Gnarbox 2.0 – Backup Your Footage, No Computer Needed

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Gnarbox 2.0 – Backup Your Footage, No Computer Needed
Apr 242019

Hot off the heels of a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the backup storage device dubbed the Gnarbox 2.0 is ready and shipping soon. For photographers and shooters in the field, the Gnarbox promises to be a safe and reliable alternative to putting a pile of media in your pocket to offload later at night at the hotel.

The Gnarbox 2.0 will come in three flavors based primarily around their internal storage capacity. 256, 512, 1TB versions will all be available – and each one features an SD card slot for offloading cards, as well as a USB C port and a removable battery. Obviously, for users not shooting with SD cards, you’ll need to attach the applicable reader to the device to offload footage. We checked out the device at NAB 2019 and there is a lot to like here. For users shooting raw images or HD footage then 1TB is plenty for a full day of shooting. Once you get into high resolution footage from RED and other 4K+  resolution raw-capable cameras, then this may not be the right device for you.

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Foton 25-300mm T2.8 Cine Zoom – Not Ready for Primetime

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Foton 25-300mm T2.8 Cine Zoom – Not Ready for Primetime
Apr 242019

A new lens company called Foton, owned by China-based parent company DZO, has a new spherical T2.8 25-300mm S35 12x zoom on display at NAB. We tried the very, very large lens on the show floor and had some thoughts…  

Lens manufacturing is tricky and this lens is admittedly not yet in production, but we noticed a few flaws during the show. For one, the lens was displayed on a large format RED Monstro, so the S35 lens would crop at anything over 5K as displayed in the booth.  The build quality is also a little suspect. We tried to set the lens to T2.8 and the lens ring stopped just short of the point marked at T2.8 on the lens body.

I also had trouble finding focus in the booth for just a quick test because the min focus distance is 6.5 ft (or 2 meters) and the booth wasn’t quite large enough for focusing on too many different objects. The lens also appeared a little soft in my opinion. While the price point is more affordable to other zooms of this scale there are a few things that need to be worked out before this zoom is ready for primetime in my opinion.

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Tokina Unveils the FiRIN 100mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro Lens for Sony Mirrorless

 Gear  Comments Off on Tokina Unveils the FiRIN 100mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro Lens for Sony Mirrorless
Apr 222019

Tokina has unveiled the new FiRIN 100mm f/2.8, a 1:1 macro lens designed for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras.

The lens, which is “great for portraits and landscapes too,” features a minimum focusing distance of 11.8 inches (30cm), and captures a life-sized 1:1 reproduction with subjects at that distance from the sensor plane. Subjects at the minimum focusing distance sit 4.5 inches from the front of the lens.

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Sony a7/a7R III Firmware v3 Adds Real Time Eye AF, Animal Eye AF, Timelapse

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Sony a7/a7R III Firmware v3 Adds Real Time Eye AF, Animal Eye AF, Timelapse
Apr 152019

Sony has just released firmware version 3.0 for the Sony a7R III and a7 III mirrorless cameras. It’s a major update that adds Real-Time Eye AF, Animal Eye AF, and Time Lapse features to the cameras.

Real-Time Eye AF

In v3.0, the existing Eye AF technology has been upgraded further with an AI-powered eye-detection system that keeps focus on the eye, even in difficult situations.

“Through machine learning, Sony has created a system that can detect—and focus on—the human eye even if the subject is looking down, partially blocked in the frame, turning or backlit,” Sony says. “This feature is available in AF-C mode with a simple half-press of the shutter button.”

This is the same technology that was unveiled in the Sony a6400 in January 2019, promised for the a7 III and a7R III at the time, and added to the Sony a9 in a firmware update in March 2019.

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Leica Q2: A 47MP, 4K Weather-Sealed Full-Frame Compact Camera

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Leica Q2: A 47MP, 4K Weather-Sealed Full-Frame Compact Camera
Mar 132019

Inside the magnesium alloy Leica Q2 is a new 47.3-megapixel full-frame sensor that offers the highest resolution for any camera in this class. Backed by a Maestro II image processor, the Q2 has an ISO range of 50-50000 and can shoot up to 10 frames per second.

On the front of the camera is a Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens that has “optimum picture quality” and “exquisite bokeh characteristics.”

If 28mm seems a little wide for an all-purpose compact camera, you’ll be happy to know that the camera features a built-in crop function that allows you to shoot with the equivalent focal lengths of 35m, 50mm, and 75mm. And when shooting cropped raw (DNG) photos, the Q2 still captures the full uncropped view, allowing photographers to under or change the crop they shot with.

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Will The Next Nikon Z Be An Entry-Level Camera?

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Will The Next Nikon Z Be An Entry-Level Camera?
Mar 102019

Now that Canon has recently announced the EOS RP, is the next Nikon Z camera on its way? And if it is, where will it fall in the Nikon Z lineup of cameras? If rumors are correct, the next Nikon Z camera will most likely be aimed at an entry-level full-frame user. Perhaps called the Nikon Z5?

Numerous sites are reporting that a Nikon executive has confirmed that a new Z series camera is being developed for the entry level user. It appears that Nikon is going to follow Canon’s lead of offering a mirrorless full-frame camera to the entry-level community. With the vast majority of the photography community panning the Canon EOS RP, will this be an opening for Nikon to grab a share of the entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera market? Or will Nikon succumb to the same reviews as the Canon EOS RP?

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Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II and TZ95 – New Bridge and Travel Cameras Announced

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II and TZ95 – New Bridge and Travel Cameras Announced
Feb 182019

Panasonic releases two new LUMIX consumer cameras – the LUMIX FZ1000 II and the LUMIX TZ95. The FZ1000 II is a 1-inch sensor bridge camera with a 16x telephoto zoom lens and a flip-out touchscreen. The LUMIX TZ95 is a new compact travel zoom camera with a very small body, 1/2.3-inch sensor, 30x zoom telephoto lens and a tilting LCD. Both cameras record 4K UHD video at up to 30fps. Ready for pre-order now.

Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II

The first generation FZ1000 was introduced already five years ago. Now the time has come to release its successor – the FZ1000 II. It is a bridge camera, meaning it has a rather bulky form with an ergonomic grip and a built-in long range lens. In other words – it is a fixed lens ultrazoom camera that looks like a DSLR.

The camera incorporates a 1-inch 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor with 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ (optical image stabilizer). The sensor should have improved lowlight capabilities, thanks to its high signal-to-noise ratio. Video recording is possible in 4K UHD (3840×2160) resolution at 30/25/24p. In the official press release, there was no information about 1080p modes, codec or bitrate. There is a 4K photo function, which can help users choose the best photo (frame) from a 30fps burst. Other 4K photo functions include Post Focus, Focus Stacking and the ability to combine multiple images for a “stromotion” effect.

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Jul 302015

This is quite amazing… Be sure to check out the “Making of” video!

Last week, Teton Gravity Research (TGR) and Anthill Films released one of the most acclaimed segments from unReal, Brandon Semenuk’s “One Shot” segment. It’s the first full segment in a mountain bike film shot in a single, continuous shot. The beautiful simplicity of the segment hides the extraordinary amount of work and coordination it took from the entire team to create. In this episode of Mind the Gap, we go behind the scenes in Cambria, California to show you how the crew pulled off this cinematic achievement.

Download unReal:
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Jun 022015


Producers Guild president Lori McCreary admitted that with an expanding number of formats — for instance with high dynamic range (HDR) and higher resolution gaining more attention — she’s concerned about what productions will look like when they are displayed in eight or 10 years.

Director of photography Oliver Bokelberg (Scandal) added that he worries even today, saying, “No theaters are the same. They are too dark or too bright.”

They and other speakers on a “Picture Clarity” panel (which I moderated), Saturday at the PGA Produced By conference, agreed that creative intent is an issue as technology continues to change. But they also reported that workflows are systematic and understood, and work is being done toward maintaining consistency.

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Apr 132015

Finally here’s some very interesting news from Panasonic. The new Panasonic DVX200 that was just announced, is the successor to the legendary DVX100 camcorder that once held the bar for what a compact professional and ergonomic camcorder should be. The DVX200 is here to take up that standard.

Will it live up to it?

What’s definitely impressive is its bold design, but there are some interesting things under the hood as well. 4K recording on a “large sensor” (Micro Four Thirds) with a built in fixed lens that is said to be a perfect package for ergonomic professional shooting.

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Mar 262015



Canon has long been rumored to have a small 4K camera up its sleeve, and now the world is getting its first glimpse of the new product. The company has unveiled the camera at a press event in China ahead of its rumored official launch in the United States at the NAB 2015 show in Las Vegas next month.

The 4K concept camera is roughly DSLR-sized and appears to have a rotating grip. Different views of the camera were captured at the event by the Chinese Photo Association, photographer Li Bai, and Chinese gadget site Evolife.

Canon Rumors suggests that the camera will have a 1-inch CMOS sensor, a 10X optical zoom 8.9-89mm (24-240mm in 35mm terms) f/2.8-5.6 lens, a 58mm filter, built-in Wi-Fi, and an external viewfinder. “This definitely looks to be Canon’s foray into the drone market,” they write.


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Feb 052015

If you are shooting digital cinema you will want to see this.

Nov 212014


I would say that he Cinema5D team does the best video reviews on new cameras. Johnnie Behiri filmed this example and gives a frank review of the 4K video capabilities of the new Panasonic Lumix LX100. I learn more about cinematography each time I see one of the short films Johnnie shoots.

“If I have to define the Panasonic LX100 in two sentences, those are the once I would have chosen to use but this time, it’s not me it’s her (the camera) and yes, so close yet so FAR away….
With 4K internal recording, relatively large sensor (4/3”) and other professional feature like Zebra, peaking and a fast lens (f1.7-2.8), you might have mistaken the Panasonic LX100 to be a serious working tool especially when considering its price tag ($899). Well, it is and it’s not….True, the overall picture quality is nice, but when starting to look at it carefully, that’s when the disappointment is starting to build up. Moiré can be very ugly and the “rolling shutter effect” is un avoidable.”

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