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I will doing as many posts during NAB as I can…fun permitting. Here is number one!

So here I am in Vegas. In a much healthier state than I was in last year. Great to be here with so many friends, that’s what NAB is all about for me. The people, seeing old friends, making new friends and meeting people in real life that I only know from twitter/ facebook/ my blog…that’s what NAB is all about it. I always preach it’s now about the gear, but I am here at a HUGE event which on the surface is all about the gear but it truly is the networking that makes NAB special.

Last night I had dinner with Jon Connor, Cristina Valdivieso, Tyler Ginter and Steve Weiss. I then met Mike Seymour and Mickey Jones for drinks in the abomination that is the Paris hotel. As a frenchman it’s cringe inducing being in there!! THAT is not Paris, like the Venetian is NOT venice, although Excalibur is exactly what medieval England was like  ;)

Steve Weiss brought a near production Zacuto EVF with him for me to play with. I am biased, Zacuto are site sponsors and Steve is like my brother but I hand on heart was amazed by it. Smaller than I thought and MUCH lighter. The screen is incredible, the dot pitch is so tiny I simply cannot see the pixels and the options are endless, the auto-scaling on record with the 5DmkII is as sharp as the original signal. I also jumped up and down on it and it had no problems. This is one TOUGH little bugger! I will be doing some more tests with it today and tomorrow so stay tuned. I love the Cineroid that I have but this is much much better made and better quality with better features. Check out my very silly strength test below and the fantastic video that Karen Abad made for them…the drop test at the end is brilliant….12 foot!!!

There are taking pre-order on their site for shipping start of May

Z-Finder EVF Video Series ~ Part 6: “The EVFs Have Arrived” from steve weiss on Vimeo.

Steve & Jens elaborate on the Z-Finder EVF’s menu features, shooting styles & quality. Features include scalability, frame line generators, anamorphic ratios & more.

Helpful timestamps to help you navigate through the video:

0:25 What you get when you buy the Z-Finder EVF Snap
1:43 Upgradable Firmware updates via USB
2:16 Scaling
4:31 Anamorphic Correction
5:02 Frame line generators
5:49 Color Bars
6:07 Exposure Assist
6:54 Focus Assist
7:36 Assigning features to function buttons
7:57 Retaining customizable settings even after powering down
8:23 Monitor comparison
8:58 Color comparison and Chroma adjustments
9:49 Switching between 480P and 1080i
10:48 Resolution
11:59 Dot Pitch
12:18 Upcoming Firmware upgrades
12:33 Battery Power
14:05 Different ways to use the Z-Finder EVF
15:51 Assembled and manufactured in the USA
16:32 The look of the EVF – inside and out
18:12 The Drop Test

 

 

This was awesome, but the most exciting thing was Mike Seymour from FXPHD brought his RED EPIC with him. Stunning. Well, I haven’t shot anything with it but holding it, operating it, the menus…everything about is was just super sweet. The touch screen LCD with simple access to all the major settings is a world away from the Red One. I held this and changed the ISO is 10 seconds without going into any menus. It’s small but quite heavy due to it’s metal casing and heavy duty PL mount. This is one robust camera. Mike was telling us about the dynamic range on it being incredible.

I say again and again and again, it’s not about the camera but in this case, screw that. I want this camera more than anything. it’s incredible. Now I just need to shoot on it….lucky old Jason Wingrove, my good friend from Australia already has and has shot this lovely piece below. Read what he has to say and watch his film. Stunning. I am sold. I just need to find some money, a lot of it…maybe I need to go to one of the tables downstairs and put all my kit on erm…red at the roulette table??? :)

Me/ Elvis with the Red Epic

FROM JASON:
I’ve shot with everything from genesis to Alexa for my professional work and done a tone  of DSLR work for personal projects so i was keen to shoot with Epic to see if a pro camera this compact could fit into the way i shoot reality on my 5DMkII.  The Answer? surpringly well.  While epic is a little heavier.. about 3.5Kg with side handle and onboard monitor but still quite happy on the same 75mm bowl Manfrotto 504 tripod i use for my 5D.

What puts the Epic ahead of the original Red One is its ability to shoot at 120fps without having to reduce resolution and crop the sensor.  We had a quite overcast morning so didnt need the HDRx mode that gives vastly extended dynamic range, switching this option on would have reduced our top speed to a not inconsiderable 96fps.  The detachable side handle is pretty impressive, giving you a tonne of customizable buttons and the ability to control all the menus with the scroll / joypad control all will be familiar with in current DSLR’s tho the convenience of having the ISO, Shutter speed and angle, compression ratio, HDRx level and fps all as easily set as the clock on your iPhone is hard to beat.

Of course it doesn’t completely replace a DSLR.. theres still something completely stealthy about a dslr that can shoot HD images but I think this is a significant leap from the comparatively big and heavy RedOne and whilst theres still some tweaks to get some things 100%, its impossible to find a camera that comes even close.  A camera thats capable of 19+ stops of dynamic range, gives me 5K of raw images at 120fps and in a format i can carry like a DSLR and lets me take it from the studio on friday to a Sea Pool on the weekend.. incredible.

Curl curl from Jason Wingrove on Vimeo.

Switch ‘HD ON’ for best results

Shot in a couple of early morning hours at Curl Curl sea pool on Sydney’s northern beaches.

Epic M #123, 120fps, 10, 40, 65 & 180mm master prime. Nikkor 8mm fisheye. All non HDRx.

Thanks as always to Mike Seymour for bringing #123

Oh and that song you now cant get out of your head is “The Swimming Song” by Loudon Wainwright III

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-swimming-song/id193006096?i=193006151

Jason Wingrove
Freelance TVC /Film Director,DP
jasonwingrove.com
twitter.com/​wingrove

 

Oh…one last silly video…S95 in miniature video mode x20 with the Delkin Suction Mount on my rental bonnet on way to Walmart. All straight out of camera!

 

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Comments

  1. Nate Green says:

    Do Epics have waterproof casing? I’d be a bit hesitant to get that close to the water

  2. Jiri Vrozina says:

    I told You about Epic-S ….
    The only problem is unless you are Ridley Scott or Peter Jackson you will wait 2 years for one.
    Yes Epic-s….thats the ONE.

  3. All I know…is that with my budget — more scripts than money; time in UCLA grad film school; crewing on indie features and a hard work ethic culled from years working construction — I’m ready to actually go the DSLR Canon Mark 5 II route to make my feature debut. But then I get this WOW factor about the RED EPIC????

    Costs don’t actually compare.
    I can rent the canon DSLR package for a few weekends…one full weekend to do my shots and lighting tests; and then 2 to do the actual shots for the trailer for the investors. All this for under 1500.00. It could easily be 3x as much with the RED EPIC.

    I understand the work involved with doing mostly everything on my feature myself. But come on Phil…is it the DSLR or the RED EPIC?
    What is actually going to give me the most bang for my buck?
    It’s gotta be the Canon because you’ve been doing so much with it; the results speak for themselves.
    And not all of us have money coming out of our ears.

    Any thoughts? Thanks.

    MARK11

    1. Nate Weber says:

      I can’t give you any knowledgeable advice on 5D vs RED, but I would say, if you are going to spent 1500 renting a 5D w/ lenses (assuming you aren’t getting much, if anything else in your package). I would recommend, (if you go the 5D route) that you purchase the body and rent the rest.

      It is indispensable to just own a body and a cheap (or nice) zoom lens.

      The amount you learn in composition, and control, from hands on time is big. And having constant access allows you shoot fun, impromptu, no-budget projects. Which is not only great for learning, but can let you enjoy this profession in ways you can’t when you are stressed on larger jobs.

      Good luck!

      Nate

  4. Hi Philip,

    The EVF has been a long wait, but very worthwhile. Kudos to Zacuto for making the product-design process so interactive with their user base. Not a lot of companies are willing to take that route.

    However, only one little thing still bothers me: the EVF does not allow for it to be used as a monitor that you can rotate around to shoot yourself and not see yourself mirrored. Vertical flip does work (for low angle shots –> thank you Zacuto, now I have monitor for my Glidecam), but no horizontal flip function.

    I suggested this feature to Steve before and he basically told that me that was what your iPhone4 is for… maybe you can convince him otherwise? Don’t you use the 60D specifically for that purpose when you’re doing video for your blog posts? Must be a feature they could easily include in their software, right?

  5. Joe Mills says:

    Really excited about this Epic any idea how much its going to cost? And what size sensor does it have?

  6. You are SO right Phil. The excalibur is EXACTLY what medieval England was like.

  7. Am really looking forward to read your test of the Scarlet (if you can get your hands on it).

    Epic looks great, but Scarlet suits better my budget.

  8. Hi Phil,

    When you are using the Zacuto rig like in the first two pictures on this page, how do you access the camera controls? You’ve got your right hand down on the handle, so how do you start/stop recording, or access the other buttons on the camera?

    Thanks,
    Michael.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      never easy with a rig like that, a remote stop start is essential really

  9. Hi Philip

    Like you I brought the original Zacuto Target Shooter.

    How do you use/attach the EVF with this setup?

    I want accurate focus when shooting handheld

    Cheers

    Rich

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i shifted the camera over to the right of the rig richard

      1. What product do you use to attach the EVF to the rig?

  10. Tulio says:

    Don’t drop it in the pool…