Canon C500 Mark II Low-Light Test & 6K Raw Clip to Download

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Canon C500 Mark II Low-Light Test & 6K Raw Clip to Download
Dec 122019
 

Our friend Ollie Kenchington used to be a regular cinema5D writer until recently, but since his day job at his production company KORRO is keeping him extremely busy, he is now an irregular contributor to the site. In this post, he tells us about his first experiences with the new Canon C500 Mark II in low light. Full disclosure: Ollie is not a Canon Ambassador, though he does occasionally do paid work for them as a trainer/speaker.

Back in September, at IBC, I had the opportunity to have a play with some 6K raw footage captured with the C500 Mark II. It occurred to me then that it would be great if more people could have the same opportunity to experiment with this powerful codec. I therefore proposed to Canon that they send me a unit prior to release, with the intention of capturing content that could be made freely available for interested users to download and play with at home. I finally got the chance to do just that last week.

6K Raw Demo

You can see the short sequence I cut together from the 6K raw footage here:

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SteadXP+ First Look Review – A Promising Camera Stabilization System

 Gear  Comments Off on SteadXP+ First Look Review – A Promising Camera Stabilization System
Dec 122019
 

Five years ago, a little company from France called SteadXP shook the Internet with a “game-changing” small box and stabilization technology made for GoPro and DSLR/Mirrorless cameras. This box attaches to your camera and records all the motion data of your camera so that you can stabilize your footage in post-production. The concept was revolutionary back in the days. Nowadays, with action cameras that feature in-body image stabilization that works just as well – if not better –, SteadXP is trying to move to the cinema market with SteadXP+. But is this product and technology still relevant? Let’s take a closer look at it in this hands-on review.

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Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens Review

 Gear  Comments Off on Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens Review
Dec 032019
 

I couldn’t find a great deal about this lens online, so I thought I would film a review with a of mixture of test shots and looking at how I have used the lens in my own portfolio. Here are my thoughts.

From a Canon shooters point of view, the Carl Zeiss Milvis f.2m Macros lens is a more expensive offering than the own brand’s pro line. It doesn’t have as many features due to a lack of true 1:1 marco, autofocus, and image stabilization. So, this lens is certainly not a versatile tool. However, it does offer a lot for a certain type of photographer. 

For me, the lens offers incredible details as well as a beautifully rendered image, especially when wide open. The lens gives the image a look that can’t be achieved with the Canon offerings, partially due to the f/2 aperture, but also due to the way that Zeiss constructs their lenses. 

Although the test shots don’t show any huge gains over something like a Canon USM or L lens, when put to practical use, the rendering, colors, and build quality are superb. What is really impressive is how sharp the lens is wide open and the way that the lens can control highlights. It wasn’t something that I noticed until I shot the same scene with some Canon lenses and realized that it was the lens causing the highlight to blow out in a rather unpleasing way.

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Aputure 120d MK II with Spotlight Mount Review

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Aputure 120d MK II with Spotlight Mount Review
Dec 032019
 

Our colleague, Nino Leitner, originally went hands-on with the Aputure 120d MK II back in April of 2018 at NAB and since then the light has shipped and we’ve even reviewed the 300D MK II, but it’s time to circle back and put the 120d MK II to the test. Along with the fixture, this is the perfect opportunity to try out the brand new Aputure Spotlight Mount. The full review of the light and new accessory is below: 

Image Credit: Graham Sheldon

Aputure LS C120D II LED COB Light:

I recently reviewed the MC series and the new 300D MK II and it seemed like an oversight to not spend more time with the 120D II. As a longtime user of the first generation 120D, I was particularly interested in the design updates in the second generation. Is it worth upgrading? Or, if you own the original 120D are you okay waiting? Let’s dive in.

On paper, the 120D MK II boasts a 25% output improvement over the MK I and it also balances out of the box to 5500 kelvin, versus the 6000 kelvin of the first generation. You could always correct that 400 Kelvin difference in the older version to “standard daylight” using gels, but I prefer a fixture that works out of the box in either 32K or 56K as it’s just easier to use in most situations and matches other light brands better. Also, color temp correction gels are feeling a little old school these days given the ubiquity of RGB panels that allow precise kelvin color temperatures to be dialed in with a quick button press.

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SIGMA fp LOG Picture Profile and RAW Output Recording via HDMI Coming Next Year

 Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA fp LOG Picture Profile and RAW Output Recording via HDMI Coming Next Year
Nov 182019
 

During Inter BEE 2019, we had the chance to talk with SIGMA about the upcoming firmware update for the fp camera. We’ve been told that a firmware update will bring exciting new video features such as in-camera playback of cinemaDNG footage, and something that a lot of shooters are waiting for: a LOG picture profile and RAW output video recording via HDMI. Let’s take a closer look at it!


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The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon

 Gear, Mirrorless, News  Comments Off on The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon
Nov 152019
 
The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon

Canon is slowly filling out its mirrorless line, but there are still some cameras and lenses that photographers are waiting to complete their kits or to justify switching. The good news is that Canon seems to be planning a lot of releases for their mirrorless line in the first half of 2020.

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Tokina Unveils Updated 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Tokina Unveils Updated 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs
Nov 152019
 

Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s leak, Tokina has officially revealed its redesigned full-frame 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for the Canon EF and Nikon F mounts: the Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 Macro FF.

According to the press release, the Tokina ATX-i 100mm f/2.8 features the “same great optics” as the older AT-X macro its replacing, but a “brand new look.” Like its predecessor, the new 100mm f/2.8 is made for full-frame Canon and Nikon DSLRs, and it produces a 1:1 magnification ratio at 11.8 inches (30cm) from the sensor plane, giving you “a very comfortable 4.5 inches of working distance.”

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Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers
Nov 142019
 

Blind Spot Gear, the British company specialized in niche products for filmmakers, just released its 7th Kickstarter campaign: the Power Cage & Bracket. This 10.000 mAh power bank with 45W of power output is designed with filmmakers in mind. The Power Cage features two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a 7.2V DC barrel to power your camera and your accessories. Let’s take a closer look at it!

Blind Spot Gear

Blind Spot Gear is a British company well-known for launching innovative products on the market via Kickstarter campaigns. Earlier this year, they successfully launched the Crack Light. In the past, they also released the Scorpion Light V2, the Tile Light Duo, and the Power Junkie – you can watch our review here –  which is a tiny and convenient Sony NP-F style batterie distribution box.

Nowadays, cameras and accessories require a lot of power to run for hours. Small internal batteries don’t get the job done; this is especially true with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4Kand 6K, Sony mirrorless cameras, and so on. To solve that problem, you can run your camera and accessories with a V-Mount or Anton Bauer battery. But, this kind of external power source is expensive and quite bulky.

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ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses Add More Character to Supreme Line

 Gear  Comments Off on ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses Add More Character to Supreme Line
Nov 132019
 

ZEISS Supreme Prime cine lenses might not be the go-to glass for an average indie job but these lenses certainly are a cutting-edge state of the art pieces of technology. The latest addition to the family goes by the name ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance. Optically superb, yet slightly warmer and with added character.

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses. (image credit: ZEISS)

This new line of high-end cine lenses comes in seven focal lengths to start with: 21mm / 25mm / 29mm / 35mm / 50mm / 85mm  and 100mm. All of them share the same specs other than focal length:

  • fast T1.5 aperture
  • length: 119mm (4.7″) / front to PL mount flange
  • 95mm (3.7″) front diameter
  • weight: 1.22 kg (3.13 lbs) -> 50mm up to 1.7 kg (3.74 lbs) -> 100mm
  • close focus (from image plane): 0.26 m (10″) -> 25mm up to 1.1m (3’9″) -> 100mm
  • new T* blue coating

These are the facts, but what’s the story?

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

These new lenses are branded Radiance, as in Glow or Luminosity, even Vibrancy, maybe. According to ZEISS, they produce a slightly warmer overall look in comparison to the original Supreme Primes. However, the real magic here is how these Radiance lenses handle flares. The cinematographer should be able to obtain control if and how a given lens is flaring and to use these ‘optical errors’ to a creative benefit. And that’s exactly the promise of the new T* blue coating.

ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance

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Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens Announced – Popular Ultra-Wide Comeback

 Gear  Comments Off on Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens Announced – Popular Ultra-Wide Comeback
Oct 242019
 

Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF is a new ultra-wide-angle APS-C lens based on Tokina’s long seller – the AT-X 116 PRO DX II model. It comes in two versions to fit both Canon EF and Nikon F DSLR cameras. The lens features internal focus, water-repellent coating, one-touch focus clutch mechanism, and 77mm front filter thread. It offers overall good optical performance with a lightweight body at an affordable price – $449.

Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens announced. Image credit: Tokina

The original AT-X 116 PRO DX II 11-16mm f/2.8 lens from Tokina was the ultra-wide angle lens of choice for many filmmakers and photographers. It was a very good deal and especially filmmakers liked the lens for many reasons – it offered constant aperture f/2.8, front filter thread, lightweight design, and a friendly price tag. The new Tokina atx-i 11-16mm kind of builds on its success.

Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens

Based on the widely popular AT-X 116 PRO DX II, the model atx-i 11-16mm F2.8 CF is designed and optimized for contemporary APS-C sensor DSLR cameras in terms of improved specifications and renovated design.

Together with its predecessor, it is the only f/2.8 fast ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for APS-C sized DSLR cameras in the current market. A constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range is useful for low light environments, like interiors.

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Tamron Expands Their Sony Mirrorless Lens Line-Up with 4 New Lenses

 Cinematography, Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Tamron Expands Their Sony Mirrorless Lens Line-Up with 4 New Lenses
Oct 242019
 
Tamron Expands Their Sony Mirrorless Lens Line-Up with 4 New Lenses

Tamron really has their focus on the Sony mirrorless camera users. The existing Tamron lenses for Sony mirrorless, the 28-75mm f/2.8 and 17-28mm f/2.8 have been quite successful due to their superb quality and competitive pricing. That is why many users have been awaiting the lens that would complete this zoom lens trinity, a fast telephoto lens, certainly. 

Today, Tamron announced the development of the Tamron 70-180mm F/2.8 Di III VXD. However, aside from that, a lot are still yet to be revealed by the third-party lens brand. In addition, however, they finally revealed the 3 new prime lenses for the Sony mirrorless line-up. The 20mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F050), 24mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F051), and 35mm F/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 (Model F053). The 24mm and 35mm lenses will be available on November 20th and the 20mm will be available in January 2020. All three prime lenses share the same price tag of $349. 

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Nikon Releases NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens – World’s Fastest Z-Mount Lens

 Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Releases NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens – World’s Fastest Z-Mount Lens
Oct 172019
 

Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct manual-focus lens, which is currently the fastest lens for the Z-Mount and one of the world’s fastest lenses ever. It covers full-frame sensors, offers a function button, and comes with a dedicated case. This unique lens is now available for pre-order for slightly under $8,000.

NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct lens released. Image credit: Nikon

Nikon works hard to extend their mirrorless Z-mount lineup. The Japanese company recently announced the new APS-C camera Nikon Z50 along with two new budget DX lenses. Nikon also released an announcement including the fastest lens in the Z-mount lineup – NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens. Let’s take a look at its features.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is an ultra-fast, standard prime, manual-focus lens for the Nikon Z mount system’s full-frame (Nikon FX-format) mirrorless cameras – the Z 6 and Z 7. It takes advantage of the large-diameter (inner diameter of 55 mm) of Z-mount and 16 mm flange focal distance to realize an f/0.95 maximum aperture.

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Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 – New Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K

 Gear  Comments Off on Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 – New Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K
Oct 142019
 

Kinotehnik just introduced their new LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K. It features 200% magnification, AR coated and optically corrected lens, magnetic frame, and 46mm threading to attach diopter correction lenses.

LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for BMPCC 4K and 6K. Image credit: Kinotehnik

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras 4K (our review) and 6K  (our review) have gotten very popular among filmmakers. They offer great image quality with solid codecs for a very affordable price. Numerous third-party accessories for this camera have already been released to compensate for these cameras’ downsides – particularly battery life and support for SSD media. When it comes to ergonomy, another downside of BMPCC 4K and 6K is the absence of a viewfinder.

Kinotehnik is a camera accessories manufacturer based in Estonia. They are known mostly for their LCDVF viewfinders and Practilite series of lights. The company just introduced LCDVF BM5 – their new viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras 4K & 6K.

While Kinotehnik claims their LCDVF BM5 is a world’s first viewfinder for the BMPCC 4K and 6K, I personally know filmmakers who have been using viewfinder from a Brazilian company GRID with their BMPCC 4K. To be fair, GRID 5.0 viewfinder is quite expensive at $241 and the distribution might be a bit problematic. My point is, that Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 certainly isn’t the world’s first in this regard.

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SIGMA fp Camera Cage – Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Soon to be Available

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA fp Camera Cage – Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Soon to be Available
Oct 142019
 

KABUTO FP1 from Taipan Cinema is the first cage system for the upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera SIGMA fp. It features a modular design with many ¼-20 UNC, 3/8-16 UNC mounting threads and ARRI 2-pin anti-rotation mount. It also includes T5 SSD holder and a cold shoe adapter without blocking any of the camera’s functions.

KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp. Image credit: Taipan Cinema

The compact full-frame mirrorless camera SIGMA fp is coming very soon. Now we know it is going to be priced slightly under $2,000. My colleague Johnnie was testing the camera in Japan and his early hands-on impressions article is coming very soon. In the meantime, Taipan Cinema introduced the first cage for this camera.

The Italian camera accessories company Taipan Cinema is focusing mostly on cages and rigs for popular cameras. They usually react very quickly and introduce first cages and rigging solutions to newly announced cameras – like with the EXO cage for DJI Osmo Pocket. This time Taipan Cinema most likely took advantage of the published 3D models of SIGMA fp camera and they introduced the first cage for the fp – KABUTO FP-1. What are its features?

Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp

KABUTO FP-1 cage features a modular design and is mounted on the camera like a mask, from the front. The name is inspired by the battle helmets used by Samurais in ancient Japan.

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KIPON Releases PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses and Medium Format Lenses

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on KIPON Releases PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses and Medium Format Lenses
Oct 102019
 

KIPON announced a new PRO line of adapters for PL and LPL mount lenses and 0.7x speed boosters for selected medium format lenses. The adapters feature precisely manufactured bodies from strong stainless material and the possibility to add shim papers. They will be available for most popular mirrorless mounts  – Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, EOS R-mount, L-mount, FUJIFILM G-mount, and RED cameras. The adapters are available now.

KIPON PRO cine adapters

The Shanghai-based company KIPON is known mainly for its lens adapters and affordable manual focus lenses. Back in March 2018, we informed you about their Canon-EF to FUJIFILM X-Mount autofocus adapters. Now KIPON releases a new PRO line of adapters. What kind of adapters are these exactly?

KIPON PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses

First group of new PRO cine adapters from KIPON are adapters without an optical element. They are designed for PL and LPL mount cine lenses, so these adapters naturally do not support autofocus or aperture operation. They only support full manual operation.

All PRO adapters are manufactured with high precision using strong stainless material with very good abrasive resistance. KIPON says there will be no tolerance change for lens and body mount side even after years of use. There is also a possibility to add shim papers of various thicknesses to all PRO adapters to ensure precise (back-)focusing.

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SIGMA fp Pricing Revealed – A Sub-$2,000 Full Frame Camera With RAW Capabilities

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA fp Pricing Revealed – A Sub-$2,000 Full Frame Camera With RAW Capabilities
Oct 102019
 

Back in July, we reported about the launch of the SIGMA fp full-frame camera. We visited the SIGMA factory in August, we asked questions about it at this years IBC in September and we posted about the official release of highly accurate 3D models of the camera and its available accessories in order to create an even further expanded pool of custom accessories. But one thing remained in the dark and that’s the price of the fp camera. Now the company spilled the beans and here it is: The SIGMA fp will be yours for $1,899 US. Preorders are open as we speak

SIGMA fp

The SIGMA fp is not your average pocket-sized point’n’shoot camera. It’s kind of two cameras in one and it sports a full frame sensor. You can choose between a dedicated cine mode as well as a stills mode, accessible via a hardware switch right on the top plate of the camera, no more menu digging! That’s a lot of functionality inside this tiny body and it’s a fresh apporach of tackling all these menu settings and controls for both, stills and cine applications.

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Sony a9 II Announced – More Speed for Pro Photographers, Same Video Specs

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Sony a9 II Announced – More Speed for Pro Photographers, Same Video Specs
Oct 072019
 

Sony just announced the a9 II full-frame E-mount mirrorless camera. Aimed at professional sports photographers and photojournalistst, the Sony a9 II is all about speed. It has the same 24.2 MP CMOS sensor as the original a9. The camera is capable of 20fps continous blackout-free stills shooting with AF and AE tracking with electronic shutter (up to 10fps with mechanical shutter). The new a9 II also features better in-body image stabilization, weather resistance, and gigabit ethernet port for high speed communication. Available in October for $4,500 (€5,400).

Sony a9 II

Sony a9 sits on top of the alpha series of mirrorless cameras. It is aimed at professional photographers, who does not require the maximum possible resolution (for those Sony has the a7R series), but who require speed and other useful features (for example sports photographers and photojournalists). The first generation Sony a9 was presented during NAB 2017, so it has been more than two years. Today Sony announced the a9 II. What are its specs and innovations?

Sony a9 II – Speed Above All

As I mentioned above, the a9 series is all about speed. Sony a9 II (full model name: ILCE-9M2) features blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 frames per second (with electronic shutter) with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking, 60 times per second AF/AE calculations. This applies for 1/125 sec. or higher shutter speed. In AF-C mode the maximum continuous frame rate will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. The number of AF calculations will depend on the lens used. A software update may be required for some lenses.

The high speed shooting can last for up to 361 JPEG images or 239 compressed RAW images (in “Hi” continuous shooting mode with UHS-II memory card), with no viewfinder blackout, allowing the photographer to follow the subject and action with no interruption to the EVF during picture taking. For times when mechanical shutter is preferred or required, the new A9 II has been improved to shoot at up to 10 fps, about 2x the speed of the A9.

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KIPON Releases PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses and Medium Format Lenses

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on KIPON Releases PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses and Medium Format Lenses
Oct 072019
 

KIPON announced a new PRO line of adapters for PL and LPL mount lenses and 0.7x speed boosters for selected medium format lenses. The adapters feature precisely manufactured bodies from strong stainless material and the possibility to add shim papers. They will be available for most popular mirrorless mounts  – Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, EOS R-mount, L-mount, FUJIFILM G-mount, and RED cameras. The adapters are available now.

KIPON PRO cine adapters

The Shanghai-based company KIPON is known mainly for its lens adapters and affordable manual focus lenses. Back in March 2018, we informed you about their Canon-EF to FUJIFILM X-Mount autofocus adapters. Now KIPON releases a new PRO line of adapters. What kind of adapters are these exactly?

KIPON PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses

First group of new PRO cine adapters from KIPON are adapters without an optical element. They are designed for PL and LPL mount cine lenses, so these adapters naturally do not support autofocus or aperture operation. They only support full manual operation.

All PRO adapters are manufactured with high precision using strong stainless material with very good abrasive resistance. KIPON says there will be no tolerance change for lens and body mount side even after years of use. There is also a possibility to add shim papers of various thicknesses to all PRO adapters to ensure precise (back-)focusing.

Read More:

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Magic Cinema ViewFinder – Free Director’s Viewfinder App for iOS & Android

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Magic Cinema ViewFinder – Free Director’s Viewfinder App for iOS & Android
Oct 022019
 

Magic Cinema ViewFinder is an application for iOS and Android devices that makes location scouting a lot easier. Although there are already a couple of apps in the market that do the same thing, the Magic Cinema ViewFinder is free. Let’s take a closer look at it!

Location Scouting with Your Smartphone

Back in the days, I used to take stills with a point-and-shoot compact camera while doing location scouting. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still relevant today. But, we now all have in our pocket a smartphone that features a capable camera, and that can launch dozens of apps to make your life easier. I use tools like Sun Surveyor to know where the sun will be at any given hour. Also, Green Screener is an excellent app if the job requires green screen lighting. But one of the most useful to me is Cadrage, which is a viewfinder tool for location scouting.

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Large Format Is Still Completely Unrivaled: Canon 5DS R Versus 4×5 Large Format Film

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Large Format Is Still Completely Unrivaled: Canon 5DS R Versus 4×5 Large Format Film
Oct 012019
 

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been getting to know a photographer called Adam French who lives in the same city as me. French is a photographer who primarily shoots with a large format film camera. I was utterly blown away by some of the work he produced, and I asked him if he’d be interested in working with us on a YouTube video. 

In the video linked above, we decided to compare a 50-megapixel full-frame camera, the Canon 5DS R, to a large format 4×5 film camera. The lenses we used for the comparison were the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art on the Canon versus a 180mm f/2.9 lens on the 4×5 camera. If you’re interested in what the equivalents are, then the large-format lens would be somewhat similar to a 50mm lens with an aperture of around f/0.8 on a full-frame camera. This kind of depth of field is simply ridiculous, and currently, nothing like this exists for any digital camera produced by any of the well-known manufacturers. Even if you’re shooting with a digital medium format camera, it simply isn’t possible to produce that kind of depth of field natively. 

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