Mobile disk drives are essential tools for movie and video makers. Everyone who ventures out in hostile environments to shoot footage needs rugged drives that can withstand some rough handling. It’s the main reason why LaCie has made its Rugged series and why G-Tech jumped on this bandwagon with its G-Drive ev range. CalDigit may perhaps be late to the game, releasing its bus-powered Tuff drive only recently, but it beats the forerunners by a large margin.
CalDigit is a supplier of storage solutions for creative professionals, including photographers, movie makers and video producers. The T4 is their hybrid Thunderbolt 2 RAID-capable storage solution. T4’s have a tightly fitting aluminium cast enclosure aimed at silent operation and good thermal management. They have four lockable removable drives that carry a three-year warranty. The unit itself carries a five-year warranty.
Telestream has upgraded ScreenFlow, the computer screen recording — aka screencast — application to version 6. The new version holds several exciting and important new features and numerous improvements. It now also integrates with Telestream Cloud for on-demand transcoding to formats like HLS, MPEG-DASH, WebM and more.
In the 4K video age, memory cards should be blazingly fast but even more so: dependable. Memory cards that break after five hours of use are a frustration at best and a catastrophe in many cases. The Lexar Professional microSDHC UHS-II 1000x and 1800x are both extremely fast and they won’t break that quickly.
Shooting in ProRes or DNxHD has several benefits if you’re working with Final Cut Pro X or Avid Media Composer. Of course you can always encode or transcode from a different codec to either of these in post-production, but that costs time — which may be valuable. There may be other reasons why you don’t want to wait until post, as I found out. I spent three days experimenting with a GoPro HERO4, four encoding apps for the Mac, the Final Cut Pro X timeline and an Atomos Ninja Assassin. Thanks to the newest version of Telestream’s Switch QC app, I came across some strange results that I didn’t know about before, and which strengthened my views on post-production video encoding versus shooting straight to ProRes with an Atomos Ninja monitor/recorder.
Telestream has just upgraded Switch, their QC and quick-export app for videos up to 4K. New features in the Pro version that I have been reviewing include a comparison capability that lets you open additional files to compare with your primary media file, an external preview to Blackmagic Design devices, more publishing options, more containers and improved playback.
Transitions are boring unless you spice them up with special effects. The trouble with special effects, however, is that they usually make you nauseous or are cheesy at best. Few movies made by professionals therefore use more than the two least spectacular transitions: the cut — the abrupt scene change — and the dissolve. Hawaiki has come up with a way to make dissolves — by far the most commonly used transition of them all — more interesting, sexy even. They’ve turned that into a Final Cut Pro X plugin: Super Dissolve.