Tokyo test footage – attempting a Ridley Scott with the hacked GH2 and Olympus 12mm F2

I decided to give my GH2 a tough challenge a few days ago – replicate the look of Blade Runner in the rain, in the side streets of Tokyo. The GH2 isn’t a weather proof camera but on this occasion I felt it may as well have been, it really did get that wet. At one point I had condensation inside my Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95! The weather had been fine for the whole week I was in Japan and then it all went south with a vengeance which was perfect. Tokyo looks incredibly cinematic in the rain.

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Hell and Back Again is Oscars 2011 listed for Best Documentary Feature

I have always believed a film shot on a DSLR would one day win an Oscar.

Shot in Afghanistan on the 5D Mark II by Danfung Dennis – Hell and Back Again – seems to be going all the way. It is one of just 15 documentaries which will advance to the final shortlist vote for the Oscars 2011. The feature length documentary has long been known by us in the DSLR community, and gives an incredibly immersive and intimate view of war never before captured.

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Tokyo adventure / Fuji X100 / Tascam DR-5

Tokyo taxi

Above: Tokyo shot on the GH2 with Olympus 12mm F2

I am in Japan right now for a short holiday. This place is incredible, a blend of high tech and high tradition. The Japanese also have impeccable politeness that spreads a feel good vibe over almost everything you see or do. The countryside and mountains have a zen-like calm and minimalism, the city of Tokyo has a Bladerunner-like futuristic buzz to it but actually Shanghai is more like a bustling Bladerunner dystopia. Tokyo is very ordered and utopian.

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Latest GH2 hack unlocks stunning ISO 12,800 with film-like grain

Go deeper into the GH2 with the 164 page EOSHD GH2 Shooter’s Guide

Vitaliy Kiselev revealed his latest version 3.63 GH2 hack yesterday. In it is a innocuous patch that removes the ISO limit (3200) in video mode allowing us to go all the way to ISO 12,800. Now at first I didn’t think much to this, since the image would be unusable at ISO 12,800 right?

Well it turns out I was wrong.

“Seeing in the dark is an understatement, it is like having Infra Red!” was overheard on Vitaliy’s forum so I went out in a hurry to test it and recorded the footage above at ISO 12,800. What I found amazed me. The amount of detail still present in the image is just astounding. No noise reduction is applied to the footage, and it is turned off in-camera. Not only that but noise has a very fine film-like grain because of the accompanying high bitrate hack. The look of the noise is similar to the Nikon D3S’s video mode at high ISOs but with far more resolution. It doesn’t look like digital noise, it is more like 8mm film at ISO 800.

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Olympus admit to wrongdoing in financial scandal

Olympus VP Hisashi Mori

Olympus have admitted to illegal accounting practices in a news conference held in Tokyo today. The company used over $1 billion to hide huge losses from bad investments since the 90’s, sweeping them under the rug by making spurious payments to dummy entitles, the largest of which was over $670 million (or 2 years profit) in 2008 to a Caymans Island entity which disappeared 2 weeks later.

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Interview with me, help make a documentary, and GH2 firmware goodies

The Board of Education

Please back Jared and get this film made! Even if you just want to buy the Fader ND or monitor – you will be supporting a great cause and a great filmmaker.

Jared Abrams from Wide Open Camera asked to interview me recently and I was happy to chat about all things DLSR video. I’ve also decided to become a backer on his filmĀ The Board of Education which I really want to see made.

Read moreInterview with me, help make a documentary, and GH2 firmware goodies

Canon 4K mirrorless DSLR available within 12 months

4K DSLR

Canon’s Chuck Westfall has said the new 4K concept DSLR will be on the market within 12 months. He made the comment in an interview with The Verge magazine. The rear of the camera gives us some other clues – it has a wide 16:9 screen rather than the usual 4:3 or 3:2 screen on normal DSLRs.

Read moreCanon 4K mirrorless DSLR available within 12 months