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Matthew Thomas | Film

I’ve recently rebooted my website after being down due to a virus with a new design by PiotrBriesk.com

I have now set up a Blog on there which will replace the posts on here.

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Filming anything with different models and makes of cameras can be a nightmare. There is so many variables that could cause the footage to not match.

It’s not recommended to shoot anything with different models and makes of cameras (especially different makes), but sometimes it could be a necessity. I wouldn’t shoot a narrative film on different cameras, but will do so with live event filming.

I’ve just recently picked up a cheap Sony HDR-HC3, a HDV prosumer camera. It’s nothing fancy, but can produce surprisingly high quality footage for the price. I got it to use mainly for corporate and event production work, and for this it works perfectly.

Now, if I wanted to mix the footage from the HC3 with a Canon DSLR 550D for example, the best way to do so is to test out all the camera’s settings on both cameras. So far, I’ve only done a quick test, but have been able to make the footage not look to different from one another.

Sony HC3
Footage from the Sony HDR-HC3

Canon 550D
Footage from the Canon 550D

For a quick first attempt, I find that these camera’s will match quite well for event filming. They don’t match up perfectly, but when shooting an event, for example a Pro-Wrestling Event, I would have the Canon as a stationary camera while the Sony would be shoulder mounted/hand held, roaming around, so the angles would be different.

The settings I changed on the Canon were just the picture style, which I set to Neutral (ProLost/Philip Bloom settings). The most important factor was the white balance, which I did a manual white balance on both cameras. The settings I changed on the Sony were the Sharpness and Colour which I toned both done to the minimum. I also set the Exposure to manual. As a prosumer camera, it doesn’t have many manual options. The exposure works in a strange way, and it sets the Aperture and Gain together.

Exposure Aperture Gain
“notch”
1_______Closed___0dB
2_______f11______0dB
3_______f9.6_____0dB
4_______f8_______0dB
5_______f6.8_____0dB
6_______f5.6_____0dB
7_______f4.8_____0dB
8_______f4_______0dB
9_______f4_______0dB
10______f4_______0dB
11______f4_______0dB
12______f4_______0dB
13______f4_______0dB
14______f4_______0dB
15______f3.4_____0dB
16______f2.8_____0dB
17______f2_______0dB
18______f1.8_____0dB
19______f1.8_____3dB
20______f1.8_____6dB
21______f1.8_____9dB
22______f1.8_____12dB
23______f1.8_____15dB
24______f1.8_____18dB

There are the settings of Exposure you can use on the Exposure scale. I was using setting 17, f2.0 with 0db gain. Setting the shutter speed is done in a unconventional way as well. If you want a 1/50 shutter speed, you need to put exposure back into Auto mode, cover the lens with your hand, while you’re doing that turn it back to Manual and then the Shutter will be locked at 1/50 (1/60 if using a NTSC model).

Overall, I think these two cameras can be made to work well side by side. The Sony HDR-HC3 will come in handing when shooting events, because shooting an event entirely on a DSLR isn’t the most enjoyable experience at times.

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Last month, I posted several times regarding the debut camera from Black-Magic Design, the Cinema Camera. It shoots at 2.5K Raw in various codecs as well as ProRes and boasts an impressive 13 stop dynamic range.

Now that it’s starting to make it’s way to the users, new footage and information regarding the camera is arriving on the net. Philip Bloom has created a in-depth review of the camera which is now available to watch.

I’m still highly intrigued about the camera and would love to own one if I had the spare money to do so.

Source: vimeo.com
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KineRaw is a Super 35mm Raw camera, that will run at $6000. The camera shoots in 2k resolution, similar to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, but has a super 35mm sensor.

The sample/test videos that this camera has produced suggests that it has a look and resolution that would be ideal for cinema.

Source: vimeo.com
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DaVinci Resolve 9 beta is available now, in both the full and lite (the free version) of the colour grading software.

Color Grading Central show a demonstration on DaVinci Resolve 9 and some of it’s features. The overall look has been revamp and appears to be more user friendly then before.

Blackmagic Design has a series of Arri Alexa LogC clips on there website that are available to download to practice colour grading with. To download the sample Alexa footage, Click here.

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"Pool Shark" - Latest footage from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera

The latest footage demonstrating the upcoming Cinema Camera from Blackmagic Design, Pool Shark, is a test shoot by John Brawley and Ben Phelps.

Overall first impressions, the footage feels less digital compared to footage shot on DSLRs. One of the complaints from some is that the sensor size is smaller then any DSLRs sensor, which would effect the depth of field and the focal length crop of the lenses. From the footage shot here, the camera doesn’t seem to have any issues achieving shallow depth. In fact, most theatrical films don’t have the super shallow depth that a lot of DSLR videos are shot with.

The focal length complaint doesn’t seem justified either. The footage here was shooting using Zeiss Compact Primes of 18mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. They were able to achieve wide shots with the camera, so it doesn’t seem a major issue. Theatrical films have also been shot at Super 16mm, which the Cinema Camera’s sensor is slightly larger than.

Apparently, the post production capabilities of this camera is where it shines. Due to the fact it can record RAW as well as Lossless codecs such as ProRes and DNxHD, the colour grading of the footage can be pushed further then current DSLRs can.

The camera does look impressive, but it may also have design flaws that wont be evident until used by numerous film makers for extended periods. That being said, it is defiantly a camera to keep your eye on.

If you are interested in finding out more information regarding the Cinema Camera, Visit their website BlackMagicDesign.com.

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Version 2.3 of Magic Lantern has arrived and is the most stable it’s ever been. Many people on the internet are saying that it shouldn’t be considered an “hack” any more.

We can safely say it’s no longer a hack, but it’s strongly heading towards a solid piece of engineering that you can trust.
We have worked a lot on bug-fixing and usability improvements and we sincerely hope you will find it a great companion for all yourshooting sessions - from hobbyist to professional.

The improved features that have caught my attention is the improvements to the ISOs, the Zebras and the HDR video. I intend to have a look into them in detail this weekend.

You can download Magic Lantern’s firmware at their website, MagicLantern.fm

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If you are unaware of Black Magic Design’s upcoming Cinema Camera, it’s a 2K Raw Camera that records a 13 stop range of colour latitude. It’s impressive on paper, especially when tagged at just $3,000 with a free copy of DaVinci Resolve along with it.

In this video FilmMakerIQ.com asks Black Magic some questions regarding the new Cinema Camera.

If you are interested in finding out more information regarding the Cinema Camera, Visit their website BlackMagicDesign.com.

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If you interested in Colour Grading, check out this 2 hour video demonstrating DaVinci Resolve, a leading Colour Grading Suite and Software.

BlackMagic offer a free version of their software for both PC and Mac, DaVinci Resolve Lite. Visit their website, www.BlackMagic-Design.com if you want to try Resolve Lite for yourself.

Source: vimeo.com
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A behind the scenes look into the upcoming Canon 1DC on a short film, The Ticket.

The 1DC looks to be a stunning Camera, but with the rumoured price of $15,000, it’s out of reach to own for some low budget film makers. That being said rental is always an option and should be readily available from most rental suppliers.

If you want to watch the entire short film, The Ticket, Click Here.