LIFE ON THE WILD SIDE Leading conservation filmmaker’s kit choices
CASH-FLOW CONVERTERS How to spend wisely on those business essentials
FLY ABOVE THE LAW The DJI mini drone anyone can use legally
@ProMoviemaker JUNE 2022 £5.49
Portacapture 32-bit audio recorder changes the game TASCAM TESTED FLOAT ON
Nikon’s super-telephoto prime Sony’s workhorse zoom Rode headphones, Joby lav mic & Zhiyun gimbal rated Buyers’ guide to hard drives and memory cards
CINE GEAR EXPO TIME! WHAT’S ON, AS THE MOVIEMAKING ELITE CONVERGE IN LA
Canon EOS R5 C mixes mirrorless tech and cinema cam know-how
Three major new systems to speed up your workflow CLOUD BUSTING VIRTUAL BOOM
Dazzling LEDs by Aputure, Nanlite and Litepanels LET THERE BE LIGHT 11-PAGE SPECIAL
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Chief sub editor Alex Bell Sub editors Matthew Winney, Harriet Williams EDITORIAL ADVERTISING Sales director Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 email@example.com Senior account manager Emma Stevens 01223 499462 firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Senior designer Lucy Woolcomb Middleweight designer Emily Lancaster Designer and ad production Man-Wai Wong Junior designer Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck
CLOUD BUSTING Blackmagic’s new hardware helps create a fast, online way to share content
MEDIA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS OF:
For most independent filmmakers, the post-shoot workflow usually involves lots of downloading memory cards to an assortment of portable (then desktop) hard drives, ideally using RAIDs for safety. Maybe even storing a backup of the footage somewhere in the cloud with Dropbox – or iCloud, if you can afford paying the Apple-added tax. Uploading massive files takes an age, which is why the cloud is an off-site alternative for most, in case things go wrong. Getting files to a colleague who works remotely has often been done by manually copying the data to another hard drive, then sending it on via courier. That seems like a ludicrous thing to do today, but moving huge files around online can be expensive, and takes what feels like forever to upload and download. If you are working with remote editors or colourists, and have a client eager to see work in progress, it’s fraught with more problems. A client can shoot a small video clip on their iPhone, then share it pretty much instantaneously. It’s difficult to explain why a 100GB project file doesn’t work the same way. So your editor has to export a finished or work-in-progress file, sending it by WeTransfer or one of the other file-sharing services – maybe Dropbox or Google Drive. You or the client download it and attempt to explain where you want amends. Do this many times on the same project and it becomes very time-consuming. But it seems new ways of working via the cloud are emerging, with remarkable synergy in terms of timing, if not the exact technology to make it work. Blackmagic hardware, Atomos hardware and software, and Adobe’s Frame.io software all came out swinging with methods of collaborative working via the cloud. It looks like these will finally suit small production companies, rather than Hollywood moviemakers alone. They each have pros and cons, but are all heading in the right direction to make affordable and cost-effective editing and sharing via the cloud a real possibility across the board. As a magazine focused on filmmaking innovations, it seems like the next big thing might not be cameras, lenses, lights or audio – but cloud computing. Maybe not as sexy as a new 8K camera, but ultimately a time-saving godsend.
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Pro Moviemaker is published monthly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. ISSN number: 2045-3892. Pro Moviemaker is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Pro Moviemaker that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted are street prices. In sterling they include VAT (unless otherwise stated), but US dollar prices are without local sales taxes. Prices where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
ADAM DUCKWORTH, EDITOR IN CHIEF
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
JUNE 2022 CONTENTS AGENDA 6 CANON FLEXES ITS LENS MUSCLES! Two Flex Zoom cine optics are suitable for productions all the way up to 8K, and come in EF or PL mounts – but not the new RF mirrorless fit. 8 NIKON’S SUPER-TELE VISION This 800mm Nikkor exploits Phase Fresnel technology to make it littler, lighter and cheaper than any rival super-telephoto lenses. 10 THE MEGA MONITOR IS HERE! If you think a 32in monitor is a lot of real estate, check out LG’s new series, which tops out with a simply enormous 65in editing screen. 13 LEICA JOINS THE RAW REVOLUTION The legendary German brand teams up with awesome Aussie firm Atomos, to launch ProRes Raw output from the latest SL2-S mirrorless camera. 14 CLOUD IS COMING Blackmagic Design and Atomos reveal two innovative, but very different ways of bringing collaborative editing and live streaming to independent filmmakers. 16 SONY’S REMASTERED WORKHORSE ZOOM The inimitable FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master gets a total redesign that makes it lighter, smaller, sharper – and altogether more desirable. 18 MINI DRONE FLIES UNDER THE LAW DJI’s most recent UAV weighs just 249g, meaning it’s legal to fly without training and certification. Plus, the latest plug-in for Sound Devices and a boost for Premiere Pro.
PREVIEW 20 LOS ANGELES SHOWTIME
It might not be in the backlot of a real Hollywood film studio any more, but the Cine Gear Expo still attracts the elite of moviemaking for a multi-day festival of films, workshops and kit launches. CASE STUDY 24 SHINING A LIGHT ON WILDLIFE KIT How one man’s mission is to record the natural world in a bid to conserve it. We discover his methods, while exploring the set-up of his equipment.
ACADEMY 29 BE BUSINESS SAVVY
In times of escalating costs and shrinking budgets, we look at how independent filmmakers can implement a few key changes – and bring very real savings.
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
GEAR 33 LIGHTING SPECIAL: NEW TECH TESTED In this huge, 11-page feature, we’re dazzled by some of the very best LED lights and modifiers, and bring you up to speed on fresh innovations from NAB and MPTS. 50 CANON’S CINEMA HYBRID The EOS R5 C takes all the best bits of the R5 and adds a whole host of filmmaking spec, like a built-in fan and some super-sexy codecs. We put it through its paces. 60 MINI TESTS: TOP KIT USED AND RATED A Tascam 32-bit Float recorder, Zhiyun stabilising gimbal, Lexar CFexpress card, Samsung SSD, Tenba backpack, Rode cans and Joby lav mic. 74 BUYERS’ GUIDE: STORAGE From memory cards to fast, portable drives, plus potent desktop storage, this bumper crop of solutions covers every possible price point.
premium-quality, full-frame, manual focus zoom cine lenses – but only in EF or PL mount, rather The 20-50mm has a close focus of 60cm/24in and is 241.3mm/9.5in long, while the 45-135mm focuses to 100cm/40in and is 2456.4mm/9.7in. The 20-50mm goes on sale in June and the 45-135mm in early September, for an estimated £20,500/$22,000. canon.com Canon Flex Zoom muscles Pair of premium-quality cine optics have fast T2.4 maximum aperture
C anon has launched its first than the latest autofocus RF mirrorless fit. The Flex Zoom series comprises the CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F/FP and CN-E45- 135mm T2.4 L F/FP, with both suitable for productions up to 8K. They are ideal for cinema cameras like the Canon C500 Mark II or C700 FF, as well as Super 35 cameras such as the C300 Mark III. Both lenses offer constant and fast T2.4 light transmission across the entire zoom range, plus 11 iris blades for natural bokeh and smooth specular highlights. They display the same subtle, warm colour tone synonymous with Canon’s full range of cinema lenses. The Flex Zooms have industry-standard metadata formats thanks to Cooke/i Technology, plus Zeiss eXtended Data
on the PL mount version, and Canon metadata via EF mount. This allows lens information to be displayed and recorded. With the EF communication, it affords automatic correction of aberration and peripheral illumination with compatible Cinema EOS cameras. The EF mount also enables Dual Pixel Focus Guide when focusing. The PL and EF mounts are interchangeable, but only via authorised Canon service centres. Both lenses have a consistent 114mm front diameter, gear positions and 300° gear rotation angle. Focus, zoom and iris rings feature standard gears to suit accessories, such as follow focus motors. The lenses both weigh approximately 3.3kg/7.3lb, with luminous metric and imperial markings. Both feature a large aspherical lens and an anomalous dispersion glass lens for colour fidelity.
MOUNTING JOY The latest Canon zooms come in either PL or EF fit, which can be changed – but there’s no RF option
FIRMWARE UPDATES BOOST PTZ RANGE
set-up and configuration, as it searches a network for existing Canon IP-supported PTZ cameras and logs each camera’s IP address, model name and serial number. A firmware update for Canon’s DP-V1830 features new RGB Parade waveform monitor and Chromaticity diagram display tools for detailed colour info. The update also unlocks monitoring tools, such as histogram and Canon’s own Frame Luminance Monitor, which shows the average and peak brightness of the image over time. The DP-V1830 now also features a brand-new interface, which enables both HDMI and SDI feeds to be viewed simultaneously.
A free software called Webcam Driver for Windows allows three models of the Canon 4K PTZ camera to be used as webcams. By simply connecting the CR-N500, CR-N300 or CR-X300 via IP to a Windows PC, with the Webcam Driver installed, the cameras can be operated as webcams for easy streaming. The PTZ cameras can then be integrated with applications such as Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom, as well as lectures on Panopto coupled with capture applications. Up to five cameras can be registered and used at the same time. Canon has also revealed the Mac OS-supported Search Tool software, which was previously only available for Windows. It is used during PTZ
“The PL and EF mounts are interchangeable, but only via service centres”
UNBOXING A REAL SUPERSTAR!
This latest Canon autofocus TV lens is the UHD Digisuper 122AF, featuring a huge 122x zoom ratio, that gives the lens an incredible 8.2-1000mm focal length range. If that’s not enough, the lens has a built-in 2x extender that increases the zoom range to 2000mm. What sets the lens apart is the addition of a phase-detection autofocus system, to capture fast-moving subjects. It has a superfast maximum aperture of f/1.7 at focal lengths under 340mm, but this gradually increases to f/5. It’s a bit of a big beast, at 662mm/26.1in long.
AGENDA NEWS Nikon’s super-tele is lighter than most
Lumens has taken the wraps off its VC-R30 IP PTZ camera, with a new-generation 1/2.8-inch Sony sensor that shoots in Full HD at 60p. Delivering broadcast-quality pictures, the VC-R30 offers cost- effective multicam video production. Lumens claims the VC-R30 provides image quality and video outputs not previously seen on a camera at this price point. It offers simultaneous 3G-SDI, HDMI, USB 3.0 and Ethernet. It has a 12x optical zoom lens with a wide 72.5° horizontal field of view and intelligent autofocus system. mylumens.com STREAMING EASE FOR LUMENS PTZ
with the Z 9 mirrorless camera. Z mount teleconverters can extend the reach to 1120mm or 1600mm. The Phase Fresnel lens element and Nano Crystal Coat reduces ghosting and flare, while ED and SR glass control chromatic aberration from the centre to the edge of the frame. A control ring and function buttons can be customised, and a memory-set button to store focus distances. An integrated filter slot takes drop-in filters. nikon.com
The new Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S prime may be a large lens, but is much cheaper and lighter than its rivals – thanks to a Phase Fresnel lens element. This makes it 16% shorter than its F mount counterpart. The 800mm costs £6299/$6497 and weighs 2.39kg/5.25lb. In comparison, the latest Canon 800mm RF lens is marginally faster at f/5.6, but weighs 3.14kg/6.9lb and costs £19,099/$17,000. The Nikon has built-in optical VR, and Synchro VR allows up to 5.5 stops of compensation when this lens is paired
BIG BOY A monster 800mm lens is never going to be light or cheap, but the new Z mount Nikkor uses PF lens tech to set a new benchmark
DUAL DIGITAL SOUND SOLUTION
a lav mic. No price has yet been set for the kit. The URX-P41D can be plugged into any camera with a standard audio lead, but using the £39/$65 SMAD-P5 MI shoe adapter on newer Sony cameras enables direct digital audio recording, delivering high sound quality with low noise, by skipping the D/A and A/D process. It also integrates with Sony’s camcorders and displays audio information in the viewfinder. The new receiver is smaller than the older, analogue version and has an external microphone input socket and three-channel mixing function. Four- channel audio recording is also possible. sony.com
Sony finally has a two-channel, digital wireless audio receiver that fits on the Multi Interface shoe on its latest- generation cinema and mirrorless cameras. The £845/$679 URX-P41D has the features found in all Sony’s fourth- generation wireless audio kits, such as improved sound quality, NFC sync and auto gain and output level control – but now receives signals from two senders. The URX-P41D will work with all UWP-D transmitters, and is backwards compatible with previous generations that are analogue. It is available as a stand-alone receiver and as part of a new kit, which will include two UTX-B40 bodypack transmitters. These usually cost £324/$350, but come with
NEWS LG’s mega-size monitor!
Television giant LG has introduced a line of professional OLED monitors developed for video editing, headlined by a huge 65-inch display. The range also includes 31.5- and 26.5-inch versions. All the LG UltraFine Pro models offer 10-bit colour depth, DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB colour. The 65-inch OLED pro monitor is a 120Hz UHD model that combines more than eight million self- illuminated RGBW pixels with advanced It includes LG’s software for white- balance and natively supports Calman colour calibration software. It’s also ideal for programmable hardware with 1D and 3D LUTs, as well as multiple colour-accurate profiles. calibration capabilities, to achieve reference-quality performance. A set of user-programmed function keys provide quick access to on-screen features such as markers, zoom, timecode and audio meters. A profile button allows instant switching between user-display presets. The monitor is designed to be controllable by third-party devices through supported APIs. Four loop-through 12G SDI ports enable a monitor to display up to four Full HD feeds. There are also additional HDMI, IP and Genlock inputs. Supported high
WIDE SCREENS The latest LG 4K pro editing monitor has a mammoth 65-inch screen dynamic range video formats include HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. The 31.5- and 26.5-inch monitors feature RGB pixels and offer HDR and SDR colour, VFX editing and on-set monitoring. Both have two display ports – one HDMI and USB – including USB-C PD. lg.com
The new Cine 18 4K monitor from SmallHD is designed to be bright enough for Daylight viewing and rugged enough for everyday use, thanks to a lightweight aluminium body – all with post-production image quality and colour accuracy. The 18-inch screen has 1100-nit brightness, 1300:1 contrast ratio and four 12G-SDI inputs/outputs for workflows of up to 4K resolution. The unit takes power from a four-pin XLR and can be powered by batteries. The screen is an edge-lit LCD. It weighs 5.06kg/11.15lb and costs $5999. No UK price yet. smallhd.com BIG LAUNCH FROM SMALLHD
WAVE GOODBYE TO COMPLEX STREAMING Teradek’s new Wave is the only
expected in traditional broadcasts. It’s compatible with Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and all other RTMP platforms, and has two cellular connections for LTE modems or cellphone bonding. It comes with a stand, cables, antennas, USB-C power adapter and battery plate for Sony L-series cells. teradek.com
livestreaming monitor that handles encoding, smart-event creation, network bonding, multi-streaming and recording – all on a seven-inch, Daylight-viewable touchscreen. You can watch live productions in real time on the same device you’re using for encoding, with the reliability
Major video boost for Z 9
Nikon has revealed new firmware for the Z 9 flagship, and Z 6II and Z 7II mirrorless cameras, as well as a 660GB CFexpress memory card to suit the Z 9’s high- resolution video recording. The Z 6II and Z 7II upgrade improves focusing for stills and video, but it’s the Z 9 that gets a huge increase in video spec – including Raw recording in 8.3K/60p in-camera and 4K/60p Ultra HD footage oversampled from 8K. The 12-bit, in-camera recording is in ProRes Raw HQ up to 4K/60p, or Nikon’s N-Raw format at up to 8K/60p and 4K/120p. Other new functions include a waveform monitor, red REC frame indicator and custom i-menu for fast display of video settings while shooting. The firmware also offers key upgrades for stills photographers, with customised AF set-ups using 20 selectable wide-area AF patterns, and a higher refresh rate of up
to 120fps can be activated for the camera’s 3000-nit EVF. Other functions include pre-release image capture, and the ability to recall focus positions using multiple camera buttons. For the Z 6II and Z 7II cameras, the Auto-Area AF algorithm means improved focus on foreground subjects in the centre of the frame. In addition, support for linear manual focusing delivers a more organic feel when recording video. Nikon’s new 660GB CFexpress memory card achieves read speeds of up to 1700 MB/s and write speeds of up to 1500 MB/s. In a move to please filmmakers, Nikon is developing a remote grip, ideal for use on a tripod pan handle. The MC-N10 accessory allows remote control of Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras via a wired connection. Further details are still to be revealed. nikon.com
RAW COMES TO LEICA MIRRORLESS The Leica SL2-S will record ProRes Raw video over HDMI when connected to the Atomos Ninja V or V+, following a free firmware upgrade. It will output 4K, 12-bit linear ProRes Raw at up to 60fps. The Leica SL2-S features an all-metal body, with a 24-megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor that’s stabilised when used with L-Mount lenses. The five-inch Atomos touchscreens offer HLG and PQ HDR10 standards and provide a range of tools, such as waveforms, false colour and framing guides. ProRes Raw is supported in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer, along with Assimilate Scratch, FilmLight Baselight and Grass Valley Edius. atomos.com
HANDY WORK Nikon’s commitment to filmmaking goes as far as this new grip, which works on its mirrorless cams on a tripod
GEAR TO GET YOU HIGH
A large levelling platform supports the telescoping column mast, which has eight risers and secure locking collars for each section. A pan ring allows 360° rotation. The platform base has four telescopic legs and heavy-duty jacks to level it out. msegrip.com
If you want to get a heavy light, or even a camera, up high, then Matthews has the answer, with the first off-the-shelf, modular grip and lighting stand that reaches 7.62m/25ft. The Air Climber uses pneumatics to be safely raised. The system offers a hefty load capacity of 91kg/200lb.
Down Under duo’s cloud control Aussie firms Blackmagic and Atomos unveil new products and services, to bring collaborative editing and easy live streaming to all
lackmagic and Atomos revealed a slew of hardware and software products to allow simple, cheap editing and streaming via the
SHUTTLE ENTERPRISE REACHES HYPER SPEED
cloud. Although the systems are different, with Blackmagic’s solution based around servers and Atomos monitors, both make it easier to share content. The Blackmagic system allows multiple editors to work simultaneously on the same project anywhere in the world. It’s all thanks to a major cloud collaboration update for DaVinci Resolve 18, and a new range of high-performance network storage solutions. Blackmagic Cloud Store, Cloud Store Mini and Cloud Pod are ideal for sharing large files between multiple users for editing. They come in a range of prices, to suit anything from small companies through to large-scale film and TV productions. These cloud storage models feature 10G Ethernet, automatic sync with Dropbox, up to 320TB of high-speed flash memory and HDMI monitoring. The latest DaVinci Resolve 18 supports the Blackmagic Cloud for hosting and sharing projects, as well as a new proxy
The HyperDeck Shuttle HD is Blackmagic’s new recorder/player that’s designed for the desktop as an on-demand media player. It supports recording and playback for ProRes, DNx and H.264 files in NTSC, PAL, 720p and 1080p, as well as PCM or AAC audio. The unit is dominated by a large metal search dial and traditional broadcast deck controls, so it's easy to quickly scroll through media. It has a built-in teleprompter and comes with HDMI connections – ideal with Atem Mini switchers. workflow. This update includes Resolve FX AI tools, fresh editing capabilities, changes to the Fairlight audio system and GPU-accelerated paint in Fusion. Blackmagic’s Proxy Generator App automatically creates and manages proxies from camera originals. Create a watch folder and media is automatically converted into H.264, H.265 or Apple
The £489/$495 HyperDeck Shuttle HD is a master recorder that doubles as a clip player, while SD cards and USB-C external disks can be used for recording and playing media.
ProRes proxies. Switch between original footage and proxies, as Resolve instantly links them in the media pool. So you can edit with proxies, then relink to camera originals for grading. Resolve’s cloud tech works with three new Blackmagic devices. The entry-level Cloud Pod is £305/$395, but you have to use your own USB-C storage, while the mid-range Cloud Store Mini has 8TB at £2275/$2995. Intended for large productions, the Cloud Store costs from £7239/$9595 for a 20TB version, up to £22,639/$29,995 for an 80TB beast. A 320TB version is on offer, built to order, at a price that hasn’t yet been released. The Cloud Store has four 10G Ethernet connections and a parallel memory core that sustains maximum possible transfer speeds on each 10G Ethernet port at the same time. It has an array of flash memory, arranged in RAID 5 for speed and data protection. Ethernet ports mean you can connect four separate computers, or they work together using link aggregation for a massive 40G Ethernet speed. There is also an HDMI monitoring output.
FLAGSHIP TECH The Blackmagic Cloud Store is available with up to 320TB of storage, and has four 10G Ethernet connections, to keep your data moving as quickly as possible to the new cloud system
OH WHAT AN ATOMOS-PHERE
The Atomos Cloud Studio programme is a collection of services, including cloud and live streaming using new network-connected devices. Cloud Studio, developed in partnership with iPhone app specialist Mavis, offers two cloud-based live video production services, for real-time collaboration and sharing work. Capture to Cloud uploads files from Atomos network-connected devices to cloud-based platforms including Frame.io, while Stream uses any Atomos network-enabled device to stream to top platforms. Capture to Cloud provides an instantaneous way to share clips from any camera implementing Atomos Connect or Shogun Connect devices to remote team members. The platform will launch along with integrations for several file-sharing services, with more to come. It also includes support for Atomos AirGlu, which enables direct communication between devices and provides a wireless timecode lock, perfect for multicamera production. A dual recording mode means an Atomos Connect or Shogun Connect will record two files with matching filenames, timecode and metadata simultaneously. One is a full-resolution, Apple ProRes 422 or ProRes Raw version, and the other a high-quality, bandwidth-efficient HEVC (H.265) version. Each proxy is automatically uploaded to the cloud using a new Atomos progressive file transfer protocol, which can begin uploading even as it’s being captured. Atomos Stream is an all-in-one solution that enables any Atomos network-enabled device to deliver a live stream. At launch, it will include free support for providing content directly to a platform, which could be Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube and more. Later this
year, Atomos is aiming to release a premium ‘restreaming’ service, supporting delivery to multiple platforms at once. Stream uses industry-standard encryption to ensure data transfers are secure. The system works with cinema cams, mirrorless and DSLR, or iOS devices. The £390/$399 Atomos Connect unit fits Ninja V and V+ monitor/ recorders and features a 12G-SDI interface, AirGlu wireless timecode, multiple power options, Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth LE capabilities. It transforms cinema, mirrorless and DSLR cameras into fully integrated devices supporting cloud-based workflows. The £1319/$1299 Shogun Connect is based on the existing Shogun, with a brighter screen and multiple recording options. It combines HDR monitoring, Raw recording and cloud workflows with a loop-through 12G-SDI in and out interface, which has an option to activate SDI Raw and send a signal to multiple devices. AirGlu wireless timecode, Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth LE and USB-C connection are all featured. Atomos Cloud Studio services will be available from June, free for an initial three months. From September, subscription plans start with prices below £10/$10 per month. atomos.com BOLT-ON GOODIES By fitting your five-inch Ninja V or V+ into the Connect cradle, the device becomes fully integrated into the new Atomos cloud-based workflow system
SLEEK AND VERSATILE Revamped DaVinci Resolve software (above) works with all the new Blackmagic products, like the Cloud Store Mini 8TB (below), to build a whole new ecosystem connected in the cloud
The system works with Dropbox, so files are instantly available without requiring download from the internet, as Blackmagic Cloud Store constantly stays in sync. Multiple Cloud Stores can be used, allowing editors in different geographic locations to collaborate without latency. One advantage of Blackmagic Cloud Store is that it’s private storage, with no subscriptions or monthly licence fees. And it’s a private network, totally disconnected from the internet. The Cloud Store Mini has four flash memory cards in RAID 0 configuration and built-in 10G Ethernet. With Dropbox sync, multiple units can be synchronised across various locations. As with the Cloud Store, an HDMI monitoring output is included. Much cheaper, the Cloud Pod lets you use any USB-C disk. It includes speedy 10G Ethernet and Dropbox sync, and once again HDMI monitoring output for a real- time view of the network storage status. File-sharing service Dropbox is currently the only platform that works with Blackmagic’s cloud system, but it’s believed more will be announced. blackmagicdesign.com
“Atomos Connect or Shogun Connect will record two files with matching filenames, timecode and metadata simultaneously”
Sony’s remastered workhorse zoom
contributes to smooth bokeh. In this 24- 70mm design, the lens delivers outstanding close-up performance, with a minimum focusing distance of 21cm/8.25in at 24mm and 30cm/12in at 70mm, and a maximum magnification of 0.32x. As a nod to filmmaking, the lens is built for extremely quiet AF operation, thanks to the XD Linear Motors. Focus breathing, focus shift and axial shift when zooming are minimised, for smooth video footage. The lens also supports the breathing compensation function in compatible Alpha series cameras. And Linear Response manual focus gives a cine-like feel. A zoom smoothness switch adjusts the zoom ring torque to either Tight or Smooth, and there are two customisable focus hold buttons. A lens hood has an opening to control circular polarising filters.
The mid-range zoom that’s so often the mainstay of many filmmakers’ Sony set- ups has had a revamp, making it smaller and lighter. The FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM II is the newest in the pro-level G Master range, and is the lightest f/2.8 standard zoom on the market – but still does not include image stabilisation. A fresh optical design features five aspherical elements, including two high-precision XA (extreme aspherical) elements, two ED (extra-low dispersion), plus two Super ED glass elements. Combined with a floating focus mechanism, the lens is built to minimise chromatic aberration, astigmatism, distortion and coma at all zoom and aperture settings. Sony’s Nano AR Coating II is used to produce a uniform anti-reflecting coating, while a newly developed 11-blade aperture
The moisture resistance has been improved and all buttons and switches are fitted with rubber gaskets, and a rubber ring seals the lens mount. The front lens element features a fluorine coating. The 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II weighs just 695g/1.53lb, which is approximately 20% less than the original and is 16mm/0.6in shorter. It costs £2099/$2300. sony.com
ALL ABOARD These screenshots show a typical workflow, where users can log in via the cloud to see real-time edits and collaborate on them. It’s part of a big Frame.io revamp
ADOBE FRAMES UP NEW CLOUD WORKFLOW
can collaborate on edits in the cloud, allowing fast final approval. During editing, it’s possible to share work with anyone via the cloud, to get frame- accurate annotations directly inside Premiere Pro and After Effects. Up to five projects can be viewed concurrently. The Premiere Pro update includes direct output to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. A new Auto Colour feature uses AI to generate corrections as a guide to help inexperienced colourists and it’s a good starting point for secondary tasks, like skin tone or sky adjustments. frame.io adobe.com
Integration with Atomos brings pro video, mirrorless and DSLR cameras to the C2C workflow. Frame.io’s C2C workflow can be used with any camera outputting HDMI video to a suitable Atomos recorder. This upgrade comes on the back of Adobe’s announcement it is adding Frame.io to Creative Cloud subscribers for free. So, Premiere Pro and After Effects now include integrated review and approval systems. It also means After Effects offers native support for M1 Mac computers. With the introduction of Frame.io for Creative Cloud, video editors and clients
The Adobe-owned Frame.io cloud editing system benefits from a huge expansion, with new Camera-to- Cloud (C2C) integrations for Filmic Pro, Atomos, Teradek, Viviana Cloud and FilmDataBox. There’s also a new Frame.io app for Apple TV 4K, native integration with Filmlight’s Baselight grading system and improved security. The Teradek Serv 4K can now automatically send low-bandwidth, timecoded 10-bit 4K HEVC proxies of original files instantly to Frame.io – from many cameras. That means you can send 4K files to create colour-corrected dailies immediately.
NEWS Mini drone flies under the law
automatically tracks, while planning a safe flight route. The 1/1.3-inch CMOS camera sensor has dual native ISO, with an f/1.7 lens, shooting images at up to 48 megapixels and video up to 4K/60fps. HDR video is offered at frame rates up to 30fps. A D-Cinelike colour profile allows for more dynamic range in post. It gives digital video zoom at up to 2x in 4K, 3x in 2.7K and 4x in Full HD. There’s also an extended flight battery option, affording a maximum flight time of 47 minutes. However, this takes the drone above the 250g limit, so is only suitable if you have the right credentials to legally fly. Also new is the DJI RC, a lightweight remote controller with a 5.5-inch built-in touchscreen, that has the Fly app already integrated. The DJI Mini 3 Pro is £639/$669, £709/$759 with the basic controller that uses a smartphone, or £859/$909 with the new DJI RC. dji.com
DJI’s new Mini 3 Pro drone weighs less than 249g, which makes it legal to fly without training and certification in many countries. Yet it has a full range of features, such as 4K/60fps video, subject tracking, obstacle sensing and a flight time of over 30 minutes. It also has 90° gimbal rotation to shoot vertical imaging for social media. Like its predecessors – Mavic Mini, Mini 2 and Mini SE – it keeps the same compact foldability. But the Mini 3 Pro has more features than any other DJI drone of this size, including improved flight performance, camera system and battery life – plus intelligent attributes previously only available in the larger Air and Mavic series. The arms and propellers have been adjusted to increase flight time. In a first for the collection, the Mini 3 Pro has forward, backward and downward visual sensors to detect and avoid obstacles. These also enable DJI’s FocusTrack technology, which allows users to select a subject that the drone
Adobe Premiere Pro gets a speed boost with up to ten times faster exports for 10-bit 4:2:2 HEVC across all platforms. This is thanks to new hardware encoding support for macOS – including M1 systems – and AMD GPUs on Windows. Smart rendering and playback of QuickTime screen recordings is smoother. Other improvements include support for transparencies in GIFs, options to distribute spacing between objects for titles or graphics – and HDR proxy workflows. adobe.com PERFORMANCE BOOST FOR PREMIERE PRO to an SD card and loaded onto multiple MixPres to save time. The engineer will lock the MixPre into ‘Reporter Mode’, so contributors just connect a microphone and headphones, hit record, then adjust mix levels if needed. Purchase online. sounddevices.com Sound Devices has introduced the $30 Reporter plug-in for the MixPre-3, MixPre-6, MixPre-3 II and MixPre-6 II recorders that allows all menus to be locked off, preventing accidental changes during use by inexperienced practitioners. The MixPre’s 32-bit float recording and clean preamplifiers mean a huge range of sound levels can be captured with no adjustments. This new plug-in makes it simpler to get great sound. A sound engineer can set up a MixPre with preferred settings. These can be saved SIMPLIFIED SOUND FOR NEWBIES
AGENDA CINE GEAR EXPO
The Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles is where the world’s top moviemakers and independent filmmakers go to meet and check out the latest kit Hollywood goes to Expo!
I t may not be the biggest show in the world for filmmakers, but it’s one of the most high-profile for sure. We’re talking about the prestigious Cine Gear Expo in sunny Southern California – and it’s on from 9-12 June.
VOCAS The Dutch accessory manufacturer is on a mission to create innovative, high-quality and ergonomic accessories for video professionals, producing both universal tools and dedicated extras for specific cameras. On show will be a range of new accessories, including the Level Marker – a clever instrument that helps you correctly align your camera’s horizon – alongside new add-ons for the Sony Venice 2 and Red V-Raptor, among others. Vocas will also display the exhaustive line-up of its popular accessories for the Sony FX6, FX9 and Red Komodo cameras. vocas.com
The event has been running since 1996, in recent times in the backlot of a genuine Hollywood film studio. Its new home is the LA Convention Center, but it still attracts genuine moviemaking moguls, as well as filmmakers from around the globe. There are awards shows, screenings, lively panel debates with industry experts, workshops to learn from, networking to be done and – of course – the latest cool kit from some of the best manufacturers on the planet. There’s often brand-new gear unveiled, too. The trade show area will be open from 9-11 June, while the final day is set aside for workshops – as well as some serious SoCal networking. To register, go to cinegearexpo.com. If you do attend, here are just a handful of the manufacturers whose gear you should definitely check out.
CINE SMORGASBORD Everything from mega-brands to smaller vendors will be available for your delectation
Schneider-Kreuznach is unveiling its ISCO4all lenses - the world’s first set that can be used for both anamorphic and conventional footage. The ISCO4all combines three standalone spherical cine primes and an anamorphic front adapter. The adapter, Iscorama 54 CU -1.5x, is considered a true classic among anamorphic film fans. And while its vintage look remains the same, the modern version has upgrades, such as a reduced close focus distance of 1.4m, clarity improvement and a 0.8 gear ring. The three compact ISCOspherical A+ cine primes have focal lengths of 43, 58 and 85mm, and are a Schneider-Kreuznach version of Dulens Mini Primes. The lenses are provided with an ISCOspherical amber coating that creates particularly authentic flare. Select accessories complete the set. schneiderkreuznach.com
TOKINA CINEMA Cine Gear is a great chance to get hands-on with Tokina Cinema’s complete line of Vista Prime lenses, including the new 180mm T1.9 telephoto, 21mm T1.5 and 29mm T1.5 wides. The lenses perfectly complement the latest generation of cinema cameras like the Arri Alexa Mini LF, Red V-Raptor and Sony Venice 2. David Rom, DOP for hit series Ted Lasso , said: “I loved the Tokina Vistas, absolutely loved them. So many other new large format lenses don’t really react to light like those older bits of glass. The Vista Primes do something special when you throw a light down them. When the sports lights are flaring the lens, they actually look amazing.” tokinacinemausa.com
CORE SWX To future-proof customers for the range of high-voltage cameras coming this year, Core SWX will be showing its award-winning Maverick mobile power station and Helix Max battery packs. The Maverick is the next-generation, all-encompassing block battery system for cinema and lighting applications. The 639Wh NiMH pack was built for demanding situations, as it’s capable of sustaining up to 20A draw on both 14v and 28v outputs simultaneously (40A total). The Helix Max series consists of dual-voltage, on-board battery packs available in 98Wh and 147Wh capacities, in V-Mount, 3-Stud and the new Arri B-Mount platform.
These devices integrate seamlessly into your battery fleet, as they can be either 14v or 28v packs, refuel on existing chargers and sustain up to 20A at 14v. coreswx.com
APUTURE The latest Aputure fixtures will all be on display for you to get up close and personal with. Products such as the Light Storm 1200d Pro, LS 600c Pro and Nova P600c will be on hand, and you’re invited to ask the technical team anything you want to
know. Maybe there will even be super- secret unreleased
products to behold, too. There’s a good chance the latest gear from sister brand Amaran will also be featured. aputure.com
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fantastic compressed format that plays back exceptionally well on lesser-spec workstations.
Q. I’m currently using a Sony A7S III and shoot a lot of action sport, coupled with regular commercial work. I’m thinking of getting another A7S III as a backup/second camera or maybe a Sony FX6. What are the pros/ cons of each and will I notice an improvement in image quality? - Harv Beardsell, Leicester A. The A7S III and FX6 share the same sensor, but you can turn off noise reduction on the FX6 so you can control the level of it in post, which some people may prefer. Otherwise, the image is going to be identical if you shoot the exact same subject under the same light, with the same lens and same camera settings. The big difference is in the body. The FX6 is a camera designed to shoot video first. It has much more control over your key settings physically, has more video- specific menu and control options, and also looks more professional to clients when you walk on set. Q. I work on fitness videos for clients who want very high quality. I use a Sony A7S III and shoot in 4K in 4:2:2 10-bit All-I. But it fills up memory cards so fast. Can I record onto an SSD or perhaps a monitor/recorder like an Atomos and A. Recording to an SSD is not possible on the A7S III, but is on some other cameras. But recording externally to a monitor/ recorder like the Atomos Ninja V is possible and does have some benefits. The A7S III has really great internal format options, but using a Ninja V alongside it allows you to capture ProRes Raw, ProRes or DNX to the SSD on the monitor. Just bear in mind, depending on what format you choose, you can fill up these SSDs quickly! However, capturing in ProRes Raw will allow for more processing flexibility in post if your workflow allows it, and ProRes provides a keep the codec the same? - John Owen, Northampton
Q. I’ve never cleaned my camera’s sensor, but it’s looking a bit grubby now. Is this something I can do myself without too much worry of damage? - Richard Lawman, Essex A. While possible to clean it yourself, sending it to a professional service centre – like we have in house – will provide you with a stress-free experience and peace of mind that a pro has worked on your camera. Doing this yourself can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. Sensors are incredibly delicate and expensive to repair if damaged. Q. A client keeps asking for vertical videos for social media. Should I shoot vertically or in the usual landscape orientation and crop in post? Is there any equipment I can buy to help? - David Willett, Kent A. Pulling vertical compositions out of landscape shots can be done, but you will most likely be compromising one of the formats. Shooting vertical allows you to deliver exactly what you frame, while delivering better-looking imagery as you don’t have to waste resolution on delivery. Lots of cameras will not feature the ability to mount vertically without the addition of a cage, but some do, like the Sony FX3 and Canon EOS C70. However, a cage provides a more secure rig, plus you can mount more accessories, like a monitor, which is handy for shooting vertically. Q. My variable ND filter always seems to add a colour cast. Are there any that don’t? - Will McGarry, Kent A. Unfortunately, because variable NDs use two polarised pieces of glass to achieve their variable ND goodness, this means that every single one is susceptible to cross-polarisation artefacts. This can
result in weird image artefacts and colour casts. Some perform better than others, but if you really want as little colour cast as possible, you’ll need to pay up for the more expensive Vari NDs – or go for single-strength NDs which perform far better. NDs are an area of the market where you really get what you pay for!
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CASE STUDY SEAN VILJOEN
SHINING A LIGHT ON WILDLIFE KIT SAFARI SELECTION
Filmmaker Sean Viljoen reveals the contents of the camera bag he uses in the deserts of Africa
WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH
W hen it comes to the right equipment for a multi-day shoot in dusty, hot conditions, nobody has more experience than conservation and wildlife filmmaker Sean Viljoen. The South African knows what’s needed to survive the extreme temperatures, dust and bumps you get from travelling in everything, from bouncy four-by-fours to small helicopters. Space is at a premium, reliability is paramount. You don’t want to spend weeks tracking animals, only for equipment to fail at the key moment. But you also want the highest-quality footage. Viljoen recently finished his documentary 12 Cheetahs , a film about an
us?’ I work with a small crew, so we don’t have a lot of hands free to carry masses of checked-in baggage and move our kit from place to place. We also find ourselves shooting in pretty confined spaces – inside helicopters or vehicles, so I lean towards as lean a rig as possible. I try and keep it to the bare essentials.” Cameras “I have been using Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro for a year. It’s a much smaller camera than I’ve worked with previously, but image quality is better. I don’t think there’s another camera on the market that can deliver the same quality, in that form factor, at that price.
ambitious mission to reintroduce a dozen cheetahs from South Africa and Malawi back into the Zambeze Delta ecosystem in Mozambique. We asked him to run though his current choice of kit to find out what works best.“When it comes to gear, I’m always asking myself: ‘How can we maximise the production value, but minimise the amount of kit we take with
“We don’t have hands free to carry masses of checked-in baggage”
SEAN VILJOEN CASE STUDY
Sean Viljoen is a producer, director and cinematographer based in Cape Town in South Africa, and is the co-founder of the Conservation Film Company. What motivates him most is storytelling and how it can inspire action - particularly when it comes to wildlife and conservation. Here are his top tips for capturing incredible wildlife in action: • Know and understand your subject, so that you can capture interesting behaviour and habits • Anticipate the action, ensuring you’re in the right place at the right time • Nature is unpredictable – always be prepared to shoot for longer than you expect • Slow your pace down to the rhythms of the natural world. Patience is the key. • Always be out filming at first and last light, rain or shine – that’s when the magic happens. VILJOEN’S TOP TIPS FOR FILMING ANIMALS
ROCK SOLID Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro gives incredible image
quality, but is compact, rugged and affordable
SPOTTED IN THE WILD From wide-angle shots up close, to long lens work out in the field, the choice of Sigma and Canon lenses gave plenty of options
sound like much, but the Pocket Cinema 6K Pro already has built-in two, four and six-stop ND filters. The extra filter permits me to go to seven stops, which is helpful in very bright midday sunlight and allows more exposure precision. “Creatively, I also use a Tiffen 1/4 Pro-Mist, which lets me play around with blooming on the highlights. I just got back from the Sahara, where I used that filter a lot – I had a lot of fun. “I always need to consider logistics with everything I do. The issue I have with any of these rigs is sourcing the parts and obtaining them in South Africa. At the moment, I am based in Namibia, so getting anything I need can be a challenge,
Rig set-up “My rig is based around a Tilta cage, with a handle on the top and baseplate with slots for 25mm rods. I did try an additional side handle for a while, but ultimately I don’t think it was necessary, especially as I’m trying to keep everything as light and straightforward as possible. I also tried the Tilta Nucleus-Nano wireless focus system, but found it was another thing that required power, another device to worry about charging every evening. I use a manual follow focus tool now. “I do have a matte box, along with some filters. I like to play around with creating looks in-camera as much as possible. I’ve got a one-stop ND filter, which may not
“We can save a bit on the cameras compared to what else is out there, allowing us to have more fully equipped rigs which are standardised across our crew. This saves time as we avoid any issues in post-production, where you’re trying to match images from different cameras with different colour science. Everything is graded in DaVinci Resolve. “We’ve been able to standardise our workflow. If a camera is damaged or lost, we have a replacement on location. It’s not going to break the whole project budget to replace it. This allows us to do things that might be a bit riskier, but could yield good results. I’m a little more willing to take those risks.”
CASE STUDY SEAN VILJOEN
which is another reason to keep everything to a minimum. “One thing I haven’t done that I want to is try and fit a Nano V-mount battery on the rear of the rig. This would serve two purposes. Firstly, provide enough power for up to four hours of shooting. I could go an entire day with just one battery. Secondly, I also think it could help with ergonomics. Initially, I struggled a little with the camera, because it isn’t a traditional shoulder rig. Adding a little weight in the form of a V-mount battery could help better balance the camera when larger lenses are mounted, and I could press it into my chest to keep everything nice and steady.” Lenses “I used three lenses for 12 Cheetahs , which I shot last year. The one I relied on most
“I used three lenses for 12 Cheetahs. The one I relied on most was the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. As filmmakers know, it’s such a useful piece of kit”
Audio and Lighting “There are a lot of interviews in the film, and we had to find a location to make them work. We shot most of them in the forest, which is a beautiful backdrop, but tricky with lighting changing the whole time. All we had with us was a single Aputure 120D LED light. We tried to backlight the subjects with natural light, then add a bit of fill from the front with the Aputure. The light was powerful enough to separate the subject from the background, but it did become tricky to manage if some of the bright sunlight came through. Overall, it worked nicely. “The audio for the interviews was recorded with a Rode NTG2 shotgun mic above the subject, just out of frame. We did it simply, thanks to a light stand and Manfrotto boom arm. We got the mic as close to them as we possibly could. As a backup, we used a Sony UWP-D21 wireless lavalier microphone system via a mini XLR cable. But almost everything was from the shotgun mic in the final audio mix. “We recorded all the audio in-camera. We had each mic on a separate channel, and I had a five-metre XLR cable with a mini XLR adapter to go straight into the camera. It simplifies the workflow and, again, makes everything a lot easier.”
was the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. As many filmmakers know, it is such a useful piece of kit. I also used a couple of Canon EF lenses – the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 200- 400mm f/4 – which allowed me to capture shots of the cheetahs from a distance. I used the 200-400mm f/4 with the 6K Pro for the first time, for a cheetah standing by a termite mound. It was a backlit scene, and the animals were in lots of shadow. I was just amazed at what the camera could capture and how the dynamic range held the highlights.”
More information You can watch the 12 Cheetahs documentary at: https://youtu.be/oXNi1oOj_3o.
TOP KIT A compact rig, with an XLR mic and short lens on the Blackmagic 6K Pro, was ideal for filming in the wild (above). And when the cheetahs were released (top), the camera was fast enough to keep up
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