Friday, June 27, 2014

Apple ProRes 4444XQ - Thats not a typo !

So Apple released an update to FCP X. Yawn as almost no one uses it. It actually has some features that start to get it back to where FCP7 left off in its XML export.... 3 years late. Anyway Apple has snuck out a new version of ProRes called 4444XQ and apple says should be used as a *camera* codec. At least one camera vendor is supposed to have an update to support it. Ok, hint, there is a picture of the camera. Its ProRes at 500mbits/sec ! except that for most purposes even 220mbit ProRes 422 HQ and 330mbit 444 are overkill for most folks needs. Lots of days ProRes 422 is enough and I'll admit LT has been ok for a few things. However, there is a really small audience that can use this and will and thats nice. For the rest of us it really doesn't matter unless you have TB's to burn of drive space.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Is Your Disc Recorder Dropping Frames With Your SSD ?

I've been using my Ninja Blade to record various flavors or ProRes - 1080p30 and ProRes HQ 1080p30 and was experiancing dropped frames. It was using a recommended SanDisk 256gb SSD. It shouldn't be happening but it was. The SSD was a month or two old, the Blade new. I was shooting 30-60 minutes at a time before dumping the drive and formatting it again in the Blade. However I was only getting good long records in 1080p24. In 30, in HQ I was having skipped frames. Now the Blade is cool in that I never lost complete files, but there where 4 sec breaks. This a real pain when shooting a 1hr talking head presentation. 

So I started thinking what's the problem here ? A first I thought it was the Blade but I had a blessed config and the latest firmware. Bad SSD ? Ok, lets test it. I pulled it from the Ninja case and put it into an external eSATA dock. R/W speeds of 500 something mb/sec read and write. Left that test run for a while, still holding.

My next guess was the solution : I realized the SSD had never been filled up. I had been using 25-35% of its capacity on average. What if the drive controller was doing some test of the data it was writing to verify the storage block as good ? Well it turns out something like this was going on.

What I did was fill up the drive by copying folders of img sequences to it in the eSATA dock. I filled it down to a couple free mb. I then formatted it in the Blade.

I'm now recording ProRes HQ 1080p30 without dropping frames. So it looks like at least some SSD's simply need to be filled up with a large file copy so that all the blocks on the drive are sorted out as good or not.  As an alternative to doing a file copy you could leave your recorder in record provided it continues after a drop in frames like the Atomos units. If yours drops out of record and stays that way the file copy option will be easier. Either way, its just one of those odd things you learn as you go.

Monday, June 16, 2014

How To DeClick An Apeture Ring On A Lens, Its Usually Easy !

I have to say its good to be back ! Finally posting w/o the concerns I used to have.  So here are a pair of great tutorials on DeClicking an iris ring on a lens. The OM 50 1.4 is super simple - I'd recommend it as your first ever lens mod if you have a couple of basic small tools around to handle it. Those tools are : jewelers screw drivers, Phillips I think #00, mini visegrips, micro fiber lens cleaner, rubber lens wreches as option. Probably stuff you already have.

In a more advanced DIY lens declick what when I take apart a Vivitar / Kiron lens with OM mount ( adapted to EF ) which is a little more involved but still pretty simple, 6 screws, 5 minutes.

Then there is the declick you won't see - a classic vintage vivitar 28 1.9. After I got the lens mount off ( easy ) which had spring attached, I found the internal assembly glued together. It was a threaded and glue assembly I decided wasn't worth messing with as I didn't have a suitable solvent to even try to dissolve the glue, never mind put it back together so it was optically good. Sometimes you need to know when to NOT do a mod and this was one of those cases... for me. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

We Are Back !

What a day of progress ! amazing what you can get done when you aren't dealing with a lot of nonsense. Site seems to be working fine now. Besides getting up and running I also de-spammed all the comments. There were about 12K of spams placed there by people. What a huge waste of human time and effort. These people could of done almost anything that would of been more productive. Well all their hard work is gone ! So this is the site rebirth party smiley

Now I can get back to content and some site updates... like a new mobile friendly device aware design.