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Thursday, July 23, 2009

DV Magazine HDSLR Movie Making

Check out this teaser article about HDSLR movie making and our movie, Rejouer at DV.com. The link to the article is http://www.dv.com/article/84948

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Panasonic GH1, Canon 5DMk2 & Red Camera Sensor Sizes Compared to Film Formats

Rejouer Technical Consultant, Illya Friedman, compares digital sensor and film formats sizes.

One of the most frequent questions I’m emailed about is sensor/film format sizes and 35mm depth of field. Actually what seems to happen more often than not, is that I’m informed that I should build a PL adapter for the Canon 5Dmk2, because it has “35mm depth of field, and the GH1 doesn’t.” This is incorrect. I’m going to repeat this….


The Canon 5Dmk2 uses a 135 sized sensor which is a 35mm STILL-photo format, the closest equivalent on the motion picture side is VistaVision. This is not the format used predominantly for mainstream motion picture and television production.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 sensor, while smaller than the Canon 5Dmk2, is much closer to the field of view/depth of field used in mainstream film and television. Take a look at this chart I created. All sensors/film formats sizes listed are to scale.

One more thing- the 4/3″ format is not roughly equivalent to 16mm. One could say that 2/3″ HD and 16mm film are similar, but it’s not accurate to also include 4/3. 4/3 is FOUR TIMES the size of 2/3″ HD. (22mm hypotenuse vs 11mm hypotenuse). See the chart for a visual representation or go to the original post for a larger chart at Hot Rod Cameras.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Lumix GH1, Canon 5Dmk2 and Red camera test update.

HDSLR shootout update by Rejouer Technical Consultant, Illya Friedman

While no images have yet been made public, the July 9th camera test has already been very informative. A total of 15-20 working professional DPs, Operator, Camera Assistants and DITs were on hand and were able to provide feedback to the principals putting this test together.

I provided the 2x Hot Rod systems to be used with the HDSLR cameras (Lumix GH1 and Canon 5Dmk2). I received some really fantastic comments from the ACs and operators throughout the day. Everyone seemed to LOVE the freedom of movement and support the Hot Rod systems provided- moving/working quickly, having solid grips, tool-less adjustments, and changing batteries without adjusting the current set-up, were all the hit features. This was the first real public outing of my system since REJOUER, and it was everything I hoped it be.

During the test the HDSLR cameras and Red camera were put into a variety of configurations including; hand held, long lenses (a 600mm cine lens was mounted to the GH1 - see above picture) car interiors, cine saddles for low angles and existing light/night shooting. There were a few charts shot as well. But this test is far more subjective than scientific.

There was a director and actors present, but as far as I could tell it seemed like they were there just to give the camera people subjects to shoot and it would be one less detail for the lead DP, Byron Shah, to worry about. My guess is that the cameras will all intercut, although it will be the most difficult for the Canon to match the others because of it's limitation of a 30p frame rate. Fotokem is going to do attempt to convert the 30p to 23.98p. But I know there's no way to do this elegantly, and I think that the Canon will probably stick out a bit more than the other cameras. The images are scheduled to be screened at Birns and Sawyer on July 30th. There will be plenty more information to follow.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This poster was created by my six-year-old son, Colin. He was in the movie, played the part of Dirty Boy and wrote this post and it's title.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Rejouer technical consultant, Illya Friedman, will take part in a "camera shoot out" on Thursday, July 9th at 2:00pm @ Birns & Sawyer in Los Angeles, CA.

They'll compare the Panasonic GH1 (with Hot Rod Camera's PL Lens Mount adapter used on Rejouer), Canon's D5 Mark II and the Red Camera. All these cameras use the CMOS sensor technology.

No real info about the "camera shoot out" at the website, so call Birns & Sawyer if you need more info.

Birns & Sawyer Camera Rentals & Sales
6381 De Longpre Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028
(in ArcLight Cinema Center)
Phone: 323.466.8211
Email: info@birnsandsawyer.com

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Saturday, July 4, 2009


Today is the fourth of July, while most people celebrate the birth of America, the day holds a more personal meaning for me - it's the day my father died. While on good days I envision my father's soul ascending to heaven amid the fireworks, on the days I feel his loss, I think of the grandson he never met.

Now some years later, I feel a connection to my father I would have never imagined - to be at the dawn of a technology. My father was born in 1921 and came of age at the dawn of television in New York, when it was a cutting edge technology full of promise and potential. He was a cameraman before the term was coined. He worked with Edward R. Murrow, Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan, shot the first baseball game and the first coast to coast color broadcast. He had a fifty year career at CBS and raised a family of five.

Today, while HDSLR movie making may not have the same impact as television, it does put in the hands of every movie-maker the ability to make big movies on a little camera. The great quality divide reserved only for those that could afford it is over. Just like the old aesthetics debate of film vs. digital, the idea that an inexpensive camera can only make a little movie is dead. Declare your Independence today. Make a BIG MOVIE with a little camera.

- Liam Finn

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Friday, July 3, 2009

BIG MOVIE, little camera

Finn shot using a new adapter, the Hot Rod PL, made by HOT ROD CAMERAS. The adaptor allows the use of professional studio lenses on the tiny GH1.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 is the first (and only) HDSLR (High Definition Single Lens Reflex) camera capable of shooting 24 FPS (frames per second) at "full HD" resolution of 1920x1080. At less than 1 lb., the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 is also the lightest and smallest of all the HD capable DSLRs currently on the market.

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REJOUER is the first full-length feature shot on the new hybrid format HDSLR using the Panasonic GH1.

Liam Finn wrapped principle photography the first week in June on REJOUER, his directorial debut feature shot using the new hybrid format HDSLR. The film wrapped even before the Panasonic GH1 camera arrived in the US. Finn created early test shots in May with a GH1 he obtained from Japan.

REJOUER is the first film to showcase a full length look at what the HDSLR format and the Panasonic GH1 can do for filmmakers.

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