Tag Archives: focus peaking

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blackmagic video assist recorder

BAM! BlackMagic Design has just dropped a new 1.1 update for their 5" Inch 10Bit HDMI/SDI Video Assist Recorder/Monitor. I'm super excited about this latest announcement as it finally adds many features to the BMVA that everyone has been dying to have (including me). Focus Peaking, Zebra, Central Zoom (focus aid), and now Timecode over HDMI (does record trigger work now from GH4 and A7s?).

About Blackmagic Video Assist Utility
What's new in Blackmagic Video Assist 1.1
Adds Focus Peaking indication
Adds Zebra indication for setting iris
Adds central Zoom to aid focus
Adds timecode over HDMI
Improved battery information
Performance and stability updates

Download: Firmware for the BlackMagic Video Assist 10bit Recorder Monitor via the Support Page (link).

Video Assist PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
5 Inch 1920 x 1080 Touchscreen LCD
Records 1080p up to 60 fps
ProRes and DNxHD 10-Bit, 4:2:2 Encoding
HDMI and 6G-SDI Video Inputs
Loop-Through Video Outputs
Stores to Single SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
On-Screen Histogram and Audio Levels
Dual Canon LP-E6 Type Battery Slots
AC Adapter Included

blackmagic design monitor recorder
AVAILABLE AT: DVESTORE | BHPHOTOVIDEO | AMAZON | EBAY

 

 

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For the record, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason for the video you are about to see. It's purely random tests with the new Panasonic Lumix LX100 4K compact camera. Here's some very important notes about the video.

It was incredibly bright outdoors and the LX100 'NEEDS' an ND Filter. Unfortunately i'm traveling and the only one I could pick up was a very (very very) cheap 43mm Variable ND Filter. So if you see dark corners, or loss of sharpness, that's not the LX100. Yes i'm sure this really skews the results, but I seriously would not be able to have shot anything without one. I consider today to be just a big learning curve with the camera.

I tried shooting a variety of things, brick and roof tiles (testing aliasing), I shot people, I shot wide, I zoomed in, and I tested closeup macro. White balance was set to auto but you can tell it shifted quite a bit through the scenes. The extreme night shots were done at ISO 2000. This got pretty grainy, so you may want to keep things down under ISO 1600.

I was testing both manual and auto focus in video mode so you may see the camera hunt for focus at times. That could be me doing it manually, or sometimes it was the camera doing it. Focus peaking is available, but it's actually pretty subtle and sometimes didn't show up at all. Everything in this video was shot handheld - no tripods. I did at times use a PNC Pistol Grip, but that was it. The image stabilization on the lens worked pretty well despite my shaky hands.

4K Video Resolution
Here's another set of video clips [Uploaded in 4K resolution] I shot with the same cheap ND Filter the next day. I'm still using the Natural color profile with the settings turned down and adjusted the curves to bring up the shadows and push down the highlights. Make sure to watch it in full 4K resolution if you can.

Anyways, don't take the quality of these videos as a standard for the Panasonic LX100. The camera performs far better than what I was able to do in these random tests. It certainly takes some getting used to as there is no dedicated video mode. I also periodically ran into issues where I could not see how my aperture and shutter speed settings affected the image until 'after' I hit the record button. Basically you change your settings and think it's properly exposed until you hit record and then all of a sudden it goes dark. I believe there's some type of 'real-time preview' setting in the menu, which i'll have to dig for. Hopefully tomorrow i'll be a little more prepared and get better and more consistent video samples.

I was also amazed at the speed of wireless live view monitoring and controls with the Panasonic Image App. Maybe I haven't used it in a while, but it seems to be faster than with the GH4 when I first used it. Examining the video shot in 30p, I concluded that it was just 2 frames behind the camera's feed. The camera has 0 frame lag from what's actually happening 'live'.

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find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 - via B&HPhoto

find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 - via Amazon

find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 - via Adorama

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Here's an overview of the Aputure V-Converter Extra Scope product that takes an HDMI input and outputs a variety of overlays to any HDMI monitor, display, or television.

When the Aputure V-Converter product was first announced, the specs listed it would take a 1080p input, but only output a 720p signal. A recent firmware upgrade now allows the unit to output to full 1080p. I'm sure all the new products shipped will have this update, but if you need to download it, check the Aputure website (here).

The V-Converter can be powered from a Built-in lithium battery, but it's not a product I think fits the run-gun type shooter. With a $340+ price tag, mobile shooters may want to just look into a portable LCD monitor with these features already built in.
Aputure V-Converter Extra Scope CheesycamCheesycam Review Extra Scope V-Converter Aputure
find-price-button Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope Pro Overlays

In my opinion, the V-Converter is a product that will mainly appeal to those who will be working on set, in a studio type environment, or on location that requires a large stationary monitor. It will be helpful in any setting in which you need to look across the room, check exposure, see if audio levels are peaking, and what's currently in focus. It may be a product that compliments video shooters who have a workflow streaming Wireless HDMI Video (like with these Radian Pro Kits).

Aputure V-Converter Extra Scope Review Cheesycam

Considering how cheap large LCD HD televisions are these days, this little product can add-on big features normally only found on very very expensive studio monitors. You can find more info about the Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope (here).

Aputure V-Converter-HDMIprice v-converter aputure scope hdmi overlay pro monitor focus peaking exposure
find-price-button Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope Pro Overlays

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Look what just popped in this morning. Unfortunately i'm catching a flight out to New York and won't be available to test it for the next few days.

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IMG_3084 IMG_3087

If you're not familiar, this is the new V-Converter from Aputure which takes an HDMI feed from your camera and outputs an overlay of helpful scopes inlcuding Peaking, Exposure/Zebra, Audio Meters, etc. to any HDMI monitor (including your basic HDMI television). Typically you can purchase a basic monitor for one price, and if you want these extra features you'll pay good money for it. This new V-Converter is designed to add some of these scopes to even the most inexpensive HDMI displays.

More information about the features of this product can be seen on the product listings (found here).

Aputure V-Converter
find-price-button Aputure V-Converter

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Here's a bit of early information on a new product soon to be released by Aputure. Typically if you want professional overlays in a monitor, you'll have to pay good money for it. This new Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope will take an HDMI signal input and output to another HDMI display with additional features such as Peak Focus Assist / False Color / Zebras / 70 or 100 IRE Zebra Markings / and Brightness Histograms.

Aputure HDMI V-Converter (2 of 10) Aputure HDMI V-Converter (3 of 10)

Product Description:
Turn basic monitor into professional monitoring
Create your own exciting professional monitoring with V-Converter, and turn low cost basic monitor into one with advanced functions such as PEAK, Zebra marking, False color, Histogram, audio meter, etc. You can also easily add new software updates for new functions via USB in the future.

Big screen HDMI monitoring
When you are working with HDMI video input, you can use V-Converter to convert the incredible functions into big screen televisions or video projectors. Enjoy pleasure of big professional monitoring with unbelievable ease, and check every fine detail precisely.

Amazing editing solution
V-Converter has standard tech monitoring software inside which accurately check brightness, focus, and audio while editing. Imagine the flexibility of being able to reduce much space of editing computer and escape from different projects.

Precision audio metering
You can check 3 colored audio dynamic range with two bright audio level meters on the monitor. Audio bar shows levels in green, yellow and red. View audio scope quickly and directly. Prompt & Precise focus assist V-Converter features PEAK and Highlight focus assist functions. Double functions are perfect to ensure an advantage with correct exposure in the field.

Intensity extreme exposure quality
Gives you 3 functions to gain unmatched exposure quality including False color, Zebra marking and Histogram. Check exposure in ease even with small LCD screen or in bright sunlight.

Amazing HDMI view monitoring
V-Converter is compatible with wide range of HDMI signal input, supports up to 1080p 60FPS signal and converts signal to 720p output. Take V-Converter wherever you need to work, it will let you truly enjoy super monitoring resolution.

Aputure V-Converter

The new Aputure V-Converter can take any cheap display, or maybe your 60" HDMI television from home and turn it into a monitoring solution in the studio. Sounds like a fun product that can add big value to outdated or even cheap displays. The V-Converter specs state it will be manufactured by aircraft grade aluminum with a built in Lithium-iOn rechargeable battery. Stay tuned for more updates on this product.

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I just recently received two BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras earlier today. So I decided to unbox one and start shooting around, but noticed some very odd lines in the screen. When I played it back on my screen the lines were very apparent. They are so prominent even focus peaking picks up on the vertical lines. Here's a video explaining the issue.

I'm not new to this camera, in fact I shot for an entire week with a previous BMPCC. I looked through every setting, but because of the weird colors it is reproducing I can't imagine it being related to a simple setting in the menu. My fear is this camera has a bad sensor and just needs to be sent back and replaced. Or maybe i'm just a complete idiot and i'm just missing something.

I really want to love this camera, and was so excited that two of my orders arrived, but the hoops I have to jump through keep adding up. What do you guys think about this issue?

Here's a sample video from the camera and if you look closely you can see the vertical lines. You can also download the original video from Vimeo to playback in full ProRes on your system by (clicking here).

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Let me start off by apologizing for sooo many BMPCC posts in the last week, but for the record i'm just as tired blogging about the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera as I am hearing about it. The reason I had to get all of this information out quickly is because yesterday I had to send the little guy back to the www.dvestore.com, and not many other people will have this camera in the coming months.

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BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera w/ Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS - photo credit Dion Wong

So this should be the last 'video review' you'll get from me for a while. In this video I thought about doing a wrap up and summary of things you already knew and some things you probably didn't know about the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

There will of course be many occasions (at least for me) where ProRes and RAW are just overkill for storage and post work, so other small cameras like the Panasonic GH3 (sale ends in two weeks BTW) or Canon 5D Mark III are more beneficial offering high quality with smaller file sizes and longer battery life. The BMPC camera also does not double duty as a fast stills camera, so many will still end up carrying a second body around just for that reason.

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Keiko Alingas w/ @GearAddix BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera Shoot - photo credit Dion Wong

I'm not saying this isn't a a great camera, in fact i'm still excited for my Pocket Cinema Cameras to arrive. I think the size, quality, features, and price of this camera make it a tool that many professionals would love to have available to them. If you can afford the BPMC and the few items it requires to work smoothly, then by all means go for it. If they unlock the RAW features, this camera will be (dare I say) 'a game changer'. I think i'll end this article here since most of my thoughts are already added in the video (above).

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find-price-button BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera - DVEStore Preorder

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras Currently Available on eBay



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I'll be honest i've been out of the loop with what's going on with the Swivi LCD, but it did get a fairly decent review from EOSHD.com. It basically adds a large 5.6" LCD to cameras that lack a Vari-Angle LCD, and provides Focus Peaking, and HDMI pass through. Below is the demo video about the Swivi product features.

Just got news that the Swivi 5.6" HDMI LCD is having a 24 hour sale (also includes LP-E6 type battery and charger). Most retailers are offering product from $370-470 dollars, but for the next 24 hour sale it's been listed at $275 via Amazon (Click Here).

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find-price-button Swivi 5.6" HDMI LCD Screen - via Amazon

Also available on eBay for the same 24 hour sale price (Click Here)

Swivi-LCD
find-price-button Swivi 5.6" External HDMI LCD 24 Hour Promotion- via eBay

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iLogos LCD DSLR Monitor

Branded as iLogos, it's another LCD Monitor showing up online which includes a few popular features such as Peaking, False Color, etc. 7" Screen, 1024x600 resolution (pretty good), with HDMI, Component & Composite inputs. False Color - Adjustable Under Luminance & Over, Luminance Warning, Clip Guide - Adjustable Threshold, Peaking – Red outline, Under Scan, Movable Pixel to Pixel Color, Side-By-Side Freeze Frame, Image Mirror/Flip, DSLR Scaling, 1/4"-20 mounts on all sides. Sounds good on paper so far, has anyone had experience with such LCD?

Available on eBay from same seller who offers the small 5" LCD (click here)

iLogos LCD HDMI MonitoriLogos Monitor LCD
find-price-button 7" LCD HDMI Monitor with Peaking Focus Assist False Color

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