Posts tagged with ‘gear’

Packing for a War Zone
War correspondent Kevin Sites is returning to Afghanistan and shares what he’s packing with Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin:

For news gathering, Canon Vixia, Nikon D90, GoPro 2, Macbook Air, HyperDrive, collapsible, fold-flat tripod and assorted cables and other odds and ends (nothing top of the line, just reliable and functional.)
Personal maintenance, filter water bottle, some instant coffee packets and some anti-bacterial wipes, three-sets of quick-dry, insect repellant treated clothing (Robert Young Pelton, author of the World’s Most Dangerous Place says he’s going to take away my man-card for that.)
Kevlar helmet and Type IIIA body armor —required for military embeds but not particularly helpful or recommended when reporting in Afghan communities, unilaterally.

Read through for the rest.
Image: Packing for Afghanistan, by Kevin Sites via Boing Boing. Select to embiggen.

Packing for a War Zone

War correspondent Kevin Sites is returning to Afghanistan and shares what he’s packing with Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin:

For news gathering, Canon Vixia, Nikon D90, GoPro 2, Macbook Air, HyperDrive, collapsible, fold-flat tripod and assorted cables and other odds and ends (nothing top of the line, just reliable and functional.)

Personal maintenance, filter water bottle, some instant coffee packets and some anti-bacterial wipes, three-sets of quick-dry, insect repellant treated clothing (Robert Young Pelton, author of the World’s Most Dangerous Place says he’s going to take away my man-card for that.)

Kevlar helmet and Type IIIA body armor —required for military embeds but not particularly helpful or recommended when reporting in Afghan communities, unilaterally.

Read through for the rest.

Image: Packing for Afghanistan, by Kevin Sites via Boing Boing. Select to embiggen.

This Image Will Not Win The First Ever FJP Photo Contest
Because even though it’s a super magical shot of the Pulaski Bridge connecting Long Island City in Queens to Greenpoint in Brooklyn, I took it and don’t qualify to win the super magical tripod that we’re giving away to the contest winner.
But your super magical photo could win. All you need to do is enter one on the contest page over on Facebook.
It’s all really easy. The contest theme is “Commuting”. The above I took with my phone. You can do the same. More details on Facebook.
Deadline is Tuesday, June 4. Get them photos in. — Michael
PS: Super Magical is our phrase of the day.

This Image Will Not Win The First Ever FJP Photo Contest

Because even though it’s a super magical shot of the Pulaski Bridge connecting Long Island City in Queens to Greenpoint in Brooklyn, I took it and don’t qualify to win the super magical tripod that we’re giving away to the contest winner.

But your super magical photo could win. All you need to do is enter one on the contest page over on Facebook.

It’s all really easy. The contest theme is “Commuting”. The above I took with my phone. You can do the same. More details on Facebook.

Deadline is Tuesday, June 4. Get them photos in. — Michael

PS: Super Magical is our phrase of the day.

FJP Photo Contest: When a miniSkates Tripod

Just a friendly reminder that The First Ever And Hopefully One Of Many FJP Photo Contests is underway. The contest theme is “commuting”.

The winner gets a miniSkates tripod as shown in the video above. Background on the tripod and how we met its creator is here.

Want to jump right in and enter? You can do that on our Facebook Page which is located over here.

Stabilize that Camera

Ever have problems with a shaky cam when you’re shooting in the field? We all do, but check this new camera stabilizer.

Via Gizmodo:

The product is called MōVI, created by Freefly, longtime maker of crazy camera-drone equipment and stabilizers. [Vincent] LaForet is presenting a short film and behind-the-scenes video to illustrate its abilities, which consists of a completely custom-made gimbal and 3-axis gyroscope that digitally stabilizes the camera (a Canon 1DC in this case). It looks to be very light and portable, a far cry from giant metal arms, vests, and weights that almost the entire camera support world is based on.

Via Vincent LaForet:

This device isn’t the end of the sticks, Steadicam, slider, dolly or jib to be sure… but it sure will make you think twice about using those tools on many of your shots when you find out how quickly this device allows you to execute a similar shot but in a fraction of the time.   It can literally take longer to explain a shot,  than it would to execute a perfect shot with the MōVI.

It’s way beyond our price range, coming in at $15,000 for the version currently in production with smaller model to be released for around $7,500, according to LaForet. Still, would be good for a day rental on an important shoot.

Or, hopefully, as Gizmodo suggests, the technology will trickle down to more affordable models and spinoffs in the nearish future.

Passing Time in a Tube
The News: Kelly Slater wins his 51st ASP World Tour event in France.
Things we think we think: The photo was shot with a GoPro camera and mount.
Image: Via Swell Magazine.

Passing Time in a Tube

The News: Kelly Slater wins his 51st ASP World Tour event in France.

Things we think we think: The photo was shot with a GoPro camera and mount.

Image: Via Swell Magazine.

Low Cost, No Cost and Open Source Software for Digital Storytellers

Investigative Reporters and Editors has a nice rundown of free production tools for journalists. These include old standbys such as Gimp for images and graphics, Audacity for audio editing and Open Movie Editor for video editing.

IRE also includes data tools such as Google’s Fusion Table’s and Tableau Software’s Tableau Public.

Multimedia production can get pretty pricey pretty quickly, of course. There’s a lot of gear and software needed so knowing what alternatives are out there is important.

If money’s tight, a great place to start is Open Source Alternatives. For example, if you need Adobe’s Photoshop but don’t have (or want to spend) the $699 to buy the standalone version, OSA lists Gimp and Krita among others as alternatives.

There are Web-based alternatives out there as well. For example, Aviary has a swiss army knife of audio and image editing applications that sit in the browser. In 2010, Google purchased the Web-based image editor Picnik and now you can crop, enhance and perform other basic edits in Picasa/Google+.

Other important browser-based tools are plugins and add-ons. For example, if you’re working with large files you’ll eventually need to get them somewhere which you’ll often do via FTP (although I come across more and more people who are using shared folders in Dropbox). Use Firefox? Try FireFTP. Chrome more your flavor? Try FileZilla. Want a desktop FTP client instead? Try Cyberduck.

Sometimes though, what’s already on your computer can bring you where you need to go. For example — and using a Mac because that’s what I have and know — iMovie, Garage Band and iPhoto all come pre-installed and are perfectly fine for editing video interviews, creating radio pieces and organizing and lightly editing your photos. Are they as robust as Final Cut, Pro Tools and some sort of Adobe Bridge/Photoshop amalgam? No, but they’re tools immediately available to you once you actually have the computer. Besides, the tools we need don’t always have to be the latest and greatest model of something.

There are good reasons to have the software that have become standard across the industry. This is especially true when collaborating with others. But when money’s tight, or you just want to try things out before diving deeper into a particular format, play with what’s low cost or free before making the plunge.

Besides, it’s the end result that matters. Once you publish your amazing audio, video or interactive piece, your appreciative audience isn’t going to care what you used to get there.

Check One, Check Two: Our Webcasting Checklist
Next Wednesday we’ll be Webcasting GigaOm’s paidContent 2012 event from the Times Center in New York City.
From past experience, Murphy’s Law dominates the production of these type of things. If the Webcast is supposed to start at 9am, everything will work until 8:58 and then all hell breaks loose.
To prepare we take things apart, put them back together again, start streams, stop streams, figure out how and why things break, and figure out how to put everything back together again.
The gear we use runs as follows:
TriCaster: This is the boxy thing in the photo. It’s essentially a Windows box with NewTek’s TriCaster video mixing software in it. Our audio and video feeds go into this, and from there we push the feed out to Livestream.
Livestream: Livestream is a live event platform that’s been used by the New York Times, ABC and CBS News, the Associated Press among others. If you can get your video to it (say, with a TriCaster), Livestream can push it out to desktop, mobile and tablet clients.
Sony EX1: We’ve been using these cameras for a while now and they’re work horses. So, a couple EX1’s with 100 foot SDI cables connecting back to the TriCaster will let us position our cameras around the Times Center. 
Mackie Board: While the TriCaster has an audio mixer built into its software, over time we’ve felt that having a separate, analog mixer makes things easier and gives us better overall sound. Also, when there are odd and peculiar audio irregularities (remember Murphy’s Law from above), there’s something reassuring about reaching out and working with real life knobs and sliders rather than pointing and clicking through a software interface. It’s much faster too. So, the house audio will be fed into the Mackie and from there it will go into the TriCaster before being pushed to Livestream.
I’ll post next Tuesday where people can watch the event. The lineup looks great and includes WordPress founder Matt Mullenwag, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo, Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg and News Corporation CEO Jon Miller among others.
The agenda: explore “business models and debate the best ways to keep content meaningful and profitable in an ever-changing digital environment.”

Check One, Check Two: Our Webcasting Checklist

Next Wednesday we’ll be Webcasting GigaOm’s paidContent 2012 event from the Times Center in New York City.

From past experience, Murphy’s Law dominates the production of these type of things. If the Webcast is supposed to start at 9am, everything will work until 8:58 and then all hell breaks loose.

To prepare we take things apart, put them back together again, start streams, stop streams, figure out how and why things break, and figure out how to put everything back together again.

The gear we use runs as follows:

  • TriCaster: This is the boxy thing in the photo. It’s essentially a Windows box with NewTek’s TriCaster video mixing software in it. Our audio and video feeds go into this, and from there we push the feed out to Livestream.
  • Livestream: Livestream is a live event platform that’s been used by the New York Times, ABC and CBS News, the Associated Press among others. If you can get your video to it (say, with a TriCaster), Livestream can push it out to desktop, mobile and tablet clients.
  • Sony EX1: We’ve been using these cameras for a while now and they’re work horses. So, a couple EX1’s with 100 foot SDI cables connecting back to the TriCaster will let us position our cameras around the Times Center. 
  • Mackie Board: While the TriCaster has an audio mixer built into its software, over time we’ve felt that having a separate, analog mixer makes things easier and gives us better overall sound. Also, when there are odd and peculiar audio irregularities (remember Murphy’s Law from above), there’s something reassuring about reaching out and working with real life knobs and sliders rather than pointing and clicking through a software interface. It’s much faster too. So, the house audio will be fed into the Mackie and from there it will go into the TriCaster before being pushed to Livestream.

I’ll post next Tuesday where people can watch the event. The lineup looks great and includes WordPress founder Matt Mullenwag, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo, Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg and News Corporation CEO Jon Miller among others.

The agenda: explore “business models and debate the best ways to keep content meaningful and profitable in an ever-changing digital environment.”

Canon Unveils EOS 1D C
Via the British Journal of Photography:

The camera, which Canon is aiming at the motion picture, television and high-resolution production industries, supports in-camera 4K (4096 x 2160) video recording with 4:2:2 colour sampling, “offering greater creative freedom for video professionals… [and] delivering outstanding video quality, advanced low light performance and film-like dynamic range” in a DSLR-sized body, it claims.
The 1D C offers variable resolutions and frame rates, capturing 4K video using eight-bit Motion JPEG compression at 24p, while Full HD (1920 x 1080) is available at frame rates up to 1080/60p. The camera supports internal recording to Compactflash cards at all resolutions up to and including 4K, or video (excluding 4k) can be output to external recorders via an integrated HDMI terminal using an uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 signal.

Awesome. And awesomely aspirational for most with its $16,000 price tag. It becomes available this October.
Visit BJP to learn more about it.

Canon Unveils EOS 1D C

Via the British Journal of Photography:

The camera, which Canon is aiming at the motion picture, television and high-resolution production industries, supports in-camera 4K (4096 x 2160) video recording with 4:2:2 colour sampling, “offering greater creative freedom for video professionals… [and] delivering outstanding video quality, advanced low light performance and film-like dynamic range” in a DSLR-sized body, it claims.

The 1D C offers variable resolutions and frame rates, capturing 4K video using eight-bit Motion JPEG compression at 24p, while Full HD (1920 x 1080) is available at frame rates up to 1080/60p. The camera supports internal recording to Compactflash cards at all resolutions up to and including 4K, or video (excluding 4k) can be output to external recorders via an integrated HDMI terminal using an uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 signal.

Awesome. And awesomely aspirational for most with its $16,000 price tag. It becomes available this October.

Visit BJP to learn more about it.

flavorpill:

The World’s Strangest Cameras

FJP: And to think I was in the market for a newfangled SLR — Michael.

flavorpill:

The World’s Strangest Cameras

FJP: And to think I was in the market for a newfangled SLR — Michael.

The BBC Approves this Camera
Via the British Journal of Photography:

Canon has today announced that its Cinema EOS C300 camera “has met the standards the BBC requires from cameras tested to the EBU recommendation EBU R118.”
The approval allows both internal and external BBC production teams to use the EOS C300 “for the production of a variety of programmes to be broadcast on the BBC’s range of HD channels.”

In a separate article the BJP writes about the camera’s technical details and how it was created.

The BBC Approves this Camera

Via the British Journal of Photography:

Canon has today announced that its Cinema EOS C300 camera “has met the standards the BBC requires from cameras tested to the EBU recommendation EBU R118.”

The approval allows both internal and external BBC production teams to use the EOS C300 “for the production of a variety of programmes to be broadcast on the BBC’s range of HD channels.”

In a separate article the BJP writes about the camera’s technical details and how it was created.

Carl Zeiss’ New Super Wide Angle Lens
Via the British Journal of Photography

The lens is composed of 15 glass elements in 12 groups, including two aspheric lenses, has a minimum focussing distance of 25cm, and uses anti-reflective coating a “special light absorbing paint” to reduce stray light aberrations and reflections.

Works with Canon and Nikon cameras.

Carl Zeiss’ New Super Wide Angle Lens

Via the British Journal of Photography

The lens is composed of 15 glass elements in 12 groups, including two aspheric lenses, has a minimum focussing distance of 25cm, and uses anti-reflective coating a “special light absorbing paint” to reduce stray light aberrations and reflections.

Works with Canon and Nikon cameras.

photojojo:

The year was 1981, and Pentax had just manufactured their 10 millionth SLR.

To celebrate, they made 300 18 carat gold plated and brown leather Pentax LX that came with a matching gold and leather f/1.2 50mm lens. 

(It even came with white silk gloves for when you wanted to hold it!)

The 18 Carat Gold and Leather Pentax LX

via leilockheart 

FJP: Covet — Michael.

The Photographer’s War Gear
Reuters photographer Umit Bektas walks through the gear he brought to Afghanistan. First and foremost, body armor and helmet. And then:

I was going to need two cameras but to be on the safe side, I took a third. As I was planning to do a multimedia piece as well, I packed an audio-recorder and GoPro Camera too. Also a Bgan to give me the internet access necessary to transmit my photos and the Thuraya to ensure communication at all events. As I placed my laptop in its bag, I thought “what if it breaks down” and added a nine-inch backup laptop too. Also packed was one spare battery for each piece of equipment that ran on them. For my cameras though, I took two spares each. As I would not be able to carry large lenses, I packed a converter, chargers, cables, memory cards, cleaning kits and adapters…
…When I was unpacking after returning from Afghanistan recently, I realized there was not a single piece of equipment I had not used, or had carried to Afghanistan unnecessarily.

The Photographer’s War Gear

Reuters photographer Umit Bektas walks through the gear he brought to Afghanistan. First and foremost, body armor and helmet. And then:

I was going to need two cameras but to be on the safe side, I took a third. As I was planning to do a multimedia piece as well, I packed an audio-recorder and GoPro Camera too. Also a Bgan to give me the internet access necessary to transmit my photos and the Thuraya to ensure communication at all events. As I placed my laptop in its bag, I thought “what if it breaks down” and added a nine-inch backup laptop too. Also packed was one spare battery for each piece of equipment that ran on them. For my cameras though, I took two spares each. As I would not be able to carry large lenses, I packed a converter, chargers, cables, memory cards, cleaning kits and adapters…

…When I was unpacking after returning from Afghanistan recently, I realized there was not a single piece of equipment I had not used, or had carried to Afghanistan unnecessarily.

Want Some Retro with your USB Microphone?
Chikodi and I were just emailing back and forth about USB microphones to use for interviews. I came across this masterpiece.
Via GeekAlerts.

Want Some Retro with your USB Microphone?

Chikodi and I were just emailing back and forth about USB microphones to use for interviews. I came across this masterpiece.

Via GeekAlerts.