The metabones adapter for Canon EF to Sony E mount with full electronic control $399

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A little known company from Canada has been hard at work developing this amazing Canon EF to Sony E adapter that allows the NEX range of cameras to control the iris and the image stabilisation on the Canon EF mount lenses.

Metabones forms a strategic partnership with Conurus of Vancouver, Canada to jointly develop, manufacture and market a new Smart Adapter(TM) series of products featuring electronic interfacing with the lens.

The partnership is shipping its first fruition of collaboration today, a Smart Adapter that integrates a Canon EF mount lens to a Sony NEX camera body. Electronic aperture is directly controlled by the camera body and all exposure modes are available. Image stabilization (if the Canon EF lens supports it) and EXIF are supported, but there is no autofocus. This new smart adapter is marketed under the Metabones brand name and may be ordered directly from conurus.com or from a Metabones distributor in Japan, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong or China for US$399.

Metabones is known for mechanical design that is already significantly ahead of the competition, as can be seen with the Contax G lens adapters for Micro 4/3 and Sony NEX with ultra-wide focusing rings and smooth manual focus action, and the ALPA lens to Leica M adapter with rangefinder coupling. Now, incorporating leading-edge electronic technology from Canada brings forth a new breed of adapters that not only truly integrates the lens with the camera body but offers the best workmanship, accuracy and reliability as well.

The adapter is manual focus-only but allows control of aperture and the use of the image stabilization on Canon IS lenses. Full lens information, including focal length, aperture and lens IS is reported back to the camera for EXIF, allowing the use of all P,A,S and M modes. The adapter also features a ‘Wide Open’ button that opens the aperture up for fine focusing, with the lens otherwise stopped-down to the chosen aperture, giving accurate depth-of-field in live view. It will cost $399.

The big question is will it work with the Sony FS100 there is no reason why not but if metabones care to send me a sample I will gladly test it for them.

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

New Nikon D4 multimedia features

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From Nikon, here are the main video features of the D4:

Full HD video recording – Users have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including 1080p 30/24fps and 60 fps at 720p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to 20 minutes per clip. This format also allows for more accurate video data to be transferred requiring less memory capacity. The sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion.

Full manual control of exposure – Shutter speed, aperture and ISO can be changed while recording to adapt to lighting and alter depth of field for professional cinematic results that help realize a creative vision.

Uncompressed output: simultaneous Live View – By using the camera’s HDMI port instead of the CF or XQD card, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera. This footage can be ported into an LCD display or appropriate external recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections.

Audio recording for professionals – The Nikon D4 features a stereo headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording. Output can be adjusted in up to 30 steps for precise audio adjustment. The D4 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. The microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction.

Multi-area Mode Full HD Video: FX/DX, and 2.7x crop mode at 1080p video modes – Whether shooting for depth of field in FX format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D4 allows videographers to retain full 1080P HD resolution no matter what mode they choose. With the 2.7x crop, users can experience ultra-telephoto benefits in full HD resolution all at 16:9 aspect ratio.

Simultaneous live view output without display / simultaneous monitor – Shooters have the option to send the display signal directly to an attached monitor via the HDMI port. This signal can be viewed on the camera’s LCD screen and external monitor simultaneously. Additionally, the image data display can be cleared from the screen, to remove distracting data or when feeding a live signal.

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JVC showcase another 4K camcorder at CES 2012

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JVC have gone 4K mad, not happy with the newly announced GY-HMQ10 4K camcorder JVC showcase a new un-named removable lens 4K camcorder. Dan Carr posted this interesting interview on Vimeo 4 days ago with JVCs Craig Yanagi.

The camera has a Nikon G mount allowing Nikon G lenses to be used because of their manual compatibility with the iris mechanism, using an even larger 4K sensor than the HMQ10.

This is incredible in fact only last year at BVE 2010 I spoke to the late Kevin O Malley who told me that JVC were not interested in large sensor cameras, I suspect Kevin was having a wee giggle at my expense, Kevin had a great sense of humour.

The word from JVC is that this is a technology preview at the moment and certainly not a product, JVC are showing some of their future potential.

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

Alan Roberts on the Canon EOS C300 (BBC HD Approved)

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Tests and settings on a Canon EOS C300

Tests were made on a pre-production sample of the Canon EOS C300. Clearly, the specification and performance of the camera may differ when it is released, and therefore any details and measurements in this document are subject to modification, when a production model is tested. Canon have made it clear that this is only their first offering of a ‘digital-cinema’ camera.

The camera has one large CMOS sensor (super 35 size, 24.6×13.8mm) and uses interchangeable lenses. It will be available with one of two lens mounts, the standard PL, and Canon’s EF range. EF lenses can be controlled from within the camera, while the PL mount has no electrical connections to the lens.

It records MPEG2-compressed video, and has HDMI and HDSDI output, but all the tests were made using the recorded MPEG2 signals, and analysed in software. It has a built-in monocular viewfinder, and connection ports for external LCD panel, control handle and other accessories.

The sensor is a single CMOS, total 4206×2340 photo-sites, of which a central patch of 3840×2160 is used for the video signal (the implications of this will be discussed in detail in the measurements section).. Recording is onto Compact Flash card (two slots) in MPEG-2, long-GoP, with MXF file format. Three bit rate options are available: 50Mb/s CBR (constant bit rate) at 4:2:2 colour sampling (1920×1080 or 1280×720), 35Mb/s 4:2:0 VBR (1920×1080 or 1280×720) and 25Mb/s 4:2:0 CBR (1440×1080 only). Thus it complies with broadcast requirements for bit rate and offers more economic rates for greater economy (the 25Mb/s option matches HDV format). At these rates, a 64GB card can record 160, 225 and 310 minutes respectively. In 1080 mode, both interlaced and progressive modes are available. Off-speed recording at fixed speeds from 12 to 60fps is possible. Recorded content is to 8-bit depth1; this is a limitation of the internal processing. HDSDI and HDMI outputs are also both 8-bit depth, although the data-stream is 10-bit. This does not appear to have any detrimental effect on the camera performance.

The EBU-approved 50Mb/s MPEG2 format is 4:2:2 coded at 10-bit depth. Although the camera records 8-bit content, it should be handled as 10-bit in post-production since this gives ‘foot-room’ for image manipulation without introducing colour contouring. No contouring was experienced during the camera tests.

NOISE

Since the camera’s digital processor handles only 8- bit signals at the output, it may not be handling more than 10-bit data at the ADCs, and so non-linear ADCs make a lot of sense. It is clear that a better digital processor would result in significantly lower noise values in this camera. However, this non-uniform distribution of noise gives the pictures a more film-like appearance, where the pictures appear to be ‘more quiet’ than the numerical analysis alone would indicate.

The measured noise levels are not low enough to be limited by the 8-bit nature of the recorded signal, which has a noise floor of about -54dB. The camera’s performance appears to be well-matched to 8-bit output.

CONCLUSION

This camera performs well. Resolution is very well maintained and is refreshingly alias-free, far more so than other CMOS single-sensor cameras. Detail controls work well, and the factory settings are generally good. Noise levels are similar to those of 2⁄3” cameras with 3 sensors, as is sensitivity. Dynamic range is unusually high, at least 12 stops. Operating the camera at significantly higher gain produces more noise, but not dramatically so. The specified noise level of -54dB is achievable only at -6dB gain and with noise reduction switched on. Noise distribution is non-uniform, which gives the pictures a more film-like appearance.

Because of the large-format size of the sensor, iris diffraction should not start to be visible until the lens is stopped down to between F22 and F32. This, together with the integral neutral density filters, means that there should be about 14 stops of useful exposure control.

Performance at 720p is acceptable although not quite ideal, and can be improved a little by judicious use of the noise reducer. It is probably not essential to shoot at 1080 and use an external software or hardware down-converter, although the resulting spatial aliasing would probably be better by doing so.

For the full test click here:

 http://cpn.canon-europe.com/files/news/video_expert_produces_eos_c300_report/Alan_Roberts_on_the_Canon_EOS_C300.pdf

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

H Preston Media Open Day this Thursday for the Canon EOS C300

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

Shot with the Canon EOS C300 by Sebastien Devaud

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

Panasonic preview f2.8 mFT “X” lenses

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CES 2012: Panasonic is showing mockups of two large-aperture zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds. The Panasonic stand plays host to mockups of a 12-35mm F2.8 and a 35-100mm F2.8 lens, prominently badged ‘Concept’ lenses. Next to the models is a lens roadmap confirming the company’s intentions to build a 12-35mm (24-70mm equiv) and 35-100 (70-200mm equiv) ‘X’ grade zooms, but with a note that the maximum apertures are ‘to be determined.’ The diagram appears to suggest both lenses will arrive later in 2012.

Strange but interesting “the maximum apertures are ‘to be determined” and heres me thinking its f2.8. Now take it from me Mr Panasonic lens designer you will win a watch if you can make these lenses f1.8 or better still f1.4 maximum aperture, that would allow a fantastic shallow depth of field for AF101 users, the 12-35mm being a cracking standard zoom for the AF101.

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Mini Review of the Manfrotto Unica V Messenger RED shoulder bag £79

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I have been looking for a new bag for my NX70s and came across the new Manfrotto Unica V shoulder bags. I had a choice of orange-red and white, I plumbed for one of each.

Manfrotto “The Unica V messenger is the perfect everyday companion for carrying your camera gear, laptop and personal gear. Gain quick access to your DSLR with lens attached, 17” Macbook (15.4” laptop) and personal effects in the upper compartment by using the top opening, LIMITED EDITION RED”

These bags are perfect for the Sony NX70 as they fit like a glove and still have plenty of space for battery charger, batteries, SDHC cards and a decent space underneath for a microphone and XLR cable.

Up till now we have had to put up with boring black or petrol green in the bag department and the great feature of these colourful bags is you won’t leave them behind on a job or lose them in a dark corner of a room.

This bag allows my NX70s to be self contained with everything in the one place…well recommended.

PS. Jessops have them on promotion at £50 this month.

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

JVC GY-HMQ10 available from March for £5090

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JVC Professional Europe Ltd. today announced the GY-HMQ10, the world’s first handheld 4K camcorder, which captures, records and plays video images at four times the resolution of high definition television. Powered by JVC’s Falconbrid large-scale integration (LSI) chip for high-speed signal processing and a 1/2-inch CMOS imager with 8.3 million active pixels, it delivers real-time 3840×2160 footage at 24p and 50p.

“We’re witnessing the birth of what is destined to become a broad market for full 4K end-to-end production,” said product manager, Gustav Emrich. “The GY-HMQ10 is a breakthrough product that opens up 4K imaging to users who previously wouldn’t have considered it.”

High resolution 4K still picture imaging has been around for several years in DSLR cameras. Motion video capture with these cameras has always been done at a lower video resolution because of lack of processing power. Likewise, high end digital motion picture cameras may capture 4K images, but often provide a raw data output to an external storage array for later processing – again due to lack of processing power in the camera. There just hasn’t been the ability to capture, process, display and record full 4K images in real time until now.

JVC’s exclusive Falconbrid LSI processing takes raw image data from the camera’s CMOS device and dematrixes (deBayers) it in real time. Unlike many high end 4K cameras, the GY-HMQ10 is able to output 4K images to a monitor or projection system in real time with virtually no latency. This capability opens up applications in cinematography, medical microscopy, telepresence, specialised observation / surveillance, and live wide-view event coverage.

Using MPEG-4 technology and a variable bit rate H.264 codec operating at up to 144 Mbps, the GY-HMQ10 records up to two hours of 4K video to economical SDHC or SDXC memory cards.

In addition to 4K imaging, the GY-HMQ10 also captures and records astonishing 1080i or 1080/50p full HD, with extraordinary detail provided by its 8.3 megapixel imager and superior lens. HD is recorded on a single memory card in a format compatible with most editing systems, along with the ability to crop an HD image from a 4K frame. This can be accomplished in post production, or in real time during camera playback. The “trimming” feature makes HD cropping easy using the camera’s touch panel LCD monitor.

Similar in size to JVC’s popular GY-HM150 ProHD camcorder, the GY-HMQ10 includes a build-in F2.8 10x zoom lens with optical image stabiliser, as well as a colour viewfinder and 3.5-inch touch LCD monitor with a new, intuitive user interface. The GY-HMQ10 is built in a familiar, comfortable and lightweight form factor for hours of field production with minimum fatigue.

The GY-HMQ10 is equipped with manual level controls for audio, with audio metering in the LCD and viewfinder displays. A microphone holder and two balanced XLR connectors with phantom power are located on the handle. The camera is equipped with a built-in stereo mic for ambient sound pickup.

Other features include JVC’s patented Focus Assist, as well as manual and auto control of focus, iris, gain, shutter, gamma, colour matrix and white balance. Plus, the camera has the unusual capability of live 4K output via four HDMI terminals.

“Historically, JVC has been a leader in camcorder and display technology, and the GY-HMQ10 is our latest breakthrough,” added Gustav. “It’s part of a larger move at JVC to bring 4K technology to a wide range of customers.” In September 2011, JVC introduced an affordable line of 4K projectors to the home theatre market. The company’s high-end 4K projectors are widely used in commercial flight simulators and planetariums. “4K is the logical step beyond HD,” he added, “and JVC is uniquely positioned to lead the industry in this new direction.”

JVC’s innovative approach to professional 4K will be unveiled in a series of industry announcements beginning at CES in Las Vegas and continuing throughout 2012.

The GY-HMQ10 has a list price of £5090 and is expected to ship in March 2012.

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

French Canal Plus drops 3D channel after 18 months !

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From an article in Broadcast Engineering …The decision by French pay TV operator Canal Plus to axe its 3-D channel after 18 months of operation is a significant setback for the technology in Europe, following low consumer take up. The channel attracted just 20,000 subscribers despite considerable marketing from Canal Plus since its launch in June 2010, leading the company to decide the technology was not ready. Canal Plus managing director René Saal said that for now development and marketing would be refocused back on 3-D, although he did not rule out restarting its 3-D channel in a few years’ time.

The move reflects growing loss of momentum for 3-D in Europe, caused by a combination of lukewarm consumer response and lack of available content. The first signs of this were apparent early in 2011 if not before, with the publication by analyst group Ovum of a report called The State of 3-D (Strategic Focus) identifying a lack of enthusiasm among broadcasters as 53 percent of survey respondents regarded it as low priority. As a result, 3-D content was being produced at a much lower rate than had been hoped or expected a year or two earlier. The report noted that a number of European operators had launched 3-D channels, including BSkyB as well as CanalPlus, but had been hampered by the high cost of 3-D production, particularly for live content. This in turn had deterred some operators from coming in with dedicated 3-D channels at all, but meant more generally that the appeal of 3-D was limited by the poor choice of content, mostly confined to a scattering of sports events and a few movies.

Even in the UK, which has been leading Europe’s push for 3-D, enthusiasm tapered off towards the end of 2011 following another report by Informa Telecoms & Media, which indicated that 3-D will still have failed to break out of its niche and become part of mainstream viewing by 2016. The report acknowledged that 3-D had got off to a flying start in the UK following a strong push from the country’s leading pay TV operator, satellite provider BSkyB, which has been providing its 3-D content free to its 3.7 million premium HD customers, almost 40 percent of its 10 million customer base. BSkyB has been pushing 3-D as the next big thing, and rival Virgin Media, the UK’s dominant cable TV operator with 4 million subscribers, has also been plugging 3-D hard, offering 3-D movies to customers with a capable TV set. Furthermore, 3-D has also enjoyed strong support from the BBC, which kicked off by broadcasting the men’s and women’s finals of the 2011 Wimbledon tennis championships in the format.

But, reality intruded on the hype increasingly in the second half of 2011, as Internet connectivity overtook 3-D in the league of development and marketing priorities. Virgin Media realized it was gaining far more customers as a result of its Tivo box connecting TVs to web content than from 3-D, with the Informa survey predicting that, while, by 2016, one-third of UK households, or about 8 million, will have 3-D TV sets, only 42 percent of these will consume 3-D content regularly.

Part of the reason for the slower-than-expected take up of 3-D is realization that the technology has some way to go to make 3-D viewing compelling for a broad range of content. Goggle-less viewing will be essential for 3-D to become mainstream, and it has still to be proven that TV sets can provide this successfully across a wide field of view. Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and other symptoms caused quite commonly by 3-D viewing also need to be tackled by reducing the visual processing load on the brain imposed by current technology.

So far, the decline in 3-D interest in Europe appears not to have been reflected elsewhere, with major U.S. networks such as ESPN, Discovery, and DirecTV maintaining their efforts. ESPN, for example, hopes that 3-D will recoup some of the $15.2 billion it spent on rights over the next eight years to the National Football league, planning to shoot these in full 1080p HD resolution in 3-D after 2014.

Meanwhile, Consumer Electronics (CE) vendors are desperately trying to maintain 3-D momentum by investing in 3-D content production if the broadcasters will not do it. The 2012 London Olympics will provide a major test of this strategy, with several TV makers including Panasonic sponsoring 3-D TV production at the games.

In reality, though, CE makers, as well as pay TV operators and broadcasters, are having to lengthen their sights and view 3-D as more of a slow burner that will generate revenues and interest, but over a longer term than had been anticipated, with more work needed. It is likely that further improvements in HD, perhaps Ultra HD, will gain greater traction first.

Despite a growing number of professional 3D camcorders like the Sony PMW-TD300 the general public are not as interested in 3D as the people who make the products like Sony, Panasonic and JVC.

People are happy with HD pictures and a larger swing of the general public are swapping over to HD Ready LED/plasma TVs choosing Sky HD, Blu ray and other devices like the Apple TV that can now stream HD pictures giving a wide selection of HD media to choose from.

 

 

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