Why LED Lights Pulse and Why It Might Kill You

Why LED Lights Pulse and Why It Might Kill You

LED lights are known to cause some strange effects when photographed and filmed. While the banding you might see when photographing LED lights can be irritating, when it comes to cameras on autonomous cars, it might be a matter of life and death.

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Fujifilm X100V review: The most capable fixed-lens compact camera, ever


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All product photography by Dan Bracaglia

The X100V is Fujifilm’s fifth X100-series camera since the original model debuted almost a full decade ago. Through each successive iteration, Fujifilm has made its large-sensor, prime-lens compact camera more and more capable, and this latest model (officially pronounced Ex One Hundred Vee) takes the core bits of Fujifilm’s high-end interchangeable-lens X-Pro3 and slips them into a much smaller package.

This means you get the company’s latest 26MP X-Trans APS-C sensor and processor combo, the promise of much-improved autofocus and the best video feature set we’ve seen on a prime-lens compact camera. But it doesn’t stop there: the lens has been redesigned, the ergonomics refined, the viewfinder revisited, and a whole lot more.

Key specifications:

  • 26MP X-Trans sensor
  • Redesigned lens (still a 23mm F2 pancake, compatible with previous converters)
  • Built-in 4-stop ND filter
  • Tilting 1.62M-dot touchscreen LCD panel
  • Updated 3.69M-dot OLED EVF, redesigned OVF optics
  • Up to 4K/30p with Eterna film sim and F-Log internal capture (8-bit only)
  • 2.5mm mic port, headphones through USB-C with adapter
  • Weather-sealed, when filter adapter and filter are used
  • Single SD card slot
  • CIPA rated to 350 shots using the EVF, 420 using the OVF
Processed from Raw.
ISO 320 | 1/320 sec | F5.6
Photo by Barney Britton

The X100-series has always been a favorite among the DPReview staff, and for some good reasons; these cameras produce wonderful images, they’re beautifully designed and are engaging to use. For those that have been eyeing some or other version of X100 over the years but never taken the plunge, this latest model is arguably the one to get. But for owners of previous X100 models, should the V tempt you to upgrade? Let’s find out.

The X100V is expected to be available in late February 2020 at a suggested retail price of $1399, £1299 (inc VAT), €1500 (inc VAT) or $1799 CAD.

What’s new and how it compares

The X100V comes with some significant changes, but still follows the basic formula its predecessors have followed for the last decade.

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Body, controls and handling

Out with the 4-way controller, in with the touchscreen. This and more have the potential to change the way you take control over the X100V.

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First impressions

If Reviews Editor Carey Rose had the previous X100F, he’s not sure he’d upgrade – but he’s not sure he’d not upgrade, either.

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Image and lens quality

The X100V has a familiar sensor with good performance and we take a close look at the new Color Chrome feature and the redesigned lens.

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The X100V gets pretty much all of the same autofocus features as the X-Pro3, making it very capable for a camera of its type.

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In terms of video, there’s really no better-specced fixed-lens, large-sensor option on the market today.

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The X100V is (predictably) the best X100 yet, and frankly, leads its market segment in terms of overall capability.

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Sample galleries

Our pre-production camera gallery started out with a dark, gray January, and our full-production gallery ends with quarantine. But we did get some nice photos here and there.

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DPReview TV: The gear that changed my life

We all have some piece of photo gear that changed the way we work. In this video, DPReview TV host Chris Niccolls tells us what product rocked his world. The answer may surprise you.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

3 Alternative Ways Professional Filmmakers Can Price Their Services

There are few topics in any professional filmmaker’s career as researched and discussed as how to price ones services. Whether it’s “how much you charge” or “what price you set your rate,” professional filmmakers, and really, professional creatives from all disciplines, spend countless hours reading blog posts, books, and watching videos by Chris Do to figure this out.

Even though I’ve been a professional in this business for going on twenty years, I’m still old enough that I came to it as a profession relatively late in my overall career. Whereas I started studying filmmaking in ‘92, I wouldn’t actually start a business until ten years later. Up until that point, I used my Finance degree from UC Berkeley to do work in real estate, marketing, and business development. And during that time, filmmaking was just a “hobby.”


Photo by David Carboni on Unsplash

In many ways, my business-oriented work greatly prepared me for my freelance work when it came to marketing my business and charging my rates. Combined with nearly 13 years of interviewing other professionals for podcasts and blog posts, I’ve been able to glean some effective ways of looking at how we filmmakers can price our services so that costs are covered and we pay ourselves a fair rate for our experience and skillset.

It should be noted that the methodologies I’m going to discuss are best suited for professionals who are not part of the movie and television business where union-based and other industry-standard day rates are set.

So without further ado…

#1. Productize the Repeatables

man-recording-video-2510429Photo by Kyle Loftus from Pexels

Much of the work you do can probably be packaged and “productized.” In other words, you can sell all-in-one batches of services that you know can be easily repeated. Some examples could be:

  • 60- to 90-second Yelp and Google Business listing videos. From shooting to editing, you could create a system for easily getting in, interviewing your subject, getting pre-determined b-roll, having a set library of similarly paced music, and using an effective “template” for editing.
  • Montages. Assuming this is still a popular treat that hosts like to provide friends and family at weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, funerals, and other personal and corporate events.
  • B-roll. Not everyone has “got that b-roll.” So you could go out and get it for them for a set price.
  • Setting up YouTube channels. YouTube is can an overwhelming experience for small and medium businesses alike. Even departments at larger companies can get confused about all that goes into properly setting up and using a YouTube channel. If you know everything from channel artwork dimensions to how to set up a playlist to creating templates, offer it all as a package deal.
  • Color grading and correction. This one is a little more tricky to productize because there are so many parameters that could affect what’s needed and how much work might be required. But assuming you could set some specific requirements (e.g. amount of footage, quality, timing, etc.) you could develop pre-set packages that could be repeatable.

At the end of the day, the main requirement is figuring out exactly the hours and resources needed for whatever you plan to productize. Then ensure you can expend the same amount of each (or relatively close to it) each time.

#2. Retainer

If you’re fortunate enough to come across clients who have a need for recurring work, you could set up a monthly retainer system. This is where the client pays a predetermined monthly rate in exchange for a predetermined number of hours. Those hours could be allocated however the client needs. Clients that could use work like this include:

  • Churches that may need editing every week for sermons
  • Local news channels that need promos cut
  • A small business or influencer with a YouTube channel that needs weekly vlogs edited and posted
  • A travel business that posts videos of country and sightseeing tips and reviews

As I mentioned, retainer systems usually are based on an hourly rate. What I’m proposing is something slightly different. The way I work with my content marketing clients is determining, with the client’s help, exactly what I will do for them on a monthly basis, then charge them a monthly rate based on that work. 

Internally I use a target hourly rate to come up with that monthly value, based on how long I think it will take. But once we decide on a number, it doesn’t change. In any given month, if it takes me longer or shorter to do the prescribed worth, the client pays the same. The only way that rate would change is if the scope changes.

The benefit of a system like this is that you do away with the chance of a client trying to negotiate the rate down by eliminating hourly line items. I give them a rate with a list of monthly duties (e.g. X number of 1200-word blog posts per month, SEO monitoring, weekly hour-long meetings, etc.) and that’s what they pay each month, regardless of how long it takes me.

#3. Value-based (Price the client, not the work)

meeting-with-clientPhoto by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Earlier I mentioned Chris Do. Chris is the founder and CEO of the Emmy-award-winning visual brand strategy and design firm Blind. He’s also the founder of the online teaching channel, The Futur (that is not a typo. It’s spelled without an “e”). Chris’ current passion is taking his experience leading a successful brand studio and helping other professional creatives run successful businesses and charge what they’re worth.

In what is one of his most popular videos, “How much to charge for a logo,” he surveys his audience of designers to all throw out different rates they charge for creating a logo. The answers range from $500 to $20,000. Chris later shares how his firm charges upwards of $50,000 and more.

How do they do it? By helping their client see the value of what that logo brings, or the value of the various pieces of content or real property that will bear that logo. These are real, quantifiable values he gets the client to determine. Based on that value, he can then show the objective business sense of hiring his firm for an amount that may off the bat, sound preventatively high.

For an example that’s closer to home, he does the same exercise in this video below. In the role-play, he pretends to be a videographer negotiating with a potential client that only wants to pay $1,000 vs. $4,000. In it, Chis clearly reveals, through a series of questions, that if this video is successful, it could yield an increase of $7,500/month for the make-believe client.

If the work you do can be quantified in such a way that makes it easy for the client to arrive at a realistic figure, then you can extract from that a fee that could very likely be much higher than you would otherwise charge. Examples of how this might play out include:

  • Getting a non-profit to determine how much money a video might help them raise
  • Determining how many sales a video might help close
  • Determining how many potential clients a video might draw (top of the sales funnel). Then based on the percentage of conversions they get from a “top of funnel audience,” deduce what sales may be created due to that video.

Bottom line: with your help, get a client to figure out how much quantifiable value they expect from your project, then price accordingly. Using this methodology, the amount you quote a client will not be based on your time, but on that value. This means two different clients could theoretically be quoted two vastly different quotes for the same amount of work. 

This may be the single hardest concept to adopt—admittedly, even for me. But I am genuinely working to get the chutzpah to do it.

How do you price your work?

In the end, we all want to be able to charge a rate that allows us to do what we love and stay in business while we do it (worldwide pandemics notwithstanding). 

I’d love to know how you price your services. Is it very different than this? Is it similar? Share in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter.


Global live video cloud editing webinar: Zixi partners with Blackbird

Global live video editing: Zixi partners with Blackbird

Learn about how Zixi and Blackbird provide integrated video solutions to deliver live broadcast-quality video over IP during a webinar on April 29, as part of Zixi Powered! virtual showcase.

With the cancellation of NAB 2020 companies moved their presentations online, and Zixi created its two week  Zixi Powered! virtual showcase, being run in lieu of the Las Vegas Show. Beginning on Monday April 20th and running through Friday May 1st,“Zixi Powered!” will be a two week event designed to educate audiences on Zixi’s Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP), the most comprehensive platform for delivering live video over any IP network, any protocol, any cloud provider and any edge device.

Along with individually scheduled video meetings and demonstrations, the Zixi team will present opportunities for participants to learn from Zixi leadership, integrated partners and top media companies that are using Zixi’s SDVP to address the challenges of workflow, network, and operational virtualization. One of the presentations scheduled for that period demonstrates the results of the recent partnership of Zixi and Blackbird to provide integrated video solutions to deliver live broadcast-quality video over IP. The companies will demonstrate their joint joint offering on Wednesday, 29th April at 11 AM EST / 4 PM UK.

Global live video editing: Zixi partners with Blackbird

Ultra-low latency video delivery

A professional video editor developed specifically in, and available for the browser, Blackbird delivers, says the company, unbeatable speed, scalability and richness of editing features and video output. Blackbird powers significant productivity and efficiency benefits for any enterprise organization producing video content with a highly responsive, fully featured editor accessed through any browser, easy to learn and needing only limited bandwidth to use.

The platform – continues the company – allows users to quickly go to market, scale effortlessly and flexibly across organizations, ensure content quality and drive massive efficiencies across any enterprise organization. This fast, powerful cloud video editing and publishing platform can be deployed in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud instances with live Zixi workflows, and enables the ability to insert branding, advertising and sponsored content for delivery to subscriber platforms.

The integrated SDVP provides ultra-low latency video delivery with the Zixi protocol, proven reliability and extensive transport, network and content quality analytics through Zixi Video Solutions stack. ZEN Master, the industry’s leading virtual control plane, allows remote users to maintain business continuity by enabling them to securely orchestrate, manage and monitor broadcast quality, low latency live video workflows from anywhere in the world.

Global live video editing: Zixi partners with Blackbird

Real-time ingest of live video

“This partnership with world leading technology provider, Zixi, is an integral part of Blackbird’s OEM strategy.,” said Ian McDonough, Blackbird CEO. “Zixi is the default standard for the ingest and distribution of live video. Blackbird enables customers to distribute and syndicate broadcast quality video content to OTT, web and digital platforms and with our customers insisting on using these two great technologies together, we are very happy to have partnered to bring this offering to market.”

“The Blackbird Zixi integration allows for the real-time ingest of live video, and then lightning-fast video viewing, clipping, editing and immediate publishing for the realization of monetization.,” said John Wastcoat, SVP Alliances, Zixi. “Blackbird is another example of the breadth of the best-of-breed technology partners in the Zixi Enabled Network that power every part of the end-to-end broadcaster workflow from ingest to editing to playout.”

To register for the webinar please visit Blackbird Zixi Live Video Cloud Editing.