Category Archives: HD Cameras

A review of high definition digital camcorders

Her movie explanation

Her

In the beginning there was only the Self, like a person alone … But the Self had no delight as one alone has no delight. It desired another. It expanded to the form of male and female in tight embrace and then fell into two parts…. She thought, “How can He have intercourse with me, having produced me from Himself?”

Alan Watts, OM: The Sound of Hinduism

There’s quite a few “braids” in Spike Jonze’s HER. Just looking at a screen cap from the movie, it’s obvious that there’s purely visual messages, verbal ones, and even some post-verbal (transcendental?) ones.

1) Color, saturation, light. The use of pastel colors in the background and strong saturated hues in the protagonist = simple joy of being alive.

2) Remote interactions. With Skype, Facetime (video calls in general) and Facebook, Twitter (async communications), we’ve become accustomed to an always ON, always available contact, even if it has some limitations when it comes to interactivity.

3) Machines already beat us in most cognitive tasks (chess, Jeopardy), what form will their love take? Will it be multi-threaded, cloud-based, etc. Maybe it will be exclusive and permanent (Steven Spielberg’s AI).

4) What form should a relationship take. In the midst of the discussion of gay marriage, the conventions for what constitutes a relationship will be challenged. Is Samantha in love with the other 641 people as a female AI called Samantha? I don’t think so but it’s up to us to decide.

5) In one way, the movie is a response to Lost in Translation; it’s also a commentary on Spike Jonze’s relationship with Sofia Copolla, Lost in Translation’s Director. Consider that Scarlett Johansson is central to both movies – as a platonic ideal.

6) The Future is warm, light, and optimistic. Even funny at times. This is in contrast with the latest wave of adolescent fantasies: Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and now Divergent.

What else?

Metallica: Through the Never meaning

I saw Metallica: Through the Never yesterday and I was blown with the production.

However, because of the narrative (i.e. story) that takes place, it seems that the discussions seems to center on the bag and what’s inside it. In other words: what’s the MEANING of the story? Here’s the gist, you’ll find some support below it:

Metallica is all about the fan; the fan, who goes to Hell and back, so s/he could be with them.

Getting the bag is a quest and just as the Holy Grail, it’s not about the item itself, it’s about the journey and the faith. If the thing that Metallica absolutely needs for the show. That single fan.
metallica through the never meaning
“THE WHY”
Sir Ken Robinson quoted a drama guy, who said that the core experience in a theater is just the actor and one person in the audience. You can get rid of lighting, scenery, even director and playright.

I’m pretty sure that the director, Nimrod Amtal, studied this back in Hungary, it’s a probably a European perspective.It also goes back to something Lars said in the interviews. They are doing it for the fans and as a creative challenge for themselves. James also stated clearly that breaking even is not likely and paying it off will probably pass to their kids.

So yes, it’s basically a private show for just you, the real Metallica fan, like Trip did in the last “scene”.

“THE HOW”
Let’s highlight a few of the elements that the director used to communicate this message:

  • The opening shot: the fan that couldn’t get to the show because it was sold out. He is NOT the ideal fan, he was late, besides sporting a beer belly.
  • The fears: the fears that Trips is facing are the “normal” things that every fan faces going to a concert: the crazy headbangers, on one side, and the police, on the other.
  • Last (titles) scene: a look at the artist, as opposed to the performer; the four members forming a closed circle, the focus being on them loving what they do, even if there’s no one watching.

Leave your comment, if agree or disagree.

Canon EOS C300 1080p Camcorder

Canon has done quite a bit of “different” thinking when coming up with its new EOS C300 camera/camcorder. Some in-depth reviews can be found here and here.

If you are one of the people who own a DSLR from Canon, you are aware of their current trend to allow the camera to function as a camcorder as well (especially, the 5D Mark II). So the new C300 shows that the Canon can drop their hybrid approach and focus fully on a camera that is like DSLR in terms of form factor but has the feature set of a full-frame movie camera.

The important question is this: “Is Canon EOS C300 going to replace Canon X line, HVX200 or Sony’s new generation of indie video camcorders“. I think the answer is pretty clear – only if you have a pretty impressive budget! The list price of the new camcorder is 20,000 USD with the “real” price being in the 14,000-15,000 range.

So amateur filmmakers can forget about this camera but if you are shooting even a (semi) professional documentary, you could definitely go for it.

Sony NEX FS100

Sony’s new NEX-FS100 camcorder is positioned exactly where Z series was a few years back. It is a wedding photographer’s wet dream come true but also a tool for many indie videographers who can finally afford a “real” 35mm camera.

The list price for the new Sony camcorder is just below $6,000. This is exactly the price point where you start wondering if it won’t be better to own it, instead of renting it every time you need it.

A detailed review as always comes from ProVideo. A few highlights:

  • The camera can record 1080/60p, 1080/60i, 1080/30p, 1080/24p, and 720/60p in AVCHD, at data rates from 5-28 Mbps depending on format.
  • In 24 frames per second, the FS100 allows shutter speeds of 3, 6, 12, 24, 40, 48, 50, 60, 96, 100, 120, 144, 192, 200 288, 400, 576, 1200, 2400, 4800, and 10000
  • The FS100 uses a single “Super35mm” CMOS sensor with a color filter array; it’s 23.6 mm × 13.3 mm.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Another contender for the “indie” cine camera: Blackmagic Cinema Camera (a few years back it was the RED camera).

Adam Wilt is asking: Is BMD the new RED?

So, is BMD the new RED? They’re certainly revolutionizing what it costs to get into interchangeable-lens, raw-recording motion-picture cameras, just as RED did—but I don’t see RED, Canon, Arri, Sony, or other camera makers quaking in their boots. The BMC Cine Cam looks like a great DSLR-killer, but it’s a smaller sensor (or so I’m led to believe, so far), it’s “only” 2.5K (thus none of the 4K cameras need fear obsolescence just yet), and it’s unclear if the camera has the systems-level capability to satisfy productions beyond the lone indie-filmmaker crowd.

But it’s early days yet; the camera won’t ship for a few months. And, fercryinoutloud, it’s $3000! One can live with a lot of compromises for $3000.

I can live with $3000 for a cine camera. Of course, you will probably have to rent the lenses to keep the budget down.

Canon C300 (discussion)

Canon C300 might be outside the budget of most low-budget filmmakers but it’s such a nice camera that just reading about it makes you want to take your old Canon XL1 (or Sony FX1), go out, and shoot something.

I just found out that watching people discuss has exactly the same effect!

Video can be viewed here!

Conan 3D Premiere

Last night was the Hollywood premiere of Conan.

There’s a ton of photos at IMDB.

Apart from Jason Momoa, we get Ron Pearlman, Stephen Lang, and Rose McGovan (rumored to be groomed for Red Sonya at one point).

The world premiere is set for August 19! I cant wait to see the end of this swing in 3D: