We may be adding to a hoax, but CanonRumors quotes Philip Bloom as saying this:
I was just notified on my Facebook page by Forian Bottger about this that someone called Earz62801 will be releasing a firmware hack for the T2i/ 550d (not the other Canons) that will give it 2K, 3K,4K video recording capability and bit rates between 45mb/s and 175mb/s. . The date of the release is Jan the 1st. This is nothing to do with Magic Lantern, just totally out of the blue from this person.
The funny thing is, with technology evolving at such an amazing rate, maybe such a thing is possible. However, we’d suggest you have a disposable 550D on hand if you try it, or let Philip and others download and assess.
Magic Lantern has been a more reliable source of third-party firmware, as our own Kurt Lancaster wrote about here last week. As Philip points out, this isn’t their deal.
UPDATE: The web is burning up with links to this, but Whoa: Here’s what Bloom adds:
He gives the following info on the YouTube description:
2k: 175mb/s = 91 seconds of footage
3k: 175mb/s = 32 seconds of footage
4k: 175mb/s = 6 seconds of footage
So if this is real…how useful is 6 seconds of 4k? Not enormously. What I really would like a hacker to do is sample that big sensor down to 1080p in a much better way than it currently does so we lose that damn moire and aliasing. That’s all I want, I don’t really need that resolution for anything I do and with those limitations it would be a right pain to shoot with.
EDIT: I emailed him and got this back:
Hi back, Yes This one hundred percent real. We’ve been working on this with the t2i, 60D, and the 5D Mark II. We were stuck..missing a whole bunch of steps. But when Magic lantern was released, it opened up those missing holes. So we got excited. Last night was the first time I slept in six days haha.
We knew there were limitations with t2i and bending those limitations wasn’t exactly an easy task. Just think, a few days ago we were only able to to shoot not even 2 seconds of 4k footage. As of today on the 3 t2i’s we’ve tested it on…it’s holding steady at a little over 6 seconds.
Our next release 1.0.3 will ad different frame rates.
This all came about from a couple of guys sitting on the couch, drinking beers and watching football. The question was ” If we can make a 4k timelapse and take pictures in 5184×3456, can we make the thing shoot video in 4k without destroying the camera and at minimal bitrates?” At first all we kept coming up with was NO it can’t be done.
How has documentary filmmaking changed?
This short was out on Vimeo not long after the snows passed in New York City, and has 35,000 views as of this writing. It’s made by Jamie Stuart, who like any good filmmaker didn’t let a worthy event go undocumented.
Roger Ebert says it should win an Academy Award for live-action short subject, which proves a) it’s a good video, and b) Roger Ebert must not watch many live-action shorts, because then he’d know he was making a ridiculous overstatement.
But, it’s fun to watch.
Canon should clue in – people want functions on their DSLRs that make it more of a professional camera. My school where I teach (the School of Communication at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff) purchased 18 Canon Rebel T2i. We have limited funds and the price point was perfect, especially when combined with the kit kens, spare battery, Rode VideoMic, Rycote windscreen, 8GB memory card, a 70-300mm lens, UV filters, a Manfrotto 190XB tripod with the 700RC2 head, and a Portabrace bag–which puts the kit at around $1600. (Here’s the B&H list with an audio recorder: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/wl/330BB308FF.)
Yes, we would have loved to purchased the Canon 60D–with its manual control of audio and swivel LCD screen–but $600 is $600.
Why pay an additional $600 when you can get the firmware hack, Magic Lantern, for free? (You should donate to help the cause.) It includes disabling of the automatic gain control (AGC) for audio–which is absolutely key when you want to even attempt to get usable audio in your footage. Furthermore, it puts the audio bars on top of the LCD so you can see what the audio is doing (something that even the Canon 5D2 and 60D don’t do). In addition, it has a spot meter, zebra patterns, histogram, and crop marks for safety zones (for broadcast purposes). You can even dial in color temperature!
I have installed it on one of my school’s Rebels and it works great! Be sure to go to the config menu and save any changes.
I love the fact that the LCD brings up the percentage figure of exposure on the spot meter and it provides the focal length on my zoom lens and it gives me the focal distance of what is in focus (in cm)! This means you can mark focus with tape. Most excellent!
Ok, the pic is a bit blurry because I used a Droid to take this image:
Image by Kurt Lancaster. The audio meters change color (green for within the zone, yellow getting hot, red for clipping). The focus distance is in cm/meters. The exposure percentage occurs within the area of the rectangle, center (which indicates a 6% exposure in the dark are of the Christmas tree). While the histogram hovers above center to the right.
Here’s my short guide (I take no responsibility for failed installs and damage to your camera. Proceed at your own risk):
1) Be sure the Rebel has the latest firmware release (1.0.9). If not, then go to Scroll to the bottom of this page and hit “I agree”: http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/firm-e/eosdigital7/firmware.html You’ll be taken to another page where you can download the firmware. Place the file on your memory card or plug in the USB cable and use the EOS Utility. Put the camera in manual mode on the top dial and dial over to the third toolbar menu. Go to firmware and click on it to update. Let it do it’s thing.
2) Download the firmware: (22 Dec. 2010), scroll to the bottom of the page for the attachment: http://groups.google.com/group/ml-devel/msg/c7b3f6483fa622de and unzip it.
3) Plug in your camera’s memory card and copy the magiclantern.fir file to it (don’t place it in any folders).
4) Put the memory card back into the camera.
5) Update the firmware as if you’re doing step 1.
6) Pull out the battery for about 5 seconds and turn the camera off.
7) Put the memory card back into the computer.
8. Make the card bootable. The Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki shows steps for doing this for the Mac and PC. MacBoot did not make the card bootable. I went to a PC and downloaded EOScard (which is on the Magic Lantern wiki page). Just right click on the hyperlink on the wiki and you can download it. As stated on the page, “Select your SD card drive, check EOS_DEVELOP and BOOTDISK and hit Save.”
9) Delete magiclantern.fir from the memory card.
10) Go to your Magic Lantern folder and copy over the autoexec.bin, all the *.bmp files, and the magic.cfg file to the memory card.
11) Plug it back into the camera and put the camera in video mode. Turn on the camera and hit the delete button to bring up the menu.
12) The camera will use Magic Lantern with this card. If you want to use it on other cards, then you will need to install the same files listed on step 10.
13) Read the Users Guide to see what each function does. My settings:
Default settings for audio, including AudioMeter: ON
Global Draw: ON (turn it OFF and ON again by using the SET button)–this will clear the Magic Lantern text on the LCD screen
Zebras: OFF (I prefer to see my shot without all the red and blue graphics getting in the way)
CropM: OFF (I only need it if I want the “safety” zones, which I really don’t worry about)
Trap Focus: OFF
ISO: Here you can dial in ISO settings beyond what Canon provides.
Shutter: You can choose shutter increments beyond what Canon provides.
White Bal: Hit the SET button to dial in your color temperature [the Display will still shot the
Brack [Test bracket]–I don’t use it.
Focus–I don’t use this since I focus manually.
Debug–CAREFUL here. The only I do here is hit “Save config” after I’ve made changes, so when I turn off the camera and turn it back on again, it’ll keep the settings I chose.
Kurt Lancaster, PhD, is the author of “DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video, Focal Press, 2011.” He teaches digital filmmaking and multimedia journalism at Northern Arizona University’s School of Communication.
Cinematical has a list of the top ten documentaries of 2010 with a list of other top docs sprinkled in, and the pleasure of that list is in the additional mentions.
Yes, we expect “Restrepo” and “Gasland” to be in the top ten – these films have made their mark all year and are well worth seeiing. But down beloew we see our friend Robert Greene’s “Kati with an I,” which was done for almost nothing by a guy who’s not scored well with two films (“Owning The Weather” was the subject of a two-part case study at this site) for which Robert had little money and no real crew. Bravo to him and producers Susan Bedusa and Doug Tirola at 4th Row Films.
Here are some others mentioned, with author Christopher Campbell’s comments:
‘Armadillo’ (Janus Metz Pedersen) - An excellent companion to ‘Restrepo’ that feels even more like a fiction film and involves even more embedded cameras.
‘Windfall’ (Laura Israel) – The story of a small town divided on the big issue of windmills will definitely have you rethinking everything you currently feel about alternative energy.
‘The Invention of Dr. Nakamats’ (Kaspar Astrup Schroder) - I didn’t laugh harder during any other movie this year.
‘Secrets of the Tribe’ (Jose Padilha) - Turns ethnographic documentary on its ear. A brilliant “up yours” to academia, as well.
‘HolyWars’ (Stephen Marshall) - For a film that intentionally influences its progression — by encouraging the meeting of an evangelical Christian missionary from the Midwest and a jihadist Muslim from Ireland — the outcome is completely worth it.
‘Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff’ (Craig McCall) - The best film history documentary I saw this year.
‘War Don Don’ (Rebecca Richman Cohen) - A great companion piece to ‘Enemies of the People,’ this look at a war crime tribunal in Sierra Leone is one of the most thought-provoking films I saw all year and one of the few human rights-centered docs I found to be important for reasons other than just their issues.
The Wall Street Journal reports on Matt Grady and his Factory 25, which is Brooklyn based and specializes in distributing films with unique, physical packaging, such as for the film “Frownland”:
The package is over the top: a gatefold album containing the film’s soundtrack and the DVD; a comic book drawn by actor Mary Bronstein (as her alienated character); printed excerpts from a 70,000-word email exchange between the two lead actors (in character); a poster; and an actual snippet of 16mm film from Mr. Bronstein’s work print. “Buy several thousand copies and reconstruct the entire film!”
Factory 25 packages such documentary films as “You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-1984″ with the same DVD/LP combo, for $30, with the DVD only at $20. The LP includes 20 tracks of the music that figures in the film.
“I want these packages to be like fetish pieces,” Grady says in the WSJ article.
Charlotte, N.C., based documentary filmmaker Cristina Cassidy blogs on her site, docudramaqueen.com, about the long road in making her film-in-progress, “Concerto For Two Brothers,” a project that she’s spent three years on and for which she has applied, fruitlessly, for grant money.
I have sent out almost 10 proposals in the past two years, and have not gotten awarded a single dime from any grant funding entity…yet. We have received generous donations from friends and family, but are far from getting the amount of funding we need to complete the film.
As I was writing a grant proposal recently, I had a mild panic attack. If you are a documentary filmmaker, you may have experienced one of these as you struggled to find funding. I looked at my budget and my heart sank. The voices in my head started to crowd in on me (mostly my mother’s voice, and other critics from my entire life) saying, “YOU’LL NEVER MAKE IT!!!!”
At least she’s not trying to get a grant for a fictional film, which is for the most part pie in the sky.
But documentaries seeking grants are in an odd transitional time. The ability to make films more cheaply than ever means that even a little grant money can go a long way. But the low cost of production means far more people are jumping in and doing it, so each project competes with more projects to be supported.
Further, the sheer amount of “product” coming out can give grantmakers hesitation. Should they fund films that may never really get out into the public?
The choices/options seem this way (with none aimed at Cristina or her project, but rather general thoughts):
1) If you’re going for a grant, have a track record that speaks volumes. It’s often the sad case that grants go to people who really don’t need grants – for them it can be about prestige or simply about not wanting to dip into their own bank account. But the reason they’re given grants is because the best indicator of future performance is past performance.
2) Crowdfund with an idea that will create immediate support. Unfortunately, that may lead to a “high concept” film idea rather than something that’s nuanced and uncertain. If people don’t get your idea, they won’t fund your idea.
3) Make your film more cheaply. Find ways not to need grants by using simpler and cheaper technology. For most documentarians, the hours spent are not billable, so the idea of paying yourself for the work out of a grant rarely works.
4) Have two films in one – the one you can make with the money you have and the one you’ll make if the grant money comes in. Never get caught with an unfinished film because you were counting on money you find you cannot get. The expensive version of the film should be “Plan B” and the affordable version “Plan A,” and not the opposite.
5) Be open to the idea that the film you can make with the money in hand may be one in which the need to overcome leads in new and potentially inspired creative directions. Not getting grants may be the mother of invention.
6) Choose a topic/subject that just isn’t going to be that costly. I have seen some filmmakers bemoan the cost of their project and lack of funding, but don’t buy a Mercedes if you can’t make the payments. The small documentary that you make for almost nothing may be the thing that gets you future funding – see #1 above.
I’m still struggling with how to find funding. It’s a constant search. And I’m still waking up at night worried about how I’m going to pay for everything, but I also know that I have a film that is unique, moving, and beautifully shot. It’s going to take a lot of time to find the right backing for this film, and we may not get any recognition or money for it until it is done, but I will never give up.
Here’s the press release.
Yokohama, Japan, December 14, 2010 － JVC (Victor Company of Japan, Limited) announced today its development of the world’s first LSI for high-speed processing of Full High-Definition video and stills on one chip for HD camcorders. The LSI enables shooting and recording Full HD, including both 2D and 3D images, and also ultra-high-resolution 4K2K images of approximately four times the resolution of Full HD. High-speed photography with high-speed processing also is possible. The LSI achieves low power consumption and enables lower system costs by incorporating all image-processing technologies for HD shooting, including camera-signal processing and video/still image codecs.
Consumers are increasingly demanding HD-level TVs, camcorders and other consumer electronics products, requiring manufacturers to offer products capable of rapidly processing extra-high-resolution images of the latest standards, including 4K2K. JVC’s LSI will advance this trend by introducing next-generation image-processing technologies for both professional and consumer camcorders.
JVC will exhibit a new consumer camcorder with the LSI at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 6 to 9.Main Features
High-speed processing of camera signals and video/still image codecs, including Full HD 2D/3D, 4K2K and high-speed photographs. In addition to 2.7 times faster processing than previous CPU, the new CPU supports various signal-processing technologies (see below) that have been fully revised for superior high-resolution image recording;
Camera-signal processing is 1.7 times faster than JVC’s previous technology, enabling 8.3-megapixel video at 60 frames per second;
H.264 video processing is double JVC’s previous technology, enabling compression of 2.07-megapixel images at 60 frames per second;
JPEG still-image processing is 5.5 times faster than JVC’s previous technology, enabling compression at up to 8.3-megapixel images at 60 frames per second;
In addition to its image-signal processor, advanced image codecs and other image-processing technologies assembled into one chip, the LSI incorporates leading-edge 40nm process technology for high functionality, 40% reduction of power consumption and 50% reduction of system costs compared to previous LSIs. The result is a high-level LSI suited to a wide range of both consumer and professional products;
All hardware and software is integrated into one platform, enabling products that incorporate this platform to be commercialized highly rapidly.
1. The LSI achieves real-time 3D compression of separate Full HD images (1920 x 1080/60p) from right and left cameras using MPEG-4 MVC. The amount of data is double the conventional side-by-side 3D recording format, enabling high-resolution Full HD 3D images with one chip.
2. 4K2K images (3840 x 2160/60p) using an ultra-resolution camera system are supported.
3. High-speed camera-processing circuitry and a high-speed JPEG engine enable the simultaneous capture of Full HD video and 8.3 megapixel stills at 60 frames per second.
4. High-speed frame video capture for 3D recording at 300 frames per second based on high-speed video codec.
When John Scheinfeld started making his documentary on Harry Nilsson, it was in a standard-def world.
The Los Angeles-based documentary filmmaker has always juggled various projects (often on musicians), but the film “Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?),” which was first shown in 2006 as a work-in-progress but came out this past fall after a series of production issues, was made in its own time.
The film tells the tumultuous story of Nilsson, who songs are well-remembered (“Put de Lime in de Coconut,” “Jump Into The Fire,” “Everybody’s Talkin’,” “Without You,” and many others). The film includes interviews with such celebrities as Robin Williams, Mickey Dolenz, Terry Gilliam and Dustin Hoffman.
The film, released to DVD and Netflix, is squarely a 4:3, SD product. He says few have even seemed to notice.
“This, in so many ways, was a real indy film. It was independently financed, it didn’t have a huge budget. We called in a lot of favors and did it betwixt and between other things. The first interviews we shot in depth were in 2004. It was really on the cusp of HD then. So we hadn’t anticipated that we would need to do that.
“Because we had started to shoot the material in standard def, and because all the archival was standard-def, we thought that would match fine.”
He says what didn’t happen when the film was released this year was that people said, “I didn’t like it because it wasn’t in HD.”
The HD (and now 3D) arms race has escalated, but the Nilsson film hasn’t seemed to have been hurt. In today’s New York Times, in an article entitled “The Revolution Is Being Shot on Digital Video,” Manohla Dargis writes,
A decade ago, when independent movies shot in digital video like “Chuck and Buck” (2000) started hitting the big screen, it was easy to tell you weren’t looking at film because the often smeary, muddy visuals looked about as bad as an old VHS tape. Audiences didn’t seem to care, possibly because, after decades of watching battered home videos on standard-definition televisions, they were accustomed to degraded imagery. For many the pleasure of being able to rent a Billy Wilder movie at their leisure outweighed complaints about how lousy the videos looked.
The Nilsson film is well-lighted, well shot and just not quite as razor-sharp as films shot on more recent/expensive camcorders.
“We were concerned a bit when we knew this would be going into theaters that this would hurt us. I’ve now seen reviews of this film for two-and-a-half months, and I swear not one review I saw made mention of HD vs. SD. Nobody really cared.
His new film on the Chicago Cubs is shot in HD, so Scheinfeld is no Luddite, but the notion of story-over-pixels is foremost with a man who was a writer earlier in his career.
Scheinfeld, who has done documentaries on John Lennon, Bette Midler, The Bee Gees and others, began his career at Paramount Television, where he worked in development, then later at MTM, Mary Tyler Moore’s company; in the late 1990s he was writing pilots for network television.
“I knew Groucho Marx’s grandson, and he said ‘Why don’t you do a documentary about the Marx Brothers?’” Scheinfeld says. “I said, ‘What do I know about making documentaries?’ and he said, ‘You’re a storyteller.’”
Scheinfeld got the rights for that doc and teamed with a filmmaker named David Leaf, who knew people at the Disney Company looking for documentaries on pop-culture subjects. “Back then, Disney was a pay channel, and they’d program for adults from 8 p.m., on.”
“The Unknown Marx Brothers” got “great response,” and he was on to other projects. That includes work on films on John Lennon, Bette Midler, Ricky Nelson and Peter Sellers. “We Believe,” his documentary on the Cubs, connects with his roots as a Northwestern grad.
“You spend a lot of time on these projects and you better love it, you better have a passion for it,” he says. “Does is nurture my soul? Does it make me laugh? Does it inspire me?”
Part 2 will run next week
Notes on Video posts about PHYX Color, a newly released $99 color-correction program that provides an array of effects. While Final Cut’s native color correcter and Apple Color are pretty solid, NOV says,
PHYXware Color consists of five filters: BleachBypass, Glow Dark, Selective Saturation, Shift Suppress and Techni2strip. The first two provide a wide range of general image manipulation, while Selective Saturation and Shift Suppression adjust a specific color range within the image. The Techni2strip film simulates the Technicolor 2-strip process first introduced as the Technicolor System 1 Additive Color Projection in 1917, Technicolor was used for films such as ‘Gone With the Wind’, ‘Ben-Hur’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and‘The Wizard of Oz’.
The program offers a free trial. Here’s a sampling video from NOV: