Monitor Problems

Tips for proper viewing

Q We all know that when we attach a monitor to a DSLR, the screen on the camera goes black and the image is shown on the monitor. But what if I want the director/producer to see the footage without having to follow the DP around? Is there a way to attach a second monitor and maybe even make it wireless? I’ve been looking around for setups, but... Read more

Over/Under

Does HDR help take the art away from cinematography?

One of the most difficult tasks for a director of photography is controlling the contrast range between highlights and shadows. This technique usually separates the good cinematographers from the bad, and oftentimes differentiates the look of film versus video since one of the biggest giveaways for video is blown-out highlights. So far this year, the... Read more

Tanks For The Memories

A film production newbie learns some valuable lessons

For years, I dreamed of being in films, so after the Army, I came into contact with a local FX and stunt coordinator. It wasn’t long before my phone rang with my first job offer. There I was, standing on my first set complete with pyrotechnics, WWII tanks and people barking orders in what might as well have been Latin. My job was easy: I’d... Read more

LUTs, Looks And Scene Files

What’s the difference?

At a recent AbelCine seminar introducing the new ALEXA Studio camera, I gave a presentation on ARRI’s Look Files and their online LUT generator. Afterwards, several people asked me to describe the difference between a Look File and a LUT. I explained that ARRI’s Look Files were more like Scene Files. It seemed like an easy answer, but it... Read more

iRecord

Recording sound with iOS devices, plus lavalier mic options

iPHONE/iPOD TOUCH/iPAD SOLUTIONS Q Is it possible to record professional-level audio with my iPhone? William F. Via email A I hate to answer a question with a question, but the big one that comes to mind is, "Why?" If you’re asking just to see if it’s possible to do, the answer is yes, it’s possible to record fairly decent-quality... Read more

New Categories

The RED Scarlet-X vs. the Canon EOS C300

When the RED ONE was released back in 2007 at a price point of $17,500 (body only), it created a whole new market for the production industry. This new market consisted of filmmakers or cinematographers who might not be shooting at the studio level yet, but by owning their own camera package, it gave them an advantage in competing for jobs. RED immediately... Read more

Optimal Viewing

The Super 35 image sensor

TIMING Q It seems like there have been a lot of cameras introduced in the last year or so, and while it seems like they’re different than previous years, I really wonder. I’ve wanted to stop renting and buy, but I’m a bit nervous of my timing—2K, 4K, 8K—when will it stop or at least slow down enough so I can hop on this merry-go-round?... Read more

Hiding In Plain Sight

How an orange cone almost derailed my career

I was the B-camera/Steadicam operator on a big action movie in the mid-’90s. We were filming a shootout in the desert, and I had been assigned a telephoto shot over the shoulder of a baddie firing a machine gun at a car rigged with 250 bullet hits. The thick bundle of wires from the hits ran in front of my camera, so set dressers buried the cables... Read more

Did I Judder

24p stuttering explained

As part of my responsibilities at AbelCine, I handle a number of technical support questions from our professional clients in the field. Recently, I had two different clients inquire about a "judder" they witnessed in their new cameras. They described a stuttering effect from frame to frame that was visible when shooting 24p. Both believed... Read more

Lost In The Supermarket

Recording sound in a crowded supermarket and other issues

RECORDING SOUND IN A CROWDED SUPERMARKET Q I’m doing sound on a series of walk-and-talk commercials with a spokesperson that will shoot in a real working supermarket—yes, I know, buzzing refrigerator cases, buzzing fluorescent lights and lots of stuff that we don’t want to hear. We get to block off a portion of the store to shoot, but... Read more

Getting In Sync

Singular Software PluralEyes 2.0 for Final Cut Pro

Q I’ve just purchased a new Canon EOS 7D for a film project that I wrote. We’re hoping to submit the film to some local film festivals. The audio on the Canon isn’t good, so we’ve been using a Zoom H4n audio recorder to record sound. The big slowdown for me is when I try to sync the H4n audio with the Canon EOS 7D audio. I’m... Read more

I See Dead Pixels

Dealing with a dead pixel on your sensor

As part of my responsibilities at AbelCine, I handle a number of technical-support questions from our professional clients in the field. One such inquiry I recently received was in regards to a "dead pixel" on a CMOS camera sensor. A client of ours had recently purchased a Sony PMW-F3 camera from us, and he was troubled to find a bright... Read more
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