Archive for September, 2009


Wet noodles for drumsticks? NO! it’s CMOS video!

picture-13.pngWith all the rage about the Canon 5DmII for video, and everyone all gaga over the shallow depth of field video for a pretty inexpensive price, you have to remember that with every silver lining, there is a cloud… or something like that.

A nice new music video demonstrates that it’s not just camera motion that CMOS chips distort from reality, even motion within the frame, like a drummer drumming (something drummers in bands simply insist on doing constantly, throughout the whole darn song.)

If you want to have your wet noodle video featured on America’s Funniest Home Videos, then shoot it with a DSLR. Giggle-inducing images after the break. Continue reading ‘Wet noodles for drumsticks? NO! it’s CMOS video!’


Film fights back- on cost.

variety-logo-755571.jpgIt is interesting to read about push back from studios and even producers where cost is concerned- and film is reconsidered instead of digital. 

Some of the thoughts are true, you need a digital imaging technician to do it right, you need a media wrangler, but weren’t those positions already there on film crews (DP, loader, respectively)? Using less film reduces cost, but it also reduces quality- at a time when digital is improving quality with every codec revision. 

Film may still record more latitude, but HDR still cameras are already here so HDR video can’t be far behind. Those few advantages film has are slowly being whittled away, while the advantages digital offers keep increasing. The only one Film may keep, in the end, is as an archival medium, having already demonstrated, in some cases, 100-year stability.


Consumer Digital Still HD video shoutout.

If you can get a consumer camera that shoots HD for just a couple hundred bucks, why not load up on the cameras and get multiple angles of an event for next to no cost. img_6430w.jpgPlus, you can move them around easily, perch them in unusual places and you don’t need a half-dozen video camera operators. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Well, the reality is that the rolling shutter CMOS image distortion in video cameras is just as prevalent in digital still cameras. You can easily see it when you bounce the camera up and down lightly, or pan the camera side to side. Things that you naturally do when you are recording video with the camera in your hands instead of on a tripod. These motions distort the image from what really exists in reality. Camera flashes are partially bad- partially illuminating multiple frames. When you play that back, it looks completely unnatural.

To quantify these CMOS distortions, I secured two brand new digital still cameras that shoot HD video and pitted them side by side in some critical tests and the results clearly demonstrate the difference between CMOS and CCD when it comes to capturing video that faithfully represents what happened.

Continue reading ‘Consumer Digital Still HD video shoutout.’


DSLR Video – it’s a tool. Not the holy grail.

dslr.pngWhile the industry may be all atwitter about using Digital SLR cameras for video to get that shallow depth of field (DoF) you get with motion picture cameras and prime film lenses, the truth is, very shallow DoF and beautiful bokeh will not save a crappy story, bad writing, misguided direction or bad acting.

It is as if suddenly, a single piece of technical gear will magically make a movie be so much better. It’s the latest “got to have it” piece of tech. In reality, the camera can only make it look better; and certainly not sound better.
Moreover, if the camera op isn’t well versed in all the serious caveats these DSLRs have, it will look far worse than if you just shot your movie with a prosumer camera and spent all that extra money and time on script rewrites or a great director.

Continue reading ‘DSLR Video – it’s a tool. Not the holy grail.’