There have been a lot of advertisements for Windows 8 on television and in magazines lately, showing off the new features of the OS. Microsoft really wants you to upgrade, and is lobbying hard for you to do it. While I admit it looks a bit fancy, I needed to know how it compared to the previous versions of Windows. The answer is not so good, I’m afraid.
Windows 8 has left behind key features of its previous versions in favor of a new flamboyant tablet-style interface that looks out of place on a desktop, and performs even worse. They’ve essentially gutted Windows. Everything good Microsoft has done — not just for Windows, but for computing in general — has been thrown away. No more legacy support. No more integration. Forced connections to the Internet.
While techie geeks will love it, businesses users and serious user will not. And that includes videographers. [Read more]
High-end digital SLR camera makers like Nikon, Canon and Sony brag about their megapixels and sensor photosites, but at some point it becomes moot. The same applies to high resolution 1080p HDTVs. Of all the laws of diminishing returns that affect the amount of detail a person can see, be it in a digital photograph or 1080p Blu-ray disc, your eyes trump all.
In the past half decade, I’ve dealt with several camera softness issues: (1) Excellent Tamron, Tokina and Sigma lenses from the film era are too flawed for modern high megapixel sensors. (2) There’s increasingly erratic quality control from lens manufacturers. (3) Certain digital cameras seem to drift in accuracy over time; a big issue since I’m mostly a f/2.8 shooter. (4) And finally, my eyes are just not as perfect as they used to be.
There’s nothing more frustrating that seeing a blurry image through the viewfinder, and not being 100% sure if the camera or lens are at fault, or if your own eyes (or even contact lenses, in my case) have degraded. [Read more]
As is the case with most professional fields, a hobby can turn into a career, and video is no different. If you’re a TV show collector, the appointed family videographer, or simply interested in editing movies on your home computer — and you like doing it, and want to get paid for doing it — then having a job or career in that field is certainly possible.
In the era of Youtube and Vimeo, where anybody can upload virtually anything, you could find yourself as the next overnight meme. All you need is a camera, some video editing software, and creativity.
On the other hand, there’s a lot to know. Video is literally dozens of photos per second, with audio, and it has a steep learning curve. Those who are patient, willing to learn proper methods, and able to overcome a “get rich quick” attitude, can succeed at it long-term.
Everybody has a story of how they started in their line of work. This is mine.
Understanding the differences between hobby video projects and professional video work is, unfortunately, not the same as acknowledging it. Many novices want to treat video work as an unskilled trade, comparable to flipping burgers or operating a forklift. To these folks, it’s a make-money-fast scheme — and education, knowledge and experience is unnecessary.
For consumers, the ability to distinguish between an amateur- or hobby-based service can mean the difference between high-quality work and merely passable quality work. Or in some cases, the difference between a successful project, and a disaster (lost or damaged videos). In Part 2 of this editorial series, consumers can learn some tips on how to spot a non-professional video company.
For video enthusiasts, it’s important to know your limitations. Part 1 of this editorial series covered the most important differences between video as a hobby, and video as a field of work. Part 2 of the editorial will focus on bad advice that encourages a hobbyist to “make money” in their hobby, and give examples of what often happens when unqualified individuals start their own video editing or conversion service.
At least once per month, somebody asks me how to get a job working in the video transfer/post industry. Most of them are seeking advice on how to start their own tape-to-DVD business. While this seems to be a fairly direct question, it’s really not. Most people fail to understand the complexities of video, including the many ways in which professional work differs from home-based hobby/do-it-yourself methods.
Understand that experience recording a few programs off TV, and converting a handful of your own homemade videotapes, is not an adequate background. No more than knowing how to take aspirin qualifies one to be a doctor, or being good with LEGO makes one an architect. While it’s true that such skills are basic to each profession, it’s superficial at best. For the field of video, knowing the location of the record button is simply not enough.
In Part 1 of this four-part editorial series on hobby versus profession, I’ll explain the most important differences between hobby work and professional work.
Apparently the stove isn’t the only item in my kitchen that can start a fire.
About three years ago, I bought a Durabrand DVD player at Walmart to accompany a 13-inch television, where I watch my cable recordings and TV DVD box sets while cooking.
According the the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the lid-style player’s circuit board can overheat and pose “a fire and burn hazard to consumers.”
Walmart has confirmed 14 complaints, with seven of them involving fires that damaged property with no injuries. The retail chain is encouraging customers to return the players for a full refund. [Read more]