fcp.co: An Overview of the Apple Hardware Ecosystem for Video Professionals

http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/2210-an-overview-of-the-apple-hardware-ecosystem-for-video-professionals

“In this article, Sam Mestman looks at each Apple product that can shoot or edit, indicates its place for filmmaking and also tells us which models he recommends. If you’re thinking of buying a new Mac, iPad or iPhone, this is for you!”

apple_iphone_11_pro_max_01_1024px
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: “Featuring a Stunning Pro Display, A13 Bionic, Cutting-Edge Pro Camera System and Longest Battery Life Ever in iPhone with iPhone 11 Pro Max”.

Commentary

Expatriate ex-Wollongong moviemaker Sam Mestman and longtime contributor to Final Cut Pro website fcp.co recently assumed an editorial role there with the aim of stepping up his articles for the site after giving up his coalface role at post-production workflow company LumaForge.

Mr Mestman has been instrumental as an ambassador, educator and advocate for moviemaking for the people throughout the United States and shares invaluable insights in his articles.

I highly recommend regular visits to fcp.co to all moviemakers whether you use Apple hardware and software or not.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

Benro: Tips & Tricks – Humanize the Tripod

“Filmmaker Patrick Moreau provides some tips on how giving subtle movements to your tripod during an interview creates a more human feeling for your audience, making it feel more natural and genuine.”

benro_aero_4_video_travel_angel_tripod_kit_blackmagic_cinema_camera_01_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Cinema Camera mounted on Benro Aero 4 Video Travel Angel Tripod Kit.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Benro tripodsB&H

Fstoppers: Fstoppers Reviews the BenQ SW320 and PV3200PT, Two Fantastic 4K Monitors

https://fstoppers.com/originals/fstoppers-reviews-benq-sw320-and-pv3200pt-two-fantastic-4k-monitors-267514

“For many photographers and videographers, editing and post-production are a vital part of the process. For this reason, it’s crucial to have an accurate and effective display to work on in order to produce the best results….”

Commentary

It has been a long time since I last came across a BenQ monitor in a store in either of the Australian cities in which I have lived, and I have never bought nor used one, so I cannot comment on their qualities for photography and video editing, nor their longevity, but I am willing to consider them and found this article a useful start to my research.

We often rely on two monitors here at the ‘Untitled’ home office, but some of them are ageing or failing, with yet another dying just the other day.

As a result we have sworn off Dell products for life and have been looking at other brands for our video and photo editing workstations as well as for more mundane tasks not demanding high-end monitors.

The two BenQ monitors covered in Fstoppers’ article look interesting but their lack of Thunderbolt connectivity means they are of limited interest for use with our Apple computers.

Will we upgrade our Windows PC to something more contemporary, and will either of these monitors play a part in that?

Or will we stick with Apple machines given the wide range of macOS software already in use here?

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

benq_sw320_31.5-inch_4k_color_accurate_ips_monitor_02_1024px_80pc
Hockey puck controller on the BenQ SW320 31.5″ 16:9 4K Color Accurate IPS Monitor.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • BenQ PV3200PT 32″ 16:9 4K Video Editing IPS MonitorB&H
  • BenQ SW320 31.5″ 16:9 4K Color Accurate IPS MonitorB&H

Get Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic eGPU for Graphics Processing Lightyears Ahead

Apple’s computer operating system gained support for external graphics processing units aka eGPUs with macOS 10.13.4 and the race was on for third-party suppliers to release compatible units with few actually making an appearance in the local market. 

Meanwhile Apple was collaborating with Australian moviemaking production hardware powerhouse and video industry disruptor Blackmagic Design on the Blackmagic eGPU, and it was released to retail in Apple stores worldwide this week. 

I have yet to set eyes upon an actual Blackmagic eGPU in the flesh, as it were, as our closest Apple store does not carry them or have one on display but I am reliably informed one can be seen at our second closest Apple store and I plan on dropping in sometime this week to see and try.

An eGPU developed in close collaboration with the maker of the computers for which it has been designed to best support with the latest connectivity standards is hard to argue against.

Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic eGPU

Internal graphics processing units have been taking the load off central processing units for some years now, especially for graphics-intensive video production work and this latest development in external GPUs is an exciting one.

The Blackmagic eGPU makes a powerful companion to Apple’s latest iteration of its 15-inch MacBook Pro, ramping up its processing speed in the direction of the iMac Pro.

The Blackmagic eGPU is supported by macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra onwards.

Links

Image Credits

Header image by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

wacom_intuos_pro_01_1024px_80pc
Wacom pen tablets are invaluable for video editing, photograph editing and graphics, and can save you from the ill effects of repetitive computer work.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Apple iMac ProB&H
  • Apple MacBook Pro Mid 2018B&H
  • Blackmagic Design camerasB&H
  • Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio (Activation Card)B&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Blackmagic eGPU – not currently on sale at B&H, but I will add the link when it is on sale there.
  • LG 27MD5KB-B UltraFine 27″ 16:9 5K IPS MonitorB&H
  • LG 34WK95U 34″ 21:9 UltraWide 5K Nano IPS MonitorB&H
  • WacomB&H

Apple Releases Mid-2018 MacBook Pro Computers and Blasts Off Into the Future

Until the arrival of the iMac Pro in late 2017, Apple’s professional moviemaking and photography customers had been questioning the company’s loyalty to them and dedication to meeting their ever-growing high-end graphics computing needs, without unnecessary monkey work. 

Today’s release of the Coffee Lake sensor-equipped Mid-2018 MacBook Pro models in 13-inch and 15-inch versions along with the Apple/Blackmagic Design co-designed Blackmagic eGPU will further allay these concerns with a hardware combination approaching the iMac Pro in power and graphics processing speed. 

apple_macbook_pro_2018_04_1024px_80pc
Apple MacBook Pro Mid-2018

Next year’s long-awaited release of the re-imagined Mac Pro after the Mac Pro range was left languishing since late 2013’s “ash can” Macs will be icing on the cake for creatives and a necessity for production studios needing the ultimate in multi-teraflop processing power.

Meanwhile, the long hiatus until last year’s iMac Pro saw many visual storytelling professionals looking to pre-Coffee Lake 15-inch MacBook Pros for portability and as a stopgap until Apple radically revised its desktop offerings, beginning with the iMac Pro.

Hard choices though when knowing that Coffee Lake processors would eventually arrive in Apple’s portable offerings, but the decision of when and which production computer in which to invest has always been a vexing one, given the need to choose a model as future-proofed as possible.

Apple MacBook Pro Mid 2018

The Apple computers I have used have always productively outlived all our Windows PCs, and our two current Macs have had long, productive lives though one is nearing its end having endured daily production use since early 2011.

Those lives are about to be challenged by coming software and hardware support demands as well as exciting new standard in video and ever-larger raw files from ever-bigger image sensor-equipped stills cameras such as Fujifilm’s GFX 50S and the coming GFX 100S and GFX 50R.

Internal upgrades of older machines using Other World Computing’s excellent SSDs and doubling the RAM have their limitations in the face of contemporary graphics software’s reliance on graphics processing units (GPUs) so a new 15-inch MacBook Pro has been overdue, preferably attached to a Blackmagic eGPU in the studio and on-location.

Accessories for Apple’s MacBook Pro Mid 2018

The really big investment maximisation lesson I learned kong ago is to max out your production computer with RAM, internal storage, CPU and GPU power to cope with the ever-increasing demands off constantly-updating editing software.

Apple has clearly heeded this relentless tendency with the 15-inch MacBook Pro Mid-2018’s up to 6-core processors and 32GB of RAM, and a great choice of SSDs up to 4TB, obviating the need to connect external media drives when working on ambitious video and longterm photography projects.

Invest in a minimum of 1TB internal storage, 32GB of RAM, choose the highest specifications processor, add Thunderbolt external storage for media and scratch disk space, and cast an eye at LG’s excellent UltraFine and UltraWide 5K monitors, two of which the Mid-2018 MacBook Pro can easily handle.

Consider a Wacom pen tablet for fine selection control and to guard against wrist damage, add the Blackmagic eGPU, look at Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Micro and Mini colour grading panels, and by doing so create a top-end editing workstation approaching the iMac Pro or coming Mac Pro in power and reliability.

Above all, do not aim low as it will only keep you down as your needs and ambitions change.

Those griping at the price of this versatility and power would do well to consider the past alternatives.

It is significant that Apple has begun collaborating with Blackmagic Design in the eGPU and hopefully other areas given Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty’s mission of “allowing the highest quality video to be affordable to everyone, so the post production and television industry can become a truly creative industry.”

When I first read that, I cast my mind back to the very first video editing workstation I clapped eyes on at a top London creative hotshop advertising agency costing, if my memory serves me right, some £100,000 for the hardware and software, barely affordable by the agency much less any creative of my acquaintance then.

The two photographers-turned-directors who had headhunted me for the agency relied on funky old-but-beautiful Super 16mm movie cameras but the cost of the video cameras of the time was astronomical compared to the price of current small cinema, video and hybrid mirrorless cameras.

With personal computers being the centre of our creative lives, it makes sense to spend some of the money saved on free and affordable production software and hardware on the beating heart of your production kit, making it last for years to come.

Speaking of which with Apple now doing right by its professional users on the hardware front, it is past time for the company to do right in video editing software by improving Final Cut Pro X’s audio capabilities now that Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve’s Fairlight audio page is putting it to shame.

Likewise Apple’s still-smarting 2015 abandonment of photography organizing and editing essential Aperture, was an almost shameful act still with no fully-featured direct replacement anywhere near the horizon whether by dint of third-party software makers or Apple Photos, its erstwhile in-house successor.

Links

Image Credits

Header image by Carmel D. Morris. Have you seen the Red Forest?

Help support ‘Untitled’

8sinn_bmpcc4k_preview_03_1024px_80pc
Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K with 8Sinn camera cage, Scorpio handle and Canon CN-E 24mm T1.5 L F Cinema Prime Lens with EF-to-M43 adapter.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Apple iMac ProB&H
  • Apple Mac ProB&H
  • Apple MacBook Pro Mid 2018B&H
  • Blackmagic Design camerasB&H
  • Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio (Activation Card)B&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Blackmagic eGPU – not currently on sale at B&H, but I will add the link when it is on sale there.
  • Canon EF Cinema Prime Lens Kit (14, 24, 35, 50, 85, 135mm)B&H
  • Fujifilm GFX 50SB&H
  • G-Technology G-Speed Shuttle Thunderbolt RAID ArraysB&H
  • LG 27MD5KB-B UltraFine 27″ 16:9 5K IPS MonitorB&H
  • LG 34WK95U 34″ 21:9 UltraWide 5K Nano IPS MonitorB&H
  • Loupedeck + Photo Editing ConsoleB&H
  • Other World Computing (OWC)B&H – upgrade ageing Apple Macs with faster, larger internal drives and extra, faster memory.
  • WacomB&H

Ming Thein: Review: The Olympus M.Zuiko 17/1.2 PRO

https://blog.mingthein.com/2018/01/01/review-the-olympus-m-zuiko-17-1-2-pro/

“… The lens is incredibly sharp even when shooting wide open. The sharpness is uniform from edge to edge. The bokeh is beautiful and soft, resulting in pleasing and natural looking images. Technical flaws are well controlled with no noticeable distortion, minimal chromatic aberration and good flare control. AF is speedy and reliable. the lens just works and it exceeded my expectations….

… Of the three F1.2 lenses, I am surprised to conclude that this 17mm F1.2 is my personal favourite.”

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro prime lens, equivalent to 23mm in APS-C/Super 35 and 35mm in the 35mm sensor format. Note the retracted focussing ring for manual clutch focus, invaluable for shooting video.

Commentary

I have been recommending the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro collection of fast maximum aperture prime and zoom lenses for their many attributes of use to cinematographers – their affordability and low weight and small size compared to their 35mm sensor format equivalents, mechanical durability, weather resistance and high optical quality as well as their small set of filter diameters allowing for a smaller set of step-up rings and neutral density filters.

The recent addition by Panasonic of the ability to allocate lens-related, barrel-mounted L-Fn functionality to M.Zuiko Pro lenses via firmware when used on the GH5 has added yet another reason to seriously consider M.Zuiko Pro lenses for video production.

I hope that Panasonic will add that L-Fn functionality to the G9, GH4 and GX8 as well as other Lumix cameras in a new set of firmware updates.

Size, weight, price and capability are relative traits.

Ming Thein reviewer Robin Wong writes:

A genuine concern, however, is the diminishing benefit of Micro Four Thirds systems having smaller, more portable lenses. These new F1.2 PRO lenses are no smaller or lighter than their DSLR counterparts.

Maybe so, and at USD1,199.00 the three M.Zuiko Pro prime lenses are not a great deal cheaper than their f/1.2 Canon equivalents in the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM and EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lenses, but the GH5 possesses video production traits simply not available on Canon EOS DSLRs.

I have not tried any of the Olympus M.Zuiko f/1.8 lenses to which Mr Wong compares the M.Zuiko Pro primes, but have used and owned some of Panasonic’s excellent and affordable little f/1.7 or slower Lumix G prime lenses which are well-matched to the smaller Lumix cameras for fast, discrete stills photography.

Professional video production is something else, often demanding the use of step-up rings, variable and fixed ND filters of 77m or 82mm filter diameters, follow focus devices and focus gearing slipped over manual clutch focus rings for accurate and repeatable focus.

Try doing all that with, say, Panasonic’s Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspheric, Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II Aspheric, Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric, Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Aspheric or Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 Aspheric Power OIS lenses.

Earlier today I was travelling down suburban streets emptied by withering 40-degree-plus laser-beam sunlight, with Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens mounted on the GH5 and a couple of other small Lumix G lenses on standby should I spot a likely fellow citizen to commemorate with 10-bit 4:2:2 4K HLG HDR video footage.

The 25mm had a Heliopan 46-77mm brass step-up ring mounted on its front, attached to a Genustech 77mm Eclipse ND Fader variable neutral density filter.

Other f/1.7 lenses have even smaller filter diameters and even shorter barrels, ruling out easy manual focussing by hand or with a follow focus.

In my estimation, and my experience with the 12-40mm f/2.8 and other zoom lenses in the M.Zuiko Pro collection, their size and weight are just about right for serious video production.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM LensB&H
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera  – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H

Australian Cinematographers Society: ACS Harassment, Discrimination & Bullying Policy

http://www.cinematographer.org.au/cms/page.asp?ID=20044

It is the policy of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) that every member of the Society and the greater Film and Television industry has the right to work in an environment free from any gender, race, disability, religious, sexual orientation discrimination or harassment and bullying of any kind. This includes any verbal, emotional, physical, cyber or sexual harassment.

The Society will not tolerate any behaviour that is considered threatening or disrespectful towards or by any of our members or guests….”

Link