Filmmaker and Cinematographer
Corey Steib
by Corey Steib on May 3rd, 2016

Hi to all filmmakers all across the world, I know I have not posted a blog on my website in a while as I have added a new baby boy to my family which has taken up most of my time. Now that he is a little bigger I can finally try and jump back into writing blogs and doing video reviews. With that being said I wanted to start off by doing a video review on the Veydra Mini Prime Lenses by Ryan Avery
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Ryan over the past few years and I don't think that you will meet anyone who is nice, honest and more passionate about filmmaking then him. I first met ryan when he was still working for film tools at NAB 2014 and we started talking about the good old days (2003/2004) and how we both have seen the industry change so fast in just a few years. As we fast forward to December of 2014, Ryan and a team of partners launched a kick start campaign for there new line of mini prime lenses.   

The Story Behind The Lens

​In late December 2014, the kickstarter ended with 199 of you contributing $272,017.00 to realize these incredible cinema lenses. Thanks to you the Veydra Lenses Mini Prime set for M4/3 and mirrorless cameras were successfully funded. Veydra is a premium cinema lens brand born from over 40 years of combined cinema industry design and marketing experience. Veydra has designed and/or manufactured designs for several major cinema related products companies on the market today. 

Purpose built for cinema acquisition applications, all Veydra lenses feature constant volume focus, 0.8 cinema pitch gears on the iris/focus rings, constant T-Stop, and common front diameter for quick lens changes in a production environment. All Veydra lenses exceed 4K resolution and are constructed of the finest aircraft grade aluminum and optical glass elements with multi-coating for color consistency. Veydra lenses are designed with quality and value in mind. All Veydra products are priced at the absolute minimum retail price to help you achieve your creative vision.

Why Mini Primes

So you maybe asking yourself "Why Mini Primes"? Well in my humble opinion, why not :), the one thing that I love and you will also hear this in my video below is that the weight of the lens. But on tope of that is the price and knowing that you will get a very well made product for it, just like a camera you must find what works best for you and what type of work that you do.  

My Video Review 

A Very Special Thanks

I want to give a very special thank you to Ryan and his team behind the scenes for all of there hard work and allowing me to use there lense and give feedback on what I think. This is with any other manufacture and or product that I have used because if you don't push the limits of it in the field then how will you know it's strengths and weaknesses. I have used and reviews a lot of product over the years and the one thing I love is how the industry has embraced change so fast but they have to or else they may fall behind. But let's get back to telling the story no matter what your product of choice is. 

And Remember, Happy Shooting. 

by Corey Steib on February 5th, 2016


Just a couple of days after Canon announced the 1DXMK2, Sony came out with the A6300 which features world’s fastest (0.05-seconds) autofocus with the world’s most (4253) phase-detection AF points, exemplary image quality and the ultimate in 4K recording.

The camera boasts an unrivaled 4D FOCUS system that can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, the world’s fastest AF acquisition time.  Additionally, the α6300 has an incredible 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over the entire image area – the world’s highest number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera and can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking

The impressive new mirrorless model also has the ability to support full live-view continuous shooting on the Tru-finder or LCD screen at up to 8 frames per second, ultimately producing a real-time shooting experience that combines all the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of a through-the-lens optical viewfinder.

The versatile α6300 is equipped with a newly developed 24.2 MP (approx.. effective) APS-C sized Exmor CMOS sensor that works together with a BIONZ X image processing engine to produce outstanding image quality throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range ISO 100 – 51200 3.  It can also shoot and record high resolution 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in the popular Super 35mm format.

“The α6300 is yet another example of the dominant innovation that Sony continues to bring to the industry, especially from the mirrorless space,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics.  “With this new model, we’ve combined the world’s fastest and most extensive AF system with a superb image sensor and many of our most advanced imaging and video technologies, creating a package that can far exceed the performance of any DSLR in its class.   This camera connects you with the action like never before.”

Image from Sony

Image from Sony


Features

Unrivaled AF Performance

Sony’s new α6300 camera builds upon the acclaimed 4D FOCUS performance of the α6000 model, utilizing a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines high-speed phase detection AF with extremely accurate contrast AF and allows it to capture and lock on to moving subjects in as little as 0.05 seconds1.  The camera’s High-density Tracking AF technology positions 425 phase detection AF points over nearly the entire field of view, allowing it  to accurately focus throughout a wide area – even on small, fast objects that other cameras would fail to recognize.

In addition to the extensive AF coverage, the α6300 debuts a new High-density tracking AF technology that significantly improves subject detection and tracking performance. This new technology can quickly activate a large number of AF points surrounding a subject – approximately 7.5 times more density than the α6000 – and intelligently adjust them in accordance with the subject’s motion. 

This is a particularly powerful feature when used with high-speed 11 fps continuous shooting or the new 8 fps continuous live-view mode, which provides 100% accurate framing for fast moving subjects on the LCD screen or viewfinder.

Of note is the fact that the camera’s 425 phase detection AF points, enhanced tracking and focus accuracy are all available on the α6300 when using A-mount lenses4 with a mount adaptor like the Sony LA-EA3. 

This is a first for Sony E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, as the only other cameras to feature this capability are the full-frame α7R II and α7 II models.
Other enhancements to the α6300 include silent shooting functionality the ability to use AF in focus magnifier mode, expanded flexible spot AF, Eye AF in AF-C mode and more.

Powerful 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Processor

In order to maximize efficiency and overall camera performance, the α6300 features a new 24.2 MP sensor that is an ideal match for its BIONZ X image processing engine.

The new image sensor employs copper wiring in its structure, which improves light collection efficiency and significantly accelerates readout speed. The BIONZ X processor features an upgraded image processing algorithm designed to maximize the sensor’s overall capabilities.

Together, the two key components work together to produce images with low noise and exceptional resolution in sensitivity settings up to ISO51200, in particular in the mid-to-high sensitivity range.

Ultimate 4K Resolution and Other Professional Video Capabilities

In another first for non-full-frame Sony interchangeable lens camera, the new α6300 offers internal 4K movie recording in Super 35mm format. When shooting in 4K, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 20 megapixels of information – approximately 2.4x5 (6K equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD and then oversamples the information to produce high quality  footage with exceptional detail and depth.

The camera utilizes the XAVC S codec6 during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps7 during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during standard Full HD shooting, ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats.  Additionally, the camera will focus approximately twice as fast as its predecessor during movie shooting thanks to its new and improved AF system.  AF speed and AF tracking sensitivity are also adjustable for expanded creativity.

Other professional caliber video features include the ability to record Full HD at 120 fps at 100 Mbps, another first for α interchangeable lens cameras with APS-C sized sensors.  This mode allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD8 (24p or 30p) resolution with AF tracking.  The new α6300 also offers S-Log gamma recording for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider color space.  Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.

Also included on the new camera is a microphone line input that accepts external microphones and also supports XLR input with Sony’s XLR adapter kit, as well as Gamma Display Assist, a new function that allows users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies. The new model has enhanced Zebra functionality for greater exposure control. Picture profile settings are available, as well as Time Code / User Bit and much more.

Enhanced Operability and Ergonomics

The α6300 camera is equipped with a high contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder with approximately 2.4 million dots that offers exceptional corner-to-corner visibility. There is also a new mode available for the viewfinder that allows display of images at 120 fps, ensuring that action is displayed smoothly with very few afterimages, making subject tracking through the Tru-finder easier than ever.

Aesthetically, the new α6300 camera features an extremely solid feel in hand thanks to its robust, magnesium alloy design. It can be customized to fit nearly any shooting style or preferences, with 9 customizable buttons that one of 64 different functions can be assigned to.  The camera adds a digital level gauge as well as upgraded dust and moisture resistance10, a reinforced lens mount structure and a new shutter release button and mode dial with improved operability and grip.


The new α6300 camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™, which add a variety of creative capabilities to the camera.  It also supports QR code for easy connection to non-NFC smart phones.


Specs

Lens Compatibility: Sony E-mount lenses

Sensor Type: APS-CSENSORAPS-C type (23.5 x 15.6 mm) Exmor® CMOS sensor

Number of Pixels (Effective): Approx. 24.2 megapixels

ISO Sensitivity: Still images: ISO 100-25600 (expandable to 51200), AUTO (ISO 100-6400, selectable lower limit and upper limit),
Movies: ISO 100-25600 equivalent, AUTO (ISO 100-6400, selectable lower limit and upper limit)

Battery Life: (CIPA, Still Images)Approx. 350 shots (viewfinder) / Approx. 400 shots (LCD screen) (CIPA standard)

Viewfinder Type: XGA OLED, 1.0 cm (0.39 type) electronic viewfinder (color)Screen Type2.95 in (3.0-type) wide type TFT
 


Price

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α6300 interchangeable lens camera will be available in March for about $1,000 for the camera body or for about $1,150 paired with a 16-50mm F3.5 – F5.6 kit lens (model SELP1650). But if you want the most performance then you can go with the  FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM (model SEL2470GM) which is priced around $2,000 dollar range along with two other lenses.


My Thoughts


Both cameras are very remarkable and have some of the same specs but I think Sony wins just by the price alone. Both cameras are a balance between photographers and filmmakers, which is not such a bad thing as us filmmakers love shooting stills for BTS and on set photos. Each camera brings a lot to the table as far as features but the price is king. Personally I am really liking the Sony but I don't think you can go wrong with either camera.

by Corey Steib on February 5th, 2016


It's not even into the first of the year in 2016 and already two of the biggest companies have come out with two cameras that record internal 4K (Canon and Sony). Earlier this week Canon came out with there new 1DX MK2 which is priced at around $6,000 dollars.

The EOS-1D X Mark II is blazingly fast. Up to 14 fps* (up to 16 fps* in Live View mode) can be captured at a burst rate of up to 170 RAWs with a CFast™ card, and an improved 61-point AF system helps deliver clean, sharp images quickly, even in dim light. This remarkable speed means faster recording too:

4K video can be recorded at up to 60 fps with smooth AF and strikingly clear detail. Combined with superb low-light performance thanks to its powerful sensor and expandable ISO range, the EOS-1D X Mark II performs brilliantly, swiftly and stunningly no matter when or where the photographer is shooting.

From the stadium, safari or studio to virtually everywhere in between, the EOS-1D X Mark II maintains and enhances all the hallmarks of what Canon has to offer, marking a new page in the legacy of the EOS series of cameras.

images from canon

image from planet5D

image via canon rumors


Features

  • Fastest shooting EOS-1D, capable of up to 14 fps* full-resolution RAW or JPEG, and up to 16 fps* in Live View mode with new Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors.
  • Achieves a maximum burst rate of up to 170 RAWs in continuous shooting at up to 16 fps, and 4K movies using CFast™ cards in the new CFast 2.0™** slot.
  • Experience less noise in higher ISO images via a new 20.2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, with an ISO range of 100-51200; expansion to ISO 409600.
  • Improved AF performance through 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system with 41 cross-type points, improved center point focusing sensitivity to -3 EV and compatibility down to f/8.
  • Accurate subject tracking for stills and video with new EOS Intelligent Tracking and Recognition AF with 360,000-pixel metering sensor.
  • 4K video (4096 x 2160) up to 60 fps (59.94), with an 8.8-Megapixel still frame grab**** in camera.
  • Full 1080p HD capture up to 120 fps for slow motion.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF & Movie Servo AF for high speed, high frame rate and continuous autofocus during video shooting.
  • View and control high quality stills and videos via the 3.2-inch touch panel LCD with 1.62 million dots.
  • Increased resolution and fine detail, with lens aberration correction and diffraction correction via new in-camera Digital Lens Optimizer technology.
  • Built-in GPS***** provides geotag information including auto time syncing with Universal Time Code via satellites.
  • The new optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E8A is compatible with IEEE 802.11ac/n/a/g/b, supporting both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi® bands.
  • Durable and rugged magnesium alloy body with dust- and-weather resistance for demanding shooting situations.         


Specs

  • 20.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • Dual DIGIC 6+ Image Processors
  • 3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
  • DCI 4K Video at 60 fps, 8.8MP Still Grab
  • 61-Point High Density Reticular AF II
  • Native ISO 51200, Expanded to ISO 409600
  • 14 fps Shooting, 16 fps in Live View
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AFBuilt-In GPS, Optional Wi-Fi Transmitter
  • Mag. Alloy Body, CFast & CF Card Slots
Adding Dual Pixel CMOS AF to a full frame sensor is great and having a touch screen opens up the full capability of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Canon owns auto focus in video and the 1DX MKII is taking full advantage of it.


Video Formats

NTSC AND PAL

4K-MOV

4096 x 2160p / 59.94 fps (800 Mbps) / 50 fps / 29.97 fps (500 Mbps) / 25 fps (500 Mbps) / 24 fps / 23.98 fps

High Definition-MOV
1920 x 1080p / 120 fps (360 Mbps) / 100 fps / 59.94 fps (180 Mbps) / 50 fps / 59.94 fps (60 Mbps) / 50 fps / 29.97 fps (90 Mbps) / 25 fps / 24 fps / 23.98 fps / 29.97 fps (30 Mbps) / 25 fps
/ 24 fps / 23.98 fps

High Definition-MP4
1920 x 1080p / 59.94 fps (60 Mbps) / 50 fps / 29.97 fps (30 Mbps) / 25 fps / 24 fps / 23.98 fps
/ 29.97 fps (12 Mbps) / 25 fps
The HDMI  was replaced with a mini HDMI connector with full uncompressed output. The 1DX MKII does have the 30 minute shooting limit but add a external recorder and you can go longer

Canon added Cfast Cards as well as compact flash to the new flagship and a touch screen.

(Dual Pixel AF). A touch screen is essential for getting the most from it. Just tap the area you want to focus and the DPAF snaps right in. The controls of how the AF works is also customizable. Want a slower rack. Just change how fast it focuses. Several different settings are available. 

It also comes with a 3.5mm audio input as well as a headphone jack and ethernet port is on the side.

Image from Canon
WiFi connectivity is a little big and requires an add on WFT-E8A Wireless File Transmitter, which uses a 802.11ac standard to achieve transfer rates of up to 433 Mbps. It’s not cheap at $589 soo muh :(.

Image from Canon

Part 2 will be up latter today with Sony and which camera I would buy and why.

by Karin Gottschalk via Planet5D.com on January 25th, 2016

​Great news for raw video shooters! Version 1.4 of the slimRAW lossless and lossy compression application for CinemaDNG raw video has been released, helping save hard drive storage space and making two-location file backups way more efficient. The ability to shoot CinemaDNG raw video is a key feature in a range of cinema cameras and Canon DSLRs running Magic Lantern firmware.

The upside to shooting CinemaDNG? Beautiful, data-packed digital negatives just as tone, color and detail rich as stills photography raw files. The downside? CinemaDNG eats up far more storage space than non-raw video, and the cost of pro-quality hard drives and SSDs is not dropping anywhere near as fast as we’d all like. 

I passed on affordable raw-shooting cinema cameras and Magic Lantern’s raw functionality on my Canon DSLRs for that very reason but now slimRAW has given me cause to rethink.
The slimRAW folks tell us that their lossy but high quality CinemaDNG compression provides for big storage space and storage bandwidth gains. At compression ratios of 3:1 and 4:1, that is not a surprise.

Here are the NLEs and color grading products that currently support lossless CinemaDNG:
  • Adobe After Effects CC
  • Adobe Lightroom CC
  • Adobe Photoshop CCAdobe Premiere CC
  • Adobe SpeedGrade CC
  • Assimilate Scratch
  • Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve – also supports lossy CinemaDNG.
  • Blackmagic Design Fusion
  • Lightworks
  • The Foundry NUKE

Unfortunately, Apple’s popular Final Cut Pro X is not on that list, but I hope lossy and lossless CinemaDNG support will be appearing in FCPX soon. For a detailed list of raw-shooting cameras supported by slimRAW, best go to the slimRAW website. Off the bat, though, Blackmagic Design’s cameras are included as well as raw footage from Magic Lantern-equipped Canon DSLRs (converted to CinemaDNG), the Digital Bolex D16, Sony’s FS700 and FS7, and several independently-developed cinema raw-shooting cameras.

Another key slimRAW key feature is its ability to simultaneously offload CinemaDNG raw video from recorders or cameras with lossless or lossy compression, verification and checksum generation on the fly. slimRAW is currently available in Windows and Mac versions at an introductory discount price of USD $39.00 with a function-limited trial version for tryout. Future minor version updates will be free.

slimRAW adds 3:1 and 4:1 CinemaDNG compression

slimraw
Via SlimRaw 
January 11, 2016 – The latest update of slimRAW was released today. Version 1.4 adds 3:1 and 4:1 lossy CinemaDNG compression options for even greater storage space savings. It enables the beauty of the raw workflow at smaller data footprints. The lossily compressed CinemaDNG raw video is compatible with Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve.

slimRAW is a fast CinemaDNG compressor which saves storage space and reduces storage bandwidth requirements for CinemaDNG raw video production. slimRAW converts uncompressed CinemaDNG raw video to losslessly or lossily compressed CinemaDNG.

slimRAW can also recompress and optimize size of CinemaDNG video that is already losslessly compressed. slimRAW doubles as a CinemaDNG raw video DIT utility: it can offload raw video from camera or recorder media to two storage locations simultaneously with on-the-fly lossless or lossy compression, checksum generation and verification, while preserving all the original metadata. 

slimRAW is available for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X.
For a list of supported cameras, compatible video production software and more information about slimRAW visit: www.slimraw.com

 

slimRAW Highlights

Choice of lossless or high quality lossy compression

slimRAW can compress to standard lossless CInemaDNG for a substantial data size reduction with no image quality loss, or do lossy CinemaDNG compression for even smaller data sizes.slimRAW can also recompress and optimize CinemaDNG raw video that is already losslessly compressed.

Offload with compression in a single step

slimRAW can offload CinemaDNG raw footage from camera or recorder media to main storage while losslessly or lossily compressing it in the same step. slimRAW compression is fast enough to make this practical even on location.

Dual output

slimRAW can optionally output compressed CinemaDNG files to two locations simultaneously. This is particularly useful for offloading CinemaDNG video to main storage and backup storage simultaneously.

Data integrity tracking

slimRAW can optionally generate checksums to facilitate data integrity tracking through post production and archiving. slimRAW can be used to verify these checksums at any later stage.

Metadata preservation

slimRAW preserves all the original embedded metadata, including color, time codes and frame rate related metadata.

Streamlined UI

slimRAW’s user interface is simple, clean and easy to use. It gets the job done without getting in the way.

Performance

The multicore enabled parallel design of slimRAW makes use of all the available CPU power on your computer to maximize processing speed.

Output compatibility

Video production software supporting losslessly compressed CinemaDNG includes Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve, Blackmagic Design Fusion, Assimilate Scratch, The Foundry NUKE, Lightworks, Adobe Premiere CC, Adobe SpeedGrade CC, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. Lossy CinemaDNG is supported by Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve.

Supported cameras and recorders


Uncompressed CinemaDNG video from:
  • Digital Bolex D16,
  • Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera (pre-firmware 2.1),
  • Canon DSLR Magic Lantern raw (converted to CinemaDNG/DNG),
  • Sony FS700/FS7 raw recorded through Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q/7Q+,
  • Ikonoskop A-Cam dII,
  • Kinefinity KineMINI 4K,
  • KineMAX 6K, KineRAW,
  • Indiecam indieGS2K and indiePOV (uncompressed 12-bit CinemaDNG
  • video as exported by Indiecam Instant-RAW software),
  • uncompressed DNG frame stacks from Fastec Imaging TS and HiSpec series cameras (10-bit in a 16-bit container and 8-bit),
  • most other standard compliant uncompressed 8-, 12-, 14- or 16-bit CinemaDNG footage.

Losslessly compressed CinemaDNG video from:
  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera,
  • Blackmagic Cinema Camera (firmware 2.1 or newer),
  • Blackmagic Production Camera 4K,
  • Blackmagic URSA,Blackmagic URSA Mini,
  • most other standard compliant losslessly compressed CinemaDNG/DNG files, including DNG raw stills.


by Corey Steib on January 22nd, 2016


For the past 2 years the drone market ie..Unmannd Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) or Drone as it's normally called has be a booming business for companies like DJI and a few others. But what If you compared there two top drones (Phantom 3) vs the (Inspire 1) in a range test to see if there top model (the inspire 1) can out range the little brother (Phantom 3). Now this is not a test I did and I am sure it's not the only on you can find online, but I came across this one from the Drone Doctor on youtube.com. Just watch the video for yourself and you will be shocked and surprised at the same time as I was.