Filming weddings is certainly a difficult specialty, with a wide range of technical and creative challenges that require great skills and the ability to improvise too. Whether you are new to the job or a seasoned pro, this fantastic video features a filmmaker discussing seven lessons he has learned about how to film a wedding.
Beyond technical applications like retouching, Photoshop is a fantastic place to really explore your creativity by pushing your edits further. Using textures and overlays is one way to enhance your edits, and this great video tutorial will show you how it is done.
Earlier this year, as COVID-19 was growing into the problem it is now, many photography trade shows were either canceled or postponed. This was a huge disappointment for many, including myself. Fortunately, one of the my favorite shows is bringing the experience online and from the looks of it there’s lots to look forward to.
What do you get when you cross a solo event photographer’s working bag with your favorite business travel backpack that you can also take on a day hike through the Adirondacks to photograph your favorite waterfall? How close are we to having the perfect photographer’s camera bag that ticks each and every box?
For years I have found it really hard to get into gear reviews. I simply don’t care about pixel pitch, dynamic range, how many auto focus points a camera has, nor the finer part of a menu system. So what do folk like myself look for in a camera?
I’m no stranger to a wide-angle lens, back in my crop Pentax days I used to love shooting my old Samyang 8mm Fisheye, and more recently with my Sigma fp I’ve been enjoying the 14-24mm f2.8. On a full-frame sensor 14mm is already really wide, so imagen my excitement when Laowa asked me to try […]
I have written a fair amount about about the differences about VFR (variable framerate) used with most Android, iOS and iPadOS recording apps (and with streaming), versus CFR (constant framerate) in standard camcorders and TV studios. I have also written about how to conform VFR files to CFR properly in video editing apps. Today I am going to share a brief review about Invisor, the tool I currently use to evaluate video files to determine many technical details, including whether that video file was recorded as VFR or CFR. In all cases, Invisor shows the target framerate. In the case of VFR, Invisor shows the minimum and maximum framerate too. Ahead I’ll go into more detail about the Invisor paid version, the free version and a competitor which is multiplatform. I’ll also cover other uses of the term Invisor.
Refresher about about VFR versus CFR
As I have covered in several past articles, video recording in mobile phones and tablets is not the common CFR (constant framerate) found in camcorders and traditional TV studios, but VFR (variable framerate).
When we set a framerate in an app like the renowned FiLMiC Pro, for example: 24, 25 or 30 (see screenshot above), they are actually just targets and we should interpret the menu to be saying ≈24, ≈25 or ≈30. The recording actually varies continually (based upon the complexity or simplicity of a scene) both above and below the target to save bandwidth. The recorded material is later conformed to a desired framerate at CFR after manually setting a project in a compatible editor before adding the first clip to the timeline. Some examples of those final desired distribution framerates include:
≈23.976 (aka ≈23.98) which is actually a rounded number from the result of 24/1.001 (for television in ex-NTSC regions or for the web)
24 exact (for DCI film projection or for the web)
25 exact (for television broadcast in ex-PAL regions or for the web)
≈29.97 which is actually a rounded number from the result of 30/1.001 (for television broadcast in ex-NTSC regions or for the web)
30 exact (not standard since before 1953)
50 exact (not recommended for final delivery unless you are covering sports or video gaming) (for television broadcast in ex-PAL regions, especially for sports channels)
≈59.94 which is actually a rounded number from the result of 60/1.001 (not recommended for final delivery unless you are covering sports or video gaming) (for broadcast television in ex-NTSC regions)
60 exact (only for gaming, not for traditional on-air broadcast)
Some apps capable of this have us set the desired framerate via the user interface/UI (i.e. Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Apple Final Cut Pro) while creating a project manually, before dragging the first clip. With a capable app like iMovie for macOS but which no longer offers this setting in the UI, you can do it using a workaround as explained in this article. If you use a video editor that does not support VFR footage satisfactorily, you can always transcode to a CFR format first.
Use Invisor to determine whether suspicious footage is CFR or VFR
As an editor, you will sometimes receive footage from outside sources and not know whether it is CFR or VFR. Although you can often find out very basic information about a video file from the the QuickTime Player’s Inspector feature (press Command + I within the QuickTime Player app), Invisor for macOS is among the few software tools that will identify whether a video file is CFR or VFR. Invisor goes much further than that, since in the case of a VFR file, Invisor will actually the display the minimum and maximum frames per second, as well as its spatial resolution, bit rate, internal códec, color space, whether it’s progressive or interlaced and other value information.
To determine whether a particular video file is CFR or VFR, slide down in the Invisor report to the item called Frame rate mode: There it will either state Variable or Constant. In the case of Constant, below you’ll see the Frame rate (i.e. average), Minimum frame rate, Maximum frame rate and Frame count.
Export allows you to save gathered information in different formats: Text, HTML, CSV, XML, JSON.
Comparison table can be exported to CSV or HTML document.
Removing geolocation information from images and MPEG-4 video.
Extracting cover and image previews.
The paid version currently costs US$3.99 from the US Apple AppStore for macOS (or a similar amount in your region). I paid full price from mine and have no commercial relationship with the developer as of publishing this review article.
Differences with Invisor Lite (free):
Invisor Lite is a free version of Invisor, has the same features as the full version but without export and comparison functionality. It’s available directly from the developer’s website at InvisorApp.com.
Other uses of the term invisor
The term invisor is very similar to the Castilian term inversor used in some countries like Chile, even though the official dictionary term is inversionista and it’s used in more countries in my experience. This similarity of the term may be the reason for the name of the Canadian company Invisor Financial Inc. and its website Invisor.ca, even though it’s not exactly the same as the French term inviseur either. II have no connection with this company.)
MediaInfo: a competitive, free multiplatform app
Thanks to information recently shared with me by Daniel Hernández Portugués (Lead Android Engineer / FiLMiC Inc.), I now know about the free multiplatform competitive app called MediaInfo. This app also gives similar information about CFR versus VFR and is available for:
Although I haven’t yet used MediaInfo personally, I’ll be covering and quoting fascinating information from MediaInfo via Daniel Hernández Portugués in an upcoming article. Be sure to be on my free mailing list to be notified.
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Optics manufacturer Samyang has released a new lens simulator web app that allows you to see how certain lenses will affect the look of a scene based on sensor size and lens settings.
The web app creates a simulated scene using a cutout portrait of a woman as well as three backgrounds. By changing the sensor size, focal length, aperture and distance, the scene will adjust to show a simulated representation of what the image would like like when the shutter is pressed.
The web app is somewhat rudimentary, but its simulated representations do a good job of showing photography newcomers how crop factors, focal lengths, apertures and the subject’s distance from the lens can impact the look of an image. Samyang also includes an option to select on of its lenses to use as a preset of sorts to see what a given Samyang (also sold under the Rokinon/Bowen brands) lens will produce.
Both Canon and Nikon have lens simulators of their own, so this isn’t exactly an original idea, but it’s yet another option you can try out.
The Olympus 100-400mm F5-6.3 offers Micro Four Thirds shooters a whole lot of reach in a hand-holdable lens. We’ve been putting its versatile zoom range to use ever since it was announced last month, and have updated our initial sample gallery with even more images – including Raw conversions. Take a peek at what it can do.