We live in a golden age of post-production. Equipment that used to be specialized and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, now can be done on an off the shelf computer that costs a thousand. You don’t need $50,000 VTR’s to ingest anymore, you need a $20 card reader. The latest processors and SSD drives achieve unheard of speeds, driving software that’s 10 times more powerful, at one-tenth the price it used to be. What seemed like impossible wishful thinking in the 80’s and 90’s, we now live in a time where just about anyone can afford to have their own edit suite in their home.
As professional NLE software users, we’ve been conditioned to the 18 month release cycle, wherein we dole out our hard-earned cash about every year and a half for a new version of the software we already use, with a new number attached (i.e. version 6 becomes version 7, etc).
In the meantime we’ve come to expect that any version of the software that includes our original version number (say 6.3. 6.6 etc), should be ours to download for free. On the whole this is because successive versions are generally bug-fixes that fix problems that should not have been there in the first place, that they released anyway. They modify our ire at purchasing buggy or broken software, by making the fixes downloadable for free. It’s an assumption that’s now built into the customer-software vendor relationship.
This somewhat masochistic policy of buying known buggy software and hoping that the company eventually fixes most of the major issues, was the price we paid for the rapidly developing technical capabilities of our software and hardware. While the software was buggy, it made up for it in additional productivity features that our old version and old hardware just couldn’t handle.
OK. I get the love for the Canon 5DmkII, I understand that sometimes artistic expression DEMANDS that only the one eye of your talent is in focus, while the entire rest of the frame consists of that rich, creamy, frothy, bokeh that we all know is the real reason we shoot movies in the first place.
I understand that the Panasonic AG AF-100 will allow you to use ALL THE LENSES IN THE WORLD to make your web masterpiece, when those loser Hollywood types are limited to shooting their films with just a handful of primes.
I comprehend the need to shoot your 8 hour documentary on yarn twisting on a Sony Handycam, so the intimidating size of a real camera won’t scare the old ladies.
BUT IN 2011 THERE IS NO REASON TO USE AVCHD AS AN ACQUISITION CODEC!