Real World Review – Why I Depend on Lexar

It’s something that you don’t want to think about: Media Cards.
Pop it into your camera, and shoot.
Because I don’t want to think about it, I have chosen one brand to use, and stick with it. Lexar
Yes, you can scan over Ebay and Amazon, and find all kinds of brands that may be cheaper, but this is about your images. What better insurance than to rely on a dependable product?
OK, why Lexar?
A few reasons:
they make the top pro speed cards, which is essential when you need to shoot a burst, and your camera can handle a good size buffer. Like sports, or music. If your card is too slow, you’ll be waiting for the images to write to that card, and you’ll miss that shot.
Trust me, I’ve done that. Honestly, sometimes using older cards and just slide one in, and pay the price. The pulsing light on the back of the camera, telling you the files are writing to the card, is the WORST!
So I always upgrade to the fastest speed, when I can.
They support you with every card, and include a code for media card recovery software. I’ve only used it once, but that’s enough.
Most importantly, memory and memory management is their business. Period. That means they depend on their products as much as you do.

Here is the super fast SD card, with 300MB/s, and it even comes with it’s own speedy reader, if you are not on the Thunderbolt HUB. See below.

And if you shoot video, especially 4K, if you don’t have speed, you have nothing.

I recently moved to a new video camera after 5 years, the Canon XC-15. This thing is so blazing at 4K, it has heat dissipation vents, and records at 305MPS @ 4K! And you do need the new CFast cards to take advantage of that 4K. Lexar has you covered.

Yep, from CF, to SD, to Micro SD, to XQD (let’s see what happens there) to CFast. With speeds allowing you to capture RAW, ProRes, and 4K video. You get read transfer speed up to 540 MB/s and write transfer speed of up to 445 MB/s, speeding up your post production workflow.
And here is a shot of the new rig:


I go from using the audio add-on module, to walking the trade show floor with this Rode. That is a Fotodiox ring light I use, which has a dimmer, battery operated, and saves me using a cold shoe on top of the camera.

And getting to workflow: I’m a massive fan of the Lexar HUB system. The modular set-up has allowed me to grow with my gear, and speed up the post production process. When I first got into the system, it was mainly CF cards. Then SD’s came in heavy, and I picked up more modules, depending on the system I was shooting. Of course, the micro SD GoPro needs, brought another module in.
And now CFast.
Here is my luxurious desk at my hotel in LAs Vegas at CES in Jan..

The beauty of this system is that it has a Thunderbolt flow-through, and on the road, this little tower lets me download up to 4 cards concurrently. Remember, not consecutively, concurrently! Big time savings. And when I add the SSD module, I get 512 GB of storage. I leave my RAID at home, and just save on that drive, and 1 external HD. Paranoid? Maybe, but don’t want to lose anything. Cheap insurance.

I will reveal something about me here, that does color some of my choices: I produce commercials for a living, and the cameras we use range from RED to Arri Alexa. Now all I’ll be doing on those sets, imaging wise, is some behind the scenes materials. The heavy lifting camera crew uses the full tilt packages. And Lexar CFast cards are what they use in Arri. When I have a million dollar commercial I’m producing, and the camera dept. is using a certain brand, I feel good And it’s confirmation for my choices as well.

There you have it: Lexar fast media cards, and the Lexar HUB make my life simpler.

Let’s be honest, there are some other players out there.
I just know that Lexar is always high quality products, that I can depend on. One less choice I have to make everyday.
Kinda like wearing pretty much the same things everyday (yes, I have multiples of the same thing, not wearing one set all the time. that would be gross).
It just works.

Real World Review : All About Remote Control

There are so many way to control how you press the shutter on your camera, I had to do a deep dive into the world, and try to make some sense of it all.
3 of the units reviewed here: CamRanger, Case Air, and Pulse. The 4th, Manfrotto Digital Director, is way bigger and shown later in the post. (quarter there for size ref)

Like most gear reviewed here, the mission to find the best in a category comes from a need.
Problem > solution type of situation.
Now, you may wonder, “what the heck do i need to add anything else to the camera?” My self timer works just fine, thank you very much.
I wanted to take a shot of me holding a product, and didn’t want to self timer it. I’m an adult and no need to run back and forth to the camera.
I was brought up with a shutter release cable, and now can do all I need, and more, via devices and apps.
There are other things you may want to do that can be sooo much better controlled remotely.
Continue Reading »

Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – Part 5 : The Light Modifiers

It’s a constant search for the Holy grail of the best light modifier. We’ll just talk about the speedlight range here.

Since not a whole lot new has come on the market since last year, that should adjust your thinking. I’m sure you’ll want to try at least one of these units, and perhaps add them to your wish list.

Except this cool tool, from Lastolite – The EzyBounce.
screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-4-24-18-pm
What’s cool about this is the size and ease of use. It’s a 6 panel white reflector, with hinges at each of the panels, that are stiff enough at those points to stay where you configure it. My hope is that it stays as stiff as it is now, after continual use.
screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-3-08-40-pm

Connecting to your speed light by a heavy duty rubber strap, with holes and pegs to keep it tight on the light.

And when you are done, it folds flat, and easy to stash.

For only $30, you really need this in your bag.

Next up is a new addition to the bag for the last year, MagMods MagSphere.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-3-36-11-pm

It does get you into a system of magnets, set in silicone, holding modifiers, and does a great job of it. The light is soft and beautiful, and they have come up with a whole line-up of tools, to expand your creativity.

Simple, and it pops on your speedlight for an overall soft spread of light. I will admit that sometimes picking it out of my bag, some other metal things want to come with it, due to the magnets, can’t avoid that.

About $50

Next up is one of my all time favorite mods to give me that Ring Light look. The RoundFlash . This thing packs small, pops open easy, is lightweight, and most importantly, does the job. Pop it open, put your speedlight into the hot shoe, poke the speedlight head thought the top port on the back of the unit and you are good to go.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-3-52-18-pm

Only $113. Yes, there are imitations, like a lot of stuff, but get the original, you’ll be happy you did.

here is a sample shot from Comic-Con 2016, using the RoundFlash, and a Nikon D810, 24-70 2.8 lens

ggd_7719

More gift ideas to come……

Real World Review : i1 Filmmaker Kit – Get Your Color Right!

Oh, sure, you can buy the right cameras, lenses, microphones, grippage, etc., for your video productions
Then you get into post.
Make sure that the video files you are ingesting have been treated to the standards of the industry, from the time you start shooting, to your editing workflow.
You know what they say: GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). How do you make sure that your imaging files are looking right from the beginning?
Pretty simple, actually
The folks at X-Rite ,familiar to you all as making a great color portable color chart for your stills, have come out with a great kit for your video needs, the i1 Filmmaker Kit. With a video color chart and a monitor calibration tool, this needs to be part of your workflow.
x_rite_eodis3msccppvc_i1_filmmaker_kit_1475680871000_1286882
First of all you should get in the habit of shooting a color chart at the start of all of your shoots.
This Color Checker Passport Video tool, is a portable, easy to pack chart.
Just take a shot of it, with the main lighting of your scene, and you will be able to start from a right place when you begin to edit.
Having a standard to start from, makes your creative choices true choices, and not fixes.

Then you get into the monitors you’ll be working with. As a point of fact, even with high-end monitors, they shift in color.
To say nothing of the light in the room you are working in. Yep, changing ambient light will affect how you are seeing the video.

What you should do first, and on an ongoing basis, is correct your monitors.
X-Rite has made tools, and software that make it super easy.
The i1 Display Pro is a calibration device that easily hangs over your monitor, and when you start the software, it will lead you by the hand in making sure your monitors are showing a true color.
Here is a great overview on why you should calibrate:

So, here’s all you do to calibrate your monitor
install the software
Plug in the USB Display Pro
Adjust the counterweight so the device hangs over the monitor flat, and start the software. It will cycle through all of the colors and tones, and calibrating them to a standard you can choose.
It will then show you a before and after, so it’ll be clear what has been adjusted.
Plus it will schedule your next calibration. Just a good thing to make part of your workflow.

And that’s it.
Simple, right?

I know it’s not the sexy new lens, or trick new bag, or perfect mounting gear.
It may seem like putting a new roof of your house: you need it, but you only see it when you go outside.
Here, you’ll see it inside and when you get your video workflow on point.

I’ve used this type of product for my stills that matter, for years, and this is the perfect tool for the worker.

I have to tell you that I just replaced my monitors. After 8 years of hard work, they died within a week of each other. The biggest color revelation for me was when the new monitor  was placed next to the old. Holy moly, what an extreme difference! This just illustrated to me how much we (I) don’t realize when our monitors are out of whack.

Cost is about $300, but the amount of time your will save in your workflow is well worth it.

Statistics recorded with Counterize - Version 3.1.4

Holiday Gift Guide Part 4: Black Friday Best Deals

There may be supposed “doorbusters” on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, with special pricing, but on high ticket items it’s usually last years model.
What you should look for are deals on Media Cards, software, and batteries. I always stock up on that day.
Of course, the majors photo dealers will all have some kind of deal, like BH, Hunts, Adorama, Samys, and Midwest Photo. I’ll add the links as soon as I get them on Friday to help you shop fast. If there are new deals , I’ll add them here as well, or simply post to twitter.com, and FB.
The folks at Resource gathered up some links for your BF pleasure here.
Of course, it could be a good time for your year end purchases.

So, what to add to your wish list, and maybe share with someone who may be gifting you?
Maybe you have a high frame rate camera, but if you don’t have fast card, it won’t matter. Read/Write speed on a camera is only as good as the media card you put in.
In other words, when get that burst off of that incredible soccer play, you may have to wait for the camera to write the info to the card, and you may miss the next great play.
The super fast cards from Lexar are the way to go.
Incredibly reliable, the 2000x speed on these SD cards (Max. Read Speed: 300 MB/s Max. Write Speed: 260 MB/s) is the way to go.Comes with a special high speed reader, and of course it’s backwards compatible.
screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-29-18-pm
And now it seems that the CFast format (Max. Read Speed: 525 MB/s Max. Write Speeds: 445 MB/s) is catching on in the video world. 4K takes a speedy card, so check out the Lexar 64GB Professional 3500x CFast 2.0

While you are at it, pick up the Lexar Hub System with all the modules you’ll need to read all of your media cards, AND back it all up at the same time. Brilliant! (here is a review)

Have you been aching to do some timelapse? Syrp gear has sweet cyber weekend deals. Used these on a few commercials, and it was perfect.

Want to improve your workflow? Get some real tools for the pro, by X-Rite. I always have the color chart with me. Especially for video.
And after having 2x 8 year old monitors die within a week of each other, when I replaced one, i saw how discolored the other was. Calibrate your monitors!

Speaking of monitors, Dell has some great deals today
Is analog you deal?
Lomography has their own Black Friday sale!

On the software front:
Adobe Cloud CC for Lightroom and Photoshop Get this for $10 a month.
And you can get the entire Creative Cloud for $40 a month, including all of your video needs.20 + deskyop and mobile apps, plus a portfolio website, and 20GB of cloud storage. Black Friday is 20% off and available now!
PhotoMechanic for asset editing

There are a few more sweet programs, but honestly, I can’t recco till I’ve spent some time with them. Above software is tried and true.

On the battery front, what you want to look for are not just camera batteries, but the batteries for your phone and tablet on the go.
With the intensive amount of mobile apps, wi-fi controlling and transfer of your cameras imagines, you will run down the device battery in no-time. I think every camera company has an app, and i may have 20 photo-editing apps on my phone.
All well and good, but just power drains.
The recco is for a 10,000mAh minimum with a 2.4 and 1. volt, like this: PNY AD10400 10400mAh 1A/2.4A PowerPack-Portable Rechargeable Battery Charger
screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-59-40-pm

There will be lots of deals on this kind of battery, just make sure it’s a reputable brand.

One other item I usually stock up on is storage. Could be a good time to back up all of your materials. An extra copy of all offsite is a good way to go. So RAID drives, NAS, and just hard drives to back it up, before you run the risk of losing it.
Plus you can find great deals on flash drives, which are great to make a pocketable back-up of your projects, as you work.

More to come!

Instagram

Upcoming Events

Is there an event we should know about?
Let us know on twitter.

Current Exhibitions

  • Metropolitan Museum Of Art
  • Irving Penn: Centennial
  • APR 24, 2017–July 30th, 2017
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710
  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • GENERATION WEALTH BY LAUREN GREENFIELD
  • APR 8, 2017 – AUG 13, 2017
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • Getty Center
  • Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of In Flagrante
  • May 23rd-Aug. 13th, 2017
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Louise Lawler: WHY PICTURES NOW
  • Through July 30th, 2017
  • 11 West 53 Street
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel:212-708-9400
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Mark Ruwedel-HELL and HOME
  • May 4th-June 24th, 2017
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • LIVES & STILL LIVES: LESLIE GILL, FRANCES MCLAUGHLIN-GILL, AND THEIR CIRCLE
  • MAY 25 – JULY 7, 2017
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • SEBASTIÃO SALGADO A Life in Photography
  • June 3 – September 2, 2017
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463

Is there an exhibition we’re missing? Let us know on twitter.

Like what we’re posting?
Join us on Flickr.