Before we went to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show this year, I was on the lookout for the Rotolight Anova LED EcoFlood light. I had seen an ad for it and I knew it would be on display at the B&H Audio Video booth, so we headed over there to take a look. I wasn’t disappointed as it was there front and center, surrounded by other people equally as interested as I was.
Why the buzz? Well, there are some state-of-the-art features that are very impressive. Watch this video to see:
- How you can change the light output without affecting the color temperature, making this light perfect for a studio situation. You can also change the color temperature without changing the light output;
- What you can control wirelessly (from your iPhone no less!);
- How you can create an output/color temperature setting and duplicate it repeatedly and in additional units.
While the price point is a bit steep, $2,355 without the barn doors, the Rotolight Anova LED EcoFlood is definitely worth a look and will revolutionize video lighting. Obviously, I was not disappointed in this fantastic light and hope that we’ll be seeing this technology in less expensive units.
Millions of WordPress blogs are summarily being attacked by botnet scams, which are compromised computers controlled by profit-minded crooks. Once a WordPress has been successfully attacked, it becomes part of the botnet. Then, the newly strengthened botnet continues its quest to grow even bigger. Currently, over 100,000 websites have been subsumed by the botnet estimates claim the botnet is testing up to 2 million passwords hourly, according to www.Internetproviders.com. Although these attacks are scary, there’s no reason for bloggers to despair as there are countless steps you can take to protect your WordPress blog.
Drop the “admin”
According to Huffington Post, the WordPress botnet is targeting blogs that have “admin” as their username. This is the default username provided by WordPress, and surprisingly, many users never bother to change it. If you haven’t changed your username yet, you may want to do so immediately.
Just before the botnet started to wrack havoc on WordPress blogs, WordPress actually strengthened their security systems. Users who are interested in having a more secure experience can choose two-step authentication provided by WordPress.
In order to use this approach, you’ll have to download the Google Authenticator app onto your smartphone. When you sign into your WordPress account, you’ll be prompted to enter a number which you will find on your app. Because the numbers are almost reissued every thirty seconds and because you have to use two different devices, it’s a sure fire way to avoid attacks.
If you want to take advantage of two-step authentication, you simply need to find the security tab on your WordPress account. This is located on the account settings. You can select this option manually, or you can work your way through the setup wizard to ensure that everything is arranged correctly.
Alternatives to WordPress
Taking the right security steps can make your WordPress blog safer than ever, but in spite of that fact, many bloggers are looking for an alternative to the content management services that WordPress provides. With the right knowledge, you can easily setup a website that does everything that WordPress does, but accomplishing that on your own can be difficult if you’re not a techie. Luckily, there are user- friendly, web content management sites that you can turn to if you’re tired of WordPress.
Adobe Business Catalyst charges a nominal monthly fee, but they also offer a wide range of e-commerce tools, in addition to content management tools. Unfortunately, Adobe Business Catalyst is not as easy to use as WordPress, and you may even want to brush up on your HTML before you try this program.
Plone is a completely free alternative to WordPress. Although it’s easy to use, it’s backed by fairly complicated technology, which supports a range of features. Most users will find it to be similar to WordPress, but it has a few user creation processes that are superior to what WordPress offers. If you want something similar to WordPress, you may want to consider Typo. Of all the content management programs, this one seems the most like WordPress, so it’s an easy switch for most bloggers to make.
Whether you are worried about security threats or just ready to try something new, it’s important to note that WordPress isn’t the only fish in the sea. However, before giving up on WordPress, you may want to try a few of the protection strategies listed above. They may be just what you need to protect your current blog.
One of the things I love best about going to the annual NAB Show is discovering new video production tools…the Padcaster was one of those finds this year.
I shot this short video with the creator of The Padcaster, Josh Apter. Watch it to see why I was so excited about this new aluminum frame for the iPad. Not only does Josh take you through the features, he also shares:
- the only way to shoot video on an iPad (Hint: it’s an app that gives you manual controls (at the 3 minute mark),
- one of the coolest features of editing with the iMovie app (at 4 minute mark),
- and how this strong yet lightweight aluminum frame goes beyond being a simple tripod mount turning your iPad into a mobile video production studio!
If you use your iPad for video, definitely consider The Padcaster to give you the advantages of shooting video on an iPad without breaking it.
As CNET states, “If you’re serious about producing videos with an iPad, the Padcaster is a must-have case.”
Finding a decent mic for DSLR cameras just got easier thanks to Shure.
I should know. I’ve been shooting a docudrama for broadcast on EWTN in November for several months. I’ve put in hundreds of hours shooting on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera. The images are fantastic but getting good audio has been a challenge. Digital SLRs (DSLRs) are really designed for shooting still images. We videographers have adopted them for shooting video but the sound capabilities haven’t caught up with the awesome video quality. While we were at the 2013 NAB Show, this system caught my eye.
When I saw Shure previewing these new shotgun microphones mounted on DSLR cameras and camcorders, I had to get the scoop.
Here is a video I shot with Chris Lyons, who explains the key features of these mics for your DSLR. In this short video, he:
- covers 2 new audio solutions – the Shure VP83 LensHopper Shotgun Microphone and the Shure VP83F Condenser Shotgun Mic With Flash Recorder – for DSLR videography and why they differ;
- shows you why these mics are super user-friendly in the field making them ideal for documentary style shooting;
- shares how these mics also work with a wireless system that is perfect for shooting talent and interviews;
- and as a bonus, he shows us a nice step up to getting great audio with your DSLR.
Both the Shure VP83 LensHopper Shotgun Microphone and the Shure VP83F Condenser Shotgun Mic With Flash Recorder microphones will be available this summer but you can get on the list to be notified when they are available at B&H Audio Video.
If you’re shooting video on a DSLR, I’ll bet you’ll be longing for one of these mics!
With all of the new cameras, software, lighting and bright, shiny objects to catch my attention at the NAB Show this year, the one that that really stuck out for me personally was a track dolly … the Hollywood Slider Dolly.
I own a tripod dolly that runs on PVC pipe. It is just OK. I’ve never been able to get a silky smooth dolly move with it. It jiggles a little bit, doesn’t start or stop smoothly, and just doesn’t deliver what I want in terms of camera movement. Plus, the tripod isn’t really very stable on it.
I’ve also worked with some of the “sliders” made by major names in the business. I have to admit that I have not been that impressed with them. I am also amazed at how expensive they are for a run of only 2 or 3 feet, actually less with the end stops. One in particular that I’ve been working with on a TV series for EWTN is such a pain to set up that we basically avoid using it, which is a real shame because I love those slow camera dolly shots.
The Hollywood Slider Dolly solves all of those problems. It is as smooth as butter, quick and easy to set up and is priced very affordably. Also, instead of the short 2 or 3 feet length that other sliders offer, this baby comes with 6 feet of speed rail. I don’t think I can resist getting one.
In this video we talk with Ron Quigley, inventor of the Hollywood Slider Dolly.
- You’ll learn why other dolly systems don’t run smoothly and how this system overcomes that problem to offer smooth camera movements with its unique setup design;
- You’ll learn how easy it is to use this system at any height;
- You’ll learn why this system is quick and simple to set up.
Ron is really great about answering your questions, so if you are looking at adding this type of equipment to your video gear – it will go a LONG way to making your videos look more professional – check it out at Hollywood Slider Dolly.