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.
Is EVO fresh Karma in a DJI-dominated market?
Just as GoPro announces the end of its participation in the consumer drone market, Autel Robotics, a Washington State-based drone manufacturer has introduced its new foldable drone called the EVO, seemingly taking GoPro Karma's place in the DJI-dominated consumer drone marketplace. In keeping with recent drone designs from its competitors, Autel Robotics' EVO features foldable arms that make the drone easy to carry with you wherever you go. Seems as if we've heard this several times already. So what's new and different about EVO?
Meet Laibox: the world's first interchangeable lens action camera
Laibox is a new company that is poised to take the action cam market by storm by introducing the world to the first action camera to feature interchangeable lenses. If you've used a GoPro then the Laibox will feel familiar, but with some really cool features in addition to the swappable lenses. The company promises that its design will deliver higher quality, better light capturing ability, more details and greater depth of field—all while minimizing distortion. At the time of this writing, Laibox is a prototype and has already raised over 200% of its Indiegogo campaign and plans to ship its very first units in April, 2018. So what makes Laibox so different from GoPro? Let's take a look.
Will 360 be the future of Kodak's 180?
Kodak built its brand on putting cameras in the hands of "everyday" people. Though it nearly went bankrupt after inventing (but failing to capitalize on) previous investments, the company is still standing, primarily through brand licensing agreements and recent camera releases. It now seems committed to the user-friendly creation and sharing of immersive photos and videos. Will this be Kodak's path toward continued profitability?
The market for consumer 360 cameras is crowded, but Kodak is confident in its Pixpro line, and they were onsite at CES to debut its latest iteration, the Pixpro ORBIT360 4K.
In addition to showing off its new consumer 360 camera, it also showcased two prototype 360 cameras that it hopes to release toward the end of 2018. With technology continuing to facilitate streamlined and friction-free workflows, Kodak remains bullish on the future of immersive photography, citing a belief in increased consumer adoption moving forward.
Collaboration and cooperation reign in Haellmigk's kingdom.
Game of Thrones DP Anette Haellmigk has spent her life in film and video production. Her cinematography career began in 1980 when an avant-garde German filmmaker named Hellmuth Costard offered Haellmigk a job as a first assistant cameraperson. It was in working with Costard that Haellmigk realized that she had found her calling as a cinematographer. According to her Behind the Lens column for CreativeCow.net, "Cinematography combines the artistic and the technical, which I liked. So I have found my path."
Haellmigk went on to learn as much as she could about cinema cameras and eventually connected with Jost Vacano (DP Das Boot) who mentored her and brought her to the U.S. where their work together continued. When Vacano was asked to DP Robocop and Total Recall, Haellmigk worked alongside him and those opportunities opened doors for her.