Sony NX70…Lens Hood Customisation

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


I was emailed by one of my regulars Mike Beckett who told me… “Just a word of warning, I tried the 37mm version of this fader ND on my NX70, and it vignettes at wide angle, and doesn’t fit under the hood.A real pity, because it’s a very nice piece of kit.”

This got me thinking and today I had a good look at the NX70 lens hood, here are my findings and exclusive customisation.

This is the NX70 with a 37mm Polarising filter screwed onto the front unfortunately as Mike commented the filter will not allow the lens hood to fit on front of the camera. This is because of one design flaw in the Sony lens hood and that is two bars of plastic that extrude to hit against the filter itself.

The answer is to grind the two plastic bars down as they seem to serve no purpose other that to exclude filters being used. The lens hood has 8 screws, 4 on the front…which you can remove with a small jewellers screw driver.

Then you have to remove a further 4 screws as shown…

You are finally left with the back plate…

Turning it round you can clearly see the 2 offending plastic bars that extrude but seem to serve no useful purpose, using a small cordless engraving tool I grinded down the plastic bars as shown above.

Hey Presto an NX70 lens hood that can also accept a screw in filter behind it…Note : My 37mm Polariser did show some vignetting to the right of frame at the wide end.

 

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

The man is a pure genius

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Flying soon to and through US with a mini Glider to reduce weight. Also with me a FaderND for Panasonic Lumix GH1 and other gadgets. More info and tips on our blog: cameraeducator.blogspot.com

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

A solution for the Canon 5DMk11…”A new filter for Moire and Aliasing” $385

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This new filter could breath new life into those tired shots that you never dare shoot with a DSLR like hair, netting, bricks and many more because as soon as you pan or tilt you get moire patterning or aliasing, both can lead to a good shot being wasted, until now.

Dr Davik Cubanski from Pennsylvania in the USA has developed a new filter that guarentees a 75% reduction in moire and aliasing when using his filter. The filter will cost $385 which is a snip if your a professional film maker using Canon 5DMk11 DSLRs for commercial filming work.

The three downsides to using this filter is a slight loss of light about one third of a stop, your focus plane is shifted slightly so you can not use the numbers on the lens but as most people don’t use them anyway it won’t be a major problem and lastly you are restricted to using 24mm lens at its widest which for some people may just be too restricting.

The unit slips into the front of the camera with the mirror in the up position, personally I would have 2 cameras, one for video only work and one for photography, this is why Canon have never addressed this issue as a permanent solution as this filter would start to compromise the main intention of the camera and photography is a DSLRs number one priority.

Optical Anti-Aliasing Filter for the Canon 5Dmk2 from Glenn Przyborski on Vimeo.

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

UK Final Cut Users Group in Glasgow “22nd September 11”

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Make a date if you live in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and you edit with Final Cut or Premiere Pro, the UK Final Cut Users Group (UKFCUG) are holding a seminar at the Thistle Hotel on Thursday 22nd September 2011 thats one week after I come back from IBC with all the news, fresh ideas and some new toys.

I have been invited as a guest speaker along side Rick Young to talk about editing, production, lenses and lighting.

The only downside for us Scots is the price, yes unfortunatly you have to dip into your deep pockets to retreive a fiver, yes a whole fiver, but for a fiver you get an evening packed with hints tips and much much more.

It all kicks off at 6.30pm and goes onto 10.30pm thats 4 hours of everything to do with filming and editing a snip at a fiver. You will also here from Alister Brown the inventor of the “ORIGINAL” and “BEST” and “UPDATED” Hybrid Slider from Glidetrack.

A fantastic evening for anyone interested in video production work…NOT TO BE MISSED !

MORE DETAILS HERE…

http://www.macvideo.tv/ukfcug/Glasgow/

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

Sony FS100 HDMI is RGB 4:4:4 in the US and 4:2:2 in the UK

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As you can see for yourself the WORKFLOW part of the USA Sony FS100 brochure states RGB 4:4:4 from the HDMI socket while the UK version states 4:2:2.

This is causing a great debate and confusion amongst my readership who surprisingly come from all parts of the globe and the US chaps are telling me that the Sony FS100 is 4:4:4 while it is clear that the UK info from Sony tells a different story.

It won’t be the first time that the same camcorder has slightly different specs depending where in the world it is sold in fact I remember the good old days of DV when the firewire input was disabled in the UK to save paying extra import duties.

Sony Broadcast UK are on the case I hope to get a definitive reply via Japan later on today.

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

Review of the Sony HXR-NX3D1

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

[xr_video id=”36137a6d30b848238dd818ffa30cb4ed” size=”md”]

Please note : Some of my readers in China do not get Vimeo so if you would like to see the Vimeo version click on the Video Review tab.

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

FaderND MkII from Light Craft Workshop £106

Categories: Miscellaneous 6 Comments

Just arrived from Premier Ink and Photographic my 77mm FaderND MkII from Light Craft Workshop. The best part of the filter apart from the variable ND is the fact that although it’s a 77mm thread the upper glass is 82mm giving you the ability to use wider lenses without vignetting.

This filter allows FS100 owners to film fully wide F2.8-f1.4 outdoors in daylight giving you a far better shallow depth of field. Some vary ND filters cause a colour shift when adjusting the ND, I have tested this and do not perceive any colour shift in the picture.

This filter is a Mark 11 second generation filter from Light Craft and gives you the equivalent of 9 stops.

I am very pleased with my filter and it’s about the right price £106 is not going to break the bank so much so I have ordered the 58mm ND Fader filter for my Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens for £57.

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

Reviewing the Sony HXR-NX3D1 £2939

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

 

Yesterday Susan and I took a trip to the heart of Edinburgh to produce a video review of the new Sony HXR-NX3D1 camcorder at the Edinburgh Fringe. The weather was kind to us though some of my shots were on the windy side filming at the top of Calton Hill which is a magnet for video producers and TV stations whenever there is a news story from Edinburgh.

We walked the length and breadth of the Royal Mile in order to show off this exceptional 3D camcorder. Now we all know I can’t show you the 3D results so we went back again using the camcorder in 2D mode.

I bumped into two chaps using DigiBeta who were filming for the tourist board and I caught a last glimpse of the cameraman inserting a DigiBeta tape, this will indeed be archive footage as slowly DigiBeta is being phased out in favour of HD footage.

I was completely at home with the new 3D camcorder from Sony and I love the “live” 3D LCD, this is indeed a bonus when filming 3D work, I do not understand why anyone would choose those cumbersome 3D rigs over dedicated camcorders like this one. I was getting great fly on the wall footage that is not possible using a 3D rig.

EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT…As I was ingesting the footage this morning I got a major surprise…one that will make you all re-think 3D as a filming platform but you will have to wait till my video review to reveal the Sony NX3Ds inner most secret. 

I will be putting together my review this week and you can learn what I like and dislike using the Sony NX3D1 camcorder.

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

Sony’s NX70 Rocker Switch…”Taking the bull by the horns”

Categories: Miscellaneous 8 Comments

 

As of yesterday I have passed my thoughts onto Sony about the poor fuinctionality of the Rocker Switch on the NX70. As I own two NX70s which are great camcorders I have the right to speak out on behalf of not only myself but everyone world wide who has noted this problem. Quite frankly this should have never passed quality control but with all the problems in Japan we were lucky to get NX70s at all.

Adam Welz from New York :

“I’ve been considering buying an NX70 to use alongside my NX5 – but the sample unit I tried out at B&H in New York a few days ago had a very unfriendly zoom rocker. It was impossible for me to get an even or slow zoom.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not stop the zoom from jumping in speed as it went through the range. It also went from zero to 60mph in no space at all.”

Sony are good listeners and the good news is the up and coming firmware update due in early 2012 if there is anything Sony can do to fix this via software you can bet your bottom dollar they will. To get round this I use a set of mini rails from Genus and attach a Manfrotto 521i lanc zoom control to the left side of the camera, this by passes the use of the rocker switch but it’s a workaround and one I would prefer not to have to do.

UPDATE : John Knight (DVINFO.NET)

BREAKING NEWS: My retailer here has confirmed Sony have “a software upgrade pending to slow the fast Zoom down. The problem is caused by the *waterproofing* of the rocker mechanism.”

Will have more details soon…

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

HyperDeck Shuttle “User Review” £263 (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 14 Comments

When I heard of the HyperDeck Shuttle (HDS) at the price point of £263 it was a no brainer when I was asked to review one. To explain the HyperDeck Shuttle gives you the quality of uncompressed recording direct to common SSDs (Solid State Drive) in the smallest possible size! HyperDeck Shuttle bypasses your camera’s compression and records from SDI and HDMI direct into the highest quality uncompressed video.

Although the unit has a mini USB 2 socket you have to format your SSD drive in a SATA dock not supplied and it must be erased as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if you don’t use a Mac you will have to buy software for the PC like MacDrive which will set you back $49.

On paper or should I say screen the Shuttle looks quite small but in reality it’s a lot bigger and as yet has nothing to mount it on a camera, though as you read on I think Black Magic have good reasons for this.

This in my opinion is a specialised piece of kit and it’s not a coincedence that “It feels like a VTR” …although it has a 1 hour built in battery this unit is more suited to studio work.

The data rate alone at 10Gb per minute is astounding and if I tell you my first shot lasted 40 seconds and that equated to 6 Gbs on my hard drive. The 240Gb Vortex SSD that came with the Shuttle (Optional) would only last for 24 minutes, one point is that due to the lack of a screen the HDS gives you no indication on how much space you have filled.

 

What about the results, there is no doubt that at 10bit uncompressed 4:2:2 you are getting every ounce from your Sony FS100 via it’s HDMI socket (8bit).

So just who is this relativly inexpensive SSD deck aimed at, well I have had a lot of soul searching as firstly with a 1 hour inbuilt battery you are not going to get far out in the field with the HDS, there is a 12V input on the side but it’s not the standard 4 pin canon power connector.

The second and strangest decision in my opinion was to put non standard SDI sockets on the shuttle, these are seemingly standard on computer boards but in my opinion this is not aimed at that marketplace and should have had BNC connectors. Black Magic tell me that they are now selling a lead which converts from the smaller SDI to a standard BNC SDI.

There is a “Display” button but no one could tell me what it was for as there is no display on the unit itself unless it’s for a future re designed unit. The other thing that is missing is the ability to start and stop the Shuttle from your camera, competitors units give you 422 or Lanc control.

If you are using the Sony FS100 you will need the up to date firmware which is 1.01 otherwise like my HDS it would not work till I updated the FW.

As far as who this unit is aimed at well firstly if you are doing green screen work this unit is right down your street, anything that needs 10bit uncompressed 4:2:2 fantastic picture quality and at a price that won’t break the bank but remember SSD drives are averaging about £1 per Gb and even at 600Gbs this only gives you one hour of footage.

My honest opinion is that the HyperDeck Shuttle is a great bit of kit as long as you can justify the need for uncompressed footage, one hour = 600Gb of space. A word of warning if you take this into Final Cut Pro under ProRes 422 you won’t see any difference in picture quality.

Q. Would I buy one…Certainly if I was doing green/blue screen work and my camera did not record 4:2:2 but I see the unit as a small recorder sat near by your camera so you can switch it on and off then transferring the footage is as simple as drag and drop , once again from the SATA dock (Not supplied).

LIKES :

1. The price…at £263 this is a must for anyone producing HI-End video productions, mainly in a studio e.g.. Green/Blue screen work.

2. The picture quality is the best I have seen and I thought my Sony FS100 was fantastic till I saw the uncompressed pictures from the HD Shuttle.

3. The first manufacturer to give us both HDMI (full size) and SDI (non standard) though a cable is now avaliable from Black Magic Design.

4. Using off the shelf SSD drives gives you a choice rather than a dedicated unit.

5. Build quality, the buttons feel very positive, the unit is simple in design.

DISLIKES :

1. No LCD screen, not being able to tell how much drive space you have used is very limiting.

2. The non standard SDI sockets

3. Not being able to format the SSD drive via the HD Shuttle is a pain.

4. One hour internal battery is very limiting though there is a 12v input that a 3rd party manufacturer could utilise.

5. Does not accept 1080 50p output from a Sony FS100 or a Sony NX70.

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

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