Shape Sony FX9 Solutions

If you have purchased or are thinking about purchasing a Sony FX9, Canadian company Shape has a ton of accessories for your camera. These range from simple mounts, all the way up to complete systems that include matte boxes, follow focuses, shoulder rigs, handles, etc. What I like is that they have an entire ecosystem … Continued

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HASSELBLAD XCD 45mm f/4 P Lens– world’s lightest digital medium format autofocus lens

HASSELBLAD has announced the XCD 45mm f/4 P Lens, which they claim is the world’s lightest digital medium format autofocus lens. The new XCD 4/45P was designed with portability in mind, and it is the most lightweight and compact member of the XCD lens family. It weighs in at just 320g (0.7 lbs) and measuring … Continued

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What Colin Trevorrow’s Leaked Star Wars Movie Reveals About The Industry

A lot of hard work goes into things that never see the light of day.

Well… unless they get leaked!

The AV Club reported that Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly’s Star Wars Episode IX script was leaked on Reddit. Everyone immediately started reading it considering what could have been, and reopening discussions of what went wrong and why.

Before we get into the leaks, let’s step back a bit and remind ourselves what happened with Star Wars Episode IX and Trevorrow in the first place. Specifically how all the backroom dealings, friendly backstabbings, and machinations are the reality of doing business in Hollywood.

The Safety Not Guaranteed director was signed on to write and direct the FINAL chapter in the trilogy, now known as the ‘Sequel Trilogy’. Lucas’s three films made between 1999 and 2005 are considered the ‘Prequel Trilogy’, and the ones made between 1977 and 1983 are called ‘the good ones.’

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Tamron 20mm F/2.8 full frame Sony E Mount lens is about to start shipping

Tamron has announced its new 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2 full frame lens for Sony E-mount will start shipping on the 30th of January for $349 USD. Tamron announced the 20mm F/2.8, 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2, and 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 back in October last year. The 20mm f/2.8 … Continued

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Deity HD-TX is about to start shipping

Deity’s new HD-TX which was announced back in September last year will start shipping from the 22nd of January. The HD-TX is an accessory for the Deity Connect wireless system. Essentially, the HD-TX is a transmitter with a recorder built-in, that allows you to monitor the recording and files using headphones plugged into the device. … Continued

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SPECIAL EVENT: The Make Your Movie Bootcamp is BACK!

Please Note: Once you press play it will take a few seconds for the episode to start playing. SPECIAL EVENT: The Make Your Movie Bootcamp is BACK! I’ve been working on this for a long time guys and here it is. The Make Your Movie Bootcamp! I wanted to bring my 25+ years of experience…

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SXSW Announces 102 Films and Episodic Shows from its 2020 Edition

SXSW announced today the 102 features and episodic shows that from the first wave of films comprising the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. Judd Apatow’s Pete Davidson-starring The King of Staten Island will be the Opening Night feature. Other highlights include Frank Oz’s film based on magician and artist Derek DelGaudio’s acclaimed theater work, In and Out of Itself; actor and director Amy Seimetz’s follow-up to Sun Don’t Shine, She Dies Tomorrow; features from directors on this magazine’s 25 New Faces list, including Nicole Riegel (Holler), Celine Held and Logan George (Topside), Tod Chandler (Bulletproof), Marnie Ellen Hertzler (Crestone), and Kitao […]

8 Minutes and $20 Can Improve Your Portrait Photography

8 Minutes and $20 Can Improve Your Portrait Photography

Portrait photography requires studio strobes, softboxes, along with grip equipment like light stands, and C-stands, not to mention lots of money to acquire all the required equipment. Without this equipment, your images are going to look like your local police department’s Saturday night mugshots. Do you really need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get good portrait shots?

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A Quick Tour Through the Nikon Museum In Tokyo

It’s a weird bond and a strange badge of honor that I’ve never strayed from Nikon. I love photography, but I also marvel at the tool itself. I am also honored to have worked on many advertising campaigns for Nikon in Japan, from cameras like the D600 and the never introduced pocket DL, to making sample photos for a variety of new Nikon lenses.

I always visit the Nikon Museum every time I’m back in Tokyo. Located on the ground floor of the Nikon Corporate office in the Shinagawa district of Tokyo, the museum is kind of a “Nikon World” where along with the amazing collection of cameras and lenses, there are odes to other areas of Nikon’s history and business, from stepper machines used in the manufacture of computer chips to microscopes, complex measuring and inspection technology and sports optics.

It’s not a very big space but it’s beautifully laid out and lit. The first thing you see when entering is a large synthetic silica glass ingot, which the woman behind the counter said had a value of over two million dollars. Nikon started as a lens maker and it’s still at the core of the company and the giant glass ingot recognizes that fact and is the symbol of the museum.

There are 450 items on display along with the very first Nikon camera, the “1”, (which sold at an auction recently for double its estimate $384,000 Euros) to the new Nikon Z’s.

They had my first Nikon—the FM—and a few cameras chopped in half revealing the amazing complexity in design and manufacture.

Of course you would also expect much space dedicated to the Nikon F. When Nikon introduced it in 1959, it had a lasting impact on photography and photographers that lives on today. It was conceived from its inception as the heart of a high-quality professional 35mm SLR system.

We know that todays Nikon bodies are updated very quickly, but in the film era the Nikon F remained in production, with relatively minor changes, for nearly 14 years selling more than 800,000 bodies and established Nikon as the preeminent leader among professional 35mm cameras.

I found an old 1960 USA price list and the chrome version with 50mm f2 lens could be had at $329.50. That’s about $2,600 adjusted for inflation. A great deal I say. And many are still in use today. When I look at my Nikon F that sits on my office shelf, I see a relatively small camera unencumbered by computer & autofocus technology, a body that is simple and rock-solid rugged that I suspect it will always keep working and no batteries necessary. It’s also kind of beautiful. It was the first 35mm SLR with 100% Viewfinder.

Nikon Silica Ingot at the Nikon Museum – Please Touch!

And then there’s the F-mount, which is still in use today—a remarkable and rare achievement of forward thinking and non-obsolescence.

If you’re planning on going to Tokyo, I strongly recommend you stop by the Nikon Museum. A big thank-you to my friend Bob Wojda who made this video.

Entrance to the Nikon Museum
School groups often visit the museum, I’m sure many are inspired to get into photography…


About the author: Steve Simon is a photographer based in New York City who’s obsessed with documentary photography and all things photographic. When he’s not shooting political conventions Steve shoots advertising campaigns for Nikon and leads street photography workshops around the world. You can find more of his work and writing on his website, blog, Twitter, and Instagram. This post was also published here.

Sony Overtakes Olympus in Japanese Mirrorless Sales, Canon Still Dominates

BCN has revealed their awards for 2020, and the biggest news from this year’s camera stats is that Sony has overtaken Olympus to claim the #2 spot in Mirrorless category while Canon has finally, for the first time ever, claimed the #1 spot in all three stills camera categories.

BCN numbers are always an interesting if not entirely useful metric, since they represent camera sales/market share in the Japanese market only. So while we wouldn’t use these numbers to draw any global conclusions about each company’s health, we can compare the results year-over-year to draw some interesting trend lines.

To that end, here are the results from the past three years in the three digital camera categories: Fixed Lens, SLR, and Mirrorless.

2018

2019

2020

As you can see, Olympus’ once dominant position in the mirrorless category continues to erode. Last year, Canon overtook them to become #1 in both Mirrorless and SLR; this year, Sony rises to the #2 position, overtaking Olympus and eating into Canon’s lead.

The other takeaway is that Canon continues to dominate the Japanese market, sweeping all three categories for the first time ever. Mirrorless has mostly been a battle between Sony, Olympus and Panasonic since the category was first introduced in 2012, and the first time Canon took the top spot (last year) Nikon beat them in fixed lens sales, stealing the possibility of a trifecta.

Now, finally, Canon can declare a sweep in all three categories.

In summary, Sony’s star continues to rise, Canon is holding steady, Nikon is gaining ground in SLRs but not mirrorless, and Olympus continues to slip from its once-dominant perch in the mirrorless category. The question now: as Sony’s mirrorless market share continues to increase year after year, will Canon be able to maintain its dominant position?

Canon Is Plotting a Nifty Fifty and a Pancake Lens for its Mirrorless Full Frame Cameras

Canon Is Plotting a Nifty Fifty and a Pancake Lens for its Mirrorless Full Frame Cameras

The glass released by Canon for its full frame mirrorless cameras over the last 18 months has been impressive, and has commanded some pretty meaty price tags to match. It’s now rumored that more lower-end lenses are in the pipeline in the shape of a nifty fifty and an f/2.8 pancake.

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CES 2020

Every year, I make the trek to the desert to join 170,000 other attendees so I can walk nearly 3 million square feet of exhibits presented by about 4,400 exhibitors at CES, the technology show put on by the Consumer Technology Association. (They don’t call the show the Consumer Electronics Show since not all technology is electronic, I guess.)

It’s a quiet little week. This year, it was filled with artificial intelligence (AI) helping you decide what to wear and what to eat, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting everything from toilets to potatoes. Oh, and there was 8K. Lots of 8K.

Exploring all the exhibits is daunting, and a majority aren’t really relevant to what I write about or to my edit work. But there are booths here and there that strike my fancy. Certainly, all the hype about 8K and HDR is something I pay attention to.

There was good 8K and HDR and there was bad 8K and HDR. After a while, it got slightly depressing because I think we still need to perfect the 4K going into our homes before we get 8K.

But my tired eyes lit up as I saw more recognition of “Filmmaker Mode.” Filmmaker Mode turns off pixel processing such as motion smoothing and makes sure content is displayed with the original frame rate and aspect ratio. It’s also supposed to preserve the color and contrast intended by the content creator. The UHD Alliance (UHDA), in combination with CE companies and studios, and in consultation with creative communities like the Directors Guild of America (DGA), developed the standard.

If a display is advertised as having Filmmaker Mode, the display will engage it either manually when the user presses a button on the TV’s remote or automatically by reading metadata from the content displayed. This means that the user won’t have to dive deep into menus to turn it on.

Although Filmmaker Mode wasn’t introduced at the show (it was announced last August), several display manufacturers announced they’ll fully support Filmmaker Mode in their televisions. For example, LG announced that every new 4K and 8K set they introduce this year will support Filmmaker Mode. Samsung and Panasonic also announced they will have a display supporting the feature.

These announcements weren’t buried at the bottom of a press release. They were front and center at the press conference for the world press. For me, it was a step in the right direction, replacing vague pronouncements about superior picture quality and immersive experience.

You can learn more about Filmmaker Mode here. Unfortunately, the website isn’t very consumer friendly, and it quickly jumps into other topics like Ultra HD Premium and Mobile HD Premium. Still, you can get a little idea of the people behind this standard.

Now if they’d just have a button to set the content creator’s intended screen size…

The post CES 2020 appeared first on HD Video Pro.

Three Posing Tips that Will Improve Your Portrait Photography

Posing is one of the most difficult “arts within an art” to master when it comes to photography, but this short video from Eli Infante might help. Eli shares three tips that you can use to liven up your posing and improve your portrait photography in the process.

The first, and possibly most important, point that Infante makes is that you must master the fundamentals of posing before you start worrying about extra tips like these. He even shares some resources for people who need to start at square one.

But once you’ve got those basics down, he shares three tips/ideas that photographers can and should add to their posing repertoire to help improve their portraiture:

  1. Use a Jacket – A simple jacket isn’t just an additional layer of wardrobe (useful by itself), it also adds a bunch of great posing options.
  2. Use a Prop – This is a great psychological “trick” because it gives the model something to do, helping him or her to relax instead of wondering what they should do with their hands.
  3. Use Your Environment – If you’re not using a prop, look around for some environmental element that can “guide” your pose. These can be fences, benches, walls, etc.

Check out the full video to dive deeper into each of these useful tips; Eli offers some genuinely helpful advice throughout the video while still keeping it under 6 minutes. And if you like his style, check him out on YouTube or Instagram for lots more great educational content like this.

(via ISO 1200)

DJI agrees with the need for Remote ID, but not the FAA’s NPRM

Remote ID, the concept that a drone should have a digital license plate, has long been championed by industry leaders. Implementing it properly would enable remote pilots to safely perform complex flights including over people, at night, and beyond-visual-line-of-sight. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems was released the day after Christmas by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after numerous delays. Unfortunately, the 319-page document proposes rules and regulations that many feel would hamper a burgeoning industry, including DJI.

DJI’s Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs, Brendan Schulman, posted a 2,100+ word call to action on the company’s main content portal, yesterday, explaining why there was a need for Remote ID while chastising the FAA for not ‘adopting good advice’ when drafting the NPRM. Since 2017, DJI has implemented Remote ID across all of their consumer drones in the form of AeroScope technology. The intention in taking this step is that both the government and industry would willingly adopt Remote ID.

Schulman and DJI ‘support a simpler, easier, and free version of Remote ID that doesn’t need a cellular connection or a service subscription.’ To illustrate why these ideals are important, Schulman presents the following analogy that anyone who drives an automotive vehicle can understand: ‘…what if instead of just a license plate, your car was also legally required to be connected via the internet to a privately run car-tracking service that charged you an annual fee of about 20% of your car’s value, and stored six months of your driving data for government scrutiny? Would you think the government had gone too far?’

‘What if instead of just a license plate, your car was also legally required to be connected via the internet to a privately run car-tracking service that charged you an annual fee of about 20% of your car’s value, and stored six months of your driving data for government scrutiny? Would you think the government had gone too far?’

The article goes on to explain how detrimental the Remote ID NPRM will be to everyone in the drone industry, except for those who stand to profit from it. The costs involved with compliance in everyday drone operations would cripple most commercial operators. Schulman hopes that every individual who will be adversely affected leaves a comment for the FAA to consider. As of this writing, over 5,300 have been posted. Comments will close on Monday, March 2nd.

‘Together, we can ensure that drone innovation is protected and that the safety and security of the skies are assured.’ Read Schulman’s post in its entirety, here.

Sharp 8K Video Camera appears at CES 2020 with some specs and availability details

During last year’s CES event, Sharp introduced a Micro Four Thirds camera prototype simply referred to as the ‘8K Video Camera.’ Details about the camera at the time had largely come from Kinotika, which had the chance to spend some hands-on time with the model. The company was back with more details about this model during CES 2020 and this time they come from a video published by Personal View.

During the video interview below, Sharp’s vice president of New Business Development Cliff Quiroga revealed some details about the company’s 8K camera, which was demonstrated with a working model at the most recent Consumer Electronics Show. The camera will be able to record 8K/30p, 4K/60p and 1080/60p video, it was confirmed.

The latter two recording options will be at 200Mbits/s at 10-bit, according to the interview, which reveals that the camera will feature a full-size HDMI output port, a 14cm (5.5in) fully articulating touch LCD, headphone and audio jacks, as well as a mini XLR port. The camera was demonstrated with an 8K external display.

Sharp is aiming for an H2 2020 release date in Japan and plans to launch the camera in the United States at some point ‘shortly after that.’ The price is still expected to fall below $4,000, but additional details are still pending.

Cheap Household Items That’ll Help You Create Common Foley Sounds

Need to create some foley? Here are some common household items that’ll help you do it.

In the wonderful world of foley, you don’t build a fire to create fire sounds or go to the mountains in the winter to record footsteps in snow…or push a guy out of a 5-story window to create the sound of…a guy falling out of a 5-story window.

Nah, you use cellophane, cornstarch, and phonebooks for that stuff, because anything and everything can be used to create the sounds we hear in films.

In this video, the team over at PremiumBeat challenged themselves to populate some stock footage with foley they created in-studio with common household items, from cast iron skillets to kitty litter, and it’s a really interesting exploration into some really cool and unique foley tricks.

Check it out below.

So, what cheap, household items were used in this video? Let’s run through them quickly:

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