Cameras and Such

Being someone who has spent too much time with printers, I think all personal/ private ownership of printers should be banned.

When they break they’re impossible/ expensive to repair.

Consumables are expensive/ or go obsolete.

The waste and cost for printing is so high, that it’s just one more thing that should be publicly funded.

For me its only an issue when some gov’t document needs to be physically signed and then faxed somewhere instead of having proper esigning because we live in the 21st century. In those cases I just end up putting in a 60 cents printing order at the nearest fedex-kinkos and then pick up my like 2 pieces of paper.

Capitalism strikes again.

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So, DJI have done something kind of revolutionary with their new camera. I’ll let the much more experienced camera guys at Corridor explain better than I can:

Quick summary for those who don’t feel like watching the video:

  • Integrated full-frame camcorder body compatible with DJI lenses, and adapters for other lenses
  • Comes with fully integrated wireless monitor with full remote operation, using DJI’s transmission protocol for their drones, giving you an insane amount of range, in the order of 20,000 feet with low latency. Or for those not trying to write a press release so trying to figure out how to make the most impressive version of the (still insane) number, that’s about 6 Kilometers, or 3.7 miles in clear air.
  • Integrated stabilizer arm and gimbal, so it gives you steadicam capability just built in, and without the big harness, careful balancing and tuning per camera, plus all the abilities of a high-quality gimbal. If using DJI lenses, you don’t even have to re-balance for the lens. For other lenses, it can autocalibrate fairly quickly.
  • Integrated autofocus and focus pull, which sounds small, but for the type of camera it’s competing against, that’s not typical, you normally have to strap extra gear to the camera for it. Oh, and it’s got integrated Lidar that not only works with the Autofocus, it works with the gimbal for added z-axis stabilization.

And of course, that’s just the wild shit, it’s also apparently a really good camera besides, and comparing it next to other cameras in the space, it easily holds and plays with the big boys in basically any metric you can name.

I wouldn’t say it’s revolutionary, at least not on the production side. It’s not like this camera is going to result in people making videos that couldn’t be made before the way say, technicolor was revolutionary.

What it is, is a really obvious idea that every other company should face palm for not having thought of sooner. It’s going to be revolutionary in terms of shopping. Every video person out there has a kit that that already has all of these features. But they get those features by purchasing several different pieces of equipment and combining them.

Camera, lenses, monitor, external recorder, gimbal, focus motor, etc. That’s at least 5, probably more, expensive pieces of equipment from different companies. You not only have to buy them all, but combine them together, configure them, make sure they are compatible, etc. Camera companies basically took this model of having separate pieces for granted, going so far as to make box cameras that were just a sensor in a box, expecting the customer to add every other piece of the puzzle on their own.

That’s because camera companies just make sensors and lenses, they don’t make gimbals and all those other accessories, and haven’t even tried to start doing so. They even go so far as to publicly suggest accessories like those that DJI makes. DJI meanwhile, everything they make that have a version that lets you use your own camera and a separate version that includes a camera. Just look at DJI Osmo, they have models where you attach a phone, and ones where you attach nothing.

Now, you could say that the fully integrated thing that camera companies make is the camcorder. True, but camcorders have really gone out of style for anything where they aren’t sitting on a tripod.

So yeah, if I was a pro video person I would absolutely be looking at the Ronin 4D. Saving all that time and hassle of combining various pieces and getting them to work smoothly together would be absolutely worth the price in terms of time saved if I was using the camera very frequently.

Yeah, I should have qualified that a little more. What you’re saying is absolutely correct, all that shit already existed, the revolutionary part is that they’re putting them all in the same unit, as you say.

I do defend the use of revolutionary, though - after all, we say basically the same thing about why smartphones were so revolutionary.

Suprisingly, not as true as you might think. Most modern video-capable cameras that aren’t studio-only units are Camcorders these days - they are both the camera, and recording that video to whatever storage media. If you’re working with a cameraman, often it’ll be a shoulder-carried unit, but if you’re shooting a remote solo, they’ll usually send you out with a smaller unit, the more compact hand-carried ones. Most professional outfits aren’t sending people out with a fuckken’ iPhone and a hearty good luck, no matter what Apple might pretend.

It’s not exactly common, but Steven Soderpop has shot on iPhones, and he’s as pro as they get.

Nikon doing their best to not die.

Looking for a recommendation on a light, so I look better on zooms. My setup is just a regular USB webcam on top of my monitor. I’m fairly backlit with ambient light.

I want the least amount of stuff to set up and futz with, so I actually use it. Just get some cheapo ring light on Amazon?

Yes, just get a cheap ring light. Make sure it’s the kind where you can put the webcam in the middle of it.

Fascinating stuff here. I’m curious why they weren’t able to find or create some sort of softening filter they could just apply as a digital effect. Why waste the film?

Perhaps such an effect would be easier to create now that a transfer has been made. You could use machine learning to compare the original raw frames to the softened ones and use that to create a digital softener.


I assume they wanted authentic film look and that was easiest way to achieve it. I would assume same look could be achieved fully digitally, but that would take some expert and effort to create custom algorithms and such. Apparently, that’s what was done with Knives Out, it was filmed fully digitally, but was made to look like film. But I also got the vibe that it was kind of passion project, to show off that it can be done.

The iPhone 13 Pro is the first phone camera I’ve had that I’m happy with just as a camera. Not as “good for a phone camera” but as a tool I can use to capture exactly the image I want when I see it. Also, importantly, I’m getting the image I want on the first or second attempt, which is super important for catching the exact moment.

It’s got me enthusiastic about photography again, enthusiasm that was previously dampened by having to carry a DSLR.


The Leica M11 is here. If anyone else has $9k to burn, you know what to get me.

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They finally officially announced it. The only major feature it has that would matter to me is real-time desqueezed anamorphic output. This would allow live streaming with an anamorphic lens, a truly unique feature.

Every other feature is just more pixels, frames, quality. Nothing that justifies the expense to someone like me who isn’t doing professional work.

There’s also the Olympus OM-1 announced last week.

And the A7 IV announced the week before that. I guess that’s exciting for SONY people.

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I haven’t bought any camera anything in a long time. I sort of maxed out all my photo/video needs. There’s just one thing I’m missing and I think it’s going to be announced in two days. That thing is a gimbal. I was live streaming myself in the park and boy did my hand hurt from holding the camera a way it was not meant to be held.

The DJI Ronin SC2 is basically the ideal. It probably even does more than what I need. I was going to get one, but it looks like the Ronin 3 is set to be announced.

Seeing as how the 2 has more features than I would ever need, I’m not sure what the 3 will improve that matters to me. I guess if it’s lighter and has better battery life, that could be nice. But hey, always good to get the newest one for the sake of support and such. Or maybe get a used 2 for cheap if someone sells to upgrade?

Guess I’ll report back here in two days.

I don’t want to be “you’re doing it wrong” guy, but have you experimented with a handle, or a mini tripod? I’m not sure what a gimbal will add that a gorilla pod won’t.

Yeah, I’m somewhat with Luke on this one - Unless you’re trying to do video that would benefit from dynamic stabilization, regular tripods/monopods/whatever else like that would serve you just as well. And they do exist for SLRs, thanks to the proliferation of youtubers with great cameras doing selfie-style shots.

That said, not saying there’s no case for them, I’m mostly just curious as to what you’re getting up to. I’m even in support if you just want to get one to fuck around with and see what you CAN do with one, it’s a valid reason as any other.

I bought a DJI Osmo gimbal for my cell phone years ago. I think I used it like 2-3 times. And the most useful video was a test video I shot while riding my longboard down my street. I just never needed stabilized video while on the move at a time when I had the forethought or space to have brought the gimbal with me. That is not to say they are useless, but I didn’t think through my need sufficiently before buying it.

If anyone wants to buy it off me, make me an offer.

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