Archive for the 'Brucie Bloggers Christmas Wish List' Category

16
Feb
17

Canon 1DX mark 2

canon-1dx-mkii_option-2_2

This is one blog that I’ve not been looking forward to writing. As a proud owner of a 1DX myself I am gutted that the Mk2 has even been produced to be honest. But as I can’t stop progress, I knew it would happen sooner or later. Inevitably, the Mk2 is better than the original as you would expect.

For those of you in the know, Canon name their cameras in the reverse order numerically so the lower the number the better the camera, hence the 1 series denotes this as Canons flagship model. If I am to be honest I believe the 1DX was a photojournalist’s camera, built to be used every day in whatever environment and whatever weather the operator found themselves in, from the touchline of a rugby match to the fence outside Buckingham Palace these cameras are built to work and to work hard.

We’ve received so many enquiries about the Mk2 that we couldn’t disappoint you any longer. I do love this about Pixipixel, we are a rapidly growing company but still listen to you folks, our customers, and respond to your requests, so keep on telling us what you want.

Anyway on with the blog (and remember this is hurting me more to write than it is for you to read). As I said above the 1DX mk 2 is the new Canon DSLR flagship, it may not have the resolution of some of its “lesser” siblings like the 5DS or 5DR but it has (almost) the ability to shoot in the dark and for me that’s more useful than massive files. I’m pleased to say, that although the pixel count has increased significantly (now 20.2mp) this miraculous ability to shoot using higher ISO’s in gloomy, dull or dark situations is as good as ever, in fact its better.

The Mk2 has improved video capabilities too now allowing for 4k 60p capture, making it a genuine option for you moving image folks. 120p can be achieved in full HD for your slow motion creativity and truly amazing AF tracking keeps the subject pin sharp. A new touch screen allows for easy accurate focus and this works seamlessly with all Canon EF lenses.

1dx-mkii_option1

If shooting faster than a Gatling gun is your bag then look no further, the Mk2 can shoot at 14 fps with full AF / AE tracking or up to 16 fps in live view. This is thanks to the new DIGIC 6+ processors and a new mirror drive system. If you use the latest Cfast 2.0 media then a burst of 170 uncompressed 14-bit RAW images can be captured almost before you knew you were trying.

I find it hard to believe that Canon could have improved the auto focus over the Mk1 but they have. Now with 61 selectable AF points (including 41 cross type and 5 dual cross type) and advanced A1 Servo AF III + and improved EOS intelligent tracking you really don’t have much of an excuse to miss that vital sharpness. Even when you choose to shoot at f8 all 61 points are at your disposal including 21 cross type sensors. She really is an impressive focusing beast. I could take my glasses off and still get everything sharp I reckon.

A built in GPS system with automatic time-zone updates is a neat inclusion (should you ever get lost or lose your watch) and lightning fast Superspeed USB 3.0 and Gigabit connectivity via Ethernet or the optional WFT-E8 WiFi adaptor caters to numerous workflow styles.

Brucie coolness rating has to be a well-deserved 10 out of 10 as you would expect from a Canon top of the line body, as much as the little green monster inside me wants to mark it down I really cant. Ok so I’m jealous because its better than my camera but you needn’t be because we got it in for you, yes YOU so pop in and let your inner paparazzi have some fun.

 

Many thanks BB

25
Jan
17

Wind Machines

Well I never for a moment realised how much was involved in a wind machine, or how hard it is to find any information regarding them and their use.

I will provide you all with a simple comparison between a range of the units that we hire. Anyway below is my take on the subject and the technical details.

I guess the most important thing that I have learned regarding wind machines is that it’s not all about power and the amount of air moved.

We need to think about wind machines in terms of spread and power, much like a light.

For example do you want your wind machine to blow the hair of just one model or are you trying to flutter a group? Obviously if you are just aiming at one model then a narrow channel of wind is great but if you are going for a group “blow” then a wider spread would be better.

Power is obvious, the harder it blows the more movement you will get in the subject but control is the key here, what you are looking for is the ability to vary the intensity of the wind from a gentle breeze to a full on hurricane and varying levels in between.

There are other factors to consider such as the method of control; use a DMX or a remote? The size, weight, and the amount of noise it makes during operation need to be thought about in relation to your project.

Also a rapid on or off “bump/gust” feature is useful. For example, in a film scene when a door is opened or closed, a rapid on/off feature would be useful.

And finally, the ability to disperse smoke, fog, fake snow, or dust (normally fullers earth) without destroying the machine is a bonus.

Personally I am a great enthusiast for waving a ½ poly board up and down for most “normal” looking movements in a models hair, its very basic but also very cheap and very effective for a one-off breeze of air. Having said that we are in the business of getting equipment out on hire so lets not recommend that too often and needless to say wind machines are far more consistent and precise and also don’t complain about having aching arms by lunchtime.

Detailed tech specs for our stocked units can be found at the end of this article.

The Bowens units are a “point and shoot”; they are neat and compact and have variable speed but do not allow for adjusting the spread of wind. The basic unit (now discontinued) has a corded remote and its two bigger brothers have wireless remotes.

The Reel EFX Turbo units both have an adjustable spread facility and a burst function, but no remote control.

The Mole Richardson is the big daddy of our range and has a bump function to rapidly increase the power and produce a blast above the set output. A DMX control and an “almost instant-off function” are standard features. It also has an integrated radial-vein collimator that narrows the spread of the wind but can be removed for a wider dispersal. This is the only unit we have that is actually recommended for the dispersal of dust. Exhaust fans from a plant hire store are great for this but are far less controllable.

1. Bowens Jet stream

Power Requirements 120V, 50/60 Hz, 2.5 Amps
Maximum Power 2,500 RPM, 940 CFM

 

1

2. Bowens Jetstream 250

Output at 1 m 8MPS
Max Power 240V
Control Cable Length Wireless Remote
Length 315mm
Width 260mm
Height 260mm
Weight 9.6kg

2

3. Bowens Jetstream 350

Output at 1 m 7MPS
Max Power 240V
Control Cable Length Wireless Remote
Length 390mm
Width 365mm
Height 365mm
Weight 13.3kg

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4. Reel EFX Turbo 2

Motor: Brushless, AC, Ball bearing

Power: 110 – 125v/4 amp or 220v/2 amp (50 – 60) cycle.  RPM 3450  CFM 2000

Controls: Solid state speed control, one touch blast

Weight: 20lbs

Mounting: Floor stand with adjustable tilt and universal mount, C stand, Junior stand

Dimensions: 14″L x 19″W x 22″H

Peak Velocity: (Focused Beam): 20mph at 10ft

Focused Beam: 10 degrees (3.5foot diameter beam at 10ft)

Flood: 45 degrees (8ft beam at 10ft)

 

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5. Reel EFX Turbo 4

 

Motor: 2 HP Baldor® Premium Efficient 3-Phase

Power: 110 – 125v/4 amp or 220v/2 amp (50 – 60) cycle.  RPM 3450  CFM 2000

Speed Control: Solid-state variable-frequency drive with active silent smart-switching & active power-factor correction

DMX Control: USITT-compliant DMX 512 w/5-pin XLR

Weight: 54 lbs

Mounting: steel floor stand with spud mount

Dimensions: 22″ x 24″

 

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6. Mole Richardson

Construction Sheet, Tubular Steel, 3 Blade Fan, 15′ power cable

Removable 1-1/8″ yoke pin

Rating 110-240VAC or DC, 3.25 Amps, on-off toggle switch on housing side

6″ Rheostat fan speed control switch

Rectifier with capacitor for AC or DC operation

Dimensions Housing: 26.25″ Diameter x 20″ Long (66.6 x 50.8 cm)
  Weight 88 lbs (40 kg)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10
Jan
17

Litegear LiteTile 8×8 LED

Welcome to the new year everyone, we hope you had a great Christmas and a relaxing break and are now ready and waiting for the next twelve months of fun and games.

Now the new year seems to have brought with it a bit of a cold snap so with your best interests in mind as always we would like tell you about one of our Christmas presents to ourselves, a rather fetching blanket.

Yes we know that blankets tend to encourage you to stay in bed normally but not this one, in fact this one is definitely worth getting up for.

The brand new Litegear LiteTile is something rather special and we had our first play with it yesterday and we’re very impressed. We already have a good range of LED lights from Litegear and they are proving to be popular with you folks but this one is bigger and better than anything we’ve seen so far.

Imagine a flexible blanket of Bi colour LED’s that’s 8 foot square and what that would allow you to do. Now stop daydreaming because it’s here now waiting for you to enjoy.

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I have to admit that personally I’d like to take it home and use it as a blanket on my 12 year olds bed, I cant help thinking that waking her up in the morning would be easier if I could make her whole bed light up at the flick of a switch!

To get a bit technical for a moment the LiteTile 8×8 actually consists of four 2×8 foot panels that can be configured to form a number of shapes, Velcro covered edges allow for each panel to attach to its neighbor or for that matter anything else that has a Velcro fastener on it. Also equipped with eyelets to allow for attachment to grip or butterfly frames as required.

Being made of hi-grade engineered textile the LiteTile is flexible enough to be configured round curves, folded, scrunched up and so on making them a truly versatile product.

As far as light is concerned the LiteTile is equipped with new CineMitter LED’s which boast a CRI and TLCI* rating of 95+ along and a extended colour temperature range of 2600K – 6000K. All new DMX enabled dimmers are supplied giving full local control of dimming and colour temperature or allowing for connection to a control desk.

Everyone will want to know what the maximum output is so for the record the LiteTile gives out a very useable and impressive 20384 lumens (that’s bright to you and me)

When it comes to powering, it’s not much more difficult than plugging in your electric blanket, granted it uses 16 amp leads but we have plenty of jumpers if you need to use a 13amp domestic outlet. Each of the 4 2ft by 8 ft panels has its own power supply so they can be used independently and we will shortly take delivery of a single power supply to run all four units together. A V-lock battery option is muted in the future and no doubt we will get one as soon as it’s available but this may be a while before it hits the market. The individual panels each have a header lead of 7ft or 2.1m in length, giving you plenty of scope to position the supply out of sight.

So if you’re in the market for a large flexible soft light then this could be what you are looking for and now you know who has it you’re really running out of excuses.

Litegear also make a 4 foot version but as you can fold the 8 foot in half and keep using it I don’t think we will rush to get the smaller one, bigger is better anyway.

untitled

The all important BCR (Brucie coolness rating) for this has got to be at least an 11 out of 10, its portable, powerful and versatile all of which are great attributes, but its also very cool and I rather like it. I can’t help but wonder what LED’s will turn up next, anyone got any suggestions?

You could take it to Glastonbury this year just to make finding your tent easier.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

TLCI means “Television Lighting Consistency Index” it’s calculated using a spectroradiometer and is a measurement of a luminaires spectral power distribution in the context of television. The results can be checked against the table below. Hopefully you all feel as enlightened and excited by this as we do.

 

 

85 – 100 errors are so small that a colourist would not consider correcting them
75 – 85 a colourist would probably want to correct the colour performance, but could  easily get an acceptable result
50 – 75 a colourist would certainly want to correct the errors, and could probably  achieve an acceptable result, but it would take significant time to get there
25 – 50 the colour rendering is poor, and a good colourist would be needed to improve  it, but the results would not be to broadcast standard
0 – 25 the colour rendering is bad, and a colourist would struggle for a long time to  improve it, and even then the results may not be acceptable for broadcast

 

 

22
Dec
15

Day 10 of Brucie Bloggers Christmas Wish List

 

kitten cream

You have all been very patient waiting for my number one Christmas gift choice and as a reward we are now ten days closer to Christmas than we were, but you still have time to hit the shops just!!.

Now this little Sony would fit into my stocking for Christmas morning very nicely and I could get all sorts of embarrassing Christmas photos and videos to share with both of my Facebook friends (I say both but my dad still ain’t got the hang of FaceBook yet!)

1        Sony A7S

 

Sony A7S

I am very much in the market for a more compact camera, but I really don’t want to give up anything that my 1DX has except the bulk.

My trouble is I don’t take my camera out with me unless I know I will be shooting because it’s bloody huge, so I see stuff and guess what, I have to shoot on my phone (so I don’t bother). I really liked the A7s, in particular its low light ability but most importantly its size. I used to have a nice little canon G series but that got left behind down under with the ex and my 5D mk 1 with the tonal range of a zebra crossing lol.

So if you can only get me one thing………….a7-1

Sorry video guys I guess that this list doesn’t tick many boxes for you and I could have put a C300 mk 2 or the Alexa mini on it and I do really like the Flowcene gravity one but short of mounting my Nerf guns on it I really wouldn’t have a use personally. It’s my list anyway so tough luck …lol.

So not forgetting the most revolting Christmas Jumper I could find….. here is the winner.. it may have something to do with the models expression methinks……. but Holy Moly this is Nasty!!!!……

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I hope you have all enjoyed my blogging over the last few months it’s been a learning curve for me in many ways and my old English teacher must be laughing fit to bust, that I of all people, am now a writer of sorts believe me neither of us saw that coming.

 

Now for those of you who didn’t win the daily Christmas list competition Why not send me in your Christmas list and I will get Steph to send the best couple a wonderfully stupid but appropriate Pixipixel Christmas gifts.

 

Anyway folks have a cool Yule and a very very merry new year, if I don’t get to blog again between now and then.

 

Cheers BB

 

21
Dec
15

Day 9 of Brucie Bloggers Christmas Wish List

 

bells1

Second place (drum roll please) goes to the fantastic B2 250 Air kit from profoto.  Now this is right up my street being a flasher, as opposed to a continuous sort of a guy and if you are going to flash then really you need something to be proud of and this may not be the biggest in the world but its beautifully formed.

2          Profoto B2 250 Kit

 

Profoto B2 250 Kit

Right, I will start here by saying I have been a Broncolor boy at heart since working for their Australian importers for many years and I do love the Move system but…….. I was very very impressed with this system it really is portable with a capital P. It has loads of oomph and some very impressive recycling and duration times that would more than suffice for anything I am likely to want to shoot.

Now, if it only had a mains booster like the old Profoto battery packs had!!!!

 

profoto

 

Not to forget the runner up of the most revolting Christmas Jumper ever donned in our Christmas countdown … this is truly inspired……. Although I’m a little disappointed that we can’t see the blokes face, whether he looks mortified or proud??

o-ULTIMATE-CHRISTMAS-JUMPER-facebook

Well tomorrow is it the top of my list, I can feel the anticipation………. No really I can.

Cheers BB

18
Dec
15

Day 8 of Brucie Bloggers Christmas Wish List

 

robin

Lucky number 8

Bronze place……. I don’t suppose this kit has ever been relegated into third place. Its got far more of a first place feel and look to it.

Undoubtedly this deserves a better position on the list but I only want it for the pleasure of annoying other photographers in the pit at the front of a gig or two as this little beauty says “I don’t need to do this really because I’ve got too much money”

Ok so I think it may improve my photography a bit, but it would increase my insurance bill more.

Still I would dearly love to have one of these to play with.

Dear Santa……….. I’ve been so almost very good, I promise I have!!

3          Phase one XF and IQ 3 series back

 

Phase one XF and IQ 3 series back

I think it’s just the poser in me that wants this, my skills couldn’t even come close to justifying having one but that doesn’t stop me fancying it big time.

Now that it has good auto focus etc it’s almost a DSLR on steroids and it’s gorgeous in every way from looks to file quality. One drawback is that you will need to get me a few lenses to go with it, oh and a new laptop too please,better make it a mac and a good one too if it’ going to keep up!!!!!

Thanks

phase One XF.jpg

 

And now I know you are truly on tenter-hooks for the 3rd most horrid Christmas Jumper ever seen!!!

Well what do you think?????

2 jumper

2 more days to go!!!

17
Dec
15

Day 7 of Brucie Bloggers Christmas Wish List

 

karderio_christmas_pudding_clip_art_23109

Day seven, so today’s just didn’t quite make it to the top three.

Today’s is in fact one of the more reasonably priced gifts so far, but that doesn’t make it any less wanted and in fact this is one I would get more use out of than most and if all else fails I could always go hunt some giant marsupial rabbits or the odd giant flightless bird with it and I’m talking Cassowaries not Emus because they are more vicious and bigger.

 

4          Boomerang Flash Bracket

Boomerang Flash Bracket

 

boomerangbracket1

 

The diabolical jumper today is this little beauty I wonder if this is where the alien stomach scene originated??

 

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2nd runner up tomorrow

Cheers BB




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