Japanese company BRAX was showing off a clever way to film in-car driving sequences by using a combination of LED panels and lighting. Done in collaboration with Tesla Japan, Kadokawa Daiei Studio, and Diolite, the system on display offers an alternative solution for filming in-car sequences. The LED screens were displaying 6K content and created … Continued
Today, Apple has announced their latest MacBook Pro, their popular powerhouse laptop for creatives. Headline features include a new keyboard design, 16-inch Retina display, an 8-core processor, 64 GB of RAM, 8 GB of VRAM, a new thermal management system, faster performance, and longer battery life.
The Astro Design 8K AB-4815 is a lightweight camera for outside broadcast that is capable of outputting 8K 120p in real-time. The camera was first announced back in April this year, but this is the first time we have been able to see the camera. The AB-4815 is a co-development between Astro Design and Sharp. … Continued
Much like a modern-day Indiana Jones, join me as I dig through the relics and remnants of production laying around our office.
I’ve been doing some straightening and organizing around the office lately. Upon excavating several storage boxes that I haven’t looked through for quite a while, some of them it’s been even years since I have gone through them, I’ve discovered that I have quite a collection of miscellaneous bits and pieces that I had forgotten about. It kind of makes me wonder why I bought all of this stuff, what I used it for and why I’m no longer using it. More than just a random collection of junk, going through these crates revealed some memories of not only older gear, but older projects that were fun and interesting.
Once you’ve been in our business for a while, you realize how much of what we do centers on gear. It’s all gear, all of the time for many of us. Much of that gear is used for a short time, then it’s cast aside when your gear or configuration changes, often with the vague thought of, “Oh, I should put that on eBay or Craigslist,” but I find that for me, selling small, low dollar accessories is often an exercise in hassle and frustration. Especially when you factor in shipping and the accompanying trips to buy packaging, packaging it up, driving to UPS/FedEx/Post Office, time is so much more valuable than recouping a few bucks on something you bought a few years ago and no longer use, if it’s a relatively low dollar item. Hence I find myself with lots of these smaller things lying around, too valuable to throw in the recycling bin but not valuable enough to put the hours and efforts into an earnest sales drive.
Without further ado, here are a few candidates:
The Lockport HDMI Port Saver
I bought this about four or five years ago when I bought our company’s first 4K capable camera, the Panasonic GH4. The GH4 had a super fragile Micro HDMI output jack. Unfortunately, here we are years later and our current mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm XT-3, is still using this infernal connector. Micro HDMI is so bad, so fragile, it’s like a joke of a connector, even for a consumer, much less for professional use. The Lockport was a plate that attached to the bottom of the GH4 and inserted a micro HDMI connector into the port, made a 45-degree turn and output a full-sized HDMI connection. It was great and worked well. It protected the super fragile micro HDMI connector on the camera and gave you a better, more robust full-sized HDMI “A” connection to hook up to your external recorder or monitor.
I recall I had the Lockport listed on Amazon, eBay and some boards and it wasn’t cheap, I think we paid around $150 for it, but even at half price, nobody was interested in it, so rather than give it away for free, we threw it in storage. Here it is, four years later and it’s still in storage. Anyone want to buy a Lockport for their GH-4?
Nikon DSLR Wireless Remote
Wow, I had no idea we still had this in storage! We sold off all of our Nikon cameras and lenses quite a few years ago, but this was small enough that it must have slipped through the cracks. It’s a quaint reminder of when Nikon, Canon and other camera manufacturers used to offer “high tech” infrared remote controls to release the camera shutter and take a picture. Today, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras almost exclusively use Smart Phone apps for camera remote control and monitoring. The amount of control that these apps have, via Bluetooth, is quite amazing in comparison to what was offered versus simple, primitive remote releases like this one. This remote even had this cute little woven fabric bag to carry it in, although it was so small that it was definitely easy to lose.
Canon 5D MKII Remote Shutter Release
We were an early adopter of the DSLR that started the “DSLR Revolution,” the Canon EOS 5D MKII. At that time, we were mostly shooting with our Panasonic HVX-200 and HPX-170 P2 cameras. Both were HD capable but fixed lens with tiny 1/3-inch sensors. This meant they were extremely difficult to obtain any kind of shallow depth of field with. At the time, when we wanted shallower DOF and a better picture, we would rent 2/3-inch sensor cameras like the Sony F900 and the Panasonic first-generation Varicam. When the 5D MKII came out, we were kind of blown away, like everyone else, by the shallow depth of field and color science of the sensor. This was a wired shutter release that we also forgot to include when we sold the 5D MKII, just a few years ago. I’m sure we paid a good amount of money for it, but since we hardly used it, we had put it into storage. Imagine, a “WIRED” shutter release. Isn’t everything wireless in 2019?
15mm Rod To Arri Rosette Adapter
Why did we not end up using this? Why did it end up in the assorted odds and ends boxes? As I recall, we bought this in an effort to build a usable shoulder-mounted rig a few years ago for our Canon EOS C100 and C300. As you know, neither of these cameras and even our present-day EOS C200 are very good shoulder-mounted cameras. But we seem to run into situations where we need to shoot with these cameras mounted on our shoulder. Mainly scenarios where more mobility and movement is needed than can be gained from just shooting from tripod, which you can get with the Canons by shooting handheld cradled, but shooting with the camera held out in front of your body, especially with bigger, heavier lenses, monitors, external recorders, wireless mic receivers and other “stuff” that must often be hung off of our cameras, shooting “cradled” soon turns into an exercise in cramped and fatigued muscles, so up onto the shoulder the camera must go.
Unfortunately, almost all popular digital cinema cameras these days are NOT designed to work very well shoulder mounted. If you think about, a large percentage of cameras that people shoot with today are really, really terrible on the shoulder. REDs, Arri Alexa Mini and Mini LF, all of the Canons, the Panasonic EVA-1, even the Sony FS7 is no joy to shoot shoulder mounted with, although it can be done. We bought this adapter to attach a handgrip to some 15mm rods that we were using for lens support, extension handles and other operations on the Franken rig we created to support our C100/C300. After using the rig on a couple of long shoulder-mounted shoots, we came to the realization that we needed a better balanced and constructed solution, so we upped our game and moved into the Zacuto VCT Pro Baseplate Shoulder Mount and built out a better shoulder-mounted rig from there. It’s still not perfect, but it’s leagues better than our first attempt, which this fitting was used to help construct.
Cosmos Wrap Gift Keychain
I stumbled across this interesting looking, expensive silver keychain that I received from the producers of the Cosmos TV series. It’s pretty cool, the keychain itself is shaped like the “ship of the future” that Neil DeGrasse Tyson rides around the universe in in the series. I had some great times working on that project, and looking at this souvenir brings back fond memories. The problem with actually using it as a keychain was that it was too nice to use. It’s polished silver in a fancy, black-velvet-lined box, and if I actually used it as a keychain, it would become all scratched up and I’d probably eventually lose it. Usually, I have no problem using gear and it getting worn, but this was different, it was a thoughtful gift in recognition of my contribution to the series.
Thanks for going through this super exciting, one of a kind, adventure through the detritus of my time in production over the past few years. As they say, everything and everyone tells a story, sometimes it’s fun to reminisce and recall what you were doing in production when you look at something from that era.
Drone shots have got more intricate and more complex as the years go on, and this compilation by Sam Kølder is one of the best examples of that.
Photographer David Burdett, pictured in the press pack at today’s first public session of the ongoing impeachment hearings.
As diplomat William Taylor and State Department official George Kent took their seats in the House today to begin their public testimony, their entry was heralded by a noisy fluttering sound, as attendant photographers shot off hundreds of continuous frames on their Canon and Nikon DSLRs. But one man stood alone, among the fray: David Burnett, veteran, multi award-winning photographer, co-founder of ContactPressImages and large format film enthusiast.
At the opening of the House Impeachment, the ole wooden camera on the ole wooden witness table pic.twitter.com/Lht5DJ1xPt
— david burnett (@davidb383) November 13, 2019
The camera is an ‘Aero Liberator‘ – Made by John Minnicks, the Liberator is a custom-made camera, which takes 4 x 5 plates. Judging by today’s footage of David using it, continuous shooting speed is limited to about one frame every five or six seconds.
An engineer has developed a computer program that can, in her words, “remove the water” from an underwater photograph. The result is a “physically accurate” image with all of the vibrance, saturation and color of a regular landscape photo.
The technology, called Sea-thru, was developed by oceanographer and engineer Derya Akkaynak from MIT in collaboration with Tali Treibitz from the University of Haifa, and it has the potential to revolutionize underwater photography. While “remove the water” isn’t the most scientific explanation for how the technology works, as you can see in the Scientific American feature above, that’s more or less what it does.
By automatically removing the color cast and backscatter caused by the way light moves through a body of water, she’s able to capture underwater landscapes as they would look to the human eye on dry land—in other words: if all the water were gone.
Akkaynak and Haifa created Sea-thru by capturing “more than 1,100 images from two optically different water bodies,” each of which include her color chart. These photos were then used to train a model that compensated for the way light is both scattered and absorbed by water.
“Every time I see a reef with large 3D structures, I place my color chart at the base of the reef, and I swim away about 15 meters,” explains Akkaynak. “Then I start swimming towards the reef, towards the color chart, and photograph it from slightly different angles until I get to the reef.”
Once trained, the color chart is no longer necessary. As Akkaynak helpfully explained on Reddit, “All you need is multiple images of the scene under natural light, no color chart necessary.”
This sample image, published alongside the research paper explaining this technique in detail, shows you just how incredible Sea-thru really is:
To be clear, this method is not the same as Photoshopping an image to add in contrast and artificially enhance the colors that are absorbed most quickly by the water. It’s a “physically accurate correction,” and the results truly speak for themselves. And while this technology was developed with an eye towards scientific uses, we can only imagine the results it would produce if shared with incredible National Geographic photographers like Paul Nicklen…
To see the algorithm in action and learn more about how Akkaynak was able to achieve this, watch the Scientific American feature up top. And if you want to dive into the nitty gritty of how this algorithm was developed and how it works, you can read the full research paper on Sea-thru here.
Despite Instagram being dominated by beautiful, airy, bokeh ball-laden images of people looking happy, sometimes you just want to create something a bit darker. In this short video, Mango Street give you some basic tips for shooting indoors using natural light to achieve a moodier, more somber look to your photographs.
On this weeks episode of the PVC Podcast Scott Simmons, Kenny McMillan and Damian Allen talk through the biggest stories of last week. Hear them talk about the biggest stories to come out of Adobe MAX, the death of Athera from Foundry, the launch of the Sigma FP camera and more! Listen to the full episode below:
And if you want more in-depth breakdowns of these topics you can read these articles:
The PVC Podcast is available on Anchor, Spotify, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post PVC Podcast Eps 5: Adobe MAX Rundown, Foundry Shuts Down Athera, The Sigma FP Launch & More! appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.
RED currently holds the main patent relating to raw video – something which Apple has recently attempted to get thrown out. However, a US court has now dismissed Apple’s efforts to have RED’s patent undone, meaning RED has some power over Apple’s ProRes RAW codec.
After revealing the finalists of this year’s contest in September, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have finally revealed the 2019 winners. If you need a dose of humor in your life—and after all the dire financial news lately, who doesn’t—scroll down to see the photography equivalent of “wildlife does the darndest things.”
This year’s contest received over 4,000 entries from 68 different countries, which were whittled down to 40 finalists, and finally, one grand prize winner. This year’s overall winner is photographer Sarah Skinner, whose photo “Grab life by the…!” shows a young lioness who is about to get in sooooo much trouble with dad.
In addition to bragging rights, Skinner wins a safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya with Alex Walker’s Serian, as well as a handmade trophy from Tanzania’s “Wonder Workshop,” a Think Tank bag, and an iPad preloaded with Affinity Photo.
“It certainly warms my heart to know that this image will spread some laughter and happiness around the world,” said Skinner, reacting to the win. “I am happy to report that this lioness continues to thrive in the pride, having seen her again in October this year.”
In addition to the overall winner, the awards also named an “Affinity Photo People’s Choice Award,” a “Spectrum Photo Creatures of the Air Award,” and recognized 12 entries as “Highly Commended Winners.” Scroll down to see all of the awarded images for yourself:
Affinity Photo People’s Choice Award
Spectrum Photo Creatures of the Air Award
Highly Commended Winners
To find out more about the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, submit for next year’s contest, or read all about the conservation message that the awards hope to send, head over to the CWPA website by clicking here.
Image credits: All photographs courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
According to the most recent leaks, Tokina is preparing to reveal a redesigned 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens for Canon and Nikon full-frame DSLRs very soon. The lens will allegedly replace the brand’s current 100mm f/2.8 AT-X M100 AF Pro D seen above.
The news comes to us from the ever-reliable Nokishita, who tweeted about the upcoming lens last night. “It seems that Tokina will announce ‘ATX-i 100mm F2.8 FF MACRO’ in the near future,” reads the translated tweet. “The mount is Canon EF and Nikon F.”
According to Nikon Rumors, the lens will feature Tokina’s more modern Opera design found in lenses like the Opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF and Opera 50mm f/1.4 FF, and based on the model name it will be the second ATX-i lens from the brand, joining the Tokina ATX-i 11-16mm CF f/2.8 for crop-sensor DSLRs.
This is good news for everybody, since Tokina’s latest lenses tend to punch above their price point, and neither Nikon nor Canon have released a new full-frame, 100mm DSLR-mount macro lens in over 10 years—Nikon’s 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens was released in 2006, and Canon’s 100mm f/2.8L USM Macro in 2009.
Stay tuned for the official release “in the near future.” If previous experience is anything to judge by, Nokishita’s leaks often come within weeks, if not days, of an official announcement from the brand.
There is a new Macbook Pro, and after hating the 2016 model, and getting along OK with the 2018 model, we got hands-on time with the 2019 and… wait for it… we are impressed!
The 15″ Macbook Pro retina is the “default” filmmaker laptop for the vast majority of working pros.
Yes, PC has been making inroads, but the vast majority of film sets we visit, working filmmakers we meet, and people we know are all on Apple.
The 15″ Macbook Pro is the most common device we see. That might change with the new Mac Pro tower… but it’s absolutely going to change with the new 16″ Macbook Pro; this is going to be the new default device for film and creative professionals.
“…this is going to be the new default device for film and creative professionals.”
Fujifilm has announced plans to release future firmware updates for its X-T3 mirrorless camera. The first update to version 3.10 will arrive in mid-December, according to a release from the company published on Wednesday.
The update scheduled for release in mid-December will bring ‘controls for video recording from Gimbal / Drone via USB communications,’ according to Fujifilm, meaning X-T3 owners will be able to use their camera with a drone and gimbal setup that supports the function. This same functionality will also be released for the X-T30 and other models not specified at this time.
The firmware version 3.20 update is scheduled for release in January 2020 and will bring ‘enhanced autofocus’ with better eye AF frame tracking and face-detection performance, as well as improved autofocus when it comes to foreground subjects. Additionally, versiohn 3.20 will add support for saving up to 9,999 images in each folder on the SD card, a dramatic increase from the current 999 limit.
One of the most useful tools I’ve been using for the last year has been the Infinite Color Panel. This is my most used add-on in Photoshop and it consistently produces fantastic results. Recently a new tool was released called Infinite Texture Panel and I wanted to see what it was all about.
Werner Herzog is one of our greatest living directors. Now, he’s taking another turn in front of the camera for The Mandalorian. And he has some opinions.
Werner Herzog is a filmmaking treasure. He has a distinct voice and filmmaking style, and sometimes he even goes in front of the camera — see his underrated and love-to-hate turn as the villain in Jack Reacher.
Now, Herzog co-stars in the new Disney+ Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, from writer and executive producer Jon Favreau (Iron Man, 2019’s The Lion King). He recently sat down with Variety to discuss his experience working with Favreau — and his total lack of awareness regarding Fav’s CV. This is an interview for the ages. Herzog is legend.
Herzog doesn’t strike us as a Star Wars fan, but hearing him talk about his experiences on The Mandalorian add extra insight into how he views filmmaking.