Posts Tagged ‘Film

13
Apr
17

ProLights Lumipix Batten

Looking at lights like this makes me wonder if we will soon see the demise of the gel industry altogether. I must admit that I hope we don’t, having spent years learning about CTO, CTB and the ever-amusing oddball amber (162) and seedy pink (748) amongst the plethora of other coloured gels available. I guess we will all get used to dialing in a colour on the back of the lights rather than correcting them at the front with giant sweetie wrappers and no doubt it will be easier, cheaper, and more accurate this way. I can’t help feeling we are likely to lose something of the craft of lighting along the way.

 

Still, far be it for us to stand in the way of progress, so we are fully embracing the new LED technology and it’s minimal need for gel. A good example of this is the new Lumipix batten from ProLights. This is a 12 bank LED light batten with the ability to produce more than 16 million colours without having to use a single sheet of gel. And I thought there were only 7 colours, well that’s how the rainbow works isn’t it?

ProLights LUMIPIX16H LED Batten

Not only will the Lumipix display lots of pretty colours but it will allow you to do all sorts of combinations and effects with them. I feel that this has been designed with the stage in mind rather than the big (or small) screen. They would be perfect for concerts and that type of show with in-built microphones and adjustable sensitivity to allow for music mode where the lights will respond to music themselves. Also full Dmx control is available right down to the individual LED’s so you can change colours and make pretty patterns to your hearts content.

But before you tune out its not only rock bands that can use this, you image-makers may find them useful too. In our world we would think of them less as a disco light and more of an all-purpose flood or fill light.

ProLights LUMIPIX 12 x 3w RGB:FC LED Batten - A

Rather nicely they have a flicker-free operating frequency of 400HZ to allow for relatively high speed filming, and a LCD display user interface so you can play with the settings without having to put it through a complicated control desk.

IP33 protection and a maximum power consumption of 40W will keep the gaffers happy. You folks will also appreciate the minimal 3.2 kg weight and the robust aluminum body designed to disperse heat and also protect the lights.

Interestingly these battens are also capable of being “pixel mapped” This term describes how a bitmap or image can be displayed pixel by pixel on a series of lights thus creating a video screen of sorts. I presume this would be used for displaying simple moving patterns or images.

However, I can’t help thinking that this feature could be employed to make the ultimate big HD screen experience. As each unit has 12 x LED lights, I calculate that 158 ½ units side by side would do one line of a HD display and about 170 thousand units stacked up would complete it. What an impressive screen that would make, being 150metres wide, however, you may have to watch it from outer space. Anyway we don’t quite have enough of them for that and even with the minimal 40 w max power draw per unit it would still draw 6912000.00 watts in total that’s over 30 thousand amps.

As far as specifications go each unit has 12 tri colour High-efficiency CREE LEDs giving a LUX of 1360 @ 1m, the optics give a beam spread of 19 degrees. Several DMX selectable configurations are available (2,4,6,7,9,18 or36) for advanced or basic controlling. A tough aluminum body to aid with heat dispersal and a controllable fan for forced ventilation will prevent over-heating.

Each unit has twin brackets for hanging that can also be used for floor positioning.

A power output has also been built in to allow for up to 10 units to be joined together using the one 230-v supply (less distro required)

So all in all this is a very nicely thought through product with some great features and I will give it a 7 / 10 for my Brucie Coolness Rating, only slipping slightly because its too difficult to ride home with on my bike for parties.

 

Cheers all BB

 

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

06
Feb
17

Arri Master Grips

“It’s all in the wrist,” well that’s what I’ve been told anyway.

Many years ago when I decided to learn to play the drums at school I was told it was all in the wrist, I never could get the hang of it but think that was more to do with having no rhythm so I gave up, then my mum told me it was all in the wrist when it comes to whisking so I brought myself a KitchenAid, in fact I’ve only found one pastime that my wrists seem to help with but we won’t go there in this blog.

Still, moving swiftly on from that I would like to tell you all about one new and exciting use for those wrists of yours, the all new Arri Master Grips.

For years the traditional style cine handgrips have helped firmly support and stabilise a camera on the operator’s shoulder and that’s about it. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has wished that I could turn the wheel on the grip to alter focus rather than having to let go with one hand to do so. Well it would seem the good folks at Arri have been thinking the same thing.

The latest addition to Arri’s ECS (Electronic Control System) are the rather trick Master Grips. They are available in four versions: Right side or Left side and with either a Thumb rocker for super smooth zooming or control wheel for iris and focus adjustment. Our setup allows for the left hand to switch between focus and iris control leaving the right hand to take care of zoom.

image003

We can see this simply as a merging of documentary and cine style equipment allowing for a best of both worlds setup. Particularly when using small cameras like the Alexa mini with its reduced level of user interface, solid cine style grips with documentary style controls are going to be a great improvement in ergonomics.

arri-master-grips-4

When I first looked at these grips it occurred to me that the camera operator would have to become a multi-tasking genius. Not only holding and aiming the camera but zooming, focusing, and adjusting the iris all by themselves, that although possible would be challenging I imagine. I’m happy to say that Arri are one step ahead of me with this. By using the Arri WCU4 controller any or all of the functions can be taken over by the 1st AC so nobody is out of a job just yet.

Built to Arri’s super high standards and based around the proven ergonomics of the much loved Arriflex handgrips the master grips are solid, rugged, and reliable even in harsh shooting environments. Controls are easy to reach yet protected from accidental triggering.

At the moment the Master Grips allow for full control of cine lenses including adjustable motor speed, zoom response and motor limits, they also allow for control of integrated servomotors on ENG and EF lenses.

Featuring easy set up using the integrated touch screens or physical buttons all controls are fully configurable with reassuring status readout on the controls themselves.

arri-master-grips-zoom

I must say the Master Grips are rather impressive.  Arri have done their homework well on these, incorporating everything you would expect and more into a great package, putting you firmly in control whether you are shooting as a single operator or part of a crew. The Master Grips are sure to become a must have addition to your kit list. I’m giving them a full 10 out of 10 for my Brucie Coolness Rating.

So if you want to get you hands on some give us a call at Pixipixel Hoxton and we can arrange for them to be on your next shoot.

Oh and just in case you are wondering what that other use for my wrists is, well fishing, obviously!

Many thanks

BB

arri-master-grips-iris

23
Sep
15

Bonus KOTW -Sennheiser MKE-600 and K-Tek KE110 boom pole

Sennheiser MKE-600 K-Tek KE110 boom pole

SEN2

Today’s kit is a bit of a departure from the normal for me, it doesn’t light up, take photos, film movies or anything like that but it’s still relevant to many of you folks out there. Unless you are shooting a silent movie that is.

So my brief research into the world of microphones indicates that new ones arrive about as often as my train to London Bridge is on time, hence it’s been a long wait between offerings from Sennheiser.

So I guess the big question is, was it worth the wait?

Well judging by the buzz coming from the world of sound engineers (I was pleased with that pun) it certainly was.

The MKE-600 is a short shotgun microphone much like the classic ME_66 that has proved to be an industry favorite for nearly 20 years. The MKE-600 is shorter and slimmer and comes as a one-piece unit without the option for changing the capsule as on the 66. Happily however Sennheiser has retained the AA battery compartment to allow for on board power when phantom power is not available.

As far as audio quality is concerned the 600 has improved in all areas when compared to the 66 in fact its now so good it gives the hi-end MKH-60 a run for its money and at a fraction of the price. The main difference being the omission of a attenuator switch, instead Sennheiser have opted to fix the sensitivity and SPL somewhere between pad-in and pad-out specs giving an impressive fixed noise / SPL range of 15 dB and 132 dB.

Again in comparison to the 66 the 600 has very similar pattern charts, however the 600 has a slightly wider front pick up and a slightly more gradual transition between on and off-axis pick up. This makes it easier to cue between two people talking.

Our kit comes complete with a hotshoe fitting for easy attachment to any Dslr, a foam windjammer and a dead cat.

sennheiser2

Ok so it’s not actually a dead cat as that’s a rode specific term like dead kitten but you sound guys know what I mean. (A word of warning on this, never conduct a Google image search for dead cat without the word rode involved I am still disturbed by the result) Anyway pic of one is below and for the non-sound orientated folks amongst us it is used to reduce wind noise when recording outside.

lode dead cat

So as far as my Brucie coolness rating goes its got to be around 8 out of 10 as its got better performance and shrunk in size compared to its predecessor the ME-66

One last thing to mention is our all new boom pole the K-Tek 110 that is a perfect companion for the MKE-600 especially when vertically challenged sound engineers need to interview giraffes etc. the K-Tek 110 has a five section design and a length range from 79cm to 279 cm. An all aluminum design gives it an impressively lightweight of only 661g and it comes in its own protective tube for easy of transport.

Well “that’s all folks” as far as todays post is concerned anyway, cheers.

BB

Oh and for us photographers that may be wondering what SPL stands for it’s “Sound Pressure Level”. I think that’s similar to when my 11 year old tells me to turn Led Zep down in the car.

13
Aug
15

KOTW- Arri Alexa Mini-It’s Here!!!

Arri Alexa Mini

Our New Baby

Our New Baby is here

Pixipixel would like to announce the arrival of a new baby in our camera department. It’s from Arri and is the all new mini version of the outstanding Alexa that we all know and love, If you think of it as Mini Me compared to Dr Evil in Austin Powers then you will have the right idea. It’s much the same just a lot smaller.

Small can be beautiful so long as you don’t loose anything from the bigger version and that’s what Arri have done with this new addition to the Alexa range. The Alexa Mini is in many ways just a shrunk Alexa, it uses exactly the same sensor and has the same recording options of HD, 2K, 4K UHD or native output of ARRIRAW 2.8K / ProRes 3.2K. However its only 185 x 140 x 125mm in size and weighs in at a mere 2.3 Kg.

alexa mini 2

By using the same sensor Arri have achieved a totally compatible companion to its bigger sibling. We are waiting on a firmware upgrade from Arri but once this is available it will allow you to combine the Alexa and the Alexa Mini on a shoot without having any problems later on in post trying to match different formats etc, in fact the workflow for each camera will be almost identical. In the past any specialist shots not achievable on the Alexa required the use of a camera from another manufacturer and this inevitably created a lot of work in post to “match” up the outputs and achieve a coherent look.

So I would call that a smart move by Arri and if I was a filmmaker I would be feeling the love and looking forward to less time spent at the computer and more time spent shooting (as it should be) but as you would expect from Arri the benefits don’t stop there.

Our new arrival comes with a PL mount crafted from titanium (we also have an EF mount but we will need to swap them over if required so let us know if you are going to bung some Canon glass on the front). This couples directly with the brand new internal sensor mount also made from titanium to ensure a super stable flange focal distance even when using large lenses. Speaking of lenses the Mini also has an automatic de squeeze function for when you want to couple an anamorphic lens to its 4:3 sensor.

This mount also has a built-in lens motor controller, this allows for Arri active lens motors to be attached without the need for a separate box of tricks. Now couple that with internal ND filters to keep things neat and tidy and we are really starting to get serious. But that’s not the best bit, how about being able to remotely control all of this and your zoom, iris and focus using the separate Arri WCU-4 controller, that’s really cool eh!, but hang on how about controlling it on your I pad or Android that would be fantastic and thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi you can do exactly that.

arri focus
controller

So we in essence have a baby, full function Alexa with full Wi-Fi remote control, anyone got a drone? Yes amongst other things that’s what this baby is for.

arribaby4

drone

The Alexa Mini can be used in a number of ways, firstly as above with full remote control or with an on board monitor or even like a normal camera with the addition of an electronic viewfinder (MVF-1), needless to say we have all these lovely little bits and bobs so we can customize a package to suit your job.

With frame rates of up to 200 FPS (ProRes) or 30FPS (Uncompressed ArriRaw) super sexy slow motion shots are easy and HFR (high frame rate) acquisition shooting is well catered for. Recording to onboard CFast 2.0 cards or external Codex recorders is of course possible.

Being symmetrical in design the Alexa Mini can be used in any orientation even upside down and its compact design makes it ideal for tight spaces or on gimbal equipped rigs and its light weight makes it the ideal choice for hand-held operation

-arri-alexa-mini-camera

LDS (Arri Lens Data System) is also included to give frame accurate metadata in real-time with DOF displayed on the WCU-4 remote controller (and I believe your mac or android device) This also allows for accurate lens mapping and so forth, which will help with any visual effects trickery required in post.

That’s about it without getting too technical (and highlighting my ignorance in the moving image side of things too much) but if you have any questions please contact us and I will get one of our Camera Gurus to talk you into submission.

My impression is that this is one super cool addition to the Alexa family, I can imagine that its total compatibility with its bigger brother will prove to be popular to say the least and its size and weight will provide todays film makers with a tool that can achieve end results not previously available.

arri-alexa-mini_3

I have to give it a 10 out of 10 for coolness and that’s for function AND form. It looks great with its carbon fiber casing and performs even better.

Now who’s going to be the first to take it for a spin?

Cheers BB

03
Apr
12

Hire the New Carl Zeiss Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2 for Canon C300

With the new arrival of our Canon C300 we thought it would be a good idea to marry it with the new Carl Zeiss Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2 as they make such a perfect pair. Available for hire now this professional quality EF mount zoom lens can be used on both cinema and still cameras.  However the lens is intended for Super 35mm sensor cameras and will vignette on full frame sensors (like the 5D MkII) but perfect with the C300.  It has a wide angle of view and is light weight, making it ideal for shooting in tight spaces or following action.

  • Compact, lightweight zoom ideal for Steadicam, handheld and remote work
  • Super color matched with all ZEISS cine lenses
  • Highest optical performance despite compact build
  • T* XP coating ensures flare resistance
15
Mar
12

Now in Stock Canon C300 Available for Hire

We are really excited to have the new Canon C300 cinema camera in stock and available to hire from today. To hire, this impressive piece of equipment is priced at £200 (excl VAT) a day. Please take a look at our full price list here Digital Equipment Pricelist.

What we love about the new C300: It’s surprisingly compact in size and feels comfortable to hold using the removable padded handgrip or handle.  Our kit comes with x2 64GB CF cards with frame rates of 24p, 25p, 30p which can be adjusted in increments of 1fps to 60fps.  It handles low lighting situations incredibly well up to 20,000 ISO! Included is a good sized LCD monitor and control panel which rotates and accepts microphone XLR connections. Interchangeable EF lenses are available to hire with the camera, of course if you already have your own lenses then the C300 is all you need.
Features
  • 8.3MP Super 35mm CMOS sensor; Full HD
  • Interchangeable lens (EF mount)
  • Compact, modular, lightweight
  • 50Mbps MPEG-2 MXF to CF card
  • High sensitivity, low noise
  • Canon Log Gamma
  • 24.00p for movie production
  • Wi-Fi remote control
  • Seamless workflow integration



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