Revisiting the GH2 Hack in 2015

I wrote my post entitled How to Hack the GH2 nearly four years ago. I just hacked my GH2 again, and I’m happy to report that everything still works just fine. It’s August 2015, and the GH2 hack lives on! If you have one of these cameras and you’re considering hacking it, I recommend doing so. Why not? You can make it shoot better looking video for free. That’s a win. Continue reading Revisiting the GH2 Hack in 2015

I made a vlog and I liked it

Before I dive into this subject, I first need to explain what a vlog is. Loosely, it’s the video equivalent of a blog post. A video journal. You share a snippet of your life by pointing a video camera at your face, and post it on the internet. To truly vlog, you do this consistently. Week after week, sharing your life (or, preferably, portions of your life that you decide to share). Continue reading I made a vlog and I liked it

Thoughts on the new Sennheiser AVX wireless system for video production

The Sennheiser G3 has been the dominate wireless mic system for budget-minded video people for many years. Before the G3 was king, the Sennheiser G2 was the most popular choice. When a specific line of products is the leader for so long, it makes you wonder what will come next. The answer is the new Sennheiser AVX digital wireless microphone system, however, I don’t think it’s destined for royalty.

Continue reading Thoughts on the new Sennheiser AVX wireless system for video production

Even with $200 billion, Apple still struggles with software development

Apple announced a quarterly revenue this week of $49.6 billion — over $10 billion of which was sheer profit. iPhone sales are up, and the Apple Watch is selling well. But even with this cash-soaked earnings call, Apple still had a shitty week. Continue reading Even with $200 billion, Apple still struggles with software development

Riding the Tail of Serial: The Power of Audio Podcasting in 2015

Podcasting has been a legitimate media format for over a decade, but it had never experienced mainstream popularity—until just last month. The recent wild success of a show called Serial not only surprises me, it proves that you don’t need fancy gear to produce content for the masses. Arm yourself with a low-budget audio recorder and computer, prioritize storytelling and put great care into your work, and you can get inside the heads of millions.

Continue reading Riding the Tail of Serial: The Power of Audio Podcasting in 2015

The Debate: Should You Switch to 4K Video Production?

Producing 4K video in 2014 isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but that doesn’t mean everyone should jump in. The transition involves buying new cameras, and possibly upgrading your computer hardware (especially if your current equipment struggles with HD). On one hand, 4K cameras can be less expensive than HD-only options. On the other, if you already own capable HD cameras, the financial sting of buying new ones will burn a little more. Here’s the central issue: if you don’t go 4K now, it could seriously impact the shelf life of your productions in the not-too-distant future. So the question is, as a content producer, should you make the switch to 4K or wait it out? Continue reading The Debate: Should You Switch to 4K Video Production?

First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-70D Field Recorder

I’ve been trying to come up with a spicy intro for this post, but it seems best to start here: I am definitely going to buy the Tascam DR-70D. I’ve been waiting for a manufacturer to come out with a field recorder with this kind of a design for a long time, and it’s finally here. I wanted something small enough for use with a camera, yet with a form factor that would work in a location audio bag. The DR-70D even has some features that I wouldn’t have anticipated.

Continue reading First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-70D Field Recorder

Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

The third and final video in my exhaustive, three-part analysis of the Zoom H5 portable recorder is a shootout of shotgun microphones. I compared the sound of the separately available SGH-6 shotgun capsule against the Rode NTG-2 and NTG-3 shotgun microphones. To keep things interesting, I also included the Audio-Technica AT4053b hypercardioid microphone and the XYH-5 stereo microphone capsule (which is included when you purchase a Zoom H5). I also took the H5 and the SGH-6 shotgun capsule outdoors and recorded a take using the “hairy” windscreen (which is included when you purchase an SGH-6). I strongly suggest wearing headphones when listening to this test:

When I conducted this test, I did my best to adjust the level controls on the Zoom H5 to ensure that each microphone had similar settings. Continue reading Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

Audio Test: Zoom H5 vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

When you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet capable audio recorder, three models will likely show up on your radar: the Zoom H4n, the Tascam DR-40, and the new Zoom H5. All three feature good sounding stereo microphones, dual XLR inputs for external microphones and signals, and, most importantly, entry-level price tags. In addition to how you feel about the layout of their various controls, and the overall vibe of each recorder’s design, it’s important to determine which model sounds best to your ears. This last differentiator is the reason I created this post.

I put together the following video so you could hear how the H5, H4n and DR-40 preform in a side-by-side shootout. You will hear a test of their stereo mics, a test using an Audio-Technica AT4053b hypercardioid microphone, you will hear how they handle external shotgun microphones (the Rode NTG-3 and NTG-2), and finally, you will hear how they each handle a line-level signal from a Sound Devices 302 field mixer. I chose the Audio-Technica AT4053b because it’s one of the best “budget” microphones to use on a boompole when booming dialogue indoors. I chose the two Rode shotguns because they’re both popular choices for video production. I performed the line-level test because I was curious if I could hear any difference, and it proved to be pretty interesting.

My Impressions of the Stereo Mic Tests

Audio shootouts are typically very subjective. If something sounds great to one person, there’s no guarantee it will impress the next. To my ears, in this particular test, the Zoom H5 Continue reading Audio Test: Zoom H5 vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

Zoom H5 Review + Why It’s Useful in Video Production

There are several budget-friendly audio recorders available that are capable machines for recording sound in video productions, and the Zoom H4n and the Tascam DR-40 stand out as popular favorites. The new Zoom H5 recently arrived on the scene, and I finally had the chance to use it. On paper, I was aware of the new features it offered video people before I ever touched the thing. When I used the H5 for an extended period, I discovered a few more things that make it more attractive for video production, and I found some things that could be improved as well.

For starters, the most obvious thing that sets the Zoom H5 apart from the pack is its interchangeable microphone module port Continue reading Zoom H5 Review + Why It’s Useful in Video Production