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Fresh rumors: Retina iMac with AMD GPU coming soon?
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
September 30, 2014, at 9:49 AM

Even though the below information is still in the ‘rumors’ department, the ‘rumor’ part  refers mainly to the actual release date, as Retina iMac has been spoken of many times before. A tasty bit of info on the new iMac has been published by Jack March on his website at In a short text Jack points to ‘a source familiar with Apple’s plans’, which gave him the following data:

Apple is indeed planning to launch a Retina iMac at their next press event, however the 27″ Model will be the only model that gets this feature. The source says the new 27″ iMac will use a 5120 x 2880 panel as leaked in the OSX Yosemite code a few months ago.


The source says the new iMac’s top processor configuration will be the Intel i7-4790K which has a base clock speed of 4.0GHz, the source also mentioned that Broadwell CPU’s will “likely be added in an update next year” but Apple is sticking with Haswell for now as powerful Broadwell processors are not available to the market.

Interestingly, the mysterious source claims that Apple is going to include AMD GPUs – a move previously observed in the new Mac Pros. That’s the farthest the details go. Regarding the actual release date, the source states it’s ‘incredibly likely’ to be at the next press event – reports Jack.

We’ll just have to wait and see; we’ll keep you posted on that subject for sure.


Hard drive failure - which drives are more likely to fail you and why
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
September 30, 2014, at 9:06 AM

When it comes to hard drives, in the past we mostly posted info about the problem with storage capacity and transfer speed as the bottleneck successfully keeping filmmakers from data heavy files. Today, we’re still in the topic of drives, though with a completely different story, namely hard drive failure. The current state of technology, has not provided a lasting solution for storing data – and that should be of concern, no less serious than which camera or lens to pick up next.

The topic was brought up in a blog belonging to cloud backup company - the news entry provides some fresh statistical info on hard drive failure rate. The introductory sentence from Backblaze blog assures that the amount of drives tested makes the test reliable:

At Backblaze we now have 34,881 drives and store over 100 petabytes of data. We continually track how our disk drives are doing, which ones are reliable, and which ones need to be replaced.

Here’s a chart with data gathered by Backblaze showing a comparison between HDD failure rates of three major companies:

Note: gray bars are last year’s results, the colored ones are the most recent. Here's some explanation on Seagate drives:

We use two different models of Seagate 3TB drives. The Barracuda 7200.14 is having problems, but the Barracuda XT is doing well with less than half the failure rate. There is a similar pattern with the Seagate 1.5TB drives. The Barracuda 7200.11 is having problems, but the Barracuda LP is doing well.

The topic was continued by Sebastian Anthony at, which, on the basis on the Backblaze post, analyzes several reasons why HDDs fail (and some of them sooner than others). In short these are:

  • Manufacturing defects.
  • Bad design.
  • Rebadged enterprise drives
  • Damaged goods.
  • Better (or different) technology.

Both text make a good read, so for more information head over to here and here.


Larry Jordan on putting together a music montage - video tutorial!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 27, 2014, at 2:08 AM

In his new video tutorial, Larry Jordan shows you in great detail how to put together a music montage. This video is an excerpt from Larry's "Editing As Storytelling" and according to the author you will see how he edits a video montage set to music and he shows how to tell a story using images and music, determine the timing of your shots, create a dialogue when nothing is being said, determine when and how to change screen direction, determine whether to use cuts or dissolves during a montage and more - so as you can see a lot of useful stuff. If you like the video you might want to get your copy of the full course - you can get it on Larry's site (click here).



GoPro HERO4 is coming - 4K video recording at 30fps and a built-in touch display!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 26, 2014, at 1:15 PM

Michael Zhang of PetaPixel reports that the GoPro HERO4 is coming soon and the camera will offer 4K video recording (at up to 30fps), but there's one more exciting new feature - a built-in touch display! What is a bit surprising though is that these two new features will not ba available in the same camera because GoPro will release two models - a HERO4 Black and a HERO4 Silver. The "Black" version is the one that will support 4K at twice the framerate than before (in the GoPro HERO3), so the footage should be much more usable and of course the camera will also support other resolutions - such as (via PetaPixel) 2.7K at 50fps, 1440p at 80fps, 1080p at 120fps, 960p at 120fps, and 720p at 120fps - so sadly say goodbye to 720p at 240fps. Thanks to a new processor audio recording will also be much improved, with a system capturing 2x the dynamic range. Manual settings will also be there.

In the case of the GoPro HERO4 Silver you will be able to take profit of the built-in touch display - very useful and convenient when you want to control your camera, sadly this model will offer 4K recording only at 15fps (2.7K at 30fps, 1440p at 48fps, 1080p at 60fps, 960p at 100fps, and 720p at 120fps). Other features will be exactly the same as in the case of the "Black" version.

Prices of these cameras still remain unknown, but both devices should be announced on October 8, 2014, so we hope that then the prices will also be revealed.

To find out more on these cameras head over to the full version of the article (here).


Shooting live sporting events can be a challenge - 10 tips to help you out!
Posted by Michal, motionVFX Team
September 26, 2014, at 1:46 AM

Shooting live sporting events can be a tough task and it involves a bit of knowledge, but if you don't have any experience in this field Brad Spinsby of Crews Control comes to the rescue! In his article entitled "10 Tips for Shooting Live Sporting Events with a Small Crew" he shares, you guessed it, some tips on shooting video in such situations. The challenge with sports is that these events are usually unpredictable and have constant action for a variable length of time. What's more you should be prepared for different weather conditions (if you shoot outdoors) - for example in a hot summer's day you might take sunscreen and a hat, because you don't want to get burned. This is banal, but very often forgotten. And what are the remaining tips? Here are a few and for the rest make sure to read the full version of the article (here).


  • "If you are shooting with multiple cameras make sure you match the cameras for editing purposes. If you are using a switcher, you will need to match the cameras for consistency when switching images. This may require a Video Engineer to match each camera, but different color conditions, exposures, and settings can ruin a multi-camera live event."
  • "Make sure to turn off all auto functions on the camera.  When shooting a sporting event you want to have complete control over your camera. Steve McMillan says, “Also, don’t forget to turn off any steady shot function on the camera.” You don’t want the camera to decide which element it should focus on during the event."
  • "As with any kind of shooting, the more usable footage you can obtain from a live sporting event, the more opportunity there is for a technical director or editor to use the footage. So when following the action, try not to zoom in or out too quickly. If the action that you need to capture is happening immediately, obviously act quickly, but if you are just looking to change focal lengths make your moves more deliberate."

Brad states that capturing live sporting events for broadcast is an art and it is hard to disagree. So as stated above check out the full list of tips!

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