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Author Topic: zacuto 2011 test #1  (Read 12303 times)
feppe
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« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2011, 04:49:28 PM »
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Not everything needs to be jerky or "mtv"  (wow that's a 1986 term)  but the ONLY reasons clients show product or service in any form of photography is for the believability.

It's an old term, but MTV pioneered (over) use of fast cuts and jerkiness, and little has changed since '86. It used to be called "gritty" in the 90s, not sure what the current term is.

As for the rest of your rant Tongue I'm sure we all agree that there's a place for both the realistic and for the surreal in both cinematography and commercial motion photography. I'm sure cost of big crews, cameras and lighting will push all motion mediums towards DSLR/AF-100/RED -type cameras in the medium/long term. And I'm also sure it will bring a new renaissance of feature film making, which we can already see with tiny tiny budgets but big stories.

And yes, I'm done with Christian Bale references for today Tongue
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2011, 04:59:02 PM »
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"Closet Photographer" ? Deakins who shoots for the Cohens is a still photographer trained by James Ravilous who is famous in my Locale for his B+W of local characters and life (http://www.beaford-arts.org.uk/index.php?id=153)

Interestingly Mr Ravilous work (now quite old) is not grabbing (or webbie?) but has space for the eye to wander the frame

-----

On the technical thing its that pleasant look from the 5d that makes shooting so spontanious because it doesnt need too much lighting - IMO - Im worried that this is not the case for the mid level vid cams AF100 and F3

S

« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 05:00:43 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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bcooter
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« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2011, 05:11:20 PM »
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It's an old term, but MTV pioneered (over) use of fast cuts and jerkiness, and little has changed since '86. It used to be called "gritty" in the 90s, not sure what the current term is.

As for the rest of your rant Tongue I'm sure we all agree that there's a place for both the realistic and for the surreal in both cinematography and commercial motion photography. I'm sure cost of big crews, cameras and lighting will push all motion mediums towards DSLR/AF-100/RED -type cameras in the medium/long term. And I'm also sure it will bring a new renaissance of feature film making, which we can already see with tiny tiny budgets but big stories.

And yes, I'm done with Christian Bale references for today Tongue



I wasn't making fun of your quote about mtv, I just hear it all the time, along with gritty, real, bohemian, etc. and when we get to work it's steady, smooth, manicured and slick.

Whew!

And I wasn't ranting, it's just like stills, what goes on in the creative meetings rarely comes out of the camera.

Anyway . . .

I was told that a large still camera company was called into the hollywood studios to ask about how to make their dslrs the standard for production.  I'm not kidding and even the camera company reps kind of left shaking their heads thinking "that'll never work", that is thought process running through the exec. offices.

Still, costs in everything are being held back . . . well not really, I guess what I should have said was costs of doing business better have a high profit return or nobody will bite.

I just bid out an effect for a video we're producing for a client. 

One group, with an older though much much much more expensive computer and software suite wanted $225,000 for the effect, one group using off the shelf software wanted $52,000.  Guess who got the gig?

Hollywood, regardless of what everyone thinks is hit hard.  When I work on the Sony lot, every sound stage, in 2001 (yes I'm dating myself) had 30 people standing around scratching their bums and eating at the craft service table.  Today if you look into a stage you'd think it's empty because everyone is around the set working.

It's a different world and when people, even TV or movie people talk, they always say "make sure it plays on the web.  Will this work in 2"?

IMO

BC
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bcooter
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« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2011, 05:19:46 PM »
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"Closet Photographer" ? Deakins who shoots for the Cohens is a still photographer
S



There is a place and a style for everything.  Thank God or it would be a boring world.

Anyway . . .

Roger Deakins is a great cinematographer and I'm NOT knocking him, but trained in stills?   That explains it.

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 06:22:59 PM by bcooter » Logged
fredjeang
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« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2011, 05:49:28 PM »
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I think that maybe the main difficulty when moving to motion is keeping the freshness. Let's face it, for most of us it is a new workflow, more complex, that involves many technical aspects that still doesn't have and there is an adaptation. Experienced photographers end to know how to keep the story, the emotion but with a new language, although similar we are not suddenly dancing ballet, it's a more difficult chalenge.

I'm convinced that still photographers will do very well in motion. I said that from the beginning of the convergence and I'm more convinced than ever.

When I first saw the Cooter movie of the race track I thought: Whao!  Because it looked deeply authentic, spontanious. Maybe it wasn't, maybe it was planified and heavy artillery set but it looks it wasn't and that's the point IMO.
This movie has guts, soul, tenderness, almost everything. Very cool grading and IMO pretty impressive result.
edit: Actually, I just realised writting this that the still picture of James I like most comes from the same session.  

Then, it's all about keeping this spirit, and it's not easy because we often tend to elaborate after awhile, it can be more a burden sometimes until another step is done and back to the essence.


 

« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 06:37:09 PM by fredjeang » Logged
feppe
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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2011, 07:38:48 PM »
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I'm convinced that still photographers will do very well in motion. I said that from the beginning of the convergence and I'm more convinced than ever.

I'm convinced that they do well in cinematography, but not at all convinced they will do well in story-telling. For that you need a script and a dedicated and competent crew. Too many still photographers think they can be a one-man production crew, from scriptwriting to DOP to producing. There are way too many short films which are shot beautifully but don't have a plot, let alone a story, and don't resonate on any emotional level outside of the aesthetic.

There are only a handful of great cinema directors who also write, shoot and produce. There are some who try, but fail. So it's not a failure of the still shooters. But it's something to keep in mind when moving to motion.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2011, 03:12:30 AM »
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I'm convinced that they do well in cinematography, but not at all convinced they will do well in story-telling. For that you need a script and a dedicated and competent crew. Too many still photographers think they can be a one-man production crew, from scriptwriting to DOP to producing. There are way too many short films which are shot beautifully but don't have a plot, let alone a story, and don't resonate on any emotional level outside of the aesthetic.

There are only a handful of great cinema directors who also write, shoot and produce. There are some who try, but fail. So it's not a failure of the still shooters. But it's something to keep in mind when moving to motion.
It's a good observation. I share those thoughts.
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bcooter
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« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2011, 04:30:14 AM »
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I'll tell you the camera I don't get, though I would love to buy if it worked, is the Sony NEX f700 or 7000 or whatever it's called.

It looks like a medium format camera, shoots high or low and seems to have everything, other than some very strange processing and way too much plastic.

Still, if it had the range of a 5d2 with the technicolor settings I'd be on it like flies on S*&t.   Also I don't understand why video can't rate sensitivity, but that's probably marketing land and I'm kind of full of marketing land.

When it really comes down to it, as crazy a setup as a 5d/7d is, with Zeiss lenses, a better screen and some patience those cameras do a remarkable job for a lot of work.

IMO

BC
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2011, 06:10:15 AM »
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Cooter

You talking about the FS 100 ? (http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/product/nxcamcorders/nex-fs100e/overview )

By "plastic" do you mean the horrid highlights ?

Thats the camera that I want but the highs are holding me back

great form factor, good resolution, less jellos, onboard sound, better HDMI lead position and plug than a DSLR, takes many lenses including PL and has loads of bolt holes for a solid mount

Now I own a sony EX1 - its kind of a 2/3 chip version of the same

You might be interested in this test I just did with my EX1 , the mission of the test:  to push the highs so hard that the plastic melts  !

I would hope that I could do better with the FS100

http://www.vimeo.com/25499627


S
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 06:16:32 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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fredjeang
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« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2011, 06:41:11 AM »
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Morgan,

I find the Knee usefull.
What I find strange in your explaination is that you seems to object that it flattens the image and loose contrast. It does, but if your goal is to get the shot as much as possible from the shooting, I understand this view. But color grading artists (that could be also you) want the flattest possible footage with the wider possible DR. From there they can work.

Trying to get the results with the maximum visual accuracy from the shooting is, at least for me, a path that I've abandonned.  Actually my camera controls are all setted to minimum (contrast, saturation, etc...) and isos define the DR because I think that the PP stage is fully a part of the process, I even consider the primary color grading like if it was a part of the shooting itself. I took this position after talking with different color artists in several countries and they all stressed me the importance of a neutral flat image first. My point is that I would not worry about this lost of contrast and flattened image if the result is that you gained iformations in the Highs, on the contrary!

Then, all the stuff comes to life with whatever AE, Scratch or Da-Vinci softwares. IMHO.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 06:46:43 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2011, 06:52:53 AM »
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I am not sure that I agree

Yes a flatter profile collects more DR but if the data collected is so 'plastic' as to be of no use its better not to have it

In the zacuto test the 7d and 5d blow, the 5d blows best, showing the least 'plastic' artifacts

The AF and F3 dont blow as bad but they go very plastic

I think this is the magic of the 5d - it does not collect crap

I see knee as a trade off, by flattening the image you are collecting less 'micro contrast' small changes in colour level in exchange for more 'DR'

Once that lack of contrast becomes flat enough for the 8 bit colour space cannot to resolve it properly you get blocks of colour all the same - plastic

Once two areas do not resolve from each other one cannot seperate them in a grade because there is no difference to amplify

I think these vid cams are tuned to have big DR but actually this just means plastic

Once you dial that DR out you have a nicer image

but maybe you need to modify your lighting make it work

Im not saying Im right, im just testing a theory, however when you swing the curves too much in photoshop on a still image you will be well aware that when the gradient of the curve becomes too flat in a range the image looks strange !

here is the knee stuff on the sony site http://www.sony-asia.com/microsite/professional/hdv/pdf/HVR-Z7_S270Tutorial_e7.pdf

Id never do that curve on a still image ! (unless it was RAW and you were actually pulling data into the visible range)

S

« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 07:10:34 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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fredjeang
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2011, 07:10:24 AM »
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I am not sure that I agree

Yes a flatter profile collects more DR but if the data collected is so 'plastic' as to be of no use its better not to have it

In the zacuto test the 7d and 5d blow, the 5d blows best, showing the least 'plastic' artifacts

The AF and F3 dont blow as bad but they go very plastic

I think this is the magic of the 5d - it does not collect crap

I see knee as a trade off, by flattening the image you are collecting less 'micro contrast' small changes in colour level in exchange for more 'DR'

Once that lack of contrast becomes flat enough for the 8 bit colour space cannot to resolve it properly you get blocks of colour all the same - plastic

Once two areas do not resolve from each other one cannot seperate them in a grade because there is no difference to amplify

I think these vid cams are tuned to have big DR but actually this just means plastic

Once you dial that DR out you have a nicer image

but maybe you need to modify your lighting make it work

Im not saying Im right, im just testing a theory, however when you swing the curves too much in photoshop on a still image you will be well aware that when the gradient of the curve becomes too flat in a range the image looks strange !

here is the knee stuff on the sony site http://www.sony-asia.com/microsite/professional/hdv/pdf/HVR-Z7_S270Tutorial_e7.pdf

Id never do that curve on a still image !

S


I think it's not going to extremes. You are saying also good points. I think it is finding a balanced situation. It's funny, reducing control levels on dslr are not producing extreme results but manageable images. AS you point, there is a frontier better not crossing. But what I find yes key are the isos.

About blowing highlights, check that thread here. Very very informative: http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?12536-Understanding-ISO-with-the-RED-ONE
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2011, 07:14:24 AM »
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Indeed - finding a balanced situation

but my suspicion is that these cameras are so ramped (down) at the top the balanced position may be no where near where 'the knowledgable' people would put it

I think if I could kill the saturation top end  in my 109 knee (no knee at all) in post it would be a more 5d like image, I would have to forget the myth that the camera has wide DR and use a grad on the sky or a light or something

but the results would be better

Interesting detail on the chair weave !

view large.. http://dslr4real.tv/smmspace/webimages/dslr4real/Knee1.jpg

some grabs..
 

S
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 07:42:40 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2011, 04:16:26 PM »
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Got the FS100 - trying 'superknee' to avoid plastic .. I think it looks hopeful

http://www.vimeo.com/25911268

Same would work on the F3 Im sure

S


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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Bern Caughey
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« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2011, 12:43:23 PM »
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Just a some notes.

The tests were NOT done by Zacuto, but were financed by them, & Kessler Cranes. There were many other vendors that provided equipment too, but the tests were run by Bob Primes, ASC.

http://thescce.org/Single_Chip_Camera_Evaluation/SCCE_brought_to_you_by_Image_Quality_Geeks.html

Zacuto made a documentary about the tests, & calls it "The Great Camera Shootout 2011".

Anyone who's tested cameras, &/or films, knows how difficult it is to be comprehensive, & Bob Primes did a great job. Many DPs have issues with the tests, as each camera could have been tweaked to look better in a specific scenario, but the tests would have ballooned in scale. The camera companies were invited to provide technicians, but some of them declined.

All tests were at ISO 800 with tungsten lighting. As someone who rarely gets to use tungstens I'd love to see other lights tested, but understand why they used incandescent.

http://www.oscars.org/science-technology/council/projects/ssl/index.html

Overall the SCCE is a snapshot of the state of digital cinema in early 2011. The FS100 wasn't on the market yet, nor was the F3's firmware upgrade, while the GH2, & EPIC were hard to come by. As such the SCCE is an amazing resource, & I wish everyone could see it on the big screen, but it's only a stepping off point, & like any medium, requires each of us to do our own testing to determine which best suits our individual needs.

Best,
Bern

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bcooter
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« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2011, 08:33:18 PM »
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Just a some notes.

The tests were NOT done by Zacuto, but were financed by them, & Kessler Cranes. There were many other vendors that provided equipment too, but the tests were run by Bob Primes, ASC.

http://thescce.org/Single_Chip_Camera_Evaluation/SCCE_brought_to_you_by_Image_Quality_Geeks.html

Zacuto made a documentary about the tests, & calls it "The Great Camera Shootout 2011".

Anyone who's tested cameras, &/or films, knows how difficult it is to be comprehensive, & Bob Primes did a great job. Many DPs have issues with the tests, as each camera could have been tweaked to look better in a specific scenario, but the tests would have ballooned in scale. The camera companies were invited to provide technicians, but some of them declined.

All tests were at ISO 800 with tungsten lighting. As someone who rarely gets to use tungstens I'd love to see other lights tested, but understand why they used incandescent.

http://www.oscars.org/science-technology/council/projects/ssl/index.html

Overall the SCCE is a snapshot of the state of digital cinema in early 2011. The FS100 wasn't on the market yet, nor was the F3's firmware upgrade, while the GH2, & EPIC were hard to come by. As such the SCCE is an amazing resource, & I wish everyone could see it on the big screen, but it's only a stepping off point, & like any medium, requires each of us to do our own testing to determine which best suits our individual needs.

Best,
Bern



As Bern knows, test in a testing situation don't always correlate to real world, though the Zacuto test was very good and informative.

In fact the Arri seems to be the best of the bunch in terms of traditional film look, at least to my eyes.

The real thing is how they work in real life, on a set, when time and budget are considered and all of these cameras fall into different markets, different projects and different styles.

We routinely use the FS100 next to our two RED Ones and the 5d2.

All have their place though as far as ease of camera use I love the FS100 (though I hate all the small fiddled buttons on the camera, because at speed they are very difficult to adjust

The FS100 would be the perfect camera, if the controls were more solid and it didn't clip highlights so easy.

Yesterday, on an overcast day in Bangkok, we were shooting in a park and wanted to have large buildings in the background as two joggers ran past.

The FS100 just wouldn't hold the sky and buildings, without making the key image of the joggers quite dark.

The RED held both, though we shot both cameras and with the Sony used led's and fill cards to open the foreground scene and not make it look over-lit.

With the RED all it took was some light natural light fill.

But past the technique, the camera use, the size, to me of all the cameras I own, including still cameras, the RED is the most filmic and I know the term film covers a wide swath of territory.

The interesting thing about the Sony is with its kit zoom lens it looks video, real video and with the Ziess A mount lenses less video, but that's probably because we shoot them wide open.

The RED always looks like cinema film though i'd love to get my hands on an Arri.

Regardless, we have to get the shot and sometimes the FS100 just is easier, faster, and does it and since we've owned the Sony, we use the Canons less and less and less.

The RED's we always use.

IMO

BC

P.S.   Sony always seems like the wildcard of the bunch.  It's obvious they could do about anything they want, from high end to low end, or even the middle priced range like the FS100.

But, like the Zacuto test mentioned Sony is know for video, not film cameras and maybe that's when seems to hold them back just a little, or maybe they think video just looks better.

Early on Sony had their ENG market to protect, now their high end FX 35 (or whatever it's called) though you have the feeling that the fs100 could have 4:4:4 and with a touch screen focus, more lenses and a better overall look could just dominate the sales the way the 5d2 did.



« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 09:48:09 PM by bcooter » Logged
fredjeang
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« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2011, 09:39:03 AM »
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It's funny,

I think there is some sort of snobery about the Alexa. Cine guys here are crazy about it and look at Red with a sort of condesendence. But the fact is when I check the new generation of serious filmakers in Paris, the sound is a little different: they are crazy about the Red.

In Pampuri's blog, they used both and here are their conclusions badly traduced by me:

"Arri has evolutionated with the past in mind and feed our collective mind about that film look.
In practise, the 2 cameras are very similar and we where many times unable to recognize wich footage belong to the 2 cameras.
The Alexa is soft and cinematographic.
I personaly prefer the Red for 2 reasons: definition and more shapely, deaper, more relief.
The Alexa image is flatter."


http://vimeo.com/20066150

http://www.misiraca.com/

A part from the Alexa snobery that is really starting to piss me-of here and just for that, if I had the money I'd buy a Red.  No, in fact for resolution.

And also, film look, film look...yeah, fine, organic and cool, but IMO why in 2011 should we be on bondage with vintage look? why not then missing the Chaplin sort of render because it would be more organic than the 70's, and we could add scratches and dust...oh well, it will come,no doubt, in a short time videocameras will feature in-board filters to emulate the Fritz Lang look.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 10:00:54 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Tim Jones
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« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2011, 09:44:26 AM »
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Bcooter,

Thank you for all the great info on the motion frontier.
I was wondering in regards to the FS 100 highlight problem,
If you had tried grads ?
 I know it's an additional burden, but maybe?
Thanks!

Tim
www.tjphoto.net
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bcooter
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« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2011, 10:34:44 AM »
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Don't get me wrong.

I think RED borders on the 8th wonder of the world.  I mean a real cine camera that shoots a 4k file in raw for 25 skins is amazing in the cine world. 

The workflow, with a RED Rocket and CineX is fast and I am sure as easy if not easier than the Alexa since everything has to be colored anyway and even though the Alexa shoots prorezz your still going to have to mess with it.

No I'm not going to throw the RED's away and the more I use them the more I love them.  Stripped down the RED One is 8lbs and that's easy to hand hold and work loose for wild shots, so I'm not knocking the RED.

Today we did 6 major set ups all three camera shots using the RED as the AB camera and the Sony as the C camera.

For lighting we mixed window lights and 800 watt HMI's with a few small led's thrown in for hair light and kickers and I6 sessions with three cameras and dialog is a lot in 7 hours.

On one shot I used the Sony as the A camera because I wanted to blow the windows and the file holds up without flare using the A mount Ziess lenses.

This is a large project and the client is over the moon with the RED footage so maybe I'm set for a long time . . . who knows?

I do know my RED's are reliable.  My first one has been around the world going on two times and not dropped a frame, though I have to admit digital always scares me a little.

I keep an open mind and from what I've seen online with the Alexa is worth looking at.

Then again if the Sony shot RAW, held highlights like the RED at it's $5,000 price  . . . well it would be time for a rethink.


IMO

BC
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Robert Moore
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« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2011, 11:08:39 AM »
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Then again if the Sony shot RAW, held highlights like the RED at it's $5,000 price  . . . well it would be time for a rethink.


IMO

BC

The following thread on the F3 S-log looks promising:

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?256550-S-log-and-444-outputs

Bob
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