BL Blog


Cool Stuff – Week of April 20, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • Black Magic Cine Camera

    Black Magic Cine Camera

    A few gear announcements this week. We’ll start with the Black Magic Camera, which gives you 2.5K resolution, 13 stops of dynamic range, and EF and ZE mounts – with electronic iris control. Yum.

  • Nikon’s got the successor to its D3100. The D3200 adds a 24.2MP sensor and is available in red. New: optional WiFi.
  • There are LOADS more new product announcements from NAB. A few great sites to check these out at are:
  • Here at, we love our Behind-The-Scenes (BTS) videos. This one comes to us by way of Melissa Rodwell of the awesome Fashion Photography Blog.
  • Speaking of BTS videos, here’s one of a different kind. The awesome folks at PhotoShelter put together an interview with Forbes’ Senior Photo Editor Michele Hadlow about what photographers need to succeed with the magazine.
  • And finally, to cement Google+’s place in the hearts and minds of photographers who’ve turned it into their very own community space since the service’s launch, there’s the Google+ Photographer’s Conference. Created with the folks from Kelby Training, this two-day conference in San Francisco is the first of its kind organized by Google+. Scott Kelby put the following video together for the conference.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, suggestions and questions are welcome in the comments section below!

Tip of the Week: Edit Video in Adobe… Lightroom?

Tips & Tricks
You can now apply certain presets to video in Lightroom 4.

You can now apply certain presets to video in Lightroom 4.

It’s no big secret that video is now something even still photographers need to pay attention to. If you do photography for a living – or want to do photography for a living – then at some point, the specter of video is going to raise its head and you’ll have to deal with it, or risk falling behind your competition.

Since photographers are dabbling in video, it’s no surprise that a software application formerly dedicated to still photographers is itself now dabbling in video. The latest version of Adobe Lightroom, released this month, now offers DSLR video shooters the ability to do some video edits and effects without having to leave the program.

Among other things, you can do basic cuts and trims, apply color and exposure settings, and sync those settings between clips.

The folks over at Adobe – specifically, Adobe’s Senior Digital Imaging Evangelist, Julieanne Kost – have a great video showing you some of the things you can do to your video with Lightroom 4. Take a look – I think you’ll be surprised at how much you can do.

As an aside to our Aperture fans – yes, Aperture has had many of these features (and I’ve happily used them for a while) for some time now. It’s just nice to see Lightroom catching up.

BLCast, Episode 1 – An Interview With Shane Hurlbut

BL News
Shane Hurlbut

Shane Hurlbut

The very first episode of BLCast, the official podcast of, is now live!

We’re excited to bring you something really special for our inaugural episode. A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to speak with Shane Hurlbut, director of photography for such films as Drumline, Terminator Salvation, and, most recently, the military action thriller, Act of Valor.

Many of you will recognize Shane’s name. That’s because he’s become something of a pioneer in the world of filmmaking, especially for those of you using HDDSLRs to create video. Shane has been at the forefront of the DSLR video revolution, going so far as to use cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II and the 7D for about 70% of his latest endeavor, Act of Valor.

I spoke with Shane just a few days before the release of Act of Valor, and had a great conversation about his life, his career, and the challenges of shooting mere feet from live tracer rounds. You can listen to the interview in the player below, or subscribe to it in the BLCast RSS Feed, here:

You can find out more about Shane at his website,, and on his blog, HurlbutVisuals

A quick note about the audio: since I spoke to Shane over Skype, the audio cut out in a couple of places. Rather than recut the interview to eliminate those parts, I left most of it as-is.


Cool Stuff, January 30, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. If you have something you think should be included, let us know! Email us at

Finally! A new full-frame camera from Nikon

Gear Talk
The new Nikon D4

The new Nikon D4

Nikon just announced the D4, and it looks like a doozy, not just an updated version of the D3s. Loads of new features – expanded ISO, clean HDMI out, MUCH better HD video options (1080p at 30, 24 and 25fps). Most importantly, it’ll be the first full-frame sensor camera with full HD capability since the Canon 5D MarkII (the 1Dx isn’t due out till March 2012).

A couple of other points of interest.

  • The D4 has an RGB metering sensor, first introduced with the Nikon D7000. The difference here is that besides being an updated version of the D7000’s sensor, the D4’s metering sensor has 91,000 pixels to the D7000’s 2016.
  • Framerate has be upped to 11fps in Continuous High, from 9fps in the D3s.
  • ISO is expandable to 204800.
  • The 91k pixel RGB sensor also features face recognition.
  • You can now record 1080p video in three formats: Full-frame, DX crop and an even smaller crop that uses just 1920×1080 pixels on the sensor.

Lots more stuff too, including a headphone jack for monitoring audio, a levels indicator and more. That 1Dx needs to hit the market sooner rather than later, because Nikon has upped the ante with this extremely capable HDDSLR, finally challenging Canon in the video realm.

Check out the press release for more details. Here are the specs.

UPDATES: Here’s a roundup of D4-related pieces from around the web.


Editor’s note: Post updated to clarify sentence about the D4 being the first full-frame camera capable of full HD video since 5D Mark II. The 1Dx was announced, but won’t be released until after the D4.

From the “You don’t need a $10,000 camera” department…

Cool Stuff

Here’s something to remind you that you don’t need thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment to do something truly captivating. David HJ. Lindberg’s video of running through mud puddles (below) was shot with a Canon T21 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

The Beauty of Mud (4000 fps) from David HJ. Lindberg on Vimeo.

We really have gotten to the point where ingenuity, perseverance and creativity don’t need to be accompanied by tons of money. The photo gear that David used (T2i and 50mm f/1.8) can be rented for about $60 for three days from BorrowLenses. We also have the T2i for sale for just $450, if you want to buy it. Bottom-line: You’re not really limited by gear anymore – just grab your camera and lens and get out there!

New gear: Sony F3L

BL News Gear Talk
Sony F3L body

Sony F3L body

Well, it’s here! We’ve been waiting for Sony’s newest CineAlta series product to come in for some time now and we’re pleased to have it in our inventory. The F3L sits somewhere between the RED and the EX3 in the lineup of pro video bodies we offer, and it’s a perfect addition to our growing list of video products. Take a look at the specs on it:

  • Super 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor
  • PL mount
  • 35mm Cine lens compatibility
  • Dual SxS card memory slots
  • 1920 x 1080 HD, Native 23.98p
  • Variable frame rates
  • Slow –mo (over-crank)/High-speed (under-crank) dial on body of camera
  • Internal ND filters
  • 5600K CC (electric color compensation) filter
  • Focus-assistance functions
  • HD/SD-SDI BNC outputs, Dual XLR inputs
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 HD-SDI Output
  • Genlock, Timecode
  • Optional S-Log/LUT workflow
  • Output to an external recorder in 10-bit 4:2:2 or 10-bit RGB (with upgrade option)

The F3L is targeted at professional, higher-end filmmakers and cinematographers. It matches up with the series of PL mount lenses we carry (more to come soon). If you have any questions about it, please call us at (650) 508-3370 and ask to speak with a video specialist.

Tip of the week: An adaptable camera system

Tips & Tricks
A Zeiss CP.2 lens on an Olympus E-P2

A Zeiss CP.2 lens on an Olympus E-P2

Every Thursday, we will post a photography-related tip here. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at

Today we’re going to talk about a video camera called the Panasonic AG AF100. The AF100 is from a family of products that adhere to the Micro Four-Thirds standard. So far, Olympus and Panasonic are the two manufacturers making cameras for this standard, but a number of other manufacturers have also signed on to produce add-ons for it. Sigma, Carl Zeiss, Lensbaby and Voigtlander, all venerable manufacturers, have signed on to make lenses for it. (more…)

The Epic begins

BL News Gear Talk
Red Logo

Red Logo

We’ve been waiting for this moment for some time now.Ever since stepped into the video arena, adding cameras like the Panasonic AG-AF100, the Sony EX3, NEX-VG10, and, of course, the wide range of Canon HDSLRs, people have been asking, “Where’s the RED?”