Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review: Shooting Video




















We just finished this video shot solely on the Canon 5D Mark III. Originally, we were going to use the Sony EX3 or Panasonic HPX250, both which work very well in a conference setting where portability and a versatile lens are required. However, this time we opted for the Canon 5D Mark III to give the piece a little more of that cinematic look everyone is after these days.



Canon made some really nice improvements with the 5D Mark III including the improved 22.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, and 61-Point autofocus with extended ISO range. This camera is capable of taking great still and HD video making it extremely versatile, especially in tight situations. Of course, a handful of your favorite EF lenses are required to get the variety of shots you want.

One of the best parts of using a DSLR to shoot video is the ability to travel with less stuff and a smaller overall footprint. We easily fit everything in the hatch of a small wagon. For once, our audio engineer and DP were lugging the same amount of stuff. Sachtler sticks and a Zacuto Scorpion rig came in handy.

The downside to using a camera like the Canon 5D Mark III is you might find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the right lens on the camera to capture the shot you anticipated getting when the unexpected happens. However, for the most part with good planning we were able to swap lenses in time for most of what we wanted to shoot.  

Unlike the C300 that has proper XLR connectors the Canon 5D Mark III features a mini stereo plug. For our interviews we fed audio into the camera via mini stereo connectors from the Sound Devices mixer and also captured audio directly to compact flash on the mixer as a backup. Sure, we prefer the XLRs on the C300 for audio but in this form factor the mini-stereo plug worked just fine and having the backup files made us more comfortable.  Video was recorded in 1080p at 30fps using the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec in a .mov wrapper. At the end of nearly 2 full days of shooting we had about 110GB or data.

The video codec used on the 5D Mark III is not ideal for editing. On the same systems we edit AVC-Intra 100 and a variety of other source footage without any hiccups, the MPEG4 AVC codec used by the 5D tended to bog things down. When you think of how aggressively the codec works to maximize the amount of video that can be saved to flash memory it's not surprising.  We ended up rendering initial rough cuts of interviews and broll as AVID DNxHD files and working with these. This was well worth the extra step for better real time previewing and finishing.

Overall, we were very impressed with the 5D Mark III for capturing both stills and video and found it to be an incredibly versatile camera.

Visit Canon for more infomation on the 5D Mark III.

Leica D-Lux 6 Camera First Impression Review



Here are a few pics taken on the Leica D-Lux 6. The Leica D-Lux 6 is set to hit the market later this fall. We got a sneak peak at Photokina in Germany and recently spent more time with the D-Lux 6. It's a great little camera with excellent low light capabilities but we'd like better battery life. It's basically the D-Lux 5 with all the improvements we were hoping for. This includes a faster lens, a new 1.7" CMOS image sensor, ND filter, a new aperture setting feature on the lens barrel and improved HD video codec.

The Leica D-Lux 6 is fast. Very fast. It still requires the addition of the bottom hand grip to give it that little extra heft and make shooting more comfortable. The D-Lux 5 had some banding issues we experienced while shooting video. The D-Lux 6 solves this problem and should offer even better overall results with the combination of the new lens and sensor.

If you've been looking for the perfect point and shoot camera in a compact format that offers brilliant image quality be sure to have a very close look at the Leica D-Lux 6. It's easy and fun to use, the Panasonic build quality is first rate and it's absolutely packed with performance to make it a true pocket sized wonder.

Based on our experience with the D-Lux 5, we imagine the D-Lux 6 will become the preferred camera for travel and casual use among the professional set as well as consumers that seek pro results in a point and shoot.

Visit Leica for all the specs and more on the new D-Lux 6.

TechSmith Camtasia Studio 8 Review






















Camtasia Studio 8 really impressed us. It now includes full editing capabilities, unlimited tracks, a very nice UI, intuitive workflow and the ability to render 720p H.264 HTML5 videos that look pretty darn good. This means you can create a tutorial for nearly any screen from laptops and PCs to smart phones and tablets.

Prior to the Studio 8 release we would only use Camtasia for screen capture and use one of our favorite NLEs for the final edit. TechSmith has really improved the integration from capture to edit and made it seamless to the point where using another program to edit the screen capture is no longer necessary.

The capture codec is improved and provides a full 30 frames/second at 720p. This makes all the difference in the world and provides for very clean renders for YouTube or other platforms.

Here's a list of the formats available in Camtasia Studio 8 when rendering your finished project.


















We instantly put Camtasia Studio 8 to use by capturing a few screens for a SSD firmware upgrade video we produced recently for SanDisk.

Using Camtasia Studio 8 is dead simple for experienced content creators and anyone with the willingness to play and experiment should quickly catch on. TechSmith makes very good use of the right-mouse-click which presents intuitive options in Camtasia Studio 8. This is a mature product that's hitting its stride and it shows in both the feature set and overall usability.

It's now possible to add interactivity in the form of a quiz in Camtasia Studio 8. Again, just a couple of clicks and you're adding questions and gates to your content. Even without using the interactive features the visual callouts and a plethora of transitions help to keep the content interesting and engaging.

TechSmith has already established Camtasia as the leading screen capture software. Now with the Studio 8 version it's on its way to becoming a very good editing program as well. The improvements in quality, workflow and interactivity all add up to a compelling release for both new and experienced Camtasia users.

Visit TechSmith for more information about Camtasia and to download a free trial.

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