RedShark Review of the Year - March 2019

Written by Andy Stout

Epic GamesThe latest version of Unreal Engine added realtime ray-tracing to some quite stunning effects

From the Blackmagic Design eGPU Pro to the Nikon Z 6 and the DJI OSMO Pocket Gimbal, there were plenty of reviews to choose from in March as our round up of 2019 continues.


Review: Blackmagic Design eGPU Pro - How much faster will your Mac go?

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Your Mac will be much faster with an eGPU. How much faster? Well quite a lot it happens, especially when it comes to effects-heavy work. Maybe you don’t need that $52k Mac Pro after all (but we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves there).

Oliver Peters really took it for a spin.

"A timeline export test is real-world but may or may not tax a GPU. So, I set up a specific render test for that purpose. I created a :60 6K timeline (5760x3240) composed of a nine-screen composite of 4K clips scaled into nine 1920x1080 sections. Premiere Pro would barely play this at even 1/16th resolution using only the Intel. With the eGPU Pro, it generally played at 1/2 resolution. This was exported to a final 1080 ProRes file. During my base test (without the eGPU connected) Premiere Pro took over 31 minutes with "maximum quality" selected. A standard quality export was about eight minutes, while Final Cut Pro X took five minutes. Once I re-connected the eGPU Pro, the same timelines exported in 3:20 under all three test scenarios. That's a whopping 90% reduction in time for the most taxing condition!” 

The next revolution in video will come from AI

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It was hard to move at many tradeshows this year without bumping into a stand proclaiming AI as the coming revolution. Not all of them had a point, either, but David Shapton certainly did in his extensive look at how AI will shape and reshape video.

It’s a long piece but worth a read before it reaches its conclusion.

“At the point where an AI system can create convincing images of people who have never existed - and good enough to fool almost anyone, and at the point where this technology is improving almost by the second - it’s hard to envisage that it won’t form the basis of some future video format.”

The Nikon Z 6 - Has the king of the crossover cameras arrived?

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Simon Wyndham’s two-part review of the powerful but cost-effective Nikon Z 6 concluded that if you can only budget for one camera that does everything then it’s a good bet for your $2000. The video-specific part of the review is here.

Review: The DJI OSMO Pocket gimbal is a completely unique camera system

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And now for something completely different. “What do you get when you apply the construct of a 3-axis hardware stabilized gimbal with a 4K 60p capable pocket camera?” asked Mark Andrew Job. “You get a device usable in almost all shooting situations and ready to operate in seconds.

“The more I use the OSMO Pocket, the more shoots I can find for it to be useful on,” he concludes, which is not bad for a piece of kit that will set you back only around $350.”

Epic’s Unreal Engine just keeps getting better

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Epic’s Unreal Engine has been an increasingly important part of the real-time graphics scene in recent years, to the point where it is close to knocking most of its serious competitors out of the market. In March it raised the bar to an impressive degree too, by including realtime ray-tracing in v4.22. Some of the video that has been produced as a result, as long as you have the hardware, is really something else.

Tags: Production

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