Filming a web commercial with the Canon C300

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Today we were in Edinburgh filming a web commercial for the Football Nation as part of my Canon C300 DVD.

After my Ice Cream shoot I discovered the on board mic holder to be a real pain, the holder itself being totally non standard, in other words the diameter is far bigger than it should be causing major problems with all my short shotgun mics as they are far too thin and need bulking up to fit in the holder. This caused me no end of problems with my Ice Cream shoot so I got to work on an alternative.

Simple…a micro magic arm with one of Rycote’s InVision Video suspension shock mounts and a bespoke XLR lead, works a treat, there is a 1/4″ tripod thread on the camera handle just the job for a magic arm.

Scott my lad was filming me with the Canon XF100 to make sure you get a blow by blow account of what we were up to.

The Glidetrack Hybrid slider worked a treat with the Canon C300 I used various lenses from the Canon 60mm macro lens to the 16mm Tokina wide angle lens, I had no issues using the C300 on the slider other than having to remove my Genus rig beforehand and having to replace my Miller tripod plate for a Manfrotto plate.

So that was us… in an Edinburgh sports shop for three hours producing a web commercial, I also used the Miller Solo legs to get an exceptional high shot and used the Zacuto EVF to monitor the pictures.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Our man in NAB 2012 (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 8 Comments


Although I won’t be at NAB 2012 myself we have a spy in the camp, he who should not be mentioned will be sending me up to the minute information regarding Sony, Canon, Panasonic and JVC.

What we do know is….Sony , Canon, Panasonic and JVC will all be showing off new cameras this year but what specs and pricing remains a mystery.

Sony…Sony are due to update the EX range of cameras and the NX-5 is looking tired, they also need to address the F3 @ 35Mbps because its now loosing sales over the Canon C300. Update. Since writing this I have actually seen what Sony are bringing out at NAB this year and there are a few surprises but I cannot divulge any information till the 3rd of April.

The one thing that is not embargoed is the new firmware for the Sony NX-70, they seem to have overcome the juddery zoom and it looks like we are getting smooth variable zoom control, I think this FW will be released during NAB 2012.

Canon…Canon are on a roll but need to be careful because the C300 is out selling all large sensor cameras in the UK alone, and for the first time in history the UK is outselling the USA. It looks like Canon will show their “C” badged DSLR but if its 4K as predicted could knock C300 sales if Canon don’t get the marketing right.

I think we may also see a 1/2″ 305 with interchangeable lenses as it’s the 1/3″ sensor that lets this camera down for full BBC HD approval.

Panasonic…Panasonic are not due to update the AF101 but many of us are predicting they will show off an August release AF301 with the same processing as seen in the HPX-250 with 4:2:2, AVC Intra and that all important 10bit and a change over to P2.

JVC…JVC will be showing off a further updated 4K camcorder with interchangable  Nikon lens mount.

Finally someone is listening to us… for cameras like the Canon C300 that does not come with a microphone I have been looking for an alternative…a short light alternative, like the new Sony ECM-MS2, it might not be the highest spec mic in the world but as a good old camera mic it will do me fine…SOLD. (€270 euros). Available from April.

Once again this NAB looks to be a cracking show and with all these new cameras the HD Warrior blog will be red hot reporting on all of them and I look forward to reviewing some of them during the year.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

The C300 and the Ice Cream Factory for “You and your Canon C300”

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Today we were finishing filming at the Crolla Ice Cream Factory and the shot of the day came from a wee room tucked away that stores the mixes that they add to the ice cream like raspberry ripple.

I noticed a lady going into the room yesterday and when I saw the array of vibrant yellows and reds it got my mind racing. I had already shot in the factory itself yesterday and they were producing raspberry ripple ice cream in various tub sizes.

I needed a way to introduce the mixing of the ice cream and the raspberry plus add some form of dynamic shot within the short promo video and the “mix” room held the key.

I planted two 600W LED lights behind the mixtures but the white light destroyed the effect I was looking for so I added red and yellow gells to the lights and then added a third camera light at the back and lay a blue gel on top of it.

The effect was stunning and is the shot of the video I was using my Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 lens for the close up and the wide shot was at the 16mm end of my 16-55mm f2.8 Canon EFS lens. The Canon C300 performed like a dream and I will upload the “Ice Cream Factory” when I have finished the edit.

This is part of the “You and your Canon C300” DVD that I am producing and I have Scott and Susan filming me using the C300 giving you hints and tips as I go through the shoot. On Thursday we head to Edinburgh to film a web commercial for a sports shop using the C300 once again Scott will film my every move.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Amazing price for an amazing case from DataVision

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I remember the days when a case like this would set you back the best part of £600, now DataVision has brought out a new range of polypropylene cases and the WC-515 shown here is just the job for all my lenses for my Canon C300.

I got the inspiration from Canon themselves when they sent me two lenses for my “You and your Canon C300” DVD, they were in a similar case and that sparked off a memory I had talking to Nigel Cliff of Holdan who are the main distributers of DataVision. Nigel told me about these new cases and how well made they were not to mention the price.

I got Preston Media to send me one up who by the way stock the full range of these cases and within 20 minutes I had a place dug out for all my C300 glass from my 11-16mm f2.8 Tokina to my 70-200 f4 IS Canon L zoom.

I still can’t believe the price of £69 for the WC-515 and from talking to Holdan’s that’s not the biggest case but for holding lenses it’s the most practical.

Here is the link to H Preston Media…System cases…

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Price Hike Warning from Japan (Updated)

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A warning from Japan that after March 2012 there will be an overall price hike of between 16-18% due the the Yen versus the Pound. Once again we find ourselves paying the price for global trading of currencies and hey-presto the UK comes off worst again !

That’s a whopping £1,920 extra to pay on a £12,000 Canon C300 !!! or £480 extra on a Canon 5D Mk111 !!!

I have spoken to John Preston and he tells me that outstanding orders of the Canon C300 will be honoured by Canon at the present price. Everything from DSLRs to F65s will be affected so my advice is get your order in before April or you will pay through the nose.

This does not bode well for NAB 2012 with Canon and Panasonic showing off new camcorders, by then the 16-18% increase will be built in and can I just add how come we never get a price drop whenever Japan fights against a stronger pound !

Sony and JVC has not announced any price increase so we can take it that some manufacturers are taking it on the chin.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Filming for “You and your Canon C300” DVD

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I am filming the inserts for you and your C300 DVD this week so apologies for not keeping the blog as fresh as usual. Firstly I am producing a corporate video for the Crolla Ice Cream company in Glasgow, I have had some interesting times filming with the C300 none more so than a milk lorry arriving and me loosing the plot altogether. Lack of overall use of the C300 does not help when you are in a run and gun situation.

The picture above is a perfect example, look at the mic attached to the camera, that soon crippled me forgetting that my son was filming me and not available to pick up the mic, I had to swap it for a camera mic eventually loosing valuable filming time.

Fortunately this was a dry run and I had already set up a second time to get the milk arriving, at least I now know my key shots. I have already gone through the factory process which is very repetitive so Monday should not bring me any surprises…I hope.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

New Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f2.8 for Nikon and Canon mounts

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Has the DSLR video bubble finally burst ?

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Four new DSLRs two Canon and two Nikon all have better video capabilities…full size sensors, headphone outputs, better moire prevention, full signal HDMI output, 24 and 25p recording.

The cheapest of the 4 new DSLRs is the Nikon D800 at £2,399 (WEX) with the Canon 5D Mk111 at £2,999 (WEX). The Canon 5D Mk111 is good but at £1,341 dearer than the previous camera I can’t help thinking that someone in Canon marketing has lost the plot.

Now that the equilibrium has been restored with four large sensor video cameras professionals are turning away from the DSLR in favour of the Canon C300, Sony F3, Sony FS100 and the Panasonic AF101.

This leaves the DSLR video market to those who prefer that approach like photographers who’s market is photography with a smattering of video now and again.

Students can be rightfully aggrieved by Canon’s price hike as the 5D Mk111 is not £1,341 better than the 5D Mk11…personally after all the money Canon have made off the back of the 5D Mk11 and extra glass sales they have a cheek to charge ardent followers an extra £1.3K to keep up with the Joneses.

They would be better taking a chip off the Apple marketing block by updating the feature set and charging the same as last years model !

I have no doubt there will be Canon champions showing off the new video features and self professing gurus teaching you all about the new workflows but it’s no longer the choice of the majority of professionals and thats where the line gets drawn.

Take Canon’s own C300 the most sought after Super 35mm camera in the UK in fact I got a phone call last Friday asking me if I would hire mine for a music video as the “London” DP had requested the C300 but Progressive in Glasgow had a long term hire on their C300. I was only willing to “hire” out my C300 if I were there to look after it but the producer sourced a C300 from another hire company therefore solving my problem.

Just as an aside my C300 is not for hire, it’s my baby and comes with me operating it.

I think the bubble has burst big time, this marketplace has moved on and with a hard hitting recession sales of the new DSLRs are not going to be as easy with phase two, phase one was a roller-coaster, a learning curve, the new kid on the video block…that has all gone and so has the enthusiasm to spend £3,000 on a DSLR that on paper has not got £1,341 better features than the last camera.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

DataVideo iPad Prompter upgraded for Canon C300

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Sometimes you buy technology and it works just fine but the DataVideo iPad Prompter as it stands won’t work with the Canon C300 without severe vignetting.

The problem lies with the camera itself, it’s too high and brings the lens far to close to the top of the 45˚mirror and on a 17mm lens the top part of the mirror assembly and the sides interfere with your picture.

The answer is to lift the mirror assembly 32mm above the base plate.

I took off the end bit of plastic as I have no use for it as it was the same thickness as the baseplate which the mirror assembly slides onto. Cutting it to 60mm as shown above you need to have a clear 40mm in order for the mirror assembly to slide onto.

You then need to drill two holes to hold the mirror assembly, to get extra height I used 3 nuts as shown.

Before the extra height is added the black shroud runs across the top of the lens and is too high up the mirror to allow a wide shot. After the re-engineering as you can see the extra 32mm brings the lens down to just below the centre point allowing you to use a 17mm wide shot.

After the upgrade and using one of the first iPad 3 tablets from Apple, it’s always better to be prepared before you hit a busy spell when time for reverse engineering would become a nightmare.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

When sachtler met manfrotto

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I was in a panic this afternoon when I discovered that my brand new sachtler ACE tripod was missing it’s tripod plate, after about an hours searching I remembered the last time it was used…producing the Canon C300 User Review.

The day after the review the FS100 was to be sent down to Malvern as someone had bought it off me, did I leave the plate on the camera, that I will never know.

By pure chance I decided to see if one of my manfrotto 501 tripod plates would fit and amazingly not only does it fit but locks and releases as if it were ment to be there !

This is very good news for both manfrotto and sachtler…here’s why…

1. sachtler ACE owners can use their DSLR or small camcorder on the ACE or manfrotto 501 tripod head.

2. If like me you use a 501 on the Glidetrack slider you don’t have to swap camera plates if you are using an ACE.

3. You now have a cheaper alternative for a spare ACE tripod plate.

This is not by chance but rather by design in my opinion, sachtler were always going to be treading on manfrotto territory by entering the sub £600 part of the market so it would make sense to keep one part of the design the same.

The plate fits as if it were meant in fact it’s too close…I am assured that both brands are separate companies unlike Vinten and manfrotto.

All I can add is well done for a chance design that will benefit both parties and that does not happen that often.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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