Fletcher Camera and Lenses…Compare all Hi-End camcorders

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As you can see for yourself all these Hi-end camcorders are built like tanks and look like them, they are also heavy so it’s not surprising there is a market for cameras like the Canon 5D Mk11, 7D…Nikon 300s and the Panasonic GH1. Now no one is kidding themselves I realise the sheer difference in quality between the SLRs and Hi-end is streets apart but if you are looking for the shallow DoF you can get some great results from the SLR.

If you get a chance to look at the PDF above notice the good old Sony EX1 and 3 are part of the comparison list…this is a tribute to Sony who against all the odds decided the EX range was all about quality !

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

ARRIFLEX D-21 “Refining Digital Production” Price £44,128

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

5D Mk11 DVD now available from F-STOP Academy $120

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Trailblazing Philip Bloom has just introduced a new training DVD for filming techniques using the Canon 5D Mk11, when Phil gets back from the states I hope to interview him about using the Canon 5D and also review his new training DVD.

QUOTE : “You probably have the same frustrations as Philip felt when he first began using the camera.  However after immersing himself in it for 5 months he has figured out all the tricks, and cheats to make filming easy. Now he’s made them all available to you in this intensive training DVD he’s gone through the pain so you don’t have to waste time making the same mistakes he has. Absolutely everything you need to know in 24 ultra specific chapters.  No ‘long drawn out 3hr presentation’ Just the important stuff, the aspects that will get you out shooting video like a pro in less than 2  hours.”

NOTE : Not to sure why the price is in dollars but the DVD is available for a limited time period for $120 then goes up to $175.

DVD Contents

Chapters 1-8

  • Chapter 1 – The Evolution of the Canon 5D MK II
  • Chapter 2 – Philip Bloom’s 5D MK II History
  • Chapter 3 – Shooting with the 5D MKII
  • Chapter 4 – What Kit do you Need
  • Chapter 5 – Setting up the camera to shoot video
  • Chapter 6 – Setting your ISO
  • Chapter 7 – Getting the best in camera picture style
  • Chapter 8 – Getting the correct exposure

Chapters 9-16

  • Chapter 9 – Lenses
  • Chapter 10 – Lens Discipline
  • Chapter 11 – Using a macro extension tube
  • Chapter 12 – The matte box
  • Chapter 13 – Follow Focus
  • Chapter 14 – Using a video monitor
  • Chapter 15 – Mono pod & Viewfinder
  • Chapter 16 – Variable ND filters

Chapter 17-24

  • Chapter 17 – The IS lens
  • Chapter 18 – Shooting Handheld
  • Chapter 19 – Avoiding the “Jello” effect
  • Chapter 20 – Shutter Speed
  • Chapter 21 – Depth of field using the fader/vari ND
  • Chapter 22 – Shutter speed in artificial light
  • Chapter 23 – Sound
  • Chapter 24 – Best way to learn? Go out and shoot.


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

SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro CF 90MB/s and SDHC 32GB Class 10 30MB/s

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EDITOR : The best part about this news is that it should start reducing the price of Class 6 cards especially the 32GB Class 6 Transend card.

“The new SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash line is the direct result of SanDisk’s passion, commitment, and break-through engineering innovation to provide best-in-class flash memory cards for professional photography,” said Eric Bone, vice president, retail product marketing, SanDisk. “The SanDisk Power Core Controller delivers unmatched write speed and reliability, providing photographers with a spectacular combination of performance, capacity and peace of mind that images are safely stored.”

SanDisk develops its flash controllers and memory chips together, allowing the company to perfectly match and fine-tune the two technologies throughout the testing process, resulting in high-performance products with industry-leading endurance. The SanDisk Power Core Controller brings numerous benefits to the SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards, including:

  • High-Performance:The SanDisk® Power Core™ Controller’s dual-lane architecture and software algorithms double card performance, enabling the SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards’ read/write speeds of up to 90MB/s over a UDMA-6 bus.
  • Increased-Reliability: The SanDisk Power Core Controller’s firmware algorithms and 42-bit ECC engine maintain data integrity and extended card endurance through optimized wear leveling.
  • Simplified Design:To further increase overall card durability, the SanDisk Power Core Controller features an integrated design that requires fewer individual components on the card’s printed circuit board.

Professional-Grade Memory:
Faster read and write speeds mean more opportunities to capture the winning shot and less time spent offloading gigabytes of images afterwards. Large storage capacity enables photographers to capture RAW images and high-definition video clips in a single session without running out of space.

This unique combination of speed and capacity makes the new line of cards well suited for professional usage models involving large amounts of data and tight deadlines. The SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards’ 16 to 64GB capacity range offers the storage space needed to allow extended shooting sessions without having to reload.

“As a professional sports photographer, I rely on a speedy camera and high-performance SanDisk Extreme Pro cards to capture as many images as possible within a few seconds using continuous burst mode,” says Jeff Lewis, professional photographer and member of the SanDisk Extreme Team. “How fast you can download and edit images from the cards makes a big difference when it comes to getting sports images distributed. The first images out of the media room tend to be the ones that get picked up. Speed really counts for getting selected by the top photo editors.”

Renowned for their world-class durability, SanDisk Extreme cards guarantee operation at extended temperatures ranging from minus 13 F (minus 25 C) to 185 F (85 C). SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards feature RTV Silicone coating for added protection against moisture and humidity. The cards can withstand accidental drops of up to nine feet, and carry a lifetime limited warranty.3

SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards are fully compatible with any camera, card reader or other device that supports CompactFlash cards4. The SanDisk Extreme Pro ExpressCard™ Adapter will be available in late October on SanDisk.com and at select retailers. The reader is optimised to take advantage of the SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash card’s up to 90MB/s read speed.

SanDisk is also introducing new SanDisk Extreme CompactFlash cards at increased performance of previous SanDisk Extreme III CF cards. The new SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme Pro cards represent the step beyond SanDisk Extreme III and SanDisk Extreme IV cards, respectively, with exact pricing to be set by retailers.

CompactFlash Card Line Performance1 Available Capacity2
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s read/write speed (400x) 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
SanDisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s read/write speed (600x) 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

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

A Trade show with a Bang

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Turkish wepons

Both pictures © David Bebber/The Times

When I think of how much care is taken these days on airlines, especially security and this man gets on a plane from Turkey with a trunk full of machine guns !!! Sorry I know this has nothing to do with video but how on earth did this man get through customs with all these weapon’s…

Q. Anything to declare, sir ?

A. One red suite case and a trunk full of machine guns !!!

These pictures were taken at the Defence show in the ExCel centre in East London with more than 40 countries represented…that’s 40 airlines accepting shells, guns, and various weapons how is this possible ? My favourite picture is the one below of the man in a suit holding some hi tec machine gun, wouldn’t  like to upset this man on Monday morning or just maybe he has a pigeon problem to deal with at work !  The other man on the right seems to have a bad communication problem with the Starship Enterprise !


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Snow Leopard “Review on hold”

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I have had to postpone my review of Snow Leopard because I intend using it with Final Cut Pro 7 running on a MacPro and ingesting with an AJA io HD. The problem is that AJA as yet running into week 7 do not have the drivers for FCP-7/Snow Leopard.

I do however have Snow Leopard running on two iMacs and it works fine in fact I can tell you that my iMac which is a later model is more responsive but I do not have FCP-7 on this machine so I can’t judge using it in a professional editing environment .

For those of us using the Sonnet Tempo SATA E4P eSATA card and a DP500 Sonnet have posted the following message. “Snow Leopard compatible (32bit). Advanced users note that this card is not yet compatible in full 64-bit boot. Snow Leopard default boots in 32-bit mode, except in an Xserve.”

MacBook Pro users have had problems using Snow Leopard as it seems to affect the Sony SxS drivers.

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

Using SDHC Class 6 cards with a Sony EX-3

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I can’t stress enough the importance of using the correct cards for the job. Only tonight I had a timely reminder the difference between true class 6 and class 5.5 !  I was filming a local Cub and Scout group using a Sony EX-3 and decided to use 2 8GB cards…One Transend Class 6 and the other a Panasonic Class 6.

Filming in 1920 x 1080 I had 28 mins per card the 1st being the Transend. Seven thirty PM the Scouts barge in and I am swapping slots, the second card (Panasonic) kicks in and all seemed well till I got a “restore media warning” I decided to switch off the camcorder and when it came back on I was asked to “restore media” with a choice to cancel or execute, so I decided to execute.

Everything seemed well till this happened again, I went through the same process and took a decision to swap out the MxM card holder with the Panasonic SDHC card for an 8GB SxS card, I only had this card and a 16Gig Transend which I was saving for another job.

I have tried a 16GB Verbatum Class 6 and an 8GB Panasonic class 6 in the MxM card holder, both gave me trouble in fact the Verbatum was a non starter.

SDHC_HDVIDEO_1_L.JPGThe moral of the story is if you are using the Sony EX-1 or 3 and you intend to use the MxM card holders you must stick to a brand that you know is truly class 6 like the Transend SDHC card. Transend also produce a specific video SDHC Class 6 card which I have also tested and works fine. Do not be confused by the times given on front of the card this is for domestic customers.

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

UK Camcorder prices go through the roof

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Sony_HDR_FX1000_1Speaking to UK retailers recently I was shocked to find out the extent of the price hike we are suffering in the UK. Since the economic downturn the UK has seen 10-15% price increases on most professional video equipment and accessories.

Take Sony for instance…the semi pro HDR FX1000 was £2800 just over 8 months ago now you are looking at £3900 for the same camcorder !

That’s £1100 added to the same camcorder in 8 months !!!

My friend Bill told me “A customer bought this camcorder 8 months ago at £2800 and last month asked me if he could buy a second FX1000 to be told it was now £3900 and was duly told no thank you”

A second example is the Canon XL H1S a year ago you could buy this camcorder for £4500 and today after 3 price rises it is £6500 a price increase of £2000 !!!

The best of all were Panasonic P2 cards before May 2009 a 64Gb P2 card was £1708 then after a lot of soul searching and the small problem that P2 camcorders were not selling… Panasonic brought out the P2 “E” 64Gb card at a more sensible price of £736.

Strangely this is not consistent with the whole camcorder market, domestic camcorders on the whole have dropped in price.

There is no satisfactory conclusion to this story other than the fact we in the UK have taken the brunt when it comes to price hikes and retailers are now stuck with camcorders they can’t shift.

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

iSlate £1.79 for Apple iPhone or iTouch

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iSlate IKONiSlate is exactly as it says on the tin, it’s a slate or clapperboard, so what use can this be in the age of digital camcorders.

I have found this application very useful for identing my SDHC cards when filming with the Sony EX-3.

As you may know the Sony EX-3 takes 2 SxS cards or 2 MxM (SDHC) card holders.

To give me an archive and save a pot of money I use the 16Gb Transend Class 6 SDHC cards.

The main problem with these cards is you have no way of writing on them so you have to ident them electronically, this is where iSlate comes in.

iSlate-exampleAs you can see from the picture on the right PROD is the production name, DIR in this case is used for the type of camera, recording format in this case 720p and the dedicated card number and the day it was shot.

The timecode is free run as we call it, so you are always given the present time of day. I don’t use it as a slate but more a card index. The other feature it has, is the ability to resize the wording to fit on the one line, this is a great feature, how many times have you bought a phone, start to type in someones details for the line of text to run out leaving you one letter short.

This APP is Highly Recommended by HD Warrior for video use.

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

REDBYTE Decimator “Converts HD-SDI to SD” £299

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Your choice of either a NTSC or PAL output • Auto detects 3G, HD or SD (26 Formats in total) and can handle switching of synchronous sources • Low latency 3G/HD to SD Down-conversion with ARC (AspectRatio Conversion) of:

16:9 to 16:9 Anamorphic 16:9 to 4:3 Letterbox 16:9 to 4:3 Centre Cut (Crop to 4:3)


SD Pass-through

Full 10-bit data path and multipoint interpolation

3G/HD/SD-SDI Active Loop-Through Output

16 times over-sampling for Composite Output

External Dipswitch Configuration

Locking DC Power Socket

Mounting Bracket included

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