Showing posts from July 4, 2010

Canon 60D next week?

Canonrumors continues to believe that the 60D will be coming soon. They also think it will have an articulating screen and will be 18mp (rather than the 14 reported a week or so ago.) I'm pretty certain it will be 18mp; it would be difficult to sell with the T2i and 7D at 18mp, despite the possible advantages of larger pixels (i.e. lower noise). An articulating screen could be really useful for some video applications... Announcement Dates & 60D Specs [CR2]

YouTube supports 4K files

Most of my equipment struggles playing 1080 video from YouTube, so I don't know what to make of this, but I'm sure some people will be happy. cameras that shoot in 4K aren’t cheap, and projectors that show videos in 4K are typically the size of a small refrigerator... who will be making use of this?! YouTube : What's bigger than 1080p? 4K video comes to YouTube

Moscow University compares VP8 to H.264

VP8 is the royalty-free [possibly], open-source video codec that's part of Google's new WebM video format. The Graphics and Media Lab at the Moscow State University conducted some tests comparing VP8 with H.264 , and the results seem to suggest that VP8 isn't as good as H.264: “When comparing VP8 and x264, VP8... shows five to 25 [times] lower encoding speed with 20 to 30 percent lower quality at average. For example, x264 high-speed preset is faster and has higher quality than any of VP8 presets at average.” but the VP8 developers counter that the video clips that were used for the tests were previously compressed using another codec, giving H.264 an unfair advantage. As pointed out by other developers, H.264 and MPEG-like encoders have slight advantages in reproducing some of their own typical artifacts, which helps their objective measurement numbers but not necessarily visual quality. This is reflected by relatively better results for VP8 on the only uncompressed inp

News from Here & There

iPhone Movie Making Equipment Want to shot your next motion picture on an iPhone? Zacuto has the rigs for you: the Zgrip iPhone Jr. is $69, while the Zgrip iPhone Pro is $295. Zacuto: Zgrip iPhone Jr. Seven well known Fetishists Stu Maschwitz thinks Vincent Laforet should stop his obsession with gadgets, and Philip Bloom needs to widen his field of focus. In his latest ProLost blog he takes a shot at some of the best known people in the industry and their various "fetishes," and tells them all to lighten up. Something tells me articles like these will only encourage them. ProLost: Seven Fetishists And Why They Should Relax

Behind the Scenes: Sony 3D ad

Sony has posted on YouTube an interesting short on the shooting of a 3D commercial for their new 3D TVs. You can watch the advertisement itself at YouTube: New Sony 3D TV advert featuring Kaka  (the ad is presented in 3D/2D i.e. you see the two parts of the image merged together.) They shot the football sequences using four stereoscopic rigs with eight cameras; resulting in 700 boxes of camera equipment! The video features a great goalpost explosion:

Corporate Video shot with iPhone 4...

...but not edited using iMovie! This video claims to the be the first corporate film shot using the iPhone 4. I have no idea if that's correct or not, but it's interesting to see anyway. Note that he has a ContourHD camera on his helmet!

Michael Moore elected to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors

Love him or hate him, Michael Moore is probably one of the most successful documentary producers, and he has now been elected to the Board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition, director Kathryn Bigelow and film editor Anne Coates were also elected for the first time. Academy Elects Three First-time Governors, Returns Nine Incumbents

The TAO of Color Grading

I previously listed the upcoming Boston Final Cut Pro User Group meeting about color grading with Patrick Inhofer on the evening of July 14th. It turns out there will also be an event with Patrick that morning at Rule as well. The Tao of Color Grading Featuring the Euphonix MC Color Control Surface & Apple's Color Colorist/Finisher, Patrick Inhofer , shares insights, techniques, workflows and tools acquired during a decade of color correcting with non-linear software. Patrick will provide real-world grading examples, a renewed understanding of key concepts and a discussion on how ProRes and devices like the AJA Ki Pro can help maintain the quality of your images throughout the finishing process. Using the powerful Euphonix MC Color, Patrick will demonstrate how a control surface results in faster grading sessions while increasing the quality of the finished product. Wednesday, July 14, 2010 10am to 12noon with Breakfast Rule Boston Camera, 395 Western Avenue, Bost

News from Here & There

JAG35 Shoulder Rig Review Ron Risman at CameraTown does a full review of the JAG35 Full Shoulder Rig . This rig is being sold primarily into the DSLR market, though it could also be used with traditional video cameras, and at $649, it is one of the best deals around. Ron's been using the rig for a couple of weeks, and has produced a very indepth review: For me, the biggest advantage of any rod-based shoulder rig is the flexibility they offer, and the JAG35 allowed me the flexibility to conjure up configurations that made my shooting workflow so much easier. Yes, there are plenty of shoulder rigs on the market that use industry standard rods, but JAG35 has brought a quality rig into a price range that is much more palatable for many of us. Cameratown : JAG35 Full Shoulder Rig For HDSLR's JAG35 : Full Shoulder Rig Crowdsourced Movies There seems to be at least a couple of attempts at crowdsourced movies (think of them as web-based video " Day in the Life " proje

Canon XF300 in stock at B&H

While writing up the BBC report on the Canon XF300/XF305 performance, I noticed that the XF300 is listed as being in stock at B & H. Price is $6,799. The XF305 ($7,999) is still listed as Available for pre-order . B & H:  Canon XF300 Canon XF305

BBC approves Canon XF300/305

In the world of video cameras the BBC has a reputation for being persnickety about the cameras used for their productions. They list approved cameras on their website, and several other organizations follow these guidelines. The current list is rather short, and includes many expensive cameras, but now the Canon XF300 and XF305 have been added to the approved list. Canon commissioned Alan Roberts - who has conducted tests for the BBC on other cameras - to evaluate the cameras, and he's produced a report that concludes: This camera performs well at HD, for such a small image format. Resolution is very well maintained and is refreshingly alias-free. Detail controls work well, and the factory settings are good. Noise levels are typical for 1”/3 sensors, but sensitivity is unusually good. Operating the camera at significantly lower gain will reduce the noise level without sacrificing significant sensitivity. The integral lens has a maximum aperture of F/1.6, unusually large for

iMovie iPhone app update

There's an update for the iMovie iPhone app on iTunes. It's a minor update: iMovie Version 1.0.1 Improved reliability when exporting movies containing photos Resolved issue with music playback within a project Additional performance and reliability improvements

Firmware update for Canon 1D Mark V and T2i/550D

The 5D Mark II Team website reports that Canon has released a Firmware update for the Canon 1D Mark V and the T2i/550D that fixes the “iris jitter” issue. Firmware Version 1.0.8 for the EOS-1D Mark IV DSLR incorporates the following fixes: Fixes a phenomenon in which the set aperture moves unexpectedly when shooting movies in manual exposure mode using some Canon lenses (such as macro lenses). Corrects misspellings in the French and Spanish menus for applicable products. Firmware Version 1.0.8 for the EOS 550D DSLR incorporates the following fixes: Fixes a phenomenon in which the set aperture moves unexpectedly when shooting movies in manual exposure mode using some Canon lenses (such as macro lenses). 5D Mark II Team : FIRMWARE UPDATE 1.0.8

VideoQ&A: Which camera should I buy?

The question; which camera to buy ? often comes up. Unfortunately, there is no one perfect answer to the question.  One prospective buyer had the following specific set of requirements, starting with good low-light performance: I'm especially interested in being able to record outdoors at night.  Looking at approximately $1,000 US. Definitely in the consumer range, not the pro range. Probably HD, but that's not a requirement. Just for TV viewing, mainly. I've never edited any video, might be something I do at one point, but not a priority at the moment. First, an assumption; when shooting "outdoors at night" I'm assuming we're talking about outside in the city where there is a good amount of street lights. In those conditions, I’d recommend looking at either the Canon HFS 20 (~ $900) or the Sony HDR-CX500V (~ $800 with rebate through 7/31/2010.) Both Sony and Canon introduced new sensor designs a couple of years ago that significantly improved lo

Samsung 8000 TV shopping adventures

When I last bought a TV, things were pretty simple; you just bought the largest Sony you could afford (!) Of course, that was last century. But now you're presented not just with the question of what size TV you want, and what manufacturer produces the best sets. You also have to pick between LCD, LED, Plasma, 720 or 1080, 120/240 Hz, 3D, did I miss something? Definitely. There's also "TV applications" and Internet support, contrast ratios, power consumption, and much, much more. It's getting way too complicated. And buying a set this year is particularly difficult because you have to make the 3D decision; do you spend the extra for a 3D capable TV, or do you - like me - hope that 3D goes away and you can save your money? Fortunately, I'm not in the market for a new TV at the moment. My HD tube set from the last century (yes, they had HD back then!) is still working! But over the weekend I was visiting some friends who still have a 27inch 4:3 tube set

iMovie saves YouTube account

Steve Garfield reports that he went into an Apple store to play with the new iPhone 4, and after uploading a video to his YouTube account discovered that he couldn't clear the account out of the phone! Eventually he had to ask one of the Apple store employees, who told him they would have to do a hard reset - you hold down the buttons to get the shut down slider, but you don't do that; you keep holding down and the phone will do a hard reset.