Samyang 85mm F1.4 manual lens…FANTASTIC for the price !

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I thought this lens was arriving next week when out of the blue it arrived today and for £160 including Registered Delivery it’s a cracking lens. I have tested it out on the AF101 using the Kippon EOS adapter and what can I say…it blew me away.

This is a picture in my kitchen of my dear wife Susan and look at that shallow depth of field now  there must be a drawback I hear you say well the main drawback is the minimum focus which sits at one meter.

The picture it produces without any sharpening I may add are unreal for a lens of this price and don’t kid yourself it’s well made.

The company have already announced this 7.5mm f3.5 WA lens with a mFT mount which will be a great WA prime for the AF101…FANTASTIC. I would have no qualms about recommending the 85mm lens for the AF101 bearing in mind the one meter minimum focus restriction. I will be putting it to the test using it with the AF101 this Friday.

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

Sony to reveal 8K camera at NAB 2011

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The bar has been raised again. Sony is planning to show the prototype of a new >4K motion picture camera at NAB 2011. This could be historic.
We’re an hour southwest of Tokyo at Sony’s Tech Center in Atsugi. No pictures allowed, but we spent time with the development team and executives involved in this latest addition to the Sony CineAlta product line. It doesn’t have a name yet, but instead of calling it the Next CineAlta Camera, let’s give it the working title of Cine Altissima. She is not a mere 4K motion picture camera. Behind the PL mount, there’s an 8K sensor: 8768 x 2324 pixel single CMOS sensor (that’s 20.4 Megapixels) — Super35 3-perf size, 16-bit RAW output, 16:8:8.

Altissima covers a wider color space than any other digital camera, and will include ACES Film Emulation.
In normal mode, the new Sony 4K camera will shoot from 1-72 fps. In HFR (High Frame Rate) mode, she’ll go from 1-120 fps.
A 1 TB Memory Card recording at 24 fps will store about an hour of “footage.” A dockable SR Memory Card Recorder can attach to the camera for recording directly to an SR Memory Card of 256 MB, 512 MB or 1 TB. I imagine that other recording options will become available, both onboard as an accessory digital “magazine,” and tethered by cable in a separate case. Debayering for instant viewing or playback will be available with external real time hardware.

Altissima has the familiar look, in prototype form, of a high end motion picture camera: hints of F35, Arricam Studio or Panaflex Millenium. Power will be dual 12 volt; consumption is expected to be less than a Sony F35.
What does the image look like? The pictures from the prototype, on a large 4K monitor, were stunning. Rich blacks, incredible detail, superbly sharp. I’m guessing the native ISO sensitivity is around 800-1000 — just quick speculation in a dark test room and a tabletop set.

I think what makes this new camera possible is the fact that Sony manufactures the five secret sauces essential to practical 4K: sensor, storage, software, station, and screening. Sony makes the 8K sensor that subsamples to 4K. That’s a significant amount of headroom; higher resolution from this sensor might be seen in the future. Storage: Sony makes the SR Memory Cards–they have an impressive 5 Gbps sustained data rate. Station: Data from the SR Memory Card is downloaded, cloned, and copied via Sony’s SRW-5800/2 deck. Software: Sony announced that Avid, Final Cut Pro and other major editing systems will handle all this. Finally, Sony’s 4K digital projectors have been installed in more than 7500 theaters worldwide.

Sony’s new Cine Altissima camera has the potential to be the big breakthrough into practical 4K production. This isn’t the trickle of traditional workflow. This is the floodgates opening. Jon Fauer

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

Sony PMW-F3 firmware upgrade announced

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Sony recently let us know about a software upgrade for the PMW-F3. This addition adds many features to the F3, including several key features for getting the most out of the camera. The firmware upgrade product code from Sony is CBK-RGB01 and, once purchased, the firmware can be installed at any Sony Pro dealership, or by a tech savvy owner. It enables S-Log gamma mode, Dual Link 444RGB video output, 3G-SDI output, four pre-loaded LUTs (look up tables), and five custom user LUTs.

What does this all mean? This firmware allows the F3 to output full RGB video in S-Log – in other words, it opens up the true potential of this camera. S-Log ups the dynamic range of the camera to 800%, and effectively increases the ISO to 1600. Dual-Link SDI or 3G-SDI (dual-link on one cable) gives you full RGB444, and the LUTs allow you to monitor video normally while shooting in S-Log. Finally, the five custom LUT options mean that users can create their own looks in the same manner. The firmware will be available this summer for a list price of $3,300.

Thanks to Andy Shipsides for this info

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

Panasonic AF101 Firmware update v1.15

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I was a bit slow on the uptake on this one but my good friend Richard Payne pointed me in the right direction, Panasonic have updated the firmware on the AF101 and have done the following improvements :

Here are a couple of tips…

1. You can not do anything till you run the camera from the mains.

2. Mac users need to install a patch which gets rid of a duplicated file, Panasonic provide the patch.

3. Your LCD will go blank for about 2mins then a message will appear “UPDATING SYSTEM PLEASE WAIT” this will continue for about 8-10mins then your LCD will return to normal.


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

Samyang 35mm f1.4 AS UMC lens €379 with mFT mount

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Samyang has modified the design of the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC lens by adding a DOF scale at the request of photographers. Originally announced on 16 September 2010, this ultra-fast moderate wide-angle manual-focus lens has also seen a reduction in size, Samyang says. Available in Canon, Four Thirds, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung NX and Sony Alpha fit, the lens is priced at €379 including taxes.
HDW : I do not know this company nor the quality of the glass but here are some very encouraging words from a photographer who tested the 85mm lens against a Nikon 85mm lens.
Final words
Some of you are probably thinking that the 1200€ Nikkor is way ahead and is the better lens. Yes, in some ways I agree, but when you take into consideration the prices then value becomes an important issue, especially since the optical performance of both lenses are so close and the price differences so great. I mean is an extra 800€ really worth it for lens that performs only slightly better optically and offers AF? Not to mention its inability to be focused manually! 

So the Samyang has to be the best bargain going around on the net at the moment. If you are a wedding or portrait photographer on a tight budget or just starting out, then you can’t go wrong with the Samyang AE 85mm f/1.4 lens. For 300€ you get a well built manual focusing portrait lens that performs similarly to the legendary AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D.     John Caz Photography

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

Canon 7D user finds “haunting fault” with his AF100 (USA)

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Why am I not surprised that a Canon 7D user who has been used to “perfect video footage” using his 7D now pulling down the performance of the AF100. This blog is a joke not only has he little understanding in lenses but sensors as well.

All lenses suffer flare to a certain degree, beyond f4 upwards to f0.95 you will exacerbate this phenomenon also Canon lenses are made with Canon sensors in mind not Panasonic 4/3 sensors.

So why is it not a surprise to find that this chap has found the Panasonic AF100 to be “haunted” when you can see the same problem on every camera on the planet.

I think you will find this chap has been banned from DVX USER because of his little understanding in the subject he writes about but it’s also an obvious snipe at the success of the Panasonic AF100/101 coming from a DSLR background and it’s not even April the first yet !

I am also not giving him traffic because his findings are NORMAL not PARANORMAL which is why I do not mention his name or web reference.

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

Nigel Coopers NEW DVD available direct from HD Warrior

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Nigel Coopers new DVD, “How to light & Shoot Interviews for TV & Video” is now available direct from HD Warrior if you want a copy send us your details and I will send you a PayPal request for the £19.99. Note : You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal.

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

datavideo iPad Prompter for the Panasonic AF101

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I got an email from a Podiatrist in Hull last week teeing up times and dates to do a spot of filming and reminding me that she would prefer to use a prompter. Although I had such a beast from ProPrompter their iPad HD it is totally unsuitable for use with the Panasonic AF101, what a pain.

Fortunately my recent visit to BVE in London I had been looking at suitable prompters for the AF101, Holdan had the datavideo iPad Prompter and after studying it for a while I could see the full potential of using it with the 101.

Updated design feature : Delivered this morning from Holdan’s I started to assemble it to discover you get one standard 1/4″ screw which in my books is far to flimsy and does not fasten the camera nor in my case a quick release plate firmly enough to the prompter frame so after some measurements and an older Manfrotto QR plate I drilled a larger hole in the frame to allow a 3/8″ tripod screw and hey presto you have a belt and braces QR plate held on with two screws.

The great feature about the AF101 is it’s size, it is so well balanced on the Miller Tripod because it’s not a shoulder mount bruit. I tried the Nokton 25mm lens and the Canon 50mm f1.2 lens both work a treat.

Software : You can download various prompter APPs from the APPLE APP STORE but two that work best is i-Prompt Pro (FREE) and Teleprompt +. iPrompt Pro allows you to use the wired remote that comes with the datavideo prompter kit, you can download the APP called dv Prompter that datavideo recomend but I find the remote does not function nearly as well as iPrompt Pro which looks to be a clone of the datavideo version.

Teleprompt + for iPad is £5.99 and allows you to use your iPhone as a remote control for speed, pause and tabbing, I must admit the wired remote used with iPrompt is by far the most reliable for prompting.

UPDATE : Just spoke to the software developers at iPrompt and they inform me that an updated version of both iPrompt and datavideo which is the same software which gets rid of a bug that causes a jitter in the scrollong speed mode. The update should be with us via the Apple web site in about 5 days.


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

New web site for FCP users

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If we are going to see FCP-8 this is the web site that will have the first sniffing. It was very stupid of Apple to wax on about iMovie soon to be available for iPad 2 and not even mention Final Cut.

Once again Apple prove to their loyal FCP users that we are not even worth a mention even by the so called father of FCP, Randy Ubllios, who could have given us some hope of seeing FCP-8 at NAB 2011.

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

New Miller Compass 25 Tripod with accessory bloc (March promotion)

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I had two reasons to go to BVE in London one to work and one to get myself a new tripod. I looked at most of the affordable tripods at the show but I was looking for something a wee bit better as I felt that some of my productions lacked a less than lustre pan and tilt.

I have been a Manfrotto fan for many a year and the 504HD was certainly the best head they have produced for a long time but the 504HD is not a true fluid head and the legs are not the best. I had a Vinten a few years ago but stupidly sold it to my good friend Alister. The Manfrotto gives you a set of heads that are interchangeable so if you are doing a 2 camera shoot you only have one quick release plate to worry about.

Anyway that aside I was now in the market for a new tripod and the one that took my fancy was the Miller Compass 25 a brand new model into the UK and was on show at BVE for the first time.

The single item that nailed the tripod sale for me was the addition of an accessory mounting bloc, free to everyone who buys this tripod during March 2011…fantastic, now I have a place to mount my Cineroid EVF.

My trip to BVE was a great success and with the delivery of my new Miller Compass 25 tripod today, icing on the cake, your second most important purchase beyond the camera itself is a tripod and I am glad to be investing in a family business like Miller just as good if not better than it’s German equivalent.

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

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