Video Technology

Video Production Equipment, News, Technology, and Techniques

Red Epic Dragon and other Cinematic Hammers

How do these Ultra HD Cameras Measure up?

This was definitely a banner year for new cameras at NAB. The continuing evolution of computer as camera had brought another manufacturer into the mix – AJA. It has also meant that Blackmagic has continued to expand their line with the much talked about Ursa, which is a large, heavy and also diametrically opposed system to anything they’ve yet put out – except for the price – because it is a screaming deal at around $6K. The DSLR market also continues to be interesting with the introduction of the Panasonic GH4 and the Sony A7S. Not only are they both 4K but they are clearly purpose built for video. This may not be true when it comes to camcorder-like ergonomics, but certainly is when it comes to the picture they put out. Canon definitely has a bit of catching up to do if these two cameras deliver well at their very low price points.

On the high-end market there is one main player that seems to have been able to sink all the best technology into one amazing little machine. I’m of course speaking of the 6K, 16.5 stop DR, Raw, High Speed and very light and small Red Epic Dragon. It’s the camera every one has been waiting for and it is marvelous. Now some may see me as a fanboy because I have been using a RED camera for going on six years now and that I can’t deny, but this time RED seems to have finally delivered on all fronts.

Since the introduction of the Arri Alexa, DP’s have been talking [...]

Noise Removing Tools

Audio problems? You won’t find any here. iZotope RX3 Advanced is by far, the most impressive audio software we’ve ever used. Just name a common sound issue and this software can fix it. Whether it’s legal forensics, an important cell phone recording or an archival piece that needs some major work, we can now fix it all.

Here is a mind shattering list of this software’s witchcraft sorcery.

– Dialog Denoiser removes unwanted noice from vocal records in real time.

– Dereverb can take a cathedral recording and turn it into a small room.

– Insight is metering and analysis for broadcast loudness standards.

– Deconstruct separates tonal and noisy audio to be adjusted separately.

– Spectral Repair let’s you visually select good or bad audio to separate or remove. Algorithms fill take harmonics, ambient noise, and pitch changes into account, removing selections without leaving gaps in sound range.

– Denoise removes unwanted background noise while analyzing changing noise profiles and fixing imperfections automatically.

– Declip rebuilds distortion caused by overload in analog or digital sound.

– Declick & Decrackle removes clicks, crackles and pops.

– Remove Hum removes…. you guessed it, removes hums. And unicorn farts.

To sum it up, we’re not sure how this magic is done, but we’re assuming enchanted leprechauns are granting software wishes somewhere between our motherboard and VRAM. OR the guys at iZotope are just super smart nerds that put Apple Genius’s to shame. Either way, we’re not complaining, we’re just glad we can fix any audio issue you could ever fathom.

Compact Seven Jib XL

Welcome to the Seven Jib Compact XL. You’re right when you assume by the title that it’s a Compact Jib, but what you probably don’t realize is that it’s a true piece of engineering greatness. This 33″ folded jib is compact, but it doesn’t sacrifice ease of assembly, function and usability. It goes together faster than just about any jib I’ve ever used, but still has the ability to be configured based on your needs and the situation. This thing has strength…it’s more solid than your mom.

If you’re in a tight place, no problem, the counterbalance arm can be as short as you want. Or if you don’t want a lot of weight on the sticks, that’s fine too, just put on the counter balance extension and cut the needed weight in half. Now let’s say you want a really low shot, just invert the ball, throw on the underslung adaptor on the tripod head and mount the camera low. Yes, it’s that simple.

This jib uses a 100mm tripod head and standard heavy-duty camera sticks. It can support up to 60 lbs of camera. It has 6.5′ of lift and has 55″ of reach. The best part is, it uses standard barbell weights for counterbalance, or an option bag that allows you to use whatever you want, whether it’s rocks, sand, or fat cats.

Now we get to the fancy stuff. We combine the Seven Jib Compact XL with our Kesler pan/tilt robotic head and we really have something to brag about. With this small of a jib, a robotic head isn’t needed, but it sure does help. Being able [...]

High Dynamic Range in video!

Is it possible to capture High Dynamic Range Imaging  (HDRI or HDR) with a video camera?

HDR techniques have been used by photographers to reproduce an image with greater dynamic range of luminosity than can be achieved by standard digital photographic techniques.

Dynamic Range is the ratio of light to dark in a photograph.  Normally when taking a picture you have to set your exposure to one f-stop. Anything far above that stop will appear very bright sometimes blown out, and something to far below that stop will look too dark. Basically you lose detail in areas that are too bright or too dark.

In a common HDR photographic technique three pictures are take at three different exposures (3 F-Stops), and blended together with editing software that highlight the best part of the picture.  Your final picture will look like something closer to what your eyes see, rather then what the camera sees.

HDR in video started with tone mapped HDR time-lapse videos, essentially a sequence of still photographs in quick succession. Canon SLR camera now allow you to set you timer and multiple exposure setting, thus generating multiple stills that you can string together in a HDR time-lapse.  Great effects, however, is this true HDR video?  Not really!

Enter Red’s Scarlet and Epic Cameras along with its HDRx mode, which lets you film two adjacent exposures in order to give you real-time HDR moving images.  This solves one of the hardest shots in terms of dynamic range, which is shooting in a dark interior with an opening to a bright exterior.  With this function you can set your primary exposure (A frame) for [...]

Is it time to go 4k? – Los Angeles Video Production

By Roy Leon

Whether you are considering your options for you next TV Commercial, Music Video, or Corporate video you owe it to yourself to explore the 4k camera options.  Everyone would like the best quality. However, budgets can limit it.  Many might be surprised to find out the cost that goes with the 4k cameras is not that prohibitive. It is definitely true, especially now with newer, better, and less expensive cameras coming on the market. A warning, just because you have one of the 4k cameras, it does not mean the final product is going to be substantially better. Lenses, lighting, and your camera operator all determine the quality of the final piece. You must have the proper gear and crew to realize the quality increase. With that said, here are some benefits to going with a 4k camera.

First, what is 4k? The actual term is Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) as oppose to just High Definition (HD). A typical HD Camera shoots in 1920 X 1080 pixels(or close to it). The Red Scarlet, a popular Ultra HD camera, shoots in 4096 x 2160 pixels. To sum it up, an Ultra HD Camera gives you 4 times the pixel output of an HD Camera, which means it is far more detailed and produces a sharper image. As another point of reference, the now almost completely irrelevant Standard Definition (SD) Cameras shoot at a resolution of 720 X 480 pixels.

Plainly put, Ultra HD is better than regular HD, much like HD was better than SD. This makes it easier to conclude that you will see major quality improvements. Here are other [...]