Panasonic AG-HMC151 Review coming soon

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Focus Enhancements FS-5

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Defining a new class of DTE recording, the FS-5 Portable DTE Recorder weighs only 12 ounces, brings Direct To Edit® recording technology to your HDV or DV handheld camcorder, and enables you to add custom metadata while you’re recording. Focus FS-5 Portable DTE Recorder Go from Acquisition to Editing in One Step.

Featuring a backlit color display, an easy-to-use menu system, a hard drive, and a removable, rechargeable battery, the Focus FS-5 is the perfect DTE companion for your HDV or DV camcorder. Audio, video, timecode, and control information is passed through a single FireWire cable, allowing you to record to disk or to disk and tape simultaneously.

Designed for use in even the roughest conditions, the FS-5 includes a 10-second electronic shock cache to ensure that you never lose footage. Advanced features such as timelapse (DV mode only), retro disk recording, scene marking, and clip categorization make the FS-5 perfect for handheld shoots. When recording is complete, your footage is ready to edit instantly—no capturing, file transfer, or file conversion is required.

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Vortex Media Sony PMW-EX3 Field Guide

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Doug Jensen is a cameraman, producer, director, editor, and consultant with over 28 years of video production and post-production experience. He is also the owner of Vortex Media, which produces instructional videos, camcorder field guides, and innovative production tools for video production, television, field-guide-v3and digital photography.


These books make the perfect companions to Vortex Media’s Instructional DVDs and ensure that the critical information you need will always be at your fingertips.

Each Field Guide is written from an operator’s perspective to help you master the camera and maximize its performance.  With over a hundred pages of essential information, you won’t find a single important topic left out. They’re packed with detailed explanations, tutorials, photographs, checklists, menu trees, parts diagrams, suggested settings, tips, tricks, and page after page of practical advice.

In the no-nonsense style for which Doug Jensen is known, he cuts through the clutter of confusing, misunderstood, and often overlooked features.  He explains each camera function and provides real-world examples and step-by-step instructions for how to use them.  His suggestions and advanced techniques will improve the quality of your footage, streamline your workflow, and make you more productive.

What could be better than a portable reference you can carry along with you on every shoot? Vortex Media’s Field Guides will help you set up your camera, configure the menus, choose a video format, achieve the best results with the special-effects functions, create custom Picture Profiles, set up shot transitions, delete bad clips on the fly, choose the right focus mode, control the exposure, and much more.

No matter how well you think you know your camera, you’ll learn things in Vortex Media’s Field Guides that you didn’t know before – plus they make a handy reference anytime you need a quick refresher course. Vortex Media’s Field Guides and Instructional DVDs are the best accessories you can buy for your camera. Price $48 plus shipping to UK (PS They also do a guide for the EX-1)


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News from NAB 09 – Sony PDW-F800

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  • 800-side-onThree 2/3-inch type Power HAD® FX CCDs
  • Wide choice of recording modes: including 23.98P format recording and playback as standard
  • MPEG HD422 codec – 1920 x 1080 and 1280 x 720 recording
  • Slow & Quick Motion (over & under crank shooting)
  • Image Inverter for use with cinema lens adaptors
  • High quality four-channel 24-bit audio recording
  • Variety of gamma settings including HypeGamma and UserGamma
  • Proxy Data recording on USB memory

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The Sony HVR-Z5 Video Review (UPDATED)

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Sony HVR-Z5 Review By Philip Johnston
View in HD  Download 720p HD Version  Visit Philip Johnston’s ExposureRoom Videos Page

Why not click on the link above to watch it on full 720p HD 

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FXFactory 2.0.7

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FxFactory is the dogs bollox for extra effects using Final Cut Stutio 2 it normally costs $399 (£285) but until April the 26th it will cost $319 (£227) see link to your right under Noise Industries.





Mac OS X Leopard 
Version 10.5 or later 

Mac with PowerPC or Intel processor 

Final Cut Studio 2 
Final Cut Pro version 6.0 or later 
Motion version 3.0 or later 

Final Cut Express 
Version 4.0 or later 

Adobe After Effects 
Version 8.0 or later (CS3) 
Version 9.0 or later (CS4) 

One of the following graphics cards: 
• ATI Radeon 9550, 9650, 9600, 9600 XT, 9700, 9800, 9800 XT, X800, X850, X1600, X1900 XT, HD 2400 XT, HD 2600 PRO, HD 2600 XT, HD 3870, HD 4850, HD 4870 
• ATI Mobility Radeon 9600, 9700, 9800, X1600 
• NVIDIA GeForce 6600, 6800 Ultra DDL, 6800 GT DDL, 7300, 7600, 7800 GT, 7800 Ultra, 8600M GT, 8800 GT, 9400M, 9600M, GT 120, GT 130 
• NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500, 5600 

For best performance, a graphics card with a minimum of 256MB video memory is recommended.

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Aperture 2.1.3 now available for download

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Please note. All Lumix G1 users…Once again Apple have not updated the codec to allow Lumix G1 users the facility to use RAW files in Aperture 2.1.3  

I just tested this 1min ago. 

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Panasonic HPX-301 v Sony EX-3

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Digital SLR or not a Digital SLR that is the question ?

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lumix-gh1-with-mic-v5Personally I think photographic manufacturers are becoming a bit over obsessive with adding HD video recording to almost every new digital camera that hits our high streets. Having a recording media in a small compact camera is fun and comes in useful filming the kids or grandchild but there seems to be a race out there to see who can produce the ultimate CamRecorder.

I played around with my Nikon D90 yesterday as it also has the facility to record video, now lets see what you get…Nikon manual “Movie files can be up to 2GB in size. The maxium length is 5min for movies with a frame size of 1280 x 720, 20 min for other movies.” So I ask you why did Nikon even bother to mess up this camera adding a video facility when at full resolution you will only get 5 mins worth of footage !

I also found it almost impossible to use as a video camera having various buttons at the wrong place and no external mic socket leaves my D90 back in the bag as second camera to my D3.

lumix-gh1-lcd-v2Now strangely I also have a Lumix G1, I was buying 2 Canon camcorders for video diary usage and I was shown the G1. I had to buy one, the size was so appealing, when you turn up to childrens birthdays with a D3/SB900 flash you look a bit OTT.  The best feature for me about the Lumix G1 is the flip out viewfinder, this allows you to get pictures from ground level in my case …the two dogs.

So why the obsession to turn SLRs into video cameras…I think this stems from the newspaper industry. Newspapers have a misconception that if they looses customers who no longer buy their papers, maybe they will get them on the web, so the newspaper web industry has steadily grown and with it comes video. Newspapers now add video clips to enhance their web pages,… back to my original theory, SLR manufacturers got wind of this and that’s why we now see the “video plugin” with most SLRs. Note. I payed £565 last November (Today £469) for my Lumix G1 and now with the new HD version you can look to pay £900 so if you don’t need the HD facility look around for the G1 at less than 50% less ! 


EOS 5D Mk2 21mp with full HD video recording and mic input

EOS 500D 15mp with full HD video recording


D90 12mp with HD video recording albeit 5mins and no mic input

D5000 12mp with HD video recording and flip out LCD


Lumix GH1 12mp full HD video recording with flip out LCD and mic input

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Sony HVR-Z5 conclusion…

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If you can’t be bothered to watch the video review then my conclusions are as follows…

The Z5 performs exceptionally well in fact equal to the Sony EX-3 as long as it is set to 0dB and your lens is not wide open. The 20x “G” lens is good but does loose about 1.5 stops from wide to tight so be aware of this as you are zooming in on a subject. You also have -3dB available via the menu.

sony-hvr-mrc1kThe HVR-MRC1K memory recorder is optional costing around £578. The compact flash card minimum speed is 133x but Sony recommend a 300x card. I have noted that the biggest cards available in the UK at 300x speed are 16gig CF cards. There is a bracket supplied allowing you mount the recorder else where freeing up the battery compartment which was one of my concerns on the review and runs off a separate Lion battery.

Having 1/3″ chips has only compromised this camera when you start adding gain and it holds it’s own along side the EX-3 a camera twice it’s price. Going down to 25% direct light was more than a surprise to me and only the next stage 25% reflected light did we start to see a slightly blurry picture due to the lens being wide open. This phenomenon is common to most lenses even broadcast lenses they are just not sharp when wide open and is only curable by spending £6000 or more on a full spec HD lens but as we know the Z5 has a fixed lens. 

Conclusions…This is a cracking piece of kit, if you treat it with respect, keeping it to -3dB/0dB and the lens around f5.6-f8 it will produce superb pictures via the inbuilt HDV mini tape recorder. Adding a CF recorder gives you piece of mind that you are recording onto card but you can use the mini HDV tape as an archive. Also remembering the CF card is taken into your computer at 4x normal speed saving you a load of time transferring your material.

The camera costs £3737 UK price including 15% vat at

The video review link is

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