News

GoPro Hero8 coming on the 1st October

GoPro will announce a new Hero8 action camera and the GoPro Max, a 360° camera to replace the current GoPro Fusion. There isn’t much information to go on other than the tease video. GoPro really needs to hit the ball out of the park with the Hero8. The action camera market is hotly contested and … Continued

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Sony releases α9 firmware update adding Real-Time Eye AF for animals, interval shooting functionality and compatibility with RMT-P1BT

Sony has released a new firmware update for its α9 full-frame mirrorless camera (model ILCE-9), delivering key functions such as Real-Time Eye AF for animals[i], Interval Shooting and compatibility with RMT-P1BT[ii]. The version 6.00 update enables Sony’s AI driven Real-Time…

The post Sony releases α9 firmware update adding Real-Time Eye AF for animals, interval shooting functionality and compatibility with RMT-P1BT appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

‘There’s Nothing New’ George Lucas on the State of Star Wars (According to Bob Iger)

Bob Iger’s book is out, and one Redditor already pulled the quotes on Lucas and Star Wars.

The Walt Disney Company seemingly owns everything now, but much of that happened during the reign of CEO Bob Iger, whose new book The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company details his time at the top of the Matterhorn.

Among the most interesting and impactful moments in Iger’s rule was the purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 for 4 billion dollars. With the purchase came some outlines for the extension and completion of the Star Wars saga, penned by George Lucas himself:

“At some point in the process, George told me that he had completed outlines for three new movies. He agreed to send us three copies of the outlines: one for me; one for Alan Braverman; and one for Alan Horn, who’d just been hired to run our studio. Alan Horn and I read George’s outlines and decided we needed to buy them, though we made clear in the purchase agreement that we would not be contractually obligated to adhere to the plot lines he’d laid out.”

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The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #194 – TWIN

We have got a special treat for everyone today.

My guests on the show today are a rare breed of twin directors who started by climbing the commercial ladder before a personal project helped to open doors to the feature’s world.  They are also extra special for being one of the few repeat guest on the podcast.

In this week’s episode we sit down with Josh and Jonathan Baker to catch up on what has changed since last time we chatted, their first feature experience, and where they’d like to go next.

Enjoy!

Patreon Podcast – Arrival of the Darkness

Another great episode over on the Feature Film Breakdowns for Patreon supporters of the show.

This week we look at Bradford Young’s work on Arrival.  

Spoiler Alert:  It is dark, and it is good.  Plus it is easy….the only catch is it is really really difficult.

Make sure to check it out on your podcast app of choice and head over to the Patreon site to see the images and scenes we go over in the episode.

To see the images and listen to the special breakdown podcast click the link below:

The Wandering DP Patreon

Featured Guest – TWIN

Personal Website:  TWIN

Instagram: @redbikebluebike

The post The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #194 – TWIN appeared first on Cinematography Podcast & Tutorials.

DULENS APO 2/85mm

The DULENS APO 2/85mm is the first in the series from a new company in China. This is a stills line of lenses with plans to create cine versions down the track. We can’t find too much information on the team behind the lenses but we have been told that it is the same optical … Continued

The post DULENS APO 2/85mm appeared first on Newsshooter.

Paul Thomas Anderson Screenplays (Download)

Paul Thomas Anderson Screenplays Paul Thomas Anderson is considered one of our greatest living writer/directors. His filmography might not be long but if packs a punch. His screenplays are a masterclass in the craft. Take a listen to Paul Thomas Anderson discussing her storytelling techniques. The screenplays below are the only ones that are available…

The post Paul Thomas Anderson Screenplays (Download) appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.

‘Downton Abbey’ Goes Big: Here is How Michael Engler Expanded the Canvas

Why “Downton Abbey” was crushing “Rambo” and Brad Pitt at the box office, we talked to its director about the movie, his career, and his process.

There is simply no other way to put it: Michael Engler has directed a ton of great stuff. In this golden age of TV, he has helmed many episodes of many of the great shows. I repeat it when we spoke because it bears repeating. From Deadwood to Sex and the City, Michael has steered many a ship to success.

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Photographer Killed by Falling Tree Branch During Senior Photoshoot, May Not Have Been Accident

Photographer Killed by Falling Tree Branch During Senior Photoshoot, May Not Have Been Accident

A photographer has been killed during a senior photoshoot after a falling tree branch hit her. Local authorities have announced that they are treating the incident as suspicious and have since offered a $10,000 reward for anyone that can help with their investigation.

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Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom add support for newer Sony, Panasonic and Fujifilm cameras

Adobe recently released the September update for its Camera Raw plugin, the software that enables users to import and edit Raw images in the company’s creative software applications like Photoshop and Bridge.

Camera Raw version 11.4.1 adds support for four additional camera models: Fujifilm X-A7, Sony A7R IV (ILCE-7RM4), Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H, and the Sony RX100 VII (DSC-RX100M7). The new camera support is also available in Lightroom and Lightroom Classic starting with versions 2.4.1 and 8.4.1, respectively.

With the updated support, users can edit RAF images from the Fujifilm X-A7, as well as RW2 files from the Lumix DC-S1H and ARW files from the two newly added Sony cameras. Adobe Camera Raw 11.4.1 is available to download for Windows and macOS for free from Adobe’s website. The Lightroom and Lightroom Classic updates should be available through Adobe’s Creative Cloud desktop app.

Rock Bar is a sleek and slim weighting system designed to replace sandbags

California company Rock Bar has introduced a much tidier solution to weighing down tripods and light stands with a new weight case that straps securely to legs and center columns to provide extra stability.

The Rock Bar system comprises a nylon zip-up tube that comes filled with seven pounds of recycled steel and which uses straps at either end of its body to attach to legs without swaying in windy conditions.

The number of weights in the body can be adjusted by the user depending on the conditions and the equipment being supported, and the slim-line pouch is designed not to get in the way or to catch the wind itself. Rock Bar is aimed at tripod users, and those hanging lights on high stands and boom arms, and is intended to replace sandbags and other types of hanging ballast.

The case measures 31.75×6.35×6.98cm (12.5×2.5×2.75in) and costs $45. For more information see the Rock Bar website.

Dear Live Nation: An Open Letter on Behalf of Photographers and Media

Dear Live Nation,

This is an open letter to your company regarding the increasingly poor treatment of media and credentialed photographers.

I have been shooting concerts for approaching 10 years now, and I have watched the change and decline in how media and photo passes are handled for concerts over the years, so I want to outline this change and explain the extremely frustrating situation I recently experienced at one of your venues.

Let’s rewind to 2010 when I was first getting started with shooting. When you got credentialed for shows, you picked up your tickets and/or photo passes from a box office, went in, shot your three songs, then you kept your gear on you and could shoot from the crowd for the rest of the show. Bear in mind that to this day this is how most other venues still operate (except when bands specify otherwise).

Sometime in 2013-2014, this changed a little bit. Media escorts suddenly came into the picture. After we picked up our credentials, these escorts had to fetch us from the gates and take us to a media area, and we were only allowed access to the photo pit when they led us there. Between sets, we became confined to the media area, and I’ve even had experiences where I wasn’t allowed to go to my seat when I had a review ticket.

After around 2015, this review ticketing issue got sorted out when you all decided to let photographers risk leaving their expensive gear (we’re talking anywhere between $1k and $20k here, maybe even more for some) in the media area, sometimes completely unattended.

But then in 2017 or so, things got really put on lockdown. Often times, credentials stopped being left at the box office and you had to meet up with a media escort to even receive your pass or ticket (don’t even get me started on how difficult and frequent it is that you have to argue with security at the gates to convince them that you’re trying to get in in order to receive your credentials). Then they started making you sign a waiver about the expensive gear you leave behind between sets, freeing the company from liability… even though media is supposed to be reviewing the show.

Also, you stopped wanting people to get credentialing through a band directly and started making media go through your venue’s personal contact or contact forms (essentially adding a middle man to an already complicated process).

Now, in 2018-2019, things have started getting even more challenging. After 10 years of shooting, you have to understand that people network and make connections in the industry. When bands know a photographer and trust their work, it is much easier to get in touch with the band members directly and receive credentialing through them, without necessarily needing a publication or having to go through a publicist.

Herein lies the problem, ONLY at Live Nation venues.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, when a photographer receives credentials through a band member directly, these credentials go to the box office and the photographer’s name doesn’t make it to the media list that the media escorts keep. Now, the first time this happened to me, the media escorts were confused by the situation but they managed to make a few radio calls, find a tour manager and get the situation sorted out. The second time it happened, I missed shooting an opening act while the media escorts tried to figure it out, and I almost missed shooting the band that I had been approved for. Now we’re on the third instance of this happening at this particular venue (and at least the sixth instance total including other Live Nation run venues), and this is what happened last night, which I’m going to explain, in all of its frustrating glory.

Note: I am not naming bands, nor band members, in an attempt at some privacy and due to the fact that it has nothing at all to do with the bands themselves and everything to do with Live Nation.

A few days ago, I was texting my band friend—someone that I practically toured with in 2015, to ask about credentialing for a show that took place last night. He was more than happy to get me set up, as well as my fiancé, who is also a photographer. My fiancé decided to email the headlining band to reach out for approval, which he got. I didn’t mind not shooting the headliner and didn’t reach out, so I was content knowing that I wasn’t likely going to get to shoot them. Instead, I emailed the media contacts for the Live Nation venue, knowing that I’ve run into issues before when I go through band members and wanting to get them resolved ahead of time.

I got no response from the Live Nation reps, so I figured either all was fine or that they hadn’t seen it and I’d just have to deal with it and get it sorted at the venue.

So we get there about an hour ahead of time. As I figured, my credentials were at the box office (that’s where they go rather than to the media escort when they’re through a band member). Picked those up no problem. Walk around to the media entrance (on the opposite of the building…). Immediately security says we have the wrong passes, as they are “guest” passes instead of photo passes. Now is where it starts to get fun.

My fiancé’s name is on the media list, since he ended up getting approved through the headlining act. My name is not, as I completely expected it not to be, because that’s the way it always happens at these silly, confused, Live Nation venues. When the media escort comes out to take my fiancé back, she refuses to take me and instead radios to someone else and says,

“That girl who emailed us is here.”

This was the first point of frustration. I now knew they had received my email and knowingly sent me no reply one way or another as to whether there were issues or not. Had they simply taken the time to reply and let me know something wasn’t right on their end, I would’ve had time to get the entire situation sorted and resolved before I ever arrived. Now it was about 30 minutes before showtime and I was stuck standing outside arguing with a less-than-helpful media escort that kept repeating she was just “doing her job,” but making zero effort to get in touch with a tour manager or anyone else that could actually help the situation.

Suddenly realizing that I’ve wasted 15 minutes getting nowhere with her and time was running short, I told her I was done arguing. My gear ended up going in with my fiancé, since I wasn’t allowed to take it in, but he was. I texted my band contact, but with 15 minutes before showtime, I knew I wasn’t likely to get a response.

So I walk back around to the other side of the building again, to go through the normal fan entrance. Then I get down to the floor, show security my pass, with which it turns out I have backstage access. I’m thinking to myself, “Great! Now I have a chance of running into one of the guys who can get this sorted!” Wrong. Instead I get to another security guard who asks to see my credentials and asks how I got back there and where I’m going and what I’m doing. I try to explain the situation, which results in him attempting to lead me to the media area.

On the way over there, he’s radioing media, who then respond that they’ve already turned me away three times (I’ll go ahead and ignore the fact that I’d only argued with her once at this point, not thrice). So now the security guard is irritated with me and basically tells me I’ve been told no, so to go away. I said, “Look, I have a floor ticket and a guest pass, can I at least get to the floor to watch the show?” After scrutinizing my ticket as if I was lying, he finally let me out onto the floor. I returned to the security guard who let me backstage the first time with my guest pass, and waited by the photo pit, defeated and without my gear with two minutes to go until showtime.

Well, the photographers arrive with the media escort who sees me there and is clearly annoyed by my presence so comes to tell me I can’t be there. I show her my guest pass, which is how I got there in the first place, and she argues over that too and tells me I can’t stand back/side stage with that either. At this point, I’d just given up—the band was already on stage, I’m in tears, I was done arguing, so I left the area and went back to the floor.

A few minutes later, a guy tapped me on the shoulder and asked what was going on, apparently he’d overheard my conversation with the media escort. I explained, showed him my texts with the band member, he brought me backstage again and told me to hang tight while he got in touch with the other band’s tour manager. After a few minutes, he came back with an actual photo pass, handed it to me and told the media escort to let me in, even though we were on the last half of the third song.

He is the only person that treated me with kindness at the venue tonight, and he did not work for the venue, was just another tour manager on the road that I’m extremely appreciative of.

My fiancé had kindly brought one extra camera into the photo pit for me just in case we managed to get things sorted out, so he passed the camera over to me and just as I thought everything was good to go, I get blocked off from crossing the right half of the photo pit. What the hell? The band member that got me in at all plays on that side of the stage, and after all that trouble now I can’t even get over to his side to get a decent shot of him?!

After shooting, I got in touch with the band and explained what had happened and why I won’t be providing them very many photos tonight. Needless to say, they were very understanding, but had just as much of a, “WTF?” response as I did.

He proceeded to ask, “Were you at least able to get some shots from the crowd?” I had to explain to him, “No, Live Nation venues don’t allow crowd shooting at all unless the band specifically states it’s okay.” This came as surprise #1 to him. Surprise #2 was hearing about the half-blocked photo pit and learning that he wouldn’t be seeing any shots of himself from the night, as that was another thing he was completely unaware of.

Look, Live Nation. I get that you all want to make sure your guest performers and bands are treated well and that people with fake credentials aren’t sneaking in, but this situation was borderline abusive to me: someone who had genuine and legitimate credentialing through a band member, which should trump any other type of pass.

I don’t know what communication gap exists between band members and Live Nation media representatives, but there is a clear gap and plenty of room for improvement in terms of how that type of situation is handled. Note, this isn’t just me. I have a rather large network of concert photographer friends, many of whom have encountered eerily similar situations when being approved directly by a band member. I thought I was doing your reps a favor by letting them know about the atypical approval situation in advance, but they didn’t even give me the courtesy of a response email.

Also, seriously, what is with the crowd shot restrictions? Do you realize Live Nation venues are the only ones that don’t allow crowd shooting? Did you miss this infamous tweet from Atilla vocalist Chris Fronzak last year?

If a band specifically requests the limitation, then I get it. 100% understand. But it doesn’t sound like half the bands that come through your venues are even aware that there is a limitation on crowd shooting for approved photographers.

And if you’re going to close off half a photo pit for a video cameraman, it better be a guy recording the whole damn show to sell official copies, and he better be working directly for the band, not for your venue. Nobody takes up that much of a photo pit, and if he demands access be closed off, then you have hired a self-righteous, pompous, absorbed a**hole, and you should reevaluate your choice of hire. There are plenty of talented people who can do their job in a photo pit kindly, without getting in the way of others, and without needing their “personal space.”

I’ve been patient with your venues for six years now, but every time I return to one, something a little worse seems to happen. Last night was utmost disrespect toward me, and this is where I’m drawing a line and sharing my experience. As one person, I don’t think I can make your venues change, but I think there are enough other photographers out there with similar Live Nation “horror” stories that maybe, if all of us share our experiences, you’ll actually hear us out and want to start treating photographers/media with a little respect again.

Most of us are there to do a job, too, after all.

It’s worth mentioning that not all Live Nation venues are this badly run in the media department. I have had positive experiences with media reps at other venues (@Mari M. at MidFlorida and @Tanya B. at Amway, you’re wonderful; @Fillmore NC, you’re still my favorite AND you’re Live Nation run!), though there is not much consistency from place to place in how everything is handled. This was by and far the worst venue/credentialing experience I have ever had—with over 500 shows in nearly 10 years, that should be saying something.

So, on behalf of all photographers that have had to go through these inconsistent, unpredictable and often miserable situations at your venues, thanks for at least reading through and taking this letter into consideration. We are hopeful for and look forward to future improvements.

Sincerely,

Lizzy Davis (+ anyone who wants to add their name below)


About the author: Lizzy Davis is a rainbow-haired metal music and rock photographer based in North Carolina. You can find more of her work on her website, or by following her on Instagram and Facebook. This letter was also published here, and is being republished with permission.

Laowa Full-Frame Expander and Anamorphic Adapter for the OOOM Cine Zoom

Earlier this month, Laowa teased their new 1.4x full-frame expander and 1.33x rear anamorphic adapters explicitly designed for the much anticipated Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9 Cine Zoom lens. During IBC 2019, we met with Laowa to take a quick look at these new adapters and get an update about the Laowa OOOM.

Laowa Full Frame and Anamorphic Adapters for the OOOM zoom lens. Photo credit: © cinema5D

Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9 Cine Zoom Lens

We already reported a few times about the Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9 Cine Zoom lens. As a quick reminder, this lens covers Super35 sensors, it features a constant T/2.9 aperture (with nine aperture blades), and a generous four times zoom.

As the Laowa OOOM is a Cine Zoom lens, the aperture, zoom, and focus ring have standard 0.8 mod/32 pitch gears. That way, you can easily use a manual or motorized FIZ system to take control of your lens. The focus barrel has a rotation of 270 degrees. The Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9 Cine Zoom lens will be available in either PL and Canon EF mount.

At IBC 2019, we had a chance to talk with Kevin from Laowa about this much anticipated Cine Zoom lens and get an update. In the previous prototype, the Cine Zoom was heavy at around 2.6kg, but they are now trying to improve the lens design to make it lighter. Also, there is now a new switch on the lens. If you press it, you can rotate the aperture and focal length marks. This switch is specially designed to see the correct aperture and focal length readings if you are using the OOOM lens with the Laowa 1.4x expander adapter.

Laowa 1.4x Full-Frame Expander Adapter

We were able to get a first look at the new Laowa 1.4x full-frame expander adapter. This rear adapter is made specifically for the Laowa OOOM Cine Zoom lens, but it should also be compatible with other lenses. This full-frame expander adapter allows you to expand the Super35 image circle of a lens so it can cover a full-frame sensor.

With the Laowa 1.4x full-frame expander adapter you get a focal length multiplier of 1.4x, and you also lose one stop of light. If you pair it with the Laowa OOOM Cine Zoom lens, the focal lengths will transform from 25-100mm to 35-140mm with a constant T/4.0 aperture. This is why the new “switch” button on the glass is useful.

Laowa 1.4x Full-Frame Expander Adapter. © cinema5D

Laowa 1.33x Rear Anamorphic Adapter

Another interesting rear adapter is the Laowa 1.33x anamorphic adapter. This rear anamorphic adapter is different from a more “traditional” front anamorphic adapter like the ones from SLR Magic for example. With the Laowa rear anamorphic adapter, you will get less “streak” lens flares, and the bokeh will also be less oval-shaped. Also, there will be a half stop light loss when using it.

This anamorphic adapter is made specifically for the Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9 Cine Zoom lens, but it can be, in theory, be used with every glass. The unit you can see is a PL to PL adapter, but Laowa also plans to release a Canon EF to the Canon EF version.

Pricing and Availability

The Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9 Cine Zoom lens should be available before the end of this year for around $6500.00. The two Laowa adapters are still very early prototypes, but they should “cost no more than a few hundred dollars” according to Laowa. They should be available next year.

What do you think of the Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T/2.9 Cine Zoom lens? Do you believe rear adapters are an excellent option to make a lens more versatile? Let us know in the comments!

The post Laowa Full-Frame Expander and Anamorphic Adapter for the OOOM Cine Zoom appeared first on cinema5D.

Cartoni Maxima 5.0 and Master 25 Fluid Heads with 50kg and 30kg Payload

Cartoni is introducing two new professional grade tripod fluid heads at IBC 2019, the Cartoni Maxima 5.0 and the Cartoni Master 25, aimed at the cinema and broadcast communities respectively.

The tripod heads shown here somewhat continue the theme of Cartoni competing with other manufacturers directly, by trying to out-innovate rather than out-spec them.

Maxima 5.0

Maxima 5.0 is the next step in the evolution of Cartoni’s Maxima series, following its predecessors the Maxima 40 (payload of ~ 40 kg) and 30 (~ 30 kg) and it’s improving on those quite a bit.
The Cartoni Maxima 5.0 can handle payloads of up to 50 kg (110.2 lbs), weighing in at only 13 kg (28.6 lbs) itself. It will handle that payload throughout its +90 and -90° tilt range. The Cartoni Maxima 5.0 has a Mitchell mount, but can be adapted to use a bowl head. The sliding plate is compatible with ARRI, Sony and O’Connor. The Cartoni Maxima 5.0 features Cartoni’s patented counterbalance, which can be dialed in precisely and repeatably with the display on the head’s operator side. Additionally, there is a locking mechanism, that will prevent the head from shifting with the flick of one lever only.
As Elisabetta Cartoni mentions in our interview, this new entry into the Maxima series is set to compete directly with the very popular O’Connor 2575 fluid head, which has become somewhat of a favorite among filmmakers using larger setups with long lenses. The Cartoni Maxima 5.0, however, is supposed to be even more precise and optimized for these use cases than the O’Connor head. We didn’t yet have the chance to compare the two, but we hope to do so at some point in the future.

Master 25

The Master 25 is Cartoni’s premium allround fluid head, which is priced competitively (within its segment). It’s aiming at the broadcast and independent communities alike.
The Cartoni Master 25 features continuous counterbalance and fluid drag, a 150mm bowl and a tilt range of +90 and -90°. The payload capacity ranges from 3 kg (7 lbs) to 30 kg (66 lbs), with the head weighing in at 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs).
According to Elisabetta Cartoni, a company that also works for NASA has aided Cartoni in the R&D of this head, developing a new fluid that has absolutely no elasticity and no stiction in neither takeoff nor stops. According to Cartoni, the head has already found great appreciation among users.

Pricing and availability

The Cartoni Maxima 5.0 and Cartoni Master 25 are both available and in stock right now, with the Maxima coming in at around € 8.000 and the Master 25 at around € 6.000.

What do you think about Cartoni’s new fluid heads? Are these heads you might want to use in your productions? Let us know in the comments!

The post Cartoni Maxima 5.0 and Master 25 Fluid Heads with 50kg and 30kg Payload appeared first on cinema5D.

Z CAM E2 S6, F6, and F8 Cameras – Shipping Soon with Optional Electronic ND Filter

Z CAM E2 flagship cameras will be shipping next month. The S6 (6K super 35), F6 (6K full frame), and F8 (8K full frame) will come in EF-mount and PL-mount versions (user interchangeable). All versions will support the optional electronic ND filter unit. Z CAM E2 S6 will additionally come in M4/3 mount version without the electronic ND filter support.

Z CAM E2 Flagship Cameras will support optional electronic ND filter. Image Credit: cinema5D

Z CAM is a Chinese camera manufacturer. The company has already attracted many customers because of their Z CAM E2 camera, which offered 4K 120fps video recording with M4/3 sensor and internal ProRes or ZRAW recording. Make sure to check our Z CAM E2 review if you haven’t already. Now, the Chinese company is fully focusing on their flagship cameras with larger sensors.

Z CAM first showed prototypes of their new super 35 and full frame cameras during NAB 2019. You can take a look at our NAB article with a video interview from April if you feel like refreshing your memory. We met with Kinson Loo from Z CAM again during IBC in Amsterdam to talk about new development around Z CAM’s new flagship cameras as they are getting close to the shipment date.

Z CAM S6, F6, and F8 Flagship Cameras

Z CAM product names might seem a bit confusing at first, but they actually make sense. S stands for “super 35”, F stands for “full frame”, 6 stands for 6K video recording and 8 stands for 8K recording. At IBC we looked mainly at the Z CAM F6 (full frame image sensor capable of recording video in up to 6K resolution.)

Z CAM E2 Flagship Cameras will ship soon. Image Credit: cinema5D

Kinson explained to us, that what Z CAM showed during NAB in April was not the final form factor of the camera yet. The body will use Sony NP-F batteries. One slight change at the back of the camera is a new 12V two-pin Lemo power output, so some accessories can be powered directly from the camera’s NP-F battery.

New 12V output connector at the back of Z CAM E2 F6 camera. Image Credit: cinema5D

The body of the Z CAM E2 F6 is only around 100g heavier than the original Z CAM E2 so the body itself is still very compact. All Z CAM flagship cameras will be available with two lens mounts – Canon EF-mount and PL-mount. Both mounts will be used interchangeably. Z CAM E2 S6 will additionally come with Micro four thirds mount.

When it comes to internal video recording, all cameras will top at the following recording modes:

  • Z CAM E2 S6 will record up to 6K 75fps with 14 stops of dynamic range and 300Mbps bitrate.
  • Z CAM E2 F6 will record up to 6K 60fps with 15 stops of dynamic range and 300Mbps bitrate.
  • Z CAM E2 F6 will record up to 8K 30fps with 14 stops of dynamic range and 300Mbps bitrate.

All recorded internally to CFast 2.0 media. The cameras support ZRAW format, MOV and MP4 using H.265 for 10-bit recording or H.264 for 8-bit recording. (Interested in reading our thoughts about Z CAM’s ZRAW? Please head to our comparison article by clicking here).

Optional Electronic ND Filter Unit

One of the most exciting new features of this camera’s final version is the optional electronic ND filter. It functions in the same way as the ND RF-EF Adapter from Canon. There is a removable piece, which slides in or out from the side. The piece that comes with the camera contains a pure glass element. The optional unit will contain an electronic ND filter, so limiting the light entering the sensor will be very convenient.

Optional electronic ND filter unit for Z CAM E2 flagship cameras. Image Credit: cinema5D

It seems Z CAM’s electronic ND filter unit will offer a strong range of 1.8 to 8 stops. The advantage of electronic ND is much more precise control over its strength – the strength changes seamlessly, so the exposure can be consistent even when the light is changing (for instance with clouds during outdoor shoots). The ND filter unit will be held in position by two screws.

This electronic ND filter will be implemented in all the Z CAM E2 flagship models – Z CAM E2 S6, F6, and F8 – with EF-mount or PL-mount. The only exception is the Z CAM E2 S6 with the Micro four thirds mount. The electronic ND unit will not be available for this mount simply because of the much shorter flange focal distance.

Pricing and Availability

The new Z CAM E2 flagship cameras are now available for pre-order. They will be available on October 2019. I would say the price is very interesting given the number of features and impressive specs:

  • E2-S6 (6K super 35): $2,995 – available in PL, EF and M4/3 mount.
  • E2-F6 (6K full frame): $4,995 – available in PL or EF-mount.
  • E2-F8 (8K full frame): $5,995 – available in PL or EF-mount.

The exact pricing for the electronic ND filter unit has not been finalized yet, but Kinson assured us it will be affordable.

What do you think about the new Z CAM E2 F6? Do you miss the internal electronic ND filter with your current camera? Do you have experience with the original Z CAM E2? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post Z CAM E2 S6, F6, and F8 Cameras – Shipping Soon with Optional Electronic ND Filter appeared first on cinema5D.

The 7 Hardest Parts of Photogaphy (and How to Conquer Them)

Photographer Nigel Danson recently asked his 50,000+ followers on Instagram — most of which are outdoor and landscape photographers — what they think the hardest part of photography is. After getting back 1,827 responses, Danson made this 20-minute video to share the responses.

Here’s a breakdown of the 7 hardest things along with videos Danson has made that addresses them:

1. Composition

2. Lighting

3. Location Planning

4. Woodland Photography

5. Time and Motivation

6. Boring Locations

This one didn’t have a prior video, but Danson does offer tips while discussing this challenge.

7. Focus

Watch the full 20-minute video at the top to hear Danson step through each of these challenges and offer his thoughts and solutions on them.

(via Nigel Danson via Fstoppers)

And the Winner Is… Or: Why I’m Going Back to Nikon

After going back and forth for months years between Sony and Fuji, never being entirely happy with either one, I ended up with… a Nikon system.

Why would I go back to my first love? Yes, I shot Nikon for ages, first on film and then on digital, before switching to Canon because of they were developing full-frame bodies while Nikon was still fixated on DX only, but nowadays it’s all about going mirrorless right?*

Well, at first my return to Nikon was mostly because I stumbled on a deal almost too good to be true: a used Nikon D800 going for about the same price as a waterproof compact camera. I bought it only to be able to use some of my film-era Nikon lenses on a digital camera other than the Fuji XPro-2. Or maybe just to have a body to take out in really bad weather when I wasn’t too thrilled about putting the XPro-2 at risk.

But once I started shooting, everything just clicked: the colors, the film-like appearance of the tonal values (especially with the right preset), even the handling. I’ve finally found my near-perfect camera. Why “near-perfect” and not “perfect”? Fist of all because this is real life, so there always will be something that is not ok. And because there are, should I nitpick a bit, a couple things that annoy me just a tiny tiny amount.

First of all, the bit of lag when writing images to disk can be a bother if you want to check focus or peek at your results really fast. A super fast card helps, but doesn’t solve the problem. Anyway no big deal, you get used to it. Second, when you use the internal flash (and this might very well be because of some setting I haven’t checked, given I don’t generally use it) even if you push the shutter button it will wait until the flash is ready to fire. Again: annoying but not a big deal if you prefer, like me, people not looking flabbergasted like someone just blasted them with a cold white light straight in their face.

Keep in mind I had to think really hard in order to come up with some cons for this camera. I didn’t even notice the weight and size, which, coming from an a7R, I was sure were going to bother me.

Bonus tip: slap a Nikon DK-17m magnifying eyepiece on it, and manual focus becomes a breeze, even in dimly lit environments and even without relying on the focus indicator arrows.

I use the camera with an array of old and new Nikon glass, and contrary to the Sony a7R, which I gather uses the same sensor, I am having zero problems with the performance on the Nikon—even at the borders, even with really old glass. I don’t mean to say that all my lenses have become fantastically sharp, only that they’ve kept the same behavior (or “personality”) they exhibited on film.

Then again, I’m probably a weirdo considering I like the look I get out of my 50/1.4 pre-Ai Nikkor more than the results from my Sigma Art 50/1.4… so your mileage may vary. But I am now a happy camper.


* wrong: It is, and has always been, all about the images you take.


About the author: Gianluca Bevacqua is a landscape, portrait and still life photographer based in Cosenza, Italy. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on Instagram. This post was also published here, and is being republished with permission.

Rumor: The Olympus E-M5 III to be launched October 17th, use same 20MP sensor as E-M5 II

According to the most recent report from 4/3 Rumors, Olympus’ next camera, presumed to be the E-M5 III, will be announced on October 17, 2019, and feature the same 20-megapixel sensor that’s inside the E-M5 II.

In its report, 4/3 Rumors breaks down the summary of the rumored information it’s received thus far saying with ’99 percent’ certainty that the announcement will be made on October 17, 2019, and with ’80 percent’ certainty, the new camera will feature the same 20MP 121 cross-type phase-detection sensor as the E-M5 II.

The report also states with ’90 percent’ certainty the new camera will come with a new processor that should, in theory, result in better image quality despite using the same sensor. Other details in the report say with ’60 percent’ certainty that the camera will have a ‘lighter, more plasticky but still weather-sealed body’ and use the same BLS-50 battery also used by the Olympus PEN and E-M10 cameras.

If this information does end up holding true, the E-M5 III is shaping up to be an incremental improvement rather than a revolutionary advancement.

Review: Meike MK-MT24 is a Solid and Affordable Wireless Macro Flash

The Meike MK-MT24 is one of the most interesting lighting products I’ve ever used. The concept of this product is similar to some macro flash systems that have been on the market for years — especially the Nikon R1C1 — but while I knew of their existence, I’ve never once considered them due to their exorbitantly high price (the R1C1 is over $700).

The Meike MT-MT24 system, while at first glance seems pricey, comes in at $300. I’ve come to realize that it’s actually quite a good price for something specialized that works so well. It opens up a lot of possibilities in macro photography and also simplifies the process tremendously.

Why use a specialized macro lighting system like the MT-MT24?

Hitherto, I’ve been shooting macro photos with standard off-camera wireless speedlight flashes set manual power, set atop some kind of platform or light stand. Although this is all I knew, in retrospect, now having used the MT-MT24, it was a very cumbersome way of doing things. All the test photos you see in this article were shot within an hour, running and gunning. It’s highly portable and stealthy.

Also, this is the first time I’m able to use TTL in macro flash photography, and it worked surprisingly well. I believe the best and easiest way to shoot macro is to set the camera on Manual mode, select your aperture, shutter speed, and iso manually, and have the flashes set on TTL. This way I could completely focus on shooting and composition. As it is, there’s a lot to worry about when shooting live insects – you want to remove as much “clutter” in your workflow as possible.

Main Features

The way the flashes attach to your lens is via a “Clip-On Ring Mount” that screws onto the filter thread of your lens using a supplied step-up ring. The flashes clip onto the ring mount and have a feature where you can rotate them along the circumference of the ring by pushing in two plastic tabs without needing to unclip.

The flashes can also rotate, whether you want them to point closer or further out, depending on the distance of your subject to the lens. The wireless flash trigger sits atop the hot shoe mount.

Each of the flashes (as well as the flash trigger) all have pretty bright built-in LEDs. The LEDs on the flash can be turned on and off by the press of a dedicated button on the flash trigger. These LEDs are meant to assist you in composing and focusing your shot. When you depress the shutter, the LEDS shut off a split second before the flashes flash. I didn’t have to rely on the LEDs to focus because there was decent available lighting, and also because I’m using a mirrorless camera. I’m sure this is a boon for SLR shooters.

The flash trigger has an LCD with a push in scroll wheel that allows you to control the individual flash output, whether it be TTL or manual flash power. You can also switch one of them off to get a directional lighting effect as you can see in the tiny mushrooms shot, where only the right side flash is firing.

Additional Features

The kit comes with quite a few accessories:

Hotshoe mount and foot. This allows you to clip the flashes either onto a hotshoe adapter or have it sit on a platform on a hotshoe foot.

Diffusers. There are two diffusers which I think should be used most of the time

Gels. I haven’t had a chance to test this, but it does come with two sets of color gels that you can install right on the flash diffuser clip

Another interesting possibility is to purchase additional flash units for a multiple flash system. I was thinking that you could also clip additional flashes all onto the same ring mount, thus effectively achieving a ring flash.

The manual also says that the firmware can be updated. I have not experimented with this.

Usage

As previously mentioned, I had great success shooting in TTL mode with the camera set on manual mode. This allows you to quickly change the shutter speed so you can decide how much ambient light you want to show through while still retaining your desired aperture.

The flash trigger was very reliable, and there were no misfires until the battery was low (at which point the flashes take longer to recharge the capacitor). TTL was extremely dependable. I generally avoid TTL in my photography, but I think it may be particularly suited to macro photography, and I recommend using this mode when possible.

I was shooting with the Nikon Z6 with the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. With this setup, the balance is near perfect and things didn’t feel front heavy. The rig is fairly compact, but I did at one point have a little difficulty clearing a tree trunk. My solution was to quickly unclip the flash (left flash in my case) that was blocking my movement.

I was worried that the relative sizes of the flashes to the subject would not be large enough to give a soft-ish look (since the flashes are fairly small). The results exceeded my expectations, and I think they’re perfect for small subjects. I quite like the catchlights that it produces.

One of the variables you’re always fighting against when using a macro lens is having enough depth of field. The lens I was using is very old, and frankly, a pretty terrible lens. At f/11, I was getting very severe diffraction. More importantly, however, this meant that my ambient light: the light that falls on the background ended up often being rather dark. I compensated for this by using a higher ISO.

If I really wanted to get the highest image quality, I would have placed extra flashes to light up the background independently. I will try this in the future – the fact that the MT-MT24 supports multiple wireless flashes makes this easy. You can use any flash that has a slave flash mode and pair it with this system.

Battery and Power Management

The flash trigger uses two AA batteries while the flashes themselves each use two AAA batteries. I assume this decision was made to keep the flashes small and lightweight. I was worried that this would mean poor battery life, but I managed to fire off over 200 shots before the recharge time started to take a little longer. I believe most of these were close to full power flashes, as I was shooting at high apertures most of the time.

A unique feature is that you can recharge the AAA batteries by plugging a powered micro USB cable into the flash units while the batteries are installed.

Conclusion

As someone who doesn’t do macro photography full time, it would have been hard to justify $700 for the Nikon R1C1, which is why I never even considered a dedicated macro flash system. I’d say the Meike MK-MT24 makes it affordable enough for the macro photography enthusiast, or even a beginner looking to get good results with ease.

I believe the Meike actually has many improvements over the Nikon – it uses standard batteries, has better LED lighting, and most importantly is triggered over 2.4ghz wireless as opposed to infrared. I know that Canon also has a macro flash system, but theirs is wired – with wires going from the front flashes to the “trigger” sitting on top of the hotshoe.

I appreciate the fact that companies like Meike provide alternatives to leading brand equipment while often improving upon the design. This is a very solid macro flash system that exceeded my expectations. If you’re looking to get into macro photography with an easy to use setup, this is probably the best and most affordable option out there.


Full disclosure: I was sent the flash I tested for an impartial review. I was not paid to conduct or write this article.


About the author: Steve Gong is a photojournalist based in New York. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Gong is known for his photos exposing life in North Korea and for his photojournalistic travels in more than 58 countries. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.