DVDirect from Sony… “VRD-MC6 (£225)”

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Most professionals like me are far to busy creating DVDs for clients that we forget our family’s when it comes to producing DVDs, can’t be bothered to ingest the birthday footage into the computer, make an MPEG2, produce a DVD menu and finally make a DVD.

It’s not that we are selfish it’s down to having literally no time…enter the Sony DVDirect Multi-Function DVD Recorder the VRD-MC6. A warning before we go any further if you film with the HXR-MC50 make sure you choose the FH mode which records at 17Mbs and not the FX (24Mbs) mode otherwise you wont be able to use this DVDirect recorder.

My friend over on Arran bought himself the lesser featured Sony VRD-P1 recorder and it makes such a difference when recording family events, Chris “What a cracking piece of kit I filmed Lewis our grandchild last week and had various DVDs available for the family members the following day”.

Because the MC50 is recorded on a card you can bring up the thumbnails and do a preliminary edit first before hooking up the DVDirect which consists of one USB cable. There is a button on the side of the MC50 with a wee disc symbol…press it and you are away.

Most professionals who buy the MC50 are using it as a second camera and a camcorder to film family events, the £225 for the VRD-MC6 is chicken feed compared to the time you will save and finally as is in my household I will be able to offer DVDs of family events the following day and thats no bad thing.


The VRD-MC6 can transfer AVCHD™ quality videos to DVD discs in their native 1080i HD resolution when connected directly to a Sony hard drive or Memory Stick® media-based Handycam® camcorder. AVCHD quality DVDs can be played back on compatible Blu-ray Disc™ devices, including players and computer drives, as well as PlayStation® 3 (PS3™) computer entertainment systems.

It can also transfer standard-definition home videos to DVD discs without the need of a computer from virtually any camcorder, VCR or digital video recorder. The new model includes Digital Video (i.LINK®/FireWire®/IEEE-1394), Composite Video inputs, and USB (for Sony hard drive, DVD and Memory Stick media-based Handycam camcorders). DVD video discs recorded in this manner are playable in most consumer DVD players.

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

IBC Sneak Peek “Matrox capture software…Vetura Capture”

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Matrox Video Products Group announced Matrox Vetura Capture for Mac OS X, a stand-alone capture software application compatible with the Matrox MXO2 family of I/O devices. Matrox Vetura Capture lets users quickly and easily capture QuickTime files using popular codecs installed on their editing systems. With Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 the Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame codec and Apple Uncompressed formats are supported. With Final Cut Pro 7, ProRes, DVCPRO HD and other popular Final Cut Pro codecs are supported. With Avid Media Composer 5, the Avid DnX, DnXHD, and other popular Avid Media Composer codecs are supported.

“Matrox Vetura Capture enables new on-set workflows when used with a Matrox MXO2 device and a Mac Pro equipped with a Matrox CompressHD H.264 encoding accelerator card,” said Wayne Andrews, Matrox product manager. “While recording XDCAM EX, P2, or RED footage as usual, users can also feed the output of their camera through their Matrox MXO2 device and capture directly into H.264 .mov files using Matrox MAX technology that is built into the CompressHD card. Dailies are immediately available as low bit rate, manageable-sized files for delivery to the client.”

“We’re continuing to add value to the Matrox MXO2 product line,” said Alberto Cieri, Matrox senior director of sales and marketing. “With Matrox Vetura Capture we have started to implement our vision of expanding the capabilities of Matrox MAX technology beyond simple H.264 export acceleration.”

Matrox Vetura Capture will be demonstrated at IBC 2010 in Amsterdam, September 10-14, on the Matrox stand 7.B29.
Matrox products are available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. The Matrox Vetura Capture application for Mac will be available in release 2.1 to registered users of Matrox MXO2 devices as a free download from the Matrox website in October 2010.

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

Sony extends their 0% interest till September 2010

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

James Cameron slams Hollywood for poor 3D films

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James Cameron has slammed Hollywood for making inferior movies in 3D. Cameron’s 3D movie Avatar was the world’s highest grossing movie that earned around 3 billion dollars at the box office.

Movies like Clash of the Titans andThe Last Airbender were shot in traditional 2D and converted into 3D after seeing Avatar’s success. “I think it’s horrible and absolutely the wrong way to go,” Cameron said before the re-release of Avatar in 3D with added footage.

“I think it’s a quick, knee-jerk reaction to seeing the gold rush happen and the studios just wanted to jump in on it and that’s the only way they could do it. It’s the studio making the decision and then handing it over to some company to process it through a sausage grinder and come up with some kind of faux 3D, or a 2 1/2D mess,” he added.

Cameron has plans of releasing his 1997 hit Titanic, the second highest grossing film, in 3D. “We are going to release it in 2012 in 3D, but we are going to take every care to ensure it’s as indistinguishable from having been photographed in 3D as we can,” he said.

“We won’t succeed. It will wind up being 2.9D, but it will still be .9 better than the 2D we released before. These other slapdash conversions, where they are not spending the time and money and not involving the filmmaker, are like 2.2D,”

HDW “Nice to know I have James Cameron on my side when it comes to cheap, poor 3D films with FREE 3D glasses”.

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

Fujifilm introduce a 3D camera/HD Video “FinePix Real 3D W3” £399

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Following on from the successful launch of the world’s first 3D camera in September ‘09, Fujifilm continue to offer consumers the opportunity to make their own true, rather than interpolated, 3D content with the launch of a new camera – the FinePix Real 3D W3.

A world’s first!
While smaller and lighter than the original model, the FinePix W3 adds a bigger and better quality screen, an Auto 3D mode, stereo sound recording and the unique ability to shoot video in Real 3D in High Definition, with live or recorded playback via direct connection to any 3D TV – using an HDMI mini-cable (hi-speed type) 1.4 cable.

The FinePix W3 continues Fujifilm’s strategy of offering Real 3D content by replicating the human visual system in combining two high quality lens and two CCDs in the one chassis – and allows consumers the option of viewing 3D images and video either with or without special glasses.

3D content can be viewed, and on a huge scale, on any of the increasing number of large screen 3D TVs by using the sets’ supplied glasses.

Alternatively consumers can also view stunning 3D images and video without glasses through the camera’s built-in 3.5inch LCD display or via the optional 8” 3D digital viewer/photoframe. Images can also be made into special ‘lenticular’ prints – via a unique printing process which will shortly be available in the UK for the first time and in a range of sizes up to 9”x6”.

Owners of 3D TVs can also rest assured that the FinePix W3 will show their new screen at its very best, thanks to the unique 3D HD video recording and a parallax control function which helps to remove crosstalk problems by allowing 3D fine tuning, even after the images have been taken.

A rather special 2D Camera
They may already be bowled over by the unique 3D performance of the FinePix W3, but consumers can also be happy in the knowledge that they are also purchasing a very special 2D camera indeed.

This new technology has also brought some unique benefits to shooting images and video in the 2D world, bringing new creative freedom to the user.

By featuring twin high quality Fujinon lens and two CCD sensors the FinePix W3 effectively becomes two cameras in one body, while the powerful, proprietary processor allows the camera to take two different photos at the same time.

So photographers can select to shoot both close-up and wide angle versions of a photo, or two alternative colour balances or have an image with two versions with high and low sensitivity.

The FinePix Real 3D W3 camera will be launched in early September 2010 with an estimated selling price of £399 and will be available from major department stores and leading independent camera specialists.

Key features at a glance:

3D HD Movie (720p) and 3D still image capture
Instant 3D playback on build-in High Contrast, 3.5” 3D LCD (without the need for special 3D glasses)
Direct Connection via HDMI high-speed 1.4(Type A-Type C) cable to any branded 3D HDTV
Two 1/2.3” 10 Megapixel CCD
Two Fujinon 3x optical zoom lens
Compact and light-weight 230g body (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
2D Special effects using Simultaneous Shooting functions

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

What are the BBC playing at “iMac cover up”

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Watching a BBC 2 programme called “The Home Movie Roadshow” I started to notice that they had gaffa taped the black Apple logos on all their iMacs. Sorry but if you are going to use Apple iMacs throughout your programme the least you can do is not stick badly cut out circles to conceal the black Apple logo, not only does it look stupid but it’s an insult to the technology they are obviously happy to use.

Oh I hear the BBC cry “that would be advertising” bollocks…you are advertising using an iconic computer like the intel iMac as it is so why sacrifice its looks for a mincy piece of gaffa tape. Once again we are seeing BBC executives landing on the side of stupidity…what next ?

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Manfrotto 504HD tripod review £500 plus vat kit “Best Buy of 2010”

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

IDX Easy Steady Video Review Coming Soon !

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

Review of the Sony PMW-320K

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

No wonder 3D has not taken off

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Firstly can I add that watching 1960s 3D…the bad old Red/Green shift is unwatchable, the deep colours wash out any colour and you are left watching a black and white film that has some depth to it, this in my opinion is the cheapest and poorest kind of 3D and gives todays modern 3D a bad name. This is a ghost from the 1960s and should have stayed there.

TIP. If you see a 3D Blu-ray DVD with this notice on the back telling you about the 2 pairs of 3D glasses…don’t bother. Having looked a bit more seriously into 3D I am horrified to discover how many different types of “3D” there is on offer and even more horrified to discover the cheap and nasty Red/Green version on big cinema titles.

My son who is 26 went with his pal to see Toy Story Three for the “3D experience” in order to view 3D he is asked to fork out 80p for glasses which is not a lot of money and we are talking polarisation. His review of the experience is as follows “The big screen helps but the 3D is not as good as I was expecting considering it was an animated film.”

Lastly I have a demo 50″ 3D Panasonic with a 3D Blu-ray player which uses powered polarisation glasses at £100 per pair. Apart from having to wear glasses this does give you a feeling of depth and fantastic vivid colours…but with one major flaw…as yet you cannot get any 3D films that play on the Panasonic system.

The one saviour for Panasonic will be the introduction of the new 3D domestic camcorder the HDC-SDT750 this will tip the balance, think about filming your children, a friends wedding and showing it back on 3D… it will look fantastic. The domestic market will drive 3D as long as the camcorder is easy to use and simple to produce 3D DVDs, only time will tell.


“Incorporating Panasonic broadcast technology, this new 3MOS camcorder lets users easily create their own 3D movies, something that only professional image producers were previously able to do. Combined with a VIERA 3DTV and Blu-ray Disc™ player/recorder, the SDT750 makes it possible to save precious memories of friends and family in vivid, lifelike images, to further expand the world of 3D enjoyment at home.”

Alister Chapman (3D expert)

“Anaglyph (Red/Green) is just a viewing method. Movies or productions are not made in Anaglyph. The production process is identical for most productions whether it’s Avatar for the cinema or a corporate for the web. Done correctly an optimised anaglyph with a pair of good quality glasses (not the cheap cardboard ones) can look very good. The best example of good Anaglyph is the Dolby 3D system used in many cinemas. This is a modern version of Anaglyph that uses very narrow colour bands for each eye and rivals RealD Polarised when it comes to quality. The reason why Anaglyph is still used so much is that it can be used on any colour display or printed medium and other than the glasses requires no additional hardware.

The majority of S3D today however is being shown using other methods such as active glasses or polarised projection or screens, even youtube’s 3D player has the option to choose a display method to match the technology that you have. NVIDIA graphics cards have built in 3D drivers, 3D PC monitors can be purchased for £250, 3D laptops are readily available and more and more 3D TV’s are becoming available.

3D is here to stay, it may not be for everyday viewing but for many applications it is a winner. Take sports, now you can tell which way the ball is going, not just left or right. Now you can see the slopes and bumps on a golf green. Natural history will be able to show you things as you have never seen them before and movies will be able to become more immersive.”

So whats the conclusion…stay clear of FREE red/green glasses this is 3D at it’s worst in my opinion, the cinema is the next best thing but 80p glasses don’t give you that wow factor and the best of the lot by 600% is the powered polarisation glasses by Panasonic, but with no films available to date 3D in my books is still a non starter, one ray of light is the £1700 3D domestic camcorder from Panasonic due in September, this could yet tip the balance in Panasonic’s favour.

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

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