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Archive for the ‘film’ Category

Cost Effective, Compact, Media Wrangling Tools

April 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Netbook File CopyingWhen 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.

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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…

When geeks disagree about Arri’s Alexa

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

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. Read more…

Film fights back- on cost.

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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.

They took my Kodachrome away.

June 23, 2009 Leave a comment

kodachromesm.jpgOn June 22, Eastman Kodak Company announced that it will retire Kodachrome color film this year, concluding its 74-year run.

This is quite a long time for any single product to be offered by any manufacturer. Kodak says that Kodachrome represents just a fraction of one percent of Kodak’s total sales of still-picture films. That’s pretty darn small and the fact that they’ve held on to it for this long really is a testament to Kodak’s endurance. Read more…

Ditch mm. Time for AoV.

June 3, 2009 Leave a comment

angles-01.jpgThese days, with so many digital cameras sporting different sensor sizes and different lenses to zoom from here to there, the “mm” reference for that camera means zilch to the end user. Because of this, marketing departments have taken to converting most zoom measurements to 35mm equivalents, even though, aside for those few full-frame DSLRs, there is little true 35mm acquisition taking place any more- especially in the consumer realm.

B&H Photo Video posted a nice article comparing numerous sensor sizes and lens zoom measurements and put all that against an Angle of View (AoV) measurement which makes a lot of sense out of such disparate dumbers. Anyone can spread their arms out in a 90° Angle of View. This is the same for a sub-compact as it is for a DSLR- no matter the individual camera lens measurement in milimeters. A 20x lens is still a 20x lens. Its time we start thinking in new photography terms. Time to ditch the mm and move on to AoV so its easier to explain, and use any sensor and lens in real life.

Where to get 8mm & Super8 film transferred?

December 7, 2008 6 comments

film_reels.gifI have a client who needs thousands of feet of 8mm and Super8 film transferred to DV tape so they can edit their family memories. This is not a service I perform so I thought I’d ask the hundreds of TechThoughts visitors every day where is a good place to do this…

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