At $2,500, Canon’s New 4K Camcorder Is Actually a Bargain

by JamesNYCApril 10. 2015 12:43

Most of Canon’s camera designs are pretty straightforward. But the company has also thrown some interesting and super-weird models into the mix over the years: The tubular 35mm film Autoboy Jet, the submarine-themed PowerShot D10, and the buttonless and belt-buckle-sized PowerShot N among them. But 99 times out of 100, Canon’s design sense skews conservative.

 Not this time, and it’s nice to see that Canon can still bring the funk. The new Canon XC10 ($2,500) splits the difference between a camcorder and a camera, although Canon is billing it primarily as a camcorder. The company says the XC10 was built with roving journalists in mind. It captures 4K video and 12-megapixel stills with its mechanical shutter and 1-inch-type sensor—the same size sensor found in Sony’s RX100 cameras and AX100 4K camcorder. This time, that imager is baked into a body that looks like it should be comfortable to use when shooting both stills and video, and that’s a rarity.

 Sensor size isn’t the only trait this hybrid video-and-photo machine shares with Sony’s hardware. Its adjustable swiveling handgrip and unique body hearken back to retro jams such as the Sony Cybershot DSC-F828 and its predecessors. The XC10 is a little more advanced, though.

 At its highest resolution setting, it captures 3840×2160 video at 30 frames per second. It will also record 1080p clips at up to 60fps, and 720p clips at up to 120fps for those slow-motion sequences. For the Ultra HD video, the camera uses Canon’s proprietary XF-AVC codec, which is also used in its just-announced Cinema EOS C100 Mark II professional camera. Here’s the kicker: That codec supports a bitrate of up to an insane 305Mbps. That should mean absurd detail.

In order to handle all that data per second, the XC100 won’t work with your average SD card to capture 4K video. It uses a CompactFlash-sized CFast 2.0 card—a 64GB SanDisk card and reader is included with the camcorder—although you can use SDHC/SDXC cards for 1080p and 720p recording.

 

It’s a fixed-lens camcorder, making it sort of a step-down non-interchangeable companion to the CX100 series, and its optics range from 24mm wide angle to 240mm telephoto (10X) with a maximum aperture of F2.8 to F5.6 at the respective ends. Manual focus is adjustable via a control ring around the lens, and there’s a physical mode dial and control wheel on the grip for tweaking manual, shutter-, and aperture-priority controls. An adjustable 3-inch tilting touchscreen around the back lets you tap to focus and access deeper menu selections, and there’s a separately sold clip-on unit to turn that screen into an EVF.

One thing that’s missing for anyone thinking about picking this thing up as an independent-filmmaking tool: There are no XLR mic inputs. There are stereo mics built in, and a hot shoe on the top of the camera for other lower-end mics, but you’ll need a step-up Cinema EOS camera for XLR.

Compared to those higher-end EOS cameras, the $2,500 XC10 seems like a bargain. Just keep in mind that it has a much smaller sensor than a full-frame 4K-capable shooter such as the EOS-1D C. And compared to Sony’s similarly sensored 4K Handycam AX100, it’s a thousand dollars more. Just like it splits the difference between a still camera and a camcorder, the XC100 will also split the difference between a consumer camcorder and a professional-level model when it comes out in June.

 

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Using the New Film Tools in Magic Bullet Looks

by JamesNYCApril 9. 2015 13:08

Magic Bullet Suite 12 includes the all-new Magic Bullet Film, an easy-to-use effect that gives your footage the real look of motion picture film, thanks to hundreds of feet of 35mm film we shot, processed, scanned, and measured.

This film simulation is also included in Magic Bullet Looks, where we broke it into two separate Tools — one for simulating camera negative stocks, and one for print film stocks. You can use these together, or on their own, and optionally in combination with the other powerful Tools in Looks. Here's how.

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Canon XC10 4K Video Cam Under $2,400 Coming in June

by JamesNYCApril 8. 2015 12:46

On first blush the XC10 appears to be a mash-up of Canon corporate bits combined and modified in a novel way, yielding a product addressing the gap between Canon’s current lineup and its more innovative competitors in the video space.

Without cannibalizing existing sales.

A tough design brief, but they just may have pulled it off.

The XC10‘s non-interchangeable zoom lens (8.9mm– 89mm, f/2.8 – 5.6 is the full-frame equivalent of 27mm-270mm, f/5.6 – 16.8) will not give anyone shallow depth of field nor real low-light flexibility, even with a top ISO of 20,000. A 12-stop dynamic range is not going to wow anyone expecting a Sony competitor. The rear LCD flips up and down (very much like the Sonys) but not out. And the XC10 shoots UHD, not full 4K.

Read More Here

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Herring & Herring - Why create a print publication in a digital era?

by JamesNYCOctober 6. 2014 06:12

Herring&Herring: http://www.herringandherring.com & http://magazine.herringandherring.com

Herring&Herring are: Jesper Carlsen & Dimitri Scheblanov

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LEAF introduces a new 50-megapixel CMOS - Leaf Credo 50

by JamesNYCSeptember 8. 2014 10:24

The Leaf Credo 50, from Mamiya Leaf, is the latest medium-format shooter to feature a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor. As such, the new digital back follows in the footsteps of recently-released devices like the Phase One IQ250, Hasselblad H5D-50c and Pentax 645Z, by boasting a versatile wide ISO range, improved Live View, and faster continuous shooting than its predecessors.

The 50-megapixel medium-format (44 x 33 mm) CMOS sensor at the heart of the Credo 50 is manufactured by Sony, and is understood to be the same one used in a number of rival cameras. In this case it's paired with a new image processor, to offer faster read and write speeds, and help produce highly detailed images with classic Leaf colors, which tend to be more film-like than many other digital cameras.

With an ISO range of 100 to 6,400, the new digital back should be capable of delivering the photographic goods in a variety of lighting conditions. Its 14-bit RAW files also have an expanded dynamic range of 14 stops. Though it's certainly no sports shooter, the Credo 50 is capable of firing off 1.2 frames per second, and its exposures can range from 1/10,000th of a second to an hour.

While the Credo 50 digital back will be available in a number of mounts for use with different camera bodies, its makers would probably rather you use it with a Mamiya/Phase One 645 DF+. On its rear is a 3.2-inch touchscreen display with a 1.15-megapixel resolution. This can be used for improved Live View focus and framing, adjusting settings, as well as inspecting and editing shots.

As full-resolution RAW files can come in at around 50 MB, users might want to stock up on CompactFlash cards if shooting un-tethered. However, if studio-based tethered shooting is more your thing, you'll be pleased to know that the Credo 50 features FireWire 800 and USB 3.0 connectivity, and comes with Capture One software for image capture and editing. Unfortunately though, it lacks the built-in Wi-Fi of the Phase One IQ250.

The Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 digital back will be on show at Photokina 2014, and available later this month for US$27,000 or $31,000 as a system with a 645 DF+ body. There will also be a Wide-Spectrum back option for Near IR and UV imaging.

NEW SENSOR-NEW POSSIBILITIES

The new Leaf Credo 50 is the latest member to the very successful Credo line. It follows the course of delivering legendary image quality and by employing a new high-performance CMOS sensor, it brings high iso capabilities along with fast capture rate, high dynamic range and improved Live View performance.

HIGH RESOLUTION AND HIGH SPEED

The Leaf Credo uses high resolution SONY CMOS sensor with 50 Megapixel, measuring 44mm x 33mm. It can capture at 1.2 frames per second and provides an extended iso range of 100-6400 means more freedom in choosing locations, lighting conditions and capture parameters. For many photographers this means they no longer have to carry another camera for certain type of jobs.

UNCOMPROMISING IMAGE QUALITY

The Leaf Credo 50 delivers the stunning, film-like quality that has been Leaf’s trademark for many years. The new CMOS sensor delivers an unsurpassed 14 f-stops of dynamic range provides unmatched detail, richness of color, low noise and beautiful tonality.

HIGH QUALITY LIVE VIEW

The use of the new CMOS sensor allows for improved Live View image quality with faster refresh rate ald low noise at almost every lighting conditions.

LONG EXPOSURES

The New Leaf Credo 50 digital back can capture virtually noise free images with exposures of up to 1 hour long.

WIDE SPECTURM

The Leaf Credo 50 is available also in Wide-Spectrum version, where the standard IR-cut filter has been replaced with an optically corrected glass. This new back delivers amazingly clean detail in a wider wavelength range due to high NIR sensitivity, high iso capability and excellent long exposures performance. Read more about the WS backs.

CAPTURE ONE SOFTWARE

You are now able to leverage the unique features and workflow environment of Capture One workflow software to optimize and enhance your images, create web galleries and print contact sheets directly from the computer. Together, the Leaf Credo 50 and Capture One are essential tools in producing the results you expect The Leaf Credo 50 offers the best price-performance ratio of any high resolution, high iso single-shot capture device, enabling you to take your photography further by capturing the highest quality, single-shot images possible. The sensor provides the ability to record the finest detail, eliminating the need to use cumbersome multi-shot solutions.

TOTAL CONTROL FROM CAPTURE-TO-DELIVERY

The Leaf Credo 50 lets you shoot anywhere. Featuring a high resolution, touch 3.2” screen, enabling you t o view, inspect and edit your images under all kinds of challenging lighting conditions, both in-studio and outside, as well as offering a wide range of on-screen functions.

CAPTURE SPEEDS AS FAST AS 1.2 FRAMES PER SECOND

Providing the fastest image transfer speed through the use of advanced FireWire 800, USB 3.0 and UDMA CompactFlash technologies, the Leaf Credo 50 is built for speed.

 

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Samsung 850 Pro 3D NAND and RAM caching result in the fastest, most durable SSD money can buy

by JamesNYCSeptember 3. 2014 06:16

In the world of SSDs, the Samsung 850 Pro is a major achievement. Up until now, all of the advances in SSD technology have come from either shrinking the size of the memory cells through using smaller process nodes, or through packing more data into each cell. For years, that approach won us ever-falling prices and improved performance, but it came with a built-in timer — at each successively smaller process node, it became more and more difficult for manufacturers to ensure NAND would retain its speed and reliability for years.

The alternative to this approach is to adopt 3D NAND, also called V-NAND (Vertical NAND), and stand the entire die stack on its head. The 850 Pro is the first SSD to deploy this method. Samsung has worked on the technology for years. We’ve discussed 3D NAND multiple times before — the basic idea is that by standing the NAND stack on its head and working downwards, it’s possible to build a NAND structure that holds a great deal more data per square millimeter — or at least, that’s the eventual goal.

read more here

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How Codecs Work - Tutorial

by JamesNYCSeptember 2. 2014 09:32

If you work with video, it's vital to understand how codecs work and how they change your image. In this tutorial, I over all of the big concepts behind codecs, breaking it down into understandable pieces. While the nitty-gritty of compression algorithms can get complicated, all of the main ideas are quite simple.

Here's an overview of the topics covered:

- What a codec is - And how it differs from a container.
- Different types of codecs - And why I frequently use 4 different codecs on a single project.
- Bit Depth - What it means and why it matters.
- Chroma Subsampling - 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0, and when it becomes an issue.
- Spatial Compression and Blocking - One of the most common artefacts you see with normal work.
- Temporal Compression - Long-GOP codecs, inter-frame compression, and ALL-I codecs.
- Lossless vs. Lossy compression - How image compression differs from data compression.
- Bit Rate - How to calculate bit rates and the differences between kbps/kBps/Mbps/MBps.
- Raw - Briefly, the difference between Raw, compressed, and uncompressed video.

Take a look at the companion post on Philipbloom.net as well

How Codecs Work - Tutorial from David Kong on Vimeo.

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Crowdfunding Project - 13 Questions Around Jazz

by JamesNYCSeptember 1. 2014 06:26

13 Questions Around Jazz

A series of intimate and exclusive portraits of Jazz artists in New York City and vicinities

Hi! It's the one talking in the video! I'm responsible for this whole endeavour.

I'm very excited to be here, to present this project to you: A series of private images, and a special glimpse into the jazz world.

My subjects were gracious enough to invite me into their world. Now let me invite you in – to their homes, where they work, places which are part of what constitute the actual fabric of Jazz and keep it alive. Along with my images there are interviews with all the subjects: each is asked the same 13 questions about music and life in general. The book comes with a musical CD of compositions by some of the artists photographed. It's a great book, and it looks great! These are moment between moments, in the flow of the music that never stops, in the city that never sleeps. These special images and words I believe deserve an appropriate format: when closed it's the size of a vinyl record cover (about 12.5x11 inches / cm 32.5x27.5), with a hard cover and a dust jacket. When published, this book will be distributed in book stores, music clubs/restaurants and other public venues and will not only become a great vehicle of promotion, but will in turn allow me to give back to all the artists and subjects of my project for participating to it: I believe this book and CD will help to stimulate curiosity and attract interest toward Jazz AND toward its exponents, which is the real bottom line.

We must raise $22,000 to print a minimum of 500 copies (they don't do less), plus somewhere between $500 and 1,000 to print the music CDs and sleeve them, and a small amount to cover shipping costs, plus hopefully some extras: to pay a couple of friends who helped me and didn't ask any money upfront. Therefore I'm setting the goal to $25,000.

 Check out the crowd funding page and make a donation.

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Redrock Micro One Man Crew Parabolic Slider

by JamesNYCSeptember 1. 2014 05:58

 

Parabolics are not an entirely new form of slider – there are several currently on the market – but Redrock Micro’s is self-contained and that makes it attractive to one-person news, documentary or indie movie shooters. And me. Gone are the days of hoping for budgets big enough for crew or camera assistant. Now the need to DIY, alone, is paramount.

The Redrockmicro one man crew can only be used as a parabolic slider – there is no way to make a straight slide with it. A motor moves the camera in one direction along the track and when it reaches the end it reverses and goes back in the opposite direction. This action is repeated for as long as you want and the idea of the setup is that you can leave your second camera running unattended for the entire duration of an interview, giving you a beautiful slow-moving cutaway shot. Better still, because the subject is kept in the same distance from the camera, it will stay in focus.

Setting up is super quick. You take it out of the bag, screw the included tripod head on, plug it into mains electricity and you are practically ready to go. All that remains to be done is to use the built-in laser guides to line up your subject – moving it closer or further away until the red dots vertically align.

Redrockmicro One Man Crew Examples from Matthew Allard ACS on Vimeo.

read more here

 

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Seagate starts shipping world's first 8 TB hard drives

by JamesNYCAugust 27. 2014 07:38

For many, solid-state drives are the way to go because of the speed advantages they offer over traditional platter-based hard drives. However, HDDs still hold the advantage when it comes to cost per GB. It's with that in mind that Seagate has started shipping the world's first 3.5-in HDD with a whopping capacity of 8 TB.

Seagate is, at least for the time being, targeting its new drive at enterprise users, such as cloud-based data centers, and back-up disaster recovery storage. This makes sense, as for such users it's all about making the most of space and cramming 8 TB into a single drive increases the storage density such facilities can accommodate.

Seagate also claims the the new drive boasts the best Watts/GB for enterprise bulk data storage in the industry, resulting in lower power costs for users. It also incorporates a SATA 6Gb/s interface, making it easy to integrate into existing data centers.

Seagate is shipping the drives to "select customers" right now, and it's planning to offer the drives to the masses sometime next quarter (October – December 2014). Pricing details are yet to be announced.

Source: Seagate

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