Archive for Video

Lightworks

Posted in DSLR, General Photography, Review, Video with tags , , , , , , , on January 6, 2011 by Jim

Lightworks Open Source

Video capability for professional level DSLR cameras is here to stay, so anyone wishing to get the most of that new camera should have some knowledge and ability to shoot and edit video. However, that means more expensive software such as Adobe Premiere, Apple’s Final Cut Pro or even Avid. Until now, that is.

Editshare has just released their Academy and Emmy award-winning professional-grade editor, Lightworks, into open source. That means it is free!!! Just a simple download! Lightworks is no slouch, having cut hundreds of films such as Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Centurion and Shutter Island. It includes a full feature set of editorial tools and is being used by many top Hollywood professional editors. It even has stereoscopic support and realtime effects including multiple secondary colour correctors. Lightworks has an advanced effects pipeline, utilizing the power of your GPU. And with support for up to 2K workflows with realtime effects, it is the most advanced editing application available. It even accepts Premiere plug-ins.

Head on over to LIGHTWORKS to download and try it out for yourself. Currently it is only available for Windows 32 and 64 bit systems, but support for Linux and Mac OSX is coming later in 2011.

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Quick Tip – Dust to Dust!

Posted in DSLR, Photography General, technique, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by Jim

Dust in your DSLR getting you down? Me too! I find dust especially a problem if you are using your DSLR cameras for video. Perhaps it is because a smaller portion of the sensor is being used, but I tend to see dust on video that I don’t see on the still images.

I keep the body cap on my camera when I’m traveling and not shooting. When I put a lens on, I generally toss the body cap and end lens cap back into my camera bag. How about you? Bad idea! That is a great way to pick up dust. When the body cap is placed back on the camera, there is a good possibility there is dust lurking on it just waiting to jump onto that sensor! Of course, using an air bulb to blow off the dust first is a good idea, but I also recommend taking the rear-lens cap and the body cap and join them together! Just a simple twist and it not only keeps them from bouncing around in your bag (vest, pocket, whatever!), but will help keep dust out of the inside of the caps!

PluralEyes Coming to a PC near you!

Posted in Review, technique, Video with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by Jim
Taping training videos

Video guy - yeah, that

If you make videos, or use your DSLR to make videos, and use a separate device to record your audio, unless you are editing with Final Cut Pro on a Mac, you could go crazy trying to sync up your video and audio. I’ve been jealous of the Mac video editors for a long time, as they had some magic software called PluralEyes that would do all the syncing work for them.

Well, finally, they must heard my cries of anguish and took pity on me, because now Singular Software is releasing PluralEyes for Premiere CS4 and CS5 on the PC platform!! Also note that it is available for Sony Vegas.

Skeptic that I am, I decided to really issue PluralEyes a challenge. Even though the software is currently in beta for the PC, I shot 42 clips, no clap stick or sync marker of any kind, and the video was recorded on a Zoom H4N. I brought the whole mess back to my PC, loaded up Premiere Pro CS5, loaded up the video clips on the sequence line and below it, I loaded up the recorded audio from the Zoom. I exported the project as a FCP project file, loaded that file up into PluralEyes – left all the options at their default values, then walked away.

When I returned, PluralEyes indicated it was done. So (still a skeptic!), I loaded up my original project, then imported the new synced project that PluralEyes created – and to my utter amazement and astonishment – all clips were synced to the audio! This HAS to be magic!! Actually – I’m lying. There was one clip that didn’t sync (since there were only a couple spoken words), but they were placed next to each other on the timeline and I was easily able to sync that one. I didn’t try, but I’m sure if I had applied some of the more advanced sync options, PluralEyes would have synced that one as well. (I REALLY like the name of the sync option “Try Really Hard”!!!).

I cannot even describe how much time this is going to save me from performing a mundane task that I absolutely detested. Plus, I don’t have to urge the talent to clap their hands or mess with a clap-stick. In fact, as long as the audio recorder is running, I can start and stop the cameras as I please and PluralEyes will still synchronize them! I can even shoot with both my 5D and 7D at the same time and PluralEyes will even sync the overlaps so that I can use the multi-camera edit feature in Premiere.

Best of all – PluralEyes is currently in beta release, so Singular is offering it as a FREE beta download! If this is the beta, I can’t wait to use the final version. At a price point of only $149, I have placed it on my “Must Have” list.

Highly recommended!!

http://www.singularsoftware.com to download the trial version!

Click Here to BUY! Special Introductory Price!

Magic Lantern adds 5D MK II Enhancements

Posted in 1, Photography General with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by Jim

A few weeks ago, Canon released a firmware update for the 5D Mark II, 1.1.0, which added the ability for photographers to capture video with manual control over exposure and ISO settings. Now, a hacker, Trammell Hudson, has released a beta update to the firmware which allows the photographer even more control over the video settings!

Full release notes:

  • Only works with Canon firmware version 1.1.0
  • Only the external mic input is supported
  • Canon firmware will restart if LiveView mode is exited or powersave
  • HDMI, USB and composite video output are disabled
  • Zebras can not be disabled, threshold is not configurable, color can not be changed
  • Canon’s onscreen menus will not function correctly (configure everything before booting the Magic Lantern firmware)
  • Picture Style button will bring up an event viewer
  • Digital zoom works
  • Button remapping is currently disabled
  • ALC is disabled
  • Digital gain is fixed at +12 dB
  • Analog gain is set to +10 dB
  • Windcut (highpass filter) is disabled
  • Lowpass filter is enabled with default params
  • EQ params are at the default settings
  • Magic Lantern warns that this is a beta and if it should turn your camera into a brick, you are welcome to keep both pieces! With that caveat – the firmware hack can be downloaded at: HERE!

    Canon 5D MK II HD Video

    Posted in Review with tags , , , on October 1, 2008 by Jim
    Laforet video shot with Canon 5D MK II

    Laforet video shot with Canon 5D MK II

    Canon recently announced their update to the aging 5D, the new 5D MK II.   Normally I wouldn’t get too excited except Canon added a new feature (likely inspired by Nikon’s latest release) and added HD video capability to this 21 Megapixel camera.  Since I have a background in filmmaking as well as still photography, I find this addition quite interesting.  However, just adding video capability isn’t a big deal, if the video is an after thought with low quality, jerky footage.

    But, that isn’t the case – Canon added 1080P HD 30 fps capability!  What makes this so exciting is the fact you achieve the same (or similiar) look and depth of field as the ‘big guys’ do with their 35mm motion picture cameras!  Will the actual video live up to the hype?

    Take a look at the following website – http://www.vincentlaforet.com/ and see what you think.  I was amazed at the quality of the video shot with this pre-production camera.  Vincent Laforet is a New York based photographer (and one of Canon’s “Explorers of Light”) who managed to get his hands on this camera for a weekend and put together some sample video that is simply incredible.

    I read somewhere that National Geographic want their photographers to be versed in video as well as still photography and now one camera can do it all.

    I think I want one!