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Posts by Geoff Smith

ALEXA Mini

The ALEXA Mini from ARRI is a versatile and flexible camera body with a compact form factor and outstanding image quality. Combining some of the best features of ARRI’s other cameras, such as the ALEXA series and the AMIRA, as well as some of the image quality improvements ARRI made when developing the large format ALEXA 65, the ALEXA Mini is a compelling option for DPs and shooters who want to realize their creative vision in a wide range of situations. Its symmetrical, cube-like design is well suited for handheld scenarios, such as with a Ronin or MōVI gimbal, on the shoulder, or mounted on a drone for soaring aerial shots. It’s equally at home in the studio as an “A” or “B” camera on commercials, music videos or narrative projects. One of the best features the ALEXA Mini “inherited” from its doc-style bigger brother, the AMIRA, is ARRI’s next generation look management controls which allow for CDL-style grading directly in the camera or — and this is the topic we’ll be focusing on today — the ability to load look files converted from 1D and 3D LUTs directly into the camera to be applied to a variety of viewing options and outputs.

When used in conjunction with the ARRI Color Tool, a free download from the ARRI website, programs like DaVinci Resolve can be used to create unique looks and load them into the camera quickly. Pomfort LiveGrade can be used to color the camera’s LogC signal in real-time, and the resulting grades can then also be loaded directly into the camera. This is especially useful in situations where the camera is mounted in a position that makes doing live color impractical. Lastly, many people have large libraries of existing 3D LUTs they’ve found around the web, made themselves, or purchased. LUT utilities such as Lattice serve as “swiss army knives” for getting your existing production-quality LUT into a format that can be loaded into the ALEXA Mini. In this blog post we’ll take a look at all three of these approaches.

…continue reading Creating and Loading 3D LUTs on the ALEXA Mini

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Fujinon_XK6x20

Fujifilm has announced their latest cine zoom lens, and the first in the new “XK” category, the Cabrio XK6x20. The lens features a wide zoom range, fast constant aperture of T3.5 and a detachable servo. Zoom range is from 20mm on the wide end to 120mm telephoto. The detachable servo allows the lens to function in both ENG/run-and-gun scenarios as well as in a more traditional cine mode with a follow focus, matte box and other cinema accessories.

The lens has a 9-bladed iris for smooth rendering of out-of-focus areas (“bokeh”) and transmits both Arri/Zeiss LDS and Cooke /i metadata (such as zoom position, aperture and focus distance). Additionally, the lens’ barrel markings are luminous for easy visibility in low-light shooting scenarios. All distances are listed in both feet and meters and ACs will definitely appreciate the generous 200-degree throw on the focus ring.

…continue reading Fujifilm Announces Cabrio XK6x20 20-120mm Super35 PL Zoom Lens

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Topics Sony

Sony’s PXW-FS5 has been available for a little over a month and has already received its first firmware update – version 1.1. Prior to this update, when recording UHD 3840×2160 (what Sony calls “QFHD”) internally on the camera, the SDI and HDMI ports were not capable of outputting a signal.

This update remedies that situation, enabling the use of external UHD recorders (such as the Atomos Shogun, Ninja Assassin and the Odyssey 7Q+ from Convergent Design) while simultaneously recording UHD internally. One caveat is that when this option — called “QFHD Rec Output” in the menu — is enabled, the viewfinder and camera LCD will no longer show a picture (though status information displays and the menus are still accessible). This limitation is not present when recording and outputting an HD signal.

…continue reading Sony Releases PXW-FS5 Firmware Update v1.1

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Topics Canon, Featured

CLog2_LUT3

Canon recently released two packages of 3D LUTs for use with Canon Log and Canon Log 2 on the C300 Mark II. The LUTs are being made available by Canon in .cube format, which is suitable for use in Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and many other programs. The .zip file packages, in 17x and 33x size cubes, are currently available for download on Canon’s new website. However, to make things easier – especially for Mac users – we’ve taken the liberty of making Canon’s two .zip files available here without modification. Use the links below to download the two LUT packages directly:

…continue reading Canon Releases New 3D LUTs for the C300 Mark II

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SCARLET-W

RED has just announced their newest digital cinema camera body, the SCARLET-W, which represents the next step up in the RED family. The SCARLET-W also features RECODE RAW and ProRes file formats but is a bit more feature rich than the RAVEN with interchangeable lens mounts and greater resolution. At at a lower price point than the WEAPON, it ideal for those who only need 5K resolution.

…continue reading RED Announces New SCARLET-W Camera

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Topics Arri

Yesterday, Arri released Software Update Packet (or ‘SUP’) version 3.0 for the ALEXA Mini. A highlight of the release is support for Lexar’s LC 128GB and LC 256GB 3600x CFast 2.0 cards, which provide an additional option for owners and rental houses as well as increased capacity (Lexar’s 256GB card is currently the highest available capacity approved for use with the Mini).

Also new is what Arri is calling a “beta test” of 4:3 ProRes 2.8K recording and 2x anamorphic de-squeeze in camera. This is big news for anamorphic shooters who now have the option to test drive true 2x anamorphic shooting on a lightweight, compact ALEXA body. The beta test is being made available as a free 4:3 License Key, which must be applied for on the Arri License Shop website and expires 90 days after installation. The final release of this functionality is scheduled for SUP 4.0 and will be a paid upgrade.

Other notable features included in this release are:

  • Interval Recording (intervalometer)
  • Stop Motion Mode
  • Timecode Sensor Clock Tuning
  • Viewfinder Overlay Enhancements

This update also includes a number of important bug fixes. To see the full release notes and to download SUP 3.0 for your camera, visit the Arri website.

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Yesterday, Convergent Design – makers of the popular Odyssey7 line of monitor/recorders – announced Apollo, a new portable multicamera recorder/switcher. Using the same compact form factor and casework as their Odyssey7 monitor/recorders, the Apollo can record up to four HD camera feeds plus a fifth channel, which can be either a live-switched view or the four cameras in a quad split-screen view. The Apollo can also function as a live switcher while still recording each input individually (up to four total).

…continue reading New Apollo Multicamera Recorder/Switcher

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