GROUP TEST: LED LIGHTS
Top-quality studio gear to suit all budgets
CRACK THE DAVINCI CODE! How to migrate to the new Resolve 15
SUMMER 2018 £4.99
A whole new way of working explained
FUJI’S CINEMA TRIO TESTED
THE X-H1 AND MATCHING MKX LENSES RATED
AN OLYMPUS LS-P4 RECORDER
FROM PRORES RAW TO NEW CAMERAS FROM BLACKMAGIC AND KINEFINITY, IT’S TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT THE ULTIMATE FORMAT NEW METAL
All the latest equipment releases
SAVE CASH ON KIT!
Revealed: Best used camera buys now
Pennies from heaven: How to make serious money from your drone Tested: Sony A7R III and A7 III, camera bags from Camrade and lots more Buyers’ Guide: Just what is the ultimate kit for travelling light?
Postcard from Las Vegas A snapshot from the biggest show in the world for filmmakers and TV producers WORDS AND IMAGES ADAM DUCKWORTH
hey say everything is bigger in America. That’s true as far as shows and conferences go – certainly for filmmakers. The NAB show at the mammoth Las Vegas Convention centre is the biggest show in the world for moviemakers and people who work in TV and film production. Attracting over 100,000 visitors from all over the globe, it’s where the big tech companies show off their latest kit on huge stands that often feature full-size sets for you to test their cameras. All the biggies like Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and Arri got to wheel out their latest kit, as well as all the lens makers such as Cooke, Zeiss, Tokina, Leica, Sigma, Fujifilm, Angenieux and even upstarts like Los Angeles-based Atlas Lens Co showing their range of full-frame anamorphic lenses. And major tech firms from Google to Microsoft, plus Vimeo and Hitachi were showing their latest wares.
Many were getting geared up ready for 8K TV production. There were more than 1800 exhibitors all over the huge halls, showing everything from grip and lights to tripods, dollies, gimbals, bags, drones and even helicopters. And hundreds of talks and demonstrations by some of the best in the business to inspire and teach. Even Hollywood star Zach Braff – famous for his role in TV’s Scrubs as well as in major movies – was on hand to check out what’s new and to speak to the delegates. He’s now also a successful film director and did a talk called “From Podcast to Broadcast”. Some of the most exciting new tech on show revolved around film and TV studio-type productions, such as VR and 3D interactive studios. But for independent filmmakers, the show had three major talking points which were the new Apple ProRes Raw format launched at the show, the new BlackMagic
4K Pocket Cinema Camera and the explosion in HDR. Sony was keen to promote how forward-thinking it is with HDR technology such as Hybrid Log Gamma built into many of its latest cameras. This means that in theory, the footage is HDR TV-ready right out of the camera. In terms of cameras, Sony showed the new FS5 Mark II and some interesting 4K camcorders. But the biggest wow was the BlackMagic 4K Pocket Cinema Camera which you can read about in this issue, as well as DaVinci Resolve 15. But by far the biggest talking point was the new Apple ProRes Raw format which could finally bring Raw performance in sensible file sizes to the masses. It could be the next big thing in codec, taking over from Apple’s current ProRes formats. You can read about it, and our test on it, in this issue as we bring the highlights of the 2018 NAB show from Sin City!
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“It’s where the big tech companies show off their latest kit”
Sigma showed off its range of cine glass, as well as silver unfinished versions. They’re not for sale. Canon held a workshop on how large-sensor cameras can be used in college sports films. The star of the show, if we do say so ourselves! ProMoviemaker magazine proved popular. RED didn’t have a stand but its cameras were everywhere, like on the Fujifilm lens test area. Want to test a camera? Sony had a huge set-up complete with various sets and models. Happy days as Glidecam show off their recent ProMoviemaker award for the stabiliser. If you have the cash, then there was kit for you at NAMB! Like this off-road tracking quad bike.
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AGENDA LATEST UPDATES
I KNOW THIS MUCH... Ollie Kenchington is not only a filmmaker and colourist but one of the UK’s top training experts
tarting out as a stills photographer, Ollie Kenchington made the jump to moving images when he became the pro video expert on Final Cut Pro 6 and 7 for Apple. With a highly technical knowledge of colour grading and editing along with many years’ experience teaching students at film school, Ollie mixes training and working as a freelance colourist with making corporate films for big clients including Apple, BMW, Microsoft and Rolls Royce as well as working on TV productions and music videos. He’s used lots of different cameras, is an accredited trainer in all the big software packages and knows colour theory like the back of his hand. We caught up with him to learn about how to get colours nailed. I’m the white-balance guy! Good colour management is about getting the white-balance right to get the colours in alignment, and the correct exposure to get the contrast right. You have to know how to expose properly for the gamma profile you’re using at the time such as S-Log3. You must use a proper whitebalance chart rather than a white sheet of paper as this will have colour pigments that the eye can’t see. You need a proper white-balance target which has no coloured pigments and is off-white. Not an 18% grey exposure target. On my blog I mentioned that I use X-Rite products as part of my colour process. They saw it, and now I’m an ambassador for them. And you need to do it regularly during shooting. It’s no good doing a whitebalance in the morning then leaving it as the light will change during the day. Log is not always the answer I see so many people shooting a Sony A7S II and they do everything in S-Log3 to keep the profile as flat as possible. But that’s an 8-bit 4:2:0 camera, and shooting in such a flat profile throws away 70% of the colour information because S-Log3 compresses the file to fit more dynamic range in.
S-Log3 only gives you more flexibility if you have the information there. If you are shooting an FS5 or FS7, outputting Raw in 10-bit 4:2:2 , it’s fine. These cameras are designed for a big dynamic range. People are scared of changing the gamma in the middle of a shoot as often they just want simplicity. That’s why some people always shoot S-Log3 with the white-balance set to 5500K. Use Log when you need to, for example when there’s a lot of contrast. Otherwise change settings. Use a colour chart every time You also need to shoot a colour target before every shot. I use the X-Rite target which has patches of saturated colours as well as secondary chips, so you can see how far out your colours are in processing. Some people think it’s time consuming. But you remember to charge your batteries, set your lights up, get the camera on a tripod and focus it. So you need to make time to shoot a colour target, especially if the shot has multiple cameras. To get exposure right, I use a 90% reflectance target which is equivalent to 90IRE. I set my zebras to 90, or use the histogram, to get the exposure set at that level. But if you are shooting S-Log, then it’s different as the Sony needs more light to its sensor. For S-Log2 you set your zebras to 59 while for S-Log3 it’s 61. Learn to light properly! Many filmmakers who use an A7S II for run-and-gun work think shooting S-Log is an easy way to get good results when the lighting is too contrasty as they compress the highlights rather than raising the shadows with something like a reflector. But grading S-Log3 from a shot like this is a chore and you don’t have to do it. If you do light things and get it all right in camera, you can spend all your effort in post on creativity, not fixing bad shots. Colour is vital Around 70% of communication is nonverbal and colour is one of those factors.
There are built-in tools or plug-ins in DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier Pro to use the colour charts and get corrected, neutral colours. My workflow is to edit an assembly of shots first, but at the start I use little clips of the colour charts for all the shots I’ve used. I export the colour chart clips to DaVinci Resolve. I do my colour correction there, comparing the target I shot to the known values for Hue v Hue and Hue v Saturation, so all cameras are the same. Some plugins, like ColorFinale, will automatically do it for you but it’s not as accurate. I prefer to do it manually every time. I then export those back to the main edit and apply the changes to the shots. So I have matched cameras and neutral colours throughout the whole edit. Don’t rely on creative LUTs I do generate a custom LUT on set of a large shoot for a consistent look on all the monitors, but I never use creative LUTs. If you buy a LUT package and put a creative LUT on top of footage that’s not been sorted for colour, it magnifies any errors. I see people putting creative LUTs on their films and it’s like watching a car crash. You have to create a neutral look, with accurate skin tones. Only then can you start to change it for a more creative look. But you have to be careful with some colours that are important in the particular shoot. In a shoot for a beer manufacturer, the colour of the beer is very important, for example. Calibration is crucial On set, I use an Atomos Shogun and a Sumo which can both be calibrated with an i1 Display. I then set the exposure. If you were using LUTs on a Sony shooting S-Log, you’d have to overexpose but the LUT doesn’t “know” that, so the results aren’t right. Once you have shot the colour chart, got the exposure right using your zebras, you’re ready to go. Concentrate on the narrative, not the technicalities. I just love the process of shooting and editing.
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“My workflow is to edit an assembly of shots first, but at the start I use little clips of the colour charts for all the shots I’ve used”
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21 01/05/2018 15:28
CASE STUDY MOTORCYCLE MASTERS MOTORCYCLE MASTERS
As the motorcycle sports market evolved, action photographer Jonty Edmunds had to change his approach and add filmmaking to his remit, and every piece of gear in his business has to earn its keep WORDS TERRY HOPE
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MOTORCYCLE MASTERS CASE STUDY
he key thing that defines the modern communications world is that it’s continually evolving at breakneck speed and those that can’t read the relevant signals in time risk getting left behind or finding their work streams drying up. To be successful in this sector you have to be prepared to regularly reinvent yourself and to learn fresh skills to stay ahead of the game. Jonty Edmunds who runs the Future7Media communications agency is fully aware of this mantra, having seen his previously highly successful business – as a freelance photojournalist specialising in a niche off-road motorcycle discipline named Enduro – take a hit following the financial crash in 2008. Having been a keen participant in the sport himself while growing up in mid Wales, he had intimate inside knowledge of its particular demands, but the cold fact of professional life was
“There’s been plenty of learning, a bit of head scratching, some trial and error and a lot of evolving”
that the crisis in the money market had shut several magazines down while those that were left were cutting budgets and had largely stopped buying from contributors. “Things clearly had to change,” says Jonty. “So I set up Future7media and began a journey of self-publishing. I launched a website named enduro21. com and moved away from the gerbil’s wheel of constant editorial submissions to start working with companies from within the motorcycle industry. Initially, it was a case of repackaging images and words that had previously gone to editorial clients and supplying them to industry/ corporate clients. That’s now evolved to the point where the company is a niche communications agency, specialising in off-road motorcycle sport. “To cope with these new demands the team has grown to be seven-strong and we’re offering an expanded list of
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33 01/05/2018 15:36
ACADEMY POST-PRODUCTION THE LARRY JORDAN WORKSHOP
With many filmmakers storing and sharing footage online, what should you be doing if you want to stay safe from the hackers? WORDS LARRY JORDAN
hen it comes to keeping media files safe from online hackers, there’s only one sure option: store them locally on systems that are not connected to the internet. However, while this approach might work for the independent filmmaker working solo on their first project, this isn’t practical or possible once a team is involved in working on a film. As soon as files need to be shared you need to think about security. The films most at risk, quite naturally, are those with the highest profiles. Just look at the enthusiasm that recently greeted footage taken from a drone flying over the Star Wars set, with so many online trying to decipher what was going on in the movie. The real world Most of us are somewhere along the spectrum between the newbie solo artist and the blockbuster film crew. We want to take advantage of the collaboration and services the cloud has to offer and yet take reasonable precautions to keep our media and files safe. Recently I was interviewing Pierson Clair, senior director, cyber security and investigations at Kroll, and we were talking about security. When I asked: “Can we put stuff on the web and have it be secure? Or should we just give it up?” He replied: “When we talk about security, it’s all about risk management and risk mitigation.”
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POST-PRODUCTION What he meant was that online security is a constant balance between risk and reward; there’s no single answer that fits all of us, nor every project, or even different stages of the same project. We can no more blindly trust our assets to the cloud than avoid it entirely. Always bear in mind, however, that ‘the cloud’ is a marketing term that simply means a server located somewhere other than on your own property that is storing your data and controlled by someone other than you. Often, though, filmmakers operate in small groups, without active IT or security support. To help them there is an excellent resource in the UK in the Digital Production Partnership (DPP). They created a Committed to Security Programme specifically designed for media creators and suppliers, which saw them working with broadcaster and supplier security experts to develop the work into a self-assessment format designed to enable suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to achieving security best practice. These selfassessments were then tested with selected member companies alongside DPP Member and quality assurance expert, Eurofins Digital Testing, to formalise the work into an official programme. Your assets can be stolen, lost or hacked if you store them on the cloud, but it’s not likely. As Pierson says, it’s about managing risks. However, many production activities
“It’s possible to move many production activities to the cloud with limited risks”
can be moved to the cloud with limited risk. One problem with the cloud, however, is that it’s too slow. A typical 4K shoot generates up to a terabyte of data a day. My Internet connection is too slow for me to upload a terabyte of data – it would still be uploading the next day when I needed to upload new assets. If I need to share media, I find it faster and safer to ship hard disks between the set and editorial; always making sure I have backups stored locally – just in case. But that doesn’t mean we should avoid the cloud. It’s excellent for collaboration, for example, even if not so excellent for sharing media. For example, StudioBinder has an excellent production planning and project management tool which is cloud based. Google Docs is well known as a collaborative writing tool, though I prefer the security inherent in shared Apple Pages files. Meanwhile team projects inside Adobe Premiere are a great way for editors to collaborate while still storing all assets locally. None of these require putting our media online, yet all of them enable us to collaborate as a team. If you need to send files between team members but not store them online then Dropbox and HighTail are both excellent programs. While I use Dropbox personally, easily half the files people send me are on Hightail. I have not had any problems with either service. There are also cloud-based collaboration tools for conversation (Slack), project management (StudioBinder or ProWorkflow) and video review (Wipster or Screenlight), as well as countless business collaboration tools. When picking a web service, keep in mind that most productions are limited in duration, so don’t select a vendor that
requires a long-term commitment. You don’t want to be spending money when the project is over. And be wary of any service that is totally free. They are making their money somewhere, just be sure it isn’t on the back of your data. It’s worth emphasising that security is not ‘lock the door and don’t worry about it.’ Rather, it’s an active process that we all need to follow to keep our assets safe. Perfect security is unobtainable; just as any building can be broken into given enough resources and dedication, any asset can be hacked. The trick is to make sure that hacking is more work than it’s worth. “If you don’t have an IT department, it’s about being aware,” Pierson says. “Slowing down and saying, ‘this looks strange. Let me go run it down.’ So is that a certain number of hours per week? Not necessarily. Might it be more hours one week than next? Certainly. Deadlines are always looming, but security is kind of the underpinning of the internet, something that’s vitally important, so you need to invest the time when you identify it’s necessary.” Keep a close eye on your security procedures. Ask specifically how any cloud vendor you plan to use will keep your assets safe. Change passwords frequently. Ensure the user list is up to date. And don’t paste your user name and password on a sticky note attached to your monitor.
More information DPP: www.digitalproductionpartnership. co.uk HighTail: https://www.hightail.com Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/h StudioBinder: https://www.studiobinder.com Adobe Team Projects: https://www.adobe. com/creativecloud/team-projects.html
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39 01/05/2018 15:46
ACADEMY DAVINCI RESOLVE GUIDE
TEST YOUR RESOLVE
HOW TO CRACK THE DAVINCI CODE Follow our easy guide to getting to grips with BlackMagic’s new Resolve 15 software WORDS LAURA JEACOCKE
he days of Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X’s total domination could be coming to an end. Most commonly known for its work on some of the biggest Hollywood productions as the go-to colour grading software, BlackMagic’s DaVinci Resolve is making a huge impact as a fully-fledged editing program too. Resolve has pro-spec tools for video editing, colour correction and audio manipulation all in one application, and the new Version 15 has added VFX functionality too. But best of all, the standard version is completely free. You can buy the Studio version for only £229/$299, which offers additional functionality like support for multi-user collaboration and various 3D tools. But the completely 4K compatible free version really doesn’t lack anything crucial for the majority of users. But how easy is it to make the leap from Premiere or Final Cut to the ultimate witchcraft that is BlackMagic’s latest release? Follow our step-by-step guide to understanding DaVinci Resolve.
“Making a huge impact as a fully-fledged editing program too” Media tab DaVinci is broken down into six major tabs to help with your workflow: Media, Edit, Fusion, Colour, Fairlight and Deliver. The first thing that pops up is the home page where you can see all your recent projects and create new ones. Create a new project and the Edit tab will open. Before you do anything, go to the lower right corner Settings toggle, as this is where you set all your project settings like frame rates and formats. You must do this first as once media is added, you cannot go back and change the overall settings. Click the Media tab which acts as your media management centre. This allows you to browse your system and copy files from drives. This is hugely user-friendly with the Media Pool at the bottom, preview
screen on the right and all your hard drives listed in media storage top left. You can view these in thumbnail or list mode. It’s easy to import footage by dragging your chosen file into the Media Pool where a pop-up appears allowing you to match frame rates. From here you can create or bin folders and organise your footage. This method of importing files is so much clearer and better organised compared with Premiere or Final Cut. Edit tab The Edit tab’s layout is pretty standard compared to other NLE software with a small Media Pool on the left, timeline on the bottom, a preview monitor top centre and a program monitor top right. If you’re in a hurry you can import media in the Edit tab too, by opening a finder window and dragging your files into the Media Pool – you can’t preview footage though. As with most editing apps you can figure out what’s in a clip by selecting it and scrubbing over with your mouse. This is an efficient way of figuring out what’s what. Below the previewed footage is a small
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DAVINCI RESOLVE GUIDE
filmstrip and audio waveform icon. These allow you to drop either isolated video or sound clips into your timeline, or you can simply drag the image for both. This is the same as all other NLE softwares so no surprises there. There are a couple of ways you can cut and it all depends on personal preference. The easiest is to simply grab the end of the clip and roll in, physically shortening it. Another method is to grab the Blade tool, cut on the playhead (shortcut ctrl+/) and then delete the unwanted footage. The very handy shortcut to do all of that in one move is ctrl+shft+). You can also delete any unwanted gaps between timeline clips by selecting the Edit tab top left and choosing Delete gaps. Unlike Premiere where you have to click around to reach it, Resolve’s Inspector tab is on the top right of the interface. Here you can alter the properties for individual clips, such as opacity controls, composite
modes, key frame toggles and a completely unique button that flips the entire image. There’s also a Dynamic zoom option for titles or video that very smoothly autozooms. To copy any adjustments from one clip to another, right-click and Copy, select your other clip and Paste attribute. The Effects Library tab is top left and pops up conveniently to the left of your timeline. There’s a very impressive and more than substantial range of effects,
ABOVE You’ll soon crack the code to successful edits with DaVinci Resolve’s easy-to-follow interface. BELOW The timeline on the Edit tab has a standard look.
from transitions which are overlaid on clips (the same as Premiere or Final Cut), to generators and a whole load of others you’ll probably never use. It’s here you can add titles, including new Fusion titles. Drag the Text effect onto your timeline exactly where you want it and you can edit that as you would any other normal clip. To change the words, font or colour use the tab that comes up on the right. And to fade titles just hover the mouse over a white handle in the top corners of the clip and drag across, adjusting the speed. The actual edit is where Premiere, Final Cut and Resolve users tend to fall out, arguing over which is best. Many stand by Premiere as the superior, but there’s not a huge amount of difference, or at least nothing so drastic that would
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49 01/05/2018 16:13
MANFROTTO ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
Carry on convenience! Manfrotto’s new Pro Light Cinematic backpacks are designed to hold all your kit yet still be hand luggage legal for flying
f you’ve ever had to check in your precious video kit for a flight, you’ll know what an agonising wait you face at the baggage carousel at your destination airport to see if everything has arrived in one piece, with its contents hopefully undamaged. There’s nothing that can ruin a shoot like missing or broken kit. Carrying on your whole equipment has also been near impossible, as hard-sided cases can be too bulky and heavy, aren’t well designed for the unique requirements of video kit and don’t have the external pockets to make it handy to store travel essentials like passports, travel documents or even a laptop or tablet. Italian photo and video giant Manfrotto now comes to the rescue of travelling filmmakers everywhere with the Pro Light Cinematic range, the first carry-on size backpacks to secure and organise a THIS PAGE Designed from the ground up for videographers, Pro Light Cinematic backpacks are a perfect fit for all your kit.
“The first carry-on size backpacks to secure and organise a video kit”
complete video kit. And once you get to your destination, they are comfortable and practical to use on location. The new Manfrotto Cinematic Expand and Cinematic Balance backpacks are lightweight and built to withstand the knocks of professional life, have the customisable Camera Protection System inside to cradle your gear and lots of pockets to store everything you need for shooting or travelling. And made from black material, they don’t scream to the world that they might contain expensive equipment which is a very real consideration in many places. These brand-new models have been designed from the ground up to meet the needs of modern videographers who need to be self-sufficient and carry lots of equipment. Cameras ranging from DSLRs and small mirrorless cameras to full-size cinema cameras plus interchangeable lenses, hard drives, laptops, mics, recorders and even gimbals and drones – the bags can be customised to carry it all.
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MANFROTTO ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE And, of course, the bags are built to protect your gear while on the move. Both Pro Light Cinematic backpacks feature Manfrotto’s signature shock-absorbing Camera Protection System divider for optimal protection of equipment. And as a fully loaded bag can be heavy, there are load lifters, sternum straps, shoulder straps and waist belts which are fully adjustable for a customised fit to keep the bag comfortable for a long time. The bags are built to take a lot of punishment and last for years as they are made of water-repellent ripstop nylon/polyester, hollowed ITW Nexus buckles and Duraflex hardware. And frequent fliers will appreciate the easy-access laptop pocket for a device up to 17 inches, and external zip or stretch pockets for accessories or travel documents and a water bottle. Both Pro Light Cinematic backpacks have a dedicated monopod and tripod connection. They also come with a DuoFace sun/rain cover to protect from harsh weather and reflect sunlight to keep gear cool and dry. Your whole kit in one bag The Manfrotto Pro Light Cinematic Expand video backpack is the first on the market built to hold a complete filmmaking kit and still comply with international carry-on luggage rules. It can hold one of the popular camcorders like a Canon C100 or 300, Sony FS7 or Panasonic EVA-1, fitted with a 70-200mm f/2.8 pro lens attached and up to ten lenses, accessories or extra bodies. It’s called the Expand as it has an expandable front panel to allow a camcorder with its handle assembled
ABOVE No shocks when you unpack your Pro Light Cinematic backpack – the Camera Protection System will look after your kit.
to be securely held. This is great for use on location as there is no time wasted in building up your kit every time you want to use it. Of course, this makes it too big for carry-on use so when it comes time to fly, the camera handle can be removed and stored inside, then the backpack’s front panel collapsed. This makes the pack more compact and legal to carry on your flight.
ABOVE Carry on whatever the weather thanks to water-repellent ripstop fabric and the DuoFace sun/rain cover.
The £269.95/$279.99 backpack also has a dedicated tripod attachment that can be configured to carry either a fluid monopod or a video rig. The ideal solution for gimbals The Manfrotto Pro Light Cinematic Balance video backpack is the correct size for airline hand luggage and is designed to hold a DSLR or mirrorless camera with lenses as well as a DJI Ronin M/MX motorised gimbal fully set up – saving you a lot of assembly time. The side pocket is designed to hold the DJI Ronin remote control and main unit, and a dedicated zip pocket inside stores the disassembled bar. There is direct access from the side of the bag, so it’s easy to get the Ronin out and start filming. The signature Manfrotto NeverLose strap secures your support of choice and an additional dedicated connection keeps your assembled Ronin Grip attached. The Cinematic Balance also features a dedicated fluid monopod and/or Ronin Tripod connection and costs just £269.95/ $279.99.
More information www.manfrotto.co.uk
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61 02/05/2018 09:34
ARIEL FILMMAKER DRONE NEWS
The newly formed Drone Major group announces a new set of standards for the British drone market at the House of Lords while the results of the first ever DJI Drone Photography Award are just in WORDS TERRYHOPE
Drone Photography Award Launched late last year, the DJI Drone Photography Award called for project ideas that would make creative use of a drone to explore new photographic possibilities. Winners Markel Redondo and Tom Hegen were each awarded a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone and £1500/$2091 project financing, amongst other prizes, to realise their projects, and these were exhibited at theprintspace gallery in London in April. Markel’s project focused on the estimated 3.4 million homes standing empty and deserted following the financial crisis that enveloped Spain in 2007. Having first photographed these abandoned developments in 2010, he returned with his drone to retrace his footsteps. Meanwhile Tom Hegen took a look at salt production across Europe, and he flew above some of Europe’s largest salt production sites to capture a powerful series of vivid colours and geometric shapes with the camera of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera pointing directly downwards. www.bjp-online.com/2018/03/dji-drone-photography-award-thesalt-series/
“Markel Redondo and Tom Hegen were each awarded a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone to realise their projects” 70
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MILESTONE FOR THE GLOBAL DRONE INDUSTRY
Set against the impressive backdrop of the House of Lords, the Drone Major Group, in collaboration with the British Standards Institute (BSI), has unveiled how the new Drone Standards, set to come into force this spring, will release the potential of the industry, revolutionise lives and transform business sectors from transport and infrastructure to agriculture and medicine. Robert Garbett, Chairman of the BSI Committee on Drone Standards, said: “The adoption of the first quality and safety standards for the drone industry will make 2018 a pivotal year for an industry which is set to become a global phenomenon.” He said that estimates that drones would spawn a $100 billion industry by 2020 might actually have underestimated the value of the opportunity. Areas where it’s perceived that drones will make a big impression include transport, infrastructure and construction, agriculture, medicine, the marine environment, mining, defence and security. The keys to growth in this exciting young industry are educating the public on the positive impact that this technology will have on their lives, and encouraging investors to get behind the research and development that will enable the industry to break through the barriers it faces, such as the integration of airspace and the adoption of multi-environment systems. There was also a call for governments worldwide to stand behind the drone industry to ensure it isn’t choked by over regulation, something the UK government has indicated it’s keen to avoid. While a small part of the wider picture relating to drone use, that will be music to the ears of the filmmakers increasingly looking to involve drones in their work. www.dronemajorgroup.com
Top aerial filmmakers choose RED and Fujifilm California-based aerial filmmaking specialists Gyron Systems International, whose credits include shows such as Top Gear (UK and US versions), Jay’s Garage (NBC) and the recent American Dresser feature film, recently decided that their specialist requirements called for a particular combination of gear, namely a RED Helium 8K camera and a Fujinon 25-300mm Cabriozoom. “There are no second takes, no actors’ marks or posh trailers with aerial cinematography,” said Jesse Brunt, Director of Photography/Gyron Operator, Wolfe Air and Gyron. “We
make adjustments as they happen. Focus buzzing, blurry images and bad composition are unacceptable when you’re burning fuel and spinning rotor blades.” The rugged design of the 25-300mm makes it ideal for aerial cinematography, according to Jesse: “Everything with aerial conditions is subject to extremes – weather, temperature, abusive conditions in general along with extra wear and tear. The 25-300mm has been engineered to take the beating flying through the sky dishes out.” www.gyron.com
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71 02/05/2018 09:39
AERIAL FILMMAKER DRONES & TIME-LAPSE UP, UP AND AWAY
Time-lapse can be highly effective, but VFX specialist Rufus Blackwell has taken things further by shooting sequences from a drone WORDS TERRY HOPE
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DRONES & TIME-LAPSE
echnology can unlock some fascinating new doors but so often it takes someone with imagination to reveal the true potential of what’s been made possible. So it is with VFX artist Rufus Blackwell, who initially ran with the ability of DSLRs to deliver stunning time-lapse sequences and has now moved on to DJI’s Osmo stabiliser and the Inspire 2 drone to explore still further how he might play with the very notion of time to create vibrant slices of city life, seen from a variety of angles. In Rufus’ world, everything has speeded up. And all the chaos of the busy streets, choreographed at times for maximum effect, can be squeezed into just a few moments. His aerial work is likewise extraordinary, sweeping views of skylines seen under a brooding sky, day turning miraculously into night in seconds and
fireworks exploding all around the camera position. Much of what you see has been enhanced through post-production, but the bedrock of the footage still relies heavily on cutting-edge technology and the skill of the operator. “I studied film at university,” says Rufus, “and was always interested in fiddling around with the technical aspects of the process. From there I went on to work in the visual effects industry, doing my training at Rushes, one of the best
“Sweeping views of skylines, day turning miraculously into night, fireworks exploding”
post houses in London. My job was to take reality and improve it a little, and I worked on some incredible music videos and TV commercials at this time. “I always loved photography and on the back of the evolution of DSLR cameras I became involved in creating time-lapse sequences. Shooting beautiful high-res uncompressed images gave me, as a VFX artist, a great medium to work with.” Having previously lived in Malaysia Rufus had an enduring love for South East Asia and eventually decided to relocate to Vietnam. With modern communication keeping in touch, he relishes the opportunities his base in Saigon offers him. In particular the beautiful coastline and colourful city life that is an excellent source of subject matter, and it was an obvious place to focus on when DJI noticed the quality of his work and came knocking.
IMAGE What do you get when you fall in love with time-lapse, VFX and drones? In Rufus Blackwell’s case, spectacular footage.
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GEAR KINEFINITY TERRA 4K TESTED: KINEFINITY TERRA 4K SPECIFICATIONS
CHINESE REVOLUTION Far Eastern firm Kinefinity hopes to shake up the world of filmmaking with its affordable yet high-tech modular cameras
you’ll want the choice of ultimate quality Raw files or something that’s smaller and faster to edit without compromising on quality, such as a high bit-rate ProRes codec. If this is what you’re after, then until now your choice has been very, very limited to exotic, high-price brands like RED or perhaps ARRI. And fully rigged up, these can cost well into the price you could buy a very nice car for. Therefore, well out of the reach of most independent filmmakers. But now you have a choice, from little-known but fast-expanding Chinese firm Kinefinity. The brand has been around for a few years, and brought out a handful of highspec cameras at very reasonable prices. But it has focused on the
Recording formats: ProRes 422HQ/ 422/ 422LT/ Proxy 10bit MOV, Compressed Lossless KineRAW 12-bit (firmware upgrade soon) File sizes and max frame rates: 4K 4096x2160 75fps, 4096x1720 100fps, 3840x2160 75fps, 3840x1600 100fps Dynamic range: 14 stops Shutter angle: 0.7-358° Recording media: 2.5in SSD Audio: In-camera mic, 3.5mm input jack, 48V phantom power XLR with KineBACK
WORDS AND IMAGES ADAM DUCKWORTH
here’s no such thing as the perfect do-it-all camera. Some cameras may be designed for one specific use in which they excel, others for a more all-round use so they are good at newsgathering, cinematic moviemaking and everything in between. The thing is, these allrounders often tend not to be the ideal tool for anything. They are a compromise. If you want a camera that can be set up for precisely what you want, then modular is the only way to go. That way, you can strip it down for super-light or stealthy use, perhaps on a gimbal or big drone. Or rig it up for shoulder-mount use. Or accessorise it for tripodmounted use for the full Hollywood movie productions. Of course,
Price: £3834/ $5390 body only. Pro Package, as tested, £7662/ $10,775 Sensor: 4K sub-S35mm CMOS, 1.85x crop factor
BELOW Expand your options with the KineBack, which offers XLR inputs, phantom power and Wi-Fi.
ISO: Dual Native 800 and 3200. 320-20,480 Video modes: Manual LUTs: Neutral, flat, custom 3D Dimensions (WxHxD): 115x110x95mm/ 4.4x4.3x3.7in Weight: 990g/2.1lb body only
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KINEFINITY TERRA 4K BELOW Modular, wellspecified and coming to you soon: Kinefinity’s latest Terra 4K.
Asian market, meaning anyone attempting to buy one from the Western world has been put off. Slow supply, lack of a widespread service network and even a proper distribution chain means Kinefinity’s earlier KineMini and KineMax 6K got good reviews but few risked buying them. You don’t want to be stranded with a broken or failing camera thousands of miles from any support. Of course, Internet warriors who attempted to buy the kit ganged up on Kinefinity, citing long lead times and sporadic communication. That’s what you get if you are buying from a company in Beijing and you’re in Birmingham or Baltimore. But now, that’s all changing. Kinefinity wants to be a serious player in the global cinema camera market and is getting serious about developing and promoting its cameras to an international audience. Word is the firm has had a huge injection of government
“Kinefinity wants to be a serious player in the global cinema camera market” money and is using it to built a new factory which opens in May, and set up international partners to sell and service the camera. If all this sounds far-fetched, all you have to do is think about Chinese tech start-up DJI which now dominates the global drone market and even owns Hasselblad. With a major stand at the NAB show in Las Vegas as well as a US distributor, and well-respected British firm ProAV now handling distribution and service in the UK, Kinefinity is a brand with big plans. And that includes more modular cameras, in both Super 35 6K and full-frame 8K guises, very soon.
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GEAR GROUP TEST WHICH LED?
STUDIO LED LIGHTS If you’re filming in the studio or in an interior location then there’s a wide range of LED fixtures to choose from. We take a look at some of the best WORDS PHIL VINTER
hile high frame rates and 4K have grabbed the headlines in recent years, the lighting world has been enjoying its own revolution as advances in LED technology have nudged old fluorescent, tungsten and even HMI lights towards the exit door. More powerful and robust than ever before, the advantage of LEDs over conventional methods, such as heat-free operation, the ability
to be colour adjusted and low running costs, is really starting to show, and there’s no shortage of innovative new products coming through on a regular basis. We’ve pulled together a selection of the latest products at a wide selection of price points, covering everything from entry level through to advanced professional kit. See if there’s something here that could do a sterling job for your business.
SPECIFICATIONS Size: 125x75.4x2.3cm/49x29.5x0.9in Weight: 12.5kg/27.5lb Power: 520W CRI: 91@3200, 94@5600 Colour temperature: 3000-5600K Battery: Yes, using 24-28V powerbank
HOW IT RATES
DMG LUMIERE MAXI SWITCH £2500/$2612 plus £400/$579 for Maxi Switch control panel
Boasting a staggering 8640 LEDs with a max power output of 520W this is a BIG light source. For a light of this size, a weight of less than 13kg/28lb is not too bad and once assembled it’s a versatile bit of kit. The light is made up of two panels, connected by a smart hinge. The yoke enables the panels to be rotated through 360 degrees and the hinge enables the pair to be locked in any position between flat and fully open, offering the chance to create a number of different lighting setups, such as a book light. It offers a 30005600K colour range and is dimmable between 0-100. The panels can also be split to operate as two independent units. It has a high CRI rating of 96/94, indicating a high rendition of colour.
The control panel can be mounted to the back of the panel. It provides a Wi-Fi hotspot option that can be controlled from a smartphone via an app as well as wired and wireless DMX control through a Lumen radio receiver. It can take 24-28V batteries or be powered by the optional 100-24V Maxi Power Supply. The interface, whilst not particularly aesthetically pleasing, is easy to use, with a soft switch button to move from colour temperature to power, and a big red scroll wheel which can be set to a fine control to shift in small increments or a more coarse setting to move quickly to different levels. You can also add presets for specific colour temperatures and intensity levels, so you can quickly jump
Features: 7/10 Does the basics very well but doesn’t come with any RGB or hue options Performance: 9/10 A bright, big, even soft light powered by a very cool and relatively quiet motor Handling: 7/10 Feels a little like it’s been over-thought – the design could be simplified Value for money: 9/10 You get a huge light for a reasonable amount of cash PRO MOVIEMAKER RATING: 8/10 Pros: Once set up it’s easy to use, with a good range of positions Cons: Somewhat fiddly to set up, no colour options and not particularly cheap
to them without having to scroll through the range. It’s a very powerful light that will meet the specific needs of higher-end lighting professionals, but it’s not aimed at the generalist.
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KINO FLO DIVA LITE 21 £1,600/$2000
SPECIFICATIONS Mount: Centre mount with integrated handle Weight: 5kg/11lbs Power: 1.25A draw
This well-specified light from highlyregarded German manufacturer Kino Flo is the latest iteration of the original twofoot by one-foot Diva Lite 20. Weighing in at around 5kg/11lbs, it’s 1.5kg/3.3lbs lighter than the previous version and features a new slimline design that has done away with the plastic shell to give it a slimmer profile. In most other ways the Diva Lite 21 offers the same features as its predecessor, which won best of show awards for lighting and production at NAB 2016. It features a standard centre mount so it can be positioned vertically and horizontally, and there’s a new integrated handle on the rear to make it easier to carry around the studio or on location. It’s been described as the Swiss Army knife of lights because it comes packed full of features that can be used to create a plethora of lighting set-ups. These can be accessed through a built-in contoller on the back of the light, with buttons that are tactile and largely intuitive to use. There’s a clean, simple menu structure, which enables operators to easily flick between different modes - white, RGB colour and gels/hue colour - and then to navigate within those modes. Switching to the RGB or gels/ hues modes gives a range of colour alternatives. More than 100 traditional gels can be selected, with the option to select special effects including police
lights, fire and lightning. There’s also a magenta/green hue angle control to match up with lighting on different locations, and the ability to increase or decrease saturation levels. The light is dimmable, with a nice smooth drop-off at the lower end, and in white mode it has a range of Kelvin settings from 2700-6500K, which extends to 2500-9900K in colour mode. Scroll through different colour temperatures and brightness levels via the button on the side, while pushing it in allows you to switch between a slow or a fast scrolling speed. This is a sturdy product, and feels as though it would be very much at home in the studio or capable of taking punishment in the field. For the price it’s built to a very high spec, with Kino Flo claiming the units should last for at least seven to 10 years. The light is efficient and punchy, drawing 150Watts of power, and it comes with a CRI rating of 95. Being DMX ready, the light can be operated wirelessly via Bluetooth from a small radio antenna on the back, and there’s the option to add a SnapBag softbox. The Diva Lite 21 can also be battery-powered for up to 70 minutes at full output from a battery that has a 90-minute charge time, so it’s hard to argue with the manufacturer’s claim that this is the highest calibrated unit at the lowest price point on the market.
CRI: 95 Colour temperature: 2700-6500K Battery: Rechargeable
HOW IT RATES Features: 8/10 Great specification for the price Performance: 8/10 Excellent studio and location performance Handling: 8/10 Sturdy, lighter than its predecessor and packed with features Value for money: 9/10 If you can afford it, this is one of the best lights to invest your money in PRO MOVIEMAKER RATING: 8/10 Pros: Great all-rounder and good value Cons: Could still do with being lighter
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GEAR BUYERS’ GUIDE: ON THE MOVE
TRAVELLING FILMMAKERS We take a look some great kit for filmmakers while travelling or on the move, suitable for all budgets WORDS LAURA JEACOCKE
When running through airports, getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of cities and facing all kinds of global weather conditions, you’re going to need kit that is compact, lightweight and durable, yet still gets results. In this issue we take a look at kit for filmmakers on the move – reliable, portable gear that causes minimum hassle. In the fifth of our Buyers’ Guide series, we sort the kit into three different cost levels. For the Budget Minded, it’s kit that gets you working at a price that won’t break the bank. Pro Performer equipment might require a little more investment, but it’s workhorse kit brimming with invaluable features and performance. And for those who can afford to go all out, turn to the Dream Buys page for all the latest high-end gear.
1. CAMERA: SONY DSC RX100 MARK V £899/$948 www.sony.com
Although a couple of years old now, this compact camera deserves way more praise than it currently gets. Ignore its reputation as a simple vlogging camera; it is compact, lightweight at only 299g and boasts many professional features. Surprisingly, it’s capable of feeding an uncompressed 1080p in 60/24p and 4K 24p video signal. It’s only capable of just over an hour of battery life, so you’ll want some spares but it can be powered through USB. This latest version of the RX100 series maintains the 1.0-type image sensor and has fast autofocus from 315 AF points. It’s a great budget solution for the travelling filmmaker, particularly in pointand-shoot scenarios due to its autofocus tracking features, not to mention its 4K capabilities – practically unheard for this type of camera.
BUDGET MINDED GREAT VALUE KIT THAT DOES THE JOB
2. AUDIO: AUDIO TECHNICA AT875R £132/$169 www.audio-technica.com
Weighing only 80g and with a length of 175mm, the AT875R is one of the shortest shotgun mics available, making it ideal for jetsetting filmmakers. It features a well-balanced frequency pattern, good off-axis rejection from the sides and rear of the mic whilst also providing a narrow acceptance angle of 60° and natural-sounding on-axis audio quality. That means it’s perfect for long-distance sound pickup. It’s also uncommonly wellsuited to both indoor and outdoor environments due to its built-in low cut/high pass filter reducing any undesired rumble. Although only operating off phantom power it can be connected with the majority of external audio recorders for top-quality sound. With an additional bonus of an initial two year warranty, the AT875R would give savvy spending travelling filmmakers high-end audio quality at a fraction of the usual cost.
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BUDGET MINDED 5. BAG: MANFROTTO PRO LIGHT 3N1-36 £126/$178.56 www.manfrotto.com
4. ACCESSORY: THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S EPHEMERIS APP £2.79 Windows/£8.99 iOS www.photoephemeris.com
This handy piece of kit doesn’t come at any extra inconvenience and barely any cost either. The Photographer‛s Ephemeris app is a mapcentric sun and moon calculator, allowing you to find out the direction and altitude of the sun or moon at any given moment. It visualises the patterns for any terrain on any location on earth, both day and night. It offers up a whole load of planning tools and extra downloads to help pre-plan your shoots, enabling you to make the most of the natural light. It includes a night mode, featuring a 3D representation of the Milky Way, pole stars and major constellations, as well as the ability to research and save your own list of favourite locations. It is currently available as a download for both iOS and Android for phones and tablets, but there is also a free, albeit less advanced, web version.
This versatile backpack is designed with two separate, easily accessible compartments. With enough space for up to three camera bodies and five lenses, alongside a 15” laptop pouch, its front panel’s inbuilt straps can also support a tripod. With numerous carry options, such as backpack, sling position or cross backpack, and removable dividers, this bag has your back in mind with plenty of weight distribution aids. The Pro Light 3N1-36 is water repellent and UV protected, but it also matches cabin luggage requirements for commercial flights. And it looks pretty good too.
3. STABILISER: JOBY GORILLAPOD FOCUS £109/$126 www.joby.com
It may not have the stability of a pro video tripod, but the Joby GorillaPod offers a lightweight solution to travelling with a tripod. Its quickrelease ball head has Arca-Swiss for a QR plate and movement is controlled by the 360° pan and ±90° tilt knobs. Supporting up to a 5kg payload, it’s built from thermoplastic with machined aluminium sockets, and is one of the most durable and firm Gorilla tripods out there. The flexible legs allow a tight grip on small surfaces and give access to areas a standard tripod simply can’t. This tiny tripod is perfect for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras fit in a rucksack with ease.
6. STORAGE: G-DRIVE SLIM SSD £187.45/$179.95 www.g-technology.com
Available as either 500GB or 1TB, the G-Technology G-DRIVE Slim SSD has a transfer rate of up to 540MB/s. With a USB-C connector it’s compatible with most modern devices and although it’s formatted for Macs it can easily be switched to Windows. The Slim SSD is more reliable, shock resistant, requires less power to operate, and has faster boot times and a better system responsiveness, all due to its lack of internal moving parts. This drive is lightweight and its solid construction is very well-suited to the demanding rigours of travel.
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