Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sony Fs5 - Wow!!

OK so I got a demo Fs5 from my good friends at VMI Video in Southern California.  Well in short - Very cool!!!

I've got it for about 6 days to test out and put though it's paces in my typical work flows.  Yesterday I shot a group of sit down interviews with it in 4K.  Today I used it as a B camera to our F5 for a green screen segment.  The director is going to do the final edit with both cameras but I looked at my footage in 2160@ 24p and it looks really nice.  I was able to pull a key very quickly in PPro.  

Tomorrow we are getting together at a local production company's stage and testing it against an F5 and an A7s.  The plan is to use every lens, recorder and format we can with each camera and then compare to footage.  So this will be an on-going series of posts for the next few weeks as I develop my impressions further.

Part 1:

The interviews went very well.  I used the Fs5 as the A camera and my EX3 as the B camera.  The EX3 was mostly to give me a backup as the Fs5 was new and I was new to it.  I sent the same audio feed to both cameras and kept matched framing.  I used the EX3 last year on this project and was sure it would work if I got pickled.  The Fs5 did a fine job.  I wanted to to be in 4K for re-framing in post.  I got a little scare when I looked at the footage this morning; there was one interview where a short had a tight blue and white pattern that created a moire pattern and I didn't see it while we were shooting...  The I thought about it, I am down resing the footage to 1080 on the fly and hadn't rendered it.  I hit the big R button and then everything was fine.  So one for OE....

That's it for now.  I'll post some more info this weekend after the big camera day.

Part 2:

So we did the shoot out with the other cameras and it turned out pretty well.  We set all three cameras up with the green screen.  We tried Sony lenses and Canon L series lenses along with a pair of B4 ENG lenses - one SD and one HD.  As for the B4 glass, we found very little difference to the eye when viewing on a 20" JVC broadcast LCD monitor.

The Sony lenses, a 24-70 ƒ4, a 16-35 ƒ4 and a 70-200 ƒ4 worked very nicely.  Auto focus worked as expected and face tracking on the wider lenses was remarkably accurate.  The Canon glass looked very sharp as well.  The iris control through a Metbones Mk IV adapter was quite good.  I was having a little trouble (probably OE again) getting the camera to use auto focus with the canon glass.

The kit 18-105 lens from the Fs5 worked on the A7s which was fun.  But the zoom function was a little lacking with the  A7s' remote.  We tried a LANC remote via and adapter and it was still a little on the unhappy side.

More info soon... Stay tuned 

Until next time, good shooting and editing and grading,

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Davinci Resolve 12 - Flippin' Fantastic Again

Well. Blackmagic Design has done it again - Davinci Resolve 12 is awesome!!!  I've been working with it for about 2 months now and I love all the new features.  Here a quick example:

This week I worked with a long time client who used a new high speed camera from Fastec to shoot an art project.  They were capturing all the footage at 600 fps in DNG raw files and then aiming for a 24p output.  Since this method leaves all the footage in image sequence folders it sometimes makes it a little tricky to review the files and work with them.   
Enter Resolve 12...

Resolve has long been able to read image sequences as clips automatically and then pop them into the media pool as needed.  In this project I simply double clicked each clip folder to load the clip into the source view and then reviewed the clip.  When we found a take we liked I'd pull it from the source viewer into the media pool.  After we found the hero shots I was able to throw them on a timeline and start editing.  BTW this is all in Resolve 12... All in RAW dng - no conversions or proxies.

Once the timelines were built, I went into grading mode and did a little cleanup shot by shot.  The client needed the clips mainly as proof of concept at this point so H264's were fine.  I simply went to the delivery page, chose 264 and entire sequence, added the job to the render Q and was on my way.

The client had done an After Effects session with the footage to look at it earlier in the week but found that difficult to keep a creative focus as there we many steps to get to the end product.  This was so fast, from ingest to output, he now has great confidence about the project moving forward. 

I think the folks at Blackmagic Design have done it again.  This is a terrific step forward for all departments in the video world.


So the day after I posted this blog they released Resolve 12.1
Here's the official feature scoop:  

Remote rendering on DaVinci Resolve Studio
Support for native display color profiles on OS X
Preferences option to enable 10-bit precision on viewers on OS X 10.11 El Capitan
Ability to select clips when in blade mode
Support for faders on generators and titles
Ability to extend freeze frames from the start of the edit  
Ability to media manage selected clips on a timeline
Ability to perform negative timecode offset in clip attributes
Improved support for sub-clips from FCP7 XML
Improved rendering of audio transitions (cross-fades) and audio faders
Auto scroll during timeline item resize
Improved sorting in media storage and media pool
Support for smart bin filtering based on clip type
Ability to move clips and timelines from a smart bin view
Support for moving files to the trash instead of deleting them permanently when using the media manager on both Mac and Windows systems
Ability to delete multiple projects and folders in project manager
Ability to decompose a compound node
Ability to grade nested timelines  
Ability to filter clips based on whether they have keyframes
Ability to manually keyframe power windows in frame mode even without tracking
Ability to freeze the current frame on an external matte
User option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace
Improved ACEScc support
Support for stereo decision list (SDL) v0.25
Support for RED SDK v6.0.4
Support for embedding timecode in audio output

Until next time, good shooting and editing and grading,