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Monday, April 30, 2012

••◊ Conversion of 5D mark II footage to 25P PAL

It's not too often that I really think about 25P; you know, that frame rate they use across the pond.  My world mainly consists of 23.976 frames/second video.  However I was recently contacted by the UK distributor Community Channel to broadcast Stronger on TV and on-demand.  The problem here, mainly being technical.  I had experience converting the older 5D mark II footage from 30P to 23.976P, as you can read in the blog post here.  However, they were asking for PAL!  I only deal with rec.709 and sRGB here in the US.  How was I supposed to deal with the PAL color space without renting an insanely expensive broadcast monitor and buying a expensive solution to stream it out of my PC?

The answer was less complex than I thought.


WP
Rx
Ry
Gx
Gy
Bx
By
Gamma
sRGB
D65
0.64
0.33
0.3
0.6
0.15
0.06
2.4
Rec.709
D65
0.64
0.33
0.3
0.6
0.15
0.06
2.22
PAL
D65
0.64
0.33
0.3
0.6
0.15
0.06
2.8

Given this information, all three color spaces share the same white point and RGB color coordinates.  Yeah!  However, the gamma is quite significantly different.  This is where some practical research comes into play.  A significant number of industry people suggest that the real world transfer function for PAL displays is around 2.2-2.5.  So really, my home computer that has a monitor calibrated to sRGB is also likely close enough for working with PAL footage.  Double yeah!  Hopefully that holds true since I have no way to see the end broadcast result.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

••◊ Quick pics from a Seattle trip

I spent last Sunday in recovery mode after three days of filming and one live production in Seattle.  In fact, I still feel like I'm recovering.  So, Sunday was spent with a few easy strolls through the Seattle area parks taking tourist pictures.  Our first stop was at Gas Works Park, which was the site of an old coal gasification plant up until 1956.  I'll eventually post some stuff regarding the film we did, but for now all I have are some tourist pictures.












A stop in the "Center of the Universe", a.k.a. the Fremont District wouldn't be complete without visiting the troll who lives under the bridge.  The troll was a public arts project built in 1990 as a way to rehabilitate the area from crime.  As you can see, it worked!



Our last stop was supposed to be at Alki Point in West Seattle, however the sunny weather had traffic backed up all the way back to the West Seattle Bridge.  The best I could do is a photo-gangsta drive by panorama of the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound from the passenger seat of a car while stuck in traffic.



The rest of the pictures are being held hostage on someone else's hard drive, including our adventures with chasing squirrels at the Ballard Locks. More to come...

Monday, April 16, 2012

••◊ New Cameras @ NAB

Las Vegas is filled with video pr0n, um... I mean equipment this week at the National Broadcasters Show.  Lots of new tasty toys on the horizon for 2012.  Canon kicked it off with the expected 1D-C ($15k), but also came through with an awesome alternative to the Epic and Scarlet called the C500 ($30k).  Still a bit pricey to own for indy folks like me.  Both cameras give you 4k while recording to Compact Flash cards.  The C500 also over cranks and has raw mode in 10-bit (4k resolution) and 12-bit (2k resolution).  Shane Hurlbut already has a film out that features 4k footage from the 1D-C.


Blackmagic Design launched a camera completely out of left field for $3k that has a super 16mm sized sensor, 13-stops of dynamic range, CinemaDNG (raw) recording, and lots of jaw dropping features for the price.  The problem...that little sensor.  It's hard enough to get wide angles with a full frame 5D mark II  in some of the tight spaces I have to film.  We were having difficulties with the 7D, which has a super 35mm sized sensor!  Still, this camera should be very disruptive to HDSLRs.  If you have the distance to pull back, this camera could greatly out-perform any HDSLR.


Also, out of nowhere came the Sony FS700.  Can anyone say mega-over crank?  240 frames/second in full HD.  What do you give up?... low light performance.  The new FS700 sensor has a native ISO of 500, as opposed to the FS100 and PWM-F3, which both give you a native ISO of 800.  Other than that, an awesome looking camera with a reasonable price ($8k).  The case grew a little from the FS100, but that also allowed them to add memory for over crank and include ND filters (yeah!).  The camera is still limited to 8-bit output, probably so they don't pummel the F3 sales.


So is there any one perfect camera out of the group...nope.  I still can't afford an Alexa.  Why can't Arri just release an Alexa-light?

Friday, April 13, 2012

••◊ This pretty much describes my day...




Heck, this pretty much describes my week.  Seems like a good excuse for comfort food/stress eating.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

••◊ If only my meetings were this interesting

Oh, how I love comedy with stinging truth attached.  I wish I could say that my experiences completely deviated from this parody of Hollywood...no dice.