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GoPro: MAX Firmware Update

GoPro MAX gets an upgrade. A free firmware update unlocks:
➣ 2x Slow Motion in 360 Mode
➣ Time Lapse Video + Time Lapse Photo in 360 Mode
➣ Horizon Leveling for TimeWarp + Photos in HERO Mode
➣ 25% faster media offload to the GoPro App

Connect MAX to the GoPro App to get started.

Shot 100% on GoPro: https://bit.ly/2SYsooL
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https://www.epidemicsound.com/

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Montana 610/680: Downloading and Updating Data

It’s easy to access data files and system upgrades for your Montana 6-series handheld GPS. You’ll see how to install a microSD memory card for additional storage or to add preloaded maps. You’ll also learn how to use Garmin BaseCamp on your computer to transfer files to and from your Montana. Plus, you’ll find out how to use the Montana’s wireless technology to share waypoints, geocaches, routes, tracks and more with other compatible devices.

Montana 610/680: Setting Up The Device

Follow these steps to set up your Garmin Montana 6-series handheld GPS, so you can get more out of your adventures. You’ll see how easy it is to charge the battery, power up the device, and use the touchscreen to access menu items, applications and user features. Learn how to calibrate the compass and select from the list of activity profiles – or even create your own custom profiles – to enjoy your Montana to the fullest.

Montana 610/680: Recording Track Logs

See how to use your Montana 6-series handheld navigator to record and view track logs. A track is a recording of your GPS path, which you can save for future reference or share with friends. Plus, you’ll learn how to use the TracBack feature to retrace your steps back to your basecamp, trailhead or vehicle.

eTrex Touch Series: Getting Started

Learn how easy it is to set up and use your Garmin eTrex Touch right out of the box. We will guide you through guide you through the basics of using the touchscreen, accessing menu items and user features, creating waypoints, exploring mapping options, customizing data displays, and more. Whether you’re into hiking, hunting, fishing, climbing, geocaching, or whatever – your next adventure is just a touch away with eTrex Touch. Let us show you how easy it is to get started.

Video Editing Software | What You need To Know

Video Editing Software: Formats And Editing Suites

Whatever you do with your GoPro you’ll need a few basic supporting items on top of the mounting systems. Your GoPro is generating a whole lot of data and you are going to need to understand how to handle it and how to process it. Here we discuss video editing software formats and editing suite options. If you need information on products that hold the data such as SD cards, computers, tablets and such like, check out some of our other posts. For now here is a few basics on the data itself and the things that you will need to deal with to get the ball rolling…

 


 

Data formats

Understanding video formats can be a nightmare for many people, but we’ll try to run through a few basic ideas to clear the way and hopefully ease compatibility issues depending on the intended final use.

GoPro stores its data in MP4 format in order to retain a suitably small file size. This means that an SD card can generally outlasts the battery autonomy whilst retaining excellent image quality. You really don’t need to know any more than that, but if you do…here it is. If you don’t, then read the video software reviews instead.

Formats and Software

What is MP4?

MP4 is an abbreviation of MPEG-4, sometimes referred to as MPEG-4 AVC, which stands for Advanced Video Coding. As the name suggests, this is a format for working with video files. The MPEG™ refers to Motion Pictures Expert Group who set the industry standards for digital audio and video. Several versions have been published since 1999 and the present version issued in 2003 seems to be standing the test of time and has now been widely adopted for video streaming in web applications. MP4 works by compressing the files without losing any of the quality, as MP3 technology does for music and audio files.

The MP4 is a container format, which allows a combination of audio, video, subtitles and still images to be held in a unique file. It also allows for advanced content such as 3D graphics, menus and user interactivity. When converting other formats to the MP4 format, any unnecessary information, unseen to the viewer, is stripped out, leaving the files a more manageable size. This gives higher bit rates and better streaming.

As a side note, don’t be confused by the format M4A which is just an audio version of MP4 and will play in most MP4 players; so don’t try to fix it if you see this format and have no video…there isn’t any.

What is AVI and why do we have to convert?

AVI is an acronym for Audio Video Interleave. This is a multimedia container format and was first released by software giant Microsoft in 1992. It is a general purpose container and was adopted early on by many software manufacturers, hence the regular need to make the conversion from MP4 to AVI as compatibility is high for editing suites.

The container file carries data ‘chunks’ in an uncompressed format whilst in the editing software. Before importing and after exporting the files are generally reduced in size using a CODEC (COmpressor-DECompressor), which is often where the end user may see the systems short-comings. Despite high compatibility, a lack of standardization has lead to a plethora of CODECs and if the player/computer you’re using doesn’t possess the one required the playback will be either nonexistent, missing either video or audio, or the video and audio will be out of sync.

That said, in most modern editing software this isn’t the issue it used to be 10 years ago. The output to DVD and the ever increasing popular MP4 for web purposes means that, for now, the need to scratch your head whilst choosing the output format is generally just a distant memory. However, the battle over the best web format isn’t finished, so we’re sure to revisit this subject in the future.

Does MP 4 have a CODEC?

Yes, there are a number of registered CODEC’s but most equipment/software manufacturers seem to have a preference for either:

MPEG-4 Part 10  (more commonly known as H.264 and probably familiar to most people)

MPEG-4 Part2

The Good News!

More and more editing suite manufacturers are building in direct compatibility with MP4 meaning no conversion on the importing side. This is great news and we’d like to hear from long-term users of products in this category.

 


Editing Suite Budget

Free Editing Suite: CineForm

The GoPro team supply some ‘free’ software in the shape of the CineForm Software Download. Most people have done little more on the GoPro website than watch the video of the week and check out the goodies. However, a browse through the support tab will enlighten you to software updates, as well as a user-friendly software interface for you to convert, edit, and apply a few post-production clean-ups.

Even if you intend to buy a more complete editing suite, the first thing to do is get this installed on your computer. Having tried several of the freebie converters out there, we can confirm that in order to keep the quality at the level of the original, look no further than this. You also require it as an interface to update your camera. They’ve done a great job, you undoubtedly pay for it in the price of the camera, so it’s a no-brainer; use it!

 


 

Consumer and Prosumer Editing Suites

OK, the CineForm does the basics, but you’re more the Steve Spielberg type and the craving to express yourself is becoming ever stronger. What are the options?

That’s down to budget and OS. Don’t over-estimate the power of your system because you’ll get frustrated as it blows a gasket trying to keep up with the heavy rendering processes involved in all those tempting features the editing suites offer. And certainly don’t over-estimate your own ability; you get what you’re paying for in expensive software, and you have to be savvy and know how to use it. Overspend and you’ll probably never use more than half of the products real power.

The most attractive films don’t use dozens of spiraling 3D transitions between clips. They have well-toned colors, direct exchanges between one shot and another, occasional basic fades. Titles can be more fun, and something with a creative titling package is money well spent as your imagination can run riot somewhat. Stabilizers are also a good option, and very often a necessity for ‘rescuing’ sports footage.

The expensive gear will allow you to get incredibly fine, balanced, deep colors and straighten warped edges and bent corners. If you’re posting for your mates on YouTube, no-one’s going to notice; don’t waste the money!

Check out some of the other posts in the Editing or Software Review Categories to see Video Editing Software Reviews.

Adobe Premiere Elements: Version 11 Finally Up It’s Game

Adobe Premiere Elements Version Tested: 11

Versions Available: 11, 12, 13

Before we talk about the qualities of Version 11 of Adobe Premiere Elements, we’ll let you know that there is no 4k or 3D support in this product. We don’t think this should put you off as many computers can’t hack 4K either when it comes to processing the raw video, so unless 4k at 15fps gets you uncontrollably excited this may not be a big issue for the next few years.

Adobe Premiere Elements Version 11 appears to have upped it’s game after bumping along for a while. More attention has been paid to what Adobe may have been considering a lower priority to it’s big brother, Premiere Pro. The somewhat unresponsive interface of previous versions now sees excellent preview quality giving smoother playbacks, which improves the whole user experience. Unless you start getting heavy on the overlays you should be happy with the speed of the workflow.

 


 

Interface and Workflow

With a cleaner all-round look than previous versions of Adobe Premiere Elements, the access to major functions such as transitions, effects, and color-correction filters is straight forward. That said, dealing with some of the parameters once inside can be more difficult to get a handle on. Some of the default behaviors could have been better thought out, like the dissolve when overlapping clips which seems to cut frames. Maybe altering the set-up preferences will sort this out, but nevertheless a dissolve is still a staple operation.

The fact that this filters down from a larger set of tools (Creative Cloud) is evident when looking at the integration with it’s brother Photoshop Elements. If you are looking to advance, or already have, this has a creative advantage over some of the other suites. It could also be good training for jumping the fence into the professional suites like the Creative Cloud itself, so challenging yourself a little to get to grips with it may well pay off.

the Film Looks library will appeal to those wanting to get that real film feeling from compiled effects giving cinema like colors, without all the hassle of figuring it out for themselves. Working in either Quick or Expert will

We would recommend Premiere Elements for anybody looking to progress whilst still having the option of throwing something out quickly when required.

 


 

On the whole this product performs as it should. It doesn’t make the presumptuous claim of ‘Pro’ as some of the competitors do, and leaves this job to it stable-mate Premiere Pro. This means that it’s performance is well and truly within the Consumer market standards and the amateur user has more that enough to go at. The Instant Movie feature may automatically remove the dross from some one your less watchable GoPro footage which could be a bonus for those not wanting to scrub through ten hours of film looking for the best bits.

 

Pros

  • Affordable platform with some of it’s big brothers benefits.
  • Cleaned up interface.
  • Good Multi-layering, especially with stills, offers progressive tool.

Cons

  • No 4k support.
  • Snapping and overlapping clips seems…different.

CyberLink PowerDirector Review

CyberLink PowerDirector Version tested: 11 Ultimate

Versions Available: 11, 12 or 13 / 11, 12 or 13 Ultimate / 11, 12 or 13 Ultra / 11, 12 or 13 Deluxe.

Interface And Workflow

Providing all the standard tools to trim and adjust footage CyberLink PowerDirector leaves the originals files untouched which is always good methodology in this digital age. Cropping or zooming, clip speed adjustment, or catching a freeze frame are all possible and automated image enhancement is available for those unsure of themselves when it comes to knowing the different between their chroma and their luminance.

Drop and drag is now the standard way of placing transitions, effects, etc., so no surprises there and the Magic Fix/Magic Motion tools give the opportunity to cure shaky hand syndrome or pan/zoom within scenes. In fact, everything seems to be magic; Magic Cut finds the best quality footage, whilst Magic Style slaps on a pre-designed template.

The work-flow interface allows so many tracks that you, or rather your computers capacity, will get tired before the software. If you really want to use 200 video and audio tracks then maybe you should be working at a TV network because your home PC isn’t going to like it – prepare for a crash…

Sensibly most people wouldn’t even go there, in which case CyberLink PowerDirector optimizes soft and hardware performance to give a healthy increase the rendering process speed compared to previous versions.


 

Importing and Exporting

More than 20 formats can be imported into the Media Room, so if you have other equipment as well as your GoPro it’ll do the job. As with most editing suites, you can use a microphone to lay on a dialogue during post-production if you have to mute the screaming or the wind-noise from the original.

Export formats allow videos to be played on smartphones, PlayStation 3 and Xbox among other things, and end products are easily uploaded to the well-known social media sites. Single- and Dual-layer DVD formats are supported as is Blu-ray, and the tools to add titles, menus, and navigation on such formats are included forming part of this professional looking package.

 


 

With so much to offer, including 4K and 3D, you would be hard pushed to find such a good no-nonsense highly power piece of software at this price. In fact we’d probably say at any price, as the complexity tends to rise along with the currency. With nice touches like the beat detection to help you line up video with your music, this is where the amateurs smart cash would go.

Pros

  • Wide user base and community.
  • Supports 4K footage.
  • Version 12 now includes some new effects, such as tilt-shift.

Cons

  • Can consume computer resources.

Corel VideoStudio Pro Review

Corel VideoStudio Version tested: X5

Versions available: X7, X6, X5, X5 Ultimate, X4, X4 Ultimate
Corel VideoStudio Pro Review

Interface

All of these Corel video-editing packages open to reveal a classic interface, with preview timeline and content windows all evident. However, the workspace is also flexible allowing dual monitor set-up and the possibility to drag, drop, and stretch all the windows into the configuration that suits the user. This allows you to organize the work-flow depending on which point of the creative process you are focusing on.

The two modes provided give the opportunity to have a simplified overview for a quick drop and drag operation for less complex projects, in the case of ‘storyboard’ view, or a more in-depth multiple track ‘timeline’ view allowing the user to overlay video, stills and audio to create effects that are more visually pleasing with a good visibility of the content.

 


 

Work-flow

Corel VideoStudio timeline view

The track manager allows you to add or remove video and audio tracks making for effective use of the available screen area. Any added effects are indicated by an icon sitting on the timeline content giving a quick visual reference of the post-production work carried out on individual clips. Edited clips are saved as new files so the originals stay intact, whilst clips sat on the timeline can be simply dragged to increase or decrease their duration without the necessity of cutting.

The standard transitions and titles are more than adequate, if not as numerous as other packages, and the royalty free audio clips are a nice touch but should be considered as more of a showcase item as the beats can sound a little cliché. Whilst standard formats of your own music library can be imported on to the timeline, the Smart Sound audio format restricts the possibility of using your own loops in its Quicktracks library. There is also a surround mixer if you want to take the time create your ambiance.

Time-lapse and stop-motion is easily handled with a self-explanatory interface showing frame removal positions, and can be used to great effect to shorten moments you’d like to keep, but appear mind-numbingly never-ending viewed at normal speed.

The whole process is relatively smooth and the technology used can keep pace with all but the most athletic editor. Provided that you heed the minimum specification recommended for each of the products, the HD or 3D formats that are rapidly becoming the norm will not pose processor problems.

Ultimate versions have the added bonuses of being bundled with the Mercalli SE image correction and stability manager (although basic) , which is almost a must for any sports cineaste, and the Boris Graffiti titling software for the more adventurous.

 


 

Importing and Exporting

Corel VideoStudio Pro uses the classic Explorer mode to import videos, stills, and audio from all manner of devices, whether they are held on your hard drive, exterior camera, or require ripping from a CD or DVD of one of your previous projects. All content is then held in tabs and options can be switched on or off to view single formats i.e. audio only if you are concentrating on the soundtrack.

There are enough export options to suit everybody’s needs from the web to Blu-ray, passing by all the obvious mobile and tablet formats. Even 2D can be rendered into a 3D simulation. Direct uploading to social media sites is also possible.

Disc menus and chapters are no-nonsense affairs and everything is burnt without the need to export to another tool.

 


 

Corel VideoStudio offers a good street level product, a higher background spec, but a few less visual offerings. The ProX5 version is one of the first products on the market to have Sandy Bridge and Fusion CPU optimizations, along with HTML5 output, but do you really need it? If your computer is lacking the spec you’ll get better results with ProX4 and all-round performance will be better.

Pros

  • Brimming with tools giving the opportunity to produce professional-looking movies.
  • Create 3D movies…in a fashion.
  • Versions available with Boris Graffiti titling and Mercali SE stabilizing.
  • For the more adventurous there are less tracks (especially audio), transitions and objects available that other suites.
  • Forum.

Cons

  • Windows only.
  • Can Hang or crash

Sony Movie Studio Review

Sony Movie Studio Version Tested: Platinum Suite 12

Versions Avaiable: 12, 13
Sony Movie Studio Review
 
The Sony video editing software comes packaged along with Sound Forge Audio Studio, DVD Architect Studio for both DVD and Blu-ray authoring…hence the Suite name. With everthing on hand, including in-program Show Me How tutorials will get you swiftly on you way for some reasonably rapid results.

 


 

Interface And Workflow

Once over the intimidating first glance the guidance from the desktop tutorials will have you up and running relatively quickly. Simple drop and drag makes it easy to place everything that’s needed on the time-line, and with over 500 transitions and effects it would be difficult to run out of choice.

As usual there’s a but; with so many transitions it seems Sony completely forgot to throw in a few templates for the less adept user. A reality that may push some potential costumers in the direction of products that at least allow them to flip a coin when deciding whether to do it the easy or difficult way. That doesn’t change the capacity of the software, it just narrows the target in terms of who would choose it. If you’re one of those, we don’t think you’d be disappointed from a creative point of view, but at this price point it’s neither entry level nor professional so tempting keen newbies without giving them the option is a little unfair.

On the upside the Magic bullet plug-in allows you to set the scene and define your style and lighting with over one hundred presets, and that has to be an advantage worth considering. It could be worth checking if your graphics card is up to the job for fully benefiting from the whistles and bells that the suite offers, as some of the more advanced feature may tax your computer.

Finding your way around the interface on your own takes more time as icon size and direct access tools are fewer than other ‘cleaner’ or more amateur targeted suites, so the workflow is maybe not as intuitive as it could be. People who have already used an entry level product will probably be more comfortable having a better knowledge of tool names and terms.

 


 

The Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite has what it takes for the more adventurous, giving the opportunity to venture into the audio department a little deeper, which is actually not a bad thing. Plenty of add-ons to help progression to the next level of production, so it could be a choice to avoid paying premium price.

Pros

  • Powerful editing tool.
  • Possible to customize of interface.
  • Integrated audio production.

Cons

  • Interface could be less complex.
  • Can crash.

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