Saturday, 22 June 2013

More Blackmagic Pocket Camera night!

So a couple of weeks ago John Brawley tested the Blackmagic Pocket Camera at night and here are the results for all to see. Not really touted as a great lowlight camera, it is good to see some night footage from it. Though not the best lowlight footage I have seen out of a camera, there is still lots of high dynamic range demonstrated in the video. After all for a camera that is priced around a thousand dollars, we can only ask so much. All the footage was shot in Apple ProRes at ISO 800 for the first few shots and the rest of it was shot at ISO 1600. I will let you be the judge. Check out the embedded video and feel free to leave your comments and thoughts about the footage below.

                              Vivid Pocket from John Brawley Tests on Vimeo.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Shure's on-camera video shotgun microphones: Meet the VP83 and VP83F "LensHoppers mics"

At NAB this year Shure announced two new on camera mics. These mics are direct competition to the very popular Rode ProVideo Mic and the equally popular Sennheiser MKE400 on-camera shotgun mic.

Shure's throwing their hat in the ring in a big way with these two great little mics. Both are very light, feel well built and sound great with good off-axis rejection of surrounding noise. After recently testing both of these mics I was quite impressed with them and feel they will offer a nice alternative to the shooter who is looking for a good camera mic at reasonable price point. These mics are directly targeted at the DSLR shooter looking to get better audio with a simple on-camera solution.

The main difference between the two mics is that the VP83F mic comes with a built in micro SD card flash recorder using WAV codec the VP83 still uses the camera to record its audio.


Both mics included the following Specs:

-Electret Condenser

-Supercardoid pickup pattern.

-Frequency Response is 50Hz to kHz

-Have a Low Frequency Cut

-Rycote shock mount

The VP83 has a battery life of 125 hours using one AA battery.

The VP83F has a battery of life of 10 hours using two AA batteries.

The VP83F also contains a 3.5mm headphone output jack and a 3.5mm  mic input jack.    


After using both of these mics the off axis rejection is what really won me over. Having a built-in recorder on the VP83F will appeal to many DSLR shooters looking to by-pass the audio in their DSLR and achieve a higher quality recording.

Both units are competitively priced:

Shure VP83: $230.00 U.S. List

Shure VP83F: $350.00 U.S. List

They will be available later this summer.

Here is a video from Shure giving a in-depth tutorial of these two microphones:


4K with the Sony FS700 using the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q

So as all know the Sony FS700 is a great camera in-terms of sharpness, lowlight and higher frame rates. It is the only camera in its price range capable of doing 120 and 240 frames at full 1080 video. It of course can go higher if you want to go to 480 and 960 with the sacrifice of dropping the resolution down to standard def. This is of course is huge when you put it in perspective that most other cameras in its price range and even above are only maxing out at 60p 1080. These qualities have made the Sony FS700 a go to camera for many corporate, doc and event shooters looking to take their productions to the next level. There is however one more trick up the camera's sleeve.

The Sony FS700 is capable of doing 4K resolution.... not in camera though, it needs a little help. Having a 4K capable sensor is not quite enough. You will need an external recorder. Sony answered this with the AXS-RS Recorder shown below.

This recorder was originally designed for the Sony F5 and F55 broadcast cameras to do RAW 4K. With a price tag of over $5000 dollars it isn't exactly cheap. However you will need a go between if you want to get 4K out of your FS700 and the AXS-RS recorder. That is the HXR-IFR5 interface also shown below.

The HXR-IFR5 retails for $2,000-2,500 U.S. List price, depending where you look. With these two units attached to the your FS700 you can expect to get 4K at 24p, 30p and 60p as well as 2K at 24p, 30p and 60p you can also achieve 4K 120fps 4 seconds (buffered) and 2K 120 and 240fps continuous. Amazing stuff right? Well there is another option you may want to take a look at. 

Convergent Design's Odyssey7Q recorder/monitor may fit tighter budgets and have some unique qualities that make it appealing to shooters looking for a smaller and lighter package. 

The Odyssey7Q takes the FS700 all the way to 4K without all the hassle of using Sony's RAW recorder and interface. The 7Q retails for for around $2-2500 list U.S. It offers much more than just a recorder. It is also a very decent OLED monitor as well offering the following: 

-1280 x800 resolution on a 7.7" inch panel.

-3400 contrast ratio 

-8-bit RGB 

-16 Million Colours 

-Touch Screen interface 

-IOS and Android APP capable. 

The Odyssey 7Q recorder offers the following while taking 3G SDI out of the Sony FS700.

-1-60fps at 4K

-120fps RAW (burst mode only)

-240 2K RAW continuous to Cinema DNG

The Odyssey uses 2.5 SSD drives however you have to use Convergent Design's media. Their drives come in the following capacities:




Sony is charging for their FS700 to use the Odyssey 7Q to unlock the 4K.  The price for this will be $400 dollars U.S. from Sony.

I feel that this device will take the FS700 to the next level and unlock it's full potential with the ability to do 4K, plus future proofing it and giving even greater recording options. 

Here is a video showing the Odyssey7Q unit in action:        

The Odyssey7Q should be available later this summer. 

Friday, 7 June 2013

More Blackmagic Pocket Camera Footage.

As the release date looms near for both Blackmagic's Pocket Camera & 4K Cinema Camera we are all eager to see footage from them. In one of my previous posts I was able to link to some test footage here: First BM Pocket Camera footage from a great DP out of Australia named John Brawley who has been working with Blackmagic testing the camera. The footage looked very promising and very similar from what we see saw with the 2.5k version released earlier this year. Well John Brawley has some more footage to show us from this wonderful little camera. I like this test because it explores the camera in a more in-depth way using a variety of Aperture and ISO settings as well as different lens combos. It also demonstrates the camera in a variety of different locations. I really feel the beach footage demonstrates how well this camera preforms. I like how sharp the water looks and how well the waves hold together. I feel that with some of other cameras using a lessor sensor and codec other than
(Apple ProRes 422) these shots would not have held so well together. Now keep in mind some of this footage is handheld, I will let you be the judge. Enjoy and please comments your thoughts.

Pocket in Kurnel from John Brawley Tests on Vimeo.

Check out John's wordpress blog for a more in-depth review of his experiences with the camera.