Panasonic | 12.5mm f/12 Lumix 3D G Lens for Micro Four Thirds Mount Cameras – $49.99

Panasonic | 12.5mm f/12 Lumix 3D G Lens for Micro Four Thirds Mount Cameras | HFT012.

The $249 lens is currently being sold with a $200 rebate offer, so your cost is $49.99. I just ordered one.

Officially, the little lens does not support video in 3D, but that is supposed to be easy to work around – just put tape over the electrical contacts on the 3D lens and use the feature in the camera (see menus) to use the camera without a lens. The effect of all this is to recorded side by side (left-right) video for the left-right eyes.

The lens is wide at 12.5mm (25mm full frame equivalent) and slow (f/12) but all that is fine for deep depth of field 3D. The main issue is that the lenses are very close together, which is only going to be useful for relatively close in subjects. However, since I currently used paired cameras with a roughly 3″ and 6″ interaxial distance, I figure the narrow interaxial on the 3D lens will be useful for very close in subjects. Looking forward to trying this for 3D video!

Civil War Battle Re-enactment video in 3D – Battle of Deep Creek

This is a ten minute teaser – perhaps a lot more to come! – of the Washington Civil War Association’s Civil War era history, camp and battles at Deep Creek Farms, Medical Lake/Spokane, WA. This video includes scenes from two battles combined into one, plus some camp scenes. I have about an hour and a half (times 2!) of 3D video to use in eventually putting more short videos together from this event.

Need to click on the link since the embedded Youtube video player does not yet handle 3D.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1 3D Camera Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1 Review | PhotographyBLOG.

I shoot 3D video using two separate cameras with greater flexibility in lenses and audio. However there are many times that shooting 3D with a single camera would be quite nice – in my looking around, I still have not found the right set of features in a consumer priced 3D camera. This one is getting closer but to shoot good 3D video still seems likely to require at least a low end professional camera, or separate cameras.

The main problem with separate cameras is there is – usually – no easy way to get the lens interaxial distance close enough for many types of shots, while most integrated 3D cameras have close lens spacing.

Courts ruling that video recording police in public is legal

It is hard to believe, in this YouTube age, that taking video of people in public could be a crime. But the police are serious about not wanting to be recorded — and they have been making arrests to prove it.

via Adam Cohen: Is Videotaping Police a First Amendment Right? | TIME Ideas |

A U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston, a Court of Appeals in Chicago, and a filing by the U.S. Department of Justice are establishing that the people have a right to record police activity in public. Continue reading Courts ruling that video recording police in public is legal

3D with stereo audio recording setup

I am setting up gear to record an event this weekend in 3D, and to record audio in stereo

Group of XLR connectors
Group of XLR connectors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

with two long shot gun directional mics.

I use two Lumix GH-2s for the video recording but there is no way to monitor the recorded audio on the GH-2. Plus, I am using XLR mics. While I have a separate XLR mic mixer, I was not successful in feeding stereo signals into the GH-2 and could not find a solution to that problem.

I decided to just record the soundtrack separately. Since I do not have a digital audio recorder, but I do have an older SD camera with XLR inputs (a Panasonic DG-AVC30), I am planning to record the audio on the AVC30, while recording the video on the two Lumix cameras. My first attempt at a setup looks like this (sorry for the lousy smart phone photo – something better in the future) with the AVC30 bolted upside down on my homemade mounting rail.

The 18-inch long shot guns are mounted on top of the GH-2s, and crossed over. The one on the left records the right audio channel and the one on the right records the left audio channel. These feed into the XLR inputs on the AVC30, which enables me to monitor the audio as a I record it, plus I can adjust the audio levels in real time.

The three cameras need to be synchronized – the only way to do that is by recording an  audio pulse (hand clap, snap of the fingers, other sharp sounds) on all cameras simultaneously. The audio tracks will then be lined up in the editor. I’m sure there are easier ways to do this but I am working with what I have and my zero billion $ budget!

The plastic bag on the tripod handle covers up a remote for another camera (not shown) and was put on there since I was out recently in the rain and wanted to protect it from the rain. I suppose I could get rid of that now!

What’s with all the rubber bands? That’ll be for another day.

Update: Found the problem with the mixer and ended up using the 2 XLR mics into the mixer and into one of the cameras. Didn’t need to use the video camera as an audio recorder. Whew!

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User installable apps might be coming to cameras

I have promoted the idea that modern cameras should provide software development kits and make what some hackers have done (CHDK for Canon or VK’s PTool hack for the Lumix cameras) a supportable feature. At the 2012 CES, I spoke with each of the camera manufacturers (except Olympus) about this idea. Only one was real receptive to the idea and one was emphatic “Will never happen”. But now comes this item:

3) Olympus: apps on cameras are coming. In that case Mr. Thackara said: “It’s something that has been discussed, but because the emphasis is on image quality, they’re [Olympus] a little wary of opening up the OS. I think it’ll happen eventually, but things are not as easy as we think. The appeal of people being able to add to their cameras is big though. It’s on the list.”

via 43 Rumors | Blog | Olympus talks about current m43 cameras, future of compact cameras and future Application support Techradar.

Why Youtube frequently issues copyright violations on licensed use of music

I predicted this was going to happen the moment Youtube announced it was automatically scanning videos for copyrighted music:

The problem is that Content ID improperly flags licensed music as a copyright infringement – leading to embarrassment for producers and editors that have legitimately licensed their music from a reputable company.

via Larrys Blog – Keep Yourself Copyright Legal | Larrys Blog.

How can they tell the difference between a recording you have paid licensing fees for versus a random copy? They cannot. I have gone out of my way to use licensed music on my own online videos but …

I have a video on Youtube of a U.S. Civil War Battle re-enactment. The battled ended with a performance of Taps, which was written jointly by a private and a General in 1862 during the U.S. Civil War. Instead of using the recording I made at the battle field, which was interrupted by a public address system, I used a performance by the United States Army, obtained from a U.S. Army web site that says the recording is in the public domain and available for any use.

First, Youtube flagged my video saying that Sony Music had a copyright objection to my video. I contested their copyright claim and thankfully, Sony Music promptly agreed with me and let me continue to use the video.

But then another company that specializes in rights management issues made a claim, without saying even what it was claiming. I tracked down their company, their web site, and their formal process for contesting their copyright claim. I filled out all the forms, noting the only music is that of the US Army’s performance of Taps, a song written in 1862 for which this publisher did not have a copyright – but this company never even bothered to reply. To this day, that video remains banned in Germany even though it does not have any copyrighted material in it.

This is troubling since various law and treaty proposals (not yet passed) would give ultimate take down authority to rights holders to accuse anyone of copyright violation and with out any due process, your work could be taken down, and there is no recourse nor penalties for false accusations.  And this is pretty much what exists on Youtube today.