DOPs discuss minicams, lenses, 4k and all


Mel Noonan TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Mel Noonan
Issue 100 - April 2015
If anyone knows about the practical reality of using minicams and lenses it has to be the DOPs who are out there using them. We are now seeing minicams used in all areas of production, some with 1080p and 4K capability at prices you would not have believed possible a few years back.

I spoke to some of the DOPs I know for feedback on past, present and future experience and information which may be useful to other users out there.

Chris Taber, DOP, UK:

Chris has been busy amongst other things shooting several series of 'You live in What?' for an American TV network, taking his Polecam around the world and shooting on location the weird and wonderful dwellings that people have created.

He says "I upgraded from my Toshiba HD minicam to the Canon C300 as soon as it came out. I've been using it constantly, getting excellent results on and off my rig. However I want to be 4K capable, so I have set my sights on the new JVC GW SP-100E minicam. I'm just waiting now for it to become available."

The camera features a 4K/2K remote camera head and a recording/playback unit with built-in detachable full HD 7"monitor and an RCU controller. It produces 4K video, with 3840x2160 resolution at up to 50/60p recorded locally to SDXC UHS-I U3 memory cards. It has an interchangeable MFT lens mount with a shallow flange depth, which offers the greatest flexibility to end users already owning lenses.

The mini 4K camera can also be attached to a gimbal option which may be used with a helicopter system, with anti-shake and anti-blur technology.

www.pedestaltv.com

John Gillan, DOP, UK:

John has been a champion of Toshiba minicams back from when he put the first SD version on his early Polecam. He stayed with the HD version of it (IK- HD1) on his rig when others were changing to larger cameras like the canon C300. "I stayed with the Toshiba HD for a reason. With experience the Polecam effectively becomes part of you, and you know you can fly the camera to precisely where you want, to show what you want, with the dynamics you want to give to it. You can still do it with a larger camera but there's a subtle difference and personally I prefer the dynamics of using the small camera. It does depend on the job of course and I will use other cameras for other jobs."

"Lately for some jobs I've also been using the Black Magic Design Pocket Cinema camera on my rig. It produces 1080p and I've been very pleased with the results, as have my clients."

"What's happened now of great significance is that Fujinon have brought out a couple of new megapixel lenses including a C-mount 17x zoom that I have just bought from Polecam Systems. I couldn't believe what a difference it made to suddenly see the resolution I had been filtering out with the previous lenses I'd been using. It's given my Toshiba HD minicam a totally new lease of life. The wide end of the range is 4.5mm, just right for Polecam, so I'm going to be using this combination on my rig a lot. The Zif controller that the Polecam guys have put together works really well. I'll definitely be using it on the Cliff Diving series I'm shooting through the course of this year."

"I am also looking at going 4K with the new JVC GW SP100E camera when it arrives to complete the range of cameras I have to offer."

www.jgbroadcast.tv

Bachir, DOP Paris:

"I'm currently working as DOP in Morocco shooting a TV feature . I'm using a Canon DSLR 5D MkIII with lenses 16/35, 24/70 and 70/200. I'm also using the 5D on my Polecam with the 24/70 zoom lens. When I shoot in France on broadcast production, I use 2 kinds of cameras on and off my rig: the Panasonic Camcorder HPX255 and the Sony HDC-P1 with a wide angle zoom lens."

www.bashkam.com
vimeo.com/user12340436
www.dailymotion.com/bachcam

Steffan Hewitt, Extreme Sports Cameraman / DOP, UK:

Someone who knows more than most about minicams, as the designer of Polecam: "The minicam arena has got really exciting with the launch of the two new Toshiba cameras. First we have the IK-HD5, a 3 MOS chip camera which has only been out a short while but they have been literally flying out the door here for in-car use coupled with the new Fujinon TA4-XA-1 full HD 4mm lens. This combination produces stunning quality full 1080P pictures."

"Then at the top end we have the new Toshiba IK-4K, the world's smallest 3 chip UltraHD 4K video camera providing 8Mp 3842x2160 output and showing extraordinary detail up to 1600 TV lines resolution."

"As if that wasn't enough now we have a high speed minicam, the Antelope PICO that will produce HD Ultra Motion - up to 350 fps. It's an amazing small camera that will get wonderful slow motion images from places and viewpoints that has not been possible before. It mounts easily on Polecam and will also fit in our underwater housing to shoot over and under water. It's already been used for swimming and diving analysis and sports coverage, and for F1 Pit Stop analysis too. We stock all these new cameras and can advise on all technical and practical issues."

www.polecam.com

Stuart Nicholls, DOP, UK:

Stuart says "For some time now in addition to using the Toshiba HD minicam, for a more filmic look I have I have been using either the Nikon D600 DSLR or the Canon C300 on and off my Polecam, and with the ability to suit the camera to the job, the results have been really great. Now with the pressure increasing to be 4K capable I have bought the new Sony FS7 which I use in conjunction with the Carl Zeiss ZF2 prime lenses carried over from the Nikon D600. It's around the same size as the C300 so it mounts fine on the rig but with the addition of the 4K capability and slow-mo at up to 180fps in HD. Now I'm totally covered for the foreseeable period ahead."

www.emagineproductions.co.uk

Richard Hookings, DOP, UK:
Even though he's owned a Polecam for 12 years now he's just done his first shoot in surgery covering a heart bypass. He said "For me, this was a pretty exciting shoot. The rig had to be as compact as possible so I used two sections and the elbow connector to ensure that the rig stayed clear of the surgeons and for the same reason opted for the new Fujinon 17x zoom lens (XT17sx4.5DA-R11) with the Toshiba IK-HD1 minicam."

"The Toshiba minicam looked seriously pimped up with the new Fujinon lens which was comparatively ginormous. The director was extremely impressed with the sharp imaging and this lens really did reinvent the Toshiba HD camera taking it to a whole new level."

"As well as the Toshiba HD minicam I have a Canon C300 and 5D and I've just ordered the Sony FS7 so I'll have 4K capability as well as slow motion. Before when people asked to have Polecam on a shoot there was no camera choice - it had to be the Toshiba HD. With the new flexibility of the rig people can ask for a Polecam with a C300 for example, to match the other shoot cameras because that will save time with grading down the line."

www.thecameraman.tv

Tommie Rekstad, DOP Sweden:

Tommie owns two Jimmy Jibs and two Polecams, and regularly covers top winter sporting events in Scandinavia. He says "For skiing events I mostly use Polecam because of the portability, rapid setup and because I can rig it right beside the start gate on the downhill ski runs and get close-in shots and angles without intruding into the skiier's space. Although Polecam now takes larger cameras I have stuck to using minicams on these jobs because of the advantages of having such a low profile head."

"Much of what I shoot is on multi camera OBs, and for a while the Toshiba HD minicam I used matched up to the other OB cameras well enough for everyone to be happy. But with time the OB cameras were upgraded, and I wanted my shots to match perfectly with the new cameras in resolution, colorimetry, dynamic range and all so I set about trying to achieve that." He researched and decided to go for a minicam out of Germany we don't hear too much of here, sinaCam. (pron: seenacam).

It's two piece minicam, head and CCU, single 2/3" CCD C mount with adaptors for PL and B4. It will interface to Sony camera RCPs, perfect for OB use. Distributor is Pure4C in Munich. Price, from Euros 12,865 net.

www.pure4c.de
Also sold as ActionCam by Codex Digital:
www.codexdigital.com
Tommie says "I am more than happy with the pictures I am producing. It's a great camera."

Tom Paterson, DOP, UK:

Tom has used the Toshiba HD minicam since it came out but has recently purchased the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, a CSC camera (Compact System camera) without a moving shutter that will take stills but also 4K video. "This is a remarkable camera and amazing value" says Tom. "I have used it already on my Polecam for several shoots and the video quality is superb. The latest was a promotion for a London West End musical where I recorded on-camera in UHD (3840x2160, 25p at 100 Mbps), and sent a down-converted SDI signal to the vision mixer via a Black Magic Design HDMI to SDI converter box."

"Camera control is via the Panasonic Image App on an iPad which receives a WiFi signal from the camera and allows full control of lens and camera functions.

Providing production with a 4K iso copy of my footage allows them to insert full resolution images and achieve greater manipulation in post than would be otherwise possible.

The small size and weight of the camera means it punches way above its league on the end of a Polecam and gives the operator far more reach potential than a heavier camera would do."

www.foragerfilms.com


Tags: iss100 | DOPs | lenses | 4k | minicams | polecam | opinion | cameraman | Mel Noonan
Submitted by Mel Noonan Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
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Submitted by Brian Larter Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
There is no where to hide from cybercrime
Mark Harrison The media sector is an attractive target for cyber attacks of all kinds from malicious individuals who enjoy disrupting high profile shows, to organised criminals who are attracted by the value of content, to nation states aware that media is a way of conveying or distorting messages.
Tags: iss128 | dpp | cybercrime | microsoft | azure | tinopolis | security | Mark Harrison
Submitted by Mark Harrison Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
State of the Nation - Telling Imaginary Stories
Dick Hobbs - new In mid-October, Nokia issued a press release from its headquarters in Finland, announcing a refocusing of its business, with a growing emphasis on digital health. Read on a few paragraphs, though, and you find this statement....
Tags: iss128 | samsung | ozo | vr | nokia | ibc | david attenborough | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Supporting broadcast quality control
Alan Wheable With the ever-increasing number of program channels and range of different program distribution formats, the process of ensuring program quality has become a complex one for contribution/capture, production, post production, server ingest and content distribution.
Tags: iss128 | omnitek | wcg | hdr | test and measurement | smpte 2110 | smpte 2022-6 | Alan Wheable
Submitted by Alan Wheable Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Video Tape recorders cannnot die.
KitPlus This article concentrates on what is often described as the weakest link, namely 1) above i.e. the Playback Decks and what could be another weak link, namely 2) i.e. Tape Cleaning Facilities. I have read several articles recently written in the belief that the playback of magnetic video tape will be all but dead in about 20 years due mainly due to lack of working VTRs this inspires me to do something about it.
Tags: iss128 | rogcon | vtr | achiving | betacam | ravensoburne | dct | ampex | dct700 | umatic | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Marjan Television Network - a case study
Ian Muir Internet and Satellite content distribution now allows production companies and broadcasters to send targeted TV programmes and video to widely dispersed audiences all over world, whilst located where theres easy access to the technology, equipment and expertise to produce top quality programmes.
Tags: iss128 | ac ent | lighting | chroma-q | space force | fresnel | quasar | q-led | lumipix | stark400 | Ian Muir
Submitted by Ian Muir Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Reunion on Kingsman ensures efficient workflow for sequel
KitPlus Both on and off camera, there are some collaborations that are built to last. Armed with the success of their work on the first film adaptation of the Kingsman comic book (Kingsman: The Secret Service), director Matthew Vaughan reunited with cinematographer George Richmond, DIT Joshua Callis-Smith and colorist Rob Pizzey, to deliver Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the upcoming second installment in the spy comedy series.
Tags: iss128 | kingsman | blackmagic | goldcrest | davinci | arri | dit | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Looking back at IBC 2017
Duncan Payne IBC feels like a bit of a dim and damp memory now, but a few over-riding memories do remain however, not least of which was the Arri party to celebrate its 100th year. It was like an old-school manufacturers IBC/NAB party, back when manufacturers had marketing budgets, and lots of sales people. It got IBC off to a great start; thanks Arri.
Tags: iss128 | ibc | arri | red | panasonic | adamantean | sony | eva | nokia | ozo | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Transition to a full end to end IP video solution
Brian Olson Most video professionals will agree that the future is IP. The question is, when and how do they make this transition? With manufacturers just introducing new IP products, many people are observing and waiting. However, the reality is that the move to IP is already rapidly taking place and is more transformational than the move from analogue to digital, SD to HD, or HD to UHD/HDR. IP will change the way that people interact with video, making it more flexible, more accessible, more scalable and will provide more opportunities for content delivery
Tags: iss128 | newtek | ptz | ip | uhd | streamstar | xsplit | vmix | ndi | Brian Olson
Submitted by Brian Olson Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
How the Cloud can be enabled as traditional broadcast workflows evolve
David Schleifer The Cloud itself is fairly simple, but for broadcasters it can be difficult to leverage. It isnt technically complex but broadcast still overlaps requirements that need real time, high resolution and quick turnaround solutions. Plus, this is coupled with the need to connect with dispersed geographic locations, reduce costs and access multi-format assets. As a result, broadcasters have moved away from asking the basic question what can I do in the cloud? to trialling projects and implementations are now underway or under evaluation.
Tags: iss128 | ott | primestream | David Schleifer
Submitted by David Schleifer Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Leveraging licensed broadcast spectrum assets
John Payne There are several different approaches to transmitting live and file-based content from the field to the studio. Traditional microwave Electronic News Gathering (ENG) provides high bandwidth, high-quality transmission with low latency. Using the secure, dedicated BAS spectrum keeps control in a broadcasters hands. The past few years have seen a shift in video technology toward acceptance, and adoption of IP-based links into ENG workflows.
Tags: iss128 | eng | bas | imt | vislink | imt-vislink | John Payne
Submitted by John Payne Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
IP Prompting
Jon Hilton# The potential nirvana of interoperable IT, Telecommunications and Broadcast convergent technology definitely felt a lot closer at this years IBC with the launch of many, many broadcast IP ready devices, workflow and solutions. While the big ticket camera and live production infrastructures dominated the headlines there were a number of smaller but equally important IP workflows that were launched which are fundamental to successful, professional TV production and this includes the often forgotten world of TV Prompting
Tags: iss128 | portaprompt | ip | prompting | ippg | windigi | Jon Hilton#
Submitted by Jon Hilton# Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
When a lens is more than just a lens
KitPlus Matching shots between different cameras can be tricky at the best of times. But how do you match lens characteristics between a live action shoot and a CGI composition? The CP.3 XD lenses from Zeiss offer an efficient solution to this with their frame accurate meta-data.
Tags: iss128 | zeiss | lenses | lens | prime | cp.3 | cgi | vfx | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Growing a news agency from the inside out
Lorna Garrett Growing a new media outlet in todays highly competitive market requires taking a strong look at the new ways media is being consumed. Many of the most successful recent startups are community focused, often finding a niche market that wants to be engaged in a way they perceive themselves. Al-Araby TV is a London-based news and current affairs satellite channel that has set out to do just that for Arab citizens.
Tags: iss128 | gpl | garland | al-araby | teracue | x-player | amino | aminet | icue | Lorna Garrett
Submitted by Lorna Garrett Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The dangers of live streaming without a license
Joseph Adamson The entertainment industry is visual and sound driven. Without these two elements there would be no such a thing as entertainment. Its obvious that there are people who create sound/s and visuals. Copyright laws were created to protect the industry and these artists. Many organisations have been created to look after musician, writers, poets and filmmakers. For example there are a number of bodies especially the MCPS [Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society], which is responsible for collecting royalties and licensing of music on behalf of musicians and music producers.
Tags: iss128 | ail | youtube | streaming | license | Joseph Adamson
Submitted by Joseph Adamson Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Plan to be smart at IBC
Peter Savage 2 While chatting with a good friend last week, he told me he was full of foreboding about the coming IBC. It needs no introduction: this conference/exhibition is the largest gathering of broadcast professionals in Europe, and the second largest in the world, and everyone in our world knows about it. Ill give you some statistics later but, for now, lets look at why my friend was dreading it.
Tags: iss127 | azule | finance | ibc | planning | Peter Savage 2
Submitted by Peter Savage 2 Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The party is not over until the video is online
Paul Scurrell When we were introduced to the team behind Sensation dance events in Amsterdam they had one big question for Timecode Systems: could our SyncBac VR wireless sync and control solution theoretically make it possible for a high quality, professional 360-degree video of a live dance music event to be edited in the time it takes the DJ to fly to his or her next gig? Intrigued by what our solution could help them achieve, in July they invited us to film at one of their iconic dance music events. Billed as The Final it was a sell-out farewell party to mark the last Sensation event in Amsterdam.
Tags: iss127 | syncbac | vr | 360-degree | pro7 | 360rize | gopro | dj | timecode systems | Paul Scurrell
Submitted by Paul Scurrell Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
A bluffers guide to image stabilisation
Mike Colyer One of the greatest challenges I face when designing a Special Camera system is how to minimise such vibrations, be they the very passive such as vibrations from a human wearing a camera system (10 20Hz), or more pronounced (try strapping a camera to a race car!).
Tags: iss127 | stabilisation | eis | ois | Mike Colyer
Submitted by Mike Colyer Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
5 reasons to use a soft box with LED lighting
James Mathers LEDs are a highly efficient light source, and putting aside any color spectrum issues, (that have generally been improving) they still have limitations for lighting people. The naked illumination coming off a single emitter, or an array making up a larger fixture, such as a panel, is just not the soft, beautiful glow that we seek for human subjects.
Tags: iss127 | led lighting | softbox | soft box | James Mathers
Submitted by James Mathers Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The ITTP - A Review
Graham Reed Five years ago a group of practitioners who were concerned about the poor training provision and a lack of common skills standards in the broadcast industry formed the ITTP. Since then there have been many meetings with senior industry figures and representatives from training organisations and educational establishments.
Tags: iss127 | ittp | training | bbc | bskyb | soho editors | skills | cirrolite | bksts | skillset | Graham Reed
Submitted by Graham Reed Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Power linking just got better
Yasushi Wada Sometimes batteries can be interesting and this year with IDX is one of those years with not only improvements in the V-Lock range there are significant changes within the 7.2volt area. Firstly and for the very first time in Europe the updated Power Link battery system the IPL range will be shown on the IDX stand at IBC
Tags: iss127 | idx | battery | power | v-lock | vl-2000s | ipl-150 | ipl-95 | Yasushi Wada
Submitted by Yasushi Wada Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Production Communications in a Shrinking World
Gary Rosen Communications today is a critical issueno matter if you are producing broadcast television, doing a live festival or rock concert outdoors, setting up a musical on the West End, or producing a local school play. Over the last few years, the proliferation of cell phones and other wireless devices has made it clear that most people prefer to communicate untethered.
Tags: iss127 | pliant | comms | intercom | duplex | Gary Rosen
Submitted by Gary Rosen Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Peace of mind in a complicated world
Alan Wheable For many in the broadcast industry these are challenging times. With competition coming from all angles and different technological camps advocating different approaches to infrastructure and the way forwards. With the number of different variables increasing, the choices of whether to use SDI or IP infrastructures, and the choices around HDR and WCG let alone the on-going distraction of UHD / 4K.
Tags: iss127 | omnitek | smpte 2110 | ip | ultra tq | 2022-6 | Alan Wheable
Submitted by Alan Wheable Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
State of the Nation - part 2
Dick Hobbs - new This is, of course, the IBC issue of this splendid magazine. Much of the rest of its pages are filled with what you will see there, or (in some cases) what vendors and their marketing communications agencies want you to see there.
Tags: iss127 | ibc | 5g | dejero | liveu | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The importance of storage
Jonathan Smith In recent years, viewing habits have shifted dramatically; online video is becoming the preferred option for the younger generation. But its not just millennials who are cutting the cord with broadcasters and traditional platforms increasing numbers of people from all age groups are abandoning cable and instead enjoying TV online. In response to this growing trend, platforms such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer are rushing to invest in fresh digital content, in a bid to satisfy their ever-increasing audiences.
Tags: iss127 | limelight networks | cdn | pops | Jonathan Smith
Submitted by Jonathan Smith Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Supporting creativity and driving better workflows
Rod Aaron Gammons For decades videographers and filmmakers have been pushing the boundaries when it comes to creativity all with the aim of delivering a visually spectacular and engaging experience to viewers. For the most part they rely on artistic vision and innate skill, but over the last few years technology has been playing more of a role in enabling that creativity, like cameras, sound and lighting.
Tags: iss127 | rotolight | led lighting | aeos | Rod Aaron Gammons
Submitted by Rod Aaron Gammons Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Atomos Ninja Inferno REVIEWED
Daniel Peters Bristol-based Daniel Peters is one of a new breed of indie filmmakers discovering that you dont need big budgets to create filmic shorts. Often working solo, shooting and editing his own work, he creates the look and feel of bigger productions with only limited resources. His commitment to the craft is so great he had to sell much of his own gear to fund his most recent short film Deserted in Paris, after he went over budget due to lost locations and actors pulling out.
Tags: iss127 | atomos | inferno | ninja | review | prores | dnxhr | gh5 | fs7 | lut | Daniel Peters
Submitted by Daniel Peters Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine