What Recession ?

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moneyProfessional camcorders going up by 10-15% by the 1st of April 2009 (No it’s not an April fool)

This will be the second price hike in the space of 3 months, UK consumers being hit worst due to the falling pound. It’s a joke …we are in a recession yet camera manufacturers seem to think we can stand a further price increase. When I bought my EX-3 at the tail end of last year it cost £6600 today you can pick up the same camera for a whopping £7118 thats over £500 which is £100 per month increase and it’s due to go up again !

I have a pet rant and that is the price of P2 cards, they are holding back camera sales… but even worse is the fact that they have gone up in price by £600 since last summer..I despair. Now this seems to stem from the pound v dollar v yen …look at the car trade sales down by 60% manufacturers have stopped making certain cars for the next 6-12 months.

It’s only logical that if you keep passing on these price increases that we will stop buying camcorders and Sony, Panasonic, JVC and the rest of the team will come to a halt.

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

Red Digital Cinema

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If you are fed up with the video look and want to turn your hand to filming a true cinema look then Red Digital Cinema is the place for you. In the early ’90s, Oakley founder Jim Jannard was searching for an architect like no other, a like mind with the vision to create structures that would match the unconventional and innovative spirit of Oakley.

Oakley brought the unthinkable to sun wear and goggles…if you want the best, you pay a dear price for it and it worked, he built up an empire designing the best eye-ware  in the world and a few years ago decided to get into making video film cameras with a difference…modular, add what you need and chip sets to set the heather alight. 

Nothing but nothing can touch the design, passion for detail and delivery from design to end product than Jim Jannard and his team.

I myself am not into the film look but for all the money people spend on trying to get a cinema feel… the main thing being depth of field, they should look no further than RED. The new baby of them all is Scarlet this 2/3″ Myrserium-X chipset camera with 8x fixed zoom will set you back £2846 now that even surprised me, that’s no dearer than your average Sony semi pro camcorder and you get a 2/3″ chipset and a camera that looks straight out of Dr Who. The example shown bottom right is a Scarlet configuration of some kind but I have a feeling it wont be £2846 worth. The dearest Scarlet I can find is £7500 this comes with a 35mm Full Frame Mysterium Monstro chipset now this is for “brain” only you also need to add a lens which could set you back £3-10K depending on the spec. Knowing the Red team you will no doubt be able get a Nikon or Canon adapter.


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

Philip Bloom reviews the JVC HM700

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phil-bloomJust posted 5 hours ago is the 1st UK review of the JVC HM700 by Philip Bloom. 

This twelve minute review goes over the camcorders ergonomics, the SDHC card, take note it must be class 6 and some footage shot with the camera. Phil has been a cameraman for 20 years and his passion is making video cameras look like film with various attachments to the cameras front end.

Using a Nikon prime lens you can achieve some sexy depth of field shots not usually seen on a video camcorder. Give his site a look you will see the link at the right hand side of the screen.

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

P2 update shocker

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p2-updatePanasonic P2 cards are nothing other than 4 SD cards side by side plus a raid controller chip…!  So if you take four 16G SD (64G) class 6 cards at £31 each = £124 then add PCB, raid chip etc, £40 plus the P2 casing and tooling £60 you are looking at a total of £224 top’s add 100% profit you are looking at £448 .

So where do we get 64G P2 cards for £1708 !!!

In my early days I was part of a design team producing double sided printed circuit boards for the audio broadcast industry so I have a good inside knowledge of what PCBs & components cost.

The link below to Panasonic’s P2 explanation and make up…


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

Take Two

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During filming last year (2008) for Type 2 Diabetes, I noted a few bloomers, during the edit I parked each take 2 on a separate sequence within Final Cut and edited 4m 24s of bloomers. As it happened it was dropped in the final edit because we wanted to have the final production on a single layer disc, so for your enjoyment, sit back and enjoy the fluffs.  

Out Takes from Type 2 Diabetes (Exclusive) By Philip Johnston
View in HD  Download 360p Version  Visit Philip Johnston’s ExposureRoom Videos Page

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

About the HD Warrior Blog…

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HD Warrior will fight for the rights of cameramen and women to air true, no ties reviews on video equipment.  This site is AD FREE and comments are moderated by me, the Warrior, NOT 3RD PARTY MODERATORS THAT OWN THE PRODUCTS YOU ARE TRYING TO DISCUSS.

Rules for posting are simple…  No swearing, slagging, taking the piss, slandering — just use some good old common sense when posting comments please.  Students and pensioners get 10% extra space to write on.

I am also happy to recommend companies who provide a good service, so get in touch!

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

Using the HAGUE PRO – JIB K14

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Alastair and Angela working the JibIt’s a bit like a big boy’s Meccano set when you take it out of the box, you look at it for a while trying various parts to see if they fit, then when you get the courage to build the beast you find out that 2 people are needed when presenting it to the tripod otherwise you are in serious danger of losing a finger or two!

A Jib arm takes a fair bit of practice.  Alistair, Angela and myself were filming at Barr’s soft drinks just outside Glasgow, part of the shoot involved filming the bottle conveyer line so we assembled the Jib arm, mounting it on a tripod (this needs 2 people) with the tripod on dolly wheels (locked in position). We did various shots in the factory, one of the better ones looking straight down on a macro shot at the bottle tops traveling through shot.

Outside the factory we got one of the employees to walk into shot towards the front revolving door while we did a vertical crane shot from the grass to about 10 feet in the air. Crane shots need 2 people, one to pull the weights at the back and someone to hold the front handle and watch the shot in the LCD viewfinder (Sony EX-1).

The HAGUE PRO – JIB K14 does not come with a carry bag as part of the kit but you are strongly advised to buy one as you will soon lose the bits if you don’t. The up-to-date prices for the Jib are as follows…

  • HAGUE PRO – JIB K14 = £499.95 (Fits 100mm/75mm bowl)
  • Weights = £39.95
  • Padded Transit Bag for Pro-Jib with space for accessories. Size 19 x 22 x 162cm = £149.95

All in a total of £689.85 and you still need tripod legs and dolly wheels !

Was it worth the expense…?  There are some jobs where you need to bring out all the “metal” — it adds that je ne sais quai to certain productions and helps to build up the cost as well.

Find out more at www.b-hague.co.uk

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

The Sony LMD-9050 8″ pro LCD monitor

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lmd-9050-v5-aliI bought this just after purchasing my Sony EX-1 to allow my clients to see what I was filming and to give me peace of mind that my colour balance was correct. It runs of a 12v power supply that slips onto the back using a V connection.

I bought two 14.4 volt Lion batteries and a charger which seem to run the monitor all day. It has various connections…  Composite (BNC), S-Video, component (3 x BNCs) and HD-SDI (BNC). I was a bit miffed at the 4:3 screen but if you are inserting footage into an older 4:3 edit you do have the option to view it. I have not filmed or edited 4:3 for over two years now and the screen shows 16:9 with the press of a button.

So why did I go for the 9050 when most cameramen plum for the 9030?  Practicality and better screen resolution; I needed to view the HD-SDI signal coming out of the camera.  Before I bought this monitor I used an LCD monitor using the cameras component-out lead and, take it from me, that’s a messy way to monitor your pictures. The camera takes an SDI lead out of the HD-SDI BNC into the HD-SDI input of the 9050 which is the only one of three models to have this input, the other reason was the screen resolution — 1024 x 768 — the 9030 being 640 x 480.

The top-of-the-line LMD-9050 further provides a variety of digital progressive SD and HD formats through its HD-SDI interface. These include 480/60P and 576/50P and high-definition 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 720/50P, 720/60P as well as 1080/24PsF. You can buy the Sony LMD-9050 from Preston Media for £2242 (Tell John the HD Warrior sent you and you will get a further discount) www.videokit.co.uk

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

Blu-ray what are your options

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macbook-pro-15-with-fcpIt’s been well over a year and no updates to DVD Studio Pro nor any sign of Blu-ray support.  So, what are your options? Adobe’s Encore fully supports Blu-ray and it’s not that difficult to learn. I have produced a couple of Blu-ray discs using Encore and the best bit is the tie in with Photoshop CS4.

In order to re-jig your menus you simply send it to Photoshop and send it back when finished, there is no such tie in with Studio Pro though you can import your own menus made in Photoshop but it’s no way near a slick as Encore.

I have been told that Apple are waiting to bring out Snow Leopard — the next advancement in Mac OS X — but this brings present Apple users to another abyss. The code will change making everything before redundant so as I see it it’s a new start and possibly a new MacPro otherwise all your previous applications won’t work. Now please correct me if I am wrong with this news.

Even with a new version of Final Cut Studio it looks unlikely that Apple are going to support Blu-ray so they must have some other solution up their sleeve ?

Some of the boys out there are transferring their HD footage onto media drives, allowing their clients to watch the HD footage via HDMI, this is not a bad idea and could actually make money if you hire your media drives out for talking sake to a pharmaceutical company showing off their new product at a trade show on a 60″ plasma.

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

Apple introduce the new MacPro

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macproApple once again up the specs of the MacPro with the introduction of this new model.

Apple “Many quad-core processors are composed of two separate dies, which means some cached data has to travel outside the processor to get from core to core. That’s an inefficient way to access information. Enter the Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor. Its single-die, 64-bit architecture makes 8MB of fully shared L3 cache readily available to each of the four processor cores. The result is fast access to cache data and greater application performance. Combine that with the other technological advances and you get a Mac Pro that’s up to 1.9x faster than the previous generation.”

“The new Mac Pro introduces Turbo Boost: a dynamic performance technology that automatically boosts the processor clock speed based on workload. If you’re using an application that doesn’t need every core, Turbo Boost shuts off the idle cores while simultaneously increasing the speed of the active ones, up to 3.33GHz on a 2.93GHz Mac Pro.”

“If you’re a pro who wants a desktop computer that keeps pace with your imagination, the Mac Pro delivers with faster graphics application performance across the board. Whether you’re decoding H.264 content in Final Cut Pro, creating 3D graphics in Motion, processing massive RAW images in Aperture or playing the latest games, the graphics hardware in the new Mac Pro makes graphics applications faster.”

“The foundation of this new graphics architecture is the latest generation of GPUs connected to the system via a fast and wide PCI Express 2.0 16-lane bus. Couple that with Core Animation, Core Image and Core Video technologies in Mac OS X Leopard. The result is a graphics platform for applications to seamlessly tap into a teraflop of graphics power.”

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

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