Canon Pre-announces Firmware update 2.0.3 for 5DMk11

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Canon today pre-announces the release of a firmware update for the multiple award-winning EOS 5D Mark II. Originally announced in late 2009, the update adds 24* and 25 frames per second (fps) recording to the camera’s EOS MOVIE video function, and will be available as a free download from the middle of March.

Developed following feedback from photographers and cinematographers, Firmware 2.0.3 further enhances the EOS 5D Mark II’s excellent video performance. The addition of new frame rates expands the camera’s video potential, providing filmmakers with the ability to shoot 1080p Full HD footage at 24fps (actual 23.976fps) – the optimum frame rate for cinematic video. 25fps support at both 1920×1080 and 640×480 resolutions will allow users to film at the frame rate required for the PAL broadcast standard, while the new firmware will also change the 30fps option to the NTSC video standard of 29.97fps.

A new histogram display for shooting movies in manual exposure, shutter-priority (Tv) and aperture-priority (Av) have been added, and exposure modes will also be available in movie mode. Improved audio functionality will allow users to set sound record levels manually using a sound-level meter displayed on the LCD screen. The audio sampling frequency has also been increased from 44.1KHz to 48KHz, providing the optimum audio signal typically required for professional or broadcast material.

With its full frame CMOS sensor and compatibility with Canon’s wide range of premium lenses, the EOS 5D Mark II is already recognised for its outstanding HD video performance. Launched in September 2008, the camera immediately created a wide range of new possibilities for photographers and videographers, and the addition of new frame rates and manual audio levels extends those possibilities even further – allowing movie makers to shoot stunning movies to suit practically any creative purpose.

Extreme sports photographer Richard Walch was one of the first to be given the chance to use the newly updated EOS 5D Mark II to shoot the snowboarding movie “I Love My Friends”. Commenting on the EOS 5D Mark II’s video performance, Richard said: “The addition of the new frame rates opens up a whole new range of possibilities. If you’re a cinematographer, independent film maker or just enthusiastic about making your own movies, get out there and give it a try”.   (Thanks to DPreview for this info)

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

BBC trim services to add £600m for programme-making

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Digital radio stations BBC 6 Music and Asian Network are facing closure as part of a shake-up of the corporation, the director general has announced.

Mark Thompson also said that half of its websites would close by 2013, along with teen services Switch and Blast.

He expected an extra £600m ($893m) to be diverted into programme-making as a result of the changes, but union Bectu feared up to 600 jobs could go.

The strategy review will now go out to public consultation.

6 Music presenter Adam Buxton said he did not understand why a station with such devoted listeners had to close.

HDW : Personally I think Mr Thompson should be looking at de-commissioning the commissioning editors. Having delt with BBC Scotland last year putting forward an cracking idea shot on HD and getting a less than satisfactory reply I began to watch some of the “commissioned” work from BBC Scotland and quite frankly some of the obvious DV programming was shocking.

The problem we now face is the “ability” for semi trained personnel within places like the BBC to be able to produce sub standard DV programming. DV was never produced as a broadcast format but to be fair to the format in the right hands and good equipment DV can look a million dollars. Sony have just brought out the NX-5 which films HD and SD and is streets ahead of the Sony z5…the BBC in their wisdom have recently purchased 50 Sony z5 HDV camcorders !

You see my point HDV is not a good format and suffers from frequent timecode breaks which makes it a pain trying to ingest footage into a non-linear edit suite. Sony must have offered the BBC a great deal to offload 50 Z5’s.

So they are now stuck with dated technology that does not perform well in low lighting and the paying public are subject to sub standard programming from non broadcast cheap camcorders !

Back to Mark Thompson if you want some advice you should stop the rot from within your organisation, VJs are a point in question…one person productions seen regularly on news programming, health and safety is at maximum risk sending VJs out on a news story…it’s cheap and nasty employer driven television and should be eradicated now. Set the standards higher from within the BBC, there is no point setting £600 million pounds aside for a pile of sub-standard, single camera, poorly produced DV programmes.

As for commissioning editors…they should not be in the same post for any longer that 3 years as a turnover of such staff would introduce freshness and extinguish any favouritism that may exist. Budgets for external programming should be allocated 4 times a year rather than this ludicrous “We have already used our budget for 2010″ and that’s during 2009 !!!

The Sony EX-3 is a point in question the broadcast world is entrenched with HD SxS footage and it looks cracking but it does not conform the the so called magic 50mbs but if you film in HD and output to SD it kicks DV in the pants.

My point : The minimum standard for broadcast to SD today should be a Sony EX-1R /3 shot in HD and transferred to SD remembering that if you take the 4:2:2 HD SDI signal from any EX-1R/3 or PMW-350 into a NanoFlash you can attain the magic 50mbs for HD production.

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

NOKTOR HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95 micro 4/3rds $750

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Fantastic a lens that you can stick onto your Panasonic GH1 and film in almost zero lighting conditions.

This is an example taken by David Leggett and is a cracking example of what this lens can achieve .


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Humble Monkey presents the 360-T2 Camera Truck $999

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Introducing the Humble Monkey Model 360-T2 Camera Truck. Whether you’re doing tabletop product work, adding video to your corporate blog, or producing your first indie film, the 360-T2 will take you far beyond the usual static shots with your hand-held HD camcorder, video-ready DSLR, or professional video camera.

Designed around zero-drag 72mm in-line skate wheels and constructed of lightweight, durable acrylic, the 360-T2 is as easy to operate as it is to carry with you wherever you go. There’s no heavy track to lug, lay and level, no Steadicam to configure or balance, and no additional equipment to rent. If you can set a conventional wristwatch, you can operate the 360-T2. Just mount a head and camera, place the camera truck onto a flat surface, and you’re rolling.

Because each of its three wheel assemblies rotates 360 degrees, it’s easy to do a wide variety of tracking moves with the 360-T2. Set the wheels to the desired position and you can go straight, sideways, at an angle, or curve. Or try aligning the axel of each wheel assembly towards a fixed point and watch as the camera truck tracks around and around that point in a perfect Matrix-style 360. Easy to transport or ship in its own rigid case, the camera truck also works great in places where it would be tough to set up a dolly track, like under cars and furniture. See the 360-T2 in action here.

At Humble Monkey Productions, we understand that video is increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives at work and at home. Affordable and easy to use, the 360-T2 Camera Truck makes it easy to do everything from creating dynamic product shots to capturing a baby’s first crawl every inch of the way. Order the 360-T2 here.

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

Canon 5DMk11 firmware UPDATE

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What’s “possibly” coming in the new firmware update during “March 2010″.


1920 x 1080  25fps

1920 x 1080  24fps


1920 x 1080  30fps

1920 x 1080  24fps

640 x 480  30fps

PLUS… Manual sound recording level function (64 levels) with audio meter…Histogram display for shooting movies in manual exposure…Shutter priority (Tv) and Aperture priority modes…Audio sampling changed from 44.1 KHz to 48 KHz.

Please be aware this photograph was shot in Poland and came from the Canon Rumours web site so if I were you I would take this info with a pinch of salt.  Also note the camera beside this info slide does not appear to be a 5D Mk11 … so what you may ask … if Canon go to all the trouble to present a slide about the 5D2 firmware update they would not be stupid enough to add any old Canon DSLR picture beside it … that’s just my opinion.

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Shot on the new Canon 550D by Dan Chung “Gadget City”

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Canon 550D / T2i production video – Zhongguancun gadget city from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

This brought a smile to my face…known as the “gadget man” to my friends this little demo video by Dan Chung is one of the first videos showing how good the cheaper Canon 550 is and looks to be a good second camera for the HD DSLR boys.

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

Sony HXR-NX5 “Shockingly Good”

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I am running out of time to produce a video user review this week so I thought I’d better put something down as I am very impressed with the quality of the pictures coming out of the 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.

I only remember one other camcorder having this effect on me and that was the Sony PMW-150 DVCAM many years ago and I still remember how good the pictures were from that camcorder.

Sony have done an amazing job on this camcorder …I can recommend it as a cracking second camera for EX-1, 1R, 3 and PMW-350.

So far I have used Transend SDHC class 6 cards and they work well in fact I would not have considered this camcorder if Sony had not given me the SDHC option.

I am still finding my feet with the NX5 but there are two small downsides to the camera so far…

1. The Shutter button…now the button itself is fine it’s the stupid rotary switch you have to fiddle with to get to the right shutter speed and as often as not you don’t choose the speed you want first go…a very poor switch in my opinion.

2. Over-cranking is not a patch on the EX-3…it’s the only non quality picture I have seen out of this camera I suppose Sony have to compromise somewhere but as over cranking is on the whole a gimmick I am not bothered with it’s lack of quality.

I will update this page as I further use the NX5 but so far I am blown away with it’s performance.

I present 2 video grabs from Mondays shoot one taken with the Sony PMW-350K (£15,000) the other with the HXR-NX5 (£3,900) can you tell which camera is which…leave a comment.

OK time up…it is a wee bit obvious but Pic 1 is the PMW-350K, the reason the shots don’t match is because they were captured at different times of the day and Pic 2 was filmed using a Sony LED video light. I am filming again this Monday I will set the cameras side by side, match WB and do the same exercise.

Update 26 Feb 2010… Having spent about 3 hours editing the footage from the 350 and NX5 it’s more obvious that the 350 has an edge over quality and that the NX5 footage has a slight background noise in the image that’s not present in the 350. I wipe my brow because I was a bit miffed early doors that I had just spent big time on a 350 when I could have bought 4 NX5’s for the same price…though as a second camera to the 350 it’s fantastic and two jobs I am filming this week need 2 cameras. I filmed an audio conference which needed the two cameras, one on the main speaker and the NX5 on a wide shot looking over the speakers shoulder and at one point I was filming the same man with both cameras tight/wide and they match perfectly.

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

H Preston Sony open day…Wednesday 24th February 2010

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

Sony NX-5 User Video Review coming soon

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Just got my hands on a Sony NX-5 which I have bought as a second camera, I will be using it for the first time on Monday filming in a hospital for a corporate production. Although most of the work will be done using a Sony PMW-350K I still need hand held cutaways and tracking shots that would be impossible using a shoulder mount camcorder like the 350. I hope to get the pieces to camera done tomorrow then add Mondays footage during the week. I need to get this done and dusted before a week on Monday so hopefully you will see my user video review nearer the end of this week.

I had a play with the camera today and so far I have been blown away with the pictures… the AVCHD codec has come a long way since it’s early days in the domestic arena.

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

Panasonic’s ground breaking 1080 50P camcorders with SDXC

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Panasonic’s brewing up some 1080p goodies in the new HDC-HS700 and HDC-TM700 (pictured) camcorders, both of which do up 1080p video at a nice 50/60 fps (or 50i/60i or 24p), and record using a 3MOS sensor system. The new cameras are differentiated with a 240GB HDD in the HS700 and the 32GB of flash memory in the TM700, and act as a followup to the well-lauded HS300 / TM300 series. Both of the new shooters are otherwise pretty much identical, including SD / SDHC / SDXC memory card expansion, new 35mm-style wide angle lenses, 12x optical zoom and some gyroscope-based “Power O.I.S.” image stabilization to beef up the experience. They can also do 14.2 megapixel stills and record 5.1 surround sound with the five built-in microphones.

There’s no word on price yet, but it’ll be announced 30 days in advance of when they ship, whenever that might be. For reference, the TM300 hovers around the $1,100 mark currently, so we doubt these will be undercutting that unit on price. Amazon UK has revealed a price and expected arrival date for the HS700. Priced at £1,199 ($1,873), the camcorder is listed as scheduled for a March 1 release, so there won’t be much of a wait for the wealthy among us.

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