Speed Booster ULTRA

The Speed Booster ULTRA features the latest evolution of optics from Caldwell Photographic USA and is available for E-Mount and Fuji X-mount cameras (to cover APS-C or Super 35mm recording areas).

The new glass brings with it an increase in performance – sharper corners and better contrast. The increase in performance over the original Speed Booster is made possible by the use of cutting edge high index tantalum glass, in 5 elements in 4 groups; the old version of Speed Booster will be phased out.

I currently have a review sample of the ULTRA, I’ll publish some sample images later today!

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Iscorama 1.5x 36 anamorphic

If you want your Iscorama to join an elite of less than 20 in existence – high performance ones with greatly improved handling and construction, then you have until Tuesday 2nd September to join the EOSHD / Andrew Wonder group buy! Email EOSHD here to join the list.

The modification made in the UK by cine lens specialists Van Diemen will build into the lens a brand new focus movement, for a shorter throw of 150 degrees. Much better for follow focuses and quicker manual focus by hand. Close focus will come down to 3 ft 6 inches with the aim of this coming down even further when engineering begins. Along with robust metal housing replacing the plastic housing of the Iscorama, the new lens will have the ability to add a lens support for those using 15mm rods.

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Sony RX10 / A7R

When I reviewed it earlier this year I found the RX10 to be an excellent shot getter – but it was also a shot loser as well due to the weak AVCHD implementation. Many of my images suffered from too much mud and a break-up of detail in certain situations. So this is very welcome news from Sony. The V2.0 RX10 firmware adds 50Mbit/s XAVC-S codec and just as excitingly 120fps for slow-mo, making the RX10 a very interesting creative prospect because of the very effective stabilisation, long lens range, built in ND filter and a sensor with a full pixel readout.

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sony-f5-4k-xavc

View the Sony F5 ‘out of the box’ specs at B&H here (and add 4K for free)

Paul Ream (Twitter) has spoken about his simple unlocking technique for the F5 to unlock 4K XAVC recording.

It doesn’t even require a firmware update.

Via Philip Bloom on Facebook and Paul Ream on the ExtraShot Podcast

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m43-sb-2

First impressions review

The long awaited active Canon EF mount Speed Booster adapter for Micro Four Thirds is finally here. I have a review sample, currently putting it through a few shoots to see how it performs. This is not the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera version but the general Micro Four Thirds mount adapter, so fully compatible with all Panasonic and Olympus cameras including the GH4 and E-M1. Finally you can use all your Canon lenses with full electronic support for aperture control and stabilisation.

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YouTube Preview Image

I’ve recently worked with the Grammy Award winning DJ, from Berlin – Paul Van Dyk. Although the final cut and grade was done by his record label, the shots are taken from my EOSHD camera test videos and personal creative shoots shot in Berlin over the past 12 months and it’s a real honour that such a major commercial artist appreciates my shots enough to associate them with his music.

There’s a variety of cameras in the mix, used to shoot the images - see if you can tell which. A big thanks to Christina Mj Zahra (dark haired girl dancing) and Frank Sauer (my collaborator on the Digital Bolex shoot with Christina).

Paul Van Dyk was one of the first real superstar DJs (For An Angel being one of his most well known tracks) and he’s a huge part of the Berlin music scene. Dance / trance fans enjoy!

OM-D E-M1

Sometimes the rumour mill is just so outrageous. I am not talking about the site admins (don’t shoot the messenger) but rather some of the sources who feed absolutely made up information. You may have heard the rumours of the Olympus E-M1 getting a 4K video firmware update, but 4K video on the E-M1 is a technical impossibility and here’s why…

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Iscorama anamorphic

An Iscorama owner and interested in joining this project? Simply email me here

The Iscorama is a wonder of vintage optics. No focus breathing, a unique patented focus mechanism, small size and sharp at fast apertures. The beauty is the sheer number of primes you can use it with. Whilst an Iscorama may look expensive at $3000 a pop (used!), a full set of Zeiss master anamorphics cost an eye watering $305,000 ($43,600 per lens).

Now it’s about to become even better, but only if we club together as Iscorama users to make this happen…

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A7S with Metabones Smart EF adapter

Update on the update: Firmware update app is currently Windows only, Mac version available within the next 24hrs

Metabones have announced a firmware update for their Smart EF Mark IV adapter (E-Mount). This is a must-have update for A7S users who have experienced buggy behaviour with their camera using Canon lenses.

The firmware update is available from Metabones here along with full instructions.

If you have the earlier Mark III version of the adapter the firmware update must be done back at base. To do this users should contact Metabones to arrange the return.

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pinewood-shuttle

On a trip to Pinewood Studios I saw for the first time Sony A7S 4K footage projected in a theatre. The surprise was just how well the 1080p held up for cinematic projection. I also had my hands on the Atomos Shogun 4K recorder / 7″ monitor, the new Sony PXW X70 1″ camcorder with 10bit XAVC codec and more…

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I shot ‘Nomad’ with my friend Susanna and the Sony A7S a few days ago, in 120fps slow-mo mode.

Light sources were only a candle, iPhone torch and an old industrial German desk lamp with red filter on the front. I am amazed at the clean results. ISO levels were pushing on for 12,800 in most of the shots.

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I’ve had the A7S for over a week now and can share my initial thoughts, even some firm conclusions. Here’s one I’ve come to already – the Sony A7S is the best consumer camera Sony have ever made.

For $2500 the video performance of the A7S sits between the FS700 ($8000) and F5 ($17,000) yet the full frame sensor lends more character and allows for groundbreaking low light performance.

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Only a few years ago S-LOG was a $3800 upgrade for the Sony CineAlta F3, itself a $15,000 camera. S-LOG made its debut on the Sony F35, a workhorse of Hollywood.

Now Sony have put this on a $2500 consumer camera along with the best full frame sensor I have ever used for video. How good is it? Very!!

I am sharing a pack of LUTs for the A7S which can be applied in Premiere, Resolve, etc. for an instant cinematic look to your A7S S-LOG 2 footage.

Download

Three LUTs are provided in the zip. Dynamic – for best dynamic range, will suit a low contrast shot requiring high dynamic range and plenty of shadow detail. Also good for low light. Vivid will give a punchier look to those shots that benefit from it like a sunset and where some dynamic range can be scarified for higher contrast and saturation. S-GAMUT is for when shooting S-LOG with the Color Mode of S-GAMUT and compensates for the purple tint to reds I find I am getting in this mode. For the Dynamic and Vivid LUTs you must set the camera colour mode in PP7 to ITU709 Matrix.

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Sony A7S with Atomos Ninja Star

The A7S is so close to being a ‘complete’ system for high end video quality in a small prosumer camera, but there’s one issue that has quite rightly been highlighted by filmmakers such as Andrew Wonder and that is the rolling shutter distortion. The A7S actually has a very fast sensor with high efficiency made possible by the latest technology but because it does not skip any lines when reading out the image the net result is a scan that takes roughly as long as the older 5D Mark II, which does line-skip.

Sony plan to fix this by introducing a new sensor technology which can read entire lines of pixels in batches of 4 simultaneously.

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buddy-james-miller---cyp-4k-hdmi-scaler

Picture (“Buddy”) courtesy of James Miller, inset – the CYP 4K HDMI scaler

The picture above (click for 1080p original) is from the 4K full frame sensor inside the Sony A7S (ISO 3200, S-LOG2).

Internally the camera does a simple downscale of the 4K signal to 2K for standard 1080p XAVC or HDMI recording – but James discovered adding a hardware scaler on the end of the 4K HDMI signal results in a more detailed 1080p image which is light and day different. The great news is this scaler is only £167 in the UK.

Add to that an Atomos Ninja Blade or Ninja Star for taking the image from the scaler and recording it to ProRes – and you have one of the best 1080p images available at any price.

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The EOSHD Panasonic GH4 Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD 5D Mark III Raw Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD Sony A7 Series Guide to Full Frame Lenses
The EOSHD Panasonic GH3 Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD Anamorphic Shooter's Guide - Second Edition
More EOSHD Guides