Some CRI and Footcandle readerings, different LEDs

from piecing together newshooter’s tests and my own:


skypanel s60: 1090 fc

gemini 2x1 :927fc

softpanel 1:2: 347fc

astra 6x - 588 fc

apurture 300d no modifier: 829 fc

aputure 300d with modifier: 996 fc

joker 800 with fresnel lens: 4300 fc

joker 800 with wide angle lens: 20,000 fc

CRI rendering 5600k: 

softpanels: CRI (R1-R8) of 96.2 and an extended CRI (R1-R15) of 94.54.

gemini: average CRI (R1-R8) of 95.2 and an extended CRI (R1-R15) of 93.24.

ARRI SC60-C SkyPanel 5600K Extended CRI (R1-R15)- 92.92

astra 6x - average 92.4, extended, 89.3

aputure 300d: average CRI (R1-R8) of 94.4 and an extended CRI (R1-R15) of 92.49

Conclusion: best CRI for most light when needed: Aputure 300d

best cri and half the light needed: softpanels 1x2

and also CRI is not the end all judge of how accurate a light is for skintone - you gotta use it yourself and see how it renders skintones for you. This is more than science, it’s an artform as well.


Disk Drill Saved My Mother-in-Law's Hard Drive

Short story shorter: my mother-in-law gave me her hard drive to load a project file on.  I did it.  Gave it back to her.  She asked for one more thing.  She gave me back the hard drive.  I loaded it.  Gave it back to her.  She went to load it up - "unmountable."

6 hours later, I can move again.  I went through everything - every program, every help group.  Diskwarrior, Drive Genius, Disk Utility - all said the drive was a goner.  I even redownloaded Toast.  Remember that app from the early 2000's?  When we were making DVDs of our reels?

"This drive is dead - destroy it" - literally all three of these programs.

Then a message board saved my life - "hey guys, try Disk Drill."

I tried it - and boom, there are all the files.  I loaded it up as a virtual DMG file and now I am copying it over.

So as a solution for if you get a card back from the field and it says "drive not readable, initialize?"  Hit ignore and use this program.

Now writing this blog post to repay the karma.

Disk Drill001.jpg

Shooting at 200 ASA Again

  Now we all shoot at 800 asa. actually, I have heard some younger people get upset if they can't shoot at 1600 asa.  Pretty amazing to me.

Since most modern cameras can do this easily, and that gives you enough natural light in most locations, you just come in and shoot.  The style these days is use what already exists, and augment the lighting, and use grip to subtract light.

Subtracting light.  Before ASA 800, when many of us were shooting at around 200 ASA, you would add light.

Now we show up, use a window light - maybe put one light outside of it, and then 4-7 pieces of gripwear to cut it. 

Toppers, cutters, siders, eggcrates.   

But a recent job I did for a liquor commercial, we were shooting with the digital bolex as a b camera.  The bolex is a beautiful organic image, with a ccd sensor for beautiful motion and the ability to use 16mm glass, which is beautiful and lightweight.  We lit for this camera's low native iso, and the A camera, the alexa, we set at 200 ASA as well. 

At 200 ASA, I was back to where I started 10 years ago, and it was thrilling again.  

Light didn't spill all over the place - it faded into the darkness, had lots of falloff - and everything was deliberate. We Could liGHT up spaces deep in the bar with red color, and push light into areas we wanted, and hide the rest.  It was easier to do, since there were less stands to place on the ground and less rigging to do.

Grip takes up a lot of space and stands.   Lights -  not as much.

And we ended up making the bar more interesting than what it was - we transformed it. 

(I'll post videos and stills once the spots are released.

It was putting on a different brain from an earlier era - cause we had to move a different way. 

And we painted with 1k tungsten lights in a jem ball again and got that tungsten warmth again.  That color of a tungsten fresnel - it has a golden warmth to it.  Coming back to it, it reminded me of how unmatched by LEDs which have more green and yellow in them than that pure lovely orange glow are these chinese balls.

To rediscover those old tungsten fresnel units, that was also important to me.  These old lights you can now get as every grip house throws them out, as the world has moved onto led lighting like skypanels, these old lights are a thing of beauty.  

Prevent Cfast Card Errors with Alexa Mini

I did a shoot where we lost a roll of shooting on the alexa mini.  And I have heard a lot of people with similar tales.

Well no more.  (Kind of) Just by using a program for mac os x - drivedx - - let's you quickly see the reliability of a cfast cards.

You just boot up the card, and then it shows you how many times the card has been used and its history of failures.

Most solid state media either fails at the beginning of it's life or at the end - there is a significant white paper on this.  So if you do a checkout from a gear rental house and you see some history of failure or that the card has been reformatted and seen a lot of use - maybe send that card back.  What's it worth, right, to take a risk?

On our shoot, luckily we caught it right after we shot it.

Because we were in a sand dune in Oregon doing a product shot for Dorittos.  Would probably have been hard to recreate that with greenscreen, or to go back there.



Alexa vs Red Dragon vs Blackmagic Micro/Pocket

Thank the world for CML This great website/resource from Geoff Boyle really helps cinematographers the world over!

And now redwidegamut with log3g10 - the dragon sensor low light olph - matches pretty darn well with the alexa - well not perfectly - I would most likely in all situations choose the alexa over the red dragon sensor (and personally over the helium sensor) in terms of skintone - but still gives a smoother highlight roll off which is pleasant.    

And that blackmagic micro - not a perfect camera, but sooo cheap and match the skintones of alexa pretty well!

With the red dragon dropping in price - it's a nice sensor - not best past 1600 ISO - but still a good sensor in a tiny package.

Next to test the c300 mark ii with raw to the odyssey 7q vs the internal codec.  



Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve1465.jpg
Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve1467.jpg
Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve1464.jpg

Jack of all trades, master of none?

I read a post recently saying that a DP also being a steadicam op, or movi operator, or editor, or director, is the death of them. 

I kind of disagree.

I think from the directing I do, the more I learn the needs of the director when I am DPing.  Also the value of good directing, seeing how difficult it really is.  How to communicate, how to understand this.

And by having a DP know how to do other things, like sound, you understand what the sound mixer needs.  And of gaffing and gripping, same thing, you understand the emotional and physical weight of saying to someone "can you move that 18k please over there."

It's also good to speak in everyone's familiar terms, and to understand what each crew position does and needs.  

I agree though you can waste your hours a day being focused on too many things, but at the end of the day, how much of our free time is wasted on facebook or instagram or god knows what else.  There is plenty of time in the day to learn as much as you want.  

Learning itself, and breaking yourself free of one's specific focus can regenerate the brain I feel, and make it more exciting when you bring what you learn to what you are doing.  

Milk crates and Teradek Screws

It's no secret that everything in film is expensive. Milk crates...super useful for storing gear and bringing on jobs are kind of pricey.

So I just get them from dairy outlets.

Here's one on ebay:

Also Teradek screws go for $20 - for a 1.5' 1/4-20 screw you can get it from a pool supply store for $10 - 2008 Thumbscrew 1/4 - 20 x 1.75 inch - from

Fun to get deals like that.

Sony A7S Settings I like

I spent some time working on the Sony A7S to make the most natural skintones I can. For me, I'm realizing I really enjoy natural feeling blue skies as well as healthy skintones with a good amount of red in the face. I use it combined with Filmconvert Kodak profile for the A7S cine4 profile.  I'll mess with it and double check soon.

Black level 0

Gamma CINE4

Black gamma - range wide level +1

knee - auto - max point 100%.  sensitivity mid

color mode - s-gamut3.cine

saturation +7

color phase minus 2

color depth - all zeroed out

detail level -5  adjust - type3

That's about it.  

I think it's nice.


nice blue skies

nice blue skies

nice horses

nice horses