Beware the App Store.

May 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Fishing imageAs people willingly walk into the future, they are being lured by streaming this, virtual that, and the ever vague “cloud.” What they do not see or realize is the vanishing control of things they had taken for granted for so long.

The first crack in this “utopia” was when Amazon had to pull books from its bookstore because the entity selling them through Amazon did not have the rights to do so. Well, that’s all proper you’d say, but they also reached into the pockets of the end users who had bought those books, and took those books out of the buyers pockets. They did this virtually by remotely deleting the books from the Amazon Kindle e-readers of people who had bought the rights-infringing books. But there was a certain irony in that one of the books Amazon secretly removed from the buyer’s ownership was George Orwell’s 1984, where the government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.” 

Are we headed that way too? And are we going there willingly?

Read more…

Using inexpensive “DJ” LED lights for video productions.

June 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Good quality light fixtures are well worth the money spent as they will provide years, even decades of faithful service. But a single, good fresnel light head, stand, doors, etc can easily run several hundred dollars. Then, to get creative, you still need an external dimmer, and several colored gels to craft the light into something more creative.

Alternatively, LED panels have been gaining popularity for their energy efficiency and cool running features. Looking beyond the small set of white and bi-color LEDs specifically made for video production, you can find a whole other world of LED fixtures made for other markets- including “disk jockey” LED lights and controllers. For the cost of one good fresnel light, you can have a multi-light, expandable LED lighting package.

Read more…

REVIEW: The Rosco LitePad Loop – Ringlight for video

June 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Rosco LitePad Ringlight

Ringlights have been used in still photography for decades, but finding suitable ringlights for video is a bit more challenging because they need to stay lit, and bright, the entire time, without blinding the person in front of the camera. It’s not a fast strobe that goes away, it stays on the entire time. The value of the ringlight is a soft, even fill light that illuminates the face in a way that is very hard to achieve with off-camera lights.

I was loaned a Rosck LitePad Loop which is a Ringlight system designed for DSLRs but with the 15mm rails, it could easily be adapted to any video system. In fact, it’s reliance solely on a 12v source makes it more adaptable to professional setups than the DSLR crowd which are using 7v or 8v batteries for everything. Read more…

The Nikon P7700 – a compact stills/video powerhouse.

May 1, 2013 Leave a comment

The Nikon P7700.Video DSLRS have revolutionized the way we shoot video at all levels of production. But can the same thoughts now be applied to smaller internal-zoom cameras? They can all shoot full HD now. Add a microphone input, a built-in hot shoe & image stabilization, and lots of external controls, and it becomes a capable production tool.

The advantages are obvious. You don’t have to carry around several different lenses, or bother with lens changes because something is too close or too far. Another key advantage in this particular camera is the f2 – f4 28-200mm, image stabilized, Nikkor lens you get in a $399 (street) camera. A DSLR lens alone with that capability would cost you considerably more than the Nikon P7700, before you even add a camera body.

But what are the caveats?

I have been following the Nikon P7000 series cameras since they launched several years ago. The first generation was lauded for the quality of the stills, but overall it was very slow. The P7100 was a noted improvement, but it was still slow in comparison to other similar cameras. Now the P7700 is here with even more capability- especially with the video. Nikon added numerous video formats, and a microphone input. They also added a tilt-swivel display and several under-the-hood improvements. Does it finally perform as expected? Read more…

Follow UP to my previous Jawbone post.

March 4, 2013 1 comment

My UP wristband I’ve continued to use my Jawbone UP wristband but its usefulness is going down as I use it. It’s designed to be an activity tracker, and there’s mounting evidence that it’s not doing that very well. The app is a nutrition tracker, and I’m finding that it’s not doing what I’d like. So let me discuss my findings to demonstrate what the problem is. Read more…

My Jawbone UP Armband

February 20, 2013 Leave a comment
My Jawbone wristband, the way I need to wear it.

My Jawbone wristband, the way I need to wear it.

I finally have my Jawbone UP wristband and it’s been an interesting experience with my first fitness system since moving up from a very basic pedometer. It’s more telling in terms of when I exercise and what I do, but I also selected it for very specific reasons. Some of these, however, are not working out as planned. Read more…

1000 MBps read & 900 MBps write in a non-retina MacBook Pro.

July 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Kick ass performance with two SSDs in one laptop.

Considering that all the other components (memory capacity, processor speed, bus speed) can be configured nearly identically, just dropping a single OWC 6G SSD into your a 2012 MacBook Pro 15 can boost its performance on par with, or even a little past) the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

But wait… the MacBook Pro 15” has two drive bays, each capable of running an OWC 6G SSD at full 6Gb/s speeds.

Two drives…

Same speed…

You know where this is going…

Yes, we decided to go all out and put the two drives in a Striped RAID to see how fast we could get.

With this setup, we averaged over 1000MB/s read speeds and write speeds that nearly hit 900MB/s. That completely blows the MacBook Pro with Retina Display out of the water!

OWC SSDs Make 2012 MBP 15″ a Speed Champ | Other World Computing Blog.

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