“Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff is a 2010 documentary film that explores the work of the cinematographer Jack Cardiff. It reviews his work and with the input of many of his contemporaries, examines his legacy as one of the most influential film makers in the world and details how he became master of the Technicolor process. The film includes interviews with Cardiff as well as Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Lauren Bacall, Kim Hunter, Kathleen Byron, John Mills, Alan Parker, Richard Fleischer and many others….”
Earlier this year I accidentally came across this cornucopia of documentary videos by and about, oddly enough, cinematographers and cinematography.
It is an invaluable learning and teaching resource I would have loved to have had when I was a student and a teacher.
Nice to see the name of my long-deceased distant relative and my father’s namesake Robert Gottschalk of Panavision in the USA flash up on screen in at least one of the documentaries here!
YouTube – Cinematographers on cinematography – “All material for educational purposes only. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976. Joined 7 May 2020.” – I wonder who is responsible for putting this incredible collection up here?
“This is a ‘lite’ review of the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) 6K. I say lite because there is no way anyone can do a proper, in-depth review of a camera in a few days or even a few weeks. To properly review a camera you need to spend a lot more time with the camera than I have so far….”
Australian cinematographer Matthew Allard ACS of video industry bible News Shooter has just published a lengthy, in-depth though “lite” hands-on practical review of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and it makes for useful reading especially for those who own a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and are considering replacing it with its Super 35 sibling.
Blackmagic Design has pulled one out of the hat with both cameras, making them the currently most affordable cinema cameras, but not without a number of compromises.
Mr Allard has the longterm experience as an on-location news and documentary cinematographer working around the globe to write well-qualified reviews like this one and I look forward to the non-lite version of this review for even more invaluable insights.
Meanwhile Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has obtained his own BMPCC 6K and as a seasoned BMPCC 4K owner is even better qualified to opine on both cameras.
These are some of Paul’s initial thoughts on the BMPCC 6K:
Let me say right off the bat, this camera is going to be my A cam simply for the fact that there’s no Speed Booster glass to degrade your lens!!! No matter how good the Speed Boosters are from Metabones (and the new BMPCC4K one is quite good), it just can’t hold a candle to the quality of the lens on a native mount. Not to mention that the 6K is smooth and sharp across the entire frame, and downscaling that to 4K is going to give incredibly clean images. Look into the very corners of this frame and you can clearly see the benefits.
This still only has my Blackmagic V4 1.5 LUT applied, plus a small amount (25%) chroma noise reduction done in Resolve to get rid of some of the tiny BRAW fringe issues that that format seems to have. Hopefully, being their own format, they will eventually figure out how to do that better without NR being required. The clip was shot 6K at Q5 quality.
Some out of the box things I like – the screen is more neutral (second gen I’m guessing, same as the later 4K’s) and I like the locking body cap which I haven’t seen anyone mention before anywhere.
Paul shared some notes on the rig illustrated above:
[Blackmagic] Pocket [Cinema Camera] 6K
8Sinn Pocket 4K cage, rod riser and handle
Shoot35 Cine Follow Focus
Ultrasync One timecode generator/receiver
Atomos Ninja V 4K monitor/recorder
Smallrig arm for Ninja V
Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok 98Whr battery and plate
Sigma FF Cine 50mm T1.5 prime lens (EF mount)
Samsung T5 SSD 1TB
Leeming LUT Pro – “Leeming LUT Pro™ is the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table ( LUT ) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading.”
Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty continues to make good on his promise for professional-quality moviemaking to become accessible and affordable for all who want it and has raised the bar even higher with his surprise announcement of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and its Super 35 sensor and even more firmware and hardware features than its older sibling the Super 16 sensor-equipped Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.
The affordability and cinematic feature-film quality achievable with the raw-shooting BMPCC 6K and BMPCC 4K and their associated editing and colour grading software package DaVinci Resolve have bumped high-quality moviemaking out of the longtime death-grip of the rich WASP boys’ club into the hands of self-funded independent documentarians like myself and I am beyond chuffed at this excellent development.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K comes with Canon EF-mount for the vast array of Canon and other brand cinema and stills photography lenses out there and supplements the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s Micro Four Thirds mount that accepts M43 and adapted larger sensor format lenses.
In order to demonstrate the high quality, similarities and differences between the two cameras’ output, Blackmagic Design is sharing a number of movies in various genres at its Workflow and Gallery pages, with the files viewable in-page or downloadable as camera original files and finished products.
Blackmagic Design’s absence from the recent SMPTE Australia METexpo conference and trade show in Sydney was disappointing but the announcement and imminent release of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K takes some of the edge off that.
Priced at US$2,495.00 compared to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s US$1,295.00, the BMPCC 6K is the most affordable cinema camera in its class with both BMPCC models usable stripped-down and handheld as well as heavily rigged and tripod or gimbal-mounted for Hollywood quality feature film production of documentary and narrative movies.
What next for Blackmagic Design and its noble quest to make high-end moviemaking accessible to the rest of us?
Perhaps Grant Petty might consider creating a second version of the BMPCC 6K with a shorter lens flange depth and a set of adapters permitting attaching a broader range of lenses such as those made by Fujifilm, Nikon and more.
Fujifilm’s Fujinon lenses are of particular interest given that Fujifilm’s X-mount cameras use APS-C/Super 35 sensors, the same size as the one in the BMPCC 6K.
Fujifilm’s Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and MK 50-135mm T2.9 cinema zoom lenses would be terrific to use natively with the BMPCC 6K as would SLR Magic’s X-mount MicroPrimes which now come in 12mm, 15mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm focal lengths.
Imagine ever-increasing numbers of hybrid photography and video shooters relying on Fujifilm XF cameras and X-mount lenses for stills work then being able to use the same lenses on a possible future variable-mount BMPCC 6K camera.
It seems unlikely that Fujifilm would provide raw video capability on its cameras any time soon, whether via Apple ProRes Raw or Blackmagic Design’s BRAW, but Fujifilm and Blackmagic Design cameras would complement each other nicely if the latter takes up this suggestion.
Adapted lenses have their pros and cons given the variable feature sets and quality of currently available third-party adapters, but the BMPCC 6K now makes Sigma’s Canon EF-mount 18-55mm and 50-100mm zoom lenses even more appealing in their stills and cinema versions.
Pity Metabones has not seen fit to make an EF-to-X-mount Smart Adapter and a Speed Booster given the proven quality of their other adapter offerings, and the reason remains a mystery given the high potential market for them.
The same thoughts above apply to the short flange distance L-mount lenses made by Sigma, Panasonic and Leica – imagine being able to use them on a possible BMPCC 6K variant as well as L-mount cameras.
How to Expose To The Right (ETTR) to maximise your camera’s sensor dynamic range 🙂 I also create highly accurate Rec709 corrective LUTs (optimised for these ETTR principles) which you can buy from here: https://www.LeemingLUTPro.com
Paul Leeming has made a quick and dirty video to show how to set your camera for ETTR – expose to the right – when shooting video.
ETTR also applies to obtaining optimum exposure and thus optimal image quality for stills photography and is best achieved with zebras rather than blinkies.
Now if only all digital camera makers would equip every camera with fully programmable zebras for photography and video.
There’s no doubt that the Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 is a beautifully built lens. It’s also quite heavy, and at £1750 / $1900 it’s a pretty serious investment. Is the expense worth it? Chris and Jordan take to the hiking trails of Alberta to answer that question….
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR wideangle zoom lens on Fujifilm X-H1 with VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster Grip.
Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra wide-angle zoom lens is beautifully built and delivers beautiful results, but it may not be the best solution for everyone needing ultra-wide focal lengths.
Its size and weight demand mounting it on a vertical battery-equipped Fujifilm X-T3 at the very least with the now-discounted Fujifilm X-H1 providing better balance than the slightly smaller and lighter X-T3.
If the X-H1’s OIS-equipped replacement, the X-H2, is in Fujifilm’s production pipeline then it may be wiser to wait for that to appear sometime late this year or more likely early next if the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is an important lens in your gear kit.
My experience with the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 proves it to be an excellent solution for architectural photography where street furniture, trees and other buildings dictate using the widest focal lengths to get closer to your main subject and bypass non-removable visual noise.
I have used it successfully for documentary photography in the middle of dense crowds, though there were times I would have preferred the lens had optical image stabilization built-in for when the light dropped and slow shutter speeds were necessary to support deep focus via smaller apertures.
In bright sunlight, photographing landscapes was a pleasure and the lens lapped up fine detail but its lack of provision for attaching screw-on filters meant I was unable to try it out as a video lens and I am not in the market for large, heavy and expensive third-party filter adapters or even larger and costlier matte boxes.
If you need an ultra-wideangle for documentary photography and video then I highly recommend the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R which is small and light enough for use with an ungripped X-T3 and would work well on an X-Pro2 with a Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder sitting on its hotshoe.
If a range of wide-angle focal lengths is necessary as well as portability and stabilization then I recommend the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens especially it is stopped down below f/5.6 and preferably f/8.0, and this lens will not eat into your savings anywhere near as much as the otherwise excellent Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.
“At a time when Olympus and Panasonic lens prices are going through the roof, Sigma offers these three f/1.4 ‘Contemporary’ lenses at sensible prices. Do they sacrifice sharpness, focus speed or build quality to price? Having owned, used and reviewed – many Sigma lenses over the years, I didn’t anticipate any nasty surprises and I didn’t find any. There were some nice surprises, though….”
Sigma 16mm f/1.4, 30mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary prime lenses for E-mount and M43-mount cameras
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary prime lens for Micro Four Thirds mount and Sony E-mount cameras.
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary prime lens for Micro Four Thirds mount and Sony E-mount cameras.
Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary prime lens for Micro Four Thirds mount and Sony E-mount cameras.
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art APS-C zoom lens.
Former Fleet Street press photographer David Thorpe is one of the least-known yet most-respected YouTube reviewers with a speciality in Micro Four Thirds system cameras and lenses, though I suspect he will be bending that speciality soon with coming reviews of Panasonic’s Lumix S-Series S1 and S1R 35mm sensor format cameras and lenses.
I have no hands-on experience of Sigma lenses whether prime or zoom, though I was lucky enough to inspect Paul Leeming’s Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens with Canon EF-mount that he has adapted for his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and was impressed enough with its optics and construction that I am hoping to buy one of my own some time soon.
Clearly Sigma has something good going for it with its membership of the L-Mount alliance alongside Panasonic and Leica, and Mr Thorpe’s review of these three Sigma Contemporary collection prime lenses supports that impression.
With their 35mm sensor format equivalent focal lengths of 32mm, 60mm and 112mm, and fast, wide maximum apertures of f/1.4, and very reasonable pricing, these three lenses look well worth considering for use in stills photography.
I am now looking for some hard-core technical reviews of them for consideration as video lenses too.
My current impression of Sigma’s Contemporary lenses is that they are designed to work in connection with in-camera and image editing raw processing software for correction of any possible optical distortion, whereas Sigma’s Art lens collection that includes the 18-35mm f/1.8 zoom is reportedly designed to the finest of optical standards to obviate the need for correction in software.
That aside, I have been looking for a medium telephoto portrait lens for Micro Four Thirds for some time now, and Sigma’s 56mm f/1.4 DC DN C may well fill the bill.
I originally got into portrait photography with Nikon’s Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.0 lens and focal lengths closer to 105mm in the 35mm sensor format are my first choice for work in the genre, so the 112mm equivalent of the 56mm lens is not a bad approximation.
The Sigma 56mm offers the advantage of a wide aperture to blur distracting backgrounds if necessary.
Similarly, I discovered long ago that my preferred main focal length for immersive documentary and photojournalism work is 28mm in the 35mm sensor format, and Sigma’s 16mm f/1.4 DC DN C with its 32mm equivalent focal length is not too far from that.
I like to be able to use my lenses for cinematography and photography, and prefer lenses that perform well in both applications given raw processing can correct optical distortions in still images but non-linear editing software cannot do the same for video.
My favourite raw processing software for raw files shot on Panasonic cameras is DxO PhotoLab so I am hoping that DxO has added camera-and-lens profiles for all three of these Sigma lenses for recent and current Lumix cameras to its database.
Off to DxOMark and time to drop into some camera stores to touch, try and shoot some sample pix with these three lenses so I can crack some raw files open in DxO PhotoLab, DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint.
“At the CP+ show earlier this month in Yokohama Japan, we sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm. During our conversation we covered everything from the upcoming GFX 100, to plans for APS-C and why the X100 still occupies such an important position in the company’s lineup.
Our interview was conducted with three senior executives in Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Products Division:
Toshi Iida, General Manager.
Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager.
Shin Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group.…”
Fujifilm GFX 50R with Fujinon GF 63mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens, equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format.
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom lens.
“By now, most serious photographers are familiar with histograms, a tool we’ve used for years to judge exposure. But what about waveforms? In this episode, Chris and Jordan explain why this tool from the video world may be the best way to judge exposure for photos – and why still cameras should use them too.”
This is not a bad idea as other tools formerly the exclusive province of video production have found a place in photography, such as exposure zebras, which is a much better alternative to the dreaded blinkies.
Even better may be false colour, well illustrated in several different styles as provided by a range of cameras at Tom Huczek’s timeinpixels’ web page and video for its excellent and highly recommended False Color Plugin for a range of non-linear editing and colour grading applications including DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro X.
As a documentary and portrait person, skintone-oriented false colour exposure functionality would be more useful than histograms and waveforms.
1.6.0 (macOS: 106027, Windows: 18.104.22.168) – Released 2019-02-25
This major update brings a number of exciting new features and improvements as well as fixes for issues that have been reported.
The highlight of this feature is without a doubt the addition of verified copy (sometimes called “offloading”) using industry grade checksum verification based on the established media hash list (MHL) standard. From now on, you never have to leave your favourite workflow tool from camera card to edit/delivery.
Kyno Premium users will welcome the much-requested support for the RED RAW R3D format that you can preview and transcode with Kyno 1.6.
If you’re looking to get in touch with us directly be sure to drop us a line at @lesspainsoft on Twitter or on Facebook at facebook.com/lesspainsoft. If you have questions or need support just pop on over to support.lesspain.software and we’ll point you in the right direction.
What’s New (all editions):
Added “Copy & verify” function (aka verified copy, aka offloading) that copies your camera media or any folder with industry-grade verification using the media hash list (MHL) standard, full or incremental mode supported.
Added workflow for exporting and importing/merging descriptive metadata to aid collaborative workflows that operate on multiple copies of the same material.
Added new “Paste & rename” workflow for people copying and batch-renaming in one step as part of their ingest process.
When browsing through similar clips using the “next” and “previous” button or shortcut audio track and speed settings are retained for similar clips.
Added marker and subclip statistics to “Create report” function
Improved stereo audio track handling when sending files to Premiere Pro
Use full file name as clip name when sending to Premiere (or exporting for Resolve) instead of removing file extension to be consistent with what Premiere does on regular import
Display the XDCAM type in clip metadata for XDCAM footage
Support rewrapping of HEVC files to Mov container
Selected audio track and playback speed are retained when skipping through similar files
Thumbnails are now created with current LUT settings applied
LUTs are now applied when exporting still frames from videos
Added fade in/out support to transcoder
Added preset for XDCAM HD 422 29.97 FPS
Added FPS column to Excel export
Include marker and subclip titles when matching search term in the Browser filter
Added possibility to filter assets based on folder name and date range
Allow tags to be imported and exported
Added a global index as a naming variable to count across multiple rename, export or transcode operations
Added video/audio codec, format, start, end, path as optional metadata columns in Browser
Display overlay icons for tags, metadata, markers in list mode
Support playback of certain old PCM audio tracks from old camcorders
Improved sorting in Navigator tree
Adjusted labels for color properties to be more in line with industry standards
Made subclip time range controls in transcoder window take into account clip timecode
Renamed MJPEG transcoding preset to Photo JPEG because it’s more known under that name
What’s New (Premium edition):
RED RAW R3D support (playback and transcoding)
Multi-Destination verified copy (aka offloading) in one step. Back up your camera media in a simple workflow in two locations
Added ability to automatically transcode files in delivery workflow
Added ability to transfer image files together with video files in delivery workflow
Add a new folder naming option in delivery options
Improve behaviour of delivery folder history
Automatically display folders created by local delivery in Navigator tree
Sort subfolders correctly in delivery folder selector
Improve performance of delivery folder selector for slow connections
New Enterprise Features:
Changed Custom Package Deployment configuration overrides to one XML file that can be loaded from file system or via HTTP
Added functionality for delivery endpoints to be preconfigured via Custom Package Deployment
Added functionality for tags to be preconfigured via custom package deployment
Identified and busted the cause for accidental folder moves in the folder navigator
Improved display of drag and drop items (folders, clips)
Kyno now prevents input of invalid folder names on Windows
Fixed Premiere Pro 2019 not being detected automatically by the “Send to” function
Fixed a minor inaccuracy in duration filter
Fixed a rare crash that happened during drag & drop on certain OSX versions
Fixed a bug where moving a file between volumes resulted in a stale file remaining in the old location
Fixed a bug on Windows that prevented another volume to be registered in the workspace with the same drive letter
Fixed a problem where in rare cases empty clip names where transferred to Premiere or Resolve
Fixed a bug that caused certain HDR ProRes files not to play back
Fixed a rare freeze on Windows when double-clicking subclips
Kyno 1.6 Screenshots
Kyno 1.6: Metadata import dialog
Kyno 1.6: Red Raw support
Kyno 1.6: Offloading destination selection
LumaForge: Media Asset Management and Kyno
Kyno goes from strength to strength as it continue to add essential video and photography production functions that many of us have relied for on a cluster of other dedicated applications made by a range of small software companies.
Add up the licence fees for all of that ever-growing cluster of separate applications and compare it to Kyno’s licence fees in whichever version, Kyno, Kyno Premium or Kyno Enterprise, is relevant to your work.
I am particularly excited about Kyno 1.6’s checksum-verified camera offloading after having tried out a number of dedicated offloading products as well as its metadata workflow improvements as the latter has been something of a sore point for a while.
Kyno 1.6’s ability to add two LUTs – one for camera profiles and one for looks LUTs for example – to still frame image files exported from markers as well as thumbnails is also very welcome.
These and more new and improved features are making Kyno the number one on-location media management system for a range of producers including self-funded independent documentary moviemakers and photographers like me.
I have already put the offloading function in Kyno 1.6 – now updated to version 1.6.1 – to good use in the course of reviewing a camera and lens and look forward to putting more of its new features and improvements to use in the coming days.
I can only imagine what may be coming in Kyno 1.7!
Support for Blackmagic Cinema DNG and Blackmagic Raw come to mind right now for example – I received some sample BMPCC 4K footage from Paul Leeming the other day – and look forward to Kyno adding support for all the latest affordable hybrid and video cameras and camcorders as they appear.