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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CNN Lays Off 50 Editors & Shooters


If I have had theme here, its called don't get suckered into doing spec work or "contests". This is also known as "crowd sourcing" as a way of saying, we're gonna hire 1000 people to do a job and not pay a cent. 

Perhaps you may of thought there were no consequences to this outside of you just got suckered out of some of your life. CNN it seems has gotten the brilliant idea that they can use content created on cell phones instead. Why send a pro shooter to cover a story, and have it edited by someone who knows how to edit ? Any image with sound is good enough these days. Steve Colbert explains the story well here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Music Video "Words Can Not Express" Gets National Debut

Sometimes it make take a while !  A music video I did for a local band, End Of December, almost a year ago is "going public" on Direct TV.

'Words Cannot Express' will be airing on a show called The Merge

FRIDAY DECEMBER 2nd at 7:30PM CST!  on NRB Network carried on Direct TV. You should check it out.

Friday, November 25, 2011

There Must Be 50 Ways To Mount Your GoPro

Ok, Paul Simon aside, mounting a GoPro can often take some ingenuity as I did on this recent shoot. When you can't suction cup or adhesive mount it, you have to come up with some better like this.

gopro alternate mount


The maffer clamp is connected to the 5/8 pin swiped from a scissor clip thats holding a Norms grip head thats connected to the baby plate which has a GoPro mount actually screwed into it.
The adhesive on the GoPro mount wouldn't stick to the chrome on the baby plate, so I drilled and counter sunk a small hole to use a machine screw to hold it on. It was sure nice this location we were shooting in had a small machine shop to make this to easy ! 
Once I had this all together I left the GoPro shooting stills in time-lapse mode for… well, I can't tell you except it might maybe wind up in TV soon !

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is it ?

custom lens support steampunk

Ok, its got what looks like 15mm holes about 60mm apart... that round part looks like it might fit a lens...

Thats right, I've putting together a custom lens support for my 400mm 5.6 Vivitar / Tokina lens. Whats up with the offset you say ? well actually the bracket can slide left right. This is so I can actually support the lens when the camera isn't mounted perectly on the rods. Its pretty easy to put the camera on a tiny bit out, and at 12 inches, that can be a 1/4" or so. Therefore, the L/R sliding part of this mount. Its wonderfully smooth and tight.  To handle the lock down part, I've got some brass coming this week. I'll thread up some rod, get a brass thumbscrew and really do a retro steampunk look. The wood itself is Brazilian cherry which is a great hardwood to work with.

Just because this looks simple, well you know its not. From getting a 15mm drill bit ( ebay ! ) to getting very precise fit on everything. I was literally shaving thousands of an inch off with one of my ( hand ) planes to ease everything into perfect fit. I'm excited about this one. I also think I'm gonna do a mount for my 70-200 as well. 

In Other News

I'm working my way thru this little project, I have a view review I should be putting up in the next day or two on the Tamron 70-200 2.8. 

I know I've been slow between reivews and other good bits. The short story is that I've a lot of stuff going on in my personal life thats kept me from this. Have no doubt how much time and effort this takes, all the time, to put up fresh content. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.... I"ve also more or less finished moving facilities, but there is still some stuff to be done. We're planning a grand opening event in a few weeks and I'll put an invite up once we lock down the date. So I'm hoping that a lot of the things that had slowed me down are taken care of for now, and I can work on some new content for this site. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Its 9:30 PM, what are you doing tomorrow at noon ?

The answer is, yes I can be in Chicago tomorrow for a noon start to shoot for 2 days. Ok, so that lets me somewhat off the hook for a block post today.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Decklink Announces Resolve Lite 8.1.1 With Unlimited Nodes

Black Magic Design has released new versions of Resolve 8.1.1 and Resolve Lite 8.1.1. The big news is that the Lite version now has unlimted nodes ! Thats a HUGE big deal because that gives you some real power to get real work done. Why they did this I"m not sure, unless its to try and get all Color users onboard. Either way, its a no brainer to go get it. 

I've had both Lite and the full version here and can give you some other good news - the full version can open and work with anything you create with Lite. You can setup base grades, conforms, and otherwise get projects ready for a real online session with Resolve using the Lite version. Thats totally cool to be able to do that.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Real Cost of RED


As much as RED would like you to buy into their $9750 Scarlet is $15K shootable out the door, you'd be hard pressed to really have a production ready package. Lets say you already have glass, but which kind ?
If you have PL glass and want to use some EOS / EF mount lenses, thats an extra $2K. Now why would you do that ? well maybe because there's some great EF mount lenses you can't get in PL.
How about media ? RED is getting $995 for a 64G SSD card. Add in 2 or 3 cards, $2-3K
Even though you may already have some rails and matte box, you'll probably want either a cage to protect the camera and mount all those extra bits I haven't gotten to on, or some other 3rd party gear. RED's is $1200.
Are you editing RED material yet ? if you want to edit the material natively, add on a $5K RedRocket card. If you can live with the time to transcode RED 4K to 2K or 1080 ProRes…. well, ya, that'll just last so long before you plunk down for a RedRocket card. Honestly the RedRocket card looks like an ATI GPU of some sort that's probably worth a few hundred bucks at best. So far though, no one has hacked it.
So we're at about $26K and running. I'm sure there are some other bits I've missed, maybe there are some cheaper accessories you can use, or not. However, its pretty clear that unless you already own a RED ONE you can borrow bits from, a Scarlet isn't a $10K camera and the C300 doesn't look so bad right now. 
Sure the Scarlet is 4K, but until you've tried editing and working with that material you may not realize that you need a maxed out NLE box to work with it. Its like when your machine worked great with SD and then along came 1080 and you bogged down to nothing in speed, drive space, render times, ect. It wasn't pretty. 
I'm  not knocking 4K, its just that how many productions really need it ? How many productions have future life of 5 or 10 years ? no many. In fact very good 1080 may well work just fine into 4K anyway when its all said and done. There are too many factors that go into making an image to say that 1080 won't hold up ok if its well shot, sharp and not too noisy.
Its an interesting time to be in production to say the least. What will be more interesting is a few years down the road when Canon has pushed out another generation of product and C300's become boat anchors. Will we be 4K in 5 years ? I have no doubt because we'll finally have computers that can push the bits thru fast enough to make it tolerable to work again. 
I can't emphasize the speed factor enough. Today I had to re edit a project because everything had been changed. New VO, new on camera shots. Premiere Pro on CUDA just let me play thru stuff including a bunch of multilayer segments with 3 layers of live video. I was done in an hour and a half because I could make changes and just hit play. If working with 4K meant rendering rendering rendering rendering I'd pass on it. I don't have the time or tolerance to do stuff like proxy edits, then replace with the real stuff because most of my work has turn around times that just don't permit this. Its silly to work this way anyway, well at least if you can afford the biggest and badest hardware you can. So for now 1080 and 2K are just fine. I'm over it, it works for me and most importantly I'm making money with it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

An Amazing Video For You, Lots Of Work For Me

First I have to save I've been working the last 3 days on a reality TV show pilot for a network. Long hours, but I met some great people. 

On this shoot the camera of choice as a Sony Z5U palmcorder. Runs for hours and hours on its large size built in battery. I wasn't thrilled to shoot 1080i60 but if thats what they want, its what I'll do. These cameras are perfect for long days of fast moving shooting in tight spaces. I also had my GoPro's shooting some great POV angles and timelapse. On this shoot I setup the GoPros in a couple of places I could not be because there was live ammo being fired. Don't panic, this is WI. Everything was VERY safe !

While I was working, this amazing video came to my attention. Yes its shot on dslr's, and some full size shoulder cams ( looks like varicams ) and 35mm. If you don't like Duran Duran, you'll still like this video, I promise ! Watch it in 1080 because its a lot easier to see the various grain patterns or lack thereof. Its got some interesting very well produced shots in it. 

Ok, add in 5 super models and great locations just to make this great. 

The point though - this great peice clearly mixed and matched various formats and mixed them into a smooth seemless flow. Editing and grading where also very well done.

Check it out. In this day and age of no budget music videos, this one shines as to why spending money with talented people does matter ! 

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Canon Finally shows new EOS C300 camera The Same day RED Finally Announces Scarlet Is Shipping Nov 17th

Weeks go by and nothing new, today EVERYBODY has something new to show !

The new canon C300 - its small, compact, and looks like everything we had been waiting for ! 

Canon C300 PL

Single 8.3 megapixel 2160×3840 Super-35 CMOS sensor (4K resolution) with Digic DV III processor

Canon XF codec (50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p30 MPEG2 MXF) records to two Compact Flash card slots

Canon Log gamma, SDI, compact body, Custom Presets and menus similar to Canon XF series

Exposure and focus control are completely manual — there is no AE or AF on either camera

Sold as a system, incl. LCD monitor / XLR audio unit, side grip, top handle, batt. & charger

Availability: Jan. 2012; Price: appx. $16,000 USD (for C300)


$16K ? what are they thinking ? Its not a F3, nor is it a RED MX. It should be around $5k to maybe $8k. Ok, they include an S log that $ony gouges $4400 for rather then including with the camera. Sony can at any time change to a free or reasonable price for S Log.

So I think I'm going to do what I was planning to do several months ago. Pick up a FS100  plus one of those yet to ship EF to FS adapters and not worry about this.


So RED has finally announced that they will ship Scarlet. Its a mini RED MX using a full S35 sensor. For $9750 you can have one with a EOS EF mount Dec 1st, or for $1500 more Nov 17th with PL mount. 4K at 25fps, "Quad HD" 30fps and so on.

RED Scarlet

Hmmm $10K for a 4K camera using less compression, or $16k for the canon with what I'm sure is killer 1080P or $15K ( street ) + $4400 = $19,400 for a F3 base package that does 1080. I think we know who the winner may be here. 

Hopefully Scarlet doesn't take 90 secs to start up the way RED ONE does. Thats an eternity on most shoots to wait for a battery change or media change.


So who will the winner be ? any one who buys any of these cameras.  Its not which one is Best and Cheapest, but which is the best too for the job. None of these cameras are anywhere near the price of the F35 or F65, Epic or other big bug cameras. However, they can clearly give them a run for the money. If you have support items and glass and its basically buying a body and a few odd bits, any of the cameras will do great.

Lets also consider, Canon has 3 months to ship their product. In that time, anything can happen, and probably will. They can drop the price for starters. I'll almost bet they do after finding out about Scarlet. They can add more features in firmware, like maybe a 2K or 4K mode. My guess is based on what I've seen from the camera so far, its 1080 is just amazing. Certainly its grain looked film like rather then video like. They can also add a codec like ProRes, or boost their data rate. Canon has options.

It also seems the C300 has exceptional low light performance.

Scarlet.... well lets put it this way, RED ONE / MX is the worst of the good cameras. Its heavy, its got a 90 sec startup, it sucks power like mad. Now to be sure, the Scarlet will probably not be too bad on power, but the rest is a we'll see. 

What about Sony ? who knows.... my bet is they reduce the price of S Log or even add it for free as a promotional thing in Dec or Jan to go head to head with Canon.

Either way, its a great time to be making images with some amazing cameras, regardless of which one you own, rent or borrow.

New Matrox Mojito PCIe I/O card with MAX released today AND full support for Media Composer 6 which was also announced.


A new Matrox  product, a PCIe I/O card with MAX. Competitive price, Mac & PC support, Avid MC6 Support too.

oh, ya Avid announced Media Composer 6 with a tweaked up UI with many nice improvements, and more native file format support.

------ Press Release ------- 

MONTREAL – Nov. 3, 2011 Matrox® Video Products Group today announced the immediate availability of Matrox Mojito™ MAX™, an SDI/HDMI/analog HD/SD video and professional audio I/O card that includes an onboard Matrox MAX H.264 encoding accelerator.

Not only does Matrox Mojito MAX provide broadcast-quality input and output for leading editing apps including Adobe® Creative Suite® 5.5 Production Premium, Apple® Final Cut Studio® and Final Cut Pro® X, as well as the new Avid® Media Composer® 6, it also lets users deliver H.264 files for the web, mobile devices, and Blu-ray up to five times faster than software alone without sacrificing quality. Other important features packed into this ¾-length PCIe card include 10-bit hardware scaling and inexpensive HD monitoring with the unique Matrox HDMI Calibration Utility.

“The time-saving benefits of our unique MAX H.264 accelerator have been long appreciated by users of our portable MXO2 I/O devices, but many customers have been asking for an economical card for Mac Pro® and PC workstations that can do the same job,” said Alberto Cieri, senior director of sales and marketing at Matrox. “Mojito MAX nicely addresses the need for a single-slot card with SDI, HDMI, and analog I/O plus H.264 encoding speed and quality — all at a breakthrough price point.”

Price and availability

Matrox Mojito MAX can now be ordered through authorized dealers worldwide. Priced at $995 U.S. (£749, €799) not including local taxes, the Matrox Mojito MAX kit includes the card plus a complete video/audio I/O breakout cable and an HDMI cable.

About Matrox

Matrox Video Products Group is a technology and market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, DVD/Blu-ray authoring, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, clip/still stores, and CGs. Matrox's Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, post-production facilities, project studios, corporate communicators, and videographers worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information visit

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Premiere Pro 5.5.2 Update is out !

Hey some cool news today... and its FREE :)



Today, the Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.2) update was released.

Soon, but not yet, you’ll be able to install the update by choosing Help > Updates.

For the moment, you must directly download the update packages from the download pages for Windows or Mac OS, using the “Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 5.5.2 update” link. If you use the manual process, you must choose the correct patcher based on your original installation type.

If you have difficulty with this update, please bring questions and issues to the Adobe Premiere Pro forum. Don’t ask questions in the comments on this blog post, which fewer people will see.

There are a few big bug fixes and and a new capability in this update. Also, note that this update includes all fixes and changes made in the Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.1) update.

You should also install the most recent updates for other applications while you’re at it.

bug fixes


Note that we were able to find and fix a lot of these problems because of bug reports from users. Keep ‘em coming.

Here’s a list of bugs fixed in this update:

  • Eyedroppers did not work on Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion).
  • The Timecode effect overlay was not rendered.
  • Closed captions were rendered in the wrong place, sometimes entirely offscreen.
  • Enabling the display of closed captions would cause error messages to appear.
  • Premiere Pro would crash or exhibit other instability when trimming with third-party I/O hardware (such as Matrox and AJA hardware) installed.

added ability for Premiere Pro to take advantage of Nvidia Maximus configuration for CUDA processing


Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.2) adds the ability to take advantage of a Tesla C2075 card for CUDA processing when that card is installed along with a Quadro card, which handles OpenGL processing. This configuration—in which the Quadro card handles OpenGL processing while the Tesla card handles CUDA processing—is referred to as a Maximus configuration.

We have tested the Tesla C2075 card with the Quadro 2000 and Quadro 4000 cards, and the Maximus configuration should work with all other Fermi-class Quadro cards, as well. If you find otherwise, come to thePremiere Pro hardware forum and let us know.

The Maximus capability is imparted by the driver for the Tesla card, so you will want to make sure that you have the up-to-date drivers for your cards. See the Nvidia website for drivers. Our testing was done with the 276.14 driver for the Tesla C2075.

Note that the Maximus technology is different from SLI, and this update does not add the ability for Premiere Pro to use multiple GPUs for CUDA computation by means of SLI.

Tip: It’s always important to make sure that you have a power supply for your computer that is adequate to provide power for all of your components. If you don’t, then you can have all sorts of problems with stability and performance. The Nvidia Tesla cards make this even more apparent, since they draw more power than many other components. So, be sure to follow Nvidia’s installation instructions, and check to make sure that your power supply is adequate for all that’s being demanded of it.

For a complete list of graphics cards for which the CUDA acceleration features are provided and supported, see the Premiere Pro system requirements page. For more information about CUDA processing and the Mercury playback engine in general, see “CUDA, Mercury Playback Engine, and Adobe Premiere Pro”.

other software updates known to address problems with Premiere Pro


We have also been working with several providers of plug-ins, codecs, and hardware devices (such as Matrox, Nvidia, AJA, and Blackmagic) to assist them in updating their software to fix some errors and crashes. Please take this opportunity to download and install updated codecs, plug-ins, and drivers from these providers, as relevant to your work.

known issues


  • Possible hang on start if firewall or other software (such as ZoneAlarm or FileMaker) blocks communication between Premiere Pro and related components. (See this Technical Support document for more information and solutions.)

$ony Annouce$ New F3 Update$


Sony had announced a new 14X zoom lens last week with a slow variable aperture... for only $12K. Lets get real, the dslr revolution came about because of cheap and good. This lens isn't either. I suppose to add insult to F3 injury its that its crippled from the factory by not having S Log installed. You pay $4400 extra for that. Perhaps Sony hasn't heard of this company that sells a camera called RED MX that does 4K RAW for the same price ( add VF and some storage ).  

Well at least they are going to deliver some big camera features like LUT on one SDI out and SLOG on the other... so you can record the SLOG to their $12K SolidState SR recorder. Sure thats a bargin compared to a tape based SR-1, but for the lower to mid market which is where big sensor cameras started and continue to dominate, its not gonna fly. Those old days of paying $50K for a SD betaSP or digibeta camcorder are over. Wake up, new world. I'm won't be the one to be suprised when some one comes along and hacks some new firmware up for the F3... and FS100


Product/update Price/availability Details
Firmware v1.10 Free
Available now
  • Simultaneous HD-SDI and HDMI output
  • Adds LUTs for monitoring in S-LOG mode (requires purchase ofCBK-RGB01, below)
CBK-RGB01 $4440
Available now
  • Adds RGB444 and S-LOG output
Firmware v1.20 Free
November 2011
  • Allows use of SCL-Z18X140 14x zoom lens, below
  • Enables S-LOG EI mode (requires purchase of CBK-RGB01)
  • Enables 3D-link (requires purchase of CBK-3DL01, below)
CBK-3DL01 (3D-link) $5500
November 2011
  • Synchronizes two F3s for stereo-3D shooting
SCL-Z18X140 $12,200
November 2011
  • High-power 14X zoom lens
  • FZ mount (F3 native)
  • 18-252mm
  • T3.8 (at widest)
Firmware v1.30 Free
January 2012 or sooner
  • Enables 4:2:2 output on Link A HD-SDI
  • Enables S-LOF 4:2:2 1080 50p/59.94p output via dual-link or 3G-SDI
  • Allows use of SCL-P11X15 1.5x wide zoom lens, below
SCL-P11X15 $7700
January 2012
  • Wide-angle zoom 1.5x
  • PL mount
  • 11-16mm
  • T3.0