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CONS SPACE 002 BLN … 1st clips

24 Jan

So a while back I was shooting for RED TOWER FILM a Documentary about a Converse Project called CONS SPACE 002 BLN.

It was located at a old abandoned factory in Berlin that was revived again by skaters and lots and lost of art. There is a full length Docu (70min or so) in the making and there well be a Teaser released soon.
For now there are two 1st clips online about Art and Music…. All shot on Canon C300, 60D, 7D and GoPro. Edit by a colleague and me in Premere Pro CC on OSX  on a Late2013 iMac and 2009 MacPro.

…more updates soon

Passion & Craft: Lucas Gilman – Adventure Photographer

24 Jan

A few weeks ago I had the chance to speak with Adventure Photographer Lucas Gilman in Berlin. He was there for a G-Technology event at the Apple Store in Berlin. We talked a bit about the passion and craft that goes in the work he does and about his work & “challenges” in the Video world.

Stay tuned for part two next month. He will talk more about his workflow and using the new MacPro since he had the chance to use it early ;)

Shot on Sony F3 using vintage Nikkor 35mm, 50mm and 85mm lenses and Canon 70D with Sigma 17-50mm f2.8

I actually used one tip I’ve got from Lucas for this Video … since it was kinda bad, grey and cold weather in Berlin everything kinda looked grey and cold but like Lucas said these are actually good conditions for Black and White shots. So his tip was: If the weather isn’t that great and all looks grey, make it black and white…and I think that worked out pretty nice ;)

So thanks for that tip, Lucas and for the time and thanks to the whole G-Tech crew in Berlin.

BTW I used a G-DRIVE ev via USB 3.0 on a 2009 MacPro with a CalDigit USB3.0 PCI-E card to manage the footage of the Sony F3 and 70D. I also used that drive for editing in Premiere Pro CC. It’s a solid little drive with transfer speeds like a big internal 3,5″ drive… pretty good!

some more info about Lucas Gilman:
g-technology.eu/g-team/lucas-gilman
nikonusa.com
apple.com/uk/aperture/action/gilman/

and his twitter-stream:
twitter.com/lucasgilman

Canon 70D – ISO 12.800

23 Dec

So I’ve got a 70D the other day …. to upgrade / replace my 60D so to say.

Things change a bit on that cam. There is no movie mode on the mode-dial anymore its more like with the 7D … There is a movie/live view/photo switch on the right.

70D

70D

Anyway, I noticed that I can set / change the ISO range in the menu and even in Video mode I could set it to 12800 for maximum ISO.

70D

70D

70D

70D

But how good is it? … Is it useable? Well, i did some random test shots at a local Christmas market.

In the end it is by far no C300 or C100 by far and there is quite noticeable noise at ISO 3200 and more. But like others said before the noise is not as “awful” as with the 60D or 7D.

But then again, it’s no C300 organic looking noise. Depending on what you shoot and if there is enough light in the shot and especially with a wide open prime lens (like with in some shot in this case a 85mm at f2.0 or 2.8) you actually might be able to use some of the High ISO shots at 8000 or even 10.000, not every time tho’ and there will be some quite noticeable noise but I’ve seen worse.

At 12.800 it’s almost not really usable but you could get a shot you otherwise would miss. Almost all detail is gone tho’.

But again, I’ve seen worse or in the case of a 60D you would not be able to even think about those high settings at all. But see for yourself.

I did some quick basic “color grading” in Magic Bullet Looks and some basic noise reduction with DenoiserII…

You might be even able to “recover” / use more shots if you spend more time on Post so to say.

One more thing: In low light and with high ISO settings the Autofocus has a hard time since there is not much details left in the shot and the auto focus does not find a point to focus on it seems …most of the time.

One last thing: The 70D has a built-in stereo microphone on top or the viewfinder, it works nicely but it is picking up camera- and “user-noises” quite easily at times.

Over all it still is “only” a DSLR with Video mode but with nice autofocus options and a bit better ISO range.

NAB has not even started yet …

3 Apr

… but as you all probably know by now there are announcements made basically every day now ;) … Sony just came out with new gear …. Panasonic is rumored to have some news in the next few days, Canon has an event just one day before NAB gets stated for “consumers” … Adobe has sneak-beaks every now end then …

Well I guess its kinda good to know what stuff you have to look out for at the show floor … at least I guess that is what all these companies are going for …. to start the buzz early so that nobody is missing some news / new gear. ;)

I’ll be there and hope to catch some of the new gear or even some of the unique stuff … and meet lots of cool people. I will cover some stuff but most likely after the show bcuz there will be a lot of buzz on other webpages like DSLR Newsshooter … they will do a better job covering the news from the NAB Show Floor.

I guess next week I will finish up my “Event-Schedule” so I can let you know what might be cool to catch in Vegas & NAB.

For now here some links to other webpages that did cover some stuff about the new Sony FS700 and NAB … check them out some good info right there:

————————

Den Lennie:  Sony NEX FS700 on location

Stress testing the FS700

wideopencamera.com: Sony NEX-FS700 – A Nerds Perspective

ninofilm.net/blog: Sony NEX-FS700 – unheard-of slow-mo capabilities & 4K later … for less than $10,000

Official SONY FS700 page

Sony Introduces Smallest And Lightest XDCAM Camcorder

———————–

Biscardi Creative Blog: Tips for attending NAB 2012

visualedge.tv: NAB 2012: Hopes & Expectations

NAB 2012: Being Prepared

… this post will be updated!

4k T-Shirt for NAB 2012

23 Mar

Well…i will wear that one all week in Vegas ;)  … what about you? :)

German Store
International / US Store

ProTrack Recorder for iPod & iPhone …a test

21 Jan

UPDATE:

So i went out and recorded some outdoor sounds with the ProTrack and H4 … i also did some tests in the studio with a NTG1 & NT1A studio microphone form RODE and also some stereo stuff

… in the end … well … the pro track is no real pro recorder for DSLR shooters. (IMO)

Here is why:

- very intense sound sync drift if  you sync it with a video (way more than with the H4)

- very noisy mic pre amps, no good stereo mic sound also very noisy

- very bad sounding limiter (even more noisy)

- iPhone causes odd sounds form time to time on the recording

- only 16bit, 44.1kHz Wave Redordinng,

- not to mention that the iphone batteries are empty quite fast

… well … even with the unit just at a price-point of only 50 bucks it’s really not quite useful after all  (sadly as it is actually a good concept)


That are my FIRST impressions after i got the unit and “played” with it for a few hours:

I saw a post from Philip Bloom on twitter one day, talking about that thing … and as my H4 is not in a good shape i was looking for a replacement and had a old iphone 8GB (not in use anymore) anyway. So i’d  go for one.

Well… basically its more like a mobile docking-station for an iPod or iPhone (does not work with iPhone 4 though) that has a built-in Stereo-Mic and two phantom powered XLR inputs to plug in some pro mics (like a RODE NTG1 in my case)

It uses the iPod or iPhone as recording-device. So in my case i have almost 6 GB recording space, which should be ok for Interviews and stuff.  iPhone users need an extra piece of software from the app store on the iPhone called iProRecorder which is (4.99 right now … that is ok). Its a quit nice app if you ask me … (more in depth “review” on that in another post)

So a little something about the unit itself:

Build quality is not the best in the world but over all ok … especially for 50 bucks ( that’s the price for that …. that’s right … 58 EUR back here). For iPod users there are some plastic cover shields for the unit included … iPhone & iPod touch users have to buy them separately for around 10 bucks … but they can be useful in the filed.

Really nice is that this thing has phantom powered XLR inputs you can plug in condenser mic’s. You can use these as instrument inputs as well (didn’t test this though) The iPod charging functionality should not be used during recording as it generates a lil annoying sound which will be recorded as well.

The unit has a headphone output that can be useful. It’s not the best in the world though… not as clean if you power it all the way up, so some of the noise you will be hearing in your headphones will not be on the recording itself.
Speaking of noisy … the built-in limiter is not really usable as this thing adds a lot of noise / static to the signal. Use the limiter only if you really have to. You will not be happy if you record (in) quite surroundings / environments with a turned on limiter.
I also would not use the “Stereo to Mono” option / switch as it combines both signals to one mono-track …so it will add any noise level of the “unused” path / input to the mixed signal … if you want the cleanest possible recording, just delete the “unused” track in post (quite easy in FCP) .

Leveling is nice but if you used to a Tascam-Recorder you will notice that it’s not super precise … but usable.


The built-in Stereo-Mic system is ok … i like the H4 Stereo-Mic a bit more (sound-wise)

The unit is powered by 4 AAA’s (yep i know rather unusual … didn’t have any of these) … will to a runtime test later. You can power this unit also via AC Adapter – which is includet!

So in the end, a nice unit for the money… so far.

Now i did some first test recordings … to see how it works & sounds … and what the workflow is to get the WAVE files into FCP … and how the 44.1 kHz stuff turns out.

BTW sorry for the german accent … i’ll work on that over the next few recordings … i promise ;)

 

 

I really like the app on the iPhone. You can actually name your Tracks and sort them in categories, which can come in handy … (will go over the software in another post) …its nice to use. Make sure you are in flight mode – as you don’t want any of these mobile phone sounds / interferences on your recording (WLan is ok BTW)

Ok, after the recording  is done … and now i can only speak for iPhone & iPod Touch users (= same iProRecorder app) … you can send you files via email… which might not a good way for large files. Or upload them… which i didn’t try. The other way is via “Local Web Sharing”. For that you need WLan and another Mac or PC hooked up to that …

You type / open the URL the iPhone app gives you in your Browser on your Mac or PC and you will get a nice list in your browser. Now you simply download the files.

As soon as you have all your files (sadly it doesn’t  adopt the titles you typed in)  … you have to make sure to convert the files to 48kHz. I use a free app called “switch” for that.

I convert to 16bit, 48000Hz, aiff … still stereo … as i cut the “mute” track / part in FCP (i used just one Mic/input for this recording)
I just did a sync by hand in FCP with the 60D audio file and the converted ProTrack file … well … and there comes the issues (as i actually suspected): Even with my 3min 30 sec (or so) file/recording i noticed a sync/sound drift between 60D & ProTrack stuff right after 1 min or so and it got really hearable around 3 min. Well for that Test video that was no real issue as i had no lip-sync recording – for like an interview – to provide. So that is bad news – in a way. I’m not sure right now what the problem is (ProTrack Recoding at 44.1 or converting or FCP or even 60D…) For some stuff its not as much of an issue as it is pretty much for Interview in a double system recording situation. You could fix this in editing as you line up the tacks with every cut … maybe sync tools can help… but it will be a pain with 10-15 min or longer interview stuff. So i will definitely look into that. Stay tuned.

Here is a lil iphone video to “show” you real quick how the drift “sounds”
http://www.twitvid.com/BEDX4

 

UPDATE:

i tried  differed stuff … another software (Soundtrack Pro…) and some tips i’ve got form my twitter buddies (like JJ Kim …) to speed this up or slow it down in FCP … (tried 99.8 and 99.9 % speed) but that only shifts the “problem” to another part for the Timeline (if you will) even its actually really a bit better.

Over all its a nice solution. Quality is good for the money. It will be usable … not for high fidelity Recordings though. I will test this unit for SFX and Atmos as well in the next few weeks. But first i have to find a fix for that sync drift.

UPDATE:

As i mentions on top: it might not be a real pro-recorder for DSLR shooters … it is no H4n replacer ! … more like a backup recorder if you really have nothing els to spend the 50 bucks for. You may be better off with a Zoom H1 and a extra some sort of mic pre amp ( 9V batterie powered) for XLR inputs. (like that one: http://cheesycam.com/inexpensive-dual-xlr-microphone-preamp/). You will get better sounding results even though that “setup” is more bulky  it might work better after all.

For more specs go to: http://www.alesis.com/protrack

on a side note: a lil Zoom H4n to Tascam DR100 “comparison” by theC47:

Zoom H4 recorder firmware

19 Oct

Shmuel Hoffman asked me if my Zoom H4 Audio Recorder tend to need a long time to boot as his H4n apparently does. He also mentioned that formatting a full SD-Card needs a lot of time as well.

OK, here is the thing: I have a “old” H4. I got it back in the days as it was just released a few months (got it Spring, 2007) – just for my outdoor sound recordings. At that time we shot on DVX100 or big DVCam Sony’s or DVCPro panny’s or even a PD150 / VX2000 … so no HDSLR’s whatsoever (wow …technology did grow fast and got cheaper!)

So I performed a quick test, even as it might not be the best comparison, but that is what I came up with: For booting the H4 – I measured 9.6 sec what seems ok to me.

To format a full 512MB SD card with four (4) 16bit/48kHz files it took 5.9 sec – that is ok too.

But now comes the cool part – at least for me – even though I’ll admit at the same time it’s due to a little negligence of mine:

I remembered yesterday’s “7D firmware overheating issue” so I thought … mhmm maybe there is a firmware issue with that H4 as well? I then checked the version on me H4 and realized I pretty much had still the first delivery firmware on that thing … so i missed a lot off cool nice features added since on the H4 ’till today!

What was I missing? I had no Battery lifetime indicator at all (!!!) (just a “low batt” sign at a point it was almost too late to change them), no SDHC Card support over 4GB (!!!), no back counting rec-remain timer on the main screen, no low cut, no mono mix, and some other small but nice features I probably have not even discovered yet!

The take way from this piece is this: IF YOU HAVE AN OLD Zoom H4 – CHECK YOUR FIRMWARE VERSION… maybe even H4N users should do that! ;)

Zoom H4 ( the original / “old” model firmware update! : (to v2.40)

http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/download/software/h4.php

UPDATE 1:

As my buddy JJ Kim discovered there is actually a firmware update for the H4n as well:
“Did you know that there is actually firmware update available for your Zoom H4N? It was released August this year.http://www.samsontech.com

UPDATE 2:
After i installed the new firmware i’m now able to use bigger SDHC cards as well, so i used one of my 550D cards – a 8 GB to be exact to see how the H4 is performing now:

For booting the H4 with a 8GB class 6 SDHC Card – I measured 16.3 sec what is pretty much quite a bit more time it takes to boot that thing

To format the 8GB SD card with a bunch of 16bit/48kHz and mp3’s and 24bit/96kHz files it took 22.6 sec

so I was curios if that is caused be the new firmware or the bigger card – I re-did the test with the mew firmware and the small 512MB SD card – result:

Booting: as fast as the old firmware (old 9.6sec)

Formatting the 512MB SD-Card:  a bit longer ( old 5.6 sec)

So in the end it really is due to the size of the card not the date of the firmware … but even though just seconds – in a tough shooting situation every second counts.

UPDATE 11/18/2010: 

New Firmware for H4N – thx to DSLR GirlPaul for the hint:

“Added the function that recording level of INPUT1 and 2 can be set individually”

GET THE UPDATE

(no H4 firmware update though)

a lil vimeo-clip form my buddy JJ Kim that show’s how the new option is working! (thx JJ)



This piece originally posted at my 550D user’s blog also posted at needcreative.net

A NEW DSLR LIGHT JIB

4 Oct

(photo by Sascha Plagge)

UPDATE: The DSLR Light-Jib is available now: www.abc-products.de

After i posted my Cinec Best Of i got a “few” questions regarding to the ABC DSLR LIGHT JIB. As it seems like a nice tool even for our work back here i did contact ABC due the fact there is almost no info out there yet. (as it was shown the first time ever at cinec 2010 anyway). So here are some facts i got to share with you.

- its made of carbon tubes so it should be lightweight (around 3,9 kilos / 8,6 lb)

- total max length of the jib arm is 1,52m (5 feet) that should be enough for some nice moves / shots

- max payload is 4.5kg /9,9 lb (so you could even use XH-A1 or HVX 200 kinda cams)

- the jib should be easy and quick to mount

- the jib head can set at “infinite” positions and locked
(will keep the angle during movement)
it can also set to tilt “automatically” during a move. (angle can be set)

-  the jib has a horizontal and vertical brake as well as a bubble level

- very handy is a monitor bracket that can be mounted (a plug-in system) on the head (left or right) or the jib arm.
(we alway struggle on other system to get a LCD mounted)

-  the jib can be mounted on every 75 and 100mm tripods  (and very handy as well as 1/4″ or 3/8″ Cam-Stands via adapter)

- for “transportation” the jib can be “reduced” to a small packing size

- pricing is arround 1.190 EUR (without tripod or stand though)

- should be available December 2010

Overall it’s a nice little jib for nice moves. I hope to get one in my hands to test it in real working conditions as soon as it comes out. My experience at the Cinec show with the jib was great. I was able to get the mounted 5DmkII in some nice angles / settings and managed to make some real nice smooth moves. It’s very user-friendly, easy and “light” to operate. the head has adjustable angles and  tilting. Yery nice  is the monitor arm. I’m really looking forward to use it again sometime.

More info at the ABC Website shortly. (as i was told ;) )

( NOW ON DSLR NEWS SHOOTER AS WELL! )

more Cinec stuff:

Cinec 2010 a lil Best Of

3 Oct

i went to Cinec 2010 had my 550D arround … did not shoot too much with it though … too much great other gear to get hands on! ;) … i did meet one of my twitter buddy @Sascha_Plagge …and had a great time at the show so did he (i guess) see for your self …

a lil written review is comming soon too … stay tuned
you also should watch my lil RED EPIC experience at cinec 2010: vimeo.com/​15112636

the stuff i most liked was / is the Genus DSLR shoulder rig & Mattebox and the new ABC DSLR Light Jib as well as the new lil Marshall 5” LCD and of course the ARRI ALEXA :)

some more nice links & updates here

RED EPIC @cinec Munich 2010

20 Sep

well today i have a gear only post… well i did use FCP to make this lil clip … so there you go:
it was cinec time in Munich and after i missed IBC this year and i’m not able to go to photokina that was my only chance to see at least a few fancy “toys” in action. but i did not acpect what “happened”.

i pretty much went without any real plan … i knew that there would be a bunch of cool gear to see, so no worries on that side.

so i went straight in for a first “overview-round” … and after about 5 minutes i ran into Ted form RED (you can say by accident) with a RED EPIC in plain sight. well that was nice.

… so i not only shot some random stuff with my 550D  i also had the chance to hold this thing in my hands … pretty awesome…
well it was the small config. like a big DSLR ;) not out yet & i couldn’t (i was not able to) really record something to a CF-Card (wich will be relaced by a SSD Module / slot… but man it was a great feeling …if u ask me it was a nice weight.. not to light not too heavy… soon other people noticed the RED EPIC. i followed “EPIC” and shot some stuff not much cuz i was too curious how this thing worked and stuff … but that is what i “glued” together in FCP last night … with a lil color work done with magic Bullet Looks:

more cinec coverage soon (review & more film clips…) stay tuned!

Click Here to View The Video Titled: a day with a WORKING RED EPIC

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