How To Conduct A Social Media Audit

When you first started your business, it was simple.  You had a checking account and it had a few expenses every month, and if you were lucky, some deposits. As Ian Jones from leading Aberdeen based marketing agency, Azzurro Blu now explains, performing a social media audit is one of the most important digital marketing tasks that you need to carry out.

“Today you are trading in social currency.  You may be rich, or you may be poor, but it is the currency of the future whether you like it or not.”

If the IRS came knocking at your young business, you gave them the shoe box of transactions and brewed them some coffee while they sat at your kitchen table and reviewed a whole year’s worth of transaction.  If you have been in business for a while, you know how quickly that changes.  Multiple checking accounts, automatic transactions left and right, loans, credit cards, balance transfers….

For a more mature company, an audit is a hassle if you have to do it yourself.

Social Networking seems just as confusing and out of control as finances can be.  It all started out easy.  No need to keep lots of records, you are just trying out that new social media tool…

Doing taxes, and auditing your own financials is not fun.  But if you were not forced to do it periodically, imagine what a mess you could have after a few years.

Your social media efforts produce important things for you, even if you are not taking full advantage of them.

  1. Connections – Also known as lists
  2. Feeds – via RSS – Avenues to publish information other people see
  3. Access – Permission to publish on other web sites

Much like scheduling auto-payments for a bill, many of these tools automatically publish information or grow your network.  It is easy to forget it is happening.

Here are recommendations for getting the most out of your social media effort.

  1. Have a real strategy – Who would you like to connect with and what do you have to offer them?
  2. Have a reason for them to sign up to an email list – email is still #1 when used correctly.  What can you offer people in your many online groups to entice them to sign up directly with you for email?
  3. Track all your accounts – Keep a spreadsheet of accounts, when you signed up, password, etc.
  4. Audit your profile and settings at least twice per year.  You will find all kinds of things have changed, but you have not updated them.
  5. Look for new integration opportunities – Social media is doing a better job of integrating and standardizing than financial tools are, in my opinion.  (Yes, financial is a bit harder, I know)

Perpetual Beta Social Sites

Social media sites are constantly evolving.  Many never leave Beta.  If not the tool itself, then some other tool that will take data from a site and display it within another tool.  Crazy!

You have to keep up, or your image will get muddled or stale.  The good news is that there are social media bookkeepers.  A good virtual assistant can help you organize the tools, track progress and outcome, grow your connections and audit your profiles –  often in a few hours per month.  The Virtual Buzz Assistant network was created because of the incredible need for this kind of help.  It helps people develop their own Virtual Buzz Assistant business and help busy professionals that understand the importance of social media to find the help they need.

No sales pitch here – you can do it all yourself right after you update Quickbooks and finish your weekly payroll.

Online Project management Software

Project management software updates employees and managers on the progress and hitches of an ongoing project. Through online project management, projects that are poles apart can be closely watched just as if they were within same area. Some of these projects may be ongoing overseas or within the same country. Collaboration software is peripheral software that assists to maintain links between all projects that are running concurrently. Therefore, online project management software is not a waste of resources, it is a viable investment. As John Jones from Dev4, a leading Aberdeen software development company explains, a change in project management dynamics has made it necessary to use many people in order to maximize resources.

Project management software helps in the automation of the entire process. Managers can easily track progress through online project management. Teams identify their assignments through collaborative software. They also update the manager on the accomplished tasks. Online project management software is used to review and analyze the entire scope of the project.

Before a decision is made to acquire project management software, some factors should be taken into consideration. First take stock of the number of projects in progress. If the projects involve a lot of people or are spread out in diverse locations, then online project management would be a good idea. This calls for collaborative software to support the entire team.

Determine what the amount of space is required to hold the volumes of data to support the projects being handled. Online project management servers crowd very fast. You need enough data storage to take care of the information being handled at a time. This calls for versatile project management software and collaborative software that ensure emails are not misdirected. There should be qualified staff assigned the responsibility of data backup.

You need to know the number of people running your business projects. You may need time tracking. The project management software being sought should be compatible with the time tracking software already in place. Online project management requires licenses. Collaborative software used should allow for multiple team members while leaving allowances for additions. The cost of these licenses should be factored in.

After going through several project management software proposals, select the one that best meets your needs. Such a decision requires the intake and assistance of unit managers and all staff members who will work with it. Online project management systems keep getting updated every other time. Choose the software that provides room for upgrades.

When it comes to resource planning, project management software is highly recommended. Online project management helps managers assign duties. Feedback is received on time for appropriate action. Collaborative software enables accurate collection of statistics. The software provides platforms through which staff can update one another on the progress or challenges. The most viable software should support more than one project. Another aspect of collaborative software is in the preparation of reports such as charts, graphs and comparisons. Two major types of software exist, those that can be directly downloaded online and server based. The two have collaborative platforms as one thing in common.

Accounting Software For Small or Home Businesses

Whether you are managing your own small business at home, a medium-sized enterprise, or a large corporation, accounting is a very important aspect. One of the main difference is the type of accounting software used.

As IDonald Scott from a leading firm of Aberdeen accountants explains, accounting is an essential factor and requires a specialized skill and a lot of businesses take advantage of the availability of the online accounting software solutions combined with specialized services, and these businesses have particularly received benefits through the help of utilizing outsource payroll services.

Even at home, if you are managing your own small business, you also need an accounting system solution. Though the type of software that you need for your home business is not as complex and expensive as what other businesses are using, it is important to carefully choose which kind of system is appropriate for your business. And in order to get the right accounting solution for the appropriate price point, here are some tips that you have to keep in mind.
If there’s not much paperwork being generated from your business at home, then you can opt in for just a simple or a free accounting software. On the other hand, if your business entails full featured accounting, then choose a software package that has features which is appropriate to your requirements, at a reasonable price offer. Also remember that the price you will be spending for obtaining a software that could cater to your bookkeeping needs is very insignificant compare to the real cost of learning how to use it properly.

If you are still in the process of choosing which accounting software is right for your home business, always keep it simple and don’t look for features which you may not be using for your bookkeeping requirements. Remember that a lot of accounting systems can be upgraded to include more useful features for your business such as inventory and payroll, so try to select a package that is initially simple to use but can grow in features, along with the growth of your business.
For example, some simple packages do not allow for investment and real estate tracking. This however is not a problem if you don’t have the requirement to track these items in your business.

The right software package is the one that solves all of your accounting issues without additional complexities of features that you don’t require. Start by deciding the exact features and services that your business needs and then examine carefully the features offered by different software packages and try and find the appropriate balance between features and price. Also look for packages that allow for features to be added at a later stage for an additional cost as they will be the best packages to grow alongside your business accounting needs.

These are tips to remember in order to make the correct decision in choosing the right accounting software for your business. Choosing the wrong solution can be disastrous to the success of your business so spend the time at the start to select the correct accounting software package and get on with running your business.
 

Do You need More Customers? Of Course you Do

Does your business need more customers?

I think I already know your answer… Of course!

Do you realise that is the biggest problem virtually all business owners face, yet they do nothing about month after month and even year after year?

Why?

I don’t know. The solution is SIMPLE! Go and get more customers.

How you ask? Good question! Now you’re about to learn something fantastic…

To get more customers than are you getting now, first of all its a good idea to know how many you are getting now! Does that make sense? If you know where your customers are coming from now, you’re part way there to solving the problem of knowing where to get more.

95% of all business owners I meet don’t know how many customers they are getting now… in this last week.

Do you know how many paying customers you had buy from you last week? No? Then I suggest you go find out.

Then you’re ready for step 2. Don’t read on until you have started on step 1 and gone and worked out how many sales you had last week, okay?

Did you go and do it? Well…. This article isn’t going anywhere, so off you go. Go measure and come back.

Okay. Can I assume you went and did it? No? Well how come? I’m trying to help you here.

Step 2. Now that you have measured (!) what did you find?

Over the next week I want you to start asking people how they found out about you. Its simple. That’s all you have to do.

People don’t mind you doing it either. Do it with every sale, preferably with every phone call too.

Over the week collate how many calls and customers come from different ads etc. Tally up each form of paid promotion and see where the customers are coming from. You’ll be amazed at the result, I guarantee it.

So just do this step and you’re ready for step 3. If you haven’t done step 2, or even step 1, because you are too busy… remember its not a busy-ness that gives you more money, its a business.

Step 3. Now that you know where you customers come from, how many come from each paid promotion and how many find you through referrals or other means, its time to simply improve on those strategies and even create some new ones.

Lets break that into two areas…

Step 4. This is where I will touch on how to improve what form of promotion you are using now.

Improving is easy! Yet so few people do anything about this. All you have to do is read one book and you will start to know how to make an improvement.

Have you read the book on advertising, “Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins? If not why not? Its free from many websites, including my own you can see at the bottom of this article.

Again, being busy makes no difference to growing your business or getting more customers. Isn’t that what you need? You’ll always have a need to get new customers while you’re in business, so learning how TODAY is the beginning of solving the problem forever!

Read Scientific Advertising. If you have already read it, well done! Now I suggest you read it again as reading it once won’t get it all to sink in.

Just changing the top 20% of the ad to remove your business name or logo then putting a headline of some sort across the top of your ad beginning with “How to” and finishing it with a benefit relative for your industry will probably triple your responses. People don’t care what your business name is before they have ever bought from you. Do they?

Step 5. This is where we need to look at how to get more customers. I could (and have) written a book on this. This is such a huge subject I won’t go into it too deeply.

But let me suggest that nearly ALL businesses can benefit from simply running an ad in their local newspaper.

Yes you heard right. The newspaper is a super profitable means of getting new customers, mainly because tens of thousands of people read the newspaper every single week and you can tell them about your business just by spending some money on an ad.

If you’ve “tried” newspaper advertising and it didn’t work for you I suggest you open your mind to the idea again. Here’s why…

Reason 1. Every business owner I have ever met, before I worked with them, has tried newspaper ads and has failed to get enough sales to pay for it from the profit of sales. That’s because they or the newspaper designed it themselves and neither of them has read a book from any of the top advertising legends in the world… ever!

Reason 2. By reading 1 or more books you can make a poor ad that gets no calls into a super profitable ad, in one week!

Reason 3. You only have to run an ad once to see if it works. No $5,000 commitments like radio, or TV.

Reason 4. If you take the time to study success principles of advertising you can get a fantastic number of customers, in fact more than you can handle! When that happens you just run the ad anytime you’d like more customers. How does that sound?

Reason 5. You can test a new ad design for just $200 or less, so there’s low risk.

With newspaper ads you need to run them on page 3, 5, 7 or 9. No later!

If you dont then you won’t get the best value for money. More people read these pages than any other, that’s why the newspaper charges you extra for it. But wouldnt you like to get 5 – 10 times better response by paying 30% more?

I know I would!

Getting an education about effective advertising and marketing is the best education you will ever get. Yet virtually no one in business bothers doing it.

You will always need to get new customers.

Now here is the most powerful thing I can teach you about marketing.

“The aim of marketing is to generate more customers than you can handle!”

When you have more customers than you can handle, it becomes a supply and demand situation. If there is a scarcity of supply, due to demand, it means you can put your prices up.

And when you put your prices up you make more net profit margin. That means more take home pay for YOU without more hours of work, or extra employees, or stress.

Has that motivated you to want to do more marketing and become a student of it? I hope so. But if you you want to know more, please head over to my website to find out more.

How To Put On The Perfect Conference Event

Planning and delivering a corporate occasion might appear daunting but with a little creativity and coaching, you can be certain of enjoying and running an exceptional company occasion.

When should you Schedule Your Corporate Event?

Make sure it is not on a night which clashes with the regional soccer team playing.  Yes I know we spoke about this soccer lark being pervading but that is exactly how it is.  Whenever we place our day events, we constantly examine the neighborhood group’s fixture list; after all, Kintish are located in Manchester!  As you’re taking a look at the Calendar, determine what additional events are around also. In the case of the ‘large company occasion’, program it for a 5.30 for 6 beginning.
However, if you hold conventions, which are another concept entirely, think about early morning kick-offs and perhaps think about a feature of such events that have become quite popular – the busienss breakfast breakfast.

Where Should You Hold The Corporate Event?

Chose a place that somebody who you know has advocated.  Speak with the place and discuss your needs in detail.  Following the meeting set out (in WRITING) your needs and guarantee that they consent to these.  Something always goes wrong on the night anyway but it’s possible to negotiate down the invoice if that happens!  You need to keep in mind that the site is equally as interested in speaking to your corporate customers as possible.  They’ll want to keep you happy.

What’s your company Event about?

Should’nt you, at least,  understand, why you are holding the event?  This is among one of the most imprtant facets of your event planning.  The subject has to be consistent and the speakers have to be relevant

You are likely to find partners will invite some improper guests and there is not much you can do about it.  Grandma is encouraged (she had been about when I became a spouse”); the next-door neighbour, a customer of a competing company, is not there.  He is the managing spouse’s best partner and goes to all of the family parties.  This is life.

Having approved these get down to acute invitees and picked carefully.  The matter here is, Yes, let us invite her, you simply never know”.

It is dependent upon your budget loose you want to be together with your largesse.  For those who get a little budget then simply invite the customers and partners who bring you company.  For those who have a bigger budget then you may look farther to people who may bring you company.  Do consider your guest list if you conduct yearly events.  I get invited annually to a corporate occasion for that I’m most thankful.  The partners in the industry proved once my company partners so that I guess they encourage me for old times sake.

From previous experiences this is the place I watched that the largest wastagesHowever they come annually” they’d say
Yes but have we delivered us any warnings in the previous 8 decades?”  I’d reply
No, however they may and it might be such a pity blah blah blah”
And so Forth
I only mention all this to prevent you wasting cash as we often did.
One thing to think about: Is it worth spending an event organiser or if people ‘in advertising’ take action?  If it takes chargeable individuals away from their core business activities, then an events organiser is an alternative.
Invitations
Invitations must be outside 5 weeks prior to the occasion.  It gives people an opportunity to organise their diaries but maybe not overlook the occasion.  You have sorted out the ideal guest list for your 75th parties.125 invitees say they are coming so I would budget for 90, any more and you are going to be taking the leftovers home for your children and dogs.  If you have neither, then warmed up quiches are not too bad the following day.
Who will sponsor?
I think this to be an integral issue in if the occasion is a success.  This section of the preparation is often left until quite late.  A variety of important men and women find a ‘motive’ not be on there.  An excellent reason, naturally.  And at 3.30 on the afternoon of this Corporate Event, the primary organisers realise that there are just 5 people offered and the fear begins.  ‘Ben in accounts may be there, just discovered he has a new suit on.’  ‘I will ask Karen the secretary she knows everybody.  Maybe we can convince her to not visit her salsa dance class tonight’
You have been there I do not need to underline the matter farther.  Just make certain that you receive complete commitment from individuals who behave as hosts.
Pre Corporate Event briefing
The company is spending 10,000 money and many untold lost chargeable hours with this function.  Fine, but what exactly do you need from it?
As soon as you’ve decided on who’s likely to sponsor, sometime within 36 hours of the beginning, receive all of the staff together.  This ought to be run as a military effort.  Exactly how many hosts if there be?  A great ratio is 7:1.  You’ll find these hosts to consent to devote little if any time huddled together just like a rugby scrum any moment throughout the function.  Their roster is as follows:
Introductions of guest and involving hosts, a fast comprehension nod and interaction at a bunch of guests ought to be the only real time communication happens.  In the end, there are seven guests apiece to take care of!
Everyone should agree on particular problems.
 What’s required in the Function?
 What’s known about the guests?
 Who’s going to meet and greet?
 Who will be the VIP’s and the ‘must talk to’ guests?
 Who knows that?
 What signs and gestures will be utilized for ‘parking’ guests?
 Who’s going to present who to whom?
 What are the numerous members of the group likely to be there?
 What time can we anticipate the previous guest will go home?  6 to 9 does not imply anything to guests with a superb time!
Corporate Event Food
There’s friendly and unfriendly media food.  Favorable food is in little bite sized pieces sometimes with wooden sticks throughout the center.  You are able to manage it easily and it will not destroy your guests’ garments.  Vanilla pieces, chocolate cream gateaux or even massive buns full of egg whites are unfriendly foods.  Strategy to offer you the former.
Guests’ lists
If you would like a greater positive response than ordinary consider sending a list of invitees together with the invitations.  Something as easy as, ‘We’re very happy to announce delegates in these companies are invited.’  Those seeking to meet certain businesses will more likely take.  You really do want the place to be complete, do not you?
When we sponsor events, be they social or conferences and workshops we consistently supply a listing of attendees.  We acquire permission from the guests of course.  Only once did somebody request to be left but as he had been a part of an anti-crime agency I knew his reticence.  This is an additional bonus for everybody and people having the media savvy will utilize this information to best advantage.  You will deem it more suitable at the huge events to hand from the guest list at the close of the evening.  This may be included with the moving home pack.
Badges and moving home packs
Just how many times would you attend an event along with the emblem of this server is 4 times the size of your title on the badge?  This event is advertising and promotion is all about the customer, the potential and the expert connection.  Make the badges, such as the meals, user friendly.  For our events and conventions we publish a BIG Christian title a more compact surname, a lineup, after which the firm name.  It makes it much simpler for you and your guests and prevents particular people from leering!
Should you send people off with a memento or possibly a marketing pack contemplate personalising the letter from the envelope.  If you place the guest list in, add in the letter into the effect of ‘When there was somebody here this day you did not get an opportunity to meet, please provide us a call to produce the essential introduction.  In the letter do not neglect to include thanking guests for spending their precious time with you.
Once we hold conventions we feel obliged to compose on peak of the delegate list, ‘That is for information purposes only to utilize for potential contact with people that you have met now.  Please don’t blanket email or email.  Networking is all about building relationships; calling everybody regardless will have the contrary impact’
 

Weezer’s Africa Music Video Shot Using Blackmagic RAW and URSA Mini Pro

Weezer’s Africa Music Video Shot Using Blackmagic RAW and URSA Mini Pro

Blackmagic Design today announced Weezer’s new music video for their hit song “Africa” was shot using an URSA Mini Pro with the newly announced Blackmagic RAW codec. Post production, including grading and editing, was done using DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Directed by Crush Music’s Jade Ehlers and Brendan Walter, the video is for the band’s hit remake of Toto’s classic “Africa.” The video was also aimed at redoing a classic by recreating shot for shot Weezer’s iconic “Sweater Song” music video.

The video is a moving one take shot that captures the band playing in front of bright blue walls, with the camera maneuvering in and out of the band. Starting in front of the band, the video moves between well lit and dark parts of the set, as well as low and high up shots looking up and down on the band.

“A week before we were going to shoot, Blackmagic RAW was announced and it was just perfect timing. It answered everything we were looking for. The original ‘Sweater Song’ video was shot on film, so we were looking for a mix of a digital camera that could capture a filmic look, with a shooting and post workflow that could fit into a tight budget and crazy tight schedule. The combination of Blackmagic RAW with the URSA Mini Pro was perfect,” said Ehlers.

Blackmagic RAW is a new and modern codec that gives you stunning image quality and blazing fast performance in an intelligent new file format. Featuring advanced de‑mosaic technology and a revolutionary intelligent design, Blackmagic RAW gives you both the quality and benefits of RAW with the speed, ease of use and file sizes of traditional video formats.

The Blackmagic RAW codec features an intelligent design that moves part of the de-mosaic process into the camera where it can be can be hardware accelerated by the camera itself. This gives you incredibly efficient encoding and small file sizes. Blackmagic RAW files are much more than just a simple RAW container because they combine image data along with information about the unique characteristics of the camera’s sensor. This gives you much better image quality, even at high compression settings. Plus, you get total control over RAW settings such as ISO, white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation and custom color spaces. Blackmagic RAW also includes extensive metadata support including user customizable sidecar metadata files, plus GPU and CPU acceleration, new Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science, different encoding options for constant quality or constant bitrate and more!

“We have used the URSA Mini Pro on a number of shoots before, but Blackmagic RAW was like we all of a sudden got a new camera with an amazing new sensor in it,” Ehlers said. “Before Blackmagic RAW became available, we were planning on using one of the compressed formats and just making do, but then we could easily shoot it in RAW.”

One of the advantages Blackmagic RAW brought was being able to capture a huge amount of data in each image in order to make up for the production’s difficult lighting situation. The set had a bright blue background wall, with five lighting technicians handling different sections of the stage. Each technician was working to match lighting changes to a constantly moving camera, while trying to make sure each part of the shot mirrored the original older video exactly. The result was spotty lighting in much of the original footage.

“The blue wall captured light differently in different places, and we got a number of dark splashes in several spots. We had to shoot down a couple of stops and at 800 ISO because we were worried and had to hope that we could fix in post,” Ehlers continued. “Blackmagic RAW really saved us here. We were able to bump it up in post to 1600 ISO, adjust saturation to what we needed in DaVinci Resolve Studio, see every detail, and adjust quickly and easily. It gave us great image quality, fine detail and incredibly small files.”

With Blackmagic RAW you can shoot, edit and grade projects all from a single file format. Picture adjustments and settings that you make in the camera will come into DaVinci Resolve via metadata and are completely editable. You can even make changes to the RAW settings in DaVinci Resolve, open the files in other applications that support Blackmagic RAW and automatically see the settings. You get a consistent look and controls between software applications, even on different platforms. Blackmagic RAW is the world’s fastest and highest quality RAW format.

“With Blackmagic RAW, we were able to get extra color in each shot. And what really blew me away was that we could play back the RAW files right away on the laptop we had on set. We could be shooting and then editing and grading the same files,” Ehlers said. “This advantage alone saved us half a day to eight hours of work. Instead of being slowed down by exporting for hours, we were free to work in post with the original camera files. This was just insane.”

For the video, Ehlers and Presley needed a camera that captured high quality, filmic images while still being lightweight due to the one take nature of the video. The URSA Mini Pro’s weight of just more than five pounds, combined with its Super 35mm 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range, gave them the camera they needed.

“It took us six shots to get the shot we needed, and that meant Nathan was carrying around the camera and all its rigging, lens and media for every second of each take. The fact that the URSA Mini Pro could be kitted out with a full rig and hit around 28 pounds, with a very small profile, helped him get the shots he needed without being a huge weight burden,” Ehlers continued.

Published at Wed, 24 Oct 2018 03:33:04 +0000

Full-Text RSS Feeds | fivefilters.org

Full-Text RSS Feeds | fivefilters.org

What is Full-Text RSS?

News enthusiasts
Full-Text RSS can transform partial web feeds — often summary-only feeds which expect you to visit cluttered, ad-ridden site to read the full story — to deliver the full content stripped of clutter and ads. Read articles in full, in peace, in your favourite news reading application.

Developers
Full-Text RSS is a free software PHP application to help you extract article content from web pages. Extract from a standard HTML page or transform partial feeds to full text. Designed to be run as a web service, but one which you control.


Features

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Speedy article extraction

Extraction rules ensure accurate results for popular sites and blog platforms.

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Multi-page support

Articles split across a number of pages can be joined back together.

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Autodetection

Where extraction rules do not exist, Full-Text RSS relies on heuristics to detect content automatically.

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Customisable

Add custom extraction rules for fine-grained extraction.

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Language detection

Full-Text RSS can figure out the language of the article being processed.

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Multiple formats

Extract articles from HTML pages and partial web feeds, and get result as RSS, JSON, or JSONP for easy parsing.

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Easy hosting

Host on your own servers or deploy to the cloud. Pre-configured. No database required. See our hosting suggestions.

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Freedom and transparency

Full-Text RSS is free software — no restrictive corporate APIs, no secret back doors.



Pricing

Basic

Free

  • We host it
  • Unlimited feeds
  • Language detection
  • 1-3 items per feed
  • Caching: 20 min
  • Links preserved
  • Link to FiveFilters.org
  • No JSON output

Premium

From 4€ per month

  • We host it
  • Unlimited feeds
  • Language detection
  • 1-10 items per feed
  • Caching: 10 min
  • Links preserved or removed
  • No link to FiveFilters.org
  • No JSON output

Developer

Pay as you go

  • We host it
  • Unlimited feeds
  • Language detection
  • 1-10 items per feed
  • Caching: 10 min
  • Links preserved or removed
  • No link to FiveFilters.org
  • JSON output


Download

Full-Text RSS 3.9.1

Released 10 May 2018What’s new?Changelog

We offer two purchase options. They come with the same license, but if you intend to use Full-Text RSS as part of a commercial project, or require more support, please purchase the one for business use.

Individual


Community support forum

Automatic update of extraction rules

Custom rules via builder

Free updates for a year

Buy Now — 35 €


Bundle Offer!

Everything above plus

Feed Creator
Term Extraction
PDF Newspaper

Free updates for 2 years!

Buy Bundle — 60 €

Business


Email support

Automatic update of extraction rules

1 request for custom rules + builder

Free updates for a year

Buy Now — 75 €


Bundle Offer!

Everything above plus

Feed Creator
Term Extraction
PDF Newspaper

Free updates for 2 years!

Buy Bundle — 150 €

What you get

Full-Text RSS 3.9.1 from FiveFilters.org includes:

  • Easy installation (no database setup required)
  • Technical support via our forum
  • Free updates for 1 year (half price after that)
  • Full source code
  • Business use customers: Email support + custom extraction rules for a site of your choice *

* If extraction does not work well on a particular site, contact us with details of what you’re trying to extract and we’ll send you a custom site config file.

After paying you will automatically receive an email with a download link to the zip package. The zip package contains a readme file with instructions for uploading the code to your web host via FTP.

Older versions

Older versions of Full-Text RSS can be downloaded free of charge from our code repository.

Note: we do not offer any support for these and for best extraction results we recommend buying the latest version.


More information

Documentation and support

Our help site covers most of what you’ll need to know to get Full-Text RSS up and running and customised to work the way you want.

Our public forum is the place to ask questions and browse previous answers.

Hosted or self-hosted?

We want our users to be free to examine and run the code behind FiveFilters.org
however they like. So rather than simply invite you to sign up for our premium hosted plan,
we’ve gone to great effort to make the software easy to use and install on your own hosting account.

Using our hosted service (Free, Premium) is the easiest option as we manage everything. You do not have to worry about staying up to date because we maintain the code and any changes we make will automatically be made available to you.

If, however, you have your own hosting account or manage your own server, the self-hosted option gives you the freedom to run the code and manage things yourself — including writing custom extraction rules. We also have a help page on hosting options which should help you get started.

Note: We monitor our hosted service to prevent abuse. For developers needing to process very large amounts of data, we highly recommend downloading the self-hosted version.

API

The details here are mainly intended for developers using our self-hosted copy of Full-Text RSS for article extraction and feed conversion.
News enthusiasts who simply want to subscribe to a full-text feed in their news reading application can safely ignore the details here and use the form above.

Full-Text RSS offers two endpoints: Article Extraction and Feed Conversion. If you’ve restricted access to Full-Text RSS, the final section on API keys will tell you how to pass your key along in the request.

1. Article Extraction

To extract article content from a web page and get a simple JSON response, use the following endpoint:

  • /extract.php?url=[url]

Request Parameters

When making HTTP requests, you can pass the following parameters to extract.php in a GET or POST request.

Note: for many of these parameters, the configuration file will ultimately determine if and how they can be used.

Parameter Value Description
url string (URL) This is the only required parameter. It should be the URL to a standard HTML page. You can omit the ‘http://’ prefix if you like.
inputhtml string (HTML) If you already have the HTML, you can pass it here. We will not make any HTTP requests for the content if this parameter is used. Note: The input HTML should be UTF-8 encoded. And you will still need to give us the URL associated with the content (the URL may determine how the content is extracted, if we have extraction rules associated with it).
content 0, 1 (default) If set to 0, the extracted content will not be included in the output.
links preserve (default), footnotes, remove Links can either be preserved, made into footnotes, or removed. None of these options affect the link text, only the hyperlink itself.
xss 0, 1 (default)

Use this to enable/disable XSS filtering. It is enabled by default, but if your application/framework/CMS already filters HTML for XSS vulnerabilities, you can disable XSS filtering here.

If enabled, we’ll pass retrieved HTML content through htmLawed (safe flag on and style attributes denied). Note: when enabled this will remove certain elements you may want to preserve, such as iframes.

lang 0, 1 (default), 2, 3

Language detection. If you’d like Full-Text RSS to find the language of the articles it processes, you can use one of the following values:

0
Ignore language
1
Use article metadata (e.g. HTML lang attribute) (Default value)
2
As above, but guess the language if it’s not specified.
3
Always guess the language, whether it’s specified or not.
debug [no value], rawhtml, parsedhtml

If this parameter is present, Full-Text RSS will output the steps it is taking behind the scenes to help you debug problems.

If the parameter value is rawhtml, Full-Text RSS will output the HTTP response (headers and body) of the first response after redirects.

If the parameter value is parsedhtml, Full-Text RSS will output the reconstructed HTML (after its own parsing). This version is what the extraction rules are applied to, and it may differ from the original (rawhtml) output. If your extraction rules are not picking out any elements, this will likely help identify the problem.

Note: Full-Text RSS will stop execution after HTML output if one of the last two parameter values are passed. Otherwise it will continue showing debug output until the end.

parser html5php, libxml The default parser is libxml as it’s the fastest. HTML5-PHP is an HTML5 parser implemented in PHP. It’s slower than libxml, but can often produce better results. You can request HTML5-PHP be used as the parser in a site-specific config file (to ensure it gets used for all URLs for that site), or explicitly via this request parameter.
siteconfig string Site-specific extraction rules are usually stored in text files in the site_config folder. You can also submit extraction rules directly in your request using this parameter.
proxy 0, 1, string (proxy name) This parameter has no effect if proxy servers have not been entered in the config file. If they have been entered and enabled, you can pass the following values: 0 to disable proxy use (uses direct connection). 1 for default proxy behaviour (whatever is set in the config), or a string to identify a specific proxy server (has to match the name given to the proxy in the config file).

Response (example)

Simple JSON output containing extracted article title, content, and more. It was produced from the following input URL: http://chomsky.info/articles/20131105.htm


Note: For brevity the output above is truncated.


2. Feed Conversion

To transform a partial feed to a full-text feed, pass the URL (encoded) in the querystring to the following URL:

  • /makefulltextfeed.php?url=[url]

All the parameters in the form at the top of this page can be passed in this way. Examine the URL in the address bar after you click ‘Create Feed’ to see the values.

Request Parameters

When making HTTP requests, you can pass the following parameters to makefulltextfeed.php in a GET request. Most of these parameters have default values suitable for news enthusiasts who simply want to subscribe to a full-text feed in their news reading application. If that’s what you’re doing, you can safely ignore the details here. For developers, or others who need more control over the output produced by Full-Text RSS, this section should give you an idea of what you can do.

We do not provide form fields for all of these parameters, but you can modify the URL in your browser after clicking ‘Create Feed’ to use them.

Note: for many of these parameters, the configuration file will ultimately determine if and how they can be used.

Parameter Value Description
url string (URL) This is the only required parameter. It should be the URL to a partial feed or a standard HTML page. You can omit the ‘http://’ prefix if you like.
format rss (default), json The default Full-Text RSS output is RSS. The only other valid output format is JSON. To get JSON output, pass format=json in the querystring. Exclude it from the URL (or set it to ‘rss’) if you’d like RSS.
summary 0 (default), 1 If set to 1, an excerpt will be included for each item in the output.
content 0, 1 (default) If set to 0, the extracted content will not be included in the output.
links preserve (default), footnotes, remove Links can either be preserved, made into footnotes, or removed. None of these options affect the link text, only the hyperlink itself.
exc 0 (default), 1 If Full-Text RSS fails to extract the article body, the generated feed item will include a message saying extraction failed followed by the original item description (if present in the original feed). You ask Full-Text RSS to remove such items from the generated feed completely by passing 1 in this parameter.
accept auto (default), feed, html

Tell Full-Text RSS what it should expect when fetching the input URL. By default Full-Text RSS tries to guess whether the response is a feed or regular HTML page. It’s a good idea to be explicit by passing the appropriate type in this parameter. This is useful if, for example, a feed stops working and begins to return HTML or redirecs to a HTML page as a result of site changes. In such a scenario, if you’ve been explicit about the URL being a feed, Full-Text RSS will not parse HTML returned in response. If you pass accept=html (previously html=1), Full-Text RSS will not attempt to parse the response as a feed. This increases performance slightly and should be used if you know that the URL is not a feed.

Note: If excluded, or set to auto, Full-Text RSS first tries to parse the server’s response as a feed, and only if it fails to parse as a feed will it revert to HTML parsing. In the default parse-as-feed-first mode, Full-Text RSS will identify itself as PHP first and only if a valid feed is returned will it identify itself as a browser in subsequent requests to fetch the feed items. In parse-as-html mode, Full-Text RSS will identify itself as a browser from the very first request.

xss 0 (default), 1

Use this to enable XSS filtering. We have not enabled this by default because we assume the majority of our users do not display the HTML retrieved by Full-Text RSS in a web page without further processing. If you subscribe to our generated feeds in your news reader application, it should, if it’s good software, already filter the resulting HTML for XSS attacks, making it redundant for Full-Text RSS do the same. Similarly with frameworks/CMSs which display feed content – the content should be treated like any other user-submitted content.

If you are writing an application yourself which is processing feeds generated by Full-Text RSS, you can either filter the HTML yourself to remove potential XSS attacks or enable this option. This might be useful if you are processing our generated feeds with JavaScript on the client side – although there’s client side xss filtering available too.

If enabled, we’ll pass retrieved HTML content through htmLawed (safe flag on and style attributes denied). Note: if enabled this will also remove certain elements you may want to preserve, such as iframes.

callback string This is for JSONP use. If you’re requesting JSON output, you can also specify a callback function (Javascript client-side function) to receive the Full-Text RSS JSON output.
lang 0, 1 (default), 2, 3

Language detection. If you’d like Full-Text RSS to find the language of the articles it processes, you can use one of the following values:

0
Ignore language
1
Use article metadata (e.g. HTML lang attribute) or feed metadata. (Default value)
2
As above, but guess the language if it’s not specified.
3
Always guess the language, whether it’s specified or not.

If language detection is enabled and a match is found, the language code will be returned in the <dc:language> element inside the <item> element.

debug [no value], rawhtml, parsedhtml

If this parameter is present, Full-Text RSS will output the steps it is taking behind the scenes to help you debug problems.

If the parameter value is rawhtml, Full-Text RSS will output the HTTP response (headers and body) of the first response after redirects.

If the parameter value is parsedhtml, Full-Text RSS will output the reconstructed HTML (after its own parsing). This version is what the extraction rules are applied to, and it may differ from the original (rawhtml) output. If your extraction rules are not picking out any elements, this will likely help identify the problem.

Note: Full-Text RSS will stop execution after HTML output if one of the last two parameter values are passed. Otherwise it will continue showing debug output until the end.

parser html5php, libxml The default parser is libxml as it’s the fastest. HTML5-PHP is an HTML5 parser implemented in PHP. It’s slower than libxml, but can often produce better results. You can request HTML5-PHP be used as the parser in a site-specific config file (to ensure it gets used for all URLs for that site), or explicitly via this request parameter.
siteconfig string Site-specific extraction rules are usually stored in text files in the site_config folder. You can also submit extraction rules directly in your request using this parameter.
proxy 0, 1, string (proxy name) This parameter has no effect if proxy servers have not been entered in the config file. If they have been entered and enabled, you can pass the following values: 0 to disable proxy use (uses direct connection). 1 for default proxy behaviour (whatever is set in the config), or a string to identify a specific proxy server (has to match the name given to the proxy in the config file).

Feed-only parameters — These parameters only apply to web feeds. They have no effect when the input URL points to a web page.

Parameter Value Description
use_extracted_title [no value] By default, if the input URL points to a feed, item titles in the generated feed will not be changed – we assume item titles in feeds are not truncated. If you’d like them to be replaced with titles Full-Text RSS extracts, use this parameter in the request (the value does not matter). To enable/disable this for for all feeds, see the config file – specifically $options->favour_feed_titles
max number The maximum number of feed items to process. (The default and upper limit will be found in the configuration file.)

Response (example)

JSON output produced for the BBC feed http://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/rss.xml. You can also request regular RSS.


,
        “channel”: ,
            “item”: [
                

                        }
,
                        
                        }
                    ]
                },
                
                        },
                        
                        }
                    ]
                },
                
                        },
                        
                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    }
}

Note: For brevity the output above is truncated.


API Keys

To restrict access to your copy of Full-Text RSS, you can specify API keys in the config file.

Note: Full-text feeds produced by Full-Text RSS are intended to be publically accessible to work with feed readers. As such, the API key should not appear in the final URL for feeds.

Parameter Value Description
key string or number

This parameter has two functions.

If you’re calling Full-Text RSS programattically, it’s better to use this parameter to provide the API key index number together with the hash parameter (see below) so that the actual API key does not get sent in the HTTP request.

If you pass the actual API key in this parameter, the hash parameter is not required. If you pass the actual API key to makefulltextfeed.php, Full-Text RSS will find the index number and generate the hash value automatically and redirect to a new URL to hide the API key. If you’d like to link to a generated feed publically while protecting your API key, make sure you copy and paste the URL that results after the redirect.

If you’ve configured Full-Text RSS to require a key, an invalid key will result in an error message.

hash string A SHA-1 hash value of the API key (actual key, not index number) and the URL supplied in the url parameter, concatenated. This parameter must be passed along with the API key’s index number using the key parameter (see above). In PHP, for example: $hash = sha1($api_key.$url);

System requirements

PHP 5.2 or above is required. The code has been tested on local, shared hosting and cloud environments. We recommend you download and run our simple
compatibility test
before purchasing. It’s a single (zipped) PHP file you can upload to your server and access through your browser.
It will tell you whether your server is capable of running Full-Text RSS.

On our help site, we have a list of recommended hosts.

Software Components

Full-Text RSS is written in PHP and relies on the following primary components:

Depending on your configuration, these secondary components may also be used:

License

AGPL logo
This web application is licensed under the AGPL version 3. (More on why this is important.)

The software components in this application are licensed as follows…


Support

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is this? How does it work? How can I use it? Why is my content appearing on other sites? See our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers.

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Help

Our help site contains articles to get you started, and a forum to ask question.

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Email

Direct your questions to help@fivefilters.org.

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Twitter

Direct your questions to @fivefilters. Why not follow us too?



Published at

Best MacBook Pro: 5 of the Best MacBook Pros For All Purposes

Best MacBook Pro: 5 of the Best MacBook Pros For All Purposes

So you’re into video editing and you are well aware of the pros of editing on-the-go with a laptop. If you’re interested into Apple products, then you’ve already made a great choice. But what is the best MacBook Pro?

In this article we hope to answer that very question, as well as give some recommendations on our favorite Apple MacBook Pro laptops. First, a little history.

The Apple Macbook Pro has been through 4 generations of development, improving over 11 years. The latest version is the Space Grey version, in a 13 or 15 inch display, multi-touch, super thin and with a new touch bar on the keyboard and Touch ID feature.

Which model is worth going for? And what are the advantages over the previous design. Here I’ll look at the current price points and features, discuss why it’s worth upgrading. I’ll also look at the MacBook Pro models and their specs, plus performance for work, gaming and graphics.

Four MacBook Pro flagship models

The Pro range consists of four Apple MacBook Pro models:

  • 13 inch Macbook Pro,
  • 13 inch Macbook Pro Touch ID,
  • 15 inch Macbook,
  • 15 inch Macbook Pro Touch ID.

One of the reasons Apple Mac has been so popular especially over the last 10 years or so is because of the combination of the solid hardware and OS performance that’s fantastic for system intensive activities like video editing.

In fact, for years Apple has marketed their machines as the solution to any creative’s workflow issues. And it’s very true!

I call this (like many) the Steve Jobs factor and it’s prevalent across all of Apple’ products, of course: ipod, iphone and Apple Macs, including the professional grade Apple Macbook Pro.

But these feats of engineering can back it up and they really walk the talk. With stability and a reliable performance, plus great independent performing hardware, Apple Macs are incredible machines.

Now let’s look at each model option in detail.

The Best MacBook Pro – The Models

Let’s take a detailed look at some of the best models of MacBook Pro on the market.

The 13-inch display is the standard model. I use the term standard loosely because as with all MacBook Pro models it comes fully loaded (specially compared to many other manufacturers entries at this price point). It comes with an Intel i5 2.3 GHz dual core, a seventh-generation Intel processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz).

Both 13” inch models come with 8GB of 2133MHz RAM, which is sufficient for the system to run well and smoothly.

Storage is a Solid State Drive with 128GB and an Intel iris Plus Graphics 640 chip, force touch trackpad and two ‘Thunderbolt 3’ ports.

The 13” Inch model, whilst not the best spec is well made and highly compact for easy portability. The first thing you notice about this MacBook is the display – it is crystal clear, sharp and the colours are excellent.

The display combined with the shear quality of the MacBook Pro build is highly attractive. The product, just communicates luxury and honestly it’s a joy to use. This is a hallmark of the MacBook and even more so with the Pro models.

The 13” inch display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600, whilst the 15” model is slightly higher at 2880 x 1800. Not 4K but certainly HD and both look sharp and bright.

The 13” inch model weighs just over a kilogram at 1.37kg and is about one inch squared smaller than the 15” version.

From a professional work perspective, these machine are so effortless for tasks, they turn a difficult essay or work report into an enjoyable objective. More so, when you compare doing this task, on a standard desktop PC for example.

The Iris graphics performance is good, it runs medium 3D games and applications like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Photoshop pretty seamlessly.

However you aren’t going to be able to play graphics intensive VR games or high end gaming demands from the newest games on maximum settings.

But to be fair, this isn’t what a MacBook is about. It’s a machine of beauty and creativity, designed to be ergonomically friendly and a pleasure to use. This means in all honesty, Apple has done the work for you and whatever model you choose, it won’t disappoint.

This means Apple want all their customers to be catered for. Comparing it to the PC market, this is a great experience and one of the reasons why Apple, as a brand, has been so successful.

Sale


Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.3GHz Core i5, 256GB – Space Gray – 2017

  • PERFORMANCE: 2.3GHz dual-core i5 Intel Core processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, the MacBook Pro…
  • SPEED: Includes 8GB of memory for high speeds so you can multi-task without compromising your power…
  • STORAGE: MacBook Pro is slim and sleek at just over 3 lbs. with 256GB SSD storage behind a 13.3…
  • GRAPHICS: Featuring Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 with 64MB of embedded DRAM so any graphic tasks can…
  • CONNECT: Includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports to integrate data transfer, charging, and video output in…

This model is again available in standard silver or dark grey colours.

The Macbook Pro & Touch ID version is a  slightly jazzed up standard 13” inch standard version. It includes a slightly higher processor 3.1 GHz CPU (Turbo 3.5GHz), a slightly better graphics chip, the Iris 650 and the Touch ID Bar and fingerprint recognition verification.

The larger display 15” model is available is three versions.

A budget Iris 650 chip, 256GB  SSD storage, i7 Intel processor 2.2GHz quad-core, 16GB of 1600MHz memory and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.

The Touch ID versions of the Macbook Pro are slightly higher spec’d. Both with 16GB of 2133MHz of RAM, a Radeon Pro 555 with 2 or 4GB of VRAM and a 3Ghz i7 CPU, 4 thunderbolt ports and the ID Touch Bar feature. With SSD storage up to 512GB.

The first thing you notice about the 15” is the bigger size and better display, which looks great. It should be noted that for any kind of video editing, the bigger the screen the better. And, in fact, it’s highly recommended that you have 2 screens for editing if you’re doing any kind of (even slightly) professional work.

The greater CPU, RAM and SSD specs make the system smoother and the Radeon Pro 555 improve gaming performance noticeably. However, this still isn’t going to be a top end gaming machine, like a dual SLI GTX system.

The 15” inch version weighs 1.83kg, about 0.5 kg heavier than the smaller option.

These systems are noticeably more pricier than the base model. However, they make great graphics workstations, a mid level gaming laptop or high end workstation of very high quality.

The 15-inch Macbook Pro with Touch ID comes in at a very competitive price point.

All models come with the option of a 3 year care replacement plan for access to 24/7 access to Apple experts and technicians.

In its simplest form the Touch bar replaces shortcut keys from the earlier MacBook Pro models.

At the moment, the Touch Bar and Touch ID is well written into the OS, with limited software compatibility. This should improve over time, as the option becomes better supported.

Photoshop is well supported, as  well as Premier. However, Cinema 4D isn’t, nor is Sketch. This is a little disappointing, but does not detract from the overall performance of the MacBook. And, who knows, future updates will probably take care of this omission as more software compatibility is added.

If you have multiple users, just press the Touch ID button and the MacBook changes user with the fingerprint associated with that user. This also allows Apple Pay authorisation.

The fingerprint recognition is a handy little feature, which is very clever and makes the Macbook Pro more advanced, adding to the overall modern feel of this luxury laptop.

Standard features across the Macbook Pro range

So what are your choices and the features with the MacBook Pro and what are the best price / performance options?

Colour choices wise – Silver or cool dark grey? I like the dark grey, it gives the MacBook Pro a slightly mysterious feel, bit like the Alienware products, but classic grey is still nice.

13” or 15” inch display models are available all with similar hardware and processors. Generally speaking the 15” is a desktop model and has slightly more powerful specs, but on the whole not really that noticeable.

The new Touch ID feature is a payment and user button bar, which makes using Apple Pay and managing more than one user, plus custom shortcuts and controls, easy to access.

Graphics choice of 640 or 650 Intel Iris Plus chips. The premium 15” inch version has Radeon Pro 555 Graphics with 2GB or 4GB of memory, Intel Processor i5 or i7 models. All models have a battery life of up to 10 hours.

5K super high resolution display output support on the mid to high level models. Needless to say, the colour and resolution of all the Apple Macbook Pros and other models is stunning!

The colours look vibrant, the display sharp and crisp, making the MacBook Pro easy to use and great for design and HD gaming.

Thunderbolt ports – these are clever because the MacBook Pro can be charged from any of these ports if needed and it offers high speed data transfer and peripheral connection for mouse, graphics pad or external HD. OS is 10.4.4 codename Tiger, across all models. That’s set to change as new versions are brought out, of course.

Best MacBook Pro – Final thoughts

The 15” is the ideal, however you will pay for this. Matching the price and performance with the overall laptop market, here I’d have to say either of the mid level 13” or 15” MacBook Pro versions are most competitive, depending on your needs.

The MacBook Pro price options may seem a little expensive for the initial hardware outlay. However, due the quality of the systems, a looked after Macbook Pro will last you over 5 years in great condition! And I know plenty of people with 10+ year old MacBook Pros that are workhorses with a lot of life still left in them!

Yes, occasionally you might need to get a part replaced. But these don’t turn into Frankenstein machines –  your MacBook Pro five years from now will probably be running absolutely fine without any unforeseen hardware replacements.

These MacBook Pro systems really shout luxury, precision and quality build. Which, in some ways is transmitted into the work process of the user – adding to the professionalism of the product and work it produces – a Steve Jobs and Apple mindset, which communicates the standard for modern business and technology.

Combined with the stability of the Apple OS and the service support, you are guaranteed a high quality, reliable working laptop which like the usual Apple product standard, keeps on giving back.

A great, performing, high quality laptop, that screams modern and is extremely reliable. Not to mention access to premium features like Apple store and music. Highly recommended!

And let’s not forget that these MacBook Pro is a great, on-the-go video editing workstation for the travelling filmmaker who needs to edit on-set. If that’s what you’re after, pay special attention to these bad boys, as they will pay for their investment many times over.

We hope this article on the best MacBook Pro models on the market has been useful for you. Did we miss out your favorite MacBook Pro? If we did, drop it in the comments.

You Should Try:

Published at Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:37:34 +0000

Matrox Announces Highest Density 12G SDI I/O Cards for Multi-Channel 4K and HDR

Matrox Announces Highest Density 12G SDI I/O Cards for Multi-Channel 4K and HDR

Matrox® Video has announced two new additions to its industry-leading developer product portfolio: Matrox X.mio5 12G, a multi-channel SDI I/O card with onboard video processing, and Matrox DSX LE5 12G, a multi-channel SDI I/O card. The developer cards are the first to offer reconfigurable, high-density 12G/3G SDI connectivity, enabling OEMs to build advanced broadcast media and entertainment solutions for today’s most demanding and creative multi-channel 4K and HDR requirements.

The Matrox X.mio5 12G card provides multi-channel 12G/3G SDI I/O for 4K workflows, featuring four 12G inputs, four 12G outputs, and four 3G reconfigurable I/O, or 12 completely reconfigurable 3G I/Os. The Matrox X.mio5 12G card also features on-board multi-channel HDR conversions along with motion adaptive de-interlacing, pristine scaling, and powerful compositing engines, making it the complete solution for 4K HDR workflows. Meanwhile, the Matrox DSX LE5 12G card offers the same high-density I/O support for systems requiring multi-channel 12G/3G SDI connectivity only. Both of these 12G cards are supported by the robust, field-proven Matrox DSX SDK, ensuring rapid application development and system deployment of next-generation broadcast graphics systems, channel-in-a-box platforms, and capture/playout video servers.

“The new Matrox developer cards boast native, multi-channel 12G SDI support, not only offering unprecedented 4K workflow opportunities, but designed to make 4K workflows as seamless as HD,” said Alberto Cieri, senior director of sales and marketing, Matrox Video. “OEM providers can now leverage these cards to deliver innovative solutions that can easily and effortlessly meet the growing demand for multiple 4K I/O channels.”

Availability

Matrox X.mio5 12G and Matrox DSX LE5 12G cards will be available Q1 2019. 

About Matrox Video
Matrox Video is a technology and market leader in the field of 4K, HD, and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, channel-in-a-box systems, and CGs. Matrox’s Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of multi-screen content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, telcos, cable operators, post-production facilities, live event producers, videographers, and A/V professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/video.

About New Magic Australia Pty Ltd

(Australian and New Zealand Matrox Video Products master distributor)

New Magic Australia Pty Ltd is a recognised leader in the distribution and marketing of multimedia hardware and software, representing a carefully selected range of innovative, leading manufacturers and catering for both the professional and consumer markets. New Magic Australia established in 1993 is the Australian distributor of Blackmagic Design, Convergent Design, Cubix, Hauppauge Computer Works Inc, Cubix and Matrox Video Products. www.newmagic.com.au.  Locate your nearest Matrox reseller here.

Published at Wed, 17 Oct 2018 06:03:10 +0000

Best Film Cameras for Beginners: 4 Top Film Cameras For Starting Out

Best Film Cameras for Beginners: 4 Top Film Cameras For Starting Out

Choosing the right camera for your own film or video project is not an easy task. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best film cameras for beginners.

Yes, this article will be aimed at those just starting out. We’ll cover some cameras that you’ve heard of, and probably some that you haven’t.

The various camera types have different advantages and disadvantages in terms of quality, functionality, and operation. Unfortunately, the choice of the camera is, too often, reduced to the cost issue.

Although this is certainly an important point, there are other criteria that should be considered when choosing the camera right camera for you.

That’s why we will focus on choosing the right camera for a variety of projects and discuss the pros and cons of different camera types along the way.

Choosing the best film cameras for beginners

If you want to make your own film, or shoot any kind of video project, sooner or later you have to choose a suitable camera. The choice of the camera is certainly not an easy decision because there’s just so much choice out there.

Don’t be won over too easily by the latest fancy advertising you see on social media for a new camera. Some of the ones we’ve included here are models that have been out a few years.

But, by being out for a while, they’ve had time to grow, improve and receive all important feedback from actual camera users out in the trenches.

The Best Film Cameras For Beginners

Let’s begin our list of favorite film cameras for beginners with a awesome DSLR camera!

The Nikon D3400 complete with an AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm 3.5-5.6G VR is one of the most affordable DSLRs on the market. The camera has a simplified, but very convenient control.

In the Nikon D3400 there is not only an auto mode but also a training mode Guide, which will help you master the basic techniques of shooting.

As with professional Nikon cameras, the D3400 has an AUTO ISO function with the option of setting the maximum shutter speed. This gives you a handy “learning mode” that will hold your hand a little as you progress.

As well as that, there are a lot of other pleasant little things in the camera that will be useful for a beginner in the future.

For the image quality, the camera comes with a  CMOS-matrix APS-C standard sensor with a resolution of 24.2 megapixels. There is no low-pass filter, so you can get sharper images, and sharpness does not happen superfluously.

Similar matrices are used in much more expensive Nikon cameras, so as your shooting skills progress, even with this simple camera you can get professional-quality images and videos.

The Canon Legria HF-G25 is designed to meet the needs of video enthusiasts, this is a camera that many people consider the best entry-level Canon camcorder. It’s characterized by it’s 30.4 mm wide-angle lens with 10x optical zoom and able to record movies with Full HD resolution.

Great care was taken by Canon in the realization of the lens, allowing you to get flawless shooting in all light conditions, including very poor conditions. While the 8-blade diagram ensures soft effects and focusing.

Thanks to the 8.8 cm touchscreen LCD display, you can always keep the camera under control while the Intelligent IS (image stabilization) technology allows the camcorder to automatically choose four modes so as to ensure smooth recording, free from annoying jolts and shake.

Other features include the high sensitivity zoom microphone so that the sound recording is at the same level as the video. This camera also comes with Face Detection technology that automatically optimizes the settings for an always perfect exposure. The storage space is guaranteed by 32 GB of integrated memory, possibly incremented with SD cards.

If your needs in terms of video recording are not limited to hobbyist filming, but you need a product of a higher level, the Panasonic model has all the credentials to be one of the best camcorders sold online.

This is primarily due to the ability to record movies with a resolution of 60 frames per second and the presence of numerous professional features:

  • Leica Dicomar lens,
  • triple ring for infinite manual adjustments,
  • two slots to expand storage memory via SD cards,
  • ND filter,
  • two XLR microphone inputs, and
  • 20x optical zoom with five-axis image stabilizer.

The presence of wireless Wi-Fi and NFC connections allow you to control in real time how much the camera is recording, even remotely. For example, using a tablet or a smartphone on which the dedicated application has been installed.

In short, this model of Panasonic meets the needs of those looking for a bit more advanced camera than the other previously mentioned models. And it does so flawlessly, but at a price that, of course, stands at quite a different level compared to those other cameras we mentioned already.

This is an excellent camera that has slightly more advanced features than others mentioned here. However, this is still considered an entry-level camera and it’s not too advanced that beginners won’t be able to master it fairly quickly.

We couldn’t really make this list without putting a JVC camcorder on it. JVC make great beginner cameras, which deep feature senses and intuitive setups. Introducing the JVC GC-PX100…

The JVC GC-PX100 will allow you to film in Full HD at 50 fps but also, using a button above the lens, select one of five shooting speeds, ranging from 100 to 500 fps. This helps you to obtain high-speed images, to be used for creating special effects.

With another button, you can capture a burst of nine still images while you are filming, as well as activate various shooting modes dedicated to time-lapse.

Yes, these are fairly advanced features found on a camera that’s very much priced for an entry level budget.

Thanks to an app for Android or Apple iOS and the presence of Wi-Fi, you can use the camera in combination with a tablet or a smartphone. This allows you to take advantage of a large number of multimedia features.

The large aperture f1.2 lens and the back-illuminated CMOS sensor complete the overview on a truly valuable product. Yes, a little more budget is required, but this is a winner of a camera!

A semi-professional device that stands on the medium-high price range. It can satisfy a large number of users: those who are just starting out filming and keen to learn, as well as those who are a more advanced.

The most important criteria

Let’s discuss the most important criteria when it comes to purchasing a camera as a beginner.

The costs

One of the most important criteria when choosing the camera is the cost. Because while you can get a DSLR for just a few hundred dollars, some professional film cameras can often cost significantly more than an average car.

But does more spending mean more quality? Unfortunately, this question can’t be answered easily, because of course it always depends on what you want to do with the camera. And there are so many variables.

That’s why you should always be clear about what you want to do exactly before you spend a potentially unnecessary amount of money.

The functional scope

Another important criterion is the range of functions. Because it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have if you can’t implement what you have planned.

For example, most camcorders lack the so-called “film look” (small depth of focus through interchangeable low-aperture lenses), and hardly any DSLR cameras have features such as zebra or peaking as standard.

So you should always inform yourself about all functions and possibilities of the camera so that you don’t get disappointed later if a certain function is missing.

The operating options

Just as important as the range of functions are the different operating options of a camera. These can be very different depending on the camera type.

This has the disadvantage that not every camera is equally easy or difficult to use. So you should always pay attention to how you can operate the camera and how the operation can be varied.

Finally, you might find yourself in a situation where you’re affected by necessary additional equipment (eg shoulder rig) in the operation. It is better, therefore, to inform yourself in advance. This way you can prevent unpleasant surprises when using the camera.

The handling

Another important criterion when choosing the camera is the handling. This includes not only the size and weight of the camera but also the ability to customize the handling. Unfortunately, this is not possible with every type of camera.

So there are, for example, significantly less handling options with cheaper cameras, compared with their more professional (and more expensive) camera counterparts that can be customized.

Even between the different camera types of the same manufacturer, there can be significant handling differences. Therefore, it is always advisable to take a closer look at the handling options when choosing a camera.

Additional equipment?

Anyone who has ever bought a camera knows this: you might need additional equipment for certain projects. THis goes even more so if you tend to work on specialist projects.

For example, if you want to shoot narrative film with a DSLR. In addition to other lenses you often need the rig, follow focus, adapter, screen, matte box, etc.

It wouldn’t be the first time that a filmmaker has spent more on equipment (especially lenses) than on the camera body itself. Therefore, the question of the required additional equipment when choosing a camera should always be considered.

Do you have to commit yourself to a camera?

Choosing a camera does not necessarily mean choosing a camera type. Quite the contrary: In most films, several camera types are used, depending on the situation and the desired effect.

Meanwhile, even in Hollywood productions, among other things, DSLR cameras are used for stunts, so you do not have to expose the more expensive cameras to a risk and thus reduces the risk of unnecessary costs.

Another example is slow-motion shots, which are usually shot specialist cameras. These camera can record several thousand frames per second and has been specially developed for this purpose.

So it is quite common to use different camera types for different uses?

Yes. Especially in more big budget productions. However, one should not forget that different camera types can also have a different look.

There may be visible image differences in the later film, even with a lot of time and effort spent in post-production. This usually does not look great and can pull the viewer out of the immersion of the film.

For this reason, one should first think carefully about the look of the finished film, to avoid issues in post-production. Trying to “match” a tonne of different types of footage can be really tricky. As I’m sure you’re aware if you’ve ever had to do it!

If you want to use different types of cameras, it is always advisable to compare the different images produced in advance to see how they can be matched to each other in the edit.

The pros and cons of different camera types

The following is a small overview of the main advantages and disadvantages of professional cameras vs. entry-level cameras.

The listed advantages and disadvantages generally apply to professional cameras and may differ depending on the model.

Advantages of professional cameras

  • better image quality due to a larger sensor.
  • has all the important functions.
  • better handling options.
  • larger range of settings and other options.

Disadvantages of professional cameras

  • very costly.
  • often confusing operation (especially for beginners).
  • often expensive additional equipment.
  • usually, prior knowledge is needed.

How to use a video camera

As this article is primarily aimed at beginners, we’ll take a look at some tips on using your new video camera.

Take advantage of quality cards

The possibility of expanding the memory and the hours of filming allows the user better storage. Our advice is to bet on cards of good quality, with a capacity to function as an additional backup or spare memory to draw on.

Whether you use SD cards or CF cards, make sure you go for quality manufacturers like SanDisk and Lexar.

And use multiple cards. Don’t put ‘all your eggs in one basket,’ as they say! With the use of multiple cards, you reduce the risk of you losing all your footage from a day’s filming.

Keep the lens optics clean

Always clean your lenses using an appropriate system.

And be sure to keep the lens closed with the enclosed covers, protecting the lens from dust or dirt that may stain or scratch the glass.

Take advantage of the white balance mode

The choice of a good color palette is also linked to the white balance settings you go with. You can take advantage of the automatic adjustment mode on the camera but for a setting, as it should we recommend you to proceed in manual mode, using a blank sheet as a starting point for precise settings.

Use autofocus

The camera’s ability to focus on a scene and maintain it is handy when you’re a beginner.

Understand what your camera can do, using autofocus for shooting with wide scenes and movement, preferring the manual option in the case of a filming situation with little movement.

Give yourself time to get used to the camera

Especially in the early days, it will not be so intuitive to shoot with your camera. We suggest you do a rehearsal and small shots, at first. In this way, you will increase your confidence with the instrument, feeling it more and more confident in what it can do.

Buy a quality case / bag

Although well built and with all possible protections, the camera is still a delicate tool, equipped with internal mechanics that can be damaged if knocked around too much.

The purchase of a semi-rigid cover that protects from shocks and possible falls is the minimum equipment that every user should consider for protection.

A case (or bag) will make travelling with your camera much easier and more efficient. Many makes and models are on the market.

Read the user manual carefully

It is good to dedicate some time to the careful and precise reading of the instruction manual. Inside, you will find notable features and information on maintenance and correct use of the settings, as well as a guide to the various functions of the camera.

The Best Film Cameras For Beginners – In Summary

As you can see, we’ve covered a range of cameras here that are great for beginners. Hopefully this article has given you some ideas about a first camera purchase and some of the things that need to be considered.

Obviously, things like the price point and the kind of projects that you need the camera for are massively important. But don’t forget things like weight, durability and how easy it is to travel with. After all, if you’re a working filmmaker or videographer, you’re most likely going to be travelling quite a bit.

We hope this article on the best film cameras for beginners has been helpful to you. Did we miss out your favorite camera? Let know know right now in the comments below here.

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Published at Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:59:28 +0000