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SLR Magic 8mm f4 Review

This is a review of the SLR Magic 8mm f4. It is a new lens from SLR Magic, a Hong Kong based company. They gave an opportunity to review this lens.

The first thing that strikes one is how small and light this lens is. It is like a 16mm lens but covers the full Micro FourThirds image sensor. I seems very well made with all metal construction. I has a click less aperture ring which is designed for video recording. The whole lens seems designed for video and drone photography as the focus ring is lockable. It is designed to be set and forgotten.

The lens is not fast in aperture at f4 and is best used at 5.6 and beyond, with maximum sharpness about f8. Flare improves at 5.6 as well. Being a rectilinear lens, it is very well corrected when looking straight forward. Very little wide angle distortion. Corners improve with aperture closing down.

Flickr Album

SLR Magic 8mm

This would be nice of any videographer or still photographer who wants a very small, simple and light weight lens that is well made. Easily fits in any bag. This lens is ideal for drone operators who use Micro FourThirds cameras as it is the widest lens that fits on the DJI Inspire M43 version and YUNEEC H920 PLUS.

Watch the video for a look at the exciting new lens.

Blackmagic Video Assist 4K Settings, Audio and 720p on the GH4

BMDVA4K Settings and 720p

In this second review I show most of the settings on the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K. Also the XLR adapter cable arrived so I could test out the Mini XLR audio. I did some tests in the most space efficient mode, 720P PR Proxy. 1 hour and 18 minutes is possible on a 32 GB HC card.  Also is shown how to format a SD card. A 32 GB HC or smaller cards need to be reformatted for ExFat from Fat32. They will no longer work in the GH4 formatted as ExFat. 64 GB XC cards are already formatted as ExFat. Cards formatted in the Video Assist do not work in the GH4 but a GH4 formatted 64 GB XC card does work in the Video Assist.

The mini XLR cables can be purchased at Amazon.

Always tune into www.frugalfilmmakers.com to see the latest videos and reviews. The Blackmagic Video Assist 4K can be ordered now through Adorama.

Blackmagic Video Assist 4K UnBoxing and the GH4

Blackmagic Video Assist 4K UnBoxing and the GH4 copy

The new Blackmagic Video Assist 4K was introduced at NAB2016 this year and is now available. Quite a lot of features for the money: UHD 4K recording, SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs, Mini XLR audio, ProRes Proxy, LT, Standard and HQ recording, Canon LP-E6 batteries, a mental frame all with a 1080p touch display.

Watch this to see it on a GH4 and some early tests. This is the first video and covers some of the basic operation. There will be more that cover cards and audio.

The Blackmagic Video Assist 4K can be ordered through Adorama for $895.00

 

Shot with the Video Assist and GH4:

Panasonic GH4 V-Log Tests

Leica 42.5 Lens
Leica 42.5 Lens

The GH4

Panasonic has released their version of V-Log for the GH4 to the world. This is some short tests of comparing it to the other Photo Styles. I choose to test it against: Standard, Cinelike V and Cinelike D.

The Log color space is designed to increase dynamic range and roll off highlights better. Also it is great for matching with other cameras. If all the cameras are shooting Log, they can be matched better in Post. Keep in mind Log is designed to be used in Post so your workflow will increase. While you can get the camera in the ballpark with preset LUT's (look up tables), but for best results it is advised to do the job of a Colorist and create the look you want and this is on a scene by scene basis.

We did not use LUT's for these tests. Instead Color Finale for FCPX was used for these tests. Exposure and Chroma was the only things corrected to get the image to normal levels as Log is very flat and dull to compare to the other Photo Styles.

In these tests I did not see a lot of difference between Cinelike D and V-Log. Cinelike D is a lot easier to shoot and edit. I would recommend V-Log for shoots that need camera matching and those that require a cinematic color grade.

The Lumix 35-100mm F2.8 is Updated

Sorry for being away for so long. I had a very busy fall.

GH2 with X 35-100mm

GH2 with X 35-100mm

A new important firmware update is available today from Panasonic. It address a problem that has had many owners unhappy. Some have returned the lens. I like my lens, but have noticed the micro-jitters people are complaining about. I even tested another lens at Kenmore Camera.

The new firmware update for the Panasonic Lumix G X 35-100mm F2.8 O.I.S lens improves the stability of O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilizer) in Motion Picture recording. An important update when using Panasonic DMC-GH3 and the 4K video recording DMC-GH4 mirrorless models. 

Details are at Panasonic support page.

The Panasonic H-HS35100 35-100mm f/2.8 lens has construction including 18 elements / 13 groups of optical elements crafted from Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion (UED) and Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass, and uses Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating to minimize internal reflections and flare.

My verdict: A definite improvement. I have not used this lens as much as would have liked but now I will use it more.

Silverdale Whaling Days Fireworks.

4K Fireworks

4K Fireworks

Here we go again. More fireworks shot with the Lumix GH4. This time the fireworks were shot in 4K and edited with Final Cut Pro X at 1080p Full HD. The lens used was the New Lumix 14-140mm at f5.6. The ISO was 1600 and the shutter speed was at 60th of a second. The sound was recorded with the built-in microphone in the camera.

Editing was done FCPX we had no trouble dealing with the 4K video. Audio was offset a little because light arrives before sound at a distance.

The image above is a frame grab from the 4K. I just love being able to pull a high resolution still from a movie. Here is the video.

2014 Neighborhood Fireworks at 96fps

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 4.27.51 PMOver the Forth of July here in these United States there are lots of fireworks celebrating our Independence Day. I decided to take the Lumix GH4 out and shoot some of our local fireworks at 96 frames a second. One of the nice new features of the GH4 is the ability to shoot slow motion in the camera. That way when I play it back it plays in slow motion. I set the iso of the camera at 1600. I used the new Lumix 14-140mm lens. I am real happy with the results. I hope you enjoy them.

GH4 Firmware Update

Panasonic has released a firmware update for the GH4. The improvement is: 1. Improved the reliability of video recording performance. It was issued today, 2014/07/01.

Also the lustrous Leica G 42.5mm f1.2 Nocticron got an update as well. The lens is know as to Panasonic as the H-NS043. The improvements are: 1. Improved the motion picture quality under high sensitivity in use with GH4.

For those of you who have a Lumix GM1 there is an update as well. The improvements are: 1. Connection problem with Apple iOS devices via Wi-Fi is fixed.

The update can be found here: http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/fts/index.html

The GH4 Users Report Part 1

The Lumix GH4 has become a very popular camera. Most of this is because of the 4K video feature at a reasonable price point. Some other bloggers are discovering the joys of using these 21st Century cameras that I have already known. Here in Part 1 of my user review I will explain some of the reasons why I like this camera.

GH4 & GH3

GH4 & GH3

Even though they are very similar in many ways, the Lumix GH4 is a major improvement over the Lumix GH3. As regular readers of this blog will know I am a great fan of the GH3. For Panasonic to improve the camera is quite an accomplishment because the GH3 was already a great camera. The new camera would have to be considerably better for me to like it a lot more. It is. They look the same except for a small detail, locking mode dial. Inside Panasonic has changed the camera considerably. Because of this, I find it hard to pick up the GH3 anymore because of the GH4. Here are some of the reasons why.

The viewfinder is miles better than its predecessor in the GH3. Not only is it sharper but it is easier to see without the edge Rainbow colors of the old viewfinder. I just don't like looking at the GH3’s viewfinder anymore. They even improved the eyecup. It is now softer and more comfortable. With the extra pixels in the viewfinder the image is a lot clearer. Sporting a new sensor with a faster read out, the image quality has improved in both stills and video. This faster sensor has improved the viewfinder as well. This is the first electronic viewfinder that I find looks almost like an optical view finder because of the faster readout and higher pixel count that adds to the clarity of the image.

One thing that I have wiped about the GH series is the swivel LCD. Swivel LCDs were put on videocameras many years ago and I have always liked them. I am glad that Panasonic put them on all of the GH series cameras. They have improved over the years. By adding more pixels Panasonic has improved the clarity of the swivel LCD on the back of the new camera is much better than its predecessor. So much so that I could now use it as an auxiliary viewfinder with my HoodLoupe. Still there on the LCD is the wonderful touch control that worked so well on the GH3. I have always liked the touch focus.

The new locking mode dial is very convenient in that when you push it down it locks the dial. Leave it up and the dial spins freely. This is a better arrangement than having to hold the button down to turn the dial like I'm some other cameras. I like being able to lock the mode to movie shooting.

It is wonderful that the improvements that came with the GH3 are still there. Having dedicated buttons for white balance, ISO asked and exposure compensation is great. I use them all the time. Having so many other function buttons is great too. I have always liked cameras with two Control wheels. One for aperture control, the other for shutter speed.

In Part 2 of my user review I will write about the improvements on the inside of the camera.

Shot with the GH4.