The Week In Cameras

Latest News About the Tools We Use by Michael Murie

  • “All of a Sudden I Found Myself Creating Content on YouTube”: The Making of A Trip to Unicorn Island

    Filmmaker and songwriter Scott David Winn was a working DP who turned himself into a YouTube star (ScottDW) before turning himself back into a filmmaker. In this interview he talks about making the documentary feature A Trip to Unicorn Island, which is about another YouTube star, Lilly Singh (known on YouTube as IISuperwomanII), going on her first tour. Filmmaker: How did you go from YouTube shorts to making a documentary film? Winn: Three years ago I was working as a director of photography, shooting commercials [and] music videos and I accidentally stumbled upon YouTube. I had a passion for coming…  Read more

    On Apr 12, 2016
    By on Apr 12, 2016Columns
  • New OSX App Hedge Manages File Transfers

    Released this week, Hedge is an OS X app for streamlining the process of importing camera footage and making backups. Hedge will transfer multiple disks at the same time and verify each copy. Paul Matthijs Lombert came up with the idea for Hedge, and is CEO of the developer, The Sync Factory. He answered the following questions via email. Filmmaker: Where did the idea for Hedge come from? Matthijs Lombert: I’ve been an acoustician and mastering engineer for over ten years. I originally came up with the idea for Hedge when working on a Dutch multicam documentary. I designed the audio…  Read more

    On Mar 23, 2016
    By on Mar 23, 2016Post-Production
  • Atomos Announces 7” HDR Field Monitor/Recorders that can Display Log Footage

    Atomos has announced the Atomos Flame series of field monitor/recorders. These new units feature 7” 1920x 1080 resolution screens with 1,500 nits of brightness — four times the brightness of their existing screen. Atomos claims it’s the world’s brightest and widest dynamic range panel in a field monitor. But what is HDR footage? Atomos CEO and co-founder Jeromy Young explains that if you have a camera that shoots in a Log format, and that will output that over SDI or HDMI, you already have an HDR camera. The problem is that it can be difficult to see what that Log image is…  Read more

    On Mar 22, 2016
    By on Mar 22, 2016Cinematography
  • 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
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