The Week In Cameras

Latest News About the Tools We Use by Michael Murie

  • ARRI’s New Small Camera and Other News

    ARRI has announced a smaller ALEXA camera, the ALEXA Mini, that can record 4K UHD video. With a design described as “optimized for use on brushless gimbals, multicopters, and other specialized rigs,” the Mini has a lightweight carbon housing and is 7.3” long, 5.5” inches high and 4.9” inches wide. There’s also built in WiFi connectivity, a new internal sensor mount to ensure a stable flange focal distance when using heavy lenses, and motorized, remote-controllable internal ND filters, With a 4:3 sensor the Mini offers 4:3 and 16:9 recording modes as well as an automatic de-squeeze mode for anamorphic lenses. Frame rates from…  Read more

    On Feb 24, 2015
    By on Feb 24, 2015 Filmmaking
  • Has Rode Solved the Curse of Wireless Mics?

    I’ve been using wireless microphones for years. Even if you’re doing an interview with someone ten feet away from the camera, it’s just so much easier to use a wireless mic than have to deal with cables running everywhere. But one of the dirty secrets of wireless mics has been that they have been using open spectrum which wasn’t officially designated for that purpose. Fifteen years ago, when I bought my first wireless system, it was a Sony unit operating in the 700 MHz spectrum. Then in 2007, with the transition to digital television, the FCC went and reorganized the…  Read more

    On Jan 24, 2015
    By on Jan 24, 2015 Production
  • CES Roundup: 4K TVs are Great, But Pay Attention to What’s Going on in Streaming Platforms and Services

    As expected, 4K has dominated the TV news at CES, with manufacturers announcing models that are bigger (Samsung) thinner (Sony) and have even higher resolution than 4K (Sharp.) But while the manufacturers continue to build bigger and better displays, it’s in platforms and streaming services that the real changes seem to be happening. Platforms Back in June Google unveiled Android TV, a platform to compete with the likes of Apple TV and Roku. Sharp, Sony and TP Vision have all announced TVs based on Android TV. The platform will also be coming on a set top box from Huawei and…  Read more

    On Jan 7, 2015
    By on Jan 7, 2015 Festivals & Events
  • 2014: The Year of 4K

    At the end of 2013 I wrote: 2013 wasn’t so much the year of 4K, as the year of “do we need 4K?” For most of the year I was a skeptic, but now I’m starting to think that 2014 will bethe year of 4K. And here we are at the end of 2014 and I look back and think, “I really hit that one out of the park!” Not that it took a lot of genius to read the tea leaves or see the writing on the wall: 2014 was definitely the year of 4K. Whether it was the F5/F55…  Read more

    On Dec 29, 2014
    By on Dec 29, 2014 Cinematography
  • At the Illumination Experience Tour with Shane Hurlbut

    Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut has been touring the country with The Illumination Experience. This day-long workshop primarily covers lighting: how to get the best results, basic and advanced setups, and even how to do lighting on a budget. But the class also covers a lot of other material for the working cinematographer, everything from the advantages of different cameras and lenses to the correct way to hand off a C-Stand. The class begins with a demonstration of Hurlbut’s “Pirate Death Ship,” three lights attached to a dolly on a 360 degree rail system. With an actress sitting in the middle, the…  Read more

    On Oct 27, 2014
    By on Oct 27, 2014 Cinematographers
  • Canon C100 Mark II Adds New Features, But Not 4K

    Canon has announced a refresh of the Canon C100, and on the face of it this update fixes many of the issues found in the original model. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF function that was a paid upgrade for the original C100 is included, though it’s still limited to the center of the image area. Also new is Face-Detection AF, which will focus on off-center faces. The EVF, which was widely panned in the first model is now larger, with a redesigned eyepiece, and it now tilts. The rear screen is now a 3.5” 1.23 megapixel OLED, with a new…  Read more

    On Oct 24, 2014
    By on Oct 24, 2014 Cinematography
  • Panasonic VariCam 35 and HS Are Now Shipping

    Panasonic is now shipping their new VariCam models, the 35 and HS. Panasonic first displayed mockups of a camera at NAB in 2012, but they didn’t announce these models until NAB 2014, and it’s taken another seven months to finally ship the product. The VariCam is really two sensor head units and a single recording unit that can be attached to either sensor unit. The VariCam 35 has a 35mm 4K sensor with a PL mount, while the Varicam HS is a 2/3” HD sensor with a B4 mount and the ability to capture at 240fps. The HS model is primarily intended for…  Read more

    On Oct 23, 2014
    By on Oct 23, 2014 Cinematography
  • Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut on The Illumination Experience and the Keys to the City

    In the second part of this interview with cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, we cover his upcoming “Illumination Experience Educational Tour“; why he’s undertaken this project, and the format and objective of the classes. Hurlbut also reveals what he calls “the keys to the city”: how he conducts lighting tests with actors before production starts. Filmmaker: How did the “The Illumination Experience” come about? Hurlbut: Five years ago I started on this mission of sharing. I felt like mentoring was dead in this business. I wanted to educate and inspire, and use the passion for what I love to do to energize and…  Read more

    On Sep 17, 2014
    By on Sep 17, 2014 Cinematographers
  • Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut on Camera Tests and the Joy of Older Lenses

    I first saw cinematographer Shane Hurlbut speaking at a trade show held in New York City in 2010 hosted by Canon. Hurlbut had just finished shooting Act of Valor, shot predominately using the Canon 5D Mark II, and he burst on stage with enough energy to power the building. At the time I wrote that he was “loud, in your face, cracking jokes while dashing about the stage,” but it was also clear he had a passion both for the gear and for sharing information. Since then Hurlbut has lensed the pictures Deadfall, Need for Speed, and the currently in…  Read more

    On Sep 16, 2014
    By on Sep 16, 2014 Cinematographers
  • IBC 2014: A Big Show for Sony and Blackmagic

    IBC is the European equivalent of NAB, and one of the few times lots of manufacturers are announcing and updating products. This show has seen some big news, particularly from Sony and Blackmagic. Sony PXW-FS7 Sony made a huge splash with the PXW-FS7. This camera slots in between their NEX-FS700 and the PMW-F5, and while it has the same E-mount as the NEX-FS700 it is a very different camera. Sony has almost completely rethought their design, intending this one for the documentary and news shooter, and focusing on making it shoulder useable without the addition of a rig. The key…  Read more

    On Sep 15, 2014
    By on Sep 15, 2014 Cinematography
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