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Matthew Hartman

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Everything posted by Matthew Hartman

  1. Sounds very logical. When I worked at Microsoft, you'd be suprised how often tech companies sabotage their competitors and even themselves. Very, very politicial. Teams of various products competing constantly for budgets/headcount, and a lot of ppl being thrown under bus. The net value is the consumer receives the crap shoot of this, and marketing teams have to scramble to make somethiing out of nothing. Most of my job there was fighting to keep my job.
  2. I'm going to take a wild guess (and this is clearly speculation) but my guess is that there's components that Panasonic can't get its hands on that would help it to produce better AF. It could totally be political rather than econmical. Companies and their suppliers/producers do partake in competitor sabotage/contracts. It's not like the AF tech of Canon, Nikon, Sony and Samsung (the AF on my NX1 and S8 is top notch) is new tech or hard to wrap your brain around. My view is if Panasonic wanted it or could get it they would, and the GH5/s would have been a perfect release to showcase it. It's current form should not even be held as AF in terms of 2018. It would seem unlikely to me Panasonic would willfully take on that embarrassment. Again, speculation.
  3. I think I know what you're saying. Though the linked videos do technically look stunning and vibrant, there's still a "character" to it regardless of colorspace. I don't know if it can even easily be put into words. When I saw the first footage from even the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera there was something very "cinematic" about it. Almost like paint, or luster. It's motion is different. Is that shutter speed, rolloff, global shutter, no fringing, what? I can't technically explain it. I get those same visceral reactions when I see footage from a RED or Arri. I've spent a lot of time, energy (and money) trying to replicate that feel with my NX1, using various pre and post tricks, which I think I've gotten closer to what I'm describing than what I've seen of the GH4/5/5s to date, regadless of bit depth, colorspace, resolution presented in the most filmic way. Now I want to be clear so I don't butthurt a few ppl. I'm not saying the GH"" anything sucks. Not at all. I do beleive the "character" it produces has a viable seat at the industry table. And I love a good $underdog$ story, that's why I'm also a big supporter of smartphone filmmaking. As a creative more than a technical craftsman, I'm always going to lean on the side of quality story than quality image. Though I do strive for both as a matter of passion for excellence. Also, I do own and love my NX1, which out of the box isnt terribly "filmic" in the sense of what I consider that definition to be. Although, that definition isn't scientific, it's subjective. I'm also brand agnostic. I'll go with anything if it provides me what I'm looking for. I could care less what the label says, and if a director has an issue with that they can hire a fanboy, plenty to pick from. Right now, I'm definitely looking heavily at BM products. Arri/RED are way out of my price range (and most everyone else) and I think the BM look is very comparative to those more expensive systems. No, I don't equate expensive with quality. It's not always true, in fact I would say the markup on Arri/RED is probably next to highway robbery. The feature:cost ratio is insane, and thanks to progressive companies like BMD and Kinefinity, (Samsung had they stuck it out) I think more ppl are going to realize they're getting cleaned out for the availability of a few extra tricks. Will 2018 be the year of the shake up?
  4. Yeah, thats often how adoption of new anything goes, it's usually a stepped process. That was quite a gift. I don't doubt the validity of this statement whatsoever. We truly only know quality in terms of how we are familiar with it in it's current form. Remember when ppl were raving about color in film in general? The film still looked like junk by today's standards but audiences then couldn't get enough of it. Although, I don't think anyone ever raved about Betamax and VHS. ?
  5. Wha? I'm not "looking down" per se on anything. I just don't prefer Panasonic when it comes to the character of their image, it looks "flat" or "thin" to me regardless of resolution or bit rate I view it at. Obviously, there are others who like or even love it, which is super for them. No hate here. Each to their own. My guess about YT's compression algorithm is a doubt, not anything prescriptive. I don't work for Google so of course I couldnt tell you their future intentions. I based my doubt off of what we've seen in the past and today. As of today, 8bit is still the distribution standard. If that changes, great! Right? My "arguement" was actually in support of not looking down on 8bit rather than turning up my nose to it. Also, to get away from at size perceptible banding you really need to be at least 10bit, but more realistically in a 16bit + colorspace. I think there's a buzzword when it comes to 10bit right now and a misconception that 10bit means no banding. I've been a designer for over 25 years, that's simply wrong. If we're being rententively honest, you'd have to be in a 32bit/float colorspace to get zero artifacts/stepping, as far as pixel peeping in concerned. But ppl don't watch content at a 500% crop, unless they're anally retentive, so does it even matter? Maybe I didn't articulate this well, but basically dont worry about it. Banding, it's there, even if you cant see it at 100%, and a reality for most of us, just concentrate on making good content instead, because that's what will determine the success of it the most. The video you linked is very impressive on my 10bit BenQ 2.5k monitor. I never said YOU were demonizing anything. I don't think we're actually opposing one another here.
  6. Seen it. I've been following Curtis' channel for years. He does execellent reviews on the products he decides to review. His dry deamenor fits the intention of his content well. My only issue with him (and many well known reviewers) is he tends to look at only mainstream camera systems. Which is odd as he takes on plenty of "underground" audio gear quite frequently. My guess here is he's entering into contracts to keep access to loaner gear to review. My view is if you're going to be the "go to" source for all that is video/audio, you owe it to your viewers to be familiar with everything currently on the market and to keep a vigilant eye on things coming down the pipe. Otherwise, I could do that work myself. A lot of these guys/gals are very partial to one mainstream brand or another. Which is great if you are also partial to their partiality, it's a singing choir to that end. Shit pratically buys itself. However, not so great if you're a person that's more brand agnostic that likes to truly comparative shop, and be informed about what is currently accessible. Thank God for the Googles. Yes, because I'm looking at second-hand products that include some BM accessories.
  7. I'll have to look into the Alexa Classic. God help my back. I know the ursa mini is not really "mini" in terms of other smaller offerings and it does concearn me. It also means I'll have to get a bigger 3 axis stabilizer (eventually) like a Ronin, which I'm not exactly "thrilled" about. I appreciate the smaller workflow of my NX1. Panasonic EVA1 / VariCam / GH5 Great feature set, ergonomics, don't like the image. Too digital and flat for my taste. Sony FS7 / Sony PMW-F5 Again, has a very digital image, not my cup of tea. Sony also seems to have a hard time with skin tones. Would rather not have to constantly tweak that in post. Canon I no longer largely support Canon. I think they need a kick in ass to get with the future instead of rely on legacy and bullshit product cycles. The best way to deliver that message is with my wallet. I have no doubts Canon will be the last manufacturer to get with the times, and it will be through the guise of desperation rather than an innovative spirit. I think their color science is glorious, and AF tech tops. But others will soon match or surpass it. My NX1 is no slouch in either of these categories. The camera was released in 2014. Kinefinity Seriously a contender. Love the smaller form factor, frame rates/formats, and 15 stops of DR, are all super impressive. I would really like to see more about the Terra 5k, (because of the option for global shutter) but I can't find any example footage whatsoever. To me, the image on their other models is closer to BM, Arri and RED than Panasonic and Sony. But that rolling shutter is not pleasant. I hate pronounced rolling shutter. I'm also concearned about broad support and longevity. Being an NX1 user I know firsthand how brutal and dismisive the industry can be towards newcomers. Kinefinity is quite often (and foolishly) left out of camera comparison reviews that compare your usual suspects. The industry needs some disruption to break up the strangle hold that the big boys squeeze on us. Kinefinity, given enough chance, could be part of this effort. I know I'm not going to retain the ease of my NX1 workflow, but Samsung pretty much decided that for me and others by jumping ship in 2016. I'm not even entertaining the thought of trying to regain that through another system at this point and time. The NX1 was ahead of its time in many regards, that it will be a couple years for others to catch up in certain areas, I get that. Other NX1 users will get that. At the end of the day, I'm willing (not happy) to work through some inconveniences to gain image quality. I beleive that's what most of us are trying to acheive in one way or another. Of course, it's subjective. Not to shit on other brands, I personally like how BM records motion and depth and handles rolloff. Also 15-stops of DR is very welcome as is the ability for 12bit RAW. The image is what I think when I envision the word "cinematic" or "filmic" and is a few stops away in clipping (left and right) from an Alexa in my opinion. That's damn impressive to me considering the price difference between the two company's products. It has me questioning how long Arri and RED will be able to justify their astronomical prices as the gap in image quality narrows. I'm sure they'll come up with some lame justification and ppl will lap it up. Can someone here confirm that a firmware update has added the ability for custom white balance in the ursa mini 4.6k model? (I already know pro version does)
  8. I seriously doubt YT's compression algorithms are scripted to even address this, let alone handle it. YT cares more about streaming speeds and server storage rather than image quality. Even with all the recent buzzwords about 10bit and HDR, and 8k TVs, it's all 10bit at most, and 99% of distribution channels are all still 8bit. We should stop demonizing 8bit because we all still have to largely work within it's limations for the time being. This goes for Netflix, Hulu and the rest of them. Just because Panasonic releaeses a mid budget mirrorless camera/s capable of internal 10bit, this doesn't mean all of a sudden 8bit is the new bogeyman. Even the new LG V30 (smartphone) records video in 4k 10bit. So? I hate the reactive nature of our kind. It's not one of our better qualities and camera manufacturers totally capitalize on this.
  9. Actually, the Galaxy S9 is going to do 120fps @4k on their Exynos processor. The Snapdragon Qualcomm proccesors are SOL, so North American's such as myself are no bueno. They're also going to have a variabe apeture of f 1.5 - 2.2. Pretty cool.
  10. Alright gang, I'm seriously thinking of going into the Blackmagic world and would like to hear from this community, specfically if you have or had experience with the NX1. So as one does when they're looking at new systems you go online and research the living hell out of something and sometimes you end up more perplexed than you were going into it. I know this. When it comes to Blackmagic, even the pocket version, it's image fits my asthetic, or what I consider "cinematic". Something about how it records motion and depth feels very filmic to me. I can get this with my NX1, but only after considerable modifications and work arounds. I'm not saying the NX1 has a bad image, not even close, but something about BM cams and it's motion feels more "emulsive". Knowing I will have to move on from the NX1 eventually, I'm trying to figure out what is out there that speaks to me and doesnt cost 20k plus. Right now, I see the most value in the ursa mini 4.6k. The 4.6 pro is nice, but I really dont need all the extra SDI connections for my purposes. Or do I? I'm not terribly happy about the 4.6k's rolling shutter as opposed to the v1, production cam and pocket cam, and don't quite understand why BM would go that direction when clearly ppl prefer global shutter. But from what I can see it doesn't seem as pronounced as my NX1 or other cams even some REDs for example. Rolling shutter totally removes me from the cinematic look and feel, even more than clipped highlights. It looks like someone is having vertigo. ? Also, is it me or does the image look different in the 4.6k than the rest? Slightly more digitally sharp with more magenta? Nothing that can't be managed, just curious. I'm open to the production cam 4k and the ursa mini v1 as well. I'll of course lose 4k slowmo, and those 15 stops of DR, but the older cams still produce a milky image. Not worried about low light, I light my scenes and I don't do run and gun. Help me work through this mental exercise. I'll have a budget of about $7k very shortly. The fact that I can spend that much and get near-Alexa quality within broadcast standards blows my mind. Also, naturally I'll be looking for a fast/fixed zoom covering a good focal range on the EF mount too. I have two fast Canon FD lens' and a Helios 44 to get me started. From what I understand the PL mount is a bolt on system? I could see myself renting some proper PL mount cine primes for features.
  11. Technically, you can have high dynamic range in 8bit because the two aren't exclusive. However, what you gain in more stops of dynamic range is nullified when the signal gets compressed to 8bit because the codec can't write all the color values that HDR provides. This is why 10bit should be coupled with it. But don't drop your panties just yet, even in 10bit you still will get banding, (sorry GH5 users) just in smaller stepping patterns, which may be less visible to most ppl. You have to break into 12 bits (usually higher) to truly get ahead of the equation that HDR provides if we're all fansinated with pixel peeping. Sony is an asshat company. They literally own the image sensor market and yet like Canon they cripple their consumers at the sub $3,000 range. Obviously to push consumers to pay more into their upper product tiers, which is an asinine value prop. And for fuck'sake, figure out those skin tones and GUI in 2018. It's really not that hard.
  12. As a NX1 fanboy its nice to see the camera still getting some love in 2018. It's unfortunate however, that it's from a more independent and obscure source. I truly believe Samsung's failure in the pro market was not just due to their own devices, I beleive it's competitors had an invested interest in squashing it. DOA. One of the worse examples I saw was Cinema5D's inexplicable review of the camera. You cannot tell me that wasn't intentional, that channel sells cameras by how they guide the consumer. They have pushed much lessor cameras and never did a follow up with the new firmware, which every other mainstream camera gets the luxury of. That was a lynching, and I dont think they imagined the backlash they would receive. The reviewers (very visible within the industry) even got insulting towards commentors, it was a sight to behold. Matt Granger and Phillip Bloom gave it a passing and half-hearted look/remark, all whilst praising lessor systems. A lot of ppl respect and trust their opinions so it did have somekind of impact. But by far the worse enemy of the NX1/500 was Samsung itself. I partnered with them when I was at Microsoft and we were working on biometric login (I'm one of the main designers on Windows Hello) and they're a good company who pours a lot of money in R&D, way more than most but they are super reactive to the market and they have it in for Apple in the sense of trying to be the go to product tech company. I think it's important to note it was Windows that had the first version of face ID using infered 3D cameras, not Apple, and we learned a lot from the R&D Samsung was doing. This was 3 years before the iPhoneX. I give credit where credit is due. Samsung is most likely right about their assesment of why they pulled out, they employ some very smart ppl globally, but I think their timing was a bit premature. The shift in management and internal scandals had something to do with it. However, re-orgs are quite common in tech. Microsoft has about 3-4 per year. I have no doubt had Samsung stuck it out their evolution of the NX1/500 would be more in the territory of Blackmagic, and other cinema cameras above the $5,000 bracket; easily. I gaurantee we would have had 120fps 4k DCI and possibly better ISO performance than even Sony in 2017. Samsung does not fuck around, all the big tech companies knows this. You don't beat Samsung, you join them or lose 90% of your production capacity. Everyone thinks Apple is the one, but Samsung is the real tech giant when you look at tech on a global scale. This is because of smart business decisions to own the hardware, software, services, components and production. Every device has a little Samsung logo inside of it. Just like most image sensors say Sony. Why anyone would doubt or denie Samsung is beyond me. Panasonic and Sony's offerings in the mirrorless division wouldn't have stood a chance and influential reviewers would not be able to dismiss it or their bias and contractual restrictions would be too evident. But, here we are. Left with great but depreciating systems. Left to muse about what could have been like disgruntled old men and women.
  13. Unless Samsung drastically changes gears, it ain't happening. What can happen however is hiring coders veresed in Tizen to open up the current NX1's limitations. I beleive that sensor has much more to give and if we can find someone who understands the code and is paasionate enough to explore the SDK (free) we could see some interesting things happen.
  14. I think a lot of ppl get perplexed by such things but more often than not its because Panasonic (in this case) bought/overspent on those particular components a year or two in advance and is trying to offload them now. What we see as, "make the perfect camera", manufacturer's see as "make happy shareholders", the two not always symbiotic. Manufactures are always going to find ways to reduce costs which eventually affects their bottom line, and sometimes in that process the consumer gets the shaft. Other times, it works out. You drive this phenomenon with your wallet. Don't like the 2.0 USB port in the G9, then you don't buy it. Other viable camera's will come along shortly.
  15. I'm seeing an emerging pattern here as it concerns the NX1 and the best looking footage I've seen this camera produce and that pattern is subtle changes to the camera's default settings. Although, I do turn my sharpness all the way to -10 and reccomend that if you want to get a softer, less digital look and help reduce aliasing and morie. But turn it to -8 when shooting 1080. The camera is not perfect and in the wrong hands and Youtube and Vimeo's compression can look like utter crap. It has a "thin" look (as does the GH5) which is hard to describe in words, and I've been experimenting with ways to "deepen" the character of the image. I think some of this is the difference between using stills lens' and proper cine lens'. Shaky footage in 4k does not compliment this camera as it's rolling shutter is pretty pronounced, even vertically. As my eye gets more acclimated to the character of this camera the more I see how bad it is. Global shutter is the way to go in this department. A lot of ppl rag on the camera's DR, but I challenge them to shoot high contrast scenes with any camera costing under $4,000 not see simlar issues. That being said, if you take control of your lighting, blown out highlights can be totally avoided. Here's a good video demonstrating those general techniques:
  16. I just want to say thank you for this blog. As an NX1 user it gives me and many a rare place to call home.
  17. I think at least coming down between $300-$500 makes it more attractive and puts it in a bracket of what most ppl can afford on an average modest income. I know the name of the game as a seller is to recoup as much of the original cost but put yourself in the shoes of the buyer as well. I know Bartech is reputable with the top-level pro community. That being said, this particular system has a lot of components and the wave of the future is scaling back your footprint. A lot of things to factor in, you know?
  18. That's one thing, but you also have to consider other follow focus systems out there as well. I mean. don't get me wrong, you have the right to price it anyway you want to. I just personally think it's a heavy price tag in relation to depreciation and cheaper/newer/streamlined systems on the market. Nonetheless, I hope you're successful with the sale and get what you feel you deserve.
  19. I say skip the Panasonic offerings altogether. "Wha" you say? Outrageous sir! Because you know, and I know as soon as someone releases the same feature set with that coveted bigger sensor and better AF, (which the bar is low) everyone's going to be offloading their G-whatever on eBay like a distant memory, and thus the sickness of perpetual gear-acquisition rages on. I have the sickness too. But I'm starting to ween myself from those shackles and it feels absolutely liberating. Instead, I'm reinvesting in my current setup and investing more time, energy and money into learning more about the filmmaking process outside the camera. I thought buying new gear would scratch some of that itch, but it does not. Yeah, the joy of holding something new is exciting, but the shelf life on this is very short.
  20. As an GenX'er having raised two Millennial daughters (both adults now) and currently raising my GenZ son, I could go on and on about the narcissistic breakdown of today's youth and their nearly constant need to consume mindless and callus media with the promise of instant gratification and self promotion. But then I think back to when I was their ages watching shows like: Ren & Stimpy South Park Beavis & Butthead MAD TV In Living Color MTV in general Hopefully I'm not spoiling this for anyone but one should realize that "reality" TV is 99% scripted/produced. Yet, that doesn't stop most of us from mindlessly consuming it in one form or another. Vlogging, Vines (coming back) Instagram, these are largely spin-offs of reality tv. Pick your poison, we all have a guilty pleasure or two, or three, or... Although the line over the last 30 years has increasingly been blurred, there is still a line, and Logan crossed it 100%, without a single doubt. He knew it, YouTube knows it. It was a failed attempt to test how far Logan (and YT by proxy) could push his audience and it completely backfired, as it rightfully should. I do not blame all the outrage, in fact I find it quite appropriate for anyone who posses half a heart within them. I believe this needed to happen. We needed to see if THAT line still exists with today's audiences, and the positive net outcome is a resounding yes. The fact that we are having this discourse is proof. And what better useful idiot to test this than someone like Logan Paul.
  21. That's partly why. I have 32GB on board. RAM makes a difference.
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