2010; for that money, you get the entire camera, add battery, lens and a media card and you’re shooting. It’s amazing.
The other thing that I see Blackmagic Design doing is taking a page from the Apple playback of yore—they’re not becoming a camera company, and they’re becoming a system solution provider. Think about it, what other company in pro video/digital cinema makes the camera you shoot with, the editing software suite you edit with, the hardware interface that lets the editing program communicate with, ingest and playback almost any video format for live production, streaming and webcasting. They even make the benchmark software you use to optimize your GPU, CPU and drives/RAIDs. As far as I can think of, there’s no other company out there doing this, it’s smart, clever and makes great business sense. For the user, it’s a great benefit, Blackmagic Design is integrating their own version of RAW that works in their editing suite and there are several new features in Resolve that are specifically targeted to make it appealing to shoot with their new 6K, inexpensive camera.
It’s difficult to say what happens next in our business, but Blackmagic Design is making some bold moves that will put them into a powerful position against their competition. While I haven’t had my hands on the new Pocket Cinema 6K camera yet, I look forward to giving it a try and seeing what it can do for my own production pipeline. I’ve already been spending time in Resolve, so I look forward to trying out V16.1 too. Video production and digital cinema are headed into uncharted waters as far as the economic model, rates are down, production budgets are down, although the volume of production is up. Blackmagic Design has given users some valuable, affordable new tools to use in the reality of what’s happening in production.
Photo by Brooke Shaden
Female photographers and filmmakers who are looking to expand their skills by working with a mentor, as well as getting funding and gear, still have time to submit to Sony’s Alpha Female “creators-in-residence” program, which is in its second year.
The deadline for the contest is August 20.
This year, Sony says, the “Alpha Female contest will recognize a total of six award winners: four in the category of Photography and Videography, and two in the category of Filmmaking/Cinematography.” The winners will also receive educational opportunities and invitations to specially organized networking events, which is in addition to project funding and Sony gear. (You don’t have to currently shoot with Sony gear to win.) Mentors will also be selected from Sony Artisans.
Contest applications and official contest rules for the Alpha Female Creator-in-residence Program are available at www.alphauniverse.com/alpha-female
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
Winners to Receive $21,000 Project Budget, up to $5,000 in Sony Gear and Industry-renowned Mentors
SAN DIEGO — August 5, 2019 —Sony Electronics Inc. today announced contest applications are now open for the second Alpha Female Creators-in-residence program.
Launched in summer 2018, Alpha Female is a program that provides extensive resources and opportunities to advance the careers of female photographers and filmmakers. In 2019, Sony is renewing the initiative and remaining firmly committed to promoting diversity and fostering the growth of all voices in the photography, videography and filmmaking industries.
In the successful inaugural year of the Alpha Female program, five women were selected from more than 6,000 contest applications to participate in the creators-in-residence program, each receiving a prize package that included financial support for personal projects, along with an assortment of Sony camera gear and a mentorship with one of Sony’s female Artisans of Imagery.
“This program inspired me to push myself further than ever before, while also opening so many doors for my career,” said 2018 Creator-in-residence winner and award-winning wedding photographer Megan Allen. “My work is light-years ahead of where it was seven months ago, and my clients are thrilled with the results.”
This year’s Alpha Female contest will recognize a total of six award winners: four in the category of Photography and Videography, and two in the category of Filmmaking/Cinematography. In addition to project funding and Sony gear, each winner will receive educational opportunities and invitations to specially organized networking events throughout the program.
“Alpha Female is a way for us to bring talented female creators out of the shadows and into the foreground in an industry where they are too commonly underrepresented,”said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions at Sony Electronics. “We are continually inspired by their work and are proud to offer our support.”
Winners of the Sony Alpha Female award program will receive $21,000 and up to $5,000 in Sony equipment to help fulfill their creative projects, as well as access to additional loaner equipment to help bring their artistic vision to life.
Each winner will be paired with a successful Alpha Female Artisan photographer or filmmaker—women who have all been paving the way for the next generation of women creators. These mentors will impart wisdom and professional knowledge, helping winners to elevate their craft and career to new heights.
The Alpha Female mentors are among the most talented photographers and filmmakers in the industry. Supporting mentors of the Alpha Female program include Amber Baird, Brooke Shaden, Caroline Jensen, Cristina Mittermeier, Jean Fruth, Katrin Eismann, Marvi Lacar, Me Ra Koh, Nancy Borowick, Sara France, Taylor Rees and Zabrina Deng. Final mentors will be matched according to each winner’s needs and creative style.
Contest applications and official contest rules for the Alpha Female Creator-in-residence Program are available at www.alphauniverse.com/alpha-female
A variety of additional content related to Sony’s “Be Alpha” campaign, including articles, videos and events, can be found at www.alphauniverse.com/BeAlpha
The post There’s Still Time To Submit For Sony’s Alpha Female Contest For Photographers and Filmmakers appeared first on HD Video Pro.
Just recently, an amazing thing happened to me. Not one, not two, but three different clients within a two-week period requested that we shoot their project in 4K RAW. Big deal you say? It actually is a big deal and in this blog, I’m going to focus on why this represents an actual global mind shift, at least for our clients. Frankly, compared to the feedback we were getting before this on what formats our clients wanted us to shoot, the whole thing has left me feeling like I’m living in a parallel universe. It’s like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine meets three doppelgangers for Jerry, George and Kramer who are the same yet completely different in attitude and actions (if you can’t tell, I’m a Seinfeld fan and go through life assuming that most other people in Western Civilization have also watched the show, weird, huh?) In the episode, Jerry tells Elaine about the existence of a Bizarro world where everything is the opposite of the reality that you know.
For years, I’ve been trying to convince our clients of the value in shooting their projects in RAW. When I shoot still photography, I have been shooting RAW files for as long as I could remember but for video, shooting RAW, until fairly recently, was an expensive endeavor in both budget and time. It’s still is to a point, but the bar has been rapidly falling as media costs, storage costs and computers and editing software become more and more common. Our clients mostly have clients who are the studios in the PR/Marketing and Home Entertainment departments and even today, most of these clients are very conservative as far as preferring 1080 over 4K or anything greater resolution. We typically shoot a bunch of long interviews for these clients’ projects. A good portion of this footage is shot green screen, so I’ve been trying to get our clients to move to shoot RAW, especially for when we shoot green screen.
Which of these two formats that our camera shoots do you think would be better for shooting great green screen footage?
As an editor who occasionally composites, the 12-bit footage would allow for pulling much cleaner and smoother composites without a doubt.
There’s a considerable cost to shoot RAW footage though. That cost can be broken down into two categories, media and editing/archival storage cost and time.
To give you an idea of the media costs that it takes to shoot RAW, of course, it varies with the camera. On the high end, cameras like the Panasonic Varicam 35, the Canon C700FF, the RED lineup and the Arri lineup are all capable of shooting RAW 4K and in some cases, up to 8K.
As an example, if you use the Canon C700FF, the add-on Codex RAW recorder costs you about $7,000. Plus, you need to add on another $7,000 per 2 TB storage drive. And don’t forget another $5,700 for the Codex drive reader. All in, you’ll pay an additional $20k-plus to shoot RAW on that camera. If we go down the line to the C700FF’s little brother, the C200, the economics to shoot RAW change considerably. The C200 shoots a fixed 5:1 compression ratio Cinema RAW Light format to CFast 2.0 cards. In the beginning, a little over a year and a half ago, these cards were pretty expensive, but since then, because there are now so many other cameras that can shoot the same cards, economies of scale have kicked in and you can buy a 256 GB CFast 2.0 card for as little as $149.
If I can buy a 256 Gb for $149, how long of a recording will that card hold? With it’s fixed data rate of 1 Gbps, the C200 will record 34 minutes of DCI 4K to the 256 GB card. A 256 GB SD card for the C200 won’t record 4K RAW, but it will let you record 4K (UHD) XF-AVC at 160 Mbps, but that recording will be 8-bit, not 12-bit and will not work very well for green screen compositing. The XF-AVC recording is 6.2X smaller than the CFast 2.0 recording though.
One other thing you should consider is the time it takes to download and clone these RAW files. To shoot 34 minutes of XF-AVC, I can download the footage to a drive in about 3 to 4 minutes whereas 34 minutes of the Cinema RAW Light footage takes between 24 and 28 minutes on average. You can see how, if you’re shooting hours of long interviews in RAW, it’s easy to fall behind and possibly run out of cards to shoot to. This has been the other major factor that has, until recently, soured our clients on letting us shoot at least some of their projects in RAW.
I attribute a few factors to our clients’ recent change of heart about letting us shoot at least some of their projects in RAW. The first being that storage drive costs have continued to fall. We recommend the Seagate Backup Plus Hub 8 TB drives that have been available at Costco for as little as $129 on sale, less than $18 per GB, which is quite incredible. The drives are name brand, as reliable as anything else on the market and while not fast enough to serve as a good editing drives, they are an excellent value for storage drives to hold client footage. We always insist on a minimum of a double backup for all footage and highly recommend triple backups for crucial projects, with at least one set of media being stored at an alternate location from the main drive(s). The cost of storing RAW is now pretty minimal for clients.
The other big factor has been simply picture quality. We make sure to light green screen properly, but even with perfect lighting, pulling clean composites can be challenging with blonde hair, hair that’s thinning with the green screen shining through it, the view through lenses of glasses and other challenges like this. Having 12-bit 4K makes compositing much less of a problem-solving exercise as the 12-bit, when properly exposed, gives you an incredibly robust signal to work with. Clients have seen the value in better-quality footage and now seem to be willing to spend the extra time for us to shoot RAW, download it to their media and for the extra time it takes their assistant editors to convert the media to proxy for off-line editing.
As a cinematographer, shooting the best quality format and resolution makes me happy because it gives clients the most options to do what they need to with the footage. Shooting RAW makes clients happy because it results in fewer headaches with quality, being able to adjust white balance after the shoot and they can archive essentially what becomes a digital negative, just like we used to do with physical negatives in the days of shooting film. Shooting RAW isn’t the ultimate panacea for all problems, and it’s not right for every workflow, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re trying to differentiate your work and the value you can add to clients, studios and distributors.
Finding the right monitor to use for your main edit app monitor can be a bit daunting. I want good color accuracy, the right inputs and something that’s easy to customize for my environment. I had the opportunity to run with a BenQ PD2720U display for a few weeks. I was able to see how it fit my needs as a monitor running various applications from edit to graphics to color.
First a few details about the monitor. BenQ—pronounced “ben-cue”—is a Taiwanese company that has been making monitors since the mid-90s and professional series displays since 2014. Their PD series of monitors are designed for precise color accuracy.
The BenQ PD2720U is a 27-inch 4K UHD IPS LCD panel. (IPS relates to how the LCD “pixels” are arranged.) IPS was developed to help with off-axis viewing and color fidelity. The display includes BenQ’s “Low Blue Light” and “ZeroFlicker” technology to help reduce eye fatigue. While not something I could test, I understand eye fatigue problems since I view displays all day long.
For video inputs, it has two Thunderbolt 3 connections so that you can connect a second 4K display, a DisplayPort (1.4) connection and two HDMI (2.0) connections. Beyond the video connections, there’s a built-in USB 3.1 hub.
The monitor comes with a well-designed stand that allows for tilt, swivel and 90-degree rotation. The stand includes a nice cable management loop that keeps cables in order even when height and rotation are adjusted.
There’s also a remote control (BenQ calls it a Hotkey Puck G2) that’s attached to a special USB port. This allows you to control the monitor without having to reach behind the unit to feel for various buttons.
Now, on to my experience using the BenQ PD2720U. Setting up the display was easy, and the stand felt sturdy. The cable management loop seems like a small thing, but when you have clients facing the back of your monitor all the time, organized cables are great.
The overall design of the display—very thin top and side bezels—kept my focus on the image display. I also appreciated the ease of switching to portrait display (yeah, I know, portrait!) when working with content destined for “the socials.”
I mentioned before that color accuracy is on my checklist for monitors. Out of the box, the BenQ PD2720U comes calibrated and has the documentation to prove it.
BenQ has teamed up with Portrait Displays to implement “Verified by CalMAN” to assure that the display meets published specs. As far as color gamut, the display covers 100% sRGB, 100% of Rec. 709 and Adobe RGB and 96% of DCI-P3. You can even split-screen gamuts to compare.
While I don’t have access to the more advanced spectroradiometers, I did use CalMAN’s C6 colorimeter to confirm the Delta E (essentially, color accuracy), which was 1.21 in this case. The higher the number the less color accuracy there is. I look for a value of under 2.
The BenQ PD2720U can accept HDR10 content, but its brightness only reaches 350cd/m2 (nits). If you need to max out at 1000 nits for HDR10, you have to take that into account when setting the display for HDR mode.
Speaking of setting modes, I got to like the Hotkey Puck. It was easy to get to settings. No reaching around feeling for buttons and joysticks. This also made switching inputs quick.
Sometimes I work on projects where my workstation has to be completely disconnected from any network and I have to use a second computer for some prep work. I can connect both to the BenQ PD2720U and use the Hotkey Puck to quickly switch between the two.
So, after using the display for a few weeks, I came to respect the color accuracy, the flexibility of inputs and the mechanical design. Oh and the Hotkey Puck. The BenQ PD2720U fit right in on my desk.
Blackmagic Design ‘s new Pocket Cinema Camera 6K
During an online presentation, which was live streamed via YouTube earlier today, Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design, made several announcements of new products and software updates: The announcements included Blackmagic Design’s new Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, which offers a larger full Super 35-size 6K HDR image sensor. (The previous version had a Four Thirds-sized sensor and lower resolution.)
Petty also announced the latest update to the company’s popular video-editing, color, visual-effects and audio post-production software, DaVinci Resolve 16.1, and introduced a new capture-and-playback solution, UltraStudio 4K Mini. Lastly, Petty announced a new desktop app (on Mac OS X, only): Blackmagic RAW Speed Test app.
The most notable new product Petty announced was the new Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, which includes a full, Super 35-sized, 6K HDR image sensor.
But there are other prominent changes to the camera, as well. For instance, Petty said the new camera has an EF-lens mount, simply because, “The biggest thing that customers said to us was that they want an EF lens mount,” said Petty during his presentation. This allows filmmakers to use lenses with an EF-lens mount from a number of third-party companies, including Canon, Zeiss, Sigma and Schneider.
Although many features on the new model are the same as the 4K model, there are a number of new features on the new 6K model, including:
Petty said the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K was available immediately for $2,495, which is significantly more than the 4K, which sells for $1,295. “So we now have two models in the family – a 4K MFT model and a 6K EF model,” said Petty.
Blackmagic Design had announced the full update of DaVinci Resolve to version 16 at this year’s NAB show. But today, they are offering a public beta of version 16.1. New enhancements to the software include:
Petty also announced that the company had updated one of its three UltraStudio hardware units. The reason is that Petty said that the UltraStudio 4K was getting old and had some limitations: For example, this previous version had only Thunderbolt 2. “And the fans were a bit noisy,” Petty noted. Today, the company announced the new UltraStudio 4K Mini: It’s a new
capture-and-playback solution for Thunderbolt 3 computers with 12G-SDI, HDMI, analog video and audio connections that lets customers build solutions for editing, color grading, live broadcast graphics, archiving from traditional broadcast decks and live internet streaming.
According to the company, the new UltraStudio 4K Mini allows customers to “connect Thunderbolt 3 computers to any kind of video equipment for building high performance edit workstations, archiving from old broadcast decks, outputting broadcast graphics and even live streaming. Simply connect to the Thunderbolt 3 port to get a wide range of video and audio connections that operate in all SD, HD, Ultra HD and 4K DCI formats up to 60 frames per second.” The hardware is also designed to work with popular video software on Mac, Windows and Linux, such as DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro and many more.
The UltraStudio 4K Mini is available immediately from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for $995.
Lastly, Petty announced a new desktop app, Blackmagic RAW Speed Test app, which is a new performance measurement tool for Mac OS X, which, according to the company “tests a computer’s CPU and GPU speeds using full resolution Blackmagic RAW image decodes making it possible for customers to get a real world estimate of their computers performance.”
For more information or to read the press releases, click on the following links:
The post Blackmagic Design Introduces Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, Software Updates And More appeared first on HD Video Pro.
Syrp’s Tilt Platform Accessory
Sometimes all you need is the right accessory to help you improve your footage. That’s what Syrp, a company that produces all sorts of gear and accessories for filmmakers, is hoping to do with the new Tilt Platform. For videographers and cinematographers, such an accessory can be a powerful way to improve production value since it lets you move your camera in interesting and creative ways. According to Syrp, ”it’s the perfect accessory to add dynamic vertical motion to your next shoot!”
It can also be an important accessory for levelling your camera when you position your slider on an angle. Plus, “it gives time-lapses photographers and filmmakers the ability to create unique vertical shots while keeping your camera perfectly level and can be used with manually operated sliders or with motion control,” according to the company.
Technical specifications include:
Last October, Adobe introduced its new mobile-based video app, Premiere Rush CC (which had been earlier called Project Rush). The app was the company’s first “all-in-one, cross-device video editing app that makes creating and sharing online content easier than ever.”
Earlier this week, they announced a major update to that app—with version 1.2—which allows you to speed up and slow down video clips in the apps. According to Adobe, the ability to adjust speed was one of the most requested features. In addition to slowing down or speeding up footage, Adobe said you can now “add adjustable ramps, and maintain audio pitch.”
For basic speed adjustments, you can use a percentage value to display speed, in which “100% is real time. Values below 100% result in slow motion, and values above 100% create fast motion.”
For more, click on this link.
The post Update To Adobe Premiere Rush CC Lets You Adjust Speed appeared first on HD Video Pro.
ARRI’s new Digital Encoder Head (DEH-1)
Today, ARRI has introduced a new camera stabilizer system: the Digital Encoder Head (DEH-1). The head is designed to operate ARRI’s remote-controlled Stabilized Remote Head (SRH-3) and also interfaces with any Mitchell flat-base tripod or support. Based on Cartoni’s well-known technology, ARRI’s DEH-1 is the first digital-encoder head that communicates through the LBUS protocol.
Other features on the DEH-1 include:
According to ARRI, the DEH-1 also features “a flat ‘cheese plate’ at the top, complete with multiple threaded holes, to install a monitor or accessories.”
The DEH-1 will be available August 1, 2019.
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
August 1, 2019; Munich – Ready for action, the new Digital Encoder Head (DEH-1) is the latest edition to ARRI’s Camera Stabilizer System range. Specifically designed to operate ARRI’s remote-controlled Stabilized Remote Head (SRH-3), the DEH-1 is a fluid head that interfaces with any Mitchell flat base tripod or support. Based on Cartoni’s well-known technology, ARRI’s DEH-1 is the first digital encoder head that communicates through the LBUS protocol.
Rugged and easy to operate, the DEH-1 features reliable construction and precision engineering, making it ideal for a variety of applications from broadcast to documentary to feature film productions. Camera operators will find the traditional fluid head application intuitive and straightforward. The adjustable drag system allows for extremely precise pan and tilt movements. The DEH-1 is a smart alternative to sophisticated hand wheels or the joystick.
The new digital encoder head can be seamlessly integrated into broadcast productions and is also available with a complete set of Master Grips (focus and zoom) or with an OCU-1 combined with Master Grip zoom rocker. The LBUS protocol, in particular, allows for the Master Grips or the OCU-1 to be connected to the DEH-1 with just one cable, allowing easy setup. The DEH-1 also connects directly to the SRH-3’s remote control, with a single LBUS cable. All the values and parameters of the DEH-1, the Master Grips, and the OCU-1 are managed using the touch panel of the SRH-3 remote control. The entire system can be controlled centrally using a single device.
The DEH-1 features a flat “cheese plate” at the top, complete with multiple threaded holes, to install a monitor or accessories. The fluid drag on both pan and tilt modes are the patented Cartoni fluid drag modules in seven steps, modified to ARRI specifications. The two telescopic pan bars carry two sliding counterweights to compensate the weight of the attached Master Grips or OCU-1. The DEH-1 is available in sets for right-handed or left-handed operators.
Since the DEH-1 comes with its own range of compatible devices and accessories, all designed and manufactured by ARRI using LBUS protocols, ARRI is able to guarantee smooth workflows as well as ongoing performance improvements and support.
The first customer shipment of the DEH-1 will begin August 1, 2019.
The post ARRI Introduces Digital Encoder Head DEH-1 Stabilized Remote Head appeared first on HD Video Pro.
A screen shot of sample footage from Shutterstock’s new Elements video service.
Earlier this month, when Shutterstock announced the release of a new video service, called Elements, the email that introduced the service noted that, “Today, more video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major US television networks have created in 30 years.” (The stat is from Wordstream, and has been cited on Inc. and elsewhere. )
It’s an astonishing amount of video, which Shutterstock says is increasing standards and resulting in shorter timelines, as well.
And it’s also why Shutterstock says they’ve unveiled their new Elements collection, which provides “visual effects assets made with cinema-grade equipment that can make any project look like a big-budget production in no time.” According to the press release, Elements includes “over 3,000 blockbuster-quality video effects created by industry professionals, including 4K lens flares, essential transitions, captivating video kits with smoke, fire, explosions and more.”
What’s nice is that Shutterstock is also including detailed tutorials along with their service on how to optimize effects. (The last YouTube video is an example of these tutorials. ) The company says the wide selection of elements ranges from “digital assets, like transitions and overlays, to physical effects like explosions or glass shattering.: Shutterstock notes that the physical assets were each filmed on-location with specialists using high-end gear—like the Ricochet VFX pack: That pack “includes authentic muzzle flashes filmed working alongside gun experts, or the Detonate VFX pack, which offers explosions as wide 250 feet.”
For more, check out these three YouTube videos. The first is the trailer for the new services, and the second is a behind-the-scenes video that show how they filmed some of the explosions. (Boom!!) The last is a tutorial video:
For more information, visit Shutterstock Elements
If your film and video workflows continue to get more mobile, you may want to check out the new microphone: The New RØDE Lavalier GO, which is a very small, discreet and lightweight mic that can fit most recording devices with a 3.5mm TRS microphone input. What’s more, the new mic plugs directly into the Wireless Go system (a system that has a transmitter/mic combo and receiver that weigh just 31g each and are very compact).
RØDE says the new mic is great for those that need the “extra flexibility of a lapel mic… Just plug it into the transmitter, clip it onto your shirt and slip the transmitter into your pocket (or clip it to your belt) for super compact wireless audio.”
Features on the new mic include:
RØDE says the mic is optimized for use with the RØDE Wireless GO, but that “it works flawlessly with almost any device with 3.5mm TRS mic input.” For more, check out RØDE’s blog
Here are several links to some intriguing stories with cinematographers on the web:
Today, the website The Digital Bits has included a really remarkable story: According to the editor in chief of the website, Bill Hunt, “The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City has created a great video on the early history of film that’s well with a look today. It’s called ‘How to See the First Movies‘ and it contends that the ideas most of us have about what very early movies looked like are all wrong.” See the video below.
For more, check out the story on The Digital Bits.
The Tribeca Film Festival recently announced that its 19th edition will take place April 15-26, 2020 in New York City. And submissions for the 2020 Festival will open on August 19 via Tribeca’s website or FilmFreeway for feature and short films; episodic and online storytelling; virtual and immersive; and branded entertainment. Here are the submission deadlines for the 2020 festival:
Deadlines for Feature and Short Films, Tribeca TV, Tribeca N.O.W. and Tribeca Immersive:
August 19, 2019 – Submissions Open
September 25, 2019 – Early Deadline
October 30, 2019 – Official Deadline
December 2, 2019 – Late Deadline
Deadlines for Tribeca X Award:
August 19, 2019 – Submissions Open
October 30, 2019 – Early Deadline
December 2, 2019 – Official Deadline
January 15, 2020 – Late Deadline
Earlier this month, Nikon announced the winners of this year’s Nikon Storytellers Scholarship. The ten winning students received $10,000 in academic scholarships “to support their growth as creators and celebrate their commitment to visual storytelling,” said Nikon.
2019 Nikon Storytellers Scholarship Winners:
The Nikon Storytellers Scholarship had a prestigious group of creatives as its judging panel, which included Daniella Zalcman, pro documentary photographer and founder of Women Photograph; professional photographers and Nikon USA ambassadors Joe McNally and Matthew Jordan Smith. It also included other industry pros, like Tim Rasmussen (Digital Photo Editor, ESPN) and Tom Kennedy (Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers), among others.
For more information on the latest Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.
The new Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S portrait lens
Today, Nikon again has affirmed its commitment to expanding its line of interchangeable lenses for its Z-Series of full-frame mirrorless cameras with the announcement of the new Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S prime lens. According to Nikon, the new lens will be a versatile lens that’s idea for, “portraits, fashion photography, event images, tight interview shots or B-roll footage that add emphasis to any scene. This is also the latest lens to join the Nikkor S-Line, representing pinnacle in optical superiority and construction.”
Nikon also says the new lens has “a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture” for shooting in low light and to capture images with dramatic shallow depth-of-field. As with other Z-series lenses, the image-stabilization system relies on the Z-series camera bodies’ in-camera 5-axis VR.
Other features of the lens include:
Nikon will offer the new Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S in September of this year for around $799.95.
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
NIKON UNVEILS THE NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S – A FAST, FLATTERING PORTRAIT LENS FOR Z SERIES CREATORS
The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S Delivers Gorgeous, Natural Bokeh and Remarkable Edge-to-Edge Sharpness for Crisp Portraits and Dramatic Video
MELVILLE, NY (July 31, 2019 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S lens, bringing a fast prime with a classic medium telephoto focal length to Z series full-frame mirrorless cameras. Ideal for headshots, fashion, wedding/event photography and tight video shots, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is designed to take full advantage of the wider, brighter and faster Z mount. This new addition to the S-Line delivers exceptional sharpness all the way to the corners of the frame, even at f/1.8, while integrating the latest NIKKOR optical technologies for intense rendering capability. Nikon Z series photographers and videographers who want to bring striking clarity to a subject’s eyes or who demand shallow depth of field and beautiful, natural bokeh will find the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S a welcome addition to their kit.
“The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S lens is so sharp, yet the background blur is so natural; the incredible detail captured with this lens is nothing short of striking,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “For fashion and portrait photographers, to wedding shooters and all types of videographers, now is the time to discover why the new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 will be an indispensable asset for those creatives who are familiar with the outstanding performance of the Nikon Z series.”
NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S
With the addition of the new 85mm f/1.8 S, Nikon Z series photo and video shooters now have a native Z mount option for capturing incredible portraits, fashion photography, event images, tight interview shots or B-roll footage that add emphasis to any scene. This is also the latest lens to join the NIKKOR S-Line, representing pinnacle in optical superiority and construction.
The NIKKOR Z 85mm’s fast f/1.8 maximum aperture allows users to confidently shoot in low light and capture gorgeous, shallow depth of field that adds dimensionality and character to high-resolution images and 4K video footage alike. Helping to provide a natural look is a lens diaphragm consisting of nine rounded blades, which produce smooth, natural bokeh that gently leads the viewer’s eye to the subject of the frame. With the addition of Eye-Detection autofocus included in the recent release of Firmware 2.0, the Nikon Z series cameras and NIKKOR Z lenses offer even more control and capabilities when capturing stunning portraits and candids.
This lens uses an all-new optical design of 12 elements in 8 groups and features the industry-leading lens technology consumers have come to expect from NIKKOR glass. Two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements help ensure minimal aberration, while Nikon’s patented Nano Crystal Coating offers superior control of ghosting and flare. Additionally, the high-speed Multi-Focus System realizes superior resolving power at minimum focus distance. These cutting-edge features are protected from the elements by Nikon’s professional-grade dust and drip resistance.
As with all NIKKOR Z S-Line lenses, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is crafted to cater to the needs of videographers as well as image-makers. The lens features ultra-quiet focus motors, minimized focus breathing, a customizable control ring for smooth adjustment of aperture or exposure compensation, and full compatibility with the in-body 5-axis VR found in the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame mirrorless cameras.
NIKKOR Z S-Line
The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S joins the superb “S-Line” of NIKKOR Z lenses. Designed alongside the revolutionary Nikon Z mount system, S-Line lenses boast superior resolution, beautiful bokeh rendition, exceptional point-image reproduction, enhanced video recording performance and unmatched edge-to-edge sharpness, even when shooting at the maximum aperture.
Born out of Nikon’s heritage of optical excellence, the S-Line sits at the cutting edge of imaging technology and innovation and represents a new potential for image expression.
Price and Availability
The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S will be available in September 2019 at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $799.95*. For more information on the latest Nikon products, including the new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S and 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.
The post Nikon Expands Z-Series Lens Lineup With New Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S Portrait Lens appeared first on HD Video Pro.
Red Giant, which creates video effects, motion graphics tools and VFX software to for a variety of content creators, including filmmakers, VFX artists and motion designers, has just announced its 24-hour summer sale. According to the company, “for 24 hours only, from 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, to 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, full products, upgrades and new subscriptions in the redgiant.com online store will be 40% off.” Sales include a variety of apps and suites, including its new Red Giant VFX Suite, which is “a powerful lineup of keying, tracking, cleanup and visual effects compositing tools” that can be used as a plugin for Adobe After Effects, according to the company.
Savings apply to all regular and academic customers (who already receive 50% off); the sale excludes all subscription renewals, Universe Monthly subscriptions and the Red Giant Volume Program.
Check out Red Giant’s Youtube video of the Summer 2019 Sale — 24 hours only!
Here’s what’s included in the flash sale:
Additional details on the 24-hour flash sale:
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
Red Giant Celebrates Summer with 40% Off
On July 30, 2019 for 24 hours only, redgiant.com shoppers can save 40% on Red Giant products including the all-new VFX Suite
Portland, OR – July 23, 2019 – Red Giant just announced its upcoming 24-hour summer sale. For 24 hours only, from 8am PDT (11am EDT) on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 to 8am PDT (11am EDT) on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, full products, upgrades and new subscriptions in the redgiant.com online store will be 40% off – including the all-new Red Giant VFX Suite, a powerful lineup of keying, tracking, cleanup and visual effects compositing tools, all right inside Adobe® After Effects®, part of Adobe Creative Cloud®. Savings apply to all regular and academic customers (who already receive 50% off); the sale excludes all subscription renewals, Universe Monthly subscriptions and the Red Giant Volume Program.
What’s Included in the Sale:
Win the Complete Red Giant Toolset
In addition to 40% off products in the Red Giant online store, every 24 hours for the next seven days leading up to the sale, Red Giant will be giving away its complete tool set comprised of VFX Suite, Trapcode Suite, Magic Bullet Suite, Shooter Suite and Universe.
To enter, follow @redgiantnews on Twitter and retweet the special contest tweets that use the hashtag: #RGSummerSale. Enter once every 24 hours for a chance to win. Contest ends Monday, July 29, 2019, at 6pm PDT (9pm EDT).
How to Get 40% Off
Starting at 8am PDT (11am EDT) on July 30, 2019, visit redgiant.com and use the code found on the homepage to activate major savings on purchases made in the Red Giant online store.
Savings on products will include:
NEW – VFX Suite – $599 (usually $999): VFX Suite offers a powerful toolkit for realistic visual effects composites in Adobe After Effects, including Supercomp, a completely reinvented compositing environment that makes it easy to create complex, seamless composites. With Supercomp, light and atmospheric effects interact with all of your layers and the elements of a scene in a far more natural way than can be modeled with a simple stack of 2D layers.
Comprised of nine tools in total, VFX Suite offers a powerful toolkit for realistic VFX composites, automatic chroma-keying, lightning-fast and accurate planar tracking, object replacement / removal, photo-realistic glow effects, beautiful prismatic displacement effects and camera-inspired lens flares for visual effects and motion graphics. Watch now: the all new VFX Suite.
Trapcode Suite 15, now with Fluid Dynamics – $599 (usually $999): The industry’s most essential tools for creating 3D motion graphics and visual effects in Adobe After Effects CC, Trapcode Suite 15 introduces the Dynamic Fluids physics engine. For the first time ever, artists can create particle systems within After Effects that interact in a realistic fluid environment, creating particles that swirl, mix and react to realistic forces. See what’s new in Trapcode Suite 15.
Magic Bullet Suite 13 – $539 (usually $899): Magic Bullet Suite 13 gives filmmakers everything needed to make footage look great, right on editing timelines. Balance out shots with powerful color adjustments that work the way the human eye expects them to. Go beyond color correction, with accurate simulations of lens filters and film stocks. Magic Bullet Suite delivers powerful real-time color correction thanks to OpenCL support in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, enabling filmmakers to improve footage without ever needing to switch to a different app.
Shooter Suite 13.0 – $239 (usually $399): Shooter Suite 13.0 is a set of purpose-built applications, including the industry-leading PluralEyes, that give directors of photography, videographers, shooters and filmmakers the ability to bring footage from set to post. With PluralEyes 4 ($179; usually $299), users can sync audio and video directly in Premiere Pro, without having to leave the host app. Compatible with any NLE, PluralEyes 4.0 features Smart Start capabilities, automatic drift correction, vertical track scaling, integration with Red Giant Offload, and more simplicity and automation than ever before.
*Universe 3.0 – $119 (usually $199): Universe 3.0 offers an enhanced user experience thanks to the brand new Universe Dashboard, a dockable control board for Premiere Pro and After Effects that makes it simple to add effects and presets. Five new, customizable text generation effects give users even more ways to add a unique flair or specific look to their work. Universe also includes tools for stylizing video, adding glows and blurs, creating motion graphics and much more. See what’s new in Universe 3.0.
*The discount on Universe subscriptions is for customers who have never purchased an annual subscription of Red Giant Universe. If you have previously had a Universe annual subscription, you will not be able to use the coupon code to buy an annual subscription. If you are currently (or have been) a monthly subscriber, but have never owned a license of Universe annual, you are eligible for this promotion. This 40%-off price is a one-time introductory rate for Universe Annual. After that, the renewal price will be at the standard annual fee.
About Red Giant
Red Giant is a software company made up of talented artists and technologists who collaborate to create unique tools for filmmakers, editors, VFX artists, and motion designers. Our company culture is focused on finding balance between work and life – we call it “the double bottom line” – this philosophy helps us ignore complexity in favor of building simple tools that yield giant results. Over the last decade, our products (like Magic Bullet, Trapcode, Universe and PluralEyes) have become the standard in film and broadcast post-production. With over 200,000 users, it’s nearly impossible to watch 20 minutes of TV without seeing our software in use. From our experiences as artists and filmmakers, we aspire to not only provide tools for artists, but inspiration as well. Watch our films, learn from over 200 free tutorials, or try our software at www.redgiant.com.
The post Deals: Get 40 Percent Off Red Giant Software During 24-Hour Summer Sale appeared first on HD Video Pro.
New Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII advanced point-and-shoot with new Shooting Grip Kit (external microphone sold separately.)
Although the market for point-and-shoot cameras nearly disappeared a few years after smartphones began shipping with capable cameras, advanced point-and-shoots, sometimes referred to as bridge cameras, have not only survived, but appear to be making a comeback. At the very least, camera manufacturers are continuing to cram features into these small, portable models. Case in point: Today, Sony has announced the new 20.1-megapixel Sony DSC-RX100 VII, the seventh RX100-series model for the camera maker.
[See image gallery at www.hdvideopro.com] Part of what has made Sony’s RX100-series (and RX10-series) models so popular and relevant is that in the past, photographers felt that simple point-and-shoots never provided users with anywhere near the power, speed or versatility available on interchangeable-lens cameras, like DSLRs and mirrorless models. But the RX-series cameras (and other similar models from other brands) have come with impressive features.
The Cyber-shot DSC RX100 VII is a perfect example. In fact, in the press release for the camera, Sony highlights the fact that “Newest Addition to RX Series Delivers Alpha 9 Level Speed and AF Performance with Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF,” which refers to Sony’s a9 mirrorless camera.
Here are some of the impress highlights and features on the new model:
Shooting Grip Kit for Vloggers And Jacket Case:
In addition to the new RX100 VII, Sony is also introducing two new accessories:
Pricing and Availability
Sony says the new RX100 VII and the LCJ-RXK jacket case will both be available in August 2019 for around $1,200 and $85, respectively. The new RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit will be available later in 2019 for around $1,300.
For more, see the following press release:
[[ press release ]]
Sony Brings New Level of Power to Premium Compact Camera Line-up with Introduction of the RX100 VII
Newest Addition to RX Series Delivers Alpha 9 Level Speed and AF Performance with Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF
SAN DIEGO — July 25, 2019 — Sony Electronics today announced a new addition to its award-winning series of RX compact cameras: the RX100 VII (model DSC-RX100M7). Utilizing technologies that were previously available only in Sony’s acclaimed Alpha 9 full-frame mirrorless camera, the RX100 VII achieves new levels of performance in a compact camera, in both stills and movie shooting.
The RX100 VII is powered by a newly developed 1.0-type stacked 20.1 MP Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and the latest generation BIONZ X image processor, which work together to deliver peak autofocus and speed performance that has never before been available in a compact camera. Flexibility of shooting is ensured by a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mmviii F2.8-4.5 high magnification zoom lens, making the RX100 VII a versatile choice for all types of shooting scenarios and users, ranging from photo enthusiasts to professionals.
“The RX100 VII sets a new standard for performance in compact cameras,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions at Sony Electronics. “Sony will continue to drive innovation in the world of imaging, constantly pushing to empower creators with the most capable tools that allow them to realize their vision, and create like they have never been able to before.”
New Standard for AF Performance in a Compact Camera
The RX100 VII offers a world-leadingv 357 focal-plane phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points. In addition, thanks to a newly optimized lens drive control, the world’s fastestv 0.02 secvi AF acquisition time is realized. A major leap in AF/AE tracking performance during continuous shooting[xiii] means the camera performs AF/AE calculations up to 60 times per secondii and captures fast moving action at 20fpsiii with AF/AE tracking, ensuring that each moment is shot with swift and accurate focus.
In addition, the image sensor realizes blackout-free shootingiv for a completely live view, even when continuous shooting at 20fpsiii; the same experience as the Alpha 9. The RX100 VII also debuts a new drive mode, Single Burst Shootingix, for capturing the perfect high-speed shot at up to 90fpsx in JPEG/RAW format utilizing the anti-distortion shutter. Single Burst Shootingix allows the photographer to frame fast moving action and shoot as if taking a single shot, but the camera will actually deliver seven still images taken at 90fps, 60fps or 30fps, so the user can select the perfect moment.
For the first time in a compact camera, the RX100 VII introduces advanced Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF capabilities. Real-time Tracking utilizes Sony’s latest algorithm, including artificial intelligence-based object recognition to ensure that subjects can be captured with excellent accuracy, even via the touch panel on the rear screen. Real-time Eye AF, the latest version of Sony’s acclaimed Eye AF technology, employs A.I.-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time. This results in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF for both humans and animalsvii, which allows the photographer to concentrate exclusively on composition[xiv].
Movie Making Marvel
The compact and lightweight characteristics of the RX100 VII (approx. 302g / 102mm x 58mm x 43mm[xv]) mean it can always be carried and has mounting flexibility that larger cameras simply cannot match.
Despite the small form factors, there are a multitude of pro-level movie making capabilities, including:
Shooting Grip Kit for Vloggers
Sony will also be introducing a Shooting Grip Kit (DSC-RX100M7G), which includes an RX100 VII and Shooting Grip (VCT-SGR1) that allows for easy recording and zooming right at your fingertips; Bracket with Accessory Shoe; and two Rechargeable Battery Packs (NP-BX1)[xxi]. Pair this kit with an external microphone (sold separately), such as the Sony Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M) which mounts onto the bracket’s accessory shoe and allows for a convenient and simple vlogging setup.
New Jacket Case for the RX100 Series
Sony has also introduced a new leather-look body case for the RX100 series (LCJ-RXK), which includes a lens jacket and shoulder strap to protect the camera from bumps and shocks. Available in black, it provides easy access to the microphone jack and USB terminal, which enables charging and image transfers without the need to remove the case.
Pricing and Availability
The RX100 VII compact camera will ship in August 2019 for approximately $1,200.
The RX100 VII Shooting Grip Kit will be available later in 2019 for approximately $1,300.
The LCJ-RXK jacket case will ship in August 2019 for approximately $85.
[i] Approximate effective megapixels
[ii] When using the electronic shutter; effective when the shutter speed is 1/60 or above
[iii] When using the electronic shutter with “Continuous shooting mode: Hi”. Effective when the shutter speed is 1/60 or above
[iv] Effective when using electronic shutter. The slower the shutter speed, the lower the refresh rate of the screen
[v] Among fixed-lens digital still cameras with 1.0-type sensor. As of July 2019, based on Sony research
[vi] CIPA standard, internal measurement, at f=9.0mm (wide-end), EV6.6, Program Auto, Focus mode: AF-A, Focus area: Centre
[vii] Real-time Eye AF for Animals supports still images only, and cannot be used in combination with tracking. Does not work with some types of animal. Focusing may not perform well depending on scene and subject conditions
[viii] Angle of view (35mm format equivalent)
[ix] Seven still images are shot per burst. Focus and exposure are fixed at the first shot
[x] When Drive Mode is set to “Single Burst Shooting: Hi”
[xi] 3840×2160 pixels. A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps. When “Auto Power Off Temperature” is set to “Standard”, continuous shooting is possible for about 5 minutes
[xii] Connect this product to an HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a USB cable to display HDR (HLG) movies
[xiii] Compared to RX100 VI
[xiv] Both right eye and left eye are selectable, either via the menu or by the touchscreen panel
[xv] Width x Height x Depth
[xvi] Image compensation angle at wide-end (Comparison with 4K standard mode)
[xvii] Attaching a mic without the Shooting Grip Kit requires an optional accessory
[xviii] In-camera movie playback is in the horizontal position. Whether or not movies are displayed in the vertical position depends on your device
[xix] Wi-Fi does not work during interval shooting
[xx] Audio recording is not available. A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required
[xxi] One included with RX100 VII body
The post New Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII Comes With Real-Time Tracking And Mic Input appeared first on HD Video Pro.
When we last left the project, it was in crisis. The speed changes on clips didn’t make it through color grading properly because during production there was no urgency to stop the recording. As a result, very long clips were created.
Because the clips were extremely long, it wasn’t practical to render out fully graded original length clips. Instead, shorter clips comprising the actual frames used in the finished cut plus some extra heads and tails were rendered.
There were several shots in the edit that ran at normal speed, then instantaneously cut to a faster speed, then cut back to the normal speed of the same clip. The effect was seamless. The cut from and to the normal speed footage was match framed.
When I compared what I had to the offline I had three problems: 1. The clip was running at a slightly different speed; 2. During the fast section, the frames actually used were different; and 3. The cut back to normal speed wasn’t matched—there were two identical frames.
Given the time crunch I was under, I first tried to deal with the speed changes. In one clip, the original speed was 180 percent, but the XML I received from color showed 179.7 percent.
I had seen this happen before but didn’t think much of it—I wrote it off to translation between two different pieces of software from two different manufacturers. So I went through the timeline and changed all the speeds back to the proper setting.
Unfortunately, changing the speed didn’t fix the problem in every case. Doing a frame-by-frame comparison, I could see different frames from the offline. Then I tweaked the in-point of the sped-up clip. That fixed the first part of the clip, but not the later part. Also, the last frame of the sped-up clip was identical to the first frame of the normal speed clip it was cutting to. This meant there was a repeated frame at the cut point. The seamless effect that was present in the offline was a stuttering mess in my online.
What was the problem? The clip had the same speed now, so it should match. As it turns out, it all came down to how edit software calculates what frames to show when clips are sped up or slowed down.
Think about a simple case of increasing the speed to 200 percent. A 100-frame clip will be displayed as 50 frames. But which 50? Will the sequence show the first frame and then every other, or the second frame and then every other frame? Let’s assume that it shows the first frame, then the third, and so on— all the odd frames. But if the color graded trimmed clip actually starts on an even frame, then 200 percent shows all even frames.
(Note that edit software usually bases the calculation starting at the beginning of the clip, not the in-point. So just trimming a frame in the timeline won’t fix the problem. You have to trim the actual movie file to make it work.)
That’s just a simple speed change—100 percent to 200 percent. But imagine if the speed was 120 percent or 230 percent or 480 percent. Instead of every other clip being dropped, you might play two frames, drop a frame, play one frame, drop one frame, play two frames, drop two frames, etc.
Now imagine there are 20 of these effects, all at different speeds. Finally, imagine that four of the effects are actual speed ramps, as opposed to constant speed changes.
Although I eventually found a fix that involved nesting of clips, my point isn’t about that solution. It’s about what can happen if you never say “Cut.” In this case, because it was impractical to render the color grades all to the full-length clips, trimmed clips were rendered. From these shorter clips, it was almost impossible to deliver what the offline promised.
There are certainly times when saying “Cut” isn’t practical, but I hope you might think about the impact it can have on post.
Sigma’s three new lenses include its 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art lens, 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens and 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art lens
The Sigma Corporation recently made announcements for three new lenses designed for full-frame mirrorless cameras. The new lenses include:
The lenses were announced in conjunction with the release of Sigma’s new mirrorless camera body, the Sigma fp.
Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art: This lens is a large-diameter, wide-angle zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras, which Sigma says is great for Astrophotography. According to Sigma, it has “uniform rendering performance and outstanding edge-to-edge resolution.” This zoom lens will cost around $1,400.
Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art: It’s Sigma’s first f/1.2 wide-angle, large-aperture prime lens for full-frame Sony E-mount and L-mount systems. Sigma notes that it has “astounding resolution and bokeh effects. It is ideal for shots that leverage shallow depth of field including environmental portraiture, weddings and on-location shoots.” This prime lens will cost around $1,500.
Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary: This lens is designed for smaller full-frame mirrorless cameras. Sigma says the lens has an easy-to-carry form factor, high optical performance and is great for traveling photographers. It also has a rugged construction. This prime lens will cost around $550.
For more details, on each of the lenses, click on the following links for the press release:
The post Sigma Announces 3 New Lens Series for Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Systems appeared first on HD Video Pro.
The new 24.6-megapixel SIGMA fp full-frame mirrorless camera.
Since the first mirrorless camera hit the market in 2008, camera makers have competed in a number of areas, including which company could make the most compact, lightweight model. For those photographers looking for this type of camera, Sigma’s newest camera, the SIGMA fp, might fit the bill. According to the company, it’s currently the “world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless digital camera,” that “incorporates a 35mm full-frame Bayer sensor with 24.6 effective megapixels in a compact body.”
So, although it’s compact (4.4 x 2.75 x 1.78 inches) and lightweight (just a little over 13 ounces, body only), it will include a very large, full-frame sensor, which is generally one of the keys to great image quality.
The camera includes other features as well, including:
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
SIGMA announces the “SIGMA fp”, the world’s smallest and lightest mirrorless digital camera* with a full-frame image sensor
SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of “SIGMA fp,” the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless digital camera*. The SIGMA fp incorporates a 35mm full-frame Bayer sensor with 24.6 effective megapixels in a compact body, and boasts great versatility and scalability that allows mixing-and-matching of a variety of interchangeable lenses and accessories. It is a camera that is casual enough to take anywhere, anytime, and high-spec enough for serious still and cine shooting in the highest image quality, all in a robust and classy body.
＊As of July, 2019.
Regardless of the differences in shooting scenes and styles or genre boundaries between stills and videos, this new camera is set to expand the freedom and possibilities in image shooting and art creation further than ever before. A “pocketable full-frame” camera: SIGMA fp, is now available.
SIGMA’s take on an entirely new system camera.
The world’s smallest and lightest “pocketable full-frame” camera is here.
The environment that surrounds shooting and art creation is undergoing radical changes. In this day and age when one user may have both a high-performance interchangeable lens camera and a smartphone camera, using them flexibly according to specific purposes and settings, SIGMA stopped and questioned the inherent value of a digital camera.
As a result, SIGMA set itself to develop a user-oriented digital camera that reflected the idea of “how a camera can be” in a more flexible and true-to-life manner, without conforming to manufacturers’ ideas of camera-centric categories and hierarchy.
Pocketable full-frame│Impressive portability and power
The “smallest and lightest body possible” with which one can express their creative ideas whenever they want, combined with a “full-frame sensor” that is suitable for serious occasions without compromising on image quality, and “superb build quality” that makes the camera the perfect linchpin of a high-performance lens system.
An “open and liberal system” that allows one to pair the camera with lenses and accessories, whether from SIGMA or other brands, using a variety of attachments, complete with “versatile scalability” that makes the camera adaptable to any scenes.
Seamless│Full-fledged, liberating shooting functions
A “highly intuitive UI” that allows one to move between full-fledged still and cine shooting modes with just one finger, making for a “seamless and truly creative tool” that goes beyond style and genre differences.
Making it a top priority to realize these three concepts all at once and without requiring any trade-offs, SIGMA selected only the elements and mechanisms that were truly needed with no compromise to create the SIGMA fp as the embodiment of an “entirely new digital camera that SIGMA can offer to the world right now.”
It’s a camera body that changes its configuration with great flexibility centered around the user.
It’s a tool that gives the user the joy of a new camera life that they themselves are yet to discover.
It’s a new system camera that will overturn the paradigm of “digital cameras.”
The SIGMA fp is here to broaden the potential of “image shooting” ad infinitum.
＊As of July, 2019.
Note: The Auto HDR function in the Cine mode and the Cinemagraph function are to become available via firmware update scheduled at a later date.
*The L-Mount Trademark is a registered Trademark of Leica Camera AG.
Note: The feature of playing CinemaDNG footages in-camera is to become available via firmware update scheduled at a later date.
For more about other features, refer to the press release: https://www.sigmaphoto.com/article/sigma-fp-press-release
The post Sigma Introduces Smallest And Most Lightweight Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera appeared first on HD Video Pro.
Where do you think is a good place to set up your microphone?
Audio and sound beginners typically mount a microphone on top of their new camera, but it’s probably one of the worst places you can place it. There are many reasons why, but an important one is that when you mount it there, the microphone is often too far from the subject to pick up a clean, clear sound.
Another problem is signal-to-noise ratio, often written as “S/N ratio” or just “S/N.” It refers to the amount of signal—or desired sound—versus the amount of noise—or undesirable sound that’s picked up. The closer the microphone is to the subject, the more signal, and less noise, it will pick up.
So, when you mount a microphone on top of a camera, with today’s typically longer zoom ranges, the look of the shot is often most flattering when the camera is located farther from the subject, requiring the operator to zoom in on the subject or use a longer telephoto lens. This allows the longer focal-length lenses to compress the foreground, mid-ground and background, producing a softening of the background and giving a dreamy, poetic look and feel to the shot.
But here’s the problem: If you’re moving your camera farther away from your subject and the microphone is tagging along on top of your camera for the ride, you’ve just added in a lot of noise to the recording while reducing the signal the microphone can pick up since you have increased the distance of the microphone from the subject.
However, I’m not saying having a microphone mounted on a camera is totally useless. It’s not. On-camera mics can be handy for recording scratch tracks that can be matched up with better-quality recordings in post. Also, on-camera mics are fine for recording ambient or environmental sound. Just don’t rely on a camera-mounted mic to record talent very effectively.
Almost anyone who has ever watched behind-the-scenes footage of a television show or a Hollywood movie being filmed has seen a professional boom operator at work. They’re the ones you’ll often see holding a long boom pole over their heads and positioning the microphone as close to the talent as they can get.
Now, in my eyes, these pros are extremely talented. In fact, seeing a skilled boom operator maneuver a mic is like watching a skilled camera operator work handheld. Both jobs involve many subtleties, which add up to professional-level audio and video footage.
So, while my tips won’t magically turn you into a pro-level boom op, I hope this article helps you get a better sense of how to improve using a boom mic on your own productions.
A helpful way to understand audio, at least as far as gear goes, is to trace the signal path from the subject to the camera and/or recorded audio. With an audio boom pole setup, we generally have five different components that make up this signal chain, which includes the following devices and pieces of gear to produce a signal:
Now that we’ve broken down all of the components of a boom-pole microphone setup, let’s talk about some tricks and tips of the trade to more effectively use a boom-mounted microphone system.
In part 1 and part 2 on this topic, I said project sizes for edit are getting larger and larger due to never saying “Cut!” I have tried to emphasize that this isn’t just a rant about my needing to manage storage.
This time, I’d like to detail a concrete example of the impact of long takes on a project—how a lack of “cutting the roll” meant that what the director desired didn’t end up in the finished project. (Some details have been changed to protect the innocent.)
This was a project with many moving pieces. The production was shot on location. Post went from offline to grading and then to finishing, all at separate locations. I was doing the finishing.
The director had his hands full both directing talent and appeasing clients during the shoot. For a series of scenes, the camera rolled constantly while directions were given, positions reset and takes redone. Some takes were 10 minutes long.
(After the project was delivered, I was able to watch some of the clips. The recording was stopped probably because the media was almost full. I never heard anybody stopping the roll.)
Offline proceeded as normal. A proxy workflow was used, which certainly helped with the amount of footage being used. The director supervised after the first rough cut and followed all the way through picture lock and on into grading.
As grading wrapped, there was a hint of problems to come. When you render out graded footage, there are two options. You can either render out the full length of each clip or just the length that’s used in the edit plus some extra frames before and after: “heads and tails.”
Heads and tails give the finishing editor leeway to trim shots a few frames here and there if needed. But only as far as the length of the heads and tails—typically a second or two.
If possible, I prefer to get the full clips back. It gives me more options during finish in case there are any fixes I need to do. It’s not a deal-breaker if I don’t get it, but I always ask.
In this case, because of the extreme length of the clips, the colorist wasn’t about to render out full-length clips. The amount of render time would have been extreme—exceeding the budget and the time allotted for the session. Shorter clips with heads and tails were delivered.
And here’s where it all fell apart. The edit included several scenes with time remapping of clips. A clip would play at normal speed, then would run at a high speed for several frames, and then play at normal speed again.
Since picture was locked and mix was already done, my job was to match, frame for frame, the offline. I used all my tricks to verify that the XML I got back from color matched. Everything was perfect, except for most of the time remapping shots.
The clip frames leading into the effect were fine, the frames trailing were fine, but the actual sped-up footage didn’t match. This wasn’t a consistent error.
I noticed those clips that had a constant speed change in the original edit (180 percent, for example) had fractional speeds of 179.7 percent on the XML edit. Try as I might, no amount of adjusting the clip—either by speed or by changing its location in the sequence—would solve the problem.
Next time, figuring out the problem and why it was caused by never saying “Cut.”
During a presentation in New York City this morning, Sony announced the newest addition to its lineup of full-frame mirrorless cameras: The new Sony a7R IV comes with a 61-megapixel Sony sensor and will be available this September for $3,500. It will also include Sony’s E-mount, making it compatible with 52 existing Sony lenses. Sony also claims the new Alpha will have 15 stops of “enhanced dynamic range,” which is one of the reasons Mark Weir from Sony said during the presentation that this a7R IV is “another milestone” in both image quality and operability.
Sony also noted during the announcement, it’s not just about an increase in resolution. The camera, in addition to being the first 35mm full-frame 61-megapaixel camera, comes with a number of additional impressive features:
Sony also announced several accessories as well, including a new shotgun microphone, the ECM-B1M, $350, which is another first for Sony: It’s the first mic that will transfer audio to the new a7R IV via a purely digital signal.
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
Sony Electronics Introduces High-resolution Alpha 7R IV Camera with World’s First 61.0 MP Back-illuminated, Full frame Image Sensor
NEW YORK — July 16, 2019 — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the latest addition to its acclaimed Alpha 7R series full-frame mirrorless camera line-up: the extremely versatile, powerful Alpha 7R IV (model ILCE-7RM4).
Sony’s highest resolution full-frame camera ever, the new Alpha 7R IV delivers stunning image quality with high resolution and wide dynamic range while maintaining outstanding focusing performance, high-speed continuous shooting and much, much more.
“We are continuing to drive innovation, break boundaries and redefine the expectations of digital camera performance,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Product and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The new Alpha 7R IV combines medium format-level image quality with high-speed shooting, extremely fast focusing and an extensive list of upgrades to design, connectivity and usability. This will allow professional photographers, videographers and all other types of creators to capture content in ways that were simply not possible before.”
A New Level of Image Quality
The new Alpha 7R IV features a newly developed 35mm full-frame, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 61.0 MPii, the world’s firsti of its kind. The new sensor’s back-illuminated structure and effective noise reduction techniques combine to deliver extremely low-noise and high-sensitivity performance, ensuring the absolute maximum image quality. The camera also boasts an impressive 15-stopiii dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights, and utilizes algorithms from many of the latest Alpha cameras to maintain outstanding color reproduction.
This new full-frame model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis, optical in-body image stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a shutter speed advantage of 5.5-steps[x]. Additionally, the shutter unit assembly has been carefully redesigned to reduce even the slightest movement that may cause blur.
The Alpha 7R IV also includes Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder ever, a 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED Tru-finder EVF. About 1.6x the resolution of the EVF in the Alpha 7R III, this new viewfinder provides an extremely accurate, true-to-life depiction of the scene being framed. The display quality can be set to ‘Standard’ or ‘High’ mode, and to either 60 fps or 120 fps refresh rate to best match the subject and shooting conditions.
Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting[xi] mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in one pixel or half-pixel increments to capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 963.2 million pixels of data, which are then composited into a 240.8 million pixel (19008 x 12672 pixels) image using Sony’s “Imaging Edge” desktopapplication[xii]. Ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life subject, this enhanced mode produces photographs with a level of detail and color accuracy that is simply stunning.
Shooting and Focusing Speed
The innovative new Alpha 7R IV full-frame mirrorless camera can shoot full resolution images at up to 10 fpsivwith continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to approximately seven secondsv in full-frame, full-resolution mode (JPEG / RAW), and approx. three times as long in APS-C crop mode delivering 26.2MPii images. These high-speed options ensure that fast moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail.
The upgraded focusing system of the Alpha 7R IV is comprised of 567 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 74 percent of the image area. There are also 425 contrast AF points that add extra precision and reliability for low light and other situations that are best served by contrast AF. The higher AF sensor density and refined tracking algorithms of the new camera produce a notable improvement in tracking performance, allowing complex subject motion and sudden subject movements to be reliably tracked with greater precision than ever.
The Alpha 7R IV also supports Real-time Eye AF, which employs artificial intelligence to detect and process eye location data in real-time, locking and maintaining focus on the subject’s eye with extreme precision. This is available for both animal and human subjects, with either animal or human Eye AF mode selectable depending on the shooting situation. Real-time Trackingvii is available as well, which utilizes a newly developed subject recognition algorithm to ensure the ultimate subject tracking and persistence of the focusing system. There is also an anti-flicker shooting[xiii] mode, which automatically detects the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting in a shooting environment to minimize any impact on the final image.
Enhanced Connectivity for Professional Workflow
Sony’s new Alpha 7R IV full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of advanced connectivity features designed to enhance professional workflow. The new model includes wireless LAN functionality to support the conventional 2.4 GHz band, as well as a high-speed 5 GHz[xiv] band for faster, more stable data transfer. Wireless PC remote connectivity (wireless tethering shooting)viii is also available on the new Alpha 7R IV, a first for Sony cameras. Requested by many working professionals, this allows for much more freedom in studio and location shoots, letting the photographer move around freely and without restriction.
In addition to high-speed Wi-Fi® and wireless PC connectivityviii, the new full-frame camera is equipped with a SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.2 Gen 1) USB Type-C connector that supports extremely fast wired data transmission, with almost doubled data transfer speed achieved in combination with Sony’s Imaging Edge software (compared to the Alpha 7R III). It also supports FTP data transfer with background transfer capability, allowing photographers to send images to a specified FTP remote server while they are still shooting or reviewing images.
To support an efficient, high-speed, connected professional workflow, Sony has announced version 2.0 of its “Imaging Edge” desktop applications (‘Remote’/’Viewer’/’Edit’)xiii. The ’Remote’ application allows users to control cameras and monitor live shooting on their PC screen; the ‘Viewer‘ application is used to quickly preview, rate and select photos from large libraries; and the ’Edit‘ application can develop RAW data into high-quality photos for delivery.
To maximize convenience in image transfer, when utilizing the latest version of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile application[xv], the camera can now transfer images to a connected smartphone even if the camera’s power is set to OFF[xvi].
High-resolution 4K and Professional Filmmaking Features
In addition to its impressive still image capabilities, the new Alpha 7R IV performs exceptionally well as a serious filmmaking tool, offering 4K (3840×2160 pixels) video recording across the full width of the image sensor, and full pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm modeix. This ensures high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 are also available to maximize color grading flexibility, with S-Log 3 offering a total of 14-stops of dynamic range. Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)[xvii] is also available on the Alpha 7R IV to support an Instant HDR workflow.
For video autofocus, the versatile new full-frame camera utilizes a refined Fast Hybrid AF system that achieves faster, smoother, more stable autofocus during video shooting – even if an object temporarily moves in front of the intended subject. The camera also includes Touch Tracking functionality during movie shooting, allowing the user to simply touch the screen on their intended subject for instant acquisition.
The new Alpha 7R IV debuts Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting, a first in any of Sony’s cameras. When activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content itself as opposed to what is in focus or not. The aforementioned Touch Tracking functionality will also automatically initiate Eye AF when a human subject is selected.
Another notable video feature is the addition of a digital audio interface to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe (MI Shoe), allowing a direct, digital connection from the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit for clear, low-noise and high-quality audio recording. Interval shooting for creating time-lapse videos is available, as well as full HD recording at up to 120 fps, Slow and Quick Motion[xviii] functions and much more.
Enhanced Build, Design and Customizability
The new Alpha 7R IV has several upgrades to its design and usability, with many adjustments being implemented directly from the voice of Sony’s professional community.
To maximize durability, the new Alpha 7R IV features upgraded dust and moisture resistance[xix], with additional sealing provided at all body seams, battery compartment cover and media slots. The camera is built with an extremely lightweight and durable magnesium alloy and also has an upgraded six screw, extra-firm lens mount.
Additional enhancements to the body design include an improved grip for greater comfort and a more sure hold within the hand; an increase in the diameter and feedback for the ‘AF-ON’ button; a new multi-selector joystick design for improvised control; an exposure compensation dial lock button; and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial. A strong request from many professional users, the new camera also includes two UHS-II compatible media slots, allowing for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds.
For added convenience, camera setting registration is expanded. Now, almost all camera settings can be saved to, and read from, an inserted memory card. Up to 10 combinations can be saved to any individual cardand loaded into any camera body of the same model.
Despite its increased pixel count compared to the Alpha 7R III, the battery life has been improved with a CIPA measurement of up to 670 still images per change using LCD monitor, or 530 images with EVF. For even more uninterrupted operating time, the new optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip holds two NP-FZ100 batteries, and the optional Multi Battery Adaptor (NPA-MQZ1K) can hold up to four Z batteries. The body can also be powered via the USB connector[xx].
Sony has also released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new Alpha 7R IV camera, including:
Pricing and Availability
The new Alpha 7R IV Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera will ship in September 2019 for approximately $3,500 US and $4,500 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
The new VG-C4EM Vertical Grip will ship in September 2019 for approximately $400 US and $530 CA.
The new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone will ship in September 2019 for approximately $350 US and $470 CA.
The new XLR-K3M XLR Adapter Kit will ship in October 2019 for approximately $600 US and $800 CA.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new camera and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α – Alpha.
The new content will also be posted directly at the Sony Photo Gallery.
The post Sony Introduces 61-Megapixel a7R IV Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera appeared first on HD Video Pro.
This is the fifth year Amazon is holding its Prime Day sales event, which runs for two days—today, July 15th and tomorrow, July 16th. And while in the past, Amazon’s Prime Day hasn’t always provided tremendous value for photographers on some camera gear, you will find some deals, particularly on select lenses, software, printers and other camera and photo accessories.
To take advantage of these deals, which end at midnight tomorrow, you’ll first need to be an Amazon Prime member. Visit this page on Amazon to learn about Prime Day and sign up for a Prime membership.
Check back, since we’ll be adding new products to the list as we learn of them. Here are few of the products you’ll find so far. We expect the sales on these it:
Prime Day Price: $590.84 (Save: $207.16)
Prime Day Price: $ $95.02 (Save: $40.97)
Prime Day Price: $629.00 (Save: $300.00)
To find out more on Amazon Prime Day deals, download the Amazon Shopping App, or go to Amazon.com.
The post Amazon Prime Day 2019 Deals: Find Great Deals On Camera Gear And Camera Accessories appeared first on HD Video Pro.
This week Canon announced its first 10x optical zoom compact and lightweight lens for its full-frame mirrorless cameras: the new RF 24-240mm F4-6.3mm IS USM lens for Canon’s R-series full-frame mirrorless cameras, including the Canon EOS R and the EOS RP.
There are several reasons the 24-240mm lens, unlike Canon’s other mirrorless RF lenses, is decidedly more suitable for entry-level or enthusiast photographers than it is for pros. For starters, the specs and features on the new lens aren’t all that robust. For instance, the maximum f/stop range runs from f/4 (at the wide-angle end of the zoom) to f/6.3 (at the tele of the zoom), which isn’t as fast as what you’ll find on the other RF lenses. Plus, all other RF lenses have been very pricey, well beyond what most consumers will pay for a lens. However, this lens, which will cost $899.99, is more in a consumer’s or enthusiast’s target range.
Types of Image Stabilization
However, it will be interesting to see how the lens’s image-stabilization system, which Canon calls Dynamic IS, works. It’s not a new type of IS for Canon—but it does appear to be used in a new way.
But before I discuss more about Canon’s Dynamic IS, let’s look at what the three main types of image stabilization are.
In general, a lens or camera will use one of three types of IS—or, a combination of the three—to stabilize photos and video footage. (You should note that, in the past, many cameras, action cams and camcorders, might use one type of IS for shooting photos and another type, or none at all, when capturing video footage.) The three main types of image stabilization are as follows:
In the past, Canon’s “Dynamic IS” has been using in cameras, lenses and other devices for video only. For example, when Canon described how Dynamic IS is used for the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, a DSLR lens introduced in 2012, it only refers to how it reduced jitter in video or movies, not in shooting photos.
But in Canon’s recently press release (see below), Canon writes that this feature will be used for both stills and video. According to the press release, “this is the first Canon lens designed for full-frame cameras to feature Dynamic IS and utilizes a CIPA-standard, five-stop image stabilization system. The five-stop IS allows photographers to capture images and record videos with minimal shake, even during nighttime sightseeing or in dimly lit indoor events, without the need of a tripod.”
In my estimation, it appears this type of IS is a combination of Optical IS and Electronic IS. However, we’ll have a better idea once we get the lens in and test is, and also compare how Dynamic IS affects photos and if it differs from how it’s used in video.
Other features on this lens include:
The new Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3mm IS USM lens is scheduled to be available September 2019 for an estimated retail price of $899.99. Canon will also offer a new EOS RP kit that includes the RF-24-240mm for an estimated retail price of $2199. For additional information, see the press release below or visit, usa.canon.com.
[[ press release: ]]
Alerting All Wanderlust Photographers, Canon Announces Its First RF Telephoto Zoom Lens, The RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM
The All-in-One RF Travel Lens Provides High-End Features Such as Nano USM at an Entry-Level Price Tag
MELVILLE, NY, July 8, 2019 – Introducing the next travel companion for photographers, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the sixth lens in the RF family, the RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM telephoto zoom lens. As the first telephoto zoom lens designed for EOS R and EOS RP full-frame mirrorless cameras, the compact and lightweight 10x zoom RF 24-240mm provides photographers high-quality images and video capture at a budget-friendly price point.
“Providing photographers of all skill levels with the invaluable tools to help capture and create the images they desire has been and will continue to be a paramount goal for Canon,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The new RF 24-240mm is an excellent option as an all-around travel lens that provides attractive features for a wide variety of image capture.”
The RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM lens is equipped with Nano USM, providing users quick, high-speed and precision auto focus (AF) when shooting video and capturing still images. With the powerful Nano USM, this lens allows photographers and videographers full time manual focusing making possible the fine tuning and adjusting of focus while in AF mode. This is the first Canon lens designed for full-frame cameras to feature Dynamic IS and utilizes a CIPA-standard, five-stop image stabilization system. The five-stop IS allows photographers to capture images and record videos with minimal shake, even during nighttime sightseeing or in dimly lit indoor events, without the need of a tripod.
When paired with the recently announced EOS RP full-frame mirrorless camera, the compact and lightweight portability of the RF 24-240mm rivals that of a Canon APS-C camera system with a comparable EF-S lens. The RF 24-240mm and EOS RP kitted together are only slightly heavier and longer than the EOS Rebel T7i when it is kitted with the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. The diminished form factor of the new lens and EOS RP together, as compared to other full-frame mirrorless camera systems using a similar focal-length telephoto zoom lens, make the lens and camera the ideal kit for travelers who are constantly on the go.
Additional features of the Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM include:
Pricing and Availability:
The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3mm IS USM lens is scheduled to be available September 2019 for an estimated retail price of $899.99*. In addition, Canon will offer a new EOS RP kit that includes the RF-24-240mm for an estimated retail price of $2199.00*. For additional information, please visit, usa.canon.com.
†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
*Specifications, availability and prices are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.
In my last blog, I mentioned that I wanted to give an editor’s perspective on the increased amount of data—footage clips—that editors have to deal with. It’s not just that file sizes have ballooned due to resolution increases or the need for more and more coverage. I talked about the lack of urgency to say “Cut!” quickly once a take is done.
Directors’ takes on this have been, “Deal with it. I have better things to worry about than your complaints about how much storage you’ll need for my project.” Or more succinctly, “I have a solution for your problem, and it doesn’t involve you!”
Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But I’ve been on set and have seen it happen. A take finishes and the director never says “Cut.” They talk with the talent and the camera rolls. They talk with the crew or the client and the camera still rolls. Eventually, someone on the crew might gently ask, “Should we cut?”
Directors might avoid cutting because they want to get several takes, one right after the other. When I’ve talked with directors about the multiple takes issue, the comeback is that the energy or the actors’ performance drops off when a director says “Cut!” It takes a bit to get that energy back. By not saying cut, a director can get a number of different performances quickly and efficiently. It makes perfect sense and changing methods to appease post workflow isn’t what this is about.
But here are some side effects of long takes:
But as takes get long, the DIT’s focus becomes critically centered on making sure that footage is offloaded as quickly as possible. If those takes get even longer, it becomes a stress point. That’s when bad things can happen. You don’t want bad things to happen anywhere near memory cards.
There aren’t easy solutions. The director calls the shots and you need one person calling “Cut” or chaos ensues. Is the camera operator able to prompt the director about cutting in some way? For multiple takes on the same clip, can the director and the camera operator agree on a signal to quickly cut to start another clip? This won’t help with total project size, but it might help with logging issues.
Maybe there isn’t a solution. But next time I’ll give a concrete example where long takes directly affect the final outcome of a project.
This shoot pushed the limits of how much gear I could set up and manage solo.
An interesting and significant by-product of the digital revolution is that most of the gear used today to create television and film is now significantly lighter, smaller, less expensive and higher-quality than anyone could have imagined 15 or 20 years ago.
Many of us are using cameras that, for a little over $1,000, can shoot in high-quality 4:2:2 10-bit 4K-resolution formats that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Heavy, heat-generating Tungsten lighting instruments have been replaced with much smaller, cooler, more flexible and versatile LED instruments. It’s now possible to easily and effectively edit not only on non-computer devices like tablets but to edit 4K video on our mobile phones.
Yes, although the digital revolution has given us these benefits, there’s a downside. Budgets. That’s right. If you were in video production in the 1980s, ’90s and early 2000s, it cost significantly more for clients to produce programming at any level. Gear was expensive, and the skills to use it professionally were rarer than they are today. The advent of web video has changed who creates video today. Even as little as a decade ago, the expense and complexity of pro video gear meant that it simply took more skilled labor to create video and cinema.
What that all means is that one person—you—needs to know more about all aspects of the production.
The “one-man band” approach to video production is a phenomenon that has grown side-by-side with the advent of new smaller, lighter and simpler-to-use gear.
A decade ago, a small documentary or corporate shoot would typically have a cameraperson, sound mixer and perhaps a PA or a gaffer as well as a producer/director/interviewer.
A crew of three to five people was considered a small, minimal crew. In 2019, a small crew is often just you. Video and film are definitely a collaborative medium and were designed to be shot with a crew, with each position filled by a person whose job it was to light a scene, shoot it with a camera and record the sound. But the reality is, today that paradigm is shifting from working in a group to working solo.
Personally, I most enjoy working with a small crew of between five and 10 people. Such a group gives me the benefits of being able to concentrate on doing just one job really well (directing, cinematography and interviewing are what I like doing most), while leaving the lugging of gear, setting it all up, setting lights, recording sound, hair, makeup, props, wardrobe and production design to my crew.
Others I know in the field prefer working on an even larger crew of 50 to 200 positions, which are typical in a lot of episodic television and on feature films.
But as I noted earlier, in shooting my own low-budget documentaries and on a decent percentage of corporate and even some broadcast projects, I’m often called upon to act as a one-man band, meaning that I’m responsible for picture, sound, makeup, production design and often interviewing or directing by myself.
I don’t want to go too deeply into the relative merits of having a crew versus working solo, but they’re apparent to anyone who has worked with a crew as well as solo.
What we’re going to talk about is when you’re required to act as a one-man band, how do you plan, strategize, execute that strategy and end up with good-looking and -sounding footage when you have to do everything yourself?
When working as a one-man band, the key to success is most often planning.
When shooting solo, you have to know what kind of situation you’re walking into. What type of shoot is it? Will the client give you adequate time and resources to set up each scene by yourself and have it look and sound good? When do you draw the line and tap out, telling the client that what they’re proposing is too much for a single person to handle?
Planning and knowing what you are walking into is crucial for successfully shooting solo. A location scout or at least having the client send you some cell phone pictures will let you roughly know the size and shape of the room you’re going to shoot in. It will also give you a sense of the ambient light and the ability to control the lighting (are there windows or window coverings?). You can also ask about access to electrical outlets and ambient noise as well. You won’t know if you have to black out windows or hang sound blankets without a scout and or planning, and you won’t know what gear you’ll need to accomplish your mission, either, without a scout or at least some detailed info from the client.
The second-most-important component to consider after planning is time.
Will you have enough time to load in all of your gear and make sure that your vehicle is parked in an area where it should be and won’t be ticketed or towed? You’d be surprised, but a lot of my one-man band assignments have taken place in Hollywood, New York, London and other big cities where parking is at a premium. And parking in the wrong spot can lead to trouble.
Also, once you’re loaded in, will you have enough time to unpack all of your gear, set it up, test it and make sure it’s ready to go before you have a subject in front of the camera? If a client isn’t willing to pay for you to hire a PA, gaffer or sound mixer, you’ll end up performing the functions of those jobs.
For example, I’ve shot a series of green-screen interviews for a client for years as a one-man band. To do that setup solo, the client knows I need three hours. If I had the same client and setup but only an hour to set it all up, it wouldn’t be a realistic scenario or I’d need crew to accomplish that.
If you’re going to shoot solo, you’d be amazed at how much time you can waste on location. It’s important to learn to set up things first at home or in your office. For instance, my main video camera can pack down to a very small and light package in a camera backpack. The downside of this is that to build the camera back up to a fully configured build takes me about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the setup.
It’s obvious that when I’m one-man band shooting, I need to pre-build my camera and carry it into the job fully set up.
It can be difficult to set up lighting and carry the light, stand and diffusor in when working alone. But I’ve arrived at locations a few minutes early and pre-built my key source outside and carried it into the location, plugged it in and at least my key was set to go.
Every situation is different, but here’s the takeaway: Think about the gear you’ll need to use to accomplish the goal and make sure that all of it is as accessible and pre-assembled as possible. Setting up cameras, plugging in mics, formatting media—none of that’s creative. It’s all mechanical tedium. So do as much of that beforehand as you can so you can spend the little time you have being creative with lighting, art direction, backgrounds, troubleshooting audio issues, etc.
Let’s take a look at a recent one-man band shoot I did.
For the assignment, I needed to interview two systems engineers about a challenging project they had been working on. Their working area wasn’t available for the shoot, but I was offered the use of an apartment to shoot their interview.
Because it was a two-talent shot, I wanted to utilize two cameras, one in a wide, slider shot of the two of them. Then I could use a longer lens on my other camera, allowing me to shoot singles as each responded.
Unfortunately, the apartment I was given to shoot in was fairly small, making shooting the talent with two cameras challenging. The main difficulties were: the location really didn’t look like a corporate workspace, it looked like a nice apartment living room; and, from an art direction perspective, there was little to work with, and white walls are deadly boring to look at.
Fortunately, the apartment had a nice black AV cabinet and LED TV on the wall. So I decided that I could have one of the engineers hook up his laptop to the LED so that he could show some of the work that they had been performing on the TV screen in the background.
This sort of setup with two cameras, two talent and three to five lights and sound is my personal limit for shooting solo.
I know of a talented DP who won’t shoot solo without a sound mixer. However, I’m personally comfortable with sound, so I can shoot some projects that the other DP cannot.
Hopefully, you’ve found this primer on the limits of shooting as a one-man band helpful. Shooting video and cinema is a team sport, but occasionally you may have to take the field solo.
The post How To Successfully Push The Limits Of A One-Man Band appeared first on HD Video Pro.
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to test out storage arrays of various speeds and sizes. Invariably, when I write about my experience, I include an obligatory sentence about the increasing size of the footage folder created from a shoot and, by way of ingesting, the size of edit projects. Over the next few posts, I’d like to present an editor’s perspective on the impact of increasing project sizes.
Project sizes are growing. It’s true that some of that can be attributed to the increasing resolution of cameras and their ability to output raw files. But there’s another reason for that—the director.
The director calls the shots—literally. Certainly, a director’s vision can have an impact on how much footage ends up on my desk. And I’m all in for as much coverage as I’ll need to tell the story. So, I’m not really talking about fewer shots.
What I’m talking about is cutting every once in a while. It used to happen in the past, but now? Not so much. When shooting film, calling “cut” was important since it saved on film and time.
Film camera loads are limited to about 11 minutes. Once the roll is getting down to the end, you either make sure the take will be short enough—so the film doesn’t run out mid-take—or you stop everything and wait for a camera reload. Reloading film isn’t as quick as swapping out a memory card.
With digital capture and the aforementioned larger and larger storage options, saying “cut” isn’t top of mind for some directors. So “takes” are getting longer and longer.
I get that directors have a lot on their plate. And I also get that many have learned their craft completely on digital—they never had to be concerned about cutting the roll. But not cutting can have an impact on their project.
Next time, how “never having to say cut” impacts the workflow.
As imaging technologies advance, you’re probably taking more images and video than ever before. The fast, continuous shooting capabilities of today’s digital cameras along with their ability to record incredible high-resolution video open up so many creative possibilities for visual storytelling.
Whether you’re a working professional or an adventurous photographer who’s ready to travel to get “the shot,” backing up your files may not be the most exciting part of the journey, but it’s an especially important one. A smart strategy for protecting your irreplaceable photos and video should start in the field.
Award-winning surf filmmaker and G-Technology G-Team Member Aaron Lieber works in some of the most beautiful settings on the planet capturing renown athletes in action. His feature documentary “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable,” set for release in theaters this summer, tells the story of a world-champion surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack when she was just 13 years old yet returned to competition a year later. It’s an inspiring message of perseverance and overcoming unexpected challenges.
Working on location requires Lieber to be especially thoughtful about his equipment. He isn’t a casual observer—you’ll find him as close to the action as possible. “Being an outdoor cinematographer, I am faced with so many variables that I can’t control,” he explains. Unlike in a studio environment, elements such as sand, dust and water require extra precaution. “When I choose gear to help me be successful against the odds, I am always in search of equipment that can ‘go wherever I go.’”
Even the very best memory cards and storage devices can fail or be lost or damaged. The only sure way to safeguard what you shoot is to make frequent and multiple backups. With the right workflow, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
On a typical day, Lieber is shooting about 1TB of footage. Because of the documentary nature of his work, he can’t afford to lose any of that material. “I do double backups wherever I am,” he advises. To handle those backups, Lieber uses G Technology’s ArmorATD drives because they’re specifically designed with extra protection for working outdoors. “ArmorATD is a rugged drive that is reliable, lightweight and affordable. It checks all the boxes I’m looking for when I am exploring,” Lieber says.
In addition to their compact size, which makes them easy to carry in his camera pack, these drives stand apart in the quality of their construction, with outdoor use in mind. The drives’ enclosures are IP54-rated rain- and dust-resistant with a protective rubber bumper. The drives also provide triple-layer shock protection and the ability to withstand crush pressure up to 1,000 pounds. It’s extra peace of mind.
Lieber uses the ArmorATD drives primarily for backups in the field and also for saving his work for review on the flight home. Once back in his studio, he transfers his footage to a G-SPEED Shuttle drive, which is his primary storage system for production work. The ArmorATD drives integrate seamlessly into this workflow, with USB Type-C connectivity, plus compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 and transfer rates up to 140MB/s (1TB and 2TB models).
When choosing a drive for your own backups on location, consider how much data you’ll be capturing before you return home and select drives with plenty of room. Overestimate your needs a bit to give yourself some cushion. To follow Lieber’s recommendation of doing double backups, you’ll want two drives.
Lieber chooses ArmorATD drives because they’re available in capacities of 1TB, 2TB or 4TB and are budget-friendly, something he has to keep in mind making a living with his work. “Anyone who wants a reliable, rugged drive at an affordable price should start with the ArmorATD,” he says. “It’s an amazing entry-level drive.”
To learn more about ArmorATD, visit g-technology.com.
When I edit, speed matters. With resolution, bit depth and bit rate increasing every year (or so it seems), accessing the stored footage requires more and more speed.
The usual solution offered up is to put everything on solid state drives—SSDs. Of course, that solution bumps up the price per terabyte pretty quickly. It’s like telling a DP just to use an 8k camera and monitor for everything. A possibility for sure, but it comes at a price.
Prices are coming down, however, and more and more SSDs are a viable option. But not all solid-state storage is created equal. Just look at read and write speeds and you’ll see that some SSDs are screaming fast and others, while better than a single spinning disk, are less impressive.
I recently had a one-week opportunity to test drive one of the SSDs that lives in the fast lane, the OWC ThunderBlade. I thought it would be useful to tell you about the experience.
The OWC ThunderBlade is shipped in a hard-shell case along with a power supply and Thunderbolt 3 cable. Since the drive is all about speed, the Thunderbolt 3 cable is 1.6 feet (0.5m) long, the maximum length for a passive cable that can deliver 40 Gbps speed.
But why the hard-shell case? The OWC ThunderBlade, with its covering of metal fins, seems like a rugged design that can handle abuse. But the design is all about heat dissipation. That’s not to say the unit is delicate; I certainly didn’t treat it any differently than a regular hard drive.
Why does it need to get rid of heat? Like all SSDs, the SSDs inside the OWC ThunderBlade generate a lot of heat—although these second-generation SSDs don’t generate as much heat. The metal housing pulls that heat away. That means no fan. That means it fits nicely into an edit suite.
Since I’m talking about what’s inside, I should mention there are four M.2 NVMe SSDs in the unit. M.2 is a new form factor/interface for expansion cards and NVMe is the next generation controller for SSDs.
To simplify this a bit, you can think of previous generation SSDs as operating like solid-state disk drives. The legacy instructions weren’t able to take advantage of writing to the storage media like writing to memory. That changes with NVMe and M.2. That’s one of the reasons the OWC ThunderBlade is so fast.
Now back to setup. The OWC ThunderBlade has two Thunderbolt 3 connections so it can daisy chain up to six devices, as is standard in the Thunderbolt 3 spec. For best results, slower devices like Thunderbolt 2 devices should be placed at the end of the chain.
I mentioned that the OWC ThunderBlade has 4 M.2 modules in it. So, it really is a disk array. OWC ships a license for OWC’s SoftRAID application. I installed this before I connected the unit.
Once I connected the drive, I used the SoftRAID application to set up the array. The unit comes set up as RAID 0 (maximum speed, no redundancy) and formatted for Mac. I was testing it with a MacBook Pro, so I left it at RAID 0 but ran the validation tool, which is what I do with any RAID.
At this point, you could just start running with the OWC ThunderBlade. I opted to take some time to look through the SoftRAID application. Besides using it to create a RAID that has redundancy, there were two things that popped out at me.
First, there was a selection to optimize the volume for various uses. Typically, when setting up an array, you need to set the stripe size. Think of stripe size as the smallest chunk of data that’s stored on an array. Usually, this setting is either not available or available as a list of options measured in kBs. Not that helpful.
With SoftRAID, it translates that setting into English. Are you mainly doing video? Audio? Photographs? Simply select one of those options to optimize the stripe size for the kind of work you are doing.
In case you’re curious, running an audio application like ProTools ends up storing lots and lots of small files, so you need a small stripe. Video usually uses lots of very large files, so you need the largest stripe. If you use the video optimization for audio, you end up wasting a lot of space when you write small files.
Need more explanation? The help function in SoftRAID is extensive and searchable.
The other thing I noticed is the email notification capability. SSDs are electronic devices, and electronic devices can fail. But array systems can be configured to monitor operations and give early notices when there are problems. The SoftRAID can email you any warnings.
Note: The SoftRAID application is in beta for Windows. In the meantime, there’s a separate tool for Windows setup.
When powered up, the OWC ThunderBlade has a group of LEDs on the front that indicate operation. A solid blue shows the unit is connected; a glowing white indicates the computer it’s connected to is either asleep or hibernating. During data reading and writing four LEDs can operate independently—showing the four M.2 modules being accessed.
A bright LED can be a bit distracting in my somewhat dark edit suite. The OWC ThunderBlade has an ambient light sensor to control the LED brightness. It worked well and was a pleasant surprise.
When I first fired up the OWC ThunderBlade, I tried simply copying files from a folder but forgot how fast the OWC ThunderBlade is. By the time I let go of the mouse the files were copied (a portent of things to come).
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about setup and the SoftRAID application, but what about the speed? The unit I trialed was a 2 TB configuration and I configured it as RAID 0, optimized for video.
I used the usual video tools available from AJA and Blackmagic. Reading and writing 4K UHD files with ProRes 4444 codec on the AJA test gave me over 1700 MBs for writes and nearly 2000 MBs for reads. The Blackmagic test was similar.
Note: I’m told that the 8 TB unit has faster read/write speeds, but I can only confirm what I was able to test. OWC also promotes combining two ThunderBlades into a single RAID to bring speeds into the 3000 MBs range.
As I box up the OWC ThunderBlade I can say I was impressed with the performance. I tried using it as the main project drive, cache drive and preview and proxy storage. I could feel its impact on each type of use.
The setup was easy, but I could easily “lift the hood” and make changes, just as I might want to if I worked on high-performance cars (except I know nothing about cars). But most of all, the OWC ThunderBlade delivered on speed.
Monopods, like tripods, are incredibly effective tools for improving images and video for photographers and videographers at every level. That’s why Tiffen’s current sale is great news for photographers. The company has reduced each of its two Steadicam Air Monopods by $100:
According to Tiffen, the Air is “the perfect complement for professional image-makers looking to stabilize and support their equipment.” Both Steadicams are 100-percent gas-lift, spring-activated, height-adjustable monopods, which are activated by an adjustable foot pedal and allow for full 360-degree rotation. When fully extended the monopods measure 62.5 inches, but when they’re collapsed, they measure just 28 inches. Other versatile features include:
For more on these monopods, check out Tiffen’s webpage: https://tiffen.com/products/steadicamair or check out there informative set up video:
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If 2018 was a banner year for full-frame-sensor mirrorless cameras, it looks like 2019 is turning out to be a banner year for medium-format mirrorless cameras: Today, Hasselblad announced it’s updating its first-generation X-series camera to the new X1D II 50C.
From the outside, the camera body’s design doesn’t differ much in appearance from the first-generation X1D 50C. In fact, most of the ergonomics and design features look the same, and even some of the specs are identical. For example, Hasselblad said the new camera uses the same 50-megapixel CMOS sensor, can capture 16-bit RAW images and has an impressive dynamic range of 14 stops. The camera is also relatively compact, lightweight for a camera with a large sensor. But Hasselblad says the new camera offers lots of enhancements inside the camera, which is meant to address some of the shortfalls in performance and speed from the X1D 50C (introduced back in 2017).
For while the X1D 50C was a undoubtedly a groundbreaking camera—it was not only the first medium-format mirrorless camera, but, perhaps more importantly, the first to truly break ground in offering a new innovative design that didn’t mimic the analog, film camera bodies of the past. However, it lacked performance and speed. For instance, Fujifilm’s mirrorless GFX 50S, one of the X1D 50C’s main competitors, seemed to be a more robust medium-format model.
But today, Hasselblad seems to be answering these complaints with a number of improvements you’ll find on the new X1D II 50C, which include:
For launch, the camera will not include video capability, but the company said it would be available in a future firmware update.
Hasselblad had several product announcements in addition to the new XID II 50C camera:
This is the ninth X-series lens and is roughly equivalent to a 28mm-60mm lens on a full-frame mirrorless camera. The versatile lens also has a variable maximum-aperture range of f/3.5-f/4.5 and should be ideal for shooting everything from wide-angle landscapes to portrait photos. Hasselblad also said that like the rest of the XCD lens range, the XCD 35-75 “features an integral central lens shutter, offering exposure times from 68 minutes to 1/2000s with full flash synchronization throughout.”
According to the Hasselblad , the new Phocus Mobile 2 mobile app (iOS only) “takes the image-editing process to a new, portable level.” That’s because the new X1D II 50C includes a USB-C port that allows you to connect it directly to an Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air (2019) tablets. (Connection via Wi-Fi is also supported.) The new app, which has a clean, minimal design, lets you “import, edit and rate RAW images and import and rate full-quality JPEG images directly into the iPad. The app also supports full -quality image export, tethered shooting and direct-camera control.
Today, Hasselblad also announced the new CFV II 50C digital back and 907X camera body, which, the company says, “connect Hasselblad’s photographic history into one system.” The CFV II 50C digital back will include a medium-format 50-megapixel CMOS sensor (43.8 x 32.9 mm) and is compatible with “most V System cameras made from 1957 and onwards in addition to third-party technical or view cameras,” says Hasselblad. In addition to the digital camera back, Hasselblad’s has developed what it says is its “smallest medium-format camera body ever, the 907X.” The features on the camera back include a swiveling display screen, which allows you to use the camera in the “classic waist-level shooting style of the V System enabled by the CFV II 50C’s tilt screen.” Hasselblad says the 907X lets photographers use all of the high-quality X-system lenses, “in addition to a vast range of Hasselblad optics via adapters, including the H System, V System, and XPan Lenses.”
Hasselblad said the X1D II 50C has an MSRP of $5750. Delivery will be in July 2019. Available to order immediately.
The XCD 3,5-4,5/35-75 Zoom Lens has an MSRP of $5175. Estimated delivery in October 2019. Ordering information will be released shortly before.
Phocus Mobile 2 can be downloaded free of charge by Hasselblad users starting in July 2019.
The CFV II 50C and 907X product information details, including pricing and availability, will be announced later in the year.
For more information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
HASSELBLAD EXPANDS REACH OF MEDIUM-FORMAT IMAGING FOR EVEN MORE CREATIVE VERSATILITY
Introducing the X1D II 50C, XCD 35-75 zoom lens, Phocus Mobile 2, and revealing details of the upcoming CFV II 50C digital back and 907X camera body
Following the revolutionary introduction of the world’s first mirrorless medium format digital camera, the X1D-50c, Hasselblad introduces new additions to its product portfolio that bring the joy of medium format photography to image makers with the capabilities to support their creative endeavors. This includes the evolved X1D II 50C camera, the eagerly awaited XCD 3,5-4,5/35-75 Zoom Lens and Phocus Mobile 2. In addition, Hasselblad reveals the development details of the upcoming CFV II 50C digital back and 907X camera body. Hasselblad’s newest offerings yet again expand the potential of medium format photography with modularity and flexibility, all while offering the brand’s renowned, stunning image quality.
X1D II 50C – AN EVOLVED MEDIUM FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE
In the pursuit to continue the journey of taking medium format outside of the studio, Hasselblad is pleased to announce the next installment of the X System – the X1D II 50C Mirrorless Medium Format Digital Camera. Dedicated to optimising the X System for a wider audience of creatives, Hasselblad has listened to user feedback and improved upon the first generation with enhanced electronics for a quicker and more intuitive medium format experience.
Continuing in the legacy of being the most portable and lightweight digital medium format camera, the X1D II 50C lets you take the power of medium format in a footprint smaller than most full frame DSLRs in a beautifully designed, compact package. Its large, high resolution 50-megapixel CMOS sensor (43.8 x 32.9 mm) is 1.7 times larger than 35mm full format sensors, packing in huge pixels (5.3 x 5.3 μm) for capturing images with superb tonality. With outstanding colour depth and an impressive dynamic range of 14 stops, which allows for capturing immense details in both shadows and highlights, the photographer is left with plenty of room for adjustment in post-processing. With Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS) technology integrated into the camera’s system, exceptional, true-to-life tones are delivered that match what the human eye sees. Building upon the award-winning first generation, the X1D II 50C blends form and function with minimalistic, Scandinavian design aesthetics and a smooth handling experience with its ergonomic grip. The new X1D II 50C continues to provide creatives with incredible Hasselblad image quality, with 16-bit RAW images and now full resolution JPEGs, in a compact, lightweight design.
Developing upon the first generation of the X System, the X1D II 50C’s upgraded electronic platform includes a higher resolution 3.6-inch 2.36-million-dot touch display, which is physically the largest LCD display currently available on a digital medium format camera. Additionally, the X1D II 50C features a higher resolution enhanced OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 3.69-million dots and a high magnification of 0.87x, letting you see the bigger picture. The much higher resolution of the rear display screen (1024×768) gives a more vivid, true to life image viewing experience.
The X1D II 50C’s live view features a faster refresh rate, reduced shutter lag and black out time between frames, an improved continuous capture rate, and a startup time cut almost in half from the first generation. Building upon the highly-intuitive user interface of the previous model, further refinements have been made to the X1D II 50C to improve the camera’s handling experience, including the ability to access the menu system when looking in the EVF, giving greater usability in the sunniest conditions.
Enabling an even more portable medium format workflow, Hasselblad’s post production solutions now include the new Phocus Mobile 2. Connected via USB-C and Wi-Fi, photographers can transfer RAW and full quality JPEG files directly from the X1D II 50C and edit RAW images on their iPad Pro or iPad Air (2019) while out on the field.
THE NEW XCD 3,5-4,5/35-75 – PRIME LENS PERFORMANCE IN A COMPACT ZOOM
The ninth addition to the X System lens range is the eagerly awaited XCD 3,5-4,5/35-75 Zoom Lens. Delivering the same superb image quality from edge-to-edge as the XCD prime lenses, this extremely high performance, compact mid-range zoom covers moderate wide angle to short telephoto focal lengths. Its internal focusing keeps the lens’ dimensions constant, delivers quick autofocus and additionally keeps the overall weight down. Ideal for shooting anything from wide angle landscapes to portrait images, this lens is perfect for photographers who are looking to keep the amount of equipment they carry when travelling to a minimum but don’t want to compromise on image quality. “This really is the best lens Hasselblad has developed – its performance is extremely high, competing with our prime lenses. I can even go as far to say that it’s probably the best zoom lens currently available on the market,” says Per Nordlund, Hasselblad Lead Optical Designer. Like the rest of the XCD lens range, the XCD 35-75 features an integral central lens shutter, offering exposure times from 68 minutes to 1/2000s with full flash synchronization throughout.
PHOCUS MOBILE 2 TAKES IMAGE PROCESSING WORKFLOW TO A NEW PORTABLE LEVEL
Expanding the possibilities of the Hasselblad workflow, Phocus Mobile 2 takes the image editing process to a new, portable level. Compatible with the X1D II 50C via either USB-C or Wi-Fi, this application is currently supported on iPad Pro and iPad Air (2019) models, enabling the traveling photographer to have a quicker, more mobile workflow. With Phocus Mobile 2, users can import, edit and rate RAW images and import and rate full quality JPEG images directly on their portable device. In addition, Phocus Mobile 2 supports full quality image export, tethered shooting and direct camera control.
THE CFV II AND 907X CONNECT HASSELBLAD’S PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY INTO ONE SYSTEM
Hasselblad proudly announces the development of the modernized CFV II 50C digital back and the brand new 907X camera body, which together will connect Hasselblad’s photographic history into one system. The CFV II 50C digital back, which will have an outstanding medium format 50-megapixel CMOS sensor (43.8 x 32.9 mm), will enable use with most V System cameras made from 1957 and onwards in addition to third party technical or view cameras. Improving upon the user experience of the previous generations, the CFV II 50C will feature a brilliant tilt screen with full touch support and Hasselblad’s renowned user interface for settings, image review, and menu navigation. Users of previous CFV digital backs will appreciate a new fully-integrated battery, the same used on the X System, which will reduce overall size and with the option to recharge in-camera via the USB-C port. Combining its iconic aesthetics with modern technology, the CFV II 50C gives a nod to Hasselblad’s history combined with the brand’s world-renowned image quality.
Coupling the CFV II 50C with Hasselblad’s smallest medium format camera body ever, the 907X, creates a highly compact package. This combination will offer a truly distinct photographic experience, including the classic waist-level shooting style of the V System enabled by the CFV II 50C’s tilt screen. With the 907X, the photographer will gain access to all of the high-quality X System Lenses in addition to a vast range of Hasselblad optics via adapters, including the H System, V System, and XPan Lenses. In addition, the 907X will enable compatibility with a wide range of third-party adapters and lenses. Planned accessories to beautifully complement the combination include the 907X Control Grip and 907X External Optical Viewfinder.
HASSELBLAD CONTINUES ITS CELEBRATION OF MEDIUM FORMAT ARTISTRY IN JULY 2019
July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon – not only a historic milestone for NASA, but for Hasselblad and photographic history. As the camera selected and built to document the legendary journey, Hasselblad will celebrate this remarkable moment that helped launch the Swedish photography brand to another level. More information will come soon on this exciting commemoration.
The X1D II 50C and XCD 35-75 zoom lens price and shipping details will be disclosed at launch.
More information, including pricing and availability of the CFV II 50C and 907X, will be announced later in the year.
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