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


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

Not Having A G’Day

Figuring out a stutter effect, and the segmented frame

Q Hi, guys—e-greetings from Down Under! Hey, I’ve had an ongoing issue with my magnificent Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The majority of my work is in model and corporate photography, now that I’m a semiretired television broadcast cameraman. However, I do use the 5D Mark II from time to time to shoot TVCs and corporate video for the Australian... Read more

Testing, 1-2-3

A calibrated test chart can make all the difference

Sometimes changes in technology lead to new concepts or even newer technologies, and other times new technology brings up the need to reexamine technology that has been around for a while. One piece of technology that was once old and is now new again is the test chart. While many think “digital” takes care of everything, there are many... Read more

One Giant Megaphone

A grain silo amplifies screams of bloody murder

A long, exhausting day of shooting was nearing the end. The crew had endured the hot sun and dusty, smelly barnyard conditions all day. We just needed the night to complete the last few scenes on Lee Martin’s The Midnight Hour, a local Michigan indie series that I was the DP on. For this particular episode, I was filling in for the sound/boom... Read more