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Norway - A Winter Wonderland: Canon 60D, Hero 4 Black and DJI Phantom 2!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
February 5, 2015, at 2:49 AM

Shooting with drones can be a real challenge, but you can record some amazing footage so no wonder these devices are getting more and more popular. Sebastian Solberg posted a very nice video that he did in Norway, where he flew during the Christmas brake. And on his blog he reports, that when he wasn't eating good food or enjoying the warm comforts of the fire, he was outside with his camera filming and capturing what Norway means to him. It was also an opportunity for him to test his new drone, the DJI Phantom 2. Watch the video below to admire all the great shots - it was all captured using a Canon 60D with the Glidecam HD 2000 and a GoPro Hero 4 Black with the DJI Phantom 2:
 

 

Source: http://sebastiansolberg.com

Nikon D750 flare flaw - lesson learned from the case of D600?
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
January 21, 2015, at 8:34 AM

Keeping in mind how poorly the case of flawed sensor sealing in D600 was handled by Nikon, we can considering the case of their D750 a big improvement. Once again, Nikon released a number of flawed cameras, and very quickly photographers began to report the occurrence of a nasty flare in their photos.

Here’s an example from imaging-resource.com:

You can read more about the flaw hereQuickly enough, Nikon released an official statement:

We have received indications from some users that when photographing scenes in which a bright light source, such as the sun or high-intensity lighting, is at a certain position along the top border of the frame, flare with an unnatural shape may sometimes occur in images captured with the D750 digital SLR camera.

We are currently looking into measures to address this issue. Further details will be announced as soon as they are determined.

There was no mention about what the ‘measures’ are going to be, and Nikon remained silent for some time. During that time several articles in industry news pages began to suggest that a silent recall is taking place. Here’s a piece from petapixel.com:

The camera is currently disappearing from stores, both online ones and brick-and-mortar ones, suggesting that some kind of recall or delay has been implemented while Nikon fixes the defect.
(…)
We have also been hearing reports from photographers in Japan that major camera stores in Tokyo no longer carry the D750 on their shelves. It appears to be “a factory recall” and the stores are saying the camera will be back in stock in about a month.

Only after that, another statement has been published by Nikon confirming what has been suspected:

Nikon is working with retailers to replenish stock with cameras to which measures to address this issue have been applied. In late January, Nikon will announce details to service cameras from users, free of charge.

Even though the case has been handled so much better than the one of D600, the company’s actions still call for more transparency in communicating. The D750 is still mostly unavailable at the time of writing this.

Source: http://petapixel.comhttp://www.imaging-resource.com

4K movies on your TV: Blu-Ray & download services under development
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
January 14, 2015, at 9:23 AM

As said many times before, one of the main issues in the way of 4K development is the delivery process. At this year’s CES all major electronics manufacturers have put 4K TVs and cameras on the pedestal, but the opportunities to actually watch 4K content are still scarce. The only ones that are currently readily available for customers are online streams services, such as Netflix. Those who’d rather a more physical data carrier will have to wait a little bit more.

As reported by engadget.com, Panasonic has shown an Ultra HD Blu-Ray player at their CES booth. However, there’s an issue with data carriers:

It's expected that Ultra HD Blu-ray will upgrade the format to handle 33GB layers (up from the 25GB per layer of current discs) and discs that hold as much 100GB of data. You'll need a new player to read the new discs, but the new players will be backwards compatible with existing Blu-ray movies.

The article mentions that it may be possible to fit UHD movies on regular Blu-Ray discs with h.265 encoding. With a proper disc, Panasonic’s player should be able to play 60 fps, 10 bit, HDR/Dolby Vision with wider color gamut, but again, the specs aren’t final – we read.

An alternative to online streaming and Blu-Rays is a download service, such as has been announced by Samsung (photo above). Such a service should give quite a lot of freedom as to how the viewers can move their downloads:

There's an ability to copy, move or share the stored files, and users can access various profiles for different devices like TVs, phones or tablets. In a mocked-up player, users had the option to make a licensed copy, registered to them and playable on any device, or an unlicensed copy. That copy of the movie can be shared, but if someone else wanted to play it, they'd need to buy it from a store in order to unlock it for viewing.

It’s hard to predict, which option will prevail. You can view the entire article at engadget.com here.

Source: http://www.engadget.com

Kickstarter news: wireless GoPro charging!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
December 19, 2014, at 3:44 PM

It doesn’t happen all that often that you’re able to say a particular Kickstarter campaign is almost 100% going to be successful, before it hits the goal. It appears that this little innovation will do just that. At the moment of writing this MOTA wireless charger for GoPro has got over $10 000 out of $15 000 goal, and plenty of time to go.

The name is self-explanatory – the MOTA charger has been designed and optimized for GoPro 3 and 4 and the set allows you to charge these cameras wirelessly without the need to swap the batteries – the camera can remain in its housing. Without further ado – the video posted in the product’s Kickstarter campaign page explains it all:

More info from the campaign page:

The patent-pending wireless receiver is the technology that makes the MOTA Wireless Charger compatible with Hero 3 and Hero 4 batteries. The receiver is engineered to enable wireless charging for your existing batteries. Before placing your camera in its casing, replace the GoPro’s USB port cover with the MOTA wireless receiver and align the bottom flap along the device’s base. After doing so, enclose your GoPro in its casing and simply insert it into the MOTA charging station.

If (of when, should we say) the campaign is successful, the product should be available at the turn of first and second quarter of 2015. Find out more about the product, and support if you wish, at the official Kickstarter campaign page here.

Source: https://www.kickstarter.com

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K used to shoot Hilary Duff’s music video!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
December 12, 2014, at 12:05 AM

The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K offers great specs for an affordable price, but to be fair it is indeed a very capable camera. This is why it is being used in many professional projects around the world and here's a new example - the Production Camera 4K and the Cinema Camera were used to shoot Hilary Duff’s “All About You” music video. You can watch it below and it should give you an idea on what to expect from this hardware and what can be done in the process of editing, grading, etc., especially with 4K footage - the results can be superb. The video was shot by Nightjar, a company led by Felix and Julian Mack who also shared some insights on making of this material and they revealed that they had only seven days to bring the video from concept to completion and to shoot, edit, animate and post produce it.
 

 

“We wanted the video to be about the audience and Hilary. We are minimalists, and we approached this project in that style. We wanted it to feel intimate, small and personal,” explained Julian. “We shot from two angles at once with the Production Camera 4K as the A cam and the Cinema Camera as the B cam".

“We had no sets or backgrounds, so it was all in the lighting. The cameras’ dynamic range, detail and color reproduction had to be as good as possible,” he continued. “Whether it was hair in front of a green screen or strong gradients on a face, we just needed to capture as much detail as possible, and the cameras keyed well and delivered.”

They didn't want to make any camera moves or framing in advance and their idea was to shoot the entire duration of the song from two angles. The video was shot in ProRes and 4K gave them additional possibilities - they were able to reframe the footage and create extra movement and effects by cropping the 4K in post and this is also a big advantage of 4K (if your target is FHD).

Source: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com

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