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by Allan Tépper

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Allan Tépper has been working with professional video since the early eighties, since he first learned to edit video using the open-reel 1/2” EIAJ-1 format with a Sony AV-3650 editing deck in his high school in Connecticut. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers via his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video technology seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a freque...

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Sound Device’s PIX recorders: a closer look as of firmware 1.07

By Allan Tépper | March 11, 2012

Many people know Sound Devices as a renowned manufacturer of very high-end audio equipment for field production. They make some of the best (and higher-priced) field audio mixers and recorders available on the market, and do so since 1998. Later, Sound Devices began selling high-end USB audio interfaces, one of which I reviewed. Those items have frequently been used for audio-for-video for over a decade, but only in April 2011 did Sound Devices announce its first two video products, the PIX 220 and PIX 240 HD video recorders that offer several types of ProRes422 (Apple) and DNxHD (Avid) códecs. In this article, I’ll cover many details about these two recorders as of firmware 1.07. Yes, in less than a year, there have been seven firmware updates! Read More

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Bandito Brothers use multiple HP DreamColors + Adobe Premiere for Act of Valor

Multiple DreamColor monitors, Adobe Premiere CS5.5, and an HDSLR used for Act of Valor

By Allan Tépper | March 09, 2012

I recently had the pleasure and honor of being invited again by Hewlett Packard to their 2012 media event, where I was able to speak with Jacob Rosenberg, Chief Technical Officer and partner of Bandito Brothers, which created Act of Valor. Jacob was one of several guest speakers at the media event which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He described several technical facets of the production of Act of Valor for the audience, including the camera, workstations, software, and monitors which I’ll summarize in this article, together with the somewhat surprising color space chosen by Bandito Brothers.

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GH2 adds missing AVCHD 29.97PsF… but worsens its already non-standard HDMI output

An improvement for internal recording, together with further disappointment for external recording

By Allan Tépper | March 02, 2012

The segregated 59.94Hz version of Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH2 camera (aka GH2) originally offered just two combinations of progressive internal AVCHD modes: 1080p23.976 (commonly but imprecisely known as “24p”) and 720p59.94 (commonly but imprecisely known as “60p”). With firmware version 1.1, Panasonic added a 29.97PsF AVCHD mode at 24Mb/s to the 59.97Hz segregated version of the camera (together with some other improvements), and after the update, the GH2 fortunately does make an internal AVCHD recording at 29.97 fps. Sadly, what was already unfortunate with its HDMI output before is now worse after this update, as I discovered when testing the PIX 220 HD recorder from Sound Devices with the GH2 (and other cameras). This is ironic since Panasonic originally advertised this camera as having a clean recordable HDMI output. This article will explain what this means in detail, include some test footage, and what you should know and possibly do about it. Read More

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AJA and Sound Devices embrace Sony NXCAM’s timecode-over-HDMI

Free firmware updates enable timecode-over-HDMI from NXCAM, but is that enough?

By Allan Tépper | February 29, 2012

Many ProVideo Coalition readers may recall my article called Untapped features in Sony NXCAM’s new HDMI output from June 2011. At that point, I surveyed several external HD video recorder manufacturers as to their plans to support the multiple new NXCAM features. (This of course includes the FS100 which Adam Wilt just reviewed, along with other NXCAMs from Sony.) At that point, I received a response from AJA and from Sound Devices which both expressed intent to support at least some of the features, but no dates or other details. Now I am happy to report that both AJA and Sound Devices have embraced Sony NXCAM’s timecode-over-HDMI in some of their products. This article will review the NXCAM’s new HDMI features and clarify which are now supported (and which are not yet supported) by these two manufacturers, and what that means for you.

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How to get the “24p” look for your live-switched multicam shoot

A contracted article, sponsored by Datavideo Corporation.

By Allan Tépper | February 10, 2012

Our friends at Datavideo recently asked me to write an article called How to get the “24p” look for your live-switched multicam shoot. The article covers many factors involved in accomplishing that goal, including framerate, aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, and menu settings in Datavideo’s digital HD video mixers (“switchers”) and recorders, and also the menu settings in several pro cameras from Canon, Panasonic, and Sony. The included chart explains which of the cameras have a direct HD-SDI output, and which require an optional converter to go from HDMI to HD-SDI to connect to the Datavideo digital HD video mixer. As you’ll see in the article, the approach is quite different from the workflows I normally cover, which are more appropriate when programs are to be edited, as opposed to when they are shot -and potentially broadcast- live. The graphics for this article were done by Victory Elliot of Datavideo Corporation. Read More

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Avid now lets you edit video on your iPad for US$4.99. Should you?

A first look at Avid Studio for iPad, and an extrapolation as to what it can mean for pro video editors in the short and longer term.

By Allan Tépper | February 02, 2012

I was privileged to find out a few hours in advance of the public announcement of Avid Studio for iPad, since Avid contracted me to translate and localize the press release, as fortunately they often do. There was something about this press release that really intrigued me. It wasn’t so much the specific advantages that Avid Studio for iPad has over other editing apps for iPad, like offering both Storyboard and Timeline views in a single iPad app, or being able to import source material from anywhere inside or outside of the iPad. It was more the fact that the announcement was coming from Avid, and the spirit of the two quotes that appear at the end of the press release. In this article, I’ll give a first look at the app, define what it is (and what it isn’t), and extrapolate about what this can mean for video editing in the short, mid, and long term. Of course, I’ll include those two quotes that intrigued me so much. Read More

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AJA’s Io XT w/ Thunderbolt is now available, but it is not Riker: What’s the cover-up?

Why are William Riker and Leo Laporte involved in a Pegasus cover-up?

By Allan Tépper | February 01, 2012

AJA is now shipping its US$1495 Io XT, AJA’s first Thunderbolt device which I covered in detail when it was first announced in September 2011. Some of you have asked me whether the Io XT is the same as the prototype code-named “Riker” product that AJA showed at NAB back in April 2011. The answer is no. This article will explain why the Io XT is not Riker, review the currently-available Thunderbolt audio/video i/o devices I’ve covered so far (including the Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID), and clarify William Riker’s involvement in the Pegasus cover-up, as well as that of Leo Laporte, who recently declared Thunderbolt to be “D.O.A.” and “too late” on MacBreak Weekly. Even though neither is true, I think Leo had a very good reason to say those things. Read More

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Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID5 from PROMISE

The high-performance video RAID5 you need for today's modern Mac-based video editing systems

By Allan Tépper | January 31, 2012

As many ProVideo Coalition readers may recall, I have written about disk arrays from PROMISE before, although the last time it was primarily to be used with a computer with an eSATA port. Now that all Mac computers (except for the MacPro tower) use a Thunderbolt port, many are looking for a disk array which will have the appropriate connection and that will be at least as fast as what they got previously with eSATA. In this article, you’ll find my results with the Pegasus from PROMISE, used both with a Mac Mini and a MacBook Air. You’ll also find PROMISE’s official position on journaling or non-journaling with this device, since this was not previously documented anywhere to my knowledge. Read More

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Can a professional really use Premiere Elements 10?

This article accompanies my recent chapter 9 of the PsF’s missing workflow series, which offers workarounds to use PsF from AVCHD properly in Premiere Elements 10, as well as native 1080p23.976.

By Allan Tépper | December 31, 2011

I first wrote about Premiere Elements back when version 9 was first released for the Mac. At that point, I received an NFR (Not For Resale) copy from Adobe but was so concerned about its lack of direct support for PsF in AVCHD that I delayed writing about it again while I exchanged e-mails with the Premiere Elements team. In the meantime, I kept myself quite busy covering other topics, and earlier this week, I published chapter 9 in the PsF’s missing workflow about how to get around Premiere Elements’ current lack of direct support for PsF in AVCHD, and even direct support for native 23.976p (“24p”) in AVCHD. In this article, I answer a logical question: Can a professional really use Premiere Elements? This sub-US$100 program is available for Mac or Windows. Here are the answers.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 9: Premiere Elements 10

Despite the Premiere Elements team’s denial about the existence of PsF in AVCHD, fortunately there are workarounds to handle AVCHD PsF properly with the sub US$100 Premiere Elements in many cases.

By Allan Tépper | December 28, 2011

In parts 1-3 of the PsF’s missing workflow series, we introduced the terms benign PsF & malignant PsF, and revealed the PsF status of several AVCHD cameras from 3 manufacturers. In #4, we did the same with several HD recorders. In #5, we revealed how one recorder manufacturer is offering its own software to counteract the inappropriate signals offered over HDMI by many cameras. In #6, I published an open letter to all pro AVCHD manufacturers. In #7, I covered how to deal with PsF on a progressive sequence in Premiere Pro CS5.5. In #8, I showed how ClipWrap is an excellent solution for many Mac editors. Now in #9, I’ll discuss PsF with the sub US$100 Adobe Premiere Elements 10.

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Sony’s FS100 camera to become “WorldCam” via free firmware update

By Allan Tépper | December 26, 2011

Sony USA has just officially announced that the (so-far) segregated 59.94Hz FS100 camera (officially known as the NEX-FS100, often followed by a regional suffix, and then sometimes by the letter “K” to indicate that it is a kit, packaged with a lens) is about to go “WorldCam” via a free firmware update sometime at the beginning of 2012. “WorldCam” is a term used to indicate that a camera has the necessary framerates to be used worldwide, similar to an unlocked quad-band GSM phone that I have used for more than a decade to travel internationally without roaming charges. Beyond using a camera worldwide, having a WorldCam camera is also helpful when a producer needs to acquire content to be broadcast primarily in another country which uses a different framerate. This article will cover the novelistic history of the FS100’s uncertain potential capacity to become WorldCam, as well as some other improvements included in the upcoming firmware update… and some other improvements that are still missing.

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Sony’s NX70 camera to receive its missing 29.97p framerate via free firmware update

29.97p is a vital framerate for producers in ex-NTSC countries. I’m glad Sony has recognized this fact and is finally adding it to the NX70.

By Allan Tépper | December 25, 2011

Sony has just announced that the NXCAM camera model known officially as the HXR-NX70 (often followed by a regional suffix) -but colloquially known simply as the NX70- will receive the vital 29.97p framerate via a free downloadable firmware, sometime in the first quarter of 2012. Well, let me get a little more specific: The 59.94Hz segregated versions of the NX70 will get 1080PsF29.97. This article will explain how vital this framerate is for many producers in ex-NTSC countries, and cover some other improvements included in this update, together with a few that are still missing.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 8: ClipWrap to the rescue

Like a bridge over troubled waters, ClipWrap will now be the cure-all for AVCHD’s multiple weaknesses for many Mac video editors, at least in the short term.

By Allan Tépper | November 30, 2011

In parts 1-3 of the PsF’s missing workflow series, we introduced the terms benign PsF & malignant PsF, and revealed the PsF status of several professional AVCHD cameras from 3 manufacturers (Canon, Panasonic, and Sony). In #4, we did the same with several HD video recorders from 6 different manufacturers. In #5, we revealed how one recorder manufacturer is offering its own “Band-Aid” software to counteract the inappropriate signals offered over HDMI by many camera manufacturers. In #6, I published an open letter to all pro AVCHD manufacturers. In #7, I covered how to deal with PsF on a progressive sequence in Premiere Pro CS5.5. Now in #8, I’ll reveal how the US$49.99 middleware known as ClipWrap will be the cure-all for all of AVCHD’s multiple weaknesses, including both types of PsF, at least in the short term.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 7: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.x

How to deal with 25PsF and 29.97PsF with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.x

By Allan Tépper | November 28, 2011

In parts 1-3 of the PsF’s missing workflow series, we introduced the terms benign PsF & malignant PsF, and revealed the PsF status of several professional AVCHD cameras from 3 manufacturers (Canon, Panasonic, and Sony). In part 4, we did the same with several file-based HD video recorders from 6 different manufacturers. In part 5, we revealed how one recorder manufacturer is offering its own “Band-Aid” software to counteract the inappropriate signals offered over HDMI by many camera manufacturers. In part 6, I published and Open Letter to all pro AVCHD manufacturers. Here in part 7, I’ll cover how to deal with 25PsF and 29.97PsF on a progressive sequence in Premiere Pro CS5.5.x.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 6: Tépper asks the camera manufacturers…

An open letter to professional AVCHD camera manufacturers

By Allan Tépper | November 14, 2011

In parts 1-3 of the PsF’s missing workflow series, we introduced the terms benign PsF & malignant PsF, and revealed the PsF status of several professional AVCHD cameras from 3 manufacturers (Canon, Panasonic, and Sony). In part 4, we did the same with several file-based HD video recorders from 6 different manufacturers. In part 5, we revealed how one recorder manufacturer is offering its own “Band-Aid” software to counteract the inappropriate signals offered over HDMI by many camera manufacturers. Starting with part 7, I’ll begin offering workarounds within several software editing programs, and with at least one external application. However, here in part 6, I am asking questions and making suggestions to the 3 professional AVCHD camera manufacturers who are responsible for creating this entire mess in the first place.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 5: Átomos hires a stripper!

Átomos hires a stripper to counteract malignant PsF!

By Allan Tépper | November 11, 2011

In part 1 of PsF’s missing workflow, we introduced the new terms benign PsF and malignant PsF (Progressive Segmented Frame), reviewed their vital importance and fragility in post-production, and clarified the PsF status of two Panasonic professional AVCHD/AVCCAM cameras. In part 2, we revealed the PsF status of the Canon XA10 professional AVCHD camera. In part 3, we clarified the PsF status of Sony’s professional AVCHD/NXCAM cameras. In part 4, we covered some portable HD recorders and their PsF status. Now, in part 5, we’ll learn why Átomos (manufacturer of the portable HD recorders creatively called Ninja and Samurai) has hired a stripper to help correct the malignant PsF signal that many cameras output via HDMI.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 4: file-based HD video recorders

By Allan Tépper | November 10, 2011

In part 1 of PsF’s missing workflow, we introduced the new terms benign PsF and malignant PsF (Progressive Segmented Frame), reviewed their vital importance and fragility in post-production, and clarified the PsF status of two Panasonic professional AVCHD/AVCCAM cameras. In part 2, we covered the PsF status of the Canon XA10 professional AVCHD camera. In part 3, we clarified the PsF status of Sony’s professional AVCHD/NXCAM cameras. Now, in part 4, we’ll cover some file-based recorders (from manufacturers like AJA, Átomos, Blackmagic, Convergent Design, Datavideo, and Sound Devices), their PsF status, and their purpose in your system and workflow.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 3: Sony’s AVCHD & NXCAM cameras

By Allan Tépper | October 31, 2011

In part 1 of PsF’s missing workflow, we introduced the new terms benign PsF and malignant PsF (Progressive Segmented Frame), reviewed their vital importance and fragility in post-production, and clarified the PsF status of two Panasonic professional AVCHD cameras (branded as AVCCAM). In part 2, we clarified the PsF status of the Canon XA10 professional AVCHD camera. Now, in part 3, we’ll clarify the PsF status of Sony’s professional AVCHD cameras, some of which carry the NXCAM brand.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 2: the Canon XA10 camera

By Allan Tépper | October 26, 2011

At US$1,999 street price including balanced XLR audio inputs, the Canon XA10 AVCHD camera is quite interesting from several perspectives, and that’s probably why so many of my consulting clients who favor 25p or 29.97p and need balanced audio have chosen it. The XA10 reminds me of a shrunken, sexier-looking Panasonic AG-HMC40. The XA10’s CMOS sensor is larger than that of the AG-HMC40, and rather than oversampling with higher than 1080p resolution, Canon decided to make it native 1920x1080 and skip the 720p modes altogether, so there is no scaling and better sensitivity than the HMC40. But this article is not a review about the XA10s specs and feature set, but how it stands in terms of PsF status, and how that unfortunately complicates -or jeopardizes- its ideal post workflow for those producing 25p or 29.97p.

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PsF’s missing workflow Part 1: BENIGN PsF versus MALIGNANT PsF

PsF footage requires special treatment in post, and its sources are growing at an alarming rate.

By Allan Tépper | October 23, 2011

Here in Part 1 of PsF’s missing workflow, I’ll define two new terms I’m introducing: benign PsF and malignant PsF. Fortunately, both Adobe Premiere CS5.5 and Apple Final Cut Pro X handle benign PsF (progressive segmented frame) automatically in the most desired way. Unfortunately, neither of these programs can handle malignant PsF properly. This means that -even with the latest software- it is your responsibility to avoid the multiple pitfalls of misinterpreting malignant PsF. You must be aware of it and take the necessary steps to counteract it. This article will cover Panasonic’s AVCHD/AVCCAM PsF status. Upcoming articles in this series will reveal the PsF status of other cameras and recorders, and the workflows & workarounds with popular editing software. Read More

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