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

NX-5 User Video Review…THIS WEEKEND

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

HD Warrior is ONE this week !

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

Exposure Room just got better

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“Well, we’ve finally done it! We’ve given ExposureRoom a brand new look and navigation system. The whole effort has been a grueling yet extremely satisfying 4 month affair. I hope most if not everyone will love the outcome of this effort.

Many of you write in on a daily basis to tell us how much you love the way the site looks and functions. Yet there are some who find the site cluttered and difficult to navigate. So we had to take a deep dive into trying to understand the reasons for this. The whole process of re-designing the site and navigation system started last August by way of a discussion we had in the forums and private emails. We then went back and digested every single suggestion and/or complaint about readability, navigation, clutter and general intuitiveness of the site.

Not only did we digest what ExposureRoom members had to say but (more importantly, probably) we listened to site visitors as well. Some are pretty vocal and speak their mind while others ask a “how to” question. We listened to all of them. Once we had this huge list, we had to digest it into a more systematic beast. That process took a couple of months

After that, we went to the drawing board. The primary group that participated in the initial rounds consisted of designers, engineers, support, marketing and business. Each department was a stakeholder in this process and each had valuable input to give to the design and engineering teams that addressed the concerns from members and visitors and also future direction of ExposureRoom.

Once we felt the needs and concerns of all stakeholders were addressed in the preliminary design phase, the design and engineering teams went to work. That process took 2 months. Everyone here has worked their butts off and for me it was especially nice to see the bonding between the (seemingly) disparate teams. Once the design was finalized the engineering team has their work cut out for them. Of course, even in engineering we have design and so back to the drawing board it was. This time taking the “requirements” and designing the backend system to accommodate the visual design and navigation and future extensibility of the system and site.

I’d like to take a moment to thank our members for being vocal and voicing their opinions and concerns, without which we’d not have ventured down such a bold path. I’d like to thank the visitors who have taken the time to give us a piece of their mind and finally the XR team for putting in a tremendous effort, working towards a common goal and exceeding my expectations by a long shot.

This was a complete overhaul and not just a tweak here and there. The new navigation system should allow you to go from one end of the site to the other in a single click. Not only that, you may actually discover areas of the site you didn’t know existed!”

Shiv Kumar (XR)

HDW : Poor Shiv some of the XR crew do not like the new look and the new navigation, personally I think it’s far better and it’s just a matter of getting used to the new navigation tools.

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

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