Archives For March 2012

I’m a featured guest on Digital Production Buzz tonight at 6PM Pacific Time (US).  

I’ll also be in the chat room when I’m not on the air chatting with hosts Larry Jordan and Michael Horton.

We’ll be talking about the MediaMotion Ball, community and whatever else comes up in the production-related conversation.

I hope you can join live, but if not the show is immediately available via podcast.

The Avid Artist Color is a control surface that works with a lot of applications. My specific interest was in using it with DaVinci Resolve, but it also works with Avid Media Composer, Symphony, Apple Color, Assimilate SCRATCH, Autodesk Smoke for Mac, Baselight, NuCoda Fuse, RedCine-X, Foundry Storm and more.

Find Pricing on Avid Artist Color – Color Grading Control Surface

Here is my video review of this control surface:

Summary: The Avid Artist Color represents a real sweet spot in a color grading control surface. It is well-built, responsive and pretty affordable. The large number of applications it can control is the icing on the cake.


Disclosure: I requested a temporary review unit of this item for a few weeks in order to prepare this review. I encourage you to review my general ethics statement.

Update 3/24/2012:

Some folks have asked if I have seen the new Tangent Element controller set. I have not yet had the privilege of trying them out, but I’ve looked at high rez photos and spoken with a couple of folks that saw prototypes and really liked them. Of course that’s no substitute for trying the real thing over an extended review period, but I have to say the more horizontal form factor looks good and early intel on build quality seems quite favorable. The full set of 4 panels is also a fair bit pricier at $3500 so it’s up to the individual user to weigh its benefits against lower cost panels like this $1500 Artist Color. If I can arrange a demo set I will.

I’m very happy to present the final episode of “In Production: DaVinci Resolve”.

In this episode:
Steve and I get down to grading some projects. We each take one of our real world projects and grade it, then hand it off to the other for an alternate grade. This episode is very hands-on, working in Resolve to get the job done.

Note: If you want some great, affordable DaVinci Resolve training, here’s a great recommendation: Alexis Van Hurkman’s brand new release via Ripple Training: DaVinci Resolve Core Training. Definitely check it out!

Episode 6 of 6: Color Grading Sessions

About the show:
“In Production” is a video chat program where hosts Carey Dissmore and Steve Oakley discuss tools and topics related to the video production business from their unique perspective as independent production business owner/operators.

This is the sixth and final episode in our series on DaVinci Resolve.

Carey’s blog is at
Steve’s Blog is at

Here’s something I’ve been eagerly anticipating for quite awhile. Ripple Training has released “DaVinci Resolve Core Training” featuring instructor Alexis Van Hurkman. I have long been a fan of Alexis from his book “Color Correction Handbook” , his speaking engagements, and the fact that he’s the guy that literally wrote the Resolve manual!

I’m posting this in an excited state – I have only reviewed a portion of the training so far but I have to shoot  straight and tell you that what I’ve seen so far is very good and already worth the price of admission. I’ll be happy to follow up when I’ve seen it all.

The best part? It’s just $79 bucks and is an immediate download…with practice media. That’s “impulse purchase” pricing for something that might just give you a basis to launch a new chapter in your career.

Also, don’t forget to check out “In Production“, my production business chat show where where we have a 6-part series on DaVinci Resolve.

Disclosure: I was advanced a review copy of this training. I encourage you to review my general ethics statement.


Presenting episode 5 of “In Production:DaVinci Resolve”!

In this episode:

Carey and Steve discuss why you might want to use a control surface, and the options in controllers that are out there. We’ll also discuss monitoring very pragmatically, and offer some straight talk on the number one job of your monitor. It’s probably not what you think!

BONUS: Check out the video embedded below on “Metamerism Failure”. A scientific explanation of why monitors can be accurately calibrated and still not match each other!

Episode 5 of 6: Controllers and Monitors

About the show:
“In Production” is a brand new video chat program where hosts Carey Dissmore and Steve Oakley discuss tools and topics related to the video production business from their unique perspective as independent production business owner/operators.

This series on DaVinci Resolve will be released in 6 episodes.

The final episode will be released right here on and also on

BONUS: Explaining Metamerism Failure

Flanders Scientific, makers of very high quality reference monitors has released this video… an excellent explanation of metamerism failure. The best, most accurate explanation I’ve ever seen as to why different monitor types can measure as calibrated accurately and still look different to your eyes when compared SIDE-BY-SIDE. This is an excellent counterpoint that illustrates why it might not be the best idea for me to be running my LCD, CRT and plasma monitors all at once in my edit/grading suite.

I strongly urge you to watch this video. Then watch it again. It’s dropping serious knowledge that will help you understand human vision, display technology and generally be a better video pro.

You can pre-order the Canon 5D Mark III from Amazon here, and probably get it as fast or faster than anywhere else. Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body)

Canon USA has announced the 5D Mark III, the successor to the camera that can be credited with starting the DSLR revolution. This camera has been hotly anticipated and many thought it would be released around the 3 year timeframe last fall. (The 5D Mark II was introduced in Fall 2008).

Looking over the specs, this is a pretty nice upgrade, but due to the rabid fan base who hoped for more than this unit delivers, there will no doubt be some disappointment that it doesn’t contain certain anticipated features. The one that catches my attention is the lack of a clean HDMI output (at this time), which some, myself included, would like to use with higher quality external recorders. Now it should be noted that external recorder workflow certainly would add bulk to the camera so for the most extreme run-n-gun scenarios it’s not always suitable, but still, the option would be nice! Maybe with a firmware update?

It remains to be seen what they’ve done to improve moiré, but I think they’ll do it via more advanced electronic processing on the Digic 5+ CPU vs. engineering an optical-low-pass filter tuned for 1080p video in front of the sensor which would need to be moved out of the way when shooting high rez stills. Nevertheless this seems like a pretty nice bump in the overall performance of the camera. I look forward to getting my hands on one, and checking out some of the online reviews and comparisons. I wanna see some moiré torture tests! Cobblestone streets maybe?

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 2, 2012 – On the 25th anniversary of its world-renowned EOS System, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce its latest model, the new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. Positioned between the extremely popular EOS 5D Mark II and Canon’s top-of-the-line professional EOS-1D X model, the EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb image quality, thanks to a new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, a high-performance DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor, a 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus (AF) System and six frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting speed. Building upon the trailblazing success of the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III also incorporates enhanced video features for professionals in the fields of cinematography, television production and documentary filmmaking, including better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring. The EOS 5D Mark III is Canon’s answer to hundreds of thousands of advanced amateurs and emerging professionals looking for a compact, high-quality camera system to help them achieve their artistic vision, whether it be through still or video imagery. The EOS 5D Mark III introduction coincides with Canon’s 25th anniversary celebration of the EOS camera system. Canon’s award-winning EOS system first debuted in March of 1987 with the introduction of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three EF lenses.


EOS 5D Mark III Video: The Legacy Continues

The EOS 5D Mark II blazed the trail for EOS cameras and Canon to enter the professional video and cinema markets, paving the way for Canon’s recent introduction of the Cinema EOS system of cameras and lenses. Now, the EOS 5D Mark III continues Canon’s commitment to these new markets with new and requested features from cinematographers, television production professionals and independent filmmakers. This new model captures 1080p Full HD video at 24p (23.976), 25p, and 30p (29.97) fps; 720p HD recording at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps; and SD recording at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps, giving cinematographers and videographers more flexibility and options for video capture.

The EOS 5D Mark III includes new H.264 video compression formats to simplify and speed up post-production work: intraframe (ALL-I) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data storage efficiency, giving professionals options to help achieve their ideal workflow. Like the EOS-1D X, the 5D Mark III also includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing video footage from multiple cameras and separate audio recordings to be synced together in post production.

The new full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor have enhanced the camera’s image processing performance over the 5D Mark II, significantly reducing moir‚ and color artifacts in scenes with horizontal lines. The video footage produced will exhibit less moir‚ than seen in previous DSLR models, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. Accommodating documentary filmmakers, and event videographers using EOS DSLR cameras, the 5D Mark III includes the ability to record video continuously up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files. Long-form filmmakers will enjoy the camera’s automatic file splitting in combination with the extended memory capacity offered by dual card slots.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III also includes manual audio level control with 64 levels, adjustable both before and during movie recording. There is also an automatic audio level setting, or sound recording can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input. Notably, the EOS 5D Mark III is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature a built-in headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring during video capture.

The full Canon press release can be found here.

Pre order: Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body)