Sunday, October 19, 2008

$100 16GB SXS equivalent media card for your Sony EX1/EX3

If you are a Sony EX1 or EX3 shooter, you might really want to read this. This solution has been fully tested and confirmed to be working 100% on the cameras.

Now you can have a FULLY WORKING $100 16GB Express Card for your EX1/EX3 camera. This compared to Sony SXS card for $ 1200 each.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Simply Stunning.

W. O. W

$2700 21megapixel 35mm sensor size interchangeable lens. Please Canon, use the Canon 5D MKII technology on your camcorder line.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Wednesday Morning Rant; DSLR + VIDEO and Canon.

It seems that everybody is into the SLR + Video hybrid nowadays since the introduction of the Nikon D90. Shooting a film is an uphill battle to begin with, and again IMHO, I just cant see why one would make the effort even more challenging by choosing to use a DSLR camera.

Now, just days after Nikkon D90 announcement, Jim Jannard from RED is announcing that they are going into the DSLR + Video market. I am not saying that one cannot use the D90 to make a full feature film, but it is surely the D90 is not the most optimum tool for that purpose. Yes it can be done ! I even have seen a music video that was done with a small Canon point and shoot camera.

Speaking about the industry and Canon, IMHO the biggest underachiever is Canon. Canon has all the resources in the world to dive into the indie semi-pro industry. Take for instance;

a) Canon has beenproducing one of the world's best lenses (both still and motion).
b) Canon is already in the digital video camcorder industry (HV30, A1, G1, H1 ...etc.).
c) Canon does not have any high end camera market to cannibalized.
d) Canon has full frame sensor on a $2000 5D camera.

So if you think about it, all the resources are already in place for Canon to produce a truly Indie camera ala the RED ONE. Imagine a shoulder mountable H1 sized camera that uses CMOS 35mm sensor that mates with their still camera lens. They know it is possible, they had in the past and still offers their EF adapter for the XL-H1 so you can use Canon SLR lens with the camera. All that is left, is to rehouse some of ther SLR prime lenses to cine style; declick the aperture stops, give it a longer throw and put gear rings on it and charge 2 1/2 times more than the current price.

If such Canon camera exists, it will easily sell a TON at ~$15k (Body) and ~$10k (set of primes). Yet, look at Canon; their camera still uses HDV codec, no tapeless option and nothing notable/perfomance during this past NAB. They can go absolutely insane, as currently they dont have any high end camera market to protect.

Too bad, the Japanese while having all the resources at their disposal but they are very conservative and not innovative at all. I can understand Sony and Panasonic being super conservative because they have to protect their higher end offering, but Canon has nothing to lose, and yet still, Nikon took the leadership by offering movie mode on the D90 ahead of Canon.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Redrock Micro Mattebox Rail Solution

My new 'modded' Redrock Micro Mattebox 15mm setup that allows you to slide the mattebox on the entire length of the rods.

The Problem.
The new Redrock Micro Mattebox is a god sent solution to us poor indie filmmakers. However, you might be disappointed in how the 15mm rail version of the mattebox was designed. The mattebox was designed a bit too low, as the result, you are forced to mount the mattebox at the exact end of your rails. (NOTE: The 19mm version of the mattebox does not have this problem).

For 35mm adapter user (especially if you mix zooms and primes), this also means that you got to have exact length rails for each of your different length lenses. As you can imagine, it is a pain to do that in the field and also could be expensive and troublesome (cutting different rails to match different lenses). Also, if you want to use the mattebox with your camera's original lens, you might have problem to get the mattebox to be close enough to the camera lens without using an extremely short rails.

The Solution.
Until Redrock decides to fix this problem, here is a simple solid solution that you can execute now.
Step 1: Mount the mattebox on the topmost bracket on the swing away arm. This should lift the mattebox 1 3/4" above the rails. Align the mattebox so it is perfectly horizontal and tighten the knob. Next we got to give the mattebox some structural support.

Step 2: You need one short 15mm rail. I use a 4 1/2" rail in the picture above. Next, you need 2 Redrock MultiMount (Is there anything those little suckers cant do?) into the rod.

Step 3: Loosen the thumbscrew on the multimounts and then slide in into the swing away rods and then tighten all knobs. This is so, to give back structural strength and integrity to the mattebox.

With my 'mod', you still have about 3/4" of room before the longest part of the 360 degree rotatable filter tray touches your rails.

The entire assembly from the right side. The entire thing is as rock solid as the original. It does not have any flex whatsoever at all. No more custom rails or rail swapping to compensate for different lenses.Hey Redrock, what about having black as a color option on the multi mount ??

Now you can use your Redrock Shoulder Mount with your Redrock Mattebox on the same setup. Now thats a sea of baby blue on the rig.

Hope This has been helpful to you guys out there. Cheers.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The RedRock Micro MatteBox

Christmas in August.

The RedRock Mattebox, probably the most sought after film production accessories today. They are so much hype surrounding this product and the waiting list can span across several month. Out of the 8 lb shipping weight, out come 1x mattebox, 1x arm (15mm or 19mm available), swing away with 2 horizontal adjustment arms, 2 side wings, 1 top wing and 4x neoprene donuts in the following sizes (2" + 2.5" + 3" + 4").

The Redrock Mattebox is extremely well designed mattebox and it rivals other much more expensive system. Everything was well engineered and very well made and built, everything is solid and you cannot find any loose or rattling part in the system.

Almost everything is build out of metal. The eyebrow, side wings and mattebox adapter (the front body) are made of high impact ABS plastic ( dont worry as they are extremely hard material). There are also horizontal and vertical adjustments along with full 360 degree rotatable filter stage. The system comes with 2 filter stages and you can buy and add more stages from Redrock as needed. There is also the option of purchasing the 19mm swing away arm should you are moving towards studio accessories in the future. The finish on everything down to the 4x4 matte are all superbly done.

The whole package is housed on a very nice fitted foam case. You can save some money and just buy a blank Pelican Case or any hard case without their foam and reuse the Redrock packaging.

The swing away component of the mattebox is brilliantly designed. The whole block that attaches the mattebox body to the swing away piece is very solid and robust. Apart from the filter stages, this is the only major moving part of the entire mattebox design. There are no rattling, gaps or anything that doesnt inspire confidence in the design. Instead of just pushing the entire mattebox back into its position, I would rather lift the knob and then push the pin into its sitting position. Not that you will wear down the sitting metal pin, but I like to minimize any metal to metal grinding.

Neoprene Rubber Donut Bellow.
eInstead of having a hard mount bellow, Redrock uses 0.5mm thick rubber neoprene donuts to wrap around your camera's lens to act as a bellow. It is a less than elegant solution but it works pretty well. My nikon 50mm f1.4 fits snug on the 2" donut and my Nikon f2.8mm zooms lenses fit the 2.5" and 3" donuts.

Direct sunlight is an enemy for neoprene as UV rays will cause neoprene to cracking and stiffening. However, I will be covering the filter stage as well as the donut/lens area with duvetyne to block out stray light anyways, so hopefully that will minimize the sun damage in the outdoors. So only time will tell how well the donuts do on those long summer outdoor shoots. Neoprene also stretches over time. Make sure that you do not introduce crease into the donuts during storage, as it is almost impossible to make them dissapear again. Heat also deteriorates the neoprene and will shorten its life, so ideally you want to store those neoprene donuts on a dark cool place.


The 2x filter trays that was supplied with the mattebox. The filter tray stock size is 4 x 4.56 and you can use the RedRock 4x4 Matte to use with your 4x4 filter. Depending on the lens that you have on your camera, you might be able to get by with cheaper 4 x 4 filter or you might be forced to use 4 x 5.65 filters which are more expensive. Here lies problem or quirk no 1 for the RedRock Micro Mattebox.
The extremely thin 4x4 plastic matte that was supplied with the MatteBox does not fit right into the filter tray. The plastic matte ws shipped slightly big for the filter tray. As a result, the matte will not sit flat inside the tray and this causes the tray to leak and allowed light to enter. As a result of using a very thin material, the matte also do not have a firm structure therefore, movement may cause the matte to leak and allow stray lights to come enter. I would assume that in order to solve the size problem, you can simply take a siccor and carefully trim along the side of the plastic matte to make it sit evenly on the tray.

Redrock Micro Mattebox French Flag/Top eyebrow.
Good Things Come To Those That Waits.
At $695.00 for the Deluxe Bundle, the RedRock Micro Mattebox is the deal of the century. The mattebox is simply an unreal and fantasic deal. There is talk that RedRock will be increasing the price of the mattebox in the near future. Even at $ 1200.00 this mattebox is worth every penny.
If you are looking for a mattebox, place and order and get inline, you will not be dissapointed. This is the preliminary report on the Redrock Micro Mattebox, more practical application and on the field report to come soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nikon d90; a preview of the capability of RED Scarlet ?

Chase Jarvis RAW: Advance Testing the Nikon D90

8/26/2008 09:00:00 PM

Woot! Today I get to be among the very first to share with you the planet’s newest camera: the much-anticipated Nikon D90. You may have been attuned to all the recent leaks, buzz and rumors of a new Nikon camera coming soon, but I can assure you, this here ain’t no rumor. It’s the real deal and I know so because my crew and I spent several weeks testing and experimenting with this gem months in advance of today’s release, and our efforts make up the launch campaign. Hold onto your chairs for a second while I drop a few nuggets:
- 12.3 megapixels (the same luscious chip that’s in the Nikon D300)
- D-movie function (that’s right, MOVIE function. 1280x720, .avi format, HD720p)
- High ISO/low-noise performance (Nikon’s ace in the hole. I shot this at 3200 and dug it.)
- 4.5 frames per second
- 3 inch, 920dot LCD with Live View
- Pop up flash with ‘commander’ mode to interface with Nikon's lighting system
- GPS tagging
And if you’re at all curious to see actual 1000px detail shots of the camera, sample images, technical specs, and hear the backstory behind what a Nikon D3 pro like yours truly was doing with a D90 camera targeted to advanced amateurs, click ‘continue reading’ below.
Ok, so I normally steer clear of too much tech hype, but today I’m right up in there. Why? Because this time it feels different. Different, sure, because I got to play with, hammer on, and test the bejeezus out of the Nikon D90 for weeks-on-end prior to anybody even knowing it existed. (Did I say lucky? Soooo fun.) But this also feels different because, beyond all the specifications, numbers, megapixels and other geeky stuff, my gut is that Nikon have really delivered on this product. After using this camera and pushing it to it’s limits, I can honestly say that it’s a camera that will deliver stunning, emotive pictures--and MOVIES for Pete’s sake! MOVIES!--to an entire spectrum of amateur photographers. And that’s exciting. The world can always use better pictures.

The Short Backstory: Representatives from Nikon Japan buzzed me to talk about a new camera while I was in Dubai. Two zillion dollars in cell phone bills and a bunch of airline miles later, I’m learning the details. And before I know it, we’ve piggy-backed a Nikon project on top of another commercial shoot I’ve got going back in Seattle in the spring to put this hot little camera to the test. And the best part? I’ve talked them into not only putting the camera in my hands, but it the hands of my staff too. Democracy. Nikon loves the idea. Heck everybody on my staff are advanced amateurs in their own right - so what better way to test this sucker than have everybody shooting - me and the crew...cameras all ‘round.

Speaking of The Camera, how'd you like a handful of snaps of the camera to whet your palette. For an Aperture gallery of twenty 1000px jpgs of each view (even photos of the digital menus...), just click here or an image below:

The Main Event: We had a blast, gaffer taping up the logos, running in stealth mode with all these black beauties so that they wouldn’t be noticed around other crew, cast, and the general public. Secret agent fun. We worked the cameras hard during my piggy-backed commercial shoot for more than a week. We shot them constantly, me--along with the D3--and the crew just with the fleet of D90’s. And funny how this happens, but go figure...our work with the D90 on location soon bled into shooting over dinner, then drinks, and then into the night, then into the next week, and so on. And the more we beat on 'em, the more the crew liked 'em.

Here’s one of my favorite grabs from my time with the D90. The flare is a stylistic thing, but the image really shows a great dynamic range:

Click the image above or, better yet, visit for more sample images, behind the scenes shots, and access to the main D90 microsite with all the bells and whistles.

The Wrap: In addition to the myriad of reasons I’ve already listed, there’s another reason to celebrate this launch: it’s cool that Nikon are listening to pro photographers, amateurs, and engineers alike, as a part of testing and adopting new products. This D90 project so nicely whips together many of the needs of aspiring photographers, as well as the photo community at large. Nikon is getting it. And Seth Godin will be happy. I hope other photography brands follow Nikon's lead.

To close this short chapter for me and hopefully open a new one for those of you who might consider rolling with the D90, I’ll wrap with a quick review. Here's 5 reasons this camera is great:

1. The D-movie. HD720 video in an dSLR is really big news. It’s so cool that we’re seeing the merging of high quality still and video pictures into the same camera. Sure, for us pros, we’ve got the RED camera. But for everybody else? This is the future. People: this is an SLR that shoots killer video! It’s the merging of features that the pros are using and it’s made accessible the the amateur at a price point of $1200+ bucks. Trust me, I played with this feature at length...all of us on location did, for that matter. It's going to be a powerful tool. You can control your own depth of field so beautifully using the manual focus ring, the audio capture is solid, the high ISO capabilities in video?! Way cool... Long lenses, fisheyes, zoom lenses...versatility. I’m a BIG fan of the D-Movie.

2. Photo J possibilities. This camera will be a great second body for pro photojournalists. Commercial guys like me will be loyal to the D3 and its future, but for any PJ shooter, all the bells and whistles we’ve discussed already-- especially video and audio capture--make this a no-brainer as a backup body.

3. Image Quality. The sensor is really top tier for a camera targeted at advanced amateurs. The high ISO capabilities are going to be a welcome addition to cameras in this price point. Want to take images of your kid in the rain at his baseball game at 7pm? This is your camera. It’s the D300 sensor with some juice.

4. The ergonomics of this camera are great. As someone who holds a camera for a living, I think camera ergonomics are waaay underrated. This camera (light at only 1lb. 6oz) is a treat in your hand. The menus are great and everything is right where you want it.

5. Oh ya, did I mention that this thing shoots video?!

And lastly, since I’m a huge music fan and always inundated with emails asking about the great music in our videos, here’s the inside line: the music in this Nikon D90 video is compliments of one of my fav bands going right now: The Blakes. Do yourself (and them) a favor and buy some iTunes music from these guys so you can say you were listening to them before they made it really big. Hurry, your time is running out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caution before you purchase your Wireless Device. Frequency banned in the USA.

FCC votes unanimously to prohibit use of wireless microphones, other devices in 700-megahertz band after DTV transition.

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/21/2008 4:56:00 PM

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to prohibit the use of wireless microphones and other devices in the 700-megahertz band after the transition to digital.
FCC chairman Kevin Martin proposed the ban earlier this month.
The FCC also wants to prohibit the manufacture, sale, import or shipment of such devices that operate in the 700-MHz band.
The devices have been sharing the spectrum with broadcasters on those channels (52-69), but those channels are being reclaimed for advanced wireless uses by industry and first-responders after the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to DTV.
The FCC said the move affects 156 licenses, but only 30 are not also authorized to operate in other bands that will still be available after the transition, including some DTV-spectrum band.
Effective on release of the order, there will be a freeze on applications for any "low-power auxiliary station," which is the category that includes the wireless mikes, as well as equipment that synchronizes TV-camera signals.

The commission also sought comment on a proposal to authorize current unauthorized users in the 700 mHz band--many wireless mike users are not licensed, in violation of FCC rules--by alowing them to operator on channels below 52-69. It will also look into complaints about the marketing of those microphones.

Harold Feld of Media Access Project, which pushed the proposal and marketing investigation, said MAP was pleased the FCC had made a quick and definitive decision. "It shows that they are taking us seriously," he told B&C. "We certainly hope that this will be resolved before the DTV transition on Feb. 17, and hope the FCC adopts our road map on how to move forward, which protects members of the public, allows for opening the spectrum for all productive wireless devices and punishes only those who illegally marketed the devices in the first place."

David Donovan of the Association for Maximum Service Television has pointed out that the move will reduce the spectrum available for wireless mikes used by news reporters and newsrooms and would "appear to make it more difficult to place unlicensed devices on channels 21-51 since the demand for wireless-mike spectrum will increase on those channels."
The FCC is currently testing those unlicensed devices as it decides how and whether to allow them to share DTV spectrum.

Mark Brunner, Shure’s senior director, public and industry relations, for major mike manufacturer, responded.

“Shure plans to work closely with the FCC during this rulemaking process," he said in an e-mail to B&C. "In anticipation of changes in the 700 MHz band, Shure ceased manufacture, marketing and sale of all wireless microphone products in this frequency range, the last of which was discontinued in 2007," he said.



This might also mean that if you do not reside in the USA, you might be able to get GREAT DEALS on 700 Mhz band wireless devices from the USA.e.