Wednesday, April 30, 2014

3 Suggestions for a better Canada

Three items that should be mandatory courses in Canadian schools:
Yoga - promotes better health and well-being,  for all body types,
Philosophy - encourages critical thinking and inductive reasoning,
Field trips to Canadian National Parks - to appreciate the privilege of being Canadian thereby encouraging citizen participation in all things Canadian.
Unfortunately, some governments discourage and actively suppress citizen participation. A clueless and   uncritical populace is easier to manipulate and herd. Bring on the symbolic tax rebate and the imagined enemies of the state.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Alexi Couto. Live at the Rose Theatre, Brampton, April 13, 2014

Alexi was one of a few other performers: dancers and singers. These young performers were amazing… goosebumps territory! So much talent developed to near perfection at such a young age. I hope to post the other performers soon.

After negotiations with the theatre ushers, I was allowed to use a tripod but only if I stood at the very back of the auditorium (fire regulations). Unable to hook up to the house audio, I had to make do with shotgun mikes.
So I lined up a Sony a99/Tamron 70-200f2.8 combo with a RodePro mic, a Sony HXR-NC30 with its dedicated shotgun mike, and a Zoom H4N set to 90 degrees. Two video and three audio captures… one of these had to work right.
I combined the two video captures but the audio in this video is strictly from the Sony HXR-NX30: an awesome surprise! This little number is a gem. I turned off all the IS (internal stabilization). But I did forget to specify spot metering and it was a pain in post to bring down the highlights. Mildly successful except from 1:10-1:30… I couldn't do much about the blown highlights.
I'm beginning to trust this NX30 for its audio, for its sharpness, its low light capability, and although not used here, its amazing (and unique to Sony) Active Mode IS (some gyro mechanism). The IQ (image quality) out of the NX30 beats the much larger sensored a99. And being a videocamera, handling and ease-of-use is of course better than the a99 (videocamera form factor, no down-sampling/line skipping).

I am just so pleased with the audio capture... the video was a given. Some wonderful lessons learned here such as: 1) critical to support a 70-200 on the lens itself and not on the camera body, 2) always have a small LED flashlight, 3) have dedicated headphones for each device, 4) more to come...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Louise and Nic: A year ago this month!

A dreamy, magical, spring day in Kitchener where two beautiful, compatible souls tied the knot surrounded by friends at the historic Walper Terrace Hotel.
Music: "Angel" by Jack Johnson , and "If You Were A Sailboat" by Katie Melua

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Erika's Debut

March 15, 2014

My life's philosophy:

I also remember the Japanese philosophy that made them the economic powerhouse that they are now: "get the contracts first, and then figure out how to do it better and cheaper than anyone else in the world".

Friday, April 11, 2014

iPhone Diaries #676: another flying mystery

Photographed as seen on a sidewalk. The symmetrical positioning and the (likely) similar cause of death is a mystery, one of very many that happens all the time, Flight MH370 among them. April 10th.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Elmira and Maple Syrup

A cold and blustery day in Elmira for the 50th Annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. Elmira is 19 km north of Waterloo, on Huron and Mohawk Indian lands that were settled by Mennonites in the very early 1800's. Shot with the venerable Panasonic TM900, an instant classic when it first came out in 2011, with a 3-CMOS sensor, reliable IS, 1080-60p, Leica lens, and one of the best IQ in the video industry. It continues to hold its place with video enthusiast, competing nicely with even the 4K offerings from Panasonic and Sony. It's been discontinued and although available on eBay, it's still hard to find locally as owners hold on to it for its IQ. April 5th.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The end of DSLRs for wedding videography

I can see the Sony AX100 replacing the DSLR for wedding videography. As in NOW!  For sheer functionality, the videocamera form factor beats a DSLR. Shallow DOF is the only DSLR advantage left; but even this is nullified by proper framing and composition (and wide-open at longer focal lengths), along with the 1" sensor. AX100 has a 1" sensor (excellent low light capability based on the few initial tests so far, on YouTube and on Vimeo), FULL manual controls, no downsampling (as opposed to DSLRs), superior IS, superior audio, full/manual focus, etc. 
Give me one of these babies and a regular 1080p cam for B-roll and I am good to go. You heard it here first!