Special note: a tragic helicopter accident in New York City this week claimed the lives of five people excited to see and photograph Manhattan from the air. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims and the pilot who managed to make it out alive.Read more
It got more and more fun as we went along, with more friends joining in the merriment. Yes, that's legendary blogger Ken Rockwell on the left, and YouTube phenom Jared Polin of FroKnowsPhoto in the middle. And there's more...Read more
Suddenly, an off the cuff test of our new mid-2017 Macbook Pro 13" for 4K video editing while on the road turned into a romp as a micro-series with industry friends.Read more
First in a four part series begun on a lark to test the 4K editing performance of my new road warrior laptop, the mid-2017 MacBook Pro 13" with touch bar. I was hoping it would be almost as fast or perhaps a little faster than the computer I was replacing, my mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15."Read more
It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, but this time (unlike in April) I wasn’t official press. Forget about a tripod or monopod - Secret Service rules prohibited even selfie-sticks. Forget about a lot of glass, especially long, fast glass: not only would everything have to be hand-held, but those same rules stipulated no backpacks and no bags bigger than 18” x 13” x 7.” And then there were the closed-door meetings where even if I had been press, no press were allowed. Traveling small, light and unobtrusive were the orders of the week. Heads-up: this is a post about gear -- not politics -- but if you don’t want to see photographs from the Democratic National Convention in Philly (along with protests) you’d better stop reading here.Read more
I left a Pelican 1510 full of Sony bodies and prime lenses at home as I flew to Vegas for NAB 2016 (don't get me wrong: I LOVE them), vowing to repeat my NAB 2015 party trick of filming all my interviews and taking all of my pictures with an iPhone. But it was only after I arrived that I finally got my hands on the updated iPhone 6s+ iPro case, cornerstone of Schneider Optics' iPro lens system. And then some.
Of COURSE there are compromises when using an iPhone as your sole imaging device (more on that in a moment). But at a venue like NAB, they are far outweighed by the benefits -- at least for me. Incredibly small, lightweight and unobtrusive, the iPhone allows me to focus on the people with whom I'm speaking.
I just didn't want to put it in a rig like I did for the cover of my eBook Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution. At NAB, bulking it up like that would defeat the whole purpose.
So I was stoked when NAB bud Niki Mustain of Schneider Optics snagged a just-shipping iPro case for the iPhone 6s+. I already had all the other gear I'd need to rock it - three iPro lenses by Schneider (Super-Wide, 2X and Macro), RØDE Videomic Me, Manfrotto's Pixi mini-tripod with integrated push-button locking ball head, and Aputure's not-yet-released-but-based-on-people's-reactions-Aputure-should-get-on-it Lightning Up micro-LED panel.
I've already posted some shots from NAB, and next week I'll be posting videos. But videos are also where those compromises are really felt. I did an interview with Blackmagic Design bud (and Americas President) Dan May, but I REALLY could have used shallow depth of field. I also took no chances with audio, relying on a really great combo of gear (a TASCAM DR70-D field recorder and a pair of RØDElink Filmmaking Kits, packed in a little Domke bag). To be fair, I only used the RØDE Videomic Me once, and while it was credible, it wasn't nearly as good as my larger setup. Then again, acoustics at NAB are ALWAYS horrible -- it's just the nature of the beast.
PS: If anyone has a truly outstanding over-the-shoulder solution for one-man band hybrid video/stills shooter, let me know. Seems to me this is a hole in the market -- and I've looked at a lot of bags!
Pricing and availability:
Last July I published the eBook "Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution" on Amazon. It's still a great resource (yeah, of course I'd think so) if you want to understand why smartphones are shaking up the imaging business and why they're going to get even bigger. Still, with news coming from Zeiss and now Leica about entering the smartphone space, I feel a need for an update.Read more
Everything you ever wanted to know about the iPhone as a video camera!Read more