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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

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…

Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi is a Full HD 1080p Camcorder and a network streaming appliance.

April 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi Full HD 1080p Camcorder with 4GB SDHC Card. Item: 178-930
Event Price: $159.95, HSN Price: $179.95, Retail Value: $209.90
via Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi Full HD 1080p Camcorder with 4GB SDHC Card at HSN.com.

Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi Full HD 1080p Camcorder with 4GB SDHC Card
Shoot, stream and share over the air. Capture spectacular moments in stunning full high-definition video and preserve them in lifelike vividness. Connect wirelessly over your home Wi-Fi network to upload your footage to your computer or the Web. Wirelessly stream movie and video content from the Internet for anywhere entertainment options. You can even connect it to your PC as a wireless webcam to stay in touch with far-away friends and loved ones.

Mastering the Dallas Screenwriter’s Association – 2011 Short Film Showcase

November 15, 2011 1 comment

What does it take to master 11 DVD’s, 4 WMVs, and 3 .mov’s onto one disc? Not a lot. But it does take a thorough of understanding what goes into mastering a DVD and what the shortest distance is between Source and Delivery.

The Dallas Screenwriters Association had gathered more than 12 movies for it’s 2011 Showcase. Add to this some PSA’s and some new media created specifically for this program, and you have the makings for a special challenge. But there’s a way around this potentially tricky multiformat maze that enabled the finished DVD to be delivered in just a couple days- and that includes delays for work on other projects, and the need to create a few new media bits. Read more…

What does it take to compute?

August 15, 2011 4 comments

As tablets begin to overtake desktop and laptop computers as the “go to” piece of hardware for getting a job done, the need for a big OS and big apps falls into question. Case in point, you can shoot HD, edit and upload to your favorite web repository from an iPod Touch, Android phone, Windows Phone, etc. Apple’s latest OS- Lion, pulls liberally from the iOS devices, and Windows 8 is rumored to be a lot like their Windows Phone OS. It is with this background that I checked out how big the apps were in my Mac OS Applications folder, and I was pretty surprised by the results. Read more…

Apple’s new iMovie Pro. (aka Final Cut Pro X)

April 13, 2011 12 comments

Say goodbye to the Pro Apps as you know them. The writing has been on the wall for several years, yet many Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Studio users continue to cling to the hope that Apple will make a major leap with Final Cut Pro and bring it into 64-bit computing, and finally address the numerous issues that have been on wish lists, sometimes for an entire decade.

Well, Apple demoed iMovie Pro at the FCP SuperMeet this past Tuesday April 12th and made absolutely no qualms about visually signifying the end of the Pro apps as we know them. There was no talk of Color. Soundtrack, Motion, Compressor, DVD Studio Pro, Blu-ray authoring, 3D authoring, feature film features, etc. No the focus was solely on Apple iMovie Pro.

How did we get to this sorry state? Well, I think there was a conversation in January that sort of went like this: 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…

vDSLRs are not smaller & lighter, nor cheaper.

January 17, 2011 19 comments

When I started in the video biz, I had a 3-chip Sony M7 cabled to a separate VO8800 3/4 SP deck with 20-minute tapes and two batteries. It produced very pretty images. Today I carry a phone that shoots HD. My phone is smaller and lighter than the camcorders I started with.

But I am so very tired of vDSLR (HDSLR, EVIL, whatever) fanatics touting that one of the greatest features of the format is that they are so “run & gun” so “small & light” and yet offer so much capability. You mean like full HD output on a big screen, built in stereo audio, XLR inputs, audio metering, waveform, headphone outputs, multiple HD video outputs, on-shoulder balance, easy to toggle and adjust manual settings for focus, zoom, iris, shutter, gain and white balance while shooting? Able to shoot for hours at a time for live events? You know, those features, aside from “it looks pretty” that professionals need all the time?

Well, it turns out that the smaller & lighter vDSLRs can indeed offer many of those features, by throwing away the notion of smaller & lighter. So I wish people would stop touting it as a “you get smaller & lighter AND you get real pro camcorder features.” Read more…

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