Nobody seems to notice traditional HD video cameras any more. In a large-sensor, DSLR, 4K world we too often are drawn by the hype, forgetting that there are simply applications where the traditional video camera is the appropriate tool.
The Panasonic AJ-PX270 is an appropriate tool for ENG, documentary, run and gun, corporate and event video. This is an affordable, compact, lightweight and feature-rich camera.
ENG camera users will appreciate that its control layout replicates traditional ENG devices. With battery, it weighs a tad under 6 lb. and is balanced well for both handheld shooting and mounting on a tripod.
NewBay Media announces a new, prestigious awards program honoring new products at the 2014 NAB Show. The 2014 Best of Show Awards will be judged and given by NewBay Media publications TV Technology, Digital Video, Video Edge, Radio and Radio World magazines. NAB Show exhibitors may submit a product for consideration by one or more of these leading publications, and may submit multiple products for consideration.
If you carry your camera in a soft-sided case, the chances are pretty good that the tight fit of the zippered bag crushes the foam windscreen on the camera’s shotgun microphone, eventually leading to damage. Norm Tindell of Fort Worth, Texas, shared his tip of putting the cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels or toilet tissue over the windscreen when the camera is in the case. The tube prevents abrasion and pressure on the foam and keeps the windscreen looking good.
From the time word got out that notorious Danish director Lars von Trier was making a “porn” film with well known actors, speculation was rife about how graphic the mysterious Nymphomaniac project would be.
For more than three decades Steadicam has represented the vanguard of mobile, off-tripod camera support technology. There’s been little challenge from new technology in the intervening years.
From a company called Freefly Systems, MoVI is a digital three-axis gyro-stabilized handheld camera gimbal. Its key benefit is how quickly an operator can set up a moving shot with it.
Blackmagic Design announced the 4K (UHD) Blackmagic Production Camera at an unheard-of price of $3,995, including a full version of Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve software (worth $1,000). The camera shipped in January 2014 but at the reduced price of $2,995, still including DaVinci Resolve.
NAB Show technology trends tend to evolve over a period of three years. The first year marks the introduction of a glitzy new technology, and the second year sees that technology as part of a company’s mainstream production line. By the third year, it’s either fully integrated or an “also ran.”
This is 4K’s second year at the NAB Show. If trends hold true, we will see many companies touting it as a mainstream production and postproduction methodology.
During preproduction on the period feature Belle, cinematographer Ben Smithard was on his way to producers offices to pitch the Panavision Genesis camera when he noticed a Sony F65 at the Pinewood Studios rental facility. He’d heard about the camera and, although it wasn’t getting much use, a colleague at the rental house suggested he take it for a test drive. He put off his recommendation until he could see for himself what this new camera could do. “I loved it,” he reports. “I thought the image quality was better than anything else I’d tested.”
Editor Affonso Gonçalves (Beasts of the Southern Wild) admits he was “a little starstruck” when he first sat down to work with director Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law) on Only Lovers Left Alive. The film—concerning the fragile and sensitive vampires Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton)—is a sardonic, deadpan take on the genre. For those familiar with Jarmusch’s work, it will be no surprise that the film has a very different feel from the standard vampire story.
Tomas Leach’s documentary In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter is a tender and intimate portrait of the photographer and painter considered to be a pioneer—along with Diane Arbus and Robert Frank—of the New York School era of photography of the 1940s and ’50s.
Leiter could have been lauded as the pioneer of the artistic use of color film but was never driven by the lure of success. Instead, he preferred to “drink coffee and photograph in his own way,” according to the film’s synopsis, amassing an archive of beautiful work piled high in his New York apartment. Leiter came to acclaim late in life. While much of his most powerful work was made in the 1950s, it wasn’t truly rediscovered until nearly a half-century later.
National Geographic Channel, Arrow Media and NASA are teaming up for Live from Space, a two-hour event broadcast live on March 14 from both the International Space Station and NASA’s Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
The first studio feature film shot with Canon’s EOS C500 camera, DreamWorks Pictures’ Need for Speed is sure to be a smash-and-crash car chase spectacular when it hits theaters on March 14, 2014. The movie is inspired by the Need for Speed video game series launched by Electronic Arts in 1994. Now controlled by Criterion Games, Need for Speed is heralded as one of the most successful video game franchises of all time.
Blossier Sets An Eerie, Evocative Tone for The Returned
ThinkBreatheLive Transforms Super Bowl Audience
Johns Manages Archival Media for Last Days in Vietnam
Bill Plympton’s Style Enlivens Con Edison Short
Flashpoint 7” LED Field Monitor
This compact and lightweight LED field monitor offers 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, enabling precise focusing and framing, as well as a native 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio ideal for shooting in HD or full HD. Look for instant switching between black-bordered and full-screen display in 16:9 mode; the monitor can be set to bordered 4:3 when necessary. It also features HDMI input and output and 1:1 pixel mapping. Other features include 400 cd/m2 brightness and 800:1 contrast ratio, a viewing angle of 178° horizontally and vertically, and eight LED-illuminated buttons, including four with assignable functions. The Flashpoint 7” LED Field Monitor is available for $400.
I always have a high-quality light meter at my side. Although digital shooters are frequently foregoing the use of a light meter in favor of other exposure evaluation tools, such as a waveform or histogram, there’s no tool like a good meter when your lighting environment is complex: when you have to match previous footage (and you measured values and ratios beforehand), when you’re monitoring moving sunlight and balancing for changing exposure throughout the day, or when you’re dealing with fog/atmosphere.
Last NAB Show, Blackmagic Design caused a stir when it touted Resolve 10 as an online editor. Once the software was released, it became apparent to users that Resolve is still primarily a color corrector, though one with some editing functionality.
Was it 1977 or ’78? I don’t remember. I’m in a small office in the British Treasury. “Anything you say may be taken down and used in evidence....”
You’ve heard it all before, but this time it’s me, Stefan, the very talented filmmaker.
“What am I accused of?”
“Nothing. This is just an investigation.”
“Then why read my rights?”
“In case we find something. You arrived in this country in January 1969. Did you bring in any money?”
Being a professional videographer is about more than making pictures. It also means running the business office. This tip shared by Charles Prior of Sacramento, Calif., has helped me. Charles uses several rubber stamps in the course of doing paperwork, and occasionally some of his messages are stamped upside down. The solution is simple: a piece of tape with the words “Upside Down” in red ink on the stamp’s wrong side. Now he and I are warned whenever a stamp is misaligned.
Who Was That?
I’ve heard it called “a camera for all seasons.” Whether you are going to shoot in HD, 2K or 4K, Sony’s PMW-F55 CineAlta camera is living up to its promise of being a cost-effective yet feature-rich acquisition tool for digital cinema, TV production and live 4K presentations.
Peter Crithary, Sony Electronics
I’m sure many of you remember NAB Show 1996 where Sony and Panasonic introduced their DVCAM and DVCPRO formats. What was fascinating is both companies made great efforts to distance their new “pro” formats from “consumer DV.”
Now that quite a few raw cameras have come to market, we are in a different situation. Rather than companies working hard to create proprietary differences between their products—when at their codec heart—they are quite similar; we have companies not differentiating on the basis for their recording “format.” Instead, sensor size, sensor resolution, lens mount, and dynamic range are now key differentiators.
Raw: What It Is and What It Is Not