Camera Operator
Cinematographer
by Corey Steib on April 14th, 2014

If you were lucky enough to keep up with NAB last week then you would of saw a mix of 2K and 4K cameras. Well here is a very interesing video from a few Post Pros at a panel discussion during this years sundance film fest about why shooting 4K is not the best choice. This video was produced by Candy Factory Productions along with AbelCine.
After watching this video please share your thoughts in the comments below.

by Corey Steib on April 14th, 2014

In case you missed all of the goodies from NAB 2014 from last week, you can see it all in one place below in part to Planet5D and 20 other contributors.

by Corey Steib on March 18th, 2014

Well it seems like Panasonic is finally making a come back in the professional video market with two new 4K cameras. I must say it's better late then never for panasonic as they had a prototype 4k Varicam out about 2 years ago and a lot of people thought they were never going to come out with it as the market was taken over by Canon, Sony, Red and Black Magic.
Just like Arri and Panavision are the film industry cameras, Panasonic and Sony are those for the video industry. I was not to sure myself if panasonic was going to come out with it or not with so much change happening but they have always been known for there Varicam line of cameras and they needed an update really bad.
The first camera to come out from Panasonic was their new GH4 which finally came to light during this years CES.
The Panasonic GH4 is coming off the heels of the GH3 which is still very popular with DSLR shooter's today. But this is Panasonics first 4K camera but in a DSLR form which everyone is goig crazy over.
Specs
 
  • 16.05 Megapixel Micro 4/3 Sensor
  • 4096 x 2160 up to 24fps (100Mbps)
  • 3840 x 2160 up to 30fps (100Mbps)
  • 1080p up to 60fps
  • Variable Slow Motion in-camera up to 96fps (not a sync-sound format)
  • 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB) at 1080p
  • 2,359K-dot LVF (Live View Finder)
  • 3 inch 1,036K-dot Rear Monitor
  • 4:2:2 10-bit or 8-bit External HDMI (4:2:0 8-bit internal)
  • Cinegamma Modes
  • Peaking and Zebras
  • ISO 200-25600 (Extended Mode: 100-25600)
  • New UHS I Class III SD card (min. 30MB/s) format needed for over 100Mbps
  • 1/8″ Headphone, 1/8″ Microphone, AV Output, HDMI D (Micro), USB 2.0, Wired Remote Port
  • Approx. 50% higher speed signal readout suppresses rolling shutter effect even when using electronic shutter or recording motion image
  • 12 fps(AFS) up to approx.40 (including RAW) / approx.100 (excluding RAW) and 7.0 fps(AFC)
Specs with the new YAGH Interface
  • 2 Monaural XLR Inputs
  • Line/Mic Level Switch
  • Audio Level Display Monitor
  • 3G-SDI Capable BNC Connectors
  • Quad-Link SDI Output for 4:2:2/10-Bit 4K
  • HDMI Output
  • Timecode In
  • 12VDC 4-Pin XLR Power Input
Now the good thing is that you can get output 10bit at 4:2:2 but you are still recording internal in 8bit which is ok and not ok to me. They just came out with the price for the camera which is $1,699.00 (Body Only) and for the additional YAGH it will be $1,999.00.
So 4K for under $4K I will take it but remember you may have to get an external monitor to get 10bit on your output. Now I am sure most of you know that Panasonic came out with a prototype of there VariCam 4K Camera about 2 years ago and since then they have been in the dark leaving us all to wonder what happend to it. Well back about a month ago now they did a press release with one image that shows us a glimps at what it looks like and word has it that it will be show at this years NAB.
Just by looking at it, it looks like a mix of an Arri Alexia and a Sony F5 which is a pretty interesting combination. To see the full press relase just click here.  A few key features I like about the camera so far is that it has a super 35mm CMOS sensor and it does up to 120fps internally in 4K which is pretty sweet :). (Starting to drool all over my keyboard at the moment).
Specs
  • 4096 x 2160 Super 35mm CMOS sensor
  • 14+ Stops of Dynamic Range
  • PL Mount
  • Internal 4K up to 120fps
  • Records 4K & UHD in AVC-ULTRA 4K
  • Records 2K & HD in AVC-Intra 100/200
  • Capable of 4K RAW
  • 1.5 to 6 Mbps Proxies
  • Two expressP2 card slots (Record 130 minutes of 4K/24p with these cards)
  • Two microP2 card slots (for HD and 2K)
  • Four 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for 4K QUAD
  • Two 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for RAW
  • HD-SDI out for monitoring (down-converting from 4K)
  • Two XLR inputs can record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio
  • Removable Control Panel
  • OLED Viewfinder with Optical Zoom
There will be two different models of this camera coming out, one being the 4K and the other a 2/3. They will both use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate recording; each camera is  equipped with four total card slots, for two expressP2 cards and two microP2 cards. Both VariCam models will launch fall 2014, with pricing to be announced. If you have ever used Varicam in the past then you should already know their AVC-Intra codec which I used a lot and I loved it so very much, but the cool this is that you also are able to record in their newest codec known as  (AVC Ultra).
I sure can't wait for NAB this year as I will be there in person working as a technical advisor for BlueShapeUSA and I will be taking lots of photos :), so if you are not following me on twitter please do so that way you can see all of the awsome toys in real time.

by Corey Steib on March 14th, 2014

If you have not heard by now a Chinese company has slowly been making waves in Asia and across Europe with there new 2K, 4K and now 6K Raw cameras. Kinefinity™ based in China is the brand of professional digital cinema products including KineRAW cameras, KineMAG SSD, KineKIT accessories, KineStation transcoding software, KineGrip sidegrip, and more. The KineRAW cameras and related products are designed, developed, assembled in China by a team with passion, concentration, vision and technical background from high performance astronomy camera design.
I first heard about this camera from EOSHD and he has done a couple of reviews on the camera (BlogPost-1) (BlogPost-2). Now I do take his blog post with a grain of sult as he can be a little one sided at times but I always love to read what other people think no matter what, but both of the post above are well written and the footage does look very yummy :).

Now for the longest time RED has been the big company to make 4K and higher cameras but now it seems that Kinefinity has announced there very own 6K cameras called KineMax along with the KineMini 4K Camera which are sure to make a lot of noise at this years NAB.
You maybe asking yourself why have we not heard about this company before? Well they don't have a (US) distributor and RED has always been the big USA player but I have a feeling that it's about to change as it has been for the past year as Kine Cameras is not the only one chasing them. You now have Arri right behind them and if you saw the Oscars this year none of the niminated and or winning films where shot on a RED.  Now I am liking everything about this camera so far with it's different lens mounts to having CinemaDNG which the Black Magic Cameras have which I love. They also have compressed raw in Cineform which is nice and it's really the only closest thing to REDCODE RAW.

KineMAX

Specs on the 6K KineMAX
  • 5760 X 3240 Super35 CMOS Sensor
  • PL, Nikon, Canon EF, B4 mount Options
  • 12 bit 6K up to 30fps
  • 4K High Speed Mode at 3K/30fps and 2K/100fps
  • Cropped Modes: 4K/50fps, 3K/60fps and 2K/10fps
  • 1080P and 720P Options as well
  • Native ISO of 800
  • 14 Stops of Dynamic Range in 6K
  • 16 Stops at Pixel-Binned 3K Resolution
  • Uncompressed CinemaDNG 6K to 2-KineMAG
  • Compressed Cineform Raw to 1-KineMAG
  • 2-SDI and HDMI Ports
  • Phantom Powered XLR, USB and Headphone Ports
  • OLPF designed to work with both 6K and cropped/scale modes

KineMINI

Specs on the 4K KineMINI
  • 4K Super 35mm CMOS Sensor (Same as original Mini)
  • PL, Nikon, Canon EF, B4 Mount Options
  • 12-bit 4K and 14-bit 2K
  • 4K Uncompressed or Compressed CinemaDNG
  • 2K Cineform RAW
  • 4K RAW up to 30fps
  • 2K up to 96fps
  • 1080p up to 100fps
  • 13 Stops of Dynamic Range in 2K (Possibly less in 4K)
  • HDMI and SDI
  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports
  • Built in WiFi
The price for the KineMINI is a little over $3,000 and packages range from barebones which is a little under $4,000 to a full package being a little under $6,000.
The Price for the KineMAX  is still unknown but the Pre Order is around $3,000.

Final Thoughts

So my final thoughts are the footage from the original mini looks pretty good and the price is right up there with the Black Magic Cameras but then comes the need for more hard drives and all though I do like the Compressed RAW I would like to see a ProRes or a quicktime wraper to bring down the storage data. Other then that I would love to get my hands on it and take it for a real world test from shooting to post and see if I and or my clients have a need for it :). I know me will :).

Happy Shooting everyone and be Sarah Jones Safe and watch out for your fellow brothers and sisters.

by Corey Steib on February 5th, 2014

One of my good friends Ryan E Walters wrote a blog post today about giving Final Cut Pro X a second chance. I have been using FCPX for a while now and I love it more then ever as I think it should of been where it is at now before they relased it the first time but that's for another blog. Today I am going to talk about the 2 apps I use with FCPX which you can use with other NLE's like Premire called CTR (plus symble) Console and VWave Lite which you can get in the app store.
As you can see the photos above you can use it as a Controller or an Editor as it will get you away from your keyboard short cuts and allow you to work faster while editing in real time with any NLE. I use this almost a a daily bases whenever I edit as it makes my life much easier when I have to go frame by frame on something.

The other device I use is great for color gradding expecially if you don't yet have the budget or need a color gradding board. It's called the VWave Lite made by Tangent which works with FCPX,Premire and Davinci. 
Now there is one other app by Pxiel Film Studios called ProCutX which you can use for both your ipad and iphone, I have not used this app as of yet so I can't really say much about it at the moment but so far the layout and tools inside it are really cool.
These apps are great tools for me to have but they may not work for you, so like I tell everyone "Find the tool that works for you". I hope that you all have enjoyed this blog and please leave a comment below if you have any questions or shoot me an e-mail.