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September 17, 2012 9:25 pm

hula cam

I got started in video and film by making juggling videos, many years ago now, and I was always interested in having a camera attached to a juggling prop to give the prop’s perspective on the action. In those days, little cameras like that were way out of my price range, and so I was never able to realize it. But today, we have the GoPro, the affordable crash-cam, and Rob Volkel has had the inspired idea to strap one to a hula hoop.

This is, without doubt, the best juggling prop to attach a camera to, because of the nature of the hoops motion you get a disorienting, but not motion-sickness-inducing, view of the action. Its very cool, a really interesting perspective on hula hooping … and all the pretty girls don’t hurt.

September 8, 2012 1:03 pm

old school stereo

In honour of nothing in particular, imgur user thealetent has found a collection of classic Cavenders cigarette card stereoscopic images taken between 1927 and 1931 by  J. Dearden Holmes, and has compiled them in such as way as to make the viewing easy an possible without the need for glasses.

Personally, as someone who is generally enthusiastic about the possibilities of stereoscopic 3D (although often disappointed with its implementation), I find these early examples to be fascinating. Not only do they show how old the technique is, but also demonstrates some of the problems and pitfalls (misalignment, scratches and exposure shifts) which have dogged stereoscopic images in their early days, and which only digital image processing has been able to solve.

The whole collection can be viewed here.

April 14, 2012 8:14 pm

Canon 1D C – The new DSLR capable of 4k video

The EOS 1D C, Canon’s promised DSLR capable of 4K video was announced on Thursday 12th. The camera will be a variation of the 1D X, but with reworked circuitry and heat management in order to prevent overheating from the massive data rates. It will also have some of the features from the C300, Canon’s recently announced cinema camera, which should allow the two cameras to be used together.

This is a pretty exciting piece of kit as it demonstrates the impact that RED’s 4k (and higher) camera’s have had. It seems that we are seeing an end to the era of generating digital film at 1080p and upscaling to 2k for broadcast, and a move towards the generation of material at higher resolutions.

I am, however, slightly confused by the fact that the camera only shoots 4k at 24fps. After all the fuss a few years regarding the 5D mark ii only shooting HD video at 30fps, I am surprised by Canon’s decision not to include 4k at 25 and 30fps. At 24fps, the 1D C’s 4k functionality is clearly aimed at the film market. But for all it’s bells and whistles the camera is still, at it’s heart, a DSLR with added video functionality. I’m sure that the camera will be welcomed with open arms by the indie film market, but it is not a dedicated film camera. At a predicted $10,000, it will function as an affordable 4k crash cam but I find it unlikely that it will be adopted widely adopted on professional film shoots.

Conversely, the potential for this camera in TV and commercials is clear. In the FX Guide RC podcasts, TVC director Jason Wingrove has discussed the usefulness of shooting 4k and the convenience of HDSLRs for commercials. So with the option of 25 and 30fps, the 1D C would be able to fulfill both of these needs, and yet Canon has neglected to include them.

Of course, the camera has not yet been released and things may well change. I will be following this camera with interest and anticipation.

October 26, 2011 7:40 pm

Subtleties of the Slate

Shot in Tasmania on the last day of the feature Van Diemen’s Land, this short clip from Inspiration Studios offers a humorous account of the role of the clapper loader. Featuring some useful techniques for any aspiring member of the camera department.

September 12, 2010 3:16 pm

HDR Video

San Francisco-based video production company Soviet Montage has developed a system for recording HDR video, using a beam splitter and two Canon 5D MkII SLRs to capture the same image with different exposures. This is an exciting new technique which could potentially see the end of cumbersome lighting rigs and much greater freedom in locations shooting. Soviet Montage is currently working on an undisclosed short film project using this technique. More information to come as it is released.