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10149 Views
Posted 08/14/15
The new Sony a7R II Mirrorless Digital Camera  was the star of the show during a live-streaming panel discussion, hosted by B&H, with noted professionals discussing their impressions after using this outstanding camera. We’ve compiled five “takeaways” from the conversation, highlighting the camera’s unique features. The a7R II is the product of two years of intense evolutionary development from a company listening to its customers and incorporating features from the previous a7 models to create a camera without compromise for all photographers and videographers. Sony makes all of the components that go into the a7R II.   Sony has responded to feedback from its customers and created a fast Hybrid Autofocus system with 399 Phase-detection points, spread throughout the frame, and 25 Contrast-detection points. AF and AE tracking has been enhanced and eye-point focus is available for sharp portraits. In addition to the quickly growing set of dedicated Sony FE lenses, autofocus is also supported on newer Canon EF lenses.   The a7R II provides incredibly high ISO sensitivities. Its low ISO capture is virtually noise free and its dynamic range is the equal to any camera available. With a 42.4MP image, there is more flexibility to down-scale and apply noise reduction to match the low light ability of the a7S.   Internal 4K video capture!   Compact size is important, but ergonomics and functionality are more so. The a7R II provides a larger, more stable grip and the updated magnesium-alloy body has improved weather sealing and a robust lens mount for working with large lenses. Shutter vibration is significantly reduced and a silent mode is supported.
1395 Views
Posted 01/30/18
In this B&H Event Space video, photographer (and Director of Production at JUICE Pharma Worldwide’s B12 Studio) Michael Kaminski discusses his travels to Havana, Cuba, where he has been photographing the “everyday people” who make up the fabric of Cuban society. Consciously trying to avoid the typical “touristy” photographs of old cars and other colorful-though-trivial photographs of Cuba, Kaminski’s personal challenge was to capture “non-typical” photographs from pre-dawn through midnight.
1314 Views
Posted 04/15/15
Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of the VR company Oculus was a wakeup call. It said to the world that VR was going to be a thing, because the people behind the biggest social network in the world were going to make it a thing. People may have seen this song and dance before, with the failed experiments of the late 20th Century still in their minds, but this is different. Computers have gotten more powerful, capture systems more effective, and everything has gotten cheaper. In a talk at The Studio at B&H Event Stage for NAB 2015, VR producer Lucas Wilson spoke about his experience in VR production and post production. He talked extensively about the cheapest VR solution, and what it means for the future of the medium. In 2014, Google announced “Google Cardboard,” and gave attendees at their I/O conference a little cardboard box. They put their cell phones in that board, downloaded the accompanying app, and suddenly their cell phone was a VR headset. There are more than 100 apps on the Google Play store (and more than 50 on the App Store), and they work with that $15 box. There are other Google Cardboard headsets, many of which are made of more premium materials, like the Zeiss VR One. It’s effectively a high-quality Google Cardboard system with a few extra apps specifically designed for it. And though Zeiss has only officially released compatible trays for the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5, the company has released CAD files for the Galaxy S4, Google Nexus 5, and LG G3. Anyone with one of those phones and a 3D printer can print their own trays. The Samsung Gear VR is the next step up, a headset designed specifically to take advantage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ’s impressive specs and beautiful screen. Samsung teamed up with Oculus to create an app ecosystem specifically for the Gear VR. And then, of course, there’s the Oculus Rift headset. Currently available is the Development Kit 2, which, as its name suggests, was created for developers. And though it’s not consumer-oriented hardware, it is still available directly from Oculus. Unlike the smartphone companions, the Rift requires the user to be tethered to a computer, but with that limitation comes increased power in the hardware and more options afforded by various input devices. Oculus is working on the consumer version, as well, and the company’s latest kit—code-named Crescent Bay—has shown off where this technology is headed. Unfortunately, it’s not available for purchase, but it all points to a bright future for the company. Other systems, such as Sony’s Project Morpheus or HTC Vive, powered by gaming monolith Valve’s SteamVR platform are in the works, as well, each offering its own vision for the future of digital media. But even the cheapest VR system is worthless without a steady stream of content. Content is king. But that’s where things get exciting for budding filmmakers, photographers, or app and game developers. Not only have the delivery systems gotten cheaper, but so have the systems required to create those deliverables. Wilson spent the bulk of his talk at the Event Stage explaining how an experience gets from the real world to the consumer’s headset, but he started at the end with a surprising fact: a VR video is an.MP4 file, just like any other. Well, sort of. It doesn’t quite look like your average video file, but that’s because it’s representing a 3D experience in two dimensions. It’s like a map of the earth. Only a globe will give you the real sense of what the earth looks like, but there needs to be a 2D basis for that 3D image. It’s not a perfect analogy, as 2D maps are skewed to be more readable (although less accurate), but its purpose is the same. A VR camera rig can be purchased, rented, or even 3D printed. For many filmmakers, GoPro cameras are enough. Companies like 360Heros have setups made for this exact purpose. You record the videos like you would any other, bearing in mind that everything is going to be visible. (Wilson believes that a device like the Ricoh Theta, despite its low image quality, is crucial for filmmakers trying to get a sense of what their final product will look like.) These files are then stitched together using programs like Video-Stitch or Kolor’s Autopano Video. From there, you have the weird-looking video file, ready for color and, if necessary, VFX. Currently, Nuke is the go-to solution for doing VFX in VR, but Wilson cautioned that it is definitely more challenging than creating something on a 2D image, or even a static 3D one. For color correction, there’s Assimilate Scratch, and that’s about it. Scratch works directly with the Oculus Rift, allowing one user to see the digital world in real time while another person uses the color-correction software to affect change as necessary. As people become more comfortable working with the distorted images, though, this process will only become easier. Wilson mentioned a friend who works in 3D video who can accurately judge depth just by looking at an anaglyph image. It’s likely that the best of the best in VR post production will have similar abilities down the line. According to Wilson, it’s the audio that’s really complicated. The traditional shotgun mic simply won’t cut it. Rather, projects require special microphones that replicate human ears, such as Mitra Corp.’s 3D Mic Pro. You may only have two ears, he says, but you can sense the subtleties of direction due to the miniscule differences in timing that a sound takes to get from one ear to the other. The microphone must be able to replicate these subtle differences, and it must also accurately respond to the movement of the user’s head. But it just requires a new set of skills, and all of the work can be done in Pro Tools, just as with any other project. Alternatively, designers can place sounds in a 3D audio space using technologies like Dolby’s Atmos, created for use in cinemas but now more broadly applicable to VR films as well. These are the early days of the VR revolution. Wilson calls it the “Wild, wild West,” noting that there is no perfect workflow or flawless system. Some people use GoPros, others arrays of RED Dragons. Still others work in purely digital environments. But all of these people are pushing boundaries, working on an inarguably fascinating technology that has the potential to revolutionize media as we know it and the world as we experience it. It’s no longer prohibitively expensive to experience VR, nor is it impossible for people without studio budgets to shoot it. It’s an exciting time for everyone. Here is a new medium for telling stories, being built up before our very eyes. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of it. Click here  for our full line of Virtual Reality products.
930 Views
Posted 11/19/17
Photography icon Robert Capa once famously said, ‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’ One of the great ways to get people’s attention with your photos is to bring them close to your subject. Getting in close can be achieved with a macro lens or even zooming in close with a long lens. This is a fun and exciting type of photography that anyone can learn. And the best part is, you can take close-up photos anywhere! Learn how to take high-quality photos of small subjects and make a giant impression on your viewer. Jeff Cable, a 5-time Olympic photographer and one of our most popular speakers shares his best tips for getting in close. He will help you understand the challenges and best practices in macro and close-up photography. Jeff Cable Photography http://www.jeffcable.com/phototours http://www.jeffcable.com/
900 Views
Posted 03/11/20
It can be tricky to capture motion when photographing moving subjects. In this photography tutorial, Sony Artisan Tony Gale will discuss camera settings, flash duration, high speed sync, lighting, and his lens choices. Sponsored by Sony
861 Views
Posted 06/27/17
In this program, David Brommer covers the basic concepts of composition as established by the masters of the Renaissance. Commencing with the classic rule of thirds and leaping into theories of color and balance, David will touch upon a range of topics, including: image construction, positive and negative space, as well as other advanced composition concepts. General shooting questions like, “Is the shot better if it’s a horizontal or vertically composed?” and conceptual ideas such as integrating theme and subject context are explored. Another factor to be considered is color vs. black and white, and how these two treatments can influence the visual impact of the photograph. Just when your head is spinning with new cropping and composing ideas, David will demonstrates special shooting techniques including how to create a pan blur, zooming the lens during exposure and low angle (worms eye view) shooting tips. David Brommer's Work: http://davidbrommer.com
834 Views
Posted 02/05/18
Watch as Charles Glatzer, Canon Explorer of Light shows how, why, and when to use the various meter patterns and modes to best advantage.
763 Views
Posted 09/04/17
After you make hundreds, thousands of spectacular photographs, now what? How do you find and organize them easily? How do you tweak, edit and polish them- and do all of this quickly, efficiently and painlessly? Lightroom is your friend! There is a reason why Lightroom is the go-to software for serious amateurs and pros alike: It’s the multi-tool for the digital photography world. This video shows you all the cool features, from importing to “tweaking”, from making a slide show to uploading to social media; from laying out a fine print to syncing with your smartphone. You will see that, with the proper workflow, you can find any one of thousands of images in ten seconds. That’s a promise! Lester Lefkowitz: http://www.lesterlefkowitz.com/
673 Views
Posted 03/12/20
Wedding filmmaker Matthew Van Ness believes that "it's all about the visuals after a wedding is over." Through his 13 years of experience, Van Ness has learned how to film a wedding in a way that allows the couple to enjoy their once-in-a-lifetime memories for years to come. He will share his wedding cinematography do's and don't's, as well as show a few example of wedding films from his company, MV Film Productions More Wedding Video Tips- Marketing Your Wedding Videos | Rachel Jo Silver
661 Views
Posted 03/21/18
In this B&H Event Space video, photographer and author Grayson Dantzic shares behind-the-scenes stories and images from his 17-year journey to make the book, Jerry Dantzic: Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill. In 1957, Grayson’s father, New York photojournalist Jerry Dantzic, spent time with Billie Holiday during a week-long run of performances at the Newark, New Jersey, nightclub Sugar Hill. The resulting images offer a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the iconic singer with her family, friends, and her pet Chihuahua, Pepi. During his presentation, Dantzic shares the lessons he learned during his hunt through the raw materials in his father’s archive, and the slow transformation to a finished product. In the process, he defines some of the responsibilities of being an archivist, offering tips you can apply to your own work. After watching, you’ll have a new appreciation for the goals that can be accomplished with perseverance and belief in a specifically defined project.
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