60D $1099 of Video Goodness

Canon PR photo

Canon PR photo

Canon just released a new DSLR that shoots HD video for $1099. The one thing that I love about this camera is the fact that it has a  LCD screen can be moved in to a number of different places making it so much easier to shoot video. I think this is a great idea from canon.

The video quality is pretty similar to the 7D or 550D. You can see that here from the video examples from Canon.

Canon video examples

I would love to get my hands on one of these to see how it performs. I think it could be a great second camera / backup body to have. I bet it could be really great to have that LCD screen for steadicam work. I wonder if they will do this for Canon 5D Mark III everyone has been rumoring about.

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Here are the specs on the camera for all you junkies out there:

  • An 18MP sensor with 4 channel readout. Very similar to the sensor found in the T2i and EOS 7D, though the 7D has 8 channel readout to speed up operation.
  • Full HD video at the same selectable resolutions and frame rates as the Rebel T2i/7D. Manual exposure setting is possible.
  • There is a “wind” filter which can be used when recording audio along with video. The built-in mic is mono, but there is a jack for a stereo mic. There is no manual control over audio volume.
  • The AF system has the 9 points found in the Rebel T2i, but all are cross (dual axis) sensors as in the 50D. The 7D has a more advanced AF system with 19 cross type sensors.
  • 63 zone metering as in the Rebel T2i and 7D
  • The viewfinder has 96% coverage (the 7D is 100%).
  • The ISO range is 100-6400 plus “H” (12800), same as the T2i and 7D.
  • The EOS 60D now uses SD(HC) cards like the T2i. The 7D  uses CF cards.
  • Canon has abandoned the BP-511 battery of the 50D in favor of the LP-E6 which is used in the EOS 7D (and 5D MkII).
  • The maximum frame rate is 5.7 frames per second (fps), between the 3.7 fps of the T2i and the 8 fps of the 7D
  • The LCD has a 3:2 aspect ratio and Canon’s current (and excellent) anti reflection technology.
  • For the first time on any Canon DSLR, the EOS 60D has a tilt and swivel LCD. This doesn’t help much for conventional still photography, but it can be very useful in Live View mode and when shooting video.
  • The weathersealing is somewhere between that of the T2i and the EOS 7D. It’s not super weather sealed, and it’s not designed to be used in heavy rain, but it shouldn’t quit if it sees a little drizzle!
  • The shutter is good for 100,000 cycles. Max speed is 1/8000s and sync is 1/250s
  • There is an electronic level, but only for the horizontal axis. The 7D has both horizontal and vertical levels, the T2i has none.
  • There is a dedication position on the mode switch for video and a dedicated “start/stop” button. When not in video mode, the button starts and stops Live View.
  • The mode dial has a locking button in the center which must be pressed before rotating the dial to change modes. This makes it harder to nudge the dial and inadvertently change modes.  Hopefully Canon learned their lesson with the A2, which had a similar, but notoriously fragile, mode change locking button.
  • The on/off switch is now directly below the mode control dial (as in the EOS 7D)
  • The buffer should be good for about 58 JPEGs or 16 RAW images. Better then the T2i, not quite as good as the EOS 7D for JPEGs.
  • The 4 way controller used for menu selection, AF zone selection etc. is now incorporated inside the rear QCD on the EOS 60D.
  • $1099! HELLO HONEY!!!!

Here are some other people’s thoughts on the new camera.

PDN: http://www.pdngearguide.com/gearguide/content_display/reviews/e3i7666b0f985795021e1a4172694176374

DP Review: http://www.dpreview.com/news/1008/10082620canoneos60d.asp

OGV what??? Universal Platform Publishing for Video

Today people have soooooo many ways to see your multimedia/videos/photofilms.

It is truly great to be able to show our content to our clients and potential clients on so many platforms through the internet. Unfortunately, the average photographer or film maker is not web intelligent which is why so many of them have flash websites which are expensive but easy to use.

What is the problem with this? Well if you haven’t seen the trend, people have decided that mobile viewers like iPad, HTC and iPhones are another way they want to look a content. For example my website has more and more viewers that are using an iPad or iPhone. Last month for example I had 113 people look at my blog and website with an iPhone or iPad.

So why is flash bad? Well if you didn’t know this the iPad and iPhone can’t and will never will see flash and Android based phones do a very poor job at letting you use flash.

So it seems that when you embed your videos with the standard flash based embedding, clients that want to look at your work will be missing out.

Do not be glum my friends. Let there be joy in the world. Some smart people got together and have fixed the problem in HTML 5.

So how do you take advantage of this HTML 5 and be able to show your videos across every platform known to man? Well you have a couple of options.

#1) Use Vimeo Plus which is $60 a year. Sweet deal.

#2) Use free Vimeo (or YouTube) and embed multiple video inputs for every platform out there and host the HTML 5 compatible videos on your own server.

Wait what? Embed multiple video inputs? Sounds like a lot of work.

Well no.

There is a very simple way to do this and i’m going to show you step by step.

#1) First you should use Firefox and add the plug-in Firefogg. Firefogg will help you convert your movie into the HTML5 complaint .ogv video file which is needed to for Firefox viewers.

#2) You can read about all the settings for Firefogg here but most of the time using the Preset in Firefogg does the job well. Just make sure you choose the option that has “Theora(video) and Vorbis(audio)”. ( I just found out that Firfogg can also encode your videos in Google’s new format called WebM. Very nice!)

#3) Now you will get a .ogv file. keep it.

#4) Now download another free program called MPEG Streamclip. Open up this application and go to “Export MPEG-4”

#5) Convert your original video file into a mp4 using h.264 or x.264.

#6) Upload your 2 video files (.ogv and .mp4) via FTP to your server.  Make it easy for yourself and make a folder called “Video” where you will put all these files. Make sure you know the file path on your server (http://www.yoursite.com/Videos/Name_of_your_Video.mp4).

#7) Upload your .mp4 video to Vimeo or YouTube.

#8) Open your web-page (with your web editor) or wordpress (Post -> HTML) and paste the following code. Make sure you change the file names and locations and read the directions below.

<!-- first try HTML5 playback: if serving as XML, expand `controls` to `controls="controls"` and autoplay likewise       -->
<!-- warning: playback does not work on iPad/iPhone if you include the poster attribute! fix coming from Apple in OS4.0  -->


<video width="768" height="432" controls autobuffer>  <!-- You can make this any size as long as you encode in that size and it has the same aspect ratio as your original video -->
<source src="../Videos/YOUR_VIDEO_NAME.mp4"  type="video/mp4" />  <!-- change your video name and location -->
<source src="../Videos/YOUR_VIDEO_NAME.ogv"  type="video/ogg" />  <!-- change your video name and location -->


<!-- fallback to Flash: this is the embedding code that YouTube or Vimeo gives you -->
<object width="768" height="432"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12816435&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12816435&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="768" height="432"></embed></object>
</video>

This last bit of code is your embedding code that Vimeo or YouTube gives you. This is flash and it is needed for all those poor souls that are still using Internet Explorer or haven’t updated their browser.

Well there you go. Now everyone can watch your great video work on any platform whether it is a computer, iPhone, iPad or Droid. By using this way of publishing your videos on your website you are publishing it for the future and for those people who are still using old browsers.

Now this embedding code is not my creation entirely. I modified it to use embedding code for Vimeo and YouTube from  Kroc Camen.  Without his help I would be as lost as you. So if you want to know more about HTML 5 from a super genius web guy go check out his site here: http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody.

Now after all my talk were is my example?? Well here you go sparky!! This is my published HTML 5 video example for you from a recent project I worked on. Go ahead and right click on the video. No adobe and no flash (unless your on Internet Explorer 😉 ). Ahhhhhh so nice!!!

Also, so you don’t freak out about the video interface for different browsers. Each browser has their own different video interface.

Firefox

Firefox

Firefox

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Safari

Safari

Safari

Well you get the idea. The important thing is that your clients can now watch your work on any platform they want to. It is all about accessibility.

Happy publishing!!

Backpackers & Yogurt

As of lately I have been feel that my photography work is not progressing as fast as i would like it to. I asked my agent/buddy Francois at Noi Pictures to get me some local editorial assignments which will force me to go out and shoot things i’m not used to shooting.

As most photographers know, local or regional magazines pay…. how do I say it in a nice way…. way way way below standard editorial day rates. This is why in the past I stayed away from them. Now though i am happy i changed my mind. They are fun assignments where i get to meet some interesting locals and shoot some stuff i normally wouldn’t get a chance to shoot.

All in all, it is good practice when i have free time and it’s fun to meet some different locals.

I had two stories this week. One on Kinh Do Cafe which makes all their own deserts and yogurt from scratch. The owner was a super nice old guy and the fresh yogurt with honey and fruit is amazing. I really enjoyed talking to him and taking his portrait, eating the free cake he made me eat (i didn’t want to be rude) and shooting the shit with Ian the writer.

The other story I was assigned was about backpacker fashion. I took some portraits of Tiffini, the owner of The Drift Backpackers Hostel who sells those crazy baggy backpacker pants in Hanoi. If they were gold they would totally be MC Hammer pants.

Since the the article was supposed to be about backpacker fashion I took to the streets and did some fun portraits of backpackers and their fashion. I had a really good time with this and half way though my portraits I decided to do 1-2 second shutter releases while having my subjects standing in the middle of the road. I got some pretty nice results out of it due to the traffic driving around the subjects, but it was difficult to keep the subjects still for 1-2sec.

Unfortunately, I can’t show them here right now since most of the photos were chosen by the editor and I only have a few out takes.

So with out further boring you with my writing here some out takes from those two assignments. Thanks for looking.

Painting with light

Commercial photography Vietnam

150 Layer Light Painting

For over a 2 years i have been lucky enough to befriend a really great guy and talented photographer, Boris Zuliani. He used to live on Truc Bach lake and we would have beers in the evening with other photo buddies talking about our love of photography and film (or until our wives or girlfriends called). Boris’s true love and art in photography is light painting. He uses it with great skill and passion in his personal work and for some commercial work.

When I first saw his work I thought it was just beautiful. I loved how soft the light was and at the same time giving the exposure a different kind of contrast then that of a normal photograph.

As Boris and I talked over beers I started to think about making a video of light painting. I didn’t want to make a “tutorial” video showing the process of light painting, but more about the feeling light painting gives to the subject and showing the gradual exposure of a photograph out of darkness.

Then some time later……. I met a randy young lady named Gillian. Boris had done a couple of light painting portraits of her and she said that the experience was so different from any other portraits she had posed for in the past. She explained it to me, but this was some time ago and my brain has been punished by Hanoi’s cheap beer so i don’t remember word for word. Though, I do remember her saying how much she enjoyed it and that the experience was something special.

Then some more time passed…….. Boris called me up and pushed me to make the video. Then Gillian called me up and pushed me to do it as well.

Time to put my thinking cap on. I had to figure out a way to show a light painting photo slowly exposed in video format using the extra variable of time. Hmmmm…. then i figured it out (oh that engineering degree served me well).

I would use a very slow shutter speed and do a kind of time-lapse while Boris did his painting. Then i would layer the photos to be gradually exposed over time and make all the layers add the new exposure to the old one (yeah i’m a nerd for this stuff).

So me and my gun-hoe /semi intoxicated team went out one night by West Lake (Ho Tay for the natives) and shot this video in 40 min.

Post production took an incredible 24 hours of rendering in CS5 Premier Pro with my i7 core iMac (thing was burnin’ up!!!). I guess that is what you get when you have 150 layers in a video editor.

No grading, special effects or effect editors (After Effects or Motion) were used to make this (except for my logo). The video and photos were shot on a 5D Mark II and the video was all shot hand held at 50mm.

Now making sure that the subject was fully exposed is tricky because when we did the light painting in this way you can’t see what you have exposed, which is why some of Gillian’s leg is not exposed. Also you have to remember that each exposure adds to the next exposure so i also had to be careful not to make my image too bright or too dark other wise the final image would be over or under exposed.  I think the exposure was perfect for the layering, we just missed a part of the leg. I’m putting blame squarely on the intoxicated aspect of the project.

All and all, I am happy I was able to do this and thanks to my buddies for helping do so. It was something fun, different and somewhat challenging.

It could be interesting to make a clothing designer commercial like this. If your keen for that please drop me a line.

And now the final video. Thanks for watching.

Light Painter: Boris Zuliani

Model: Gillian Sturtevant

Photography & Video: Ehrin Macksey

Music: NiN