The Week In Cameras

Latest News About the Tools We Use by Michael Murie

  • The Year in Gear: Goodbye 2013, Here Comes 2014K

    It is perhaps indicative of how low-key this year was that when I first scribbled out a list of things that were “big” in 2013 I discovered that half of them were on last year’s list! In many respects 2013 proved to be a year of tentative advances and waiting, rather than one of incredible new tools to play with. Which is not to say that some interesting products weren’t announced and delivered. Sony shipped the F5 & F55, as well as the 4K upgrade for the NEX-FS700, and at the other end of the spectrum Blackmagic shipped its $1,000…  Read more

    On Dec 31, 2013
    By on Dec 31, 2013Cinematography
  • Director Ryan Lightbourn shoots Sleepwalkers with the RED Scarlet and a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

    Ryan Lightbourn grew up in the Bahamas, but went to business school in the U.S. Becoming interested in music, Lightbourn transferred to Full Sail University after graduating. He wanted to become a music producer, but after playing with Final Cut Pro he started making “goofy little short films and music videos with my friends.” Switching to the film program he quickly decided that he could learn more by going out and actually shooting things than by going to class, so he dropped out and bought some gear. He continued shooting music videos, but always wanted to make films, and in…  Read more

    On Dec 3, 2013
    By on Dec 3, 2013Cinematography
  • New Cameras and Upgrades: Fall, 2013 Edition

    Who says you have to wait until NAB for new cameras? In the past month alone there have been several new cameras, upgrades and other devices announced. Here’s a quick look at some of the most interesting ones:   Canon C100 Autofocus upgrade Early in the month Canon announced a paid upgrade to the C100, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF Upgrade. This upgrade adds a new autofocus technology that first appeared in the EOS 70D DSLR. The dual-pixel AF upgrade will provide faster and smoother autofocus that can be particularly useful for documentary, sports, event and wildlife shooting. Focusing speed…  Read more

    On Nov 30, 2013
    By on Nov 30, 2013Cinematography
  • The State of 4K

    Technology tipping points – when something goes from the unusual to the commonplace – can happen with unexpected rapidity. Has 4K reached a tipping point, and if so what aspect of 4K? Acquisition, production, distribution, or all three? If you’re shooting a film today, should you be shooting in 4K? The answer to these questions is complicated by cost, complexity and the long-term shelf-life of your project. Today, a convincing argument can be made for shooting in either 4K (future proof) or HD (cost effective and most people won’t see the difference). One thing seems for certain; we will be…  Read more

    On Nov 5, 2013
    By on Nov 5, 2013Cinematography
  • Shooting with 18 Cameras: The Making of The Short Game

    With a background in comedy shorts, you’d be forgiven if you thought Josh Greenbaum’s first feature, a documentary that follows the 7 and 8-year old competitors in the World Championships of Junior Golf, would be a dark look at another group of driven parents. But that’s not what Greenbaum was interested in doing. Instead, he focuses on the children, these pre-teens who can, at turns, appear tremendously adult, or just like any other 7-year old. The Short Game follows eight competitors through last year’s championships, though production actually started a year before at the previous championships. That was where they…  Read more

    On Oct 25, 2013
  • Cinematographer Zach Zamboni on Creativity and Shooting with Just Two Primes

    Zach Zamboni, a cinematographer on Anthony Bourdain’s series Parts Unknown, recently spoke about his philosophy of shooting and being creative at an event in Boston. Particularly intriguing was his description of shooting an episode using just two prime lenses and his interest in shooting with Super 16 lenses on the Sony F55. About cameras, Zamboni said that he doesn’t believe one camera is “right or wrong” for a job. “The choice of camera will inform the lenses I’m going to put on that camera,” he remarked. “Those lenses will inform my behavior with that camera, and that will start to…  Read more

    On Oct 15, 2013
  • Digital Bolex Report: An Interview with Creative Director Elle Schneider

    Elle Schneider, Creative Director at Digital Bolex, spoke about the project at this weekend’s Hacking Arts conference held at MIT’s Media Lab. The Digital Bolex project, the creation of a digital camera that is operated and styled like a 16mm camera, was funded through a Kickstarter Project. Held in March of 2012, the campaign raised twice the $100,000 goal and pre-sold 93 cameras. Schneider announced that they expect the camera will be available to order in six weeks, and they will ship the original orders even sooner. Schneider, who had an early beta version of the camera with her, talked…  Read more

    On Sep 30, 2013
    By on Sep 30, 2013Cinematography
  • Be Natural: Interview with documentary filmmakers Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs

    Filmmakers Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs have worked on documentaries in various roles including as co-producer of the Emmy-nominated documentary Bhutto. Their company, PIC Agency, has produced titles for movies including 42 and The Kingdom, and they have also produced content for award shows, commercials and other productions. “People come to us to add to the story when you can’t turn the camera back on,” says Green. They have specialized in creating new content by combining graphics, stock footage, new footage and editorial. These techniques should be especially useful for their first documentary, Be Natural, about the first female…  Read more

    On Aug 26, 2013
    By on Aug 26, 2013Directors
  • A D.P. Chooses the ARRI ALEXA

    It’s been said that choosing between digital video cameras is a bit like choosing between film stocks; they provide different images that suit different uses and aesthetics. I’m not sure that the analogy is entirely accurate, but it’s certainly worth considering. For this reason, I’m always interested in hearing about d.p.’s experiences when working with a camera other than the one they usually shoot with. When Boston cinematographer Chris Loughran recently tweeted that he was going to be shooting with an ARRI ALEXA, I was curious to ask him about his experience with the camera. I first met Loughran a…  Read more

    On Jul 30, 2013
  • The Cinematography of A Field in England

    English director Ben Wheatley’s [Kill List, Sightseers] latest project, A Field in England was shot in black and white and follows a group of deserters in the English Civil War. But this isn’t your standard historical period piece, being variously described by reviewers as a  “monochrome-psychedelic breakdown” and a “17th-century head trip.” Shot in 12 days on a micro-budget, it was also, rather unusually, released on the same day to cinemas, on DVD and Blu-ray, and it also aired on Film4 (a free digital television channel). For those interested in the movie’s production, the filmmakers have created a very informative…  Read more

    On Jul 7, 2013
    By on Jul 7, 2013Cinematography
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