Using Final Cut Pro X for the first time, years later…

I’ve been a Final Cut Pro user for a long time. It’s the only professional video editing software I’ve ever used. Even though it’s¬†my tool of choice, I avoided upgrading to the new version for as long as I possibly could. Final Cut Pro X¬†has been lingering in my subconscious ever since it was first introduced in 2011. I finally decided to jump in.
Continue reading Using Final Cut Pro X for the first time, years later…

Tascam DR-70D noise issue + how to fix it

While the Tascam DR-70D is an excellent audio recorder for use in video production, it does have one glaring flaw: its “camera out” jack introduces an entirely unacceptable amount of noise to the audio, but only when the DR-70D is set to send “Cam” audio out of this jack. Okay. That last sentence was really alien sounding. What the heck are you talking about, Sam? Let me try to simplify this… Continue reading Tascam DR-70D noise issue + how to fix it

Tascam DR-70D Review + How It’s Useful in Video Production

If you¬†want an audio recorder¬†to use primarily in video productions, there are many options to choose from. But, if you narrow the list down to just budget-friendly audio recorders that were designed for DSLR cameras ‚ÄĒ¬†the number of options gets much shorter. You’re pretty much picking between the¬†Tascam DR-60D Mark II¬†and the new Tascam DR-70D. I recently purchased the DR-70D, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on¬†the unit in this post.

First and foremost, the form factor of the Tascam DR-70D is excellent. It’s compact, and the design makes it easy to mount it directly to your camera, or neatly slide into an audio bag. The DR-60D Mark II is a bit fatter and taller than the DR-70D. It wouldn’t fit comfortably into my audio bag, and I find it a bit too bulky to mount directly to my camera. The DR-60D is nice for what it is, but the form factor of the DR-70D is much more appealing to me.

Another drawback of the DR-60D is that it only has two XLR inputs. It¬†also doesn’t have built-in microphones. In contrast, the DR-70D can record up to four individual tracks (and it has four XLR combo inputs), and it has built-in stereo microphones. Basically, all of the reservations I had about the DR-60D are not present in¬†the DR-70D. It feels like it was made just for me. Continue reading Tascam DR-70D Review + How It’s Useful in Video Production

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 dominant 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

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