The Week In Cameras

Latest News About the Tools We Use by Michael Murie

  • Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Ships URSA Mini 4.6K Camera Without Global Shutter

    The Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K was supposed to ship back in October, but after encountering some engineering issues Blackmagic has finally announced that it is shipping, though minus one important feature: global shutter. In a press release announcing that the URSA Mini 4.6K and the Micro Cinema Camera are shipping, Blackmagic acknowledged that they had encountered problems with the global shutter in both cameras, though the problems were evidently different for each. Blackmagic decided to give up on the feature, in part because they think the key feature of the Mini 4.6K is really the high dynamic range, and when you…  Read more

    On Mar 18, 2016
    By on Mar 18, 2016Columns
  • Creating a Promotional Video for the Kindle Best-Selling Sci-Fi Series Post-Human, Part 2

    In Part I, David Simpson, author of the bestselling sci-fi novel series Post-Human, talked about how he became first an author and then a filmmaker by creating a short promotional piece for his series. The resulting video represents what Simpson thinks the opening sequence of a Post-Human film might look like. He accomplished this with virtually no experience, a tiny crew and a location that cost a third of his budget. In this Part II he talks about the equipment he used, and how he planned and executed the production. Filmmaker: How did you plan out what you were going…  Read more

    On Feb 11, 2016
    By on Feb 11, 2016Directors
  • Creating a Promotional Video for the Kindle Best-Selling Sci-Fi Series Post-Human

    David Simpson is the author of the bestselling sci-fi novel series Post-Human. There are currently five books in the series, with two more planned. Born in Ireland, he has lived in Vancouver since 2000 and believed he would end up a teacher of English until he discovered self-publishing on the Kindle. Having had success self-publishing, he hoped to create a promotional video for the series that might lead to the production of an actual movie. The resulting video represents what Simpson thinks the opening sequence of a Post-Human film might look like. The truly fascinating part of the story is…  Read more

    On Feb 10, 2016
  • The Jaunt ONE — Development of a VR Camera

    The past year has seen a lot of development in VR cameras – cameras that can shoot 360-degree video. Offerings range from inexpensive rigs for mounting multiple GoPros to custom units that cost many thousands of dollars. It’s an interesting field for sports and experiences, though it remains to be seen how this will impact narrative film making. We recently spoke to Koji Gardiner, Jaunt’s Director of Hardware Engineering, about their Jaunt ONE camera. This is a single unit that contains 24 camera mechanisms. After two years of development the unit is now being used for a variety of production…  Read more

    On Jan 12, 2016
    By on Jan 12, 2016Filmmaking
  • 2015: Camera and Monitor Gear in Review

    Looking back on 2015, while there were few real stand-out innovations, the advances in the world of cameras and gear continued to march relentlessly forward. Cameras This was the year that Panasonic finally shipped their 4K Varicam 35, but for the indie filmmaker it was probably the announcement of the $4,000 Panasonic AG-DVX200 4K camera — which features a Four-Thirds sensor — that was more interesting. Ideal for run-and-gun documentary work, you might think of it as the GH4 with better audio and a good fixed zoom lens. For the narrative filmmaker, or those that want/need a bigger sensor, the…  Read more

    On Dec 30, 2015
    By on Dec 30, 2015Filmmaking
  • Sony Shrinks the FS7, Announces PXW-FS5 and the a7S II

    Today at IBC Sony announced a smaller version of their popular PXW-FS7 4K camera. The PXW-FS5 takes most of the features of the PXW-FS7 and shrinks them into a box that’s less than half the weight and almost one quarter the volume. While it takes away some features — there are fewer recording options, no extension arm or LCD loupe — it does include an interesting new feature; an electronically variable ND filter that lets you select any position between 1/4ND and 1/128ND with 128 steps. Adjustment from one level to another should be fairly smooth, enabling you to adjust…  Read more

    On Sep 11, 2015
    By on Sep 11, 2015Cinematography
  • As 4K Expands, Now Might Be the Time to Buy an HD Camera

    The world of inexpensive 4K cameras is expanding rapidly. For $8,000 there’s the Sony PXW-FS7, and Panasonic will soon start shipping the fixed lens AG-DVX200. At $4,195 the DVX200 takes the sensor from their GH4 and puts it in a more traditional video camera body. If the fixed lens of the DVX200 is too limiting, you could always buy the GH4 itself, which at $1,400 is one of the cheapest ways to record UHD video. And if the sensor size of the Panasonic camera’s is too limiting, the $3,200 full-frame Sony a7RII is the current darling of reviewers. Yes, it’s…  Read more

    On Sep 8, 2015
    By on Sep 8, 2015Cinematography
  • Samyang/Rokinon Announce New Cine Lens Line: XEEN

    Samyang [also sold under the Rokinon brand] attracted quite a bit of attention from budget filmmakers when it started selling its budget line of “Cine” lens. These were their traditional still lenses with standard geared focus and aperture rings, de-clicked aperture ring, and remarking for T stops rather than F stops. The lenses received generally positive reviews from users — particularly as they provide a good mix of image quality/construction for the price. They are, however, fully manual lenses, with no auto-focus support or image stabilization built in. But adding teeth to the focusing ring of a lens doesn’t truly, a…  Read more

    On Aug 13, 2015
  • AJA Drops Price of 4K CION Camera Significantly

    AJA has slashed the price of their 4K CION camera in half to $4995. It’s part of their “Summer of Savings” promotion, which they say will run through the end of the summer. Other price reductions announced: Ki Pro Quad (their 4K recorder) is now $2995, Ki Pro Mini is $1495, Ki Pro is $2495, and Ki Pro ND is $2295. AJA customers who purchased the CION production camera before May 26, 2015 will receive two AJA Pak 512 SSDs for free, directly from AJA (valued at $2495). AJA is well known for their video hardware, and the Ki Pro file-based recorder,…  Read more

    On May 27, 2015
    By on May 27, 2015Production
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Blackmagic Announces New Cameras at NAB

    It’s NAB, and Blackmagic have once again announced some exciting new cameras. Blackmagic has developed a bit of a reputation for announcing cameras with amazing specifications at incredibly good prices. They may not be as refined as the cameras from Sony, Canon et al., and they may not always ship on their announced dates, but if you’re a shooter on a budget you have to look at Blackmagic’s camera offerings. Blackmagic’s first camera was the Cinema Camera. Despite its unusual shape and user interface, this camera was a hit because of its high dynamic range, reasonable price, and its support…  Read more

    On Apr 14, 2015
    By on Apr 14, 2015Cinematography
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