Cost Effective, Compact, Media Wrangling Tools

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?

Continue reading “Cost Effective, Compact, Media Wrangling Tools”

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Using inexpensive “DJ” LED lights for video productions.

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.

Continue reading “Using inexpensive “DJ” LED lights for video productions.”

REVIEW: The Rosco LitePad Loop – Ringlight for video

Rosco LitePad Ringlight

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”

The Nikon P7700 – a compact stills/video powerhouse.

The Nikon P7700.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? Continue reading “The Nikon P7700 – a compact stills/video powerhouse.”

My Jawbone UP Armband

My Jawbone wristband, the way I need to wear it.
My Jawbone wristband, the way I need to wear it.

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”

1000 MBps read & 900 MBps write in a non-retina MacBook Pro.

Kick ass performance with two SSDs in one laptop.

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.

Two drives…

Same speed…

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!

OWC SSDs Make 2012 MBP 15″ a Speed Champ | Other World Computing Blog.

Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi is a Full HD 1080p Camcorder and a network streaming appliance.

Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi Full HD 1080p Camcorder with 4GB SDHC Card. Item: 178-930
Event Price: $159.95, HSN Price: $179.95, Retail Value: $209.90
via Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi Full HD 1080p Camcorder with 4GB SDHC Card at HSN.com.

Toshiba Camileo AIR10 Wi-Fi Full HD 1080p Camcorder with 4GB SDHC Card
Shoot, stream and share over the air. Capture spectacular moments in stunning full high-definition video and preserve them in lifelike vividness. Connect wirelessly over your home Wi-Fi network to upload your footage to your computer or the Web. Wirelessly stream movie and video content from the Internet for anywhere entertainment options. You can even connect it to your PC as a wireless webcam to stay in touch with far-away friends and loved ones.

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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