Cameras Category

Improving tapeless media management with Auto Transfer

Working with tapeless media requires a robust organization and backup policy to ensure your footage remains safe.

One key area of concern is memory cards and readers, as cheaper ones can sometimes behave erratically when they get hot, causing data corruption. Worse still, OS X's Finder will not always show an indication that footage is corrupt when you copy it to your hard drive.

If your camera shoots to QuickTime movies, you should at the very least browse to the copied location and scroll through the directory to spot movie clips without thumbnails, as this may indicate files that are unreadable.

Another potential issue is directory structure. While it may be tempting to copy just the movie clips to your hard drive, some applications and Log and Transfer plugins are expecting the files to exist in a particular place within the directory hierarchy. Not maintaining this structure can lead to files being imported without metadata and timecode or sometimes not importing at all, depending on the application or plugin.

Auto Transfer is a tool for simplifying these problems. It can automatically copy the contents of your memory cards to multiple locations for safety. It also performs checksums on the copied files to ensure they are exactly the same as those on the card.

If a file fails the verification check, Auto Transfer allows you to try copying the file again. The Info pane keeps a record of how many times a failure occurs when copying from a particular card, which is a very useful indicator of a card that's potentially faulty.

Auto Transfer copies the full directory structure from a card, which ensures that it will be able to be read correctly by your NLE and companion apps. It can copy multiple cards simultaneously.

You can also specify additional metadata which can be used to create a custom directory structure, similar to our project management app Post Haste. For example, you could instruct Auto Transfer to create a new folder for each shooting day and put the relevant day's card contents in that folder. Alternatively you could create a directory structure based on the reel, project name and date. It's very customizable and is great for businesses that wish to have a consistent naming convention.

The metadata can also be added to a spreadsheet. There is one spreadsheet per project and each card is added to a new row at the end of the sheet. This allows you to have a printable record of any data you wish to track such as the reel number, scene information, description and more. The columns are customizable.

Various actions are available upon a successful transfer including Growl notifications (see our tutorial for sending Growl notifications to an iOS device), playing a sound effect, ejecting the drive, showing the files in Finder and much more.

Auto Transfer is an essential tool for DITs and anyone who deals with tapeless media. It is available as part of Pro Media Tools and there is a 15-day trial available here.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday March 29 2012 2:04 PM to Software, Cameras, Tutorials
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RED Rocket announced

Many within the RED community have been clamoring for an official conform tool to simplify online/offline RED workflows. Well, RED's gone one better with RED Rocket.

Rocket is a hardware R3D decoder and debayer capable of realtime output of up to 30 fps @ 4K or 24 fps @ 5K. This completely removes the need for an offline (at least with the RED One - Epic will still need it at high resolutions), allowing you to work with 4K directly in FCP, Premiere, After Effects, RED Alert!, REDCINE, REDrushes or any application using the REDCODE SDK.

It is PCI-Express (laptop users are out of luck here), is compatible with Windows, OS X and Linux, and features Quad-DVI and Quad-HD-SDI.

This is bad news for DVS which just introduced Clipster at NAB, however there could be a place in the market if they can undercut Rocket's $5k pricetag and beat it to market. There is currently no ETA on RED Rocket.

Update: Jim says two months but RED's release dates have been pushed back on many occasions.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday April 22 2009 12:54 AM to Industry, Hardware, Cameras
0 comments Posted Permalink

Backup Options for Filmmakers

As filmmakers, we put a tremendous amount of trust in our equipment. With the rise in popularity of solid-state media, many of us are no longer shooting on tape or film. This offers many advantages but also several disadvantages. Unlike a film workflow in which many prints are made, or a tape workflow where the tapes are digitized to a hard drive and then stored safely away, filmmakers are often erasing their solid-state media and relying on a single hard drive copy to last them throughout the post production process and onto distribution/release.

Three things are guaranteed in life - death, taxes and hard drive failure. It is a fact that every hard drive will eventually fail. No-one can predict when it will happen and you may not have an opportunity to salvage the data before it does.

So it is wise to assume it will happen and have a good backup policy in case it does. Here are some of the options available for data backup.

Data Tape

While there used to be many consumer options available such as the Iomega Ditto, tape backup is now almost exclusively geared towards enterprise users. Higher-priced options have high capacities and autoload capabilities - i.e. where you insert multiple tapes at once and the system switches them automatically so you don't have to. Lower-priced options will generally require you to change the tape far more often - if you're fine with that, you can save a lot of money.

Most backup drive manufacturers are moving towards the LTO format. This is an open standard so you know that the data you backup now will work on a competitor's drive for the next 1-2 LTO generations.

One way to save money is to use an older, less advanced format. A lot of manufacturers still offer older proprietary systems for sale. These are not as advanced as the LTO options (nor as compatible with competing products) but they are much cheaper. As stated earlier, cheaper drives have lower storage capacities and are less likely to have autoloading functionality. They are also likely to have much lower data transfer rates, unlike LTO -3 and LTO-4 which can transfer data at higher speeds than a conventional hard drive.

When purchasing a drive, consider also the connector and the supplied software. Some drives use SCSI and will need a SCSI card installed inside your machine, but setup will be much easier if you opt for a Firewire version instead (not to mention allowing greater drive portability). Check if the supplied software is compatible with your operating system and if not, check if there is a compatibility update available.

Because these tapes are designed for enterprise use, they are very sturdy and have extremely low failure rates. They have normally been stress-tested by the manufacturer, and most manufacturers will offer you failure statistics on their site. You are, of course, paying for this privilege though.

Format types: LTO, VXA, SLR, DLT, DDS, AIT/SAIT, Travan, T10000
Drive manufacturers: Tandberg (formerly Exabyte), HP, Quantum, IBM, Sun StorageTek
Software: Retrospect, NetVault, CommVault, UltraBac, PresSTORE, ATempo

* Low failure rate
* Tried and tested
* LTO-4 tapes can store terrabytes of data and access it faster than a regular hard disk

* Expensive
* Can be complex to set up
* If you opt for a cheaper, small capacity, non-autoloading version, you will spend a lot of time changing tapes
* Overkill if you don't have much data to backup

Great if you're backing up a large amount of data and only plan to keep one copy.

Hard disk

The main advantage of hard disks is market penetration. You can go into almost any store and buy a disk at short notice. They are priced very low per GB, there are lots to choose from and (unless you have an old machine) you shouldn't need any new hardware or software in order to use it.

As this is primarily intended as a backup, go for an external drive. Speed is not an issue here so mounting the drive internally will offer no worthwhile performance benefit. Additionally, an external disk safely stored away will not be damaged if something happens to your machine.

It's worth mentioning that some manufacturers offer separate Mac and PC editions of their external disk drives. This is not a marketing gimmick - there is a difference! Some of the I/O controllers in certain drives (often cheaper ones) are not Mac-compatible and you will experience issues if you use one of these drives. Choose a drive enclosure with an Oxford controller where possible. Check online reviews if in doubt.

Finally, one aspect people often don't realize is that hard disks store data magnetically and must be "refreshed" every six months or so to prevent data loss, as Larry Jordan explains in this article. This must not be overlooked when considering hard disks as a backup medium.

Manufacturers: Lacie, G-Tech, Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Hitachi, Toshiba

* Cheap
* Ubiquitous
* High capacity
* Fast transfer rate

* Relatively high and unpredictable failure rate
* Physical bumps and bashes increase the chance of failure

Good for cost-effective backups but multiple backups are advised.

Solid-state flash drives

The main advantages of these drives are their small size, high potential read speed and high damage tolerance. It is likely that these will eventually replace conventional hard disks in the future and this will be a good thing, however current models have certain caveats.

The biggest of these is price. The cost per GB is considerably higher than any of the other formats on this page, and available capacities are much lower than those offered by conventional hard disks. In addition, although read speeds are fast, write speeds are considerably slower than those of conventional hard drives.

One of the most interesting aspects of flash SSDs is the way that they fail. Unlike rotating disk hard drives, SSDs do not suffer from mechanical failure but gradually wear out as you write to them. Although they have quite a high failure rate (each memory cell is limited to 100,000 writes), failure doesn't actually result in data loss. When a memory cell fails, you will be unable to write data to that cell - but you will have no problems at all reading data from it. This would be awful for a scratch disk that is written to many times but perfect for a backup in which reading is more important than writing.

However, controller chips inside the drives have been known to fail, meaning you will need to call a data recovery expert to recover the data from the disk. And there lies another problem - a lot of manufacturers uses proprietary chips that are constantly changing, making it difficult for a data recovery expert to keep up with developments. And in many drives data is difficult to recover by design, as these systems were originally developed for the military to carry sensitive information.

Efforts are being made to resolve some of these issues - such as putting two drives in a RAID 0 to improve write speeds, and balancing write operations across the entire drive to reduce the load on a single cell. Prices are going down and capacities are going up, but they will only become viable when the cost hits $1.50 per GB or less.

Manufacturers: Samsung, IBM, Intel, Corsair, SanDisk, Toshiba

* Very fast read speeds
* Tolerant of physical abuse / damage
* More predictable failure rate than regular HDDs
* Data can still be read when drive fails

* Very expensive per GB
* Slow write speeds
* Current drives have relatively low capacities
* Limited number of times the drive can be written to

One to look out for the future but limited to small backups right now.

Online Backup / Storage

There are several online backup services available. Some will give you a certain amount of space for free, requiring you to upgrade if you need more, while others offer a trial service. The advantage of one of these services is that the data is stored elsewhere and so will not be affected by theft, fire, water damage etc affecting your facility. Many of them offer software that runs on your machine and backs up your specified backup folders automatically, ensuring an up-to-date backup even if you forget.

When considering this option, you should consider security as a priority. You are handing over your files to someone else so you need an assurance that they will not end up in the wrong hands. I use Mozy to backup my laptop and all files are encrypted by default. The simplest option is to let Mozy create an encryption key for you but this is not as secure as specifying one yourself. If you do specify a custom one, beware that your data will be permanently inaccessible if you forget it.

The two biggest problems are storage space and transfer speeds. It is impractical to upload files greater than a few hundred megabytes, especially as the service takes quite a while to encrypt them before uploading. So backing up terrabytes of footage is not possible, but these services are very useful for backing up important project files. Many of them will store multiple versions of a file so you can restore to a version several days or weeks in the past. I wouldn't recommend this as your sole backup, but it would be useful as an extra cushion, especially as some companies give a small amount of space for free.

Services: Mozy, Carbonite, Dr. Backup, DropBox, iDrive

* Simple and automatic
* Great for backing up small files

* Not suitable for large files
* Subscription fees

Great as an additional backup but don't rely on this as your only option. Only suitable for small files.


Videotape backups offer some distinct advantages over data tape backups. Firstly, unlike the LTO specification that has various revisions, video formats adhere to strict standards that rarely change. These standards tend to stick around for a long time. A brand-new DVCAM deck will play a DVCAM tape made a decade ago with no problems. LTO drives are only backwards-compatible with the last 1-2 generations which could cause problems with long-term backup.

Secondly, there is greater predictability. Tapes are rated at the hour or half-hour, making it much easier to calculate how many would be needed and how long it would take to record/play the footage, which is invaluable if you are planning to rent a deck. The downside of this, of course, is that transfer speeds are much lower than modern LTO drives.

However, when creating a videotape backup of your footage, it is important to choose the format carefully to avoid quality loss. If you shot on the Panasonic HVX-200, which shoots DVCPRO HD, it is recommended to output to DVCPRO HD tapes. If the codec you are using does not have a tape equivalent, output to a tape format that closely matches the frame size, frame rate, color sampling and approximate data rate of the original footage. Some formats like Redcode RAW 4K do not have tape equivalents and so a different backup method must be used unless you are willing to lose information.

Also make sure your tape timecode matches the timecode of the original footage, otherwise your NLE will not be able to accurately reconnect the footage to the clips on the timeline. You will spend a lot of time manually rearranging and synchronizing footage.

Formats include: MiniDV, HDV (varies per manufacturer), DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD, HDCAM, HDCAM SR, D1, D2, D3, D5, BetaCam, DigiBeta.
Manufacturers: Panasonic, Sony, JVC

* Durable
* Established standards

* Limited to real-time capture and playback
* No tape equivalent of certain formats
* Information must be captured rather than simply copied to a hard disk

Great for backing up established formats. Excellent for long-term backup / archival.


Blu-ray discs can store around 50 GB and have a relatively low price per GB. They are compact and, if stored in a solid case, are relatively durable compared to regular hard disks. They are not as durable as tape-based alternatives, however.

Blu-ray hasn't caught on as well as everyone had hoped after the format war ended, and Apple has not yet implemented hardware or OS support for it yet. This has severely limited the availability of Blu-ray burners and software for the Mac, with the only option for data discs being Roxio Toast 10 plus the Blu-ray plugin. PC users have a lot more choice but even despite this, it has still not fully caught on in the PC market either.

Transfer rates are quite low and the format doesn't offer as much disc space as other formats. However, BD-R does have an advantage as a backup medium because it can only be written to once. Every other format can be written to or erased (some more easily than others) after a backup has occurred.

Drive Manufacturers: Sony, LaCie, LG, Pioneer
Software Manufacturers: Roxio, Sonic Solutions, Nero, Adobe Encore

* Discs relatively cheap per GB
* Data cannot be overwritten

* Not much support on the Mac
* Slow read/write speeds
* Low disc space compared to other offerings

Don't rely on it as a sole backup. Not suitable for large amounts of data.

A Game of Chance

None of the options listed above are infallible, however the point is to lower the chance of losing your data. If you have one backup, that lowers the chance of critical data loss to 0.5. Make another one and it goes down to 0.25. Backups are especially crucial if you're running a RAID because the chance of data loss increases with every drive you add (unless it is a RAID 1 of course).

So it doesn't really matter which option you choose, as any one of them will reduce that chance - some more than others of course. A mix of multiple types is the safest way to go. And when thousands or millions of dollars, plus the culmination of months or perhaps years of hard work are at stake, it helps to have a pro-active backup policy planned from the start. The fate of your movie might well depend on it.

The links to companies and products in this article are intended for guidance and not as an endorsement.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday February 12 2009 2:56 PM to Video Editing, Hardware, Cameras
1 comment Posted Permalink

New RED announcements

RED just announced the new Epic and Scarlet specs after their retraction of the previous announcement.

I didn't really feel like comparing the two specification-by-specification but I did notice a couple of things:

* Some prices are now lower (e.g. the 28K Epic is now $2,000 less)
* Some frame rates are now higher (e.g. 28K Epic now shoots 30 fps at 28K instead of 25). There's also been some significant ramping of frame rates at lower resolutions - e.g. the 9K Epic can now shoot 2K at 350fps!
* The fixed-lens 3K Scarlet now has a price tag - $3,000 for the body and lens and $3,750 for the whole kit (I guess this means viewfinder, battery, etc).
* Epic X now offered as an upgrade path for Red One owners only.
* Full Frame 1080p now offered.
* Time lapse and ramping now listed (don't know if they were available before or not)

So definitely some nice improvements, and no-one can complain about better specs for a lower price.

If you want to go through the announcement in greater detail, here is the latest one, and here is the old one. And here are detailed specs for the old announcement.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday December 3 2008 5:57 AM to Cameras, Indie
0 comments Posted Permalink

RED introduces brand new DSMC system

Everyone's been talking about it. Today RED announced its redesigned Scarlet and Epic offerings, thought to be taken back to the drawing board due to the sudden competition from traditional SLR cameras such as the Canon 5D MkII.

At the core of RED's new offerings is the DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) system. You select the "brain" (sensor and body) of the camera and then mix and match components based on your requirements. You need never buy another whole camera again - just upgrade components as and when they are released.

In addition to the previously-announced Mysterium-X sensor capable of recording at 5K, they have developed Mysterium Monstro, which captures at up to 28K. To put things in perspective, IMAX footage is around 10K so that is almost 3x IMAX resolution! It can capture 261 megapixel (MP) still images too, which means that if you printed out an image at 300 dpi, it would cover approximately 77 square feet!

Epic "brains" come in large, rugged cases whereas Scarlet ones come in smaller and lighter cases designed for traveling. The "brains" available are:

Scarlet models

3K - up to 120 fps with lens
* 2/3" Mysterium-X
* Comes with fixed 8x lens
* This is the original Scarlet announced at NAB
* The original price was $3000 but price is now TBD so it could end up lower
* Captures stills at 4.9 MP
* Fall 2009

3K - up to 120 fps
* 2/3" Mysterium-X
* Mini-RED, C, B4 mounts
* Basically the original Scarlet with the ability to change lenses
* Captures stills at 4.9 MP
* $2,500
* Summer / Fall 2009

5K - up to 30 fps
* S35 Mysterium-X
* RED, PL, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 13.8 MP
* $7,000
* Spring/Summer 2009

6K - up to 30 fps
* FF35 Mysterium Monstro
* RED, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 24 MP
* $12,000
* Winter 2009

Epic models

5K - up to 100 fps
* S35 Mysterium-X
* RED, PL, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 13.8 MP
* $28,000
* Summer/Fall 2009

6K - up to 100 fps
* FF35 Mysterium Monstro
* RED, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 24 MP
* $35,000
* Winter 2009

9K - up to 50 fps
* 645 Mysterium Monstro
* RED, Medium Format, Mamiya mounts
* Captures stills at 65 MP
* $45,000
* Spring 2010

28K - up to 25 fps
* 617 Mysterium Monstro
* Linhof, Alpa mounts
* Captures stills at 261 MP (!)
* $55,000
* Spring 2010

But what on earth do you capture that amount of data to? Well, you have a choice of internal memory, special high-speed DSMC CF or SSD modules (most likely a ton of regular CFs or SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration) or, intriguingly, wireless or ethernet transfer. I'm guessing those last two won't be an option for larger resolutions but hopefully you will be able to send out a proxy version for previewing.

Oh, and you can also link two together for stereoscopic imaging which is unbelievably awesome. The image shows two Scarlets in stereoscopic configuration but it's not stated whether or not the Epics can do it too (particularly the huge 28K one). That'd be interesting to know.

The idea behind the camera is that you swap parts so you could buy a Scarlet and gradually work your way up to a higher model over time without having to re-purchase any extra equipment. This is perfectly possible but it is worth mentioning that some of the models have different lens mounts, and Mysterium-X lenses will not work very well with a Monstro as they are designed for a sensor that is considerably smaller.

The only downside is that Scarlet was originally scheduled for release in January 2009 (I forget when Epic was supposed to be released) so these dates have been pushed back. But I think we can all agree it will be worth it in the end.

Read more at RED's site.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday November 13 2008 9:38 AM to Cameras, Indie
0 comments Posted Permalink

NAB 2008 Summary

If, like me, you couldn't possibly keep up with all of the goings-on at NAB and decided to wait it out until the end, here is a short summary of the biggest announcements (or the ones most interesting to me anyway) in bitesize form.

New low-end portable camera Scarlet
  • 3K
  • Around $3000
  • Early 2009 release
  • New Mysterium X Sensor
  • 1-120 fps (180 fps burst)
  • 100MB/sec Redcode RAW and RGB recording via dual Compact Flash
  • 4.8 inch LCD
  • Fixed 8x T2.8 lens
  • Auto and manual shooting modes
  • Wi-Fi control - this one opens up many possibilities

PVC Scarlet write-up

New high-end camera Epic
  • 5K (up from 4K)
  • I have heard both $30,000 and $40,000 quoted (up from $17,500)
  • Early 2009 release
  • New Full-Frame S35 Mysterium X Sensor
  • 1-100 fps (up from 1-60 fps)
  • 100MB/sec (up from 36 MB/sec) Redcode and HDMI recording
  • 6 lb body (down from 10 lbs)
  • RAW and RGB recording to Red Flash
  • Wi-Fi control
  • Fully upgradeable
  • You can get a full $17,500 credit for your Red One if you upgrade

PVC Epic write-up

New playback device RED Ray
  • Early 2009
  • 4K in
  • 4K, 2K, 1080p, 720p, SD playback
  • Can play back content from a regular red laser disc
  • Plays native R3D files from Compact Flash
  • 4 HD SDI and 4
    HDMI connections for 4K
  • 2 HD SDI and 2 HDMI connections for 2K
  • 2 hrs of 4K with 5.1 audio on a regular DVD
  • FireWire 800 for connecting external hard disks or cameras
  • Under $1000

PVC RED Ray write-up
Scott Simmons at the Editblog has several photographs of the various RED products.

  • Around $13,000
  • Uses SxS cards (similar to P2)
  • Removable lens
  • 1080i / 720p switchable
  • Genlock and timecode inputs
  • Shoulder-mounted
  • Available late 2008

  • S35-sized sensor
  • Extensive depth of field controls
  • Greater dynamic range than the F23 (800% more)
  • PL lens mount allows regular 35mm film lenses to be used

P2 Varicams (AJ-HPX3700 and AJ-HPX2700)
  • Now uses P2 cards exclusively. 5x P2 slots available on each camera
  • 2/3" CCDs
  • Full-res 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC Intra-100 recording
  • Variable frame rates in 1-frame increments
  • Available fall 2008

AG-HPX170 solid-state camcorder
  • Improves on the successful HVX200
  • 1/3" premium-quality CCDs offering increased sensitivity and lower noise
  • 13x lens with 28mm wide-angle setting (widest in its class)
  • 12-60 fps in 720p-mode
  • P2-only; no tape deck
  • Much smaller and lighter than the HVX200
  • Available fall 2008

Here is a great summary from

AJ-HVX200A camcorder
  • Successor to the hugely popular HVX-200
  • Incorporates the same lens and CCDs as the new HPX170 but with a tape deck for transitioning from a MiniDV workflow

Here is a great review from

64 GB P2 card
  • More than 4 hours of DVCPRO footage
  • More than 2 hours of DVCPRO50 or AVC-Intra 50
  • More than 64 minutes of AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD
  • Available fall 2008

AJ-PCD35 ExpressCard P2 drive
  • Allows P2 cards to be used in machines with ExpressCard ports
  • Can transfer from up to 5 cards at once
  • Available late 2008

Imagineer Systems
High-end finishing system mogul
  • Monthly subscription includes hardware, software and maintenance. Annual hardware upgrades
  • Open platform allows content sharing and management between multiple applications
  • Editing, compositing and grading integrated to allow you to switch from one to the other without rendering
  • Software "plugs in" to the architecture to perform certain tasks such as mogul/roto and mogul/comp with similar interfaces
  • mogul/serve shipping at NAB, other products to be determined

Studio Daily mogul interview

  • Inputs: Component HD/SD, SDI HD/SD, Embedded SDI audio, Y/C, Composite, XLR audio, RCA audio, AES/EBU, HDMI, Embedded HDMI audio
  • Outputs: Component HD/SD, SDI HD/SD, Embedded SDI audio, Y/C, Composite, RCA audio, XLR audio, AES/EBU, HDMI, Embedded HDMI audio, Direct 5.1 surround monitoring
  • This does not have a DVI output like the MXO so it cannot output to a Cinema Display
  • Dynamic RT acceleration and hardware up/downscaling
  • Designed for HDMI monitoring with calibration and 1:1 pixel mapping
  • Black burst and tri-sync for HD
  • $1600
  • Released July 2008

Differences between the MXO and MXO 2 (PDF)
Shane Ross's write-up

Posted by Jon Chappell on Saturday April 19 2008 8:59 AM to Industry, Hardware, Cameras
2 comments Posted Permalink

64 GB Panasonic P2 cards coming soon

Panasonic has announced 64 GB P2 cards to begin shipping in Fall 2008 (price unannounced). This doubles the storage space of the current 32 GB offerings. What I love about the HVX200 is that it is the camera that keeps on giving. When it first came out, 8 GB P2 cards would set you back around $1200. Today a 32 GB P2 card with 4 times the capacity will cost you around $1500. Unlike tape-based formats, the P2 format becomes more cost-effective as time goes on, increasing the cost-effectiveness of the HVX200 and P2 workflow.

A 64GB P2 card is capable of storing over four hours of DVCPRO footage (64 GB X 4 minutes per GB), or more than two hour of DVCPRO50, AVC-Intra 50 (64 GB X 2 minutes per GB) or 64 minutes of AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD. With five 64GB P2 cards installed, an AJ-HPX3000 P2 HD camcorder can record for 320 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD (400 minutes in 1080/24pN) and 640 minutes (800 minutes in 24pN) in AVC-Intra 50 or DVCPRO 50.

As you can see above, the 64 GB card offers just over 1 hour of high-def footage which means that it now has the edge over tape-based formats (at least in terms of storage space) and this lead can only increase with time.

However, remember that you are storing your precious footage on there so even if you CAN store your entire short film on there, I'd advise regular backups to a hard drive in the field.

[via Studio Daily]

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday February 14 2008 11:58 PM to Cameras
0 comments Posted Permalink

RED CES news - 4K delivery and Scarlet

I know I'm late to the party but there were some important announcements at CES (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) by the creators of the RED camera.

Jim Jannard (head honcho) yesterday announced a 4K delivery system in response to the 4K displays announced at the show by Panasonic and Sony. He was not specific about what this delivery system would be comprised of but he has stated in the past a desire to create 4K projectors and it was interesting to note that he said "in the home as well as on the big screen".

I'm wondering what sized screen (and what sized house!) you would need to get the full benefit of 4K in your home (Panasonic's one is 150"), but I guess all will be revealed at NAB (the National Association of Broadcasters conference) in April.

Earlier in the week, Jim also revealed that there is a "pocket professional camera" in development called Scarlet. Further details will be given at NAB, but Jim did imply that it was intended to compliment, not replace the RED One.

That Jim loves to tempt us. It's a great way of getting people to talk and speculate about his products though. Apple adopts a similar strategy.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday January 9 2008 3:55 AM to Hardware, Cameras, Indie
0 comments Posted Permalink

Blogwad 12/13/07

Here are some of the headlines that caught my eye recently:

Oscars go long with songs - 59 songs are in the running for an Oscar nomination this year.

ProTools LE controlled with an iPhone - Someone has managed to create a hack that allows you to control ProTools LE in real-time from an iPhone. Looks pretty cool. Complete with video.

YouTube a conduit for "D-Boys" auditions - A Japanese talent agency is using YouTube as a means of auditioning actors.

Sony sets sights on new camera - Sony is to release the F35 next year as part of its high-end CineAlta line. It's got a Super 35mm sensor and will record a 10 megapixel image. It is planned to retail for $250k for the camera body (no lens or accessories). Sony also says it has a 4K camera in the works but it will take a while. "We don't want to do a low-end 4K camera system" - which is clearly a dig at the Red camera. It will be interesting to see what Sony brings to the table.

New trailers for Youth Without Youth - Two new trailers up for Francis Ford Coppola's new movie. I can't wait to see it.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday December 13 2007 1:54 AM to Industry, Cameras
0 comments Posted Permalink

Panasonic HPX3000 camera announced

Panasonic has announced the HPX3000, a shoulder-mounted 1080p camera. It doesn't appear to be a successor to the HVX but a spinoff targeted at studio work, hence the $48,000 price tag.

The big difference between this and the HVX is that it shoots full raster 1080p, meaning that the footage you shoot is exactly 1920 x 1080 pixels and not subsampled to something lower like 1280 or 1440 pixels. That's only if you shoot using their AVC-Intra codec though. DVCPRO HD is not full raster so shooting in this codec will result in subsampling, which reduces quality. Still looks pretty good though, but not as good as it could.

I'm wondering where it stands with the Red. You buy the Red for $17,500 and once you've got lenses and accessories, you're at about $30-40k, which is still less than the $48k of this camera AND you have more than one lens. And of course, the Red shoots 4K. If you have a project coming up soon, this might be a good camera to hire rather than a Red because the current cameras aren't feature-complete and I heard the post production workflow needs some extra work. This camera, on the other hand, is from an established brand and is fully supported by Final Cut Pro (6 only).

If you are looking to buy a camera in the near future, my advice is to wait until early next year. I heard that Red should have shipped the pre-ordered versions by then and you'd have a better idea of whether or not it's the best thing since sliced bread by then.

The Panasonic HPX3000 ships later this month.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday September 13 2007 7:51 AM to Cameras
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