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Camera Tripods By David Hague We are often asked when a tripod should be used, and the generic answer is "whenever you have one with you". Unless you purposely want that jerky, jumpy video look that was a trademark of some TV shows for a period, there is nothing worse than a video that is not rock steady. There is a reason that TV camera operators routinely use them no matter the circumstances. Trust me, you wouldn't lug one of those dirty big TV camera tripods around everywhere with you by choice! But not all tripods are created equal. The one you can buy for $15 in Big W has nothing in common with any of the tripods you'll see in this story other than it has three legs and a screw to mount a camera! ...Read More »
Forget Using Smartphone Cams! By David Hague Lately, users have shied away from using lower priced camcorders in favor of shooting video with their smartphones and this is a bit sad in my opinion. The quality of footage from a phone can never replicate that of even the least expensive of genuine camcorders due to a number of factors, not the least being the lens. The physical design is also a factor; camcorders are built the way they are for a reason, primarily the ergonomics with everything at your fingertips. And of course, the camcorder is always the right way up, shooting proper 16:9 high definition footage (PROPER high def) in landscape mode and not portrait as smartphones do. So which are the best low cost camcorders on the market? With a budget of $500, we wondered just what you could get... ...Read More »
The JVC GC-PX100 Camcorder By David Hague Every once in a while, a piece of equipment comes out from a vendor that grabs you by the throat and gives you a shake as it yells, "Look at me!". The new JVC GC-PX100 is such a beast. In terms of camcorders, the GC-PX100 is quite different; the shape is different, access to controls is different and even some functionality is different. ...Read More »
The Panasonic AG-HPX255 Camera and BT-LH1850 Monitor By Jeremiah Hall The AG-HPX255 is a hand-held 1/3 2.2 megapixel 3-MOS camera. It uses P2 cards. It records full 1920x1080, 10-bit 4:2:2. It is also capable of being used in a studio environment, thanks to a remote terminal compatible with Panasonic's AG-EC4 Paint Box remote control. Not bad for a camera that lists at $6,995.00. The BT-LH1850 is 18.5" monitor. It has a resolution of 1366 x 768. It's big enough for multiple people to look at, while being small enough to carry around to shoots. It has a built-in vectorscope, as well as a waveform monitor for RGB signals. ...Read More »
The Panasonic HC-V520M Camcorder By David Hague If you are into sports video, you know that it almost a given that you need a decent zoom to get the action (and it goes without saying, a tripod as well). In still photography terms, my experiences in motor sport suggest a 200mm is the minimum and probably a 400mm the optimal. Of course you need to allow factors such as low light and depth of field to get the best of them. Panasonic has obviously realized this in terms of the video world and released the HC-V520M, a single CMOS hi-def camcorder that will sit easily in the palm of your hand, but sports a genuine 50x optical zoom and an "intelligent" 80x ...Read More »
Artbeats Starfields 2 HD By Stephen Schleicher If you are going to do any kind of sci-fi related project, chances are you are going to have at least one shot that shows off the vastness of space. For those on a budget, spending the time rendering a high resolution space scene may be out of reach. Fortunately, Artbeats returns to outer space with a whole new collection of clips that you can use. ...Read More »
The Canon HF G25 Camcorder By David Hague And still they keep coming. Today we received a new Canon HF G25 for testing, and true to recent form for most of the latest camcorder releases, the features and functions are truly staggering. This camera is designed to be fully automatic or as manual as you like. Things such as Auto Gain can be adjusted as can focus preset and a manual focus assist. Zebra patterning is there as are white balance presets for daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten and by colour temperature. ...Read More »
The Sony PMW-200 Camcorder By David Hague The power of a motor vehicle is usually measured in kilowatts (although still more easily identified by most in the "old currency" of brake horse power). Sadly this is not always an accurate measure of grunt as other factors should also be brought into the equation such as power-to-weight ratios and so on. Similarly, most non-professionals (and advertising blurb and salespeople) tend to measure how good a camcorder is by its zoom factor, number of megapixels or even its internal storage capacity. While all of these are a small part in the total power factor they are by no means anywhere near the be-all and end-all. ...Read More »
ArtRage 4.0 By Ko Maruyama In time for use with your brand new Wacom tablet, Ambient Design offers a new version of their ArtRage software. Version 4.0 is packed with a ton of new tools that will help you work better, easier, and give you the ability to extend your creative works for an affordable price. You may also be using ArtRage 3 on both devices (iPad and computer), but if you haven't you might not know about the ability to move between iPad to desktop version and out to other software (like Photoshop's .psd format). ...Read More »
EYES IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD..... By Douglas Spotted Eagle With the new Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon, syncrhonized video with two channels/angles in a single stream is quick and easy. This camera is unique in that it features dual lenses, shooting two views to a single stream that may be displayed either side by side or over/under. This allows not only for POV, but reactions to the POV. The large button allows even the most thick mitten or glove to turn on/off the camera. Powering up the camera also starts record mode. ...Read More »
BENQ GW2450 By David Hague In the video world monitors are probably more critical than any everyday old computer monitor is. Serious photographers who play with Photoshop will know what I mean. Calibration is everything. Which leads me neatly to the BENQ GW2450 which landed on my desk today. ...Read More »
AKITIO ENCLOSURE By Ko Maruyama The Akitio Neutrino U3+ enclosure is for everyone, and more specifically for some than others. Like many other enclosures of its kind, it supports a nice array of connection standards. The function is what you'd expect from an external hard drive enclosure. The Neutrino U3+ has the added benefit of being designed beautifully, and fits as a companion to your other Mac hardware. ...Read More »
My first impressions of the new Canon C300 are simply - wow! By David Hague The product manager at Canon for Pro video gear, Charles Montesin has sent us a unit to play with, with a 70~300mm EF lens stapled to the front. And this weekend is the Blues Festival in Echuca. A fantastic subject to test it with! ...Read More »
The Panasonic AC160 By Heath McKnight The Panasonic AC160 really surprised me, and not because I wasn't expecting such high quality -- I was -- but because for the price point (between $4100 and $4799), I was sort of expecting a small camera, like the Sony NX5U or some of the smaller Canons. This is a larger, but not heavy, handheld camera that's about the same size as the Panasonic HPX250. Images are crisp in full HD 1080p, the controls are simple to use and it does well in low light with its 1/3-inch 3-MOS sensors, and you easily can customize looks. The multiple frame rate and recording options are also superb, helping make this a quality camera for shooters involved with film, run-and-gun video, documentaries and more. ...Read More »
Twixtor: 30p to 24p in After Effects By Jeremiah Hall Twixtor, from Re:Vision Effects, Inc., has been around for a while. It works with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro (X and 7), Autodesk combustion, flame, Maya Composite, Avid, Foundry Nuke, Sony Vegas Pro, and several others. It changes speed, timing, and frame rates of footage (frame rate conversion is currently only available with After Effects or Combustion). Twixtor does this by warping and interpolating new frames from the original footage using RE:Vision's proprietary tracking technology to calculate every individual pixel's motion in a sequence. ...Read More »
Tamron 18~200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC E-Mount Lens By David Hague The NEX 7 I have not seen before, but apart from one and a half little niggles, I am in love with this little beastie; it takes fantastic shots. And the niggle and a bit? The viewfinder as it brings up my left eye dominant issue is the big one. The half is as it has an auto LCD to viewfinder switch when you look through the viewfinder, if you wear glasses, sometimes it does 'sense' you unless you press hard against the rubber cup and this tends to smear your specs. ...Read More »
PluralEyes - Sound Synching Software from Singular Software By David Hague Singular Software has a range of sound synching software available. PluralEyes is the flagship. It works specifically with particular nominated software so you must obtain the one that suits your software. PluralEyes will only play with Green Valley Edius, Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Apple's Final Cut Pro and Avid's Media composer. For each of these editing program, Singular Software provides a specific set in instructions which, at first to me at least, sounded a bit arcane, but in fact turned out to be easy to follow. The end result is an additional sequence inserted into to your project with the sounds all lined up. ...Read More »
NAB Professional Gear: Wacom By Ko Maruyama For years, Wacom tablets have dominated the professional market; their name synonymous with responsive, accurate results. The new Intuos5 tablet heralds a new definition for what tablets can be. Not only is this pressure sensitive for your designer needs, but it also boasts a touch capability. Now more than ever, you'll find yourself with your Wacom all day long. ...Read More »
The Azden WLX-Pro Radio Microphone By David Hague Viewers will put up with the occasional skippy frame, shaky image or even the odd out of focus, but lousy or stuttery or out of sync audio will never be tolerated and people will turn off. So to fix audio problems, the first thing to do is make sure you are using the right mic for the job, and for interviews, this generally means using a radio transmitter receiver and lapel (also called lavaliere) mic. ...Read More »
The RØDE NTG-3 External Microphone By David Hague It appears there is no set standard for microphone diameters so in the case of the Panasonic AG-HMC41E (the others are a Canon XA10 and Sony NFX5) for example, when the NTG-3 is placed in the external mic holder it rattles around - not enough to simply slide through, but enough to be a worry. ...Read More »
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