DSLR Workflow for Filmmakers

The new crop of DSLR cameras from Nikon and Canon are blurring the line between stills and video. But are you up to the task of working with the HD video these new machines can produce?

Here’s a helpful video overview of the workflow involved with transcoding raw video from your DSLR to Final Cut Pro. Similar techniques will also work for Sony Vegas, Premeire Pro or Avid.

DSLR Workflow for Filmmakers

Digital Cameras at B&H Photo

Classic Tulsa Archive

Anyone interested in vintage views of Tulsa should visit the vast archive of photographs from the Beryl Ford Collection. The database has been made available online by the Tulsa City-County Library system and the Tulsa Rotory Club. Prints are also available through the Tulsa Historical Society.

The collection offers more than 22,000 images collected over a lifetime by this humble historian of Tulsa’s early years. This collection is so amazing because of the numerous scenes of everyday life- like this scene showing a traffic accident at 11th and Denver.

Courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society

Set the Wayback for “then” and explore the Tulsa of yesteryear. I think you’ll agree, it’s an invaluable resource for our City.

Browse the Beryl Ford Collection

Blogging, Sans Computer

A couple of weeks ago I played around with a Google’s Blogger Mobile feature. It’s an option available to anyone using Blogger and allows you to post a message using your cell phone.

I’ve known this tool was available, but never had any need or inclination to use it. My phone takes pretty mediocre pictures at best, and texting more than a few words constitutes outright torture in my book. I still blog mostly with a “desktop computer.” Call me old fashioned.

Ben and the 40 year old turtle.But recently I’ve been getting all these text messages from my buddy, Ben. They usually include a photo, and sometimes a line or two of cryptic text. I often told him he should share these with the World. But get this: Ben doesn’t have a computer.

It’s true.

But not to be dissuaded- or deprive the world of zany words and images from Ben- I explored the bold new world of mobile blogging! I called it simply: Photos from Ben.

Turns out Blogger offers two very simple ways to transmit from your phone to the Internet.

One is a simple email address that posts to your blog. You choose the name of this special address and share (or not) with whomever you’d care to give access. Anything sent to this “secret” address is either posted immediately or saved as a draft for future moderation/publishing. Quick and easy. If your phone can send Multimedia Messages then you can publish words and photos.

Mobile Blogging on Blogger
The second option requires you to “link” your phone to your blog. Blogger spits out a code, sort of a PIN number, that you have to spit back at them. If the codes match then Blogger links your mobile device to your blog. Once that’s done you can post using the more common SMS message format.

They’re both easy to get started with and seem to work quite well. While there are obvious drawbacks, the convenience of blogging without a computer is pretty darn cool.

To learn more or get started with mobile blogging visit www.blogger.com/mobile-start.g

Photography Kudos

Earlier this year Jackie and I went to Albuquerque on a business trip. I had just recently purchased my Olympus E-410 and was snapping photos and enjoying the high desert lifestyle (see Take a Left at Albuquerque for more).

Some of the pics came out pretty good and I shared them on my Flickr page. Then a few weeks ago I got a message from an outfit called Schmap. They make interactive guides to cities around the world that will play on your phone or website. Schmap was considering using this photo in their Albuquerque guide:
Mission in Albuquerque's Old Town district.

It was a gratis gig, but I said sure. What could it hurt?

Then yesterday I got a note that they had chosen my photo and it was now included in their Schmap Albuquerque Sixth Edition. I had never heard of Schmap before (which is possibly the whole point to this) but I like what they’re doing. Who better to share the story of a city than the people who have been there?

And here’s a cute little Schmap widget of their Albuquerque guide, complete with my lovely photo of the mission in Old Town.


Snap Happy Digital Camera: Olympus E-410

A couple of weeks ago my interest in owning a “real” camera was renewed. A fellow BMW rider had posted some beautiful photos of his Spring ride in Northern California (R1150R.org). I decided to shop around for a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera. I soon discovered there are some great bargains out there, but as usual, let the buyer beware!

It had been years since I sold my old Nikon F body. The difference between that 1964-vintage piece and today’s digital SLRs is vast and there are hundreds of choices. But I found a great resource in Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com). After a little digging I read a review for the Olympus E-410. It was highly rated, got high marks in all categories and was reasonably priced.

Helpful Links…

Look for “factory demo” or Refurbished in the selling options!

The E-410 had several bells and whistles that were missing from competitors in this price range. It’s typically packaged with a 14mm-42mm zoom lens (the equivalent of 28-85 if it were on a 35mm camera). It’s light, compact and accepts third-party lenses. The only downside I could find was the media format (digital film, if you will). Olympus uses Fuji’s XD memory cards instead of the more common SD format. But this camera also can store your pictures on Compact Flash cards or the tiny micro drives so you do have a choice. Suffice to say- any of these modern SLR cameras will produce much better results than your typical point-and-shoot cameras.

PhilbrookPrices vary widely- which surprised me. I found several eBay listings offering this camera for $50 to $100 below the usual price. My skepticism kicked in when I noticed “factory demo” in the description. But after a little research I wasn’t quite so skeptical. These can also be found on Amazon, click the Used or View All option and you’ll see a Refurbished tab. Eventually I ordered one of these factory refurbished camera rigs. It’s literally like new, the only clue I had was a rubber band around one of the cords (instead of the customary wire tie and/or bag).

But before you jump in and order one let me offer a little advice.

Manufacturers demo their cameras at trade shows and press soirées. Sometimes they’re selling you one that was returned by a consumer. Reputable dealers do not bury this fact in their fine print- but they also stand behind these units. The most important part is what warranty does the seller provide. The factory warranty on these is usually different from a new, sealed box camera- 90 days instead of one year in the case of Olympus. But some sellers extend this and offer their own warranty, so in my case I still have a one year warranty. Since it came from an authorized Olympus dealer, I felt comfortable with this.

Some less helpful sellers offer only 30 days or no warranty on factory demos. Also steer clear of these unscrupulous “drop ship houses” that are notorious for playing the classic bait-and-switch. In the end I felt it was well worth the research because I saved almost $100. Happy shopping, and next time I’ll let you know how I like the new camera!