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Phil Rhodes

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  1. I got as far as the end of his rather haphazard analysis of the first two contractual paragraphs, about firmware licensing. As I suspect most of the people reading this will be aware, in the increasingly distant past I've voiced some fairly negative opinions of Red. I've long been unimpressed with what their cameras are (or at least were) capable of and the behaviour of the company, particularly its ability to make good on early claims of specification and performance. The forum threads cited in links above show senior company people shrieking like schoolchildren that someone's stealing a valuable innovation when, in my view, little or no actual innovation was involved. I am not particularly inclined to be charitable toward Red. Even so, quite a lot of the first two paragraphs he discusses is is a pretty normal, boilerplate software license agreement. Outside of software, similar things often hold. No film manufacturer is ever going to be willing to warrant the cost of reshoots if they ship you some duff negative and that probably isn't completely unreasonable. Still, it has been pointed out in the past that many software license agreements are in fact highly unreasonable - for instance, if a laptop burns my house down and kills me, I'd like my relatives to be able to sue the company. Some license agreements attempt to wriggle out of that sort of liability and as such have been described as being, probably, in many jurisdictions, and in the very strictest sense, not actually enforceable. Unfortunately, it'd cost you a blockbuster budget in lawyers to establish that, and software companies get to win because they're rich, not because what they're doing is correct. I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to whether that's the case with Red, but the issue of arrogant unilateralism in software licensing is not a new complaint. P
  2. I'm sort of surprised that only one person has mentioned getting as much sleep as possible. For a job of more than a few days, if you can't get six to seven hours a night you can't do the job. There is a horrible tendency, at least in the UK as far as I know, to pretend that sleep is optional. It isn't, for all sorts of reasons related to competence and safety on the job. People honestly go out drinking on work nights here then turn up looking freshly exhumed the following day. I don't understand.
  3. I like something with a VCT-14 compatible quick release and shoulder pad on the underside, rods on the front and back, and somewhere to stow the camera on top. Something like a Tilta BS-T03. That way, you can balance the thing with batteries (and have reasonable battery life) and convert it between handheld and tripod as quick as any ENG camera. The BS-T03 has a reasonably complete stack of dovetails and adjustable slides on top which allows things to be balanced properly. It allows you to rig more or less any camera into a workable setup. Other VCT-14 quick release baseplates exist but some don't have rear-mounting rods, which you sort of need to get the batteries far enough back to clear the screen for user interface. Zacuto have the Z-VCT-P which I think does, at three times the price. I'm not sure why it's worth it. Many places have 15mm rod-mounting V-mount battery plates. You'll need some trivial conversion to power the camera from it. Your selection of viewfinders is greatly limited by the lack of any SDI on the Blackmagic 6K. Otherwise, I'd propose Blackmagic's own viewfinder if you wanted a loupe. You could convert it but that's then becoming a pile of boxes and you might as well get an Ursa Mini Pro. In fact, honestly, you might as well get an Ursa Mini Pro, unless you have some crusading need for 6K. P
  4. And if your cast doesn't have the microscopically flawless skin of Samantha Robinson? She's only 28 now, that was four years ago, and even the standard, poorly-done Wikipedia headshot, with lots of frontal flash, is moderately flattering!
  5. I tend to use the term "colour quality" to talk about spectral content, although I'm not sure it's that widely used. The phrase "quality of light" to me refers to spatial distribution, which a sophist's way of describing the source size and degree of collimation, or how hard or soft it is.
  6. I've always taken the position that it's horrible management technique, regardless of the motivation. I have raised my voice on a film set precisely once, ever, to make known an incipient safety hazard, and I don't think anyone would have felt personally attacked.
  7. The thing with SSI, and all the TM-x stuff, is that it defines similarity to some ideal. Yes, that's more or less what all of them have to do inasmuch as they're targeting cameras which are targeting our eyes which are targeting sunlight. Still, I suspect that people will always want a quality number that isn't relative to a variable. People like CRI because high numbers are good, and interpreting an SSI requires a lot more interpretation, understanding, and frankly subject area expertise.
  8. To be a real pedant, TLCI is predicated quite specifically on a broadcast TV workflow. However, I think it's unlikely that any light which scores well on TLCI is likely to be unpredictable in any common use case, unless there's something really unusual involved.
  9. Skypanel is not that great. It was presumably engineered to suit Alexa, given the corporate situation surrounding it. The colour is only one issue; they're also amazingly heavy, a bit flimsy and incredibly expensive.
  10. Tape or no tape, if the connectors don't fit together properly it's likely to create a high-resistance joint. I'd make sure it isn't getting hot in use. Test it. P
  11. I'm always a bit careful about zeroing out all the sharpening on cameras which have poor codecs. The Sony F3 has recently experienced a surge in popularity, but if you record it onboard it's only a 35Mbps file. Similar problems attend Canon DSLRs and anyone using the HDCAM deck on an F900 will want to be aware of this. If you turn it all the way down the whole thing can end up looking horribly mushy and it needs to be done before the codec gets at it. Low is good, zero sometimes isn't.
  12. Hmm, I could measure some of the stuff I have here. But I think in the end we can keep coming up with different numbers forever. It is hard for something to have a good TLCI, but be really bad at R9 or R12. P
  13. I love the still in the first post up there, but I can't say the rest of the trailer really grabbed me. P
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