The Week In Cameras

Latest News About the Tools We Use by Michael Murie

  • Seeing RED at Sundance

    If you’re shooting a full-length feature, the cost of purchasing, developing and transferring your film to digital can easily be more than the cost of a digital camera. (If your shooting ratio is 4:1, you’d spend over $10,000 for 16mm and $20,000 for 35mm.) And in some cases more than the total budget of your film. It’s no wonder then, that digital cameras have become dominant in indie film production, and that RED, with its head start as an “affordable” digital cinema camera, has become dominant at Sundance. Ted Schilowitz, co-founder of RED Digital Cinema, noted that “there are so…  Read more

    On Jan 30, 2013
    By on Jan 30, 2013Cinematography
  • Tempo: A budget VFX lesson from Seth Worley and Red Giant

    Red Giant is known for their effects software, including Magic Bullet Looks, Colorista and Trapcode Particular. But they are also developing a name for themselves with a series of short films that are both entertaining and great demos of how-to-do effects on a budget. It probably doesn’t hurt that they also demonstrate how to use their software too! Director Seth Worley and Aharon Rabinowitz, director of Communities at Red Giant, spoke at a recent meeting of the Boston Creative Pro Users Group about the production of their latest short, Tempo. Worley first came to Red Giant’s attention when the company…  Read more

    On Jan 28, 2013
    By on Jan 28, 2013Directing
  • Fringe Issue in Older Canon C300’s Solved?

    Since its release, the Canon C300 has received a lot of praise for its image quality and low-light sensitivity. But some users have reported problems with color fringing: incorrectly colored pixels that appear on in-focus vertical or horizontal borders adjacent to a blown out – or nearly blown out – background. This most commonly appears on man-made objects like railings and window edges, though it can also be seen in specular highlights on ocean waves. The Canon C300 is not unique in suffering problems like this. By all accounts the Sony NEX-FS100 exhibits far stronger fringing. Any single-sensor camera is…  Read more

    On Jan 24, 2013
  • Getting the Shot: Scenes from the Making of the Music Video, “Ready or Not”

    In a previous article (An Afternoon Music Video Shoot with the Canon C300) I documented a day shooting scenes for a new music video for the band Air Traffic Controller. The completed video, as well as a making-of piece have now been posted. Director/DP/Editor Rick Macomber explained that he decided to do this video after seeing Dave Munro from ATC perform the song acoustically. Said Rick “I was listening to the lyrics and I knew how close the song was to Dave’s personal life and it touched me. So when he came to me and asked which song I would…  Read more

    On Jan 21, 2013
    By on Jan 21, 2013Cinematography
  • 4K comes to CES and Canon announces new Cine Primes

    The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which ran January 7-10 in Las Vegas, is not the place to see the latest pro gear, but it is a good place to see the general direction of the electronics entertainment industry. Just a couple of years ago 3D was the rage, with manufacturers showing off their 3D displays and headsets. By all reports, 3D wasn’t so hot this year. Instead, we saw the first salvos in the 4K battle to convince consumers to part with their money for another high-end display. But when it comes to televisions, 2013 may be seen as the…  Read more

    On Jan 14, 2013
    By on Jan 14, 2013Cinematography
  • Panasonic Gooses the AG-AF100 to 10 Bits

    The Panasonic AG-AF100A, the incremental update to the AG-AF100, is now shipping. Most notably the new model is now capable of 10 bit 4:2:2 output when recording to external recorders. Internal recording is still AVCHD 4:2:0, but according to Panasonic the AG-AF100A complies with the AVCHD ver. 2.0 (AVCHD Progressive) standard and adds a new PS recording mode (average approx. 25Mbps, maximum 28Mbps). Uncompressed 16 bit LPCM 2-channel audio recording is supported. Other new features include: a sync signal through HD-SDI for the Rec Start/Stop with the AF100A trigger; an expanded focus assist function; and a 2.39:1 (cinema scope size)…  Read more

    On Jan 3, 2013
    By on Jan 3, 2013Cinematography
  • RED’s Dragon Sensor, Now with More Dynamic Range

    RED has been making a lot of claims about their new super-sensor Dragon, that is currently in development. An upgrade to their EPIC cameras, Dragon was initially expected by the end of 2012, but that date has now been pushed back. Jim Jannard of RED first said that the sensor had more resolution than 65mm film scanned at 4K. He went so far as to say, “Dragon should never be compared to 35mm film. It should only be spoken in reference to 65mm film from here on out.” Now Jarred Land has released a sample image (above) on the RED…  Read more

    On Jan 2, 2013
    By on Jan 2, 2013Cinematography
  • An Afternoon Music Video Shoot with the Canon C300

    It’s a late fall Sunday afternoon and Rick Macomber is setting up his Canon C300 on a bridge near Harvard Square to shoot some inserts for a music video. The video is for the band Air Traffic Controller, and the plan today is to shoot two sequences of a couple that illustrate “happier times” in their relationship. Rick will first be shooting them crossing the bridge, and then they’ll move to Harvard Square to shoot some additional scenes. With his production company Macomber Productions Rick has been shooting music, promotional and wedding videos since 1995 and has been using DSLRs…  Read more

    On Dec 31, 2012
  • Cameras: 2012 Year In Review

    It’s the end of the year and everyone’s doing year-end lists, so why not me? Here’s my top ten camera news and developments in 2012: 1. The end of film Film’s been having a tough time of it, but did anyone in 2011 think that 2012 would be the year that film would roll over and die? This was the year that Kodak went bankrupt, Fuji announced they would cease production of motion picture film, and the major film companies announced the timetable for moving toward 100% digital distribution. It was also the year that a James Bond movie was…  Read more

    On Dec 24, 2012
    By on Dec 24, 2012Cinematography
  • The Hobbit Arrives with a High Frame Rate, and New Sony Camera Prices

    The Hobbit is now in wide release in the US, and everyone agrees: it was shot in 48p (frames per second). Beyond that, things get a little murky. As the first movie in wide release to be shot and shown in 48p, the acceptance – or success – of the movie is being closely tied to the future adoption of 48p. This is, of course, ridiculous. The success or failure of a single film is unlikely to define the future of a format. But we’re still left with the question: Is 48p (or High Frame Rates) a good thing, a…  Read more

    On Dec 17, 2012
    By on Dec 17, 2012Cinematography
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