Dixieland Jazz Cruise

The Dixieland Jazz Cruise is an event put together by The Greater Boston Vintage Society. An eclectic mix of dancers, musicians, and vintage style connoisseurs set out on the Boston Harbor for an afternoon. Now down to brass tacks…

I’ve had the X70 for nearly a month now and I’ve been putting it through the paces. I’ve shot an interview, a live rock band in a basement, a wedding, a festival, and now a boat cruise. I can say with certainty that the built in image stabilization on the Sony X70 works. Really works. The boat was rocking so much at times that it was difficult to stand, but you would hardly be able to tell from the footage. No, it’s not rock solid, but considering the conditions, it would have been nearly impossible to shoot this entire video hand held without the stabilization.

I’m new to XDCAMs and proper video cameras in general, but I’m constantly tinkering with the gamma, knee, and color profiles to find the best performance settings for the X70. I tend to expose to the left when shooting in daylight, and my subjects tend to look underexposed as a result. The good news is that the X70 handles shadows and midtones so well that even these underexposed images look rich and textured.

I use Davinci Resolve Lite to ingest the XAVC-L files because it’s free, and incredibly easy to use. It’s icing on the cake to know that I can edit in the program too, but I’ve found that Davinci relies heavily on GPU, and my current station does not have anything worth mentioning in that area. But grading the footage has yielded great results so far, and I say that knowing how utterly ignorant I am to the whole process of color grading. I’m pulling at straws and still finding something good looking in the footage. I know there is more, much more, to be coaxed from the X70’s sensor, the picture profiles and Resolve Lite.


S&Q Motion is very fun to play with.


June 1 – June 8, 2015: Crunch Time!

Tipping point! I saw this coming, and now it’s here. My hard drives are full, my gear cases are crammed and I’m shooting nearly every day. It’s a dream come true.
Friday June 5:
Early morning NLP shoot in Ipswich, MA. Two camera DSLR setup to capture an interview with a Betterlesson Master Teacher.
Later that day, I swooped back into Boston to shoot an interview for the Wexler Oral History Project. This shoot was the maiden flight of the new Sony PXW-X70. 
Saturday June 6th: 
Cambridge River Arts Festival during the day. I’d already taken the X70 out on practice runs, but this was the first in broad daylight. Things I learned to appreciate about this camera: built in ND filters and 1 stop of negative gain.
Saturday night over in Allston, I shot a live performance for my friend’s band, Calvinball. Another voyage with the X70, and a real lesson in the XAVC-L workflow in Davinci Resolve. 
Meanwhile, I’ve been editing last month’s shoot with photographer Eric Frazer. I’m putting together a highlight video of a fashion shoot at his studio.

Cambridge River Arts Festival

Another adventure in hand held street peeping. I took the PXW-X70 along for a trip to the Cambridge River Arts festival in early June to get familiar with it before taking it to do a wedding gig later in the month. I’m still green (there’s a colorimetry joke in there somewhere) when it comes to color grading, but it does open a whole new world of post production stylizing that I’m getting excited about. Some time down the line I’m going to have to put together one of those pre/post showcases of color grading work…