Cut | Color | Post

Ryan Holmes Cut Color Post. Excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry of editing, color grading, and deliverables.

The GH4 and DSLR Cinematography

In fairness though, the GH4 is not so much a ‘replacement’ for a professional cinema camera, more an additional option for the filmmaker which will be selected when the unique abilities of the tool are required by certain work. The simple fact that there’s even a comparison to be made to a $15,000 cinema camera says a lot about how far Panasonic has reached to connect with filmmakers.

I think you could also say how well designed, both ergonomically and technologically, the C300 is, that even after 3 years of being on the market it still sells/rents so well. As a corporate video pro the C300 is my preferred camera for shoots. I can shoot outside in bright daylight, inside in a dimly lit environments with minimal extra gear (rigs, recorders, XLR packs, screens, etc.). Everything I need to pull of a quick shot is onboard the C300 from Day 1. Even today in the growing world of 4k this and 4k that, the C300 still creates a crisp 1080p image that I turn to time and again for my day-to-day work.

That said, there are more and more cameras that are starting to look appealing to me (none of which are DSLR based cameras). Specifically, the Sony FS7, when it ships, looks like another winner for cinema, corporate, or event shooters. The XAVC codec continues to get praise from every corner of the industry. Sony may have finally produced a camera "for the rest of us" in the FS7 for around $8K according to pre-order pages.


HBO Goes Over The Top

HBO announced Wednesday that it would start a stand-alone Internet streaming service in the United States in 2015 that would not require a subscription to a traditional television service, a move that intensifies the premium cable network’s growing rivalry with Netflix.

[...]

“The tech companies of the world have turned it on faster and better,” said Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the chief executive of HBO’s parent Time Warner. “We have also had to say today, we’re also going to do it.”

Several details for HBO’s new service remain to be worked out, including what content is available, the subscription fee and the distribution models. HBO now makes its programming available over the web to paying TV subscribers through its HBO Go service. Executives said that the content available through its new online-only offering would be similar. HBO is unlikely to undercut the $15 monthly rate viewers pay to cable or satellite companies for a subscription to the service, executives said.

The question intensifies: Can HBO become like Netflix sooner than Netflix can become like HBO? Netflix pushed into HBO's territory with original series like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Hemlock Grove, Lilyhammer, and others. HBO now responds to Netflix by going direct to customers with a subscription (read: Netflix) plan.

I still wonder if they charge $15/month will they restrict access to older content, thereby giving the traditional HBO subscription through a telco some legitimacy for existence. Color me disappointed if they charge $15/month for just new releases or "some" of HBO's content.

More information regarding HBO's announcement from Re/code

4K Needs More Than Just Resolution

“Broadcasters know consumers can barely see the difference between HD and 4K if you do nothing more than change the resolution, and this is well based in solid trials methodology. It isn’t just a bit of prejudice. The higher numbers are good for marketing, but not much else,” said Paul Grey, director of European research for NPD DisplaySearch.

For the new format to make a real difference, improvements other than a higher resolution are needed, including higher frame rates, better color reproduction and a higher dynamic range for brighter whites and deeper blacks, according to Grey.

The second paragraph is the key to me (I'm assuming the first paragraph to be true, that it's hard to tell HD from 4K when only resolution is changed). I'm not so concerned with higher frame rates, but better color space, bit depth, and dynamic range are areas that need some iteration. I would be more than happy with 24fps (or 30) at HD with better color, and dynamic range than the current craze of bigger resolutions that we can't actually deliver. The press to 4K seems like little more than marketing at this point to me (save for the rare benefit that you can (1) show it in its original resolution on a screen that benefits from it, (2) do pan & scan in post for mastering to HD).

For why 4K still doesn't matter in your home, see here.


You've Gotta Train People to Look at Things

This is a good way to spend your next 30 minutes. Cinematographers Geoff Boyle, Rodney Charters, and Bill Bennett talking about 4K, 3D, VR, lighting, and learning to see.

When Will HEVC See Industry Adoption

“Therefore, there will be no single date for when the industry will officially ‘adopt’ HEVC. It will roll out over several years, and it could be beyond 2018 or 2019 before [it becomes] fully ubiquitous. That is not an official date, just my best guess, based on what I’m seeing and past experience. In particular application spaces, such as video over the Internet, we already are starting to see it happen with software encoding. However, it won’t be a complete or meaningful rollout until it is in the hardware for market applications such as traditional broadcast over direct-broadcast satellite, cable TV, and terrestrial, where highest picture quality at lower bit rates are required, and for UHD content to the consumer. These rollouts take longer.”

I think after 2019 is a good guess for when h.265 starts to become ubiquitous (though the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will feature h.265 encode/decode for FaceTime, see tech specs under "Video Calling"). The software for content creators has to begin incorporating it, and then consumer devices have to incorporate a h.265 decoder processor on their devices - TV, cell phone, tablet, game console, etc. And until HEVC gains significant consumer-level device traction you can bet there will be minimal consumer-level adoption of 4K/UHD.