VAL: Out! Drone Lighting: In! Drones Used As Lighting Stands

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A team of researchers from MIT and Cornell are expected to present a protype of a drone they have been developing specifically designed to ease the task of ‘holding lights’ this August. To be clear, drones have already been used by numerous photographers and filmmakers as a way to light scenes, but this particular drone has a couple interesting abilities that help set it apart from the crowd. The most incredible being it’s ability to detect motion of the camera and subject before automatically correcting it’s own position to provide consistent lighting.
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Can’t Afford High End Glass? Use Those Bokeh’ed Backdrops

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Here is an interesting product for those who want to get that magnificent Bokeh right in the studio using cheap glass. Lastolite just came up with a new series of Out Of Focus Backgrounds. This is a pretty interesting idea that “enable photographers to create the out of focus look instantly, whether in the studio or a client’s home“.

Let me explains, one of the traditional ways to separate subject from background, is to set the camera on a wide aperture (say, f/2.8 or f/1.4) and focus on a close subject while letting the farther-away background to blur and create what some call ‘A creamy bokeh’ (Bokeh is that out of focus area in the photo).

Lastolite created two sets of background that are already out of focus. One set has Summer Foliage on one side and City Lights on the other. The other set has Autumn Foliage and Seascape.

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Rolling Shutter: Sony A7s Compare to Other Major Players; Meh…

One of the things that cinematographers care about when selecting a camera for shooting is how significant is the rolling shutter effect.

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Rolling Shutter is a ‘side effect where vertical lines in the real universe appear as diagonal lines ‘on film’. For example it smears buildings when shot out of a moving car or create  a jello effect when the shooting camera is unstable, we explained this in length in this post.

The good guys at Cinema5D took the crown challenger – Sony A7S with its remarkable low light performance and put it to the test against some of the other leading video cameras in the market: Arri Amira, Panasonic GH4, (Canon C300), Canon 5D mark III and Canon 1D C. Sadly it did not do all that well.

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Gain Total GoPro Control By Accesing it Via Wi-Fi

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GoPro has some cool time lapse features, but they are somewhat restricted, especially the interval between shots parameter which is limited to 60 seconds. If the camera is close to a computer though, you can get total control over the camera by issuing simple HTTP requests.

Adrian Sitterle shares a complete list of HTTP GoPro commands as well as a simple script that uses them to take a timelapse with a 30 minutes interval.

Those commands control everything from waking the up the camera; through

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Epic Survival Test: Camera Straps vs. Tractor

If there ever was a golden era of camera straps, I’d say this era is now. The amount of innovation and thought invested in this simple device is certainly reaching new peaks. Since straps are so different in the sets of features they provide, we wanted to subject them all to a uniform test. And what better test than to hook them all up to a farm tractor and see which strap lasts longer.

We tested a range of 6 straps (in no particular order):

We asked the incredible team of Simon Pollock And Benjamin Von Wong to conduct this highly scientific test while the elite video team of Kaveret documented the process.

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Deal Alert: Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Under $500

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We don’t usually share deals. There are sites that do that far better. But this offer from Black Magic just can’t be ignored. Black Magic currently offers their Pocket Cinema Camera for $495 over at B&H. As it sold for about $1000 until 30 minutes ago this is not a bad deal at all.

This Pro-res capable, full HD, 13 dynamic stops is a steal for half a grand, especially if you already own any Micro Four Thirds Lenses to go with it. And while it does not pack all the features if its bigger 4K sister, it is still a great camera to be shooting movies with.

Usually, a steep drop like this means that a new model is coming soon (maybe a 4K version) and the company wants to clear shelves. Good for us.

Wonderful Movie Shows Video Capabilities of Nikon’s New D810

If you’ve been wondering what Nikon’s new camera, the D810,  provides the in the video realm, you are gonna drool over this film from Preston Kanak. The movie called Every Moment Counts was shot entirely on the D810. The film is (wonderfully) graded so it does not really show the movie ‘out of camera’ but it definitely shows what the camera is capable of, in some challenging conditions.  (Look for low light, contrasty scenes and fine details)

The movie, aside from displaying impressive Nikon stance is certainly a gem:

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Fotodiox Excell+1 And Metabones Speedboosters Compared; Lead Is Pretty Obvious

A few days ago we featured a new speedbooster adapter from Fotodiox, the Excell+1. The idea behind the booster is that is remaps the image crated by a full frame lens into a smaller sensor, thus both un-cropping the image and gaining a full stop of light.

Now, this is not the first speedbooster that has gone to the market, about one year ago Metabones introduced a similar series of speedboosters, but the pricing on the two products varies significantly. An Excell+1 would set you back about $160 where as a Meatabones adapter will cost between $490-$590.

Videographer Max Yuryev took the two adapters for a ride and the results seem pretty conclusive to me. You can watch the video above and make your mind alone.

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5 Reasons DSLR’s Are Obsolete In Today’s World By Martin Gillman

Mirrorless camera gear by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

OK, sure that’s a bold statement, and for me it just may be true. I believe that the mirrorless camera is and will continue push the DSLR as we know it aside. Its progress and its coming. If you do not agree you may just have to accept it, even the greats in Glass like Carl Zeiss are making lenses for the mirrorless systems, they see where photography is going too. So, let me tell you why I think so. [Read more...]