Tag Archives: panasonic

Canon’s doubtful move with the C300

Nobody can deny the fact that Canon has totally changed the game of digital filmmaking forever. Since the introduction of their 5D MKII in 2008 and the whole set of HDSLRs that followed, Canon has allowed anyone with 2 000$ in their pockets to have access to a quality of image highly comparable to cameras that were worth several tens of thousands of dollars not even 5 years ago. The 5D MKII became one of the best-selling cameras in the world and Canon have completely dominated the indie filmmaker market from this day.

3 years have passed since, and even if these cameras are great tools, they have flaws. Consumer feedback has been pouring all over the Internet since the arrival of the 5D, and while Canon have adressed some issues, they still have a lot of work to do to make its line of HDSLRs perfect. The rolling shutter is a pain in the ass for any fan of shooting handheld, the h264 compression drives editors nuts and the audio input options are horrible. And those are just a few of the problems filmmakers face everyday while working with these cameras.

Last Thursday, November 3rd, Canon and RED both held press conferences to announce their new camera models. Rumours were all over the place as to what Canon was releasing, while there was more certainty towards RED, who were announcing their much anticipated and budget-friendly RED Scarlet.

Canon presented its new camera, the C300, a digital S35 camera, priced at around 20 000$. Big mistake. I’m sure the C300 will be a good camera, but that’s not the point. The problem is that Canon just let down the consumer bracket that put them back on the map in the video domain. Since they released the GL2 in 2002 (I think), they had been out of the game for videographers. Sony and Panasonic dominated the market, and suddenly, the 5D changed all that. Now tell me why, Canon, would you leave the consumers that crafted your rebirth with flawed tools and try to create a camera for TV-size productions ? The price tag isn’t everything in business. Even if Gucci sells 700-dollar pants, GAP still has 3 times their revenues by selling good old 20-dollar jeans.

On top of that, on paper, the RED Scarlet will outperform the C300, for a lesser price (maybe equal once you buy all the required equipment). And in terms of consumer confidence, I guess people with 20k to spend on a camera are most likely to go towards RED, who have been the leader in high-end digital cinema since 2007, while Canon has pretty much never developed a Hollywood-level camera.

I’m looking forward to try both these cameras and see how they compare, but I’m also anxious to see the financial winner of this c300 vs. Scarlet battle.

I think Canon already lost.

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December 7th in CMYK

Well, I finally won’t have to put my diabolical plan in action. I made a movie for the Nikon Festival, which was only opened to US residents, and had it uploaded by a friend from New Jersey. Unfortunately, my submission didn’t make the top 50, so now that I don’t have anything to hide anymore, I can show the video !

It was all shot with the Panasonic HMC150 in 1080p24 with a Letus35 adapter, with Canon FD lenses (28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4 and 100mm 2.8). Heavy color correction in After Effects afterward, and I will unfortunately say that this is the first time I’ve been dissapointed by the HMC150. The low bit-rate of the original footage just didn’t hold up under the multi-layer color correction. It looks fine down-scaled to 720p on Vimeo, but the original 1080p version doesn’t look too good, especially on a LCD television.

I’ll take the occasion to say to those who think HDSLRs are the way to go for video right now, hold your horses a bit. Footage from most (I say “most” just to back myself, cause I would say ALL) HDSLRs right now have a much lower bitrate than AVCHD footage, so color grading this footage heavily must destroy it way beyond anyone can imagine (I have not tested it yet but…). That’s another debate I won’t get into in this post though.

Anyway, here’s the movie, feel free to give me some feedback.

9 holes at sunset with the HMC-150

golf
Yesterday I received my set of filters that I ordered for my Panasonic HMC-150. Since it was super sunny outside, I decided to follow my dad playing a quick game of golf to test the polarizing filter. Unfortunately, the sky was not very blue bird, and there were clouds which washed-out the sky even when looking at it, so it was not the best time to test the filter. Plus, the first 9 holes of this course face the sun very often, so I really didn’t have optimal conditions.
But, I still managed to pull out one sick shot (the one from the thumbnail). You really see the use of the polarizing lens on this with the subject well lit and the sky appearing super blue.

Here are the scene settings:
Detail level: -5
Chrome level: +5
Color Temp: -2
Master Ped: -75
Everything else at zero

Looking back at it now though, some shots are way too orange and Color Temp should have been left at zero to compensate for the sunset light. All slow motion shots were shot at 720p60 with a shutter speed of 1/500 to 1/2000 depending on the available light. All other shots were shot at 720p24 native with a shutter speed of 1/48.

Car ads are blowing me away right now. Toyota “Covered”

toyota
I’ve always been a big fan of car ads, but it seems that lately, every car company has surpassed themselves in producing mind-blowing ads. Toyota’s latest ad, entitled Covered, is just another example of that.
This new spot is beautifully filmed, perfectly choreographed and flawlessly edited/post-produced. Chi & Partners is responsible for this clever concept, while RSA Films took care of the perfect visual effects. Brett Foraker directed this ad. In his vast portfolio, you’ll find the amazing ad for Panasonic’s Viera TV.

Where to begin…?? NAB 2009 part 1

nab_1
Many new products have been released in the first two days of NAB. Here are some hot releases:

Hardware
Panasonic announced new camcorders and new P2 cards, E-Series. They are less expensive, and have a higher transfer rate than the previous generations. Here’s their webpage with full recaps of their press conferences. Their new camcorder, the HMC40, is a smaller version of the HMC150, which delivers the same frame rates (including 720p60). They also launched their 3DHD products, which will include 3D, full 1080p camcorders, TVs, Blu-Ray players and more. Up to now, 3D dissapointed many, including myself, so it’ll be interesting to see how Panasonic can deliver this new dimension. Finally, Panasonic announced that they will be the official provider of P2 technology for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Sony announced 3 new camcorders, supporting their most popular formats. Take a look at their press kit.

Mac users will be happy to learn that NVIDIA released the Quadro FX 4800 for the Mac Pro. With 1.5 GB of memory, maybe After Effects will start taking true advantage of OpenGL. We’ll see…

I-Movix announced it’s new version of the SprintCam, the V3 HD, which is a 1000 frame-per-second camcorder, recording at 1080p. This sets a new standard for slow-motion shots.

Software
I’m still waiting for news about Final Cut Studio 3…
In the meanwhile, I’ve heard that the Red Giant booth is drawing a lot of attention, with some new plugins, including the much anticipated Particular v2. Here’s Stu Maschwitz comment on Twitter about this new Trapcode plugin: “By far the coolest thing I’ve seen at #NAB09 is Peder’s demo of Particular 2 at the Red Giant Software booth. He’s doing it again tomorrow.”

Autodesk, which is probably one software away from owning the entire software industry, announced new versions of Smoke, Flint and Lustre. Here’s an article about these 3 new products.

That’s about it for now. Look back tomorrow for more updates !

It’s that time of the year again: NAB 2009 !

nab
As anyone working in the media domain, I’m truly excited to hear about everything new that will be launched in Las Vegas this year, during the NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters). The trade show will go on until April 23rd. Conferences have already started, but the exhibits (what I want to hear about !) are starting on Monday.
I’ll be updating often during those 3 days, because I’m on the look out for a couple of products. I’m a new owner of Panasonic’s HMC-150, and the workflow with Final Cut Pro pretty much sucks right now. Apple is rumored to launch Final Cut Studio 3, with AVCHD support and Blu-Ray authoring, which would make my life much better !
Anyway, check often for updates. You can follow NAB updates realtime on Twitter !