Monday, October 24, 2011

Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally was awesome! Here is what you missed.

This past weekend I gave out free legal advice for those who were brave enough to pay for it.  It was epic fun.

I filmed a few scenes with Driftwood's 167mb GOP1 hack for the GH2 and again I was astounded.  This camera is powerful.  Again, I put the footage through severe amounts of color grading filters and again, the camera held its ground.

Also used the Merlin StediCam and was very impressed with its abilities to hide my severe camera shake.

Anyway, enjoy.


Chicano Lawyer

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hello everybody!  Stop by the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club this Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.  I will be at the VVMC booth offering free legal advice to those who are willing to pay for it.

There will also be raffles, bands, a beer garden.  Good times.


Chicano Lawyer

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GH2 176mb GOP1 Hack Test - Color Grading Works!

So I'm completely sold on drinking the GH2 Hack Kool-Aid.  Yesterday, I shot footage of Alexandra at 640 ISO and put the shot through the color grading ringer.  I applied a ridiculous amount of desaturation of highlights and shadows, I increased the shadow detail by 50% in Premiere Pro, I cropped the top and bottom, I put all the shadows and highlights in the dark blue end of the color wheel corrector, and the mid-tones in the bright orange end of the color wheel and the image held up like Michele Bachman's make-up in the Republican debates last night.  Yeah, that good.

Obviously, the point of this exercise was to see how much the hacked footage could take before too much digital noise started to destroy the image.  Clearly it can take a beating.  If you watch the image in 1080P, you'll notice that the only noise introduced looks more like film grain than computer vomit.  For tech geeks such as myself, this is fucking awesome.  Only issue is that my 32GB SD card now only holds 14 minutes of video.  But that is a small trade-off considering I was thinking about buying an external recorder and SSD drives.

Trust me, the GH2 is the camera to buy.  I've owned far too many cameras to make such a statement and not mean it.


Chicano Lawyer

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Canon EOS-1D X vs. GH2 176mb GOP1 AVCHD Intra!

The day has arrived.  Canon has announced their new prom queen in the HDSLR ball.  It has time-code, it shoots in Intra frames, ie., true progressive frames, can shoot 12 RAW frames per second and 14 JPEG frames per second, has manual audio control, the list goes on and on.  It still shoots 1080P though.  No RAW.  Also the codec compression is still to be determined.  Either way you slice it, she is pertty.  But at $6,800, she's a gold digger.

Of course, a few months ago I wouldn't care about her hefty ransom.  But today is not a few months ago.  The EOS 1D X seems awesome.  But where's the 1080P at 60P?  Sony's NEX-5n has it.  Where's the focus peaking?  The NEX-5n has that too.  I know it seems silly to compare a $6,800 camera to a $600 camera, but on a practical level, as a guerrilla filmmaker, I'd feel more comfortable with 1080P at 60P and focus peaking on a no permit shoot than a camera that costs more than any car I ever bought.

More importantly, Canon may be missing their audience.  The 5d Mark II was a breakthrough in technology, which is why so many filmmakers splurged the $2,500 to get one.  The camera did what nothing else could.  The 1D X on the other hand is adding what is already abundant in the crowed HDSLR marketplace.  The new GH2 hack by Driftwood, for instance, shoots in AVCHD Intra frames at GOP1 at 176mb per second, has 48khz audio, and is reliable with a fast SD class 10 card.  This quality is available in nothing else except a RED camera.  The Intra frames mean that the compression is no longer guessing what the next frame will be while shooting.  Also, it means that the footage will be able to take a Pacquiao v. Marquez type beating when color-grading and still look good.  Did I mention the camera costs $800.

See for yourself.  The first video is of the new Canon 1D X.  Now, I don't know if the filmmakers actually used the 1D X to shoot the promo, but it would be pretty stupid if they didn't.

The next video is of a filmmaker testing the AVCHD Intra hack at 176mbit GOP1.

For my eyes, the GH2 footage looks much better.  It looks like Canon is misreading the market.  Of course, the 1D X will be an awesome camera when it comes out in March 2012.  But while we all wait for that, a whole bunch of nerds will keep  pushing forward the limits of the GH2 Hack.  This could easily make the 1D X unnecessarily expensive by the time it is finally released.

So there you have it.  My two cents.  If you want a good camera, buy the GH2 and hack it.  No need to wait for Canon.


Chicano Lawyer

P.S., this video is crazy.