Cut | Color | Post

Ryan Holmes Cut Color Post. Excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry of editing, color grading, and deliverables.

Why Don't Developers Spend More Time Fixing Bugs

One of the complaints I hear frequently is: “Why don’t developers spend more time fixing bugs and less time adding new features?” And the answer is: They can’t afford it. Finding and fixing bugs is ridiculously time-consuming and often isolated to specific systems or system configurations. Fixing bugs is necessary, true; but really, really difficult. And we all expect that upgrades to fix bugs will be free.

And therein lies the rub. We want bugs squashed, but we don't want to pay any money for it (historically we've never had to pay for bug fixes). However, as this digital age continues to "grow up" business models have to adapt.

While Larry's post isn't directly aimed at Adobe's CC model it certainly has that in view. Subscription based software is actually moving through all the major media players, save for Apple who doesn't need to move to that model because their money is made from hardware sales (iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc).** But Adobe, Avid, Autodesk, Red Giant, and the Foundry have all moved towards subscription plans for either outright use or maintenance packages.

** You could also make a case that Blackmagic Design won't move towards subscriptions because they also generate a substantial portion of their income from hardware sales. With their ever broadening line of cameras, routers, converters, and switchers software just becomes an add-on that is used to entice a consumer (licensed version of DaVinci Resolve given out with any camera purchase). 


Saying No to Work

When I arrived, the organizers were nothing short of total jerks. No one so much as smiled in my direction, and I was ordered around like some shifty teenager who might dash out at any moment, a bottle of stolen champagne tucked in my jacket pocket.

Cause or no cause, the event turned out to be one of the least meaningful photographic experiences of my life, an abrasive series of grip-’n’-grins that said nothing, inspired nothing, meant nothing.

And just like that, I was done. I completed my contract, delivered the photographs, cashed my check, and vowed to say NO to work that didn’t align with my personal desires.

Saying "No" to work is one of the hardest things to do. It can also be one of the most rewarding.


Does Sensor Size Matter?

So that brings us to the physical size difference. Is that such a big deal? The thing that I would first consider is depth of field. The larger the sensor, the shallower the depth of field you get at a given aperture. I’ve run a few tests for myself and I have yet to see a big difference in this regard from APS to full frame. When I jump to the Phase? That’s when it shows up. Night and day difference on not just the amount of fall off with focus, but the way the focus falls off. I hate the term bokeh because 99% of the time I hear people use that word they have no idea what in the hell they are talking about. It’s become this catch phrase for “out of focus” or “shallow depth of field.” When people say, “Wow. I love the bokeh in your pictures,” that’s a pretty good sign that they don’t know what they’re talking about. There’s how much focus falls off then there’s how it falls off.

There's always quite a debate when any new camera is announced about how big the sensor size is. Terms like full frame, crop sensor, Super 35, Micro 4/3, or Super16 get tossed around on blogs (like this one) and forums. Having shot many of the formats above sensor size does make a difference, but I don't think it makes as big of a difference as the pixel peepers would like to make it out to be. I think Zack has some good illustrative pictures on his post that support his claim that sensor size just doesn't matter that much. Nearly, all of the movies shot digitally are technically shot on a crop sensor camera, Super 35 (i.e. not full frame) - Skyfall, Gravity, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Zero Dark Thirty, Captain America, World War Z, Guardians of the Galaxy (and that list is just the Arri Alexa, not counting RED or Canon C cameras). I don't remember thinking in any of those movies about how bad the falloff looked due to a Super 35 sensor....!


Blackmagic Wasn't Joking

Apparently, BMD wasn't joking around when they said a unified code base for their cameras would speed up firmware updates for their cameras. After just adding a slew of ProRes updates to all their cameras, BMD announced today that they are updating the BMPC4K with options that are sorely needed (I anticipate these will be available for the cinema camera soon):

  1. On Screen Histogram
  2. Time Remaining indicator for storage space
  3. Audio level indicators

More information is available here on the BMD update here. Initial testing on my BMPC4K is stable so far.


Blackmagic Pocket Camera now $495

Facing stiff competition from the likes of Panasonic's GH4 and Sony's a7S Blackmagic lowered the price of the Pocket Camera to a mere $495. Keep in mind that this camera is a MFT (micro four-thirds) mount, but has the capability of shooting in any flavor or ProRes (courtesy of the latest firmware update) as well as CinemaDNG RAW. It's also a smaller sensor than the above listed cameras with its Super 16 sized sensor (12.48mm x 7.02mm), which amounts to a nearly 3X crop factor on lenses. The crop factor gets reduced to nearly APS-C sizes (~1.7x) if a Metabones speed booster gets attached.

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The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will be $495 until August 31st, 2014. I doubt they will raise the price back to the $995 after that and I’m sure it’s a marketing trick to get everyone buying quickly, but it might just work as I see the possibility of many retailers running out of stock soon.

Blackmagic Firmware Brings All Flavors of ProRes to Cameras

Blackmagic has followed through with their promise for regular updates, announcing firmware version 1.8.2 bringing all flavours of Apple ProRes 422 to their current cameras.

Head over to Blackmagic and download the latest firmware for your camera.


Even Without Aereo, Those Problems Don't Go Away

Americans are still fed up with huge channel bundles, high prices, poor service and the lack of ability to watch all their shows on all their devices. That’s part of why Aereo was attractive: It offered a few dozen local broadcast channels and the Bloomberg TV financial channel on multiple devices for just $8 a month.

Industry watchers say the pay TV business must continue to evolve to win over unhappy customers, even if the nation’s top court said grabbing signals from the airwaves and distributing them online without content-owner permission isn’t the way.

”Even without Aereo, the reason people were cutting the cord, for cost reasons and so on, those don’t go away,” said Robin Flynn, an analyst with market research firm SNL Kagan.

Robin's right. Killing Aereo doesn't stop their problem. In the same way that shutting down Napster didn't help the RIAA. The problem is that technology is moving faster than these companies. And the companies want to continue to sit on their profit margins more than serve their customer base. It's only a matter of time until a company, product, or service crops up that really addresses how customers consume media (anytime, anywhere, on any device) and forces the main telcos to adapt. Or if it plays out like the RIAA, until an Apple like company throws the telcos a lifeline via an iTunes-esque software/service and then begins to shift the balance of power.