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HD for Indies

by Mike Curtis

Mike Curtis writes and runs HD for Indies, a consultancy and website dedicated to using affordable digital technology for independent filmmaking. Mike started HD for Indies after a 15 year digital media career making content for everything from cell phones to cinema screens for clients such as Ford, Dell, Compaq, etc.. As a consultant, he focuses on production and post production hardware, software, and workflows to achieve maximum results at a variety of budget levels.

 

Come to My Workflow Panel Thursday Nov 7 at ETE 2013

Come to My Workflow Panel Thursday Nov 7 at ETE 2013

Learn how to design a workflow for ANY system

By Mike Curtis | October 31, 2013

Learning how to do Specific Workflow X for Camera Y is only a temporary solution. Learning how to evaluate what you're getting, what tools & knowledge you have, and what your outputs, timetables, and budget are will let you plan for ANY new options that come along.

If you ever... Read More

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Come To My Panel on Timelapse At ETE 2013 Next Wednesday

Come To My Panel on Timelapse At ETE 2013 Next Wednesday

Come learn the technical and creative sides of shooting time-lapse

By Mike Curtis | October 31, 2013

Hey all - in case you didn't notice, I don't post here much any more. Partly because I’ve switched my focus from digital workflow issues over to generating my own workflow issues (ha). Over the past few years, I’ve been shooting motion controlled, HDR (high dynamic range)... Read More

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NAB 2012: Motion Control Systems - CamBLOCK

NAB 2012: Motion Control Systems - CamBLOCK

Video Interview showing CamBLOCK's Awesome Lightweight Motion Control Rig

By Mike Curtis | May 03, 2012

I'd already heard about CamBLOCK before NAB, and sought out some information, but I never expected them to come seeking ME at NAB. {C} Read More

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Top Ten Trends of NAB 2012

Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad NAB 2012 - here's why

By Mike Curtis | April 18, 2012

Lots of change this year - not just new products, but new KINDS of new products from companies we didn't expect them from. Here's some new tech, trends, and an attention seeking Top Ten List of my take on the show so far. Read More

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Arri Booth NAB 2012

Arri Booth NAB 2012

Alexa updates and goodies and a tantalizing teaser concept

By Mike Curtis | April 17, 2012

Swung by the Arri booth and ran into Stephan Ukas-Bradley who gave me the rundown on what is new in their booth: Read More

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BlackMagic Design’s Cinema Camera - Supermodel Backrub with Ninja Claws?

BlackMagic Design’s Cinema Camera - Supermodel Backrub with Ninja Claws?

What to make of 2.5K RAW for $3000

By Mike Curtis | April 17, 2012

So Blackmagic Design, maker of post production hardware and software, introduced their first camera at NAB 2012 - the Blackmagic Design Digital Cinema Camera. What to make of it? Read More

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Miss me? I hope so. Here’s what I stayed up all night writing.

Miss me? I hope so. Here’s what I stayed up all night writing.

ProPhotoCoalition front page domination? Like A Boss.

By Mike Curtis | March 08, 2012

So if you read this article about how and to what my passions have shifted, you'll know I'm kinda into DSLRs now. Not for the video like most everyone else, but for timelapse. Huh? Yup. And not just any kind of timelapse, but HDR (High Dynamic Range) timelapse. So when Nikon and Canon announced new mid-range and top end full frame DSLRs this year, I was kinda Into It. Read More

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So…where’ve I been?

So…where’ve I been?

What I've been up to, besides not publishing here. Links to new stuff follow.

By Mike Curtis | March 08, 2012

So, where did I go? Where've I been? What have I been up to? (And does anyone care?) Here's what I've been up to, and some links to what I've been doing lately. Read More

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Red (finally) takes the wraps off new camera - Scarlet-X

Red (finally) takes the wraps off new camera - Scarlet-X

Think of it as Epic's little sister - who kicks butt at 1/3 the price

By Mike Curtis | November 04, 2011

Jim Jannard of Red (finally) revealed their next camera - 3K for $3K is long gone - now it is 5K stills & 4K motion for a sub-$10K "brain." It is everything you wanted in an Epic...but less. Read More

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Canon’s new EOS C300 digital cinema line - competition for Red or Sony?

Canon’s new EOS C300 digital cinema line - competition for Red or Sony?

Canon's new camera is huge news....for Canon.

By Mike Curtis | November 03, 2011

Today in Hollywood Canon announced their first truly professional cinema class camera - a Super35mm sized 4K sensor in a small, 3.6 lb body available with either EOS or PL mounts, recording to CF cards with an ISO range of 320 to 20,000. That is the good news. Everything else is either as expected or disappointing, depending on how fanboy hyped up you were about it. Is it a competitor for Red One? Scarlet-X? Epic? Sony's F3? Read on and see. Read More

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Single Chip Camera Evaluation screening tomorrow morning at CineGear

Single Chip Camera Evaluation screening tomorrow morning at CineGear

The 12 cameras you might shoot on compared in depth - dynamic range, resolution, rolling shutter, skin tones, etc.

By Mike Curtis | June 03, 2011

I was the post supervisor on the SCCE (Single Chip Camera Evaluation) for the past several months - we shot on 12 cameras (Alexa, film, F35, Red, AF100, Sony F3, Phantom Flex, Weisscam HS-2, Canon 1D MkIV, 7D, 5D Mk II, and Nikon D7000), and ran them through an extensive battery of tests - sharpness, sensitivity, over and underexposure latitude, low light performance, compression artifacts, color reproduction, skin tones, and the best shutter artifacts test I've ever seen. Saturday June 4th at 10:15am. Read More

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Come see my footage from F3 S-log & Leica Summilux-C lenses TONIGHT at CineGear

Come see my footage from F3 S-log & Leica Summilux-C lenses TONIGHT at CineGear

I shot world class Arabian stallions on an F3 in S-log on the best lenses I've ever used. Come see it tonight.

By Mike Curtis | June 03, 2011

If you're in LA and a shooter, you should come to CineGear. And while you're there, come see me talk about my shoot with the F3 in S-log mode shot on Leica Summilux-C lenses - perhaps the best lenses EVER. Read More

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Mike finally gets to play with an Epic-M and HDRx

First impressions, what works, digging into HDRx

By Mike Curtis | May 01, 2011

This week my friend Eric Ulbrich that I met while working on the SCCE (Single Chip Camera Evaluation) got his Epic-M. He was nice enough to invite me over to play with it on Friday, here's some first impressions on the camera and its HDRx mode. Notes and pics follow. Read More

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Mike’s NAB 2011 Day One Part One

I visited Blackmagic, AJA, Red, Arri, Canon, Fujinon, Abel Cinetech, and others

By Mike Curtis | April 12, 2011

Hey all! I'm here at NAB and am wandering the show checking out what interests me. My coverage will be based on what I saw in the order I saw it. Today I visited: Blackmagic Design, AJA, Red, Arri, Canon, Abel Cine, and Sony. So here we go: Read More

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Coming to NAB? Come see results of our 12 camera test Tuesday night

Coming to NAB? Come see results of our 12 camera test Tuesday night

SCCE=Single Chip Camera Evaluation - all the cameras you'd care about on Tuesday

By Mike Curtis | April 11, 2011

Hey all - One of the (many) reasons I haven't been writing lately has been I've been up to my neck in the SCCE. What's that? The Single Chip Camera Evaluation. Zacuto started the idea and Bob Primes ASC designed and supervised all the testing. I was one of the planner/organizers, as well as post supervisor and ran around and did a bunch of stuff on set. Tuesday night, 6-8 pm Content Theater. Here's the press release after the jump: Read More

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Yo, Creative Pros-Apple Doesn’t Love You Any More. Here’s why.

Yo, Creative Pros-Apple Doesn’t Love You Any More. Here’s why.

Not the way they used to - like the ascendant rock star's old girlfriend, we are yesterday's news

By Mike Curtis | July 29, 2010

After writing this piece on whether Apple lamed out on the new Mac Pros, I got to thinking more about Apple and where we, as creative professionals lie in their priority list. Read that article for a detailed analysis of how Apple wasn't aggressive with new technology, was late to market, skipped a bunch of new technology, and MIGHT potentially have decided to stiff-arm Adobe with the lack of NVIDIA GPUs at user expense. So where do we rank with Apple these days? Lets look at their motivations and actions. Read More

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Did Apple actually lame out on the new Mac Pros?

FW1600/3200, PCI 3.0, 10GigE, eSATA, NVIDIA, Blu-ray, 1st to market, $3500 "Big Macs" - wherefore art thou?

By Mike Curtis | July 29, 2010

Apple rolled out new Mac Pros Tuesday, so of course I wrote about'em. Impressed by the power at first, after the warm fuzzy glow of new Macs wore off, I started noticing some things. Or rather, noticing some things that weren't there - PCI 3.0, USB 3.0, eSATA, faster FireWire, 10GigE networking, Blu-ray burners, NVIDIA GPUs, and a $3500 price point for the "Big Mac." What gives? Read on for what Apple giveth and taketh. Read More

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New Quad Cores: iMac or Mac Pro?

New Quad Cores: iMac or Mac Pro?

As an editor, should you get an iMac or Mac Pro? How different in price and performance?

By Mike Curtis | July 27, 2010

New Quad core Macs: high end iMac or low end Mac Pro?Apple today announced new Mac Pros (coming sometime in August) and new iMacs (available now). Both have available Quad Core (4 processor) models. The iMac has a built in screen which the Mac Pro lacks, but the tower has scads of easy expandability. Which to buy?Read on for the deets and analysis. Read More

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Apple Releases New iMacs - good enough for video editing?

Apple Releases New iMacs - good enough for video editing?

Yes, but only if you meet these criteria

By Mike Curtis | July 27, 2010

So Apple has rolled out their latest round of iMacs. I recently finally updated my trusty black MacBook to Snow Leopard, and disappointed myself when I'd forgotten that I can't run the latest Final Cut Pro on it at ALL. So revisiting these iMacs, how are they for running the Final Cut Studio suite? And beyond can they, should you consider it as an editing platform?Apple rolled out new iMacs today - short version - OK for video editors? Yes, but ONLY if the following criteria are met:-only editing file based formats - not tape*-don't need professional calibrated video output for preview or recording to tape*-don't need additional high speed storage (anything faster than FW800)-don't need other card based capabilitiesRead on after the jump for all the specs, options, my buying recommendations, and what iMacs are suitable for what editing operations. Read More

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apple cpu final cut pro final cut pro 7 hardware

Apple Announces New 12 core Macs….for $5000

Coming in August, starting at $5000....ouch!

By Mike Curtis | July 27, 2010

The good news - Apple today announced new 12 core Macs that are up to 1 1/2 times faster than the current speedy Nehalem 8 core Macs.The bad news - "Coming August" and starting at $5000*So after the jump for the full info and breakdown. Read More

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