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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rokinon 8mm

I got this tasty shot of the guitarist from Chicago playing EAA 2013 this year using the Rokinon 8mm cine. I must of been 18" from the stage edge. I love this lens for what it can do when used right. As always, right tool for the job. 

EAA is being an interesting proving ground for a new mic in my collection as well. Plan to do a side by side test over the next few days which I think will provide some interesting results.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

EAA Time

Its that time of the year again doing sound at EAA. Long days working outside. Last year it was hot, this year cold, at least for today. Just life when working on location. Should be a good week !

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Canon 70D Video Clips

This clip shows some video which appears to show the 70D video autofocus at work. There are some FAKE 70D clips up on YT, but this one looks real. The autofocus seems to be decent, although some time missing what I'd probably prefer to be in focus.

Meanwhile I'm getting ready for a solid 8 days of production work. I'm doing sound for several camera ops at EAA Airshow

Monday, July 22, 2013

Keep It Simple - Recording Headphone Output

How do you record the output of a headphone jack ? Especially when you want to record SVEN the speaking menu in the Sound Devices 552 mixer ? Well you could rip thru your collection of adapters to figure out 1/8" or 1/4" to XLR, maybe add a 30db pad or more, or turn the headphones way down, or mess around with a few other ideas... or just do it the Simple way. Put the headphones onto your mic and turn up the headphone output. Worked fine. I did set the MXL4000 to figure 8 to pick up both sides better and it worked ok for the short 10sec sample I needed to get. It took way less time than the "right" way, but I got the job done. Sometimes the fast and simple way counts if the results are ok*

*I didn't say stellar perfect, but ok, as in usable for the intended purpose under the time to get the job done.

SpeedGrade 7.0.1 Is LIve Today

SpeedGrade 7.0.1 is released today. A larger number of bug fixes and product improvements. Good to see the added hardware support for Matrox now.


Mercury Transmit support added support for Bluefish video I/O cards
Mercury Transmit support added for Matrox video I/O cards
Added support for 48KHz audio output


Snapshot file tree view can now be collapsed for easier navigation
New UI animations for bottom third panel
2Up/3Up function has been optimized for a simpler workflow based strictly on clips (not grading layers).
Disabled (unnecessary) grading panel animation for Cinemode (image-only) view
Waveform scope performance
Mercury Transmit playback performance on Mac OS
Preference settings for monitor background color slider has been moved from Playback settings to Environment settings
Added option to keep sending to Mercury Transmit if SpeedGrade loses focus to ensure video output is not interrupted.


Issue where breadcrumb navigation bar was truncated in certain circumstances
UI would freeze when user invoked media content menu and while application settings were open
UI bug in the Render tab has been fixed
External LUT’s could not be loaded on Mac OS
SpeedGrade would crash when deleting an empty Timeline (Mac OS)
SpeedGrade crashed in specific undo scenario when clicking on a Look (Mac OS)
Crash on startup on Chinese, Japanese, or Russian Windows OS has been fixed
SpeedGrade occasionally crashed when “swap eye” option was enabled in render settings (applies to stereoscopic content)
SpeedGrade would crash when converting a stereoscopic timeline to mono if the analysis tools (scopes) were open
Crashes when analysis tools (scopes) were enabled in stereoscopic projects
Scaling issue in Luma Waveform has been repaired
SpeedGrade Save As dialog has now been localized for German, French, Italian, and Spanish language installations on Mac OS
List/Thumbnail icons now highlight in the correct color for HiDPI displays on Mac OS
UI truncation bug where Annotation textbox overlapped analysis tools (scopes)
Crashes that occurred when clicking on Other button in render settings if the format preset was empty (German, French, Italian and Spanish versions)
Crashes in Render dialog when output dropdown had empty entry selected.
Issue with TIFF render settings has been repaired
When widgets for clip and frames were shown in the view, only one widget could be adjusted
UI issue with annotations widget
Issue with side-by-side display mode for stereoscopic enabled Timeline

Thursday, July 18, 2013

SD Cards Finally Get Some Speedy Respect

For a very long time, if you wanted speed you had to go to CF cards. While some SD cards had hit the 45mb/sec mark most where far slower. That changed a few days ago when Toshiba announced these new SD cards making them faster than CF cards by a huge margin. All very interesting in the days when you can get a Canon DSLR to record RAW frames and you need the speed. What is disappointing is the 16 and 32gb sizes. With those fast data rates and shooting RAW filling up a 16gb is a few minutes of shooting. This is like 400ft rolls of 35mm... for those who remember! My guess is they are probably RAIDing some slow storage together, or spinning off storage from SSD's. One we see 64 and 128gb cards we are now talking. Of course, no annoucement on price which I'm sure will not be cheap. However, if you need cards this fast, you can probably also afford them. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fix Rolling Shutter On GoPro Cameras - ND Filters

Fix rolling shutter on the GoPro ? Yes ! A friend of mine, Chad Johnson shows us how using a ND filter slows the camera's shutter down reducing or eliminatng rolling shutter. Interesting because I have a hero 1 - 2 housing from the same company that takes screw on filters. I bought it for my partner to shoot some under water stuff in Belize last year and haven't used it since. Now that case makes my Hero 2 more viable again. Of course I have a hero 3 too....ugh, one more piece of gear to buy !

Sync A Sound Devices 552 Mixer / Recorder to a Tascam DR-680

How can you sync lock a Tascom DR-680 to a Sound Devices 552 ? Here is the quick video to show you how. No you don't need time code or video !

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ready For 8K ?

I've seen 8K and its amazing. Now NHK is showing a camera that looks a lot like other current cameras in size, except its 8K 60FPS max ( for now ) and uses h.265 for recording.

At its recent Open House, NHK showed the new 8K AH-4800 camera head, co-developed with Tokyo-based AstroDesign, which is much lighter and more compact than previous models. It has a 2.5in, 33-megapixel “single plate” CMOS image sensor and processing circuitry in a 125mm (W) x 125mm (H) x 150mm (D) housing (about 5in square). Total weight, with lens, is said to be 4.4lbs, and it captures images at up to 60fps.

NHK, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric, has also developed the world’s first HEVC/H.265 real-time encoder for 8K Ultra HD. HEVC is the latest video encoding system, which became an international standard this year. It has four times the compression efficiency of MPEG-2, which is widely used in current digital HD broadcasting.

The video is encoded at 85Mb/s, compressed by a factor of 1/350 from 30Gb/s. To encode Ultra HD video, which has high spatial resolution, encoding is done in real time by dividing the screen into 17 strips. Compression to 85 Mb/s enables one Ultra HD channel to be transmitted using one satellite transponder.

I guess if you want to product for 4K delivery a higher res camera is good but the data rates get insane. Its not so much this 350:1 compression is bad enough to make it managable, but once its on the NLE you have to pass those big uncompressed frames around when doing anything with the image. Pushing that image onto a GPU becomes a monster. While technology will eventually bring computers that can deal with this, even 4K remains challanging. In some ways its depressing because just as computers got good with 1080 we're leaving that behind for more... and more... and more. How about staying put for a little while, or at least saying 8K is the end game for the next 10 years and thats where we are going. At that point then decide if there is another step to something higher or not.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Look At The Sound Devices 552 Mixer Recorder Video Review

Sound Devices 552 front panel meters


I know this mixer has been available for some time but it seems people ask what makes this mixer so great. In this review video I'm gonna take a look at some of the great features the Sound Devices 552 Portable 5-Channel Production Mixer and Stereo Recorder has that simply make your sound mixing and recording life better. Given that a mixer is one of your most important pieces of sound gear next to your mics, the right one will make your job easier and your work better.Check it out.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Premiere Pro CC 7.0.1 Update Now Live Today, Prelude Update Too



Less than a month after Creative Cloud launched, Adobe as released significant update to Premiere Pro. This isn't just bug fixes, but actual features added. The first one is a personal favorite of mine I'd been asking for from them for a long time. Its great to finally have it and it makes life a lot better. As for the CC critics, well told you so. Adobe is keeping their word about delivering product updates on a more timely basis now that they aren't tied up by the stupid SEC rules. You aren't waiting another year or so to get some nice new features and improved behaviors in the app, you're getting them when they are ready for use.

Oh, and did I also say Adobe Anywhere is also now shipping today :) ?

Other updates for Prelude to support Anywhere and bug fixes is also now live.

Here is a list of whats new.

  • Duplicating a title in a sequence creates a new, unique title, which can be independently edited from the original.
  • Lift and Extract can be used when only an In or Out point is set (if only an In is set, Lift/Extract will use the end of the sequence as the Out point; if only an Out is set, the beginning of the sequence will be used for the In point).
  • Copy, Cut, and Clear commands work between In and Out points on targeted tracks when no clips are selected.
  • When a sequence is loaded in the Source Monitor, keyboard shortcuts can be used to navigate to edit points (Up/Down keys by default).
  • Keyboard shortcuts can be used to clear In/Out points on clips in the Project Panel.
  • The Enable Clip command now works as a toggle when multiple clips are selected, such that any disabled clips become enabled and vice versa.
  • The Match Frame command will prioritize a selected clip over a targeted track.
  • The Relink command can now be used on a sequence containing offline media.
  • The Export EDL dialog now contains the option to include or exclude Transitions and the Key Track.
  • The Reveal In Project command now works from the Source Monitor.
  • A preference has been added to select whether or not playback jumps to the beginning of the Timeline or a Clip once the end has been reached.
  • A button has been added to the Timeline Panel to globally Link or Unlink all clips in the sequence.
  • An assignable keyboard shortcut has been added to enable toggling between the Source and Program Monitors.
  • The Reveal In Finder command can now be used on clips in a sequence.
  • A default start timecode value for all new sequences can be set in the Timeline panel.
  • Clips can now be dragged from the Finder or Explorer directly into the Source Monitor.
  • The Match Frame command now works on Nested or Multi-Camera Source Sequences, first matching to the source sequence, then stepping back further to the original master clip used in that source sequence.
  • Offline audio clips are now displayed in red, matching offline video clips.
  • The Source Settings dialog can be accessed by right-clicking on Clips within the Timeline Panel.
  • A preference has been added to allow the Timeline Panel to be automatically focused after an Insert or Overwrite edit is performed.
  • The Auto-Save dialog is suppressed during editing, and auto saves will not occur if no changes have been made to the project.
  • The Tone Settings dialog allows users to set the amplitude and frequency of the Bars and Tone synthetic clip.
  • Closed Captions are displayed on thumbnails in the Captions panel.
  • Options have been added to the Automate To Sequence dialog for Still Clip Duration, giving control over whether still clips use the In/Out range or a specified number of frames per clip (for timelapse workflows).

Monday, July 08, 2013

Hey Its Monday and Its Summer

Long 4 day weekend off was good. Not much major news except for this one, Canon is blowing out the EOS M for a crazy $349  which is $300 off. If this camera serves a purpose for you this sounds like a great deal, especially if you are on a budget. Meanwhile panasonic also has a price reduction going on with the quite respectable GH3 for $1068 which is a $200 reduction. Having shot with the GH3 it does make very nice pix and has a very solid build quality to it. The boosted data rates give you the benefits of a hacked GH3 without the effort.  I'm otherwise working a few things right now. I'm doing some quick music scoring for 2 videos I'm going to release I hope by the end of the week. They are pretty much ready to go except for the music so I'm motivated to get them out there.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A.R.T USB PreAmp Review

In need of a Phantom power capable USB interface and preamp I found the A.R.T. USB Dual PreAmp  Audio Interface with Dual Microphone Preamps. Quality unit at a great price.There are some compromises which I talk about in the video but none that would really stop you from buying one if this fits yours needs.

Techincolor Kills Color Assist, And Who Cares ?

Um, Yawn. Really who cares about Color Assist unless you just happened spend (waste) cash on it recently. With far more serious established apps and plugins available, I wondered what this was doing out there. To be honest, this is the very same company that sent me dubs of major hollywood features to edit into trailers that were dark and green. For 2 years of complaints they denied it until finally, they realized the one VTR doing the dubs "had a bad board in it, its now fixed". Technicolor is a dinosaur that has adapted poorly with the times, trying to use their brand to hang on. Lets face it, if they had not fed off the hollywood feedbag for years they wouldn't be where they are. They made it because of location and at best mediocre service. Their cinestyle is a bad mess, killing this app before its time a dumb mistake, so really, who cares. Its all about a company that tried to milk the system for as long as possible while resisting change. So as I said, who cares...

Monday, July 01, 2013

Canon 70D Is Now Officially Launched and Available For PreOrder Adds Time Code Support



As you may of heard around the net, the 70D is finally showing up. Perhaps the big thing here is the new 20MP sensor replacing the old and now a bit worn 18MP that Canon has been using for years across many of its APS-C sensor cameras. The obvious specs :

  • 20.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 5+ Image Processor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Live View
  • 3.0" 1,040k-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • Full HD 1080p Video with Move Servo AF
  • Built-In Wireless Connectivity
  • 19-Point All Cross-Type AF System
  • Continuous Shooting Rate Up to 7 fps
  • ISO 100-12800 (Expandable to ISO 25600)
  • Scene Intelligent Auto Mode

Of course read the specs carefully - LCD TOUCH screen is new for better or worse. WiFi is a very nice addition - wonder if there will be an iPhone / iPad app to read images from the camera or do previews like the GoPro's can. Extended ISO, we'll see if it makes a usable image or not. On the video side, no 1080p60. Surprised at this  lack of a higher frame rate. As for aliasing and moire - we don't know yet but I'm sure there will be something over the next few days.

There is a really  horrible sneak peak video up on youtube. Completely burried near the end if you made it that far is the very quick screen shot showing time code options. Interesting, but the question is can you lock more than one camera together ? It would be nice for sure. However with automatic audio sync via Pural Eyes or Premiere Pro CC's built in audio sync this has become a lot less of an issue than it once was. I wonder if you'll be able to feed TC into the audio in on the camera via TC Buddy or hardwire, of course probably at the sacrifice of ambient audio. One thing I do on multicam DSLR shoots is simply put a wireless receiver onto each camera  and send them usually the mixer output. Makes for a clean reference in post and backup recording. It'll be interesting to get more details on this over the next few days.