Month: January 2013

Xume lens filter holder system (review)

If you have ever tried to screw a polarisation or Neutral Density (ND) filter onto a camera lens, you know how frustrating that can get — it may even ruin your lens. However, I may have found the solution to the problem. It’s called the Xume Quick Release system and it uses magnets to keep filters attached to the lens. Mounting and unmounting becomes a matter of pushing and pulling.

Peak Design Capture camera clip system

There are many ways to wear your camera, from the traditional strap around your neck to sling straps and even holsters. Peak Design has come up with a new system, the Capture clip system. The Capture clip is said to free you from straps. You just hang your camera off your belt or any kind of strap that you happen to wear anywhere on your body.

The Photograph, 2nd Edition by Harald Mante (book review)

Read any book or blog that covers photographic composition and you will find the Rule of Thirds and perhaps the Golden Ratio covered as well, but rarely do photographers/authors go out of their way to explain how a picture is built up from its visual elements. Harald Mante does. In his book “The Photograph”, he starts with the visual element “point” and takes you through all elements that make up for an image. Harald Mante’s book doesn’t read easy. It’s not a constant stream of thoughts, nor has it been created to please. It does contain a lot of images to show the issue at hand. Mante’s book starts with one-point compositions, i.e. images in which the eye is drawn to one particular point in the frame. From there on, spatial composition is discussed by taking the reader/pupil through two-point, three-point, line, shape, light quality and colour composition basics. Each type of composition is illustrated not only by photos, but also and perhaps foremost by diagrams. This allows you to really understand what Mante is …

Processing audio files with the Audiofile Engineering Sample Manager (review)

Sample Manager is an audio file batch processor. It allows you to change multiple characteristics of several audio files at once. It works with Actions (60 in all, of which several are very powerful) and supports iZotope technologies such as MBIT+ and SRC dithering and SonicFit speed/pitch processing. I found its feature set quite impressive. Sample Manager has a simple interface with on the left a file list and waveform panel, in the middle an Info panel that reflects analysis, calculation and allows for editing of some metadata fields, and on the right a panel where you drag Actions that look like Apple’s Automator actions. With Sample Manager you can analyse audio files for errors — reasons why a file won’t import or play in your DAW, for example. You can also calculate various parameters of the audio, such as phase correlation. These are what I’d call “global” capabilities. They don’t require you to drag an Action, or set up a Workflow (which is a series of Actions executed in a given order). The file …

Transcoding video for delivery, an overview and best practices

You are often required to transcode from one format to another. When shooting in consumer AVCHD or professional XDCAM you will need to transcode to a format your NLE understands and can work with smoothly. But just as often you’ll need to transcode from your NLE’s format to another for optimised delivery. There are a couple of applications that are specifically developed for this task, and each has its own merits.

Avid Symphony 6.5 colour grading overview and new features

Avid Media Composer 6.5 has a number of new features that it shares with Avid’s step-up in terms of colour and audio management, Symphony 6.5. The new features are mainly situated in the domain of audio support, better file relinking management, codec support, and advanced features. But I was mainly interested in Symphony 6.5 because of its colour editing capabilities.