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Canon recently announced the new C700 camera, as well as the DP-V2420 4K reference display. We had our hands on an early prototype of the camera back in September, but the camera wasn’t production ready just yet. Now Canon has the camera ready to roll, and we had some more time with it for testing.

The C700 is a fully featured cinema camera, with all the features of the C300 Mark II and beyond. Some of the most exciting feature include a 4.5K sensor with 14+ stops of dynamic range, raw output and Codex integration, a simplified ‘cinema’ style interface, ProRes and XF-AVC internal recording, plus a shoulder mounted design perfect for both cinema and run & gun work. Watch the video above to learn more about the C700. I give a tour of both the camera and the great new interface.

…continue reading At the Bench: A Look at the Canon C700 and DP-V2420 Monitor

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Topics Lighting

Astra-Chart.indd

Litepanels’ Astra series is designed with premium quality, high CRI, surface-mount LEDs, which are paired with custom designed TIR (total internal reflection) optics. The design follows the one square foot form factor of many popular Litepanels models. Now, with the introduction of the Astra Soft Bi-Color LED panel, the Astra line offers a diffused lens with a soft light alternative, which replicates the effect of a softbox. The Astra line is compact, portable, and powerful.

Check out our new chart, above, for an overview of the key technical specs for each model. These specifications also translate into differences in production workflow, all of which need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right Astra for your project.

Click the image above to view a larger version of the chart, or download the pdf.

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Panasonic’s VariCam cameras are capable of capturing a wide dynamic range. In order to do this, Panasonic has their own Log recording codec, V-Log. V-Log is a gamma response designed to capture the full dynamic range off the sensor. If you are familiar with Log, you know that what you see in Log is not like anything you see in the finished product. Therefore, we need tools in the camera to expose Log properly. Thankfully, Panasonic has included several ways to evaluate exposure in the VariCam. In this blog, I will show you the tools to get great results from the VariCam.

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Most cinema cameras today can work with lenses designed for cinema use, as well as those designed for still photography, but there are still important differences between these lenses. I teamed up with Snehal Patel from Zeiss to answer the question “what makes a lens a cinema lens”? In the video, we cover the wide range of Zeiss Cinema Lenses, which feature interchangeable shimmable mounts that allow them to work with just about every camera. We also demonstrate how to shim a lens and what that means. Zeiss cinema lenses also have full frame coverage, and we give a demonstration of what that means as well. Finally we discuss what make a lens a ‘super speed’ lens and what that looks like.

Watch the video above to learn all about Zeiss Cinema Lenses or jump to a specific topic using the links below.

…continue reading At the Bench: An Inside Look at Zeiss Cinema Lenses

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Topics Audio

Quality audio is a must on any shoot, and Sennheiser offers professional audio solutions at an affordable price. In this blog, I take a look at two solutions using the Canon C300 MK II as a point of reference for shooting with a compact camcorder.

The MKE 600 mic is an all-around workhorse that can migrate from camcorder to DSLR. It can be powered by an AA battery or with Phantom power supplied from the camera, which makes it a great option for high-quality audio on a budget.

The ME 64 series microphone has optional power solutions and the convenience of exchangeable mics know as capsules. These capsules are attached to the power supply to complete the unit. The higher the capsule number, the more directional the pickup will be. You also have a choice of Phantom or battery power supplies. In my video above, I show more about these audio options and then catch some live sound to hear the quality of the mics.

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Derek Frankowski is a director and cinematographer who has specialized in shooting sports and wildlife for commercial clients and documentaries for close to 20 years. For his latest project, Derek shot a commercial with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. With the fast-paced nature of the NHL and action sports, Derek had to be prepared for any challenges that came his way. Derek was kind enough to discuss how he tackled some of these challenges and how he has been getting it done for all of these years.

…continue reading Derek Frankowski and IDX Capture NHL Action

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Topics Arri

ARRI has now started shipping the ALEXA SXT camera, and we were lucky enough to have one in house for a short time. The ALEXA SXT is the latest evolution of the ALEXA camera line, with several new features and the horsepower of the ALEXA 65 camera. The SXT has a Swiss Army knife of recording options, giving you many ProRes and raw formats, and a wide variety of frame sizes to support anamorphic and aspherical acquisition. All of these can be recorded to the new Codex SXR capture drives, which give the highest frame rate options. Other recording options include CFast 2.0, SxS, or the ALEXA XT’s Codex capture drive with an adapter.

The camera now has the same powerful look management features found in the AMIRA and ALEXA Mini. It takes this concept further with four independently addressable outputs and remote color grading options via Pomfort LiveGrade or other applications. Any color adjustments performed on set can be saved as metadata to the camera clips. These can be easily applied directly from the clips in most NLEs and color grading applications. The SXT also has some image processing improvements and noise reduction options, and with the ALEXA 65 hardware inside, there are many possibilities for future improvements via firmware updates. Check out the video above to learn more.

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