by Ollie Kenchington | 2nd March 2017
During their much anticipated live stream today, Grant Petty from Blackmagic Design announced the brand new Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro camera, along with two new control panels for DaVinci Resolve. Looking essentially like a beefed up URSA Mini, the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro has several key updates over the original, making it a compelling new addition to their line up. Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro – Key Features Built in 2/4/6 stop, colour shift free, ND filters. 4.6K Sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range. Super wide color gamut and DaVinci color science Similar size and construction to the URSA Mini. Camera control, talk back and tally for studio work. 2 x CFast cards and 2 x SD cards built in. Cinema DNG RAW. Pro Res all the way up 4444XQ in 4.6K, UHD, and HD. Swappable EF, PL, B4 and Nikon lens mounts, the latter featuring a mechanical lens mount with a smooth iris aperture control ring on it (available later in the year). PL lens data communication support. EF lens control communication support. Built-in stereo microphone at the front, with lower noise and a wider, flatter frequency response. HFR (high frame rate) button for instant, one-push, slo-mo shooting. 4 channels of audio recording. Dedicated stills button (Features still in beta testing). Optional SSD recorder bolts on to the back and communicates over the 12G SDI to record straight from the sensor (Available “mid-year”). With the key features of swappable mounts, an affordable shoulder rig and accessories, built-in ND filters, and a wide choice of recording media ranging from a humble SD card for fast turnaround HD capture to more capable SSDs just to name a few, the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro certainly promises to be a flexible platform ideal for crossing the border between cinematic narrative productions and broadcast ENG-style ergonomics. In addition, Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty mentioned In the live stream that owners of the original URSA will be able to upgrade to a URSA Mini Pro for $3495. All you need to do is provide proof of purchase of your URSA. According to Blackmagic that $3495 price gets you a new URSA Mini Pro and you still get to keep your old camera” We will attempt to get clarification from Blackmagic if this deal is for the original URSA or URSA mini too. We can now confirm that this deal is for the original URSA only. Also, unlike previous Blackmagic Design announcements, the great news is that this new camera is shipping now! It is available from the links below for $5995. Lens mount pricing: PL mount $245, B4 mount $385, EF mount $175. Blackmagic Resolve Panels Blackmagic also announced two new small form-factor colour control panels for use with DaVinci Resolve – the DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel. These panels are almost certainly going to make a major dent in the control panel market currently dominated by Tangent. Blackmagic Resolve Micro Panel The Mini Panel puts all the main primary colour tools from Resolve at your fingertips. The ergonomic design is optimised for comfort, despite its small size. Blackmagic see this panel being a travelling companion to colourists and DITs on sets, in post houses and in client studios. Their well-made die-cast aluminium body provides a premium feel in a small and compact device. Powered by USB-C, which is quite a feat, given it’s range of features, I can see the simple design and powerful features of this new hardware being very attractive to Resolve users. Here are some of the features it supports: RGB balance balls with RGB Luma adjustment rings around them. Buttons above the track balls allow switching between Log and Offset grading Knobs for making Y Lift, Gamma and Gain adjustments, plus contrast, pivot, MD (mid-tone detail) controls, colour boost, shadows, highlights, saturation and hue are also conveniently placed on the new panels. The knobs all have 4096 levels of control, which is the same as their advanced panel, just a little smaller. This allows for fine control and push resetting of parameters. Direct action transport buttons allow for next clip, previous clip, next node, previous node etc. Blackmagic Resolve Mini Panel The Resolve Mini Panel is a larger (though still compact) control panel that adds a second tier for screens and additional controls, like page displays, qualifiers, power windows, curves, sizing, etc. Basically a lot more controls for running almost all the parameters of DaVinci Resolve, just like the advanced panel can. The added features of the Mini Panel include: AC power input as well as 4-pin XLR power. 2 x Ethernet for loop through that support POE (Power Over Ethernet) USB-C port will charge your laptop while it’s connected. The Mini and Micro Panels are shipping now for $2995 and $995 respectively, and are available from the links below. What do you think? Have Blackmagic Design hit the nail on the head with today’s announcements? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
by Sebastian Wöber | 28th February 2017
In collaboration with production house Neighborhood Film Co, premium stock footage site Filmsupply has launched its own film series called “Filmsupply Originals”. Last week they premiered their first film, a well-crafted short with high production value and a cast of non-actors. We have looked at stock footage start-up Filmsupply before. What is special about this site is that their catalogue consists of high-quality licensed footage only, targeting productions that look for quality content instead of amateurish clips that can be found on other stock sites by the millions. In an effort to promote their filmmakers and create a set of original film clips that companies can purchase, they have launched the Filmsupply Originals series. Writer and director Ricky Staub from Neighborhood Film Co had the chance to realize his first narrative short film as the kick-off production of the Filmsupply Originals series. The Cage is an honest picture of redemption in the face of overwhelming darkness, a film for which Staub used a cast of non-actors in order to bring raw authenticity to the story of a young man’s survival on the streets of Philadelphia. The Cage is a tribute to second chances, to the profound transformation that can come from one kid deciding to walk toward the good, even when society has labeled him the opposite,” Staub said. “The cast of this film – people from my own neighborhood in North Philly – are very connected to the vulnerability and suffering at the heart of the film. They were so present and so honest. They had an almost childlike playfulness about getting into character.” For those among our readers who are aspiring directors, cameramen or other visual film enthusiasts, I think this production can be a true testament to what happens when a passionate filmmaker walks the bold path of being true to his vision. Personally, I find this film very inspiring and I applaud the crew and cast for the extraordinary performances they achieved with limited resources. As each filmmaker faces challenges, no matter if personal or work-related, it’s nice to see a story on screen that talks about facing those in light of the brutal reality that life can often be. There is a full interview with the filmmaker that you can read to find out more about the making of the film, which is an interesting read. For those among you who are like me and prefer the spoon-fed version of info about the production, check out this well-made 7-minute behind-the-scenes look at The Cage: The Cage and future Originals will be featured on Filmsupply’s platform and marketing channels. All scenes from each of the films will be available for licensing from Filmsupply.Read more
by Nic Divischek | 14th April 2016
Canon has just announced a brand new lightweight servo lens. The Canon CN-E has a range of 18-80mm and T4.4. A great range, at an even more incredible price range of just over $5000. A Canon servo lens bargain Canon must have had a closer look at their lens market and might have just found a niche in untapped waters. With Canon Cine Zooms in the range of $40,000 – $60,000, and stills zoom lenses at $2000 benchmark, there was a big gap that needed to be filled. Particularly for cinematographers using Canon C100, C300, and C500, an affordable zoom lens that could be utilised for various filming styles is a major step forward. The Canon CN-E 18-80mm is an EF Mount servo lens that covers both Super 35 and APS-C formats. It has a T-Stop of T4.4 (f4), which might not seem fast, but it is constant throughout the zoom range. Measuring 7.2″ long and weighing only 2.65 lb, this lens is designed to be a compact, lightweight solution for a variety of film genres, from narrative work to run-and-gun documentaries. The lens is also parfocal, which minimises focus breathing. The Canon CN-E is equipped with a servo drive unit, which is compatible with industry-standard lens controllers, including Canon ZSD-300D and FPD-400D, for full zoom, focus, and iris control. Alternatively, the optional ZSG-C10 Control Grip can be used for ENG-style lens control and operation. The grip is powered by compatible cameras via the EF mount. For non-servo zoom control, the lens features cine-standard 0.8 mod gears, as well as a rubberised grip on the focus ring enabling comfortable manual operation. Canon CN-E 18-80mm with Handgrip – Photo Credit FDTimes The Canon CN-E 18-80mm Servo Zoom Lens has a built-in optical image stabilisation, something not often seen in cine lenses. The Compact-Servo also features autofocus compatibility with the EOS C300 Mark II and EOS C100 Mark II cameras. This lens has just been announced, so at this stage, we cannot judge on its optical performance. We hope to get our hands on it during NAB. Canon CN-E 18-80mm Specs 18-80 mm zoom range, 4.4x ratio Maximum aperture: T4.4, equivalent to f/4.0 No ramping of aperture throughout zoom range Close focus MOD: 0.5 m Optical image stabilization: On/Off and three levels of stabilization Iris: Auto/Manual Auto Focus / Manual Focus Power through lens mount or connector Filter thread: 77 mm threads for screw-in front filters Front outside diameter: 84 mm Weight: 2.6 lb / 1.2 kg Length: 7.2” / 182.3 mm Iris: 9 blades Servo handgrip: detachable with one screw Back focus adjustment under rear barrel Covers 31.4 mm image diagonal 20-pin connector for lens control and metadata: EIAJ RC5320A TYPE4 (5.5 mm diameter) The Canon CN-E 18-80mm is priced at $5225 and is currently available on pre-order.Read more
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