Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nikon D90: "Elecric" featuring Melanie Jade

The following clip is one of the best examples I have seen of effective filmmaking with the Nikon D90's video capabilities. In this instance, a PROJECT SUNDAY music video was put together featuring Melanie Jade.

In this instance, there was extensive post-production and image correction work done on the footage. However, the final result is indeed more than one might think possible at first glance from what is essentially a beefed-up still camera.

Project Sunday feat Melanie Jade "Electric". from kenny azeez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HVX: "Corrado" Teaser Footage

The making of "Corrado" is a project we have been following, particularly since a first-time feature producer began to document his plans and experience as he went in this FORUM THREAD at DVXuser. The thread makes for great reading, as the process is described in which talent such as Tom Sizemore and Frank Stallone were secured, as well as much of the experience from script to screen.

The cameras have been rolling and some teaser footage from "Corrado" is now available below. It is particularly relevant to our purposes as the project was compiled with a Panasonic HVX + depth of field adapter combination.

Enjoy the footage...

Corrado Trailer from Rob Verrilli on Vimeo.

Nikon D90: Pulling Focus (Video)

When it first appeared on the market, the Nikon D-90 DSLR camera made a lot of waves because it not only provided the capacity to take excellent still photographs -- but also added the ability to record 720p video, at a true 24p frame rate.

Naturally, there is the ability to change lenses as with most still cameras. But the ability to change lenses in conjunction with the D-90's chip allow the potential to record video with a much shallower depth of field than would normally occur with more expensive prosumer video cameras such as the Canon XHA1 or Panasonic HVX with their three 1/3" CCD chips.

As an example for your reference, I have collected a few videos taken by D-90 users, with an emphasis on the camera's ability to pull focus (providing a shallow depth of field) while in video mode. Ths shallow depth of field is typically only achievable with prosumer video cameras when a depth of field adapter is employed (with its resulting light loss).

D90 from Drew Ott on Vimeo.

Testen Nikon D90 from donker:oranje on Vimeo.

Nikon D90 from Laurence Davis on Vimeo.

Canon HV30: Slow Motion Footage

Here at the Jack Cabbage Camera Battles, we have spent a fair bit of time examining the affordable but effective Canon HV30. In the interests of a more complete survey of the camera and its performance, I have collected several clips of the HV30 being used to capture slow-motion footage. This will naturally be a consideration for many filmmakers, and hopefully the following clips will help illustrate the results that are being achieved by current HV30 users.

The following clip shows tap water in slow motion, passing through a wine glass (also acting as a prism for light).

Slow Water HV30 Slow motion from Copenhagen on Vimeo.

The clip below shows people diving (with resulting water splashes) and a strong blue color-correction.

HV30 Slow Motion Cinematography from Brett on Vimeo.

A hummingbird in action...

Slow-motion Hummingbird from Paul Konopacki on Vimeo.

And some talented soccer that would even look cool at normal speed...

slow motion test. Canon HV30 from styleload on Vimeo.

SI-2K: Slow Motion Footage

Continuing our exploration of the Silicon Imaging SI-2K, we'll take a look at some slow-motion footage of a water splash that has been recorded by Louis Silverstein. In this instance, the footage was recorded at 150 frames per second (300 FPS with interpolation) and is being played at 24P.

SI2k Slow-Mo Test from Louis Silverstein on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

SI-2K: Low Light Performance Test

Here we have another video clip from the survey files of the Silicon Imaging SI-2K, the camera most famous for being Danny Boyle's choice of recording medium for Slumdog Millionaire.

In this instance, Louis Silverstein has set up the SI-2K with only a 75W bulb (bounced off a wall) as the light source. This provides a makeshift test of the camera's low light performance. The additional camera settings for this test were ISO:400 and 2k@24P.

Low Light SI-2k from Louis Silverstein on Vimeo.

SI-2K: Initial Setup Video

You may be familiar with the Silicon Imaging SI-2K, the little piece of equipment that Danny Boyle used to create his critically beloved sleeper hit Slumdog Millionaire.

For those considering purchase and/or rental of the camera, or just simply interested in comparing ergonomics and ease of use between cameras, the following is a video provided by WorleyWorks, illustrating the out-of-the-box initial setup of the SI-2K.

Initial Setup SI2k from WorleyWorks on Vimeo.

Slumdog Millionaire and the SI-2K

Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Trainspotting) has always been at the forefront of maximizing his storytelling ability with the innovative use of less-than-cutting edge technologies. He has been wowing the world with theater-worthy productions utilizing equipment that is almost exclusively reserved for the "straight to video horror" market and TV reality shows.

His latest success story is the critically acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire, a masterpiece that was put together using the Silicon Imaging SI-2K camera. Chalking up a victory for the CMOS side of the camera debate, this piece of equipment features a single 16mm CMOS sensor.

The camera is presently positioned in the $22,000 range (rough estimate, with price including both the head and recording unit). One can purchase the head only ($13,000 or so) and record directly to computer with the appropriate setup, but that is a matter for another post.

This latest coup by Mr. Boyle is significant in that he has garnered 10 Oscar nominations for a digitally recorded film. This is undoubtedly a trailblazing feat for the independent filmmaker, who is now seeing firsthand that talent and skill plus a digital camera can lead to the very pinnacle of filmmaking achievement.