Reviews
Resolve 12.5 By David Hague Over the years, I have used many, many different video editors - Adobe Premiere 4.2 was probably my first NLE, followed by a long stint with Sony (now MAGIX) Vegas and flutters with AVID, EDIUS, one called Speed Razor and of course I have reviewed just about every package our there over the last 20 odd years costing from hundreds to many thousands of dollars. So, when I am told that a full on, top featured package as used by the Hollywood heavyweights is available for free, of course my ears prick up just a little and I want to know more. Is it so complex that I won't be able to grasp its workflow? Or does it require so much computer horsepower my modest Dell XPS 2710 all-in-one won't drive it? Perhaps the claims are overblown? ...Read More »
iOgrapher cases for video By Ko Maruyama Every year, people take video of their holiday festivities. Now that they're shooting with mobile devices, it's important to get the right gear to make it look good. iOgrapher produces affordable filmmaking gear for any videographer in any budget. Put it on your pre-holiday gift list. ...Read More »
A Close Look at The Panasonic AG-UX90 Camera By Stephen Schleicher For the last couple of weeks I have had a chance to test the new AG-UX90 camera from Panasonic. The lightweight camera is great for the photog on the go or for those doing documentary work. Should you grab this camera? I run down the great, and not so great features of the camera, in this review. The camera captures images on a 1-inch CMOS sensor, which ends up giving the user a better depth of field than other cameras you'll find in this price range. It isn't a full frame sensor, but then again, this camera isn't designed for DSLR fans, or those planning on shooting a feature film. ...Read More »
Digital Juice Pilot Pro By Ko Maruyama Digital Juice has been around as a company for nearly two decades, serving up stock footage for editors of all kinds. In the early days, Digital Juice delivered physical media to members. These days, the company is expanding the way it does business, so you can expand your business. The Pilot program is similar to a beta launch phase, but you're not on your own, Digital Juice Community embedded in the subscription will help everyone out. ...Read More »
VideoCopilot Element 3D By Ko Maruyama It's been about 2 years since VideoCopilot introduced the Element 3D plugin for After Effects. Now, Version 2 is out, delivering more control over the ability to integrate 3D models, textures, lights, and animation using many of the Adobe After Effects controls that you're already familiar with. ...Read More »
RED GIANT OFFLOAD By Ko Maruyama It's a media copy application for easily backup and - hey - OFFLOADING your footage from a removable camera media card to somewhere else. Simple enough for almost anyone on set to use. ...Read More »
Vectoraster by LostMinds By Ko Maruyama Vectorizer for the Mac (and iOS) allows you to create fantastic shape based translations of raster artwork or photography with just a few clicks. The great part about this new software is that it is really easy to use. Like any good design software, it?s full of options that will allow you to create unique pieces, even when you?re starting from presets. ...Read More »
iStopMotion for iPad By Ko Maruyama Last year, I wrote about the fun application called iStopMotion by Boinx.com. In returning to iStopMotion on iPad, I'm glad to see that the app has gone through many changes and upgrades. Most recently, Boinx has announced the ability to export up to 200 frames in an animated GIF! It's not only a fun application to have as an animator, but it's a teaching opportunity too. When I teach older animation students, they usually understand the importance of timing and number of frames per second. At home with my kids, iStopMotion for iPad is a fun way to craft stories and express creativity. For both older students and young kids, iStopMotion is an accessible way to start making stop motion animations right away. ...Read More »
Monsters run Rampant By Ko Maruyama Rampant Design Tools have created a series of images for post production FX in the past. Their newest offering is just in time for the Halloween holiday. MonsterFX Undead provides a series of images that you can use in post for video or still photography. ...Read More »
Sorenson Squeeze 9 By David Hague For as long as I have been shooting and editing video, there has been a version of Sorenson Squeeze available. Quite simply, Squeeze has always been the premiere transcoding utility used by professionals. It is simple to use, effective, fast and covers almost every known codec and format type available. Squeeze 9 is the latest version of this venerable product, and while certainly not an inexpensive package, with pricing ranging from USD$799 to an eye watering $1999 for the server version, if you are a professional in the video game, it is an almost indispensable item to have in your toolbox. ...Read More »
Using Prodrenalin To Save Your Video! By David Hague If you are the proud owner of a GoPro (or similar such as the Sony Action Cam or the Kaiser Baas Sports Cam) you'll be all too familiar with a few problems. Not the least of these is the sheer amount of camera shake followed by distorted footage due to the 'rolling shutter' effect of these cameras. Also in the equation is fish eye distortion, and who hasn't missed that the camera wasn't exactly level when shooting? Or you need to flip video 180 degrees as the camera could only be mounted upside down. This is where ProDad Prodrenalin comes in. ...Read More »
The RØDE Podcaster Microphone By David Hague An often overlooked aspect of video is the voice over dialogue. Of course this needs a good mic... While there are many, many 'broadcast' mics available to perform this, for many hobbyists and professionals not creating actual broadcast video, these are overkill and let's face it, probably too expensive. This is where the RØDE Podcaster Mic comes into its own. ...Read More »
Canon's XA20 Professional Camcorder By David Hague Some time back we awarded the Canon XA10 Auscam's Camcorder of the Year. It was a truly ground breaking beast with its professional features such as twin XLRs, superb low light capability, brilliant lens and all crammed into a wonderfully ergonomic but small and light compact form factor. So what has changed in the XA20, and is it better? ...Read More »
Bluff Titler By David Hague Creating titles is something of an art and why there is a separate team usually making them. If you look at the credits of a TV show or film, you'll quite often see a completely different company credited for titles. Yes, there are businesses that JUST make titles and opening/closing sequences. Most video editing packages can do titles do some degree or other. Some are exceptionally good, and some are nauseatingly bad. Thankfully Bluff Titler exists to fill in the gaps. ...Read More »
Artbeats Driving Plates By Stephen Schleicher Problem: Your project has a scene where two characters are driving in a car and having a discussion. You don't have the budget to tow a car around town, and you certainly don't want to risk damaging your camera by attaching it to a moving vehicle and driving on a busy street. Solution? Artbeats Driving Video! ...Read More »
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 »
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