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Monday, May 12, 2014

If Its Not Reliable, Who Cares

A boat that leaks ? not good. A light weight paddle that breaks ? useless. How about a camera with unreliable batteries ? not so good, but guess which one I and the rest of us put up with ? I have to say bracing into a tight turn in fast current is no place to have gear failure. At the very least getting wet in cold water is no fun, but it could also turn out a lot worse as well.

The shot above is one of the last frames my GoPro Hero3 took before the battery quit. In timelapse mode it normally runs at least two hours  but on this trip it only made it about an hour from what I can tell. Battery reliability with H3's has really been a problem for me. It had been charged a few days ago, temps where 65 degrees, the LCD was off. I did get some good shots, but thats not the point, I should of gotten a lot more shots ! I just never know if I'm going to get a full run or a short one with these batteries. I charge in the camera, I have a 3rd party wall charger, 3 batteries, it doesn't matter. In fact when I need to do timelapse reliably for more than 30 minutes I always put the cameras on a USB power supply on wall power or a big battery. Also let me say, a week ago on a corporate shoot, the battery said 1/3 left but rolled video for 30 minutes anyway. It ran well over what was needed. I think it comes down to the batteries just have some QC problems and I'm going to have to start tracking which ones are reliable. None of them are more than 9 months old nor do they have a lot of charge cycles on them. Where's my label maker !

Realistically I hope the Hero4 goes back to the old camera size if for only one single thing : a larger reliable battery again ! If they are really gonna do 4K 30fps a big battery is going to be a requirement. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

Autodesk Giving Away Toxik For Free

Want to try nodal compositing but can't afford Nuke ? Autodesk is now giving away Toxik aka Composite their nodal comp app. Worth a try although it crashed a lot for me and not sure why. The file selection window seemed to be causing me problems. The quick start tutorials that are supposed to be included in the app aren't there / don't work so you may need to poke around on the web to find them. Nice part the app is available for OS X, Windows and Linux.  Let me know if you have some luck with getting it to work  Download Toxik / Composite here.

Meanwhile a few new projects are on the horizon that I intend to produce myself. Time to be my own client. Between this and the office move I know I've been slow on posting stuff but thats life sometimes. Its also finally warm outside and the kayak got its first trip of the season down the Eau Clare river in full spring flow. No pics, just wanted to enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Now What ? Everything !

I shot this when I was 17 ! on B&W Tri X that I hand developed  and printed. Why does it matter ? because then every thing mattered. Every frame cost you a buck you didn't have. I love the energy, compostion and youth here. I won't show you what we look like now ! ok, not so bad !

This brings me around to 4K ad nauseam from NAB. Its real, its happening, has been happening since RED ONE showed up 5 or 6 years ago, its not going away. Unlike 3D that shows up every 10 years or so 4K will make inroads. Into production for future proofing, for producers who are simply silly, anything anyone dreams MAY have value 10 years from now. I say take their money ! if you can pay off a 4K camera, do it. Don't look back because a year from now you'll be a happy camper. For the rest of us wondering about 1080, or even 720 don't worry. Your content may not mater in a time frame that goes far enough out to worry about. Sad. Sorry.  Maybe a snap shot you took 20+ years ago will matter, or chances are, will not. Be realistic in the 4K thing. I'lll probably get a 4K camera next year once the shake out happens but inbetween then I'll worry about : my LED lights ! my audio gear, what ever. Just about anything except the camera, and the Topcon RE200 sitting next to me that took this pic 30+ years ago, that doesn't have film now !