Film fights back- on cost.

variety-logo-755571.jpgIt is interesting to read about push back from studios and even producers where cost is concerned- and film is reconsidered instead of digital. 

Some of the thoughts are true, you need a digital imaging technician to do it right, you need a media wrangler, but weren’t those positions already there on film crews (DP, loader, respectively)? Using less film reduces cost, but it also reduces quality- at a time when digital is improving quality with every codec revision. 

Film may still record more latitude, but HDR still cameras are already here so HDR video can’t be far behind. Those few advantages film has are slowly being whittled away, while the advantages digital offers keep increasing. The only one Film may keep, in the end, is as an archival medium, having already demonstrated, in some cases, 100-year stability.

DSLR Video – it’s a tool. Not the holy grail.

dslr.pngWhile the industry may be all atwitter about using Digital SLR cameras for video to get that shallow depth of field (DoF) you get with motion picture cameras and prime film lenses, the truth is, very shallow DoF and beautiful bokeh will not save a crappy story, bad writing, misguided direction or bad acting.

It is as if suddenly, a single piece of technical gear will magically make a movie be so much better. It’s the latest “got to have it” piece of tech. In reality, the camera can only make it look better; and certainly not sound better.
Moreover, if the camera op isn’t well versed in all the serious caveats these DSLRs have, it will look far worse than if you just shot your movie with a prosumer camera and spent all that extra money and time on script rewrites or a great director.

Continue reading “DSLR Video – it’s a tool. Not the holy grail.”

Flash Media and the Demise of the Deck

pan32gbsdhc.gifEven though professional and prosumer camcorder prices haven’t substantially changed over the years, the quality of the footage, and the features you have at your fingertips, have increased dramatically since the era of plumbicon tubes and 3/4″ tape. One the most revolutionary changes is the most recent one: the arrival of compact flash storage in mainstream HD video acquisition. Continue reading “Flash Media and the Demise of the Deck”

Netbooks = Deja vú all over again?

cv1n.gif51lr5arrfjl_sl210_.jpgI have recently joined the Netbook clan, adding an Asus Eee 1000HE to my portable arsenal. I love the little bugger. The multi-touch trackpad, nice screen, built in SD card slot, built-in webcam, honkin’ big battery life and hard drive space… all for cheap-cheap make this baby a winner in my book.
But why does this all seem eerily familiar?

It’s because this Mac-aficionado had already owned the Sony C1VN, a miraculous feast of engineering from Sony— a decade ago! Continue reading “Netbooks = Deja vú all over again?”

Confusing Bogen & Manfrotto part numbers – solved.

bogenmanbug.gifAlmost everyone has a piece or two of some Bogen or Manfrotto gear. It’s decently built stuff with an affordable price tag. The problem is that 3-digit Manfrotto numbers are now being used for products which used to have Bogen 4-digit numbers. This can cause a lot of confusion when you need to order a new part, or a few additional matching pieces. Well, PhotoNotes.com has a nice conversion chart that seems pretty comprehensive, though perhaps a bit dated. If that page vanishes, I’ve copied it as a pdf on my IEBA web site.

Apple, Video Pros & the future.

It’s pretty clear that Apple dropping “computer” from their name was not just to use less ink. They’ve been behind the curve with the hardware for many years. Case in point: after PCs have had a SD card slot for many years, Apple finally decides to integrate this functionality into their laptops (but not desktops.)

mbp15v2.jpg

But, in so doing, they ditch the ExpressCard slot from the 15″ MacBook “Pro” and specifically make the SD card slot not compatible with I/O devices so it can’t be used to expand the computer. wtf?

So now, the 17″ MacBook Pro is the only expandable laptop from Apple- for a starting price of $2500.
If I’m going to spend that much, I’ll buy a Lenovo 17″ (starting at $1,900) that offers me the capability of a quad-core chip, dual internal LCD displays, integrated Wacom tablet, Pantone color calibration of the displays, fingerprint reader for mobile security, internal Blu-ray, integrated cellular broadband, and more.

There were times, back when Apple didn’t have today’s market share, that they produced computers that were affordable, and wildly expandable. They strong to be what the other guys weren’t. They thought differently. That gave us the G3, the G4 towers. It gave us the G3 series PowerBooks with dual media bays, in addition to the PC card slot. That emphasis on providing users with innovative solutions ahead of the pack is gone. Continue reading “Apple, Video Pros & the future.”

Apple’s 10.5 Leopard file creation dates get wrong

leopard.jpgExcuse the bad Engrish, but when Apple still can’t fix OS-X to properly maintain and track file creation and modification dates (one of the points that I griped about before) then there is no reliable way to track your media assets in Apple’s Mac OS.

I always use Creation and Modification dates to sort my various projects and files on today’s massive hard drives. I hate that Windows (at least XP) won’t intermingle files and folders when sorting by last modified, but at least it gets the dates right and properly maintains a file’s creation date when copying to and from external hard drives and servers.

But not Leopard.  That’s a dealbreaker right there…

Continue reading “Apple’s 10.5 Leopard file creation dates get wrong”

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