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Axel

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  1. Like
    Axel got a reaction from Mmmbeats in ETTR: The Ultimate Exposure Technique?   
    All compressed video has some curve baked it. With ETTR, you 'fill the well' of your sensor and 'avoid the noise floor', but depending on the said curve (picture style), you may also have thinned out your values. The common S-curve will also try to avoid the noisy depths and favor skin tones, midtones. By not exposing to the center, you risk getting very doughy skintones when changing that curve in post.
     At least with 8-bit, but also with 10-bit, it's possible that the one shot you need has too little definition in the areas that count (usually the skin), and you are forced to de-grade the good shots to match the worst. Especially when you shot in very bright places. For 8-bit, it's a good idea to light flat.
    ETTR is a no-brainer with raw. Then even zebra suffices. 

  2. Like
    Axel got a reaction from Dave Maze in DJI Ronin S   
    Fantastic review, Dave! Now I really want that thing ...
  3. Thanks
    Axel reacted to Dave Maze in DJI Ronin S   
    Finally got our Ronin-S review finished! Really loving this gimbal. Although....at the end of the day, if you have an extra operator, the MoVI with all the FIZ control is going to be better. The Ronin-S is a Z Crane killer. 
     
  4. Like
    Axel got a reaction from kye in Artistic / aesthetic use of Bokeh?   
    Bokeh actually is a rather esoteric term because it doesn't mean blur, but the aesthetic quality of the blur. In the same way bouquet does not mean stinky wine. That's why there are so many criteria to judge the bokeh of a lens.
    It had been a trend for long, but it's nothing special anymore.
    Last but not least, why is it a flat medium? There are other factors to make us feel depth:

    We don't *see* it in real life, but something very similar happens. Apart from the fact that our vision has a permanent vignette at the borders, we only see the momentary object of interest really sharp and clear, even if the other objects/persons are optically in focus. If you want to focus on something/someone, it's therefore justified (if also often crude) to throw the background oof.
  5. Like
    Axel got a reaction from jonpais in Video Compression Kills Grain :(   
    I entertain myself with niceties of visual perception ever since. It all comes down to what german poet Goethe concluded:
    (clumsy translation)
    He had written on perception of colors early on, and we are talking about the 18th century! As William Gladstone proved later on, we may all *see* the same things, but we take completely different things *for real*. His finding: if you don't have a word for blue, you can't (yes: canNOT) distinguish blue from green. The sky turned blue the instance the color could be artificially reproduced, and the sky and lapis lazuli were no longer the only blue things in the world ("blue" flowers are always light or dark purple, and they are described as such in earlier times).
    So the least we can say is that our perception is way more flexible than we are aware of. But what is still questionable is whether or not ISO grain does convincingly look like scotopic vision. The answer is, it can. Everything that signals a purpose, an intention, a calculated effect, and be it drastically distorted and stylized, will trigger the suspension of disbelief. On the contrary, if an image surrounded us 360°, had 20k resolution, 200fps and 30 stops of DR, we would be smart enough to find it reality-like, but ultimately unreal.
  6. Like
    Axel reacted to BenEricson in Video Compression Kills Grain :(   
    I always hear comments like this, but I’ve never heard an actual story of anyone having a “it was all blank sorry” moment.  This seems like the modern equivalent of forgetting to load a card into a digital camera. You’d have to either have very serious mechanical error, severe under exposure, or be uneducated in the process, all of which are preventable... especially since the room for error with negative film is extremly high.
    I recently shot a short piece on a Bolex Rex 4. The scanning prices have dropped recently and the 4k scans available now are really nice and affordable. 
    ProRes LT to Vimeo has worked pretty good for me in the past. Film grain holds up really nice in my experience.
     
  7. Like
    Axel reacted to Anaconda_ in How do you practice?   
    Going off the street photography for practice thing. You could try making a series of 1 minute docs about your town.
    Episode 1 - the people there, try to get comments from people on the street about what they like/dislike about the town
    Episode 2  - the business and shops there
    Episode 3 - the parks and recreational spaces
    Episode 4 - what's there for tourists, what do they think of the town?
    Episode 5 - tell us about the nightlife.
    This will give you an interesting story, and hopefully something you'd be keen to edit and produce. While also giving you all kinds of situations to test your gear out. I doubt it'll take more than a day to film each episode, and limiting yourself to 1 or 2 minutes means you can edit it in an afternoon. It also means you'll be more careful with what you shoot, since you don't need hours of broll.
  8. Like
    Axel got a reaction from jonpais in Opinion Poll: Sony A6300 / A6500   
    I'm going to sell the Sigma 19mm. Sharpness and overall look is top notch, really on par with Sigma 18-35 Art (at least @f5.6), and that means a lot! But it has two and a half shortcomings:
    1. Bad manual focus ring (fly-by-wire, slippery)
    2. Very fast, completely quiet AF, but, and that's the main problem, it breaths or hunts: background permanently and annoyingly focusses and defocusses, no matter the aperture, no matter the AF setting. Does so not all the time, but you won't notice the behavior on the display. 
    2½. Too short and lightweight to balance properly on Zhiyun Crane V1 without additional base plate.
  9. Thanks
    Axel got a reaction from Dustin in Opinion Poll: Sony A6300 / A6500   
    The 18-105 would be *the* perfect lens, spec-wise. If it didn't have that kit-lens-look. With OIS and an additional monopod, it's indispensable @105 mm. Also good for gimbal work, because it doesn't protrude. 
    Good starting point. I have the Sigma 16mm f1.4 only since a month or so now. Never would want to go any wider (24mm FF equivalent), that's nailing down this side of the spectrum.
    Manual focussing is perfectly possible with EVF (and not so much with shitty display), but it definitely is more precise and more fun with an external monitor. Just practise and see how good you are. May I suggest a "rig"?
    See attachment. Made of these parts, all Amazon:

    Didn't find this on Amazon.com. On Amazon.de it's called Nicna universal bracket and costs €8,99.
    The Arri-rosette and the grip both are Smallrig products (the brand name fits, since I want to "reduce to the maximum"). That particular grip is also not available internationally, it seems, but imo you don't need all those mounting points, and the Camvate grip is 10 bucks cheaper anyway.
     
    That cable is USB to microUSB. Like I wrote, I feed the camera with an external powerbank on my belt the whole day, and then it's still charged. The little cut-out on the "base plate" is for the cable of a dummy battery. 
     

  10. Like
    Axel got a reaction from JordanWright in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    Oh, jonpais, you've got the A7iii? Welcome onboard the Sony boat! 
    Maybe, but then not because of better resolution than what we already have with our normal hybrids. Just compared a wedding video I shot two weeks ago with A6500 with a four year old I had then shot with BM Pocket - on a UHD TV, from a very short viewing distance. Negligible visible differences of resolution  between "HD minus 20%" - the Pocket has 1920 by 1080 pixels on it's sensor, un-debayered - and "6k downsampled to UHD". 
    How is that? Well, Yedlin was obviously right. The display resolution is of more importance than that of the camera and FullHD is the threshold. The BMPCC 4k also has just 4k pixels (the additional pixels for the wider AR can't be used for debayering).
    Decided I had to go back to the computer and finetune the colors, because in comparison *some* Sony shots looked like "video", colorwise.
    Not all though. And here is the interesting part. I had used GFilm as picture profile. And I'm glad I did. The A6500 may have it's shortcomings (more so if you compare it - on paper - to the Pocket 4k's specs), but it also has undeniable virtues (small size, low weight, good lowlight and AF), the most important one being that I already own it and a combo of good glass.
    Sony cameras are vloggers' choices. They don't care if their stuff looks like video. No one yet showed me a Youtube link to a Sony video to disprove that. But there will be a *few* Pocket clips to show such elusive qualities as better cadence or beautiful skintones. Few, because at least the skintones need the ability of the user-colorist to let them survive.
  11. Thanks
    Axel got a reaction from jonpais in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    Oh, jonpais, you've got the A7iii? Welcome onboard the Sony boat! 
    Maybe, but then not because of better resolution than what we already have with our normal hybrids. Just compared a wedding video I shot two weeks ago with A6500 with a four year old I had then shot with BM Pocket - on a UHD TV, from a very short viewing distance. Negligible visible differences of resolution  between "HD minus 20%" - the Pocket has 1920 by 1080 pixels on it's sensor, un-debayered - and "6k downsampled to UHD". 
    How is that? Well, Yedlin was obviously right. The display resolution is of more importance than that of the camera and FullHD is the threshold. The BMPCC 4k also has just 4k pixels (the additional pixels for the wider AR can't be used for debayering).
    Decided I had to go back to the computer and finetune the colors, because in comparison *some* Sony shots looked like "video", colorwise.
    Not all though. And here is the interesting part. I had used GFilm as picture profile. And I'm glad I did. The A6500 may have it's shortcomings (more so if you compare it - on paper - to the Pocket 4k's specs), but it also has undeniable virtues (small size, low weight, good lowlight and AF), the most important one being that I already own it and a combo of good glass.
    Sony cameras are vloggers' choices. They don't care if their stuff looks like video. No one yet showed me a Youtube link to a Sony video to disprove that. But there will be a *few* Pocket clips to show such elusive qualities as better cadence or beautiful skintones. Few, because at least the skintones need the ability of the user-colorist to let them survive.
  12. Thanks
    Axel reacted to IronFilm in Geoff Boyle: "F**k The Numbers"   
  13. Like
    Axel got a reaction from Mmmbeats in The Big Edit - Software Conundrum - PPro 2018???   
    The following comes from a guy using FCP X, but don't worry, I won't try to baptize you ?
    First thing you have to do, of course, is to manage your media. JBOD is very risky. I have a raid5 TB, and recently one of four disks died. Easy enough to replace this, but what if the whole controller died? Go with JBOD, but provide redundancy, in short: a complete backup, elsewhere. Never ever run out of disk space!
    Sounds wrong, is wrong. You should better split the project. Has nothing to do with performance or launch time. There is a threshold beyond which you simply invite disaster. A project of this size can't be managed. And with it going over several versions of the NLE ...
    Good idea. However, Premiere may be less dependent on a specific OS, but I doubt very much that Premiere 2018 will run on prehistoric Mountain Lion. If it can be installed in the first place, it will probably creep.
    That said, there almost certainly is a way to split your project with your old OSX and PP version. Like, saving as, deleting all edits not used for the part you want to create and consolidating it with copying to an external disk. Or so.
    There may also be third party software to manage the project. 
    It's all about instant and continuous access to databases. Have your media in compact bundles, separated from caches, render files and project files. Limit the number of files Premiere has to access all at once to a few hundred. Remember, Premiere only has to open the folder(s) that contain(s) material for the current sequence. Close the timelines not in use. Split episodes to scenes (=sequences, rarely longer than 10 minutes). But even if for a short timeline Premiere has to open 8 folders containing 4000 clips, you are asking for trouble.
  14. Like
    Axel got a reaction from salim in DJI Ronin S   
    One part is to set up a natural behavior. This EOSHD member explains it for the Zhiyun (and why you would want to choose different settings):
    The second factor is the speed of pans and tilts. Too fast, and they will stop too abruptly. Not sure how this is prevented with the Ronin S. Must be a very sophisticated algorithm, ease-in, ease-out, with powerful motors.
  15. Like
    Axel got a reaction from SR in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    You got me wrong. I didn't say the lenses were soft. Or 'crap'. One of my favorite lenses for my A6500 is the Sony 18-105. Mostly for practical reasons. But you can't for the love of god focus manually, because there are no 'positions', and if you try to rehearse a focus transition, the focus ring will just slip under your fingers. Even infinity is infinitely pushed away from you. That's what I meant with "completely useless there" (= on a 4k Pocket). And your son's clip proves little, because it's done with such a narrow aperture, it's almost fixed focus.
    Also, of the category I was referring to I only know Pan 14-40 kit lens, Oly 9-18 and Oly 12. There may be better lenses. On the official Pocket site BM shows the camera mostly with the Oly 12-40 f2.8, and according to this review, the manual focus is very useable:
     
     
     
    You might take a look at the Viltrox speedbooster, which seems to have a manual aperture control for the EF lenses (video timed):
     
  16. Like
    Axel reacted to Parker in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    I sold my Tokina/baby Angénieux 28-70 f/2.6-2.8 just a few months ago, I wasn't ever using it after I moved to a pretty much all Zeiss Contax lineup (the 35-70mm f3.4 on a speedbooster is an incredible lens, just amazing, I can't wait to see what it looks like on the new BMPCC). 

    But the Tokina does have very beautiful, filmic rendering. Basically I sold it because I had an EF version (so no way to change the aperture) and that drove me crazy since it is quite soft wide open. Little did I know, if I had just held onto it for a few months... anyway, here's a pic that shows off the Tokina's bokeh and special look for those that are curious:
     
     

  17. Like
    Axel got a reaction from Samin in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    To say that those Pana/Oly system lenses with very soft fly-by-wire focus (usually ideal for fast and quiet AF) are 'suboptimal' is way too weak. They're completely useless here.
  18. Like
    Axel got a reaction from Turboguard in DJI Ronin S   
    Long and heavy lenses are notoriously harder to balance, no matter the gimbals' maximum payload. If you choose a one-hand-gimbal, you might want to keep it lighter, if possible.  Follow my (very personal, wedding videographer owning Ronin M and Zhiyun Crane) reasoning or find your own arguments:
    1. The angled roll-motor of the Ronin S doesn't obstruct the cameras' display. Now it seems that this lets you forgo an additional external monitor. But does it? Depends on whether you just need to frame the image - and that's possible even with the considerably lighter Moza or Zhiyun with the motor in front of the screen - or, other story, if you need to focus manually. Because you have no or a poor autofocus. In this case, most camera displays won't be sufficient anyway. Probably. And you needed a free hand (one-hand-gimbal literally) or someone else to pull the focus (watch the promotion video). Heavy gimbal, heavy lens, field monitor, follow focus add up to a total weight not suitable for longer shots and longer shoots.
    2. What is it that you expect from gimbal shots? Majestic crane moves or buttery smooth dolly shots through empty architecture? These are possible even with heavier setups (because they run just seconds), but they require more or less the same skills a steadicam operator must have, hashtag ninja walk. Also be aware that the Ronin S also stabilizes just three axis, and that there are more:
    (these flexible arms can also be added to existing gimbals, see here).
    3. But there is another purpose. You can follow a person. If you consider yourself a good handheld operator, you won't need to practice an awful lot with a good gimbal, set up well (see next point). There are roughly two scenarios for a wedding: shooting static telephoto images with very long lenses, from a tripod or handheld with IBIS and OIS, and do the rest (we are talking *hours*, therefore you will learn to hate every unnecessary ounce!) with the gimbal and 24-35 mm full frame equivalent focal lengths. 50% of all footage you see in films and TV shows fall into that latter category.
    4. Well set up means the gimbal will ignore little shakes (I think that's called dead zone) and smooth out your big, intentional moves. As of now, there is a limit to the speed of pans and tilts, because if you move too fast, the gimbal will of course follow, but the movement will look robotic (because that's what it is). The Ronin S advertises a 'sports mode', and again, watch the official promo:
    I think this feature is the most outstanding one of this gimbal. But one has to be aware how it should be used. Shooting a staged breakdance? Fine. Documentary style (like a wedding)? I'm afraid then it was too heavy.
     
  19. Like
    Axel got a reaction from Phil A in DJI Ronin S   
    Long and heavy lenses are notoriously harder to balance, no matter the gimbals' maximum payload. If you choose a one-hand-gimbal, you might want to keep it lighter, if possible.  Follow my (very personal, wedding videographer owning Ronin M and Zhiyun Crane) reasoning or find your own arguments:
    1. The angled roll-motor of the Ronin S doesn't obstruct the cameras' display. Now it seems that this lets you forgo an additional external monitor. But does it? Depends on whether you just need to frame the image - and that's possible even with the considerably lighter Moza or Zhiyun with the motor in front of the screen - or, other story, if you need to focus manually. Because you have no or a poor autofocus. In this case, most camera displays won't be sufficient anyway. Probably. And you needed a free hand (one-hand-gimbal literally) or someone else to pull the focus (watch the promotion video). Heavy gimbal, heavy lens, field monitor, follow focus add up to a total weight not suitable for longer shots and longer shoots.
    2. What is it that you expect from gimbal shots? Majestic crane moves or buttery smooth dolly shots through empty architecture? These are possible even with heavier setups (because they run just seconds), but they require more or less the same skills a steadicam operator must have, hashtag ninja walk. Also be aware that the Ronin S also stabilizes just three axis, and that there are more:
    (these flexible arms can also be added to existing gimbals, see here).
    3. But there is another purpose. You can follow a person. If you consider yourself a good handheld operator, you won't need to practice an awful lot with a good gimbal, set up well (see next point). There are roughly two scenarios for a wedding: shooting static telephoto images with very long lenses, from a tripod or handheld with IBIS and OIS, and do the rest (we are talking *hours*, therefore you will learn to hate every unnecessary ounce!) with the gimbal and 24-35 mm full frame equivalent focal lengths. 50% of all footage you see in films and TV shows fall into that latter category.
    4. Well set up means the gimbal will ignore little shakes (I think that's called dead zone) and smooth out your big, intentional moves. As of now, there is a limit to the speed of pans and tilts, because if you move too fast, the gimbal will of course follow, but the movement will look robotic (because that's what it is). The Ronin S advertises a 'sports mode', and again, watch the official promo:
    I think this feature is the most outstanding one of this gimbal. But one has to be aware how it should be used. Shooting a staged breakdance? Fine. Documentary style (like a wedding)? I'm afraid then it was too heavy.
     
  20. Like
    Axel got a reaction from kidzrevil in 10bit vs 8bit HDR (HLG) Shootout Video   
    On the long run, yes.
    Your sky doesn't have a very steep gradient, and you don't move your camera. If you see Annihilation on Netflix (practically only watchable in HDR, for the SDR version lets all the highlights clip, unnecessarily) you'll notice a lot of lights with smooth gradients, and moving. 
    Alistair Chapman provided a LUT for the FS7 (and others, the ones that support 10-bit and All-i, see below) to convert Slog3 to HLG, he calls it instant HDR. But he insists that Slog is actually preferable. My own experiences (but others confirm that) are, that Slog3 in 8-bit will make the above situations difficult. The other obstacle has nothing to do with bit depth but with compression. In Slog3, ETTR or not, you will often capture noise, and compressed noise ruins the image for good. Yes, yes, a field recorder. Do I want to use one when it doesn't give me 10-bit? No.
    The 8-bit HLG-cameras are promoted by avoiding the difficult shots:
    As far as I can see, there are very few highlights above IRE 100, the SDR version doesn't look dramatically different. Reflections on the waves, the medals on the shelf, sweat on the boxer's skin. I dare say that this clip wouldn't have looked better, or different, had it been in 10-bit ...
     
  21. Like
    Axel got a reaction from Don Kotlos in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    I agree with JB's "move on".
    But just one - hopefully last - remark. Frank Glencairn never used the term "sissy", not even "whiner". I know him well from the german slashCAM forum. He never uses questionable language, but he likes to provoke others with what I'd call an old hand's attitude. His article starts with:
    You don't need a grade in psychology (which I almost made) to very quickly find out that he is actually asking to be challenged and that his often slightly, but unmistakably condescending tone is meant to hurt.
    Whom? The con- and prosumers that are not up to his professional ethics and complain about missing features (among others, but that'd take too long).
    If you read between the lines, he says: A *real pro* needs no AF or IBIS. jonpais must have felt that JBs comments said something similar. 
    Now how did he come from feeling insulted as an amateur to being dismissed as "sissy" (if we accept the sexist meaning)? I think that's a rather easy transition. Video gadgetry is "a man's toy" (please don't quote me for that, it's not my opinion, I just try to nail down the underlying emotions), and not being a "real pro" is equal to not being a "real man". Rather blatantly irrational, if you ask me, but it's the reason why so many hobbyists insist on using pro NLEs - to which Frank Glencairn often wrote, you can make the same edit decisions (that's your professional or creative part) in Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, I appreciate his views. 
    Let's move on.
  22. Like
    Axel got a reaction from jonpais in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    jonpais paraphrased Frank Glencairn, who in spirit (if not literally) wrote that battery whiners were sissies. Did he intend to insult gays? Well, english is not my native language, but to me "sissy" sounds more like "pantywaist". Frank is living in Bavaria, a country that's not famous for diplomacy or political correctness or much respect for "snowflakes". 
  23. Haha
    Axel got a reaction from TwoScoops in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    jonpais paraphrased Frank Glencairn, who in spirit (if not literally) wrote that battery whiners were sissies. Did he intend to insult gays? Well, english is not my native language, but to me "sissy" sounds more like "pantywaist". Frank is living in Bavaria, a country that's not famous for diplomacy or political correctness or much respect for "snowflakes". 
  24. Thanks
    Axel reacted to John Brawley in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    Hi. 
    Thank you for the words. 
    I only used a Gimbal in Curiosity and it was only for a handful of shots. The orbit around the actor on the bush track and the wide in the water pumping station along with a few shots at the end.
    Intrigue, the other clip, is entirely hand held aside from a couple of obvious car mount shots (where I forgot to turn IBIS OFF)
    I have mixed feelings about gimbals and just like IBIS, they’re good in certain situations. I tend to use something like a gimbal for tracking shots rather than relying on IBIS. 
    As I mentioned way back, ibis works best to stabilise hand held shots that aren’t tracking in some way. Which is not the same as locked off shots. 
    Any good operator knows that on a long lens the shot is easier to hold steady if you keep it moving slightly. This can be a gentle rock of changing weight as you operate the shot. By keeping the shot “alive” you’re less likely to notice jitter.  With very light and small MILC and dslr style cameras they’re actually harder to hand hold when they have less mass. 
    IBIS helps smooth out the jitter on hand held shots like this that aren’t tracking but you’re also not locked into one position.
    Depending on the storytelling style you might prefer hand held in a more “natural” style too.  After trying gimbals out for a while when they first became available I’ve tended to not really use them except for very particular shots that they’re great at.
    But for 97% of my work it’s not stabilised by gimbal or IBIS, mostly because I only use these kinds of rigs for shots where I need IBIS. 
    JB
     
  25. Thanks
    Axel reacted to anonim in Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K   
    Agree. I remember that I was sold for usability of solo and solo+gimbal possibilities of IBIS after watched two brilliant examples, and after remarkable author encouraged and favored combined usage of both in the second example: "In fact I tested the camera on the gimbal with IS turned off and on and I expected that having it ON would make it worse because they would fight each other....however I found that the camera IS being turned on whilst on the gimbal helped improve the overall feel of the shot and took out a few of the minor jitters." 
     
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