Is a new Canon RF mount video camera on the way?

Canon has filed a patent for a compact video camera that looks like it could be using an RF mount. While Canon has continued to stick with EF mount for their latest camera, the C500 Mark II, it is more than likely that sometime down the road they will make a switch to RF mount. … Continued

The post Is a new Canon RF mount video camera on the way? appeared first on Newsshooter.

Dream Chip Technologies Introduces ATOM One SSM500 – a 500fps Slow-Motion Camera

Dream Chip Technologies GmbH from Garbsen Germany just announced their brand new “ATOM one SSM500” super slow-motion camera fully fitted for an EVS or stand-alone workflow. The 500 is the number of frames it can output in 1920×1080 @ up to 60fps via 4x 3G-SDI channels directly to the EVS for slow-motion replays. Let’s take a fast first glance. Is this what sportscasters, tv stations and broadcasters have been waiting for? Decide for yourself.

ATOM one SSM500 - Exploded View

ATOM one SSM500 – Exploded View

ATOM one SSM500 – Core Features 

With a 2/3″ CMOS Sensor and Full HD Resolution of 1920×1080, the camera supports shutter speeds from 1/25 – 1/10000s. The dimensions of the camera are rather small and compact, with 165mm in length and a diameter of 60mm. It weighs about 400g. This is similar to the Sony A7III (371g, body only) and equates to about 4x GoPro Hero 7 Silver units (94,4g each) or less than half the weight of a Canon 5D Mark III (860g, body only). Camera control is operable via RS485 and IP, while the camera uses a voltage range of 11V – 36V at a power consumption of 20W (1,7A @ 12V).

Framerates (1920 x1080):

23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 50.94, 60, 50i, 59.94i, 60i

ATOM one SSM500 - Inputs and Outputs (Backside)

ATOM one SSM500 – Inputs and Outputs (Backside)

Video outputs EVS SSM mode or Trigger mode are offered with a recording time of 60 seconds @ 500fps (internal memory), while 500fps also is the highest possible frame rate. The colour sampling changes with the frame rates chosen: 300fps @ 12bit – 500 fps @ 10bit. The native ISO (sensitivity) of the CMOS sensor is ISO 640, and the camera offers HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) and PQ (Perceptual Quantizer) as HDR modes. The camera makes use of the C-Mount.

ATOM one SSM500 - Front View

ATOM one SSM500 – Front View

All the information here is from press documents by Dream Chip. The manufacturer states that all the data contains preliminary information and is subject to change without notice. Aside from that, information on the dynamic range of the camera was neither available from lab tests nor manufacturer information.

Workflow

ATOM one SSM500 - Slow-Motion Workflow

ATOM one SSM500 – Slow-Motion Workflow

ATOM one SSM500 – Final Notes

The ATOM one SSM500 has now extended the line of ATOM one cameras and seems mainly designed for sports and event coverage purposes. Due to its weight and size, it easily fits with all types of camera mounting options, such as on a Polecam or attached to sports goals, among numerous other options. Users familiar with EVS systems and workflow environments will find this camera easy to integrate for all types of slow-motion replays when covering sports games. Aside from these larger productions, the camera is also usable for smaller projects or in cases of stand-alone usage. When used all by itself the ATOM one SSM500 records internally and integrates smoothly with the free ProVideo Software, that takes care of the process.

ATOM one SSM500 - Side View

ATOM one SSM500 – Side View

What do you think about the new ATOM one SSM500 camera? Do you see any uses for it in your field of production? 

The post Dream Chip Technologies Introduces ATOM One SSM500 – a 500fps Slow-Motion Camera appeared first on cinema5D.

Fomex RollLite RL66-1200 – 6×6′ LED Fixture with 1,200W Power

Fomex RollLite is a line of flexible bi-color waterproof LED lights. These lights offer high-quality light output and they can be combined together to create large “light walls”. The largest standard light is a 6×6′ panel with 1,200W (four 3×3′ panels combined together) controlled by a single controller. Fomex can deliver even larger custom panels combined from the RL33 – 9×9′, 12×12′ and so on. The lights are available now.

We first saw Fomex RollLite flexible bi-color waterproof LED lights at NAB 2019. Back in April, we interviewed Alex from Fomex and found out these lights are basically available in four sizes:

  • RL21 – 2×1′ size, 75W
  • RL31 – 3×1.5′ size, 100W or 150W
  • RL33 – 3×3′ size, 200W or 300W
  • RL66 – 6×6′ size (four pieces of the 3×3′ 300W panel combined together), 1,200W

At IBC 2019 we met again and talked a bit more about the largest standard Fomex RollLite – the RL66-1200, which consists of four RL33. Fomex is offering this light in a kit with a metal frame, diffusion, controller, and transport box.

Fomex RollLite RL66-1200

Fomex RL66 is a 6×6′ flexible waterproof LED panel with 1,200W of power. It can be packed in a relatively compact transport package. Fomex offers this light in a kit with all the parts included and packed in a compact transport box. The light is bi-color (2,700K to 6,500K) and waterproof with an IP64 certification. The CRI rating is 96 and the TLCI rating is 98. The beam angle of the lights is 120°.

Fomex RollLite RL66-1200 LED fixture – Backside. Image credit: cinema5D

It consists of four RL33-300 which are 3×3′ light panels with 300W of power. These are mounted together with locking pins (which are included in the RL66 package). The resulting 6×6′ light panel is then held together by a metal frame. The frame, when assembled, consists of two squares held together in a slight distance – one of these squares holds the light panels and the other holds a diffusion. As a result, the light is spread evenly on the whole 6×6′ surface.

The RL66 light can be controlled with only one controller. There is also a 4-in-1 XLR cable included in the package, which is made to control all four RL33 lights when they are mounted together in the metal frame. It is also possible to control four RL33 panels, which are not mounted together, with one controller by using four separate XLR cables. With the controller, we have the option to control all 4 lights together or each light panel separately. There are two knobs – one for temperature control and one for diming.

Controller for the Fomex RollLite RL66-1200 LED fixture. Image credit: cinema5D

There is a 48V DC input, so the light can be powered with a power cable or even with a battery (if it is powerful enough). We found out that 6×6′ is not the largest setup possible with flexible RollLite panels. Fomex can combine even a higher count of their RL33 – 3×3′ 300W panels to create extra powerful 9×9′, 12×12′ or even larger fixtures. These will, however, require more than one controller.

Price and Availability

All Fomex RollLite panels up to the size 6×6′ are available and in stock. The prices are more in the premium segment – one RL33-300 light panel costs just under €4,000 and the RL66-1200 complete kit costs around €12,600. For fixtures larger than 6×6′, Fomex would need about 5 weeks to make a custom metal frame and deliver the light. I believe the prices will probably position these lights more to rental houses.

What do you think about the Fomex RollLite LED panels? Do you work with such large LED fixtures on set? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

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Litepanels Astra – Extended Repair Program for Astra Power Boards

Litepanels discovered an issue with one of the components they use in manufacturing their Astra LED light. That component is being replaced, but Litepanels wanted to let Astra owners know that they will exchange that part in their units free of charge – or if anyone has paid for a repair caused by that part, the company will credit them as well.

Here is Litepanels official statement:

Litepanels Announces Extended Repair Program on Astra Power Boards

Litepanels prides itself on the quality and performance of its products. An investigation – following a rise in the number of repair requests for ASTRA lights – found that the performance of the power switch in a limited number of these units did not meet Litepanels demanded quality levels.  All units shipped after March of 2018 incorporate a redesigned power board which resolved the issue.

Upholding its commitment to designing products of the highest quality, Litepanels is, subject to the terms of the program, offering to provide a free repair for any ASTRA light that exhibits this issue irrespective of whether the original limited warranty has previously expired.  This offer is valid for up to four (4) years from the original purchase date.  Subject to the terms of the offer, any customer who has previously paid for a repair to fix this issue may claim a $200 voucher credit per Astra light. This voucher can be redeemed against any Vitec Production Solutions brand; Anton/Bauer, Autocue, Autoscript, Litepanels, OConnor, Sachtler and Vinten. Customers may check if their ASTRA light is eligible, and register their contact information at: http://go.vitecgroup.com/AstraProgram

Customers must register their eligibility by December 1, 2019, and redeem their voucher by December 15, 2019.

Are you a Litepanels Astra LED light owner? Were you affected by the described issue? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section below. 

The post Litepanels Astra – Extended Repair Program for Astra Power Boards appeared first on cinema5D.

SIGMA FF Classic Prime Line and Updated High-Speed Primes

SIGMA FF Classic Prime Lenses add a new element coating to create creamy, traditional flaring for a unique cinematic look.

Fitting the increased proliferation of full-frame cinema cameras, earlier this year SIGMA has announced two new lines of 10 full-frame PL mount cine lenses each, namely the new “Classic” line and the updated high-speed primes. Both lines are based on the same optical designs, ranging from 14mm to 135mm and differing in their coatings, the resulting light transmission values and the inclusion of Cookes /i Technology in the latter line – providing metadata to cameras able to take advantage of it.

SIGMA “FF Classic Prime Line”

Image credit: cinema5D

The new SIGMA “FF Classic Prime Line”, although it is based on the same glass, differs quite a bit from their “FF High Speed Prime Line”. While the HS primes are going for sharpness, speed, and control, the “Classic” line seems to be open to a more free and open way of expression, allowing for the creative use of flaring and ghosting, in a way that looks rather vintage and yet not soft or inconsistent. SIGMA’s promo video, included in our previous report on these lenses, nicely illustrates these characteristics. The downside of the vintage characteristics of the SIGMA “FF Classic Prime Line” is the slightly lower speed: where the HS primes mostly come in at T1.5, with the outer limits of the focal range, the 14mm and 135mm being slightly slower at T2.0, the “FF Classic Prime Line” is a full T-stop slower at T2.5, again with the 14mm and 135mm coming in at a slower T3.2.

The SIGMA “FF Classic Prime Line” is available only as a full set of 10 lenses, which means it is highly likely that theses lenses are primarily aimed at rental houses.

Image credit: cinema5D

SIGMA “FF High Speed Prime Line” PL mount update

The SIGMA “FF High Speed Prime Line” is being updated with PL mount versions of their previously available EF- and E-mount lenses. Included are the same 10 lenses ranging from 14mm to 135mm, at T1.5 (except for the 14mm and 135mm at T2.0). The coating on the lenses has also been refreshed to be more durable and thus able to help your lenses stand the test of time a little better.

Cooke /i Technology included

Both the SIGMA “FF High Speed Prime Line” as well as the SIGMA “FF Classic Prime Line” have Cooke’s /i Technology (the “i” stands for “intelligent”) included into their PL mounts. This technology enables digital and film cameras to record important camera and lens data for every frame up to 285fps, synced to timecode, such as focal length, focus distance, f-stop, and frame rate. Among the cameras able to utilize this are the ARRI Alexa & LF, RED, SI 2K, Sony Venice, F55, F5, F65, F35, F3 and more.
The applications for this technology are manifold:

  • Continuous remote readout: in conjunction with Cooke’s /i Lens Display Unit focus pullers will be able to use continuous remote readout to more reliably pull focus in difficult situations, relying on actual measurements instead of just their eyes
  • Metadata: VFX teams will greatly benefit from the extensive metadata created for each shot, making it easier to calibrate the DI and create more natural-looking 3D models for shots using both actual actors as well as CGI
  • Software integration: additionally the continuous remote readout can be integrated with software allowing for sheer endless modes and possibilities of manipulation

SIGMA is really entering the big leagues here. The new “Classic” line and the updated PL mounts with Cooke’s /i Technology are pushing SIGMA’s already impressive cine lineup to new heights, allowing for use in the highest budget productions out there, while still retaining the moderately priced DNA that got them started in the world of cine primes.

What do you think about SIGMA’s new cine prime lines? Are you excited to test them, or use them in your next production? Let us know in the comments!

The post SIGMA FF Classic Prime Line and Updated High-Speed Primes appeared first on cinema5D.

Why This Filmmaker ‘Trusts No One and Questions Everything’

Mads Brugger explains how ‘Cold Case Hammarskjöld’ went from conspiracy theory to reality.

Cold Case Hammarskjöld begins as an eccentric inquiry into what appears to be a conspiracy theory. Muckraking documentarian Mads Brugger wants to know, along with his documentary subject Goran Bjorkdahl, whether the 1961 plane-crash death of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld was not merely an accident, but an assassination.

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3 Ways ‘Righteous Gemstones’ Does What No Other TV Show Can

The Righteous Gemstones balances comedy and crime like no other show on TV. So how do they do it?

It seems like all the best shows have been on HBO lately.

They ruled the airwaves with Game of Thrones and new hits like Barry and Succession have everyone talking. Now, The Righteous Gemstones has been renewed for a second season, and I thought it was high time we praised it on this website.

I am a huge fan of the show, which balances comedy, drama, and crime incredibly well. While not being for everyone, the show finds its footing being willing to do things other half-hours do not.

Let’s look at three ways Gemstones succeeds in balancing different tones and genres. So let’s get baptized.

How ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ Balances Dark Comedy and Crime

The Righteous Gemstones is about a family of pastors who run a megachurch. Like any family, they have their rivalries with each other and with everyone on the outside. Still, what brings them together is love and respect for their father.

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Nikon Rumored to Release Z 8 With 60-Megapixel Resolution and 16-Bit Raw

Nikon Rumored to Release Z 8 With 60-Megapixel Resolution and 16-Bit Raw

Nikon’s Z 6 and Z 7 cameras are the first forays into the full frame mirrorless market for the company. As they continue to expand the offering for the new Z mount, rumors are coming out of the Z 8, including claims of ultra-high resolution and deep bit depth.

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Six Misconceptions About Pro Photographers

Six Misconceptions About Pro Photographers

I am sure you have all seen the “secrets about photographers” videos doing the rounds recently. As a full-time photographer, I find this really hard to relate to. I have yet to find something which depicts my working life at all.

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You Have 48 Hours to Save Up to 32% on These Light Panels

The Litepanels 48 Hour Lightning Sale is going on right now at Adorama, where you can save big on pro-grade lighting gear.

If you’re in the market for some high-quality, professional lighting equipment, now might be a good time to check out what’s cookin’ over at Adorama.

For a limited time, you can take advantage of Adorama’s exclusive offers on Litepanels’ Gemini LED units that can save you up to 32%, discounts of over $600 on Astra 6X and 3X LEDs, as well as a chance to win a Gemini 1×1 Soft Kit.

Gemini Deals

The Litepanels Gemini LED soft panel has a lot of features that filmmakers are looking for. It’s color accurate, lightweight, flicker-free, provide the full spectrum of daylight and tungsten light, and has intuitive onboard controls, remote control options, and wireless DMX.

It also has 5 operational modes that allow users to adjust the light specifically for their projects.

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Unpredictable Tides: Distributors Talk Streamers, Foreign-Language Films in the U.S., and the Changing Festival Acquisitions Environment

With Toronto wrapped, New York upcoming and Sundance on the horizon, the film festival season is here, and distributors — particularly the traditional arthouse distributors — are facing tougher competition than ever. While critics and audiences struggle to keep up with the sheer volume of buzz-worthy films, industry executives must contend with tectonic shifts in the marketplace, ensuring in the process that their release slates are kept full of strong pictures.  In this new environment, when a pay TV outlet likes HBO scoops the competition by paying near $20 million for Toronto’s hot title, Bad Education, traditional distributors are often […]

How I Capture Striking Time-Blended Astrolandscapes, and You Can Too

My name is Paul Schmit, and today I want to describe to you the journey that led to the time-blended astrolandscape you see above.

You might recognize me from my recent marathon endeavor to capture the International Space Station crossing in front of the sun at sunrise. By day, I’m an award-winning theoretical physicist working at the frontiers of nuclear fusion research on the world’s most powerful electrical sledgehammer, the Z Machine. By night (quite literally) I’m an avid astrolandscape photographer striving to push my technical skills and creativity to their limits in an effort to make my own modest contributions to a photographic community crawling with incredibly talented image makers.

About a year ago, overflowing with inspiration and racking my brain trying to conjure visions of what sorts of “roads less traveled” might be out there in the astrolandscape world, I happened upon a neat realization in my living room while playing with the Photographers Ephemeris (TPE) app.

It turns out that in late summer, in the midlatitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (a.k.a. my part of the world), it is possible to point an ultra-wide-angle lens toward the southwest and capture the setting sun on the right side of the frame, and then, after the last hints of daylight disappear from the horizon (a couple hours later), capture the dense, luminous core of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, moving through the left side of the frame, all without any need to reposition the camera.

Thus, a two-hour shoot from a fixed position could yield opposing perspectives of two dramatic celestial events, each casting different colors, shadows, and moods over the same patch of earth. With some clever blending in post, I reasoned, I could create an image telling two different stories simultaneously, yet inextricably linked by their common foreground. I had to try it. And, as you read on, I’ll be sharing a few thoughts and tips on why I really enjoy this style, and why you might want to give it a try, too.

This is the image that got the ball rolling for me: Transition.

In September 2018, my father and I hiked across an ancient lava flow spilling across the northern New Mexico landscape in search of a foreground that would play equally well with the tones and textures of the late-day and nighttime environments. It amazed me to see such a diversity of tenacious lifeforms springing from the cracks and crevices of what was surely an apocalyptic scene eons ago.

Late in the day, I set up my camera to immortalize a slice of this landscape, placing the setting sun on the right side of the frame. I clicked off a bracketed sequence as the sun descended beneath a fortuitously positioned late-summer storm, which cleared the area after dusk, readying the sky for a clear view of our home galaxy. Sure enough, as the sky became truly dark, the ethereal glimmer of 100 billion stars cast a dim glow across the weather-worn lava flow, appearing just to the left of where the sun had set just a couple hours earlier.

Back at home, as I worked on constructing the final blended image, I found that the late-day clouds and lichen-adorned basalt created the sorts of pleasingly varying textures across which I could portray the night side of the image gently, perhaps even ominously creeping into the day side. My first time blend was completed.

When I released this image on social media and several night photography forums, I was delighted to hear how much it resonated with so many individuals. Some fellow photographers were also keen to point out the work of Stephen Wilkes, an acclaimed photographer famous for his Day To Night™ series, where he captures hundreds of images of iconic scenes over several-hour periods and then elegantly blends them into single, flowing compositions.

Since discovering Stephen’s work for myself, I have found limitless inspiration studying his style, technique, and compositional choices. He truly is the master of the blend. My hope in beginning my own foray into this genre is perhaps to more evenly emphasize the changing auras of both the terrestrial foregrounds as well as the celestial backgrounds with the passage of time, firmly planting my images within the broader astrolandscape realm.

Tip: Astrolandscape images often benefit from cleverly placed, very dim artificial light sources—a technique referred to as Low Level Lighting. The goal is to provide just enough even illumination to balance the luminance of the night sky with the often darker, starlit landscape within a single exposure.

For Transition, I had two LED panels set atop light stands a fair distance away on either side of the camera to accentuate the textures of the lava without casting harsh shadows. The depth of the scene proved to be difficult to manage tastefully with only two lights. A better place to get started with LLL are foreground subjects with more limited depth and breadth, like a tree, a cactus, a natural arch, a cabin, etc. In these cases, one or two off-camera LED lights can be more than enough to produce a pleasing effect.

Thrilled by my first endeavor in time-blended astrolandscapes, I found myself a month later perched atop an 11,000-foot-high caldera, watching the sun descend toward the horizon as I worked out my next composition.

Originally, my plan was to capture the sun and the Milky Way straddling both sides of the peak of this mountain, Mt. Taylor, but the antiquated fire lookout seen on the left side of the frame was too irresistible to leave out of the composition, aptly dubbed Aerie. Improvising on the spot, I endeavored to try something new: capture the sunset and nighttime images in a panoramic mosaic, rather than a single frame.

Time management and thoughtful anticipation of post-processing tribulations were essential here, as the ambient light and sky orientation were constantly changing during the different phases of the shoot, and the difficulty of aligning and blending two different sets of stitched images promised to be much greater than the case where the camera was fixed in place for the entire shoot.

I quickly rattled off a few 6-vertical-panel x 7-exposure bracketed sets of images at sunset (42 images total for the day side of the image) to use for an HDR panorama. Then, as a stiff, frigid breeze enveloped the mountain peak after nightfall, I did my best to capture identical long exposures of the same 6 panels, and then quickly gathered my camera and LED lights (which were wrapped in white t-shirts at the base of the lookout to provide some dim illumination) and threw them into the back of my vehicle before the temperatures plunged further.

Tip: Perfectly aligning day and night images of the same scene can be a nontrivial task, which only gets more difficult when working with panoramas that may have stitched slightly differently. I align my images manually in Photoshop by first picking a reference image (say, the sunset image) and setting that as my background layer. Then, I’ll place the other image in a new layer and use the incredibly useful Puppet Warp tool to apply minute corrections to small patches of the top layer until I no longer see signs of ghostlike duplications of prominent features in the landscape caused by imperfect overlap.

For identical exposures of a scene taken at only one time, the difference blending mode is a great to aid the alignment process, but with two images captured at different times and different exposure levels, I play around with other blending modes, too, such as the exclusion and divide blending modes. Reducing the top layer’s opacity can also help your eye pick out misalignments of fainter features that may not be apparent at first glance.

This next image, While the Cranes Slept, originally wasn’t supposed to be a time blend. This was the end result of a frigid but delightful all-nighter spent with my dad near the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge during the peak of the Geminids meteor shower in late 2018.

My goal that night was to capture two compositions that captivated my imagination, the first of which required impeccable timing and positioning, and which will be a subject of a future tutorial. With whatever time I had left before dawn, chilled to the bone by several hours of exposure to the 15-degree weather, I wanted to capture a wide-angle panorama of the winter Milky Way draped over a flock of sleeping sandhill cranes while more than a dozen meteors rained out of the sky every minute.

When I arrived at one of the crane ponds and located the sleeping birds, I was disheartened to find that they had cunningly placed quite a bit of distance between themselves and the shore, preventing me from getting close enough to them to fill the whole lower part of the frame with the flock. Adjusting my composition, I spent the last 90 minutes of darkness shooting a 3-panel vertical panorama, bouncing back and forth between the three panels repeatedly to capture more meteors while the slightly annoyed cranes squawked at me from their aqueous abode.

Knowing that they were going to turn out rather small and nearly indistinguishable in the final image—a far cry from my original concept—I decided to stick around until dawn to capture a second panorama. In the final image, I use the pleasant blues and purples of the early-morning sunlight to draw the viewer’s eyes toward the cranes, now awakening from their slumber, blissfully ignorant to the fireworks that concluded overhead just an hour earlier.

Tip: As is the case in While the Cranes Slept, time blending can be used to accentuate or create entirely new leading lines drawing the viewer into a scene. When time and energy permit, sticking with a compelling composition and capturing it under a variety of different lighting conditions can afford entirely new creative opportunities to tell a unique story.

There isn’t just one time an interesting astronomical alignment between the Milky Way and the sun occurs. Just as late summer affords views of sunset and the Milky Way in close proximity to one another in the Northern Hemisphere, early spring provides conveniently juxtaposed views of sunrise and our galactic core perfect for time blending.

For this image, Flow of Time, I wanted to use a panoramic view of the winding Rio Grande River Valley to weave together the various colors and textures of the captivating landscape under the entire palette of available ambient light, from darkness to sunrise.

To this day, I’ve never worked harder to obtain and produce an image than I did here.

Straddling uneven boulders forming a roughly 10-foot wide spine flanked by precipitous drops into valleys below, I struggled until the final moments of darkness trying to compose a multi-frame panorama featuring this intrepid, daredevil cholla cactus accompanied by unobstructed views of the Rio Grande, all while dealing with the growing pains of integrating a new star tracker into my workflow.

After finally finding a great camera position, with my tripod jimmied up against the side of a large boulder, I spent the next couple hours capturing multiple panoramic mosaics of the night sky, the twilight “blue hour,” and sunrise over the distant, snow-capped Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Aligning the stitched panoramas took an incredible amount of manual labor, this time involving not two unique times to register, but three. However, having the moody blues of the early-morning twilight image to smooth the transition between day and night really enhances the fluidity of the blend.

Tip: Capturing a wide-angle landscape scene with close-by foreground subjects can stretch the limits of a lens’ depth of field pretty quickly, especially when shooting nocturnal astrolandscapes at maximum aperture.

Focus stacking has become a preferred technique to maximize depth of field under uniform lighting conditions and with static subjects; however, the same small aperture, high-f-number settings that produce brilliant sunstars can also enhance the depth of field of a sunrise/sunset landscape image, allowing sharp renderings of both nearby foreground subjects and features at infinity. In a time blend, when the composition calls for it, blending the daylight version of an image into the portions containing close-in subjects can supplant the need for focus stacking the images taken at other times.

And, finally, we arrive at my latest time-blended image: Sinuous. This shot is all about mood, mood, mood. I captured this gorgeous tree near Ghost Ranch, a favorite haunt of the famed 20th-century artist, Georgia O’Keefe, and one of the most scenic natural treasures that can be found in northern New Mexico.

Really, as soon as I saw this tree, there was no escaping it. The writhing, grasping nature of its branches and fractal-like textures are a perfect setting to lose oneself between night and day. As the afternoon sun began to set, I was dismayed that the puffy white clouds that dotted the sky just an hour earlier had almost completely dissipated, robbing the sunset of some of its potential splendor. To make matters worse, the clouds came roaring back after nightfall, when outflow from distant thunderstorms intruded into my area.

I wound up sticking around for almost an hour later than I originally anticipated, just hoping the Milky Way would peek out from behind the cloud bank before it was too late. Finally, the familiar ghostly glow of the core partially emerged, and I captured the fleeting sight.

This was one of those moments that seemed severely compromised by the whims of Mother Nature, so I was pleasantly surprised to return home and discover how complementary the day and night sides of the image turned out to be, with the day side conveying a sense of tranquility and grandeur, and the night side an ominous, looming atmosphere. The blowing dust that had been an annoyance at sunset wound up restoring some vibrant colors to the cloudless sky, while the clouds completely redefined the atmosphere of the night image in a manner almost better matched to my serpentine, haunting foreground.

Tip: Sometimes the composition calls for focus stacking, as was the case for Sinuous. The concept hinged on the tree living halfway between light and darkness, and I didn’t have the depth of field in the night shots to capture the tree and sky in perfect focus at the same time.

In cases like this one, beware of focus breathing effects, even when shooting at fixed focal length. My close-up and infinity-focus night shots were about 1-2% different in scale despite not touching the zoom ring, and I had to rescale the images accordingly to produce a near-perfect blend in post.

Bonus Tip: In my year of shooting a variety of time-blended astrolandscapes, I’ve come to find that the composition hinges critically on the foreground choices, no matter the convenience and spectacle of the astronomical alignments happening in the sky. In my opinion, foregrounds with lots of depth, contours, and texture variations offer the greatest opportunities to showcase the contrast in moods achieved under different lighting conditions, and they also often lend themselves to compelling blending tactics.

In my earlier images, Aerie and Flow of Time, I used the mountains to cast false shadows serving as the natural boundaries between day and night. Rough, jagged boulders just beg for a soft transition allowing night tones to creep toward the receding daylight; and rugged, meandering trees provide a “crackled paint” sort of look, superimposing disruptive patterns across the otherwise soft, ethereal transition between daylight and darkness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this primer on the spectacular creative opportunities that time blending can bring to astrolandscape photography, or really any other kind of artistic image making. To keep up with my own ongoing photographic exploits, feel free to follow me on Instagram and check out my website!

Axibo camera slider system uses AI to track faces and objects

Axibo Media has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Axibo, an AI-powered camera slider system with tilt and pan functionalities. The company bills Axibo as a more affordable and simplified professional alternative to existing robotic camera systems. The product features an integrated 6 + 1 AI core CPU, powering its ability to learn faces and track ‘just about any object.’

Axibo is claimed to be the first AI-powered camera slider on the market. The device supports shooting in a variety of modes, including simple to 3-axis multi-point complex time-lapses, face tracking while sliding back and forth, and more.

The system supports payloads up to 20lbs (slider) to 24lbs (Pan & Tilt unit), speeds up to 1m/s (slide) and 300 deg/s (pan/tilt), and it supports voice control. Features include USB-C compatibility, HDMI-in, power for the mounted camera, and a universal app for controlling the device.

The 1m (3.2ft) slider is made from carbon fiber, supports angled and vertical motion, and including dual 1/4″-20 mounts on both ends. The Axibo slider can be used without the companion Axibo Z1 Pan & Tilt unit when applicable. The slider is joined by the companion Axibo controller, which includes WiFi, Bluetooth, USB-C, HMDI, axis inputs for camera control, and a Sony NP-F dual battery receiver.

The aforementioned Pan & Tilt unit features an intreated 4MP camera for 40fps face and object tracking, support for operating in inverted mode, modular mounting options (including support for tripods), and aluminum construction.

The Axibo camera slider system is being offered through Kickstarter, where backers who pledge at least $1,192 CAD are offered the slider, controller, z friction mount and cable package. Other pledge options include the Pan & Tilt unit for pledges of at least $1,315 CAD and both the slider and Pan & Tilt unit for pledges of at $2,105 CAD. Shipments to backers is estimated to start in April 2020


Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

Fuji Scraps 33mm f/1.0 Lens, Will Make a 50mm f/1.0 Instead

The big news from Fujifilm’s X Summit was the development of the X-Pro3 rangefinder with its unique hidden LCD screen. But that’s not the only thing Fuji revealed in Tokyo today: the company also announced that it was scrapping plans for the previously announced 33mm f/1.0 in favor of a more compact 50mm f/1.0 lens.

The XF 33mm f/1.0 lens (49.5mm equivalent) was first announced as a concept at Photokina 2018. But as good as this lens looked on paper, Fuji says that’s it has shown itself to be impractical in reality.

According to Fujifilm, the issue with the 33mm f/1.0 is size. During the development process, it became obvious that the lens would have to be too big and heavy in order to deliver these specs without sacrificing image quality. This was the first concept mockup:

But by the time the engineers had finished designing it, the prototype had 15 elements, weighed 1300g, and necessitated a tripod foot for stability:

This is why Fuji ultimately decided to scrap the lens altogether, and replace it with a much more compact 50mm f/1.0. The new lens will offer the same ultra-fast aperture, but at a full-frame equivalent focal length of 75mm and a weigh of just 900g (or 35% smaller than the most recent mockup of the 33mm f/1.0):

You can watch Fuji discuss this update to the roadmap in the livestream below, starting at the 43:30 mark:

The question we pose to you Fuji shooters is: did the company make the right choice? Should Fuji have continued on and made this “statement lens” like Nikon has chosen to make the massive manual focus Noct 58mm f/0.95? Increased the aperture to f/1.2 but kept the same focal length? Or did Fuji ultimately make the right decision? Let us know in the comments.

The Boring Detector Is Anything But Boring

A recent beta release of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve introduced a boring detector. By detecting long shots in your sequence, it can help highlight all the yawn-inducing scenes in your project.

I imagine it would light up like crazy if you edited “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Rope” or “Birdman.” Maybe the next beta release will give us the exciting detector—lighting up whenever Jason Bourne is on the screen. Or the sad detector…

Like others, I’m having fun with this bold concept from Grant Petty at Blackmagic Design. For me, it’s not the tool but the marketing of it—mainly the name—that’s the problem. Defining a boring shot based on length is a myopic view of editing, as some of the examples above indicate.

You could simply call it a shot length detector. (“Boring,” I know.) Unfortunately, calling it a boring detector, while controversial, hides the tool’s usefulness.

Being able to determine longer shots might help, but there’s another part of this tool that gets ignored in all the fuss—detecting jump cuts. Jump cuts are user-defined, so you can set it to look for single frames, or two frames, or more. This is useful for longer timelines where at first glance you might not see where there are leftover frames, either from a mismarked edit point or from moving a clip without snapping to an edit point.

But I will take this analysis a step farther. What if the analysis tool could detect how many times a shot has been moved or trimmed or affected in some way? Call it the ignored detector. If a shot hasn’t been touched since it was first inserted into a sequence, maybe it has been forgotten or hasn’t received the amount of attention it may deserve. Was it ignored because you spent so much time finessing that drone shot?

Or maybe there are some quick global indicators that could quickly color all of the clips that are not playing at 100 percent speed. Or maybe everything less than 100 percent speed is blue, 100 percent is green and greater than 100 percent is red. The same thing could also indicate the positioning or scaling of shots.

Along the lines of checking for 100 percent scaling, how about a way to check which stock shots are “comps” and which aren’t? Yes, you can usually tell by the watermarks, but some stock accounts let you try out scenes without watermarks.

And since the software can find all the comp stock shots, how about having it create a simple text list of those shots? Then I can hand that off to whoever purchases the stock. Then they’ll be working off a list of the stock shots we actually used.

Analyzing for stock comps could be done by codec or file format evaluation. Mp4s could be a good indication of a stock comp. That could also lead to verifying full resolution shots versus proxies.

I could also imagine quick checks to make sure that various shots all have the same effects, like LUTs or color grades. As I consider this type of analysis, the ideas keep rolling.

I know I started writing this a bit tongue-in-cheek about the name of the boring detector. But the tool, not the name, is symbolic of the future—where edit tools are going.

Project deadlines are becoming shorter and shorter. As content needs to be posted more and more quickly, editors need all the help they can get to get the job done. A “shot length” detector might help an editor under pressure.

The post The Boring Detector Is Anything But Boring appeared first on HD Video Pro.

IFH 347: Directing Your Film Shot by Shot with Steve Katz

Directing Your Film Shot by Shot with Steve Katz There are a few filmmaking books that have made as big of an impact on the craft of directing like today’s guest’s Film Directing: Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen, written by director Steve Katz. Shot by Shot is the world’s go-to directing book,…

The post IFH 347: Directing Your Film Shot by Shot with Steve Katz appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.

Fujifilm developing 50mm F1.0 instead of planned 33mm F1.0

Alongside the announcement of the X-Pro 3, Fujifilm has said it is developing a 50mm F1.0 lens for its X-mount mirrorless cameras and cancelling the promised 33mm F1.0.

As part of the presentation, Fujifilm’s Head of Product Planning, Takashi Ueno said that the 33mm F1.0 had become too big and heavy as it was being developed. The latest prototype weighed 1300g (458oz), included 15 elements and necessitated the addition of a tripod foot.

Instead the company has said it will build a 50mm F1.0, that can be under 900g (31.7oz).

The result is a very different lens: a 75mm equivalent, rather than 50mm equiv. people were expecting. The two sponsored ‘X Photographers’ at the event suggested it could be useful for wedding and portrait photographers. One of these professionals, Bert Stephani, expressed a the hope that the company will re-work its XF 35mm F1.4: one of the first lenses in the X system, whose autofocus isn’t up to the same standard as the company’s more recent designs.