Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LED is so cool compared to quartz but:

I have been using some LED lighting lately.  There are color spikes in the LED waveform so they may have more green or other colors than you expect.  These can be filtered out but it is kind of a pain.  The big problem i find with the LED lighting is the lack of a full color spectrum in the lights so that flesh tones are not rendered with the full gradiant of color which I prefer.  So I have been using the LEDs as hair rim lights and lights for set or background and soft quartz for the faces in the foreground. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

NAB 2014

Well here we are back from NAB
If walking is good for you, then this was the place to be!!

Kine Chinese 6K camera shown in 3D rendering on so many sites did not show at the actual booth which was way back with the cheap stuff at the back of C hall.  Even their 4K camera would not demo, and looked way cheaper than the renderings on the net.

Big change was almost no 3D Camera rigs but lots of 4K cameras, some quite cheap like the Sony which would need to come with an on camera light since gain wasnt enough to film in my living room.  And some quite large like the 15+ lb new Black Magic Cam.

Strangely as Black Magic AJA  Sony Panasonic etc etc were bringing out 4K cameras, there were a number of vendors, Even Adobe, showing their capability to Up rez HD to 4K quite successfully.

Consider that the Alexa is a 2K camera barely bigger than 2K and all the digital projection you've seen of movies shot on the Alexa were uprezzed. 

Perhaps the commonality of these two trends is that 3D can now be done in post about as well as shot with 2 synced up cameras in a heavy slow rig on set.  HD Uprezzes to  4K for projection compares to things shot on RED at 4K.  If I were a TV Engineer setting up my station for Ultra HD  I'd buy a conversion box to put in the pipeline right before the cable head.  If I were a Producer of TV or Movies I'd shoot on 2K or HD and uprezz for distribution.  The only time I'd shoot 4K would be if the project were effects heavy and I wanted to hide the matte lines better.

Maybe we could use all the millions saved to improve production peoples wages????

Craziest moment in the show for me: 
Black Magic design builds a new set of Studio cameras for their ME line of switchers and fiberoptic com system. 

Back of the camera:  Big color screen largest studio camera monitor I've seen, Talley Talk back, Program return all built in sent any distance over fibre.  The HD model Studio Camera retails for $2000  Way Cool but wait....

Front of the camera:  Manual 4/3s lens, yes a still lens which has no motors.  Oh you can buy a 4/3ds ENG type lens for $22K  but what about all of us with a roomful of ENG 2/3" lenses, well they will eventually make a B mount maybe, but the chip will be to big for its coverage!  and Oh yes there is no power out for the required remote zoom focus on the rear handles of every studio camera since the beginning of time. Clearly Aussies at BM are upside down!!

Totally ready to buy the AJA Cion, great on the shoulder, Like a little Alexa or Amira, simple menu like the Alexa 9K price. But the sensor does not window down to 2/3B mount instead HD is obtained on the full sensor by only activating some sensors.  So if you want a zoom lens, then check out the 10 to 1 with a 6by6matt box to cover, and the tiny 7lb camer becomes a giant.  With the super 35 sensor it will be damn near impossible to shoot: Doco, Reality, Multicam event hand held, Corp B roll, without and assistant.  Arri had to make a second camera to cover this segment of the biz but AJA only needs an option to window the sensor for HD 1080 from a 2/3" B mount to cover the market segments, of both the Arri cameras.  Given that the AJA Cion sells for less than 1/4 the price of the Amira  and given that Arri will sell way more Amira's this year than Alexa's looks to me like AJA is shooting themselves in the larger of the two feet.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Watch out RED Dragon, new from Kine the 6K  Kinemax for much less that RED charges to upgrade your Epic into a dragon.

I use my Canon 7D quite a bit as a second camera, the cumbersome menus and strange ergonomics make it difficult to use as an A camera on any jobs.  Of course the impossible audio also tends to relegate it to MOS roles.  usually I end up using it for timelapse, B roll in tight places, B roll with limited field of focus, and sometimes a second angle on interviews.

I've found two products that actually make the camera function quite a bit better.

Finally Magic Lantern has got their software hack up and running for the 7D so that it comes up with only a push on the garbage can button, booting from the card.  The raw recording mode is still a bit strange as it can't offer resolutions or frame rates I want.... no doubt this is because of limits in the card and electronics. Using raw for the first time ever I managed to shut down the camera from overheating.  Nice to have VU meters on screen and some albeit awkward control of audio levels. This hack also includes a very nice and easy to use timelapse.

The second is the $300 filter from Mosaic Engineering, that virtually eliminates the horrible moire problem in the 7D This thing is a must have!!! very little effect on resolution even on wide prime lenses.  This makes the 7D image competitive with the much higher price full frame digital cine cameras from Panasonic and Sony.