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Ben Prater

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  1. Like
    Ben Prater got a reaction from Geoff CB in Sony F5 hack unlocks 4K XAVC recording   
    I'm a full-time software engineer -- and this is what you guys are missing: That one line of magic code that turns the F5 into a 4k beast -- probably took thousands of man-hours of engineering to get it working properly. Sony has the right to make a ROI on the costs of hundreds of engineers hours.
  2. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to MatthewP in Canon 7D Mark II video specs vs the enthusiast DSLR competition (GH4, A7S, 5D3)   
    Remember the 7D II is a stills camera. If you look around the comments sections of photography sites it generally appears to be a very exciting release. Us video shooters have plenty of other options, so there's not much point in an article boo hooing about how it's lacking in the video department - 80% of the camera's target audience couldn't care less. All they need is 1080p - and even then there's plenty to be going on with what with all the different framerates and codec modes available on it.
  3. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Brian Williams in Canon 7D Mark II video specs vs the enthusiast DSLR competition (GH4, A7S, 5D3)   
    This is the best new camera of 2010!
  4. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Andrew Reid in Canon 7D Mark II   
    If Canon want to please video users they need to at least catch up with the competition.
     
    Problem is every time I look at the specs of the competition, and apply it to Canon, it seems ridiculously like I am asking too much.
     
    4K
    100Mbit/s H.264
    10bit HDMI output
    120fps slow-mo mode
    400fps with line-skipping like the Nikon V1
    Full frame sensor and APS-C model
    No moire / aliasing
    Full pixel readout
    Canon LOG
    Mirrorless mount
    EVF
    5 axis stablisation
    $2500
     
    Because that's only what the competition are offering isn't it?
     
    Ideally Canon should be better than the competition. I'm just asking them to be 'as good'.
     
    It just shows how far behind they are on video now.
     
    If the 1D C was $2500 but in a 5D Mark III-like body and with some concessions to video usability they would be on the right path.
  5. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to mtheory in Market for DSLRs shrinking dramatically and why Canon / Nikon are to blame   
    Considering the accomplishments of GH4 and A7S, not including 4K ( internal or external ) in 7D2 would be suicidal at this point. Given that we can now easily migrate Canon lenses to other systems like Sony/Panasonic, cutting edge body specs are more important than ever. Canon is on thin ice here.
  6. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Bob Wall in Sony F5 hack unlocks 4K XAVC recording   
    Things like this are going to happen more and more often as hardware becomes more generalized and the firmware and software that runs them becomes more specialized.  Stuff like this obviously happens in the computer realm every day and has for decades, camera makers just aren't used to being hacked because they are so specialized in function.  I don't think it's unethical for Sony to disable features, in fact I think it's probably really common.  They shouldn't be surprised that this happened though.
  7. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Andrew Reid in Evolving Sony A7S Review (Part 1)   
    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.

    Read the full article here
  8. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to sunyata in GH4 to get Log   
    In mathematical terms Logarithmic scale is:
     
    "... a scale of measurement that displays the value of a physical quantity using intervals corresponding to orders of magnitude, rather than a standardlinear scale. The function of the curve may include an exponent, which is the source of its curved nature."
     
    Translation, it's a curve.
     
    In digital camera terms it usually refers to a profile curve that is built into a camera's firmware that is going to select the bits to encode from the scene, to the eventual file, but that file will be recording 256 (or fewer) integers if it is an 8bit format. If you want to retain the typical full range (and have it be usable) of a camera's log profile, you will want to encode to 10bit. Most log profiles consider middle gray as 18%, not 50%, because our eyes see 50% as almost white, and require 10bits to cover the full range. Log profiles often look "flat" and can vary in their "flatness" based on the profile. The original source of the flatness was not desirable as much as necessary to reproduce a print and include more dynamic range, but it also can allow more details to be drawn out, assuming you have the color depth.
     
    So basically, a log profile might not be desirable when shooting rec709 8bit, but this is the source of much (much) debate.
     
    A LUT is a color lookup table and has more to do with post and changing the way you interpolate a file, although it can be used for lots of other conversion needs. 
     
    Gamma log seems redundant to me, I'm confused by that one, that's kinda like "Scientology", i.e. the study of science. 
  9. Like
    Ben Prater got a reaction from andrgl in So where does this leave the BMCC?   
    The BMCC still has one of the most beautiful images available short of an Alexa. 
     
    The 13-stops of DR is gorgeous, the oversampling results in a crisp image, you have RAW when you want loads of flexibility. 
     
    If I'm on a budget: indy films or music vidz, I would want a BMCC. If I am doing corporate video on a budget, I'd want the GH4.
  10. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to schnorgie in A new (and extraordinary) Sony A7S 4K low light test   
    I have heard of day for night.....but who would want to shoot night for day?
  11. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to _kevink in Panasonic GH4 footage shot with the EOSHD Shooter's Guide Cinema Settings   
    I don't think he meant the speed booster has OIS, only that it communicates with the camera to power the OIS of the lens :) either way, I just want the thing announced!
  12. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Jonesy Jones in Help out a newbie   
    In my opinion, doing all the research that you are doing is great, and absolutely necessary, but there is nothing like experience. Here's the thing that I have learned, you're going to buy a camera, and it's not going to be perfect, regardless of the one you choose. You'll learn a ton from your experience with that camera, but then you'll want to upgrade and so you'll buy another one, and it won't be perfect either. So, you'll upgrade again eventually, and so on and so forth. Until eventually you realize that investing in cameras is like pouring money down the toilet. So you'll begin investing in lenses and tripods and mics and other things that don't lose value so quickly. But your tastes will change regarding those things, so then you'll eventually replace that gear with other gear, until one day you realize all that stuff doesn't really matter because it's all about story. 
     
    Along the way you'll waste tons of money and time, but unfortunately there's no way to skip from A to Z. The journey is very important and unavoidable, and fun. Just be prepared for the world you're about to enter, and jump in with both feet. You're gonna make mistakes and there's no perfect anything. At least that's been my experience. 
  13. Like
    Ben Prater got a reaction from maxotics in Travel Pocket Camera for Stills and Video   
    >> I prefermirrorless and looking to spend up to max ~800 euro for camera and lens.
     
    Not sure why the RX100 III isn't in the running here. It includes the lens and the images it produces is fantastic. Small and portable, great for travel. 
  14. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Andrew Reid in Vimeo to automatically mute videos with 'unlicensed' soundtracks   
    Have you seen this?
     
    vimeo.com/blog/post:626
     
    Essentially Copyright Match works like on YouTube where commercial music is matched to a database and flagged automatically. On YouTube the video is not removed, instead a link to buy the music or advertising is added under the player.
     
    On Vimeo the match results in the user being marched off to an 'appeals process' where he must prove he has the valid license for the sound track in use, or that the video consitites 'fair use'. There are no hard and fast rules for what constitutes fair use.
     
    Personally as an artist who likes to mix my cinematography with the best possible music, I see this as severely limiting my artistic freedom. I also see my personal work on Vimeo as purely artistic and not in any way 'for profit'. They are part of EOSHD's editorial but a completely separate entity to any part of the blog which makes money such as the Shooter's Guides and I don't run any advertising.
     
    This decision by Vimeo means I will seriously have to consider removing 90% of my artistic work from Vimeo and placing it only on my local hard drive offline.
     
    Copyright issues on the internet are universally dealt with by DMCA takedown notices and where money is involved, for example where someone is blatantly making money off the back of somebody's else's music in their commercial wedding videos, the issues is dealt with through the legal system.
     
    I don't see why Vimeo need to get involved at all.
     
    I also don't like how a company seemingly has the final say in what artistic expression I am allowed to make.
     
    Also for those who use The Music Bed, the problem doesn't go away. Vimeo will still Copyright Match tracks on there. All music, at the end of the day, is copyright material. So everyone whether they have a license or not will have to go through the appeals process and risk the appeals people at Vimeo disagreeing.
     
    Say goodbye to your Vimeo portfolio? Personally I am seriously considering moving out to YouTube or an alternative site. I didn't sign up to this shit!
  15. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to nigelbb in Any C100 users around?   
    You have that wrong. The C100 is an incredibly popular camera used by thousands of working professionals. Admittedly it's not so popular with the cheapskate amateurs on this forum but that's only because they cannot afford one :lol:
  16. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Xiong in Blackmagic URSA - a $6k 4K professional cinema camera with interchangeable sensor   
    That was very stupid. Form factor matters alot, theres a reason why its been the way it has for so long, not because it "looks" cool. It works, you hold a dslr and then you hold an old film camera or the equivalent shape. You will instantly notice the stability and comfort, along with the ability to use your other hands to do more things.
     
    Think of it this way, sure small is great, but there a reason why people have to rig it up, and guess what shape seems to work so well: Over the shoulder. A Progression to a more suitable design is great, it doesnt take away from their previous design either, if this doesnt work for you then check out the prior models.
  17. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to JuankyAlvarez in Blackmagic URSA - a $6k 4K professional cinema camera with interchangeable sensor   
    For my needs I find the HDMI model a very useful companion for my future GH4; its a YAGH on steroids, its an external 4K recorder, it has an fullHD iPad-like video monitor, and more... all that in one single package, for me I found that convenient. 16 pounds of awesome, I know, a heavy price but its workable.
     
    If I want light weight for run and gun gigs or get some quick shots just unplug it and you're good to go.
     
    Now, price its not available for this model, if its more than $2k - $3k, I would not buy it... although thats the price for external recorders only, if you want XLR inputs thats another accessory...
     
    Also, theres no info on whether it can be upgraded to add a sensor in the future.
     
    I think it's to early to celebrate or complain, so will see.
     
    PS: I honestly don't know WHY they used a 5D for the preview picture... makes no sense.
  18. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Caleb Genheimer in Blackmagic URSA - a $6k 4K professional cinema camera with interchangeable sensor   
    Geeze, lay off it a bit. Everyone's rather polarized here. We haven't seen jack squat out of most of these cameras, GH4 and A7s included. 
     
    1. Just because the GH4 does 4K and is a lightweight Mirrorless doesn't mean there's no place for a 7.5KG camera.
     
    2. This new URSA, as Andy Lee pointed out, ticks an awful lot of boxes, even if it is heavy. 
     
    3. It ditches that darned awful BMCC form factor.
     
    4. I see physical buttons, thank the Lord.
     
    Let's not condone or condemn a thing until all this has been tested in the field.
  19. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Simon Shasha in Calling all colourists - Grade Panasonic GH4 4K ProRes next to Arri Alexa 2K ProRes   
    I'm a bit worried sharing these, mainly because I'm paranoid I did something wrong on my end, regardless, I think it's good to share. First, I think the shot I used is a "worst case scenario" type of shot - because the shot itself is of a bland, bright sky that contains strong highlights and deep shadows (a real killer for 8-bit codecs as many of you know). Second, I think it reminds us that there is nothing like a true 10-bit codec, as opposed to 8-bit 4K being down-sampled to 10-bit 1080P (which in theory, works, but I think in reality it seems to fall apart somewhat - again, this may be a fault on my end). All in all, I think people shouldn't even begin to pass judgement on the GH4 until we see how it record in true 10-bit. I really hope that someone can show us true 10-bit out of the GH4 soon! I'd love to use the 10-bit 1080P at 60FPS that the GH4 is capable of to complement my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for slow-motion shots  :) 

    Anyway, here are the shots I spoke about above. I simply imported Andrew's 4K ProRes file into Premiere Pro CS6, and did a light "Shadow/Highlight" recovery to see what kind of data I could get out of such an extreme shot - and guys, please remember that it is an extreme shot as it contains both strong highlights and deep shadows - I think any camera would struggle in this situation to be honest. However, the increase in colours that 10-bit brings would have definitely helped in the gradation I think. Also, I should point out - these are 8-bit JPEGS, however, I did render the shots as "Uncompressed 10-bit  YUV" (by way of Blackmagic's Premiere Pro rendering preset for Premiere CS6), and the results (in regards to the gradation) were the same. Anyway, enough of my ranting and raving, here are the shots:

    ORIGINAL


    ATTEMPTED SHADOW/HIGHLIGHT RECOVERY

     
  20. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Pascal Garnier in Trying to decide on my next camera - help   
    Keep things simple : get a Panasonic G6 + Nikon mount Sigma 18-35 1.8 + Nikon to M43 adapter with built in aperture.
    Use the sensor crop function on the G6 for a 3x zoom range.  
    This will give you a 36-210 range, all at 1.8.
  21. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to fuzzynormal in Trying to decide on my next camera - help   
    Here's my simple rant:
     
    Everything's good now-a-days.  This kind of stuff is truly getting to be an "angels-on-the-head-of-pins" debate.  Sure there's always some new thing that might solve a particular problem, but how serious is that problem, really?  Worry more about how to interpret light in a productive creative way and you'll be fine whatever you choose.
     
    A good cinematographer with an iPhone will always outshoot an amateur with an Alexa.
     
    What's more important?  A long zoom lens or knowing how to capture a compelling image?  I'd rather learn the latter and then utilize the former.
     
    Until you have some advanced skill at creating images you're not going to run into serious limitations with gear.  You will be the limitation.  In fact, by not compromising your desires you're the one limiting your own potential.  Obstructions can create actual paths to creativity.
     
    Best documentary shoot of my life was when I said, "the hell with carrying all that crap" and I hit the road for a month with one 50mm lens.  Had to make do, so I did. 
     
    As for cameras, seriously, when it comes to imaging equipment, we're all driving Lamborghinis.  Learn how to shift and steer the damn thing before you fret about the camber of the rear suspension and the downforce of the spoiler.
     
    I know all the stuff out there can be overwhelming...but believe me, there are no bad choices for imaging gear in the upper end of the consumer market.  The bad choices happen when you start shooting with ignorance or complacency.  Solve those problems and it'll all be good regardless.  
  22. Like
    Ben Prater got a reaction from Orangenz in More information on 10bit 4K 4:2:2 via micro HDMI on the GH4 without external box   
    I think it's safe to assume that they are putting dedicated pre-amps in the base unit. At $2k, the pre-amps better be dead quiet!
  23. Like
    Ben Prater reacted to Andrew Reid in More information on 10bit 4K 4:2:2 via micro HDMI on the GH4 without external box   
    Picture: EOSHD Forum, by Orangenz

    Panasonic have confirmed that the GH4 (quite amazingly) outputs 10bit 4K 4:2:2 from the onboard micro HDMI port without the YAGH external HD-SDI unit.

    However there are still benefits to using the HD-SDI outputs.

    Here I have more details on how this whole thing works and what external recorders might be in the pipeline to offer 4K recording on the GH4...

    Read the full article here
  24. Like
    Ben Prater got a reaction from Ivan Lietaert in ML Raw vs. GH4 etc.   
    The 5d3 with RAW isn't setup for serious production. It's a hack, it can be unreliable -- and yes, the video it produces is glorious.
     
    The Gh3 and soon-to-be big sister, the Gh4, are production-grade cameras. You take them to a shoot, hit record, know they are getting the shot, take it the edit suite -- drop the video on the timeline, edit, render, upload and get paid by the client. All in a day's work. No muss, no fuss.
     
    I own a production company. If I want to spend a weekend making music videos with my friends, I'll grab 5d3 and do RAW. Mmm... I love grading RAW.
     
    But during the week, when I have a paying client that needs video crafted for their website or products -- and wants it done yesterday, I need tools that can move video through the production pipeline quickly and efficiently. The GH-series rocks for this.
  25. Like
    Ben Prater got a reaction from maxotics in ML Raw vs. GH4 etc.   
    The 5d3 with RAW isn't setup for serious production. It's a hack, it can be unreliable -- and yes, the video it produces is glorious.
     
    The Gh3 and soon-to-be big sister, the Gh4, are production-grade cameras. You take them to a shoot, hit record, know they are getting the shot, take it the edit suite -- drop the video on the timeline, edit, render, upload and get paid by the client. All in a day's work. No muss, no fuss.
     
    I own a production company. If I want to spend a weekend making music videos with my friends, I'll grab 5d3 and do RAW. Mmm... I love grading RAW.
     
    But during the week, when I have a paying client that needs video crafted for their website or products -- and wants it done yesterday, I need tools that can move video through the production pipeline quickly and efficiently. The GH-series rocks for this.
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