Thursday, September 27, 2012

DR-680 VS Sound Devices 702 VS Juicedlink Mixer ?

I'm sure you all know I'm a big fan of the Tascam DR-680 recorder. Its a great unit for the price, even if the price was double what they wanted for it. Now another name out there is JuicedLink. Its not exactly a name that inspires quality pro product but in fact I found this review out there that was pretty surprising. Its done by the founder of Juicelink so its a bit of a blatent ad for their product, but I think its ok because their product does way better than what anyone would expect. It compares a bunch of audio devices from recording audio direct on a dslr to a SD 702. The DR-680 is in the mix along with a Zoom h4n and of course their mixer feeding a dslr directly. The comparison results are pretty clear to hear even with youtube compressed audio. The results are about 6 or 7 minutes in, but listening to the testing setup isn't bad either because its really a pretty solid test with some surprising results.... that the DR-680 has VERY quite preamps and compares very closely to the 702, and that using the JuicedLink mixer direct into a dslr also does very well. Their secret ? gaining the audio up in their mixer so that you have to reduce gain in the dslr to minimum. Their preamps are a LOT cleaner so this seemingly odd gain structure actually works ok.  After this test... they really need to change the name of their company to something that sounds more professional. 

Whats New : Rokinon 85mm Cine Rumor

Word is that Rokinon will be releasing soon their 85mm lens in a cine version. These guys have been pretty amazing at turning out new stuff on a regular basis. They also released a new 8mm 3.5 wide angle this week. At Photokina they showed a 10mm prototype lens. Hard to keep track. 

Meanwhile I'm finishing up my review on the cine 35mm lens. I did suffer thru a pretty bad video review on youtube... all I can say is read the press release from Rokinon instead. Its painful to watch some one talk about stuff and you know they have no clue what they are talking about... and in an example of using a cine lens don't even have a follow focus to put on the setup... or rails. Hey I'm venting a little, ok ?

PHOTOKINA : The non-news is the lack of anything interesting in APS-C cameras, not with an EF mount. Seems like full frame is all the rage right now ... again ! Guess I am grumpy today.

 

 

Now some cool stuff -  Singular Software / Red Giant has released V3 of Purual Eyes. This is a serious huge release which includes 20X faster syncing, and a timeline inside the software so you can handle fixing sync right there. When you are good, export XML to FCP (X) or Premiere Pro or any other app that can read the XML. This is what the app always should of been. Downside - I just finished syncing up 9 hrs of material a few days ago. This would of paid for itself on this one job. I guess I'll have to wait until next week.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where Have I Been ?

Working ! I just finished 5 straight days of production. Happy to have the work, but tired ! A few pix to share which covered CEO's, a President and a Governor.

Whats up next ? well that Rokinon 35 1.5 Cine has been on the front of my camera for a couple of days on a real job. Review coming as soon as I can. I also added some LED lighting too, so thats on my list as well. 

First, 2 days shooting stuff in a huge warehouse. I added an extra 1X1 LED fixture for this shoot and it worked great as a match for my other LED, HMI and Kino's. Also shooting 5.6K let me take advantage of lights that were in the ceiling. Using a few of them, I lit up 185,000 sqft of space !

Of course its always good when the client has a scissor lift handy so you don't have to rent one. Getting lights up high is so much easier this way.

So here is Friday that has me outside doing several setups. 2 60D's with that Rokinon 35 1.5 on the front of one of the cameras.  The next day -

Here we are doing a live shot with Ed Henry. Thats my G3 plugon transmitter and RE50 making sound.

 

\

The Pres... shot on my iphone. Alas my shot from a bit further back even on the video cam wasn't any better.

Of course no rest for me as I was up at 5AM for the next shoot doing a live chroma key with a governor. So I hope I have a reasonable excuse for no postings this week !

Monday, September 17, 2012

Everything But What We Want - An APS-C Camera

If you have a 5D MkII and where choking on the price of a 5D MkIII the 6D is a very nice upgrade alternative.

If you have a lot of EF mount glass and wanted a full frame camera, the 6D is again a reasonable option.

If you have a M 4/3 camera like the GH2 or even AF100 and wanted something better, the GH3 is probably a no brainer of an upgrade.

So what about the rest of us ? those with 7D's, 60D's and even the T3(4)i owners ? Seems like Canon doesn't care about keeping us as customers because they aren't giving us anything. Suddenly the Sony FS100 looks like a good deal if you don't care about real high speed or 4K. If one of those is on your list then the FS700 starts to make sense.  Its easy enough to get a MetaBones adapter and be off and running.

The C100 is still a bit pricey, but maybe might be an option for some if they shaved the price to $5k which I think would be fair and right for what it offers. 

Scarlet ? Not my needs or market. Not a lot of other people's either. 

F3 ? if you got one you're probably happy with it, but at around the same price as the Scarlet and no 4K option like the much cheaper FS700... ya right.

BMD Cinema Camera ? well for anyone with 2/3 or smaller format camera its a potential step up. For shooting lots of green screen it should be great with its 4K res when you look at the price. Once the M 4/3 mount version shows up you'll have some reasonable wide angle options. Its a niche camera, but it fills that niche very well if its specs fits your needs and the price makes it very attractive.... unless you really need and want a larger sensor.

There are other full frame cameras like the new Sony A99 which are nice but - it has a dopey A mount. Can't get your EF glass onto it ( not w/o adapter with glass element in it ).

So basically if you need or want a S35 size camera the news is really no news for affordable or even not so affordable new options. . Deeply disappointing that with all the new stuff, the huge middle of the market has been skipped over. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Panasonic

Lets face it, Canon is sitting on their butts and trying to play tough guy with their products. They have stopped innovating and instead are engaged in a product / price protection game. The problem of course sit that no one else is playing that game. Instead they are continuing to improve their products and keep prices generally reasonable. To wit, Panasonic supposedly "accidently" released their promo video for the GH3 today. While pulled from the original spot, its of course been reposted elsewhere. So here it is. Looks nice and grown up. If it had a APS-C sensor it would probably be a complete run away hit, but it instead has a skimpy M 4/3 sensor. Miserable compromise... however as a closeup camera to complement a larger sensor camera, it could do just fine. LIke any good tool it will have its purposes. Lets also face it - we have an incredible choice these days in cameras that are all generally very very good. There are plenty of $5k or less cameras that simply totally and utterly blow away cameras that cost 10X that much 10 to 15 years ago. Ask anyone with $70K+ in a BVW600 with glass...

Have a great weekend !

TO BE UPDATED TO WORKING CLIP !

Rokinon 35 T1.5 Samples

I'm working on a real review but for now, here are some quick images I took with the lens. Some are stills at 3200 / 6400 ISO, others are from 1080 video at 640 and 1600.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seagull Steals GoPro

A great short clip. Yes they get the camera back ! Moral of the story, gear theft may not always be done by humans.

Of course GoPro's are near indestructible. Here one falls from 12,500ft in free fall without its case. It lands in the grass and continues to run catching the skydiver's actually landing. Hmmm... these cameras seem to take images all on their own !

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rokinon Cine 35 T1.5 is HERE !

Mini Review : Freakin' Awesome ! Shortest post I've probably made :) More to come... but quick tests say its great in all ways that matter.

Images shot with Meyer Optik 50 1.8 :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Would You Really ?

I haven't had a Stupid DSLR Entry in a while. Most gear is good, well made, well thought out. In many respects this gear is probably well made. There is ends. The CONCEPT : Mount 2 dslr's onto your shoulder rig to get wide and close coverage. Um... dumb !. no matter what, if you frame to cover one shot, the other will not be good... even super wide one. Next, doesn't 2 cameras generally mean 2 operators ? Nothing like giving up a day of pay because of something like this where a producer decided the "whatever your get" wide shot will work. Not all ideas are good. Its not that I haven't  done over / under, wide / close, but each with an operator and time spent to line the shots up... Well at least they used some music for this video that would of made a cool porno track from the 80's ! maybe... I'm off to another shoot tomorrow !

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Rokinon Is Officially Shipping the CIne 14 2.8 and 24 1.4 Now ( Mon )

I've been wanting the 14 2.8 Cine for 2 months now ever since I shot with its stills version. You can finally get your hands on one this week, as well as the 24 1.4. While about $50 more than the stills version, I think its more than worth it to not be messing around with mounting gears and whatever onto your glass. As set of these lenses could be a great addition to your gear. I actually have the 35 1.5 Cine on order and showing up this week so this is pretty exciting. The reality is that you can have all of Rokinon's glass for the price of one Ziess cine prime, or half of a canon prime. Since I expect that optical performance will be the same as the stills version these should be great. 

Just based on pix though, I still think the lens markings are pretty skimpy, and DoF markings are missing on the 14mm. I guess you'll have to learn to live with a printed chart or a smart phone app that does DoF calculations. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Quadro K5000 for **MAC** and PC

Talk about cool and exciting news all day long ! Today nVidia has announced new Kepler class professional cards : Quadro K5000 for Mac and PC, and Tesla K20 for MAXIMUS configs. For once mac users are staying current. DaVinci Resolve 9 has already blessed the card for compatibility. The K5000 is also part of the Adobe Anywhere product coming soon.  The K5000 is a dual slot card though. Specs :

 

 

GPU Specs

CUDA Cores

1536

 

GPU Memory Specs

Memory Size Total

4GB GDDR5

Memory Interface

256-bit

Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)

173 GB/s

 

Display Support

Dual Link DVI

2

DisplayPort

2

# of Digital Outputs

4

Stereo (3-pin Mini-DIN)

Optional

Maximum Display Resolution (Digital)

DVI-DL: Up to 330 M Pixels/sec: (ex 1920x1200@120 Hz, 2560x1600@60 Hz)
DisplayPort 1.2: Up to 540 M Pixels/sec & 17.3 Gbps data rate
(ex 3840x2160@60 Hz 30 bpp, 2560x1440@120 Hz 30 bpp, 4096x2160@24 Hz 36 bpp, 4096x2160@50 Hz 30 bpp )

 

Technologies Supported

Shader Model

5

OpenGL

3.2¹

Microsoft DirectX

11

NVIDIA CUDA Architecture

Energy Specs

EnergyStar Enabling

Yes

Total Board Power

122 W

Acoustics

Active Fansink
 

BlackMagic Design Announces Micro 4/3's Mount Version of Their Cinema Camera

Estimated to be available in December, same price. BMD says if you have an existing order and want to switch, they'll work with you to make it happen. I think that a micro 4/3's mount will make this camera vastly more popular because you can still mount EF glass on it, as well as some real wide angle M4/3 lenses. This also means PL mount glass, as well as just about anything else will work. Thanks for listening guys, smart move !

Thursday, September 06, 2012

DaVinci Resolve 9 Release is LIVE !

Resolve 9 release is live ! ' nuff said, go get it of you have Resolve 8. The price is right, its free !

Premiere Pro 6.0.2 Update Live Today

Premiere Pro CS6.0.2 is now live. Highlights include : 

  • Windows 8 certification
  • updates for HiDPI display, which improves appearance on computers that use Retina Display, such as MacBook Pro computers
  • added GPUs to the list of those that Premiere Pro CS6 will use for GPU processing: GT 650M (which is in the newer MacBook Pro computers) and GTX 680

Also a huge number of bug fixes including

  • tearing in image when using XDCAM EX footage
  • numeric keypad keys couldn’t be assigned to keyboard shortcuts
  • audio deleted when enabling Audio Follows Video without enabling multicam for audio track
  • color shift introduced by Three-Way Color Corrector at default settings when GPU acceleration turned off
  • color shifts in some imported M2TS assets
  • Premiere Pro ignored Command+Option+H command to hide applications on Mac OSX
  • Auto-save window appearing over other applications when Premiere Pro was in the background
  • crash during auto-save if a third-party effect’s modal dialog box was open on Mac OSX (affects CoreMelt, etc.)
  • rendering preview files using OpenCL caused dropped frames in some cases
  • rendered preview files not used when restarting Premiere Pro in some cases, including when using certain third-party effects
  • when using CUDA on Mac OSX to export a sequence consisting of a very large number of still images (e.g., timelapse), GPU memory could become depleted and output frames corrupted
  • audio recorded through Audio Mixer (e.g., voice-over recording) appearing incorrectly as duplicated audio
  • channel output mapping for adaptive tracks was reset to default settings for duplicated sequences
  • audio waveform displayed incorrectly for clips with speed adjustments
  • audio playback for multichannel files too quiet in some circumstances
  • markers added during peak file generation not saved if Premiere Pro quit before peak file generation completed
  • some 4:2:2 footage appeared jagged or pixelated in Program Monitor or Source Monitor when no effects applied
  • some MXF files going offline, requiring relinking
  • relinking to AVCHD media on Mountain Lion (Mac OSX v10.8) not possible for projects created on other operating systems
  • automatic relinking of footage occurring incorrectly in some cases
  • frames imported out of order for some MPEG assets
  • changes to timeline clip channel mapping performed using the context menu for the clip in the Timeline panel Audio were not saved with the project
  • Audition opened when choosing Reveal Project In Explorer from context menu for a clip in Premiere Pro Project panel
  • multicam source sequences in Source Monitor lost A/V synch when an In point was created
  • setting an In point in the Source Monitor created an In point for all clips in the Media Browser directory
  • thumbnails not appearing for some XDCAM HD items in Project panel and Timeline panel
  • deleting a nested sequence not providing a warning
  • layers not correctly counted in PSD file (Photoshop document) if layers contained in groups
  • importing a QuickTime file created by the FORK media system also imported the disabled proxy track
  • QT32Server failing in some circumstances, disabling ability to use some QuickTime features
  • some exported AVC-I files didn’t include appropriate drop-frame timecode information, so appeared with non-drop-frame timecode
  • closed captioning metadata was being set incorrectly
  • many other fixes in Mercury Transmit and in plug-in SDK, fixing issues with AJA, BlackMagic, Matrox, and other third-party I/O systems for video monitoring, tape capture, and exporting to tape
  • various fixes to FCP XML import and export
  • crash when removing some effects using Remove Effects command
  • crash during OMF export in some circumstances
  • crash on Mac OSX when computer wakes from sleep
  • various fixes for other crashes
  • various performance and stability improvements for CUDA and OpenCL processing
     

So I'd say go get it !

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Adobe Gets Online In a Big Way with Anywhere And Other New Products

I've purposely kind of held back talking about the wave of cameras that are hitting the market right now, or will over the next few weeks with IBC and Photokina going on. Instead I saved my effort for this :

Edit Anywhere. Adobe's new shared media technology lets you work across the hall or across the continent. Share editing, then delivery and monetization. In short Adobe is delivering a full end to end system from shooting to editing to delivery.

Anywhere is about sharing media through a centralized server. This is the territory of Avid and some other vendors. Now the rest of us can tap into the same resources. 

Project Primetime is about delivery. Being able to send your finished content to any device anywhere. " Project Primetime provides a single, end-to-end workflow that links Adobe streaming, digital rights management (DRM), ad serving, audience management, analytics, and optimization technologies." Interesting stuff ! I think aimed more at the enterprise level, I'm more interested in seeing if there will be another level of the product aimed for the rest of us. This product really seems aimed at current networks and deep pocket coprs that want to bypass cable / satellite providers to deliver their own content direct to the viewer. That's all good, but a very limited market. More info is needed ! Its probably not a product to help you and some friends build an internet TV station. 

Now look at all the broadcast products partners Adobe is working with. If you start clicking thru some of the partner links, I think you'll be REALLY surprised at how Premiere Pro is now connecting to the products of a lot of traditional broadcast products in ways that matter : being able to share, edit and export media to various media servers, SANS, playout servers, graphics systems. Check out this use of Tools On Air's live cut being turned into a Premiere Pro timeline ! This is the stuff of SciFi being delivered today. Picture access to VizRT's media assets.

The list goes on and on. I don't think anyone quite yet has gotten how huge Adobe suddenly is. Its doing things FCP aspired to, could of done but never did. Just as the huge number great cameras coming out is staggering, what is going on at Adobe is equally as large. If you work in broadcast TV or collaborative work, your world has changed in the same sort of way that hard drives, P2 and SSD's have replaced tape.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Did You Take The Weekend Off ?

 

If you live in the US it was a long end of summer weekend. Taking time off is good. If you had work, I hope your hours where reasonable. Recently I was on a long multiday shoot and had "issues" with some self appointed "director / producer" from hell. The experience level of this person in production was none, their social skills next to none, their ability to work with others very poor. Thats the really polite version. Perhaps the worst part : the expectation that one not only could but should work 16 to 18hr days with maybe 6hrs of turnaround. I was labeled as "unprofessional" because I found this unacceptable on a week long shoot. Quite the opposite, its because I am a professional that I know rest is as much a requirement for getting the job done as knowing your stuff and having good gear. Stupid mistakes happen when you have worked multiple 18hr days in a row without enough turnaround. You'll leave a switch in the wrong position, forget to connect on cable, not notice you're not in record because the camera has such a small out of the way indicator. All dumb mistakes that lack of sleep can cause. You also stop making good shooting decisions and get into survival mentality. The situation becomes thinking around not if  this a great shot, but how can we get the this done the easiest fastest way because everyone is tired.

The worst potential mistakes though are simply falling asleep on the job or making a mistake where some one gets hurt or worse. Then there is always the risk of falling asleep on the drive home from the job. That never ends well and in fact as resulted in at least one known death within the industry. I'm not that stupid. I will pull over and simply take a nap in the van or get a room.

Even if you think you can escape the need for rest short term, burn out happens when you don't take care of yourself. You health suffers, your relationships suffer , you suffer.

Haskel Wexler put out this video a couple years ago, but its still quite relevant today and not much has changed. While I will on occasion still do long 18hr days, it will be just one day. I'll get rest the next day and be ok. However, to be expected to work like this for multiple days is a recipe for problems both short and long term. Learn to stand up for yourself and your fellow crew people and know when to say no, or that if you want this long day today, we get 10hrs turnaround for tomorrow so you have a chance at recovery.