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Drew Geraci, Claus Andersen, Greg Crosby

Drew Geraci is a Washington, DC based cinematographer who’s specialized in time-lapse shooting, and his probably most famous piece of work is the opening sequence of the Netflix hit show “House Of Cards“, which is one of the most popular shows in the world currently. He posted some time-lapses online and suddenly got a call from no other than David Fincher, the creator of the show, commissioning him to shoot the opening sequence of the show. If for some odd reason you haven’t seen the show yet, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Here’s the intro sequence of House Of Cards season 2:

Claus Andersen from Bodhi Visuals in Denmark is a filmmaker who runs a number of very popular Facebook groups related to filmmaking with modern cameras, among them the very popular Sony a7S user group which has proven to be a great source of insights about the popular Sony mirrorless cameras.

Greg Crosby works for G-Technology, one of our show sponsors, and talks about how they focus on workflow solutions for people like Drew, who deal with huge amounts of data on their time-lapse shoots every day: he now works with the a7S II 12 Megapixels RAW and a7R II in 42 Megapixels RAW, and sometimes you end up with 1 TB of data for one single time-lapse shot. In the show, Drew explains why and what advantage handling this kind of quality and resolution has.

netflix-house-of-cards

Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology and Røde Microphones.

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The post ON THE COUCH – ep. 29 – part 1 – “When David Fincher Calls You …” – Drew Geraci, Claus Andersen, Greg Crosby appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DNino Leitner

Mefoto Globetrotter Tripod (1 of 10)

I’ve been using the Sirui N1004 travel tripod for the last 5 years and it has been a great tripod that’s stood up to a lot of abuse in multiple countries. The Sirui N1004 even came with me to NAB this year. But after all this time, the N1004 has started to show it’s age. The foam grip is starting to come apart, legs are starting to flop around, and the aluminum isn’t as light as some carbon fiber options which led me to check out the Mefoto globetrotter I came across at NAB.

Mefoto Globetrotter Tripod (2 of 10)

The Mefoto globetrotter is about 2.5 inches shorter than my old Sirui N1004 and ruffly 1 1/2 pounds lighter. At the same time, the Mefoto globetrotter manages to stretch a few inches higher than the N1004. That said, the Mefoto globetrotter is almost double the price so what does that $399 price tag get you?

Mefoto Globetrotter Tripod (5 of 10)

First, the reduced weight of the Mefoto globetrotter includes a pretty decent ball head with an Arca style Quick Release Plate. The globetrotter also manages to support up to 26.5 pounds yet still manages to fold into a 16-inch form factor.

The included ball head provides easy to use controls and allows you to twist, tilt, and rotate in whatever direction you like. The design also allows you to invert the tripod head for low angle shots.

Mefoto Globetrotter Tripod (7 of 10)

Build quality is also top notch. The leg twist locks are very beefy and operate very smoothly on the Mefoto globetrotter. The legs also have a little more friction and tend to stay in place when you adjust them and the carbon fiber feels a bit more solid than my old Sirui N1004.

Mefoto Globetrotter Tripod (10 of 10)

Both the Sirui N1004 and the Mefoto globetrotter can be converted into a monopod, however, the Mefoto gives you an extra 14 inches of height compared to the N1004. The thickness of Mefoto’s carbon fiber legs also seems to make a noticeable difference in stability.

Does the difference between the Sirui N1004 and the Mefoto globetrotter warrant a $180 price difference? I would say it depends on what you need. As a shooter who travels almost every month, for me, the upgrade is worth it. However, if you only travel, hike, or fly occasionally, the Sirui N1004 provides a far better value.

Will I replace my Sirui N1004 with the Mefoto globetrotter? Right now it is up in the air, but I’ll be spending a lot of time with the globetrotter over the next few weeks. We’ll see which one I end up keeping.

The post Mefoto globetrotter carbon fiber Travel tripod appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay

We'd all like to have a clean and clear audio in our video recordings. In reality, however, dealing with environmental noise is a part of virtually every production.

Most of the time, a small amount of noise in the background of your video can slip by unnoticed. As soon as that noise becomes audible, though, it can really distract your audience.

Although it's best to remove noise at the source, there are dedicated production tools that can help you to clean up a noisy recording. The tool that most people reach for is a ‘noise gate’, but these can quickly become destructive. Instead, you can use an expander to reduce the volume of the noise without completely removing it, which sounds more natural. In this tutorial you'll learn how to do just that.

Noise Reduction, Not Destruction

Just like in photography and video, the goal with audio noise treatment is not to eliminate noise. The aim is to reduce the noise until it stops being distracting, without introducing any negative artefacts or distortions to the original sound. Generally speaking, the best noise reduction is always the minimum amount you can get away with.

Use an expander when you have subtle background noise from recording on location (such as wind or distant traffic) or background noise from recording in a studio (such as A/C or exterior sounds). Expanders are also useful when producing voice overs and ADR.

Note that an expander isn't effective when the noise level is almost the same as the dialogue level. In this case, an expander could not differentiate between the voice and the noise. More destructive noise removal tools would be needed here.

Gates and expanders are very similar tools, and most dedicated audio and video processing applications combine the Gate with the Expander. As I said above, expanders create a more natural-sounding noise treatment. The parameters that you need to adjust to turn a Gate into an Expander depends on the software you use, which we'll cover below.

Noise Reduction Parameters: Recommended Settings

Ratio

By controlling this parameter you tell the gate to reduce the volume level by an amount relative to the sounds that are in the audio track. Sometimes the Ratio is called Amount, as in Sony Vegas.

A ratio below 20:1 will act like an expander, with ratios in the 2:1 region making a subtle downward expansion. For example, at 2:1, for every 1dB the level drops below the Threshold the expander will reduce it by a further 1dB (totaling 2dB, hence 2:1).

Range

Whereas Ratio sets a relative reduction ratio, the Range parameter sets an absolute  reduction limit. By setting the range to -10dB, for example, you tell the expander/gate to never reduce the level by more than 10dB. This means the noise will be 10dB quieter than the dialogue.

Sometimes the Range is called Reduction, as in Final Cut Pro X.

Threshold

Threshold dictates the level at which the expander engages. Set this level so that dialogue is unaffected, but noise is reduced. For example, if the dialogue is averaging -18dB, set the threshold to -20dB (it's best to leave a few dB’s contingency).

Attack and Release

Attack and Release time dictate how quickly the expander takes to fully activate (or "open") and disengage (or "close"). For dialogue, I recommend 10 to 50ms Attack and a 12ms Release.

Hold

Hold dictates how long the gate stays open after the level drops below the Threshold. For dialogue, set this to 0 (or as low as it can go).

Software Examples

In Pro Tools, adjust the Range control.

Pro Tools GateExpander
Pro Tools Gate/Expander

Adobe Premier Pro has a built in Expander.

Adobe Premiere Expander
Adobe Premier Expander

In Final Cut Pro X, you can use the built in Expander (under Effects > Audio).

Final Cut Pro X Expander
Final Cut Pro X Expander

Or you can use the noise gate and adjust the Reduction parameter.

Final Cut Pro X Gate
Final Cut Pro X Gate

Sony Vegas, Reaper and some other programs don’t come with an expander. Instead, install this free VST plugin, Floorfish.






All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoRob Mayzes

With their new SmallHDR range of production monitors, SmallHD departs from its usual line of portable on-camera solutions. These rugged, full-sized displays come with a whole lot of professional features… and a price tag to match. We caught up with SmallHD founder and CEO Wes Phillips at NAB 2016 to find out more about them.

The company name had, until now, been a fairly clear indicator of the niche that SmallHD had carved out for itself in the market: small external monitors in the 5 and 7-inch range, offering shooters an additional display with excellent image quality and professional features.

SmallHDR

Introducing their new SmallHDR range shows that their ambitions are anything but small. These new full-sized, c-stand mountable production monitors aim to bring the SmallHD viewing experience from the operator to the whole set, offering three different sizes at 17, 24 and 32 inches. You can read Tom’s full article from earlier this month here!

SmallHDR – an overview

Smallhdr rugged

A body construction from milled aluminium makes them rugged and solid, ideal for withstanding the rigours of everyday professional use. The material also allows for the introduction of the RapidRail system: cold shoe-sized slots into which you can insert all sorts of accessories, such as handles, receivers, and cable management solutions. The monitors also include a V-lock battery mount, as well as XLR power input and a 12v Lemo power output, providing ample powering solutions.

The company takes great pride in the brightness of their SmallHDR screens, a feature found also in the original SmallHD range. Intended to be viewable in daylight without the need for a sun hood, the smaller two models claim a brightness level of 1000 nits while the 32-incher brings it all the way up to 1500.

The design of the SmallHDR range also borrows from its smaller lineage in the design of its back button and joystick controls, but adds extra buttons for the new multi-page view. This, in addition to the added functionality under the hood, makes them highly customisable in terms of how they display various inputs (2 x SDI and 1 x HDMI), scopes, LUT support and assist tools.

These high-contrast displays are great monitoring tools for everyone on set, but the 10-bit capabilities of the larger two models really make these the ideal choice for displaying HDR material, a technology that is emerging fast. But bear in mind, these are truly professional tools, and are priced accordingly: the 17, 24 and 32-inch models are $4,000, $5,500 and $8,000 respectively.

The displays will be released in May, and are already available for pre-order.

 

cinema5D at NAB 2016
Atomos Art-List B&H Tilta Blackmagic Design

The post SmallHD Goes Big with New SmallHDR Production Monitors appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DFabian Chaundy

Relighting is a post-production technique that takes a base image and alters the appearance of the lighting sources, or even adds the appearance of new lighting sources altogether, to improve the image.

Sometimes the light in a photograph just isn't what you want it to be. Maybe you're working on a stock image, the desired look changes after the shoot, or you need to fit a portrait from one location into the background from another. There are many reasons why a perfectly servicable photograph in one scenario might not work in another. Relighting is often just the trick to save the day.

Last time we looked at relighting and how to add natural-looking effects with Knoll Light Factory. Here we’ll look at six Photoshop actions that add a more dramatic lighting look to your portrait photographs.

Wait, What is an Action?

An action is a file containing instructions for Adobe Photoshop. Running an action performs a series of automated steps on an image. Actions usually have more than one preset within them, designed work together. They also often contain points along the way for user input. Using an action as part of your workflow can be a great addition, and save you time. Although many actions seem like ‘one-click’ solutions, it’s important to still treat the image in the way you usually would and have a plan for it. I like to think of actions as an addition to your workflow, not something to solve all your post-production problems.

For a more in-depth introduction to actions, see Harry Guinness's useful tutorial,
Getting Started With Photoshop Actions.

6 Photoshop Actions That Add Dramatic Light

This is the image I'll be using on all the actions, so that you can see the differences of each accurately:

portrait
Image licensed via PhotoDune

All of the actions in this tutorial are available on Envato Market.

1. Soft Focus

Soft Focus by Sevenstyles costs $6. Here is the instructional video:

Watching the video for each action helps a lot, but the basics are to make sure your image is RGB Colour and 8 bit.

Applying the Action

Create new layer called 'brush'. On this layer, paint over in any colour, the bits of image you'd like to keep in focus. In this case, I want the face and part of the neck to remain sharp.

paint over areas of sharpness
Paint over the areas you wish to remain sharp

Run the action.

result of soft focus action
This is the result after running the 'Soft Focus' action

This is the result after running the action, so obviously some tweaking is needed here.

menu

The menu is broken down into colour and soft focus. Let’s look at tweaking some of the soft focus options to get a better result. Mostly the background blur and bokeh textures are the things obscuring the image, so I’ve scrapped some of the larger bokeh and dipped the opacity on the background blur layer:

after changes

In the colour folder, there are a number of options, which in essence really do just change the colour, so it’s a matter of preference. Each of these can then be tweaked again though for finer tuning. There’s also an adjustment mask for brightness, contrast, colour tint and saturation.

The colours are mostly pastels with a couple of nice complimentary colour gradients thrown in. They’re quite heavy handed so chances are you’ll need to pull them back a bit on your image.

cool tone

Here I’ve dipped the overall saturation for a softer look and although I like the pink tone, I’ve gone for a cooler one to show you the difference to our earlier image.

You can use more than one in conjunction with each other but I wouldn’t recommend using too many, piling lots of textures and fill layers on top of one another will really degrade the look of the image.

Finally, I’ve added some contrast using the layer within the colour folder and some overall sharpening using the layer within the soft focus folder. Remember, you can use the mask on each layer to brush over areas to reduce or increase the effect.

Soft Focus: Before and After

Before and after 'Soft Focus'

2. Soft Focus 2

Soft focus 2 by Sevensyles costs $6. Here's the instructional video:

Once again your image will need to be RGB Colour and 8 bit.

Applying the Action

Create new layer called brush and paint over in any colour the parts of the image you want to keep. This time use a soft brush to keep the edges from being hard, or you'll end up with a rough line when you run the action.

colour image

Half way down the image will be the transition point from light to dark, so you may want to avoid colouring the very bottom part of your image in so that it fades to black.

after action has run
After running 'Soft Focus 2'

After running the action, you're left with a number of options grouped together

options

Soft Focus 2 group is where we’re going to look, and particularly at the reveal normal photo mask.

reveal normal photo

I think the action has left this a little too dark, so I’m going to use a soft brush with low opacity to just brush back in some of the detail:

after brushing back some detail
After brushing back some detail

Next I want to bring a little detail back into the background by brushing over the ‘background colour’ mask

background detail

In the colour folder, as well as adjustments to brightness, contrast and saturation, there are a number of colour options, each of which then break down again so you can really tweak until your heart’s content.

after colour adjustment
After a slight colour adjustment

Soft Focus 2: Before and After

before and after soft focus 2
Before and after 'Soft Focus 2'

3. Soft Focus 3

Soft Focus 3 by Sevensyles costs $6. Here's the instructional video:

We've had Soft Focus and Soft Focus 2, how could we not have 3?! Once again for this action, make sure your image is RGB Colour and 8 bit.

Create a new layer called 'brush' and paint over your subject; this doesn't need to be perfect.

paint over subject
Paint over your subject; this can be rough

Run the action.

after soft focus 3
After running Soft Focus 3

The result without any tweaking is quite soft and very orange. Let’s have a look at our options.

menu

Essentially this is broken down into warm and cool casts with an overall contrast layer. The warm 1 option is selected alongside the cool 4 and as always, the folders can be opened again to break down the action into even more parts.

Unlike the previous actions, the folders here are broken up into many more layers inside. Here’s an example of warm 3:

inside menu

As you can see you really could go on forever with tweaking here and there. I think the best option when faced with so much choice is to choose your base folder and decide what you want from it. So from the example picture right now, it’s too bright, too blurred and there are too many warm tones, so that’s what I want to try and fix.

Have a plan for your image and then address the layers that help you work on that plan. The colour fill layers tend to be the things that have the most impact in these type of actions, so try and find those and dip the opacity accordingly, or paint out over the layer mask.

adjustments
After some adjustments

Above,  I’ve dropped the opacity on a lot of the colour fill layers, removed some of the edge glow and blurring effects and brought some definition back to the face. This is still only using ‘Warm 3 ‘ so now I’ll add a ‘cool’ layer and adjust in the same way I did with the warm.

Remember, if you’re using more than one part of the action and they’re designed to do similar things, you may well be repeating things like sharpening and contrast – so it may be best to hide those duplicate layers rather than piling too much on.

added cool layer
An added 'cool ' layer

Soft Focus 3: Before and After

before and after soft focus 3
Before and after 'Soft Focus 3'

4. Smokey Scene

Smoky Scene by Hemalaya1 costs $4.

This action requires you to load in some brushes. Place the .ABR file that comes with the action, into the Brushes folder found in the Adobe folder of Program Files if you're a Windows user, or Applications if you're on a Mac. Then load your brushes

load brushes

Create a new layer called 'object' and brush over your subject on that layer.

brush over subject

Run the action.

smoky
After Smoky action is applied.

There are a couple of weird joins on the background which could be down to my selection or an anomaly on one of the action's layers. It's easily fixed with a quick clone at the end.

Let's look at the menu options for this action.

menu options

As well as the masks, which make it easy to adjust the effects, each smoke effect is also available in your brushes menu, as you just installed them.

brushes

If you want to add more effects, then it’s easy to create a new layer and brush those on, you could even experiment by bringing in different colours that way, too.

Personally I’m not a fan of the yellow fringe, so I’m going to tone that way down in the ‘object in fire’ folder.  I’ll also lower the gradient opacity to lessen the orange/red effect on the model and ditch the ‘sparks’. 

smoky scene finished
The image after tweaks

I found the smoke layers tricky, there are almost too many of them for you to do anything but make an opacity change.

Smoky Scene: Before and After

before and after
Before and after Smoky Scene

5. Glam

Glam by Sevenstyles costs $5. Here's the instructional video:

Glam doesn’t require any pre-brushing but it does have a ‘run setup’ folder as part of the group. Running this will give you the choice of adding a glow, desaturating the image, darkening it or lightening it. Each numbered action also has these as an option (deselected) once you run it.

After that, Glam has 40 presets. That's far too many to look at here, but we’ll go for one at random, number 20:

glam preset 20
Glam's number '20' preset.

The other presets are a variation of this: multi-coloured zazz added to your images! The effect is made up of a number of colour gradient to transparent layers, one on top of another. Each comes with a layer mask so you can brush over the colours to change the effect

menu

As pretty as the colours are, they’re incredibly distracting from our model and so the aim with this image and action is to bring the definition back to the face, while keeping our punchy colours. I’m going to brush over the masks with a soft, low opacity brush to remove some of the bright colours

after adjustments
After adjustments

That's better, but only one example. Let's look at another; number 42.

number 42 action

You can see it’s much the same problem again although less on the face this time. The same method applies, brushing with a low opacity soft brush until you get the desired effect.

after adjustments

Glam: Before and After

before and after glam
Before and after 'Glam'

6. Legendary

Legendary by Sevenstyles costs $6. Here's the instructional video:

As with Sevenstyle's other actions, make sure your image is RGB Colour, 8 bit and start with a new layer called 'brush'.

When you run the action, it will stop part way to ask you to create a light source.

light source

Use the shape tool or pen tool to draw in where you’d like your light source:

draw a light source
Draw a light source

When you’re happy, you can go ahead and hit play again on the action and it’ll resume.

hit play
after action
The result after the action has completed

Yours may look different depending on the light source that’s been drawn in, but you can see it’s created a ‘ball’ of light from my shape circle at the top left.

Once again there are many options including ten colour changes, amendments to ‘glow’ and ‘dust’, the background texture, essentially, and some overall changes to things like contrast, sharpening etc. 

This picture is far too orange coloured for me now so I’m going to tone that right down and make it a little more neutral.

new colour option

This is colour option nine with the opacity lowered a little. I’ve also reduced the glow, increased sharpness and contrast around the face and toned down the textured background.

You can see the result is a much paler, stylized look to the original, although we’ve kept some of the colour and toning from the background, so it blends much nicer with the model than the previous ‘orange’ look did.

Legendary: Before and After

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the start, I believe actions are something to compliment your editing process, not replace it. They can often be a good place to start, deciding what you want from an image, seeing how the action works and then breaking each layer down until you’ve achieved that.

The actions in this article are for the most part (with the exception of Glam), very flexible—there’s a lot you can do and many outcomes you can achieve by using them. These actions are particularly suited to images of people and in particular studio style portraits. If you’re aiming for a stylised, ‘wow’ look then they’re right on the money. If you’re looking for something for a bit more natural and subtle then you have to be prepared to dive in a little deeper and spend time adjusting each layer and mask to get the right look.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoMarie Gardiner

Lesspain Software have recently introduced a new software called KYNO that allows clip viewing, selection, labelling and marking, as well as transcoding to various formats. It is an easy to use interface, that has a lot of power under the hood. Here are some of the key features.

Media Overview and Labelling

KYNO is a platform that gives you an overview of all your footage. You can either view material that is stored on your hard drive, or directly from an SD card or similar format (RAW files, such as R3D, ArriRaw, Black Magic Raw are not supported at this stage). Through the interface, you are able to batch rename files, label, tag and rate them, and sort them by adding metadata descriptions.

When searching for footage, you can filter via metadata such as frame rate or date. If you tagged or labelled your shots, you can search for them via the tag keyword – for example “timelapse”.

KYNO also allows you to view your content in the correct frame rate. Slow motion shots can be conformed for previewing at a normal frame rate. You can also add widescreen masks, to see whether the framing of your shot is correct.

KYNO

Shot selections, or sub-clips, can be easily imported into editing platforms, such as Final Cut X or Premiere Pro.

Markers

excelsheet

Create Excel Edit Feedback Lists with thumbnails

KYNO also has marker features which work with editing platforms, DVD Menus, or to create an EDL, exported as an Excel spreadsheet that displays a thumbnail of the shot, with timecode and description for edit changes. This is a cool feature that is great for when the director isn’t able to sit behind the editor.

Creating Dailies / Transcoding

KYNO2

KYNO has a wide variety of formats it can transcode to, covering all the bases from ProRes to DNxHD to H264. A nice feature that I came across is the ability to create markers on shots, which you can use to export stills. You can even select a whole folder full of footage, and batch export the frames you marked.

Conclusion and Pricing

KYNO is a great platform to view content, catalogue in a comprehensive manner and export basic dailies, but I would like to see this software evolve a bit more. Currently, it doesn’t support RAW files, so it is not ideal for dailies on a professional filmset. There are other features missing such as burned in overlays for timecode, copyright labelling or clip name. These are the fundamental features that are needed in a media management software. It does, however, have the cool feature of creating markers that can be exported as an Edit List, which is great for productions where the director isn’t present in the edit. KYNO is still in BETA stage, so there is lots of room to grow, and we will be keeping an eye on it.

You will be able to use Kyno Beta for 3 months free of charge, and is available for download here. Kyno will be available for purchase in August 2016 for an early adopter retail price of $99 and a final retail price of $159 in 2017. For more information please visit KYNO’s website.

The post KYNO – The All-In-One Media Workflow Software appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DNic Divischek

Lesspain Software have recently introduced a new software called KYNO that allows clip viewing, selection, labelling and marking, as well as transcoding to various formats. It is an easy to use interface, that has a lot of power under the hood. Here are some of the key features.

Media Overview and Labelling

KYNO is a platform that gives you an overview of all your footage. You can either view material that is stored on your hard drive, or directly from an SD card or similar format (RAW files, such as R3D, ArriRaw, Black Magic Raw are not supported at this stage). Through the interface, you are able to batch rename files, label, tag and rate them, and sort them by adding metadata descriptions.

When searching for footage, you can filter via metadata such as frame rate or date. If you tagged or labelled your shots, you can search for them via the tag keyword – for example “timelapse”.

KYNO also allows you to view your content in the correct frame rate. Slow motion shots can be conformed for previewing at a normal frame rate. You can also add widescreen masks, to see whether the framing of your shot is correct.

KYNO

Shot selections, or sub-clips, can be easily imported into editing platforms, such as Final Cut X or Premiere Pro.

Markers

excelsheet

Create Excel Edit Feedback Lists with thumbnails

KYNO also has marker features which work with editing platforms, DVD Menus, or to create an EDL, exported as an Excel spreadsheet that displays a thumbnail of the shot, with timecode and description for edit changes. This is a cool feature that is great for when the director isn’t able to sit behind the editor.

Creating Dailies / Transcoding

KYNO2

KYNO has a wide variety of formats it can transcode to, covering all the bases from ProRes to DNxHD to H264. A nice feature that I came across is the ability to create markers on shots, which you can use to export stills. You can even select a whole folder full of footage, and batch export the frames you marked.

Conclusion and Pricing

KYNO is a great platform to view content, catalogue in a comprehensive manner and export basic dailies, but I would like to see this software evolve a bit more. Currently, it doesn’t support RAW files, so it is not ideal for dailies on a professional filmset. There are other features missing such as burned in overlays for timecode, copyright labelling or clip name. These are the fundamental features that are needed in a media management software. It does, however, have the cool feature of creating markers that can be exported as an Edit List, which is great for productions where the director isn’t present in the edit. KYNO is still in BETA stage, so there is lots of room to grow, and we will be keeping an eye on it.

You will be able to use Kyno Beta for 3 months free of charge, and is available for download here. Kyno will be available for purchase in August 2016 for an early adopter retail price of $99 and a final retail price of $159 in 2017. For more information please visit KYNO’s website.

The post KYNO – The All-In-One Media Workflow Software appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DNic Divischek

Aputure DEC LensRegain

Want a focal reducer (a.k.a speed booster) for your Panasonic GH4 as well as a wireless follow focus and camera control system? Meet the Aputure DEC LensRegain which is basically an upgraded version of the original Aputure DEC with a Metabones speed booster style .75x focal reducer built in.

Image quality of the a Aputure DEC LensRegain looks top notch and the ability to control focus and record start/stop options on the Panasonic GH4 is pretty handy. To top that off, at a price of $600, it’s about $50 less than a Metabones .71x speed booster.

Overall the Aputure DEC LensRegain is a pretty attractive option for M43 shooters.

The post Aputure DEC LensRegain, M43 speedbooster and follow focus appeared first on DSLR Film Noob.

All credit is given to author DSLR Film NoobDeejay

While live streaming over the internet has been around since the mid-2000s, it’s only in the last few years that access to speedy internet connections and affordable broadcast technology has become accessible enough for the idea of do-it-yourself video broadcasting to really take off.

Now it’s possible for anyone with a smartphone to broadcast their day to day life. Huge companies use the internet to live stream massive events. And millions of people watch gamers play live online every day. Live streaming is officially here.

With live streaming taking off so quickly, it’s hard to know what each service does and how they’re different to the others. In this article I’m going to look at some of the major players in the industry right now and explain where they fit into the big picture. If you’re looking to start live streaming, this tutorial will help you decide which platform is right for you.

Periscope (and Meercat): Mobile Broadcasting

Periscope is the main mobile live streaming app. Although Meercat, which has very similar features, was launched first and initially attracted a lot of press, Periscope has one out. It was acquired by Twitter and benefited from integration with the massive social network. Meercat is basically dead in the water.

the periscope website
A screenshot of the Periscope website showing a phone watching a live broadcast.

With both apps, anyone can use their smartphone to broadcast video at any time. Anyone else with the app can watch live. 

Periscope is still quite new and hasn’t really settled into itself or developed a huge community. From my experience, most Periscope streamers are people involved or interested in the San Francisco start-up scene. The immediate nature of the app makes it hard to build an audience.

With that said, it’s by far the most casual and easiest of the platforms to get started with. Download the app for your smartphone and you can start live streaming straight away. Whether anyone watches or not is a different question.

Twitch: Gaming (and More)

Twitch is a live streaming site dedicated to video games. It’s now owned by Amazon. Gamers use it to live stream their playing sessions while hundreds of people watch—or at least, watch the successful channels.

Twitch is incredibly popular. More than 1.7 million people lives stream their games every month while over 100 million others watch on. It’s a cultural institution in the gaming community.

twitch
A Twitch streamers plays Heartstone.

Twitch isn’t just for casual streaming; some gamers make significant amounts of money—thousands of dollars a month for the most popular players. There’s three ways they do this: first, all Twitch users can take donations while they play; second, Twitch Partners receive a share of ad revenue from their channel; and third, Twitch Partners can have subscribers who pay five dollars a month for some extra features. 

Despite the success stories, making money on Twitch isn’t easy. Gamers need to be running popular channels and streaming regularly before they can become a partner. Out of close to two million streamers, only around 12,000 are partners. 

Most people, though, don’t use Twitch to make money. It’s about community and sharing a love for video games. Unfortunately, like a lot of video game communities some members—especially women—get a lot of abuse. 

While Twitch is mostly for streaming games, some artists live stream while they work. There are a couple of digital artists and retouchers with channels. Twitch as a company has also experimented with different things; last year, the entirety of Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting was streamed on Twitch.

If you’re a gamer and want to live stream as you play. Twitch is the only platform worth seriously considering. There are artists using it although they are only a small part of a very large community. Depending on what you want to achieve with live streaming, it still may be worth using.

Facebook Live Video: A Free-for-All

Although a little late to the party, Facebook's Live Video has quickly become one of the biggest players. People as diverse as Vin Diesel, Ricky Gervais and Barrack Obama have run Facebook Live broadcasts.

whitehouse live stream
One of The White House's live streams.

Anyone with a Facebook Profile or Page can broadcast live video from it. While broadcasting from your profile will reach your friends, broadcasting from a page has a lot more potential to reach a large audience. The Tuts+ network has hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans; we could, in theory, use Facebook Live Video to broadcast tutorials as we record them.

Facebook Live videos are saved to the page once the broadcast finishes so even fans who aren’t online when it goes live can check it out.

The tone and community that surrounds Facebook Live videos is dependent on who’s recording them: The White House broadcasts Obama’s scripted speeches while photographers like Chase Jarvis do live Q&As. The President of the United States doesn’t get asked “what the Rock is cooking?” but nor does the Rock take questions on the finer points of Middle Eastern foreign policy.

With more than a billion Facebook users, Facebook Live video has the greatest potential reach. It’s built on top of an already incredibly popular network. If you were to choose one place to live stream video, your Facebook page is probably the best bet. Your fans are already there and you don’t have to fight to create a new audience.

YouTube Live Streaming: TV-Like Broadcasts

YouTube has done live streaming for a few years, however, it’s mainly been geared towards professional organisations rather than consumers. For example, the UFC live streams their pay-per-view cards on YouTube.

ufc youtube page
The UFC live stream their events through YouTube.

YouTube live streaming is more of a replacement for traditional broadcast TV than a casual service for consumers like Periscope or Meerkat. You can’t just go live and find viewers through your social media profiles.

If you’re planning a professional broadcast, YouTube live may be the service to use. You can schedule it in advance, set up multiple cameras and treat it like a live TV show. You just need to make sure people know when it will be on.

Google Hangouts: Conversations

Although Google Hangouts was launched as a competitor to Skype, it’s developed a much broader scope. As well as Skype-like video conferencing between people, you can broadcast your conversations live on the internet.

google hangouts splash
A Google Hangouts splash screen.

Trey Ratcliff became famous partly because of his Google Hangouts. He’d interview other photographers, teach and generally just hang with his fans.

Hangouts is also popular with podcasters who use it to record their podcasts live. 

Ustream and Livestream: Enterprise Platforms

Ustream and Livestream are two of the earliest successful live streaming sites. Over time, the focus of both companies has switched focus from consumers to businesses. They've also expanded to offer dedicated hardware and software, like video encoding boxes and production switchers. These platforms are often used to power live broadcasts on other sites. If you watch a live stream embedded on any larger commercial website, there’s a good chance it’s running through Ustream or Livestream.

ustream pro
Ustream is a more professional solution.

NASA, the Discovery Channel, Sony and countless other companies all use Ustream. The plans and pricing reflect this professional focus: a Pro subscription costs at least $100 a month. There’s a free plan but your live stream will get interrupted by ads.

If you’re looking for the ultimate live streaming solution, Ustream and Livestream are worth considering. They are, however, about providing technology and service more than delivering a ready-made  viewing community. This strategy requires a lot more investment of time and money to use correctly.

What Else is Out There

In this article I’ve outlined some of the major players in live streaming. It’s a rapidly growing technology and the companies that are leading now may not be the leaders in two or three years. There are also hundreds of other companies competing for users and attention (including plenty of decidedly adult-oriented sites). Some, like Snapchat, blur the line of what live really means. Others, like Blab.im, are targeting very specific people—in this case podcasters who want to record live. 

If you know of any live streaming sites, and in particular, live streaming communities, I’ve missed please share them in the comments.

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoHarry Guinness

In the tail end of last year we posted this video on how to make use of the fantastic Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder with other cameras. It seems that we are not the only whom took note as Tilta has announced their own rehoused version.

We caught up with Tilta at NAB to check out their latest products and the rehoused Blackmagic viewfinder was something that immediately caught our eye.

The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is compact, a 1920 x 1080 OLED display and relatively affordable. We were impressed with how it performed and also the fact that Blackmagic kept it universal with its BNC SDI connection for signal and 4-pin XLR for power. This makes it very easy to adapt for use with other cameras.

Tilta has built upon this by rehousing the URSA Viewfinder into an industry ready state.

Tilta URSA Viewfinder_1

Gone is the USRA designed swivel mount and hard-wired cables. The Tilta URSA Viewfinder has been stripped back to accept more universal fittings (pictured in the above video with Arri viewfinder mount) with a HD-SDI port for signal and 12-24v lemo for power. On the underside also is a 1/4″ thread for further mounting.

It’s nice to see the peripherals offered up in the form of ports over hard-wired cables, this makes it much easier to maintain and customize to your specific needs.

Tilta URSA Viewfinder_2

Going back to our ground work back in October, we found that the URSA Viewfinder seems to only accept progressive signals (many cheaper cameras only output variants of interlaced signals) so for cameras like the a7S you’ll still have to convert the signal before it reaches the viewfinder (we did this via an Atomos Shogun).

As you can see in the video, Tilta were a little vague in what they’ll do in terms of offering further support for this in the future, but it does seem like they’re looking into it.

The Tilta URSA Viewfinder has no official price, but should be under $2000 (original currently sits at $1495).

The post Tilta Rehouse The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DTim Fok