Archive for September 19th, 2008

Comcast’s 250 GB limit SUCKS

This 250 GB limit per month on Comcast is going to kill me. I downloaded a bandwidth monitor utility earlier, and I have consumed already 600 MBs of data — just by browsing (ok, and a bit of Vimeo in SD mode).

This means that we (I) consume at home an average of about 10 GBs of data daily. WITHOUT any pirating. Not only that, but I am using the NoScript Firefox addon that doesn’t allow ads/scripts/data to be loaded from external sites. If I didn’t have that we would be looking at around 13-15 GBs of data daily!

At the current rate, at 30 days a month, that’s about 300 GBs. I am off by 50 GBs of data every month! I experimented earlier with turning off images on the web, but it makes usage of most CSS pages impossible. I am fucked. I really need to be less in front of the computer, or upgrade our plan.

Eugenia loves sheep

Shot with an HV20 by “Subtracting”. HD version here. Baaah…

The RED DSLR

JBQ and I were speculating last Sunday about the new RED DSLR. The only information we have about this product is what RED’s founder, billionaire but otherwise really cool geek guy, Jim Jannard said: ” ‘revolution’ applies more to this than the RED ONE did to cinema”.

JBQ knows a lot more about photography than I do, and he believes that it’s not much that RED could do to take away market share from the Canon, Nikon and other $1000 to $4000 market space. These markets are saturated and they can do pretty much everything there is to do, and this is why we now see these models come out with HD video (’cause they ran out of really neat still features). You can’t really compete in that market, especially with no compatible lenses.

So he believes that RED is not going against that prosumer market, but the high-end pro one. Against the Hasselblads that is. They could aim for a 45-47mm size rather than the traditional 35mm ones, possibly a non-reflex camera, could employ some clever mosaic technology, and shoot 60 megapixels or more. While currently we have medium/large format cameras that can shoot lots of MP, they cost anything between $20,000 and $40,000 a pop. RED can offer something at around $10,000 or $12,000, and literally kill both the expensive Hasselblad and sister models on one side, and Canon’s 1DS high-end camera on the other side.

The Canon 5D Mark-II

In the DSLR dance around HD video lately, the new Canon 5D is the king: full 1080/30p and mic input, among other niceties. It seems to not have most of the problems found on the Nikon D90 (like exposure jumps while panning), and rolling shutter and focusing seems not to be a huge problem either. In other words, this is one cool camera, with amazing video quality. I just hope that its A/V output can work while recording so we can use external monitors.

My only problem with the camera, and I mean, really the only problem, is the fact that it captures video at 30.00 fps instead of 29.97 and 23.976. This means no 24p, making it useless to indie filmmakers, and also, the 30/1001 difference in the 30p frame rate creates ghosting when imported into a video editor like Vegas, because editors resample instead of re-timing (and then just resample the audio instead of the video). And this is a huge problem, believe me. It’s bad because most people won’t know about this and would drop the files in the timeline as-is. And when their (usually NTSC) output is ready, they won’t understand why the hell there’s ghosting in the final footage.

I hope that the photography department of Canon gets a clue and offer us 29.97 (NTSC), 25.00 (PAL), 24.00 (film) and 23.976 (IVTC film) fps choice. This is very easy to fix with a firmware upgrade, so I hope Canon listens. Unfortunately, from what we’ve seen in the past (e.g. with PF24’s lack of attributes), Canon doesn’t actually listen.

If Canon was to fix this small inconvenience, I think JBQ’s current Canon 5D would be at eBay right now, in search of some capital towards the new 5D.

Update: I just called Canon about the 5D-MII at 1-800-828-4040 (in US, press the 3rd option) and the guy was very helpful. When I mentioned that I needed REAL 29.97 (instead of 30.00 fps), and 25, 24, and 23.976 fps options, and how important that is for proper video editing (29.97), and for indie filmmakers (24p), he wrote everything down to the company’s INTRANET feedback form. I suggest everyone interested in that camera doing so too! It’s a free call, it only took me 2 minutes, and they were very receptive for the feedback!

Music videos shot with the HV20/30

I spent the night searching for music videos that were shot on either the HV20 or HV30, and added them to a new group on Vimeo. The music videos must look like there was an effort to make them look professional, rather than just one-take random live shots, in order to be added to the group.

I estimate that there are about ~100 music videos shot for promotional reasons using the HV20/30 cameras, which confirms the revolution these little cheap gems brought to the amateur filmmaking. Also, most of these videos were shot with the HV20 rather than the HV30. The few videos missing from this collection can be found on Youtube.