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Wringing the Life of an Old Mac Pro Tower

Like a good automobile it just keeps chugging along. And it is paid for.

By Scott Simmons | October 30, 2014

There’s a whole lot of us who still have a big, old aluminum Mac Pro tower sitting around doing a lot of work. We haven’t moved to 5K iMacs, Macbook Pros (or PCs) just yet. We also haven’t spent the money on a new Mac Pro. A conversation early at NAB 2014 got me thinking about all the stuff one could add to an old Mac Pro to help extend its life. NAB was the perfect place to talk to vendors who make those products you can stuff inside, or attach to, an old Mac Pro. A bunch of emails, phone calls and boxes later I’ve tried most all the gear mentioned below with my machine. I think of this current tower like a good, reliable, paid for car: I'm going to drive this thing until the wheels fall off.

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First look: Sony PXW-X70 10-bit/4:2:2 handheld camcorder

First look: Sony PXW-X70 10-bit/4:2:2 handheld camcorder

Its 1" sensor, 4:2:2/10-bit internal recording, and 4K UHD upgradability make the PXW-X70 unique in its price class.

By Allan Tépper | October 30, 2014

I am quite intrigued with Sony’s new under US$2600 PXW-X70 camcorder. It has been a while since I used that term, but there is a good reason, since the “—corder” part of the X70 is at least as much important as the “cam—” part in this compound word. The “cam—” part employs a 1-inch 4K UHD sensor, while the “—corder” part features up to 50 megabit/second 4:2:2 10-bit recording. So I decided to publish a first look before doing a full review later.

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Review: Ninja Star tiny featherweight 4:2:2 10 bit recorder

Review: Ninja Star tiny featherweight 4:2:2 10 bit recorder

“Is that a 10-bit 4:2:2 HD video recorder in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”…

By Allan Tépper | October 29, 2014

Over the past several years, I have reviewed several 10-bit 4:2:2 HD video recorders, but the Ninja Star that Átomos sent me to review is certainly the tiniest: It weighs only 230 grams (8.1 ounces) including battery and media, which qualifies for many low-capacity drones. As you’ll see ahead, Ninja Star fortunately does not sacrifice any audio/video quality for its size. Its two secrets? It has no built-in video monitor, and it records onto the breakthrough new CFast format I recently covered, which is also used by other pioneers like Arri and Blackmagic.

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Rating and Filtering in Final Cut Pro X

This Week on MacBreak Studio

By Mark Spencer | October 28, 2014

Guest Bill Davis takes us back to the basics this week.

One of the foundational building blocks for working in Final Cut Pro X is a firm grasp of  rating and filtering clips. This process utilizes Final Cut's underlying database model and its ability to leverage... Read More

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Review: Átomos Spyder monitor calibration system

Review: Átomos Spyder monitor calibration system

Quickly and easily calibrated to Rec 709 from Mac or Windows.

By Allan Tépper | October 23, 2014

Last year I published a short article when Átomos announced its Spyder monitor calibration system. Now I am privileged to have received one to review. With it, we can quickly and easily calibrate any calibratable Átomos monitor/recorder (i.e. Shogun, Samurai Blade, or Ninja Blade) to Rec 709 color space with a D65 white point (6500 degrees Kelvin). This is a special offering of Datacolor’s Spyder, with special software and a LANC cable. Details ahead.

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Visual Effects Workflow with Final Cut Pro X

This Week on MacBreak Studio

By Mark Spencer | October 21, 2014

How does Final Cut Pro X fit into the visual effects workflow of a feature film?

Quite comfortably, as we discover on this week's episode of MacBreak Studio, where I get the opportunity to speak with Mike Matzdorff who was the first assistant editor on a big-budget studio... Read More

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Media Composer 101 - Lesson 2 - What’s New in Version 8.2

What's New in version 8.2 of Media Composer Subscription

By Kevin P. McAuliffe | October 19, 2014

Much like with most applications, you wait for the major updates (version 4, 5, etc) for new features to add to your editing toolkit.  Well, with the new Subscription Model of Media Composer, the world best editing application now gets new features every few months.  Here's what's new in version 8.2.

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iPad Air 2 is semi-matte!/My MacBook Air is now matte too!

iPad Air 2 is semi-matte!/My MacBook Air is now matte too!

The new iPad Air 2 is non-reflective and reduces glare by 56%! The "least reflective tablet on the market"...

By Allan Tépper | October 19, 2014

Frequent ProVideo Coalition readers know that I strongly prefer matte screens, whether its for media production or general use. In fact, I recently even sent my MacBook Air to have its display transplanted for a matte display. Now, I am ecstatic to see that Apple is finally offering a non-reflective screen on its latest iPad Air 2. I am only disappointed not to see it offered on the iPad Mini 3 or an any current iPhone. Details ahead.

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Review: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

Review: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

Now we can do RAID5 via software and save substantially.

By Allan Tépper | October 19, 2014

Back in June, I published my first look article on the ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system with the palindromic price —in this configuration— of US$979, which has since been lowered to US$959. OWC offers other configurations too, with smaller or larger capacity, and now even some with Thunderbolt 2. Ahead I review the various available configuration options (JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 0+1, RAID 4, RAID 5) and compare their performance versus redundancy, logistical benefits of each one, and more.

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Interactive Title Design in Final Cut Pro X

This Week on MacBreak Studio

By Mark Spencer | October 14, 2014

Did you know you can do interactive, realtime title design directly inside Final Cut Pro X?

This is the subject we tackle in this week's edition of MacBreak Studio. While Motion is the primary companion application for creating motion graphics for editors using Final Cut... Read More

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PVC at AES 2014 - Exciting New Products from Lectrosonics

Check out the details of the new L-series products

By Woody Woodhall | October 13, 2014

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) had their 137th International Convention this past week in Los Angeles and I had the opportunity to speak on-camera with a number of companies, discussing new products.

First up is a conversation with Karl Winkler, the Director of New Business for... Read More

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Locking Fonts in Final Cut Pro X

This Week on MacBreak Studio

By Mark Spencer | October 08, 2014

Why would you want to "lock" a font?

That's a question we tackle in this week's MacBreak Studio, where I show Steve Martin from Ripple Training how you can do exactly that.

With the integration between Final Cut Pro X and Motion, it is a common scenario for a... Read More

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TriCaster Mini from NewTek: a first (but intense) look

TriCaster Mini from NewTek: a first (but intense) look

TriCaster Mini is likely to become the most revered “multicamera studio in a box” in its class.

By Allan Tépper | October 07, 2014

Today NewTek announced TriCaster Mini, the newest member of its TriCaster family of “multicamera studio in a box” products. Frequent readers will recall that I have covered TriCasters in the past, and —full disclosure— have also written several contracted white papers for NewTek, in two languages. Under a non-disclosure agreement, I had a rather intense advanced briefing/discussion about TriCaster Mini with the company, and ahead you’ll see everything I love, plus details I would really like polished in an upcoming software update.

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Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

A New Experience for Flying/Shooting FPV with HUD on Clear Lenses

By Jeff Foster | October 06, 2014

Unlike typical FPV goggles that basically block out the world around you and force you to only see what the on-board camera sees, the Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses work directly with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ with the DJI VISION app and the WiFi extender.

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The Padcaster Mini is now available

The Padcaster Mini is now available

iPad Mini mediographers now have more frame/case/mount options.

By Allan Tépper | October 04, 2014

Joining the original (larger sized) Padcaster, the new Padcaster Mini is similar, but sized to match Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Mini Retina. Padcaster Mini’s purpose is to mount the iPad Mini (Retina) on a tripod or other support device, and to mount accessories and lenses. In many prior iOS mediography articles, I have covered the original Padcaster and its closest competitor, the iOgrapher. Ahead you’ll find virtues of each and help you pick the option for your iPad Mini (Retina).

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Product Review: DSLRPros 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizers

Product Review: DSLRPros 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizers

Two Amazing New 3-Axis Powered Stabilizers for Smartphones and GoPros

By Jeff Foster | October 03, 2014

Never before have 3-axis brushless motor-driven handheld stabilizers been more needed than with release of the latest smartphones and GoPro cameras! I've had a chance to test both of these products from DSLRPros and give you a sample of how they work and what kind of results you can expect from them.

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Multi-screen Multicam in Final Cut Pro X

This Week on MacBreak Studio

By Mark Spencer | September 30, 2014

 

Putting the Angle Viewer into the Timeline?

That is essentially what Steve Martin from Ripple Training shows us how to do in this week's episode of MacBreak Studio. So why would you want to?

When editing a multi-camera shoot in Final Cut Pro X, you first... Read More

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Product Review: 3D Robotics RTF Y6 Multicopter

Product Review: 3D Robotics RTF Y6 Multicopter

Precision, Power and Autonomous Flight Control

By Jeff Foster | September 27, 2014

Beyond traditional smaller quadcopter designs on the market, the usual choice for an upgrade is a hex or octocopter... but the form factor of 6 motors and props on the three-armed "Y" formation of the 3D Robotics RTF Y6 airframe provides not only good stability in windy conditions, but a hotrod of a UAV capable of over 55mph and some truly impressive video footage. But hold on - this sucker can really FLY!

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Adobe at IBC 2014 - the show in review

Product previews, brilliant customer presentations, and thousands of visitors

By Eric Philpott | September 25, 2014

It felt like summer in Amsterdam, host city for the International Broadcasting Convention, Europe’s largest industry tradeshow. Inside the spacious RAI convention center thousands of visitors came to see the latest in film and broadcast technology – including previews of the next... Read More

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LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Review

By Dan Carr | September 18, 2014

Having robust mobile storage solutions that you can rely on is important, as is the speed of them.  I recently purchased the latest LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive and ran it through some tests.

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