EOS 5D Mark IV offers DCI 4K and Dual Pixel RAW

EOS 5D Mark IV offers DCI 4K and Dual Pixel RAW

The EOS 5D Mark IV, presented as the tool for photographers in pursuit of the perfect shot offers a 30.4 megapixel sensor with wide exposure latitude, 7 fps, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS and comes with two new lenses, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM.

While many continue to say that Canon created the video DSLR by accident, the truth is that a closer look at the white-paper for the EOS 5D Mark II, from September 2008, reveals something else. Canon’s engineers knew exactly what they were designing and the type of clients they wanted to satisfy with that model.

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On the white-paper available for the EOS 5D Mark II (which shares somes pages with the EOS 50D launched at the same time) Canon writes, under the Features and Benefits section, that “The EOS 5D Mark II’s Full High Definition (HD) video recording and playback functionality is creating a paradigm shift in the way still photographers and videographers approach their craft. In the past, one camera or camcorder couldn’t do it all, so advanced and professional photographers rarely thought outside of the still-picture box–and into the fluid motion world of video with sound. But as the thirst for video on the Internet expands and as news organizations tighten their budgets, it will be more cost effective to send one EOS 5D Mark II equipped photographer to an event or wedding instead of a still photographer and movie crew, or a single wedding photographer to capture the important moments in both formats, thus giving owners of the EOS 5D Mark II a distinct competitive advantage.”

The words written then are still valid today. In Canon’s documentation for the launch of the EOS 5D Mark IV the company says that “renowned for enabling people to tell the stories that need to be told, the EOS 5D series has captured many of the world’s most significant moments in history. As successor to the EOS 5D Mark III, the camera has been designed using first-hand feedback from the photographic community to create the most versatile EOS model yet.”

EOS 5D Mark IV offers DCI 4K and Dual Pixel RAW

The new camera may not be the revolutionary model some were expecting or urging Canon to deliver, but it is, apparently, a logic progression for the regular users of Canon’s legendary EOS 5D family. Featuring a 30.4 megapixel CMOS sensor with wide exposure latitude, 7 frames per second (fps) high speed shooting, internal 4K movie recording and built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, the camera fuses speed and resolution with excellent low light capability and movie functionality. The EOS 5D Mark IV is also the first EOS camera to premiere the innovative Dual Pixel RAW file format, allowing photographers to fine-tune images in post-production by adjusting or correcting the point of sharpness, shifting the foreground bokeh or reducing image ghosting.

So, besides having Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which grants it extra speed in video capture and stills, the camera introduces a new technology around the Dual Pixel name. This time for something completely different. Each of the EOS 5D Mark IV’s 30 million pixels is made up of two photodiodes which can be used together or individually. This technology enables the creation of Dual Pixel RAW files which contain a pair of images shot from two very slightly different points of view. When processed using Digital Photo Professional software, Dual Pixel RAW files allow photographers to perform one of three types of unique adjustments. Image Microadjustment allows the position of maximum sharpness to be adjusted which is great for fine-tuning portrait images. Bokeh Shift allows out-of-focus highlights to be shifted horizontally so they coincide better with in-focus elements, and ghosting reduction can be used to reduce the appearance of artefacts like flare.

To fully explore the Dual Pixel RAW it is necessary to use the software provided, free, by Canon, Digital Photo Professional. With the launch of the EOS 5D Mark IV Canon introduces another change. Digital Lens Optimizer technology, which was previously only accessible when processing RAW files in the camera, can now be applied to JPEG files as they are captured. The Digital Lens Optimizer uses optical design values to correct various lens aberrations, diffraction, and the softening of resolution caused by the low-pass filter.

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When it comes to detail, the EOS 5D Mark IV’s brand new full frame 30.4 megapixel CMOS sensor, delivers “images that are packed with detail, even in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows.” ISO range is as usual, from 100 to 32000, with the option to expand it from 50 to 102400, allowing users to work in an array of lighting environments. Canon indicates that the “enhanced noise processing algorithm further improves low light shooting, ideal for photojournalists who need to capture breaking stories no matter what lighting conditions they face.”

Autofocus appears associated to a 61-point wide area reticular AF system. The 61-points / 41 cross-type AF points cover an expanded sensor area and provide the ability to focus even under moonlight at EV -3 in viewfinder shooting mode, or EV -4 in Live View mode. Tracking faces and colour of fast moving subjects is easy with the EOS 5D Mark IV, says Canon, and the camera enables photographers to use extenders with all telephoto lenses for f/8 AF with all 61 points, including 21 cross type for even greater precision.

Furthermore, the high resolution 3.2-inch LCD with full touch panel operation across all menus is combined with a new AF ‘Area Selection’ button providing quick AF point selection. Additionally, the camera features an advanced 150K RGB+IR metering sensor with a dedicated DIGIC 6 processor for accurate exposures and precise subject detection and tracking.

Designed to respond in an instant and never miss a shot, the EOS 5D Mark IV’s high-speed readout technologies and DIGIC 6+ processor mean you can shoot at 7 fps at full resolution, with full AF / AE tracking. Capturing up to 21 RAW images or unlimited JPEGs in a single burst, you’ll always be ready for the next frame. For when discretion is needed – such as capturing breaking news or animals in their natural habitat – the camera features ‘silent high’, ‘silent low’ and ‘silent single’ modes, offering shooting with minimal noise.

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Video is an area where many say Canon is lagging behind he competition with their DSLRs. One has to go back to the white-paper for the EOS 5D Mark II to understand what Canon tried to achieve with the camera, a philosophy that is still present in the newer models of the family. For photographers the reasoning behind the EOS 5D Mark II was explained above. For video, Canon defined at the time its aim with that model. Canon’s engineers wrote then that “on the other hand, serious videographers rarely use their camcorders to capture still images–even though most modern camcorders have the ability. The reason? The average still frame taken by a camcorder (even an expensive 3-chip, HDTV model) is under 5.0-megapixels and may include image quality problems that show up in print. Unlike these camcorders, the 21.1-megapixel EOS 5D Mark II can capture extraordinary quality still images for print clients and even expand the creative possibilities when recording HD video clips. It’s lighter, smaller, and lower-priced than most professional HD camcorders, yet provides amazing depth-of-field control, exposure compensation and white balance controls, and full compatibility with Canon’s super-telephoto, macro, fisheye, tilt-shift, soft focus, and image stabilized EF lenses.”

Canon defined, at the time, the exact clients and segments of the industry for the then revolutionary camera: wedding photographers, photojournalists, fashion and runway, underwater photographers, nature, law enforcement. They knew the market was opening for more than the still photographs and that with reduced budgets a single shooter able to do both photography and video would appreciate a camera like the EOS 5D Mark II. That was the reasoning behind the development of the EOS 5D Mark II. Or, now the EOS 5D Mark IV, which takes the video options further and offers 4K as the EOS-1D X Mark II at a more attractive price.

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With the EOS 5D Mark IV, 4K movie-making is open to anyone who wants to use the power of video to tell the bigger picture. A truly versatile camera, it features DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 30/25/24 fps shooting and provides the ability to extract 8.8MP JPEG images from 4K videos, making it a great companion for those wanting to easily switch from video to stills. Delivering quality footage has never been more important with streaming services increasingly demanding content be shot using the latest technology in the field. The EOS 5D Mark IV brings this advancement in the form of a video DSLR with internal 4K, 120p HD, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, time lapse movie and new HDR movie mode. It may not be revolutionary, but it will, probably, be enough for a lot of professional users.

Canon says the camera is packed with a range of new and refined features requested by Canon’s professional community: built-in Wi-Fi enables remote operation and secure file transfer (FTPS/FTP) via smart devices using the Canon Camera Connect app, and NFC provides instant connections between compatible devices. GPS geotags each image in the EXIF data with automatic time updates helping to manage images and, for the first time, IPTC metadata, such as details of a shoot, is automatically embedded.

IPTC (International Press and Tele Communication) is a standard for recording information within images. The EOS 5D Mark IV allows an IPTC template, created in popular software such as Photo Mechanic or EOS Utility, to be loaded to the camera. The IPTC data is then automatically embedded in the image as it is taken as an XMP file, meaning it can be read by all modern photo editing software. This is extremely important for fast paced industries such as news or sports as it saves time adding this data later.

EOS 5D Mark IV offers DCI 4K and Dual Pixel RAW

Enhanced water and dust resistance makes the camera ideal for travel photographers or photojournalists working in challenging terrain. Renowned for enabling people to tell the stories that need to be told, the EOS 5D series has captured many of the world’s most significant moments in history. Canon wants this camera to continue on the same path and to make the new camera a more versatile tool, two new lenses are introduced: the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM and the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM.

With a zoom range that became common with digital cameras, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM introduces something new when it comes to moving images: a new video design EDM provides quiet aperture adjustment during movie capture. A truly flexible and durable everyday lens, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM is a perfect tool for any photographer wanting to achieve high edge-to-edge sharpness over the entire zoom range. The 24-105mm focal length and f/4 aperture is ideal for a variety of scenes, subjects and lighting conditions, and the lens also offers improved 4-stop IS.

The second lens annouced is the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM. Working in perfect harmony with high resolution sensors such as the one seen in the EOS 5D Mark IV, the high-performance lens provides exceptional image quality for professional and serious enthusiasts. The versatile focal length (16-35mm) will appeal to wedding photographers and photojournalists who need to work up close, whilst the fast, constant, f/2.8 maximum aperture makes it an obvious choice for those shooting in low light.

EOS 5D Mark IV offers DCI 4K and Dual Pixel RAW

EOS 5D Mark IV Key Features:

  • 30.4 megapixel CMOS sensor with high exposure latitude
  • Engineered to perform with the innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Dual Pixel RAW
  • Step up to cinematic 4K with DCI 4K up to 30p
  • Stay connected with Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS

EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Key Features:

  • Versatile 24-105mm zoom range
  • Constant f/4 max aperture
  • L-series weather-proof construction
  • 4-stop Image Stabilizer
  • Advanced optical construction

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Key Features:

  • Versatile collection of wide-angle focal lengths
  • Premium image quality
  • Fast constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Durable L-series construction
  • Advanced autofocus

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR is currently scheduled to be available in early September 2016 for an estimated retail price of $3,499.00 for the body only. It will also be sold as part of body-and-lens kits with the EF24-70mm f/4L lens ($4,399.00, scheduled to be available early September) and the EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens ($4599.00, scheduled to be available late October).

For an exclusive, hands-on preview, the camera will be available at the customer support centers shown below, indicates Canon. Visitors can experience the camera firsthand while Canon technical experts demonstrate new product features, answer questions, and spotlight the benefits of Canon products and service.

  • Canon Customer Care Center, Melville, NY – Monday, August 29, 11am-2pm
  • Canon Experience Center, Costa Mesa, CA – Tuesday, August 30, 7pm-9pm
  • Canon Professional Service & Support Center, Itasca, IL – Friday, September 2, 11am-2pm

Sony HXR-NX5R has adjustable LED light

Sony HXR-NX5R has adjustable LED light

The new HXR-NX5R professional compact camcorder expands Sony’s NXCAM line of professional HD camcorders with a model designed for professionals who need to quickly and easily shoot, edit and deliver high-quality content.

The HXR-NX5R delivers a range of enhancements over its predecessor models. The new camcorder offers upgraded network functions and a choice of advanced XAVC-S 50Mbps or established AVCHD/DV recording formats to help users meet diverse workflows and client requirements.

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The addition of a 3G-SDI terminal supports Full HD 60p output, and the HXR-NX5R features easy-to-use direct functions and a responsive joystick, making it easier to access key camera functions without entering the menu, combined with a wide viewing angle and high contrast OLED viewfinder for image monitoring.

“The HXR-NX5R’s flexible operations, file transfer options and easy-to-use features are designed for professionals who need to quickly and easily shoot, edit and deliver high-quality content,” said Sebastian Scala, Pro Video Marketing Manager for Sony’s Professional Solutions Americas group. “It’s ideal for corporate or event/wedding production, newsgathering, documentaries, online content creation, nature, sports and more.”

Sony HXR-NX5R has adjustable LED light

Users can take advantage of the camcorder’s advanced network functions, such as built-in Wi-Fi and FTP wireless connections. Compatibility with Sony’s Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe avoids cabling with easy integration between the HXR-NX5R and Sony’s UWP-D series wireless microphones without need for cables.

The HXR-NX5R also includes the industry’s first adjustable brightness LED video light to minimize the need for external lighting equipment. The camcorder’s advanced digital signal processor (DSP) delivers advanced noise reduction and sharp detail reproduction.

Simultaneous backup recording through dual SD card slots adds increased reliability and adaptability in challenging live event environments. The camcorder’s three 1/2.8-type Full HD Exmor CMOS sensors produces high-quality color imagery and high sensitivity, and 40x Clear Image Zoom function to double the optical zoom without losing image quality.

Sony HXR-NX5R has adjustable LED light

Complementing the HXR-NX5R Sony introduced a new compact multi-function remote commander – model RM-30BP. Ideal for freelancers and small-budget productions, the lightweight remote can be handheld, placed on a table or attached to a tripod arm for operation. The RM-30BP can control most camera functions including:

  • Lens control: one push auto / manual focus, iris and zoom control
  • Camera control: recording / display functions, shutter speed, white balance – including six assignable buttons
  • Playback and multi camera control (up to 3 cameras)

The new remote can connect to the new MCX-500 for multi camera control directly from the switcher, and is compatible with the new HXR-NX5R and PXW-FS7 v4.0, with plans to introduce compatibility for other Sony camcorders.

Sony HXR-NX5R has adjustable LED light

The new MCX-500 is an all-in-one switcher system ideal for live events or corporate productions, and designed to work alongside the NX5R and the RM-30BP for multi-camera operation. The MCX-500 sends PGM/PVW tally signals to each HXR-NX5R. This feature allows operators to know which camera is selected for live, allowing content creators to handle projects that previously would have required more assistants or a larger team.

The HXR-NX5R – September 2016 camcorder will be available September 2016, while the remote commander RM-30BP will be available in October 2016, followed by the all-in-one switcher MCX-500 in January 2017.

CineXinsert: your digital scissors for NLEs

CineXinsert: your digital scissors for NLEs

CineXinsert, which I like to think of as digital scissors, is a modern tool that treats your file as if it was a tape from the old days of linear editing. It allows you to accurately replace content in a file, based on timecode in and out points – pretty much just like working on tape.

For those that come from tape days, using cineXinsert will be a bit like going back to those times, with the magic that all this is done digitally, in your Mac computer (yes, the program is Mac only), but through an interface that for some will be familiar: the player/recorder used to change video and audio on tape. Only here the base material you’ll work on is the flat file that otherwise had to be corrected and go through the entire export and QC process – throwing away hours, possibly days of additional time and resources.

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Instead of facing time-consuming and costly work to make even the simplest correction to a file, you can, says Cinedeck, “directly access and change flat, exported files, helping to save you hours, sleep, hair and $$$.” In a normal situation, without cineXinsert, continues Cinedeck, “you go through a time-consuming and tedious process to create a final deliverable file. In the best and most streamlined situations, you edit a program with your non-linear system, export the program to a flat file, QC the file, find and fix an issue and repeat the entire process. Larger facilities tend to have even more complicated workflows, which integrate additional steps like first laying off to tape to help isolate problems and reduce workload in the QC phase.”

With cineXinsert in your toolbox, if an error is discovered, instead of a massive multi-step dance to produce a new corrected deliverable file, you simply create a small file containing just the elements you need to replace. The process is simple: you open that file in the cineXinsert Player, load the show file in the cineXinsert recorder, set the edit points and place the new correct content over the old wrong content, and you are done. A multi-hour re-export and QC process was just reduced to a few minutes! Yes, that’s how magic the program is, according to Cinedeck.

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CineXinsert understands where content is located in the files – somewhat the same way a tape machine understands where frames reside on a tape, allowing you to accurately go in and replace that specific video or audio content.This eliminates massive backwards steps and cineXinsert can streamline the deliverable process by allowing you to create files with up to 32 audio tracks, bypassing the 16-track limitation of SDI.

CineXinsert can reduce a multi-hour or multi-day re-export and QC process to just a few minutes by editing new content directly into an exported ProRes, DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD, or JPEG 2000 file! It means that instead of re-exporting an entire program after making a change in your non-linear system, you export only the changed section – just the minimum of required content.

Imagine that once you’ve finished a job, QC finds that someone’s name is incorrect, and you need to correct it. With cineXinsert you need just the 7 seconds of the interview that contains the corrected lower 3rd title. Of course, rendering out 7 seconds from your NLE is much faster than rendering out the entire hour. Once you have created a small file containing the required new content, the insert process is easy, using an interface similar to a typical non-linear edit system:

  1. Open the source and target files into the cineXinsert player and recorder.
  2. Set edit points for a three point edit.
  3. Select the appropriate video and or audio source and destination channels.
  4. Trigger ‘insert’ to fill in the selected area with the new content.

What is particularly amazing, says Cinedeck, “is that because you are working entirely in a file-based domain, the insert happens at the speed of light – well, the speed of your processors, bus and drives which in any case is significantly faster than real-time.”

Cinedeck’s cineXinsert currently supports Apple ProRes, Avid DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD and JPEG 2000 files. The content can be contained in a MOV (quicktime), MXF OpAtom or MXF Op1a wrapper and the files to be edited can be from anywhere. Also, insert edit is resolution independent so cineXinsert can insert new content into your flat SD, HD, or 4K file.

The program can be used with any Mac computer. The only real requirement is that it needs to be running OS X 10.9 {AKA Mavericks} or newer. CineX programs also needs a license on an iLok Second Generation USB Smart Key device. This is the same device used by Avid and many other companies and the keys can hold many licenses. CineXinsert costs $1,495.00.

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Here is a list of features present in cineXinsert:

  • cineXinsert can directly change audio and/or video content in completed flat deliverable files.
  • cineXinsert will release you from massive frustration and save you enormous amounts of time.
  • cineXinsert simply changes some audio or video frames so the file after inserting is just as compatible as before.
  • cineXinsert does not create some sort of non-standard AS-11 package.
  • cineXinsert works with ProRes, Avid DNxHD, AVC-Intra, XDCAM-HD and JPEG 2000.
  • cineXinsert works with MOV (quicktime), MXF Op1a, or MXF OpAtom wrappers.
  • cineXinsert is resolution independent so you can insert edit to SD, HD, or 4K files.
  • cineXinsert can work with up to 32 channels of audio in your file.
  • cineXinsert can create blank files to insert into with up to 32 channels of audio.

CineXinsert: your digital scissors for NLEs

As for the future, Cinedeck promises more amazing things to come. CineXinsert’s, which is the first tool making up the cineX family of NLE companion tools, addresses a longstanding limitation in digital production and is designed to be used on files from many sources, including content created on a Cinedeck.

The program will be one of the stars of Cinedeck’s presence at IBC, in September. There will be live demonstrations of cineXinsert and the opportunity to see how this NLE companion is developing to become an essential tool for everybody. There is even a chance to suggest features that Cinedeck should add to this and their other cineXTools. If you can not go to Amsterdam, there is still a chance to see and even test the program, as the option to request a demo is present on Cinedeck’s website.

Edelkrone Wing: perfect slides, no rails

Edelkrone Wing: perfect slides, no rails

The Wing is the world’s most compact solution when it comes to moving a camera like a slider does. The tradition of edelkrone of creating small accessories and ingenious solutions is, again, present in this new product.

The Wing takes even further the idea presented by edelkrone with their SliderONE, although the implementation and the weight it can carry are different. Quite different, in fact, as the SliderONE accepts up to 20 lb (9.07kg) while the Wing can only take 3.3 lb (1.5kg).

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Still, if you’re using a light camera and lens, what we’ve here is a device that allows your camera to travel four times the length of the device itself. What this means is that you get a 16 inches or 40 cm slider out of a small, almost pocketable, accessory, the Wing.

Edelkrone Wing: perfect slides, no rails

The images presented suggest a smoothness of movement that only a real world test can confirm, but there is no doubt that the idea is interesting and exciting for those having to carry all their gear on their back. With a weight of 1.2lb (0,54kg) and dimensions of 147 x 45 x 86 mm, the Wing offers extreme portability for what it does, also considering that the SliderONE offers only 6 inches or 15cm of camera travel while the Wing goes all the way up to 16 inches or 40 cm, if you need it to.

Wing moves with the camera, says edelkrone, so it always stays clear of your frame. Not bigger than a smartphone, it really deserves to be considered a benchmark in portable camera sliders. Now, if only edelkrone would send one my way to test I can try to fit it into my backpack to, as edelkrone says, take it to places no slider has ever been before. Then we can discover how smooth that sliding movement is!

The price, says edelkrone, is EUR 219.99 for Europe, excluding VAT. The wing will be available in September.

Ben-Hur Uses Blackmagic Micro Cinema Cameras For Opening Sequence

For the opening sequence of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount Pictures’ epic “Ben-Hur” 2nd unit DP Sergei Kozlov turned to Blackmagic Micro Cinema Cameras for his camera of choice. Again, and again the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera is being used as the crash camera, pov camera, and action camera of du jour. The small size and beefy dynamic range (13 stops) gives filmmakers like Kozlov a new tool to create the exciting. Yes, your little Micro Cinema Camera is being used in Hollywood. They may not be shooting an entire movie with the Micro Cinema Camera, but it is still pretty cool to me to see a $995.00 camera anyone can afford to make it on a big action-adventure film like “Ben-Hur.” Oh, and they used off-the-shelf MFT lenses for at least some of their lens choices.

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Ben-Hur Behind The ScenesAfter the opening shot, the movie’s first scene is of two riders: Judah and Messala, who are racing their horses’ full tilt around dangerous curves and pushing each other into the trees and rocks. The scene showcases the friendship between the two young men and sets the stage for what is to come down the line. Luckily, the actors playing Judah and Messala were accomplished riders so director Timur Bekmambetov used them, instead of stunt riders, for quite a lot of the opening scene. From Kozlov, Bekmambetov wanted to shoot as close as possible to the actors’ faces to capture the emotion and intensity as it played out naturally.

From my perspective, accomplished riders on horseback, Blackmagic Micro Cinema Cameras, and Freefly systems’ Movi gimbals in the hand of stunt riders seems to be the recipe to create an action-packed open for “Ben-Hur” if not a field day for a director of photography. “They (the cameras) needed to be small enough for the stunt person riding on a horse next to the actors to hold in his hands,” said Kozlov. “So we could mount it on a small stabilizing stick and Movi rig. The stunt person could then get great shots of the actors’ faces as they are riding.”

Ben-Hur behind the scenes

For these Movi shots, a stunt rider wore an Easyrig supporting a Movi with a Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera attached while Kozlov operated the camera from the ground holding a Mimic Control System with a monitor in his hands. If you have used Freefly System’s Mimic then you understand it can be incredibly freeing for an operator especially if getting a camera into the right position is difficult or dangerous.

Ben-HurYet, this was not the only way Kozlov pressed the Micro Cinema Camera into service. “For an even wilder style, we put a wider angle Rokinon 7.5mm MFT lens on the Micro Cinema Camera and gave it to the stunt rider, and he shot some useful footage with his outstretched arm, just holding the camera by itself and pointing it at the actors’ faces. The Micro Cinema Camera is very light and compact, which is perfect for rigging and mounting in some unpredictable places,” said Kozlov. Which is exactly what he and his team did. They rigged the Micro Cinema Camera onto straps dangling underneath the horse as well as on the sides of the saddle.

I would have loved to have been there to see this scene captured. It all sounds like 2nd Unit DP Kozlov and Director Timur Bekmambetov might have had a wonderful time on set during the making of the opening scene to “Ben-Hur.” I mean what cameraman/woman would not have fun shooting horses with a Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera on a Movi held by stunt riders? Well, maybe some DOPs out there would not enjoy this, but not this one.


Sony updates the ?7R II, Brooks Institute closes

Sony updates the ?7R II, Brooks Institute closes

A new Tamron macro lens for Sony’s A mount introduced along with a TAP-in console and a firmware update for Sony ?7R II to reduce heat and extend features, are some of the news from last week we picked for you.

Tamron 90mm Macro for Sony A mount

Sony updates the ?7R II, Brooks Institute closesTamron announced the launch of the of the SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 USD for Sony A mount, along with the TAP-in console, a lens accessory that enables, for the first time, firmware updating and customized setups for selected Tamron lenses, for Sony cameras (Sony A mount model). The name of the Sony mount model is “SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 USD” without the VC designation because the Sony mount model does not include VC (Vibration Compensation), as the models for Canon and Nikon, since the bodies of Sony cameras include built-in image stabilization functionality. It’s interesting to see Tamron launch lenses for a mount, the original A mount from Minolta, that many predict Sony will not continue to use.

The last frame for Brooks Institute

Sony updates the ?7R II, Brooks Institute closesFounded 70 years ago, Brooks Institute, a name many associate with photography, will close its doors on October 31, 2016. “Although we had hoped that we could reinvigorate Brooks Institute, recent changes in economic and regulatory conditions have had a significant, prolonged negative impact on the institution,” said Kristen Howard, Brooks Institute, Transition Officer. “Our tireless attempts to mitigate this impact through contraction, strategic planning and innovation were sadly unsuccessful.” Based in Ventura, California, Brooks offers bachelor’s degrees in fields including professional photography, graphic design, film and visual journalism. In addition, the institute offers a master of science in scientific and technological imaging and a master of fine arts in photography.

Datacolor releases Spyder5CAPTURE PRO

Sony updates the ?7R II, Brooks Institute closesWith the release of Spyder5CAPTURE PRO, Datacolor introduces the next generation of its popular color calibration solutions for photographers, designers and imaging professionals. Spyder5CAPTURE PRO features all the essential products needed to manage color from image capture to post production, including SpyderLENSCAL, SpyderCHECKR, SpyderCUBE, and Spyder5ELITE. For a limited time, Datacolor and participating photography resellers are offering Spyder5CAPTURE PRO at an introductory price of $269.99 if purchased by 9/30/2016. After 9/30/2016, Spyder5CAPTURE PRO will retail for $369.99.

Firmware updates Sony ?7R II

Sony updates the ?7R II, Brooks Institute closesSony updated the firmware for its Sony ?7R II full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. The main reason is, apparently, the introduction of Sony’s Radio Controlled Lighting System, which needs the cameras to talk to the system. The update of the system software to version 3.30 introduces also improved stability in picture shooting mode (optimizing temperature control, effect is different according to temperature) and adds support to output video via HDMI (still mode) when using the Remote Camera Control software.

Pokemon Go and Interactive Dynamic Video

Pokemon Go and Interactive Dynamic Video

You may not be interested in Pokemon Go, but I am sure you’ll want to see the video created by Abe Davis showing how much better that game could be, if it used Interactive Dynamic Video. But there is more to see in the video, and it is related to sound and vision and new ways to create special effects.

Interactive Dynamic Video is, according to Abe Davis, a process allowing us to turn videos into interactive animations that users can explore with virtual forces that they control. It may not, at this stage, sound as something very interesting for many filmmakers, but believe me, it touches so many things related to sound & vision that you may, as I did, browse through the different videos and read some of the papers published by Abe Davis and his friends on this exciting adventure.

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Although Abe Davis has explored multiple areas, as the research page on his website shows, the line conducing us to the Interactive Dynamic Video started, apparently, with The Visual Microphone: Passive Recovery of Sound from Video, a project presented at Siggraph 2014, resulting from a collaboration of Abe Davis with Michael Rubinstein, Neal Wadhwa, Gautham J. Mysore, Fredo Durand, and William T. Freeman. That project explores the potential to use video not just to see, but to listen to the world.

Sound and vision are two elements constantly present in the projects Abe Davis is involved with. He will graduate from MIT in September and move to Stanford University for his post-doctorate. A computer science PhD student at MIT working in computer graphics, computational photography, and computer vision, Davis has done “a spattering of research on different topics. I’m probably best known for my work analyzing small vibrations in video”.

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In May 2015 Abe Davis was the guest at a TED Conference, to talk about “New video technology that reveals an object’s hidden properties”. Subtle motion happens around us all the time, including tiny vibrations caused by sound. New technology shows that we can pick up on these vibrations and actually re-create sound and conversations just from a video of a seemingly still object. But now Abe Davis takes it one step further: watch him demo software that lets anyone interact with these hidden properties, just from a simple video. And yes, I do suggest you take the 18 minutes to watch the video.

The TED Conference was just the start, because the team has taken the exploration further and this August 2016 two new videos are available: the Pokemon GO and Interactive Dynamic Video and the earlier Interactive Dynamic Video. Even if you do not care about Pokemon Go, do watch the video, for the technology it reveals. But do not miss the other video, Interactive Dynamic Video, which sums the updated results of the investigation the team is working on.

Even if a regular use of the technologies presented may be distant in the future, the idea is interesting. The abstract for the research document indicates that “we present algorithms for extracting an image-space representation of object structure from video and using it to synthesize physically plausible animations of objects responding to new, previously unseen forces. Our representation of structure is derived from an image-space analysis of modal object deformation: projections of an object’s resonant modes are recovered from the temporal spectra of optical flow in a video, and used as a basis for the image-space simulation of object dynamics. We describe how to extract this basis from video, and show that it can be used to create physically plausible animations of objects without any knowledge of scene geometry or material properties.”

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One of the real world applications, and something you may be familiar with, relates to special effects. According to Abe Davis, “in film special effects, where objects often need to respond to virtual forces, it is common to avoid modeling the dynamics of real objects by compositing human performances into virtual environments. Performers act in front of a green screen, and their performance is later composited with computer-generated objects that are easy to simulate. This approach can produce compelling results, but requires considerable effort: virtual objects must be modeled, their lighting and appearance made consistent with any real footage being used, and their dynamics synchronized with a live performance. Our work addresses many of these challenges by making it possible to apply virtual forces directly to objects as they appear in video.”

The document related to this research has the title Image-Space Modal Bases for Plausible Manipulation of Objects in Video and you can read it and download it following the link. If you’re looking for other ways to create a variety of visual effects through the use of what the team considers to be a low-cost process, this can be the start of a new adventure. As Abe Davis writes on the website he created to show the technology, this work is part of his PhD dissertation at MIT. It is academic research – there is no commercial product at this time, though the technology is patented through MIT. You may contact Abe Davis, Justin G. Chen, or Neal Wadhwa (or all 3 in one email) about licensing through MIT.

Samyang AF 14/2.8 for Sony E mount

Samyang AF 14/2.8 for Sony E mount

The new Samyang AF 14/2.8 FE for Sony E mount mirrorless cameras with full frame sensor size is the widest angle available in the market in its class, broadening the sight of photographers to capture the world.

Samyang continues their Summer Blockbuster Series with this new lens, which follows the recent availability announcement of Samyang AF 50/1.4 FE. This new product will be one of the first autofocus lenses in over 40 years of Samyang’s class-leading core optics technologies.

The company says, in the information provided, that it “has captured the essence of world leading image technology with their manual focus lenses and reinterpreted it into autofocus lenses. Photographers now can enjoy the prime manual lens image quality and autofocus lens. Samyang AF 14/2.8 FE is compatible with both phase detect and contrast detect sensors to operate fast and accurate focus detection.”

The 14mm F2.8 is built based Samyang’s optical technology. Ultra Multi Coating and three aspherical lenses have been included among 14 elements in 10 groups to minimise aberration and unnecessary light dispersion, delivering high resolution from the centre to the corners of the image.

This new lens expands the family of Samyang Optics photo lens line-up from manual focus only, to now include autofocus lenses. With the addition of 14mm to 50mm, Samyang now has two autofocus lenses along with 39 manual focus photo & cine lenses and 6 professional cine lenses, XEEN. The lens will be globally available from September, and the suggested retail price is EUR 699. Under the name Rokinon the lens – as many other Samyang references – is also available in the United States, with a price of $849.

A camera profile for the Zenmuse X5

 A camera profile for the Zenmuse X5

As the other camera profiles from FilmConvert, the profile for the Zenmuse X5 is designed to allow users to create beautiful, cinema-quality images with a few simple clicks. These Camera Packs need the latest version of FilmConvert for full compatibility.

The profile for the Zenmuse X5 is the third camera profile from FilmConvert for products from DJI. Previously the company launched versions for the DJI Inspire 1 and DJI Osmo. The camera in the Osmo is the X3, which supports 4K video acquisition. Because the camera is the same as the one present in the DJI Phantom 4, it is possible to use the same profile there, meaning FilmConvert has now created camera profiles for some of the most popular aerial cameras. FilmConvert say that they only create profiles for cameras when there is reasonable demand, so creating one for the X5 suggests that there were enough requests for such a profile, and for cameras used with drones.

Drones have revolutionized the shooting world in the past couple of years, and the Zenmuse X5 is the next evolution – the first Micro Four Thirds camera sensor built specifically for aerial photography and cinematography. FilmConvert created a profile able to take the most out of the Zenmuse X5, a camera that shoots 4K at up to 30fps, or 1080p at up to 60fps, all with 12.8 stops of dynamic range.

Download the camera profile for the DJI Zenmuse X5 from FilmConvert’s website.

Wipster Review Panel for After Effects

Wipster Review Panel for Adobe After Effects

The Wipster Review Panel, which was released for Adobe Premiere Pro earlier this year, is now available for After Effects, allowing animators, editors, and VFX artists to share their work with clients and team members for review, without ever leaving After Effects.

What if After Effects was more than just your go-to compositing, motion graphics and animation tool? What if it could be a complete post-production workflow solution that would make your working life infinitely simpler, faster, and more enjoyable? If you’ve ever asked these questions before, then you’ve got an answer now: with the Wipster Review Panel, now available in Adobe After Effects, it is.

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Wipster CEO Rollo Wenlock said ProVideo Coalition that the Review Panel will make the more than a million After Effects users around the world more efficient than ever before: ‘It began as a review-and-approval platform, but the Panel is in fact a complete post-production workflow tool, allowing animators and compositors to not only share files, but also reply to comments, check tasks off the to-do list, and deliver final assets, all within After Effects.’

With the Review Panel available, the time of using emails or Dropbox to share ideas and files is gone. Now, Wipster does the encoding, uploading, sharing and collating of feedback, and reviewers’ comments appear as frame-accurate markers on the After Effects timeline.

Wipster Review Panel for Adobe After Effects

Rollo Wenlock told ProVideo Coalition: “I’ve been an After Effects artist for 15 years, and it feels like a weird/awesome dream to use it. I think it’s going to make VFX/animation way more fun. Wenlock adds that “we have a walkthrough video showing how the addon works.”

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To celebrate the launch, continues Rollo Wenlock, ” we’ve become a patron of the arts and funding an artist on their creative journey. Ned Wenlock, of Apache fame, is working on a new film (his current film ‘Spring Jam’ just launched at Annecy), and he’s done a ‘River Study’ to work on his new style.”

Wipster is used by video professionals in more than 140 countries. Wipster’s monthly pricing plans start at $15, which allows account holders to share their videos with unlimited reviewers, create unlimited versions of each video, and create and store unlimited video each month.