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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Canon 60D Sale At B&H - $599 Body only !

B&H is having a sale - Canon 60D Body Only For $599 plus 2 Extras.  If you want the kit lens version, its on sale for $899 with the 18-135 IS. The 60D has really been the sweet spot of canon's line up for a while and this is a great chance to get your first one, or even add a second body to your setup at a great price.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Its Just Pure Crap - Some 3rd Party GoPro Mounting Hardware

I have a shoot I'm doing prep for. I need to mount some GoPro's on racing mountian bikes. I've been doing testing with a few 3rd party mounting options to get better angles. We all like cheap, some of these were cheap, some weren't. 

First up is this 200mm ( about 7" ) extension bracket. While the plastic seems similar to what the real GoPro stuff is made from, it flexes. In any use where vibration is a problem, like say bikes taking bumps and jumps this just won't work. It vibrates around too much. Its possible there are some uses for helmet mounting that might be ok, but certainly not for my purposes.  It did get the camera to good positions for shots when in use. Bottom line : get the more expensive aluminum ones which really don't cost that much more.

Here are some samples from that bracket.



Next up is this clamp. I have a real black maffer clamp with ball head I use to mount GoPros and it works great. This mount looked much smaller and better able to grip round surfaces. It looked metal. Its not. Its plastic. While that wasn't so bad because it did offer what seemed to be good grip, the mounting point wiggled around pretty badly. I tried to tighten the mounted screw in it which helped a little bit, but still wiggly. I also tried a commerical grade plastic cement which had no effect. Bottom line, its junk and don't waste your money. Its rare for me to say this about a product but this one is useless.

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Rokinon 16mm F2.0 Lens



Monday brings about this nice one : The New Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens for Canon EF-S Mount. Its your typical full manual lens which is sure to make APS-C and Micro Four Thirds shooters happy. Its available in a number of mounts including Canon EF-S, Nikon, M4/3, Sony and others. MSRP is a reasonable $479 with expected shipping end of July or Early August depending on lens mount. Its fast speed makes it a very welcome addition to the line up. Can't wait for the Cine ver which I'm sure will follow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Undocumented Features in Premiere Pro CC

I knew about some of these but have been too busy to write about them however  Josh Weiss over at put out this quick video showing them. Thanks Josh. Its fair to say that going to the creative cloud model is freeing Adobe and the engineers to be able to start creating and delivering new features more frequently than annual or bi-annual releases could ever do. It also means that you don't have to be instantly hit with learning 100 new features in a single app times all the Adobe apps you use. Lower learn curves are always a good thing.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Black Magic Design Releases Creative Cloud Drivers

Just installed Premiere Pro and After Effects Creative Cloud today ? Well Black Magic Design has drivers ready to do as soon as you can go and grab them. Its really great to not be waiting months for driver support. Part of this is Adobe settling down and using the Transmit API. While there have been tweaks to Transmit - the new Audio and Video delay feature which I'll get to in a minute, its basically the same API. Keeping a single API is important as it lets developers work on fine tuning their drivers and adding the occasional new feature like CLOSED CAPTIONING support thats also new to Premiere Pro. Yes they added this to Creative Cloud V7.0 and its a very good thing to have. You don't have to send CC work out of house anymore.

Let me also talk about another new small feature in Premiere Pro that I had been pretty vocal about. Adding a delay control for both Audio and Video output. Now it might at first sound odd to want to intentionally put your audio and video out of sync with each other on purpose, until you get to an HDMI monitor. With HDMI monitors its common to have one to several frames of processing delay. Meanwhile your audio is coming directly out of the card to your speakers. This means you are actually out of sync. By adding delay to the audio output thats equal to the number of frames the monitor is adding delay, you are back in sync again. No more watching an HDMI monitor and having your audio out of sync ! Likewise in a larger facility its possible to have your audio and video getting routed around differently because you aren't using SDI with embedded audio and now its possible to compensate it out. Small feature that is visible in Prefs->Playback Settings and easy to miss but has great value to anyone like myself who has had to deal with sync problems due to external gear. Thanks Adobe !

Now for BMD's Press Release


The Desktop Video 9.7.5 software update allows users to take advantage of many new features in the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, such as powerful new editing timelines and shortcuts and audio mixing with Adobe Premiere Pro® CC and new creative and visual effects tools with Adobe After Effects® CC. Also included is support for Adobe Mercury Transmit that allows broadcast video monitoring to connect directly into the Adobe Mercury Playback engine which gives an incredible amount of real time effects with any video format or codec.

This update means Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity range will work seamlessly with the new features in Adobe Creative Cloud applications for amazing new workflows in editing, compositing and visual effects. DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity include the world’s highest performance capture and playback cards for Mac, Windows and Linux. Including both PCIe and Thunderbolt based technology, these products come in both internal and external models and are used by professionals globally in every aspect of film and video production.

Customers using Adobe After Affects CC will be able to work in the highest quality compressed and uncompressed video formats up to Ultra HD and 4K, for amazing compositing and graphics production workflows. When working with Ultra HD and 4K video formats, customers can choose between the rack mount UltraStudio 4K and the DeckLink 4K Extreme PCIe card. Both products have 6G-SDI and HDMI 4K video connections to capture and playback Ultra HD and 4K video formats as well as dual stream stereoscopic 3D. Blackmagic Design recently announced a new lower price for UltraStudio 4K to US$995.

“It’s very exciting to see Blackmagic Design’s desktop video products working together with Adobe’s Creative Cloud software and the incredible creative possibilities this opens up with the new editing and effects features. Our customers will be able to work with the cutting edge tools in fantastic new workflows,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.


I expect Matrox and AJA will also be announcing drivers today or very soon, meaning days.

You can get your Creative Cloud Membership or Upgrade Here

Monday, June 17, 2013

Adobe Creative Cloud Is Now Live !

The Wait is over !

GoodBye FCP7


As we all wait for Creative Cloud to be released, I'm sure there will be a lot of this today. Goodbye FCP ! Last week I finished a legacy project in FCP7. Thats it, no more. I'm not supporting FCP projects anymore. I may leave one copy of FCP running on some machine mostly as a way to export a project to XML, but thats it. Done. Don't get me wrong, I did a LOT of good work and made a LOT of money with FCP. I was an early adopter at FCP3 when it was clear that Media100 was not going to deliver the badly needed new features that FCP already had. Basic ones like, oh, more than 2 layers of video. Of course once BorisFX aquired M100's assets they added all sorts of features like multiple video tracks and 3rd party hardware support. In some respects Apple pulled a M100 with FCP X but at least Apple as been adding features that are needed pretty quickly since initial release. 

Anyways, that's it for me and FCP. It was a good ride, but we are going from trains to planes with Premiere Pro CC aka V7.0

5D Mk3 + anamorphic adapter + RAW MOV = Great Images

The quality of the video is amazing. Much better than what we are used to getting from a DSLR. The anamorphic adapter makes for some tasty flares most of the time. Good to watch while we all wait for Adobe CC to launch sometime today !

Friday, June 14, 2013

Adobe Creative Cloud Launches Monday

Rokinon 8mm cine example sample deep hole lake wi

Rokinon 8mm T3.8 cine + 60D • Click for full size image

Monday will see the launch of Adobe's new Creative Cloud. Get your SSD cleaned up for all the download goodness coming. There will be lots to like. Meanwhile, its the weekend, take it off !

Sigma 18-35 F1.8, $799 !



Ok, something I can get excited about, a new tasty lens ! Its the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 with a constant iris through the entire zoom range. F1.8 is as fast or faster than many primes in this range. Its also a stop and change faster than the canon lens in the same range which is a 2.8 and costs nearly twice as much. Its available for pre-order at B&H. Another nice detail, it focuses in the correct direction although it looks like a quick rotation range. This lens is also supposed to have a much faster focus motor. Sounds great at least for shooting stills. Maybe I'll try to get my hands on one for a reivew.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Semi-Shoulder Mount ?

Sony is going to replace the EX3 with a new "sub $10K" camera, the PMW-300. Got it ? Looks more like a camcorder format, but bigger, but without a real shoulder rest.... so its a semi-shoulder mount. Well it either is or isn't ! Anytime I've used a EX1/3 its been with my DSLR shoulder rig because thats the only real way you can shoot hand held with it. 1/2 CMOS chip, it adds 50 Mbps MPEG HD 422 recording which is good because the 35mbit isn't so good. Internal wireless receiver slots , SDI & HDMI, all the usual frame rates and sizes. 

I don't know but there are so many cameras out there, even lots of really good ones. Maybe this one will be easier to shoot with as I've always found the EX1/3 to be pretty fumbly cameras. We'll see.

Monday, June 10, 2013

No I Don't Love it, At ALL ! The NEW iWasteBasket

I love my 27" i7 iMac. Great screen, single unit, enough connectors on it for most people's needs. Its a great machine to download SD cards, sync sound, do rough cuts on. AE CPU rendering is quite respectable, oh and that great screen !  Also great for PS and IL work. Its a fine mid range machine.

Enter iWasteBasket. Innovative ? yes. Remember the very cool G4 based Cube ? is this a Mac Mini on 'roids ? yup. Too bad its an already dated design. It'll be even more dated by the time it ships. If Intel gives Apple any sort of deal, those old CPU chips are still nothing great but wil more than likely drive the price of this to a non-seller. Unless apple is gonna sell a 2 CPU version for well under $2k I can't see ANYONE spending money on this.  Why not i7 6 or 8 core ? or exchangeable CPU module ? How about room for even a pair of 2.5" spinning drives because, hey when it comes to drives space size does matter. Even a single 3.5" SATA drive hole at the borromw would of been fine to stuff a 3 or 4TB drive in. This is a PRO machine, right ? well maybe just serious enthusiast machine. Anemic fixed GPU's by the time this ships. Okay, maybe apple will sell upgrade GPU's down the road for a crazy price. 

Of course I did more or less predict most of the machine a while ago. I fully expected 2 PCIe 16X slots for GPU's or 1 GPU + 1 PCIe card.I did say to expect ThunderBolt to replace most PCIe slots and thats exactly what they did. I'm mostly ok with that as my Matrox hardware could move on with ThunderBolt adapters. My BMD 3D Extreme card is stuck in the tower which is fine because its perfectly good as a second tier machine.

So putting this all together, realistically you still want an iMac. Without real pricing its hard to make an exact comparison but if apple sells this for  $2500 which I think is realistic what would you get ? A 4 ( or 6 core when they happen )  i7 iMac will be  bit faster than whatever base model of the iWasteBasket comes with which will almost for sure be a single CPU ZEON. The iMac will have that nice big screen, enough RAM for most users, but lack the dual GPU. However, given how fast GPU's are advancing an its easy to see an updated next gen iMac easily smacking this machine to the ground... oh and add in a nice 27" screen for free for the same price. If an iMac delivers better value for the same price or less, who wants this ? 


Posted just a little while ago by Grant Petty of BMD

Re: New Mac Pro with AMD GPUs and now?
Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:33 pm


We have been testing with DaVinci Resolve 10 builds and this screams. Its amazing and those GPUs are incredible powerful. I am not sure what I can say as I am only going off what Apple has talked about publicly here in the keynote for what I can say right now, however there is a whole new OpenCL and DaVinci Resolve 10 has had a lot of performance work done to integrate it and its really really fast. Those GPUs are very powerful and have lots of GPU memory so this is the Mac we have been waiting for! We have lots of Thunderbolt products too so video in and out is taken care of.

We will have more details once the guys get back from WWDC and we get some more info from Apple on what we can talk about etc.

Overall we could not be happier! 


Will I get to eat my words ? we'll see ! it just depends on the price :)

Thursday, June 06, 2013

BMD Pocket Camera Sample Footage @ 1600 ISO

Looking VERY nice is some sample material from the BMD Pocket Camera shot at ISO 1600. Looks very clean. It also looks like video in terms of DoF. 2/3" video chip is just slightly smaller than a S16mm frame. Even still its pretty amazing. BMD also says the MTF mount of the cinema camera will start shipping as soon as next week. 

Meanwhile making some news is that the BMDCC was used to shot a spot for Arby's.You can see the Arby's Spot HERE.  The rest of the story is :

Gavin Fisher, founder and owner of Fisher Film Works, used Blackmagic Cinema Camera to shoot the commercial in less than one week. Shot in 1080HD in compressed Apple ProRes, Gavin was able to capture high quality images and bring them into his editing and color correction workflow without the need for transcoding, allowing for the most efficient workflow possible for the project.

“I knew the quality of the footage would be great, because I’ve used the Blackmagic Cinema Camera before,” said Gavin. “But the resulting footage still impressed me. The skin tones, the colors of the artwork on the wall, all of the images were amazing, and we were able to do a lot creatively with the footage in Resolve.”

Another advantage during the shoot was the camera’s unique design, which allowed Gavin to work within a very confined space.

“We filmed in a small studio because we were trying to get the look of a cable access painting show,” said Gavin. “We didn’t even have room for a dolly, but the director wanted some movement in the shots. In the end, we were able to use some sliders, which we wouldn’t have been able to do with a larger camera. The compact size of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera proved to be a big advantage for us.”

The director, Paul Cummings, cut the commercial in Final Cut Pro and handed it off to Gavin who imported it into DaVinci Resolve via XML for final color corrections. Once the final commercial was finished in Resolve, it was exported straight to the client for airing.

“The Log workflow in Resolve just goes hand in hand with the camera,” said Gavin. “We were going for a specific look, a super saturated, high end cable access look. By shooting in ProRes film mode, which meant the images from the camera were flat, and then grading the commercial in Resolve, it was super easy to get that look. I prefer Resolve over anything else I’ve used, especially when using the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The workflow between the two is seamless.”

Pretty cool the BMD camera is getting some credit for national work. I'm sure we'll be seeing more stuff being shot on this amazing camera... and I can't wait for the 4K S35 !

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

1000X More Sensitive Image Sensors

Its still the lab right now but they came up with it keeping existing manufacturing processes in mind.The new sensor is made from graphene. Its believed to be the first to be able to detect broad spectrum light, from the visible to mid-infrared, with high photoresponse or sensitivity. This means it is suitable for use in all types of cameras, including infrared cameras, traffic speed cameras, satellite imaging and more. Not only is the graphene sensor 1,000 times more sensitive to light than current imaging sensors found in today's cameras, it also uses 10 times less energy as it operates at lower voltages. When mass produced, graphene sensors are estimated to cost at least five times cheaper.

We have ISO 800 cameras right now that gain up to 1600 and 3200 looking quite fine. The C300 has a ISO of 25,000 that shoots in moonlight. If sensors made from this material come to be, picture what the ISO would be. The consumer uses are of course amazing but pro use is another. LED's running on battery power could light your next set all night. It could in many respects changing lighting as we know it. Now doing battle with the sun during daytime shooting isn't going to change, but any sort of night time work does.  In fact it brings the question to mind, how much ND are you going to need during the day ? dial the sensor gain to -36db ? should be interesting if and when they show up.