Posts Tagged ‘Movie’

Why You Should Photograph Like a Movie Director When You Travel

02 Dec

The post Why You Should Photograph Like a Movie Director When You Travel appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.


Part of the movie director’s job is to visualize the screenplay. They must imagine how the story will be told visually. The fulfillment of this task depends entirely on the director’s creative expression.

Travel photographers often seek to tell a story with their pictures. Doing this can enhance the documentation of their journeys. This can be helped by using some techniques movie directors use to achieve their goals. One of the most effective methods of clear visual storytelling is to incorporate three different types of photograph:

  • wide,
  • medium,
  • and close-up.

Why You Should Photograph Like a Movie Director When You Travel

Consider yourself a location scout

I often encourage photographers who take part in our photography workshops to imagine they are a location scout for a movie. Alternatively, think like a reportage photographer working for a magazine editor.

Task yourself with capturing a range of images. Aim to portray each different travel location you visit clearly. One of the best ways to do this is including wide, medium, and close-up photos. You want people who have never been where you are to form a clear picture of the location. What it looked like and what the atmosphere there felt like.

Including only wide-angle photos gives an overall impression, but misses the details. Close-ups could be taken anywhere and will lack a sense of location. Medium photos can show some action and some amount of detail. Often they will not provide a broader awareness of the place.


© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Wide photos

Seek to include as much relevant detail about the location as you can. In movies, this is known as an establishing view.

Pick places to stand where you can see a lot of what interests you about the place. Think about what is unique or iconic in this area. Include these elements in your pictures.


© Kevin Landwer-Johan

In the photo above, I wanted to include some of the hand carts the porters at Muang Mai Markets in Chiang Mai use. They are very recognizable as part of daily life there. By incorporating a few of them in this wide photo, I have helped emphasize the location. People who’ve visited this market will more easily recognize it.

People who haven’t been there will get a clear impression these wire baskets on wheels are very much part of the place.

Image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Capturing an effective wide photo when there’s limited space to work in can be challenging. Sometimes you’ll need to put on your widest lens and back yourself into a corner.

You don’t always need to capture the entire scene. When you can, try and include a feature in your photo. In the picture above, I composed it focusing on the vendor in red and included the street in front of her stall.


© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Looking for an overhead vantage point you can stand on is often helpful, if you can find one. Getting up above the location provides an interesting alternative perspective.

Medium photos

Medium photos will show more general action, but not necessarily give an idea of the broader location. Typically, these compositions will feature one main element and some surroundings.

Image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

This could be the entrance of a building and some of the frontage, but not the whole structure. It might be a car parked in the street, filling most of the frame and giving little clue as to where it is. It may be a vendor selling something at a market, but it could be a market anywhere.

This type of photo helps build a narrative. To make photos with the most meaning, concentrate on what appeals to you. Think about why, and capture that aspect as best you can in your photos.


© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Depending on the location you are covering in your travel story, you may want to include more medium photos than wide or close-ups. Medium compositions include enough detail and one central focus. They are a balance between wide photos with lots of general information and close-ups which include plenty of detail.


© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Close-up photos

People often omit or take too few close-up photos when they travel. Close-up compositions can provide so much information that can be glossed over in wide and medium photos.

Again, look for what you find most attractive and photograph those things. This way, your pictures will contain more meaning and feeling.

During the workshop sessions we have at the local markets in Chiang Mai, many people love to get close-ups of chilis. I think it might have something to do with them being such a major ingredient in Thai cuisine as well as their lovely shape and color.

Image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Getting in tight to your subject, you can often find wonderful patterns. You can also isolate color and make your entire composition a single hue.

Image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

How much does focal length matter?

Does focal length matter when you photograph like a movie director when traveling? Not so much. I often use my beloved 35mm f/1.4 lens for wide, medium and close-up photos. I don’t often carry a lens longer than my 105mm. It’s all a matter of where you stand and how close you get.

Both of the close-up photos above I took with my 35mm lens, as were a number of others I’ve used to illustrate this article. Don’t be constrained by the norms. You can use a long lens to capture a wide scene. Sometimes this works particularly well because a longer lens compresses perspective more. This can create a sense of place in a different way than a wide-angle lens will.

If you’re in a tight spot where’s there’s not much space to back up, you will often need a wide lens. You can also use a wide lens for medium photos. Just get in closer. This will produce more intimate photos than you’ll capture using a longer lens. It also adds character to your image selection.


Next time you’re taking a journey, or even photographing your kid’s birthday party or soccer game, photograph like a movie director by thinking about these three types of photos. Cover the event or location as best you can by incorporating a good mix of them into your final selection. Doing this, you’ll be narrating your visual story in a clear and interesting manner.

Do you photograph like a movie director when you travel or do any type of photography? Do you have any tips or stories you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments.

The post Why You Should Photograph Like a Movie Director When You Travel appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

Digital Photography School

Comments Off on Why You Should Photograph Like a Movie Director When You Travel

Posted in Photography


Mapplethorpe movie trailer arrives ahead of film’s US theatrical premiere

09 Jan

A new trailer has given the public its first look at Mapplethorpe, a biopic chronicling the life of controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, whose provocative work earned him fame in 1970s America. The movie, which was written and directed by Ondi Timoner, first debuted to a limited audience at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, but will receive a wider release in US theaters on March 1, 2019.

Mapplethorpe was best known for his black-and-white portraits and photographs of New York’s underground scene. The photographer’s first solo exhibition took place in 1973 at the Light Gallery in New York City featured photos captured with a Polaroid camera. Mapplethorpe later transitioned to a Hasselblad medium format camera. The photographer’s fame flourished through the 1980s up to his death from AIDs in 1989.

The biopic stars Matt Smith of Dr Who fame as Robert Mapplethorpe, Marianne Rendon as Patti Smith, and Hari Nef as Tinkerbelle.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on Mapplethorpe movie trailer arrives ahead of film’s US theatrical premiere

Posted in Uncategorized


Review: Grip Gear Movie Maker 2

02 Sep

Grip Gear Movie Maker 2 | $ 130 | Buy now

In 2018, almost every one of us has a camera that can film HD or even 4K video. Videos can be uploaded to Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, or Instagram with the click of a few buttons. What once was reserved for filmmakers or TV productions with giant budgets now is available in everything from full-frame DSLRs to GoPros to the smartphone in your pocket.

So how do you make your videos stand out in a sea of cats flushing toilets and grandmas dancing the funky chicken? A whole accessory segment has grown to try and help you do just that. External microphones, add-on wide/tele lenses, and gyroscopic stabilizers can all polish up your footage and give your videos a far more professional feel (even if you’re just filming your kid’s piano recital). But what if you want something that will stand out even more? The Grip Gear Movie Maker might be what you are looking for.

What is it?

The Grip Gear Movie Maker is a compact (claimed to be the world’s smallest) motorized motion control slider/dolly. It’s aimed at smartphone or GoPro photographers, but has a 750g/26oz weight limit high enough for most mirrorless cameras and even a few smaller DSLRs as well.

Having a tool like a slider gives video-makers access to some of the most iconic shots in cinematography

For those not familiar, a motorized camera slider is a set of track, single in this case, frequently double in larger rigs, with a motor mount designed to allow a camera to be attached. The motor allows the camera to move along the track at very precise and consistent speeds. Having a tool like a slider gives video-makers access to some of the most iconic shots in cinematography. Tracking, dolly, and push-in shots are some of the foundations of scene building and emotional communication. Adding them to your videos will make them stand out in a way that an add-on wide angle lens never could.

In use

Setup for the Movie Maker is fairly easy. The slider track itself is a modular design that clamps together with each section of tracking being about 12in/30.5cm long. This both allows easier transport and gives you the option to purchase additional sections. The motor unit slides onto the rails and has a small ballhead with a standard tripod screw, and a spring-loaded smartphone holder is also included.

Power is supplied by an internal rechargeable battery giving a claimed run time of up to two hours. The battery’s micro-USB charging port also allows the use of a USB battery pack for far longer run times. The track has three pairs of adjustable feet that allow basic leveling on uneven ground. They also offer the ability to wrap around something like a pipe or fencepost to allow the camera to move vertically. More importantly, there are 1/4-20 and 5/8 tripod mounts on the bottom of the track.

How does it work?

While the rails and connecting/mount hardware are aluminum there is unsurprisingly a lot of plastic in the Movie Maker’s construction. You definitely don’t feel like you are holding a high end device – but at $ 130, you also aren’t paying for one either. The little ballhead is of middling quality and care needs to be taken when connecting the rails to make sure there is no gap between the sections of plastic teeth. But overall, construction is just fine for the intended purpose and price-point. The Movie Maker also breaks down into a surprisingly small package. While packing for a family vacation, I tossed everything into some extra space in my suitcase and took it along with no trouble.

Mounting is both a simple affair and a bit limiting. While the adjustable feet do allow some tolerance for uneven ground and vertical mounting, they’re also not all that large or strong so you won’t want to rely on them if you are using a camera at the top of the Movie Maker’s weight limit.

The lightest travel tripod I had in my closet held the Movie Maker quite well

Perhaps more importantly, you’ll quickly find that using the feet pretty much locks you into low angle shots. You’ll be forever dragging tables across the room or trying to set the unit up on a car hood in order to get your camera off the ground. The answer to this is going to be the tripod mount. This gives you far more options to find the optimal height and placement for your shot. And given that the whole unit doesn’t weight that much and doesn’t work with heavy DSLRs, you don’t need much of a tripod at all. The lightest travel tripod I had in my closet held the Movie Maker quite well (assuming that you aren’t filming in a windstorm).

That said, the design of the Movie Maker’s tripod mount is somewhat frustrating. In an effort to offer both 1/4 and 3/8 tripod mounting options, the mount is a 3/8 thread with a 1/4 adapter nut screwed into it. This would be fine except that for those of us using standard 1/4 tripod screws (most everyone), this means that there is very little surface area to prevent wobbles or twisting as the camera is on the far ends of the track. I ended up using gaffer tape or zip-ties occasionally to keep everything steady. A better design would have had the 1/4 screw go directly into the Movie Maker and include a 3/8 adapter for those who want one. As is, I would probably rig up a tripod plate with a 3/8 screw if I were going to be using the Movie Maker regularly.

Controls for the Movie Maker are quite simple. In fact, there are only four buttons: two that control starting/stopping/direction and two that increase/decrease the motor speed. There are nine speeds to choose from, the slowest being a VERY slow crawl and the fastest being moderately quick. There is even a handy guide printed on the track that tells you how long the motor will take to cross the whole track at each speed. I would prefer to have seen a few more speeds on the “fast” end and I’m unsure how many people will find the slowest speeds to be useful. Generally though, the speed range works just fine for most purposes.

One thing worth noting is that, unlike with higher-end sliders, there is no option to pan or tilt the camera while it is running on the track – it is locked to whatever angle you set the ballhead at. On a Hollywood production, this would be a significant limitation. But on a slider at this price-point, it can easily be forgiven.

With just a few exceptions, the footage is generally outstanding

With just a few exceptions, the footage is generally outstanding. Using the same camera, I’m not sure that you would be able to tell the difference between a shot on the Movie Maker vs one done on a slider that was three times the price. But about those “exceptions” – the first is that the camera’s microphone can pick up motor hum, especially at the faster speeds. The motor isn’t loud, but it isn’t silent either. The second is something I alluded to earlier: gaps in the plastic teeth. When assembling the rail sections, you need to make sure that there are no gaps where the plastic teeth come together. If there is a gap, you will see a noticeable bump as the motor unit tries to crawl across it.

The final exception isn’t the fault of the Movie Maker at all, but it is something that must be mentioned given that Grip Gear is positioning the Movie Maker as a tool for “mobile filmmakers”. When using a tripod, gimbal, or other external stabilizer, your camera’s internal optical image stabilization system must be turned off. If left on, it can introduce vibrations on its own just due to the way that these systems operate. The late Canon guru Chuck Westfall described the situation like this:

“The IS mechanism operates by correcting shake. When there is no shake, or when the level of shake is below the threshold of the system’s detection capability, use of the IS feature may actually *add* unwanted blur to the photograph, therefore you should shut it off in this situation. Remember that the IS lens group is normally locked into place. When the IS function is active, the IS lens group is unlocked so it can be moved by the electromagnetic coil surrounding the elements. When there’s not enough motion for the IS system to detect, the result can sometimes be a sort of electronic ‘feedback loop,’ somewhat analogous to the ringing noise of an audio feedback loop we’re all familiar with. As a result, the IS lens group might move while the lens is on a tripod, unless the IS function is switched off and the IS lens group is locked into place.”

This is bad enough for still images, but it is even more noticeable when shooting video. Most mirrorless and even many compact and action cameras offer the option to turn their OIS systems off. However, this becomes more tricky for smartphones. Some Android phones and software appear to allow the user to turn off OIS, but you will need to verify this for your own phone.

Far worse is the news for owners of iPhone models 7/8/X. As far as I have been able to tell, there is no way to disable OIS on an iPhone. This makes the Grip Gear Movie Maker somewhat frustrating for millions of phone owners. As I mention above, this isn’t Grip Gear’s fault and iPhones have the same issue with gimbals, tripods and other stabilization devices. But it’s also an important issue that can’t be ignored.

Some Extras

There are a few extras that give the Movie Maker additional functionality. The first is that the motor unit can be removed from the track and with the installation of an included mount, turns into a motorized head for panoramic images or time-lapse video. While fairly basic, this works surprisingly well.

Sadly, due to the use of the motor to drive the camera rotation, it is impossible to use the panoramic functionality and the slider at the same time. While understandable, especially at this price point, it’s kind of a bummer because timelapse slider videos can be really neat.

The second extra is something Grip Gear calls a Micro Dolly. It is essentially a small three-wheeled platform that uses the motor unit from the Movie Maker for power. It is a small unit, and the wheels are made for smooth terrain. But even so, in the right location you can get essentially endless dolly type shots.

Additionally, the two “steering” wheels can rotate allowing the Micro Dolly to run in various size circles. I could see this being useful for portrait, product or even unique timelapse videos.

What’s the bottom line?

All told, this is a clever and inexpensive kit that does what it claims to. You can get some unique video shots that are unlike what you see 500 times a day on your friends’ social media posts.

Are you going to make huge dolly shots with two feet of track or a little rolling cart on a table? No, you aren’t. This isn’t for Hollywood films, it’s for phones and GoPros. It would make a fun birthday/holiday gift for someone you know who enjoys making short videos for YouTube or Instagram. I could also see it being an easy way to add some style to videos for Kickstarter projects or Etsy sellers.

Would I put it on the top of my list of “most useful video accessories”? No, probably not. But is it in the running for “best value in a fun video accessory”? Absolutely.

What we liked:

  • Price
  • Unique shots
  • Creativity

What we didn’t:

  • Subpar tripod mount
  • Weight limits
  • Weak ball mount
  • Interaction with phone OIS systems that can’t be turned off

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on Review: Grip Gear Movie Maker 2

Posted in Uncategorized


Steven Soderbergh shot his latest movie entirely on the iPhone, calls it a ‘gamechanger’

01 Feb

We’ve seen plenty of film makers shooting movies on an Apple iPhone in the past. However, director Steven Soderbergh—whose filmography includes movies such as Erin Brockovich, Traffic, and Ocean’s Eleven—is arguably the highest-profile iPhone movie makers yet.

His latest project, the psychological horror-thriller Unsane, was shot entirely on the iPhone, and Soderbergh wasn’t afraid to admit (and embrace) that fact when speaking to IndieWire.

“I think this is the future,” Soderbergh said. “Anybody going to see this movie who has no idea of the backstory to the production will have no idea this was shot on the phone. That’s not part of the conceit.”

In fact, the director was so impressed by the iPhone’s movie capabilities and the recorded levels of detail, that he is likely to also use the Apple smartphone for future projects. “People forget, this is a 4k capture. I’ve seen it 40 feet tall. It looks like velvet,” he told IndieWire. “This is a gamechanger to me.”

We don’t know which exact iPhone model(s) Soderbergh used in the production of the movie, but it’s fair to speculate that the latest iPhone X/iPhone 8 generation was deployed in combination with all sorts of professional lighting, audio and stabilization equipment.

By the way, in case you’re curious, the movie’s synopsis is the following:

A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear – but is it real or is it a product of her delusion?

You can find more information about the movie on its website and view the trailer at the top of this page.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on Steven Soderbergh shot his latest movie entirely on the iPhone, calls it a ‘gamechanger’

Posted in Uncategorized


Netflix acquires rights to Kodachrome: a movie about the final days of the iconic film

16 Sep
Photo courtesy Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

Netflix has acquired the rights to Kodachrome, an upcoming Jason Sudeikis movie about the last days of the Kodachrome film era. The news was first reported by Deadline, who is claiming that Netflix paid $ 4 million for the rights and plans a widespread theatrical release that could cover theaters in major regions around the world—including the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.

Kodachrome the movie revolves around a father and son on a road trip to get to one of Kodak’s photo processing labs before it closes down forever. The screenplay was inspired by a New York Times article about the last lab in the world that was processing the now-iconic film stock; in the movie, the characters are racing against time to try and get four rolls developed before it’s too late.

True to the film’s theme, Kodachrome was shot on film, not digital, and features the acting talents of Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, and Elizabeth Olsen. Here’s hoping it comes to a theatre near you… and pays proper tribute to the analog legend.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on Netflix acquires rights to Kodachrome: a movie about the final days of the iconic film

Posted in Uncategorized


The Apprehension Engine: Machine Makes Disturbing Horror Movie Music

11 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Is this the most terrifying musical instrument ever made? If you just take a quick glance at it, you’ll likely say no – it’s an unassuming (albeit rather strange) jumble of strings, rods, reverbs and metal rulers attached to a boxy wooden base. But just you wait until composer Mark Coven, whose work includes the stunning score for the 2016 horror film The Witch, sits down at it and starts to play. The sounds that emerge from the ‘Apprehension Engine’ are designed to give you the creeps, and they’re quite effective.

Korven, who has scored a number of feature films over the years, was sick of using the same old digital samples to get the signature scraping, creaking, squealing and rumbling sounds that help provide a hair-raising atmosphere. The world of creating analog sound effects in audio post-production is pretty fascinating, and foley artists use all sorts of weird objects to create many of the sounds you hear in an average movie or TV show.

But Korven wanted something very specific, all together in a single instrument, so he turned to his friend Tony Duggan-Smith, a guitar maker, to help him craft it. In this video, Korven demonstrates to Great Big Story how the Apprehension Engine works as he plucks, wiggles, flicks, thumps and runs a bow across the various objects connected to the instrument.

Share on Facebook

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Comments Off on The Apprehension Engine: Machine Makes Disturbing Horror Movie Music

Posted in Creativity


Like A Rock Star: 12 Iconic Movie Corvettes

03 Jul

[ By Steve in Culture & History & Travel. ]

The Chevrolet Corvette’s long list of silver screen starring roles turned America’s first mass-produced sports car into an automotive pop culture icon.

One of the Corvette‘s first film appearances was in the 1955 film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly. Directed by Robert Aldrich, the movie starred Ralph Meeker as Mickey Spillane’s hard-boiled private investigator Mike Hammer. The latter roamed the mean streets of Los Angeles in his 1954 Corvette, one of only 3,640 manufactured that year and one of only FOUR painted black.

Hammer’s black ‘vette may have looked cool but performance was anything but hot due to the pedestrian Stovebolt Six engine under its fiberglass hood. GM introduced a V8 for 1955 but limited model year production to just 700 in order to move the rest of the slow-selling ’54s. Even so, Hammer’s sleek (for the times) ride definitely added badly-needed panache to a niche model whose future was very much in doubt.

True Lies – 1959 Corvette

True Lies, a 1994 action-adventure-comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere, Bill Paxton, Eliza Dushku, and even Charlton Heston has aged rather well. Ditto for the red 1959 Corvette driven by Paxton (playing sleazy used car salesmen Simon) as he regales AH-nold on his time-tested seduction technique: “Let’s face it, Harry, the ‘Vette gets ’em wet.”

Clambake – 1959 Corvette XP-87 Stingray Racer

“Hey buddy, where’s the gas cap on this thing?” Built in 1959 “to test handling ease and performance,” the Corvette XP-87 racer won an SCCA National Championship in 1960. It was then modified with the addition of a passenger seat and made the rounds of the auto show circuit.

The XP-87 bowed out in grand style, appearing in the 1967 film Clambake as the private car of Elvis Presley’s oil tycoon character. Thank you, XP-87, thank you very much.

Heavy Metal – 1960 Corvette

“You can hedge your bet on a clean Corvette”… Heavy Metal – the 1981 animated sci-fi fantasy film produced by Ivan Reitman and inspired by the eponymous graphic magazine, featured a 1960 Corvette but if you arrived a few minutes late to the movie theater, you probably missed it.

Here’s a link to the ‘vette’s impressive entrance (dude totally sticks the landing!) in which it literally brings evil to the world in the form of the glowing green loc-nar. Mustang owners most definitely approve.

Next Page – Click Below to Read More:
Like A Rock Star 12 Iconic Movie Corvettes

Share on Facebook

[ By Steve in Culture & History & Travel. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Comments Off on Like A Rock Star: 12 Iconic Movie Corvettes

Posted in Creativity


3 things that will bug photographers about the Polaroid movie trailer

01 Jul

If you want more proof that the youth are taking an interest in film photography, you’ll have to travel no farther than your local multiplex this summer. ‘Polaroid’ the film – but not that kind of film – arrives in US theaters this August, and promises plenty of ‘Ring’-style scares and thrills. In fact, it’s produced by the same minds that brought us ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Grudge,’ so you can pretty much guess how things go when a high school student stumbles across an antique Polaroid camera and starts photographing her friends.

On the surface it looks like your average popcorn-friendly flick, but photographers may have a hard time looking past a few bothersome details we spotted in the trailer. Here they are in no particular order.

The flash is comically bright and doesn’t do anything

Is the flash on this camera powered directly by the sun? How has anyone who’s been photographed by this camera retained their eyesight? It’s unbelievably bright. On top of that, it doesn’t even seem to have any effect on the image – the first subject we see photographed looks to be lit only by the tungsten bulb next to her despite a blinding flash that lit up the whole room.

The screeching flash capacitor

Not only is it needlessly bright, the flash makes a piercing noise as the capacitor supposedly charges it. An entire studio of professional strobes all re-charging at once wouldn’t make that much noise. It’s way too loud for a small on-camera flash, and should be an obvious clue that demons inhabit this camera.

The pristine instant film that comes with an antique camera

This camera came out of a dusty old box with a bunch of film in mint condition? Okay, sure. Maybe possessed Polaroids have a much longer shelf life than the garden-variety stuff. If that’s the case, somebody let the Impossible Project know.

Be sure to watch the full trailer (if you’ve got the stomach for it) and let us know in the comments if we missed anything.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on 3 things that will bug photographers about the Polaroid movie trailer

Posted in Uncategorized


Movie Maven: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review

11 Apr

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is the fifth in the company’s industry-changing video and stills ‘hybrid’ lineup. With its 20MP Four Thirds sensor and deep video-centric feature set, it looks likely to pick up where the GH4 left off as a favorite of indie filmmakers and photographers whose interests venture into the realm of motion picture work.

The GH5’s feature set moves on suitably far from its predecessor that the company says the GH4 will remain in its lineup as a lower-cost option for users who don’t need the additional capability that the GH5 brings.

For many users, the addition of in-body stabilization and 4K video without cropping might be enough to make the camera a worthwhile upgrade, but Panasonic has revised and improved almost every aspect of the camera’s behavior and performance.

Key Features

  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor (no OLPF)
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization system with ‘Dual IS 2’ support
  • All 4K footage taken using full width of sensor (oversampled from 5.1K footage)
  • Internal 4K/30p 10-bit 4:2:2 video capture
  • 4K/59.94p and 50p shooting with 10-bit 4:2:2 output or 8-bit, 4:2:0 internal recording
  • 1080 video at up to 180p, enabling 7.5x slow-motion
  • 9 fps shooting with continuous autofocus
  • Advanced DFD autofocus
  • Dual UHS II card slots (V60 ready)
  • Autofocus point joystick
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Pre-configurable rack focus mode
  • Waveform and vectorscope monitors
  • Paid upgrade to enable V-LogL video capture with LUT-based preview display

Two pre-announced firmware updates

It’s worth noting that Panasonic already has two firmware updates planned for the camera, one expected around April, which will bring 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p capture, and a second at some point during the summer.

The summer firmware update promises some very big improvements, including DCI/UHD 4K 4:2:2 10-bit recording at 400Mbps, and 1080/60p 4:2:2 10-bit recording at 200Mbps, both using All-Intra compression. Support for anamorphic 4K capture will also be added at that point.

With attachments such as the DMW-XLR1 accessory microphone unit, the GH5 promises to be a great tool for video enthusiasts and pros.

4K 60p video

The eye-catching feature on the GH5 is its ability to shoot 4K footage at up to 59.94p and 48p (or 50p if you’re shooting for PAL). Footage is oversampled from 5.1K, thanks to full sensor readout, meaning sharp footage that takes advantage of the full size of the sensor. Internal recording will be limited to 8-bit 4:2:0 IPB encoding at up to 150Mbps but with higher quality available if an external recorder is used. 4K video is shot using the full width of the sensor and has no time restrictions.

At lower frame rates, the camera can capture 10-bit, 4:2:2 footage internally: the kind of quality you needed an external recorder to capture from the GH4.

To understand the distinction (and much of what is significant about the GH5), read our basic explanation of video capture terminology.

Advanced DFD

The GH5 features the latest iteration of Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus autofocus system, which uses pairs of images and an understanding of a lens’s out-of-focus rendering to create a depth map of the scene, to speed up focusing. The latest version samples the scene more often and builds up a higher-resolution depth map, for faster, more decisive focus.

The GH5 also gains a more advanced algorithm for interpreting movement within the scene, to reduce the risk of the camera getting confused by movement as it builds its depth map. This, combined with faster sensor readout, should mean faster and more accurate autofocus. Further to this, Panasonic has added more AF configuration options to help the camera understand subject movement and the correct response to it.

Still image processing

Panasonic is keen to stress the GH5 is intended for stills as well as video. The greater processing power of the GH5 allows the camera to consider a wider area of the image when calculating the color values from each pixel. Panasonic says this makes it possible to extract greater JPEG resolution from the captured image.

The GH5’s greater processing power also allows more sophisticated sharpening, promising reduced over-shoot that can cause unnatural-looking ‘halos’ on high-contrast edges.

Updated noise reduction is also supposed to be better at distinguishing between noise and detail, meaning that detail is better preserved during the noise reduction process.

‘6K’ Photo and advanced video-derived shooting modes

Also on the stills side of things, the GH5 offers higher resolution versions of its video-derived stills features such as 4K Photo, Post Focus and Focus Stacking. The GH5 uses its higher pixel count sensor and more powerful processor to add ‘6K Photo’ modes at up to 30 fps, in addition to 4K Photo at up to 60 fps. As before, there are various ways of triggering the mode to ensure you have a short video clip from which you can extract exactly the moment you wanted to capture.

However, don’t go assuming that ‘6K Photo’ mode is taking images from an area of the sensor 6000 pixels across: it isn’t. Instead it’s capturing images with the roughly the same number of pixels as a very widescreen 6000 x 3000 video clip would have. It’s not the most misleading marketing statement we’ve ever seen, but be aware that 6K may not mean quite what you might expect.


The Panasonic GH5 will be available in late March for $ 1999 (body only).

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on Movie Maven: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review

Posted in Uncategorized


Grip Gear introduces Movie Maker, a tiny slider for smartphones and action cams

30 Nov

Grip Gear, maker of the handheld smartphone stabilizer IndieSolo, has launched the Movie Maker: a portable, electronically driven slider built for smartphones, action cams and compact cameras.

Powered by AAA batteries or a separate power bank via USB, the Movie Maker includes a rail, motorized head and a clamp to accommodate most smartphones. Eight speeds can be utilized, as slow as 6mm/min up to 300mm/min to create slow motion, time-lapse or real-time stabilized panning shots.

Upon reaching the end of the track, the Movie Maker will automatically bounce back and move in the opposite direction. The motorized head can also be used separately from the rail to pan 360-degrees for panorama. It’s all designed to pack away into a compact kit that can fit into a camera bag or backpack.

The Movie Maker is available now on Amazon for a list price of $ 130.

Press release

Hollywood production tools arrive for smartphones.
Grip Gear launches The Movie Maker tool set

<GripGear. 31 Oct. 2016. For immediate release. > Smartphone movie tool kit company, Grip Gear has upped the ante in video production with the launch of Movie Maker: a set of miniature production tools that puts all the equipment a movie company might use to make a major Hollywood production into a tiny package that will help turn a smartphone into a full-blown movie making resource.

As smartphones become more and more capable, they are becoming one of the most important tools for creating video content for both brands and individuals. By 2019 video will account for almost 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. Even now, Facebook experiences 8 billion video views per day. But as video proliferates, standing out from the crowd becomes an increasing challenge.

The Movie Maker helps video makers move up into a new realm of production quality and creativity with gadgets like an 8-speed electronic tracking slider, a 360º panoramic function and suction cups to hold your phone in impossible positions for the most amazing shots.

Co-founder Rhys Bradley said: “As a former grip in the film industry, I’ve long had a vision of creating a film set experience in a smaller format for smartphones and other small cams. With the Movie Maker, smartphone users can now create beautiful movie quality footage that used to take massive pieces of expensive film making equipment with a set of highly portable tools that can fit in a camera bag!”

Co-founder Dean Tzembelikos said: “After 3 years of development and meticulous attention to detail and quality we are proud to launch the Movie Maker. It will enhance the video making experience and bring out the creative juices in everyone. This is a genuine breakthrough in putting movie making into the everyone’s hands”

The Movie Maker will shortly be available on Amazon as well as at and cost USD $ 129.

Technical information:

  • Can use 99% of all smartphones, action camera’s and light compact camera’s
  • Folds small and is light weight and backpack friendly • Comes with 2 x 31cm tracks, additional tracks are available for extensions
  • Power Options: Plug into a power bank to extend operating times +36 hours (10400MA), or use 2 AAA batteries for 2 hours
  • Remote control for both speed and direction (8 speeds)
  • Bounce back for continuous motion: When the movie maker reaches the end of track it will not stop but move in opposite direction
  • Motor speeds vary from very slow, mostly used in time lapse 6mm/minute and to a 300mm/minute for real time.
  • Operates as a manual slider
  • Convenient ¼ inch threads allow you to attach The Movie Maker to a tripod, suction cup
  • Can climb 90 degrees
  • Weighs 900g and can hold up to 300g phone/camera
  • Can operate upside down
  • Use without tracks for pans or 360 Panorama shots
  • No vibration, even on full zoom videos are stable
  • Easy to use

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on Grip Gear introduces Movie Maker, a tiny slider for smartphones and action cams

Posted in Uncategorized