Focus From Afar

For camera assistants, new tools to pull focus wirelessly

Talk to different shooters, and you’re likely to get a variety of different views on the necessity of a follow-focus system. If you’re a run-and-gun shooter, you may feel these devices are unnecessary. This goes double for ENG shooters who tend to keep it simple and pull focus with their hand on the barrel of the lens. Although you can operate... Read more

At A glance: Pregrading

Irudis Tonalizer|VFX gets your footage into shape

Once the shooting stops, it’s time to create your look. For many, the color-grading process is a plug-in to an editing application with an assortment of preset looks. The process also can be a full-blown color-grading application. Whatever your color-grading process, it just became more difficult if there are any problems with your original footage. ... Read more

At A glance: The Variable ND Filter

A good solution for motion capture?

Capturing cinematic shallow depth of field is the main benefit in shooting with large CMOS sensors found on DSLRs and the latest crop of large-sensor camcorders. But with this advantage, you also have a steep learning curve in knowing how to achieve a cinematic look with a large-sensor camera. As many of you know, to maintain a cinematic look shooting... Read more

At A glance: Cross Over

The Manfrotto 502 Video Head

As we all know, rock-steady shots, as well as smooth pans and tilts, can easily separate your work from the non-pros. In the October 2010 issue of HDVideoPro, we reviewed the Manfrotto 504HD fluid head, which was Manfrotto’s first video head to use their patented Bridging Technology. With lightweight and compact large-sensor camcorders hitting... Read more

Splish Splash

Air Sea Land Productions’ T-Bag helps keep Boardwalk Empire and The Big C dry

The 2010 fall season saw two new preeminent Emmy®-nominated cable series open with titles that featured under-water cinematography. Both programs, Showtime’s The Big C and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, utilized shots that were captured with RED ONE cameras, protected in splashbags conceived in New York City by Air Sea Land (ASL) Productions,... Read more

Sound To Vision

Audio giants THX and Dolby get into the professional monitor business

It’s often surprising, with the best will and intention, how trusting we can become. Through experience, we take it for granted that the color balance, brightness and contrast levels we see on LCD screens fitted to our digital cameras only vaguely match the scenes being imaged. But it can be critically important to determine during a live shoot and... Read more

The O-Series

Known for its fluid heads, OConnor releases innovative DSLR and compact digital camcorder accessories for the professional shooter

The OConnor name connotes quality gear, albeit high-end and high-cost, normally supporting large, heavy camera systems where innovation is paramount and cost is relative, thus justified. Drawing on this pedigree, OConnor is a welcome player in the exploding competitive DSLR and midsized digital cinema camera accessory playing field—but do the form... Read more

At A Glance: Petrol Cambio

A new convertible equipment bag/camera support system

Have you ever dreamed of lighter travel and a quicker setup? In an industry first, the new airline carry-on-approved Petrol Cambio offers a unique solution, combining a solid camera/equipment bag and capable tripod. Travel with the essentials securely tucked away in the overhead luggage compartment and avoid baggage claim delays. Imagine this: Arrive... Read more

Data Rules

As more and more productions go tapeless, have storage drives become the new medium?

Storage drives may not be the most exciting, sexy elements in the creative process, but they’re quickly becoming more and more crucial as the end of videotape draws ever so closer with productions essentially now capturing data. “Storage is the medium now,” says Rob Kobrin, Chief Technology Officer at Integrated Media Technologies,... Read more

Tools For Everyone

HD-DSLR accessories that will elevate your production without breaking your budget

Using a traditional still camera for video capture is revolutionary not only because it’s unconventional, but also because the relative low cost of shooting with HD DSLRs allows anyone with a little money to shoot stunning footage. Of course, you can spend a small fortune on expensive gadgets that may or may not elevate your production value;... Read more

At A Glance: Matrox MXO2 Mini

Cost-effective HD monitoring and more

On average, professional HD studio monitors used in postproduction can run anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 on the low end to nearly $20,000 on the high end. With the popularity of laptop editing, which gives filmmakers the opportunity to edit their projects in any environment, Matrox has released a great new product, the MXO2 Mini, which not only can... Read more

At A Glance: The Zacuto Z-Finder

Finding your focus

Let’s face it, you pretty much have to be a Zen master in focus-pulling to shoot high-def video with an HD DSLR camera. While shooting wide-open on a moving subject, it’s near impossible to maintain sharp focus, especially for daylight exterior shots. The biggest factor is the camera’s monster-sized sensor that gives a shooter razor-thin shallow... Read more