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چهارشنبه 18 مهر 1386

Sony

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

Sony Ships LCD Heir To Popular CRT Monitor

With more than 100 units backordered, Sony has begun shipments of its new BVM-L230 LCD high-definition “critical evaluation” monitor. Customers like Discovery Communications and Crosscreek Television Productions are said to be eager to get their hands on them. That’s because the new monitor comes close to (and maybe matches?) Sony’s workhorse BVM series CRT-based monitors—which is no longer being manufactured—in terms of color saturation and black-level reproduction.

Discovery Communications will use them as a key evaluation technology for its in-house post-production facility while Crosscreek Television will install three on board its new HD production trucks for live sports programming. The wide variety of users offers proof of its value to the HD production industry.

The 23-inch monitor (viewable area, measured diagonally) features a high-precision backlight system and a new TRIMASTER display engine that has been in development by Sony in Japan for the last five years. It includes a 10-bit driver that Sony says produces 1,024 levels of gray scale. Sony said the new LCD monitor will provide about twice the life of the discontinued BVM series CRT monitor (which offered about 20,000 hours).

Leveraging more than 40 patents that make up the TRIMASTER technology, the BVM-L230 also offers a newly developed wide-color-gamut panel, color-management system, full 1920 x 1080 resolution), high gray-scale gradation, motion picture response, precision signal processing, calibration and feedback system. There’s also a new color-space selection function, picture-in-picture display and a true interlace display mode, which helps to accurately reproduce interlaced signals.

“There are many people who feel that CRT monitors are the end-all and be-all,” said John Kaloukian, director of Sony's Professional Display group, noting that broadcasters, production companies, rental houses and mobile production companies have all pre-ordered the product. “I think we’re going to have trouble meeting the demand we’re seeing for this LCD monitor. The product has only been demonstrated in prototype form and we’re backordered. I think we’ve changed a few minds about the value of LCD as a critical evaluation monitor.”

Sony said it will offer larger screen sizes, including a 42-inch version that’s planned for next year’s NAB convention. The BVM-L230 LCD video monitor will be available this fall for about $25,000. The 24-inch BVM CRT model used to list for about $26,000.

Crystal Vision’s HD 2 Simplifies Chroma Key

Crystal Vision, the UK-based chroma key specialist, has introduced the Safire HD 2, a new “affordable” high-definition chroma keyer that simplifies the keying process by being more tolerant of problematic colors.

The Safire HD 2 card uses a new feature called Selectable Color Suppression, a technology that grants more tolerance to “difficult” colors in the foreground of the image. This kind of problem can occur, for example, when a subject wears blue clothing in front of a blue screen.

This color tolerance is achieved by using two sets of hue and acceptance angle controls. These controls generate the key signal by deciding whether a pixel in the output is foreground or background. The system then produces a suppressed foreground by removing the key color from the foreground.

Safire HD 2 extracts the information for these two uses separately, allowing the operator to set different (and ideal) values for each function. The process, along with gain for key signals in low light conditions, results in an overall better chroma key effect.

The new chroma key card also offers improvements to the shadow processing. Shadows, the company said, can add realism to the final image in a virtual studio application but can traditionally make it difficult for operators to get a good balance between producing a solid chroma key and retaining the shadows.

Safire HD 2 allows users to set up their chroma key first and then adjust their shadow enhancement separately with an increased level of control—making it easier to get clean and natural-looking shadows.

Crystal Vision chroma keyers are part of a modular system and can be housed alongside any other products from the range—including video delays, which are essential in a virtual system. Fitting in the four standard frames (available in 4U, 2U, 1U and desk top box), Safire HD 2 is a "double decker" 100mm x 266mm board and is used with the RM32 frame rear module to access the inputs and outputs.


پنجشنبه 12 مهر 1386

Asylum FX Scores a Visual Effects Touchdown

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

In the new Nike spot directed by Michael Mann via Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Asylum FX was charged with seamlessly transitioning two star football players – Shawn Merriman and Stephen Jackson – from game to game, stadium to stadium in varying weather conditions, day and night. This meant a ton of rotoscoping, repositioning the original camera angles in CG, modeling and lighting six stadiums and populating them with screaming fans, populating the sidelines with players, adding rain and snow to certain shots and, finally, managing and combining all these elements to work cohesively.


چهارشنبه 4 مهر 1386

Tapeless Recording Media Storage Capacity Grows

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

Tapeless Recording Media Storage Capacity Grows

Tapeless acquisition systems continue to improve, providing more capacity and faster transfer rates in the same form factor.

There’s new word that Panasonic has increased the capacity of its P2 cards to 32 GB and Sony now offers a dual-layer blue-laser optical media disc. And, working with Iomega, Thomson’s Grass Valley REV Pro media is also rumored to be available in larger capacity cartridges soon. When all of this new data-storage media is available—only the new optical disc is currently—each system will offer more than twice the record time of a year ago.

Panasonic’s new 32 GB P2 solid-state memory card (model AJ-P2C032RG) will be available in November carrying a suggested list price of $1,650. A 16 GB P2 card ($900 list) has been shipping since May. With five 32GB P2 cards installed, the AJ-HPX3000 and HPX2000 P2 HD camcorders can record for up to 2.5 hours (over 3 hours in 24p) in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD compression and 5 hours (over 6.5 hours in 24p) using the built-in AVC-Intra 50 or DVCPRO 50 codec.

Panasonic said the 32 GB card is fully compatible with the current 16 GB P2 card, so users who’ve upgraded their P2 products and computer system for 16 GB operation (a free firmware download) can use the 32 GB cards. P2 users who haven’t completed this upgrade must do so before using the 32 GB cards.

[Editor’s Note: The 16 GB P2 card is compatible with all AG-HPX500 recorders and with AG-HVX200 camcorders carrying a serial number beginning with E7xxx0001. The 16 GB card is also compatible with AJ-PCD20 drives beginning with the serial number E7xxx0001.]

At $60 per disc, Sony’s new dual-layer version of the XDCAM Professional Disc media more than doubles the storage capacity (from 23.3 to 50 GB) and recording capabilities of the original single-layer optical media.

The new dual-layer disc, model PFD50DLA, gives users up to four hours and 30 minutes of HD recording when shooting in MPEG HD 4:2:0 mode at 18 Mbps, or 3 hours and 20 minutes at 25 Mbps and 2 hours and 30 minutes at 35 Mbps. (It also captures in DVCAM mode, 25 Mbps, where shooters get about 3 hours and 10 minutes.) The PFD50DLA media works with the Sony PDW-F355L XDCAM HD camcorder, PDW-F75 deck and PDW-U1 drive unit. It will not work with first-generation XDCAM SD or HD equipment.

Meanwhile, Sony announced that its PMW-EX1 XDCAM EX camcorder (which was previewed in prototype form in April) will also ship in November, recording to two solid-state Sony SXS flash memory cards. The new HD camcorder can accommodate two cards (an 8 GB card ships with the camera and a 16 GB will be available soon). The SXS memory cards, to be available through Sony or SanDisk, are provided in the PCIExpress form factor—not the PCMCIA format used in the Panasonic P2—with 800 Mbps data-transfer capability.

Company reps said they’re still unsure how many cards will ship with the camera, but two 8 GB SXS cards (at $500 each) offer about 90 minutes of record time at 25 Mbps and 45 minutes at 35 Mbps. The 16 GB cards (listed at $900 a piece) offer 140 minutes at 25 Mbps and 100 minutes at 35.

Sony said the PCI Express card slot found in most new laptops and desktop computers will obsolete the PCMCIA card, and even offered a quote from a website that warns developers the format will not be supported going forward.

As for Thomson, production models of the Grass Valley Infinity camcorders will begin shipping soon, so demand for more storage than what the current 35 GB version (about 45 minutes of 1080i HD at 75 Mbps; more than two hours in 25 Mbps HDV), offers will be certain. The REV Pro disk cartridge costs about $70.


چهارشنبه 21 شهریور 1386

Sony Offers Entry-Level Pro HDV Camcorder

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

Sony Offers Entry-Level Pro HDV Camcorder

Just in time for Christmas, Sony will deliver a new entry-level professional HDV camcorder with a documentary-style shoulder-mount design that’s priced under $2,000. The HVR-HD1000U is being targeted at wedding video photographers, educational institutions, and freelancers.

With a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonner T* 10x optical zoom lens, the camcorder supports both HDV and DV. In DV mode, the unit can work exclusively as a DV camcorder. When needed, it can be instantly switched to HD mode. An optical image stabilizer shifts the lens vertically and horizontally to compensate for the polarized light axis in real time.

Equipped with a single 1/2.9-inch CMOS sensor, the system has several downconversion modes that output converted standard-definition signals to legacy production systems while retaining an HD master tape for future use.

The camcorder has both an LCD monitor and an electronic view finder (EVF). The LCD monitor, with a 180-degree tilt mechanism for a high or low angle positioning, is in front of the camera operator when the camcorder is shoulder-mounted. This layout enables traditional EVF monitoring, as well as LCD monitoring for the operator even while the camcorder is held on the shoulder.

A “Smooth Slow Rec” function allows the operator to perform slow-motion playback by capturing images at four times faster than the normal field rate (240 fields/second). In this mode, quad-speed images are captured for three seconds, stored in the camcorder’s built-in buffer memory, and then recorded to tape (in either the HDV, DVCAM, or DV formats) as slow-motion pictures lasting 12 seconds. When using this function, the resolution of the camera image is decreased.

A multi-function assignable lens ring is located on the lens assembly, and any one of the following functions can be assigned to the ring for easy adjustment: focus (default), zoom, brightness, shutter, auto exposure shift and white-balance shift.

For more information, visit http://www.sony.com


چهارشنبه 21 شهریور 1386

HD-Quality Video Comes to the Web

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

Adobe Supports H.264 in Flash

Flash media technology creator Adobe has updated its Internet player to support H.264 video—a compression standard that can dramatically improve image quality over the Internet. The player enables “the delivery of HD television quality and premium audio content through the ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player,” Adobe said in a statement.

The H.264 AVC format has been gaining momentum. Apple employs the H.264 format in its QuickTime technology, Apple TV and the iPhone. It is also the same video standard used in HD DVD and Blu-ray optical video players and many late-model cable and satellite set-top boxes.

Since Flash media players reside on 98 percent of all desktop personal computers and millions of portable devices, the new player rapidly enabled a vast improvement in video quality. It is expected to impact the quality of the expanding universe of online video that includes popular social networking sites including YouTube and MySpace.

Adobe’s player supports the H.264 compression format, the HE-ACC standard for audio, and supports hardware-accelerated, multi-core enhanced full-screen video playback. H.264 encoding was recently added to Adobe’s own Media Encoder.

Unlike the standard export commands, which generate files in editing formats, the Adobe Media Encoder exports files in distribution formats. These are more-compressed formats such as MPEG-1 used in CD-ROM authoring; MPEG-2 used in DVD authoring; H.264 MPEG-4 used for video iPods, 3GPP cell phones, PSP devices, and high-definition TVs; or web-friendly formats like Adobe Flash Video, QuickTime, RealMedia (Windows only), and Windows Media (Windows only).

While the infrastructure to distribute and display HD Web video is beginning to take shape, it will take time for HD programming to appear online. Producers of Flash video must first encode their programming for the HD format.

The public beta version of the update to Adobe Flash Player 9 software, code-named Moviestar, which includes H.264 and HE-AAC functionality, is available as a free download from Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com . The final release is expected to be available via update in the fall.


شنبه 17 شهریور 1386

Digital Vision Unveils Nucoda SD & Nucoda HD Grading/Finishing Systems

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

Digital Vision Unveils Nucoda SD & Nucoda HD Grading/Finishing Systems

Digital Vision, the premier supplier of picture enhancement systems for film and television post-production, will unveil two new offerings, Nucoda SD & Nucoda HD, at IBC, stand 7:731. The new colour grading and finishing systems are developed specifically for the requirements of broadcast television programming and new media formats such as HD-DVD, Blu-ray, broadband VOD and mobile. They are the industry’s first master grading systems with built-in tools for optimising compressed, tapeless broadcast and distribution formats.

Nucoda SD & Nucoda HD are based on the same software framework as Digital Vision’s Digital Intermediate line of grading and finishing systems— Data Conform, Film Cutter and Film Master. They are designed specifically to streamline the finishing of content for broadcast and multi-format delivery in a file-based environment. They offer extended support and integration for broadcast formats and metadata exchange including MXF, Apple QuickTime and Avid DNxHD media and AAF multi-track programme timelines, and the ability to colour grade and finish file-based media natively, without transcoding or VTR tape, in an open environment. As with all of the company’s grading and finishing systems, customers may optionally add DVO image enhancement tools. Visitors to Digital Vision’s stand will see demonstrations of key capabilities including:

Multi-track nonlinear editorial controlNucoda SD & Nucoda HD provide powerful sequence assembly tools and the ability to bring program edits in from the offline editing process within a paradigm familiar to editors. Users can incorporate editorial changes immediately and easily, without having to re-grade sequences or shots.

Support for long format programmingThe system is built to handle multi-hour shows with thousands of list events. Efficient background processing virtually eliminates the render time typically associated with software-based systems prior to lay-off after grading sessions, while preserving the creative flexibility of non-linear workflow in record or source order.

Integration with data or tapeVideo ingest and video output are directly integrated with SDI video monitoring from the timeline with 4:4:4 RGB HD-SDI quality. Users can return graded material to tape while maintaining the original source timecode and with optional shot handles.

Simon Cuff, Digital Vision’s President and COO, said, “Digital Vision turned its focus to developing file-based workflows for television post early on, and many of our customers use the Film Master system today to grade and finish content for broadcast television along with films and commercials. This experience has shown us that the requirements for a system facilities use to grade 120 minutes of feature film footage over six weeks are inherently different from that of a broadcaster processing five or more hours of footage every week, or grading programs hours before they air. With Nucoda SD & Nucoda HD for this type of scenario, TV-based facilities don’t have to work within a less-familiar film metaphor, or pay for features they simply won’t use, to get a powerful grading and finishing system for SD and HD work.”

Pricing & Availability
Nucoda SD & Nucoda HD will be available as a turnkey system or as a software-only offering for a range of Windows-based systems. Expected availability is Q4 2007. Pricing will be announced at availability. Please contact Digital Vision for further information.


شنبه 17 شهریور 1386

Canon XL H1

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

Canon XL H1 Goes “Green” For Tumbleweed Entertainment
When the California based Tumbleweed Entertainment production company needed a versatile, digital High Definition acquisition solution to help educate viewers to become more “eco-friendly,” it chose the XL H1 HD Camcorder from Canon U.S.A., Inc. »

When the California based Tumbleweed Entertainment production company needed a versatile, digital High Definition acquisition solution to help educate viewers to become more “eco-friendly,” it chose the XL H1 HD Camcorder from Canon U.S.A., Inc. Designed with a wide array of broadcast-quality professional features, the cost-effective XL H1 HD Camcorder is Tumbleweed Entertainment’s choice to capture footage for a made-for-mobile series, consisting of 12 three-minute short films titled Go Green. The series, which includes episodes on home-energy management, automobile fuel economy, and the recycling of household refrigerants (as well as many other topics), will premiere on a major 24-hour mobile programming network.
PHOTO ABOVE: Left to right: Tumbleweed Entertainment Producer/Director Brian Weidling; (middle, behind camera) Director of Photography Matthew Talesfore; right

"The client was interested in developing green-focused content for its mobile programming network, so we suggested producing a series of shorts on ways that people can be more eco-friendly,” stated Brian Weidling, producer/director and partner, Tumbleweed Entertainment.

Once the network gave Go Green the green light, Weidling and his partner, writer/producer Paul Galichia, began to research the right tools to accomplish the project. In reviewing the network’s technical criteria, “We found that the Canon XL H1 HD Camcorder was one of the cameras on their list,” Weidling explained. “We had used Canon cameras in the past, and they had always been very good workhorse products for us.”

“The type of glass that Canon uses provides a better look than most of the other cameras currently in the market,” Weidling added, explaining that his eight-person crew captured Go Green’s video using the 20X HD lens that comes standard with the XL H1 HD Camcorder. This 38.9 - 778mm lens is coupled with the XL H1’s Super Range Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) system, sophisticated Canon technology that corrects camera shake instantly for steady shots even when they're hand-held at long focal lengths or taken while the XL H1 HD Camcorder is in motion.

“I tout the XL H1 HD Camcorder for its Image Stabilization and the results we achieved,” remarked Weidling. We shot most of the programs on sticks, but not 100 percent of them. These programs are designed for viewing on the Internet and cell phones, where even a slightly shaky picture can quickly become distorted and pixilated.”

The key to the Canon XL H1 HD Camcorder’s Super Range OIS system is a unique gyro sensor that detects motion and continually adjusts the camcorder’s vari-angle prism to eliminate jitter and shake. The camera then re-examines the image after it is received by the CCD and sends additional information to the prism to further stabilize the picture.

While most of the program material was shot on location with director of photography Matthew Talesfore, the design and operations of the Canon XL H1 HD Camcorder also made it easy for him and Galichia to go out as a two-man team for B-roll footage.

“Weight-wise, the XL H1 has a really nice, solid feel,” Weidling noted. “The combination of the lens and camera body provides a professional feel. Some of the other camcorders on the market are too light. You get too much of that ‘shaky-cam’ look just because you are dealing with something that is hand-held.”

Weidling also likes what he describes as the “professional” eyepiece of the Canon XL H1 HD Camcorder. “To be able to flip that up and have such a great view is unbelievably helpful,” he noted, adding that the camcorder’s “peaking” focus-assist feature is also very helpful to attain sharp video, as it “broadens out the lines and the edges of something that is totally in focus.”

Weidling and Galichia have known each other since graduate school, but only formed Tumbleweed Entertainment approximately a year ago. For them, the production of the Go Green series is a personal education. Weidling explained. “As TV producers, we were ‘ecology laymen’ when we started shooting this series, but I think that helped in creating the content. As we developed and researched these Go Green topics, we wanted viewers to relate to our initial feelings when we started the series to understand our message.”

“We’re hoping to turn this into something bigger,” Weidling concluded, “but whatever we do, the Canon XL H1 HD camcorder will likely be an integral part of our plans.”

Because the footage was all shot digitally, they note that they are also mastering all of the episodes with an eye toward future distribution on other platforms such as online and video-on-demand. Weidling and Galichia are editing their Go Green shorts using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and will deliver the segments in QuickTime for the mobile programming network.

More...
ADM Productions’ John Dunn Shoots The Watchmaker with the Canon XL H1 »

ADM Productions’ John Dunn Shoots The Watchmaker with the Canon XL H1

As an experienced DP (director of photography), John Dunn has used practically every film and video format available to shoot everything from TV commercials to high-end corporate productions during the past 20 years. Recently, however, Dunn had the opportunity to use Canon’s new XL H1 HDV camcorder, which he describes as “phenomenal.” For Dunn, who works for ADM Productions, a full-service corporate communications facility in Port Washington NY, the XL H1 is nothing less than the camera of the future.

“We were hired to produce a marketing video for Canon, so we basically wanted to shoot the piece with the XL H1 to show what it can do,” Dunn explained. “We created a 24-frame HD piece called The Watchmaker, which was a behind-the-scenes look at an imaginary documentary. We used two XL H1 cameras, one to shoot the watchmaker himself and one to document the film crew shooting him. If I hadn’t been involved in the project I never would have believed that this film was shot digitally with a camera that cost less than $10,000. The quality of the image is phenomenal and the price point of the camera is ridiculously low for the features it provides.”

Shooting Styles
Filmed on location in rural Narrowsburg NY and at ADM’s sound stages near New York City, The Watchmaker serves as a visual showcase for the XL H1’s advanced image-making capabilities. Starting off with early-morning scenes of the watchmaker bicycling to work along country roads, the piece progresses to show detailed macro photography of disassembled timepieces being repaired.

“We pretty much put the two XL H1’s through the wringer,” Dunn confided. “We did everything with them—from hand-held outdoor beauty shots of the watchmaker riding down hills and across bridges to macro table-top photography—and the XL H1 cameras handled it all perfectly. The image quality held together beautifully. There were no artifacts in anything that we shot and everything looked very clean.

“While the director was shooting his portion of The Watchmaker in cinematic style, I shot behind-the-scenes in documentary style. And the XL H1 worked perfectly for that because it’s so lightweight. I shot hand-held in the back of camera trucks, I hung out of car sun-roofs; you just pick up the camera and go. Getting great outdoor beauty shots of the watchmaker riding his bike was as simple as taking the XL H1 out and shooting. In those morning road shots there were dramatic lighting patches with shafts of sunlight alternating with shaded areas as the bike and camera car drove past trees. We were able to just hang the camera out the window and go from extremely blown-out areas to perfectly exposed areas, which made a nice transition.

“We used the stock lens right out of the box, and it worked fine,” Dunn added. “We had the XL H1 on dollies, and on a camera car with a jib arm in different configurations and it worked perfectly. The great thing about using the XL H1 on the jib arm was that it held focus in a very large range. We even used the auto focus on it for some of the jib moves and that worked perfectly too. The XL H1 is also great on power consumption. One big battery lasted half the day. We carried a high def monitor with us, but it wasn’t really necessary with the XL H1’s great color viewfinder.”

Features and Versatility
Achieving a cinematic look was essential to the visual esthetic of The Watchmaker, and Dunn reported that the feature set of the XL H1 made it all possible. “Every single aspect of the film was shot completely clean, without filtration, with the two identical cameras,” he said. “The XL H1 has many features that were perfect for all the conditions we shot in.

“One of features I liked the best was the ability in white balance to dial-in the Kelvin color temperature,” Dunn noted. “This enabled us to match both cameras—color-wise—perfectly. We had shot outdoors in a range of white, from early morning to about one o’clock in the afternoon, but the time frame that we wanted to capture was all early morning. So we were able to change the color temperature in the camera to actually ‘warm-up’ the light as the day progressed. That way, it looked like that same golden morning-light, all shot within a half-hour time frame, as far as continuity.

“Adjusting the Kelvin dial also enabled us to get some very rich colors,” Dunn stated. “We made the interiors look really warm, with sunlight coming through the window. We were able to make scenes that looked like an Edward Hopper painting.

“SMPTE time code is another great feature of the XL H1. It worked out perfectly between the two cameras for the editors as far as taking notes and logging shots. We had a script boy on the set, so we were able to break down each shot and it made the editor’s life a lot easier.

“Yet another important feature was the HD/SDI (High Definition/Serial Digital Interface) output, which means that one cable can handle everything. You can use that one cable to go into a monitor to see the XL H1’s true 1080i images, or you can go out to a deck and record in any format you want for whatever your editor needs.

“The key point about the Canon XL H1 is that it’s very versatile,” Dunn emphasized. “A lot of DP’s do different jobs for different clients that involve different formats, but with the XL H1 you only need one camera. I recently went from shooting a corporate assignment in standard-definition video in Detroit to an HD video project on the following day in California. I used the XL H1 for both; it’s seamless and has all the features needed to shoot in SD or HD. When you can skip from format to format and still use the same camera seamlessly, that’s a big advantage. That’s why I think the XL H1 has a great future.”

Canon’s XL H1 Takes The Heat For Take One Productions

Take One Productions, a Lancaster PA-based video production and post-production company, had a challenging assignment. It required shooting inside a steel mill, rife with intense heat, grit and grime, and difficult—if not potentially spectacular—high chroma imagery of 2900-degree (F) molten steel contrasted with equally challenging black-blacks. Not only were these conditions enough to test the imaging capabilities of the most advanced digital video cameras on the market, the footage had to be shot in high definition (HD) as well.

“If you want to see the capabilities of a camera, this is the kind of gig to test it on,” observes Kevin Martorana, President of Take One Productions.

Surprising Performance
Martorana and his Take One Productions team traveled to Las Vegas last April to attend the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) exhibition to see what kinds of HD video cameras might be available for the assignment, and to determine the kind of camera they may need to fully transition their company to HD production in the future. Although Take One had produced in HD for a number of years, they were shopping for a lower-cost camera that would provide added price-performance value for their productions.

“This is an important time,” comments Martorana of the nation’s ongoing transition to HDTV and the production industry’s mandate to address it. “Where do you put your eggs? You can’t put them in one basket.” He admits that his company has “always been in the ‘big name’ camp” in terms of the brands of cameras it purchases.

“We were in the broadcast game,” he elaborates. “We weren’t in the HDV game. Looking at an HDV camcorder was something we never imagined.” But then he entered Canon’s exhibit at NAB, saw the XL H1 HD camcorder and “saw things that you’d expect from a camera three times the cost.” “We’ve shot with the highest quality cameras on the market,” Martorana notes. “But when playing back the footage we got from the XL H1 [output from its HDSDI connector to a broadcast record deck], I have to tell you: We stuck our noses to the monitor and said ‘What is this?’ As far as we could tell, the XL H1 HD camcorder must be a $100,000 camcorder!”

Essential Features Canon’s XL H1 Takes the Heat for Take One Productions /Page 2 As a standard feature, Canon’s XL H1 HD camcorder includes a “Professional Jack Pack” of four BNC connectors that provide: genlock input to synchronize a multi-camera, live-switched production environment; SMPTE time code input and output to facilitate editing and other post-production processes; and uncompressed digital HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) video output at 1.485 Gigabits per second, as well as SD-SDI (SMPTE 259M). The XL H1 HD camcorder’s HD-SDI output was a significant factor in Martorana’s purchase decision. During the steel mill shoot, Take One ran time code and HD-SDI to their broadcast record deck. They simultaneously used the XL H1’s in-camera HDV recorder for back-up video and for audio. The matched time code allowed for syncing the two recordings in post-production.

The XL H1 HD camcorder’s HD-SDI output wasn’t, however, the only significant factor in its purchase. “It also had a lot to do with the XL H1 HD camcorder’s ability to accept different lenses,” he explains. Take One tested a variety of comparable cameras, but Martorana says the XL H1 was “clearly different than other comparably priced cameras” in this regard. (Canon recently introduced a wide-angle HD zoom lens for the camera.) Take One’s XL H1 HD camcorder met the challenge of shooting in the steel mill and of capturing the intensely bright images of molten metal against dark, black backgrounds.

A Versatile Camera
Martorana admits that Take One’s acquisition of the Canon XL H1 HD camcorder was originally just for the steel mill shoot. “We figured that if we didn’t like it, we’d use it for the gig and throw it away,” he says. “We paid for the XL H1 on that one job.”

Now, however, Take One’s XL H1 has become a major asset to the company’s equipment inventory and is being used on a wide range of productions. Recent assignments have included taking the XL H1 into construction sites. “Taking big cameras into that environment is always a drag,” Martorana explains. “But the reduced size and weight of the XL H1 HD camcorder allows us to get shots we couldn’t get before with larger cameras, yet we’re not compromising resolution.”

Although the XL H1 HD camcorder is smaller than traditional professional cameras it’s not so small as to not be taken seriously among clients. This is especially important in commercial production, where “perception is everything,” Martorana confides.

“The HDV format is perfect for certain clients and certain jobs, but when you’re working with a higher level of client, then the Canon XL H1 HD camcorder makes a difference,” he says, noting that Take One has added a matte box, rods, follow focus, and an Anton Bauer battery bracket to its XL H1 HD camcorder. “It looks like a film camera now. It feels like a very serious, ‘big-format’ camera on your shoulder. It does not look like what people normally think of when they hear you’re using the HDV format. And when we feed the XL H1’s HD-SDI output to our broadcast record deck, the image quality is unparalleled. For its price point, the Canon XL H1 is truly amazing.”

What I’m Using Now: Canon XL H1 HDV »

WHY I LOVE IT: No one owner/operator can afford to have every format and piece of equipment that might be requested. But the Canon XL H1 goes a long way in helping me meet my needs with just one camera. With the XL H1 I can record HD-SDI, 1080i, 24 frame, 30 frame and 60i. I can shoot in 16:9 or 4:3. I can also record in HDV and downconvert it right out of the camera as standard DV. This is helpful when I want the extra archival value of shooting in HD, even though I may not need HD at the moment.

Recently, I was assigned to shoot an underwater documentary in Southeast Asia. A heavier camera would have been much harder to manage, especially in the small planes we used to reach this remote area.

Underwater photography requires you to insert weights into your housing to achieve neutral buoyancy. The larger the camera, the larger the housing, and the more air there is. A full-size camera starts off being heavier, but also requires a lot of additional weight to achieve neutral buoyancy. With battery and support gear, the fully loaded housing could weigh close to 100 pounds.

But on this shoot, the combined total of the Gates housing and buoyancy compensating weights amounted to only about 35 pounds. The one-hour HDV tapes also kept reloads to a minimum. We would’ve been in bad shape if we hadn’t used the XL H1.

Going Tapeless on the Open Seas »

 

Going Tapeless on the Open Seas

When out for long voyages on the ocean you have to be prepared to do virtually everything on board. Somehow this also includes shooting multiple cameras, tapeless, uncompressed acquisition from a video camera not designed for such a workflow, and editing right on deck.

When Robert Margouleff, owner of Mi Casa Multimedia, a Los Angeles audio post facility specializing in creating 5.1 surround sound remixes for DVD releases, wanted to produce a 12-part series on the tall ships and the people that sail them, he began investigating cameras for the shoot.

“We did some tests with DP Scott Billups and settled on the Canon XL H1 for a number of reasons,” says Margouleff. “It’s a tremendous value for the money. The one big thing is the quality of the glass. Canon has been making lenses for so long that that is really what is amazing about this camera.”

To preserve the optimum quality coming out of the camera and to be able to edit immediately on the ship, Margouleff wanted to record direct-to-disk and bypass the MPEG compression. By shooting directly HD SDI out of the camera to a Wafian HR1 disk recorder, Margouleff thought he would be able to shoot in 24p and edit immediately on-set.

Margouleff, however, quickly found that this was not so simple with the XL H1 and turned to Cineform for help.

“If you are transmitting 24p material you typically add pulldown to make it a 60i signal so it is compatible with interlaced monitors,” explains David Taylor, CEO of Cineform. “That’s what Canon is doing out of the XL H1. The have 24p and add pulldown to make it 60i. [To edit in 24p] what you want to do is reverse the pulldown. Normally what you do when you add pulldown is you turn on a flag in the SDI stream that notes the added fields and equipment on the other end recognizes the redundant field and throws it away. Canon didn’t do that. They did not set the pulldown flag. So when we receive 1080i on the other end there is no idea that there has been a pulldown. But we know that the Canon is putting out 24p and it added pulldown so we developed an image processing routine that looks at all the fields coming in and through that it recognizes the redundant fields and throws them out. I have a feeling that when Canon just didn’t think it would be used in this manner. So what we’ve demonstrated is that what was envisioned as a monitoring port is actually a high quality ingest port.”

Another obstacle in the tapeless workflow via the HD SDI line in the Canon XL H1 is that there is no embedded audio or timecode.

To capture the timecode they run a line out of the LTC jack into the Wafian box. Currently the audio is running from the unbalanced outputs of the Canon XL H1 to the Wafian box, but this again posed synch problems.

“Audio data comes down the cable to the Wafian box a lot faster than video,” says Jeff Youle, CEO of Wafian. “So we developed a setting on the HR1 that delays the audio enough so that it will be in synch.”

For recording more than two audio channels, which the audiophile/producer certainly wants, they will have to shoot double system.

“Canon set the camera up basically for high-end ENG use,” comments Margouleff. “But where the camera is going to find a home is in low-end feature production. The audio works fine for 60 and 30, but if your shooting 24p out of the HD SDI you must shoot double system.”

In addition to using the Wafian HR1 as an HD deck, Margouleff also loaded Adobe Premiere and Cineform Prospect HD on the box so they could edit right on the deck of the ship.

“Being able to see a rough cut while we re still on the ship let’s us know if we need to get an extra shot to fill any holes,” says Margouleff. “Plus we can then apply the money that we would have used for the offline towards better shooting, better lighting, more equipment and talent. [Shooting direct-to-disk] makes the medium incredibly flexible and powerful.”

But Margouleff isn’t stopping to push the technical boundaries here and plans on a multi-cam shoot on the ship with many of the cameras controlled remotely from the PC and using an HD SDI switcher to shoot and cut the show live.

“I know it’s a combination of television and cinema but that’s where we are heading,” says Margouleff. “The camera also offers a console whereby we can have all the controls of the camera – the chroma, metering, etc. - on a laptop connected by FireWire so I can put a camera up on a jib or rig it up on the mast. I can set up one camera and then transfer that setup to other cameras so I can have all the cameras matched.”

Canon Announces Two New Camcorders, Zoom Lens and Software

New XH A1 AND XH G1 Camcorders

Canon announced the expansion of it's three-CCD camcorder line with the XH A1 and XH G1 models, released a new 6X wide angle HD zoom lens for the popular XL H1 and updated Console Image Control and Storage software to be compatible with the new camcorders

LEFT: The new Canon XH A1 camcorder offers 60i, 24F, 30F frame rates.
ABOVE: The new 6X wide angle HD zoom lens for the Canon XL H1

 

New Handheld XH A1 and XH G1 Models

Both of Canon’s new three-CCD HD camcorders – the XH A1 and XH G1 models – provide broadcasters, cinematographers and production facilities with a full line of professional, high quality, low cost HD solutions. Broadcasters, Event videographers, and cinematographers with tight budgets will appreciate Canon’s flexible, powerful and feature rich XH A1 and XH G1 HD camcorders. Whether on set, in the field, or shooting a feature film, these two camcorders offer selectable frame rates and deliver stunning 1080i HD video.

Building on the image quality of the award winning XL H1 model, the XH A1 and XH G1 HD camcorders offer a Genuine Canon 20x HD zoom lens, Super Range Optical Image Stabilization, 60i, 24F, 30F frame rates and total image control. The XH A1 model will be available in late October for an estimated selling price of $3,999, while the XH G1 model adds HD-SDI output with embedded audio and timecode; Genlock synchronization and Timecode In/Out and will be available in mid-November for an estimated selling price of $6,999.

“Canon is now offering a full range of HD solutions that give professionals the control they need at a price point they can afford.” said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., “Joining the open architecture of the XL H1 model, Canon’s newest camcorders round out our high definition line by providing features and design demanded by a wide variety of professionals.”

Both camcorders have three 1/3 inch native 16:9 1440 x 1080 CCDs that capture images at 1080i resolution. The camcorders feature 60i, 30F and 2F selectable frame rates to allow users to adapt to each assignment. At the 30 Frame rate, camera operators can capture high-speed subjects with spectacular clarity. Filmmakers can utilize the 24 Frame rate to create the look and motion of movie film. The 60i frame rate works well in applications such as ENG or Reality TV. For a fee, users can also send their cameras in to Canon’s Factory Service Center for an optional 50i/60i upgrade to conform to PAL standards.

Professional Optics for Professional Performance
Calling on more than 70 years of optical excellence in manufacturing lenses for broadcast and still photography, the camcorders feature a Genuine Canon 20x HD Video Lens. This lens includes both fluorite and UD (Ultra-Low Dispersion) glass elements to achieve HD performance throughout the whole zoom range. These elements minimize color fringing even at high magnifications. Multi-Coating reduces flare and ghosting. The “L” series lens has a focal range of 32.5mm – 650mm (35mm equivalent), delivering exceptional versatility for a wide variety of shooting situations, especially documentary and newsgathering applications that demand a wide field of view. In addition to manual focus and zoom rings, the lens includes a manual iris ring for the smooth, fine adjustment that professionals prefer. For added control, a High Speed Zoom Mode allows the zoom to respond more quickly and intuitively. Furthermore, the lens contains two built-in Neutral Density Filters (1/6 and 1/32).

The Canon XH A1 and XH G1 HD camcorders feature Canon’s Super-Range Optical Image Stabilization to help deliver smooth, steady video even at longer focal lengths. The system uses two detection methods (gyro and vector) to sense the widest range of vibrations from hand-held shake, to vibration from a moving vehicle. By using optical stabilization, it can compensate for a greater degree of camera shake and avoid any loss in image quality, unlike electronic image stabilizers.

Instant AF (Auto Focus) – The Next Generation Focusing System
Since it is critical to achieve very sharp focus when shooting in High Definition, the XH A1 and XH G1 models feature Canon’s revolutionary new Instant AF focusing system. It offers a dramatic improvement in auto focus speed and accuracy (compared to traditional autofocus systems). The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with Canon’s autofocus system, to significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low light conditions. This new system achieves focus instantaneously, reducing focus “hunting.” Users can especially see the benefits of Instant AF in high brightness, and night shooting situations. Camera operators can capture fast, accurate focusing, even when following a moving subject.

Canon’s DIGIC DV II Image Processor
The XH A1 and XH G1 camcorders feature Canon’s DIGIC DV II proprietary digital signal processor, which Canon designed specifically for HD acquisition. Found also in Canon’s flagship XL H1 HD camcorder, the DIGIC DV II processor provides highly accurate color and tonal reproduction needed for high HD image quality. A new noise reduction system, combined with a new gamma system, helps to reduce noise in monotone and shadow areas. The fast processing speed of the DIGIC DV II chip allows video and photos to be shot simultaneously. Furthermore, the processor’s low power consumption, contributes to longer battery life.

Design
The XH A1 and XH G1 HD camcorders are designed to handle a variety of different shooting situations. Canon housed the 2.7” Widescreen LCD securely beneath the handle, which allows it to swing out easily when needed. The handle provides an additional record start/stop and a zoom control, making it ideal for low-angle shooting. The new models include toggle switches, which are standard on high-end video equipment for gain, color bars, and white balance. To reduce camcorder size, an internal battery compartment holds one Canon BP-950G or the large capacity BP-970G battery. Both camcorders offer two built-in XLR terminals with mic/line level and phantom power, an external microphone holder for attaching shotgun microphones, a voice-recording mode, and two-channel manual audio level adjustment allows precise control.

Complete Customization
The image, display items, and functions of the Canon XH A1 and XH G1camcorders can be uniquely customized for different applications and users. Camera Operators can finely adjust a total of 23 image settings, including color gain, RGB independent gain, and 6-axis matrix. These cameras provide a wide range and degree of image adjustment. Users can store a total of nine image presets in the internal memory, or to a Secure Digital (SD) Memory Card for exporting to other XH A1 or XH G1 camcorders.

Users can fully customize the camcorder’s display as well, matching the preference of the shooter, or set up for a specific application. The camera operator can hide or display up to 21 different items and they can also personalize (or design for different shooting conditions) up to 20 custom camera functions. Users can save and read up to three groups of settings from an SD Card.

Additionally, camera operators can use the ‘sky detail’ function for removing detail or noise in the sky without affecting other areas of the picture. Users can also increase video gain up to +36dB, for capturing images in extreme low light situations.

The XH G1 HD Camcorder and the Professional Jackpack
Like the XL H1 model – the XH G1 HD camcorder includes Canon’s Professional Jackpack Terminals, which are a trio of connections that provide professionals with outstanding quality and versatility: HD-SDI/SD-SDI Output, SMPTE Timecode Input/Output, and Genlock Input.

The HD-SDI connection outputs an uncompressed 1.485 Gbps digital signal with embedded audio and LTC Timecode (SMPTE 299M), reducing the number of cables and improving the camera operator’s mobility, or integrating seamlessly into broadcast studios. Professionals can also use the HD-SDI output for playback or easy capture and transfer. The signal can also be set to SD-SDI, during shooting or playback (SMPTE 272M).

Users can easily facilitate multi-camera shoots with the XH G1 model due to the camcorder's Genlock synchronization input. This feature permits trouble free switching of XH G1 camcorders in a multi-camera situation. With its SMPTE time code input/output terminal, each camera on a shoot can lay down synchronous time code.

Still images
The XH A1 and XH G1 camcorders can both capture 2.0 megapixel photos at 1920 x 1080 resolution to an SD card, which comes in handy in pre and postproduction, storyboarding, and continuity applications. The user can capture photos in video color space while simultaneously recording video to tape. In addition, professionals can use the camcorder as full featured digital still camera, capturing photos in digital camera color space, complete with metering modes, shooting modes, and the option of using a Canon EX Series Speedlite Flash on its dedicated flash shoe. The camcorder includes a still image histogram and EXIF display for exposure verification.

Console Software Version 1.1
Canon’s optional Console Image Control and Storage software, Version 1.1 allows users to control camcorder functions and settings remotely from a Windows-based laptop or desktop computer. They can record footage directly to a computer's hard drive as well as monitor their shoot with on-screen Vectrascope and Waveform monitors. Camera operators can use the software in a variety of shooting conditions, like mounting the camcorders on a crane, in studio, or in an inaccessible location. Console software Version 1.1 will be available as a free upgrade to owners of the original software or a complete version can be purchased this October for an estimated selling price of $599*.

New HD 6X Zoom XL 3.4-20.4mm L Lens for XL H1

Providing cinematographers, broadcasters and video industry professionals with a growing range of acquisition solutions, Canon has expanded its array of HD optics for the XL H1 HD camcorder with a new 6X wide angle HD zoom lens. Building upon an already growing system of accessories, the Canon HD Video Lens 6X Zoom XL 3.4-20.4mm L lens gives XL H1 HD camcorder users greater creative control in a variety of shooting conditions. Available in November, the lens will carry an estimated selling price of $2,999.

As a world-renowned manufacturer of optics for broadcast and professional photographic solutions, Canon reserves the “L-series” designation (denoted by a red-stripe around the lens) for its highest quality photographic lenses. The 6X XL Wide 3.4 – 20.4mm L-series zoom lens features UA (Ultra High Refractive Index Aspherical) glass elements to produce high-quality HD images with low distortion. All lens elements are treated with a multi-coating to reduce flare and ghosting

The new wide-angle lens provides users with an extensive range of focal lengths from 24.5 to 147mm (in 35mm photographic terms) that would otherwise not be possible with a fixed lens, giving shooters the versatility of a zoom and the creativity of a wide-angle lens. To take that a step further, the lens features a manual iris ring (maximum aperture of f/1.6 – 2.6) and a distance display function to aid focus, so users can more accurately control the exposure and feel of their shot.

The lens allows users to switch between two Neutral Density filters (1/6, 1/32) for best performance in bright lighting conditions. The lens includes a Minimum Object Distance (MOD) feature, which creates a AF range suitable for normal shooting situations from one meter to infinity. This feature prevents the lens from focusing on dust particles that can occasionally appear on the surface of the lens. For macro applications, the AF range can be extended to a minimum focusing distance of 20mm. Canon also built focus and zoom presets into the lens for ease-of-use when shooting.

Hard Drive Storage for Canon XL H1

For those who love Canon's XL H1 HD camcorder but want to avoid videotape, Focus Enhancements now offers two new portable disk recorders, called the FireStore FS-C series, that mount on the back of the camera. The FS-C HD60 (60 GB capacity, 4 1/2 hours of 1080i HD record time) and FS-C HD100 (100 GB, 7 1/2 hours) let videographers record direct nonlinear HDV or DV (25 Mbps) streams via FireWire, with or without a tape inserted in the camcorder. When in HD mode, footage is recorded as an .m2t file that is compatible with most HD editing software.

Canon and Focus worked together to develop the hard drive recorder, which helps save time in editing by avoiding the digitization process and can act as a backup to preserve hard-to-get scenes.

  

Talking With… Laura Merians, DP, Lovespring International

Think Curb Your Enthusiasm meets The Office and you have a pretty good idea of what one of TV’s newest sitcoms, Lovespring International, is all about. The weekly comedy series, which airs Monday nights on Lifetime, is executive produced by Eric McCormack (Will from NBC’s Will & Grace) and his Big Cattle Productions partner Michael Forman for Lifetime/Lions Gate Films.

Lovespring is innovative, not only because of its improvisational-style, but also that it’s the first show on Lifetime shot multi-camera in HDV, specifically with the Canon XL H1 three 1/3-inch interlaced 16:9 CCD camera. The series is being shot in 1080/24-frame mode and recorded to 60-minute HDV cassettes.

Director of Photography Laura Merians, who works alongside Director Guy Shalem and a dedicated production team, says it took some convincing for the network to agree to use HDV—most shows are produced in either SD or HD—but after several meetings, Lifetime decided to go with the crew’s initial choice of the less established HDV format.

Merians, a graduate of UC Berkeley where she studied Digital Media, is now a resident of Venice, CA and has spent a considerable amount of time working with various digital formats as DP for TLC, The Oxygen Network, MTV, VH1, several pilots for Fox Television and now Lifetime for Lovespring International. Initially, Merians and her crew shot six episodes. At the time of her interview, she had just received the final word for seven more shows. Here, she talks about what it’s been like shooting an improvisational-style series in HDV with a brand new camera.

Why was Lifetime hesitant to let you shoot in HDV?

LM: HDV is a new format, especially for the networks. The production company was behind us, but it was the network that had its concerns. And I don’t really blame them. I would do the same thing if I were in their position. I would want to know what this camera and format was capable of and I would want to see examples. I knew they would want that because I would want that.

How did you convince the network?

LM: I went in with post production supervisor Megan Murphy—who was great in this process, she was crucial in making this happen and in convincing the network—and basically went through the pros and cons of using HDV with them.

What was one of the winning points?

LM: Because the camera offers the uncompressed HD-SDI and SD-SDI output, we can do a high-quality image transfer to HD cam; an archival format that is acceptable by the network.

There are several excellent HDV cameras out there now, what made you decide on the Canon XL H1?

LM: Well, I knew it was coming out. I’m a fan of HDV and digital formats, it’s what I use, and when we were talking about doing the show, I was researching all of the cameras that were out there. And that’s how I came across the Canon. It just happened to come out right when we were prepping for the show.

There were a few cameras I was looking at at the time, but mostly the comparison was between the Canon XL H1 and the Panasonic AG-HVX200, which isn’t HDV but DVCPRO. They are similar in size, which was also a big requirement, but I was drawn to the Canon almost immediately when I was doing some initial tests. It was mostly based on the image quality over anything else. It really gives a great image quality.

As much as we plan, an improvisational setting is just too unpredictable. Given some of the unexpected conditions I found that the image quality of the XL H1 really held up.

Why was the camera size a requirement?

LM: Well, the show is improvisational. It’s about an unconventional dating agency and so we wanted to have a very real look to everything. We’re shooting in an actual office space rather than a set. And, we’re doing hand-held so the actors can have more freedom. We do really long takes so it helps a lot to have a lighter camera. This way, we can move around freely and follow the actors.

There are absolutely performances and moments that we would not have been able to capture if it were not for the low weight and small size of these cameras. Any camera has a presence, especially when three of them are staring at a group of actors. But the smaller size of the XL H1 really helped remove distractions that might have hindered performances from being natural and comfortable.

Besides camera size and image quality, what other features stand out?

LM: I do like the fact that you can dial in the color temperature in the white balance setting. I also like that it has Genlock Synchronization. Because Lovespring is a multi-camera shoot, this is crucial. And other HDV cameras don’t have this.

The XL H1 has all the connectors that have been missing in other low-cost HDTV cameras. It has uncompressed HD-SDI and SD-SDI connectors. The serial digital BNC connectors can transfer both HD and standard definition signals.

Did you have to make any special adjustments or modifications on the camera for this project?

LM: Well, yes, but it does depend on the scene. In general, though, when we’re shooting in the office location, I pretty much let the operators use what they want to use. Of course, we want to keep them as light and as streamlined as possible. Some operators prefer to operate with f/ support rods and a matte box. Others prefer to lose all of that and just operate bare bones.

We did find that the camera is a little front heavy. So, to counterbalance that weight, some of us use an off-the-shelf shoulder mount and fasten small scuba weights to the back of the mount.

What kind of lens are you shooting with?

LM: I’m using the lens that comes with the camera. [A 20x HD video zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilization]

What did you do to give this show its unique look and feel?

LM: I think the three-camera coverage inherently gives it a different look. And then our approach to the production design, the colors, and the lighting all play into the style.

It’s important that we don’t have a sterile office look, so we made it more colorful. Our color palette leans more towards pink and warm tones.

As for the lighting, we definitely try to keep everything off the floor. We want the actors to have more freedom and feel more comfortable. So, I’m hanging everything. Since we’re shooting in a practical location, we have to lift the ceiling panels and rig the lights so they hang.

I’m using a lot more fluorescent lighting than I normally do [since that’s the type of lighting you typically find in offices], Kino Flos, and also some incandescents. But there are also these huge windows, so we have to do some color correction, too. Overall, I feel that it all looks very natural.

How does this project differ from some of the others you’ve worked on?

LM: I’ve done other projects with Guy [Shalem], the director, and he always works in this style. He likes multiple camera coverage and hand-held; that’s completely his style. So, this isn’t totally new for me. But, in terms of the duration, it is. Usually we shoot for about four days here and there. With Lovespring, [the first six episodes] was three weeks of shooting. And, we are also using a new camera and a new format, so that’s different, too.

Your background is almost entirely in digital video, correct?

LM: Yes, digital video is my tool. SD, HD and HDV—I’ve pretty much followed the progression of it. People constantly criticize the use of HDV and that’s just strange to me. When you see the results in your living room, it looks great. If it’s used properly, you don’t see that much of a difference. I mean, you can see a difference, but for television, I don’t think the same rules apply. But it does depend on what you’re shooting. It’s just a different tool that applies itself well to certain jobs.

Anything you want to add?

LM: Yes, that I love my operators. Warren Yeager, Bruce Dickson and Darsey Spires—they are so professional and talented; I couldn't make it happen without them.

 

Focus Enhancements To Ship Recorders for Canon XL H1

The portable direct-to-edit disk recorder line from Focus Enhancements will support Canon's XL H1 HD camcorder next month, when the company ships the new FS-C HD60 and FS-C HD100 models. In HD mode, the units record .m2t files via FireWire. In DV mode, they record Avid OMF, QuickTime, Canopus AVI, Matrox AVI, and other formats. The HD60 holds up to four and a half hours of 1080i or DV25 video, and the HD100 knocks that up to seven and a half hours. Both units can be mounted directly on the H1.

Century Releases Lens Accessories for Canon XL H1

Now users of the Canon XL H1 are able to go wider, reach further, and move in closer than is possible just using the lens of the camera alone. Schneider Optics introduces a comprehensive line of professional add-ons designed specifically to complement and enhance the performance of Canon's new camcorder.

New Century lens add-ons for the XL H1 include the .6X Wide Angle Adapter; .7X Wide Angle Converter; .8X Wide Angle Converter; Fisheye Adapter, 1.6X Tele-Converter, and Achromatic Diopters in strengths of +2.0 and +3.5. These high-grade optical accessories feature multi-coated glass elements for crisp, high-resolution images with low distortion, and superior contrast edge to edge. Equipped with a bayonet mount, mounting and removal from the front of the camera's 20X lens is quick and easy.


شنبه 17 شهریور 1386

3D with Red Digital 4K Cameras

   نوشته شده توسط: کمال پورحنیفه Kamal Poorhanifeh    نوع مطلب :English News ،

3D with Red Digital 4K Cameras

A quantum leap in 3D content production and stereographic post-production from a tapeless workflow, resulted in a successful 3D test shoot and screening on Saturday, September 1st . Producers Steve Gibby and Kenneth Corben of GibCor, teamed up with their 3D production partners Max Penner and Tim Thomas at Paradise FX to produce one of the first stereo 3D shoots originating with RED 4K cameras. (PHOTO: Max Penner seen adjusting the Red 4K 3D Paracam. Photo Copyright Steve Gibby)

GibCor provided RED camera #8 and their associate, Billy Summers, provided RED camera #13. Both were literally “out of the box” from the first 25 RED cameras released on August 31st. The team shot a 4K 3D dual camera test, and captured REDCODE RAW to two RED 8 GB compact flash cards.

The production alliance between GibCor and Paradise FX has been in development on their RED 4K 3D projects since February in anticipation of the cameras’ release this year. “The results of this first RED 4K 3D shoot will enable us to bring great stories, shot in stereo 3D, to audiences like never before,” said producer Steve Gibby. The RED 4K cameras were fitted with a pair of RED compact zooms (18-50mm) and mounted to the Paracam. The Paracam is a 3D camera system that employs a beam splitter and has digital control of the inter-axial and convergent positioning of each of the RED ONE cameras. By Noon the team was viewing 3D content, originating from a tapeless 4K workflow.

The 4K 3D post workflow was seamless thanks to ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH® Digital Intermediate Process Solution and technical support from Lucas Wilson of ASSIMILATE™. The 4K REDCODE RAW (.r3d) files were imported from CF cards into a beta version of REDCINE running on an Intel based Mac system. The left and right eye files were de-bayered from 4K RAW to 2K files then imported to SCRATCH as .dpx files. SCRATCH allowed for “plug and play” into Paradise’s dual projection system for quick stereo 3D playback. After the screening, veteran 3D stereographer Max Penner said, “To take 2 cameras that have never been tested out of the box, then shoot and project 3D all in one day, is almost unheard of. All done with no umbilical cables, tape decks or digitizing. This changes everything!”

In anticipation of the continued global rollout of stereoscopic 3D enabled theaters and growing content demand, Paradise FX and GibCor are in negotiations with several major studios regarding this technology and it’s implementation in the motion picture industry. This is the first of a succession of stereo 3D tests with the RED ONE camera. Ongoing tests will help to define a workflow to apply to future 3D productions in both Large Format Film and Digital Theatrical Releases. The RED ONE camera has a small 3D form factor with a high resolution at a decent price, making it highly promising for future 3D films.


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