Director’s Viewfinder + Apps
Thoughts on the Director’s Viewfinder App Artemis
For a while now, I have heard of both the Director’s Viewfinder App and Sun Tracking Apps Artemis and Helios, two apps designed by Chemical Wedding and I thought it was about time I gave them a try.
Check out http://suttlefilm.com/filmmaker-apps-review-of-the-sun-tracking-app-helios-by-chemical-wedding/ for my thoughts on the Helios app.
I’ve been using the traditional director’s viewfinder draped around my neck for years. Perhaps its habit or perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve grown accustomed the quick access and not having to be concerned with battery power for another device on set. The reality though is that with the camera ecosystem changing as fast as it has over the past 6-7 years, director viewfinder apps are the way of the future. With crop factors and chip sizes varying between every digital camera system available, no longer are the traditional viewfinders adequate. Artemis is an app clearly designed with the input of cinematographers. The accuracy of the app is solid, the library of cameras and lenses is substantial (it also seems to be updated regularly) and the concern for the need of sharing the information acquired by the app is very well implemented within the app.
The major difference between the Artemis and competing Director’s Viewfinder Apps is that I have found was one of the major issues that all director viewfinder apps have had. The fact that they were limited by the built in cameras of the phones the apps were installed on. Most of the competing apps include the ability use lens adapters and use predetermined calculations to replicate the field of view of wider lenses. Yet, it seems the other apps are limited to representing 22mm lenses at their widest option without adding on a third party lens adapter that is approved. Chemical Wedding has developed the IPro for the Artemis, a lens adapter and case designed and calibrated specifically for the App. Along with offering up to 12mm field of view it also comes with a 2X converter giving you the ability to simulate up to a 400mm lens.
Made in conjunction with Schneider Optics, the iPro extends the lens range of Artemis dramatically. Using the specially designed Super Wide angle adapter Artemis will reproduce as wide as 12mm in the Super 35mm sensor format. With the 2x extender, lenses as long as 400mm can be viewed. This makes Artemis the only viewfinder with a lens range this extensive.
* From Chemical Wedding’s website: http://www.chemicalwedding.tv/artemis.php
I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on the iPro but the fact that they have developed a solution that is integrated directly with the app proves to me that they are committed to the filmmaking industry. Knowing that, makes me feel confident in adapting their app into my workflow. All to often, I’ve started using apps and within a year or two the developer looses interest and support and updates dry up. When it comes to tools that I use, it means a lot to me for the company to be as committed as possible to the industry.
Final Thoughts on Director’s Viewfinder App Artemis
Artemis is a stellar product built by a company who’s totally involved in the filmmaker ecosystem with the other apps they have available. (Helios and Toland Digital Assist) Also, the fact that they are investing in hardware is also a very positive sign of their dedication and ability to invest in the industry. By creating a lens adapter specifically for Artemis, they solved the major issue with phone based Viewfinders that really has no other solution and they are the first and only, that I am aware of, to find that solution, manufacture it and release a guaranteed wide angle lens solution designed for their app.
If there was anything I wish could be improved with Artimis and the other Chemical Wedding family of Apps, is perhaps better integration between them. I would love to see Chemical Wedding create an App for the Mac and PC that pulls all of the info that their apps generate on a scout and allow you to create storyboards and prep documents with it in one place instead of relying on other software for that. Though, that may be in their plans given the investment they are making on the industry.
Artemis is available on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android App Stores.