4/3 Rumors: Will Panasonic transform their MFT product line to focus on vloggers?

https://www.43rumors.com/will-panasonic-transform-their-mft-product-line-to-focus-on-vloggers/

“I got this from a very reliable source:

They will change strategy here. MFT will focus on the V-Logging segment. They don’t see a huge market for a GH6 anymore as most people are moving to Full Frame. So the upcoming GH6 may be more a “Pro Grade” G100. It’s more of an upgraded GH5 in a new body with enhanced mobile integration. Or to make it short – a GH6 may not come with the desired specs and the story of the Pro Video MFT will end with the GH5….”

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Paul Leeming’s Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 in 8Sinn cage with Scorpio handle and XUME magnetic filter holder system, the backpack travel version of a much bigger rig he uses for shooting independent narrative feature films. Photograph by Karin Gottschalk.

Commentary

“MFT will focus on the V-Logging segment.”

I SERIOUSLY hope not!

The Micro Four Thirds format has plenty of potential for serious video work, especially amongst self-funded independent documentary moviemakers, so long as Panasonic radically improves its DFD autofocusing to the point where it matches that of Sony and Canon’s PDAF autofocus.

Micro Four Thirds remains a great stills photography format, especially for documentary photography.

I certainly rely mostly on manual focus and back-button focus with my Lumix MFT cameras, but I would certainly use autofocus far more if it equalled that of Canon and Sony.

No question about that.

Despite the frequently-expressed desires of myself and many others, it looks like Panasonic will never release a pro-quality successor to the GX8 rangefinder-style hybrid camera.

GX8-style cameras are an excellent expression of the Micro Four Thirds ethos being small, nimble, discrete and versatile in comparison to the larger, heavier and less discrete DSLR-style GH line.

The GX9 was a slap in the face of professional GX8 users.

Turning MFT into a format for vlogging only is a slap in the face of professional users.

If the GH5 and GH5S are the end of the line, there go our investments in pro-quality lenses such as Olympus’s excellent manual clutch focus-equipped M.Zuiko Pro collection and Panasonic’s unique, wildly innovative and also manual clutch focus-equipped Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric superwide to standard lens.

Granted, the Lumix DC-S5 looks very promising and so does the possibility of smaller 35mm sensor-equipped cameras, perhaps even a 35mm GX8 successor.

But completely moving over to the larger sensor format means a heavy investment in mostly larger and even heavier lenses, essentially flushing our current MFT gear down the toilet when our MFT cameras wear out or cannot deliver the results we need.

Panasonic, please say it is not so.

Panasonic, please do not abandon your professional Micro Four Thirds user base.

Or do are you willing to see Olympus, under new owner JIP, snap them up with their apparent new emphasis on video?

Links

Broadband News: National Broadband Network access to be extended to millions by 2023 under $3.5b NBN plan

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-23/nbn-co-shake-up-upgrade-network-millions-more-access/12691782

“Millions of Australians are set to get access to ultra-fast broadband under a $3.5 billion upgrade to the NBN, expected to be finished by 2023. The major shake-up will see six million homes with access to internet speeds “of up to” 1 Gigabit per second, currently the mandatory minimum is 25 Megabits per second.

Key points:

  • Fibre To The Node, Fibre To The Curb and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial networks will all be upgraded.
  • The works are expected to create about 25,000 jobs in the next two years.
  • Federal Labor has described the plan as a “wasteful backflip”….

Commentary

The Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20 by William Blake 1757-1827
The Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20 William Blake 1757-1827 Bequeathed by W. Graham Robertson 1949 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05889

Australia’s National Broadband Network aka NBN under the Labor federal government was supposed to provide world-leading affordable high-speed Internet access to all Australians so that we could create new businesses, run existing businesses more efficiently, access the online worlds of information, education and entertainment faster and better, and then the Liberal-National Party aka LNP that replaced Labor wrecked it all.

Anti-technology, anti-science, pro-religion Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared that high-speed Internet access was only for gamers, pornographers and other anti-social wastrels and instructed his Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull to cripple the NBN.

And so Turnbull did, despite apparently knowing better and despite being fêted by the tech industry as the PM who “just gets it” later did nothing to remedy Abbott’s treasonous wrecking of the NBN when he took over the reins of power.

Now the current LNP federal government under pro-religion, anti-science Prime Minister Scott Morrison has decided that the wrecked, unreliable, horrendously overpriced and slooowww NBN is no longer good enough and a few billions more will be spent on making it a little better for some.

We only began to access the NBN last year after temporarily moving house into a street nearby and its performance has been mediocre at best, often much worse than the ADSL2+ we had at the previous house.

We live in a cluster of some of the most expensive houses in the nation, amongst corporate CEOs, high-flown business executives, religious and secular private schools, nouveaux riches and no end of inherited old money and yet the infrastructure here continues to be, well, crap.

It is fair to say that our national broadband is the worst in the world, if not amongst the very worst in the world, and for that we all paid and continue to pay a fortune.

Our NBN access costs far too much for what we get and remains unreliable with frequent drop-outs and bottlenecks when gamers, school kids and the hordes of self-employed and home-workers around here log on every morning and evening and throughout the weekend.

Just try uploading a 3-minute 4K video to your YouTube channel: it can take days to finally get it up there, and if you tried to do the same for clients you would be out of business within a week, as not a few of my colleagues have discovered.

And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made everything much, much worse.

So now we are required to wait at least another three more years before some of us can who can afford it may have the option of the fibre-to-the-premises that was promised to all of us years ago.

Lives, educations, careers and businesses have been ruined by the LNP’s treasonous wrecking of the NBN and not a word of apology for it from this government’s cabal of anti-technology, anti-science, lying, nasty, brutish, childish little men.

Links

New Software: ON1 Portrait AI

https://www.on1.com/products/portrait-ai/

“You Will Never Need Another Portrait Editing Product

Flawless retouching is just a click away with ON1 Portrait AI. It uses machine learning to find every face in your photo and make them look great, automatically.

It analyzes each face and adds just the right amount of retouching to the skin, eyes and mouth, giving you professional results in no time at all….”

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ON1 Portrait AI automatic artificial intelligence-driven portrait retouching standalone application and plug-in.

Links

New Hardware: SmallRig RØDE Wireless Go Storage Cage 2998

https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-rode-wireless-go-storage-cage-2998.html

“SmallRig Rode Wireless go storage cage 2998 is designed to store & protect Rode wireless go. The transmitter and receiver can be stably stored by using the wireless go’s own clamping shrapnel. The storage cage has a cold shoe mount that could connect to the camera or cage. It brings a convenient and comfortable experience for shooting. Only 74g, small and lightweight.

Key Features:
1. Stable storage of Rode wireless go transmitter and receiver.
2. One-piece molding, anti-drop and scratch-resistant, protect the machine.
3. With cold shoe structure, connect the camera and cage through the cold shoe.
4. Notice you restore the microphone when you finish your shooting.”

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SmallRig RØDE Wireless Go Storage Cage 2998. Image courtesy of SmallRig.

Commentary

Australian audio hardware and software company RØDE Microphones has become first choice of many filmmakers, journalists, moviemakers, videographers and vloggers, and the Wireless GO digital wireless microphone system is particularly attractive given its components’ size and relative affordability.

SmallRig has long been the first company I turn to for innovative protection and rigging solutions for moviemaking especially when size, weight and affordability are key, so the combination of RØDE Wireless GO and SmallRig Wireless GO Storage Cage makes sense.

SmallRig RØDE Wireless Go Storage Cage 2998 is in pre-order at time of writing and purchasing now gains a 15% discount.

Expected release date is October 12, 2020.

Links

New Software: Nobe OmniScope

https://timeinpixels.com/nobe-omniscope/

“Nobe OmniScope is loaded with powerful features that make color grading easy.

Compatibility:
macOS, Windows

Available for various platforms:
DaVinci Resolve, Scratch, Premiere Pro & After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom as well as DeckLink, UltraStudio, AJA U-TAP and more!”

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Nobe OmniScope by timeinpixels. Scopes for a range of video and photography applications.

Commentary

Tomasz Huczek of timeinpixels tells me that their new scopes application will be adding support for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X aka FCPX in future.

In the meantime I am impressed by what timeinpixels states the company has achieved with the current version of Nobe OmniScope and look forward to future developments.

Links

Firmware Update: X-Pro2 Firmware update, Version: 5.10, Last Updated: 09.17.2020

https://fujifilm-x.com/global/support/download/firmware/cameras/x-pro2/

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 digital rangefinder camera with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR “Fujicron” lens and Fujifilm MHG-XPRO2 metal hand grip, a necessity when attaching lenses larger than this one.

Detail of the firmware update

Ver.5.10

The firmware update Ver.5.10 from Ver.5.01 incorporates the following issue:

  1. Camera performance used with the XF50mmF1.0 R WR is optimized.
  2. The phenomenon is fixed that in a multiple-flash shooting where the EF-X500 is used as a commander, flashes in some groups sometimes don’t fire correctly. Also in case the EF-X500 is used as a commander and the EF-60 as a remote flash, upgrade the camera firmware to the latest version.
  3. Fix of minor bugs.

Links

Firmware Update: Free firmware update for FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens

https://fujifilm-x.com/global/global-news/2020/0917_3724073/

“September 17, 2020
FUJIFILM Corporation

To our customers:

FUJIFILM Corporation is due to release a free firmware update for FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR on September 17, 2020.

This latest update enhances the lens’ AF speed and enables Color Shading Correction to mitigate subtle color casts when images are made at the lens’ maximum F1.0 aperture. Please note that the lens must be connected to a supported X Series camera body for the firmware enhancements to take effect.

Links

Press Release: Development of firmware that enables the RAW video data output from Olympus Mirrorless Cameras to the ATOMOS NINJA V HDR Monitor Recorder

https://shop.olympus.com.au/news/post/development-firmware-atomos

Or in other words, Olympus OM-D E-M1X and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Micro Four Thirds cameras will be able to record Apple’s ProRes Raw video footage via the Atomos Ninja V 5-inch monitor/recorder in late 2020. 

Development of Video Raw Output Firmware With Atomos

September 15, 2020

Development of firmware that enables the RAW video data output from Olympus Mirrorless Cameras to the ATOMOS NINJA V HDR Monitor Recorder

Olympus is pleased to announce the development of firmware that enables output of RAW video data output from Olympus OM-D E-M1X and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III mirrorless cameras to the ATOMOS NINJA V HDR monitor recorder. Development is underway in collaboration with ATOMOS. Data is recorded to the ATOMOS NINJA V as Apple ProRes RAW for flexible image editing. This lends greater flexibility to professional video production post-processing tasks such as adjusting exposure and colour grading recorded footage. The firmware is scheduled for release in summer 2020.

Olympus will continue supporting authentic video production and further improve hand-held high-definition video recording via compact, lightweight system thanks to unrivalled portability and powerful in-body 5-axis image stabilisation.

About ATOMOS

Atomos exists to help creative professionals cut through technology barriers by creating easy to use, cutting-edge 4K and HD Apple ProRes monitor/recorders. These products give video professionals a faster, higher quality and more affordable production system, whether they create for social media, YouTube, TV or cinema. Atomos continues to demonstrate its commitment to putting users first through continual innovation at amazing price points. The company developed the AtomOS operating system dedicated to video recording with an elegant and intuitive touchscreen user interface and was also the first to implement the professional Apple ProRes RAW format for recording with cinema cameras. Atomos is based in Australia with offices in the USA, Japan, China, UK and Germany and has a worldwide distribution partner network.

ATOMOS website: www.atomos.com

Commentary

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American-Australian cinematographer and Director of Photography John Brawley’s lens kit in 2018. Note the Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses. Image courtesy of John Brawley.

I am yet to have the pleasure of trying out the Olympus OM-D E-M1X and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and so have no experience-based opinion to share about their video capabilities.

Until now Olympus has concentrated on developing its cameras for stills photographers rather than videographers but flagging sales and changing perceptions about hybrid cameras appear to have tipped the balance.

So much so that Atomos and Olympus has just announced this completely unexpected turnabout, with the result that the Olympus OM-D E-M1X and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II can now be regarded as serious video production cameras.

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The Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional prime and zoom lens collection as of late 2017, all with manual clutch focus, invaluable for fast, accurate and repeatable manual focusing as well as linear focus-by-wire and autofocus. Image courtesy of Olympus Global.

I do have an experience-based opinion about Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality Micro Four Thirds prime and zoom lenses – they are just one feature short of perfect, missing only an aperture ring that can be set to de-clicked or clicked.

Otherwise they are amazing and if I had the means to purchase every one of them, as cinematographer John Brawley clearly does, then I would do so.

The lenses’ manual clutch focus capability via a retractable focusing ring is their strongpoint, allowing easy focus-pulling for video and deadly accurate manual-focusing when making documentary photographs in available darkness.

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Olympus lens roadmap of July 2020. Image courtesy of Olympus Global.

One item in the lens roadmap that Olympus released earlier this year has grabbed my attention, the coming M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4.0 Pro with its focal length range equivalent to 16-50mm in the 35mm sensor format.

The closest current M. Zuiko Pro lens to this is the M. Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro while the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric is Panasonic’s closest lens in focal length terms.

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Patent document diagram for coming Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4.0 Pro superwide-to-standard zoom lens.

Those lenses’ 35mm equivalences are 14-28mm and 20-50mm respectively, but the downside of the M. Zuiko Pro 7-14mm f/2.8 is its protruding convex front element that mitigates against screw-in neutral density and protective filters.

An Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4.0 Pro superwide-to-standard zoom lens would be tempting as a replacement for my beloved M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro daily-carry lens, though I would supplement it with an M. Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro for available darkness work or an M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro for extra reach and portrait photography.

Links

fcp.co: Steve Bayes Explains Colorlab Ai, the Color Grading System Powered by Artificial Intelligence

https://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/2306-steve-bayes-explains-colorlab-ai-the-color-grading-system-powered-by-artificial-intelligence

The artificial intelligence based colour grading system Colorlab Ai certainly looks like it could transform the grading process. Colorlab AI advisor and investor Steve Bayes explains why he became involved and how this technology should eventually become available to Final Cut Pro X users.

Links