Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

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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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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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Montgomery County Small Business Day

June 19, 2013

On June 17th Kelly Leonard (of the Taylor-Leonard Corp) hosted a Small Business Networking Luncheon as part of the Networking Series which brings Small Business owners of Montgomery together along with bankers, and member of the county governments.
I have attended a few of the shorter meet and greets but the luncheon top them all with 4 separate panels which focused on topics such as using Social Networking for marketing, how to raise money and different ways to be more successful.
It was a great opportunity and I met some wonderful people. Some of the pictures I took are hosted on the site (http://www.mymcmedia.org/small-business-day-at-mcm-photos/) and have created a short video with some of the other photos that highlight the day. MCM Small Business Luncheon

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Magic Lantern… Where have you been all my life???

June 18, 2013

As I am researching a new video camera to add to my arsenal (never giving up my DSLR but it is *NOT* great in every situation) I came across the idea of overwriting my Canon firmware on my 60D with a third party firmware that is supposed to add functionality. I had run CHDK on my older Canon Powershot SX20 before but that booted off of the SD card and wasn’t a true firmware overwrite.

For those of you not familiar with firmware it can be described as the brains behind the hardware in your equipment; it translates your commands, instructions and desires to the hardware to accomplish what you want the device to do. Many people think the processor is the brains of a device, but without firmware (or if you have corrupt firmware) you have a “brick”, i.e. a useless hunk of metal. Most devices have a process to reset damaged firmware but the process is usually harder to accomplish than the upgrade that went so wrong for you. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Important Information

April 17, 2013

So SpaceAge Consulting has decided to take on a project unlike anything we have done before.

We have chosen to work with Chosen Vessels (www.globalvessels.org) and travel with them to their upcoming missionary trip to Arusha, Tanzania to support Havilah Village Children’s Orphanage. Our project would involve traveling with the group in July of 2013 and documenting the work being done to support those children at the orphanage.

We are currently raising money for the travel, equipment and insurance cost that would be involved in such an endeavor. Not only will this be a chance to do something that we haven’t done before (film a documentary on location) but it would give us the opportunity to do some good as we highlight a need that is real and bring attention to those less fortunate than ourselves.

If you are interested in donating to the project please let us know. If you have any suggestions on equipment we could/should bring feel free to provide that information as well. Currently I am looking into using the Canon XF100 along with testing out the Canon 6D and a 24-105 lens. I understand that may seem very Canon heavy but it is what I’m used to and I know what works and doesn’t work. I would hate to travel to Africa and discover the equipment I have cannot do the job we need it to do.

While I would love to work with Red equipment (or the Canon C300) it is just not within the budget. I would consider a Blackmagic Cinema Cam as their Production cam will not be available in time for the trip.

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Coming Soon!

April 16, 2013

As promised I will have a video review of the JVC GC-PX100 soon. I have put in my rental order to Lensrentals.com and it should be here on April 18th. I’ll take it through various environments over the 4 days that I have it and put together a video blog and some final words about the experience.

As always, stay tuned…

https://www.lensrentals.com/img/49/149161092581

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Artist Profile – Featuring Harold Watson

April 15, 2013

http://bit.ly/Take2_HW

Video Interviews shedding the spotlight on local, up and coming musicians, singers, authors and performers.