BMW to Bring Back BMW Films

by JamesNYCFebruary 14. 2014 20:03

Long before Facebook & Twitter & LinkedIn & NetFlix & HULU back when life were more social, people on photo shoots used to talk to one another rather than interfacing with their mobile devices. And during that time all the way back in 2001 we used to talk about the series of short form videos being presented by BMW Films.

The first iteration of BMW Films was "The Hire:" a series of eight online films starring Clive Owen as a mysterious-driver-for-hire that were produced for the Internet from 2001-2002.

Running 8-10 minutes apiece, the mini-movies featured Mr. Owen driving BMW models such as the Z4 roadster. The flicks were directed by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Ang Lee, John Woo, Guy Ritchie and the late John Frankenheimer.

BMW of North America is planning to bring back BMW Films, the pioneering online movie series produced by A-List Hollywood directors/actors that popularized branded content on Madison Avenue more than a decade ago

Mr. Owen's performance helped turn him into an international movie star. Besides the BMW cars, Mr. Owen's co-stars included Gary Oldman, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke and Madonna (who was directed by her former husband, Mr. Ritchie).

A team led by David Lubars and Bruce Bildsten at BMW's former agency, Fallon, Minneapolis, created the idea for "The Hire" and wrote the scripts with input from directors such as Mr. Ritchie. Anonymous Content produced the films. David Fincher executive-produced.

Until the new series of web videos appear we can enjoy a little history here.

BMW Films - The Hire - Beat the Devil


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Sigma introduces the dp2 Quattro

by JamesNYCFebruary 13. 2014 02:52

On first impression the Sigma dp2 Quattro is not a typical compact camera. It has a slender body, with a prominant fixed lens and an unusual diagonal grip. It's design is not the only thing that makes this camera unique. it also features the latest incarnation of Sigma's Foveon X3 direct image sensor, which uses vertical color separation technology.

The dp2 Quattro is the first in Sigma's new line of fixed focal length cameras which prioritize image quality. A trio of dp Quattro compacts will feature either a wide-angle, standard, or medium telephoto lens. The dp2 will be the first to be released and is the standard focal length offering, with its 30-mm lens giving a 35-mm-format equivalent of 45-mm.


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Lena Dunham’s Vogue cover shoot with photographer Annie Leibovitz

by JamesNYCFebruary 8. 2014 15:24

Take a look at Lena Dunham’s Vogue cover shoot with photographer Annie Leibovitz.


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6 minute video spot shot om 35mm film

by JamesNYCFebruary 8. 2014 03:16

Parfumerie Guerlain splashed out the big bucks for this nearly six-minute spot shot on 35mm film on location in India. (NSFW: NUDITY) Directed by Bruno Aveillan, it takes epic creative license with the story of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and the creation of the Taj Mahal, which was built for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. No idea why an actress of Persian descent couldn't be summoned for the role, rather than Russian model Natalia Vodianova, but that's fashion for you.

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The works of Michel Comte

by JamesNYCFebruary 4. 2014 03:52

A compilation of the wide-ranging work of Michel. Trailer of "The girl from Nagasaki" Music by Conjure One ( Center of the Sun )

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PhaseOne releases Capture 1 Pro V.7.2.0 today

by JamesNYCFebruary 3. 2014 02:35

Photo Assistant

This release provides support for the new Phase One IQ250 digital back and offers a large number of improvements related to key features of the IQ250. In addition it fixes a number of bugs. We are still testing this release and our initial tests show it to be stable, but we do not recommend upgrading into a critical workflow until our testing with this release is complete.

OS Support

    • Note that OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) is no longer listed as a supported operating system for Capture One 7.2 in the release notes. While Capture One 7.2 may run on OS X 10.6.8, it is not recommended or supported and may suffer multiple stability issues. We recommend using at least Mac OS X 10.7.5 (OS X 10.8.x & 10.9.x are stable as well) and a minimum of 8GB of RAM.


Tethered Camera Support

    • Phase One IQ250


Camera File Support

    • Phase One IQ250


Bug Fixes

  • Improved live view frame rate on Mac.
  • Improved live view alignment between Mac and Windows.
  • Fixed a number of live view issues.
  • Improved tethered stability on Mac.
  • Fixed some XMP syncing issues.
  • Improved importer performance on Mac.
  • Fixed a stability issue related to collapsing of stacks on Mac.
  • Fixed a stability issue related to reordering jobs in the batch queue on Mac.
  • Fixed some LCC issues.
  • A number of other bug fixes.

MAC - Download HERE

Windows 64bit - Download HERE

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Phase One unveils thier first medium-format camera with CMOS Sensor

by JamesNYCJanuary 24. 2014 06:06

A few days ago, Hasselblad announced its revolutionary new the H5D-50c a medium format camera with CMOS sensor technology.

It's all about CMOS sensors in the medium format camera world at the moment. And once again Phase One is taking a commanding lead in the arena of high-end digital capture.

In a recent development, Phase One has declared the same thing just a few days later – a release of its own medium format camera with CMOS sensor technology. It’s called the IQ250 and it’s priced at $34,990. While Hasselblad was the first to announce the news, Phase One is the first to make the device available. It is available for purchase today.


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Fashion photographer Michel Comte talks about his production of The Girl from Nagasaki

by JamesNYCJanuary 21. 2014 03:45

Amanda Lippert talks to Michel Comte and Ayako Yoshida about their many roles in the production of The Girl from Nagasaki, featured in Sundance's New Frontier program. The film blends heightened narrative with ballet, opera, animation and video art, and was shot in 3D.

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Hasselblad set to launch world’s first medium format CMOS sensor camera

by JamesNYCJanuary 21. 2014 00:27

Hasselblad is set to launch the world’s first 50MP medium format camera using CMOS sensor technology. The groundbreaking H5D-50c will go on sale in March.

While most compact cameras have made the switch from CCD to CMOS image sensors in recent years, medium format cameras have been a hold out – until now, that is. Hasselblad has announced its new H5D-50c will be the world's first medium format camera to pack a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor.

Ove Bengtson, Hasselblad Product Manager said: “This pioneering 50 megapixel CMOS sensor camera is based on our H5D-50 model but will offer a faster capture rate; longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance. It will provide greatly improved Live Video in Phocus and will also be available with Multi-Shot functionality.”

He added: “We believe this will provide a highly compelling option for professional photographers who prefer a more versatile camera that enables them to immediately embrace a wider range of photo-disciplines but still encapsulating the exceptionally high-end image quality associated with Hasselblad.”

Hasselblad’s new CEO Ian Rawcliffe said: “We are extremely excited about this highly adaptable new camera which will offer an even broader palette of shooting options for our high-end customers.

“This is a world-first and underpins Hasselblad’s status at the forefront of camera technology. It will be the first of a number of medium format capture innovations we have planned for the coming months.”

Further information and prices for the new H5D-50c models will be announced in March.


The H5D-50c is based on the H5D-50 pictured

The new model is based on Hasselblad's H5D-50, but trades that model's 36.7 x 49.1 mm 50-megapixel CCD sensor for a CMOS sensor that the company's product manager, Ove Bengston, says "will offer a faster capture rate; longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance. It will provide greatly improved Live Video in Phocus and will be available with Multi-Shot functionality."

Hasselblad promises to release more details on the H5D-50c in March, but don't expect it to be cheap. The current H5D-50 sells for over US$25,000.


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Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*

by JamesNYCJanuary 19. 2014 06:25

The Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* is one of the first lenses for Sony's fledgling full frame mirrorless system, and designed as a fast 'normal' prime to complement the Sony Alpha 7 and 7R. However at around $999, it costs several times as much as the 50mm F1.4 options for DSLR systems.

The FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* is one of the first three lenses available for Sony's full-frame E-mount system, having been announced alongside the Alpha 7 and 7R camera bodies. It's a slightly long 'normal' prime designed for everyday photography, and its relatively fast F1.8 aperture makes it a good choice for selective focus work or shooting in low light. Its 7-element, 5-group optical design includes three aspherical elements to minimise aberrations, which is unusual for this type of lens.

The 55mm is a large-ish lens for its type (it's 71mm / 2.8" long), but even so, when coupled with the A7 or A7R it's still more compact than comparable full frame SLR options (as the cameras themselves are slimmer). It's also decidedly expensive, at around $999 at the time of writing. It's pretty clear that this isn't going to be quite the same proposition as the inexpensive 50mm F1.8 primes available for full frame SLRs - it costs several times as much as the average 50mm F1.4.

The FE 55mm F1.8 can also be used on Sony's APS-C E-mount bodies, on which it will behave like a classic short telephoto 'portrait' lens. However most users of these cameras will probably find theSony E 50mm F1.8 OSS to be a better choice, as it's much cheaper and includes optical image stabilisation, while offering decent optical quality too.

Headline features

  • 55mm focal length
  • Fast F1.8 maximum aperture
  • FE lens for full frame Sony E-mount cameras (also works on APS-C E-mount models)

The 55mm F1.8 lives up to its Carl Zeiss branding, returning truly superb test results on the Alpha 7R. It's extremely sharp, shows little chromatic aberration or distortion, and has entirely acceptable levels of vignetting. In fact it comes very close indeed to the astounding (but $4000) Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4.


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