Zoom H6 Handheld Recorder, Now with Shotgun, Starts at US$399 [Preview]

Zoom has done a lot to popularize field recording, but perhaps equally impressive is how its products have improved. The first H4, for instance, earned the name “handy” recorder, but it was the successor H4N that finally provided dedicated controls, a body that better handled noise and that felt more professional, that didn’t require diving into menus just to set level. Some of the video recording options reverted to more annoyances – I was once in a cab in Philadelphia in which the driver volunteered that he couldn’t stand the Q3’s interface because he couldn’t properly set levels for his …

READ MORE →

For 120 fps Slow Motion Alone, iPhone 5S Became the Visualist Phone of Choice

iPhone 5s Test Footage – 120 fps from Rishi Kaneria on Vimeo. Three words for VJs and visualists: shoot more footage. You’ll find plenty of reviews of the new iPhone 5S for photography applications, but perhaps most compelling is its impressive 120-fps slow motion, which is stunning for something that’s included in a mobile phone. Overnight, the 5S has become the visualist phone of choice – that is, if you’re investing in a new phone. And I have to say, generally, while other rivals (notably Samsung and Nokia) ship phones with good optics, Apple seems to have the edge in …

READ MORE →

Hello, Dolly Time Lapse: Upstart DIY Funnel Web Spider Dolly Hardware Makes Gorgeous Footage

Funnel Web Spider Dolly Time lapse reel 2012 from Laww Media on Vimeo. In the latest potential triumph for original, DIY hardware funded via the Web, the Funnel Web Spider Dolly shows off jaw-dropping timelapse footage, in which capture is married to motion. Our friends at Wollongong, Australia-based Laww Media designed this project themselves, and are now using this gorgeous video to promote the hardware. With enough preorders, they can put it into production. The trick: motors that allow this sort of flexible capture. And you’ll see the dolly itself is quite compact. More: Here is a time-lapse video showing …

READ MORE →

Google Maps, Brought to Life, as Human Movement Occupies Digital Space

As ubiquitous in our lives as the digital landscape of sites like Google Maps can be, they’re in some sense private space. They strip our world of human beings (or freeze them in strange, invasive shots taken by roving vans), and put that space in the exclusive hands of private publishers. (Or, at least, one beginning with the letter “g.”) That has helped the groundswell of interest in OpenStreetMaps as an alternative. But looking deeper, we’re reminded of our role in physical and imagined space and what mapping itself can mean. A film by Roel Wouters takes a creative approach …

READ MORE →

High-Quality, Augmented Filmmaking as Kinect Meets DSLR; Musing on Raw Data

The Kinect camera is built first and foremost to be a three-dimensional sensor, not so much a “camera” in regards to fidelity of the visible image. But what if that data could meet the optics filmmakers want, in a single, calibrated image? The free and open source RGB+D Toolkit answers that need. It’s a combination of tools and knowledge – the mount to combine a Microsoft Kinect camera with your nice, DSLR camera, plus software for bringing everything together. But seeing it in action is the real joy. Check out the workshop results above, filmed at Barcelona’s HANGER, and overview …

READ MORE →

Mobile, Smartphone Videos That Doesn’t Suck: Video How-to, How it Helps

Amidst all this smartphone and iPhone hype is a simple, painful truth: a lot of us are shooting pretty poor-quality content on phones. Inadequate lighting, shaky handheld footage, and woefully-poor sound from internal mics that badly lag the improved image sensor quality all contribute. Fundamentally, the device’s lightweight, handheld, um, phone-ness work against you. Reader Paolo Tosolini sends in a remedy. At first, I was skeptical: tacking on this extra gear requires some extra cash and reduces some of the mobility of the rig. That is, why not just use a camera? But having a look at his solution, there …

READ MORE →

Mobile, Smartphone Videos That Doesn't Suck: Video How-to, How it Helps

Amidst all this smartphone and iPhone hype is a simple, painful truth: a lot of us are shooting pretty poor-quality content on phones. Inadequate lighting, shaky handheld footage, and woefully-poor sound from internal mics that badly lag the improved image sensor quality all contribute. Fundamentally, the device’s lightweight, handheld, um, phone-ness work against you. Reader Paolo Tosolini sends in a remedy. At first, I was skeptical: tacking on this extra gear requires some extra cash and reduces some of the mobility of the rig. That is, why not just use a camera? But having a look at his solution, there …

READ MORE →

iPhone 4S Video Exhibits Advantages of Stabilization, Depth of Field

This video is making the rounds, but I only recently saw it, so you may be new to it, too. Benjamin Dowie shoots some beautiful footage on the new iPhone 4S. And forget the novelty for a second: this works because of some specific engineering decisions in how the camera on Apple’s phone works. Got an iPhone 4S yesterday and got up this morning to go for a surf. No surf, so thought I’d shoot some stuff to see what the new camera is like on the 4S. Got home, looked at the footage, and couldn’t believe it came out …

READ MORE →

A Look at the Enduring Berlin Scene, in Latest Lovely Resident Advisor Film; Hope

In August, the Resident Advisor film on Detroit gave us a chance to reflect on that city’s cultural response to economic catastrophe. To talk about a city that has seen sweeping change and challenge, it’s difficult to beat Berlin. Resident Advisor released the third installment of this series in September, but I missed it as I was traveling … somewhere … and it’s no less relevant today, least of all on a gorgeous, sunny day in the German capital on the eve of the coming winter. The creators describe it thusly:

READ MORE →

Open Source Motion Control: camSlider Hardware is a Pocket Dolly for Stop Motion, Effects

It’s a DIY, open source slider. A “pocket dolly.” Motion control hardware, ready for your next DIY special effect or stop motion animation, made free, open, and hackable. The work of Stefan Kohler, camSlider is in self-described “alpha” phase, but already looking wildly promising for a new generation of animators and creators. Doing an open version not only makes these techniques wildly more accessible to those artists, but also helps them get directly involved in how they’re made – without needing an apprenticeship with a big effects firm. Based in Traunstein, Germany (near Munich), Stefan himself is one of those …

READ MORE →