Review of HD Warrior 2010…Part One

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January…saw some ugly picture of the new Canon XF305 as I said…

“This is rumoured to be the 2010 1/3″ solid state AVCHD camcorder by Canon Pro Video, the Sony NX5 is very similar in spec and looks to the new Canon and sadly for Canon the Sony is already available ! This is a major disappointment for everyone who thought Canon was building a film like large 35mm sensor camcorder to compete with RED, personally I think Canon have lost the plot after 17 months with no new model to bring out a hand held solid state camcorder that there is little to no market for. The camcorder above (LEFT) looks like the bad marriage of a domestic camera (back) rammed into a XH-A1 20x fluorite lens (front). If this is Canon’s solid state offering for 2010 don’t bother leaving the factory.”

As it turned out the Canon XF305 was a far nicer looking camcorder than has first been depicted and produced fantastic 4:2:2, 50Mbs pictures it’s a bit like Sony’s NXCAM cine-like camcorder due out mid 2011…the mock up looks positively ugly.

February…enter the Sony NX5

“I did not know what to expect with this camcorder but after Mondays shoot looking at the pictures side by side with the 350 I am still reeling from shock at the fantastic pictures this camcorder produces compared to the 350. In other words and I can’t quite believe I am writing this but there is little to choose between the two cameras. Don’t get me wrong the 350 produces stunning pictures but so does the NX5…I am not sure if Sony have put a spell on this camcorder but apart from lower light situations this AVCHD codec is stunning.”

March…The HDSLR Storm is Brewing

“If you want my opinion, then it has to be that the Canon’s are close, but still a mile away. The aliasing issue is a biggie. Sort it out and the skew, jello and overheating can be worked around, but if you have to worry about simply having a piece of wood in focus and whether it’s going to exhibit rainbows of colour or whether cobble stones will twitter and change colour (At 00.35 and this is from Canon) then it will limit what you can do. Are HDSLRs suitable for professional use…not YET in my opinion, the BBC, SKY, National Geographic channel etc will not accept footage from them…that’s got to ring alarm bells if you are hoping to use them professionally.”

April…Remember that Volcanic Ash

“As a cameraman I need my eyes to be A1 for obvious reasons but I do think there may be some milage in an upsurge of irritated eyes being down to fine volcanic ash. I would be interested to hear from any other UK or European cameramen/women with similar findings. I now wear a set of clear lens BLOC glasses when I am outside to prevent pollen/ash entering my eyes.”

April…Also noted for the new Sony PVM-740 OLED field monitor

“Thanks to the nature of the OLED display panel and Sony’s Super Top Emission technology, the PVM-740 offers outstanding high-contrast images – for example, the deep black of a night scene can be accurately displayed and the black portion of an image is not raised even in a low-illumination edit suite. As the black color is deep, peak brightness becomes higher and can brilliantly express sparkling town lights and stars in the night sky.”

May…Was a short bloging month but for all the wrong  reasons

“Sorry for lack of content recently but I have a trapped nerve in my right shoulder which is affecting my hand making computer work very painful so if you don’t mind I will need to give it a rest for a week or two…”

June…The Video companies fight back with announcements of the Panasonic AF101 and the Sony F3

“Only at NAB this year did the worst offenders open their tightly shut lids to reveal two film like camcorders in development, Panasonic and Sony. This was a first for both Japanese companies revealing products in advance of the statutory preliminary data sheet. Panasonic have revealed further details only last week and a proper picture of the up and coming AF100 camcorder.”

So there you go the first half of 2010 and what a roller coaster year it has been with some serious still unresolved issues with the DSLR to the announcement of the cine-like shallow depth of field camcorders from RED, Sony and Panasonic.

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

TESTED…Two Panasonic micro 4/3 lenses for the AF101

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Today my Panasonic lenses arrived, ready to fit onto my AF101 but sadly they are still in Japan. First UK deliveries should start filtering through early January so until then I have everything but the camera. As I have a Panasonic G2 mFT stills camera I decided to put the lenses through their paces.

As you can see our local park is still covered in snow but with my trusty model, my mother, we went on our daily walk with the dog. I can’t fault these lenses they are as sharp as I need lenses to be, in Aperture you are able see each picture at 100%.

Aperture also tells you the EXIF information like ISO 125, 140mm, 0ev, f5.8, 1/320 shutter speed, looking at each picture at 100% lets me assess how sharp each lens is and I have got to hand it to Panasonic they have not skimped on the glass used in both these lenses. They are very sharp indeed, in fact I can confirm that the 7mm wide shot is as sharp as my 17mm Canon “L” glass and that’s saying something.

You will not be disappointed using these Lumix lenses with the AF101 in fact the 14-140mm HD lens has OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) built in which is used by the AF101 to stabilise the picture and another feature utilised by the AF101 and Lumix lenses is auto tracking. Auto Tracking allows you to set points in the frame and track it’s focus, very useful in an interview situation if your subject begins bobbing back and forth during an interview.

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

MTF produce the worlds 1st Nikon G to Sony F3 Adapter

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MTF are now taking pre orders for our latest products: The Nikon to Sony F3 adaptor and the Canon FD to Sony F3 adaptor. Designs have been finalised and  both adaptors are being manufactured right now, ready for shipping in mid January.

Simply turn the blue ring to adjust aperture.This adaptor incorporates a built in control ring allowing you to visually adjust lens aperture.(Patent pending)

  • Original design for intuitive operation
  • Impossible to damage lens during fitting and operation
  • Compatible with 35mm format lenses
  • Compatible with lenses with or without aperture rings

To place an order for the Nikon version, click here.

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

CVP splash out of 2010 with a new look web site

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Having my usual cruise around various web sites I bumped into a new look CVP and I must say how very clean and clinical it looks. Phil Baxter is a very astute businessman and knows just how important a good looking web site is to his business. CVP are almost the yellow pages of the video world for product reference though I think the web designer might have added fresh pictures to the photographic section…

LIGHTING & KEYING section would be better showing LED lighting, while the VIDEO MONITOR graphic is old technology the Sony 740 OLED would have been a fresher choice. Personally I would go for best sellers like the AF101 or the Sony F3 under 35mm camcorders though technically the AF101 is not a 35mm camcorder it might be better calling it “FilmLike Camcorders”.

Critique aside…once again Mr Baxter and the team have produced a clean, glossy, up to the minute web site that we can all enjoy browsing through into the small hours.

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

A video produced in Hamburg, Germany using the Panasonic AF101

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We had the opportunity to make a test shoot with Panasonics new AG-AF101 in order to see what this baby can do. We shot on a cold and snowy hamburg day in an old, dark factory with a small crew. We had about six hours of shooting and a hell of a time!
Thanks to the whole crew!! Thanks to the BMX guys: Sas Kaykha, Sören & Nils!!
Studio Hamburg for the support and Panasonic for providing us with this new camera.

Enjoy and please let us know what you think!

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

The “CROP CONFUSION” of micro Four Thirds

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It’s all about “CROP” and this topic is very confusing, people who market Nikon DX cameras will have you believe you are getting more magnification using a full frame FX lens onto a DX camera but in fact what you are witnessing is nothing more than the middle of the lens being used by the smaller sensor so it looks like you are getting a 1.6x magnification when you are actually getting the same picture as a full frame camera but a cropped version.

You would swear P2 was indeed 2x bigger than P1 but in reality you are getting the same picture but the smaller sensor in the micro Four Thirds camera is only using the centre of the lens if I were to now crop P1 I could make it look the same as P2.

A 10mm lens on a 35mm camera will have a field of view 1.6 times greater than it does on a camera with an APS-C sensor.  The reason the Nikon DX lenses offer good value is because it will only give full sensor coverage on a APS-C sized sensor (F3 users beware!!!), so on a 35mm senor you would have a solid vignette around the outside of the image. Nikon do not adjust the focal length stated on the lens to suit different sensors, in the just the same way as Sony don’t. So at the end of the day a 10mm DX lens will have the same FOV as a 10mm lens from any other product line.

The crop factor is exactly the same. What happens is the smaller sensor CROPS you image and creates an image that would be the same as if you used that lens on a full frame but since you lose the edges of the picture it makes an image that appears to be magnified.. The magic word is cropping, the rest of the image spills over the sides. The image size on the sensor is the SAME for either sensor. This is why these new small sensor lenses dont do well on full frame since the lens design does not have to support the increased area of the large sensor.

We are all looking for the perfect fast lens to use with the AF101 and yesterday I thought the 17-55mm f2.8 was indeed that lens but alas we are just going to have to wait for the camera to arrive and do some hands on tests to determine a good all round f2.8 lens for the Panasonic AF101. I must thank a few of my readers for pointing me in the right direction.

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

The Review of 2010…Coming soon

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

BIRGER engineering-Canon adapter $700 “the queue for ownership has just got longer”

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The rumors are true!  Birger is coming out with a lens control system for EF mount lenses on the Panasonic AF100. Control for the iris, both auto and manual, will be from the camera.  Continuous (video-style) auto-focus will be supported on most Canon “L-series” lenses.  Power is provided by the camera for most lenses.  Image stabilization is supported on “IS” lenses, and this feature can be turned on or off from the lens.  Ships 14 February 2011.  MSRP $700 for the adapter.  Optional cinema-style remote control, available at additional cost, to be announced January 2011.  Sign up for the “General News” email list to receive updated announcements.  Photo below is a prototype on an engineering sample of the AF100, and a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 lens.

This is the news all Canon “L” glass owners have been waiting for the Rolls Royce of electronic adapters, this in conjunction with the wireless remote will finally allow professional pull focus on the Panasonic AF101 making this a fantastic camera for drama, interviews, commercials and pop promos…the queue for ownership has just got longer.   PS. You can pre order the mount at H Preston Media for an expected January release.

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

Canon EOS-m4/3 adapter…just on time for the Panasonic AF101

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So how does this work… I order an adapter from HONG KONG to test the Canon L Glass on my G2 six days ago and it arrives today by FedEX…then I order a camera from down south 4 days ago and INTERLINK tell me they have too much of a backlog to process my order which I payed for an overnight delivery.

The EOS to mFT adapter has arrived and I can now confirm that your Canon glass on an AF101 will be as follows 24-70mm f2.8 = 48-140mm f2.8 fortunately it remains a 2x conversion, the good thing is to be able to use L glass and have the extra speed at f2.8mm.

The adapter is made by KIPON, Hong Kong and is better than I was expecting, though the results on the AF101 may be a different kettle of fish.

It had been mooted that it’s not clever to have the iris at the back of the lens but having done sone preliminary tests it does not seem to do any harm, I shot some white card at various iris settings and fully shut down you get vignetting at the corners.

My test baby had one 20W halogen light on her face, the camera a Lumix G2 HD had the EOS adapter and a Canon 50mm f2.5 macro lens, shooting at a 60th of a second @ 200 iso hand held and it looks very good indeed.

As you can see the Kipon adapter is well made with a 14 leaf iris built into the adapter itself and has a locking pin (at 3pm on a clock face) which is a slight mystery to release at first if like me you attach the adapter then the Canon lens without thinking.

So far this adapter has performed admirably with the short amount of testing I have been able to perform but this is a stop gap for me as the USA adapter promises to be better built, electronic and wireless comms to a remote pull focus control. At least I am able to tell you all that your Canon Glass needs to be multiplied by 2 times when using an adapter on the AF101. This brings it’s own problems sourcing a decent wide angle Canon lens.

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

A Working model of REDs EPIC light (Scarlet renamed)…”too little to late”

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This is the very first public footage of a working Red Scarlet Fixed Lens camera. I’m currently at Red Studios helping with the Santa Fe 3d Workshop with Geoff Boyle. Just as I am sitting there…in comes Jarred with a WORKING Red Scarlet 8X fixed camera! Naturally I was dying to hold the camera. As Jarred passed it to me, he told me I was the first public person to hold a working Red Scarlet. Let me tell you folks, it is real and is working. The Scarlet I was holding had the 5inch lcd touchscreen. The lens gear ring which can be set to zoom, iris or focus is buttery smooth. QUALITY. The electronic zoom works like a charm. I used the up-down rocker on the camera to zoom in on a Jeep in the parking lot (though I was “Mr. Shakey” due to the sheer excitement of finally getting to hold the Red Scarlet.) Justin O’Neill and I got to see it for a mere brief moment and off it went back to the vault. This should be comforting to those who may fear that RED wouldn’t have time for the Scarlet with all the Epic buzz going on. This gives me more confidence that the Red Scarlet is definitely around the corner. I have been really lucky to have held both the Epic and Scarlet. The Scarlet is lighter in weight than the Epic even with the fixed lens. This is due to the Scarlet body being more narrow. The weight felt very good and the camera felt rugged. Touch screen controls were functional. Enjoy!

HDW : Interesting but I think Panasonic and Sony have taken the lions share of REDs intended market with the very popular AF101 and the F3 due in January 2011, both cameras with interchangeable lenses unlike Scarlet with an 8x fixed lens !

RED have their following but don’t have the production might of Panasonic or Sony, I have my doubts having a fixed lens that Scarlet has the appeal for DPs or photographers, it’s just too limiting, knowing the AF101 was in the offering at £4000 you would think Jim and his team would have changed direction and made Scarlet an interchangeable lens camera.

UPDATE : Jim Jannard has said in the forums that for their most humble camera offering, “the features have changed as has the price. I’ll update in the next two weeks.”It’s now the “Epic Light,” which reflects that it’s really just a compact and differently-spec’ed version of their new digital cinema camera.

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

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