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The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #185 – Christopher Mably

In today’s episode with cinematographer Christopher Mably we chat about the challenges of starting in commercial cinematography, moving markets, and how to keep from getting pigeonholed.

Definitely check out a small sample of Chris’ work on his website and give him a follow over on Instagram.

Enjoy the episode!

Patreon Podcast – Da Da Diffusion

This week marks the start of the new Patreon set up.  A big thank you to everyone who supported the show.

On our feature film breakdown this week we are looking at some exterior scenes from the movie La La Land.

Lots of interesting things to look at when it comes to day exteriors and even more so on a big feature like this one.

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

The Wandering DP Patreon

If you joined the Mastermind group over on Instagram be sure to get all your details in as per the Patreon page so you can get involved.  

Featured Guest – Cinematographer – Christopher Mably

Personal Website:  Christopher Mably

Instagram: @christophermably

Plus Colorist Trish Cahill:

Website: Trish Cahill

Instagram: @trish_cahill

P.S. – Found out I just made that part up about the Lord of the Rings.  It was just the Hobbit Films.  

The post The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #185 – Christopher Mably appeared first on Cinematography Podcast & Tutorials.

Tilta BMPCC 4K cages & accessories are finally about to ship

We were first shown images and details of Tilta’s BMPCC 4K modular and customizable cage solutions way back in October 2018. We then saw prototypes in November at Interbee 2018. Well finally, some of those solutions are now actually about to start shipping. I’m not sure why it has taken almost 9 months to get … Continued

The post Tilta BMPCC 4K cages & accessories are finally about to ship appeared first on Newsshooter.

Vazen 40mm 1.8x Anamorphic & Z Cam E2 short film

We first came across the Vazen 40mm 1.8x Anamorphic for M43 cameras at Cinegear and now DOP Michael Della Polla has released a short film shot on the Z Cam E2 with the lens. Along with using the Z Cam E2, Michael was using a DJI Ronin 2, a Portkeys BM5 monitor, the Accsoon CINE … Continued

The post Vazen 40mm 1.8x Anamorphic & Z Cam E2 short film appeared first on Newsshooter.

Sony shows off specs of six full-frame sensors, including a Quad Bayer sensor

Sony has published the specifications for six new full-frame sensors, including multiple stacked sensors and a 15MP sensor that uses Sony’s Quad Bayer design found in a few of its smartphone image sensors. As always, these are basic spec documents aimed at would-be buyers of the chips, suggesting that all these technologies are available to customers outside Sony.

Below is a gallery of the spec sheets with a breakdown of the sensors following:

Let’s start with the IMX521CQR: a new 15MP Quad Bayer sensor. This sensor appears to be a variant of the 61MP sensor inside the a7R IV but with Sony’s Quad Bayer color filter pattern in front of it. What’s interesting about this particular sensor is that Sony is calling it a 15MP sensor instead of 61MP; a very different approach to its marketing around the IMX586 smartphone sensor, which it calls a 48MP Quad Bayer sensor, despite its 12MP output. This isn’t the first Quad Bayer sensor outside of smartphones that Sony has developed either. Its IMX299CJK sensor is more or less a Quad Bayer version of the sensor inside the Panasonic GH5S.

The spec sheet suggests the sensor can be read as a series of large pixels or be treated so that alternate rows cut off after different exposures (or with different amounts of gain) to provide HDR images. This is conceptually very similar to the SR and DR modes of Fujifilm’s Super CCD EXR technology. The possibility exists that Sony doesn’t provide customers with the processing know-how that it uses to reconstruct a 61MP image, which may be why the chip is described as only offering 15MP.

Another interesting chip is the IMX311AQK (48.97MP). It’s a stacked CMOS chip that uses a 45-degree pixel array. Not many details are given, but it sounds a lot like an idea Fujifilm flirted with twenty years ago, with its original Super CCD technology.

As we understand it, the logic is that Bayer pattern is very good at capturing horizontal and vertical detail but much less good at diagonal patterns, so rotating it gives a better diagonal resolution which is better at capturing natural subjects. Or, as Fujifilm’s marketing once put it: ‘better suits the distribution of spatial frequencies of image data in nature as well as idiosyncrasies inherent in human vision.’

Conventional sensors

Moving onto the other chips mentioned in the new documents, Sony has detailed the specifications for two stacked sensor that use a more conventional layout: the IMX554DQC – a 30.65MP chip that can read out at over 36 frames per second – and the IMX313AQK (48.96MP), which can shoot at up to 10 fps in 16-bit mode and 21 fps with 14-bit readout.

The IMX409BQJ, a backside-illuminated 55.16MP sensor achieves up to 13.2 fps for still images or 21.5 fps in 12-bit mode, without using a stacked design. There’s no sign of this being in any current camera and overall it looks to be the most conventional sensor of the bunch.

Last up is the IMX410CQX, a 24MP backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor that looks very similar to the sensors we’ve already seen inside the Sony A7 III, Panasonic Lumix DC-S1, Nikon Z6 and Sigma fp cameras.

How to Get The Super 8 Film Look

The vintage look is all the rage right now.

Instagram filters, presets, in-camera color profiles (Fuji’s to be specific), and an innumerable amount of Instagram-friendly apps are all embracing the vintage and “home-video” style of imaging.

However, if you really want a custom look, you still have to do it yourself.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you what you need to know in order to pull off the effect both in-camera and in post. Check it out below:

Here are the key things you’ll want to remember:

Shoot at a low frame rate

Super 8 cameras typically shot anywhere between 12 and 18 frames-per-second. These days, the baseline for almost every camera in production is around 24 frame-per-second. There are a number of ways of interpolating the footage in post-production to get this effect, but I recommend going into your camera’s “S&Q” function and use a setting that gets closest to the 18 fps margin. For me, that was 15 fps.

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The Soul-Crushing Boredom That Birthed 1990s ‘Cubicle Movies’

How do movies communicate times of peace and economic stability…and the dreary boredom that comes along with it?

Something cool happened in U.S. in the 90s. Everything was…pretty good.

The economy was booming. Jobs were plentiful. Michael Jordan came back to basketball. The internet became a thing!

It was a time when Fridays were reserved for prime time family-friendly programming blocks and baristas, chefs, and…whatever Pheobe was…could afford sprawling apartments in Greenwich Village.

But too much of a good thing has its effects, those of which we can see clearly in the films of the late 90s when all that peacefulness and economic comfort reached critical mass. People started to get super, super, super-duper bored, and thus, the “cubicle movie” was born.

In this video essay, Jack Nugent of Now You See It takes a look at which films captured the soul-crushing ennui of this time in American history and how filmmakers managed to communicate it on screen.

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What Does a Producer Do?

We know the tangible skills of most people on set, but what about a producer? What exactly do they do?

Perhaps you’re curious about the way the industry works, or you want to get into producing, or you just want some general knowledge. Regardless, you’ve come to the right place.

Producers are extremely important within film and television, but there’s a lot of confusion about what they actually do and at what stage.

I spent my first three years in Los Angeles working for a producer, rising from assistant to Story Editor, executive produced my movie and was a consulting producer and associate producer on several television shows. So, I know a little bit about what we’re talking about today.

We’re going to go over different kinds of producers, follow their trajectory from film or TV idea to execution, and cover the career path people take to become producers.

Let’s go!

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CAME-TV Z Cam E2 Cage Kits

CAME-TV has announced five different cage kit options for the Z Cam E2. Erik reviewed the Z Cam E2 and found that a cage makes the camera much easier to use. Yes, you can go minimalist with only a NATO rail and a couple of cold shoe adapters, but a dedicated cage will make setting … Continued

The post CAME-TV Z Cam E2 Cage Kits appeared first on Newsshooter.

Three Months with the Panasonic S1R

If you’re wondering why someone who loves Sigma cameras and gets called the ‘Foveon Wizard’ by his peers is writing about the Panasonic Lumix S1R, I need to take you back to 2007.

Back then, my love for gadgets and tech related things eventually lead me to buying a Panasonic Lumix Fz8, a small bridge camera with 36-432mm f/2.8-3.2 zoom lens. That was my first entry in to the world of photography.

It was then I discovered that I didn’t just enjoy capturing moments in time, but also crafting them by adding my own light. My first ever off-camera flash photo was with the Fz8 using a long exposure and the Xeon flash from my old smartphone back when that was a thing:

Panasonic Lumix Fz8 with mobile phone flash.

From there, I upgraded to a DSLR. This let me be much more creative and use a wireless flash, but I wanted something smaller for everyday stuff and eventually bought my first mirrorless camera back in 2009: a Panasonic Lumix GF1.

The Panasonic LUMIX GF1 that now belongs to my son.

Panasonic cameras have always been a part of my photography as I grew, so when Panasonic, Sigma and Leica announced the new L-Mount Alliance, I got excited and reached out to Panasonic UK to see if I could try their first full-frame mirrorless L-Mount camera, the Lumix S1R.

Panasonic Lumix S1R with a range of Sigma ART lens.

The S1R wasn’t my first full-frame mirrorless camera. That title goes to my little Sony a7 II, which has been a fantastic camera when I needed more speed or high ISO than my Sigma sdQ-H can give, but that didn’t stop the excitement I felt when the S1R arrived. It’s clear Panasonic have been busy!

The S1 and S1R are Panasonic’s high-end entry into the L-Mount system, and just holding it, the camera feels like a pro-level DSLR instead of a mirrorless.

An image I created to showcase the S1R’s weather-sealed body and full-frame sensor.

While it is bigger and heavier than my older Sony a7 II, it feels much better built with a weather-sealed body that offers more controls and features, along with a 47MP sensor that can use the IBIS to generate impressive 187MP images. Of course, this is also reflected in the price at around £3,400.

Some of the buttons

The EVF is the highest resolution around, more than doubling that of the Sony a7 III, and it really makes a difference when viewing the world through it. I understand EVFs are not for everyone, but they do offer many benefits over OVF like focus peaking, picture in picture zooming in on the focus area, and real-time exposure preview if needed.

Another nice feature is the rear LED touch screen that can pull out, up, down and also to the right, which is great for macro or if using the camera in portrait mode low down.

The camera also supports remote control shooting over WiFi or full tethering over USB-C, and is supplied with this little screw-in mount to secure both the USB-C and HMDI wires when in use.

The camera can also be supplied with power while in use via the USB-C port, allowing you to use a power bank for extended shooting or simply top up the battery on location.

There are just so many nice little well-thought-out things about this camera that you appreciate the more time you spent with it. I have to say it’s possibly the best thought out camera I have had the joy of using over the years.

Since I am a Sigma Ambassador, I will be using the camera along with the Sigma MC-21 adaptor, which does sadly limit some features of the camera (mostly AF-C). You can read more in-depth about that on the Sigma UK Lounge, but to cut a long story short, using a proper L-Mount lens will open up what this camera can really do.

Still, using the Sigma SA lenses on the camera is simple and suits most of my photographic needs—just attach the MC-21, the lens and you’re good to go.

I was able to test a variety of Sigma lenses on the S1R, from the 12-24mm f/4 Art to the new 70-200mm f/2.8, as well as a few primes along the way. Using AF-S mode, the lens focused accurately if a little slower than using them on the Sigma sdQ-H or Sony a7 II via the MC-11.

One of the main focus features of the camera is its AI focus mode that can detect objects, animals, people and eyes.

I was surprised the camera could even detect non-human eyes, and it has been a very useful mode that lets you concentrate on your composition, although I did find at times that the camera would focus on the background even if it had a face highlighted. Upon experimenting, it turned out that the camera was trying to find something in the original focus point even though I couldn’t see it after it detected a face, so its just something to watch out for.

The camera has many other focus modes like spot focus, which will show a little picture in picture with a zoomed in view to show you if the focus has landed in the right place. The focus peaking also works well in manual focus, and was actually a joy to use when shooting my cousin’s football team.

Footballer – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 ART in APS-C mode.

As the S1R is the higher resolution version of the two cameras that share the same body, I feel that it will most likely be used by people looking to do landscapes or studio work, with the S1 being more for events due to the smaller file size and better higher ISO. The S1 also has better video options with the upgraded firmware and full sensor readout, whereas as the S1R has a small 1.1x crop in 4K.

One of the main reasons I was interested in this camera was the High Resolution multi-shot mode. I have been using the Super Fine Detail mode on my Sigmas for a while now, and enjoy the extra clarity and dynamic range it brings, so when I heard that the S1R could generate 187MP raw files, I knew it was something I wanted to try.

Using the High Resolution mode is fairly simple, just press menu, then scroll down to “high resolution mode” in the first photo section and start shooting.

Here’s the image from that shoot using the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 lens:

St Mary’s Parish Church, Kirkintilloch – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 12-24mm f/4

I was rather impressed with how quickly the camera created the image along with the detail it can captured, although not all lenses will be able to resolve the full detail this mode provides. Movement in the images can cause artefacts, although the camera does have two versions of the High Resolution mode and a longer shutter speed can help reduce these artefacts at the expense of motion blur.

Mode 1 attempts to blend movement to look like a longer exposure was used. It can work well and works best at longer exposures, although the 1-second shutter speed limit of the High Resolution mode is annoying.

Mode 2 attempts to remove the movement so it looks like a shorter exposure was used.

Both of these settings can be found in the High Resolution menu.

Another trick is to downscale the 187MP image back down to 47MP. You still end up with a file with more detail than a single 47MP shot, even if the lens isn’t capable of rendering the full 187MP; you can then use the single frame that the camera captures at the same time to blend over areas where the movement has been an issue. I particularly like doing this as the 47MP now looks more Foveon-like than Bayer due to the increased density of detail.

To test this, I took my trusty Sigma sdQ-H along with the Panasonic S1R with Sigma 12-24 f/4 out at Carrbridge and took similar shots. Here is the shot from the S1R that I enjoyed:

Carrbridge – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 12-24mm f/4

Here are the crops from both the Sigma sdQ-H (25.6mp) on the left shot in Super Fine Detail mode and Panasonic S1R shot in 187MP mode downscaled to 47MP.

Please download the crop image to view properly.

In this image from the Loup of Fintry, I overlaid and masked the single shot file over the high resolution shot to create a cleaner look to the water and the edges of the trees, while still resolving more overall detail.

The Tiny Tree at the Loup of Fintry – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 12-24mm f/4

While not all lenses will currently resolve the full 187MP (especially at infinity) I created this studio shot using the Sigma 105 f/1.4 Art, and the detail captured is absolutely staggering.

NIKE Footscape – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 105mm f/1.4 ART

On the left is the 187MP crop, and on the right the same image down sampled to 47MP to show the different between the two file sizes.

Please download the crop image to view properly.

As you can see, with the right optics and situation the camera is simply wonderful in the High Resolution mode. One downside is that you can’t use strobe lighting, so I used my Spekular LED lights to create this image as you can see here.

BTS of a product shot with LUMIX S1R and Sigma 105mm f1.4 ART and Spekular LED

As the shoe was hanging on thin bits of metal wire, I used another feature of the camera here: the WiFi remote control. This helped, as the shoe would wobble around if I moved in the same room due to the wooden floor. Using this feature requires downloading LUMIX sync from the iTunes App or Google Play Store, but after that connecting is fairly simple if you follow the instructions, and it gives you full control over the camera from your phone including remote viewing.

I know this feature is starting to become normal on cameras, but it’s not something I’m that used to and I’m already finding good uses for it. I used the feature to create this image for Cosyspeed while in the Highlands, as you can see in this little clip.

You can see me walk into frame, press to focus and capture the image all using the app on my phone. Here is the final shot.

Trying to do this shot solo without the WiFi control would have been a challenge, but it was made easy thanks to that feature. The camera can also be tethered to a PC/Mac using the USB-C port, giving the same type of control through a different interface using a program called LUMIX tether.

If you’re in a studio setting shooting products it makes your life so much easier. You can download the images direct to the computer and view them on larger screens to show clients or even just to see if adjustments need to be done without having to zoom in on the camera’s own LCD.

The camera also supports a feature called “sheer overlay,” which allows you to set a photo as a transparent image on the screen. This is handy, say, if you have a setup where you want to replace an item with another but be consistent with placement.

I created a little video to demonstrate this feature. Sorry the quality isn’t the best, but I used my phone for this.

Much of what I have covered so far has been using the camera on a tripod, so what is it like for general everyday usage?

Well, for a start, the weather sealing really adds a sense of confidence when using the camera out on location, particularly with the typical Scottish weather like at the Hebridean Pride Festival on the Isle of Lewis.

Panasonic S1R with Sigma 105 f/1.4 Art (shot on s9+)

Even though the camera was getting wet, I knew I could keep shooting and created a few portraits at the event with the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art via the MC-21, with a Cactus v6II firing a Godox ad360 inside a pop up soft box that was doing double-duty keeping the flash dry.

The Cactus triggers flashed with the Olympus TTL firmware worked great, giving me TTL functions on the Godox ad360 as well as High Speed Sync, which works all the way to 1/8000 of a second.

Here’s another shot using the same lighting combo, but this time with the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART. This is a photograph of my friend’s daughter in a poppy field.

LUMIX S1R with Sigma 135mm f/1.8 ART

To get an idea of the setup, I used something similar here for a photo of my son.

And here’s the final image:

LUMIX S1R with Sigma 105mm f/1.4 ART

And lastly, a recent studio shoot with the tribute band Little Fix:

LUMIX S1R with Sigma 105mm f/1.4 ART

What about low-light venues? Well it works rather well.

The camera was still able to pick out faces and even eyes in this low-light environment, although it’s not my main type of work and I do feel the 24MP Panasonic S1 would be better suited for this kind of work, as it’s easier to manage and edit lots of smaller images for a faster turnaround.

LUMIX S1R with Sigma 105mm f/1.4 ART at an event.

So I have done my best to use this camera in a verity of shooting situations from product photography, to portraiture, to landscapes, to events and casual shooting. It’s not a small travel camera by any means, and to make the best of the 47MP chip requires great optics that tend to be big and heavy (particularly if you like fast apertures) but the camera itself is a joy to use and I think the results from it are worth the weight.

The camera seems to have been designed just to go that little bit extra to make life easier—from its extra long maximum shutter speed of 60s vs the normal 30s in most cameras, to the 1/320 flash sync vs the average 1/180. It’s like this throughout the camera, and it just adds up to a great user experience.

On the video side of things, it’s capable of offering 4K video up to 60fps (in APS-C crop) or 30fps using a 1.1x crop of the full-frame sensor, although the S1 is the better option if video is your main focus. Regardless, it would be best to get feedback from someone who actually shoots video on a regular basis, so it’s not something I will cover here.

My only real issue with the camera isn’t even to do with the camera itself, it’s the fact that I can’t use AF-C when using the MC-21, when the same lens can use AF-C on the Sony cameras via the MC-11. The ability to track subjects just makes things a lot easier at times, particularly for event shooting. For people buying native L-Mount glass this won’t be an issue, but if you have a bunch of lenses already it’s something to take into consideration.

Hopefully, I will be able to try the camera with some real L-Mount lenses to see how the AF-C works, and also use the focus bracketing feature that is currently disabled for me due to the MC-21. I know Sigma have just announced a new 14-24 f/4 , a 35mm f/1.2 and 45mm f/2.8 all designed for mirrorless from scratch, so hopefully I won’t have to wait too long, but sadly the camera is on its way back home.

I am honored that Panasonic let me try out this camera and can only thank them for the opportunity. It has allowed me to understand more about the L-Mount, and I truly am looking forward to seeing how the system progresses as a whole. The ability to mix and match cameras and lenses from Leica, Panasonic and Sigma is a unique feature of the L-Mount, and with Sigma just announcing the tiny full-frame Sigma fp, things are looking interesting indeed.

The full spec list of the camera can be found at panasonic.com, and they seem to have launched a new loan scheme to allow more people to try the system. You can see more about that on the Lumix G Experience blog, but please enjoy a few more photos from the system before you go and remember to check out my article on the MC-21 if you’re interested in learning more about the adapter.

Devils Pulpit – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART
Luskentyre Beach – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART
Rannoch Moor – LUMIX S1R with 105mm f/1.4 ART
Blackrock Cottage – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 105mm f/1.4 ART
Glen Etive – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 12-24mm f/4 ART
Forky – LUMIX S1R with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro ART

About the author: Paul Monaghan is a portrait photographer and Sigma UK Ambassador based just outside of Glasgow, Scotland. You can find more of his work on Instagram and Facebook. This article was published here and is being republished with permission.

Download The ‘Casablanca’ Script PDF: Perfection by Teamwork

Many people consider the “Casablanca” script to be the perfect example of an excellent screenplay. We look at the PDF and show you why!

Where were you when you first saw Casablanca? If it was in a theater in 1942, congratulations on being alive. If you’re like me and saw it later, what was the first thing you noticed?

For me, Casablanca just felt so surprising. Every line, story beat, and action felt like they were calculated by an excellent screenwriter and executed by an amazing crew. Only part of that is true.

Today we’re going to take a look at the Casablanca script PDF, talk about what the story gets right, and also wade into a few lessons on character arcs you can get from the screenplay.

Let’s go!

Download the Casablanca Script PDF and learn!

The Writing of the Casablanca script

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Kodak Mobile Film Scanner is a cheap cardboard-based way to scan 35mm film and slides

Kodak Photo Plus of C&A IP Holdings has launched the Kodak Mobile Film Scanner, a ‘cute little box’ that is assembled by the user into a functional film scanner. As with some competing products, this film scanner works with an ordinary smartphone to digitize slides and 35mm film negatives. Unlike those other products, however, Kodak Mobile Film Scanner is made from heavyweight cardboard that collapses back into a small portable box.

The Kodak Mobile Film Scanner is like Google Cardboard, only for photographers rather than casual VR experiences. A built-in LED light is used to illuminate slides and film; a companion mobile app is used with a smartphone to capture and edit the resulting digital images, including cropping and rotating.

Once ‘scanned,’ the same Kodak Mobile Film Scanner app can be used to apply image filters and directly share the digital image on social media. The entire system offers an experience similar to what many consumers are already familiar with, enabling anyone to rapidly digitize old negatives and slides.

The film scanner is powered by two AA batteries and can accommodate 35mm black-and-white film negatives, color film negatives and color slide positives. The related mobile app supports Android 5.0 and higher and iOS 6 and higher. The Kodak Mobile Film Scanner is available from Amazon now for $39.99 USD.

First Look at Full-Res RAW Files from the 61MP Sony a7R IV

A lot has been said about the quality of the images coming out of the 61MP Sony a7R IV, but most of the first impressions we’ve seen are based on JPEGs. Now, thanks to Jared Polin of Fro Knows Photo, you can get take a close look at full-res RAW files captured with Sony’s new camera and see how they hold up.

Since the native RAW files from the Sony a7R IV are not yet supported by Adobe (or any other editing suite), Polin was given a RAW converter that allowed him to turn those files into DNGs that could be opened and edited in Lightroom and Camera RAW. This past weekend, he converted a few of those files—which were captured during the Sony press event in New York City—made a few tweaks, and shared his thoughts in the video above.

What’s more, he’s actually sharing those files with viewers, so you can put these four images through their paces for yourself:

Check out the video to see Polin go over each file in turn, explain the edits he had to make, and give his first impressions of the a7R IV. Then, head over to the Fro Knows Photo website to download the full-resolution DNGs and edit them yourself.


Credits: Photos by Jared Polin and used with permission.

‘Tag cleaners’ spam Instagram accounts with safe images to combat digital vandalism

A report published by The Verge highlights the work of ‘tag cleaners,’ the name given to individuals who dedicate their time and, potentially, mental health to clean up the tag pages on Instagram accounts facing digital vandalism. In this instance, the report details teenagers who are working around the clock to protect the Instagram account of Bianca Devins, a 17-year-old who was murdered on July 14.

Instagram accounts present images and videos in two categories of a user’s profile: the primary category with content posted by the account owner and a ’tagged’ category showing posts in which the account has been tagged. Following Devins gruesome death, Instagram has faced a flood of images showing her body that had first been shared by her alleged murderer on Discord and his own Instagram account.

Though Instagram has used its detection technologies alongside official moderators to remove these images, removals can take time during which viewers browsing tagged posts on Devins’ account will see the content.

Though Instagram has used its detection technologies alongside official moderators to remove these images, removals can take time during which viewers browsing tagged posts on Devins’ account will see the content. As noted by voluntary ‘tag cleaner’ memes related to Devins’ death aren’t removed because they don’t violate Instagram’s community guidelines.

Tag cleaners are described as ordinary Instagram users who dedicate their time to posting cute or otherwise harmless images tagged with accounts facing digital vandalism, including Devins’ ‘escty’ account.

A screenshot of Naomi’s accounts, ‘cute.cleanup’

By doing this, visitors who browse the account’s tagged posts will see a flood of safe, respectful content that drowns out disrespectful memes and other problematic images. When one of these unacceptable images are published, a flood of harmless tagged photos will push the problematic content to the bottom, giving the troll or spam account less visibility and incentive to keep publishing the content.

Tag cleaner Naomi explained the importance of flooding an account with tagged images, telling The Verge:

‘Tag cleaning in combination with mass reporting is the way to combat the trolls. If we only relied on reporting, the tags would still be flooded with ‘those photos’ while IG removes them […] I didn’t have to personally know Bianca to see that no one deserves this after they’re gone, especially not their family. It’s really unfortunate that this tragedy had to be inundated with insensitive memes and sick people who get a laugh out of posting ”those photos.“’

The fact this has to be done in the first place is alarming and well worth drawing Instagram/Facebook’s attention to. Sure, there’s plenty of serious/violent/controversial content for Instagram/Facebook moderators to sort through, but it shouldn’t be up to vigilantes to keep profiles clean in the wake of tragedies.

Review: addlink S70 SSD NVMe, a 1TB fast drive for the low price of $120

addlink S70

If you want to move from HDD to SSD, consider a NVMe SSD as your best option. The addlink S70 SSD NVMe costs $120, less than some SATA SSDs, and is one of the fastest NVMe drives available.

Moving your data from an HDD to an SSD gives you a boost in speed that will make you wonder why you’ve not taken that decision earlier, because of the way your workflow changes. The next step is NVMe, which is even faster, but prices have kept many of us from moving into that fast lane. Now it is the time to change, I believe, and a first sign of how accessible NVMe drives may be in the future is presented by addlink,  with the S70 SSD NVMe, available in different capacities: 256GB, 512 GB, 1TB and 2TB.

The company from Taiwan, addlink, is not one of those popular names we mention when talking about SSD drives, but its engineers have a decade of experience in the mobile storage industry. The company’s main products are mobile accessories such as mobile phone memory cards, professional camera memory cards, USB drives, dual-use flash drives (MicroUSB, OTG, Type-C, Lightning), and other memory storage devices like SSD and memory for traffic cameras.

Moving from HDD to a NVMe drive

For a while I’ve used a 2TB Seagate Firecuda for data, in my system, but I wanted to move to a faster solution and go beyond a regular SSD, if possible.  I decided that a 1TB drive would be enough for my intended use, but with prices for a 1TB SSD the NVMe kind going to $200 and beyond I could not see myself getting into the fast lane.

Browsing the Internet looking for a solution I found the Intel SSD 660p, which seemed like a good choice. It’s the first Quad-Level Cell NAND, which means that each cell can store four bits of information, more than the other solutions available: Triple-Level Cell (TLC), Multi-Level Cell  (MLC) or Single-Level Cell (SLC). The initial price in 2018 was $200, but the most recent price I saw at Amazon lists the Intel SSD 660p at only $94 for the 1TB version, which makes this, apparently, the most accessible NVMe and a good solution for most users.

The Intel SSD 660p is no match

The Intel SSD 660p is not the fastest NVMe drive around, but it attains respectable 1800MB/s read and write under normal conditions. It does have a problem, though, pointed by different reviewers: when it runs out of cache, it writes little faster than a hard drive. This may not be a problem for everyday use, but the slower speeds than speedy NVMe drives, and the knowledge that your NMVe might go slower than a HDD, do not help the Intel SSD 660p to become popular in a world that always wants more speed.

So, I looked elsewhere for another option. That’s when I found multiple references to addlink and its S70 SSD NVMe. The company offers a solution for gamers, addgame X70, a M.2 PCIe NVMe drive. It utilizes the PCIe Gen3 x 4 interface, meaning four lanes are used for transmitting and receiving data simultaneously, resulting in compelling performance of Read/Write up to 3500/3000MB/s and random Read/Write 500K/513K IOPS.

addlink S70

Is the addlink S70 a good choice?

The addgame X70  from addlink gaming series seems to be the origin of the addlink S70, as the technical specifications are similar. According to the company, “the addlink S70 M.2 SSD is engineered with a RAID engine and LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) coding, a powerful ECC algorithm, to keep data secure. Manufactured with high-quality flash chips, and engineered dynamic thermal throttling mechanism, the S70 guarantees superior endurance and stability for high-end applications.”

Buying a product from a company that you do not know has some risks, but the comments and reviews online do suggest that the addlink S70 SSD is a good buy, made even better because of the low price it has now. The drive entered the market close to $190 and is now available for some $70 less, that’s $120.  Looking at the Passmark Software data for the best 100 SSD, the addgame X70 has been consistently in very good position, even when compared, price wise, with regular SSD solutions.

addlink S70

Read your motherboard’s manual

Installing the drive was easy, and there is a complete guide to download from addlink’s website. You’ll also find there a FAQ which covers the most common questions. The S70 has a M.2 2280 form factor, so make sure your computer is compatible.  Refer to your motherboard manual to know the best way to add the addlink S70 SSD to your system.

A word of caution: follow my advice and check your motherboard manual before installing the drive. I didn’t, and when the two HDDs in my PC vanished after a reboot, I had to start over, and find the problem. It was easy: READ THE MANUAL.

In my case, with the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro motherboard, due to the number of lanes provided by the chipset, installing devices on the M.2 connectors affects the availability of SATA connectors. My motherboard has two M.2 connectors:  the M2A connector shares bandwidth with the SATA3 1 connector; the M2M connector shares bandwidth with the SATA3 4, 5 connectors. I had to make some changes and finally got things right.

addlink S70

Benchmarking with CrystalDiskMark 6.0

Once installed and after a reboot, the drive was recognized and I was able to prepare it to be used. A quick test with CrystalDiskMark 6.0 benchmarking software gave me results similar to those I’ve seen from other users. This drive is fast. A real world test, loading data that I use on a regular basis, took a little over 90 seconds instead of the almost 4 minutes it took getting the data from the Seagate Firecuda 2TB HDD. The addlink S70 SSD is, no doubt, fast. And the price makes it a wise choice if you feel you need the speed. At the moment, the 1TB represents the best choice, as the 2TB costs more per MB than this version.

addlink S70

Presented as a solution that aims at high-end applications, such as digital audio/video production, gaming, and enterprise use, which require constant processing heavy workloads with no system lags or slowdowns of any kind, the S70 offers “not only fast transfer speeds but unmatched reliability” says addlink. The speed is present. Let’s see if reliability is there, but the five-year warranty is a good indication. I will update this article if something goes wrong.

The post Review: addlink S70 SSD NVMe, a 1TB fast drive for the low price of $120 appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

The First-Ever Movie Scene with a Total Solar Eclipse as the Backdrop

During the recent total solar eclipse in Chile, professional outdoor photographer Ted Hesser was on hand on an indie film shoot to help do something that had never been done before: capture a movie scene with totality as the backdrop.

Having captured viral photos of a climber in front of totality during the solar eclipse over the United States back in 2017, Hesser was brought in to consult (to help line up the shot) and to shoot still photos for the upcoming indie movie Nomad, directed by filmmaker Taron Lexton.

“The logistics, timing, and sheer blue-collar work required to make this happen was staggering,” Hesser tells PetaPixel. “From positioning, to camera rigging, to rehearsing, to wardrobe, to sound, to moving big boulders in a small rectangle so that the cinema cameras could move freely. It was a huge effort.

“All told it took a team of ten, 3 days of 12+ hours of prep to get it all dialed so that when totality happened, we were ready.”

But even with all that planning and preparation, you still have just a 2-minute window during which the moon is fully blocking the sun to get the perfect shot.

“It still felt like a coin toss as to whether we would nail it,” Hesser says. “Totality was so hectic. During the 2 minutes of totality, we set up 3-4 shots over the length of about a football field, on uneven cactus-strewn land, running in the dark with massive tripods and an Arri Alexa LF camera with a 1500mm cinema lens.

“The camera actually fell off the tripod at one point but was caught or held on to by someone moving it. Basically, all things told, we pulled this shoot off by the skin of our teeth.”

For his still photos, Hesser had to make some split-second adjustments with his camera, Nikon 500mm f/5.6 lens, and 2x teleconverter as totality arrived.

“Murphy’s law in full effect, my tripod actually broke right at totality,” Hesser says. “So I went hand-held in a split-second decision. I also had a 2x teleconverter on a Nikon 500mm f/5.6 prime lens but decided that I wanted to use a higher aperture in the moment to have more striking sun flares. The 2x teleconverter was creating weird artifacts so I took that off rather quickly as well.

“All of this happened while constantly running backwards and repositioning. We were repositioning our actors a half-mile away by radio as well. It was hectic!”

If you like these eclipse photos, keep your eye out for the release of Nomad — Hesser says the scene the crew captured is “one-of-a-kind” and “mind-blowing.”

Instagrammers are Getting Sick After Posing in Toxic Turquoise Lake

It’s been less than two weeks since we reported on the toxic lake in Siberia that has become a popular photo location for Instagrammers. Now, another bright turquoise lake, this time in Spain, is attracting would-be influencers. Except this one is so toxic it’s actually making people very sick.

This particular lake is called Monte Neme, and it’s actually an abandoned quarry connected to a Tungsten mine that was used during World War II. And like the so-called “Maldives of Novosibirsk” in Siberia, the pretty blue hue of the water is caused by chemical contamination.

According to a report by Spanish news outlet Publico, several Instagrammers have gotten very sick after wading into the bright green-blue waters to capture the perfect photo. “More than one has had to be hospitalized for damage to the skin and digestive system after swallowing its turquoise waters,” reports Publico. Another told the outlet they threw up and suffered from a rash for two weeks.

After the report was published, many reacted by posting humorous Photoshop creations and warnings to the Instagram location tag, but the latest posts are back to brooding selfies. Fortunately, none of the latest images show anybody actually bathing in the water, but it’s only a matter of time before these reports fade out of public consciousness and people start wading in once more.

Or maybe people won’t even wait. As one influencer told Publico, the allergic reaction and two-week-long rash was “a little bad, yes, but the picture was worth it.”

(via New York Post)

Apple MacBook Lineup Revamp: Goodbye Function Keys

Apple quietly just did a MacBook lineup revamp: the MacBook is gone, and there is not any MacBook Pro left without a Touch Bar. Although, they introduced a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, reduced the price of the MacBook Air and cut the costs for the various storage options. Let’s take a closer look.

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Image credit: Apple

Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch

Apple has just introduced a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar. For the same price, this model replaces the previous 2017 entry-level one that still had function keys.

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The 13-inch MacBook Pro lineup. Image credit: Apple

In terms of specs, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro features a Retina display, an Intel Core i5 quad-core processor at 1.4 GHz, 8GB of RAM, a Touch Bar with Touch ID, the T2 chip, and only 128 GB of SSD storage. This base model with two Thunderbolt 3 ports retails for $1299; if you need four Thunderbolt 3 ports, you’ll have to jump to the $1799 model.

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Image credit: Apple

Goodbye 12-Inch MacBook

The 12-inch MacBook – also known as just “MacBook” – first introduced in 2015 is now gone. It was the lightest laptop available from Apple, even lighter than the MacBook Air. Also, it was the first Mac to feature the butterfly keyboard. We still don’t know why Apple decided to stop the production of the MacBook, as some users are just looking for a small, compact, fanless, and lightweight laptop.

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Image credit: Apple

Apple MacBook Air and Storage Price-Drop

The “old” MacBook Air with a non-Retina display and various ports like the SD card reader is also gone. The new MacBook Air that was announced last year replaces it.

This new 2019 MacBook Air now features a  True Tone Retina Display, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor at 1.6 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, a Touch Bar with Touch ID, and 128 GB of SSD storage. Also, there is a $100 price drop on the base model, which is now $1099.

Last but not least, Apple reduced the prices of the various storage options. Prices are now much more affordable – even if they are still relatively expensive – if you want to jump to a 1 TB SSD on every Mac laptops.

What do you think of these Apple updates? Do you think the Touch Bar is useful? Let us know in the comments!

The post Apple MacBook Lineup Revamp: Goodbye Function Keys appeared first on cinema5D.

Aputure 300d Mark II and Aputure Lantern Now Shipping

First shown at NAB 2019, the Aputure 300d Mark II is finally shipping! This Mark II version features a new ballast, a new case, some wireless capabilities, but more importantly, it is 20% brighter than the previous generation. The 300d Mark II is now Aputure’s most dazzling fixture with an impressive 80.000 lux output at one meter. Let’s take a closer look at it.

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Image credit: Aputure

Aputure 300d Mark II Features

Aputure announced quite a few products during NAB 2019. These products include some small fixtures like the AL-MC, a compact and portable RGB panel, and the interesting AL-RC lightbulb. On the other hand, some products are larger with significantly more output like the WRGB 300 LED panel, and the LS 300d Mark II, which is the first one to ship yet.

The Aputure 300d Mark II is part of the Aputure Light Storm series of light and replaces the original 300d that was introduced in 2017 and is a massive success amongst indie filmmakers. The smaller brother, the Aputure 120d, already got a Mark II version a year ago, so this 300d Mark II update was much anticipated.

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Image credit: Aputure

But, what’s new in this 300d Mark II? First of all, it is 20% brighter than the previous version. If you combine it with the Aputure Fresnel 2X, it can produce up to 80.000 lux at one meter according to Aputure, which is close to a 575W HMI light.

The 300d Mark II is still a 5500K (daylight) balanced light, with excellent color accuracy at 96+ CRI and 97+ TLCI. If you want to compare it to other fixtures available, here is the complete photometric results by Aputure below.

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Aputure 300d Mark II Photometrics results. Image credit: Aputure

If you don’t have/need the Fresnel 2X, the 300d Mark II comes with a 55° reflector. The inner shape of the reflector has been redesigned with a new coating to increase the output of the light further.

On the front of the 300d Mark II fixture, there is still a Bowens mount, to quickly diffuse or shape the light beam by attaching lighting modifiers.

The yoke of the 300d “original” is not the best in its class and can be very loose if you attach heavy light modifiers. To solve that problem, they put in the 300d Mark II the same yoke design as found in the 120d Mark II. This new yoke features a robust built-in brake, so once your light is in place, even with a massive light modifier, it won’t go anywhere.

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Image credit: Aputure

New Control Box

One of the major complaints about the original 300d is that there are too many cables. There is one cable that connects the light fixture to the control unit. Another one to join the control unit to the power supply. And finally, another cable that connects the power supply to the electric outlet. Plugging all these cables takes time and can be confusing. To me, a light should be as straightforward as possible: if I give it to a gaffer that never used it before, he should be able to figure it out within seconds without having to read the instruction manual. It is not the case with the original 300d.

Also, the power supply had a fan which is not the quietest out there. It is something that could be annoying if you are recording sound. To solve all these problems, the Aputure team went back to the drawing board and redesigned the ballast/power supply unit, as they did with the 120d Mark II.

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Image credit: Aputure

The result is a new aluminum control box, which is now all-in-one and silent. The fan has been moved into the fixture, like the 120d II, and we will have to test the light to see how loud this fan is.

Also, to make the 300d Mark II shine, all you need now are the two included cables. There is one standard 3m male-to-female 5-pin XLR, to connect the control box to the fixture, and one 6m NEUTRIK® locking cable to plug the control box to the electric outlet.

You are on location and want to move quickly, or don’t have access to an electric outlet? No problems, you can power the control box and the light with two Anton Bauer or V-Mount batteries. The light draws 340-350W, so make sure your batteries can deliver at least 15-amp continuous power draw. Also, you can use only one battery and still use the light at up to half the output.

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Image credit: Aputure

If you don’t want to put the control box on the ground, there is an included military-grade paracord strap. Also, you can attach it directly to your light stand or a speed rail by using Aputure’s new quick release plate and clamp system. If you have a 120d, 120d Mark II, or 300d, you can now purchase a standalone version explicitly designed for your light.

Finally, you can dim the light from 0 to 100% by using one of the four different dimming curves: linear, logarithmic, exponential, and S-Curve.

Control Features

To control the light fixture via the control box, there are various possibilities:

  • Use the built-in control wheel to dim the light or navigate in the menus.
  • The wireless antenna is now built-in the control box. You can use the new 2.4Ghz Aputure wireless remote that features an FX toggle button.
  • The light is DMX-512 compatible so that you can control it via any DMX table.
  • Or use the new Sidus Link App that uses a Bluetooth mesh network protocol.

Indeed, the 300d Mark II is the first app-controllable Aputure lighting fixture. This is pretty cool because you can control the light up to 400 meters away, and you can also link multiple fixtures inside the App. By using the Sidus Link app, you can have access to all of the functions of the control box. Also, you can save your own presets, fine-tune and trigger additional lighting FX, as well as install firmware updates, all from your smartphone or tablet.

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Image credit: Aputure

Speaking of lighting FX, the control box of the 300d Mark II features eight built-in FX: paparazzi, fireworks, lightning, faulty bulb, TV, pulse, strobe, and explosion. There is also a new “trigger” button to activate lighting FX instantly.

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The new Aputure 300d Mark II’s carrying case. Image credit: Aputure

Carrying Case

The beautiful thing with Aputure lights is that most of them come with a carrying case. The new 300d Mark II is no exception, and it comes with a case made of ABS honeycomb walls with a soft exterior lining that can support up to 100kg. If someones need a break on set, they can seat on your bag, no problems.

The bottom of the case is also covered with a slash-proof material, so your 300d Mark II should survive most of the situations you throw at it.

Inside the box, you’ll find the bag, a strap for the bag, the control box with a quick-release clamp, the 300d Mark II fixture, the two powering cables, the reflector, and the remote with a battery.

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The Aputure Lantern. Image credit: Aputure

Aputure Lantern

Aputure is already making some high-quality Bowens mount lighting modifiers for its Light Storm series of lights. For example, there is the Fresnel 2X, the barn doors, the Light Dome and Light Dome Mini, and so on. The good news is, they just released a new lighting modifier: the Aputure Lantern.

The Aputure Lantern is a soft light modifier. This spherical softbox can be set up in seconds thanks to the same type of quick release speed-ring and rods that they use for their Light Dome II/Light Dome Mini II. I bought a Light Dome Mini II, and I can’t tell you how quick and easy this thing is to set up, it’s impressive.

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Image credit: Aputure

The Aputure Lantern is an omnidirectional light modifier. It means that it can light an entire room with soft, even light, all from a single light source. Thanks to a 26” spherical design, the Lantern spreads the light in every direction with a 270° beam angle.

If you need more control over your lighting, it also comes with a 4-section fully adjustable light control skirt.

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The Aputure Lantern light control skirt. Image credit: Aputure

You can attach the skirts in any direction you want thanks to the hook-and-loop design of the skirts. For example, you can roll the skirt up or down to flag off unwanted light.

Pricing and Availability

The Aputure 300d Mark II is available right now for $1199/1200€ in either Gold Mount or V-Mount versions. The Aputure Lantern is also available now for $89/106€.

What do you think of the Aputure 300d Mark II? Do you already have the first version? Do you believe the Aputure Lantern can be useful for your next production? Let us know in the comments down below!

The post Aputure 300d Mark II and Aputure Lantern Now Shipping appeared first on cinema5D.