When it comes to maximizing your editing efficiencies, especially when it comes to 4K footage, you have to look at two key factors- the recorded size of the footage you are gathering (compact camera original or much higher “production level” data rates) and the specific processes you use when editing. By carefully choosing or adjusting how you do things, you can save thousands upon thousands of dollars, while also ensuring your edit workflow doesn’t get bottled up.
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?
As people willingly walk into the future, they are being lured by streaming this, virtual that, and the ever vague “cloud.” What they do not see or realize is the vanishing control of things they had taken for granted for so long.
The first crack in this “utopia” was when Amazon had to pull books from its bookstore because the entity selling them through Amazon did not have the rights to do so. Well, that’s all proper you’d say, but they also reached into the pockets of the end users who had bought those books, and took those books out of the buyers pockets.
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.”
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”
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?”
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”
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.”