If you haven’t checked out Motocrane, you should do that.
So this company is based out of Minneapolis. The CEO and one of the founders is a former student of mine from MCAD. Yesterday I took my class down to their shop and studio. Zach shared the ins and outs of their journey to get this product to market and what the future looks like. (it looks pretty awesome)
About a year and half ago I got a chance to use the prototype in a demo and the footage was stunning. Even if you are not doing car stuff this makes for a versatile car based tracking machine.
So once upon a time there was Cinema and there were cinema cameras. Along the way you have the democratization of Cinema. What a wonderful thing. A kid could make a film with an iPhone. A Hollywood director could film in a virtual world. All of this sounds very positive if the story is good.
I recently came across this article: http://doddlenews.com/cinema-cameras-complicated/
It really pisses me off. So if a cinema camera is too complicated, don’t use it. This attitude that DSLR/Youtube trash video should be easy to film is bullshit. What is the story? What is the right tool for that? So, yes the flagship Cinema camera from Canon may be too much camera for your Youtube channel. Is it too much for a film projected in a cinema? probably not. Is your DSLR, highly compressed, 8 bit footage good enough for the cinema? probably not.
Keep cinema cameras complicated for the artists and craftspeople that know how to use them.
This is shocking and blog worthy. $2500 for a super 8 camera from Kodak in 2018! Yes, that is the correct amount of zeros. Kodak has been teasing this updated Super 8 camera for a couple of years now. I saw a demo unit last fall and it was pretty cool. Essentially it has a built in “video assist” as a monitor. It had microphone and audio inputs to record synchronized sound (onto an SD card). They also expanded the gate to get a little more out of the aspect ratio. Sounds really cool, something I might consider for $800. But for $2500 I could get a really nice Bolex 16, An Arri-S with pin registration or possibly and Arriflex SR! Granted film cost and processing escalates with 16mm, but at that point why not. I get the nostalgia factor and warm fuzzy feeling you get with Super 8 but I could not justify this cost. Good luck Kodak.
It has been nearly a year since I’ve written anything here. What’s new? What’s old?
Current rig is the Sony Fs7. The only upgrade this year was a switch to V mount batteries but not the Sony accessory, just a dumb mount from Core. This years goal is to upgrade to better lenses. Perhaps Sigma Zooms and Primes?
Another tool I hope to get this year is an Easyrig®. After operating on a feature (handheld) in June my arm just can’t do it. We’ve seen the Steadicam get budget models over the years but this item is always expensive.
Excited to see what this year may bring.
I’ve had a distaste for the Black Magic cameras since using the original cinema camera. I was tempted with the initial buzz of the pocket camera, but poor battery life and lens options deterred me to the mainstream.
Recently I had the chance to shoot a creative short film with one. The director of the project owned one and we decided to give it a go. Once caged up and accompanied by my SmallHD dp4 I could use it more effectively. The flat look that it displays was still difficult to focus with like using LOG on the Sony, but mostly everything was in focus. 😉
We shot in RAW or Cinema DNG format to give the most flexibility in post. We were using a Metabones speed booster converter to allow us to use Canon EF lenses. Primarily a Sigma 18-35 and an old NIKON 50mm. There was also a POLA filter and sometimes a vaseline filter on the lens.
I have to say the material looked pretty amazing once we got it into post and started applying different looks. Even simple BM to REC 709 looks gave it a very filmic-16mm-Ektachrome quality.
My initial bias aside I think it is a fine little camera. Maybe someday I’ll get to film with it again.
Here is a frame grab with the temp grade applied using Sigma lens at 35mm.
This is a frame grab of the close up using the Nikon 50mm. Lit with F&V z96 light.
It has been confusing over the last few years understanding who is doing what after the image is captured. This article does a nice job of explaining it.
Matthew Duclos has touted the Rokinon Cine primes since they debuted. Now they have rehoused the lenses and branded them as Xeen Cinema Primes. They have the physical look of a Zeiss CP2 or other large cinema lens with a price tag of $2500. So now you can get them in a variety of mounts and all that. Sounds great, anyone want to buy my used Cine DS primes?
I came across this article on Twitter. I thought it had a lot of great things to think about as a DP starting out or even those of us with a few films under our belt. Give it a read.
This just came in. I have been hoping that Rokinon would push the set to this focal length for a while. Especially shooting with the 5D MkIII or using the Meta Bones Speed Booster with Sony cameras. I’m looking forward to getting it side by side with the Canon 70-200 2.8.
So I had the opportunity to rent and use the Sony Fs7 last week. I expected to like this camera, had one on order but postponed until some more work comes along. This outing was straight forward vox pop style interviews. I encouraged the producer to go with it so they could easily cut into the 4K image without a loss in resolution.
The camera really is well laid out and easy to jump into using (for someone that has used dozens of cameras). The number one thing that myself and any other user is going to need to spend some time with is the the CINE settings. Shooting in Slog with LUTs can be confusing and an extra step in the process for post. Make sure that you and your post pipeline are familiar with this and do some testing. For this project we went with a fairly flat “Alexa” style LUT and baked it in by selecting that the LUT be applied to internal recording.
If you are planning on filming long interviews I would recommend that you get the 128 GB cards. Shooting at 4K chewed through the 3 64GB card I had in no time or 32 minutes each. If you are downloading cards on set the reader is USB3 so make sure you bring a computer with this connection speed or you’ll be waiting a while.
I was using the camera with the Metabones Ultra lens adaptor. This worked great with my Canon Full frame glass. I really appreciated having the built in ND filters on the camera rather than messing with screw in filters on the lens.
I didn’t get to take advantage of the slow motion features too much on this project, but did run through it in my prep for the shoot. Like the Fs700 it has the capability to do slow motion in 1080. But unlike the Fs700 this camera can run at 180 FPS continuously.
I look forward to taking the camera out again on the next shoot.