PicFrame – Fun with art

Today I played around with a new iPhone app called PicFrame. It allows you to put several pictures into a frame. Makes for easy upload to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Here is my first attempt at it.
The app has tons of different frames and is customizable as far as colors, fonts and frame size is concerned.
Adding pictures and resizing is a snap.
There are also a few color/contrast filters you can add to the pictures.

Well worth $1. 🙂

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All pictures shot on iPhone 4s.

Nikon D4 on location

I’ve had the D4 for about 10 days now and here are some quick thoughts.  (I will write a more thorough review as soon as time allows)

Since I got my hand on this camera I’ve shot mostly video – for a commercial where the camera acted as B-cam mounted inside/outside a car as well as a few specialty shots. We chose to record in 1080/25P to internal CF cards.  Main camera on the spot was a Sony F3 with S-log.

Inverted D4 mounted inside car for Driver shot
Mounted on car
Mounted to cheese plate outside car

 

There was one shot we wanted to get from above an ice climber wanting to believe he was hundreds of meter up in the air.  This was a perfect shot for a DSRL looking straight down with very shallow depth of field.  I put a 70-200 VRII on the D4 and got some amazing shots.

Shooting straight down leaning into a harness

 

There were also a few other short shots we captures with the D4.  I was sitting on a snow mobile with a gyro attached to the camera (14-24 and 70-200).  We got both wide angle speed shots as well as steady closeup with this setup.

14-24 and gyro
70-200 VRII with gyro attached

All in all as a first shoot I am very happy with the results. The body is on the heavy side for mounting, the D800 will be a better choice for that. I found that adding one more point of attachment, using hot shoe, was a good way of keeping the rig solid. I am working on getting a release for some frame grabs and will post as soon as I know.  On the other hand the bigger body makes for much easier hand holding IMHO, especially with a 70-200 attached.

On the still photography side (I also shot some stills for the ad campaign) they’ve added some really cool new buttons and an extra grip-pad to the body. This really is nice and makes for easier handling, especially in vertical mode. AF is blazing fast and spot on.    More sooooon.

 

Canon 5D mark III – at last

At last, after a long long wait, lots of speculations, rumors and more speculations it is finally here; the new Canon 5D mark III.  The camera is updated with a vastly improved Autofocus (AF) system with 61 point AF compared to the old 9. It has an updated sensor and new DIGIC 5+ processor, 6 frames per second.

As for the video bit it has been updated with the new option of I-frame compression, which means each frame is individually compressed.  This will make for cleaner video images as well as easier editing without having to transcode.  This is great news.

Canon decided to add Timecode (TC) which is great news for video/film work where you want to incorporate this camera into a multi camera environment.  This is something Nikon failed to add this year.

On the other hand Canon has left out something Nikon added this year, CLEAN UNCOMPRESSED HD out of the HDMI port.  So you are still limited to the onboard codec which is a shame, should you want a higher quality/bitrate image.  This is, I am sure, a marketing strategy on Canons part. They now have the wonderful C300 which will give you uncompressed HDSDI out so why add the same feature to a camera costing $8-10 000 less…

Another thing not mentioned on the Canon 5D mark III, which is a big plus for Nikon, is the Crop mode in video, which will allow you to zoom into the sensor extending the focal length without changing the aperture on the lens. I would have like to see this on the Canon as well.

I am sure this camera will be a great sucess both in still and video photography. 22,3MP with improved AF and image processor and better on board video, headphone jack, audio level adjustment while recording and TC support.

On my part I think I made the correct choice going with Nikon considering I want the clean HD signal out of the camera and I think the crop mode will serve as a great feature.

As always: To each his own… 🙂

Hard Drive Failure – Backup?!

This morning an awful sound came from the closet that houses my server at home. It sounded like someone had stuck a fork in a blender… Funny enough, just yesterday, I made a comment about how my hard drives spin, day in and day out. EYEtv is running 24 hours a day recording tv to the disks. Well the computer must have heard me… cause it showed me a big red text that read “stripe slice failed” 🙂

I’ve been lucky through the the years and despite failed drives I’ve lost very little data. I know of people who’ve lost enough data to make a grown man cry. Because as you know, it’s not if but rather when the next hard drive will fail. I don’t think it’s an option, it is a requirement to have a good backup system setup, both at home and at the office. How would you deal if you lost all pictures of your kids/friends and family becuase they were on that drive with no backup. Not to mention work related files.

I have an elaborate backup system setup, involving both redundant drives on-site as well as an off-site backup in case of fire/theft/flooding…but I am a nerd. 😉

Nowadays there are many great options for automatic backup solutions. External hard drives thats sense a new file and automatically makes a copy  or Cloud solutions costing next to nothing that synchronize your data as soon as something new is added. I am just surprised how few people use them… How do you backup all your data?

Sun Scout

Here is another great app I use a lot for both filming and location scouting. It is called Sun Scout and will show the sun’s path at any point during the day. So if you need to know when the sun will sneak over that rooftop behind you and hit your location this is the app that will tell you. It is not 100% accurate but really close enough. You can also change the setting to see the path at a different date, nice feature for a scout.
This time of year in Sweden finding the sun requires a LOT more than this app though… 🙂

Great app for your iphone at $10.