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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Science Educator Yoichi Ochiai Embraces Blackmagic for Diverse Creative Endeavours

Blackmagic Design has announced that Yoichi Ochiai, a Japanese scientist, researcher, and media artist, is using a variety of Blackmagic Design products, such as an ATEM Mini Extreme ISO switcher and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Ochiai is well known for his work in various fields, including computer science, physics, and media arts, and currently holds multiple roles including associate professor, entrepreneur, news show commentator, and more.

Ochiai explained, “I wear many hats, from being a media artist to a university educator, a Nasdaq listed company president, an author, a government committee member, and even a producer for world expos. I use video equipment primarily when I’m working as a media artist or a university educator, and also for managing large scale events.”

“Each use case is quite different. When I work as a media artist, it’s often as an individual, and my projects usually have budgets larger than production companies, but we try to avoid hiring too many people as it is too much trouble. In a group setting with hundreds of people, the equipment is typically provided, but sometimes I need to try out something on site. For university work, it’s used for streaming or video editing, and also figuring out what equipment we can hack,” he added.

“I used the ATEM Mini Extreme ISO for my show that aired on NHK weekly until 2023,” Ochiai added. “I was recording it at home, not in a studio. The ability to connect many cameras and do ISO recording at home was fantastic. Blackmagic Design products are affordable and reliable, so I buy them almost blindly, knowing they’ll work well.”

At the University of Tsukuba where Ochiai teaches, students in the research lab use Blackmagic Design products for various purposes, such as video streaming and video editing.

“For streaming, we use the ATEM switcher series and Pocket Cinema Cameras, and DaVinci Resolve for video editing. We also make good use of Micro Converters, particularly the Micro Converter BiDirectional,” said Ippei Suzuki, a videographer and Ph.D student of the University of Tsukuba.

Ochiai said, “The great thing about Blackmagic Design is that it offers a unified interface, which makes it easy for students to learn. It’s user friendly, and the workflow is straightforward. You can use their software seamlessly. Plus, they are cost effective and robust in terms of quality. You can’t really find faults in many aspects.”

One of the newest projects Ochiai has worked on is xTalk (Cross Talk), a spin-off project of Ochiai’s xDiversity (Cross Diversity) project, which focuses on creating a mechanism for inclusive problem solving utilizing technology. Since 2021, the xTalk live sessions have been using Blackmagic products for streaming. The show is streamed from a studio in Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, and discusses various aspects of xDiversity’s initiatives with guests. The setup includes ATEM Television Studio Pro HD and Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks.

“I use four Pocket Cinema Cameras with Olympus lenses,” said Suzuki. “The cameras are mostly stationary, so I operate them myself. The images straight out of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K have a beautiful look with great skin tones, and it’s visually appealing for streaming. In our studio, the lighting isn’t that elaborate, so we use the Dual ISO feature to get clean streams. It’s hard to find cameras at a similar price point that can output images with LUTs applied, so that is another advantage.”

Suzuki continued, “We also use multiple Video Assist 3G units. They function as both monitors and capture devices, converters and recorders. They are exceptionally cost effective, especially when you need to do many things on a limited budget.”

“Video Assist is something I heavily rely on. My bag is always full of them when I go on set,” Ochiai added. “With batteries attached, they can last all day for live streaming. Having the batteries serve as stands is a clever design. The Video Assist 12G’s ability to record Blackmagic RAW on my Leica SL2-S was quite impressive. It’s remarkable to capture high-quality videos in such a compact device.”

“I love Blackmagic’s product range because it caters to everyone, from students to professionals. The equipment is mostly compact and lightweight, which is a huge advantage. If something breaks, you can easily get the same one quickly. Not that Blackmagic products break often; they are quite robust. Plus, the pricing is competitive and cost effective,” Ochiai concluded.


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