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The New ARRI ALEXA

ARRI’s newest digital camera, the ALEXA, is set to roll out this summer on a limited run.  Featured prominently at this year’s NAB Convention in Las Vegas, the ARRI ALEXA is already being touted as the next evolution in digital cinema. Utilizing their experience as industry leaders in film camera production, ARRI’s latest effort aims at maintaining this reputation on the digital front.  With an ARRI-made Super 35 format sensor, the ALEXA can shoot 1080P direct to the camera. SxS cards handle the onboard storage for the ALEXA, creating a seamless workflow from shooting to editing.  The ALEXA allows you to shoot full 1080P video, encoded down to the SxS cards in Final Cut Pro native codecs (ProRes 422 and ProRes 4444).  This means you can shoot a scene, pop the card into your computer and begin editing immediately without wasting a moment on conversion. Utilizing a Dual Gain Architecture (DGA) in its CMOS sensor, the ALEXA ensures the same wide exposure latitude across a range of sensitivity from EI 200 to EI 1600.  This generates low noise images with good detail in highlight and shadow areas.  Coupled with the versatility and dynamic range of 13.5 stops, the ALEXA captures a film-like aesthetic unlike any other digital camera. The ALEXA’s Exchangeable Lens Mount (ELM) system allows for the use of all 35mm PL mount lenses as well as Panavision, Canon or Nikon lenses.  Additionally, the ALEXA’s electronics system can easily be removed and replaced for future upgrades. With a great deal of buzz surrounding the ALEXA’s unique versatility and design, many are projecting that it will redefine the film industry’s expectations of competing gear such as the RED camera systems.  Designed for use across feature, television, commercial, documentary, and music video genres, the ALEXA will become available in late June, 2010.  Moving Picture plans on holding ALEXA training in the summer of 2010 in Miami, Florida.  Rent this revolutionary camera from Moving Picture this summer. Bookmark it to Stumbleupon, Digg, and more! Hide...

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Saving Picture Profiles for Sony’s PMW-EX3

The Sony PMW EX-3 has been designed to shoot spectacular images right out of the box, using the preset default settings.  However, like all Cine Alta-branded Sony cameras, the EX-3 also comes with the ability to customize the final look of the recorded images through the manipulation of an extensive array of choices in recording formats, gamma curves and color matrix options. The EX-3 gives the shooter the ability to save directly in the camera’s memory up to 6 different “Picture Profiles”.  The adjustments for gamma, white balance offset, color matrix, detail, knee, black pedestal and black gamma are all selected and saved as a Picture Profile, which is accessed through a separate menu from the main menu. The main menu is used to choose all the other camera settings, including video format and frame rate, gain setup, audio input and output settings, viewfinder settings (markers, zebra etc.), video output options, and many others. For reference, here’s a link to the manual: http://www.movingpicture.com/downloads/pmw-ex3_ops_manual.pdf It is a simple procedure to save these camera settings, as well as a single Picture Profile, to a SxS card for quick camera setup for future use, or to setup another Sony EX-3. (Please keep in mind, that whenever transferring “looks” and gamma and color settings from one camera to another, the resulting images may vary.  That is why in critical situations, it is necessary to utilize a high quality test chart and instruments, such as a waveform monitor and vectorscope, especially when matching cameras on a multi-camera project.) Once you have finished selecting the various camera settings in the main menu and chosen a Picture Profile that you have created, simply open the main menu, choose the last option, “OTHERS” and then the second option, “CAMERA DATA”.  This is where you can save (“STORE”) the settings to a pre-loaded formatted SxS card, or load (“RECALL”) settings from a previously created SxS card. Since only one file can be created per SxS card, and the smallest of those cards (8GB) can cost hundreds of dollars each, one solution is to purchase the Hoodman SDHC SxS adapter card (approximately $100), which will allow you to use less expensive, high quality SDHC memory cards, and thereby economically create and save multiple set-up files for different shooting senarios. Finally, once your new settings are loaded in the camera, there are still many important options that need to be selected via the various manual controls and switches on the camera and lens itself. These include, shutter on/off, ND selection, white balance, gain, and auto or manual lens functions such as zoom, iris and focus.   Content provided by: Steve Ciffone First Assistant Camera http://www.ciffone.com...

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Moving Picture presents: the Sony PMW-EX3 CineAlta XDCAM EX SxS HD Camcorder

Sony has expanded on their XDCAM EX line with the PMW-EX3, a full-res HD (1920 x 1080p) camera that features an interchangeable lens, Genlock in, Timecode in/out, three 1/2” CMOS sensors and much more. Like it’s sister camera, the PMW-EX1, it records to SxS PRO flash memory cards. The EX3 is a great addition to the EX family of cameras, and the ability to change lenses, along with its other key features, makes it a better camera than most sub-$10,000 units on the market. This includes even Sony’s own XDCAM HD-line of cameras, many of which only feature 1440 x 1080 resolution and 1/2” sensors. But there are some drawbacks to the camera, most notably the ergonomics, which I’ll touch upon after the features. At the end of this review is a more full list of features. PARTIAL FEATURE LIST Image Quality: With full HD CMOS sensors (1920 x 1080), the image quality is beautiful. Like the EX1, there are many ways to control the image via the Picture Profile menu, which I’ll discuss in more detail shortly. Because there is less compression than, say, HDV, the image is much cleaner without as much noise commonly found in HDV footage. Multiple frame rates and HD shooting options include 1080p30/25/24, 1080i60/50, 720p60/30/25/24 (HQ mode). Plus the ability to shoot in HDV mode (SP; 1080i60/50). Picture Profiles: There are many options found in Picture Profiles, to control the overall image quality, including color, gamma, white balance, and more. Lens Options: The EX3 comes with a stock Fujinon 14x zoom lens, which is 1/2-inch type lens for 1/2” sensors. Because it’s built on an interchangeable lens system, the camera’s stock lens can be swapped out for a different and compatible 1/2” lens. Ensure that the new lens can support HD images, or there will be problems. A lens built for standard definition (SD) cameras will be obvious when mounted on the EX3 in HD mode. A 2/3” lens adaptor can be used to mount lenses found on cameras featuring 2/3” sensors. These lenses are very popular and used not only on high-end HD productions, but any project that can benefit from lenses that allow more depth of field options. Sound: There are two XLR ports to plug in a solid boom mic or wireless mic to record pristine sound in two-channel, 16-bit, linear PCM uncompressed audio at 48 kHz. There is also a built-in stereo mic, but we recommend using a boom, handheld or wireless microphone. Moving Picture has everything you’ll need to get great audio. LIKES/DISLIKES: There’s a lot to love with the EX3: the key features above make this a better camera in many ways...

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