SIGMA fp Camera Cage – Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Soon to be Available

KABUTO FP1 from Taipan Cinema is the first cage system for the upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera SIGMA fp. It features a modular design with many ¼-20 UNC, 3/8-16 UNC mounting threads and ARRI 2-pin anti-rotation mount. It also includes T5 SSD holder and a cold shoe adapter without blocking any of the camera’s functions.

KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp. Image credit: Taipan Cinema

The compact full-frame mirrorless camera SIGMA fp is coming very soon. Now we know it is going to be priced slightly under $2,000. My colleague Johnnie was testing the camera in Japan and his early hands-on impressions article is coming very soon. In the meantime, Taipan Cinema introduced the first cage for this camera.

The Italian camera accessories company Taipan Cinema is focusing mostly on cages and rigs for popular cameras. They usually react very quickly and introduce first cages and rigging solutions to newly announced cameras – like with the EXO cage for DJI Osmo Pocket. This time Taipan Cinema most likely took advantage of the published 3D models of SIGMA fp camera and they introduced the first cage for the fp – KABUTO FP-1. What are its features?

Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp

KABUTO FP-1 cage features a modular design and is mounted on the camera like a mask, from the front. The name is inspired by the battle helmets used by Samurais in ancient Japan.

KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp. Image credit: Taipan Cinema

The cage adds a number of mounting industry standards (like ¼-20 UNC, 3/8-16 UNC threads and ARRI 2-pin anti-rotation mount) and extends the compatibility to 3rd parties accessories. It integrates well with the SIGMA fp design without blocking access to any of its main functions and guarantees seamless integration with the original accessories, like the VF-11 viewfinder and the lens adapters.

The uniquely designed SSD holder allows to mount an external Samsung T5 SSD unit using its shape like a sun shader when open and as a display protector while in a closed position. Holders for other SSD standards are planned in the future as well. SSD will probably be a popular accessory because SIGMA fp will accept it as a recording media.

KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp. Image credit: Taipan Cinema

The ARRI 2-pin anti-rotation mount is located on the very front of the cage, aligned with the lens axis, allowing to mount 3rd parties top handles without obstructing any lens operation. Moreover, its position guarantees an ideal center of mass balancing.

On the right side, Taipan Cinema designed a removable cold-shoe support plate that follows the shape of the camera and also acts as an extended thumb rest. The numerous ¼-20 threads allow to easily relocate the original SIGMA neck strap supports.

KABUTO FP-1 cage is made out of machined 7075-T6 aerospace aluminum alloy with satin surface finish, military specification natural grey anodization, and stainless steel Helicoil reinforced ¼-20 UNC threads. For maximum rigidity and robustness, the KABUTO FP-1 main frontal part is machined from a solid billet of 7075 aluminum, in one piece.

KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp. Image credit: Taipan Cinema

Price and Availability

The KABUTO FP-1 cage should be available in November 2019. The price will be announced very soon. We will update our article as soon as we know it. Pre-orders will be possible via a direct E-mail to Taipan Cinema.

Are you planning to buy SIGMA fp once it’s released? What do you think of KABUTO FP-1 cage? Do you think cage will be a necessity for the fp? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post SIGMA fp Camera Cage – Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Soon to be Available appeared first on cinema5D.

Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 – New Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K

Kinotehnik just introduced their new LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K. It features 200% magnification, AR coated and optically corrected lens, magnetic frame, and 46mm threading to attach diopter correction lenses.

LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for BMPCC 4K and 6K. Image credit: Kinotehnik

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras 4K (our review) and 6K  (our review) have gotten very popular among filmmakers. They offer great image quality with solid codecs for a very affordable price. Numerous third-party accessories for this camera have already been released to compensate for these cameras’ downsides – particularly battery life and support for SSD media. When it comes to ergonomy, another downside of BMPCC 4K and 6K is the absence of a viewfinder.

Kinotehnik is a camera accessories manufacturer based in Estonia. They are known mostly for their LCDVF viewfinders and Practilite series of lights. The company just introduced LCDVF BM5 – their new viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras 4K & 6K.

While Kinotehnik claims their LCDVF BM5 is a world’s first viewfinder for the BMPCC 4K and 6K, I personally know filmmakers who have been using viewfinder from a Brazilian company GRID with their BMPCC 4K. To be fair, GRID 5.0 viewfinder is quite expensive at $241 and the distribution might be a bit problematic. My point is, that Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 certainly isn’t the world’s first in this regard.

Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 Viewfinder

The new viewfinder is a loupe only, so it uses Blackmagic’s own display. It features magnification of 200% specially tailored for BMPCC 4K and 6K 5” LCD screens with AR coated and optically corrected lens with 50mm clear aperture. It blocks all ambient light and lets users shoot in direct sunlight. It will also have 46mm threading to attach diopter correction lenses.

LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for BMPCC 4K and 6K. Image credit: Kinotehnik

Another advantage of a viewfinder is the additional stabilization it provides to the camera when shooting handheld – the eye acts as another “anchor point” and helps to get more stable footage. Thanks to the magnification it also helps with manual focusing.

 

The LCDVF BM5 is robust and durable with no moving parts. It is splash and dustproof and the eyecup can be flipped 180 degrees, which allows either left or right eye usage. A strong magnetic quick release frame adheres to the perimeter of the LCD screen and makes sure the viewfinder holds well in place.

The achromatic lens pair included in the LCDVF BM5 consists of two vacuum-cemented optical components to form an achromatic doublet which is computer optimized to correct for on-axis spherical and chromatic aberrations.

LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for BMPCC 4K and 6K. Image credit: Kinotehnik

Price and Availability

There is no official information from Kinotehnik about the price and availability of the LCDVF BM5 yet. I expect the price, however, to be similar to other viewfinders from this manufacturer, which are priced slightly under $100.

What do you think of the Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 viewfinder? Have you been looking for a solution like this for your BMPCC 4K or 6K camera? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 – New Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K appeared first on cinema5D.

The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #197 – High Contrast Exteriors

After one of the most popular, informative, and entertaining episodes in the history of the show we pause from the interviews to take a look at how a recent commercial I shot was put together.

This time on the podcast we break down a horse racing spot and talk lighting, lenses, schedule, and more.

Enjoy the behind the scenes look!

Patreon Podcast: Bad Times at the Backlot

Over on Patreon this week for the Feature Film Breakdown we are going over Bad Times at the El Royale.

A very unique looking film with lots to talk about.  We go over cinematographer Seamus McGarvey’s studio approach and how he was able to blend style in to the story.

You can find this week’s Patreon content by clicking the link below:

The Wandering DP Patreon Group

If you are a fan of the podcast and want more video content the patreon group is the place to be.  Each and every week I release an exclusive podcast, video, or live stream just for the Patreon members.

Patreon members also get access to the Private Facebook community for the show.  The podcast couldn’t exist without the Patreon support and I do my best to take care of the supporters.

High Contrast Exteriors – The Spot

We shot two cameras for this job because time with the horses was limited.  This was also the final S35 tvc for a while now I would imagine.

Camera Gear:

Check out the gear I use on all of my commercial shoots by clicking the link below:

Wandering DP Commercial Cinematography Gear

We used the Alexa XT and an Alexa mini for the gimbal. The gimbal was the Ronin 2.  We shot Prores 444.

The only kit not listed on that page is the set of Vintage Cooke Panchros we used on this one.

No lights on this one but we did make heavy use of 12×12 Ultra Bounces, Neg, and Highlight frames.

The Location – Schedule is Everything

The entire spot plays outside on a racecourse.  We had a single day and had to move quickly to get the sun in the spot it needed to be for all of the set ups.  

The treatment called for high contrast imagery and we need a strong backlight (the sun) to make that happen.

Below is a diagram of the location.  We moved 3 times on the day and those moves are also highlighted on the map.

The Spot – Shot by Shot

Shot 1 – The Push Start

The Shots

The ad ends with a slow push in on a jockey as he eye balls the camera.

The Lighting

This was the hero shot of the ad so we made the best use of the location and the light and scheduled this shot as the first of the day.

We oriented the action so that the camera was facing North and used a 4×4 frame of highlight to cut the sun on the talent.  Then we used a 12×12 of Ultra bounce to wrap the sun on his key side.

Finally we had two 4×4 floppies camera right to create the contrast we were after.

The Result

Shoot Location

Set Up #2 – The Push Finish

The Shot

Final position on the push in.

The Lighting

This is a continuation of the previous set up.

The Result

The Storyboard

Set Up #3 – The Texture

The Shot

This shot wasn’t storyboarded but because we had two cameras rolling the entire shoot we were able to pick up extra textural moments as A cam was focused on the storyboard essentials.

The Lighting

We were now on the West side of the track looking East.  The sun is starting to rise in the sky which meant our subject would be backlight  if we shot towards the East.

We have a 12×12 Neg camera left and a 12×12 Ultra Bounce camera right.

The sun was ducking in and out of clouds so the effect of the bounce and neg is more or less impactful depending on the moment.

The Result

Set Up #4 – The Grand Wide

The Shots

This was the hero shot of the riders preparing to enter the starting gate.

The Lighting

We used the sun to backlight the rider then bounced a 12×12 Ultra from frame right and a 12×12 Neg was camera left to add some shape.

The Result

Set Up Location

The Storyboard

Set Up #5 – The Take Off

The Shots

The B cam angle of the previous shot.

The Lighting

See shot #4.

The Result

The Storyboard

Shot #6 – The Fly By

The Shots

We moved back to the East side of the track to start the final sequence of the day.  We needed shots of the riders and horses entering the gate.  B cam was able to get this shot while A cam was frame right getting a profile of the riders in the gates.

The Lighting

Donuts.

The Result

Set Up Location

Shot #7 & 8 – The Entrance

The Shots

The super shot.

The Lighting

All the lighting remained from the previous set ups as we hunted for various angles to lay the super over.  They ended up choosing a frame with some dirty foreground window elements which always helps to create depth.

The Result

The Storyboard

Shot #9 – Steady…

The Shots

We needed shots of the horse getting ready to exit the starting block. The B cam was able to grab these shots as the A cam got Shots 10 – 11.

The Lighting

See previous shot.  

The Result

The Storyboard

Shot #10 – In the Gates

The Shot

This shot kicks off a series of shots from inside the starting gates.  We just roamed from frame to frame as soon as the horses entered the starting gate.  We were low on time here so we hosed it down with coverage.

The Lighting

We blacked all around the camera so that the only light coming through was the direct backlight from the sun.

The Result

The Storyboard

Shot #11 – The Same but Closer

The Shot

See previous shot.

The Lighting

See previous shot.

The Result

Shot #12 – The Dolly Zoom

The Shots

This shot was a dolly zoom as the gates opened to give the viewer an odd sense of the movement at the start of a race.

The Lighting

Donuts.

The Result

The Storyboard

Shot #13 – Off to the Races

The Shot

Now the jockey raises up and makes a motion like the gates have opened.  From there we cut to the gates of an actual race opening up.

The Lighting

See shots 10 & 11.

The Result

The post The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #197 – High Contrast Exteriors appeared first on Cinematography Podcast & Tutorials.

Vince Gillian’s Tribute to ‘El Camino’ Star Robert Forster Might Make You Cry

The Breaking Bad and El Camino creator praises the late Robert Forster as “The Spencer Tracy of His Generation.”

Veteran actor and class act Robert Forster, 78, passed away on the same day of the release of his final role in Netflix and Vince Gilligan’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

The film, which chronicles Jesse (Aaron Paul) struggling to escape New Mexico law enforcement following his escape from the White Supremacist meth compound he was enslaved at, has garnered solid reviews — especially for Forster’s role. Adding to the list of Hollywood talents praising the late actor is Gilligan himself, who — shared by Deadline — penned an excellent tribute to the late actor and star of such films as Jackie Brown.

Read More

Scorsese Won’t Stop Attacking Marvel Movies

The Irishman director won’t stop going after the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his “get off my lawn!” opinions.

We’re not sure at this point if some projection is going on or what with Scorsese’s continued attack on Marvel, and whether or not their movies are considered worthy of (the pretentious) label of “cinema,” since the director and Netflix failed to secure The Irishman a wide release in multiplexes, whereas the MCU has no problem doing that. (Less blame on Marvel for that, and more on disruptor Netflix and their “have-our-cake-and-eat-it, too” approach to wanting the theatrical experience on their terms — i.e., streaming for their subscribers as close to day-and-date theatrical release as possible.) Regardless, the Oscar-winning director continues his “Get off my lawn!” assault on Kevin Feige and the MCU.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scorsese — alongside Irishman stars Robert De Niro and Al Pacino — added more fuel to his Marvel comments at a recent press conference for his new film.

Read More

Everything You Can Learn From the ‘Pulp Fiction’ Script

Pulp Fiction was Quentin Tarantino’s coming out party in 1994. Now, 25 years later, we look back on its classic script.

After Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino needed a hit. He had come onto the scene as a brash and independent thinker, but he set his sights on the ultimate prize. He wanted to be Hollywood royalty, a legendary director. He wanted people to listen and to see the Los Angeles he saw every day: the underbelly, the slick and degenerate criminal world. He locked himself in a hotel room with Roger Avary, and they cracked Pulp Fiction. A few months later, it was in producers’ hands, then shooting, and finally…shaking up the world.

The screenplay and film launched many imitators, but none were able to equal the success or fervor as Pulp Fiction. Its snappy dialogue, five-dollar milkshakes, and samurai swords cut up both critics and the box office. While the men only captured the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award (only!), the movie became part of the cultural lexicon and the stuff of Hollywood legend.

Read More

ProVideo Coalition Podcast Eps 2: CineGear ATL, Deluxe Bankruptcy, Catalina Update & More

Provideo Coalition Podcast episode 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provideo Coalition Podcast episode 2 is live! This week Scott Simmons and Gary Adcock talk through CineGear Atlanta, the Deluxe Entertainment bankruptcy, the MacOS 10.15 update and more. Check out the full episode below:

Make sure to listen to the above episode for a special discount code on products when shopping on Filmtools.com!

The ProVideo Coalition Podcast is available on AnchorSpotify, Google Podcasts, and more. Subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes! Have a question/ comment? Shoot us a message on Instagram (@provideocoalition) or send us an email: social@provideocoalition.com.

The post ProVideo Coalition Podcast Eps 2: CineGear ATL, Deluxe Bankruptcy, Catalina Update & More appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

How to Create a Call Sheet

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How to Create a Call Sheet

Knowing how to create a call sheet is essential to staying organized and keeping on schedule throughout your shoot. It’s a document that is distributed daily that tells your crew when they need to show up on set, who will be there, any special needs for the day, and what script pages the crew is tackling. It’s basically a daily blueprint and is created by the Second Assistant Director (Second AD).

A preliminary call sheet, endearingly known as the “prelim,” is usually sent out after lunch so the crew can get an idea of what is coming up the next day. However, as the world of film dictates, things shift and change as the shoot day goes on, so the final call sheet gets approved by the Unit Production Manager (UPM) and is sent out at wrap. If something’s going to change on a call sheet between the preliminary and the final, it’s the call time. The call time is determined by wrap of the previous day, so if you wrap a half-hour late, the call time will be pushed a half hour.

There is an industry-standard for a call sheet, although you might find small differences from production to production. Below are the essentials that are consistent across the board that can be easily created in Excel or Google Sheets.

The components of a call sheet are:

  • Above the line info
  • Production title and general crew call
  • Date, day of days, the weather and nearest hospital
  • Set address and set details
  • Shooting schedule
  • Talent information
  • Background talent and stand- ins
  • Special instructions
  • Advance schedule
  • Crew list

The top of your call sheet is divided into three parts. Let’s call them the left, center and right. Once you have created this header, the rest of your call sheet is more like a spreadsheet.

1. Above The Line Info

On the very left of the call sheet you want to make sure you have listed, without contact information, the production company, the Director, the Executive Producer(s), and the Writer. The only contact information you must put down is the production office, giving the full address and phone number. If anyone needs something, this is the number to call.

2. Production Title and General Crew Call

In the center of the page, you will have the name of the show, the production itself, and below it, you will put the general call time.

You might want to put a pre-call on there as well, which is when the Grip and Electric show up or if there is a cast rehearsal. Sometimes you will see these details on the far right of the call sheet and can sometimes include the lunch break time and the wrap time.

3. Date, Day of Days, the Weather and Nearest Hospital

On the very right, you will have the date, and what day you are on in context of the whole shooting schedule. For example, you start with day 1 of 21, to 2 of 21, etc.

The weather is another important piece of info, given that rain could mean a change of plans. You will also want to put sunrise and sunset info. Very often you are chasing the sun during a shoot, so knowing when and how much of it you have is important information!

Being prepared for an emergency is essential during production, so noting the closest hospital is important. The last thing you want to do if someone suffers an accident is scramble for emergency care.

4. Set Address

The set address is always squeezed in somewhere on the right of the call sheet. You can also indicate a map is attached, which is a great practice that can also include parking or any transportation information. Some film sets have what is called a base camp, where the crew parks and the food tent is set up for catered meals, so the cast and crew take a shuttle to the actual set.

[contentblock id=37 img=gcb.png]Knowing how to create a call sheet is essential to staying organized and keeping on schedule throughout your shoot. It’s a document that is distributed daily that tells your crew when they need to show up on set, who will be there, any special needs for the day, and what script pages the crew is tackling.

5. Shooting Schedule

Once you have created the header above, your document becomes more of a regular spreadsheet.

The shooting schedule is the meat of the day. These are the script pages that you are going to shoot. Some people think this is a shot list, but it’s not because it only includes the scene – not the coverage (different camera angles) you will get of the scene. This section is divided into these columns:

Scene Numbers: Simply the scene number.

Set and Scene Description: Example: INT. DINING ROOM, Mary and David discuss getting married.

Cast: The cast is coded by numbers to keep things simple, so in this cell, you would put in the cast code number, instead of squeezing in the names.

D/N – Day or Night: Just put a D or N.

PGS – Pages: In this cell, you put the actual script pages for reference.

Location: This is the location of the set. You might have what’s called a company move during the day, in which you change locations, so it’s important to provide this information here.

6. Talent Information

Here you will put everything you need to know about each Actor’s schedule. This section is divided into the following columns:

ID: This is the identifying number of the cast member that you used above.

Cast: The name of the Actor.

Character: The name of the character.

Status: Here you will use more codes: SW (Start Work), W (Work), WF (Work Finish), SWF (Start Work Finish) or H (Hold). It’s pretty straightforward. SWF refers to a day player and if someone has an H status, they may or may not be needed that day.

Pickup: Will the Actor need transportation or will they drive to set?

Arrive: What time the Actor arrives on set. (They are not there the entire day like the crew).

Block: What time on set blocking will take place.

MU – Makeup: What time the Actor goes into hair and makeup.

Set: What time the Actor needs to be on set.

Remarks: This can be wardrobe or prop notes.

7. Background Talent and Stand-Ins

This section can be divided in a couple of ways. The information here is to make sure everyone knows what time to report for work and when they are expected to be on set. The other thing that should be noted here is how many Extras and Stand-ins you have, so the Second AD and Catering will have a headcount.

Your columns can be a variation of this:

Number (#): How many Extras will be in the scene.

Description: A brief description such as “café customers”

Report: What time they arrive – their call time.

Set Call: What time they are needed on set.

Location: You don’t need the address here, just the location; and you can add a column for scene numbers, too, if you have a lot of scenes that day.

8. Special Instructions

This section will have any reminders for particular departments.

Here’s an example:

Props: Book, notebook and pencils
Makeup/Hair: To match scene 27 – the prom hairstyle
Wardrobe: Ice scream spill on dress
SFX: Squibs, blood
Grip Electric: Crane, day for night – scene 12
Location: Hot set. Do not touch or remove anything.
Vehicle: Hero vehicle, police cars
Stunts: none
Animals: Dog licks ice cream off dress.

[contentblock id=37 img=gcb.png] If you are interested in becoming an Assistant Director, I would dive into the software options. These tools will make your life easier (and seriously, when you are in the throws of production, you will appreciate this, especially at 1:00 am when you are creating the call sheet for the next day.)

9. Advance Schedule

This section will be exactly like your shooting schedule, but it will have the information for the following day.

10. Crew List

This is the list of crew you will have on set that day. Your columns here are simple: Position, Name and Call Time.

11. Walkie Talkie Channels

A grid with walkie talkie channels is a great reference for crew members and will save the First PA (Production Assistant) the energy of having to remind people on set. Just add a simple list of departments and channels. You might put any other reminders down here as well, such as no cell phone, etc.

12. Hospital Address

Put the hospital address and phone number and make it clearly visible on the bottom of the call sheet.

Resources

As I mentioned above, there are many variations of a call sheet, so make sure you are getting all the information on your call sheet that is important to your production.

And don’t fret! There are terrific resources for creating a great call sheet. If you are looking for a template, check out Simple Call Sheet, Set Hero, or Studio Binder. There is also another industry favorite software made by Jungle Software, called Koala Call Sheets, which is another great tool.

If you are interested in becoming an Assistant Director, I would dive into the software options. These tools will make your life easier (and seriously, when you are in the throws of production, you will appreciate this, especially at 1:00 am when you are creating the call sheet for the next day.) Software will also help keep you organized. Most software options not only have tools for creating paperwork, they also include efficient ways of distributing these reports and documents, and keeping track of it all.

Another note: Save the call sheets for each day of production. It’s an important record of your shoot. And if you are a filmmaker, leading this adventure of making an independent film on your own, if you hang on to them, when you get to the finish line of post-production, your call sheet has the all the information of your cast and crew so you can easily put together your credit sequence!

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Shooting Shreveport at the Awards-Happy Prize Fest 2019

After Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a wasteland, visiting film and television productions looked further north for their Louisiana gothic vibes. Over the years, the riverfront city of Shreveport, with a population of some 260,000 (including the adjacent Bossier City), has been a popular location, the backdrop for supernatural thrillers (The Mist, the series Salem), multiple actioners (Shark Night 3D, The Mechanic), comedies (Super, I Love You Phillip Morris) and everything Nic Cage (Drive Angry, Trespass, Season of the Witch). There’s been a lot less such activity in recent years, as the Crescent City got back on its feet […]

Everything You Can Learn From the ‘Pulp Fiction’ Script

Pulp Fiction was Quentin Tarantino’s coming out party in 1994. Now, 25 years later, we look back on its classic script.

After Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino needed a hit. He had come onto the scene as a brash and independent thinker, but he set his sights on the ultimate prize. He wanted to be Hollywood royalty, a legendary director. He wanted people to listen and to see the Los Angeles he saw every day: the underbelly, the slick and degenerate criminal world. He locked himself in a hotel room with Roger Avary, and they cracked Pulp Fiction. A few months later, it was in producers’ hands, then shooting, and finally…shaking up the world.

The screenplay and film launched many imitators, but none were able to equal the success or fervor as Pulp Fiction. Its snappy dialogue, five-dollar milkshakes, and samurai swords cut up both critics and the box office. While the men only captured the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award (only!), the movie became part of the cultural lexicon and the stuff of Hollywood legend.

Read More

Watch Everything Coming to Disney+ In This Insane 3-Hour Video

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Iron Man 3, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Toy Story 4, and more blockbusters and vintage title will be available when Disney+ launches this fall.

Disney revealed, via Twitter and Instagram Monday, their impressive list of titles ready to watch when their streaming service launches in November. From Star Wars to Marvel, Disney+ has fired an impressive barrage of titles that says “Top that!” to their fellow streaming war competition.

Not every Marvel Studios title will be available upon launch; fans will have to wait until December 11 to watch Avengers: Endgame. But they can stream Ant-Man, Iron Man, Iron Man 3, and Joss Whedon’s last Avengers movie, Age of Ultron.

Star Wars fans are getting spoiled, with the launch of Disney+ series The Mandalorian and every Star Wars movie to have received a theatrical release. Pixar will be represented by Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4, as well as hits like Inside Out and Finding Nemo. Watch the video below:

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Teradek Bolt 4K MAX

Teradek Bolt 4K MAX joins Bolt 4K 750 and Bolt 4K 1500 (announced earlier this year). The Bolt 4K MAX is the most fully-equipped Bolt transmitter yet. Bolt 4K MAX can transmit 4K HDR video wirelessly—in real-time—over distances up to 5000 ft (1500 m) in normal operation and up to 10,000 ft (3000 m) in Broadcast Mode. For a limited time, all Bolt and Paralinx Tomahawk owners are eligible to earn a trade-in credit toward the new Bolt 4K. read more…

How does iPhone 11 Night Mode compare to Google Pixel 3 Night Sight?

Many smartphones today take great images in broad daylight. That’s no surprise – when there’s a lot of light, it doesn’t matter so much that the small smartphone sensor doesn’t collect as many photons as a larger sensor: there’s an abundance of photons to begin with. But smartphone image quality can take a nosedive as light levels drop and there just aren’t many photons to collect (especially for a small sensor). That’s where computational techniques and burst photography come in.

Low light performance is a huge differentiator that separates the best smartphones from
the worst

Low light performance is a huge differentiator that separates the best smartphones from the worst. And Google’s Night Sight has been the low-light king of recent1, thanks to its averaging of many (up to 15) frames, its clever tile-based alignment to deal with hand movement and motion in the scene, and its use of a super-resolution pipeline that yields far better resolution, particularly color resolution, and lower noise than simple frame stacking techniques.

With the iPhone 11, Apple launched its own Night Mode to compete with offerings from Android phones. It uses ‘adaptive bracketing’ to combine both long and short exposures (to freeze any movement) to build a high quality image in low light conditions. Let’s see how it stacks up compared to Google’s Night Sight and Apple’s own previous generation iPhone XS.

The set-up

‘Low light performance’ is difficult to sum up in one number or picture when it comes to computational imaging. Different devices take different approaches, which ultimately means that comparative performance across devices can vary significantly with light level. Hence we’ve chosen to look at how the iPhone 11 performs as light levels decrease from evening light before sunset to very low light conditions well after sunset. The images span an hour-long time frame, from approximately 500 lux to 5 lux. All shots are handheld, since this is how we expect users to operate their smartphones. The iPhone 11 images spanning this time period are shown below.

7:00 pm, evening light
1/60 | ISO 100
485 lux | 7.6 EV

7:25 pm, late evening light
1/8 | ISO 250
25 lux | 3.4 EV

7:50 pm, low light
1/4 | ISO 640
5 lux | 1 EV
8:05 pm, very low light
1/8 | ISO 1250
<5 lux | <1 EV

Note that Night mode is only available with the main camera unit, not the 2x or 0.5x cameras. And before we proceed to our comparisons, please see this footnote about the rollovers and crops that follow: on ‘HiDPI’ screens like smartphones and higher-end laptops/displays, the following crops are 100%, but on ‘standard’ displays you’ll only see 50% crops.2

Now, on to the comparisons. In the headings, we’ve labeled the winner.

Evening light (485 lux) | Winner: Google Pixel 3

Before sunset, there’s still a good amount of available light. At this light level (485 lux, as measured by the iPhone 11 camera), the option for Night mode on iPhone 11 is not available. Yet Night Sight on the Google Pixel 3 is available, as it is in all situations. And thanks to its averaging of up to 15 frames and its super-resolution pipeline, it provides far more detail than the iPhone 11.

It’s not even close.

Take a look at the detail in the foreground trees and foliage, particularly right behind the fence at the bottom. Or the buildings and their windows up top, which appear far crisper on the Pixel 3.

Late evening light (25 lux) | Winner: Google Pixel 3

As the sun sets, light levels drop, and at 25 lux we finally have the option to turn on Night Mode on the iPhone, though it’s clearly not suggested by Apple since it’s not turned on by default. You’ll see the Night Mode option as a moon-like icon appearing on the bottom left of the screen in landscape orientation. Below we have a comparison of the iPhone with Night Mode manually turned on next to the Google Pixel 3 Night Sight (also manually enabled).

There’s more detail and far less noise – particularly in the skies – in the Google Pixel 3 shot. It’s hard to tell what shutter speeds and total exposure time either camera used, due to stacking techniques using differing shutter speeds and discarding frames or tiles at will based on their quality or usability. But it appears that, at best, the Pixel 3 utilized 15 frames of 1/5s shutter speeds, or 3s total, while the iPhone 11 indicated it would use a total of 1s in the user interface (the EXIF indicates 1/8s, so is likely un-representative). In other words, here it appears the Pixel 3 used a longer total exposure time.

Apart from that, though, the fact that the iPhone result looks noisier than the same shot with Night Mode manually turned off (not shown) leads us to believe that the noisy results are at least in part due to Apple’s decision to use less noise reduction in Night Mode. This mode appears to assume that the longer overall exposures will lead to lower noise and, therefore, less of a need for noise reduction.

However, in the end, it appears that under these light levels Apple is not using a long enough total exposure (the cumulative result of short and long frames) to yield low enough noise results that the lower noise reduction levels are appropriate. So, in these conditions when it appears light levels are not low enough for Apple to turn on Night Mode by default, the Google Pixel 3 outperforms, again.

Low light (5 lux) | Winner: Tie

As light levels drop further to around 5 lux, the iPhone 11 Night mode appears to catch up to Google’s Night Sight. Take a look above, and it’s hard to choose a winner. The EXIF data indicates the Pixel used 1/8s shutter speeds per frame, while the iPhone used at least 1/4s shutter speed for one or more frames, so it’s possible that the iPhone’s use of longer exposure times per frame allows it to catch up to Google’s result, despite presumably using fewer total frames. Keynotes from Apple and personal conversations with Google indicate that Apple only uses up to 8-9 frames of both short and long exposures, while the Pixel uses up to 15 frames of consistent exposure, for each phone’s respective burst photography frame-stacking methods.

Very low light (< 5 lux) | Winner: iPhone 11

As light levels drop even further, the iPhone 11 catches up to and surpasses Google’s Night Sight results. Note the lower noise in the dark blue sky above the cityscape. And while overall detail levels appear similar, buildings and windows look crisper thanks to lower noise and a higher signal:noise ratio. We presume this is due to the use of longer exposure times per frame.

It’s worth noting the iPhone, in this case, delivers a slightly darker result, which arguably ends up being more pleasing, to me anyway. Google’s Night Sight also does a good job of ensuring that nighttime shots don’t end up looking like daytime, but Apple appears to take a slightly more conservative approach.

We shot an even darker scene to see if the iPhone’s advantage persisted. Indeed, the iPhone 11’s advantage became even greater as light levels dropped further. Have a look below.

(Night Mode Off)

(Night Sight Off)

As you can see, the iPhone 11 delivers a more pleasing result, with more detail and considerably less noise, particularly in peripheral areas of the image where lens vignetting considerably lowers image quality as evidenced by the drastically increased noise in the Pixel 3 results.

Ultimately it appears that the lower the light levels, the better the iPhone 11 performs comparatively.

A consideration: (slightly) moving subjects

Neither camera’s night mode is meant for photographing moving subjects, but that doesn’t mean they can’t deal with motion. Because these devices use tile-based alignment to merge frames to the base frame, static and moving subjects in a scene can be treated differently. For example, on the iPhone, shorter and longer exposures can be used for moving and static subjects, respectively. Frames with too much motion blur for the moving subjects may be discarded, or perhaps only have their static portions used if the algorithms are clever enough.

Below we take a look at a slightly moving subject in two lighting conditions: the first dark enough for Night mode to be available as an option on the iPhone (though it isn’t automatically triggered until darker conditions), and the second in very dim indoor lighting where Night mode automatically triggers.

Although I asked my subject to stay still, she moved around a bit as children are wont to do. The iPhone handles this modest motion well. You’ll recall that Apple’s Night mode uses adaptive bracketing, meaning it can combine both short and long exposures for the final result. It appears that the exposure times used for the face weren’t long enough to avoid a considerable degree of noise, which is exacerbated by more conservative application of noise reduction to Night mode shots. Here, we prefer the results without Night mode enabled, despite the slight watercolor painting-like result when viewed at 100%.

We tested the iPhone 11 vs. the Google Pixel 3 under even darker conditions below.

Here you can see that Apple’s Night mode yields lower noise than with the mode (manually) turned off. With the mode turned off, it appears Deep Fusion is active3, which yields slightly more detail at the cost of more noise (the lack of a smeary, watercolor painting-like texture is a giveaway that Deep Fusion kicked in). Neither iPhone result is as noise-free and crisply detailed as the Pixel 3 Night Sight shot, though.

Vs. iPhone XS

We tested the iPhone 11 Night Mode vs. the iPhone XS, which has no Night Mode to begin with. As you can see below, the XS image is far darker, with more noise and less detail than the iPhone 11. This is no surprise, but it’s informative to see the difference between the two cameras.

Conclusion

iPhone 11’s Night Mode is formidable and a very welcome tool in Apple’s arsenal. It not only provides pleasing images for its users, but it sometimes even surpass what is easily achievable by dedicated cameras. In the very lowest of light conditions, Apple has even managed to surpass the results of Google’s Night Sight, highly regarded – and rightfully so – as the industry standard for low light smartphone photography.

But there are some caveats. First, in less low light conditions – situations you’re actually more likely to be shooting in – Google’s use of more frames and its super-resolution pipeline mean that its Pixel 3 renders considerably better results, both in terms of noise and resolution. In fact, the Pixel 3 can out-resolve even the full-frame Sony a7S II, with more color resolution and less color aliasing.

Second, as soon as you throw people as subjects into the mix, things get a bit muddled. Both cameras perform pretty well, but we found Google’s Night Sight to more consistently yield sharper images with modest subject motion in the scene. Its use of up to 15 frames ensures lower noise, and its align-and-stack method can actually make use of many of those frames even if you subject has slightly moved, since the algorithm can tolerate inter-frame subject movement of up to 4% of the frame.

If you’re photographing perfectly still scenes in very low light, Apple’s iPhone 11 is your best bet

That shouldn’t undermine Apple’s effort here which, overall, is actually currently class-leading under very, very low light conditions where the iPhone can use and fuse multiple frames of very long exposure. We’re told the iPhone 11 can use total exposure times of 10s handheld, and 28s on a tripod. Google’s Night Sight, on the other hand, tends to use an upper limit of 1/3s per frame handheld, or up to 1s on a tripod. Rumors however appear to suggest the Pixel 4 being capable of even longer total exposures, so it remains to be seen who will be the ultimate low light king.

Currently though, if you’re photographing perfectly still scenes in very low light, Apple’s iPhone 11 is your best bet. For most users, factoring in moving subjects and less low light (yet still dark) conditions, Google’s Night Sight remains the technology to beat.


Footnotes:

1 Huawei phones have their own formidable night modes; while we haven’t gotten our hands on the latest P30 Pro, The Verge has its own results that show a very compelling offering from the Chinese company.

2 A note about our presentation: these are rollovers, so on desktop you can hover your mouse over the states below the image to switch the crop. On mobile, simply tap the states at the bottom of each rollover to switch the crop. Tap (or click) on the crop itself to launch a separate window with the full-resolution image. Finally, on ‘Retina’ laptops and nearly all modern higher-end smartphones, these are 100% crops (each pixel maps 1 display pixel); however, on ‘standard’ (not HiDPI) displays these are 50% crops. In other words, on standard displays the differences you see are actually under-represented. [return to text]

3We had updated the iPhone 11 to the latest iOS 13.2 public beta by the time this set of shots was taken; hence the (sudden) availability of Deep Fusion.

Why a NAS Unit Should Be Your Next Purchase, and How You Can Win One in This Giveaway

Why a NAS Unit Should Be Your Next Purchase, and How You Can Win One in This Giveaway

New lenses and cameras are always fun to purchase, but equally important is finding a way to store those photos you’re making with those cameras and lenses. Here’s why you should consider network attached storage before you spend that money on another lens.

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Report: Stalker located, assaulted pop star using eye reflection in photo posted online

Screenshot from the NHK World-Japan newscast.

A news report from NHK World-Japan claims a crazed fan used eye reflections in images uploaded to social media, among other things, to track down a famous Japanese pop star’s condominium in Tokyo where he allegedly assaulted her.

The report claims Hibiki Sato admitted to figuring out which train station the star left to walk home by studying the light direction visible in some of her videos, as well as a reflection of the station visible in her eyes in an image she uploaded to social media. Equipped with those details, Sato allegedly waited at the station for the pop start to arrive, followed her to her residence, and assaulted her.

Though the situation is bizarre, the idea of high-resolution images inadvertently revealing information via eye reflections isn’t new. In 2013, for example, a study published in PLOS revealed that it is possible to extract images of identifiable bystanders from eye reflections captured in high-resolution images. The technique was presented as a potential tool for helping law enforcement gather data as part of investigations, but it’s clear the concept can be used by anyone for nefarious reasons as well.

[Winner Announced] Giveaway: Win a FUJIFILM X100F Digital Camera Worth $1,299

[Winner Announced] Giveaway: Win a FUJIFILM X100F Digital Camera Worth $1,299

For the last few weeks, Fujifilm teamed up with Fstoppers to offer a brand new FUJIFILM X100F Digital Camera to one lucky entrant. The contest has ended and Zeke Moore was randomly selected to win the camera, congratulations! We’ll be in touch with you via email.

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PhotoPlus returns with new interactive photo, video and education spaces

Test new gear in a real-world setting, hear speakers discuss topics for cinematographers or photographers, discover the Pet Portrait Studio and visit the Adobe Theater, all at PhotoPlus.

Founded in 1983, PhotoPlus is, say the organizers, “the largest photography and imaging event in North America”, the ultimate experience for anyone with an interest in photo, video, and visual storytelling to get up-to-date with latest industry trends. At a time when the Internet seems to have reduced the interest of these shows – as the Photokina example suggests – it is important for organizers to try new initiatives intended to enhance the attendee experience. On its return to the Jacob Javits Center in New York, October 24-26, PhotoPlus is exploring some new ideas.

These new interactive photo, video and education spaces will allow guests to gain invaluable insights that can heighten their photo and video skills, hear from inspiring professionals, and test new gear in a real-world setting. There is a bit for everybody, from photographers to filmmakers  during this three-day event in New York City where the entire photography and videography community comes together to experience the newest technologies and techniques that will take their art to the next level.

Adobe Theater returns

The Pet Portrait Studio, presented by Tamron, is one of those events that is more than some may imagine just reading the title: you get the chance to try new lenses, but also to discover some secrets of the trade. Attendees are invited to learn how to perfect their pet photography in a fun environment, while also supporting a worthwhile cause. Attendees will have the opportunity to see live demonstrations with Tamron ambassadors who specialize in animal photography, as well as try out new lenses. PhotoPlus is partnering with Best Friends Animal Society who will provide dogs for guests to photograph and even adopt.

PDN’s 30 Creator’s Lounge celebrates the anniversary of PDN’s 30: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. The Lounge will host photographers from the past 20 years of PDN’s 30 to share how they honed their styles and their best advice on how to establish and sustain a successful photo career. This dynamic event features panel discussions, creative meet-and-greets, book signings, and a DJ’d happy hour. Guests will include Shawn Theodore, Miranda Barnes, Janelle Jones, Kareem Black and more.

PhotoPlus Image Reviews offers all attendees the opportunity to receive a free one-on-one review with a notable photographer. They can also discuss visual trends, technique, and post-production. The Adobe Show Floor Theater, which has been a regular event during the show, will be back to present free, 20-minute educational seminars from industry leaders in photography and filmmaking during all three days of the show.

Free registration ends soon

VIDEO+, sponsored by Videomaker, will feature leading brands in the video and film space. Additionally, attendees can stop by the VIDEO+ stage to hear speakers discuss topics for cinematographers or photographers looking to expand their craft.

The 2019 show will also include a series of exhibitions right on the show floor. The Icon Gallery, sponsored by Chromaluxe and printed by Blazing Editions, will feature images by Stephen Wilkes, creator of the renowned “Day to Night” project. In the PDN’s 30 Creator’s Lounge, guests can tour an exhibition by PDN’s 30 2019. PDN and Professional Women Photographers have teamed up to curate and produce an exhibition highlighting talented women working in a variety of photographic genres and styles.

Also at PhotoPLus, FUJIFILM will present their Legacy Project showcasing talented visual storytellers whose photography has had a profound impact on their personal journeys of self-discovery and on the lives of the communities they have photographed. Finally, PhotoPlus teams up with United Photo Industries to bring a selection of the smaller emerge-cube exhibitions that were on display at this year’s Photoville.

Advance registration for PhotoPlus is free for all attendees until October 23, 2019. A fee of $25 will be charged to anyone who registers onsite, October 24-26. Attendees can register now at photoplusexpo.com.

The post PhotoPlus returns with new interactive photo, video and education spaces appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Felix Hernandez Lands ‘Rover’ on the Moon

Felix Hernandez Lands 'Rover' on the Moon

A long-time friend of Fstoppers Felix Hernandez shoots an out of this world cover for Top Gear Magazine. This project is a perfect example of how brands, publications, and artists can collaborate authentically.

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