Does The Chair In Your Edit Suite Swivel?

Apple’s teased iMac Pro launches Today, and to take advantage of all that new horsepower, they are also shipping a major revision to Final Cut Pro X (can we drop the X at this point?). 9 to 5 Mac has a nice walk through.

Colour timing has much finer control, you can edit 360 degree video, and there is native support for h.265 among other new features.

The iMac Pro looks like good bang for the buck in its base configurations, but adding options raises the price quickly.  After they abandoned pro users by not updating the “trash can” Mac for 3 years, this is the machine that was going to be their new high end machine.  They’ve since said in public that they are working on an even higher end modular pro machine that will come sometime in 2018.

As someone who loves Mac and uses FCP, I’m glad to see Apple’s renewed focus on pro users.  I can’t see myself switching eco-systems to Windows anytime soon.  But I’m also gun shy about Apple’s dedication to the Mac and pro users.  You pay a pretty steep price premium for hardware in the Apple universe.  It’s hard to make that sort of investment when you see their commitment sometimes varies like the wind.

Source: Hands-on: Final Cut Pro 10.4 adds 360 VR, advanced color grading, HDR support, and more [Video]


A Brief Look at B&H in New York

I think anybody who is interested in video gear has to have ended up on the website of B&H at one time or another.  They are a gear “Superstore” based in New York.  My guess (and it’s only a guess) would be that next to Amazon and Ebay, they are the largest gear retailer in North America.

I like two things specifically about them.  One: they almost always have stock, especially of products new to the market.  I try to shop locally/nationally when I can, but the demands of the film business are unforgiving.  When clients need something, they want it Yesterday, forget about 2-3 weeks from now.  Two: I like the organization of their web site.  Even if I don’t intend to buy from B&H, their website is an incredible resource to compare and discover categories of gear.

A business as big as theirs is not without some controversy, I’ll let you decide how you feel about that.  I also wish they would stop sending out their paper catalogue.  It’s 3/4″ thick.  Is there anyone who uses it in the age of the internet?  That’s a lot of dead trees.


MASV 2.0 – the pay-as-you-go massive file transfer service just got better – Newsshooter

This looks very promising.  In this age of no-tape cameras, getting shot footage to clients can be problematic.  You don’t want to hand over your expensive memory card to them and watch them get on a plane, so that generally means buying an external hard drive for the footage and shipping it to them.  This means a trip to the store and back, money for the drive, and money to ship the drive.  Kind of archaic in our modern age.  But file transfer services can be a pain in the behind as well.  FTP is fine if they have a server, but most don’t.  Large video files run over the limits of a lot of the other services.  Some services require custom software, often with a licensing fee.

MASV seems to have addressed a lot of these problems.

Fast – Browser based – Encrypted – Pay As You Go

Worth a look.

Source: MASV 2.0 – the pay-as-you-go massive file transfer service just got better – Newsshooter

Sony Venice Fully Functional FF in February | Film and Digital Times

Here’s a little bit of good news.  I (and others) was critical of Sony when they announced their VENICE camera because it was going to launch missing a lot of features that I thought it should have.  It appears Sony listened (not to me, I’m not that full of myself), because they have made a MAJOR feature change for the launch.

Source: Sony Venice Fully Functional FF in February | Film and Digital Times

BlackMagic Design Announces New Converters

In the world of video, I would hate to be a BlackMagic Design competitor.  They iterate so quickly, and drive their prices down so relentlessly that it must be hard to keep up.  Today they launched a few revisions of their signal conversion boxes.  The link will take you to a page featuring a 25 minute Grant Petty video.  These boxes aren’t sexy, but they are the necessary glue that holds facilities together.  The main news?  All of their Mini Converters now accept 4K signals and can either pass the signal through as 4K, or downconvert to HD, and all for the same price as the previous HD versions.  They also de-imbed audio, and have the capability to add 3D LUTS to the outputted signal.  Their Micro Converters which were already inexpensive at around $100, have had their prices roughly halved again.  They also announced a 8K capture card Today to work with a forthcoming version of Resolve.  Busy beavers!

Negatives?  The Micro Converters have made the new price partially by not shipping with a power supply (since they can power off a standard USB connection).  I haven’t talked to anyone from BM or handled the latest units, but from what I can see in the pictures, a problem I’ve complained about in the past still seems to be present: there is nothing securing the USB connecter to the casing, it is only soldered to the circuit board.  I’ve personally seen two earlier units take a little jolt to the USB connection and break off.  Then what?  Since they are so inexpensive, it’s not worth the shipping, time without the device and cost of repair to send it away to be fixed: just buy a new one.  As they say in the movie Paul “It’s a false economy!”  In the rental market, I can see a LUT being loaded into a Mini Converter, and then not being normalized before it goes out again.  That could make troubleshooting difficult: “I have an image, but why does it look so weird?”

SmallHD adds display calibration to full line of monitors with OS3 – Newsshooter


The thing I like about SmallHD is that all they do is monitors.  They are not cheap, but they’re market competitive.  I also like that they’ve avoided the touchscreen craze.  Why are you going to put smears and fingerprints all over your viewing surface?  SmallHD is pretty prevalent out in the field, and calibration could possibly help get them into more edit suites.  I once had a DIT tell me that in his opinion SmallHD’s high brightness panels were not as accurate to his eye as regular brightness Flanders Scientifics or OLED Sonys.  With the release of their P3X, and now the calibration, they are definitely at the same level with those two.

P.S.  That spot metering waveform feature is pretty cool.

Source: SmallHD adds display calibration to full line of monitors with OS3 – Newsshooter

Cinevate HoriZen Video Slider Features | CheesyCam

Our friends at CheesyCam have a look at the Cinevate HoriZen slider.  I’ve been watching the Cinevate products for a while now, and each new iteration seems to build on the features of the last.  One reason I like them is that they are one of the few that are making a reasonably sized slider that accepts a 100mm ball head.  Let’s face it: almost every shoot you go on, you’re likely to be bringing along your everyday tripod too.  So you bring your 100mm tripod, the slider, and with most sliders, a second separate flat head to screw onto the 3/8″ screw of the slider’s shuttle.  Most of these heads aren’t as capable as your existing tripod head.  Why not just use the 100mm head you already have?  And if you decide to put the slider on an angle, leveling the camera is a snap.

Source: Cinevate HoriZen Video Slider Features | CheesyCam