Panasonic Announces 4K LUMIX GH4 Camera
Given how popular the hacked LUMIX GH2 was for videographers, Panasonic has taken things into their own hands, producing a NEW 4K DMC-GH4 camera featuring 100Mbps 4K files, and Full 1080p 200Mbps files. The GH4 will be the worlds first DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) camera to feature “…DFD (Depth from Defocus), a unique spatial perception technology that instantaneously detects distance according to the level of lens blur (defocus property), to improve auto focus performance in both speed and precision.” (Panasonic Japan).
The LUMIX GH4 will shoot two flavours of 4K video, Cinema 4K: 4096×2160 @ 24 fps and Ultra HD 4K: 3840×2160, up to 30 fps. The bigger 4K resolution size will be perfect for reframing and stabilizing footage for output to Ultra HD 4K TVs. Slow-motion shooters will love the 1080p, 96fps video capabilities.
Recording MOV/MP4 files to SDHC cards internally, the GH4 will also be able to output clean 4K 4:2:2 10-bit footage via four 3G-SDI BNC connectors housed in an additional Panasonic Lumix DMC-YAGH Interface Unit that can be attached to the camera: this is huge news! The external unit also converts the mini HDMI port to a full HDMI output and offers 2 XLR inputs, audio meters and volume controls.
Panasonic’s new image sensor has a faster read speed, promising less rolling shutter than it’s predecessor, a higher resolution screen, and all these MASSIVE improvements over the GH3 come with a rumoured price point reported by Engadget of less than $2000. The GH4 camera will no doubt be the camera to beat in 2014.
Camera Specs and Pre-Order Info
Check out B&H Photo for the GH4 camera specs and pre-orders.
> GH4 (Body Only)
> GH4 (Body with External Interface)
Panasonic GH4 Footage
Be sure to set the video to the highest YouTube video resolution for a glimpse of 4K footage, shot with the LUMIX DMC-GH4.

Panasonic Announces 4K LUMIX GH4 Camera

Given how popular the hacked LUMIX GH2 was for videographers, Panasonic has taken things into their own hands, producing a NEW 4K DMC-GH4 camera featuring 100Mbps 4K files, and Full 1080p 200Mbps files. The GH4 will be the worlds first DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) camera to feature “…DFD (Depth from Defocus), a unique spatial perception technology that instantaneously detects distance according to the level of lens blur (defocus property), to improve auto focus performance in both speed and precision.” (Panasonic Japan).

The LUMIX GH4 will shoot two flavours of 4K video, Cinema 4K: 4096×2160 @ 24 fps and Ultra HD 4K: 3840×2160, up to 30 fps. The bigger 4K resolution size will be perfect for reframing and stabilizing footage for output to Ultra HD 4K TVs. Slow-motion shooters will love the 1080p, 96fps video capabilities.

Recording MOV/MP4 files to SDHC cards internally, the GH4 will also be able to output clean 4K 4:2:2 10-bit footage via four 3G-SDI BNC connectors housed in an additional Panasonic Lumix DMC-YAGH Interface Unit that can be attached to the camera: this is huge news! The external unit also converts the mini HDMI port to a full HDMI output and offers 2 XLR inputs, audio meters and volume controls.

Panasonic’s new image sensor has a faster read speed, promising less rolling shutter than it’s predecessor, a higher resolution screen, and all these MASSIVE improvements over the GH3 come with a rumoured price point reported by Engadget of less than $2000. The GH4 camera will no doubt be the camera to beat in 2014.

Camera Specs and Pre-Order Info

Check out B&H Photo for the GH4 camera specs and pre-orders.

> GH4 (Body Only)

> GH4 (Body with External Interface)

Panasonic GH4 Footage

Be sure to set the video to the highest YouTube video resolution for a glimpse of 4K footage, shot with the LUMIX DMC-GH4.

Southeast Creative Summit - Day 3


Sound Production with Ed Novick

I initially made the decision to take a trip to Atlanta for the Southeast Creative Summit because of a sound production seminar with sound guru and Academy Award winner Ed Novick. Prior to the hour and a half session with Novick, I never realized how much sound theory goes into the placement of the microphone on set and choosing the type of microphone to use. Novick’s advice: always make sure the shot sounds like how it looks. Never introduce sounds into the shot that wouldn’t otherwise be there, this includes removing sounds that don’t look like they belong or interfere with the performance in the scene.

Novick walked us through the sound production setups for scenes from his films Inception, The Prestige, Spider-man, The Dark Knight, Money Ball and Life of Pi. I can’t say enough how important it is to learn from real world examples and people who intimately know their craft. Novick’s seminar was eye-opening and provided me with sound production knowledge I will always revert back to when shooting in the field.

Colour Correction with Patrick Inhofer

I’ve been editing for 18 years, and have always incorporated colour correction into my workflow. Patrick Inhofer expanded on everything I previously knew by demonstrating his Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 10 workflow, how he works with RAW footage, LUTs and handles different camera workflows from ARRI to RED.

Inhofer is a SERIOUSLY talented colourist, whose workshops are extremely clear, concise and will arm you with the tools you need to know how to attack your next colour correction project. If you’re interested in colour correction, be sure to sign-up for the free Sunday morning Tao Colorist Newsletter for colour correction training and the latest filmmaking news. Also check out the Mixing Light blog, for great interviews and tutorials.

The Southeast Creative Summit will be offered again next year, if you’re interested in filmmaking and post production, it is the conference to attend.

Southeast Creative Summit Atlanta - Day 2

Attendees were treated to a slew of great production and post-production workshops on day two of the filmmaking summit in Atlanta. 

Budgeting

Dana Popoff presented a workshop on budgeting, with some great tips about determining the budget for any film project. She reminded us content determines price. It’s not enough for someone to ask: how much for a 90 second spot? If the video involves flying around North America, the budget is different than shooting a talking head.

Dana suggests using software like Showbiz Budgeting to plan your costs; as the software prompts you to consider budgetary elements you might otherwise forget: like gratuities for valet parking or costs for renting walkie-talkies. Dana provided examples where hiring talent, renting gear from different places, choosing locations and shooting a specific time of day, had an impact on the overall budget. I never really considered time of day costs, but apparently shooting at night might be preferred by some locations, but you may end up paying extra for labour.

Dana mentioned a cover letter should accompany every budget. The cover letter should clearly layout what the producer will be responsible for and what the client is in charge of. Most importantly, the cover letter should include any contingencies that might have an impact on the overall budget, so you don’t have to go back to the client for more money.

For example, if you haven’t determined an exact location you may not know what the power limitations of the location will be. If in your cover letter you write: possible generator required for x days at x amount of dollars, there is a contingency in the budget the client already knows about. I will definitely be including a detailed cover letter in my next budget quote.

Sound Design for Editors

I’ve been editing for a long time, and I’m always looking for ways to increase the production value of my edit. Sound design is one element that if done right, will directly increase a picture’s quality.

Sound Designer Michael Cardillo presented a workshop for editors on how to prepare and hand-off an edit to a sound designer.

Michael focused on some quirks in Premiere Pro that cause mono and stereo edits to duplicate when exporting to sound post. Final Cut Pro X and AVID handle sound perfectly for exporting purposes, it’s just Premiere that multiplies tracks in the export, so if you’re a Premiere editor, beware.

Michael walked the class through best practices in naming audio tracks and reiterated an important fact: sound doesn’t have to follow video in the edit. Sound is meant to flow between tracks, with a dissolve in the cut, not end abruptly like video—unless it’s being done for artist purposes. When the video cuts, it does’t mean sound has to follow suit, even if the editing program automatically cuts like that. I personally like providing a gentle flow of sound from one edit to another to help hide the cut in picture.

Production with the Diamond Brothers

The Southeast Creative Summit was built around the post production workflow, but what’s a convention about post, without addressing the production element of filmmaking?

The Diamond Brothers from New York, held a workshop on pre-production, production and post-production planning, covering: budgeting, selecting gear, determining if you should buy or rent, choosing the best resolution for the project, and developing a post workflow.

Josh and Jason believe camera choice should be made to meet the needs of the project. Don’t just use the camera you have access to, really think about what is the best camera for the job, ie: if you have a tight budget vet need two cameras, rent a RED camera and shoot in 4K so you can use one camera and reframe for two shots.

As camera choice impacts workflow, developing a concise post-production workflow highlighting storage considerations, workflow scenarios (4K etc), grading, and delivery is crucial when developing your pre-production plan. In other words, plan your post workflow during pre-production, as it will influence the budget required for the project—what a great tip.

Southeast Creative Summit Atlanta - Day 1

Attending a convention or training event is worth it if you pick up at least one tip per session that changes the way you work. Saving time and refining your craft is one of the best ways you can have a healthier work/life balance, and a standard I’m always shooting for.

Today was the first day of Atlanta’s Creative Summit, three days focusing on production and post-production techniques and tips for filmmakers and video creators. A slew of courses were on the table for partaking in, so I took my chances on a few I felt would improve upon the areas I lack as an editor.

Planar Tracking and Rotoscoping for Editors

Mary Poplin showed us the power of Mocha, for fast and efficient planar tracking. I was amazed how easily the tool works and was even more happy to hear Mocha ships as a free plugin with Adobe After Effects CS6 (under animation > track with Mocha).

Mary also showed us how the vector based roto tool in Mocha works—and theory behind creating a good rotoscope (pick a shot with the most data/detail and with the sharpest image)—and explained how it’s different from a rotobrush, as it’s vector-based and is therefore not creating a rasterized selection. The stabilization tool in Mocha was pretty mind-blowing as well and certainly has it’s perks compared to the stabilization tool in other NLEs.

Sound Design for Editors

I shoot video, and I am always looking to capture the best sound in the field if I’m working without a sound person.

Sound Designer Michael Cardillo explained the hand-off process for passing sound from the edit suite to audio post, and practical tips for not destroying sound in the editing bay. I picked up some great tips from Michael about cutting sound and how to effectively finish sound production in the editing suite. Audio post is so important, and now I have a better understanding how I can make my videos even that much better, with cleaner sound.

Grade Management: Practical Tips

The lovely Robbie Carman took the class through 101 of providing colour correction services for clients, including how to plan and manage the grading process from defining your schedule to attacking the grade.

Robbie showed us the fundamentals, then showed us a practical colour grading session to reinforce all the tips and tricks he’s established in his years of providing colour correction services for clients while a colourist in DC. 

As an editor, I do basic colour correction: contrast, saturation, white balancing etc, so I’m always looking for ways to take my work to the next level. Having the ability to ask someone in person their process for grading RED footage, or anything else is a plus of attending a seminar with speakers who are working professionals. I’m looking forward to day two.

Video Shooting Capabilities of the Nikon D5300

There’s a new Nikon DSLR in town, one worth mentioning in the video production realm, as it has a few features that differentiates it from the pack. The Nikon D5300 is the first Nikon DSLR to allow full 1080p video recording at 60fps and have Wi-Fi capabilities built into the body. Like it’s bigger brother, the D7100, the D5300 has no optical low-pass filter, meaning you get sharper images but more potential for moire.

No Anti-Aliasing Filter?

Having no low-pass, anti-aliasing filter means crisper images, with noticeably more detail when you zoom into the image, but what about for video? If you’ve seen my videos, you know Nikon says there is no difference in the shooting capabilities of the D800 vs the D800e (the e version has no low-pass filter). In my tests, I didn’t find a huge difference in the amount of moire in video. Having said that, I did notice a difference between the Nikon D7100 and the Nikon D7000 in not necessarily more moire, but rather a digital pattern in the video that resembles scan-lines on a photocopier. The D7100 has better low-light handling, but the pattern of noise is less filmic and more digital looking. Until I get a test camera in my hands, I won’t know if the D5300 suffers from the same characteristic.

Stand-out Video Features

The combination of the ability to shoot 1080p slow-motion video, a high-resolution articulating screen and all the great audio/video capabilities previous Nikon’s have had to offer, makes the D5300 an exciting prospect. Moreover, you get all of these features in an inexpensive camera body.

  • 24.2MP 23.5mm x 15.6mm DX sensor
  • HD 1920x1080 / 60p, 30p, 25p and 24 fps
  • 3.2 inch articulating LCD screen with 1,037,000 dots of resolution
  • Stereo mic input with audio controls
  • Auto-focus while recording video
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
  • No optical low-pass filter
  • Separate Movie Mode live view
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for controlling the camera via Android devices
  • Continuous video shooting: 60 fps: 20 min, 30 fps: 29 min.
  • H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

D5300 is available for pre-order at B&H Photo: $796.95 body only

58mm f/1.4G lens (85mm equivalent on a DX body) also available for pre-order: $1696.95.

Camera Comparison Video: The BEST I’ve Seen

This video is without a doubt, the BEST digital video camera comparison video I’ve seen, and I’d argue an important piece to watch if you plan on purchasing, renting, shooting or choosing a camera for your next piece.

The video shows quite clearly why cameras like the EPIC and ALEXA are king, and why it’s crucial to know the limitations and features of every camera you use. If it wasn’t obvious enough to video shooters why it’s important to nail exposure and protect highlights when shooting with a DSLR, this video by Radiant Images makes it absolutely crystal.

This camera comparison demonstrates that every camera has features and limitations. The RED EPIC shines in the colour comparison, green screen and for the most part, exposure comparisons, but if a Director of Photography doesn’t protect for the highlights when using this camera, the loss of detail is obvious. Where the ALEXA blew every other camera out of the water in the exposure highlight test, the colour rendition while spot on in the skin tone test, seemed a little off when comparing other colours in the spectrum.


Shooting tips when using any camera.

  • Know it’s strengths, weaknesses and limitations.
  • Use a light meter–like the Sekonic L-478D–so you know you are setting your camera’s exposure correctly: this is key!
  • Use your monitor’s false colour feature as a backup for your light meter, so you can see what highs and lows you need to protect throughout the image.
  • If you’re using Neutral Density filters under hot lights, use ND filters with IR protection, so your colours and blacks stay true, like these ProStop filters I use from Formatt Hitech.

Sekonic and ProStop IRND

A BIG thank you to Radiant Images, for putting this camera test together.

New Camera Body for RED DRAGON
RED Digital Cinema has provided a glimpse of a brand new, carbon fiber wrapped camera body and side handle for the RED DRAGON (magnesium body and mount). Weight of the camera body is said to be a pound lighter than its EPIC brother, and oh yeah, it looks cool! (for $50k, it better).
A bunch of new RED product enhancements will be unleashed in the next few days for IBC 2013.  Keep your eyes peeled (rumours are flying)! Adobe has already announced native 6K RED DRAGON support in Premiere Pro.
RED ONE OWNERS:
A major RED ONE firmware upgrade has been announced (build 32.0.3) with the following improvements:
Added REDColor2, REDColor3 and REDLogFilm
Fix ISO setting after MX restore
Fix HANC metadata RECORD flag
Fix Bomb EVF intensity range
Added 512GB support
This is BIG news, as RED ONEs will finally be able to take advantage of all the lusciousness of REDColor3. Get the firmware upgrade here.

New Camera Body for RED DRAGON

RED Digital Cinema has provided a glimpse of a brand new, carbon fiber wrapped camera body and side handle for the RED DRAGON (magnesium body and mount). Weight of the camera body is said to be a pound lighter than its EPIC brother, and oh yeah, it looks cool! (for $50k, it better).

A bunch of new RED product enhancements will be unleashed in the next few days for IBC 2013.  Keep your eyes peeled (rumours are flying)! Adobe has already announced native 6K RED DRAGON support in Premiere Pro.

RED ONE OWNERS:

A major RED ONE firmware upgrade has been announced (build 32.0.3) with the following improvements:

  • Added REDColor2, REDColor3 and REDLogFilm
  • Fix ISO setting after MX restore
  • Fix HANC metadata RECORD flag
  • Fix Bomb EVF intensity range
  • Added 512GB support

This is BIG news, as RED ONEs will finally be able to take advantage of all the lusciousness of REDColor3. Get the firmware upgrade here.

Cheap LEDs from Genaray
I picked up a couple $30 LED lights made by Genaray, after hearing a professional photographer talking about how handy they were on his shoots.
They’re cheap, small and come with a recharger and two batteries (each battery lasts an hour). They are 5600K daylight balanced, and their output is equivalent to 40 watts (no dimmer included). Best of all, they stack together, so you can make an entire panel of LEDs if that’s what you’re looking for, or simply add a couple together if you’re looking for a little extra punch.
Next to a Litepanels Micro Pro, the colour cast runs a little on the cooler side.
The output of one seems a little stronger than a Litepanels Micro, although a little less spread out. Considering these little Genarays are $30 vs $320 for a Litepanels Micro Pro, they are a smoking good deal.
Genaray LEDs are available at B&H: http://bit.ly/166PRqA

Cheap LEDs from Genaray

I picked up a couple $30 LED lights made by Genaray, after hearing a professional photographer talking about how handy they were on his shoots.

They’re cheap, small and come with a recharger and two batteries (each battery lasts an hour). They are 5600K daylight balanced, and their output is equivalent to 40 watts (no dimmer included). Best of all, they stack together, so you can make an entire panel of LEDs if that’s what you’re looking for, or simply add a couple together if you’re looking for a little extra punch.

Next to a Litepanels Micro Pro, the colour cast runs a little on the cooler side.

The output of one seems a little stronger than a Litepanels Micro, although a little less spread out. Considering these little Genarays are $30 vs $320 for a Litepanels Micro Pro, they are a smoking good deal.

Genaray LEDs are available at B&H: http://bit.ly/166PRqA

AVID MEDIA COMPOSER 7

I’ve been meaning to do an official video on AVID Media Composer 7, but I’m not knee deep in it yet, as I’ve been busy editing projects in other platforms–based on client expectations.

Nevertheless, I am super excited about the improvements AVID has brought to version 7 and thought the video above by Alex Walker, provides a nice overview of some of the new features. Some of these features are common in other editing platforms and long overdue for Media Composer, but they’re here now!

AVID is still the #1 choice for feature film editing in Hollywood, so if you’re serious about editing, knowing the platform can’t be a bad thing. At the new low price of $999, $295 for the academic version, and nothing to subscribe to (ahem, Adobe), it’s a great deal for a professional tool of this caliber.

Hello RED DRAGON

It’s been a bloody long time since we first heard rumours of a new 6K camera from RED Digitial Cinema. I remember sitting at RED Studios in Hollywood, listening to Jim address the REDucation class about how incredible the footage from the sensor was. That was February (see details), and today we finally get to see what RED was so giddy about.

Director of Photography Mark Toia wrote a nice first impressions piece about the DRAGON camera, along with sharing stills from his shoot. As a huge fan of the RED MONOCHROME camera, I couldn’t wait to see just how close the RED DRAGON would get to producing a similarly clean, high dynamic range image. From Marks’ review, stills and video (as seen above), it’s clear, DRAGON is the camera people have been pining for.

As Mark says “It’s the first camera ever that I have used that captures exactly what I see with my own eye.” I say, FINALLY!

Be sure to login to Vimeo and download the 1080p .MOV version of the video, Vimeo compression doesn’t do it justice.

RED DRAGON can be purchased as a sensor upgrade for EPIC/SCARLET owners, or can be bought outright for $31,200 (brain, lens mount and side SSD).

Thanks RED.

Zoom H6: Six-Track Field Recorder

One of the most used (and consequently banged-up) pieces of gear in my camera bag is my Zoom H4n audio field recorder. It does a nice job of recording audio from lavalieres and boom mics on set and musical instruments at home.

Zoom has announced a follow-up to the H4n with the six-track capable H6 field recorder (watch video above). If this recorder has limits, I’m not sure what they could be. Losing it’s LCD-only screen for manual dials and switches is a nice upgrade from the H4n, and the incorporation of swappable mics is a kick-ass feature for people looking for one stop shopping where their audio is concerned.

I for one, am sold.

Zoom H6 is shipping now. I bought mine from B&H Photo -  $399

Favourite Filmmaking Apps
A big part of being a freelance ‘film’maker is having the right tools while on the go, and there’s a number of apps that have quite honestly made the work I do a LOT easier.
If you shoot video or spend any time in pre-production or production, I’m sure you’ll find these apps as helpful as I do. Apps like Shot Lister have really made me see just how powerful a mobile device can be. 
PRE-PRODUCTION
Celtx ($9.99)One of the cool things about the work I do for clients is turning the message they want to get across with video, into a story worth telling. Scriptwriting plays a big part in the process, and the Celtx app makes scriptwriting on the iPad simple (check out their Shots app for storyboarding).
Sun Seeker Lite (FREE)Once I know what I will be shooting, it’s time to start thinking about where I will be shooting. When scouting possible locations, Sun Seeker helps me determine what the light will be like and where it will be coming from at the time of day I plan to shoot. No more surprises when shoot day arrives!
Kodak Cinema Tools (FREE)If you shoot film or plan on shooting film, Kodak’s app will be a great help. It provides a list of film types with video examples for each, a handy overview of how to read a film canister, a film calculator, and a depth of field calculator. The Kodak app also shows the time of sun rise and sunset in the town you plan to shoot: handy!
Kessler Crane (FREE)When I’m getting ready to shoot timelapse photography, the first thing I do is get out the Kessler Crane app to calculate how long I will have to shoot—and how many SD cards I’ll need to get the length of scene I want. The application also includes tutorials on how to use their video production gear.
AJA DataCalc (FREE)Want to know how much storage space you’ll need for the video codec you’re shooting in? Then you’ll find the AJA DataCalc app indespensible.
Shot Lister ($13.99)After I’ve written a script and created my storyboards, I breakdown the script and compile it into shots using the Shot Lister app. Shot Lister is without a doubt my most used iPad tool (works great on the iPhone as well). I love being able to output the shooting schedule to a PDF for clients, and they love having it! I even use it when planning photo shoots, so I know on shoot day I’ve captured all the neccessary shots, while remaining on schedule.
PRODUCTION
Pocket Light Meter (FREE)If you don’t trust your camera’s light meter, you don’t have a light meter, or want to measure light on a specific spot, check this app out. It isn’t a replacement for the real thing, but it will help you know what you’re aperture should be—and it’s free.
DSLR Slate ($9.99)A perfectly lovely electronic slate for marking scenes and matching audio to video in post. The makers of DSLR Slate now offer 3D Slate for all you kids out there who shoot 3D.
Filmic Pro ($4.99)If you want to—or have to—shoot video with your iPhone, use FiLMiC Pro. Shoot with different frame rates, in slow-mo, with a specific exposure or with frame guides. All in an app that will make shooting behind the scenes videos a breeze.
POST PRODUCTION
iMovie ($4.99)If you have to—or want to—edit your videos on a mobile device, iMovie is a pretty powerful little program. Yes, shooting using FiLMiC Pro and editing in iMovie is a workable possibility for mobile movie making.
I’d love to hear what other apps people are using, feel free to add your own to the list via the comments section below.

Favourite Filmmaking Apps

A big part of being a freelance ‘film’maker is having the right tools while on the go, and there’s a number of apps that have quite honestly made the work I do a LOT easier.

If you shoot video or spend any time in pre-production or production, I’m sure you’ll find these apps as helpful as I do. Apps like Shot Lister have really made me see just how powerful a mobile device can be. 

PRE-PRODUCTION

Celtx ($9.99)
One of the cool things about the work I do for clients is turning the message they want to get across with video, into a story worth telling. Scriptwriting plays a big part in the process, and the Celtx app makes scriptwriting on the iPad simple (check out their Shots app for storyboarding).

Sun Seeker Lite (FREE)
Once I know what I will be shooting, it’s time to start thinking about where I will be shooting. When scouting possible locations, Sun Seeker helps me determine what the light will be like and where it will be coming from at the time of day I plan to shoot. No more surprises when shoot day arrives!

Kodak Cinema Tools (FREE)
If you shoot film or plan on shooting film, Kodak’s app will be a great help. It provides a list of film types with video examples for each, a handy overview of how to read a film canister, a film calculator, and a depth of field calculator. The Kodak app also shows the time of sun rise and sunset in the town you plan to shoot: handy!

Kessler Crane (FREE)
When I’m getting ready to shoot timelapse photography, the first thing I do is get out the Kessler Crane app to calculate how long I will have to shoot—and how many SD cards I’ll need to get the length of scene I want. The application also includes tutorials on how to use their video production gear.

AJA DataCalc (FREE)
Want to know how much storage space you’ll need for the video codec you’re shooting in? Then you’ll find the AJA DataCalc app indespensible.

Shot Lister ($13.99)
After I’ve written a script and created my storyboards, I breakdown the script and compile it into shots using the Shot Lister app. Shot Lister is without a doubt my most used iPad tool (works great on the iPhone as well). I love being able to output the shooting schedule to a PDF for clients, and they love having it! I even use it when planning photo shoots, so I know on shoot day I’ve captured all the neccessary shots, while remaining on schedule.


PRODUCTION

Pocket Light Meter (FREE)
If you don’t trust your camera’s light meter, you don’t have a light meter, or want to measure light on a specific spot, check this app out. It isn’t a replacement for the real thing, but it will help you know what you’re aperture should be—and it’s free.

DSLR Slate ($9.99)
A perfectly lovely electronic slate for marking scenes and matching audio to video in post. The makers of DSLR Slate now offer 3D Slate for all you kids out there who shoot 3D.

Filmic Pro ($4.99)
If you want to—or have to—shoot video with your iPhone, use FiLMiC Pro. Shoot with different frame rates, in slow-mo, with a specific exposure or with frame guides. All in an app that will make shooting behind the scenes videos a breeze.


POST PRODUCTION

iMovie ($4.99)
If you have to—or want to—edit your videos on a mobile device, iMovie is a pretty powerful little program. Yes, shooting using FiLMiC Pro and editing in iMovie is a workable possibility for mobile movie making.

I’d love to hear what other apps people are using, feel free to add your own to the list via the comments section below.

Vintage Camera Lenses


What better way to spend a Sunday than walking through the aisles of a vintage lens and camera swap meet? 98% of the lenses I own and shoot with are vintage. Why? Because they are fast, super sharp and optically have a certain look to them. One of the lovely things about shooting Nikon cameras is you can mount a large amount of vintage glass to the higher-end camera bodies and be able to meter as well as confirm focus through the camera.


I picked up a super clean Nikon 105mm 2.5 portrait lens and a very rare Sigma 90mm 2.8 macro. Check out some of the macro 1:1 shots I took with the Sigma (click on the images above). I know you should use a tripod to shoot macro, but for tests, I shot these hand-held.  I’m looking forward to incorporating both lens into my video work, knowing I can mount a Nikon lens on any camera body with an adaptor.

For more information on shooting video with vintage lenses, watch my video: Nikon Manual Lenses for Shooting Video.

NAB 2013: RED Digital Cinema Gear

This video showcases some of the exciting new products announced by RED at NAB 2013. RED MOTION, a global shutter mount with built-in neutral density filtration, the MEIZLER MODULE and wireless REDLINK family of products, as well as REDRAY and ODEMAX were some of the highlights.

RED’s showing at NAB really sets them apart from other manufactures, not only establishing them as a premiere camera company for feature films, but as a company with a product line in constant refinement. 

New RED products will be released in the Summer/Fall of 2013. For more information and pricing, check out their website: bit.ly/19bBiRO

Offical NAB Bloger

NAB 2013: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema & 4K Production Cameras

I’ve put together a short video outlining my first impressions of the Blackmagic Design Cinema Pocket and Production 4K cameras. There has been a LOT of hype about these two cameras, certainly people are excited about the prospects of a ProRes/CinemaDNG RAW point and shoot cinema camera, as well as a 4K Super 35mm sensor camera with built-in global shutter.

Possible 4K Challenges

I foresee these cameras posing some challenges in use, not solely based on their unique design and feature-set, but workflow as well. Footage from the Production camera will be compressed 4K (Ultra HD size, visually lossless), with a ProRes compression ratio and consequent file size GREATER than RED footage. 

4K RED footage compressed at 3:1 (the highest compression setting they have and don’t recommend you use) will get you 47 minutes of footage on a 240GB card. Considering most feature films shoot RED at a compression between 6:1-7:1 and TV shows use 7:1-9:1 compressions, anything higher than 5:1 seems unnecessary (note: 24fps 4K RED at 6:1 is 94 minutes on a 240GB card).

Conversely, Blackmagic Design states one 240GB SSD will hold a mere 36 minutes of 4K ProRes footage, with no mention of how big the file size will be for CinemaDNG RAW. At this point, I’ve heard no mention of being able to set the compression settings (as RED allows) to shoot at different compression ratios based on the project or budget. Think about that in realistic terms. Changing an SSD every half hour of footage means a lot of SSDs and a person on set dedicated to transfering the footage.

From a post-production perspective, Blackmagic announced DaVinci Resolve 10 will support the 4K footage from their Production camera, but I wonder what non-linear editor support for the CinemaDNG RAW 4K footage will be? 

Then there’s the question of 4K, Ultra HD 4K to be exact. If your main reason for capturing 4K footage is to output 4K, the UltraHD resolution (3840 x 2160) leaves no room for reframing or stabilizing your image, as the capture resolution is exactly the same as the output resolution. Where you have options when shooting 4K full frame, 5K or 6K (eventually) with RED cameras, you hit the limit with the Ultra HD Cinema Production 4K Camera from Blackmagic.

Are these concerns deal breakers? Probably not, but they may impact who chooses to buy the 4K Production camera from Blackmagic and who doesn’t.

Offical NAB Bloger
note: loading more posts will reset any filters applied
Show Me More