When it comes to managing your media on location shoots, the tool of choice is typically a laptop. However, laptops can get very expensive quickly, require big external power supplies and bags, and, for simple media management (copying files to a client’s drive) they are overkill. Today’s laptops are also powerful enough do basic grading, editing, and even media conversion and uploading while in the field. But what if you don’t need all of that capability? What if you just need to copy your camera files to an external hard drive for the client to take with them?
A new solution in the market is a budget tablet with USB-3. Today, USB-3 ports enable you to copy your media cards to external hard drives much faster than USB-2. I’ll take a look at three cost-effective and compact mobile media wrangling tools on the market today: The RAVpower RP-WD01 portable media device, as well as the WinBook TW800 and WinBook TW100- both are Windows 8 tablets featuring a full-size USB-3 port on the edge.
As 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?
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…