excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

Atomos Shogun Release Delayed

We know that the cornerstone of our success in the last 4 years has been delivering the technology professionals need at the right time & price without any sacrifice for reliability & performance in the field. So while we feel everyone’s pressure to have Shogun available, we refuse to release a single sub-standard Atomos feature. We will not treat our community of users as Beta testers and will not release the Shogun until the standard we are famous for has been met.

Well if that isn't a shot at Blackmagic, specifically, and RED more generically then I don't know what is! Though I appreciate them taking the time to perfect the firmware...whether or not they achieve that remains to be seen.

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.

F5 and F55 Get A Codec Update

From Cinema5D:

Today, Sony announced that their popular F5 and F55 cameras will be able to directly record in ProRes and DNxHD in the future (no time frame given).

Very interesting to see more and more camera manufactures treat their cameras like computers, offering firmware updates to extend the life of the product. Canon just recently did this as well with the C100/C300 series of cameras. I hope this trend from camera manufacturers continues.

James Dyson Couldn't Have Done It Better

Dave Girard writing at Ars Technica:

At first glance, the new Mac Pro seems like a finger in the eye for demanding creative professionals. But after actually using the system, I am convinced that this is a very successful workstation design that can be a great template for future versions. As novel as the tube design is on the surface, it is simply a solution to a design problem for workstations. How do you keep a high-performance machine with two powerful compute GPUs cool? You make it small, you make it a wind tunnel, you put all the devices along the walls of a giant heatsink, and you make the case metal to assist with cooling. James Dyson couldn't have done it better.

Girad's initial review is an extremely thorough breakdown of the new Mac Pro (see also his followup article updating the Maya/Open CL issue here). As the computer begins to trickle out to users I'm sure it'll become more accepted. Once the third-party manufactures have a few months with the new Mac Pro they'll be able to craft solutions for it's perceived "pro" shortcomings. My hunch: in a year or two we'll wonder why we ever had such big computers on our desk or in our machine rooms in the first place.

Canon 5DIII Firmware Leaked

Oops...just a few days before the intended April 30 release of Canon's 1.2.1 firmware update for the 5DIII, it's leaked. has posted a link to download the file if you'd like to install it on your 5DIII today. I downloaded the file from Andrew's site and am running it now on my 5DIII with no problems. Update when smoothly.

In my brief testing of the image recording to a Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle verifies the HDMI is sending a "clean" out via the HDMI port. Initial tests seem to indicate that the highlights seem to be retained slightly better when compared to the in-camera CF card recording.

Canon 5DIII and Uncompressed HDMI

With Canon's new firmware for the 5DIII, the words that most come to mind are - finally, about time, what took so long, and when can I buy one.

Uncompressed HDMI Output Support

When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal. This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting.

The caveat here is that the firmware is due out April 2013. That's ridiculous! This feature should've been on the camera from day 1, as in March 1, 2012. My guess is that this announcement, 6 months pre-mature, is to help stem some bleeding on Canon's part as more manufactures (i.e. Nikon, Sony, Panasonic) are coming to market with cameras that already do this today. Canon doesn't want to lose current customers to other manufactures. And Canon also doesn't want someone to stop considering a future purchase of a Canon product because it's lacking in features compared to other entries on the market. This firmware announcement seems more reactive than proactive. Nevertheless, it's a welcomed improvement. Competition is a good thing.

Update: CanonRumors proposes another good reason why Canon is being pushed (forced?) to offer clean HDMI out:

Why April?
Maybe the recent clean HDMI out software from Magic Lantern forced their hand.

I'm guessing it's all the above. Sony + Nikon + Panasonic + Magic Lantern = Canon Firmware update