Follow-up on the workshops
I've completed a month of workshops, travelling around the country with colleague, photographer Nick Rains
. Our thanks go out to everyone who attended, and for the challenging Q&A sessions. Nick and I enjoyed it and we will be back again to run further training in your city. Here are just a few comments about the events:
"The full day event captured the intended audiences attention for the whole time which isn't an easy task"
Kym Meaney, Adelaide
"I thought the workshop was great. It gave me the answers I was looking for and much more"
Phil Cooper, Sydney
I'd happily recommend this to anyone just starting or wanting to expand their knowledge of using DSLR's and film production"
Rich Wainwright, Perth
"Great venue, great speakers - fantastic day!"
Paul Kane, Perth
As a guest speaker at the Exposed Down Under conference held this year in Melbourne, I found lots of guys, largely wedding cinematographers keen for lighting tips.
There is intense interest in large-sensor video cameras and the quality of work on show was stunning. Lemac
Melbourne supplied the lighting kits for the day and are always ready to chip in, so thanks.
Thanks also to Abraham Joffe and Dave Cowling for inviting me to address the event.
Sydney DSLR video workshop
From co-presenter Nick Rains:
Piet de Vries and I did our first Canon video workshop last Tuesday to a full room in the Sydney Masonic Conference Centre on Goulburn Street. We have already had some excellent feedback so it seems we delivered the goods. It's always tricky to know at which level to pitch these sorts of talks so Piet and I decided to assume everyone came from a stills background and set our level accordingly.
I covered the technical stuff (as is my usual style!) and Piet explained the very different thought processes necessary to shoot compelling video - and showed a video of a wedding shot by a collegue that blew everyone away with it's sophisticated editing and shooting style. It was both intimidating and inspiring at the same time.
We still have places for the other four venues, coming up next week and the week after, if you want to find out more about shooting video with your DSLR.
The Sony PMW-F3
The newest camera on Sony's block has been in my hands and on my tripod for a few weeks. Here are some comments.
The first thing that I noticed was that the camera was familiar and after turning it on I understood why. The menu layout is similar to the Sony PMW-EX1 and the EX3. You’d swear that you were looking at those menus and this makes things easy as I’m on familiar ground. Already I'm sensing that this is a "Just Get Out and Do It" kind of camera.
There is abundant information online detailing the technical specs of the camera, however I’m more intrigued by its potential in a range of productions and the possibilities it creates to take my corporate and doco work into a new realm.
Sony suggests that the PMW-F3 is suited to television, commercials, music and promotional budget productions however, based on my two weeks of toying around, I see much more in store.
Let's get the specs out of the way.
- The F3 is based on Sony’s XDCAM EX workflow. The codec is MPEG-2 Long GOP 4:2:0 8 bit, 35 Mbps and uses Sony’s recording format based SxS ExpressCard.
- The Super 35mm CMOS imager delivers appealing shallow depth of field with high sensitivity and low noise levels.
- It offers a wide range of options for creating images, and the ability to edit F3 images seamlessly with material shot on Sony’s F35 by using an HD SDI dual-link output and making external recordings. This is nice given the mature and straight forward nature of the XDCAM workflow.
- The F3 records naively to the on-board SXS cards in 4:2:0 at 35Mb/sec transfer rate.
Before making any consideration of this native spec, look at the images that come from the camera. They have a earthy, organic feel and I would be happy shooting straight to the SxS cards for most of the time, but this camera is up-scalable.
I would consider stepping up to the 4’s and 2’s, recording at 4:2:2 at up to 280Mb/sec using the compact nanoFlash external recorder. The front end of the F3 has the Super 35mm CMOS imager and some excellent lenses all held by a solid PL lens mount and you can’t help but notice this quality in the final production.
The PL-mount of the PMW-F3 can both take PL and zoom lenses and is compatible with a variety of cine lenses such as Cooke, Arri, Fujinon and Zeiss.
Most cinematographers will appreciate that this camera creates a very new and special category, so when would I shoot with it and what is it actually like to use?
microWAVE microbudget filmmaking event
I will be conducting a session
during this event at the UTS on Saturday afternoon, February 19th. My topic will be on the emergence and use of large-sensor video cameras. This is going to a fantastic day.
Journalism students get some basic video skills
Getting some basic video camera skills was part of the five day course for a group of students of the APM School of Business & Communication at the Australian Film Television and Radio School this week. I've been working with the schools's Open Program.
Two weeks of training for ABC Television
Recently completed running a series of video camera training course at the ABC's Four Corners production unit.
A Back-to-Basics workshop in Hobart
Back from Hobart having run an Australian Film Television and Radio School weekend workshop for eleven Tasmanian video professionals and enthusiasts.
A varied group of video shooters including a team from the University of Tasmania and two ABC television producers, Justin Murphy and Tracey Smith. Surfers and geologists were also represented.
It rained both days and the old sandstone Salamanca Arts Centre was a cosy venue with no shortage of good coffee shops
"Almost every question you've ever pondered is answered, and always with good humour and enough repetition until you get it. And then he followed up some days later with a terrific set of notes. It was the best, most confidence-giving training course I've ever done."
Justin Murphy "Collectors" ABC Television Hobart