Pinnacle Studio 18 By Ko Maruyama Pinnacle has been around for a long time, and, as the version number implies, Pinnacle Studio has undergone several changes since it was first launched. Pinnacle Studio 18 is a robust consumer editoral system for anyone who is interested in getting into video editing. Moreover, it contains other tools to help create and publish your editorial content. ...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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Replay XD: "A POV Camera Designed for Professionals?" By Douglas Spotted Eagle In the earliest days of sport POV production, photographers were excited about the advent of the "lipstick camera" for its small form factor and ease of use. The camera(s) could be mounted on a wing, helmet, or other foundation, cabled to a recorder, and used for new angles in production. These bullet wonders helped create the sense of "being there." They were also horribly expensive and fragile. In modern times, we've seen the camera shrink in size, and dramatically improve in image quality. In many cases, this size-shrink inspires kludgy form factors, and this is where the Replay XD camera shines. ...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 »
Artbeats Starfields 2 HD By Stephen Schleicher If you are going to do any kind of sci-fi related project, chances are you are going to have at least one shot that shows off the vastness of space. For those on a budget, spending the time rendering a high resolution space scene may be out of reach. Fortunately, Artbeats returns to outer space with a whole new collection of clips that you can use. ...Read More »
The Canon HF G25 Camcorder By David Hague And still they keep coming. Today we received a new Canon HF G25 for testing, and true to recent form for most of the latest camcorder releases, the features and functions are truly staggering. This camera is designed to be fully automatic or as manual as you like. Things such as Auto Gain can be adjusted as can focus preset and a manual focus assist. Zebra patterning is there as are white balance presets for daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten and by colour temperature. ...Read More »
The Sony PMW-200 Camcorder By David Hague The power of a motor vehicle is usually measured in kilowatts (although still more easily identified by most in the "old currency" of brake horse power). Sadly this is not always an accurate measure of grunt as other factors should also be brought into the equation such as power-to-weight ratios and so on. Similarly, most non-professionals (and advertising blurb and salespeople) tend to measure how good a camcorder is by its zoom factor, number of megapixels or even its internal storage capacity. While all of these are a small part in the total power factor they are by no means anywhere near the be-all and end-all. ...Read More »
AFTER EFFECTS APPRENTICE By Ko Maruyama Trish and Chris Meyer have been writing books for Adobe After Effects users for several years. Their After Effects Apprentice book is currently in its third edition, which covers Adobe's current version of After Effects, CS6. This also offers lessons for those who may be using earlier versions of the software. The book is not only for the "Aspiring" motion graphics artist, but for anyone who wants to improve their all-around skills in the popular animation software. ...Read More »
EYES IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD..... By Douglas Spotted Eagle With the new Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon, syncrhonized video with two channels/angles in a single stream is quick and easy. This camera is unique in that it features dual lenses, shooting two views to a single stream that may be displayed either side by side or over/under. This allows not only for POV, but reactions to the POV. The large button allows even the most thick mitten or glove to turn on/off the camera. Powering up the camera also starts record mode. ...Read More »
Best POV Action Camera Shootout By Douglas Spotted Eagle We set out with 6 of the most popular models of action cameras in an all-out camera review. Our desire was to uncover the answer to the question "What is the best POV camera on the market?", and at the same time determine the strengths and weaknesses of the cameras being reviewed. The overall performance results were a little surprising to us... Could the GoPro be dethroned? ...Read More »
MAXON's CINEMA 4D R14 By Ko Maruyama In Los Angeles and New York, motion graphics animators have seen year over year dominance and adoption of MAXON's flagship software CINEMA 4D. Their newest release offers users improved feature sets and new tools to create 3D models and animation even easier than before. ...Read More »
Wacom's Bamboo Pocket Stylus By Ko Maruyama Today, Wacom introduced a brand new way to be creative on the go. The Bamboo Pocket Stylus is small enough to take with you everywhere, but has enough volume to feel like your professional stylus. The Bamboo Pocket Stylus fits your creativity wherever you are. ...Read More »
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