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Are consumers clamoring for 4K video?

June 26, 2014

Video camera capable of capturing 4K are available from Canon, JVC, Panasonic and Sony. YouTube had offered the ability to stream 4k footage for a few years now and projectors and televisions capable of showing 4K are currently on the market from various companies. Most major Non-Linear Editors (NLE) (Premier, Final Cut and Vegas) offer the ability to edit 4K video.  So where are the consumers asking for 4k footage? Where is the market for these devices? HD has been out for over two decade and the time is ripe for something new! Right? Read the rest of this entry »

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“The Other Side of Ministry” Documentary

June 24, 2014

For quite some time I have had the desire to create a documentary. I don’t want to create one just for the sake of saying “I’ve produced a documentary” but to have a real world impact with what I record, edit and ultimately release. After the work I’ve done with the testimonial Building the Ark I realize that there is an opportunity to create something even bigger. Through out my years working with different churches I have realized that there is a group of individuals who are crucial to the ministry of the church but who’s stories often go unnoticed. I’m speaking specifically of minister’s spouse. These are the people who stand side by side, supporting their spouses’ ministries through thick and thin and seeing another side of the Gospel that we don’t often see. By producing “The Other Side of Ministry” I am giving the spouses an opportunity to share their joys, pains, triumphs and heartache with the rest of us who may not know what they go through on a regular basis. I have heard the stories from a few spouses over the years and I know that they have amazing stories to tell and these stories should be need to be told. I have heard from missionaries who have lost their husbands to accidents in far off places but they continued the work that was started working through immense pain. I have heard stories of victory through faith during supremely difficult times! These stories need to be shared to encourage others and I want to bring these stories out.

The work has begun as 2 letters have been drafted. The first letter goes out to various ministerial spouses around the DMV (Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia area) where the intial round of interviews will take place. I have not placed a cap on the number of spouses I will interview but I hope to start out with at least 10 individuals from as many denominations as possible.  The second letter will go out to those who may be interested in donating to the documentary to help defray the various costs that arise when making films. A crowd sourcing page will be created to give people the opportunity to support the blessing that I am praying that this documentary provides to those who will be touched by the testimonies that will be recorded.

I plan for “The Other Side of Ministry” to be more than just another YouTube video. I intend on entering the final product into film festivals as a means of advertising and then preparing it for distribution across any medium I can get it into. This is the ministry that I have been called to and  plan to follow it to the best of my ability.

If you are interested in being a part of “The Other Side of Ministry” either as an on-screen participant or a donor please contact me through Twitter” (@rbaker_spaceage-llc.com) or on our Facebook page. I hope to hear from you!

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4K for the Prosumer

May 19, 2014

When I first heard about the Sony 4K camera at a consumer level price I knew I wanted to take it for a spin. Coming in at under $2200 I really had high hopes for the camera especially having recently used a Canon XA20 that is currently selling at around the same price. I really enjoyed the XA20 and felt that if Sony could come close to the look and feel of the the Canon while adding 4k it would have a real winner on its hand. And while the fact that the Sony FDR-AX100 could record at Ultra HD 3840×2160 is a major selling point what jumped out at me was the 1″ EXMOR R CMOS sensor that it is using. That size sensor should mean a more narrow depth of field as well as better recording in low light.

I rented the camera from Lensrentals.com, used it to record my interview and then took it out to my usual spot to run it through a few tests. Here is the video of those tests:

 

I like the camera but the ability to shoot 4k doesn’t make up for a few deficiencies on the AX100. I was not fond of the touchscreen as it seems way too small for all the menu information that is displayed. Often times it took a few tries for me to select the right option as my fingers would brush against other menu items. It is fortunate that many buttons are made available on the camera body so the user may not have to use the touchscreen for everything. Lack of XLR input should not be counted as a real negative since this is not billed as a professional model like the Sony PXW-Z100. Ergonomically the camera felt to small for my hands and I was hoping for a little more weight and perhaps a handle. I had a problem accessing the Manual Focus button because of where it was placed.

Visually the camera records very good quality video. As you have seen from the clips I shot the camera will need a little gamma correction and some contrast in post but there is plenty of detail available to work with. When I put up my interview video you will be able to see how well the 1″ sensor shoots indoors. The CMOS sensor, however, has a pronounced problem with Rolling Shutter so fast panning is out of the questions unless don’t mind fixing the issue in post. (Speaking of which, I’m going to test out This Software to see how well it works. Look for a review soon!)

In the same $1900 – $2200  price range there are quite a few non-4K options available that include handles, XLR inputs and a plethora of buttons along with their touchscreens. Why would I choose the AX100 over the other options? I’m not certain I would as I’m not certain 4K ultra HD is worth it yet. One of the reason to shoot in 4K now would be the ability to apply zooming and panning when down converting to 1080p but I notice quite a bit of artifact when I tried that (clips coming soon).

Some additional things to note:

  1. You can only shoot 4k if you have an SDXC card; with an SDHC card you are limited to 1080p. I’m very fortunate that my last purchase was a 64GB SDXC card to that I could get the most out of the AX100. It would have been a shame if I couldn’t test it out completely.
  2. The auto focus is slow. Really slow and switching to manual in a run-n-gun situation is a little awkward because of the MF button placement.
  3. I didn’t do enough 4K low light recording. It would have been easy to setup a candle after it got dark outside and see how well the camera did in low light.

For $2000 I think the camera is good, though not great. I was not as impressed with it as I was with the XA20 but I could definitely see how it could be useful in quite a few spots.

 

BTW – I love doing hardware reviews. If there are any products that you suggest I take a look at please let me know.

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MX Watchdog

March 13, 2014

http://www.mxguarddog.com

For a new, free way to control your domains mail and to curb your Spam Problems take a look at MX Guarddog.com

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Network Upgrades

January 22, 2014

It has been some time since I have spoken about IT and Networking on this blog. In fact I’m not certain I have every talked about IT and Networking on this blog but now is as good a time as any to start.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The New Wix.com

January 8, 2014

Years ago at the prompting of my niece I signed up for Wix.com to create a website. After a few tries using their template I gave up. I didn’t really like what they had to offer at the time. Today a friend mentioned it again as a way to create a site for her business so I decided to take a look at it again and I found something completely different. Read the rest of this entry »

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Green Screen Photography

December 31, 2013

Recently I was invited to photography individuals at a Small Business Networking event at the Montgomery County Media station. I, along with 3 other photographers, took pictures to give the local small business owners a more professional head shot for their LinkedIn profile. (The networking event at MCM is a monthly gathering hosted by Kelly Leonard (of Taylor-Leonard Corp) and Tony Spearman-Leech of MCM. It is a great event that I’ve attended, photographed and video recorded for over a year.)

While the other photographers brought along muslin backdrops for the event I brought along my collapsible green screen for two important reasons: Read the rest of this entry »

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