Alongside other manufacturers like LG and Samsung, Panasonic have unveiled their prototype of an invisible OLED TV. The appliances of an invisible screen are endless, especially for marketing products. Will you soon be walking through NAB, IBC and other events with invisible OLED showboxes, with touch screen capabilities to get the information you need? Are we one step closer to Minority Reports technology? What are possible applications of this technology for filmmakers? Invisible screen – Minority Report© 20th Century Fox / Dreamworks Pictures. It is well known that films and TV shows will often depict technology way beyond our imagination. From hoverboards to being able to connect to the world from the palm of your hand and now to invisible OLED TV screens with future touch capability. How does Transparent OLED work? OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. They are screens that produce light when electricity is applied through them. OLED is used to create digital displays in many devices that are being used today, from TV screen to computer monitors to smartphones. OLED displays are more efficient than LCD displays, due to not needing a backlight and filters to display an image. The panels are made up of layers sandwhiched between two electrodes – the cathode and anode. The electricity that is fed through the plastic emits its own light. This enables easier manufacturing and thinner products, as well as now – to become transparent. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk Due to the transparent nature of the components used in OLED screens, when the panel is on, the self-illuminating pixels produce a picture, and when the screen is off, the components go back to being transparent. OLEDs can also be designed to be more flexible and even rollable, such as the rollable TV screen that LG unveiled. Soon you won’t be needing to buy an extra large TV cabinet to fit your 60″ TV. You’ll be able to roll it out on the fly. You may ask yourself, why is this relevant to us in the film industry. I think most VT operators would be grateful to have this technology, instead of having to schlepp big OLED displays up and down a mountain to get to set. The Panasonic and LG TVs are still prototypes, and is unlikely to be available for at least another couple of years. The technology is there, but affordability may still be out of reach for a consumer market. Different kind of filmmaking? Apart from obvious consumer-related usages of this technology, it can also change the kind of content filmmakers produce specifically for these screens, and filmmaking technology itself. With the background having to be translucent, it means a lot of content needs to be shot in front of a green or blue screen, otherwise it couldn’t be made partially translucent during display. What other uses of these “invisible OLEDs” can you think of? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
In the tail end of last year we posted this video on how to make use of the fantastic Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder with other cameras. It seems that we are not the only whom took note as Tilta has announced their own rehoused version. We caught up with Tilta at NAB to check out their latest products and the rehoused Blackmagic viewfinder was something that immediately caught our eye. The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is compact, a 1920 x 1080 OLED display and relatively affordable. We were impressed with how it performed and also the fact that Blackmagic kept it universal with its BNC SDI connection for signal and 4-pin XLR for power. This makes it very easy to adapt for use with other cameras. Tilta has built upon this by rehousing the URSA Viewfinder into an industry ready state. Gone is the USRA designed swivel mount and hard-wired cables. The Tilta URSA Viewfinder has been stripped back to accept more universal fittings (pictured in the above video with Arri viewfinder mount) with a HD-SDI port for signal and 12-24v lemo for power. On the underside also is a 1/4″ thread for further mounting. It’s nice to see the peripherals offered up in the form of ports over hard-wired cables, this makes it much easier to maintain and customize to your specific needs. Going back to our ground work back in October, we found that the URSA Viewfinder seems to only accept progressive signals (many cheaper cameras only output variants of interlaced signals) so for cameras like the a7S you’ll still have to convert the signal before it reaches the viewfinder (we did this via an Atomos Shogun). As you can see in the video, Tilta were a little vague in what they’ll do in terms of offering further support for this in the future, but it does seem like they’re looking into it. The Tilta URSA Viewfinder has no official price, but should be under $2000 (original currently sits at $1495).Read more
The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is the best affordable EVF I know. Since I first tried it at NAB with the new Blackmagic URSA Mini I’m thinking about how to make it work with other cameras. I figured it out and here is my guide how to use it with any camera like the Sony A7S, GH4, C300, FS7 and others. Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder with 1080p OLED screen Note that the URSA Viewfinder was specifically designed for the Blackmagic URSA and Blackmagic URSA Mini cameras. Use this guide at your own risk. We only share what we found and what worked for us. I already discussed all the advantages of the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder in the video. So here’s the list of accessories that I used to make it work. Of course you can use other combinations and parts as per your needs, but here are the essential points: Essential Points The URSA Viewfinder needs an SDI source. So if your camera outputs SDI you’re probably already half way there. if it doesn’t, you will need an hdmi to SDI converter. The Viewfinder only works with a 1080 progressive signal. Most converters that I tried like this one or this one will NOT work, because they output an interlaced signal with the Sony a7S tested. You will need some way to power the URSA Viewfinder with a 12V female 4-pin XLR. Making it Work on a Camera like the Sony a7S The way I converted the hdmi signal from the Sony a7S to 1080p was to use an Atomos Shogun’s internal 4K –> 1080p downscaling. This way I could record 4K from a Sony a7S while at the same time using the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder. Of course you can do a setup without the Shogun, but you will have to find a way to get a progressive signal via SDI. I’m waiting for this converter right now to see if it can provide the proper 1080p signal and will update this article very soon. The advantage of using the Shogun (or Odyssey 7Q+) is also the additional preview image whenever the rig is not on the shoulder, or for assistants. I think the way I finally mounted it on top of the Viewfinder is just the most convenient possibility and it seems it is never in the way. The Shogun will start recording through the a7S rec-trigger function, so no need to touch it at all. Furthermore it will enhance the URSA Viewfinder with all the software features included in the Shogun and I get the best of both worlds. Parts needed Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder Powering Lanparte VBP-02 V-Mount Plate – Of course other multi-power battery plates will also work. For my mod you should make sure you get an adaptor cable to power the Shogun. The Lanparte already comes with this cable. Lanparte 4-Pin Female XLR Adaptor – Converts a 12v miniplug (v-mount plate) to 4-pin XLR. You could also get a 12V D-Tap to 4-Pin XLR cable instead. Dummy Battery for Sony a7 cameras – This connects to the red-tip adapter cable which is included in the Lanparte VBP-02 package. This is why the dummy battery needs a male plug at the end. V-Mount Battery – This is the cheapest one I found, maybe not the best. It can be charged with the Lanparte plate which includes an AC adaptor. I have no idea how long it lasts, but I hope someone will do the math on 95WH and tell us in the comments. Conversion & 4K recording Atomos Shogun (Barebones) – This also works (tested) with an Odyssey 7Q+ Good affordable SSD – if you want to record stuff. Micro-HDMI to HDMI cable – to connect the a7S to the Shogun. SDI is connected directly from the URSA Viewfinder to the Shogun. If you need a longer cable get an SDI extension (not needed for my mod). Rigging Varavon a7S Cage – You need a good way to mount the Viewfinder. Of all the cages we tested, this was the one that provided the right threads. If you want to make it work with a different cage you have to experiment. Cold Shoe with 3/8″ screw + Cold Shoe Mount OR 1/4″ to 3/8″ Adapter – This mounts on top of the Viewfinder to give you a cold shoe space there OR a 1/4″ screw. I did the cold shoe version. Mini Ball Head – goes on the 1/4″ to mount the Shogun on top. Cable Ties – to arrange the cables. 1/4-20″ 1-inch (25mm) screws – Two of those screws will attach the Viewfinder to the cage. large nylon washers for 1/4″ screws – Get some nylon washers so that the Viewfinder sits nicely and the Viewfinder isn’t damaged. Get an allen-key for those as well. Handheld Rig (optional) I use and like this, but of course you can use any handheld rig solution. Vocas 15mm Rail Support – includes rails that are 8.4″ Vocas Shoulder Pad Underneath Vocas Handles I usually use the longer 13″ rails on my rigs. Other Small (HDMI) Cameras Panasonic GH4 If you want to do this with a Panasonic GH4 you might want to use the Dummy Battery for Panasonic GH3 & GH4 instead of the Sony one. If you use the DMW-YAGH you will need both the 12V D-Tap to 4-Pin XLR and Lanparte 4-Pin Female XLR cable and of course also an SDI cable to feed the Atomos Shogun. With the SDI you will of course not need the hdmi cable. Also you’d use a lower rail support than the 15mm one recommended above. Canon For Canon cameras that use the LP-E6 batteries you’ll need the Dummy Battery for Canon to make it all run from one V-mount battery. This one is for cameras like the 550D, 600D, 650D,… Also you’d use a mini HDMI cable, not the micro which you use for the a7 & GH4 cameras. Other Cameras I will write about using the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder on the Canon C100 / C300 / C500 & C300 mark II in the following days. We will of course try this on more cameras, but looks like it’s gonna work on most if you follow the rules pointed out earlier. If you figure out on which cameras it works or doesn’t and which accessories are needed please share it in the comments. The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder costs $1495 and is shipping now.Read more
Yesterday we reported about the new Blackmagic URSA Mini that appears to be a big step up in terms of ergonomics to the previous Blackmagic cameras. We were particularly interested in how Blackmagic thought about the evolution of their cameras and we’re happy to see how they’ve put an effort into the new camera design. In this interview we talked to Simon Westland who took us through some of the ergonomic features with a special focus on the new OLED viewfinder they produced. I got a quick look through the viewfinder and while I’m surely reserved in the interview, I can tell you that the image is very impressive with no disturbing elements of the eyepiece or distortion as seen on other finders. For $1500 the Blackmagic OLED viewfinder will surely kill many other products in this market. It’s a steal and it might also work with other cameras (not confirmed). We then went on and also looked at the Blackmagic Video Assist. This is a small 5 inch monitor that takes SDI and hdmi signals, loops them through and records in ProRes onto an SD card. Fascinating, because other solutions of this kind cost 2x the $. For $500 Blackmagic seems to have another hit in terms of the specs at least. We’ll test all these products in depth when they’re out. For now we’re waiting for the items to be delivered as scheduled in late July. The Blackmagic URSA viewfinder is available for pre-order for $1,495 HERE The Blackmagic Video Assist is available for pre-order for $495 HERERead more
Here’s a nice trick for Sony A7S users. Anyone with a bit of history in the game will appreciate a good eyecup (Sony VX2100 anyone?) what ever happened them? It’s a feature that has never translated to video-able stills cameras, but videoshooter Michael Schmidt has come up with a great solution for a Sony A7S Eyecup that will improve your OLED experience tenfold.Read more
Zacuto is being talked about for several of their newly introduced products, but the Gratical HD EVF is certainly the most impressive one. Jens gave me some details on the new, extremely compact OLED viewfinder that was presented as a prototype at NAB. It sports a resolution of 1280×1024 which is not too far away from full HD. The aspect ratio is 4:3 which they used to conveniently display all data and histogram information below the camera picture. The OLED panel gives you very good contrast ratio and colours and the glass they implemented allows for an ideal viewing of the entire screen and had a great field of view. There are inputs for hdmi as well as 3G-SDI allowing the input of 4K signals and it has cross conversion between the two making it convenient to be used on setups with different input types. The Gratical HD will be available in October and is targeted at professionals with a price point of $3000. They will also have a lower resolution version which will be called Gratical LT (1024×768) which will come in at $1500. Another new product Jens was showing to us was the VCT Universal Baseplate that is an extremely flat dovetail plate with an included gel shoulder pad. I was especially fond of this product as it allows for a very quick adjustment and perfectly balanced position of the camera which I’ve been recommending for years. Great design and looking forward to this essential rig piece.Read more
The SmallHD DP7-PRO now supports color standards REC 709 and DCI-P3, offering accurate color reference monitoring in small 7″ form.Read more
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