Google adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) video support to YouTube

 Technique  Comments Off on Google adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) video support to YouTube
Nov 162016
 

For some millennials, YouTube stars are more important than popular pop musicians or famous Hollywood actors. Older folks may not understand this phenomenon, but it actually makes a lot of sense — YouTube is a platform where many young people spend their time.

Today, Google announces that it is making YouTube even better. The service can already stream video in 4K, and is available on countless devices, but now the videos are gaining High Dynamic Range (HDR) support too. This means the content will be presented with better contrast and more vibrant colors. Of course, the benefits will only be relaized with displays that support HDR.

“Starting today, you can watch YouTube videos in HDR on supported devices, such as HDR TVs with the new Chromecast Ultra, and soon on all 2016 Samsung SUHD and UHD TVs. If you’re using a device that doesn’t yet support HDR, don’t worry, videos will still play in standard dynamic range. As more HDR devices become available, YouTube will work with partners to enable streaming of the HDR version”, says Steven Robertson, Software Engineer, Google.

Robertson also shares, “any creator can upload HDR videos to YouTube. To make sure creators can tell awesome stories with even more color, we’ve been working with companies across the industry. We’ve worked with the DaVinci Resolve team to make uploading HDR just as simple as SDR videos to YouTube. We’ve also outfitted the YouTube Spaces in LA and NYC with all the gear needed to produce great HDR content”.

Google shares the above side-by-side images to show the potential benefits. As you can see, the HDR image on the right is more detailed and vibrant, while the simulated SDR image on the left looks washed-out.

Want to check out some HDR content now? Google shares the following YouTube playlist that contains videos that are already compatible.

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Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo

 Gear  Comments Off on Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo
Oct 312016
 

The Chronos 1.4 camera is the result of the efforts of a single engineer, David Kronstein, who is working diligently to bring slow motion to a wider group of filmmakers. The device –  now “production ready” and headed to Kickstarter in the “next few months” for funding – is capable of 1050fps at a resolution of 1280×1024.  Read on for all the details, including footage samples: 

Shooting great-looking slow motion is really, really expensive and usually requires renting a Phantom high-speed camera for the best shots at 300 fps+, or an equally pricey RED Epic Dragon or Weapon for anything below 300 fps. Slow motion, however, is almost always worth it.  Don’t take my word for it –  just look at the trailer for Planet Earth II here, which includes some epic slow motion moments.

The YouTubers over at the “TAOFLEDERMAUS” channel have gotten their hands on a prototype production model of the Chronos 1.4 and have in-camera footage to show as well:

As you can see from the video, there are still a few kinks to work out: there is a 30 second boot up time from the moment the power button is pressed, and saving to SD card takes a considerable amount of time as well, but hopefully we’ll see improvements as the project progresses.

This is very much a speciality tool, especially given the lack of full 1080p resolution, but it is cheap and shows promise at being a no-fuss slow motion solution in the future.

Once fully funded through Kickstarter, the 8GB base model of the Chronos 1.4 is expected to cost a (comparatively speaking) very affordable $2,500.

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Saramonic CaMixer Adds a Headphone Jack to Your Sony a6300 / a6500

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Saramonic CaMixer Adds a Headphone Jack to Your Sony a6300 / a6500
Oct 182016
 

If you’re a proud owner of a Sony a6300, you might be in desperate need of  some sort of audio interface due to its lack of a headphone jack.  Saramonic has your back here with the release of a very compact and very affordable audio mixer. Meet the Saramonic CaMixer.

The Saramonic CaMixer

This little audio interface could be just what you need if you’re after a a small, lightweight and affordable audio solution. Saramonic claims it is brand new, but actually it looks very familiar to me. Last year they released a very similar audio interface, the SmartMixer, intended to be used with smartphones. It’s a little more expensive, as it comes bundled with a smartphone holder and a grip. The new CaMixer comes in professional black rather than in consumer red.

Spot the dfference! Saramonic CaMixer (left) and SmartMixer (right)

Anyway, the functionality for a device like this is still very relevant, as a lot of smaller cameras like the Sony a6300 or even the freshly announced Sony a6500 lack a decent headphone jack for monitoring audio. You also get two detachable directional microphones plugged into 3.5mm mic inputs, a phantom powered mini XLR jack and of course an audio out port for connecting the Saramonic CaMixer to your camera. A lot of stuff for such a tiny preamp device, indeed.

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Sony RX100V & Sony A6500 Hands-On Video – Rolling Shutter & Overheating Solved?

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony RX100V & Sony A6500 Hands-On Video – Rolling Shutter & Overheating Solved?
Oct 182016
 

Yesterday’s press event at Sony’s European headquarters was very informative. We were given the possibility to record with the new RX100V but not with the a6500 as this camera was not yet ready for primetime, although we did get a A6500 Hands-On too.

Here are, in short, the new features that these cameras have to offer:

On both cameras: 

  • The Sony RX100V and Sony a6500 both share the same BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI chip as the new Sony a99II, which allows for high volumes of data to be processed.
  • The buffer has been increased, which allows for capture of more photos per second and longer slow-motion videos.

Sony RX100V – Better rolling shutter effect control

Sony RX100V: 

  • Video image quality has been slightly improved.
  • Rolling shutter effect has been greatly improved because of better processing.
  • Autofocus is now faster and more accurate than before.
  • Photo mode allows up to six seconds of 24fps in RAW, theoretically allowing to create short 5.5K video clips.
  • New underwater housing (Marine pack MPK-URX100A, up to 40m/130ft).

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We Compared the iPhone 7 Plus Camera to a Nikon DSLR

 Apple, Gear  Comments Off on We Compared the iPhone 7 Plus Camera to a Nikon DSLR
Oct 122016
 

Another iPhone has hit the market and once again Apple has claimed that its camera creates “DSLR quality pictures.” I never believe when any cell phone manufacturer makes this claim, so I decided to put it to the test.

The iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras on its back: one 12 MP sensor has a wide-angle lens with optical stabilization and excellent ISO performance, and the other has a standard/telephoto lens with poor ISO performance. Our iPhone cost us around $1,000 but we certainly can’t claim the camera itself is worth that much. It’s one of many included features of this smartphone and therefore we couldn’t compare it to a $1,000 DSLR. We decided to compare this phone to a Nikon D300s and a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. Both cameras shoot 12 MP files and both of them have a wide to standard “zoom” range. On eBay this kit sells for around $500. Honestly this is still too expensive to be a “fair” comparison because the camera in the iPhone certainly isn’t half of its value, but it’s what we had available.

Image Quality In Ideal Light

Winner: Nikon D300s

I expected the Nikon to absolutely destroy the iPhone in this test and I was shocked to see how well the iPhone’s wide-angle camera performed. If you printed both of these files out, I’m not totally sure you would be able to pick out which is which, but if we zoom in to 100% on a computer we could tell the iPhone had more grain and noise than the Nikon.

Camera Speed

Winner: Tie

The Nikon D300s shoots at 7fps but the iPhone seemed to shoot around 15fps. That being said, the iPhone didn’t give us manual control and chose a slow shutter that produced blurry images. In short, the iPhone is faster but the Nikon got the better shot.

Shallow Depth Of Field

Winner: Nikon D300s

Once again the iPhone lost but was still quite impressive. The new “portrait mode” on the iPhone allows you to create a fake shallow depth of field that looks quite convincing, especially for web use. One major downside is that the longer lens on the iPhone used in this portrait mode does not perform well in low light.

Video Quality

Winner: iPhone 7 Plus

This test wasn’t even fair. The D300s was one of the first DSLRs to ever shoot video and it can shoot a very poor 720p. The iPhone shoots an incredibly crisp 4K. It’s amazing to see just how far technology has come in seven years.

ISO Performance

Winner: iPhone 7 Plus

This was the biggest shock to me by far. I never would have believed that a cell phone could beat a DSLR, even if that DSLR was seven years old. Well, the iPhone was extremely impressive in low light and easily beat the ISO performance of the D300s.

Versatility

Winner: Tie

This is a tough one to judge. A DSLR will obviously give you access to unlimited accessories like lenses and flashes, but the iPhone has access to the App Store. Currently, many apps are allowing you to shoot raw on your iPhone 7. If you want to shoot a long exposure, a DSLR is your best bet, but if you want to do almost anything else, an iPhone probably has an app available.

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Laowa 15mm f/2 E-Mount and 7.5mm f/2 MFT Mount Lenses Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Laowa 15mm f/2 E-Mount and 7.5mm f/2 MFT Mount Lenses Announced
Oct 062016
 

At Photokina, Chinese lens manufacturer Venus Optics, who sell lenses by the name Laowa and specialise in niche glass for various cameras, announced two new fast wide angle lenses:

After their 12mm f/2.8 E-Mount which we reported about in August, they now also offer a new 15mm f/2 for E-Mount, which is very fast for such a wide angle lens. It covers the full frame 35mm sensor of Sony A7 series E-Mount cameras and is fully manual with hard stops and manual aperture. It features a filter thread which isn’t a given on all wide angle lenses at 15mm. No info on pricing yet.

Their other new lens is a fully manual 7.5mm f/2 prime for Micro Four Thirds cameras. It will feature a comparable wide angle field-of-view given the 2x crop factor of MFT sensors compared to 35mm full frame cameras. What’s particularly noteworthy about this lens is its tiny size and weight which, when combined with the wide angle field-of-view and the staggering f/2 maximum aperture, make it an ideal choice for drone operators flying a GH4 (or GH5 in the future) on their multicopter. There is no word on pricing on this lens either, but they promise to be “competitive”, which has usually been the case with their lenses so far indeed.

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Cinevate Duzi 4 Slider Gets Compact Flywheel

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Cinevate Duzi 4 Slider Gets Compact Flywheel
Oct 042016
 

The Cinevate Duzi 4 slider arrives with a clever integrated carriage and flywheel for smoother shots without weight compromise, and is a re-vamped design to Cinevate’s popular portable slider system.

I’ve been using Cinevate sliders for years, including all versions of the Duzi since its original release. Having tried out most popular brands of sliders, the Duzi has always impressed me the most in relation to weight, operation, longevity and cost.

Only my Cinevate Hedron has ever given me smoother results, and this comes down to one single feature – the flywheel.

As the flywheel gains momentum, it irons out any knocks and fidgety motion resulting from user operation. But it comes at a cost: the Hedron is a far heavier system than the Duzi, and with the flywheel bolted on it’s much longer as well.

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PSA: Apple to Update Retina MacBook Pros This Month, Hold Off Buying One

 Apple  Comments Off on PSA: Apple to Update Retina MacBook Pros This Month, Hold Off Buying One
Oct 042016
 

macbookpro_feat

Apple’s powerful, photographer-friendly line of Retina display MacBook Pros are overdue for an update. But if you’re thinking of getting one anyway, don’t! Reliable reports claim Apple will announce an update to these laptops at the end of the month.

According to MacRumors and Bloomberg, both the 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models are scheduled for an official update at the end of October, possibly at a press event on October 24th.

“Apple plans to introduce completely revamped 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros in the fourth quarter of 2016,” writes MacRumors. “The machines could debut as soon as October, and based on upcoming software release plans for macOS 10.12.1, Apple is aiming to finalize the software with features for the new MacBook Pros on October 7, suggesting a late October launch for the new machines.”

Here’s a quick roundup of “What to expect” that MacRumors posted a couple of months ago:

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An Introduction to the Canon EOS C700 Cinema Camera

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on An Introduction to the Canon EOS C700 Cinema Camera
Sep 282016
 

The Canon EOS C700 was announced last month and raised a lot of interest, but also criticism among our readers. The new flagship model for Canon’s Cinema line was on display at IBC 2016 and we took the chance to take a closer look at the new camera.

A Closer Look at the Canon C700

With the C700, Canon moved on to a different form factor for the first time in quite a while. The Canon EOS C700 is reminiscent of competitor cameras such as the Panasonic Varicam, Arri Amira or the Sony F55/F5, and its features and pricing clearly target it at the higher end of filmmaking.

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cinema5d

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Manfrotto Befree Live – Ultra Compact Video Tripod

 Gear  Comments Off on Manfrotto Befree Live – Ultra Compact Video Tripod
Sep 282016
 

Looking for an ultra compact video tripod solution? The Manfrotto Befree Live might be the setup for you.

The Befree Live is the most portable tripod in the range, with legs that fold around the centre column and lock in place. Instead of carrying a tripod over your shoulder, this now fits in your bag.

Designed for travel, vlogging and journalism, the Manfrotto Befree Live is orientated around video and filming, with a new fluid head for smooth panning and tilting. This uses the standard Manfrotto tripod plate, so you don’t need to switch between a QR plate and standard plate.

An advancement on this compact video tripod is the leveling system in the centre column. The ball leveling system is adjusted close to the video head, rather than at the bottom of the column, for quick adjustment. The tripod feet are also wider for more grip and stability.

Although you can’t adjust the amount of friction, there is a locking brake you can use to adjust the level of friction before the panning is locked. The load of the fluid head is up to 4kg, enough for a mirrorless or DSLR camera and lens for on the go shooting.

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cinema5d

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Why the Olympus E-M1 MK II Might Just Be Your Next 4K Video Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on Why the Olympus E-M1 MK II Might Just Be Your Next 4K Video Camera
Sep 242016
 

Just a few days ago, Olympus unveiled their new MFT camera, the Olympus E-M1 MK II. It is not only the Japanese company’s first foray into 4K video, it is also a technology milestone in terms of image stabilization and pro video features.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II

Please make sure to read Graham’s article for a good overview of this new camera. As a reminder, here are the specifications:

  • New 20 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • 4K UHD Video up to 30fps (3840×2160) and Cinema 4K up to 24fps (4096×2160)
  • 3.0 Articulating Touch Monitor
  • 121 Point Dual Auto Focus
  • Pre-Record Feature
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Dual SD Card Slot (UHS II Compatible)
  • Weatherproofing: dust, splash and freeze-proof
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds.

One of the real achievements of this newly developed camera is the implemented image stabilization. As Janne Amunet puts it:

It really gives new possibilities in terms of moving the camera without having a huge production budget.

And that’s really it! The quality of stabilization that the Olympus E-M1 Mark II can achieve seems to be quite impressive, and can be even further improved when used alongside an Olympus lens with image stabilization. In a scenario like this, the result of both camera and lens add up to almost gimbal-like performance.

The other buzzword surrounding this camera is, of course, 4K. It’s a first for Olympus, but it’s good to see other manufacturers adopting more and more camera systems to choose from. The Olympus E-M1 MK II caters the micro four thirds system, just like the Panasonic GH4.

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Xeen 16mm T2.6 – Samyang Further Expands Cine Lens Lineup

 Gear  Comments Off on Xeen 16mm T2.6 – Samyang Further Expands Cine Lens Lineup
Sep 212016
 

Samyang has been quite busy lately. Among other mostly photo-related lens announcements, they have just unveiled the newest addition to their cinema lens line-up: the Xeen 16mm T2.6.

The Xeen 16mm T2.6 Cine Lens

Samyang keeps adding lenses to their current Xeen cinema lens line-up, with their newest addition just unveiled at this year’s Photokina. Sitting in between the 14mm T3.1 and the 24mm T1.5, the new Xeen 16mm T2.6 could become your new favourite wide angle lens. Due to its faster aperture, it might also prove to be much more versatile than the 14mm T3.1 option.

Samyang’s Jeon Min, Shin claims that the decision behind introducing a model with these specs is that the former wide angle option, the Xeen 14mm T3.1, may be just a little bit too wide (and more importantly, too slow) for most cinematographic needs.

This newest addition brings the whole Xeen range of lenses up to a grand total of 7 primes to choose from:

  • 14mm T3.1
  • 16mm T2.6
  • 24mm T1.5
  • 35mm T1.5
  • 50mm T1.5
  • 85mm T1.5
  • 135mm T2.2.

Maybe we’ll even see some more focal lengths to choose from in the future? At this rate of development, this might just be the case.

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GoPro Karma: Foldable, Removable Stabilizer, ‘More than a Drone’

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on GoPro Karma: Foldable, Removable Stabilizer, ‘More than a Drone’
Sep 212016
 

karma_feat

GoPro finally revealed their Karma Drone, but in CEO Nick Woodman’s words: It’s so much more than a drone. Foldable, easy-to-use, and equipped with a removable stabilizer that you can use hand-held or mounted to something else, this is an incredibly impressive all-around machine.

Announced during this morning’s live stream, Karma is a big deal for GoPro. Not only does it let you take your Hero 5 Black, Hero 4 Black, or Hero 5 Session to the skies, the attached stabilization system can be removed and inserted into the included “Karma Grip” that lets you use it handheld or mount it to your helmet, bike, car, or self.

Combine that with GoPro’s built in digital stabilization and the stabilizer allows users to create buttery smooth footage never before possible with any action cam.

The included "Karma Grip" lets you take the stabilizer off your drone and into the world.

When it's folded, the Karma drone fits snugly into the included backpack case, alongside the Karma Grip and the Karma Remote.

When it’s folded, the Karma drone fits snugly into the included backpack case, alongside the Karma Grip and the Karma Remote.

Details like controller range, flight time, and other details that you would expect GoPro to mention right away were left out of the announcement.

Woodman, and by extension GoPro, instead focused on the experience of the thing. Like how easy it is to fly using the “game-style flight and camera control, how portable it is all folded up and packed in the Karma Case, and how cool it is that the stabilizer is removable.

Not to mention the The GoPro Passenger App, that lets a friend control your camera and see what you’re capturing using an iPad or iPhone while you pilot the drone itself.

passengerapp

If you dig into the landing page, you’ll find some details though. For instance, you’ll find out that that the Karma drone features built-in “No-Fly Zones” to keep you out of trouble, and a simple land button that brings the Karma drone back to you or the launch location, no matter where you’ve flown it to.

Battery wise, Karma will run for 20 minutes on a 1-hour charge, and GoPro has gone out of its way to make the drone easy to repair. Not just the “efficient” and “quiet” propellers that allegedly generate more lift with less noise, but the arms themselves can be replaced, and replacement arms come with all the tools you’ll need to do it yourself.

Here are some video intros to the Karma Drone, Karma Grip, and Karma Controller, along with product shots of the drone from all angles:

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Indiecam nakedEYE is First Compact VR RAW Camera – 12bit 4k 60p

 Gear, Uncategorized, virtual reality  Comments Off on Indiecam nakedEYE is First Compact VR RAW Camera – 12bit 4k 60p
Sep 152016
 

At IBC 2016, Indiecam presented their version of a VR camera. True to their roots, the nakedEYE is a small, lightweight and all-manual VR RAW camera. 

Austria-based Indiecam develops and manufactures high-quality miniature action cameras for filmmakers. Their RAW action cameras have been used on dozens of famous productions, like Ron Howard’s Rush or Into the Heart of the Sea.

The Indiecam nakedEYE is the logical next step when it comes to miniature RAW cameras. But according to managing director Raphael Barth this VR RAW Camera is just the first step in their move towards Virtual Reality Acquisition.

While a resolution of 4K is rather limiting when it comes to a full 360° VR image, the intriguing attributes about the Indiecam nakedEYE VR RAW Camera are:

  • Full Manual Controls
  • Global Shutter
  • High Dynamic Range and good low-light performance
  • 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW
  • 2 lens construction for an easy workflow
  • 2x 2K square sensors (4K 60p)

To me this looks like a very important step in professional VR production. While this seems to be the “Digital Bolex of VR cameras”, it surely is heading in the right direction for larger formats to come.

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cinema5d

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Hands-On With the ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9 – T3.9

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Hands-On With the ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9 – T3.9
Sep 152016
 

Here at IBC 2016, we go hands-on with the freshly announced Zeiss LWZ.3, the newest addition to their lightweight zoom range. Although the lens gets slower at the far end, from T2.9 down to T3.9, it might nevertheless be the next big thing for documentary work. Make sure to read Nino’s in-depth article for all about the details of this lightweight cine zoom lens. 

Hands-on with the Zeiss LWZ.3

As there is no such thing as the perfect lens (14 – 200mm T 1.5 with full frame coverage in a 1,2 kg parfocal lens for $800, anyone?) you’ll always get some downsides, that’s for sure. In the case of this lens, even though it is really lightweight for the focal range it covers, there are also some downsides to it. The Zeiss LWZ.3 only covers super35 sized sensors, for example. The bigger Zeiss Compact Zoom versions cover full frame, but they are double the price for half the focal range.

The one thing I find really annoying is the drop of T-stop towards the end of the focal range of this lens. But Zeiss has managed to implement a technology called gradiant T-Stop which will ensure very smooth and linear transition of aperture over the focal range.

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GoPro Hero 5 Photos and User Manual Leaked, Voice Commands Incoming

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on GoPro Hero 5 Photos and User Manual Leaked, Voice Commands Incoming
Aug 212016
 

leakedgopro_feat

Some photos of and a user manual for the upcoming GoPro Hero 5 have allegedly leaked online, showing a camera that looks like a hybrid between the Hero 4 and Hero Session cameras, will focus heavily on GoPro’s upcoming cloud service ‘GoPro Plus,’ and may feature voice commands.

The images first appeared on (and were subsequently pulled from) the Japanese blog Nokishita, but before they could be removed the folks at Mirrorless Rumors snagged some screenshots. That’s how we come to share these real life photos and an alleged schematic for the unreleased action cam.

leakedgopro_1

leakedgopro_3

The photos show more of what we reported in the past.

The camera will probably be waterproof out of the box (although an external casing will, we assume, still be required to take the camera to serious depths) given the rounded edges and rubberized look, it will feature a touch screen display, and otherwise looks very similar to the aging Hero 4.

Here’s another look at the leaked video from a couple of weeks ago, showing GoPro’s touchscreen interface at work:

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petapixel

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Photo Challenge: Using a 15-Year-Old DSLR for a Modern-Day Portrait Shoot

 Gear, Technique  Comments Off on Photo Challenge: Using a 15-Year-Old DSLR for a Modern-Day Portrait Shoot
Aug 212016
 

It’s easy to forgot how easy we have it shooting digital in 2016, because when digital cameras first started picking up steam they were not easy to use. How difficult were they? Watch as Jared Polin of Fro Knows Photo takes the 15-year-old Nikon D1X out for a modern day on-location portrait shoot.


Warning: The video above contains some strong language, user discretion advised.


This particular video, part of Fro’s “5 Min Portrait” series, is different than most of the challenges like it we’ve seen because he takes you along for the entire (sometimes painful) process. From unboxing, to finding era-appropriate lenses, to struggling for focus, to the finished prints on his studio floor.

The full video is over an hour long. It’s not short, but it’s a great weekend watch if you want to (1) be reminded of how good you have it with your fancy new D5 or whatever you’re shooting, and/or (2) refocus on some of the photography basics that you maybe started letting your new camera take care of automatically.

Fro certainly had to change his mindset and adjust to shooting “vintage,” but some of the shots he captured—candids as well as more traditional on-location portraits—turned out really well. Here are a few of our favorites:

polin_1

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What You Need to Know About the History and Physics of Film Lighting

 Cinematography  Comments Off on What You Need to Know About the History and Physics of Film Lighting
Aug 092016
 

You probably know a lot about film lighting already. However, it might be a good idea to revitalize that dusty knowledge a little bit from time to time. Mark Vargo, ASC, is here to help. His video about the history and physics of film lighting may not be dew-fresh, but the concepts and physics are timeless, that’s for sure.

The Concepts of Film Lighting

The video you are about to watch is almost 3 years old but the concepts and the physics are still the same. LED sources and other technologies yet to come can’t alter the laws of nature, so don’t be afraid, dim the lights and watch this:

Mark Vargo is definitely a pro in his field of work. He has an enormous list of credits on IMDB, ranging from VFX for the original Star Wars movies, to second unit DP for films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes. With such an amount of experience, wisdom is not far away, as you can see in the tip of the day section on his personal website:

Don’t be fooled by thinking you have to shoot
with only expensive movie equipment. Get with
a handy friend and build a cheap slider or go to
the hardware store and find a utility fixture to use
as a light. Be creative in new ways!

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cinema5d

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Stanley Kubrick’s Legendary f/0.7 ZEISS Lens Explored

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Stanley Kubrick’s Legendary f/0.7 ZEISS Lens Explored
Aug 032016
 

These days, shooting with a fast lens is not unusual at all. Considering the high ISO capabilities of modern sensors, it’s even possible to shoot with almost no light at all (see Nino’s Sony a6300 low light test, for example). But how the hell did people manage back in the 70’s? Well, if you have the time and happen to be around the San Francisco area, you have the opportunity to pay a visit to the f/0.7 lens that Stanley Kubrick used to shoot his masterpiece Barry Lyndon.

A legendary f/0.7 lens

In order to capture images of the moon during the Apollo mission, NASA commissioned Carl Zeiss to develop and build a set of extremely light-sensitive lenses. Since it was extremely difficult to meet the demands, Zeiss ended up building only 10 units of the f/0.7 lens. One remained in their own cabinet, and six were sold to NASA. Stanley Kubrick managed to somehow snatch the last three lenses in order to shoot his famous candlelight scene.

To actually work with these lenses, Kubrick had to modify the lens mounts to fit them on a Mitchell 35mm BNC camera. In the end, he was able to light a whole scene with just the help of candlelight. Well, he needed lots of candles, actually. Have a look at this mini doc, with footage from the actual candlelight scene starting at the 2:38 mark.

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cinema5d

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The Milliner – SLR Magic Anamorphot-Cine Lens Review

 Cinematography, Technique  Comments Off on The Milliner – SLR Magic Anamorphot-Cine Lens Review
Jul 142016
 

SLR Magic Anamorphot-Cine Lenses are a set of vintage look anamorphics. I had a chance to review the set, producing the above short film shot exclusively on them.
I haven’t done a personal project for a while, so when the opportunity to do one came about, I wanted to try something completely new from a technical perspective. You can read more about the project itself here.
I had never used anamorphic lenses on a full project before, so when the SLR Magic Anamorphot-Cine surfaced some months ago I was naturally very intrigued.
Anamorphic image capture is not as straight forward as spherical, despite growing in popularity and accessibility, much like every other piece of technology these days. Affordable, reliable, genuine anamorphic lensing are still relatively hard to come by.

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