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Upgrading to 24 frames per second

So, last week was quite thrilling for me. Remember how I said I would upgrade to the Nikon Pro line this year? Well, I did! The D4 ended up being a bit out of my price range, but I got offered a practically new (under one year old) Nikon D3S for a very fair price. I decided to go for it and boy, am I glad I did. The Nikon D3S is probably the best allround camera for someone who does mostly press related photography like me. Even though it’s “only” a 12 MP sensor like my D300 had, ISO sensitivity differs leaps and bounds and the ability to shoot 11 still frames per seconds opens up some great multimedia capabilities (see more below). There’s a lot to say about the device and I need a little more time to get the complete hang of it in order to give you guys my full review.

One of the main reasons I wanted to upgrade is video. I specialized in video during the last year of my journalism studies, and even shot my dissertation on a DSLR.  I was looking for a way to continue that work and as I need a good stills camera to do my photography work, the video capability on the D3S  is a great plus for me. I’ve decided to do some very small multimedia projects to get back into the flow of things and would like to share my first result with you guys. This past weekend, about 50 Congolese people protested in the main streets of Mechelen against Kabila’s reelection. I ended up with a 40 second clip mixing stills and video with their chanting in the background to give people a taste of the atmosphere. Any comments are, as always, very welcome. This video also got published over @ gva.be

Final Cut Pro X: closing the gap

Final Cut has always been a professional application, but it looks like the latest version of Apple’s video editing software is opening up it’s features and tools to a much broader audience.

The new version is called Final Cut X (as in ten) and was first announced and demoed last month  during a big meetup by the Final Cut User Group in Las Vegas. It has been rebuilt from the ground up to support 64bit and, at first glance, looks like a grown-up version of the latest iMovie. It will be shipping in june and pricing is set at $299 (problably €299 for us Europeans).

When it comes to “look and feel” the gap between iMovie and
Final Cut has become really narrow.

Losing the pro look, making the pro feel more accessible

So, is Apple trying to make professional video editing more accessible or is the new layout just a more efficient workspace? I think a lot of pro users will miss the classic, grey, pro look at first. Personally, I don’t give a damn how the software looks, as long as it lets me do my editing in an efficient and intuitive way. Final Cut Pro X comes with a bunch of new features: things like a magnetic time line, compounding sequences to declutter your time line, auditioning multiple sequence options inside your timeline, background rendering and some great new tagging options will, I think, give editors a more efficient workflow and cut down on editing time. On the other hand, non-pro users will get the hang of the software way more easily and, combined with the fair price, have a larger set of tools at their disposal.

What about the studio?

It isn’t quite clear yet whether Apple revamped the entire Studio suite. I’m pretty sure DVD Studio Pro isn’t going to make it to this new version (just like iDVD didn’t in the iLife suite). But what about Motion and Soundtrack Pro? Will all programs be sold separately via the Mac App Store? Will there still be a physical box in stores? All of these questions will probably be answered when Final Cut Pro X launches. One thing’s for sure: the new “easier” look and feel and increase in features have made Final Cut Express completely redundant. Another app bites the dust.

Check back in about a month for my first impressions.


Contour – 4th biennal of the moving image

Contour Video Biennale, originally uploaded by ApplefanBE.

Mechelen (BEL) hosts a unique initiative for people with an interest in contemporary art as well as architectural history.

Contour presents artists working with film, video and installation in special locations in the historical inner city of Mechelen; unexpected or unusual venues within walking distance from one another.

The fourth edition bears the mark of the Brussels-based curator Katerina Gregos (GRC). Under the title ‘Hidden In Remembrance Is The Silent Memory Of Our Future’, the exhibition probes history, advocates its importance and revolves around questions of historical representation and historiography.

15.08.09 -> 18.10.09

http://www.contour2009.be

TAM Time !

I’ve been a big fan of Al Diblasi’s video’s for almost two years now. Today, via TUAW, I found a video of his latest classic mac acquisition. Al bought himself a Twentieth Anniversary Mac in the box, unopened, off of eBay. These machines used to cost 10000 dollars, were delivered in a limo and even someone who set it up for you at home. Bose had a big part in the design, mind you that big thing next to the screen is not a computer, it’s just the Bose subwoofer. The TAM’s 1997 design was more or less the basis of the current iMac line.

Macworld ’08 : a short recap

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As in previous years, uncle Steve has once again managed to introduce a series of products most of us will crave.Steve said he had 4 things to talk about:

– Leopard

  • Steve shared some of the numbers about Leopard. In the first 30 months, 20 percent of macs out there has upgraded to or come with Mac OS X Leopard, which is unprecedented in Mac OS X’s short history.

– iPhone / iPod Touch: 

  • Update 1.1.3 (iPhone dev team, GO !) was launched some cool new feaures: sms multiple contacs at once, customize and create up to 9 home screens, maps with location (thanks to google and skyhook technologies) and chapter and language support for video
    • The iPod touch, from now on, will come with mail, notes, maps, full calendar, etc. The update for existing iPod touch users is   $ 20 (not a good move in my opinion).

    – Apple TV – Take 2:

    • completely new interface (free update for existing Apple TV owners) and no computer required. 
      • Steve also announced the iTunes video rental service (back-catalogue (regular $ 2.99 HD $ 3.99) + new release 30 days after DVD-release (regular $ 3.99 HD $ 4.99)) for which they’ve partnered up with almost all of the mayor studios.
        • The rental service works on a 30 days – 24 hours system. Once you downloaded it, you’ve got 30 days to start watching it and, once you do, 24 hours to finish it you can view it multiple times in those 24 hours if you wish).
          • You can now view pictures straight off of flickr.

          Macbook AIR: 

          • The thinnest laptop in the world (fits in a large envelope)
          • The newest wireless technologies
          • No optical drive: optional external superdrive or remotely from another mac or PC over wifi using remote disc
          • 5 hour battery life 
          • Backlit keyboard
          • The smallest motherboard / core 2 duo chip ever on a mac
          • Complete (recycleable) aluminum casing
          • LED backlighting
          • No more mercury, PVC, flame retardants, etc.

           A great start to what I think is going to be another exciting year for Apple.

          “New York is … the safest big city in the world”

          brave_one_poster_jodie_foster.jpg

          In “the brave one” the beautiful and magnificent Jodie Foster plays Erica Bain, an NYC radio-host with a passion for her city. Bain records everyday sounds in all parts of the big apple and plays them for her audience accompanied by anecdotes of NYC’s history. Bain and her fiancee are about to get married, but during a romantic evening-walk through central park disaster strikes and Bain changes into what she calls “the other person that had always lived in her but which she had never known about”. Erica becomes a victim of fear, something she thought only happened to weaker people. Getting no help from the authorities, she buys a gun and takes matters into her own hands.

          “The brave one” is probably one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. Jodie Foster was, is and will always remain a fantastic actress, New York is a great setting for this type of movies and I just love the “urban” feel you get from viewing movies like this. I’m not quite sure if this movie is giving NYC the credit it deserves. For years and years it has been depicted in almost every single movie as a dangerous, asocial town you better avoid if you don’t really have to be there. Having been to this glorious city for the first time only a bit over a month ago, I know better. I’ve never felt as much at home as I did in NYC. I ignored stoplights, got irritated over people wearing “I (l) NY” shirts (I don’t like tourists, even though I always am one in some way), and have never met that many friendly people in a city.

          Anyway … I’m going of on a tangent here … to keep it short and sweet … this movie is awesome and you should definitely check it out !

          As always, thanks for stopping by ! Gil