Testing CS-mount lenses on the Panasonic GH2

As a new owner of a Panasonic GH2 Micro 4/3 camera, I have entered the experimental phase of lens gathering.

The large sensor still cameras that also offer video capability are now plentiful and there’s a resurgence in interest in older lenses from still cameras, film cameras, and even security cameras. My research showed that CS lenses use the same screw thread and size as C-mount lenses, but they were designed to be 5mm closer to the sensor. I wanted to see for myself what exactly that differences meant in terms of usability for the GH2. Continue reading “Testing CS-mount lenses on the Panasonic GH2”

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REVIEW: ioSafe SoloPRO Fireproof External Drive

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. Continue reading “REVIEW: ioSafe SoloPRO Fireproof External Drive”

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

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. Continue reading “Mastering the Dallas Screenwriter’s Association – 2011 Short Film Showcase”

What does it take to compute?

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. Continue reading “What does it take to compute?”

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

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: Continue reading “Apple’s new iMovie Pro. (aka Final Cut Pro X)”

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

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. Continue reading “IEBA Review: Datavideo DN-60 Solid State CF Card Recorder”

vDSLRs are not smaller & lighter, nor cheaper.

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.” Continue reading “vDSLRs are not smaller & lighter, nor cheaper.”

When geeks disagree about Arri’s Alexa

picture of me.Over at the Pro Video Coalition, there are several great writers I read with enthusiasm. One of these is Art Adams whose technical geekery exceeds my own (in a good way). His recent articles on the Arri Alexa and how different ISOs affect the number of stops above middle gray has sparked what I would consider an intense debate between Art and myself in the comments of his articles because, well, I just don’t get it. Continue reading “When geeks disagree about Arri’s Alexa”

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