Revenge of the Zacuto Shootout 2012 – Part 3 review

The third and final part of Zacuto’s debate provoking documentary on cinematography and cameras is out. Part 3 is to me kind of like Revenging the Revenge because it goes back to a non-creative scientific (empirical) test of the cameras.

They appear in order of cost from the $700 iPhone to the $70,000 Sony F65 and each are treated with the same lighting, similar settings and the same grading to match as closely as possible.

Read moreRevenge of the Zacuto Shootout 2012 – Part 3 review

Sony NEX hack is go – 46Mbit 1080p tested

I have set up a dedicated forum for the Sony NEX Hack here

A guy named Someone 1.00 is able to hack the NEX series of Sony mirrorless cameras for higher bitrates in video mode and more.

The video after the break shows the hack in action, and proof that it can be done.

Discuss the hack here and support Someone 1.00 in his efforts.

Read moreSony NEX hack is go – 46Mbit 1080p tested

Shooting a trailer for theatre production Säure on the Sony FS100


Above: Säure trailer on Vimeo by Andrew Reid

Book tickets to see Säure here

I was cinematographer recently on a trailer for Berlin theatre production Säure (which translates as ‘Acid’).

Read moreShooting a trailer for theatre production Säure on the Sony FS100

Mac AVCHD gamma issues – the fix

As I recently found with my FS100 Macs really seem to hurt your AVCHD footage from Sony cameras and the Panasonic GH2… But especially the Sony FS100.

It is no wonder these cameras often get a bad reputation for limited dynamic range, crushed shadows and blown highlights – when you are only seeing the middle part of the full 8bit range of luma.

This Rec.709 portion of a 601 space (16-235 instead of the full 0-255 the FS100 shoots in) is incorrectly remapped to 0-255 by Quicktime. Therefore apps that use Quicktime at their core like Premiere, trip up. This makes a huge difference to the image. When fixed, you recover over 10% of your dynamic range, highlight and shadow detail, along with a much smoother roll off to whites and blacks.

Read moreMac AVCHD gamma issues – the fix

Zacuto Revenge Shootout 2012 Part 2 shock – Francis Ford Coppola and majority prefer Panasonic GH2

Francis Ford Coppola gives his answer in the new Zacuto Shootout, choosing in order of preference the Panasonic GH2 (lit by Colt Seaman), Alexa and Epic

Get the most from the GH2 – Read the EOSHD GH2 Shooter’s Guide

The results are in from Zacuto’s Revenge Of The Great Camera Shootout 2012. The majority of those at the cinema screenings – including Francis Ford Coppola preferred Colt Seaman’s lighting and the capturing of it by the Panasonic GH2.

This choice was above the stiffest possible competition including the Sony F65, Red Epic, Canon C300 and Arri Alexa. There’s a comment from Part 2 which really stands out for me and it sums up the reason EOSHD and my passion to write my GH2 book and the blog exists –

“The thing I was most impressed with is that some guys or gals with something to prove did better at lighting than the established cinematographers with a good camera” – Bruce Lundeen (33 min 13 seconds)

This is how you make a great film, a great shot, a great scene – Passion, hunger, creativity and a $700 camera.

Read moreZacuto Revenge Shootout 2012 Part 2 shock – Francis Ford Coppola and majority prefer Panasonic GH2

Revealing Sony FS700 field report / video review

The first pro field report of the FS700 is in. This compliments some of the other reviews pretty well and a general consensus about the camera is starting to form amongst pros. Is it worth selling both your FS100 and 5D Mark III and buying this with the money left over? Let’s find out…

Read moreRevealing Sony FS700 field report / video review

Revenge of the Great Zacuto Shootout Part 1 – Review

Above: one of my favourite scenes from the episode, click it to enlarge to 1080p, the colour on this shot is ‘early Technicolor’ and ‘Hitchcockian’. But I am not 100% sure which camera was used to shoot it (although I have a gut feeling!) – and that tells you a lot about how evenly matched cameras like the FS100 and GH2 are with much more expensive offerings (if viewed at 1080p)

If you haven’t already I advise you to watch the episode before reading this and draw your own conclusions first. If you have seen the full screening please do not reveal the results on the comments forum.

Watch episode 1 here!

The Zacuto Shootout is like a torch light in the dark for many aspiring, young filmmakers and it is useful – not to mention fascinating and enjoyable – to see these incredible tools fight for the best image. Now the Revenge series has added people into the mix it is even more interesting and educational.

Read moreRevenge of the Great Zacuto Shootout Part 1 – Review

How the GH2 and FS100 were setup for Revenge of the Zacuto Shootout

Above: GH2 on a heli rig

Today the first episode of Zacuto’s 2012 shootout is aired. (Update: it is now live – watch it here). This isn’t really a shootout in a technical sense rather a subjective and less scientific comparison whereby each camera is made to look as good as possible. Several leading cameras were used including the Alexa and Sony F65.

Zacuto have revealed in a technical document how each camera was setup, so we’ll take a look first at the GH2 and FS100 to see what settings were settled on for the shootout and who the people behind the cameras are.

Read moreHow the GH2 and FS100 were setup for Revenge of the Zacuto Shootout