How a Filmmaker-Musician Used a 360 Camera to Create His Unique Music Video

We utilized a 360 camera not for immersive 360 video but for its other superpower: reframing.

Hi, I’m Brian. I sing and produce songs with my wife and a few friends in a band called TENTS. I also make music videos. I’m a filmmaker-musician, or a musician-filmmaker depending on how you look at it.

My band and I wrote a song called “Hutah!” that is very personal to us. I made a music video that features some unique filmmaking techniques, and am here to tell you a bit about it.

But before I get into it, check out the music video below.

And here’s a BTS featurette that gives you a glimpse into our process, including how we used the Insta360 One X 360-degree camera.

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Filmmakers Should Stop Making These 5 Common Mistakes

Why learn from your mistakes when you can learn from someone else’s?

As a freelance filmmaker, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Really, really, really dumb mistakes that are bad.

I’ve underestimated shoot times by days. I’ve done way more free work than I’d care to admit. I’ve even agreed to shoot projects without, you know, actually having access to cameras or mics or literally any gear whatsoever.

But live and learn and all that… Your silly foibles (hopefully) inform your future decisions until you get better. But damn, there are some mistakes that may be coming into your professional orbit like goddamn asteroids, the impacts of which might be truly damaging to your career and, like, heart.

So, let’s learn from other people’s mistakes, shall we? Gene Nagata of Potato Jet shares a handful of his own from his time as a freelance filmmaker in his latest video.

Nagata shares a ton of great advice here, but let’s go over each mistake one-by-one.

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Polaroid Originals discontinues Spectra film due to the condition of aging cameras

Polaroid Originals has announced that it is discontinuing production of its wide-format Spectra film. The reason, CEO Oskar Smolokowski said in a statement on the company’s blog today, is due to the degraded nature of existing wide-format cameras.

‘Jamming and frequent breakdowns are now affecting the majority of these cameras,’ Smolokowski explained, ‘and unfortunately, this is not something we can influence with our film.’

In addition to selling its Spectra Color and B&W film products, Polaroid Originals also sold refurbished Polaroid Spectra cameras that were restored to full functionality by specialists. This restoration process is no longer possible, however, and the company’s website now lists its refurbished cameras as sold out.

In his post, Smolokowski said, ‘After extensive testing, we have concluded that we cannot support these cameras any longer.’

The company will sell off its remaining batch of Specta film through its website, where the Spectra Color and B&W products are sold for $19.99 each; a triple-film pack is also offered for $55.99 USD. Smolokowski said the film will be on sale for a few months.

Why Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewel’ Trailer Is a Masterpiece of Editing

Clint Eastwood’s new movie should win an Oscar for Best Trailer.

The first trailer for Richard Jewel, Eastwood’s new movie based on the real-life bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, proves that marketing is an art form — one that require as much craft to sell a movie as it does for filmmakers like Eastwood to make one.

This first trailer for the 2019 Oscar hopeful is a Swiss Watch when it comes to pacing and tension. Jon Hamm’s character, a Federal Officer, plays a key role in establishing the movie preview’s slow-burn tension. There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have thirty minutes.” Hamm’s repetition of that phrase throughout the two-minute run time, is this trailer’s version of Inception‘s “braaaahm!” That line is both a critical piece of evidence in the real incident and a mechanism to build on and deliver tension. The sound design, building on after the second utterance of this phrase, escalates the intensity along with a series of perfectly-timed cuts that ratchets the tension to edge-of-your-seat levels. Watch for yourself:

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Chasing the Ultimate Surfing Shot with Teenaged Photographer Leroy Bellet

Red Bull TV’s video series Chasing the Shot pairs cutting-edge photographers with world-class athletes to show what it takes to capture unparalleled action photography. And for Season One’s main episode, they followed teenaged surf photography phenom Leroy Bellet as he set out to capture the surfing photo of a lifetime.

Bellet is just 17 years old, and yet he’s quickly made a name for himself shooting what’s called “Double-Tow” POV surf photography. Most surfing images are shot by photographers who are in the water, trying to capture the surfers as they fly by on a wave. POV surf photography is another animal entirely.

Bellet gets towed onto a wave behind the surfer, riding his own surf board and holding a camera at the same time. That means that he’s in an even more precarious position than the surfer—as fellow photographer Steve Wall explains, “for him to get a good shot, he has to wipe out, he has to suffer.” But this willingness to suffer also means that Bellet is able to capture a different vantage point than most photographers.

In his episode of Chasing the Shot, he pushes this style of surf photography to its limits, and we get to go along for the ride. Over the course of the 22-minute episode, he winds up chasing two different, equally exceptional goals.

First, he sets out to capture a world’s first: double-tow “follow along” footage using a $100,000 Phantom ultra-slow motion camera. Not to spoil anything, but the camera winds up a little… worse for wear. Then, he jets off to Teahupo’o, Tahiti to conquer what he dubs “the Everest of intensity and challenge” and capture some iconic double-tow POV shots with professional surfer Craig Anderson and world tour surfer Michel Bourez.

His photos of Anderson are striking. A series of shots that show the progression of the ride and give you a sense of what it takes to think about taking a photo and surfing a big wave at the same time:

As Bellet explains in the episode, capturing these kinds of images is no easy task. “It’s tricky trying to think about taking the photo and surfing at the same time,” he says. “You’ve got to be paying so much attention to the surfer in the front, your own surfing, how you’re composing the shot, the way the camera’s held.”

Add to that the sharp reef below, and the massive waves crashing down and giving Bellet the beating of a lifetime, and you start to understand just how incredible it is that he’s capturing anything, much less the kind of work you see above.

But there can only be one “The Shot” when you’re “Chasing the Shot,” and the photo that was selected to be on the cover of Surfing World magazine is it. Captured during one last ride at the end of the day in Teahupo’o, while following Michel Bourez on a gorgeous sunset wave (and almost losing the camera in the process), it’s a shot surf legend Kelly Slater called “one of the best ever.”

The shot Bellet was chasing all along:

Surfer Michel Bourez is photographed by Leroy Bellet in Tahiti, French Polynesia while filming Chasing the Shot in June 17, 2017. Photo by Leroy Bellet

Of course, in the end, it was never about the final shot:

At the end of the day, after ticking off those tangible goals—the things you put on your resume—it’s cool to just sit back and think about why you really got into it in the first place. When I think about it now, it’s more just, for the act of doing it itself more than the end result of ‘getting the photo.’ The whole journey along the way is what compells me to do it.

Watch the full episode up top to see the incredible, first-of-its-kind Phantom footage and tag along as Bellet chases the shot while taking a beating in Tahiti. And if you enjoyed this episode, definitely check out the rest of the Chasing the Shot series for more amazing stories like this one.


Credits: All images and video provided by and used courtesy of Red Bull.

Wavelengths 2019, Program 4: Full Circle

The fourth, and final, of this year’s Wavelengths shorts programs returned to the curatorial logic of the opening night, bringing together half a dozen disparate sensibilities based on formal, rather than thematic, common ground—in this case, their shared interest in performance. With one exception, the coherence here was more immediate than in the first slate’s buried interest in image production, though the styles of performance deployed across these works bear little resemblance to one another.  The program began with Zachary Epcar’s Billy, a quick, cool sip of Michael Robinson-aid recounting the domestic unease experienced by its eponymous male lead (Peter […]

Get $2900 in Photography tools for only $89, the bundle includes Aurora HDR 2019, a $99 value on its own!

Photographers from around the world (me included) have been waiting all year for today the launch date of the largest and most highly discounted photography Read more…

STRANGER THINGS – Season 3: VFX Breakdowns by Rodeo FX

Don’t miss those three really cool VFX Breakdowns by Rodeo FX about their work on the third season of STRANGER THINGS:

WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Rodeo FX: Dedicated page about STRANGER THINGS – Season 3 on Rodeo FX website.
Martin Pelletier: My interview of Martin Pelletier, VFX Supervisor at Rodeo FX.

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2019

The post STRANGER THINGS – Season 3: VFX Breakdowns by Rodeo FX appeared first on The Art of VFX.

Get $2,900 of Photography Tools and Resources for Just $89

The biggest annual sale of photography tools and resources is here. 5DayDeal just launched its 5-day sale of the 2019 Complete Photography Bundle, and the exclusive collection of digital products valued at over $2,900 can be yours for just $89.

Many of the resources found in the bundle can’t be purchased anywhere else.

The software featured in the bundle is Skylum’s popular and award-winning HDR photo editor Aurora HDR 2019. The app costs $99 to buy just by itself, so you’d be getting a deal even if this bundle didn’t have anything else.

But the bundle does have more — and quite a bit more, at that. There are 25 other products that are each valued at between $50 and $200. Here’s a complete list of what you’ll get from some of the top photographers, instructors, and businesses in the industry:

You can find out more about each of these products here. They have a combined retail value of $2,911, so by paying just $89 for all of them, you’ll be enjoying a 96% discount, saving $2,822.

The sale is also for a good cause: for each $89 bundle sold, 10% (or $8.90) is donated to four charities: The Make-A-Wish Foundation (life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses), Orbis (treating and preventing avoidable blindness), The 5DayDeal Foundation (lending a helping hand to charitable causes worldwide), and Mercy Ships (free lifesaving surgeries for people without medical care).

This crazy deal will only be available for the next 5 days, and the sale will end on October 8th at 12pm (noon) PDT. You can buy the bundle right now if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on getting powerful software and a year’s worth of education and training for just $89.

Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 2020 arrive with new AI-powered tools

A sample from Adobe showing off the new One-click subject selection tool.

Adobe has released Photoshop Elements 2020 and Premiere Elements 2020, adding a number of new features and capabilities powered by the company’s Adobe Sensei AI, including automatic selection, skin smoothing, colorization, new Auto Creations and more, as detailed in an announcment blog post.

Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are Adobe’s entry-level versions of its products, offering general consumers access to some of the tools and capabilities found in these products, but with less complexity and lower prices at $99.99 each for a full software license.

A sample comparison from Adobe showing off the new Sensei-powered auto-colorization tool.

The Photoshop Elements 2020 update brings a number of new features, including new Pattern Brush, B&W Selection, Depth of Field, and Painterly effects for Auto Creations, support for automatically colorizing black-and-white images using AI, automatic skin smoothing, and one-click subject selection.

A comparison from Adobe showing off the skin-smoothing tool.

The updated software also enables users to remove unwanted objects from images, add heart and star patterns to photos, and search for content via Smart Tags. Beyond that, the software has received general performance enhancements, as well as support for HEIF images and HEVC videos. For customers located in the United States, Photoshop Elements now also supports directly ordering prints and other items through the Fujifilm Prints and Gifts service.

A comparison photo set showing the its noise reduction technology.

Joining the big Photoshop Elements 2020 update is the new Priemere Element 2020, an update that adds simplified noise reduction, a sky replacement tool, support for turning images and videos into dynamic time-lapses, and a tool that replaces the black bars in vertical videos with a fill that matches the video, as seen below.

As with the new version of Photoshop Elements, this Premiere Elements update also adds Smart Tag search and support for HEIF/HEVC formats. The software also supports searching videos for specific people using Sensei’s face-matching capabilities. Finally, Premiere Elements now includes five guided edits that help users modify their videos.

In addition to the individual $99.99 license price, Adobe offers Photoshop Elements 2020 and Premiere Elements 2020 bundled for $149.99. Existing customers can upgrade either of the new products for $79.99 or both for a total of $119.99.

Leaked Pixel 4 photos show new and improved astrophotography, portrait and Night Sight modes

The Google Pixel 4 is just around the corner, expected to be announced at the Made by Google Event on October 15. We’ve already seen what the Pixel 4 will look like, thanks to both Google and third-party leakers, but today we’re getting more than a hardware leak. 9to5Google has obtained exclusive images that it claims Google will use to promote the new camera capabilities of its impending device.

9to5Google has kindly given us permission to share the full-resolution images directly from their source and only saved once with a watermark over them. The images, as you’ll see below, are a combination of images captured with the front-facing selfie camera and the rear-facing cameras (rumors point to there being a 12-megapixel main camera and a 16-megapixel telephoto camera). The images appear to include photos shot in multiple camera modes, including the improved Night Sight mode and a new star-shooting mode that’s been rumored for some time now.

First up are a few photos that appear to show off the portrait mode of the front-facing camera onboard the Pixel 4. Interestingly, these photos measure in at 4.5-megapixels, nearly half the resolution of the 8-megapixel onboard the Pixel 3, so we’re not sure whether these are simply resized or from a larger sensor that’s been supersampled, but whatever the case is, they look impressive. The faked bokeh looks both realistic and smooth, while the outline, even around hair, seems to be precise, with only a few notable exceptions (specifically the arm on the white jacket).

Next up are more portrait mode shots with what we presume to be the rear-facing camera on the Pixel 4. These shots measure in at 7-megapixels and were taken with the main camera (the Pixel 4 will feature multiple camera modules). Like the previous shots, the fake bokeh appears to be incredibly accurate, even on difficult subjects, such as a long-haired pet and flyaway hairs.

Moving along, we have three photos (two 9.2-megapixels and one 5.2-megapixels) that appear to be taken with Google’s Night Sight mode. Based on the EXIF data embedded in some of the images, the photos were taken with the main 27mm (35mm equivalent) F1.7 camera onboard the Pixel 4. The actual lighting scenario in the scene isn’t known, but the images appear both bright and vibrant with nice dynamic range, even in the images that have multiple light sources at different color temperatures.

Along the lines of Night Sight, it appears a pair of photos showing off the much-rumored night sky camera mode expected to be onboard the Pixel 4. Based on the EXIF data, these images (the header image of this article and the below image) were also captured with the main camera unit and the GPS data reveals the shots were captured at Pinnacles National Park in Central California along State Route 146. For being captured with a smartphone, the amount of detail captured in the night sky is absolutely incredible. It seems as though stars get lost around the silhouette of the trees in the frames, but the rest of the sky showcases countless stars in the Milky Way.

The remainder of the photos showcase a number of scenes, but it’s not clear what specific camera modes are being used to capture these images. As noted by 9to5Google, it’s been rumored there will be a ‘Motion Mode’ with the Pixel 4, but that’s not yet confirmed, even though a few action-style shots are seen in the following images.

Plenty still remains to be seen, but with the Made by Google Event less than two weeks away, it won’t be long before we know just what the Pixel 4 is capable of. 9to5Google has also detailed a new ‘Dual Exposure’ mode that’s believed to be avaialble on the Pixel 4.

IFH 351: The Future of Making Money with Your Indie Film

The Future of Making Money with Your Indie Film In this episode, I lay out the future of making money in independent filmmaking as I see it. The old legacy model of making and movie and handing it over to a distributor doesn’t work anymore. A new model needs to be created and I hope…

The post IFH 351: The Future of Making Money with Your Indie Film appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.

Podcast studio uses JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ video production cameras

Podcast studio uses JVC's robotic PTZ video production cameras

Houston Community College has launched a new podcast studio built around three JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ network video production cameras, a move to more streamlined productions.

The new podcast studio from the Houston Community College is built around three JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ network video production cameras and the ProHD Studio 4000 live production and streaming studio. It’s not a very usual solution, but it fits live a glove to the needs of the HCC and makes things easier for everyone.

Although HCCTV operates two cable channels and has several studios on campus, the new podcast studio represents a move to more streamlined productions that do not require large crews, something the team responsible for production had as a goal. According to Chris Bourne, HCCTV chief broadcast engineer, most of the programs produced at the college feature talking heads and interviews. As a result, unless there is some sort of physical demonstration on set, such as preparing a meal, many productions can easily be transitioned to a one-person technical crew and host.

The compact ProHD Studio 4000 provides a complete control room solution for HCCTV’s podcast studio, including an integrated production switcher and internal CG. The podcast studio is also equipped with two new JVC 24-inch LCD monitors.

Podcast studio is used almost every day

HCCTV records programs directly to the ProHD Studio 4000, and feeds audio from its Allen & Heath mixer to the system via USB. HCC plans to use the system’s built-in streaming in the future. Bourne is also pleased with the PTZ cameras, which are mounted on C-stands with Matthews gimbal heads.

All three cameras are controlled with one JVC RM-LP100 remote camera controller and virtual CCU. Its joystick and zoom rocker provide smooth and precise camera movements, while its seven-inch touchscreen panel provides control of camera groups, presets, and camera settings. Bourne noted the RM-LP100 has been an important tool for the studio’s main director, who relies heavily on camera presets while switching to create visually interesting programming.

The podcast studio has been used almost every day since its first show was produced in mid-August. Housed in HCC’s administration building in downtown Houston, the facility hosts a variety of productions, including student productions, a series focused on veterans, and interviews that will be included in a larger project to promote HCC’s upcoming 50th anniversary.

The podcast studio works particularly well with shows like Story Behind the Story, which features interviews with people involved in local events. The studio is far less intimidating than a traditional studio filled with a full crew and large cameras. As a result, guests tend to be more candid.

The post Podcast studio uses JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ video production cameras appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

The Lighting in ‘Halloween’ Is a Masterclass in Creating the Classic Horror Look

It’s October, so it’s the perfect time to look at some Halloween classics for inspiration on scary lighting techniques!

Welcome to the most wonderful time of year…October, also known as Halloween Month. And what better horror flick to kick things off with than John Carpenter’s classic 1978 slasher, Halloween, which follows murderer Michael Myers after he escapes from custody and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois to terrify teens on the scariest day of the year.

Producer/director Sareesh Sudhakaran over at wolfcrow has put together a video looking at the lighting techniques used by DP Dean Cundey in the film’s opening scene from a theoretical perspective, and defining how they work to make the hair on your neck stand on end.

Watch the video below.

Recently, we looked at how spooky lighting techniques can help create a particular mood in a horror project, and how shadows can be useful to create tension. This video, however, digs a little deeper into different methods and how warm and cool lighting creates contrast.

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The Review of The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K

6K in your hand. 6K on our gimbal. 6K. 6K. 6K. We love our “K’s.” The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K offers up a ton of resolution in a super small package. If you can over-come the few hurdles you can make this little camera deliver some sensational video. In the video below I shot with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K at 3200 ISO and 4000 ISO. My lens? An older Tokina 11-16mm.

The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is nearly identical to the BMPCC4K with some notable differences: Sensor size and resolution. The ergonomics, the body styling, and the power consumption are nearly all the same from the Pocket 4K to the Pocket 6K. The big difference is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K has a Super 35mm sized-sensor and 6K resolution, actually, 6144 x 3456 to be accurate. As the big brother, the 6K version of the Pocket Cinema Camera inherits many great features from the 4K version as well as some, well, not so great features. For multi-cam shooters, the Pocket 6K includes the new jamming Timecode feature making the camera a solid “B” or “C” camera for broadcast multi-cam interviews.Pocket 6K

6K. If BMD has 6K in a pocket cinema camera then they have solved whole lotta problems to be able to bring 6K BlackmagicRAW from an S35mm sensor into the hands of the masses. It boggles the mind. In my tests I came to one astounding opinion, the BMPCC6K is the best camera BMD is offering at the moment. Even though the BMPCC6K has less DR than the UMP G2 or features like ND the Pocket 6K is still an easier camera to use in many ways. Right now, if you presented me a UMP G2 or a fully rigged out BMPCC6K with an EVF then I can tell you this… I’d pick up the BMPCC6K in a heartbeat. Let me explain my reasoning and the features of the camera.Pocket 6K

The Tests

Other than the obvious test, which is to shoot as much with the Pocket 6K camera as possible, I ran a few scientific style tests to dive into the nitty-gritty of how the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K performs. I tested some key features like rolling shutter, the dynamic range when shooting a human subject, codecs, and crop as one moves below 6K raw and into the other resolution offerings in the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K.

Codec & Resolutions

One of the questions I nearly always want to be answered is whether or not all the flavors of codec and compression all look good or does the camera have a lower-end threshold we should be aware of before shooting? In this test video, I set up a couple of charts and lights and ran through all of the shooting options. I started shooting at 6K down to 1080 HD and from 3:1 to ProRes Proxy. I wanted to see if there was a discernible difference between each option. I shot everything with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K set to 400 ISO, White Balance set to – 5600K, Aperture – f/8.0, and the lens used was the Tokina 11-16mm with an EF Mount. As you can see when shooting a static shot the image looks good throughout. Now, if I had a little extra time I would have shot a moving object as well and I believe we would have seen a difference between Q0 and Q5. Thanks to Matt Pfingtson who helped me edit this test for me.

The Crop Factors

What is interesting in the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is if you want to take advantage of the full sensor super 35mm readout and want to record BlackmagicRAW then you will need to shoot 6K raw. No other BlackmagicRAW option records the super 35mm sensor area. Even when choosing the 4K 4096 x 2160 ProRes HQ option the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K slightly crops the image causing you to lose a little on the top and bottom but you get the full width of the sensor. The difference here seems to be very slight. Only when shooting UHD 3840 x 2160 ProRes options does the Pocket 6K record the whole frame because the 6K 6144 x 3456 sized sensor is 16 x 9.

The Super 35mm sized sensor is actually a little smaller than a traditional film Super 35mm filming plane which is 18.6mm x 21.95mm for four-perf Super 35mm film versus the 12.99mm x 23.10mm found on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. I actually do not mind a slightly smaller sized sensor and one could say we are splitting hairs on the difference between the two.

If one is shooting a 4K or HD project he/she can take advantage of the different crop factors by bouncing between the camera’s options. This can help with extending the throw of a lens if needed and you are handing off footage straight to a client. I do this often when shooting news or documentary projects for HD delivery.

Shooting Resolutions

  • 6144 x 3456 (6K) up to 50 fps
  • 6144 x 2560 (6K 2.4:1) up to 60 fps
  • 5744 x 3024 (5.7K 17:9) up to 60 fps
  • 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI) up to 60 fps
  • 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD) up to 60 fps
  • 3728 x 3104 (3.7K 6:5 anamorphic) up to 60 fps
  • 2868 x 1512 (2.8K 17:9) up to 120 fps
  • 1920 x 1080 (HD) up to 120 fps

Dynamic range

The shade, silk, and sun test. This is my idea of a real-world look at how the camera performs under harsh sunlight. I shoot a lot of video in the worst sunlight of people presenting to the camera or being interviewed. This test lets me know what exactly I can get away with and what I need to deliver a decent picture. To me, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K can shine if you give it a bit of light to help extend the 12 stops of dynamic range. With a bit of color correction in Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve, I was able to grade the Pocket 6K image to look similar to the URSA Mini Pro G2. A camera priced like the Pocket 6K will nearly always need a little massaging of the image to look similar to much more expensive systems. Thankfully, the Pocket 6K and its BlackmagicRAW make this easy.

Rolling shutter

Yes, it is there. You can see in the example that rolling shutter is an issue with the BMPCC6K. I shot this test on a Tokina 11-16mm. On a longer lens, like a Canon 70-200mm L Series, you can expect the Rolling Shutter to more apparent. This is okay. To quote HBO Mini-Series “Chernobyl,” “Not Great; Not Bad.”

IR Pollution

Chaulk this down as “expected.” Infrared Pollution is a problem with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K.  Like most, if not all, of Blackmagic’s cameras the filtration of Infrared light is up to the shooter. One may get away with a .06 ND or .03 ND but anything over a 1.2ND is going to need to have IR filtration. This is a $2495.00 priced camera clearly targeted to shooters who, in my estimation, may not be able to afford to throw on expensive matte boxes and expensive ND filters like Firecrest Formatt filters necessary to control the IR pollution. My best guess, Blackmagic is trying to keep the cost of the camera low. You can always afford the less expensive screw-on filters for smaller lens diameters too.Pocket 6K

Noise / ISO

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K has a Dual Native ISO setting of 400/3200. The video of my daughter shown above was shot at 3200 ISO or higher, but I stayed below 6400 ISO in the above video. Blackmagic as come a long way in the ISO game. Fixed pattern noise and chunky grain has gone mostly by the wayside with the introduction of both the Pocket 4K and 6K. I shot some night high ISO tests too at 12800 and the image at this ISO had a pretty heavy noise presence. I felt comfortable with any ISO below 4000 and could likely extend this comfort if I shot 6K BlackmagicRAW for HD delivery. Then the noise in the original 6K image should be much less noticeable in the HD picture. Run your tests to see where your comfort level is with ISO and noise.

Just a point to remember when the Pocket 6K ISO setting is between 100 and 1000 the native ISO of 400 is the reference point. When shooting between 1250 and 25,600 the camera uses the ISO of 3200 as a reference point. All this means, it is better to shoot at 1250 instead of 1000 ISO because you are engaging the higher native ISO with cleaner results.

Pocket 6K
This mess needs a little cleaning up.

Connections / Audio

The left side of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is identical to the Pocket 4K. Both cameras have a full-size HDMI connector for monitoring which is a 10‑bit output. Both cameras have a mini XLR connection with 48-volt phantom power,  a 3.5 mm microphone input, a headphone connection, and a locking DC power connector. Lastly, the USB‑C connection means you can connect and record directly to an SSD, which is a less expensive option for media.

Audio seemed to perform exactly like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K which was fine to me. On the internal microphones, the Pocket 6K has four built-in microphones. Sound from these sounded pretty good with not as much wind noise as one would expect. Then again, I am a camera operator and not a sound recordist so I cannot go into the fine detail of the differences very well.

Battery Life

Blackmagic claims the Pocket 6K lasts around 45 minutes when powered by a Canon LP-E6 battery when recording 6K RAW at 24 fps to CFast 2.0 with screen brightness at 50%. Yea, that screen brightness was almost always set to 100% when I shot with the camera causing the battery life to be closer to 35 – 40 minutes. If I used an off-brand LP-E6 battery and not a Canon version the battery would die out completely and the camera would shut off when the battery had about 15% of juice left. It is always best to use the Canon batteries because they always last longer.

Pocket 6K
If you look closely you can see the timecode jammer on top of the camera

One can go with the Blackmagic battery grip giving you around 2 hours of record time using L-series batteries. If you are going to shoot with the camera in your hands the battery grip may be a good option. I currently own 14 Canon LP-E6 batteries meaning I really feel comfortable power the Pocket 6K for a little over 6 hours.

LCD Screen

The rear screen on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is bright enough for interior work or cloudy exterior situations. Yet, the screen is not quite bright enough to be comfortable to use outside in harsh sunlight. You will need an EVF or one of Blackmagic’s new Video Assist 12G HDR Monitor/Recorder which has a screen brightness of 2500 nits. Pocket 6K

EF Mount

If you already invested in the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and M 4/3 lenses you may have been a little disappointed about the new 6K camera and it’s Canon EF lens mount. I think we have two cameras that can be used in two different ways. While I love a shallower depth of field found in the Pocket 6K I also love the adaptability of the M4/3 lens mount on the Pocket 4K.

Image stabilization worked on the Canon 24-105mm lens I owned making me think most of Canon’s image-stabilized lenses will work on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. Autofocus? Well, Blackmagic is not really well known for an aggressive autofocus feature like Canon’s Dual-Pixel Autofocus. In my mind, the Pocket 6K, like the rest of Blackmagic’s cameras, is manual focus only cameras. I could be wrong. I often am.

Conclusion

I had one clear thought which would not leave my mind during the review period for the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. It was this, “Holy shit, Blackmagic got a lot right here.” If the Pocket 6K was built-out like a URSA Mini Pro I think it would sell fast. The 6K BlackmagicRAW and the ISO options alone are big improvements in a Blackmagic camera. The big hurdles to overcome while shooting with this camera are IR pollution, and power consumption and both of these problems have easy solutions.

My suggestion for those who want the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K as their “A” Camera, rig it out. When a camera is this small you can build it out as much as you want or you can strip it down. Then you will be ready for every shooting situation. The LCD screen is not super bright so you will need an option for monitoring during bright sunlight.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Specs

  • Active Canon EF Mount
  • Super 35-Sized HDR Sensor
  • Record 6K 6144 x 3456 up to 50 fps
  • Dual Native 400 & 3200 ISO to 25,600
  • 5″ 1920 x 1080 Touchscreen Display
  • Record up to 120 fps Windowed HD
  • CFast 2.0 & SD/UHS-II Card Slots
  • External Recording via USB Type-C
  • 13-Stop Dynamic Range, 3D LUT Support
  • Includes DaVinci Resolve Studio License

The post The Review of The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Adobe Unveils Photoshop Elements 2020 with AI-Powered Photo Effects, Auto Colorize and More

Adobe has unveiled the latest version of Photoshop Elements, and thanks to the power of Adobe’s Sensei AI, Photoshop Elements 2020 brings a slew of one-click photo effects and photo editing tools to the enthusiast-grade software.

Photoshop Elements has always been about ease-of-use and accessibility. Any photo enthusiast ought to be able to get great results with the program, regardless of their photo editing skill level. Now, thanks to recent improvements in Artificial Intelligence and computer vision, this ideal world is closer than ever.

Photoshop Elements 2020 is all about integrating Adobe’s Sensei AI, using the powerful machine learning tech for both creative effects and standard retouching tasks. “Auto Creations” let you simulate shallow depth of field or create an automatic black & white selection, one-click subject selection lets you intelligently crop a person out of your frame without any intense refining, new skin smoothing let you enhance portraits in one-click, and the app can now automatically colorize black and white photographs.

Here are some examples of what these tools can do:

In addition to these Sensei features, Adobe has also added two more guided edits to Photoshop Elements 2020. Guided edits take you, step-by-step, through the photo editing process so that you can learn how to use the program to complete common retouching tasks.

The new Guided Edits include one that helps you “make unwanted objects vanish,” and another that shows you how to brush on a pattern to a photograph.

Obviously Photoshop Elements 2020 is not going to be the preferred editing program for any professional photographer. But for amateurs and photography enthusiasts who want to improve their images without the hassle of learning (and paying a subscription for) Adobe’s full-fledged Creative Suite programs, it’s a great option that just got a lot better.

To learn more about Photoshop Elements 2020, or its video editing counterpart Premiere Elements 2020, head over to the Adobe blog. Photoshop Elements is available today for $100 as a clean install, or $80 as an upgrade for current Photoshop Elements users.