Panasonic give credit where credits due

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You can get this camcorder from H Preston Media or Creative Video both have links from this page

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

The man behind “PluralEyes” syncing software

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I was so impressed with PluralEyes that I decided to buy it myself. I then became an end user and followed the great video tutorial to the book, the tutorial comes as part of the download.

I choose a first communion I had filmed last weekend…that was my 20th and last year with the same primary school. As usual we produced a 2 camera shoot, now to set the technical scene…the main camera a Sony EX-3 has 1 internal mic for ambiance and 1 external mic pointing at a speaker. The second camera a Panasonic HMC151 recording to SDHC card pointing at the alter and the lectern where we had a small radio mic taped onto their goose neck mic. The radio mic was only there to pick up the priest and the children as they were speaking.

I brought in about 2mins of  HD footage  from both cameras, remembering the radio mic was almost inaudible as it had no speakers pointing it’s way…well I nearly fell off my seat when I pressed the sync button to discover both video and audio were in perfect sync, my hat is off to Mr Sharpe.

pluraleyes-on-dockIt took an email to discover how to invoke the PluralEyes application as it is not that clear in the tutorial, I put the blue, orange, green icon on my dock.

I also discovered a minor bug that is being looked into about creating a Multicam clip and the media being off line when it’s clearly not. Now this might be a settings problem with my FCP but Bruce and his team are looking into this one.

I sent Bruce some questions…

1. I notice in your tutorial it mentions starting a new project…can you not start a new sequence in an older
project and call it PluralEyes.  If not why not. (Reason. It would be great to re-visit older 2-3 camera projects 
to re-sync them)

Good point and you’re right. There is no need to create a new project.

2. Is this application calculating sound files if so I assume HD and SD take the same time to analyze.

Yes, most of the time is taken analyzing audio, so there’s no major time difference between HD and SD. With regard to the time taken, it takes somewhat longer to process longer clips, but the more important factor is how many clips there are. It takes a few minutes to do a couple hours worth of material in 10 clips or so. But recently someone did a project with eight hours of material split among about 80 clips. That needed to run overnight. We weren’t really expecting that what’s people would do, but some do and we are looking at ways to speed it up even more.

3. I assume it’s better taking the PluralEyes ICON onto the Doc.

Sure, that works. Personally I’m a major user of Spotlight, so I hit command-spacebar, P-L-U, return to start PluralEyes. It would be nice to be able to start PluralEyes from within Final Cut but that has some limitations that mean having a separate app is the way it is for now.

4. Is there any conditions when syncing does not happen. ie. long video clips of about 60mins etc.

The PluralEyes matching algorithm is very robust under a wide range of conditions. That’s part of the secret sauce that makes it unique. About the only conditions where it might fail are (1) minimal overlap (e.g., 20 seconds overlap between two hour-long clips), or (2) really atrocious audio. An example of the latter was some clips we pulled from YouTube of a concert. One of the videos was taken on a cell phone and the person was making a loud phone call which drowned out the music. That proved to be a bit much. But for anything less extreme, it has proven to be very reliable over many hundreds of tests.

Having said that, we are always looking to improve the algorithm and are eager to investigate any time PluralEyes doesn’t work as expected.

5. Is this the level of fantastic support other customers can expect or will it usually be Monday to Friday 9-5

Ha, ha! YES! 🙂 It’s a result of a couple of things. First, we had hundreds of beta testers over a period of a few months, so most of the problems have been ironed out. The number of support incidents is therefore fairly small and we can spend the time needed to take care of them.  And, as above, we are very interested in making PluralEyes as solid as possible. We take very seriously the goal of automatically synchronizing with just the push of one button.

Second, the product has just come out very recently so if we’ve missed any problems this is the time when they are going to show up. The sooner we get on them and fix them, the happier everyone will be.

This is indeed great software and all in cost me $189 including a CD and tax…  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED  

 http://www.singularsoftware.com/autosync/index.htm

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

Syncing sound with Final Cut Pro from Singular Software

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Here’s a quick look at PluralEyes™, the application for
Final Cut Pro that automatically synchronizes audio and video cips,
without the need for timecode. Click the image below to view the video
(length 2:30).

 

 

This is a class piece of software I have been looking for a program that can do this for years. It costs $149 and take it from me that is a steel.  http://www.singularsoftware.com/autosync/index.html

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

Reply to Panasonic

Categories: Miscellaneous 8 Comments

pana-hpx301a-blue1QUOTE JAUME “If you compare ANY OTHER 1/3″ sensor camcorder you will realize that HPX301 is less noisy and far sharper (thanks to the full HD sensor).”

When I review a camcorder I also compare the camera against a Sony EX-3. Why ? The Ex-3 performs great at 9dB the maximum noise I will personally accept and is in the £7K sweet spot the watershed between professional affordability and camcorders that need a mortgage just to buy the lenses… Yes the Sony is 1/2″ but does that not tell you something.

In my opinion Panasonic have produced a camcorder to knock the Sony EX-3 off the number one slot in the £7K price bracket and by all accounts the HPX-301 has everything the EX-3 has and a lot more… you nearly had it in fact you reduced the P2 cards by two thirds kicking Sony’s SxS cards ‘off the pitch’ but for one major miscalculation…you crammed far too many pixels onto the 1/3″ chips causing excessive noise which is exacerbated if you switch on the gain. In my 27 years as a cameraman I have never seen this phenomenon “Dancing black dots” in the shadows which you can only see on a 42″ LCD/plasma 1920 x 1080 screen. NOTE. Web presentations even in HD do not show this as there is not enough resolution.

I am a stickler for camera noise, as we all know if a camera performs well at 6-9dB you have a camera worth it’s weight in gold.

Sony decided that although the EX range was cheaper and could potentially affect the upper level pro camcorder market they were not going to compromise on chip noise and picture quality a very good philosophy and has paid off.

Panasonic on the other hand did not want to compromise the dearer 2/3″ camcorders so they took a fatal decision by using 1/3″ chips into the body of an amazing camcorder, this should be the entry level gold star camcorder of all time but unacceptable noise at 6-9dB in all HD modes cripples this otherwise fantastic camcorder. 

I dispair Jaume you talk about 1/3″ sensor camcorders but I bet you have not compared the 301 against your very own 151 well surprise, surprise I have, and it kicks the pants off the 301 at 9dB !

Panasonic were thinking of using the 151 chipset for the 301 but decided it would not have enough resolution, fair play, but this means you also know how good the 151 performs if you even considered this. I can’t quite get my head round a company who produces a camcorder for £3K (151 AVCAM) then designs a world beating full featured P2 camcorder (HPX-301) for £7K that has a SN ratio of 47dB.

Don’t bring out an all singing all dancing camcorder if the most important feature… it’s video performance needs to be compromised in the fear of costing sales to your far superior P2 2/3″ range, I have seen this strategy time and time again, the spanner in the works just in case it costs sales. The spanner could have been anything else…but the picture…the most important part of the camera…what else can I say…once again Panasonic have been let down by a poor design decision that could cost this fantastic camcorder sales and credibility amongst the people who judge you the severest…the cameramen and women who spend their hard earned cash to use your fantastic HD video products.

Remember not everything ends up in HD in fact 99% of my work ends up in SD DVD. You do not see any noise in SD mode. In HD mode the noise is very slight if you stick to -3, 0dB and will be helped when Panasonic come back with their new camera settings.

I would like to thank Jaume for replying to my blog… if it proves one thing good old Panasonic are listening and that’s a big thumbs up for them.

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

EXCLUSIVE…Panasonic reply to HD Warrior about the “Dancing Black Dots”

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

 

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Hi everyone. Let me introduce myself first. My name is Jaume Rey and I’m the Director for Panasonic Broadcast in Europe. After reading the comments made in several Forums about this “Dancing Dots” I thought you all deserved an answer from Panasonic Europe and soon we will post more info about it in our webpage (www.panasonic-broadcdast.com). Some thoughts from our side:
1)The camcorder settings to “create” those dots are quiet unusual (in our understanding). There are several other camera settings for those light environments that would reduce dramatically the effect. Obviously, with other settings, you will need to compromise something else, but the overall result will be beter than those “Dancing Dots” (as seems people call them).
So sticking on those dots “case” is like saying “when listening my 100W HiFi system at full sound power volumen, with loudspeakers of 80W, heavy metal music and with the equalizer at full filtering on 125Hz, 1Khz, 3Khz and 12Khz the loudspeaker sounds awful”. Agree, they don’t sound well.
2) If you compare ANY OTHER 1/3″ sensor camcorder you will realize that HPX301 is less noisy and far sharper (thanks to the full HD sensor).
3) When I see people comparing camera performance only when talking about camcorders, I can’t do nothing else than smile. Because we produce CAMCORDERS, not STUDIO CAMERAS (for EU I mean). Someone can argue that camera head is very important, and obviously it is, but definitelly, not including on the test the performance of the codec (AVC-I100) sounds to me like comparing cars, excluding the wheels: nice but just partial test if you consider to buy a car to drive it instead of having it in the garage only. So in our eyes a fair comparisson is when you shoot, record, edit, include titles, etc…. and get the final result (same scenes, same process) because is then when you will actually see what you can get at the end. Having what EBU published is the recommended codec from a camcorder for the most high end productions in Broadcast Industry is not a bad thing, right? Specially if you are a professional (editing, titling, effects, etc..). I can understand for home application, 1st generation means everything, but HPX301 is NOT a consumer camcorder. Is for professionals, who need professional tools, go through professional processes and they want to have a professional look.

4) When comparing camcorders, including camera performance and codec performance you can realize that camera is not everything. Is like having large bottles with holes everywhere: you are unable to keep water inside and the more you move yourself the more water it drops. HPX301 is an slightly smaller bottle than others out there, but once the water is inside, no way even a single water drop gets out. In professional environments and with professional settings, HPX301 offers best value-for-money full shoulder camcorder deal in the market.

Once all this is said, we know that different customers have different tastes. In our opinion, no other camcorder can offer more overall at this price and those cameramen/women who will be able to take from HPX301 out the best of it, will be in a far better competitive position under current economic situation.

Thanks for reading up to here, wait for our recommended settings published in our web to reduce the effect and keep in touch.

Jaume

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

Panasonic Reply to HD Warrior “EXCLUSIVE”

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Upgrading to OS X 10.5.7

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New Comic (See comic tab above)

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Panasonic SDHC Class 10 cards

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Panasonic has launched the worlds first ‘Class 10’ series of SDHC cards. Class 10 is a new speed specification developed by the SD Card Association, it inherits the attributes of the current ‘Class 6’ line with further enhanced speed performance of up to 22MB/s. In addition to its Gold series Class 10 cards, it has announced a Silver series of Class 4 cards with a maximum speed of up to 20MB/s. The Gold series will start shipping by the end of this month in 4, 8, 16 and 32 GB capacities.

Panasonic is pleased to announce that it will launch new SDHC Memory Cards with Class 10 speed specification in Europe and other markets from the end of May, 2009. Class 10 is a new speed specification standardized by SD Card Association as part of SD Card Specification Ver.3.0 to meet the requirement for higher resolution consecutive shooting and large-sized high definition video shooting.

As an example of sequential writing of 3 frame/sec.(1 frame=3MB), the class10 card enables to write out large amounts of data continuously up until the card is fully written without missing any shots or writing stops. The Panasonic GOLD line series will be the world’s first memory cards* to adopt this new speed class. The new series will be available in the following four models: RP-SDW04G(4GB) / RP-SDW08G(8GB) / RP-SDW16G(16GB) / RP-SDW32G(32GB).

The current Panasonic Class 6 models are highly evaluated in the market for its superior speed performance and high reliability as well as user-friendly features like its memo label. The 32GB high capacity model was awarded the TIPA Award** as Best Imaging Storage Media 2009. The new GOLD line series inherits the advantages of the current Class 6 line with further enhanced speed performance. Its Class 10 speed capability as well as maximum speed of 22MB/s combined with intelligent controller is ideal for large volume data recording and transmission in high definition applications. The new cards also allows for high-speed data transfer from a card to a PC. A large volume of AVCHD Full HD video data fully written on a new Gold card can be transferred to a PC approx. 40% faster compared to the current Class 4 card.

Panasonic will also introduce a SILVER line series with Class 4 speed specification and maximum speed of up to 20MB/s, ideal for high definition video recording. All the new models will come with eco-friendly packages as the plastic used in previous packaging has been reduced by 90%.

The new cards will be available in the UK from June 2009.

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Larry’s Tip of the Day 8

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