Monday, July 10, 2017

When Your Backups Fail

You have backups of critical stuff, right ? what about when they fail ? Currently working on new video about dealing with this situation including backup server failure. Unfortunely many gigbytes where hurt and killed in the making of this video.


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Free Lane : Driving Election Coverage. My mini doc on life in the media.

 

A mini doc about working election coverage. Its been one of the things that have kept my posting rate low here. Its also been a test project for a bunch of new workflows here, new software, new hardware. So having a project like this is a great test for trying things out before working on cash paying projects. 

As for future postings, I've obviously cut back. Quality over quantitiy. At any rate I've gone from 2-3 postings a week to about 1 a month and having the time back has been a good thing. Its been letting me just plain do real work, have some off time and work on projects like this.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Watson Chargers No Longer Have My Blessing

I did a review a while back on these chargers. Seemed like a great idea having easy to change battery plates so they would work with whatever batteries you had. Dual position and the ability to test batteries without being powered up... and a bonus USB outlet. So what is there not to like ? The fact mine died, or are dying. It starts the same way - the right side charing position stops working. Usually in not fully charging batteries all the way up. Move the battery to the left side, and you'll see its at 80-90% done. The right side displayt blanks out. Given that these chargers get light to modest use, there is just no reason a year or two after purchase they start to fail. Eventually the right side quits working while the left side works for a while longer, then eventually fails as well. Opening on charger up revealed some sort of liquid / suger spill on the circut board. That wasn't from me, it was from the factory ! Its not the first time I've found spill evidence inside electronics from the factory. In any event, the first charger died. I washed in alcohol, let it dry out for a bit and it didn't work. Worse is that the capacitors seems to of soaked up some water so it didn't go so well. Not worth trying to repair. Likewise my second unit is showing signs of the same failure. Therefore, I have to offically take back my endorcement of this product given its short lifespan.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

NAB 2017

Another NAB come and gone.

This year was special in celebrating the 20th Aniversary of the MMB, I've got 18 straight years in. Special thanks to Red Giant for their incredible gift of everything they have to everyone ! Doesnt get better than that.

Meanwhile, we thankfully saw modest number of new things and imprivements in gear. There is a pure glut of cine glass now. Your camera is still not obsolete from last year !

Interesting notes : No RED booth this year ! I guess why should they. No AutoDesk Smoke / Flame booth. Always known for being obnoxiously loud, no one with a booth nearby complained. No FCP X announcements. Guess the update will just show up one day soon as update.

The Ugly : Premiere Pro has not been getting good press. Stability, deleting media from drives, GH5 10bit non-support... Ya they released this one a little early. Would of been better to wait a month and fixed it all. 

Other Adobe video apps had good release updates like AE an AME which continue to be tools many rely on to get work done and money made.

 

Anyway its been good not doing the constant several times a week postings I used to do. The break is good. I do have some new product review things in the works, just waiting for UPS to get things here ! 

I'm even working on a couple of art videos as a change up. Production work is good, post has been light. Not so bad to catch a break for a bit but things are getting busy again which is good. 

New truck too. Thats going to be an interesting review !

Thats it. Back to work for  now.


Friday, April 07, 2017

GoPro Updated Hero5 Firmware To V2, Adds RAW Support

GoPro updates firmware for the Hero5 to V2 adding many fixes and features. Perhaps the best is RAW output now. However, its into GoPro's flavor of DNG whilch means while Adobe apps 2015+ can read it, other apps can't. USe the Adobe DNG Converter util to make real DNG's instead. Lots of other fixes, additional language support, but same miserable firmware update. Hint : Just do it manually. If you go into camera prefs it will display the camera serial number so you don't have to try reading it off the battery comparment.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

UGH.... New Cameras

Really I think that the KonwayTech Camera will be a show hit with infinite res to 32K and beyond depending on power levels, and 16 to 24bit pixel depth per RGB pixel making for 64bit + images. Well beyong human visioning. Finally a camera that does them all to shame at the price breaking point of $129.95 in a Walmart near you.

Seriously, after 4K the pixels don't matter unless you are trying to drive wall size screens at super high pixel counts. Even for compositing work much beyond 4K becomes rather beastly to work with on current hardware. Instead just give me 12bit 444 4K. All the pixels raw with enough gradation that if you vaguely expose the image correctly there is plenty to work with. Give me HDR displays with more DR. 

After that I don't care so much. We already have some many of the tools here and in the field working. New lenses.. YAH!. Whats wrong with the ones I have ???? well besides an affordable ENG usable S35 zoom, they are all good. Fujinion has really thrown it down with recent $10K price cuts on their glass plus selling one w/o the hand grip to shave another $4k off the price. Almost there. So really unless there is something real earth shattering I'm happy with my glass. 

What would get me to buy some new glass, especially primes ? AF **AND** IS. Never thought I'd say that but the Canon 17-55 2.8 which has both is my goto lens for ENG work. The AF takes the margin of error out of shooting in knowing that whatever you put the focus box on will be sharp, or the face recognition has it locked. I know, this is herasy but when shooting 4K, its like jumping up from SD to HD in how sensitive focus now is. What looks sharp in HD is soft or out in 4K and all the more visible. So having AF to help out when it makes sense is invaluable. The same for IS to smooth out hand held interviews or a couple quick B roll shots where you don't have a tripod but need the shots. It just helps out in taking out any bumps for suble smooth movement provided you aren't working it beyng its range to cope. Then it will work against you as it center snaps back into its mid spot. So know how to let IS help you when you need it.

Thats it... more soon. 


Friday, March 03, 2017

NAB 2017 - Getting Ready

New van ! About time. Actually my last van was bought only 4 years ago and I put nealy 100K miles on it. Just getting the new one set up. New carts, insultation, interior, lighting, fold away desk and monitor, 1kw inverter, XLR4 12V power connecotors. Its going to be a very nice setup to work out of. Ready for typical grip work, but also able to do typical news production as a mini sat truck with LiveU, lots of lighting power. I'll probably take it out to NAB this year as a test run. 

In other news, the GH5 tests done on a site have been making some noise. I guess those who thought it would make pix like a 5-10X the price Varicam LT or C300 mk2 are not happy. Sure the internal codec isn't doing the image any favors, but really its not bad for the price. You GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR ! so overlly expectations abound I think, at least when recording with the internal codec. An external recorder may make for modestly better results but any inherint flaws in the image processing from the camera itself are going to be what they are. There is just so much space, power and heat you can dissapate in a tiny camera body like that. Compromises have to be made to get it to work... so get over it its not perfect. Its still pretty good though and suitable for some people's needs. Personally I'm kind of done with the dslr form factor for video unless its a situation where something that small is a requirement. Meanwhile I got a Hero5 a few weeks ago and have really been impressed with it. Its fixed all the problems of the previous GoPro cameras and I've sold off my older ones. 


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Parabolic Mic For Getting Clean Isolated Sound

Exploring the use of a parabolic mic to get super clean sound at... an airshow !


NLE Questions Again

More ponderings on which NLE is the right one... as in if it doesn't crash all day long thats a good thing !


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