The new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV camera body and the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens
The aphorism “The more things change, the more they remain the same” may sound like a cliché, but for those in the camera industry, it has a strange resonance today. That’s because although several weeks ago, Olympus announced it would be selling off its imaging division to another company—and in doing so dramatically changing much of its core business focus—today Olympus announced two new products—the new OM-D E-M10 Mark IV camera body and the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens—almost as if nothing has changed.
So, for now, Olympus continues to enhance its mirrorless camera and lens line up. Here are some details on each of the new Olympus products:
Olympus says this new entry-level model has been redesigned with some ergonomic changes as well as the addition of newer technology to make it very lightweight (about 13.5 ounces or 0.85 pounds) and compact, yet still maintaining high image quality. The company also highlighted that this camera would be very good for taking self-portraits and videos of yourself. But it includes a lot of powerful technology, including 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS).
Other key Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV specifications also include:
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV will be available in two configurations—for $699 (body only, in either silver or black) or for $799 (in either silver or black, as a kit, with the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5- 5.6 EZ lens). Additionally, for a limited time (through November 1, 2020), you can also purchase the new OM-D E-M10 Mark IV and receive a free starter kit, consisting of an Olympus camera bag, extra BLS-50 battery and 32GB SD card.
This lens will be ideal for those photographers and videographers looking for a somewhat affordable zoom lens with the ability to get you close to the action. Plus, because it’s in the Micro Four-Thirds system, the lens is smaller, lighter and more portable than comparable full-frame mirrorless camera system lenses.
Key specifications on the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens include:
The lens also includes a focus-limiter switch and a manual focus switch. Like the new camera body, the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens will be available in September, with a list price of $1,499
For more information on each product, see the press releases below.
[[ press release ]]
Center Valley, PA, August 4, 2020 – Olympus introduces the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, a compact, lightweight interchangeable, Micro Four Thirds® camera body designed for the beginner, yet packed with versatile features common in mid-level camera products—offering ease-of-use and incredible portability in a classic body design that is lighter than ever before. For a limited time (through November 1, 2020), purchase a new OM-D E-M10 Mark IV and receive a free starter kit, consisting of an Olympus camera bag, extra BLS-50 battery and 32GB SD card (starter kit valued at $99.99).
The award-winning Olympus OM-D series has a reputation for delivering flawless, professional- quality images and video to photographers of all levels, and the E-M10 Mark IV does not disappoint. This entry-point mirrorless camera is designed to allow the user to grow with it; its powerful image sensor and image-processing engine are packed with technology to deliver a wealth of versatile shooting features; perfect for the enthusiastic beginner photographer, who values quality, yet demands results. This model also features a high-definition electronic viewfinder for optimal quality while shooting in bright outdoor or backlit conditions, and an improved grip with a secure hold for superb ergonomics and comfortable control. The compact, lightweight design is equipped with in-body 5-axis image stabilizationi featuring up to 4.5 shutter speed steps of compensationii, and a new 20 Megapixel Live MOS sensor. Combined, the two deliver high-quality photos and videos with minimal blur in any scene, including night photography and telephoto shooting.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is lighter than any previous model, at approximately 0.85 pounds. Even when paired with the M.Zuiko® Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ lens, the kit is just over a pound (approximately 1.05 pounds), about the size of a standard bottle of wateriii, making it incredibly portable. A deep grip provides an ergonomic, comfortable and secure feel. Easy USB charging enables in-camera charging, using a power bank – convenient when on the go. This body is also wireless radio wave external flash compatible.
Capture blur-free photos even in dark locations, thanks to improved in-body 5-axis image stabilization, providing 4.5 shutter speed steps of compensation. Expect consistent in-focus subjects with improved autofocus tracking precision. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV uses the same moving subject detection algorithm available in the high-end OM-D E-M1X. Using Face/Eye Detection autofocus, a feature recently introduced on the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, the OM-
D E-M10 Mark IV captures beautiful portraits with more accurate face detection and tracking, even when viewing the face from the side or when partially hidden. The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV has the same 20M image sensor and high-performance TruePic VIII image processing engine available on Olympus high-end models, and now available on the E-M10 Mark IV. Never miss a fast action shot with its maximum 15 frames-per-second high-speed sequential shooting.
A first for the OM-D series, this model is equipped with a flip-down LCD monitor and dedicated selfie mode, making it easy and fun to take high-quality selfies using one hand. The camera supports high-angle and low-angle shooting, so photos and videos turn out exactly as imagined. Additionally, the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV features a high-definition electronic viewfinder, making it easier than ever to shoot in direct sunlight and in other situations where it might be difficult to view the LCD monitor.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV allows users to choose from 28 Scene Modes, ranging anywhere from Portrait to Fireworks, and Sport to Macro, with many other options in between, allowing optimization of settings for the best results in virtually any scenario. 16 Art Filters, such as Vintage, Soft Focus and Instant Film offer the user the creative expression of their choice. Enjoy advanced techniques easily with Advanced Photo (AP) mode — an easy-to-navigate menu walks the user through features, such as High Dynamic Range (HDR), Live Composite, Live Time, Multiple Exposure and Focus Bracketing. Record beautiful 4K hand-held video even while walking, thanks to the powerful 5-axis image stabilization. Extract and save still images from the 4K videos. 4K video can be recorded without switching to video mode. Silent mode mutes shutter sounds during shooting, which is convenient for locations where sounds are not appropriate such as during recitals, concerts or weddings.
Olympus offers wide selection of Olympus M.Zuiko interchangeable lenses, from compact zoom lenses to single–focal-length lenses in a wide variety of focal lengths to meet the needs of any photographer. Choose the lens that best suits the subject. Traveling to a national park? Capture amazing wide landscapes with the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8 lens. Or get perfect shots of a new puppy with beautiful bokeh using an M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 lens. As the user’s photography skills and interests develop, this system is the perfect tool to grow with them. Wanting to explore macro photography, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f3.5 macro lens will be perfect.
Built-in Wi-Fi® easily and intuitively pairs with a smart device for remote shooting, wireless uploading and fast sharing. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV supports an always-on connection using Bluetooth®, allowing the user the ability to play back or import images, even when the camera is not in hand. This built-in, stable connection antenna is the same one used in the OM-D high-end models. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® built into the camera body, the dedicated smartphone app Olympus OI.Share® can be used to easily and instantly import recorded photos and videos to a smartphone or for posting on social media. The Camera “How To” guide is also available in the app for learning shooting methods and techniques on the go.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV Body (Silver/Black); $699.99 (U.S.)
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV EZ Kit Body (Silver/Black) and M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5- 5.6 EZiv lens; $799.99 (U.S.)
For detailed product specifications visit https://www.getolympus.com/digitalcameras/omd/e-m10-mark-iv.html
[[ press release ]]
Center Valley, PA, August 4, 2020 – Olympus® is pleased to announce the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens, an ultra-compact, lightweight super-telephoto zoom lens that covers a broad telephoto focal length of 200-800mm equivalent1 and is compliant with the Micro Four Thirds® System standard. This lens features the same dustproof and splashproof performance as the M.Zuiko PRO lens series, and when paired with the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20, delivers up to 1600mm equivalent1 super telephoto shooting. This lens offers superior autofocus performance, even handheld, and in-lens image stabilization for the optimal shooting experience.
Despite being a 200-800mm equivalent super telephoto zoom lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens is compact and lightweight, with a length of 205.7 mm, a weight of 1,120 g6 and a filter diameter of 72 mm. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens is capable of 200-800mm equivalent1 telephoto shooting on its own, which can be further extended when paired with the optional (sold separately) M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14 or the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20, for up to 1600mm equivalent1, making it possible to zoom in close on subjects that are difficult to approach, such as birds and wildlife, and delivering flattening effects for shooting that is unique to a super telephoto lens. The closest focusing distance across the entire zoom range is 1.3m and the maximum image magnification is 0.57×1, allowing superb telemacro performance when photographing small subjects such as insects and flowers. Focus Stacking2 is also supported. This feature captures multiple shots at different focal positions and automatically composites a single photo with a large depth of field that is in focus from the foreground to background.
|Aperture Value||Max Image Magnification
|M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400 ㎜ F5.0-6.3 IS||200mm-800mm
|With 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14||280mm-1,120mm
|With 2.0x Teleconverter MC-20||400mm-1600mm
The optical system of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens features a combination of four ED lenses3 for suppressing color bleeding, two Super HR lenses4, and two HR lenses5 for bright, clear depictive performance to the edges of the image across the entire zoom range. ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) Coating is used to reduce ghosting and flaring, for clear image quality, even in poor, backlit conditions. Extensive hermetic sealing on the entire lens barrel delivers the same high level of dustproof and splashproof performance as the M.Zuiko PRO series for peace of mind when shooting in any environment.
A rear focus system is employed to drive this lightweight focusing lens, for fast, high-precision autofocus performance. This lens is also equipped with four functional switches, designed to support handheld shooting, including a Focus Limiter switch for AF operation selection, ranging between three levels, according to the focusing distance, allowing for quick focusing and comfortable shooting, even in the super telephoto range. In-lens image stabilization on/off delivers stable handheld super telephoto shooting, an AF/MF switch and a zoom locking switch.
Please visit the website for detailed product specifications: https://www.getolympus.com/lenses/m-zuiko-digital-ed-100- 400mm-f5-0-6-3-is.html .
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Poster for the upcoming documentary film on Photographer Pete Souza, “The Way I See It.”
It’s hard to believe that we have less than 90 days to go before the start of the 2020 US Presidential Election between President Donald Trump and the Democratic hopeful, Former Vice President Joe Biden. At this point, Biden may be leading in the polls, but anything can still happen. But a new film trailer released this week for a documentary film (by Focus Features) that will appear in movie theatres this September may certainly help Biden in his quest. That’s because the new documentary, “The Way I See It,” not only chronicles the work of photojournalist and photographer, Pete Souza, during his eight years with two different Presidents—Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) and Barack Obama (2009-2017)—as White House photographer, but also because it highlights Souza’s current role as a vehement critic of President Trump. (Souza was the official chief White House photographer under President Obama but had a more junior staff role during his eight years with President Reagan.)
Right from the get go, the trailer is provocative: “I know what happens in the oval office, and that’s what scares me,” are the first words you hear Souza say in this trailer for “The Way I See It,” which has been directed and produced by Dawn Porter. But just what exactly has scared Souza for the past three or so years? For starters, President Trump’s behavior as the 45th US President, and just how much he has differed in that role, in Souza’s opinion, with both President Obama and President Reagan.
For example, just a little over midway through the trailer (around the 1:30 mark) you hear Souza’s voice describing the election of President Obama and what that meant for the African American community, as powerful images shot by Souza are shown on screen. He says, “I thought, who is this man? How does he deal with crisis? Leadership, character, and empathy.” Then, the trailer cuts to Souza speaking on screen at a podium, and you hear him say, “Don’t you wish you had that now?,” referring to President Trump.
It’s intriguing to see Souza’s current role as political critic, seen by many on his Instagram feed, and how in some ways it harkens back to his photojournalism roots.
But that’s quite a different role than being a White House photographer, which is to cover the day-to-day activities and goings-on of the Commander in Chief and is more a combination of being documentary photographer as well as a commercial or public-relations type of photographer, instead of being a photojournalist. After all, if you’re a photographer employed by the sitting US President, you’re not going to be shooting images that take pot shots at his or her agenda.
However, that’s not to say that White House photographers haven’t captured important moments in history. They certainly have: For example, a webpage from the White House website, during President Clinton’s second term, lists the following as examples of photos captured by White House photographers: President Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964; President Richard Nixon’s final wave to his staff as he boarded Marine One after resigning as President; President Jimmy Carter signing the Camp David Peace Accords; President Ronald Reagan shaking hands with Mikhail Gorbachev; President George Bush meeting with American troops during Desert Storm; and President Clinton encouraging the famous handshake between the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.
One of the more photojournalistic-like images captured by a White House photographer was this one, now on Getty Images, by Barbara Kinney, which depicts five towering figures in the world of 1990s Middle East politics: (from left to right) Yitzhak Rabin, Hosni Mubarak, King Hussein, President Clinton and Yasser Arafat—who had stopped to adjust their ties prior to the signing of a peace accord at the White House in .
The President Clinton webpage goes on to describe the role of a White House photographer in the following way: “Whether photographing the President as he works in the Oval Office, enjoys quiet moments with his family, delivers a speech, or makes a crucial decision affecting our nation’s future, White House photographers have a front row seat to history in the making.”
However, those images, even the charming one by Barbara Kinney, are quite different than say how Photojournalist Doug Mills of the New York Times covers a US President, which you can see here, in this story, “Our White House Photographer on Covering President Trump.” Mills might cover the same events, such as President Trump’s State of the Union address in 2019. But a White House photographer would never shoot a photo like the one Mills caught of Nancy Pelosi making a “gesture” of a clap towards President Trump, which some of the right have taken to be disrespectful, which is why a White House photographer would probably not shoot that type of image.
You can find more on the role of a White House photographer on this Wikipedia page, which includes a list of the official photographers going back to President John F. Kennedy as well as some iconic images captured by those photographers. The Washingtonian also includes an intriguing article as well, and The New Yorker includes a short slide show of photos by White House photographers. Artsy has a story by Haley Weiss, which includes Souza’s spectacular photo of President Barack Obama bending over to let an African American boy, who was the son of a White House staff member, pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office in 2009.
For more on Pete Souza, check out our Digital Photo Pro interview on him and read about how he captured his famous photo of President Obama and Vice President Biden, along with members of the national security team, as they received an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. You can also read about Souza and other political activists in our story on photographer KK Ottesen, who photographed Souza and others, in a story we posted earlier this year on KK Ottesen’s book, “Activist: Portraits of Courage”. Plus, check out my story from 2019 on Chris Buck and how he captures US Presidential portraits.
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Sigma’s new 85mm F1.4 DG DN prime lens
Earlier today, Sigma announced its latest prime lens for its Art series of lenses: The new Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN prime lens is a portrait prime lens designed for both L-Mount and E-Mount mirrorless-camera systems.
Sigma emphasized that the new prime will not only have very high optical quality, but it will be a lightweight lens as well, weighing in at around 22 oz. or about 1.4 lbs. Sigma also said its stepping motor has been optimized for use with both “phase detection AF and contrast AF,” providing a “smooth shooting experience only possible with a mirrorless camera, such as face/eye detection AF.”
Other key specifications include :
The new lens will ship later this month and be available for $1,199.
For more information, see the press release below:
[[ press release ]]
The 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art combines a clear and delicate rendering performance, which is requisite for portrait photography, with beautiful, rich bokeh effects only possible with lenses such as a large-diameter F1.4, at a level that will satisfy both professional and advanced amateur photographers. The focal length of 85mm and significant bokeh effect at F1.4 brightness allow the users’ subjects to stand out in a complementary fashion, which is one of the essences of taking portrait photography, so users can enjoy it to the fullest.
In addition to the fast and consistent AF response, the mirrorless-exclusive design of the 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art has realized a lightweight and compact lens body that defies convention. And its small body is packed with a range of functionalities, including a dust- and splash-proof structure, supported by an excellent build quality.
The 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is SIGMA’s new “ultimate portrait lens” for the mirrorless age. And with it, SIGMA proposes a whole new world of possibilities provided by this “85mm F1.4 lens for everyday use,” thanks to the unprecedented level of portability, free from size- or weight-related limitations.
85mm F1.4 is a specification almost synonymous with a portrait lens. With the Art line lenses, SIGMA pursues the highest optical performance possible and has devoted the latest optical design technologies, as well as the production technologies of the Aizu factory, SIGMA’s only production site, to the development of these lenses. The result is a detailed image critical for portrait photography that is achieved at a level that will satisfy both professional and advanced amateur photographers.
In addition to five SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements and one aspherical lens, the 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art has incorporated the latest high refractive index glass, which works to thoroughly correct aberrations that cannot be handled by the correction functionality on the camera side. With a particular emphasis given to the correction of axial chromatic aberration, users will enjoy sharp images with no color bleeding, all the way up to the maximum aperture of F1.4.
The high resolving power that covers the entire image from the center to the edges ensures sharpness of the area in focus, and coupled with the significant bokeh effect produced by the F-value of 1.4 brings out the users’ subject in an evocative way.
The numerous rounds of ray-trace simulation, as well as repeated real-world testing, have given the 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art its ability to minimize ghosting, ensuring clear, sharp images even when shooting in backlit conditions.
With the ability to shoot from the maximum aperture of F1.4 without worrying about image quality, users can focus on the camera operations to realize their artistic expressions, such as the adjustment of exposure and depth of field. This new lens indeed delivers a level of optical performance truly worthy of the name of 85mm F1.4 Art.
The 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art weighs 630g/ 22.2oz., with a filter size of 77mm and a body length of 94.1mm/ 3.7in.*. Designed exclusively for mirrorless cameras, it has a “large lens diameter and superb optical performance” and “a lightweight and compact body,” a combination which has long been difficult to achieve.
The AF motor system employs a stepping motor which is optimized for both phase detection AF and contrast AF. Not only does this provide a smooth shooting experience only possible with a mirrorless camera, such as face/eye detection AF, but it has also made the lens body itself much smaller, as the focus lens has been made small to better suit a stepping motor.
Furthermore, by making the most of the in-camera aberration correction functionalities, SIGMA was able to concentrate on the correction of aberration that could be handled by the optical system alone, which further contributed to making the lens smaller in size.
With such a lightweight and small body, users can now take out a large-diameter 85mm F1.4 lens for an everyday use such as taking snapshots. The 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art invites users to enjoy photography in an unconventional way.
* For L-mount
This compact lens is packed with a range of functionalities that will satisfy both professional and advanced amateur photographers.
The 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art has newly introduced an “Iris ring lock switch.” This prevents from unintended movement of the iris ring during shooting, allowing users to devote their attention to the creation of their image. The “Focus Mode Switch” on the lens body and the “AFL button*” that allows various functions to be assigned from a camera body will also assist users’ shooting.
In addition to the dust- and splash-proof structure, the lens uses materials such as aluminum and TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) where they are best suited, achieving a level of build quality that is worthy of the Art line. In addition to the durability of the body, the lens pursues quality in terms of how users “feel” as well, such as the smooth motion in which each ring or switch works, and the precise hand feeling. The 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art helps ensure users a smooth shooting experience in every condition.
*Limited to compatible cameras. Also, the functions depend on the camera.
To learn more about SIGMA’s craftsmanship, please visit SIGMA website at
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Green screen can be handy for situations where you’re not able to shoot talent in a particular location.
Have you ever shot green screen? I have. A lot. Hundreds of different projects over the years. First of all, let’s get this out of the way, “green screen” has become a catch-all term that describes a process of shooting a subject against a colored backdrop that will electronically be replaced, usually through a postproduction process called compositing or keying, with another background. I’ve shot blue screen, red screen and white screen for luminance keying, but the color green is the most commonly used, so the process has come to be known as such. However, that term is a bit like Kleenex being used in place of tissue or “Coke or Pepsi” being used in place of soft drink.
Why would you want to use green or blue or red or any other color to key a subject over? Green screen is the most popular because it tends to work well with people’s skin tones since most people aren’t green unless they’re seasick or nauseated. Blue screen is more commonly used for scenes where there may be foliage or green wardrobe. Back in the days of film, blue screen tended to work better when film composites were brought into the compositing workflow pipeline. Why would you ever shoot red screen? I’ve shot red screen when shooting tropical plants that had a ton of green and blue in their natural coloring, but they had little to no red, so using a red backdrop allowed for easier keying.
There are also camera-related technical reasons why one might choose a particular color to key over. In RGB color space with most cameras, blue tends to have more noise than the green or red channels, so in that process, amplifying the blue channel can result in an increase in noise in the image. In the end, choosing the right color backdrop should be a collaboration between the cinematographer and the compositor based on what’s being shot and where, what’s being keyed, the colors of all of the objects in the scene that are shot live and several other factors.
If we go back 10 or 20 years in production, shooting green/blue screen used to be much more difficult than it is in 2020. You had to really light any green or blue screen perfectly, making sure the lighting was even all of the way across the screen and at the right contrast ratio on the talent and subject versus the green/blue screen. You also had to make sure that there were no wrinkles or bunching on the physical screen itself. Fifteen years ago, keying software was good, but it wasn’t nearly as good as it is today, so generally, you just had to be much more careful about all of the details.
Your screen had to be lit nearly perfectly, and you had to mitigate the green or blue spill onto your talent from the green or blue screen itself, which required enough room on your set to physically separate the talent from the backdrop to cut down on the spill or eliminate it. Shooting and keying things like eyeglasses, where you could see the background through the edges and corners of the glasses, keying wispy blonde hair, cigarette smoke or fog effects were very difficult to pull off well. For these reasons, a good amount of shooters would end up with lousy keys with ragged edges, green edges, aliasing and other artifacts.
Cameras were often 8-bit recording in 4:2:0 color space, which meant that it was difficult to push a key or clean up a key because the bit space and color space were truncated compared to 10-bit 4:2:2. At the time, there was a huge price gap between low dollar SLRs and high dollar broadcast or digital cinema cameras that had 10-bit 4:2:2 recording capability. Today, there are fewer 8-bit 4:2:0 cameras on the market, and even low dollar cameras can record 10-bit 4:2:2 footage or even 10 or 12-bit RAW, making the recording much more robust for keying. Also, shooting at a higher resolution like 4K UHD for a 1080 project allows for more detail and increases the perceived color and detail resolution when downsampling a higher resolution image. There are so many factors in today’s cameras that allow for easier and better quality keys.
The decision to shoot or not shoot green screen is an important one. I’ve shot a lot of green interviews where when speaking with the producer or director, the logical question is, “What will the background be?” Most of the time, the answer is, “We don’t know yet.” Not knowing what the background will be presents several challenges. What colors should the talent wear so they work with the color palette in the background? Which angle should they be shot from? Straight to camera or at an angle? What size should they be in the frame? How should they be lit?
That last point, in particular, has stung me in the past. If I’m lighting and shooting a green screen interview or host segment and I’m not told what the background will be and what the overall scene will look like, how can I know how to light the scene? The default is soft, frontal, flat light. If the background that the person will be composited into is lit in the same way, great—it should match. But what if the scene is high contrast with highly directional late afternoon light? In that case, the person that we shot with the flat, soft, even lighting will always look artificial and pasted into the scene because the lighting between the foreground and background doesn’t match in the least. The exception to this rule is when shooting talent that will be composited against graphics. Then, at least the graphics can be created to match the lighting of the person.
Some reasons I’ve been told why producers want to shoot green screen:
One of the best uses of green screen is for photorealistic composites. This is where great care is taken by the production to insert the green screen talent into a background in a way that’s seamless, realistic and carefully planned and executed. The results when this approach is taken can be breathtakingly realistic; you’d swear that the talent is in the location in real life. This can be accomplished with interviews, presentations, narrative, music videos—really in any format. In my experience, this is the most difficult green screen to pull off, but when you do, it’s the most gratifying too because the shot doesn’t scream “Green screen composite!” when viewed by the audience. It looks natural and doesn’t call attention to itself.
The reason why few productions try to tackle photorealistic compositing is that it takes a lot more planning, technique, skill and resources. You work backward in this process, shooting or gathering the background plates before shooting the talent. Then when you shoot the talent on set, you live composite the talent in front the of background so that the director, DP, gaffer, props, wardrobe and every other department can see the finished composite—at least a rough version of it. This way, all of the parameters—camera to subject distance, angles used, lens selection, focal length, exposure—can all be tweaked to perfection to make sure that the green screenshot matches the background perfectly.
This is even more important in shots where the background plate shot moves and the shot of the talent has to move accordingly. If you can sync the movement between the two elements perfectly as you shoot the talent shots, it really helps to sell the illusion. You are then getting into shot perspective matching, parallax correction and ensuring that the angles are in perfect sync. In my work, photorealism is always the goal when shooting green screen. It’s rarely realized because most of the projects I shoot on simply lack the budget and resources to do so. But on those rare occasions when I get to do this, it’s always a lot of fun and very gratifying when you nail it.
To me, as a DP, the alternative to green screen is always real locations or high-quality sets. Shooting the real-deal talent in real physical locations, well lit and nicely composed is always the ultimate. As DPs, directors and videographers, I’d always encourage you to push your clients and projects toward shooting talent in real locations whenever possible. Green screen can be an incredibly useful tool, but it can also be a compromise and a logistical and post-production challenge.
If you do have to shoot green screen, your best practice should also always be to push for pre-production time to shoot tests and, whenever possible, if the background plates are real locations, push to shoot those plates well before you shoot talent. Record your camera used, raster size, codec, frame rate, camera to subject distance, lens used, focal length, ƒ-stop and exactly where your lighting sources were positioned in frame. The more data you have from your background plate shoot, the more you can apply that data to replicate the exact same lighting and perspective on your talent so that whoever does the composites finds that they have two perfectly matching puzzle pieces.
Today, Audio Design Desk, a powerful audio software app targeted at filmmakers and video content creators, and Frame.io, a video review and collaboration platform, announced a partnership that would integrate the two services. The integration will exploit ADD’s sound, foley and music-design capabilities while making the most of Frame.io’s cloud-based review and collaboration platform. Key highlights of the new integrated workflow between add.app and Frame.io include:
“Audio Design Desk and Frame.io were built for one another because they were both invented to enhance and streamline your workflow,” says Gabe Cowan, co-founder and CEO of Audio Design Desk. “Sound is half of what you see, and with add.app you can create sound for video at the speed of thought. But imagine if you could take this incredible creative tool and collaborate with people all around the world to get their ideas without ever leaving your timeline? This is now possible with the Frame.io integration. Using Frame.io’s Version Stacks, clients can now review and compare different sound and music cues against one another from virtually any online device, anywhere in the world.”
Additionally, add.app has also announced the release of a new version, dubbed Audio Design Desk Collaborate, which, the company says, “includes an optimized codebase that increases performance by up to 70%, a modernized AI-assisted importer, and perpetual licensing – one of the community’s biggest requests.”
For more on the announcement, see the press release below:
[[ press release ]]
Tight integration between add.app and Frame.io significantly speeds and enriches audio for video workflows, enabling creators to efficiently collaborate on cinematic audio, sound effects, design and music for video from anywhere in the world. Audio Design Desk launches new importer and perpetual licensing in new update.
Los Angeles, CA – August 18, 2020 – Audio Design Desk, the award-winning creative tool that has revolutionized how artists create audio for video, has just launched a brand new integration with Frame.io, the world’s leading video review and collaboration platform. The deep integration enables a seamless roundtrip experience between the two platforms. Users can pull video assets and frame-accurate comments directly from Frame.io into Audio Design Desk for creating sound and music for video, and they can upload their work to Frame.io for collaborative review and feedback without ever leaving the timeline. Along with the new integration, the company is releasing new updates in v1.3 of the platform, dubbed Audio Design Desk Collaborate, which includes an optimized codebase that increases performance by up to 70%, a modernized AI-assisted importer, and perpetual licensing.
“Audio Design Desk and Frame.io were built for one another because they were both invented to enhance and streamline your workflow,” comments Gabe Cowan, co-founder and CEO of Audio Design Desk. “Sound is half of what you see, and with add.app you can create sound for video at the speed of thought. But imagine if you could take this incredible creative tool and collaborate with people all around the world to get their ideas without ever leaving your timeline? This is now possible with the Frame.io integration. Using Frame.io’s Version Stacks, clients can now review and compare different sound and music cues against one another from virtually any online device, anywhere in the world.
“Plus, we’re releasing a number of new features and updates in v1.3, including a rewrite of the underlying audio code, which now performs up to 70% faster, a more powerful importer, and perpetual licensing for our platform, one of the biggest requests from our community.”
Cinematic Audio. Redefined. For Free.
Audio Design Desk now integrates with Frame.io to enable a seamless, roundtrip workflow between the two apps. Connect the two to import video assets and frame-accurate comments directly from Frame.io into add.app to quickly add sound effects, audio design and music for video. Users can pull from add.app’s library of 2,500 free sounds (or 25,000 for paying customers) or import their own sounds to build immersive soundscapes for their videos using add.app’s AI-assisted creative tools. Export and upload your sound-designed video to Frame.io for review, then back into add.app, with notes, when the review is complete. Using Frame.io’s Version Stacks, add.app artists can provide options for their clients so they can compare, side-by-side, different sound design or music cues options.
Because add.app understands the exact moment sound meets image, tweaking sounds based on client or team feedback is incredibly simple; one effect can be swapped out for another, intensity can be pushed up or down, or an entire selection of sounds can be changed from one genre to another with a single click – without ever losing sync. With its rapid workflow and replacement tools, creators can quickly and easily create multiple versions in less time than it would typically take to create a single one.
“I love this integration. Audio Design Desk uses two key concepts to deliver its creative experience: real time, frame-accurate, keyboard shortcuts for adding sound effects, and a robust AI backend. A user can search for their desired feel, come back with entire sound sets, test and review in Frame.io, set their markers, and then swap entire soundscapes on the fly. It’s an incredibly smooth integration that fits perfectly with Frame.io,” states Max Baehr, Developer Relations and Partnerships at Frame.io.
Audio Design Desk makes composing music, sound design, and sound effects faster and easier than ever before, whether for film and TV, animation, advertisements, podcasts and more.
The latest update to the revolutionary sound design app, Audio Design Desk Collaborate now offers customers the option to purchase a software license outright, otherwise known as perpetual licensing. Under this model, customers pay one price upfront, and will have the option to upgrade at a significantly discounted price for full point upgrades. Perpetual add.app licenses are available for $399.
Members of the press can request a Not For Resale (NFR) license to review Audio Design Desk. For more information or to schedule a demo with an expert from the add.app team, contact Megan Linebarger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frame.io is the world’s leading cloud-based video collaboration platform, designed to streamline the entire creative process by centralizing all media assets—and all feedback—in one secure place that’s easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Frame.io integrates with major professional video tools, acting as the hub of the entire creative ecosystem. Conceived and designed by video creators, the UI is intuitive and flexible that’s grounded within a powerful platform along with a collection of award-winning iOS apps for both the iPhone and iPad. The world’s leading creators and innovators trust Frame.io every day to help power their creative workflows, including Turner Broadcasting, Disney, NASA, Snapchat, BBC, BuzzFeed, TED, Adobe, Udemy, Google, Fox Sports, Media Monks, Ogilvy, and VICE Media.
Frame.io’s purpose is to allow everyone involved in the creative process to collaborate as if they’re all in the same room, no matter where they are in the world. Frame.io redefines the modern creative workflow.
The post Audio Design Desk And Frame.io Announce Integration appeared first on HD Video Pro.
Today, Panasonic announced that it will be introducing a new full-frame mirrorless camera: “Panasonic is pleased to announce that they will hold an online launch event for the new full-frame mirrorless camera LUMIX S5.” You can see the news yourself at www.panasonic.com/global/consumer/lumix/s/s5.html on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at 10:00 EDT.
Dave Pardue, who wrote about the news for Imaging Resource, one of our partner brands, said, “It’s been some time since our friends at Panasonic treated us to a new full-frame camera body… almost a full year. The video-centric S1H model was the latest, debuting in September of 2019….”
Pardue also points out that it’s interesting to see how the numeral “5” has been popular this year. “There will now be three full-frame mirrorless cameras from 2020 with numeral ‘5’ branding, as this model joins the Canon R5 and the Nikon Z5 in the ranks of Full Frame Fives. At opposite ends of the pricing spectrum, the $3900 Canon R5 is a flagship model and is full-featured, while the $1400 Nikon Z 5 is more along the lines of an ‘entry-level full frame.’”
At this time, there are few details on the camera. We do know, however, that it will be a full-frame mirrorless camera body, joining three other Lumix models, which all hit the market in 2019: S1 (24 megapixels), S1R (47 megapixels) and S1H (24 megapixels, but with a focus on video capture).
Pardue also commented on some of the characteristics the Lumix S-series cameras share: “We’ve found all three models to be incredibly capable and robust in the field, and yet all three are somewhat heavy relative to some models in the full-frame mirrorless world. This mass helps with the robustness in terms of weather sealing and general heartiness, as well as assisting in heat dissipation while rolling high-resolution video. But of course, not everyone wants weight.”
It’ll be interesting to see how capable, full-featured and ergonomic the new Lumix S5 will be compared to the others in the Lumix S-series line as well as models from other brands. We’ll be sure to report on all the news when we hear about it in September. So stay tuned!
The post Panasonic Will Announce New Full-Frame Mirrorless LUMIX S5 On September 2 appeared first on HD Video Pro.
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be felt for years. It has especially hit the production and entertainment industries hard as most traditional production has been at a standstill since March 2020.
I’m a video production person. I’ve been involved in digital cinema and before that traditional video production for quite a while. Since the great Pandemic of 2020, many of us have been looking at what we can utilize our skill set for to keep our heads above water during these trying times. Traditional television and film production began shutting down here in Hollywood beginning in March of 2020. So far, it hasn’t returned to any level of critical mass as of this summer. I have a few colleagues and fellow crew who have been lucky enough to get back to work, at least at some level, but I’d estimate at least 60 percent or more of my colleagues in my circle haven’t worked at all in production since March. They’ve been surviving on savings, PUA and UI money and possibly taking the odd side gig like driving an Uber or Lyft or working at an Amazon warehouse facility. Times are tough and they don’t look to be significantly improving for the remainder of the year and well into next year.
I’ve owned a small production company for about 20 years. We’ve seen all of the huge changes that have rocked our industry over the past few years. We’ve survived, but it hasn’t been easy—at all. Even with hard work, intelligent and logical strategy, the occasional far reach and taking chances to be a market disruptor in our small niche of entertainment marketing, documentary and corporate films, each year it has become more and more difficult to just survive, much less to thrive.
It’s a strange paradox that as video and digital cinema grows in popularity, streaming services compete with the traditional studios and then dominate them in the market and corporate media grows and more clients look at video as a necessary part of their business strategy, it’s become continually more difficult to make a living in this business. Part of it is simply the inevitable march toward the tools needed to create high-quality video or digital cinema are close to free. Either directly or indirectly, this phenomenon has affected all of us in production for the past 10 or so years at an increasing level each year.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I have a lot of different friends and colleagues in production. It just happened that in January, right before the pandemic really hit the U.S. and kicked into high gear, a friend of mine who I‘ve worked with here and there for about 15 years owns a live streaming company. He’s been in the business for the past decade so he’s the “old hand” at live streaming. Even though I haven’t worked in live television for such a long time, it was enjoyable to TD (technical direct) a live multi-camera event for my friend’s company in January. As the Pandemic loomed over us in February and then into March, my friend and I were in touch every few days. I had a sizeable chunk of shoots that were scheduled in March outright cancel as quarantine came in. I lost about $15,000 worth of booked projects in March and another $10,000 in April from clients who hung on with their bookings convinced that the quarantine would just last a few weeks.
Speaking with my friend, he too had a lot of high school and college graduations on his schedule to live stream. All canceled. We spoke and decided that as a hedge against losing all of our business for the next few months, we’d band together and try marketing live streaming services to larger and higher-budget clients than he had been landing as his low-dollar, high-volume, bread-and-butter projects that were paying his bills. His company has a ton of live stream experience and demo reel material, and my company has higher-end production names, celebs and clients.
Both of us have a lot of years in the media business. We broke down the live streaming market, at least the sectors we want to pursue, in the following way:
Small business, institutional users. This sector is already using live streaming to conduct meetings, round tables and discussions. There are also teachers now utilizing live stream teaching for their students online. This market is already saturated, well served by all of the free or low-cost live streaming commodity services like Skype, Zoom, Google Meets and Microsoft Teams. We also lump in social media content creators into this category. This is the DIY sector; few people on this level have the budget or are spending much money to live stream. They mostly sit at their computers and talk to others in groups online. Production values are low to nonexistent, although there are exceptions to the rule, of course. Many people at this level are using low grade, built-in webcams on their laptops, iPhones or low-cost external webcams. In our opinion, there’s very little business opportunity here for a production company or freelancer.
Basic, low end, logistically simple live multi-camera production. This level of clients may want to hire someone to live stream their event. It could be a wedding, funeral, graduation, a band’s performance, school presentations and events or low-end corporate live events. This level of production can be accomplished with small one- or two-person crews using some simple camcorders or even PTZ remote cameras, running into a laptop or a small, inexpensive switcher like the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. There’s definitely business here and with volume operation, shooting a lot of these low-end projects, one might expect to at least survive with these sorts of live streaming projects. Generally, this level of production doesn’t center on boring talking heads sitting at computers with webcams, it’s typically driven more by documenting live events that would be happening with a live audience during pre-pandemic times. Many of these events are still happening, just without a live audience, and the entire audience moves to watch the live event online.
Mid-level corporate/institutional live streams. In this tier, we have transitioned from what most people think of and know about as “live streaming” and we’re simply producing live television over the internet. The clients have higher budgets but exponentially higher technical capability requirements. Rather than a simple Tier 2 project with two to three cameras with a PowerPoint live stream, for instance, this level of client and production may ask for much more involved scenarios and requirements.
For instance, one of our Tier 3 clients is a production company that produced a high-end feature-length documentary film. They wanted us to help them live stream the film to YouTube Live in 4K resolution. The film was also produced in a Cinemascope 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Once the film has finished, we transition to a live five- to six-person discussion panel with remote streams from India, the UK, Canada, NYC, Los Angeles and Australia. Each of the panelists in the 4K-moderated discussion is placed in their own box on-screen with animated lower third titles. As each person takes turns speaking, we’re using DVE moves to move the boxes around like tiles and the titles animate and follow each panelist. This production is unique because it’s entirely remote.
Each panelist “signs in” to our system using their own laptop or tablet. Each panelist is using headphones with a lavaliere microphone. We have “trained” each talent, since we can’t be there to shoot their live stream, to carefully frame themselves and their shot. We work with them to find soft, large lighting sources in their home or office and tweak blinds or shades to utilize the window light in their location. The end result doesn’t look as refined as we’d make it if we were there in person shooting it, but it looks and sounds better than the average Zoom or Skype call.
Each project has different requirements. We’ve produced live stream fundraising auctions that have raised over $1.2 million dollars in less than two hours. We recently produced a virtual lunch gala event for a Major League Baseball team and their fans. To execute at this level, we use a crew of at least three to six people and sometimes more if we have remote video crews on location. We have a complex, customized live streaming studio with a virtual green room where remote callers can gather in standby and speak with and receive direction from us and the producers of the live stream. We have sophisticated audio mixing capability and can support up to eight remote call-ins at once, combined with up to 10 live cameras if we’re streaming from a live shoot event.
This tier is sort of an amorphous catch-all for sophisticated, multi-camera production for high-profile clients, the studios and TV networks. Work at this level is indistinguishable from high-end broadcast TV. Often, a mobile truck with potentially up to 30 to 40 cameras may be utilized. This level of production would often utilize crews of anywhere from 10 to 100 to execute. This would include events like music festivals; huge, lavish stage productions; big sporting events and the like.
Tier 4 projects will often have budgets that are in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Often, the live streaming part of the equation is brought in as an adjunct to the live broadcast or simply receives their input from the broadcast’s master output. But, occasionally, the live streaming team operates independently from the broadcast, such as when our team was hired to produce the Facebook Live stream at the NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet in Hollywood. BET broadcasted the awards ceremony, but we live streamed the Facebook Live stream from the Red Carpet.
The one unifying factor about live streaming that we should talk about is this: Live streaming is very difficult to do well. No matter the level of production you’re live streaming, there are technical and strategic limitations in live streaming that you probably aren’t aware of if you haven’t done it before.
Everything is dependent on the internet from where you streaming from. This sounds obvious, but think about it. If a location has slow, unreliable or temperamental internet, this will directly affect what you and your client are trying to accomplish. If you add in a remote live stream system like we use, for each “caller” we have sign in, we now have an additional incoming internet stream to be concerned about. Our outgoing service from our remote studio can be fast and rock solid, but if a remote coming in to us from anywhere in the world is flaky, there’s zero we can do about it from our end.
You may have seen ads or reviews for various wireless internet live streaming solutions, some fairly expensive and fully-featured “Internet In A Backpack” solutions. We own our own expensive top-of-the-line wireless router, utilizing three different 4G-cell providers. Even with this device, wireless internet for live streaming is, at best, spotty and at its worst, an unreliable disaster. Wireless, even when it’s delivering faster-promised speeds, is all over the map with constant throughput. That’s the problem, the way wireless internet works, there are constantly new obstacles for signals to pass through and there are also constantly changing interference challenges too. Live streaming with wireless is really a no go in 2020. The full rollout of 5G wireless might change this in the near future, but if you’re contemplating streaming in 2020, forget about any solution that relies on wireless internet; it’s just not going to work well.
I’m lucky. My business partner is an audio and webcast engineer. He’s trained and has decades of experience with internet, sound, picture, computing and troubleshooting. I will leave you with this thought: If you don’t have access to a true webcast engineer, trying to do anything above Tier 2 live streaming is going to be a disaster. Doing Tier 2 live streaming may turn into a disaster for you. If it does, how do you fix it? How do you interface with your client’s IT professionals to make sure that your system integrates with their heavily Firewall-protected network? Do you know how to set up and administer a bonded router system? Do you know how to interface and place orders with content distribution networks?
In Tier 2, you might plug into your client’s Ethernet and it might work. But if it does, how knowledgeable are you about IT and internet troubleshooting? What redundancies have you built into you’re A/V and live streaming gear? You’ll need a plan B and, often, a plan C. If your plan A stops working, you go to plan B. But if plan B doesn’t work, you must have a viable plan C. Realistically, if you’re professionally live streaming for clients for money, you need at least two of everything in your kit. Things break, malfunction, are lost, short out and stop working. Live streaming is live (mostly), so if the show is to go on, you have to have redundancies and you need a webcast engineer. Without these, it’s not a matter of if you will crash and burn for your client, but when. Even with all of these in place, you can still crash and burn; it has happened to us and it’s painful. But that’s the nature of live streaming; it’s not for the faint of heart.
The conventional wisdom for pro photographers is that when there’s an update for one of your important mobile apps—let’s say an app like Adobe Lightroom CC—you download and install the update, in order to optimize the app, perhaps to make it speedier or more efficient.
Unfortunately, some photographers experienced the opposite of that: For the past couple of days, content creators on various social media forums have been posting their angry complaints about losing photos and presets after updating Adobe Lightroom’s iOS app to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad, according to a number of photography websites, including Petapixel, where the story first appeared. (According to reports, photographers lost photos and presets that were not synched to the cloud.)
According to a number of sources, affected users will be unable to retrieve their photos.
The problem was reported on a number of online photography forums on August 18, including one of Adobe’s online forums, which included an official response (from Adobe representative Rikk Flohr), who wrote:
We are aware that some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and presets that were not synced to the Lightroom cloud.
A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPadOS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers.
Installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets for customers affected by the problem introduced in 5.4.0.
We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We sincerely apologize to any customers who have been affected by this issue.
If you are affected by this issue, please refer to the information in this forum thread.
Adobe also responded on August 20, by including the following information on its website, stating:
Some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and/or presets. This affected customers using Lightroom mobile without a subscription to the Adobe cloud. It also affected Lightroom cloud customers with photos and presets that had not yet synced to the Adobe cloud.
No assets in the Lightroom cloud were lost or are at risk. Lightroom mobile on Android, Lightroom desktop on macOS and Windows, as well as Lightroom Classic are not affected.
A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPadOS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers.
Installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets for customers affected by the problem introduced in 5.4.0.
We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We know how frustrating and upsetting this will be to people affected and we sincerely apologize.
Some customers affected by this issue might be able to use iPhone and iPad backups to recover photos and presets. If you are affected by this issue, please refer to the information in our forum.
Conventional wisdom also says that you should always have a back up of your work. Here’s some recent back-up solutions for most workflows.
The post Latest Update To Adobe Lightroom CC App Deleted Photographers’ Photos appeared first on HD Video Pro.
This year’s “in-person” version of the PhotoPlus Expo, which is generally held in October at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, has been canceled, but according to Emerald Expositions, which owns the show, PhotoPlus Expo will be going virtual starting November 1.
Emerald Expositions announced “we have decided to cancel our in-person event at the Javits Center in NYC, NY scheduled for October 22-24, 2020.” Most in the photo industry anticipated the show would be virtual, just as many other trade shows have done so this year, including the NAB 2020 show in Las Vegas, Cinegear LA in Los Angeles and also the 2021 CES show, which is also generally held in Las Vegas.
The reason is due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The difficult decision was made after consulting our community partners and supporters and closely monitoring the ongoing progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., including the latest government data, measures, and guidelines on the phased reopening plans in the U.S.; current restrictions on congregating and large gatherings imposed by states and other government and public health authorities; and the various company-imposed travel restrictions on employees, affecting attendees and participating companies.” The company also said, “Our goal is always to support, inspire and celebrate this remarkable community, and while we are disappointed we won’t be able to do this in person this year, the safety of our community is our top priority.”
In response, the company has decided to launch the show as a virtual, online experience, with a “full slate of content” starting November 1. You can register at www.PHOTOPLUSexpo.com.
The company also noted the “in-person” show would return to New York City in October 2021.
For more, see the following announcement, from Joseph Kowalsky, Show Director of PhotoPlus Expo:
PHOTOPLUS is extremely proud to announce PHOTOPLUS+, an online experience and community bringing together visual storytellers with the tools and services they need to create. PHOTOPLUS+ will provide a home for photographers, filmmakers and our brands to connect not just once a year, but year-round.
PHOTOPLUS+ will offer a rich and immersive experience including product showcases, live demos, gear launches, networking opportunities and educational content. Registration for PHOTOPLUS+ is already open and available through www.PHOTOPLUSexpo.com and will launch with a full slate of content November, 1 of this year.Since 1983, PHOTOPLUS has brought the photography and video communities together each fall to connect, share ideas, and experience the newest imaging technology. Our goal is always to support, inspire and celebrate this remarkable community, and while we are disappointed we won’t be able to do this in person this year, the safety of our community is our top priority. To that end, we have decided to cancel our in-person event at the Javits Center in NYC, NY scheduled for October 22-24, 2020.
The difficult decision was made after consulting our community partners and supporters and closely monitoring the ongoing progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., including the latest government data, measures, and guidelines on the phased reopening plans in the U.S.; current restrictions on congregating and large gatherings imposed by states and other government and public health authorities; and the various company-imposed travel restrictions on employees, affecting attendees and participating companies.
“The photography market has been one of the markets hardest hit by COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped advancements in technology or important and inspiring work from our community. Now, more than ever, we’ve seen the essential role imagery plays in our lives and the stories we tell. I have no doubt in the strength and resilience of our industry. We will continue to work and find ways to connect visual storytellers with the brands that help them create,” said Joe Kowalsky, Show Director for PHOTOPLUS. “This is the beginning of something bigger that can help our industry achieve success 365 days a year. We can’t wait to see what we create together,” added Kowalsky.
PHOTOPLUS looks forward to uniting with the photography and video communities at the next full-scale and in-person show slated for October 2021 in NYC. PHOTOPLUS will provide more information, dates and plans for 2021 as they become available over the coming months. Every decision made for the in-person event will ensure we host a successful, safe and healthy event for our exhibitors and attendees.
I recently wrote about testing an SSD. As I opened the packaging and noticed the cables that came with it, I started thinking about all the different cables I’ve acquired over the years. While I always try to use the cables that come with equipment, for some reason I seem to end up with extras.
In the past, figuring out cables wasn’t much of an issue. USB and the various flavors of Firewire weren’t interchangeable—their connectors were obviously different. You instantly knew which cable you needed to use. Now, with various iterations of USB and Thunderbolt, it starts to get a little messy because the connectors appear identical.
Just to prove the point, I did some tests with a portable SSD drive.
The speed using one cable was even slower than some spinning disks. So, then I tried another cable I had lying around.
The difference is dramatic. With the right cable, I was able to get close to the maximum specification for the SSD’s read and write speeds. Even though I used high-performance storage, there was a significant speed difference.
I tried the same cable test using an SSD array. When the numbers get into four digits, you think you’re doing well.
The only thing I changed was the cable, but speeds increased for both read and write. I could go into a long explanation of what’s going wrong. That explanation would involve comparing various technologies, and it would probably include a rant about how the people naming USB connections keep making things harder.
Unfortunately, since cables aren’t always well marked (the two I used in this test had no markings to differentiate them), it might not provide guidance for all situations.
Instead, I recommend to always test your connections. Software to test drive speed is available, for free, from AJA and Blackmagic Design. Run the test with any new drive and cable combination, and make sure you get the speed you expect. Don’t assume that you’re getting the performance you expect, prove it.
When you travel and need to shoot on location, it’s helpful if you’ve assembled a capable yet streamlined travel audio recording toolkit.
For those outside the filmmaking business, video is often regarded as purely a visual medium, for obvious reasons. But those of us who actually create films understand the importance of audio in a project and how it can be as essential as the visual components of a production.
It’s why this Audio Assist column focuses on creating your own audio recording toolkit. And not just any audio toolkit, but one small enough and lightweight enough to take on the road with you.
It’s important to note that building any on-location travel audio recording toolkit will depend on the types of shoots you support. So, for instance, some of you might need to choose additional or different gear. I’ve attempted to make this toolkit compact, lightweight, affordable, capable and, most importantly, flexible, so that it might be used to record sound for a variety of projects, including narrative, documentary, corporate, event or reality television. Additionally, I wanted the kit to be able to work on its own or when it’s combined with other components.
Before we begin, some projects might not need an audio kit at all. In some cases, the audio features of your camera may be good enough. But you need to research which camera you’ll be using, since on-camera audio recording wildly varies when it comes to recording sound. Some are decent and usable, but many record audio with terrible sound quality.
For example, an inexpensive mirrorless hybrid, DSLR or prosumer type of video camcorder won’t generally produce great quality audio. Often, even if the camera has a mic input, it’s going to be a plastic, 3.5mm stereo input.
It’s also typical for these cameras to feature low-cost, low sound quality microphone pre-amps and, in many cases, especially in the sub-$1,000 range, the overall audio chain may be substandard, producing audio with tinny, limited dynamic range and a poor signal-to-noise ratio. The plastic inputs themselves often become loose or break with repeated use. Many low-cost cameras don’t even have a headphone jack to allow you to monitor what the camera is recording.
Interestingly, many higher-end cameras also have substandard audio but for different reasons: In high-end cameras, it’s assumed that every sound shoot will have a sound mixer, recording high-quality sound into an external recorder. Most high-end cameras have audio inputs simply for recording scratch audio, nothing more, so the audio circuitry typically isn’t great, either.
Ironically, I’ve found that mid-level cameras like the Sony PXW-FX7 Mark II, the Canon EOS C300 Mark II, Canon EOS C200 or Panasonic EVA1 often have better sound quality than more expensive, higher-end cameras (models that cost over $50,000).
It’s why even the most inexpensive audio recorders have superior sound to even the best-sounding camera. And the good news is that there are a lot of choices for audio recorders for location sound. Almost all of them have at least good sound, and the majority of them sound great, especially when compared to camera audio.
Since we are assembling a travel audio recording toolkit, we’re going to keep the priority on size and weight. No matter how you travel, the smaller the size and lighter the weight, the better.
We are also going to prioritize for just a small amount of microphone inputs; usually, three or four microphone inputs are adequate for a travel recorder, but not always. There are plenty of recorder/mixers on the market with 10 or more channel/inputs, but most of these units are physically larger and heavier than the smallest units on the market.
I’ve tested both of the recorder/mixers featured below. They’re both excellent choices for assembling a small, lightweight location sound recording toolkit, although each has its advantages and disadvantages. Research which features matter most to you: You get more channels and inputs on the Zoom, but the Sound Devices unit has 32-bit floating point audio recording, which allows you to dramatically recover or change audio levels after recording.
Your primary microphone in your kit will usually be one of two types of boom microphones: A shotgun microphone or a cardioid microphone.
For recording exteriors and outdoors, you’ll obtain the best results with a shotgun microphone, since it rejects more off-axis noise than most other microphone types. For reflective interior environments, a cardioid, hyper-cardioid or super-cardioid microphone will work best, since it will pick up fewer room reflections.
For travel, you’ll have a better experience using a shorter, smaller and lighter travel boompole, unless you specifically need to boom talent in a wider shot, which requires a longer boompole.
I recommend traveling with four to six 25-foot XLR cables, depending on how many microphones you plug into your recorder. Even if you are only using a boom and a lavalier for interviews, it’s smart to bring a couple of spare cables.
I’ve found buying shorter 10-foot to 15-foot cables can save a bit of weight in your travel kit, but the times I have traveled with only shorter cables, I have regretted not bringing longer cables. I also like to have four different colors so that you can assign one color to a boom and one to lavs, and you can easily tell them apart.
It’s always a good idea to have a subject double miked in case one microphone has a technical problem. In such cases, you have a backup. And lavalier mics are great for recording a second channel on talent.
One question you’ll need to ask yourself—do you need to bring wireless lavaliers? One thing to consider for your travel kit is this: If you can avoid wireless lavaliers, you will typically end up with better-quality sound if you can avoid using any wireless microphone systems.
If you are only shooting sit-down interviews or seated stationary talent in other shooting styles, use a hard-wired lavalier, not a wireless system.
But many types of shoots really require a wireless lavalier system. Walk and talks, talent moving through a scene, gimbal work with dialogue, and, of course, there are dozens of other scenarios where wireless lavaliers are necessary.
Wired Lavalier Systems: If you mostly shoot sit-down interviews with your travel kit, skip using a wireless lavalier system. You’ll save money, batteries, weight and bulk, too.
Here are three wireless options for lavalier microphones:
You’ll generally need an audio bag to use with your travel kit. It’s great to keep your mixer/recorder safe and secure while traveling or shooting. You’ll also keep your options for powering your recorder mixer and possibly powering wireless microphone receivers in the bag as well. Here are two bags to consider:
There are many audio accessories to fine-tune your travel audio recording toolkit to your specific needs.
One to consider is power options: If you have a location sound audio bag, either solution provided here gives you enough room to include an optional add-on battery or BDS (Battery Distribution System) to power every accessory and recorder in your bag.
Another accessory you might need is a Bluetooth or WiFi solution for wirelessly distributing your time code if you can’t run a BNC cable from the recorder to camera.
The components and options we’ve assembled here will result in a high-quality, pro-level travel audio toolkit that can be modified in countless ways to support larger shoots with more cameras, more microphones and more accessories. For example, you might introduce IFB systems to send your sound to the director wirelessly if the director isn’t you or you need to have clients or other crew monitor the sound as well.
What’s convenient is that the components I suggest for your kit are small and lightweight enough to fit into a camera bag or backpack, too, and offer you audio capabilities that just a few years ago would not have been available in such a small size and economical price.
The new Panasonic Lumix S5 full-frame mirrorless camera with the 20-60mm zoom lens
It’s been an exciting few months for full-frame mirrorless camera news, with introductions from Sony, Canon, Nikon and others. Today, Panasonic joins the pack with an introduction of its own with the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix S5 full-frame hybrid mirrorless camera. The new camera will be available later this month, in two configurations, selling for $1,999 for the body only and $2,299 for a kit that includes a 20-60mm lens. The new model is targeted at aspiring pro photographers and videographers.
Panasonic has had a strong presence in producing powerful hybrid mirrorless cameras, particularly those that used Mirco Four Thirds sensors, like the Lumix GH5, a model that shoots both excellent still photos and videos. That power has been built into the full-frame mirrorless S-series cameras, launched in the spring of 2019. However, some photographers and videographers complained the three models in the Lumix S-series line—the S1, S1R and S1H—were on the heavy side. The lightest, the S1R, is still more than 2 lbs. Panasonic’s answer to this has been the new S5, which is just a little over 1.5 lbs. In fact, The S5 is more compact and lighter than even the Lumix GH5.
The new Panasonic Lumix S5 full-frame hybrid mirrorless camera may be a more compact and lightweight S-series Lumix camera, but it’s packed with features. Here’s some of the most notable features mentioned in the announcement:
Panasonic also pointed out that the new model incorporates the “heat-dissipating structure” they developed for both the GH5 and S1H.
You can learn more on the new camera by checking out the field review video from our partner website, Imaging Resource. For additional information, see the press release below.
[[ press release ]]
Newark, NJ – (September 2, 2020) Panasonic is delighted to announce the new LUMIX S5, a new hybrid full-frame mirrorless camera that achieves both excellent performance in photo/video and stunning mobility for serious photographers and videographers.
At the heart of the camera, the LUMIX S5 contains a 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor that boasts a wide dynamic range and high sensitivity performance. The LUMIX S5 further realizes recording maximum ISO 51,200 crystal-clear high sensitivity video with the adoption of the Dual Native ISO technology.
As a pioneer of photo/video hybrid mirrorless cameras, LUMIX has the largest lineup of cameras that record 4K 10-bit video*1. As the latest member of the family, the LUMIX S5 is capable of 4K 60p/50p4:2:0 10-bit, and 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording. It is also capable of 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. For 4K 30p 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording, there is no time limit. Panasonic’s exceptional heat dispersion technology delivers stable, long-time video recording. The LUMIX S5 provides 14+ stops of dynamic range, which is as wide as those of cinema cameras, and V-Log / V-Gamut compatibility with popular colorimetry called “VariCam Look.” A variety of recording formats and modes including 4:3 Anamorphic mode, Slow & Quick Motion, 4K/60p interval shooting and 4K HDR are also provided.
The LUMIX S5 boasts high-speed, high-precision AF (Auto Focus) in both photo shooting and video recording that are made possible with advanced deep-learning technology featuring real-time detection of the subject’s type and features such as human eye, face, head and body.
Combining the Body I.S. (5-axis) in the camera and the O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) in the LUMIX S Series lens, the 5-axis Dual I.S.2 prevents blurred images with the use of a 6.5-stop*2 slower shutter speed. The splash/dust-resistant rugged design provides professional photographers with high reliability.
To enhance the photographic experience, the 96-megapixel High Resolution Mode (JPEG/RAW), Live View Composite function and HLG Photo mode are available.
Thanks to the high energy efficiency and a new 2,200mAh high-capacity battery, it can capture approximately 470 pictures (using the LVF) / 1,500 pictures (in Power Save LVF mode). Power and charging are possible via the USB-C port. Double SD Card slot (UHS-IIx1 and UHS-I x1), 5GHz/2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity are also supported. The LUMIX S Series full-frame mirrorless camera system adopts the L-Mount system to provide users with a diverse and future-proof range of products from Panasonic, Leica Camera and Sigma. Panasonic now offers four innovative models in the LUMIX S Series of full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras – the S1R, the S1, the S1H, and the new S5. The LUMIX S1R is ideal for taking high-resolution images, the LUMIX S1 is an advanced hybrid camera for high-quality photos and videos, and the LUMIX S1H is designed and developed specifically for film production. The LUMIX S5 packs the essence of these conventional S Series cameras in a compact, lightweight body. With this lineup, Panasonic is committed to meeting the demands of all creators by challenging the constant evolution of the photo/video culture in today’s new digital era.
The LUMIX S5 contains a 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor (35.6 mm x 23.8mm). The LUMIX S5 boasts a wide dynamic range and reproduces sharp images with exceptional clarity. Noise is minimized even when shot at maximum ISO 51,200 high sensitivity. It is an ideal camera to use especially in low-light situations.
The LUMIX S5 features Dual Native ISO sensitivity, the technology that was first introduced in the Panasonic professional cinema camera VariCam line-up. Normally, noise increases as sensitivity rises with a single native ISO image sensor. However, the image sensor with Dual Native ISO in the S5 minimizes noise generation by choosing an optimal circuit to use according to the sensitivity before gain processing. As a result, it allows a maximum ISO 51,200 high sensitivity recording. Dual Native ISO gives film creators a greater variety of artistic choices as well as the ability to use less light on the set, saving time. The LUMIX S5’s Dual Native ISOs are 640 and 4000*1
Taking full advantage of its high-resolution sensor, the LUMIX S5 provides a High Resolution mode that faithfully reproduces precise details to be saved as beautiful, highly realistic images not only RAW but also in JPEG. Eight consecutive images are automatically shot while shifting the sensor using the Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) mechanism and synthesized into a 96-megapixel equivalent (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) image by the Venus Engine, which boasts high-speed signal processing. This high-resolution photo is ideal for landscape photography of stationary subjects or artwork with delicate details using a tripod. However, it can also be used in situations where moving subjects are included in the scene, by switching the sub mode.
The LUMIX S5 integrates the Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) for powerful handshake correction. Panasonic developed an algorithm that precisely calculates shaky movements sensed by the gyro sensor, image sensor and accelerometer sensor. This enables more accurate shake detection and compensation, making it possible to use a 5-stop slower shutter speed*2. Combining the Body I.S. (5-axis) in the camera and the O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) in the LUMIX S Series lens, the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 the correction power is maximized to allow 6.5-stop slower shutter speed*3. It is highly beneficial in telephoto shots and in adverse situations, such as in low-light or with one-handed shooting. The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 works for both photo and video recording, including 4K. The Body I.S. compensates for camera movement even when other L-Mount lenses without O.I.S. are used.
With the new Live View Composite function, the camera releases the shutter at designated intervals of exposure time and synthesizes the parts with high luminosity to produce a single picture. While the total brightness of each consecutive image is accumulated in bulb shooting, only the target subject, the bright parts of an image, are detected and the user can synthesize them carefully while seeing it in live view. This is useful for capturing shots of fireworks or stars in the night sky where the background needs no gain-increase.
As a pioneer of photo/video hybrid mirrorless cameras, LUMIX has the largest lineup*1 of cameras that record 4K 10-bit video. As the latest member of the family, the LUMIX S5 is capable of 4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit, and 4K 30p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording up to 30 minutes. It is also capable of 4K 60p4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. For 4K 30p 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording, there is no time limit. It will comply with RAW video output to ATOMOS NINJA V over HDMI as well as C4K video recording with the future firmware update (which will be detailed in Chapter 6).
Dynamic range measures the luminance range that a digital camera can capture. The LUMIX S5 delivers 14+ stops of Dynamic Range, which are virtually the same as those of the Panasonic cinema cameras, to precisely reproduce everything from dark to bright areas. The ability to capture accurate colors and rich skin tones is a must for any filmmaker. The LUMIX S5 imports the renowned colorimetry of the VariCam lineup of cinema cameras. The LUMIX S5 contains V-Log/V-Gamut capture to deliver a high dynamic range and broad colors. V-Log renders a very flat image while maintaining all of the color information within the image. This means that there is a greater level of play when the images are put through post-production processes. The CMOS sensor of the LUMIX S5 achieves a wide color gamut known as V-Gamut, which is the S5’s optimum color space and achieves a color space that is wider than BT.2020. V-Log has log curve characteristics that are somewhat reminiscent of negative film and V-Gamut delivers a color space even larger than film. 35 conversion LUTs for VariCam cinema cameras can be downloaded free of charge for use in the LUMIX S5. It is easy to match the color tone with the footage recorded in V-Log of S1H/S1 and V-Log L of GH5/GH5S. Practical tools like a Waveform Monitor and V-Log View Assist are also available.
With Slow & Quick mode, impressive video slow and quick motion video in 4K(1-60fps, 30x quick to 2.5x slow) or in FHD (1-180fps, 60x quick to 7.5x slow) is available. It is possible to use AF*2 to capture the subject in sharp focus in this mode, too. It can also be accessed directly using the mode dial.
The HDR (High Dynamic Range) video recording in 4K is also available, which reproduces both the bright parts and dark parts of an image, making it appear as if seen in person. The camera records video with a designated gamma curve compatible with ITU-R BT.2100, and the user can now choose Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) in Photo Style. The HLG*3 Photo mode provides a wider dynamic range to reproduce light and shadow with more natural contrast. The HLG Photos can also be produced as an HSP file*4 with compressed high-brightness signals in its full resolution (5,888 x 3,312, in 16:9) in addition to JPEG/RAW files. The user can playback these vibrant images on the latest Panasonic HLG-compliant 4KTV via HDMI cable connection or other HLG-compliant devices.
For more continuous burst shooting, 6K PHOTO*5 makes it possible to capture unmissable moments at 30 fps by extracting the frame with the best timing out of a 6K burst file (in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio) to save as an approximate 18-megapixel equivalent high-resolution photo.
The LUMIX S5 boasts high-speed, high-precision AF in both photo shooting and video recording. Combining the Contrast AF with DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, it focuses on the target in approximately 0.08 sec*1. As a camera that excels in low-light shooting, the LUMIX S5 boasts -6EV*2 luminance detection performance with Low Light AF thanks to the higher sensitivity and optimized tuning of the sensor. Allowing maximum 480 fps communication speed between the sensor and the lens, users can take full advantage of this high-speed, high-precision AF when LUMIX S Series lens is used.
The LUMIX S5 also incorporates an advanced deep learning technology that detects specific subjects like humans and fast-moving animals. Notably for humans, the head is separately recognized from the eye, face and body by real-time detection technology to provide even more precise focusing. The camera continually tracks an individual even if they move quickly, turn their back to the camera, tilt their head or move far away from the camera. On the other hand, improvements to the DFD technology has enhanced AFC, which also enables users to keep tracking small or fast-moving subjects to capture them in crisp focus.
The LUMIX S5 boasts outstanding mobility yet excels in basic performance and expandability. To withstand heavy field use, the LUMIX S5 is composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast body and is splash/dust-resistant*1. With an optimum layout of heat dispersion components, heat is effectively transferred outside which results in stable, continuous video recording for a long time.
The LUMIX S5 has a large LVF (Live View Finder) with a high magnification ratio of approx. 0.74x. High-precision, high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display features 2,360K-dot high resolution. Adoption of OLED for the LVF achieves high speed response with minimum time lag of less than 0.005 sec. With an eyepoint of approximately 20 mm, it offers high visibility with comfort for users wearing glasses.
A 3.0-inch free-angle LCD in 3:2 aspect with 1,840K-dot high resolution provides touch control. Composition during recording in various popular aspect ratios such as 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5, 5:4 and 9:16 can be checked with the Frame Marker function. The REC Frame Indicator identifies whether the camera is recording or not.
The LUMIX S5 has a double SD Memory Card slot. One slot complies with UHS-I and the other with the high-speed, high-capacity UHS-II (Video Class 90). The camera’s battery can be recharged either via AC or USB according to the user’s convenience.
Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. The settings of a LUMIX S5 camera can also be copied and transmitted wirelessly to other S5 cameras when using multiple S5 cameras. Wi-Fi 5-GHz (IEEE802.11ac) *2 also is effective in addition to 2.4-GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n.) This provides secure and stable connection on location for smooth remote control and high-speed data transfer.
A variety of accessories can be used for the LUMIX S5 to enhance its usability and convenience. Microphone Adaptor (DMW-XLR1) is a plug-in type adaptor for an XLR microphone to record high-quality stereo sound. It is ideal for lip-sync recording. Dedicated switches allow direct, quick control. MIC, LINE and CONDENSER MICROPHONES are switchable. Battery Grip (DMW-BGS5) allows approximately 940 pictures (using the LVF) / 3000 pictures (in Power Save LVF mode) with an extra battery inside the grip. More accessories such as Remote Shutter (DMW-RS2), DC coupler (DMW-DCC17), Tripod Grip (DMW-SHGR1) are available.
Application software LUMIX Tether enables tethered shooting via USB. Users can control the camera by connecting it to a PC via USB. It lets them view the image on a large PC screen while shooting. For live streaming, LUMIX Tether for Streaming (Beta) with LIVE VIEW mode can be used.
The LUMIX Sync application for iOS/Android devices enables photo transmission to a smartphone or a tablet via easy wireless connection. It also allows remote control of the camera using these devices.
To further enhance its performance, a firmware update is scheduled for the LUMIX S5 by the end of 2020. In addition to C4K video recording, it will support RAW video data output to ATOMOS NINJA V over HDMI at a resolution of 5.9K (5888×3312) 29.97p/25p, 4K(4128×2176) 59.94p/50p and Anamorphic 3.5K (3536×2656)/50p. A variety of video recording assist functions such as the Vector Scope Display, Master Pedestal Adjustment and SS/Gain Operation(SEC/ISO, ANGLE/ISO, SEC/dB) will also be available. L.MonochromeS and L.ClassicNeo are the new options to be added for Photo Style.
The Lumix S5 will be available at valued channel partners in mid-September for $1999.99 for the body only and $2299.99 with a 20-60 kit lens.
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I got a chuckle out of an online discussion about Adobe changing their icons again. While the complaints were well argued, it seemed like a molehill compared to the mountain I see regarding Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud feels like a consortium of different companies rather than a symbiotic ecosystem.
Since the Creative Cloud workflow suggested by Adobe enables you to switch in and out of various applications to get work done, I’d hope that many aspects of the environment would be similar. I don’t expect the interfaces to be identical. It makes sense that they’d be different because you don’t usually use a timeline in Photoshop, and Premiere Pro doesn’t edit photos. But there are things that seem as though they should be consistent across applications.
Take a look at the color picker in Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
Notice the differences in the three color pickers? I realize that Photoshop is going to have a few more options since it deals with CMYK, etc., but why is the color sample eye dropper in different positions? Why does Photoshop label “new” and “current” colors and the other two do not? And apparently you only need to worry about web colors in Premiere Pro and Photoshop. Of course, I could accept all those differences if there were color swatches in After Effects and Premiere Pro, as there are in Photoshop.
A similar situation is happening with type.
The After Effects and Photoshop type controls seem to have a pretty similar assortment of tools. The similarity ends there. Even the layout between font and font style are different. The differences become more dramatic when you compare After Effects and Premiere Pro.
I realize the tools are very different. (I’d like them to be the same but that’s a whole other issue.) The Premiere Pro toolset includes paragraph settings that are in a separate panel in After Effects.
However, for those controls that are similar, the layout really feels so different that I almost think I’m working in some other brand’s application. I’m not sure why the type size is a scroll bar in one window and a scrollable value with pull down in another. One is labeled with px and the other isn’t. The various adjustments for kerning, leading, etc., are also quite different from one application to the next.
Now I know some of my layout issues might not be easy to change because of the various controls in each tool. But take a look at something as simple as where you can go to adjust keyboard shortcuts.
When I refer to keyboard shortcuts, I don’t mean the interface for creating and modifying keyboard layouts. I only refer to where you need to go to get to that setting. In After Effects, it’s under the Edit menu; in Premiere Pro, it’s in the Premiere Pro menu. Make sense? (And the keyboard shortcut to get to the keyboard shortcut is slightly different.)
Even within a single application, there’s inconsistency. For example, in Premiere Pro, sometimes I use the Reveal function to find the location of a clip on my workstation.
When I right click on a clip in a timeline and look for “Reveal in Finder…” it’s near the top of the pop-up menu. But when I search for the same function while right clicking on a clip in a bin, it’s almost at the bottom of the pop-up menu. Same application, same function, different location.
I realize that for most people these differences aren’t that important. Maybe my observations seem like some of the rants about the icon changes. And I also realize that the individual applications have a long history with lots of users and that changing the location or arrangement of tools can be a huge deal. But it can be frustrating to switch between the various applications and know that some changes to these little things could make Creative Cloud more of a “collective” than just a collected group of applications.
Fujifilm’s new Fujinon XF50mm F1.0 R WR prime lens Earlier this month, Fujifilm unveiled a very exciting new lens: Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF50mm F1.0 R WR lens. According to Fujifilm’s Victor Ha, senior director of marketing and product management for the manufacturer, “Not only is it the fastest interchangeable lens Fujifilm has ever produced, but it’s Read more...
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The new Sony a7C small and compact full-frame mirrorless camera with the new FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens Today, Sony introduced three digital imaging products: The Sony a7C full-frame mirrorless camera, which the company says is its smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera body to date, nearly as small as the a6600, which has an Read more...
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I lit actress Lauren Graham using clamshell lighting for this Netflix promo spot. While it wasn’t exactly a beauty spot, I utilized beauty lighting to make Lauren look her best, since this was for a big announcement about her new series. Interviews are one of the most common threads that unite video shooters and cinematographers, Read more...
This image was captured with Fujifilm’s X-Pro3 mirrorless camera, a camera that emphasizes the process of shooting photographs. 2020 has been a challenging year for the camera industry and the photography world, to say the least, particularly as the effects from the coronavirus pandemic continue to be felt in so many parts of the world Read more...
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In my career as an editor, I’ve seen many changes. First, it was tape-based, now it’s all file-based. We went from interlace to progressive (although interlace just doesn’t seem to go away). And then we moved from SD to HD to 4K and soon 8K. While change can certainly be challenging, I’ve really enjoyed those Read more...
Last time, I wrote that I’m still able to do rare sessions with clients on-site. The keyword is ”rare.” Almost all of the time, I’m on my own. Sometimes work is accomplished by posting; then following up via email, phone calls or web conferences to discuss changes; then rinse and repeat. But as I mentioned Read more...
Last time, I started to write about live streaming my edit sessions. Over time, I developed a process that achieves a low latency (delay) of about two seconds or less. I send a stream to a content delivery network (CDN) that allows me to embed a low latency, high-resolution stream in a web page. That Read more...
Audio Design Desk is a groundbreaking, sophisticated tool that changes the paradigm about how to perform sound design quickly. As many filmmakers and content creators know, sound design is a very significant aspect of how engaging your content is to your audience. But right now, in 2020, the pandemic and its negative effects on the Read more...
Is wireless transmission an obstacle or an effective tool for video and sound professionals? Why the Rant On Wireless Transmission? While I’m not going to say that this blog entry is an attack on wireless, though it may seem so from the title of it, I’ll state that in my experience, especially over the past Read more...
These days, in-person supervised edit sessions are few and far between. While I do a fair amount of edit and post, edit and post, there are times when clients need to interact live during the edit process. I previously wrote about setting up low latency (minimal delay) streaming to clients’ locations for edit sessions. I Read more...
While wrapping up my posts on editing in the current environment, I wanted to talk about what the experience has been on the client-side. I previously mentioned that I stream the output from my suite to the clients with very minimal delay from my room to the client’s screen. The client “attends” in a web Read more...
I recently wrote about using live streaming to edit remotely. I talked all about setting up the process, testing what worked and didn’t work. But there’s one thing that I didn’t mention, and that was the politics of the web call. Since I had been doing low-latency live streaming for clients, I was asked to Read more...
These days, I’ve worked with remote colorists to get projects finished. For various reasons, the workflow has gotten a little more complicated. In the past, it was easy to send a drive with footage to a colorist via messenger or courier. I’d send either the selected original footage clips with an XML or all the Read more...
Last time I talked about today’s challenges when sending footage for grading. While drives can still be shipped, more and more projects require me to send files electronically. Because files are getting bigger and bigger, sending full-length clips isn’t practical. Sending trimmed files is becoming essential. When you work with trimmed files, it’s important that Read more...
I recently wrote a post on HDVideoPro’s blog in which I divided professional livestreaming into four tiers. For me, this exercise is an effective way to examine not only what livestreaming is but also who the clients are for this service and what kind of gear, skills and creativity you need to succeed at that Read more...
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In my last post, I talked about my process for exporting trimmed clips to send to color that’s handled elsewhere. I explained the need for trimmed files because of challenges with file sizes. Once I get the footage files trimmed and exported, there are a few more steps I take. Because I like to make Read more...
Are you on the lookout for interesting texture to build into your backgrounds? For some of you, this will be old news. For others though, the thought of using texture in your backgrounds is a new one. Let’s talk about the challenges introduced by creating interesting backgrounds for your interviews and narrative scenes—really any kind Read more...