Corporate Video in 96 hours with BMPC4K

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For a local company I shot a corporate video from pre-production to finishing in just 96 hours on my BMPC4K. For the overall lighting I used my trusted DIY KinoFlo's and for the interviews some of my old dedolights. Editing and grading were done directly in DaVinci Resolve. I was pretty amazed how smooth everything worked in version 11.2.1. Seems like the BMD guys have done some huge improvements. Here are a couple of BTS shots from the set. I also attached my BMPC4K to a Zeiss microscope to shoot some POV of the specimen. I'm afraid I can't share the video because it's used in-house only.

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BMPC4K attached to a Zeiss microscope!

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Music Video - Freier Fall

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Finally - here is Mark Tarmonea's music video "Freier Fall" that we shot a couple of days ago.

iTunes Mark Tarmonea - Freier Fall
Soundcloud Mark Tarmonea - Freier Fall

BTS of Mark Tarmonea's music video

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We made a music video for my pal Mark Tarmonea in our studio. For lighting the background and models I used the 4ft / 4bank DIY KinoFlo's that I've built especially for this purpose - and they were great! Editing was done by Michael Ronge and Color Grading by me. Now Im doing some beauty retouching using a combination of Mocha AE, Beauty Box Video Plugin and Box Blur in After Effects. Here are a couple of snapshots I took with my phone from our shoot: Read More...

5D MK3 RAW & DaVinci Resolve 10

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The new version of DaVinci Resolve 10 is finally out there and it works now very good with the „Magic Lantern RAW“ footage from a Canon 5D Mark III. No more fringing or aliasing in the footage! The quality is just amazing!

Some great footage from Andre Meyer can be seen here: Beauty in Nature (5D MK3 RAW)

If you want to learn DaVinci Resolve I can highly recommend the video tutorial „DaVinci Resolve 9 Core Training“ by Alexis Hurkman found on rippletraining.com

Our 2nd color grading suite is ready

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Just finished building our 2nd editing / color grading suite. The old trusty Pentium 4 was way too old and had to be replaced with something faster. I’m still doing my main work on a 17“ MacBook Pro but I’m toying with the idea of getting a full fledged new iMac (late 2012) in july.

5D Mark III RAW Video CompactFlash to SSD

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After searching for days I’ve found a promising adapter (pdf datasheet FB4658 VER:1.1) that could work with a special SSD that has an IDE/ATA port already integrated. This adapter is sold in germany through the company ES&S Solutions GmbH. I’ve asked them already and Im waiting for a response. The SSD is an OWC Legacy Pro SSD 2.5“ IDE/ATA and they claim on their page it’s very fast with Read: 285 MB/s / Write: 275MB/s. It is available in sizes from 60GB - 480GB.

In theory this would be fantastic because the CF controller inside the 5D Mark III maxes out at 167 MB/s and this will be sufficient to capture the RAW video data even at higher resolutions than FullHD. I still don’t know if this whole concept will work and also if the adapter pins support UDMA. These CF to IDE adapters are used in embedded PC systems. So if someone has such an adapter please try it out and let me know. Btw. this IDE/ATA SSD needs of course external power.

Alternative Way capturing 5DM3 RAW Video Maybe

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Just exploring new ideas and developing concepts on how to alternatively capture 5D Mark III RAW Video to SSD. This concept is very broad and applies to all cameras on the market because they work more or less in the same way. Faster and bigger CF cards are coming out soon but the CF controller inside the 5D Mark III is still limited to max. 167 MB/s. Until then Im thinking on how to get to the RAW stream inside the camera the easy way (maybe without opening it at all). I still don’t know if the HDMI LSI is directly behind the MPEG CODEC IC.

It might be a long shot but maybe there is a way to redirect the RAW data to the HDMI OUT port on the camera. I can imagine that Canon faced the same problem redirecting the uncompressed 4:2:2 signal to HDMI with their new firmware 1.2.1.

5D Mark III RAW Video to SSD bypass CF

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III can record super high quality 14bit RAW video! This is so AMAZING! I can’t believe it. I knew it all the time that Canon, Sony, Panasonic and other companies are playing games on us by crippling their products intentionally to gain more profit.

Now that Magic Lantern team made the impossible possible (Thank you guys! You’re amazing!) getting super high quality RAW Video from a Canon 5D Mark III we need to find a way to store that huge amount of data. It works with 1000x CF cards but there are still dropouts. Trying to store the data directly to an OWC Mercury SSD bypassing the CF card. When faster cards are available this bulky setup will be obsolete anyway. Still not done yet.

--- UPDATE ---
Need more info about the electronics in this camera. Please contact me if you have the Canon 5D Mark III Service Manual

Nikon V1 – shooting 4K 60fps raw for $200

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Seems like someone has found a proof of concept that „60fps 4K RAW“ is possible in a 200$ consumer cam.

Link to EOSHD BLOG
Original Vimeo Link by Javier Sobremazas

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

Panasonic HDC-TM900 & DaVinci Resolve Lite

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From left to right (Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Panasonic HDC-TM900)

Amazing results from the small consumer camera Panasonic HDC-TM900.

On my last trip to Romania I had full faith in the new TM900 and shot hundreds of stock footage clips in 1080/50p at 28 Mbits/s. This little camera is great if you have to travel light because you can shoot in high quality anywhere without drawing unnecessary attention. After reviewing my clips on the computer I’ve started to color grade them in DaVinci Resolve Lite and was positively surprised how far I can push the colors without them falling apart too much. I admit before importing the clips into DaVinci I’ve upconverted them through Cineform Neo HD to CF422 to make them editable - that’s an important part of my workflow. The newer version 8.1.1 of DaVinci Lite now includes unlimited CC nodes. With them you can throw in a bunch of PowerWindows, Layer Nodes and Qualifiers to make the picture really pop. Can’t wait to put my hands on a control surface.

These are my TM900 camera „Picture Adjust“ settings:
Sharpness -1 (depending on the scene content -3 or -1)
Colour 0 (don’t be fooled it looks vivid on the LCD)
Exposure -2 (the camera tends to overexpose too much)
WB Adjust 0 (I always do manual white balance)

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