A few years ago, one of our Phantom customers asked us to solve a problem: how could handheld sports shooters using a Phantom v640, which lacked any on-board controls, perform basic functions without being tethered to a computer, which was the only existing way to control the camera at the time? Figuring that it should be possible to use a micro-controller to communicate with the camera to accomplish this goal, I started working on a solution in my spare time. Using a development board wired to the camera with some buttons and some custom code, the result was a box that could be velcroed to the side of the camera. It could perform black balance and white balance, as well as switch to some frame rate and shutter presets. The device worked pretty well and was used to shoot a number of sporting events, prompting clients to start asking for “Jesse’s Box.”
…continue reading From ‘Jesse’s Box’ to PCU2: The Evolution of a Phantom Control Unit
When we planned the redesign of our Burbank facility, we set out to upgrade our rental department with the most state-of-the-art and efficient rental bays we could imagine. A large part of this was introducing a completely redesigned resolution chart specifically designed to meet the more stringent demands of today’s 4K digital cinema cameras and lenses.
Jesse Rosen, AbelCine’s Director of Technical Development, designed the charts, beginning with extensive research on what to measure, the many patterns and designs to consider, and evaluating what worked and what didn’t.
…continue reading AbelCine’s New Family of Resolution Analysis Charts
AbelCine has developed our line of Resolution Analysis Charts to allow for accurate, repeatable measurements for any cameras and lenses that resolve 2K, 4K and higher. We have compiled this FAQ to help users get the most out of the charts.
Q: In order to see best focus, which areas of the chart should I be looking at when I am focusing the lens on my camera?
A: When the lens is optimally focused, you will see high contrast in low to medium spatial frequencies (i.e. where there are larger features in the image), maximum detail in higher frequencies (i.e. in finer features), as well as minimum chromatic artifacts (i.e. false color). All of these aspects can be observed individually on the chart. Start by looking at the patterns representing lower frequencies (exactly which patterns will depend on the resolution of the camera and lens, as well as the size of the pattern relative to the frame). As you rotate the focus barrel on the lens, the coarser patterns will increase in sharpness and contrast. You may see a slight shift in color when you pass the point of maximum focus. To achieve fine focus, you may need to engage the image zoom function of your camera and/or monitor. Slowly change the focus on the lens while looking at the finest pattern that shows any detail, and find the point that exhibits maximum sharpness in the finest visible pattern.
…continue reading AbelCine Resolution Analysis Chart FAQ
Our eyes perceive brightness differently than an electronic sensor does. Video monitors are locked into a standard for color and contrast, but now Digital Cinema camera systems are being used to capture images that are used and displayed in media that can see well beyond those limitations. Brightness is captured on a Linear scale (LIN), and usually stored with video gamma (REC709) or with a more film-like Logarithmic encoding (LOG). What does this mean, how does one use it, and what capabilities does it represent?
In the first of a series of Technical Resource articles and CineTechnica posts, I present an introduction to the concept of LOG, its origins and capabilities. Click here for the article.
Our eyes perceive brightness differently than an electronic sensor does. Video monitors are locked into a standard for color and contrast, but now Digital Cinema camera systems are being used to capture images that are used and displayed in media that can see well beyond those limitations.
Brightness is captured on a Linear scale (LIN), and usually stored with video gamma (REC709) or with a more film-like Logarithmic encoding (LOG). What does this mean, how does one use it, and what capabilities does it represent?
If you’ve ever taken light readings with a light meter set to foot candles, you’re familiar with film’s non-linear response to light. In order to increase exposure by one stop, the amount of light hitting the film needs to be doubled. The fact that we perceive a one stop increase in exposure as a linear increase, whether it is a gain over something relatively dark or relatively bright, indicates that our own perception also operates in a non-linear way, similar to film. This response can be closely approximated by a logarithmic function (LOG).
…continue reading An Introduction to LOG and Its Uses
This has been out for a while, but it doesn’t seem to have been widely circulated. Sony has a white paper on S-Log which describes the intended use of S-Log gamma, from production to post. Of particular interest to compositors and colorists are the formulas for translating between S-Log and Linear Light.
The recent v.675 release of the Phantom software from Vision Research modifies how the white balance is stored in the raw cine files. This rendered the files created with this version incompatible with all the existing third party products that read the Phantom files.
Fortunately, developers have been quick to update their tools. Version 2.0.12 of the GlueTools Phantom Cine toolkit now supports the new white balance system, and I just got word that Iridas has implemented support as well, and that updated builds of their products should be available soon.
So, if you’ve downloaded files with the latest Phantom software and you see images that look like this: