The GoPro HERO5 is a lovely action camera with its built-in electronic stabilisation, but if you think it’s going to make your footage perfectly smooth, you’re in for a disappointment. No digital stabiliser currently available can make footage look good when the operator has been subjecting the camera to shocks from walking, running or whatever. A real stabiliser is a must-have for those occasions where you can’t keep the camera still. The Karma Grip has been specially designed to stabilise the HERO5.
Noise is a problem, especially with small-sensor cameras. FxFactory has a new noise reduction plug-in for Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro from Crumplepop. It claims to beat noise efficiently, using a simple interface. I compared Crumplepop’s VideoDenoise with Red Giant’s Denoiser III and the older Photon Pro plug-in.
You could be forgiven to think TitleMations is a title generator that lets you automate title creation for your footage, but then you’d be doing this new FxFactory plug-in injustice. If you’re creating a commercial for a luxury car, TitleMations 2 will play nice with the message you’re trying to get across.
Luca Visual FX has released an FxFactory plug-in that enables you to animate random rows and walls of text morphing into words you define. It offers 18 title effects for you to play with.
FxFactory has a new Yanobox plug-in that works with Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro and Motion. It’s called Mosaic and it turns your footage in dynamic mosaics. As with Nodes, Yanobox’s other plug-in, you’ll be creating a truly magnificent composite with Mosaic.
Final Cut Pro X users rejoice: all of Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite modules now work as plug-in to your beloved NLE. Version 13 includes new versions of Colorista, Looks, Denoiser, Film, Mojo and Cosmo. Brand new is Renoiser 1.0. Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro users will be happy to know that Looks 4 and Denoiser III now enjoy Mercury support — which means they now have real-time playback of the effects in their favourite composition and editing applications.
The Sony A7S II is a unique all-metal full-frame system camera. It has best-of-breed features for both photography and video. Its dramatic low-light capabilities — manually from ISO 50 to 409,600 — make low-light photography accessible to everyone. It has a 35mm equivalent full frame sensor in a package the size of a compact camera. And it does 4K XAVC video with Sony’s highly acclaimed S-Log 3 curve that allows for HDR colour grading.
When do you need an external monitor/recorder? I analysed the NLE support for different formats, the difference between various subsampling methods and between 8-bit and 10-bit colour depth, and compared the internal recordings of different cameras with the footage shot with the newest Shogun Flame. My verdict is that it is always better to shoot to a production codec. It saves a lot of post-production time when you edit with Final Cut Pro X or Da Vinci Resolve. The new Atomos Shogun (and Ninja) Flame support all the ProRes and DNxHD output types, are HDR-capable and come with a number of extras not found anywhere else.
It comes with its own batteries to drive 48V phantom powered microphones, has two Neutrik XLR/TRS audio jacks for mics and instruments, two MIDI ports, two speaker output ports and a headphone interface. The iRig Pro Duo is a cross-platform portable recording unit and I was curious to hear how well it sounds.
In the 4K video age, memory cards should be blazingly fast but even more so: dependable. Memory cards that break after five hours of use are a frustration at best and a catastrophe in many cases. The Lexar Professional microSDHC UHS-II 1000x and 1800x are both extremely fast and they won’t break that quickly.