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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…

REVIEW: ioSafe SoloPRO Fireproof External Drive

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Today, external hard disk drives are a “dime a dozen” so to speak. They all use drives from a handful of companies, wrap them in a plastic or metal enclosure with USB, eSATA or some other interfaces, add a cheap external power supply, and box it up for sale. What all these drives lack, however, is security for your data. Sure, you can use a RAID, but if catastrophe hits- a fire, flood, tornado, etc, your data is gone. This is where ioSafe stakes their claim. Read more…

IEBA Review: Datavideo DN-60 Solid State CF Card Recorder

February 11, 2011 1 comment

When it comes to camcorders, most everything is moving to flash media.

There are, however, an incredible amount of HDV and other tape-based HD camcorders out there, still working hard and producing great images. How do you get these camcorders up to speed with the new flash-media workflow? With an external recorder.

Thus far, the need for external devices to record HD footage has primarily been served by Focus Enhancements’ FireStore line. However, there has been growth in the segment recently and Datavideo has entered the fray with a unique design and price point under $500. Does the Datavideo DN-60 Solid State CF Card Recorder give the more expensive recorders a run for their money? Let’s find out. Read more…

Wanted: Home Theatre PC Made Simple.

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I have been thinking about replacing my aged TiVo box (SD) with an HD version, especially to record HD content off cable and to get Netflix streaming. I was wondering why not a Home Theatre PC (HTPC) and came across this Engadget article that compared TiVo’s latest product: “Premiere” to a properly kitted Windows Media Center HTPC. In the end, each has strengths, and weaknesses. I personally would like a solution that has a built-in audio amplifier so I don’t need yet ANOTHER remote to control THAT.  So, for the sake of Simplicity, and the hodge-podge that is the Premiere interface, I may just go with an older TiVo HD. Wait, do they do Netflix? Hmmm, more research is needed.

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Canon XF300 on the way for review. Questions? Tests? [UPDATE] It’s here.

July 27, 2010 3 comments

Canon says that the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder is on it’s way to me for test & review. This camera features 50Mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 recording to Compact Flash (CF) Cards. This high data rate should push aside all issue with compression, even though it does use the older MPEG-2 codec as opposed to the newer MPEG-4 / H.264 / AVCHD codec that a lot of newer camcorders and cameras use. The advantage to MPEG-2 is that, with a lot less compression, today’s even faster computer should handle it with ease, as opposed to the much more difficult time today’s systems have with AVCHD footage. Read more…

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