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Bkn Soc of Cinematography

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  1. Shot this mini doc while on vacation in Mauritius. It's about those who work behind the scenes to uphold the illusion of paradise. Shot on GH5s, it was intended as a camera test as I wanted to see how 60p and V log play. So it's shot on either 4k 8bit or FHD 10bi at 60pt. In both cases, V log bands quite horribly even in 10 bit FHD. Unfortunately, being on vacation I didn't use an external monitor so I couldn't see the banding until I got it on my computer. I hope this is something Panasonic can fix, at least in 10bit (no excuse). I love Vlog in 10bit 4k non 60p. But I'll probably have to experiment with HGL settings which is a drag because I prefer Vlog overall and I'd hate to have to mix the two settings for a sequence. Also, I shot it with Olympus 12-40 2.8 and 40-150 2.8. Love both of these lenses as the manual focus is excellent. I used a monopod for the 40-150 and handheld for the 12-40. Coming from a film background, I don't miss the IS. A little camera shake doesn't kill me, especially for a doc. It was my first time using the 40-150. This lens is superb and worth every penny. But it's not a handheld lens. It has the reach of a 70-200 in FF and that extra 40 over the Panasonic 35-100 makes a huge difference. Also being able to switch to true manual (no fly by wire) is worth it. Here's the link. Enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=9O0cuTdsl8A
  2. I think it's a play by RED to hedge against the eventual crash in the high end high priced pro camera market. In two years, every spec and ergonomic requirement for high end broadcast and cinema work will be had in a camera for 6000.00 USD or less from Sony, Canon, Panasonic and BMC. This is a race that considering RED has yet to master built in ND's, cannot win or even be competitive. A pivot to their "magic" phone is their last hand before the high end/high price camera market bubble bursts. If they can figure out how to make the glass unbreakable, they'll crush the phone market, with or without 3d or holograms.
  3. Until it shoots 10 bit log, it's a non starter for me. I agree with Andrew in that RAW can be hassle even in a pro environment. I work on a lot TV shows in the US. Episodic, dramatic stuff for networks and such. Virtually all the shows (except Netflix), despite their multimillion dollar budgets, shoot pro rez on Alexa in Log C. They could shoot RAW but don't want to lose the time and endure the hassle of RAW. The bigger the show, the more money that time costs.
  4. Just did a search on Vimeo. Thanks. Found some great footage by James Miller. Anyone who say this camera is "unusable" needs to shoot something other than tests. The IQ IMO stomps on my A7s II in terms of color space. In fact, it gets a depth I don't see on the FS5/7. I'm torn. I plan on selling my A7s II in the coming weeks to help finance either a BMC UMP or GH5. Both have their up and downsides. But lately, I've been going smaller and more discreet so I'm leaning towards the GH5. With a speed booster - outstanding.
  5. So far in all of this lively discussion the link below has been the best information on the GH5's potential. All these "lab" tests mean little to me compared to seeing footage used in a edited film. While I do conduct tests all the time to find a camera's limits and give me direction to its potential, nothing beats a shoot. Despite liking what I see in the link, I do wish I'd see more tests or sample footage would involve flesh and bone humans in front of the camera and a little camera movement rather than the usual Phillip Bloom style "moving stills" approach. I've nothing against that style of shooting but it seems to overwhelm the sample footage these days. We all don't make landscape films to easy listening tunes. I'd love to see some stories, docs, etc shot on this camera because at the end of the day, we don't shoot to make tests. Andrew, there was a Thai filmmaker you once featured that made an amazing short on perhaps a 5D (not sure) about a kick boxer I believe. I wish Panasonic would put the camera in his hands. That's the type of shooting that would tell me a lot about the camera - how flesh tone, movement, contrast, etc play into the drama. But I guess Panasonic (and Sony, and Canon, and....) rather give it to safe bets, blog presence or pretty ladies in Japanese gardens and other cinematic pablum.
  6. The Ursa Pro is really tempting. But I'm going to hold off until I see some real world reports. The last Mini was fraught with numerous QC issues. I'm not ready to be a beta testing guinea pig. All that said, when BMD gets it together, their cameras produce much richer images than the competition. In this case, their direct competition will be the FS7, FS5 and Canon C300 II. While I've used Sony's F series for numerable productions, aside from the F55/5, their color science has always been lacking especially for narrative work - thin flesh tones, green undertone, etc. C 300 II is an excellent camera but with great IQ but its price point is about double the Ursa Pro. While the Ursa's sensitivity isn't on par with Sony or Canon, 800 native ISO, is still plenty fast and will let you get away with minimal lighting with fast glass. The ND wheel with calibrated IR is most welcome. For gimbal users and docs this is indispensable. My biggest misgiving as Andrew mentioned, a camcorder batt system would really make this a killer camera. Imagine using Sony NP or BT batts. The weight and footprint savings would be a boon to handheld, drone and gimbal use as well as a huge expense saving we could use towards those CF cards. The last grip is a lack of an OLPF. This truly makes a difference. Wouldn't have been too complicated to throw that in. Can't wait to see footage.
  7. I've always been skeptical about DXO ratings. They lost me with rating the A7s II lower than the A7s I for noise. Someone's out to lunch. Thanks for the heads up.
  8. Check this out. Short film entirely shot in NYC's Blizzard of 2016. All on A7s II. Loved it.
  9. Price is right. 4k and LXR's - Great. But what I'd really love is a 4k recorder that is either a smaller monitor (5" like the pix E5) as well as a recorder with no monitor at all. It'd be great to use whatever monitor you want or go completely stripped down like an Atomos Blade. For aerial work, run n gun, or anytime you want to go super small this would be awesome. When it comes to 7" monitors, Small HD and Atomos have them beat. I find it difficult to have to downgrade to BMC's monitor just to shoot pro rez. So now I'd end up attaching another, better more accurate monitor, and before you know it, you're rig is a pig. Just give us the recorder! Also, as someone who uses gimbals all the time, brighter is better. If you're going to build a monitor, make it bright enough to use outside without a hood. In terms of investment, pay 900 USD now for BMC or spend an Xtra 500 for Atomos and get 1500 NITs. After a month or two, tell me which one people want on set and which one pays itself off and then some.
  10. How is the Scarlet sensor better? It's not all about specs. I prefer the image of 2k from an Alexa over 6k Red. Better colors, fleshiness, range, etc. If this camera owes anything to Panasonic's history, it's color science should be amazing. The old 2/3" three chip Varicams from ten years ago had better more accurate color than the latest Red of today. I can't see Panasonic going backwards in terms of color science. The only misgiving I have about this camera is that I wish the body were even smaller (under 4 lbs). I'd be curious to see how it'll stack up to Kinefinity offerings.
  11. Absolutely love it! It's about two stops less noisy than the A7s I. Better user button assignability. Still I'd recommend getting a fotodiox start/stop switch. Real cheap. Works. I so wanted the FS5 to deliver better images. It can shoot great stuff but as I do loads of night and low light work, the A7s II better suited my needs. Also, I'm a real sucker for Full Frame. If you're going to go small and cheap, better to have something special in the cards. Also, if 120 FPS is enough for you, the A7s II doesn't require a write wait. This is important if you're shooting unscripted moments, moments that can't wait for your camera to write the previous shot. With the FS5, if I shot 14 seconds at 120 fps, I'd have wait almost a minute and half before the camera could shoot again. While okay for controlled situations, not so much for doc style work. The A7s II at 120 fps has no write time. It does punch in to about a micro 4/3 size chip for 120 fps. So be sure to have some wide glass. I often use a Tokina 11-16 cine for the slo mo. Gives me the Full Frame look of about 28mm or 19mm in super 35. Other noteworthy stuff: the 5 axis stabilization is excellent. Take many of the small jitters out as well well as tames more of the rolling shutter issues. Rolling shutter overall seems about 20 % better than the old A7s. Battery life sucks, so I bought a few more as well as an NP plate to Sony adaptor for those times I need a long run time. The EVF is definitely a step up from the FS5 as well as the LCD. Also, having a "LUT" preview helps a lot with shooting S Log. S Log 3 however is dead to me in this camera. My favorites are the CINE looks.
  12. Andrew, thanks for the tip on Edit Ready for XAVC. Before I got rid of my FS5, the XAVC-L was POA on my MBP 2015. Clogged up the system. Even now with the A7s II in 4k, it's easier on the CPU than FS5 codec but still stutters along. Just got Edit Ready. Unbelievable how much faster it is at transcodes than the competition. The time saved is worth 50.00, especially the time saved working in pro rez. Keep em coming.
  13. Thanks for keeping us posted. Unfortunately, I bought the FS5 the week it came out. After extensive testing, I found the image quality especially in low light too blocky and noisy, even in 10 bit. I then bought a A7s II and compared the two. Aside from the rolling shutter, IMO, I felt the A7SII delivered a much better image: Full Frame, none of the noise and artifact issues. But what sealed it for me was the monitoring problems the fs5 had in 4k and the long write wait for slo mo. Also, the codec is far more computer processor intensive than the A7s II's. So I returned the FS5 and kept the A7s II. It was a tough decision as I could only afford to keep one and the fs5 has so many excellent features. Ergonomically the FS5 is amazing and the electronic ND is truly revolutionary. It works. But at five and half grand, I expected a better looking image. But based on the firmware updates coming down the line, especially the RAW update, I just may go back. I hope by then someone develops a small 4k recorder like an Atomos blade.
  14. I agree with Mozim, the FS5 footage doesn't look properly focused. That aside, I still doubt it would shoot as good an image as the NX1. I bought an FS5 and returned it after doing a series of tests. Aside from global shutter, its IQ is below that of my old A7s (that I sold to finance it) and even further below that of the A7s 2 I just picked up (at almost half the price of the fs5). It's slo-mo while fun in bright daylight, requires a playback write time buffer before you can reload and shoot. 8 seconds in 240 fps, takes at least a couple minutes to write before you can shoot again. The same goes for 120 fps. What's worse is the noise ratchets way up in 120/240 fps to the point that after 400 ISO the IQ is unusable, especially for night scenes. A real pity as the body design, weight, size, and the brilliant electronic variable ND were real strong points for this camera. Sony has the technology to allow it to deliver a better image but for segmentation issues chooses not to. In short, I think the camera is a waste of time.
  15. I just finished a feature in which we used the Pix E5 extensively. For our main cams we had Fs7's with Speedboosters. But we wanted to use a Steadicam Tango which has a weight limit of 5 lbs. So we paired an A7s at the end of the Tango and Pix E5 as the operator's monitor. In short, the Pix E5 is bullet proof. In prep we tested Shoguns but found them too fiddly and power hungry. With the E5 we'd get a couple hours use with (2) NP 970 batteries. Also, their media system is well thought out. Pop out drive, stick it in computer, no intermediate interface. Also, noteworthy, it's at least a stop brighter than the Shogun which helped for brightly lit locations. The downside, no 60p. The interface is pretty simple. Buttons and touch screen. As a reference monitor, it'll take LUTs, display Histo, Waveform, Vectorscope, etc. I bet it becomes a standard "director's" monitor on movie and TV sets as they'll be able to review and que takes without having to summon the VTR guy and do it privately without everyone else watching. The union is going to hate this one.
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