Panasonics AVC Ultra

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AVC Ultra, the collective name given to Panasonic’s group of professional AVC based codecs, represents a single workflow destination for professional users working at many levels in the production cycle. As a unified, seamless group of codecs based on the H.264 standard, AVC Ultra offers enhanced flexibility for both high-end and mainstream production through its support for a wide range of data-rates from low to high quality.
The AVC Intra 100 and 50 is enhancing  up to 1080p by maintaining  existing workflows and infrastructure. Ideal for where quality consciousness sits alongside the need for a flexible, cost-efficient house format.
Intra capability is expanding up to 4:4:4, 12 bit, Master quality with a range of up to 4K resolution. The advantage is  visually lossless, file based mastering means flexibility and sustainability, and far smaller file size than with currently available technologies.
In this IBC, we announce extending  to the cost conscious segment where  speed and flexibility are required  with AVC Long Gop which is twice efficiency of current MPEG2-GOP.
AVCUltra  is covering a full range of industry applications while also delivering an improved workflow experience  ranging from 400M at one end to 800K at the other. This makes AVC Ultra a good choice for professional applications including filming in 3D.  AVC Ultra  is an entirely unified codec family  based on H.264. The AVC Ultra family also includes an AVCProxy codec designed specifically for quick breaking news applications and fast off-line editing.

The latest enhancements to the codec line-up mean that the AVC Ultra family can ensure consistent results for a full range of industry applications while also delivering an improved workflow experience. The AVC Ultra family also includes an AVC Proxy codec designed specifically for quick breaking news applications and fast off-line editing.

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

Day TWO IBC 2011

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Day two was more hectic than day one, first stop was to ATOMOS…

I was shown a fantastic HD converter which converts HDMI to HD SDI and fits in your top pocket, runs off a Sony 7.4V battery which is why you now have two choices when it comes to the HDMI Ninja or the HDSDI Samuri.

This is a reader from Israel, Nissan Lahat Kunz who tells his cameramen to look at my tutorials if they need a refresher in using his Sony PMW-350 camcorder.

This was a great bit of marketing a German web streaming company showing off the new very portable mini CASTER a live streaming encoder that connects to the internet via LAN, cellular or WiFi and converts video signals from prosumer camcorders to live HD web streaming.

My old friend Ron Tarrent from Panasonic was on hand to explain the new codecs from Panasonic that will rock the video industry to its core and also informed me that the new 22x lenses on the 250 and 160 were 28mm on the wide end.

We have taken a lot of footage over the last 2 days at IBC so look out for my reports coming soon.

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

Sony show 2 new lenses for the F3 camcorder

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Today Sony introduced 2 new heavy weights in the form of zoom lenses. The 11-16mm wide zoom lens with a list cost of 6,000 Euros and a 14x zoom lens for the F3.


The 14x zoom lens works off the rocker control on the F3 and has a range from 18mm to 252mm with an image stabiliser built in for good measure. The lens in a f3.8 but as Alister Chapman pointed out this is a lens for ENG work so shallow depth of field would be less important in this field.

The 18-252mm f3.8 zoom lens is dedicated to the Sony F3 camcorder and will retail for about 9000 Euros.

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

IBC Day ONE NEWS (Exclusive)

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Today was day one of IBC 2011 and it was only at 4.30 pm we got an exclusive from Mike Tapa of MTF Services.

Today we got to see the first electronic Canon EF adapter for the Sony F3, Sony FS100 and Panasonic AF101…yes you heard correctly an electronic iris adapter for the three major large sensor camcorders.

Here is the man himself Mike Tapa showing us his exclusive Canon EF iris control plus adapter, this I may add is a working prototype, working on all three large sensor camcorders from Sony (2) and Panasonic (1).

Here is the control box of the MTF electronic adapter which controls the iris in 1/8th of a stop increments seen here with a Sony F3 in the background.

Mike has indeed brought a cat out of the bag with this product as Birger Engineering don’t seem the be at the show nor are their Canon EF adapters to be seen, promised as far back as June 2011.

If you have Canon EF glass and own any of the three large sensor camcorders then this combination from MTF Services is a number one Christmas list product as MTF hope to be into full production by November 2011, price to be announced.

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

Arriving in Amsterdam 9.15am

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This is me arriving at Amsterdam this morning, I have had a text from my friend from FCP.CO telling me that he is waiting to go into a Sony conference so I will let you know later on today if we have any new camcorders etc.

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

H Preston Media …Open Day, see the new Panasonic cameras

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

IBC 2011…One day to go

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We are heading to Amsterdam today arriving Friday morning so I won’t be able to give you any info till Friday evening with pictures and a written report of day one at IBC.

As usual we are filming and this year I have the Sony FS100 and the Sony NX70, the video will not be edited till late next week so please be patient.

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

How to go Viral

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Today in Glasgow my nephew became big news because of one person…Taylor Swift. During a You Tube interview Taylor happened to mention Douglas’s You Tube video (4m 30s in) and how it was cute watching him being licked by baby lion cubs. The roof lifted off Dougies life and everyone wanted to know the “Scottish lion man”.

As you can see Taylor Swift is mega and has an enormous following especially in the USA, today our local independant TV station interviewed Dougie.

Our camera crew from Scottish Television, Fraser Clelland and Karen Greenshields (Reporter) who are old friends of mine as I used to freelance for STV many moons ago.

So here is that very internet sensation followed by Dougies own music video filmed by myself on the new Sony FS100.

[xr_video id=”1728c884c58643878a46fa9f50b80fdb” size=”md”]

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

Harking back to the past to educate the future

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Everyone thinks that shallow depth of field is part and parcel of the film world but not everyone was happy with SDoF.  When one of Hollywood’s biggest directors Orson Welles filmed Citizen Kane a film made in 1941 which was not only directed by Orson Welles but stared the very man himself, director Welles insisted on having a large depth of field for many of his shots.

This gave the crew a nightmare as they had to bring in far more lighting when Orson decided his next shot was to be filmed at T11 or f11 to you and me. T11 in those days ment blasting the set with light in order to allow the iris to stop down to f11, if nothing else things must have got very hot indeed.

If on the occasion enough light was not the answer they would use a split lens to give them two seperate depths of focus now this was tricky as you had to make sure your foreground actors and background actors never crossed the “invisible” line.

As an example you would use the edge of the door as an invisible line then pop on the split lens giving you two separate focusing fields.

As you can see the actors could not move from that position or the effect would be ruined. So you see it’s a savvy director who decides not to follow the rest of the field and give the viewer a visual experiance that in those days was new and different to the norm.

Think out of the box like Orson Welles did seventy years ago, the internet is a great tool but many of you are trying to emulate and be influanced by what you see on YouTube, Vimeo etc. The best films or videos today are fresh, free of influances from what others do and say, it does not have to be the “Film Look” for everything you do, video and its larger depth of field still has a place, it’s the power of your story that matters the tool to do the job is secondary to that.

My thanks to Norrie for the background info.

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

24p or 25p video myth buster

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If you are filming with a video camera or a DSLR why are we constantly being told to film in 24p to make it closer to film when it’s a lot of tosh. No one can tell the difference between 24 and 25p as long as they are edited in 24 and 25p respectively so why are so called gurus always banging on about 24p.

24 and 25 frames per second is a term that comes from the film world, if you are producing a 16mm film for the cinema then choose 24 fps and if you were producing a 16mm film for TV then choose 25 fps.

16mm cine projectors run at 24 /25 fps and other frames in between but your TV set does not process your video footage the same way as a cine projector so where does this myth come from.

“Film like” is the answer, video manufacturers have been giving us film like features for years…cine gamma, 24p filming and now shallow depth of field large sensor cameras. Video artists have been craving that cine look for years and have been taken along on that CINE LOOK bandwagon till they and we have been brainwashed into thinking that by setting your video camera to 24p, cine gamma that you will indeed get a picture closer to cine…NO.

Film has a unique look depending what emulsion you use 125ASA for a smother look or 400ASA for a grainer look etc, etc. Film stock between manufactures also add to that look, film has a far greater latitude than video which means it can handle a wider range of exposure before it whites out.

A 35mm film produced 25 years ago will transfer onto a Blu ray HD DVD without any problem but the “look” is indeed film. Video tries to emulate film in many ways but sadly for the artist if you want the true film look then USE FILM !

Video will always look electronic no matter how good it is and this myth about using 24p over 25p to get that true film look is nothing more than fantasy, if its produced on video you can not see any difference between 24 and 25p.

While we are on this topic can news producers stop sending idiots out on news shoots with their cameras switched to 25p as it looks crap, I am forever watching locally produced news where one news insert has been filmed at 25p…you can’t miss it in your viewfinder the moving people behind your talking head are staccato, its a sad sign of the times when we get badly trained operators who do not know their cameras and how to set them up properly.

I have used 720 50p for a few years now with great success, it transfers to DVD like a charm and now shoot 1080 50p, the “p” or progressive look is a closer match for todays plasma and LCD TVs and does not give you those jaggy edges seen in interlaced footage.

I started filming when I was 12 years of age using various super 8 film cameras not because I wanted a film look but video as we know it today in small camcorders had not been invented. You had 50 foot reels of film which lasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds and that was filmed at 18 fps to “save” precious seconds of expensive emulsion, remembering the projector was also set to 18 fps. In fact if you want a true 70s Super 8 look then you should set your video camera to 18p.

I filmed on Ektachrome 400 which gave me a better results in lower lighting conditions but it was all a toss of the dice whether anything turned out in low light, what a disappointment if your two week wait was in vain. It took two weeks for your Kodak film to go to Hemel Hempstead, get processed and come back.

My uncle Ted used a 16mm Bolex at 24 fps and his footage looked fantastic, much richer and less wishy washy than my super 8mm footage. Film gives you a sense for not waisting shots or precious time on filming rubbish unlike video.

Video like digital photography has changed the mind-set of many people to the detriment of the medium being used, it’s like a lot of things today, if it does not cost then who cares, we are riddled with boring footage and hundreds of needless photographs all to end up in the same prison, the HARD DRIVE.

Only when you have saved your pocket money for film stock and used your 3.5 minutes of film wisely can you have any sence and appreciation for that true film look…I am not nicknamed the “Archiver” for nothing.

The only time it makes sense is if you are filming on video and your footage was to end up on film for the cinema then 24p would be preferable but in general 24p has become the flavour of the “film look tool box” along with cine gamma and shallow depth of field…given to us to emulate a look by the camera manufacturer.

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

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