For a long time, video production was the exclusive domain of broadcast companies with deep pockets, specialized personnel, and VEE (very expensive equipment). These days, even professionally done video production increasingly also happens in small offices using a Mac, Final Cut Studio and what we fondly refer to as ‘prosumer’ equipment — the type of camcorders and associated devices that are capable of producing excellent quality output without the broadcast-type of capabilities like timecode. Try synchronizing recordings made with three or four of these camcorders and you’ll immediately understand why broadcast companies have survived up to date — unless you use PluralEyes.
Hydra, the HDR app by Creaceed, has been upgraded to version 4. It has been optimised for Metal, has a new easy-to-use translucent user interface, and comes with an excellent automatic image alignment system. It offers less brilliant manual image alignment, and removal of ghosting artefacts, both with a region delineation tool. In addition, Hydra 4 works with a highly accurate 128-bit internal format.
The industry standard for offloading video clips and photographs is without a doubt ShotPut Pro. This application is now in its sixth generation and has received a complete overhaul. ShotPut Pro 6 has a more intuitive interface, a better workflow, and puts you more in the driver’s seat than any previous version.
You can buy a 3m microphone cable for €10, but Neumann sells one for €300. Neumann is the German manufacturer whose mics are used in Deutsche Grammophon recordings. The Chord Company doesn’t make microphones, but it knows cables. They make a microphone cable using the same mixture of knowledge, skills and technology as the one they use when making some of the world’s best Hi-Fi audio cables: the Cream cable.
Not all lower-cost SSDs are slow and unreliable. I managed to get hold of the newest Crucial MX300 525GB SSD and ran it through a full week of speed and endurance tests. It performed very well even as it costs about half of a comparable SanDisk Extreme Pro.
Audiophiles swear that cables can change your musical experience. They believe cables can make or break the sound coming from your expensive amplifier. People who know better argue that cables costing north of let’s say €200 won’t do you any good.
The Kingston HyperX Fury SSD of 120GB should not feature on Atomos’ Recommended media list for 4K video recording. This SSD can’t even keep up with 1080p video data streams and is only usable for 720p50 recordings.
Text expander Typinator has been once again updated for free. With Typinator 7 on the horizon, that’s newsworthy in its own right, especially as the update has more in store than bug squashing.
ExpoImaging’s Rogue brand has just been updated with four new products. The 32in Rogue 2-in-1 collapsible reflector and FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver are aimed at delivering softer light effects. They’re great for portraits. The white grid insert adds a nice halo effect to the light circle your 3-in-1 honeycomb grid creates. Finally, a new battery pouch helps you organise your freshly charged and drained batteries while on the go.
How would you like it if a developer created an application that could compete with QuarkXPress 7 and InDesign CS3? And all for 129 Euros? I bet you would be running to the store to be the first to buy that software. Well, I have bad news for you, iCalamus costs 129 Euros, but it is far from a replacement for InDesign nor QuarkXPress. And to be honest, the developer is very clear about that. So, waht can you expect from iCalamus? You can expect a well written application that allows you to create layouts as you would in QuarkXPress and Indesign, but with a lot less functionality. That raises a problem: why would you buy iCalamus at 129 Euros if you can spend that amount and get the whole iWork ‘08 suite, including Pages, with which you can create layouts just as well? That’s a very good question, indeed. My answer is that you don’t need iCalamus if you are only going to create very simple layout designs — not too flashy business cards, …