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Action cameras compared. Where's GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition in comparison with other models?
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
April 23, 2014, at 10:47 PM

It’s quite an achievement from a company when their camera becomes the role model for other manufacturers. For many, the GoPro action cameras became the camera to use if you’re serious about the quality of footage. The amount of accessories and modifications speaks volumes of it as well. But there’s so many other models from big manufacturers like Sony or JVC, including these presented at CES 2014. Have they managed to catch up with the latest Hero 3+ Black Edition?

Brent Rose from gizmodo.com has put a lot of effort is the comparison test that he’s published in a recent article. And it’s not just the image quality, but also other important features that have been taken into consideration (as you would expect in action cam test):

In our evaluations we weighted image quality most heavily, but we also factored in versatility, ease-of-use, form-factor, battery-life, apps, available mounts, as well as extras and price. The raw video footage was evaluated on a professionally calibrated monitor, as well as on a 46-inch 1080p Samsung LED TV, and several laptops. Bear in mind when you watch the above video that there is some quality lost to compression for internet streaming.

The cameras that were included in the test were:

  • Ion Air Pro 3
  • Drift Ghost-S
  • Garmin VIRB Elite
  • Sony HDR-AS30V
  • JVC Adixxion GC-XA2
  • GoPro Hero 3+ Black 

Since the article is rather extensive, with a ton of photos and videos, we’ll just present Brent’s verdict on who the winner is. Brent tested a range of aspects, but overall:

Simply put: GoPro still makes the overall best action camera. It's the obvious winner in terms of image quality. It has the best detail, solid color performance, and really excellent dynamic range. Everything looks clean, clear, and sharp, with just enough pop in the colors. It's also terrific in low-light (just behind the Garmin) and the much-improved microphone places it second in audio-quality to the Sony.

Among GoPro’s advantages he mentions shooting options and formats (resolution up to 4K) and the number of mounts, including drones. So it’s not the hype: „It's not just good marketing. It's a great camera”.

For full comparison, with specs, photos and videos please follow this link to Brent’s article.

Source: http://gizmodo.com

Camera movement workshops: The Directing Motion Tour. 32 US cities in 9 weeks
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
April 23, 2014, at 8:13 AM

A couple of days ago we brought to you an example of how camera movement in a popular tv series Breaking Bad can enhance your storytelling. Now an opportunity arises to participate in a workshop that’ll teach you ‘how, when and WHY to move the camera’. Vincent Laforet announced in his blog that a series of workshops called ‘Directing Motion Tour’ will take place in 32 cities in the US starting from 6 May in Philadelphia.
Vincent says that the Directing Motion Tour will base on what’s been discussed during Alex Buono’s ‘The Art of Visual Storytelling’, as both are run by the same group.

Vincent tells us more about this workshop in his blog entry:

For a few decades now, I’ve promised myself that one day I would be lucky enough to have a big home theater, and that I would sit back and watch all of my favorite films and to break them down scene by scene…  Problem is:  I never found the time, and when I did watch them, I would more often than not fall right under their spell:  and out went any chance of analysis.

He explains further that after an accident, as he was recuperating, he finally got round to it:

I ordered nearly 100 BluRays of my favorite films and a few key TV series, and watched them while taking copious notes. In all I’ve already spent close to 300 hours analyzing my favorite films and scenes… and I have more than 400 examples to share that I will surely have to decimate down to the very best ones…

The full price is $295 and it includes:

  • Daytime movement & direction workshop
  • Evening applied theory seminar
  • Daytime movement & direction workshop HD DVD download
  • Free NAB 2015 pass

Please visit Vincent’s blog entry for more information, or head on directly to the workshop page directingmotion.mzed.com, where you'll also be able to register. Click here to see the workshop entire schedule.

Source: http://blog.vincentlaforet.comhttp://directingmotion.mzed.com

How to power your Canon DSLR for a whole day for less than $150.
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
April 17, 2014, at 1:27 PM

The cost of camera accessories can be huge, especially if you go with original ones. Here’s some good news for Canon DSLR users, who’d like to boost their power supply inexpensively. Caleb Pike from dslrvideoshooter.com presents a battery adapter, costing about $90. Here’s how this thing looks:

It looks cheap, and it is cheap- don’t expect high quality gear for so little. But the thing is, Caleb says, it allows you to use cheap ($20) Sony batteries. As a result Caleb got his camera and externa monitor working for over 8 hours at the cost below $150. While you may need an additional accessory to lock the thing in place, it still sounds like a good deal.

Links to these products are in the original text at dslrvideoshooter.com, available through this link. Caleb’s text also sums up the pros and cons of this setup:

Pros:

  • Only $99
  • Power your camera and accessories all day
  • Batteries are cheap ($25 on Amazon)
  • Batteries work with other gear well

Cons:

  • No power indicator (unless you get the expensive batteries with meters)
  • Construction is mediocre
  • Needs extra accessory to keep from moving

Source: http://dslrvideoshooter.com

Sony cheap 4K camcorder AX100 is put to the test in the field!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
April 16, 2014, at 12:23 PM

Not long ago we brought to you a rolling shutter test of Sony’s AX100 4K for $2K camcorder posted at eoshd.com. Despite the camera’s poor performance in that regard, we were waiting for more test to decide whether or not it can find its room in the prosumer market.  It looks like one of the many that will most likely appear for AX100 has been already posted by TheCameraStoreTV in their YouTube channel. The main question is: ‘did Sony have to make too many compromises to make 4K quality available for this affordable’?

Jordan Drake, who performed the test states initially three advantages of the camera: it does 4K (onto an SD card), it has a relatively large (for a camcorder) 1’’ sensor, and it uses a consumer version of XAVC S codec. And then we get some samples of 4K shot with the camera. It turns out that it performs very well in low light. A big advantage is also Sony’s image stabilization – this can be useful in run-and-gun type of shooting. Additionally, the camera also features a built-in ND filter switch.

Let’s move on to the camera’s weak point Jordan mentions: it’s the layout of certain switches, additionaly, the way multi-interface shoe is built disallows the use of non-Sony gear. In the video you’ll see that Jordan is unable to mount a RODE external mic. The AX100 does 120 fps at 720, a feature which Jordan does not forget to show. But as you’ll see – it doesn’t look too good – noise and aliasing make the image rather poor. The test also confirms the poor rolling shutter that was mentioned in the beginning. Have a look yourself:

Jordan’s verdict is that if you want to expand your camera – add lenses, external mic, monitor, and mount on a rig, you should look towards Panasonic GH4. But as an all-in-one package, AX100 will do very well.

Source: http://www.thecamerastore.com

Post NAB 2014 thoughts
Posted by Szymon Masiak
April 14, 2014, at 1:02 PM

We are back. 26 hours of journey in one direction. Las Vegas, the Sin City (literally) and us (me and Jakub) at NAB.... plus 100k other enthusiasts.
It was so much fun to go to NAB and such a great privilege to meet you all. If you missed our Instagram feed, you may still reach it at: http://instagram.com/motionvfx.
It was an incredible experience when some of you were spotting the MotionVFX logo on our t-shirts in such a tremendous crowd and were stopping us to say hello. Thank you! We also had an honour to have a small booth at the Supermeet, where we had a chance to present mObject and other products in front of a real crowd. Thank you for stopping by! If you forgot your 20% OFF code, it's "supermeet", so make sure to use it till the end of April :)
I had a chance to finally meet in person folks like Mark Spencer and Steve Martin from Ripple Training, with whom we had breakfast (thank you for having us guys! I feel like I knew you all my life!). Later on we had a fun chat with Andrew Kramer from Videocopilot, we were interviewed by Larry Jordan from DigitalProductionBuzz, Chuck Joiner from MacVoices, Gordon A. Burkell from AOTG, Montreal Final Cut Pro User Group and others.

 

NAB 2014 was all about 4K and MacPro. Every camera producer was 4K ready and every other booth had a new MacPro (it's called "smart advertisement"). However, we did enjoy it a lot if you ask me. I'm not a person who's fascinated with 4K production as most of the tools and hardware available on the market are not ready for 4K. Yet. You need more power, more storage, more everything. The States didn't fully convert to HD yet and here you've got 4K coming. Well, we saw an 8K cinema and its footage shot in 8K 120fps if 4K is not enough. Sure, it was amazing, but this may launch in Japan first (or only) and then the world will try to follow or catch up with it in the next... 20 years or so. I don't know.
We spent 3 days on NAB's floors showing you as much as we could via Instagram, so I encourage you to go through all our photos to find out what exactly happened in Vegas last week: http://instagram.com/motionvfx

It was definitely worth it. We have new ideas and just returned to the office starting a new chapter in our productions. My team did a tremendous job working hard while I was out and we have products ready for at least next 6 weeks, so stay tuned for new releases. We will start with mFire 50% off tomorrow and then mWater will arrive next week among other really cool products.

Thanks again for having us, stopping by and saying hello. Thank you for all your support. Thanks to you we are able to continue what we do. Thank you.

Best,
Szymon Masiak
motionvfx founder and owner



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