Are we still taking the DSLR seriously for video ?

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

Up until the Sony A99 my answer would be no but Sony have proved that there is life in the old dog yet. It’s taken Sony a while to catch up with the competition but catch up they have with the A99 DSLR, it’s the first camera to sport a professional XLR sound input via an $800 accessory but that,s a significant step over the line for a photographic camera.

Not only professional sound but 1920 x 1080 50p AVCHD recording onto a full frame 35mm sensor with a swivel LCD and headphone jack socket !

Will this be any better than a Canon C100 at two times the cost of the A99, sadly if you want to avoid a certain level of moire and aliasing you still need to buy into the C100 or better still the C300. I have seen the AVCHD 1080 50p picture from an A77 and it was fantastic but I did not put the A77 through it’s paces, like so many of these hybrid DSLRs they give you cracking pictures 90% of the time which is not bad odds, it’s only when you come up against certain conditions like house tiles that the artefacts raise their ugly head.

After further research sadly the A99 suffers from moire and aliasing as reported by Eye North. Eye North is Christoffer Brekne’s informal platform for sharing some of his work as well as experiences from work. He is a Norwegian filmmaker based in Aarhus, Denmark.

Seemingly the new Nikon D600 has similar issues and the new Panasonic GH3 uses the same Sony sensor !!! This was such a positive introduction to the Sony A99 till I discovered the same old issues that have dogged the DSLR for the last two years moire and aliasing, you really think that Sony of all people would get this right after the amount of time they have taken to catch up.

So there we have it the Panasonic GH2 and the Canon 5D Mk111 are still the only DSLRs that have almost overcome moire and aliasing but the Canon and Panasonic has little to commend it for professional XLR sound inputs.

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

The Coldest Journey

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Panasonic has announced it is the official technology partner for the pioneering expedition to the Antarctic called ‘The Coldest Journey’. Lead by legendary explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the expedition will mark the first time in history a complete crossing of the Antarctic continent has been attempted during the winter months. Setting off from London on 5th December 2012, the exploration team will land on the Antarctic ice mass in January 2013. They will then cross the continent by land, arriving at the other side before the spring equinox in September 2013.

The six-person expedition team will rely on Panasonic P2 Broadcast Camera Recorders to capture their experiences and share them with colleagues and audiences back home.  The AG-HPX250 camera recorder uses P2 solid state robust media, which performs reliably in extreme conditions.

The team will also be using Panasonic still cameras and Toughbook rugged computers to collect and analyse scientific evidence during the crossing.  The equipment will have to perform in some of the most testing conditions on Earth, including 24-hour darkness, snow, ice and temperatures that plunge to below -70 degrees Celsius.  With no physical human contact for the duration of the Antarctic crossing, the team will rely on the durability and continued performance of Panasonic’s technology.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2H DSLR and DMC-FT4 consumer digital cameras and camcorders will be used to take photos and capture footage in challenging circumstances, such as when the team is traversing ice cliffs. On steadier ground, crew members will use Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 HD professional broadcast camera equipment to capture previously unseen footage of Antarctic conditions in winter, which will be transmitted live via satellite link to the BBC and other global news organisations. As part of its support for the mission, Panasonic has provided guidance to the team on how to capture the best footage. The team will also maintain a daily video blog for schools, enabling pupils to follow the progress of their journey.

Robust Panasonic Toughbook computers will play an essential role in supporting the expedition team’s research on the ground. In addition to facilitating communications links with the support operation, the Toughbook PCs will enable detailed analysis of scientific readings. A key aim of the expedition is to collect data on ice conditions in Antarctica during winter, providing an accurate insight into the year-round effects of global warming for the first time.

Panasonic P2 broadcast cameras have a proven track record of performing in difficult conditions, and have gained a large following among professional natural history filmmakers and news agencies. Panasonic’s equipment has previously been used for in world acclaimed documentaries such as the BBC’s “Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet & Frozen Planet’, prior to which the technology was stowed in deep freeze to prove its ability to operate in hostile conditions.  During cold chamber testing earlier this year, the Antarctic expedition team successfully operated Panasonic’s P2 equipment in temperatures below -60 degrees Celsius.

In sponsoring the expedition, Panasonic is continuing its commitment to using technology to support a more sustainable future. As a business, Panasonic aims to become the world’s number one eco innovations company in the consumer electronics sector by 2018.

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

Fantastic LED lighting from Dedolight

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

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

BM Cinema Camera v Canon 5D Mk111

Categories: Miscellaneous 10 Comments

Comparing the Cinema Camera & 5D Mk III from OneRiver Media on Vimeo.

No surprises here then, the BM Cinema Camera outperforms the Canon and finally puts to bed the usage of DSLRs for any serious film work.

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

Phil Myers takes us round IBC 2012

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As I did not get to IBC this year one of the best look round videos comes from Phil Myers of CVP, some interesting gear coming from various manufacturers this Autumn.

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

Gekko “Made in the UK”

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I have over the last 2 years interviewed Ian Muir from Gekko during IBC and the LED lights from Gekko are not only good they are made in the UK. HD Warrior has a policy to show off the best of British when it comes to video technology and ancillary equipment.

Two lights stand out the Kisslite (seen above on ARRI camera) which is a fantastic LED ring light that gives you an even light on an actors face, especially good for Steadicam usage.

Secondly the Kelvin TILE a pure bit of genius, this light can produce not only pure white light but primary colours as well making it extremely useful for interview work or pack shots.

I hope to get some sample LED lights from Gekko to produce a video review but till then you can take up a smashing offer from CVP on the Kelvin TILE LED light which is more than competitively priced against imported LED lights from China and the USA.

http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/index.php?t=product/gekko_kelvin-tile_lh-kti-i-02

 

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

Best advert for Go-Pro

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

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

It could only happen in America !

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments

It could only happen in America, now following a lengthy court case on the 11th of Sept a USITC Judge upheld Litepanels complaint that the only way to prevent abuse of their patent was an import ban on any type of LED lamp designed for photo or video use that may infringe on their patents.

The final determination of the case is expected by January.

If Lite Pannels wins this case in January HD Warrior will instantly ban any mention of Lite Pannels or any LED light associated with this company and give as much publicity to all LED lights because we run a fair trade blog.

No one can deny Lite Pannels are one of the best LED lights on the market but the bar has been set at around £500-£700 max for a decent LED panel light, very few of us are now willing to pay beyond £1000 these days unless the light is specialised like the Anova from Rotolight.

We won’t ban VITEC as a group only LED lights produced by Lite Pannels, personally the power of the web could overturn this ridiculous stance taken by Lite Pannels…SIMPLE…IF YOUR LED LIGHTS WERE COMPETITIVELY PRICED WE WOULD ALL HAPPILY BUY YOUR PRODUCT.

Over here in the UK James Dyson tried to ban all bag-less carpet cleaners that were seriously infringing on his patent, that would have given Dyson a Monopoly and was thrown out of court.

Needless to say Dyson moved on and is still the number one bag-less carpet cleaner in the UK and the dearest but the point is we do have a choice.

The other point is…If the dearest is the best like a Dyson cleaner then you will buy one but not if it is FOUR times the price of the competition.

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

Quadro K5000 for MacPro $2,249

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The K5000 for Mac GPUs from Nvidia, based on Kepler architecture, are twice as fast as the previous chips.

Processor manufacturer Nvidia announced the debut of the Quadro K5000 for Mac Pro systems. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is based on Nvidia’s Kepler architecture and sports a new display engine that can drive up to four displays simultaneously. Among the other features is Cinema 4K display support (4096 by 2160 resolution), which enables content creators to process and view high-resolution cinema content.

The Quadro K5000 for Mac GPUs is scheduled to be available later this year from select Apple resellers and system integrators and from Nvidia’s roster of authorized distribution partners, according to a company release. Estimated pricing will start at $2,249, according to a company release. The GPU is also designed to retain its full performance and features when using Apple Boot Camp and running Microsoft Windows-based professional PC applications.

“The Nvidia Quadro K5000 has great OpenGL and CUDA performance, so it’s ideal to use as a shared GUI and image-processing GPU in DaVinci Resolve 9,” Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design, said in a prepared statement. “Like many artists who use DaVinci Resolve, colorists seek the highest performance possible from their systems, and with just one of the new Kepler GPUs, our users will be able to work with 4K imagery on their Mac Pros in real time.”

engadget “As you’ll see in the video below, with 11 streams of 1080p video at 30 fps in Premiere Pro (and one overlay of the NVIDIA logo), GPU acceleration handles the workload seamlessly, letting us add effects in real time without any processing delay. Switching to software rendering mode in the editing program shows a night-and-day difference: video playback is extremely choppy, and processing moves at a crawl. Even with two K5000 chips in this desktop, Premiere Pro utilizes just one, but After Effects takes advantage of both GPUs. In this program, NVIDIA showed us ray-tracing, a computationally intensive 3D imaging feature, which only became available in After Effects with the release of CS6. Like in Premiere Pro, the program runs smoothly enough to let us edit images in real time.”

HDW: This may be a giant leap forward but it’s at a cost, I am not so sure I want to spend £1,390 on my dated MacPro when we are getting new Thunderbolt enabled MacPros early next year.

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

Soon you may only have one choice of LED light in the USA !!!

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

LED lights are one of my favourite accessories especially “V” lock battery plate versions, as an early adopter of Red Head lights I hated many things about RedHeads.

The heat build up in a room was often intolerable, the 650W halogen bulbs were dear and exploded like a volcano when you least expected them to. You often found yourself sticking a blue gel in front of the RedHead to give you a daylight balance and losing about 2.5 stops of light in the process.

LED lights are a joy to use, no heat, daylight balanced and run off 12v “V” lock batteries…no cables to worry about…so you can see my dilemma when Lite Pannels want to put an end to all LED lighting except their own expensive lights.

Lite Pannels, one of the most respected LED panel companies in the US is about to disgruntle the USA film maker population, fortunately this kind of law suit could not happen in the UK.

The argument:

Lite Pannels are insisting that they have the sole patent on LED lighting for video and photography.

Excerpt from a patent:

“While preferred embodiments of the invention have been described herein, many variations are possible which remain within the concept and scope of the invention. Such variations would become clear to one of ordinary skill in the art after inspection of the specification and the drawings. The invention therefore is not to be restricted except within the spirit and scope of any appended claims.”

“It’s important to realise the consequences of this action, if Lite Pannels wins this court case you will be restricted to buying one make of LED light in the USA.”

Preliminary Recommendation :

Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex on Friday issued an initial determination finding in favor of Litepanels and is recommending a general exclusion order barring the importation of all devices that infringe three patents owned by a top American manufacturer of LED photographic lighting devices, Litepanels, Inc. and Litepanels, Ltd. This sweeping decision is unusual because the general exclusion order prevents the importation of all devices that infringe the patents rather than just devices manufactured by the named parties.

Lite Pannels are used in a lot of major studio setups like MTV3 and CNBC London, they not only reduce the electric bill but being heat free cuts down on need for major expensive air-con units.

On the whole Lite Pannels are getting a wee bit miffed with cheap Chinese imports. The Chinese are used by many major companies to make their electronic equipment on the cheap then sell them on at over inflated prices, the down side to all this cheap labour is you get to see what goes into making your precious piece of electronic equipment and surprise, surprise it’s copied !Sadly for Lite Pannels films were being made with early LED prototypes before Lite Pannels came into existence and competition is good for business.

Lite Pannels are alienating the very customers they hope to capture with this law suit and to be quite honest a Bi-colour LED Lite pannel from CVP is £2154 or cheaper alternative from H Preston Media for about £500. (Note. CVP also do cheaper alternatives).

The other problem with LED lights is branding, many companies get LEDs from China pre branded, one of the better lights is the Calumet CF9030 priced at £399, I bought 2 of these lights and they are my workhorses.

My good friend Alister Chapman is also up in arms… “Litepanels didn’t invent the LED, they didn’t invent the video light and I don’t think they can legitimately claim that they alone came up with the idea of using LED’s to light a scene for photo or video. This is the US patent office at it’s worst. I didn’t think you could patent a concept. You can patent a specific design or an invention but surely not a the vague concept of putting LED’s in a frame for use in photography.  The Litepanels patents make amusing reading as they include lots of “maybe” or “might” statements and are as vague as you can get. If this ban goes ahead then Litepanels will effectively have a monopoly on the sale LED video lights in the USA. This will prevent competition which in turn reduces innovation and new product development.”

Lite Pannels are very well made “all American” LED lights but at just over £2000 for a Bi-colour that you can source for four times cheaper which light would you choose given a budget of £1,000. There is a faction petitioning not to buy from VITEC, personally that is just stupid.

If sanity rules the day, this law suit will be thrown out of court and Lite Pannels need to go back to the drawing board and bring out competitive LED lighting…simple or Lite Pannels will find a major backlash from the customers they hope to sell to if they win this test case, why they never thought of this before waisting big bucks on lawyer fees beats me.

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

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