Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sony NEX-EA50 - $2949 Deal - NOW $2725!



I have raved about this camera a couple of times before - last year when it was introduced, and last month when it was marked down to $2999.

This time, marked down to $2949 $2725 at Adorama  (immediate $50 $224 off at checkout, and a $600 mail-in rebate), it is even better value for the money.

As a reminder, here are a couple of examples of the image quality it can produce:






If you want a large-sensor, interchangeable lens, shoulder mounted still/video camcorder with pro mic inputs for less than $3000, the EA50 is pretty much the only game in town.

If anything here has helped you reach a buying decision, please click on one of the links above or the display ad below to order your EA50 from Adorama

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Sony DSC-RX10 - the Panasonic Killer?



I am really excited by the new Sony DSC-RX10's potential for video. Announced at the same time as the full frame A7, this camera has received less recognition - but may be more significant. Perhaps as significant as the moire-resistant GH1 was in 2009.

I especially like the RX10's "de-clicked" 8.3x constant f2.8 power zoom combined with the proven RX100 sensor.  This is essentially a cinema lens on a point and shoot camera.

Add the built-in ND filter, focus peaking, 31 step manual audio level control, audio meters and headphone jack, and you have a serious video camera.

The dust and moisture resistant magnesium alloy body is nice too.

If Sony has really dealt with the line-skipping/moire problem, as this hands on preview from Imaging Resource suggests, I guess I'll have to buy this camera. I had been saving up for the FZ200 to replace my wife's FZ150 - now I'll need to figure out a way to scrape together another $800.

Pricey, yes. But the 1" sensor and 20.2MP still resolution mean the competition for this camera isn't really the FZ200 - it is the G6 and the GH3.

You'd have to buy a $699 Panasonic G6  - plus $1100 12-35mm and $1350 35-100mm constant f2.8 lenses to match the $1298 RX10 in micro 4/3 world.  Compared to $3149 for a plastic camera body and two unpowered zoom lenses, $1298 for a metal body and a power zoom is a real bargain.

And with the G6, you'd still be missing the weather-sealing, the built-in ND filter and the headphone jack.

If you wanted weather-sealing from Panasonic, you'd have to pay $300-$400 more for the GH3. Yes, you'd gain multiple codecs and higher bit rates, but you'd lose focus peaking.

If I were Panasonic, I would be very very worried about this camera.

You can pre-order the new RX10 for $1298 from Amazon or Adorama. These cameras will be very hard to get before Christmas unless you get in line now.

Your card won't be charged by either of these great retailers until your camera ships.  As usual, if any of this has helped you to reach a buying decision, please order through one of the links above or the display ads below or in the margins. It won't cost you anything extra, and it will help keep these posts coming.  Thanks so much.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera CinemaDNG RAW Files for Download!




While Pocket Cinema Camera owners await the long-promised RAW upgrade, Blackmagic guru John Brawley has posted five CinemaDNG RAW files from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for download at copy.com. I am traveling, so I don't have time to experiment with them, but wanted to share, so the community can experiment with them before the RAW upgrade is released.  You can find the downloads here.

I wish I had taken the time to experiment with ProRes before my Pocket Cam arrived - instead of trying to figure out how to shoot with the camera and grade at the same time.  I won't make that mistake twice.  I will make the time to download and experiment with a few RAW files when I get back home.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing a lot of great grades posted in the next few days!

And if you've been waiting to order your Pocket Cinema Camera until the RAW upgrade was released, please order it from one of the links above or the display ads below or in the margins.  It won't cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep these blog posts coming. Thanks so much.



Thursday, October 10, 2013

SALE - Panasonic G6 w Lens - $638!




I've raved about this camera before, but at this price, the Panasonic G6 is absolutely the best value for money in micro 4/3. Lightning fast autofocus, 7fps full resolution stills, 1080/60p video with full manual exposure control and essentially no clip length limit, external mic input with 19-step audio level control, Wi-fi, NFC and built-in intervalometer. Here is the still image quality this camera can produce as seen in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Pool on Flickr.

And here is a short documentary shot with the G6 and the kit lens (from Kevin Mayuga on Vimeo):



This camera is the complete still/video hybrid package at an affordable price. It will go back up to $749 on October 19th, so if you want this great "all-in-one" camera for $638, you may want to pull the trigger now.

As always, if something here has helped you to make a buying decision, please order through the links above, or from one of our sponsors' display ads below or in the margins. It won't cost you anything extra, and it will help to keep these blog posts coming. Thank you for your support for the Hybrid Camera Revolution!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pocket Cinema Camera In Stock - Panasonic GH3 On Sale!


After months of waiting, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is actually in stock at Adorama.  And perhaps coincidentally, the Panasonic GH3 is again on sale at Amazon for $998.

For those who need two high quality video cameras, this is a good pair. I was out shooting with these cameras this past weekend, and it was great to be able to swap lenses and use the same cables and connectors for sound setups - because both cameras use the same lens mount and the same 3.5mm connectors for mics and headphones. To be fair, I did have to crank the mic output up for the Pocket Camera.  More on this later.

I was pleased to discover that the Pocket Camera does a pretty good job of controlling autofocus and aperture for standard 4/3 lenses through the Panasonic DMW-MA1 adapter - so my Oly 11-22mm 4/3 lens worked very well.

That said, if you need to choose one camera or the other, your decision will depend on how much control you want over your images when you're done shooting.

For casual and family video with the ability to produce serious amateur or professional video when needed - the GH3 is the right choice.  It is easier to use in the field (its auto modes just work), and its in-camera color control is more than adequate for most amateur and professional needs.

On the other hand, serious video shooters on a limited budget who don't need a hybrid still/video camera, are frustrated with the limited dynamic range of 8 bit codecs - and who want an exquisite level of image control in the editing suite - should get their hands on the Pocket Cinema Camera.  Yes, shooting with this camera will take more work, but for those who need "filmic" dynamic range and maximum flexibility in the editing suite, the results are worth it.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pay 50% Less For Your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Storage!

One of the crticisms of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has been the high cost of the fast UHS-I SDXC cards required to record the camera's 233mbps ProRes codec.
Blackmagic's recommended cards, from Sandisk and Delkin, are both expensive.  As of this post, the Sandisk 64GB Extreme Pro is $132.37 and the Delkin 64GB Elite is $131.51.

64GB would be a lot of memory for any other camera.  But it only gives you 37 minutes of recording time with the BMPC.

Fortunately, there is another option, which will give you over an hour of recording time.  Adata UHS-I cards record at the same advertised 45MBps write speed as the Delkin, and you can get a 128GB Adata Premier Pro SDXC card for $125.

I went out and shot with the 64GB version of this card today, and had no issues.  The camera recognized the card and there were no dropped frames.

Twice the storage for less money, not a bad deal.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera - Ready to Shoot



I really couldn't be happier.  The camera recognizes the ADATA 64GB SDXC Card, the Bower batteries and charger seem to work and hold more charge than the battery that came with the camera, the Wooden Camera Hot Shoe and the Kamerar hot shoe extension made it easy to mount the mic, top handle and recorder, and the iris and autofocus on the Oly 11-22 seem to recognize commands from the camera.  The only thing that doesn't work is the trigger on my pistol grip, which works fine on Panasonic cameras, but is clearly not real LANC.  

After doing a little research, I have decided to get a Photography & Cinema pistol grip (without a trigger) and a Pro-Lanc LRC-01.

When I get the step-up ring for the ND filter, we'll get out and shoot some side-by-sides with the GH3!

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Has Arrived!



It's here!  I've been out of town for the past couple of days, so I haven't had a chance to unbox it, but looking forward to getting it powered up and ready to shoot.  All of the accessories I need are here - except for the step-up ring I need to mount the ND filter, which should arrive in the next few days - so I'll stick to interiors for now.

In the meantime, my $27 Kamerar 20cm Hot Shoe Extension came in, and Professor Tu was right.  This is a great way to mount multiple accessories.  I especially like the way he tilted the external recorder back, making it easy to monitor sound levels from behind the camera.  For cameras such as the EOS M, Pocket Cinema Camera and GH3 (whose sound meters disappear after a few seconds of recording), this is essential.

Fortunately, the Pocket Camera and the GH3 both have headphone jacks (unlike the EOS M), so it's not a problem that my recorder doesn't have separate line and headphone outputs.  I do wish that this was a more common feature, however, and I'll never buy another recorder without separate output jacks.

Here are a couple of pics of my "poor man's rig" with the GH3, pistol grip, $27 hot shoe extension, $160 Tascam DR-40 , $29.90 CoolLCD top handle, with my $75 used eBay AT835b mic and $32 Windtech MM-21 mic muff mounted on a $25 Campro Deluxe Shock Mount.  I can remove the whole thing from the camera by unscrewing it from the hot shoe and removing the Sescom cable between the recorder and the camera, the setup costs less than a cage would have, it works like a champ and I look forward to trying it on the Pocket.





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