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About bjohn

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  • My cameras and kit
    BMD Micro Cinema Camera

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  1. This might be the first time I've ever quoted a post on Reddit, but this one is actually useful:
  2. Actually this is going to be a great Super 16 camera as well. It has a Super 16 crop with rolling shutter that's half that of the original Pocket and not much behind the Ursa 12K in Super 16 crop. I'm planning to get one and use my Angénieux Super 16 zoom on it and was thinking of picking up a couple of other Super 16 lenses. For full-frame or Super35 crop I can use pretty much every lens I own except the MFT-mount ones. Vintage Canon and Leica rangefinder lenses, Nikon-mount lenses, Minolta SR-mount lenses, they can all be easily adapted to L-mount. Also worth noting that, though not advertised anywhere or mentioned in the tech specs, this camera records gyro data so you can do stabilization in post. And that is also a great way of eliminating/reducing any rolling shutter artifacts.
  3. There is no second channel: these are mono mics with a bidirectional polar pattern. For location sound they are usually used with a shotgun or other cardioid/supercardioid/hypercardioid mic to form a mid-side (aka M/S) stereo rig.
  4. Now I have to see if Rycote will modify my Cyclone, which they set up for MKH 8060 with the lousy Ambient Emesser mounted on top....I've been dying to replace the Emesser with a better small figure-of-eight mic and this is it. It could also be mounted in a very small Rycote blimp with the MKH 8050, which I also have.
  5. I only have experience grading footage from the Blackmagic OG Pocket and BMMCC, either ProRes HQ or compressed raw, and the 8-bit Sony H265 is new territory for me; I barely touched it as I assumed I'd have very little latitude compared with what I'm used to. But I can push it more than I thought so I'll spend some time experimenting with the strategies you described. For next time, I'm on the fence about what to use. I might have been able to get by with my two Micro Cinema Cameras as long as I stayed near the stage where the lighting was good, and in daylight I much prefer them over the Sony for video. Having two cameras would make my job easier: I can set one up on a tripod and aim it at the dancers, and use the other on a monopod or steadicam for the musicians so I can make more cuts between them. But the nice thing about traditional music is that it's repetitive, so I was able to simulate two-camera work just by grabbing footage from later in the clip where the tune repeated. If I end up doing more of this I may consider getting a Sigma fp, which would allow me to use all the lenses I use on my Sony (all are adapted, no e-mount) with the added cost of a few adaptors, or else the BMD Pocket 4K or one of the Panasonic MFT cameras, as my video/cinema lenses are all MFT or PL mount.
  6. Happy for any advice, thanks! And good point on sharpening the slow-mo; I added midtone detail in the other clips but probably forgot to do that in the slow-mo, which I added at the last minute (I'm pretty resistant to slow mo as it's so overused). I'm using the latest version of Resolve; I use Resolve Colour Management.
  7. Here's the "souvenir" video I put together for the participants; I'll also do a more fast-paced 1-minute promo version later this year. Shot on Sony A7iii with Tokina 28-70 2.6-2.8 zoom (the Angénieux design) and Zeiss 35/1.4 ZF2. I learned a lot from this experience; I only had about a week to get used to shooting video on the Sony and made lots of beginner mistakes the first night; the second day was better. Focusing manually on dancers in a dark environment is an exercise in futility so I mostly didn't bother; I set a focus point and let the dancers drift in and out. I occasionally shot wide open so I could use lower ISOs but mostly stayed around f4 indoors to get more depth of field. Shot in 4K but edited in a 1080p timeline so I could crop and zoom if needed but I mostly didn't need to; the obligatory slow-motion shots were at 1080p since the A7iii can't shoot those in 4K anyway. I recorded the audio separately with omni mics on the balcony above the musicians, to capture the ambience, but the camera's own mics were practically usable on their own and I was tempted to just use the camera audio (in the end I used the separately recorded audio and synced by waveform). I didn't spend much time on grading and there are a number of things I'll fix when I have time (including pulling down some highlights); the lighting was challenging and the dancers were bathed in blue-yellow light.
  8. bjohn


    I used the Tokina 28-70 ATX Pro zoom (the Angénieux design, first version with poorer flare resistance) at my first-ever video shoot using a Sony A7iii a couple of weekends ago (I normally use Super 16 Blackmagic cameras but needed the Sony for its lowlight capabilities). The Tokina gave everything a nice low-contrast look that fit the mood but I was especially struck by the flares -- see these clips (which I didn't end up using, so these are straight out of camera with just some small lift, gamma, gain adjustments; the audio is camera audio but that surprised me as well).
  9. Thanks, this does make it interesting; the rolling shutter is an issue but for the kind of video I do it probably won't matter much. I use an A7iii and A7s for photography and have plenty of fast lenses, although only one is e-mount; the rest are adapted (Leica M, LTM, Minolta SR, Nikon). So I'd have to put adapters on the speedbooster, which would make for a bulkier package, or I could spring for one fast native e-mount lens.
  10. Does the speed booster also improve low-light performance, in the sense that you won't need as high an ISO as you might otherwise? If so, I think I may consider the FX30. I normally use older Blackmagic cameras but have started to get more requests to film under low-light conditions and those cameras are pretty much useless for that; I used my A7iii for the last shoot and it did fine but I'd prefer to have a dedicated video camera (I use the A7iii mainly for photography). I don't need fullframe necessarily, but I need decent low-light performance and the FX3 or A7siii are a bit expensive for my budget.
  11. It worked out okay, but I think I would have done a better job with the Blackmagic cameras I have been using for years. The Sony did do well in low light, although I was mainly at around ISO 3200 in the darker areas, occasionally up to ISO 10,000. The lighting was very challenging; I used the Cine Meter II app on my phone to measure reflected colour temperature and dialed it in manually on the Sony to get me close. We'll see how the video turns out after I edit and do some minor color grading; i'm hoping I'll be pleasantly surprised. I shot it all at 4K except for the slow-motion clips, which can only be shot in 1080p, and I think I'll just do a 1080p timeline and put the 4K clips into it so I can zoom in and pan them if necessary.
  12. I think the main caveat, when choosing between the A7siii and the FX3, is that if you ever envision yourself wanting to shoot without an external monitor, the EVF of the Sony A7siii can come in handy especially under bright conditions where it might be hard to see the LCD screen. Check out Brandon Li's comments on why he chose (and stuck with) the A7siii in his "favourite gear of 2023" video here:
  13. I settled on using the A7iii for video and will leave my Blackmagic cams at home. I did a lot of tests with the Sony, including one at a concert Tuesday night, all of which came out better than I expected. Now my only quandary is lenses. Ideally I'd shoot all the video on one lens for consistency/continuity, but I only have one zoom, the Tokina ATX Pro 28-70 f2.6-2.8 (the Angénieux design) and while I love it in daylight I've been less than thrilled with the images I get from it at concerts. I have that lens in Nikon mount, and the other Nikon mount lens I have is the Zeiss ZF.2 Distagon 35mm/1.4, which is an amazing lens but won't match well with the Tokina. On the rangefinder prime side I have three Sonnar lenses (50mm, 73mm, and 105mm) but nothing wider than 35mm. The first dance is tonight, but the headline acts are tomorrow night so I'll be able to try out a few different lens strategies tonight to see what works best in this location and under this lighting.
  14. My larger problem here is that I'm running out of time: this gig is next weekend, I have a very busy week ahead at work, and we'll be out several nights this week (one night I'll be shooting photos at a concert in a dark jazz club, so can at least try shooting some video to see how that works in low light). There's a lot to learn about shooting video on the A7iii; I've watched a few tutorials and it seems I need to use different picture profiles for low light vs. daytime, and I won't have much time to test. So if I'm not feeling confident by Friday I'll just stick with the Micro Cinema camera, put my fastest lenses on it (I do have an f1.4 lens for example), and try to find the best-lit spots for any video of the evening dances; the daytime shots won't be a problem. I'll have my Sony for photos and can take a few low-light videos with it, but they'll be at 4k so I'll need to supersize the BMMCC timeline to match if I end up needing to use that footage.
  15. Based on the ISO sensitivity charts I've seen and my own experience I think the A7iii is just as good in low light as the A7s except at the very highest ISOs which I'd never use anyway. So using the A7iii would be a win regardless. The "larger pixels = better low-light performance" mantra is largely a myth, as explained well in a video that I don't think I can link to here because it's on DPReview. I could simplify things even more and use the A7iii for both video and photos, saving video to one card and photos to the other, but I'd have to remember to turn off my picture profile at the end of each video shoot before switching to stills, because it has been shown by Gerald Undone and others that picture profiles can affect raw stills files. I suppose I could set up one of the custom dial buttons for video and one for stills, but I have both of my custom dial buttons set up on the A7iii already for different stills shooting scenarios and I'd rather not change them since I don't plan to shoot much video on that camera in the future.
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