It’s not often that get very excited about modern audio equipment but when the name Neve is attached there’s always room for an exception. Rupert Neve Designs (not to be confused with AMS Neve) announced this week at Musikmesse a new desktop console dubbed the 5060. It’s meant to be a sort of studio centerpiece and features a 24×2 mixer with sends and transport control. There are other products out there that do this (the SSL Nucleus for one) but none do it while looking this good (although not quite as good as the original Neve Sidecar). Unfortunately, as is always the case with quality recording equipment, with a MSRP just under $8,000 USD the 5060 is way out of reach for all of us mortals and will most likely exist only in the world of medium to large sized professional studios. I guess I’ll just hold out hope that in 40 years I might find one at a garage sale of some lady who’s “son left it in the attic when he moved” or whatever cliche scenario it seems like everyone acquired their choice vintage gear via.
Adam Fuchs and Flying Lotus team for a psychedelic video to promote Moog’s Sub Phatty. Moog claims that this is their “grittiest Moog synth ever”, they definitely found the right man for the job, this “Such a Square” track refreshes FlyLo sound.
Had a chance to explore in and around Death Valley last week with my new favorite lens, Canon’s 24mm F1.4. Stumbled upon a few ghost towns, countless abandoned mines, including one that a migrant had used as a shelter, and even Charlie Manson’s old getaway truck, still preserved in the one of the driest climates on earth. What’s nice about this particular 24mm prime is how it’s fast as it is wide, which makes it great for shallow depth of field in landscape photos, and a perfect tool for capturing shots indoors, in tight places.
We’ve entered a strange territory in photography, where the software benefits & ubiquity of a mobile operating system like Android, meet the hardware of a decent point and shoot. I’ve been testing the Samsung Galaxy Camera for the last month, so I figured I’d share a few thoughts.
A smart camera.
This is, first and foremost, a large point and shoot camera. As camera software goes, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is a breath of fresh air. This is a huge win over any custom OS that attempts to reinvent the wheel. You can install any app available in the Google Play store, from Instagram to games to Wifi-tethering apps. The touchscreen is also amazing. It’s huge. With the camera app open, it makes every type of photo easy to see, frame & capture.
For a phone-less camera, it’s super connected.
Because it comes with GPS, Wifi & 3G connectivity, it makes sharing your photos while you’re on the road really easy. In fact, I’d call it a potential lifesaver. You can set it up to auto-upload to Dropbox or Google+, so if you lose your camera, you’ll still have your photos. Or you can use it to Skype the Icelandic police when you lock yourself out of your car at dusk, in a sand storm, in the middle of nowhere. True story.
Optical zoom is great. Photo quality is so-so.
At 16 megapixels, it outputs photos larger than what phones currently can, yes, but are they better? Not entirely. The lens and 21x optical zoom give you more versatility than a smartphone, but if you examine the photos below closely, you’ll see some JPEG compression and color fringing. For $500 bucks, it’s certainly not as good as you’d find in another equally priced point and shoot camera.
The camera comes pre-installed with the Photo Wizard editing app, which is sufficient for some, but you’ll probably want to install PicsPlay Pro if you want more control & full resolution exports. It’s the best Android photo editor I can find.
Awkward to hold when you type.
You’ll be using the touchscreen keyboard just as much as you would when operating your standard Android phone, which means you’ll want to hold the screen like a phone, which also means you’ll be holding a camera in a way it wasn’t meant to be held – lens to palm. Not ideal. Thankfully this one has an automatic lens cover.
A note for heavy Instagram users…
The zoom lens opens and extends every time you activate the camera, so if you’re indecisive like me when choosing a photo to post to Instagram, you’ll find the camera opens and closes repeatedly. One of those nobody saw it coming kind of things.
There are some usability & quality issues between hardware and software that need figuring out, but the Galaxy Camera is pretty killer considering all you can do with it (hat tip to Android). It’s more camera than smartphone, but when you consider portability, smartphones may still win in the end once smaller, mobile sensors catch up in quality.
In 2005, I remember switching over to the Panasonic HVX200 camera and feeling like it was the coolest thing ever. It was really the first “affordable” camera that shot HD and was able to shoot slow motion, digitally, up to 60 fps in 1280 x 720p. This was when we were still squashing output to 720 x 480, 4:3, there wasn’t a Vimeo (really), internet video was slowly starting to ramp up and no HD options online. So, that’s the backstory.
Here’s where I’m going with this, the P2 cards that we used to store data on for the HVX were almost 1/3 the price of the camera, $1,200.00 for 8GB in 2007, thanks to a friend sending me a receipt. We’re now using 16GB SD cards in our 1080p DSLRs for something like $18.00.
Yesterday, RED dropped something that made me think, a 512GB SSD card that runs “Turbo”, which means low compression when shooting larger resolutions, such as 5K at 120fps. Red also states that it has faster offload times. This card price tag weighs in at $3,900.00 and it quite literally the size of an iPhone. My first thought was, this is incredibly expensive! Then I went back and looked at what we were paying in 2005/2006 for P2 cards. Relatively speaking, this isn’t that crazy for being on the “bleeding edge”. I’m not sure what they’re running inside the cards, but it’s definitely not an off the shelf SSD configuration inside there with the data rates the camera is capable of getting, sustained.
Of course cameras like the C300 and 5D Mark III shoot CF cards that are under 100 bucks a pop for 32GB, however they’re shooting 1080p. Which for a lot of stuff is enough and looks great, but they still don’t get high frame rates above 30fps at 1080p.
Just thought this was an interesting subject and something to think about regarding the future. What do you think? Are we going to be shooting on 2TB SSD cards in a couple years? Are those cards going to be getting fed an 8K resolution and are we going to be paying $4,000.00 again for those?
Also, I just checked on the Sony solid state cards, and they’re doing 1TB for $5,700.00. So I’m guessing it’s safe to say we’ll be using higher capacity, flash media in the near future. Always interested on hearing other people’s experiences and ideas about this sort of stuff.
The 2012 Land Rover Defender XTech. In the United States, we can’t get our hands on these and that’s a tragedy. In my opinion it’s one of the best designed off-roader / SUVs ever and now there’s an XTech version which is much more rugged and has a new engine. I’m not sure if I like the original or the XTech version more, but it definitely brought me around to posting about the Defender.
The thing that I truly admire about the design of this car, it’s simple and done right. There’s no weird pattern in the seats, the instrument panels are symmetrical and the exterior colorways are that of a machine. Sure there are a lot of technological enhancements and the glaring safety features missing. No airbags keep it from coming stateside. However, it has a timeless appeal to it. Of course, it’s diesel and weighs A LOT and with what we’re all paying for gas right now it’s not really an option. However, I’d ride my bike to the studio during the week and take this out on the weekends to offset my carbon footprint.
Only maybe 2 people on this whole blog could probably do this successfully and know their records while nailing tricks but it would be a great time just fooling around with it. What i’m more interested in is ambient type music with this and adding delay and reverb.