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Posts by Ian McCausland

Fujifilm today launched two exciting new cinema zoom lenses: the FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 and MK50-135mm T2.9. The two lenses are the first of the new MK series and look to be a great fit for emerging shooters and DPs who need coverage of the most useful focal length ranges for Sony E-mount Super35-sized sensor cameras (similar to the APS-C sensor size in the DSLR world). Both lenses will also be available later in Fuji’s X-mount, used in their popular mirrorless bodies. For a detailed look at the new 18-55mm lens, be sure to check out the video above which features real-world test footage towards the end. You can read Fujifilm’s official press release for more details on both lenses.

…continue reading First Look: Fujifilm MK Series Cinema Lenses

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The Panasonic VariCam LT offers a legendary look in a compact digital cinema camera. Combining the VariCam LT with the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+ recorder opens up the ability to capture Raw files. In this blog, I explore how to set up both the VariCam and the Odyssey in order to capture in Raw. The VariCam outputs Raw files in either 12 bit or 10 bit, requiring single and dual-link SDI connections,  so I step through both of these scenarios. After setting up the camera, I went out and shot some test footage in both 10 and 12 bit. I then took the footage into DaVinci Resolve for finishing. Check out the video above to learn more.

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The OConnor 2560 can be thought of as the little brother to the 2575. However, with a payload weight of up to 83 lbs it is hardly a lightweight. The 2560 has a smaller profile than the 2575, but enjoys the same functionality. In this blog, I take you through all the key features of this head that make it infinitely adjustable. Whether using mounting platforms from OConnor or third-party configurations, the 2560 delivers exceptional camera movement every time.

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Topics Arri, Lighting

The ARRI SkyPanel is an LED soft light that is packed with features. The SkyPanel comes in two different configurations and three sizes. In this blog, I will take a closer look at the S-60C model. C-model SkyPanels have adjustable color temperatures from 2,800K – 10,000K. In addition, the units have what ARRI describes as Vibrant Color Selection. This means that color hue and saturation can be adjusted. The light can also be programmed to display the color quality of both Lee and Rosco color gels.

…continue reading At the Bench: ARRI SkyPanel S60-C

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The Sachtler FSB 10 is the latest addition to their FSB line. This fluid head features a 100mm ball mount, allowing the head to be used on a wide variety of tripod options from Sachtler. Although the head is compact, it will handle camera payloads of eight to twenty-six pounds. Sachtler offers the FSB 10 model and the “T” model; the T stands for Touch & Go. This model is the traditional style of quick release plate that has been a part of Sachtler design for years. The FSB 10 incorporates a sideload plate, which acts as a sliding balance plate. This is a great option when changing lenses and having to recenter the camera to the head. Additionally, the head features an illuminated bubble level and ten counterbalance settings. Watch my video above to get a more detailed look at the FSB 10.

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Topics Arri, Audio

In my latest video, I talk about the new Beachtek DXA-ALEXA for the ALEXA Mini. As you may know, audio input to the ALEXA Mini is via a Mini 5-pin connector on the front housing, while audio into the camera is line level only. This presents operators with a challenge getting their mic level signals into the camera. The Beachtek DXA-ALEXA converts mic level signals to line level for recording audio direct to the C-Fast cards used by the ALEXA Mini.

The Beachtek DXA-ALEXA is a preamp that supports powered mics, as well as those requiring phantom 48 power. The unit supports channels of audio input via XLR 3 connectors with independent gain switches. Tracks can be recorded separately or as a mix. Each channel input adjustment knob has a detent, so range of adjustment can be made by feel if or when line of sight is not possible. Each channel has a diode for record level that is color coded, and levels can be quickly and easily evaluated for record level.

The kit for the ALEXA Mini comes with the preamp and mounting bracket; cables are ordered separately as the preamp will work with other cameras, such as RED. In my video above, I go through what is included in the kit, set up, and usage, as well as a microphone test.

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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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