My Gear: Media & Computing

 

32GB Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash

16GB Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash

8GB Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash

B&H B&H B&H Mfr. Site Mfr. Site Mfr. Site

VL:  When you consider the incredible investment in time energy and of course funds you’ll make into even the simplest of productions – why in the world would you ever risk the integrity of that production by trusting your data to a cheap CD card that is not reliable?  Frankly I’ve never understood people who try to save money on CF Cards – after all ALL of your day’s work rests on the reliability of the CF card you use.   If it has a bad memory block – and entire take or setup can be ruined.   The Lexar cards have been incredibly reliable for me for close to 5 years – and their speed saves you a tremendous time when it comes time to copy an entire day’s take – especially if you’re shooting with multiple cameras.  I find myself using the 16GB for the most part – and the 32GB cards when I shoot time lapse videos.

Description (from Lexar): The premium Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash® (CF) memory card provides ultimate high-speed performance and reliability for professional photographers, with industry-leading 600x (90MB/s) guaranteed minimum sustained write speed.* The card provides support for high-resolution UDMA-enabled DSLR cameras, lets you capture and store high-quality images and video, and dramatically increases card-to-computer transfer rates when paired with a UDMA-enabled reader. The Lexar Professional 600x CF card is available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities.

Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader B&H Mfr. Site

VL: You’re going to spend a lot of hours each day shooting – save yourself some time and sleep by making sure you get readers that will allow you to copy a 32GB card in under 12 minutes – as opposed to close to an hour on slower readers!  You and your crew deserve the extra sleep!

Description (from Lexar): The Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader is a compact, portable, high-performance reader. Fully compatible with UDMA CF, standard CF, SDHC, and SD cards, the reader provides versatility and the ability to leverage blazing-fast UDMA card speeds when paired with the Lexar Professional UDMA 300x memory card.

Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader B&H Mfr. Site

VL: When you are out in the file by yourself with nowhere to power a laptop for reading cards – this is an extremely convenient solution. You can read my full posted review on it HERE.

Description (from Nexto): The Nexto DI 500 GB NVS1501 Photo and Video Storage for Pro DSLR provides your Pro DSLR camera with 500 GB of instant data storage – ideal for on location work. The NVS1501 features SD/SDHC/MMC/SDXC, CF/MD, and Memory Stick/MS Pro-HG/MS Pro MagicGate slots for direct transfer from your card. In addition to storing important files, which frees up your memory cards for more shooting; the NVS1501 also allows you to copy your files onto other devices, such as USB drives or memory cards, using an external card reader or the optional Ikegami GFPAK. Data can be copied to external hard drives as well using the appropriate connection.

G-DRIVE mobile (500GB)

G-DRIVE mobile (750GB)

B&H B&H Mfr. Site Mfr. Site

VL:   These are my go to drives for projects now.  I have 2-3 of these in my laptop bag at any one time.   I very much like the new design as well!

Description (from G-Tech): G-DRIVE mobile hard drives are the perfect compliment to your new Apple MacBook Pro. Weighing in at less than 9 oz., G-DRIVE mobile is the ultra-portable and stylish way to travel with up to 500GB of storage space for your important documents, MP3s, digital video and digital photo files. G-DRIVE mobile is bus powered, eliminating the need to carry an external AC power supply. Portability was never so easy!

G-DRIVE mini (320GB)

G-DRIVE mini (500GB)

B&H B&H Mfr. Site Mfr. Site

VL: Slim, light, dependable and FAST.   I’ve used these drives for years and swear by them in terms of reliability.   Basically I trust my entire jobs to a set of these drives (I always back up to MORE than one drive in case one gets lost/dropped etc.)  The fact that these drives are BUS-powered (your laptop will power them) means you don’t have to travel w/ an external powers supply.  I loathe power supplies as I often need to work off of my laptop on battery power on a plain or on location – yet another plus.

Description (from G-Tech): G-DRIVE mini hard drives are the perfect storage solutions for people on the go. Weighing in at less than 9 oz., G-DRIVE mini is the ultra-portable and stylish way to travel with up to 500 GB of storage space for your important documents, MP3s, digital video and digital photo files. The system can withstand up to 1000 G’s of shock* to ensure your data is protected against the bumps and bruises encountered on the road.  G-DRIVE mini is bus powered, eliminating the need to carry an external AC power supply. Portability was never so easy!  G-DRIVE mini features a fan-less cooling system the latest technology 5400 or 7200 RPM hard drives.

G-DRIVE mini SSD (320GB) B&H Mfr. Site

VL:  This is the single most reliable way to store you data.   While it’s priced at a premium (SSD drives are comprised of memory chips with no moving pieces, whereas  hard drives are cheaper but have a much higher risk of failure) this is the way to go with your most important work.    We all stress out about the TSA agent droping your valuable drive at the X-Ray machine?  Well with these – they can drop them… and you’ll almost always be OK!

Description (from G-Tech): Extremely durable and compact, the new G-DRIVE mini SSD incorporates a high-performance, high-reliability Solid State Drive (SSD) and features a triple interface (FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0) to provide fast and silent access to HD video, audio, and other dense multimedia files. Weighing in at just 8.5 oz, G-DRIVE mini SSD can be literally thrown into a gear bag for "grab n’ go" ease. No external AC power supply is required as it is USB or FireWire bus-powered.

G-SAFE (RAID Protected Storage System) (2TB)

G-SAFE (RAID Protected Storage System) (3TB)

B&H B&H Mfr. Site Mfr. Site

VL: This is the "professional" way of backing up data while you’re on the road.  Either carry a series of internal drives in case you’re going to shoot a LOT of data – or just work with one of these units.  These drives are extremely dependable, fast and relatively compact.  I travel with TWO of these units in Pelican cases – one travels back with me and the other with the producer/client/agency.   The obvious advantage of this drive over the minis – is that this a redundant drive system – your data is copied to TWO drives simultaneously – so you should be safe should one of the two drives ever fail you.

Description (from G-Tech): G-SAFE is the ideal storage solution to safeguard your important digital photos, audio and video libraries and documents. G-SAFE offers the ultimate in peace of mind by simultaneously writing to two independent hard disk drives providing instant back up of files as you save them. And unlike single drive backup systems, if a drive failure occurs your images are safe and accessible.  G-SAFE features two removable drive modules for easy replacement of disk drives and off-site backup of data.

G-SPEED Q (RAID Protected Storage System) (4TB)

G-SPEED Q (RAID Protected Storage System) (8TB)

B&H B&H Mfr. Site Mfr. Site

VL:  When you’ve got larger jobs – especially when you are shooting .5TB to 1TB per day of RED Epic footage – this is the go to solution.   You’ll need the space, reliability, and speed of these drives via eSATA.

Description (from G-Tech): G-SPEED Q provides content creators a high-performance, quad-interface, 4-bay RAID solution for every type of digital asset. Equipped with 3Gbit eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0, the quiet and stylish G-SPEED Q features an internal RAID controller, solid, all-alluminum enclosure with (4) hot-swappable hard disk drive modules and "Smart Fan" technology. The internal RAID controller features the Oxford 936SE, supporting RAID 0 for maximum performance or RAID 5 for data protection. RAID configuration is accomplished through a simple Mac or PC application. G-SPEED Q’s small footprint and portability make it perfect for laptop applications where high capacity and RAID protection is important. The high performance quad interface features (1) eSATA, (2) FireWire 800, and (1) USB 2.0 port.

AJA Ki Pro Mini Compact FIeld Recorder B&H Mfr. Site

VL:  This is the best solution right now for converting your footage on the fly into ProRes in a small package that you can mount on any camera rig.

Description: The Aja Ki Pro Mini Compact Field Recorder adds extreme portability to the Ki Pro family. Bringing a file-based workflow to any production to be edited on Final Cut Pro, this miniature field recorder not only records edit-ready Apple ProRes footage from any SDI or HDMI video camera, it does so on easily available Compact Flash cards. Its small form factor allows it to be mounted on a tripod or camera with industry-standard adapters, while its powerful support of both SD and HD recording–via both SDI and HDMI–makes it an invaluable tool for on-set digital capture.

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium B&H Mfr. Site

VL: I am transferring to a CS5 workflow for my HDSLR productions as well as my RED EPIC productions.    This suite offers a great workflow as it natively supports all of the popular HDSLRs cameras as well as RED Cameras.  No more transcoding! Which is a huge time saver.   The suite also allows you to work off the raw files, and in RED’s case the RAW R3D which is incredibly powerful in both Premiere and After Effects in terms of color correction an effects in general.  There is full support of the Red Rocket card as well.    The exports via Media Encoder are blazing fast as they take full advantage of the 64 bit architecture of today’s high end desktops and laptops.

Description (from Adobe): Creative Suite 5 Production Premium for Mac pulls together all the Adobe professional post-production and graphics design applications necessary to shoot and edit video, create visual effects, and design interactive experiences. By offering complete integration between every component, Production Premium streamlines your workflow and advances your productivity to new levels.  All of the components in this suite are designed to work together, unified by a common interface and Adobe’s Bridge application. From analyzing your video image during production with OnLocation, to editing it in Premiere Pro, punching it up in Photoshop, adding visuals in After Effects, tweaking the audio in Soundbooth, and using Encore to export it to the format and medium of your choice, Production Premium CS5 gives you an advanced, highly efficient professional production and post-production toolkit.

Magic Bullet Suite 10 B&H Mfr. Site

VL:  Get it.  You’ll love it – once you get the individual pieces of software below – you’ll likely wish you went this route… I use it in CS5.5 in Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop.

Description (from Red Giant Software): Magic Bullet Suite is the definitive toolkit that brings professional tools to filmmakers everywhere. Designed by a seasoned colorist and film director, these eight essential tools produce professional Hollywood-style results on an indie budget. Their elegant interfaces and simple controls let you capture the emotion of your subject, making your footage more personal and compelling. Whether you are color correcting, creating a color treatment, removing noise or uprezzing to HD, Magic Bullet Suite helps to create the final look that tells your story perfectly. 

Magic Bullet Colorista B&H Mfr. Site

VL: Excellent color grading (color correction) software for CS5.5 – Premiere and After Effects.

Description (from Red Giant Software): Colorista II brings the power of high-end color systems to your desktop. For the first time, you can perform professional color grading in your favorite editing applications and move between them with consistent, quality results. Colorista’s easy-to-use interface is equally good for quick adjustments on a deadline or finessing your footage without limitations. Use the 3-Way Wheels for easy adjustment of balance and luminance; a powerful new Keyer for precision editing; and Power Masks to isolate an area for perfect finishing. Whether you are a color expert or an aspiring colorist, Colorista II will redefine how filmmakers everywhere do color correction.

Magic Bullet Looks B&H Mfr. Site

VL: If you’re not a grading expert – no worries – this will get you started and far ahead of the pack.

Description (from Red Giant Software): Desert sunrise, Arctic tundra, nighttime urban streets: the look of your footage defines the mood. Now you can define the style of your video or film, regardless of on-set conditions, with powerful imaging tools. Choose from 100+ Look presets, to help set the mood for everything from a wedding to the next Sundance original. You also get the standalone Magic Bullet LooksBuilder, for pre-visualizing looks on set or anywhere. Portable presets load into any editing hosts, so the same Looks you create on set are the ones you finish with in the editorial suite: no need for an expensive finishing system.

Magic Bullet Denoiser B&H Mfr. Site

VL:  Very nice tool to clean up that HDSLR footage – especially high ISO work.

Description (from Red Giant Software): Don’t settle for noisy video. Magic Bullet Denoiser does it all—professional results with no fuss. Traditional noise removal methods can blur fine detail, but Denoiser’s advanced technology retains definition while eliminating noise.

Magic Bullet Grinder B&H Mfr. Site

VL:  Very fast conversion tool loaded with features.

Description (from Red Giant Software): Magic Bullet Suite is the definitive toolkit that brings professional tools to filmmakers everywhere. Designed by a seasoned colorist and film director, these eight essential tools produce professional Hollywood-style results on an indie budget. Their elegant interfaces and simple controls let you capture the emotion of your subject, making your footage more personal and compelling. Whether you are color correcting, creating a color treatment, removing noise or uprezzing to HD, Magic Bullet Suite helps to create the final look that tells your story perfectly. 

Squared 5 MPEG Streamclip Video Converter Mac OSX Windows

VL:  The beauty of this software is that 1. It’s free  2. It works wonderfully on both Mac and PC systems.  3. It’s a perfectly suited for converting your H.264 footage into ProRes.  And you can also easily pause a series of conversion midstream in case you need to move with your laptop – and resume them easily thereafter.

Description (from Squared 5): MPEG Streamclip is a powerful free video converter, player, and editor for Mac and Windows. It can play, convert, and encode movies to several movie file formats and can also download videos straight from YouTube and Google.

Singular Software Plural Eyes Mfr. Site

VL:  If you hate slates or hate being slowed down by them – this software is a Godsend.   It’s extremely reliable and works pretty flawlessly for marrying up audio with multiple video cameras that don’t have timecode (ergo: HDDSLRs.)  This software will pay for itself in time saved on your first edit – and there is also a 30 day trial.   While this isn’t a substitute for a timecode slate that you can jam sync with your audio recorder – it’s about 1,000 times cheaper than doing it that way….  so for those on a budget – forget the fancy timecode hardware and download this ASAP.  See the following link for a full review from my blog.

Description (from Singular Software): PluralEyes™ saves hours in post-production for multi-camera edits, dual-system audio or multi-take workflows such as music videos. It automatically synchronizes all your audio and video clips without the need for timecode, clappers or any special preparation.

iDisplay 2 Colorimeter B&H Mfr. Site

VL:   A must have for anyone with a monitor  - literally.  I color correct every screen on my laptops/desktops prior to installing a single other application.  It’s that important if you want to make color accurate prints and video color corrections (for the web.)

Description (from X-Rite): The Xrite i1Display 2 is an easy-to-use, powerful solution that provides the excellent monitor profile quality. With enhancements to both hardware and software, you’ll achieve consistent, predictable color on all types of monitors (LCD and CRT). i1Display 2 features an enhanced sensor providing higher repeatability, faster measurements and higher sensitivity in the dark areas for better control in shadow detail and a more neutral gray scale.

iDisplay LT Colorimeter B&H Mfr. Site

VL:   This is the mid-level solution. A must have for anyone with a monitor  - literally.  I color correct every screen on my laptops/desktops prior to installing a single other application.  It’s that important if you want to make color accurate prints and video color corrections (for the web.)

Description (from X-Rite): If you want professional reliable color from your monitor, but you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend, the X-Rite i1Display LT is for you. It’s a quick, easy and affordable solution for professional calibration and profiling of LCD, CRT and laptop monitors.

The included i1Match software has an intuitive interface that will walk you through each step to calibrate and profile your monitors. Pre-defined settings and easy mode controls provide exceptional performance, so you can attain the most accurate monitor calibration and profiling without spending hours in front of your computer. It only takes a few clicks to get professional results!

i1Photo Pro B&H Mfr. Site

VL:   This is the top end suite.   A must have for anyone with a monitor  - literally.  I color correct every screen on my laptops/desktops prior to installing a single other application.  It’s that important if you want to make color accurate prints and video color corrections (for the web.)

Description (from X-Rite): i1Photo Pro is specifically designed for discerning photo professionals to manage their RGB workflow from camera to display and projector to print. The included i1Profiler software delivers high quality color results that especially target highlight and shadow details and delivers greater color accuracy for more neutral grays and natural skin tones.