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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

QT Change, an app you need if you shoot on DSLR

QTchange is one of those small must have apps. It lets you change all sorts of bits in a QT mov file likes its TC, reel name and even FPS rate. For example, shoot at 60fps and change the QT file to play at 24. 

My biggest use is setting TC for all the dslr clips I shoot. With this QT app you can set them to Time Of Day along with setting a reel name of your choice. Of course you can batch process an entire folder of clips, but new in 1.8.4 is the ability to process single selected files for special cases. Of course that new feature may of been my special request :).  For $25 this app is a no brainer for its utility and time savings. Even though dslr's won't take external TC, at least being able to set it from either file creation or the companion .THM file can make syncing audio much easier. It can also create TC burns as well. It does those sorts of fixes nothing else does for a price that pays for itself in one use.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Site Updates & Spammers

I'd been sitting on updating the code for this site for a while. After finding a bunch of spammer comments with links to bad sites, I'm going to look at doing that update this week.

If you are a spammer, don't bother as changes are being made to remove all your posts to this site, so go away.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Opteka Extension Tubes

What are extension tubes ? A very affordable and simple way of getting marco shots using the lenses you already have. Here is a quick review and tutorial on using extensions tubes. The set I'm using is from Opteka but these are identical - Vivitar Macro Extension Tube Set (Set of 3) for Canon

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy First Birthday !

I forgot, time has flown by, this site just passed its one year birthday a couple weeks ago!  Its offical launch date was Aug 9 2010.

Its been a crazy amazing trip so far, and its just getting started.

Over 200 posts, thats an average of  just less then 4 per week !

One Human for all of it.

Over a dozen product reviews and tests.

40K of visitors in the last year and growing !

Yes I do sometimes drift off into personal posts about, oh, construction on our new facility, but I've still kept it relevant I hope. While I did start this out very much dslr-centric, my own wanderings in NLE's, compositing, VFX, color grading, directing, and everything else has made for a real mix of topics here. I know some times I wander, but so far no one has complained ! I think many of us wear several hats, or even no hats so to that end, I think I'm covering the bases pretty well. Please feel free to let me know ! Post a comment. 

Thank you everyone for such a great first year. There are some really cool things in the works right now I'm not ready to talk about, but you'll want to check out over the next couple of months as it happens. Stay Tuned !

Monday, August 22, 2011

Goodbye Moire ? At least for 5D owners

Ah yes, yet another DSLR accessory you can't pass up! except this time, probably its true.

This is a behind the lens, fits into the body filter that adds exactly enough diffusion to get rid of moire on the camera while keeping the image as sharp as possible. Its probably a must own for just under $400 if you can get one. Preorders here. 

Its easy to insert in or remove so there is no permanent camera modification. I had honestly thought of doing something very similar, except for mounting the filter just in front of the shutter & imager. It would be a glue in place deal and permenent. I'm sure lots of folks had the same idea, but this guy who specializes in anti-aliasing filters for all sorts of electronic cameras really had the right super scientific materials to do the job. 



This may well be the fix for now for current owners. No APS-C sensor filter yet. This filter is not recommended for lenses wider then 24mm on the 5D Nothing is perfect, but it sure makes a 5D much better. Hello canon get off your butts and give us proper video without problems !

Coming Up

Video Review on how to shoot extra small stuff.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


A week and a half late, finally I have flooring to start the new room ! Over the next week or so getting this done and moving will be top priorities.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Office View

Here is a shot looking out my new office windows. Yes I'm building the room for grading, painting the facing wall about 18% gray and the back wall a very dark brown thats close to black. I can always close the blinds on more critical days, but most of the time light is not a problem given how bright most monitors are these days. Purists and pixel peepers will argue, but life is way too short to spend it in a dark windowless cave. I shot this with a Kiron 24/F2 lens which is a new toy I got a couple weeks ago. Yes you can expect a review on it and a couple other vintage lenses I've picked up.

Needless to say I've had my time filled up with a lot of work. Tomorrow I get to put down some hardwood flooring which should look great. Its custom cut random width Ash done by a local supplier.


new office view

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fixing LION AFP File Sharing When it Won't Connect

On 2 machines I installed LION on, AFP file sharing quit working. I'd get the error there were too many connections to the machine, when in fact there were none. Even AFP saw their where no users. Google a few weeks ago turned up nothing. Today, paydirt !

Here is the solution : 

In Lion Search for "AppleFilerServer.plist" - note that you can now once again search for system files in Lion, at least on my once machine.


 In /Library/Preferences/ there were two keys, maxConnections and maxGuests, that were set to 0. Looked like this:





I changed the values to 10, and it seems to be working now.


Some how installing Lion is resetting these values, or installing a new file with them set to zero. The 10.7.1 update does not fix the problem, you have to fix it yourself.

Sneak Peak

Ring Ring, "What are you doing at 4pm today ? " So goes my week with last minute shoots. I've also had a HUGE number of things to deal with this week that have just seemed to take away my time. However, I'm still getting some time out on the weekend to make a few pix like this one below, shot on my iPhone :) 

I'm never short of amazed at the shots I get with it. This image was tiled in PS using about 6 or 7 shots for an actual 6K res image.

So let me tease you with this, a shot of our new facility under construction ! This has been a big part of my time drain - managing construction, building out new ITcentric infrastructure, legal aspects, yes its been LOTS of work, but its getting there !

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm given her all I've got Captain !

I was shooting some small product shots today. Objects were palm sized to little finger sized.  I can't show you the actual shots, but I can share how I got them.

My wide shots started with a Olympus OM 50 1.4. It focuses to about 1 ft from the lens front which is great. However I needed to fill the frame a little better.

I did what you are NOT supposed to do, used a 1.4X converter to get to about 70mm.  Ya Ya Ya the photo pixel peepers will tell you that you should not be using an extender for anything shorter then about 100mm but I'm over it. The Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter is a great optical performer and so is the OM 50 1.4 which I was shooting at 2.0-4.  I could of grabbed the Tamron 70-200 2.8 which focuses pretty close and added the extension tube, but I was shooting at F2.0 - 2.8 most of the time which would of been out of range for the 70-200.  

This setup was perfect for some shots, but I needed closer still. What to do ? extension tube time ! My pretty close shots used the extension tube between the 60D body and 1.4x Kenko extender. 


kenko 1.4x extender extension tube OM 50 1.4


For even closer shots, I used the  31mm extension tube.


kenko 1.4x entender 31mm automatic extension tube

Now dig what I'm using as a light block for the matte box which has a .9 ND 81EF in it - A cokin mounting ring ! One of the lens rings on the matte box is the exact same size as the cokin P filter holder's outer diameter. I went to eBay and for around $20 or $25 bought a complete set of mount rings from 49mm to 82mm. I can leave one ring in the matte box and use the cokin holders on my lenses. They are cheap enough you can have one per lens, or pick up a set like I did.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Adobe Shows Off nVidia Powered 3D Graphics In An App

Steve Forde of Adobe Systems today at SIGGRAPH was showing a technology demo thats sure to get some rave reviews. Its a "research project with nVidia". Here is a video from Post Magazine featuring an interview showing the technology in action. 

Really take a look at whats going on with the comp window, its real 3D :) ! However Steve does state " its a technology demo and it may or may not show up in a shipping product and no idea when if it might ". 


Monday, August 08, 2011

This Week : New Panasonic Cameras Announced

I updated the Matrox MAX encoder review video with some screen shots of the encodes. I also have a couple more video reviews shot and I'm working them. 


Panasonic announced yet another new camera. Call this Son of HVX-200 finally done right.

MSRP is $5995. Not bad.

1/3" Chips, ok for palmcorder format after all this is a video camera.

SDI out, HDMI out, very nice !

records AVChd 10bit 4:2:2, great !

20bit video DSP. amazing to have in a camera of this size and price. should make for super clean images

1080p30, 1080i60, 720p60 are the max FPS rates AND 50/25hz frames rates are in there too so its a universal camera. Thank you!

Timecode I/O ! well its about freaking time ! probably the number one most requested feature on these small cameras. 

P2  cards ??? Alternate Model AG-160 does use SD cards. It looks like Panasonic aimed this model towards users of varicams and 300 series cameras using P2. This is the B or C cam for quick B roll shooting or just getting an extra shot while the big camera is the main shot.  The AG160 model uses SD cards and appears to be otherwise identical including mention of timecode support. The AG-160 has a MSRP of $4795 which is a bit nicer and more inline. Even if you have a P2 camera, do you want to buy another couple P2 cards ? probably not. 

I think the AG160 will be the hit camera while this camera will probably do pretty well out there as a B cam to the larger 300 series cameras of you have lots of extra P2 cards.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Matrox MAX Video Review :UPDATED

Here you go - a hands on review of Matrox's MAX faster then real time H264 encoder technology. I'll reveal some unexpected great surprises about this hardware like the drivers which continue to expand the MAX encoder's abilities like noise reduction that doesn't hurt encoding speed.

UPDATE I added screen shots of different encodes to the video showing the MAX encodes vs Apple software encodes. Its quite a difference.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

DIY Iconoscope

This very cool clip shows some one building their own Iconoscope basically from scratch using some off the self parts and some solid engineering. This camera is a "HD" upgrade from the original resolution of those cameras that was around 320X240, this one is "525 scanning lines". Just when you think you might click this one off is where it gets better. There are shots from the actual working camera which are pretty cool. I think what this guy did was use the electronics from a regular SD video camera, and then build the electronics for driving the tube and reading it out. You'll figure out near the end that he didn't actually fabricate the image tube, but instead used some 40 year old + new parts. Either way, I think you'll really appreciate the guys engineering and fabrication skills and feel a little humble.


Monday, August 01, 2011

My Job Today -

So you know how this story goes. You get a call that starts with " So what are you doing tomorrow ? " and ends with " Great, so see you at some time at some place tomorrow."

That was my story sunday, and today I was doing sound for a network feed with a very well know politician. Its always interesting to get to meet people like this, especially in unexpected places. While I may not always agree with some people's politics, Newt actually thanked us after the shoot for coming out, and was even nice enough to hold the door for me as I wheeled out my gear cart. That was classy for him to do.