Canon has already began offering the Dual-Pixel Autofocus upgrade to existing C100 owners. Soon Canon will start shipping the C100 with the Dual-Pixel AF pre-installed and ready to go. So whats the big hype? Why do people care? Pros don’t use autofocus, do they? After all, doesn’t video camera AF hunt around and struggle to lock on? And AF is usually so slow, isn’t it?
All of those questions relate to traditional video camera autofocus as we have known it for decades now. Canon aims to usher in a completely new realm of autofocus technology to the realm of professional video. I could go into detail of what it looks like, how it works, and what the benefits are. Instead i’m going to let a couple of video pros do it.
Philip Bloom recently got his hands on a Dual-Pixel C100 and has put together a great 7 minute video illustrating the pros, the cons, and (most importantly) how to maximize it to make it a useful professional feature. Watch the video here.
Here is another great sample video by event filmmaker Joe Simon. He shows the practical real-world appellation of the C100 Dual-Pixel AF and how it can benefit shooters in all circumstances. This video is about 9 minutes long.
Don’t underestimate this feature. This is not the AF of the past. This is something that is going to be useful in a huge variety of circumstances. Picture using this feature in combination with a jib, or a MoVI, or SteadiCam, or even a simple slider. This is something that, even if you’ve said you’ll never use AF, you’ll find a creative way to use it once it’s in your hands. Post by Eric C. Petrie
Some juicy pre-NAB tidbits on the Sony F5 & F55 have been “leaked”. First up, we received an email about Sony’s social media teaser campaign, hash-tag newFtransformed (catchy, aint it).
Sony is showing this image an of an F5 with a shadow behind it that looks like a standard ENG XDCam. What does this mean? Does it mean there coming out with a traditional ENG camera that uses the F5 sensor? Probably not. Sony has positioned the F5 & F55 to be the ultimate in obsolescence-proof cameras. They’ve already shows that it can be adapted to a wide variety of circumstances and settings. I would imagine they have another way of adapting it now to fit a more traditional ENG, documentary, or broadcast style of shooting, instead of the lockdown, big set big crew, film style camera. The quote from Sony regarding the image is “this is about more then adding a set of rods or a shoulder pad. This is about offering the best solutions for todays shooting environments. And tomorrows.”. Again this speaks to the flexibility of the F5 series of cameras.
The second image is The F55 with a screen shot from the settings menu showing the various codecs that the camera can record in. You’ll notice the last two codec options are ProRes and DNxHD. This is huge. Sony’s own XAVC codec is very high quality and offers great efficiency. However, ProRes has become the closest thing to a high-end industry standard format that has ever existed. Between the Arri Alexa recording natively to ProRes, the prevalence of ProRes external recorders, and other cameras like the Blackmagic cameras using ProRes a lot of people are heavily invested in a ProRes workflow. This gives the F5 & F55 the ability to more easily be integrated into that workflow. Stay tuned for NAB when we’ll leaner more details. Post by Eric C. Petrie
4K is the way of the future. Of course a lot of people haven’t yet wrapped their heads around the difference between 1080p and 2K. Not to be outdone, Panasonic has released the details of a new camera to be shown in a few weeks at NAB
The 4K VariCam35 has a 35mm MOS sensor and shoots in 4K, UHD, 2K and HD. A prototype for the camera has been around for some time now and Panasonic has been hard at work on preparing a production model in time for NAB.
An interesting feature worth mentioning is the ability to interchange control modules and link the camera to the separate recording module unit.
Panasonic had this to say about where it sees this camera fitting in: At the high end of acquisition, there are already many products on offer. There is a huge missing link in product needed to create 4K content besides that of cinema. The direction we are coming from is to rationalize the 4K workflow and make it as cost effective as possible”.
It sounds to me like Panasonic is intending on maintaining their current focus on ENG and industrial video equipment and sees this product as more of a replacement for the HDX900, HPX2000, HPX3700, and not a direct competitor to the F55, or RED Epic, or Arri Alexa.
Hopefully we’ll know more at NAB. Post by Eric C. Petrie