My configuration of recording equipment didn’t look sane, but worked well. Because the A/D converters are all inside the mic, the device to which it is connected has no bearing on the quality of the recorded audio. For the sake of mobility and because the device is fanless, I recorded using the mic connected to an iPad. –But the Yeti draws just enough power over USB to cause an iPad to disconnect and complain. So I connected the Yeti to one of those split USB cables that come with portable hard drives; One end of the split cable went to the Yeti, the other split end went into a USB battery pack to provide additional power, and then finally that cable was connected to a USB mini hub which was connected to the iPad using the iPad Camera Connection kit. The free iTalk app was used to start, stop, monitor, and transfer recordings.
That’s because the Monoprice “5-inch Powered Studio Monitor Speakers” look suspiciously similar to M-Audio’s BX5 monitors –the size and specifications are nearly identical3. But Monoprice’s sell for 40-50% less money. Here’s a little comparison:
Were I building an editing station from scratch right now, I’d probably be checking reviews of Monoprice’s mixer, their 27″ IPS monitor, and their audio monitors (once they are all released). These are key components of any editing system, and I’ve definitely spent beyond those prices kitting out my setup of hardware that has roughly equivalent specifications.
- “In Plane Switching, a very nice type of LCD panel. [↩]
- 2560×1440 [↩]
- There is one minor difference I spotted between these models, and that is that the Monoprice monitor includes a “four-position high-frequency bias selector switch”, which is not a feature of the M-Audio BX5-D2. But previous versions of M-Audio’s BX5 did include such switches, so maybe Monoprice’s monitor is more of a match to M-Audio’s older monitor? [↩]
Video was captured using a GoPro camera mounted to the Quadshot Mocha multicopter’s built-in tripod mount, and an 808 keychain camera #11 with D lens velcro’d to the Gopro (accidentally rotated to the vertical).
More to come.
Deal 1: $499 for Canon T3i DSLR Kit (includes a lightweight and dim 18-55mm lens with built-in stabilization)
Deal 2: $669 for Canon T3i kit with 18-55mm kit lens and 2 additional lenses (55-250mm, 75-300mm). I tend not to recommend lenses that cover long ranges as there are so many design compromises that go into maximizing that range that other qualities of the lenses suffer, but in this case they come out to costing very little. If you don’t like them you could probably sell them on eBay afterward and cover a portion of the cost of the camera.
As far as I know, the video quality of the Canon T3i is identical to that of the T4i and T2i, and pretty indistinguishable from that of the 7D and 60D. If you need such a thing, both of the deals listed above seem pretty good to me.
- “Cyber Monday”, ew. [↩]
Assuming the deal lasts at least until this link is clicked, Amazon’s selling The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] for $5.99. That’s a two-disc set full of tons of extras. Even if you’re just technically-minded, those extras alone are worth the cost, as it’s fun to see how the tons of VFX shots were executed. I’m not just talking about the head replacement –the boat floated in an impressive CG sea, actors were aged and youthened, foreign and domestic locations stood in for one another. Lots of groundbreaking VFX.
I’d previously posted when the film was at Amazon for $14.99 back in late ’09. I don’t really understand how film retaling works, I’d love to see a graph of its pricing over time, I wonder if this is a normal price decrease or if they’re hoping to spike Christmas sales.
Regardless the reason, this is a good deal. I think the DVD’s $1.99. But if you can play Blu-ray, go that route. It’s a great-looking film.
|9/25/12||Update on Camera Shipments|
|10/19/12||Camera Shipping Update: 10/19|
|10/29/12||Camera Shipping Update: 10/29|
|11/7/12||Camera Shipping Update: 11/7|
|11/15/12||Camera Shipping Update: 11/15|
|12/14/12||Camera Shipping Update: 12/14|
In case you were wondering about the proximity of kids to smoking fruit or brightly-colored animals, fear not, it’s all an illusion –the animations and smoke were added in post. Granted, smoking has fallen out of favor in the modern age, but pineapples don’t even have lungs, so they don’t face the same risks as humans.
If you haven’t yet heard of the BlackMagic Cinema Camera (henceforth BMCC) and you are a filmmaker, it’s time for you to read up on it, watch a review, and view a great comparison between the BMCC and the Canon 5D mark III DSLR. As long as BlackMagic manages to ship the BMCC in bulk, people will be making tons of very good looking low-budget films using this camera, and it’s going to displace many DSLRs and prosumer camcorders. The image quality for the price is unmatched.
Did I mention dynamic range? Here’s a still frame from a clip shot at the latter end of dusk. The camera was set to its minimum ASA setting of 200, which explains why the initial image looks very dark. Because The BlackMagic Cinema Camera records each 2.5K frame of video as an individual 5Mb 12-bit raw file, and because its sensor captures a staggering 13-stops of dynamic range, there is much information in the shadows (and highlights) of the image that can be revealed when adjusting the image. I knew this, but was still amazed to see just how much information was waiting in the shadows. Click the ‘graded’ link below the image, drag the green handle to the left and right, or tap around within the image if on a mobile device, to compare the original image to the graded version.
Here’s another still, from a clip shot slightly earlier in the evening. It initially looked unsalvageably dark, which is pretty close to how it looked to the naked eye in real life. I adjusted the image and warmed the color temperature a little bit to see how far I could pull it. The result I’m going to call “night-for-day shooting”! (again, click the ‘graded’ link or drag the handle to compare the original and processed image).
One more before-after comparison; I do prefer the stark, silhouetted look of this as shot, and our model Erik really knows how to create drama when striking a pose –but if it were part of a scene in a film in which the actor’s facial expression was important, it’d be nice if there were detail in the shadows to bring up. With the BMCC, there is that option.
It was great to get a chance to play with this camera and evaluate its potential. It exceeds the hype. We’re going to see good things coming from BMCCs, assuming BlackMagic can get them shipping in bulk soon. And I hope they do, because a couple of days after I shot these tests I sold off a piece of equipment I’d deprecated and pre-ordered my BMCC.
That price drop happened today, who knows how long it’ll last. If you haven’t seen the film, now’s your chance to do so for less than the price of a time machine and a 1986 cinema ticket. Wow, has it really been that long since Cameron was in Egypt land?