You and your Canon C300 DVD in a film can, slightly cheaper at £24

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Just received this today and I think it looks the business…a film can.

This DVD includes the following…

Various options when assinging gain, white balance and shutter speeds.

A full range of Canon L glass demonstrated in situ i.e.. during a corporate shoot.

2 scenarios that you may find yourself using the camera, corporate and a commercial.

Setting up a Matte box rig

Using the right tripod

Low light filming

Working with and without the monitor

Choosing the right bag

Using a Zacuto EVF external viewfinder

Importing your footage into FCP-7 and FCPX

Workflow considerations

Using the right CF cards, 2 slots or one

Frame rates, using 24p, 25p, 50i or 50p

Custom Picture profiles and how they look on camera.

Using the C300 with the latest Glidetrack hybrid slider

Prompting with a DataVideo iPad prompter and iPad 3

If you think this may be of interest send me an email to hdwarrior@me.com and I will inform you when the DVD is ready. Note: The UK price of £24 includes 1st class postage, Europe and USA will be dearer and I will email you a quote.

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

Visual Impact in association with Tv-Bay at the Hub in Glasgow

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Crossing the water from the southside of Glasgow I attended the Visual Impact look, listen, experience show is association with Tv-Bay.

Canon gave me alone of their Canon 5D Mk111 and I had a whale of a time firing off pictures at 3200-6400 ISO.

There was one room cram packed with camcorders of all shapes and sizes for all to play with.

As usual the seminars were packed to the gunnels with people wanting as much information about solid state, this well attended seminar was held by Dave Chalmers of BBC Scotland talking about file based workflows.

As usual Canon did not disappoint with two EOS C300s, a range of glass, XF305, XF105, the new 1DX and the 5D Mk111. The above photograph was taken by my newly  acquired G1x at 1600 ISO @ a 1/60 sec, clean as a whistle.

Sony were showing off their PMW-F3 with an Atomos Ninja parked on top of the camera.

Panasonic were showing off their new AV-HS410 vision mixer which comes with 8 HD-SDI inputs and a new built in 7″ multi mode colour LCD monitor.

The ARRI Alexa was one of the cameras in the shooting gallery and its a beast and a half, this setup with a 45-250 ARRI zoom was impressive looking but not practical for hand held shooting.

Black Magic design had this rack mounted ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher which also looked very impressive.

This chap from Visual Impact was very helpful and took the time to describe all the different LED lights and their various features.

This is my good friend Tim who was an editor at Scottish TV when I knew him we have kept in touch ever since.

This was a very interesting camera or should I say lens, the Canon DigiSuper 27 AF is a studio lens with “Auto Focus” who would have thought we would see AF in a studio lens…fantastic.

This was a very friendly attractive lady from Visual Impact taking pictures with her iPhone, this was taken with a Canon 5D Mk111 at 1/125 @ 4000 ISO with the 70-200 f4 IS Canon L lens.

There is no doubt about it the Canon C300 stole the show along side the 5D Mk111, Canon hold all the cards and sitting in between Sony and Panasonic “that felt good”.

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

H Preston Media open day…this Thursday

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

New Download only for Canon C300 users (£25)

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Download-1

This download includes the following…

Various options when assinging gain, white balance and shutter speeds.

A full range of Canon L glass demonstrated in situ i.e.. during a corporate shoot.

2 scenarios that you may find yourself using the camera, corporate and a commercial.

Setting up a Matte box rig

Using the right tripod

Low light filming

Working with and without the monitor

Choosing the right bag

Using a Zacuto EVF external viewfinder

Importing your footage into FCP-7 and FCPX

Workflow considerations

Using the right CF cards, 2 slots or one

Frame rates, using 24p, 25p, 50i or 50p

Custom Picture profiles and how they look on camera.

Setting up an Adhoc Wi-Fi connection using the iPad 3 and Canon WFT-E6 (This may not be included if Canon can’t source another dongle)

Using the C300 with the latest Glidetrack hybrid slider

Prompting with a DataVideo iPad prompter and iPad 3

If you think this may be of interest send me an email to hdwarrior@me.com. Note: The is £25 download only.

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

“Loser’s Blues” a 35mm film shot in Glasgow during 1989

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From left to right: Stephen O’Donnell,  Russell Hopkin and Alan McSheehy, and of course John Hannah and Sparky in front after doing some pick-up shots at Wishaw, DOP Grant Cameron had been called away on a commercial shoot.

The 18-minute shorts was shot in Motherwell and at Wishaw dog track and concerns the efforts of steelworker Tommy (John Hannah) to conjure up a last win from his dog Sparky before parting company with the greyhound – a condition laid down by his estranged wife (Louise Beattie) before she will accept him back.


The film, shot in 1989, is a quick sketch of a way of life that has disappeared. I loaned John Hannah my super 8mm camera on that job, he still has it. It was freezing on that shoot, not a Barbour in site, Berghaus was nowhere then.

Ravenscraig has gone, so has Wishaw dog track and most of the other flapping venues that were dotted over Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and all points between Thornton and Gretna.
Other familiar faces who make brief appearances are James Macpherson and Forbes Masson.

Technical talk.
The film was photographed in 35mm anamorphic by Grant Scott Cameron with an Arriflex Bl 35 supplied by Joe Dunton Cameras. The lens set consisted of an 85mm, 135mm and 400mm and the stock was Kodak 400ASA  processed by Rank Film Labs, with Dolby sound dubbed at Anvil Studios in Denham.

Those were the days, my thanks to my good friend Norrie who was the Director on that shoot Stephen O’Donnell DP (left) works on various TV productions his latest being River City. Alan McSheehy DP (right) is also an accomplished DP from Taggart to The Bill. John Hannah (bottom centre) has become an international actor staring in Four Weddings and a Funeral to The Mummy.

The film “Loser’s Blues” has been gifted to the Glasgow Film Archive.

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

Dan Chung tells us why he loves the Canon C300 for news inserts

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Filming in sub zero temperatures for Al Jazeera English

In January I collected a brand new Canon C300 from my friends at Jacobs Photo video in London. Since then I have been out shooting with it on a number of assignments and it has become my favorite video camera. I’ve used it for live crosses, interviews and news feature stories – each time I have been amazed by the results. The images are as sharp as anything I have seen from a HD camera and its dynamic range is impressive. The design is compact and it’s the first large sensor camera I’ve seen that I felt I could use straight out of the box, no extra accessories necessary other than a mic and cards. Its size makes it great for running around and quickly grabbing shots. It’s even possible to use handheld without a rig at all, although it does benefit from one.

The Super35mm sized sensor coupled with fast lenses give me shallow depth of field when I need it. The high sensitivity of the sensor allows me to stop down for greater depth of field at will, even in fairly dull conditions I can still stop the lens down to f5.6 and not have too much noise in the picture. This essentially means with the same camera I can get both deep and shallow depth of field looks in many light conditions. Check out this video by Mitch Gross of Abelcine which explains in more detail.

The camera has built in neutral density filters which allow for rapid adjustments as lighting conditions change – much easier than having to change filters by screwing them into the lens or using a mattebox.

The C300 is highly portable and small enough to fit in a discreet shoulder bag, fully rigged with lens and mics. I can comfortably fit the C300, a DSLR, several lenses in a carry-on backpack for airline travel. Battery life is amazing and you can go all day on a couple of Canon BP955 batteries.

When I bought the C300 I already owned a Sony F3 alongside Canon DSLRs and Panasonic GH2s. So why did I decide to buy a C300 and how can I justify it? The answer to that has a lot to do with the way I work and who I work for.

Broadcast clients often insist on certain technical specifications for HD – recording bitrates often need to be at least 50Mbps and sometimes they insist on interlaced 50i footage rather than 25P. My work is increasingly for TV and so this had become an issue trying to use DSLR. The C300 solves this problem by shooting BBC approved 50Mbps HD footage directly to its onboard CF cards. My Sony F3 can shoot beautiful 50Mbps footage too, but I need to add an external Prores recorder like the KiPro mini and that adds weight, bulk and extra cables. The advantage of the C300 is that does so without sacrificing the quick and nimble shooting style I have become accustomed to with DSLR video – you can handhold the C300 easily enough and it feels like an overgrown 5D mkII in the hand.

Setting up for an interview with the C300 and Litepanels

The built in EVF on the C300 is much better than the one on the Sony F3. I had to fit a Cineroid EVF to my F3 as the built-in one was so hard to use but I find using the C300’s built-in EVF is good enough for my daily use. The only thing I miss from DSLR is the ability to zoom in 5x and 10x for checking precise focus; the C300 only magnifies to 1-to-1 pixel on the monitor and EVF. Not having to use an external EVF keeps the C300 shooting setup even smaller.

I’m also especially impressed with the EOS standard gamma – most cinema shooters don’t need this but for news it’s important to have the option to shoot footage you can hand off for rapid editing without colour grading. I find the standard gamma footage from the C300 to have nice saturated colours that do not look too electronic or unnatural. I can’t say the same of most other camcorders.

Thanks to Canon’s plugins, editing the C300 footage is a breeze in Final Cut 7 (and now Final Cut Pro X). Footage is transferred to the editing software in no time at all and you can choose to edit in the native MXF format if you are in a hurry, rather than transcode to Apple ProRes. The MXF format the camera shoots is the same as the Canon XF300/305 and XF100/105 models which makes them a good option as a second camera for times when you may want a more traditional handycam style camcorder with all-in-one lens. I went for a XF105 which lives in my bag for the odd time that I need it.

For doing live crosses the HDSDI output of the camera becomes essential. Combined with EOS standard gamma and the camera’s amazing low light abilities I was able to shoot nicely illuminated backgrounds at night, where normally it would have been much blacker. The one complaint that I do have with the C300 is that there is no firewire port and so doing live crosses using Quicklink and a Satphone becomes a problem as that system needs SD firewire input. The only solution is to add a Canopus converter box, but that adds more cables and potential failure points. For now I am sticking to a regular camcorder for Quicklink live crosses.

Live cross with Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan

The audio jackpack/monitor unit gives two XLR inputs with Phantom power. This is much easier to use than any DSLR solution, but I have to say that I would have preferred Canon to put the XLR connections in the body of the camera itself and not have additional cables to the jackpack. While the pack is well built any bolt-on accessory stands a greater chance of being broken in the field. This is one area where I think the Sony F3 is better with its integrated XLRs. I thought I would hate the swivel LCD on the jackpack, but now I really like it. Its colours seem accurate and the sharpness of the display makes it a pleasure to use. You can turn it right around so the talent can see themselves and check how they look.

 The top LCD screen is clear and quite accurate

I bought the EF lens mount version of the C300 so all my EF glass fits straight on, as do plenty of other manufacturers’ lenses with the correct lens adapter. There is no autofocus using EF lenses on the C300 (no loss as I rarely use AF for video) but you do get image stabilisation which is great. To get EOS lenses working on a Sony F3 currently requires an adapter from MTF services – another great tool but again it adds bulk to an already large setup.

Do I miss the full frame sensor of the 5DmkII? Honestly, yes. I would rather the C300 had a full frame sensor only because it would make lensing easier with my existing Canon lenses – not because I need the extreme shallow depth of field. The 24-105mm F4L is my main run and gun lens on the 5DmkII, but on the C300 it is not quite wide enough. On the C300 I use the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 instead – it’s also a good lens but not quite as wide or as long as I would want. Hopefully there will be better run and gun EF lenses for Super35 sensors in the not too distant future. For now I have found the best solution is to carry a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 , Canon 17-55mm and 70-200mm f2.8 in a Thinktank Retrospective lens changer bag. This allows me to wear the lenses practically all day and they are close at hand for a rapid change.

The F3 alternative

My C300 and my Sony F3 – both set up to shoot 50Mbps

The Sony F3 is a great camera that I bought when there was no other clear choice for large sensor TV work. Like the C300 it shoots interlaced 50i as well as 25P but to get 50Mbps you need an external recorder. I bought the excellent AJA KiPro Mini but it adds considerable bulk to the setup.  If you want to use EOS lenses with aperture control and image stabilizer you now can thanks to the MTF services adapter. Image quality is excellent when recorded externally but behind the C300 when recording to cards internally.

Matt Allard and others have demonstrated what the F3 is capable of.  It is a better value proposition now too since Sony started offering the S-log upgrade for $699 instead of over $2000. The F3’s more traditional design and easily accessible gain switches and audio controls are preferred by many shooters. Personally I prefer the more DSLR style menus and dials – horses for courses.

The C300′s smaller body makes it far more suitable to my needs. It is discreet enough for me to use in many news situations where a bigger camera would prevent you shooting, I’d say this represents about 50% of what I do. I can use it almost with almost any equipment previously used with a DSLR – it works with my current Steadicam, Kessler Pocketdolly, tripod, car mount and lightweight shoulder support. I was in the process of upgrading/replacing all these items to take the weight of a fully rigged Sony F3 when the C300 came out – now I don’t need to.

For now I am keeping the F3 – it’s still a great camera that I can rent out to help pay its way. For some assignments it still makes sense but the C300 will replace it as my main camera. There may even be the odd occasion where I shoot them side by side.

C300 or DSLR?

Sony F3, Canon C300 and Nikon D4 together

As someone already joked on Twitter, maybe I should be renaming myself C300informer and not Dslrinformer – but rest assured, I don’t think the trend of news pros using DSLRs or mirrorless cams is going to stop. I am going to continue to shoot DSLRs alongside the C300 and will continue to focus on DSLR developments here on the blog.

I don’t think you need to buy a C300 in order to make a great news video or documentary – it just makes it easier and technically better. There are many videos on the blog shot on DSLRs to prove that you don’t need anything more to tell a story.  Content is king and a great eye and great storytelling don’t come from the camera you use.  Online or even on the big screen a DSLR can look great. My need for a better camera really comes from the fact that broadcast clients insist on certain technical specifications. My work is increasingly for TV and so this has become important.

I have also stated several times in the past that a top of the line camera is not as important gear wise as a good tripod, good lens, lighting or decent audio kit. Luckily I have accumulated all this kit in the past and so don’t have to budget for it again soon.

If your pockets are deep enough and your shooting style suits it then I recommend you try out a C300. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Read more story’s from Dan at  http://www.dslrnewsshooter.com

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

Larry Jordan makes sense of FCPX 10.0.3

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

C300 CUSTOM PICTURE PROFILES

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My thanks to Alister Chapman for coming up with some CUSTOM PICTURE PROFILES the rest can be downloaded here :

http://www.xdcam-user.com/2012/03/set-of-canon-c300-custom-profiles-for-download/

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

4 Large sensor cameras…”Where Now”

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April the 14th 2012…NAB holds a few well kept secrets from at least 2 major camera manufacturers…Sony and Panasonic.

The world of video filming has gone large sensor within the last year and with four camcorders in the space of twelve months we have been spoiled.

The biggest upset to the friendly pack has been the Canon EOS C300, here we have the first camera to tick almost all the boxes…dedicated Canon EF lens mount, 4:2:2, 50Mbps and 3 ND filters….the first large sensor camera to be approved by the BBC without needing an external recorder.

Sony were bold but nieve to bring out the PMW- F3 at 35Mbps when it had been reported that Canon would bring out a 50Mbps camera within the year and sadly that prediction has come home to haunt Sony.

We are now getting the $4000 SLOG upgrade free with all new F3s in a major fight back to claim sales from the C300 but limping along with 35Mbps does not help the F3 in any shape or form whatsoever.

The Sony FS100 has had a lot of help recently with Sony comissioning films by Philip Bloom and articles from Den Lennie making references like “is it the new Bolex” and having used the camera for six months myself you get used to working around the lack of ND filters…almost.

My first camera at the beginning of last year was the Panasonic AF101 and of all the cameras less the C300 it has a lot going for it, especially the large range of micro four third lenses and adapters the 25mm f0.95 Nokton being my favourite at the time.

So what made me change three times within 12 months…?

1. Panasonic AF101…I got an F3 to road test and beside the AF101 the resolution was far greater on the F3 and far better low light capability so it was a no brainor when the Sony FS100 came along and out performed the AF101 in resolution alone.

2. The Sony was a work around camera compared to the AF101, the lack of ND was a shocking lack of thought by Sony engineers who forgot how much light the Super 35mm sensor actually soaked in. The build quality of the so called carry handle left a lot to be desired and no second card slot was another engineering let down. The FS100 was the lesser of Sonys Super 35mm cameras and it showed.

Why did I not go for a PMW-F3…?

Simple, 35Mbps is not that appealing when you have already had an EX1, EX3 and a PMW-350, knowing that you are stuck with that quality at that price point was not appealing to me. The PL mount was also a draw back as my budget would never allow me to buy such lenses. Lastly the other option at that time was Nikon and I was growing tired of Nikons anti clockwise focusing.

Beyond the Canon EOS 300 EF…

Just over a month before NAB and the pressure is on both Panasonic and Sony to make a dent in Canons superior marketing decision to make three cameras 50Mbps broadcast spec the EX100, 300 range and the latest C300 camera.

Canon are giving the broadcast HD market a run for its money and in these days of tight purses its not surprising that there has been such a take up of XF305s, not everyones cup of tea but at just over £6000, meets more bean counters budgets than one Sony PMW-500 at £20,000 plus lens.

Both Panasonic and Sony need to plug the £6-10K gap, Panasonic has rallied with the HPX-250 P2 camcorder at £4K but the cost of the P2 media is still a major drawback in the broadcast market.

Sony have one chance this year to re-capture some sales from Canon but they need to desperately change their ethos by stop producing cameras that almost make the mark, Canon have proved this with the last 3 cameras so Sony need to cut into the sub prime £6-10K market with a large sensor or a hand held fit for HD broadcast without the need for an add-on recorder.

Canon do not have Sony or Panasonic’s baggage by affecting “what came before” in other words Sony’s perception is not to affect sales of the F3 or 500 but that thinking has to stop if they want to encourage sales back from Canon.

How many times have we as cameramen and women stood looking at a camera at a video show and thinking “wow…but if only it had…!” thats the thinking when you look over the AF101, FS100 and PMW-F3, they are all great cameras spoiled by future development and improvements, this “next years model” thinking, has been around for over 20 years now and Canon hopefully will put a stop to this by producing cameras fit for todays HD broadcast filming and constrained budgets.

I know cameramen who hate the XF305 with a passion but those same cameramen have grown up with shoulder mounts and ENG lenses and as time moves on will become a minority, I was converted over to hand held cameras during the mid 90s when miniDV was born and have been a fan ever since.

Even the shoulder mount stalwart Alister Chapman has gone public saying that he thinks shoulder mounts have had their day, so whatever Sony or Panasonic have up their sleeve at NAB lets hope we are not saying “If only”.

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

1970s the BBC were producing camera demos in-house !

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

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