Say, What?

LTO, Part II, and dealing with sync issues

In my last column, I responded to a question about how to archive all of this data we’re capturing and brought up LTO. As promised, here’s a little more about the flavors of LTO. Prior to LTO, archiving technology was spread across a number of competing and proprietary systems. Many of you have heard of DLT. This is a tape-based system,... Read more

Lavs That Cost Less

Setting a new bar in the price-to-performance ratio

Q I’m a sound mixer for an internal media production group at a nonprofit. I have my own gear for when I freelance, but prefer not to use it at work, as my job doesn’t have the budget to pay me to rent my sound gear. My boss has charged me with locating and purchasing four wired lavalier microphone systems, and I’m stumped, as my own... Read more

Getting It White (The First Time)

The importance of proper white balance

At AbelCine, we’re known for our custom scene files and looks. These can be powerful tools for manipulating your image, but oftentimes, getting the best result is all about getting the right white balance in your camera. White balance is one of those adjustments that seems simple but can really make all the difference to your image. I get a variety... Read more

4K In The Mainstream

Is it time?

If you attended NAB this year, you probably thought the 4K conversion already happened. Everywhere you looked was a new 4K camera system, 4K recorder or 4K compatible NLE or workflow solution. In the early ’00s, you probably remember a similar scenario when HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) was being heavily pushed, even though few filmmakers had access... Read more

Exposing Frames

Shutter angles, plus as the big elephant in the room: archival

SHUTTER ANGLES Q I’ve moved to using cameras that have a more cinema background, but I feel a little insecure about setting up for recording. I have a pretty good handle on how I want to set my exposure, but setting the shutter has been a bit confusing. At first, I thought I understood about changing the shutter setting and getting my brain around... Read more

Feeling Blue

Both ends of the USB Blue Microphones spectrum

Q I work at a small production company. We used to rent time at a local sound studio, but my boss has decided he wants to record our voice-over sessions here, so he has charged me with building a super-low budget, but decent-quality VO studio capability. I have a room that’s pretty quiet with decent sound, but I’d like the capability to... Read more

Making The Match

Creating scene files to match camera looks

At AbelCine, we produce many scene files for a variety of cameras, each designed to improve both look and performance. We post these files on our website for anyone to try out, which has resulted in a lot of great feedback and many different questions. The most common question we receive is about matching the look of two different camera models. We... Read more

Micro-Filmmaking

How an iPhone app could launch millions of filmmakers

It’s often said that the best camera is the camera you have with you, and for most of us, it would be our phone. In the still photography world, camera phones have completely destroyed the point-and-shoot camera market, and for good reason. Many of the new smartphones on the market, such as the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy Nexus 4, contain an 8-megapixel... Read more

Motion Fixes

Fine-tune your image with tracking

We’re in the business of moving pictures. That seems like an obvious statement, but as I was working with the tracking software mocha for this month’s issue, I was reminded of when I first tried rotoscoping a scene. It was 147 frames long (yes, I remember the number), and I painstakingly worked on each frame to remove an unwanted object. ... Read more

Sense And Sensitivity

Explaining ISO, Exposure Index and gain

Recently, a client who purchased a Sony PMW-F3 from AbelCine gave me a call with a "quick question." He had just updated his camera with the S-Log recording option and discovered that he now could set his camera’s sensitivity in a number of different ways. He could set the camera’s gain, ISO or, with the S-Log mode turned on,... Read more

Shure FP Wireless Microphone System

A professional, yet affordable wireless sound system

Q I’m shooting a long-term documentary in Angola with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Since I’m working alone, a boom mic is out of the question. What do you recommend to obtain decent sound from a moving subject? I’m shooting interviews with several people, but my main subject is a doctor, and I need to follow him as he makes house calls... Read more

GoPro Goes Cinema

Is an inexpensive 4K camera helpful or hurtful?

A few years ago, a little company with a little consumer camera made the pro video scene. They showed their wares at NAB and placed them in the hands of a few shooters with massive Twitter audiences. Initially, GoPro was seen as a novelty, a cool little tool that delivered good video and nice stills. Since then, GoPro has upped their game by making... Read more
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