Trying world class lenses on the Blackmagic Pocket 4K and 6K

My youtube review show ‘Hot Lunch’ took a look at the Zeiss CP.3 range of compact prime lenses, testing them out on both the Black Magic Pocket 4K and 6K. These cinema primes are a filmmakers dream, offering beautiful skin tones, silky smooth aperture and focus, and full frame coverage over the whole range. We put them through their paces in a variety of setting as Covid-19 lockdown eased up in Ireland. Thanks as always to channel sponsor http://camerakit.ie for supplying the glass (and Pocket 6K) used in this review.

Our review of the Sony FX9

New review up. This time of the Sony PWX-FX9. The 6K sensor full frame successor to the FS7. We look at everything from colour to usability, to the changes Sony are bringing to the camera later this year. If you’ve been considering an upgrade, or even thinking about this as your first cinema camera. This is the review to watch, especially if you’re based in Ireland. Please share with anyone you think might be interested. Paul Lynch and myself put absolutely tonnes of work into exploring every aspect of the camera. Trying to answer the question as much for ourselves as for you, is this the camera you should buy next?

Sony’s latest powerhouse production camera, his full frame beast follows up on the success of the FS7, which has become the go to camera for documentary and corporate shooters. Is this a worthy successor to the much loved FS7? What do its new features – like autofocus, full frame shooting, and S-Cinetone bring to the table? All this and more answered, in our comprehensive review.

00:00 – Introduction to the FX9
01:50 – New Features
05:14 – Full Frame Shooting
07:18 – Usability
14:10 – Footage Samples
17:49 – Issues
27:04 – Cine EI Mode Explained
30:33 – Stabilisation
31:49 – Upcoming Firmware Changes
35:25 – More Footage Samples

Thanks to camerakit.ie for lending us the gear!

The Late David Turpin | Love Shrine (feat. Xona)

My new video for Irish artist David Turpin. Shot last year in Dublin.

Concept: David Turpin | Dir/Ed: Gareth Stack | DOP: Siobhán T. Rose Madden | Prod: James Galvin | BTS: Anthony Kinsella Feat: Xona, Lorcan, Dmitry, Michal, Pablo, David, Emerson and Bonnie Take from the album ROMANCES.

Directed this last year for Irish artist David Turpin. It’s from an album called Romances, featuring his songs performed by a variety of Irish artists, in this case Jordan from the band XOMO.

The idea for the video was a kind of audition / tarot reading before a pair of jaded libertines. Visually we tried to create the feeling of a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph, or some of the effects pioneered by John Maybury in his biopic of Frances Bacon, ‘Love is the Devil’. This combined in camera effects with a good amount of post grading, like chromatic aberation and depth of field effects. Using Davinci, Film Convert and Red Giant Universe.

A Year with the Black Magic Pocket 4K

We’ve spent a year getting to know this small but mighty camera. We’ve shot around Europe and the US, on both corporate and music videos. Just what makes the Pocket 4K and it’s big brother the Pocket 6K different? What do you need to use these cameras? Can they replace production cameras? Can they be used for run and gun vlogging? Answers to all these questions and more.

This is the first episode in a new series of camera and camera gear reviews, aimed at videographers and editors in Ireland

Thanks to channel sponsor Camerakit.ie for their help with this video https://camerakit.ie/

The Siog String Trio Live in St Patrick’s College

Sióg String Trio play Bach.
Violins: Anna McKenna and Orla O’Hanlon.
Cello: Áine Ní Loingsigh

For bookings email: siogstringtrio@gmail.com 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/siogstringtrio/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Si%C3%B3g-String-Trio-172590036121762/

Shot and edited by Gareth Stack https://www.garethstack.com/
Sound design / edit – Orla O’Hanlon

Seeking Filming Locations

In association with Maynooth University Dept of Psychology, we’re creating a music video to support the single Memory by Aural Air & Patrick McEleney. All funds raised through sales of this single will be donated directly to the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland. Our production team are donating their time and use of equipment for this great cause. Our goal is to finish the video by March 12, to coincide with the launch of National Brain Awareness Week. 

We’re looking for a hospital / elder care facility, ideally in the North East of Ireland – Dublin / Wicklow / Meath / Louth etc.

We would ideally film over one evening / night in the coming two weeks. Our camera setup will be minimal and will not create any disruption to the normal functioning of the facility. Below I’ve included some information on Brain Awareness Week and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.

Alzheimer Society of Ireland

Currently there are almost 55,000 people living with dementia in Ireland. 4,000 of these people are under 65 and are classified as having younger onset dementia. It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia will rise to 153,157 by 2046 due to population ageing. Approximately 4,000 cases of dementia are identified in Ireland each year. There are approximately 50,000 family carers caring for someone with dementia. For each person diagnosed with dementia there at least three family members directly affected.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland works across the country in the heart of local communities providing dementia specific services and supports and advocating for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers. Our vision is an Ireland where no one goes through dementia alone and where policies and services respond appropriately to the person with dementia and their carers, at the times they need support.

Brain Awareness Week

Love your Brain is an awareness campaign led by the Neurological Alliance of Ireland to coincide with National Brain Awareness Week March 16th to 22nd 2020. The campaign aims to promote greater awareness and understanding of the brain and brain conditions as well as the need for more investment in services, research and prevention. Love your Brain is supported by nearly 30 patient organisations and research groups which will be involved in organising events for Brain Awareness Week throughout the country. 

There are 4 parts to the Campaign: 

1. Understand your Brain: Promoting greater understanding and knowledge about our brains and how they work

2. Keeping Your Brain Healthy: Raising awareness of brain health and how you can protect and strengthen your brain

3. Living with a Neurological Condition: Calling for more investment in services for the 800,000 Irish people living with neurological conditions 

4. Promoting Brain Research: Highlighting the need to support research into the brain and brain conditions 

DaVinci Resolve has a serious issue. Numerous persistent bugs.

I switched almost exclusively to using Resolve as an NLE over a year ago, after years of using the product on and off. It’s matured into a powerful full featured editing and grading suite. Since I received the full version for free with my black magic pocket camera I’ve had access to the even more powerful tools available in Studio. However… The more time I spend with Resolve, working on professional corporate projects, the more I find myself struggling to work around what seem to be long term intractable bugs with the software. Perhaps some of these are issues with my setup, but they’re just the kind of intractable inconsistent bugs that no amount of updating drivers and reinstalling Resolve can fix. Judging by the numerous threads on Blackmagic’s forum they seem to affect numerous users, and I suspect many of them may be ongoing issues with the software. At this point enough have accumulated that they’re having a strong negative effect on my productivity. Some are minor niggles, some are really serious issues, some can be worked around, some can’t; but taken together they’re making the experience of using Resolve stressful and not something I can easily recommend. I’ve compiled the issues I’ve continued to run into – across multiple computers and ongoing since at least Resolve 13, below. All these issues persist on the latest full Resolve release – 16.1.1. I’ve also posted this to the resolve forum here, so lets see if there are any useful responses.

1. Resolve always forgets which tracks you have muted when you move between sequences with stacked timelines.

2. When working with large projects – even on a system with 32gigs RAM, editing from NVME and using fast SSD caching, switching timelines can take up to 10 seconds. This can make copying footage back and forth between timelines an absolute chore.

3. After shutting down Resolve (and also after a crash), Projects almost always remain active as hidden processes that have to be manually killed in process manager before resolve can be restarted.

4. Resolve has excellent GPU acceleration, but I have to disable GPU H265 and BRAW decoding or suffer frequent crashes (this is on an RTX 2060 with 6gb of RAM and yes, the latest Nvidia creative drivers). This is the official recommended action by Blackmagic support, even though it enormously slows down render times.

5. Often after a render (as in almost every time) subsequent renders will fail and resolve must be restarted to render anything.

6. When rendering to H264 on a video with alpha transparency resolve usually creates visual glitches, especially on white block colour backgrounds. This happens so often I have to always render to H265 – which cant be used for videos intended for social media platforms.

7. Resolve sometimes temporarily forgets clip colours which have been assigned when moving between timelines.

8. Editing videos with multiple audio channels, when skipping around a timeline while playing, resolve will often emit extremely loud high pitch pops and squeals. Sometimes resolve will also emit a constant high pitch noise when scrubbing clips at double speed.

9. When you drop a PNG onto the resolve timeline that’s smaller than the resolution of the timeline, the parts that should be transparent are black – unless you apply even the smallest of crops on any side of the image – in which case they immediately become transparent.

10. Resolve’s OFX Deflicker plugin is fantastically effective at removing flicker. However it’s incredibly unstable. Scrubbing or playing back footage that has the plugin applied to a node will often lead to ‘out of GPU’ memory bugs, this can also happen just attempting to render. Once this bug is seen, resolve renders will always fail until the programme is restarted.

11. When a whole sequences is selected, often cuts / pastes etc will affect locked channels – even though they were locked prior to selection. This can lead easily to accidental deletion, particularly of audio.

12. Resolve frequently renders footage darker / more saturated than it appears in the preview window.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Robot Dream Remix)

For the second time this year, a chance encounter led to a music video. I was in Paris, shooting for a corporate client (oh the glamour). Walking around the city, which is I have to remark – utterly diseased with automotive traffic, I struggled to shoot good B-Roll. Magnificent buildings everywhere, under that kind of hideous grey pall which is at once too dark and two bright to film. I stumbled across a photo session in action, an American woman was shooting a man with a robot head as he mimed playing saxophone. Naturally I filmed for a couple of minutes, and ended up chatting to the pair.

After I returned to Ireland, I made a quicky edit for instagram of some of my favourite Paris GV’s. The guy with the robot head – a musician, comic book artist and DJ called Robot Dream, liked the cutaways so much he asked if he could make a piece to go with them. Above is the result. Making music videos – even if they’re made from corporate cutaways – never gets old.