The Panasonic GH4 V-Log L. Graded and Ungraded Samples.

A few tests comparing the Panasonic GH4’s default camera profiles with the brand new V-Log L.
The (very quick) grading was done on Premiere Pro CC 2015 and the super awesome Lumetri Color Engine.

Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__004_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__005_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__007_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__006_850Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__012_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__011_850Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__009_850 Panasonic-GH4-V-Log-L-Profile-Comparison-Tests-Eduardo-Angel-Visuals__010_850
Why is V-Log important? Why should we care about camera profiles and external recorders? Read this and watch this to learn more.

Installing V-Log L on your GH4 is far from intuitive and user friendly, but we’ve got you covered. A complete step-by-step tutorial is available for free right here.

The GH4 firmware update (version 2.3) including V-Log L will cost $100, and it will be available in 2 weeks. You can pre-order it now right here.

Related Posts


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.

EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_013EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_018EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_021 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_022 EduardoAngel_PanasonicAnamorphic_BTS_024

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)


The 8 Best Tools of 2014.

Here are some of the tools that made a real difference for us last year. Just in case, the order in the list is completely random.

Panasonic GH4
What can I say that I haven’t already said about this gem? Tiny, inexpensive, intuitive, sharp, full of features—this is a truly remarkable feat of engineering to take our visual stories to a new level.

Fuji X100S
No, it’s not a typo! I know this is not the latest model, and that’s exactly the point. This little camera is so good that I see no need to upgrade, change, or even try something else. This is the perfect camera to take out on weekends, and when paired with a super sexy, real leather camera strap, the camera not only works well, it makes ME look good!

Sigma 35mm
In the next couple of weeks, Sigma will release a couple of videos I shot for them in Istanbul, Paris, and Belgium. All the lenses I brought with me were extremely good, but the 35mm was so extraordinary that I ended up NOT returning it.

Fiilex Lights
I rented these lights from Adorama for a Lighting Workshop I did in D.C. Among the reasons not to bring my own light kit were size, portability, and the ability to use multiple accessories with the same fixtures. For example, did you know that these lights can use all the accessories available for Profoto? Mind blowing.
The Fiilex more than delivered on all ends, and the guys at Adorama Rental provided their usual stellar job of testing, packing, and shipping the gear in time for my presentation.

Transcend 64GB UHS-3 SD Card
My tendency is to not put all my eggs in one basket, and to not keep all my day’s footage or photos on one card. I resisted switching from 8GB to 16GB for a while, while HD “forced”me into 32GB cards, and 4K made me seriously consider the 64GB Transcend, not only for the additional capacity, but for speed. The card was affordable when it was released and now it is almost half the price I paid for it just months ago. This one’s a no brainer.

DJI Ronin Camera Gimbal
Heavy. Difficult to set up. Costly. But when you make it work, it sings! We shot a lot of stuff with this toy, and the production value it added to our projects was simply outstanding.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014
I was very much against Adobe’s Creative Cloud concept (and wrote about it here, here, here, and here), but after a year or so of using the apps pretty much on a daily basis, I love always having the latest version to work with. The significant efforts that Adobe has put into their video applications is totally worth the monthly payment.

13” Apple MacBook Pro Retina
This turned out to be not as fast as expected, more expensive than expected, and the latest OS X Yosemite was way worse than expected. Yet it made it into my “top tools”list. Why? Simply because the MacBook Pros are still, in my opinion, the best line of laptops available. The fact that we can edit, grade, and export 4K video on a plane or from a coffee shop still blows my mind. But Apple’s reign might be coming to an end very soon. 2015 will be a VERY exciting year for technology. I can tell you that much.

If you like what you saw in this summary and want to know more about how we actually use these tools, please check out our new online courses on along with some of the video projects we worked on during the year.
We look forward to keeping the conversations going this year.


Shooting the Black Swan.

How was the film Black Swan shot? How did the filmmakers deal with all the mirrors? How many lights did they use and what kind? Those were my thoughts while watching Natalie Portman’s remarkable performance. Here, I have compiled the most interesting technical aspects of the movie, gathered from several articles and forums, including a great interview by American Cinematographer’s Stephen Pizzello with the Director of Photography Matthew Libatique.


Regarding the mirrors and avoiding camera reflections, which is the real reason why I did some serious  research on this movie, Libatique says “we did as much as we could practically, but we knew there would be moments when we wanted to create seemingly unachievable shots, and for those we just removed the reflections digitally with the help of Dan Schrecker, our visual-effects supervisor at Look Effects. A good example of Look’s work is the scene where Nina is rehearsing in front of a mirror, the lights go out, and her reflection starts moving independently; the camera was right where you see the reflection, but Darren wanted to get tight eye lines, so we had to paint ourselves out in post. For other scenes, it was easier to just hide the camera or shoot from angles where you couldn’t see it. We also used one-way mirrors to get a shot where we created an ‘infinity reflection’ of Nina sitting in front of a dressing-room mirror. We positioned Natalie between two one-way mirrors and just shot from behind them. We wanted the film’s horror beats to be a bit more stylistic.”

Black Swan Hallucination Scene


The main lighting source was “a strip above the dancers’ heads. We had about eight rows of 1K cinema globes running 60 feet across the stage. We just used different gels and put the lights on different channels; we’d go from a green gel to white to magenta, and we also started to mix them, which was nice. It was less complicated than using moving lights. For one sequence, we combined a moon backdrop with a rain effect that we created by filling a pool of water with broken glass and placing it at the base of the background. We just powered Source Fours into the pool and modulated the water movement with fans.”

Natalie Portman Pictures CompilationCameras

“The movie was a single-camera shoot except for maybe one day, and our main camera was an Arri 416, which we used with Arri Ultra Prime 16 lenses. We used a Canon 7D or 1D Mark IV for all the subway scenes; I could just carry a 7D and shoot on the subway all day with a very small crew. I did some tests with my wife beforehand to figure out my ASA, my stop, and how I was going to deal with the focus. I didn’t use any rigs with it because I wasn’t trying to shoot in the traditional way. I tested a bunch of different exposures and then brought the footage to Charlie Hertzfeld at Technicolor, who put it in the system so I could look at the highlights, the moiré and the resolution. Then I went back to the drawing board to do more tests. The 7D has more depth of field than the 5D, but I needed that because I didn’t have a follow-focus unit and needed to work really fast. I shot everything documentary-style. I did all the focus pulls by hand, and we’d just look at it on the camera’s monitor. I ended up shooting on a Canon 24mm lens at 1,600 ASA to get as much depth of field as possible at a stop of T81?2.”

Director of Photography Matthew Libatique shooting Black Swan with the Canon 7D in New York's subway.

Special Effects

Check this short documentary on this movie’s special effects.


Camera Movement

Every performance was covered in long master shots, which “we just augmented with other moves as necessary. To Natalie’s credit, we rarely did more takes for her; if we required additional takes, it was usually for us. We knew we’d be shooting her from the chest up most of the time, but we knew we’d be in great shape, performance-wise, as long as we could see her face and arms. For wider shots, we could just use her dance double. We did almost everything handheld.” The only Steadicam shot is at the climax of the final dance number. Unreal.

The movie is now available on Blu-Ray.


6 Lighting Tips for Shooting Video.

Here’s the thing — we can make a film without sound, without color, and without a single camera movement, but we can never make a film without light. Wehile we can sometimes use available light or cheap practical lights, here are a few things to consider:

1. The biggest advantage of natural light is the price. It is readily available and doesn’t cost much to harness or enhance. If nothing changes and everything can be accomplished in one shoot, one can probably get away with this method.

2. Unfortunately, video often requires shooting over extended periods of time, and tear down and reproduce scenes shot days or weeks before. Additionally, as professional photographers and filmmakers we can’t rely on clouds, having enough windows, or even the weather forecast.

3. We often have to work fast with limited tools. A typical example for us is shooting B-roll the same day we arrive to a new city. Understanding simple techniques like harvesting harsh noon sunlight, or harnessing available shade can make or break a day on location.

4. Even when we can carefully plan our shoot, we need to truly understand the role of lighting in our story so we can select the ideal tools and techniques to develop it.

5. I find it fascinating how warm tones pop out of the frame, while cool colors recede into the frame. Or how through proper lighting we can make the same exact scene look peaceful, enigmatic, elegant, happy, or even scary.

6. As photographers and filmmakers, light is our palette. With light we can provide a sense of space and establish a time of day. We can create beautiful morning light in the evening as well as spectacular moonlight at noon.

Light is such a powerful and adaptable element that by understanding it and mastering it, we can greatly enhance our video productions without breaking the bank. Check out this tutorial, using ONE utility light during daytime:

Like these tips? That’s exactly what my course “Lighting Design for Video Productions” is all about.
Additional free video tutorials are available here!

UPDATE: May readers and subscribers have been asking about the equipment we used on our Lighting course on Here are the answers:

We used a variety of lights, but the main ones were Bowens Limelite Mosaic 30x30cm Daylight LED Panel.
As our A Camera we used a Canon EOS C100 Cinema EOS shooting to an Atomos Ninja-2 recorder. As our B and C Cameras we used a couple of Canon EOS 5D Mark III. We used a variety of lenses, but the main one was the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.


The new Vimeo on steroids.

It’s been almost a couple of weeks since Vimeo announced a newer, faster, meaner player. This week I spent some time playing with the new features and REALLY like what I saw:

What’s new?



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

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

interview with DSLR Video Shooter, Caleb Pike

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


Traveling with photography and video equipment. Technical and Practical Tips.

These are some travel tips I’ve learned over 20 years of traveling with photo equipment. Most of the recommendations below will be most helpful for photographers shooting video.

• Format all your memory cards on the specific system you are planning to use them with (7D vs. 60D vs. H4N).

• Change and charge all your batteries before leaving.

• Test all your devices.

• Test that the software on your laptop is working. Trying to update the OS, an Adobe application, or plugins from an airport lounge or hotel’s WiFi is NOT fun.

• Match memory cards. The 7D takes CF cards and the 60D takes SD cards. Use the same capacity (32GB cards or 16GB) for each system at the same time. It will make your asset management on location much easier.

• Bring enough additional storage. Photographers tend to underestimate the size of video files. I can easily shoot more than 100GB in a day. And you will need a backup. Twelve minutes of video take approximately 4GB of space. With two cameras we then have 8GB. With a backup we now have 16GB for the same 12 minutes of footage.

• I recommend G-Tech hard drives. The G-Technology G-DRIVE Mini 500GB is an excellent product. Make sure your external hard drive is 7200 RPM (as opposed to 5400). It will make editing video much faster.

• Buy only hard drives with multiple Interfaces (USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800). When (not if) your one and only USB port breaks, you won’t be able to retrieve your information.

• Bring a backup of all the essential items. My list includes: reading glasses, camera, lenses, memory cards, hard drives, chargers, card readers, all cables, and quick release plates.

• Use TSA-approved locks. I preferred padlocks and use the same combination on all of them.

• Simplify. I purchased my specific Android tablet because it matched the power adapter for my phone. And both can be charged via USB using the card reader cable, which is the same as Canon’s camera cable!

• Simplify some more. Bring a multi-card reader. I can simultaneously download the 7D’s CF Card and the 60D’s SD Card using the same reader and the H4N’s SD card using the laptop’s built-in SD card slot.


One tiny cable works for six of my devices: tablet, cell phone, 2 cameras, and 2 card readers.

• Simply even more: One of the reasons why I purchased the 60D as my B camera is because it uses the same batteries/charger as my 7D. I also liked the fact that it uses DIFFERENT memory cards, so it is much easier to keep track what was shot with what.

• Before you leave, check the electrical plug/outlet and voltage information at your destination. Oman and the United Arab Emirates seem to use three kinds.


• Test your workflow. It goes without saying, but never bring new equipment to a shoot, especially overseas. Make sure your files work well with your software and that your cards work well with your cameras.

• If you are capturing Full HD video (1080p) you shouldn’t be using older/slower memory cards, otherwise you might experience dropouts and stuttering. Been there, done that. Not a good day.

• Don’t forget your business cards! The more the better.

If you’re nervous about upgrading gear or making the leap to HDSLR cinema we can help. Book a virtual one-on-one consulting session today!


Our 10 hidden gems of 2012.

Earlier this week we shared with you our “Crème de la Crème” of 2012, the 10 most visited articles on this site. Today, we would like to share 10 more articles that we feel should have made our top ten list. As a team of educators, technology consultants, and visual storytellers, we are very proud of these posts as we feel that they are extremely relevant and worth your time. We encourage you to read them, share them with those who might be interested, and respond by starting a conversation below.

Without further ado here they are:

1) How to fix a broken education system. My thoughts.

We believe young students should be learning flexibility, teamwork, accounting, time management, project management, and languages (especially Spanish and Chinese), to be prepared for the future job markets.

Fixing a broken education system.

How to fix a broken education system

2) Notes from the Field.

Check out my personal notes and pre-production techniques for photographers and filmmakers.

My notes.

My Notes from a pre-production plan

 3) Same, but different:  An Intro to Digital Cinema.

We explained the 5 main similarities, and 5 main differences between shooting stills and shooting motion.

Digital Cinema Intro.

An intro to digital frame rates and shutter speeds

Click here to keep reading  (more…)


The Crème de la Crème: The best articles of 2012.

Wow! What a year! We completed 200 Consulting projects, over 30 Photography and Video Workshops, 50 videos, 50 tutorials and close to 200 blogs posts….all in one year.

How was this even possible? One, this is a team effort, where everybody does what they love and excel at. Second, great time and project management, which is paramount in an industry that keeps changing (and sometime evolving) every single day.

We want to sincerely thank our subscribers (if you are not one, it is not too late. Join here) and followers for all of their continued support and feedback.

Today we would like to highlight our 10 most popular articles of the year. Later this week we will publish the 10 articles that for whatever reason didn’t get much attention but we feel are very relevant and worth your time.

Here we go!

1) Upgrading to Adobe Lightroom 4 in 7 simple steps.

No matter what previous version of Adobe Lightroom you use, it is very easy to install and upgrade to the latest Lightroom 4 platform.  Find out  how easy this is below.

Upgrade to Adobe Lightroom 4.

Adobe Lightroom 4 Catalog.

2) Canon EOS M Hands-on Review and Canon EOS M Images.

After several tests, we discussed the best and not so great features of Canon’s EOS M. Also, we shot some sample images with this mirrorless gem.

Canon EOS M Review  &  Canon EOS M Images

Canon EOS M Interior

 3)  Canon EOS Mark III, 5D3, 5D Mk III has arrived!

An in-depth technical analysis on the latest, newest, meanest Canon EOS system.  Our overview included the most important and newest features.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III


Canon EOS 5D MK3



How do you envision your Day One?

All of us have (or will) experienced a time when we have to plan for retirement, but have you really stopped to think about what you will do on that very first day? That’s exactly what Prudential’s brilliant and beautiful “Day One” campaign is about.

image of man in retirement

Mapping out the next stage of your life after a long working career should be a fascinating journey, not the struggle and fearful “task” we currently experience.  The campaign was targeted at the more than 10,000 American baby boomers who retire each day, capturing what it feels like to wake up on a person’s first day of retirement. The project is hosted on a microsite, where more than 250 retirees have participated by submitting their images and videos.

The “Day One” campaign was awarded a Gold Integrated Lion at the 2012 Cannes Lions, a very prestigious achievement that only two campaigns in the entire world received.  We are very impressed from the quality and effort of this campaign, as they are producing amazing short videos that are truly relevant to everyone.

Click to keep reading (more…)


Adobe Photoshop CS6 • Updates and Workarounds.

windows xp broken window

Back in April, when Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta was released, the company dropped offi­cial sup­port for Win­dows Vista, but it continued supporting Windows 7 and XP users.

A couple of months later, Adobe gave an “advanced warning” that 3D feature upgrades in Photoshop CS6 would no longer be supported with Windows XP. Additionally, Photoshop CS6 (13.0) will be the last major version of Photoshop to support Windows XP.

Even though it is ancient, Windows XP is still the best selling Microsoft OS, and makes up nearly 40% of their market share (after having peaked at 76.1% in January 2007), it is somewhat expected that Adobe’s software developers now insist on the latest upgraded versions of Windows OS (Windows 7 and 8) to run their applications.

This is what Adobe had to say:

Photoshop CS6 already demonstrates that relying on a modern operating system, graphics cards/GPUs and graphics drivers can lead to substantial improvements in 3D, Blur Gallery and Lighting Effect features not available to Windows XP customers. The team hopes that by providing this information early it will help you understand our current decisions around operating system support and where we we’re headed with future releases of Photoshop.

We encourage all customers who are currently using the 3D features in Photoshop CS6 Extended to begin upgrading their video card/hardware now so they can fully take advantage of future Photoshop innovations as soon as they are available.

Creative Cloud members will also be required to update their vRAM to at least 512 MB in order to access 3D features found in Photoshop CS6 Extended.  If they don’t update, they’ll see the following dialog box:

Click here to keep reading  (more…)


Will Lightroom 4 support all my files? Maybe.

Updated 9/22

I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking whether Adobe Lightroom 4 (and/or Adobe Camera Raw 7) will support the file format for certain new cameras.

In Lightroom 4.1 or later, you can import and work with TIFF 16-, 24-, and 32-bit floating point images – also known as HDR (high dynamic range) images. You can use the Develop module controls to edit HDR images, and then render the images for export or printing as 8-bit or 16-bit images. Lightroom can now import DNG format HDR images, but you need to make sure the images are processed version 2012.

To keep things simple, here’s the complete list of currently supported file formats:

• TIFF (8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit)
• PSD (8 bit, 16 bit)
• RAW – Here is the complete list of supported cameras. As you can see, the list keeps growing and growing and now includes Hasselblad, Mamiya/Leaf, and PhaseOne Medium Format Digital Backs.

There are two important exceptions:
PSD files saved without the “Maximize Compatibility” setting enabled
Files with dimensions greater than 65,000 pixels per side

As you already know (if you have been following this blog), Lightroom 4 also supports the most popular HDSLR video formats, including MOV, MPG, AVI, and AVCHD.

Keep in mind that the AVCHD support is limited to MTS and M2TS video files. Video editing applications like Adobe Premiere Pro may need the AVCHD file structure to process the files, which can be a pain. Final Cut Pro 7 won’t even take the MTS files without transcoding them first.

This is how the typical AVCHD file structure looks like:

Sony NEX-7 Files

If you find this information useful please help us share the love. It is good karma!


The Dawn of the Innovated Dead.

Photokina started a few hours ago, and Sony is banging its drums. And loud!

Kazuo Hirai, the brand new CEO (since April), seems to finally come to the realization that in order to compete with Canon and Nikon in the HDSLR arena the company needs to provide products that photographers and filmmakers need, and understand.

The most impressive announcement is the Cyber-shot RX1, which is basically a point-and-shoot with a full-frame sensor.

Sony RX1 CameraArial of Sony RX1The Specs:
35mm full-frame 24.3MP Exmor CMOS sensor, ISO 100-25600, 14-bit RAW image capture, f/2.0 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T lens with 9 aperture blades, P/A/S/M modes, Full HD 24p/60i/60p video with manual control. Check all the features here.

The Good:
1080p video recording at 60fps or 24fps.
Manual exposure controls for both stills and video.
RAW shooting.
Automated modes for HDR photography.

The Bad:
35mm fixed lens, even if it is an F2.0.
For $2,800 it is pretty hard to consider this camera over a full-featured HDSLR. If you are still interested, Amazon is taking pre orders now.



The power of words in marketing.

A wonderful friend sent me this short video, which impacted me at several different levels.

The original intention of the director, Seth Gardner, was “to illustrate the power of words to radically change a message and its effect upon the world.” It can be seen as a clever marketing piece or a bittersweet personal story.

For some reason, the video reminded me of the Washington Post’s experiment about 5 years ago, when Joshua Bell, one of the best concert violinist in the world, played for free, for 45 minutes, on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars at a subway station in D.C. Over a thousand people passed by Bell, only seven stopped to listen him play, including a 3-year old boy, and only one person recognized him. He collected $32.17. A few nights before he was playing a sold out theater in Boston with an average ticket of $100.

The first video inspired me to rethink how we market our company and communicate with our clients, and the second one remind to “stop and smell the roses” or at least listen to the music more often.


The Power of Technology in Education.

Last week, I watched a repeat of a story from 2011, on how the iPad is unlocking the minds of people with Autism. We encourage everyone to watch it on Youtube here.

Child with tablet learning.

It is incredible to see how the iPad and other smart devices are being integrated into classrooms all over the U.S. to use as new learning tools. Interactive applications such as smart boards, cloud computing and e-learning are now being implemented so that students of all ages can obtain degrees; which is fantastic.

Students are also now equipped with personal laptops, smart phones and tablets. Attaining information and sharing knowledge has never been easier or more fun.

However, the benefit of these devices will bring no guarantee to fixing our seriously broken education system.

Smart apps and devices are being used in tremendous ways that help students interact and build social communication skills (I am not talking about Facebook or Twitter).

Infograph displaying the results of personalized learning.

At the same time, while a lot of students are reaping the benefits, others are not.

Technological innovations are still not available to everyone unfortunately. While the cost of new technology is decreasing every day, schools in poor neighborhoods get about half as much money per student than schools in affluent neighborhoods; school budgets are tied to property taxes.

click to keep reading (more…)


Robotic Photography.

Like many of you, we have been (sporadically) following the 2012 London Olympics.  This year, we have noticed that the visuals are stunning. After some quick research, it turns out most of the camera work done for the Olympics is actually not done by human photographers, but with robotics. Footage from the air, sweeping panoramics, and beautiful underwater views are now captured with increasingly complex remote controlled devices.

Robotic Camera Rigs

Turns out that for security reasons, the Olympics Committee has even banned photographers from the stadium roofs. Because of this, The AFP team came up with dozens of customized robotic camera systems.  Each rig is equipped with a Nikon D4 and a 16-400mm zoom lens. Watch APF’s fascinating robotic innovation process:

Obviously, the Olympics are not the only place where robots are being used to capture photography and video. Robotics are essential to research some of the more dangerous locations on Earth for extended periods of time. A great example is the Robo-fish, used in northern Spain, that monitors pollution levels with a sensor that detects it, and alerts scientists right away.

Robotic fish used to capture and detect pollution levels in water.

Click to keep reading  (more…)


Notes from the Field.

This is a scan from my journal that I bring with me to every preproduction meeting that I have with clients, directors, producers, and others. In this scan you can see my handy “preproduction notes.”

video shooting - preproduction

Here’s how my system works: first, I like to get the conversation going by sharing movies that we like and movies that could be related to the project at hand. This helps tremendously in our effort to understand both technically and aesthetically what the client or director is going after, and if we are a good match for the project.

About a year ago I sat down with a director who began envisioning a project as “film noir meets science fiction/kung fu—but in a funny way,” which saved us both a lot of time, as I was definitively not interested!

Let’s take a look at the other things I consider on every video production:

• Script: Do we have a script? Is it from a book or is it an original script? When can I see it? If there isn’t a script, who is going to write it and when? This is a very important step. Even though I always write the scripts for my own projects, it needs to be clearly defined who will perform this integral part when it comes to someone else’s project. I have been using Celtx, and I am very happy with the results. The script is by far THE most important piece on any video production puzzle.

• Shot list: As soon as I have the script, I start creating a shot list: what kind of gear do we need? Do we own it? Do we need to rent it? How many shots can we accomplish in one day? The answers to these questions can vary greatly depending on location, the scenes’ complexity, permits, and even the weather.

• Location Permits: Since most of us don’t have access to Hollywood’s sets and production budgets, being creative is extremely important. Having access to locations that other people don’t have access to is key. There are several beautiful abandoned buildings on Wall Street that no one knows about. In Harlem there are fantastic mansions that you can shoot if you know the right people. Battery Park is Federal property while Central Park is not. Both require shooting permits, issued by different offices.

• Location Scouting: I am often surprised to see how many people ignore this critical step. In cities like New York things change, and they change fast. The park that you so fondly remember is now a parking lot. And that awesome abandoned building? Well, it’s now a luxury condo.



Canon EOS M Images.

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

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

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

Canon EOS M Movie Resolution

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

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

Canon EOS M Cross Section

Canon EOS M Lens Mount Adapter

Canon EOS M Lens Mount Adapter

click to keep reading



Great interview with X-Rite Coloratti on Color Management.

Last month, I was invited to join the prestigious X-Rite Col­oratti team, which includes the world’s top pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers. I was interviewed by X-Rite about my work, as well as my thoughts on color management for digital photographers, and specifically for those shooting video. We also chatted a bit about my views on how video has changed the playing field for all professional photographers. Please take a few minutes to listen to this short clip of our conversation.

We recently shot a series of video tutorials, focusing on the importance of color management and monitor calibration for video editing. Here’s the most recent episode.

If anyone is interested, there are a few spaces left at my upcoming workshop: Inkjet Printing: Color Management and Calibration at the International Center of Photography in New York City, Aug 4th, 2012.

Please feel welcome to leave any feedback, questions or comments below.


H.265: A New Standard for Digital Cinema?

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

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

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

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

New h.265 HVEC Standard Resolution

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


How to switch from iPhoto to Adobe Lightroom.

Question: I would like to start using Lightroom as my photo editing software but up until now all my photos have been stored on my iMac and in iPhoto. I am tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to 1) transfer my iPhoto library to an external hard drive and then 2) transfer that to Lightroom. I’ve been reading about this on the Web but am skeptical of trying to do it myself.

Answer: The first step is to find out where are your images stored. Go to Applications/iPhoto and right-click on “show package contents”.

Aple Applications

You should now be able to see the iPhoto “library.”

The next step is to decide if you want to keep the images where they are or move them to a new location. Using Adobe Lightroom you can accomplish both tasks. I personally would prefer to MOVE the images to a fast and reliable external hard drive that is only dedicated to the images. More info about Hard Drives here and here.

In Adobe Lightroom’s Import dialog, navigate to the folder that contains you iPhoto Library, make sure MOVE is selected, and select the new destination on the (ideally) external Hard Drive.

Switching from iPhoto to Lightroom

The pictures will be MOVED from the iPhoto location, and imported  through Lightroom.

By the way. iPhoto is BAD for several reasons. Just two mention two: By default, it creates additional folders and subfolders with the capture time, making your workflow even more time consuming and painful.



Conversations with Friends.

For this week’s “Conversations with Friends,” (Episode 7), we continue our dialogue with Ted Kawalerski, professional photographer and director, about his own transition from still photography to documentary and corporate filmmaking, and the challenges involved.

Ted also shares more light on his upcoming Family Life Academy video project, located in the South Bronx in New York City as well as his views on retirement.

As always, please share with us your feedback and thoughts.


Get set for AIPAD. Starts today.


AIPAD from Above

If you have ever been to an AIPAD show in New York City, then you know that ‘tis the season to be excited for the 32nd anniversary of this once-a-year photography showcase.

Starting today and until April 1, 2012, photographers, art dealers, hobbyists and international art enthusiasts will gather together for the latest in art photography at the Association of International Photography Art Dealer’s (AIPAD) Photography Show, returning to the Park Avenue Armory in the Upper west side.

The Armory was built as a military facility and designed by the world’s leading artists and architects in 1861, including Charles W/ Clinton (later a partner of Clinton & Russel), Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White Herter Brother, Pottier & Stymus, and architects of the Astor Hotel.  The main hall, measures 55,000 square feet…that is a lot of room for a gallery, wouldn’t you say? It remains as one of the few unimpeded spaces remaining in New York.

This year is going to be huge, with 75 of the world’s leading art galleries contributing all different kinds of photographic work including contemporary, modern, abstract, 19th century, photo-based art, digital video…. you name it!

In addition to the amazing variety of artwork that you will encounter, there are also panel discussions and seminars from some of the world’s most influential photographers and curators including a conversation between Dutch photographer, Rineke Djisktra and Jennifer Blessing, curator of photography at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum.

“Highlights of this year’s photography exhibition include work by Julia Margaret Cameron, Ansel Adams, André Kertész and Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as a variety of modern and contemporary showcases such as those of Linda McCartney and Karen Knorr and an exclusive exhibition by David Zwirner gallery of a new body of work by Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, in which he endeavours to find a balance between documentary and theatrically staged photography. There is also an exhibition of personal cards sent from photographers such as Lee Friedlander and Jerry Uelsmann.”  Read the press release. to see more featured speakers and artists.

For only $40, you can get a four-day pass, or $25 for a one-day pass.  Even better, students can pay $10 for a one-day pass. I would highly recommend this show to anyone who is in the least bit interested to understand past and present trends in photographic mediums.

For more details, visit


Installing and upgrading Adobe Lightroom 4.

Today we would like to show you how to install Adobe Lightroom 4 in 60 seconds or less. On Saturday morning we will post a step-by-step tutorial on how to upgrade your Lightroom 3 (or 2, or 1, or even 4 Beta) Catalog to Lightroom 4.

And by the way, don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a new episode of our “Conversations with Friends.


Stunning tilt-shift video at the Carnival in Rio.

An absolutely stunning Tilt-Shift/Timelapse video of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Shot by Sydney photographer and filmmaker Keith Loutit and Jarbas Agnelli.


Conversations with Friends.

For Episode 3 on our Conversations with Friends series we had the pleasure to chat with Robert Ammirati, great photographer and friend. We talked about how Red Hook, Brooklyn is now becoming the new Soho and how the magic of shooting film will be lost on younger generations of photographers.

The wine we enjoyed today was the 2009 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages, Burgundy, France.

“The 2009 Beaujolais-Villages from Joseph Drouhin is a stunning bottle of wine that has to be one of the absolute steals of this superb vintage. The bouquet is deep and exuberant, as it soars from the glass in a fantastic blend of plums, black cherries, intense violets, chocolate and woodsmoke. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, plush and tangy, with a rock solid core of fruit, just a whisper of tannin and outstanding length and grip on the complex and perfectly balanced finish. High class juice for its pedigree and clearly a wine that will improve with bottle age- though good luck trying to keep your hands off of this gem!” 91 Points – John Gillman



Using an iPad as a Key Light.

Rodney Charters, Drew Gardner and Lan Bui playing with the new Canon EOS C300 camera. To test the camera’s 20,000 ISO capability, they shot a low-light scene using an iPad for the key light and an iPhone for the fill light. This is way too cool.

Test Technical Notes:
Camera: Canon C300
ISO: 20,000
Lens: Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS L lens
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter: 1/25th (360 degree)
Canon Log Gamma


Video Lighting Tutorial.

Bobbi Lane shares a 30-second tutorial on lighting techniques for digital cinema using only two Lowel Tota 1000-watt lights (more about this on a future post). Before and after images and lighting diagrams are included.

Is this too short? Too long? Would you like to see more 30-second Tutorials? Talk to us.
UPDATE: May readers and subscribers have been asking about the equipment we used on our Lighting course on Here are the answers:

We used a variety of lights, but the main ones were Bowens Limelite Mosaic 30x30cm Daylight LED Panel.
As our A Camera we used a Canon EOS C100 Cinema EOS shooting to an Atomos Ninja-2 recorder. As our B and C Cameras we used a couple of Canon EOS 5D Mark III. We used a variety of lenses, but the main one was the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.


Adobe Lightroom 4 HDSLR video support explained.

UPDATE March 6, 2012. The full version of Lightroom 4 is available now and Adobe cut the price in half: The full version (which used to cost $299) will now be $149. The upgrade version will only cost $79. The beta version (which was downloaded more than 250,000 times) will expire on March 31, 2012.

My birthday was yesterday, and the present arrived this morning. Lightroom 4.0 (public beta) FULL VERSION is now available as a free download from Adobe’s website.

Important things to consider:

• You do not need a serial number and the beta version will not update your current Lightroom 3 (or earlier) catalog.
• The public beta comes in three flavors: Mac (OS X v10.6.8 Snow Leopard) or v10.7 Lion), Windows 32-bit, and Windows 64-bit. Make sure you download the correct version. Each compressed download is about 400MB.
• File support for Lightroom 4 beta, is exactly the same as in Lightroom 3.6 and Camera Raw 6.6.
• The public beta will expire on March 31, 2012, when the final Version 4 becomes available.
Adobe Lightroom 4 Video Support

Here are the new features, organized from super awesome to awesome:

• HDSLR video support (full details below)
• Soft proofing (found under the Develop Module, not the Print Module as one would expect)
• Photo book layout
• Email directly from Lightroom (works with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL)
• Publish videos directly to Facebook or Flickr
• Geo location (via GPS metadata) with the Map Module
• Enhanced DNG workflows
• Adobe Revel (Carousel) export workflow
• Additional local adjustments including Noise Reduction and White Balance
• Powerful new Shadow and Highlight controls
• Simplified basic adjustments

Adobe Lightroom 4 Soft Proofing



Regarding Video Support this is what Adobe has to say:

“Lightroom 3 added the ability to import, manage and tag video files but as the popularity of video capture increases it’s important to provide a single, robust workflow solution that can support all of your imaging needs regardless if they’re still images or video captures. Lightroom 4 adds native playback for a wide variety of formats from mobile phones to high end DSLRs.”

Here’s what I have to say: In version 3, we were able to import video files along with our still images, but to see the clips Lightroom needed to access Quicktime. Now we can play the files inside of LR. Also, by using similar shortcuts from well established NLE (non linear editing) software applications like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro, now we can set In and Out points directly in Lightroom. Shift+I (In) and Shift+O (Out).



5 free mobile Vimeo Apps to edit HD Video.

I recently got a Tablet to more efficiently maintain this blog by using the very good WordPress app, among other apps for photography and digital cinema.

Today my life got a free upgrade with Vimeo’s new apps for iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone. I have been waiting for almost a year since the iPhone app was released, but it was worth the wait. Now I’ll be able to upload, manage and watch my videos right from my phone (highly unlikely since the battery sucks), and Tablet.

HD Editing on Android

The Android app requires Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread) or later. Some of the features include:

Upload raw or edited footage in HD or SD
• Pause/Resume videos and uploads
• Replace existing videos
• Edit tags, titles, credits, descriptions and privacy info
• Share on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, email or SMS
• Add your clips to Groups, Channels and Albums
• Download your Vimeo videos to your Camera roll
• Watch videos from the Vimeo Inbox and Watch Later queue
• Stats on daily plays, likes and comments

Slow Motion apps for cinematographers

According to Vimeo, 15% of its traffic now comes from mobile devices. 18% of this blog’s visits are from mobile devices and 30% of those devices are iPhones.



Conversations with Friends.

Today we start with Episode 001 of our bi-weekly series “Conversations with Friends.”

The goal is to meet with different people we find interesting (and opinionated) and simply chat about trending topics, recent developments in technology, new toys that we like or hate and simply have a good time while enjoying a glass of wine.  On today’s episode I talk with Justin Katz about the Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB Wireless Memory Card. Did we like it? Watch to find out.

If you want to participate on our conversations or would like us to cover a specific topic just post a comment or shoot me an email.

Next week I’ll add the link with step-by-step instructions on how to set up the Eye-Fi Card on an iPad, an Android Tablet, and a Mac Book Pro. Here are the card’s features.

The wine we tasted was the 2009 Casarena Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina. It was very good and a great buy for $14.


How much is Slow-Mo worth? Twixtor vs. Adobe Premiere Pro.


Tues­days Tutorials.

We recently purchased a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM lens, and tested it by shooting stills and video at a skate park in Manhattan. We liked some of the footage we got, and decided to quickly play with some slow motion effects in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

One of our friends at Abel Cine suggested that we look into Twixtor, and we did. Here are the side-by-side videos, so you can judge the quality by yourself.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

RE:Vision Twixtor

The video was shot with a Canon EOS 7D, at 1270×720 and 60fps. The shutter was anywhere between 1/125th and 1/500th of a second. All the clips were slowed down to 20%. We feel that Premiere Pro did a decent job, but Twixtor definitively is the way to go. Unfortunately, the standard version is $330, and the Pro version is $600. Is anyone using another preset for slow motion with a similar (or better) quality?


Same but different – Intro to Digital Cinema.

As a professional photographer, transitioning into the HDSLR Cinema world for the past 3 years has been a fascinating journey. I would like to share the five main similarities and five main differences I have encountered. Read through, I can guarantee it will save you some time.


• White balance. Think Jpg. You can tweak the White Balance in post, but you are very limited to what you can do. Instead of using Auto White Balance, set a specific color temperature (5200K for example), especially if shooting with more than one camera.

• Exposure is very critical. Pay special attention to the highlights. It is time to use again that good old Light Meter or get one specifically designed for HDSLR shooters like Sekonic’s L-308DC. Like White Balance, do your best to get it right on camera, not in post.

• Camera Settings. We are still using ISO, aperture, and shutter, but because of the frame rate, the shutter is not really a variable factor anymore. Now, we also need to add fps (frames per second), picture styles, and other interesting things to the mix.

• Composition. We go back to the basics. Rule of thirds, symmetry and patterns, texture, depth of field, viewpoint, and cropping. Luckily, that has not changed. If you have a good eye, you are good.

candle light image

• Lighting. All cameras are light-tight boxes that admit controlled light only through a lens. Just because we can push sensors to 25,000 ISO does not mean you are telling a story with light. You need to light.


• Lighting. Wait! Wasn’t this one of the similarities? Yes, it is also a big difference. Remember strobes? They turned into hot lights and continuous lights. Also, keep in mind that now the camera moves, and the light should work for several angles.



The DP who wasn’t known.

It is amazing how little we know about directors of photography. When we think about the Godfather series we immediately imagine Francis Ford CoppolaMarlon BrandoAl Pacino, and Robert De Niro. Some would even think of Mario Puzo. When we discuss Woody Allen movies like Zelig or Annie Hall we connect them with Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton, but very few people will know that the man responsible for the lighting, movement, and overall “look” of both movies is Gordon Willis, who is also responsible for “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Manhattan” among many others.

The Director of Photography, also known as DP, DOP, or Cinematographer, is responsible for the quality of the photography and the cinematic look of every movie by creating the appropriate mood, atmosphere, and visual style of each shot. The DP also determines the camera angles, lighting, shot composition, and camera movements, among many other technical considerations.

Here is the complete list, from 2000 to 2010, of all the directors of photography nominated for the Oscars. In 10 years Roger Deakins (my personal hero when it comes to cinematography) has been nominated 5 times for O Brother, Where Art Thou?The Man Who Wasn’t ThereThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Readerand True Grit

“The Man Who Wasn’t There” is an absolute masterpiece in Cinema lighting.



Watson MD. New ways to see data.


Data is not useful until it becomes information, and on this fascinating 30-second commercial the flow of information is presented in a unique way by seamlessly combining medical visualizations, scientific literature, live action photography, pathogen analysis, and more. Guillermo Navarro, the same cinematographer who shot Night at the Museum, the Hellboy series, and the fantastic Pan’s Labyrinth, used two RED cameras and one ARRI Alexa camera to capture over a million images for this project.

“We shot insects, livestock, plants and other elements live on greenscreen. We licensed medical procedures for the young actor in the spot to get medical visualizations of the boy’s actual anatomy – CAT scans, X-rays, brain stem eye visualizations, and more; photos of his family members to illustrate medical history, medical literature showing research on actual potential causes and conditions of the scenario, images of pathogens, viruses, allergens and bacteria at the root of the possible causes, and more.”

Motion Theory’s Director Mathew Cullen Visualizes Supercomputer’s Thinking Process for IBM’s “Watson M.D.”

Incredibly, none of the images in the spot are computer generated! According to another source, production on “Watson M.D.” took four weeks and included consulting with medical practitioners, a three-day live-action shoot, developing the animation engine and integrating visual effects, and editing.