Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Shameful goings on with the iPad mini.

Lead me not into temptation......

Some friends of mine were traveling into the UK recently who managed to get hold of a couple of the highly sought after iPad mini's.

They bought them for friends.

Lan Bui with and iPad mini he bought for someone else and ended up keeping for himself

The friends they bought them for did not get them, as they liked them so much that they kept them for themselves.

Another good friend of mine also managed to get hold of an iPad mini as a present for his girlfriend.

She has not received it, he opened the box to preload apps for her and kept it for himself.

More shameful and selfish acts tell you all you need know about the iPad mini.

Hold it in your hand and you are hooked by its size, feather weight and sheer quality.

Apple was late to the party with the iPad mini but in my view they really have hit the spot.

It did not have a retina screen but I did not miss it.

I use the brilliant and reliable Capture Pilot function in Capture One 7 Pro which enables you to share the shoot live with creatives on their iPad's, so they can choose the files as you shoot.

Tempting to get a couple just for this.

It is remarkable and baffling that I still encounter creatives who have never had this 'service' offered to them by photographers even on big high end shoots. It is a great way to win friends and influence the people who will give you your next big job. It is a mystery to me as to why more photographers don't use it.

I will let the parting shot go to

'If you want to save $50 and buy a cheap-ass tablet, go ahead. If you want quality the iPad mini will be waiting for you when you come to your senses'

I have a brand new iPad mini tucked away in the furthest recess's of my wardrobe for someone very special in my life.

When I open it up, just to set the email up and load it with apps you understand, lets hope that common sense prevails and not temptation.....

Monday, 5 November 2012

THE crucial first accessory for shooting DSLR video

 Readers of this blog will know that I have a keen interest in video as well as stills.

One of the most frequent questions on asked is what rig do I use, three people asked me last week alone.

The truth is I do not yet have a rig, but I am in the process of choosing one right now.

I will share that process with you but it was heavily influenced by Rodney Charters DP of '24' and many other productions too.

So how have I managed to not buy rig for my DSLR for so long? After all it is a less than ideal form factor when it comes to handheld video shooting.

To see what is on the rear LCD you have to hold the camera at 'half' arms length, this in turn means you loose stability and you truly cannot see if the image is in focus and one does tend to shoot more wide open when shooting video on a camera like a Canon 5D MkII.

Not ideal at all.

When I started using the Zacuto Z finder, which clips onto the rear LCD, I could see what was sharp and what wasn't.

It was a giant leap forward in my video work.

But the really significant factor about using a Z finder is that the camera comes back to your eye and you gain what any video shooter craves.


When I shoot with my Z finder it gives me back the magical three points of contact between then camera and my body.

So all of a sudden a rig was not quite such a priority.

There are similar products out there, but I am consistently impressed by the superb build quality of the Z finder and for that matter all other Zacuto products.

I have dropped mine more than once will no ill effects.

You really do get what you pay for.

If you are looking for the first 'building block' on your video journey which gives the biggest bang for you buck, look no further.