My new 12-core Mac Pro is almost ready (it’s been copying files from my other machine for nearly 24 hours now). I re-ran a MPEG Streamclip vs. Compressor test and was pleased to discover Compressor is now insanely fast because it can be configured to use all of the cores. MPEG Streamclip doesn’t seem to multithread properly to use all 24 virtual cores when only batching up a few clips. I set it to 4 instances, and combined processor usage was around 270% (out of 2400%). Running the Compressor job against a local QuickCluster resulted in CPU usage illustrated in the screenshot above.
SSD installed on 6th internal SATA port, Mac Pro (July 2010) 12-core
In 2007, I stuffed 6 drives into my Mac Pro. Over the years, I replaced 2 of the 1TB drives with SSDs (an Intel 160GB X25-M and a SuperTalent 64GB for swap) and 4 of them with 2TB drives, but I’ve now been using some sort of 6-drive setup for 3 years with great results. I’ve finally replaced my aging Mac Pro with a new one; as usual, subtle changes inside the Mac Pro case have made things more complicated. (read more »)
I’ve just disembarked from the M/V Orion, a luxury live-aboard dive vessel in the Maldives. My flight doesn’t leave until late tonight, so I’m hanging out at the Male Holiday Inn with Kozyndan, Sue and Tina Chen, and Scott Deis.
Trying to travel with both a 3D setup and a standard DSLR setup presents me with dozens of decisions each time I pack. I can’t wait until I can do away with the DSLR part and just have a 3D camera that can shoot both stills and video. No macro on this trip, and no extra strobes or strobe batteries. For redundancy within each system and macro or split capability (big dome port), I’d need to check a third bag.
A rather unscientific comparison of MPEG Streamclip and Compressor speed during transcoding shows that MPG Streamclip is about 2x the speed of Compressor during transcode of H.264 to ProRes. I’ve not tested against Compressor with a virtual cluster on my quad-core Mac Pro because I have had problems with Compressor jobs hanging every once in awhile when I target clusters.
Source clips are 1080p clips from a GoPro camera. Video is sped up 20x.
Compressor is rather disappointing these days. I feel like it hasn’t changed for years.
Inspired by Rob Stewart’s self-cam footage in Sharkwater, I turned my camera around and took some footage of me swimming with whale sharks off of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Shot with Canon 5D Mark II, Tokina 17mm/3.5 lens. 0260619
Rob was in Isla Mujeres the week before I was, and shot similar footage (although he dove down, whereas I stayed on the surface).
I’ve been testing iSCSI performance for the past few days using an iSCSI volume on a ReadyNAS Pro (a 6-bay dual-gigabit NAS box). I’ve got the ReadyNAS Pro configured with 6 drives (of varying capacities between 1TB and 2TB each), and am running a dedicated gigabit line between the 2nd port on my Mac Pro and the 2nd port on the ReadyNAS Pro (bypassing routers/switches altogether). This is the preferred method for connecting to iSCSI targets.
Read speed is as expected, ramping up until it maxes out at around 102 MB/s (megabytes) for large block sizes. Write speed, however, was all over the place. The iSCSI target would time out for periods in which there was no traffic going over the network, resulting in inconsistent performance. Running the benchmark multiple times resulted in totally different write results.
Note that this is a real world test scenario. I have 5 machines connected at all times to the ReadyNAS Pro and have Crashplan backing data up to it constantly, as well as multiple cron jobs rsyncing data from web servers. This may be why write performance is so inconsistent, and provides a good argument for using a dedicated iSCSI box for primary storage.
Full Seacam housing for Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR
This is a complete kit, including multiple ports, extension rings, gears, and accessories. If you add a camera body, lenses, and Ikelite strobes, you will be READY TO SHOOT. If you do not want to shoot Ike strobes, you will also need new strobe sync cords.
Whenever I travel with Heidi, I rely on her to properly chronicle our experiences in words — and, of course, she didn’t disappoint. Heidi has just posted an in-depth trip journal from our time with the whale sharks in Isla Mujeres. I’m off to read it!
The hundreds of whale sharks that aggregate off of Isla Mujeres each year are here in a massive feeding frenzy. Their food are the eggs of bonito, which are released in huge quantities during spawning events in July and August. During our hours in the water each day with the sharks, our wetsuits act like egg collectors; by the end of the day, we have eggs all over our skin. Nathalie was nice enough to allow us to photograph eggs on her arm. She makes a great skin model.
It has been extremely difficult to capture the scale of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) migration off of Isla Mujeres. Underwater, one can only snap a still photo of 4-5 sharks at the most, and my 11-shark video sequence was the best I could do. From the tuna tower of the boat, hundreds of sharks are visible, but the ones in the distance are hard to make out in a still photo at web resolution.
We’re going up in the air today to try to capture something that really shows the scale of the migration. The sharks are dwindling in number by the day because bonito spawn on the lunar cycle, but hopefully, we will come back with something compelling!