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Topics - Axilrod

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Blackmagic Production Camera:
4K Super 35mm sized Sensor
Global Shutter (No more rolling shutter)
Compressed RAW!
$3995 and available in July!

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
About the Size of an iPhone
Same sensor as current Blackmagic Cinema Camera
Super 16mm sized Crop 1080p

I hope Canon is taking notes...

Third Party Manufacturers / MTF Chart for New Nikon 800mm f/5.6
« on: January 29, 2013, 11:33:45 PM »
I don't really know much about MTF charts, but I've never seen one that looks like this:

EOS Bodies - For Video / Philip Bloom reviews Canon 1DC
« on: January 27, 2013, 04:41:28 PM »

"Because there is no actual competition for this camera, there is no other camera of this size, of this weight, of this sensitivity that can shoot 4K for this price, therefore it's worth the money."  He says it's "overpriced" only when compared to the 1DX.  He goes on to call it "an astonishing camera" and says "he's in love with it."

Landscape / Spiral Arm of the Milky Way above the Texas Desert
« on: January 22, 2013, 01:47:16 PM »
Finally got somewhere dark enough worth shooting some long exposures.  So we headed an hour east of Lubbock, Texas, to where it is virtually pitch black.  The moon was 1 day past new so it was ideal.  Only thing that could have been better was the time of year, the brightest part of the Milky Way is only visible during the summer (in the Northern Hemisphere anyways).  And it was in the 20's with wind chills near zero, but for 5 hours me and a buddy shot almost nonstop.  I shot a time lapse with the 5D3/14LII/Dynamic Perception Stage Zero dolly, still working on that.  Set up my friend with the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8/5D2, adjusted settings and he took it from there and actually got some great shots.  I was shooting with another 5D3/24LII and 16-35mm f/2.8.  Keep in mind these are individual exposures, most of the really insane pictures of the Milky Way you see are a bunch of stacked exposures, but I don't have a tracking mount yet so I couldn't do that.

Here are a couple of ones I liked from the first batch of shots I processed:

24mm f/1.4L @ f/2, ISO3200, 20 Seconds (That little bright disc to the left is a Galaxy!)

16-35mm f/2.8L II @ 22mm, f/2.8, 30 seconds (Little bit too long for focal length, but it turned out ok)

I know alot of astronomy buffs may be sickened by these, but the general public love shots that look like this.  It was a learning experience and I'm thrilled to have had the chance to finally get some shots like these.  I'm going back in the summer since that's when the brightest part of the Milky Way is visible.

Edit: I posted these a few pages up, figured I'd move them here:

16-35L II, ISO3200, f/2.8, 30 seconds (Used a Night Sky preset and exported to show you, post processing a bit too much for me, but you get the idea).

Here is one with nothing in the foreground, so kinda boring, but lot of cool stuff is visible
24LII, ISO3200, f/2, 20 seconds.

Original announced price for F55 was $34,900, F5 was $19,400. 

B&H preorder price, F5 is $16,490 and F55 is $28,990, so pretty big difference.  I'm curious how Canon will respond, as the F5 seems like a more capable camera than the C300 for a better price.  I think the F55 will be a hot seller at that price, especially with that global shutter, 14 stops of DR, etc. 

Lighting / Getting started with 600EX-RT, advice?
« on: December 28, 2012, 02:31:07 PM »
So I got my first flash, a 600EX-RT.  So far I just got a Gary Fong Lighsphere diffuser for it and that's about it.  I was just curious as to what fun things I can do with it just to experiment.  I've always shot with natural light/reflectors, but I know flashes open up a whole new world.  I feel like I'm clueless as to where to start, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I asked the same question last year so figured why not make it an annual thing?  List isn't as long as last year, but it was still a good year:

I got a 600EX-RT, my first flash and I'm looking forward to experimenting with it.
And my Blackmagic Design camera is supposed to turn up tomorrow hopefully, super pumped about that.
Gopro Hero 3 Black Edition

EOS Bodies - For Video / Blackmagic Design Cinema Cam finally shipping!
« on: December 20, 2012, 12:45:58 PM »
Shop called and said the distributor already has them and mine will be here 2 days after Christmas!  Looking forward to playing with it.

Third Party Manufacturers / Nikon D600 $2700 MSRP??
« on: September 12, 2012, 09:32:10 AM »
I knew $1500 was a giant pipe dream, but I can't believe it's that close to the d800.

Third Party Manufacturers / Sony A99 24MP Full Frame Press Release
« on: September 12, 2012, 01:17:27 AM »
I must admit, Sony is really tearing it up this year.  In terms of specs it looks better than the 5DIII in just about every way.  I'm a video guy so the 1080p 60fps and clean HDMI out are very appealing.  These are such small things that Canon should (but foolishly didn't) add to the 5D3.  Also it has "full time continuous AF" in movie mode, not sure how well it will work, but very cool.

Software & Accessories / Feedback on a couple new Thunderbolt Devices
« on: August 14, 2012, 06:55:20 PM »
So I got some new toys last month and wanted to give some feedback since they are fairly new.  I've had a Lacie Little Big Disk 1TB for about 6 months and I love working from it, the thing absolutely screams for video (and I'm sure stills are no different).  But I got a couple new ones recently that I felt were worth mentioning:

1)Sonnet Expresscard Thunderbolt  Adapter( - This thing essentially gives you an express card slot that you can use for all kinds of stuff.  I bought it specifically so I could use the Sonnet Dual-CF card reader(, which allows you to dump 2 CF cards at the same time.  This was very helpful at my last shoot, dumping 16GB of footage only took a couple minutes at most.  I still had 1 FW800 reader hooked up for the 3rd card (which I would dump first) and this thing would dump 2 cards simultaneously and still get done a few minutes before the FW800 reader.  The only thing I don't like about it is that there is only 1 thunderbolt port, so no daisy-chaining, but I just put it on the end of the chain with no problems.  The adapter is $149 and the Dual-CF express card is $100, so it's not cheap but very effective if you have to work fast. 

2) Lacie Thunderbolt eSata Hub ( - This thing really brings your hard drives back to life.  I have 10 Lacie Quadra and G-Tech drives that I've always had hooked up via firewire, but they all have eSata ports.  Now granted there are only 2 eSata ports coming off of it, so you can only use 2 drives at a time, but the ones you do have hooked up will scream.  I've only had 1 shoot to use it, but so far I love it.  For $200 I think it's definitely worth it.

Utilizing Thunderbolt hasn't been cheap so far, but these are 2 accessories I feel are reasonably priced and very effective.  At the last shoot I was working off of the Lacie thunderbolt drive, which I daisy chained to the eSata Hub (which was connected to 2 drives full of footage via the hub's eSata ports), with the Sonnet Expresscard Adapter chained to the end.  So I was transferring footage from the express card adapter to the 2 drives hooked up to the esata hub, and working in FCP/Compressor/Photoshop off of the Lacie Drive at lightning speed, I mean not a hiccup from any of it.  Constantly transferring, editing, compressing without any issues was wonderful. 

I don't personally care about the light leak issue, but I know it could potentially hurt the resale value.  I was just wondering if anyone had gotten theirs fixed and if so how did you go about doing it?  And how much did it cost?

Lenses / Canon 42mm f/2.8 TS-E, anyone heard of this?
« on: May 23, 2012, 10:53:59 PM »
My local shop has a used 42mm f/2.8 TS-E, I thought I was hallucinating when I saw it but it's definitely a 42mm.  They said it was very rare, but I can't find anything on Google (very weird).  Anyone heard of this before?

Recently there have been a flood of posts with people asking incredibly basic questions that are easily answered by reading the manual.  I'm not saying people shouldn't ask questions, but could you at least google your question, use the search, or check the manual first?  I just feel like it's incredibly lazy to jump on Canon Rumors and expect everyone to be your human-powered google for camera questions. 
The worst part is a lot of the time you'll see the person post "never mind, I found it" before there is even a chance for someone to answer, making the thread a total waste of space.   

Not trying to be rude or anything, just a suggestion/observation.

Old Setup
5DII - 14LII/16-35mm on tripod as static cam
5DII/7D- 35L/50L on Redrock Rig
5DII - 85L/135L on fluid head

This was my general setup for recording bands over the past year.  Camera 3 ALWAYS looked significantly better than the others, as the 85/135 are amazingly sharp lenses and very detailed.  When I only had the 16-35mm the static cam always looked like it was lacking a bit compared to the others, but the 14mm helped make it look much more consistent.  Either way, cam 3 always stood out in terms of IQ.   

New Setup
5DIII - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 (Shot at f/2.8 entire time, ISO between 1250-1600)
5DIII - Zeiss 50 f/1.4 (Shot between f/2.0-f/2.8, ISO 640)
5DII - Zeiss 85 f/1.4  (Shot between f/2.0-f/2.5, ISO 320-640)

First off, I have to say that I dont know that I can ever go back to shooting video on Canon lenses after using Zeiss glass, more on that later.  As for the 5DIII, I have to say it was an absolute joy to shoot with.  I don't care if the 1080p signal has overlays, I can't tell you how much easier it is to pull focus with these cameras.  I normally use the Zacuto EVF on the rig and for once I could just use my 5" Marshall and it was just fine (but never with the 5DII). 

Got home last night and started checking out the footage and was very, very pleased..  People complain about lack of detail with the 5DII/III, but it looks plenty sharp with no post-sharpening and it handles noise much much better than the 5DII.  I think it's sharp enough that only a pixel-peeping gear-head would ever complain about the IQ of this thing.  Sure the resolution could be better, but that doesn't mean it's unacceptable.  The only time I could call footage from these cameras "muddy" is when shooting with absolutely no extra light in a low-light situation, but hey what do you expect?  Shooting with proper lighting makes all the difference in the world.

Here is the kicker, the static cam with the 5D3/21mm 2.8 @ ISO 1600 looked better than the 5D2/85 @ ISO 640 (which was always the money shot before)!  This is the first time ever that the tight shot wasn't the absolute best, it was actually the least impressive of the 3.  I think that says a lot about the 5DIII.  It took a real shoot for me to truly see the difference..and I didn't have to look hard to see it.  I was also very surprised by how well the internal mic picked up bands making that much noise.  We are using $50k worth of audio equipment, so it wouldn't work for my situation, but I can see it being usable in some cases.

As for the Zeiss lenses, the things are just amazing.  They are very sharp edge to edge and do very well with fine detail, the focus rings are smooth as butter, they breathe much less than the Canon lenses.  They are built like tanks and the sound and feel of the lens hood locking into place feels awesome for some reason.  The throw of the focus rings is just superb, and having hard stops at infinity and macro makes all the difference in the world.  Color rendition is absolutely amazing and the footage looks superb straight out of the camera.  Minimal color correction required, I spent probably 1/4 of the time I normally do with Canon lenses.  Anyways, after shooting with these guys there is absolutely no way I could recommend a video shooter buy any L lenses (unless they need something longer than 100mm or shoot lots of stills and need AF).  I really wish I had just bought them in the first place, as I am pretty attached to my L glass and am having trouble bringing myself to get rid of them.   

In short, 2 thumbs up for the 5DIII and same for Zeiss glass.

Edit: I will post the videos as soon as I get clean audio from the engineer and the videos get approved for release. 

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