Sony PXUMS-240 SxS back up £1200

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During the Sony Seminar last Thursday Alister Chapman was comparing the new Sony PXUMS240 and the NexTo Di NVS-2500. Basically they are external storage devices to store SxS footage freeing your SxS card for more filming during a shoot. Alister has already produced a full reviw of the NVS-2500 which you can see here…

The comparison was mainly about the portability of both units and his conclusion was that the Sony was better suited as a base unit…in other words if you have various cameramen filming SxS they could come back to base and transfer their material to this unit it copy’s and verify’s on the way in. Note a 32GB card would take 20 mins to copy. Another thing to consider is the Sony unit only copies SxS cards while the NVS-2500 can copy various cards formats.

The NVS-2500 is smaller and better suited to out in the field though it does not verify the material on the first pass ie. when copying from SxS to the NVS-2500.

This is Sonys highlights on the PXUMS240…

  • Record Time Per HDD Cartridge: HQ Mode: More than 13 hours / SQ Mode: More than 17 hours
  • One-Touch Copy to HDD Cartridge: COPY ONLY: ~600Mbps (10min for 32GB card or approx. 10x real time). COPY & VERIFY: ~300Mbps (20 min for 32GB card or approx. 5x real time)
  • High-Speed SxS Read Transfer Function: e-SATA Interface to connect with PC (Max. 800Mbps read transfer speed). Estimated Single Cartridge Ingest Time is less than 1 Hour (up to 17 hours per cartridge @ 35Mbps)
  • Internal shock absorbers. The cartridge has an internal HDD which is suspended inside the PXU-HC240 chassis by four specially engineered dampers that help protect against shock.
  • 3G shock detection. As in a laptop PC, this system senses a potential shock and temporarily “parks” the read/write heads away from the hard disk surface, to help protect the disk from damage.


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

Glasgow Sony Seminar with Alister Chapman

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Today I went up town to Glasgow city centre to meet some good friends of mine Alister, Colin and Phil who were holding a Sony seminar at the Malmaison for a unique hands on event.

Alister was his usual informative self, what he doesn’t know about Sony kit is unreal, he is very technically astute, people were firing questions at him and not missing a beat Alister had a reply for all of us.

The best part of the day for me was picture profiles for both the Sony EX-1 and EX-3. Most of us including myself do not dare enter the hidden secrets of the Matrix. Just when you think you know a camera and how to get the best out of it along comes someone who not only uses the camera but has an inner knowledge to adjust the settings making the camera less noisy.

I would love to share the profiles with you but I forgot to ask Alisters permission plus he still has two Sony shows to cover so I don’t think he would be to enamoured if I gave away his Piesse de Resistance.

Sadly I had to leave at lunchtime but can I thank Colin from Mitcorp, Scotland for the invite and Alister and Phil for their time, expertise and in depth knowledge…a seminar well worth attending.


One bit of inner knowledge I received from Alister about the new Sony PMW-350 shoulder mount camcorder is that it is far less noisy than the EX-3 and is two stops better in low light than the EX-3…this makes this camcorder quite remarkable indeed.


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

Scarlet GU interface

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OK so once again this looks like a Photoshop job but it looks cool and if implemented into Scarlet would have all the information needed right in your viewfinder.

Thanks to Ben Cain/HD Cinema and originally Graeme Nattress for this picture.

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

Are Canon working on a DSLR based video camera ?

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It’s a pretty sketchy rumor, but we’re hearing that Canon’s working on a pro video camera based on a 12.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor similar to the one in the Rebel XSi. That makes perfect sense to us, actually — DSLRs with video capabilities like the 5D Mark II and the new Rebel T1i have definitely shaken up people’s expectations of prosumer video, and Canon’s sitting on a well-regarded camcorder division primed to pounce on a new market. According to CanonRumors, the new pro cam will look similar to the XL H1 pictured above with support for EF and EF-S lenses, sport fully manual controls as well as autofocus, and shoot 720p/30/60 and 1080p/24/30/60 to 56Mbit/s MPEG-4. Sounds pretty good, but aye, there’s a rub: word is that Canon’s DSLRs won’t ever get similar video features in order to protect this cam’s high-end $8,000 price tag — which sucks, but also makes perfect (if annoying) sense to us. It’s all rumor for now, but we’ll see how it pans out — the pro and prosumer video market are about to get crazy interesting…

HDW… Interesting but as one commentator said in a recent comment “VAPORWARE”. Don’t get me wrong no one would be happier if this were fact and there still mat be a grain of truth in it.

I do find it hard to believe that Canon Photo would be embargoed by Canon Video not to further enhance the video features on their DSLRs though it may bring back a sense of normality splitting the two camps back where they belong.

The 56Mbit/s would bring this camera up to broadcast spec and that would negate the need for 3rd party units like the NanoFlash.

As I have said before Canon Pro Video have not brought out a pro camcorder for over 17 months so we are due a solid state camcorder relatively soon. This would indeed affect the likes of Scarlet as Canon have far bigger manufacturing resources than the likes of RED…”THE RACE IS ON”.

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

Scarlet 2/3″ 8x Fixed lens pricing $4750 “Amazing”

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Well once again the boys at RED DIGITAL CINEMA have done it again and set the cat among the pigeons for the amazing price of £5000 (UK conversion) you can own a RED SCARLET camera which will be a far better investment for everyone who likes the film look than tinkering with any HD SLR. This in my opinion spells the death nell for what has been an interesting but stupid phase in global HD development. If you add in the price of an HD SLR plus a couple of  Canon ‘L’ lenses you are past the £5000 mark !


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

Exploring Motion 4 and the basic 90˚rule

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Nothing exercises the mind more than delving into Motion 4 with a complex animation in mind. I needed to show fire exits from a building starting with the back of the building sweeping round to the front.

My main problem was lack of basic knowledge of how you should approach the 3D buildings. I thought you could just add various shapes to build up the scene then look at them from various angles. That approach does not work, Motion 4 needs you to apply rectangles, boxes all on the same plane otherwise you get a peeling apart effect as soon as you move away from your scene.

After pulling my hair out I emailed Mark Spencer of Ripple Training who looked at my first example and told me that all my rectangles were not on the same plane I did not understand at first then it clicked…everything must be at 90˚ to each other as shown below.


Once you get your head round the 90˚ rule the rest is plane sailing…or not…as soon as you start to add lights to your project it starts to look sexy but sexy at the cost of rendering, without lights your 3D subject can take an hour or so…add three lights and you are looking at 3,4,5 hours or more. One initial project was taking so long that I abandoned it 6 hours later !

I am about to do some sexy 3D photo frames today I will post you the results once I have something worth showing. PS. Maths was one of my worst subjects at school and working with lots of rectangles in a 3D environment brings it all back…who said you don’t need maths once you leave school…me !!!

I want to thank Mark Spencer for his invaluable input.

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

Alister Chapman talks about HD to SD downconversion

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Ever since the release of the XDCAM EX cameras users have been having problems getting good lookin SD pictures out of downconverted HD. Why is this and what can be done about it? This is an issue that effects all high resolution HD cameras and is not unique to the EX’s. There are two key issues.

The first is the way basic software converters handle fields in interlace material and the second is the amount of information inan HD image that must in effect be discarded to get a SD image. At first glance you would think that starting off with lots of picture detail would be a good thing, but in this case it’s not.

Let’s see if I can explain.

Imagine that you have something in you HD picture that over 4 pixels goes from light to dark, in Hd you get a gradual transition from light to dark and all looks good. Now what happens when you take those 4 pixels and convert them to SD. The 4 pixels become just 2 and instead of a stepped change from light to dark the picture now goes instantly from a light pixel to a dark pixel. If these pixels were the edge of a moving object, as it moved the pixels would be switching instantly from on to off and unless the object moved at exactly one pixel per frame you will get a flickering effect. Clearly our nice gradual transition from light to dark has been lost and if there is any motion we may now be seeing flickering edges. Niether of these look good.

So what can be done? Well the best way to improve the SD down conversion is to soften the HD image before it is down converted to prevent this single pixel light to dark switch from happening. You need to end up with an SD image where you go from full light to full dark over at least 3 pixels to prevent flicker (Twitter).

How much you will need to soften you HD by will depend on how sharp it is to start with. Simply turning down the cameras detail settings can be a big help, but even then the best results are often obtained by applying some kind of blur filter in post production. In FCP i find the flicker filter works quite well.

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

Forget WorkFlow you need CashFlow to exist !

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Talking to a friend of mine tonight I got really angry as he told me his plight…He has been producing fantastic work for various “big name” companies and as a designer his work speaks for itself. The “big name” companies are now dragging their heals to pay him…the work is done, their fancy new designs are making them money and he is too proud and professional to “pull his work” till he gets paid…to the extent he has reached the end of his cashflow so he can’t pay his outstanding bills which sets up a vicious circle.

Why am I tell you this because we are all in the same boat, we all talk about workflows with our Canon 5Dmk2, Sony EX-3s but forget that a more important workflow, we should all be paying more attention to is “CASHFLOW”.

I like most of you are running small 1-2 people businesses and we are all held to task with our banks as we dare not cross the line between credit and debt…yet if “they” get into trouble they get 64 billion pounds to help them out. THEY have the Bank of England … WE have one measly £800 over draft and God help us if we use it up.

Banks today are no longer here to help small businesses even though we may have say for talking sake £5K to come in from various sources that are owed to us so my advice to small businesses are as follows…

1. Don’t be taken in by the “promise of more work”. Take my advice the 2nd job is a pipe dream.

2. Do not lower your price on the possibility of future work.

3. Tell the client you will invoice them in two parts, that helps your cashflow and keeps the bank happy.

4. If you are coming to the edge of your over draft phone the bank and put a case to them, tell them about payments owing to you, 99% of the time they don’t care but hang on to the 1% as that may be your bank manager.

5. Make a nuisance of yourself, phone the accounts dept. tell them your plight, you have done the work you are entitled to be payed…the 30 days are up. Write to the MD ask him if he/she can intervene, you have nothing to loose… by this time you no longer need or want further business from this company.

I get really pissed off when I hear good small companies being kicked around by big bullies when it comes to payment, there is no need to treat anyone like this in todays society…if only we had the power to stop their wages then the tables would turn.

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

Sony’s Digital Shooters Kit by Alister Chapman

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

Sony SRW-9000 HiEnd Digital Tape Camcorder

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In 2000, Sony introduced the legendary HDWF900 – the first model in Sony’s “24P-capable” CineAlta lineup. Since then, the HDW-F900 – and its successor model, the HDWF900R – have been satisfying the demand for high level picture quality and creative versatility in primetime TV production, commercial production and movie making .

Now Sony has taken the next evolutionary step with the next generation 24P camcorder, the SRW9000 HDCAM-SR camcorder. The SRW9000 inherits many of the excellent qualities of the HDWF900/F900R, plus it offers incredible operational mobility – thanks to its one-piece body and outstanding picture performance. .

In standard configuration, the SRW9000 is capable of top-quality 4:2:2 Y/Cb/Cr 10-bit recording at 1080/23.98P/24P/25P and 29.97P/1080/50i and 59.94i. The SRW9000 can also record 4:2:2 720/50P and 59.94P signals, for users who require further creative performance, a variety of option cards can be added. This allows for users to benefit from full-bandwidth 1080 RGB 4:4:4 capturing, SR Motionvariable frame rate capturing, as well as S-Log Gamma, and additional signal inputs and outputs. .

Providing improved operational flexibility and cost benefits, the SRW9000 is the perfect choice for anyone seeking HDCAM-SR picture quality and a high level of creative freedom. Now and into the future, the SRW9000 will ignite a passion for stunning visual productions in digital cinema, commercial programs, TV dramas, and documentaries.

The SRW9000 is a one-piece HDCAM-SR camcorder that delivers full HD resolution images and employs 2/3 CCD. Combining this CCD with a high-precision 14-bit A/D converter and digital signal processing, the camcorder is able to capture and reproduce extremely high-quality 1080/60P and 1080/50P images with low noise and high sensitivity. With its self-contained recording media and compact one-piece design, the SRW9000 delivers highly competive images.

With the optional HKSR-9003 RGB 4:4:4 Processing Board, the SRW-9000 offers full-bandwidth digital 4:4:4 high-definition Red, Green, and Blue signal processing and output capability. The HKSR9003 also enables S-LOG Gamma, allowing users to flexibly adjust images in the post-production process

By adding the HKSR-9002 Picture Cache Board, the SRW-9000 can record images from 1 fps to 60 fps in 4:2:2 mode. By combining the HKSR-9002 with the HKSR-9003, the SRW9000 can perform the same function in 4:4:4 mode. The newly introduced HDVFC30WR is especially suited for use with the SRW9000, offering improved focus assist functions, a color brightness level indicator and numerous other beneficial features.

Moreover, with pre-installed viewing LUTs (look-up tables) for S-Log Gamma, this viewfinder provides users with easier focus adjustment and a more intuitive photo-shooting operation. The SRW9000 can also utilize the HDVF20A. HKSR9001 Dual-link HD-SDI outputs and an additional AUX input port are provided with the HKSR9001 allowing the camcorder to be connected with an external audio multiplexing device or RGB monitor such as the BVML230.

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

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