[Note: This is not another tutorial on simply using LightRoom. It's actually a much faster method that only uses Adobe Lightroom to create a custom Preset.]
Let me start by saying, the best way to edit the CinemaDNG files from the BlackMagic Design cameras is to use Davinci. Of course these RAW files are nothing but still images, so if many of you favor Adobe Lightroom for editing pictures, here’s a little tip on how to save it as a preset to use in Adobe Camera RAW.
I tend to like the workflow and layout of Adobe Lightroom, especially on how well it can clean up noise if you have grainy footage. I think it’s much faster [and better] than trying to run ‘noise reduction’ software once it’s laid out in your video timeline. The problem is that Lightroom can be pretty slow to export your images once you’re done editing. So this technique will allow you to make changes to one CinemaDNG file and apply it to all the files through the Camera RAW app.
If you shoot RAW with a Canon DSLR + Magic Lantern, you may already be familiar with using Camera RAW. If you haven’t done this already, now you can start your edits with Adobe Lightroom, and finish the entire sequence of images through Camera RAW.
Summary of Steps
Step 1) Take one RAW image into Adobe Lightroom, tweak your settings, and then export to DNG.
Step 2) Open your exported DNG image in Adobe Photoshop and this should bring up Camera RAW.
Step 3) Save the preset and close Camera RAW.
Step 4) Now open all of your BMPCC RAW images in Photoshop (should launch Camera RAW) and Load the Preset.
Step 5) Make sure to ‘Select All’ and synchronize to apply to all frames.
Step 6) Save Images > Export to Folder
Once you have all of your color corrected images saved from Camera RAW, you can easily bring them into your video editor similar to a Timelapse project. Depending on what format was used during the export process (JPEG, TIFF), you will still have some lateral to color correct / grade within your editing software.
Officially available to order, the new MogoPod Mark III is an ultra fast monopod stabilizer that only requires a simple twist to extend to various lengths.
A small and medium sized version of the MogoPod Mark III are available depending on the type of use. The larger version can extend to a full 62″ inches and collapse down to just 27″. An optional swiveling tripod foot can be added for additional stability. The MogoPod Mark III can be used right side up, or upside down to boom a small camera or an external flash for photographers.
The MogoPod Mark III “S” is a smaller version that extends to a max height of 46″ inches and collapses down to just 20″ inches. Doesn’t sound like enough height, until you match it up with the optional MogoCrane Belt System. The MogoPod Mark III “S” attaches to the MogoCrane Belt System transferring the camera weight to the operator’s hips and with a swiveling base can be used in a ‘Crane-Like’ fashion. The MogoCrane + Mogopod Mark III “S” combination is probably the setup most run-n-gun Videographers will appeal to for it’s stability flexibility to achieve creative shots.
Additional information about the new MogoPod Mark III and MogoCrane Belt System can be found at the product listing page with http://PNCGear.com.
MogoPod Mark III Versatile Monopod Stabilizer System
Based off of the same body that can be powered off a single Sony NP-F style camcorder battery, the 312 / 508 / 876 LED Video Lights can offer truly ‘off-the-grid’ shooting using some of the cheapest rechargeable batteries available.
I recently received the 876 LED Video light to test out, so I thought i’d put them side to side against the smaller siblings. You can see how much brighter and how much more diffusion is available as we get to the larger panels, but also a noticeable shift in color bias. If you’re trying to mix these lights with other LED panels or ambient light, then these tests will show you how they perform.
Here’s a snapshot along with specs from an LED Meter.
The images above showed the light 7 feet away from the wall. These readings (below) were taken just 3ft away from the light. (note: The 312 is a bi-color version, so it will have less output than a 312 full daylight version). Click Light Meter image for larger view.
312 LED Video Light
508 LED Video Light
876 LED Video Light
Exciting news! BlackMagic Design has finally released new firmware today for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. This update adds lossless CinemaDNG RAW support to the Pocket Cinema Camera. Due to to the high data rate, they recommend using the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB SD card for recording RAW (found here).
The lossless CinemaDNG RAW will work in DaVinci Resolve and applications from Adobe like Photoshop and Lightroom. However, the Preview and Quick Look feature in OS X is not compatible and you will not see a proper image (at this time).
What’s new in Blackmagic Camera Utility 1.5
• Adds CinemaDNG RAW recording support for Pocket Cinema Camera
To download the firmware visit the BlackMagicDesign.com Support webpage at http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support
When they were first released, inventory was scarce, but it appears these #BMPC BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras have been in stock lately. Here’s a few links if you don’t already own this camera.
BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera – via B&H
The BlackMagic Cinema Camera can run a short time with it’s internal battery, but it’s really designed to use external power. I’ve shared a few options on this blog, but here’s another option to power the BMCC off of a 14V battery adapter using Sony BP-U60 / BP-U30 batteries. If you already have these batteries from your Sony EX-1 camera, this is a great little add-on.
This battery adapter has a 1/4-20 threaded screw to attach to many rigs or cages, or can be mounted to the optional 15mm clamp. If you don’t have batteries, you may want to look into the adapter plates that are bundles with a battery charger. You can find these products via eBay following the links (below).
Manufacturer Quick Overview
The F3 7″ Monitor is lightweight, portable, and boasts an 1024×600px LED backlight display. The newly designed LCD screen is vibrant and produces a crisp image perfect for pulling focus. The new LCD screen also has a viewing angle of 170-degrees, giving you freedom of motion while using the monitor. A built-in sunscreen not only shades your screen under bright environments, but also it protects it during travel.
This monitor comes equiped with peaking, black & white, and horizontal/vertical image flip. The F3 monitor automatically detects whether the signal is NTSC or PAL, and you can choose whether to display in either a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio.
This HDMI + HD-SDI model features Composite RCA, Composite BNC, HDMI, and HD-SDI BNC connections.The monitor also comes with a built in Sony NP-F battery plate. The F3 monitor offers versatility at a price point you can’t ignore.
True story. I was lined up to work on a shoot where I really needed Image Stabilization on a 70-200mm. I ponied up $2500 full retail price to get one shipped in time for the shoot.
Today there’s a pretty amazing deal on this lens I wished I had at the time of my purchase. At B&H, the new $2500 70-200mm F/2.8L IS lens immediately drops down to just $2199, and combined with another $300 Mail-in-Rebate, your final total is just $1899. Just add the item to cart to see changes. [Update: Go beyond cart to see changes]
For a limited time, and limited quantity at this price. (found here).
Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II
You’ve probably heard the news and seen the images, but here’s a closer video look at putting together the new Shape Cage for the BlackMagic Pocket Camera. The BMPC simply drops into the Shape Cage and is locked in place by a rear sliding metal cover. So even if your system is completely rigged up, the camera can be removed from the cage.
Access to all buttons, menus, battery door / SD card, and ports are easily accessible. A very solid cold shoe above the Shape BMPC Cage can be used to mount heavy accessories (monitors, evf, audio) or to add a Shape Candy Handle. The SHAPE Cage for Blackmagic Pocket Camera can be purchased with or without the bottom 15mm rail adapter.
For more information about Shape products, check out their website at http://ShapeWLB.com, or follow the links below for information about these specific products.
If you love building and tinkering, here’s a look at another fun little project idea from ServoCity.com. They’ve added a new low friction channel slider that has very low tolerance, can accept a decent load, and that slides over their lightweight aluminum channels. In this video they have assembled a drive system that pulls the carrier through the channel, to work as a video slider.
These aluminum channels can be purchased in various lengths if you’re looking for longer or shorter runs, and the motors can be swapped out for faster or slower RPMs depending on your project. The overall design allows these motors to pull quite a bit of weight even vertically, but if you’re looking to carry heavier camera systems, just make sure to look into the channel slider that wraps around all four sides (here).
Now if you’re looking to do some tinkering of your own, I highly suggest taking a look at the dozens of videos showing you step-by-step on how to build these projects at the Servo City YouTube Channel.
For more information about the Slider Kit A, take a look at their Channel Slider Kit product pages which shows examples and a list of parts required to assemble.
Just a tip in case BMPC shooters out there are looking for a very short HDMI cable to work with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I found this 1.5 foot Micro HDMI to HDMI online and took a chance. The cable has been working fine across a few different monitors and EVFs I have. The short cable keeps things tidy with my SmallHD DP4 EVF on the BMPC.
Amazon reviews are a mixed bag, but overall it’s still 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re looking for a shorty micro HDMI for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, I can safely say this one works great on my setup.
To solve the issues of short battery life on the GOPRO HERO3/ HERO3+ cameras, a short time ago a GoPro Powered Cage (concept) running off of Canon LP-E6 batteries was introduced. It appeared to be well received, so the concept idea was moved quickly into manufacturing. The day it was announced, YouTube member Blunty created a short ‘WANT’ video about the CagePro [Thanks Blunty].
Fast forward a few months and several prototypes later, the new CagePro is finally ready to ship with an optional Top Handle and the final version can accept 52mm threaded CPL or ND filters. Since the new HERO3+ camera is exactly the same size, the CagePro is compatible with both the HERO3 / HERO3+ cameras once placed in the skeleton housing. Announced today in a newsletter, pre-orders are available now (limit 1 per customer) and is expected to ship earlier than November 10th.
Joe asks ‘What cheap case can be used for small equipment?”. If we’re not talking about fragile equipment, I know a few people using these Plano 4 Pistol Foam Lined Cases. These aren’t your waterproof air tight ‘Pelican-Like’ cases, but they still offer a fair amount of protection. With an internal dimension of 16″ x 10″ x 6″, these pistol cases are large enough to hold monitors, portable audio recorders, microphone systems, battery chargers, and more.
Typically these run between $25-35 dollars, but it’s currently on sale today for under $12 dollars. Jump over to the page and you’ll find other customers sharing images on how they use it with their camera gear (found here).
For smaller equipment that I feel can take a few bumps, clear Organizing Tackle Boxes work great. The clear boxes take the guess work out of finding gear, all without having to open the box. You can organize and label areas such as ‘new’ or ‘used’ for batteries.
Example of how I use these cases
The trick is finding a good set, and the ones I use are also from Plano. Not just durable, but 3″ deep to hold fairly thick camera accessories such as LP-E6 Batteries. Overall storage dimensions are 10.5″ W X 7″H X 3″ Deep, and these run under $7 dollars (found here).
Photo Plus Expo 2013 coverage continues check out the Flex Lens Shade. The Flex Lens Shade can be folded flat taking up minimal space in your travel bag, while the design allows it to universally fit any SLR camera lens or as an extension to your existing lens hood.
Keiko talks to inventor and founder Thomas Hogan about the origins and functionality of Flex Lens Shade in the video below.
|The Flex Lens Shade is an adjustable flexible lens shade that fits any SLR lens.The Flex Lens Shade is the only tool on the market to block unwanted light flare. At only 1.2 ounces, the Flex Lens Shade will become a tool that you always carry in your camera bag every day.
The Flex Lens Shade was developed to be durable, professional and lightweight. With its Ballistic Nylon shell, double stitch sewing and finished edges, the Flex Lens Shade is durable for everyday use.
The Flex Lens Shade’s unique designand finished look will empress clients instead of the old gaffers tape you may have used in the past to block unwanted light.
At only 1.2 ounces, the near weightless Flex Lens Shade can be carried in your camera bag everyday with its lay flat design and lightweight feature. Sun flare, indoor light flare and studio light flare can ruin an excellent image.
Flare can also ruin an image due to the focus unit trying to focus through the flare causing the image to be out of focus. Often you are not able to move to avoid the light flare or maybe didn’t notice it when taking the photo and that moment is gone.
Fits Any SLR Lens / Lightweight only 1.2 oz. / No glue or adhesive / Quick installation / Bend in any direction / Sturdy and durable
More information can be found at http://FlexLensShade.com and is also available via Amazon (found here).
Flex Lens Shade – Adustable Flexible Lens Shade
Here’s another product we checked out over at PhotoPlus Expo 2013 NY. INOVATIV CARTS offer three main lines of equipment carts, each with three different versions depending on your needs. Accessories can be added to each cart to further customize the product according to your requirements. The carts can be broken down and folded up for travel without the use of any tools.
If you’re shooting as a hobby, these are definitely pricey with the smallest Scout version starting at around $2500 dollars. If you’re a professional who’s shopped around, this is one of the more affordable portable Equipment Cart systems. I’m a big fan of rolling carts, and use them every single day, but I’m only using very cheap tool carts in the studio (as seen here). My cheap carts definitely aren’t made for travel.
The largest Pronghorn PN1 3-Axis version includes joystick controls built into the handle for both Pan/Tilt for single operator mode, or can be used with a second operator controlling the system through an RC Remote.
Three smaller 2-Axis hand held versions ( Sailfish SF1, Greyhound GR-1, and Cheetah CH1 ) all include a joystick for Tilt control (panning done by hand). The smaller versions offered are for the GoPro Hero cameras, Mobile Phones, and for cameras such as the RX100 or similar sized Point-n-Shoot cameras. A LiPo battery built into the handle can be recharged via USB and powers the units for up to 2 hours.
Needless to say Mastor Tech was one of the more popular booth at PhotoPlus NY 2013, so it was difficult to nail down a solid interview. Although we may see more of these coming to market, what was most appealing was the build quality and performance. There are no exposed wires or controller boards, and we would swap various cell phones and digital cameras on the systems and it balanced very quickly. This seems like a very polished finished product for the end-user, but possibly because they already have experience with designing aerial gimbal products.
These products won’t be available until 2014 so stay tuned. For now, I would love to hear any questions or comments about what you think of this new product?
It seem like every time I post a video stabilizer review, I often receive the same question – ‘How can you adjust focus?‘. Typically i’ll just answer this question by replying with a text comment, but i’m sure it’s still not very clear. Hopefully this article can help visualize a few ways focus can be achieved when a camera is balanced on a stabilizer, thrown on a video crane, or other device where adjusting the lens would be cumbersome or impossible.
One option to adjust focus (without physically touching the lens) can be by use of an electronic follow focus system. In the video below, Vimeo member Nicholas D shares how he’s setup his camera on a SteddiePod Stabilizer with a Cinematics USB follow focus [Thanks Nick]. The USB systems will be limited, as they will only work with certain cameras (mostly Canon) and only with compatible auto focus lenses – not manual lenses.
Barber Tech SteddiePod
Cinematics USB Follow Focus
An alternative could be to use dedicated Wired or Wireless electronic follow focus systems attached to the outside lens gear. The benefits to these systems is that they can be used with pretty much any lens that supports manual focus. The throw can be remapped for shorter or longer focus movements at the dial, and higher end systems allow to you store focus points. The full wireless systems are helpful when you need another person to manage focus so that the camera operator can move about freely.
Senna Wireless Follow Focus
F&V F3 HD-SDI / HDMI Field Monitor
If you plan to work with a Wireless Follow Focus, Camera Motion Research has announced the new Radian Pro kits that will send a Wireless HDMI Video Stream to a remote monitor. There are ways to achieve this through a DIY solution, but the Radian Pro claims to use a more commercial version transmitter / receiver that can transmit through a broader range of channels for longer distance, low latency, and clearer image. The Radian Pro is available in both a Unicast or MultiCast version (multiple video streams).
For myself, I may not use a WFF for every project, but I do use Wireless Video when operating on longer cranes/jibs or even just to share a feed for others to view (so they aren’t hanging over your shoulder). Add a remote Pan/Tilt head to this combination, and you’ll be able to man a camera from a distance away while focusing and zooming. Great when you have to leave a camera somewhere you can’t be seen like on stage, or perhaps even at a church during a wedding, or in the middle of a racetrack.
Sorry for the lack of great examples, but hopefully this article is somewhat helpful and gives you ideas of what you can do with such tools. Remember that these are not limited to just these types of Stabilizers (a.k.a Steadicam). These are the same tools that can be used on those amazing Brushless Motor Camera Gimbal Stabilizers everyone has been recently obsessed about.