NAB 2010 starts 10-15 April

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

Canon XF300 and XF305 Pro Camcorders ($7999 XF305)

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The XF305, one of Canon’s first file-based professional camcorders, combines an MPEG-2, 50Mbps, 4:2:2 codec with a Canon L-series lens and 3 Full HD CMOS sensors for superb HD video stored on CF card.


MPEG-2 MXF recording to CF cards at up to 50Mbps (4:2:2)
Comprehensive NLE support
18x wide angle Canon L-series lens
3 x 1/3 type Full HD Canon CMOS sensors
HD-SDI, Timecode, Genlock
10.1 cm LCD (1.23M dots); 1.3 cm (1.55M dots) EVF
Variable frame rates
Set your own standard: professional, file-based Full HD

Capture high quality HD to CF cards
The XF305 records MPEG-2 MXF (Media eXchange Format) files – up to 1920 x 1080 Full HD at 50Mbps (4:2:2) – to CompactFlash (CF) memory cards. CF media is inexpensive and widely available: dual card slots allow filming to continue without interruption.

Flexible editing
Integrating seamlessly with existing workflows, movies shot on the XF305 are captured as industry-standard MXF files compatible with all major editing packages.

18x wide-angle lens
Drawing on Canon’s broadcast lens expertise – and informed by the feedback of professionals – the lightweight 18x L-series HD Video Lens delivers superb optical quality. Unique Ultra-Low Dispersion (Hi-UD) elements are used to prevent chromatic aberration. Separate rings offer independent control of Focus, Zoom and Iris (F1.6) – with full manual control available, end stops are provided for the focus and zoom rings.

3x Full HD CMOS
Full HD at 1920 x 1080 resolution is captured via three 1/3 type 2.07 Megapixel Full HD CMOS sensors – designed and manufactured by Canon in-house. High speed scanning minimises the effects of a rolling shutter.

10.1 cm LCD and 1.3 cm EVF
The 10.1 cm (4”) LCD screen can be positioned either side of the camera. Offering superior resolution (1.2M dots), the Focus Assist tool helps achieve sharp images. A built-in Waveform Monitor (WFM) helps verify exposure and other shooting parameters. Alternatively, a 1.3 cm (0.52”) Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is available.

Variable frame rate
A wide range of frame rates is available, from 12 to 50 fps. This gives cameramen the freedom to alter the capture rate for additional creative flexibility.

Professional jackpack and independent audio
HD-SDI output is the industry standard, outputting uncompressed Full HD with embedded audio and Timecode. Genlock In and Timecode In/Out allow the XF305 to be used in a multi-camera shoot. Audio can be captured via twin XLR inputs and also with the front-mounted stereo microphone.

Custom pictures
Twenty-six Custom Picture options can be adjusted to achieve the perfect look. These can be stored in-camera – via SD card – and settings can even be transferred between camcorders.

CPS support *
Canon’s exclusive CPS Video Support offers a priority repair service, guaranteeing quick turnaround.

Start shipping June 2010  Estimated price for XF305 $7999 (£5253)

HDW : Well true to their mock-up we now have the 305 and the 300 Pro camcorders. Canon predicted they were going to produce 50Mbs, 4:2:2 spec camcorders and true to their word they have. This is clearly aimed at the low budget broadcast market with these specs the main differences between both camcorders are HD SDI, Time code and genlock the same three features that separated  the last two Canon camcorders. As usual we see the standard Japanese 1/3″ stock CMOS chipset so you can bet these camcorders won’t set the heather alight in the low light dept.

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

A new HD Monitor for the HDSLR boys the DPSLR

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We are getting packed up to head to NAB and thought we would drop you note about the new products we are introducing. This is our first time exhibiting at NAB— actually it’s our first time exhibiting anywhere. It should be fun, but we have no idea what to expect. If you or any of your friends plan to attend, please drop by booth C11124 tucked behind B&H. (Hey, at least we are not in the parking lot).

Over the past year, we have received tons of feedback from customers like you and have spent hours pouring through user forums to help guide the direction of our future products. As a result, we believe SmallHD will once again redefine state-of-the-art, small, on-camera field monitors with the introduction of the DP-SLR.

This monitor was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the HDSLR videographer. The DP-SLR measures 4”x6”x1” and weighs in at only 10oz (284g). This small, lightweight package makes it very easy to shoot on the run without first taking a bodybuilding course.

Within the small 5.6” diagonal screen the DP-SLR packs a whopping 1280 x 800 resolution. At 270 pixels-per-inch (ppi), this translates into near laser printer quality. To put this into perspective, the new 27” (2560 x 1440) iMac runs about 109ppi. The DP-SLR has over 2.5 times the pixel density. It is hard to describe how this looks. Hopefully you will be able to see for yourself at NAB. We thought about providing pictures, but you literally don’t have a computer display that would do it justice. You’d be like my grandma watching Blu-ray on her 4×3 SD TV… just wondering what all the fuss is about. (As a side note, we did have one customer return a DP1 because it was “too sharp”— He will definitely hate the DP-SLR).

The baseline DP-SLR’s HDMI, Component and Composite interfaces can ingest a host of signals. So far it has been compatible with every camera tested. Hopefully we will get to test a lot more cameras at NAB.

3G HD/SDI comes on the upgraded model and maintains all the features, inputs and specs of the baseline DP-SLR (with the exception of a few grams of weight).

We maintained our commitment to strength and style with solid aluminum construction and four tapped ¼-20 mount points. However, we continue to explore every possible way to lighten the package. This process is ongoing as we continue to push the manufacturing envelope.

A monitor is not much use without portable power. The DP-SLR can accept voltages from 5v to18v, which opens the door to virtually any DC source. By only consuming 6 watts, the DP-SLR runs up to 4 hours on the standard SmallHD battery. Activated at the touch of a button, the on-screen battery-life indicator will give you confidence that your monitor won’t die in the middle of a shot.
The DP-SLR’s patent pending button interface will be familiar to anyone who has shot with a DSLR camera. The recessed scroll/click-wheel located on the top right part of the monitor gives you a natural, single finger control of all menu functions. Next to the click wheel is a programmable button that allows you to instantly access/toggle your favorite function, like “1:1 Scale” or “Battery Life”.

The natural placement of the chick-wheel control allows you to operate the DP-SLR with the patented snap-in sun hood attached at all times. Gone are the days when you had to back away from the screen to figure out which button to press or knob to adjust. Just lose yourself in the amazing image you are about to capture and navigate the menus with a single finger.

Here are a few of the software features included with the DP-SLR.
· Battery Life Indicator
· One-to-one
· Image Flip
· Freeze Frame
· Blue Gun
· Camera Presets
· and many more

We will be announcing a special NAB “show only” pre-order discount. The NAB discount will be available to you as well. It would be nuts to treat show attendees better than our existing clients. We really do appreciate your business.

We expect to begin shipping near the end of June. Orders will be filled on a first come first serve basis. The SmallHD store will be open for DP-SLR orders on April 12th.

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

Panasonic HPX-370 P2 Camcorder

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With a new, advanced 1/3″ 2.2-megapixel 3-chip imager featuring Ultra Luminance Technology (U.L.T.), the HPX370 delivers exceptional video performance for master-quality HD production. The shoulder-mount camcorder offers 10-bit, 4:2:2, full 1920 x 1080-resolution AVC-Intra recording with impressive levels of sensitivity and an interchangeable lens. The AVC-Intra codec is unrivaled for its full-raster, 10-bit, 4:2:2 sampling with none of the inherent compromises of 8-bit, long GOP and 4:2:0 recording. The HPX370 provides the ultra reliability of a solid-state design and the faster speed of a file-based workflow.

The HPX370 utilizes a 20-bit digital signal processor and high-resolution 3-MOS imagers, enhanced with U.L.T., which boosts the sensors’ performance to rival the image quality and sensitive of ½” imagers. The new U.L.T. sensor results in marked improvements in sensitivity, measured at F10. These high levels of sensitivity and image quality have been achieved with a new high-sensitivity photodiode and low-noise pixel transistor, both based on low-noise analog process technology. The same levels of sensitivity and image production that characterize the interlace mode are now possible in the progressive mode courtesy of Progressive Advanced Processing (P.A.P.), a 3D adaptive processing technology.

With the flexibility of an interchangeable lens, the HPX370 can be used with 1/3″ to 2/3″ lens adapters for use with existing 2/3″ zoom and prime lenses. The camera offers a broad range of creative features including variable frame rates, advanced gamma functions including a new Cine film-like gamma, Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC), built-in scan reverse, Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function, waveform and vector scope display and focus assist tools. The HPX370 also comes equipped with flash band detection and compensation software built-in for improved CMOS performance.

HDW : Funny isn’t it only a year ago we were drooling over the HPX-300 till we discovered the bombshell…the dancing black dots, it seems Panasonic never learn and are intent on bringing out wonderful camcorders that stop short of being fantastic. Once again they are using the 1/3″ chipset in this camcorder now as far as I am concerned it doesn’t matter how much dressing you add to the outside of a camcorder it’s the size of the chips that matter and to bring out a further 1/3″ pro camcorder is to say the least dega vu.

Hand held camcorders get away with 1/3″ chips but they are directed at a different marketplace, shoulder mount camcorders are on the whole taken up by professionals who are used to 2/3″ chipsets, they also have spare 2/3″ glass like WA lenses etc. Sony have just brought out the PMW-350 2/3″ shoulder mount camcorder to attract the very marketplace I am banging on about.

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

Van Gogh “Painted with Words” BBC Docu-Drama…Filmed during December 2009

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Day ONE…Wednesday afternoon 9th December 2009

I had been asked by Sam from the BBC if I could meet up with Director of Photography (DP) Graham Smith to make sure we were both happy with the setup. I turned up with my gleaming 15″ hi-brightness prompter but it soon became apparent that the 7″ standard lo-tech prompter would suffice.

Technical… The camcorder was Graham’s Sony 750 with a 35mm adapter, wireless pull focus and Arri prime lenses.

Day TWO… Thursday 10th December 2009

Hunterston House in Ayrshire was to be my first day with the crew and the thing I was not prepared for was the temperature, it was baltic, the catering van was 1st port of call for hot food and cups of warm tea, seemingly when you live in such a big old fashioned house as you can appreciate it’s very hard and expensive to keep warm so you only heat the rooms you are living in. I was freezing most of day one and had stupidly put on a pair of trainers thinking inside a big old house would be warm !

Most of the interior shots you see in this production were shot in 3 locations in Scotland, Hunterston House in Ayrshire, Ardgowan house near Greenock and Effingee Studios in Glasgow. The old houses fascinated me they have rooms that are not used so the prop department has cart blanch to re decorate or sometimes re design the room to fit in with the period.

Two things fascinated me firstly was the ability of the focus puller Sue to get it right on so many occasions…she would use an old fashioned tape measure hooked onto the Sony 750 which was positioned at the sensors plane which is marked on most pro camcorders for this very use, then she would take the other end to the actors face…now thats fine if you are going to pull focus from a static position ‘A’ to a a static position ‘B’ but most of Grahams shots involved the dolly so you have an unknown speed travelling along a track and by some genius on Sue’s behalf few shots were spoiled by lack of focus.

Thought a picture of this amazing lady ‘Sue’ should come in about now, from memory I don’t think she has been focus pulling for much longer than about  10 years but I take my hat off to Sue as she was a shear delight to watch.

The other person worth watching was Nick Green the lighting director, he works closely with the DP in every shot creating fantastic lighting moods that  look natural not setup. I watched as a freezing cold room was transformed into a Mediterranean sun lit room which was very confusing for my body as we were in the grip of a cold spell reaching -7º and little to no heating.

What did I learn…lots about lighting and using ‘flags’ as they are called to deflect light, we are always taught when  lighting to diffuse, close down the barn doors, bounce the light…only the wizards like Nick treat lighting like a  paintbrush and taking it to the 2nd level…not all light is wanted and most of us spend or waste time messing about with stray lighting trying to light your subject forgetting that you have the ability to take light away as well as add it to a scene.

Flaggs are nothing fancier than sheets of black foam board that you position in front of a light to cast a shadow, taking  the edge off a certain part of your scene. You can watch Van Gogh “Painted with Words” on BBC ONE today (Monday) at 17.10

Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Van Gogh was a delight to work with and a true professional, the amount of dialogue he had to remember was amazing although he had a prompter he rarely needed it.

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

The Northern Video Show…5th May 2010

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I hope to attend the Northern Video Show on the 5th of May 2010, I also hope to do a show video blog while I am there if you fancy coming it’s at Haydock park.

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

EXCLUSIVE to HD Warrior “FilmBuilders” from Steve Weiss and Philip Bloom

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Philip Bloom is fed up with people moaning on about the downsides of using a DSLR so he has got together with Steve Weiss and some other serious technicians to produce a ten part webisode about making the ultimate DSLR, it’s called FIlmBuilders, riding on the back of their very successful FilmFellas title.

Steve Weiss is a very astute businessman and  technical wizard, says ” We have been making high class accessories for camcorders and DSLRs for a few years now and the four of us sat down two weeks ago while Phil was over in the states and decided to build our own DSLR and have it filmed for you all to watch and learn from our mistakes”.

Philip Bloom “This is as exiting as it gets…building our own DSLR and having a say in the design from day one to final production. I have been amazed at the uptake of the DSLR movement and hope this new venture will steer others towards the ultimate DSLR”.

Steve Weiss “Technical details are sketchy but we are looking at a full size 35mm sensor, a PL mount for prime lenses, 1200 pixel HD swivel viewfinder and four mini XLR inputs”

HDW “Do you have a name for the camera yet…Philip Bloom “It’s called the A.PRELL-FOOLS.CAM”

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

SONY HG0872K WA lens with French flag and filter holder £730

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Just received this fantastic WA lens for the NX5 it takes the camcorder down to a 23º (35mm) angle of view. It comes with a French flag and filter holder (4 x 5.650). The lens is whats called a zoom through so once installed on the camcorder apart from looking the business you need never remove it. Fortunately I have a Kata bag (CC-195) which takes the camcorder with lens and matte box fitted…you do have to remove the easily detachable French flag.

For my work this setup serves me well having the PMW-350K for interviews, low light filming etc. the downside of the 350 is the cost of an HD wide angle lens…megabucks!  The other downside to a shoulder mount camcorder is the lack of freedom to get low angle, quick shots that are “king” to the handheld camcorder.

The SONY NX5 with the HD WA lens gives me a well matched second camera and some cracking 23º WA shots that I cannot achieve with the PMW-350. You would think I work for Sony !!!

One of my regular readers Sean asked me if his 4×4 filters would fit into the filter holder, I cut out a 4×4 from 0.5 CT and as you can see if you position it at the centre it will do the trick.

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

SONY NX-5 User Video Review

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[xr_video id="ae71b20b89cb4fa0ad13c04e204c79d3" size="md"]

When the HXR-FMU128 is used in conjunction with memory cards, Sony’s unique HYBRID recording capability is enabled, allowing a combination of HD and SD resolutions to be recorded simultaneously. The operator is free to choose which resolution is recorded on each media type, and may even set the camcorder to record to both media types simultaneously.

There are many benefits to HYBRID recording, including:

♦ Edit system ingest time for HD files stored on the HXR-FMU128 is typically faster than from memory cards.

♦ HD files simultaneously recorded on memory cards provide a time and cost- effective method of archiving.

♦ SD files may be used for quick preview on a laptop or for SD deliverables, such as web-based movies.

NOTE: Recording SD simultaneously to both media types is not supported. IMPORTANT: The filenames of corresponding HD and SD clips are different.

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

Remember to turn your clocks forward (UK)

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

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