Tuesday, February 23, 2016

BVE 2016

Me and Jon went to BVE at ExCel today.  Slightly odd that both CVP and Sony weren't there...and some other companies had scaled down their stands from last year. But Atomos were right in the middle again with a very impressive stand. I had arranged to meet Andrew from SLRMagic there. We fitted the SLRMagic 50mm anamorphic lens to the 5D Mk3 (using a PL to EF mount) and i got to play with this much sought after lens. It's got a really pronounced 'bowing' effect and of course, the trade mark flare streaks.  Obviously, we used an Atomos Shogun to de-squeeze the 1.33:1 image.  It looks great for either face close ups or wide establishing shots, but I felt the 'bowing' looked a little too much on medium close shots, especially if there's any straight vertical things in shot as they look very curved. This wouldn't be a problem if you were using them in the right context with time to compose your shots... but they wouldn't be a good idea if you're working off the cuff and shooting fast like i often am.

Next, we went to have a play with the new Panasonic VariCam LT. I was pretty excited to try this camera out as i've always liked the Panasonic image and the VariCam is a seriously nice camera. The LT version was interesting.. nice smaller form factor, the same control panel which is removable and an EF lens mount as standard. But, then came the shocking bad news. It only captures to AVCIntra internally... no Pro Res or DNxHD for 4K...  and it won't send 4K out to an external recorder at all! Why??!!  That's a seriously nice camera, ruined by a weird codec decision and a hampered output.  But, all is not lost. I heard a pretty solid rumour that 4K will indeed be possible to extract from the output of the LT before long... watch this space - it could save this camera.

We also went to have a look at the AJA Cion again. I've seen it before, but with it's recent price drop, i thought it was worth another look. It's a hell of a lot of camera for the money now. The build quality is very solid and the sensor is the same as in the BMD URSA... so we know it's got potential and the demo footage is certainly looking a lot better now than the early stuff which seemed to let it down last year. I'm not swayed by popular opinion, so i think i'd like to try a shoot with a Cion and see how it performs. MTF make a PL to EF adapter for it, so i can give it test with my current lenses and see what's what. It's a shame there's no LOG profile as such... but that's not the point of this camera. AJA put a lot of work into the colour science of the Cion and it's meant to be used 'as is'... weather than works for you is another thing...

Finally, i found some fantastic light panels from LEDGO... seriously impressive. Nice quality light and a really good price and they are so thin! Just what i was looking for.

Monday, February 22, 2016

BVE tomorrow...

Tomorrow, we're going to be at BVE at Excel in London. I try to go every year if possible, as it's a good chance to check out new gear and chat to other filmmakers.

We'll be looking at SLR Magic's Anamorphot, hopefully Veydra's mini primes and also seeing what there is to offer in the shape of battery powered LED lighting.  I'm also going to be looking at lightweight tripods and camera cases...(new rig needs a new case).

Do say hello if you see me there.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

VariCam LT

This looks interesting. I've always liked Panasonic's offerings and this size, spec and form factor seem pretty good to me.

Looking forward to trying one out.

"The VariCam LT delivers superb image handling in multiple formats ranging from 4K, UHD, 2K and HD, and like the VariCam 35, is fully capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) field capture. The new 4K camcorder offers Apple ProRes 4444 (up to 30p) and ProRes 422 HQ (up to 60p) support for HD recording, as well as Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of advanced video codecs."

The VariCam LT will be available at the end of March in two packages, suggested list price $18,000 (body only) and suggested list price $24,000 (body + AU-VCVF10G viewfinder).

For some reason people are comparing this to the Sony FS7 price-wise! That's crazy... this is in another league altogether.  The FS7 is great for what it is, but it's not got the features, codecs or build quality of this. Expect to see the VariCam LT on lots of TV drama and features as either a B-Cam to the VariCam for use on Jibs and Gimbals or as the A-Cam for DoPs who like the small form factor and price.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Photography Show 2016

On Saturday 19th March at 1.30pm, i will talking at the Photography show at the NEC in Birmingham. In the 'Video Theatre', i will be talking about transitioning from stills to video.

Hopefully i'll be able to give photographers the information they need to begin to shoot professional looking video.

I'll be covering the basics needed to shoot video that looks like film and discussing the differences in workflow that working with video requires.

This is a good time to mention that very soon i will also be running some filmmaking workshops in conjunction with some companies you probably know...