Monday, June 27, 2016

Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for Final Cut Pro X (video)



The Editors Keys backlit keyboard retails for only $129.99, if you want a great keyboard that also has terrific visual reminders for shortcuts in your most used applications, the Editors Keys keyboard is for you.

The keyboard is not only fantastic with helping editors remember which shortcuts perform which shortcut, but the fact it is also backlit makes buying the Editors Keys backlit keyboard a no-brainer.

Full written review; http://www.crizzo.net/2016/06/editors-keys-keyboard.html

Buy from EditorsKeys.com; https://www.editorskeys.com/products/video-editing-keyboards/final-cut-pro-x-backlit-keyboard/

Buy on Amazon (Free Shipping); http://amzn.to/29exK76

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sample 360º

Currently uploading all this footage to YouTube, etc. for download. #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


You need to use the Chrome browser to view 360º, if you don't have Chrome, you can download it for free here; https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/

How to edit 360º VR video in Final Cut Pro X

I just recently purchased a Theta S (the same camera they are using in part 1), and these videos have been tremendously helpful. 360º video is the future so it is a must to learn everything I can about how to edit this format now so I am not behind when it takes off and goes mainstream, or all videos are in 360º.

I also included some 360º footage below, I uploaded the file to my Google Drive account, feel free to download it and open it up in Final Cut Pro X to play around with it.







The MacBreak Studio in 360º


Download sample footage;
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3UHgmW2d2nSaUtaVE5hdmJDRlk/view?usp=sharing

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Editors Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X

Keyboard shortcuts are a tremendous timesaver when working within particular applications, since I work in Final Cut Pro X daily, keyboard shortcuts are a major part of my editing workflow. I also use quite a few other applications that also use keyboard shortcuts, sometimes remembering all those keyboard shortcuts is difficult because there are so many shortcut keys to remember. Having a visual reminder of which key performs whichever action is super helpful — insert the Editors Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X. In this review I am going to tell you about some of the design features of this keyboard and the user-experience of the keyboard itself.


Design

The Editor Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X is a black, chiclet style keyboard. This particular keyboard includes the numeric keypad on the right side for a total of 109 keys, this keyboard also include F1 - F19 keys across the top of the keyboard. The keyboard is about the same exact height as my Apple wireless keyboard that came with my iMac, but this keyboard is more flat, which is ergonomically better than the raised rear / lowered front of the Apple wireless keyboard. It feels much more comfortable to type on, in my opinion. The actual keys themselves have more of a click-y sound to them, not too click-y but just a tad more than the Apple wireless keyboard. The backlights of the keyboard have four settings; low, medium, high, and off. One of my favorite aspects of the Editors Keys backlit keyboard is that it has four regular sized arrow keys, versus the half-keys on the Apple wireless keyboard. This is a wired keyboard, so it does use one of the precious USB slots on my iMac, but it is not a deal breaker, I usually have one empty slot open at all times anyhow.

The lights are bright enough to clearly see which keys are for whichever shortcuts. Each key is clearly labeled with the corresponding shortcut for each key. Each label is easy to read either in a well-lit room or a darkened room since the keyboard is backlit. The keys are color coordinated to designate which group they belong to; such as the yellow keys, those are your Tools keys: trim, blade, select, hand, etc.

Overall it is an extremely well designed keyboard, made of very high quality materials. Even the packaging of this keyboard was really nice. It was very Apple-esque, which is the gold standard of product design and packaging.


User Experience

I have been using this keyboard nonstop for three days now and probably my favorite key on this keyboard is the Power Button, yes a power button. I can actually turn off my iMac by holding down a button on my keyboard versus having to remember even more keyboard shortcuts and reaching for my mouse, it is like I am using my MacBook and not my iMac. I know, magical right? I can also put my iMac to sleep or even restart it if I do not want to completely turn my iMac off.

All the keys works just as they do on my Apple wireless keyboard, I still have access to the the brightness of my iMac, it is still the F1 and F2 keys. F3 still shows me all my open apps. F7-F9 still allows me to control media in iTunes. F10-F12 still allows me to adjust the volume of my machine. The point I am trying to make is I do not lose any functionality while using this keyboard. It is designed for a Mac. It works right of the box — Editors Keys does suggest to download their Mac app so you don’t lose any functionality you might use that isn’t supported out of the box, but for me it worked flawlessly.

The only thing that was different and I didn’t grasp on how to use out of the box was the brightness of the backlights. I haven’t used this keyboard before so the layout is different from what I am used to using, not much different, but a tad. The FN key is on the right side of the keyboard, next to the Delete key. I am used to the FN key being on my lower left, next to the Control key. So to adjust the brightness you hold the FN key and use the Page Up or Page Down key. There is also an Off button for the backlights, simply press the F6 key.

The only issues I noticed were for the two Control keys, both the left and right side. The gray Control key sort of blends in with the word Control, making it a tad hard to read. I don’t consider this an issue, but it is just something I noticed. The Control keys are gray in color and the lettering is in white, there are other gray keys but the lettering on those keys are in black — in my opinion it would have been better if Control would have been written in black as well. The Control key is the only key I noticed this happening with.

Also, on the Control key, the up arrowhead (⌃) is missing. I don’t consider that an issue either, but I know some Apple nerds may not like that.

Using this in Final Cut Pro X is so much better than using my Apple wireless keyboard, not only for the shortcut reminders or having more keys at my disposal, but also for the keyboard being backlit, which means working in the dark is now more easier than ever. You are also able to re-map the keyboard using the Editors Keys keyboard application, as an example if you want to build additional shortcuts into the numeric keypad instead of the default ‘Apply Keyword Tag’ you have that option as well. I have not yet re-mapped the numeric keypad, but that is something that I plan on doing in the near future. With that said, I cannot comment on how well that works, but I just wanted to mention that the option was there.


Final Thoughts

The Editors Keys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X is an excellent keyboard and is a keyboard I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an editing keyboard to work with for Final Cut Pro X. Editors Keys motto is “Helping you edit faster” and I can honestly say that the statement holds true. Once you get into the habit of using shortcuts you will see a huge difference in your efficiency with your editing workflow. I would also like to mention, even if you are a seasoned veteran at editing in Final Cut Pro X, the shortcut reminders can be super helpful. Also, the fact that this keyboard is backlit, which helps reduce eye strain, that is a huge win. The Editors Keys keyboard feels very similar to an Apple wireless keyboard, so if you are used to that then the transition will be very smooth.

This is a no-brainer, The Editors Keys backlit keyboard is a keyboard you should consider adding to your arsenal for your editing pleasure. I feel this keyboard not only helps train you into remembering which keys activate whichever particular shortcut, but I feel it also helps get you into the habit of actually using them, if you’re not already doing so.

The EditorsKeys backlit keyboard for Final Cut Pro X retails for $129.99. For more information or to purchase this keyboard, please visit the Editors Keys website; https://www.editorskeys.com/products/video-editing-keyboards/final-cut-pro-x-backlit-keyboard/.

I also wanted to mention that Editors Keys also offers video editing keyboards for Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro 7, Sony Vegas, and Quantel. They also offer keyboards for audio editing as well as graphic and design keyboards for applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.

For more information about Editors Keys or to check out their other products, please visit their website; https://www.editorskeys.com/.

You can follow Editors Keys on the following social media sites;
Twitter : @editorskeys
Facebook : fb.com/editorskeys
Instagram : @editorskeys
YouTube : YouTube.com/editorskeys

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt external hard drive is a rugged, portable hard drive for when you are on the go. It is bus powered so you do not need to plug it into an additional power supply, it supports both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. This particular version of the LaCie Rugged is the hard drive version, there is also an SSD version as well. For those wondering, this is Thunderbolt 1.

The hard drive in this is only 5400 RPM. But transfer speeds are very fast still and for 1 TB it isn't very expensive if you want a portable drive. Add on top the fact that this is more durable than most portable drives, it has shock protection for up to a 5-foot drop, and it is also water and dust proof. I own several of these drives and have never had an issue with them. Highly recommended.

The drive comes with an integrated Thunderbolt cable and an IP54 dust and water-resistant cover for the USB 3.0 slot.

You can buy the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive on Amazon for only $169.99; http://amzn.to/1WN4OIl

Friday, June 10, 2016

ShuttlePRO v2



I have been using the ShuttlePRO v2 for about 2 weeks now and I am super happy with using it in my Final Cut Pro X workflow. I am also working on a full review of the ShuttlePRO v2 as well as a few of the workflows I incorporate with it, stay tuned.

If you are editing in Final Cut Pro X, especially on a MacBook Pro, then you should consider adding this to your workflow. It fits easily in most laptop bags and is very portable.

Also, you can use this with almost any app on your Mac, not just Final Cut Pro X. It works great with Adobe apps as well, among others. I use it in Lightroom and Logic Pro X myself.

$99 on Amazon; http://amzn.to/1Oh9BPn

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Phantom Zoom (mTransition Zoom demo)



This is a short demo of some of the mTransition Zoom transition. For more information about mTransition Zoom, check my review; http://www.crizzo.net/2016/06/mtranstion-zoom.html.

Monday, June 6, 2016

mTranstion Zoom - First look / review



This is a quick look at mTransition Zoom from motionVFX. This is an excellent Final Cut Pro X transition plugin. mTransition Zoom is only $59. A great plugin. Highly recommended!

Purchase mTransition Zoom; https://www.motionvfx.com/mplugs-120.html

As mentioned, check out this short that uses mTransition Zoom.
One minute in Vietnam;

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pinnacle Studio for iPad (updated)



Pinnacle Studio for iPad is a powerful video editing application. Pinnacle Studio allows you to edit, crop, add text, audio, still images to video files on your iPad. In my opinion this is the very best video editing application available for the iPad.

Pinnacle Studio is $9.99 in the App Store: Pinnacle Studio Pro - professional video editing - Corel Inc. (iPad)

Pinnacle Studio is also available for the iPhone: Pinnacle Studio Pro - professional video editing - Corel Inc. (iPhone)

This is an updated preview of the app, I previously did a preview back in 2012: http://www.crizzo.net/2012/10/pinnacle-studio-for-ipad.html.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Neewer Variable ND Filter (ND2–400) for the Phantom 4



Here is another ND filter for the Phantom 4 that I purchased. I have several different filters for my Phantom 4 and as usual I am writing about them, how they work, and a few thoughts on the accessory in general. I can say that this Neewer filter is a good buy for the money. It does a great job on bright sunny days, which is the intended purpose of these filters.

A few thoughts on the filter; the first thing I liked was the packaging, it comes in a hard plastic case with a soft foam inside to keep the filter protected when it is stored in your Phantom 4 backpack or carrying case. Which brings me to my next point, this filter is the screw-on variety and you will need to remove the lens filter that comes stock on your Phantom 4 in-order to use this filter. With that being said, once you take the stock filter off, the carrying case that comes with this Neewer filter is a great place to store the stock filter, so you do not misplace or lose it.

Once the Neewer ND filter is screwed onto your Phantom 4 camera, you can adjust the filter to your desired setting. The filter range goes from ND2 to ND400. The filter setting from minimum to maximum made a great difference in color, where the lower setting was much more brighter and colorful, while the higher setting was still very colorful but much darker. My photos and videos were much darker and had a much deeper color to them. I believe this filter uses 2 filters and changing the setting from minimum to maximum is supposed to allow in less light.

Here are two un-processed images, top image is set on minimum and the bottom image was with the Neewer ND filter set on maximum:

Minimum:

Maximum:

This filter is better suited for photography rather than video — on video I much prefer a higher natural density filter, like a ND8 filter or above. Or course this is the preference of the creator, I am just stating what I like and prefer. Overall this is a great buy for less than $20.

If you are flying a Phantom 4 for aerial photography I would highly recommend you invest in some sort of ND filter, if not this particular one. If you are using your Phantom 4 for mostly videography then check out this review I did of the Polar Pro ND filters and circular polarizer; http://www.crizzo.net/2016/04/nd-filters.html. Both filters are a great buy and as you can see I purchased both sets. I do like this Neewer filter because I can easily adjust the filter without having to remove anything, just a simple twist of the filter and I am back to flying again.



Buy on Amazon, currently on sale for only $17.99 http://amzn.to/1P2i3gr.

If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Twitter @crizzonet.