Trends from the Trenches

Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens and Lars Lindstrom, a good friend and DP who I work with often. We often sit around and talk about what is happening in the visual world these days. He comes from a video background as a DP and I come from the world of stills and then directing and shooting commercials. We love to talk about what the current trends are, what equipment is coming out and how it will effect the industry. Well we decided to simply turn on a camera (OK maybe 3 cameras) and in a single take talk about what we think is interesting in the industry this month. We hope to bring you the latest news from the trenches of the visual world. Let me know if you like the format and what you would do to improve it. Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.

Photography Trends

Video Transcription
– Hi, this is JP Morgan with Lars Lenstrum. Lars works with me as a DP. We work together on a lot of our projects. Today we’re going to do something different. We’re gonna see if you’ll like it, what something worth us doing in the future. But we’re just going to talk about what we think is going on in the industry. Me as a really old guy and Lars as a really young guy. And we’re kinda’ get those two perspectives. So… I’m not as old as I look. I guess for me this is an opportunity for the two of us. ‘Cuz when we sit together on shoots, that we start talking about what’s going on in the industry… what’s happenin’… you know, what are the interesting things that are going on. And it’s always a fun conversation for me. I walk away learning a lot from the other guys that are with me, and… on the crew. So I’m hoping we get a lit… a bit of that flavor. So let’s start with what do we think is interesting in the last month. I just got back from Photoplus so I got some thoughts from that. Uh, You’re obviously… Lars was very connected to the, the uh, video and film as a DP world. I’m kinda’ more photography cross-over video, so I have kinda’ that perspective. So we’ll just see where that, that takes us. So…
– Sure. Uhm, one thing that I, I think would be good to talk about is uh, uh this new Sandisk card that’s comin’ out. Uhm, it’s called Cfast 2.0. So instead of compact flash, I think they’re, they’re aimin’ more towards a compact fast uh, kinda’ of a title for it.
– Okay.
– But uhm, it’s supposed to be released early next year. I think there’e actually some places that are, that are starting to sell pre-order right now. Some very select places. Uhm, but basically you’ve got just a compact flash card. Uh, you’ve got a 60 gig, 120 gig, and a 256 I think are comin’ out… uhm, that can record. It can write 350 megabytes a second, transfer 450 megabytes a second. Which is…
– That’s outstoundin’.
– It’s the fastest–
– Yeah.
– Card that exists.
– So when you, when are you gonna use that though? I mean, I mean I’m with my point and shoot… [laughing]
– Yeah, yeah.
– I mean those are gonna be expensive cards. So what’s the application? Whta’s…
– So if you’re, if you’re thinking, oh well would it, would it be an advantage to my 5D Mark 3, or my D3, probably not. Yeah, you know, those cameras still have I think about 50 a megabyte per second cap. And we’ve got you know, Sandisk, we’ve got other compact flash cards that can do 95, and that’s fast but it’s kinda’ the standard these days if you’re doing DSLR video or, or even if you’re shooting on like a C300 or some other compact flash camera.
– How ’bout the 1DC which is the 4k camera.
– Right. See, that’s, that’s an application where you start to wonder if maybe a 350 megabyte per second card would be an advantage. ‘Cuz that’s a 4K camera. Uhm, and I think, how many, if you’re doing, uh, still photography, how many frames a second can that do? ‘Cuz that’s like.
– 1D actually 12 in raw. 12 frames a second in raw which is our fastest camera right now. They just came out the 1D XL.
– So if you start doin’ the math there, you know, each, each frame is probably about 25 to 30 megabytes. If you’re doing still photography.
– Yeah.
– So if you start to do 12 of those, you know, you’re lookin’ on to about 350 megabytes per second. And uh, you need a card that can keep up with that. So before you know, you had cards that would just, you-you’d shoot 12 frames and it would be processing for few seconds.
– [JP Morgan] Oh, it’s just painful.
– Yeah, exactly. And you know, you want, you want to be out there shooting as fast as your can. So this is really aimed to uhm, very very high-end professional video and photo markets. Uhm, so–
– We’re heading that way.
– Oh, absolutely.
– Not just, I mean, it was like we’re at the era of, we’re on the dawn of 4K. I mean. 4K TVs will be uh, on the market this year in a much stronger uh, way than they were last year. So everything’s gonna have to, eventually get shot in 4K. Which is the way the market just gets us all to buy new cameras because the Mark 3’s not gonna be good enough ’cause it’s 2K, you’re gonna have to go to the 1DC, you gonna have to go to a platform that’s gonna deliver on that 4K. Uh, Youtube will go 4K, eventually.
– Youtube is 4K.
– Is it really?
– It is.
– Well, of course they are. [laughing]
– Yeah, Youtube’s been 4k for a long time. You know, which didn’t really make too much sense to me because, you know, you have to have… 4K is a really really new uh, fascinating market for consumers. Uhm, it’s, it’s been in a profe… I mean, you can go to a theater and you can see movies in 4K. You can do that right now. Uhm, but even if you buy one of those new Sony 4K TVs, at the moment, Blueray, Blueray isn’t quite authored uh, for 4K. Uh, they’re writing in H265 codec which is the same language as Blueray, uhm, but it doesn’t exist yet. So for right now 4K is just kinda’ like this interesting thing that people really… don’t really know–
– Well it’s uh… But it goes to eleven.
– Yeah, exactly.
– It’s 4K!
– It’s 4K.
– Uh, there’s enough, not enough content out there. The market isn’t ready for it. But by next Christmas, we’ll see a big shift.
– [Lars] Absolutely, absolutely.
– We’ll see the change.
– So what mean with data. Those being able to write fast enough. That’s why, that’s why I’m pretty excited about this new Sandisk card comin’ out. Uhm, the only camera that has announced that they will be using this card so far is the uh, new camera from Area, the Area Mera. So it’s basically an Alexa in a more documentary or TV style camera…
– [JP Morgan] So it’s smaller platform.
– Well a smaller platform not, not quite the professional tools that uh, the uh, Alexa has. As far as film. It’s geared more towards TV commercial and documentary. Uhm, but I mean, they’re boasting that these cards are gonna be able to write uh, Apple Press 444, which is very high quality.
– High quality, yeah.
– Uhm, at 220 frames a second.
– That’s incredible. Is it the same size as compact flash?
– Same size.
– Same size. So you can use this card in your Mark 3?
– [Lars] You can use it in a Mark 3.
– Okay, well that’s good. At least you’re not changing that uh, you know.
– [Lars] The format.
– Yeah, the format. It would be awful if they change it so… Where is the bottle neck? What is uh, what the issue?
– For right now, I think the bottle neck,
the biggest bottle neck isn’t gonna be in your uh, capture or transfer. Uh, on the card itself, ‘cuz you’ve got USP 3 which is extremely fast. Uh, you got these cards which are lightning fast. The biggest bottle neck in my mind is still gonna be computer hard drives. Uh, for some reason, you know, I mean if… unless you got a solid state drive, uh, that’s just up to date with you know, the best and fastest and most expensive technology, you’ve got spending drives still. And you know, a drive that’s spins on 72 on RPMs doesn’t stand a chance against something like this.
– No. The SSD though is the… I mean a lot of people are taking their old Macs putting an SSD drive in it and you’ve got a much higher performance, almost out of the box.
– Oh yeah, absolutely. You know, two or three times better. Absolutely. But still, I mean even-even those can’t capture as fast as these cards can.
– You know it’s always… you get things to the point. I always talk about this with regards to what we shoot. You know, 18 megapixel, 35 megapixel, I mean, and then you throw it on the internet. Was it, 4 megapixels? I mean, it’s like… yeah, I mean… [laughing] It’s like, it’s ridiculous. So it’s just a matter of uh, where your delivery, you know. What you’re gonna use it for. If you’re shooting for stuff and eventually we’ll get there where televisions will need it and all the other hard drives. Everything’s gotta’ catch up. It’s gonna have the ability to edit and to… I mean, think about editing that’s a huge, another huge issues. So…
– Yeah. And I, when I shoot in photography like you’re saying, I shoot with a red epic. And that’s, that’s a 5K format camera, you know. So I’m, I’m shooting most of my stuff in 4 or 5K, which is an enormous amount of data.
– Yeah.
– It’s, and it’s raw too, so it’s, I mean… there are compression ratios but I mean, and then like, what you said. We’re boilin’ that down to internet.
– Yeah, boilin’ that right back to the internet.
– Oh yeah. Everything I export is 19, 20 bytes… you know, so…
– The delivery’s gonna get better, the internet’s gonna get better. You’re gonna have the option. They’re gonna start to open up. Eventually…
Alright, let’s talk about a couple of things. I was at Photoplus, I thought the most interesting thing at Photoplus was definitely the uh, Sony 7 series uh, cameras. Which are mirrorless camera. So very small, platforms kinda’ like the old Lycos. Uh, you have very small platform, you have small lenses, because of the mirrorless, uh, it really makes that whole thing compact. It’s almost small enough, like, put it in my pochet but still a full frame sensor. So you have that ability to get a really good image. An image that you can sell to Getty stock which always been an issue for me. I mean, I get some of these small, I have a small Lycos one time I was taking a lot of images with but it just, it wouldn’t sell on Getty. It wasn’t… the quality wasn’t there. But this is a full frame sensor. They have both the sport version and the, it’s kinda’ street version. Street version is not quite as large uh, quality. And uh, frame phrase is not as fast, so…
– So, who do you think the market is, for a camera like this?
– You know, this is, this is people are walk around shooters that want a camera they’re gonna carry with them. You know, they always say, the best camera that you have is the one that’s with you, you know. I doesn’t matter how great your red epic is, you know, when something’s happening in front of you and you don’t have it, you don’t get the shot, you know. So the camera you’re gonna carry is the one that’s most important. And is, you know, well, it depends on what you’re doing, I guess but… But if you’re gonna be out and shooting and want have, want to have something with you and capture anywhere you go, this is a great pocket camera. And now, I know Sony will say, no, no, no, this is gonna compete with the Mark 3 and it’s a, you know. And you know, had someone ask in a  blog about that, well what about, you know, why don’t you use this kind of mirrorless cameras, they’re smaller. You can take em’ on location with you easier. Well, there’s some capabilities there that I think are challenging. One, I love the glass, you know. That you get… although you can adapt these to anything quite frankly.
– Yeah.
– They have uh, an adapter that you can put any lense series on them.
– And Sony uh, has some great connection to it’s size. So if you really wanna it, you see, you can put some size glass on.
– You could absolutely do that. Which would be a great, a great look. But I think it’s just, it’s just the smallest of the platform. The ease of, of carryin’ it.
And uh, they had some things built in that camera that for me, as my eyes get older, they had peaking built into the small monitor at the back,
– For video capabilities…
– For video capabilities, uhm. They also, when you, when you would click on the camera, to pre-focus, in video, uh, it jumps in times 10 focus and when you go take, it goes back, it jumps back out. So that… You can turn that on or off. But I thought that was interesting if your used to it. It was an interesting feature.
– So that’s the kind of stuff that drives me crazy with this Cannon line of semi-cameras. ‘Cuz it would be a simple matter of writing a couple of code lines in their software to give you that capability of jumping in like that. So, you know, and but they, they don’t, they say, well if you want that capability to be able to zoom in while you’re recording you’ve gotta get our C300 which is a $14,000 cinema camera, you know. And at that point you’re going, uh… I just, I don’t know if I see the point.
– Well they’re trying to justify both those lines of cameras. Trying to keep them in a certain category and they don’t want… But you know that’s what the free market system does. Sony’s gonna put pressure on ’em, you know. Nikkon’s putting pressure on them. Cannon’s gonna have to a make some decisons about those kind of things, you know. We’ll see the next generation, the Mark 4 or the whatever they’ll have a lot of that kinda’ stuff into that things, so…
– Yeah.
– I saw a very cool piece of equipment at Photoplus from Innovative. It’s basically a cart. You know, we’ve used all the Magliners, forever. You know, and have your shelves and all kinda’ stuff on it. This is a Magliner that you break it d own into a box like this.
– [Lars] Really?
– Wheels and everything. You throw it in airplane and it flies with you. And it was, it was lightweight, great wheels on it, it collapses, you break, put it back together, and you get a great platform that you’ll be able to use on location.
– Wow.
– I thought those were very cool.
– Yeah.
– And so, hopefully we’ll work with them in the future. And be able to use that on set. So…
– Oh man, ‘cuz that’s, that’s one of the biggest issues flying, you know. I see uh, a production in Oregon and we could have used a Magliner so badly.
You know, but we flew and of course, it was a low budget production, and there were limitations on what we could bring and the crew was very minimal, but I got out there and I was, you know, it was like, okay, so where will I set up camera on the ground in the forest? You know–
– Exactly.
– What do you want me to do here? And so that’s… I brought a tarp and that’s…
– It’s a blue tarp.
– Yeah. I brought a, I brought a white tarp so it could double as a balance. [JP laughing] That’s how low budget productions was.
– Hang them on the trees.
– Exactly, exactly.
– [JP Morgan] We’re gonna get it balanced. Just throw like a hammock on the ground.
–  It was my raincoat, it was my bounce, and it was my uh, ground cloths like a bull camera. But that sounds like a effective tool specially if you can fly with it. Collapse and fly.
– Yeah. Well it does. It collapses down and goes in a small case and goes on smaller weight, so…
– Awesome.
– We’ve talked about that, just as a reminder when you fly, you know. Create a media badge, you know. And make sure when you book your tickets, you tell ’em that you’re media and that way you go up to 90 pounds per bag and you don’t get hit for extra baggage on… It really helps. Did you do that when you–
– I did. And you don’t even, I mean you can basically fake it till you make it with this one. You know, as long as you have anything that looks somewhat official uh, you can, you can get away with  it. Because, I mean, for me I just create something called Lars Lenstrum productions, you know. It’s like, that’s not real, it’s not a real thing but you throw it on  a little plastic badge…
– Exactly.
– And, and you put out your badge say, oh I’m media and they oh, a media rate… tututut… and most airlines will have one immediately and they’ll, and they’ll just charge you for 50 pound bag.
– Yeah. I mean, there are, there is no agency out there that polices media badges, you know. It’s like, it’s like, if you make a media badge, if you have a business card that backs it up as well, I mean you’re pretty much in. And they see the equipment. You know, if it’s full of beany babies, they’ll probably gonna go… you know, who are you?
– Where did that come from?
– Who knows what beany babies are? See how old I am? That was Photoplus. I mean there are a lot of great there. I learned some great things about marketing, I, you know, one thing I will mention about websites that I thought are interesting for photographers.
Photographer’s were all about wide space on the internet on their webpages, uh, you know, their landing page, they’d have this image with lots of light white space, then you go into the site. That’s changed completely. Big images fill the whole frame when you come onto your landing pages. And you go to the thumbnails, simple thumbnails, quickly go through them, they’ll be able to see the images quickly. Uh, it really is now about ease of use so you can see things quickly and big powerful images. Not a lot of this white space. So you can check out stuff out there like Chase Jarves’ site is, uh, he’s a guy who knows what’s going on. Look at the way his site, it’s landing page really emphasizes that. It does a great job, so…
– And my mind that’s kinda’ what they’re built for, you know. I mean, there is something elegant, sure, about the old format, but uh, if you, if you’re a photographer and you wanna display your work, make it full screen. Make it as big as possible.
– So what is a video? I mean, I’m frustrated as you’ve expressed about video uh, and presenting that in the templates that are out there right now for a lot of major companies.
– You know, ‘Cuz I have a couple of wordpress sites. And I, I do not, I can’t find any good template for video. And that’s, and that’s something that’s frustrating to me. ‘Cuz I just want, you know, basically that same format. I want a full screen video page.
– Well, I mean, there are some of great, I mean, we’ve worked with Zenfolio which is excellent. Square Space is uh, a company that we have uh, done some work with and uhm, they have excellent templates. And they’re now doing a lot more video on there. So those are good ones to look at. Uhm, certainly Zenfolio’s been excellent from a delivery stand point. And Square Space we’re just starting to work with. We’ll see how that goes, but I think they have a very similar kinda’ those capabilities, so…
– Well, I mean, there is… For me, I’m very excited about the Area Mera.
– I’m sure. That’s a great camera.
– Uhm, you know, I’m-I’m very tempted to just make it happen and get one.
– Are you really?
– I am, actually.
– So what’s the price point?
– It’s about 35 or 40,000. [JP chuckles] Yeah… I know. So it’s not, it’s definitely not the camera for, for your, you know, average–
– I won’t buy a car, I’ll just get this camera…
– Exactly!
– I can always ride a bike.
– Well, you know, in my mind, and here’s, here’s how I get, here’s how I justify it.
A car is never gonna earn me money.
– That’s true.
– It’s just… It won’t and uh, a good camera like this, I mean… The Arealexa has basically revolutionized the digital camera system, you know. I mean, there was Red and they did a phenomenal job. I shoot Red, I love Red. But there is something to be said about the quality of skin tones that you get with that Arealexa sensor. So that same sensor’s gonna be inside this camera. And it’s a lighter weight camera. It’s got direct XLR inputs. It’s uh, got… It’s completely adjustable so you can slide it back on your shoulder, you can compl… uh, adjust your eye piece, it’s got a foot paddle CD screen. So they, they’re kind of merging both the Arealexa world and like kind of a Cannon or Sony cinema camera world together.
– [JP Morgan] Into one platform.
– Into one platform. Plus it’s gonna do 220 frames a second at 4444 uh, prowess. I mean, in my mind, what’s there not to love about this camera.
– Yeah. That’s pretty incredible. But I mean, what can you get a rental rate for something like that. If it’s gonna make you money, I mean you can’t use that enough unless you’re shooting everyday, you know. You gotta’ rent that thing out.
– That’s, that’s gonna depend on the market a little bit. Uh, my guess is from $800 to $1200 a day.
– So in that… In that category, I mean, if you rent it out and the life of the camera, you know, in a year, if you rent it out 10, 15 times, you know, that’s pretty significant.
– Which, which is… would be a failure in my mind.
– [JP Morgan] Really?
– If you rent it out 10, 15 times? Yeah, absolutely.
– You know really, these things come down to… it’s about business, you know. For Lars, he’s in that industry. He runs in those circles. He has a market there to be able to rent it to other people. If you don’t, you’re buying a camera, and you’re standing there with big investment with no way to get it out there and that’s a foolish decision. It really is. I mean, you make that decision when you have an out-outlet. You have a way to sell it. A way to be able to get it out there that would help make money for you. You know, we also get worried about, oh I don’t wanna be late by no… we’re doing… It’s a huge world out there, you know.
– Especially right now, yeah… that’s true.
– I mean, there’s so many people and so many applications uh…
– You type anything on Youtube and get an answer to anything.
– [JP Morgan] Absolutely, absolutely. So this been JP Morgan and Lars Lenstrum. Are really just talking about things that we think are interesting in the market. We’ll try to do this once a month and give you an update. Just the things that we’ve seen in the past month, the things that we think are interesting. I hope you find this interesting. Let us know. If you don’t, we won’t do it. If you do, we’ll do it again. If you think it’d be better if it’s just Lars did it, forget you. [Lars chuckles] But give us some idea what you thought of this. If you think it is valuable. Anything we think is interesting, anything you would like to hear about, we’ll try to get it into your hands, so… Keep those cameras rollin’, keep on clickin’. I say that all the time. It’s like embarrassing.
– [Lars] It’s your thing though.
– [JP Morgan] It’s my thing.
– [Lars] It’s like, it’s ike a brand.
– [JP Morgan] That’s true.
– [Lars] It’s an image.
– [JP Morgan] An image? Is it a good image?
– [Lars] It’s a good image.
– [JP Morgan] Okay. I’m gonna stick with it. Keep those camera’s rollin’, keep on clickin’.


  1. says

    Yes, keep this news from the Trenches going.
    Love your work and site, I always check your tips and tutorials every week and
    enjoy learning how things are done.


  2. says

    I’m a long time listener, first time caller. I would recommend a tighter edit, or fewer talking points. If I didn’t admire your work so much, my vine induced attention span would have moved on at the 4 minute mark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>