Micro 4/3

Craft. A Modular Camera System.

In the last 20 years there has been a massive change in photography and cinematography technology. Digital changed the game, then smartphones. One thing that has remained fairly constant though is the form factor. Aside from smartphones, digital cameras look and function very similar to an analog film camera. Your fancy DSLR might have upgraded electronics and a digital image processor, but it still looks and functions the same way your old film camera did. Buy a body, buy a bunch of lenses, get the the battery grip, etc. So here comes a new camera company that might just change all that.

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Craft has designed a camera system where every component is interchangeable allowing you to design a system best suited to your needs. While the video below is just a 3D rendering of the yet to be released final product, the system shows promise. This is a modular system with a number of unique innovations, and a very competitive price point for photographers. The website shows a complete 4K video set up for less than 2 grand which is not bad when you consider what you get.

Some of the innovations that I find really intriguing are the hot swappable lens mounts, the ND filter set up, the connectivity module, and the fact that you can build this to fit your needs. Full tech specifactions are at the bottom of this post.

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Technical Specifications (Full technical specifications will be announced early this summer):
HD Video Element, Super 16mm CMOS Sensor with Global Shutter (1920×1080, 1280×720)
4K Video Element, Super 35mm CMOS Sensor with Global Shutter (4096 x 2160, 1920×1080, 1280 x 720)
Frame rates 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60
Fast and slow frame rate speeds at intervals up to 120fps
Recording Formats Cinema DNG and ProRes (additional formats will announced).
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Video Elements: (97.15mm x 96mm x 39.68mm) (3.7” x 3.6” x 1.5″)
Store, Battery, Audio Elements: (97.15mm x 96mm x 33.4mm) (3.7” x 3.6”x 1.3″)
LCD Elements: (97.15mm x 96mm x 30mm) (3.7” x 3.6” x 1.2″)
Fully assembled cinema camera: (97.15mm x 96mm x 170mm) (3.7” x 3.6” x 6.6″)

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Veydra Cinema Lenses for M4/3 Cameras

Three years ago when my house was broken into, all of my DSLR gear was stolen. The only gear I had left was my Olympus EP2, and 4/3 lenses for it. At the time I decided to not replace my DSLR, and go exclusively with the Micro 4/3 mirrorless format for both still and video work. One of the biggest challenges has been finding high quality lenses designed specifically for shooting video on a Micro 4/3 camera like the Panasonic GH4 or Olympus OMD. The ones that exist are either cost prohibitive to own, or require an adapter to work with my camera bodies. That is why I got all excited about this new KickStarter project from Veydra.

Veydra is planning on producing a set of premium cinema lens made specifically for filmmakers using Micro 4/3 cameras like the Panasonic GH4, Black Magic Cinema Camera, Olympus OMD, and more. The thing I like is the feature set listed on the site which includes, Resolution that exceeds 4K, Cinema 0.8 module focus and iris gears, Consistent front 80mm outside diameter & 77mm filter threading, Similar length for quick lens changes, Constant T2.2 aperture for easy lighting set ups, Brass plated mounts for durability.

Then there is the price. At $3200.00 for the entire set, this is a bit of a steal. Especially if the quality of the lenses is good as Veydra claims on their KickStarter page. I hope these guys make their goal, because this looks really exciting for the film making community, especially those of us working with small budgets.

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The Selfie Obsessed Olympus EPL7.

In a selfie obsessed world where even the spirit of Narcissus is tired of seeing people pop photos of themselves , Olympus has announced the EPL-7 camera with all the selfie shooters in mind. The tech spec on the camera are all over the internet, and as a camera goes, this looks like a pretty solid micro 4/3 system. What is cracking me up though is the marketing materials on YouTube that they have created. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s just me being grumpy, but these videos make me say “Get a life. Get some friends and take pictures of them instead of narcissistic yourself. It makes for far more interesting images.” Watching this woman snap shots of her own mug, by herself, while making kissy faces at the camera, just makes me want to laugh. The thing is though, this angle might actually work, with those people that are selfie obsessed and want more than what their smartphone has to offer. For the complete EPL7 selfie channel, click here.

Paris in the Morning.

Paris is a city that everyone should visit at least once. Out of all the places I have been in Europe, Paris will always be at the top of my list. The short film below from emeric captures an early morning in Paris, with an overlay of what people might be thinking.

The film was shot on the new Panasonic GX7 with Panasonic 14-42mm, Olympus 9-18mm and 75mm lenses. Shot entirely hand held it shows the cameras solid image stabilization, as well as overall image quality. Besides showing off the camera, Emeric also shows off Paris in wonderful way.

Philip Bloom’s Black Magic Camera Review: Part Two.

Back in September of last year, Philip Bloom reviewed the Black Magic Cinema Camera with the EF lens mount. While he was impressed with image quality, he rightfully pointed out a number of flaws that the version one camera has. Last week he posted an update on Vimeo featuring the Black Magic with the micro 4/3 mount. As he points out the camera still has flaws, but the new lens mount makes a huge difference because now the crop takes full advantage of the complete lens, not just the centered weighted portion of the glass.  I’m still interested in this camera, and I can’t wait to see where Black Magic takes it in the future.

For the previous review click here.

Sony NEX Campaign Takes a Shot at DSLR Users.

To promote their new NEX line of mirrorless cameras Sony has launched a new Australian YouTube channel titled DSLRGEARNOIDEA (DSLR Gear No Idea) where the basic premise is you have your bad ass camera and all the accessories, but don’t have a clue about how to, or why to use it.

These are the DSLR clueless – all the gear and no idea. Remind you of someone? Share it with them. Find out more http://www.sony.com.au/productcategory/nex-camera

The campaign asks if you know anyone like the people portrayed in the videos and then encourages you to share it with them. The videos are really pretty funny, and they really are reflective of any number of individuals that bought into the whole idea that having a bigger, more expensive camera will make you a better photographer.

 

A Little Black Magic on Friday Afternoon

Like what I need right now is to drop more money on gear, but this camera looks so sexy. Today B&H loaded up the Black Magic Cine Camera with the Micro 4/3 lens mount. What is enticing to me is the fact that all of my 4/3 lenses will work on this camera, it shoots at 2.5k resolution and it supports so much third party software. At $2995.00 it’s pricey, but it would pay for itself with one freelance gig. The specs are listed below, and if you have the money you can pre-order it here. It should arrive in time for Christmas if you do.

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2.5K Image Sensor
12-bit RAW, ProRes and DNxHD Formats
13 Stops of Dynamic Range
23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30p Frame Rates
MFT Lens Mount
LCD Touchscreen with Metadata Entry
SDI Video Output and Thunderbolt Port
Mic/Line Audio Inputs
Records to Removable SSD Drives
Includes DaVinci Resolve and UltraScope

The Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera with MFT Mount brings to filmmakers a tool that many have waited for, for quite some time. Recording to a 2.5K image sensor, the camera is capable of recording 12-bit RAW DNG files, as well as ProRes and DNxHD formats to built-in removable SSD drives (not included), while delivering 13 stops of dynamic range. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a complete system with built-in recorder and monitoring, so it’s perfect for displacing video-only cameras for work such as weddings and sporting events. And as a complete system it can help save money for those budget strapped productions.

The camera is housed in an elegant, minimalist enclosure, crafted from a single block of aluminum. It can be used hand held or mounted on industry standard hardware. The new Passive Micro Four Thirds (MFT) Mount provides an exciting new feature for you by giving you compatibility with a wide range of manually operated lenses, while also being easily adapted to other mounts such as PL mount via third party adapters. And the LCD touchscreen provides monitoring, plus the ability for the user to add metadata such as shot number, filenames and keywords, which can save time and money in the post-production process.

To handle the high data video output, Blackmagic includes a full version of DaVinci Resolve, its premier color correcting software for Mac and Windows. Also included is a copy of UltraScope. When connected to a computer via Thunderbolt, the software provides technically accurate waveform monitoring, displaying six live scope views on a single monitor.

Since everything has been designed to provide high quality acquisition, the camera is an ideal option for independent film, television commercials and episodic television production, all places where image quality is paramount. Additionally the Blackmagic Cinema Camera offers compressed 1080HD recording formats in both Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD allowing for seamless integration into a production workflow that utilizes either Final Cut Pro or Avid as their editing software.

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