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M Carter

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Everything posted by M Carter

  1. That's good news, I'd like to be able to use the app on the crane.
  2. Wasn't there a recent release to fix the app performance that also killed the hacks?
  3. Thanks guys, I'll check it out. I assume I can't use the latest firmware though? haven't updated to it yet.
  4. So after searching all kinds of terms with google, reading a ton of threads here and on DP review... I still have no idea how to find and install the bitrate hack, what the risks are, and how to control it. I don't even have a clear idea of what additional things it adds, how much is improved, is it there for 4K and 1080 and slowmo, etc... Any way we could have a sticky thread here, that's just the latest hacks, where they are, what they do, and links to installers and usage instructions? We have some threads here with scores of pages running the gamut from settings to speedboosters, but it's hard to find just a basic and focused resource. Or is there a homepage somewhere with all-of-that? (I'm no Einstein but I manage to get dressed every morning and I'm still completely confused about upping my bitrate!)
  5. Even on a nice new Mac Pro Cylinder, I still start with ProRes. It really starts on set - if it's an interview I shoot 4K. Reframing interviews is just life changing in the edit. If there's handheld motion, fast pans, I shoot 1080 where the skew is massively less than 4K. If something will be stabilized or reframed, 4K. But I really try to not shoot 4K for every single shot. I tend to shoot a surprising amount of 30p for a 24 timeline - very often if there's no dialogue/audio, I go 30p - I like that just touch of slow that the brain doesn't see as "slow motion" but adds a hint of drama and weight. And I can always speed it back up. Then EditReady, ProRes and conform everything to 24p. I also tend to do a lot of trimming and organizing in MPEG StreamClip. That's a quirk of mine - I should be using things like FCPX's tagging and sorting, but I'd rather have a folder structure of specific things, specific b-roll, picks and alts, etc, Just done it that way forever and it still works. And it's where I really get to know the footage. I see no degradation going to ProRes twice. For effect shots, I may come out of EditReady as HQ, if something is going into AE at some point. But try it sometime - recompress the same clip 4 or 5 times with ProRes, go to 4th or 5th gen, and see what you can spot. It's pretty impressive. I just really like having ProRes, very easy if I spot some thing I'd like to fix in AE or if I have to send footage out to someone else. (And I'm pretty much 100% FCPX now that I'm used to it. The performance is pretty insane).
  6. Ever take a look at how eggcrates are made? There are 2 ways to do it. One is the cheap chinese stuff - it's just sort of thin nylon ribbon material, threaded through holes with slits. Most low-cost eBay import softboxes have this style. Hard to describe but you'll get it when you look. Really cheap and they tend to ball up and get misaligned. The higher-end way (Chimera, Photoflex and lately Fotodiox) uses thicker fabric and much more sewing. Those are really a "WTF", how the hell do they sew that?!?!?
  7. Don't see a huge need for a speedbooster with the NX1, I'd be surprised to see one appear. I guess going wider with a stop of light could be popular for people without a full kit of fast glass? But if it's in the usual speedbooster price range ($500 or so) it would likely be smarter to buy a fast wide prime in a Nikon or EOS mount.
  8. Never seen one - I assume for these reasons - Diffusion panels use tubing; eggcrates need a deeper "edge" for the velcro, like - minimally - a recessed softbox face; I assume there's an assumption that panels have all kinds of spill and bounce from the back of the panel, where eggcrates are used to cut even more spill than a softbox does (well, they function that way since they're directing the light to be more linear); I've used panels as huge softboxes - but it usually means blocking the sides by using black panels, hanging black fabric, or standing up big pieces of black foamcore; Eggcrates sag. Once you're on an Xlarge box, that's about it for the center of the eggcrate having the same hole size. As the fabric sags, the holes essentially close up. You'd need something like stiff wire here and there to keep the grid straight. Still, I've mused about this. Buying 4 of the cheapest eggcrates I could find on eBay, rigging up something like coroplast frames with diffusion and velcro, and then mounting them in an array, and using stands in a backdrop config on each side to "softbox" the thing and prevent spill. But that would really be more of a permanently built studio contraption, make it with 1/8 plywood and mount it to a wheeled stand, etc. Might be a mess on location. And - for me - the times I've wanted that look have been stills with strobes, and two 6' strip lights side by side are essentially a 3' or 4' by 6' gridded softbox, way easier to setup and deal with. Fotodiox makes a really nice 6 footer with grid for around a hundred bucks. (they've come a long way, many of their boxes beat Photoflex for quality). They say a max of 400 watts tungsten though, which is still pretty robust for a strobe box, but 400 ain't much in a softbox (unless it's a 400 HID which gets you into mogul globes and ballasts in a Photoflex Starlite). And I'd be leery of that much heat, regardless of what the manual says...
  9. You're sort of comparing apples to zebras here... I'm interested in the micro myself, since it's raw/prores with up to 60p for basic slow motion. The lens regain - it's only a 75% FOV increase on the 3x BM sensor, so your 24mm FOV will be somewhere around 60mm? (Or someone correct my math...) Who knows how useful the AF will be. If I went with the Micro, I'd look at the micro/pocket-specific Speedbooster. No real stills capacity. The NX1 - APS-C, 4K, very nice image, not bad jello at 1080, much less DR than the micro (assuming "much less" anyway). Killer stills cam. The NX is a "dead" system is many people's response, but adapters exist for a pretty crazy range of lenses. Hopefully one will get several years out of the body, but spending a lot on Samsung glass means eventually it's a throwaway. Unless lenses and body will just run for years and years and service and parts remain available. I still shoot film on 1970's gear. But that stuff's much easier to repair, all mechanical, no electronics. I think the best bet for the NX1 is to get the best deal possible on the body and use your existing glass, or buy glass you can use for years or decades (my NX1 often has glass I've owned for 10-20 years). If I suddenly landed a bunch of stills gigs, I **might** go for the 50-150 S. Might, if it paid for itself in a couple days. As a still camera with a native lens, the NX1 blows away my Nikon in many ways. The main issues between the two systems - tiny sensor vs. a filmmaking standard size (then again, super-16 was/is a standard, but realistically you'd want to chase down super-16 glass and the hassles that entails). Gobs of DR, RAW and Prores vs. a very efficient but still 8-bit codec. 1080 vs. 4k (though many NX1 users learn when to choose 4K and when 1080 is better - as someone who does a lot of interviews, I will never be without 4K, life changing for me). 60p max 1080 slowmo vs. a pretty nice 120 FPS. And the rigging issues with the micro, which aren't a huge issue to people with a range of existing gear. Generally useable AF on the NX - with native glass, maybe iffy with the Regain. It's not insanely far afield to choose between these 2 systems, but likely there are many more choices to consider, in some ways an odd comparison. I like the NX for planned "filmmaking" type uses. I could see the Micro having its place in that workflow as well, but mainly because I'm not reliant on AF and am more interested in the right glass for the gig. For me it's a question of DR and image beauty vs. bigger sensor, 4k, and more slowmo options. Optimally I'd take a 4K micro with raw/prores, a super-35 sensor and 60p/1080... (an Ursa I suppose).
  10. Often flash effects rely on the "persistence of vision" thing - a bright pop that fades across a few frames. I would guess old-school flashbulbs would do that, and they are out there (eBay). I'd never heard of adjustable duration strobe lights, those could be really useful too.
  11. Well, the NX1 changed my life more than anything in some years as far as reframing interviews with that incredible, crisp image. But I think I'd want raw for outdoor work and could get by with 1080, esp. if I had 60p available. But BMC did say "global shutter" in the initial micro release, curious to see what happens with that.
  12. The only problem with lighting is having lights. Well, knowing how to choose 'em and use 'em helps. I see so many posts from newbies trying to figure out which LED to get as their first light, and man... get on eBay and grab a couple used fresnels and a couple used open-faced lights, some bounce and some scrims. If you need daylight, you can usually get about 3x the power from biax flos than the same expense of LED. Look at Roger Deakins' forum - the amount of amazing work he's done with a couple redheads and a fresnel is amazing. And his rigs of porcelain sockets and household light bulbs. Sure, he's done plenty of work with banks of 4K HMIs and generator trucks, but the guy is a master-class in "use what works".
  13. There's always going to be something more to buy. I don't know that you "have to" buy a new system to get the look you want. I'd use more light, but in the same proportions, get the iso down. With 8-bit footage, I try to fill in the blacks a bit more, just a big source of fill to bring everything up a half stop or so. Sort of like "lighting flat" vs. a flat profile, and then push up the blacks in post. I never mess with faux-log or anything-log with 8-bit though, just seems to noise everything up in the long run. By the way, on my screen at the posted resolution, there was no noise that really jumped out at me. Full screen there's a lot of noise in the mids, which is odd. But nothing neat video wouldn't work well on.
  14. You can rent a BMCC and try it for yourself of course. Most online rental shops have the cinema cam and speedbooster (not the purpose-made one but will still get you a bigger-sensor experience and more FOV). You might need an SDI-to-HDMI converter if you don't have SDI gear. The kinds of stuff I'd shoot with the BMC - I'd often want at least 60p slowmo, so never went with it. The Micro is interesting to me though, waiting to see how it shakes out with raw and global shutter. The pocket-specific SB is said to fit it as well, so possibly very useful. I really rely on viewfinders a lot (esp. here in the Texas sun) and I have a 3" HDMI screen with loupe, so the form factor isn't a major issue to me.
  15. Check out the catch-lights in the pupils as well as the shadow quality. If the photo has enough resolution, you can often see exactly what was used, like umbrella ribs or ring-light circles. For the look in the example photo, my go-to is using a Speedotron strobe - I use the 11" reflector, with mylar diffusion behind a grid. For up-close work, it's flattering but still pretty directional. This one uses the speedo reflector, but I hacked together a way to use it with a Vivitar flash and a radio trigger so I could mount it to ceiling joists and so on. (this also had a full CTO on the strobe to match a fresnel on the BG).
  16. Keep in mind the idea that a 50mm is the "normal average human sight FOV" is only meaningful on a full frame camera. On the NX1 and other super-35/APS-C sensors, it's more like a 70mm FOV, a mild telephoto and more in what was considered a "portrait" range. I think the little Samsung pancakes are great for steadicam work, where in most cases you're not pulling focus and shooting wider angles at around F4 - 5.6 for focus reasons. The little "kit" zoom is great for this use, since it has very good OIS and the AF can often be useful for these kind of moving shots. You can often find these for $140 or less - kind of a no-brainer for the NX system, even if you have the big S zoom (which could be a pain on smaller steadicam setups). I use the kit zoom for steadicam - I did get a 48-52mm step ring and keep a range of 52mm NDs and a light rubber hood in the Steadicam kit. I prefer 4x4 ND, but being able to screw a 52mm on and keep the rig extremely small is dynamite (I'd rather screw on the proper ND than use a "variable" which isn't actually ND at all).
  17. I kinda thought something in the 100FPS range at 1080 would be a given for a 4K camera now. I really find that very useful - not for every shot, but glad to have it. Nice for beauty, foo9d, manufacturing, sense-of-drama. The NX1 does it really well if you have enough light.
  18. I have one client that has me shoot events - I still have a 1080p Panasonic AC-130. It's got all the grab & go stuff, ND, EVF, XLRs, good OIS, power zoom, easy WB controls, not bad on the jello. I don't think of it as a "beauty camera", but to this day, when I have to use it, I get the footage home and think "damn, that's pretty stuff". Other than not-so-hot AF, it's a hell of a value if you have decent light levels. And it has great peaking, so I never bother with the AF. I stick the most-excellent manfrotto focus-iris controller at the front of the rails and shoot mainly shoulder mount, focus with my finger, all manual. Available used for around $2k. This looks like it has the bells and whistles, $329: http://supamods.com/product/matte-box/mb-20-pro-carbon-fiber-dslr-matte-box/ I bought an "Indian" matte box years ago when DSLRs were the new thing - $300, basically the same as the one above. Never needed to upgrade it, still going strong. I did add some tabs of self-stick velcro where the flags meet each other, they could rattle a bit when moved.
  19. Wow... two thousand grand is... TWO MILLION BUCKS!!! That is a lot of scratch for a camera and grip - I'd at least want a lens, and 5 Ferraris...
  20. Flags can be very handy in a studio setup - often much quicker to adjust or attach a flag then get a flag on a stand and position it. If I'm shooting in a setup where there are lots of light sources potentially visible, I stick all the flags on. And keep in mind, just because light isn't hitting the sensor, it can still be hitting the lens (esp, say, a full-frame lens on a small sensor camera). Sometimes you don't even know you're getting some flare until you see the same shot flagged. A variable ND isn't an ND at all - it's two polarizers. So yes, it can jack up a shot pretty badly, particularly skies or expanses of solid color, or long camera moves. And for close ups with skin, it can really deaden the skin. And they can be hard to match from shot to shot. A matte box with a rotating stage is really handy for ND grads and polarizers. You'll stop thinking of a grad as "just for the sky" and use them to, say, knock down a bright sidewalk or wall. And with pola's, it makes it easy to kill (or enhance) reflections. A pola in a rotating stage eats a lot less light than a circular pola, which is 2 stacked polarizers. If you're 100% "run and gun", a matte box could be a hassle (but then, you should be shooting with a camera made for run & gun, with switchable ND and a good EVF and so on). (I see a lot of newbies say their "style" is "run n' gun", when in reality run & gun is a situation). I don't find 4x4's slow me down significantly. If I were shooting an event, I'd use my big "video" camera. Most other situations, you have a few minutes to frame a shot and work out the DOF and exposure you want. I'd say the minimum to look for is 2 stages, at least one rotates - adjustable height; flags that attach securely and can be removed and adjusted without tools; and flags with no open slots at the mount, as you'll get reflections of your FF gears in your footage!
  21. I have to disagree - $3k is only for very well-heeled hobbyists. This is a specialist's camera - someone doing primarily music videos, a pro who also does abstract/experimental stuff, someone who does lots of work in beauty/fashion. I think DB overestimated the market for simply beautiful footage. And I think they blew it with features - doing beauty and abstract work really screams to at least have the ability to do slow motion. I've shot a lot of music video stuff at 30p for a 24 timeline - doesn't look "slow motion" but gives everything a little more "weight" or gravitas. And 60p I'd see as an absolute necessity for that work as well. So even as a rental, it wasn't a good option for the sort of work it should have just excelled at.
  22. I was always intrigued by the DB - some of the most gorgeous images of this era came from the thing. Always seemed a little overpriced and under-featured to me though. S16 was a tough sell lens-wise (the pocket's price point was what made sifting through old super-16 glass palatable for many), and a "beauty" camera that can't even do 30p - I couldn't go there. And as robust as SSDs are, I've replaced two of them in the last couple years, so a non-user-servicable drive worried me as well. If it could have done 30 or 60p, and come in at under $3k with a quality focal length reducer, I'd have been in long ago. Hate to see it go though.
  23. Isn't this the case with any hybrid cam that has 1/8 inputs? I use a DR60D for interviews and dialogue, and I run the camera out (1/8th) to the NX1's mic in and make sure the gain is correct at each stage. If I have time to tweak the levels (mic level, camera out level, NX1 mic level), I don't have to synch - the NX1 is capable of really nice, crisp audio with low noise - if it's fed a well preamped signal. I found this to be the case with my Nikon bodies as well. For decent hybrid-cam audio, you really need a preamp to feed the camera line-level - but with 60D's being so cheap, might as well use that - you get (usually) useable camera tracks, and all the Tascam bells & whistles (mainly those minus 6 DB safety tracks, phantom powered XLRs, etc) Price wise it's like a very good preamp with a free recorder.
  24. So you need a sack of ties and a wirecutter or knife each time you swap? I get how it works, for me the lens support does the job with more simplicity. But these sort of solutions are the key to wobbly FF in many cases.
  25. If you're getting lens-jumps with an FF on adapted lenses (turn the gear and the lens bumps up a hair), it's usually all the extra play that comes from the camera mount (still lens mounts aren't really designed for video) and the adapter (and I get bumps on Nikkors mounted direct to Nikkor bodies). Get an adjustable lens support on your rails, find a spot where it will fit without getting in the way of the FF, and push the lens up enough to take up the play. Your pulls should get solid then, works great for me. With a pancake lens, you might have to stick a metal hood on the front and put the support under the hood. You don't crank it until stuff bends, just enough to kill the play. A rubber whip is icing on the cake, too.
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