Wednesday, September 07, 2016

No New Macs Today

Ok, sure, they tend to save that for Oct at separate event… but I think things are in such a mess with the Mac Pro that waiting isn’t something they should be doing, provided they have something. They should at the very least be feeding the rumor mill if there is anything worth waiting for because people are tired of waiting and are making decisions now… especially for next year’s budgeting.

Short term, I think I’m going to do a CPU upgrade on my machine for $500 or so. should give me about a 50% speed boost on an already good machine. I think thats very good ROI. I might also upgrade RAM but I haven’t really been running into low RAM situations for the most part. With a new GPU it will let me coast for at least a year to decide where I’m going. 

heavily leaning towards linux as primary production machine as resolve and fusion both run on it. smoke isn’t available on linux anymore :( so the pure NLE choices are limited, but rough cut on laptop with FCP X, XML into resolve for finishing and Fusion for MG/VFX. it would be a pretty radical switch, but at some point apple needs to either deliver, or just step up and formally let the pro market go, at least for video. In audio I think they will continue on as audio just doesn’t need the sort of hardware 4K + video does.


Saturday, August 06, 2016

C300 Firmware Update - New

So I've been slow with updates.... Such is life when you are busy, really busy working ! Here is a look at a Kodak 100 year old vintage lens on a C300 Mk2. I also have the latest canon firmware update installed on my camera. Short summary cLog3 is cool New pixel readout greatly reduces horizontal fixed pattern noise. In conditions previously that resulted in ugly images, FIXED ! That simple. Use cLog1 or 3 for now. Haven't tested cLog 2 yet but overall this update really seems to be what should of been in the camera when it shipped. cLog1 works great too. Easy to grade. Skip LUT and just CC to taste. cLog3 also looks very tasty. Grades easily and shows lots of nice gradation. Really when working with this material, I've just never had anything better looking come through here and thats just first impressions from this shoot...

Friday, June 17, 2016

C300 Mk1 Firmware Update Released

Canon released a new firmware update for the C300 Mk1 yesterday ( june 16th 2-16 ). It adds several small documented fixes and who knows what under the hood. Nice to see they continue to update this camera... now if they would ever fix the menus to resemble the mk2 ! or ship the Mk2 firmware update they showed at NAB that fixed a number of issues. We desperately need them because cLog2 is pretty useless right now with the level of noise in the shadows. I'm not sure what the hold up is because it seemed to be working rather well at NAB. I'd be happy to get JUST the sensor readout fixes....unless they know there are problems still to be fixed. I can't see sitting on the release just because the ship date was originally set for end of july... unless its tied to say, a new product release or something. Even then, they could just do another firmware update down the road. we need this update NOW ! 

Anyway, the Mk1 update does the following, at least announced things...

Firmware Version 2.1.7.1.00 incorporates the following correction.
1. Corrects the tone parameters when [Light Metering] is set to [Backlight] in [Camera Setup] and when specific custom picture settings* are selected.

* If any of the settings below is selected for custom picture settings:
 - [Preset Custom Picture Files] is set to [C7:EOS Std.], [C8:Wide DR] or [C9:CINEMA].
 - [Color Matrix] is set to [Normal 4], [Cine 1], [Cine 2], [EOS Std.], [Wide DR] or [Canon Log].


Note:
Firmware Version 2.1.7.1.00 is only for EOS C300 cameras which have Firmware Version 2.1.2.1.00 - 2.1.6.1.00 with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF Feature Upgrade applied. If your camera's firmware is already version 2.1.7.1.00, it is not necessary to update the firmware. Once the camera is updated to the latest firmware version, it cannot be restored to a previous version.

If the EOS C300 camera does not have Dual Pixel CMOS AF Feature Upgrade applied, please download Firmware Version 1.1.7.1.00.
 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Review : BlackMagic Design UltraStudio Express

New toy ! Thanks to DVE Store for helping me out on this !


Friday, June 10, 2016

New 4K TimeLapse With C300 Mk2 in 4K

Checking out a vastly under rated feature of the C300 Mk1 and Mk2 - time lapse. When you can do it in 4K on the mk2 instead of beating up the shutter in your DSLR this is a way smarter way to do it if 4K is good enough. For most folks it probably is. The daylight stuff really suprised me using ISO 100 + 10 stops internal ND  and stopping the lens down to F8 or 11 I was able to get 1/2 sec exposures for some very cool shots. Night time stuff as always good, but a bit noisy. Its amazing though to see the stars come out, to the point of where its more than your eye can see ! Wish you could see the originals as YT compression has killed the detail in some of these shots so its hard to really see whats there. Graded in Resolve, no grain / film process was applied. 


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Varicam LT 4K S35 Shipping !

Pull out your credit card ! If you want a Varicam LT they are in stock and shipping now. Base price for body only + basic top handle is $16,500. 

A complete ready to shoot package  with should mount, EVF, handgrip, battery plate, 2 256gb P2 express cards and assorted bits prices in at $27,500. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cool Stuff At NAB

NAB road to vegas

If you don't drive a few hundred miles of dirt roads to get to Vegas... you're missing some mighty fine sights !

So there where some really cool things I saw that other sites seem to of passed by... here is a look

Wireless Video Rig For GoPros

GoPro Wireless video Rig

wireless video transmitter for gopro

GoPro's WiFi is pretty sad. If you need a real wireless video connection, here you go. Mounts on the camera, has separate receiver box and will send signal to your tablet or phone for monitoring. 

 

LED Replacement Bulb For Your Old But Useful Lights

Are you like me in that you have some good tungsten lights sitting around not in use anymore ? Solution : 3200K 96 CRI, 5600K 93 CRI, 150W LED. Remove your 1K bulb, replace with this LED module. Done ! works on regular external dimmers ! Great idea and I'm ordering one or two for starters in 5200K. Nice clean light output. Only downside is a bit pricey at $700 but still way cheaper than any quality HMI / CID light. However since you should probably never need to replace the unit, there is some savings and peice of mind. 150W of 5600K works for me, and it gets some of my old lights working again. Minor point : unit does have a standard 80mm computer fan on the back for active cooling. They say the fan normally runs at low speed. Since its an OTS part, any 80mm quite computer fan can be used to replace the one on the unit in a few minutes. No fuss or looking for some oddball hard to fine part. 

They also have LED's for smaller lights - 300 and 650 as well as for 2K's ( $999 ! )  http://visionsmith.com Worth a look for sure.

LiveU Anton Bauer Integrated Battery Plate

LiveU anton bauer v mount battery plate

Use a LiveU ? I do. This new base for the units adds front and back AB battery mounts and changes the coaxial power connector for a XLR 4. Available shortly ! This will make life so much better.

Also another LiveU udpate : boot time will be reduced to 45 secs with new OS update also coming soon. very welcome news.

Decimator MD-HX cross converter

DECIMATOR frame rate SDI HDMI scaler converter

They had big banners all over NAB but no one bothered to look on most blog sites. So here you go : HD SDI <->HDMI converter that will convert to either in put or output. Send SDI to HDMI or HDMI to SDI. SDI DA 1 in  4 out. Scaler to convert SD 480 <-> 720 <-> 1080. Included support for 4:3, 14:9 and 16:9 aspect ratios and can fill to fit. Progressive <-> interlace. Yes it converts odd frame rates like 50hz to 30hz formats. No 3:2 pulldown detection for now that I know off. Nice menu on unit, nicer app that runs on laptop to configure. Flexible power with 5-32V input on screw locking power connector. Solid cast metal housing. Of course if you were expecting a sky high price, its not. $295 US ! I bought 2. I'll do a real review shortly but for now this looks like a real swiss army knife of format conversion to solve a lot of location production problems in getting one odd ball signal compatible with everything else. If you have ever had to connect GoPros to a production switcher, you know what I mean. 

Decimator also has some other converters, and a pair of multiview adapters. 12 inputs to one screen sort of boxes.

Video Over IP or HDnet

Video over IP isn't a new thing, its just starting to catch on this year. AJA and BMD have both been putting their toes in the water. This year AJA had SDI or HDMI <-> enet converters. Sending video thru your router to another IP based video device makes sense and eliminates all the other bits in between. It also means you don't have to worry about frame rates or frame sizes.  Sony and Panasonic are also making gear to support the format. While SDI won't be gone that fast for production work, seeing facilties expanding this way makes sense. We'll see how well it works out.

8K Production Truck

Skip 4K. Real working 8K production truck that was laid out rather nicely. Everything works. They had handheld size cameras instead of the big box cameras of just 2-3 years ago.  Japan expects 8K broadcast for the next olympics. If Video over IP was one theme at NAB, 8K is the other. There as quite a bit of it there. 4k is the new HD. 

Lumantek Switcher Encoder

 

4 SDI + 4 HDMI switcher and streaming encoder all in one. Knock off of BMD ATEM TV Studio ? maybe... Still interesting. Seems like PC based software, but generic switcher controller as below.

Their website hasn't been updated for these products yet and is a bit of a mess...

LumanTek switcher


Stupid Stuff @ NAB

Starting out the list of Stupid Camera Stuff.... Most electronic servo stabilizers. Solution in search of a problem for the most part. Not terribly useful for a full day off shooting compared to the numerous other rigs like jibs, dollies, and even drones. Since your arms can't really support one of these things for more than a few minutes adding support is required. This wire support rig isn't a bad idea if you have a bad shoulder and need to shoot hand held. Here its been adapted to a stabilizer. can anyone say steadicam ? or one of the affordable copies which is a vastly more practical production tool ? Arri was showing exactly this, as was at least one other vendor. It makes a world more sense that a steadicam whcih is designed for extended shooting combined wtih a stabilizer would make for the ultimate in steady shots. Of course most good steadicam ops will tell you they can do the exact same thing minus the weight if the rig is properly balanced out and the operator has this old fashioned thing called : SKILL ! For those who can't be bothered with developing skill the stabilizer will let the novice get shots they couldn't, but with the added weight.

Folding Tripod...Sort of

So I watched the demo of this product by well know gear bits vendor. It sucks. Its fiddly, unstable. Ok, nice idea, but any camera bigger than a bare DSLR or small plamcorder and its useless. Even watching them adjust it up or down or whatever, it was clear they were fighting with it. NEXT !

 

A Human Jib Arm ? You're Kidding, Right ? 

Sorry for the blurry pic, its a frame grab from video. Its a body mounted dual jib arm, it goes up and down. Has a stabilizer rig on it. Some other blog site gushed about how great and innovate this is. The commenters all agreed, it wasn't. Not for $14K ! Laughing yet ? Hey its NAB and sometimes you see stuff like this. Nice college engineering project to prove it can be done but that doesn't make it a usable or practical tool.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

NAB 2016 - 4K Get Used To It

I'm at NAB 2016. I'm jaded having been here so many times before. So picking the trends that matter for this year and maybe next are what I'm good at. So here they are :

4K Is The New Norm

Ok, for those of you just starting to use HD over the last few years... and you know who you are... its time to go 4K. Done. While 1080 will still be alive for a number of years, its painfully clear 4K is the here and now. It starts when Sony has a 4K ENG shoulder camera for reasonable - read about $20K or so and a S35 sized sensor event production camera that can shoot 480fps 4K and 720fps 1080. Any questions now that there are ENG 4K cameras ? not hacked S35 production cameras with all sorts of add ons, but a real ENG camera just like your current 1080 probably P2 HPX something camera. Sony has been getting their butts kicked in ENG cameras by Panasonic for years. Now they come back with this camera which may well take that position back.

SDI Is Dead, Video Over IP Is In

Yup, SDI is dead for a number of reasons. No it won't die quickly, it will be around for years but it has serious limitations on high frame rate 1080 never mind 4K. The solution is 1g and 10g ethernet. You can route signals to where ever you need, you have longer cable lengths back ( fiber w/o adapter bricks ), and easier handling of signals. This is especially true in larger production facilities. Video over IP is also far more format flexible - you can send what ever will fit down the connection you have rather than having to detect frame rates, color depth, etc as sometimes done with SDI based hardware or not. Also consider that all the major gear vendors are getting on board with this format in various ways, so its just a matter of short time before its the new standard.

There are lots of other new smaller things that will be interesting but these are the 2 trends that matter this year. 

Personally I'm hoping that Sennhieser had their new dual channel wireless gear - not the 2.4ghz stuff, but basically something to compete with lectrosonics. Speaking of which, lectro has introduced a new dual channel wireless reciever with wider tunability than before - 3 bands. However these are the normal small steps forwards not the big trends that make significant changes in how you create and deliver your work. The smaller gear bits just make your job easier or better or faster or all three, for once !


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