Archive for April 8th, 2008

My birthday present

I’ll be 35 in 1.5 months. God, I am old. Good news is, I’ve been thinking of a present (I got nothing for my name day and Christmas), but I can’t decide as to which one to get.

The first idea is to get a 35mm adapter for my HV20. I was hot on the idea of getting a cheap one from TwoNeil and be done with it, but JBQ wants me to use his EOS lenses, so we are now thinking of getting a vibrating adapter from my co-moderator at Worley. I just want some background blur damn it. Using HV20’s manual focus is an exercise in patience, while masking on post is a major pain in the butt (like I did below), especially because Vegas Pro has no automatic tracking like After Effects does (and Vegas Platinum doesn’t even have masking). Plus, it looks unnatural, or “green screen’ed” at best.

The second idea is to get a special Vegas keyboard from Bella. It’s the only affordable keyboard that has a Jog/Shuttle Controller and that’s a cool idea, although such a keyboard won’t really change much the speed of which I edit. Truth is, I am concerned about the quality of their drivers. They still don’t have 64bit driver support, not even Vista support! This is usually a good indication of sucky XP drivers too and not enough attention to detail. None of their marketing/PR emails work anymore either.

It ain’t in the camera

Taylor Gillespie posted a number of very artistic videos on Vimeo. He uses a Kodak V1253 12MP digicam to capture his 720p videos (review). These Kodak cameras are not very good in quality and they offer zero control (not even exposure compensation or white balance). But you know, a person with a vision can deliver.

Others, will tweak their most expensive hardware to death, but that doesn’t guarantee worthwhile video. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t.

The Joe User truths

There is no more purer, objective, truth about a product that the first reaction of a random user who doesn’t really care either way. Case in point my brother in law, Vincent, who is currently visiting us, and two families of products: TVs and feature phones.

Vincent bought a 46″ Sharp LCD HDTV a few weeks ago. He obviously had some fun time with it. Then, he watched our Pioneer plasma 50″ HDTV. No comparison he said. Plasmas are far superior.

Vincent had been playing with my iPod Touch and iPhone the last few days. He liked the interface a lot. Then, today, while I was showing him some of my other gadgets in my office, we got to the LG Viewty, a phone that LG put out there to compete with the iPhone. He played with it for a short while and then I mentioned that LG goes against the iPhone with that model. He spontaneously laughed, and said “what?”. He placed the phone back to its box. Again, no comparison with the real deal. Especially in this second case, I could even see a genuine surprise at him: there is no way the LG junk software can compete with the iPhone’s.