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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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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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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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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Ramper Pro 3 – Day to Night Timelapsing Made Easy

 Cinematography, Technique  Comments Off on Ramper Pro 3 – Day to Night Timelapsing Made Easy
Jun 232016
 

OK, after having seen the incredible timelapse masterpiece covered in this post, one could think everything is said and done regarding timelapsing. Nobody needs to do it ever again. But wait, there is hope for the rest of us. Elysia Visuals have just introduced a neat little timelapse controller, the Ramper Pro 3.

Evolution of the Ramper Pro

The original Ramper Pro by Elysia Visuals, a company from the Netherlands, has been in the the hands of many timelapse shooters around the world for a couple of years now. The developers clearly believed it was time for an upgrade, so here comes the brand new version 3 of the Ramper Pro timelapse machine.

This new version makes it even easier to capture the so called holy grail of timelapsing, the transition from day to night or vice versa. In order to achieve this trick, the Ramper Pro 3 device takes full control over the connected camera (or even 2 cameras at the same time), including an advanced light sensor for necessary measurements.

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cinema5d

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Working with the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K

 Gear  Comments Off on Working with the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K
Mar 212016
 

The Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K is an affordable cinema camera that raises high hopes among cameramen and filmmakers. Blackmagic Design’s attempt at creating a new custom made 4.6K sensor with a global shutter is said to deliver impressive qualities.

Our friend and fellow filmmaker Sebastian Wiegärtner had a chance to test the new Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K, shoot some crispy medieval footage and speak about his first impressions on the results. Like all other reviewers that were sent a 4.6K, unfortunately Wiegärtner was not allowed to share his observations about the camera itself. (Intro by S. Wöber)

One camera. One lens. One gimbal.

Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6KThis was the challenge for our Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K test shoot: I did not want to shoot another landscape video, so I decided to team up with my director Andreas Schultze and we developed a quick idea within a few hours.

Just two days later we had actors, costumes and everything we need for our improvised project. In two days we shot this little piece with zero budget, just two people behind the camera and three wild guys in front of the lens.

We had no artificial light, just the camera and a Carl Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 15mm. All the shots in the short trailer were done with the help of the Sachtler Artemis Maxima Gimbal, which I normally use for my feature film projects.

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Production Insights – Behind the Scenes of an Amazing Timelapse Film – “A Taste of Vienna”

 Cinematography  Comments Off on Production Insights – Behind the Scenes of an Amazing Timelapse Film – “A Taste of Vienna”
Feb 292016
 

“Production Insights is a new irregular cinema5D series, highlighting actual paid productions using modern cameras and production gear. We are talking about real-world issue-solving on real-world sets, with real-world clients and budgets.

At cinema5D, we are lucky to have our headquarters located in beautiful Vienna—the city with the highest quality of life, according to a recent study. We are also proud of the fact that there are many amazing filmmakers here, and the pool of talent just keeps getting better all the time.

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iPhone Cinematography Uncovers the Dark Heart of the Sea

 Apple, Cinematography  Comments Off on iPhone Cinematography Uncovers the Dark Heart of the Sea
Feb 162016
 

Warning: treacherous waters are ahead. A dark, cold place where only the brave dare to explore. Recent video projects by photographer and cinematographer Sven Dreesbach create a feeling of icy-cold tension, contrasted by a sense of meditative pleasure. It’s a vibe that is best soaked in rather than pontificated upon by some internet writer. Oh, and he did it all on iPhones.

The ocean can seem like both a calming muse and the murky black lair of an unseen leviathan, depending on which video you watch first. What is certain is that you should definitely watch them both.

“I shot two ‘surf videos’ at the same time,” Dreesbach told Fstoppers. “The main project (‘Dark Waves’) was a music video I shot for Robot Koch from the infamous indie label Monkeytown Records in Berlin. The other project (‘This Moment’) is a ‘visual poem’ and has more of a branded content look.”

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Oct 142015
 

Sebastian Wöber at Cinema5D has created a terrific tutorial that will be of great interest to those aspiring to film great drone footage:

“Drones. An intriguing new technology for cinematographers! But how do you shoot aerial video with professional aesthetics on a low cost drone? This was the question I asked myself and spent a week attempting to capture cinematic drone footage with a DJI Inspire 1.”“I learned a lot in the process and decided to share some valuable tips. Here’s the first part of my 3-part video tutorial series on mastering drone footage.”Part II – Working with Drone Footage – will be released Wednesday, Oct. 14thPart III – Grading Drone Footage – will be released on Friday, Oct. 16th

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cinema5d

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Sep 112015
 

This looks to be another winner for Sony with internal 4K recording and extreme low-light capabilities! Thanks to Nino Leitner.

 Cinema5D

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Aug 072015
 

Photographer Dave Hill released this behind-the-scenes video that documents a recent advertising photo shoot for the Japanese carmaker Toyota. Hill shows us how various elements of the photographs are first taken then composited together in postproduction.

Shooting with a Hasselblad H4x and Phase 1 IQ 250 digital back, Hill composed, shot, and combined multiple photos to turn a small group of extras into a bustling parade scene.

bts1a

bts1a

Screen-Shot-2015-08-04-at-4.06.59-PM-copy-e1438719538155

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petapixel

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Jul 282015
 

Last fall I took a 29 day epic road trip through the west coast of America, along with my wife, brother and friends.  Here are some most essential tips you should consider when planning to make an awesome travel film.
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Jul 242015
 

Photographer Jeff Boyce of Negative Tilt recently took an epic photography journey across the United States, shooting 70,000 photos across 15 states with 20,000 miles of driving. He then turned those frames into “Edge of Stability,” the time-lapse video above that “highlights some of the most unique, awe-inspiring, and incredibly strange sights on the planet.”

The video packs a wide range of dazzling sights into 5 intense minutes. We see giant storm clouds, the starry night sky, lightning storms flashing across the sky, northern lights glowing above head, and the birth of a tornado.

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petapixel

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Jun 122015
 

Titled, “Denali,” the almost 8-minute video is a beautiful tribute told from the point of view of Ben’s 14-year-old dog. Ben adopted Denali from a local shelter with his then girlfriend. When that relationship ended, Ben and Denali became inseparable, and together living the life of a nomad surf photographer in the Pacific Northwest. In 2004, when Ben battled Stage 3 cancer, Denali never left his side. When Ben recovered, Denali and Ben continued to travel, and Denali became a favorite subject of Ben’s camera. Ten years later, Denali himself was diagnosed with cancer, which with his age could not be treated. The following video is of Denali’s last days, and it is as beautiful as it is heart wretching. You’ll want to grab a few a box of tissues…

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slrlounge

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May 122015
 

“It’s the middle of 2015. Affordable ooparge sensor cameras are well established in the market and 4K resolution is the latest trend. To this ever evolving market, here comes Canon with its latest innovation. A 1-inch, fixed lens, compact, ultra high definition professional camcorder aimed at “everyone”, according to Canon: 

“from next-generation advanced amateurs to professional 4K and HD videographers, from digital filmmakers needing a cost-effective 4K/HD “B” or “C” camera to multimedia journalists and news agencies seeking a 4K video camera”.

As not everything is about “film look” and not everyone is keen on / capable of working with large sensor cameras, Canon chose wisely to cater a specific niche in the market with the new XC10, and what’s left for us to examine is: How well did they do it?”

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May 112015
 

radian000

Launched in Kickstarter in 2012, the project for Radian had a simple aim: allow users to take stunning panning and tilting time-lapses. The team behind it had/have a dream: make motion time-lapse accessible to photographers of all levels.

Radian is a device that allows you to take motion time lapses with your DSLR or mirrorless camera, as well as GoPro and even your smartphone. Born out of the frustrations of their creators when trying other devices available in the market, Radian is compact, easy to use, and powerful. Radian has all the advanced features you need, while still keeping things simple so that you can focus on the shot, and actually enjoy what you are capturing.

In 2013 Radian was delivered to 1620 backers in 52 countries, with the remaining 300 Radian sold in one day. Somewhere in 2013 the Michron project appears on Kickstarter.  Michron is a device that plugs into your DSLR or mirrorless camera and allows you to take time-lapses. To take a time-lapse, simply program Michron from your phone, connect it to your camera, and sit back while Michron takes the images that will create your time-lapse. Michron is another success: 4500 units are delivered to backers early 2014.

That same year the group started tinkering with new ideas and the feedback from supporters, and that’s how Radian 2 appeared. On Kickstarter until June 5th, 2015, the campaign for the new product aims for a $153,471 goal. With 372 backers now, they’ve reached $86,961, suggesting that the project will be funded before the end of the period still remaining.

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May 072015
 

Canon-EOS-6D-Sensor

Isn’t it ever the truth that we become blind to what we see every day. As modern photographers, part of the deal is being somewhat tech savvy, and with the rate of technological advancement, sometimes it can be hard to keep up. There are mountains of information out there to keep up on and be aware of, but to some degree, information is useful only to the extent that you can find and use it when you need it. So that means you’ve got to separate the wheat from the chaff and know what things you should really understand because they will be continually brought up. One such example? CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) and CCD (charge-coupled device) sensors – what they are and why it matters.

In the animations herein, photographer Raymond Siri attempts to give a basic overview to these two sensor types and give insight into how they work so you can know which works best for you. These videos have been doing the rounds but honestly give just a tiny glimpse into the comparison. As with so much in photography when it comes to questions and comparison, the answers aren’t binary – there is no yes or no. So which is better? There are advantages to both types of sensor technologies, but CMOS seems to be leading the pack, and I’ll explain a little as to why this may be so.
httpvh://vimeo.com/103279734
httpvh://vimeo.com/103279733

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slrlounge

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Apr 222015
 

I was impressed by this look at the work of Abdelrahman Gabr:
 

Born in Queens, NY. But now based in Alexandria, Egypt. I work across a broad range of media, generating original creative insights and executions in Photography and Video Production .

Mobile: +2012 2221 4063 
Email : a.origami@gmail.com
a.gabr@qube-productions.com
twitter: koreefilms
facebook.com/Koreefilms
Website: koreefilms.com

External Links