This past week, I had someone at Broadcast Video ask me why we have a product like OnLocation, since the capture utility in most NLE’s can capture live video from a FireWire port. Oh, let me count the ways:
1. Monitoring Tools. OnLocation is much more than a direct-to-disk capture program – it also helps set up shots, detects potential problems in shots, and can make you a better shooter overall.
2. Calibrated Field Monitor. By running a short calibration routine in the Field Monitor, what you are looking at is accurate. Compare this to the average LCD display on a camera, which doesn’t display accurate brightness, color, or contrast, and on many cameras, cuts off 10% of the picture.
3. RAM Buffering. Adobe OnLocation uses some great under-the-hood coding to ensure that it won’t drop frames. As the video comes in, it’s buffered into RAM first before going to the hard drive. Unlike the capture or log & transfer function in your NLE, OnLocation is an application that was designed as a field recorder first and foremost.
4. Live Waveform and Vectorscope monitors. These scopes and monitors are VITAL for seeing problems that may not be noticeable to the eye. If you don’t know how to read these scopes, you NEED TO LEARN. They are very easy to read once you understand what you’re looking at. It only takes about 10 minutes, and the benefits are huge. Go to the OnLocation Help to find out, or keep checking here for some upcoming examples.
5. Quick Back-and-Forth between record and playback. OnLocation is designed as a field recorder, so it’s very easy to review shots, then keep shooting. Instantly review what you just shot. You’ll stop shooting “one more for safety,” and you’ll leave sets with the confidence you get what you came for.
6. Continuity checking. OnLocation has a Split Screen feature that can help match recorded shots with a live camera, making it very easy to dial in the camera to match.
7. Adding Metadata. OnLocation makes it easier to add metadata into your recorded footage during acquisition. The sooner you get metadata into your assets, the more you’ll benefit. Using the Shot List placeholders, you can have metadata in OnLocation before you even shoot, so you won’t have to type it in later.
See what I mean? Once you start using OnLocation for shoots, you won’t want to go back. It’s included with Premiere Pro, Production Premium, and Master Collection for BOTH Mac and Windows, so go check it out!