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NAB 2009, Day 2

Posted by Brian Paris on Apr 19, 2009 in Blog

Started off the day at the DP conference with a good demo of the Phantom HD camera. The camera is a high speed machine, able to capture 2K footage at 1000 frames per second. This produces great looking slow motion footage. The footage that they showed was very impressive. Wouldn’t mind having one of them.

After lunch there was a demo by Grass Valley showing their Viper camera. Not a bad camera, but it just seems like it is a little old and out of place. They were one of the first on the market, but it is showing its age. That coupled with the fact that Grass Valley is up for sale makes it hard to want to invest in them. They also showed their HD camera, the Infinity. This was the most video looking camera that we have seen so far. Definitely not what I was looking for.

Panasonic was next up. It was pretty much just a sales presentation talking about how great Panasonic was. Not useful at all. If I wanted that info, I could have just read a brochure. The one good thing they said was that they were bringing out cheaper P2 cards out. They will have limited read/write cycles but will be significantly cheaper.

The rest of the afternoon was Gary Adcock time. He is a really good speaker, with lots of energy. His first talk was about being a DIT. It is a new position in the film making work flow, and it is vitally important to the whole process. With so many different systems, cameras, recording devices, and post production expectations, it is becoming a super skilled tech job. Not sure how many people are up for being great DIT’s, but I imagine that they will be in high demand. There is a good pdf of tapeless workflow best practices on the Fletcher website. It is a modified version of Gary’s rules.

Gary then talked about LUTs and monitoring. I thought that this was a little too technical, with out a lot of easy to use information. I understand things a little better now, but I still have to do some research to get the basics completely under control. I will also have to check out some of the better monitors during the show.

Exibition floor opens tomorrow. I will have one more day of DP stuff, but will try to look at as much stuff as possible.

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NAB 2009, Day 1

Posted by Brian Paris on Apr 18, 2009 in Blog

I am in the Director of Photography track at the NAB show in Vegas. Started off the day with a panel discussion led by Gary Adcock. They started by talking about the camera guild and why it was good to have a union. I like the idea of getting everyone trained and working from a standard starting point, but I live a long way away and don’t do any union shooting, so it wasn’t much help for me. They did take some interesting questions. People were asking about the state of digital production, post production, and delivery. There is a lot of change going on in the industry, and there don’t appear to be any solid answers to a lot of the issues out there. Hopefully a few solutions might get announced this week.

Next up was the state of the RED. Ted from RED talked a little about the history of the company and products, and then gave a little outline of their plans. All of this was pretty much on their website, but it was a good summary of everything. Best part was that he showed a lot of footage shot on RED. Some of the scenes were just amazing. I am so impressed with what this camera can do in the right hands. It was used is so many different fields; docs, features, music videos, corporate, commercial. I am looking forward to taking ours out for a spin when I get back to Doha. Seems that it is in Customs limbo right now, but hopefully that get straightened out soon.

Last of the night was an ARRI talk about their D21 camera. I wanted to see this camera, since it is one of the ones that I am considering for use at the college. I have to say that I was not impressed. The camera is large and heavy. Some of the footage was pretty good, but most looked like nice looking video. Not really what I was hoping for. It was nice to see the S.two’s OB1 attached to the camera. This allows for a little less complicated data capture solution. I am sure in the right hands this is a nice camera, but it seems like it is a bit hard to get the best results from this cam.

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ProRes

Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 7, 2009 in Blog

Last year at one of the Chicago Final Cut Pro User Group Meetings, Gary Adcock gave a presentation with detailed information on Apple’s ProRes video codec. I had been using it for awhile when capturing XDCam HD footage through my AJA Kona 3. I was amazed at the quality that I was getting even when I was green screening, color correcting and adding graphics. This was uncompressed quality at one-fifth the file size. But my opinion was just based on what I was seeing personally. I was completely sold when Gary went through all of the technical test and proved that it was not only as good as I thought it was, but even better. Well, I just found his write up from the test over on the ProVideo Coalition website (ProRes: A Closer Look). Check it out and you will never go back to DVCpro HD.

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