What Hybrid DSLR camera to buy?!!

31 05 2009

DSLR

I’m looking to buy a new camera, so I thought I’d put a list together with some pros and cons. Don’t think I’ll be buying for a few months yet, still saving the pennies. A friend has just got a Canon 5D mkII. I’m desperate to get my hands on it for a try, to see if It’ll make my mind up

Over the last 6 months there’s been a stalled revolution which was the release of HD video capable DSLR stills cameras with the potential to blow away more expensive video cameras. First the Nikon D90, which despite being initially impressive, proved to be a bit of a damp squip, with a fair amount of artifacting and problems when panning the camera. This was followed by the Canon 5D mkII which was seriously impressive, full 1080p and a really crisp image with none of the problems associated with the D90.

But the Canon 5D mkII looks like it was a rushed release. Due to Nikon releasing the D90, Canon seem to have brought forward the date on the 5D mkII to steal it’s thunder. It surely did. But when I say it was a rushed release, I don’t mean that they got it all wrong, quite the opposite. The camera actually is now a serious threat to their video camera sales. Apparently they didn’t talk to the video division, just put a great video mode on a DSLR.

However, it was still seriously limited, with no real control over the settings, frame rate etc. This has had many filmmakers gnashing their teeth, seeing something so near, but so far away. My problem is that as I live in the UK, I use the PAL TV system. This operates at 25 frames per second, or 25P. The camera will only shoot in 30P which is (almost) NTSC, the US and  Japan standard.

In the meantime…

Red, famed for its Red one camera has scrapped working on its Scarlett ‘budget’ camera. This looks to be replaced by a DSLR type body. “We have changed everything about Scarlet because the market has changed and we have discovered a lot of things in the process. We have a new vision. Wipe you minds of the past announced Scarlet. Forget the design and forget the price. It is all different now. We think you will be surprised.” The price on this one is probably out of my price range, expect £4000 at a guess, and also Red have previously released their cameras, then had a long wait for people to actually get their hands on one. But if you can handle the wait it will surely be revolutionary.

Panasonic releases the GH1 – Panasonic sort of gets it right. Its new camera is 4 thirds, a newish system which has a lack of lenses available, but due to the smaller size, seems to mount industry lenses easier. Many people think this is a really great camera, but I’m holding out for a while to wait and see.

Recently Canon have released info about a future firmware upgrade which will address many of the problems over the manual controls. but there is still the problem over the framerate.

Here’s the contenders. I’ve decided to put these in order of personal interest.

DSLRnikon

Nikon D300s Approx £1300 without lens- Still a rumor, but a big rumor that there will be an update to the D300. As this would be Nikon’s chance to make a serious fight with Canon for the DSLR/Filmmaker market, lets hope that they go all the way with the video instead of the specs listed here at Nikonrumors.com.

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DSLRcanon

Canon 5D mkII Approx £2100 without lens – Now this just produces superb images, untouched so far by the others available at the time of writing. Checkout canonrumors.com for info on the recent firmware update or the hopeful resolution of the 24/25p problem

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DSLRpana

Panasonic GH1 – £1300 with lens – This looks very interesting – Full 1080p, interchangeable lenses. Full manual controls. Watch this space. I’m really interested to see comparison videos

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I’d prefer Nikon over Canon, as they seem the better buy in the long run. Their cameras seem better, and their lens system is backwards compatible – meaning that you can keep your older lenses when you upgrade the camera.

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David O Reilly – Please say something.

13 03 2009

I must be feeling bad about not updating the blog for a while, as I’m knocking out lots of posts in the last day or so, but just remembered that I’ve got to put this video on here. Saw it a week or so ago, I think linked from the Motionographer website. 

Wow. Wow. Wow. It’s not often that something this great comes along. I’m always impressed when people can put such strong characters together with animation. Especially in a pared down simple style like this. There’s no real facial expressions to rely on, but the sense of drama and emotion is very impressive. 

There’s a great sense of minimalism with the dialogue as well. I don’t only mean in the excellent soundwork by David Kamp, but in the scriptwriting, which catches you off guard and intrigues the viewer. 

David also has a great experimental style with heaps of innovation thrown in for good measure, and at the end of the day this is a film which works on all levels, from creativity, innovation and great storytelling which connects with the audience.

Watch it.  Click one of the images below.

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Links – 

http://www.davidoreilly.com/     http://www.boingboing.net/2009/02/27/bb-video-david-oreil.html    http://motionographer.com/features/david-oreilly-interview-please-say-something/





You’ve got it made! (now get it seen!)

12 03 2009

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Scottish Screen has produced a guide for all you budding filmmakers out there. Nicely put together by Nigel R Smith, it details the festival circuit , awards and digital distribution. Well worth a read for the serious filmmaker.

check out this link for general info 

http://www.scottishscreen.com/content/sub_page.php?sub_id=177&page_id=33

and this link for the download of the guide.

http://www.scottishscreen.com/images/documents/short_film_distribution_guide.pdf





Candas Sisman – Edicisum

3 02 2009

A great experimental audiovisual piece by Candas Sisman, Edicisum features a soundtrack by Isambard Khroustaliov. Lots of macro, very rich use of colour and real experimentation with the relationship between sound and image, it certainly ticks the box for me. I’d like to say more, but this will have to be a quick one. I’ll let the video do the talking. 

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Also check out his other works at his vimeo page

And the collaborative group between Experimental filmmakers and musicians at Not Applicable





Visuals, Club Visuals & Tour Visuals

20 01 2009

This is an astoundingly exciting and creative area of moving image production, and something that has been growing smaller and smaller in the category cloud (on the right, just under the strip of videos) on my blog, just because I can’t think where to start writing about it. But I’ve abandoned it for too long, so here’s part one of a (hopefully) long running series of posts…

We now increasingly expect to see interesting visuals when we see a gig or go to a club. As video projectors get cheaper and brighter, more and more clubs can afford to have them installed, and as more and more people enjoy seeing exciting visuals, it becomes the norm. It has also been breaking out of the club and gig environment, with very interesting work now in art installations, public displays, fashion shows and events of every kind. Then when you invest in a number of screens and use the space more fully you can create beautiful compositions that take us away from the single boring rectangular screen we are used to seeing in our homes.

Example – YSL Triptych – Click on the above to see an interesting use of three screens for a fashion show (Credits here) (Article here).  Once we can break away from the convention of a single screen then great possibilities are afforded to us. Multiple screen installations look fantastic, and give us another option to play with, as the image on a screen is affected by what surrounds it.

There are a lot of applications of visual material. One obvious use is in gigs, and a couple of examples are below. First,  Charles Lee and Dstrukt have posted their visuals for the Linkin Park world tour. These are generally themed around a song. In this case “We used Flowers to represent the progressive growth/development of a teenagers personality.”

Second, Etienne De Crecy Live 2007 Transmusicales de Rennes.

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Due to the nature of a video projector, we can choose to change the image at a touch of a button. In contrast a film projector would need to be turned off, the film changed and then started again. This opens up great creative possibilities for everyone from musicians, filmmakers and artists. If laptops and cameras are being used to provide the visuals, rather than just playing them off a dvd player, then you can have a level of interactiveness and experimentation that can be really exciting to play with. A wealth of software is on the market for producing live visuals/installation. There is also a thriving scene with fans and forums helping each other. 

Enough for now. I feel happy that I’ve scratched the surface, but there’s so much more to say. Hopefully soon.





Happy New Year!

5 01 2009

Crikey, another one over. I haven’t made any resolutions, but I need to get fitter and do more creative work. So I’d better get on. Before I do, a quick post for this amazing video. If you ever needed any inspiration as to what to do with the 300,000 spare tea-lights you have stashed away in a cupboard, then check this out.

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Motion Graphics as a political medium

9 12 2008

There is an increasing use of motion graphics as a political and educational medium. Short viral videos are produced and set out into the virtual world in the hope that they will inform and influence people. As we become more visually aware as a society, the video-makers have decided to use motion graphics to keep peoples interest levels up. This style is increasingly used along conventional documentary filmmakers as well who also include elaborate reconstructions of battles and other events in order to stimulate the viewer.

Knowledge – Alex Rudolph.

This aims to explain the middle east crisis in a short form. Based on research for his dissertation, where he has decided to impart a cooler look onto subjects potentially seen as boring by a younger audience. 

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Also another few below as well. This is becoming an increasingly prolific format, so the examples are only a drop in the ocean – but good to give you a flavour of what is out there.

The Girl Effect, n. The powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.

 

What Barry Says.

Iran – a nation of bloggers