NAB 2016 Announcements.

I’ve been honored to speak at NAB for the past 9 years. A few days ago I was addressed as a “senior” speaker, which feels kinda good but very weird at the same time. One of the many lessons learned is that it’s close to impossible to understand what’s happening in terms of announcements while you are AT the show. There are so many people, so many widgets, and so much noise… It is actually much easier and faster to follow the news and read the reports “from the the trenches” to stay up to date on new toys.

If you are attending the show, I’d love to have you at one of my seminars or simply meet and catch up. I’ll be on Twitter (@EA_Photo) obsessively.

In collaboration with B&H, this year I’m testing two new widgets that are populated automatically; one for Announcements and a second one for B&H specials during the show. I have no idea how this is going to work, but it doesn’t hurt to try. So, here we go!

NAB 2016: Just Announced


NAB 2016: Show Specials



Essential Filmmaking Gear – Lean and Mean.

On our previous equipments lists (here’s #1 and here’s #2) we covered the essential gear while working with small crews constantly on the move. Today, we’ll list the equipment we usually bring on “Lean and Mean” jobs. On these jobs we usually spend more time at each location, and don’t need to carry everything on our backs, so we can add a few bigger/heavier tools.

List #3 – Lean And Mean

Hybrid or Video Only Assignments
Small Crew On Location But With Some Time To Prep
Example: Maragas Winery Commercial.

In addition to everything on List #1 and List #2 we typically would add:

1. If the job doesn’t require stills I’d swap the GH4s or the Sony a7R IIs for a couple of Canon C100 Mark II bodies (Amazon and B&H). At this point we are seriously considering investing on a couple of Sony PXW-FS7 (Amazon and B&H), but we are waiting to test it against a Sony PXW-FS5 (Amazon and B&H) to make the call.

2. Depending on the job we would add another camera movement tool, like a Glidecam (Amazon and B&H) or a Ronin (Amazon and B&H) or even jibs and dollies. It depends on many different factors.

3. In terms of lighting I usually bring three 1×1 Bi-Color LED Panels (Amazon and B&H) with batteries (B&H) and two Chimera 1×1 Lightbanks (Amazon and B&H) with grids (B&H). That pretty much covers my basic needs. Another option is a Fiilex kit (Amazon and B&H), which I like a lot, but it is too expensive for most people.

4. A Sekonic Color Meter (Amazon and B&H) and a Sekonic Light Meter (Amazon and B&H) are pretty much mandatory.

5. Most of my grip gear is made by Impact simply because it is inexpensive, versatile and durable.  I consider essential a few accessories like adjustable Gaffer Clamps, and Collapsible Reflector Holders (Amazon and B&H) which also double as mic or light stands. These very inexpensive items effectively function as additional crew members.

6. We would bring a second Tenba Transport Rolling Tripod/Grip case (2 total) (Amazon and B&H), add a second Benro S8 tripod (2 total) one more Benro S4 monopod (2 total), and a very compact and portable slider (Amazon and B&H) that would take the same fluid head from the S8 tripod and/or the S4 monopod.

Here’s the complete list of what we are currently using.



Well, there you have our essential gear. There isn’t a perfect gear list, just like there isn’t a perfect camera, but the most essential items have been working great for most assignments. Of course, there are those long and complex projects that require everything and the kitchen sink. If I forgot something essential, please let me know here!

We also have produced several Filmmaking courses on, two of them specifically designed for photographers transitioning into video. Check them out!


Essential Filmmaking Gear – The Moving Crew.

On a previous article we covered the essential gear for solo gigs (List #1). On this article, which we call List #2, we’ll concentrate on the equipment required for longer/bigger hybrid assignments where I’ll have a few more people fulfilling different roles (gaffer/grip, second camera/editor, BTS camera/DIT). We are usually moving from place to place very quickly, so traveling light is essential. When possible, I added direct links to Amazon and/or B&H for your convenience.

List #2 – The Moving Crew.

Hybrid Assignments
Small Crew Constantly On The Move
Example: Panasonic Anamorphic.

So, in addition to everything on List #1 we’d typically add:

1. In addition to my sharpest and heaviest lens, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 (Amazon and B&H), we’d also bring a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (Amazon and B&H), and a Sigma 24-105mm f4. (Amazon and B&H). These are the same exact lenses I used last year on another one-man Hybrid project in Istanbul and Europe. To make the Canon and Sigma lenses work on the Panasonic GH4 we’ll need a Metabones Speedbooster (Amazon and B&H).

2. Having more space and more people to carry bags, I’d also add a Varavon cage (Amazon and B&H) to each camera body. I like these cages a lot!

3. An Atomos Shogun (Amazon and B&H). We previously wrote an article explaining why this is a must have item.

4. As many SanDisk Solid State Drives (Amazon and B&H) for the Atomos Shogun  as possible.

5. A USB 3.0 reader for the Solid State Drives (which are generously included in the Atomos Shogun kit).

6. A second 6TB G-Tech External Hard Drive (Amazon and B&H).

7. Two RodeLink kits (Amazon and B&H). They are great for interviews and to record clean sound while doing on-camera tutorials or even getting some BTS. The RodeLinks are extremely light, small, reliable and fairly inexpensive.

8. In addition to the monopod (on List #1) I’d add one Benro S8 tripod (Amazon and B&H).

9. I’d add one more Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag (2 total) (Amazon and B&H) for the most expensive, essential and fragile items, namely cameras, lenses, Shogun and hard drives.

10. One sturdy Tenba Transport Rolling Tripod/Grip case (Amazon and B&H) for light stands, tripods, grip, cables, etc. My favorite one is Tenba’s Rolling Case 38


What else are we using? Here’s the complete list.

As you can see, anyone involved in run-and-gun, single-operator scenarios like weddings, events, corporate shoots, documentaries, red carpet premieres, product launches, sporting events, video podcasts, and even student films could benefit from these lists, so feel free to share them.

We also have produced several Filmmaking courses on, two of them specifically designed for photographers transitioning into video. Check them out!

Coming next week: List #3 – Lean and Mean. Working with a small crew but having a bit more time to settle down and prep. Bring the big guns!



Essential Filmmaking Gear – The Solo Gig.

In aviation, an MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List) is a categorized list of on-board systems, instruments and equipment that must be operative in order to flight. Any additional equipment not included in the MMEL may break temporarily, but it won’t make the aircraft inoperative. For several years I’ve been attempting to create my own MMEL for “hybrid” productions. My simplest definition of “hybrid” is “productions or assignments where a skeleton crew (from one to four people) is required to produce, direct, shoot video and stills, record sound, and even edit. Most of these assignments will be happening on location, more often than not over several days.”

Like it or not, these gigs are becoming increasingly popular. It sounds crazy and indeed, being on the field trying to wear so many hats at the same time can be extremely stressful. The keys to make these projects run smoothly (and even fun) are simple: invest as much as possible in pre-production, bring only the most essential gear, know your equipment well, and be decisive.

Regarding gear, a substantial challenge is how to pack and travel as light as possible while carrying a full production and post-production setup that is literally on your back, so “essential” in my book is something you will use all the time, not “maybe, just in case, what if.”
Over time, we have created three “lists of essential items”, depending mostly on the crew’s size. When possible, I added the product’s link to Amazon and/or B&H for your convenience.

List #1 – The Solo Gig

Hybrid Assignments
One-Man Crew
Example: Japan.

When working and traveling alone, a single carry-on backpack (like a Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag) contains every item I’ll need for up to three days, except some clothes and toiletries that will go on a smaller backpack the gets checked in or shipped in advance. 

Hardware & Software:

1. A small, light and versatile Camera (“Cam A”) to shoot video. In the photo I have a Panasonic GH4 (Amazon and B&H), but I also like the Sony a7R II (Amazon and B&H).

2. A second camera (“Cam B”) to capture stills and B-roll, ideally identical to Camera A. Having the same brand, model and firmware can save you a lot of time in post. Plus the batteries, chargers, media and lenses are the same.

3. I like to carry a third (even smaller) camera for location scouting and behind the scenes stills. My weapon of choice is the Fuji X100s (Amazon and B&H). A compact camera is especially handy after a very long day, when I don’t want to carry more gear but still want to capture a few night scenes of nice-looking dishes during my evening meal. Here’s my original X-100s review. Believe it or not after all these years, I’m still using (and loving) this camera.

4. Two or three lenses. In this case I’d bring a Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H) and a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H). I like these lenses because they are the equivalent to a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 70-200mm 2.8, but extremely small and light, yet very sharp and fast (2.8 all the way.)

5. For sound I’d bring a field recorder like the H4n (Amazon and B&H) or a more current model and smaller version like Tascam’s DR-05 (Amazon and B&H) to capture interviews and my own production notes.
While like the versatility of the H4n, it is bulky and too slow to start up, so we are considering something newer like the Zoom H1 (Amazon and B&H). I probably would also add at least one Rode VideoMic (Amazon and B&H) to capture soundscapes and decent scratch sound for interviews. And of course, we need to add good headphones to our audio package. (Amazon and B&H).

6. Two (2) G-Tech 1TB external portable hard drives (Amazon and B&H) and one (1) compact, super fast and awesome 6TB G-Tech External Hard Drive (Amazon and B&H). And by the way, I ONLY trust G-Drives, even if they fail every 14years.

7. A 15″ MacBook Pro (Amazon and B&H) with Adobe’s Creative Suite (Amazon and B&H) and Shot Put Pro. Here’s an article on how we use this software to backup our media on location.

8. A small tripod (Amazon and B&H). This thing is worth its weight in gold. I’ve used it for time lapses, low angle shots, as a handheld rig, car mount, microphone stand, and even to attach small lights for quick interviews. Priceless.

9. Benro S4 Video Monopod (Amazon and B&H). It’s small, relatively light, and sturdy. Works great.

10. A variety of Tenba Tool Boxes (Amazon and B&H) to pack all the batteries, chargers, cables, adapters and other small accessories. At first, they might seem a bit bulky but having everything neatly organized and protected is worth it.

11. One of my favorite photo bags ever, the new Tenba Shootout (Amazon and B&H). It is small enough to meet carry-on size limitations, but large enough to fit my most fragile and essential items. Plus, it is extremely comfortable.

12. In terms of lighting, for these assignments I try to use mostly available/natural light, but I always bring a 5-in-1 collapsible reflector (Amazon and B&H)

13. Two ND filters are essential when shooting daylight exteriors. By the way, we recently found out how to save $250 per filter.

14. Media pouch with ten 64GB SD cards (Amazon and B&H).

15. X-Rite’s Color Checker Passport Video (Amazon and B&H). If you get into the habit of using for a few seconds during production, it will save you hours in post. Guaranteed.


Miscellaneous Items:

1. Obviously, the most important tool if you are crossing any borders: the passport. This website compares the “power” of passports from many different countries, and, as Americans, we are blessed to have the most powerful one.

2. My good ol’ Columbia jacket/vest has been traveling with me to more than 40 countries. It has lots of pockets, a hoodie, and because it has a self-stowing pocket, it sometimes doubles as a pillow on the road. A priceless item, to be sure.

3. Media credentials which sometimes (but not always) can give you special access, get you discounts and the most important part, allow you to travel with some heavy or oversized gear without paying a fortune. Here’s a link to DeltaAmerican, and United Media Baggage policies.

4. A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen — truly essential items.

5. I like to dress in layers and in dark colors when shooting on the road. Black hides dust and stains very easily. A cashmere sweater is worth its weight in gold, well perhaps even more.

6. I always bring gloves unless I’m going to the Caribbean in July, comfortable shoes, and plenty of granola bars.

What else do I bring with me? Here’s the complete list.


As you can see, anyone involved in run-and-gun, single-operator scenarios like weddings, events, corporate shoots, documentaries, red carpet premieres, product launches, sporting events, video podcasts, and even student films could benefit from these lists, so feel free to share them.

We also have produced several Filmmaking courses on, two of them specifically designed for photographers transitioning into video. Check them out!

Are you working with a small crew constantly on the move? In that case here’s our List #2 – The Moving Crew.


Canon EOS-5DS and EOS-5DS R announced. What’s new?

The new Canon cameras have been officially announced. Here are the specs, side by side.


• Sadly, there are no new features for video on either EOS-5DS or EOS-5DS R. Actually, they are MISSING some video features from the 5D Mark III, like a headphone jack or an HDMI port.

Canon-EOS-5DS-R-Video-Features_850_EduardoAngel Canon-EOS-5DS-Video-Features_850_EduardoAngel

• The cameras won’t be available for PREORDER until mid-June. Shipping dates are still unknown.

Canon-EOS-5DS-Digital-SLR_850 Canon-EOS-5DS-R-850


• The highly expected Canon 11-24mm f/4 L USM Lens was also announced, and it is available for preorder!



Canon EOS-1DC 4K DSLR price drops 34%.

The price for Canon’s EOS-1D C has effectively dropped 34%, from $12,000 as of yesterday to $7,999 right now.

canon-1dc-_-B&H-Photo-Video-2_blgpst Canon-EOS-1D-C-Cinema-Camera-Body-6994B002-1_blgpst

Canon EOS-1D C $7999: Adorama | B&H

The 1D C is the first Canon hybrid DSLR to offer onboard 4K motion imaging and Full HD motion imaging on CF cards and it is considered part of Canon’s Cinema EOS system, right next to the C100/300/500 models.

The main (and huge) difference between the EOS-1D C is that it features a full frame CMOS sensor that can capture 4K (4096 x 2160) as Motion JPEG and HD (1920 x 1080) as H.264 and can also shoot 18-megapixel (5184 x 3456) still images recorded as RAW or JPEG. An important (and also huge) difference between the EOS-1D C and the other C series bodies is that it lacks important features like built-in ND filters and XLR ports among others.

The camera’s rugged, ultra-compact form factor and huge sensor makes it an interesting option for challenging hybrid assignments when low-light performance is critical. For example, underwater or wildlife photographers capturing 4K and not needing XLR ports or other advanced video videos can find a great solution on the 1DC. Another instance is corporate assignments when the photographer is expected to shoot high-end video as well as stills. Unfortunately I believe the camera’s price have seriously challenged its market penetration. Let’s see what happens with this new price.

Now, while simultaneously shooting stills and video is certainly possible, I prefer to keep separate systems with different settings and features assigned to each task. It is hard enough to THINK about sound and movement and lighting simultaneously. the last thing I need is to be switching settings back and forth.

As of right now I’m happy with our current systems; a couple of Panasonic GH4 4K bodies with Canon and Sigma lenses (using a Metabones Speedbooster adapter), and a couple of Canon C100 Mark II bodies when stills are not necessary.

EduardoAngel_BTS_01 EduardoAngel_BTS_02

Here’s our current standard camera package:



• Panasonic GH4 at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• Canon C100 Mark II at Adorama | B&H


• 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art at Adorama | Amazon | B&H

• Canon 24mm F1.4L II USM at Adorama | Amazon | B&H
• Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM at Adorama | Amazon | B&H

• 12-35mm at Adorama | AmazonB&H
• 35-100mm F2.8 at Adorama | Amazon | B&H

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Micro Four Thirds at  Adorama | Amazon | B&H

If you are ready to buy any of these items, I’d suggest checking all three stores as the prices constantly change. Happy shooting!


Documenting Istanbul, Paris and Brussels as a one-man crew.

Except for a couple of days where I had the priceless guidance of my friend Levent, I worked alone for three weeks between Istanbul, Paris and Brussels. The assignments required to capture stills, shoot video, record soundscapes, write, and edit everything together as I was moving alone. No problem!

The single operator/producer/editor assignment is becoming increasingly common for several reasons, among them lower production costs, as well as easier access to difficult locations.

I see a lot of opportunities for shooters currently doing weddings, corporate and sporting events, product launches, trade shows, video podcasts, student films or as in this specific project, travel and documentaries.

The main challenge is that on these hybrid productions getting the shot is paramount. There are no second chances, so preparing the shoot and planning for different situations is key. Another big challenge is how to travel as light as possible, but still carry a full production and post-production setup literally on your back.

After Istanbul I went to Brussels with its ancient roots, unique architecture, and bilingual arrangement. From there I went to Paris, the legendary City of Light, which always offers up myriad imaging possibilities. As you can imagine, all these cities were a playground ripe with incredible photo opportunities, and amazing food.

I recently wrote about my experience, lessons learned, and a few tips for Sigma, as I used their lenses for this assignment. The complete articles are available here and here.

If you enjoy my work, please consider sharing it with others. In today’s world, every click, share, and like counts. =)


I am a contrarian, or so it seems.

I am a contrarian…. That’s what a good friend just told me.  Why? Well, according to him because:

• I use an Android phone and Tablet. LG and Samsung are good, Lenovo is garbage. I actually got a Nexus 4, a Chromecast and a Nexus 5X the day they were announced. That apparently also makes me an “early adopter.”

Google Nexus 5X

• I purchased a 60D the week AFTER the 5D Mark III was made available and shot for several years with a 7D. I also used (and publicly highlighted) the  Panasonic Lumix GH3 WAY before the GH4 was hot (which I also added to my arsenal). I don’t have a Blackmagic camera, mostly because I love shooting with the Canon C100.

• I have been using Adobe Premiere Pro well before Apple released Final Cut X, and before David Fincher made the Creative Cloud cool.

• I dropped my monthly “all you can talk” cell plan for a “prepaid plan.” It has been saving me at least $1,200 per year. I haven’t used Skype for years, Google Hangouts is the way to go.

• I choose not to own a lot of gear. I believe renting equipment is the best way to provide clients with the best tools for each job, and it also helps to keep my overhead low.

And the cherry on top? We are seriously considering getting an HP workstation for video editing (yes, a PC computer) instead of new iMac or even a Mac Pro.

Well, perhaps my buddy is right….I am a contrarian!

Lego Lucius Malfoy with Cape Wand

But here’s the thing, as a technology consultant I spend a lot of time thinking about what will come next in terms of trends and features. I bet on Adobe Premiere Pro about a year before the flood gates opened. I also have the privilege to see many products, hardware and software, as prototypes or in their beta phases, so even though I generally can’t talk about them, I can wait until they are commercially available or I can get something cheaper temporarily.

LEGO Minifigure Collection Series 4 : Sailor

But perhaps the main reason to be a “contrarian” is that I don’t really care about the name of the brand. What I do care about is performance, reliability, and support. The faster I work, the more time I have to build my business, and the more discretionary time I get to enjoy life offline, and out of the office.

I’m obviously not the only one, check this Fast Company article “5 Contrarian Lessons From Successful Entrepreneurs” and David Ogilvy’s (one of my heroes) “Contrarian Management Advice.”


Canon EOS C300 explained for photographers.

For starters, the C300 is NOT “just bigger than the EOS 5D Mark III.” Well, it IS bigger, but it is also a completely different system. The Canon EOS C300 comes in two flavors, one with EF mount (EOS C300) which takes your good ol’ Canon lenses, and another one (C300 PL) with a PL mount.
The camera is compact box, similar in size to a Mamiya RZ with a viewfinder. It is a bit heavy, but very comfortable to use for extended periods of time. (more…)


DSLR Video Shooter Interview; Panasonic GH3, Post NAB gadgets, backup solutions and more.

Update 20130706: Amazon just posted a crazy deal: $1,049 for the GH3. Not sure how long it will last but if you have been considering this camera, go grab it now!

interview with DSLR Video Shooter, Caleb Pike

Recently, we sat down for an interview with our friend Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter, a blog dedicated to videographers and cinematographers that use HDSLR video for quality storytelling. It was great to chat about NAB 2013, upcoming events, gear he have been using or testing like the Panasonic Lumix GH3, and share other useful digital workflow solutions. (more…)


Is Canon following Adobe’s steps?

Canon just released their “EOS Digital Solution Disk V28.1” software suite. As usual, it contains the “Digital Photo Professional”, “EOS Utility” and “Picture Style Editor” applications. So what’s the big deal? For the first time (as far as I can remember) the Solution Disk has been issued only on CDs, but this time it will be available as a download.No conspiracy theory needed here. The real reason behind the online delivery is that many new computers, including the latest Apple iMac (which is super fast and awesome) no longer come with CD drives, so we are all being forced to move to the cloud.

Canon EOS DIGITAL Solution Disk Suite

Canon EOS DIGITAL Solution Disk Suite

Support for Mac OS X includes:
• Mac OS X v10.8
• Mac OS X v10.7
• Mac OS X v10.6

And support for Windows OS includes:
• Windows 8
• Windows 8 (x64)
• Windows 7
• Windows 7 (x64)
• Windows Vista
• Windows Vista (x64)
• Windows XP

Keep in mind that you will need a serial number in order to download the software.
Supported cameras will include Rebel SL1, T5i and 1DC along with other updates.

And talking about Clouds and Adobe, on this post I added a link to Adobe’s MAX 2013 Keynote AND and a second link to the best deal for Cre¬ative Cloud I can find ($20 per month). Here’s a previous article on using Adobe Lightroom with Cloud Storage Solutions.


Adobe Lightroom 4.4 is out. 25 new cameras supported.

Adobe just released a new Lightroom update making this version 4.4. Lightroom now officially supports over 25 different RAW file formats. Here is the complete list.

This version adjusts the White Balance for a number of Nikons, includes a correction to the demosaic algorithms for Fujifilm cameras with the X-Trans sensor, and adds support for new lenses like Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM and Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR are included. Unfortunately the Panasonic Lumix lenses are still missing.

According to Adobe, users are now (finally!) able to add contacts from their Address Book to email (on Mac). I’ll try this ASAP.

Fujifilm X-Trans sensor.These are the main improvements added and bugs fixed:
• The crop overlay tool resized incorrectly when used in conjunction with the “Constrain to
Crop” checkbox in the Lens Correction panel
• Background graphics were not correctly rendered within the Book Module
• Reading metadata from file would sometimes result in keyword and and GPS metadata to
not save for video files
• Updated the “Missing File Icon” for HiDPI / Retina dispalsy
• The supplied lens profile for the Sony RX-1 did not contain vignette information
• Preview in Develop Module was not updated with the latest adjustments
• Square tile artifacts while painting with brush
• Previews of photos in portrait orientation were blurry when viewed in the filmstrip in the
Develop module. (Mac only)

Click to keep reading  (more…)


Shooting with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3. Field report and impressions.

The friendly waiter at the Turkish restaurant in Sohar, Oman, saw the camera on the table and asked “Nikon? Canon? Which one is better?” To which I replied, “actually, this is the Panasonic GH3.” He stared at me, his expression turned from excited to perplexed to confused to annoyed within seconds. After an uncomfortable silence he finally asked, “Are you ready to order?”

EduardoAngel_Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_GH3_SampleImages _001

That was pretty much my reaction when, a few weeks ago, just two days before I started teaching a “Digital Cinema for Photographers” event in Dubai, I found out that Panasonic, a major sponsor of the event, REALLY wanted me and my students to use a couple of GH3s and several lenses in my hands-on workshop.

Panasonic is one of the largest consumer electronics companies, and the GH3 is the third generation of their very successful Micro Fourth Thirds DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) system. For a while I have been aware of the low-budget-filmmaking community’s devotion to the hacked DMC-GH2 and its ALL-I codec. I saw the DMC-GH3 at Photokina last year, but I had never before shot a single frame with a Panasonic camera. The bodies that I was given were running Firmware v0.5. Add to this a nine-hour time zone difference and jet lag, and you can begin to imagine my pain.

While I’ll be using some geeky terms, this is not an in-depth technical review, nor a scientific analysis of the GH3. You can dig into tech specs and MTF charts somewhere else. My goal is simply to share my honest and independent impressions, go over the things I liked and didn’t like, and communicate my wish list for future features. I want to emphasize that all the conclusions in this article are subjective and strictly based on my own personal experience.

“I have to warn you, I’ve heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.”
-Keanu Reeves in “Speed”

I have to respectfully disagree with Keanu on this one. Much to my surprise, the camera was much more intuitive than Sony’s NEX system, and several video features got my full attention right away.

• Full HD 1920×1080 60p/50p (NTSC/PAL) with 30p/25p/24p options.
• Ultra-high bit rate video recorded at 72 Mbps (ALL-I) or 50 Mbps (IPB).
• Capable of recording continuously for an unlimited time for NTSC and 29 min 59 sec for PAL.
• Native support for MOV (h.264), MP4, and AVCHD formats.
• Time Code support in the MOV and AVCHD formats.
• Extremely fast and accurate contrast-detection Autofocus.
• A 3.5mm mic input AND a headphone jack AND the option to manually adjust the sound recording levels via touchscreen controls.
• Full-time AF, AF Tracking, and Face Recognition AF are available for VIDEO. The Touch AF mimics rack focusing.

Not having enough time to field test the Panasonic systems before the Workshop, I shot dummy clips in my hotel room and made sure that the footage would work in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. The test went surprisingly smoothly. I then set both GH3 cameras to the same video settings: MOV at 1920×1080, 24p, 72 Mbps ALL-I, Standard Photo Style, White Balance at 5500K, got ND filters for all the lenses, extra batteries, and a few Class 10 SD cards. And then I prayed.


SD 16GB class10

You must use a Class 10 SDHC card when recording Ultra-high bit rate video at 72 Mbps (ALL-I).

Note: It’s extremely important to point out that full HD on this camera requires memory cards with the fastest speed available. My “older” memory cards didn’t work, giving me only four seconds of recording time.

We spent the first day of my three-day Digital Cinema Workshop  covering all the technical similarities and differences between stills and video. On the second day, we planned a location shoot with a Capoeira team and spent a couple hours shooting in the afternoon. On the third and last day we covered the different hardware and software requirements for post production and spent three hours editing the footage. I am especially proud of the short clip my students put together in such a limited amount of time and with newly acquired knowledge (and using brand new gear!).

Capoeira in Dubai. Student Project. from Eduardo Angel on Vimeo.

We could obviously use a few more days sweetening the audio, fine tuning transitions, and grading, but for a two-hour shoot and a three-hour edit, I believe this is a good example of what can be accomplished with great teamwork, interesting subjects, and the GH3’s many customizable options.

Below you will see a few additional sample clips, all shot as H.264, 1920 x 1080, 23.976 72Mbps ALL-I, using the GH3’s “Standard” profile (Contrats = 0, Sharpness = 0,  Saturation = 0, Noise Reduction = 0). The Exposure and White Balance were set manually. The lens was the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm F2.8 set on AF Tracking mode, which worked very well most of the time. Despite the lens having “environmental sealing,” as you can see the fine desert’s sand inevitably found its way to the sensor. I put the clips together on Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, and have NOT done any grading nor sharpening. These short clips are intended to show you what the GH3 is capable of, not to tell a specific story.

So, mission accomplished, right? Not so fast. A couple of days later, as I was wrapping up my day, a friend asked “Are you busy? I wanna show you something interesting.” With only the GH3, the 12-35mm 2.8 lens, a 4GB card and a low battery I jumped into his car. The “something interesting” happened to be access to the Royal Suite at the 7-star Hotel Burj Al Arab—a notoriously difficult area to access. With limited amount of storage space and battery life I managed to capture a few keepers.

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The 7-star Burj Al Arab hotel resembles a giant sail rising over the Gulf, with changing colors visible for miles at night.

EduardoAngel_Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_GH3_SampleImages _002

The very next morning (on my “day off”), I headed out to meet an old friend for brunch at the Atlantis. Should you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods, I strongly recommend that you pay the Atlantis a visit. As we enjoyed the seemingly endless food, my friend received a call to drive to Abu Dhabi right away to pick someone up and then drive back to Dubai. Would I like to come? Guess what I had hanging on my shoulder? This time I had a full battery and a 16GB card, but nothing else to shoot the magnificent mosque and the impossibly opulent Emirates Palace. Once again, the GH3 did a fantastic job.

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A nice view from a 25th floor overlooking the magnificent Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

These are some of the GH3’s features that are not obvious to the naked eye, but are interesting once you are aware of them:

• A magnesium alloy camera body that Panasonic describes as “splash proof and dust proof.”
• The Panasonic RAW files (RW2) work fine in Adobe Lightroom [add link to LR workshop] but the most current version (4.3 as of this writing) is needed. Unfortunately there are no Panasonic lens profiles available as of this writing.
• All the video formats worked seamlessly on Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Even the video recorded at 72 Mbps was easy to preview and edit on a two-year old MacBook Pro (with 8GB of RAM and an external 7200 RPM Hard Drive as a Scratch Disk).
• HDMI monitor output can be sent with or without information overlays.
• I had a DMW-MS2 Stereo Shotgun Mic with me, but was happy to learn that the camera’s built-in internal microphones provide stereo audio.
• The GH3’s sensor has a 4:3 aspect ratio.
• Built-in Time Lapse, and HDR but unfortunately it works only for JPGs not RAW.
• Five physical function buttons, and two touch-screen function buttons, all customizable with close to 40 options to choose from.
• Virtually all the key shooting controls are within the right hand’s reach. This frees up the left hand to hold the camera or focus manually.
• Excellent battery life, lasting a full day under normal operation. For extended video sessions I’d consider getting the DMW-BGGH3 Battery Grip.
• Apparently (I have not tested this) the GH3 is also capable of real-time image output to the LVF or the rear monitor AND to an external monitor via HDMI.


DMW-MS2 Stereo Shotgun Mic

I shot extensively (more than 2,000 images in 18 days) with the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm F2.8. The lens is tiny. And fast. And awesome. It has the equivalent focal length to a 24-70mm F2.8 on a 35mm system but it is a fraction of the size and weight. As you already know, this is a very good start when dealing with packing issues.

12-35mm lens

Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm F2.8

In terms of depth of field, the lens behaves like a 16-45mm F3.5 lens on an APS-C sensor, or a 24-70mm F5.6 lens on a Full Frame sensor. It is hard to get used to this, especially when shooting another system simultaneously, but it is not a disadvantage per se.

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What to bring and how to pack when shooting overseas.

UPDATED January 20, 2015
For a limited time, Tenba is offering a 10% off ANY item on their website using the Code: EduardoAngel

I have always been fascinated with bags and how photographers pack their gear. I remember reading the equipment lists of National Geographic photographers when I was younger. I used to wonder how they moved around the world with so much stuff.

Those times, as you might have noticed, are over. Nowadays, we need to deal with increasingly tighter airline safety, weight, and size regulations.

We have covered the “essential” video gear on previous posts. However, when it comes to deciding what to bring on a trip as carry on, what to check, and what to leave behind, the theory becomes much more interesting.

I tend to start with the personal stuff. Medicines, pain killers, toiletries, travel documents, etc. Some of these items are not easily replaceable; some are, but it would be inconvenient to forget them (think passport, credit cards, or headphones).

Disclaimer: The images below are taken with my phone, simply to illustrate this article. They are not intended to be fine art masterpieces of any kind. And yes, the “background” is my bed.


Personal Stuff.

This is my “rolling studio” when shooting on location in New York. Add a fluid head tripod, monopod, three hot lights, umbrellas, cables and light stands.  It is a lot, but two people can easily carry everything even on public transportation.

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What’s the big deal with ND filters?

What’s the big deal with Neutral Density (ND) filters? Do we REALLY need to use them when shooting motion? We created a short video tutorial using Canon’s (super awesome) EOS C300 to demonstrate what happens when you can’t really control the light (shooting outdoors), you have too much of it (bright day, noon) and you want to use the aperture as a creative tool, not only as an exposure compensation tool. Remember that when shooting video we pretty much set and forget the shutter.

The C300 has three built-in ND filters; ND1 (+2), ND2, (+4) and ND3 (+6). We don’t have that luxury when using HDSLR systems, but we can always get a very nice variable ND filter that covers up to 8 stops!

Check the video below:

Looking for answers to your workflow questions? Want to make the most of your new gear? Book a virtual or on-site consulting session today.


Canon EOS M – Part II. Hands-on Review

Exactly one month ago we wrote about Canon’s brand-new mirrorless system. We covered the new features and discussed the reasons why we preordered one here.

Since then we have had the great opportunity to play with one of them and we want to share our impressions in this post.

The Good

• Lenses: We tested the kit lens, an ultra wide “pancake” EF-M 22mm ƒ2.0 and the image quality is amazing. We also tested the EF mount and shot stills and video with the EF 70-200 ƒ2.8 and the EF 24mm ƒ1.4. They both worked like a charm.

• Video: This is a controversial topic. The movie files are recorded in MPEG-4 format, using AVC.H.264 compression and a variable bit rate. The quality is very good, with only a very tutored eye being able to differentiate the M versus the 60D footage. We only shot 1080p at 24 fps and our impressions are based on that test. Read this if you want to understand HD Video compression. Another great video feature that got our attention was that both Program and Manual shooting modes are supported in movie mode. So far, so good. The real issue (as you will read below) is the lack of fast and easy access to adjust exposure.

• Size: The main reason we wanted this camera was so that we could use it as a C (third) camera on our video shoots. Having such a tiny body with the same APS-C 18.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor we have on our EOS 7D (with the latest firmware update) and EOS 60D would allow us to put the camera in tight spaces, and it would make using a handheld rig or a steadycam a much more pleasant experience.

An Overview of What Should and/or Will Be Improved

In all fairness, the camera that we had was a prerelease sample. It was not a production piece, which means that the hardware, as well as the firmware, will be modified and improved.

• Touchscreen: Having a touchscreen is not only great, it makes absolute sense. The more we “flip” and “pinch” our smartphones and tablets, the more second nature these “gestures” become. Have you seen the video of the five-year-old girl who thinks a magazine is a broken iPad?

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Canon EOS M Images.

UPDATED 0828 Canon EOS M – Part II. Hands-on Review

Yes, the answer is a most emphatic YES to everyone who has asked if I plan to purchase the brand-new Canon Mirrorless system. I just placed my order here. You have until October to change your mind. I seriously doubt I’ll change mine.

So, in a nutshell, we have a tiny camera body with a powerful DIGIC 5 image processor, and a very nice APS-C 18.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor, which is the same sensor size one finds in the wonderful EOS 7D and EOS 60D. The touch screen and UI are virtually identical to the brand new Rebel T4i.  Apparently you can purchase the body only, but I have only seen the kit with the EF-M 22mm ƒ2.0 pancake lens. All the expected features like ISO settings from 100 to 12800, with expansion to ISO 25600, standard  aspect ratios (3:2 plus 4:3, 1:1 and 16:9), and  1080p at 24/25/30 fps and 720p 50/60 fps are there, BUT now we have continuous autofocus.

Canon EOS M Movie Resolution

The hybrid (stills and video) AF system uses “phase-difference AF to achieve approximate focus and drive the lens at high speed, then switches to contrast AF for final focusing.” The movie files are recorded in MPEG-4 format, using AVC.H.264 compression and a variable bit rate. Program as well as and manual shooting modes are supported in movie mode.

And the cherry on top? The EOS M will take EF lenses thanks to the adapter shown below.  Enjoy the view.

Canon EOS M Cross Section

Canon EOS M Lens Mount Adapter

Canon EOS M Lens Mount Adapter

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Canon EOS 7D firmware update.

The latest firmware update for the Canon EOS 7D will be released at the end of this month, according to brief press release leak on the Canon Professional Network site. is now available for download here.

Canon addresses a number of issues for professional filmmakers and photographers, including a highly anticipated manual audio controls for video. This is extremely exciting, considering that we have filmed all of our episodes of “Conversations with Friends” with the Canon EOS 7D and have been waiting for quite awhile for these new features.


During EOS Movie shooting users are now able to manually adjust the audio recording to one of 64 levels, whilst the sound volume during playback can be set to one of 11 levels. During movie recording noise from the aperture is reduced, and the camera also has an automatic wind cut filter.

Users can also add the camera’s Full HD (1920x1080p) movie footage with 16-bit digital stereo sound, sampled at broadcast quality 48KHz.

In addition, Canon has included a big update to the EOS 7d firmware with GPS Support:

  • Mounted Receiver – can be attached to the camera’s accessory shoe or clipped to a belt and tethered via a USB cable.
  • Records shooting locations – latitude, longitude and altitude for easy geo-taging and camera direction (fantastic feature for my travels around the world) as an EXIF file of the image.
  • Syncing Camera’s Internal Clock – can now synced through the GPS unit using UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) for accurate time recording or syncing clocks on multiple cameras.
  • GPS Logging and Google Maps Compatibility with Canon’s free Map Utility software can display the photographer’s route on a map.

Some of the other updated features include:

  • Improved RAW Maximum burstMax Burst Rate now from 15 frames to 25 frames.
  • In-Camera RAW Conversion – RAW images can be processed and edited in-camera with dynamic adjustments such as exposure, white balance, picture style, noise reduction and distortion correction. Options can be changed before saving the finished file as a ready-to-print JPEG. Check this article on the benefits of shooting JPGs, even for professionals.
  • Image Rating Capabilities
  • New Auto ISO Maximum Setting – ISO 100-6400
  • JPEG Resizing
  • Quick Control During Playback
  • File Name Setting – First 3 or 4 characters in the file name can be adjusted, depending on the setting
  • Time Zone Setting
  • Quick control screen during playback
  • Faster Scrolling of Magnified Images

You may download the newest firmware updates in early August at no charge from Canon’s Website here.

Does this update fix all the issues you have been experiencing with your 7D, or did Canon left a major one out? Share your thoughts and comments below.


Adobe Lightroom 4.1 is (finally) available.

The Adobe Lightroom 4.1 update brings support for several new cameras including:

  • Canon EOS 1D X
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EOS 60Da
  • Canon PowerShot G1 X
  • Fuji X-Pro1
  • Leaf Credo 80
  • Nikon D4
  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D800E
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5.

Other additional features and enhancements are:

• The ability to process HDR TIFF files. (16, 24 or 32-bit TIFF files)
• Additional Color Fringing corrections to help address chromatic aberration.
• Save photobooks created in the Book Module to JPEG
• Publishing photos to Adobe Revel is now accessible via a Publish plugin
• Corrections for issues introduced in previous versions of Lightroom.

To see all the original features see this article and to understand the new VIDEO features check this one.

How to install the new version? Easy.

1. Open your Lightroom 4 and when the software update dialog pops up click “download.” This will take you to Adobe’s download page.

2. Click on “proceed to download” and “download now.”

3. Save the file to the desktop (so it is easier to find it). The download should take about 3 minutes or less.

4. Double click on the installer, follow the step-by-step instructions.

5. Enjoy.

In two weeks we will be presenting an awesome 2-day Lightroom 4 Workshop at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). We hope to see you there.



H.265: A New Standard for Digital Cinema?

A new video codec is expected to replace H.264 as early as next year. H.264  is one of the most common formats for recording, compressing, and distributing high-definition video, not in small part because it is the codec found on several HDSLR systems such as Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III. Another big advantage is that it is currently supported by for most video sharing websites like YouTube and Vimeo.  Additionally, runs natively in both Lightroom 4 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, which dramatically decreases the time wasted transcoding and rendering files.

But, apparently there is (or technically, will be) a new kid on the block. The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) are teaming up and plan to release H.264’s successor as early as January 2013. The new kid’s name will likely be H.265 or MPEG-H Part 2.

Just how much more efficient will H.265 be? Well, H.265 is expected to provide a significant improvement in data transmission and streaming efficiency compared to H.264. It will have almost twice the amount of compression ratio from for a similar quality level.  This means that I’ll need to buy less memory cards, and less external hard drives. Both will make my accountant really happy. Below is the only video test comparing H.264 and H.265 we were able to find. It was performed on an Android tablet by Qualcomm, a San Diego-based chip-maker that is listed as a member of the international standards group developing H.265.

H.265 will be designed to support all new and current streaming technologies including devices working at 4K and Ultra HDTV (also known as 8K or 4320p) resolutions. Did you know that Ultra HDTV definition contains about 16 times the amount of pixels that are present in a 1080p video stream? That’s kinda insane!  Check out the chart below to see things in perspective.

New h.265 HVEC Standard Resolution

The H.265 codec sounds promising, but (there’s always a but) it will have to fight for widespread implementation with another codec called VP8. This format was purchased by Google two years ago and was released it as a royalty-free alternative under the Creative Commons license. Nvidia (Qualcomm’s main competitor) has built VP8 decoding support into its newer Tegra 3 chips alongside H.264 support, and several companies including Skype have adopted VP8 as their preferred format. Adobe also announced that the Flash Player will support VP8 playback in a future release. Who will win? Let’s wait and see.


Understanding Burst Rates.

Understanding a camera’s burst rate is crucial for DSLR users in certain scenarios. For instance, a high burst rate is helpful for photographers who are shooting fast action, motion, or trying to capture a Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment.”

Example of Canon EOS DSLR in Burst Mode

A “burst rate” is the number of consecutive pictures that a camera can shoot continuously until the “busy” signal turns on. When your buffer memory is full, your camera will slow down (or even stop) shooting until the images transfer to the memory card.

The Canon EOS-1D X has the highest burst rate of any EOS Systems out now.  A high burst rate is dependent on a number of factors including a large buffer, the camera’s “throughput” speed, the camera’s processing power, as well as the file type and size.  To learn more, read this article from Canon’s Digital Learning Center, where we explain burst rates in-depth and compare different high-end systems. We also made this short video to illustrate the article.


Canon’s Light Leak Issue.

A few days ago Canon confirmed the light leak issue in the 5D Mark III: “In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change as a result of the AE sensor’s detection of light from the LCD panel. Canon is now examining the countermeasures and once the countermeasures are decided, we will post the information on our Web site.”

Canon Light Leak issue

This issue is somewhat serious because I doubt it can be fixed via firmware. It is unclear right now if it is affecting the entire production (which would be a major design flaw) or a localized manufacturing problem. Some dealers are reporting that shipments to Canada and the UK have stopped in the past few days, which seems to be either a recall or that Canon is being extra careful.

In reality, the leak will change about 1/3 of a stop from what the camera considers the “proper” exposure. With the high dynamic range that RAW files deliver nowadays I believe the issue is being push a bit too far. Of course I’d be pissed paying $3,500 for a camera with issues, but technically speaking, I would not stop using it if I had it.

UPDATED: Yesterday Canon had this to say:

“Based on the results of extensive testing this change in exposure value will not noticeably affect the captured image. Affected Product Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Cameras whose sixth digit in the serial number is 1 or 2 are affected.
For example,“xxxxx1xxxxxx” or “xxxxx2xxxxxx” ([x] represents any optional number.)”

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NAB 2012 wrap-up.

Blackmagic announced a hard-to-believe camera featuring a 2.5K image sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, built-in SSD recorder, popular open standard uncompressed RAW and compressed file formats, compatibility with quality EF and ZF mount lenses, and LCD touchscreen monitoring.

• Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is out with and enhanced 64-bit playback engine that can handle 5K resolutions, and higher, new trimming options, compatibility with Mac touchpad gestures, a Warp Stabilizer that was previously confined to After Effects, and expanded multicam editing for more than four cameras. Taking a page from its sister app, “the audio oriented Audition, Premiere Pro CS6 offers a redesigned and more functional audio mixer. Adobe also introduced SpeedGrade, a film finishing and color grading app, and Prelude, for ingesting, logging, and transcoding.

• Autodesk announced Smoke 2013 for the Mac, a new version of what the company is now calling video editing software and at users of Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer who want high-end editing and finishing tools in one app. The new price is “only” $3495, down from $14,995 for the 2012 version.

• Panasonic announced a bittersweet firmware update for the AG-AF100 that provides 1080 50p and 60p modes. That’s the sweet part. The bitter? They want users to pay $300 for the upgrade.

Panasonic AF0100

Canon announced the 1D C ($15,000), which has the same chassis and still shooting features of the EOS-1D X ($6,800), and captures 4096 x 2160 8-bit 4:2:2 video to a CF card at 24 fps. Unlike the X, the C swaps a headphone jack for the X’s PC sync.

• The higher-end Canon EOS C500 ($30,000) offers the same ISO range as the C300 (320-20,000) and requires a dedicated external recorder, but captures in two full-RAW flavors: 4096 x 2960 (for motion picture), and 3840 x 2160 (for 4K TV). Both of these modes offer 10-bit 4:4:4 at 60 frames-per-second. There are two additional RAW option, 4096 x 1080 or 3840 x 1080 resolutions, which are also 10-bit 4:4:4, but at 120 fps. The camera also offers



Catching up with the coolest tech news. Summary.


I’ve been on the road for the past 2 weeks, with very limited internet access. Today, I finally had some time to catch up with the latest technology news (1683 articles and 268 emails). These are, in my opinion, the most interesting and relevant announcements:

• Filmmaker Jeff Desom took Alfred Hitchcock’s famous 1954 film “Rear Window” and turned it into a single panoramic time-lapse video.

Two years ago I set up my camera to take a picture every 15 seconds for 36 hour and edited 698 still images into a 29-second video.

• Recently I was interviewed by PDN about the “13 Products you need to add HD Video to your business.” Do you agree or disagree? Did we miss something? We would love to hear your comments below. The article is also available on PDN’s May print issue.

What to buy to shoot video?

• Blurb posted a cool article about how we use the Book Module on Adobe Lightroom 4. If you are interested in exploring this option don’t miss one of our upcoming seminars. Here’s the sample book (about wine!) we created.

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Learning from Kodak’s failures.

graphic design - kodak logo

Kodak, which was founded by George Eastman in 1889, had in 1976 a market share of 90% of film sales and 85% of camera sales in the United States. The company hasn’t made a profit since 2007, and it declared bankruptcy in January 2012.

The letter “K” was Eastman’s favorite letter, and the name “Kodak” followed his three main branding principles: the name should be short, simple enough so as not to be mispronounced, and it could not resemble anything or be associated with anything else.

Now Kodak is completely exiting the consumer photo and camera business, while trying to unload an extremely profitable chunk of its massive patent library with hopes of obtaining a financial boost from any settlement payoffs over patent infringement lawsuits against Apple and Research in Motion. If all of this works out, the company will most likely focus exclusively on digital printing as a business-to-business company, competing directly with Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Lexmark, among others.

Kodak’s story is not unique, and it will be certainly followed by other companies who fail to react and adapt to market changes. Kodak’s failure is really a life lesson: define the essence of who you are and what you do (tell visual stories, for example), and not what you sell (film or 5×7 prints); don’t get too comfortable with what you know and do well; never settle, constantly push your comfort zone, and challenge yourself. Remember to talk to people who disagree with you, and listen to their reasoning. And most important, be open to new experiences and opportunities.

The glass is always half full AND half empty. It’s up to you to decide how to look at it.