Posts Tagged ‘software’

2014 NAB Wrap Up

April 15, 2014

Still photographers and motion shooters love to get a “first”  look at “new gear”. Here are a few interesting items I saw last week at the NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters):

Cameras

  • Black Magic Ursa A 4K camera 2014 NAB Showat an affordable price (around $6,500) that will be shipping in July. They’re calling it the first user upgradable-camera because you can change the sensor and the lens mount. It looks like this will be a great camera for filmmaking and documentaries.
  • Sony A7s Sony’s latest mirrorless camera features a wide-dynamic-range sensor and amazing sensitivity. With this camera, Sony didn’t jump into the megapixel competition against other camera manufacturers, but instead concentrated on image quality at staggering ISO’s. I would use this camera more as a still camera, but it’s small and it also shoots 4Kvideo.
  • GoPro  This company continues to innovate and make products that provide shooters with the tools that allow them to come up with incredibly creative solutions, especially in sports/action content.

Storage/Monitors

  •  Atomos has created the Ninja Star, a tiny ProRes Recorder for theGoPro Hero 3 that has an HDMI-out port and allows you to loop the signal through the Ninja Star and out to a monitor for composition or review. Atomos also debuted their Shogun, a combination seven-inch monitor and recorder with 4K capability.
  • G-Speed Studio by G-Techology This product, a hardware RAID 4-Bay Thunderbolt 2 storage solution, won the “Best Storage of NAB 2014 Award.” The G-SPEED Studio is a storage device with room for four hard drives and is configurable to RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, or 10. You can bring the total storage up to 24TB; at a lesser amount, the sustained 660MB/s transfer rate will get your files going quick.

Sliders/Stabilizers/Helicopters

  • Kessler Unidrive This is a motion control system (slider) that’s automated to enhance your production values.
  • Shape ISEE 1 Camera Stabilizer for GoPro A very cool device to stabilize your action GoPRo footage. The SHAPE ISEE I is a handheld gimbal-based stabilizer for GoPro cameras and smartphones. The powered, self-calibrating ISEE I enables steady shots with the GoPro and features a joystick for up/down tilting of the camera.
  • DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision Plus with Gimbal and GPS The latest addition to DJI’s quadcopter lineup gives you stunning images at a super affordable price ($1,000, or $1,099 for a version with extra battery). The copter has a 1080P camera that supports Adobe DNG RAW, which is great for workflow. There are also features that allow you to stream video to your smartphone in real time and to synchronize your phone with the quadrocopter through WiFi up to 700 meters away.
  • Syrp Genie Time Lapse & Magic Carpet Slider This is a motion controller coupled with a simple slider that provides a relatively low-cost solution for great time-lapse photography.
  • GimbalGunner A new device designed for run-and-gun video shooting. It’s essentially a cross between a two-axis gimbal and shoulder-mounted rig.

Software

  • There were hundreds of booths demoing software, but perhaps the most impressive of the bunch for me was the iZotope RX 3 2014 NAB ShowThis audio postproduction software will take away your fears about working with sound. I saw a demo in which it fixed substantial audio issues with the push of a button. Technology continues to make our lives easier. There is an incredible deal on the software until May 1, with prices slashed from $749 to $249. I don’t advocate capturing bad audio, but you’ll want this repair tool if you do.

Lighting

  • Litepanels This company launched its new Hilio series, versatile panels that emit a raw, narrow beam that provides high-intensity light for long throws.

What Camera Should I Buy?

August 6, 2009

If I had a dollar for everytime someone asked me what camera they should buy – I could retire.  These days I get a lot of “what video camera should I buy?”  That question is almost impossible to answer without more information.  So I usually reply with my own onslaught of questions “What are you going to be shooting?”, “What editing software will you be using?” , “Are you concerned about getting “natural sound” or will you be using the “video” and not the “audio” from the camera?”.  And of course the big question “What’s your budget?”.

One thing that complicates making a choice in video cameras is that unlike still cameras – video cameras shoot different types of files – mpeg2, native quicktime, HDV, AVCHD.  In addition some shoot to tape, some shoot to cards and some shoot to discs.  Then of course there’s the basic consideration of SD or HD.  And not all HD files are alike.  Sounds confusing and overwhelming doesn’t it?  And it can be so my advice is always to work backwards.

Start by identifying the type of shoots you’ll be doing – corporate interviews or beautiful imagery intended to be shown to a music track.  Where will it be shown?  Broadcast? Web? DVD’s?  And how will you edit it? What platform? What editing software? To help guide you with selecting the right camera for the editing software you have or intend to purchase I have come across some great links to compatablity charts. Adobe Premiere and Final Cut This is a great place to start to see if that reasonably priced prosumer camera that outputs AVCHD files will work with the prosumer version of the editing program you have or will you have to purchase the full pro program.  I have seen lots of posts on listservs with people who need help editing files from the camera they just bought and loosing a lot of time in the process, not to mention the frustration they put themselves through.

There’s all kinds of cool cameras coming on the market everyday and lots of people jumping on the bandwagon as seen in the success of the RED and the hybrid Canon 5D II. http://tiny.cc/KmAOK There’s a lot of great things about both these cameras but before you plunk down the money – ask yourself if it’s the right tool for you.  Unless money is no object, you’ll want to make sure that your investment in a camera will serve your purpose.  There’s a tool for everything.  Here’s another interesting camera that recently debuted.  If you’re an action adventure shooter – it could be the camera for you.  http://tiny.cc/3owdX

My advice is to make a pros and cons list before you even look at cameras.  That way you won’t be overwhelmed by the tools – but will choose the tool that is the right tool and the “means to your end”.


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