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Australian Image (Ray)

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Australian Image (Ray) last won the day on September 17

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  1. It's a bit like the difference between say RGB and Adobe RGB (kind of) or JPG vs RAW, as there's more information available. It really depends on whether it's necessary for your work. My preference, whether it comes to video or photography, is to record at the highest possible/practical rates to allow for the best post-processing (you never really know when you're going to need it). It requires more storage space, but that to me is a worthwhile tradeoff. Once information is lost, you never get it back. A graphic example: https://i.rtings.com/images/chroma-subsampling/subsampling.png
  2. What are people's general views on gimbals? I have a love/hate relationship with gimbals (I own two relatively lightweight ones) and, in the few years that I've owned them, I simply cannot get to like them. I've tried a cheap Glidecam clone and just hated it, as balancing it was always like trying to get a drunken wife into a car (been there, done that). The gimbals work fine, but they simply can't hold my run & gun rig that weighs 4.3 kg. There are of course gimbals that can hold that weight and newer ones that can do that without having to break down the rig for full movement, but you then end up with a huge weight to carry around (and I'm able to carry some fairly hefty weight). For the sort of work that I was doing before COVID, I was using an Easyrig clone to support a very heavy rig, but I subsequently reduced the weight to a nice 4.3kg and did away with the support (wandering around some places looking like a Ghost Buster started to wear thin). But there are times when I want to move about with the rig and get reasonably stable footage, which kind of points to a gimbal of some sort. Recently I did some testing with a counterweight system, by attaching my monopod to my rig, with the monopod extending horizontally from the rear of the camera (aligned with the lens). The results from the monopod experiment were actually quite surprising, giving an almost gimbal like movement with a bit of stabiliser added in post. Noting that I can't Ninja walk (more like Bobba Fett sitting on my shoulders) the results looked little different to shots using another camera on one of the gimbals. This could be an option with some practice. Gimbals are all the rage at the moment, but are they really an ideal option for documentary style work, which is my main aim? Has anyone come up with a portable solution that doesn't involve a gimbal?
  3. That's true if the project has been commissioned, but if it's a personal project, then I'd be inclined to use a format that suits the narrative. If the project has lots of grand vista, you may not want that to be compressed into a 16:9 ratio. That's why I noted the 2:1 ratio, as it supports grand vistas, but can be made into a 16:9 without losing too much of the grand vista.
  4. I don't wish to be a damp squib, but in this day and age, anything is possible no matter how many believe it not to be so. This latest announcement (regardless of the reasons) is just one example of how something totally unexpected can happen. Olympus sold its camera division despite all the confidence in the world shown by users (and they far exceed Z-cam users). However, if a company is not able to get vital camera components, then that's a real issue in anyone's books. I'm sure that Z-cam has stocks in relevant components and is most likely looking for alternative suppliers, but we won't see anything for a while no matter what happens. The hints will be if some models start being discontinued etc.
  5. I wouldn't have thought that styrofoam would be substantive enough to provide proper support? I just Googled camera bean bags and they seem to be everywhere and, interestingly, many don't use styrofoam for environmental reasons (I just hate styrofoam in packaging as it's a right royal pain to dispose of neatly). That Cinesaddle reminds me of swags. Some love swags because they are akin to an all-in-one tent (albeit more like a body bag) with a foam mattress, sleeping bag and cover in one unit. Swags are 'relatively' lightweight, but they take up so much room that you need a roof rack to carry one, and you can never stand up or sit in one.
  6. I thought I'd give an update on my Sokani X60 v2 LED, it finally arrived (or the second one did). My first order disappeared in the mail and, after the requisite time period, Amazon refunded me the purchase price and then I ordered another. This also looked like it was going to go missing in action, as tracking indicated that it had arrived in my state from interstate the day after ordering to the postal sorting centre that was two hours drive away from where I live. After no change in the tracking for several days, I contacted Amazon help desk and outlined the issue. I was also awaiting a slider motor ordered from the US that had arrived in Australia and I was getting daily messages that it would be delivered 'today', but nothing appeared. So after explaining my concerns, Amazon got on the case and surprisingly, the motor arrived a few days later, then the LED light. I haven't been able to do much testing of the Sokani, but it's really a very tidy little light with a pretty impressive output for the very small physical size (80W). After unpacking, the first thing I did was measure the output using an app I have for my phone and it registered a Lux reading of 17,500 average at 1 metre (from 252 sample readings). There were variations due to the phone not being locked in place, but it's certainly close enough to the advertised rating (16,000), even if the app isn't fully accurate. And the fan is pretty much inaudible. Now as all the YouTube unboxings show, it comes in a case with various bits and pieces. Mine even came with a pack of Pergear coloured socks (red, green, blue, yellow and white) that stretch over the reflector. Now I doubt that these 'socks' are anything more than decorative, but the white sock provides a surprisingly soft and broader spread than without. The Lux reading at 1 metre drops to 4,200, which gives some indication of the spread. The coloured socks could be useful for decorative effects. The light itself is mono-colour, not bi-colour, which is fine by me at this time. The effects aren't anything to write home about and it's doubtful that I'll ever use them. One minor issue is that the power brick has a very short cord while the mains cord is very long. With my light stand set at its lowest height, the power brick just reaches the floor. I would have preferred things the other way around or if the power brick had a V-lock dovetail attached. I've ordered a D-tap to 5.5mm x 2.5mm power cable (not 5.5mm x 2.1mm as noted on one site) and a V-lock plate that attaches to a light stand, so that I can make use of my V-lock battery as well. I've also ordered a V-lock dovetail so that I can attach it to the power brick and use it with the V-lock mounting plate so that it doesn't just dangle from the light. I don't think many lighting manufacturers really consider their cable systems all that thoroughly, as it seems that this is a common problem. The remote that comes with the light isn't anything fancy, but it works like it should. The case is also pretty good, but could have been just a tad longer, as it's a tight fit when the reflector is attached to the light. I couldn't get the light back in with the reflector separated, no matter what I tried, so I've left it on when packing it away. All I can say is that this is a great value for money light. Given what it costs and, as I noted at the beginning, you can buy a truck load of these for the price of one high-end light. Would you use these on a major production? Unlikely. But for anyone starting out or a cash strapped Indi film maker, lights like these are well worth considering. Even on a larger film set, if there's a likelihood that lighting is going to get damaged, then consider these as the crash cams of the lighting world.
  7. I do hope that they take at least the shutter angle issue seriously, as that would solve possibly the biggest issue. That said, I'm very impressed by how much I can play with the files using Resolve and the results I can get, especially given that I have a fairly mediocre phone.
  8. This is the part that eludes me. Yes, the bag itself is very light weight, but where do you store or get the filling? It's the filling that weighs and how do you know that you can get anything at all, even rocks, to fill the bag when out and about?
  9. I've watched some videos on YouTube that I would classify as documentaries (can't give you links) and they have been in wide format. I believe that 'rules' are only there to offer guidance if unsure of things, they don't represent a must follow. Just look at some of the great directors that don't follow any rules (other than their own) when it comes to their films.
  10. Shouldn't the story drive, or influence, the format? Mind you, a 2:1 ratio accommodates most presentation formats.
  11. I've been in contact with Filmic Pro, after they contacted me regarding my concerns/complaints, and they have come back to me saying that they will look into the suggestions that I provided and try and implement what they can. I've also been able to test the app in more detail and it really does provide much better results that I expected. With the Log v2 profile and editing in DaVinci Resolve, the results are quite unexpected, unexpected in a good way.
  12. I wonder whether that's a good strategy. When you consider that just about every product made (take cameras as an example), they all have their low cost options that initially attract buyers who can't afford the top tier stuff. But when they buyers can afford the top tier stuff, they stay with the the product because they have become accustomed to it and find it good.
  13. Now I know that this may be a bit out of the square, but given that there is an increasing number of film makers using mobile phones to make films and whatever, I thought this would still be a subject that's on topic for this forum. Last week I got a new phone (Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s), nothing special, but much better than my previous Nokia 5.1 as I'm not one to spend $1000+ on a mobile phone, so I always opt for something way less costly. That said, this phone provides much better photo and video capabilities (amongst other things) than the Nokia (or any previous phone for that matter) and I wanted to exploit those capabilities as much as possible. To that end, after coming across numerous articles and YouTube video on Filmic Pro, I decided to get it (after running the test app to see if it would be fully compatible) so that I had better control of the phone's video recording capabilities. Now after using Filmic Pro for a few days, I've discovered that Filmic Pro, which is touted as the definitive app for film makers, should be called Filmic Amateur. Why? Well because it's control features are aligned to DSLR/Mirrorless camera users and don't really offer the 'pro' capabilities that are so often implied by reviewers. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you can't set it so that whatever frame rate you're using, the shutter angle is at 180 degrees by default. In fact there is no shutter angle control at all, just shutter speed. What's worse is that shutter speed and ISO are pretty much tied in so that unless you change and lock the settings every time, you'll get less than desirable settings. Then when you exit the manual control screen, the exposure and focus is locked, which may not be what the scene requires. When you unlock the exposure and focus, the previous settings revert. What this means is you have to either be in fully manual or fully auto mode for everything. For example, you can't make use of auto focus and manual exposure. I've never come across any camera that functions in this way. Other minor issues are the way the manual controls work and display. The sliding curved controls are not all that good, where linear control would have been much better, as then the screen isn't obscured when changing a setting. Also, the readout on the controls is very small and difficult to read unless you're pointing the camera at a dark scene. I haven't come across a single review that points out all these issues. All I've seen are extremely positive reviews that leave out what I consider to be some important deficiencies. I'm still to determine whether the added functions (separate purchase), such as log, work as advertised, as we've been having some wet weather and haven't been able to really get out. I want to compare Filmic Pro to the built-in video app in the phone to see if there is a major difference in quality.
  14. While rumours are just that, Panasonic does have a history of just leaving a camera system when it doesn't perform as well as expected and so this isn't in the realms of impossibility:
  15. This is just a navel gazing exercise where I've had this impression that anamorphic lenses are something special and desirable but, recently, had a metaphorical veil lifted. From many forums etc I've had this impression that anamorphic lenses are the de rigueur when it comes to film making, notably feature films; however, from watching this video from this incredibly informative chap, I now realise that there are major film makers who actually prefer spherical lenses for their work. I understand how anamorphic and spherical lenses work, and that you can achieve a 'similar' wide screen look from both, but there are naturally some significant differences in the final results. To be honest, when I see some anamorphic lens use, such a JJ Abrams and his Star Trek stuff, I cringe because I really hate the constant lens flare (as well as his descent into darkness style). In fact, when I now watch any movie, this lens flare becomes almost a distraction, like some presenter with a twitch or affectation that takes your attention away from what they are saying. So I just find it interesting that so many who don't make feature films own, or dream of owning and using, anamorphic lenses to make whatever it is that they make. What do others think, or not?
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