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Kays Alatrakchi

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Everything posted by Kays Alatrakchi

  1. A manufacturer can affect blogger's opinions, it's just human nature. Not saying that Andrew is disingenuous, but when a manufacturer gives you exclusive access to their new gear and makes you feel part of the creative process of the product, it's hard not to have a bit of bias toward their product. Nonetheless, I appreciate that opinions can change, and that technology can cause us to re-evaluate what is important and what is not. As I stated many times, more options are always better, and lower prices are definitely better. Right now the best strategy is to wait and see how these cameras really perform once they're out in the wild. We won't really know what the image quality is really like until people get their hands on them and start putting them through their paces. Personally I don't really trust promotional pre-release footage, there are far too many unknowns to truly judge it accurately.
  2. Oh...and an official and aptly priced external battery add-on wouldn't hurt either!
  3. I'm mostly talking about having working audio meters while recording, accurate displays of remaining battery life and hard drive space. You know...like the basics!
  4. I think many forget that Canon is a much more diversified company with lots of corporate, medical and other specialized fields. Canon could probably be ok on their printer side of the business alone. I don't get the sense that video for Canon is a make-or-break segment. Blackmagic is equally on good footing here, they have absolutely nothing to lose by shaking up the camera industry. If they could sell the 4K camera for $200 and still make some money, they would because they have absolutely nothing to lose (a bit like GoPro). Look at how they've handled Resolve making a cost-prohibitive product available for free. The rest of their product line is equally aggressive with price points that make their biggest competitor (AJA) seem downright greedy. I don't see the need for Blackmagic to introduce a more expensive camera because they are already competing with the likes of RED and even ARRI at their current price point. What would they gain by pushing a $20k camera? I think these guys are the smartest group at the table right now, and they're likely going to eat everyone's lunch while the big boys try to figure out a way to react (or ignore) them. My biggest complaint about the Blackmagic cameras is that their firmwares really need improvement. It would seem to be the easiest thing for them to fix, yet they somehow don't...real head-scratcher.
  5. Things just got a whole lot interesting. Now the question is...shoud I sell my 5D3 with ML raw?
  6. I think people are reacting to the fact that in 2014 perhaps it's time to expect higher bit depth even from $2k cameras. Canon for instance lost me at their reluctance to add 1080p 60fps to their 5D3 even though there is little doubt that the hardware could handle it (pretty sure that if GoPro can figure it out, so can Canon). I guess ultimately it all depends on what your specific needs are. I look at EOSHD as a resource for a wide range of shooters. For my needs I'd still prefer shooting raw and a s35 size sensor over a tighter crop and lower bit depth. I also think we should all be honest and agree that there is some "brand bias" at work here too.
  7. I also agree with Tim and you. Truth be told, I keep hearing from far too many professionals that Panasonic just doesn't "get it" when it comes to professional needs. At least Canon did make an effort to release a Cinema line which is renting like hot cakes here in Los Angeles. Canon did fail the entry-level semi-pro and indie market that they really have misunderstood since the very beginning of the DSLR revolution. I'm not a Blackmagic fanboy, nor do I actually own any of their gear; but I will say that they seem to be the only camera company out there who is truly trying to innovate into a new m.o. Are the BM cameras perfect? No, they have their warts no doubt, but they got it where it counts, which is when it comes to delivering the purest and most information-rich data that the sensor is capable of. Nobody else in this arena (let's call it the sub $5k tier) is doing that, opting instead to downgrade the image to suit whatever reasons they might have to do so. I was even thinking about the silly 29:59 video recording limit in order to avoid extra tax in EU. I'd be willing to be that most professionals would rather pay the extra 30 euros or so of tax and get unlimited recording instead of saving a risible amount and get a crippled camera. These might all seem like small detail, but in the minds of professionals who are looking for the right tools, all these minutia do add up.
  8. I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make. For instance, take Magic Lantern raw on a 5D3 vs. h.264. The difference is pretty startling and I doubt I'd get any argument from you seeing that you wrote several books about it. Yet the resolution in both cases is exactly the same. Resolution is not the only factor to consider when evaluating cameras, yet I feel that we're in the midst of a massive amount of 4K hype coming from all sides in (I'm afraid) an attempt to get pros and consumers to update all of their gear and televisions. I'm not saying that the GH4 isn't a detailed sensor, from what I've seen I'd say that it's even too sharp. But I would invite the OP as well as the greater community to investigate more than just the resolution when evaluating the camera they want to use.
  9. Is this a crappy looking image to you? Because you're effectively looking at it at a similar resolution as 1080p. Despite the lowly resolution, I'm still picking up a great deal of fine detail. There are also plenty of great photographs taken with early DSLRs with resolutions that we'd consider laughable by today's standards. I think many people tend to mistake resolution with detail, and I suspect we're about to see a great deal of conversations regarding this very point in the near future. I also think that many have grown accustomed to Canon's very crappy h.264 encoding, so when they see an image shot in 4K, which also uses a much better encoding; they attribute the increase in IQ to the resolution. Some of the best looking video I have seen has come out of the Alexa while shooting at 2K (just slightly larger than 1080p).
  10. Andrew, I like you and I have a great deal of respect for you, but please avoid taking that patronizing tone with me. As someone who routinely shoots and interacts with many of the professionals quoted on these threads, I'm not a complete moron. What I was basing my comparison on was on what was the way to capture the best possible IQ from the camera, and unless I misunderstood all of the literature available from this and other sites, that would indeed involve needing to purchase the 4K add on (or brick, or whatever else you want to call it). Regarding the shipping date, while it will get here when it gets here (in the quantities that hopefully will satisfy demand), my point was that right now, today neither camera is available. There is a very good chance that by the time the GH4 ships, the BMCC 4K will also be shipping (at least according to the very sources that you often refer to). As I said, I welcome new options and innovative features. I find good slow motion to be sorely lacking in most cameras, and if nothing else this continues to put pressure on other manufacturers to get their shit together. Having said that, discussing with several professionals (as I said, many of whom you routinely quote and source from), there seems to be a decisive divergence happening between DSLR and video camera shooting. While we all know and acknowledge the "happy accident" which led to sites like these to be created and countless independent films to be shot on 5D's and the likes; the signs are on the wall that this relationship is dwindling. Video professionals want great video features, and still photographers want great still IQ, the odd marriage that these two groups have been forced in is starting to show cracks. So when I read that the GH4's sensor has to be further cropped for video usage just so that Panasonic could squeeze a bit more resolution for photographers; as a video professional I call BS. When I read 4:2:0 internal processing I also feel slighted. Anyway, I'm not saying that the GH4 is a POS, I am genuinely curious to see more about it and to test it myself once it's available. What I am saying is that as a video professional, spec for spec and bang for the buck, the BMCC 4K still seems to fit my needs more (assuming that Blackmagic doesn't take another year to release the damn thing). Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read the very article you just published that discusses this very topic. Thanks and keep up the great work.
  11. I'm all for more choices and innovation, having said that I'm left thinking that the Blackmagic Pro is still a better option. Let me explain: GH4 = roughly $2k 4K add-on = roughly another $2k 4K external recorder = probably another $2k 2X crop factor no raw option clunky form factor reduced, but still present rolling shutter 4K add-on needs external power no release date, hopefully available by the end of the year vs. Blackmagic 4K 4K raw and ProRes Super35 sensor global shutter $4k including full version of Resolve less clunky (but still somewhat clunky) form factor needs external power well behind the promised release date, but should be here any day now. What am I missing?
  12. I think the BM Pocket Camera could become the new GoPro for certain uses since it's feasible to mount it on quad copters, or in a car wheel well. It's quite unfortunate that none of the Blackmagic raw cameras seem to have an option for over cranking even to 48 fps.
  13. Got there around 3pm yesterday and hung out for about an hour. These are just my personal impressions from a very limited interaction with the camera and brief conversations with Joe and some of the other attendees. Please keep in mind that these are personal opinions and they might not be entirely accurate or reflect the final camera's functionality. Ok, here goes: First let me say that Joe seems like a very passionate and super nice guy, there is a lot to be said about someone who pursued an idea a saw it through realization, kudos to him and his team! I also want to say that the image quality that I saw on the computer (the camera records CDNG files with Aiff audio) was very pleasant and detailed with low noise and good shadows and highlights. Having said that, unfortunately this camera appears to have a classic case of a solution-looking-for-a-problem, starting from the form factor which doesn't lend itself either to traditional mounting solutions nor to newer DSLR rigs. Sure you can mount it on a tripod, but trying to attach it to a rail system with a follow focus gear is going to be...challenging. I was also surprised at the lack of some screw holes in the body which would come in really handy to attach an external monitor or other gadgets. It does have a hot-shoe flash mount, but I personally avoid those with larger and heavier attachments. The pistol grip is a cool idea, but the camera is fairly heavy (heavier than a 5D with a hefty lens) One's arm would likely become sore after about 20 minutes of holding it. The decision was made to be true to the original and make the record trigger on the handle not latch when pressed to record. While this is the way the original Bolex operated, it would have been nice if a latch option would have been provided. The camera does have a record button on the top which works as expected, but makes one wonder if the pistol grip button will largely be ignored by most operators. The camera features two CF card slots, however all the video is recorded to a non-removable internal SSD 500Gb drive. Why not write directly to easily removable CF cards instead? Methinks if the Blackmagic Pocket Camera can do it, why not the Digital Bolex? The internal drive can hold about an hour-ish and then some worth of video, and the data can then be transferred to the CF cards, or to a computer through a USB 3 slot. Transfer time through USB 3 for about 500Gb worth of data....about an hour. Lens mount is a C-type. This was another bit of odd choice to me, while once again this mount is true to the original Bolex, why require the end user to buy into yet another type of adapter, particularly one which is not used by anyone else? No removable battery...grrrrr. 2K -- The sensor is a super-16mm sized one, shooting at 2K uses the entire sensor, while shooting in 1080p mode crops the sensor down to what Joe described as regular 16mm size. In my opinion, 2K offers neither high enough resolution for re-cropping and enlargement in post, nor is particularly useful as a delivery format for web, festivals, and DVD/Blu Ray where this camera's output is likely going to end up. So why not either stick to 1080 and use the full sensor, or go all the way up to 4K? Last but not least, the price. At over $3k (actually $3600 after the drive upgrade to 500Gb) I am not quite sure how this camera will fare against the Blackmagic Cinema Camera which features a larger sensor, EF or m4/3 mount, higher resolution, swappable media, and already a thriving accessories ecosystem. Will no-rolling shutter and a cool vintage vibe be enough? In closing, I did like the image that I saw quite a bit, and I feel that some of my concerns could be fixed with a firmware update (most notably the gun trigger function and maybe the ability for the camera to write directly to fast CF cards). I'm not quite sure how this camera will do against Blackmagic and whatever else is announced in April, but I wish Joe and his team the best of luck and a great deal of success nonetheless. I applaud Joe for pursuing a dream, and I think this world needs more, and not less guys like him. Despite the potential shortcomings of this camera, I am happy that it exists, and I am happy that people like Joe are able to realize their visions. Once again, these are just my opinions based on a very brief encounter with the Digital Bolex, please take everything I just typed with a huge grain of salt and try to test drive this camera for yourself before you come to a decision on whether you want to buy one or not.
  14. I went, have some thoughts about it if anyone wants to hear it...but if this is considered a touchy item then I won't post. Lemme know!
  15. Heading out there in a bit, should be fun to hang with Joe and Elle!
  16. I don't quite understand that sentiment. Alexa and Epic are two cameras which have been proven in the field over and over to work and deliver the results that most high end productions need. If the budget is there for one of those cameras (or maybe the Sony F65) then why not? Sure newcomers are exciting for people like us, Kineraw, BMCC, DBolex, even the Canon ML raw, but if a few million $ are on the line (as well as your job and reputation), why would you not want to use something that you know works and works well?
  17. Funny how video acquisition seems to be splitting off, on one side there is raw and uncompressed, trying to get to the unaltered 0's and 1's straight from the sensor. On the other side is even more aggressive data compression where one pixel is effectively representing dozens if not hundreds of others. I'm curious to see where this is all heading, and just like everything else, in a few years we'll look back at what we're shooting right now and it will all look so terrible!
  18. Even if the footage looks kinda blah, it should be good enough for editing I would think (hope). That way I suppose one can skip the whole Proxy step, and send the XML back into Resolve for final grading without having to worry about reconnecting the right files.   I was looking forward to this update so edit a short video essay that I just shot in Italy...now I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should consider editing it in Resolve since the new version allows for basic editing within the app? Anyone have experience editing in Resolve 10?
  19. Isn't ProRes 4444 overkill for this type of source? In my tests I found ProRes HQ to be virtually identical to the source.
  20.   I agree, it's a gorgeous video but I'd back off the sharpening in Resolve a bit.
  21. We'll have to agree to disagree Damp. I think you're totally wrong in your estimation, consumers thrive on innovative products that are worth it. The car industry is a good example with increasing safety standards and better gas mileage, people buy new cars every few years because they feel that the newer models have compelling new features that simply weren't available a few years back.   Look at GoPro, those guys are innovating mofo's, if you owned a 1st gen GoPro, upgrading to the latest model is a very compelling proposition. The fact that years have passed and Canon cameras still can't manage to shoot 60fps at 1080p is ludicrous. On the photography end, even if resolution is not compelling to you, how about built-in wi-fi and a GPS? How about a higher quality screen that is easier to see in direct light? How about built-in support for remote operation through a smart phone? How about a freaking built-in intervallometer for chrissake?   No, you're wrong, Canon's been sitting on their lazy corporate butts for far too long and now the sales are dropping. If they begin to innovate once more and offer true reasons to buy new cameras, the sales will rise once more.
  22. Just to add my 2 bit coins to the conversation:   I think if DSLR's are going out of business, Canon and Nikon have only themselves to blame. Lack of innovation and lazy development cycles has not gone unnoticed by consumers.  When the t3i, t4i and t5i are essentially the same exact camera with minor tweaks, what is the motivation to upgrade? Same could be said with the 5D2 and 3, I have too many friends with the 5D2 who don't feel any need to upgrade to the newer camera since the benefits are relatively minor all things considered. I suspect the 7D will follow the same path.   If Canon really wanted to see an upward swing in sales, they would need to be more aggressive with the technology. Imagine if 2 years ago the 5D3 had been announced touting a 36mpix sensor, built-in wi-fi, oled screen, 4K mjpeg and 2K raw and priced competitively? It would have sold like hot cakes.    Apple is running a similarly dangerous game with their new Mac Pro. $3k for a 4-core Xeon with 12gigs or RAM and no internal expandability? WTF??? Next year they will shut down their whole desktop division claiming that consumers are no longer interested in big computers...but the truth is that consumers are no longer interested in being ripped off.   When I travel, all I see are tourists with DSLR's. They see the difference in the photos they take, the depth, realism and faithfulness of the images they show their friends back home is palpably better than what current smartphones or pocket cameras are capable of. I think the interest is there, but not at a premium price for basically the same technology from two years ago. 
  23. Another solution is to have someone with a laptop handy on set. The ML team has created some real-time file viewers (mostly on PC), with RAWMagic on the Mac promising a similar feature (which is unfortunately been delayed for some time now). The idea here is to quickly take out the CF card after a series of takes, pop it into the laptop and take a quick look at what you just shot before moving on to the next set up. Lastly, as of last night's build, there seems to be an attempt at reviewing footage in camera in color as opposed to b/w. While this still doesn't improve the poor frame rate, it's definitely a move in the right direction.
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