Recommended cleaning procedure for lenses during COVID-19

Fujinon has put out recommended cleaning procedures for its broadcast and cinema lenses that tell you how to effectively remove germs and contamination without damaging the optics or mechanical performance. In a COVID-19 world, you need to be very careful if you are still working out in the field. This is especially true for news … Continued

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Is a 70-135mm f/2L Zoom Lens on the Way From Canon?

Is a 70-135mm f/2L Zoom Lens on the Way From Canon?

Canon’s RF 28-70mm f/2L lens has been lauded for its great image quality and for pushing the boundaries of optical design. It seems the company may not be done with such lenses, as rumors of an RF 70-135mm f/2L have emerged.

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The Best Filmmaking Deals of the Week (5.7.20)

Headlining our Deals of the Week, the Gitzo Traveler Tripod Kit is over 40% off right now.

This week in filmmaking deals: Save $150 on a Kessler Shuttle Pod Mini Cart, as well as $415 on a Gitzo Traveler Tripod Kit. If you’re in the market for a great handheld recorder, you can save $30 on a Zoom H4n Pro. Also, for those looking for a powerful mirrorless shooter, the Nikon Z6 FX-Format Camera is 10% off. Finally, Adorama is running a special that will save you 43% on the Moza AirCross handheld gimbal.

Kessler Shuttle Pod Mini Cart

All filmmakers could use a sturdy and powerful slider, especially if the price is right. Well, the Kessler Shuttle Pod Mini Cart, which features a 48″ track, a 15lb payload capacity, and a lightweight, portable design, is on sale right now for $400, down from $550.

[deal id=”120886″]

Product/Deal description [WITH LINKS]

Gitzo Traveler Tripod Kit

[deal id=”120891″]

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I’ve been meaning to meet up with the maker of Kyno at NAB over the last couple of years. It took PVC’s virtual NAB-AT-HOME for me to finally sit down with Knyo creator Robert Krüger and discuss Kyno.

I’ve been asked why I’ve never written a full review of this amazing software product. I think the answer is that I’ve started one but to be able to do justice to the app I think it would have to be so long that I would never finish it. Perhaps I need to adjust the review expectations I put upon myself.

How’s this for a simple review and it’s something I’m echoing from the chat and screen share I had with Robert, embedded below.

Kyno is quite possibly the single most useful piece of supplemental software for video post-production and media creation that I’ve ever used.

With that, sit down for 54 minutes of the most extensive chat and screen share demo of Kyno I think you’ll ever see. It was great to be able to ask questions of Kyno’s creator. This is most everything you’ll ever want to know about Kyno.

And we’re not over yet. Here are my top 5 features of Kyno.

1) Drilldown

I’m shocked that other post-production software hasn’t implemented something like Drilldown. All NLEs need this when browsing media for import.

If you’ve ever encountered the unnecessarily insane folder structures that some modern cameras write to disk you’ll appreciate Drilldown. Turn on the Drilldown feature and Kyno will look into sub-folders and display all of the media as one big folder.

2) Metadata

How much time ya got? Metadata entry can be one at a time or in batches.

Assigning metadata is only as good as the ability to use it. With Kyno, you can assign metadata of all kinds to your media from star ratings to keywords to markers to comments to sub-clips. And then you can actually use it by sending those clips to your favorite non-linear editor. And they are all supported: Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and now DaVinci Resolve and growing support for Avid Media Composer.

3) Transcoding

There are a lot of different options to transcode, convert and rewrap media files in Kyno. Did I mention it’s useful?

In our 4K and 8K world transcoding is often a necessary evil (and sometimes a godsend). While there are tons of great transcoding tools out there very few things combine the ease of viewing footage with metadata tagging and be able to transcode to most any post-production format you might want.

4) Renaming previews

Whether your transcoding to new clip or batch renaming, Kyno will show you a preview of the names of your new files. This is a great piece of mind that you’re doing the right thing, plus it will show you if there are problems.

Whether you’re transcoding media to an intermediate or offline codec or just trying to make sense of badly-named media with file name duplicates, Kyno has you covered. Upon transcoding you can rename your created clips. You can also just the built-in batch renaming tool. Both of those give you a full preview of exactly what those files will be named once the operation is performed. Get to know this feature well as it’s a lifesaver. We talk about this an idea I had to support it in the video.

5) Usefulness
I really don’t have an image for Kyno’s usefulness so here’s one of the item detail view.

Maybe this #5 should be #1. Kyno can work with video, audio, and image files. That’s what it is designed to view and that is what you mainly work with when video editing and post-production. It can be a one-stop-shop for all your post-production media needs regardless of your NLE of choice. You can have a producer or assistant organize and tag in Kyno without needing another NLE license. A newbie to post-production can learn Kyno easier than they can an NLE.

I often use Kyno as sort of a replacement for the Mac Finder (same could be said for Windows Explorers) when I’m working with media. Since you can drag media right from Kyno into your NLE there’s no need to venture into your operating system’s window and look around. Incredibly useful. Check the prices on both the standard and premium edition or grab a free trial.

The Challenge of Taking a Photo of the Stars at 2,000mm

The Challenge of Taking a Photo of the Stars at 2,000mm

Astrophotography is certainly a challenging genre that requires a good bit of effort, but capturing images of ultra-distant and beautiful objects can be an amazing experience. This awesome video follows the process of using a 2,000mm telescope to image an object 22,000 light-years away.

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Balancing Flash and Natural Light for Your Best Shots

Balancing Flash and Natural Light for Your Best Shots

We often talk about how to kill the ambient light in a shot so you can fully control the lighting with flash, but sometimes, you actually want to use both natural and artificial light in a shot. This great video will show you how to balance both flash and ambient light for a balanced result.

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Should You Consider the Cheapest MacBook Air for Your Work?

Should You Consider the Cheapest MacBook Air for Your Work?

Despite coming in at under $1,000, the cheapest 2020 MacBook Air still offers some advanced features that can make it a great option for photographers on the go who want a portable work laptop without lots of bulk. This great video takes a look at the laptop and what you can expect from it.

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Duchess of Cambridge launches photo competition to document lockdown life in the UK

The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a photography competition in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery to document stories of human kindness and suffering during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown in Britain. A keen and very capable amateur photographer herself, the Duchess says that she hopes the competition will showcase life under the lockdown and tell stories of how the inhabitants of the UK were affected.

The contest, called Hold Still, will culminate in an online exhibition of 100 of the best images entered. Though not categories as such, the themes of Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness have been suggested, and Kate expects to see images depicting harrowing stories, stories of sadness as well as uplifting stories that show how the population has come together to help each other.

The competition will be judged by the Duchess herself along with the Director of the UK’s National Portrait Gallery, Dr Nicholas Cullinan as well as members of the gallery team. Entry to the competition is free and you can one images along with a short explanation of what the picture is about. The Gallery says ‘Images must involve people, and can be captured on phones or cameras. Each image will be assessed on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise.’ The images must also have been taken in the UK.

The Duchess of Cambridge is a patron of the National Portrait Gallery as well as being patron of the Royal Photographic Society. She has become recognised for her touching pictures of her children, and is known to be a Canon DSLR and Powershot user, and has taken lessons from a well-known UK press photographer. She recently released images taken as part of a project to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

The competition is open now, and closes on 18th June 2020. You can find more information and submit your entry on the National Portrait Gallery website.

Press information


Why is the project called ‘Hold Still’?

Today our society had been told to isolate, to stay inside, not to travel unnecessarily or go out unless vital –to hold still to protect our helpers and heroes.And while many people’s lives are on hold, there are some that work harder than ever, and others that endure the upheaval of hardship and loss.

Through this project we hope to record these experiences, holding still to capture moments in time.

So for both those whose lives have been forced to slowdown and those working at a hectic pace, we hope this project will provide an opportunity to record our personal experience through one still image. And that by bringing together these individual moments we can create a collective portrait of lockdown reflecting resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness and tragedy and hope.

‘Hold Still’ is a portrait of our nation as we pause for the good of others, and a celebration of those who have continued so we can stay safe.

What are the three themes?

  • Helpers and Heroes
  • Acts of Kindness
  • Your New Normal

These have been suggested to help entrants think about what they may like to photograph.

Please note these themes are not categories that entrants will specifically enter but are intended as inspiration for the content and will be in the minds of the panel when they are selecting the final 100.

What are the entry dates?

Entry opens on 7 May 2020 and the closing date 17.00 on 18 June 2020

Are there any restrictions on who can enter?

The project is about recording the experience of people in the United Kingdom so we would like the photograph to have been taken in the United Kingdom.

There is no age restriction, and the project is open to adults and children alike. However, when submitting an image, entrants will need to confirm that the image is their own work and is not defamatory and does not infringe any UK laws (see Terms & Conditions for full details) and that anyone under the age of 18 has the consent of a parent/guardian to enter. Consent will also be needed for any sitter who is identifiable in the photograph (for those under 18 from a parent/guardian).

We will ask entrants to follow current social distancing rules when taking part.

How do I enter my photograph?

Visit, complete the entry form and upload your image, along with a short title telling the story of the photograph.

How many images can I upload?

You can upload one digital image.

Any format restrictions on entries?

What are the requirements for the image that I upload?

Each image must be saved as a JPG/JPEG and be smaller than 3 MB.

How many photos will end up in the final selection?

The final selection will be 100 photographs.

What other requirements will be needed?

If your image is part of the 100 selected, you will be required to complete a form to provide information about yourself and the image.

Will there be a cap to the total number of entries to the project?

There will be no cap on the total number of entries to the project.

Who will be making the selection?

The selection will be made by a panel including members of the National Portrait Gallery team, The Duchess of Cambridge and Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Dr Nicholas Cullinan.

When will the selection be on view?

The selection will be available to view as a ‘virtual’ exhibition on the Gallery’s website in August 2020. Following this ‘virtual exhibition’ we hope to show the images across the country later in the year although we are unable to confirm details at this point due to the current restrictions.

Can I send in my application by post?

All submissions must be made online via the website.

I would like to take a picture via an app of someone I miss who is based in another country, is this allowed?

Yes, this allowed as the picture is taken in the United Kingdom.

What will you do with my personal information?

Please see terms and conditions. All personal data given will be held securely by the Gallery and only be used to administer your entry. It may be used for internal research/statistical purposes. It will not be passed to any third parties apart from the project partners for administration of the project.