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 Productions

New 8mm lens for Sony VG-10

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Delta company, the sole distributor of Samyang Optics for Poland and Europe, wishes to inform about the release of the manual Samyang 8mm f/3.5 FISH-EYE CS VG10 lens. The new lens comes with the bayonet mount and has been designed especially for Sony NEX-VG10 digital camcorder.

Due to its unique construction, the bayonet mount has been adjusted to ensure possibly wide field of vision without producing the vignetting effect. Just like in other lenses manufactured for filming purposes, aperture can be easily and smoothly adjusted.

New Samyang 8mm f/3.5 FISH-EYE CS VG10 lens will be officially introduced during the forthcoming Focus on Imaging fairs held in Birmingham. Exact date of the release as well as the product’s retail price will be given later.

We are also about to introduce Samyang lens with Sony E mount for NEX system cameras.
Further information will be provided soon.

NEWS from

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Final Cut Pro 8 “Demonstrating at NAB 2011”

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This could easily be the new box for Final Cut Pro 8 but it’s a mock up. It has been reported that FCP-8 is due for release soon after NAB 2011 and will be demonstrated to the world during NAB this year. The user interface has been given an overhaul “not before time” and as we all know it will utilise the new high speed bus called Thunderbolt. Rumours tell us this version will be a flying machine but I will not get to excited yet…Mr Jobs tells us that this version will be “Awesome” which is Steve’s stock word for all Apple products.

You can tell I am a wee bit cynical but Apple have kept us in the dark for well over 2 years now and it’s a joke when you consider that Adobe are firing on all 64 bit cylinders and incorporate Blu-Ray authoring, which is still doubtful with Apple once again !

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500GB LaCie drive running at 700MB/s weighing 1.5lbs ?

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There will be many products released soon that feature Thunderbolt, but LaCie has got in there first. Take a look at the tiny “Little Big Disk” 500GB of SSD.

Don’t you love days where you are just amazed at all the new technology that gets announced? Hot on the heels of Apple’s announcement of Thunderbolt ports on the new line of MacBook Pros, Lacie has announced the Little Big Disk which houses two 250GB solid state drives.

Let’s just pause for a minute here. That is half a terabyte in a hand sized drive that weighs 1.5lbs, will run at 700MB/s and does not require a power supply? Am I dreaming?

No, so we will reproduce some of the LaCie info here, but make sure you checkout the details including some transfer stats on the website.

Thunderbolt technology supports daisy-chaining up to six computer peripherals. Devices such as the LaCie Little Big Disk will include two ports to join a daisy chain with compatible peripherals such as hard drives, monitors, cameras, etc.

A single cable attached to one of the ports provides two channels of up to 10Gb/s in both directions. This means that video and data can be pushed both ways without compromising the bandwidth. On a single line, an editor can digitize HD from a video source while playing high resolution images on a display.

Adding the Thunderbolt technology to a mobile drive brings the power and transfer rates previously reserved for fibre channel rackmount storage to the palm of your hand. The Little Big Disk featuring Thunderbolt technology weighs approximately 1.5 lbs. Further, the bus-powered interface gives users another layer of portability since they can travel without a power cable.

A journalist can easily carry the Little Big Disk with his camera and laptop when covering a remote story. Rather than waiting to cut a package at the station or in a mobile van, the journalist can quickly download his footage and edit in the field. Thanks to the Little Big Disk’s mobility and Thunderbolt technology performance, the time to get a package on air will be considerably reduced.

To complement the fast transfer rates offered by the Thunderbolt technology, the Little Big Disk features two 250GB Intel 510® Series Solid-State Drives (SSD). SSDs have no moving parts, making for reduced data access rates, higher levels of vibration resistance, and lower power consumption. Further, SSDs support multiple streams of uncompressed video and multichannel audio due to their superior performance and enhanced durability. The two solid-state drives are preconfigured as a Striped RAID Set for enhanced performance.

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

BVE 2011 filmed with the Panasonic AF101

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

Filming a 2 camera web shoot

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It was an interesting afternoon filming at “The Loft” a smashing pub in the west end of Glasgow. My son Scott had set up an interview with Dan Brennan (above) a Russian translator who by chance translates for quite a few famous Russian footballers. His tails were very interesting.

This was my setup, one roving Sony MC50 and one static Sony 550 on the tripod, same camera with a domestic badge and a new Rode Videomic Pro sitting just out of shot, though the roving camera caught the mic on occasions, it added to the “liveness” of the situation. As usual I film 1080 50i because you don’t have any options with the MC50/550 but I will convert the footage into 720 50P Apple Pro Rez during the edit.

Times are changing fast and Scott is pioneering video within the football blogging fraternity this is his second interview in two weeks and as long as his costs are kept to a minimum then he will surpass his fellow bloggers by miles by the end of 2011.

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

Glidetrack GT Hybrid Slider System

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Today was fun day number two at the Brown household, yes today was a trip back to the home of Glidetrack and to meet my good friend Alistair Brown who did a retrograde to my Glidetrack HD turning it into a GT with go faster stripes !

I had fallen out of favour well over a year ago with my Glidetrack slider not because it wasn’t working properly, far from it, mainly because I now owned a camcorder that was far from suitable to use with the slider, a Sony PMW-350K.

It was recommissioned from a dusty existence when I needed the odd product shot for my reviews using the Canon 5D2 which on the whole was just the job but I felt the slider was not as smooth as I felt it should be so I called Alistair at Glidetrack who told me to get hold of a tin of silicon spray from Three in One. Although it was better it still felt a tad grungy, not as smooth as I thought it should be.

Alistair told me that a new carriage was near completion, one that was a lot smoother due to a special roller system so today I picked up my slider and I kid you not it’s 20x better than my old slider with virtually no resistance on the track at all…fantastic.

The new “HYBRID CARRIAGE” is a must especially if you plan to use the Panasonic AF101 speaking off Alistair asked me to bring down my AF101 to see if another product he sells would fit onto not only the 101 viewfinder but the Cineroid EVF as well.

Look at that sexy red eyecushion on my Cineroid and better still it makes for a far nicer feel when your eye rests on the microfiber rather than the rubber eyecup itself, I was like a wee boy just after opening his presents at Christmas time, a splendifferous new sliding carriage and a new sexy red eyecushion for my Cineroid…Whoopee !

This has been one of my better days and thanks to Alastair I look forward to using my Glidetrack GT in anger very soon along with my red viewfinder eyecushion, please remember the GLIDETRACK slider is made in Scotland which is a part of the UK and I do support well made home produced products and you should to.

I will be doing a review of the Glidetrack GT slider very soon showing you all the new innovative extras that come with the new Hybrid slider.

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

Samsung enrich the NX system of lenses.

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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced five innovative new lenses for its NX camera system. The new lenses bring more premium innovation to the range, featuring class-leading technology such as a premium portrait lens and lenses for movie capturing, opening new creative avenues for NX users to explore.

All of the lenses are compatible with Samsung’s unique i-Function system, which helps users create powerful effects easily through quick and convenient controls. The new launches, along with the five lenses released in 2010, mean that there are now 10 high-performance lenses available for the NX system, making this one of the most comprehensive ranges available in the Compact System Camera (CSC) market. Samsung’s new lenses have been created to allow users to maximize the potential of their NX system cameras, achieve professional-looking results and enjoy taking photos whatever their level of photography experience.

The new lens range includes Samsung’s 18-200mm multi-purpose Long Zoom Lens. This model features modes which are optimized for creating high-quality movie content with a single lens. The new long zoom lens also has a fast, silent Auto-Focus due to Samsung’s use of Voice Coil Motor (VCM) technology, so users can capture important events without recording the sound of the camera’s AF. The lens also features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to cancel out any hand movement and deliver crisp, clear images, even when a subject is far away.

Samsung has also launched a light, compact 16mm F2.4 Ultra Wide Pancake Lens. The bright aperture of this lens helps to capture wider images even in low light, and deliver a shallow depth of field. The new lens’ compact size and sleek design make it the perfect companion to the stylish NX camera range, and its ultra wide angle is ideal for taking landscape shots and deep perspective pictures.

For the ultimate in super fast and silent Auto Focus, Samsung’s new 60mm Macro Lens features a Super Sonic Actuator (SSA) to deliver a fast, quiet Auto-Focus and also has an Optical Image Stabilization so users never have to miss the timing of that perfect close up shot. For more advanced photographers, the lens offers the ability to manually fine-tune focusing using the Full-Time Manual Focus.

The Premium Portrait Lens also launched today is the ultra bright 85mm F1.4 CSC lens, designed for professional photographers. This lens also includes the SSA to provide a fast and silent Auto-Focus. Like Samsung’s 60mm Macro Lens, the 85mm Premium Portrait Lens also includes the Full Time Manual Focus, giving advanced photographer’s greater control over their preferred settings. The bright F1.4 lens offers the ideal solution for capturing perfect and professional looking portrait pictures of friends or loved ones.

Samsung’s 16-80mm Advanced Standard Zoom Lens is optimized for taking great movies and still shots. Like the 18-200mm long zoom lens, it has a fast, silent Auto-Focus and Optical Image Stabilization. To make capturing great footage easy in any situation, the lens includes VCM modes ranging from landscape to portrait.

HDW: This is the proof that we are set to see a vast array of cracking large aperture lenses for various DSLR cameras as well as the micro Four Third system of lenses.

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

My new tab called “Purchase”

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

What EVF ? “It’s a matter of timing”

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Just goes to show if you are quick off the mark how you can gain a foothold in a specific marketplace, I was down at BVE in London this week and the only alternative electronic viewfinder on show was the Cineroid, even Panasonic had a Cineroid hooked onto their demo AF101, that kind of tells you something.

CVP had their F3 on show with a Cineroid and CVP are the official Zacuto distributers in the UK so whats going on, simple, Zacuto have been caught out by Cineroid who obviously have the Korean manpower to build Cineroids for a mass market.

John Preston had a few Cineroids for sale and I got the last one, it’s a must for the AF101 and more than a must for the Sony F3…if you want to achieve critical focus. Both Panasonic and Sony have not given enough thought when producing their electronic viewfinders for these cameras, they are poor to say the least.

The one thing that CVP were majoring on was alternative viewfinders for both the AF101 and the F3 so when you get such large players giving you alternative EVFs it’s got to point to one thing…no one is happy with the EVF on either camera. It’s a sad day when you are offered a Hi-Rez Sony viewfinder on a Panasonic camcorder.

Sony and Panasonic would tell us that they are happy with their viewfinders but the sales of the Cineroid alone tell me another story, I would prefer not to “PIMP UP” my new AF101 by having to spend over £500 to get a picture that should have been built into the camera itself.

What about Zacuto when are we going to see their EVF…how long is a piece of string…I have no doubt whatsoever that the Zacuto EVF will be of a very high quality build, have a 2.5x glass diopter use Canon Li-ion batteries and a full size HDMI input but they are not taking orders as of today, you join a long waiting list and to be quite frank I can not wait  that long for a tool that I need today.

The Cineroid is a very capable EVF, has a very sharp faithful colour image, they have changed not only the poor battery contacts but made it a lot easier to remove the battery and the cover, three things I picked up on when reviewing the Cineroid EVF…so well done Cineroid and lets hope Zacuto can offer the UK market an EVF sooner rather than later.

UPDATE : I have as of today tried the Cineroid with the 7-14mm f4 Lumix lens, now I don’t care what Barry Green says about the Panasonic VF you can”t see critical focus on the AF101 using the 7-14mm lens as it stands, this was clear when I have on occasions thought I was in focus only to be disappointed in the edit suite, today I have for the first time seen out of focus images using the 7mm end of the lens which looks fine on the Panasonic EVF/LCD so that not only justifies the Cineroid’s cost but takes out any anxiety from future productions using this wonderful WA lens.

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

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