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Promit Roy

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  1. Two weeks ago, it was "game over" for Sony. I'm starting to get whiplash over here! I'll probably buy Pro Color soon, I just got the A99 II and am probably transitioning away from the A7R II. Just getting settled with the new setup. I was using A mount lenses on adapter anyway.
  2. Promit Roy

    Nikon D500

    So a 1:1 center crop of the D500's 20.9 MP image to get a UHD frame results in a total crop factor of how much? My back of the envelope says 2.2 ish?
  3. Had a chance to do my first filming test of the A7R II earlier tonight. We went to a glass blowing tutorial/class thing. Of course when you're standing in front of a 2500 F degree oven, things get a little warm and I was curious about how the camera would hold up. I didn't record a ton of footage but I did run the camera continuously for a 10 minute clip with no problems. The thing did get very hot in my hand - not uncomfortably so, but enough that I can imagine a prolonged day of heavy shooting would begin to stress the system quite a bit. It's not a problem for my usage, but I think others won't be as lucky. That image, though. It's just absolutely gorgeous. I took a random guess at color settings and ran the default 'Cine1' gamma on top of a low contrast Neutral color scheme. It's not perfect and there's definitely a lot of room for experimentation and improvement in both recording and workflow. People who are really particular about their color work probably have a long road ahead of them; I'm not enough of a colorist to really be sure. There's a LOT of available combinations of settings and I really think someone will eventually dial in the camera to be magical. I might buy Andrew's settings and LUT he posted earlier, we'll see. Setting aside the rather tricky color issue though... there is a quality to full frame that I just adore. It was possible to get there with GH4 + SB + 18-35 but it's an awkward combination, lacks IS, and it still missed something. IMO whatever you want to complain about with color science or 'digital look' from the Sony cameras, the Panasonics were always far, far worse. The GH4's output always felt like the world's greatest camcorder to me. Fantastic on all technical points, but weirdly clinical and lacking in 'film feeling' without a lot of work and judicious lens choice. I feel like the A7R2 has gotten me much closer much more quickly. Battery life, though, is freaking awful. These FW50 batteries were designed to fit in a NEX-3, and now they're being asked to drive a massive sensor attached to an IBIS rig attached to a massive CPU. The A7 cameras should have been built off a larger battery platform from day 1. It's embarrassing. The good news is that USB external batteries work wonderfully for powering and charging. I have an Anker sized like an iPhone 6 that slips into my pocket and provides 10x the internal battery power. USB cable fitment seems a bit loose though, so we'll see what happens. Might be best to buy FW50s by the half dozen.
  4. ​Sensors don't have colors, but the internal image processing sure as hell does. Actually, the Bayer filter array also has physical colors associated with it and not everyone is using the same colors. Still, it'd be one thing if we were all grading 12/14 bit raw output off the camera sensor but we're not talking about that. We're talking about video recording in 8 bit 4:2:0, which means the camera's color interpretation is heavily baked in. You can't just hand wave away the intrinsic color settings of a camera because of color grading. Color grade those blue clipped highlights, why don't you? On the flip side, often times these cameras have surprising settings that produce great colors. Andrew's done a great job of documenting these in the past, for example the 'Sunset' trick. It remains to be seen whether the color science has been changed or improved in this new camera.
  5. If you're willing to consider a USB 3 drive, take a look at this bad boy: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Portable-External-STDA4000100/dp/B00HXAV0X6 It's actually two drives crammed into a RAID 0, crammed into a single bus powered enclosure. 4 TB, and I'm seeing it deliver in excess of 230 MB/s (yes, megabytes) per second in real world file transfers. That's SSD level sequential (but not random) performance. Comfortably fast enough to edit on! They include a free NTFS driver (Paragon) for Mac which works extremely well. And just look at that price. Really cannot recommend these highly enough.
  6. CPU/mobo/memory: The new X99 platform is great for high end production tasks. An i7-5960x is right about a thousand dollars - less on sale - and gives you 8 cores, 16 threads. The motherboards have tons of options for high end storage arrays, USB 3 ports out the nose, optional Thunderbolt 2, the works. Support for large memory configurations means you can buy 32 GB (4x8) right now and upgrade to the full 64 with the remaining 4 empty slots at your leisure later. GPU: Honestly the 970 is great, despite the weird memory quirk. But the 980 and maybe even a Titan are worth looking at. I'm in the camp that feels Quadros are a waste. Storage: I'm using a hybrid setup. I have an array of WD Blacks for most of my work, and SSDs for main drive and a secondary 'working' array. The SSD array functions like a 1 TB scratch space - I'll move stuff onto it while I'm working for a few weeks, then transition them back onto the big magnetic platters when I'm not using them so regularly. Note that these are all internal - I'd look seriously at Thunderbolt (2) based systems if you wish to go external for whatever reason.
  7. Can someone suggest a lens with great, attractive flaring? Modern lenses flare in a way that looks awful. I need to let my inner JJ Abrams loose
  8. 24, 35, 85. Always found 50 to be an obnoxious non-committal focal length myself.
  9. I'm going to borrow something I posted on DPR. That's strictly from the perspective of 4k content display (which is not necessarily the same as 4k content delivery). The arguments in favor of 4k capture are vastly stronger than the ones for delivery or display. We're talking about significant improvements in resolution, color resolution, post processing latitude, etc. Don't forget that the video we're getting off many of these cameras is only theoretically 1080p, but is in fact only resolving 600-900 lines in 4:2:0 color space. That's a lot less data than a true RGB image containing 1080 fully resolved lines.
  10. I work in real time 3D graphics (read: games) and unfortunately people have a habit of dissecting the hell out of screenshots. I mean Halo was excoriated over rendering at 900p instead of 1080p and then doing an upscale. Can you imagine someone complaining that a movie, even a CGI movie, was only delivering 900 vertical lines of resolution when screenshotted? That would be insane. Unfortunately it has led to emphasis of technical parameters over aesthetic quality, and so a lot of these supposedly high quality games look awful. I don't feel that the art direction in many big name games is competent, as well. More relevant to here, though, is that working in imaging that way attunes you to every single fault - and feature - in an image. I need to be able to see everything, because my job is to get it right and make sure there are no mistakes in the underlying systems which might later crop up in surprising and unwelcome ways. My wife gets annoyed when I stop a game or movie in order to take a look at the technical aspects of how it's put together :D
  11. Lots to think about here. Thanks everyone - happy to hear more thoughts from others as well. I am personally fairly young and got into all this stuff only three or four years ago, so the idea of beating out film is totally foreign to me. I'm coming in fresh and trying to figure out where I'm at. Currently very happy with the GH4, but always on the lookout for the next big thing... Funny you guys should mention Fincher. Got to chat with him when he was filming Social Network on our campus.
  12. So as long as we're on the subject - what IS the current feeling about the GH4 vs the NX1 as hybrid cameras? (So taking both stills and video into account.) Both are obviously excellent cameras, but are there any key points to tip one way or the other?
  13. Yeah that was confusing, but I think he's saying that A is the video frame, because B is the one with the color fringing that wasn't removed from the RAW file. Which, thank god. No denying that the video output of the NX1 is absolutely fantastic, but I am deeply thankful that my years of work in imaging are actually able to stand up to a test :o But I DID have to think about it for a few minutes before answering. The lack of fine color gradation in the video frame, plus the smudgy shadows, are the only things I would've maybe caught at a casual glance. The more subtle stuff - the macro blocking, edge artifacts, sharpening halos, etc are all in there but they're hard to see without severe zoom and a good eye for these things. (And a multiple EV push of the image to find them is just not fair.) I'm not such a big fan of this approach. Having a trained eye is different from feeling your way through differences, and it's good to know exactly what you're looking for and where you're going to find it. That's why I tried to be quite specific about what I was seeing when I wrote my guess.
  14. Canon's made it clear that they don't consider DSLR video to be a serious thing. And for those who do consider it to be a serious thing, they can go buy or rent an EOS Cine series product. And by all accounts, they're quite happy with how this has worked out. Hoping for anything else from them is simply irrational given their statements to date.
  15. Okay, some clarifications are in order. First of all, why do people feel the need to come in and condescendingly explain the push-pull between DOF, aperture, focal length, and format? Yes, we all know that the actual reason for the increased DOF is the change to a wider focal length to create the same perspective. Thank you, captain freaking obvious and his sidekick, boy repetition. Let's move on to things people actually care about. Obviously for stills, we can simply go to DXO and run the numbers. The A7S gets about two and a half stops over a GH4 according to their rankings, so after the penalty the A7S still wins. Woohoo! But for video modes, we've got different scaling, NR, and crops to deal with - and as a few people said, it's very true that the exact lens choices matter. The m4/3 lenses are largely designed to be sharp wide open though, whereas the larger format lenses often aren't. And then the GH4's output is different at 1080 and 4k, versus the A7S internal scaling, etc. I guess the point is, I don't want to discuss the abstract theory behind sensor sizes, total light, quantum efficiency, all of that garbage that people waste their time arguing about. I want to hear actual in the field experiences when shooting scenes that require deep DOF with different format sizes. Might be asking for too much here, though, as that requires actually using the cameras...
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