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?
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. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Rosco LitePad Loop – Ringlight for video”
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? Continue reading “The Nikon P7700 – a compact stills/video powerhouse.”
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. Continue reading “Follow UP to my previous Jawbone post.”
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. Continue reading “My Jawbone UP Armband”
Considering that all the other components (memory capacity, processor speed, bus speed) can be configured nearly identically, just dropping a single OWC 6G SSD into your a 2012 MacBook Pro 15 can boost its performance on par with, or even a little past) the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
But wait… the MacBook Pro 15” has two drive bays, each capable of running an OWC 6G SSD at full 6Gb/s speeds.
You know where this is going…
Yes, we decided to go all out and put the two drives in a Striped RAID to see how fast we could get.
With this setup, we averaged over 1000MB/s read speeds and write speeds that nearly hit 900MB/s. That completely blows the MacBook Pro with Retina Display out of the water!
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”
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”
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?”