Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quick Links

The Beginning of Something Exciting | Larry Jordan | Larry's Blog
A post on the XML feature added in Final Cut Pro X, and in particular how it might be made to work with Final Cut Studio 3:
Wednesday night, Philip Hodgetts, CEO of Intelligent Assistance, demoed a beta program they are developing that illustrates what this new XML feature provides. Philip showed how an FCP X project can be exported as XML, converted, then imported into FCP 7. From FCP 7, it can be sent to Soundtrack Pro for mixing, or ProTools via OMF, or Color for color correction, or any of the other applications that link in with FCP 7.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (5.5.1) update: bug fixes, including some for Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion) compatibility | Adobe
List of improvements and fixes in Premiere Pro update.

Lensbaby Movie Maker’s Kit | Photography Blog
Lensbaby’s has announced a Movie Maker’s Kit that includes a Lensbaby Composer Pro in PL and Canon EF mount, and a whole range of optics and accessories.

New Canon Super 35 Video Camera Rumor Parody | Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
Another update on the - possibly - forthcoming camera, including speculation on price; in the 5k range.

New Canon 5D Mark III in the wild | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
More speculation and guessing on what might be coming from Canon.

How to sync your audio with your DSLR video clip in Final Cut Pro X | Sam | YouTube
Video demoing the sync of audio in Final Cut Pro X.

Makayama Movie Mount For IPad 2 | Michael Nease | Hand Held Hollywood
A $70 tripod mount for the iPad 2.

Zacuto HDMI Right Angle Adapter

A useful little right-angle HDMI plug just released from Zacuto. It's just $7.00
Re-route and protect your HDMI cable and equipment from unnecessary strain with this standard (big) HDMI right angle male to female adapter. The fixed right angle position not only gives you more space between the EVF and camera but it gives you a sturdier connection and prevents your cable from becoming loose, ensuring you have the best data signal transmission possible. This right angle HDMI adapter also converts any cable you are using to offer a 9.5mm - 10mm insertion, the ideal insertion for use with the Zacuto EVF HDMI ports.
Zacuto: HDMI Right Angle Adapter

LiveLens MFT Active Lens Mount

Redrock now has a Livelens mount adapter for Canon EF to Micro-Four Thirds. Introductory pricing is $442.50, and regular price will be $487.50. I've seen one person complain that it doesn't allow auto-focus, only aperture control, but it's better than nothing!

Canon EF lenses require power and electronic controls in order to adjust the lens’ aperture. Without power and control electronics, The aperture of the EF lenses are stuck wide open, severely limiting the usefulness of the lens. The Redrock LiveLens mft active lens adapter solves this problem by providing power to the EF lens and a control pad to adjust the lens aperture. With LiveLens mft you can set the EF lens' aperture to any stop in increments as small as 1/3 stop. It works with just about every lens available today, including variable aperture zoom lenses, prime lenses, consumer-level lenses, and professional L-series lenses. It also works with most third party EF-compatible lenses. There are some limitations to please make sure to read Technical Details.
Redrock: LiveLens MFT Active Lens Mount

Friday, September 23, 2011

Adding a Transciption in YouTube

A while back I wrote about adding Captions in YouTube. It's a pretty straight forward process, though you have to put in start and stop times for each piece of text, which can be quite a lot of additional work.

The other day, someone suggested that adding a transcription to a video served much the same purpose as doing captions, for a lot less work, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I typed up a simple transcription of the video I made of the Big 'Ole Lens Test Party. I put in no timing information, but I did put in the names of the people who spoke in parenthesis in front of each piece of dialog, because I thought that would make it more understandable to any reader. The file looked something like this:
[Chris Loughran] Ben and I were having dinner at the Border Cafe in Cambridge, and started talking about lenses, and Ben doesn’t really think there’s a big difference between a hundred dollar lens and a 20,000 lens, so we're here today to prove him wrong.


[Ben Eckstein] I'm not sure that that's exactly what I said, but ah, yeah, my thesis statement going into this is that we will see very marginal image quality differences.
Uploading the transcription is simple;
  1. Go to your list of videos in YouTube
  2. Click the Edit info button
  3. Click the Captions and Subtitles link at the top of the screen
  4. Click the Add New Captions or Transcript button
At the next screen, choose Transcript file, click the Choose File button, and choose the transcription file using the open file dialog. Then click the Upload file button.

At this point, Youtube will say that it is processing the file, and this can take several minutes. I didn't time it, but I think it was processing for about ten minutes for this 11 minute video.

When it was finished, I was surprised to discover that YouTube had taken the transcription and attempted to match it to the video as though it were a caption file.

It wasn't perfect by any means. I'd created my transcription file in Microsoft Word, and it contained ellipses […] and special apostrophe characters [ ’ instead of ' ]. These came up as garbage characters - YouTube only likes plain text - so I replaced all the special characters in the original file, deleted the transcription, and uploaded a second time.

All things considered, YouTube does a pretty good job of distributing the transcription text to the video. And it's not just breaking it up evenly along the length of the movie; clearly it's doing some sort of audio analysis, as it got about 75% of the text almost perfectly matched up. There were, however, three or four sections where it got seriously messed up displaying section of text at the wrong time. Also, the beginning of the clip has music for several seconds and the very first line of text is displayed long before someone starts speaking!

If you want to fix the timing, you can download the transcription from YouTube as an SBV file. You'll find that the transcription now has timecode added. So you can use this as a step in the process of creating a good captions file.
[Chris Loughran] Ben and I were having dinner
at the Border Cafe in Cambridge, and started

talking about lenses, and Ben doesn't really
think there's a big difference between a

hundred dollar lens and a 20,000 lens, so
we're here today to prove him wrong.


If I had the enthusiasm - and the energy - I might edit the timecode and upload the file again, but editing the timecode would still be a lot of additional work, particularly as from this point on, you're doing it all manually.

Even so, I'm really impressed by what YouTube has done, but it only makes me want more. It's a pity that YouTube hasn't provided some kind of online editor that lets you play the video and adjust the timing of the captions as you move through the video and caption file. Perhaps they will have something like that in the future.

Note: if you don't see captions, click the CC button in the control bar.

NotesOnVideo: Adding Captions in YouTube
YouTube Help: Adding and Editing captions / subtitles
WebDev-il: SBV file format for Youtube Subtitles and Captions

Quick Links

Crazy Driving! | Andrew Kramer | Vimeo
A tutorial on shooting car interiors with a green screen, and how to process it in After Effects.

Final Cut Pro X Effects Tutorial: Green Screen / Chroma Key | Dan Allen | YouTube
And a green screen tutorial for those with Final Cut Pro X:
In this HD Voice Tutorial for Apple Final Cut Pro 10 we take a look at the 'Keyer Effect, and learn the logistics of a good chroma key using a bluscreen / blue screen or greenscreen / green screen.

Affordable 300 watt CFL lighting setup | DSLR Film Noob
I saw this referenced on Planet5D; a review of a budget CFL light based system from Cowboystudio 1200 Watt Photography, Video, and Portrait Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit With Four 85 Watt, 5500K Day Light Balanced CFL bulbs. The advantage of these systems is the low power consumption and low heat output of the lights. I've never used this kind of lighting so don't know what the pros and cons of it are vs. other lighting systems.

Fans Give George Lucas $84 Million Worth Of Reasons To Keep Messing With ‘Star Wars’ | IndieWire
I guess he'll keep tinkering...
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the Blu-Ray set, priced at a hefty $140, has become the highest-selling release in the format to date since it hit stores last Friday, selling 515,000 units in the U.S. alone, and taking in $84 million worldwide.

What I learned shooting my first two DSLR video stories | Accent Media
The writer offers some lessons learned in his journey from Sony EX1's to the Nikon D3:
Using a DSLR makes me fully understand how much the optical stabilization on a video camera really works. Without some type of support, DSLRs are damn hard to hold steady. I’ve downsized to a smaller and lighter tripod that works pretty well. I can shorten it up and use it as a brace in a pinch. Monopods, I’ve found, stop the up and down camera movements, but not the side-to-side.

Hands on with the Nikon 1 J1 | Theano Nikitas | Macworld
A fairly favorable preview of the new camera from Nikon - as a still camera - even if many pros have written it off:
Perhaps one of the most interesting, and potentially useful, functions is the ability to take stills while shooting video—without any breaks in the video. The camera’s high-definition video mode maxes out at a 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 60 interlaced fields per second (1080i/60fps), saving the results as MOV files.

Info on Scarlet and Nov. 3rd announcement (condensed) | Jason Ramsey | REDuser
A summation of what's known about the impending announcement from RED, which is coming the same day as an announcement from Canon.

Vincent Laforet also offers some thoughts on the dual announcements, though confirms that he doesn't have any insight to offer on what's coming from Canon.
Will the number “3″ be a significant number? | Vincent Laforet

Former ARRI exec pleads guilty to hacking into rival CEO's e-mail account, faces jail time | Engadget
Michael Bravin, a VP of Market Development at ARRI has pleaded guilty to hacking into the e-mail account of rival camera maker Band Pro Film and Digital.
Guilty Plea Rocks Hollywood Camera Biz | Deadline Hollywood

James Cameron talks 3D at Summit | Rachel Abrams | Variety
Cameron's thoughts on converting 2D to 3D, as well as frame rates to shoot in. He doesn't think 3D is failing:
Like many speakers at the conference, Cameron and Pace pooh-poohed the notion that 3D isn't doing well, arguing that the 3D box office is up 40% year over year for the past four years. In fact, with more 3D pics unspooling than ever before, some exhibs still don't have enough screens equipped to show all the product available.

Confessions of a YouTube superstar | Bobbie Johnson | Gigaom
Charlie McDonnell is doing so well on YouTube, he's not really interested in jumping to television:
“For me, it’s always been hard to justify doing stuff on television. To an outsider it might seem like that’s your big break, but being able to learn about how TV works over the last couple of years, I’ve generally come to the conclusion that I much prefer doing stuff online — it’s freer for me.”

Sony’s S-log For Dummies – Matt Allard explains how it works with his PMW-F3
| Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
Matt explains what S-Log is and how to shoot with it on the Sony PMW-F3:
In a nutshell, S-log is supposed to offer you exceptional tonal reproduction in both the high-lights and low-lights. In other words it can help expose the brightest part of your scene while still keeping the detail in the shadows. We have all shot something when, to expose for the brightest part of a scene, we have had to stop the camera down. This usually means losing all the detail in the shadows. S-log helps you to keep some of that information you would normally lose.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Good Bye, Best Buy - Why I hate the Best Buy website

I wasn't exactly surprised to read an article in Yahoo Finance recently about Best Buy being in financial trouble. The last decade hasn't been the best for electronic retailers; I think the best financial news they've had in the last three years was when competitor Circuit City went out of business.

Let's face it, with Amazon, B & H, and all the other online sources for electronics, why would you bother shopping at Best Buy?

Well for me, I still shop there because I like to actually see things in person and play with them. If you're careful, you can usually do okay price wise, and if you need that hard drive today, driving to Best Buy is still the quickest way to get it.

So I'd be sad to see them go, even though there's a lot I don't like about them; the pushing of third party warranties, their inability to know when things will arrive, and the disconnect between the website and the stores are three of my biggest gripes.

My "issues" with their website are what gave me pause when reading the short article:
Best Buy has had a string of earnings failures, due primarily to its failure to do well online. Best Buy recently said its website would carry items from third-party stores to expand its attraction to shoppers.
Ah, the Best Buy website, oh how I hate you. Let me count the ways:

It's broken
Just this past weekend, the weekly online circular listed the Sony NEX-5N on sale (not at a discount, just on sale.)

But if you clicked on the link to see MORE DETAILS, you got a missing page warning! A search for the NEX-5N on the Best Buy website didn't produce any results either! Does Best Buy currently stock the NEX-5N? Who knows; certainly their website doesn't! [NOTE: Five days later, the website now does list the NEX-5N]

Is It Available Online Or In Store?
If you spend much time on the Best But website, you eventually deduce that while the website lists most items available at Best Buy stores, there are some items that are only available through their website. There are also some items that are only available at specific Best Buy stores.

you also quickly realize that the website does an appalling job of explaining the availability of these items:

This Nikon lens appears to be available online (Add To Cart is enabled) but is "Not Available for Shipping" and yet the link "Check Shipping & Availability" is enabled - Huh?

This Canon lens is "Sold Out Online", but is "Available online or order in store" If you click on the Check Shipping & Availability you get a pop-up saying it's Available online or order in store, but: Shipping is Not available.

Confused yet?

You Can't Order All Online Items In-Store
I discovered when I tried to order a lens at a store, that you can't order something in-store if it's not usually available at that store, i.e. it's only available through their website. Unfortunately, not even all the Best Buy staff have figured that out.

And the stocking of the stores, and the web site, are handled separately too, even for the same item.

Buying Online With Delivery To Store
Last year I ordered a keyboard through the website because it wasn't currently in-stock at the local Best Buy. The website offered the choice of having it delivered to my home, or arrange pick-up at the store. Because it was large, and I didn't want it left on the front doorstep, I decided to pick it up at the store. The website said that delivery should be in 7 to 10 days.

Three weeks later the statues on the order was still "in process", yet the website continued to quote a delivery date of 7 - 10 days for new orders. I was more than a bit puzzled.

After a long call with a very helpful customer service person, it became clear that had I selected home delivery, it would have arrived in 7-10 days from the center that handles those shipments. But because I'd chosen "pick-up at store" it was waiting on the local store to receive the item through the regular stocking process. And they didn't know when that would happen.

We switched the order to home delivery, and the keyboard arrived six days later.

The Stores Don't Know When They Will Get Things
Which reminds me of another thing that has irritated me about Best Buy stores. They don't seem to know what they are going to get, or when they are going to get it. A couple of years ago I was looking to get an Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station, and I stopped by the Best Buy store. They didn't have one in stock - this was on a Monday afternoon - but they said they *might* get them in on Tuesday, as that was the day "the truck arrives." But no one knew what was on the truck, This was puzzling, as surely someone - or an inventory system - must know what was coming in on a truck the next day. After all, the truck was probably already loaded; maybe even on the way!

Am I being picky?
Probably. But when you have places like Amazon that know what they have and where things are - mostly - and are very good about letting you know about problems that happen, Best Buy's online service seems to fail miserably.

Despite all this, I still use Best Buy. If they have something in-stock, and the price is right, I often buy there. But I don't depend on them, and I don't really have warm fuzzy feelings towards them.

Yet I'll still miss them if they're gone.

Yahoo Finance: Companies Where Employees Are Losing Hope

Quick Links

Reaction to Nikon V1: "blah"
Continuing it's tradition of not announcing anything that's very exciting, the new Nikon V1 is getting fairly negative reviews (though admittedly from sites that aren't "Nikon-centric"!)

Nikon versus Micro Four Thirds comparison! | 43Rumors
Before you start bashing on me saying I am a fanboy, well I am NOT! I use cameras from different manufacturers and there are many things I like from the Nikon camera world (D700 and many of their lenses). But I simply cannot fell in love with the today announced Nikon cameras.
Is the NIkon V1 really better than the Sony NEX-5n? (I say no!) | SonyAlphaRumors
Pocket Lint compared the Nikon V1 versus the Sony NEX-5n and comes to the conclusion that the V1 is actually better. I want to hear you’re comments on that. My opinion on that? Some of their points are really weird. But let’s start the discussion to see why Pocket Lint may be right (or wrong).
The Nikon 1 system – will it succeed? | EOSHD
Video – as we know – can be a major selling point but someone needs to tell Nikon that Super 35mm 1080/60p and 24p is where it’s at. Their product managers and people giving feedback clearly did NOT-HAVE-A-CLUE when it came to video. They are asking all the wrong people. Customers don’t want to playback or edit interlaced footage in 2011 when all their displays are progressive, it is a total pain.

Cross-Platform, Multi-NLE, Tape-Less Transcoding Workflow Tips |
Suggestions for file naming, transcoding formats, and project naming:
What I am presenting below is my recommended workflow tips on some specifications, techniques, ideas, tools and processes that aim to find a balance between digital flexibility and robust consistency whilst imposing managerial order over potential chaos. It’s not a comprehensive workflow plan, it doesn’t include ancillary and parallel processes such as sound-mix, colour grade, VFX work and so on - think of it more as a central spine of key principles and tips for video onto which you can bolt other processes you need. It is a paradigm I use myself and know to work well in both problem-solving and problem-avoiding.

Make Your Video Look Like Film in Sony Vegas Pro | BorisFX
A video tutorial on how to make video look like film using BorisFX and Sony Vegas.

Big 5D Mark II Price Drops in Canada & USA | CanonRumors
A rebate on the 5D in the US starting on September 25th? Is this part of the usual sales cycle, response to a sales slump, or an attempt to clear the channel before a new announcement? We shall all speculate...

Canon To Announce New Camera In Hollywood November 3rd, 2011. *Update*
| Wide Open Camera
A couple of updates to the initial rumors about what Canon is announcing:
The body style will be similar to the 4K hairdryer that was shown at Canon Expo in New York last year. It sounds like the LCD will be on top of the camera and not the camera left side.
The "hair-dryer" rumor might by right, given that another rumor says it's like the Sony NEX-FS100, which sort of looks like the "hair-dryer" unit too. I doubt it will be very similar to that unit; they were very clear at the show that it wasa technology demo only, it did not have interchangeable lenses, and I'm pretty sure the sensor wasn't very large even though it was 4K.

LiveLens active lens mount for Canon EF lenses | Redrock Micro
This looks cool:
Redrock Micro's LiveLens Active Lens Mount introduces electronic control to 35mm adapters, giving you the ability to control the aperture of Canon EF lenses on your M2 Encore lens adapter.
Now if they'd just put that on an E-mount or micro-four thirds lens mount!
B & H: Redrock Micro LiveLens Active Lens Mount f/Canon EF Lenses [$495]

Tamron RebatesLexar RebatesSandisk RebatesPrinter RebatesOlympus RebatesNikon Rebates
Canon Rebates
B&H Rebates & Promotions

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quick Links

REVIEW - Blackmagic Design's HyperDeck Shuttle | Adam Garstone | HD Magazine
A short review of the HyperDeck Shuttle which really only covers the functionality and operation of the product without going into day-to-day operation or the quality of the image vs. in camera video. Still, he seems to like it:
...if I were shooting anything with a Sony F3 I would want to record on the Shuttle to do justice to the F3’s fantastic S35 sensor and cine lenses. Plus, at just £195 (excluding VAT) it fits pretty much anyone’s shooting budget.

Covering The Continuing Story In Japan - Six Months After The Tsunami
| Matthew Allard | DSLR News Shooter
Matt talks both about the projects he's shot, as well as the hardware he's used, most notably the Sony PMW-F3, though he also mentions a variety of other gear, including the Blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle!
The stand up was recorded on the Black magic Hyperdeck Shuttle. This records 422 10Bit Uncompressed Quicktime files and requires a super fast SSD drive to capture at a bit rate of more than 1000Mb/s! A 250GB drive will last you 25 minutes! The level of detail and the cleanness of the image is remarkable. It is not something you would use all the time as the file sizes it generates are enormous. I’ll review it further at a later date.

November 3rd RED Announces Changes to Scarlet & Shipping | Cinescopophilia
RED keeps saying they aren't going to pre-announce things, and then they do. But now it appears they will announce Scarlet on November 3rd, maybe. They have confirmed it will ship by the end of the year.

Nikon unveils V1 and J1 mirrorless cameras: 10.1MP CMOS, 1080p video, ships in October for $650+ (video) | Engadget
This look rather retro, but Nikon announces a mirrorless camera of it's own.
Nikon: Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens Nikon 1 J1 / V1
EOSHD: Nikon V1 and J1 specs – Nikon 1 system officially launched

Technicolor CineStyle profile for Canon DSLR | Joshua Papp | John Barry Blog
A look at this picture style, and how to use it:
Once installed, the camera’s picture style should be set to 0 for sharpness, -4 for Contrast, -2 for Saturation and 0 for Colour Tone. And when shooting video, you should set the ASA setting to multiples of 160, such as 160ASA, 320ASA, 640ASA, etc. You will get better shooting results, say between 320ASA and 300ASA, since the sensor’s native sensitivity is 160ASA.

Genus PV Compact Matte Box | Den Lennie | Vimeo
Den Lennie of F-Stop Academy has produced three videos for Genus on their products: the Genus Uniplate, The Genus PV Compact Box [above] and the Swingaway Bracket for the Matte Box.

Intel’s Ivy Bridge integrated graphics to support luscious 4K resolutions | VentureBeat
Intel’s current Sandy Bridge graphics chipset only supports 2,560 by 1600, but Ivy Bridge will support 4096 by 2304 pixels or more. Just in time for that Canon camera (if it exists)

Snapseed: Free 9/20-9/23
Now anyone can enhance, transform, and share their photos with ease using incredibly advanced features from the leader in digital photography software!

Final Cut Pro X News

Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors [PDF] | White Paper | Apple
An Apple White Paper for Final Cut Pro 7 editors who still can't work out Final Cut Pro X. It's a pity they didn't release this when the program first came out!
Final Cut Pro X is a revolutionary editing application that includes many new concepts and features that are different from those in previous versions of Final Cut Pro. This document—structured according to the major parts of an editing workflow—uses the Final Cut Pro 7 application for comparison to discuss how to complete important tasks in Final Cut Pro X.

Apple releases updates for Compressor, Motion | MacWorld
The Final Cut Pro X update yesterday got all the headlines, but Apple also updated Compressor and Motion, mostly with bug fixes, though Motion adds support for dual displays.

ProApps QuickTime Codecs | Apple
A link to download new Codecs for QuickTime applications:
This update adds the following video codecs for use by QuickTime-based applications:
  • Apple Intermediate Codec
  • Apple ProRes
  • AVC-Intra
  • HDV
  • XDCAM HD / EX / HD422
  • Uncompressed 4:2:2
This update is recommended for all users of Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, or Compressor 4.

What’s new in Final Cut Pro? |
You can read the help document for the new release online here (as well as the entire help for the application.)

Full Details: Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X | Larry Jordan | Larry's Blog
Larry got to talk to Apple about the update, where they told him several things, including:
As our meeting began, I asked what were the key points Apple wanted to convey with this upgrade. The answers were instantaneous:

1. Apple is committed to the professional user.
2. Apple is listening to user feedback and adding major new features far faster than they could do in the past.
His post goes into the new features in some depth, and there's some interesting tips, especially about the GPU acceleration for compression:
(An interesting sidenote: Given the technical specs of the H.264 codec, exporting directly to H.264 will be MUCH faster if you use single-pass than multiple-pass. Apple suggested using single-pass unless you can see a difference in image quality, at which point compress as multi-pass.)

Why are roles superior to tracks? | Philip Hodgetts | Blog
Philip takes a look at the new features, focusing on the new capability of Roles:
in the new release, not only can you use Roles in a Project to enable or disable clips assigned that Role, but selecting a Role highlights all Clips in the Project that have that Role assigned (either Audio or Video).

Kicking the tires on the Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 update | Scott Simmons | The Editblog on PVC
Scott looks at this update, what it might mean for the future of FCPX, and some of the individual features:
XML is the most important thing here as that’s finally going to allow FCPX to no longer be an island unto itself. The very mention of DaVinci Resolve (and Autodesk Smoke) means FCPX should soon be able to play nice with some of those other tools the “pros” have to use. It should be noted that this is an entirely new XML flavor so don’t expect to export an XML out of Final Cut Pro 7 and import that into FCPX. It won’t work and several people tweeted just that today.

Final Cut Pro X Update 10.0.01 Released | Turner | the FCPeffects blog
Pretty much sums it up:
Personally, I know a lot of editors are extremely relieved to learn that Apple is still committed to the professional market and that they're still taking the development of the Final Cut Pro brand seriously.

Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4: Custom/duplicate Compressor settings may not be preserved | Apple Support
A tech update from Apple:
Custom settings or duplicates of existing settings created in Compressor may not be preserved. This can occur if right after using Share > Send to Compressor from Final Cut Pro X or Motion 5, you create the settings, quit Compressor, and then quit the app that sent the project to Compressor (Final Cut Pro X or Motion 5).

App store:
Final Cut Pro - Apple® $299
Motion - Apple® $49.99
Compressor - Apple®$49.99

Handle and Clamps for the Sony NEX-FS100

Caleb Crosby has put together a Top Handle and Clamp for the NEX-FS100:
It's a real wood grip. Hand picked black walnut from the local hard wood shop in Portland Maine. These are hand finished and fastened underneath so they are user adjustable. They have brass press fit counter sinks so they will last. Hand rubbed with two coats of tung oil finishing- it's made right. Not slippery, not shiny- just really nice.
  1. 360 rotation
  2. All aluminum construction
  3. True 15mm (.589 OD) diameter rods
  4. 3 point precision attachment to camera
  5. Adjustable black walnut grip
  6. All production units are black anodized.
  7. Made in USA.
Our 15mm low profile Stub clamps open up options for DIY rigging. Here is my cam showing a monitor set up that is firmly set but adjustable on 2 axis to the touch instantly for reflection control and for changing op positions quickly.. The Mic receiver is tilted where I want it and I used Sony's provided mic holder sistered into the same clamp as the 5" rod holding monitor.
Price: $245.00 USD | Introductory price $225.00
The clamps will be $40 USD for 1/4" and 3/8" female tap. $45 for 1/4 and 3/8 male stud with knurled disc.

Caleb Crosby, soc

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Midday Update

Final Cut Pro X Version 10.0.1 | Apple
Apple has released the 10.0.1 update to Final Cut Pro X which adds: Rich XML Support, Projects and Events on Xsan, Custom Starting Timecode, One-step Transitions on Connected Clips, GPU-accelerated export, a Camera Import SDK and Media Stems Export.
The update is 1.4 GB!

They have also released a 30-day trial version, and are promising for "early 2012" Multicam Editing and Broadcast-Quality Video Monitoring.
App Store: Final Cut Pro - Apple® $299

Review - Canon XA10 Camcorder | Phil Coates | HD Magazine
Phil used Canon's tiny semi-pro camcorder, the XA10, to shoot a documentary in the arctic, and was impressed:
Well not only did the XA10 work in one of the most hostile environments on earth, I frankly would not have been able to complete the film without it. I was gobsmacked that basically what ever abuse I threw at the XA10 the camera just kept on working and that included freezing the thing almost solid and then warming it up over an expedition petrol stove and in the process melting the microphone mount!
Note: Amazon today is selling the consumer version, the HF G10, for $1,329, down from $1,499. Canon VIXIA HF G10 Full HD Camcorder. The HF G10 has almost identical functions/performance, but lacks the add-on handle that provides two XLR audio inputs

EOSHD DSLR Video Camera Ratings : Sheet1 | EOSHD
Andrew Reid of EOSHD is working on a comparison of the Panasonic GH2, Sony NEX-5N, Canon 60D, Canon 7D and 5D Mark II, and has posted on Google-docs his current chart. The GH2 is ahead on points!

Automated Video Editing Site Makes Movie Magic Out of Raw Footage | Mashable
Magisto is a website/service that will edit together your videos automatically, though:
Magisto is not for the artistically-inclined, obsess-over-every-detail video editor. It’s for average Joes and Janes who don’t have the time or interest to bother with learning or using complicated editing software.
If that doesn't appeal, how about Stroome, a free online video editing tool which allows you to collaborate with others:
Tool of the week for journalists – Collaborative video editing platform Stroome |

Videobloggers make millions through online content
| Matt Danzico and Ellie Stanton | BBC
Videoblogging is the place to make money, maybe:
The amount advertisers pay varies with the popularity and quality of the videos, with creators receiving as much as $20 (£12.70) per thousand views.

Nikon announcement - I Am Coming

Who at Nikon thought this was a good title for a campaign?

Nikon will announcement something tomorrow. Mirrorless camera? Video camera? Another DSLR?...

Quick Links

A quick look at the Sony NEX5N. The good and the bad | Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip has posted a more detailed article about the Sony NEX-5N, noting the click problem, but generally liking the camera, and it's optional OLED viewfinder:
One feature that is not standard but is a must-buy accessory is the OLED EVF. It has 2.4 million dots and is simply the clearest, sharpest viewfinder I have ever seen, and it has red peaking! It pivots too which is nice. What is not so nice is it will set you back up to $400 which makes the NEX5-N much pricier.
Philip posted yesterday on Twitter:
just figured out the clicking of the NEX5N seems there was a blue m&m inside it when I opened it up.well i never :)

Possible Specs For New Canon Video Camera? | HD Magazine
Another rumor about the upcoming announcement from Canon. It follows other rumors about there being two cameras (EF and PL mount) but says that he thinks they are more closely competing with the FS100/AF100:
Don't tell anyone but I have seen specs and pics of the new cameras and I'd say they are more closely competing with the FS100/AF100 cameras, but will give the F3 a very good run for the money.
That's an interesting twist, because I was guessing the camera would be over $10,000. Maybe it'll be around $6,000...

Technicolor Cinestyle Profile | Artwerk Media | Vimeo
Attempting to match the image form the NEX-FS100 with those coming from the Canon 5D Mark II using the Technicolor Picture Style, and not happy with other solutions, Artwerk Media offers their own image settings for the NEX-FS100:
Please note: keep an eye on your histograms cause the FS100 often oeverexposes and it is so light sensitive that it can blow out more than the 5D. But if you are carefull, the footage can mix well.*

Blackmagic Design Announces New Low Price for HDMI and Analog Mini Converter Models | Blackmagic
Blackmagic Design has announced a new lower price on 8 of its popular Mini Converters. The Mini Converter SDI to HDMI, Mini Converter HDMI to SDI, Mini Converter SDI to Analog and Mini Converter Analog to SDI models will be reduced to US$295. The Heavy Duty models of these 4 Mini Converters, featuring ultra tough machined aluminum design will be lowered to US$395. These models are all shipping now.

Using Kickstarter to finance your movie | Jared Abrams | MasteringFilm
A look at a Kickstarter campaign currently in process from the inside.
We chose Kickstarter over options like IndieGoGo and Rocket Hub simply because it is an all or nothing situation. At Kickstarter, if you don’t meet your fundraising goal, you get nothing. Because of this, we felt that it was worth it to take the risk of not getting funded over trying to make a film with insufficient funds. It feels more challenging to have a successful kickstarter campaign and comes with a higher reward.

Lunch With Michael Moore | Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson | Slate
Even if you don't care for Moore's films or politics, the last section of this article is an interesting treatise on what a documentary is:
Throughout the history of the documentary there have been two opposing camps. There are those, such as Moore, who believe that you take fragments of recorded facts and use them to construct a higher truth. The other camp believes documentary makers should record reality and be a mirror to society. To understand who is more "real" in this battle for reality, you have to examine the past.

Sony SR-R1 Portable Recorder Pricing | Sony
Sony announced the SR-R1 digital recorder at the beginning of the year, but they've only just posted prices on their website. It's $15,037.59 U.S. List Price. For that you get:
Dual-link HD-SDI/3G-SDI is supported to provide stunning recording capabilities including 1080 50p/59.94p and RGB 4:4:4 recording. This system also offers a dual-stream recording capability which is useful for 3D stereoscopic image capturing. SR-Lite (220-Mbps) and SR-SQ (440-Mbps) are supported as standard; SR-HQ (880-Mbps) and uncompressed recording are supported as options.
Sony SR-R1 Memory Recorder
More information on the SR-R1 can also be found in the PMW-F3 information page. Sony | PMW-F3

New Noktor HyperPrime 23mm f/1.7 lens coming soon? | Sony Alpha Rumors
SonyAlphaRumors reports on a $499 E-mount Noktor 23mm f/1.7 lens coming in December. The design is reportedly based on a cinema lens and has 12 aperture blades.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Sony NEX-FS100 and HXR-FMU128 128 GB Flash Memory $500 Rebate

Back when Sony first shipped the HXR-NX5U camcorder, they also offered a promotion on the HXR-FMU128 Flash Memory Unit, and now they are doing it again for the NEX-FS100.  Frankly, at the current retail price of $669.95 the HXR-FMU128 is not a very good deal; better to save the money and buy a Atomos Ninja or an AJA Ki Pro Mini, but at $169.95 it might be worth getting.
Note: the HXR-FMU128 doesn't improve the quality of your video recording - the camera only records AVCHD on the unit - it simply increases the length of recording time.

Rebate info linked from B & H Page: Sony 500 rebate

Quick Links

Sony NEX5 Ticking | Philip Bloom | Vimeo
Last week Engadget reported a clicking noise on the Sony NEX-5N. This does appear to be a real issue; a search on YouTube turns up multiple examples of the noise, and now Philip Bloom has posted a video exhibiting the problem.

NEX-7 First Impressions | Luminous Landscapes
Perhaps the NEX-7 won't have the clicking problem; though the "fix" comes at a premium price! Here's a preview of the camera:
With the addition of two programmable control dials that fall perfectly under ones thumb, a soft button under ones index finger, and a wide range of programmability for the rear panel control wheel, the NEX-7's user interface moves up (compared to the original NEX-3 and NEX-5) to a very high level of functionality. Indeed it challenges virtually every other small camera on the market when it comes to the ability for the photographer to get the camera operating in a smooth and intuitive manner.

FCPX Bug? Best Practices for Using External Hard Drives with Final Cut Pro X | Danny Greer |
"Many FCPX users are experiencing troubles when attempting to use external hard drives in Final Cut Pro X. Apple’s Time Machine backups may be the cause of this problem."

Canon DSLRs: some of the best picture profiles out there
| Preston Kanak
The new "cinema" picture profile for Canon DSLRS inspires this look at other options:
With the introduction of the new Cinema Picture Profile, I wanted to do a quick post on MY favorite picture styles as well as how to use/install them. Picture Profiles/Styles (PP) are meant to optimize the dynamic range in the image. One of the hardest parts about them though is picking the right one for the right job. I find that it all depends on shooting conditions and final output.

Stripped-Down Blu-rays Selling Blu-ray Are Making Me Hate Blu-ray
| Stu Maschwitz | Prolost
Last week Stu wrote a blog complaining about stripped-down Blu-rays he was getting from Netflix:
I get it. These minimized disks are pressed specifically for the rental market. I’m supposed to buy the “real” Blu-ray to see the good stuff. I actually do buy tons of Blu-rays—usually after renting them and experiencing how great all the special features are (Universal, ironically a late adopter of Blu-ray having supported HDDVD, doesn’t do the bare-bones thing). Looking back at my Amazon buying habits, turns out I buy a lot fewer movies these days—with “these days” corresponding precisely to the advent of these stripped-down “rental only” disks.

An Explanation and Some Reflections | Netflix blog
Meanwhile, over at Netflix, lots of people were unhappy when Netflix changed their streaming/DVD rental plans [really?! who doesn't love an increase in prices?! -Ed] So here's a mea culpa from Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix AND, a split into two services:
Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to to access their DVD queues and choose movies.
This has a lot of people puzzled, as it appears this will just make the service more complicated to use.

Anatomy of a Scene: Drive | The New York Times
Meanwhile, you can get some of the DVD director narration without buying the DVD; a three minute segment of Drive narrated by director Nicolas Winding Refn. Interesting that he says LA was actually looking nicer than he had wanted it to look!

Hands-on with the PIX 240 | Andy Shipsides | CineTechnica
The Sound Devices PIX 240 Video Recorder costs $2,749, and provides QuickTime or DNxHD recording for video cameras with HDMI and HD-SDI inputs. A built-in LCD has a 800x400 resolution. AbelCine offers a short overview.

In the Spotlight: Jill Bilcock | DigitalContentProducer
An interview with editor Jill Bilcock, who uses the Lightwave editor.
The first time I used Lightworks was in 1994, when I was working on the romantic comedy I.Q. in New Jersey. Coming straight from cutting film to non-linear editing ­ the Lightworks system was designed specifically for this transition. It has a speed controller that was like a KEM or a Steenbeck. I was able to feel in control, as Lightworks complemented the thought processes I was used to before non-linear editing, when I was cutting film. Lightworks is a film program, which just happens to be run by a computer. It's not like other systems [such as] computers adapted to edit film.

iPad Goes to Hollywood | Tom Kaneshige | NetworkWorld
A general article about the adoption of the iPad that also mentions Sample Digital's dax|Mobile application for the iPad for streaming media :
"The industry has been moving from a physical media to a digital media, in terms of workflow," says Sample Digital CEO Patrick Macdonald-King. "The iPad's screen is big enough for people to actually digest media properly and be able to make creative decisions, see stuff on the fly. They have all the tools of a desktop application without the anchor of being at their desk."

Boston SuperMeet tickets now on sale

The 2011 Boston SuperMeet will be held October 27th, at the Stuart Street Playhouse, Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart Street Boston MA 02116 and will feature Oscar & BAFTA Award-Winning Editor Walter Murch.

Registration is now open: SuperMeet Early bird tickets are $11.24 through October 4th ($8.17 for Students/Teachers)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Documentary and the IRS

Back in June we first heard about a case where a US Tax Court Judge, Diane Kroupa, had suggested that documentaries mainly serve to educate rather than to make money. If this became a rule, expenses would no longer be tax-deductable, making any documentary maker subject to much higher taxes. NotesOnVideo: The Goal of this Blog is NOT to Educate

Not a whole lot has been heard about the case since then, but there have been some additional articles published:

FilmMaker | Why Filmmaking Cannot Be A Hobby
Documentary filmmakers have become especially vulnerable to the perception that they are engaged in a hobby rather than an activity for profit. Because development takes so long and revenue sources are so difficult to sustain, filmmakers often endure losses over many years. They persevere because they become so passionate about their subject matter and the need to spread their message to the world that generating a profit may not seem primary.

filmfwd | Filmmaking: The Hobby (Again)
My original point in “At Least Hobbies Are Fun” was that most filmmakers probably make little or no money from their films, and that certainly films very rarely “make money” in the traditional concept of cost vs. return. There are an elite number of filmmakers who make money by being paid and an even more precious few who could say their independently financed film earned more on net than it cost to make.

Dare Dreamer Magazine | Is Your Business Really a Business, or a Hobby?
The IRS sees your business as one of 2 things: a business trying to make an earnest profit, or a hobby. And, the onus is on you to prove beyond a doubt that you are operating as one or the other. This is just one of many issues that the IRS has been coming down on small business owners and private individuals in recent years.

Huffington Post | Is Your Documentary Film a Hobby? A Judge Thinks So
The top 100 documentaries produced over the last few year all made over $1 million. Yet, if the IRS accepts a judge's ruling in an Arizona tax case, documentaries would be classified as a "hobby" and therefore treated as a not-for-profit venture, meaning you would not be able to deduct the expenses you incurred making the film, and even might be liable for back taxes on past documentary projects.

TEXPO 2011, October 18, @ Rule Boston Camera

I went to last years TEXPO, and if you're in the Boston area it's definitely worth attending. It's a small show, but they had about fifteen tables set up with local reps from a variety of video tech companies.

Tech 2011, Rule Boston Camera's 2nd annual technology showcase, will feature the latest production and post-production news, products and technology from leading vendors such as Anton Bauer, Avid, Convergence Design, Panasonic, Sony, Ross Video, Sennheiser and many more.

Tuesday October 18th

Rule Boston Camera
395 Western Avenue Entrance
Brighton MA 02135