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M Carter

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M Carter last won the day on September 24 2016

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  1. M Carter

    NX2 rumors

    Seeing how this thread is populated by many NX users... what's next when the gear begins to fail, gets damaged, etc? For me: 4k for 1080 delivery is a massive editing gamechanger for corporate interviews; the NX1 4K works fantastically for this use. Footage is very clean, and I've grabbed B-roll in factories and offices up to 2000iso; sometimes needs NR that high, sometimes is fine - 4k to 1080 often solves many noise issues. APS-C looks fantastic with my Nikkors and even antique 1960's Canon FL primes. Really dislike going smaller sensor. AF with the kit lens is pretty amazing on gimbals and steadicams. Another huge game changer, my Kessler/monitor setup is getting dusty. I can knock out ten b-roll shots where I used to get one out with the crane. Fantastic stills camera for well-lit shoots; the EVF just kills for fast-moving action stills or changing light. Fantastic camera with studio strobes using the EVF and Nikkors, screen set to "framing mode" - when there's enough focusing light. In dimmer situations with packs and heads, Nikkors are a no-go if I'm shooting 5.6 or slower. Don't have one of the fast native zooms, but plenty of Nikon bodies for those situations. Still on the fence about finding the 50-150, it's still a pricey-ish lens, but would make the NX more useful with still gigs. But I do mainly video. But then when I do stills, I get hired for really tough gigs, lighting big factories, 5 packs and a dozen heads, stuff like that, so the more tech, the better. The main things for me are APS-C, that crisp 4K, 60p and 120p available, great for nonprofit/hospital kids/drama - and truly functional AF on a gimbal. The biggest issue for me is I'd love some Sony-level low light capability, that stuff is gorgeous. Wouldn't mind 4K at 60p, too. I could consider full frame, not excited about 4/3. Maybe I should be. So if my NX gets stolen tomorrow, what would make me a happy camper? Used NX? Sony-something? GH5S?? (My next camera may be the BMC 4K studio and a 4K recorder, for higher-end gigs and keying - but that's another shooting scenario, I'd still use the NX1 often).
  2. Everything I own has a custom WB button - even Nikon DSLRs do, but it's a little bit hidden. Keep in mind that custom white balance is different than just setting a Kelvin color temp (orange-blue axis) - it also adjusts the tint axis (magenta-green) and is far more useful, though I tend to keep an old 82A filter handy and balance through that to push the look a bit warmer. You can use a scrap of 1/4 CTB as well.
  3. I think you need to think about how you're defining "video" for this discussion. Kids are sending video messages with vertical framing, they don't care about bitrate, color rendering, how far the footage can be pushed, frame rate, color depth, or what the actual resolution is. "Staying behind" for a phone is a completely different thing than "staying behind for a semi-pro stills product you also want professionals to be able to shoot video with". Both phones and prosumer stills cameras have added video on, but beyond that your comparison doesn't seem to have a thing to do with this discussion. If the D7500's video sensor and specs appeared in a phone with HDMI and headhone and mic jacks and zebras and audio controls and so on, we'd all be freaking out about how amazing and forward-thinking it was. And 99% of kids would't even know what all that stuff means.
  4. Hey, I agree that people "demanding" Nikon release something like an NX1 or GH5 don't realize what a niche market they are. That said, I make my living in good part from corporate videos. Gigs in the range of $2-$5k. I shoot 90% of that stuff with the NX1 and Nikkor glass. If I have to catch some sort of live event stuff, I take a shoulder mount video camera. I read all of these new camera announcements, hoping something will come out the beats the NX1 or will be there when it finally dies. I don't care what an aging German TV guy says, I do work that clients love, they feel I overdeliver, and I use the hell out of the NX. 4K is an absolute gamechanger for interview gigs with 1080 or 720 delivery; I had no idea how useful 120fps would be for b-roll, manufacturing, emotional stuff, and shooting plates for effects and so on. Sure, it's imperfect, I'd be jazzed with a wired remote trigger for crane shots (I hear it's in one of the hacks) - but there's no "perfect" camera. The NX1 might have made it if it came with a Canon strap - the freaking strap is the #1 accessory for consumers that buy $1k+ cameras (that's why I use 1970's hippie straps form eBay). I've shot Nikon for stills for 2 decades professionally, nothing since the D7100 has made me itch to upgrade (but F me, the NX1 is a hell of a stills camera and I only put Nikon glass on it - I'll skip AF to have that amazing VF that shows what my exposure looks like. Game changer for me as a stills guy for sure. Raw IQ is dynamite). When it comes to digital stills, times are very very good indeed. At least Panasonic is trying to deliver a good 4K camera affordably with the GH5 (not thrilled with the tiny sensor myself). Ever since we all breathlessly awaited the D7200 (and watched that bubble burst), I don't think we should be expecting anything amazing from DSLR-form cameras (and yet Panasonic is offering higher bit rates to card, no idea how well implemented though). The BM micro is interesting to me, but the feature list I get with the NX1 seems yet to be matched in full, in one package - and yeah, I wouldn't shoot a broadcast spot with it that needed high-DR outdoor shots, but it checks a lot of buttons for me. If a camera that competent and forward-thinking couldn't make it on video specs, I don't see a lot of hope. Nikon and Canon heaved a big-ass sigh of relief when that died. The photo market is in a panic-driven tailspin and the water's not gonna clear any time soon.
  5. This. The NX1 showed what could be done. Yeah, it's flawed in some ways, but for a first time outing, it's one badass camera. I actually own a Nikon Super-8 camera. For the era and the media, it's pretty badass. Great mix of value and features. Nikon could easily do a sub-$2k cinema camera. Not holding my breath.
  6. Hell, just paying for RX5 is no fun...
  7. I'd say if you can get your hands on one, try an AT4053b. Pretty remarkable mic for the $$ ($599 new, they do show up used). They're a popular studio mic for some so there seems to be more of them around. Hyper, good rejection and natural rolloff off-axis, nice warm-full sound with some "sparkle" to the highs. Popular when sound guys suggest a first "pro" microphone. None of the handling issues you get with the Oktava.
  8. With the Dr 60D, it's either phantom or mic power. OST makes an XLR barrel-extension type thing that drops phantom to mic power for about $100. One of the big names (AT? Rode? Senn?) makes one but it's like $175; there's also an eBay seller from Britain that makes one for about $65 (bought one, works great). Need to make sure that what you get is wired for your mic though. I feel ya, if you're one-man it's tough to deal with wireless with confidence. I tend to skip it whenever possible, an XLR-to-lav power solution is a great thing to have. I like the idea of using that Tascam belt-recorder and feeding the phones jack to a wireless to send synch to the camera though, seems like that could work very well when you just can't use wires and the camera is too far away for confidence in catching synch. I'd really like to have an assistant in charge of shutting the tascam on and off though, vs. having an hour-long audio track. But Plural Eyes doesn't give a flip about that sort of synch issue, it'll deliver the goods just fine regardless of audio track length. Interference and handling noises are two drastically different things. Interference has to do with how crowded the spectrum is where you're shooting. Pro-level wireless has methods to check for empty frequencies before you begin shooting, which can help a great deal. Handling and clothing noise is about technique vs. user error.
  9. I've been on shoots with cheap wireless and lots of problems. Even the Sennheiser G3s can get the occasional interference. My personal rule is "wireless only if you absolutely need wireless". If you want a really high-end lav solution for mid-level bucks, get an OST lav (they have a tiny button lav you can hide in a tie knot, and two side-address omnis, one has a treble bump that's nice under clothes) and their XLR barrel converter that takes phantom power from your recorder and converts to mic power, so you can use your lavs direct-wired, powered, and all-balanced XLR from mic to recorder. It's especially handy if you use a hyper on a stand but also want a lav, you don't need a mic power solution while using phantom (or if a shoot is going from lav to stand to lav, no messing with mic power settings). $200 or so and the OST stuff sounds like mics three times the price. There's one of those in my future for sure - it's a great idea, and I'm really pleased that (a) it has a headphone jack for initial level checking and (b) it's sennheiser wiring, so I can dump the (probably pretty cheap) included mic and use something nice. if there's a level control for the headphone out, it would likely be easy to run that into a wireless transmitter to get a synch track, for times when the talent is far from the camera. Two bodypacks on the talent (the recorder and the transmitter) and a short 1/8 jumper, but that's really not a huge issue, especially since the synch track doesn't need to be stellar quality. I've run music video synch from mixing boards to a G3 system with no issues.
  10. Man - so how does one synch in that case? The Canon sends just the video to the recorder. So you need an external recorder for audio. But the footage has no audio. So - time code? Clapper boards and prayer? Or can you record to the camera card as well, synch that, and then replace with the recorder footage? And is sending a 4-2-0 signal to a 4-2-2 recorder worth all that hassle (sure, it can record 4-2-2 but it ain't getting 4-2-2)? Can the average viewer even see a difference? Or is your goal to leave the set with ProRes ready to go? And I gotta agree, plugging a 1/8 mic into a DSLR, yet thinking an HDMI recorder is your next upgrade? I'd look into an audio recorder first if you want to upgrade what you're doing. And maybe look into a "shotgun or lapel" that uses XLRs too. I've found the camera out of my audio recorder (which has its own output level) into my camera via 1/8, often saves me from synching if all the gain is staged correctly. The preamps in the recorder really make the difference (and using quality phantom powered mics and good cables - this has been true for Nikon and NX1 cameras). I still have the recorder card if I need it, and the -6DB safeties, but I don't always need to synch. (Though I usually just throw everything into PluralEyes and go make some coffee or a cocktail. The Tascam recorders have been shipping with a free copy of Pluraleyes, nice bonus and PE now outputs ProRes).
  11. HAs Nikon ever made a 28 that comes close to the AIS 2.8? That thing is a legend.
  12. I've got a feelworld (branded "SeeTec" but the same thing). I've used it once or twice (I shoot in Texas and it's been helpful outdoors). Used it for crane shots, stuck it on its own stand. It's worth about the $175 they ask for it. Distorted, wonky color, typical "wow, everything's in focus, I had no idea" peaking. You can do accurate work with it, but if you're used to a modern electronic EVF (Damn, the NX1's is awesome) or even a decent one (like on many video cameras) you'll have to wrap your brain around it and be sure of focus. All you guys wanting a thousand-nits-super-bright OLED you can see with the noon sun behind it and light cigarettes off the screen... would be awesome to have, maybe we'll see more things like that, but that's where an EVF really, umm, shines. Except for steadicam anyway. A decent EVF with SDI and HDMI seems like something fairly future-proof that would outlive a lot of gear and allow you to rent all kinds of cameras. I bought the headset parts for a nightvision scope and started messing with 3D printing to get the feelworld mounted to my head, never completed that wackiness. Thought it might be a decent steadicam-in-sunlight solution if I could find a way to keep the cable from messing with balance. Wireless HDMI could make that work I suppose. May sound nuts, but man, steadicam at high noon around here - that's a lot of crossed fingers as far as focus goes. Can't believe there's not already a wireless, head-mounted viewfinder for outdoor work on cranes, rigs, drones, etc.
  13. I've been really pleased with the DR60D, original model. I've tested the hell out of it, a lot of my audio goes through pro tools and haven't been disappointed. I run a good mic into it (AT4053) and overall, getting really crisp and present, punchy dialogue. I'm not really a pixel-peeper of audio though, if it sounds good it sounds good. I've stuck in in an audio bag and had guys boom with it, no issues - it's not an awesome form factor but man, for the bucks, been really happy.
  14. I generally use a small monitor and for critical setups, I use the camera's LCD for framing and color, and use the montior at 1:1 with peaking on, and look for eyelashes/eye catchlights/pores/ to get best focus. Most people seem to have found that even if a recorder can do 422, if it's getting 420, the benefits aren't always worth the extra gear and cost and hassle. Metaphor alert: I can record a tiny AM radio into ProTools with an Apogee preamp and killer mic - it's still gonna sound like a tiny AM radio. The recorder isn't getting a raw signal, it's getting a visually-compressed feed that hasn't been compressed data-wise. Yep, NX1; it's on a set of rails I cobbled together out of various bits - I really want two risers from tripod-to-rails and two risers from rails to baseplate - I find heavy lenses cause the whole rig to sag with just one riser, which is a nightmare. It has a Manfrotto 577 QR on top - everything's manfrotto QR so I can pull the camera from the rails (steadicam) or stick the whole rig on a crane or slider. The rig itself is 577 and the camera is 577'd as well. I can stick front handles and shoulder mount on it in a second, too. Decent 2-stage matte box without the flags that day (that Matthews flag in the shot was blocking the LED hair light from hitting the lens); Fotga DPII follow focus (amazing value, that thing!!) with whip, Nikkor 28-70 2.8 (known as "the beast" in some circles) with a rubber hood - I use rubber hoods vs donuts or knickers, very fast to squish 'em against the matte box. if I'm doing focus pulls, I add a lens support and "lift" the front of the lens enough to kill any play - DSLR lenses tend to jump up when you start a follow focus pull. I use a 90° rail block and an extra piece of rod to mount the DR60 next to the camera, found a 1/4-20 adjustable rail piece on eBay that lets me tilt the recorder. The recorder has a 90° headphone jack extender to get the headphone cable clear of the recorder controls. That's an Anker USB battery which powers the DR all day. The monitor is a Marshall 5", has 1:1, peaking, and blue-only to check color with a source of bars. The mic is an AT 4053b in a Rode blimp. Killer mic, really detailed and worth every penny vs. a Rode or cheapie. Tons of presence. I use an XLR on-off barrel switch to get the mic right to the front and gain a couple inches (the blimp is expecting a shotgun...) I don't use a cage, don't really need to bolt the kitchen sink to my camera and I like to be able to go from tripod to crane to steadicam very quickly. I have a simple railblock cable lock that holds a short HDMI cable and a short 1/8 headphone extension, so I plug the monitor and camera-synch-audio into those vs hunting for tiny ports with a flashlight, less cycles on the ports, protects from snagging, etc. I really try to minimize change-up time. Tripod is a Manfrotto with 503 (no panning at this gig) - it's taken a hell of a beating from sticking an 8' Kessler on it for years and will someday likely explode in a pile of springs and oil, but a decent head. I have a couple smaller tripods as well, nothing super-pricey (I got my film-school son one of those "fancier" fluid tripods... and then got myself one, amazing for $150 or so. Still want to get a sachtler or something...) Cases are ever-changing and I pack per-gig to try for the "one cart in" thing - pelicans, eBay pelican knockoffs (saves some bucks!), and I got an amazing deal on a used 4x5 view camera custom case that the entire rig can go in, completely assembled, with room for 4x4's and lenses and so on - AWESOME to just lift the rig out and click it onto a tripod and roll. It's a very big case though so only goes to bigger gigs. I have a wheeled case from Cool-Lights that was the only thing I've found to reasonably pack two quad biax units, or one and a bunch of stuff. Generally takes one quad and also the HID softbox and ballast stuff, I know when I walk in if I need the bigger kick of the HID. But the quads are just the shit when 1k will do, I use metal binder clips and stick a sheet or two of diffusion across the barn doors, instant softbox - in fact, the barn doors will fold up with diffusion clipped on, talk about fast! it's not a "real" kino and needs 1/4 CTB and 1/8 minus green to hit clean 5200k or so, I just leave that on. Lately I've been thinking more about popping faces from backgrounds - if there's a window with greenery, say, I'll put more magenta on the key and manually WB - the camera kicks up the green, and since the BG isn't affected by the gelled light, it gets greener and more saturated in the greens. You'll blow the gag if your key hits other visible stuff in the shot, but overall, I've been working on cooling down backgrounds more, since faces are warm-toned - gets more pop, more 3D look, and our brains tend to say "warmer=closer, cooler=distant". If someone is really pale, I might go the opposite, bluer key and the BG gets warm. Sometimes I manually white balance through1/4 or 1/8 CTB (actually I have an old 77mm camera filer that's very mild cooling and use that) which slightly warms the whole scene. Kind of feel like that's me "next step" for some of this stuff. Whew, hope that helps!
  15. I do a ton of corporate interviews, musing about some doc projects if I get some free time... The #1, by-god awesome, holy-cow thing for me as an interview shooter and editor: freaking 4K. If you have a feel for narrative, human nature, drama, etc, you can guide and cut a great interview. But reframing has changed the game for me. You can hide cuts, and tighten up the shot for the most dramatic or impactful statements. When I come in tight, I can do subtle camera moves/pans which really just "work" subconsciously. I can shoot a little wider than usual for lower thirds or graphics and still have plenty of pixels for a wide range of shot changes, without moving the camera. That's my #1. I use the NX1 for all interviews now (the 4k footage is pretty astounding), with a Nikkor 28-70 2.8 zoom generally - that zoom looks fab and it allows me to adjust framing quickly, like I setup with a stand-in and then the subject is 7' tall. (#1-a? A morphing plugin for your NLE. When they work, they're lifesavers - get every f*cking UMM and pause and stutter OUT of your edit!!)(Unless those express the personality - for corporate stuff they're goners). Other MASSIVE thing for interviews - if it's not "to the camera" (which I generally dislike) - who is the subject talking to? If it's me, I'm in a chair with a monitor on my lap, but I HATE looking down to check focus - people instantly feel like you've got something more important on your mind. So I have to go deeper with the DOF and if the subject is really active or excited - you'll lose focus. So I try to get someone to be an eye line. I QUIETLY whisper questions to that person - if you're behind the camera and you ask the question, even if you say "tell her...", their eyes will shift back and forth and it looks shifty. I'd much rather be riding focus behind the camera. With a follow focus and a 12" whip, so no jitters. I only wear headphones for initial setup and first roll with the subject, they are too "distancing" for me, unless I'm not the interviewer. IF THE INTERVIEWER IS NOT IN THE EDIT - make sure they answer IN CONTEXT so the question is not needed. Most people understand this, and understand if you stop them and say "context, please" or lead them - "I'm sorry, could you start that with 'the reason I love what I do'..." #3 major thing for a great interview - a third person with an eye for detail and grooming - most any lady or your gay buddy will do - (not trying to be sexist, just my hard experience) - even the receptionist - to keep an eye on hair, collars, lint, wrinkles, etc. There's too damn much to be focused on (for my tiny brain anyway) - most ladies like to be asked to be the grooming police and watch for that lock of hair that pops up halfway through, to watch for makeup issues on female subjects that guys don't even SEE. Have them look through the monitor for issues like shining skin, too. (I KNOW this sounds sexist and generalized, but I've found it to be true!!! If a lady looks decent in her clothes, she'll see what needs fixing.) So for a doc, I'd think about your assistant - someone that can watch for those details, help setup and pack and carry, and either be an eyeline or can babysit focus. I also use the NX for steadicam b-roll, I just stick the cheap little 16-50 OIS kit lens on it, very small and light on a Came steadicam, and I use the same QR on everything so I can be on the steadicam in seconds. From there, b-roll, establishing shots, whatever you need... lenses, tripod, jib, sliders, shoulder mount, etc. Have an ND solution if you'll be moving in and outdoors. Good audio is a must, the DR60 is a great piece of gear, and the camera-out with its own level control means you can use it as a preamp and not need to synch (I use the NX1 and when gain is staged properly, no difference between the DR card or the camera). But you have the recorder files as a safety if you get an over (and the DR records a 2nd track at -6DB which can save your ass). Get some closed-back headphones (even cheap ones). You need a great mic, or at least a good one - Oktava, AT 4053, or at the least a Rode, but get a hyper, not a shotgun. For about $200 you can get one of the OST lav mics AND the XLR barrel converter, which converts phantom power to mic power. So you can use a lav and not mess with wireless and be all-XLR, no monkey-business 1/8 crap in the chain. There's a small OST that hides great in a tie knot. LIGHTING - for a big window office where you want to hold the exterior, you generally need a 575 or 1.2k HMI par. And with many angles, your diffusion frame will reflect in the window, so you need strategies for that. Often a polarizer will knock down lesser reflections. Or you can ND the whole window if you have all day. I keep a 575 in the truck, but I have a "one-rock-n-roller-cart" setup to make one trip in for most gigs. I TRY to use a quad biax - they're usually under $200, and I clip diffusion across the barn doors, instant softbox that's the right size for faces, small and easy to move, no cold-start issues, etc. I also bring an Aputure 672 LED for rim/hair, or background (probably will get another sometime)... usually a small 300 fresnel if I want warm BG light... I also have a 400 HID setup that works with all the photoflex softboxes, but that's a DIY grow light thing (it kicks ass and looks legit, about 1200 watts of nice daylight). I also have a 2" daylight fresnel with a 150 HID globe and ballast, again DIY but looks like actual gear, about 500 watt equivalent) handy little problem solver. And a bunch of CTB and CTO gels cut to size and ready in a big ziplock. Usually doesn't take many lights to get a nice looking interview setup. In a pinch I can be setup and ready to roll in 20 minutes, though that's kinda stressy! For overhead mic, I use a steel roller stand - it's heavy enough to not need sandbags but easy to tweak the position. Those are pricey, $180 or so, but worth it. I don't bring c-stands to most interview gigs, too hard to pack, too heavy. Use good quality folding stands though, the Matthews steel kit stands are good. Find a good solution to pack all your stands in. I generally bring the steel roller w/ arm - decent stands for key, LED, fresnel - I bring a couple black flags (18x24) for spill or if the hair light is hitting the lens as a flag; a cookie and grip stuff; a couple extra boom arms and heads. Usually 5-7 stands in a bag. An 18" and 22" popup reflector/diffusor, gaff tape, spring clamps, and A LINT ROLLER!!! There are LEDs that would make a suitable key (the Aperture doesn't have the kick except for very dark setups), but they're a grand and up, the biax quad is still a trouper for me. All of that on one cart - I use two motorcycle tie-down ratchets to hold it on the cart. That's my business interview setup, but I'd likely use the same for a doc interview. Last week, basic setup:
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