Category Archives: Everything Else

Sony Releases Monitor and Control App V2.0.0 – Support now includes Burano, FX6 and A1

Sony’s Monitor and Control app has been getting better. It has now become a very useful app for controlling the Cinema Line and other cameras. It works on both Android and IOS devices and allows you to use a phone or tablet as a touch screen monitor with low latency, many cameras can be connected via USB and when connected this way the latency is very low. 

The latest update now adds support for Burano, the FX6, the A1 and allows for full screen monitoring. 

Multi-camera support:

If you are using the app on an iPad you can monitor and control up to 4 cameras when all are connected to the same WiFi network.

Here’s the press release from Sony:

SAN DIEGO, CA – May 30, 2024. Sony Electronics announces the release of Monitor & Control (M&C) app version 2.0.0, an updated offering for Creators’ Cloud for individuals, bringing a suite of powerful new features and expanded compatibility for filmmakers and content creators. This latest update underscores Sony’s commitment to delivering innovative tools that enhance the creative process.

The “Monitor & Control” mobile app for visual content creators supports a myriad of Cinema Line and Alpha cameras and enables wireless monitoring, precise exposure adjustment, and intuitive focus control on smartphones and tablets, effectively transforming these devices into wireless monitors with professional camera controls. Key features include real-time exposure monitoring, customizable histograms and waveforms, remote control of camera settings, and advanced color settings, providing creators with a more flexible workflow without needing a separate external monitor. It also offers intuitive focus controls, enabling touch focus, autofocus sensitivity adjustments, and Real-time Tracking directly from a mobile device. The on-screen control bar provides precise manual focus adjustments, with configurable settings for focus transition speeds, limits, and magnification.

Expanded Compatibility

The M&C v2.0.0 app now supports a wider range of camera models, including BURANO, FX6, FX3, FX30, Alpha 1, Alpha 9 III, and Alpha 7S III. This expansion ensures more creators can benefit from the advanced monitoring and control capabilities offered by M&C.

Multi-Camera Monitoring

Exclusive to iPad OS, the Multi-Camera Monitoring feature allows setting adjustments, control and display of up to four cameras. This function supports both wired and wireless connections through Wi-Fi routers or hotspots, providing flexibility for various shooting environments.

Key Improvements For BURANO And FX6

  • Monitoring Resolution: Enhanced support for FX6, bringing it on par with other high-end models.
  • Exposure Monitoring: New support for BURANO and FX6, enabling precise exposure adjustments with tools like waveform, false color, histogram and zebra.
  • LUT Import: FX6 now supports Look-Up Table (LUT) import directly from mobile devices, allowing real-time application to live view.

Enhanced Monitoring Features

  • Full Screen Monitoring: Provides an unobstructed view of live images across all supported models.
  • Focus Map: Available for FX6, this feature offers intuitive focus control by visualizing depth settings.

User Interface Improvements

  • Simple UI: The updated interface matches the camera body design of CineAlta cameras, ensuring an intuitive user experience.
  • Intuitive Controls: Frequently used settings can easily be controlled from a smartphone or tablet including; frame rate, sensitivity, shutter speed, ND filter2, look, and white balance.
  • Focus Modes Integration: Seamlessly control focus while monitoring.
  • Improved White Balance Settings UI: Allows for more accurate adjustments of Kelvin scale.
  • Anamorphic De-Squeeze Display: Correctly displays images shot with anamorphic lenses.
  • Grid Line: Assists in composing shots with a thirds grid overlay.

Tool Menu Enhancements

Users can select and customize up to three tools for their screen, including advanced adjustments for options like waveform, histogram, false color, zebra, de-squeeze, grid lines, and rotation.

The “Monitor & Control”  mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices.1

New Accsoon Cineview 2 Wireless Video System

image_processing20240409-8-d3j65e-600x436 New Accsoon  Cineview 2 Wireless Video System
New CineView 2 SDI wireless video link system.

 

I’ve been working with Accsoon for a couple of years now and their products always represent great value and do what they are supposed to do very well. One thing in particular that I find immensely useful is the ability to use their wireless video transmitters as an access point that you can connect a camera to to extend it’s internal wifi range. This is particularly beneficial with Sony’s Cinema Line cameras as it can greatly extend the range and reliability of the remote camera control via Sony’s control and transfer app. See: https://youtu.be/iSC9i0Frz-Y

Accsoon have just announced a new addition to their line up with the new CineView 2 SDI (it does also have HDMI). I expect this will provide even better range and stability when used as an access point, plus of course it can transmit a very high quality, low latency HD video feed

The key points are below:
 
– A massive 1500ft/450m range with impressive stability and latency
 
– Equipped with HD-SDI and HDMI inputs/outputs for versatile connectivity. Has 4K 60P loop through on the TX unit.
 
– Features next-generation 1080P wireless video transmission
 
– Backwards compatible with previous CineView models
 

Catalyst Browse Gets a major update.

Sony have just released version 2024.1 of the Catalyst software suite, including Catalyst Browse.

This is a big update with many important improvements. If you are using a Mac computer with Apple silicon Catalyst now runs natively rather than via Rosetta. There are improvements to the render quality when using the stabilisation function plus support of the latest codecs.

Click on the link below to go to the download page.

https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/articles/CCCT03000?

Get up to $20,000 funding for your next project from Nanlite/Nanlux

project-spark-600x200 Get up to $20,000 funding for your next project from Nanlite/NanluxFollowing on from last year’s successful “Project Spark”, Nanlite are running a competition for aspiring film makers with the continuing aim of supporting the next generation of filmmakers, not just with money, but also advice and assistance in origination, shooting and post-production.

With each successful project receiving mentorship and a massive USD $20,000 worth of funding, creators have an unparalleled opportunity to turn their short film pitch into a reality.

This year the theme is ‘Shining through’, which can be interpreted however you wish. Submissions based on this theme can be either narrative or experimental. In the Global section (outside China)  four pitches will be selected for funding: two narrative shorts and two experimental shorts.
 
The contests in the Global section and Chinese section will run in parallel. Each of the four finalist teams in the Global section will receive a production budget of USD $15,000 and additional equipment rental support of up to USD $5,000 courtesy of NANLITE and NANLUX.


What have you got to loose? For the full details go to the Nanlux competition website.

Sony Future Film Maker Awards 2024

Screenshot-2023-12-07-at-18.12.05-600x249 Sony Future Film Maker Awards 2024
Sony Future Film Maker Awards 2024

Once again Sony is inviting entries for the Future Film Maker awards. This film contest is aimed at aspiring film makers and includes categories for fiction, non fiction, student films, animation the environment and future formats.

The top 30 entrants will be flown to Los Angeles and to the historic Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, California, where they will gain exclusive access to experts and unparalleled insight into the inner workings of the industry. Winners additionally receive cash prizes and a range of Sony Digital Imaging equipment.   There is a gala black tie awards ceremony at the Cary Grant Theatre  in Sony’s Culver City studios on the 30th of May 2024.

Entries must be in by the 15th of February 2024, so now is the time to think about entering your film.  Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world, big or small. Don’t be afraid to enter your work.

Click here for more information.

Sony’s FX3 wins Time Magazine award.

FX3-time-600x401 Sony's FX3 wins Time Magazine award.The Sony FX3 has won Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2023 – accessible film making award. The FX3 won the award because it was the main camera for the Hollywood blockbuster “The Creator”. The FX3 wasn’t a B camera, it was used to shoot the vast majority of the film (I believe there was also a small amount of FX9 footage). 

And this wasn’t a Sony stunt. The director of this sci-Fi film Gareth Edwards chose the FX3 because he felt it was the best camera for the job. In various interviews Edwards has stated that one of the prime reasons for choosing the FX3 was its low light performance. The FX3 allowed him to shoot with real moonlight rather than bringing in complex and expensive lighting rigs. It allowed the DP Oren Soffer to move more freely with the actors as they could do more with the natural available light rather than artificial lights. This in turn led to them shooting longer takes which Edwards feels gives the film a more organic look.

For the film the FX3 was connected to an Atomos Ninja V and they recorded ProRes Raw.Of course – the film went through some extensive post production work and there is a lot that AI can now do to clean up an image or to rescale it. But, I think we are now at a stage where almost every cinema camera that is in the market today, from the FX30 to a Venice could be used to make a feature film and the audience is unlikely to be aware of whether you used a $3K camera or a $75K one. At the same time I do feel that there is a lot to be said for picking the right camera. A studio based film might be quicker and easier to shoot on a Venice. A location based film may benefit from a smaller and lighter package. 

Whichever camera you choose, great story telling remains the main goal. Good lenses, lighting (or the use of the available light in a pleasing way) and composition are key elements in telling that story. Your skills as a film maker are more important than the camera you choose to use, but choosing the right camera can make the job easier. It’s a wonderful time to be a film maker.

Not camera related in any way, but needed to write this to get it off my chest.

Dear British Airways. In the email you sent to me this morning the very first sentence stated: 

“We’re constantly improving the British Airways Executive Club for our Members, which is why we’re making a change to the way you collect Avios on flights”.

This led me to expect to find something that would mean the benefits that I gain through being a long standing member of the BA Executive Club and frequent BA flier were going to improve. But alas, the reality of your changes mean that I will now actually be significantly worse off than before. Because I mostly fly long haul and  I don’t buy your most expensive fully flexible business class and first class tickets, instead buying more affordable and less flexible tickets,  as a reward for flying with you and being a loyal executive club member, on average on the same flights as I have flown for decades I will earn between 1/3rd and half of the Avios that I used to earn. 

I’m really struggling to understand how this is an improvement. Now you have chosen to dramatically reduce my ability to save up enough Avios for a decent saving on a future special treat holiday flight, perhaps you would prefer it if I started looking elsewhere for better flight deals with other airlines and then use the money I could save for my holiday flights instead?

I realise the BA Executive Club is your club, so you can change the rules as you please. But don’t expect me to remain a member if you take away the benefits that directly affect my choice of airline when looking for the best flight deals.

Regards
Alister Chapman.


If you are still reading…. BA are changing the way you earn reward points when you fly. Previously you earned points (Avios) based on the distance you fly plus the cabin you fly in, plus a multiplier based on your frequent fly status. From October BA will now give you 6 Avios for each £1 you spend for an entry level member increasing to 9 Avios for the top tier Gold card holders (and above). BUT there is a catch, you only get the Avios for the fare+BA imposed charges, all other taxes and fees are excluded. So if I take one of my return flights to the USA earlier in the year as an example:

Under the old scheme I earned 20,000 Avios as I flew a total of 10,000 miles in premium economy and then got a 2x bonus because I am a BA Gold card frequent flyer bring up the total reward to 20,000 Avios.

That ticket cost me around £1.4K, of which approx £400 is taxes and other fees. So, with the new system I would only get my  9 Avios per £1 for the remaining £1000 giving me 9,000 Avios, less than half of what I used to get. And I only get that because of my Gold card.

For those that don’t fly so frequently things are possibly worse. In the example above currently a Blue member would earn just the base 10,000. But with the new scheme that would reduce to 6,000 Avios making it even harder than it was before build up a worthwhile Avios balance. 

And what if you fly short haul? It’s just as bad unless you buy much more expensive fully flexible or  business class tickets. I fly to Copenhagen frequently, in the past I would earn around 2000 Avios on a return flight, even if I booked the very cheapest ticket I would still get 1500 Avios.  An economy return will often be around £240 of which £65 is taxes and fees. So I will now get 1575 Avios, but again if I by the very cheapest ticket that excludes luggage etc for lets say £200 then that drops to 1215 Avios. 

Don’t Charge Very Cold Lithium Batteries!

To be honest, not many of us have to charge extremely cold batteries, but on my Northern Lights trips my batteries often get very cold and often I will charge them while they are still very cold. I’ve always known that this isn’t health for the battery, but what i didn’t know was that actually it can be quite dangerous.

It turns out that if you charge a lithium battery that is very cold (below 0c/32f) it will appear to charge more or less as expected. But, when the cells are very cold metallic lithium gets deposited on the anode of the cell. If you repeatedly charge the battery at low temperatures the lithium will continue to build up on the anode causing a safety risk. This metallic lithium can cause the cell to become less stable and more prone to bursting into flames if the battery is over charged, gets hot or is shocked such as through being dropped or crushed. 

So – all you Aurora chasers and others that shoot in very cold conditions – let your batteries warm up before you charge them. It won’t be obvious that charging them is causing harm and the last thing you want is a battery suddenly bursting into flames on a job some time down the road because you’ve dropped or bumped it.

Temporary Outage Dec 19th 2022

Sorry about the temporary outage today. The SSL certificate for the site needed to be renewed, a process that normally happens automatically. But the company that normally issues the certificates appears to be having issues, so I had to get a certificate from a different provider. Running this site does take quite a lot of time and I couldn’t do it without the support of my current site sponsors Bright Tangerine and Camrade. Please do visit their websites if you need camera rigging and support accessories or covers to protect you valuable equipment investment. I highly recommend their products. Not just because they help me run this site, but also because they do make genuinely great products.