Tag Archives: sony

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.

Let’s colour with Dulux

This ad is generating a lot of buzz on blogs and artsy websites everywhere. This beautiful concept from Euro RSCG, called Let’s colour, for Dulux paint manufacturer brought over 250 people from Brazil, London, India and France to paint their grey, concrete neighborhoods in bright colors, while Stink Digital and director Adam Berg (who is well-known for his Carousel ad for Philips) captured the whole thing in time-lapse mode to create a visually-stunning 60-second spot.

Dulux is also releasing a documentary on the whole process of this renewal of the neighborhoods, and the first part is already available on Youtube.

Be sure to check this one out, because I have a feeling that this ad will make history, along the likes of the Sony Bravia ads. Good job to Adam Berg who never ceases to amaze me.

I raise my hate to Superfad and Sony

Well, I guess we all can stop making commercials, because Superfad just created the all-time best. I’m kidding of course, but seriously, is this for real ? Superfad produced this (insert the best adjective possible here) ad, which could really be called a short film, for the new Make.Believe campaign. The ad is divided in 3 segments, which are Birth of Color, Explosion of Color and Release of Color. Honestly, I just can’t find the words to describe what I just saw. This ad is visual perfection; the transitions, the abstract storytelling, the colors, the composition, the costumes, the make-up, the slow-mo cinematography… They are all just 100% immersive visuals that captivate your eyes and draw you in this masterpiece.

What is even cooler is the fact that Superfad directed this. Their style is usually more funky, graphic visuals. They really seem to have stepped out of their comfort zone, and they did a great job of it. I raise my hat to Superfad and Sony for this already historic advertisement.

Heavy disapointment by Public Enemies

I rented Public Enemies on Blu-Ray today, and it was by far the biggest let down of the year. Where to start ? I’m not a big of Michael Mann, but I really liked Heat and Collateral. When I saw the all-star cast that Public Enemies had, I had high expectations. Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marillon Cotillard…is it really possible to make a bad movie with these guys ? Apparently Mann managed to do it, and did it really well.

I have to admit that I’m not one to easily notice good or bad character development. I usually make my opinion on how much I rooted for the good guy or how much I hated the bad guy for that matter. But Public Enemies is just totally off as far as character development. The characters are shallow, it’s hard to tell one gangster from another since they’re all alike and you barely know their names. You get no background on any character, and not a single character “evolves” during the story.

I also found the story totally uneven. The rhythm is so up and down all the time that it’s hard to get into the movie.

But what really, really sucks about Public Enemies is the photography. It’s a shame that a $100 million movie shot with a $150 000 Sony camera has the same quality of image I could get out of my $4000 camcorder. Some clueless people will blame this on the fact that it was shot in HD, but that is a weak argument. Many great-looking movies have been shot in HD, the best example being Slumdog Millionaire. It isn’t the case for Public Enemies. The footage has no depth, is often very grainy, as if the scene lacked lighting, or as if the camera’s settings were totally off. It feels like watching the 6 o’clock news. And speaking of lighting, it is a total failure. Some shots just don’t feel right. *Spoiler alert* When Depp’s friend is dying in the backseat of a stolen car at night, he’s almost not lit while the back of Depp’s head looks like it is in broad day light. It’s weird because Dante Spinotti was director of photography, and I think he’s been nominated twice for an Academy Award.

Mr. Mann, you’ll have to do better next time…

NAB 2009 final day !

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Final day of exhibits today in Las Vegas. I’ve finally got a hold of some news from the much anticipated Trapcode Particular V2 from Red Giant. Here’s a PDF document explaining the plugin’s new features. You can also check out this episode of FXGuide TV, which includes an interview with the people from The Foundry, but most importantly, an in-depth demo of Particular V2.

Speaking of The Foundry, they gave a preview of Nuke 6.0, their popular compositing software.

Finally, here’s a funny parody video to conclude things ! Sony, no hard feelings, but this is just hilarious !

Where to begin…?? NAB 2009 part 1

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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 !