The Sounds Of Chaos

Overcoming location audio challenges on the frontlines of production

It’s no secret that location sound is challenging. While the other departments have their own unique obstacles to overcome, it seems that the production sound team is often tasked with capturing clear, dynamic and legible sound in noisy, chaotic situations that seem to make that assignment nearly impossible to complete. Speaking with location sound... Read more

Blackmagic Goes Minimalist

The diminutive Micro Studio Camera 4K houses innovative built-in features that make it especially appealing to live productions

Designed as an affordable multiple-setup camera that also offers large-sensor, cinematic capture with live production capabilities, the Micro Studio Camera 4K (MSC4K) from Blackmagic Design is an extremely versatile tool given its size, housing myriad options for reality television, sporting events, live performances, comedy stand-up, educational... Read more

In The Driver’s Seat

With groundbreaking new cameras, ARRI looks to dominate all sectors of the high-end production industry

Along with Panavision, ARRI has been the gold standard in the production industry for decades, but the Munich-based company has had a much smoother transition to the digital age than their American rival. ARRI released the Arriflex D-20/21 in 2005, and although it wasn’t an immediate success, cinematographers appreciated that ARRI listened to... Read more

Virtual Reality Cinema: A New Medium Emerges

VR has arrived, and with it, a new type of filmmaker capable of engaging viewers more deeply with content than ever before

Virtual Reality (VR), the next great frontier for film and entertainment, is no longer in a phase of incubation, but rather in its last throes of anonymity. For those unfamiliar with this technology, VR involves wearing a headset that covers your entire field of vision with a screen to envelop the user with dynamic imagery and sound. You may recall... Read more

December 2015

Featuring a Micro Four Thirds sensor with an integrated 13x Leica Dicomar zoom lens, Panasonic has announced the affordable and highly anticipated AG-DVX200PJ.

HEAVY ROTATION With an 8.4-megapixel Super 35-sized CMOS sensor and a Sony E-mount for use with an extensive lineup of compact and interchangeable Sony and Zeiss lenses, the Sony PXW-FS5 XDCAM offers UHD at 24/30 fps, as well as HD at up to 240 fps. The form factor makes it an ideal choice for handholding, while internals provide cinematic features... Read more

At A Glance: RØDE Stereo VideoMic X

Setting the standard for single-system audio

Although you can capture high-quality images, DSLRs and compact mirrorless cameras were never designed to capture high-quality sound. Their built-in microphones are pretty useless except for capturing scratch audio for dual-system sound. Also, the cameras lack XLR inputs for use with professional mics and their preamps are pretty rudimentary. Since... Read more

Wireless Lens Control, ARRI Style

With three-axis lens control and a lens data display, the WCU-4 is an impressive remote system in an ergonomic housing

Designed to work seamlessly with the ARRI ALEXA line of cameras—the Plus, Plus 4:3, XT/SXT Plus, Studio, XT/SXT Studio, 65 and Mini—ARRI’s Wireless Compact Unit WCU-4 is a lightweight, handheld, remote-control system for lenses. No motor controller or extra power is required to use the WCU-4, as each camera possesses its own onboard wireless... Read more

Light It Up

A decade ago, no one was talking about the problems of lighting for digital because traditional Tungsten and HMI lights were dominating the market.

A decade ago, no one was talking about the problems of lighting for digital because traditional Tungsten and HMI lights were dominating the market. What a difference a few years can make. Although Tungsten and HMIs are still popular with cinematographers, a new generation of LEDs has flooded the marketplace, as well as sets. Lighting equipment has quickly... Read more

At A Glance: Headphone:X

New Headphone:X technology from DTS, Inc., delivers high-quality surround sound to almost any set of headphones

For content creators and producers, the ability to bring theatrical-quality sound to almost any platform—especially mobile content through headphones—opens up new potential markets for high-quality soundtracks in any playback medium. DTS, Inc., based in Southern California, recently invited me to experience a new technology called Headphone:X. The... Read more

Hawk V-Lite Vintage ’74 Anamorphics

This lens system from Vantage offers contrast, flare and other old-school “flaws” reminiscent of 1970s cinema built with state-of-the-art Hawk mechanics

Digital sensors continue to improve in quality of image capture, allowing filmmakers to push their creativity and experiment with a variety of specific looks. Yet, as lens manufacturers continue to reach new heights in lens quality, cinematographers are often found degrading new lenses, applying techniques and know-how to "take the edge... Read more