All is possible

Month: January 2015

FinalCut Pro 7, today is no longer Pro..

With a provocative title like this, I can imagine how many people, from fan boys to editors will be ready to burn me at the stake, but … read the article carefully and let’s see who should be burned at the stake

When Apple created the multimedia product under the name Quicktime, they created a very powerful tool, a software that is much more than a player, but a set of libraries, codecs, active video and audio data streaming services that manipulate in realtime the video as it is loaded into memory. Creating an editing program based on Quicktime was simple.

Apple several years ago created the Final Cut suite, combining their editing program with the Final Touch program by buying the company Silicon Color, in 2006, creating an edit and finishing system based on the Quicktime Prores. Final Touch became Color.
Color only supports prores, because it does not read system codecs but has internal decoder.

Fast, ultra-efficient, high-quality system at the time …

Let’s jump ahead … in 2009 Apple releases the latest version of FinalCutPro 7, a 32bit package for the 32bit SnowLeopard operating system… based Quicktime 7. Everything works fine, or nearly so, as Quicktime X pops up in the latest updates, but by default the system uses quicktime 7.

2015 Yosemite, Default Quicktime X, many professional users have noticed that things have changed, codecs that used to be read by the system are now not supported, the player claims to convert anything that is not H264 or prores… slowing down the viewing of movies and actually complicating life for those who have to use codecs other than them…

FinalCut 7 pro relies on Quicktime 7, its ability to handle codecs and act as a host for different processing layers in realtime, which on new systems doesn’t always and/or correctly work…

Quicktime giustoOn Yosemite we can still install quicktime 7 from leopard, because Apple still leaves it available, but by default there is still Quicktime X, to use quicktime properly we have to right click on a mov file, open the file properties, and change at the bottom where it says “Open with “

And it is confirmed that you will always use Quicktime 7 to open any .Mov file.

This helps you work with FinalCutPro 7, but it doesn’t solve all the problems, because anyway not being born for 64bit systems, at most it allocates 3 gb of ram even if we have 64 in the system, which means you have to mount with proxies even when we could work with the originals. Also, I have encountered more than one instability in different situations and particularly where there is file movement; while consolidating a movie project, the program crashed several times for me under modern systems, even if newly installed, while with a snow leopard laptop it resolved the operation without any errors or program crashes.

There are steps to be taken in life, and when dealing with computers, whatever your job, you have to keep up to date, not only with computers and operating systems, but also with programs. FinalCutPro 7 died in 2009, since then no updates were made, plugins were no longer developed, so gradually it became obsolete.

Apple developed a new program from scratch : FinalCut Pro X

  1. 64bit
  2. gPU acceleration
  3. support for every codec on the system
  4. hundreds of support plugins
  5. Completely new concept allowing for material and editing managment impossible before
  6. Support for every resolution
  7. Optimizations and presets to simplify video creation in time constrained situations with news, reporting etc
  8. Actively supported by hundreds of external software houses
  9. Integrated into the system, so it becomes a game to access internal resources such as images, music, movies
  10. A very simple workflow even in the most complex projects.

Now-at this point-who is to be burned at the stake?
Who developed Quicktime X that cut out hundreds of codecs, Quicktime VR technology, Quicktime 3D, The ability to easily edit movies directly from the player, and many other things… because for those who don’t know, from the quicktime 7 player in addition to watching a movie you can in a simple and direct way do the following :

  • edit audio video by cutting and pasting parts precisely to the frame without recompression
  • add and create a multi-track audio video file
  • add multiple audio tracks and prepare a multi-language movie like a dvd
  • add chapters and subtitles like a dvd but directly on the QT movie
  • add metadata tracks for information of all kinds
  • layer multiple layers with even built-in and supported alpha channels and in different ways
  • extrapolate parts of the movie by saving them as separate movies either as independent or reference without recompression
  • create movie variations with direct and reference realtime filters.
  • controlling about 200 features and parameters of the movie by starting it with a script.

If you want to pick on someone, you know who to pick on.

Nikon 85mm 1.8 H series, a lady (lens) that 50 years after its birth still offers much elegance

85mm 1.8 Nikon serie H















In the digital world, where everything has to be pushed to the extreme, where everything has to be perfect, every image perfectly sharp, contrasted, and accentuated, I find much more elegance in vintage lenses of a certain type, which offer, yes, excellent sharpness, but a taste and elegance of image that I find in few modern lenses.

I had been looking for this historic lens for some time, because it ranks as one of the best 85mm lenses ever made by Nikon, and made famous by Antonioni’s film BlowUp, where David Hemmings used f1 and this lens to capture Vanessa Redgrave. The aura of magic surrounding this lens has been amplified by the fact that many famous photographers have made it their workhorse, making it difficult to find it on the secondhand market at affordable prices in good condition.

Nikon produced this gem between 1964 and 1972, an 85mm 1.8 lens designed for portraiture but expressing light and image pleasantness in many other situations as well. The lens began life as a full manual, solid metal body as it once was, ready to withstand gunfire, and with a pleasing focus ring, smooth and suitable for video and not just photographic use.

Mounted an adapter from Nikon to Eos EF, it was immediately love at first sight, the smoothness and at the same time the detail this little lady offers is extraordinary.

Photographing a beautiful girl would have been too easy as a test, it was born for this purpose, and would have given light to it, I preferred to stress it under other conditions, that is, in the long distance, although a pp of my cat to test its detail and cleanliness, I did it to see how it behaves in the close-up plane.

A few frames extracted from a shoot done with a Blackmagic 4k in raw, so I shot 24 frames per second in raw 16 bit saved in log 12bit dng, then developed in Lightroom as if they were photographs.

Each of these frames was captured at 400 asa, the camera’s native sensitivity, with aperture between 1.8 and 5.6 depending on the amount of light available, in most cases I worked in TA 1.8, and despite this the images offer good sharpness. Of course what you see here are simple jpegs where a little of the original sharpness is lost.

BMC Black magic camera 2.5k

Classic BMC picture

In 2012 the market was shaken by an ad, a camera that recorded on Raw with 13 stop latitude laying at less than 3000 dollars, with Canon EF attack…

Today the room is in use by several people around the world, along with the younger sister (BMC pocket) and the older sister in 4K.
Let’s understand on a practical level what this machine is and how it works, strengths and weaknesses.

I worked as an assistant director on the film “Quaffer”, with Dop Doriano Paolozza we used the BMC for the filming of the entire film in raw 2.5k format.

Thanks to 2.4 million recorded frames and about 20 tb of data recorded on HardDisk I developed a little experience on the machine and I can give some judgment on the product.

The machine in general, as value for money is great, has from its excellent quality for value for money unreachable from no room on the market. It has flaws that will be corrected with firmware updates and/or variations over time.


  • In very high contrast situations it succeeds and saves enough information to recover a lot from RAW files
  • despite having a fan (noisy) under the car, even after hours in the sun to work did not miss a recovery or given problems of failure or overheating
  • Compatibility with EF canon format and diaphragms, focus, etc. support makes it very easy to manage optics
  • currently available with PL, EF, m4/3 passive attack
  • The sturdy body dug in an aluminum block with different holes and threads allows the use of accessories mounted directly on the camera
  • The camera includes an HD-SDI output and an audio input to record from outside
  • the use of an additional external battery keeps the external battery charging, so first you will finish the external one and then the camera will use the internal one
  • it is possible to customize the names of the clip folders quickly from the camera to avoid having folder files with names, dates, times and little more… enter metadata so that you can quickly retrieve information about the clip you’re working on.
  • the camera does not provide for the deletion of clips, which for some is a weak point, I consider it a strength, avoids the fragmentation of the support, which would involve a risk of frame loss during shooting.
  • Raw dng logging 12 logs from sensor to 16bit.


  • The camera monitor is very dark, although 100% brightness and with simulated color range, so on the outside it is unusable
  • the camera records 2.5k in raw DNG format, while in DNxHD and prores it only records in FullHD (of excellent quality, however).
  • The very small sensor (crop x 2.5) forces the use of wide-angles pushed indoors, which can limit machine movements. Although the micro4/3 passive-attack version can take advantage of the Metabone’s speedbooster adapter, which offers an extra stop and a great recovery of the operational angle.

To date the room is on sale for less than 1000 euros, and anyone who wants to make cinema in a serious way has the opportunity with this room and some lenses or for vintage s16, of excellent quality and therefore with a more advantageous crop ratio, or with lenses of various productions make products of the highest visual quality.

Many do not understand why 2.5k i.e. 2400 x 1350 pixels, the answer is very simple, you have a cinematic 1.85 format with the abundance outside the classic 2k allows you to stabilize the images, do a bit of reframing, without losing in quality and sharpness.
Blackmagic has studied both the sensor and the practical choice of formats well.

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