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There’s no denying that Canon HDSLRs have made a big impact on our industry, and while proving to be an amazing tool for cinematographers, some of their limitations become apparent in post-production. While the native HDSLR image is often lauded its for high contrast and saturation, this can also prove challenging to color correct and grade.

To solve some of these issues, Technicolor and Canon have teamed up to release a custom Picture Style designed to increase the dynamic range of the images produced by the Canon HDSLRs. Loading the Technicolor CineStyle profile replaces the standard REC709 profile with a log color space for maximum latitude.

…continue reading Technicolor Picture Style for Canon HDSLRs

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Topics HDSLR

Video capture with an HDSLR can be tricky with day exteriors, even when the camera is rated at 200 or 320 ISO. The Schneider True-Match Variable Density Filter system offers a quick way to get exposure into a workable zone. Aesthetically, the unit allows directors and DP’s to maintain a level of exposure that takes advantage of the larger sensor area of the HDSLR by keeping the f-stop low and the depth of focus shallow, thus delivering a more filmic look.

The True-Match filter system consists of a match set of filters that, when turned in opposite directions, create various levels of ND. By carefully matching these filters, blue shift has been eliminated at high-density settings. The range is 11 stops of exposure compensation. A 77mm True-Match circular pola is threaded onto the lens and a step-up ring is threaded into the 77mm polarizer filter. The step-up ring accepts a rotating 4×4 filter stage, which holds a 4×4 True-Match linear polarizer.

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Over the past year, the BlackMagic Design HDMI to SDI mini converter box has proved to be extremely popular with clients using the Canon 5D and 7D. It accepts both HD HDMI and SD HDMI signals from the 5D Mark II camera, but as some of you may recall from Andy’s blog back in May, the 5D Mark II outputs HD HDMI until you hit record, and then the signal changes to SD. BlackMagic’s firmware version 1.5 would break the SD conversion, leaving you with a blank monitor while recording. The fix was to downgrade your firmware to 1.4, but Blackmagic has finally addressed the problem in their latest firmware, version 1.6.1. What’s new? Well, now you can see your Canon’s SD signal while recording, but there’s also Closed Captioning support for up/down/cross conversion and overall performance and stability improvements. You can also set your downconversion settings to anamorphic 16:9, center cropped 4:3, or letterboxed 16:9.

To upgrade your converter box, download the 1.6.1 Utility Software for Mac or Windows. After opening the utility, plug your converter into your computer using a USB cable and power it up. The utility will automatically upgrade your firmware if it’s not already at the current version.

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Topics HDSLR


At this year’s Canon Expo, we had an opportunity to see Canon’s recently announced EOS 60D HDSLR. The 60D is a full-featured HDSLR positioned between the Rebel T2i and the 7D, with one notable exception – the 3” LCD now articulates, solving the problem many video shooters had with high and low angle shots. HD video functions are similar to the rest of the EOS line, with H.264 1080/24p/25p/30p and 720/60p/50p recording on to SDHC & SDXC cards.

…continue reading Hands-On with the Canon EOS 60D

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35mm Digital Sensors(Click to view larger.)

 Numerous cameras available today feature a “35mm-sized sensor.” How is this defined? They all vary slightly in size, and some are shaped differently so that, when used for HD shooting, the usable size is dramatically reduced. Our clients frequently ask how to compare these different cameras and how sensor size affects field of view and lens coverage. On this topic, words and numbers can be difficult to interpret, so AbelCine decided to produce a graphical chart to better compare areas of coverage.

…continue reading 35mm Digital Sensor Comparison Chart

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Topics HDSLR, Power

The Switronix Powerbase-70 is a new battery system for the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 7D. It combines a 70 Watt-hour V-Mount battery with a Canon power adapter that plugs right into your camera. With 70 watts of power the battery will run the camera for 6 times longer than a normal Canon battery. Additionally, the system features two P-taps, a battery gauge, and shoe for direct camera mounting. This is a great way to get longer record times on your HDSLR, and at the same time power multiple accessories. Check out the video above to learn more. The Powerbase-70 is now offered at a special introductory price of under $300 – an incredible deal on any V-mount battery. Also check out the various accessories I mention in the video: the P-tap charger, BlackMagic adapter, the AJA Adapter, the Zacuto Z-Cage, and the BlackMagic HDMI-to-SDI converter.

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Topics HDSLR

We sell a number of different quality shoulder mount rigs for HDSLR cameras, but often we have customers that just want to keep their cameras small and lightweight. One of the major advantages of shooting with an HDSLR is the ability to blend in with a crowd without anyone knowing you are shooting video. Here are a couple solutions that will allow you to add function and stability to your HDSLR camera, but still keep it small and relatively invisible.

iDC Run & Gun Kits

iDC has made a Run & Gun Kit for the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, and Rebel T2i that is both small and very functional. The Run & Gun kit combines a modified Hoodman LCD viewfinder with a simple follow focus. The follow focus butts up against the lens and rotates focus or zoom using friction only, so there is no need for gears. The system does not utilize rods, which keeps it small and light. Additionally, the viewfinder is designed to quickly attach and detach from the camera for easy viewing. When held up to your eye with one hand on the camera body and the other on the follow focus, the Run & Gun kit is very stable and easy to use.

Zacuto Target Shooter

If you are looking for a small way to stabilize your HDSLR, then you might like the Zacuto Target Shooter. This small support is designed to add an additional point of contact with your body for increased stability. It may not seem like much, but with both hands on the camera, the extra support is sometimes all you need. The Zacuto Z-Finder Pro can also be added for better viewing and yet another point of contact with your body.

Manfrotto Monopod & Fluid Head

A unique solution that one of our sales agents, Matt Livingston, came up with is combining a Manfrotto 685B Neotec Monopod and the Manfrotto 701HDV fluid head. While using a monopod is not popular in the video world, it can be used as a useful stabilization tool for HDSLR cameras. Matt combined the monopod with the 701HDV head to allow for quick position changes as well as fluid pan & tilt control. Check out this music video Matt shot using his monopod creation, and four Canon 7Ds (with Zeiss ZE 21mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 100mm macro lenses) and a Canon 5D Mark II with a Zeiss ZE 85mm.

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