BPV Show 2011 and the Sony NX70 show stopper !

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The camera that stole the show this year at BPV 2011 was the Sony NX70. Everyone was asking Sony questions about the NX70 and admiring it’s very practicable size.

Sony are onto another winner with this camcorder not forgetting it’s ability to shoot 1080 50p, I deliberately did not film in 1080 50p today simply because I want to savour this moment when we get the first NX70s some time during early June.

The boys from H Preston Media, Andy Guest (left) and Andy Davis (right) and a few others had a great night out at a local Indian restaurant called the “Palace” situated in St Helens and comes well recommended, my thanks to Dave from DSM who treated us to the meal.

As usual Alister Chapman drew great crowds eagerly listening to his every word during his very popular talk about large sensor camcorders, especially the Sony PMW-F3. The show was a good success on the whole, there were not giant crowds but the exhibitors seemed to be happy with the response and the overall buying power of the customers who came to the show in fact bodies through the door was up on last year.

Sony also had many people looking at the FS100 and we also tried the Nikon to E mount with a 50mm f1.4 lens on the camera in fact one of the most amazing facts came the night before when Alister Chapman told me that he had conducted a lens test on his Sony F3 comparing the Zeiss CP2 against the Nikon 50mm f1.8mm and he could not see any discernible difference in quality between the two lenses which is £2500 Zeiss against a £150 Nikon prime lens.

To qualify this there are major advantages by using the CP2 lens for follow focus as they tend to be all the same diameter and have better arranged teeth for pull focus units that the Nikon can’t compete with but it clarifies a niggle that I have banged on about for a while now that major glass manufacturers like Nikon have indeed caught up, optically, with the likes of Zeiss and if you do not intend to use a follow focus system prime Nikon glass on a large sensor camera will indeed cut the mustard.

I am producing a video of the show which will be uploaded next week and I also shot footage with the NX70 and having the ability to set your sound levels, see them on your viewfinder, set 0dB, shutter to OFF and manual iris made the NX70 a joy to use and I can’t wait till I get my hands on one.

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

AF101 video now available for download to iPad (£20)

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It was a request from one of my Australian readers who wants a copy of the 60 minute training video but needs it in a hurry so I have produced an iPad version of my AF101 video. It will play on an iPad or within iTunes.

All you need to do is send me an Email and I will send you a PayPal request for £20…once your payment is in I will send you a copy of the file.

Email  hdwarrior@me.com

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

A little laugh while I am out of the office

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

HAYDOCK PARK this Thursday…UK debut of the new Sony camcorders.

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As of today I am winding my way down to Haydock Park racecourse for the Broadcast Photo Video Show on Thursday. It’s FREE entry and parking and will be the UK debut of the new Sony FS100 and NX70 camcorders plus a chance to meet HD Warrior and Alister Chapman in person.

The door open at 10am till 5pm and if you need SatNav directions please use the following post code…

WA12 0HQ

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

Nostalgia tinged with sadness

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For some of us one of Sony’s glory periods was the introduction of Hi8mm, a break from SVHS, now we had a high band recording format that came with a far smaller tape.

I got a phone call today from a chap who simply wants to convert all his 8mm and Hi8mm tapes to DVD but no longer has a player or camcorder in which to do so. I told him to phone round a few of the video boys who might just have a Hi8mm tape deck collecting dust.

It brought out my own demons with Hi8mm, sadly I have some tapes up in my attic with some lovely original footage of my children now imprisoned to a format that went out of fashion when mini DV came along.

None of us thought for one minute that it might be better to keep one of these Hi8mm tape decks or camcorders in case the future wanted to view the past. This chap was in the same boat as myself looking through EBAY for a small ounce of gold dust in the shape of a Hi8mm camcorder…with outputs.

95% of camcorders in those days had YC and analogue video outputs so it was easy to dub footage from one tape format to another.

If anyone out there has a Sony Hi8mm PAL tape deck or a camcorder they fancy getting rid of give me an email and I will give you an offer for your machine. Email hdwarrior@me.com

I had this very camcorder with twin VU meters, manual everything a good old headphone socket, Sony like most manufacturers have forgotten in recent times that we like to be in control of our camcorders, yet they will insist in not giving us mic inputs or headphone outputs till fairly recently.

The Sony VG10 was a classic example of Sony forgetting the “feature rich” past with no control over the sound nor the ability to switch the gain to 0dB or the ability to mount the camcorder on your shoulder…sometimes the future does not always bring the best from the past !

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

The Producer and Post Production

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I was reading a post by Walter Biscardi during the week about a producer who left the last of his budget to post production so much so that he employed a college student to give him a rough cut of a production that was being submitted to Sundance.

Part of Walter’s post…

“Producer:  He didn’t meet either of the requirements I set for him AND gave me a “finished” project that I couldn’t use. I’ve already paid him for 6 out of the 8 weeks, in the good faith that he’d finish the project per my requirements and continued to send payment after he failed to do so. I know it sucks for him because he really worked all day and night the last week, but this is a business and his actions caused me to lose money. And honestly, better prioritizing on his part would have prevented this entire situation (he spent days color-correcting while raw footage was waiting idly by to be cut into coherent scenes). As an editor, what would you expect from your client if this had happened to you. What do you think would be the fair thing for me to do?

Me:  This is a business for you.  It’s a learning experience for him.   He’s a college student, he’s not a professional editor.   You made the decision to hire him I’m guessing because he was ridiculously cheap.  Therefore you owe him the payment.

Our one hour documentary took 6 days to color correct with a 30 year Colorist doing the work with professionally calibrated equipment in a professional color suite.   So that fact that he took days is not surprising in the least.   I would expect a non-colorist to take at least 2 weeks to color correct a one hour film.   Did you tell him not to color correct any of the scenes until the film was completed?  In fact, why were you color correcting the film at all when you had such a tight turnaround?    That’s another mistake and something that you as a Producer needed to clarify with the editor.

As a professional editor you would not have had anything to submit to Sundance without giving me the final payment so the fact that you even had something to submit is remarkable.   As a professional editor, I would have prioritized the edit to complete the story first and finish second.  But in college you’re all about impressing people with your knowledge of software and effects, so playing with graphics, color enhancement and the like are what it’s all about in college.  So I’m not surprised he wanted to play with looks on the film instead of finishing it first.

All in all, you chose the wrong person when you decided to hire someone in college to do a highly professional job.   As the Producer it is your responsibility to hire the right people to complete each task of the project.   It sounds to me like you did not budget near enough money for Post Production or you would have hired a good professional editor or Post facility.   This happens all the time here and what usually happens is a facility like mine has to come behind and clean up the mess.

Sorry to be so blunt, but you made a very poor choice to choose such an unqualified person to cut a project for such high profile expectations.”

To read the rest of Walters blog : http://www.biscardicreative.com/blog/2011/05/post-production-is-not-an-afterthought

Well said Walter… I would have told him to enter his production into a place where the sun does not shine, this brings me onto another pet hate of mine, using the wrong equipment for the job…

I got a phone call only today about a chap who was disappointed with his Sony PMW-350 “It does not produce good sound” I was told could I give the chap a phone please, knowing the camcorder very well I was surprised the here this comment till I phoned the chap.

It turns out that his “Bogart” editing system will only ingest one track of sound from his camcorder so there was the first problem solved, it was not the camera at fault but the poor choice of editing equipment that was to blame.

Secondly the way this chap works is to let the sound take care of itself which is why the music is fine but the verbal part of his track is low, also, using one gun mic mounted on the camcorder is not the solution for good speech.

These two stories are very similar in the fact that all the money has been spent up front with little to no thought when it comes to editing the finished production.

When I budget for any job the same money is divided equally to the filming and editing as they are both equally important, it’s all very well getting the best DP to film with a RED ONE if you cant then afford for a 4K editing facility.

Editing can make or break a production it’s where the magic is added, the music is blended, the graphics added the footage graded etc, etc.

You need not only a competent editor but a decent NLE to edit with and if you are prepared to use “Janet and John” editing equipment you get what you pay for.



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

Haydock Park Racecourse…Thursday 12th May 2011

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I will be attending the show as a representative of H Preston Media and to produce a video review of the show itself, I hope to bring you reports and footage from both the new Sony camcorders the FS100 and the NX70.

After the success of the Sony MC50 there is a lot of interest in the all new professional fully featured NX70, I also hope to be demonstrating the camera around the show during the day but Sony have not confirmed if we are getting working models yet.

Two  90 minute sessions Session 1  10AM – 11.30AM Session 2  2PM -3.30PM

After each session Alister will hold a Questions and Answers session

Come into our 35mm World and see how it can enhance yours…

Alister will take a look at the pro’s and cons of shooting with big sensor cameras, explore the myraid of lens options that are available for them and delve into the camera menu’s in search of the ultimate image quality. Alister has already used the Sony PMW-F3 for corporate videos, documentary footage and even a big budget cinema commercial.  Learn about which lenses he chose and why, how he manages the depth of field and picture profiles. Finally Alister will talk about his workflow and explain when S-Log can be used to improve your image quality.

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

An HD Royal Wedding and thanks to Japan

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When you pull resources like the BBC, SKY and ITV you get a fantastic HD wall to wall coverage of the Royal Wedding. Some of the shots were incredible especially the wide shots in the abbey itself.

Some fantastic wide shots, my hat off to the producer for this and many interesting camera angles throughout the six hour marathon.

My favourite shot of the day was this one a chap riding one of the horses had some unruly hairstyle which was unusual then I noticed this shot and I nearly fell off my chair…he was the double of Harpo Marks.

All kidding aside we were treated to this spectacular HD production largely due to the efforts of Sony, Panasonic and Ikegami HD cameras produced in Japan within the last 3 years, so hats off the the Japanese workers who are going through tough times and say a big “thank you” for supplying todays HD technology.

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

AF101 DVD £25 plus postage

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[xr_video id=”e1558de7a2a940f4b22a6ba6b96baa86″ size=”md”]

NOTE : I can send you a PayPal request but you do not have to own a PayPay account to use the PayPal request.

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

3D Update Part TWO

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A camcorder I saw first hand at BVE was the GY-HMZ1U from JVC Professional. This looked a great wee camcorder and a further commitment to 3D by a professional video manufacturer.


The GY-HMZ1U is a 3D camcorder offering full HD recording (1920 x 1080 x 2) to dual SDHC/SDXC flash memory. Its unique integrated 3D twin lens delivers professional results in a surprisingly easy-to-use package. Equipped with JVC’s proprietary Falconbrid™ LSI processing, full HD recordings can be made in either 60i, providing smooth motion for sports and fast action, or 24p for a film-like effect.

  • 3D capture with dual back-illuminated CMOS sensors
  • 24p or 60i capture and recording
  • Twin F1.2 HD lenses with 5x optical zoom (10x in 2D)
  • 3.5-inch autostereoscopic (glasses-free) LCD touch panel
  • 34Mbps recording in 3D (24Mbps in 2D)
  • Memory card slot for SDXC/SDHC flash media
  • Internal 64GB memory recording
  • Built-in timecode
  • 3D digital still recording
  • Advanced Image Stabilizer
  • 3D time lapse recording
  • High speed 3D “motor drive” recording (up to 12 frames)
  • Zebra exposure indication
  • Includes professional handle with XLR mic inputs, shotgun mic holder (microphone optional)

This shoulder-mount Panasonic AG-3DP1, is a 3D twin-lens P2 HD camera recorder with 10 bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, full 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording. It offers all the benefits of a familiar, fast, file-based P2 HD workflow including such recording features as instant recording start-up, clip thumbnail view for immediate access to video content on all cards, and a host of time-saving recording modes including continuous recording and interval recording. Building on the success of the 3DA1, the 3DP1 is easy to use and now with the additional quality of the AVC Intra codec. The 3DP1 will be available this autumn, supported by Panasonic’s industry leading five-year warranty program.

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

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