The Perfect Cam Paradoxon Because Of Profit

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I need to blow off some steam. Just thinking out loud:
I'm getting tired of the camera manufacturers (and other companies too) releasing a huge amount of new electronics & camera bodies in a very short period of time with intentional weaknesses - just to release slightly improved models next year to make more profit. I mean WTF? It's already getting out of control. Am I the only one that is observing this?

Fire all those managers and let the engineers use the electronics to their fullest potential and deliver QUALITY again, like in the old days! We need no stinky intentionally crippled firmware or new flashy camera models with crappy codecs and subpar resolution. Better give use some upgrades to get the best out of the excellent equipment we've already bought. Canon unintended is doing a step forward with it’s free firmware (uncompressed 422 HDMI out). Though they said at the release of the 5D Mark III that the electronics are not capable of giving out uncompressed 422 over HDMI but MagicLantern kicked their arses so they have to do something. I wish there would be more reverse-engineers turning our electronic products in tools that work like advertised!

To start somewhere:
I wish someone high up the food chain would take the strengths of the Black Magic Cinema Camera like 2.5K 12-bit RAW, ProRes422, DNxHD and add these to the strengths of the ridiculously overpriced Canon C300/C500.

Selling my Color Grading Suite for 40K

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I’m selling my color grading suite for 40.000,- EUR. Used condition! [Serious buyers only, please]

Have a nice weekend ;-)

Professional workflow for microstock

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More and more microstock clips find their way into Hollywood blockbuster movies, commercials, television... and the demand is high! I want to show you how I professionally process broadcasting-worthy HDSLR footage for microstock agencies.

This by no means the easiest way but I like to work in Speedgrade and recently in DaVinci Resolve lite. Though I miss some things in DaVinci that will be hopefully implemented in the upcoming version 9.0. The huge advantage of these programs are that you can be creative and color correct & grade in realtime on a decent machine. No need for ram previews.

I’ve uploaded the video on Youtube and Vimeo. Be sure to watch them in HD!

My workflow - Youtube
My workflow - Vimeo

5D Mark III footage now with metadata

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I’ve just found out that the Canon 5D Mark III includes all „shooting information / metadata“ into the MOV file when you shoot footage. Everything is there Firmware, Shutterspeed, Aperture, ISO, Lens, Focal length, Picture Style with details, Codec, Camera body number, etc. - wow! In previous Canon EOS bodies the metadata was saved only in RAW stills but not in footage clips.

Though, I could only make it visible with Canon Digital Photo Professional (this data didn’t showed up in Adobe Bridge or Premiere CS6). In Canon DPP right click on the MOV file, select „Info“ and go to the „Shooting Information“ tab. There you have it. I’ve tried it with MOV files from older Canon EOS bodies but the Shooting Information tab was empty.

For some of us this info is invaluable if you need to know which camera bodies were used during the shoot or what the exact settings were.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III firmware mod

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These new powerful DIGIC 5+ image processors can handle almost any task that you give to them - in realtime. They’re built in the 5D Mark III, EOS-1DX and the soon available 4K EOS-1DC DSLR with 8bit 4:2:2 1080p HDMI output. This makes me think that the Canon management told their engineers to cripple the power of the lower end DSLRs like the EOS-1DX, 5D Mark III, 650D by using only a different software. The hardware parts are almost the same if you check the specifications (besides the CMOS sensors). With this faster DIGIC 5+ image processor it should be possible to gain more (or real 1080p) resolution (like the Panasonic GH2) from a 5D Mark III by optimizing the intentionally crippled downscale algorithm.

With the 5D Mark II they introduced line-skipping because the processor was not fast enough to handle the stream of data. Now they advertise the new 5D Mark III does not use line-skipping anymore.
When I see what Magic Lantern has succeeded with their (v2.3 RC2) so far, that we never thought it was possible I can imagine that some very talented programmers could also implement a MPEG variant XF 422 codec at 50Mbit in a 5D Mark III.

The future arrived! Let’s see what happens in the next couple of months :-)

HDSLR workflow in Adobe After Effects CS6

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How the get the most out of your HDSLR footage with Adobe After Effects CS6.
CS6 works differently, the up-sampling is far better than in the older versions. Now you don’t have to convert all your footage anymore. Also by adding a subtle denoise you can somewhat improve your 8bit HDSLR footage.

I’ve put a little video on Youtube together: CS6 Workflow

Due to the compression of Youtube you can see the real before / after at 2:40 if you watch it at 1080p.

We're back from Italy

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We’re back from our short „vacation/work“ trip in Italy.
It was a great week and we took literally thousands of photos around the lake Lago Maggiore.

Adobe CS6 vs. CineForm

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I’ve got the Adobe CS6 Master Collection a couple of weeks ago and I thought to re-check my workflow for color grading and transcoding clips. Back when I was using Adobe CS4 I’ve always transcoded my Canon EOS clips via ReMaster to 10bit Cineform 422 and got excellent quality clips with a higher latitude for color grading. Since CS6, things have changed in a better way (I don’t know if CS5.5 works the same).

I’ve natively imported a Canon EOS clip (waving a red pen through the image) into Premiere & After Effects CS6 timeline. Below this clip I’ve imported the same clip but transcoded to CF422 that gave me always best results in the past with Adobe CS4. I’ve increased the saturation to maximum to see the results better. I was somewhat surprised to see how Adobe CS6 handles the red color artifacts much much better than CF422. On the natively imported MOV file I get much smoother edges in CS6 whereas the CF422 clip has huge blocks / color artifacts in the red color.

I’ve tried different quality settings in ReMaster (also FilmScan2) but the native import into CS6 is still much better. The natively imported clips in CS6 looked much cleaner to my eye. On the CF422 clips I’ve also noticed a slight increase in noise when zoomed to 400%.

This means, for best results I can now import the Canon EOS clips natively into After Effects or Premiere CS6 without the need of transcoding them to CineForm 422 anymore.

(The transcoding to CineForm 422 was done using the latest version of ReMaster 5.5.5.243 that came with GoPro Studio Premium. The footage was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV)

Landsberg X-PRESS

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American Football
April 21, 2012 - Landsberg X-PRESS vs. Franken Timberwolves
Facebook Gallery here

It's time to Upgrade!

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I’ve finally upgraded to CS5.5 Master Collection. About time too! These floppy discs are getting old :-)
Be sure to benefit from the Adobe Grace Period! If you upgrade to or purchase CS5.5 today, you’ll be paying the current price, plus you’ll get CS6 at no additional cost.

OWC Mercury Extreme PRO SSD

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I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about Other World Computing and was thinking to purchase a SSD from them for a long time. Finally after one year I’ve did it and upgraded the HDD in my Macbook Pro to a OWC Mercury Extreme PRO. It’s like I have a new machine in front of me, it’s unbelievable blazing fast!

Shooting Mark Tarmonea

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We had a lot of fun shooting the musician and songwriter Mark Tarmonea in our new Studio.

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My new workhorse! The Sachtler ACE

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Today I’ve got my new workhorse! The lightweight Sachtler ACE.
A huge thanks goes to the guys from www.stativ-shop.de in munich.

Location Shooting Schwarzer Adler

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I had the opportunity to shoot some nice HDR pictures with available light from a Hotel called „Schwarzer Adler“. Very nice location with old wooden walls. I loved the texture and colors in that room.

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DaVinci Resolve for Windows™

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Blackmagic Design announced DaVinci Resolve 8.2 for Microsoft Windows™ public beta is now available for download. DaVinci Resolve for Windows public beta is available in both the full featured DaVinci Resolve 8.2 and free DaVinci Resolve Lite versions. The DaVinci Resolve 8.2 for Windows license is included with the Mac OS X version, so all current Mac OS X customers automatically get a license for the Windows version, and can download it now to use in their facility.

This new DaVinci Resolve for Windows beta will allow customers to use a wide range of hardware for building color correction systems with the advantage of a wider selection of GPU processing options with support for up to 4 GPU’s per system.

Happy New Year 2012

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We’re back from vacation.
We wish you a happy and successful New Year 2012!
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