PRESS RELEASES FROM JOHN SHARAF PHOTOGRAPHY
December 1. 2012
JSP IS KEEPING PACE WITH DIGITAL CINEMATOGRAPHY IN 2012 AND INTO THE FUTURE
This past year has seen a defining transformation from Film and Conventional Video Production to Digital Cinematography, and John Sharaf Photography has been growing quickly to keep pace, and there is now no turning back!
We currently have a large commitment to Digital Cinematography including seven Arri Alexa EV, PLUS and STUDIO Cameras, in addition to two Sony F65's and three Sony F3 cameras. These are all "large sensor" cameras with imagers modeled on the size equal to or bigger than Super 35mm Film Cameras. The Alexa 4x3 Plus and Studio are larger than Super 35 and are especially appropriate for anamorphic photography, where in using the additional height an 80% improvement in resolution is achieved over 2.40 cutout from Super 35 (rivaling other cameras that claim 5K resolution). The Sony F65's take a different approach and pack more pixels into the Super 35 aspect ratio and create 4K resolution that is recorded on the internal SR Memory Cards in a 16-bit 8K file, which can be processed out to 4K, 2K or HD. The F65 can also record on 220Mb (Lite), 440Mb (Standard Quality) or 880Mb (High Quality) HDCAM-SR Codecs when only 1920x1080 HD resolution is required and the Arri's Alexas has finally implemented full 2K recording internally so that feature films can now shoot native 1.85 aspect ration without resizing from 1920x1080 or loosing valuable negative (SUP7.0) as well as tuning up their internal De-Bayer Algorithm to improve quality.
Digital Cinema Cameras like the Alexas, F65's and F3's that we are providing to customers every day are rapidly replacing 2/3" Three-CCD Video Cameras in many applications from news and documentary to multi-camera concert films. We had the pleasure and the honor of working on and supplying Alexa Cameras and Cine Lenses to the Barbra Streisand Homecoming Concert Film just recently at the new Barkley Center in Brooklyn, NY. In addition our Alexas are in use on episodic TV dramas shot in studios and locations all over North America, and one of our F65's is in Paris, France for use on a feature film for Roman Polanski.
Because all the new Digital Cinema Cameras take advantage of Log Gammas in order to compress the full 14 stop range of the sensor onto the recorded file, On-Set Color Management has become a necessary requirement for viewing a color corrected picture on set and to pass on the look settings to post production; especially if you want anything more custom than the simple 709 conversion built into most camera's monitoring outputs. With the acquisition and use of Filmlight's "Truelight SDI" box and the accompanying "On-Set Color" software, we're now able to create a complete color decision list (ASC-CDL) linked by time code to each clip and put that spreadsheet on the same hard drive we send to post with the actual master media. There, with free or inexpensive software like Resolve, Baselight for Avid or FCP, Scratch, and others from many manufacturers of post color correction platforms, dailies can easily be created (and transcoded if necessary) with the same color as viewed on the set by the creatives and clients. We include this capability with most camera rentals, and just as non-linear editing has migrated from complex, infrastructure heavy facilities to laptops, the same is happening with sophisticated color correction.
Just as camera technology is continually improving, so are the displays that we view the pictures on. It is very rare these days to see a "tube" monitor, which was until very recently the gold-standard of both engineering and critical viewing. Our newest monitor, the 25" Sony BVM-E250 uses the latest OLED technology which eliminates the backlight as was used in LCD monitors so that blacks are now really black (meaning the absence of light). In addition the extended color gamuts of the modern cameras (especially the F65) are now viewable and finally 3D LUTS and transforms can be loaded into the monitor to recreate the final viewing requirement, whether it be on a TV Monitor, a Computer Monitor, Film or Digital Projection. We can even provide a special pop-up tent with black interior to create the proper dark viewing environment on stage or location.
We began the year integrating the Fujinon Premier 24-180 lens into our kit, especially for use with the Sony F65 where the high pixel count requires an especially sharp and fine resolving objective, and close out the year with the receipt of Fujinon's newest lens, the 19-90 Cabrio PL-mount. This lens is the first of it's kind; combining light weigh (4.4 pounds), a long ratio (4.7x) which offers a short enough focal length of 19mm for a wide shot with a long enough focal length of 90mm for a close up in a lens with a built-in zoom servo handle just like a conventional ENG lens. For the first time cameras like the Alexas, F65s and F3s can be configured for tripod and hand held at the same time and easily operated without add-on handle bars. It's a real game-changer in lightweight hand-holdable PL-Mount camera configuration and use.
While it is not easy to see what the future holds, either in technology or business trends, we do feel comfortable at John Sharaf Photography that the skills we've honed over many years and the unique kit we've assembled are appropriate for whatever comes our way. We enjoy the challenges and opportunities of the balancing act required to satisfy our diverse clientele and the changing business landscape, and encourage you to seek our advice and assistance for your most important projects this coming year!
Get further information about our newest featured technologies at these manufacturers websites listed below:
Fujinon 19-90 Lens
December 31, 2011
JOHN SHARAF PHOTOGRAPY FIRST WITH NEW SONY F65 CAMERA
We've received one of the first of the new Sony F65 Digital Cinema Cameras and while not fully implemented with the HDCAM SR Codecs, it records file based media out-of-the-box in 16-bit 8K RAW! Our second body will arrive as soon as next month.
This camera is a game-changer as far as camera technology is concerned; it's 20 mega-pixel 8K sensor over-samples to 4K,2K and HD. This is a first and assures the highest quality for large screen projection and visual effects and will find use in high-end features and commercials that seek unrivaled quality. Furthermore its 16 bit RAW recording assures over 65000 shades of each color, offering the smoothest and most accurate color rendition of any previous camera by several magnitudes. It has the largest color gamut of any imaging system including film. It's nominal 800ASA and 14 stops of dynamic range with super quiet noise characteristics and gain to 3200 really puts in question the continued use of film in acquisition. The camera and recorder are also capable of 4x1K resolution in frame rates from 60-120fps. Another improvement from previous CMOS cameras is the spinning mechaical shutter which eliminates all possibility of "jello-effect" motion artifacts.
Sony is committed to bringing industry standard HDCAM-SR codecs including the new 220mb "Lite" version in a software upgrade as soon as February 2012, as well as free program to view them on Mac and PC laptops, similar to the ProRes workflow on the Alexa. These codecs allow lengthy recording times on the SRMemory Carrd media; at standard 440mb HDCAM-SR for example as much as 155 minutes on the 512Gb card. With the two 512's and the one 256Gb cards packaged with each camera that's almost four hours of material before you have to download, the equivalent of 20,000' of 35mm motion picture film and likely enough to make it through the longest days without reformatting media under pressure. Each camera package comes with a SRMemory card reader that has eSata, Ethernet and HD-SDI outputs.
Sony has simplified the user interface from previous iterations of their Digital Cinema cameras and introduced (with an optional receiver) Wi-Fi control of all menu and camera functions from an iPad. Rod mounts on the top of the camera to which the color EVF attach leave lots of room for the other "gak' that finds its way onto a motion picture production camera, and ARRI 12 and 24 volt accessory connectors are available on the side and back. Two HD-SDI outputs are available from which either S-Log, 709 or User LUT's may be chosen for monitoring or simultaneous proxy recording.
Also part of our new F65 kit is the first of a new generation of "4K" Zoom Lenses, the 24-180 Fujinon Premier T2.6. This lens is one of four that Fujinon has designed and markets especially for the new larger (Epic) and high density (like the F65) sensors that are required for 4K and beyond. The series includes a 14.4-45T2, 18-85T2 and 75-400T2.8-3.8 in addition to the 24-180, which is a close equivalent to the 12X Optimo. We hope to be adding the 18-85 next.
As this is Sony's fourth generation of Digital Cinema Camera, and they have been paying close attention to their user's needs and feedback, this F65 product has been designed and engineered with the future in mind. At present there are only limited resources in the 4K exhibition domain, but this camera is ready while the rest of the world catches up. In the meantime the benefits of oversampling can not be over stated. Please feel free to contact John Sharaf Photography for a demonstration, bid or booking of this exiting new camera system.
November 1, 2011
JOHN SHARAF PHOTOGRAPHY ADDS 5' MINI SLIDER TO CAMERA MOVEMENT KIT
From the folks at "The Slider" who pretty much invented the heavy duty, precision slider for motion picture use comes their newest version; the 5" Mini Slider. This unit has essentially been downsized to be more appropriate to the smaller, lighter and more compact Digital Cinema Cameras, such as the Alexa, Sony F3 and PMW700/800 ENG cameras that we specialize in. Because of its more compact size it can easily be erected and transported by one person. Check out the photos on The Slider's website:
To make focusing, iris and zoom easy, we also have a three motor ARRI wireless kit available that configures to PL mount and ENG lenses. The assistant can now comfortably sit in front of a large monitor and remotely focus without ever disturbing the slider movement. It's a dream come true.
In my own practice I find this unit useful almost every day; in interviews to slide from an over-the shoulder to a clean single, from the side a slow traveling wide shot to get a better eyeline and for b-roll to add some drama to an otherwise static shot pf the subject on the phone,at the keyboard or just looking out the window. It's uses are endless and its cost very small. Comes complete in a shipping case with mounting accessories for tripods or stands; two rolling low-combo's included.
Please check out The Sliders website and call John Sharaf Photography for pricing and availability.
February 28, 2011
NEW DIGITAL CINEMA CAMERAS ARE TURNING THE FILM WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!
First it was the Sony F900 used by George Lucas for the Star Wars sequel, and Panasonic Varicams which brought 24fps to the masses, then the Red One and Canon DSLR's with their larger imagers and short depth of field, now the amazing ARRI ALEXA and the at this very moment the delivery of the Sony PMW-F3 Camera are revolutionizing conventional "film" production.
It's not just the 35MM imagers using PL mount lenses, but nominal sensitivity of 800 ASA and14 stops of dynamic range. In addition high quality file-based recording media in 10 and 12 bit depth and up to 4444 color sampling in small form factor bodies that are the game changing factors ushering in a long anticipated renaissance of camera technology.
These new cameras liberate producers and filmmakers by offering small, lightweight, less expensive and faster moving productions, free from the expense of film, processing and telecine with very little downside. These advantages also migrate to genres previously shot in 16mm and video too; like cable, broadcast, corporate, documentary and education.
For many years digital cinema technology struggled to become as good as film, but finally these electronic cameras offer higher sensitivity with less noise (and/or grain) than even the most modern film stocks. While certainly not eliminating lighting, the size of the instruments can be smaller, using less power, lighter cables and less heat on the set; and with sharpness and dynamic range rivaling film, it's becoming harder to justify the additional expense.
John Sharaf Photography has retooled top-to-bottom with the addition of two Arri Alexa cameras, Arri/Angenieux/Zeiss PL-mount zooms and primes, and just this week two of potentially many PMW-F3's. Working in alliance with another boutique rental vendor "HD Optics" we offer as many as four Alexas and several million dollars worth of PL mount lenses.
The Sony PMW-F3 camera brings 35 mm imaging to a sub-$14000 camera. Empowering the broadcast producers with practical large imager cameras has been the most elusive technology so far in simulating the "film look" which has driven the entire initiative since the introduction of 24p video cameras almost ten years ago. It has finally arrived! For daily rental prices on a par with what you've been paying for high end HD-ENG cameras, you can now have a complete 35mm Digital Cinema kit.
So feel free to contact us to discuss the new paradigm, come by for a demo or request a quote for dry hire or complete with crew. It's a very exciting time to be in the production business!
October 18, 2010
INTRODUCING ARRI ALEXA
JOHN SHARAF PHOTOGRAPHY is proud to announce the arrival of our new Arri "Alexa" Digital Cinema Camera. She's available for dry-hire rentals and as a package with John Sharaf as DP, Camera Operator or DIT, and we're offering a full and complete kit ready for all types of production from run-and-gun to full dress commercials and theatrical features.
Here's what we're offering:
1 @ Alexa Pro Set, complete with Camera Body, Tool Set, Manual, DTE-SxS Module with 5 @ 32Gb SxS Cards, SD Card, EVF-1 Electronic Viewfinder, Viewfinder Mounting Bracket, Viewfinder Short and Medium Cables, Viewfinder Extension Bracket, ALEXA Ethernet Cable, 12V Accessory Cable, Anton Bauer Battery Bracket, wedge Plate Adapter, Bridge Plate Adapter, Leveling Block, Shoulder Pad, Center Camera Handle, Handle Extension Block and Custom fitted ATA Shipping Case. (Second complete camera will arrive soon).
2 @ Anton Bauer 560Wa NiMH VCLX Batteries, Cables, Chargers, ATA Shipping Cases and Hytron 140/ Dionic 160 On-board Batteries and Charger for Hand-Held work
1 @ Angenieux 12X Optimo 24-290 with Oppenheimer Handle and ATA Shipping Case, Digital Microforce and Heden Motor
1 @ Zeiss 14.5-45mm LWZ.1 with Chrosziel Matte Box, Chrosziel DV FF, ATA Shipping Case, Digital Microforce and Heden Motor
6 @ UniQoptics "Signature" Lenses (18,25,35,50,85,100) all T1.9, ATA Shipping Case
1 @ Arri MB-28, FF-4 and 19mm QR Bridgeplate/Baseplate with ATA Shipping Case, 6.6x6.6 ND3,6,9,1.2, T1, Pola Filters
1 @ Sachtler Cine 30 Tripod Set with Ronford Standard and Baby Legs, Shipping Cases
1 @ Arri 7" On-board Monitor with Universal Mounting Arm and Shipping Case
1 @ Panasonic 1760 17" HD Monitor and Shipping Case
2 @ eCinema DCM-23 23" Monitors and Shipping Cases
1 @ Leader LV5750 Waveform/Vectorscope & DSC Chroma du Monde Chart
1 @ AJA KiPro-Mini Portable/Camera Mountable 10-bit ProRes Recorder, uses CF Cards (expected November 2010 arrival)
Please call or email for complete pricing and feel free to request a demo at your convenience.
January 6, 2010
ONE STOP HIGH DEFINITION SOURCE
To keep pace with the ever changing and improving High Definition landscape, John Sharaf Photography has accepted delivery of the first Sony SRW9000 HDCAM-SR Camcorder in the US. This camera is the first compact one-piece camera to offer 10 bit, full raster, 444 and S-Log recording inn a compact one-piece design. Previously only the Sony F23 and F35 cameras did this, but their form factor and cost were prohibitive. Now digital filmmakers have a no-compromise option at a reasonable price. By leveraging existing kit that includes cine style Canon lenses, fiber cable systems from Telecast and extensive engineering and monitoring from Evertz, Leader and eCinema, John Sharaf Photography is now offering its clientele the most nimble digital cinema production kit presently available.
This camera is especially suited to visual effects assignments as well, especially blue and greens because of it's 10 bit recording and full 4:4:4 color sampling. With the option cards that are already installed the camera both records and is able to out put the 4:4:4 signal to monitors and/or directly to computer for on the set compositing. Sony is fully commited to making the HDCAM-SR the new standard for digital cinema and has lowered the tape stock price by 25% as an incentive.
The addition of S-Log recording, which gives the camera a 12 stop dynamic range, makes it a legitimate replacement for film in many applications. The camera also has built in look-up-tables (LUT) which convert the S-Log to standard HD video (709) for client viewing and to create dailies on another medium (like HD-XDCAM). Sony will shortly announce an extended editing function to allow the user to create their own LUT's and import them to the camera for "custom" looks.
For this who do not need 10 bit recording or not willing to use an HDCAM-SR VTR for ingest, John Sharaf Photography still offers F900R's, PDW700/800's and the Panasonic Varicams. All the same lenses, engineering and monitoring still applies.
Please feel free to contact us directly for a demonstration or quote.
JSP OFFERS LARGEST HMI TO PLUG INTO THE WALL
John Sharaf Photography is please to be one of the first lighting vendors in America to offer it's customers the new ARRI 1800 watt HMI. This light is touted to be the "largest" unit that will run off of a typical 20 amp household circuit, and eliminates the need in many cases for a generator and the extra cable, transport and manpower needs that comes with it.
The migration of ballast technology from larger units allows the 1800 watt device to "turn on" as a 1200 watt unit with 150% power draw, thus not blowing the fuse on power up. Once the light stabilizes at 12 amps, you'll hear a click and notice the light is much brighter; it's now at 1800 watt full power. From there you can dim it down to 1200 without changing the color temperature. The design of the instrument itself also takes advantage of R&D that ARRI has done with reflector design. The same "MAXI" design which they have implemented in their 18K HMI is used in this unit as well. Furthermore the reflector can be field-changed into a PAR lamp so it's actually two lights in one. Our units come complete with the conversion kits and the PAR lenses required in that configuration.
We've added Avenger crank-up stands for these and our 4K Pars that easily lift the units to 16' and have speedrings and ,medium Chimeras available as accessories as well.
When used with our inventory of eight 800 watt Jokers, you can light an extremely large practical location off of 6 household circuits. Another advantage of these lights is that they will endure a long cable run with typical #12/3 AC stingers, as they all only need about 90 volts to turn on and run at full color temperature.
Please feel free to contact us directly for a demonstration or quote.
August 4, 2009
TOUR DE FRANCE FILMED WITH 3 PDW700'S
Patty and John Sharaf just returned from a sixty day shoot in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland for 8 Second Films LLC based in Seattle. They covered the Tour de France and related events with three Sony PDW700 cameras shooting 24p on HD-XDCAM Professional disks. Along with a producer and crew of four French technicians and two interns we shot over 200 hours of interviews and documentary materials without a burp from these new cameras.
While these cameras were designed primarily for broadcast use, and the later version (PDW-F800) meant for Digital Cinema, as it carries the CIne Alta badge, the 700's at the time we left did offer a 24 over 60 frame rate (like the Varicam) and it was this format that we used. Upon our return, Sony made the 1080/24p option available and all three cameras have since been upgraded. In tests before we left, we compared the 700's to the Varicams and found them to be sharper, and the media had about 50% more capacity (45 minutes vs. 32 minutes) at the same cost, which was a significant amount considering how much we knew we would shoot. In addition the Hyper Gamma curves in the 700 offered very similar highlight control to the Varicam's Dynamic Range controls, and were used extensively for day exteriors.
The film is in post-production now, look for it next year in a theater near you!