What does the Future hold ?

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So what does the future in video production hold for 2011, firstly without the need for a crystal ball the vat is going up from 17.5% to 20%, now I for one think this will make vat a lot easier to calculate and lets be honest those of you who are vat registered don’t care as you can claim it back.

The future seems to be Large Sensor, Shallow Depth of Field (SDoF) as nothing is taking the video world by storm like the new SDoF cameras from Panasonic and Sony.

SONY…We do know about the Sony NXCAM Super 35mm semi pro camcorder, this needs a serious bit of design work done to it before the summer as the above design is terrible, not to mention top heavy. I do not think Sony have done themselves any favours by showing this bread bin design least of all some early specs 24 fps for USA and 25 fps for UK.

Panasonic…They have just brought out the AF101 a 4.3″ sensor taking micro Four Third (mFT) lenses. My prediction for 2011 is not a new model but some faster lenses developed especially for the AF101 camcorder. Up till now we have seen mFT lenses that have been produced for the domestic DSLR market and there will be a growing market place for faster mFT lenses to satisfy the professional AF101 user.

We will also see a lot of third party AF101 add on’s like matte boxes, hand held rigs and even a new range of cheaper Prime lenses that wont break the bank.

Canon…This must be the year of the 4:2:2, 50Mbs FilmLike camcorder from Canon it’s the last piece of the shallow depth of field (SDoF) jigsaw still waiting to happen. Canon took the broadcast market by storm during 2010 with the XF305 and with their knowledge of the DSLR and Pro Video surly we must see a Super 35mm Canon camcorder that takes 35mm Canon mount lenses.

JVC…Looking back at JVCs track record does not inspire a FilmLike camcorder but stranger things have happened. JVC need a large sensor camcorder sooner rather than later if they are to keep up with Sony & Panasonic. They are a very capable company if a wee bit like Cinderella, last to attend the ball.

There is no doubt the world of video has gone large sensor-SDoF and everyone wants to join the party, Panasonic have been very astute with the pricing of the AF101 at just under £4000, pre sales from Preston’s and CVP alone are very encouraging and the third party sales for adapters testifies the growing band of video producers looking for that holy grail SDoF look in a smaller package fit for purpose.

Back to Sony…Sony have just brought out the new F3, due for January 2011 shipping, but not as popular as the AF101 if sales are anything to go by plus the need for expensive prime lenses, 35Mbs SxS, 4:2:0 and the £12K asking price. The Sony is a great camcorder and Philip Bloom is testing one as I blog but the lack of 3rd party adapters is a major turn off though MTF are in the process of producing a Nikon adapter for early 2011.

Lastly we cant predict the future without a mention of RED DIGITAL CINEMA, who are producing an Epic light and so I am aware a Scarlet. I do think RED have an upward struggle to compete with Sony and Panasonic and the fact that Jim also mentioned a significant price increase to Scarlet, a camera thats not in major production yet and has a fixed 8x lens !

The clear winner of the SDoF large sensor camera during early 2011 is by far the Panasonic AF101, it ticks all the boxes, a mountain of 3rd party adapters and lenses and the price of £4K has set this camera into 2011 with it’s head held high and a fantastic sales curve that can only get bigger.

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

Merry Christmas to all my readers

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

Review of HD Warrior 2010…Part One

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January…saw some ugly picture of the new Canon XF305 as I said…

“This is rumoured to be the 2010 1/3″ solid state AVCHD camcorder by Canon Pro Video, the Sony NX5 is very similar in spec and looks to the new Canon and sadly for Canon the Sony is already available ! This is a major disappointment for everyone who thought Canon was building a film like large 35mm sensor camcorder to compete with RED, personally I think Canon have lost the plot after 17 months with no new model to bring out a hand held solid state camcorder that there is little to no market for. The camcorder above (LEFT) looks like the bad marriage of a domestic camera (back) rammed into a XH-A1 20x fluorite lens (front). If this is Canon’s solid state offering for 2010 don’t bother leaving the factory.”

As it turned out the Canon XF305 was a far nicer looking camcorder than has first been depicted and produced fantastic 4:2:2, 50Mbs pictures it’s a bit like Sony’s NXCAM cine-like camcorder due out mid 2011…the mock up looks positively ugly.

February…enter the Sony NX5

“I did not know what to expect with this camcorder but after Mondays shoot looking at the pictures side by side with the 350 I am still reeling from shock at the fantastic pictures this camcorder produces compared to the 350. In other words and I can’t quite believe I am writing this but there is little to choose between the two cameras. Don’t get me wrong the 350 produces stunning pictures but so does the NX5…I am not sure if Sony have put a spell on this camcorder but apart from lower light situations this AVCHD codec is stunning.”

March…The HDSLR Storm is Brewing

“If you want my opinion, then it has to be that the Canon’s are close, but still a mile away. The aliasing issue is a biggie. Sort it out and the skew, jello and overheating can be worked around, but if you have to worry about simply having a piece of wood in focus and whether it’s going to exhibit rainbows of colour or whether cobble stones will twitter and change colour (At 00.35 and this is from Canon) then it will limit what you can do. Are HDSLRs suitable for professional use…not YET in my opinion, the BBC, SKY, National Geographic channel etc will not accept footage from them…that’s got to ring alarm bells if you are hoping to use them professionally.”

April…Remember that Volcanic Ash

“As a cameraman I need my eyes to be A1 for obvious reasons but I do think there may be some milage in an upsurge of irritated eyes being down to fine volcanic ash. I would be interested to hear from any other UK or European cameramen/women with similar findings. I now wear a set of clear lens BLOC glasses when I am outside to prevent pollen/ash entering my eyes.”

April…Also noted for the new Sony PVM-740 OLED field monitor

“Thanks to the nature of the OLED display panel and Sony’s Super Top Emission technology, the PVM-740 offers outstanding high-contrast images – for example, the deep black of a night scene can be accurately displayed and the black portion of an image is not raised even in a low-illumination edit suite. As the black color is deep, peak brightness becomes higher and can brilliantly express sparkling town lights and stars in the night sky.”

May…Was a short bloging month but for all the wrong  reasons

“Sorry for lack of content recently but I have a trapped nerve in my right shoulder which is affecting my hand making computer work very painful so if you don’t mind I will need to give it a rest for a week or two…”

June…The Video companies fight back with announcements of the Panasonic AF101 and the Sony F3

“Only at NAB this year did the worst offenders open their tightly shut lids to reveal two film like camcorders in development, Panasonic and Sony. This was a first for both Japanese companies revealing products in advance of the statutory preliminary data sheet. Panasonic have revealed further details only last week and a proper picture of the up and coming AF100 camcorder.”

So there you go the first half of 2010 and what a roller coaster year it has been with some serious still unresolved issues with the DSLR to the announcement of the cine-like shallow depth of field camcorders from RED, Sony and Panasonic.

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

TESTED…Two Panasonic micro 4/3 lenses for the AF101

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Today my Panasonic lenses arrived, ready to fit onto my AF101 but sadly they are still in Japan. First UK deliveries should start filtering through early January so until then I have everything but the camera. As I have a Panasonic G2 mFT stills camera I decided to put the lenses through their paces.

As you can see our local park is still covered in snow but with my trusty model, my mother, we went on our daily walk with the dog. I can’t fault these lenses they are as sharp as I need lenses to be, in Aperture you are able see each picture at 100%.

Aperture also tells you the EXIF information like ISO 125, 140mm, 0ev, f5.8, 1/320 shutter speed, looking at each picture at 100% lets me assess how sharp each lens is and I have got to hand it to Panasonic they have not skimped on the glass used in both these lenses. They are very sharp indeed, in fact I can confirm that the 7mm wide shot is as sharp as my 17mm Canon “L” glass and that’s saying something.

You will not be disappointed using these Lumix lenses with the AF101 in fact the 14-140mm HD lens has OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) built in which is used by the AF101 to stabilise the picture and another feature utilised by the AF101 and Lumix lenses is auto tracking. Auto Tracking allows you to set points in the frame and track it’s focus, very useful in an interview situation if your subject begins bobbing back and forth during an interview.

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

MTF produce the worlds 1st Nikon G to Sony F3 Adapter

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MTF are now taking pre orders for our latest products: The Nikon to Sony F3 adaptor and the Canon FD to Sony F3 adaptor. Designs have been finalised and  both adaptors are being manufactured right now, ready for shipping in mid January.

Simply turn the blue ring to adjust aperture.This adaptor incorporates a built in control ring allowing you to visually adjust lens aperture.(Patent pending)

  • Original design for intuitive operation
  • Impossible to damage lens during fitting and operation
  • Compatible with 35mm format lenses
  • Compatible with lenses with or without aperture rings

To place an order for the Nikon version, click here.

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

CVP splash out of 2010 with a new look web site

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Having my usual cruise around various web sites I bumped into a new look CVP and I must say how very clean and clinical it looks. Phil Baxter is a very astute businessman and knows just how important a good looking web site is to his business. CVP are almost the yellow pages of the video world for product reference though I think the web designer might have added fresh pictures to the photographic section…

LIGHTING & KEYING section would be better showing LED lighting, while the VIDEO MONITOR graphic is old technology the Sony 740 OLED would have been a fresher choice. Personally I would go for best sellers like the AF101 or the Sony F3 under 35mm camcorders though technically the AF101 is not a 35mm camcorder it might be better calling it “FilmLike Camcorders”.

Critique aside…once again Mr Baxter and the team have produced a clean, glossy, up to the minute web site that we can all enjoy browsing through into the small hours.

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

A video produced in Hamburg, Germany using the Panasonic AF101

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We had the opportunity to make a test shoot with Panasonics new AG-AF101 in order to see what this baby can do. We shot on a cold and snowy hamburg day in an old, dark factory with a small crew. We had about six hours of shooting and a hell of a time!
Thanks to the whole crew!! Thanks to the BMX guys: Sas Kaykha, Sören & Nils!!
Studio Hamburg for the support and Panasonic for providing us with this new camera.

Enjoy and please let us know what you think!

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

The “CROP CONFUSION” of micro Four Thirds

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It’s all about “CROP” and this topic is very confusing, people who market Nikon DX cameras will have you believe you are getting more magnification using a full frame FX lens onto a DX camera but in fact what you are witnessing is nothing more than the middle of the lens being used by the smaller sensor so it looks like you are getting a 1.6x magnification when you are actually getting the same picture as a full frame camera but a cropped version.

You would swear P2 was indeed 2x bigger than P1 but in reality you are getting the same picture but the smaller sensor in the micro Four Thirds camera is only using the centre of the lens if I were to now crop P1 I could make it look the same as P2.

A 10mm lens on a 35mm camera will have a field of view 1.6 times greater than it does on a camera with an APS-C sensor.  The reason the Nikon DX lenses offer good value is because it will only give full sensor coverage on a APS-C sized sensor (F3 users beware!!!), so on a 35mm senor you would have a solid vignette around the outside of the image. Nikon do not adjust the focal length stated on the lens to suit different sensors, in the just the same way as Sony don’t. So at the end of the day a 10mm DX lens will have the same FOV as a 10mm lens from any other product line.

The crop factor is exactly the same. What happens is the smaller sensor CROPS you image and creates an image that would be the same as if you used that lens on a full frame but since you lose the edges of the picture it makes an image that appears to be magnified.. The magic word is cropping, the rest of the image spills over the sides. The image size on the sensor is the SAME for either sensor. This is why these new small sensor lenses dont do well on full frame since the lens design does not have to support the increased area of the large sensor.

We are all looking for the perfect fast lens to use with the AF101 and yesterday I thought the 17-55mm f2.8 was indeed that lens but alas we are just going to have to wait for the camera to arrive and do some hands on tests to determine a good all round f2.8 lens for the Panasonic AF101. I must thank a few of my readers for pointing me in the right direction.

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

The Review of 2010…Coming soon

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

BIRGER engineering-Canon adapter $700 “the queue for ownership has just got longer”

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The rumors are true!  Birger is coming out with a lens control system for EF mount lenses on the Panasonic AF100. Control for the iris, both auto and manual, will be from the camera.  Continuous (video-style) auto-focus will be supported on most Canon “L-series” lenses.  Power is provided by the camera for most lenses.  Image stabilization is supported on “IS” lenses, and this feature can be turned on or off from the lens.  Ships 14 February 2011.  MSRP $700 for the adapter.  Optional cinema-style remote control, available at additional cost, to be announced January 2011.  Sign up for the “General News” email list to receive updated announcements.  Photo below is a prototype on an engineering sample of the AF100, and a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 lens.

This is the news all Canon “L” glass owners have been waiting for the Rolls Royce of electronic adapters, this in conjunction with the wireless remote will finally allow professional pull focus on the Panasonic AF101 making this a fantastic camera for drama, interviews, commercials and pop promos…the queue for ownership has just got longer.   PS. You can pre order the mount at H Preston Media for an expected January release.

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

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