Blackmagic Cinema Camera shipping delayed

The website Broadcast out of the UK reports that the Blackmagic Cinema Camera that I pre-ordered in April and am eagerly awaiting, will not be shipping til the end of August.

Blackmagic EMEA senior PR manager Patrick Hussey said the camera would not be delivered to customers until the end August.

“We are making a few tweaks because we want to make sure we release a quality product, not substandard kit,” he said.

“The reality of the situation is that a four-week delay is not an awful lot, particularly when you consider that delays to products from other manufacturers can be much more substantial.”

It is a new camera with new technology so I am not really surprised but I am really excited about trying it out to shoot some stock footage thru my new venture, Alpha Shots. I did some filming in June with my Canon T2i in New York City and posted some shots on Pond5, a great source for stock footage. http://www.pond5.com

Here is a link to the BMCC on Broadcast:
http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/techfacils/blackmagic-reassures-customers-over-camera-delay/5045378.article


PFLAG spot with Betty DeGeneres

I finally had a chance to use the Dell system on a project that I felt would be a good test of the capabilities of Premiere and After Effects. Plus I had just upgraded to Adobe Production Premium CS6 and was itching to give it a try. I edited a promotional video for PFLAG’s Care with PRIDE™, a new campaign in partnership with Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens to help support their “Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All Initiative” and the work being done by PFLAG chapters in their communities.

This multi-pronged campaign will help earn PFLAG a minimum of $200,000 to support their work, including efforts in communities to work directly with schools providing support, resources, training, model policy and creative programs to create an environment of respect for all children.

The video stars Betty DeGeneres, Ellen’s mom, who is involved with PFLAG, which promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends.

The spot was shot by Matt Alcorn, a great D.P. and owner of Image River Films, who we use when for many of our productions. The piece was shot using his Panasonic 3700 P2 camera, and using Premiere, I was able to quickly create a new project without trans-coding and start to edit right away. I had a rough cut done quickly and went to to get the stills I needed. I really like how I can cut in a picture then create an after effects comp right in the timeline and it opens up after effects and links to the new comp. With the help of our graphics wizard Rik Bogusz we were able to get a rough cut out to our clients in one day, and then quickly make the changes they asked for. The system worked really well and was very fast and efficient. I am really getting comfortable with using a PC and so far it has been able to do as good a job as my MacPro. The real test will be when I have to do a more complicated job that involves using some of the programs that are not integrated into the CS6 package…

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NAB 2012 Part 2

Work and other things have delayed finishing my report on NAB 2012 but here is the rest of my recap:

Day 2
I mainly stayed around the Adobe booth to watch the presentations about the new Adobe CS6 suite. Adobe has really gone all out to lure more people to its software, especially video editors who are not buying Apple’s “new paradigm” version of Final Cut Pro. Premiere CS6 looks great and seems like a real viable alternative for people who are primarily FCP 7 users who want to future proof themselves. I feel lucky that I have Avid experience to fall back on, while I am actively learning Premiere.

My afternoon was spent meeting the folks from Dell and NVIDIA and some of the other participants in the Dell/NVIDIA/Adobe program for FCP editors who are thinking of making the switch to Adobe Premiere. We started at the Dell booth where we heard from a company that does animation using Dell workstations and had created a render farm with Dell computers.

Next we went over to see the NVIDIA booth where we saw amazing demos of Adobe and Autodesk software using CUDA technology to create amazing images. I was really impressed at the power of the cards to be able to do almost real time animation with compositions that literal had millions of particles. Each year we are seeing Moore’s laws in action in things other than memory and NVIDIA is really creating some incredible products. My Dell system with the Quadro 2000 and the Tesla GPU astonishes me every time I use it.

Next we went to a Dell meeting room where we saw the next generation of the Precision line. Since they have announced them officially I can comment, and I must say that they really have done their homework and addressed many of the issues creative professionals have about their earlier iterations of workstations. The new computer is totally redesigned inside, much neater and modular and, for lack of a better word, friendly. Both the exterior and interior are sleeker and modern and they really have designed a nice system that includes having the hard drives accessible from the front without having to open up the case, which is really important for my workflow- I don’t use a san so I have my projects on internal drive that I swap out and this makes that process totally effortless. Two thumbs up from me for that feature alone.

After that we went for drinks and nosh at Firefly, a neat Tapas restaurant down the street from the convention center. We all shared our experience using the Dell workstations and the unanimous feeling was that Dell was really committed to making modern powerful systems for professionals and were totally interested in listening to us and giving us what we are looking for in a professional level computer. With Apple keeping us guessing about the future of Mac Pro’s we have to look at alternatives and the Dell Precision line is a viable solution.

Day 3

I went looking at what AJA is offering. I was really interested in the Ki-Pro Quad which is a solid state recorder that handles 4K, Quad HD, 2K and HD signals. It supports 10-bit 4:4:4 and 10-bit 4:2:2 and RAW data and is also a debayer and ProRes encoder in the box.It also has a Thunderbolt port, which more and more vendors are starting to support. I see that recording on to SS Drives seems to be getting more and more popular as the price goes down- I recently purchased 2 115 SSD’s for $90 each so they are really becoming a cost effective alternative to traditional Hard Disk Drives. Aja also showed their new T-Tap, a thunderbolt adaptor that outputs HDMI and HD-SDI, which is a neat way to get video out of a Thunderbolt enabled Mac – makes the iMac look more and more like an alternative to the MacPro for some editing systems…

Next I finally went to the Avid booth to see what was up there. Most of the people I knew at Avid from years back have moved on, and there did not seem to be anything new ( at least for me). Most of what they were talking about was the Interplay system but that is more of an enterprise level solution for large companies. I already did the cross grade to Media Composer 6, which I have not had a chance to work on a real project on because we continue to be a FCP studio house and all our projects are done on FCP just because that is what all out systems are equipped for, although in the future I see us switching to a combo of Avid and Premiere-I really don’t see FCPX in my future unless there are some real radical changes. I actually think it is a desperation move by Avid to so soon after offering the MC6 cross grade to be offering the Symphony cross grade for the same $999 price. Kind of explains why the stock has dropped from $12 back a couple of months ago down to around $7. One highlight of stopping by Avid is that I got to meet an idol of mine, editing icon Larry Bridges! His company, Red Car, is one of the places I have always dreams of working, and at one time I almost got a chance but fate and circumstances did not make that happen. Anyway it was an honor to meet him and chat about the editing business.

Panasonic 4K Camera prototype

I then went on to the Central Hall again to look at cameras. Seems that as 3D was the big buzz last year, this year it’s all about 4K. Sounds great for having a nice big juicy image to edit, but I don’t think we will see 4K TV’s in anyone’s house for at least 10 years. We just got through the huge transition to 1080 and I think with the cost of those flat screens, most people are going to try and get years out of the screens they have. I know that this is the cutting edge and preview of what is coming but most of us don’t have systems that can even handle an image that size.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

On the other hand, the DSLR craze continues, although I think the Blackmagic Camera is going to be a great alternative, if only for the fact that it does not saddle you with the H.264 codec. I like that camera so much that I have pre-ordered one and can’t wait to try it out in July!!!

Day 4

By this time I was pretty burnt out from the miles of walking and decided to sweep through the convention center one more time to see if I had missed anything. I ended up back at the South Hall and hit some of the smaller vendors to see what they had. I ended up getting a keyboard overlay for Premiere to help me learn where the keys are. The one I have for FCP has really helped although I end up only using the main ones anyway… The last thing that got me excited was when I visited the Pond 5 booth. We use them for stock footage and I was surprised to find out that anyone can contribute footage, you set your own price and Pond 5 splits the money with you. So now I am looking at using the Blackmagic camera to take footage when I travel and see if I can sell it at www.pond5.com .


——- Some other images from NAB 2012 ——

Arri Alexa

Canon C300

Classic Mac!


NAB 2012


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NAB Day One

The mood at NAB is definitely one if excitement this year.

Previous years, with the economic downturn and uncertainty about the future of broadcasting, attendance seemed to be down and the mood somber.

For me as well was the utter disappointment with the retooled Final Cut Pro X, which while some people saw it as the next great thing in editing, I was left cold and miffed at Apple’s total abandonment of professional editors. I still use FCP7 because for the projects we are currently working on it works well and we often are revising shows we have done previously on Final Cut. But I am looking to the future and to me that means 3 other companies that begin with A: Avid, Adobe and Autodesk.

The Adobe booth was particularly popular showing the new components of CS6, with great upgrades to After Effects and Premiere. Finally Premiere is something that I could use to cut the kind of projects I do. I have used Premiere 5.5 to edit a couple web shows and it was pretty good but the new improvements to in Premiere 6 make it a solid editor- it handles many formats natively, including R3D, P2 and ever Arri Alexa RAW. YAY no transcoding. And on my system with the NVIDIA Quadro 2000 and Tesla GPU, it plays back multiple streams with no rendering. One of he neat new features of Premiere is Continuous Playback which allows you to tweak and effect while the video continues to play. Adobe also recently acquired a color correcting solution they are calling Speed Grade which used to be IRIDAS, and the integration is impressive. Adobe is really putting a lot of effort into their products as I think they see a prime opportunity to grab a lot of the people like me who are moving away from Final Cut.

I spent most of Monday at Adobe and also checked out Autodesk, as they were showing the new Smoke 2013 which loks a lot more user friendly and accessible while retaining it powerful compositing ability. And lowering the price to under $4000 is pretty incredible too.

It was nice to meet up with Bryan Miller from Sensory Overload Music. He does really great music for s and is just a nice guy as well.

There was certainly a lot of people in the South Hall checking out the booths of Blackmagic, which unveiled their new Cinema Camera which could be a shot over the bow of Canon and Nikon and could really shake up the trend towards using DSLR cameras for video. It’s got a superwide dynamic range, a large high-resolution 2.5K sensor, and full compatibility with Canon EF and Zeiss ZF mount lenses. The 5-inch touch screen on back can be used for direct metadata entry as well as all settings such as frame rate, shutter angle, color temperature, dynamic range, and focus assist.

Blackmagic is another company that is really working hard to bring innovative products to the production industry. They also came out with some new boxes for using the new Thunderbolt technology.

After spending most of the day in the South Hall, I wandered through to the Central and North Halls but I had had enough and by 5:30 was ready to go get some food and rest up for another day of walking… Happened to see this as I was heading back to my hotel:

Coming up: Day 2, Meeting the nice folks from Dell and NVIDIA.


Dell SMB Program

I got the Dell and I am now going to be writing about it in a new section of the site:

http://www.tomolsen.net/?page_id=2

Enjoy!


Getting fit with Beachbody

I do the BeachBody 10 minute trainer but I have also been using the Beachbody WOW Gym as a great way to motivate and track my progress. I bought a treadmill, since I like to walk but don’t always have the motivation or time to walk. I have set up a way that I can use my computer while walking on the treadmill and it is fantastic. I get up in the morning and walk for 60-90 minutes while I read and respond to e-mails, surf the web and also sometimes watch TV. I even play online poker while I walk. I have been able to consistently do my workout, sometimes walking at 3.5 to 4 MPH for over 10 miles a day. I like it so much that often I walk in the morning and at night . so far in about 3 weeks I have lost 7 pounds and I find it is getting easier to do more and more every day. Adding in the 10 minute trainer has really helped me to get the exercise that I know I need to be getting!

If you are interested in becoming a member check out my page:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/TOMMYO

Now I’m really excited! I’m getting a TESLA!

I received a reply from Dell about my request for a Quadro 4000 card and was surprised that they actually gave me 2 options:

A) Get the Quadro 4000 card.

-or-

B)  Get the Quadro 2000 card and add in a Tesla C2075 card.

I asked some friends who know of these things (Thanks Jonah and Rik) and they both responded that I should go with the second option. I thought that was what they would say, so I quickly responded that, yes please, I”ll take Option B.

The NVIDIA Tesla 2075 is essentially a separate card  (GPU) to specifically  handle graphic computation.

As stated in the product brief:

NVIDIA® Tesla™ 20-series GPU computing processors turn standard PCs and workstations into personal supercomputers. Based on the NVIDIA CUDA™ GPU architecture codenamed “Fermi”, Tesla 20-series GPUs feature more than 500 gigaflops of double precision performance, 1 teraflop of single precision performance, ECC memory error protection, and L1 and L2 caches. Tesla 20-series GPGPU processors for workstations deliver cluster level performance right at your desk.

Tesla companion processors bring the power of high performance computing to the workstation.

With 448 application-acceleration cores per board, Tesla processors offload parallel computations from the CPU to dramatically accelerate the floating point calculation performance. By adding a Tesla processor, engineers, designers, and content creation professionals accelerate some of the most complex tools exponentially faster than by adding a second CPU. It’s an unbeatable solution for getting more done in less time.

Take advantage of the newest analysis, simulation, and rendering tools within industry-leading applications and see results in as little as half the time. Tesla C2075 companion processors deliver parallel processing power right at the desk, capable of streamlining the way users work every day. This means you can now explore, discover and deliver higher-quality projects faster than you ever thought possible.

  Looks like this will be a really great system! I can’t wait to fire it up.


…And the winner is: Dell Precision T5500 Tower!

I have decided to go with the tower configuration, despite the lure of portability the mobile option offered. With a tower I can add stuff on if needed and also have double the RAM (24 GB vs 16). Plus if they acquiesce to my request, I’ll have a sweet NVIDIA Quadro 4000 card with all those lovely CUDA cores. I responded back to the Product Manager by the requested deadline and now await the final answer on the configuration. I wonder if they will be closed on Monday for President’s day?

Dell Precision T5500

Dell Precision T5500 Tower


My Dell-emma: Laptop or Tower?

I have received a proposal for the Dell Precision system I am getting from Dell as part of their program for Final Cut Pro editors who are considering switching to Adobe Premiere using a Dell/NVIDIA platform. I had assumed that I would be offered a T5500 ot T7500 Precision Tower based system, but the preliminary system options also included a mobile option: either a Precision M4600 or Precision M6600. I will immediately disqualify the M4600 because it has a 15.6″ screen, and having owned a 15″ Titanium G4 PowerBook, even with a second monitor, that screen size is just too small to edit on. My current system at RED  has a 24″ Samsung and a 27″ Viewsonic and I really like having all that screen real estate. The 17.3″ Dell Precision M6600 is intriguing as an option for its portability and hooked to a second monitor, it could work. It also comes with the NVIDIA Quadro 5010M which has 4GB GDDR5 and is a formidable card with 384 CUDA cores (thanks for the info Jonah).

However, I am really leaning toward the Precision T5500 Tower for its Dual Quad Xeons, 24 GB of ram and (if I can get it) a NVIDIA Quadro 4000 card .  The one negative of the configuration offered is only one screen, but hey they are giving me a lot of hardware and software so I can add a second monitor-which I would do immediately. I am used to the 2 monitor system and I wnat to be able to compare this system to what I currently use. They also suggested the Quadro 2000 card but I think I need a Quadro 4000 card. I will ask for that upgrade and see what they say…

Well I will sleep on this tonight and consider the feedback I have received from my colleagues and have a decision tomorrow (which is when they want to know anyway!)


I AM getting a Dell!

I’ve been chosen to be part of a program sponsored by Dell, NVIDIA and Adobe for Final Cut Pro editors who are considering switching to Adobe Premiere. I will be receiving a Dell Precision system equipped with an NVIDIA graphics card and the latest version of the Adobe Creative Suite to evaluate the system as an alternative to Final Cut. I don’t know the exact configuration yet – I will post the specs when I get them, and I will be using this blog to chronicle my experience. Even though I am getting the system gratis (although I think I will be declaring it to Uncle Sam and have to pay tax on the value) I will be giving my honest evaluation of the pros and cons of this set up. I have used Premiere before and it really wasn’t the greatest- let’s say I would not have accepted a job that required me to edit on Premiere in the past. However, I have recently taken a look at the most recent version and it seems to be a much more adequate application. I am excited about seeing how the NVIDIA Quadro card with CUDA works with Premier and After Effects in terms of faster rendering and real-time playback. Some of the projects I do have many layers of graphics and I hope it will be faster than Final Cut Pro 7, which because it is 32 bit is limited in it’s use of RAM and isnt built to use the advanced GPU in an NVIDIA card.This program will also give me the opportunity to use a Windows PC as well, which I know some people will gasp at, me being such a staunch Mac user. Well it will be good for me to get more PC time so I’m looking forward to it.