Are you looking for an affordable but also electronic macro lens? Or maybe you have an old kit lens, that’s just sitting around, collecting dust since your last upgrade? Well, then read on, because in this article I am going to share one cool hack that will allow you too transform almost any kit or […]
The FX3 is the latest addition to Sony’s growing Cinema Line of cameras. They seem to be multiplying at an impressive rate. VENICE, FX9, FX6, FX3.
Sony explained the concept on Sept 2, 2020: “Cinema Line will deliver not only a coveted cinematographic look but also enhanced operability and reliability. The series will extend beyond traditional cinema camera and professional camcorder form factors.”
Here’s a cinema camera with a decidedly different form factor. Inside, the FX3 acts quite like Sony’s a7S III hybrid still and video camera. Outside, the FX3 has lots of 1/4-20 threads in a unibody rugged steel skeleton. The cage-free design begs you to mount this camera in all kinds of places where a single mounting point and add-on cage wouldn’t dare to thread. read more…
The post Sony FX3: Cage-Free, Free Range appeared first on Film and Digital Times.
Tutto Digitale festeggia un piccolo grande traguardo, la cinquecentesima newsletter
Aprile 1998. Nasce Tutto Digitale, trimestrale hi-tech sui generis, e presto un primo, essenziale sito web.
Il mondo si evolve rapidamente, il web conquista velocemente nuovi spazi, Tutto Digitale cresce giorno dopo giorno.
Sempre ad aprile, ma nel 2004, la svolta. Tutto Digitale passa da trimestrale a bimestrale, il sito diventa più ricco e moderno e, il 24 aprile, parte il servizio newsletter. Che al tempo presentammo con questa introduzione, firmata dal direttore Stefano Belli:
‘Benvenuti nel club!
È questo il primo numero della newsletter di Tutto Digitale. Un modo per essere aggiornati su tutto quello che avviene nel mondo del “digitale”.
Il sito, e naturalmente anche la newsletter, cresceranno col tempo e diventeranno strumenti sempre più utili e ricchi di informazioni.
Vi assicuriamo che il lavoro, dietro le quinte, è quotidiano e costante.
Questa newsletter vi arriverà ogni quindici giorni in e-mail e vi informerà sulle notizie più interessanti e gli aggiornamenti più importanti del sito, sugli eventi da tenere d’occhio e le iniziative del settore.
Aspettiamo i vostri commenti e le vostre segnalazioni per creare col tempo una comunità di appassionati e uno spazio informativo realmente utile.
Buona navigazione e buon divertimento’
Per curiosità, vi segnaliamo le notizie presentate: la primissima era dedicata a Panasonic, e all’ampliamento della gamma dei camcorder DV ‘pro’ con la AG-DVC30E. Inoltre, nella newsletter si è parlato dei nuovi CD-R da 700MB e DVD-R da 4.7 GB, di WhiteMedia, della fotocamera digitale compatta più venduta, una Canon, e quindi del primo masterizzatore DVD+R/RW dotato di tecnologia “DL” con raddoppio della capacità dei supporti, da 4.7 GB ad 8.5 GB.
Da allora, da una newsletter quindicinale con 4 notizie senza fotografie, siamo poi passati ad una newsletter (quasi) settimanale, anche con 14, 15 o più notizie, tutte con foto già nel frontespizio.
Quella che leggerete, dunque, sarà la cinquecentesima della seria. Nulla di trascendentale, d’accordo, ma per noi è comunque una piccola soddisfazione. Che prenderemo come sprone per traguardi più significativi, più ambiziosi.
Chi ancora non si fosse iscritto può farlo ora, collegandosi al link
HULLFISH: Tell me about reading the script and how those scriptreading skills are important to an editor. Do you almost start editing the show when you’re reading the script?
TESORO: I do. I try to feel the pace. I think Scott was giving us — us meaning me; the DP, Steven Meizler; Carlos Rafael Rivera, the composer; and sound designer, Wylie Stateman — three episodes at a time in his beginning drafts.
A lot of it is for function — just to see if there is anything that I can spot that might not work or I should flag or ask him about ahead of time. I just try to imagine it in my head. How does that go? He’s written in a oner. He’s written in a transition. Here it seems like he’s leaving the transitions open to me or here’s one line that has a couple of pops of chess playing. That means I’m going to have to put that together whatever that’s going to be.
But I mostly think the first read on this for me was pace and how he wrote the chess matches and what the main point is we were to get across for each of these matches, because they all have some subtext that’s more important than the actual game. That’s what I was trying to lean in on and then ask him about — what he’s planning on doing and he would tell me, “I’m thinking maybe this match I’m not going to show anything. I may just shoot their faces and that’s where I think the story is, so what do you think about that?”
It was a lot of thinking ahead about it — talking with Scott about it and then after it was shot he would either come back to me and say, “It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. Fix it.” Or: “I think this is what the intention is, so you do what you do.”
HULLFISH: And the writer was the director, correct? Does that change things? Have you worked with other writer-directors and is your relationship with a director different because they also wrote the material?
TESORO: To me it’s really much easier because they’ve already imagined it in their head when they’re writing. The intentions are very clear. It’s one and the same. They’re not fighting with something, if they don’t agree with the vision. It’s not this different take on it.
When the director is not the write, I think it just depends on the influence the director has on the writer, on the script, to mold their vision with the script and just make sure that the intentions are one and the same for for all parties involved. But it’s nice when it’s writer-director because they know what you’re going to deal with.
Scott and I — this is our third project together. I think he knows what he can give me and he knows how it’s going to come together, so it’s easier when he’s writing — he’s sort of already imagining those transitions and things like that.
There are a lot of flashbacks — a whole flashback storyline in this series — which wasn’t in the book. So this was something that was new that he was filling in, in terms of giving a backstory to the character.
He said in the beginning, “I’m going to place these in the script and they may live there or they may not.” We had experienced this on Godless — where he wrote some back story flashback stuff and some of it we pulled out completely because it wasn’t working and then some of it we moved around — so he kind of knew that we could do that.
So when he shot these flashback sequences he shot extra things that maybe we could use as flavor. He’d say, “This is this scene number, but put it somewhere else if you want. This is maybe something we can play with.”
HULLFISH: Is there an advantage to working with someone multiple times so that when you’re reading a script and giving notes that person trusts your sense of story and you feel like you can speak in to the script this time?
TESORO: Yes absolutely. There’s a sense of trust. You know their writing. You know their sensibilities — going both ways it’s easier to be able to feel free to to speak your mind — especially if they keep reiterating, “Please tell me what you think.”.
HULLFISH: My issue sometimes with writer-directors is that sometimes — not always — is that they wrote it and the words are very important to them and you can’t talk them out of something that you might be able to talk them out of if somebody else wrote the words.
TESORO: This is true. Scott is pretty good knowing if something isn’t working. He’s always open to hearing why it didn’t work for you. Then it’s a discussion and if he’s right, it’s because we’ve discussed it we’ve talked about why a line is there.
But I have been in those situations where it’s my first pass had to include all of the lines. You can’t just arbitrarily lift things without a conversation, or at least trying what they wrote.
HULLFISH: I’ve had that discussion with multiple editors about the ability in an editor’s cut to make a change in the script and there are two schools of thought: “Never do it because the editor’s cut is for that specific purpose;” and a second school that says, No. “You make the cut be what you think it should be.”
But that can cause problems. What has been your experience in trying to tweak the editor’s cut to being something other than what the script is.
TESORO: This is a really good topic to discuss because I found that it changes depending upon what the director’s expectations are of that first assembly. And what form they’re looking at that first assembly.
It is good in terms of having it for record: here is this scene as it was written. Whether or not that ends up in an actual cut depends on the director because I’ve had the experience of: “I’m going to to exactly what was shot in the script. I’m going to give you everything even though I feel like this scene should be half the length it should be. But I’m going to give this my best shot because I don’t want to overstep that boundary if we haven’t haven’t talked about it already or I haven’t been given the explicit right to do that.”
I’ve done that and then they’ve been really disappointed saying, “Well, you just gave me the script!” What this what this comes to is really the communication between an editor and a director to be clear what the expectation is. What would you like me to do?
And if it’s something that hasn’t been told to you as the editor — if you have this idea — being able to have that conversation and say, “I cut this the way that it is, but I feel maybe you could lose this line or maybe we could approach it this way” and then have that alt cut if you feel strongly.
I’ve been doing these versions of cuts where I just start showing them if they’re open to it. If I can give it to them by the end of the week — maybe at the end of every week — I give them a few sequences that have come together just so they can see how it’s coming together out of context.
It’s a great way to kind of head those things off at the pass as well as buy you some time on the back end when you’re trying to put it all together.
HULLFISH: Yeah. I talked to William Goldenberg about cutting News of the World and it was his second film with Paul Greengrass. Paul said, “I don’t want you to cut this the way the script is” so that’s a great thing to have a conversation with your director ahead of time if you can.
Talk to me about those flashbacks, and your approach to them and how they were used in storytelling and when they didn’t work and when they did work and how you felt you could get in and out of them.
TESORO: I’m a big fan of just cutting them in and cutting them out and it’ll work if the emotion matches on both sides of the cut. So I knew that the story was going to work without them completely. You could literally take these flashbacks out and you’d just be humming along.
But there were times where we needed information to understand who Beth was as a little girl — where she was coming from.
There are a lot of times in the show where Beth is by herself. She’s always alone. It seems like she’s better alone because she can control her environment. We sort of tried to use these moments as in and out points. When do we kind of want to see the internal? And what do we have of either the flashbacks with her mother; flashbacks of her father — which was a little bit more expositional — how can we inform what we’re trying to portray emotionally in the present with something emotional that happened to her in the past?
There are a lot of these flashbacks that weren’t necessarily in the script but ended up being shot. For example, very, very little Beth was looking through her mother’s books of math or when they’re crocheting or the needle point. Those little moments we put in places where she’s in her mania to let us understand where her tendencies come from.
HULLFISH: There’s a lot of molding that happens, obviously. Some actors give a huge range and you’re able to say, “I’m going to take this scene in this direction but I could also take in this totally different direction.” Was that the case with this show or was the through-line of her emotion the same for each performance or very similar?
TESORO: I think it was fairly the same. It was one thing that Scott really wanted to make clear about the character in terms of her performance — or in terms of what kind of person she was. It only varied when Anya was still sort of learning where “the pocket” was. Once she knew where “the pocket” was, she was very consistent. Obviously where SHE could go wild is when Beth HERSELF goes wild. That was really actually great, because Anya brought other things to it.
HULLFISH: Have you worked with those kind of performances? Do you like one over the other — where you know where the actor is going to be and each take and each setup is going be fairly similar? Or do you like it when you get the quiet performance and the crazy performance and the very unusual choices?
TESORO: I would say it depends on the scene but it is fun when you get variations — even if it’s slight variations of the same idea because sometimes the slight variation in how they read this word or whatever can take you in one direction or another and with that direction, you have to be clear on the whole of what you’re going for.
So I do like it when you do have variations especially when you have these really great actors who basically get it in two takes or less. So there’s room for them if they have other ideas and they want to experiment.
It’s usually never super-varied because at that point they had discussions with the director and the writer about where they’re supposed to be. So it’s always these minor moves this way or that way.
It is fun when you can choose though. I thought I had more of that when I was on In Treatment actually. There were more variations.
HULLFISH: Some of the places where that comes out is in watching dailies and in trying to figure out where a scene’s going to go.
I’ve heard of people that watch dailies backwards. Other people like to see the progression. What’s your method?
TESORO: The way that I construct my dailies — and I don’t know whether it’s because I like to procrastinate — but now that I’ve gotten the assistants to organize it in this way there’s now no reason for me to procrastinate….
HULLFISH: That’s too bad.
TESORO: Yeah! I usually organize all the dailies of a scene into “phrases” of a scene and you have every setup and every take in a row — for example, line one to five.
I line up all the takes and setups from the beginning to the end of the scene so I can see the whole thing at once in script order and then I call it my Pull sequence. I learned this from Ron Rosen and I know there are a couple of other people to do similar things.
HULLFISH This is exactly my method. You don’t do a line cut but you do three or four lines five lines sometimes based on the blocking.
TESORO: Yes. I love this because I can see that they shot it this way. This is the coverage over here. Oh, there’s no close up. Most of the wide is over here. They did this long choreographed camera dolly thing here. It just tells me the pieces that the director thought they needed overall. Plus, what’s great is, I can see the variations of the performance.
If I have time I’ll watch from beginning to end. From the first take to the last take. But usually they’ll mark the selects and I’ll look at the notes — depending upon the relationship with the script supervisor. And on The Queen’s Gambit we had Sharon Enriquez who is excellent, and she communicates a lot of what Scott thinks in terms of what takes were working for them and not.
So I always look at that first. What did they think on set? And then I’ll watch it and I’ll usually watch just through the director’s selects. If you’ve got five takes and he selected three I’ll do those in order. If I’m in a real rush maybe I’ll just look at the last one, but that’s usually not too much to watch.
We’ll also cut in the things that weren’t “printed” just for safety in case whatever we put in the cut doesn’t work. Then we can look at everything. At least it’s organized. I find that this is great because I watch the whole thing and I see what all the setups are and already in my mind I can sort of know the blocks to play with and be able to cut it that way knowing, “OK, they ended up here and this performance over here was really awesome in this setup. How can I build to that?”
So it sort of gives me an overview before I actually go in there and start putting things together.
HULLFISH: So you’re working off of a selects reel or a pull reel.
What do you do from that point? Do you start making notes? Do you start editing a scene together? Do you start making tighter selects?
TESORO: I’ll pull from a selects reel and I’ll make Add Edits within that reel and I’ll copy that and kind of do it by subtraction. So I’ll start pulling stuff out that wasn’t selected and then with that I’ll usually end up with a third of what the original pull sequence was and then I’ll just start cutting from there. Then I’ll kind of go back over it once it’s sort of rough. Sometimes I’ll get stuck with making a cut too fine without finishing the whole thing but I will eventually go back and start fine-toothing it. But It’s more of a subtraction and then get to cutting.
HULLFISH: Let’s talk about the process after the first assembly. Talk to me about how those stories changed when you got in with a director and also how they changed when you finally were able to see context.
TESORO: That is my favorite part of the process because you actually get to see what you’ve done. The number one thing I want to know is how long the thing is, and in our case — because we shot everything cross-boarded — all six episodes were basically assembled together into reels and we could do our run times and I think we ended up at like maybe nine hours and 50 minutes or something like that. That was the first assembly.
Watching it was really enlightening — especially in the first episode — to see how much chess there was and how much we didn’t want the amount of chess that we had.
It was also helpful to see the flashbacks in context because I had just put them where they were planned — while they were shooting — that they could go. We knew we were going to move them, but they clearly weren’t working all the time.
There was a point where I moved a flashback early on I think it was the flashback of the Father to give Alice her pills and wants to take little Beth. At first we thought that scene was too much too soon. It was too long. I moved it.
We struggled with these flashbacks and eventually Scott asked, “What was in the script?” We looked back and he said, “I really think we need to put it there.” This was after really trimming down a lot of other things around it. So now when we put it back, it then felt right.
Because I was feeding Scott the sequences as he was shooting he was already sort of familiar with what the assembly was going to look like.
I think I got to a rough assembly a week after they stopped shooting. That’s when we had cut everything and it was all in order.
Sometimes, in the past, we’ve just hit it reel by reel — so I would break these episodes up into 20 minute reels. And the reason why we do that is because we bring on sound and a sound designer and music editor and the composer has already been writing up to a year prior to that.
What we like doing is getting through a 20 minute sequence and giving it to them and they do their pass. So I don’t really get an editor’s cut per se, where I’m putting a whole episode together and giving it to him with music and sound.
We’re working together towards what we would call a directors assembly. We watched the first three episodes on March 6, because our EP William Horberg didn’t want to wait for the whole thing to be done, but on Godless we waited till we watched the whole thing.
We had a binge with all of our internal people. It was all of post — sound editors, assistant editors, composer, music editor, producer — and we binged the whole freaking thing, which is fine because at that point Scott is making edits on lines and we’re doing a little bit more finer cutting. We’re tracking with the composed music as much as we can. It’s not all of the music, but it’s as much as they’re able to write.
Obviously, what’s great about it is you can hear clean dialogue, so you really understand the rhythms. It’s got the hard effects, but also any kind of design that we might need and in some of those special sequences. You’re not coming at it saying, “Once we get music in here, it’ll be good.”.
HULLFISH: It’s interesting talking about these long watch-downs. You’re cutting it almost as if it’s an 8 hour movie. Is there a challenge to storytelling on that scale or is there a freedom to it? Talk to me about the difference between that and a regular TV show.
TESORO: It’s very different. The advantages of doing it that way is that it’s a singular voice. It feels singular. And you get a lot of consistency of style. It feels like it can be watched that way because that’s how we’re attacking it. You can binge it because it’s meant to go next to each other.
It’s a lot of work logistically, but it doesn’t feel that way when you have only one director who just wants to focus on one thing and isn’t hopping between episides. He didn’t want to do that which is why we decided to do it this way which we did on Godless as well, so we sort of honed this.
Storytelling-wise it keeps it very consistent and I think at some point in the process when we’ve all done a really good pass through all the episodes we are consistently watching it and sending out it out to people that way and they’re watching it as a whole series.
You’re just thinking about it more like every episode is a reel; it’s not episodic the way he wrote it.
Once you have multiple directors you have to have multiple editors. It’s difficult for them to wait because they always want to do their pass as soon as they’ve finished shooting. Having those other directors immediately injects a different style of storytelling.
They do a different kind of shot. I had that experience on Luck, where we had directors that had their own style that were quite established and Episode 4 looked much different from Episode 1, which looked different from Episode 9, but they were in the same world.
I’m not in favor of one or the other. I think I probably like it better when I’m editing the entire series because it feels like you have ownership over the whole idea of it and you can really invest yourself in the series as a whole instead of just caring about your episode.
HULLFISH: When you work on a normal TV series, do you find that you need to be the steward of that show’s style. when you’re working with all these different directors who might have different styles?
TESORO: I think most shows — that is a goal of theirs. Usually you have the overall showrunner trying to add that, so when they’re doing their pass, it makes that overall flavor the same flavor, even if each episode might be different.
As an editor — because there are other editors involved — depending upon who they are and if they’re the kind of people who share ideas and affect one another but usually that is done by whoever is leading the pack.
If you’re doing the first episode you’re sort of setting that tone anyway so you have a little bit more of a say in terms of “this is cut this way and that’s what people like and what people have said this is the show” and then that trickles down. So if you’re an editor in the third position, it’s already kind of laid out for you.
HULLFISH: You mentioned that there is a subtext to a lot of the chess matches. Can you describe how those subtexts affected how you were editing those matches?
TESORO: Let’s talk about her first tournament. This is Episode 2. We’re in Kentucky. The first time that she sits down to play and it’s the only other girl in the tournament. We’re very much learning about what her prescribed place is going to be in the world of chess. We’re introducing the clock. We’re introducing what the timings mean — the writing down of the moves, so it’s trying to walk you through it.
Throughout the next sequences of her playing you have these different characters of chess people that she interacts with — because this is the first time that she’s seeing the kind of players and what their shtick is. So it was really about showing the characters that are there and the final character is Harry Beltik, who we build throughout the episode as being a threat.
And in the first part of that — before she takes her bathroom break — It’s very standard. We want to show that this is the last game; she’s made it this far. Can she stand up to it? Other than this establishing shot in the beginning — it’s the 50-50 that kind of booms up a little bit which is great because within that they’re playing at a rhythm and you can see that he’s very at ease.
He’s shown up late, so we show the clock, she’s very frustrated and and he’s basically sharking her. At some point after we do the boom up we establish that she’s already psyched herself out. We want to go a little bit more internal with her being psyched out by him. At that point we’re not that interested in what’s actually happening on the board. We’re interested in her emotional state and how what he does affects her.
So he’s yawning. He’s got these weird yellow teeth and on top of all of it it, it seems like he’s completely unfazed by any move that she makes, and it surprises her because from the other matches that she’s had she hasn’t had this problem. She’s felt completely confident. She’s felt like she’s ahead of everybody, but this guy — for whatever reason — is really getting to her.
I had to build her to feel like she was about to break down and that she needed to take this bathroom break And how does she make a turnaround here? So I think if you look at the coverage we’re getting a little tighter and tighter and there is a time cut in there where we’re on these really close shots. I don’t think he had wider shots there. I think he didn’t give me the option. He just had this (Michelle frames her face with her hands in a tight close-up.)
Actually, we did have wider coverage but I ended up using these tighter close-ups because I wanted to get in her head more and to lead her up to the, “I’m going to go to the bathroom and take my pill” which she does and when she comes back, Anya’s performance is completely changed.
This is the intense emotional, confrontational back-and-forth between her and Harry and you want to see Harry’s reaction to this. Now we’re in a different part of the game, even though no one has any idea what is happening on the board. It’s right because the chess consultants have made sure that it all is in continuity, but at that point when we want to have this as a turnaround and she’s going to start winning, I start cutting in closer to the board to see these actual matches.
There are times where — just by me watching what they did — I can kind of tell what was an important move especially when Harry goes takes a deep breath — they have a reaction to it, so I could tell, “that’s important.” I went tighter and tighter. I used the sizing to intensify it and to point out what’s important. We stay in tight close-ups, and at some point — before he puts his king down — it’s just a dialogue between between her and Harry and you already know that she’s won without really seeing it play out.
That’s how we attacked most of the matches and sometimes Scott already knew that he didn’t care about what was on the board. For example, Girev, the young boy in Mexico City that she plays — there’s an adjournment, she comes back and the second part of the match you don’t see the board at all. It’s just her getting up making a move getting up and psyching this this young kid out. His performance was so great.
You could just tell where she stood in it and it didn’t matter what was going on on the board. Scott already decided, “OK, we’re only going to show it when he lays his king down.”.
HULLFISH: What kind of visualization were you able to do or did you do for the stuff where she’s envisioning the chess match going on above her head?
TESORO: This was an element in the book that was already kind of drawn out. We would send the plates — the scenes as cut with the empty ceiling and everything — to Chicken Bone, which is our visual effects house and they went round after round with the way these things were going to look.
Scott’s first style idea was for them to watch The Ring — when the creature comes out — and they’d try that, but Scott thought it was too digital. They had to try things and he just had to react to it. They had those sequences for months and we would go back and forth until it just felt right.
Our post supervisor read up on what might be appropriate given where it was in the story, because some of these openings or certain games have characters to them and I think she would be in contact with our chess consultants about what would work.
So before they came up with a style they just delivered it as kind of an animatic because we just need to know what the motion is and: “Is this queen going to come this way in front of camera?” or whatever the animation was and I would cut with that until they could figure out what the style was. But finding the style took forever.
HULLFISH: What was the schedule?
TESORO: It was a fairly long prep and then they started shooting at the end of August 2019 and they shot for 82 days, so they were done around mid-December. Final lock was mid-June 2020. Then we mixed all of July. We were mixing as we were going so it was just finalizing. I think we got done with the mixes in about three weeks for all of the episodes.
I went home at the end of July and they were finishing delivering in September.
HULLFISH: Michelle, thank you so much for talking to me about this.
TESORO: Thank you so much. It was an honor and pleasure.
To read more interviews in the Art of the Cut series, check out THIS LINK and follow me on Twitter @stevehullfish or on imdb.
The first 50 interviews in the series provided the material for the book, “Art of the Cut: Conversations with Film and TV Editors.” This is a unique book that breaks down interviews with many of the world’s best editors and organizes it into a virtual roundtable discussion centering on the topics editors care about. It is a powerful tool for experienced and aspiring editors alike. Cinemontage and CinemaEditor magazine both gave it rave reviews. No other book provides the breadth of opinion and experience. Combined, the editors featured in the book have edited for over 1,000 years on many of the most iconic, critically acclaimed, and biggest box office hits in the history of cinema.
If you’d like to see more great visualized quotes like this, subscribe to my Twitter feed @stevehullfish (or on Instagram)
I need a battery—just a single battery in that camera’s battery compartment. Twenty-four hours before the official announcement of Sony’s new FX3 and I did not have a single battery to power the recently arrived camera. Luckily for me, I headed over to my buddy’s rental shop, Contrast Visuals, and bummed a couple of A7s III batteries to get me through my review of the Sony FX3. Crisis averted.
This is a quick look at the new Sony FX3, the often rumored and very NDA-breaking shared camera on the internet. By the way, I do not know who broke Sony’s NDA, but I have a feeling Sony will find out. Back to the topic at hand, the Sony FX3.
As you previously read, the Sony FX3 is in my hands, and I have about a day’s worth of experience with it. My immediate impressions are here. If you want to read the full news announcement about the Sony FX3 then jump over to Jose Antunes post here.
The FX3 is the video version of the A7s III. They share the same sensor and processor and features like IBIS and 4K 120fps. On paper, the FX3 and A7s III match up wonderfully; in my hands, the new Sony Cinema camera is a bit of a different story.
First off, the Sony FX3 makes shooting incredible footage a picnic. Features like the touch-screen, tracking autofocus, and 5-axis stabilization help creativity come a little easier. If you shot on any mirrorless or DSLR, then the dials, wheels, and buttons will feel in place if a little better thought out on the FX3 than other models.
On the right side of the FX3, your hand has immediate access to all necessary settings and menus. Three critical settings have dedicated dials and wheels. I’m writing about settings like ISO, Shutter, and Aperture. Sony also offers users buttons for ISO, Shutter, and Aperture to hold the button down for a second and turn the auto feature on for that setting or vice versa. I find it pleasant to change these three features to auto with a button’s touch instead of a quick menu dive. Quick menus are great, but who wants to stop shooting to find a hidden setting feature.
Let us discuss the shutter release button and the zoom rocker, shall we. I like the grip on the right side of the Sony FX3, but I feel the shutter release button and zoom rocker are wasted features that most will hardly use. Look, I get it; the FX3 can take pictures, and thus, the shutter release button. My natural feeling is this should be a video record button instead of a shutter release button. I am not sure if I can change the shutter release function or not because, you know, the Sony FX3 only landed on my doorstep yesterday.
The zoom rocker is another feature I find curious. The rocker does not work with the Sony supplied 24-105 lens. I will guess the zoom rocker works with Sony’s cinema zooms like the Sony FE C 16-35mm T3.1 or the Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 options. In those cases, the zoom rocker becomes useful because it allows you and your two hands to stay where they need to stay, and that’s on the camera.
The way I see it, and again, only had the Sony FX3 for a day, Sony wants you to keep your hands on the camera as you shoot. The layout of the buttons on the right side of the camera makes it easy to change settings quickly. This right-handed setting button dedication by Sony allows a shooter’s left hand to cradle the Sony FX3 under the camera’s body and within reach to change one’s focal length smoothly.
What separates the FX3 from the A7s III is the video-ness of the FX3. Take a look at the camera, and you will find two dedicated vents keeping the FX3 and its sensor cool. These fans, of course, allow you to record 4K continuously without the Sony FX3 over-heating. Now, if you’re in a hot environment, you might experience overheating. The cooling vents and airflow give the FX3 a little thinker body than the A7s III, but the FX3 still feels good in the hand.
You will also find the useful addition of 6 1/4 20 mounting points. These mounting points always help on video cameras. I usually need a handful or a camera cage with mounting points to include all my accessories. I see the only way a camera cage is necessary is when you want a better tripod plate than the single 1/4 20 mount on the bottom of the FX3 affords.
The in/out interface on the Sony FX3 is covered by doors shut with a reassuring pressure textured feeling. It’s hard to describe, but you can tell a door is closed and won’t accidentally open on you. It’s the details for me, and this detail makes me feel like water and dust will stay out if those doors are closed.
The Tally light is a detail done right by Sony. On the FX3, we get not only the red square around the LCD screen when recording but a dedicated wide thin red LED above the LCD screen. Sony did not stop there either. The FX3 has a record indicator outlining the top record button and the camera’s left front corner. I know this is a small detail, but if I’m rigging a camera, I want to see its recording if I can’t see the LCD screen. This camera was designed for solo shooting, and the addition of multiple ways to see you are recording is just one example.
One day with a camera is not enough time, but this is just a start for me and the FX3. I mean, I didn’t even have time to take my own photos of the camera. I’ll be back on PVC after I finish my full review of the Sony FX3.
Sony FX3 Highlights
Full-frame 10.2MP high BSI image sensor
High sensitivity 409,600 max ISO
15+ Stops of Dynamic Range with S-Log 3
Phase Detection AF with Face /Eye AF and Object Tracking AF
XAVC HS and XAVC S-I All Intra 4:2:2 10-bit recording formats
High Frame Rates – up to 4K 12-p with audio, up to FHD 240p
16-bit RAW output through HDMI
5 axis In-body Image Stabilization
12MP Still Capture 10fps
S-Cinetome as a default Picture Profile
Uninterrupted 4K 60p recording – cooling fan
XLR Audio Inputs – with 4Ch recording with audio interface
If the Sigma fp married the Sony A7, the result would not be much different from the Sony FX3, which looks like a Sony A7RIV without the hump for the electronic viewfinder. It’s Sony’s new cinema camera.
So, here is the much expected FX3 that some consider to be just a more expensive A7SIII with a fan and no EVF. Sony has other ideas, and the company has developed the camera to be the smallest offer from the company’s Cinema Line series. In fact, despite looking like a compact mirrorless, with a design that immediately brings the Sigma fp to mind, the Sony FX3 is something else, as it offers the best of Sony’s industry-leading digital cinema technology with advanced imaging features from Alpha mirrorless cameras to create the ultimate cinematic look.
It’s a camera that Sony hopes will be the first choice for young creators who strive for new cinematic freedom. The new model provides, according to sony, outstanding image quality and usability for small scale and one-person shooting. The FX3 boasts first-class focus performance, optical image stabilisation, handheld shooting design and advanced heat dissipation for extended recording times. All this in a compact, lightweight body that provides the performance and mobility to meet the growing demands of today’s content creators.
“The FX3 was designed to turn creative vision into reality,” saidYann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “It allows creators to bring their visual expression into the world of cinema through immersive content. We will continue to support the world’s creators through Sony’s Cinema Line Series.”
15+ stops dynamic range
The FX3 flaunts Sony’s industry-leading image sensor technology to achieve high processing speeds and outstanding image quality. The full-frame, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor full-frame 10.2 megapixel (approx. effective) count for movie recording (and 12.1 effective megapixels for stills) and the BIONZ XR image processing engine team up to ensure high sensitivity with low noise. The standard ISO range is 80 to 102,400 (expandable to 409,600 when shooting a movie), and dynamic range is an impressively wide 15+ stops, according to the information provided by Sony.
In response to a growing need for more expressive depth, the FX3, along with FX9 and FX6 Cinema Line cameras, allows users to create a cinematic look without post-production using S-Cinetone, something the recent Sony Alpha 1 also offers. Based on the colour science inspired by Sony’s flagship VENICE camera, S-Cinetone delivers natural mid-tones, plus soft colours and smooth highlights that are essential to cinematic look.
Create movies with in-camera 4K recording at up to 120 frames per second. Extraordinarily smooth slow-motion imagery (up to 5x) at QFHD (3840 x 2160) resolution with autofocus provides new expressive capability.
Designed for comfortable solo-shooting
The most compact and lightweight Cinema Line camera is ideal for handheld shooting, gimbal and drone-mounted work. It weighs just 715 grams, including battery and memory cards, and the body is 77.8 mm high, 129.7 mm wide and 84.5 mm deep – without protrusions. The camera grip has been carefully designed to provide optimum flexibility, stability and comfort for long shoots.
Designed for mobility and efficiency, the FX3’s body features five thread holes (1/4-20 UNC) to easily attach compatible accessories while remaining light enough for handheld shooting and making it easy to carry and set up. The supplied XLR handle unit securely attaches to the body via the Multi Interface Shoe without any special tools and provides three additional thread holes for accessories: two on the top and one on the end. External monitors, recorders, wireless microphone receivers, the accessory shoe kit (cold shoe plate), or other add-ons can be securely attached.
To enable high quality audio, the XLR handle unit includes two XLR/TRS audio inputs to the FX3. With an optional XLR microphone, digital audio data can be directly transferred to the camera for outstanding audio quality. Camera settings provide audio recording formats, including 4-channel 24-bit recording. Because the XLR adaptor is integrated into the handle and does not require any additional cables or batteries, it offers stress-free set up.
Fast AF, 5-axis image stabilization
The FX3 offers Fast Hybrid autofocus (AF) by using the 627 points focal plane phase-detection system during movie recording. The camera is further enhanced with Touch Tracking (Real-time Tracking) where simply touching the desired subject on the monitor screen initiates auto focus and tracking on that subject. Precise and smooth focus is maintained with Real-time Eye AF – technology that pinpoints eye even when subjects are looking down or up at steep angles. Additionally, other AF features have been included and refined in response to feedback from professional users, including AF Transition Speed, AF Subject Shift Sensitivity, intuitive control and AF support when focusing manually. These AF features have been implemented in the FX3 to ensure stable, flexible and precise focusing in any situation and are easy to operate for solo shoots.
The FX3 features 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation – highly effective for handheld shooting. A high precision stabilisation unit and gyro sensors have made it possible to provide an Active Mode that is dedicated to movie shooting in each format, including 4K. In-body image stabilisation means that effective stabilisation can be achieved with a wide range of lenses, including E-mount lenses that do not include stabilisation of their own. In addition, the FX3 records image stabilisation metadata that can be done more practical adjustment during post-production using Catalyst Browse/Prepare.
Sony FX3 highlights
The presentation of the new FX3 was one of the shortest online presentations, somehow reflecting the compact size of the new Cinema Line camera. ProVideo Coalition will have more info about the model but for now here are the product highlights:
2 megapixel full-frame back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R sensor and BIONZ XR image processing engine
Ultra-high sensitivity with ISO expandable to 409,600 for very low light conditions and 15+ stops of dynamic range
S-Cinetone look profile which is inspired by the digital motion picture camera VENICE’s colour science, also used in FX9 and FX6 Cinema Line cameras, and records up to 4K 120p
Compact and lightweight body design with high operability for hand-held shooting, gimbal and drone-mounted work
Multi-thread (1/4-20 UNC) body makes it easy to mount accessories
Detachable XLR handle unit with two of XLR/TRS audio input
“Active Mode” image stabilisation supports handheld movie shooting
Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Touch Tracking (real-time tracking) and Real-time Eye AF, also used in other Alpha cameras
Uninterrupted 4K 60p recording (Continued) by Effective heat dissipation and built-in cooling fan
The variety of numbers inscribed on a memory card may be confusing sometimes, but one piece of information is key if you’re a video shooter: the V number. The higher the number, the faster the card.
SD memory cards have one thing in common: they all look and measure the same, but they come in four formats: SD, SDHC and SDXC and SDUC. The base SD card has a maximum capacity of 2GB, SDHC cards give up up to 32GB, SDXC cards can support up to 2TB and the newest version, SDUC can hold up to 128TB. One key piece of information to remember: this definition refers to capacity and is not related to speed, meaning you can have an SDHC card that is as fast as a SDXC.
The definitions for SD cards do not end there, though, and you just have to look at one card to discover a multitude of numbers and symbols that, if you’re not familiar with them, need a device like the Rosetta Stone to be understood. The quantity of information used to classify and identify memory cards has changed since the first versions were introduced, and there are wide discrepancies in memory access speed depending on the SD memory card manufacturer and brand that don’t help consumers to choose when buying a card.
Varying speeds make it difficult to make out which card can surely record streaming contents. Recording video requires a constant minimum write speed to avoid ‘frame drop’ during recording for a smooth playback, and as we’ve noted above, capacity as nothing to do with the speed the card can achieve, so the SD Association has defined rules that make it easier to know what each type of card is able to offer.
Understanding the Video Speed Class
The SD Association has has also defined various Speed Class standards to answer a demand for advanced video quality recording. Speed Class symbols indicated to host and card products help users decide the best combination for reliable recording (no frame drop). There are three kinds of speed indications: Speed Class, UHS Speed Class and Video Speed Class symbols with a number indicate minimum writing speed. The Speed Classes defined by the SD Association are Class 2, 4, 6 and 10. The UHS Speed Classes defined by the SD Association are UHS Speed Class 1 (U1) and UHS Speed Class 3 (U3).
The one that’s most interesting for video shooters is the Video Speed Class. The Video Speed Classes defined by the SD Association are V6, 10, 30, 60 and 90. V6 and V10 can be applied to High Speed and UHS Bus IF product family. V30 can be applied to UHS Bus IF product family. V60 and V90 can be applied to UHS-II / UHS-III product family.
Yes, I know… now things start to get a bit confusing, with so many numbers and symbols. It’s also important to note that Speed Classes, says the SD Association, are “mainly useful for camcorders, video recorders and other devices with video recording capabilities. Regarding bus mode, it is necessary to use a bus mode fast enough that does not affect memory write speed. C10 is used in High Speed mode or faster, U1 and U3 are used in SDR50/DDR50 or faster, and V60 and V90 are used in UHS-II mode or faster.”
Minimum sustained write speed
While every bit of information is important, the V speed number is essential for video shooters… or anyone who wants to have cards with a clear indication of the minimum sustained write speed, because that’s what the number reveals. That’s where the V90 comes in. V10 and V30 didn’t give you that sense of speed, but with V60 and V90 it’s visually present. The shape of the numbers contributes to the notion of speed, and speed is what’s all about when it comes to V90, the top of the line for memory cards used for video.
The new capture protocol of SD 5.0, which is reflected by the Video Speed Class designation, was introduced in February 2016 by the SD Association as the preferred speed class for a variety of new applications. Video Speed Class provides new capabilities for consumers and a new enabling technology for the SD industry. From a consumer’s, and application developer’s, point of view, SD 5.0 enables a new generation of applications that require extended capture performance of up to 90 megabytes per second (MB/s).
Video Speed Class joined and extended the existing SD defined speed classes providing equivalents to existing speed classes and adding new capture rates of 60 MB/s and 90 MB/s. Video Speed Class was designed to optimize use of modern NAND technology. According to the SD Association, the move was needed, as “the earlier speed classes include fixed parameters that are too specific to earlier NAND technology and are difficult to design solutions with the newest NAND technology”.
Rule of thumb: Video Speed Class is the best choice
V90 cards are designed to be future-proof and are ideal for anyone shooting 4K and beyond – 8K, for example – with frame rates of 60 and 120 fps. Still, the SD Association notes that “each of the given speed class methods defines different card access methods closely related to the underlying NAND technology. The match, or mismatch, of each speed class method to a specific NAND technology may lead to SD memory cards that meet Video Speed Class requirements for a given capture rate, yet not meet the requirements for the equivalent Speed Class or UHS Speed Class. As an example, an SD memory card may meet V30 requirements, by supporting 30 MB/s capture using the Video Speed Class protocol, yet only meet C10 requirements, supporting 10 MB/s capture with the Speed Class protocol.”
Yes… it can be a bit confusing. There is one key advice, though, and it comes from the SD Association: despite the large number of variables, one rule remains true: match the SD memory card to your specific application’s requirements. The protocol speed and type specified by the application needs to be matched. A guide to help consumers select the right memory card is usually provided in device owner’s manuals. As a rule of thumb, if the application offers multiple options, Video Speed Class is the best choice.
The SD Association concludes that when available, Video Speed Class is the preferred access method for SD technology, as it will provide much faster recording for the exotic video technology of the future, while enabling the use of future NAND technology in SD memory cards and support the new standard protocol for hosts/applications to write efficiently to SD memory cards. The most important advice to consumers and users of all types is to continue matching the SD memory card to an application’s recommended speed class to continue enjoying the best recording and playback possible.
NVMe changes everything
The most recent advancements in technology point to a path towards the future. In March 2020, the SD Association (SDA) released its SD 8.0 specification (SD8.0) offering the fastest SD Express card capable of delivering gigabyte speeds via dual PCIe lane support and PCIe 4.0 with NVMe. According to the association, the newly introduced SD8.0 with bit rates of up to 2GB/s and 4GB/s will open even more opportunities for extra high performance solutions of removable memory cards leveraging the globally known and popular SD size form factor. This new protocol allows SD Express memory cards to serve as removable Solid State Drives (SSD), as ProVideo Coalition noted previously.
As Filmtools indicates, these V90 memory cards allow users to experience the next level in terms of content storage. Capable of reaching high read and write speeds, these V90 cards offer support for high-frame-rate recording. Widely compatible, these cards are a perfect match for top industry cameras such as the Canon EOS R6, Fujifilm XT4/XT3 Panasonic EVA1, the Sony A7/A9 plus many more! For maximum reliability, and advanced functionality, be sure to include these V90 Memory Cards for your next shoot.
Before the pandemic last year, Shainblum had the opportunity to visit Yosemite just after a snowfall which gave him the opportunity to shoot snow-dappled images of one of the most photogenic National Parks in the United States. After revisiting that shoot recently, he realized that he went the entire day shooting almost exclusively on a Sigma 100-400mm zoom lens.
Part of his goal in these images was to capture the look of being there — that is to say, the atmospheric conditions.
“The way the fog has moved every few minutes, the scene changes, and new compositions get revealed,” he says. “There is just some beautiful atmosphere.”
In the several images Shainblum discusses, the lighting he captures and isolates thanks to framing is only made possible thanks to the extended zooms he has at his disposal.
“I think it’s easy to get into the mindset of ‘well this place has been heavily photographed, is there anything else I can say about the place?’” Shainblum says. “There are tons of images that exist of Yosemite National Park. It’s one of the most famous places for landscape photography. It’s easy to take a look at that and say ‘I just want to go somewhere that hasn’t really been photographed or that isn’t very popular so I’ll be able to take images that are more unique and more interesting.’ And while I do enjoy exploring new places, I don’t think you always have to do that to create interesting and unique photographs.”
Part of what makes using a zoom lens so beneficial for landscape photography is that it forces you to see environments in ways others have not. Wide-angle landscape photography is much more common, so detail shots like the ones Shainblum shares here are wildly compelling because of how unique they are.
“Try not to have those preconceived ideas of what a place is supposed to be about,” Shainblum says while discussing how photographers might come to a location thinking that all the photos that could be taken of a place, have been. “Create your own experience with the place, and I think you’ll be able to tell better stories.”
Some lenses produced from the 1940s through the 1970s were treated with radioactive thorium oxide to curb chromatic aberration. But as Andrew Walker explains in this 7.5-minute video, modern digital cameras can actually “see” that radiation as image noise that has the potential ruin your long exposures.
There are a significant number of lenses produced between 1940 and 1970 that are measurably radioactive, like the Pentax SMC Takumar 50mmf/1.4 lens Walker shows in the video above. Thorium Oxide is the main culprit of this radioactivity and was applied to glass elements because of its crystalline structure. That structure, with its high refractivity and low dispersion, gave lens designers a way to minimize chromatic aberration and use lenses with lower curvatures which are a lot less expensive to produce.
Lenses treated with thorium oxide have a yellowish tint to them, which is less of an issue for black and white photography common in the mid-1900s but is most certainly noticeable with modern color digital sensors. In the video above, Walker shows what a lens that is not treated with thorium oxide looks like when compared to the radioactive vintage Pentax lens: the latter results in noticeably warmer, yellowish footage.
As part of investigating the effects of radioactive lenses, Walker took apart the Pentax to see what parts were radioactive and how radioactive they are. What he discovered is the rear element of his Pentax lens was around 650 times the level of background radiation: 24,000 CPM.
That may seem like a lot, but unless you expose yourself to the radioactive element for a long period of time, it’s probably not something to worry too much about, especially if it’s attached to a camera that does reduce the amount of radiation making it to your eye when you hold it up to take a photo.
Given the amount of radiation given off by the lens, Walker was curious if modern camera sensors would be capable of seeing that radiation. Since solar flare radiation is visible on a satellite camera, Walker believed there was a strong possibility that the same effect would happen on photos taken with a radioactive lens.
He originally attempted to test this with a Sony A7S III but found that the artifacts he would see on the LCD would not translate to images because the noise reduction software in the camera is so aggressive (though this is a feature that can be turned off). In the video above you can see the radiation noise show up while he is recording video clips. But in order to better illustrate the effect, he put the lens on a Nikon D850 to capture stills.
What he found is that yes, there is the possibility that the sensor will pick up the radiation as visual noise. Below is what that noise looks like over the course of 120 photos (stacked together into one image).
The answer to the question originally posed is therefore technically yes: using vintage radioactive lenses does have the potential to ruin certain types of photography such as long exposures or star-stacking, though it won’t necessarily always happen and certain cameras will get rid of the noise automatically, treating it the same as it treats sensor noise that comes as a result of long exposures. Additionally, other more common types of photography would likely be unaffected.
Still, Walker’s experiment shows that these vintage lenses — of which there is a great number out there — can have unintended side effects when used for modern digital photography.