Wednesday, August 4, 2010

iPhone 4 Unlocked!!

Normally I leave this sort of blogging to the younger generation, but I had to share this, as it was just released, and it works! The new iPhone 4 can be Jailbroken and Unlocked to use any carrier you wise. Since I do blog on tech stuff, I think this fits in. In any case, you have to Jailbreak your phone first, then Unlock. Both processes are very simple, and you can find info here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

LightIron - BigFoot - Eizo - Maxx Digital - RED Rocket = Kick Ass on set

This cart is quite possibly the best way to handle RED Digital Cinema content on a feature set.

I'm putting this to use on the movie "Atlas Shrugged" here in LA, and I have to say without a doubt, it makes working with RED files EZ.

If you shoot RED, you want something like this.



p.s. I spoke on a panel this past Saturday at Art Center in Pasadena at an event called Imaging DNA. Gale Tattersall the DP of House was a keynote speaker. Gale spoke to the Canon 5D MK2 in which he used to film the last episode of the season on House. I worked with Gale months prior to prep him for a Canon TV commercial. He wanted to test the 5D to see if it was good enough to use. We tested the 5D in various situations, took the footage to Encore, him post house, and they gave the thumbs up to use. The panel I spoke on was the emergence of digital in a film (motion picture) world, and it's impact with cameras like RED and the Canon 5D.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zeiss Primes, Canon mount

Zeiss has released three new lenses with Canon mounts, 21mm, 50mm and 85mm. What makes these lenses amazing is that not only are great optics, but they are mated to work with the current Canon DSLR's. This is especially useful when shooting motion, and the need for accurate and repeatable focus pulling.


Get it while its hot

Canon firmware update for the 5D MKII is online, and the link is here.

Firmware Version 2.0.3 incorporates five enhancements to the movie function and a fix to the manual sensor cleaning function of the EOS 5D Mark II camera.
  1. Adds or changes the following movie frame rates.

  2. NTSC:
    • 1920×1080 : 30 fps (changed - actual 29.97 fps)
    • 1920×1080 : 24 fps (added - actual 23.976 fps)
    • 640×480 : 30 fps (changed - actual 29.97 fps)
    • 1920×1080 : 25 fps (added - actual 25.0 fps)
    • 1920×1080 : 24 fps (added - actual 23.976 fps)
    • 640×480 : 25 fps (added - actual 25.0 fps)

  3. Adds a function for manually adjusting the sound recording level (64 levels).
  4. Adds a histogram display (brightness or RGB) for shooting movies in manual exposure.
  5. Adds shutter-priority AE mode (Tv) and aperture-priority AE (Av) mode to the exposure modes for shooting movies.
  6. Changes the audio sampling frequency from 44.1 KHz to 48 KHz.
  7. Fixes a phenomenon where communication between the camera and the attached lens is sometimes interrupted after manual sensor cleaning. (This phenomenon only affects units with Firmware Version 1.2.4.)

Firmware Version 2.0.3 is for cameras with firmware up to version 1.2.4. If the camera's firmware is already version 2.0.3, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Movies captured using EOS 5D Mark II cameras with Firmware Version 1.1.0 to 1.2.4 can be played back on cameras updated with Firmware Version 2.0.3. However, if you try to play back movies captured with a camera with the new firmare on a camera with a previous firmare version, a message, Cannot play back image, appears on the camera's LCD monitor.

It is recommended that you use the latest Canon applications*1 to edit movies captured with EOS 5D Mark II cameras that have the latest firmare because some previous versions do not support movie-editing functions and the frame rates that are added or changed by the latest firmware. You can download the latest Canon applications from our Web site.
*1 ZoomBrowser EX Version 6.5.0 or later (compatible operating systems : Windows XP/Vista/7)
ImageBrowser Version 6.5.0 or later (compatible operating systems : Mac OS X v10.4/10.5/10.6)

In addition to the enhancements to the movie function, the accompanying instruction manual has also been revised. Users are asked to download both the latest firmware and the latest instruction manual. You can proceed to download the instruction manual by clicking the [I Agree] button from the bottom of this page.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Canon announces 24P firmware update for 5D MKII

So here's the skinny. Today Canon announced the long awaited firmware update for the 5DMKII. Now for all of us waiting for this update, it will finally be available as of March 16 for Canons website.

Here is the full info on the update.

Canon today pre-announces the release of a firmware update for the multiple award-winning EOS 5D Mark II. Originally announced in late 2009, the update adds 24* and 25 frames per second (fps) recording to the camera’s EOS MOVIE video function, and will be available as a free download from the middle of March.

Developed following feedback from photographers and cinematographers, Firmware 2.0.3 further enhances the EOS 5D Mark II’s excellent video performance. The addition of new frame rates expands the camera’s video potential, providing filmmakers with the ability to shoot 1080p Full HD footage at 24fps (actual 23.976fps) – the optimum frame rate for cinematic video. 25fps support at both 1920×1080 and 640×480 resolutions will allow users to film at the frame rate required for the PAL broadcast standard, while the new firmware will also change the 30fps option to the NTSC video standard of 29.97fps.

A new histogram display for shooting movies in manual exposure, shutter-priority (Tv) and aperture-priority (Av) have been added, and exposure modes will also be available in movie mode. Improved audio functionality will allow users to set sound record levels manually using a sound-level meter displayed on the LCD screen. The audio sampling frequency has also been increased from 44.1KHz to 48KHz, providing the optimum audio signal typically required for professional or broadcast material.

With its full frame CMOS sensor and compatibility with Canon’s wide range of premium lenses, the EOS 5D Mark II is already recognised for its outstanding HD video performance. Launched in September 2008, the camera immediately created a wide range of new possibilities for photographers and videographers, and the addition of new frame rates and manual audio levels extends those possibilities even further – allowing movie makers to shoot stunning movies to suit practically any creative purpose.

Extreme sports photographer Richard Walch was one of the first to be given the chance to use the newly updated EOS 5D Mark II to shoot the snowboarding movie “I Love My Friends”. Commenting on the EOS 5D Mark II’s video performance, Richard said: “The addition of the new frame rates opens up a whole new range of possibilities. If you’re a cinematographer, independent film maker or just enthusiastic about making your own movies, get out there and give it a try”.

Monday, January 18, 2010

REDucation or RED Education is back for 2010

If any of you has wondered how you gain a foothold on this new technology, I'm here to give you a heads up. REDucation is again starting up for 2010. Unlike the previous three 7 day courses in downtown LA, the flow of the class has been revamped. It's changed from two separate classes (RED in production and RED in post), to one full course that provides both production and post for the RED. It's also been shortened to 6 days, and the next class will be in Las Vegas, set to coincide with NAB. This is a great class to take, you learn so much, and the next class will include more info for the still photographer moving to motion. In the last class of 46 students, there were 5 still photographers. if you'd like more info, feel free to comment, or drop me a line at


Just in Time

As we've seen over the past few months, motion cameras have been involved on magazine covers. To date Esquire (photographer Greg Williams), W (photographer Steven Klein) and Time magazines have published images created with the RED camera. Esquire UK (April 2009) was the first to publish a cover image shot with the RED of Megan Fox, and this past December Time published the year ending cover shot with the RED (photographer Finlay MacKay).

While many shooters are hedging their bets, and shooting their covers with a Canon or a medium format digital back, others are breaking new ground and shooting their covers with the RED. RED when shot properly, will produce amazing images, and at 24 frames per second, you have so much content to chose from.

In a future installment, I will reveal some amazing RED still captures, and show prints over 16X20 that rival digital still, stay tuned.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Element Technica 3D

Technology is moving faster than most of us can learn it. We raced to learn digital capture after a life of learning how to shoot and expose film. In the past 12 months we've seen another big change in our industry.

Print advertising has scaled back, ad agencies have cut their workforce (some by half) and their need for what once was our bread and butter, the delivery of the still image. They are looking at the new ways in which to capture the public attention. The web, outdoor advertising, indoor advertising, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, Hulu and more are now outlets for advertising, movies, and television.

As we start to gaze into the crystal ball to look into the future we also see that 3D is making a strong push, and companies like Element Technica are developing equipment in which to help create content for this emerging technology. Many of the current movies in production are 3D. All the major TV makers have 3D units (Phillips, Toshiba, Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic) and with broadcast starting to air 3D this summer (ESPN 3D Sports Network) the game is again changing. No longer will we need to don our silly glasses in a theater, we will be wearing our designer 3D glasses at home.

The rig pictured above (named Quazar) is set to handle large camera such as RED, Genesis or Arri. ET has at least two other models which will accommodate cameras such as the Canon 5D or 7D, and the much anticipated RED Scarlet and Epic.

If you like the photo, thanks, I shot it.


Canon Commercial shot with Canon 5D MK 2


This past week Canon (Japan, not USA) shot a commercial using their own Canon 5D MKII as capture device. The shoot was headed up by Director of Photography Gale Tattersall of House fame.

Gale contacted Von Thomas of Image Mechanics to assist in prep for the shoot. Images Mechanics has been at the fore of motion with both RED and 5D MKII. Gale had many questions he wanted answered before he committed to the 5D (RED was the other option). Even though the shoot were not complicated, Gale needed to know it's strengths and weaknesses. We tested the 5D two weeks leading up to the actual shoot. Extensive tests in shutter speed range, ISO rating, camera panning, blue and green screen and color temperature were performed.

After the initial tests the content was taken to Encore Hollywood post facility to analyze the test. After viewing all the info, the 5D was given the thumbs up. The ability to shoot a major ad campaign with the 5D MKII is a game changer. Shortly Canon will roll out it's firmware for 24 and 25P, this will give the camera greater latitude, and acceptance with established filmmakers.