Does your portable drone record video in HDR?
The popular drone maker Parrot has just announced the fruits of two years of design work: ANAFI, a drone capable of recording HDR 4K video (21 MP stills) that fits in your jacket pocket. The company focused its efforts on four main areas: Image quality, flight performance, foldability of the drone, and ease of use of the software.
Though No Film School hasn't had the opportunity to do a hands-on test with ANAFI, the specs and features do seem like they could be enticing for anyone who is currently shooting with a DJI Mavic (or similar category drone), so let's take a look at what those are.
Pixar’s Jason Katz reveals the what, why, and how of successful storytelling.
VR, AR, MR, & 360 video (collectively referred to as “XR” in the industry) are becoming increasingly more popular as storytelling tools largely due to an explosion in hardware and software innovations that make the production of those media affordable and accessible to the masses. No Film School was on hand at this year’s Augmented World Expo in San Jose to explore some of the recent innovations and see what tools and techniques are out there that could be helpful for filmmakers.
On the second day, expo visitors were treated to a keynote by Jason Katz of Pixar who began his address by asking the audience to leave everything they know about immersive technology “at the door” so that we could focus our attention on the most important part of storytelling: the story. During his speech, Katz outlined five basic principles that he adheres to when crafting stories and went on to discuss the simple elegance of the three-act structure that all Pixar films use to tell stories.
Looking for the best platform to publish your immersive videos? Here are the pros and cons of the top five.
As 360-degree cameras become more affordable and as more websites and apps begin natively supporting 360 photo & video playback, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best places to distribute your content. We compared the cost, ease of use, discoverability, maximum upload resolution, and overall user experience of each in order to let you evaluate what site (or sites) will make the best online home for your 360 content.
DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 is more of a mid-cycle refresh than a brand new product.
DJI has named its latest release the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 and that seems fitting considering the improvements are incremental and not groundbreaking new features. While we don't think the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 will leave current Phantom 4 Pro owners with FOMO, it is an incredibly well-made drone capable of safe, intelligent flights and of producing beautiful imagery.
Like the previous version, the V2 boasts a 1" CMOS sensor capable of capturing 20MP Adobe DNG RAW still photos and DCI 4k footage. Also, like its predecessor, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has a maximum video recording resolution of 4K 60p, can be flown autonomously with DJI's Intelligent Flight Modes and it works with the DJI Goggles. New with version 2.0 is h.265 video encoding at 100Mbps. It also features an improved lens, improved obstacle sensing and some other improvements listed below. So what does the Phantom 4 Pro 2.0 have that the Phantom 4 Pro doesn't?
These improvements don't leave the previous model looking long in the tooth.
DP and VFX expert Phil Holland shares his lens selection process with Adorama at NAB 2018.
Director of Photography Phil Holland has been creating commercial images for nearly 20 years, both as a cinematographer and as part of the VFX team on major productions like Iron Man and Life of Pi. He sat down with Adorama at NAB 2018 to talk about his lens selection process and how his lens choices help him create the emotions he wants to convey in each scene.
In his demonstration, Holland discusses how he defines "normal" and builds his lens package around that, the importance of focal length and how it can help your talent give their best performances, and some of the aesthetics that are unique to anamorphic lenses and why he believes lenses should be chosen for their unique characteristics. Watch the full video and read our key takeaways below.
Pond5 & DJI team up to promote footage from FAA Certificated drone operators.
DJI and Pond5 have announced a collaborative effort through which drone operators who hold FAA Part 107 Certificates will have footage they've captured on DJI drones curated and promoted in featured collections on the Pond5 website. In order to be eligible to apply for the program, drone operators must have and provide proof of their FAA Part 107 certification as well as a reel of their aerial content and a list of the DJI drones they own & use. If selected, Pond5 will work with aerial content providers to identify and prepare their most marketable content for inclusion in these new aerial footage collections, which will be promoted on the Pond5 website.
Portability, safety, and creativity are the big features of this little drone.
The Mavic Air is DJI's newest consumer drone designed for enthusiasts & content creators alike who are looking for a highly portable UAV that can shoot stable 4K video and Adobe DNG RAW still photos. DJI sent No Film School a Mavic Air to test out and review, and from our time with the drone, it seems to successfully meet those needs. It also packs in a bunch of sensors to enhance safety, and some autonomous flight modes that make it easy to execute complex flight maneuvers. So without further ado, let's get into it.
Maybe large format matters, after all.
Whether or not 8K matters has been a hot topic since its emergence. During Camerimage 2017 in Poland, Michael Cioni (SVP of Innovation at Panavision & Light Iron), Dan Sasaki (VP of Optical Engineering, Panavision), and Ian Vertovec (Senior DI Colorist, Light Iron) discussed the benefits of shooting in large format (greater than 4K) video.
In their argument, they lay out three components of image quality using a triangle model where resolution is but one-third of the entire picture. They claim that, while resolution is certainly important, pixel density also provides for greater perspective and magnification—all of which help filmmakers tell their stories with more control and flexibility over the look of the final image. You can watch the entire, hour-long conversation here or read out three key takeaways below.
Spoiler alert: the most expensive lens isn't always the best.
Last week, Dustin Abbott (whose reviews are generally well regarded) published a video comparing four popular 85mm lenses from Canon, Sigma, Tamron, and Zeiss. The purpose of his test was to evaluate the four lenses for pure resolving ability and to then publish his findings about which (if any) proved superior to the rest. His test was presented in two parts with a video for each part. The first part illustrates his comparisons of resolving power between all four of these lenses. Then, in part two, Abbott dives further into the details like bokeh, vignetting, chromatic aberration, etc., to provide a more detailed analysis of these lenses individually and as a group.
Rather than conclude his review by simply crowning the "winner", Abbott describes these lenses in terms of which are better suited to different shooting styles or conditions which made this review especially helpful.
DJI has created a brand new class of drone.
It seems, lately, DJI is trending downward in size but not quality. Over the past 18 months, the company has iterated its technology and released new products at an incredibly rapid pace. It began with its release of the Mavic Pro about a year and a half ago, making it easy for people to bring a 4K drone with them wherever they go, thanks to its foldable design and small chassis. After that, DJI debuted the Phantom 4 Pro, which boasts advanced obstacle avoidance sensors and professional quality imaging and is designed for creative professionals. Since then, DJI has released its smallest drone, the Spark, which features gesture control, and can automatically take complex shots at the tap of a button; the world’s first 6K Super 35mm drone-optimized cinema camera, the Zenmuse X7; and today, No Film School was in attendance when DJI released its most portable 4K drone to date, the Mavic Air.