Thursday, April 03, 2014

NAB Time Again.

Getting ready to leave. This year I'm going to a few new events which should be fun.... and this year its going to be in the 80's unlike the last year or two which where cold and some rain and lots of wind.  See you all there !

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


Ok, its out officially for NAB next week. CS NEXT !  While exact delivery and version increment are SOON ! you will get to see next week the next version of Adobe CS Next apps - AE, PP, SG. There are already some sneak peaks online, but come to NAB for some hands on. Having had a look myself :) you'll be happy to know that Adobe is very much listening in deliver new features that matter in terms of every day usage : speed, stability, usabilty... oh and cool NEW features. AE here is whats new :

  • Key Cleaner effect and Advanced Spill Suppressor effect
    • text templates created in After Effects editable in Premiere Pro
    • compositing options for each effect, including ability to confine the area affected by each effect with masks
    • import of masks from Premiere Pro
    • HTML5 panels using CEP infrastructure
    • Kuler panel
    • ProEXR v1.9: higher-performance OpenEXR importer, updated IDentifier and EXtractoR effects
    • import of Sony RAW footage (raw files from F5, F55, and F65 cameras)
    • import of MPEG-4 SStP (Simple Studio Profile) Sony SR MXF files
    • video preview on external monitor using Mercury Transmit
    • scripting access to render settings and output module settings
    • automatic adjustment in Curves effect, plus improvements to Curves effect user interface
    • menu command to add fonts from Typekit
    • digital Cinema Package (DCP) export through Adobe Media Encoder

In Premiere Pro  are lots of good things - 

What you'll use most - the ability to track a mask on on specific effect like color corrector or mosaic. This mask uses AE's built in track ability - VERY VERY smoke like ! Need to blur a face ? apply blur, set up mask on eftect, track, done ! You didnt' leave the PP interface. All good, it works as good as you'd expect.

Prem Pro includes more format support like R3D in your GPU to decode for real time play back. Other stabiltity and usabilty enhancements are also happening. In short. you can no longer say PP is anything less than a full ready for feature film or doc NLE, no excuses or anything else. Just edit and deliver. Well I've known that for a couple of revs back, but now anyone can throw their biggest most complicated project at PP and it will just run with it, native format, easy. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

A Quick BTS From the ChromaKey Shoot Out

A big thanks to Brendan Carlson for his studio. He does great stills work and this was a good test for both of us. 

Otherwise getting ready for NAB and the onslaught of new products that will surely be there !  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BMD Camera Goes Up in Flames Destroying Camera and SSD

Lithium batteries are serious business and now you know why there are restrictions on lithium batteries on planes. When they go its really bad and you can't put them out without a special extinguisher. In fact put water on them and the fire is so hot it splits the H20 into H and 02 and that actually feeds the fire. Bad battery packs happen and I'm sure their supplier will be "looking into it". Meanwhile I think they are due a warranty replacement. I also hope this is a very limited event and it doesn't point to a bigger problem where there are potentially hudreds or thousands of bad packs out there. Its also possible something in the camera failed and shorted out causing the battery to over load. However there should be a simply fuse to protect from this, so assuming that was the case something went very wrong with the battery pack itself. I'm sure there will be an investigation into what went wrong.

UPDATE :  after watching this, I don't think the battery ignited or exploded. If it did, and its lithium it would still be burning. This seems more like some capacitors went up in smoke. When this happens they can pop and make a ton of smoke. So this awaits BMD investigation....

Monday, March 17, 2014

Samyang Announces 10mm F2.8

Another wide angle lens from Samyang, which means cine ver from Rokinon should also be showing up. Specs:

  • F 2.8 10mm ED AS UMC CS
  • Aperture Range F2.8 ~ 22
  • Optical Construction 14 Element in 10 Groups (2 ASPHERICAL LENS)
  • Angle of View 109.5˚(APS-C)
  • Minimum Focusing Distance 0.25m (0.82ft)
  • Filter Size NONE
  • Length 76.7 ~ 105.5 mm
  • Maximum Diameter Ф86mm
  • Weight 710 ~ 740g
  • Mount Canon EOS, Canon M, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Sony-E, FUJIFILM X, Samsung NX, Four-thirds, Micro Four-thrids
  • Lens Coating Multi-coating

MSRP : About $714 US. Ouch ! Wasn't expecting that but it is a fast lens for the price. However its about time Samyang included some basic lens chipping for canon EF mounts to tell the camera at least focal length and aperture. 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Green Screen Shoot Out

Green screen shoot out ! check it out. I still have another video to follow this one up.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Demo Reel

New reel ! Probably one of the hardest things to do is cutting your own reel. This is especially true as you have new shots, and old ones have to go because no one will watch a 10 minute reel these days. That said, I probably replaced about 50-60% of the shots I had in last years reel simply because in 1080, the SD shots just won't hold up. Its not that they aren't good, its just that they fall apart when made full screen. However some picture in picture and 3 ups let me keep a few of my favorite shots a while longer and open up space for new shots. So check it out.... and better yet give me a call for your next shoot !

Saturday, March 01, 2014

AVID Delisted from NASDAQ

Avid was delisted from NASDAQ this week. No surprise as they had been flirting with this since September. They claim its about cleaning up 5 MILLION accounting record items and restating earnings.  Thats huge. It doesn't mean they are going away, just yet but it doesn't bode well for them either. According to company statements once they clean up their accounting issues they expect to be relsted on the NASDAQ by mid 2014. Maybe. What if it turns out that in this process they are in worse shape than stated which I suspect is the case. Well they won't just close their doors up, most likely. They will operate for at least a while and do some cutting. Given they've operated at a loss for many quarters, who knows that this may mean. Its possible they sell off their editing products to raise cash and get rid of products that aren't making them money or enough profit margin. They can live selling shared storage products and service contracts for those products.

Media composer is only a small part of Avid’s income. Go read their 10K report first. their NLE products amount to 10-15% of their income. they make most of their money in shared storage products & support for those products. then again it might not even be that much if they have been cooking the books.

Ask any ProTools user about the latest release – you have to update your hardware or you can’t run PT10. a lot of unhappy campers out there right now looking at alternative products.

Avid’s main problem is their arrogance. its in their slogan “We’re AVID”. WTF cares ? I’ve watched them screw their users over time and time again and handle them in ways no company that values their customers would. however they count on blind loyalty to their products and that the competition can’t compete – in their eyes. So while for the moment they might have a better product for reality TV shows, Adobe AnyWhere just adopted by CNN is about to eat that last bit of pie they had. Anywhere allows shared storage and collaboration across locations. While its for now a high end big price tag product, I’d expect smaller versions to trickle down and bits of its tech to come to PP.

You also have to realize that reality TV and high end features represent a very tiny part of the market compared to all the users out there. Unless they return to their old prices there is no way to sustain their product at current prices in such a small market segment.

Then consider they are limping a 20+ year old UI along. that doesn’t work so well either…. I truly doubt BMD would buy the MC product from them given that they are building some NLE tools into resolve and would more than likely expand this are a of the product.

So we'll see  how this story plays out for NAB and if they have their huge booth as usual or not.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Ninja Blade

Well sometimes it happens. You buy a piece of gear and a month later a new model comes out. I got the ninja2 about 2 months ago. Today its replacement with the things that had tempted me towards the Samurai but when I priced that option out it simply got too expensive. The Blade is basically the ninja2 upgrade to a samauri - 1280X720 IPS monitor, waveform, HMDI I/O and a reasonable price at $995. The ninja2 is still cheaper but this model makes for sense for a pro shooter. Of course don't forget a few more items - storage like 256gb SSD ( or spinning disc ), extra batteries, swivel end HDMI cables, magic arm, and make sure the get the version that includes a case or you'll need one of those. Another words there is another couple hundred in extra bits to make it shootable. Not the end of the world by any means, just knowing going in. Also a far cry from the price of a HDcam deck of 10 years ago or so. In fact that VTR had a couple option boards that weren't this cheap... you want 24fps playback ? thats an extra board that ran about $5K if I remember. We live in good times.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Green Screen Shoot

Some days in the office are better than others ! Did my green screen tests today. Had a great model & costume for once. Now for seeing how the results work out and which fabric works better.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Got Green ?

Where have I been the last week or so ? well getting ready for two very in depth reviews on LED light CRI and green screens.  

Got green screen ? Yes we all do from time to time. Does the green make a difference ? You may have one of those cheap fold out green screens from china and it might work ok. I have a real Matthews screen that you've seen in a few BTS shots I've posted lately. I've used it any number of times and its been ok. Its the classic green. Once quite a while ago I used a "digital" and it was a diaster to use. made keying very hard because it was too bright. Maybe user error, you're supposed to light it to a lower level. Had also gotten footage from another shoot using it, also major problems. Never used it again.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I get into the chat with Jeff Foster on facebook. He says this digital that you see above is the real deal, will make life better, ect. Ok, you know me, prove it ! A week later Composite Components has sent me an 8X8 and some small paint sample to use in this test. They went well above and beyond what I was expecting - a couple 1X1 peices of painted foamcore and maybe a scrap of fabric. Ok, its here, I have a studio setup and a great looking model instead of me for you to look at ! That all happens end of this week, then I get to put it all together. So I'll be testing this fabric ( and paint ) against the Matthews, and some generic material. Just fair warning : Composite Components has an Academy for their work in green screens and they are used in hollywood a lot so I have some expectations that it will perform. I do know I have to light it darker than the foreground which will be an old habit to break where you generally used the same light levels. Old dog learns new tricks !

Monday, February 10, 2014

Black Magic Design Finally Ships Super35 4K Production Camera and Drops Price

BMD is now shipping the 4K production camera. Congrats to them on finally getting it out the door. As a thank you to those who waited and didn't get too grumbly, they also shaved $1k of the price making MSRP of $2995 ! 

12 Stops of dynamic range, CineDNG RAW, ProRes HQ 4K, uses off the shelf SSD's that slot right into the camera, 240gb = 36min of 4K record time. The camera's 4K is UHD @ 3840 x 2160 rather than 4096 but at this point those 256 pixels probably don't matter that much. EF lens mount is great too. Built in ThunderBolt port is a huge time saver for dumping media off the camera if you don't have the cash to pick up one of the BMD TB drive docks.

A bit hidden in the specs but the camera does support formatting the SSD's as HFS+ or ExtFAT. Nice to have native mac disc format support.

Sound like we have a winner here ! Of course NAB is not far off so its good they got this going. 

Of course I had very much wanted one of these cameras a while back for a couple of projects including the short I shot last fall. Instead I got a C100 instead. I don't regret it except for the price. I think this will put some real price pressure on canon to reduce the C100 to keep it competitive, or perhaps a new 4K C200 in the same price range. I highly suspect this is what we'll see at this NAB, but probably with a crippled codec like AVChd. AVChd isn't bad for basic shooting, but it does fall down with high detiail. BMD on the other hand gives you ProRes 4K or RAW options that really preserve everything the camera can give you. Interesting the BMD 4K camera has 12 stops of DR as do the canons. I guess the other place canon can up their game is improving DR with either better readout from the sensor they have, or an improved sensor. 

Certainly the other player to feel pain from the camera will be RED. While I might feel some pain with the C100 purchase, I'm certainly not feeling the pain of a Scarlette or EPIC purchase. That has to hurt, I'm sure the RED fan boys are simply saying one thing, their camera has more DR. Thats true, thats useful. However, once you get into 12 stops of range, a lot of things change with lighting. You just don't need as much to fight extreme contrast ratios. So while 15+ stops is great with RED, 12 will so cover you for so many things. Certainly better than dslr DR thats 9 or 10. 2 stops makes a difference, one maybe not so much. 

It 'll also be interesting to look at low light performance. I'd expect the more expensive cameras will do better, but again, at what price point ? If the BMD camera can get the job done, and I suspect for many many people looking to escape from a dslr this is going to be their choice. Certainly a better option than a 1Dc.

Who's getting one ?

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Film Is Near Dead, My Post Censored

So a website named after a farm animal censored my post. That's nothing new there, just horribly lame and pathetic. They have a big post about film's last gasps of life, to which I basically posted, WHO CARES ! Given that the post was written by some one who clearly could not differentiate between appreciating a great medium and realizing its time had past and needed to move on, no surprise almost. Really I've had some negative comments here or on YouTube and was tempted to kill them, but I left them. I'll take some heat if you don't agree with me or have an intelligent argument I might not agree with. I'm a big kid :) !

However this other site was just gushing over how if it wasn't shot on film they couldn't emotionally connect to it as well as something shot on "video". I nearly barfed on that one. Clearly they haven't seen my short film A Great Life to make the comment you can't connect as well to something shot on ... ! Ok digital cinema camera ! get over it for just once. Of course the person making that post worked at ... AHEM... a film lab in LA. Any self interest  in keeping dead medium alive here ? any ?

Its not like I haven't shot 35mm16mm and Super 8. It was cool, it was the best we had 10 or 20 years ago. It lasted 100+ years because it was good, but its been surpassed. Get over it already. I'm sorry if some way of life has been a bit lost, and some jobs lost. What about the jobs gained elsewhere ? What about all the people like me who are making amazing images and its not costing them $500 for 11 minutes worth of images ? That $500 you collected ? oh wait, could there be a motive here ? Nah ! No way you'd be interested in taking $500+ per 11 minutes of material shot times an entire industry. 

Even worse was that I also directly called out FotoKem ( written up in the article ), the great LA lab for having sent green dark dubs of major hollywood features for 2 years. I was doing work in a place cutting spots for those features. Oh yes we and some others complained, but it took 2 YEARS before some one finally figured out that a Beta SP deck there had a bad input board. One VTR that all our dubs came from. Magically the next set of tapes looked good. We lived for 2 years with a color correction to compensate their problem out... but wait, they said there was not problem. No way there was a problem. It has to be your on your end !  Its just the shear arrogance of the LA film crowd and all of those eating at the film trough that bother me. If it weren't for them the dslr revolution might of been a slow quite whimper rather than the huge bang that it was. RED never would of gotten the attention and product sales they did.

Of course this article and its responses just went off to the typical film circle jerk that often happens. Crazy claims of 4K and 8K resolution on 35 film. Really ?  shoot ISO 100, perfect exposure, F5.6, perfect processing and MAYBE you can pull 4K from a 35mm negative. Reality - about 2K or so resolution on ISO 250T  with decent glass and everything else went ok. What about using an older lens wide open... 4K ? no way. Then go to ISO 500 or  800 which is used a lot and you have maybe 2K of actual resolution under normal shooting circumstances. Sure you can capture it at 4K or more, but you are just making nice samples of the grain that's there. Once you leave the ivory tower for the real world what you get is quite different than perfect tests of resolution charts where the camera doesn't move, focus is perfect, iris is ideal, ect.... meanwhile for what a couple rolls of 35mm + processing + HD transfer would cost I have a digital cinema camera that makes better pictures shooting to SSD. The entire film chain of camera neg, cut neg, interpositives master copies and finally release copies kills a lot of the resolution. Now we have camera digital file, NLE ( maybe vfx touched ) files, graded files, DCP file playing in your local cinema or TV. So much of the losses with film are just gone.

Look, film is cool, but the continued exaggerated claims of its greatness have just worn on me. This is especially true when you get to dynamic range. As much as things have gone forwards with film, so have digital sensors and formats to record those images and edit them. Every time you hear a digital sensor added another stop of lattitude, so did film... maybe. At this point once you are into 12+ stops of dynamic range it just doesn't matter so much. Ok, so your digital format can do 14 stops. GREAT ! instead of using HMI's to balance daylight exterior to interior light ratios I can use fill cards, some LED lights or small HMI's that plug into the wall rather than ones that need a gennie + cables + crew to work it all. Its exactly that sort of thing I took advanatage of when I shot my short film a few months ago. The 12 stops of DR and high ISO's of the canon cinema cameras gave me a huge burst of freedom to not need  big lights and big crew to work them. Instead we did that indie dream of small crew, minimal gear, amazing results. In fact we didn't kill ourselves with moving tons of gear, balancing power loads and all the fun things of shooting... film.

 Sadly I'll never run another roll of 16 or 35mm thru a camera, and happily I don't have to worry about it either. I've kept many of the good habits of shooting film like controlled thought out takes into the digital age. Lets face it, at edit time I don't need 5 hrs of takes for a 20 sec spot. What I do need will probably be found in 15-30 mins of thought out, controlled, well done takes... just like the film daze.

Your thoughts ?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

JVC Intros New HM790 Camera With Live Broadcast Streaming

NAB is still a couple months out but JVC is first with a new camera announcement. Its the HM790u with a street price of $10k availble for pre order, delivery end of march. Sure that's a ways up from the original HD100 that I had. I had it tweaked out with my own custom settings and made lots of money with. Clients loved the look I got from the camera. In fact the HD100 I had made great pix that I'm still using shots from today including use for international clients.

This new camera has integrated AB battery mount, Mpeg2 and h.264 recording options up to 50m/bits, SDI and HDMI out, dual SD media cards, IS lens, XLR's, SDI INPUT, 1080 60P !, 20X optical zoom, genlock, TC I/O, and network IP, ect. Another words everything you'd want for a news shooting camera - all the right connectors. Sounds like a great camera. The camera you want when a 30lbs HPX camera is simply way too heavy to bang around while shooting news day in, night out. Yes it has 1/3" 1920X1080 CCD's if you needed to know which is fine. Price is a bit high but if it fits your needs, has all the options with nothing else to add, might be a good buy. I've certainly seen a lot of local stations using JVC cameras.


So what REALLY cool about this camera ? Live HD Broadcast Streaming via 4G / LTE ! The ProHD Broadcaster is expected to cost between $2k-$3k and require a JVC Broadcast Streaming Service subscription of $200-$300 per month. Very cheap even for a small station to do live shots. This is also the possible end of those streaming back packs that had gotten popular. That said, while using this to cover events in crowded areas it may not be so reliable, or have too much bandwidth throttling due to congestion. If you have ever tried to use data at a major sporting event you know its often useless. However for just about any other time it may be just fine for getting a live shot out, or feeding shots you just got back to the studio. Pretty amazing. Official word is :

JVC said it will offer its new ProHD Broadcaster, built around technology from IP-streaming specialist Zixi, based in Waltham, MA, as a physical server or a cloud-based service. The Broadcaster will receive live HD video from JVC cameras with the built-in Zixi engine, which enables real-time streaming via 4G / LTE when connected to a Verizon USB modem along with recording to on-board memory cards. The Broadcaster can receive simultaneous streams from multiple cameras, which can be switched and broadcast live. That makes it an affordable but reliable option for live coverage from multiple shooters, the company said.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hard Drive Failure Rates

dead failed seagate 2tb hard drive HD

A week ago we saw this article about hard drive durability. Seagate did surprisingly poorly for this large user of drives. So guess what ? ya one of my Seagate 2TB's dropped dead this week. It wasn't complete failure, it had a lot of bad sectors and was having problems. Thankfully it was just the system drive for my Linux NAS box. I found a new drive, installed Fedora 20 and was back up and running quick enough. I was lucky it wasn't a data drive without back up. Its just made me be much more vigilent in doing backups. Its not that I don't do them across multiple machines, but sometimes its easy to go a while. back to regular back ups ! In fact I spent the week going thru some older drives looking for clips I needed in a current project. All went well. Of course this also made the point that I try to keep all the clips for a project on a single volume rather than being spread out all over the place. However with this project I'd found I'd taken clips from the NAS box and other local drives even though I'd tried to be careful NOT to do that. Well 2 days of on and off poking around and I finally have all the clips that matter. This has me wanting to pick up a disc catalogging app so I ca catalog all the 1tb drives I now have sitting around so the next time I need to find a shot, I'm not going thru all of them to find it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

16mm Music Video From My Past

Once upon a time the film look required... FILM ! on the cheap 16mm, on the super cheap 8mm. No HVX200, No FillmLook from Roland House in MA or  tricks in AE.  Here is the first music video I shot, well about 50% of what you see on the screen - color shots, jib arm, some of the wild B&W club stuff on 8mm. I sold the Lowell Pro Light that did the crowd spot light stuff not too many years ago ! amazing to see this.

Whats more amazing is to see that that youtube copyright droid was all over this in seconds claiming infringement. Really ? how about my images ? first time every put up on youtube ! One of the band member just posted the song a few months ago. Completely ridiculous. I've had more hassle with the copyright droids that mindlessly flag licensed stock music or stuff like this that I'm clear to use. Its to the point I've even had a few randomish 1-4-5 chords on my guitar flagged as some copyright violation, RUBBISH ! to be polite. Maybe someday AI will join the YT copyright droid rather than shear stupidity !

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Final Cut 1.0 Intro Video

Final Cut Pro 1.0 Intro video to sell the product. Randy Ubilos makes an appearance. The music though is pretty bad, even for that era. In many respects its hard to imagine apple let this out the door but so it was. I"m sure you'll be dazzled by all the fancy transitions and PiP effects.

Its good to have a look at the UI to see it didn't change that much over the years, but of course thats where it also fell down. Failure to evolve with the times.  Oh well, I'm happily turning out projects on one of the products they put down, Preimere ( Pro ) . I'm also a former Media 100 X2 owner.

Meanwhile in the same year apple turned out this other sell video for the new G3 iMac. I had one of those. Perfect match for FCP at that time with FW and DV. However I used it for lots of PS and AE work. I guess they weren't sure that FCP thing would take off so they skimped out on the production as the iMac video is well lit and shot.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Planet 5D Writes Up My Short Film

Mitch over at Planet 5D featured my short film "A Great Life" - THANK YOU MITCH !. Exciting to see where this is going.... and watching the number of people who are getting to see it. Its on youtube at

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Film No More for Paramount

The sun is setting on film ever faster. Today Paramount announced it will not longer distribute film prints to theaters. Article Here. We knew it was coming. I'd expect the other major studios  to do the same soon now that one of them has broken out like this. Considering that Fuji has quit making motion picture film no surprise. This will all come down to Kodak at some point stopping too. I'd expect Kodak will nurse it along as far as they can getting to the point of where you'll need to place an order for what you want for your feature. Then they'll fire up the line for a month or two, produce all the orders and maybe a little over just to be safe and thats it. They could keep production running for a while like this. Of course the next problem will be processing as labs have become scarce and those that are still doing it have dramatically reduced the number of lines they have running. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

DVD's Aren't Forever

I was cleaning up some old junk around the studio and found this DVD. The inkjet printable surface had completely come off. Room temp, dark place, disc gone. I had a spindle of these and I was suprised to find I still had one. Then there was the batch that photoreacted and turned brown even in low light levels. 100% data loss on those X 50 or more. Bottom line - don't trust DVD-R's for long term storage. On the other hand I still have a couple of the first CD's I ever made. They are the ones with the deep green base and they still work every time I'll try one.  

Any one else had this happen ?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Shooting In The Extreme Cold

When work comes you take it. That sometimes means working in pretty extreme conditions. In this case that meant temps of -23F, Wind Chill -50F. You have to have the right gear. Oh don't worry the 5D worked fine besides the LCD panel on the camera having a ghost like sluggish response at those temps. Its about very seriously dressing yourself properly. When outside for hours on end in temps like this you can't be getting cold. Your feet and fingers will go first. I used some toe warmers. They are small pads you stuff in your shoes / boots that generate a little bit of heat. The most important thing I can say is that putting on top or bottom helps but isn't ideal. What does work best is using the built in adhesive on them to wrap your toes from top, around the front to the bottom. Once I figured that out my feet where happy all the time. However, these things don't last forever and I found after about 5 or 6 hrs they needed to be replaced, right about lunch time. Its also good practice to change your socks  as well every 6 hrs. I went with thick wool ones and polypropylene liners. That worked well. Keep your socks on an inside pocket to keep them warm if you have to change outside. Changing them means you don't have excess moisture which is the biggest problem to staying warm for extended periods of time in these conditions. 

The wind chill was brutal. When there was no wind it wasn't that bad at all, but the wind can and will find any crack or thin spot and get in. We had some great Polar Fire gear for jackets and bibs. Lots of pockets, water proof and wind proof. They kept us warm. Expensive ? yes of course you knew I was going to say that but compared to being cold, miserable and potentially being frostbit, very cheap. A trip to the ER costs a lot more than the right gear !

Fingers where another story and I never quite got my setup right on this trip. I had some thin glove liners with touch screen tips. They  basically fell apart over several days - the touch tips shredded and one of the seams tore open. The cold came in that hole for sure. Some times they kept me warm enough, especially when having some level of exertion to generate body heat. They did do what I expected - get me at couple minutes of work time when I wanted. The problem was basically that I needed that fine control for working with gear that has some really small knobs. I couldn't work the gear with  the thicker gloves I had. My big gloves where warm, but useless for working the gear. Next time I'm going up one thickness on the thin gloves. I've done the glove liners before in the cold.  Very often I can keep my fingers warm like this, but not this time, especially in the wind. I also tried using some hand warmers but they really didn't do that much for me most of the time unless I put my fingers in direct contact with them. 

Wires all got stiff in the cold. At -20 even some better wires that usually stayed flexible got stiff. Handle with care ! Batteries worked well but the choice was expensive Lithium single use ones for gear. They worked great right until they dropped. However using anything less would of been far far less reliable. In these conditions the last thing you need to worry about is your batteries randomly dropping dead after a couple hours of use. The 5D batteries worked fine. 

So that's why I haven't posted all week, been working in the cold. Now that I'm warm again should be back with some more this week.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A New Year

Its a new year, lots of things going on. If you haven't seen my short film yet... well... you're waiting for ???? skip down below and check it out. Better yet, share it on Facebook and Twitter ! I put a huge amount of time into it and it would be great if more people saw it, especially those beyond the production community. I've had some great comments and reviews on it that I didn't expect from some pretty critical reviewers. People got that it was about story, not about " gratuitous slide moves " or " over animated camera moves ".  How about great acting ? storying telling ? something that has a point beyond how shallow DoF can be and you still see the shot...oh and its not some homeless person smiling because I could. 

Meanwhile I'm getting ready for a shoot in South Dakota next week. -18F and we are shooting outside, sounds like fun ! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Great Life Released Today

Today I'm pleased to announce the official release of my short film "A Great Life". It captures some truly honest intimate moments as a couple deals with one of life's greatest moments. The people who've had a sneak peak at it have been pretty amazed at what's been captured here. Don't miss it !

Also a very HUGE thank you to Michael Denk and Kathy Beringer who starred in it and gave life to roles that were not easy to do...they are amazing.

This shoot is perhaps testament that if you have a good script, great actors, a location and a crew of 2, you can make something good in... one day ! Oh it was a 16 or 17 hr day but it was an easy one. We took our time, had breaks, planned stuff out, ate well, laughed a lot and no one killed themselves. Thats the way it should work. It was a huge help to run rehersals. I can't say how much that let myself and the actors refine and work out better dialog and flow across the scenes. The fun part is we did just improv 2 or 3 scenes thanks to this rehearsal. 

For those who want to know it was the first real shoot I did with my new C100. I'd decided pretty early on that my dslr's weren't up to what I wanted. The C100 pretty much blew me away with how much better a camera it is than what I'd been shooting with.  My lense choices where often the Rokinon Cine 35, OM 50 1.4, Kiron 24 2.0 and Tamron 70-200 2.8. The Rokinon Cine 14mm was also used for a bunch of shots like the car interiors. It was a mix of new and vintage glass.

There are also some shots from one of my 60D's in there too. I had planned on having 2 cameras but that didn't work out at the last minute. Perhaps the hardest part was color matching those 60D shots in to the C100 shots. I think I did pretty well but you can probably guess which shots where done on the 60D - they just tended to lack the sharpness and detail of the C100. I also find the 60D just doesn't have the range of color that the C100 makes even when talking about 8bit codecs.

Sound was handled by Josiah Winterhoff. Most of the interiors were boomed with a CMC-64. I did pull out a Sanken COS-11D lav on a couple of shots and 2 for the car interiors. One one exterior shot we used a Rycote S with Sanken CS3e which worked great in the wind and rain. We recorded both to camera and SD 552 mixer. I used most of the sound from the 552 as I though it was a tiny bit cleaner but camera recorded audio was also used and was perfectly good. Overall sound was really simple and clean on this shoot which is the way its supposed to work. 

Much of the lighting was done with a mix of LED lights. I used the custom ones I have and a couple of cheaper 5.6K panel lights. On several shots I had the 5.6K panel lights working outside in the rain. I just put clear plastic bags over them, tape the bag and was good. If I'd run with HMI's it would of been far more of a pain to tent them out and keep them safe. In fact in one nite shot I had one of the panel lights on maybe 1/2 power but it made the outside trees look too bright and in post I took those areas down. The amazing light sensitivity of the C100 let me work at much lower light levels than I could with other cameras or film. I think this was probably the key factor in even being able to pull this shoot off. When you aren't messing with big lights, big power draw, lots of cables and all the other things that go with old tech cameras you can really free yourself to work better. I mean with more takes, or thinking your shots through better, and even making it easier for your actors to do their thing because you can spend more time with them developing the scene.

I think one of the most important things that happened was in lighting the last scene. I started rigging up a couple of lights and didn't like the color temp mix between the lights and the outside light. I didn't like the levels I was getting. Instead I shut off all the lights and looked at the natural light that was nearly perfect. However the C100 wasn't initially happy with the light level. Instead I bumped up the ISO to 2000 and suddenly I was in the ball park. I added a dimmed LED into the background to open up an area, and there was another panel light bouncing on 1/4 power in the scene but that was it. I was using maybe 60W of total lighting ! If I'd had a lessor camera I would of been silks, 1200's, ect.. That wasn't gonna happen with a crew of 2 in the rain. 

The light I got was natural. There are times when you might think its available light, but its not. An example is the ktichen scene that looks like natural light. However the lights in the room gave me very overhead and less flattering light. Instead I bounced in 1 LED with foamcore, dimmed it to like 1/4 power and got a more natural side lit look. 

Editing was pretty straight forwards in Premiere Pro CC. I also did all the audio mixing there as well. It all just rather boringly worked without any drama. I did use ClipWrap to process the MXF files from the C100 into individual QT mov's. I also sync'd all the 552 48K 24bit WAV files to the camera shots using the automatic sync function in Prem Pro. No major or minor technical problems in any of this.

There are surprisingly a couple of VFX shots here. Some of it was just enhancing what the camera gave me, or simply combining 2 parts of the same take in the frame because of how the actors reactions worked out. I also wanted a more isolated feel for the location so there are spots where I painted out a nearby house. All pretty small stuff that just added up to a cleaner project.

Grading was done in DaVinci Resolve. I worked with the original C log shots and gave them a base grade. I passed on using a LUT because I didn't find one that gave me a usable starting point. C Log really doesn't need a lot of adjustment to look good if your shooting on the money. While editing I was tempted to not even touch most of the images as the C log has a nice flat film like appearance. However I'm glad I did go and grade this. It brought more out in the end. Most of the grading was pretty simple and straight forwards. In a few shots I shaped and changed the lighting in mostly subtle enhancing ways. There is one shot where I did somewhat relight it. It just came down to not having the time to really light it that way and I knew it was a pretty easy fix in grading where I did have time. Knowing when fix it in post is not just viable and pretty easy, but also appropriate to keep production moving along is important. Its something that comes from experience in both shooting, editing and grading.

So thats a lot of info, but feel free to ask questions, let me know what you think, and please do go ahead and share around the web !

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sell Your RED for a C100 ? Maybe !


First you can click on the image above or HERE to read this article that has stirred up some controversy. I in many respect agree with the guy. Dealing with RED RAW files is a pain - big files, native vs transcode proxies for your NLE, RED Rocket now on AMD GPU decodes, pre-grade a base look vs LUT in your NLE if it has the hardware to do it ? Lets face it, while RED _can_ make some great images dealing with those images once they leave the camera can be a pain. In fact I recall doing a RED shoot where the drives would drop out of record because of the intense sound vibration of auto racing. Yup, those engines were so loud that they vibrated the drives and caused them to drop recording. That led the camera to crash, 90 sec reboot ( RED ONE, Epic's are quick ). Now that was a couple years ago, now SSD's would of solved the problem as in RED's expensive solid state media.

So lets talk about this post. This guy isn't the only one to make their way to a C series camera from other more expensive cameras. First C series cameras just make the best HD you will get for sharpness and having a small compact lightweight body with amazing low light performance. Add an external recorder and you can shoot ProRes for about $1k with storage. As Dave above points out, all his dslr rig parts didn't work well with the RED so he had to get a pile of new bits. The C series camera for me required a new base plate as my old ( cheap ) one set the lens too high to work with the matte box. I bought the Berkey System unit, cost $400 and I was done. All the other bits moved over fine. I added an extra third party battery for $75 and I'm done. I already had a pile of fast SD cards to use. So my extended investment around the camera was very little. All my glass works with the new camera including some older ones I wasn't sure would hold their own but have surprised me that they do.


As for shooting I'm gonna disagree with him. He posted  a test video of side by side shots. First if that was an EF 50 1.4mm lens, what a crap lens to flare that badly. Thats not a what I would call a good shot for camera testing but I'll go with it. Next is his claims of the RED making a less than ideal color rendition of images for his tastes. The images are labeled graded, but really ? seriously ? Some clearly have different WB points. Perhaps the issue here is his lack of critical grading skills because I know I could of easily of matched the color tone of the 2 shots. I've certainly matched shots that where far more out that than. I won't say its easy, but in the case just some warming and mid lift would of done the trick. In fact who knows what the C100 was set to as well. Having just graded my short I can say that the C100 material handled much better than dslr shots and was a pleasure to work with. Most of the time the adjustments where pretty small with the Clog camera settings, the stock ones at that ! I've certainly made a modified version that gets a better in camera image that I shoot with most of the time now. I still keep tweaking it.

Perhaps the much bigger difference is the sharpness of the C100 vs the ok but somewhat soft / not as detailed RED shot. Given that the C100 does the 4K->1080 scale in camera vs the RED doing it in software, I suspect user error here. For example, were the RED shots done at full or 1/2 res ? was it properly processed in the RED app with some appropriate detail setting or not ? There are just too many potential handling errors here to write off the RED as looking more like a 7D for sharpness. I'd expect the RED to be in the same ballpark as the C100 for sharpness but of course requiring more work to get there.

However the comments about the Scarlett not making for creative images I can somewhat see. If you need a bigger heavier rig to shoot it on then yes that can at times get in the way. However just like you can strip down the C100 to barebones you can also do that with the RED. No the Scarlett isn't quite as small but it certainly qualifies as a compact body, it just weighs a lot more. So I kind of find this point a failing. While the RED takes a bit more effort its not something that should really make a difference.

Did he make a good decision ? yes I think so in the end although the reasoning may not of been the best. There are other ex-RED owners who also pitched their cameras for C300's for many of the more practical reasons I've mentioned - handling the images after shooting. Perhaps another is that some users have had problems with their RED cameras. Word has it that EPIC's have a nasty problem of bricking up as of late. Its one thing when you have to power up and down, its quite another to have to carry another backup body simply for the just incase factor. Well who I am I kidding because I have a backup body too with my 60D but usually thats for 2nd angle shots and other less critical uses. However the reliability of RED's has never been their strong point so for that alone one might consider switching to something else. With the BMD 4K camera still not shipping thats still a ways off. On the other side for $22k you could go to a C500 if you really need and want 4K.... oh and don't forget an AJA recorder for it so maybe more like $27-$28. Still in the ballpark of other options. There is also the NS700, F5 and F55 cameras too. 

In the end, find a tool that works for you. Camera, NLE, whatever. All the cameras being made are so very good these days and the differences are often generally small. The other part of the question is if a peice of gear makes good business sense - can you pay it off fast enough and will it actually make you money ! Sure RED has a certain mystique and snob appeal, but no one would turn their nose up at a F55 or C500 either.  However, I know people with RED's who get work simply because of the name on the side. Hey if some agency will give you work that way who am I to argue .... well as long as you are also a good shooter that is ! As always Think before you buy., When changing gear upgrades that doesn't always mean paying more for your new item  than your last one. What I paid for my C100 was about the same as my first SD camera, a Sony DXC-327 and we won't compare them, will we !

Monday, December 16, 2013

ENG Lens On Your S35 Size Sensor Camera ? Maybe

If you have ever shot with a real ENG full size camera and lens, the entire DSLR thing has so far mostly left you empty handed, or perhaps empty gripped. Sure Fujion has some crazy expensive  lenses for this range, but they are of limited zoom ranges compared to what you used to get in 2/3" mount with 12, 16 and even 22X range glass. Some very where very wide angle. Wouldn't it be great if you could take your HD ENG lens and put it on your big sensor Sony FS, F3, F5, AF100, Canon C series or dslr camera ? While M 4/3 mount adapters have been around, the often required that you engage the 2X extender to cover the image. The problem - 2 stops of light loss and some image sharpness. So here enters this adapter by the most respected AbleCine. Is it any good ? does it work ? yes and no.

This video below was shot with the HDx35 Mark II B4/PL Optical Adapter. It works, it powers the lens up for zoom control but its clearly got sharpness on the edges problems. Now its hard to say if it was this lens, or particular adapter or both or just lack of giving it a good smack to make it work right. It does basically work, and for news type shooting this may be perfectly fine. To Quote AbleCine's website on this item 

The HDx35 mk II is an optical adapter that enables B4-mount 2/3” HD video lenses to work with most Super-35 format large sensor cameras. The Mark II system has increased coverage to work with more cameras, and now includes the Universal Mount System (UMS).

Broadcast lenses are available in high zoom ratios with wide apertures in a relatively compact size, making them a desired option for many large-sensor camera users. Designed and built by IB/E Optics for AbelCine, HDx Optical Adapters mount between a B4-mount 2/3” lens and a large sensor camera, expanding the projected light to cover the image area.

HDx Optical Adapters increase the focal length of the attached video lens so that the expected field-of-view of the lens is maintained on the larger format sensor. The depth of field of the image will be closer to that of the larger format.

All HDx Optical Adapters optically correct for the different spectral alignments between three-chip prism block sensors, for which the B4-mount lenses were designed, and the single sensor of the large sensor cameras. HDx Optical Adapters are highly telecentric in design, delivering a bright, sharp image across the entire frame, with excellent color and contrast.

The HDx35 mk II adapts from B4 to a Universal Mount System, which allows the HDx35 mk II to be mounted on a wide variety of large-sensor cameras without shop service. It ships standard in ARRI PL, with available adapter mount options including Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, and Micro Four-Thirds. The Mark II includes a 3/8-16 threaded hole and two posts for lens support.

The HDx35 Mark II expands a B4-mount lens image by approximately 2.7 times, covering:

Vision Research Phantom:
Flex, v642, v641, v341 (up to 2560x1440)
HD Gold (up to 2048x1112)

C500, C300, C100

ALEXA (16x9 & 4x3)

F65, F55, F35, F5, F3, SRW-9000PL, FS700, FS100

Scarlet & Epic (up to 5K 16x9)

Effective aperture is lowered by approximately 2.5 stops.

So what it seems this is a 2.25X extender with the right mounts on both ends and some compensation for the RGB focusing of ENG lenses onto single sensor glass. Not a small task to do right and most certainly credit to these guys for trying this out. Certainly cameras like the canon C series can take 2 stops of gain outside from say 320 to 1250 and you'd never know. Even 850->3200 wouldn't really be noticable. However other cameras that are more light gready might not play so nice. As with anything else it might be worth a rental to see if your ENG lens will play on your own big sensor camera before plunking down $5800 MSRP. This might make sense if you have $20K into a real HD ENG lens. However many folks have quietly found that their SD glass works nearly as well.... they just won't jump and say so. Of course I've had some SD glass that was expensive and not so good, so course YMMV depending on lens and how its been treated. Even still its a much cheaper option than a cabrio lens.

Friday, December 13, 2013

C100 Green Screen Studio Shoot With Ninja2

Canon C100 ninja2 HMDI SSD recorder shooting green screen chroma key

Studio shoot today. I like doing them. So much easier most of the time, especially for certain types of work. Today we shot celeb product endorsements on green screen. Nice to have  big diffused light sources that give your talent some room to move around in. Using 2 575 HMI's as the front light sources on the talent dropped power draw to next to nothing. The rest was lit with LED's. My to cheap 1000 LED panel lights easily got the green screen into shape with almost no effort. Even if they might have a green spike this is the perfect place to use them. Ran them at 3/4 power which was even better. 

In the front we added one of my custom LED lights to add some warmth. It seems the 10X10 in the studio used a fabric that was a bit blue / cool so adding the warmer 4300K light balanced it out. The high CRI of these lights is important when mixing with other sources like this. The hairlight is one of the smaller units. Our total power draw was just under 2K yet the camera was sitting at 5.6 @ ISO 1250. Thats only a few db of gain over the native 850 ISO of the C100 so it was perfectly clean. 

For this shoot, I bought a Ninja2 to record the C100's HDMI output. It worked fine. Of course the 2 18" HDMI wires I bought are always 1-2 inches short no matter how I mount the ninja ( except on back rails ) so I had to grab a 3ft wire and use that. Trigger into record always worked unlike some other camera mounted DDR's I've used. The mini monitor was good for every one to see the picture and have TC for logging. The 256gb SSD worked perfectly and I used about 85gb of space in ProRes422. I skipped ProRes HQ because there was nothing here to challenge the codec. All I would be doing is using 2X the disc space. Comparisons of the native AVCHD 24 and ProRes are coming up as I start editing the project. Battery life on the ninja was really good and helped again by using a SSD that uses less power than a spinning drive. I think I got about 4 or 5 hrs of run time on the stock battery which is pretty good. It lasted about as long as the camera battery did.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Premire Pro CC 7.2 Released



New updates on CC have been released today including Premiere Pro, Speedgrade and After Effects. Go get'm.

UPDATE: Ok, not quite AE yet. DOH !

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Even I get to shoot some selfie shots. I LOVE this setup using the Berkey System C series base place plus their 15mm side mount. Some baseplates want you to see their big red logo, others think functionality is more important. The 15mm side mount removable and can be changed to an arri compatible rosette if you need that or save the weight and lose all of it. I did cut the 15mm rod down to a shorter length for a safer setup. The 15mm mount itself has a ratcehing METAL knob that allows the mount to really grab and not rotate around... unlike some of the cheap stuff out there. I've had the cheap stuff - you can't tighten it enough, its not quite precise enough, or the hardware strips out or breaks. Solid hard high grade aluminum matters when it comes to camera mounting.

Meanwhile I've heard your requests about more on LED lights. I've been using them all this week and I'll have something soon once I get done shooting real paying production work.

Friday, December 06, 2013

8mm Digital Sensor Film Insert

Interesting idea. Digitial sensor in 8mm film cartridge recording to SD card. Mostly OTS parts. Its it practical ? maybe. Several years ago at NAB I saw a 16mm film mag with digital sensor in it. Didn't go anywhere. However that was also at the time when solid state media wasn't in the main stream for recording yet. Product never went anywhere so we'll never know if it was good or not. Likewise I have to wonder about this. A new iphone has at least as good a sensor and if you add in the 8mm Movie Camera app for $5 you are off and running. I ran this app on my own iPhone for some 8mm style B roll on a project. Worked fine but the shot was eventually taken out from the final cut. I supposed just having the camera body and lens though would yield a certain asthetic would might be rather vintage. Anyway, they are talking 4:3 frame on 720 HD image. Probably fine as thats more than most 8mm lenses would ever resolve anyway. On a good day 8mm might be VHS ( 320 lines ) due to film grain. I guess we'll see. They will certainly need to bring the price point in at around $100-$200 because anymore than that and I think you'd just go to a BMD Pocket Camera.


  • 720p HD video capture in 4:3 format
  • Frame rate automatically adjusts to camera settings (up to 60 fps)
  • Integrated Film Look options
  • Unlimited storage via removable SD card
  • Battery and recording status light
  • Specifications
  • Image Sensor: 5 megapixel Omni Vision OV5600 series
  • Video Encoding: 720p HD H.264 (4:3)
  • Memory: Removable high capacity SD card
  • Connections: One mini USB port (primarily for charging)
  • Battery: Rechargeable LiPo battery providing up to 3 hours of continuous recording
  • Housing: Machined aluminum, color anodized and laser etched
  • Height: 70mm
  • Width: 75mm
  • Depth: 24mm
  • Weight: 160g

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Interchangeable Lens On Your GoPro ?

Interchangable lens on your GoPro H3 ? Ya right... until these guys came along. Remake the front of the camera so you can  mount a C mount lens ? Sure ! GoPro has always been limited to ultra wide lens selections. This pretty much opens the doors to whatever your want. DIY kit is $200. Complete kit with camera is $800. I think worth it if the 2.7K shooting of the H3 or H3+ matters to you. The camera makes really nice pix especially at that res. Being able to use a somewhat more narrow lens could really be good when the simple extreme wide isn't what you want. Likewise a 200mm or more lens on the front could give you some ultra telephoto results that you want. All good

Friday, November 22, 2013

PBS's POV Does Gear Survey Of Their Content Creators

This is an interesting survey of gear. While the size is small its still worth taking a look at as it covers people who are getting their content onto PBS.  Some expected results, some unexpected. 

Meanwhile I've been pretty busy with work. Some very last minute stuff has come in while I continue mixing on a TV series. One show every week. Thats cool, work is good !

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Commenting System

I've fought with this problem for a while. The blog's built in commenting system was junk. I know a number of articles got spammed up and I spent a lot of waste time deleting them. I tried one popular commenting system but that never worked if you noticed the test messages / code commenting output. I now went with FB commenting. Not my ideal choice, but it works. It also restored some comments already here. As for the spammers, well you can go F' yourself's for all the time you have wasted - both yours and mine. Really did you ever think some one would click on your link for auto insurance or male performance enhancement ? really ?  Well no more wasting your time here. 

To my regular visitors', please feel free to leave comments and have discussion !

And to spammers - all your worthless hard work is gone, gone gone. It will never be displayed again because the old commenting system has been removed.  Feel good about your worthless work ? I hope so. Please go find something worthwhile to do in this life as its the only one you get.

Sound Devices Introduces the 663 Mini Mixer Recorder With Big Features

Sound Devices makes great stuff. Here is the new 663 mixer / recorder. 6 channels in, 6 channels out, records 10 channels, has the same LCD panel that the 664 has in the size of the old 302 mixer. Its really small but yet has all the I/O most folks would want. My only gripe ? lack of dual outputs for connection to another camera. There are aux outs you could use to feed transmitters though and use the XLR's for a camera hardwire. Media cards on on the top right like the 664. The unit can power from 2 L type batteries on the bottom if you want, but most folks would go with the 4pin Lemo like other SD  mixers. All in all it looks like a really nice unit when size and weight really matter. Price ? an near reasonable $3095. Trew Audio also has a kit version that includes batteries, TA3->XLR adapters, portabrace case and TC cables for $3836. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Continuos C100 Auto Focus Test - It Works !

Shot at a trade show in Japan, here is a look at the C100 doing autofocus with a Canon 50 1.2L and  28-300 f3.5-5.6L. Any skilled DP or 1st AC would of put this down because AF in the past in video cameras has just plain sucked on a good day. This sample shows otherwise, as in it just nails every move correctly. Ok, one minor point, I hope that focus box can be moved as it can be in the current C100 firmware otherwise is there going to be a lot of center of frame bull's eye shooting. Then again there probably will be anyway since too many will be lazy in not moving it.... we'll see. Looks like this might be a worthwhile $500 upgrade if you have a couple of AF lenses around. Me ? I'm down to one right now but that might change with this development.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

C100 Firmware Update Released Today

I had checked 2 days ago.... so it  figures that Canon released the firmware update for the C100 and C300 series cameras today ! Go get it. ISO 80,000 may not be the most useful except in extreme circumstances but the other ISO's look pretty good. Also of importance is assignable focus magnify zones, and being able to navigate menus without the joystick on the handgrip. All nice, glad they didn't make us wait until the end of the month.... so how about a codec upgrade ?


Firmware update went well. Played around with higher ISO's and it almost seems like they did something to reduce noise at lower ISO's. While I might not reach for ISO 50K often, nice its there. 80K looks like older HD cameras at 18 or 21 db of gain, but lower seems usable for those grab shots for your doc or news coverage. I'm off to shoot job with the new firmware and reloaded my settings files ok.

Monday, November 11, 2013

60 MInutes Story On GoPro

GoPro, we all have a couple of them. 60 Minutes takes a look. Did I ever talk about working on 60 minutes ? Well I did, way back when. I got to animate the stop watch twice which isn't the simply job it seems, trust me ! Good to see one of my favorite shows still on. I always remember when I was a ( gulp ) teenager watching the show and always being impressed with how well it was done. I always wanted to work on the show... so who knew I would some day !

DaVinci Resolve 10 Released

Ok, Its released. Its got lots of new features and improvements that will make lots of folks happy. Go look on the BMD site for all the info.

However before you jump on it a word of caution. FCP XML output is broken if you are  using Premiere Pro CC. PP CC simply barfs on it with a "generic error" and that's it, game over. You can still generate a single solid QT of your grade, but thats not quite the same as having a live TL with all your clips in still editable form, especially if you gave them trim handles. If Resolve -> Prem Pro CC workflow is important, you probably want to hold off on this upgrade for the moment until this is fixed. I"ve heard that Prem Pro CS6 can import the XML and I'm going to try that. Meanwhile if you still have a creaky ok copy of FCP7 running on your system you can use that as an XML fixer utility by loading the XML in and exporting it back out for PP. If you don't have FCP7 running, well, you know, your SOL for the moment.

Monday, November 04, 2013

My Shoot Last Week on O'Reilly Tonite

If you wonder why I haven't been posting so much, its because I've been busy doing shoots like this one. Shot a segment for O'Reilly / Watter's World which airs tonite. Fun shoot ! Not so much sleep :( but its all good to pay the bills.

UPDATE: The actual segment is now up.

This is a preview of the segment playing tonite. If that gets posted I'll swap it out. Now back to finishing editing & grading my short.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oooops ! No Thats Not What I Really Said

Bad day today. I was running around doing too many things at once. I wasn't even shooting. My C100 + Rokinon 14mm cine where sitting on my desk, safely. One quick turn, low hand and I got to see the camera fly off the desk and bounce on the floor. I saw the lens part from the body and assumed the worst. I left the room, I couldn't look. I came back a minute later. The outer plastic housing of the Rokinon gave away. The back of the lens was still firmly in place on the C100. Camera came away fine. The lens OTH isn't. Email to Elite Brands who distributes Rokinon in the US said send it in. Chance of repair low because there probably aren't parts available. This would be an easy fix and I'd do it myself if I could get the parts. Probably not. Thats not right. Given how easy it is to break, they should have this last part of the body available for replacement. 7 screws is all it takes. Also FWIW the insides are some sort of cast metal with some brass parts. The guts look pretty solid, although some other camera makers would of used stainless steel for internal levers and sliders. Well that's one compromise that gets made in delivering a product for less. We'll see what they say once it gets there.

Monday, October 21, 2013

5AM !

Well this is what my 5am looking like. OUr new radio show is up and running. How on earth did I get into this ? long story ! The main thing is everything worked including some interfaces I built from scratch - a pile of parts made into something useful. Well I'll be back at this for the most part everyday along with all the other production work I've got going on.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Am I Doing ?

Hey, so I've been slow posting stuff. GoPro Hero3+.... nice, ok, no post. A few other nice tidbits have gone by, I've been silent. Why ? well because after having had a camera of some sort in my hands since the age of 8, I'm building a radio show ! WHAT ! Yes its true, all that sound experience, TV studio build outs and other fun bits are today being part of building a new RADIO studio ! We're going to syndicate a show across several stations here in WI and eventually the midwest and internet.  Who knows... I have no clue how we figured out how to make money in radio after having been doing TV and web forever ! Life is about change and evolution ! making the full circle. 

Lots of long nites in this. While every build out has its problems, this one has pretty much been the one where even the dumbest simple things fight you. When we moved into this new space the build out for 2 edit rooms, machine room, patch bays, ect. went well. No major problems or surprises, just work work work  and it all got done. This has been anything but that. I've had to learn a lot of new stuff on the automation end and make it work.

As usual I've been deep in the stuff getting it all to work. You can see my wire stippers and meter here as I check out the cables I've been making while they are next to the latest in integrated audio boards - it works with automation software running on ( GASP ) Win7. Ok, all we do is boot the OS on SSD and run the automation app thats somewhat but not totally stable. It gets locked into certain modes and only force quit aka task manager can get things back. Really a bit less stable then I'd like but hey, we go live next monday ! Nothing like live broadcast in either TV or radio. Hold on, shut up, go for the ride !

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Short Shot !

This weekend I shot my first short in a very long time. This time it was my script and 2 amazing actors that brought this project to life. I'd written it 2 years ago, yesterday we shot it and I can't wait to edit it. Most of it was shot on my C100 and this camera is generally so amazing. To be able to use high ISO's instead of tons of light and still make clean images is simply the most liberating thing I've experienced since : switching from film to digital with stills, buying my first HD camera, buying my first dslr. This is better than 2 of those. Really shooting at ISO 3200 or 4000 and not seeing any nasty ugly noise is truely liberating. In one scene I had started out lighting it as normal, but the setup I had started with shooting thru a window was quickly ended when rain started pouring. I moved back inside. I then did something crazy, I turned off all my lights and looked at an amazing shot lit by natural light. It was almost perfect. I bounced a LED panel light on one side of the actors, then added one of my LED 24 lights dimmed way down to hit some of the background so it didn't completely fall off. Done ! I can't wait to edit this and I promise you something you have NOT scene on the screen. Above is a frame of the 2 actors light with 2 LED panel lights 20ft from the exterior window. WIndow had 8X8 silk in front. ISO 4000 F4 OM 1.5. This shot just has a quick correction on it as it was shot in C log.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Shooting A Short This Weekend

I shoot a lot of stuff for a lot of people. This weekend I'm finally doing one of those rare things - I'm shooting a short I wrote. Its going to be interesting. I have two great actors, a great location, fall colors at their peak, its going to rain & thunderstorm, talk about production value !

 Now we'll talk about the downsides : my 2nd camera can't make it, some other crew can't make it. Its coming down to the mantra we hear all the time - you just need a good script and great actors and a decent camera. Ok,  I'm going to try it ! realistically this wouldn't be practical without the C100 and its low light ability. I can work lower light levels and not need to pull out my HMI's to get the job done. My LED's will more than cover what needs doing. I picked up a china ball and dimmer as a fill light. Practicals will work a lot of it. I'll probably work my 8X8 and 6X4's as super soft low level fills if I need to. I'm still going to run 2 or 3 cameras, but 1 or 2 will be lock offs. That's fine, I'm not stuck on gratuitous camera movement simply for the sake of it. Camera moves should be motivated ! They should help tell the story, change the viewers attention as appropriate and not simply be there because  you can.

Of course sound counts as well. This is where having great gear counts - my SD 552 and its limiters will easily handle this feeding cameras and recording. 

Its going to be interesting, let you know how it goes monday !

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rokinon 16mm F2.2 Cine Available

The  Rokinon 16mm T2.2 Cine Lens for Canon EF is now available. B&H has a great price on it. Stock is limited right now so first come first serve and all. Looks like another great lens to try out. While I'm not getting one just yet, its probably on the list for the next couple of months. That said, where is a 20 or 21mm lens ? Its a big missing gap in the line up, along with a 50. Guess we'll have to sit and wait.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

All LED Lights Tonite !

Today was a little different. While I've often used maybe 1 or 2 LED lights out of several for a shoot, today was different. We went all LED. It was a typical talking head shoot. Normally I would of put up around 2-3KW of tungsten back in the old days of not so long ago. Maybe I would of added a flo light into the mix for fill or back light.  Today, we did this - 

1X1 panel light, 1K LED's, 60W full up, 2 layers of 1/2 frost, 1 6X4 silk as key, flagged off bottom with some black

1 24 LED hi emitter light ( 60W ), 2 layers of 1/2 frost, 1 layer  1/2 CTB ( native WB is 4300K ) as fill dimmed to about 50%

1 24 LED hi emitter light ( 60W ) as hair ( back ) light, 1/2 frost, dimmed to 25%

1 100w LED Fresnel on background with 1/2 frost and straw barndoored down

So another words our total power draw was about 205W accounting for the dimmer settings or quiet literally 1/10th the power draw of what I might of normally used. This was a really small room to shoot in, yet it never got too hot. If it had been the usual tungsten setup it would of been baking with the lights plus 4-5 people in there. 

All of that said, a few months ago I did a shoot that used a lot of tungsten lights, burning maybe 10Kw for something not so different. Ok, tungsten light makes for good skin tones, but so does having good make up. Tungsten lights have good CRI, at least for the sensors ( or film ! ) we normally work with. LED's have often had the problem of poor CRI / green tint. Well while its not perfect yet, its getting close. The 24 Hi power emitter LED's I have are custom lights - you can't buy them unless you know "the right guy who makes them", but they have great throw. Unlike panel lights using wide angle LED's, these have CRI 94 emitters, polycarbonate diffuser lenses over each emitter, and don't fall off after a few feet. Dimming or diffsuing them as needed they have become a key part of my lighting setup. Never mind the dual ball mount that makes aiming them easy because, yes they do require good aim to put light where you want it, unlike panel type lights. 

Of course we didn't talk about the audio setup where I fed not just the camera, but my laptop via USB XLR interface, one mic so that the director in NYC could hear the talent and do his thing. The web cam fed a google video chat with my audio so the director 1100 miles away could see what was going on. Virtual directing, welcome to 2013 ! Easier for everyone invovled !

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Arri Revels Amira Small Shoulder Cam for News & Docs

Ready for a cheaper Alexa ? Want something that's ready to shoot with fast boot time ? Doc and news friendly ? Arri Name on the side ? Want a camera designed for single person operation like a full size ENG camera ? Welcome the Amira. Same sensor as the Alexa, but for now limited to 1080 res at speeds up to 200fps. Supposedly much cheaper than an Alexa. I'd guess its in the $25K range to make it competitive with Epic and F55.  It shoots to a new media card from Sandisc shooting to ProRes 4444, 422 HQ, 422 and option for DNxHD if you want to license that.  No mentioned 4K ability though. For a camera over $10K ( guessing price to be announced ) I think its a hard sell not to be 4K ready now, with with future firmware update to unlock it. I suspect that 4K will be an upgrade of some sort down the road for this camera. 

As always, don't buy a camera if you can't pay it off fast enough. Great to have the best out there, but you can't have a 2 year or more payback period. With how these things constantly change anything less is crazy financially. While some markets support moving to a 4K camera, others don't. You have to know of using a 4K camera will really buy you work or not and then decide.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Can You Sync A C100 w/o A TC Connector ? Maybe !

Is it possible to sync a C100 to a C300/500 or other camera ? Maybe. This deivce WFT-E6 is list as being compatible with the C series cameras. Listed specifically for the 1D C, it specifially mentions syning Time of the cameras. If you shoot Time Of Day TC, mission accomplished. I'd love to try it but the MSRP is $600 ! Has anyone tried this thing ? Canon's USA site seems out of date, another site says : For EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, C500, C300.... hmmmm !

Monday, September 09, 2013

So You Want A C100 ? Nothing Fits !

60D + Kiron 24 F2

Trying the C100 out on my DSLR baseplate and rods. Ok, its one of those cheap Indian deals, but the stainless rods are strong, and the base plate worked great for the last 3 years. First with a T3I and then with my 60D's I really like this base setup. With the sliding base it was easy to adjust from the short and sharp OM 50 1.4 or Kiron 24 F2 to a long lens like the Tamron 70-200 2.8. Mostly the matte box slid in its adjuster, and the camera on the base plate and there was no fiddling with the rods or taking everything apart. It worked well. In fact I had modified the baseplate a bit. First I made the front shorter because it was too long and this also gave me some more weight in the back for better balance. Later I also shortend the back to save weight because I wanted this thing lighter. The rig is probably 30-40% shorter than when I got it and its been working great every since. Well I put the C100 on and nothing fits. Ok, the 1/4 20 and 3/8 mounting holes work on the camera, but first its just too tall to center vertically on the matte box. I had already modded the matted box for more vertical travel to work with an EX-3. I milled the slots longer to the top and bottom about as far as reason said was safe, about 3/8". This is missing by more like 1/2" or more material than I can mill out and still have a bracket left. So that means I made need to make a new offset that sits between the matte box and the swing bracket.... or I'm going to have to change out the baseplate for a small low one that will have things fitting again. I already have the base of the slider as low as it can go and clear the rods.

While I don't need the matte box for ND's for the most part thanks to the 2/4/6 stop built in ones, I'll still use a split grad, polarizer or diffusion. 

Well that's not the end of it. Here is another problem - DSLR's aren't was wide as the C series cameras. In fact even the EX3 isn't as wide. So if I have a short lens on like the OM 50 1.4 or any of my other vintage primes, the matte box rods hit the hand grip... that you really want / need to operate the camera pending the firmware update in Nov that lets you use some buttons on the back of the body to navigate the menu's rather than the joystick on the grip !

Silly me for thinking buy the camera, an extra battery or two and I'm done. Tweak my rig a bit... NOT ! Just another problem throwing money at will solve sad

Adobe Announces After Effects CC V12.1 For October Release, SpeedGrade as Well

Adobe is keeping their word about releasing features and product improvements when they are ready with Creative Cloud. Check out #4 on this list - mask tracker. Yup, finally something I've been asking for forever - create a mask and track it in one easy step. Also improved scaling which lots of folks have been asking for. Great news to start the day !

  • 3D Camera Tracker and Warp Stabilizer VFX analysis of footage is a WHOLE LOT FASTER. It’s now fully multi-threaded, and we’ve seen results going from a 60% speed increase to in some cases 8 times faster analysis depending on machine and footage.
  • snapping and property links: significant advancements to composition layout and layer control for complex projects
  • HiDPI content viewers for Retina display on Mac
  • new mask tracker for simple tracking of masks
  • Detail-preserving Upscale effect: This continues on the theme we started with adding Bicubic sampling in After Effects CC (12.0). We hear loud an clear from you that scaling (especially with 4K and ultraHD coming) is very important.
  • The Cineware effect now allows connection to Sketch & Toon as well as the Cinema 4D Physical renderer for customers of Cinema 4D Broadcast or Studio
  • media management enhancements with auto-opening of folders in the Project panel, as well as an early preview of the Media Browser panel, based on the Media Browser in Premiere Pro
  • new cards added to GPU list for CUDA acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer, as well as a preference to enable the use of untested, unsupported GPUs for this feature

UPDATE : SpeedGrade is also seeing an October update as well. Here is a video with those new features and improvements by product manager Patrik Palmer. Click the image to see the video on Adobe TV for more info !

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

GoPro Cuts Price of Hero3 To $329

Interesting news. I thought that the Hero3 was a little overpriced without having a suction cup mount included. Don't get me wrong, I still think it was a great buy, but I bought mine with a NAB discount for $100 off smiley. With other new action cams hitting the market, I'm not surprised. This could also be inventory clearance for a Hero4 that does full 4K 30fps. That would be insanely good even if your purpose was to stabilize and crop the image to 1080. You'd have a lot of extra pixels to work with if they did. This could be one place where 4K has real value. I guess we'll have to wait and see what is in the works. If there is a new camera coming soon, I'm not complaining as all of my GoPro's are paid for. That is why I buy gear,  to make money for myself !

Friday, August 30, 2013

Timing Matters

Are these images a little soft ? yes... Low Res by modern standards ? yes. That doesn't make the content any less amazing. Shot on my iPhone yet again ! Given that I tend to get shots like this often enough, I think I have good reason to upgrade my iPhone when the new models show up, hopefully with an even better camera. Either way it just goes to show that best camera in the world is the one you have when you need it. Indeed many moments of modern history have been captured on phones. However, I'm still sticking with my good cameras for production work.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vitec Buys Teradek

The Vitec Group has acquired Teredek. Maybe Vitec hasn't bought every video product company, but they seem to of eaten up most of the small ones. The companies with 10 to 30 employees, often family owned and run. Can't say I'm thrilled with this but nothing you can do about it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Yet Another Drone Crash

Yet another drone into people crash. Hard to say what the failure was here, although operator error plus maybe some wind may of been the cause. Operating too low without any recovery margin as the drone seems to try to level off but its too late. Ultralight planes aren't allowed to operate over "cities or crowds of people" and I think thats a good rule. Unless we get into FAA certified drones with automatic recovery and that enforce minimum operating hieghts that allow air craft to recover, you shouldn't be operating over crowds of people. I mean really, what could go wrong ?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

70D Video Sample

Word is the 70D will be shipping end of August or Early Sept. Here is a sample which to me on vimeo looks ok. One shot has aliasing in the opening on the fence gate but the rest seems ok. However the poster says its filled with moire and aliasing for which I can only assume they are looking at in on their own monitor and its there... and vimeo + compression has hidden it away here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

GoPro DeTunes ProTune To 35mb/sec For


In the last firmware update for the Hero3 camera GoPro has disabled full 45mb/sec recording in 2.7K and 4K for most micro SD cards except for a very short list off ones they bless. This list includes :

  • Lexar 32GB SDHC 600x (LSDMI32GBSBNA600R)

  • Lexar 64GB SDXC 300x (LSDMI64GBBNL300R)



  • Samsung 64GB SDXC (MB-MGCGB/AM)

What ? If you don't own one of these cards then ProTune gets detuned to 35mb/sec. If you don't have the new firmware installed don't. In fact installing firmware on the Hero3 is such a huge hassle its probably almost not worth it, especially now with the downgrade. Its also possible that this downgrade was put into the second most recent firmware update as well.

Why ? I have no clue. One would guess that it would be because other cards aren't fast enough to be reliable, but that simply is not the case. I bought a Sandisc 64gb micro SD card, the SAME card GoPro themselves sold. It will record 45mb/itsec all until the battery quits. I put my micro SD card into a SD card adapter, put that into my laptop's SD card reader that is in the PCIe slot. BMD Speed test confirms : 10mbyte/sec write, 40mb/sec read. 45mbit = 5.65mbyte/sec or my card is about 2X fast enough. That is plenty of safety margin. So my open comment to GoPro is why ?

There are other brands of micro SD cards that are fast enough. Having this limited list makes no sense. Let the user determine if their media works or not, especially since my card worked fine before. 

I have in fact shot some video on my Sandisc card and they are 35mbit so this is for real. I'm considering starting an online petition to get GoPro to restore this functionality since we don't have something like Magic Lantern to do what we want. So what does everyone think ? start the online petition ? 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

RED R3D Files WIll Get GPU Decoding Now, REDROCKET Not Required

I'd always thought that a REDROCKET card looked an awful lot like an AMD FireGL card. Well today it was officially leaked that the next rev of REDCine will use your regular GPU ( nVidia Titan can do 6K at 24fps ) decodes. While they say a real REDROCKET will be faster still, your Titan will be the next best thing and perhaps already in your machine. Even some lower cards like the K5000 should do justice for 4K which is probably what you are getting if you handle R3D. I'm just surprised it took this long and figured it would of happened a year or two ago. No complaints ! It probably won't be too long before NLE's get this GPU boost as well. Should be interesting.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Another Pair of Dead iRam modules

Well here is a pic of my third pair of failed iRAM 2gb 800mhz DDR2 EEC ram modules. The company that won't stand by its lifetime warranty, won't answer emails for service, won't answer the phones, won't return voice mail. I managed to buy some non-iRAM modules on ebay last week for $89 (ouch!) and get my machine back to 16gb. I think the hard part of keeping older macs running is going to be with out a doubt simply keeping functional ram in the machines. This is especially true of these modules that run really hot, hence the bit heat sinks. I've been tempted to try some regular server ram thats ECC and otherwise the same specs that typically is  half the price. As anyone tried them with success ? not just in start up but can say a year or more later they still work ok ? 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Safety First

This video isn't funny. In fact its a perfect example of utter disregard for safety. Thankfully it resulted in nothing more than 2 minor cuts. The pilot flew this thing pretty quick forwards and failed to understand the drone's climb rate and response rate. Result is some one getting hit in the head. Bad move. Think before you do ! Really have your skill levels polished before trying something like this because its boned headed accidents like this that bring on regulations to make life harder for the rest of us who try harder to be smart and safe.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Another Sanken CS3e Sample Using Bad Mic Placement

Maybe the real test of a good mic is what you can get away with when using it. Typically I'd never be aiming the mic horizontally because you'd pick up whatever noise was behind the subject. However in this grab shot the CS3e really came through and still made nice sound... nice to have a couple of beautiful women sing your praise ( and Kevin the shooter ). 

Avid Kills DS : One Last Update for

In the week for product EOL announcements, Avid has killed DS. It will no longer be sold after Sept 2013, but will see tech support for at least a year. There will be  one last update to fix whatever and improve MC7 compatibility. What is DS : better color correction tools than Media Composer, hip Nodal Compositing, 2K & 4K support. Ok, the nodal compositing thing is cool. I'd expect key DS features to move over to Media Composer as Avid breaths a few last gasps of air into that product. Look at the bottom line - MC is a few percent of their total revenue. Their network storage products have been and are the bulk of their revenue now and for the last few years. When you can grade / finish in DaVinci Resolve or Smoke for less. well... you know what I mean. A decent product bites the dust....  Avid is trying to sell folks on Symphony instead. During an investor call this week "Avid officials said the company will work to transition DS owners to Avid Media Composer with the Symphony option, which adds Avid's Universal Mastering feature and much more powerful color-correction tools to MC, but users said it's not a workable substitute for the 2K and 4K capabilities of DS"... um duh, Premiere Pro. PP doesn't care about resolution and does most of what you need now... 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

EAA Time

Its that time of the year again doing sound at EAA. Long days working outside. Last year it was hot, this year cold, at least for today. Just life when working on location. Should be a good week !

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Canon 70D Video Clips

This clip shows some video which appears to show the 70D video autofocus at work. There are some FAKE 70D clips up on YT, but this one looks real. The autofocus seems to be decent, although some time missing what I'd probably prefer to be in focus.

Meanwhile I'm getting ready for a solid 8 days of production work. I'm doing sound for several camera ops at EAA Airshow

Monday, July 22, 2013

Keep It Simple - Recording Headphone Output

How do you record the output of a headphone jack ? Especially when you want to record SVEN the speaking menu in the Sound Devices 552 mixer ? Well you could rip thru your collection of adapters to figure out 1/8" or 1/4" to XLR, maybe add a 30db pad or more, or turn the headphones way down, or mess around with a few other ideas... or just do it the Simple way. Put the headphones onto your mic and turn up the headphone output. Worked fine. I did set the MXL4000 to figure 8 to pick up both sides better and it worked ok for the short 10sec sample I needed to get. It took way less time than the "right" way, but I got the job done. Sometimes the fast and simple way counts if the results are ok*

*I didn't say stellar perfect, but ok, as in usable for the intended purpose under the time to get the job done.

SpeedGrade 7.0.1 Is LIve Today

SpeedGrade 7.0.1 is released today. A larger number of bug fixes and product improvements. Good to see the added hardware support for Matrox now.


Mercury Transmit support added support for Bluefish video I/O cards
Mercury Transmit support added for Matrox video I/O cards
Added support for 48KHz audio output


Snapshot file tree view can now be collapsed for easier navigation
New UI animations for bottom third panel
2Up/3Up function has been optimized for a simpler workflow based strictly on clips (not grading layers).
Disabled (unnecessary) grading panel animation for Cinemode (image-only) view
Waveform scope performance
Mercury Transmit playback performance on Mac OS
Preference settings for monitor background color slider has been moved from Playback settings to Environment settings
Added option to keep sending to Mercury Transmit if SpeedGrade loses focus to ensure video output is not interrupted.


Issue where breadcrumb navigation bar was truncated in certain circumstances
UI would freeze when user invoked media content menu and while application settings were open
UI bug in the Render tab has been fixed
External LUT’s could not be loaded on Mac OS
SpeedGrade would crash when deleting an empty Timeline (Mac OS)
SpeedGrade crashed in specific undo scenario when clicking on a Look (Mac OS)
Crash on startup on Chinese, Japanese, or Russian Windows OS has been fixed
SpeedGrade occasionally crashed when “swap eye” option was enabled in render settings (applies to stereoscopic content)
SpeedGrade would crash when converting a stereoscopic timeline to mono if the analysis tools (scopes) were open
Crashes when analysis tools (scopes) were enabled in stereoscopic projects
Scaling issue in Luma Waveform has been repaired
SpeedGrade Save As dialog has now been localized for German, French, Italian, and Spanish language installations on Mac OS
List/Thumbnail icons now highlight in the correct color for HiDPI displays on Mac OS
UI truncation bug where Annotation textbox overlapped analysis tools (scopes)
Crashes that occurred when clicking on Other button in render settings if the format preset was empty (German, French, Italian and Spanish versions)
Crashes in Render dialog when output dropdown had empty entry selected.
Issue with TIFF render settings has been repaired
When widgets for clip and frames were shown in the view, only one widget could be adjusted
UI issue with annotations widget
Issue with side-by-side display mode for stereoscopic enabled Timeline

Thursday, July 18, 2013

SD Cards Finally Get Some Speedy Respect

For a very long time, if you wanted speed you had to go to CF cards. While some SD cards had hit the 45mb/sec mark most where far slower. That changed a few days ago when Toshiba announced these new SD cards making them faster than CF cards by a huge margin. All very interesting in the days when you can get a Canon DSLR to record RAW frames and you need the speed. What is disappointing is the 16 and 32gb sizes. With those fast data rates and shooting RAW filling up a 16gb is a few minutes of shooting. This is like 400ft rolls of 35mm... for those who remember! My guess is they are probably RAIDing some slow storage together, or spinning off storage from SSD's. One we see 64 and 128gb cards we are now talking. Of course, no annoucement on price which I'm sure will not be cheap. However, if you need cards this fast, you can probably also afford them. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fix Rolling Shutter On GoPro Cameras - ND Filters

Fix rolling shutter on the GoPro ? Yes ! A friend of mine, Chad Johnson shows us how using a ND filter slows the camera's shutter down reducing or eliminatng rolling shutter. Interesting because I have a hero 1 - 2 housing from the same company that takes screw on filters. I bought it for my partner to shoot some under water stuff in Belize last year and haven't used it since. Now that case makes my Hero 2 more viable again. Of course I have a hero 3 too....ugh, one more piece of gear to buy !

Sync A Sound Devices 552 Mixer / Recorder to a Tascam DR-680

How can you sync lock a Tascom DR-680 to a Sound Devices 552 ? Here is the quick video to show you how. No you don't need time code or video !

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ready For 8K ?

I've seen 8K and its amazing. Now NHK is showing a camera that looks a lot like other current cameras in size, except its 8K 60FPS max ( for now ) and uses h.265 for recording.

At its recent Open House, NHK showed the new 8K AH-4800 camera head, co-developed with Tokyo-based AstroDesign, which is much lighter and more compact than previous models. It has a 2.5in, 33-megapixel “single plate” CMOS image sensor and processing circuitry in a 125mm (W) x 125mm (H) x 150mm (D) housing (about 5in square). Total weight, with lens, is said to be 4.4lbs, and it captures images at up to 60fps.

NHK, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric, has also developed the world’s first HEVC/H.265 real-time encoder for 8K Ultra HD. HEVC is the latest video encoding system, which became an international standard this year. It has four times the compression efficiency of MPEG-2, which is widely used in current digital HD broadcasting.

The video is encoded at 85Mb/s, compressed by a factor of 1/350 from 30Gb/s. To encode Ultra HD video, which has high spatial resolution, encoding is done in real time by dividing the screen into 17 strips. Compression to 85 Mb/s enables one Ultra HD channel to be transmitted using one satellite transponder.

I guess if you want to product for 4K delivery a higher res camera is good but the data rates get insane. Its not so much this 350:1 compression is bad enough to make it managable, but once its on the NLE you have to pass those big uncompressed frames around when doing anything with the image. Pushing that image onto a GPU becomes a monster. While technology will eventually bring computers that can deal with this, even 4K remains challanging. In some ways its depressing because just as computers got good with 1080 we're leaving that behind for more... and more... and more. How about staying put for a little while, or at least saying 8K is the end game for the next 10 years and thats where we are going. At that point then decide if there is another step to something higher or not.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Look At The Sound Devices 552 Mixer Recorder Video Review

Sound Devices 552 front panel meters


I know this mixer has been available for some time but it seems people ask what makes this mixer so great. In this review video I'm gonna take a look at some of the great features the Sound Devices 552 Portable 5-Channel Production Mixer and Stereo Recorder has that simply make your sound mixing and recording life better. Given that a mixer is one of your most important pieces of sound gear next to your mics, the right one will make your job easier and your work better.Check it out.


Monday, July 08, 2013

Hey Its Monday and Its Summer

Long 4 day weekend off was good. Not much major news except for this one, Canon is blowing out the EOS M for a crazy $349  which is $300 off. If this camera serves a purpose for you this sounds like a great deal, especially if you are on a budget. Meanwhile panasonic also has a price reduction going on with the quite respectable GH3 for $1068 which is a $200 reduction. Having shot with the GH3 it does make very nice pix and has a very solid build quality to it. The boosted data rates give you the benefits of a hacked GH3 without the effort.  I'm otherwise working a few things right now. I'm doing some quick music scoring for 2 videos I'm going to release I hope by the end of the week. They are pretty much ready to go except for the music so I'm motivated to get them out there.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Canon 60D Sale At B&H - $599 Body only !

B&H is having a sale - Canon 60D Body Only For $599 plus 2 Extras.  If you want the kit lens version, its on sale for $899 with the 18-135 IS. The 60D has really been the sweet spot of canon's line up for a while and this is a great chance to get your first one, or even add a second body to your setup at a great price.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Undocumented Features in Premiere Pro CC

I knew about some of these but have been too busy to write about them however  Josh Weiss over at put out this quick video showing them. Thanks Josh. Its fair to say that going to the creative cloud model is freeing Adobe and the engineers to be able to start creating and delivering new features more frequently than annual or bi-annual releases could ever do. It also means that you don't have to be instantly hit with learning 100 new features in a single app times all the Adobe apps you use. Lower learn curves are always a good thing.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Black Magic Design Releases Creative Cloud Drivers

Just installed Premiere Pro and After Effects Creative Cloud today ? Well Black Magic Design has drivers ready to do as soon as you can go and grab them. Its really great to not be waiting months for driver support. Part of this is Adobe settling down and using the Transmit API. While there have been tweaks to Transmit - the new Audio and Video delay feature which I'll get to in a minute, its basically the same API. Keeping a single API is important as it lets developers work on fine tuning their drivers and adding the occasional new feature like CLOSED CAPTIONING support thats also new to Premiere Pro. Yes they added this to Creative Cloud V7.0 and its a very good thing to have. You don't have to send CC work out of house anymore.

Let me also talk about another new small feature in Premiere Pro that I had been pretty vocal about. Adding a delay control for both Audio and Video output. Now it might at first sound odd to want to intentionally put your audio and video out of sync with each other on purpose, until you get to an HDMI monitor. With HDMI monitors its common to have one to several frames of processing delay. Meanwhile your audio is coming directly out of the card to your speakers. This means you are actually out of sync. By adding delay to the audio output thats equal to the number of frames the monitor is adding delay, you are back in sync again. No more watching an HDMI monitor and having your audio out of sync ! Likewise in a larger facility its possible to have your audio and video getting routed around differently because you aren't using SDI with embedded audio and now its possible to compensate it out. Small feature that is visible in Prefs->Playback Settings and easy to miss but has great value to anyone like myself who has had to deal with sync problems due to external gear. Thanks Adobe !

Now for BMD's Press Release


The Desktop Video 9.7.5 software update allows users to take advantage of many new features in the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, such as powerful new editing timelines and shortcuts and audio mixing with Adobe Premiere Pro® CC and new creative and visual effects tools with Adobe After Effects® CC. Also included is support for Adobe Mercury Transmit that allows broadcast video monitoring to connect directly into the Adobe Mercury Playback engine which gives an incredible amount of real time effects with any video format or codec.

This update means Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity range will work seamlessly with the new features in Adobe Creative Cloud applications for amazing new workflows in editing, compositing and visual effects. DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity include the world’s highest performance capture and playback cards for Mac, Windows and Linux. Including both PCIe and Thunderbolt based technology, these products come in both internal and external models and are used by professionals globally in every aspect of film and video production.

Customers using Adobe After Affects CC will be able to work in the highest quality compressed and uncompressed video formats up to Ultra HD and 4K, for amazing compositing and graphics production workflows. When working with Ultra HD and 4K video formats, customers can choose between the rack mount UltraStudio 4K and the DeckLink 4K Extreme PCIe card. Both products have 6G-SDI and HDMI 4K video connections to capture and playback Ultra HD and 4K video formats as well as dual stream stereoscopic 3D. Blackmagic Design recently announced a new lower price for UltraStudio 4K to US$995.

“It’s very exciting to see Blackmagic Design’s desktop video products working together with Adobe’s Creative Cloud software and the incredible creative possibilities this opens up with the new editing and effects features. Our customers will be able to work with the cutting edge tools in fantastic new workflows,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.


I expect Matrox and AJA will also be announcing drivers today or very soon, meaning days.

You can get your Creative Cloud Membership or Upgrade Here

Monday, June 17, 2013

Adobe Creative Cloud Is Now Live !

The Wait is over !

GoodBye FCP7


As we all wait for Creative Cloud to be released, I'm sure there will be a lot of this today. Goodbye FCP ! Last week I finished a legacy project in FCP7. Thats it, no more. I'm not supporting FCP projects anymore. I may leave one copy of FCP running on some machine mostly as a way to export a project to XML, but thats it. Done. Don't get me wrong, I did a LOT of good work and made a LOT of money with FCP. I was an early adopter at FCP3 when it was clear that Media100 was not going to deliver the badly needed new features that FCP already had. Basic ones like, oh, more than 2 layers of video. Of course once BorisFX aquired M100's assets they added all sorts of features like multiple video tracks and 3rd party hardware support. In some respects Apple pulled a M100 with FCP X but at least Apple as been adding features that are needed pretty quickly since initial release. 

Anyways, that's it for me and FCP. It was a good ride, but we are going from trains to planes with Premiere Pro CC aka V7.0

Friday, June 14, 2013

Adobe Creative Cloud Launches Monday

Rokinon 8mm cine example sample deep hole lake wi

Rokinon 8mm T3.8 cine + 60D • Click for full size image

Monday will see the launch of Adobe's new Creative Cloud. Get your SSD cleaned up for all the download goodness coming. There will be lots to like. Meanwhile, its the weekend, take it off !

Sigma 18-35 F1.8, $799 !



Ok, something I can get excited about, a new tasty lens ! Its the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 with a constant iris through the entire zoom range. F1.8 is as fast or faster than many primes in this range. Its also a stop and change faster than the canon lens in the same range which is a 2.8 and costs nearly twice as much. Its available for pre-order at B&H. Another nice detail, it focuses in the correct direction although it looks like a quick rotation range. This lens is also supposed to have a much faster focus motor. Sounds great at least for shooting stills. Maybe I'll try to get my hands on one for a reivew.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Semi-Shoulder Mount ?

Sony is going to replace the EX3 with a new "sub $10K" camera, the PMW-300. Got it ? Looks more like a camcorder format, but bigger, but without a real shoulder rest.... so its a semi-shoulder mount. Well it either is or isn't ! Anytime I've used a EX1/3 its been with my DSLR shoulder rig because thats the only real way you can shoot hand held with it. 1/2 CMOS chip, it adds 50 Mbps MPEG HD 422 recording which is good because the 35mbit isn't so good. Internal wireless receiver slots , SDI & HDMI, all the usual frame rates and sizes. 

I don't know but there are so many cameras out there, even lots of really good ones. Maybe this one will be easier to shoot with as I've always found the EX1/3 to be pretty fumbly cameras. We'll see.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

BMD Pocket Camera Sample Footage @ 1600 ISO

Looking VERY nice is some sample material from the BMD Pocket Camera shot at ISO 1600. Looks very clean. It also looks like video in terms of DoF. 2/3" video chip is just slightly smaller than a S16mm frame. Even still its pretty amazing. BMD also says the MTF mount of the cinema camera will start shipping as soon as next week. 

Meanwhile making some news is that the BMDCC was used to shot a spot for Arby's.You can see the Arby's Spot HERE.  The rest of the story is :

Gavin Fisher, founder and owner of Fisher Film Works, used Blackmagic Cinema Camera to shoot the commercial in less than one week. Shot in 1080HD in compressed Apple ProRes, Gavin was able to capture high quality images and bring them into his editing and color correction workflow without the need for transcoding, allowing for the most efficient workflow possible for the project.

“I knew the quality of the footage would be great, because I’ve used the Blackmagic Cinema Camera before,” said Gavin. “But the resulting footage still impressed me. The skin tones, the colors of the artwork on the wall, all of the images were amazing, and we were able to do a lot creatively with the footage in Resolve.”

Another advantage during the shoot was the camera’s unique design, which allowed Gavin to work within a very confined space.

“We filmed in a small studio because we were trying to get the look of a cable access painting show,” said Gavin. “We didn’t even have room for a dolly, but the director wanted some movement in the shots. In the end, we were able to use some sliders, which we wouldn’t have been able to do with a larger camera. The compact size of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera proved to be a big advantage for us.”

The director, Paul Cummings, cut the commercial in Final Cut Pro and handed it off to Gavin who imported it into DaVinci Resolve via XML for final color corrections. Once the final commercial was finished in Resolve, it was exported straight to the client for airing.

“The Log workflow in Resolve just goes hand in hand with the camera,” said Gavin. “We were going for a specific look, a super saturated, high end cable access look. By shooting in ProRes film mode, which meant the images from the camera were flat, and then grading the commercial in Resolve, it was super easy to get that look. I prefer Resolve over anything else I’ve used, especially when using the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The workflow between the two is seamless.”

Pretty cool the BMD camera is getting some credit for national work. I'm sure we'll be seeing more stuff being shot on this amazing camera... and I can't wait for the 4K S35 !

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

1000X More Sensitive Image Sensors

Its still the lab right now but they came up with it keeping existing manufacturing processes in mind.The new sensor is made from graphene. Its believed to be the first to be able to detect broad spectrum light, from the visible to mid-infrared, with high photoresponse or sensitivity. This means it is suitable for use in all types of cameras, including infrared cameras, traffic speed cameras, satellite imaging and more. Not only is the graphene sensor 1,000 times more sensitive to light than current imaging sensors found in today's cameras, it also uses 10 times less energy as it operates at lower voltages. When mass produced, graphene sensors are estimated to cost at least five times cheaper.

We have ISO 800 cameras right now that gain up to 1600 and 3200 looking quite fine. The C300 has a ISO of 25,000 that shoots in moonlight. If sensors made from this material come to be, picture what the ISO would be. The consumer uses are of course amazing but pro use is another. LED's running on battery power could light your next set all night. It could in many respects changing lighting as we know it. Now doing battle with the sun during daytime shooting isn't going to change, but any sort of night time work does.  In fact it brings the question to mind, how much ND are you going to need during the day ? dial the sensor gain to -36db ? should be interesting if and when they show up.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

New nVidia GTX 780

Today nVidia officially put the GTX 780 officially out. Why would I care about a new graphics card ? How about 2304 CUDA cores and 3gb of VRAM ! I should make Premiere Pro, After Effects 3D ray tracer and DaVinci Resolve run even better than before.  Street price looks to be in the range of $660-$750 depending on vendor.  If money isn't too much of an object, you could step up to the Titan with 2688 cores and 6GB of VRAM for around $1100.  Lets face it, we've never had it so good. Hardware is finally delivering what we knew it could do if software made use of it. This is an amazing amount of computing power for the price and powered used. Enjoy it !

Monday, May 27, 2013

RAW Video On a 50D !

Canon EOS 50D raw video - 2x anamorphic (2560x960p) from Julian Huijbregts on Vimeo.

The 50D is a 5 year old camera that probably only first timers, students and those on a low budget want for shooting stills. The 60D replaced it a couple years ago. However the 50D is still an interesting camera. It has video capabilities but Canon locked them out in firmware. Thanks to Magic Lantern that was unlocked. More interesting is that this camera came out at about the same time the 5D mII did so they share some things in common. Well surprise surprise, the Magic Lantern coders have managed to get some basic RAW video happening with the 95mb/sec Sandisc CF cards at 1592×720 at 24fps. So thats a like a 2.21:1 frame. Close enough to 2.35. The older 15m pixel sensor should also mean better low light abilities in THEORY based on larger photo sites. However cleaner signal processing in newer cameras might level that difference out. Either way its yet one more example of Canon ( just like Sony and Panasonic used to ) crippling a camera in firmware rather than giving everything it can do. I don't blame a company for maximizing profit on products at some level, but there is also just pure gouging which is what Canon has been doing. Meanwhile the very affordable GoPro Hero3 gives you everything it can do including a reduces frame rate 4K and a very nice 2.7K 30FPS. Of course we are all waiting for the 4K S35 BMD camera this summer. This is another camera with no artificial limitations, but perhaps a few poor design choices like the 1/4" audio jacks instead of TA3's. Perhaps all of this will shake some things loose at Canon that they have to compete and give value in their products rather than trying to play the very old game of taking one or two features out and only delivering them for 2X more. That doesn't work anymore in today's connected and competitive marketplace. Perhaps Canon management needs to read the ClueTrain manifesto !

Go watch the video. Its sharp. I saw one shot with some obvious moire ( bus passing by ) but otherwise its pretty astounding for a camera never intended to shoot video at all. I can't say I'd tell anyone to go buy a 50D on ebay right now because too much is still early - how long can you record for ? will it ever make an honest 1920X1080 ? ect. Give it a week or two to shake out ! However even if it gets to 1920X720 / 800 / 900 it would still be useful for some people's needs. Note the frame skipping you see is apparently due to a mistake in processing the RAW->mov's. Interesting times, isn't it !

Monday, May 20, 2013

DuctTake ?

So if you enjoyed that little look back at the past, lets look at the future in this software demo which I think will pretty much blow you away. DuctTake  is a way of compositing images thats unlike anything you've seen. It patches peices of images together in the same shot across time. To really understand what it does watch the video.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In A 5D Mk3 World Gone Madd

5D shooting RAW video ? Internet buzz is flying about installing a current build of Magic Lantern onto your 5D mkIII or t3i and shoot RAW. I dig it, I have huge respect for the people working on ML because this is an upgrade worth paying for. Now its still .1 in terms of its limitations like not being a full 1920X1080, its uncompressed so it requires the very fastest and most expensive CF cards, and its still limited to 4gb file size recording.... for the moment. If they are using a hardware h.264 encoder ( like almost for sure ) its HIGHLY unlikely that you'll get some high quality flavor of compressed video. Remember, HDCAM SR is based on h.264 too ! Its a very broad spec with deep color support and high data rates.

However also lets put this in perspective, Canon's Effing us big time ! There is no other way to put it. While Canon dribbles out the clean HDMI feed years late to the game, these guys are fully unlocking the hardware's real potential. Of course this raises the bigger question, what about the C series ? I'll almost put money down those cameras can do the same. What's Canon sitting on ? well besides getting you to pay up a lot more money for the same hardware in a fancier body ?

They unexpectedly launched the DSLR revolution but lets face it, some other camera maker would of done it sooner or later. Canon just got lucky in being first out the door with a margin. They rode the wave of success selling lots more product than they expected, but then got both greedy and conservative. Neither is good for running a business long term because companies like BMD will come along and flip  you upside down if you don't stay a leader. In fact I just watched a 5D MkIII vs BMD camera shooting side by side. BMD camera is sharper, hands down. Both cameras show very good lattitude. However the BMD can shoot to ProRes which makes file sizes and media requirements manageable for most average productions.  Shooting uncompressed RAW requires huge amounts of storage, even if you process that materail up front into ProRes with a base grading pass to get all the image detail out.

Monday, May 06, 2013

June 17 Creative Cloud Launches From Adobe

Lots of changes are coming. Creative Suite Apps are now Creative Cloud available June 17th.

Here's the official word  from Adobe on the details. Summary : perpetual licenses are gone. You can still purchase CS6 and there is at least short term commitment for bug fixes and presumably OS updates. No statement on how far out this will run. My guess is that it depends on how much they sell, but I wouldn't count on more than 2 years. For some apps CS6 may work for quite some time like PS or IL. Other apps like Premiere Pro which has far higher demands may not last as long. Then again FCP 7 still runs on 10.8, 2 full OS revs since its last update. We'll see how long it lasts. 

It would be silly for me to list everything thats available on Adobe's site already, and in their MAX conference opening video. So let me give you one tidbit : Premiere Pro is now the leading NLE for seats installed and sales. Apple gave Adobe this and I'm sure Avid is quietly crying as they were once #1.

The other thing that I really enjoyed from the MAX video was how Adobe has basically put Flash out to the curb very quietly and finally has some good HTML5 tools. I've played with Edge Animate and like it. Its produced fluid animating output, page size is small and self contained ( assuming you didn't pull in external bits ) and it works on everything. Combined with Edge ReFlow delivering video to multiple platforms from phones to tablets to computer screens just got a lot easier.... if it all works as slick as the demo's showed. What I did see with ReFlow is that it seemed to address some problems I'd had in trying to do the same in DW a year ago. It all looks pretty good.

Creative Cloud itself is also set to ease collaboration between people in different locations. It has a lot of maturity and depth. It can trace its roots thru several Adobe products that didn't quite do very well like Version Cue which became Adobe Drive ( never messed with this one ) which is now the Cloud Drive. The big thing I saw was that they could collect all the assets in at least graphics projects and get them all into one place. Looks easier than FTP and all the hassles associated with that. However, for video we know its not practical, at least until we all have gigabit fiber net connections. 

Exciting times !

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Aaton... RIP ?

Yesterday Aaton filed for bankruptcy protection. Quite surprising considering its a company thats been around for a very long time. However, they were late to the game with digital camera. Even ARRI got into the game several years back. I'm also sure that their creation and production of the A-minima was a real distraction to this process and really a dead end product, however nice a camera it is. 

I've shot with LTR-54's and 35 III's. The 35 series is a very nice small compact camera thats great for commercial work and shooting where the 400' mags aren't a problem.  We'd often get spots done with 4 rolls / 16min of raw material with good camera control and simply not rolling all the time between takes eating film up for nothing. Another technique was to roll sound first, let them call speed, THEN roll the camera for the slate. This saves and easy 15 secs of film for every take which adds up to a lot when doing short takes. Oh well, we aren't shooting on film very much these days are we ?

The sad part is that Aaton has done some very cool and actually innovative things with their 1/4 pixel shift of the sensor itself between frames and and their slotted spinning ND disc to cut exposure. My guess : ARRI buys them, hopefully not RED or the VITEC group. We'll probably see the digital Penelope Delta camera live and their Cantar audio recorder live under another vendor. As for service on your Aaton there are dealers who can still do that, parts who knows, some dealer may buy the lot out... but then again you're problably not using that camera very much anymore.

Monday, April 22, 2013

One of Those Projects I've Been Working On

So I know I've been slow with posting some stuff the last month or so. I've said I've been busy working. Well here is one of the projects that I DP'd and posted. GH3 and 60D's, Rokinon Cine 8mm,14mm, 35mm 1.5, OM 50 1.4, and a Jupitar 9 80 F2 to round it out ! Edited in Premiere Pro CS6, AE CS6 and Mocha Pro. The key was done in realtime using Prem Pro's CUDA powered UltraKeyer. I thought I was just going to use ultrakeyer as a temp for editorial, but it keyed clean enough that I ran with it. Surprisingly good results including hair and some transparencies. In fact noise and compression artifacts where more the issue as always than anything else. The chroma key camera was a GH3 running at 60mbits ( I think, top data rate ) with Rokinon 35mm 1.5 Cine on front. Sharp, clean, very nice ! All the other shots came from my 60D's.

Friday, April 12, 2013

NAB 2013 LookBack

If you didn't know better this should be some celeb on the red carpet. Instead its Grant Petty of BMD showing off the new pocket cinema camera. It was pretty crazy.

Now that the NAB hype machine is over for a while, here are some thoughts : 4K as a production tool is coming into its own. There are plenty of cameras now that look incredible in every price range. One interesting note is that I got to play with a F65 next to a F55... and the F55 was showing better dynamic range holding some hillights the F65 wasn't. Probably a matter of camera tweaking.... or not ! 

Watching 4K was great. It much like seeing 1080 from SD. Yes 4K makes 1080 look like VHS ! It will test good from average from poor lenses very quickly. While consumers are a long way off from updating to 4K sets production needs to take it seriously. The improve quality especially for VFX / roto / keying work is major. If your product has shelf life, shooting 4K will protect that investment even if you edit and output 1080. Funny enough this is exactly what I was saying 8 to 10 years ago when I got my first HD camera convincing producers they should shoot HD even though it was an SD world back than. It proved to be great advice then, and I think so one more time again. HD TV's are at an amazing 75% market penetration now. At this point I don't care about the last 25% - I'm going to frame full 16:9 and not worry about centercut. If you don't want the image cut off, its time to upgrade because its stupidly cheap to get a good HD set these days. Likewise we'll see the same pattern repeat itself with 4K over the next 10 years. Folks aren't going to trash their perfectly good HD sets right now, especially ones bought in the last few years. Instead, just like HD over SD it will be a slow gradual process IF 4K sets drop to affordable levels along the lines of $1k-$2k for this first round of consumer sets. No one is forking out $5K for a set and there is no content. Even the expensive $35K sony sets are  basically handmade prototypes with 8 bit displays. Cheaper sets are in fact 6bit displays. This is just like the start of HD and its being repeated all over again.

So get ready to build out a 4K production process because its coming. Of course nothing makes me laugh harder than when I hear that in 2013 there are shops that are finally upgrading to HD from SD.... you need to stay with the times or risk being left behind and out of business.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

New Loudness Metering Being Added to Premiere Pro CS NEXT

This was not part of Adobe's big reveal last nite, but from a 3rd party vendor TC Electronic that makes all sorts of audio hardware and software. Their loudness metering module is being included with Premiere Pro  and Audition CS NEXT. This is a big deal for anyone outputting for broadcast TV since loudness metering is a requirement now. Any major broadcaster will have one of those loudness meters now to evaluate programs as part of their tech inspection of your work so compliance is critical. Those old audio meters just won't do anymore.



Loudness Radar Meter Integrated in Next Versions of Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition

Click to Watch Video

In recent years, measuring audio loudness reliably has become mandatory for content creators. Now we have teamed up with Adobe to integrate our LoudnessRadar in the next versions of Adobe® Premiere® Pro and Adobe Audition® on a license agreement.

The LoudnessRadar builds on our groundbreaking LM6 Radar Loudness Meter and offers a wide range of loudness measuring tools that are key to content creators delivering for broadcast, film and internet.

In short, the LoudnessRadar provides an easy-to-read overview of loudness over time. It displays Loudness History on the revolving radar, Momentary Loudness on the outer ring, True-Peak clips, Program Loudness and Loudness Range in a single view.


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Adobe Drops NAB Bombs

3rd Post today ! Adobe drops its NAB bombs. Usual mind expanding updates for Premiere Pro and After Effects. BTW AE turned 20 this year ! I feel like an old fart saying I've been using it for 15 years !

RIP FujiFilm

As announced before, Fuji has stopped producing Motion Picture film. They are still producing 35mm STILL film with some recent price increases. Their press release today :

Discontinuation of Motion Picture Film production
April 2, 2013
As previously announced, Fujifilm has stopped production of the majority of Motion Picture Film products by March, 2013.

We would like to thank you very much for your patronage during the long history of manufacture, sales and marketing of these products which will continue to be available until the inventory is exhausted. Please contact our worldwide distributors for availability information.

Fujifilm will continue to provide products and services designed for digital workflow of motion picture production and exhibition such as Recording film for Digital Separation [ETERNA-RDS] for long-term archiving, Imaging processing system [IS-100], and high-performance Fujinon lens for digital motion picture camera and projectors.
With an expertise in optics, image processing, storage and archiving, Fujifilm will continue to provide new and innovative products and services to contribute to the creative entertainment and broadcast industry.

Products in discontinuation of manufacturing

Color Positive Film
Color Negative Film
B&W Positive and Negative Film
Intermediate Film
Sound Recording Film
High Contrast Panchromatic Films
Chemicals (Japan only)


And that is that.... bets on how long for Kodak ? certainly not a company thats made anyone happy recently.

1000W or 100W LED Fresnel Mini Review • UPDATED

LED fresnel light

I'm under a simply insane workload right now. This is simply because I'll be gone next week for NAB and things just have to be done and clients are also wanting their stuff this week.... funny how that works out.

So NAB predictions : Tons of new cameras. The Baby Alexa 2K / 1080 has been announced. Expect more

LED : I think the real news will be this is the year tungsten lighting is dead. Long over due. Pictured above is a LED Fresnel I just got a few days ago. It works :) Mini review below. That said Mole Richardson is going to be showing large LED fresnels at NAB. I'm sure they'll be stupid expensive. 

Nila however is going to be showing a "value priced"  1X1 LED that I may look at. 

The problem with current LED fixtures is mainly price ( gouging ) out there. There are cheap import HMI's, lots of used ones and also import LED's that the big name ones just aren't quite making me buy any. Its nice not to be gear poor !

LED Fresnel Mini Review

It works !

Its pretty bright, but its not a 1K... well maybe a 1K with CTB = 300 to 450w output. Still its 5600K, and if you wanted a small 400W HMI this might give it a run for the money. 

UPDATE   Output on this light is about the same as a 250W. Another words its crap and WAY over rated. I did metered test against my desisti 1K with 500W bulb and it was well under a stop less light. Bottom line, they are GROSSLY over rating the output... and its green. 

Build Quality : hmmmm. Its like an arri 650 in size. The top where you would change the bulb is thinner aluminum than an Arri, but you won't bust your fingers to open the top because it does have some bend in it. The front and back are sand castings that seem a bit crude but beefy. The barndoors are really pretty good. However... and you knew I was getting to this part... Since this is a 650 housing they didn't change anything for the LED. The problem is the LED has a huge heat sink on the back of it that really limits the amount of focus range available... as in its like 1/3 that of the regular tungsten light of the same style. That said since you mainly tend to use the wide end of the light this isn't the end of the world.

Something else weird, the focus control works backwards for some reason as compared to an Arri :( annoying. Another problem with the focus is that it has a bind point. It feels like a metal burr or mis alignment. I ran the focus back and forth a number of times but its still there. I plan to try a dab of grease which is NOT on the focus drive.

Am I done yet ? no.... The light body has a circut board in the botton of it. Ok fine, my HMI's have components in them too. The problem is its a bare board. Normally you would pot or epoxy dunk coat a board like this so its sealed from the elements. Then there is the power cable. Its maybe 2M / 6ft long with what looks like a mini power brick in the middle with power switch and fuse. This is totally dopey. I plan to mount the power box onto the back of the light and then put a proper 20ft or so cable onto it.

What else will I complain about ? well there is no knob / button for a rope to lasso the cable to the light, or even a hole for an S hook. 

Anything else ? well the light does come with a 3200K converter lens that attaches with 3 super magnets. Its ok, its an interesting idea. For basic work it might be ok, but I would not trust it in a studio on a grid.... go get some CTO and C47's please !

The stirrup seems otherwise decent. There is a plastic 5/8 fitting for attaching to a light stand. given that Arri has done this for quite some time on these small lights we'll see how well this one holds up and if I wind up replacing it.

Check out this DOH! moment... the power cord is upside down ! plug this into any normal U.S. outlet and the power cord comes out the top.... DUH ! well it does look right, doesn't it ?


Light Quality : This fixture uses a condenser lens. Its clear. It works and seems pretty even. My guess is the clear lens probably adds to the light output as opposed to a more traditional fresnel. The focus works, but the travel range is short. Whats different with this lens is that when you cut the barndoors down to a thin strip of light you might see either a venetian blind effect or some CA effects. Might be cool for some uses, might not for most others. On this YMMV !

As for color, its hard to say. Just a quick judgement by eye seemed to indicate this light was a bit green :( However it would not be the end of the world to put some 1/4 or 1/2 minus green right into the light itself. I need to do some real tests and figure it out.

Since this light does use electronic power supply it will power up on anything from 95-220V which is great if you travel. However it also means you can't dim it with a dimmer. A few pieces of black window screen though will work fine a scrim since heat isn't an issue... you do have a few peices in your gel kit, right ? I have for many years now for use on flo, LED and low power tungsten.


Should You Buy One ? : Let me tell you in a month or two once I have it working on jobs. If it proves not to be too green, and I can mount the power box on with minimum fuss it might be a maybe. Right now its a very 1.0 product that needs refinement like a longer housing for better focus.

Ok, now to pack for NAB !


I've been at NAB for a few days checking out several of the new LED fresnel fixtures. I think they are ALL being VERY generous about what their actual light output value is. The Mole Richardson stuff looks really good, solid CRI, but still a bit pricey. This light just doesn't seem to have good CRI and seems to have a green cast. It may be good for doing BG fx light, but I don't think its for normal use. I think I'm going to need to find some minus green to install full time into this light to get something even. That will cut the output a bit. Its no where near a 1K. I'm at the point of saying this is a don't buy unless all the limitations are something you can work around based very limited budget. In general I'm saying this light is a do not buy. Rare for me to say this but I think this product just has too many issues.


Just don't buy this one, its crap. Its rare for me to totally say a product is junk, but this one is. I'm sure the 2X-3X higher priced lights may be better, but not without an easy return policy would I consider getting one.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Adobe Sneak Peaks Wildly Improved Rototool

Sometimes things change in big unexpected ways. If you do roto, this changes your world. If you do keying, this changes your world. If you ever though about roto but where scared, you have a new world ! Really this tool amounts to one of the visual nirvana's of what you hear form clients... " can't you just cut this out and change the background ? it can't be that hard, can it ?" Click in the image to see the demo and be prepared. Of course over the next 2 weeks I'm sure more amazing stuff will start to be seen as the NAB hype machine gets into full gear.

Monday, March 25, 2013

DeClicking a Nikon Iris Ring.. and other stuff

I've done my share of DIY projects. I've even done this one on canon FD and Topcon glass. The Nikon is simple because it doesn't involve fun stuff like figuring out a much more complicated iris control ring, lens mount and re-wiring a spring or two in the mechanism to make it work. The spring rewiring happens because the lens has automatic vs stop down mode and in the mods I've done it also remored a pin that some adapters may use to force the lens into manual mode.  I'll also note that this lens came apart pretty easily. I'm simply amazed at how much they torque these little screws in at the factory. Even still it looks like a fun project. Additionally some lenses use a small ball bearing between 2 rings with notches to do the same thing, remove the ball bearing and you are good to go.

I've otherwise been insanely busy with work and getting ready for NAB which looks to be like what it was about 1999 for attendance. 

Meanwhile if you remember last NAB I had a prototype ErgoCine Aaton Shoulder Cat mount. It was a huge conversation starter at NAB, had a lot of fun with it. Well a year of progress has seen it become even more refined. Check it out -


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Um, Thats Nice Canon, Where's The 70D ?


Ok the SL1 is cool... maybe. Its a true DSLR in the smallest body ever and a step up from a mirrorless camera. Same old 18MP sensor. Yawn. If the average DSLR body wasn't small enough, well here you go. It has a market for students, and those who want a real DSLR body in the smallest size. However sticking a nice big fast lens on front like a 14mm 2.8 or 35 1.4 might prove to be another experience, as in you just don't have enough grip on the body to be comfortable with this for extended shooting. However for doing party pix with a slower lens its just fine.


A minorly upgraded t4i becomes the t5i. Cool. I had a t3i for a while and upgraded to the 60D as soon as it came out. 

Video quality ? have the aliasing and moire problems been fixed ? Silence... probably not much. I'm very open to being proven wrong... PLEASE !

So where is the 70D ? that 7D and 60D replacement in between body ? with fixed video quality ? and reasonable price ? We're waiting !

Monday, March 18, 2013

Its monday, no tues...

Yes its just been that way the last few weeks. No complaints. Mostly getting ready for NAB and a desert shoot right after its done. I plan to spend a week roaming around without too much of a schedule in southern Utah and northern AZ. Its a trip I've been owing to myself since, well, I was a kid. 

I expect NAB to be pretty good this year for annoucements. Some I know about but can't say :) ! other's I await pleasant surprise for.  Of course I expect the usual round of new cameras including the rumors of being able to touch and maybe even buy a 70D if that happens. I'll get to my NAB predictions soon.

Meanwhile maybe one of the biggest things at last years NAB was the BMD camera. Its had a bit of a rough start because of manufacturing issues ( can you say RED ? ) but its now seeming to get some real traction. This episode of Sesame Street was shot on the camera. In many repsect the somewhat bigger than 2/3" smaller than M4/3 seems like a great match for TV production. With SDI out and audio in you are good. The smaller ship makes for more DoF and more forgiving focus than larger sensors do. Perfect for fast moving news or productions where very shallow DoF is not a critical factor and might even be a negative. Here is the offical press release. Sounds like a pretty tasty camera for this sort of production.

Blackmagic Design announced today that directors Josh and Jason Diamond of the Diamond Brothers shot Sesame Workshop’s, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, "Can You Tell-y Me How to Get to a Billion?" and "Counting the 'You's in YouTube" videos with Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Josh and Jason Diamond worked with DP Timur Civan on the four day shoot, and NYC based freelance colorist, Juan Salvo, used Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve to color the project.

"Shooting ProRes was a plus in that we were trying to find the best ISO to f-stop ratio. All the characters have fur and fringe, and there’s much more fine detail," said Josh. "Being able to try a couple shots in various settings then pop the SSD out and quickly pull some keys in After Effects directly from the SSD was a huge time saver. We were able to compare and contrast while setting up so we weren’t fighting with it in post. There was no secondary processing or transcoding to go through."

Spending sometimes as little as 40 minutes at a location, the team had little time to set up before they were shooting, breaking down, loading out and moving to the next location.

"We weren’t able to scout any locations ahead of time, so we showed up with a small lighting package and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The camera is small, light and doesn’t need a lot of accessories, and we were able to leave it rigged so it could be powered up and shooting in seconds," said Josh. "Having 13 stops of dynamic range gave us the flexibility to say 'there’s a lot of nice natural light, so let’s throw up one Kino for fill and shoot.' Also shooting in Log allowed us to protect our highlights much easier."

With a Rec 709 image on the camera’s built in display, the team viewed a Log image on a secondary SDI monitor and benefitted from being able to use both images to determine if the shot looked good or needed adjustment without having to waste time setting up a large producer’s monitor in tight spaces.

"We were able to roll in, take five seconds to look around, figure out who and where we were going to shoot and go. We even filmed at a school with three and four year olds who weren’t going to sit patiently for long," said Josh. "The Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s versatility, ergonomics and efficiency were key to our workflow for this shoot."

"I was able to hand hold the Blackmagic Cinema Camera for almost six hours without a break, which enabled us to stay on schedule, get extra takes and move between the numerous locations with minimal crew. The camera was critical to the speed we required," said Timur Civan, DP. "The Blackmagic Cinema Camera gave us the most image quality per pound of any camera out there, and we were able to deliver image quality on par with cameras costing three times as much, but at half the size weight and complexity. It has a great run and gun form factor with a big cinematic look."

Shot in ProResHQ, the footage was edited by Sesame Workshop and then sent to Juan for color grading. Since the footage was shot in Log, Juan ensured the contrast, exposure and saturation were appropriate for each distinct setting, and Resolve's Log grading tools allowed him to dial in exposure and contrast as desired.

"The latitude and tonality of the footage were excellent, and Resolve’s robust Log grading and agile secondaries made it a breeze to work with," said Juan. "In almost every shot, I used secondaries, qualifiers, Power Windows and custom curves to get the footage looking just right. And having all those functions available at the push of a button from my control surface made it a cinch in a time sensitive environment. Resolve allowed me to render out review versions and final deliverables in real time."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Its A New Week, Some Lessons in Show Business

I've working a lot, out of town traveling. This week I'm finally finishing up a new lens review, I'll be taking a look at some recent computer upgrades, and who knows what else. That said, it all takes money. That means as much as it is fun to make moving images, you have to TCB too. In this video, a well know director with major hollywood credits talks about swimming with the sharks. Dealing with the leaches of this business and the unskilled opportunists looking for a check. Big egos are also in the mix.

I've dealt with them too and its never pleasant. Perhaps the most important thing is to realize who you are dealing with quickly. Once you know they are cheats, you can decide to deal with them or not, or deal very very carefully with them. Most of that means getting paid up front rather than doing the work. Then waiting hoping to get paid. Then hoping you can find an address to serve them papers when you finally have to sue them if it gets to that. I've been there a few times. I've paid out crew and rentals on large jobs, then waited months to get paid. Well at least I did. Now I'm wiser ( I hope ) and when dealing with questionable types ask for deposits up front with progress payments first before anything gets done. Having a good contract helps too. However, its probably best to let the bad players go.... unless your only choice is to deal with them to get the project you want to do. When they are a gatekeeper its always a tricky game to play and really who needs it. 

The flipside is I've had lots of great clients over the years too. Handshake deals, checks on time, problems were small and always worked out with honest direct conversation. Thats always best way of doing things and maybe why hollywood isn't the place you want to be. Given that there are so many ways of getting distribution now, your need to deal with hollywood is smaller. No you might not make $100M with your film, but you might make $1M or even $100K and walk away happy to do another.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Editing Video On Your iPad

Its an interesting interface that seems well thought out. Probably not my choice for everyday work, but for hacking together a few things fast, for building a timeline filled with trimmed selects and other basic work its probably fine. Its also $24.99 on sale if you want to try it. 

Meanwhile I do have things I'm trying to get done... but work has been intense the last few weeks so I'm doing my best !

Monday, February 25, 2013

Life Of Nothing

I can't say Life of Pi is a movie I'd go see because I just don't buy it - but thats me and MY opinion. That said, what I very much do support is all the hardworking people handling the VFX work who are now Out Of Work. Rhythm & Hues filed for bankruptcy while the studio is posting record profits on a hit. This is beyond wrong. I've watched friends who owned medium size VFX houses go under and its wrong. Paying people livable wages and benefits has costs. Asking VFX houses to work down to margins that amount to costs is crazy while films go on to make huge money. Maybe what Hollywood needs is to have all the VFX houses go on a work stoppage. Oh wait, that won't work because they'll just ship the work to every corner of the globe. Realistically the studios need to come to grips with the fact that when hundreds of people work thousands of hours on your film... well dammit you have to pay them and the companies they work for money that lets everyone be get by ok. Its completely wrong to do otherwise. Oh... this is just another case of off shoring work to cheaper places without considering the costs at home.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Spammers Are Back

Sorry but they came back. its the price of being popular. I'm busy cleaning their trash away. Really its pretty pathetic that people are being paid to spam comments up. Its a complete total utter waste of time... and do you spammers think anyone will click on one of your links ??? really ????

So I'm off to get FB commenting implemented again. had it here for a while although it wasn't really implemented well, then FB changed their API and broke it.  I'm on it..


some spammer thought it would be funny to do it again, so I have to turn commenting off until I get this resolved.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Toshiba 3TB Drives - What is QA ?

I'm keeping my old Mac tower running. This week in anticipation of 2 projects coming in over the next couple of weeks I realized I needed to upgrade my storage. My Samsung 1tb and 1.5tb drives have been doing fine, but it was time because they all were pretty full. So I decided to get 3 3TB Toshiba drives from They showed up today and it wasn't good. One drive simply outright failed with the click of death. The next drive had major read / write problems very serisouly under performaing by 70% of what it should be doing. The third drive is the fastest bare drive I've ever seen for one that rotates - 170mb/sec read and write ! Now if I can get 2 more that work as well, stripe them as an array and be off and running.... I hope. Thats my story for today. Seems like QA in computer parts just isn't like it used to be. Here's to getting 2 replacements that work. The only upside is I did this with a couple weeks margin rather than last minute so I can deal with all of it. I will say did make the return painless, but I had to pay to ship back the defective drives. This is after paying for shipping to get them. Not right at all, but not much you can do to fight it and make it right.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

eF iRam. They have discontinued FB-DIMMs for Mac Towers

So I have gotten no where with iRam in honoring their warranty. Up on they have had these 2 FB-DIMMs (2gb) for $89. I figured I probably have to bite the bullet and buy another pair because it seems to be the only stuff out there. Well yesterday I found out that iRam has discontinued this product. None in stock. At this point I figure my chances of them making good on their warranty is officially zero rather than .0001%. Checking around, slower FB-DIMMS are still available, but the DDR 800 chips are gone on eBay yielded a USED pair today for $89 from another vendor. Any other chips are up over $100 and closer to $150. So these modules have suddenly become a limited and pricey item. I granted I don't expect a company to make a product for an older machine forever but this makes things hard. I have 6 other iRam 2gb modules in my machine. It may become a game of finding RAM that works to keep these machines alive and paying crazy prices for them. It suddenly means keeping these machines alive has gotten expensive.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rokinon Announces 24mm F3.5 TILT / SHIFT Lens For PreOrder

Rokinon just keeps turning out amazing stuff. While we wait for a Cine 50mm to come along, they today announced a 24mm 3.5 Tilt Shift Lens EF mount available for Pre Order at B&H.  All versions here. No picture of it yet, should be shipping in April. List price is $999 at B&H. Not bad considering what the competition is charging for the same thing. 

Nikon Lens Sale

Speaking of which, Nikon is doing a lens sale too. They haven't done this in years.The link will take you to a page listing them out. If you are looking for Nikon glass this may be the time to get a deal.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fix It In Post

Red Giant has release a couple of cool shorts using their products, now Autodesk does it with smoke. Some interesting stuff in here.

Some Of The First Color Movies On Kodachrome

Last weeks I had this great piece on shooting the last roll of Kodachrome made. Today one of the first in 1922 ! Its a camera test with a couple of models doing bits for the camera. Given how much they tended to use hard light back then, the lighting in this is soft. Perhaps they did this because of the films more limited contrast range to avoid have pure black shadows. Either way its a fun look to see where things started. Also of note is this flicker in some shots most likely caused by hand cranking the camera and causing exposure variation. I would of figured to shoot this they would of had one of the early motor driven cameras. Enjoy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

S35 Sensor + RAW @ $3K

Did I get your attention ? It got mine. S35 ( APS-C ) size sensor, RAW cinemaDNG internal uncompressed recording, $3k bare, $5k shootable. Its got my attention. More than that, it may have my $ because I've been waiting a long time for this camera. Canon has let me down way too many times. I expect you could attach your SDI / HDMI recorder of choice for another $1k-2.5K and have ProRes / DNxHD  at reasonable data rates. RED knock off ? not any more. I think these guys have a real chance of becoming the new big player in the marketplace. Where's my credit card ?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

What To Do When It Snows - Make Art

What to do when a giant blizzard has you stuck inside ? Brian Maffit ( of Total Training fame ) and an old friend of mine got an idea. Set up a video projector, point it out the window, see what you get. In this case some amazing vieo and stills. Enjoy, stay warm.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

FCP XML Output From Resolve 9.1 is *Automatic*

Some times its the little things that matter in a big way. Case in point : I ran a job thru Resolve 9.1 and when I rendered it out there was a FCP XML file there as well ! This was something that I had asked them to add as a feature : export the  XML automatically as part of the render. Now glad its there as it saves a big side step in having the manually export a FCP XML after you render out a grade pass. It also means  you can now run several timelines in the render que together and have your XML waiting for you. You don't have to render, manually export XML, render, export XML anymore. So you can let resolve run at nite with multiple renders and bring the grades back into your NLE the next morning. Thanks BMD for such a great workflow enhancer.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Last Roll Of KodaChrome

I'm not quite sure how I found this...but worth a look at the passing of an era. Its odd enough as I got to show some one yesterday how to load that old fashioned thing called film into a camera. It was a special camera,  my first 35mm SLR. It had been sitting around for 20+ years but still worked except for one thing - film ! An old roll of PX 125 came into my possion and he was off... we'll see what comes back.

This is Post #600..

Friday, January 18, 2013

DaVinci Resolve 9.1 Released Today

A nice suprise today - another update for Resolve.

Blackmagic Design today announced a major release of DaVinci Resolve 9.1, the latest update to the world’s most advanced color correction tool. DaVinci Resolve 9.1 enables customers to use Resolve with Apple’s Macbook Retina technology, the world’s highest resolution notebook display. Retina based notebooks have quickly become one of the most popular tools in the post production world, and with 9.1, DaVinci Resolve will be able to run on the 15” Retina MacBook Pro at the best image quality setting.

DaVinci Resolve 9.1 also features support in XML for FCP X Audition, a popular feature in FCP X which provides the ability to stack and scroll through multiple shots in a single location in a timeline, allowing Resolve users to easily transfer files between the systems for a highly efficient workflow. Improvements in mixed frame rate XML integration will allow better workflows between Resolve, FCP X and Final Cut Pro 7 projects. DaVinci Resolve 9.1 also supports improvements for Avid AAF, Sony XAVC and AVC-Intra files and a number of audio and performance improvements.

The new DaVinci Resolve 9.1 also includes an exciting enhancement for the CinemaDNG file format, as used by cameras such as the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. DaVinci Resolve now includes a CinemaDNG Input Device Transform (IDT) for grading RAW images in full ACES workflows.

  • Support for Apple Macbook Retina technology.
  • Support in XML for FCP X Audition.
  • Improved XML integration for better workflows between Resolve, FCP X and Final Cut Pro 7.
  • Integration with DeckLink 4K Extreme.
  • Includes CinemaDNG Input Device Transform (IDT) for grading Raw images in ACES workflows.
  • Ability to generate new AAF for MXF audio renders.
  • Improved chase audio feature allowing specification in either frames or seconds.
  • Support for timeline audio when PowerMastering.
  • Playback support for Sony Raw F55/F5 files.
  • Improved rendering times for Sony CineAlta SStP files.
  • Playback support for the Red Mysterium-X Monochrome sensor (software decode only).
  • Playback and render support for DNxHD 100.
  • New ASC CDL metadata extraction from ARRIRAW headers.
  • Matte clips can now be assigned to multiple clips in the Media Pool.
  • Red Rocket can now be disabled from Preferences.
  • NTSC DV playback supports both 4X3 and 16x9 aspect ratios.
  • Another solid release from BMD

Always good to see a company giving their products TLC and keeping them current. This is especially true with all the new cameras that are always coming out it seems every few months.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Goodbye Analog

Analog is almost gone here.  I have had a set of real CRT based waveform and vectorscopes on my desk for the last year or so ever since we moved into the larger space. For grading its an accepted requirement to have scopes. I liked them but... they took up a large corner of my edit room desktop and reality was I was hardly using them. The scopes in software had been my primary scopes for some time and I hardly ever used the real ones. Then there was the potential issue of color space differences since the scopes where being fed SD composite downconverts from either my Matrox MXO2 Rack or BMD HD 3D Extreme. 

Deskspace won out ! a couple of days ago the scopes came out. If any one wants them - they work perfectly well - you can contact me to have them. They are tektronix models, the silver ones. They run forever it seems and I hated pulling them out... but the space was more important. 

Have no fear though, I plan to add a LED LCD monitor back using scopes from either BMD or ScopeBox. The ScopeBox software + any video hardware it can see it probably my choice since I can coble together all the parts from stuff I have sitting around like an old mac and spare video card I/O. Of course reality is I'll be feeding it SDI of some flavor which will make life easier. When we moved into the new space I have to say most of the old analog gear never got moved in or installed. I have a Beta SP deck in the rack with a component to SDI converter on it so I can patch everything via one wire rather than 3 video lines and 2 audio lines. This reduced the number of patch bays in half despite the fact we added 2 edit rooms into the mix for a total of 3. Sure everything that counts is patchable but we hardly move them around. I can't say the last time my JVC BR-HD50 VTR was powered up... except the when I wired it into the system ! Maybe the only SD deck that see some use is the Digibeta deck being used to capture all the old tapes that are sitting around. That has been a slow process but its getting done. 

So while analog audio will still live for quite some time I expect, analog video is just about over. Even a couple years back I often used HD component video because it was easy to work with, but even that has mostly faded for SDI and HDMI. Times change... I don't miss analog very much, but you did need to have some real skillz to make it work right which is mostly lost on a lot of folks.

Coming Up

I have a couple more video reviews in the works that just need some editing. Ya... I know... that cash paying work keeps getting in the way wink I also have a couple NEW Rokinon lenses showing up  that I'll also be taking a look at as soon as fedex drops them off. These are cine lenses which I expect will prove to be great glass... testing soon !

Friday, December 21, 2012

Animoog... I have an excuse to get an iPad

Ok, we are all busy giving gifts this time of the year. Here is one I want as a fustrated musician who hasn't owned a keyboard in years. While I keep telling myself using an iPad as a TC slate is reason enough, its just not very exciting. This on the other hand is. Its available in the Apple App Store. Its Animoog and its probably the closest I'll get to ever having one. Hey its that time of the year when we can make one or two indulgences on ourselves !

New Site Look Is Live !

Here you go ! Almost done. Other pages are in a state of change over right now so you may see some of the old pages, but they will go away shortly.


Probably done ! if you find an old page still around let me know but I think I got all of them. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SSD Finally - My Update Experience

Ok, so I go weeks with barely making one post, today I get 3 in... thats how it goes sometimes !. With major projects done and delivered I had some time to do a few badly needed system upgrades. With a system disc that was getting flaky I decided to try a SSD. Ok, its freaking fast - 260mb/sec fast ! I know the specs on this drive claim in excess of 500mb/sec but I suspect that either thats compressed at roughly 2:1 or the SATA 3gb on the mac are simply topping out. I don't know. Either way its still a vast improvement over the spinning disc that was doing around 70mb/sec or nearly 4X faster. Yes the system boots very quickly and apps start very fast. I would not say though that they just launch instantly but without the normal heads thrashing back and forth it does dramatically speed up app start up times like Premiere Pro and After Effects.

I did a bare metal install and it took only about 5hrs. That includes installing 10.8.2, CS6 Master Collection, BCC, BorisFX RED, Particular, Magic Bullet Suite, and several other apps. A lot of that time was just to download the latest installers rather than using some older ones I already had locally. I was using DMG files for most of the installers. The longest part for sure was the copying of about 62gb of user files with migration assistant copying from the old HD to the new SSD. I'll also say I had thinned out a lot of junk the day before in places like SysHD/Library/Application Support and SysHD/Users/MyName/Library/Application Support and Prefs. Amazing how many little files where left along with some folders from older versions of CS installs with auto saves and renders. I dumped an easy 15-20gb doing this alone. After the install had gone ok further checking let me dump another 10gb of old dead files.

So far, so good. While I wish I could of sprang for a 512gb SSD, I went with a 256 instead. I'd have to say going any smaller probably isn't good. I have enough space left to handle various other temp installs that I do on a weekly basis of beta apps and still have a solid 100gb to dedicate to AE cache space. Oh, I still have one more HUGE install, OS X developer tools to get the iPhone emulator running and some of the diagnostic tools. Now if I can pull up my Apple developer log in ....

Installation Notes

First OCZ doesn't mention that they DO include a 3.5->2.5" adapter bracket with the drive so I bought a seperate one. Ok, fine, I'm out only $5 for that mistake. The OCZ bracket only has SIDE mounting holes for the 3.5 part. Its completely missing top holes. Guess which set of holes you need to mount into a Mac Pro Slide bracket ? yup the top ones ! I'm sure there is a proper Mac 3.5-->2.5 drive bracket adapter out there for cheap somewhere. My solution ? well I had a drive ( the original 750gb system drive actually ) mounted in the lower unused drive bay. I pulled that drive out and went to mount the SSD in. Guess what ? the SIDE holes don't match up to anything standard either ! I mean a serious WTF moment here. The solution ? double sided foam tape :(. I grabbed some and used it to tape the drive onto the bottom of the mac's optical bay drive mount so that the screw holes on the adapter would let me change out the SSD if I had to. It was easy enough and considering how small and light the SSD it I'm not worried it will ever come loose. So note to the wise - consider finding a Mac Pro drive sled compatible adapter bracket if you want to mount a SSD into one of the 4 slide in drive spots.

iRam - Replace my bad ram ! UPDATE 3

If you have a Mac you probably have iRam modules inside. Again I had a module fail. The dead 1G ones are on the shelf. You can see where the heatsink compound oozed out leading to chip failure.... under spec product. Now I have a dead 2gb module. I pulled the pair. I've sent a couple web form contacts to iRam, No response. I've called them, the operator doesn't answer and voice mail is full. Am I surprised at this ? In this day and age yes. Bad customer non-service isn't acceptable if you want to keep the lights on. I'm doing one last attempt at contact with NewEgg where I bought the modules if they will either replace them, or get me in contact with iRam to have it taken care of. Sure, lifetime warranty... good luck ever trying to use it ! right now iRam is in the internet hall of shame. Anyone else have a good or bad experience with them ?

UPDATE 1 : Newegg gave me an email to try + 800 number. I'll give them a day or two to try to respond... then call but I think either way they are going to not respond. 

UPDATE 2 : Two days after email, no response.

UPDATE 3 : Another week or so... no response. Newegg has also failed to respond to a follow up email. 

LightWorks Announces Linux Ver Going Into Beta

Lightworks has announced a beta of a LInux version of their FREE / cheap NLE. Very interesting news, but no OS X version yet. However this NLE is hard to ingore as for $60/year you get a wide around of pro codec support, hardware I/O, BCC and Boris RED support. The free version lacks a few things but its good enough for offline DV and consumer use. I may give it a try soon. Their announcement formally is : 

Before the end of the first quarter of 2013 we will be making the Linux version of Lightworks available as a Public Beta, the same as with the latest Windows Beta. A confirmed date will be announced once we finialise some more improvements. 

There is still a lot of work to be done primarily in finishing off the new licensing scheme which we will be trialling with the Linux Beta. If it proves successful, this same licensing will be rolled out to the Windows and Mac versions. More information will follow early next year as it becomes available.

Meanwhile I continue some last minute clean ups of this site's redesign which has been going well. I'm mostly getting ready to roll out the design across all the pages and then flip it over if it goes according to plan.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Updates In Progress

I've been working on doing an update on this site. Its been a significant undertaking to be sure. Most of its been centered on being able to make this site more compatible with mobile devices and in updating its underlying implementation for new technologies. If you noticed things here seem a little odd or broken... thats because of these updates that are going on. All will be good as I expect to roll out the new site sometime this week. Its entirely possible that you may see a mix of new and old pages as I make my way thru updating the site or catch some other oddity. For example it seems that some how all Vimeo embedded mov's are broken now. I don't think I've done anything to do that and it may be all on their end... or not. Thats just life in the code lane ! so if all goes according to plan I'll have this done sooner rather than later. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

6:20AM EST Fri

Turn on ( no comments on the network plz ! ) FOX & Friends at 6:20am EST to see Chris Hibben and Cookie talking about the doc we shot a while back. It gets its broadcast premiere tonite ( fri ) across WI and it seems, well, is a big deal ! Check it out on FOX Green Bay 7:30PM, ABC Milwaukee ( don't have air time )

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

BMD Releases V 9.0.4 of DaVinci Resolve

Another maintenance release of DaVinci Resolve with "general reliability and performance enhancements". Get It Here

Friday, November 30, 2012

DIG Sony Demo Film Shot on F55


Well Canon has been nothing but lame in their products, at least for price. Sony OTH has been making some great cameras, but again wildly overpriced. However, if you are going to part with a crazy sum of cash ( this year ! ) at least Sony delivers the goods. Here is a stunning 4K short... and I hope you all get the joke thats in here as well. Bottom line is it looks great, film RIP, there are no excuses left for not making a film... except for bad scripts, bad actors, bad editing and bad sound. My 2 cents for the end of this week. I just spent the last several days doing sound on A&E Biogrpahy shoot. No production pix because I think the subject was too serious. Wait until late Jan or Feb for the show to air. Have a great weekend !

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

6D PreProduction Video Sample

So... some 6D shots have shown up. This is from a pre production camera and the result is... well.. thats nice but no cigar. Given this is still pre-production unit its loaded with aliasing, especially on the wide shots. While looking sharper ( image was sharpened 30% in post ) than previous canon cameras, its still a bit lack luster. Really canon is trying to get people to buy their C100/300's. Dynamic range looks average - ok but could be better ! So notice to canon, we're not stupid ! We're voting with our money and this is not a winner we're voting for. Fix the moire and alaising if you want to sell your product, period, end of story. Lets see if production models are any better because what this camera is currently doing isn't really acceptable in 2012 anymore. I was hoping for better !

Monday, November 26, 2012

B&H Cyber Monday Deals


For All Pro Audio & Pro Video related Cyber Monday Deals

Click here Pro Video

Click here Pro Audio

  For All Camera & Lenses related Cyber Monday Deals

Return To Pearl : Big Screen Debut Dec 2

Many months ago I had been posting production shots from a project I was working on : A doc on a bunch of Pearl Harbor Survivors and Vets making a visit to where it all happened. I'm pleased to announce its done ! Not just done but also being released and shown twice this month. The first public viewing will be on the big screen at the Osh Kosh Opera House in downtown Osh Kosk WI. Its already been featured on the front page of the local paper. I expect some TV news coverage as well. Then there is the broadcast premiere Dec 7th, the day the attack took place. This will be on FOX Green Bay in primetime - 7:30 to 9PM ! A big deal to get that time slot ! So if you are able to travel to Osh Kosh, tickets are $10.... come on out and support and great project, and meet the vets who are in the movie.

Friday, November 23, 2012

B&H Black Friday SuperDeals

See all the great deals that B&H is offering today - audio, cameras, lenses, storage and more.

Sample of the deals here

Pro Audio



Current Price $159 dropped to $69.99   Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Closed-Back Studio Headphones (Coiled Cable)

Current Price $489.99 Dropping to $399.99 ( need to click “add to cart to for price”) Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder


More deals





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CineRaw In The WIld

Remember CineRaw ? The Chinese co making a 4K camera for $6K cash ? here is a project shot on it. Its mostly flat with minor contrast adjustments... looks like the RAW would grade up pretty well. Certainly interesting to you keep your eye on. Here in the U.S. we are having a holiday so its my excuse to not post thursday, but come Friday morning there will be some HOT deals posted here with links to them... stop by and have a great holiday if you have the day off !

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This Week : More Security




The service outage on this site wasn't due to hackers, thankfully. It was due to a sys op that hosts the dedicated server this site sits on doing a hugely boneheaded move in pretty much trashing IIS settings for all the sites. That sucks, but it was overcome... and yes they are getting bill for fixing their mistake ! That said, you can never be too safe. Here is an example a bit more into the real world of production - a camera crew actually having their gear stolen ON AIR !  Worth a quick look.

Having been personally ripped off of camera gear 3 times while I lived and worked in NYC, I have to say you almost get used to it. Its not so much loosing the big stuff, but all the little bits that make your gear work. All the dopey adapters and cables, especially the custom ones that have a huge time cost to get replaced... assuming you had insurance, and that they paid off, and that it wasn't a huge fight to get that pay off.  Be safe, think twice, its only a shot, not your life.

That also means working sane hours too. Don't get fooled into working 18hr days and not getting 10 hrs of turn around - 8hrs of solid sleep ! While I sometimes do jobs where I might get 5 or 6 hrs of sleep, its only for a 2 or 3 day gig where I have the reserve to make it through. When it comes to longer term gigs, get your rest and don't take less. Its not worth it in the end between simply driving off the road... or winding up in divorce court.  I've done both and niether are good. 

Back Online

The site is back, along with my other ones. Server error, specifically that an errant sys op where the server is located made a stupid mistake in resetting everything instead of reseting ONE thing... all is good now. New video reviews shot a few days ago and being editing. Good stuff coming soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Black Magic Design Updates Hyperdeck Shuttle To Support ProRes HQ

Speaking of format support... BMD had this tasty announcement today.


Blackmagic Design Adds ProRes 422 (HQ) Recording and Playback to HyperDeck Shuttle 2

Fremont, CA - November 14, 2012 - Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of HyperDeck software update 3.6, a new update to its revolutionary solid state disk (SSD) recorder which adds support for Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) into HyperDeck Shuttle 2, plus new closed caption support for all HyperDeck models. At only US$345, the HyperDeck Shuttle 2 with the new ProRes compression feature significantly reduces the size of uncompressed HD video files while preserving full frame 10-bit 4:2:2 quality, allowing customers to record up to six times longer.

HyperDeck Shuttle 2 can be seen at the Blackmagic Design InterBEE 2012 booth, Hall 7 Booth 7206.

“Adding ProRes 422 (HQ) recording and playback to HyperDeck Shuttle 2 shows our continuing commitment to open systems and gives users the freedom to work in either compressed or uncompressed formats,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Recording ProRes 422 (HQ) straight to disk now costs less per minute than recording to professional tape, plus it’s the most efficient workflow possible. A 64GB SSD is less than $70 and will record 50 minutes of the highest quality ProRes video. That’s broadcast quality recording for less than $2 a minute.”

ProRes 422 (HQ) offers the highest quality for 4:2:2 with minimal generation loss as well as fast export and is one of the most popular video formats for high end post production and broadcast. HyperDeck Shuttle turns low cost cameras into high end broadcast cameras because it allows video file recording to bypass the camera’s compression by recording from SDI and HDMI directly to either 10-bit uncompressed QuickTime, Avid DNxHD MXF and now Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) formats. SSDs are cheap and fast, and can be plugged into an eSATA dock for instant access to the media files, so are the most flexible recording medium available.

This new update also includes full closed caption support for all HyperDeck models. Closed caption support works in 1080HD video formats and allows closed caption data to be read from the SDI input when recording and saved into .mcc type files, which are compatible with popular closed caption authoring software such as Maccaption. Then when playing back from HyperDeck, this .mcc file is read and closed caption data is embedded into the SDI output. This means customers can simply record and playback with full closed caption as well as using closed caption authoring software to generate the .mcc files for creating closed captioning for programs. With full closed caption support, HyperDeck Shuttle and HyperDeck Studio are the ideal solution for authoring closed captioning, as well as ensuring all closed caption is recorded and played back.

With the addition of the new ProRes recording and playback, as well as full closed caption support, the HyperDeck Shuttle 2 provides customers with a small, affordable and battery powered solution that is the perfect field recorder. For direct camera mounting, HyperDeck Shuttle Mounting plate can be added to provide multiple pre drilled 1/4” and 3/8” mounting holes.

HyperDeck Shuttle 2 Key Features

  • Record and play back to Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Avid DNxHD MOV, Avid DNxHD MXF or 10-bit uncompressed QuickTime formats.
  • Uses high speed, off the shelf Solid State Disks (SSDs) available from computer resellers at low cost.
  • SSD is removable for editing and changing to blank disks.
  • 3 Gb/s SDI input using mini coax SDI connector and HDMI input. Auto selects.
  • 3 Gb/s SDI output using mini coax SDI connector and HDMI output.
  • Power supply connection also recharges battery.
  • USB connection for software updates and settings.
  • Machined out of solid block of aluminum for maximum strength and attractive design.
  • File compatibility with Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve and more.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Camera & Gear Rat Race


I realize I've been a bit slow with postings lately. A lot of it has simply been work related and being busy, another has been some personal self questioning about what I've been posting.  Every so often one of you kindly sends me a personal email thanking me for what I do. I really appreciate that and its a big help to keep something going that's largely a labor of love. Don't be afraid to say thanks once in a while, or ask a good question. Some of you have been good enough to make a purchase thru one of my affiliate links, thank you ! That helps too. What I like is that you folks understand my real world experience with production work and gear and that I'm not just talking about stuff to make a post. I'm only gonna post if its relevant. There are plenty of news type sites that mostly live on pushing out the days events. That's perfectly fine and useful, but also very draining to do unless its your full time job. 

I'm not quitting this site, but I'm making some change in direction back to how I get started doing this in the first place. I too got caught up in the dslr revolution. Lets define it though : small, reasonably priced cameras with big sensors making images that used cost a fortune to make otherwise. While I have no question in my mind that S35 size sensor cameras would be where they are, they would also be much more expensive with out some price pressure from the rest of the market. I was completely intrigued with how cheaply I could make great images. 

That of course brought me into looking at used AKA vintage glass. I have some really nice old lenses these days, some I've gotten for nearly nothing. I was out shooting some stills yesterday with them and was pretty thrilled at getting nice images from them. Enough so that I don't think about or lust after MOST modern glass, except for maybe filling out my collection of Rokinon cine lenses. I know I've featured their glass here several times for good reason : great price, great performance, great features - value for the money. 

However I see the revolution as being a bit corrupted now. It started early on with shooting rigs for dslr's. Ok, granted, with a big sensor camera having a matte box and follow focus seem like necessities. Some days they truly are and I use several filters all the time : ND's and grads along with an occasional diffusion filter. However, I've also found myself shooting bare bones too. When ? when clients aren't around ! When I don't need a ND filter and I don't need to impress anyone with tricking out a little camera to make it look big.  There are lots of times I've found myself shooing in a very minimalistic way and liking it. In fact if you watch some BTS vids out there you'll see other name shooters doing the same thing. Honestly if you are working by yourself having to schelp around all the heavy stuff is tiring and time consuming.  I think its fair to say some rigs out there are just completely ridiculous in how big and heavy they are. My ultimate anti-rig was shooting with a 60D + Rok 14 2.8 + Letus LCD VF. Consumer size and weight, made great images and got lots of key shots  with this setup. It was fun to work this way. 

This brings me back to the image I started this with. I shot this almost 2 years ago on what could be called the ultimate vintage lens, a 100 year old bit of Kodak glass. This project has been looking at me for a while and I haven't done anything with it. TIme to do it ! Its next on my list of reviews. I think its time to get back to basics in some ways. No I'm not going Luddite at all, just not succumbing to being a complete gear slut. I've actually spend some good money on audio upgrades as of late ( new Sound Devices 552 mixer ) but have been stuck for a camera I want to upgrade to... at least not with out spending a fortune. As I look at the market I see several good M 4/3's cameras and then a huge gap to S35 / APS-C and FF cameras. Nothing in between thats worth doing. Its like < tin foil hat warning > the camera manufacturers have decided that if you want the big sensor you are in for $5k + if you want a sharp image that doesn't suffer from moire and aliasing. I'd LOVE to eat my words with Canon releasing a 70D APS-C camera  this week that address this with a sub $1500 price, but I doubt it. Canon has clearly engaged into feature pricing like Sony... except Sony has been making some  interesting moves, and RED is trying to stay in the mix. However, they are all still selling products that I find too expensive for what they deliver if look back at what has been offered before. Silly me, I want to be profitiable rather than sending all my hard earned money to one of them. After all I buy an item to make money with it, not to have something and have no money. Odd concept I know.

So I have a couple of video reviews to shoot this week and that will get released over the following weeks. I'm going to be changing the posts I make too - more quality ( I hope ) and some what lower quantity.  I want to do more indepth work like the dynamic range and codec tests I did showing how shooting flat can seriously reduce your dynamic range. Thats my plan... and please don't be afraid to post some comments and continue the conversation !

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Coverage : Working For A Living

Doing another live shot of election coverage today. Started at 6am, finished around 11:30pm. Doing it again tomorrow, but probably later. No complaints. The producer is treating us great, every one is working well together. Getting shots to air. Ok, its cold and damp out, and the wind is blowing and it rained on the gear today. Plastic bags are your friend. Somewhere in the middle of all this are politicians we cover showing up for 10 minutes to be in front of our lights and lenses. In between you wait a lot, move gear for shots that don't happen and pay attention to whats going on to figure out your next shot.

Photo : Chris Hibben who was the shooter was kind enough to share the pic above. That's Chris on camera below... freezing parts off just like me. Thankfully the truck was warm and we where outside for only short bits. In case you are curious, those are my LED lights working underneath  a 10X10 folding canopy to keep us dry.


Below : Coverage of Paul Ryan's Rally in Milwaukee

Thursday, November 01, 2012

RED Price Slashing

If you wanted a RED Scarlet or EPIC it just got a whole lot cheaper today. 50% cheaper. This was of course in response to Son't F5 / F55 intro yesterday. So if you want a shotable Scarlet setup, barebones, its now $15,460 as pictured above : body, 2 batteries and charger, 4" LCD touchscreen, 48gb SSD and reader. You won't be shooting a lot with that, but you could get started. Add in more media storage, maybe the Pro I/O module, the 7" LCD, the EVF, arm, and you are looking at $25K as a everyday working package. No Glass. Thats a lot more doable than a day ago. So I respect RED for the major price cuts. This is what they talked about from day one. 

The new pricing is :

  • 5K EPIC-X Brain – $19,000
  • 5K EPIC-X Monochrome Brain – $20,000
  • 5K EPIC-M Brain – $24,000
  • 5K/4K Scarlet Brain – $7,950
  • 4.5K RED ONE M-X Battle Tested – $4000 (includes CF or SSD recording module)

The new pricing is due to what they say is greatly reduce manufacturing costs and they have paid off their initial R&D.  So this puts some real pricing pressure on Sony. In fact the RED ONE to me actually gets interesting even if its now dated and clunky to work with. Ebay prices will get interesting to be sure now. 

Of course still we wait : no APS-C / S35 dslr with problem free video images... that isn't pricey for now. Don't get me wrong, these tools are amazing. Dreams 10 years ago... now yours today for a much lower price !... thoughts ?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sony Gets 4K Serious

If you want the specs, see Sony's Site HERE. It would be silly for me to repost the same info. So that said, F5 = 4K 16bit RAW ( with extra cost external recorder )  OR 10bit 4:4:4 HDcam SR 4K = $18K MSRP estimated. What else so you need to know ? When does it ship smiley ? Feb 2013.  F55 with global shutter and 240FPS vs F5 120fps = $25k estimate

What I like : its like a mash up of all the good parts of a RED + Alexa + F65 in a much smaller lighter body. RED I'm sure will cut the price of scarlet to match, they have to !  The side panel looks walk up to it simple to operate. Not endless key settings buried in menu's. The ergonomics look really good for a box camera and clearly Sony considered that you would want to handhold this with the design of a real shoulder pad with integrated rod mounts.  

The PL mount which can be changed for other mounts is great. This camera has yet another new lens mount : the Sony FZ with 18mm flange back. That should make adapters for just about any lens easy to do.

A new set of primes... econo priced ? we'll see... this is Sony ! Econo price would be about $1k per lens...

Its nice to see a setup thats this well thought out and isn't a Frankenrig like a lot of dslr's are set up. The side panel is great.

All that said, what I don't like is the price. I think its overpriced even with a street price of about $15K for the body. Sorry, its a new world out there. Pay off time is too long once you add options like batteries, VF ( which should be spectacular ), ect. If you work in some markets, this camera would pay for itself in under a year, but I don't measure pay off time that slow. Days, thats my threshold. How many days does it take to  pay off. Too many and you probably shouldn't be buying this. 

Now this is a camera you could settle into using for several years rather easily...but I'm a hard ass on the financial side these days. This camera doesn't make sense for me... but it may for some in some markets. Certainly an easy  rental item. 

Again I get to lament that what fired off the dslr and indeed large sensor revolution a couple years ago is now devolving into the old business model of overpiced gear. There has not been a APS-C / S35 camera priced right without image problems. The 60D is way over due for replacement now, and none of Canon's competitors have stepped up with a camera I'd part with cash to own. So I wait along with a lot of other people. Oh, now really glad I didn't get a F3 which I expect will see a big price cut now, or simply be killed off. They'll probably drop it to about $10K... we'll see.

UPDATED : Nothing solid yet on pricing, especially since RED has done the 50% price reduction. Interesting times.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Historial Timelapse

A lot of people worked to shoot this bit of history. Thank Matthew Givot for getting everyone together to pull this off.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NEW GoPro Camera Is Out ! Hero3

Didn't I just post about the Hero2 being New ? Well here we go again. I think this pretty much sums it up below what the key good new things are.

Image link goes to site sponsor

So its very cool to have all these improvements but.... all new accessories too. Not sure what to say because I literally have an entire case filled with GoPro bits and peices. I expect the mounts and the arms are the same, but the cases are different. Of major importance is the flat outside lens on the cases for good underwater performance. The most expensive black model also claims to have better low light performance, guess I'll have to get one and find out. Its great they have a new camera, but its a bit odd to bring out 3 models. Clearly its mostly the same camera with a different chip in it. I guess they wanted to hit different price points but it also adds a bit of a confusion now to their product line and the inevitable mix ups in models.... real pros will fork out for the top of the line model of course.

The other question is how well GoPro will continue to support the Hero 1 : seems like not much or at all since the last Hero 2 firmware update didn't see its most important new feature, 24fps show up in the Hero 1. I've done the Hero2 firmware update but haven't had time to mess with it yet. Next production job I will ! So we'll see how GoPro does with supporting their not so much older product.


Some interesting details on the Black model

Simultaneous Photo + Video:
12MP + 1440p24 fps
8MP + 1080p30 fps 8
8MP + 720p60 fps

Got that ? you can shoot TL stills while shooting video. No more double rigs to do this ! very very cool.

2.7K 24fps 35mbit/sec 'cinema' mode... thank you !

Storage Media : MicroSD class 10 or higher required  


Not so thrilled about that. SD cards are small enough, but the micro ones are just too small. Not my choice when working in cold conditions, rain, wind, boats, ect. I guess making it smaller required this. Plan your media changes more carefully, thats for sure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Work or Post ?

Work Work Work ! Simple as that why I've been so slow with posting stuff. All good for keeping the lights on. That said I've got a couple video reviews in production in between a very heavy post schedule right now. One day at a time. Meanwhile I'm testing some new gear out and getting ready to put it into production. Busy is good !

That said this pic shows a couple of my LED lights working. I love these things. Somewhat compact for tight spaces, super low power draw, 5600K and no heat to speak of. When surrounded with people like this LED's are just way safer to operate. Its one of the products I'm working on a review of. Yes I really do use the gear I review, wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

AE 11.0.2 Update Goes Live

Adobe release AE update 11.0.2 friday. Many fixes outline here and available via automatic updates. Include more GPU's in the officially supported list including the nVidia ones in the new MacBook  Pro's.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GoPro FINALLY does 24P

Don't even get me started how many times I've asked GoPro to do 24 aka 23.976fps. Don't please. Today finally they have a download to enable this in the Hero2 camera... so what about the Hero 1's that we all have ? sorry but your boned :( At least for now. Maybe they will produce an update shortly but not good. Don't get me wrong, I really like GoPro cameras, I have a bunch of them and an entire case of mounts and bits to make them work. So to the guys at GoPro, please support the original Hero 1 HD camera which is the camera that really put you on the map.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Goodbye Film ? One BIG Step Closer !



Fuji Film has announced that they will cease production of motion picture film around the time frame of March 2013. I'm not surprised at this. In fact I can say this is pretty much inline with what I had expected with one difference, I had expected Kodak to go first while Fuji ran for a while with what was left of the market. Of course while production used to consume as much film in a year as all consumer use did, release prints have been where they were still selling product the last several years. With theaters switching over to digital projection rather quickly this has probably been the larger factor in the end of production - the decline of the need for release prints.

This may give Kodak a last minute round of cash for another year or so as they struggle with bankruptcy and attempts at patent trolling to make cash. Really on some level I'm sad. I've shot 16 and 35mm and it was always a different level of production when you did. Now, well, its different. When pushing the button meant $75/minute ( film / process / transfer ) was going by people tended to get their acts together at all levels. The video spray and pray shooting mentality now has worked its way up. Cards are cheap, drives are cheap... but not people's time to wade thru hours and hours of junk for the good takes. In fact thats what I'm doing this week - making my way thru 9 hrs of material for 6 two minute pieces.  Maybe we should  bring film back just to get producers to get things together... or we need to start charging a per minute rolling fee to handle all this - storage, copying, backing up to media #2 and #3, ect. The back end of digital media shouldn't be free when its costing you time and real money for all those drives. Food to think about as we watch film in its final hours.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

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


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 !


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 :)

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



GPU Memory Specs

Memory Size Total


Memory Interface


Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)

173 GB/s


Display Support

Dual Link DVI




# of Digital Outputs


Stereo (3-pin Mini-DIN)


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




Microsoft DirectX


NVIDIA CUDA Architecture

Energy Specs

EnergyStar Enabling


Total Board Power

122 W


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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sometimes You Work For Yourself

We all have projects we DREAD taking on. Usually because they will mean doing things we don't like doing, that cause us pain and aggravation. Such was the case of redoing the website for my own production company. While it looked cool, oh, say 6 or 7 years ago when I redid it from its original look, I was not wanting to do this. It was a big site, a lot of pages, a lot of content. After at least 2 years of procrastination I finally did it ! In fact it came together faster than I expected. The idea came to me easily enough, and I fixed the sins I'd made on the last version of the site. Ok, when I built the last version is was pretty much state of the web art, but now, uh, errrr, no comment !

The new site is actually simpler, but keeps most of the content. The far better part is that this new site is easy to change. The pages all share common files that mean change it once, its changed site wide. This is well beyond just a master CSS file. Components of the pages like the menu's are files. Getting older means hopefully getting smarter.

On my old site I had a flash slide show. It worked, it was ok but I couldn't change it. I'd lost the flash project file a while ago and that was that. The slide shows I have now are nice clean HTML5 magic. They are VERY easy to change and update as I get new material, or get tired of some bits.

I also got really Zen with CSS this time around. This has made maintainability and changeability much better. There are NO tables in this site. Tables, love them or hate them where a fact of life for a long time. This time around I decided to not use them. While there was a little learning involved, it also meant pages that won't come apart no matter what. It also means when I'm ready to do a mobile version things should be vastly simpler since its mostly CSS tweaking. Well thats the theory anyway ! Have a great weekend off !

Oh ya, I know THIS site is my next redo.... it never ends, does it ?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ColorKode Is Open !

ColorKode is officially open. Who or what is that ? Its our official color grading and finishing business. Our main emphasis it to do grading work remotely. Send us your project, we'll grade it and send it back. Check it out

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Monday

The Question and The Right Answer found me on location before the sun was up. Many hours latter I'm wiring up Paul Ryan and getting levels for a live remote interview. All went well, life is good.

So its stuff like this that has taken me away from doing some of the projects and reviews I've been wanting to do. That said, know I'm up to 3 Sennheiser G3 systems and going for #4 shortly. While I do notice some HF loss with them ( MINOR )  their over all performance continues to make me happy - long battery life, reliable drop out free operation, frequency scanning, small size. I have some new stuff related to them coming soon.

Also on my radar is taking the Meyer Optik 50 1.8 I picked up for $20 out for  a test shoot with the OM 50 1.4. Even just premilnary tests show they are very different lenses with different qualities. The Meyer Optik makes some very tasty flares like a wide angle, but under control. Stay tuned for that. 

Meanwhile the Rokinon 35 1.4 is coming back from warranty repair over the next few days, shaking bits gone. I'm going to update my review on it. 

Last I have a very busy September coming up with a lot of shooting going on. Its going to be testing out some new glass as I go ! Its going to be fun.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stupid Is A Stupid Does : Verdict in Apple vs Samung US Patent Trial

The jury mostly found in Apple's favor. They awarded a whopping $1.05B in damages to Apple.

Ok, lets get this straight - Samsung did copy Apple's stuff. Not much question how obvious that is. However, Apple has patents for the obvious stuff. The jury found Apple's patents to be valid ! What the hell are they smoking ? Are they serious ? How stupid can you be ?

This jury could of in many way laid software patents flat to the ground. If they had invalidated most of Apple's obvious patents the precedent would of been set that patents on the obvious when it comes to software should be struck down. Its nothing more than trying to get a monopoly on basic ideas. Lets face it, shoe laces would be patented if they could be. Its ridiculous. On thing for sure, you can bet Samsung will file an appeal. I very much hope they succeed in invalidating a lot of Apple's UI patents because for them to stand would be a chilling effect to all software innovation. Me personally, I think most software patents should be wiped away when it comes to ones that are general ideas, are simply the best obvious solution that only leave other far less better solutions to the problem, virtually al UI patents. Maybe I should go file a patent for the use of RGB 0,0,0 as a UI indicator for nothing, or for improving the readability of text on the screen as opposed to RGB 1,1,1. Ya.... its that stupid.

In some after thought, I'm almost thinking that the jury was overwhelmed. They got hit with a 700 question document which required a decision on each item with unanimous vote. I'm sure in many respects they just wanted it done and just started going with the obvious without really considering what the ramifications where. I'll also point out that the judge in this case limited the hours each side had to present witnesses. 25 hours could easily of been used to dispute just ONE patent. Yet all either side had was a very limited amount of time to deal with a hugely complex case. In some respects, while its good that the judge wanted to control the trial and prevent it for going on for a full year, he also did such a huge limiation on this that it borders on grounds for a mistrial because it prevented evidence and witnesses from being introduced and thoroughly examined. I also think Samsung's lawyers goofed the case up a bit too, but thats another thing entirely. 

One thing for sure, the appeal will be interesting.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Apple Releases 10.8.1 : UPDATED

Apple released the rather small 24mb 10.8.1 update. A direct download link and info is available here. For whatever reason its not showing up under normal software updates right now. The cause is probably Apple needing to update the servers that software update talks to.

10 minutes are I posted it, the update is showing up... then I installed it


10.8.1 is supposed to fix problems with long share names in SMB .. ok cool

so now none of my SMB shares show up... only macs with AFP

linux NAS with SMB and AFP ? nope

Win 7 PC's ? nope

I can manually get to the machines via IP but network discovery seems busted


After an hour or so, the SMB shares on the network showed up. Grrrr!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

KineRaw Announces Firm Prices & PreOrder

This interesting camera is slowly making it towards release. KineRaw announced a price of $6000 for the stripped down base model. No SDI, but the next model up does have it. I"d expect a very shootable setup to be $7k or maybe $8k. RED just made that sound in their pants hearing this **IF** this camera proves to be well made, stable, reliable. You can make a camera that works well at temps and conditions people find comfortable, its another to make a camera that works under conditions people find miserable or worse. Well we'll see what they deilver. I guess at this point its not a matter of if they deilver but when... and what RED will do in response.

Of course Sony has been making some moves as of late with their new APS-C sensor shoulder cam for $4500 too. It wouldn't take too much for Sony to add RAW 12bit on for a few dollars more in a next model up scenerio. In fact I'd be suprised if they simply weren't sitting on it waiting to see how the market shakes up. As for Panasonic... AF100 is pretty dated M4/3 and surely they must have something in the works... or not. Of far more interest is if Sony will build a sub $10k camera that competes with their F65. In the end I'm sure that the F65 will always have another stop or two of dynamic range than the "consumer" level sub $10K area. However, the differences between the two will remain small. If money is no object, get the best, for the rest of us, we'll be working through all the fine points of these cheaper cameras.

My Second Double Rainbow

I took this weekend off including monday. Its really been quite some time since I've actually taken any time off. So while out kayaking in the wilds of WI what do I come into ? this shot. 

Shot on my iPhone again ! While the iPhone doesn't really have a very wide lens, by shooting a series of vertical tiles and stitching them together in PS I was able to easily get this very wide angle shot. Again this all goes to show that sometimes the camera just doesn't matter if you have the right shot, some skill and imagination on how to use your tools.

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Sony $4500 APS-C Camcorder


BAM ! Sony just dropped a bomb I don't think anyone saw coming. $4500 street price for a APS-C camera with a mini shoulder mount style body. It looks like a trimmed down "big" camera. XLR X 2 audio inputs, uses SD cards or Sony memory sticks.The price includes an 18-200mm lens as well. I'm sure its probably a slow lens but included in the price thats great. Hopefully Sony will also offer this with out a lens for less. Lens mount is Sony E mount which isn't so great but to be expected. There are EF to E adapters out there. 

So it looks like Sony got the critisim about the FS100/700 form factor, got it about having a usable lens range and then beat their own price ! Oh yes, this camera also shoots still with separate shutter button and mechanical shutter.

Other specs -

frames rates

 1920 x 1080 59.94p59.94i50p50i29.97p25p23.98p

1280 x 720 59.94p50p
480 (576) 59.94i50i

- no 30 / 25 / 24 P in non 1080 modes ?????? hopefully something that gets fixed by the time it ships.

Exmor APS-C CMOS Sensor

SERVO 18-200mm zoom lens

The NEX-EA50UH can record simultaneously to SD/MS and an HXR-FMU128 (128G solid state plugs into the camera storage )

Framing guides for 4:3, 13:9, 14:9, 15:9, 1.66:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1

HD video - AVCHD
SD video - MPEG2
Audio - LPCM/AC3

Stills - Format not specified


1 x HDMI Type A
3 x Component (RCA)
1 x A/V Out (RCA)
1 x USB Type Mini A/B

- No SDI... of course they left it off or this would too easily compete with bigger cameras. HDMI->SDI converter $300 + mount +something to rig battery on camera. Without SDI this camera drops down the list for live ENG work where you are feeding a truck live or even just getting your signal out. Enter that HDMI to SDI converter.

- Timecode .... on HDMI ? well if you convert it to SDI that can play with other stuff, but it does NOT mention a connection to get TC in or out of the camera to lock cameras up.Its entirely possible that one of the RCA jacks may dual purpose like some other cameras... or not. Its incredibly Sony to leave off a couple key features like this to force you into the next higher model. 

If you are interested B&H has it available for pre-order via our affiliate link. Supporting this site is ALWAYS appreciated ! Shipping date is expected to be Oct 15th

You Never Know What You Will Find Somwhere

Janesville WI. I was there as part of doing some live coverage of Paul Ryan being nominated to run with Romeny as vice president. I was there to capture picture and sound. While shooting an interview in a local store I came upon this tasty item - an old camera. While  plenty of folks must of walked by, after all who cares about any film camera like a Praktica ? On the front was a Meyer Optik 50 1.8 ! I bought the entire thing for well less than what the lens alone was worth. I have some M42 to EF adaptors on order. Some quick tests with just holding the lens up to the camera say this lens is a winner despite its simple 6 blade aperture. Ready to shoot some test very soon!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Building A Studio In A School Gym

Here is a timelapse I shot with my new GoPro HD2 of everyone building our production set up on monday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So What Are You Doing Tomorrow ?

The famous question that makes every freelancer happy. This time it was off to Janesville WI to spend a few days doing news coverage on Paul Ryan - his background, home town, and who is he type coverage. We never caught up with him directly, but did meet his brother, friends and people about town. As part of the coverage they decided to a live show. The high school Ryan attended offered their gym. So the race was on. Starting in the late afternoon we built what amounted to a studio with 3 cameras, prompter, return feeds and lots of lighting. 

This was one of those times when pretty much everything came out and got used : all my stands, 8X8 silk, 575 hmi ( that works all the time ). Another guy pulled out 2 400w and 2 200w HMI's, my 1K, some one else's 150w inkies. A pair of 1X1 light panels did some underlighting. The amazing thing is that we really lit the entire place up with under 4kw of light all pulled from wall outlets. It was great to be using so little power for such a large space. 


The live show went up and ran perfectly thanks to the team effort and all the toys we had to use. Of course this was the end of my day as we had actually started shooting interview content for the show at 8am. The broadcast was at 9PM and we wrapped out at 11:30. Long day !

Friday, August 10, 2012

Return To Pearl Trailer To Play At Miller Field Milwaukee

A project I worked on a couple months ago ( thank you Chris Hibben )  is having its trailer shown Saturday nite at Miller Park Milwaukee to 32,000 people. Its the lead in to another doc on WW2 vets taking a visit to Washington DC. 

If you are a broadcaster interested in airing this 1hr program for Dec 7th please contact me. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Will The Sony A99 Be The Full Frame dslr Canon Killer ?

Photokina, the NAB of photography is next month. Sony's to be released A99 is rumored to be a full real video camera that shoots stills too. Its supposed not of been intentionally restricted like the Canon's because Sony isn't afraid. People buying F65's are an entirely different market with different needs and of course big budgets. 

Sony could potentally own the video dslr market if they don't hold back and give us a SHARP full frame camera. Me, I still like APS-C / S35 size but I'd certainly consider a full frame camera in the mix too. Of course I also have 3 GoPro's including one of the HD2 models. So its whatever gets the job done. I think if anything Sony should put a EF Mount onto the camera and let things go from there ! Thankfully I only have 2 lenses with electronic irises that I really care about EF mount. Many of my other lens are either full manual EF or vintage glass with OM mounted adapted to EF... or whatever else I may need to put them on. So it turns out getting good glass will prove to be the smart long term investment if they have the right mount on them. Camera bodies it seems are becoming disposable almost.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Canon 7D Firmware Update

Finally ! Here is what coming, and here is where to get it on the official canon download page. Its even 10.8 compaitible ! Manual audio and file naming are probably the key features anyone shooting video will care about. Having done some in camera audio recording on a 5D mk3 a week ago it was ok, not great. The 7D audio inputs aren't as good, but for feeding a clean reference track or stuff hits the fan backup its good enough.

  • Manual audio level adjustment in movie recording (yippee!)
  • File name customization (similar to 5D3)
  • Improved maximum burst for RAW images (up to 25)
  • Maximum Auto ISO setting (ISO 400-6400)
  • GPS compatibility
  • Time zone settings
  • Faster scrolling of magnified images
  • Quick control screen during playback
  • In-camera RAW image editing
  • In-camera Image Rating
  • In-camera JPEG resizing

Monday, August 06, 2012

BMD Camera Shots and Something From Olympus

First up, some shots from the BMD camera that should be here any day. Looks good even if the dark areas are a little bit noisy. Highlight handling seems good. Not sure what the grading was but it looks a little less saturated than perhaps I might like. Its certainly SHARP ! I was looking at some 5D mk3 material today and it just looks like mush in comparison but of course the BMD camera has a lot more DoF than the 5D. I guess part of the 5D problem is shooting with its detail level on 0 and then sharpening a bit in post. If you have CUDA, its not a big deal but if you don't its an extra pain point. If anything the camera on the wide shots has a bit of a video look in being too sharp. I guess you can kick up the gain or add some post processing to tame it down a little if you need to. Either way its nice to have a sharp image to work with for once. If anything it reminds of in some respects of S16 in terms of DoF. Can't wait to try it out.

Meanwhile some video shot on the new Olympus OM-D has popped up. Camera looks much like canon's except they graded this with too much saturation. The shots seemed free of moire and aliasing although vimeo's compression didn't do it any favors. Good to see some new camera footage.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rokinon Introduces More Cine Lenses

Rokinon has announced that they are bring out 2 new cine style lenses : a 24mm T1.5 and a 14mm T3.1 ! Available in september.

If these have more solid builds than the still versions even by a bit, they are both total no brainers to get. They will simply smack Ziess and their way overpriced snot glass silly. This is the glass we have all been waiting for...reasonable price, excellent performance, cine style construction.

So for slacking off a bit last week, I hope I made up for it by bringing you this tasty bit of welcome news.

rokinon 24 1.5

rokinon cine 14 3.1

DaVinci Resolve V9 Beta Released - First Look

davinci resolve 9 black magic design


Black Magic Design release version 9 of Davinci Resolve today. New UI, lots of new features including what looks like extensive AAF support for Avid users. Its available here.

Just scanning the new manual its much improved. Its more tutorial like and less formal which makes it MUCH more useful. A big personal thanks to the person(s) who spend a lot of time updating it. Its got lots of practical comments on the hows and whys of what things do. Its got lots of color, lots of examples... and I see in one screen shot showing how to log in, Mr. VanHurkman's name and picture shows up. Looks a hint who helped in redoing the docs. 

I'm off to install it and take it for a test drive !


After installing the beta I looked into my apps folder... oh no... all I see is ONE copy of the app. I should of renamed it Resolve 822 or something. The installer removes 8.x and installs 9. When you start the app up, it has to update the database. Thats a one way trip it seems. So word to  the wise : only install the beta on a system that is not mission critical until you are satisfied it works.

Ok, I'm in.

The UI has really been worked on. Nice splashes of color, a new open project window, scrubbable icons with a CTI, pop out info window, 8 tracks of audio playback for clips with audio meters,  a more sensible media pool is more like bins in your NLE, ability to set where thumbnails are cached, additional video transitions have been added, if you adjust the width of a window column in list view, change panels and go back its still the same width ! lots of tasty UI improves that make you say GREAT ! for example in the main color panel the various old tabs are now accessed via a row of buttons. this saves a set in that you don't have to go to the main tab, then sub tab. you just go to what you want. In the window tab / panel / whatever you want to call it there is now a large preview of the matte being generated taking some of the guess work out of what is going on.

This is a great update so far. Old projects opened up ok, Can't wait to play with it tomorrow ! 

Back To Work

60D + Vivitar / Tokina 400 5.6 at EAA AirVenture 2012

I spent a week working hard and all sorts of stuff happens. Canon releases a mirrorless camera that could of and should of put them back in the game. Instead what they release is a stripped down t4i with a new lens mount. I mean please, this is lame. This was Canon's chance to tease us with a new sensor with no aliasing and moire problems that was actually SHARP in video mode... unlike the 5D m3. Speaking of which, I spent several days working with a 5D m3. We fed audio directly into it and it was ok. Note I didn't say great, but ok and it got the job done for what we where doing. At least you could monitor sound at the camera. This worked fine for needing to work fast and light for days on end.


I do have some things I'm working on which in part revolves around waiting for Santa UPS to bring me a box of new toys to do reviews on smiley !

So since I did take a day off, I'll leave you with this tasty video I first saw on NoFilmSchool . Sure its shot on some large sensor camera but - its got lots of cool graphics in its augmented reality views, some decent writing with a clear concept and a clear ending that commits, and ok acting. All the elements you need to have something watchable.... and in this youtube world its down right very well done.

Friday, July 27, 2012

B-25 Anyone ?

My day today - rigging a new GoPro 2 inside the cockpit of a B-25. The camera rolled to capture the navigator of the Enola Gay getting a ride at EAA 2012. More soon. GoPro is here getting amazing stuff too.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Lens Review Friday

Friday I'll have a new lens review on the very tasty Samyang / Rokinon 14mm 2.8 lens including sample video I shot while on a shoot in Pearl Harbor. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Post #400

Has it been that long ? I have no idea how I got here, but here is post #400. Thats a very respectable 2 posts a week every week. I know there have been days when I've had 2 or 3 things out, then let most of the week go by. There are times when I wonder what I want to post about, and then there are times when I have a few things in the works. Like right now I have yet another lens review I'm finishing up. Mostly written, product shots done and this time I have some sample video shot in Hawaii.... yes I'm upping the production value a little smiley !

Also please don't forget, thank you for a few minutes of your time to stop by and listen to what I have to say on any given day ! I appreciate it very much that you consider this site worth stopping by on a regular basis. The traffic here as steadily grown and I'm thrilled it has. Its NOT easy to post, be relevant and have something worth saying that people hopefully dig and find relevant. 

Stay tuned, more good stuff to come as we all ride some of the most changing times in production that has ever seen since motion pictures where first created over 100 years ago.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zaxwerks Releases V6 of ProAnimator



No sooner did I finish the last post and this one pops up seconds later : Zaxwerks has released V6 of ProAnimator. ProAnimator has been here for a while to turn out certain 3D bits when I need them. 

__________________Official Announcement____________________

Our new Ray Trace renderer produces ultra-cool pictures, with reflections of objects in other objects, smooth realistic shadows, and glass refractions. Mmmmm. Sweet, sweet pictures.

New workflow features include the ability to trace pictures then map the picture back onto the object with one click; the ability to turn whole folders of images into 3D objects; and the ability to collect all project related files if you have to move the project from one computer to another. If you’re not a 3D-techie this means it’s now easier than ever to turn client artwork into flying 3D objects.

Best of all in version 6 are the new Object Fragmentation features. This set of features lets you slice, chop or crack your 3D objects into little fragments. Big deal, most 3D programs can do this, right? Not even close. What ProAnimator does is to turn fragmentation into a design tool where you can change your mind as the design evolves. Slice your logos into planks, strips, cubes, chips, chunks or shards. No pre-planning required. Change the fragmentation, change the text getting fragmented, change the bevels, change the color, change anything at anytime for the greatest flexibility imaginable.

ProAnimator 6 has also added more animation controls especially designed to take advantage of the thousands of pieces generated by the fragmentation features. So now you can take your thousands of fragments and spin, tumble, whip and cascade them in cooler, fresher and more eye-catching ways than before. Spill the fragments into the screen and watch them assemble into your logo. Drop the fragments and watch one word turn into another. This can be done with any text, logo or imported 3D object.

Stop for a moment and realize that now you can design on the fly with fragments as easily as full objects. It’s like a particle system that’s easy and fun to control and completely real-time and interactive. It’s all waiting at your fingertips to give your work an exciting edge over your competition.

Black Magic Design Releases Resolve V8.2.2 Today

Black Magic Design released V8.2.2 of Resolve today. This update includes :

FCP X support for XMLs with multi-cam and compound clips
RedGamma3 and RedColor3 support for R3D files
• RED HDRx Magic Motion support
• Sony F65 Raw options for S-Log, P3, Rec.709, 2.4 and 2.6 gamma
CinemaDNG options for Rec.709, 2.4 and 2.6 gamma, color temperature and ISO
• Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 support
• Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 support
• General performance and stability improvements

Nice to see they are continuing some updates on V8 while we all know V9 is coming soon... very soon I hope !

Hands on Sony F65 review

A nice hands on review by Martin Chab who spent 9 days with a Sony F65. Its not a rehash of the manual but real world experience. 

Adobe Releases New Beta Avid AAF Importer

Adobe labs released a new Avid formatt AAF importer. AAF was a great idea that never really took off, and when it was implemented.... UGH ! The great thing about standards is you can implement 51% and call it compatible, then add your own bits to it which makes it work for you and no one else. Well thanks to Adobe's acquisition of Automatic Duck they gained an AAF importer and are now rolling out support for this format. CS6 required of course ! PLEASE follow the installation instructions !

Monday, July 09, 2012

Using the MXO2 LE + MAX For Live Field Recording and Webcasting

This cool article popped up over at the Cow on how some folks are using a MXO2 LE to capture a switcher feed live into a laptop, quick edit and output to web. All running off a mobile cart no less at trade shows. Pretty cool stuff that can be done with today's modern small gear. 

Red Giant acquires all of SIngular Software's products and technology

This press release was put out today - interesting news. I'm sure this helps Singular in their marketing efforts and in sustaining better product development since they don't have to do everything at once - develop their product, sales, marketing and support.


Our products are now part of the Red Giant family

We're excited to announce that Red Giant has acquired all Singular Software products. You probably know Red Giant as a company famous for developing great video products for filmmakers, with the Magic Bullet product line leading the way for color correction and visual storytelling.

This partnership is a perfect fit for two companies with a similar vision and culture. Singular Software products are an exciting opportunity for Red Giant customers who want professional syncing for their audio and video. And Singular Software technology is an important part of Red Giant’s plans for new filmmaking and workflow products.

So, what next? The Singular Software development team will continue full steam ahead with product development, including PluralEyes 3. While the transition to Red Giant is under way, you can continue to use the Singular Software website to buy products and use for support.

Thanks for being part of the journey so far, and we look forward to continuing to support you even better in the future, together with Red Giant.

The Singular Software Team

Friday, July 06, 2012

Don't Work For Free

It should of course go without saying you should get  paid for your work. Yet when it comes to creative services : shooting, editing, design, writing there are "clients" out there that think you should not get paid for your work. is a great starting place, and they have this great video up on the topic. It also talks about crowdsourcing which is yet another exploit to get people to work for free in mass. Just don't do it. 

One site specific to video it PopTent. National ads being done for less than what any director or DP would be paid never mind the rest the people involved. 


Monday, July 02, 2012

Avid Sells Consumer A/V for $17 Million and Cuts 365 Jobs


Avid sold off its Pinacle line of products today for a paltry $17M after having paid $462M for the company back in 2005. They also cut loose 365 employees or about 15% of their workforce. Some of those employees will move with the Pinnacle products and the others are on the street. 

“It’s never easy to make these changes, but we believe it will make Avid a stronger...  more agile company,” Greenfield said. “As a small company, we’ve had to make some hard decisions.”

So Avid is trying to hang on to the more profitable pro / broadcast products while cutting loose their consumer products. They are raising some cash which will get written down aginst other losses for near break even. Cutting their workforce also helps their bottom line  but overall its stil not encouraging news. More Info HERE with more details.

One has to question why selling a division that generates $91M in revenues for $17M is a smart move... my guess is that $17M represents about the same profit that division would of made for the year except they have in as cash in hand. This gives them about $67M in the bank which could keep them limping along for a while. They have chosen to now just be professional products and we'll see how that plays out. In the end, I would not be surprised to see them also sell off their NLE product. Their real income and profit is in shared storage and the software and support it requires. Time will tell, and it will probably be sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sony To Invest Nearly $1B Into HDR CMOS Chip Fab

Sony is going to invest into Stacked CMOS imaging fabrication. Stacked CMOS allows for on chip HDR imaging with vertical pixels. While Sony is aiming for consumer products there can be no doubt that this will also make it  into pro products. If this technology adds another 2-3 stops of dynamic range to electronic imaging film's last hold out is gone. If they can add 4-5 stops of range film has been exceeded and getting to the point of what our own eyes can do. Interesting times !

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

5D Mk3 and 60D firmware updates

UPDATE : when I check the links and ran thru selecting stuff, I got a broken link to the mac DMG file... for now.

Canon released a minor firmware update for the 60D today V1.1.1. AVAILABLE HERE

It provided the following bug fixes

  • Fixes a phenomenon where the camera’s serial number that is displayed in the shooting information of the image does not display the correct serial number.
  • Corrects errors in the Greek, Italian, and Portuguese menu screens.

There is also a 5Dmk3 firmware update with various fixes and new lens support 


  • Supports the single focal length EF40mm f/2.8 STM lens that is to be released at the end of June, 2012.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which an image may become underexposed when using the Auto Lighting Optimizer for continuous Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) shooting.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the backlight of the LCD monitor may not turn off depending on the camera settings and timing.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera’s power may not turn on when a super-telephoto lens*1) is mounted to the camera with an extender*2).
    • - EF 300mm F2.8L IS II USM / EF 400mm F2.8L IS II USM
    • - Extender EF 1.4X III / Extender EF 2X III
  • Corrects mistakes in the Dutch, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, and Swedish menu screens

5Dmk3 Firmware Update AVAILABLE HERE


Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Extraordinary Week

I've been on location production for the last several days in Hawaii. Its been an amazing trip and shoot. I'll let the pix speak for themselves, and get something typed upped soon. Nothing but long days and nites !

Monday, June 11, 2012

Near Non-Update Of Mac Pro Towers By Apple Today : UPDATED

Today's WWDC announcements of iOS was amazing. The new laptops are very cool including the new Retina Display Mac Book Pro 15.4".

Wait, where is the 17" ? Nope, nadda, zilch. I actually edit video on my laptop, and do graphics and do web and do stuff that NEEDS a 17" screen. 15" is too small for my work and really if there was a 19" model I'd buy it. According to numbers around the web the 17" model doesn't sell very well when you compare it to the 15" models. Of course the people who are buying 17" models, the top of the line model are doing the serious work. Yes you can try to edit on a 15" screen but its no joy.

Then there is the near non-update of the towers. Its the same case and mobo as the previous models. There has been a minor speed increase but this machine is still using an 18month old CPU. By anyone's standards thats REALLY old. There is no thunderbolt connectors, no USB 3.0 on the machine. They didn't even make a half assed attempt by adding in a custom PCIe card with those options, not even as Build To Order. 

If you look through the store at the options, no nVidia GPU's. I mean that is completely unacceptable to be pushing off a cheap 2 year old ATI / AMD card as the only BTO option. Even the iMacs have new AMD GPU's and a couple of options with them. 

Apple is slowly killing off its high end market through attrition. They are not going to come out and say it, but they are. Just look at FCP X. Now its perfectly possible that Apple does beef up the iMac with a nVidia GPU as an option ( as they have stated ) and a 6core i7 comes along too as an option. For a lot of casual to midlevel editors and editing jobs that's more than good enough. For those of use who need dual or more GPU's and PCIe based cards for external RAIDS, Fiber, Video I/O, ect its pretty painfully obvious apple doesn't value us as customers. I think its more like they are gently telling us to look elsewhere. 

The quadcore upgraded to 6 core base machine is $3k. You can easily build a i7 6core for half of that and have a lot more RAM, more drive space and a better base video card like an nVidia 580 that screams with Adobe's latest CS6 offerings. 

As some one who has made a good part of their living using Macs starting with a 9500 PPC 120mhz with Media100 setup, I've been one of those customers most business die for. I'm loyal, I'm invested in the platform, I have multiple devices and I'm will to spend for high end machines. The reality is that Mac towers just don't have ANY bang for the buck like they once used to. If you price your product out of the market you eventually kill it off. I'm sure Autodesk that has put a lot of resources into Smoke on Mac including the latest major overhaul is just plain pissed. They too need big iron for best performance as do apps like DaVinci Resolve, SpeedGrade, Premiere Pro and After Effects amongst others.

As I've said, an iMac is ok for middle of the road work but not for demanding high end work. I have an iMac quadcore just for the record. I use it all the time for stuff like dumping SD cards, syncing sound, rough cutting, Photoshop, ect. For finishing though its all being moved to the Mac Tower I have with dual GPU's to get through what needs doing with speed. Now the iMac 4 core is, just on the CPU as fast as my older 8core but it lacks everything from dual GPU's to fast internal storage. I have 5 SATA drives in the tower. I bought bare drives and plugged them in and it was simple. If I wanted to do that with the iMac I'd first have to upgrade to a model with TB ports, then buy an external case for the drives. Thats a LOT more expensive.

The reality is I'm going to keep my 8 core tower working as long as I can. If the next rev of iMacs proves fast enough, I may consider them but in reality I may have to take a much more serious look at the PC side and its ultra crappy Win7 or 8 OS. 


Apple MAY of leaked some info via David Pogue that new iMacs and Mac Pro's won't happen until 2013. Source : Seems to me that apple will more than likely update iMacs for oct - nov time frame for holiday buying season. Mac Pro's probably won't see anything until after then because its not exactly a holiday gift item for most users.

Given the near 100% negative reaction, apple may suddenly find motivation to do better. We'll see what kind of damage control they do over the next few days.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Canon Makes Some Moves, Do We Care ?

Word is there is V2.0 firmware for the 7D. Thats nice. What does it mean ? well it probably means there is no 7D replacement on the horizon. This is the Mk II update. Nice improvements mainly for stills, manual audio levels for video ( uh, YAAA ! ). 

Then there is the t4i. Again its nice. Thats it. No word on any improvements in : 1 video moire and aliasing, 2 Native ISO's vs the tXi's 100/200/400 ect series that are noticeably more noisy than the native ones. So it does autofocus in video mode... um, I don't care thats not something I'll use very much if ever. Facial tracking with AF. Ok, cool, but I won't use it. 2 new lenses, one a slow useless zoom, the other a pancake style 40mm 2.8 for video AF. if you look at pix of the 40mm its just too small. You can't fit a gear onto it, and its a pokey slow 2.8. Common.. at least F2.0 ! I guess  you'll only AF with this lens... right. I'd like to love this lens, and this camera, but its pretty under whelming for the moment. If video quality is good, thats another story.

So we are really missing the news that counts, that matters to the huge number of people who would consider upgrading. Until either Canon says something, or we see some video from the t4i, sit and wait.

Canon, please give us something exciting that we can afford, or at least isn't grossly overpriced for what it does.


Thursday, June 07, 2012

LitePanels Patent Lawsuit Update



On a more serious note today, the LitePanels patent ( trolling ) suit is making its way through the system. This post is being re-posted from NextWaveDV with their permission


As many of you know, we reported on the Litepanels and their attempt to block the import of LEDs for video and photo back in August. A handful of companies have decided to fight Litepanels rather than give up the rights to sell LED lighting. The legal battle has been a slow uphill battle for them but it looks like things are making some headway. That said, I was contacted by one of the lawyers representing the companies battling Litepanels. This lawyer informed me of some crucial evidence they need to help nullify Litepanels patent claims.

As you may be aware, we’ve been in the “discovery” phase of the investigation since last August. “Discovery” means that the two opponents (i.e. the “Complainant” Litepanels on one side and the “Respondents” whom we represent on the other side) quiz each other about facts relating to the investigation. Each side is duty-bound by law to provide any relevant documents in their possession for the other side to examine, but only under the very strict condition that each side must scrupulously protect the secrecy of any confidential business information that the other side discloses. This process is where most of the “detective work” on an ITC investigation takes place.

But at a certain point, the “discovery” process runs its course and it becomes necessary to do some outside “sleuthing”. That’s where you and the rest of the cinematography community can really help out, as I’ll explain below.

U.S. federal patent law contains a provision called a “prior use statutory bar”, which just means that if an application for a patent covering a certain invention is not filed within one year after an embodiment of the invention is first offered for sale or otherwise disclosed to the public, then that invention is deemed to have been dedicated to the public and cannot be patented. The corollary is that any patent issued for such a previously-disclosed invention can subsequently be ruled invalid if the prior public disclosure is brought to the attention of the relevant authorities (either a court or the US patent office).

So what we are endeavoring to do now is gather information that will lead to a smoking gun – a verifiable instance of white LEDs being commercially used for illumination of subjects in photography or cinematography prior to the “critical date”. In this case, the application for the first Litepanels patent was filed on September 9, 2001, so any public use prior to September 9, 2001 will be potentially lethal to the patents that Litepanels is asserting against us.

You may also be aware that the hearing in this investigation (ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-804) is scheduled to take place in the middle of June. So at the same time that we are scurrying to gather as much evidence from the community as we can, we are also busily preparing our trial briefs and exhibits.

Contact if you can help

If you have any records of LED purchases prior to the above dates, contact them directly to help with the case. You can also help by spreading the word.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

My Job This Week

My day this week.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lightworks Releases Their NLE Today on Windows

Today LightWorks has released its NLE for the modern world. Its out of beta and ready to go. Right now, the initial release is Win 7, but Linux and OS X are supposed to be coming soon. There are 2 versions of Lightworks - the Free version and Pro Paid one. The Pro version is 40L or about $62 US. What does that buy you ? A lot actually. 

  • ProRes Decode
  • Avid DNxHD Decode and Encode (extra Avid DNxHD License required)
  • AVC-Intra Decode and Encode
  • XDCAM EX Decode and Encode
  • XDCAM HD 50 422 Decode and Encode
  • DPX Decode and Encode
  • RED R3D Decode
  • H.264 / AVCHD Decode and Encode
  • BluRay VC1 Export
  • MPEG-4 Export
  • Quicktime Export
  • AAF Import and Export
  • Titling tool
  • Stereoscopic Support – Import, Edit, Effects, Export
  • Project Sharing
  • Hardware I/O Support
  • Multiple Concurrent User Licensing options
  • Volume Licensing options
  • Lifetime Pro Membership of the Lightworks Community

There are lots of other cool features like GPU powered FX, nodal compositing, project sharing and archieving, ect. Pretty much the entire list of things pro editors want and need.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Matrox Releases CS6 Compatible Drivers

Yet one more things today ! Matrox has released CS6 drivers for their MXO2 series I/O devices. Available here.

Premiere Pro 6.0.1 Update Also Live Today

A variety of bug fixes have been done and a few new features added including :

  • Improved performance using OpenCL, especially when used on Mac OSX v10.7.4 or later.
  • For details of GPU acceleration in Premiere Pro, see this page. For details of OpenCL features in Premiere Pro CS6, see this page.
  • Added encoding presets with additional bit-rate settings for XDCAM HD.
  • Added Automatic Peak File Generation preference in the Audio category for turning off automatic peak file generation for imported audio. By default, this preference is enabled and matches the behavior of Premiere Pro CS6 (6.0.0).
  • When this preference is disabled, importing audio or opening projects will not cause peak files to be generated. If peak files were already generated, then waveforms will be visible. Files imported before the preference was disabled will continue to generate peak files.
  • Enabled “smart rendering” and added Enable Smart Rendering Codec setting to the Video tab of the MXF OP1a exporters for XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX to enable or disable smart rendering for these formats. This option defaults to the off/disabled state. We’ll have more information about this feature in a post on this blog within a day. 

Here is a complete post on everything in this release.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seeing Color

This test of color will see just how well you not only see color, but can compare color. Taking it is useful to see where you have a hard time separating certain colors, especially when next to others that make it harder. This isn't to mean that your career as a colorist is over if you don't do so great on the first go around. In fact just the opposite, you can use this test and others like it to better identify where your deficiencies are and compensate for them.

Meanwhile I'm back on the road tomorrow doing audio on more political coverage. Work is good !

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Update From Work

I haven't had time to post so far this week. I've been out on the road covering the up coming elections for one of the networks. That's my boom pole in the shot ! We caught this by being in the right place at the right time. Its when having your gear working counts because there is no second take. Of course I'm NOT making any statement of politics here with this picture one way or the other, except to say that its good for keeping a lot of freelance crew people working.

Monday, May 21, 2012

T4i ?


There are rumors going around that Canon will sometime in the month of June be announcing 2 new cameras - the t4i / 650D and maybe a mirrorless body, perhaps in EF mount. A t4i would be welcome because it should hopefully mean that Canon is finally fixing up the low to middle range of their products. The big question will be if the t4i has the moire and aliasing problem fixed. If yes, this bodes well for a 70D eventually with the same fix. If the 7D updates to a 8D or 7D mkII it should also have the same fixes. My concern is that Canon instead does a 50% fix - quite literally they make it better, but not perfect to force users who are brand loyal to go well up the product line for acceptable video quality from these cameras. I guess we'll find out in a few weeks how this will go, and hopefully Canon will step up and not screw this up.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday B&H SD and CF Card Sale



Need some more SD or CF cards ? B&H is again doing a Friday Sale with major discounts on SD and CF cards. 64G cards are now very reasonable, and 128's aren't bad if you need that much space per card.

This site does get a small commission if you use the links here...a little support goes a long ways and this is a great deal. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How LEE Filters Are Made : By Hand !

This wasn't what I was planning to post today,  but it was pretty cool. This is a factory walk thru at LEE Filters showing how their resin lens filters are made. I guess if you ask why filters are so expensive for what they seem to be, here is the answer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Black Magic Design Releases CS6 Drivers

Black Magic Design has released drivers V 9.5.1 with CS6 compatibility. Get the Mac Drivers here

CS 6.0.1 Updates !

The bits aren't even dry on the hard drive yet and a bunch of CS 6.0.1 updates are live via automatic updates. Of interest is AME 6.0.1 which adds "Smart Exporting". Whats that ? thats when AME just copies the original media file data from source into your export file without a decompression / compression pass. Saves a compression generation, makes the process much faster. However, let me also be clear that ANYTIME you do anything with the image - scale it, position it, add a color corrector or other filter, ect any NLE has to decompress that frame into full raster RGB, do the processing, then recompress. There is no getting around that. However, if you are doing what amounts to basically cuts only, or at least no effects except some dissolves this should make exporting go much faster. Can't wait to see what comes along next.

CS6 Is Here !

Its HERE ! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

7D Anti-Aliasing / Moire Filter Now Available

Its more than cool that Moasic Engineering now has an antialiasing filter for the 7D.... except what about the few million more 60D's out there ? I mean seriously, there are FAR FAR FAR more 60D's than 7D's. please give us a filter for the 60D. Cool for the 7D, but its an old camera at this point...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dave Simons & Chris Prosser of AE Intervew

Dave and Chris talk about some really great behind the scenes stuff in what goes on in creating After Effects. They also talk specifically about CS6. Dave Simons was one of the original founders of COSA. The interview is up on FXguide . There is some great stuff here and its well worth the listen.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Made In After Effects CS6 3D

Ok I've had CS6 to play with, well... NDA, I can't tell you how long :)

Here is a new title I made for my next web review. This feature's AE's new 3D rendering, ray traced of course at 16 photons / pixel, motion blur and cranked up DoF on the camera. 

ToolFarm Is Now A Site Sponsor




If you are looking for an Adobe CS6 Master Suite Upgrade  or Adobe CS6 Production Premium Upgrade consider doing it with Toolfarm and help support one of the coolest companies on the web.

Upgrades for Production Premium and After Effects are also available.

Monday, May 07, 2012

nVidia Has CS6 drivers for its SDI options

First out of the gate with drivers for the new Transmit API in Adobe CS6 apps is.... nVidia. If you have an SDI output on one of their cards here is the driver.

My expectations for other vendors : no one will be waiting very long for drivers for CS6 support. Stay tuned !

Adobe CS6 Now Shipping !


YES ! Finally here. more than worth it, reviews over the next day or two.

Mac Master Collection Full version

PC Master Collection Full Version

Mac Production Premium Full Version

PC Production Premium Full Version

These links do give us a small commission which would be appreciated if you need the full version. 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Sony NEX-FS700 Officially Is $8K and in PreOrder Status

No surprises today in a good way with the price officially coming in at $7995. B&H is taking pre-orders now. If you use the link on our site we will get a small commission that would be appreciated. Also B&H is doubling the current Canon rebates when you buy a body plus lens. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Quadro 4000 Running On External Thunderbolt Connection and WORKING with Premiere Pro

We all knew it was possible and had just been waiting for the hardware to happen. Its HERE ! its pre-production hardware, but it works. Also of interest - they are running CS6 !

Carey Dissmore, IMUG founder interview

I've known Carey forever, we did the In Production Series on DaVinci ReSolve together. Check out his ToolFarm interview here

And here we are together in Vegas just before the IMUG event started

Monday, April 30, 2012

NAB NLE Summary By Shane Ross

A great funny over view of this year's NAB and the state of NLE's.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The VF We All Want

When a bunch of 800X480 VF cames out a while ago, I wasn't impressed. They were less then what is on the back of most dslr's. So far only the RED VF with 1280X720 res has impressed me until this one came along. 

1920X1080 ! Thats what I'm talking about. Its made by Astro Design, and distributed by Band Pro. This is one we all want. Too bad at $13K it may cost more than all your gear combined. Well unless you have a F35 or F65 which is the camera this was designed for ( also ARRI / Phantom / RED ). The only problem of course is that everyone else wants one too but its jus out there pricewise. The real question is why we don't have an affordable VF of this res for $1k.

Repeating The Past

All too often as new cameras and gear come out, we forget about what was once, even months ago the greatest ever. I present to you today a state of the art consumer image acquisition unit. Ok, whats left of it I present to you.

In 1960 something the new owner would of cried at this sight. Today its interesting junk.  

We have a range of cameras now from cheap to very expensive that all make great images. In fact the differences between those cameras at times are pretty small. Plan you next purchase wisely so that when your new today expensive camera looks like this 20 or even 10 years from now, you'll enjoy the peak inside at the quaintness of the technology inside. Who am I kidding, this could be your new camera a year or two from now the way things are going.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Apple to Kill 17 Inch Laptops ?

According to this rumor Apple may be planning to drop the 17" model from the product line. The quick info is that while apple makes millions of 13" and 15"  models, the 17" models may of only sold 50K units if the article is accurate. I could certainly see why apple could and would drop the product except its yet another blow off of pro users. Lets face it, its mainly power users who are getting 17" machines. I'm one of them. In fact if they made a 19" model I'd buy it. Yes I travel and no I don't find the size to be a problem at all. I need that screen space !  


Now they are potentially dropping 17" machines ? 

Seems like apple is simply forcing me off the platform, I'm very sorry to say because they are drying up the hardware I depend on. Of course lots of rumors of the demise of the tower also doesn't help my mindset either. I'd like to keep Mac as my primary system, but I don't think thats going to happen.

Add on the fact I've been working on a super fast loaded Z800 and its hard. I'll be honest, while Win 7 is a big step forwards for MS, its still in many respects still XP with a nice paint job. It has some serious problems with QT + codecs, networking and of course security concerns. The reality is that over the next 1-2 years I'm probably going to be forced into using PC's simply because I can't get the big hardware ( screens, CPU's, GPU's ) to get the work done. Time will tell. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Prem Pro vs Media Composer vs FCP X

If booth attendance says anything this is what I saw :

Apple and FCP X ? nada. ok, some vendors were showing FCP X with their product, but at least as many still had FCP 7 running... for now.

Avid : about 1/3 the seating space of Adobe. When I went by it was usually 1/2 empty. 

Adobe : Packed ! Even on thursday at 1PM is was still very full. In fact at some point during the show NAB officials asked adobe to do some crowd control because they thought too many people where grouped up there and it was a fire hazard.

Autodesk Smoke : Small seating area but generally about 75% full plus folks standing and watching. They have their niche and it still has interest. A while ago they cut Flame to $125K from $250K. I didn't hear if they cut it at NAB this year. The big news is that Smoke 2013 has a new revamped UI that looks something like Premiere Pro + FCP X + smoke. Use the Beta until the product is released, and they cut the price to $3495 ! Crazy. However it may be the only way they stay alive in the marketplace.

Friday, April 20, 2012

NAB 2012 : 4K and Friends : UPDATED

Another NAB as come and gone. I made it home today. Internet access in Vegas was the worst its ever been this year. If I didn't have a tether app for my phone I'd of had almost no net access.

So fair enough, all the other blog sites are going crazy about the new gear... GREAT ! What about the people ? In the shot above, over a few cocktails Dan Spiess of Florida chats with Steve Griffiths of Austrailia. I've known both of these guys forever. Its only at NAB that we get to share a few minutes or hours together. Thats what its about.

The gear is cool, its the people that count. Its what meaningful things you do with that gear which counts. Then there is the cool stuff you DON"T get to see on the show floor. Sometimes they are in suites for invitees only, sometimes you just have to look hard. Here I am with one of those SUPER COOL THINGS you did not see on the floor, its a prototype. That's as much as I'm giving up for now.


Over the next week or two I'll share with you some of my cool findings while wandering around in vegas under the bright lights. Yes 4K is last year's 3D in terms of what was big news. The difference is I expect 4K to take hold over the next couple of years while 3D remains a small niche and a bit of a gimmick in the market place. I'm not saying I don't like 3D, I do for a few things but its not suitable for all things. Right Tool For The Job™ ! ok ?


All shots taken NOT with some expensive lens and camera, but a cheap simple GoPro HD ( original ). A great little stills camera that travels light.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Here @ NAB

I'm here today updating this with my iphone. Internet acces where I am is useless and I tapping this out on my iPhone. It was raining last night which doesn't happen too often here. Spectacular clouds came down over the mountains. Blogware won't let me put a pic up be it uses flash and guess what doesn't run on an iPhone....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Off To NAB


I'm off to NAB today ( Sat ). Got some gear with me to do some shooting. I'm not intending to run around like mad doing 100 on the floor show interviews, but I may do some. We'll see whats interesting. My schedule will be pretty intense while I'm there and internet connections are usually expensive and slow so we'll see what I get to post. 

If you are out there, say hello. The MediaMotion Ball is solid out again, I'm more than likely skipping the SuperMeet, and have several private events to go to. Should be fun !

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Adobe CS6 Is Announced ! UPDATED 2

Its official ! CS6 has been announced. Yes SpeedGrade is part of the Video suites !  Adobe Preview VIDEOS Here

What's New in CS6

Premiere Pro : 

New UI - or should I say updated and made much cleaner and more modern. Dig the new GIANT size clip icons. They are fully scalable from small to pretty huge. But wait there's more ! They are scrubable. If you swipe the mouse over the image you can scrub through it. You can also set In and Out Points while doing to. This changes the way I edit ! As an option you can toggle scrubbing to be active only with the alt / option key held down. Very nice, everyone is happy. 

Also as part of the new icon view is a mini-icon in the image that indicates clip usage by turning yellow.

Timeline : there are many improvements here. Better trimming tools, easier transition application, and... Just Play. A lot of operations that used to stop play no longer do so. You can toggle tracks on and off, trim clips, ect.. A lot of operations can now be performed and the TL will continue to play.

Send to SpeedGrade ! Enough said, get your project over there for grading painlessly.

More CUDA powered support and new hardware support.

Warp Stabilizer is now part of Premiere Pro. Its got CUDA goodness ! You can now directly smooth or stabilize shots right in the TL. The analyze part is quick, the warp is CUDA rendered for super fast performance. 

New API for 3rd party video hardware that's low latency, low overhead and pretty much autoc onfigures. Just set your project to use the hardware output and you can jump from SD to 720 to 1080 timelines and the hardware matches your moves without changing ANYTHING !  The new playback infrastructure is fast and fluid as if you were using hardware dedicated to the NLE. This brings the level of performance for output from your 3rd party card to where it should be.

Audio Meters & Mixer :  New fully scalable audio meter for the timeline. YES ! the audio mixer has also been fully redone to match the greatness of Audtion's mixer. It too is scalable. It's really a great sight.

Improved Audio Handling in the Timeline :  You can now place mono and stereo clips into the SAME audio track ! this greatly simplifies audio handling and editing. You should be able to also place 5.1 clips in as well, but I haven't tried it. All around improvements in audio clip handling.

Improved Multicam Editing  : Expanded multicam support, allowing you to work with as many cameras as you want. In the past  the limit was four cameras.  Now the only limitation is the formats you’re working with and the power of your machine. The MultiCam monitor plays the footage from each camera in a grid that automatically adjusts to accomodate the number of cameras in your shoot and a preview of the recorded sequence. After you’ve created a multicam edit, you can refine it either by re-performing sections of your edit from within the Multi-Camera Monitor or by using normal editing tools, applying effects, or correcting color.

After Effects :

Global Performance Cache : This is a persistent disc cache. That means after you quit the app the cache is still there so that next time you start AE up, you are REALLY back where you started. This  calls for a super fast disk array or SSD and it flies. This breaks the limits of what RAM alone in your machine can handle.

3D Camera Tracker : A solid general purpose 3D tracker. It works great for integrating 3D text from the next feature into real world shots like the titles in Fringe.

Ray-traced, Extruded text and shapes : Stop and read that one again ! If you watched the In Production series we produced those 3D titles came out of AE CS6. Ok, we haven't done anything yet for CS6 !

The 3D output is super sexy amazing. This isn't CPU rendering either although you can do it that way... but you won't want to. Ray tracing is being rendered with CUDA on the GPU's. Yup, multiple GPU support!  This version of AE can and will use your hardware to the limit. Render times on suitable GPU's are an order of magnitude faster from the likes of many hours down to minutes. You REALLY want a nVidia CUDA capable GPU. That means for Macs it's a Quadro 4000 as an excellent choice. PC cards with flashed BIOS to work in a Mac is another option, but YMMV. Apple seriously needs to get their act together on graphics card support.

On PC there is the insane Maximus config using a Quadro 2000 or 4000 PLUS a Tesla C2075 card with 442 cores on it alone. If I have the number rights thats nearly 700 CUDA cores between the two cards. This setup is just smoking fast over anything else for AE 3D ray traced rendering.

Reflections, transparency, bevels. All the good stuff and a great look because there is plenty of control of various 3D parameters per layer.

Conversion of Illustrator vector graphics to shape layers : Ok cool. not something I ever use but I know plenty of people who will be thrilled with this.

Variable-width mask feathering : another long standing thing I've wanted. Its really great and about time ! One word here - it's also different. rather than using expect splines, it uses node points more like hybrid B splines

New Cycore (CC) effects and upgrade of dozens of effects to 16-bpc and 32-bpc color depth

Pro Import After Effects functionality based on technology from Automatic Duck for importing projects from other applications, including Final Cut Pro and Avid software

Improved integration with mocha-AE

New and greatly improved GPU acceleration features for previews and final-quality rendering

Rolling Shutter Repair effect

Adobe's official AE announcement is here.


My longtime friend  Chris Meyer already has a review up a minutes after this was announced at PVC... talk about speed of the internet !

Not to be out done, John Dickinson also has some material already up 

After Effects: New 3D Features in CS6 and 

After Effects: CS6 3D Material Template


New App : Prelude

This is Adobe's new app for card dumping and metadata entry. A big feature of this app is its ability to copy cards to more than one place at a time. It can also TRANSCODE  clips. There is also the ability to pull clip selects and output that as a rough cut to premiere pro. Metadata entry is of course also part of this new app.



Many improvements including better BluRay support, FLASH output, and better integration with the other Adobe apps. Example - you can place your Premiere Pro TL into Encore via dynamic link. Changes in your Prem Pro TL ripple into Encore.


More to come over the next few days !

Monday, April 09, 2012

Its a 4K NAB...6 Days and counting

More bits continue to surface surrounding this years push, 4K. Sony has already announced 1 camera so far just to get things going. Canon has their sunday event ( invites ????? ) and now bits are surfacing about Panasonic also being in on the game. 



Just great. Just when our computers / NLE's could easily handle a couple streams of 1080 like our old machines handled SD, just redo everything. Anyone who has worked with RED 4K knows what I mean. However with RED you are debayering / color managing / decoding the frames which is a lot more work than just decoding the frame and maybe doing a basic gamma conversion. Realistically, you need to decide if 4K makes sense for you.  If your material has future value, then 4K makes sense. If your material has a short lifetime value, 1080 or even 720 will be just fine. I won't even get into a web streaming thing I'm dealing with right now where I have to break it to them that SD composite video just isn't good enough....

So I'll be out there in Vegas saturday. If your there, give me a shout. I will also be shooting monday testing this rig I talked about before & you see above. I think its gonna work pretty well and give a dslr camera back the mass and handling they have lacked. I'm also liking its NOT made of all sorts of odd bits clamped together that take forever to assemble or you have to just leave built all the time. Well NAB will tell ! Back to the past to a time when it just worked.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Just Busy But Getting Ready For NAB

Usually by this time I"ve had another post or two out, but things have just been busy. With local elections going on I've been out working, which is great. That last lens review also took a LOT of time, and there is more I'm working on if I can ever get back to it. Here's proof I've really been working ! Photo courtesy of Chris Hibben.

Newt Gingrich remote

I've also been watching all the news coming from pre NAB which has been interesting. Thankfully 3D is maybe not quite dead, but just a little blip on the radar now as I had pretty much expected it would be. While cool, it just didn't get consumers to go on a buying spree replacing their new and perfectly good screens with 3D ones. Lets face it, if your viewers don't have 3D screens whats the point...

So 4K is this year's NAB gear theme. Thats cool, but 4K is gonna just be a very slow adoption. However, unlike 3D I expect it will gain traction. The difference will be that the gearheads who always have to have the latest and greatest will start the adoption. The rest will slowly follow. While an $8k Sony FS700 is amazing and cool, its still a bit expensive for a lot of shooters out there. The difference these days is that a LOT of content is being shot on cheap cameras, not the $25K-$50K+ cameras we all used to use. I'm no per se complaining about the price at all.  

If consumer demand fuels production lets consider this : in the 90's when HD first became a standardize spec, and production gear first started to become available, it was a big step up in quality. The average consumer could see the difference even if they couldn't afford it yet. It wasn't until there were sub $2000 and eventually sub $1000 HD screens that mass adoption took off. To the average consumer the price point to quality ratio was finally hit. Its easy to see the HD picture quality difference, never mind a 42" screen sure looks pretty all on its own. So prices had to fall into line with consumer demand , which really only happened in the late 2000's.

4K is incremental to the consumer but there is also reality. There are almost NO panels at any price with 4K native screens, never mind consumer priced ones. There is also no distribution - not youtube or netflix, no transmision standards, nothing. In fact the video card in your computer in DVI / HDMI is limited to someting like 2550X1600 or so.

The visual difference between 4K and 1080 is also going to be another it depends thing. If you are far enough back you'll never see the difference. This will be especially true if the image is heavily compressed in effect pretty much turning it into a 1080 image anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I think 4K will become standard for SOME productions. It already is for large budget entertainment projects. However lots of big budget projects have been shooting in 1080 / 2K. Thats probably a mistake. Mass consumer adoption of 4K isn't going to happen anytime soon unless some LCD panel maker has a way to make them in mass and affordable. There will be use for projection in movie houses, but that is just such a small amount of work that winds up there. However if you go 5 to more like 10 years out consumers with 4K and more likely 8K res screens will be the norm. Lets also consider, 4K may be the stepping stone incremental format to get to 8K. Yes I've seen 8K and its AMAZING. It makes 1080 look like ratty VHS in comparison. 

So should you rush out to start shooting 4K ? maybe. It all depends on if your work REALLY has future value or you are shooting a lot of green screen where the extra res is very helpful. After that, I still know people just making their move to HD 10 years into the era. Evaluate your needs carefully, then decide.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NAB 1988: Get Ready For Digital Composite Video and D2

Its NAB 1988. D2 is the hot new format. Its DIGITIAL, its LOSSLESS, Go 20 generations ! Just try that with your 1" machines. 

The KILLER Feature ? PreRead means A/B rolls without using 2 source machines. You can composite shots up all day long using just 2 D2 machines. Watch the great video.  Exciting times !

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ready For NAB ? The Hype Machine is on

Expect product announcement like crazy over the next few weeks as we are now less than one month out to NAB. Yes I've booked my trip, I'll be there. What I sometimes get numb to is the blinding amount of stuff that happens some years. Everyone has their favorite in cameras, glass, lights, and software. However, thats just the surface of NAB. There is audio, wireless, TV transmitters, cable set top boxes, encoders, isles of back end gear for cable co's, racks of hard drives..... and LOTS of blaring music and noise mixed with a few booth babes. Hey THATS NAB. However, just as the main vegas strip is huge and overwheling, there is also downtown vegas. Its small, its on a human scale, and you can even win their playing the slots.

I like the downtown approach to NAB. You pick whats interesting to you, find that out and just kind of ingore the rest. You scale NAB down. However, keeping your eyes open counts as often some really cool stuff does show up with out a lot of fanfare or 10 emails a day announcing it. I'm not sure what that ultra cool new item will be, or what killer new update to an existing product will take NAB by storm ... well actually I do but I can't say :) !

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have Aaton, Will Shoot

I have to say I've shouldered an Aaton 16mm camera a few times. Its something you should experience because its a compact ( heavy ! ) and well thought out camera package. Things just work, they are rugged and reliable. Far better then the miserable bits we have as dslr rigs where stuff doesn't fit right, loosens up, falls off and is just plain crap that doesn't work right. Enter this : The Aaton Shoulder Cat. Officially blessed no less ! 

Maybe before you go after some Digital Bolex.... just get your dslr tricked out with this !

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vintage VS New

I finally have a shoot date set for late this week. I have a fine collection of vintage glass to do a shoot out with. I've got a couple modern lenses to compare to. If you have a canon 24 / 28 / 35 L you can lend out for the week, drop me a line and I'll work to include it. 

Meanwhile a  shot from a recent lens I picked up, a vivitar 24 F2.0

sample example vivtar 24 f2

A New In Production Show Tues

We are on track to release show #6 of the series. Its a monster of a show to of gotten done. Carey and I are both going to grade each other's projects and it will be more than interesting to see what happens. We'll both be showing you how we got it done... stay tuned !

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sony Now Giving Away S-Log with F3

As I had predicted, if Sony felt that F3 sales where lagging they could always add on the S-Log former $3k option. Anyone who sprung for the original S-Log option is probably pretty upset now. Any current owners who don't have it can uprade for $899 now. Ok better, but still pretty pricey. Should be $99 upgrade under the circumstances. I guess Sony felt the pressure from all the other cameras that have some sort of Log option from the C300 to dslr's either out of the box or with a loaded picture style.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

New Intuos5 Tablets From Wacom

I love my Wacom. I've been using them for 15 years. My current 6X11 is the best one they have ever made - perfect size and shape. Now they have the new Intuos5.

Lets see, usually they make better products but this time I'm not so sure. The big news is its touch sensitive now - swipe, squeeze, scroll with your fingers. Reviewers report it never confuses your fingers for the pen. I have had a Bamboo touch, but never liked it. It was never anywhere near as good as a real laptop track pad. I don't want the apple one because its bluetooth - batteries, RF, one more thing to go wrong, a pain to swap around between computers. Just give me a USB wire on it and I'll buy it !

So is there a down side ? The large  MSRP is $469. The physical scroll wheel is gone for a touch one. The OLED's are gone too. There is also no 6X11 or widescreen model. The Extra Large is a 8X12 4:3 aspect ratio, wait, wasn't that the OLD large model ? 

The Medium is MSRP $349 which is $50 less... but then they took some stuff out. Draw on this one.

They are still selling the real old Extra Large 12X18 Intuos4 model with OLED displays. Me, I think I'm gonna snap up a Intuos4 while they are still in stock !

Oh ya, looks like the 5D MkIII from Canon is real and being announced in the next few hours. Wake me up when they ship them!

Weird News Of The Week : IRIDAS Sues Adobe

Huh you just said ? I bet you thought Adobe owned IRIDAS, right ? Here is a link to a report on the case which was just filed. It sounds not unlike the Apple / ProView lawsuit where one part of the company does one thing, the parent or subsidiary doing another. Reading it, my take is that the USA part of IRIDAS acted separately from the parent company in Germany. Perhaps through the long winded article the point is IUSA didn't send a check home to the German parent co. The USA IRIDAS employees are now working at Adobe. **MY SPECULATION** is that the IUSA employees took a generous compensation package at Adobe and felt happy with assimilation. Given you sue the player with the most money, guess who was target #1 ? and the parties that actually **MAY** of done something wrong or in poor judgement aren't. It'll be interesting to watch this one unfold and its a safe bet SpeedGrade being part of the next release of Creative Suite is on hold.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Week -

I've certainly been busy with Carey cranking out the In Production series on DaVinci Resolve. Yes it has been impacting my time for other posts. 

Next week, another installment of In Production will be released !

So here are some bits and peices from the week :


4K Chinese Camera From KineRAW. I'm not going to call this a knock off  because its not. Short version:  S35 sensor, 4K res, cinemadDNG format, $8K MSRP if and when.... they have a 2K Super 8 ( thats about 1/3" ) camera working right now, but not for sale. RED isn't happy for sure....Lets see if it ever ships and what the word is.

Rumors of a 5D MKIII : $3500 MSRP. Announcement in early March expected. Long overdue, lets see what they have. Canon has really put all their plans into the C300. Lets see if this one delivers. I won't waste your time on speculation, just wait and see what they finally produce. Above all else the real question is if they are finally going to fix moire and aliasing problems that have plagued their video capable DSLR's since day one. Of course you now have a company competing with themselves : $15k C300 vs $3.5K dslr. We'll see ! 



Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Father of Modern Compositing Petro Vlahos

Jeff Foster has posted part one of this doc on the history of compositing. If you are even slightly into the topic, this is a great look back... A bit of warning : I'm sorry to say the editing on this is basically rough cuts / selects with a few bits of B roll. Worth the listen

Monday, February 13, 2012

Something Special Coming Tomorrow


That's as much as I'm wiling to share right now.... you'll just have to wait until then ( tues ) !


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

OM-D In The Game From Olympus

Olympus is now in the video dslr game with the $999 OM-D. B&H is taking pre-orders. Canon, are you going to let everyone eat your lunch ? Maybe putting all your resources into the C300 basket wasn't the best plan....

OM-D olympus

OM-D Specs

  • 16.1Mp 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
  • TruePic VI Image Processor
  • 3.0" Tilting OLED Monitor
  • Eye-Level Electronic Viewfinder
  • RAW + JPEG Still File Formats
  • 200-25,600 ISO Sensitivity
  • TTL Flash Compatibility
  • 1920 x 1080 HD Video Capture
  • Computerized Focal-Plane Shutter
  • Digital ESP/Center/Spot Metering

Nikon D800 Short Surfaces

Really nice shooting, very clean impressive video. Canon, get your #!@! together. All the competition has better video now. Aliasing and moire don't cut it anymore !

Now if you dig a bit into this, recall that the short that launched dslr video was LaForet's video a couple years ago. I think there are clear parallels here - car vs motorcycle, city at night,  ect. I think Nikon took a direct poke at Canon with this one.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Canon FINALLY Updates EOS Utiltiy For LION

This must be the week of software miracles ! Canon has FINALLY put out a LION compatible version of its EOS utilities. You can now upload picture styles to your camera again ! Its Available HERE.

canon eos utility updater for 2.10.4 60d 5d 7d t2i

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New FCP X10.0.3 AND >> FCP 7 to X XML Translator

My long time friends Philip  Hodgetts & Gregory Clark have done what Phillip has said either wasn't doable, or would be just miserable to do : translate FCP 7 XML to FCP X XML. READ Phillip's announcement here for all the details. The best news is the app is available via the apple App Store for $9.99 so anyone can afford it. This is great news for anyone who wants to try to use FCP X where they still needed to work on old projects. The translation may not be perfect, but it seems pretty close. The converter app will even do some cool stuff like translate ( convert ) PICT files into TIFF's since FCP X no longer supports PICTS. Indeed some versions of OS X 10.7 will crash if you open a folder with PICTS in them and it goes to draw the icons. 

Great work guys !

FCP X  10.0.3 update link to apple

oh ya, FCP X has an update to 10.0.3 adding improved XML import ( NOT 7toX, thats a separate purchase AVAILABLE HERE ), multicam, and a beta of "broadcast output" meaning it talks to your 3rd party video I/O gear. Thats something that should of been in 1.0. So if you use X go get it.

This FCP X update includes



  • multicam editing that automatically syncs up to 64 angles of video and photos. Good bye Pural / Dual Eyes for FCP X users.


  • advanced chroma keying for handling complex adjustments right in the app.


  • includes a beta of broadcast monitoring that supports Thunderbolt devices as well as PCIe cards


MacPro's AKA Towers

This picture says a lot. It tells me towers from apple are dead. Yes we have all heard the rumors of this but this image says a lot. Its a Thunderbolt connected world of I/O boxes, storage and whatever else you need hung on ThunderBolt. Given that nVidia will be in the next generation of iMacs which may come as soon as spring with the new intel chips here is my prediction :

Apple Updates Towers ONE last time and limps them along for the next 2+ years. If there is no updated towers by summer, I think its a safe bet they are never going to be updated and current models will be sold until sales drops to nothing.

Really they are just too expensive right now. A big part of this is intel's pure gouging on XEON chips that apple is hung on using. I"m not saying those machines are fast, they are. However, they are also out of budget for most users, especially in the current economy where everyone is a lot more price conscience. 

A six or 8 core iMac as the Pro machine. In reality, this would not be a bad machine at all. The 27" monitor is great, I have one. Add on another display if you really need it, but most folks don't. TB attached storage and I/O box. That would cover a HUGE segment of the market's needs. 

Just as NLE's changed post in the 90's from tape to hard drives and computers, Apple is going to change this again. Its going to get smaller and simpler. Most users don't need towers to edit. They are using laptops and iMacs, machines with 2-4 cores in them and are happy. If you look, even apps like Resolve can run on a laptop or iMac fine. I don't mean with smoking levels of performance, but certainly good enough to get the job done. Thats what this is about : getting the job done. Maybe not the fastest way, but it'll work for most of the market.

For the upper mid end and high end of post however, we'll probably all switch to PC's running Premiere Pro , smoke or maybe Avid. Why ? because we need more from our machines. Dual GPU's like the Tesla C2075 with 492 GPU's and 6G of VRAM to handle CUDA just scream. Of course of you have not tried one, you have no idea what you're missing. However, you also have to have a need to use it. Deep long multi layer timelines with lots of layers and effects. Thats not MOST user's timelines. Sure they may have some section with a few stacked titles or something, but they aren't doing 30 minute projects with 7-12 layers the entire time. For thos few people who do, they'll probably move to PC. 

There is one possible out for apple here to support pro user's and not have to make towers themselves : Use something like a HP Z800 and license OS X to run on them. It wold be trivial for apple to do. Hackintosh's are out there in mass so getting OS X to run on a more generic PC wouldn't take much effort on their part. If anything, apple might add some stuff to actually limit OS X to running only on blessed PC configs like the Z800. This would kill the Hackintosh market and let apple support the pro market with a MUCH better tower then apple has ever built. A HP Z series machine has lots of drive space ( 6-8 slots ), RAM slots, dual XEON configs, SAS & SATA, dual 16X slots and PS big enough to handle it all. It would be too easy for apple to do really. We'll see !

Thankfully adobe apps are near identical inside, and media generally works just fine between the two. Opening a Mac Prem Pro Project on a PC is just a matter of opening it and relinking the media, then hit play.

Interesting times. By NAB I think the cards will be on the table.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Samyang Ready To Ship 24mm 1:1.4

 Samyang is getting ready to start shipping their 24mm 1:1.4 ED AS UMC lens in canon and nikon mounts.  MSRP of 599eu or about $784us... a bit of an ouch there ! but still way cheaper then the big name glass which doesn't have real mechical focus and iris rings

Having just bought their ( Rokinon version ) 35 1.4 this should be another great peice of glass. The problem is I have too many lenses in the 24-28mm range right now. I guess I need to do some ebaying :) !

I have some test video shot last nite to put up, and a review coming. That lens test I posted about a little while ago is also on the burner now that I have rounded out the collection to test. I'm mainly working on getting a model to shoot.

samgyang 24 1.4

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NEX / E Mount to Canon EF Adapter with Electronic Iris Support

For quite some time it seems we have been teased with being able to mount Canon EF mount lenses onto E mount cameras ( NEX / FS100 / F3 ) but so far no shipping product. All that changed a few days ago with these adapters from a company I'd never heard of before, Metabones. Well we all start somewhere, right ? Image link takes you to the WEB PAGE for the product. A little pricy at $399, but still pretty cheap if you have a bunch of EOS / EF mount glass that has requires electronic iris control.

This Smart AdapterTM has the following features:

• True electronic integration of aperture diaphragm - let camera automatically choose aperture in P or S exposure modes, or dial in yourself on the camera body in A or M modes.

• Powered by camera body. No external power source required.

• Wide open button (opposite of depth-of-field preview function) makes manual focusing easy.

Whats more interesting is this connector on the sidew with 2 screw holes. Looks like a place to mount some connector - my guess ? Electronic follow focus / Iris control. 


Additional Note : The first batch of adapters has been recalled due to a minor firmware error. They are fixing it and making it right, but it does require a return to the factory for update. It appears not to be user updatable... probably because more than anything else they don't want some one swiping their hard created code to make the magic happen. It may also be there is no external connection point a user can connect to for doing the update too.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

KODAK Finally Files Chap 11

Please understand, Kodak gave us some great stuff for 132 years, well maybe about 110 years if you don't count the last 20. They denied and fought the digital revolution only to be eaten by it. So today they filed Chap 11.

Now Kodak does have some other divisions like a chemical company thats doing ok FWIW. However, whats more disturbing is that on order to raise funds, they are going out and doing the patent troll lawsuit thing against apple, samsung and probably some other companies. Nonsense about transfering images between devices. Please, thats obvious, and there is prior art. Bad patent again, but aren't most ? Its completely and totally pathetic that Kodak has stooped to patent trolling to make some cash. Instead of filing pointless lawsuits they'll probably loose, why not spend the cash marketing the good stuff they have like low ink cost printers that are supposed to be pretty good. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


In Protest of SOPA, proposed internet censorship laws as well other online IP censorship laws this site will be down Wed Jan 18th.

Please email or call your representatives or senators you find these proposed laws unacceptable. 


Ok, I think the message was heard loud and clear today....

C300 Is Available For Pre Order, $16K

Just announced, the C300 is now available for pre-order, shipping around Jan 30th. ! Get inline first here :


Purchase via either link does provide this site with a small commission that helps us keep running, so please consider using our links ! Thank you.

canon C300 pre order

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DataColor Spyder3Elite Finally Has Software Update To V4.0.5

DataColor's calibration software has been updated with Lion compatibility fixes and... I don't know, I'm going to try it right now and tell you.

Ok, first make sure you get the right software - Elite, Pro or Express versions. Guess what  I did wrong first :(

So after messing around installing and doing a full calibration with my tweaks to the calibration software... drum roll.... IT WORKS ! 

I have had emails and direct calls with the developer's on my problems which I think has had some effect it seems. THANK YOU GUYS.

They have also released the Spyder4Elite with 7 color sensor thats supposed to be "26% more accurate"... hmmm 26%, not 25.5% ? are they sure ? oh its MSRP ( price on their website ) is $250, or $50 less then the older Spyder3Elite. I'm tempted to upgrade  but I'd really like to know if it works any better then what I have.

How to Calibrate Your Monitor

Here is the basics of what it takes to get a good calibration. This is based on many wasted hours of messing around.  

1. Set your monitor Brightness and Contrast to whats right, probably contrast full up or close to it and brightness at 50% for most panels.

THE IMPORTANT PART : Set your BACKLIGHT to 10% less then normal. if you have it at 90%, change it to 80%. Why ? The calibration software likes to make the screen dark and I've found this counteracts this tendency. It means you'll get full brightness out of your monitor if if its technically a little out. Technically doesn't always mean right. That said, I did get good calibrations on 2 screens without doing this. If your calibration seems dark and dingy try it.

2. Use native brightness. The Laptop option tends to do this, but if you pick LCD turn off all the options. Why ? this forces the calibrator to work better and not make you mess with your monitor settings which adds another variable to the mix. Doing this also avoids dark calibrations.

3. Colorspace REC BT.709. in the basic walk thru wizard switch to the advanced screen and use settings below.

4. Turn off Ambient LIght. Why ? because it tends to give you dark calibrations

5. Ideally calibrate in a dark room, or cover the screen with a peice of black fabric to black out ambient light that can mess this up.


There you go ! it finally works.

Sidenote : my ASUS 10bit panel is the main display on the mac. Even after calibration its RED cast was there, but slightly. Into the menu's I went and did -2% from where it was on red and +2% on blue and things look good and match my LG LED 42" main video output display.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

If You're Going To Steal, Don't Get Caught !

It sounds obvious, doesn't ? not that you should be stealing in the first place but we've often heard good artists borrow, great artists steal. I've seen it done by "creatives" in the production biz way too many times. Worse is when I know or easily find exactly where they stole it from. 

So would Lucas, Speilberg and crew steal ? You be the judge here with this clip comparing Raiders of The Lost Ark to another film made a few decades before.

Here are the credits

Directed : Steven Spielberg
Produced : Frank Marshall, George Lucas ,Howard Kazanjian
Screenplay : Lawrence Kasdan
Story : George Lucas
Philip Kaufman

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year & Do The Tools Matter ?

Some once said, you hire a carpenter for their skills, not the brand of hammer and saw they own.


Well then poor carpenters, framers, trimmers and cabinet makers. I don't think  the analogy is really  true once you leave the commodity common items. For example, a carpenter without a truck or van to haul materials and tools to a job site is in a different category then one who does, or one who has certainly specialty tools for jobs that most don't. Clearly having certain tools means you can do jobs others can't. A highly skilled craftsman is also more likely to have more and better specialty tools because they know they can do the job better with them than without them.

Having some tools in either trade are significant advantages : editing camera formats native vs hours of time and 100's of gb's of drive space to transcode. If your tool won't edit your material, well thats not much of a story you're telling, at least on the screen anyway.

I say myth when it comes to the tools not mattering so much.

Having the right tools may well be critical to telling the story

Lets face it, if you need a couple of GoPro's for specific POV shots there's the  right tool and the wrong one. Sure there are other small mountable cameras which could also work fine but a big shoulder cam is another story.  if you don't have any small mountable cameras you just may not be getting the shots you need at all. That may mean no story to tell, or one that just isn't anywhere near as good.

If your NLE hasn't been updated in years but "it just works" consider - you are wasting how much time and drive space to transcode to a common frame rate and codec ? at some point the few hundred dollars to upgrade is just a no brainer. You'll spend more on that for drives to hold the material you're transcoding ! How do you tell some one paying you for your time you need to waste theirs on out-dated software that can't handle a modern format ?

Having the wrong tools may make it much harder and time consuming. 

This is the more popular one to tell. " A skilled pro can shoot on a pixel vision camera and make it look good"  or some variant of it.  I've heard it, I'm sick of it. Ya sure I can shoot on a pixel vision camera, but why on earth would I ? really ? this is just such a poor argument. I know in  a pinch any one with skill will improvise a solution to get through the day or week. The Skilled will also realize if they are going to need to do this task more often, getting the right specialty gear or software that really handles the job well is a requirement. I can tell you've I've bought a lot of gear for this reason. More often then not, one job paid for the gear and then I have it. While it might of cost me more than a rental, as long as it gets used enough its a smart purchase. If it never gets used, and I don't send it off to ebay while its still got value, it wasn't a smart move. 

So I say the tools do matter sometimes. They matter more under some circumstances than others to be sure, but they do matter. Leaving yourself at a serious disadvantage because of short comings in your tools is not the mark of a real pro.

The ability to use your tools is important, but having a plan in what you are building is just as important because you need both to get something done.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do You Want To Get Into The Production Biz ? Here's how

Evan Luzi  of  The Black and  Blue .com has published a new FREE book on how to become an AC. However, I fairly have to say its really about how to get into the production biz regardless of the position you really want to be in. Its a really honest great read that gets to the point. Its, and I hate to say it " The insider's Guide" to what it takes to get started.  I would not be giving it this endorsement if it wasn't worthwhile for people just starting out, or even a little bit in and wanting more. So go check it out, its more then worth your while... and Thanks Evan for such a great book with so much HONEST real info.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

nVidia to Open Source CUDA

What's CUDA you say ? Its the C / C++ / Fortran programming languages that run ( write code, compile ) on nVidia GPU's that let stuff like Adobe's Mecury Playback Engine do their real time magic. Bravo to nVidia for doing such a bold move because this helps everyone. They did this fully knowing that bringing CUDA over to ATI / AMD cpu's is something that has been hurting a lot of users. This is true especially mac users who are often stuck with ATI GPU's and no other options. Of course for this to happen some one will have to do a lot of work in actual compiler writing code to get ATI specific GPU machine instructions out rather then nV ones, but its certainly approachable now. Only good things to come. READ IT HERE

or maybe not... from Anatech

"Finally, with the move to LLVM NVIDIA is also opening up CUDA, if ever so slightly. On a technical level NVIDIA’s CUDA LLVM compiler is a closed fork of LLVM (allowed via LLVM’s BSD-type license), and due to the changes NVIDIA has made it’s not possible to blindly plug in languages and architectures to the compiler. To actually add languages and architectures to CUDA LLVM you need the source code to it, and that’s where CUDA is becoming “open.” NVIDIA will not be releasing CUDA LLVM in a truly open source manner, but they will be releasing the source in a manner akin to Microsoft’s “shared source” initiative – eligible researchers and developers will be able to apply to NVIDIA for access to the source code. This allows NVIDIA to share CUDA LLVM with the necessary parties to expand its functionality without sharing it with everyone and having the inner workings of the Fermi code generator exposed, or having someone (i.e. AMD) add support for a new architecture and hurt NVIDIA’s hardware business in the process. "

To which I'll counter - CUDA has a spec. Some with the resources could basically create a new compiler to output ATI GPU code. OpenCL is a step in the direction to make code that runs on GPU's agnostic to the hardware, but in reality its still very young and probably not the most effcient way of working. Adding abstraction layers speeds up coding, but not app performance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CNN Lays Off 50 Editors & Shooters


If I have had theme here, its called don't get suckered into doing spec work or "contests". This is also known as "crowd sourcing" as a way of saying, we're gonna hire 1000 people to do a job and not pay a cent. 

Perhaps you may of thought there were no consequences to this outside of you just got suckered out of some of your life. CNN it seems has gotten the brilliant idea that they can use content created on cell phones instead. Why send a pro shooter to cover a story, and have it edited by someone who knows how to edit ? Any image with sound is good enough these days. Steve Colbert explains the story well here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Music Video "Words Can Not Express" Gets National Debut

Sometimes it make take a while !  A music video I did for a local band, End Of December, almost a year ago is "going public" on Direct TV.

'Words Cannot Express' will be airing on a show called The Merge

FRIDAY DECEMBER 2nd at 7:30PM CST!  on NRB Network carried on Direct TV. You should check it out.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is it ?

custom lens support steampunk

Ok, its got what looks like 15mm holes about 60mm apart... that round part looks like it might fit a lens...

Thats right, I've putting together a custom lens support for my 400mm 5.6 Vivitar / Tokina lens. Whats up with the offset you say ? well actually the bracket can slide left right. This is so I can actually support the lens when the camera isn't mounted perectly on the rods. Its pretty easy to put the camera on a tiny bit out, and at 12 inches, that can be a 1/4" or so. Therefore, the L/R sliding part of this mount. Its wonderfully smooth and tight.  To handle the lock down part, I've got some brass coming this week. I'll thread up some rod, get a brass thumbscrew and really do a retro steampunk look. The wood itself is Brazilian cherry which is a great hardwood to work with.

Just because this looks simple, well you know its not. From getting a 15mm drill bit ( ebay ! ) to getting very precise fit on everything. I was literally shaving thousands of an inch off with one of my ( hand ) planes to ease everything into perfect fit. I'm excited about this one. I also think I'm gonna do a mount for my 70-200 as well. 

In Other News

I'm working my way thru this little project, I have a view review I should be putting up in the next day or two on the Tamron 70-200 2.8. 

I know I've been slow between reivews and other good bits. The short story is that I've a lot of stuff going on in my personal life thats kept me from this. Have no doubt how much time and effort this takes, all the time, to put up fresh content. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.... I"ve also more or less finished moving facilities, but there is still some stuff to be done. We're planning a grand opening event in a few weeks and I'll put an invite up once we lock down the date. So I'm hoping that a lot of the things that had slowed me down are taken care of for now, and I can work on some new content for this site. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Decklink Announces Resolve Lite 8.1.1 With Unlimited Nodes

Black Magic Design has released new versions of Resolve 8.1.1 and Resolve Lite 8.1.1. The big news is that the Lite version now has unlimted nodes ! Thats a HUGE big deal because that gives you some real power to get real work done. Why they did this I"m not sure, unless its to try and get all Color users onboard. Either way, its a no brainer to go get it. 

I've had both Lite and the full version here and can give you some other good news - the full version can open and work with anything you create with Lite. You can setup base grades, conforms, and otherwise get projects ready for a real online session with Resolve using the Lite version. Thats totally cool to be able to do that.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Canon Finally shows new EOS C300 camera The Same day RED Finally Announces Scarlet Is Shipping Nov 17th

Weeks go by and nothing new, today EVERYBODY has something new to show !

The new canon C300 - its small, compact, and looks like everything we had been waiting for ! 

Canon C300 PL

Single 8.3 megapixel 2160×3840 Super-35 CMOS sensor (4K resolution) with Digic DV III processor

Canon XF codec (50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p30 MPEG2 MXF) records to two Compact Flash card slots

Canon Log gamma, SDI, compact body, Custom Presets and menus similar to Canon XF series

Exposure and focus control are completely manual — there is no AE or AF on either camera

Sold as a system, incl. LCD monitor / XLR audio unit, side grip, top handle, batt. & charger

Availability: Jan. 2012; Price: appx. $16,000 USD (for C300)


$16K ? what are they thinking ? Its not a F3, nor is it a RED MX. It should be around $5k to maybe $8k. Ok, they include an S log that $ony gouges $4400 for rather then including with the camera. Sony can at any time change to a free or reasonable price for S Log.

So I think I'm going to do what I was planning to do several months ago. Pick up a FS100  plus one of those yet to ship EF to FS adapters and not worry about this.


So RED has finally announced that they will ship Scarlet. Its a mini RED MX using a full S35 sensor. For $9750 you can have one with a EOS EF mount Dec 1st, or for $1500 more Nov 17th with PL mount. 4K at 25fps, "Quad HD" 30fps and so on.

RED Scarlet

Hmmm $10K for a 4K camera using less compression, or $16k for the canon with what I'm sure is killer 1080P or $15K ( street ) + $4400 = $19,400 for a F3 base package that does 1080. I think we know who the winner may be here. 

Hopefully Scarlet doesn't take 90 secs to start up the way RED ONE does. Thats an eternity on most shoots to wait for a battery change or media change.


So who will the winner be ? any one who buys any of these cameras.  Its not which one is Best and Cheapest, but which is the best too for the job. None of these cameras are anywhere near the price of the F35 or F65, Epic or other big bug cameras. However, they can clearly give them a run for the money. If you have support items and glass and its basically buying a body and a few odd bits, any of the cameras will do great.

Lets also consider, Canon has 3 months to ship their product. In that time, anything can happen, and probably will. They can drop the price for starters. I'll almost bet they do after finding out about Scarlet. They can add more features in firmware, like maybe a 2K or 4K mode. My guess is based on what I've seen from the camera so far, its 1080 is just amazing. Certainly its grain looked film like rather then video like. They can also add a codec like ProRes, or boost their data rate. Canon has options.

It also seems the C300 has exceptional low light performance.

Scarlet.... well lets put it this way, RED ONE / MX is the worst of the good cameras. Its heavy, its got a 90 sec startup, it sucks power like mad. Now to be sure, the Scarlet will probably not be too bad on power, but the rest is a we'll see. 

What about Sony ? who knows.... my bet is they reduce the price of S Log or even add it for free as a promotional thing in Dec or Jan to go head to head with Canon.

Either way, its a great time to be making images with some amazing cameras, regardless of which one you own, rent or borrow.

New Matrox Mojito PCIe I/O card with MAX released today AND full support for Media Composer 6 which was also announced.


A new Matrox  product, a PCIe I/O card with MAX. Competitive price, Mac & PC support, Avid MC6 Support too.

oh, ya Avid announced Media Composer 6 with a tweaked up UI with many nice improvements, and more native file format support.

------ Press Release ------- 

MONTREAL – Nov. 3, 2011 Matrox® Video Products Group today announced the immediate availability of Matrox Mojito™ MAX™, an SDI/HDMI/analog HD/SD video and professional audio I/O card that includes an onboard Matrox MAX H.264 encoding accelerator.

Not only does Matrox Mojito MAX provide broadcast-quality input and output for leading editing apps including Adobe® Creative Suite® 5.5 Production Premium, Apple® Final Cut Studio® and Final Cut Pro® X, as well as the new Avid® Media Composer® 6, it also lets users deliver H.264 files for the web, mobile devices, and Blu-ray up to five times faster than software alone without sacrificing quality. Other important features packed into this ¾-length PCIe card include 10-bit hardware scaling and inexpensive HD monitoring with the unique Matrox HDMI Calibration Utility.

“The time-saving benefits of our unique MAX H.264 accelerator have been long appreciated by users of our portable MXO2 I/O devices, but many customers have been asking for an economical card for Mac Pro® and PC workstations that can do the same job,” said Alberto Cieri, senior director of sales and marketing at Matrox. “Mojito MAX nicely addresses the need for a single-slot card with SDI, HDMI, and analog I/O plus H.264 encoding speed and quality — all at a breakthrough price point.”

Price and availability

Matrox Mojito MAX can now be ordered through authorized dealers worldwide. Priced at $995 U.S. (£749, €799) not including local taxes, the Matrox Mojito MAX kit includes the card plus a complete video/audio I/O breakout cable and an HDMI cable.

About Matrox

Matrox Video Products Group is a technology and market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, DVD/Blu-ray authoring, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, clip/still stores, and CGs. Matrox's Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, post-production facilities, project studios, corporate communicators, and videographers worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information visit

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Premiere Pro 5.5.2 Update is out !

Hey some cool news today... and its FREE :)



Today, the Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.2) update was released.

Soon, but not yet, you’ll be able to install the update by choosing Help > Updates.

For the moment, you must directly download the update packages from the download pages for Windows or Mac OS, using the “Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 5.5.2 update” link. If you use the manual process, you must choose the correct patcher based on your original installation type.

If you have difficulty with this update, please bring questions and issues to the Adobe Premiere Pro forum. Don’t ask questions in the comments on this blog post, which fewer people will see.

There are a few big bug fixes and and a new capability in this update. Also, note that this update includes all fixes and changes made in the Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.1) update.

You should also install the most recent updates for other applications while you’re at it.

bug fixes


Note that we were able to find and fix a lot of these problems because of bug reports from users. Keep ‘em coming.

Here’s a list of bugs fixed in this update:

  • Eyedroppers did not work on Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion).
  • The Timecode effect overlay was not rendered.
  • Closed captions were rendered in the wrong place, sometimes entirely offscreen.
  • Enabling the display of closed captions would cause error messages to appear.
  • Premiere Pro would crash or exhibit other instability when trimming with third-party I/O hardware (such as Matrox and AJA hardware) installed.

added ability for Premiere Pro to take advantage of Nvidia Maximus configuration for CUDA processing


Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.2) adds the ability to take advantage of a Tesla C2075 card for CUDA processing when that card is installed along with a Quadro card, which handles OpenGL processing. This configuration—in which the Quadro card handles OpenGL processing while the Tesla card handles CUDA processing—is referred to as a Maximus configuration.

We have tested the Tesla C2075 card with the Quadro 2000 and Quadro 4000 cards, and the Maximus configuration should work with all other Fermi-class Quadro cards, as well. If you find otherwise, come to thePremiere Pro hardware forum and let us know.

The Maximus capability is imparted by the driver for the Tesla card, so you will want to make sure that you have the up-to-date drivers for your cards. See the Nvidia website for drivers. Our testing was done with the 276.14 driver for the Tesla C2075.

Note that the Maximus technology is different from SLI, and this update does not add the ability for Premiere Pro to use multiple GPUs for CUDA computation by means of SLI.

Tip: It’s always important to make sure that you have a power supply for your computer that is adequate to provide power for all of your components. If you don’t, then you can have all sorts of problems with stability and performance. The Nvidia Tesla cards make this even more apparent, since they draw more power than many other components. So, be sure to follow Nvidia’s installation instructions, and check to make sure that your power supply is adequate for all that’s being demanded of it.

For a complete list of graphics cards for which the CUDA acceleration features are provided and supported, see the Premiere Pro system requirements page. For more information about CUDA processing and the Mercury playback engine in general, see “CUDA, Mercury Playback Engine, and Adobe Premiere Pro”.

other software updates known to address problems with Premiere Pro


We have also been working with several providers of plug-ins, codecs, and hardware devices (such as Matrox, Nvidia, AJA, and Blackmagic) to assist them in updating their software to fix some errors and crashes. Please take this opportunity to download and install updated codecs, plug-ins, and drivers from these providers, as relevant to your work.

known issues


  • Possible hang on start if firewall or other software (such as ZoneAlarm or FileMaker) blocks communication between Premiere Pro and related components. (See this Technical Support document for more information and solutions.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

New GoPro Camera Is Out ! Hero2

I have two GoPro's, I guess now I'm gonna have 3! Its the same price as the original model.

Here's the Specs :


2X Sharper Professional Glass Lens
f/2.8 Fixed Focus
170º Wide FOV (Including 1080p)
127º Medium FOV (In 1080p + 720p)
90º Narrow FOV

1080p: 1920×1080, 30PFS
960p: 1280×960, 48FPS + 30FPS
720p: 1280×720, 60PFS + 30FPS
WVGA: 848×480, 120FPS + 60FPS
High Performance,1 /2.3” CMOS Image Sensor
Light Sensitivity: .84 V/lux-sec
Video Format: H.264 codec, .mp4 File Format
Exposure Control: Spot, Center Weighted
White Balance: Auto

FOV: Wide 170º FOV, Medium 127º FOV
CAPTURE MODES: Single, 10 Photo Burst, Time-Lapse*, Self-Timer
* Now supports time-lapse photo every 0.5 seconds. Requires Class 10 speed SD Card.

Mono, 48 kHz, AAC Compression, Auto Gain Control
Stereo External Microphone Input (3.5mm)

SDHC: Up to 32GB (Class 4 or Higher)
1080p30: 4 hours
960p30: 6 hours
720p60: 4 hours
720p30: 6 hours
WVGA 120: 4.5 hours

48FPS ! that works out great for 24, but no mention of 24fps at all, nor 25 for those who need that. Also dig that you can change the angle of view, no more  hacking cameras up to change the lens.

Also look close - the front LCD display has been updated to be vastly more useful then the wonky screen of the original.

If you read closely, there is a WiFi  back also coming. It would be crazy cool to be able to stream video to a nearby laptop or iPad to see what you are getting. that would be insanely good !

Nice work GoPro... now just give us 24fps please !

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don't Get Taken Advantage Off !

This site is Evil -

This site is Evil

This site is good.

Would you turn out a complete spot for free ?

Would you front all expenses for free ?

Would you leave money on the table, in fact most it if you do get paid ?

Would you write, cast, shoot, edit ANY clients project for FREE ?

Excepting a good local charity cause  I doubt it. 

Who else would work for free ? 

Please tell me who in any other career, job or business would work for free ? ( except charity and community support things )


This is NOT your Big Break.

Lets get real, if you were to submit your pure odds of making that $5K payout is 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 or more. Nice odds, NOT ! Oh and your still out everything if you don't get it. 

Lets also consider that $5k Payout.... you're probably being paid anywhere from 1/4 to 1/10th what the job is actually worth. Maybe less then that.

Lets also know this is not a new game, but is has gotten a lot better and slicker thanks to the internet. Now scamming has gone global, but you knew that, right ?

I started out in NY many years ago. Back then everyone was shooting music videos on 16mm. It was simple. Maybe you hooked  up with a known artist like Rodger Daltry who was working with an up and coming band. The new band sounded good, played ok and had a big known backer. You shot a video with your own money, your own editing time ( on tape ! ), you edited, and re-edited and finally presented it. The goal was always to spend around $10K and make it look like $50K. That was always the dream.

Well sometimes the record label would like what they saw, some times not. Sometimes you could get a few grand fronted to cover your film and transfer costs begging and borrowing all other favors. 

In the end, after 6 months or a year of your life had passed by, you might have an ok video done, which maybe the label would pay you for, or not.

Its pretty clear looking back that while a couple of people I know did go some where, almost everyone involved didn't. I made some great friends I still know 20 years later, but only a few people I know ever played things out to bigger and better things. The vast majority didn't.

So get real, don't get sold on "This is your way to get noticed". Its not, especially in the age of the internet where tons of stuff is around. Go do something for a local charity, a local band. Do a project for yourself. Don't get suckered by one of these sites that simply exploit people, get hundreds if not thousands of free hours of work for... 

what did you get ? an  email saying thanks for entering "we'll get back to you" ?

you're smarter then that !

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Canon EOS-1D X Announced

Canon's latest and greatest was announced today. What matters ? Improved everything including reduced ( or no ?  ) moire in video mode, better 18MP sensor ect. Dual CF cards, file spanning to get around 4G file size problems. So what is the problem ? MSRP of $6800 ! Please, lets get real.

As a still camera its overpriced. Too many great cameras out there already unless you really shoot everything low light and ISO 51,000 is something you need, or even ISO 25000 to get your cash paying work done. Note I said CASH paying work, not being a status symbol you tote around to shoot your kids soccer game to impress everyone with. UPDATE : ISO 100,000 and 200,000 are also available. Thats nite vision range. If you need to see bad guys in the dark and get the goods on them, guess what camera you want ? besides with the govmint price isn't an issue, is it ? :(

As a video camera, there are LOTS of real cameras for $5K or so that are great cameras with all the things the 1D X lacks, like audio connectors, video friendly form factor, ect.

oh yes, it has an ethernet jack. Its about time for this as many Sony products have had IT connections for a while. At least you should be able to stream the compressed video data to a laptop for recording or even broadcast... provided of course its a CLEAN FEED and not a monitor out. You never know... until you know.

Now that said, read the contents of the actual press release from Canon and there are LOTS of tasty things to like :


Enhanced EOS HD Video

- New Compressions, Longer Recording Centered around an all-new full-frame CMOS sensor with larger pixels than those found on the EOS 5D Mark II image sensor, the EOS-1D X utilizes new HD video formats to simplify and speed up post-production work. The two new compression formats offered on the EOS-1D X include intraframe (ALL-i )  [ Hello, finally ! was sounds a lot like AVCintra, but 8 or 10 bit ? take a guess :( ] compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data compression, giving professionals the options they need for their ideal workflow [ Sounds like higher data rate h264 they are already doing and hopefully it really does look better ]. Answering the requests of cinematographers and filmmakers, the EOS-1D X includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing multiple cameras or separate sound recording to be synced together in post production. [ Ok, HOW do you sync them ? IR ? Cable ? just blast TC out of the speaker for the other camera to pick up ????? ]

Canon's all new full-frame CMOS sensor ensures that video footage captured on the EOS-1D X will exhibit less moiré than any previous Canon model, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. A desired feature for many documentary filmmakers using Canon DSLRs was to enable recording beyond the four gigabyte (GB) file capacity and the EOS-1D X is the answer. The new camera features automatic splitting of movie files when a single file exceeds 4GB. The new file splitting function allows for continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files; no frames are dropped and the multiple files can be seamlessly connected in post production, providing filmmakers the recording time they want in the same convenient DSLR form factor. The camera records Full HD at 1920 x 1080 in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); and 720p HD or SD video recording at either 50p or 60p (59.94). SD video can be recorded in either NTSC or PAL standards.  


Take is as a preview of things to come Nov 3.  which I suspect will be all video related. While this camera sounds like a super great still camera, and finally delivers on all the video features everyone had been wanting, price is just out there as far as I am concerned if you want to use it primarily as a video camera. You don't need the super performance still part of the camera for video, if at all.  However this will certainly feed the frenzy for their event Nov 3 to be sure.

Monday, October 17, 2011

DaVinci Resolve 8.1 Released Today

It took a bit longer then expected but Black Magic Design has finally released their 8.1 update to DaVinci and DaVinci Lite. Go get it here

There are a massive number of new features and improvements. One bug I had reported in my last review was lack of DVCpro HD aspect ratios for that format. This has been fixed. 

There has been improvements with FCP XML and Avid AAF support with more things being supported. With Adobe's release of Premiere Pro 5.5.1 update  you can export FCP XML successfully to DaVinci. I'm off to take it for a test drive and maybe use it on a project editing next week.

In The Moment

With an insanely intense last few weeks, I've also taken some time off. Hours, maybe a day really but ever so important in the time I've had. I know over the last week there was the Motion event in New Mexico. I can't say I've been to NM, ok I have many years ago but didn't stay too long. I had been asked to speak there but it just didn't work out. I know any number of friends who where out there. I missed the event but I was just plain locked into being here.

To that end, I took out the 60D and Vivitar 35-105 during an afternoon hike. I came away with many great images and I'll share a few here. Are they stills ? yes. However if you want to add motion its not much more. I must say that when I was young I'd always wanted a still camera that could capture 5 to 10 secs of time to really capture a complete moment. Now I have that camera, but I still am happy with capturing that short moment of time.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm getting there !

Things are finally starting to get finished with the move... and I had a video review open yesterday and did a little editing on it. Hopefully today I'll finish it up and have it out. I should also get back to much more regular postings as well.

There hasn't been a lot of news out there the last few weeks except for the Canon Big Mystery Announcement in Hollywood in a few weeks. I know people have been speculating like mad, but here is what my money is on :

Cam 1: under $3k 5D update, about the same as before, 1080 HD, mini HDMI, with better scaling, better h264 encoding

Cam 2:  $5-6k or so, EF mount, S35 sized sensor, 1080 and maybe 2K 8 bit 422 SDI / HDMI output, CF recording internally to H.264 codec. DIGIC 5 processor(s).

Cam 4:  $15-18k, PL mount changeable to EF, 2K or more likely 4k sensor, 10bit 4:4:4  SDI output, SSD internal recording to RAW codec.
Both upper cameras will be "video" cameras - XLR inputs with manual level adjustment, EVF, etc. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Work Hard, Play Hard

After many weeks of hard work, how about playing hard ? I got some time in the kayak doing to hard turns right on the edge of staying upright. Its pretty amazing how far you can push these boats and yourself when the moment requires it. Its good philosophy when dealing with hard shoots, long edits and everything fighting you to get the job done. This move has been a lot of very simple things not going they way they should. How often do you open a premade cable and its 5 ft short ? Well this time around.... 

In the next week or so, I'll have pix and a formal announcement about things. Meanwhile, back to work for me while I use the fine toys Steve Jobs gave us.

This shot came from a GoPro mounted on the boat, and yes you REALLY want to safety the camera because it doesn't float. Trust me, know, don't worry I got it back !

kayak hard turn

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Thanks Steve


thanks for changing my life and making it better.
your own striving for perfection was also mine.
your machines changed my life.
they let me create in new ways.
they let me build a business that started in 1995 and thrives today.
your machines helped me feed my family and pay the bills.
to call them machines is too small a word, but its the best one I have.
to Steve's family, please accept our deepest condolences on your loss,
however trivial these words may be on the screen please know there are real people behind them that share your grief. 
the pain will eventually pass, and hopefully you'll be able to remember Steve as a person who changed the world for the better
who's invention gave jobs to thousands of people directly, and millions indirectly.
we all thank you.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

This Week And Coming Up

Needless to say, you don't move every day, thankfully ! With the move almost done, I'll finally be back to more regular posts. I've got a video review on the Tamron 70-200 2.8 shot and partially edited. With my main editing system back up and running, getting that done will certainly be a lot easier !

Let Me Hear From You

Often enough I'll get a private email which I very much appreciate, but don't be afraid to post something here. I've been wondering the direction of this site for the last couple of months. While I was certainly inspired by in part the dslr revolution, I know I've been all over the board on topics. While I may  occasionally break a news item of interest, I think there are plenty of sites that already do nothing but this. On the other hand, I think I have a good perspective on the business with a lot of experience brought to bear on where things are going and what things mean to whats the most important thing : making money with your art ! Hey it beats a day job ! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

LitePanels Suing to Stop Import of ALL LED based lights

I never cared for LitePanels products - flimsy and very very overpriced. Well it seems that since they can't compete against lower priced competitors they are going to try to sue them and stop them from selling product in the US. Here is the article

Some how some absolute bonedhead in the paten office has simply ignored previous products already in the market in granting this very generic paten to use "LEDs or other sources" in a  "panel or frame". Its pretty rare for me to publicly criticize  a company  like this,  however they have earned it. LitePanels is owned by the Vitec group who owns :

- Anton/Bauer
- Autoscript
- The Camera Store
- Litepanels
- Microwave Service Company
- Nucomm
- OConnor
- Petrol Bags
- RF Central
- Sachtler
- Vinten
- Vinten Radamec
- Avenger
- Brilliant Stages
- Colorama
- Gitzo
- Kata
- Lastolite
- Litec
- Manfrotto
- Manfrotto Distribution
- National Geographic (manufactured & distributed under licence)
- Tomcat
- Bexel
If you spend money with any of these companies, you are funding this lawsuit. Don't. Not until LitePanels drops its actions and has its bogus patents invalidated. Honestly having one company owning every major tripod company has bothered me and now the fruits of this are coming out. 
Please write to the patent office here  and let them know that LitePanels patent is nothing new - its in fact  based on a lot of prior products that had already been in the market, starting with the kids game in 1967 called Lite Bright... hey I had one !

Wes Plate & Automatic Duck Join Adobe

I'm out shooting all day in the rain, and look what happens ! Adobe and Automatic Duck have joined forces. This gives Prem Pro instant acess to what may well be the best cross platform import / export of various project files and media types like OMF and AAF. READ THE ENTIRE ADOBE STORY HERE.

Given the IRADAS purchase a few weeks ago, this is crazy exciting times for Adobe and Premiere Pro. Congrats, can't wait to see how this all turns into shipping product improvements sometime soon ( I hope ! ).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Its just busy !

Working working working ! and loving every minute of it. Moving, shooting, whatever this week. So here we are a bit old school with a matthews doorway dolly instead of a fancy slider. Mounted a 2X24 DIY kino on the dolly as fill light for the talent to do walk and talks. 60D with 17-50 2.8 and it all looked great. Shot at F4 which gave the talent some room to stay in focus. Audio bad got to ride along, and the camera case. You get spoiled working this way with everything close by and not having to constantly carry everything everywhere when changing setups and locations for every shot. While a bit heavy to transport, its more then worth it for time and effort saved once you are going. Often times had a few more things on there too. Another cart moved stands and lights.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple Releases ProApps Codecs as Standalone FREE installer

Apple has released an installer to install  

  • Apple Intermediate Codec
  • Apple ProRes
  • AVC-Intra
  • HDV
  • XDCAM HD / EX / HD422
  • Uncompressed 4:2:2

This basically ackowledges what every one had been doing for years - copying these codec bits from FCP systems to whatever machine they needed.  Download The ProApps ProRes Installer here.

FCP X Update Today

FCP X has its first 0.1 update today. XML I/O, but its own flavor is seems. New ability to export to normal audio tracks from the TL by designating clips to be a "type" like dialog 1 or AFX1.

Noteworth : New Trial verson that runs for 30 days from the day you first run the app. Apple hasn't had demo versions of their pro apps, so this is real damage control to try to get some users back. Well its good they are learning, but as for FCP X ? well the market is speaking pretty loud and clear right now. This is really a 1.0 product and it'll probably take several revs before its again a Pro Product.


Meanwhile I'm still very busy moving and building stuff, and a couple days of shooting in the mix as well. Thats the reason I've been slow this week in posting stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Its Perfect, Now Just Change Everything !

Looking at all this analog gear, and its complexities makes everything digital almost seem simpler, as long as it works.

I'm pulling gear out we thought would work longer then it has. Goodbye Beta SP ! I certainly don't remember the last time I actually recorded an edit or even dub out to the format. Two years or so ago I went through a massive digitize thing where all beta SP tapes went to hard drive in ProRes. I haven't used that deck since although with moving things around I've found maybe a couple more tapes I need to run thru and thats it. 

There was a time when I could put 5 or 6 machines into record at once and make multiformat masters complete with matching TC.  These days even the local TVS's are taking spots in some digital form - video DVD's or finally actual QT files on disc or FTP.  So the need for all this stuff is pretty much gone. 

I'm trying to figure out what last bits still count - 5.1 for analog outs to speakers for SRS mixing, maybe 1 composite line to feed scopes. Thats about it. We are building a small back room area for capturing the last beta SP, DV and HDV via FW. That setup is going to pretty much be just wires straight from the VTR into the MXO2. No need to route that or patch it thru to other rooms. We'll capture on this one system and push the files onto the NAS and use them from there. 

There is is some need to make the occasional TC burn from a HDV tape, but even that is fading away. When I can use the MAX encoder to turn out h264's 5X faster then real time for SD with TC burned in, I'm not going to waste time running tape. I"ll still bill per running hour for TC burns, but it will be very different. Capture tape into computer which you have to do anyway, apply TC filter, encode, burn to DVD or push it up to our server for the client to view on whatever device they want. With tapeless formats, copy the card contents, drop into the NLE, and its done even faster.

Do I miss analog ? no so much. Ok I'll admit a 1" machine running, or even better yet shuttling at 50X with 2hr reels is quite impressive ( and dangerous ! ) but really I don't miss the crankiness of that gear at all.

Well this shot was this morning. Tonite, most of this has been taken apart and I'm wondering whats worth messing with. I"m pretty sure I may well rip this all apart, maybe use one patch bay for audio and video and the other two will go away. Its just redundant for the most part. With SDI its just one wire instead of 3 video ( YUV ) + 2 audio lines.  Any of the Y/C connections at this point are pretty much useless too. 

I have a stack of Y/C ( SVHS ) connector to BNC break out cables if anyone wants them ! 

I have LOTS of cable. There is something like 400ft of audio cable in this rack ! Here are some ends that run out to speakers that I pulled back to transport everything.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Premiere Pro 5.5.1 update is released today

You want this update ! several really important fixes including XML files exported from PP now import correctly into DaVinci Resolve, improved scrubbing with dslr footage, and other good fixes.

Link To Update Info   Download Mac Updater  Download PC Updater

Here is a short list -

  • Improved playback/scrubbing performance of footage from DSLR cameras.
  • Media from Avid Unity QuickTime reference files was not imported.
  • XML project files created by Premiere Pro did not work with DaVinci Resolve.
  • On Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion), the Universal Counting Leader was missing countdown numbers.
  • On Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion), Premiere Pro would crash when quitting.
  • On Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion), closed caption overlays did not appear in Program Monitor.
  • Preview in the Capture panel was not functioning properly for HDV footage.
  • Image sequences lost their frame rates.
  • Edges of a clip were highlighted during transitions/dissolves when using CUDA processing.
  • Projects created by importing Final Cut Pro XML projects that contain multiple mono clips would lose some audio when the project was closed and reopened.
  • Exporting to a QuickTime movie using DVCPRO HD settings would not complete under some circumstances, including if an image, graphic, or synthetic element was in the sequence.
  • Using CUDA-accelerated Invert effect would reposition the clip.
  • Premiere Pro could not find files after changing the location of the project.
  • If an After Effects composition with a background color other than black was included in a sequence and Mercury Playback GPU Acceleration was enabled, the alpha channel transparency of the composition was ignored.
  • MXF files created by Premiere Pro were not readable by Sony XDCAM HD decks, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer.
  • ProRes files created by an ATOMOS device with four tracks of audio were not imported correctly.
  • MCC closed caption files exported from MacCaption failed to appear in the Premiere Pro Program Monitor under some conditions.
  • Incorrect data was being written to XML files for AVC Intra exports.
  • Opacity effects were being ignored after a second transition when CUDA processing (Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration) was enabled.
  • Premiere Pro would hang or crash when loading a merged clip with disabled audio channels.
  • various other crashes

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why IRIDAS Sold To Adobe

This is a reprinted letter from the former founder of IRIDAS and how and why things came to be.


On September 8th, Adobe acquired the key technologies that our team developed over the last 10 years, including FrameCycler, SpeedGrade and MetaRender. I know that as an IRIDAS customer this may come as a surprise.

The ecosystem in the postproduction and production world is changing fast. Many technologies, like color grading, that once were incorporated only into very high end products are becoming core to all video and film production.

IRIDAS has helped to drive this change. In the decade since the company was founded we’ve seen so much more become possible and we’ve enjoyed being on the vanguard:

- When I started in my living room in 2001, it was a breakthrough that FrameCycler could playback a few hundred uncompressed frames from RAM.

- When we introduced SpeedGrade in 2003, people laughed at our idea of using the GPU for real time image processing, today it is the norm.

- When we started de-bayering DALSA 4K frames in real-time in 2007 it was a very exotic workflow, and today RAW motion picture pipelines are central to high quality work.

- Our first stereo workflow eight years ago was only noticed by a handful of people, but today stereoscopic is part of many high quality productions.

- We started to share our vision of the future at NAB 2011 and many of you helped to validate it. To bring this vision to life we made big steps including doubling the size of our R&D team last year, but even with these changes, we felt we only scratched the surface of our potential.

Over the years, many companies have offered to acquire IRIDAS and we always said no; successful acquisitions are a challenge to execute, so when Adobe approached us I thought “We are doing fine, we have a plan, why should we be interested?” But there are a couple of things that are different about Adobe as a company.

First of all, Adobe is a company that has indeed successfully integrated products from many companies it bought – products like After Effects are central to their leadership. Also Adobe is a true engineering company not only investing massively in pure research, but also bringing it to market – Premiere’s Mercury Playback Engine and After Effects Warp Stabilizer being only two examples. Many recent research results in HDR or new camera concepts coming from Adobe research truly impressed our team.

We also see a convergence of trends, as RAW High Dynamic Range image capture comes to the broader market the need for tools such as those IRIDAS developed is exploding; but our company was sized to service a specialist market.

After many discussions we realized that bringing IRIDAS technologies into Adobe was the correct path forward for both companies.

Adobe has hired both our engineering and our support teams. Patrick Palmer and I will also be joining to ensure success.

There are a number of changes that will come with the move, so we have put up some information on to keep you informed.

I know some of you will have questions and concerns and we will start to reach out to you around IBC next week.

Feel free to contact me with any immediate concerns. The support questions will still be answered, by the people you have worked with in the past, although the email address may be from Adobe.

Patrick and I both look forward to exciting products that combine both IRIDAS and Adobe technologies to meet the challenges of the future.

All the best,
Lin Sebastian Kayser
Director Engineering, Adobe
Founder of IRIDAS

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Acquisitions Today

This is more like reading the Wall St. Journal Today. 

Trew Audio announced they acquired Coffey Audio in LA. Great move giving them a presense in LA which is obviously a large market.

Then the monster announcement : Adobe has aquired IRIDAS



As you may already have seen in the official press release, Adobe has just acquired technology from IRIDAS, the makers of the SpeedGrade line of color applications, as well as several other tools for the professional film and video market.

We’re excited.

One of the major reasons that we’re excited is that we know that the Adobe team will be enriched by the addition of the IRIDAS team—with their deep knowledge of color science, light, and image processing. They’ve done a great job developing world-class products.

With the addition of this set of high-end technologies, we’re even better able to deliver on our commitment to provide video professionals with the tools that you need. Not only have we listened to your requests for better, faster, and more powerful color grading and finishing tools—but we’ve also looked ahead to the future needs of professional video, including HDR (high dynamic range) and raw video workflows.

Though we can’t comment on the details of future product versions, we can point to our history of ever-increasing integration between our applications as an indication of why we acquired these technologies. We look forward to the new workflows that may be enabled by future integration work.

How would you like to see these applications integrated? Feel free to give us feedback, either through the usualfeature-request form or in comments on this blog post.

Be sure to check out the official press release, which has lots of additional information, as well as some insight from Jim Guerard and Lin Sebastian Kayser. Jim has also shared some thoughts on this matter in a blog posthere.

Friday, September 02, 2011

FCP7 Back on Sale

I guess the lawyers at apple figured out what ever their percieved problem is isn't really a problem. Users who would like to order the "legacy" Final Cut Studio can call to order part number MB642Z/A by calling Apple telesales at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

This is more a concern for large multiseat users then anyone else. It also might hint that apple will keep FCP 7 alive past 10.7.

You heard it here first, FCP 7 is Apple's XP ! 

And in other news -

Moving and building a new suite continues to eat up most of my time. Its been getting pretty intense managing all the details and just plain getting everything done. A couple days ago I was shorted on my flooring order so I'm making up enough myself to finish the job. 

I do have at least 2 more video reviews I"m working on, which I should have one out next week on the Tamron 70-200 2.8.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Site Updates & Spammers

I'd been sitting on updating the code for this site for a while. After finding a bunch of spammer comments with links to bad sites, I'm going to look at doing that update this week.

If you are a spammer, don't bother as changes are being made to remove all your posts to this site, so go away.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy First Birthday !

I forgot, time has flown by, this site just passed its one year birthday a couple weeks ago!  Its offical launch date was Aug 9 2010.

Its been a crazy amazing trip so far, and its just getting started.

Over 200 posts, thats an average of  just less then 4 per week !

One Human for all of it.

Over a dozen product reviews and tests.

40K of visitors in the last year and growing !

Yes I do sometimes drift off into personal posts about, oh, construction on our new facility, but I've still kept it relevant I hope. While I did start this out very much dslr-centric, my own wanderings in NLE's, compositing, VFX, color grading, directing, and everything else has made for a real mix of topics here. I know some times I wander, but so far no one has complained ! I think many of us wear several hats, or even no hats so to that end, I think I'm covering the bases pretty well. Please feel free to let me know ! Post a comment. 

Thank you everyone for such a great first year. There are some really cool things in the works right now I'm not ready to talk about, but you'll want to check out over the next couple of months as it happens. Stay Tuned !

Monday, August 22, 2011

Goodbye Moire ? At least for 5D owners

Ah yes, yet another DSLR accessory you can't pass up! except this time, probably its true.

This is a behind the lens, fits into the body filter that adds exactly enough diffusion to get rid of moire on the camera while keeping the image as sharp as possible. Its probably a must own for just under $400 if you can get one. Preorders here. 

Its easy to insert in or remove so there is no permanent camera modification. I had honestly thought of doing something very similar, except for mounting the filter just in front of the shutter & imager. It would be a glue in place deal and permenent. I'm sure lots of folks had the same idea, but this guy who specializes in anti-aliasing filters for all sorts of electronic cameras really had the right super scientific materials to do the job. 



This may well be the fix for now for current owners. No APS-C sensor filter yet. This filter is not recommended for lenses wider then 24mm on the 5D Nothing is perfect, but it sure makes a 5D much better. Hello canon get off your butts and give us proper video without problems !

Coming Up

Video Review on how to shoot extra small stuff.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


A week and a half late, finally I have flooring to start the new room ! Over the next week or so getting this done and moving will be top priorities.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Office View

Here is a shot looking out my new office windows. Yes I'm building the room for grading, painting the facing wall about 18% gray and the back wall a very dark brown thats close to black. I can always close the blinds on more critical days, but most of the time light is not a problem given how bright most monitors are these days. Purists and pixel peepers will argue, but life is way too short to spend it in a dark windowless cave. I shot this with a Kiron 24/F2 lens which is a new toy I got a couple weeks ago. Yes you can expect a review on it and a couple other vintage lenses I've picked up.

Needless to say I've had my time filled up with a lot of work. Tomorrow I get to put down some hardwood flooring which should look great. Its custom cut random width Ash done by a local supplier.


new office view

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sneak Peak

Ring Ring, "What are you doing at 4pm today ? " So goes my week with last minute shoots. I've also had a HUGE number of things to deal with this week that have just seemed to take away my time. However, I'm still getting some time out on the weekend to make a few pix like this one below, shot on my iPhone :) 

I'm never short of amazed at the shots I get with it. This image was tiled in PS using about 6 or 7 shots for an actual 6K res image.

So let me tease you with this, a shot of our new facility under construction ! This has been a big part of my time drain - managing construction, building out new ITcentric infrastructure, legal aspects, yes its been LOTS of work, but its getting there !

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Adobe Shows Off nVidia Powered 3D Graphics In An App

Steve Forde of Adobe Systems today at SIGGRAPH was showing a technology demo thats sure to get some rave reviews. Its a "research project with nVidia". Here is a video from Post Magazine featuring an interview showing the technology in action. 

Really take a look at whats going on with the comp window, its real 3D :) ! However Steve does state " its a technology demo and it may or may not show up in a shipping product and no idea when if it might ". 


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

DIY Iconoscope

This very cool clip shows some one building their own Iconoscope basically from scratch using some off the self parts and some solid engineering. This camera is a "HD" upgrade from the original resolution of those cameras that was around 320X240, this one is "525 scanning lines". Just when you think you might click this one off is where it gets better. There are shots from the actual working camera which are pretty cool. I think what this guy did was use the electronics from a regular SD video camera, and then build the electronics for driving the tube and reading it out. You'll figure out near the end that he didn't actually fabricate the image tube, but instead used some 40 year old + new parts. Either way, I think you'll really appreciate the guys engineering and fabrication skills and feel a little humble.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DaVinci Resolve Lite Now Available !

RIP Color, Hello Resolve ! the Lite aka FREE version is finally available.  Get it HERE



“We are very excited to be able to offer a free version of DaVinci Resolve, and we hope that many more people will be able to explore the art of color correction in their work”, said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “We are so excited about what color correction can offer to the whole television and post production industry, that we think this no charge DaVinci Resolve Lite will create a revolution in visual design that will dramatically improve the production values of even the lowest budget work!”

DaVinci Resolve Lite includes all the same high quality processing of the full DaVinci Resolve, however limits projects to SD and HD resolutions, only two color correction nodes, a single processing GPU and a single RED Rocket card. Stereoscopic 3D features, noise reduction, power mastering, remote grading and sharing projects with an external database server are features only offered in the full DaVinci Resolve so are not included in this free DaVinci Resolve Lite edition. Customers who want to eliminate these restrictions can simply purchase the full DaVinci Resolve Software for only US$995.

Even with the restrictions of the free DaVinci Resolve Lite, image quality is never limited, and customers will see the incredible image processing quality of DaVinci Resolve. In addition, DaVinci Resolve Lite can still accept high resolution source footage in 2K and 4K from the latest digital cameras from RED and ARRI, so customers get a fantastic digital camera utility.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Got 1 Inch ? Machine For Sale

Yes I have a working 1" machine for sale - BVH-2000. Dig the modern picture check using a 7"  HD LCD. 

Also of note - Vimeo is happy to display the vertical format video except for making color bars on the first frame. Thats weird, but it does indicate some options here for non standard size frames like 2.35:1. I guess I'll have to try it ! Note - if you go to Vimeo you can see it in its natove shape rather then the fixed frame size here.

1" VTR Working - For Sale from Steve Oakley on Vimeo.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Avid Gives Sneak Peak At Next Version of Media Composer

Last night in Burbank CA Avid gave a sneak peak at what will shape up to probably be the next version of Media Composer.  Avid’s Paul Foeckler, VP, Creative Professionals, Products and Solutions, showed off  the DNxHD codec  working in 444 RGB ( Aka ProRes 4444 ). They also announced  64-bit support; the ability to work in larger than HD frame sizes, such as 2K, 4K and higher; and more third-party support video I/O from AJA, Blackmagic, Bluefish 4:4:4 and others for I/O solutions.  A new GUI was previewed as well. 

The new UI incudes numerious improvements that is a big step forwards for Avid since they really haven't done much with the UI for a very long time. Clearly if FCP X had not made such a huge flop, Avid would not of had reason to come out swinging like this showing off they have in the works. To say the least its all getting interesting as Avid seems to be getting back in the game by finally fixing some of its most glaring problems.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Video Reviews Coming !

I spent a good part of friday shooting some new video reviews. I'll have the first up sometime next week. Featured are : MXO2 MAX, Tamron 17-50 2.8, Tamron 70-200 2.8. So some great stuff is coming up.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to mount an HD 720P camera on a firework

Last week I got to show everyone this video where some one took video from a firework, this week the camera that made it possible. The HD 808 #11 camera. Video folks have probably never heard of it, but in RC airplane and model rocket circles, its pretty popular. There they consider the GoPro an expensive big "pro" camera compared to this little thing. You can find them on eBay for around $40.


For everything you'd ever want to know about this camera, check out Chuck Lohr's site where you can find out about all the different versions of this camera, see more sample video, and a great 15 minute tutorial on how to use it. There are quite a few models of t his camera out there, you want the model #11.

Am I adding one to my gear ? Maybe. I"ve got a couple of GoPro's already that do what I need and look great, however a $40 HD camera is tempting as you can put it anywhere and not worry about what happens to it, at least as long as you get the shots off of it. Its also easy to mount - tape will do the job where as the GoPro does require decent mounting. I guess if a job calls for it, I"ll use it.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Hoya Sells Pentax To Ricoh

Strange stuff indeed.... but how knows, maybe another dslr with great video abilities will emerge

Official Press Release:

HOYA Corporation (“HOYA”) and Ricoh Company, Ltd. (“Ricoh”) hereby announce that pursuant to decisions by the President and CEO of HOYA and Representative Director of Ricoh, respectively, HOYA and Ricoh have executed an agreement as of today to transfer HOYA’s PENTAX Imaging Systems Business (the business of developing, manufacturing and selling optical instruments such as digital cameras and replacement lenses, digital camera accessories, security camera-related products, and binoculars) (the “PENTAX Imaging Systems Business”) to Ricoh. HOYA will effectuate this transfer by incorporating a new corporation (“NewCo”), cause NewCo to succeed the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business by way of a corporate split (kyushu bunkatsu) (the “Corporate Split”), and transfer all shares of NewCo to Ricoh (such split and transfer shall be referred to as the “Split/Transfer”) as of October 1, 2011 (Estimated).
Prior to the Split/Transfer, HOYA intends to transfer its interests in PENTAX VN CO., Ltd., an overseas subsidiary of HOYA in relation to the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business, to NewCo.

Please note, that since the Corporate Split is a simplified corporate split (kan-i kyushu bunkatsu), disclosure items/content have been partially abbreviated.

Further, HOYA will continue to develop its businesses assigned from PENTAX Corporation which was merged (kyushu gappei) into HOYA on March 31, 2008 other than the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business, such as its businesses regarding digital camera modules, DVD pickup lenses, endoscopes, artificial bones, and voice synthesis.

HOYA merged (kyushu gappei) with PENTAX Corporation on March 31, 2008, and has developed the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business assigned from PENTAX Corporation until now. As part of selecting and focusing its management resources, HOYA has decided to cause NewCo to succeed the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business via the Corporate Split, transfer the business and shares, etc. of HOYA’s Imaging Systems business subsidiary to NewCo via a business transfer and share/interests transfer, and thereafter, transfer all shares of NewCo to Ricoh.

Ricoh’s core business is office solutions focusing on MFPs, Ricoh has also introduced many cameras to the market since its inception in 1936. Ricoh was one of the first manufacturers to launch digital cameras in 1995 and Ricoh’s current high-end compact digital cameras are well regarded in the industry.

Now Ricoh aims to establish a consumer business. As a first step to achieve this goal, Ricoh strengthens its camera businesses. Ricoh takes it as an indispensable initiative to obtain the small and lightweight interchangeable lens camera technology, lens technology and sales channels held by the Pentax Imaging Systems Division to pave the way for further advancement and innovations in the digital camera market.

Through this acquisition, Ricoh plans to 1) enhance its digital camera businesses (especially the interchangeable lens camera market which is expected to grow), 2) create value-added businesses for taken photographs (creation and development of value-added services that encourage seeing, storing and refinishing photographs and utilize photographs as communication tools), and 3) expand to other fields (study of entry into the image archiving business using medium-format digital cameras and enhancement of security-related products).

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Eye Candy Treat For Thursday

While certainly heavily post processed, the shooting is simple and elegant. Spot for healthcare thats just different. 

TMG pioneer from Ruben Latre on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Why It Doesn't Matter Apple Killed Color : Enter DaVinci

While FCP X is taking a beating out there, perhaps less concern has been over the loss of Color. Color is a good grading and correction app and does whatever you need reasonably well. While it certainly has a very Linuxey interface, when you actually get to using it, its fast and powerful. In fact I've found using a track pad is great with Color because you can 2 finger swipe any numeric entry up or down in value. Its a very slick addition to the app in how it supports track pad gestures.

While FCP X has some what grafted on Color's best tools, its really not the entire ful blown app. The "answer" is the FREE version of DaVinci coming in July if  BlackMagic makes their release date. 

The free version, while a bit stripped down from the full versions, will probably serve the needs of a lot of casual FCP + Color users. For those who try the free version and want a bit more, the full base model is $995 which is reasonable. The entry level model also supports most of the consoles out there with track balls / rings, like the one you may of bought for the now dead Color. Considering that DaVinci has years more development behind it, is a known product, and seems to have a committed owner on board, I don't think you need to worry about it being EOL'd any time soon.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Matrox Turns 35

Montreal-based high-tech electronics company continues to deliver innovative graphics, video and imaging/machine vision solutions to customers worldwide 

(Montréal, Canada--June 29, 2011) With the introduction of Matrox's first product Video RAM (a specialized video display device for first-generation microcomputers) in 1976, co-founders Branko Matic and Lorne Trottier launched a company that has continued to develop innovative, industry-leading products over the last 35 years.

The company's three divisions—Matrox Graphics, Matrox Imaging, and Matrox Video—now provide specialized hardware and software solutions for use in an array of professional markets, including media and entertainment, finance, digital signage, medical imaging, manufacturing, factory automation, security, government, and enterprise computing.

Since 1976, Matrox has earned its reputation as an industry leader by consistently meeting customer requirements for pioneering technology and the highest standards of manufacturing. Despite the fast-paced, increasingly complex challenges companies face within the high-technology sector, Matrox continues to deliver reliable, high-quality products aimed at solving specific, real-world industry issues.

Matrox's success is ensured by the calibre of its solutions, commitment to customers' needs, and a willingness to optimize every aspect of its business operations. The company's proven track record assures customers that Matrox will continue to meet their specifications for performance, value, and service now—and in the future.

About Matrox
Established in 1976, Matrox has many years of experience building innovative, award-winning hardware and software solutions under three successful divisions: Matrox Graphics, a multi-display graphics leader of add-in graphics cards, external multi-display adapters, KVM extenders, and video wall controller boards for professional environments; Matrox Imaging, a leading developer of component-level solutions for machine vision, image analysis, medical imaging, and video surveillance; and Matrox Video, a technology leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for a full range of content creation and delivery platforms. Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with representation and offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit Matrox.

Thinking of leaving FCP and going to Premiere Pro ?

Adobe has some great tutorials on switching from FCP Whatever to Premiere Pro CS5.5 ? Check these out

This is a great multipart series, and there are some others out there as well if you look.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Former Shake Product Manager Speaks Out on FCP X

Well this one is making the rounds right now. Its the former Shake product manager speaking about apple's internal view of things. Worth a read because history may be repeating itself again. Ok, they didn't kill FCP out right, or maybe they did and slapped the name on iMovie Pro while trashing Color and Soudntrack.

Magic Bullet Suite 11 Out, Cool Demo Video

I have MB Suite 10, I"m gonna update.

Here is their new demo, and its totally not what you'd expect in a product demo because there's not a screen shot of AE or a NLE to be found :). Its well shot, well written and fun ! and it looks like it had a little help from their friends.

FCP7 Won't Work on OS X Lion :UPDATED

If you think apple's blunder doesn't get any bigger, now this just in from an apple rep speaking at a client demo of FCP X "FCP7 "does run under Lion".

This just has to be their biggest foul up ever. I think they'll probably be forced into making FCP 7 run under Lion if they expect to keep market share because Lion has some great features people just want, or you can just switch to something else.

UPDATE ; Now apple says on their FCP X Faq page, it will... 

Sign The Petiion To Apple : FCP is NOT a Pro App

Online petition to apple :


To:  Apple, Inc.

We, both the editors and affected filmmakers who rely on Final Cut Pro as a crucial business tool, do so in the same way Photoshop, Maya, Pro Tools, and other industry-standard applications are relied on by leading post-production environments. Many have invested hundreds of thousands (some even millions) of dollars in creating Final Cut Pro based companies. These are now threatened by a "prosumer-grade" product upgrade of Final Cut Pro 7 titled "Final Cut Pro X," and will likely put several of these companies out of business. The costly process of migrating studio hardware and software is a major burden, especially on studios that have made recent upgrades to support Final Cut Pro. If many had known of the Final Cut Pro X release prior to investing in expensive hardware and software licenses, most, if not all, would have sought alternative solutions. 

A large corporation such as Apple, Inc. should not make "revolutionary" paradigm-shifting changes to software which can be referred to as "industry-standard". This is unfair to workers who rely on Final Cut Pro as a business tool and will devastate the Final Cut Pro community. Many editors have relied on the software since its first release and supported Apple through both the hard and easy times. Apple Inc. now has over $75 billion in assets and does not need to risk the livelihoods of its professional customers by silently discontinuing "Final Cut Pro" instead of selling it to a company willing to support working film, tv, and advertising industry professionals. 

We, the Final Cut Pro community, hereby request that: 

1. Final Cut Studio 3 is immediately reinstated, supported, and referred to as Apple's "professional grade" editing application. 
2. Final Cut Pro is restored under a new name with the functionality and user interface of Final Cut Pro 7. 
3. Final Cut Pro X is to be considered part of the iMovie family or labeled a "prosumer" product. 


1. The source code to Final Cut Pro 7 is auctioned or sold to a third-party by January 1, 2012.


The Undersigned

Monday, June 27, 2011

What did you do this weekend ? Does the gear realy matter /

Did  you shoot something cool ?  did you just take time off ? or where you stuck working on something uninteresting ?

For me I took time off, but still made a few great images. I snapped this on my iPhone, yet again proof that you don't need the super best camera / lens / whatever to get something good. I saw the shot coming, grabbed the iphone and had it up just in time as the current carried my thru the shot. Being as they say, "situationally aware" totally counts. I wasn't looking for a great image, but saw it coming and got it.

 Perhaps this summer it should be a time to do one of those inspirational projects you've always wanted to do but just haven't. Lets face it, gear is not a problem. Even an older HV30 or other small camera that shoots to card or hard drive can be stuck in your pocket. A FlipCam or GoPro works great for the right shot. There are lots of ways of easily getting good images these days that don't cost very much.

 I've made some great images on an iPhone simply because its always with me. How about just carrying around your small camera everyday? Maybe think of the theme for the week, and just look for little shots to put it together. Maybe you can  just let inspiration come from what surrounds you. Just getting one shot and filling in around it will work. That of course means putting yourself out of your comfort zone a little, and pulling that camera out to get a shot. Once you do it a couple of times, its easy. I didn't get a 180 degree rainbow shot by sitting around in the office. I knew it was raining, the sun was out in the right position, and 2 minutes later, I had one of those once or twice in a lifetime shots. So don't let something good slip by this summer, go out and do something !


Thursday, June 23, 2011

MXO2 Drivers Updated This Week

Matrox has new MXO2 drivers out this week. Whats been added ? improved support for CS5.5 exporting : presets for AME and the direct export dialog in Prem Pro.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FCP X Released

FCP X is also finally out. I win my bet. Maybe the big deal it seems is that Color's tools have been rolled into FCP. That one feature is probably worth using FCP X for. There is no mention of Color as a standalone app anymore. Thats too bad since its still a great fast app,. but grading within the NLE is better. Throw in background processing too on rendering.

FCP X is STILL limited to 4K resolution. That doesn't fly anymore for a lot of folks. How well their color management works is yet to be seen once you need to round trip with apps like AE. I'm sure we'll here all about it over the next few days.

Motion and Compressor are $49.95 add ons, but who cares about motion anyway.

Am I buying ? not sure yet. One part is if I get more then one install the way Lion works. $299 for one machine is ok, but I have 3 macs right now, so $1k is another entire story for a try it and see app right now. More as we get there.

---- The Bad ----

FCP X can not read FCP 7 project files. a real WTF moment to be sure. perhaps using FCP7 -> Automatic duck export to AAF and then using AD in FCP X to read it back in AAF-> FCP you can do it. Its a $500 fix. 


Tape support is limited to FW based devices. There is no 422 / Timecode support for capture or output, only a dumb output mode hit record on the VTR, hit play in FCP. 

Batch recapture from tape is not supported.

Monday, June 20, 2011

FCP X Tues ? ( Today )

Well bets are on for FCP X today Tuesday. Standing by..... if I'm wrong, next Tues. Do I personally have inside info on this ? no.

Do I have a very good track record on stuff like this :)...  I did predict Apple would take over the FCP Super Meet @ NAB and everyone said no way, history proved me right. Lets see if I can get another one right :)

Working This Week : SD in a HD World

I got to do another NFL shoot at Lambeau FIeld. We fed SD for HD broadcast. Thats right, SD went up for PiP inserts. No need for HD,

That all said, I did get to light up a landmark statue while the anchor reported. I hit the statue with a 575 HMI while the talent was lit up with a LED light using 6 AA's. The camera was an ancient D30 with a PVV-3 back.




Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Asus P246Q 10 Bit Extra RED Monitor

Here is a pic of the monitor thats been giving me so much grief. This is how its been looking although the iPhone camera did blow out the highlights completely. The image is still more then good enough to illustrate just how red this monitor is and is accurate that way. This shows the screen after I had been adjusting it for the better part of two weeks. 

Today however, I did finally fix it by working on the red axis saturation control, as well as the red gain and other controls. The axis control really brought this monitor into looking, can I dare say, pretty good ? What I still do see is that this screen had a bright high gamma in the upper end making the brights look a  bit brighter then they should. This I can deal with using either the mac screen calibration tools,  probably the Spyder3 Elite or if I'm using it, the Matrox MXO2's output calibration setup.

Tomorrow if I can get a few minutes, I'll post the settings from the Asus user config color settings which should be able to get you into the same ball park. 


red asus monitor 10 bit LCD display

Monday, June 13, 2011

PNY is offering $100-$300 Rebates on Quadro cards

You read this right, get $100 off of a Mac Version or PC Version of the Quadro 4000 card wtih 2G of VRAM. That brings the actual price down to an amazing $650 ! The older Quadro 4800 which was a real industry workhorse was ( still is ) around $1600. Here is a Link to the PDF Rebate Form for the deal that is good until July 31st. If you use the links here, this site will earn a tiny commission to help pay for things like our web hosting.

OS X Lion to Drop PowerPC ( 604/G3/G4/G5) Support

Coming out of news of Beta builds of OS X Lion aka 10.7, Roestta the PPC emulator is going away.  Its been five years since PPC processor support had gone away in terms of the OS running natively on it. This probably doesn't effect most users, but if you have been nursing Combustion V2 or V3 along, well no more. Combustion V4 is intel compatible, but EOL'd this year to no one's suprise. So if you have any PPC apps you still have in use, time to upgrade, or create a dual boot machine with 10.6 on one side and 10.7 on the other. Unless you really really really need to use that old app so badly, time to let it go. This is of course history repeating itself when apple went from 68000 series processors to PPC and used emulation to make that bridge too.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Site Updates

If you take a look thru the menu's you'll find I've updated them to make finding the most important content easier. Reviews, DIY fixes under tutorials. I've also made some other cosmetic updates, and will be making a few more like a wider page.

Do you like the redone side bar now ? I'm still messing with it a bit, but its close I think. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

So you think you can produce & direct ?

A one shot video with 5000 people in it. Next time you think getting a couple actors together on a location or two can be tricky.....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This week, Will my monitors finally match ?

This week I'm back to battling color matching with my monitors. This has been a frustrating exercise to get them to work. I actually got a call from Datacolor last week and talked with some one, so hope may be on the horizon. 

Last week I shot some very tasty material, and I'm shooting again 2 days this week. Here are a couple of shots from last week. I've got my slider out for this that I had to mod in order to get a real tripod head onto. 



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where Did The Week Go and My Monitors Still Don't Match

Things are busy, thats always good. I've got a heavy shooting schedule this week and next, no complaints. 


Meanwhile I"ve been messing with monitor calibration as an exercise in wasting time.  I've had sporadic emails from tech support at DataColor who makes the Spyder3. It might get one monitor adjusted somewhat decently, but their software seems pretty flawed. It just can't seem to calibrate to any standard reference point and bring the monitor as close as it can to that point. I still have one monitor with a tinge of green, and the new Asus 10bit panel is stil a bit red. I think I"m gonna try some eyeball calibration now and see if I do any better.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Delta Lottery, I mean Airlines


This week I got to spend a few days shooting in Florida. It was great to see and work with some old friends for a few days. Getting there is another thing. If you do location work, flying is a misery of life and its gotten worse over the years. I'm often now just driving because its sometimes actually faster, certainly simpler, and usually cheaper plus no rental cars . I can have my van with full gear package.
Delta : I had always complained that NorthWest should of been called North Worst. Since they merged into Delta, I can say Delta is by far worse run. If you fly its a lottery of chance now, but you can hedge your bets.
1: Check in early - either online via their website, or using their iPhone app. The problem is if you are traveling with a couple cases of gear and want media rate which the website doesn't support you can't complete the check in process.
2: Miles - you have a frequent flyer account, right ? people with more miles have less chance of getting bumped, its stated airline policy. Makes sense that you take care of your better customers, even if it may not seem fair. 
3: Media Rate on those cases. Have a network ID card, or letter from your employer that you are on location assignment. Media rate is $50/ bag up to 100lbs which is a much better deal then the standard consumer rate. Not all gate agents know how to deal with this, so they may need to call a supervisor or more senior agent over.  You will have to go to a gate agent to the the rate as the kiosks don't have the option. You can of course always ship the gear out ground ahead of time, but if you have a busy production schedule this isn't always possible.
4: Be On Time : if 50 people show up before you, you may not get a seat so being at the head of the line counts. Online check in helps. 
5. New airline rules : They have to get you there on the next flight within 2 hours of your original arrival time. Well good luck when you are going into a smaller regional airport. My local airport used to have a flight about every 2 hrs in or out, so missing one wasn't a big deal if you got bumped. All that has changed now and it generally has only 3 flights coming in, late morning, late afternoon and mid evening. This is due to the phase out of smaller turbo prop planes and the use of larger regional jets as well as   the fact they are just cutting back on the number of flights altogether. Good luck if you miss the last flight out.
6. Don't take flights with close connection times. They offered one flight with just a 30 minute layover time. Given they almost always tend to run 10 minute late on arrival time, even if you run thru the airport and make the boarding, you luggage may not…. ya those cases of gear you need to do your job. 
If you plan ahead, you do well too on Delta Lottery too. As for some other airlines like Southwest, I won't even fly them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Website Is Being Updated

If you happen to see this site looking odd, try refreshing or coming back in a little bit. We're in the process of updating some things including the underlying code that runs the site. This will probably take a week or so while it happens.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Matrox MXO2 LE MAX NEW For Sale

I have a brand new factory sealed MXO2 LE MAX for sale with your choice of laptop or PCIe tower interface. Works in Mac or PC, FCP or  Prem Pro. $1250. Contact me via email link if you are interested.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Working This Week

What do you mean no cool product review this week ? How could you ! How about a cute cat picture instead ?

shot of cat


Ya I know... this is the shot that will make me famous !

I really have been working on location this week, long hours. Here is shooting in the OR yesterday. No worries, I didn't get to try out my new career in medicine in fact there wasn't even a patient this day,


Don't worry cool stuff is coming !

Monday, May 02, 2011

Cinestyle from Technicolor Released Today

More new toys ! the much hyped Technicolor EOS camera style is now available. PDF docs are included. So far most regrettably, they seem to think that people ONLY edit in FCP by releasing a LUT for a FCP plugin to get you back a neutral settings. I guess this means I can run some dynamic range tests and see if this is for real, or just another shoot flat setting that doesn't do much except help you get a 7 bit image.


Adobe Creative Suite CS5.5 Is Shipping

Here's mine !


adobe creative suite cs 5.5 master collection

Friday, April 29, 2011

Donald Trump Interview : Does The Camera Matter ?

They say content is king. usually, sometimes.

This is an interview I shot with Donald Trump sometimes in the spring or summer of 1998, 33 secs long. Now everyone likes to bash dslr's for how bad they can alias at times, but here is a "real" sony camera, a UVW-100. Never my favorite camera compared to a 400A or 600, you used what you had some days. The aliasing on this camera is crazy when you look at it. Yes I did properly deinterlace the ciip for the web, thats just how the camera looked some days. I am pretty sure I even have a #1 Black Pro Mist on the camera to try to take as much edge away from it as possible.  I was also shooting for Lifetime for some women's fashion show pilot. No idea if the material every got used, but I figure all this time later this might be good for a laugh, or just to prove some people never change who they are - just watch as he disses his girlfriend.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NAB Trend #5 : The Battle of the NLE's Gets Hot With 50% off Deal From Avid

This NAB was certainly the battle of the NLE's with all the majors - Avid, Apple, Adobe, Autodesk and Sony having released or are about to release major updates. I guess Avid wasn't to happy with apple's presentation showing a graph of them competing with Premiere Pro for a distant second place in NLE usage. So they are making an interesting offer : $995 cross grade from FCP to Avid MC5.5 from now until June 15th. You have to prove you are a legit FCP user with valid serial, fine print, lawyer mumbo jumbo. The deal is available from various resellers. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NAB Trend #4: Its Cheaper

You would think this NAB was more like a cruise through the local Walmart with price cuts everywhere :

Flame: $250K now as I hear it a paltry $125K and they'll throw in smoke and lustre, what a deal !

FCP : now $299 as a stand alone full version seat

scratch : available on mac or win 7 for only $17K, thats a 50% price cut !

da vinci : still only $995 for the software only version

Solid State HD recorders starting at $995

HD video I/O starting at $199

Even consumer 4K res cameras at $2k ?

Its crazy out there this year. All over the place, everywhere you look there are price cuts going on. This is both good and bad. Good for making it easier to get into some higher end tools by more people, but bad because it can cause price erosion for the services we provide with those tools.  Be careful of what you pray for, you might get it. Cheaper tools doesn't always translate into better profitability for you, and in fact could be just the opposite.

V1.2.5 Firmware for the 7D officially available

This update popped up for a few hours a day ago, now it appears to be online for real. who knows...

Download the Canon 1.2.5 Firmware Update for the 7D is here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NAB Trend #3 : Film is So Dead


Maybe I should call this series of posts the Walking Dead of NAB ? The first affordable 4K camera was RED. To say it has its quirks and workflow issues is understatement. Now Sony has their act together finally with the new F65 4K camera. 
Sony 4K projected as 4K looked amazing ! Low light performance was excellent, reproduction of color, dynamic range was excellent. Not only was the camera's 4K images amazing, they were also very low noise as well. Sony can make great cameras when they want to, and price is no object. I won't be that harsh on Sony since they do make several reasonably priced HD cameras too these days that they never would of dreamed of making when the F900 came out. This is the first Sony camera I've been interested in for a very long time.
The body is pretty compact compared to some other 4K cameras out there. Sony built a 1TB memory card to go along with camera. I didn't catch a price, but I'm sure its not cheap, and more then an Alexa. This probably isn't a camera anyone will personally own, but for rentals it should be pretty hot. 
That thing on the back that looks like a triax adapter or battery pack is actually the recorder. It takes one of those 1TB cards to record on and provides additional I/O connectors on the other side.
The camera actually has an 8K sensor downresing to real 4K, 2K or HD. Lots of options here plus 1.85:1, 1.78:1, 1.66:1, 1.33:1, 2.35 spherical, 1.3x anamorphic, or 2x anamorphic cropped, FPS 1-120. 
The camera shoots 16bit RAW, so image quality is pristine, and its got lots of dynamic range. Now if working with a RED was maddening, this camera I think takes all those problems away, for a price. The question is, now that there is a camera that equals film in every way, and in some ways exceeds it, why will anyone bother to use film anymore ? 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

NAB Trends : Whats Tape ? UPDATED

This year there were several small HD solid state recorders that could take SDI or HDMI in. Prices ranged from about $1k to $3k. If you have a tape based camera like a varicam, these boxes are bringing those cameras into the tapeless age.  All these new boxes had monitors of some sort and size with the cheapest unit having its screen touch sensitive to use on screen controls. Sound Devices probably released the best units with solid metal construction, real buttons, real connectors, and optional TC support on the $2600 PIX 240 model. The Sound Devices box is probably the one pro's will buy because of a couple of killer features :


1. External Stereo audio. before you can say "but don't many cameras have a frame or two of delay on their SDI outputs ?" Sound Devices has an adjustable delay to compensate. Don't you love it when they get it right in V1.0 firmware ?

2. Metal construction, solid sealing of the unit because, hey, sometimes we do shoot outside in the rain or snow.

3. If you don't need TC, you can get the PIX 220 mode which is a cheaper unit for $1600.

4. Record to ProRes or DNxHD codecs, ready to edit.

5. Use the SSD or CF cards of your choice.

6. Dual onboard batteries for continuous run time thats basically unlimited.

There is also way more including  media thats formatted by the PIX recorders as UDF volumes. UDF-formatted media are not limited to 4 GB file sizes like FAT32-formatted media. Additionally, UDF volumes are cross-platform, being directly mountable, readable, and writable in Mac OS and Windows. Hey these guys get it that takes need to be longer then 12 minutes.

The no brainer prediction : these units are going to be the industry standard for recording video because of their price, small size, rugged build, high quality image processing ( cross conversion, output ) high quality analog audio and digital audio ins, and ideal media choices with 2 popular codec options that record 10bit images.


The ATOMOS Ninja



$1k, touch screen, HDMI, SSD or drive in onboard removable sled, ProRes. Is there anything else I need to say ? well yes, its not as well sealed as the Sound Devices unit, and its a SD rather then HD res screen. However, the company is listening to users about making changes in its on screen controls and display, and if you don't need a top of the line unit, I think this one will make a lot of folks very happy.


I can't see anyone bothering to use tape if you have one of these units on your camera.  Even Sony had a 1TB solid state media card. Thats right, even Sony is getting it. The earthquakes in Japan have put tape production of everything from Beta SP to HDCAM SR down for now. Just try buying a SR tape if you can find one. Between this tragic even and market movement, I doubt tape has much life in it except at the networks who want SR deliverables. However, if you can even buy the tape, this may have to change in the next few months.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Off To NAB

I'm off, see you all there ! Monday Nite Media Motion Ball at the Sahara probably has a few tickets left. I"ll be shooting some B roll of the event. Tues, I'm taking the nite off, bypassing the FCP super meet, wed is a private sit down event I'm really looking forwards too. Thurs will probably be the Brew Pub.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

New Nikon D5100 Camera Announced

Nikon seems to be slowly catching up with this new camera, priced under $900. Looks more like a t2i / t3i with swing around LCD. Press Release Here


Sneak Peak : Adobe Story in Premiere Pro

Avid has script sync and phrase find, Adobe seems to have about the same thing coming soon in this technology sneak peak... and FCP ? bupkis.   This demo of Prem Pro + Story is pretty much what I'd call the holy grail of editing scripted works to actual shots, just watch.


Linux turns 20

Why does LInux Matter ? because its inside a lot of devices you use everyday like your cell phone or TV, and it powers the internet and many major sites there. It may even be inside the camera you shoot with ! So how about something thats not part of NAB hype, FCP speculation, ect. I'm sure next week we can all be overwhelmed with all the new toys we'll have to play with, many of them using Linux inside.

Here is a great History of Linux in 3 minutes.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Techincolor and Canon Working Togther For New DSLR Style

In more interesting news today, technicolor has announced its been working with Canon for a year to develop new camera style(s) to "maximize latitude". Will this new style be a firmware update ? free ? or as I may suspect, paid ? or some flat funky style that will let technicolor have "maximum data" for their own DI process. You know no one spends that much time and effort doing something unless they expect a return. Technicolor wants to process film, but thats going away, so next best thing has to be getting digital "raw" images they can do stuff with, charge somewhere some how for working with them, and outputting what is for now, a release print.... maybe. Read it all here

You can see it with your own eyes at NAB next week... you're all going, right ?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Apple to Show FCP at Supermeet Tues at NAB

The Super Meet site has been updated, all other sponsors doing presentations have been booted out. Ya I guess apple was listening when I said they can't afford to squander the PR of NAB, or looking bad by having nothing to show. More Here - but this is the quote below.



Agenda (UPDATED!)

The Final Cut Pro User Group Network is excited to have a very special guest presentation at the 10th Annual Las Vegas FCPUG SuperMeet. Come to see a surprise sneak peek at something very special - you really do not want to miss this one,

Monday, April 04, 2011

Coming Up

I've been under a pretty intense workload the last week or so, but still managing to put stuff out. After NAB I've got 2 reviews in the works. One is on a new "affordable" 24" LCD monitor, and the other on the Kenko 1.4X converter. The Kenko has been sitting here for a week, but alas my gear is out being shipped around all over the place between shoots.

At NAB, you can catch me at the Media Motion Ball monday nite. Maybe the Brew Pub on thurs nite, and on the floor mon thru wed. What I know I won't be doing is posting the same news everyone else is from NAB. First because I'm going to be silly busy, and second, there are a million other places all posting the same stuff. I'm going to look far more at trends that emerge from the show, and my overall sense of the vibe at the show. I'm sure I'll get some little news snippets in I'm going to be privy to :)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Shoot and EDIT Video On Your iPhone

There are a couple of editors for the iphone. This one comes from vimeo and looks pretty cool. Official announcement here


The Vimeo iPhone app is here! from Blake Whitman on Vimeo.

I haven't tried it yet but maybe when I'm at NAB I'll use it for a quick and dirty podcast. Get it from Apple from this link.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Its Quite This Week

Typing this from a hotel room in another country. I"m no stranger to location shooting, but crossing borders always adds its own level of complexity to what should be really simple and isn't.  I"ll be off shooting tomorrow and I'm getting to unwind from travel time right now which is better. 

I find today quite on news.  What's funny is that I wasn't hit with an insane barrage of pre-NAB material. Is it all done yet ? have all the vendors gotten word out of what's going to be new ? in some respects I hope so, then I'll have a chance of actually seeing it there. A few surprises would be nice too. I can't say how many times I've come back from NAB to find I missed something. Thats happened a few times and with all thats going on, its easy to have happen. 

One of the big non-announcements is nothing from apple. Nothing even at the Tues FCP Super Meet. Nada. If they think they can announce two weeks after NAB and its going to go well, maybe not. They are getting arrogant and we have seen what happens to companies that do so. Nothing good ever happens to them. While a rough economy  was reason for some companies to no do trade shows, things seem better. Whether apple likes it or not, they are part of the video production world, and it does have some standards. While you can certainly announce products throughout the year, NAB and IBC are the two times of the year that everyone else makes their big noise.

There is nothing wrong with this at all, however if you want to fly against this, you have neglected your product with only minor updates for years, your competitors are making more feature rich and more stable products, you have never fixed a myriad of old bugs, maybe now isn't the time to play with an attitude. Maybe its time to put out some product that works and shows investment into continued growth of the product. When users sense you are not committed to the product, they  figure it out and move on. This has happened to more then one NLE company and apple shouldn't think they are immune, even with the reality distortion field in full effect.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Traveling This Week

I'm not sure how much I'll get to post this week as I'm going to be traveling to shoot a video for NAB. Shoot this week, edit next week, play at the show. In fact I will also be shooting on the NAB show floor monday and tuesday. No I'm not shooting one of the endless ENG news type things, but rather some vendor announcements with some basic lighting to UL to the web. So that will be fast and furious shoot and edit all day. 

Monday nite will find me at the Media Motion Ball and some by invite only events later. Still looking for something to do Tues that doesn't involve the Stupor Meet. Sorry but I have all day to look at vendors pitching their wares, the last thing I want to do is pay $25 to sit and watch more of it.  Yes I know many folks I do know will be there, but its just not MY kind of event.  I'll be in Vegas through friday nite. Probably go to the Brew Pub Thurs nite. We'll see what happens. A couple of the usual events I've gone to for the last 5 to 10 years aren't going on due to economic cut backs that started about 2 years ago. Either way I think this will be a good NAB with up attendance and lots of great new product introductions.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Magic Lantern Update for the 5D MkII Coming Soon

Video Showing the updated firmware. This brings in a lot of the updates from the other camera firmware projects back to the 5D mkII

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Want To Write The Next Big Film ?

We all run into people who want to make a big feature film, or is it even you ? Here is the manual from which countless films have been based off of, in PDF. Its "The Hero With 1000 Faces" by Joseph Campbell. It's available here
 For a great film on how hollywood reuses stuff, try this great film. BTW, if it weren't for fair use in copyright law, this great piece would not exist.


However, there is a proposal that just came out of the White House last week about major changes to copyright law and enforcement of prevention of copying material. Read it HERE . Its all about how ANY software of hardware device that circumvents copy protection would become a felony. Ripping your DVD's for you own personal use on a home media player would be a felony. This bit of proposed legislation has no mention of fair use. A project like the one you just saw would of required under this proposal, illegal acts to gain access to the material to use it _lawfully_. You can have all the fair use you want, you simply can't get at the media in the first place to use it. 

As a content creator, I'm all for reasonable protections and enforcement. This proposal goes way over the line in trying to lock all hardware and software to obey copy protection, and criminalizing circumvention of it to the same level as terrorism. Thats just crazy.  The reality is, the genie is out of the bottle, and you aren't going to get it back in. Instead of trying a Draconian approach like this, how about education towards respect of the law and property ? and how about producing content that's, worth buying / renting in the first place ? 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

4K coming soon, 8K isn't far off

What will you see at this year's NAB ? well Sony’s theme at NAB 2011 will be life beyond HD. More than 5,000 screens of 30,000 in the USA are now using Sony 4K digital projectors. Shoot, edit, distribute and view 4K. Its coming 4X faster then HD. In 4-5 years there will be affordable 4K consumer sets. 

Sony gets it. Now the questions - most NLE's barely chug through a couple streams of 1080, never mind effects. Just as 720p is 4X more pixels then SD, and 1080 is 6X more, 4K is 4X more then 1080, and 16X more then SD. Got it ? So your fast bad machine that edits a couple streams of 1080 right now will struggle with one stream of 4K. If you work with RED based material, you'll know what I mean. Good thing machines will get even faster. Its just a continuing game of catch up. 

4K will bring about even more need for universal open standards cross platform NLE that ANY vendor can implement for their hardware or software. ProRes plus gamma shifting and apples lack of creating consistent  correct handling of images in QT is a joke. MXF and its multi file format without consistent cross vendor implementation is another mess. Mpeg2 ? too old. H264 ? patent landmines. We need something that works !

However, the real end game is 8K. Sony's clear about it. I've seen 8K, its amazing. Until you've seen it, you won't understand. Its like 320X240 web video next to 1080. 8K makes 1080 look low res and lame, really it does. 

Right now there are a handful of prototype 8K cameras. In 10 years they'll be top of the food chain. 4K will be standard gear, and 1080 will be web video consumer came stuff. The last part already almost is in many places. RED cameras will be low end to be sure at 4K. I'm sure RED will probably have a 6 or 8K camera in a few years, but they won't be the only game in town. I'd expect Canon and Panasonic to also be in the game to. Its going to be a wild ride. The only thing I'm happy about is that my current cameras were paid for so quickly. My T2i is gone already, it lasted 6 months before I upgraded to the 60D. Hopefully the next wave of cameras will be equally affordable while making even better images. 

Report From Japan

Two people I know in Japan have reported back they are ok. Things are messed up to be sure, but they and their coworkers are all right.  Here is a personal post - 



What a mess!

Actually, I haven't been able to watch much of the news so you 
guys may well have more information than I do at this point.

When you're far from a quake's center, the shaking drags out 
longer, so here in Tokyo (2 or three hours south of the area hit 
hardest) the main quake seemed to go on for about 20 minutes, 
ebbing and flowing in strength. Then quite strong after shocks 
started coming right away. I had gotten the TV on and was 
watching reports and sent out the initial email to you guys and 
family -- still jumping up on occasion to get near the door when 
an after shock hit. I was working at home yesterday.

After about an hour, things were obviously mainly over and I was 
about to get started on clean up here. Like many Tokyo buildings, 
our little house is very 'flexy' -- first floor just had a few 
things fall off shelves. Second floor, which really moves in a 
quake, is a mess. Three little rooms. One we use for storage, I 
can't even get the door open more than 6 inches yet. The other, 
where I often work on audio and video editing at home, is an 
utter mess. 90% of what used to be on shelves is one the floor -- 
computers, decks, books, tools.

Land lines and cell phones all dead, my wife's out there 
somewhere, can't get ahold of the folk at the office, and just 
about to start on clean up when my wife called from her work -- 
everyone's going home, but all the trains are stopped. So I jump 
in the car to go get her. Hour and half round trip took 3 hours. 
Traffic's crazy. Keep trying to call work. Never get through. 
Finally when we get home, fold from work had gotten through to 
our answering machine. No trains, so every one's walking home -- 
we live closest, so a bunch of them are headed our way. Jump back 
in the van, go out and find them, bring them back to our place. 
Then start ferrying 'em home. Done and got back home myself at 4 A.M.

The staffer who lived farthest away is about 20km out. Traffic 
crawling, we finally get to her place 2 A.M., and there are 
hundreds of people still hiking along the main drag trying to get 
home. I think Tokyo has 10 million commuters -- all walking home 
since the trains are out. It was pretty amazing to see, 
especially closer to downtown where I first caught up with my 
gang. Like the crowds stream out after a ball game -- but it went 
on mile after mile.

Apparently the company (6th and 7th floor of a downtown office 
building) is a mess. All the edit rooms have everything on the 
floor -- including nice new Ikegami HD monitors I just spend big 
bucks on! Haven't been able to get into the main studio yet -- 
much junk fallen in the hallway to make it to the door.

That high it shook so bad, and the so much plaster etc. was 
falling that everyone kind of freaked out and just wanted to go 
home. We'll begin clean up Monday. Wonder if we'll be able to get 
next weeks program out on time?

Obviously, though, while in Tokyo we are mainly inconvenienced 
with only a few tragedies, up north is a huge mess with huge loss 
of life. It's going to take years to get back to normal.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Adobe has Flash -> HTML5 converter

Goodbye flash, you bug ridden performance killing abomination of code  that has plagued my life for 10 years. Adobe had announced this converter before, but now you can get your hands on it : a Flash to HTML5 converter app. It takes your flash file in, outputs editable human readable and modifiable HMTL5. Its called Wallaby and its still beta, but you can get it here. Adobe wants to keep selling their tools, so supporting HTML5 is a requirement as its been catching on pretty quickly. Certainly its clear if you want to do interactive / fancy stuff on iOS devices, HTML5 is where its at.

My prediction is that Catalyst will replace Flash the app for most of us, and I'd expect direct output of HTML5 rather then this conversion process i in the next major update to come out.  While Flash / AIR / Flexbuilder will probably live for a while longer, its pretty easy to see them fading away over the course of the next couple of years. Thank you Adobe for listening and getting it ! 

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Shot on DSLR page up

I just put this page up. If you have some suggestions to add, send them on. I'm always looking for quality material here. There is plenty of Cult of Shallow DoF stuff out there... looking for something better. 

Lets try this one. Its Italian, has subtitles, and is very well shot.

Friday, March 04, 2011

DOJ Investigating MPEG LA

The Deptment of Justice is investigating MPEG LA's  WebM's patent pool game.  " “MPEG LA, which was formed in the late 1990s, manages the licensing of more than 1,700 patents used in a high-definition video encoding standard known as H.264. The Justice Department is concerned the group’s actions may stifle competition to that dominant format, the people familiar with the matter said."  Hey, couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of patent trolls... except SCO, but thats another story and we know how that one worked out.
 Honestly its time we put an end to software patents, and perhaps the entire patent system. 200 years ago it was structured to protect the little guy, but now its  being manipulated by Intellectual MONOOPLY companies. Patents no longer serve the purpose they were intended for, perhaps we need some Madison style protests in front of the patent office ! Full article here

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Steve Forde Is the New After Effects Product Manager

Interesting breaking news : Steve Forde is now the After Effects Product Manager. Congrats... official announcement here

Monday, February 21, 2011

THM File Remover App released today

Tired of all those THM files from your dslr cluttering things up ? THM remover will zap them away. Download THM remover here. Mac only 10.6.x only.  Now just so I told you so - the THM files do contain some metadata relevent to the mov - ISO, f Stop, ect. However if this data has no long term value to you... blasting them away as clutter is ok. Also be aware of the very fine utility  QTchange V1.6 that does all sorts of handy things like using the file creation time accurate to the second from the THM file to set the MOV's timecode track. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Arri Alexa Goes V3.0

Arri is now officially at V3.0 on the Alexa software. Its been an impressive series of upgrades for such a new camera. Unlike RED which most folks consider the worst of the good cameras, the Alexa started out with a good reputation which continues to build. 

Avid Announces Major Product Updates Today

Avid updated its products today as follows releasing MC 5.5, Symphony 5.5 and NewsCutter 9.5. These updates bring more third-party hardware and format support. Additionally added features include :
AJA Io Express now joins the Matrox MXO2 Mini monitoring option introduced with Media Composer 5
MC 5.5 supports native HDCAM SR Lite - you can now move SR media over gigabit
New Nitris DX AVC-Intra video accelerator for boosting speed and performance during online edits
Euphonix control surface support
The updates are  scheduled to ship on March 8.
Not a bad way to head into NAB with a new product version out a few weeks prior.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Zeiss Zoom 15.5-45mm T2.6

Old news ? only if you heard about it and I bet most folks haven't.  Ziess has a 15.5mm-45mm T2.6 cine style lens with interchangeable mounts, PL  EF and F. 
zeiss 15.5 45mm cine zoom
15.5mm is quite cool for APS-C sensor cameras, and full frame ones. However, 45mm is pretty short for most users. Realistically 70mm on the long end, to maybe 100mm would make for a one lens fits most uses application. Perhaps this is why they haven't really pushed this lens, plus its only $29K. All that said, its a fairly compact lens for this type of glass.
16.5 110 zeiss zoom
There is a 16.5-100 2.6, but it is a huge piece of glass. the same can be assumed for the price too. You could never really hope to use this lens hand held, except maybe on a full steadicam rig.So the perfect dslr lens still remains an elusive item. Yes Olympus has a f2 zoom, but is 4/3's sensor lens, so no go there. I'm sure eventually we'll have a f2 20-100mm lens thats reasonable priced and reasonably sized.

Monday, February 07, 2011

New Canon t3 / t3i / 1100D /600 D / X50 announced : Updated

Coming fast & furious from canon is another new camera ! However, the different models are not be equal - see below
Say it isn't so ! this is crazy. Good thing these things are cheap enough to pay for with one job. This time its an update on the consumer side of things. Updated to the pro 5D and 7D are really over due, but who knows what spring and NAB will bring.
Specs on the new camera :
  • Superior 12-megapixel image quality
  • On-screen Feature Guide
  • Creative Auto and Basic+
  • HD video capture
  • ISO 100-6400 sensitivity
  • Wide-area 9-point AF system
  • 63-zone iFCL exposure metering
  • 6.8cm (2.7”), 230,000-dot screen
  • Use with all EF and EF-S lenses
Now read carefully : EOS Movie allows users to record Full HD (1920x1080p) movies on the EOS 600D and HD (1280x720p) movies on the EOS 1100D. 
The EOS 600D ( and it appears t3i ) offers full manual control of exposure and frame rates of 30, 25 and 24 fps at full resolution, with 60 and 50 fps available at 720p resolution. The EOS 1100D has a choice of 30 and 25 fps frame rates.

When filming Full HD footage with the EOS 600D, Movie Digital Zoom can be used to magnify the centre of the sensor by 3-10x while maintaining Full HD quality. 
The 600D has a digital zoom mode when shooting HD... cool !
The 1100D however it seems only shoots 720P. Thats what the initial canon specs said. We'll see if this is accurate. I'm suspecting its true, as a way of trimming a feature or two to keep the price in line. One review post the specs as 
• 1280 x 720 (29.97, 25 fps)

• Max duration 17min, Max file size 4GB
The Rebel T3 has a 12.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a DIGIC 4 image processor, shoots at 3 fps and shoots HD video at 30p. This implies 720 mode video, part of the confusing specs out there. The ISO sensitivity ranges from 100-6400, and it also has a 2.7″ LCD (230,000-dot).
The Rebel T3i  has an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a DIGIC 4 image processor, 3.7 fps, full HD video (30p-24p-25p), HD (60p-50p) and SD video (30p-25p) with full manual exposure control, ISO range of 100-6400, 3″ LCD with 1.04-million dots.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

GoPro Is Finally Shipping the LCD Screens !

GoPro  is finally shipping their promised LCD screen, $79.99. Kit includes 4 different backs for the difference camera cases. I ordered mine today, let you know how it works when it shows up in a few days. However, there was no booster battery on sale... these guys are seriously giving RED a run for the money on vaporware / forever late in shipping announced products. ok, ok, it is finally shipping. 

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

QTindex Remover Released

I"m pleased to announce that QTindex Remover is now available FREE !

If you use Premiere Pro or AE CS2/3/4/5 this mini app will remove all those qtindex, cfa and pek files in a single simple operation.
UPDATE: I just added mpgindex
Mac only, tested on 10.6.6, it should work on 10.6.x
QTi can clean up entire drives in a single operation because it will navigate and clean sub folders.
You can directly select groups of files and folders in the file requester.
All files are moved to the Trash. You still have to empty the trash manually. This operation can not be undone. Pick and choose carefully what you process !
If you need a new file type added, let me know.


Doesn't currently work on remote network drives, only local drives. This may be fixable, it may not be ( easily ).


Will there be a PC version ? Probably not unless I get a lot of requests and can make a few dollars for the effort.
Will you fix network volume clean up ? Maybe, if its not too hard and doesn't require a complete redo of the app.
Will it hurt my good files ? Probably not, but no promises made its perfectly safe. Please inspect your trash before you empty it to be sure. I"m not responsible if it trashes your irreplacable media or other files. Use at your own risk.
WIll it work on 10.5.x or lower ? Try it and let me know.
Price ? FREE.
Comments & suggestions welcome. Enjoy a cleaner hard drive !


Online Store Is Now Here

I am happy to announce that we finally have a very simple online store up. Our first products are all of the Singular Software titles and they are available now - Plural Eyes and Dual Eyes Stand Alone. 

If you plan to buy any of these products, please consider buying them here to help support the site. Doing the in depth and often one of a kind reviews and research takes a lot of time and effort.  Just today we wrote a clean up utility for mac that I think all of you will find really useful in removing files left over from Premiere Pro and AE projects. After our quick 1 day of beta testing, it should be released Thurs sometime pending feedback. Its FREE.  

I'd also like to say that the traffic on this site continues to grow and its been pretty amazing. I'd like to think its about quality original content and quick, short, to the point reviews and comments that don't waste your time getting to what counts. Thanks for support, this year should be even better then last !

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Premiere Pro / AE Clean Up App Coming Tomorrow

Using Premiere Pro or AE CS 4 or CS 5 ? 

Noticed a lot of index / cfa / pek files sitting around ?

Want an automatic way of getting rid of them ?

Come back tomorrow :)

JVC Introduces a new HD camera

A new camera based on the HD100 / 200 / 700 series of cameras. Maybe these cameras aren't in vogue like dslr's, unless you work in broadcast TV or a lot of other work where a more conventional  form factor camera works better. That's heresy isn't it  for the dslr crowd !


JVC has announced the release of a new entry to its camera lineup, the GY-HM750U Pro-HD camcorder. The unit is designed for ENG, sports, documentary and other location capture work, and features a compact shoulder-mount design, as well as SDHC memory card storage. 

“High definition has not yet been standardized in many markets, and a vital segment of broadcasters don’t have the infrastructure to deliver HD from the field,” said Craig Yanagi, JVC’s national marketing and brand manager. “That’s why the new GY-HM750U offers the flexibility to record in 480i as well as a variety of HD formats. It can fulfill current SD needs while providing a seamless transition to HD in the future, all with the fastest and most efficient workflow available in the industry today.”

The new camcorder includes a dual card slot for SDHC storage, and may also be used with an optional SxS recorder. The GY-HM170U also provides ready-to-edit native files for Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere and other popular NLE systems. It can also store SD content as standard DV files. The camcorder also available with JVC’s KA-AS790 ASI output module that permits direct connection between the camera and a microwave or satellite transmitter. 


Saturday, January 29, 2011

USB Follow Focus / Remote Control Now Available

All right, this one looks interesting. This device provides hand held remote follow focus, start / stop as well as access to a variety of camera functions. Buttons on the remote can also be programmed to hit certain focus marks just like those big video 100X box lenses do.
They also have parts like spare buttons available, and docs on the unit. How refreshing is that ?
Next question, price ? $400 which is probably reasonable if this thing lives up to its billing. Available from Okii

Thursday, January 27, 2011

EOS Lens Adapter For the Panasonic AF100

Birger Engineering announced this a adapter a few months back. Its finally ready to ship in the next few weeks. This adapter lets you use Canon EOS glass on a AF100 M4/3's camera and you can control the iris of the lens through the camera.  About $700, but considering it can let you use all your EOS glass from your EOS body, not a bad deal either.

Walter Murch Doesn't Think 3D Will Really Catch On - Here's Why

I have to say, 3D is something I've never thought of as more then an effect that works here or there. Its cool for certain films, but I don't think it works for all forms of film. Walter Murch agrees, read his letter here

Maybe we'll see more common sense used when creating 3D films now... or not. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tascam Releases V1.2 Firmware for the DR-680 8 Track Recorder

Tascam has released V1.2 firmware for the DR-680 8 track recorder. Whats new ?

MS Stereo Support ! you can record 1/2, 3/4, 5/6 each as its own MS pair, and decode it during playback correctly, and mix to the headphones correctly. What a great feature to get !

GANG Function  - The GANG function allows you to adjust multiple channels at the same time on the TRIM, PAN and LEVEL screens. Set the range of channels to be ganged by pressing the number keys for the channels at both ends of the range at the same time.

Improved front panel control : you can do most things on the front panel now... except step back out of some menu items which still requires the |<< button. That said, what the have changed is MUCH better then before

•  Better power management. I had personally gotten this one on their radar : when you power the unit on the DC input connector, it assumes its AC power. When the battery dips below acceptable voltage, the unit shuts off corrupting at least the last file recorded. Now the unit will perform a proper shutdown and close files out when it senses power is too low for operation. Much better, but still not ideal which is to monitor power on the DC connector as a battery rather then AC power supply and show it on the display.

• You can enter some menu's now in record when you could not before

There are still some operations like shuttling audio during playback that want to use the "top" data dial rather then front panel dial, but its a good improvement from before. You can get the firmware update here from Tascam. 

Tascam DR-680 Review

Monday, January 17, 2011

Post / MG Salary Survey Released

Do you think you are getting paid enough ? Working short days or long ones ? Does staff or freelance pay better ?

Some answers here at

Thursday, January 06, 2011

CES News : GoPro Finally has LCD screen, Extra Battery and 3D mode

How about something cool from CES ! GoPro, which has announced they would have an add on LCD panel for the GoPro Hero HD camera for at least the last year, finally has shown them at CES. Its not on their website yet. They also finally showed the extra battery pack they were promising forever as well. The extra battery will give you 5 hours of run time which is great. The LCD will reduce that by 30% or so if you leave it on all the time. 

Then there is the 3D version. Its two HD cameras mounted side by side in one case, but one camera is flipped upside down right next to each other. The lenses are almost touching.It seems odd that they put them this close, rather then right side up which would be about 1.5" apart, but maybe it looked too weird that way due to the wideness of the lens. We'll see. So besides the new case, there is a jumper setup linking the two cameras together since you'd want them to use the same exposure, and have they frame scanning in sync. You also have to have 2 cameras as well. 

As for if 3D ever goes anywhere, time will tell. Yes its being pushed harder than DVD or HD ever was, but no one wants it. I think most folks generally see it as a way to try and force everyone to buy a lot of new hardware... for what ? consumer polls show almost no one would actually buy 3D LCD's. It really remains a movie theater novelty. I saw Avatar in 3D and really liked it that way, however I don't think I need or want all movies see to be in 3D at all. It really changes how a movie is shot and edited which may not fit with the film's style and theme. OTH with so many films being over cut, slowing down the pace of edits might not be a bad thing either.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Back to Work

All right, after slacking off from the program for the last week or so ( can you blame me ! ) I'm back to doing things. That ultra vintage lens thing is still a work in progress, I haven't forgotten about it. I've got one or two video reviews in the works, and a few other things on the burner. 
Todays news is that Zacuto is gonna ship its EVF viewfinder. I don't like to bite any hands, but lets get real, its a miserable 800X480. Common, thats a joke. Sure you can't see pixels, because it doesn't have the res to display them ! the LCD on the back of the camera plus your loupe of choice, even a zacuto is a far better value then this thing. There are plenty of 5-8" LCD's that are 720p res out there that will give you more bang for a lot less buck. If you have ever used a RED LCD thats a real 720p screen, you know what I mean. Its a world of difference. I know only the 7D is HD when recording, but when you aren't, I'll take all the pixels I can get. 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

RED EPIC #0006 Stolen in France

I'd like to say happy new year, but for the first person to have a RED EPIC, its not. It was stolen yesterday in the french alps while he and his family where sleeping. read more here

As for was it dumb thieves grabbing what they thought was just another video camera, or industrial espionage, time will tell, or maybe not. The answer will be if the camera ever turns up, and where. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

4K 3K 2K on T2I / 60D : HOAX

As suspected... its a hoax. amazing how fast something like this can spread around. 
Its not april 1 !. supposed to release on Jan 1.  We'll see see. here is the youttube video


4K resolution will be 4096×2304 and records... 6 seconds. thats useful.... not.

longer times at 2K, 90secs. 

Data rates of 175mbytes/sec but requires fastest Class 10 cards you can find.

Will if be for real ? wait a couple of days and find out. Will if be useful ? that depends. 

Initially to be free, then $50US. We'll see. Maybe this will get Canon to get its  you know what in gear to deliver the goods finally in terms of fixing moire / aliasing, limited data rates, ect. 

These are their claims :



  • will be released on January 1st 2011 11:11pm EST
  • First two releases will be free. Later releases will cost around 50 USD.
  • 4K resolution will be 4096x2304
  • 60p in 1080p mode possible
  • LiveView doesn't work while recording
  • 1080p with 175Mb/s Bitrate looks gorgeous
  • Color-Space 4:2:2
  • Moire and aliasing "fixed"
  • 5D Mark II support will be released on January 11, 2011
  • Recording time in 4K is only 6 seconds. Maybe 10 seconds in future release
  • Writing 6 Seconds of 4K footage to card takes about 30 seconds.
  • No playback in-camera
  • 25p is NOT going to happen. Probably never.
  • Heating was a problem until 6 days ago. But not anymore.
  • Has built in limiter so you won't brick your camera
  • Battery will be sucked up pretty fast.
  • Will NOT record in 16:9 (coming in future release)
  • Will be first released for T2i (550D) and will later come to 7D, 5D Mark II. No Word on 60D yet.
  • Monthly updated planned on each months 1st
  • "Rolling Shutter isn't much of an issue"
  • No drop frames
  • Youtube User Dod3032 will get the firmare one day early and will put up videos on youtube on 2011-01-01
  • Sourcecode will also be released
  • HDMI Out will still work
  • Works only with fast Class10 cards
  • Working cards are: Sandisk Extreme III class 10 8gb and above. Transcend class 10 16gb and above and Lexar Pro class 10 32gb.
  • 7D Security is a pain in butt because of firmware counter. So no support yet.
  • Not T1i (they don't have one)
  • Development took about 2 month in total
  • Special Website will be up soon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Panasonic Ships the AF100 This Week

Odd week for a hot product ship, but hey, its out the door. Here is panasonic's press release. Lets see what the street price will be in a couple weeks once the fanboys pay full price snapping up all the first production units. Me, I'll wait at least until they've been in production a few months... at least. _____________ PANASONIC DELIVERS AG-AF100, THE AFFORDABLE LARGE IMAGER CINEMA CAMERA Advanced, Custom-Designed 4/3 Sensor Delivers Depth of Field and Field of View Similar to...

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

Have a safe happy holiday season, especially next weekend as we all celebrate new years ! 

In other news.... RED shipped ONE EPIC camera this week... thats nice. The fanboys are in  a frenzy as usual. I guess as with Red One, they'll have a ramp up of production over the next few months. I was gonna post on it the day it was made public, but was far more concerned about the FCC internet rulings. Those rulings stand to effect how many of us actually make a living, rather then a tool we might buy to get a job done. The FCC rulings I think have largely been misunderstood by most main stream media reporting because they are really failing to report about the loopholes and vague areas that leave things open for the ISP's to do what they want. There is also of course the legal challenge of if the FCC has the authority to act as they have. On that point, its a finer issue : the FCC has been granted the authority to regulate RF transmissions, so that should cover wireless data / internet service. However they haven't been granted authority over WIRED Internet service, at least not explicitly.

Well that's it for this week! have a great weekend, take some time off, because I'm not getting that luxury. I have to work sunday !

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Magic Lantern for the 60D

Ok, so great news ! Magic Lantern has put out an early alpha build of  firmware for the 60D. Very very very cool considering I just sold my 550D yesterday :)

Main Page for 60D Firmware

More Details and links to the download

and for the brave, here is the 60D FirmWare and another file you need

I haven't tried it yet. I've been too busy finishing up a project, and working on my ultra vintage lens project

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Non Net Neutrality @ Dec 21 FCC Hearing

Many of you reading this are involved in creating online video, we probably all view it. Please go out monday and call or email the FCC in supporting REAL net neutrality, not the very non-neutral plan they are currently considering. The current plans are anything but neutral. This is especially true in the world of emerging wireless internet to smart phones. In fact wireless providers are trying to argue that wireless net isn't the same as wired net, and they should have the right to charge for usage of some sites and services such as YouTube, Facebook, Ebay, PayPal, ect. The only winners in the current plan are the cable co's and wireless providers in being able to try to charge more for current services, and block services they don't like - ie that complete with what they offer. 

Wired on Wireless Carrier Plans


wireless options