SONY HG0872K WA lens with French flag and filter holder £730

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

Just received this fantastic WA lens for the NX5 it takes the camcorder down to a 23º (35mm) angle of view. It comes with a French flag and filter holder (4 x 5.650). The lens is whats called a zoom through so once installed on the camcorder apart from looking the business you need never remove it. Fortunately I have a Kata bag (CC-195) which takes the camcorder with lens and matte box fitted…you do have to remove the easily detachable French flag.

For my work this setup serves me well having the PMW-350K for interviews, low light filming etc. the downside of the 350 is the cost of an HD wide angle lens…megabucks!  The other downside to a shoulder mount camcorder is the lack of freedom to get low angle, quick shots that are “king” to the handheld camcorder.

The SONY NX5 with the HD WA lens gives me a well matched second camera and some cracking 23º WA shots that I cannot achieve with the PMW-350. You would think I work for Sony !!!

One of my regular readers Sean asked me if his 4×4 filters would fit into the filter holder, I cut out a 4×4 from 0.5 CT and as you can see if you position it at the centre it will do the trick.

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SONY NX-5 User Video Review

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

[xr_video id=”ae71b20b89cb4fa0ad13c04e204c79d3″ size=”md”]

When the HXR-FMU128 is used in conjunction with memory cards, Sony’s unique HYBRID recording capability is enabled, allowing a combination of HD and SD resolutions to be recorded simultaneously. The operator is free to choose which resolution is recorded on each media type, and may even set the camcorder to record to both media types simultaneously.

There are many benefits to HYBRID recording, including:

♦ Edit system ingest time for HD files stored on the HXR-FMU128 is typically faster than from memory cards.

♦ HD files simultaneously recorded on memory cards provide a time and cost- effective method of archiving.

♦ SD files may be used for quick preview on a laptop or for SD deliverables, such as web-based movies.

NOTE: Recording SD simultaneously to both media types is not supported. IMPORTANT: The filenames of corresponding HD and SD clips are different.

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Remember to turn your clocks forward (UK)

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

NX-5 User Video Review…THIS WEEKEND

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

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

HD Warrior is ONE this week !

Categories: Miscellaneous 5 Comments

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

Exposure Room just got better

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“Well, we’ve finally done it! We’ve given ExposureRoom a brand new look and navigation system. The whole effort has been a grueling yet extremely satisfying 4 month affair. I hope most if not everyone will love the outcome of this effort.

Many of you write in on a daily basis to tell us how much you love the way the site looks and functions. Yet there are some who find the site cluttered and difficult to navigate. So we had to take a deep dive into trying to understand the reasons for this. The whole process of re-designing the site and navigation system started last August by way of a discussion we had in the forums and private emails. We then went back and digested every single suggestion and/or complaint about readability, navigation, clutter and general intuitiveness of the site.

Not only did we digest what ExposureRoom members had to say but (more importantly, probably) we listened to site visitors as well. Some are pretty vocal and speak their mind while others ask a “how to” question. We listened to all of them. Once we had this huge list, we had to digest it into a more systematic beast. That process took a couple of months

After that, we went to the drawing board. The primary group that participated in the initial rounds consisted of designers, engineers, support, marketing and business. Each department was a stakeholder in this process and each had valuable input to give to the design and engineering teams that addressed the concerns from members and visitors and also future direction of ExposureRoom.

Once we felt the needs and concerns of all stakeholders were addressed in the preliminary design phase, the design and engineering teams went to work. That process took 2 months. Everyone here has worked their butts off and for me it was especially nice to see the bonding between the (seemingly) disparate teams. Once the design was finalized the engineering team has their work cut out for them. Of course, even in engineering we have design and so back to the drawing board it was. This time taking the “requirements” and designing the backend system to accommodate the visual design and navigation and future extensibility of the system and site.

I’d like to take a moment to thank our members for being vocal and voicing their opinions and concerns, without which we’d not have ventured down such a bold path. I’d like to thank the visitors who have taken the time to give us a piece of their mind and finally the XR team for putting in a tremendous effort, working towards a common goal and exceeding my expectations by a long shot.

This was a complete overhaul and not just a tweak here and there. The new navigation system should allow you to go from one end of the site to the other in a single click. Not only that, you may actually discover areas of the site you didn’t know existed!”

Shiv Kumar (XR)

HDW : Poor Shiv some of the XR crew do not like the new look and the new navigation, personally I think it’s far better and it’s just a matter of getting used to the new navigation tools.

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Your HD footage looks lighter than it should ?

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Over the last 6 months I have read various posts about people having “lighter” footage after using Apple’s Compressor. This happened to a friend of mine recently…he was sending a self contained HD file out of Compressor and hey presto it was a lot lighter than it should be.

Strange…everything he was doing was the same but for one important difference…HD footage. He had only ever compressed SD DV footage up until this week.

Knowing the type of man he is Norrie set out to discover why this was…the solution !

If you are using FCP with HD footage and you come across the same problem “lighter” footage you must do the following…

Send your footage from FCP as a reference file NOT as a self contained file, it seems that compressor gets upset with certain self contained HD footage which lifts the Gamma causing the footage to look lighter than it should.

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The HDSLR debate for professional use

Categories: Miscellaneous 11 Comments

Excerpts from Alister Chapmans update on his Canon 550

“OK, so it’s defiantly not just me doing something wrong. When in focus the T2i/550D aliases (as do all the current Canon DSLR’s). This is a grab from Philip Blooms latest Canon short. For once this is a daylight piece and as I expected it exhibits a lot of aliasing. The grab is actually taken from the thumbnail on his exposure room page. I’m really pleased to see this as it shows that aliasing is a problem for the experts too. You start to appreciate why so many of the Canon shorts are shot at night, with millimeter deep DoF… it’s to stay clear of having stuff in focus that will alias. there are filters from Caprock that are supposed to help, but you need a different filter for each focal length and aperture that you use, they also soften the picture somewhat.

If you want my opinion, then it has to be that the Canon’s are close, but still a mile away. The aliasing issue is a biggie. Sort it out and the skew, jello and overheating can be worked around, but if you have to worry about simply having a piece of wood in focus and whether it’s going to exhibit rainbows of colour or whether cobble stones will twitter and change colour (At 00.35 and this is from Canon) then it will limit what you can do. There is quite a lot of aliasing in Phil’s new daytime clip, basically anytime anything is steady, has texture and is in focus, it aliases. I’ve been shot down in flames on other forums for saying that this is a problem, but if even the experts can’t deal with it then what hope does everyone else have? I would love to have the option of shooting with the shallow DoF that the Canon’s offer, but not at the expense of having to avoid any kind of texture. Perhaps Red and Scarlet will be better, perhaps Canon will sort it out, or perhaps not, as the cameras are clearly selling like hot cakes, even with the issues. If they do fix it then the camera will almost certainly be for video only.”

HDW : Alister Chapman is an authority when it comes to technical issues involving video, it’s a shame he never came to the HDSLR table sooner. I am no way near as technical as Alister but have enough professional expertise to realise HDSLRs are not yet built for purpose. They are a compromise but as Alister has found out they are seriously compromised when using them for filming.

We never get to see true HD on the web once again it’s a compromise which is why a lot of these “pretty pictures to music” are passing by with glaring technical faults because we just don’t notice such faults on a 640 x 320 screen. Saying that a lot of HDSLR filmakers are either oblivious to the problem or are willing to put up with warts and all to get the SDoF.

Can I suggest the watching punter would not be aware of such issues but then do we need to see a further drop in standards as television today in the UK is swamped with poorly produced DV footage.

Are HDSLRs suitable for professional use…not YET in my opinion, the BBC, SKY, National Geographic channel etc will not accept footage from them…that’s got to ring alarm bells if you are hoping to use them professionally. I was reminded by Sean that the BBC have indeed used a Canon 5D2 to film a 30sec title sequence during Snooker last year but that was a trial period and have since been banned…or so they say !

Many of you will disagree with this statement telling me that you have taken the plunge well good luck to you, personally I would not compromise my professionalism let alone my client for a simple film effect such as a shallow depth of field. First generation HDSLRs are a fudge…video take’s second priority so you can’t expect “professional results” with equipment that is mainly built for taking digital photographs. Alister has confirmed this with his investigations though to be fair to him he is also looking into a solution to the problem.

Can I just add that Alister Chapman nor myself are NOT anti HDSLR, Alister is coming from a bedrock of technical expertise and is only pointing out why some of these HD pictures are unacceptable for broadcast and I come from a more practical hands on professional point of view.  My father has a good expression “Cheap s dear” you can’t expect a full broadcast HD experience from a camera that costs £2000 or less, you get what you pay for which is why broadcasters are still using 35mm adapters clamped onto £15K upwards camcorders with Arri prime lenses.

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Canon release the FCP Log and Transfer plug-in for Canon HDSLRs

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Introducing EOS Movie Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro

The Rise of EOS HD Video:
Apple Inc’s Final Cut Studio™ software for non-linear editing (NLE) has become a dominant choice among enthusiasts and dedicated professionals alike. This professional Apple software application is well known for its smooth performance and editing speed, both invaluable assets for editing software.
The recent explosion of digital SLRs with video capability has turned many traditional videographers and photographers toward cameras such as the EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D, and the newly-introduced EOS-1D Mark IV to create stunning high definition footage at a very afforable price. The large imaging sensors of these cameras, comparable to or even larger than 35mm motion picture film, are a key reason for the peerless HD images they produce, offering ‘filmic’ control over depth of field, as well as extremely sharp detail, clarity, and low-light performance — all of which can exceed that of high-end professional video cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Another reason for the impressive video image quality of Canon’s EOS digital SLRs is their use of the sophisticated H.264/MPEG-4 compression method for recording video files to the camera’s memory card. This is an ideal file type for video capture in an SLR camera, delivering relatively compact file sizes with image quality noticably superior to alternate video compressions (such as Motion JPEG).
However, the H.264 compression format requires that files be transcoded into a format better suited to editing, effects, and color grading; this would usually be Apple ProRes. The transcoding to ProRes can be a fairly time- and processor-heavy intermediary step that pays off later with superior speed once the post production process begins. That’s where EOS Movie Plugin-E1 comes in: It doesn’t eliminate the need for transcoding, but it includes several improvements in functionality and interface, making the experience of editing EOS HD Video footage with Final Cut Pro as fast and seamless as possible.

Link here …

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Sony NX-5 User Video Review this week

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I have had a busy two weeks filming and I am glad to have had this time to evaluate the Sony NX-5, I will also give you an update on the Sony PMW-350 as a write up. My initial encounter with the NX-5 has been very positive.

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