Tripod heads come in many sizes and formats. There are heads that enable you to position your camera very accurately, in small degrees and in each of the three dimensions individually, while others allow you to freely move the camera in any direction or angle you want by simply releasing a lever or screw. The latter category includes ball heads. Usually and because they're made to freely move your camera in all directions, ball heads are not suitable for anything but keeping your camera still when shooting with long exposure times or with heavy lenses mounted. In theory, ball heads would be great for videographers — free movement in all directions is what we think about when shooting a movie. However, ball heads don't restrict movement at all, meaning you can't easily keep them level with the horizon either. Unless you're using a special one, the Uniqball.
The Mecablitz 64 AF-1 must be the Rolls-Royce of speedlights. Its quality of build, feature set, controls, sounds it makes — everything oozes quality and professionalism. Made in Germany it says on the box and as cliché that may be, it shows. The Mecablitz 64 AF-1 is as dependable as its beautiful minimal, business-like design suggests. It’s probably a lot better than any camera-brand flash as well.
We all know Cactus flash triggers as a cheap alternative for expensive PocketWizard products. The V6 II and V6 IIs (Sony) are not just cheaper but also viable replacements. They also come with unexpected features, including cross-brand TTL, high-powered HSS, stroboscope support, group sequencing and more.
IK Multimedia's Syntronik is a virtual synthesiser that allows you to tap into 17 famous synthesisers, including several models by Roland and Moog. Syntronik uses advanced sampling techniques combined with a new hybrid sample and modelling synthesis engine. Add to that a new analogue modelled filter section, a very user-friendly arpeggiator and the option of having four instrument layers, each occupying their own zone of your keyboard. With over 2,000 preset sounds covering a wide selection from 38 of the most iconic and painstakingly multi-sampled vintage synthesisers and you know that Syntronik is a music 'system' that you simply must have.
The OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual features two Thunderbolt 2 ports, one USB 3.1 Gen. 1 port and all of the cables you need to start using it immediately. You can set this small-footprint unit to RAID 0, RAID 1, disk spanning and JBOD modes. It has a black minimal design and you can buy it as a bare enclosure or with disks already installed. I got the chance to test the 2TB version.
German manufacturer Delock makes cables, switches, splitters and adapters for all kinds of usages, including video and audio. I was intrigued by their inexpensive ultra-slim HDMI cable that has the same specifications as Atomos’ coiled HDMI 2.0a cables. A month of a lot of trying out this cable with different monitors and recorders later I’m pretty certain this Delock cable is a great cable if you want to record in 4K/60fps.
Europe is home to some pretty innovative developers. In Slovenia, Lumulabs is a small operation that developed the Lumu Power light meter, a Kickstarter success that started well over a year ago and which successfully ended in June with the first shipment of the finished devices. The Lumu Power light meter is a hardware sensor combined with an iOS app. It has both a fast-response silicon photo diode and true colour sensor in a package the size of a big marble.
Another year, another release of Corel Painter. The new version is packed with new features that guarantee jaw dropping awesomeness. There just seems no limit to Corel’s ambition to develop an application that is meant to create digital art that looks like the real thing. Combined with the newest Wacom Intuos Pro and its amazing natural feel, Painter 2018 is for digital artists to drool over.
I tested a 480GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD with an Atomos Shogun Flame as well as with an iMac. The Mercury Extreme Pro 6G has been certified for use in Blackmagic Design equipment and has a maximum read speed of 559MB/s and write speed of 527MB/s. My own tests revealed slightly lower, although pretty impressive figures.
Telestream just upgraded its Switch QC app and added a range of new features in the process. Switch Pro 4 adds support for DPP AS-11 MXF metadata, decoding and playback of Teletext captions and more.