The Pentax 645Z brings Medium Format to Video

Pentax has just announced the 645Z Medium Format camera which will be shipping for just under $8500.

Pentax 645Z

What does mean for the filmmaker? Well the DSLR revolution has been dominated by 35mm still frame cameras – now for the first time there’s a larger than 35mm camera on the market that can shoot video.  Here are some specs


Max resolution 8256 x 6192
Other resolutions 6912 x 5184, 5376 x4032, 1920 x 1080
Image ratio w:h 4:3
Effective pixels 51 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors      . 53 megapixels
Sensor size Medium format (44 x 33 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor PRIME III
Color space sRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter array Primary color filter


Pentax 645Z-2

Having a larger than 35mm sensor results in a “reverse crop factor” – one of 0.79 (a 100mm F2 lens will behave like a 79mm F1.6 equivalent) so you will be getting some unique looks out of this camera. With a 44x33mm sensor – you’re shooting quite close to 65mm film which has an imaging dimension of 43×22.5mm. But for all that increased in imaging space, there isn’t really much new in the recording department.

Videography features

Resolutions    . 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p),
1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p,24p)
Format MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Mono
Speaker Stereo


How the camera is going to convert a 53 megapixel 8256 x 6192 down to a 2 megapixel 1920×1080 image is big elephant in the room. If line skipping is the answer, get ready for moire madness. On top of that we’re still stuck with the H.264 codec.

Where this camera may shine for filmmakers is in the timelapse department. Early reports on this camera state an “interval” 4K recording capability. Even without internal timelapse recording, a timelapse of using 53 megapixel source images may be a sight to see.

Having the field of view of a 65mm film equivalent makes this camera an interesting entry, but the added resolution feels wasted on old recording format technology. For the price of $8500, you’d be better off looking into AJA’s new CION which features a global 35mm equivalent sensor and internal recording capabilities which include 4K in all flavors of ProRes for about the same price.

Pentax 645Z-3

But as a still camera – this may be a game changer in the medium format world.

How to Iron a Dress Shirt

Because it’s something we all gotta do before we attend the movie premiere…

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a man who’s wearing what would be a very dapper get-up….except it’s ruined by wrinkly clothes. I see this especially with young, single professional men who probably don’t have mom or a wife to iron their clothes for them and never learned this basic life skill for themselves.

The fact is a lot of grown men don’t know how to iron a shirt. It’s nothing to be ashamed of if you don’t know how. Growing up, dear old mom probably ironed your dress shirts whenever you needed one and now your wife does this chore.  But a man needs to be self-sufficient. He shouldn’t have to rely on somebody else to ensure that he looks presentable. He’s in charge of that. If an unexpected interview or date comes up, a man knows how to get ready and out the door looking like a million bucks.

Details matter when it comes to your appearance and making a good first impression. Wrinkles draw the eye of those you meet and make you look sloppy and out-of-sorts. Having well-pressed clothing shows the world that you’re a man of discipline and order, a man who has his stuff together and understands that the details matter. And a crisp shirt really pulls together a handsome outfit. Throw on a well-ironed shirt, and you get a bit of confident pep in your step; it just feels good.

Art of Manliness | Read the Full Article

Ironing Man

Behind the Scenes of “I Love Lucy” – 1953

Go behind the scenes of “I Love Lucy” – the television show that would set the model for practically all live studio audience sitcoms since.

Video Description

“I Love Lucy” is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley.

The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). After the series ended in 1957, however, a modified version continued for three more seasons with 13 one-hour specials, running from 1957 to 1960, known first as The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show and later in reruns as The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour.

I Love Lucy was the most watched show in the United States in four of its six seasons, and was the first to end its run at the top of the Nielsen ratings (an accomplishment later matched by The Andy Griffith Show and Seinfeld). I Love Lucy is still syndicated in dozens of languages across the world.

The show was the first scripted television program to be shot on 35 mm film in front of a studio audience, and won five Emmy Awards and received numerous nominations. Another award that the show won was the coveted George Foster Peabody Award for “recognition of distinguished achievement in television.”


A Compilation of the Lunar Eclipse

I tried to get a shot of the tonight’s full lunar eclipse. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything more powerful than a 200mm lens. Shooting with a 5D Mk2, I decided to make a compilation of the eclipse itself. Enjoy!


Here’s a simulation of what the Earth would look like when viewed from a “blood moon”

With the lunar horizon in the foreground, the Earth passes in front of the Sun, revealing the red ring of sunrises and sunsets along the limb of the Earth. The “No Stars” frames omit the starry background and include an alpha channel. In the early morning hours of April 15, 2014, the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse. When viewed from the Moon, as in this animation, the Earth hides the Sun. A red ring, the sum of all Earth’s sunrises and sunsets, lines the Earth’s limb and casts a ruddy light on the lunar landscape. With the darkness of the eclipse, the stars come out.

The city lights of North and South America are visible on the night side of the Earth. The part of the Earth visible in this animation is the part where the lunar eclipse can be seen.


Building a Brand – Never Stop Asking “Why?”

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will remember what you made them feel. That line of thought by Maya Angelou has guided Legendary designer Michael Wolff over his long career. Check out more in this interview from 99u.

We won’t remember the commercial, the logo, or the jingle, but we will always remember how a brand (and in turn, a designer) makes us feel. In this 99U interview, legendary designer Michael Wolff shares lessons from a career spanning over five decades.

What separates a good designer from the rest of the pack, says Wolff, is an unlimited amount of empathy. To do this, approach the world through a child’s mind and have an insatiable curiosity. Ask “why” whenever possible.

“As you question things you have empathy for people in these situations,” Wolff says, “and then you’ll start to see, [the world] doesn’t have to be like this.”

About Michael Wolff

A founder of Wolff Olins – among the world’s most iconic design companies. Now, as Michael Wolff and Company he works with clients around the world both as a designer and creative advisor. Amongst his recent clients are The Ministry of Sound and The UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board in the UK, Citigroup in the US, and a Bank called Pyjom – “Let’s go” – in Russia.

A former President of the CSD and the D&AD, Michael has given talks and interviews in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Latvia, The Netherlands, India, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Singapore. He’s a visiting Professor at Central St Martins (The University of the Arts in London) and at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Cape Town South Africa). He’s a Senior Fellow at the RCA (The Royal College of Art), a member of the UK’s faculty of Royal Designers for Industry, and is the ‘Inclusive design champion’ for the UK Government.


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