Convergent Design announced a firmware update for their Odyssey7Q and 7Q+ recorders which enable continuous high speed ProRes recording in 4K, UHD and HD, at 60p (in 4K/UHD) and 240p (for HD). The free firmware update can be downloaded from their site but requires the optional Odyssey RAW bundle to work. Right now, the Sony FS700 and FS7 (only with the XDCA Extension Unit) are supported, but additional cameras will be added in the future. The update also includes RAW support for the new Canon C300 Mark II, enabling 4K and QHD RAW recording from the camera, at up to 30p. In this video, Convergent Design shows how to set up high speed ProRes recording: Here’s the full feature list of Odyssey firmware v2015.8: NEW FEATURES (Odyssey7Q+) Canon XC10 Support UHD Apple ProRes 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p UHD->HD SuperSample to Apple ProRes 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p (Camera trigger & HDMI timecode in HD Only) NEW FEATURES (Odyssey7Q+, Odyssey7Q) FS7/FS700 High Speed RAW -> Apple ProRes Support* [MORE INFO] FS7/FS700: 4K RAW -> 4K Apple ProRes, 50p & 60p added 4K RAW -> UHD Apple ProRes, 50p & 60p added 2K RAW HS -> HD Apple ProRes, 100p, 120p, 200p, 240p (Only one SSD can be mounted for recording 2K HS Apple ProRes) (Only Odyssey int. TC supported (Seed, Time-of-Day DF & NDF) FS700 only: 4K RAW Burst -> 4K Apple ProRes, 100p & 120p 4K RAW Burst -> UHD Apple ProRes, 100p & 120p (*Requires Odyssey RAW Bundle or Sony FS RAW Option) Canon C300 MKII RAW Support 4K RAW recording up to 30p QHD RAW recording up to 30p 4K RAW -> 4K Apple ProRes up to 30p QHD RAW -> UHD Apple ProRes up to 30p (*Requires Odyssey RAW Bundle or Canon RAW Option) NEW FEATURES (Odyssey7Q+, Odyssey7Q, Odyssey7) Vectorscope Analog or Digital Trace Trace display in green or color (true CbCr) Variable Zoom 1.0x – 15.0x (Finger Drag left-right) Zoom Presets 1,2,5,10,15x (Finger Drag up-down) FIXES & IMPROVEMENTS FIXED Audio issues in 1080i59.94 playback FIXED 4K to 2K/HD Downscale Line at the bottom of image. IMPROVED Color Bars IMPROVED Odyssey Menu FontRead more
Let’s face it, slow motion is bad ass. You don’t get more bad ass than this amazing shot of a .500 S&W Magnum by Herra Kuulapaa (www.kuulapaa.com). While this may be an extreme example, and it’s a still, not a grab from motion, nothing gets the imagination going quite like the ability to shoot high frame rates. Give yourself the edge by understanding the fundamentals of global vs rolling shutter, shutter angles and exposures at high frame rates. A few weeks back I wrote an article “8 Essential Steps to Perfect Exposure – The Knowledge Any Cameraman Should Have”. If you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time to do that, and then come back to read this one. 1. Mechanical Shutter In a film camera, the shutter is a mechanical rotating mirror. As it rotates 360 degrees per exposure it alternates covering and uncovering the film gate for a particular amount of time. The RPM of the shutter is mechanically fixed and determined by the frame rate, and the exposure time is determined by the shutter angle. During exposure the film is held perfectly still, often with registration pins. While the mirror shutter covers the film gate, the pins mechanically disengage and the pull down claw physically advances the film to the next unexposed frame. 2. Rolling Shutter Many electronic shutters in digital cinema cameras feature a rolling shutter, where data is read out line by line from the top of the sensor to the bottom before being reset ready for the next frame exposure. A rolling shutter can exhibit a noticeable skew of would-be vertical lines in the image if either the camera or subject is moving quickly across the frame. This can create unwanted motion artifacts warping the whole image if the sensor read-out is particularly slow and there is fast motion in the frame. Most rolling shutters are incredibly fast, minimizing potential problems. Red and Arri among many others employ rolling shutters, and the results can lend a more “cinematic” feel than a global shutter. Even extremely high frame rate cameras such as the Phantom digital cinema cameras from Vision Research employ rolling shutter, but with a readout-time of only 1 millisecond. In this chart you can compare rolling shutter readout-times of different camera models we tested in our lab: 3. Global Shutter A global shutter differs from a rolling shutter in that at the end of a full exposure, light is blocked entirely across the sensor all at once while data is then read and it is reset for the next exposure. A global shutter preserves the perfect vertical alignment of vertical lines or objects moving horizontally through the frame. However, the feel of motion can be noticeably different. Depending on how a global shutter is implemented, there can be a small cost in light (fill factor) and possibly dynamic range when compared to a rolling shutter. 4. Shutter Angle Shutter angle is a term that refers to the actual physical angle of the opening in a rotating mechanical shutter in degrees. The angle of the opening determines the duration of the exposure as the shutter rotates. Mechanical shutters for the most part are gone in digital cinema cameras, but often the terminology has stuck. Shutter angle is your control of motion blur. The longer the exposure, the more motion blur, the shorter the exposure, the sharper any moving objects will appear. It can be calculated easily to a fraction of a second exposure time. Exposure time (1/x sec) = Frame Rate x (360 / Shutter Angle) For example, at a frame rate of 24fps at 180 degree shutter (180 degrees is considered normal): 180 degrees: 24 x (360 / 180) = 1/48th second Here is a whole table calculated for 24fps for shutter angles up to 220 degrees: 15 degrees = 1/576 sec 20 degrees = 1/432 sec 40 degrees = 1/216 sec 60 degrees = 1/144 sec 80 degrees = 1/108 sec 100 degrees = 1/86 sec 120 degrees = 1/72 sec 140 degrees = 1/62 sec 160 degrees = 1/54 sec 180 degrees = 1/48 sec 200 degrees = 1/43 sec 220 degrees = 1/39 sec Any change in shutter angle changes the exposure time, and will need to be compensated for with a change in aperture to maintain correct exposure. Of course a change in aperture will affect depth of field. So if depth of field needs to remain unaffected also, the only thing left is to add ND filters (if reducing light to compensate for a longer exposure time) or increase the actual light levels illuminating the scene (if compensating for a shorter exposure time). If we consider 180 degrees as the base (normal) angle as “Full Exposure”, the following compensation table applies. Shutter Angle F-Stop/T-Stop Compensation 197-200 Close 1/4 166-196 Full Exposure 148-165 Open 1/4 135-147 Open 1/3 121-134 Open 1/2 111-120 Open 2/3 99-110 Open 3/4 83-98 Open 1 74-82 Open 1 1/4 68-73 Open 1 1/3 61-67 Open 1 1/2 56-60 Open 1 2/3 50-55 Open 1 3/4 42-49 Open 2 37-41 Open 2 1/4 34-36 Open 2 1/3 31-33 Open 2 1/2 28-30 Open 2 2/3 25-27 Open 2 3/4 22.5-24 Open 3 5. High Frame Rates In the age of digital cinema, more than ever before there is a demand for high frame rates in our cameras. This used to be a specialty requirement but is now expected. Capturing the spray of ocean waves in crisp frozen detail, liquids pouring or simply the beauty of smooth slow motion is no longer out of our reach. Many cinema cameras can now shoot at least 60fps if not much higher. Vision Research has been on top of extreme high speed cinematography for some time. While 1000 – 2000fps is still out of reach for most of us, cameras like the Phantom Flex 4K are pushing the limits of what can be achieved. Be aware of how high frame rates impact your exposure (and light requirements). For any camera, regardless of sensor, regardless of manufacturer the same rules are true when it comes to high frame rates and exposure. It’s purely mathematics. Every time you double the frame rate, you are halving the exposure time for each frame… and halving the amount of light hitting the sensor. For an example, lets assume a “normal” shutter angle of 180 degrees. At 24 frames per second, with a 180 degree shutter gives us an exposure time of 1/48th sec. If we double the frame rate to 48fps, with the same shutter angle we halve the exposure time to 1/96th sec. We’ve just lost a full stop of light and are only at 48fps. Let’s extrapolate this out and I’ll rather use 25fps as a starting point instead of 24fps because it will multiply out with round numbers: 25fps @ 180deg = 1/50th sec 50fps @ 180deg = 1/100th sec (1 stop loss) 100fps @ 180deg = 1/200th sec (2 stop loss) 200fps @ 180deg = 1/400th sec (3 stop loss) 400fps @ 180deg = 1/800th sec (4 stop loss) Of course frame rates can be anywhere in between these numbers but I’ve simply doubled it every time for the example. So you can see we’re losing a stop of light every time we double the frame rate. Losing a full stop is not a small amount of light. Every stop lost is a halving of light. 1 stop loss = 1/2 the light 2 stop loss = 1/4 the light 3 stop loss = 1/8 the light 4 stop loss = 1/16 the light Just as a change in shutter angle at a normal frame rate affects exposure time and requires a compensation to be made in lens aperture or lighting, high frame rates require even more compensation beyond just opening up the lens. This means if you have enough light for a correct exposure at 25fps and you don’t want to affect your depth of field (by opening up your aperture), you’ll have to double the amount of light used to light your scene or subject to get the same correct exposure at 50fps. You’ll have to quadruple the amount of light on your subject to have a correct exposure at 100fps. This just doubles every time, so to have a correctly exposed image at 200fps you need 8x the amount of light on your scene as you would at a normal 25fps frame rate. The sun gives us plenty of light for this, so outside under daylight, compensating for the much shorter exposure times when shooting high frame rates is much less of an issue. However, inside under artificial lighting… you have to crank up the light seriously (double it) every time you double the frame rate. It’s normal that high speed table top shoots for instance require a ton of light. If you are on set when shooting a product shot involving a liquid pouring and they have a Phantom on set shooting at 1000fps, they will have serious light on that product. 6. Base Sensitivity When it comes to high frame rates, a higher “native” base ISO or exposure index (EI) is always beneficial. Keep this in mind when comparing cameras. Every sensor is different and every camera will perform differently capturing high frame rates. If a particular camera gives brighter images at high frame rates, it’s either because the sensor has a higher base ISO or it can be pushed above its base ISO with acceptable noise. Base sensitivity of a sensor is down to many things, simplest of which is the size of the photosites (but that is a huge simplification), and this is determined by how many of them are crammed onto the sensor. If you increase resolution (or number of photosites) and keep sensor size the same, the photosites get smaller and as a generalization, base sensitivity will decrease. The amount of space between photosites is also a factor, and the amount of space needed for circuitry at each photosite. 7. Shot Noise In the end regardless of all this there is “shot noise”, a minimum level of “noise” when counting or detecting small numbers of photons that is due to variations in quantum probability. If you throw one single photon at a surface with 50% reflectance, there is a 50% probability that it will be reflected or absorbed. So that surface could show up if the photon is reflected and detected at a photosite, or it could be black if the photon is absorbed rather than reflected. The more photons that are thrown at the surface, eventually probability dictates that 50% will be reflected and 50% will be absorbed. If you flip a single coin, it will land either heads, or tails but there can only be one possible outcome and the probability is equal it could land either way. If you flip 1000 coins, you should on average count 50% heads and 50% tails. I don’t want to over-play “shot noise”, it’s only a factor at extremely low light levels, but I just want to point out that even if an image sensor is otherwise perfect (which none are), it does define a impenetrable minimum noise floor that is simply down to quantum physics. Other types of noise also come into play such as Fixed Pattern Noise (FPN) which is caused by non-uniformities of the sensor in the manufacturing process. FPN is fixed and can be mapped out, however other types of temporal noise are more difficult to reduce. 8. Light A image sensor will always perform best when there is plenty of light, and when you have very short exposure times for each frame (as in pushing higher frame rates) the only solution is more light. As I have explained before in “8 Essential Steps to Perfect Exposure – The Knowledge Any Cameraman Should Have” exposing your sensor properly is the single most important key to achieving the image you envision seeing beautifully graded and finished after post production.Read more
Gunther Machu works for a large engineering corporation and travels the world for business. On his trips, he has started shooting video for pleasure with amazing results that have brought him a lot of fans on his Vimeo account, not only from enthusiast filmmakers but also from professionals. He always uses the smallest kit possible – the Panasonic GH2 and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera are usually his main work horses. In this guest post, he shares his experiences with the GoPro HERO4 which he tested on his ski vacation last week, using the newly announced firmware update for higher slow motion capabilities (report here). (nl) General When I bought my first GoPro Hero 3 black edition in February 2013, I was quite fascinated how capable such a small camera can be. Using the right video modes (e.g. 2.7K 24p, 1080p60 or 720p120 in narrow mode) it delivered moiré and aliasing free, high bitrate images. Especially the Protune mode provided a flat color profile which can be tweaked quite heavily without falling apart. Hence, I was not too excited when the GoPro 3+ came to the market. It had too little to offer vs. the Hero 3. This changed with the announcement of the GoPro Hero 4 about a year ago. What really pushed me over the fence was the announcement of a firmware update to be released in February 2015 which included new video modes like 2.7K 60p or 720p240! Hence, I bought a Hero 4 Black Edition one week ago for my ski vacation, hoping for the release of the latest firmware just in time. GoPro Hero 4 vs. 3 Black Edition Things I immediately noticed The Protune flat color profile on the Hero 4 now looks very neutral – the Hero 3 sometimes had an ugly, yellowish overcast which I found difficult to remove in post The highlight roll – off now looks much nicer, the Hero 3 always had a very harsh, digital looking transition All the video modes have vastly increased in effective resolution – first and foremost the 4K modes, but also the high framerate 2.7K modes. On the Hero 3 it was barely possible to tell the 2.7K images apart from the 1080p ones, no matter which field of view was used. Now on the Hero 4 it is possible to limit the maximum ISO the camera uses Also, the Hero 4 now offers EV compensation (ranging from +2 to -2) However, the dynamic range has not improved unfortunately The lens seems to be the same on both, at least the typical GoPro fisheye and field of view is very similar The GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition video modes Having installed the latest firmware 2.0 from February 4th, I was eager to test the new video modes, 2.7K 60p and 720p240. 2.7K p60 should be super useful to apply optical correction in post for the fisheye lens (e.g. with the GoPro Studio software or Adobe After Effects (in the effects tab use ‘distort’ à ‘optical compensation’ then tick ‘reverse lens correction’ and FOV values of about 70). Also, additional image stabilization in post (like warp stabilizer in Premiere Pro) further zooms into the image hence any resolution overhead is highly welcome! Well, what I found is the above statement only holds true for certain modes: Superview Pah, not for me – squeezed and distorted à looks like wrong aspect ratio 80’s TV Field of view “wide” 4K all frame rates super detailed and very nice – but the data rate (~64mbit/s) is on the limit and compression artifacts appear if there is a lot of movement – only use for locked down shots or stabilized drone shots 2.7K 24, 25, 30, 50, 60 modes are disappointing – absolutely NO difference to the corresponding 1080p modes! This situation changes very positively once the 2.7K modes are used in the “medium” field of view settings. It seems that the Hero 4 cannot cope with the additional data reading the full sensor in “wide” mode. A fact which I unfortunately noticed only after having shot the enclosed test video. See the screenshots from a 1080 timeline below, zoomed to 140% (click to enlarge) 1080p 24, 25, 30, 50, 60 modes are all very detailed and nice, no compression artifacts 1080p120 mode has a lot of aliasing – use with caution 720p modes are all fine, with the exception of the 720p120 mode – aliasing Field of view “medium” Whoa, everything changes with the “medium” field of view. This is where the 2.7K modes shine and really provide the extra resolution they are promising. Also, the bitrate of ~65mbits/s seems enough even when a lot of motion is present in the images – no compression artifacts are visible to my eyes. “Medium” FOV for 2.7K means obviously 1:1 sensor subsampling – clean, moiré and aliasing free images which are much more detailed than the 1080p modes! “Medium” field of view for 2.7K is less wide than “medium” for 1080p which makes a 1:1 comparison between these two modes impossible, but here are 140% zoomed in frame grabs from a 1080 timeline for both resolutions (click to enlarge): Notice the wider field of view of the 1080p60 “Medium” mode. Field of view “Narrow” the 1080 modes as well as the 720 modes seem to be 1:1 subsampled from the sensor (windowing), hence they are detailed (exception 720p240) and aliasing free 1080p120 fantastic slow motion, detailed, no aliasing – my choice! 720p240 is only available in narrow FOV, sounds amazing! However I found it disappointing. It shows compression artefacts, is very soft – not for me. It really looks like a standard definition image (screengrab from a 1080 timeline, click to enlarge): Conclusion The new GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition with the latest firmware 2.0 is an amazing upgrade from the Hero 3 black I bought 2 years ago. I will only use those modes on the Hero 4: 4K for slow moving, locked down or drone shots 2.7K “Medium” field of view all frame rates for action shots – for twice the resolution of the 1080p modes, giving me still a decent 1080 image after de-fisheyeing and image stabilization in post 1080p120 “Narrow” field of view for slow motion shots This video I shot partly with the old, partly with the new firmware (it arrived in the middle of my ski vacation), using mostly 2.7K and 1080p120 in Protune flat and sharpness dialed down as far as possible in cam. One advantage of the high (automatic) shutter speeds having zero motion blur in direct sunlight is that you can further slow down the shots with optical flow algorithms (available e.g. in the GoPro Studio software, or After Effects (timewarp) or Twixtor). I used this effect a few times in the test video. As mentioned above I only learned after the fact that the “wide” 2.7K shots do not provide any advantage over the 1080p modes – hence the action shots appear soft. Lesson learned, you should always test before you shoot! Also, I really liked the “Night Timelapse” functionality of the Hero 4 – you can set the shutter & the interval (in my case 20s shutter and 30s interval). The battery of my Hero 4 survived more than 1,5 hours at -10°C for the night timelapse shown at the end, which I find quite amazing! Also, no need to worry if it starts to snow or rain during the timelapse – the camera sits safely in its waterproof housing. Most of the shots were de-fisheyed with After Effects, and image stabilized with warp stabilizer. Vimeo does not take 50p clips, that’s why I rendered everything in 25p – believe me, in 50p the action looks way better! My wish list for a future Hero X: Better optically corrected lens – I hate the fisheye … Higher bitrate for the 4K modes Bigger dynamic range – its probably around 8 – 9 stops today And of course, higher frame rates are always welcome!Read more
This video makes me feel hesitant about shooting on a Panasonic GH2, but the lens looks exciting. SLR magic is a lens manufactured based in Hong Kong and their affordable Noktor primes that all have an aperture of F/0.95 are very successful among HDSLR shooters. As announced in September the company decided to start designing anamorphic lenses which can improve the image quality on widescreen formats. The anamorphic prototype as presented in the video above will squeeze a cinemscope image with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 into your HD camera’s 16:9 image. Apparently the lens will have an MFT mount and go well with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT. About pricing Andrew says: Pricing of this lens will be accessible as are SLR Magic’s other high end lenses. Pricing hasn’t ema5d.com/news/?p=12879″ target=”_blank”>announced in September been set yet so I cannot specifics on that other than to say “don’t worry”. The best anamorphic offerings on eBay like the Iscorama 36 and LOMO round-fronts are fetching between $3000 and $7000 now and this lens is not at all close to that price range thankfully. They ask for feedback as they are still in the design stage and would like to know what you want to see implemented in the lens. NOKTOR website: LINK via EOSHDRead more
By: Sebastian Wöber We’ve seen companies Megaspeed and Fastec target the indipendent filmmakers market with their new and rental-affordable highspeed cameras. But I got some very interesting hints on future products from renown highspeed camera company Vision Research (Phantom) today. Vision Research (Phantom) really sets the standards in professional highspeed filmmaking. If you shoot highspeed for a tv commercial or movie you wanna make sure you get a Phantom. They’re very expensive cameras and you can usually only rent a package with a technician (but that depends on your rental house). One of the big advantages of the Megaspeed and Fastec portable highspeed cameras over a phantom is that you don’t necessarily need a technician but can simply take these cameras out on your own. I met Phiroze Dalal at the Phantom booth today. We talked about highspeed cameras for indie filmmakers (=affordable, non technician) and I kept asking about Phantoms future and the indie market. Phiroze said that they wouldn’t announce their products prior to release. He then checked with another important Vision Research rep and came back to tell me that: “This will be a very exciting year for you, (…) we have something in the cooker”. He didn’t want to say that on camera nor did he give me a timeframe for the “egg”. I said I’d be back at IBC in September, which is another large tradeshow like NAB, and asked if we could expect to see something at this time. They really didn’t want to go into that stuff. He said the next months would be cruical and that he can’t say any more than that, but added that when they see a market (and obviously in hdslr there IS a market now) they wanna be part of it. Very promising hints, I think we’ll see the highspeed battles evolve in the coming months. If you’re interested in that topic as much as I am you’ll get any new info I have right here at cinema5D. Cheers.Read more
By: Sebastian Wöber I reported about the Megaspeed (wow I love that name) camera yesterday. But look: here’s another portable highspeed camera. The TS3Cine costs twice as much as the Megaspeed, that’s $30k. That’s not really my priceclass, but it still might be a bargain in rental since you don’t need a technician to operate it unlike it’s aunt the phantom. If you’re into good design and marketing I’m sure this camera seems more appealing to you than the Megaspeed, but we’ll really have to wait and see what both of them have under the hood and whether this one is worth the additional 14k. I found this very nice demo they put together and I noticed they also had some people that waved hdslrs around. I think I’m their target audience, drool… I must say, if I had the funds I’d probably be sold just for the editing and choice of music they did on this one. Great job to whoever did that. If you care about the music, that was: The XX Some of the specs on the cam itself: – 1280 x 1024 pixel maximum – 500 fps at 1280 x 1024, 720 fps at 720p resolution – optional frame rates up to 20,000 at reduced resolutions – BMP, TIFF, Cinema DNG (RAW), JPG, AVI – C-Mount or F-Mount (Nikon), optional PL mount I think I overheard him saying it’s a 1 inch sensor, but I’m not sure. Comes out late summer. http://ts3cine.com/Read more
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