Frame.io Insider: Speed Up Your Editing Using Final Cut Pro X’s Browser

https://blog.frame.io/2018/11/05/fcpx-browser-editing/

“At last year’s FCP X World in London, people were dazzled by watching London-based commercial editor Thomas Grove Carter of Trim Editing cut together an Audi commercial live. The speed with which he conducted the edit was mesmerizing….

… But FCP X, with its magnetic timeline and the powerful tools packed into its browser, is built for lightning-paced cutting—you just have to know how to use it!

As I see it, there are two standout techniques involved in Thomas Grove Carter’s process:

  • Mastery of three-point editing (and its keyboard shortcuts)
  • Mastery of FCP X’s browser-based system of organization and labeling…”
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Apple Final Cut Pro X on Apple 27″ iMac Pro with Retina 5K Display (Late 2017)

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Tilta Announces “Tactical Assault Armor” Professional Camera Cage System for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

In an intriguing departure from the more customary minimalist approach to creating cages for hybrid and cinema cameras, Tilta has announced a complete professional cage and accessories system for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and it looks amazing. 

The system appears to be named BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor, thus taking on a rather unfortunate military note, but it impresses with the attention to detail Tilta’s design and engineering team has paid to the BMPCC 4K’s accessories needs for use in demanding productions. 

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Tilta cage system for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Blackmagic Design’s latest pocket camera is anything but a fit-in-the-pocket cinema camera, and from feedback from early pre-order customers it appears to be as capable of run-and-gun documentary work as it is of feature-style documentary or narrative moviemaking.

Tilta’s BMPCC 4K cage design philosophy appears based on making the cost of entry low with the half cage priced at US$69.00, full cage at US$99 with the top handle priced at US$79.00, making the most basic cage combo US$148.00 with an extra US$30.00 for full cage instead of half cage.

Other products in the system tackle BMPCC 4K weak points such as cabling, external SSDs, sun-shading and external power as well as the need for a fast and easy focus-pulling solution for solo operators.

At such a low price for entry into the system, independent documentary moviemakers are able to get a foot in then add to it as bigger productions demand.

Tilta BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor Cage for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

So far Tilta has not revealed the BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor cage system’s release date but interested potential customers are invited to sign up for updates.

I will be keeping an eye out for hands-on reviews of the system in all its forms.

One thing that appears to be missing from the system so far is provision for easily, safely attaching a tilting and swivelling monitor such as the recently-released  Atomos Ninja V but perhaps that solution is still in design stage and will be illustrated in use in a future version of the Tilta BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor cage system web page.

Some other Tilta camera cages

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Skylum Updates Luminar 2018 Raw Processor/Image Editor with Artificial Intelligence-Driven AI Sky Enhancer

While it seems that most Australian professional photographers of my acquaintance depend on Adobe Bridge’s Camera Raw module in conjunction with Photoshop as their first choice for raw processing and imaged editing, followed by Adobe Lightroom in order of popularity, there are alternative products and alternative software companies.

One of the most creative is Skylum, formerly named Macphun, maker of Aurora HDR and Luminar, the first a high dynamic range image merging and editing application and the second a raw image processing and image editing application the features of which are ever-growing and unlike any other image editor in their scope and innovation. 

Luminar 2018 recently gained an artificial-intelligence driven feature, the AI Sky Enhancer, and the long-awaited major update, Luminar with Libraries, due sometime in December 2018, will add sync and batch editing, image organizing, rating, labelling and tagging to improve Luminar’s photo management and editing editing workflow.  

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Skylum Luminar AI Sky Enhancer filter applied to a Fujifilm X-Pro2 raw file of a local landscape after initial processing with Iridient X-Transformer. Photograph © copyright Karin Gottschalk 2018. All rights reserved.

Ever since Apple signalled the coming end of its support for Aperture, one of the best media management, picture sorting and editing, raw processing and image editing applications ever, relied upon by photographers as well as picture editors, magazine publishers, advertising agencies, deign firms and more, photographers have been searching for a direct replacement and the available solutions have been found wanting to various degrees.

Since then I have tried a number of media management applications and modules built into raw processing and image editing software and none of them have filled the bill in exactly the way I need them to.

Skylum has verb working on a media management solution aka library for Luminar for some time and it looks like it will finally make its appearance soon.

I cannot want to try it out and with luck it will be the media manager cum image library I have been after for all these years.

Skylum Luminar 2018 AI Sky Enhancer Before and After

How Does AI Sky Enhancer Work?

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Sky detection & object recognition: With the help of our deep neural network, Luminar analyzes the image and detects the sky. This neural network had been trained using hundreds of thousands of images with different amounts and different types of sky, whether it’s a tiny patch of blue peeking through a skylight, a cloudy sky flaunting sunset colors, or a dark, ominous sky signaling a storm.
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Semantic Segmentation: Once image analysis is complete, Luminar performs what we call semantic segmentation, separating the image into different layers, based on the semantic and contextual meaning of the objects it detects. This analysis allows the most precise and intelligent sky enhancement with minimal noise, halos, and negative impact on other areas of the image. The AI detects objects in the foreground, defines edges, and analyzes the textures and tones of the sky itself. The deep neural network that powers AI Sky Enhancer had been trained using thousands of real life examples we’ve either taken ourselves or obtained from other professional photographers.
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Smart masking: Following sky detection and segmentation, Luminar applies an automatic mask to the sky that’s invisible to you as the user. When you move the slider to the right, you only notice how the sky becomes more and more beautiful. Just like a professional photographer, AI Sky Enhancer treats different images differently. It applies a custom set of adjustments to a sky, depending on its look. This means that a blue sky will get a treatment far different from a grey sky, and a sunset sky will be enhanced differently from a mid-morning one.

LUTs in Skylum Luminar 2018 and Aurora HDR 2019

I have been developing an approach to portrait photography based on five to seven bracket images batch processed in Iridient X-Transformer then merged in Skylum Aurora HDR 2019 with maximum image editing done in Aurora’s 16-bit colour space including applying film emulation and looks LUTs.

This has only been possible in the way I have long envisaged it since the release of Aurora HDR 2019 and its amazing realistic automatic tone-mapping, a huge evolutionary leap beyond previous versions of Aurora HDR and other HDR software I have used over the years.

The addition of the LUTs feature in both items of Skylum software is welcome as I have assembled an enormous collection of camera profile, film emulation and looks LUTs over the years and enjoy applying the film emulation LUTs in particular to portraits.

The challenge when editing with LUTs is to choose exactly the right one, or two or more of them in combination, to communicate the information and emotions I visualized for the finished image when I made the exposure.

Right now selecting that one or more perfect LUT from a big collection of them is a time-consuming process of trial and error, loading and looking, rejecting then choosing again.

Some video editing applications and colour grading applications and plug-ins have LUT library previewing capabilities that speed up the processing of choosing the best LUT for the job and I want to see the same functionality added to Skylum Luminar 2018 and Aurora HDR 2019.

In illustration, the above three portraits have been graded with three different film emulation LUTs, one from a medium-sized collection and the other two from a far bigger set of LUTs.

Choosing the looks I wanted took far too long and I skipped over thousands of other possible candidates.

Small previews of how each LUT would render the image would have sped up the process considerably.

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Fujifilm GFX 50R Medium Format Rangefinder-Style Camera Touch and Try Event at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney, Thursday 1st November 2018

Warrewyk Williams of Fujifilm Australia presented the Fujifilm GFX 50R Touch and Try event at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney. Photograph copyright Karin Gottschalk 2018, all rights reserved.

Fujifilm Australia’s Warrewyk Williams arrived at the Touch and Try event at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney last night with one of the few, if not the only, Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format rangefinder-style digital cameras along with a selection of G Mount lenses, Fujifilm GFX 50S DSLR-style medium format camera, Fujifilm X-H1, Instax printers and more. 

The event provided an opportunity for a brief but informative hands-on with the GFX 50R with the proviso that the camera is a pre-production model with pre-release firmware and so comes with possible quirks and operating speed reductions. 

This event was particularly welcome as I have not had the opportunity to touch or try the X-H1, GFX 50S or any of Fujifilm’s Instax products, given the closure of our local top-end camera stores, and I have long been hoping and waiting for a digital version of Fujifilm’s justly loved and celebrated “Texas Leica” 120 roll film analog cameras of the past. 

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Fujifilm GFX 50R with Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens, equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format.

Some “Texas Leica” medium format rangefinder cameras from the analog era, made by Fujifilm, Bronica and Mamiya

Fujifilm, as well as Bronica and Mamiya, made some remarkable 120 roll film rangefinder cameras with Fujifilm producing a huge variety of “Texas Leicas” in the 6×4.5cm, 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x8cm and 6x9cm formats and for all I know may well have produced 6x9cm and 6x12cm cameras too.

I continue to search for top quality photographs of these and other cameras in the hopes of preserving some of the camera-building achievements of the past, some of which may trickle down to the present day.

The Fujifilm GFX 50R has clearly benefited from Fujifilm’s analog innovations, its look and feel reminding me of the company’s larger 120 roll film cameras while also sharing a great deal of the X-Pro2’s own DNA.

Fujifilm GFX 50R Touch and Try

Reeling off a few snapshots with an unfamiliar and pre-production camera is hardly a thorough real-world test but the experience reminded me that documentary photography and portraiture with a medium format camera is a very different thing to making the same sorts of photographs with a small, fast, agile, gestural camera like the X-Pro2 or X-T3.

Making reportage and portraits photographs with the GFX 50R and GFX 50S is more akin to how I used to work handheld with my Hasselblad, Mamiya 7 and even my Crown Graphic 4″x5″ sheet film 4field camera – slower, more deliberate and with fewer shots than I would make on APS-C or Micro Four Thirds cameras.

I tried two lenses, the Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR and the Fujinon GF 120mm f/4.0 Macro R LM OIS WR in emulation of the two-lens moderate wide and medium telephoto kits I had for my medium and large format analog cameras.

I learned that, aside from the coming-soon Fujinon GF 50mm f3.5 R LM WR pancake lens, equivalent to about 40mm in the 35mm sensor format, more wide prime lenses are planned for GF mount cameras along with the  Fujinon GF 45-100mm f/4.0 R LM OIS WR and Fujinon GF 100-200mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR zoom lenses currently slated for 2019 and 2020 releases on Fujifilm’s G Mount Lens Roadmap.

The Fujifilm GFX 50R is, for me, a combination rangefinder-style and small field view camera, for use primarily handheld but also on a portable but sturdy tripod such as 3 Legged Thing’s Winston or those made by Really Right Stuff, for making environmental and full-face portrait photographs.

My quick and dirty test shots indicate that it has the image quality of an analog sheet film camera rather than a 120 roll film camera, and I would prefer to use prime lenses with it rather than zooms.

Warrewyk Williams estimates the focal length equivalence factor at 0.79 for Fujifilm’s G Mount lenses, making the 45mm equivalent to 35.55 in 35mm terms and the 120mm equivalent to 94.8 in 35mm terms.

Other lenses worth considering for my sort of portrait photography include the Fujinon GF 110mm f/2.0 R LM WR equivalent to 86.9mm and hopefully a soon-to-come 35mm GF lens equivalent to 28mm.

Not to be discounted is the Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4.0 R LM WR zoom lens which provides at least three useful focal lengths for different forms of portraiture, in 35mm equivalent terms 28mm, 35mm and 50mm, and is available right now rather than waiting for fast prime lenses to come.

A two or three lens kit for the GFX 50R may be all I would need for portraiture should I invest in digital medium format.

While it is too early too come to conclusions about the GFX 50R and its lenses, I have been particularly struck by the superb 3D image rendering in the available light snapshot portrait of Warrewyk Williams above and am very much looking forward to exploring more of the creative possibilities of Fujifilm’s GFX camera and lens system very soon.

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Image Credits

Portrait of Warrewyk Williams made by Karin Gottschalk on Fujifilm medium format camera with Fujinon GF 120mm f4.0 R LM OIS WR Macro lens as five autoexposure brackets processed in Skylum Aurora HDR 2019 with film emulation LUT applied and further processing in Skylum Luminar.

Documentary photographs made by Karin Gottschalk on Fujifilm X-Pro2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens.

Header image of GFX 50R made by Jonas Rask for Fujifilm.

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Blackmagic Design Announces eGPU Pro, Professional Version of Its Blackmagic eGPU, 22x Faster Performance Than Previous Model

Blackmagic Design has announced the Blackmagic eGPU Pro, a GPU power-boosted pro-level version of its recently released Blackmagic eGPU, with a Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor instead of the earlier model’s Radeon Pro 580 graphics card. 

As a result Blackmagic Design is claiming an up-to 22 times speed boost for graphics-intensive tasks such as photography and video editing with non-linear editing suites such as Blackmagic Design’s own DaVinci Resolve in both versions and Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. 

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro requires either a Thunderbolt 3-equipped MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, new Mac mini or an iMac or, presumably, an iMac Pro, all running macOS 10.14 Mojave for its updated support for external graphics processing units. 

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro provides two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, 85 watt power delivery and an HDMI 2.0 port as well as a DisplayPort 1.4 port to support up to two 5K monitors.

I began looking into eGPUs some time before the previous version of macOS supported it due to the demands on my late 2014 iMac Retina 5K 27-inch being made by increasingly larger stills and video files produced by ever-larger sensors and ever-growing quality capabilities of video files in particular.

Later today I will be attending a preview of Fujifilm’s GFX 50R rangefinder-style medium format camera and the 100 megapixel version of Fujifilm’s GFX 50S DSLR-style camera will be released in 2019.

A reasonable rule of thumb is that an average raw file from a 50 megapixel camera will weigh in at 100 megabytes before processing and an average raw file from a 100 megapixel camera will weigh in at 200 megabytes before raw conversion and image editing involving extra layers.

Blackmagic eGPU Pro

Such files not only add to demands on storage space; they also increase the draw on your computer’s internal graphics processing unit compared to, say, the 16 megapixel and 20 megapixel image files of my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and the 24 megapixel image files of my Fujifilm APS-C camera.

Medium format is attractive due to its larger sensors producing image quality that enlarges well to gallery exhibition print dimensions.

Then there is the question of the superb video footage produced by cameras like the Fujifilm X-T3, using settings like DCI 4K, 10-bit-4:2:2, All-Intra, 400 megabits per second and HEVC H.265.

Our iMac does not have native Thunderbolt 3 output but it may be able to make use of eGPUs with some sort of software hack and a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt adapter.

The ‘Untitled’ home studio is well overdue for an upgrade to its portable computer capabilities, though, and a maxed-out version of the coming internal GPU-boosted MacBook Pro 15-inch series may be just the ticket.

If ever-bigger video and stills files continue to make serious demands on such machines’ internal GPUs, then eGPUs like the Blackmagic eGPU Pro are worth serious consideration.

I have yet to try out any eGPU, given none of our local Apple stores have one out of the box and set up in a working configuration, but the numbers in Blackmagic Design’s product page look encouraging.

Highlights, Blackmagic eGPU Pro

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Blackmagic Design Blackmagic eGPU Pro, I/O connectivity and power.
  • Compatible with any Thunderbolt 3–enabled Mac
  • Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of HBM2 memory
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Four USB 3 ports
  • HDMI 2.0 port
  • DisplayPort 1.4 port
  • 85W power delivery

Press Release

BLACKMAGIC DESIGNANNOUNCES BLACKMAGIC EGPU PRO

New model features blazingly fast AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 for up to 22x faster performance!

Fremont, CA – October 30, 2018 – Blackmagic Design today announced the Blackmagic eGPU Pro, an external graphics processor featuring the blazingly fast AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor. Designed to accelerate pro creative software such as DaVinci Resolve, 3D games and VR, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro delivers nearly twice the performance of the original Blackmagic eGPU model and up to 22x faster performance than the built-in graphics on a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro features a built-in AMD Radeon RX Vega 56, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a new DisplayPort for connecting 5K displays, HDMI 2.0, 85W of charging power and four USB 3.1 connections. Designed in collaboration with Apple, the integrated design brings cutting-edge workstation-class graphics processing and computational acceleration to customers working in professional video, playing 3D games or using the latest virtual reality software.

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro will be available in November for only US$1,199 from apple.com.

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro features 8GB of HBM2 RAM, a massive 2048-bit memory interface with 410 gigabyte per second bandwidth, and 56 discreet compute units for up to 10.5 teraflops of processing power. The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 can fill 94 billion textured pixels per second. In addition, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro supports Metal graphics technology from Apple, which provides near-direct access to the GPU for maximizing graphics and compute performance with games and applications.

With nearly 2x faster performance than the previous eGPU model, customers running DaVinci Resolve will get more realtime effects and color correction than ever before. That means they can spend more time exploring creative options and less time waiting. Customers running DaVinci Resolve on a 13-inch MacBook Pro will find that GPU-intensive operations, such as noise reduction, are up to 22x faster with the Blackmagic eGPU Pro. DaVinci Resolve 15 also supports multiple GPUs as well as Metal, so it’s the best way to get the full benefit of the Blackmagic eGPU Pro. Customers can download DaVinci Resolve 15 now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website for the best editing, color correction, audio post and visual effects solution available.

For gamers and customers using VR software and headsets, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro delivers higher resolution images, higher frame rate gameplay, better lighting and more detailed textures for truly immersive experiences, even on a laptop computer. Plus, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro features a DisplayPort connection that can drive a 5K display.

The elegant, textured finish of the Blackmagic eGPU Pro is extruded from a single piece of aluminum and features a unique thermal cooling system that’s been designed to perfectly balance the airflow and dissipate heat more efficiently. The cooling system also enables extremely quiet operation, which is vital for those working in video production and audio engineering environments.

In addition to graphics and computational acceleration, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro is also the perfect docking hub for connecting devices such as keyboards, mice, Thunderbolt monitors, big screen HDMI televisions, 5K displays, VR headsets, high speed storage and more. It features two 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 connections, a built-in 4 port USB hub, DisplayPort and HDMI. Plus, the connections are ergonomically spaced, making it easy to connect and disconnect peripherals.

When it comes to power, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro has a built-in power supply that powers the GPU while also providing 85W of downstream power via Thunderbolt 3 for charging laptop computers and powering peripherals. The power supply works from 100V to 240V and features a standard IEC power connector so it can be used anywhere in the world.

“The new Blackmagic eGPU Pro is exciting because it delivers nearly twice the performance of the original model of the Blackmagic eGPU,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Whether you’re editing and color grading professional video with DaVinci Resolve, playing 3D games or working in VR, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro gives you the latest cutting edge graphics performance and computational acceleration available. It simply makes everything faster and makes everything look better!”

AVAILABILITY AND PRICE

The Blackmagic eGPU Pro will be available in Novemeber for only US$1,199 from apple.com.

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Skylum Releases Tonality Mega B&W Pack, Huge Free Monochrome Presets Collection for Its Luminar Image Editing Powerhouse

Skylum has released Tonality Mega B&W Pack, a massive free collection recreations of the looks from Tonality, the company’s legacy black-and-white aka monochrome plug-in cum standalone application named Tonality CK.

Tonality CK is part of the Creative Kit 2016 collection from the days when Skylum traded under the name of Macphun.

The Tonality Mega B&W Pack has been created for Luminar, Skylum’s image editing and raw conversion powerhouse application cum plug-in, available in versions for macOS and Windows. 

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Skylum’s film simulation subset of the Tonality Mega B&W Pack presets pack for Luminar.

I have been hoping for some time that the many excellent film simulations, photochemical toning looks, HDR renderings and more would find their way from Tonality CK into Luminar so the arrival of the Tonality Mega B&W Pack for Luminar is welcome indeed.

The Tonality Mega B&W Pack can be traced back to the Nik Collection’s Silver Efex through Creative Kit 2016’s Tonality CK component via the Nik Software company, several of whose former employees joined Macphun.

Google bought Nik and thus the Nik Collection, apparently for the sake of the company’s Snapseed mobile and desktop image editing application.

Google discontinued the desktop version, sadly, then sold Nik Collection to DxO where it is being developed as a set of Photoshop plug-ins and soon, hopefully, as a plug-in for DxO PhotoLab.

The free Tonality preset collection for Skylum’s Luminar image editing software

Skylum’s Luminar is undergoing development in leaps and bounds with an artificial intelligence-driven Sky Enhancer filter being released shortly, followed not long afterwards by the long-awaited Luminar Libraries module aka media management application that will be released free.

Recent and coming Luminar upgrades are being built with AI technologies developed by Skylum side project Photolemur, an application useful in its own right especially when batch processing large sets of images from events.

I am very excited by the potential of the Tonality Mega B&W Pack for processing raw images I visualized as monochrome when shooting.

Although several image editing applications and plug-ins contain film simulations, can import film simulation styles  and presets or are based entirely upon them, having them contained within Luminar in the form of the Tonality preset pack is handy for keeping it within the same application rather than jumping from one to another and back again.

Tonality Mega B&W Pack contains ten preset categories and over 170 monochrome looks and styles:

  • Tonality Street
  • Tonality Vintage
  • Tonality Toning
  • Tonality Dramatic
  • Tonality Film Emulation
  • Tonality Outdoor
  • Tonality Portrait
  • Tonality Architecture
  • Tonality Basic
  • Tonality HDR

I hope that the Skylum team will look into releasing emulations of great colour films of the past as well as a range of silver-based and non-silver printing processes.

Meanwhile I am excited by the prospect of trying out the Tonality Mega B&W Pack, especially in combining emulations of some of my favourite classic monochrome films with emulations of some of my favourite monochrome split-toning processes.

I visualize, photograph and process my work in monochrome when the colour in the subject and the scene does not serve to convey useful information and emotion, but often choose to process my monochrome images in ways that communicate emotions and informational subtleties swamped by colour.

Example, Tonality Mega B&W Pack in Skylum Luminar 2018

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A quick and dirty sample documentary photograph shot tonight then quickly processed in Skylum Luminar 2018 with Tonality Mega B&W Pack using Ilford Pan F 50 ISO film emulation and gold/selenium split toning.

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Presentation by TV Journalist Turned Photographer Ray Martin at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney, Saturday 27th October 2018

Some of the many things I miss from my time in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe include the many wonderful agent and artist show-and-tells, art and photography festivals, book launches, face-to-face interviews, gallery and museum shows, meets-and-greets, movie premieres, new venue openings, portfolio reviews, presentations, private members’ clubs meet-ups, product launches, professional organization events, sneak previews, trade shows and private meetings with fellow moviemakers, photographers and other artists at all stages in their careers. 

That sense of belonging to a constantly active and vibrant creative community is crucial to the development of any artist and is as important as the mutual respect shared amongst students, starters, established and late-career artists alike that I observed many times overseas. 

I experienced a reminder of all that when I attended a presentation by Ray Martin, Australian journalist and television presenter, at the recently opened photography concept store Ted’s World of Imaging in Pitt Street, Sydney, last Saturday. 

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Australian journalist Ray Martin is a longtime photography enthusiast who recently had a book of his photographs published. I made this portrait of him at his presentation about his work at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney in October 2018.

Mr Martin described himself as a street photographer and related his late start as a photographer while working as a journalist, carrying a superzoom bridge camera on location during assignments.

After starting to take photography more seriously, he invested in a range of cameras and lens brands including Canon and Panasonic, and over a year ago was given a Fujifilm GFX 50S for use on location in travels around Australia with landscape photographer Ken Duncan.

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Australian journalist and television presenter Ray Martin with one of his Panasonic superzoom bridge cameras.
Ray Martin with Panasonic superzoom bridge camera and photograph from one of his many travels around Australia.
As a self-described street photographer, Ray Martin always carries a camera, most often superzoom bridge cameras with long focal length zoom lenses.
Ray Martin with his photograph of Said al-Islam Gaddafi, one of two sons of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Ray Martin has been Chairman of The Fred Hollows Foundation, the non-profit aid organization that focuses on treating and preventing blindness throughout Africa, Australia, the Pacific, South and South East Asia.
Ray Martin has travelled with and photographed naturalist and television presenter Sir David Attenborough.
Staff members at Ted’s World of Imaging and presentation attendees.
After the presentation on his photography, Ray Martin spoke with attendees and signed copies of his books.
A compact gallery space is located behind the retail section at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Gallery space and large format exhibition printer at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney hosts photography training by the Australian Centre for Photography.
Photography students at the Australian Centre for Photography workshop space at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Copies of two of Ray Martin’s books were available for purchase and signing.
Members of the public and photography students are well catered for at Ted’s World of Imaging.
Fujifilm cinema zoom lenses, cameras and accessories at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney.
Fujifilm lenses and instant film cameras at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney.
Olympus cameras, lenses and binoculars at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney.
Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras made by Blackmagic Design, Olympus and Panasonic, at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney.
Towards the front of the store at Ted’s World of Imaging, Pitt Street, Sydney.

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Image Credits

Portrait photography of Ray Martin made by Karin Gottschalk with Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R in available light as seven HDR bracket raw files merged in Skylum Aurora HDR 2019 then finished in Skylum Luminar 2018 and Adobe Photoshop.

Other photographs made with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens.

Thinking about the The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7

Contemporary computer-aided lens design has done wonders for zoom lenses since I first tried some out in my Leica rangefinder days on the lovely but lonely Nikon F3 I kept for the times I needed to rent focal lengths outside my core set of Leica M-System prime lenses.

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The 3-zoom lens kit has long been a staple of photojournalists and especially newspaper photographers for some years. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS and Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lenses.

By the time a backpack containing the standard newspaper photographer’s zoom lens trio was handed to me when I signed up to shoot freelance for one of the large publishers, zoom lenses were considerably improved although I am ashamed to admit that I continued to mostly rely on my own 35mm and 120 roll film rangefinder cameras and 4”x5” view cameras with which I had shaped my way of seeing and photographing over so many years before.

Now that I am no longer answerable to employers and do not have to take on up to three to five editorial portrait assignments per day, delivering stylistically and technically predictable results day in, day out, I can try out other ways and means and develop in new directions.

That includes zoom lenses after relying on sets of matched primes for so long.

The first two Micro Four Thirds lenses that I tried out

 

The very first lens I tried when considering buying into the Micro Four Thirds camera system was a Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Aspheric Power OIS and the second was an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro.

I chose the Olympus for several reasons including its brilliant manual clutch focus mechanism, weather-resistant all-metal construction, handy L-Fn button on the camera-left side of the barrel, great feel and balance on a GH4 or a GX8 as I would discover later, and the clincher was its beautiful optical performance all across its longer focal length range wide open and stopped down.

I did not know that Panasonic’s then soon-to-come DFD autofocus system would apply only to Panasonic lenses and that firmware updates would not add support for the L-Fn button to all Panasonic cameras and on balance I remain glad I chose the 12-40mm because my bacon has been saved many times due to its swift and sure manual clutch focusing.

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro, an excellent choice for travel and daily walkabout requiring a longer focal length range than kit and other zoom lenses.

The one thing that might have tipped me towards the 12-35mm is its optical image stabilization, but then Olympus later came out with the OIS-equipped M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro and although it does not activate Dual IS 2 when attached to a GH5, its image stabilization works well enough for my needs.

The difference between an f/2.8 and an f/4.0 maximum aperture is not huge when shooting outdoors in good light and I would always pack a wide maximum aperture prime lens to accompany either zoom.

And then with Panasonic’s pre-photokina 2018 in-development announcement of the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7, the game changed.

The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 wide angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras.

With the lens currently undergoing development and possibly far from release sometime in 2019, the 10-25mm apparently includes some features I have long been hoping for in a Panasonic zoom lens for photography and video.

Here is what we know so far and what I also want to see in this lens:

  • f/1.7 right across the focal length range.
  • An aperture ring that is clickless for accurate exposure under constantly changing light but I would also like it clicked for stills photography without having to look at the lens.
  • 77mm filter diameter for 77mm neutral density filters or a lightweight brass 77mm-to-82mm step-up ring by Breakthrough Photography for 82mm filters.
  • Prime quality performance at all focal lengths.
  • Leica optical and mechanical quality.
  • Some of my favourite and most-needed focal lengths for documentary stills and video – 10.5mm, 14mm, 17.5mm, 20mm and, less often, 25mm. In 35mm sensor terms that equates to 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and, less often, 50mm.
  • Alas, no optical image stabilization so when stabilization is a necessity it will need to be used with IBIS camera bodies.
  • Hopefully, improved depth-from-defocus aka DFD in all G, GX and GH cameras’ firmware, DFD being Panasonic’s alternative to the more common PDAF aka phase detection autofocus.

I very much hope that the Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7 will feature manual clutch focus to support easy focus pulling for video and fast, accurate snapping into sharp focus for photography.

I wonder if a longer companion zoom lens might be in the offing after the release of the 10-25mm?

If so, I would love to see an equally great zoom lens include at least 25mm, 37.5mm, 42.5mm, 45mm and 52.5mm, which in 35mm sensor terms equates to 50mm, 75mm, 85mm, 90mm and 105mm.

A zoom lens pair that goes all the way from 10mm through to 52.5mm, in 35mm equivalent terms 20mm through to 105mm, would fill almost my documentary moviemaking and photography needs.

While I do use longer focal lengths than 105mm in 35mm from time to time, the vast majority of my work is done between 21mm and 85mm with the occasional jump to 100mm or thereabouts.

Leica showed the way with a full set of well-spaced focal lengths

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Leica worked out the best prime lens focal length line-up for documentary photography and photojournalism in 35mm years ago and it remains the benchmark and role model for other lens makers to this very day. The only focal length missing from this lens collection is 40mm, which Leica made for the Leica CL rangefinder camera which was later taken over by Minolta as the Minolta CLE with 40mm standard lens as well as a 28mm and 90mm lens. Too many contemporary lens makers leave out 28mm and 75mm lenses and their equivalents for other sensor formats. Why? Both these focal lengths are the most essential for documentary photography and photojournalism.

Although I remain dedicated to the idea of having a well-spaced set of pro-quality fast matched prime lenses with manual clutch focus, the reality is that the makers of both systems that I rely on these days, Fujifilm and Panasonic for cameras and Olympus for M43 lenses, may take years to assemble such a lens collection, if ever.

Far better to offer us top-quality zoom lenses that can do almost everything, such as the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7, so we can get to work without having to pine for prime lenses that may be far off on the horizon or zoom lenses that cover far more focal lengths than we actually need at the cost of undue expense and weight.

I look forward to learning more about Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 as its development progresses and hope it really will be the zoom lens I was hoping for when I first got into the Micro Four Thirds system for moviemaking and photography.

The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 would, of course, be a terrific lens for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K provided you have a gimbal handy for those times when stabilization is a must.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Leica M Series lensesB&H
  • Olympus mirrorless lensesB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic mirrorless system lensesB&H

HPRC: PKT2400-01 HPRC2400 for Blackmagic Pocket [Cinema Camera] 4K

http://www.hprc.it/en/hprc2400-for-blackmagic-pocket-4k_pkt2400-01.html

“This watertight and waterproof hard case – based on the HPRC2400 series – is specifically designed to easily transport and protect the Blackmagic Pocket [Cinema] Camera 4K.

It features a pre-cut high-density foam interior that holds:

  • Camera
  • Batteries
  • Wise Portable 512 GB
  • HPRC1100 Memory card holder
  • 30W Power Supply with international adapters
  • International adapters
  • Lens: Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F28 Pro.

Thanks to the lightweight and to the ergonomic handle, as well as resistant, the case is also very handy. Carry-on approved size….”

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PKT2400-01 HPRC2400 for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

PKT2400-01 HPRC2400 for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Commentary

HPRC HPRCGH52460-01 case for Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5S cameras.

Italian resin case maker HPRC has a welcome history of producing ready-cut foam interiors for popular movie and photographic equipment and the most commonly used accessories under its Tuning program and also provides a custom case insert cutting service under the Foamlab moniker.

HRPC’s custom case for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and GH5S recognizes their users’ tendency to cage both cameras and carry several lenses while this case fo the BMPCC 4K leans more towards the camera’s users to rig it up on location with gimbals such as the DJI Ronin-S.

HPRC also offers the option of three different custom cases for DJI’s Ronin-S gimbal stabilizer, a popular option for use with the BMPCC 4K given its lack of internal stabilization as a cinema camera.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

8sinn_samsung_t5_holder_bmpcc4k_01_1024px_80pc
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K mounted in an 8Sinn cage with included cable clamp, improved lens support and Scorpio too handle, with the new 8Sinn holder for the popular Samsung Portable T5 SSD available in capacities from 250GB through to 2TB.

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • 8SinnB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • DJI Ronin-SB&H
  • HPRC casesB&H
  • LockCircleB&H
  • SmallRigB&H