Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Well we are in the process of gearing up again and in lieu of the recent camera announcements will be doing a great deal of testing as we get our hands on this gear.

OK guess it's time to get out the chart and compare specs on all these new cameras...The latest entries being the CANON C300 and Red's SCARLET-X. So lets take a look and the features list will grow as more data comes in from the manufacturers.

Right off the bat some glaring differences:
CANON's C300 is configurable only in EF or PL mount not interchangeable...hmm. The Canon of course will out perform both the EPIC and Scarlet when it comes to low light so once again you just need to choose the right tool for the job!Good old Vincent was up on stage for the intro and in good company I might add, Scorcese, Ron Howard and Jon Favreau were on hand as well. Checkout Vince Laforet's MOBIUS film here that shows the beautiful look and feel of the C300. Here's the "Behind the Scenes" as well.
RED SCARLET-X you can order in your choice and add the other mount later-SIGNIFICANT FLEXIBILITY for those of us with Canon L glass and PL lenses.One peculiar item would be that at 60FPS and 2K RED is really CROPPING the sensor so if your shooting a scene and then want Slow MO your framing of that scene will now be considerably closer. You will now either be faced with a Lens change or moving your camera further back, a bit annoying wouldn't you say. Seems to me that the Scarlet is really an EPIC in sheeps clothing and that maybe the EPIC abilities can be bought in the form of firmware upgrades to remove these type of annoying work arounds...

*SONY F3: 2K; 4:4:4 UNCOMPRESSED SLOG option 4400.00, OUCH!
*with BIRGER OPTION contender. Still no RAW but close...
RED SCARLET-X: 5K Stills at 12fps, 4K video 25-30fps, RAW video built-in.
CANON C300:4K, UNCOMPRESSED, no RAW capability


Resolution 24/25fps 4k 1080p
Resolution 50/60 Fps. 2k 720p
HDRx™ 2K up to 25fps NO
Dynamic Range 13.5 stops, up to 18 stops with HDRx™ less then 12stops
Acquisition formats 1K HD REDCODE RAW Canon XF codec
4K HD REDCODE RAW 50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p30 MPEG2
5K FF REDCODE RAW (Stills @ 12fps)
Recording Media Red Mag SSD Module (64 GB included) Double CF Card which is not included
Monitoring RED LCD 5" Touchscreen Display (included) “Small” LCD and Viewfinder (build in)
Has a Fan YES YES
Autofocus canon lenses YES NO
Build in NDs NO YES
Titan Mounts available YES (CONFIGURED EITHER PL OR EF) NO
Price: ~ $15,000.00 $20,000.00 +

Your comments are of course welcome

Monday, November 7, 2011

Re-visit to the Gulf of Mexico disaster

Well it's been almost a YEAR since we returned from our final trip to the Gulf of Mexico to document the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Quite frankly it's a disappointment to me and I'm sure to our crew that nothing much has changed down there. The stock market even perked up when an announcement was made that a new Chevron platform would be drilling over 10,000 ft deep and way beyond as it enters the Earth's crust! What are we thinking here??!

The footage we shot aboard the WHOI/Naval research vessel the Atlantis is still sitting waiting for a timely entry onto the net and broadcast outlets. The stories will unfold and hopefully be a warning, an awakening to our short sighted and short lived memories of the impact the spill had upon the Gulf.

Inside the Alvin DSV on the RV Atlantis

The inevitable truth is that the Gulf is indeed in deep trouble and just like the mackerel that disappeared from the Alaska oil spill we are likely to see the same thing happen within the next 3-4 years to top predators like the Bluefin Tuna all the way down to the lower end of the food chain.

More and more species of fish and marine animals and fauna which are crucial to the food chain are in peril as we speak.

In truth the Deepwater Horizon disaster may very well be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fate of the Gulf.  Continued mismanagement of the wetlands from Florida all the way to Louisiana must end. We may indeed return to the Gulf to bring home the bigger more complete picture of the true impact man has had upon this incredible eco-system known as the Gulf of Mexico!

If your interested in what WHOI is doing as well as take a peak at the mission aboard Atlantis that myself and Mike deGruy participated please click here.


CANON DSLRs pretty much started the revolution in Hollywood and you would be amazed of how many feature films and even TV shows have used this technology...

The Canon 5D Mark II was used in the final episode of the last season of Fox's television show "House M.D.," as well as in the car racing scenes of "Iron Man 2" and certain scenes in "Captain America: The First Avenger," movies that Paramount distributed.

It seems all the new offerings from RED and CANON are in full support of using CANON's EF lenses while SONY offers no internal solution. A big game changer to keep the new SONY F3 in the competition will be the new product coming from Erik Widding's company BIRGER Engineering. To quote Erik in regards to the 2 announcements on Nov. 3rd from Canon and Red:

"I am convinced that the winning camera for those wanting to shoot Canon lenses at this price point, is going to be the PMW-F3 with a Birger adapter. Neither of the other manufacturers talk about supporting real-time servo follow-focus - like we have supported on the Red-one for many years now.

Birger Engineerings new product for the SONY F3 willnot only allow you to mount EF lenses on the F3 but to control Focus and Aperture as well from the camera and REMOTE!
This is huge because if you want to control the F3 on a wireless tether say on a crane then you had expensive solutions from Preston and Schneider and other Focus and FIZ related devices. I would have to agree with Erik that from a price point and functional feature POV that this may very well be the winning combination. The real question here is will BIRGER ship the product o time or at all. After the Panasonic AF100 debacle many Filmmakers have lost faith in what BIRGER can deliver...