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by Bruce A Johnson

A 1981 graduate of the Boston University College of Communication, Bruce A. Johnson got his first job in broadcast television at WFTV, an ABC affiliate in Orlando, FL. While there, he rose through the ranks from teleprompter operator to videographer, editor, producer and director of many different types of programming. It was in the early 1980's that he bought his first computer - a Timex/Sinclair 1000 - a device he hated so much, he promptly exchanged it for an Atari 400. But the bug had bitten hard. In 1987, Johnson joined Wisconsin Public Te...

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NAB 2013: Tascam DR-60D DSLR Audio Recorder

Much better than recording on the camera...

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

Most DSLRs have dismal audio sections.  Tascam has a cost-effective solution to this issue.

 

 

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NAB 2013: Sound Devices

Some clever new enhancements for NAB 2013

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

Sound Devices President Matt Anderson shows off two clever additions to the product line.

 

 

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NAB 2013: Hoodman Part 2 - Custom Finder Kit

Another glare fighter!

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

Yet another clever way to cut the glare, this time for your DSLR.

 

 

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NAB 2013: Hoodman Part 1 - BMCC Hood

Cut the glare!

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

The big screen on the back of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a glare magnet.  Control it with this product from Hoodman.

 

 

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NAB 2013: Mole-Richardson Part 2: LED Bars

A lot of light in a small space.

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

Finally, both compact brightness and easy remote control in one light fixture. See if you can spot Ron Burgundy in this video.

 

 

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NAB 2013: Mole-Richardson Part 1: LED Retrofits

Retrofits for Baby Lights

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

Love your old Baby Lights?  Refurbish them for many more years of service as LED Fresnels.

 

 

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NAB 2013: Mole-Richardson LED Retrofits

Energy-efficient and great looking to boot.

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

If you have a bunch of older Mole-Richardson lights hanging from your grid, here is a way to extend their life and make them more energy-efficient at the same time.

 

 

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NAB 2013:  Steadicam Curve

Miniaturization run amok?

By Bruce A Johnson | April 09, 2013

30+ years ago, I trained as a full-sized Steadicam operator, and have the bad back to prove it.  Now one of the smallest cameras you can buy has a flyweight Steadicam to go with it.

 

 

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NAB 2013: Dactylcam

Everyone needs a cable cam once in a while...

By Bruce A Johnson | April 08, 2013

I first saw a cable-cam at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  Now we can all own one!

 

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NAB 2013: Joker Boxes

A place to stash your stuff and make your actors taller.

By Bruce A Johnson | April 08, 2013

The traditional apple box has been done one better.

 

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NAB 2013: Freefly Systems Movi M10

Pretty forward-thinking design...

By Bruce A Johnson | April 08, 2013

Their demo video took the world by storm last week, and now here is the Movi M10 live and in person.

 

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NAB 2013:  What’s New From Porta-Brace?

New bags, both soft and hard...

By Bruce A Johnson | April 08, 2013

It's always fun to check in with our friends from Vermont.

 

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NAB 2013:  Sony Alpha NEX E-mount Lenses

Some great glass for my new camera...

By Bruce A Johnson | April 08, 2013

As a new owner of a Sony NEX-EA50U camera, I found this display full of E-mount lenses absolutely irresistable.

 

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NAB 2013: Zacuto Z-Light

It's plasma, baby!

By Bruce A Johnson | April 08, 2013

There are literally hundreds of LED lighting elements on the floor at NAB 2013, but so far I've only seen one plasma light - the Zacuto Z-Light.

 

zacuto zlight from ProVideo Coalition on Vimeo.

 

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REVIEW:  Blackmagic Designs Hyperdeck Shuttle 2

A lot of potential in a slab of aluminum

By Bruce A Johnson | March 12, 2013

(Music cue:  Also Sprach Zarathustra) (Lights come up on a monolith, perfectly rectangular and black as death)

OK, maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic.   However, it is hard to have a first look at the Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle and not instantly... Read More

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REVIEW:  ProDAD DeFishr

Straighten out some of those curves!

By Bruce A Johnson | February 23, 2013

It wasn't that long ago that getting a point-of-view shot was a major undertaking.  About a decade ago, a producer I work with wanted to do a story on the last of the bicycle newspaper delivery boys.  We acquired a bike with a front basket and a rear rack.  Gaffer-taped to... Read More

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The Cure for the Slippery HDMI?

The Cure for the Slippery HDMI?

OK, we have half the solution…

By Bruce A Johnson | December 05, 2012

A few weeks back, I took a look at the Sony NEX-EA50H NXCam camcorder.  Alongside all of its many charms was a “feature” that several of my colleagues pointed out as a big minus:  The fragility and instability of the HDMI plug.  It’s true that in... Read More

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REVIEW:  Vinten Vision Blue5 Fluid Head and Tripod Legs

A Nice Set Of Legs For A Reasonable Price

By Bruce A Johnson | November 20, 2012

Tripods tend to fall into that broad category of items that we never notice when they work, yet can't live without when they don't. And there aren't too many things that can ruin a great shoot faster than a tripod that slips, catches, or doesn't stay put when you want it to. I've used or tested a lot of tripods in my career, and in my opinion Vinten tripods have always risen to the top of the pile, both in initial quality and longevity. The Vision Blue5 is a fairly new addition to the family, and it brings a lot of good features to the party. Read More

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First Look & Semi Review:  Sony NEX-EA50H NXCam Camcorder

The big chips are coming in better packages.

By Bruce A Johnson | October 19, 2012

I'm a TV guy. I've been shooting and editing in broadcast television for over thirty years now, and along with you have seen astounding changes in image acquisition and editing. One thing that caught me way off guard, though, was the sudden ascendance of digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) as a preferred way to capture video. The DSLR's combination of progressive scan and shallow depth of field, made possible by much larger sensors than found in traditional video cameras, really came out of nowhere to capture a large slice of certain types of production. One place you will rarely find a DSLR, though, is in the day-to-day work that television stations do. That's not to say that us TV guys might not want large sensors and dramatic depth of field, but few of us would - or could - put up with the limitations inherent in DSLR operation, not the least of which is the dismal audio sections that most of the cameras have. Dual-system sound may be okay when shooting a scripted production, but in the world of run-n-gun, there are rarely any dedicated audio people anymore. So why can't there be a large-sensor camera with a good built-in audio section? Well, finally...there is. And surprise: it's really affordable. Read More

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Sensor Size Described…

...as best I've ever seen it.

By Bruce A Johnson | October 19, 2012

On the left, a 2/3" Sony HDW-750 HDCam camcorder...on the right, a Sony NEX-EA50H APS-C camcorder.

In the process of writing the First Look on the large-sensor Sony NEX-EA50H camera, I went fishing around the Web for good charts defining actual imaging chip sizes. And this is the best one I found: Read More

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