FCPX Grading Tools

Posted in E) FCPX, F) Resources, Run 'N Gun Videography with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2015 by Video Whisperer

 

FCPX and grading

The other take-away from BVE London was an eye-opener for me. The world of color grading.

There’s a London-based outfit called SOHO Editors which is the largest pool of freelance editors throughout the UK and Europe. They also teach classes in London and Manchester in all the disciplines (editing in the major NLEs, Motion, After Effects, Divinci Resolve, etc.).

They had live presentations all day and I watched a few of them relating to FCPX and Divinci Resolve.

It was clear that these guys were top-notch. Teaching is a part-time job. These were industry professionals.

The first thing I noticed was that FCPX was their weapon of choice. Without getting into all of the reasons why, a point was made that was rather telling. FCPX is faster. Period. The speaker said that alone is the major reason why major networks and production companies are moving over. It’s economics. And that is the reason to no longer ignore FCPX. But what I didn’t know (and this was a bunch of geek stuff), FCPX is set up for the future to such a degree that many of the other major NLEs will be forced to majorly upgrade anyway. Changes are coming. FCPX is already there. And this, from a guy who ran the team of editors for the World Cup on FCPX: it is hands-down the best multi-cam editing software out there, bar none.

But I digress.

The hands-down best grading tool out there is Divinci Resolve by Black Magic. That was also made clear.

And the same guys who use FCPX for editing, use Divinci Resolve for Color grading (which works pretty seamlessly with FCPX).

I had NO IDEA all the things that can be done in grading. I was stunned. I mean I was gobsmacked, a quivering mass of jelly on the floor.

Talk about ‘pure frickin’ magic’.

Color and looks aside, you can practically re-light a damn set with Divinci Resolve.

Plus they pointed out that the FREE version of Divinci Resolve has everything the paid version has bar one thing: The De-noise tools. Everything else is there in the free version. And it’s really free. Not a trial. You can download it today right here.

What they were demonstrating was light years beyond anything I’d need to do in corporate videos–or weddings or anything else of that nature. But it was clear to me that I could make anything I produce look way better, no matter how well it was shot to begin with.

I was intrigued.

There’s one problem.  You’re not just going to download it and ‘figure it out’. It will take some basic training. And that, with the SOHO group–who I would implicitly trust to get me up and running in either their one or two day course–is a few hundred dollars for a day or about $1500 for the more intensive two day course. They’ve got a 3 day course in the works.

I spent time time discussing my exact needs and trying to determine if I needed the one or two day course. I was pretty determined to work out a schedule whereby I could go down to London and do it at the earliest opportunity.

Then serendipity struck on Linkedin.

There’s a colorist in the U.S. who has just released a product called ‘Color Finale’. (It runs on FCPX Yosemite only)

There’s no mention, but I’d bet anything he’s a Divinci Resolve user and I think what he’s done is produced a program that has the most crucial tools found in Divinci Resolve. If so, I should be clear: Divinci Resolve is the bees knees and has everything you would ever want as a colorist. But clearly, not all of us need all those tools. Just as clearly, we could all use some of the basic magic available that goes beyond the scope of what we can do in our NLE of choice. And I think that’s what he’s done.

The really good news is that if you buy it by 3 March, you can get it for $79. After that it will be $99.

Furthermore, one of the things that Divinci Resolve has that is mind-blowing is ‘masking and tracking’. In Resolve it’s absolutely magical how easy it works. (say you change the color of a shirt in the background and someone passes in front of it–well, masking and tracking is how you deal with that and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do it easily in Resolve). Anyway, that feature will be coming to Color Finale in a ‘pro version’. However, if you buy it now, you are grandfathered in and you will get the future upgrades with no further charges.

So far he’s got a couple of good tutorials on his site with, undoubtedly more to come.

So…a few hundred dollars plus travel and expenses to London for a day…or $79 for a program that does everything I need to make anything I produce look better?

I’m sold.

Here’s the link: Color Finale

 

BVE (Broadcast Video Expo) London

Posted in D) Reviews, Run 'N Gun Videography on February 26, 2015 by Video Whisperer

BVE London

(from the Run and Gun Videography Blog, published here as well for your info).

(Updated 26 Feb)

There are a few take-aways from the BVE Expo in London for the run and gunner.

LED lights

1. My primary area of interest in attending was LED light technology because I figured that’s where the industry is heading. And I was right. Boy, they sure have made fantastic advances. Prices are still high but they will come down.

The first thing I noticed is that they’ve been making the equivalent of 1K and 2K fresnel lamps (focusable point source lights). The run and gunner doesn’t really need anything that powerful, BUT–that means we’re no longer restricted to soft box lighting as the only practical means of lighting location shots. Fresnels are lenses on lamps that allow you to ‘spot’ and ‘flood’ a light. And, being a point source, you can also easily control (with barn doors or external flags and gobos) where the light hits. This is what Hollywood uses to light sets.

Anyway, they also had smaller point source LED lamps, but from what I saw, they dropped down to the 100 watt range. There were a lot of these tiny focusable LED lights complete with barn doors, but oddly I didn’t see anything in a mid-range equal to, say, a 500 watt tungsten lamp.

But…

While that was good news generally, that’s not what I was looking for. I was looking for a quality replacement for what I currently use which is flouro soft boxes which, with the biggest bulb, barely equate to a 300 watt tungsten halogen. And these are the things that most run and gunners are using. You really have to get them close to achieve any sort of modelling in a typical corporate shoot in a daylight lit room.

There have been LED panels available for a few years that weren’t much better in term of luminance. And most came from China.

This is the area that has seen fantastic improvement. There was a plethora of LED light panels of various sizes. And the main thing I noticed was that they were all amazingly BRIGHT.  Furthermore, most companies provided a model that will give you both daylight and tungsten (interior) colour balance.

But they’re still rather pricey. At least now, if you can afford them, they’ve got enough ‘umph’ to way outdo anything you can do with the current flourescent soft boxes. And they come with various filters that can either focus that output to a 30% area, or diffuse it further. And they’re dimmable, controllable from smartphones, and all sorts of fancy usable stuff like that.

However, it wasn’t until I found one small booth that I got really excited.

Let me explain:

There were half a dozen or more companies offering some very attractive and high quality LED panels ranging from about £400 to almost £1000. I’m talking small panels such as a run and gunner would use for interviews. The high-end expensive ones were worth it for what they could do. But still, that’s a lot of money.

The one thing common to ALL of them was that they came in metal housings with barn doors and slots for filters, jacks for batteries, and control panels on the back. I wasn’t expecting anything else….

Until I found this small booth.

What caught my attention was an LED panel wrapped around a 1 liter water bottle sitting on a desk. I noticed it while talking to an American that was responsible for a very high quality German design which I quite liked (but which was a tad expensive).

Turns out that panel wrapped around the water bottle was the product sold by an outfit called Pro Light Direct (who also distributes the German design I mentioned).

It was brilliant.

That little LED panel is probably what is behind most of the other LED panel designs. I mean, if you looked inside of their fancy aluminum casings, essentially what you’d find is what this guy was selling without the fancy box. And it was flexible.

Flexible LED Panel

Currently available in either 56K or 32K dimmable units. Bi-coloured versions coming soon.

So here was this amazingly bright LED panel on a flexible backing that could be velcroed to a wall, a ceiling, a car windshield…, or put in the very simple aluminum frame provided so that it could be put on any light stand or clamp. I asked if it was durable. To answer that he threw it down on the ground, still lit. Yeah, it’s durable.

At the show he had a softbox (which was a prototype, not yet available) that could be affixed to the supporting frame .

LED panel in it's supporting aluminum frame attached to its softbox with velcro.

LED panel in it’s supporting aluminum frame attached to its softbox with velcro.

But the whole thing was feather weight and would take up practically no room in your light case.

It’s currently only available in 56K panel or a 32K panel, but he says they’ll soon have a bi-colour version of the same.

THIS is the one you want!  It’s still about £400 or so with its controller  (I forget the exact price), but of everything I saw, this is the one that got me excited.

Furthermore, unlike the cheap Chinese ones you can get on eBay, this one is close too 100% accurate on colour temperature (as most of these products that I saw at the show were). And, it’s really BRIGHT!

That said, there was another really clever one that caught my attention. It’s expensive, but very clever. It’s an LED block system whereby you can plug 2 or more together to whatever size or configuration you want. I’ll just give the link so you can check it out. They’re made in France: Exalux

Stabilising Gear

The other thing that was prominent was stabilising equipment for DSLRs.

It was sad.

I saw guys suited up in some stuff that looked more gruesome than a Steadicam wobbling around like Frankenstein with a DSLR attached, not to mention other DSLR set-ups that looked like they might cost as much as an Apollo mission.

Guys–don’t go there.

I can do better than what they can do with all that with my Sony PXW X70.

Oh, and Sony announced a couple days ago that the 4K upgrade will be available for the X70 in around June 2015. I think there’s an upgrade you can get right now that deals with a few things like improve facial recognition.

Also heard from Sony that Apple may have an XAVC plug-in in a couple of months. At any rate, they say it’s in Apple’s hands now, as Sony has given them all they need to be able to do it.

Orca Gear Bags

In my ebook Run ‘n Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide, I discussed the merits of soft bags versus hard bags and specifically my case of choice from Lightware in the U.S.

In short, hard cases (such as Pelikan and Anvil) with hard foam cut-outs for your equipment still transfer all the shock directly to your equipment if you were to drop the case. They’re also heavier.

Lightware cases are built around tough Lexan (the perspex that aircraft windows are made of) boxes padded with foam and encased in a very tough fabric with moveable velcro dividers inside. You could throw it off a moving truck and your gear would be safe because the case gives slightly and absorbs the shock without collapsing while your equipment just jostles around within the padded partitions.

Now meet Orca.

Orca bag

Made in Israel, this bag was an instant hit for me. It probably isn’t as tough as a Lightware case, but is built on the same principle. For those who don’t make a habit of throwing their stuff out of moving vehicles (it would probably survive that too though it might get scuffed up more) it’s a fantastic line of cases. Plus, as you can see in the photo, they have a cool LED strip that lights up the inside of the case. If you’ve ever been backstage during show-time looking for a spare battery or something, you’ll know how brilliant that is.

Instead of a lexan box, the structural strength comes from an internal honeycomb frame with an exterior strengthening aluminum frame.  They’re even lighter than a Lightware case, but importantly, they’re also cheaper. In fact I was surprised at the price. The one shown here was £225. They come in various configurations (bag, back pack, LED kit, sound rig) but nothing on the large side yet. Here’s their site: Orca

‘Run ‘n Gun Videography’ — Amazon reviews

Posted in D) Reviews, Run 'N Gun Videography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2015 by Video Whisperer

Run 'n Gun Videography

 

Some newsy stuff.

The video review of the Sony PXW X70 completed its journey from page 26 on a Google search to the number 1 video spot in just under 2 1/2 months. Still annoyed by the couple of sound faults in that video but strangely in just under 17,000 views to date, no one has complained. That’s good because that was a 26 hour upload on a tenuous internet connection.

Run ‘n Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide has now been out 5 weeks, with 125 copies sold. New territory for me. Not sure how that rates. Here are the reviews so far:

 

This book is an amazing find! It is one of those rare gems 5 Feb. 2015

By WisePurchaserPublished on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This book is an amazing find! It is one of those rare gems that occasionally crosses one’s path, if at all. I say this because the author has distilled a wide assortment of complex issues related to videography into one easy-to-understand source. The author, Joe Caneen, is a veteran videographer with years of industry experience – 30 years and counting, in fact. Yet, unlike many seasoned authorities of this caliber who usually get locked into trade convention or spout out-of-reach techno jargon, Mr. Caneen is refreshingly unpretentious and accessible. So, if you are a beginner videographer who values a didactic approach that fuses intellect with common-sense, that balances artistic technique with practicality, then the good spirits of fate have led you to the right place. Read this text! Learn the many nuggets of wisdom contained within! And you will most assuredly thank me later.

By Kenneth Mullinge

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I’ve just finished reading Joe’s book and I have to say I found it very enjoyable and easy to read. He points out a number of things that I found very useful, the single main point which he makes (and I will not describe here) was more than worth the cost of the book alone. Definitely buy this book if you are interested in becoming a better videographer.

Kenny M

5.0 out of 5 stars

A no-nonsense book stuffed full of very good advice and tips 16 Jan. 2015

By J. J. Robertson

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

A no-nonsense book stuffed full of very good advice and tips. Joe Caneen really knows his trade and gets straight to the point with his writing. I wish I’d read this book years ago instead of learning the hard way by making lots of mistakes!

5.0 out of 5 stars

The most inspiring video teacher I have found! 6 Jan. 2015

By Justin OpinionPublished on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I have waited patiently… oh who am I kidding, I’ve never been patient about anything! But I’ve waited for this book to be finished because – well, because I had no choice. But Joe (The Video Whisperer) was kind enough to share snippets of the text on his blog site during the process, and that helped.

Let me preface (what, preface has to be at the top?), okay then let me just say that I have not read the full finished work as yet and am reviewing it anyway. I don’t normally do that – but want to give full disclosure to it. I do feel qualified to offer you my opinion now because I have read so much of it already, and am familiar with the work of this expert craftsman. Joe, from what I’ve learned over time, has spent a career behind the camera in many types of productions. The kind of work where you get one chance to get it right, and that’s it. And even if you can take a second try at it – it comes at a high cost. You don’t have a long and rewarding career if you don’t excel at meeting those objectives.

Good quality cameras are readily available now on nearly every budget level. But if you want to get beyond “point it that way and hit the red button” skill level, you need advice and insight. And The Video Whisperer is the best I’ve found. In part, I freely admit, because I just like him. His personality and easy communication style are very relaxing and familiar. And I find that with that relaxed feeling, my mind is much more receptive to the information being given.

I make videos on YouTube – mostly about the shooting sports and guns in general, so I was not only not offended by the many gun references, I enjoy them. If you are of a different opinion on that topic, don’t fret – the book really is about cameras and how to use them. The analogies are just too easy, and I think quite entertaining. I mention that I make videos because my point is that I fumble at it, and I struggle with it. The improvements I have made have come largely from the inspiration and information from The Video Whisperer – whom I discovered accidentally by watching his review of a Sony camera (that I ultimately purchased and use). The quality of his work in that review left my jaw on the table, and I’ve been hooked since.

If you have a passion, just an interest, or simply a need to learn more and improve your skills with video cameras, I can’t recommend this book enough. What I think you will receive from it above all is INSPIRATION!

5.0 out of 5 stars

This Should be a Required Text for Video and Film Students!! 18 Jan. 2015

By M. RajaPublished on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I am not a videographer or a photographer, but do need some help in taking nice pictures of my orchids. Years ago, Joe had given me some basic suggestions about photography and, having internalized them, I have often found myself using those basic techniques even when taking pictures with my iPhone camera. This book, thus, provides a whole wealth of practical and conceptual explanations that would be useful for all those who enjoy filming or hope to launch a professional career as cameramen/women or as film-makers.

I found it especially refreshing that the author first provides the fundamental and core concepts about larger practices (Read Chapter 2 as a great example of this) and then builds on that: this is what we do in our literary studies classes, where we encourage our students to learn the basics first and after that performing complex tasks becomes easier. It seems Joe has given his audience a kind of how-to-book that explains, beyond technique, the how and why aspects of the craft of videography!

This book will be highly useful to all those studying film or film production at college level and I, for one, am certainly going to recommend it as a possible text to the film department at my university!!!

5.0 out of 5 stars

Concrete advice for solo videographers 22 Jan. 2015

By MatthewPublished on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Great read on fundamentals and advanced techniques of a solo videographer’s world. Easy to read and filled with practical info on lots of topics: gear choice, marketing yourself and your videos, interview tips, editing, what to charge for your services…. Written very conversational and witty, this book kinda feels like sitting down with a trusted mentor sharing his wisdom.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book from an authentic working professional explaining the concepts and mechanics of invisible camerawork 11 Jan. 2015

By Miklos NemethPublished on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Absolutely worth every penny. The book has general “life philosophy/wisdom” as well as videography/cinematography/photography (concepts) sections, and specific detailed technical chapters, too. The main advantage of reading a book like this is that it comes from the pen of an authentic/original source, a professional videographer who has been earning his family’s bread for decades on videography. On a couple of videography forums I found a number of excellent comments, but I wanted a book that you can read from page one to the end covering practically every aspects of videography.

4.0 out of 5 stars

Good honest book about videography with tips earnt with experience. 12 Jan. 2015

By cheekysaffer

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I am one of those people who watched the Sony NX30 camera reviews on YouTube a while ago looking for a new camera.

The first thing I noticed when watching the video was that Joe seems very sincere and it was obvious that he has years of experience in the video and film industry. I am just starting up my video production company and it was very assuring to hear that you don’t need to have a really expensive camera to be professional. Although I did spend £4k on a second hand one which I wanted….

I visit thevideowhisperer YouTube channel from time to time and this is how I learned that Joe has now written a book on the subject of videography.

I just bought this today and finished it tonight. Its a good honest book that really strips down the whole professional videography subject into core chapters. Its filled with really good advice that you can tell was earned in the field.

As I don’t have any professional paid experience yet, I was looking for this kind of book. Anything that can help me produce better quality videos for my future clients and possibly help to prevent me making silly mistakes is worth the asking price of this book.

As someone who is about to leave an engineering career to do what I always wanted to do, its good to find that extra little inspiration from a real professional in the game.

A good easy read, highly recommended for people who are thinking of going pro.

 

The ‘Filmic Look’

Posted in Run 'N Gun Videography, Sony PXW-X70 with tags , , on February 1, 2015 by Video Whisperer

Since uploading the review of the Sony PXW X70 (which moved from page 26 to the number one slot on page 1 Google search in two 1/2 months) I have gotten a lot of comments on the YouTube video as well as a number of comments on the blog and personal emails. They’ve all been truly great.

Confession: I’ve never been a geek. I admire those who are and those who understand all the ins and outs of codecs and all things electronically technical. I really do.

Some of those folks have commented now and then that I should look into some of the available pre-sets on the X70. More than a few have commented that with a proper setting my videos wouldn’t look so ‘video-like’.

Well, I really do want to look into those settings when I get a moment. In fact, I look forward to it.

And while I may eat my words after I’ve done so, I do want to mention something on the subject of the ‘filmic look’ that I didn’t mention in the book ‘Run ’n Gun Videography published recently.

I started off in cinematography. Film. First 16mm with a $50,000 camera/lens kit (in the early 80s), then 35mm with cameras costing between $50,000 and $250,000.

Funny thing. Even then I didn’t like the ‘filmic look’.

That, to me, meant GRAIN. And we were forever testing films and ASA (ISO) going for the least amount of grain as possible.

Anyway, in the early 90s I was assigned to a video documentary team. And at once, I loved the immediacy of video. You didn’t have to send it to the lab. You could play it back right then and there. And, of course, there was no grain. We had pretty good broadcast quality Sony cameras, so the picture quality was excellent. Crisp. Clear. Great color reproduction. I was in heaven.

Guess I was never really a film snob.

So my point is this: “What’s wrong with the ‘video look’? What’s this urge for people using video cameras to make them seem to be film cameras?

The chapter in the book that covers this subject was meant to clarify what is really meant by the ‘filmic look’. It’s a bit ironic actually how the filmic look came about—including how shallow depth of field came about. But as I said in the book, there hasn’t been a director or cinematographer in history that attributed any part of the success of a film at some awards ceremony to ‘depth of field’ or a particular film stock. It just never crossed their minds. Sure, they’d talk about their choice and manipulation of film stock for some particular look or mood they achieved, but that was in magazine articles. There’s something else far more intrinsic and important to the filmic look than all that stuff and that was the point of that chapter in ‘Run ‘n Gun Videography’.

But I also pointed out that I’m not ‘down on the filmic look’ either. I know what they’re talking about.

It’s just that I’m not down on the ‘video look’ either.

Maybe I’ll have to eat my words after I check into the X70s alternative pre-sets, but I can’t imagine that they won’t just be another version of the ‘video look’.

“Run ‘n Gun Videography” eBook, First Reviews

Posted in Run 'N Gun Videography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2015 by Video Whisperer

Run ‘n Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide is now live on Amazon as a Kindle eBook.

25 Chapters, 219 pages, 60 photos and illustrations, $7.77 /£5.05 (available worldwide). You can buy it here.

You don’t need a Kindle reader to read a Kindle book. Anyone can download the free Kindle app for pc or Mac right on the Amazon page (links below).

Along with the new book is a new blog Run and Gun Videography, which is both a supplement to the book and a developing resource for lone shooters and those just starting off in the videography business.

Run ‘n Gun Videography is the perfect primer for those starting out as videographers. It will get you off on the right foot.

The book was written mainly for lone shooters, small production companies and those just starting out in the business. You’ll find, however, that the information is equally applicable to class A feature films.

In my opinion you could either go to film school or read this book. Or read this book and get a hell of a lot more out of film school because you will have your priorities set straight.

Reviews

It’s been out for three weeks now with 7 reviews so far between the US and UK. I don’t know these people, except through the blog, but I sincerely appreciate the time taken to post the reviews and look forward to more.

Here’s a sampling:

Justin Opinion

…Good quality cameras are readily available now on nearly every budget level. But if you want to get beyond “point it that way and hit the red button” skill level, you need advice and insight. And The Video Whisperer is the best I’ve found. In part, I freely admit, because I just like him. His personality and easy communication style are very relaxing and familiar. And I find that with that relaxed feeling, my mind is much more receptive to the information being given…

If you have a passion, just an interest, or simply a need to learn more and improve your skills with video cameras, I can’t recommend this book enough. What I think you will receive from it above all is INSPIRATION!

Miklos Nemeth

Absolutely worth every penny. The book has general “life philosophy/wisdom” as well as videography/cinematography/photography (concepts) sections, and specific detailed technical chapters, too. The main advantage of reading a book like this is that it comes from the pen of an authentic/original source, a professional videographer who has been earning his family’s bread for decades on videography. On a couple of videography forums I found a number of excellent comments, but I wanted a book that you can read from page one to the end covering practically every aspects of videography.

Cheeksaffer

I am one of those people who watched the Sony NX30 camera reviews on YouTube a while ago looking for a new camera.

The first thing I noticed when watching the video was that Joe seems very sincere and it was obvious that he has years of experience in the video and film industry. I am just starting up my video production company and it was very assuring to hear that you don’t need to have a really expensive camera to be professional. Although I did spend £4k on a second hand one which I wanted….

I visit thevideowhisperer YouTube channel from time to time and this is how I learned that Joe has now written a book on the subject of videography.

I just bought this today and finished it tonight. Its a good honest book that really strips down the whole professional videography subject into core chapters. Its filled with really good advice that you can tell was earned in the field.

As I don’t have any professional paid experience yet, I was looking for this kind of book. Anything that can help me produce better quality videos for my future clients and possibly help to prevent me making silly mistakes is worth the asking price of this book.

As someone who is about to leave an engineering career to do what I always wanted to do, its good to find that extra little inspiration from a real professional in the game.

A good easy read, highly recommended for people who are thinking of going pro.

Professor M. Raja

…This book, thus, provides a whole wealth of practical and conceptual explanations that would be useful for all those who enjoy filming or hope to launch a professional career as cameramen/women or as film-makers.

I found it especially refreshing that the author first provides the fundamental and core concepts about larger practices (Read Chapter 2 as a great example of this) and then builds on that: this is what we do in our literary studies classes, where we encourage our students to learn the basics first and after that performing complex tasks becomes easier. It seems Joe has given his audience a kind of how-to-book that explains, beyond technique, the how and why aspects of the craft of videography!

This book will be highly useful to all those studying film or film production at college level and I, for one, am certainly going to recommend it as a possible text to the film department at my university!!!

Matthew

Great read on fundamentals and advanced techniques of a solo videographer’s world. Easy to read and filled with practical info on lots of topics: gear choice, marketing yourself and your videos, interview tips, editing, what to charge for your services…. Written very conversational and witty, this book kinda feels like sitting down with a trusted mentor sharing his wisdom.

Price: U.S. $9.99/UK £6.52, but it is available globally, so depending where you are, either of the two links at the bottom of this page might ask you to sign into Amazon in your own country.

New: Run ‘n Gun Videography Blog

With the release of this book I’ve started a new blog called Run ‘n Gun Videography. It is meant to be a companion to the book in that part of its function is to supplement the book with sample videos relevant to certain chapters. Beyond that I hope to build it into a growing resource of information for lone shooters and small production companies with links to helpful information and relevant articles sent in by subscribers. You don’t need to have read the book to subscribe or to read the new blog, but in certain cases it will make more sense to have read the book. The blog is in its infancy, but I will endeavor to regularly update it with useful information.

Review Request

I would sincerely appreciate it if those of you who do buy and read the book  would post a review on Amazon once you’ve read the book.  As most readers here know, we don’t tend to buy anything of this sort (be it equipment or books) without reading reviews first.

Please feel free to share the link on your own networks.

Also, feel free to write me directly with any questions or requests using the contact links at the back of the book or through this blog.

BUY U.S. version (Amazon.com)

BUY UK version (Amazon.co.uk)

 My Own Wee Promo for the Book (VIDEO)…

The Book Cover:

Run _'n _Gun_Videography-cover

Pure Frickin’ Black Magic–Sony PXW X70

Posted in A) Sony HXR NX30, D) Reviews, Run 'N Gun Videography, Sony PXW-X70 with tags , , , on November 24, 2014 by Video Whisperer

Update: I’ve now added an X70 Resources Guide over there on the right side under my picture (on the Home Page of the blog). This is useful information culled from the comments people have been sending in and will be periodically updated.

Pure Frickin’ Black Magic

Well, I had to title it that way so you know it’s me.

The Sony HXR NX30 review (Pure Frickin’ Magic) got 80,000 views between its two parts at this writing and became the top search result for that camera within a few months of it’s upload and has been ever since. Thanks to all of you who watched it, commented and shared.

This PXW X70 review is a bit long (24 minutes-yikes!). I hope it’s worth your time.

Many have asked if the stabilisation is as good as the NX30’s. In this review you’ll find a side by side comparison with both cameras on the same mount during long, sustained walking shots both from behind and from in front of the subject. The answer to that question will be obvious.

This is a 1″ sensor camera with a fixed lens. It’s ‘4K ready’ meaning Sony plans to release a future firmware upgrade (for a fee).

It’s slightly bigger and heavier than the NX30, but is still a small camera, perfect for run and gunners.

You will get nicer interview shots in terms of depth of field, but it won’t be as nice as some of the more expensive 1″ sensor cameras with interchangeable fast lenses or DSLRs. You’ll see samples of what your interview shots can look like in the review.

Personally I haven’t bought into the whole ‘cinematic’ look as being a vital commodity in corporate video production. Whether ‘cinematic’ or otherwise, if a video producer gets the message across with clarity and impact resulting in increased name recognition or sales or whatever the objective is,  he’s done his job and the client is happy. Technical rendition will never trump message and too many people are so into their technical rendition that they forget the main reason they’re producing a video in the first place. That said, for those pros who innately apply that principle (and many do), nothing wrong with ‘cinematic’.

This camera is ideal for the lone shooter for its size, ease of operation, intelligent auto systems, stabilisation, and now, more of an edge on shallow depth of field than smaller sensor cameras in this class. Not to mention its price at £1800/well under $2500.

Due to it’s larger size, it’s got a lot more easy access buttons for various aspects of manual control.

The menu is easy to access and is loaded with features.

It can shoot in AVCHD mode like the NX30, but also in XAVCHD which takes full advantage of the full HD information. It’s a format designed to handle 4K.

With shooting modes capable of 50mbps, the camera qualifies for broadcast quality. I can’t speak for the BBC, but I’ve already gotten a green light from another national station that may use some of my footage for a program being done on Belvoir Castle on which estate I live.

But as with the NX30, the reason I bought this camera is for the corporate videos I do as a lone shooter.

As I talk about in the ebook ‘Run ‘n Gun Videography–the Sole Shooters Survival Guide’, I like to travel light and fast.

Where some walk into a corporate video loaded down with a truck load of armaments,  I walk in with a 6 shooter and get the job done. A friend recently told me you have to impress them with your fancy cameras. In his case he brings along the fancy cameras along with his small ones. In the end, it’s the small ones that get used in his edits. Why go through all the trouble? I’ve never once had anyone comment on the size of my camera. No, I take that back…when I used to travel with the big ones, I got a lot more trouble from security and police. But that’s because I was alone and didn’t have an organisation working ahead to clear everything.

And when you’re alone, you need a camera that’s ‘got your back’.

It was uploaded in full 1080 HD, so be sure to select that in the YouTube drop down menu for best evaluation of the footage.

The second video below is simply a 2 minute excerpt of the first one and features the side by side comparison of the X70 to the NX30 in Active Mode stabilisation.

The third video there is Sony’s promo for the camera mentioned in my review. The detail shots of the artisan glass truly showcase the image quality the camera is capable of.

There are a few of points where the audio dropped low and/or I forgot to add a filter to a bit I added. Unfortunately it was late and I didn’t catch it before the 22 hour upload, so sorry about that!

(UK videographers/photographers see note below the videos)

UK BUYERS:

When I bought the NX30 I bought it from Jigsaw24.com out of Nottingham. I was so impressed with their courteous and helpful prompt replies to emails and lightning fast delivery (paid one afternoon and it was on my doorstep next morning), I added a link on the blog. I did note that many people clicked on it but have no idea if any sales resulted.

This time I contacted the Sales Manager Andy Crawford and asked him if were to do mention it on the blog again if he would offer any incentive. He said he would. How much, I don’t know. But these guys were so upbeat, knowledgable and service oriented, when I bought the X70 I didn’t even shop for prices. I just went back to Jigsaw 24, bought it, and received it next day again.

Check out their site for all they have to offer in professional video and audio equipment (and more).

But if you want to buy the X70, Andy says to contact him directly at:   andyc@jigsaw24.com

NEED A MODEL?
And finally, a small advert, if you’re interested in hiring Ania for fashion, glamour, catalogue or advertising, go here.

Sony PXW X70 Preview

Posted in Sony PXW-X70 on November 17, 2014 by Video Whisperer

Some of you asked for a little preview of the upcoming review. Ok. Besides some footage of an English shoot, you’ll also get some footage inside Belvoir Castle… The video review should be up in about a week. Promise. I know, I know, now you can’t wait to see Belvoir Castle. 23 Nov update: It’s uploading now. Uh, kinda long (24 minutes). Hoping the power doesn’t go out. And yes, Ania (pictured) is in the video. IMG_8937

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