Gear, gear and more gear.

Pretty much after every single consulting session, workshop and webinar we offer, a group of people will ask: what do you recommend for _____?
My answer is always the same “it depends.” Are you shooting alone? Only video or stills also? Do you need to move from location to location? For how long? What’s your budget? Do you already have lenses? If so, what kind/brand/mount?

You get the idea. So as a solution I decided to spend several hour compiling all the gear we use very frequently into 3 short lists: a) when shooting alone, b) when changing locations often and c) when spending more time at each location.
I added a few thoughts on each and every item. I truly hope these lists serve as a guide and more importantly, save you time while researching gear, and lots of money wasted on unnecessary toys.

Simply click on the image to access all three gear lists.

Gear Page 850


If I’m missing some essential items or you have further questions don’t hesitate to shoot me a note or send me a tweet. Happy shooting!


Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers. Mini Courses.

Why Filmmaking Essentials?

One of the main chal­lenges pho­tog­ra­phers face when starting to shoot video is to focus too much on hardware and software, and for­get about the most important part: the story. While this informative course includes some tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion, the main goal is to provide an overview of the many aspects of filmmaking, and identify potential business opportunities with motion. Click HERE.

The “Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers” course is based on a popular event we have been presenting for several years, but it has been greatly enhanced with additional visuals and examples. Some of the clients and sponsors for the live event include Adobe, Adorama Pro, B&H Photo, Cinevate, Future Media Concepts, Gulf Photo Plus (Dubai), HOW Design Conference, International Center of Photography,, McCann Erickson, NAB Show, Panasonic, Photo District News, PhotoPlus Expo, Photokina (Germany), Savannah College of Art and Design, School of Visual Arts, Sony, and X-Rite, among others.

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Click on the Image to access FREE Tutorials.

Why these Mini Courses?

Sometimes we don’t have time for three-hour lessons; rather, we just need a quick and concrete answer for a very specific question. Because of that, in addition to longer courses we’ve released these mini courses, averaging three-to-five minutes each. Click HERE.


Click on the Image to access FREE Tutorials.


Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers. Online Intro Course.

In 2011 I was invited along with National Geographic photographer David McLain to present a series of two-day workshops nationwide. The events were produced by Photo Quest Adventures and sponsored by PDN, Sony, Adobe, and other leading brands. The main goal was to help photographers transition into video by simplifying key concepts and providing shortcuts, resources, and advice on what gear to buy.

I have been honored to teach “Filmmaking Essentials” at all major industry events, from PhotoPlus to Imaging USA to NAB, from South America all the way to Dubai, Hong Kong, and Thailand, and at home in New York.

Few people know that I never use the same presentation twice. Each and every time I add things I’ve learned, plug in valuable feedback from attendees, students, and this website’s readers, and I strive to improve the educational experience with better examples and shorter explanations.

When looking at the advancements in digital technology since those first workshops it seems like decades have gone by. Today, we have access to a variety of brands and models of very compact cameras that can see in the dark, shoot 4K or higher resolutions, offer incredible frame rates, and even offer GPS and WiFi features so they can be easily controlled by smartphones and tablets. The future is definitively here.

But something quite odd has been happening to my personal and professional focus. The more gadgets we have at our disposal, the more I’ve shifted towards the craft of storytelling. Instead of getting more stuff, I’ve been increasingly interested in constructing and enhancing my stories to better engage the viewer. Naturally, this approach has been reflected in the educational content I produce.

Now, and for the first time, I’m proud to offer an awesome version of my one-hour presentation online. Click HERE

The “Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers” course is based on a popular event we have been presenting for several years, but it has been greatly enhanced with additional visuals and examples. Some of the clients and sponsors for the live event include Adobe, Adorama Pro, B&H Photo, Cinevate, Future Media Concepts, Gulf Photo Plus (Dubai), HOW Design Conference, International Center of Photography,, McCann Erickson, NAB Show, Panasonic, Photo District News, PhotoPlus Expo, Photokina (Germany), Savannah College of Art and Design, School of Visual Arts, Sony, and X-Rite, among others.

Who is this course for?

Well, as the name implies, this version of “Filmmaking Essentials” covers concepts already mastered by advanced filmmakers or by experienced photographers who are very technically savvy. But I’m confident everyone else could learn a thing or two.

As often as possible we’ll be adding new courses, covering topics like pre-production and post, tips for one-man crews (like journalists) working stills and video assignments, advice on getting started with Color Grading, and many other fascinating subjects. As mentioned above, most of these courses are not and probably won’t be hardware or software driven, but would focus predominantly on answering the why’s, not the how’s, of the fascinating craft of filmmaking.

Also as a first, we are offering several mini-courses (averaging three minutes each and many of them for free) for those who need concrete answers to very specific questions.

So, if this is the kind of content and format you desire, vote with you wallet and let your voice be heard.

Thank you for your continued support. Click HERE to start learning. 

Eduardo Angel Visuals2

Click on the Image to access FREE tutorials.


The Pros and Cons of external recorders: Atomos Shogun.

I’ve been using an Atomos Shogun for a while, and while I had very clear reasons to pick up this device, I’ve found many other very valuable and attractive features. Here I share the most interesting ones in no particular order.

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The Atomos Shogun with a Panasonic GH4


The Atomos Shogun

1. Longer recording times

The first and most obvious reason was to record 4K and HD for extended periods of time. The Shogun utilizes 4K HDMI and 12G-SDI inputs to record clean output signals at resolutions up to UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30p, as well as Full HD (1920 x 1080) video up to 120 fps with some cameras.

We’ve been shooting a lot of corporate interviews and live events lately and swapping 32GB or 64GB is cumbersome and very inefficient. The additional steps in post to log each and backup each card are fairly simple but time consuming.  Yes, SD cards are cheap, with a 64GB costing about $30 (AmazonB&H) and a 128GB going for about $60 (Amazon • B&H), I was expecting Solid State drives to cost an arm and leg.  Wrong!

You can now get an “Atomos approved” (the complete list is available here) SanDisk Pro 240GB drive for only $120 (AmazonB&H) and a SanDisk Pro 480GB drive for only $200 or less! (AmazonB&H). Both drives come with an impressive 10-year warranty.  And here’s a special Shogun kit that includes TWO 240GB Solid State Drive for FREE. A no brainer if you ask me.

It is worth mentioning that shooting 1080 in ProRes 422 on a 240GB drive (with the Panasonic Lumix GH4 on AmazonB&H)gives you almost 3.5 hours of recording time. Using the same drive but recording in ProRes LT gives you almost five hours. The Shogun also allows other systems like Sony’s a7S (AmazonB&H)that are not capable of recording 4K internally to send the 4K signal to the external device via HDMI.

2. Adding XLR ports to your cameras. No need to sync audio in post. 

The first “ah-ha!”moment was recording audio directly into the Shogun via the provided XLR breakout cable (with two 3-pin male and two 3-pin female XLR). The Shogun provides Phantom Power which is essential when using our trusted Rode Lavalier mics (Amazon • B&H).

xlr cable for atomos

The Shogun can record 8 channels of digital audio embedded in the HDMI signal and 12 channels of digital audio embedded in the SDI signal. There’s also a 3.5mm output that doubles as a Line Out or Headphone jack. The headphone’s volume can be controlled separately within the menu. Pretty clever!

We have used the Shogun mostly with Panasonic GH4s (here’s a recent job shooting Anamorphic and V-Log) effectively adding XLR ports to our tiny cameras. This is important: we noticed a delay or off-sync between the footage and the audio being recorded into the Shogun. After extensive tests we also noticed that the audio delay was different for Cam A and Cam B even though both were the same brand and model (Panasonic GH4s) and running the same exact firmware version.

Thankfully Atomos includes a very easy fix; simply go to the Audio menu and from there navigate to the “Audio Options”where you will see an “Audio Delay”preset. We finally settled on 4 frames for the Audio delay.

For our one-person interviews and the most recent courses we used one shotgun boom mic on XLR A and a wireless lavalier set on XLR B. This is what the correct settings on the Shogun should look like:

3. Standardizing editing codec and no need to transcode

On most projects we try to use the same camera model. So if we need three cameras we would use three Panasonic GH4, or three Canon C100 Mark II (AmazonB&H) or three Sony FS7 (AmazonB&H). We try to keep it simple.

But on a recent shoot in Portland we were shooting with two C300s, had a “behind the scenes”crew using two GH4s, had one Sony A7s doing time-lapses and used one Sony FS7 for some slow-motion sequences. Normally this would be a post-production nightmare for our editor and/or a huge time waste for us having to transcode all that footage every night on-location. We simply attached a Shogun to each camera, shot ProRes 422 with clean audio and the only post step required on our end was backing up the Solid State Drives into our TWO G-Tech drives (AmazonB&H). Why two? One is set as the Master and at least one as our Backup. When possible, we bring additional Solid State Drives with us so during the shoot we can leave the footage on them as a third backup.  

The only disadvantage I see from this approach is the huge file size of the ProRes compared to the native on-camera files, but when taking into account the time wasted transcoding and syncing audio the investment for bigger and faster hard drives more than pays off.

A handy tip: if you will be renting SSDs often, I suggest getting a battery-operated screwdriver to make the process of getting the drives into the Master Caddy II much faster and easier. The best bargain can be found at Ikea.

5. Camera Settings

Here’s something VERY important to consider when using the Shogun with the Panasonic GH4.

1. In the camera’s “Motion Picture”Menu, navigate to the fourth screen (as of this writing). Shogun GH4 Menu001

2. Go to “HDMI Rec Output.”If for any reason you are planning to record in 4:2:2 8 bit, make sure to go to “Info Display”and turn it off. Failing to do this will record the camera’s menu into the footage. Shogun GH4 Menu002

3. If instead you are planning to record in 4:2:2 10 bit, go to “HDMI Rec Output” then “Bit Mode,”select “4:2:2 10 bit”and then “yes.” Shogun GH4 Menu003 Shogun GH4 Menu004

6. Focus, Exposure and LUTs

We purchased the Shogun thinking that it would be much easier to monitor focus on a 7”screen. It does work wonderfully in that regard, but we got a lot more than we bargained for. The touchscreen is very minimalist and easy to navigate, the color accuracy is extremely good. Actually, the monitor’s color standard is REC 709 and it can be calibrated with an optional Atomos Spyder.

The additional benefit of having more reliable and customizable Focus Peaking is very handy. There are three flavors for peaking: Color, Monochrome, and Outline. In terms of monitoring exposure, especially when shooting outdoors, False Color is key. This feature assigns different colors to areas of different exposure in the image: overexposed areas appear as red, and underexposed appear as blue.

The ability to load LUTs and show the client what the footage will look like after grading is priceless. It is important to know that the LUTs loaded into the Shogun simply previews what the footage would look like, but the media being recorded is not affected. Here’s a short film featuring Panasonic’s recently released Anamorphic mode, and the yet to be released V-Log L gamma file color space. Shogun Image 006 Shogun Image 007

7. Batteries

In a nutshell, get plenty of juice. Perhaps the biggest complaint from many users has been regarding battery life.The battery provided with the kit only lasts about 45 minutes, making it mandatory to buy additional ones. We went the “cheapo”route and purchased a too-good-to-be true Kastar kit on Amazon that included two batteries, a charger and a car charger for only $34. Unfortunately this time the “you get what you pay for”maxim held true. The batteries last about the same as an original Sony NP-F970, but the Kastar charger is completely worthless. An original Sony battery costs around $120.

We got stuck on location with a ton of dead batteries and a bad charger. Not a pretty day. The lesson: buy at least one good charger and always bring the Shogun’s AC charger with you (it is included in the kit).

8. Conclusions:

Clearly, the Shogun is an outstanding (but not perfect) product. While it is very light (a mere 16 ounces without batteries), which is great when used on a monopod or gimbal, it is also very fragile. Our monitor broke during our second on-location shoot and we always take great care of our gear. We have been using Varavon cages for the GH4s (I’ll share my impression soon) and they have proven outstanding, and just got a new cage for the Shogun.

If you are planning to use the Shogun in broad-daylight I’d also STRONGLY recommend getting a sun hood, which was NOT included with our original kit.

There are at least a couple of additional features we haven’t tried yet: the optional Wi-Fi Remote Control to start/stop recording from an iOS or Android device, and flagging the footage on the Shogun as favorite/reject. Apparently this gets exported within the footage’s metadata and will work with Final Cut X and Adobe Premiere Pro CC. I can definitely see this as a time-saving feature, especially while working on interviews and marking sections with the best takes or sound bites.

For a couple grand, I believe one gets a LOT of value out of this device, especially if you can get the current deal that includes two FREE Solid State Drives.

Comments? Questions? Let’s chat on Twitter.


Video for Photographers: Filmmaking Essentials.

As we have covered in numerous articles before, still photographers can reasonably quickly learn the most essential filmmaking techniques and greatly expand their creative options and the range of professional services.

In our latest course we help bridge the gap between still pictures and moving images, by explaining and showing, what it takes to transition from one craft to the other. We tried our best to include the most essential video productions techniques; from framing and lighting for continuous shots to directing the viewer’s attention and incorporating camera movement and sound, and even offering a brief overview of our post-production workflows.

This course, our fifth on is the “theory course.” Our goal is to explain why certain techniques, steps or tools are important. Other topics include:

• Understanding the 5 Cs of cinematography
• Choosing the right camera
• Framing for continuous shots
• Lighting techniques
• Using camera movement to enhance your story
• Leading the senses with sound
• Working with different microphones
• Editing and post-production considerations

A follow-up “practical” course (available in a few weeks) will cover hands-on composition, camera movement, sound and lighting techniques, among other useful tips like packing and working with very small budgets and crews.



Hybrid Assignments Equipment List: The Essential 41 Items

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. Here’s an attempt to create a hybrid MMEL for three different crew sizes.

Let’s start with the definition of “Hybrid.” What I normally mean by this term are productions or assignments where one or two people are required to be the photographer, filmmaker, sound recordist, producer, and even editor. And, these gigs are becoming increasingly popular. It sounds crazy and these sorts of shoots can be. One of the keys to making them run smoothly relies on great planning and working with less equipment that gives you more control in less time. It also helps to team up with other people who can complement our weaknesses.

Short and one-man crew hybrid projects

One substantial challenge for photographers shooting video is how to travel as light as possible while carrying a full production and post-production setup that is literally on their back. Here’s a picture of my backpack, which contains every single piece of gear that I’d need for from one up to three days, except some clothes and toiletries that will go on a small backpack.


Bag for a 1-day or 2-day gig by myself.

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1. 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 Delta, American, and United Media Baggage policies.

2. Two external portable hard drives. I suggest this one, or this one.

3. Audio field recorder like the H4n (or a more current model and smaller version like Tascam’s DR-05) to capture interviews and my own production notes.

4. Camera A for video, in this case a Panasonic GH4 (Amazon and B&H) with a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H). I’m in love with this lens. So small, yet so sharp!

5. Camera B for video, another Panasonic GH4 with a Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 lens (Amazon and B&H)

7. Camera for stills and location scouting; I always carry my Fuji X100s (Amazon and B&H)

8. A variety of Tenba Tool Boxes (Amazon and B&H) to pack all the batteries, chargers, cables, adapters and other small accessories.

9. A small tripod (Amazon and B&H)that sometimes serves as an improvised handheld rig. A car mount works great for time lapse and even to hold the H4n or small lights during interviews.

10. At least one Rode VideoMic (Amazon and B&H) to capture some ambient sounds or  interviews.

11. A 15″ MacBook Pro (Amazon and B&H) with Adobe Creative Suite (Amazon and B&H) and Shot Put Pro.

12. One of my favorite photo bags ever, the new Tenba Shootout (Amazon and B&H)

13. In terms of lighting, for these assignments I try to use mostly available/natural light, but I bring a 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector.

And here’s my typical outfit and setup for some of these solo hybrid gigs.


My outfit for hybrid shoots.

1. 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.

2. Benro S4 Video Monopod. Small, relatively light, and sturdy. Works great.

3. Panasonic GH4 with a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens.

4. Rode VideoMic Shotgun

5. I always bring gloves unless I’m going to the Caribbean in July. Montreal was pretty cold and wet!

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Camera for stills: The Fuji X100s 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.

9. A hat—another essential item.

Longer projects and bigger crews

For a longer hybrid assignment where I’ll have one or two more people (gaffer/grip and a second camera/DIT) I’d bring a few more items. In this case we wouldn’t  need to carry everything on our backs, but we definitely need to pack as little and light as possible.

We would bring a Tenba Transport Rolling Tripod/Grip case, to pack one or two Benro S8 tripods, a Benro S4 monopod, a very compact and portable slider that would take the same fluid head from the S8 tripod and/or the S4 monopod. Some grip accessories that I consider essential are at least a couple of adjustable Gaffer Clamps, and a couple Collapsible Reflector Holders which also double as boom stand. These two light and inexpensive items effectively function as one, and sometimes two, additional crew member. A no brainer if you ask me.

On the camera package I’d include an external monitor/recorder like the Atomos Shogun with plenty of Solid State Drives (you can also rent them for only $28 per day!), and all the charges and cables you can imagine, and a power strip (get one with a long cord) that becomes essential when downloading all the footage every night AND charging all the batteries for the next day. I use one Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag for the most expensive, essential and fragile items, namely cameras, lenses, Shogun and hard drives. The brilliant design of the Roadie Hybrid allowa me to treat is as a standard rolling carry-on, but I can also use it as a (very heavy) backpack on uneven terrain, subway stations, etc.

Here’s a view of my carry-on bag.


My carry-on bag for longer jobs and/or when I have a bigger crew.

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1. Tenba Roadie Hybrid bag

2. Media pouch with ten 64GB SD cards

3 and 4. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and Sigma 24-105mm f4. These are the same lenses I used last year on another one-man Hybrid project in Istanbul and Europe

5. SanDisk Solid State Drives for the Atomos Shogun

6. Two external portable hard drives

7. Sekonic Color Meter

8. Sekonic Light Meter

9. Rode VideoMic

10. H4n Audio field recorder.

11 and 12. A couple of Panasonic GH4 bodies with Varavon cages, one with a Metabones Speedbooster (for the Sigma and Canon lenses) or a couple of Canon C100 Mark II or C300 Mark II bodies if the job doesn’t require stills.

13. USB 3 reader for Solid State Drives (included with the Atomos Shogun kit)

14. 6TB G-Tech External Hard Drive (compact, super fast and awesome)

15. Atomos Shogun

16. My sharpest and heaviest lens, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 [

17. Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm 2.8 lens and Panasonic GH4 with a Lumix 35-100mm 2.8 lens. These lenses are the equivalent to a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 70-200mm 2.8 but super light and small

18. In terms of lighting I usually bring two or three 1×1 Bi-Color LED Panels with batteries and two Chimera 1×1 Lightbanks with grids. That pretty much covers all me needs. Another option is a Fiilex kit, which I like a lot, but find it way too expensive. I’ll need light stands and cables.

19. Depending on the job we would add another camera movement tool, like a Glidecam or a Ronin or even jibs and dollies. It depends on too many different factors.


All the bags packed. The LED lights are in the back seat.

Well, there you have my little setups for hybrid assignments. Obviously, there isn’t a perfect setup of gear list, just like there isn’t a perfect camera, but these items have been working great for us.  I hope this article benefits some of you involved or interested 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.

If you are interested in some packing and traveling tips, especially when shooting overseas, or what to do the day before your video/shoot shoot, we have written about that too. Did I forget anything? Let me know here!

And of course, there are those crazy long, crazy hectic, crazy complex and crazy awesome projects that require everything and the kitchen sink.

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Shooting 4K Anamorphic and V-Log with Panasonic’s GH4. Ten Valuable Lessons.

UPDATED: I just added two video tutorials: one comparing “Panasonic’s V-Log L vs. Cinelike D” and the second one “Conforming 4K Anamorphic Footage in Adobe Premiere Pro.” 

Anamorphic is enjoying a huge comeback. The reasons to go this route vary from project to project, but generally it’s the desire to achieve a different look and use as many pixels from the sensors as possible. Panasonic’s Firmware Update v.2.2 (available here) enables an Anamorphic (4:3) Mode capable of recording video in 3328 x 2496 pixel (equivalent to approx. 8.3-megapixel) resolution at a frame rate of either 23.98, 24, 25 or 29.97 fps. With an anamorphic lens such as 2x Lomo lenses (see below) we now can capture and un-squeeze a 3356×2496 image in post-production. To make things even better, 4:2:2 / 10 bit HDMI output is also available.

Just like in 2013 when we had the opportunity to field test a GH3 in the Middle East and last year when we shot with one of only three prototypes world-wide of the GH4,  for the past couple of weeks I had the privilege to work with director Davis Northern, DP and tech wizard Sean Davis and many other talented people on one of the very first GH4 Anamorphic AND V-Log L projects, shot exclusively for Panasonic North America and produced by The Digital Distillery.

Panasonic 4K Anamorphic and V-Log L – Official Video from The Digital Distillery Inc. on Vimeo.

The project was exciting and very challenging, as working with hardware prototypes and beta versions of software or firmware always is. We had a lot of moving pieces and an extremely tight deadline, but I’m proud of the final results and very satisfied with the lessons learned. This article covers some of the most significant ones, and it is written from my very own personal perspective. As always, I try my best to be as objective and brand agnostic as possible. The lessons aren’t in any specific order and some links will take you to articles with additional information . Please consider using our links to help support our very time consuming articles and tutorials.

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Shooting Anamorphic

It can definitely be achieved by a very small crew on a small budget. We mostly shot with a crew of three, with very limited gear and time. I’ve always assumed you needed a 2-ton truck and a crew of 30 to pull this off. Clearly, this was not the case for us.

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2. Lenses

In terms of lenses, we opted to keep a “low profile” while keeping our options open. In other words, we rented a set of vintage anamorphic Lomo lenses (35, 50, and 75mm) and tested an SLR Magic as well as a Letus AnamorphX 1.8X Pro Adapter and a  Veydra Mini Prime

A. Lomo:

The lenses are huge and heavy. Lomo 50mm + 75mm with case = 25lbs. Lomo 35mm with case = 35lbs with each case weighting about 30lbs. Not ideal for the “guerilla” approach we needed for this project. They definitely have a unique look, but are very hard to focus, especially when using a very flat profile. We rented the set for $500/day or about $1,700 for a week including tax. Not cheap by any means but definitely worth the investment in terms of time and quality.


If I were to shoot this project again (or on upcoming anamorphic projects) I probably would test the Cooke Anamorphic/i Lenses (25, 32, 40, 50, 75, 100, and 135mm with a 2x squeeze). Unfortunately these lenses cost about $30,000 each, and the rental rate is about $500 per lens, per day.


B. SLR Magic:

We had access to a very nice selection of Panasonic glass that we wanted to use with an SLR Magic adapter. The first challenge was that the front diameter on all the lenses has to be below 62mm in order to use the step down rings. The second limitation was (for the Panasonic lenses) that anything wider than 28mm would vignette. We could have used the Panasonic 12-35mm lens, at 28mm or longer (kind of pointless), but for some odd reason with the SLR Magic adapter it vignetted all the way even at 35mm. The Panasonic 35-100mm didn’t vignette at 35mm. Go figure. The next usable lens on our Panasonic arsenal was the beautiful 42.5mm Noticron f/1.2, but we needed a step DOWN ring (from 67mm to 62mm) that wasn’t included with the kit. The last option was the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 lens, which worked well but focusing was a MAJOR issue (not Panasonic’s fault). I found the SLR Magic system very finicky and unreliable and unfortunately I can’t recommend using it.


C. Letus Anamorphx:

The Letus Adapter worked much better than SLR Magic but it was also cumbersome. A matte box is pretty much required and there was an issue with one of our widest lenses. The lesson here is, if you are shooting anamorphic, use the real thing.


3. Storage

There’s some heavy math involved when shooting Anamorphic. An anamorphic lens produces roughly a 2X horizontal squeeze of the image onto film. Traditional anamorphic lenses were designed to work on a 4:3 standard. The anamorphic footage captured with the GH4 on the Atomos Shogun is 3840×2160, so not technically 4K but pretty close. Shooting internally (to an SD card) the footage is 3328×2496, so greater vertical resolution than the 4K standard, but not full 4K horizontal resolution. To keep things in perspective, the 4K footage out of the GH4 4096×2160.

As you would expect, the files are huge. Shooting ProRes 422 you need about 4GB per minute of footage. Two cameras: 8GB, after only one backup you are at 16GB per minute. So somewhere around 20GB per minute is a pretty safe storage estimate for a two-camera setup. As always, we trusted all our very valuable assets to G-Tech Hard Drives.

Regarding Solid State Drives, Atomos has a great chart with all the supported drives for the Shogun and other devices. Make sure you triple check the chart before investing in one.

One SECOND of footage takes about 50MB so even if you are shooting into seemingly endless Solid State Drives, being smart about when to start rolling and when to stop can save a lot of storage.



As we were shooting, Atomos was literally finishing writing the Shogun’s firmware update (available in May or June as a free download) will enable a number of awesome features:

  • Anamorphic de-squeeze for Panasonic GH4 and standard lenses
  • RAW recording to ProRes, DNxHR and Cinema DNG for compatible RAW formats
  • Expanded RAW compatibility to include Sony FS series, Canon, Arri and AJA
  • 3D LUTs on HDMI/SDI output
  • Cinema 4K DCI support
  • Uncompressed V210 support
  • Genlock

We had to use a Small HD Pro7 (to de-squeeze) and the Shogun (to record in 4K). The setup seems pretty obvious after a lot of trials but it wasn’t at first. Here’s the executive summary that will hopefully save you some time and stress:

1. Micro HDMI to Standard HDMI cable from the GH4’s HDMI OUT to the Atomos Shogun HDMI IN
2. Standard HDMI to Standard HDMI cable from the Atomos Shogun HDMI OUT to the Small HD HDMI IN
3. In the Shogun, the 4K downconvert option should be OFF while connecting the Small HD and turned ON when everything is properly connected.
Our Small HD had a nasty tendency to constantly lose signal for no apparent reason, so step #3 had to be repeated many times throughout each shoot.

EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_005 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_006EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_008

5. Premiere Pro CC 2014 Workflow

To be totally honest, I was shocked by how easy it was to conform the footage in post. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Import the footage the way you normally do.
2. Select the anamorphic clips.
3. Go to clip > Modify > Interpret Footage
4. Under “Pixel Aspect Ratio” select “Conform To” and “Anamorphic 2:1 (2.0).
5. Create a “new sequence from clip” and start cutting.
6. Done and done. Wow!

02_EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_unsqueezed_Premiere01 03_EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_unsqueezed_Premiere02 04_EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_unsqueezed_Premiere03 06_EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_ungraded 07_EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_ungraded&graded

Here are some screen grabs from the camera’s LCD:

EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_029 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_031 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_032 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_035 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_036

6. Focus

Focus is super, extra, hyper critical, especially when shooting with a very flat profile like the one we used. Unfortunately we couldn’t trust the SmallHD and had to rely 100% on the Shogun at a 1:2 zoom.

EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_011 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_019

7. Accessories

• A sun hood for your external monitor is absolutely essential (if given the option get the black version).
• Obviously you will need lens adapters if you are planning to use the SLR Magic or Letus AnamorphX options.
• Make sure you get plenty of batteries, The small battery that comes with the Shogun lasts about 30 min only and we got about one hour of recording time with TWO Canon batteries on the Small HD. Instead of buying tons of batteries I’m a big fan of renting them (more here). The same goes for additional Solid State Drives.


8. Bonus lessons:

• Shooting anamorphic takes a lot practice and fine-tuning. I’d recommend scheduling at least a full day to test all the gear before a shoot.
• If we keep a small footprint and move fast, we can get a lot done.
• The “shoot without lens” on the GH4 must be turned on in order to work with the Anamorphic lenses.

And… are two more videos (not anamorphic) shot with the Panasonic GH4. Check them out and let me know if you have any questions or comments via Twitter (@EA_Photo)


Upgrading from HD to 4K. Worth it?

There are currently 2.7 billion active smartphones in the world. An estimated 800 million were added this year alone. By 2020, Ericsson predicts there will be at least 6.1 billion smartphone subscriptions globally. What’s the big deal? Well, this means 38% of the world’s population has the ability to shoot digital video and stills.

That is not very good news for us as content providers.

The way I see it is that we need to diversify our professional skills, learn as much as we can, learn how to edit, how to grade, how to record better sound, and how to tell more engaging stories. In an ever-changing marketplace, the more you know the safer you are.

Smartphones aren’t the only problem though. The average price of professional editing software went down from $1,300 to $299 in the past 10 years, and this is an average that includes high-end apps like Avid ($1,300) and excellent software applications like Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve, which “Lite” version is completely free.

The cost of a cinema-quality camera tumbled from $200,000 in 2001 to $1,000 today.
Photography and film students with current DSLRs have way more resolution and features than any $200,000 camera from 10 years ago. This is incredible!

Before I started shooting 4K I didn’t really know what all the fuss was about. Then I put this chart together. For some of you this might be pretty obvious, but it can’t hurt to check it out.


Is upgrading from full HD to 4K worth it? You would think this would be one of the main questions I encounter, but last year at NAB I was absolutely shocked to find out that many companies, mostly broadcast stations, are still shooting SD and that they are now considering making the jump straight into 4K. That’s a pretty big jump, but for some of them it can make a lot of sense.

Should you do it? It depends. Think 35mm digital cameras vs. medium format digital backs. Phase One vs. Canon or Hasselblad vs. Nikon. Most advantages and disadvantages regarding sensor sizes, file sizes, shooting speeds, portability, and especially storage and post-production challenges apply. Except for price. For $2,500 we can now capture 4K RAW or almost literally in the dark. For $1,300 we can record HD slow-mo or 4K internally. And for $500 we can shoot 4K anywhere.

These systems are so inexpensive that they sometimes become a double-edged sword. Their sizes and prices transform them into accessible toys. And that’s where the problems start. Higher resolution often demands new workflow requirements. In RAW form, a 2.5-hour movie shot in 4K at 24fps contains 216,000 frames. The resulting file is approximately 5.6 terabytes of data. That’s ONE camera, BEFORE back ups. But who really shoots that way? Well, David Fincher shot 500 hours of 6K RAW with multiple RED Dragon cameras for his latest movie “Gone Girl.” The end result was 315 terabytes of footage. Crazy? It depends, for normal people with normal budgets, yes. But Fincher was dealing with a time crunch and had to release many actors as fast as possible, so they shot many scenes in loose medium shots and zoomed in and reframed them in post when needed.


I don’t believe 4K UHD is another fancy trend or marketing gimmick to make us spend our hard earned dollars on something that will become obsolete before the year’s end (3D anyone?). I truly see 4K UHD as a natural transition, or evolutionary step, in screen resolution. In 2015 I expect to see many more new models of 4K UHD TV sets than new models of 1080p HD TVs.

This doesn’t mean everything is safe and sound and all the potential issues have been ironed out. For example, a recurrent question I get at all my presentations is “what’s the best way to distribute 4K?” and the answer is far from perfect, as we currently have very limited options.

Let’s take Blu-Ray for example. A Blu-Ray disc can fit 25 GB per layer. A 2K film takes 50 GB, so that technology is currently maxed out. The good news is that as of last September, the Blu-Ray Association announced it would support 4K video at 60 fps, High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), and 10-bit color depth. According to this association, the new generation of 4K Blu-Ray disks will have a data rate of at least 50 Mbit/s and may include support for 66/100 GB discs. Awesome!

4K UHD Blu-ray players are being developed in conjunction with the UHD alliance, comprising manufacturers such as Samsung and Panasonic, as well as movie-industry players such as Technicolor, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers. The alliance is not only responsible for establishing standards with regards to specs like 10-bit color and High Dynamic Range (HDR), but also for pushing content creation forward and managing distribution.

The huge appeal of HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) is that it essentially doubles the data compression ratio while keeping the same level of video quality and it can support 8K UHD with resolutions up to 8192×4320. I want to think that 8K is extremely far off in the future, and that it will be a very long time before we need such resolutions. But, I (sadly) still remember when a 100MB zip drive seemed impossibly huge and we debated if putting all your assets on a 1GB Microdrive was practical or even irresponsible.

As we all know, both the iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus support HEVC/H.265 for FaceTime. Recently, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 will support HEVC out of the box, and DivX developers announced that DivX265 version 1.4.21 has added support for the Main 10 profile of HEVC and the Rec. 2020 color space. Online streaming might also seem like a great solution, but not yet. Netflix recommends a minimum download speed of 5MB for 720p, 7MB for a 1080p and 12MB for 3D movies and a whooping 25MB for 4K.

What’s wrong with this picture? I have a dedicated “business” internet plan. The fastest, and obviously most expensive plan I can get in my area. My download speed is less than 17 MBps, not nearly enough for Ultra HD quality, so broadband speeds will need to increase and prices will have to come down if the interested parties really want 4K to be widely accepted by movie buffs, sports fans, and especially gamers.


A nice advantage of 4K UHD TV sets is that they are backwards compatible, which means that they will work fine with your existing DVD and Blu-Ray players, as well as satellite and cable boxes. They can also “upscale” HD content and display it as best as possible. This past summer some of the FIFA World Cup games were broadcast in 4K. I watched a couple and it was a surreal experience. From certain angles, like shots from the sidelines, it felt almost like physically being in the stadium. The most popular VOD providers like Netflix and Amazon, major cable companies like Comcast and DirectTV, Hollywood studios, YouTube, and even local TV news station are starting to deliver 4K content, so hopefully other services will follow suit. What’s next? Streaming 4K media from a smartphone to an HDTV.

We increasingly have access to very powerful and generally cheaper tools. But tools are just that. When to choose one over another and, most importantly, why it should be chosen are the real questions. Here’s something interesting; Ophthalmologists generally agree that the higher the resolution of your monitor, the better it is for your eyes. Why? Because (according to them) the text looks sharper, and at a certain point, the pixels are so small your brain can’t tell it’s not looking at real stuff. Exciting or sad. Up to you.


Cool Links on 4K:

4K Camera Workflows- Raw, Video, Proxy

4K and Beyond

Nearly 50% of Video Professionals in UK Never Saw 4K

Netflix to Begin Charging More for 4K Streaming

How 4K Benefits Videographers and Photographers

What 4K means for post production

What Is 4K Video? A Guide to the Rising Industry Standard

The Pros and Cons of Shooting News Footage in 4K

4K Monitors Under $850

The Wall Street Journal goes 4K video with the GH4

4k RAW on Blackmagic URSA

The Pros and Cons of Shooting News Footage in 4K

4K GoPro HERO4

BBC Tests Shooting at 600fps in 4K


The eternal quest for “the best” digital camera.

I often receive emails asking for advice about “the best lens” or “the best camera” or even “the best laptop.” I believe it is simply impossible to determine a “best” of anything as there are too many random factors such as experience, budget, expected lifetime of the product, intended use, availability of accessories (like lenses or batteries), and even tech support in certain areas. That’s not even considering more subjective factors like personal preference, sense of loyalty to certain brands (or dislike for others), and even the size or weight of such tools. Interestingly, we are currently experiencing one of those “what’s the best” dilemmas ourselves, and not a minor one by any means; we are reconsidering our standard camera package for 2015–16.

Renting vs. Owning:

For many reasons, I believe renting is one of the best options for most people. When all you have is a hammer, the solution to every problem requires a hammer. That’s a very limiting factor to your creativity and a disservice to clients. Sometimes you can get the job done with a Swiss Army Knife like MacGyver, sometimes you need a nice toolbox, and sometimes the best approach is to have a professional plumber do the job.

Another huge reason to rent is to keep overhead as low as possible. Unless you are shooting several times a week with the same system, having something that is guaranteed to quickly decrease in value simply collecting dust in a drawer isn’t the best financial move. Unfortunately, renting is not an easy or affordable option in many small cities.


In terms of lenses I own a nice selection (from 8mm all the way to 200mm) of mostly Canon L glass, some Sigma ART lenses (with Canon mounts), as well as a couple of Panasonic Lumix lenses. I also have one Metabones Speedbooster adapter (Canon EOS to MFT).


We own a set of LED lights and basic accessories that I use frequently and will last a long time like monopods, tripods and a few camera movement tools. I also own a complete audio kit simply because we use it quite often. Audio tools tend to be fragile, and we have a very specific preference for brands and settings. Ultimately, because sound is such an important element of any video project, completely trusting it gives me an additional peace of mind. But I digress. The point of this article is not audio equipment, but cameras.


We own a Panasonic Lumix GH4 bodies and still have a couple of GH3 bodies. They have served me extremely well on hybrid assignments. I am very happy with the quality of the footage and always having the option to shoot 4K, HD, built-in slow-motion, and time lapses with the same camera and media. For video-only productions we usually rent Canon C100 Mark II or C300 Mark II bodies, which I also like very much.

The Challenge:

Several upcoming projects will require a more “complete” camera package, and we seem to have enough projects in the pipeline that it might make sense to own instead of rent, not only financially, but to save time picking up/returning and to be certain that the tool we plan on having in pre-production is the same tool we use on location weeks or months later. So, what’s the best cinema camera (for us) right now?

Technically speaking, we will need a main camera (Cam A) that ideally shoots 4K and has all the standard bells and whistles like XLR ports, HDMI, a good viewfinder, variable frame rates, peaking, ND filters, etc. Great low-light performance is key. For several projects we’ll need to shoot high-quality behind the scenes footage, so we will need a second camera (Cam B) that is either the same or very close to the quality of Cam A.

To make the riddle even more interesting, some of these projects will be “hybrid” projects that require on-location, mostly unplanned, and available light shooting with a very small crew (two or three people max). So the gear package needs to deliver great stills, great footage, and be easily operated by one person, which means light and compact.

Possible Solutions:

I will only discuss the main components of the package, so additional batteries, cables, memory cards won’t be included in the total price.

1. Canon
The first and obvious move would be to buy a couple of Canon C100 Mark II bodies. We already know and like the system, and own the lenses, so there’s no need for adapters. Unfortunately the C100 Mark II does not offer 4K, it is good but not great in low-light performance, it is small but not super light or compact, and it does not shoot stills, so I’ll need to get a Canon EOS 5D Mark III or at the very least a Canon EOS 70D. I’ll get the cinema features I need on only one of the systems.

1x Canon C100 Mark II = $5,500 (Amazon • Adorama)
1x Canon EOS 70D = $900 (AmazonAdorama)
Total = $6,400


2. Sony
The second option would be to get a Sony FS7 AND a Sony a7S as a B Cam (and also for stills and BTS). The first one seems to be the new cool kid on the block, with raving fans and over the top reviews. It seems portable enough for a cinema camera and matches most of our technical requirements (I still need to test the low-light performance). Its little sister, the a7S shares the same outstanding reviews, it is clearly number one in low-light performance and it can even capture 4K to an external recorder. The catch, and this is a big one, is the cost. The FS7 goes for $8,000 and the a7S goes for $2,500. In order to use my existing lenses I’ll need two Metabones Speedbooster adapters (Canon EOS to NEX) at $650 each, but I will not have AF capabilities when shooting stills, which is a major issue. Also, in order to fully use the a7S as the B Camera we probably would need an Atomos Shogun adding a lot to the budget.

1x Sony FS7 $8,000 (Amazon • Adorama)
1x Sony a7S $2,500 (Amazon • Adorama)
2x Metabones adapter (Canon EOS to NEX) $800 (Amazon • Adorama)
1x Atomos Shogun $2,000 (Amazon • Adorama)
Total = 13,300


3. Panasonic
A third, and more affordable option would be to get a second Panasonic Lumix GH4 body and keep them as A Cam and B Cam (4K, HD, and stills) and something like the Panasonic HC-X1000 as a C Cam for BTS. I am still missing the “standard bells and whistles” I mentioned above, and I still have to test the X1000’s performance under low-light. Getting the YAGH (“brick”) wouldn’t make much sense in terms of money, size, weight, and additional power sources.

1x Panasonic Lumix GH4 $1,500 (Amazon • Adorama)
1x Metabones Speedbooster adapter (Canon EOS to MFT) $600 (Adorama)
1x Panasonic HC-X1000 Camcorder $3,200 (Amazon • Adorama)
Total: $5,300


4. Blackmagic
We briefly considered Blackmagic systems but found too many cons to even add them here. Another topic for another day.


Honestly, there aren’t any. Not yet, anyway. We are still trying to figure out what to do. The Panasonic Package (#3) is the cheapest and easiest as we would have a very small learning curve (with the HC-X-1000) but low-light performance remains to be seen (and it is good but not great on the GH4). The price is great but we would only have the cinema features we need in one of the three cameras.

The Canon Package (#1) is right in the middle, but we would lack 4K, slow motion, a codec over 50mb/s, and only one of the two cameras offers the bells and whistles we are looking for.

Sony (#2) seems to offer the best solution, but costs twice as much as Option #1 and $8,000 more than Option #3. We would lack autofocus for stills, only one camera will have the cinema features, and the FS7 could require a significant learning curve.

An alternative, suggested by an experienced filmmaker, would be to keep using our GH3 with the Panasonic lenses as our stills camera ($0), use the GH4 with our Metabones and Canon and Sigma glass as Camera B, and simply buy one Sony FS7 ($8,000) and a second Metabones (Canon EOS to NEX) adapter $400 for a total investment of $8,400. Altogether we would get AF for stills, 4K, slow-mo, no need for new lenses, but only OK low-light performance, and only ONE system with XLR ports, ND filters, etc. I am also seriously concerned with the additional time (and expense) in post to make everything look somewhat close.

Money and lenses are obviously very important considerations, but there are many other things that have to be factored into camera choices like post workflows (software and hardware), internal codecs, etc. Color science is something else we tend to overlook, and we shouldn’t, as certain camera choices will multiply the amount of time you need to spend in post to get them to look like what you’re used to.

So, clearly, there isn’t a “perfect” camera that will meet all our requirements. So the best approach is to consider what we have (budget, lenses, software, hardware, accessories, etc.) what we need, and what we are willing to sacrifice. So, what is “the best” camera package for us, giving our existing gear, ideal requirements and upcoming needs? Now I need YOUR help to figure this one out.

UPDATE 01: Since I wrote the first draft for this article I’ve been hearing highly reliable complains about the FS7 working with lens adapters and Canon lenses. That pretty much kills the Sony package option for us.

UPDATE 02: There are strong rumors that Panasonic will be announcing an updated version of the AG-AF100 at NAB, which apparently would include 4K. That could be a great solution for our full blown cinema camera.

UPDATE 03: Another strong rumor is that Canon will replace/update the 3-year old 5D Mark III with a 4K version. Kinda cool, but it still doesn’t solve our “bells and whistles” camera dilemma.

UPDATE 04: For the past 3-4 weeks I’ve been using the Atomos Shogun (Amazon • Adorama) and I must admit I’m VERY impressed. This gadget not only provides an exquisite 1920 x 1080 ultra sharp (and fairly accurate) image, but it’s main purpose is being a 4K (or HD) recorder via Solid State Drives. The best price/quality I’ve found are these 240GB Sandisk for $146 with a 10-YEAR warranty. Not bad at all.

Something I didn’t consider when getting the Shogun is that now I have XLR options, making the GH4 a much more powerful beast. The provided batteries only last about 30 minutes of recording time. I got this off-brand ultra cheap ($36) set of 2 batteries with chargers and so far they have performed perfectly. To keep in perspective, a single Sony battery costs $199….


UPDATE 05: The Varavon cage for the GH4/GH3 works perfectly with a Metabones Speedbooster. This set up and the Atomos Shogun are making me rethink my camera strategy. Now I can have a very comfortable grip, add a shotgun for run and gun or a monitor/recorder with XLR mics on sticks. Hmmmm this is getting REALLY interesting!


More to come.


The most popular cameras at Sundance.

Indiewire published recently the list of cameras used by the filmmakers included in the 2015 Sundance Festival.

The article matched each camera with the film, which was awesome. But I was also curious to see a chart that showed more precisely how many cameras where used and how often. So, I dropped the list from Indiewire into Excel and created this chart.


A total of 23 cameras were used in 2014 to shoot 84 movies. In 2015 almost twice the amount of cameras (44) were used to shoot 97 movies. My guess in this discrepancy is that a) Not enough filmmakers in 2014 provided enough or complete information on their cameras or b) the filmmakers in 2015 felt the need to use different cameras on the same movie.

I also wanted to compare the cameras used at the 2014 Festival, so I also created this second chart, again using Indiewire as my sole resource. From the article, it is hard sometimes to tell exactly which camera was used. For example, one of the filmmakers said, “We used Super 35mm with some Red Epic, and a little super 16mm. There is also one Canon 5D shot in the picture.” Which Super 35? And obviously it had to be a Canon 5D Mark II or Mark III as the first version didn’t shoot video. In those cases I only added the Red Epic to the tally.


How can this information become useful? To me it’s simply curiosity, as I believe a great storyteller can be as effective with an iPhone as with any high-end $50K camera. Give ME an Alexa and a million dollars and I still wouldn’t be able to shoot a single frame better than Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki or Roger Deakins.

The camera is just a tool, but these charts could be used as a reference by film programs trying to determine where to spend their camera budgets this year. Or perhaps a film student wanting to work as a DIT or as an AC [insert link ] can look at these charts and determine, “well, I better get REALLY comfortable with the Arri Alexa and Red Epic in order to get some high-end jobs.” The charts can also be used by filmmakers planning to upgrade their gear.


What I find most interesting about this data is how consistently some of the cameras are used, such as the Arri Alexa, and how one of my go-to cameras, the Canon EOS C100, was used only twice last year and wasn’t used at all on any of the 2015 movies. Another interesting takeaway is how much more diverse the cameras used for Sundance are compared to the cameras used on Oscar nominated movies, where the Arri Alexa also rules, RED and Blackmagic have been absent, and we don’t see a VHS or an iPhone. Or, at least not yet, I should say..


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!


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

The (amazing) Cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki (video below)

20 Acclaimed Filmmakers Explain America’s Money Problems in ‘We the Economy’

This is insane! Disintegrating by Fabian Oefner

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class technology features are truly breathtaking.  Suddenly $100k seems cheap! 


After Effects: Understanding GPU, CUDA, and OpenGL features

Top 50 YouTube and Vimeo Channels for Filmmakers and Cinephiles via  Cinephilia & Beyond

A short history of (believable) CG characters in movies

Brain Jazz: A Mind-Jam with Jason Silva and Douglas Rushkoff (video below)

70-Minute Masterclass With Legendary Cinematograph via Indiwire

Time Is the New Money. Are You Broke? via Inc Magazine


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

A beautiful compilation of silhouettes in cinema.

Silhouettes850px_01 Silhouettes850px_02 Silhouettes850px_03

A Free Image and Model Release Template You Can Fill Out and Sign On a Smartphone

Adobe Releases Lightroom 5.7 with Aperture Importer and Support for the Latest and Greatest Cameras

Danny Boyle & Darren Aronofsky: Directing Style

There Aren’t Enough Women Cinematographers and That Needs via Indiewire

Space Out With This Turkish Musician’s New Instrument

There Are Now Over 20 Cell Phones that Shoot 4K Video

Which Laptops Have the Best, Longest Battery Life? via Digital Trends

Watch an Adobe Panel About the 6K Editorial Workflow of ‘Gone Girl’ via Creative Planet Network

James Cameron Thinks Oculus Rift is ‘a Yawn’ via Digital Trends


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

How Criterion Collection Brings Movies Back From the Dead via Vimeo

Here’s What Happens When You Put Instant Film in a Microwave via Smithsonian

Confused About Codecs? This Video Tutorial Will Teach You What You Need to Know via No Film School

What We See When We Read via Cool Hunting

Darkness & Light: Contemporary Nordic Photography via Cool Hunting

The Yachts Of The Super-Rich Do Battle In These Violent Photo Montages


The Director’s Chair: Robert Rodriguez Interviewing Quentin Tarantino! It looks amazing.

Steadicam Inventor Reveals the ‘Impossible Shots’ That Changed Filmmaking Forever via Hollywood Reporter

Satellite Uses Infrared Photography to See Beneath California Forest Fire Smoke via Petapixel

How Gordon Willis Inspired Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen via Indiewire



GREAT deals for photographers and filmmakers.

I’m not a big shopper. Far from it. I only buy stuff I need, when I need it, but I use the “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday” and similar crazy shopping events to get things that I was planning to buy at a much lower price.

• B&H has the full frame Canon EOS 6D AND a Canon PIXMA PRO-10 printer for $1249.99 with free shipping. This is the best 6D price I’ve seen. The camera by itself usually sells for $1,900.


• Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive. SSD don’t have moving parts which means no hard drive spin ups, no noise, better data protection and much better performance for video editing and heavy lifting applications like Photoshop. The 500GB version goes for $189, and the 1TB version for $349.

• Dell is selling direct a high-resolution (1920×1080) 24” monitor model # E2414Hr for $99. I probably wouldn’t use this for any color-critical tasks, but seems perfect as a second monitor for Photoshop or Premiere Pro.


• Flash Drives are a very handy way to receive or deliver video to your editor. Here’s an excellent deal:
Lexar USB 3.0 128GB flash drive for only $26.95 at B&H. This one is compatible with Mac and PC systems and offers enhanced data read speeds of up to 100 MB/s and data write speeds of up to 55 MB/s.

USB3 Drive

• Walmart has the GoPro HERO 3 White Edition AND a $50 Gift Card for  $199.99 AND free shipping. The waterproof HERO3 offers the same high performance specs as the original HD HERO camera it replaces, yet it has built-in Wi-Fi, new UI and is lighter and smaller. This toy captures 1080p 30 fps and 720p 60 fps video plus 5MP photos at a rate of 3 photos per second.


• Rokinon 85mm t/1.5 Aspherical Lens for Canon with De-Clicked Aperture and Follow Focus Compatibility Fixed Lens. I have not used a Rokinon lens, but the always handy 85mm focal length and an incredibly fast aperture of F/1.5for only $235 are definitively worth a try. This lens is available on Amazon so if the quality isn’t good you can easily return it. This lens features a de-clicked aperture which is great to reduce noise and jerking motions while shooting video. The minimum focusing distance is 3.6-feet.

• If you ever work trade shows or have any involvement on photo or video shoots you need this. If you are a producer you need two. I actually have three, one per camera bag so I never run out of power. There are many brands and they all do and last pretty much the same. Today’s deal is $15, normally $25. This tiny thing adds 10 extra hours of talk time or 1 full charge to your iPhone or Android phones and tablets. 


• I don’t use Wacom Tablets but most of my students love them. Amazon has the older version of the Wacom Bamboo Create Pen and Touch Tablet for only $111. Not crazy cheap for older hardware BUT it comes with FREE downloadable software like Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter Essentials, AutoDesk Sketchbook Express and Nik Color Filters as well as free offers from Shutter fly, Café Press and So, if you are getting into retouching and want to get started with simple hardware and a lot of software, this is a great way to go


• Do you have ENOUGH Hard Drives? Yep. me neither. Cheap portable external hard drives are wonderful devices to store or transport projects temporarily. Amazon is offering the Western Digital Elements 1TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive for $49! An even BETTER option is the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB USB 3.0 for $78! For a long-term backup strategy check this article.

I just purchased four of these, as they are perfect to deliver video projects to clients. Simply ship them the drive and let them keep it. Trust me, it always makes a great impression.


• Timbuk2 is selling the extremely durable Haight Laptop Backpack for $18!!! It normally goes for $89.


• I’ve been looking for an inexpensive Android Tablet to replace my broken Nexus 7 (I sat on it. Long story.) While Chromebooks are not for everyone, today’s deal seems very good. An Acer C720 Chromebook (11.6-Inch, 2GB) which happens to be one of the best options out there for only $149, the same or lower as an entry level 7″ tablet. I’m still debating between the Chromebook or a $149 Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 bundled with 50GB of free storage AND $300 of content. Decisions, decisions….


• Finally, an affordable 4K monitor! The Samsung 28-Inch Ultra High Definition LED Monitor offer 3840 x 2160 (UHD) Resolution for only $479. I’m getting one right now.



• For an entry level system, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 with an EF-S 18-55mm IS II is not bad. Especially if you can get it for $399.


• We hardly ever see discounted Apple products. For the next 3 days B&H is offering the 11.6 MacBook Air for $799. That’s at least $100 less than anywhere else. This is a great solution for internet browsing, emails and working on a plane, but I wouldn’t recommend this one as a working machine.


I’ll update this post if I find more interesting deals. Please consider sharing what you find as well!


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

Silent No More, Laura Poitras Talks About ‘CitizenFour’ via

Offsite Collaboration and the Cloud via Mastering Film

Watch IKEA’s Spooky Halloween Ad That Pays Perfect Homage to ‘The Shining’ via Entrepreneur

Portraits of 10 US Presidents Before and After Their Time in Office via Petapixel

beforeafter2 beforeafter9

Werner Herzog’s Note To His Cleaning Lady via Sabotage Times

8 Little Known Secrets of New York City – New York via Weekend Notes

Will Video Kill Photography’s Stars?

9 Cinematography Tips for Directors with No Space & No Budget via NoFilmSchool

Access Nollywood, Nigeria’s Booming Film Industry via Good Magazine

Panasonic and Red hope to replace photos with frames of video via Engadget




My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

The 10 Most-Pirated Movies via PCMag

In Praise Of Architectural Extravagance

10 Tips from cinematographer Roger Deakins via BBC news

Harvey Weinstein Defends Netflix’s ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” deal via Indiewire


Q&A with Master Documentary Filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer via

Published for the First Time: a 1959 Essay by Isaac Asimov on Creativity via MIT Technology Review

Attention Documentary Filmmakers: Every 2015 Lab, Grant and Film Festival Deadline

Canon announces EOS C100 Mark II via DP Review

This may be the most important lesson about color you’ll ever see via RedShark News


4 Ways You Can Save Time in Post by Shooting for the Edit via NoFilmSchool


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

The Moving Image Genre-form Guide via Library of Congress

Ever-Changing Technology Challenges Filmmakers via NPR

Portraits of 10 US Presidents Before and After Their Time in Office via Petapixel

Street View uses ‘camel cam’ for desert trip via Digital Trends

This one is not photography or video related, but it is one of the coolest links I’ve seen in a long time: Your life on earth via BBC – Earth

Modern American Ruins Photographed by Rob Dobi via Feature Shoot


Modern American Ruins by Rob Dobi


Modern American Ruins by Rob Dobi

Inside The Design Of Norway’s Beautiful New Banknotes via Co.Design

Breaking The Cinematic Fourth Wall

Top 10 slow-mo movie moments via YouTube

Future Storytelling: Projects via HKW


DP Review issues Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Final Review.

DP Review releases final conclusions on the Panasonic GH4. I agree 100% with them.

  • The DMC-GH4 sets a new bar in terms of the video capability available in a camera that a significant number of people can afford.
  • In a professional setting the GH4 is unusual in being compatible with an interface unit (the DMW-YAGH aka “The Brick”) that adds industry-standard 3G-SDI and XLR connectors.
  • The GH4’s image quality is very solid, producing nice JPEG images and usefully flexible Raw files. The color and tonality of its images seem improved over previous generations of camera. In video mode the camera is equally solid.
  • Despite the increased competition, the GH4 remains the king of accessible stills/movie hybrids.
  • A remarkably capable all-in-one package that lets you capture good quality footage and excellent stills from a sensibly-sized standalone camera.
  • The GH4’s video quality and well implemented touchscreen control system give it the edge over less expensive cameras, such as the a6000, while its price and ability to capture 4K internally will give it broader appeal than the Sony a7S.
  • What makes the GH4 so strong is its balance of capability, size and price. Its ability to slot into a professional setup, via the optional interface unit can only help expand this appeal.
  • Low light performance is solid if not exceptional – so you’ll need to think about lighting and bright lenses for low light shooting – but in many situations the GH4 produces good footage with a little subject/background distinction.
  • If you’re only interested in stills then it’s not quite such a compelling proposition – the competition is fierce at this price point. However, if you have any inclination towards moving images, there’s not a camera that offers nearly as much capability and support as the GH4 does, for anywhere near the price.

The complete review is available here.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out these additional links:

And here are some samples clips:

Everything in Slow Motion was shot at FHD 96 fps. Everything else was shot at 4K (3840×2160). We used the Cine-D Profile. The only “grading” done was the B&W preset on Adobe Premiere Pro CC.


I’m extremely proud of the 100% free content we provide and I hope you enjoy it as well. Thank you all for your support, encouragement and constructive criticisms – I appreciate each and every one of them.

I only promote products, services, and companies that I use and trust, and that in my opinion deliver great value to our industry. If you are purchasing something, please consider using my affiliate links to help support this site. Thank you in advance.





My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

Amazon made the hottest photography and video products announced at Photokina available for preorder!

Case Study: Lighting for Commercials via NoFilmSchool

Dissecting the opening titles for “Manhattan” (2014) via Art of the Title

Amazing Freedive with The Ocean Brothers on Vimeo

NHK demonstrates their 8K 120Hz production system.

BBC Tests Shooting at 600fps in 4K via Creative Planet

Unprecedented access into a fundamentalist Hindu training camp in modern India (watch below) via PBS.

Beautiful images of Airports from above via Fast Company


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

As Protests Rage, These Dizzying Photos Show Life In One Of The World’s Densest Cities via Co.Exist. Incredible photo essay by Australian photographer Peter Stewart.

15 Free Organizational Tools for Photographers via Petapixel

This Real-Time Projected CGI Makeup Is Beautiful And Terrifying via TechCrunch

Graduating from Zoom-ins and Outs via Cinevate

The Village Underground Lisboa via Cool Hunting

Burning Man Meets TED via Hollywood Reporter

Real Time Face Tracking Projection Vimeo

Girls From Brazil’s Favelas Find Escape In Ballet


The five best North Korean films via The Guardian

4 Experts Predict How Moviegoing Will Change in 10 Years via Hollywood Reporter


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

The 10 Best Tracking Shots via Raindance Film Festival. This is only ONE of them!

UPDATED: Canon Permanently Drops Price On Most ‘L’ Glass:
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens is 33% off
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Zoom Lens is $999

Drone video shows Apple’s ‘spaceship’ campus construction via Digital Trends

My Top 10 Rules of Travel Photography via Ami Vitale

The Airbnb of Location Scouting? Set Scouter Connects Filmmakers Directly to Property Owners via No Film School

Watch: Trailers For Martin Scorsese’s List Of The 39 Foreign Films You Should See Before You Die via Indiewire

An In-Depth Guide to the Best Drones via The Wirecutter

The most popular #Film & #Video projects on @ Kickstarter

The 100 Greatest Movie Threats of All Time

Mesmerizing GIFs Use Light and Motion to Visualize Sounds via WIRED


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

 The crew of VICE and their go-to Canon gear

Listen to 12 Hours of François Truffaut Interviewing Alfred Hitchcock for Free via No Film School

The perfect storm of talent and tools via Pro Video Coalition

Solving 50 problems in 50 days with design. Just like that.

The Art of Editing to Music via Creative Planet

Magnum Photographer David Alan Harvey in the streets of Korea with the Fuji X100S

4K Monitors Under $850 via Pro Video Coalition

How To Make A Movie In A Country With No Film Funding via Indiewire

The Panasonic Toughpad shows up in a Comic Book via Digital Trends

Set Etiquette for Cinematographers via Mastering Film


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

13 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ask A Chinese Photoshop Expert For Help via The Poke

James Bond: 50 Years of Main Title Design via Art of the Title

This Way Up on Vimeo via YouTube

Remembering Robin Williams: 7-Minute Video Tribute via The Playlist

Future Independent Filmmakers Will Make More Than Movies via Film Courage

23 eBooks For Photographers That Are Completely Free via Light Stalking

Acer Reveals B286HK 28-Inch 4K Monitor, Specs, Price via Digital Trends

The New USB Standard Will Turn Your Photo Transfers Up to 11, and It’s Reversible via Petapixel

For top 10 posts 60 Seconds on Set: Focus Pulling

Robert Rodriguez Discusses Hollywood, Film Making and Sin City via Comic Book Movie


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

Increíbles fotografías subacuáticas de Enric Adrian Gener via Cultura Inquieta



Secret Photos From Inside North Korea Show Life In The World’s Most Isolated Country via Fast Company

Complete your photography kit with Lightroom and Photoshop for just $9.99/month 

A Beautifully Filmed Look Inside Sigma’s Lens Factory in Aizu, Japan

14 Most Colorful Towns and Cities in Europe via The Culture Map


‘Deadline’: A Fascinating Look Behind the Scenes of a Struggling Philadelphia Newspaper via Feature Shoot

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and Sony Alpha 7S added to studio comparison via Digital Photography Review

Apple expands OS X Mavericks Raw compatibility via Apple

Adobe Officially Working On Aperture to Lightroom Migration Tool, Releases Accompanying Guide via Adobe

Photos of the Super Moon via Le Figaro






My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

New Photoshop Extension Cures the Multiple Open Document Blues via TNW

Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty Discusses URSA & Image Issues with Production Camera 4K l via No Film School

Planetary Panoramas – 360 Degree Night Sky Time-Lapses via Vincent Brady

NIKE world cup fonts via designboom

4K RAW at 1000fps: Astounding Test Video Shot with the Phantom Flex4K via Petapixel

Learn how to increase the production value and emotional depth of your shots with camera movement via

Learn Filmmaking with Video Courses and Tutorials from

13 Bad Habits Filmmakers Need to Break via Indiewire

What Does It Mean to Be a Cinematographer? via Vimeo

Lab tested: The Mac Pro Daisy Chain Challenge via Macworld

This Graphic Details the Daily Routines of Famous Creative People via Lifehacker


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

GOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLL! Explore every goal from the entire history of the World Cup over the duration of a single match. via The Economist

FIFA World Cup Photos _003

10 Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for Filmmakers via Indiewire

Behind the Scenes of OK Go’s Viral Optical Illusion-Packed Single Take Music Video via Petapixel

E-books to outsell print by 2018 says new report via BBC News

System requirements for Adobe Creative Cloud via Adobe

How to Clean Your Camera Gear: Tips From the Canon Call Center via Popular Photography

Surprisingly Colorful Photos Reveal a Side of Antarctica You’ve Probably Never Seen via Petapixel

Adobe’s Photoshop Express finally comes to Windows Phone via Digital Trends

What ‘Ultra High-Definition’ really means via Engadget

5 Inspiration and Organization Tools for the Video Editor via Videomaker


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

Bird’s-eye view of Brazil revealed by hexacopter via BBC News

Yelp plans to add new video feature to its mobile app via Digital Trends

Tutorial: How to Pick the Best Focal Length When Capturing Landscapes via Petapixel

Ditching the MacBook Air for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3

“The Beygency” Edit Timelapse on Vimeo via SNL Blog


Meet ‘The Archivist’ at National Geographic via DPReview

40 more maps that explain the world via The Washington Post

Google & YouTube Reveal Best Streaming Video in the U.S. Ranked by ISP Google Video Quality Report

How Video Gets To You via Google

What a shot! 25 amazing sports photos via CNN


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

Filmmakers On Developing Style via ARCBLOG

BBC to stream World Cup matches in 4K ultra HD via BBC News

Behind the Scenes with Film Editor Walter Murch via NPR

Cinematographers discuss their lighting techniques and go-to instruments via HDVideoPro

Computex: Google Glass rival and other wearable tech seek sales via BBC News

How to Maximize Production Value on a Minuscule Budget via No Film School

Stop Obsessing Over Gear and Just Shoot Your Film. via Indiewire

4K PC Monitor Prices Could Fall Below $400 This Year via Digital Trends


Google Adds Street View, Indoor Maps of 12 Brazil World Cup Stadiums via Digital Trends

12 Beautiful Metro Stations That Transport You to Another World via Good


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

Managing Creativity: Lessons from Pixar and Disney Animation via Harvard Business Review

10 Tips for Producing a Micro-Budget Indie Film via  Indiewire

Fireproof Waterproof Desktop External Hard Drives via iosafe


What is USB 3.1, When Will It Be Released, and What Will It Do for PCs via Digital Trends

Good Video Editing Techniques to Consider via Mastering Film

Google’s camera app now lets you shoot in different aspect ratios via Engadget

To Hollywood, All Things Hip Lie in Brooklyn via

Vittorio Storaro Explains How DPs Can ‘Write with Light’ to Tell a Story via No Film School

9 Marketing Tricks to Steal From the Oscar Nominees via Inc Magazine

T-Mobile launches affordable tablets with 200MB of free data for life via Digital Trends


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

Asus Reveals PB287Q $650 28-inch 4K Monitor via Digital Trends

Cuba Before The Revolution via Print Magazine

The 10 Commandments of Color Theory via Designmantic

Behind-the-scenes photos reveal the secrets of Mad Men sets via Gizmondo

Mad Men Set

BBC examines 100 years of Leica via DPReview

What is SATA Express, What Will it Do For Laptop, Desktop PC Storage via Digital Trends

A forgotten Belgian genius dreamed up the internet over 100 years ago via Engadget

60-Second BTS Video Speeds Through the Retouching of a Corona Advertisement via Petapixel

12 Invaluable Tips for First-Time Filmmakers via Indiewire

Did You Know: You Can Set Your GoPro to Take High Res Stills While Shooting Video via Petapixel


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.

David Ogilvy’s 10 top tips for video scriptwriting via Econsultancy

Be very afraid of AT&T merger via The Chicago Sun-Times

Centr captures 360-degree video at 4K resolution: Connect via DPReview

Extensive Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Making Of Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Black Swan’ via Indiwire

Google’s Robots Are Solving the Biggest Problem in Modern Photography via Wired
google+ stories
The 10 Smartest Cities In The World via Fast Company

Bentley Shoots Documentary Film Using iPhone, iPad via Digital Trends

China’s Lenovo sees 29% jump in full year net profit via BBC News

Breaking Bad – Motivated Camera Movements via VashiVisuals Blog

Free Chrome Extension Allows You to View RAW Images In-Browser via Petapixel


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

These are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order.

How to Make a Film Like Alfred Hitchcock: A Breakdown of the Master’s Techniques via No Film School

Video Test: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Versus the Canon 5D Mark III via Petapixel


Thanks to Google Glass, we can watch an IndyCar pit crew at work via Digital Trends

Japan man held over ‘3D-printed guns’ via BBC News

Epson’s Glass-like ‘Moverio’ specs go on sale for $700 via Digital Trends

Is it true? New service detects processed photos via DP Review

Fascinating Book Described Thousands of Colors 271 Years Before Pantone via Petapixel

The 20 Worst Summer Blockbusters Ever via The Playlist


As Digital Cinema Shooting Reaches 4K, 6K, & Beyond, How Will Post Production Keep Up? via No Film School

What’s The Difference Between A Font And A Typeface? via Fast Company

If you have something worth sharing next week, please send it my way by email or Twitter.


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

Starting last week, I’d like to share the best 10 articles I’ve read over the past week. I’ll try my best to stick to photo and film articles, but sometimes I might add cool and random stuff.  If you have something that should be included please send it my way by email or Twitter.

10 tips for editing video in a thoughtful, compelling way via TED Blog

Improved 4K display support in OS X 10.9.3 via Macworld

4K TV shipments skyrocketed last March, exceeding 1 million units via Digital Trends

Lots of Sony news:  Sony Ditches OLED TVs (again) to Concentrate on 4K Ultra HD and Sony Sold 39 million Android Phones in 2013 both via Digital Trends and Sony forecasts losses until 2015 after PC exit via BBC News

DaVinci Resolve 11 Adds Powerful Editing and Media Management Tools via CineTechnica

resolve11 -1_blgpstresolve11 -2_blgpst

The Best Marketing Decision You’ll Ever Make via

14 Powerful TED Talks by Photographers via Petapixel

The Special Effects in Only God Forgives via

10 Films In Which Actors Play Multiple Roles via Indiwire


My Top Ten Favorite Articles of Last Week.

Starting today, I’d like to share the best 10 articles I’ve read over the past week. I’ll try my best to stick to photo and film articles, but sometimes I might add cool and random stuff like this or this

If you have something that should be included please send it my way by email or Twitter.
So, here are my top ten favorite articles of last week, in no particular order. Let’s see how this goes.

1. Sony tape smashes storage record via BBC News and Sony’s in a ‘bag of hurt’ because of Blu-ray via The Verge

2. By 2020 Apple Won’t Be A Top-3 Tech Company via TechCrunch

3. Fog, Smoke, & Haze: The Swiss Army Knives of Cinematography Tools via No Film School

4. One Perfect Shot Twitter Account Reduces Movies Into a Single, ‘Perfect’ Frame via Petapixel


5. George Steinmetz Wonders: Was It Worth Getting Arrested for National Geographic Cover Story Photos? via PDNPulse

6. What Hardware do you Need to Run Stuff at 4K Resolution on your PC? via Digital Trends

7. Mid-2014 MacBook Air SSDs Run Much Slower, New Benchmarks Show via Digital Trends

8. Negotiate like a Pro by Acting like a Child via 99U

9. Funny TED Talk Spoof for an App that Turns Photos Into Music via Petapixel

10. Managing Creativity: Lessons from Pixar and Disney Animation via Harvard Business Review


I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Batteries.

First, the good news. If you already own a Lumix GH3 like we do, the GH4 uses the same exact batteries. The majority of camera manufacturers and other companies like Apple could follow this strategy for a change!

The OK news is that while the DMW-BLF19 battery (one included with every body) is really good, we generally go through two or even three batteries per camera on a video shoot. The Panasonic branded battery goes for $45 on Amazon.


Panasonic DMW-BLF19

A cheaper option is the Wasabi branded version that costs a THIRD of the price ($14.79 on Amazon). Now, an event BETTER deal is the Wasabi kit, which includes TWO batteries and one charger with a European plug AND a car adapter. The price: a no-brainer $31 on Amazon.


Wasabi Kit for the Panasonic Lumix GH4

I purchased a very similar kit for the Fuji X100S and so far have not seen ANY significant difference in performance between the original Fuji battery and Wasabi’s.


Related Posts

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Hard Drives.

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Memory Cards.

7 things we discovered after shooting 4K with the GH4. You won’t like #4.

Dance! The first of a series of videos shot for Panasonic USA to promote the new Panasonic Lumix GH4.


7 things we discovered after shooting 4K with the GH4. You won’t like #4.

The invitation from Panasonic USA to perform a field test arrived quite suddenly, with multiple commitments for Fashion Week already in place, and with nasty weather that didn’t really allow access to tried and true locations. Great!

It is very important to mention that the camera we tested was a preproduction model running firmware v0.3. As it is always the case with preproduction models, as well as some early production models, many features were disabled or not working as expected. We also wanted to test if our current workflow, which we generally use with Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera and Canon products—ranging from the 60D to the 5D Mark III to the C300 and even some 1DCs—would work at the same or needed adaptations for the GH4.

1. Comparisons
Instead of a side-by-side comparison between the GH4 and other brands, Sean Davis and I were more interested in exploring the new features of the GH4, compared to the GH3 and a hacked version of the GH2 that we have used in the past. Obviously, shooting 4K was at the top of the list. GH4 field test central Cinevate_01

2. Look and Feel
The GH4 is the exact same size as the GH3. Not only that, unlike other camera manufacturers that feel inspired to sell new batteries and chargers with every new camera, we were pleased to see that the GH4 shares the same exact DMW-BLF19 battery (here’s a much better deal). In other words, all your GH3 “power rigging accessories” will continue to work. Great news for Panasonic users and rental houses. An important difference (and a small hiccup in our field test) is that the GH4 uses Micro HDMI, and not the GH3’s Mini HDMI.

Before you ask, the answer is no. We did not have the Lumix DMC-YAGH Interface Unit (aka The Brick) with us. GH4 field test grand central _001

3. The 4K Footage
As you can see from the image below, the GH4’s 100 Mbps is broadcast 4K or Quad HD (3840 x 2160), not DCI compliant 4K cinema spec (4096×2160), but the camera is capable of recording DCI compliant 4K at 200Mbps. This article explains what DCI is. GH4-4K-File-Size_web

Just for fun, I created this side-by-side file size comparison between the cameras I use most often. GH4 File-Sizes-compared_web

Everything in Slow Motion was shot at FHD 96 fps. Everything else was shot at 4K (3840×2160). We used the Cine-D Profile. The only “grading” done was the B&W preset on Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

4. Storage
Regarding memory cards, we were ALSO testing a pre-production version of a SanDisk. The GH4 didn’t like the SanDisk 95mbs SDXC that we always use with our Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera. To spice things up a bit more, we had to use a beta SDHC II 280mbs 32GB card provided by SanDisk. I hope that once the camera ships, it will take “standard” SD cards, but they won’t come cheap.

Shooting 4K @100mb/s 30p on a 64GB card will give you about 29 minutes of shooting time. So we are looking at three to four cards per shoot at $150 each. All things considered, I’d get Panasonic 64 GB microP2 cards. If you have a better suggestion please send me a tweet.
This extra budget consideration of $450-$600 doesn’t even include hard drives for storage and backups. Definitively a G-RAID 4TB Dual Thunderbolt drive is the way to go.

5. High ISO
Per multiple requests via Twitter, we shot the same exact cityscape in Central Park with the GH3 and the GH4.

The exposure settings were identical:
• Manual Exposure
• The beautiful Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 Lens
• f/2.8
• 1/30th
• 1600 ISO
• WB at 5500K

Lumix12-35mm lens

The only difference was that the GH3 was recording at its highest video resolution 1920×1080 at 72mb/s ALL-I 24fps while the GH4 was recording at 4K at 100mb/s IPB 30fps. Note: This was the ONLY video setting working on our prerelease GH4. Other settings were available but the camera was not able to record.

Here are some tests:

6. Workflow
The workflow we tested was intentionally kept as plain and simple as possible. The idea was to mimic a “normal” setup for an “average” shooter.

1. Download the SD card directly to a G-RAID 4TB Dual Thunderbolt External Drive connected to a 27-inch mid-2011 iMac. About This GH4 4K footage on iMac 2011_001

2. Open the MOV directly into Adobe Premiere Pro CC v7.2.1 without transcoding to ProRes or doing anything special to the files. This is exactly why I switched from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro a few years ago. Another feature I love on Premiere is the ability to change the playback resolution. In a few words, with high-resolution footage, you can set playback resolution to a lower value.

3. Start editing

7. Other Observations:
• The GH4 comes with two options for focusing magnification: Full frame and PIP which I find much more applicable for video. Even though PIP was not working while shooting video on our pre-production model, I’m sure it will be there when the camera ships.
• The peaking feature was working perfectly. A wonderful addition to our tips and tricks arsenal. GH4 Peaking_001
• The camera didn’t have, and won’t have, built-in ND filters. I was really hoping this would be an improvement over the GH3, but we will need to keep using our variable ND filters.
• There’s a lot to like about this system and I am confident Panasonic will add enough improvements to the firmware to make your shooting experience even better. GH4 field test grand central2 GH4 field test Rode Mic


Related Posts

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Hard Drives.

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Batteries.

I Just Got a Panasonic GH4 – Now What? Memory Cards.



Apple OS 10.9 Mavericks compatibility for X-Rite color solutions.

The recently released Apple OS 10.9 Mavericks may experience communication issues with X-Rite instruments. To resolve these  issues, users need to update to the latest X-Rite Device Services (XRD v2.3.2) driver software. (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.


10 (new) Cool Gadgets for Photographers and Filmmakers. Part 2

6• Convergent Design Odyssey 7.
Two super interesting monitor/recorders are the Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q by Convergent Design. For $1295 and up you get a 7.7” 1280 x 800 OLED external monitor that also doubles as an external recorder capable of receiving 4K RAW data as well as other compressed and uncompressed formats onto two 2.5” SSDs.

Here’s the twist; out-of-the-box, these two products are monitors only, with all the usual settings (waveform, histogram, false color, vectorscope, zebras, and focus assist) but without any recording or playback capabilities. (more…)