Filming my sons wedding in Italy…PART ONE

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gy-hm100-handI spoke to Philip Bloom about a month before the wedding to see if he recommended the Canon 5D Mk11 for filming the wedding but the 8min restriction would not bode well for the ceremony and the speeches. I also discovered that it’s very difficult to use the 5D as a film camera and a stills camera at the same time so I decided to use it for it’s main use as a stills camera.

I plumbed for the new JVC HM100 instead as I am a lot happier with technology I know and runs for more than 8mins at a time. I received the camcorder less than a week before I left for Italy not giving me time to get to grips with it’s foibles like the exposure wheel on the back of the camcorder.

It’s main problem is that everything is sub miniture so all the buttons are half the normal size but as long as you don’t have fingers like Desperate Dan then you should be fine. Although I already own a Sony EX-3 I did not want to lumber myself with such a large camera and tripod which is why I settled for the HM100.

I love the petiteness of the camcorder and the fact that it performs almost as good as the EX-3 excluding low light shooting. I was going to Italy after all at the height of the summer why should I need lights. For most of the wedding day it performed beautifully but due to a cock up with the start of the speeches remembering the ceremony did not start till 5pm and the dancing was to take place inside the dimly lit hotel, I got 98% of what I needed barring the 1st dance which I opted to use the stills camera by then totally forgetting Mr Blooms words “The 5D Mk11 is great for filming in low light”. In part two I hope to show you some footage but for now I need to get to Edinburgh to enjoy a days Power learning with Larry Jordan.

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

The Critics Webisode 1 from Steve Weiss and Philip Bloom

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Here is the new “Webisode” called “Critics” basically it’s Philip Bloom and Steve Weiss discussing various Vimeo film clips from the web. I think it’s quite entertaining see what you think.

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

Larry Jordan’s interview in Edinburgh coming soon

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

Philip Bloom Trailblazing the Canon 5D Mk11

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CanonBloom-V2It was a comment on Phil’s Facebook that brought this article into sharp focus Q “Anything us XD 700 users could learn?” R “Yes on the Saturday we have two different classes. DSLR and film look. Come to film look, but actually come to both because seeing what the DSLR is capable of is worth coming to for anyone. Tomorrow I shoot a commercial with Kevin Spacey using the 5d. The camera cost £2000.”

You have a cameraman having spent the best part of £23,000 on a Sony XD700 being told that a camera used mainly for 35mm digital stills work costing £2000 is bringing in as much work or possibly more than the man with the top end Sony kit. How times have changed, I had a brief conversation with Phil this morning…

PJ “Hi Phil how are you finding the Canon 5D Mk11 ?”

PB “Great I am getting a fair bit of work with it now”

PJ “What type of work are you looking at ?”

PB “Everything from commercial work with Kevin Spacey promoting a top end housing development to filming in India for a Greenpeace commercial for television.”

PJ “I presume the sheer compactness of the 5D compared to the bulky, heavy video/film using letus adapter is the main bonus ?”

PB “The main bonus is when your flying, keeping down the weight when you are on a 15-25Kg weight limit is so important and you can take some of the kit as hand luggage”

PJ “What are the down sides using the 5D ?”

PB “The audio is the the 5Ds achilles heal, yes, you have an audio input via a 3.5mm jack socket but the sound is unusable, making the need to record separate sound via a solid state audio recorder. The other problem is finding focus even using the Zacuto loupe which definitely helps sometimes finding critical focus on a pull focus can be tricky”

Phil-with-5D-Mk11PJ “What’s you favorite lens ?”

PB “The Canon 50mm f1.2 L lens, this allows great low light shots… way superior than you could achieve with even the Sony EX-3”

PJ “What type of tripod suits the 5D”

PB “The Miller DS20 carbon fibre tripod is a great compliment to the 5D”

PJ “Getting back to your Kevin Spacey shoot what did Mr Spacey think of you using the 5D ?”

PB “It never came up in conversation, he was concentrating on his delivery to camera, a true pro.”

The Canon 5D Mk11 is far from perfect with no audio metering, gain control, everything needs to be converted from H264 to ProRez, the sound needs to be re-synced with an external recorded sound source…and the camera has a 8 minute recording limit due to the fact it’s a photographic camera and would incur import duties if it recorded more than 8mins at a time. You can record as many 8min sequences as you like but it’s very limiting.

Philip Bloom has started the ball rolling using the Canon 5D Mk11, he has already clocked up 4 commercial jobs with it and on the whole is delighted with it’s performance especially in low light situations, I suspect these jobs are helping to pay for some of his expensive Canon glass in fact he told me his next purchase will be the 85mm f1.2 L lens at £1600.

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

Final Cut Studio 3 with Larry Jordan in Edinburgh this week

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Larry is coming to Edinburgh on Tuesday the 18th of August 09 to give us some fresh incite on using Final Cut Studio 3. I hope to interview Larry that same day and post his interview on Wednesday.

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

Sony PDW-U1 Mac drivers now available after 24 month delay !

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PDW-U1-webSony have announced that the drivers to allow you to transfer SxS files via an Apple Mac are finally here…only after 24 months. Sony should be ashamed of themselves taking so long to bring out these drivers. Many of us including myself bought the PDW-U1 24 months ago with the indication that Sony would have the drivers 3 months later.

I sent back my virgin U1 to Preston Media as it was £1700 of capital sitting in a box doing nothing, I am so glad I made that decision as 24 months later we are only now getting those Mac drivers.

Many of us are archiving SxS by not using the SxS cards themselves but using the MxM cards from Australia that utilize the SDHC cards. This has become my favored way of archiving so Sony have lost out again.

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

Flowlight Microbeam 256

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256 Flow LightHigh output compact LED light, 200W hotlight equivalent output. 5400K with 5 filters included. Models available for Canon, JVC, Panasonic and Sony batteries.

• 256 Ultra Bright 5400K LED’s
• External DC input 7-16v DC
• Full dimming via dimmer knob on back of unit
• Runs for hours on standard Lion camera batteries
• Rugged aluminum case
• Slide in filter holder
• Color correction/diffuser gels included
• Hotshoe swivel mount included
• Full filter pack including conversion to 3200K
• 12VDC, includes camera battery mounting plates for (your choice of one) JVC, Sony, Canon and Panasonic. Also accepts 12V DC directly
• Heavy duty anodized aluminum construction available in black or red
• Brighter than units costing much more
• On camera LED light operates for hours on standard LiOn camcorder batteries.
• Use your existing batteries with mounts for Sony, Panasonic, Canon or JVC.

A few months ago we pulled it from general availability as we wanted to make it even better and improve our component supply chain. As many of you know, even the powerful MicroBeam 128 has been out of stock a lot recently due to exceptional ongoing demand. We’ve ramped up production, and don’t expect to many more hiccups in availability (possibly one more next week with the expected rush). As always with these two hot products, the MicroBeam 128 and the MicroBeam 256, we recommend getting them right away if you see them in stock on our site. Right now we have them both. We’ve disabled overnight shipping for a few days due to the expected rush.

USA $499

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

AJA late with update for io HD FCP-7 drivers

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AJA posted this message over 3 weeks ago just after the introduction of FCP-7. People including myself are once again left out to dry as we wait for AJA to come up with the goods. I need to learn all about the new features in FCP V7 and Motions new features so can AJA please get the finger out and deliver the long awaited drivers please !

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My son’s Wedding in Italy

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Sorry, just got back from my son’s wedding in Italy, I will tell you all about it and show you some footage soon.

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

The Power of the new generation of film makers…Ami Vitale

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The wonderful thing about this footage is the fact it was shot entirely on a Nikon D300s shooting at 1280 x 720. The footage was shot by Ami Vitale.

D300S-webThe D300S brings HD movie capability, a faster frame advance rate of 7fps and dual CF and SD memory card slots to offer new opportunities to explore creative imaging. Built upon the widely acclaimed D300, the D300S incorporates the same DX-format 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, professional 51-point autofocus system and commended EXPEED image processing in a discrete compact body.

Robert Cristina, Manager, Professional Products for Nikon Europe, comments: “The D300S is designed for today’s generation of creative image makers who want to combine brilliant stills in photography with the creative potential of video capture. The DX format has the advantage of lens magnification, compact size and affordability making the D300S a really exciting package for anyone looking to take their photography to another level”.

Capture and Edit HD Movies in stereo
The D300S comprehensively extends DSLR HD movie capture by adding external stereo sound input, autofocus capability and premieres in-camera movie editing. External stereo microphone support adds more realistic sound to shooting movie clips, and a new dedicated LV button makes switching between stills and movies easier than ever. In-camera movie clips can be edited by simply selecting the start and stop points during playback. Also, the new Type C HDMI interface enables editing to be carried out on an HD display if desired.

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

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