David Shapton

David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

Vastly important news from RED today: a complete shakeup of their camera range. It's simpler and prices are lower. What's not to like? 

The RED HYDROGEN One phone was shown to an invited audience of RED camera owners on May 19th. The press wasn't invited but we've heard reports that the phone is real, working, and impressive

This super high resolution imagary of New York, shot in 12K by Phil Holland, is like nothing you've ever seen before - even on a laptop screen. See below what images of New York shot at 48.5 times the pixel resolution of HD look like

Why isn't VR more popular?

Published in VR & AR

Despite every year since 1994 being "the year of VR", it hasn't reached the mass market yet. Will it ever?

Well, this is unexpected. Spanish company Cinemartin has announced that it will be shipping an 8K full frame camera in the Fall. It's called FRAN

RedShark Live was great fun. See what happened below

Watch the show here or below in the embedded video. Note that there are a few seconds of black at the start.

On Friday we produced our first RedShark Live TV show. We had the dual challenges of figuring out what to talk about (not difficult at all - the hardest bit was fitting it into 25 mins) but also buidling a live TV studio. We give you some details below but I'll write it up in full shortly because it was a really great excercise for us. It's easy enough to imagine what you have to do - but quite another when you have to actually do it, and do it to a deadline, and to a budget. 

Live TV is fun, because anything can - and almost certainly will - happen. We were pleased with the quality. We lit it carefully, paid attention to the sound, and used a Matrox Monarch HDX encoder which does seem to have done a great job of preserviing the images while sending them off the YouTube Live. 

Live streaming is taking off

We've found that live streaming is taking off in a big way. Partly it's because it's possible now without breaking the bank or the broadband connection. But it's also because video is becoming the default "best effort" in so many fields of communication. 

And it's changing all the time. There are new services, new equipment and new ways to watch. 

Here's how we did it

(You can see some of our kit in the picture below, untidily set up for testing)

Home studio.jpg 

First, we're not using broadcast cameras for this. We could have chosen to go down this route and we might eventually, but we opted for simplicity and chose three small Sony cameras: an A7S II, an RX10 and an RX100. All of these give excellent pictures without any fuss, and because they all come from the same manufacturer, they seem pretty well matched. 

We feed the signals from the three cameras into a Blackmagic ATEM HD Studio HD Switcher. It's hard to put in to words just how capable this unit is. It is literally like having the insides of a big broadcast studio sat on a table in front of you. Once you get your head round the menus and the way the controls work, it's fairly straightforward. Helpfully, the ATEM has a multivew monitor output that lets you see all the camera inputs, as well as the preview and program output.

The program output from the ATEM is fed directly into a Matrox Monarch HDX. This is a small, solidly-built device that is far more versatile than its modest apperance would suggest. 

It has two channels of encoding built in. Both can be used for streaming, or one for streaming (say to YouTube or Facebook) and the other for recording H.264 onto an SD card. It has both SDI and HDMI, with outputs for monitoring.

Rock solid

It's a great unit: we've been running it non-stop for nearly a week and it's been rock-solid and very predictable: exactly what you want for live streaming. 

We've paid a lot of attention to audio. We've got some AKG Lavallier mics that go into a small mixing desk that supplies phantom power. The mixed output from the desk goes straight into some XLR inputs on the ATEM switcher. For reassurance, you can monitor the audio visually on the the multiview output from the ATEM, and on headphones from the audio output on the Matrox. 

 So, that's how we're going to do it. Try to be there at 5:00pm UK time (That's 12:00 midday East Coast and 9:00am West coast - and, with appologies, it's the middle of the night in Australia: 2:00am in Sydney and midnight in Perth. For our Australian and far-Eastern friend, I'm sorry but we can't do anything about the shape of the planet. 

 But the show will be available to watch on-demand afterwards, so hopefully everyone will get a chance to see it. 

We're looking forward to the show. Hope to see you then (and when we're streaming, please share to your friends!).

Background to header image supplied by Shutterstock.

There could be an asteroid plummeting towards the Earth, threatening the end of life as we know it. But it wouldn't matter, because there's a Royal Wedding coming up in the UK. And now we know that the inevitable gigantic outside broadcast will be in 4K.

The audio you get from your computer, and that includes soundtracks from each and every video project you've worked on, is objectively poor, if you don't have a good Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC).

There's a difference between a technology headline that makes you want to read on, and one that is downright technically illiterate. And this one from The Guardian was a real clanger.

Cameras are more than just machines

Published in Production

Can the pictures from a digital camera evoke the same sort of emotional qualities that used to be seen from film cameras?

This is the story of how REDCODE was developed in the early days of RED: how it made 4K video possible at a time where storage and bandwidth were extremely limited. And how, today, when modern video surpasses film in every measurable way, REDCODE allows film-makers to work with 8K on a laptop computer.

If there is one thing RedShark Editor in Chief David Shapton took away from NAB 2018, it is a reinforcement that 8K really does have true benefits to our viewing experience, and it will become normal far faster than any of you think.

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