U.S. Copyright Office Studying the Copyright Struggles of Photographers

by JamesNYCApril 28. 2015 22:26

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a call for comments from photographers and visual artists about how their works are “monetized, enforced and registered” and about “obstacles” artists face protecting their copyrights “when navigating the digital landscape.” The U.S. Copyright Office announced the research initiative April 24 in the Federal Register. The written comments are due by July 23.

What action, if any, the U.S. Copyright Office takes as a result of its research remains to be seen. “We just want to get an overview of the landscape,” says spokesperson Catie Rowland. “We’re just researching it, to see where it leads. There are a lot of concerns. We want to see if we can address them.”

Visual artists have been sharing their concerns and frustrations with the Copyright Office for years over registration burdens and the challenges of protecting their copyrights in the face of widespread online infringement. Rowland acknowledged that the issues the U.S. Copyright Office is seeking comment on “have been brought up for a long time.”

READ MORE HERE

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The Changing Face of Avid: Audio is king and Media Composer is free

by JamesNYCApril 28. 2015 11:59

 

RedShark News' David Shapton reports from Avid's press conference this weekend which heralded several important announcements and updates.
He writes, "The Avid press conference on Saturday morning was a fascinating confirmation that we live in a time of extreme technological change and that Avid is now an IT company - and it makes more audio than video hardware. It also announced first thing on Monday morning that it's spending around $60m buying realtime graphics company Orad...Essentially, with the exception of its hardware, Avid's products are becoming services, available from the internet."

Read the full story here.

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Sony introduces two updated zoom lenses for its A-mount camera systems

by JamesNYCApril 23. 2015 14:29

Today, Sony lifted the veil on two new Zeiss zoom lenses to add to its lineup of A-mount glass. The two new lenses are the standard zoom 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and the wide-angle zoom 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II.

Both the 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II rely on the same optical formula as their predecessors. However, as similar as they are in build, a number of improvements have been made across the board, making them more than worthy enough of their ‘Mark II’ nomenclature.

The first difference is an improved subject tracking function, which is said to be 4x better than their predecessors thanks to changes made to the quiet, SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) autofocus drives and associated electronics used inside the two lenses.

New coatings have also been applied to the Zeiss optics, which are said to further reduce ghosting and flaring in images.

Lastly, both lenses are now dust and moisture resistant, which should give you a little more piece of mind when taking your gear out in more challenging environments.

The two new models are designed to be used with Sony’s A-mount cameras, including their popular α99 and α77 II models. However, they can also be used with any E-mount Sony cameras with Sony’s LA-EA4 Adaptor.

The new 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II standard zoom and 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II wide-angle zoom lenses will be available June 15th for $2100 and $2250, respectively. You can pre-order yours now at B&H through the above links.

 

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ZEISS launch Batis 25mm f2.0 and 85mm f1.8 full-frame autofocus E-mount lenses

by JamesNYCApril 22. 2015 14:35

Zeiss has announced a duo of lenses designed specifically for use with Sony’s Alpha range of mirrorless full-frame system cameras (a7, a7R, a7S and a7 II). The Batis 25mm f2 and 85mm f1.8 lenses have Sony’s E-mount and will also work on video cameras like the FS7 or FS700. The two new lenses are available to order now and will ship in July 2015. The recommended retail prices are $1299 US for the ZEISS Batis 25mm f2 and $1199 US for the ZEISS Batis 85mm f1.8.

In a break with tradition, Zeiss has decided to equip the Batis lenses with a OLED display instead of a conventional focus scale. The little screen is illuminated, enabling users to see it even in low light conditions, and shows the distance to the subject as well as depth of field.

Both Batis lenses are constructed to high Zeiss standards and feature dust and weather seals. According to Zeiss the new AF drive system is fast and quiet, with linear motors allowing for rapid AF shooting in a variety of situations. If you don’t want to use the AF function a rubberized focus ring supports manual focusing, although it appears that this is of the fly-by-wire type.

 

This from Zeiss:
ZEISS Batis 2/25:
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 wide-angle lens has ten lens elements in eight groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and five are made from special types of glass. The aspheric lens design ensures consistently high image quality over the whole image field and a sharpness that extends right to the edges of the frame. The moderate 82 degree image angle combined with a minimum focusing distance of 0.2 meters makes this wide-angle lens the perfect choice for architecture and landscape photography and many other applications besides. It encourages the user to make creative use of depth of field which can often yield surprising results, particularly in close-up photography.

ZEISS Batis 1.8/85:
The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a moderate tele lens which offers 11 lens elements in eight groups and features the ZEISS Sonnar optical design. The lens elements are made from special types of glass and designed to ensure superior image quality. The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a particularly good choice for wedding photography and portrait shots, offering the high speed which provides plenty of creative scope to bring out the main subject. Thanks to its optical image stabilization, the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 can capture outstanding images even under difficult, shifting light conditions.

“The Batis family of lenses is the first time we have launched autofocus lenses for Sony’s full- frame E-mount cameras which are ZEISS through and through – in other words exclusively developed and distributed by us,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Product Manager at ZEISS Camera Lenses. The Sony alpha full-frame E-mount system, which currently consists of the α7 family of cameras, is one of the most innovative camera systems on the market and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for professionals and people considering switching from DSLRs. “The ZEISS Batis lenses are our way of acknowledging this trend and providing creative and ambitious photographers with the expert tools they need,” says Pollmann. The lenses are easy to use yet offer professional performance, so they are a sound investment for amateur photographers, too: “Camera sensors are constantly evolving, and so are photographers. Our Batis lenses are the perfect answer to these changing trends and herald a new era of professional photographers using mirrorless full-frame cameras,” says Pollmann.

The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lenses offer an initial choice of two focal lengths which have proved to be the most popular among users of the system: a moderate wide-angle focal length and a tele portrait focal length. The lenses make optimal use of the camera sensors, capturing every last detail with impressive contrast and high resolution. As well as offering fast and reliable autofocus, the lenses also support manual focusing, allowing users to choose the best option for each individual situation. The sleek, modern design – with smooth surfaces reminiscent of the high-end ZEISS Otus lenses – emphasizes the superior quality of this new lens family and gives the Batis lenses an unmistakable look and feel.

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Broncolor FT-System Continuous Lights With New Parabolic Reflectors

by JamesNYCApril 21. 2015 12:57

Hot lights have become common place in the studio for some time now, especially with the advent of video DSLRs.

And While BRIESE Lighting has been the dominant player in the CONVERTIBLE LIGHTING sector for the last 18 years; it' appears that Broncolor is finally taking a cue from them and following suite with ere latest offering.

The newest Broncolor light is made to fit into one of Broncolor's new parabolic reflectors which are known for being pretty great, yet expensive. Although the prices have yet to be released it's far to say that these are for a select clientele and the new FT-System is fit for both pro photographers and videographers alike - giving a good deal of bang for your buck.

One of the biggest benefits of the new system is that the light is completely flicker-free, according to Broncolor. This is amazing news for blink-of-an-eye paced shooting as well as cinematography. There are two models for the new product, the 1600 and the 2000. The 1600 is a 1600 watt daylight balanced light, while the 2000 is the 2000 watt tungsten balanced light. Each head attached to an electronic ballast and has a lamp head and focusing device. 

The complete Broncolor FT System is set to start shipping September 2015

FULL PRODUCT SPEC HERE

 

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Adobe rolls out Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 with HDR and panorama tools

by JamesNYCApril 21. 2015 12:37

Adobe has announced new standalone and Creative Cloud versions of its image management and Raw conversion software, Lightroom. The latest versions gain simple HDR and Panorama merging tools that create DNG files from the merged results (16-bit floating point DNGs in the case of the HDR mode). Also added is the ability to paint-out regions of gradient filters, to allow more flexible overlays. Face Recognition tools have also been added, to simplify the tagging and retrieval of images.

The CC version of the software is also designed to tie-in with the iOS and Android versions of Lightroom, by allowing for collections you choose to be synced and available across multiple devices, as well as on a web platform. The CC version also works with Voice and Slate: two new programs for creating image-based animations and presentations.

Read more here

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GoPro HEROCast – New GoPro Streaming Solution for Live Broadcasting – NAB 2015

by JamesNYCApril 17. 2015 14:41

The new GoPro HEROCast makes GoPro streaming of live events a reality. It’s built for professional live broadcasting of GoPro HD footage and works with any receivers.GoPro HEROCast has just become the smallest and lightest professional live-broadcast transmitter on the market. The add-on accessory connects to any GoPro HERO 4 or previous generation.

gopro-herocast-1

For those in the live event business this is important news as it opens up new possibilities, new perspectives when covering an event. So far GoPro style shots were mostly limited to a non-live workflow.

HEROCast was developed together with Vislink who already offer a solid broadcast receiver ecosystem. It will also work with third party receivers and is said to offer a low-latency transmission with minimal to no signal interruptions.

The new GoPro streaming solution can be powered off a GoPro battery for minimum weight or through an external power source.

HEROCast    $7,500 MSRP

  •       Optimized for body mounting and engaging POV shots
  •       Separate units for versatile mounting and easy accessibility
  •       Easily attached to GoPro mounts including Chesty and more
  •       Connects via [supplied] HDMI cable

HEROCast BacPac    $7,500 MSRP

  •       All-in-one solution for immersive live-action footage
  •       Camera, transmitter, housing, and BacPac in one convenient unit
  •       Mounts to walls, cars, and other larger surfaces
  •       *Water resistant to IP67 specification

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Avid Announces Free Version of Media Composer

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 22:47

Avid recently announced a free version of it’s popular video editing software. Media Composer | First is coming sometime in 2015, but has released some information on what to expect.

Media Composer | First will be a trimmed down option of the full version of Media Composer. The concept is to make video editing more accessible to those just learning or who do not have the funds for purchasing a full NLE.

Just how limited will it be? Well, one thing to note is that there will be a limited number of projects available, projects will be stored in the cloud, and there will be limited cloud storage space. Additional project and storage space will be available as an extra purchase. Avid does have a FAQ up on their website, and had this to say about limitations of the software:

READ MOE HERE

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Canon Responds to Format Trends

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 12:59

 

Larry Thorpe of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Professional Engineering & Solutions Division has been listening to the company’s camera and lens customers.

“I see three major format sizes dictating most of what is being done with lenses and cameras today: the large-format, Super35, there’s no question that’s very hot. And good old 2/3-inch is rock solid in applications like sports and still a lot of broadcast studios, and some ENG and EFP. And then down in the small format, the 1/3-inch and variants on that, we see it still briskly growing, especially in broadcast news.”

Canon is a player in lenses for all three of the camera types he mentioned, but only makes digital video cameras in the large-format and 1/3-inch sensor arenas.

Canon recently introduced three new DSLRs: the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R, which pushed open a new era of still camera resolution with 50 megapixel sensors, and the EOS 7D Mark II, with a host of still photography tools such as the ability to shoot 20-megapixel still photos at 10 frames per second.

“Of course that does not have much bearing on the video capabilities,” said Chuck Westfall, advisor, Canon U.S.A.’s Strategic Research & Development, Future Product & Solution Plan Division, “but we’re seeing that there’s a tremendous level of interest in these cameras as general purpose tools that can do more in terms of high resolution for stills, while maintaining full HD capability.”

 

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Red's latest 'Weapon' is an 8K full-frame camera

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 12:35

Red launched the first mainstream 4K camera when 1080p seemed like overkill, and now that this whole 4K thing might work out, it's got an 8K RAW model. The Weapon 'Vista Vision' features a mind-boggling 8,192 x 4,320, 35-megapixel sensor that can do up to 75 fps, widescreen 8K. The chip is also 40.96 x 21.6mm or Vista Vision-sized, considerably larger than the full-frame sensor on a camera like the Nikon D810. Video can be recorded in RAW and scaled-down ProRes formats simultaneously, just as with the company's 6K Weapon models.

So, how much does it cost to be on par with Peter Jackson and James Cameron? A helluva lot. If we're reading the (rather confusing) pricing correctly, you'll need to order the company's 6K Weapon Woven CF "brain," or bare camera for a cool $49,500, then add another $10,000 for the 8K sensor upgrade. That makes $59,500 by our counting, plus whatever your accessories, storage and lenses cost. The upgrade price is only good until the end of NAB on April 16th, after which time it'll be $20,000. If you already own a Red Scarlet or Epic camera, you can get credits in various amounts towards the Weapon models.

Other specs are still unknown, as is the exact shipping date. Red actually launched its 6K Weapon camera just a few months ago, and it's still not shipping. We're not sure who exactly needs 8K, since there aren't a lot of TVs out there in that format -- but it might look great blown up to IMAX size. Red said the sensor would arrive by the end of the year.;

8K VISTA VISION FORGED WEAPON from RED Digital Cinema on Vimeo.

 

See more video - RED at NAB 2015

 

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