Review: Zacuto Z-Finder EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) Test

July 7, 2011

I have to admit, that I have never used any optical viewfinder on my DSLR. Most of the time I focus with the small back display of my SLR camera. I read on many blogs in the past, that a viewfinder like the Z-Finder is an absolutely essential tool for DSLR filmmaking. Not for me! For my personal taste it is easier to focus without any optical viewfinder. The electronic zoom of the Canon DSLR‘s helps me much getting all my objects in focus. This isn‘t usable for „run and gun“ shootings, but for most of the jobs it is okay.

Don‘t get me wrong, the Z-Finder is a great piece of kit, but for my taste the resolution of the video capable DSLRs is too low for a loupe. I always can see every single pixel of the lcd and this issue makes it harder to find the correct focus.

This is history now! I have a Cineroid EVF and it has become an essential tool for my daily work behind the camera. Since then my camera work has fundamentally changed. I don‘t want to go shooting without an EVF! I‘m using it for my DSLR‘s, but you also can use  […]

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Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly 2.0! The perfect slider?

February 10, 2011

I have already used portable dollies for different projects, most of the time I had moderate success with them. Either the full rigged camera was too heavy and I had problems to get a fluid movement. But even with quite lightweight equipment I often had to repeat the movement for several times to get the perfect shot.

My first portable dolly was a Glidetrack HD. I decided to buy the 3 feet version and it was a big mistake. I thought it’s essential to have this length to get a wonderful shot, but I soon realized that one or two feet length would be enough for my needs. Furthermore you have to use two tripods to keep the slider stable and if you are an one man show on a few shoots it’s really annoying to get the Glidetrack and your whole equipment from one place to another place. So I was looking for a better solution to be more flexible.

A few months later Philip Bloom showed me a protoype of the Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly 2.0 Traveller at Lucasfilm set for RED TAILS. My first thought: Super smooth, two feet length is enough, great quality!

Smooth. Smoother. Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly.
[…]

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The Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 camera quick test

January 12, 2011

I had the chance to test the new Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 camcorder for three days. It was a pre production model, which was 95% finished.

Sadly I only had the camera for three days and these three days were rainy days. The other issue was the glass. I only had the Zeiss 85 mm CP.2, which are 170 mm on a Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 and the Panasonic kit lens (14-140 mm F4.0 – 5.6).

I will get the Panny in a few weeks again (I’ll have more lenses) and will shoot some better footage with it. All I can say: It’s a great camcorder. Improved rolling shutter, less moirè, professional inputs (XLR) and outputs (HD-SDI). All you need for shooting with a small team!

Here are my first impressions:

ISO:
I was very impressed using the camera in quite dark situations without any light source. I made some test shots outside in a forest and it was stunning to see what’s possible with this camcorder. ISO 2.000 is useable, all above is too grainy!

Rolling Shutter:
I shot some car scenes in my quick and dirty test film. It’s a big improvement compared to Video DSLR’s. I haven’t seen  […]

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First impression: Canon 100mm 2.8 L IS macro lens

November 10, 2010

A short test clip with the Canon 100 mm 2.8 L IS Macro lens.

Shot w/ Canon 7D 720p / 50fps.
Slowed down in Cinema Tools to 25fps. Graded in Apple Color.

Music:
Alexandre Desplat
Julie’s Theme

My first impression:
This lens is amazing! Stunning pictures, you can film handheld with it because of it’s stabilization mode. I figured out it’s really hard to pull focus with it. I would recommend an external monitor for better results!

Lens Specifications
Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 100mm 1:2.8
Lens Construction: 15 elements in 12 groups
UD Glass: 1
Diagonal Angle of View: 23.4 degrees
Focus System: Inner focusing system with USM. Full-time manual focus available.
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.99 ft. / 0.3m (maximum close-up magnification: 1x)
Filter Size: 67mm
Max. Diameter x Length: 3.1 x 4.8 in./77.7 x 123mm
Weight (lens only): 22.0 oz./625g

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Denz Canon 7D PL-Mount First Impressions

May 23, 2010

Mr. Arnold from Denz sent me a Canon 7D PL-Mount for some test-shots! Here are my first impressions. Solid quality, really massive and a completely new sensor block. They sent me two Zeiss lenses, one 25 mm 1.2 and one 75 mm 1.4. I will shoot a short film in Prague this week with the Denz Equipment and the Zeiss PL-Mount lenses.

Technical Specifications:

  • for all 35mm lenses fitted with PL54-Mount
  • HD-Sensor-mount and PL54-Mount are made of material with a super low coefficient of expansion, which is also used for space- / satellite-technology
  • Sensor-size fits S35 (3perf.) format – 18 Megapixels (effektive)
  • 24,25 and 30 f/s progressive (1920×1080 pixels)
  • 50 and 60 f/s progressive (1280×720 pixels)
  • On-Board Recording as well as 3” display with Live-View
  • various accessories for optimum handling

The Canon 7D evo PL54 is a forward-looking development on the DSLR camera market.

With the Canon 7D evo PL54, all 35mm lenses fitted with PL54-Mount can be used. In order to realize this, large modifications of the stock canon-camera had to be done.

The originally used sensor-block will be replaced by a new custom made sensor-block, so that the camera-body just contains the electronics.

The sensor-block, the PL54-Mount and the support bracket are building a statically determined unit. In order to  […]

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