New Year’s Resolutions

Trying to improve our production and postproduction habits

Since this is our January/February issue, my thoughts have turned to the new year and, of course, to resolutions. And for once when I say "resolutions," I’m not referring to 4K or 2K. I mean the age-old tradition of turning over new leaves and attempting to improve ourselves. What would a column called Video Assist be without a little... Read more

The Need For Speed

Getting HD data at 24 and 30 fps can still be an issue

FASTER BETTER? Q I swapped out a FireWire drive with a new Thunderbolt drive, but the performance doesn’t seem to be that much better. Isn’t it supposed to be? John Via email A Performance with drives depends on a couple of things: how fast the data can be read from or written to the drive’s platters, and how data gets from the... Read more

Crossing The Line

HD-SDI cable, and the 180° rule explained

HD-SDI CABLE Q What’s the longest distance that I can run an SDI cable? Frank S. Forest Park, Illinois A When an analog cable run was too long, the picture quality would diminish. On the other hand, digital video cable runs give you a solid indication when you’ve gone too far: You won’t get an image. The maximum distance before... Read more

Get The Balance Right

Tiffen’s Dfx software, dealing with compression and off the beaten path at NAB

ACHIEVING THE RIGHT BALANCE Q I don’t always get the white balance right when I’m shooting. Sometimes when I’m running and gunning, I’m not looking at a good color image on a monitor. It’s not until I’m done that I realize I’ve screwed up. Then I have to hand off my footage and am really embarrassed. I was... Read more

Lost In Transfer

It’s all in the details

FILE TRANSFERS Q I ran into a situation recently that has me a bit worried. I was shooting double-system sound, which I’ve done many, many times. I heard back from the person who was doing the post, and they were asking for some files that had already been delivered. At first, I thought I must have done something wrong. There does seem to be... Read more

Monitor Problems

Tips for proper viewing

Q We all know that when we attach a monitor to a DSLR, the screen on the camera goes black and the image is shown on the monitor. But what if I want the director/producer to see the footage without having to follow the DP around? Is there a way to attach a second monitor and maybe even make it wireless? I’ve been looking around for setups, but... Read more

Optimal Viewing

The Super 35 image sensor

TIMING Q It seems like there have been a lot of cameras introduced in the last year or so, and while it seems like they’re different than previous years, I really wonder. I’ve wanted to stop renting and buy, but I’m a bit nervous of my timing—2K, 4K, 8K—when will it stop or at least slow down enough so I can hop on this merry-go-round?... Read more

Not Having A G’Day

Figuring out a stutter effect, and the segmented frame

Q Hi, guys—e-greetings from Down Under! Hey, I’ve had an ongoing issue with my magnificent Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The majority of my work is in model and corporate photography, now that I’m a semiretired television broadcast cameraman. However, I do use the 5D Mark II from time to time to shoot TVCs and corporate video for the Australian... Read more

Testing, 1-2-3

A calibrated test chart can make all the difference

Sometimes changes in technology lead to new concepts or even newer technologies, and other times new technology brings up the need to reexamine technology that has been around for a while. One piece of technology that was once old and is now new again is the test chart. While many think “digital” takes care of everything, there are many... Read more


How IR filters can help

Q Recently, a very generous friend lent me his gear for a small project that I was shooting. This setup was from a guy who really knows his stuff and who has taught me a lot, so I thought I was going to know everything I needed to know about his "kit." But when I started assembling things, I realized that I didn’t know much about some... Read more