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The PixelPainter

by Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster has written and contributed to several books and magazines, and has been producing motion graphics, photography and creative design for major corporations, television and film for more than 20 years. See his full bio and content at http://PixelPainter.com...

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Jeff Foster’s New Channel: The PixelPainter

Jeff Foster’s New Channel: The PixelPainter

With permanent links to the archives...

By Jeff Foster | June 19, 2013

I've been contributing to various production/post-production channels here on PVC for years but created my own channel with the re-launch of the new PVC website format, titled "the PixelPainter". Here's where you can find more about my channel, my interests and of course, links to all my previous articles & reviews.

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cameras video

NAB 2014 Aerial Videography & “Drone” Overview

Field Trips, Workshops & Manufacturers Make A Huge Splash This Year!

By Jeff Foster | April 18, 2014

Above all the buzz about 4K cameras and monitors at NAB this year, were flying cameras that sounded like large swarms of bees. POV photography and videography have literally taken off in the past 18 months in a big way, and NAB 2014 was just the place to learn more about this rapidly emerging technology... and how filmmakers will benefit from above AND on the ground!

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NAB 2014 Exclusive “Sneak Preview”: Tayzu Heavy Lift Drone to Revolutionize Aerial Filmmaking

NAB 2014 Exclusive “Sneak Preview”: Tayzu Heavy Lift Drone to Revolutionize Aerial Filmmaking

New Manufacturer to the Market Does a Private "Preview"... and I Have Seen the Future.

By Jeff Foster | April 06, 2014

In a private exclusive meeting in a hotel suite the weekend before NAB 2014 officially starts, I get a hands-on look at a working prototype heavy-lift "drone" (UAV) that left me literally speechless. Not only is the design quite stunning and clean, but the technology is so advanced I didn't think we'd see anything like this for several years. I have seen the future folks... and it's absolutely beautiful!

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cameras lens

GoPro Replacement Lenses for Hero3/3+ Black from Peau Productions

Affordable Quality Glass Lenses Give You More HFOV Options with Your GoPro

By Jeff Foster | March 22, 2014

The more that I've gotten into aerial videography & photography with the GoPro Hero3/3+ Black, the more I've had issue with the GoPro's OEM "fisheye" wide angle HFOV (Horizontal Field Of View), which distorts the horizon and creates a curved "bubble" effect. The biggest issue with that is when the quadcopter is in motion or the camera is tilted up, the bowing effect of the horizon or long straight lines such as fences, buildings and light poles look like rubber. There are a couple different third-party producers of replacement lenses for the GoPro and after some research, I decided to contact Peau Productions to test a couple of their lenses. Here are my results of this test...

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Product Review: Steadicam Curve for GoPro Hero3/3+

Steadicam's Latest Mini Handheld Stabilizer for the GoPro

By Jeff Foster | March 16, 2014

First came the Steadicam Smoothie a couple years ago and they teased us with the Curve about a year ago at NAB 2013, but now it's finally shipping and I got one to test with. Smaller and more compact than the Smoothee but is it better?

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Red Giant Universe Public Beta Announced

Red Giant Universe Public Beta Announced

More than New Software Plug-ins: an Expanding Community

By Jeff Foster | March 12, 2014

March 11, 2014 - Today, Red Giant, makers of Magic Bullet, Trapcode, and PluralEyes, announced Red Giant Universe (public beta) - a community that gives members access to fast and powerful free tools for editing, filmmaking, visual effects and motion design. 

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Replay XD1080 / XD720 HD POV Action Cameras

Smallest Profile and Most Robust Design of Any POV Action Cam on the Market

By Jeff Foster | March 07, 2014

The Replay XD HD cams are a truly unique design, with a low-profile and they're built like a tank. Made with hard-anodized aluminum cases that are water resistant without the need for an external housing for most applications, these lightweight POV action cams have the versatility and durability that even the most popular competitors can only dream of.

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Product Review: Genus Mini Jib

Truly Compact and Portable Jib for DSLRs and HD Camcorders

By Jeff Foster | February 22, 2014

The new Genus Mini Jib was designed for portability and simple setup/operation on location. It's not meant to be a studio jib but while it can handle a decent payload of about 9lbs, you can manage to get a decent load to balance and maintain control of the operation. I give the Genus Mini Jib a thorough test with two different camera configurations and push it to the limits.

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storage video

MediaZilla: The Future of Media Libraries and Sharing?

Intuitive Platform for your entire Media Library with Blu-ray Style Menus

By Jeff Foster | February 19, 2014

Well, this looks like an interesting concept - and definitely one worth investigating further if not actually supporting. I don't usually give much attention to crowdfunding products, let alone post an announcement or give my thoughts on one, but when I was approached by MediaZilla founder Jon Geddes about their campaign, I was intrigued to see where this was going. I think you may be as well.

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Product Review: Fiilex P360 and P180E Full-Spectrum Color LED Studio Lights

ENG Portability and Professional, Tunable, Light-Shaping Unmatched with LED Panel Lighting

By Jeff Foster | February 12, 2014

Designed for portability for the independent videographer shooting interviews, quick setup talking head studio shots or even portable green screen, Fiilex P-series LED lights provide a wide range of flexibility to match ambient lighting or provide enough light to give a decent single-subject studio shot on their own. With their proprietary Dense Matrix cluster LED design, and full-spectrum color tuning in a quality built fixture, I test a kit with two P360 lights and two P180E lights with all their accessories in different scenarios and see how they compare to standard multi-element LED lighting.

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Product Review: Adorama’s Flashpoint 180 Portable Monolight & Grand Softboxes

Featuring the Glow 47" and 71" Grand Softboxes

By Jeff Foster | February 01, 2014

Adorama's own Flashpoint brand features products that range from cinematography gear to lighting systems for video and photo and are designed for student photographers and designers on a budget. With few exceptions, the new Flashpoint 180 Portable Monolight and the Glow Grand Softboxes fit that need with flying colors. I put these products to the test in my studio and then handed them off to my friend and colleague, Joe Randeen (3 Penguins Photography) to have a go at testing them as well and I'll be including his comments and images as well in this article.

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DSLRPros Enhances Their Ultimate Phantom Quadcopter System

DSLRPros Enhances Their Ultimate Phantom Quadcopter System

Serious Upgrades for Serious Aerial Imagery!

By Jeff Foster | January 25, 2014

With several major updates and accessories to their popular Ultimate Cinema Edition Aerial Kit, DSLRPros has pushed the capabilities of the DJI Phantom quadcopter to a new level; including the new Futaba 8FG Black Edition transmitter, Long Range FPV Commander Kit with 7" LCD monitor and Diversity Receiver, Skyzone FPV goggles, FPV OSD Android App and custom CF Vision-style Props.

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Product Review: Lowel GL-1 Power LED Flood/Spot Light

Dimmable and Focusable Portable Light for Shooting Photo & Video On-Location

By Jeff Foster | December 31, 2013

The Lowel GL-1 Power LED is a compact handheld portable light source that is ideal for any type of event or location photography. It's dimmable and with the adjustable Fresnel lens, it has an 8:1 focus range from full flood to a tight spot and works either handheld or mountable to any tripod.

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camera training video

Using Mini Quads as Training Tools: Hubsan X4 H107D FPV Quadcopter

Inexpensive RC Quadcopter with Live Video FPV Helps Hone Flying Skills

By Jeff Foster | December 29, 2013

Go ahead and call these mini RC quadcopters "toys", but they won't be insulted, because they're serious flying machines that have many of the same features that the big boys have! But learning to control and pilot these relatively inexpensive quadcopters may help you manage and fly your more expensive DJI quadcopter with greater ease and precision, and build your skills and confidence.

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Product Review: iOgrapher for iPad/iPad Mini

Shoot Video, Timelapse and Photos with your iPad/iPad Mini with this Simple & Affordable Rig

By Jeff Foster | December 21, 2013

The iOgrapher Mobile Media Case for the iPad Mini and the full-sized iPad are made from injection-molded polycarbonate - making them flexible and durable and able to withstand a lot of abuse. With several cold-shoe attachments, a tripod mount and a threaded 37mm lens mount for wide angle and telephoto lenses, large easy-grip handles and an amazingly inexpensive price, make this a must-have accessory for your iPad.

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Rampant Design Tools introduces NEW Rampant Drives

Save Big and take your effects library with you.

By Jeff Foster | December 17, 2013

The most affordable and accessible way to get several Rampant Design Tools real camera effects, backgrounds, transitions and more - loaded on an ultra-fast portable drive you can take with you to clients or on-location with your laptop.

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Newly-Released: 3POD Economy Portable Tripods for Photo and Video

Flashpoint Announces their New 3POD Line of Economy Tripods with Heads for under $250

By Jeff Foster | December 09, 2013

Adorama's Flashpoint brand introduces a new economy line of portable tripods with heads for photo and video. Ranging from around $100 to $250, these lightweight portables offer flexibility for the hiking photographer or the videographer on the go. Since I've been lugging my 20yr old Bogen steel tripod (boat anchor) around for so long, I was surprised in the results of my testing in how I could see using a few of these in my own workflow in various shooting scenarios; especially the ultra-compact carbon fiber tripod with ballhead.

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camera hardware video

Product Review: Genus GoPro Cage

Major Protective Housing, Accessory and Filter Connectivity for your Hero3/Hero3+

By Jeff Foster | November 30, 2013

When I first saw the Genus GoPro Cage announced, I knew I had to get one to try out and see just how versatile it was. Let's just say I wasn't disappointed - and the mounting options and the ability to screw-on filters closes the deal.

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camera cameras dslr monitor production video

Product Review: Flashpoint 7” LED Field Monitor

Full-Featured 1280x800 pixel HDMI LED Field Monitor Kit with Case

By Jeff Foster | November 29, 2013

I took this new Flashpoint 7" HD LCD Field Monitor for a test, LITERALLY in a field! I was impressed with the features and flexibility of this portable monitor right out of the package on location during a photographic road trip this Fall - especially for only $400.

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Improving POV Cam Footage with a few Tricks in Adobe CC

Stabilizing, Lens Correction, Camera Filters and more...

By Jeff Foster | November 25, 2013

Whether you've strapped your GoPro to a car, motorcycle, boat, plane, snowboard, skateboard or a UAV, chances are you will need to stabilize that shaky footage, do some quick color correcting or do some lens correction to eliminate the wide FOV inherent with these POV cams. I'll share with you some tips on "fixing" your footage and images, including links to additional online video tutorials from my colleagues at Adobe.

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