The New Panasonic EVA-1 Is Here

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Back in the summer, I posted a tweet when Panasonic introduced the new S35 EVA-1 at Cine Gear Expo, a sub $10K 5.7K camera designed to rival cameras like the FS7 and C200:

There were high hopes for this camera at the time of the announcement, with No Film School claiming that it could be the "ultimate indie cinema camera." Philip Bloom also anticipated good things to come with this camera when he wrote about it on his blog.

Now that the EVA1 is finally here, reviews, first impressions, and videos featuring EVA1 test footage are coming in. Here are some of the initial reactions.

The initial feedback seems to be positive, but shooters will need more real-world experience with the camera before a final conclusion can be drawn about its performance. After all, the AF-100 seemed promising, but never really lived up to its potential (partly due to the timing of its release, the shifting tastes among shooters, and the lack of a full frame sensor).

Why the Best Production Gear Won't Help You

The barriers of entry for all aspiring filmmakers are incredibly low. Never has it been so easy to acquire all the gear necessary to shoot and edit a good-looking film. But, as Walter Murch points out in his book In the Blink of an Eye, the ease of access to the technology doesn't negate the importance of learning the craft. Consider what he writes on page 116 of his book.

The hard truth, though, is that easier access does not automatically make for better results. The accompanying sense that ‘anyone can do it’ can easily produce a broth spoiled by too many cooks. All of us today are able to walk into an art store and buy inexpensive pigments and supplies that the Renaissance painters would have paid fortunes for. And yet, do any of us paint on their level today?
— Walter Murch

I've heard and read similar observations from cinematographers over the years when discussing the latest cameras and the incredible images they produce. Selling points like unbelievable low-light performance can lead would-be directors of photography to believe that all they ever need for any scene is practical lighting. And if they believe this to be true, then they never spend adequate time learning and practicing the basic principles of cinematography.

In the following video, two professional photographers argue that the quality of the work is not dependent solely on the quality of the equipment. Put in the hands of a professional who knows his/her craft, a cheap kit can produce better images than the more expensive equipment put into the hands of an amateur.

Also consider this video from DSLRGuide where he compares a Canon T3i with an Arri Alexa Mini.

What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree, or just have something to add? Be sure to join the conversation in the Comments below.

How To Make Clients More Comfortable On Set

For cinematographers, shooting with an S-Log (if you're with Sony) or C-Log (if you're with Canon) Gamma Curve is advantageous because you preserve more dynamic range within your image. Details at both ends of the spectrum can be preserved, if the shot is captured at the correct exposure.

However, shooting in a Log format also means the raw image will look flat and desaturated. Your clients, who are accustomed to seeing a more natural-looking image, might be a bit worried when they see flat, gray footage staring back at them from the monitor.

Cameras like the Sony FS7 will allow you to send a Rec709 LUT out from your SDI ports and to a monitor, ensuring that the clients who are on set will see an image with more contrast and saturation. Here's how to set it up on the FS7:

  • Open the camera's menu by pressing the Menu button on the side of the camera.
  • Use the scroll wheel and select Video.
  • Scroll to the Monitor LUT option.
  • Make sure the LUT is Off for Internal Recording (so that your raw footage is captured to the card with the Log Gamma Curve).
  • Turn the LUT On for SDI2.
  • Connect your client monitor via BNC cable to the camera's SDI2 output.
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Now your clients will see a natural-looking image on the external monitor while the card records the Log footage.

Do you have any tips for shooters and editors? Please leave them in the Comments section.

7 Great Newsletters About Video Production and Post

I posted the following question to Twitter last week to start a conversation with other video production professionals:

I'm always interested in learning more about the production industry, whether it be tech news, technique tips, or software tutorials. 

I currently subscribe to a few e-newsletters with content pertaining to video production and post. Check these out and then leave me your recommendations in the Comments section:

Pond5

Called "The Splash," each Pond5 newsletter contains great information for a wide range of readers - beginners to professionals. There's usually one article that pertains to gear, one about technique, and one about the industry in general. Plus there are links back to their extensive library of stock media assets. You will need to create a free Pond5 account before opting in to their newsletter.

RocketStock

In addition to the occasional free template that RocketStock offers in their emails, each issue also has great tutorials and production insights.

Rampant Design Tools

Rampant Design is also a great place to purchase media assets for your next video project and their newsletter will keep you up to date on all their latest offerings, including some great price mark-downs. But their newsletter is more than just a sales pitch. Each issue also contains tutorials on After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, and more.

Digital Video

Each issue of the DV newsletter is crammed full of articles to help you get your video production and post-production fix. Divided into three sections, this newsletter offers industry news, updates on the latest gear, and information about workshops, seminars and classes.

Ground Control

I came across the Ground Control newsletter when I was searching for new LUTs to add to my DaVinci Resolve database. The Ground Control site offers a few LUTs that you can download for free, if you submit your email address. I took the chance and typed in my email to download the LUT I wanted. I thought I would just unsubscribe later. However, I found the newsletter extremely informative. Each issue provides tutorials to help you improve your color correction and grading skills.

Tao Colorist

This e-newsletter provides links to a variety of content pertaining mainly to the art of color correction and grading. However, you will also find content about gear and industry insights. Just like the DV newsletter, it will take you some time to wade through each issue of the Tao Colorist. That's how much information is packed into each issue. But there's some great stuff in there.

Clint's Weekly Digest

I couldn't close out this post without mentioning the newsletter I curate and send out every Friday. Throughout the week I bookmark articles that I find interesting and worth sharing; content on the creative industry: marketing & advertising, video production, cinema, and filmmaking.

Have any other recommendations? Leave them in the Comments section below.