Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

C-Cup: Improving the C100 Viewfinder

Any C100 user is all too aware how frustrating the EVF is to use on the camera, mostly because it feels as though Canon purposefully designed the eye cup surround to be uncomfortable as well as impractical. I’ve posted before that I’ve resorted to various attachments to make using the EVF a better experience but none of the solutions have really been designed to do the job properly, that is until now!

I was recently contacted by Andrew Miller who asked me if I’d like to try out a prototype C100 eye cup he’s been working on. The prototype works very well indeed and transforms using the C100′s EVF in to a much more useful and pleasant experience. As well s being very comfortable the C-cup also fits the face nicely and blocks out surrounding light sources.

IMG_4098 IMG_4099

If you’re interested in using a C-Cup on your own C100 then you need to head over to Andrews C-Cup  Kickstarter page and back the project. If a minimum of $8,500 is pledged within the next 29 days then the C-Cup will be available to all. It would be a real shame if this product doesn’t come to market as it really works well.

Visit the C-Cup Kickstarter page

IMG_4102 IMG_4100

 

Talking FCPX on the FCP Grill Podcast

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I recently had the pleasure of talking to Chris Fenwick from the FCP Grill podcast about why I chose to move from Premiere Pro over to FCPX.  I always enjoy listening to Chris’ podcasts so it was really tough remembering that I needed to talk back to him from time to time!

Play

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 56:09 — 26.8MB)

If you don’t already listen to Chris’ podcasts then check them out at the digitalCINEMAcafe website. Chris also runs a great blog himself where he posts many a useful tutorial and other film / editing related info.

Green screen in FCPX

I thought I’d share this project I worked on recently as going in to it I planned to do the animation parts in motion but I decided to try doing the whole thing directly in FCPX. I was pleasantly surprised how easily FCPX handled the key framing and the green screen key, I did make a few tweaks along the way but in general the keyer in FCPX is really good.

For the graphical elements I created photoshop files with a transparent background and imported them as multi layer psd’s allowing me to keyframe each graphical part separately. Opening and closing the video animation fly outs for each element was a bit of a drag, especially when there were a few elements stacked vertically but the app handled the animation with ease.

[update - 11/02/2014 - 13:24]
As noted by Ian in the comments it’s a little confusing as the hand shown in the video is on a white background. It was shot green screen because the client wasn’t sure if they were happy going with a white background so I had to be able to use imagery or another colour if required.

Canon EOS C300 Firmware 1.1.1.1.00

Canon have just announced the release of firmware version 1.1.1.1.00 for the EOS C300.

EOS_C300_EF_Mount_body_CN-E85mm_T1.3_LF_Rear_3_4_Prov

Firmware Version 1.1.1.1.00 incorporates all the functions and modifications listed below:

EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camera & EOS C300 PL Cinema EOS Camera
1. Fixes a phenomenon where the previous Firmware Version 1.1.0.1.00 offered incorrect color balance.
2. Ability to move the magnification viewing area around the LCD using the MAGN Function.
3. Support for a 1440×1080/35Mbps recording mode.
4. ISO up to 80,000 has been added.
5. Added functionality to support the optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E1.
6. A Key Lock menu setting has been added which now makes it possible to lock all operations, including the START/STOP button.
7. Using the optional Canon WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter, the camera’s remote-control application allows two users to access the same unit via a Wi-Fi® link providing simultaneous camera operation and control and metadata input simultaneously.
8. [Lens Exchange] and [ND+/ND-] have been added as functions that can be allocated to any assignable button.
9. A new Wide DR Gamma setting provides an expanded dynamic range of 800%.
10. Flicker Reduction has been improved.

EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camera only
11. Provides Push Auto Iris and One-Shot AF operation.
12. A new AE Shift function and the selection of various light-metering modes are now available when used with some Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and Canon EF Lenses.
13. Ability to assign the two control dials to operate either Iris or ISO sensitivity independently.
14. Peripheral Illumination Correction Data has been added for seven (7) Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and fifteen (15) Canon EF Lenses.
15. A function has been added to enable continuous focus and iris setting on a subject in the middle of the screen when one of the two EF STM lenses** is attached.
**[EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM], [EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM].

 

There’s certainly some useful additions in there, my favourite has to be the ability to move the magnification viewing area around in the LCD, a small thing that will make life a lot easier.  Just as a note, the lens needs to be switched to manual focus otherwise the viewing area remains locked to the centre.

Also features like one shot AF and Iris could be useful at times although it has to be said that I rarely use those on the C100 which has had them since launch.

It’s great that the C300 now also gets the [Wide Dynamic Range] picture profile, I really like that profile on the C100 but have rarely used it because I wanted both the C100 and C300 to produce similar results. I’ll do some testing over the next day or so to see how they match up.

Also of interest is the new [Lens Exchange] function. The C300 has been reported to be prone to failure when some lenses are removed while the camera is powered up so I always power mine down when swapping glass. By pressing the assigned [Lens Exchange] button for 1 second the C300 will switch to a mode that still allows lenses to be swapped without fear of damage because power is removed from the lens contacts. The main benefits of using the lens exchange feature over switching the camera off are that time code will continue to run and it’s also much faster. There’s almost no delay either going in to Lens Exchange mode and or coming out of it.

Here’s more detail from the updated C300 manual.

lens_exchange

 

 

Harley-Davidson 110th Celebrations

To celebrate 110 years of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and 30 years of the Harley Owners Group®, riders have gathered and partied in cities around the world. In Europe, Rome became the home of Harley-Davidson® for four days in June – an epic event that I had the pleasure of filming. I wasn’t working alone on this one though, I had help from Will Middleton, a camera operator that I met working on a project in London last year.

The Rome event was set on multiple sites, including the Vatican City and nearby beach resort Ostia, hundreds of thousands of passionate Harley-Davidson enthusiasts flocked to this beautiful part of Italy to commemorate 110 years of the legendary motorcycle. I’m not at all a religious person but none the less I was really honoured to be allowed to film inside the Vatican during a special Mass for the Harley Owners Group and also to film the Pope himself  when he was paraded in from of the thousands of Harley riders in the Vatican Square.

The rome event did however throw up a few extra challenges. The police and security people in Rome and especially those surrounding the Vatican are a tough bunch to deal with. One moment I would be told that it was fine to stand in a particular location and the next another security team would tell me to stop filming and move on, it was probably one of the most stressful places I’ve worked as yet, especially as many of the security people didn’t speak english.

One of the photographers that we were working with also had a Nikon D3 stolen on the train, he thought nothing off an old lady asked him a question but didn’t realise until 15 minutes later that at the same time his back pack had been unzipped and the camera body removed. It’s never a good idea to carry camera gear in a back pack, especially on a cramped train! Luckily the photographer was insured and ended up with a shiny new D4 body but the shots that he’d taken were lost forever… well maybe until the scrote who stole it posts them on facebook!

Here’s one of the videos created from the Rome event.

Moving on from Rome I shot again for Harley at the European Bike Week event in Faaker See, Austria. I’ve shot this event many times now and it becomes increasingly difficult to make it look different as in reality the event is pretty much the same each year. The addition of some shots with the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller and the fact that I was supplied a rather excellent Jeep for the duration did however give me some new options.