Sony need to get their act together

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price-comparison-web-v2

Once again we see how the money is taken from our pockets when you compare Gig for Gig with the professional solid state media. Sony should be ashamed of themselves for almost 18 months down the road of the SxS (S by S) card pricing, we see no reduction in prices…in fact all the Sony cards went up by 10% at the end of April 09. Even the 64Gig P2 ‘E’ card is £126 cheaper than Sonys 32Gig card.

Panasonic have overtaken them and the HPX-301 is now £102 cheaper than a Sony EX-3. Sony are also fighting the MxM (SDHC card holders) total cost including a class 6 Transend 16Gig card is £80.
The argument from Sony will be “our card is newer technology” that may be but the EX-3 does not film up to 100Mbs nor does it go all the way down to 3.6Mbs DV.

Value for money you can now buy a Panasonic HPX-301 full spec HD camcorder for £7475 and get a 32Gig card FREE saving you £460 !  

Pricing was taken from H Preston Media 6th May 2009

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

H Preston Media “New look web site”

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h-preston

John and the boys at H Preston Media have been busy redesigning their web store and I think it looks cracking…JOHN ” Our old web site was getting tired and we felt we needed a new look. The new site is far easier to navigate and we have got some great hot deals especially on the Panasonic HPX-301 with FREE 32 Gig P2 ‘E’ card.”

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

Esquire photo shoot with RED ONE

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esquireIf the fusion of video cameras and dSLRs hadn’t blurred enough before, Esquire shot their June issue cover of Megan Fox in video—a purported first in the magazine world.

Rather than click and endless series of stills, photographer Greg Williams shot the cover with the 4K Red ONE video camera. Fox essentially acted out a scene for 10 minutes, the best moment of which will appear on the June 2009 cover. (Not to be wasteful of Megan Fox footage, the video will also be uploaded to Esquire’s site, of course.)

red-one-formattsIt’s fascinating that as digital cameras evolve, so will the roles of photographers, models and publications. I can’t see traditional photography ever dying, but whether photos will always be captured in photographs is another question.

The diagram on the right shows you the sensor sizes so it’s not surprising that the Red ONE 4 K video camera filming in 1080p captures Megan Fox for an A4 cover shoot.

Personally it’s a gimmick, let’s not kid ourselves we all know video runs at (UK 25fps) (USA 29fps), so if you shoot enough FPS with a large sensor running at 1080p you are using a glorified digital stills camera running at 29fps. Nothing special, apart from the cost of hiring a Red ONE for a morning.

It’s the coin flip on the digital SLR having the ability to film in HD…so what. Camera manufacturers are becoming obsessed with the “MUST DO EVERYTHING” these days, personally I still prefer a DSLR for taking photographs and a camcorder for filming live action. If I ever get round to upgrading my Lumix G1 to the GH1 I may rethink my last statement.

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

Apple tip for Bloggers

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Apple tip for bloggers By Philip Johnston
View in HD  Download 394p Version  Visit Philip Johnston’s ExposureRoom Videos Page

Mailing a link while browsing, this is a great tip for bloggers as long as you are using a Mac but then you would not be a professional unless you were !

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

Sony PDW-F800 update

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2/3-inch-type Three HD Power HAD FX CCDs

The PDW-F800 is equipped with three 2/3-inch type 2.2-megapixel HD CCDs, which are also used in the well-proven HDC-1500 Sony Multi-format HD Camera. Based on Sony Power HAD FX sensor technology and the latest on-chip lens structure, this CCD offers a high sensitivity of F12 at 50Hz and an excellent signal-to-noise ratio of 59dB with NS.

In addition to this performance, a wide variety of capturing modes including 1080/50i, 1080/59.94i, 1080/25P and 1080/29.97P are available.

14-bit A/D Conversion

The PDW-F800 incorporates a high-performance 14-bit A/D converter that enables images captured by the high-performance CCDs to be processed with maximum precision. In particular, this high-resolution A/D conversion allows the gradation in mid-to-dark-tone areas of the picture to be faithfully reproduced. Thanks to the 14-bit A/D converter, pre-knee signal compression in highlighted areas can be eliminated, and the camera can clearly reproduce a high-luminance subject at a 600% dynamic range.

State-of-the-art DSP LSI

The newly developed DSP (Digital Signal Processing) LSI is the heart of the image-processing device for the PDW-F800 camcorder. In conjunction with the 14-bit A/D converter, it reproduces images captured by the CCD at maximum quality. In addition, white balance, white shading, and flare are digitally corrected, allowing for stable image correction. What’s more, the PDW-F800 provides a NS (Noise Suppression) mode to reduce high-frequency noise elements in a video signal using Sony’s advanced digital processing technology.

High-quality 24-bit Audio Recording

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The PDW-F800 records uncompressed four-channel, 24-bit audio. It is also equipped with a range of audio interfaces.

Supported Recording Formats – HD/SD and Interlace/Progressive

One of the big appeals of the PDW-F800 is its highly flexible multi-format recording capability. Users can select a recording format from HD (MPEG HD422 and MPEG HD) and SD (MPEG IMX and DVCAM), 59.94i/50i interlace mode, or 29.97P*/25P progressive mode.

Well-balanced Compact Body

The PDW-F800 is designed to be very compact and ergonomically well balanced, providing a high level of mobility and comfort in various shooting situations. It weighs only 6.0 kg (13 lb 4 oz) including the HDVF-20A viewfinder, the ECM-680S microphone, the PFD50DLA disc and the BP-GL95 battery pack.

Cross-conversion Capability

With the optional HVBK-1520 Format Converter Board installed, the HVR-1500A has a cross-conversion capability that allows 1080i recordings to be converted to 720P signals, as well as 720/30P (29.97 frames/s) recordings to be converted to 1080/60i (59.94 fields/s) signals. 

These signals are output* from the HD-SDI interface. This allows source footage and assets in different HDV formats to be integrated into the same HD editing system. 

* There may be a delay of one frame in outputting cross-converted signals from the HD-SDI interface.

Viewfinders

Two types of optional viewfinders are available for users: the HDVF-20A and HDVF-200 2.0-inch monochrome viewfinders and the HDVF-C30WR 3.5-inch colour viewfinder.

Wide Choice of Optional Microphones

The PDW-F800 is compatible with a variety of microphones. It is equipped with a slot to accommodate the DWR-S01D digital wireless microphone receiver, which provides two-channel audio with stable and secure transmission tolerant to interference waves. The WRR-855 series microphone receiver can also be used within this slot. Shotgun-type microphones, ECM680S/678/674, are also available as options.

3.5-inch* LCD

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A large, easy-to-view, color LCD screen on the PDW-F800 camcorder’s side panel enables operators to instantly review recorded footage, as well as access the camera’s set-up menus and view status indications such as four-channel audio meters, and the remaining time available on the disc and battery. It also enables advanced operations such as Thumbnail Search and Scene Selection.

*Viewable area, measured diagonally.

Slow Shutter

The shutter speed of the PDW-F800 is selectable down to a 16-frame period (in 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 16-frame periods). During such a long frame period, electrical charges accumulate on the CCDs which dramatically increases sensitivity. This helps camera operators to shoot in extremely dark environments. The Slow Shutter function also allows operators to use shutter speeds longer than the frame rate and to intentionally blur images when shooting a moving object, for increased shooting creativity.

Interval Recording

The PDW-F800 offers an Interval Recording function which intermittently records signals at pre-determined intervals. This is convenient for shooting over long periods of time, and also when creating pictures with special effects of extremely quick motion.

Picture Cache Recording

The PDW-F800 offers a Picture Cache Recording function that is especially useful during ENG applications. Up to 30 seconds of audio and video signals are buffered into the camcorder’s memory before the Rec button is even pressed (when in Standby mode). This means that everything that happened 30 seconds before the Rec button was pressed will still be recorded onto the disc. What’s more, this function works even before the disc is inserted in the drive – thereby helping to prevent the loss of any unexpected, yet important events.

Live & Play Function

The PDW-F800 camcorder has a Live & Play function that can simultaneously output both playback signals (images already recorded) and incoming camera signals (images seen through the viewfinder). Both signals are fed to their respective output and viewfinder connectors independently, and can be viewed at the same time. This allows users to frame the next shot, adjust the exposure, and even focus the lens while the camcorder is playing back recordings from the disc.

DVB-ASI Video Stream: For Field and Satellite Transmission

The PDW-F800 with the HDCA-702 MPEG TS Adaptor provides a MPEG Transport Stream output capability via a DVB-ASI connector. The HDCA-702 encodes signals to MPEG TS and output via its DVB-ASI connector, concurrently with the PDW-F800 recording onto disc. The bit rate is selectable from 17.5 Mb/s to 43 Mb/s, which is suitable for material transmissions using microwave and satellite modulators.

Smooth Gain Control

A wide choice of gain and its easy-to-use control system is one remarkable feature of the PDW-F800 camcorder. By setting the gain to the assignable switches, the user can easily access the desired gain. And the transition to each gain value is extremely smooth thus eliminating undesirable abrupt changes to the overall image.

Optical ND Filters and Electrical CC Filters

The PDW-F800 camcorder comes equipped with optical ND (Neutral Density) filters and electrical CC (Colour Correction) filters. The optical ND filter is controlled via a built-in ND filter wheel – Clear, 1/4ND, 1/16ND/ and 1/64ND. And with the electrical CC filter, the user can easily obtain the desired colour temperature by setting the mode – 3200K/4300K/5600K/6300K – on a camcorder-assignable switch.

Digital Extender*

The Digital Extender function of the PDW-F800 enables images to be digitally doubled in size. Unlike lens extenders, the Digital Extender function performs this capability without any loss of image sensitivity, which is often referred to as the F-drop phenomenon.

*Use of the Digital Extender function reduces image resolution by half.

Focus Magnification

At the touch of a button, the centre of the screen on the viewfinder of the PDW-F800 camcorder can be magnified to about twice the size, making it easier to confirm focus settings during manual focusing.

Pool-feed Operation

For pool-feed operations, the optional CBK-HD01 and CBK-SC02 boards provide HD- and SD-SDI inputs, and SD composite input respectively.

Trigger REC Function

The PDW-F800 camcorder has the Trigger REC function that enables synchronized recording with PDW-HD1500 and PDW-F75 XDCAM decks or HDCAM™ portable decks connected via the HD-SDI interface – a convenient feature for backup recording.

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

‘The Echo’ Directed by Joe Shaw

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The Echo By Joe Shaw
View in HD  Download 720p HD Version  Visit Joe Shaw’s ExposureRoom Videos Page

Some cameramen and women may stumble onto my web blog and I would like you to see what can be achieved from a good idea, script, director, camerawork, sound etc.

Filmed with a Sony EX-1 with a Letus 35 Extreme and prime 35mm lenses. There is a growing number of cameramen converting their camcorders with 35mm adapters, this gives their video camera a shallow depth of field, giving them a more natural film look. 

JOE  taken from XR “Originally the film was set entirely in a confession box, which was a really exciting idea – but practically was going to make the film much harder to shoot. The small space meant that shot selection would be greatly reduced, we would need permission to film in a church – which would be tricky given the heavy nature of the script and lighting would take a long time. I liked the idea and the challenge of trying to contain the whole film in such a tight location, but ultimately we decided that the cons outweighed the pros. This was after all, going to be a zero budget production.
The script went through a good number of revisions until we had a draft we were happy with. I then went about trying to find a good location for the film.”

In general I think this is a great 15 minutes of hard work and a superb dramatic story line.

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

iMedia “download it today”

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imedia-wLook for the iMedia tab above

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

Hard Drive Docking Station for SATA drives

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hdd-sata-dockThis is a super device no longer do I have to fiddle around with external hard drive holders, unscrewing them, sliding off the cover etc. etc. This is a hard drive toaster, you simply pop in your SATA drive like a piece of toast then connect the USB 2 or in my case the eSata cable and you are away. I have at least 8 older SATA drives 160-250 which are now redundant due to size but there still may be the odd file that may be of use so being able to slip each drive in and out is a God send.

It takes 3.5″ and 2.5″ SATA drives is Mac and PC compatible and also has card readers for USB, SD, MMC and MS it also runs off a 12V adapter.

I got this eSata version for £39.99 at my local Maplin store.

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

Blackmagic Design lower prices

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 Blackmagic Design Announces Lower Prices for Intensity Pro, DeckLink SDI and HDLink ProNAB 2009, Las Vegas, NV, USA — April 20, 2009 — Blackmagic Design Inc. today announced new lower prices for Intensity Pro, DeckLink SDI and HDLink Pro products. 

Intensity Pro is now reduced from $349 to $199, saving customers $150. Intensity Pro is the leading HDMI and high quality analog component and composite capture and playback card for videographers.

DeckLink SDI is now reduced from $395 to $295, saving customers $100. DeckLink SDI includes the highest quality 10 bit SD/HD-SDI capture and playback, while also including features high end customers really need, such as black burst/HD tri-sync reference input, and RS-422 deck control.

HDLink Pro is now reduced from $795 to $495 saving customers $300. The original HDLink model is now discontinued, and HDLink Pro is the replacement for that model and with more features! HDLink Pro supports 3 Gb/s SDI Dual Link, 3D lookup tables, and support for real time monitoring of 2K on a 30 inch LCD display.

DeckLink SDI and HDLink Pro will be on display at NAB 2009 at the Blackmagic Design booth SL10820.

“We think these new low prices will make it even easier for our customers to keep upgrading their studios,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “We always work very hard to keep prices as low as possible and we are always very pleased when we manage to pull off another price reduction!”

Availability

Intensity Pro, DeckLink SDI and HDLink Pro are shipping now from all Blackmagic Design resellers.

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

Lumix DMC-GH1 with HD recording

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lumix-gh1

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