All posts filed under: Production

Production and post-production issues, tips and tricks, how’s and why’s

crucial iMac RAM SODIMM

How much memory do you need in a 5K Retina iMac for anything from writing to video production?

Apple fills up their iMacs with far too little memory to be useful, so the first thing you want to do when you buy a new machine is think about installing additional memory. Apple’s memory isn’t cheap and iMacs – apart from the iMac Pro – can easily be upgraded after having purchased one with the standard 8GB installed. The question is how much you need to buy, given that even third-party RAM like that of Crucial isn’t for free. It all depends on what you plan out to do with your new iMac.

lexar stops business

Lexar media discontinued: what’s with your guarantee?

Micron Technology, Lexar’s parent company, announced that it is discontinuing its Lexar retail removable media storage business. The Lexar portfolio includes memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives for retail and OEM customers. Micron is exploring opportunities to sell all or part of the Lexar business. The company said it will continue to provide support to existing customers through the transition period. Customers should contact their Lexar sales representative to discuss specific requirements. Except for the fact that it’s a real pity Lexar media won’t be what it used to be — even if the company is sold to someone else, who knows what it will do to the quality of the products? — these statements are pretty vague, so I contacted Lexar myself and asked them to clarify. Marc Musgrove, Head of Global PR Corporate Marketing at Micron Technology, said: “I know there’s been a bit of discussion on warranties, so I wanted to just clarify on this point: Micron will honour the Lexar end-user warranties and continue to provide customer support …

Rhino Motion mounting on the slider

How good is your video camera slider at steady slow speeds? One simple way to find out

What good is a video camera slider if it can’t provide rock-solid motion, with no vibrations? And if it does, what can you do about it? By accident I found out there are circumstances the Rhino slider EVO Carbon with its Motion motor creates footage that makes your zoomed-in subject look like a Parkinson patient. This costs time as you need to edit in post-production to get rid of the carriage vibrations. Especially when there’s little weight pressing down on the carriage, vibrations may be a serious problem with any slider. I only know of one slider the developer claims it doesn’t vibrate at all. That’s the Trost slider from Trost Motion. I don’t know if that claim holds true if you would run my very simple test to see if a slider will vibrate. I do know that I have video camera three sliders that all have the vibration problem to some degree. The way I found out was by attaching a GoPro HERO4 to an extension arm you would normally use for carrying a video …

atomos AtomFLEX 4K60p HDMI cable

Why ProRes video encoding in post is inferior to ProRes recording

Shooting in ProRes or DNxHD has several benefits if you’re working with Final Cut Pro X or Avid Media Composer. Of course you can always encode or transcode from a different codec to either of these in post-production, but that costs time — which may be valuable. There may be other reasons why you don’t want to wait until post, as I found out. I spent three days experimenting with a GoPro HERO4, four encoding apps for the Mac, the Final Cut Pro X timeline and an Atomos Ninja Assassin. Thanks to the newest version of Telestream’s Switch QC app, I came across some strange results that I didn’t know about before, and which changed my views on post-production video encoding versus shooting straight to ProRes with a Ninja monitor/recorder.

Benchmark test confirms fastest offload app is Hedge Premium

It turns out the latest version of Dutch developed Hedge for Mac is the fastest video offload application on the market. The company ran some benchmarks and found their new Premium engine — which is not in the free version of the app — is as fast or almost as fast as the Finder. “We ran these benchmarks for our own internal use. We ran them as objective and unbiased as we possibly could,” said Paul Matthijs Lombert, CEO at The Sync Factory, the company behind Hedge for Mac. “We certainly added nothing to our tests that would put Hedge for Mac in any sort of a favourable position — far from it,” he added.

What is HDR video and why is it important?

With Atomos announcing their Flame series of video monitors/recorders at NAB 2016, HDR is the talk of the town. Most photographers, be it professional or amateur, will know what the acronym HDR stands for: high dynamic range. Dynamic range is defined as the ratio of the largest value of a signal to the lowest measurable value. The dynamic range of luminance in real-world scenes can be 100,000 : 1, while our computer screen or TV set is limited by technology to a ratio of 400 : 1 or even less. With HDR rendering, bright things can be really bright, dark things can be really dark, and details can be seen in both.

editready and scopebox

Who’s the fastest and best encoder in the land?

It’s been a while since EditReady was first released. Since then I’ve only used Squeeze and Episode. I have them on my machine and they’re industrial workhorses so why would I choose something else? Speed could be a significant factor and quality of output of course. I decided to try them all with a GoPro HERO4 UHD clip and the results sort of surprised me.

Daylight

Video light challenges: CRI vs. TLCI-2012 and three LED lights

For video lighting, we are always looking for the most accurate colour rendering. In fact, what we are looking for in a video light is an equivalent of sunlight or incandescent light at an output that is high enough to overpower the noise levels of the camera sensor. When plotted on a frequency chart, the light emitted by the sun or an incandescent light bulb shows as a smooth graph representing all the colours we can see. An increasing number of video lights are based on LED technology. The frequency chart of some LEDs — especially cheap ones as well as the so-called ‘white LEDs’ — shows they can’t render deep reds and blues well. This obviously reduces their usage for video production. The CRI index doesn’t help much as it’s most commonly used to help the marketing department. So, what should you be using instead? And from the three LED lights I reviewed — Akurat Lighting LL2120hc3, Akurat Lighting A1 and BALLED Pro — which are the best for video and/or photography?