Trailer shoot

Today we shot a trailer for TV4 and the upcoming European Championship in Handball.

Fun shoot, weather was nice, almost too nice to fit the story but with a bit of grading we’ll be fine.  Shot on the Sony F55 in S-log 2, in both 1080 (120p) and 4K (50p) Minimal lighting with a couple of Arri M18 and bounces and a  6×6 ft (1,80×1,8m) frame with silk.

Trailer4

Trailer

TV4Trailer2

TV4Trailer

Nikon D4 on location

I’ve had the D4 for about 10 days now and here are some quick thoughts.  (I will write a more thorough review as soon as time allows)

Since I got my hand on this camera I’ve shot mostly video – for a commercial where the camera acted as B-cam mounted inside/outside a car as well as a few specialty shots. We chose to record in 1080/25P to internal CF cards.  Main camera on the spot was a Sony F3 with S-log.

Inverted D4 mounted inside car for Driver shot
Mounted on car
Mounted to cheese plate outside car

 

There was one shot we wanted to get from above an ice climber wanting to believe he was hundreds of meter up in the air.  This was a perfect shot for a DSRL looking straight down with very shallow depth of field.  I put a 70-200 VRII on the D4 and got some amazing shots.

Shooting straight down leaning into a harness

 

There were also a few other short shots we captures with the D4.  I was sitting on a snow mobile with a gyro attached to the camera (14-24 and 70-200).  We got both wide angle speed shots as well as steady closeup with this setup.

14-24 and gyro
70-200 VRII with gyro attached

All in all as a first shoot I am very happy with the results. The body is on the heavy side for mounting, the D800 will be a better choice for that. I found that adding one more point of attachment, using hot shoe, was a good way of keeping the rig solid. I am working on getting a release for some frame grabs and will post as soon as I know.  On the other hand the bigger body makes for much easier hand holding IMHO, especially with a 70-200 attached.

On the still photography side (I also shot some stills for the ad campaign) they’ve added some really cool new buttons and an extra grip-pad to the body. This really is nice and makes for easier handling, especially in vertical mode. AF is blazing fast and spot on.    More sooooon.

 

Recon trip

Today I am heading out on a recon trip to see what’s what  before next weeks shoot up north.  We are shooting 4 days next week in Kiruna, the very nothern part of sweden.  I’ll get some still of where we intend to shoot, send them by email to the producer. This is one of these moments where I’ll also use the Sun Scout to see where the sun/light will come from.  I will add more stuff on this shoot during the next two weeks so check back.

Wireless sound on SonyF3

I realize there are tons of options on wireless audio, big, small, expensive, less expensive. On a small camera one might choose to have a small light weight system to minimize form factor and weight. Not to long ago we bought the Sony Digital wireless system (DWR-S01D) and today we got an external case, DWA-F01D for it. Most of the time this 2-channel receiver is housed in the slot of our PDW-700 but we also want to be able to put it in a mixer bag or on the back of our PMW-F3.

External case DWA-F01D on the back of the F3

The adapter/case has 2 XLR connectors for 2 channels analog audio. It can be powered by a Sony L series battery which is a great option in a sound audio bag. It also has a 4 pin Hirose connector and a consumer DC in power plug making it really versatile in power options. A BNC connector for AES-3 digital audio output as well as word clock for sync also in BNC is included on the side.

I stuck it on the back of the F3 and here are my first thoughts.

First thing: it is pretty big/wide. Sony makes a slimmer case, without the option of powering by battery, which might actually be a better solution for attaching it to a camera. But since we intend to use it in a mixer bag as well we chose the bigger case. Considering all the other stuff we have stuck on there it doesn’t feel all wrong. It is sitting on top on the battery just underneath the PIX240 and it is just as wide as that.

Sittin on top of the battery in the back

We power the unit through a 4 pin Hirose connector attached to our battery plate. Works great. In the picture below you can also see the AES/EBU output and Sync input. There is also a headphone out with a volume control.

Powered by 4 pin Hirose

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On thing that was s little annoying was that the audio inputs (XLR connectors) were so close together I had to really work to fit 2 right angled XLR’s next to each other. I had to angle one to the side. I understand to fix this would have made the unit even wider but it was still annoying… 🙂

Tight fit for angled XLR connectors

This is something we’ll use when flying the F3 on a steadicam or moving about without being tethered.

F3 fed wirelessly from a sound mixer bag

So to summarize: if the receiver was going to be on the F3 all the time, I would get the slimmer adapter DWA-01D, but if you want a versatile case for stand alone use or in a mixer bag plus more power options this is the one to get. So great to get this system up and running on the F3 as well.

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Disclosure: No one asked my/payed me to write this post. All opinions are my own. We payed full list price for this unit.

H.265

There is a new kid in town.  H.265, H.264’s big brother. So now when everyone’s  finally got the H.264 thing down and got their new shiny LED tv with a built in H.264 receiver, here comes a new codec.

Considering that during 2011, mobile networks delivered over a BILLION Gigabytes of data, a new compression codec might be a good idea. For us on the video side we are happy to see a high quality codec to deliver our content in.  I am not sure 8K UHDTV will be anything to look for in 2013 but another 5-10 years perhaps.  Either way its an interesting article.

http://www.neowin.net/news/the-h265-codec-brings-ultra-hdtv-resolution-in-2013

Cineroid LED light- First Look

At NAB as IBC last year these lights were announced and now its time to have a look.  I am looking for a nice small fill light for a car interior and thought the Cineroid LED a try.

I went over to our dealer and borrowed one of their lights. It is a small battery powered LED light made up of 96 small flat LED lights. The kit comes with 2 “fronts”, light grills, one tungsten (3000K) and one daylight (5000K) as well as charger, battery and battery plate. The “light fronts” snaps on and off with 1 release on each side of the light. There is no glass or protective cover over the LEDs but the construction seems solid enough, and only time will tell if they stand up to regular field use.

The light is made of a hard plastic and feels like a pretty solid build. The buttons on the back, both On/Off  as well as the for switch controlling the fan, are recessed and fairly protected against damage.  The fan has an option of running automatically or manually. In manual mode it has 5 different speeds. At the higher settings it could cause audio issues in a really quiet room. Since I’ve not spent any time shooting with this light yet I can’t say how much the fan is needed to cool the unit. The back of the detachable LED also work as a heat sink which hopefully reduces the need for the fan. You can set the manual setting to 0 and effectively turning the fan off. In case of overheating the display will warn.

One minus is the power connecter which sticks out on the side and is a regular consumer connector. I don’t understand why every manufacturer making these lights insist on NOT using a more robust power connector. I really doubt it would affect the price that much and I think people would gladly pay and extra $20 for a connector that will actually last during regular field use. It is not as flimsy as other lights I’ve seen but one improvement for the next version would be to incorporate the power connector in the battery plate, attaching between the plate and the light. This would eliminate the need for the external cable.

On top of the light there is a rotary wheel which controls the dimming in 30 different steps. This is also a possible weak point in case the light would take a hit. The level of dimming is shown on the little LCD display on the back of the light.

 

 

SO how does the light actually light?

Positive first: A powerful little light.  What I really like about the output is the spread. At a distance of 2m (6,5ft) the spread is 3m (10ft) and with a difference of only 2/3 of a stop between the sides and the middle. So no more of the flashlight look that is a dead give away of an onboard light. This is Great. Output is roughly 12fc at 2 m giving a f2,8/800iso/180degree shutter/25fps.

If you want to narrow the throw there is a detachable grill that snaps on with 4 magnets holding it in place. This of course also cuts the output of the light.

The negative. As with most LED lights there is a problem with multiple shadows especially when lighting something close up, so also here.

This shows up mostly on a flat bright surface and it almost not noticeable on a face as you can see below.

You can reduce this greatly by putting some diffusion (Lee 216 in picture below) over it which softens the shadows enough not to show.

Conclusion. Before I actually published this post I popped over to Scandinavian Photo and bought one of these lights. I think it is a nice little light to use as fill or for a car interior for example. The dimming feature is nice but one thing I miss is the ability to dial in different color temperatures.  I will post back what I think once I’ve actually used it in production a few times. Then I’ll really know what’s what especially when it comes to color and such… 🙂

Disclaimer: I Borrowed the light for the testing and bought one to keep. I have received no compensation in writing this article and all opinions are my own.

Sun Scout

Here is another great app I use a lot for both filming and location scouting. It is called Sun Scout and will show the sun’s path at any point during the day. So if you need to know when the sun will sneak over that rooftop behind you and hit your location this is the app that will tell you. It is not 100% accurate but really close enough. You can also change the setting to see the path at a different date, nice feature for a scout.
This time of year in Sweden finding the sun requires a LOT more than this app though… 🙂

Great app for your iphone at $10.

New kids show…?

This is the first day of a pilot shoot for a new kids show.  It will eventually involve a 3D figure who is a little girl’s best friend. The goal of the 3D is for it to be as realistic as possible, on par with feature film. A new challenge for me is shooting someone who doesn’t exist on set.  Brings new thoughts on framing… 🙂

Format for the pilot is Sony’s PMW-F3 with an on board  Pix240 recorder.  Everything is recorded in 10 bit DNxHD.

shooting kids show pilot