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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some deals on Camcorders

There's some good rebates on different consumer camcorders that are running (some are up today!) The Canon HF21 and the Sony HDR-CX500V seem like particularly good deals. Note: if you're looking at the Canon's I'd recommend the HF21 over the R10 and R100.

I've listed B & H and Amazon prices, which in all but two cases are the same. Note that Amazon no longer directly sells some of the models.

Canon VIXIA HF R10 Flash Memory Camcorder (Black)
[$100 off until 6/12, $439] $439 at Amazon
 - Rates 3/5 stars. (7 reviews) Though it's HD, one reviewer says it: captures in 1664 x 936, then upconverts it to a 1920 x 1080

Canon VIXIA HF R100 Flash Memory Camcorder
[$100 off until 6/12. $399] $399 at Amazon
 - Rates 3/5 stars. (9 reviews) Though it's HD, users complain it's noisy in low light

Canon VIXIA HF S200 Flash Memory Camcorder
[$100 off until 6/12. $887.39] $887.39 at Amazon
Rates 5/5 stars (only 7 reviews)

** Canon VIXIA HF21 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder
[$200 until 6/30. $699.00]
Rates 4.5/5 stars (only 3 reviews)

JVC GZ-HM1 Everio HD Flash Memory Camera
[$200 off until 6/19. $899] $899 at Amazon
Rates 5/5 stars (only 4 reviews)

Panasonic HDC-HS250 120GB Full HD Camcorder
[$400 off until 6/30. $499]
Rates 4/5 stars. (22 reviews) Battery charging a little problematic.

Sony HDR-CX110 HD Handycam Camcorder (Black)
[$70 off until 6/19. $429] $429 at Amazon
Rates 4/5 stars. (17 reviews)

Sony HDR-CX150 16GB HD Handycam Camcorder (Black)
[$70 off until 6/19. $479] $479 at Amazon
Rates 4.5/5 stars. (18 reviews)

Sony HDR-CX350V 32GB HD Handycam Camcorder
[$100 off until 6/19. $799] $749 at Amazon
Rates 4.5/5 stars (9 reviews) 

** Sony HDR-CX500V 32GB High Definition Flash Memory Handycam Camcorder
[$350 off until 6/30. $747] $949 at Amazon
Rates 4.5/5 stars. (31 reviews)

Sony HDR-XR200V 120GB High Definition Handycam Camcorder
[$370 off until 6/30. $559]
Rates 4/5 stars (10 reviews) 

Sony MHS-PM5 bloggie Camera Kit (Pink)
[$40 off until 6/19. $139]
Rates 3.5/5 stars (19 reviews)
I couldn't recommend this camera, though it's 360 degree capture is intriguing (but terrible!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Low-Budget Feature Filmmaking Seminar - NY June 19

Writer/Director Michael Goi with guest speakers producer Mark Gragnani, lead actress Amber Perkins and Marc Klaas. Michael will talk about how to accomplish a feature film within limited budget, how to shoot from the POV of the various mobile, computer and web-based cameras and how he wrote the script entirely based on real occurrences, and what aesthetic choices to be made for a film that raises awareness. Also includes pre-release screening of "Megan is Missing." Cost: $25 ($10 off with Student ID)

Saturday, June 19, 2010, 6:00 to 9:30 pm
French Institute Alliance Fran├žaise
Florence Gould Hall Theater
55 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022

StudentFilmmakers.com: Low-Budget Feature Filmmaking Seminar and Benefit Screening with Michael Goi, ASC



PHYX Cleaner - smooth footage in Final Cut and After Effects

The PHYX Cleaner plug-in can rebuild pixelated chroma (color) channels, restore lost information in gradients, convert fields into progressive comb-free frames, buff-out skin blemishes, and remove high and low frequency jagged noise.

Features:
  • Chroma Reconstructor: Rebuilds pixelated chroma (color) channels, repairs blocky colors, and removes unwanted sub-sampling artifacts.
  • Deband: Restores lost information in gradients, and increases effective color depth up to 32-bits per color.
  • Deinterlace: Converts fields into progressive frames free of comb-like artifacts using field reconstruction and Optical Flow.
  • Digital Make Up Kit: Smooth skin blemishes in post-production.
  • Fast Noise Reduction: Spatial noise reduction engine that removes high and low frequency noise (fine and large noise) from images.
PHYX Cleaner runs within the FxFactory platform and is available for $199 USD via the Noise Industries website (http://www.noiseindustries.com). A trial version is now included with the standard FxFactory installer.


LINKS
Noise Industries: Home Page
PHYX Inc: Home Page

Everything will be okay - if you just wait

Was it just yesterday that I was reacting to the negative message of the book "The Shallows" (subtitled; What the Internet if Doing to our Brain) by proposing to change to the way I link to things in articles?

Because just this morning on NPR I heard an interview with author Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus, which "forecasts the thrilling changes we will all enjoy as new digital technology puts our untapped resources of talent and goodwill to use at last." It seems that we used to watch Television and accomplish nothing,  but now we're all on the Internet blogging about watching television, and that's much more productive!  Or something like that; I admit I wasn't paying close attention.

So it looks like everything's okay.


...I still plan to put the links at the end of the articles...at least for the moment.


LINKS
NotesOnVideo: Do Internet Makes Us Dumb?
Amazon.com: Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Ageby Clay Shirky
NPR: What Happens When People Migrate To The Internet?
Amazon.com: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brainsby Nicholas Carr

Crowdfunding

DocumentaryTech has an interview with Boston resident Nathaniel Hansen about his latest project and using Kickstarter.com - the crowdfunding website - to raise money.
“Documentary can’t just be the traditional release method, where you do the project, release to a festival, and maybe get theatrical or DVD. I think these days, to create a better audience, you need to engage them throughout the process.”
DocumentaryTech: On the road to make a successfully crowdfunded film, and lessons learned so far
Kickstarter.com: Home Page

Createasphere: Creative Finishing with Autodesk Smoke for Mac OS X

Free webcast June 15th, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM EDT

Join Autodesk Certified Instructor Barry Goch as he takes you through a project from start to finish using the creative finishing tools found in Autodesk Smoke for Mac OS® X.

Discover powerful finishing tools and learn how to take your project to the next level using features such as the paint module, 3D text effects, and Action, the 3D compositing environment in Smoke.

Barry Goch is an experienced studio level Online Editor and Finishing Artist as well as an Autodesk Smoke Certified Instructor.

Createasphere: Creative Finishing with Autodesk Smoke for Mac OS X

News from Here & There

Western Digital WD TV Live Plus
Western Digital just announced a new version of the WD TV Live Plus. The "big" addition is that it has added NetFlix support, and unfortunately it still doesn't use WiFi.
WD: WD TV Live Plus



Digital Convergence Episode 19 - Rodney Charters, ASC
Rodney Charters is the DP behind the popular Award winning Fox series "24" starring Kiefer Sutherland. In this episode of the Digital Convergence podcast, Rodney opens up with his insider take on film education, 3D technology, DSLR video, and the business of the film industry and episodic television.
16x9 Cinema: Episode 19



Canon Filmmakers Live
I don't really know who Canon Filmmakers is, but they've organized Canon Filmmakers Live for Sunday July 11, 2010, 10AM - 5PM in Philadelphia. Speakers/Presenters include Philip Bloom, Dave Williams, John Hyland and others. Cost is $95.
Canon Filmmakers Live



CineFringe 2010
Is looking for short films from across the globe to be screened as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s first dedicated Film Fest in August! Deadline is July 26th.
CineFringe: Website



More Timelapse
Dustin Kukuk has put together a really impressive collection of timelapse videos shot during his spring internship using the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and 7D with Canon L series 14mm, 16-35mm, 24mm, 24-105mm, and 70-200mm lenses.
Vimeo: "The Western World" 2010 Spring Showreel / Canon EOS 1D Mark IV & 7D



Sony & 3D
Sony has announced seven new 3D TVs, ranging from a $2,100 40 inch model to a $5,000 60 inch model. It's also now selling 3D games for PlayStation.
MacWorld: Sony launches 3D TVs, games



Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer V5
Matrox MXO2 Mini is now available for Avid Media Composer V5 and NewsCutter V9 editing systems. The MXO2 turns an HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with color calibration tools. It provides HDMI, analog component, S-Video, and composite output with cross-platform support for Macs and PCs, laptops and workstations.

Matrox version 1.9.2 software for Mac OS and Matrox Mtx.utils version 2.2 for Windows provide support for Avid Media Composer V5 and Avid NewsCutter V9. The Matrox software is available as a free downloadfor registered owners. Matrox MXO2 Mini is priced at $449 US and Matrox MXO2 Mini with the MAX option is priced at $849 US. The MXO2 Mini comes with either an ExpressCard/34 laptop adapter or a PCIe desktop adapter.
Matrox: Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Editing Systems Now Shipping
B & H: Matrox MXO2 Mini for Laptops [$449, but email them to get a lower price]



Top Gear
And finally, I see that Series 15 of Top Gear will start at 8pm on BBC Two on Sunday June 27. Heavens knows when it will turn up here in the US. Guess it's time to think about moving across the pond!
Top Gear: website


[Note: I know yesterday I talked about not embedding links in an article - which is something I still plan to do - but I haven't done it here. I don't think it makes as much sense for these collections of news items.]



What They Forgot To Tell You...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Drift Wearable Camera goes HD

I've been playing a lot with a wearable camera, except that I've been "wearing" the camera - a ContourHD - on my car. It's a lot of fun, but one of the big problems is getting the framing right. Since the camera has no LCD display, it's very hit-or-miss getting the picture to look good.

I'd previously seen the Drift X170 Action Camera and was intrigued because it has a tiny LCD screen, but it's only standard def.

But now Drift has come out with the Drift HD170, which supports 1080p recording and still has the integrated LCD screen. There's also a remote control! The camera will be available in July with an MSRP of $329.


LINKS

Do Internet Makes Us Dumb?

I'm a little skeptical about the hype surrounding Nicholas Carr's book "The Shallows" and it's thesis that the Internet is making us all dumber - maybe that's because I never thought we were that smart to begin with. BUT, it's evidently provoked some discussion about hyperlinking, and an article at Salon.com by Laura Miller does a great job of making the case for not putting linking inside an article. Instead, the article advocates putting links at the end of an article, in much the way that they used to do it in books.

In-text links, it's argued, are often used for jokey links that don't really add anything to the story, and perhaps more importantly, can make the writer sloppy;
A sentence that's written to include hyperlinks won't necessarily make as much sense without them. You write differently when you know you can't dodge explaining yourself by fobbing the task off on someone more eloquent or better informed.
I think there's some good points here, and as an experiment I'm going to try and do less linking inside articles and use more end-links, and see how that turns out.



LINKS
Salon.com: The Hypelink war by Laura Miller
Amazon.com: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

[Wow -I  feel like a grown-up!]


Photoshop for Video Book & Canon 7D vs 5D

Richard Harrington, co-author of From Still to Motion: A photographer's guide to creating video with your DSLR is also author of Photoshop for Video. He reports that the 4th edition is just off to the printer with "new layout, more video and more 3D."

It's expected in July and you can pre-order at Amazon for $364.64 Photoshop for Video (4th Edition)


Meanwhile, over at the on the From Still to Motion Facebook page, Rich gives these reasons for using the Canon 7D rather than the 5D:
  1. Having TRUE HD monitoring on set was critical. 5D drops to SD when recording.
  2. In a controlled lighting setting, sensor size made no difference.
  3. Depth of field was proper and not overly deep
  4. The crop factor was welcome for lenses as it extended the reach
Facebook: From Still To Motion

PluralEyes for Premiere Pro FREE Beta

Singular Software has posted the second beta release of PluralEyes for Premiere Pro. PluralEyes automatically synchronizes audio and video clips without the need for timecode, clappers or any special preparation. PluralEyes supports Final Cut Pro, Vegas Pro and is now in beta for Premiere Pro.

Singular Software: Downloads

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Get Your Hands on a [Zeiss] CP.2 Lenses

I was most excited when I got an email from Zeiss with the above title. Unfortunately, you have to be in Berlin or Singapore:

June 10 to 11: Digital Cinematography 2010, Munich, Germany
Check out the lenses at Arri, Band Pro, Cinegate, Chrosziel and others.

June 15 to 18: Broadcast Asia 2010, Singapore
Carl Zeiss cine lenses can be seen at Expandor, Cine Equipment and other booths.

HTML 5 Video Features

Apple has some developer demo pages up for HTML5 features (supported in Safari...) The video page shows controls scaling and masking video, as well as rotating it into a perspective-like view. Pretty neat.
In Safari 5, HTML5 video can deliver an even richer, more accessible experience. Watch video embedded with the HTML5 video tag in full screen. If the video includes closed captions, simply click the closed-captions button in the controls to display them.
Captioning is particularly interesting; unfortunately, I've searched around and have been unable to find a coherent explanation of how you actually make a caption work with video.

Apple: Safari Technology Demos HTML 5 Showcase: Video
Apple: Explanation of Demo: Video Effects

Sony and 3D World announce judging panel

Sony and 3D World magazine have announced the judging panel that will choose the winners of the 3D Film Competition they are running. The panel includes 3D World editor Steve Jarratt; Buzz Hays, Executive Stereoscopic 3D Producer, Sony 3D Technology Center in California; Jonathan Davies, Head of 3D Production at The Moving Picture Company; writer and director Julian Napier; Lee Danskin, Training Development Director at Escape Studios.

The competition runs until 9th July. For full details on how to enter, check out the microsite: www.3dworldmag.com/sonycompetition. The winner will be announced at SIGGRAPH on 25th July.

Sony NEX-3/NEX-5

Thinking of buying one of those new, sleak, cool looking Sony NEX-3 or NEX-5's? Well put down that credit card and back away from the "Add to Cart" button!

DPReview has taken a look at them, and they weren't really impressed, noting slow start-up times, confusing interface and limited controls. For video it doesn't get much better, as they note that the cameras have very limited video control with no aperture control or exposure lock.

Maybe we should wait for the Sony Interchangeable Lens HD Camcorder.

DPReview.com: Sony NEX-5/3

SMPTE Boston Meeting - 3D – Shoot It, Watch It

Wednesday, June 16th meeting, 6:30 pm to 9 pm

Free BBQ 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Hosted by Sony Broadcast. Registration will be closing soon: Register for 3D session and BBQ today!

Speakers:

  • Gary Mandle, Sr. Product Manager for Display Systems at Sony, will discuss 3D display technology and show various examples of upcoming hardware.
  • Bill Lange, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will discuss his experiences with real world 3D acquisition and display varoius samples.

Location:
Rule Boston Camera
395 Western Avenue entrance for parking
Boston, MA
(Additional parking is available in the shopping plaza across the street on Western Avenue.)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

News from Here & There

Using the Canon 5D on set
Joshua Caldwell at Hollywood Bound And Down has written about his experiences using the Canon 5D on Anthony Zuiker's Digi-novel Dark Prophecy, where he worked as second camera and editor. They had previously used the RED camera, but were handicapped by the amount of light needed, and were looking to cut down the budget - and the time required to light - so decided to look at the 5D.
Having used it before on Mateo's Live at Swing House, I was very aware of its low-light capability and amazingly shallow depth of field. By going with the 5Ds we could probably shoot on two cameras, doubling the amount of footage we'd be able to capture, while still staying at a relatively low budget (camera department wise). Also, because of it's low-light capability, we would require less lights, which means less lighting time, which means more time shooting, which = happy boss.
He goes through the problems with rigs, follow-focus and HDMI monitoring. Ultimately it worked for them - particularly the low-light capabilities - though he wouldn't use it for everything:
Ultimately, this camera was the perfect solution for this project. I do not believe that the Canon 5D is a RED-killer. Like all of these cameras, they are merely tools towards serving your needs as a filmmaker. Shooting a no-budget that takes place mostly at night? The Canon 5D might be perfect. Shooting a budgeted short that (you hope) will be shown in theatres? The RED MX might be a better choice. Shooting a Hollywood film for 100 million? Probably shooting on 35mm.
Hollywood Bound And Down: Shooting with the 5D


FilmFellas Cast 7: Documentaries “Masters of Non-Fiction”
A Webisodic series about video making, this episode deals with documentary making and discusses whether you can really know that you're presenting an accurate view of history.
Steve Weiss of Zacuto interviews Ondi Timoner, Sean Dunne and David Grubin.
Zacuto: FilmFellas Cast 7


Why Stereoscopic Editing Is Virtually Non-Existent
An article - mostly an interview with Lawrence Windley from AVID - about how difficult it is to edit in 3D, and suggesting that everything is still being nailed down.
HD Magazine: Why Stereoscopic Editing Is Virtually Non-Existent


Gale Tattersal with Redrock Rigs
Redrock has posted pictures of Gale Tattersal, DP of "House MD" with the Canon 5D MKII and Redrock Micro cinema rigs used in filming of House MD.
Flickr: Gale Tattersal - DP "House MD" with Redrock Rigs

Sony DR-V150 Headphone quick-review

I'd been looking for replacement headphones to use with my iPhone, and I don't really like the in-ear headphones that are all the rage...then I saw Sony's new DR-V150 headphones, that had an in-line remote control and microphone for iPod and iPhone, and was only $30, and I thought ahhhh!

Unfortunately, $30 doesn't buy you much in the way of headphones these days; that should have been my first warning. The other mistake I made is that I was imagining these headphones would be like the Sony MDR-7506's I've used, which are very cool (but almost three times the price, and have no remote control or mic.)

Anyway, I've had the DR-V150's for a few days, and this is what I think of them:

The Good News
The mic seems to be okay; people understand me, and no one has said "what's the matter with your phone?" The audio quality is reasonable too, though not amazing; it's fuller than the $20 headphones I have (everything is relative!)

Unfortunately, there's a bunch of minor annoyances:

The Bad News
  • The remote control doesn't work properly; the plus and minus controls don't work at all on my iPhone 3G. Clicking in the center does work to pause and continue, so that's something.
  • The mic/control unit is really close to your face; much closer than on the Apple headphones. This makes it awkward to find when you want to use it.
  • The cable is four feet; five feet is more useful
  • The plastic headband isn't padded; an annoyance for those with less hair than we might have hoped for.
  • I didn't realize that the cups are actually small; so that the headphones are pressing much harder against my ears than - for example - the MDR-7506's.
I think I'd be okay with the control/mic placement, the lack of other controls, the sound quality and even the short cable if they were comfortable to wear, but they just aren't. Put the whole thing together, and it's just disappointing.

Amazon: Sony DRV150iP Headphones ~$30 [not recommended]
Amazon: Sony MDR-7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone $85.00 [recommended as great headphones, but they don't have a mic or controls for your iPhone]

Sony updates consumer editing software

Sony has announced updates to their consumer video and audio editing software: Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 video editing software, DVD Architect 5 DVD and Blu-ray Disc authoring software, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 audio editing and production software and ACID Music Studio 8 music creation and mixing software.
  • Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10
    New features include: image stabilization, GPU accelerated rendering, slideshow creator, expanded color correction tools, DVD burning from the timeline, enhanced device explorer and Blu-ray authoring. The program now allows up to 10 video tracks and 10 audio tracks. Users with a CUDA-enabled NVIDIA video card are able to encode to the Sony AVC format using GPU-accelerated rendering.

  • Acid Music Studio 8
    New features include audio and MIDI mixing console, enhanced remixing tools, and Zplane elastique Audio Timestretching and Pitch Shifting which allows users to perform dramatic time stretches and pitch-shifts of Beatmapped tracks while retaining maximum sound quality.

  • Sound Forge Audio Studio
    Features new workflow enhancements, including floatable/dockable windows, improved maximum audio bitrate, and enhanced vinyl restoration wizard.
Sony has also introduced two software bundles;

Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite
The Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite includes DVD Architect Studio 5, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10, Vocal Eraser technology, NewBlueFX audio and video effects, a tutorial DVD and 400 music soundtracks.

Imagination Studio Suite 2
The Imagination Studio Suite 2 features Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10, DVD Architect Studio 5, ACID Music Studio 8, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10, and Photo Go, as well as 360 original music soundtracks.


Price and Availability
Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 (MSRP U.S. $99.95), ACID Music Studio 8 (MSRP U.S. $69.95), Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 (MSRP U.S. $69.95), Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite (MSRP U.S. $129.95) and Imagination Studio Suite 2 (MSRP U.S. $179.95) are now available in English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish. Upgrade pricing for existing users of any of these applications are available via download from Sony Creative Software's website.


B & H: Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite $129.95 Pre-order
B & H: Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 $99.95 Pre-order
B & H: Imagination Studio Suite 2 $179.95

Monday, June 07, 2010

Boston SuperMeet Workshop Registration is up

The Boston SuperMeet is June 25th, and there's some free workshops you can sign up for (the SuperMeet itself is just $10.)

For registration, go to: Boston SuperMeet Workshops Registration

  • 10:00AM - 10:45AM Adobe: Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium for Final Cut Pro Editors
  • 11:00AM - 11:45AM Adobe: Working with DSLR Video with Adobe CS5 Production Premium
  • 12:00PM - 12:45PM Adobe: 3D Stereoscopic
  • 1:15PM - 2:00PM Adobe: New Features in After Effects CS5
  • 2:00PM - 4:00PM Canon: Rodney Charters, ASC on Impact of HD-DSLR and Digital Tools in Cinema   
  • 2:15PM - 3:00PM Adobe: Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium for Final Cut Pro Editors
  • 3:15PM- 4:00PM Adobe: Working with DSLR Video with Adobe CS5 Production Premium

Here's the write-up on the Rodney Charters workshop:

Rodney Charters, ASC on Impact of HD-DSLR and Digital Tools in Cinema
Canon Explorer of Light & Hollywood Director Rodney Charters discusses the new tools for Digital Cinema, how DSLRs are changing the film industry. Learn why photographers and directors are embracing this new technology. Charters is a seasoned Hollywood Director and Cinematographer of the hit FOX Series 24 among others.

About Rodney Charters:
On April 1 2004 Rodney Charters was invited to become an Active Member of the American Society of Cinematographers. This invitation to the ASC is a great priviledge and honour, as well as a prestigious hallmark in his career as a cinematographer.

As a self taught Mac guru, Rodney has embraced the remarkable changes taking place in the technological side of how movies are made. Working on some of the very first morphs to make it to the big screen with VFX Supervisor Jeff Okun on the the picture "Sleepwalkers" he learned to transform humans into cats and Chevy's into Fords.

It wasn’t until 2001, when a radical idea to shoot a show based in real time was conceived, that Rodney was tapped to shoot the hugely successful primetime drama 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland. It was Rodney’s keen understanding of documentary filmmaking that was needed to create the intense realism of 24 never before seen on a network primetime series.

In the years to follow, Rodney would become an Active Member of the American Society of Cinematographers, be nominated twice for an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography, and become thego-to guy for the latest in camera and Apple technology. In 2008, Kodak Canada presented Rodney with the New Century Award for his services to the art of Cinematography.

iMovie on the iPad

Reader Chris writes in response to my pondering whether the new iMovie app will work on the iPad:
Since apple claims there are only a few apps left that DON'T work on the iPad, I am sure they will not develop an app that can only be used on the iphone. I would also venture to guess that they will make an iPad version of iMovie that will have more features, and likely cost more $$$ too.

I think between the new iphone and the ipad that you could create new content in a way people didn't consider-- everyone assumed that the iPad was a consumer product. I think that they held back [the camera] so they can both market a newer product later, as well as make sure they don't put out more features than they can support.. once they perfect the current product THEN they can try to add more to it [...]

My main concern is that the iphone is still going to be locked into just AT&T [...] I do NOT want to be with AT&T anymore under any circumstances. I may still get the phone, but not the service if it is tied to THEM.
I don't know all the ins-and-outs [now watch me speculate wildly] but clearly the iPad lacks a camera, and if iMovie "requires" a camera, then it's not going to work. But like you, I'm also sure there will be an iPad version of iMovie at some point.

There's really no reason why you shouldn't be able to edit video on the iPad right now; you can already import and playback video using the Apple Camera Connection Kit - though it has to be the right kind of video; if the iPad can't play it, it won't import it.

Personally, while I'm excited about 720p video on the iPhone, I can't say I'd be jumping in line to get a 720p camera on an iPad; not only because I'm already carrying an iPhone, but because the iPad is too large and awkward to use to take pictures or video easily.

The only reason I can see for having a camera in the iPad is to do video chats and the new FaceTime thing. But my understanding about the current version of FaceTime is that it requires a phone connection to start the process. And the iPad won't support that (at the moment!) Maybe that's the real reason why they didn't put a camera in the first iPad; because their FaceTime technology wouldn't work with it. They'd have had to develop iChat instead; and then everyone would be complaining that FaceTime won't work with the iPad's camera...


Some are speculating that the reason AT&T is offering people an early upgrade is to lock them in before Apple announces another network provider later in the year. That may be true; but didn't AT&T move up the upgrade eligibility for people last year too? I'm not sure I would bet either way on a second provider coming this year.

iMovie for the iPad?

iMovie for the iPhone looks cool; particularly with the 720p video capabilities of the upcoming iPhone 4.  But will it work on the iPad? I'm assuming you'll be able to install it on the iPad; but maybe that's a big assumption?

Hmmm...editing video on the iPad; suddenly I'm salivating.

Apple: Features>iMovie

I want one...

5 Megapixel stills and 720p video.  Those were the two things I was really hoping for in the new iPhone, so I'm more than excited; almost shocked that they gave us both features!

BUT, iMovie too? Hadn't even dreamed about that!

Could Canon change the video compressor used in their future DSLRs?

On the face of it, the question is ridiculous! Of course, they will; no one would expect that five years from now the cameras will be using the same compression technology they are using today. Just look at how much change there has been over the last five years.

Yet, this interview Cinema5D conducted with Canon's Tim Smith - which starts with talk about the new Canon XF300/305 video cameras - seems to come close to hinting that Canon is already looking at changing the compression technology in future DLSRs:
"But going forward, if we're in the business of creating our own codecs, we can give you and deliver much more image quality out of what the chips are that are on there now. So there's a lot of great possibilities coming, but you know, it's a big ship, we move slow."
Canon 5D Mark III anyone?

Cinema5D: Cinema5D Interview With Tim Smith Cine Gear Expo 2010.

Hours to go...

Today's the BIG day; at 1pm EDT Steve Jobs will stroll out onto the stage at the annual World Wide Developers Conference and announce....

Well, we're not too sure what; it will probably be a new iPhone. But there could also be a new version of Safari, or a new Mac Mini with HDMI. The latter seems doubtful; rolling out a new Mac Mini seems unlikely unless it had some entirely new feature that fit in with another product announcement, something like a new AppleTV, or even a new multi-touch trackpad perhaps?

But I guess I'm most interested in the new iPhone, as it's starting to feel like it's time to update my iPhone 3G....[hmm, so these things are only good for two years?!]

I want to capture video with my iPhone! No matter how poor it is. That's what I'm most interested in, for though there are some hacks for capturing video on the 3G, it's not great. I'm looking for at least mediocre. An iPhone with 720p video... now that would be nice! But am I hoping for too much? Probably.


And though it was only just reported today, that trackpad thing looks interesting; can you say "Control Surface?" Admittedly, I've worked with tablets before, and it's not quite the same as being able to touch the interface on the screen the way you can on the iPad.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Steve Garfield gives short ikan rig demo

At today's Boston Media Makers meeting, Steve Garfield demoed the ikan Fly Pack I DSLR kit (you can also buy the monitor and rig separately.)

Feel the sarcasm

JAG35 makes/sells a collection of budget-priced accessories for the video shooter, but they also run a blog where they have video interviews with industry personalities. Seems though, this has put them in conflict with some very high-end "competitors," as they tweeted from the Cine Gear Expo yesterday:

RED turned us down for an interview, said because we are competing manufacturers. What! Really?
jag35,[+] Sat 05 Jun 22:24 via Twitter for iPhone

Guess we won't be making products for RED cameras
jag35,[+] Sat 05 Jun 22:36 via Twitter for iPhone

I think I just became a #canon Fanboy
jag35,[+] Sat 05 Jun 22:40 via Twitter for iPhone

If u think bout it, they had a non working epic there, I....can machine a non working too, so I guess I could compete
jag35,[+] Sat 05 Jun 22:48 via Twitter for iPhone

Taz Goldstein from HandHeldHollywood in Boston

Final Cut Friday Report

The problem with going to a meeting on a Friday at 6pm in Boston, is that it's Friday, 6pm, in Boston. Struggling through the traffic, finding a place to park, and then walking through the humid streets is enough to exhaust anyone; by the time I got to Apple’s Boylston Street store, I was sweating like Mark Zuckerberg at an interview.

On the way I had passed a sign that read ‘Cold Beer, Cheap Food,” yet I kept on going. I guess if you want to go to a software talk that bad, you must be single, and desperate for something to fill in the evening [if the cap fits...-Ed]

Daniel Berube, Leader of Bpsfcpug

But Apple was hosting Final Cut Friday, a meeting by the Boston Final Cut Pro User Group and Taz Goldstein of Hand Held Hollywood was there to talk about all the ways to use an iPhone/iPhone Touch or iPad in film making. It’s quite amazing how many apps there are already; too many to list here, but these are some of the highlights.

Taz started with a bit of history, talking about Hitchcock - the storyboarding app that's now called Storyboard Composer - which first got him excited about the possibilities of using the iPhone in filmmaking. From there he went through the various facets of film making, from pitching to editing, listing some of the applications available to help with each phase of the process.

The iPad - and Keynote- he said, make for an impressive pitching combination. Turn up with just them and you’ll impress people he says; but be quick, because he figures in another month everyone will be doing it and it will be old hat!

In combination with that, a useful tool and service is Dropbox which lets you store files in the cloud. He saves copies of all his documents there; that way if he meets someone unexpectedly and they are interested, he can immediately email them scripts or proposals.

Under the category of writing, the first app covered was Baby Names Plus, not just because you can find character names quickly, but it will tell you what names were popular at a particular period of time.

Taz mostly dismissed the tools available for writing scripts on the iPhone, saying that if you want to do that, you’re crazy. He did allow that maybe you could use it to make small edits. But for writing, the iPad makes more sense, and Scripts Pro is already available for the iPad. More importantly - and he mentioned this at the last SuperMeet - Final Draft, which is the application for scriptwriting, is coming to the iPad. Unfortunately there's still no word on when or how much.

[As we were in the Apple Store, and having free Wi-Fi and an iPad, I searched over to the iTunes store for Scripts Pro at this point, and found it was just $5.99. I bought it while he was talking and started playing with it. More on that at a later date.]

For reading scripts - in PDF formate - he recommends GoodReader, and iAnnotate PDF, the later is $9.99, but it lets you add annotations to PDF files. It's good for annotating on the iPad, but he thought it would probably drive you crazy trying to annotate PDFs with the iPhone version.


Taz Goldstein

When he got to Casting and Production, he first asked if there were any actors present. I don't think anyone put up their hand. Acknowledging this, Taz said that when you ask that in LA, everybody puts up their hand! He recommends the database Bento for keeping a cast and crew database, as well as for keeping a Rodriguez list; a list of all the things you have access to. [Stu Maschwitz, author of the DV Rebel's Guide, came up with the Rodriguez list after Robert Rodriguez who compiled a list of all the things he had access to before writing the screenplay for his budget movie.]

For managing releases, mRelease offers a fairly quick and painless way of doing it in person; choose a release, enter the persons name, take their picture, and have them sign on the iPhone, and it creates a release and emails it to you! Pretty cool; though it doesn’t let you enter in your own text or releases. He thinks it’s suitable for small projects; but may not be useful for major productions. Even Vincent Laforet likes it!

For Pre-Production he mentioned PanascoutStoryboard Composer, ColorSnap (a tool for painting that shows you matching colors) and for budgeting he suggested finding a film budget template for Excel and loading it into Numbers.

An update of Storyboard Composer is coming that will output a video file - it's waiting approval at the Apple Store - and they are working on an AIR app that runs on the Mac and PCs, as well as working on a new iPad version.

Taz went on to cover some hardware, including the $129 OWLE Bubo, a frame for holding the iPhone while shooting video, the Steadicam Smoothie, which was announced at CES, and a suction cup/clip for attaching your iPhone to windscreens, walls or even moving objects.

Exhausted yet? Other things covered included; prompter software and hardware, follow-focus, audio recording software, the Artemis Director’s Viewfinder, control surfaces applications, animation, video editing and slate software.

A last couple of notable products; while there are dozens of Slate's (at least on the iPhone) he likes the Movie*Slate best. It lets you log your takes as you go, and then export the information to Final Cut in an XML file. They have a version for the iPad coming (Movie*SlateHD) but it's not out yet; and if I saw the numbers right, it's going to be about $30 when it comes.

Finally, if you're looking to capture better audio with your iPhone, Taz recommends the Blue Mikey [Amazon $51] as a great microphone with three gain settings. There’s a new version coming soon too; though at $99 list, maybe I’d get the Zoom H1

Perhaps the most telling part of the presentation was not so much that you can do all these things with the iPhone - and even better with the iPad - but that the volume of choices is rivaling - and maybe even surpassing - the choices available for your laptop!


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