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Canon USA posts C100 mkII product overview videos with Jem Schofield

By site editor Dan Chung:

Canon USA and our good friend Jem Schofield have made some detailed overview videos of the new C100 mkII. In the first video Jem shows the external improvements. In particular he demonstrates how the new OLED display works and also the improved EVF borrowed from the C300 and 500. There have been a number of smaller changes that also improve usability over the original C100. Other accessories that Jem shows with the C100mkII are the new Canon GPS adapter and also the Atomos Star external recorder.

In the second video he talks about the internal features such as Dual Pixel CMOS AF and the face detect function. While the other differences to the original camera are minor it is still good to have Jem walk us through the options.

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Posted on December 18th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: Canon C100 mkII | Permalink | Comments (1)

Varavon’s Wirecam gets ready for launch

By site editor Dan Chung:

The Varavon Wirecam

The Varavon Wirecam

We took a look at Varavon’s wirecam system at IBC in Amsterdam earlier this year. The fully featured cable cam system will finally be released around the 19th of this month. It combines the remote controlled Wirecam sled with the company’s Birdycam brushless gimbal to create fully stabilised aerial moves – gimbals from other companies can also be used. The Birdycam also serves as a remote head which can pan and tilt as the camera travels down the wire.

To show off what the system can do Varavon have released a short video. Interestingly it also shows the DJI Ronin being used instead of the Birdycam in some shots.

HOW TO USE WIRE CAM (VARAVON) from GFILM on Vimeo.

The MSRP is expected to be $8900USD. For more info and to order keep an eye on the Varavon website later this month.

Posted on December 18th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: Brushless gimbals, Camera stabilsation systems, Camera support systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vimeo finally offers 4K uploads and downloads for Pro members

By technical editor Matt Allard:

Vimeo has finally rolled out the ability to upload and download 4K content – but only for its Pro members and people selling content though on demand. A Pro membership will set you back $200 a year. This still doesn’t provide a way for Vimeo users to stream content in 4K, which is extremely data intensive, but rather simply upload or download that content in 4K. It is an interesting move as You Tube has offered users the ability to publish their material in 4K for free for quite some time. We still very much live in a HD world but it would of been nice to see Vimeo at least offer this service to paying Plus members, and not only those willing to pay the top tier $200 a year for the privilege.

You will need a Vimeo Pro account to download or upload 4K.

You will need a Vimeo Pro account to download or upload 4K.

Jessica Casano-Antonellis, Director of Communications for Vimeo said “2015 is expected to be a breakout year for 4K content, and we want to support creators who are using Vimeo as a workflow platform to showcase and share their work in the most high-quality way”. Vimeo are yet to offer 4K streaming but surely this is only a matter of time. In 2014 we have already seen Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime offering access to 4K material.

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Posted on December 17th, 2014 by Matthew Allard | Category: 4K | Permalink | Comments (0)

Atomos Shogun 4K recorder finally ships – playback function to be enabled later with firmware update

By site editor Dan Chung:

Atomos Shogun Introduction from Atomos Video on Vimeo.

I spoke to Atomos earlier today and they confirmed to me that the highly anticipated Shogun 4K external recorder is now shipping. They also told me that they haven’t yet enabled playback in the device and that this function will be added in a later firmware updated expected some time around Christmas or shortly after. To coincide with the launch Atomos CEO Jeromy Young has made a video that fully explains all the features of the Shogun.

atomos shogun

As we previously reported on this site the Shogun’s release was delayed because the company said the “firmware is taking longer than expected to finalize taking into account our high standards of reliability”. They now say that 4K recording is fully stable and they have conducted all the relevant tests to make sure it meets those standards. The recorder hardware was ready a while ago and the stocks have been waiting in Atomos warehouses across the globe waiting for final firmware installation. This means that shipments will be almost immediate from now. This will be welcome news to users – many of whom have already payed deposits or in full for pre-orders.

Not having playback enabled at launch is unfortunate, but I think users who have already paid for the product would rather have it now than wait even longer. Lets hope the full potential of the recorder is unleashed as soon as possible.

Posted on December 17th, 2014 by Dan Chung | Category: 4K, External recorders | Permalink | Comments (0)

What are professional colourists grading in 2014? – An international survey shows footage from ARRI ALEXA is number one camera

By technical editor Matt Allard:

The annual ICA (International Colorist Academy) survey has been published and it gives a detailed view of trends in the world of professional colour grading. More than 400 colourists from 60 different countries took part in the survey.

World renowned colorist and Davinci Resolve trainer Warren Eagles has posted a video giving his thoughts about the results of the survey. I’ve put a brief synopsis of questions and responses below Warren’s video.

Q. What camera/cameras were used on the job you were grading?

Conclusions: The Arri Alexa was number 1, followed by the Red Epic which was last year’s poll topper. Other cameras that made up good percentages were Canon DSLR’s, the Canon C300 and the GoPro Hero.

What Film or TV genre are you grading?

Conclusions: There has been shifts in the types of project that are being graded. While TV commercials came in at number 1, documentaries and online web productions overtook corporates.

What grading system are you using?

Conclusions: Unsurprisingly the majority of colourists used the full version on Davinci Resolve came in at number one, with Davinci Resolve light at number two. Then there was a huge gap between these two and the next system which was Baselight.

What Codec are you rendering to?

Conclusions: ProRes 422HQ was number one with ProRes 4444 coming in a close second, the followed by DPX.

What frame size are you outputting to?

Conclusions: Despite the push to 4K, HD still completely dominated. 4K came in at only 14%.

What editing system was used to cut the show you are grading?

Conclusions: Adobe Premiere just edged out Final Cut Pro 7, with Avid not far behind in third. It is quite interesting to see Final Cut 7 still being so widely used. Final Cut X lagged behind but moved up to 17%. It was 3% last year.

What type of files are you grading?

Conclusions: RAW files were number one. Files recorded in a form of Log were number two, and original camera codecs and camera originals transcoded to ProRes, DNxHD or DPX were tied for third.

It is interesting to see the results from this survey. With new cameras being added all the time the type of material being graded is shifting. Despite this the edit systems, codecs in use and the colour grading suites seem to be remaining unchanged.

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Posted on December 17th, 2014 by Matthew Allard | Category: Grading, Video editing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Channel 7 cameraman Greg Parker captures the Sydney Seige and helps police

By technical editor Matt Allard:

Over the last day or so many you will have seen the extraordinary images of the siege at a Sydney cafe which ended in the deaths of three people including the attacker. As the story was making headlines around the globe Channel 7 cameraman Greg Parker was behind the camera that gave the world a close up view the Sydney siege.

Greg was inside the Channel 7 studios that are located adjacent to the Lindt cafe when the attack occurred. For more than 16 hours Greg manned multiple cameras recording events. But that wasn’t all. When police marksmen moved in to surround the cafe they realised that Greg’s cameras were perfectly situated to keep eyes on what was going on. Instead of being asked to vacate the position overlooking the cafe the officers requested that Greg stay and assist them. His long lens helped to provide crucial intelligence for the operation – at points he was even asked to point the camera in certain directions by the police command.

This turn of events was pretty unique. In most situations like this law enforcement tries to remove news cameras and prevent filming. I have never heard of media being asked for direct help in this way. Should media help police in this way? are we taking sides? Anybody that has covered news for a long time would of been faced with this dilemma.

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I have known Greg for a long time and we used to work for rival networks in Australia. On many occasions we would be covering the same story either locally or overseas. Greg is a consummate professional and his years of experience will have helped him remain calm and perform his job in extreme circumstances. Greg managed to retain a the balance between covering the news and helping resolve the crisis.

It must have been a tough judgement call and Greg and Channel 7 did what they thought was right. As a news cameraman I believe it is important to not only cover an event but to also make sure you do your best to help out if needed. It’s not always about getting the pictures. Sometimes your direct help can help save lives.

On behalf of News cameramen and women everywhere I would like to praise Greg for the professionalism and humanity he showed under very tough circumstances.

Posted on December 16th, 2014 by Matthew Allard | Category: Journalism | Permalink | Comments (1)

Video review: Nexto’s NSB-25 Storage Bridge – a high end backup solution for road warriors

By technical editor Matt Allard:

The NSB-25 Storage Bridge is the latest backup solution from Korean maker Nexto. The company has been supplying professional portable backup solutions for some years now and several major television networks use their NVS range of devices.

The new NSB-25 memory card backup system can copy pretty much any common media on the market – SxS, XQD, REDMAG, AJA PACK, CFast, 2.5″ SSD, 2.5″ HDD, AXSM, Express P2, SD or CF cards. The NSB-25 has a nice 5-inch 800×400 touchscreen on which you can monitor backups and also playback HD and 2K material in a variety of formats. Although it can’t handle 4K playback it can still preview some 4K clips at reduced framerates.

The Storage Bridge accepts two internal HDD or SSD drives and a third drive can be added via USB 3.0 – this allows you to make up to 3 copies simultaneously. With one simple operation you can instantly be sure that you have multiple backups which can be archived or passed off to clients. As well as copying the data you can also choose to have it verified at the same time.

When you playback the footage it can also be fed via a HDMI port to a larger monitor for better previewing. Inside the NSB-25 is a 10000mA rechargeable Li-Poly battery which should give around three hours of operation. A mains adapter is also included.

The NSB-25 is a professional device and comes with the matching price tag. If you need failsafe backups in the field and don’t always want to carry a laptop then the NSB-25 is probably the smartest solution out there right now.

Pricing is set at:

NSB-25 (No memory module, no USB3.0 drive module) Main Device
- $2,200 / €1,650

NSB-25 with Sampler pack – includes two memory modules (except AXSM) that are user selectable plus two USB3.0 drive modules (not including internal disks) – $2,400 / €1,800

You can read more about the NSB-25 and other Nexto backup devices on their website.

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Posted on December 16th, 2014 by Matthew Allard | Category: Nexto | Permalink | Comments (0)

Emmanuel Pampuri posts ungraded 4K Varicam 35 test footage

Guest post by Emmanuel Pampuri:

Varicam S35 4K – 5000 ISO – ungraded footage from Emmanuel Pampuri on Vimeo.

I was a fan of the original Varicams a decade or so ago. Even with their 2/3 inch sensors they made great looking images. Recently I counted myself lucky to have the opportunity to spend few hours with the brand 4K Varicam S35 camera.

This camera has the unique feature of having two native ISOs. One optimised for shooting in brighter conditions, the other for low light. I was impatient to try the picture quality at the higher native setting of ISO 5000 which I had heard so much about. Check out this video to see how it works.

Turns out it is surprisingly good. There is of course some noise, but it looks like film grain and kinda sexy.

The new Varicam is a well balanced camera

The new Varicam is a well balanced camera

I was also very impressed by the electronic viewfinder quality, it’s the best I’ve ever seen. The camera is very well balanced. The shoulder mounting system is very good and you can adjust it to balance out whatever lens you choose. The pad slides a long way back and forth and there a standard 15mm rod mounting system for follow focus and matte box etc.

The main screen is detachable and you can put it wherever you want. This is a very good idea. If you are working alone you can leave it on the camera, but if you are working with a focus puller they can place it where they want. The other good idea is you can use the LCD to manage the settings of the camera as well as a monitor. Our assistant Myriam liked the screen ergonomics a lot.

I shot the test using 4:2:2 10 bits AVC Intra Codec recorded internally. The 4:4:4 12 bit option has not yet been enabled in the firmware, but even with this limitation picture quality is very good.

Trying out the Varicam

Trying out the Varicam

We shot during the evening. For the shots at the night market my DP Thomas Jacquet was forced to put a ND filter in to shoot at 5000 ISO – that’s just crazy but it works. The dual native ISO of the Varicam means that you are better using 5000 ISO rather than a lower setting like 3200 ISO. That’s because the gain is effectively reset to zero when you set 5000 ISO.

For now I am posting ungraded footage. I will be posting graded footage later with some feedback from my talented colorist. But I think we can already say the skin tones are beautiful and the dynamic is very good, even in 10 bits.

varicam

The firmware still isn’t totally finished and Panasonic will improve a lot of things very soon. The menus are still a little bit slow and some of the indicators on the LCD screen are a bit too small. Panasonic tell me that the first firmware upgrade will fix these.

Panasonic is coming very late in to the high end Digital Cinema camera race, but taking their time has mean’t they have a strong alternative to compete with the likes of the Red EPIC Dragon, Arri ALEXA, AMIRA and Sony F55. I’m looking forward to doing more tests with 4:4:4 12 bit codec soon – then we’ll see how good this camera can really get.

You can watch the footage in 4K on YouTube here.
To download a full 4K 422HQ ProRes File click here.

DP : Thomas Jacquet
Focus Puller / Assistant : Myriam Robin

Many thanks to Panasonic Broadcast France and Loca Images.

You can read Emmanuel’s thoughts on the 4K Varicam 35 in French here.

Posted on December 15th, 2014 by admin | Category: 4K, Panasonic Varicam | Permalink | Comments (0)

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