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.… Read More Why ProRes video encoding in post is inferior to ProRes recording

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.… Read More Benchmark test confirms fastest offload app is Hedge Premium

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.… Read More What is HDR video and why is it important?

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.… Read More Who’s the fastest and best encoder in the land?

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?… Read More Video light challenges: CRI vs. TLCI-2012 and three LED lights

Tumult Hype 3.5 Pro web animation app: an upgrade rather than the update it is

The Hype 3.5 update improves Tumult’s flagship web animation app in many areas and adds new features that would easily justify the term upgrade. The Hype Reflect app was updated to version 2 to keep up with the new features of the design application. New in Hype 3.5 are Waypoint Actions, Scale transformations, Alpha colours, Drag-select Lock/Visibility… Read More Tumult Hype 3.5 Pro web animation app: an upgrade rather than the update it is

Powering video/photo equipment and caring for batteries

All that expensive video and/or photo equipment you’re carrying with you in the wild runs on electric power. Keeping it alive in Western urban areas can’t be that difficult, although it comes with its own problems. In some areas of the world it can be quite a challenge to power your cameras, monitors, lighting equipment and everything else involved. How do you go about planning for electrical scarcity?… Read More Powering video/photo equipment and caring for batteries

To keep out drone trolls, legal regulations are necessary

In August 2015, the pilot of an airplane in the midst of its landing procedure at Ben Gurion near Tel Aviv in Israel, suddenly saw a quadcopter flying right of the plane at a dangerously close distance of about 100m (33ft). In compliance with aviation rules, he reported the incident to airport authorities. They started an investigation. Certainly in Israel, drones could be used for anything from plane spotting to terrorism. Drones are increasingly becoming a problem and they should not be unleashed to the broader public without establishing ground rules for their usage.… Read More To keep out drone trolls, legal regulations are necessary

SilverFast 8.5 takes frame finding to a new level, adds iOS JobMonitor and true RAW format

SilverFast 8.5 is another milestone version of this industry-standard scanner software. The application has been updated with IFF+Engine , a new, intelligent frame finding engine, a new JobManager that works in tandem with a brand new iOS JobMonitor, and the new archival file format HDRiRAW. SilverFast 8.5 will control and work with most scanners, but it’s obvious that you are best off to match the best scanner with the best software. Although SilverFast 8.5 will work with any modern photo scanner, my favourites are the Epson Perfection V800, V850, (and V750 and V700). They are a perfect match for SilverFast 8.5 because with scanners the quality of the scan is dictated by the hardware and these are the best scanners for all-round photo scanning. Nevertheless, even if you can’t afford or have the space to operate one of these, SilverFast 8.5 will work perfectly with other film or flatbed scanners and it will get the best out of them.… Read More SilverFast 8.5 takes frame finding to a new level, adds iOS JobMonitor and true RAW format