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Gravis! @gravislizard
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Hi, there's more to this story, breaking news thanks to some garbage I found on amazzoen
Be-fuckin-hold the Neewer NP-F to V-Mount adapter. This is hell gym.
The Sony NP-Fxxx, or Infolithium, is the de-facto generic lithium pack of China. For reference, here is the $10 LED panel light I bought that takes either AAs or infolithiums.
Here's a cheap video monitor that runs off of them. i've been told you can get all kinds of things that run off these - silly stuff, like radios. but at any rate, they're dirt cheap and common
Amazon has billions of infolithium packs and chargers, every single one of them being blasted out to the reaches of the world by a single factory selling under tens of thousands of names. They all look like this.
So this adapter allows you to mount two of these on the back of your $80,000 RED cinema camera, you bastard, you monster.
videographer: hey can you hand me a fresh battery
you hand him this
videographer: i am going to actually kill you
videographer: give me something serious
you hand him this
videographer: <crying tears of blood>
imagine this
with 12 AA batteries in rattly boxes hanging off the back
a total of $4 in batteries
videographer: all these battery cases are empty! i need some goddamn juice!
you: <madly swapping these in and out of a stack of 2007 laptops> HANG ON
I should probably give a little context for why my brain works like this
a few years ago, the company @paul_wager and i work at had a massive server outage, multiple times.
it turned out to be due to datacenter electrical issues
he and i started speculating on what the power issues were. i suggested that the entire server room was run off of one of these, plugged into an outlet on the ceiling
next i proposed that this was the SPOF for our datacenter
Finally, he says "No. The datacenter runs off of this."
literally for the rest of my life, any time I think about electricity
i'm going to think about the Electric Man
back to the topic at hand. let's keep talking about de facto standards. god, i love them
so. here's what i think is the first betacam - the first camcorder ever made, in other words. i might be wrong, it's actually kinda hard to find out for sure.
like, i've checked several times and I keep getting mixed up on it. online is REALLY bad about labeling pics one thing when they're really another when it comes to this stuff. doesn't matter. anyway.
it's impossible to find pics of the back of a BVP-3 but here's the back of a betacam SP machine, possibly even the one I have. see the DC jack, lower left? that's 4-pin XLR
I'm not sure where this standard originated, but it shared the fate of the V-mount battery and, in fact, has moved directly alongside it
I suspect it was just Sony's go-to option for DC for the new Betacam, a cheap and common connector not otherwised used (as was, say, XLR 3-pin) that they never intended anyone else to borrow. Dot. Dot dot.
On the Sony cameras you could use that /instead of/ a battery pack. So here we are, it's the future, and now you can buy an adapter that clips ON to a battery mount. Oh, and provides D-Tap, natch.
Now, with all these 4-pin XLR power supplies floating around in the broadcast world, it only makes *sense* not to invent a new standard, right
so here's a broadcast monitor, 2018 model, with 110V input OR: 4-pin XLR!
Consumer electronics got micro-USB at 5V/1-3A.
Broadcast got 4-pin XLR at 12V/6A.
We got fuuuuuucked
Need more portability? No problem we gotcha. Aftermarket V-mount to 4-pin XLR adapter! That comes off the D-Tap!
Then some companies cut to the chase and just built it right into the chassis. There you go. By the way, notice that there's a BACKUP DC input jack. When's the last time you saw that? Ever?
Look at the beautiful ecosystem we have here. Everything in the studio runs off the same damn power! If it's wired it's 4-pin, if it's battery it's V-mount, either one converts into either one. It's like a PARADISE
Now of course this leaves us with two problems. First, if everything uses the same pack, and we're mobile, oh hell, that's so many batteries to charge isn't it. And yeah, you end up with stuff like this, natch
Second, sure the V-mount is beefy but what if you need... more? Okay, well, the back of the camera isn't size-restricted so you could have a thicker battery. Here's a 144Wh one, that's pretty respectable. But what if you needed. More.
PAGLink appears to have a solution to this.
Note that you are looking at the /back/ of the battery.
In this thread, discussing power solutions for EXACTLY ONE camera, I have traveled from 12 AA batteries in a trenchcoat to three stacked, networked power packs totaling 288 Wh.
And let me say, just to get philosophical for a moment: This is why "we" got into tech. You know who you are. This is what excites you about it - what excited you about it twenty years ago, anyway. But we don't get to see or touch it anymore.
Computers in particular don't feel like this. Everything is deeply proprietary and extremely unpleasant to work with. Nothing just works. There is no joy of discovery, no awe at what has been accomplished, the ways problems have been solved.
Yesterday I learned, for the first time in my life, that people solved the depth-of-field problem on tiny-sensor camcorders by mounting a NORMAL 35MM LENS on a tube, focusing it on a ground glass, mounting THAT on the camcorder and macro-focusing on it.
And when people discovered this produced grainy images due to the ground glass, the solution developed was to VIBRATE THE GLASS.
Consumer tech isn't like this. Software, holy shit, fuck software. It isn't clever. You never see anything novel. Just brute force and tiny incremental changes and the entire industry moving in the same direction at once.
I miss the sense of wonder. The one that existed in 1997 when we walked into an Incredible Universe and were assaulted by a galaxy of TV screens in an arcade atmosphere and a thousand displays beckoning us to come see what's new in the world.
Now what? You walk into an electronics store, what do they have to show you that's new? There are no quantum leaps anymore.
That's why they've turned to this awful, insufferable gimmickry. Io T bullshit that breaks and/or gets owned by a botnet almost instantly and... what else? If I go into a Best Buy I'm not going to see a damn thing I didn't already know about.
None of it works, but more importantly none of it is exciting. There is no sense of wonder, at best "oh, you can buy that now."
Designs solidified. The wild experimentation of the eighties is over and dead, and a lot of that is because of what I refer to as editorial control
People have debated what constitutes "an antique" a lot. My opinion is that an antique is a product designed before the manufacturers had editorial control. In other words, where the design was limited by the engineering.
A 1983 video camera is an antique. This entire chassis is full of things, and it juts out in odd places because that's where they needed to put stuff like the autofocus motor and gearbox.
Everything inside a camcorder has been miniaturized and now there's really no reason for them to be hand-sized except that human hands were not miniaturized in the 90s. So there's lots of airspace now. It's a framework to hold a grain of sand.
Design, in terms of chassis, UI and capabilities, is no longer restricted. They can sell you anything you want if the price is right, and it won't be limited in any way. So there's no character, no personality.
/is this bad?/ nnnno, not necessarily, but it did lead us to a complete collapse of all uniqueness into absolute sameness and /does/ it need to be that way
All the experimental products in the 70s and 80s and 90s sucked, is the thing. The weird cameras took bad pictures. Minidisc is cool but sony built in a ton of limitations and made it suck. Et cetera.
But god... I would almost take "shitty but cool and cleverly engineered, dont forget shitty" over the *dismalness* of the tech zeitgeist.
That's just it. The Now is /dismal/.
In 1987, maybe you got some obnoxious peripheral. A battery case for your walkman. A great big hunk of shit that hung off your belt and got you an extra hour of playtime or w/e. Cheesy. Fragile.
But, it was what it was. And now what do we have? USB powerbanks that fail in vague ways. Why isn't your phone charging? Shrug. The lightning bolt is on. But over the last few months the powerbank is just... idk. Is it really charging? Maybe you have too many apps running
You turn on the wifi lightbulb and it takes three clicks. Why? Shrug. You go to leave the room and realize you have to pull out your phone, unlock it, go to the home screen, scroll two pages, open the app, it sits and spins for 8 seconds, navigate three menus
Instead of some silly wireless lightswitch that is somehow unsustainable but /works/ when used correctly, now you can play the game exactly as you're intended to and everything's just... crummy. Disappointing. Dismal.
2018's tech world is a one bedroom apartment living room with a single ikea torchiere lamp in the corner listing because the column is falling apart.
The more they show me, the more I feel like I'm looking at a succession of tired old coffee tables that will never really be comfortable to put my burger on while I watch the projection TV
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