Tag Archives: video

Adobe Creative Cloud or classic upgrade

Something to seriously think about, upgrading the system would cost $1000 or so (from CS5 Master), the cloud version $50 per month, so in a year (till the next upgrade that’s $600, and then the next upgrade for $500-600 is due).

I guess it’s cheaper, but what i really like is the 20GB storage and unlimited iPad App development option.

That sounds great and something to look into.

I appreciate any thoughts on this as we’re talking to people and do a test drive. We do use photoshelter and APF for image delivery, so that’s not a pressing issue, not paying for updates and freeing the machines from unsused applications that we might need for specific projects is more to the point.

Canon 5D Mark III is here

Now we have to work in to the workflow. For the video part i like the new head phone out and the ability to adjust the recoding volume. Otherwise it seems the same, i can’t believe Canon is not able to increase the resolution (and bit depth while they’re at it). So on the still image side i feel it’s at a stand still. The high ISO settings feel promising and will be finally giving us the quality we need for the more frequent low light behind the scenes work. Now i just wish it would be truly quite shutter release for that.

But overall a nice improvement and the 5D II’s and their support equipment will go on eBay soon. Now a full upgrade of system accessories, it never stops.

I wish they could price it at least similar, but there might be more coming in the future…

Adding sound

And while getting serious about the moving image it becomes clear that sound needs to become it’s own item.

Not only does it alow to mix the image seperate from ther sound track, the sound quality is so much better, due to much less and better compression on the audio recorders.
It really is a different Element, that needs serious consideration and equipment.
And with the input from my shoot as stiil photographer on the set of “Homework” i got a serious headstart into this not so new field (My dad was a sound engineer and is a huge Jazz collector, so i kind of grew up behind a mixing board).

Again a nice amount amount of reseach was helpfull (and online resources can point very much in the right direction, but real world feedback is still the best, so thank you, Pro-Sound New York).

I rented the Zoom h4n and the Sennheiser M66/K6, both great units, form them for a test. While i liked the mic, even that it was on the dry side (Think Zeiss lenses) i wasn’t in love with the recorder. The XLR plugs don’t have a secure lock and after researching a bit i came across the Tascam DR-100 which a lot of people like better.
I wanted to up the quality and got a Marantz PMD-661, upgraded by the Oade brothers with better components. That is twice the price of the others but the sound is fantastic.
We also got Rode NTG-2 mics for boom (to the PMD) and on camera with a XLR to
stereo plug. The reason for Rode, great reviews, “cheap” and Phantom and AA power.

We also got the Rode Stereo video mic for room sound, that i personally hate, the base level of the noise is too high (hissing, think grain). Also, forget the build in mics of the Canons, Marantz PMD or any other handheld recorder for anything but emergency backup. The noise of actually just holding the unit actually gets recorded, so put it on a stand and just turn it on if you have to.

Oh, another necessary thing is to get is a nice set of headphones, Sony MDR 7506 seems the standard on movie sets, and that’s what we use now.

Our whole kit, PMD-661 ($650), 2 Rode NTG-2 ($250 each), 1 Rode SVM ($250), 1 Sony headphones ($95) and a couple of cables, rechargeable AA batteries and SD cards (probably $150), total $1645 for audio (Lav mics, to pin on, we rent as needed).

Getting just a small recorder, like the Tascam DR-100 ($300) and Rode NTG-2 with headphones gets you in the door for around $750 (cables, SD and batteries).

As for top of the crop recorders there’s Sound Devices, but that’s a very different category.

If you’re in NY, talk to Pro Sound or Abel Cine, both great outfits with very deep knowledge, a movie background and equipment to demo and rent.

As for shooting, the best option is obviously to work with a pro sound guy, but in a pinch (and a doc we’re working on right now) we do it ourselves with great results, but it needs to be monitored all the time, juts like the camera…

Hand held rig for the Canon 5D Mark II

After doing research online and reading all the reviews I could get my hands on, testing equipment from Fotocare and Able cinema we got around to put a nice and small system together for better camera handling while shooting moving images with the Canon 5D.

What I do find interesting is that the Movie Directors of Photography keep the cameras and accessories small, with prime lenses and very little other equipment, maybe a loupe, maybe a small LCD.

But the still photographers try to add everything possible to the unit, large Matt boxes, a separate audio recorder with shotgun mics and huge shoulder rigs in addition to the loupe and monitor.

The last resulting in the most comical contraption that’s unwieldy and takes up huge amount of space to transport, rig and move around. Kind of defying the purpose of the small unit with incredible image quality.
The solution that I prefer is a simple Redrock rig with two handles upfront and a simple gun stock, while the camera gets a Zacuto loupe mounted on the small LCD.
I could see adding a 7″ Marshall LCD at some point, especially when shooting from a tripod.
But I really like the feeling of the handheld shooting, conveying and more engaging with an immediate point of view.

A great addition to the still image, i can see this mixing well on the iPad and web editions of stories all the while keeping the feel and perspective very close.