excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest
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.
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.
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. EOSHD.com 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 posted a small picture on the 5DIII website noting that the new firmware previously announced last Fall will be available for download April 30. I guess, technically speaking, that still honors their original April 2013 release time frame....but one could ask why it even took 6 months to push this firmware out?
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:
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