Snow Leopard “Review on hold”

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I have had to postpone my review of Snow Leopard because I intend using it with Final Cut Pro 7 running on a MacPro and ingesting with an AJA io HD. The problem is that AJA as yet running into week 7 do not have the drivers for FCP-7/Snow Leopard.

I do however have Snow Leopard running on two iMacs and it works fine in fact I can tell you that my iMac which is a later model is more responsive but I do not have FCP-7 on this machine so I can’t judge using it in a professional editing environment .

For those of us using the Sonnet Tempo SATA E4P eSATA card and a DP500 Sonnet have posted the following message. “Snow Leopard compatible (32bit). Advanced users note that this card is not yet compatible in full 64-bit boot. Snow Leopard default boots in 32-bit mode, except in an Xserve.”

MacBook Pro users have had problems using Snow Leopard as it seems to affect the Sony SxS drivers.

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

Using SDHC Class 6 cards with a Sony EX-3

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I can’t stress enough the importance of using the correct cards for the job. Only tonight I had a timely reminder the difference between true class 6 and class 5.5 !  I was filming a local Cub and Scout group using a Sony EX-3 and decided to use 2 8GB cards…One Transend Class 6 and the other a Panasonic Class 6.

Filming in 1920 x 1080 I had 28 mins per card the 1st being the Transend. Seven thirty PM the Scouts barge in and I am swapping slots, the second card (Panasonic) kicks in and all seemed well till I got a “restore media warning” I decided to switch off the camcorder and when it came back on I was asked to “restore media” with a choice to cancel or execute, so I decided to execute.

Everything seemed well till this happened again, I went through the same process and took a decision to swap out the MxM card holder with the Panasonic SDHC card for an 8GB SxS card, I only had this card and a 16Gig Transend which I was saving for another job.

I have tried a 16GB Verbatum Class 6 and an 8GB Panasonic class 6 in the MxM card holder, both gave me trouble in fact the Verbatum was a non starter.

SDHC_HDVIDEO_1_L.JPGThe moral of the story is if you are using the Sony EX-1 or 3 and you intend to use the MxM card holders you must stick to a brand that you know is truly class 6 like the Transend SDHC card. Transend also produce a specific video SDHC Class 6 card which I have also tested and works fine. Do not be confused by the times given on front of the card this is for domestic customers.

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

UK Camcorder prices go through the roof

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Sony_HDR_FX1000_1Speaking to UK retailers recently I was shocked to find out the extent of the price hike we are suffering in the UK. Since the economic downturn the UK has seen 10-15% price increases on most professional video equipment and accessories.

Take Sony for instance…the semi pro HDR FX1000 was £2800 just over 8 months ago now you are looking at £3900 for the same camcorder !

That’s £1100 added to the same camcorder in 8 months !!!

My friend Bill told me “A customer bought this camcorder 8 months ago at £2800 and last month asked me if he could buy a second FX1000 to be told it was now £3900 and was duly told no thank you”

A second example is the Canon XL H1S a year ago you could buy this camcorder for £4500 and today after 3 price rises it is £6500 a price increase of £2000 !!!

The best of all were Panasonic P2 cards before May 2009 a 64Gb P2 card was £1708 then after a lot of soul searching and the small problem that P2 camcorders were not selling… Panasonic brought out the P2 “E” 64Gb card at a more sensible price of £736.

Strangely this is not consistent with the whole camcorder market, domestic camcorders on the whole have dropped in price.

There is no satisfactory conclusion to this story other than the fact we in the UK have taken the brunt when it comes to price hikes and retailers are now stuck with camcorders they can’t shift.

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

iSlate £1.79 for Apple iPhone or iTouch

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iSlate IKONiSlate is exactly as it says on the tin, it’s a slate or clapperboard, so what use can this be in the age of digital camcorders.

I have found this application very useful for identing my SDHC cards when filming with the Sony EX-3.

As you may know the Sony EX-3 takes 2 SxS cards or 2 MxM (SDHC) card holders.

To give me an archive and save a pot of money I use the 16Gb Transend Class 6 SDHC cards.

The main problem with these cards is you have no way of writing on them so you have to ident them electronically, this is where iSlate comes in.

iSlate-exampleAs you can see from the picture on the right PROD is the production name, DIR in this case is used for the type of camera, recording format in this case 720p and the dedicated card number and the day it was shot.

The timecode is free run as we call it, so you are always given the present time of day. I don’t use it as a slate but more a card index. The other feature it has, is the ability to resize the wording to fit on the one line, this is a great feature, how many times have you bought a phone, start to type in someones details for the line of text to run out leaving you one letter short.

This APP is Highly Recommended by HD Warrior for video use.

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

REDBYTE Decimator “Converts HD-SDI to SD” £299

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Your choice of either a NTSC or PAL output • Auto detects 3G, HD or SD (26 Formats in total) and can handle switching of synchronous sources • Low latency 3G/HD to SD Down-conversion with ARC (AspectRatio Conversion) of:

16:9 to 16:9 Anamorphic 16:9 to 4:3 Letterbox 16:9 to 4:3 Centre Cut (Crop to 4:3)


SD Pass-through

Full 10-bit data path and multipoint interpolation

3G/HD/SD-SDI Active Loop-Through Output

16 times over-sampling for Composite Output

External Dipswitch Configuration

Locking DC Power Socket

Mounting Bracket included

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

Leica M9 World’s Smallest Full Frame 18MP camera with the Worlds biggest price £4850

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Is Leica “avin a laugh” or what…this German company is renowned for it’s optics and overpriced cameras…this is no exception… £4850 is outrageous if you consider the alternatives. I have also seen a 1600 ISO picture taken with this camera and it’s noisy. You can get a new Canon 7D (18MP) with a 50mm f1.2 L lens for £2977 or a Full Frame Canon 5D Mk11 (21MP) with same lens for £3162 !

Times have changed Leica had a small following in the film days of people who craved the best in optics in a rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses…there was a market in the 60s and 70s for such camera designs but sadly the M9 camera looks dated among todays sleek cameras and let’s not kid ourselves until recently Panasonic have been making their digital cameras.

Having just looked at the dPreview tour of the Leica factory you get to see why you pay so much for this camera…”IT”S ALL HAND MADE” which is quaint and very commendable but in the dog eat dog 21st century world we live in and a value for money, recession world …sadly I still see no market place for such a dear basic digital camera. PS I have no doubt that the optics will be of a very high standard as will the build quality.


Personally Leica and their prices have had their days…who is going to spend the best part of five thousand pounds today for a camera that looks like a hand me down from World War 2, delivers noisy 1600 ISO pictures and a small basic LCD in todays standards and why go to all the bother to add rangefinder optics when you have an LCD or has it not got live view ?

Take a trip over to to see a hands on preview. (Link is at the right hand side of this page)

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

AJA Ki PRO now shipping

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After phoning AJA today I have been told that the new drivers for the io HD will be about two weeks away and that AJA do not release drivers until they are 100% correct. There are at least two issues to be resolved with Apple and we are set to go. Also I was told that the Ki PRO is now shipping and they are working flat out to fulfil their back orders.

Ki Pro provides a new way of connecting production and post with its extensive analog and digital connectivity; virtually any video and audio source can be fed into Ki Pro to record pristine 10-bit ProRes 422 media that is then immediately available to edit within Apple’s Final Cut Studio.

“We have had unprecedented interest in this product, and remarkable pre-release sales coming off of our recent 24-city Ki Pro global road show,” said Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems. “We’re pleased to be shipping a very robust 1.0 version, and will be supporting our customers with frequent software updates and additions. Ki Pro provides significant workflow efficiencies for everyone from cinematographers and filmmakers to editors and post professionals.”

Ki Pro allows filmmakers, broadcasters, video professionals and prosumers to skip the process of re-rendering to an editing codec by giving immediate access to full raster edit-ready Apple ProRes 422 files directly from camera. Ki Pro records hours of media to a removable storage module. The device is a small, portable unit that can sit on a table, in a bay or mounted between a camera and tripod. Ki Pro is also ideal for on-set monitoring, providing instant access to multiple display devices simultaneously.

Core Ki Pro Features:

  • Record hours of pristine Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime media to a removable storage module that offers built-in FireWire 800 for immediate editing and file access on OSX.
  • Record natively to Apple ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ for full raster 10-bit 4:2:2 HD and SD.
  • Bridge proprietary compression schemes by recording to the edit-friendly Apple ProRes 422 codec.
  • Connect any digital camera via SDI or HDMI, or any analog camera with multiple input options.
  • Convert in real time from SD to HD, or 720 to/from 1080, in full 10-bit quality.
  • Extend client review capabilities with simultaneous recording to camera and to Ki Pro.
  • Extend productive life of existing cameras and embrace future workflows with powerful conversion capabilities.
  • Built-in WiFi and Ethernet for complete control via a web-browser, or iPhone.

For a complete set of features and technical specifications, please visit Ki Pro is available now via AJA’s network of worldwide resellers for an MSRP of US$3995.

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

NEXTO DI 500GB storage for SxS, P2, SD (SDHC), CF, MS and xD cards.

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Portable memory card backup storage with native Sony SxS card.Panasonic P2 Card Flash Media and SD cards concurrent backup to both internal SATA HD & external USB HD. The Nexto Video Pro Storage Device (500GB) from NEXTO DI is a compact device designed to provide a mobile storage solution for video. You can back-up Sony SXS cards faster then you can download to your laptop. The storage device is also compatible with a wide array of memory cards and connectivity types.

For internal storage, this device houses a 500GB 2.5″ SATA 7200rpm hard drive. Multiple interfaces allow you to transfer data on and off the unit. Compatible memory cards include CF, SD, MS, and xD. Also featured are interfaces for USB 2.0, firewire and eSATA PC connectivity.

• Hard Drive For internal storage…This device houses a 500GB 2.5″ SATA 7200rpm hard drive • Designed for Video Back-up Panasonic P2, SD cards  Flash card Media and Sony SXS cards 4 times faster than downloading to your laptop

• Interfaces… It supports multiple connectivity formats, giving you many options for transferring data on and off the device: CF, SD, MS, & xD cards, as well as USB 2.0, firewire & eSATA PC connectivity

• Preview… Preview your video on the 2.4″ color LCD screen

What’s in the Box Nexto DI Nexto Video Pro Storage Device (500GB) w/7200rpm Hard Drive

Comes Complete with the below items

  • USB Cable
  • Firewire 6 to 6 Pin Cable
  • eSATA Cable
  • AA Battery Holder
  • AC Adapter
  • Car Charger Cable
  • Manual
  • One-Year Warranty Against Defects in Material & Workmanship

The only one problem with this device is it’s name “Nex to Di” I am not sure this is one of the worlds best names for a unit holding a 500GB SATA hard drive that is backing up all your days precious footage !  I think it’s a tad late to appear in the P2 and SxS market and at a whopping £1500 for a fancy card reader with a 500 GB hard drive will not have it flying off the shelves.

UPDATE : CVP have this unit for £1242 incl vat.


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

IBC 2009 without Sony ?

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How are plans for IBC2009?

Exhibition bookings for IBC2009 are still very strong. Currently we are about 10% down on the final space requirement for last year, which at this time is very good. My view is that we will have an excellent show, filling the RAI Centre, and perhaps the space available to us in the new Elicium building. Sony is the only major company at IBC2008 which has not signed up for this year.

Does that mean IBC2009 will be a smaller exhibition than last year?

We are a little smaller because many exhibitors have trimmed their stand space a little, and we fully understand why they need to do this. 

Sadly, we are seeing some cancellations from companies who are struggling in the market, but these are being replaced by fresh applications. Last month we were able to allocate stands to 25 new companies, who were waiting for space in the right areas for them. It may be hard to believe but I promise it is true: new bookings are still outrunning cancellations for IBC2009 
Sustainability is the keyword. 

IBC has been central to our market for more than 40 years and we want to help our all stakeholders continue to prosper. IBC is run by the industry, for the industry, and the market is continuing to show a strong commitment to IBC.

So you feel confident about IBC2009?

Confident but not complacent. The IBC team is very experienced in creating a vibrant and relevant IBC and is completely focused on delivering a valuable experience for everyone. At its simplest level, business is about people and relationships. Those relationships are important in good times and in tough times. Certainly in this industry, which is all about communication, people need to meet face to face to do business and compare the marketplace, and this is one of the great strengths of IBC. 

North American trade shows seem to be suffering. The exhibitions so far in the rest of the world – like BVE in London, CCBN in Beijing, Cabsat in Dubai and ISEurope in Amsterdam – have held up very well. IBC is very much a global event, and we remain confident that our audience will see the value in attending.

You mentioned Sony opting out of IBC2009 ?

Obviously this is a disappointment. Sony is a big player, and IBC has always worked well for them. We have been talking in detail for some time, of course, and they have explained their thinking. They have also been positive in their comments about IBC. For this year they have chosen another route. We wish them well, and I can say that we are continuing our dialogue with them, working hard to get them back into the show. 

For the last few years Sony has anchored hall 9 and made it a production zone. That is really important for IBC, so we are taking the space and creating in it a production village. One key feature will be the opportunity to compare a huge range of cameras from all the leading manufacturers. Nowhere in the world will you have the chance to make direct, side-by-side comparisons on this scale: another way IBC adds value to your visit. 

The production village will also include a training zone, looking at workflows as well as shooting, and we are investing even more in visitor marketing to the production community to tell them about what will be happening and why it will be valuable to them. We have not had a rush of cancellations following Sony’s announcement and I do not expect one: the value proposition of IBC is still exactly the same. If you are a competitor of Sony, it may even have got stronger!

Are you making any other initiatives to help exhibitors?

Like any other business activity, IBC has to be measured in terms of return on investment. And there are two sides to RoI: the cost, and the value received in return. Now we appreciate that everyone has to look carefully at the level of spend, and we are working hard to help people control this. We also recognise that people’s time is more valuable than ever, so we are helping exhibitors by reducing the effort required before the event. 

The new stand packages include a ‘walk on’ free design structure. This is for exhibitors who want to take more space than we can accommodate in our shell scheme offering, but want the convenience of a pre-built stand. 

For small exhibitors who really want to be a part of the IBC experience but are worried both about containing costs and about management time, we have a plug and play solution: a Zone-style exhibition pod, complete with broadband connection, power and light, a lockable cupboard and stand graphics. Also in the package is freighting for your equipment and two hotel rooms, all for a lead-in price of 10k euros.

We are working with our partners in other areas, too. In the next few days, Amsterdam will announce a reduction in hotel prices of around 10% in most areas. We are encouraging them to launch some other specific cost-saving hotel promotions, and I am confident we will hear more about those in May. 


What are you doing to encourage visitors to attend?

This is the value side of the IBC RoI, and I can assure you that we are investing heavily to make this year’s event unmissable. In particular we are looking at show floor visitor attractions and a whole range of new communications and promotions designed to add value for exhibitors and visitors. I have already mentioned the expansion of our popular training programme, for example, with production and workflow in hall 9 alongside post in hall 7.

Why are you investing in what is bound to be a difficult IBC?

When we talk about IBC being run by the industry for the industry that is not a marketing slogan, it is at the core of IBC’s mission. We are not running simply running an event – and taking money out of the industry – we are running IBC because we are a part of that community. 

We know what exhibitors, delegates and visitors are going through at the moment, in planning for IBC and across the whole of their businesses. We take that knowledge, add to it some creative thinking from our professional team, and build an event that will actively drive the industry forward.

What are your predictions on attendance?

I can promise is that we are making every possible effort to add even more value to IBC2009, with a very strong communication and promotions plan to ensure everybody is fully aware of the benefits of IBC. 

We are building a telephone marketing campaign to top broadcasters and media organisations across Europe, finding out how we can help them maintain their place in the IBC community. For example, where a northern European organisation can guarantee a strong delegation we are looking at providing coach transport to Amsterdam, additional conference facilities and networking events. 

Inevitably, when times are tight travel budgets are looked at, and we know that some bodies, particularly in Europe and the Middle East, are not able to fly to the US. But they do plan to be at IBC.

Registration opens in two weeks, and hotel bookings do not really start to come in until May, so at this stage there is no comparative data but I believe we will have another healthy, vigorous global event.

What would you say to those considering a trip to IBC this year? 
I would give them the same message as any other year. IBC is a key event in the calendar, the must visit show for all serious professionals in this market, worldwide. IBC offers 
- a comprehensive state of the art exhibition – which our bookings show remains the case in 2009 
- genuine thought leadership from the conference – and this year the programme has been reinvigorated to meet the challenges of the times 
- added value events – from briefings to screenings, training to unique presentations and demonstrations 
- unrivalled networking opportunities in a friendly and attractive city.

Those reasons resonate even more strongly this year. 2009 is the time to invest in the knowledge you will need to tackle the coming creative, technical and commercial challenges, and successfully navigate the post-recession media landscape.

You do have to question why Sony do not want to be a part of IBC but then with one new SD DP-175 DVCAM camcorder to show off maybe this has been the correct decision, it could also be like a lot of big companies like Apple, they have supported these big shows for years and the cost versus the financial return is making them cherry pick the biggest and best shows or in Apples case possibly no shows.  Another consideration must be the internet, if one of the big companies sneezes it’s round the globe within the hour so shows like IBC may becoming dinosaurs of the past.

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

Apple predicted to have new hardware on the 9.9.09

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Apple Concept TabletA source has told HD Warrior that Apple are going to announce something big this coming Wednesday the 9th of September 09. Some people are predicting the well overdue Apple tablet. I for one hope this is the case and also hope that Apple give us the ability to have video inputs as well as outputs allowing such a machine to be used for monitoring or prompting. Remember this is only a guess…keep your eyes on the Apple website at about 7pm GMT for an announcement hopefully from Steve Jobs himself.

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

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