Sick work by my friend Josh.

03:17 pm, reblogged  by chrisadamsfilms 4  |
 Comments

Camera Review: Sony FS100

Ok guys, I have worked with the FS100 twice now so it’s time I form some sort of opinion about it.

FS100

First off, I love how small it is.  At only 2.3 lbs I felt comfortable putting it on my redrock DSLR mount!  Sure it wasn’t the most secure thing, but it worked for 12 hours of running and gunning and only barely came loose once. The sensor is essentially the same as a 7D and the look you get out of the camera looks very similar depth of field wise.  I have handed the footage off to editors both times and have yet to see how the format held up in the post world, but I’ll try and update after I see finished product. The FS100 records in AVCHD though so I’m not expecting much.  It has two XLR inputs which is a huge step up for those of us using Zoom recorders and slates for every single project, though they are placed a bit awkwardly.  One is on the side and one is on the back.  So keep that in mind if you use things like XLR splitters, they might not be able to reach both inputs.  The other pro’s it has over DSLRs is no limit on record times for clips and it doesn’t overheat! Yay.

Ok now onto the bad.  First off, the camera just feels fragile and plasticky.  The buttons are very awkward, especially when its on a shoulder mount.  One record button is on the top and one is under the lens on the right side of camera, this makes for some fun fumbling around when you’re trying to get that quick shot.  The LCD is nice in that it swivels, but again, on a shoulder mount it is essentially useless because it is on top of the camera.  Also if you are doing any kind of high angle shot, you better get a ladder to see the LCD.  

Another major con that I was really surprised about is the lack of NDs.  Both the F3 and the AF100 come standard with NDs.   There is also no HD/SDI output which makes monitoring for clients a little more difficult.  Finally my main frustration is the fact that it uses E mount lenses.  Now, there are some great E mount lenses out there, but they just aren’t a main choice these days.  I highly recommend NOT picking up the 18-200 stock lens as the focus is incredibly finicky and it takes about 10 seconds to get it from wide open to F11(which feels like an hour while running and gunning in sunlight and shade). Currently there are no canon mounts for the camera as of yet(but one hopefully by december 11  http://www.birger.com), but there are some choices for PL mounts.

All in all, for $5000, it is a great competitor to the DSLR camera world. And even though I think you get more for your money in the Panasonic AF100, I don’t think you’d be out of work anytime soon if you picked one of these guys up.  Hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any questions!


12:43 pm, by chrisadamsfilms  Comments

A fantastic short film I was privileged enough to work on.  My title says key grip but I was more AC/Gaffer.

sethworley:

Here’s Plot Device, the short film I directed for Red Giant to showcase the new Magic Bullet Suite 11

08:56 pm, reblogged  by chrisadamsfilms 36  |
 Comments

Israeli Skyline

micahwyer:

03:08 pm, reblogged  by chrisadamsfilms 2  |
 Comments

A Quick Look at the Arri Alexa

alexa1

So I got a chance to work on a set yesterday with a brand new, just out of the box, Arri Alexa.  I was incredibly excited to see how it performed as I have been hearing about this camera for little while now.  Keep in mind that I did not personally use the Alexa on this shoot, but I am friends with the camera team so I hung out with them all day.  This is a lot of their feedback and I just wanted to share it. I cannot back up any of this stuff, so if you know something isn’t true, leave a comment! I will be primarily comparing it with my also limited knowledge of the RED, seeing as that is it’s primary competition.

First off, Arri makes great cameras.  I have shot with a few of their film cameras before so it was nice to see and feel a camera with familiar menus and button placement.  And the menus are definitely a plus on the Alexa.  They are a lot easier to find your way around than RED menus.  You have a nice big screen on the smart side of camera to easily see where you are navigating to without the need of an external monitor. 

Secondly it is nice in that it comes with things like a top handle, shoulder pad, and EVF. It has built in places for rails, and handles for going handheld…with a rec button on it.  It just feels over all like a more professional body than the RED, which it should.  After all it costs about $40,000 more than a RED.

One big upside to the Alexa is that it shoots in ProRes.  Either LT, HQ, or 444.  Which means you get viewable and editable .mov’s right out of the camera.  No need to use a debayer or compression on it.  One big downside of that though is that it is not shooting in RAW like RED.  I guess Arri is going to come out with hard drives soon for the Alexa that will enable you to then record some sort of ArriRAW format, but as of now, no RAW.

In terms of being buggy, which I had heard the Alexa is, it seems Arri has fixed most of those problems at this point.  They only ran into one bug on the shoot.  The battery died during one take right at the very end, signaling a bunch of error messages.  Luckily the Alexa does not have to finish writing a clip after you stop recording.  It is finishing as it goes, I think it is always 3 seconds behind.  So even if you lose power, the most you will love of a clip is 3 seconds, not the whole clip.  However, after the battery died, the Alexa would not shut down properly.  It kept trying to reboot every 2 or 3 seconds until they figured out that the battery was dead and yanked it.

Speaking of batteries, the Alexa burned through them.  They had 4 large anton bauer batteries that were gone within the first half of the day.  They had to get more batteries brought in from the rental house and it ate through those too.  I don’t know if this is a normal thing with the Alexa or what, but that has definitely got to change.

So here are a few more cons.  No playback.  Apparently this is coming in some sort of update at some point…but as of now, you cannot do any sort of playback from the camera.  You have to download the clips.  Not a big deal, but when the talent wants to see the shot to get a feel for what they need to change in their performance, which happened yesterday, there was no way of accomplishing that.

The other issue is that it shoots to sony SxS cards, which isn’t a big deal, but it means you have to get another card reader…and the 2nd AC said he would much prefer CF cards. I have never had any major issues with SxS cards, but I do have to agree that I like CF cards better.  And he is smart so I’m assuming he has a pretty good reason.

As far as the image quality, it looks fantastic.  Although I must say, on the monitor I really couldn’t tell it apart from something shot on RED MX.  I asked the DP what his thoughts were on it.  He said he really liked it, a lot more than he expected to.  He said after working with RED for the past few years, that he was very impressed with the Alexa.  

So all in all I think Arri has an amazing camera that we are going to see a lot more of in the near future, however, I don’t think there are enough pros for the price at this point and I think RED will continue to be the main camera around here for a while at least.

***Here is a few corrections from the DP Rhet Bear: “hey chris, just read your blog… nice write up. few corrections for you. the screen is actually on the “dumb” side of the camera… one of my biggest problems with the design. Also the batteries that we were using the first have of the day weren’t AB… we did use the aunton’s later in the day and they held up much better than the blocks in the morning. they also helped balance the camera much better when we went hand held. I was told that our blocks had all been recently recell’d, but my guess is they either weren’t, or the recell’d happened long ago… :) 


also regarding the SxS cards… I don’t know if I prefer CF cards over them, but the design of the alexa body actually allows you to insert the SxS card flipped, and then it get’s stuck. This didn’t happen during the shoot, but during the prep I inserted the card upside down and it felt like it went in properly…

glad you were able to see it in action! since it was my first day on set with it, I was shocked at how smooth the shoot went. the 18 second reboot times were great compared to the “redelays” I think this camera will take some work away from mx bodies… we’ll see what the Epic has for us later in the year…”

11:29 am, by chrisadamsfilms  Comments

Favorite Waste of Time - Will Hoge

Hey guys, I recently got to work with the guys at Paper Beats Rock again, this time on a music video for the artist Will Hoge.  Will was an awesome guy to work with, he is super easy going and really made the video shoot a fun experience. I was the Director of Photography and we shot this with 2 Canon 7D’s and all L series glass.  The idea was to be as minimalistic and natural with the lighting as possible.  We mostly just supplemented the daylight with china balls containing daylight balanced bulbs.  Occasionally we used a bounce or rigged flags to block harsh sunlight.  I think we had about 18’ of dolly track which I think really made the video.  All the guys that helped out were awesome, especially when we had to rig the dolly track on the most un-level ground possible for the outdoor performance shots.  Anyways let me know what you think!  Here is the HD vimeo upload:

Will Hoge - “Favorite Waste of Time”

You can also watch the video on his record label’s channel on youtube HERE

02:25 pm, by chrisadamsfilms 1  |  Comments

I recently shot a series of interviews for the band Kings of Leon.  You can view all 13 of them on their website.

02:21 pm, by chrisadamsfilms 1  |  Comments

This is the most metal photo I’ve ever been a part of.

Check out here and here for the rest of the BTS photos of The Showdown music video that I was cam op on!

  03:37 pm, by chrisadamsfilms  Comments

The Inventor

I am really excited to finally tell you all about this project!  Back in June I was the Director of Photography on a short film written and directed by my brilliant friends over at Paper Beats Rock.  I am incredibly grateful that they gave me the opportunity to try and take their vision and (with a lot of help) bring it to life.  Right now they are in the editing phase but they have put together a short teaser to raise funds to submit the film to festivals and recoup some of the money they poured into this thing.

Here is the teaser:

The Inventor (Teaser) from Paper Beats Rock on Vimeo.

Also check out the Kickstarter page for more information about it, and while you’re at it donate some money!  And I’ll love you. Forever.

01:52 pm, by chrisadamsfilms  Comments

Here is the finished video for Outcast BMX!  Leave me comments and let me know what you think!

10:58 am, by chrisadamsfilms  Comments