Sony VENICE 2 Special Report

Four years and nine days after the original VENICE camera first launched five miles from Venice Beach, at Sony Pictures Culver City, VENICE 2 arrives in 6K and 8K. Except for a completely flat base with big air vents, they look very similar to the original VENICE. The design is clean and understated.

Not understated is the performance of this camera. Sixteen stops of exposure latitude retain highlights and reveal shadow detail. Skin tones are smooth and gentle. Images are elegant, natural, with a quality that seem almost tactile and impossibly three-dimensional.

If you have used the original VENICE, the learning curve is almost instantaneous. This is a familiar friend.

Download the free 64-page VENICE 2 Special Report (8 MB PDF) by FDTimes. 

SUBSCRIBERS: Download the high resolution 64-page VENICE 2 Special Report (22 MB PDF) by FDTimes.  read more…

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Configuring KOMODO

Like a Lonely Planet geeky guidebook, not as amusing as Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, less strenuous than Survivor, here is a quirky travel guide of a RED KOMODO’s journey to Film and Digitial Times. The accessories and methods listed here are not comprehensive. In fact, they are the result of things that happened to be shipped, arrived and tried.  (This article first appeared in FDTimes Aug 2021 Issue 109, pages 32-44.)

Download the PDF (2 MB). read more…

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Cooke Varotal 30-95 and 85-215 T2.9 FF Zooms

Cooke is back in the Varotal zoom lens business. These things seemed to go in cycles. Horace W. Lee designed the legendary Cooke Speed Panchros a century ago, in 1921. A half century later, in 1971, Cooke introduced the 20-100 mm T3.1 Varotal zooms, designed by Gordon H. Cook. Primes returned in 1998 with the Cooke S4 series. And now, Cooke announces two new Full Frame Varotal zooms: 30-95 mm  T2.9 and 85-215 mm T2.9. They come in PL or LPL mounts. read more…

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Panasonic LUMIX BS1H Full-Frame Cine

October 7, 2021. Panasonic announced their new full-frame cube-style LUMIX DC-BS1H. Panasonic’s Matt Frazer said, “Picture an S1H mirrorless camera put into a box. Hence the B in BS1H.”

Matt asked why I call it a cube and not a box-style camera. The reason goes back to Fritz Gabriel Bauer’s sassy comment, “A camera is just a box onto which you put beautiful lenses.” That’s a tongue-in-cheek statement from the guy who developed the innovative Moviecam cine cameras. Surely, a good cine camera is much more than a box.

And so, the good BS1H is much more than a box. It is also more than just an S1H mirrorless hybrid still/cine camera stuffed inside.

Both share most of the same specifications: 24-megapixel full-frame (35.6 mm x 23.8mm) sensor with Dual Native ISO, 6K full-height recording, wide dynamic range, V-Log, anamorphic desqueeze, and more. read more…

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What lenses fit ARRI’s next S35 4K camera?

Will standard 35mm lenses (before Open Gate era) cover ARRI’s next, new Super35 camera? ARRI Camera Systems Product Manager Marc Shipman-Mueller was kind enough to elucidate. “Yes, the sensor has almost the same dimensions as the ALEXA Mini Sensor,” Marc said. “I think that is an important feature of this camera. We want to make sure that our customers’ extensive investment in Super35 glass is protected. Without giving away too much, we have a 4K (4096) 16:9 recording mode for spherical lenses that has a diagonal of 28.55 mm and a 6:5 recording mode for 2x anamorphic lenses that has a diagonal of 27.39 mm. Both fulfill the 4K mandate.” read more…

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DJI Ronin 4D

This is one of the most captivating cinema cameras since, well, the birth of  cinema. I hear howls calling for superlative deleted, but please indulge this attention-grabbing opening line for a few moments. The DJI Ronin 4D is like a polymath of primordial portable 1895 Lumière Brothers Cinématographe, mixed with 1970s Aaton LTR, styled by a dreamed-up team of DaVinci, Gaudí and Ive, commingled with stabilizers, Lidar, integrated wireless video and wireless control, inspired by Inspire 2, Zenmuses and ancestral Ronins. It is an astonishly seamless cinematographic system. Download the free 22-page FDTimes DJI Ronin 4D Special Report. 22 pages. 5.3 MB PDF. read more…

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FDTimes September Issue 110 Shipped 10/11/21

To all subscribers asking, “Where is my September 2021 Film and Digital Times Issue 110?”

It is shipping today, October 11.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the USPS couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds—except a confluence of supply chain, paper and ink shortages and shipping backlogs. read more…

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ELSIE Leitz Cine Lenses

You may ask, why is Elsie Kühn-Leitz the cover story of September FDTimes and why are the new Leitz lenses called ELSIE?

Rainer Hercher, Managing Director of Leitz-Cine Wetzlar, explains:

“The story began when we discussed the naming of our lenses. Previously, we had followed the Leica tradition of naming lenses according to their apertures. Summilux-C were T1.4. Summicron-C were T2. But then, at a certain point, we wanted to honor the fundamentals that the Leitz family started in 1849 in Wetzlar.”

For the story of Elsie and ELSIE, please see pages 1 – 24, FDTimes September 2021 Issue 110 – free download here.  read more…

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Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compact Zooms

An Angénieux 37-102 Full Frame Optimo Ultra Compact Zoom was hand-carried from the factory in Saint-Héand, France to its USA premiere in New York. The 37-102 is the first of two new Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compact Zooms. The other one covers 21-56 mm. If the 2.7x zoom range sounds familiar, you probably have been using the iconic Angénieux Optimo 15-40 and 28-76 Super35 Spherical zooms, introduced 16 years ago. And so, the US launch was celebrated at the Salon de Ning rooftop outdoor event space on the 23rd floor of the New York Peninsula Hotel. read more…

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Dominick Aiello at Creative Solutions

Dominick Aiello was appointed as divisional senior director of accessories at Creative Solutions, working on Wooden Camera, SmallHD and Teradek brands. His job is product management and product design—to build tools that solve problems for camera professionals.Dominick said, “I am constantly talking with camera assistants to get feedback on our designs. I like to attend camera prep and set visits to observe how they do their job — and try to think of an easier way. Trying to find that answer is the goal.” read more…

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NAB 2021 Cancelled

  Statement from NAB: To Our NAB Show Community: For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community. As we have always kept the best interest and safety of… read more…

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SIGMA DG DN Contemporary I Series

SIGMA Corporation CEO Kazuto Yamaki introduced two new Full Frame mirrorless camera lenses today. The SIGMA 24mm F2 and 90mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary lenses now bring the total “I series” lenses to six. Today also is the 60th Anniversary of SIGMA Corporation. Kazuto Yamaki said “If you asked me who my mentor was, I will immediately give you the name of SIGMA’s founder, my father Michihiro Yamaki. His determination, philosophy, poise and conduct as a manager have had a monumental influence over me in many ways.” read more…

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RED V-RAPTOR Full Frame

Following on the Super35 KOMODO, another repilian-named RED camera arrived.

RED announced V-RAPTOR, as in Velociraptor.

V-RAPTOR is an 8K Full Frame (VV) or 6K Super35 cine camera. It weighs 4.03 lb.

V-RAPTOR has a new DSMC3 body that is just slightly larger than KOMODO–so it’s about 4.25″ h x 4.25″ w x 6″ long. The sensor was described as a new design with 8K resolution 8192 x 4320 (40.96mm x 21.60mm) and blisteringly fast top speeds–including 120 fps in 8K. read more…

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URSA Mini Pro 12K price drop to $6K

This is irresistible. The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K can now be had for US$5,995. That is a $4,000 drop from its original $9,999.

Blackmagic says, “This price reduction has been made possible by efficiencies in manufacturing combined with an improved supply of 12K sensors. With this new low price for Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K, a much wider range of customers will have access to feature film production.”

That has been a guiding business model of the Melbourne, Australia company—make great products eminently affordable so lots more people can buy them, thus enabling the lower cost. read more…

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SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports

If you are a wildlife, sports, stunts and action cinematographer or photographer, a 150-600 zoom lens may be a constant companion.

Now, there’s a completely new SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Sports zoom lens. It covers Full Frame and comes in SIGMA/Leica/Lumix L-Mount (20mm FFD) or Sony E-mount (18mm FFD).

The result is like an extension of the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius: Faster, Lighter, Smaller, Smarter, Sharper — Together. read more…

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Chrosziel Zoomer

Sony FX6 and FX9 (as well as FS7 and FS5) cameras have a nice right handgrip with a built-in zoom rocker. The assumption is that you’ll use a Sony zoom lens that has an internal zoom motor.

But what if you want to use a photo or cine zoom lens that lacks an internal motor? There are many E-mount Sony, ZEISS, SIGMA, Angénieux and other zoom lenses there for the asking.

Chrosziel’s new Zoomer (CDM-UNI-Z2) Universal Zoom Motor attaches to a 15mm lens rod. read more…

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ARRI ALEXA Mini LF 1:1 for 2:1 Anamorphic

Why would ARRI include a new 1:1 square sensor mode in the latest ALEXA Mini LF Software Update SUP 7.1?

Shoot with a 2x squeeze anamorphic lens on an ALEXA Mini LF in this new 1:1 (2880 x 2880) format, and the image desqueezes horizontally in a glorious 2:1 widescreen aspect ratio.

Furthermore, this new ALEXA Mini LF 2.8K 1:1 salubrious sensor mode has an image circle of 33.60 mm. How convenient. ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic and other Super35 format lenses conveniently cover this diagonal.     read more…

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ARRI Hi-5 Hand Unit

Read all about it. The new ARRI Hi-5 is featured in Film and Digital Times August 2021 edition. Download free PDF.

Hi-5 highlights:

Tail Slate Mode protects you from the muscle memory impulse to cut when the Director says “Cut.”

The display screen lets you navigate by touch or buttons.

There are 10 pre-engraved focus rings. A smart chip is embedded within each ring and the Hi-5 automatically adjusts accordingly.

OCU-1 Camera Operator override and Focus Puller handoff is seamless and good.

Hi-5 has a built-in base so it can rest at a comfortable angle on a flat surface like your Inovativ Echo camera cart’s top shelf.

A pivoting bracket slides onto the Hi-5’s top NATO rail to support a monitor.

Three different Radio Modules plug into the rear of Hi-5 for different ranges and regions.

All Hi-5 units include ALEXA camera control by default. Sony and RED camera control is planned with a future software update.

Focusbug Cine RT Ultrasonic Rangefinder System integration is expected with future firmware updates. read more…

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Agnès Godard AFC: Cannes Angénieux Tribute

On Friday, July 16, 2021, Agnès Godard, AFC, is honored with this year’s Pierre Angénieux Tribute for achievement in Cinematography at Cannes.

As an official partner of the Cannes Festival, Angénieux has celebrated a prominent Cinematographer every year since 2013 with the Pierre Angénieux Tribute. The ceremony typically opens with an introduction by Cannes Film Festival’s chief Thierry Fremaux and the presentation is hosted by Pierre Zéni, editor-in-chief at Cine+ Canal+.

Agnès Godard has won 11 awards and 13 nominations for her Cinematography. She won a César in 2001 for Beau travail, directed by Claire Denis, with whom she has worked on more than 15 films.

We spoke several weeks go. read more…

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Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compact Zooms

Angénieux lifted the mystery at Cannes today. Christophe Remontet, Managing Director Cinema Optics, announced two new Full Frame Optimo Ultra Compact Zoom lenses:

21-56 T2.9

37-102 T2.9

Specifications are expected in August, with the official launch of prototypes at Cine Gear in September and IBC in December. Christophe said that deliveries could be early 2022.

These two lightweight and compact zooms complement and match the existing Optimo Ultra 12x  (36-435 T4.2 in FF/VV and 24-290 T2.8 in S35)

and the 12 Optimo Primes. read more…

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