Pro Moviemaker Winter 2018

TESTED: SONY TAKE TWO The FS5 II is perfect for indie filmmaking

HOOKED ON SPEED! How to capture

MASTER HDR IN FCPX Our step-by-step guide to editing in high dynamic range

fast-moving subjects for maximum impact

WINTER 2018 £4.99


How one man went from holiday videos to feature films BREAK INTOMOVIES LIFE STORY


The latest 4K mirrorless cameras from Blackmagic, Canon, Nikon & Fujifilm rated



HARD DRIVES GROUP TEST Top-quality options to suit all budgets

VOTE FOR THE BEST Have your say in our annual kit awards

Drone special: News, features and inspiration Making sense of VR: Make money from the latest tech Buyers’ Guide: Ultimate kit for beating the weather Tested: Manfrotto tripod, Vocas rig and lots more


OPINION by Adam Duckworth


Unless you’ve been far too busy making films in recent months to notice what’s been happening in the world of camera technology, it probably hasn’t escaped you that there has been a glut of new mirrorless cameras launched that are ideal for filmmaking – to one degree or another. Canon, the brand that pioneered full-frame digital filmmaking a decade ago, wised up and revealed its full-frame mirrorless offering, the EOS R. Complete with all-new lens mount and new range of glass to fit. DSLR rivals Nikon also joined the party. The new Z 7 – which we test in this issue – and forthcoming Z 6 are also full- frame mirrorless with lots of video spec. And perhaps one of the biggest surprises was the announcement that Panasonic is also joining the full-frame party with its forthcoming S Series. These will use the lens mount from the Leica SL mirrorless full-framer, with Sigma joining in by making a range of lenses to fit. And then along comes Fujifilm with its stunning new X-T3 mirrorless camera with great video spec that outperforms its flagship X-H1. And Blackmagic proves there’s life in smaller sensors with its stunning and very affordable Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. We test both these in this issue, plus the Canon EOS R and Nikon Z 7. As a former DSLR stalwart, there’s no way back now. The flip-up mirror brings compromises that mirrorless cameras don’t have when shooting video. If you’re a hybrid shooter who also takes lots of stills, the new breed of mirrorless doesn’t fall behind DSLRs for the many photographers. It’s quite obvious which way product development is going. The time is right to switch to mirrorless. IS IT THE FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR DSLR FILMMAKING?

Welcome to the Winter issue of Pro Moviemaker , and as the year draws to an end it’s perhaps appropriate to look back at some of the developments that have taken place this year. The arrival of full-frame mirrorless models is reflected in the reviews we’re carrying out in this issue on the Nikon Z 7 and Canon EOS R, while I was also fortunate enough to attend the launch of the Panasonic S Series and to speak to imaging boss Yosuke Yamane to get a first-hand appraisal of where he sees this development going. In terms of trends then what about the move towards the CinemaScope look that’s so cinematic, but which can cost a fortune to achieve? We report in this issue on a new adapter from SLR Magic that, in tandemwith Fujifilm’s MK lens pair, creates an affordable anamorphic set-up that could have great commercial value. VR is another area to have moved more towards the mainstream this year and I caught up with Vanishing Point, a Hollywood-based company that is pushing back the boundaries, while Drone Dudes up the road have just produced some exceptional aerial VR footage. Meanwhile Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, tested in this issue, is offering great value for money and we’re seeing how The Dreamers in Holland are already showing what this camera can do on location. All great advances: I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring!



The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers

Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Editor Terry Hope Contributing editor Kingsley Singleton Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans EDITORIAL ADVERTISING

Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 Advertising manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Designers Lucy Woolcomb, Laura Bryant, Emily Lancaster & Mark George PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck

Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ

Pro Moviemaker is published quarterly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without priorwritten 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 includeVAT but US dollar prices are without local sales taxes. Prices are where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.




The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers




The kings of the Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras announce two brand new full-frame models with a Leica lens mount. We catch up with Panasonic’s imaging chief to get the inside line. 10 I KNOW THIS MUCH The man behind the Kinefinity camera brand talks about launching a new type of camera in China. FEATURES 14 ANAMORPHIC GETS EASIER How the latest SLR Magic converter matched to Fujifilm zoom lenses means it’s never been easier or more Vote for your favourite bits of hardware and software in the second annual awards designed to honour the best in the business. 28 MAKING THE DREAM A REALITY How one young filmmaker went from corporate videos to making his own feature films in around a decade. affordable to go super-wide. 21 GEAR OF THE YEAR



In the first of our new series fromworld-renowned Soho Editors, we look at how to fight through the complexities of Final Cut Pro X to create High Dynamic Range footage

that’s just stunning. 50 ACTION MAN!

Learn how top action shooter David Spurdens stays at the top of his game, with tips from shooting slow-motion footage to making sure you stay alive in the world’s toughest conditions.



57 EXPERTS’ VIEW We gather some of the industry’s top technical and business brains to answer your questions. This issue we tackle how the new generation of RGB LED lights can benefit your films, and what makes rugged storage media so crucial. 60 MAKING SENSE OF VR If you think the latest cutting-edge technology isn’t in demand, you need to meet these forward-thinking filmers who have been hired to make immersive content for clients ranging from car makers to Hollywood TV shows.




The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers

66 THE NEWS FROM ABOVE! All the latest that’s going on in the world of drones, from the latest kit fromDJI, Parrot and Tiffen to how becoming a trained UAV pilot is less male-dominated than it once was. 68 MEET THE DRONE DUDES! How these Los Angeles-based filmmakers are pushing the envelope of drone use by combining aerial footage with immersive VR content.



GEAR 76 BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA 4K It’s the mirrorless wondercam that everyone’s been waiting for. We finally get our hands on the very affordable and feature-packed

new Raw-shooting camera. 82 SONY FS5 MARK II

It’s the upgraded version of the popular camera that features improved colour science and Raw spec as standard at a far cheaper price. We put it to the test. 88 FUJIFILM X-T3 With a new sensor and faster processor, the new APS-C mirrorless retro cam is a delight for filmmaking. 92 CANON EOS R We get to grips with the new full-frame mirrorless machine that steals the video crown away from the EOS 5D in Canon’s range. 102 GROUP TEST: EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES We take a look at the latest storage device to keep your footage safe on location. 106 MINI TESTS Loads of lenses, a cool polarising filter, a tripod, a curved monitor screen and more rated by our team of reviewers. 116 BUYERS’ GUIDE: GEAR FOR ALL WEATHERS Winter is coming, so take a look at our guide for the best kit if you plan to head outdoors and brave the elements.






Targeting the Pro Terry Hope met Panasonic imaging boss Yosuke Yamane directly after the announcement of its full-frame mirrorless models. He asked about the target market for the new cameras


Y osuke Yamane had the look of a man who knew the day had gone well. He’d recently stepped off the stage of a packed press conference having announced Panasonic’s first foray into full-frame mirrorless technology, and reception to the Lumix S Series had been resoundingly positive. Two cameras, the 47-megapixel Lumix S1R and 24-megapixel Lumix S1, had been announced, and while all the world had to look at for now were prototypes, the concept was clear. I was lucky enough to be able to grab some time with Mr Yamane to find out more about the launch and to get a feel for Panasonic’s aspirations moving forward. It was clear which sector the S1R and S1 would be targeting – very much the

high-end professional. But what had made the company consider this should be the primary target with the first models in this series, and how would they overcome the fact that there are already some very established players in this area? “We are prepared for this,” Mr Yamane told me. “The professional camera sector is controlled by some very well-known manufacturers, and Canon and Nikon DSLRs are very widely used. However, the reality is that there is now a very clear shift from SLRs to mirrorless models, and this is where we have an advantage. Ten years ago we were the first company to manufacture a mirrorless MFT camera, the Lumix DMC-G1, and we’ve been heavily involved ever since. “The advantages of mirrorless models are well understood and allow photographers and filmmakers to see what they’re achieving in real time and to access much more information in the viewfinder. In many ways the DSLR is now becoming outdated and mirrorless is the future.”

ABOVE Mr Yosuke Yamane recently announced the launch of Panasonic’s new venture into the world of full-frame mirrorless cameras, the S Series.

“The reality now is that there is a very clear shift fromSLRs tomirrorless models, and this is where we have the advantage”




those who use them as a tool to make their living form a very strong attachment to them. So we made the decision that even though the features inside would be evolving we would aim to make both the new cameras traditional in appearance. We also weren’t looking to make them compact or lightweight, because they are models aimed at the professional market and those who operate in these areas will be expecting a certain level of build quality and a substantial piece of equipment.” Both of the new cameras are designed to be hybrids, with a host of features on board that photographers will love while also delivering a headline-grabbing ability to shoot 4K footage at 60/50fps – being the first full-frame mirrorless cameras to come with that facility. The S1 is the model that will be of most interest to filmmakers. The anticipation is that this model will go head-to-head with the likes of the Sony A7 III and Nikon Z 6, and its 24-megapixel output will be plenty high enough to satisfy both stills and motion operators. At the time of launch, both of the new Panasonic models were some distance from being ready for the market, so details were on the hazy side, and there was no indication of what price points the cameras will sit at. When pressed on this, however, Mr Yamane did give a few hints, which once again supported Panasonic’s thinking that the quality of the new products is high

All well and good, but Mr Yamane acknowledges that Panasonic is seen as having a relatively short history in the photographic and filmmaking worlds, so did he think this might count against them? The answer was that if the products were good enough, the belief was that the audience would come, while the company is investing heavily in a support system for professionals that will ensure those on the top tier will have access to repair, servicing and loan facilities wherever they are working in the world. A high-profile sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards is now in place, ensuring the company is associated in a positive way with some amazing imagery. Traditional design When I first saw the design for the S1R I was struck by how traditional it looked. Given that mirrorless is very different technology to a DSLR there was no obvious reason why it should, for example, have a pentaprism-shaped design in front of the eyepiece, since the photographer/ filmmaker is getting a direct view from a miniature TV screen. I thought I might get a non-committal answer fromMr Yamane and his team, but instead they were refreshingly honest; it’s all to do with the need for continuity. “The way a camera looks is very important,” Mr Yamane told me, “and

IMAGES The design of the S1R is quite traditional, with a pentaprism-shaped design in front of the eyepiece. .

enough that they won’t need to be sold on the back of being a budget alternative. “Pricing will be set at a point that is appropriate for products that are being designed to be used by the professional market,” I was told. So, no corners have been cut, the S1R and the S1 are premium products with a high build quality and a mouthwatering feature set, and they are being supported across the globe by a professional service arrangement. The stall has been set out and the hope from Panasonic is that the proposition will be strong enough to attract a new generation of users who now have more choice.

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I n one of the biggest giveaways in Pro Moviemaker ’s history we’ve got an amazing line-up of Sennheiser products to be won in our latest competition. As always we’ve made it ultra-easy to enter, so make sure you’re in with a chance of walking off with one of our fabulous prizes! Our overall winner will bag the highly desirable Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G4-GB system worth £669/$799. This rugged all-in-one wireless system offers excellent sound quality, simple mounting and ease of use, and is ideal for

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those working in areas such as mobile journalism and documentary filmmaking. The powerful plug-in transmitter turns every wired dynamic microphone into a wireless transmitter, while the easy-to- use clip-on microphone ME 2-11 delivers high-quality audio. Second prize is the MKE 440 Stereo Camera Mic and windshield worth £330/$399, and this compact stereo microphone provides nicely balanced stereo ambience and amplifies the sound source in front of your camera. Third prize is the Sennheiser MKE 600

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Entries must be received bymidnight, 15 February 2019 and the winner will be notified by email within seven days. The winner will be chosen at random from all the correct entries. This competition is open to worldwide residents, aged 18 and over only. Employees of Bright Publishing and the prize provider and their immediate families and agents may not enter. The prize must be taken as offered with no alternative. Entries not in accordance with these rules will be disqualified; by entering, competitors will be deemed to have agreed to be bound by these rules. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liabilitywill attach to Bright Publishing. For the full terms and conditions, visit:




Jihua Zheng is the co-owner of the Kinefinity camera company that’s making huge waves inmoviemaking I KNOW THIS MUCH...


I t’s taken just six years for a Chinese start-up brand with zero experience in cinema camera manufacturing to make an impact in an industry dominated by a handful of big players. Kinefinity is quickly turning heads with its new range of three modular cameras that shoot in Raw and ProRes The Terra 4K has a sensor that’s just slightly larger than Micro Four Third, the Mavo 6K is a Super35 camera and the forthcoming 6K Mavo LF has a full-frame chip. And all are at prices that are a fraction of their Japanese and American rivals. Of course, producing a range of cinema cameras is so much more than just making the camera itself, with ancillary hardware and software all an essential

part of the offering. Kinefinity has also developed and launched its ownKineMAG SSDmemory, KineStation transcoding software and worked with Movcam on accessories and its exciting DarkTower plug-in wireless transmitter for a full cable-free workflow. The one key ingredient missing from the offering is a worldwide network of distributors, service agents and rental houses, which is what Kinefinity is working on now. The man behind the brand is typical of the latest breed of tech and marketing- savvy engineers and managers, brought up with a Western-style entrepreneurial spirit. Kinefinity’s chief exec Jihua Zheng is only 40 years old but is already heading up a company that is having a real impact. We caught up with him at the camera’s UK importers, ProAV, to hear about how Kinefinity became such a success and his plans for the future. “It’s important that we are able to design something from a different perspective”

I believed there was a gap in the market It was in about 2009. I have some close friends who are cinematographers who talked about how the new digital technology was bringing a lot to filmmaking. It was at the time when Arri launched the first Alexa, the RED had been launched as a digital 4K camera shooting Raw, and it was really amazing. Then the Canon 5DMark II came out – it was a very exciting time. I began to think about how a Chinese company couldmake a cinema camera, to provide a good spec at an affordable price. Especially as at the time, the Arri Alexa and REDwere very expensive, and the 5DMark II could not provide ProRes or Raw. So there was a big chance for us to fill that gap. Wediditwithoutanygovernmentbacking The co-founders of Kinefinity, myself included, were working on astral and industrial cameras for the QHYCCD

THIS PAGE The Terra and Mavo are two of the Kinefinity range. BELOW The cameras use a modular deisgn for compatibility with future models.




company so we had some experience as a camera maker. I’m a trained engineer and studied at the best engineering university in China. QHYCCD started a cinema camera project and I was the project leader. After two years research and prototyping, we proved it could be a viable project so we started Kinefinity as a spin-off company in 2012. QHYCCD is a shareholder, along with other investors. We don’t have any government backing. We have surprisingly few employees We have two teams, one in Beijing with 24 employees in R&D andmarketing, and another team in Shenzen working on manufacturing, supply and calibration. That group is increasing in size. There are only about 20 people there but we need more workers and line managers. Our success means we have been able to open a bigger factory to increase production. Many filmmakers decide

they want our cameras but want to start shooting with them immediately. So we need to increase production to satisfy the demand. We also needed to work on distributors around the world to give filmmakers confidence that they could get local support. That’s why we have ProAV in the UK. I don’t get involved with camera design any more My main role now is as product manager. Cinema cameras are my core product so I focus on what the product should be. I can design cameras but there are more professional designers. A cinema camera is a complicated mechanical design tomass production, all these things come into it. So we need the best professionals to focus on their area of speciality. At the beginning, I was more product. Fromhardware design, engineering design, software and

involved in product design but very quickly I focused on the management.

We use only homegrown talent We didn’t hire anyone from any other cinema camera manuacturer. My co- founder worked withme at QHYCCD and has a backround in camera design there, but the other guys don’t need to have a camera background. They are very good programmers and hardware designers. It’s important that we are able to design something from a different perspective. It’s our advantage. We canmake a camera in a totally newway. We can reach the same target as other manufacturers but do it differently. For example, our camera offers very good image quality but requires much less power consumption than other cameras. Both Terra andMavo cameras can be powered fromonly one small battery so the body can be stripped down and used as a very small package.



AGENDA MODULAR SYSTEM If our teamhad toomuch experience on how other camera makers work, we would have looked at how it was always done and done that. Our camera is the only 6K ProRes camera on the market now to record internally. No other camera can do that in camera. It was a difficult job but we did it and we’re proud of that.

We don’t make our own sensors We source and buy our sensors from specialised sensor manufacturers rather thanmaking our own. Electronics is a global market now and everyone buys components from all over the world. If you buy a smartphone then chances are lots of the components will come from lots of different manufacturers all over the world. The screen, the camera, the battery, the circuit board and the case will come frommany different suppliers so that’s the best way to do it. Our cameras have come a long way in a short time Our first camera was the KineRaw S8, with a tiny Super 8 2K sensor. We proved the signal process flow and recording with this prototype. In 2012 we launched our official first-generation product, the KineRaw Super 35, a 2K Raw recording camera. Our first cameras were larger than the current ones. If they were too compact, people might have thought they were a toy. Our customers, especially independent filmmakers, are the biggest group of buyers inmost countries, and they wanted a more compact camera. In the UK and USA, the cost of hiring people is very high. In China it’s easier to hire more assistants to carry the cameras! Back in 2014, we launched the KineMax which was one of only two 6K cameras, the other being the RED Dragon. Ours shot 100fps in Raw Cinema DNG. We now have a full range of cinema cams Our three products – Terra, Mavo and Mavo LF – go from entry level to flagship. We aim to keep focusing on these models, improve the firmware andmake them easier to use. So we have not finished yet. The 6KMavo and LF share the same 444XQ and Cinema DNG files with variable compression ratio. For 4K they shoot at 100fps, 66fps at 6K, and have 14 stops of dynamic range. The Terra 6K is discontinued in favour of the 4K Terra. The Mavo has an improved rolling shutter over the Terra. And with the Kinemount you can choose fromfitting PL, passive Emount, EF or Nikon. I believe Raw is the future Raw is the future as it gives somuch more flexibility. We have Cinema DNG

“I hope the image quality fromKinefinity will be what filmmakers choose our cameras for”

in different compression levels and soon we will have our own new Raw format, KineRaw II. But for speed of grading and for the right compression, ProResRaw is something I thinkmight take over. We are in contact with Apple as we had ProRes in all our cameras and would like ProResRaw in future – I see it as the way forward. At the moment only Final Cut Pro X can natively handle these files but I think other software will do in the future as customers will demand it. Maybe not DaVinci Resolve as this is part of Blackmagic and it handles CinemaDNG very well. But other manufactures will. Modular design makes sense In focus groups, convenience of use and colour science came out as priorities. We asked them about the first Kinefinity S35, a bigmachine and not modular. In 2015 we realised we had tomake the camera more compact and lightweight for some users, but provide more functions for others. So modularity is the evolution. We designed it with good interfaces so later models can be compatible. It’s good news for our customers as we provide a very reasonably priced upgrade to the newer camera and accessories, as do RED. It’s a good way to protect our customers’ investment. Our cameras are affordable so our upgrade planmust be, too. We want to be known for image quality Arri has a very long history, Sony is huge in broadcasting, REDmade the first 4K

Raw digital, and Canon and Panasonic are giant. But we make better andmore affordable tools for filmmakers. When we started to look at image quality, I believed Arri was the Gold Standard so we wanted ours to be as good as that, if not better. I hope the image quality fromKinefinity will be what filmmakers choose our cameras for, as well as ease of use and the modularity. Plus the cost, of course. Perfect for independent filmmakers Our customers are the very large numbers of independent filmmakers. Not the sort of people working on Hollywood films with huge crews but those working on smaller films who want more creative tools. It’s these people that can be the most inventive and try new things. If you have a huge crew, it is difficult to change they way they do things. On smaller shoots, people are used to trying new things tomake up for the lack of budget so this often brings out new ideas. I amdriven by the work customers send us, made on our cameras and I showmuch of it to the staff in China tomotivate them. There, we can’t access Google, YouTube, Facebook or Instagram as we have our own versons. Via our international partners we are very active on Facebook and listen to what our customers ask for which helps us decide what to do next.

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THIS PAGE Jihua Zheng demonstrates one of his company’s cameras to interested filmmakers.



Anyone familiar with classic film culture will know the stretched anamorphic look very well, and it’s something that’s now becomingmore achievable thanks to a new launch fromSLRMagic GET THE ANAMORPHIC EDGE STRETCH THE SCENE





S erious film aficionados are likely to go dewy-eyed at the merest mention of CinemaScope, an anamorphic lens series that brought widescreen to the masses from the early 1950s through to the late 1960s. Theoretically it was possible through this process to create an image of up to a 2.66:1 aspect ratio, almost twice as wide as the 1.37:1 ratio that was previously available. The idea of a wide, stretched-out format is synonymous with some of the most iconic movies from that era: just think of classics such as How To Marry a Millionaire , Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Oklahoma and Brigadoon , all shot in CinemaScope. And while advancing technology eventually made this process obsolete, the format it popularised continues to have widespread appeal to this day. The principle of widescreen still depends on the use of anamorphic lenses. It is, of course, totally possible to crop an image top and bottom to produce a thin slice of action on a conventional frame of film, but by doing so you would waste a large chunk of the surface area and the extra magnification required would obviously impact on the quality of the end result. The job of the anamorphic lens is to stretch the image vertically to cover the entire frame, resulting in the whole surface being used and saving any waste. However, while higher quality, the image is distorted, and the full stretched-out effect can only be realised by projecting the result through a reverse complementary lens of the same anamorphic power. Fascinating though this stroll through anamorphic technology might be, however, what has widescreen got to do with the average filmmaker, who might be

working on a tight budget for a commercial client? The fact is that most operators in this area wouldn’t have everyday access to the excruciatingly expensive anamorphic lenses that, up until recently, have been the essential tools of the trade for those looking to work in this area. With prices starting from£25,000 these are rental items only for most practitioners, and even though the widescreen look remains highly desirable, the sheer cost of getting involved has largely kept all but the high-end professionals well away. Until now, that is. As the elitist walls surrounding filmmaking continue to crumble, working with anamorphic lenses is now coming within the reach of the everyday professional, thanks to recent launches on the camera and lens fronts that have changed everything. anamorphic working is the introduction of cameras such as the Panasonic GH5 and its more film-focused sister the GH5S. With a competitive price point and a host of filmmaker-friendly features, these models offer a cost-effective entry point to the world of movies for many, while forward thinking by Panasonic has included the provision of an anamorphic mode. The particular beauty of this feature is that the MFT sensor of these cameras, with its 4:3 aspect ratio, is ideally suited to the anamorphic process. Shoot anamorphic footage with a camera that features a 16:9 sensor and you’ll get too wide an aspect ratio, with a result that will appear thin and pencil-like across a YouTube or Vimeo screen. Switch to 4:3 however and you’ll be shooting with additional vertical resolution and not wasting horizontal resolution. Because you’re now using the entire acreage of the sensor you’ll achieve a taller capture that fills more of the screen, and when this is desqueezed you’ll have the CinemaScope look you’re after. The anamorphic function on the GH5S offers best-quality settings that allow 400Mbps recording with 4:2:2 10-bit and ALL-Intra compression at 24/30p, or 60p at 150Mbps in 4:2:0 8 bit with LongGOP compression. However, the 6K anamorphic mode of the GH5 is not on offer to GH5S users, as the latter’s ten-megapixel sensor doesn’t have enough resolution. “Most operators in this area wouldn’t have access to expensive anamorphic lenses” Getting involved One of the prime drivers behind the opening of the doors to everyday

IMAGES Jim Marks had to adapt his GH5S rig to get the most out of the anamorphic adapter, but it was still compact and easy to use.




All well and good, but the problem, of course, is that those working with cameras that cost a couple of thousand pounds or dollars aren’t likely to then want to shell out tens of thousands more on a dedicated anamorphic lens to pair themwith. This is where much more cost-effective adapters come in, and there are several on the market that claim to be able to do a job. However, these can be of varying quality, and up until now it’s been difficult to find something affordable that can deliver an end result that’s genuinely up to professional standards. Now things have moved on, thanks to the recent introduction by SLRMagic of its Anamorphot 1.33-64 Adapter. Priced at around £1600/$1499, the device screws into an 82mmfilter thread and could in theory be used with any lens with that facility and a front element size of up to 65mm in diameter. However, this accessory has been specifically designed to partner Fujinon’s MK cinema lens pair, and the combination of a high optical quality lens with an adapter that’s been created from scratch to partner specific

“I’vealwaysreallylovedtheanamorphicapproach. It’s such a classic cinematic look, and it adds a beautiful filmic quality to your video footage”

optics promises to deliver something that’s potentially going to be of considerable interest to the serious filmmaker. Testing the set-up Photographer-turned-filmmaker Jim Marks has a reputation for being pragmatic about gear, and he prides himself on his self-made bespoke set-ups that often incorporate adapted bits and pieces and the occasional strip of strategically-placed gaffer tape. There’s nothing Heath Robinson about the end results he achieves however; rather it’s a case of having an enquiring mind and being prepared to think out of the box to ensure something is completely compatible with the job in hand. Not surprisingly Jim– who is equally at home working with the likes of top-of- the-range RED cameras by the way – was an enthusiastic user of the GH4, GH5 and now the filmmaker-specific GH5S, and he quickly saw the advantage of pairing this neat and compact camera with the Fujinon MK cinema pair. Using MTF’s adapter he was able to create a lightweight and nimble rig that was ideal for handheld filming and taking on overseas assignments. That anamorphic facility on his camera was always going to be something he couldn’t resist exploring, and experiments with SLRMagic’s Anamorphic three-lens 35/50/70mm prime set plus separate pairings of lenses with a selection of cheap Russian anamorphic adapters have been ongoing, with various degrees of success. The introduction of an adapter that was specifically created to partner the MK 18- 55mmT2.9 and MK 50-135mmT2.9 was an invitation to get it in for a test, and he

ABOVE The classic anamorphic look is long and wide, much like vintage CinemaScope, and it’s a very pleasing and cinematic feel. Note how highlights have a characteristic oval feel and flare is part of the overall look.




ABOVE In the studio Jim worked with the new adapter on one camera and an SLR Magic dedicated anamorphic lens to compare results.

quickly achieve exactly the shot you require without moving.” By selecting ‘Anamorphic Desqueeze Display’ on the camera it’s possible to view the scene you’re shooting – though not the recorded image – as it will ultimately appear, rather than as a distorted view that looks something like a fairground mirror. You can even take advantage of the GH5S’s in-body stabilisation while shooting anamorphic by opening the second camera menu, scrolling down to stabilisation and then clicking on a setting called Anamorphic (Video) with modes for 2x squeeze and 1.3x lenses.

duly hired out a studio at The Worx in west London with a view to filming a model to see what the set up was capable of. “I’ve always really loved the anamorphic approach,” says Jim. “It’s such a classic cinematic look, and it adds a beautiful filmic quality to your video footage. I’m involved in all kinds of filming, from commercial footage through to feature films, and I can see all kinds of areas where this approach could work really well. The point is that I’ve never really been able to seriously consider working in this way before due to the costs involved, but since I already own the MK

lenses this looked like an opportunity to get involved for a reasonably modest cost. “The other thing that particularly appealed to me was the fact that the set-up would effectively be an anamorphic zoom, which comes with considerable advantages when you’re working with a rig where it can take some time to change lenses over. What this means is that I could tighten up a shot or pull out a little in a matter of moments rather than go through the process of physically changing things around. Obviously I know you could always ‘zoom’ by using your feet, but it’s so much more efficient to stand your ground and to




were perceived by the MK/SLRMagic combo, and had a second camera set up with a prime SLRMagic anamorphic lens to compare the performance of the two. The difference was chalk and cheese: the dedicated lens featured effects that were very apparent and something of an acquired taste, while the results from the MK lens and adapter were far more restrained, particularly where flare was concerned. Clearly this kind of thing is very much down to personal taste, but the assumption was that the quality of the MK lenses coupled with their anti-glare coating meant that such artefacts were being highly controlled and were less noticeable as a result. “I can see uses for both,” mused Jim, “but for professional use the less dramatic effects probably work better for me. It all depends I guess on whether a filmmaker wants to produce something that is very clearly shot in an anamorphic fashion and is a little crazy and out there or whether he or she is looking for something more subtle that might not even be recognised as being anamorphic footage. But the result from the lens and adaptor was very clean and pleasing, and I liked it a lot.”

Ironing out the issues The reason for a studio session such as this was to give the MK/SLRMagic combination the fullest possible test to see if it might indeed justify being taken along on a commercial job. As part of this Jimwas interested to see howwide he could go with the MK 18-55mmbefore vignetting became too evident: officially it’s around 30mm, but Jim found that he could squeeze this down to 25mm if he was careful, giving him a viewpoint onMFT that was equivalent to a 50mm. “I was working at T2.9 at the widest end,” he said, “which gave me enough depth-of-field, but as I zoomed out to 55mm I stopped down to T5.6 so I had more to play with. When I switched to the 50-135mm I started out at T5.6 then backed down to T8 at 100mm and beyond. This is where you appreciate the higher ISO speeds that the GH5S is capable of working at, since it gives you a little more to play with.” So far so good, and the footage being produced was very much what Jimhad been hoping for. However, it rapidly became clear that there was an issue with the set-up that made it very difficult to use from a professional point of view. Quite simply

In the studio Jim sent his live view to an adjacent 5-inch SmallHDWi-Fi enabled OLEDmonitor for ease of framing, but this could have also served as a monitor for use by a director if required. Subsequently he’s been using the new Atomos Ninja V, which works equally well in this role, with the GH5S being able to take full advantage of the Ninja V 4K 10-bit 422 recording to Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR. One of the big attractions of shooting anamorphically is that there are certain artefacts that are unique to this approach, such as out-of-focus highlights being recorded as ovals as opposed to circles and streaking horizontal lens flares in the style of Star Wars and Star Trek director JJ Abrams. Jimwas keen to see how these





filming can look amazing and will have its own audience, and it’s great to have this facility in your locker. To be able to do that for an investment of around £2600/$2500 is remarkable, though obviously the cost does ratchet up by a further £7000/$8000 or so if you need to buy the MK lenses too. “That’s still way belowwhat it would once have cost to get involved in this area, plus the comparatively compact nature of the camera and lens combo is a lot less bulky than the set-ups that used to be available. An unexpected bonus was the fact that the front element of the MK lens sits far enough back from the adapter that it’s almost like working with a matte box and a lot of the flare is automatically cut out. “It’s an exciting development; I’ll be using this adapter regularly fromnow on to see what I can dowith it. It gives filmmakers an interesting new option, one that I think many of themwill be eager to take up.” For the top-end professional the way to achieve the anamorphic effect is to invest in, or to rent, a dedicated lens. Cooke Optics was showing off the new 50mmmodel in its Anamorphic/Full Frame Plus range at IBC, with 32mm, 40mm, 75mm, 100mm, 135mm and 180mm lenses set to follow in the next 12 months. The image circle of each of these lenses will cover a full 24x36 still- size sensor, with a 1.8 squeeze. The arrival of this new family speaks volumes about the growing popularity of the anamorphic approach at all levels of filmmaking, but you’ll need to dig deep to experience the quality of these optics. Each lens in the new Cooke series is set to cost around $32,000.

ABOVE The MK lens and the SLR Magic adapter require separate focusing, but the addition of the PDMovie Follow Focus kit swiftly solved the issue. BELOW The SLR Magic adapter screws into the front element of both MK lenses and it’s easy to set up.

the MK lens and the adapter both required separate focusing, meaning that there was the continual danger that crucial sharpness would be lost as the subject was followed. So the day in the studio finished with a tinge of disappointment, but with Jim determined to unearth a technical solution to the issue that had arisen. And very quickly he found exactly what he needed in the formof the PDMovie Follow Focus kit. This neat device is quick to fit and enables fast and precise wireless focus pulling, effectively enabling the MK lens and adapter to operate as a single unit. It was problem solved, albeit at a further cost of around £1000/$1000, and suddenly Jimhad a highly usable anamorphic set up on his hands that came with a zoom facility. Using the set-up As with anything with so radical a feel, the art is in using the anamorphic look inmoderation and for the right job. “For me it’s a little like vinyl and CD,” says Jim. “One is considered a vintage process, and can be the right way to go in the right circumstances, but it’s not right for every situation. Used sparingly, anamorphic “The camera and lens combo is a lot less bulky than the set-ups that wereavailableuntilnow”

More information JimMarks:




Pro Moviemaker’s Gear of the Year Awards honour the best kit and are voted for by real filmmakers like YOU!

R ecognising the positive effect that well-designed and reliable equipment can have on the life of a working filmmaker is what the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year Awards are all about. While cameras are often the biggest film stars in the filmmaking process, they are by no means the only bits of kit that

opinion that counts; readers of Pro Moviemaker are part of the judging process. We’re calling on you to cast a vote in favour of the products that have made a significant difference to the way you work. Add your feedback to the mix and we’ll be reporting back in the next issue to let the world know who has come out on top in this battle of the best.

make a huge impact. Everything frommemory cards and storage devices to monitors, stabilisers, audio accessories and editing software can make a big difference. In the second annual Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year awards, the editors of the magazine have pulled together a shortlist of some of the best kit around. But it’s not just our

ABOVE From cameras and lenses to recorders and mics, check out some of the kit shortlisted in our awards.





SLR Canon EOS 5DMark IV Canon EOS-1D XMark II Nikon D850 Sony A99Mark II


Sony A7Mark III FujifilmX-H1 Sony A9 Olympus OM-D EM-1Mark II Panasonic GH5S Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K


JVC HC900 JVC HM180 Sony Z190 Sony Z280 Sony Z90 Canon XF405


ABOVE Mirrorless, DSLRs, cinema cameras... which of these great products will get your vote?

Cinema camera Blackmagic URSAMini Pro Canon C700 FF REDWeaponMonstro

The choice of cameras is growing, with several exciting new cameras out in the past year as well as established models holding their own. In the mirrorless market, there has been the Sony A7 Mark III and A9, Fujifilm X-H1, Panasonic GH5S and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, among others. Camcorders like the Sony Z90 and Canon XF405 have been stunning new entrants, as well as the cinema cameras Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro, Kinefinity TERRA

Panasonic EVA1 Sony FS5Mark II

4K and MAVO 6K, Canon C700 FF, REDWeapon Monstro, Panasonic EVA1 and Sony FS5 Mark II. Get voting for the best! “In themirrorless market therehavebeen launches fromSony, Fujifilmand others”

Kinefinity TERRA 4K KinefinityMAVO 6K

Camera for rental Arri Alexa LF REDWeaponMonstro Canon C300Mark II Sony FS7Mark II Sony Venice




BELOW Prime and .zoom lenses from lots of different manufacturers at difference price points have been big news.


Good lenses tend to last for a lifetime and make a very big difference to the look of your films. Zoom lenses like the cinema glass from Zeiss, Sigma and Fujifilm have their devotees, but many prefer primes such as the Zeiss CP.3 range or Samyang Xeens. And don’t forget the accessories that can make a big difference to the usability of your glass. LENSES

Zoom lens Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 Sigma 18-35mmT2

FujifilmMK18-55mmT2.9 Tokina Cinema 50-135mmT3

Prime lens Zeiss CP.3 XD 50mmT2.1 Samyang Xeen 50mmT1.5 Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon 50mmT2.1 Sigma 50mmE-Mount ART Nisi F3 50mmT2 full frame prime Lens accessories Schneider True-Streak filter Vocas MB-256matte box Fujifilm full frame Lens adapter SLRMagic Anamorphot adapter Formatt-Hitech Firecrest ND





Filmmakers’ bags are packed with all sorts of accessories that might not grab headlines but can make your life so much easier. From drones to field monitors, lighting to memory, it’s all too easy to take these products for granted. As well as editing software, of course. It’s time to honour the bits and pieces that are essential to a pro filmmaker’s arsenal.



Manfrotto ProLight Cinematic backpack Expand Camrade transporter Lowepro ProRoller X200 Tenba Cinelux Backpack 21

Aputure LS 1S F&V Z800S

Kingston 256GB Canvas React card Delkin 120GB XQD card Sony SDUHS-II SF-G 128GB External hard drive LaCie Rugged RAID Pro 4TB G-Technology G Speed Shuttle SSD Samsung SSD Lexar SSD OWC Thunderbay 4 Editing software Adobe Premier AvidMedia Composer Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Apple Final Cut Pro X Sony Vegas

DJI Mavic Pro 2 DJI Mavic Pro 2 Zoom Yuneec Typhoon H Parrot Anafi


FiilexMatrix II Westcott Solix Litepanels Sola 12

Bags & cases Roller/Hardcase MyCaseBuilder customhard case insert Peli 1615 Air case PortabraceWheeled Vault case HPRC hard tripod case

Monitors Monitor/Recorders Atomos Ninja V

Zylight F8-100 IkanWS-F350 Dedolight KDP400KFS

Small HD Focus OLED Marshall V-LCD70W TV Logic F-7H

Lighting innovation Triad-Orbit stand system FiilexMatrix II Rotolight Anova 2

Lighting Light Panels

Max Cases 520TR CP Cases Airship Aleon 25in rolling

Rotolight Anova 2 Litepanel Gemini Nanguang RGB Kino Flo Diva Lite 21

Memory Memory cards

aluminiumcase Plasticase Nanuk 960

Lexar 128GB 2000x SDXC II  Sandisk 128GB Extreme Pro 3000Mb/s SDXC II PNY 512GB Elite SDXC

DMG LumiereMaxi Switch Rosco Litepad HO+ Daylight Ledgo LG1200 Bi-colour

Backpack/Holdall Acufocal London Orwell





Tripod System

Miller CX2 Solo 75 3  Manfrotto 546GBwith NitrotechN12 head  Manfrotto BeFree Live carbon Camgear V10P Libec TH-X Sachtler Flowtech 75MS  Benro Video Tripod and BV10 head Kenro Twin Tube Video Monopod  Manfrotto XPRO 4 Section VideoMonopod Libec HFMP Benro A48FDS4monopod kit SteadicamAir 25 Slider  Kenro Double Distance Slider  Hague Camslide Drive and

Powerslider Ikan SLD-31

Manfrotto 60cmCamera Slider  ProMedia Gear VS24 PMG-DUO WaterbirdMS120 Pro Slider

From sturdy tripods to motorised gimbals, sliders and more, it’s often what your camera is bolted to that can make the biggest difference to the look of your footage. And there is plenty of innovation in these categories as companies like Libec, Miller, Manfrotto, Benro, and Camgear have all delivered great products recently. The latest motorised gimbals really are the must-buy for many filmmakers, so have your say on what’s the best. SUPPORT

Rig LockCircle Birdcage-S

 Wooden Camera Shoulder Rig V2 premium (wooden grip) Vocas Spider System Shape Sony FS5 ShoulderMount

Zacuto Indie Recoil Rig Hague Dual Shoulder Rig

“The latestmotorised gimbals really are a must-buy formany filmmakers”

Stabiliser/Gimbal DJI Ronin-S Feiyutech A2000

DJI OsmoMobile II



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