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?
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.
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. Read more…
Nikon’s P7000 increased the model number from the previous model’s P6000, but actually decreases the pixel count on the chip, while increasing the size of the chip. Both factors serve to allow more light into the camera, let the camera record images with less noise, and require less noise reduction, which can obliterate fine detail.
Why the change?
Because Manufacturers are finally hearing the siren call from consumer and pundits who have proved, time and again, that increasing megapixels does not mean better pictures. After a certain point, the optics aren’t even good enough to focus all three colors onto the same pixel, and you get awful chromatic aberration.
But more importantly than that, a faster chip, and faster glass, means you can take great photos in more lighting conditions– like indoors, like at night, and it means that those photos will look better, with less blurred motion, or noise from gain. Moreover, it has the side effect of making the tiny built-n flash seem more powerful. Read more…
Canon says that the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder is on it’s way to me for test & review. This camera features 50Mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 recording to Compact Flash (CF) Cards. This high data rate should push aside all issue with compression, even though it does use the older MPEG-2 codec as opposed to the newer MPEG-4 / H.264 / AVCHD codec that a lot of newer camcorders and cameras use. The advantage to MPEG-2 is that, with a lot less compression, today’s even faster computer should handle it with ease, as opposed to the much more difficult time today’s systems have with AVCHD footage. Read more…
I ordered the Sima SL-10HD because it touts “widescreen” LED lighting for HD cameras. I’ve one of the many people who have taken to using the digital still camera as my ONLY camera when travelling, or even around the house. This means I need tit to shoot both stills and video- and without a video light, or a lot of daylight, the video is very dark.
Well, it does the job pretty well, though I’ll probably end up adding a bit of diffusion inside to help spread the beam out a little flatter. Read more…
There’s a lot of buzz about HD video on DSLR’s. What this misses is that HD video is also possible on most every digital still camera made today, with fewer and fewer exceptions.
When Canon upgraded their venerable PowerShot S-series, they did it in an odd way, the US got the CCD based SX10 which could not shoot HD video, but the rest of the world received the CMOS-based SX1, which could shoot 1080p30 HD video with stereo audio built in.
After several months, Canon brought the SX1 to the US. But those wishing to avoid the CMOS distortions I easily demonstrated in my earlier review were still left out in the cold, despite cameras lower in Canon’s lineup offering CCD-based HD video. Finally, Canon brought the SX20 to market which adds HD video and more megapixels to the camera. Is it a winner? My hands-on will find out.
If you can get a consumer camera that shoots HD for just a couple hundred bucks, why not load up on the cameras and get multiple angles of an event for next to no cost. Plus, you can move them around easily, perch them in unusual places and you don’t need a half-dozen video camera operators. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Well, the reality is that the rolling shutter CMOS image distortion in video cameras is just as prevalent in digital still cameras. You can easily see it when you bounce the camera up and down lightly, or pan the camera side to side. Things that you naturally do when you are recording video with the camera in your hands instead of on a tripod. These motions distort the image from what really exists in reality. Camera flashes are partially bad- partially illuminating multiple frames. When you play that back, it looks completely unnatural.
To quantify these CMOS distortions, I secured two brand new digital still cameras that shoot HD video and pitted them side by side in some critical tests and the results clearly demonstrate the difference between CMOS and CCD when it comes to capturing video that faithfully represents what happened.