Larry Barton’s famous laminated blue and purple charts of safe filming speeds have been essential inhabitants of every cinematographer’s meter case forever. The charts told us what camera speed and shutter angles to use with HMI and fluorescent lamps, and when we’d get in trouble with dreaded flicker.
We’d line up in front of the Cinematography Electronics booth at every trade show to replenish our supplies of this essential tool. They spelled job security, and were as ubiquitous as the company’s CineTape Measure.
Now there’s a new App from Cinematography Electronics that puts the famous flickerfree data onto the iPhone. It’s aptly called FLICKERfree. And it’s free.
No more fumbling for charts. Touch the little “i” information button to select whether you’re in a 50 Hz or 60 Hz line voltage country. Tap the frames per second window. Slide the dial at the bottom to select your camera speed. Safe camera shutter angles are displayed in the middle window. If there are several safe angles, you’ll see how many there are in a little droplet to the right of the shutter angle window. Tap the bubble to see them.
Tap the Shutter Angle window to make that your variable. Safe camera speeds will be displayed as you spin the dial at bottom.
If you can’t abandon the idea of an analog chart, your Luddite ways have been anticipated: tap the “View Flickerfree Card” bar on top.
FLICKERfree Calculator App from Cinematography Electronics is my recommendation for the next Sci-Tech award. Larry’s son, Thomas Barton, was the App Designer and Programmer. It’s a brilliant job. Download the App from the iTunes store. More information from the Cinematography Electronics FLICKERfree Calculator iPhone App support page.