Storm Chaser Alister Chapman stuck in the USA

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

As a storm chaser with good weather forecasting skills I have been trying to work out when UK (and European) airspace will return to some kind of normality so that I (and everyone else) can start to get home. I have Just done another weather forecast computer model run this morning and discussed the situation with some of my meteorologist colleges. The consensus is that the existing wind regime over the Volcano will continue to bring any ash that is produced directly over the UK until late Friday night. Saturday in to Sunday the winds will shift to Southerly and the ash plume will be taken north, well away from the UK. It will take some time for all existing ash over the UK to disperse but by Saturday evening most of the UK should be clear and flights can be expected to resume departing the US Saturday, arriving UK Sunday. Then late Monday night and in to Tuesday Northerly winds are forecast to start returning, so if the bloody thing is still erupting further ash may return to the UK Tuesday into Wednesday.

Forecast accuracy confidence for the weekend is high, for early next week not so high. The forecast is based on computer model data which gets less accurate the further ahead you look. 2-3 day accuracy is very good, 4-5, reasonable, 6-7 more variable and 7-10 less reliable. Beyond 10 days you may as well use a crystal ball.

Volcanic activity appears to be decreasing (lets hope so) but we have seen that the volcano goes through cycles of activity. At the moment the adjacent Katla volcano is shown no signs of activity.

UPDATE HDW : Interesting but last night (Tuesday 22nd April 2010) the aviation authorities along with other government bodies decided the ash above the UK is not such a problem to aeroplanes after all, let’s wish Alister a speedy and safe return from the USA and hope the so called experts have not compromised passenger safety for economics !

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

DOLBY 42″ Reference Monitor “Accuracy of a CRT in a flat panel display” Possibly $34-50K !

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Dolby Laboratories has introduced the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor PRM-4200. The new 42in monitor delivers the accuracy of previous CRT monitors with the versatility of flat-panel displays.

The LCD-based video reference display accurately reveals true and deep black levels with higher contrast across the entire color spectrum. It is designed to provide an unprecedented luminance range and level. It uses a backlight comprised of red, green, and blue LEDs that are modulated individually on a frame-by-frame basis. The LCD panel is also modulated in real time as part of the dual-modulation process.

Other key features of the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor PRM-4200 include extended dynamic range, DCI/P3 (digital cinema) color gamut support and color accuracy across all luminance levels. It also emulates any other display device so that all content preparation and quality evaluation can be done on one monitor.

HDW : This is the dogs bollox in flat panel displays …well almost flat…the BBC should invest in some of these baby’s as they still don’t have any decent reference displays they are happy with. Strange that a company known world wide for sound seems to be the first with the holy grail of flat panels…one that can emulate the look of a CRT !

Q. Where are Sony, Panasonic and JVC why can they not produce such a monitor !!!

UPDATE : The price is ridiculous who in their right mind is going to pay $34,000 or more for a monitor knowing fine well a cheaper one will appear 6 month later for a third of the price…it may be good but it’s not that good !

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

Blackmagic design “UltraStudio Pro USB 3.0” $895

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

The new UltraStudio Pro is the world’s first broadcast quality SD/HD capture and playback solution for USB 3.0 computers! UltraStudio Pro combines the latest broadcast technology into an attractive ultra-thin design that looks great on your desktop!
UltraStudio Pro has the power you need for the most demanding broadcast and post production environments. With the incredible speed of the new USB 3.0 interface built- in, running at a massive 4.8 Gb/s, UltraStudio Pro easily has enough speed for the highest quality uncompressed 10 bit HD video with the maximum real time effects!
Advanced Broadcast Technology
UltraStudio Pro packs state of the art broadcast technology into an impossibly thin design. You get more video and audio connections, high quality up, down and cross conversion, full 10 bit video, internal SD keying and more!
UltraStudio Pro also includes a massive number of video and audio connections including 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI, analog component, composite, s-video, 4 channel analog audio, 2 channel AES/ EBU audio, genlock/tri-sync and RS422 deck control connections. UltraStudio Pro even includes a broadcast quality 7 foot/2 meter breakout cable, so you’ll save hundreds of dollars on expensive professional cables!
There’s even an independent SDI output that’s down converted for simultaneous HD and SD monitoring while you work! The built-in up, down and cross converter lets you edit in one format, and then output to any HD or SD format!

Innovative Design
UltraStudio Pro’s innovative design looks great on your desktop while hiding the cables behind the unit. With dozens of audio and video connections built-in, you can keep your studio neat and clean! UltraStudio Pro includes audio level meters for accurate audio level calibration.
UltraStudio Pro’s chassis is machined from solid metal with high grip silicon feet, so it’s strong enough to withstand the most harsh broadcast environments.

UltraStudio Pro $895

HDW : Before you get excited remember this will only work with USB 3.0 computers which makes it USB-3 PC compatible at this moment in time but I am reliably informed you should be able to buy a USB-3 slot in board fairly soon from Apple. The one thing that bothers me about this product is the breakout cable…a mess of cables…personally I would have preferred a breakout cable that terminated into a 18″ rack mount box.

According to the information we all have at hand right now, the next-gen USB standard should become available for commercial applications in 2010, and Apple should be one of the first companies to embrace it. Why? First, because people missing FireWire may not be happy with USB 2.0, and second…

…just think about the USB 3 specifications: speeds up to 4.8 Gbit/s (600 MB/s), as well as a powering system which intelligently cuts power when your USB 3 device is idle!

Since the USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced the completion of the USB 3.0 specification and the USB 3 release is, practically, a part of the past, but if you’re one of those working in a company that’s going to mess with this new technology, you may want to take a look at the specification and adopter agreement, both available here. After all, there’s still enough time left until USB 3.0 arrives in consumers’ hands, but you wouldn’t like to miss the USB 3 train, would you?

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

Steve Jobbs says new version of Final Cut will be “Awesome”

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Apple is still backing Final Cut, and the next release of Final Cut Studio will be “awesome,” claims CEO Steve Jobs. Continuing a trend of replying to customer e-mails, Jobs is noted to have recently answered a complaint about the video production suite, which called the changes to Final Cut Studio 3 “not stellar.” The e-mail also alleges that people laid off from the Final Cut teammay have been engineers, who would normally be responsible for advancing the software.
In addition to reaffirming Apple’s commitment to Final Cut, Jobs further comments that the people who lost their positions were in support roles, not in engineering. It is not certain when Final Cut Studio 4 might be ready; Mac Soda claims “reliable word,” however, that it will be released before the end of 2010. Such a timeline would represent a much faster turnaround than the gap between FCS2 and FCS3, however, which was roughly two years.

HDW :  Steve would say this after their sworn rival ADOBE entered the scene with CS-5 … full 64 bit and a new Premiere Pro tie up with NVIDIA allowing seven streams of full HD video or 4 real time streams of RAW 4K RED CODEC  in multicamera mode…very impressive. I don’t think you could run this from FW800 or SATA drive, I think the minimum spec to get 7 streams of HD would need a RAID of some kind.

I think it’s important for Apple to appreciate that WE THE END USERS do not like being dictated to when it comes to the final output and I for one will give up FCP no mater how awesome if we don’t get full Blu-ray authoring in Final Cut Studio-4.

While I am on my soap box…Compressor is so slow when it tries to compress H.264…I now use Elgato turbo.264 HD to compress H.264 for my web content, not only is it 2x faster at least than Compressor but it gives you a better end result.

We were sadly cheated with FCS-3 when it became apparent that DVD Studio 4 had been left in the ark and anyone producing Blu-Ray was forced to use Adobe’s Encore. Adobe have a ten month start on Apple and I for one will be dipping my toe in the 64bit Premiere Pro water, not for the first time I may add, six years ago I was using Premiere Pro 1.5 till I was persuaded to go over to the Mac but now Premiere is Mac compatible it might be worth a further investigation and reading the boards I won’t be the only one !

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

Alister Chapman’s “Letters from America” the Sony 35mm camcorder

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

HDW : Poor Alister he is stuck in LA due to the Icelandic Volcano he went to film about 3 weeks ago, but as usual not to be deterred he is still blogging with some interesting on the floor news from last weeks NAB 2010.

Well one of the big NAB announcements was the intention by Sony to release a compact 35mm equipped camera. A prototype unit was briefly shown at the press event but little details were given. I’ve been trying to find out more but Sony are being very tight lipped. It was announced that it will be available prior to next NAB, so that means that there is likely to be some other launch event in, at my guess 6 to 8 months time, of course there may be more news before then. Last year Sony announced the PMW-350 at Satis which this year is October 19th/20th, so I would expect more news by then. What I would say is that the prototype appears to be more than just a simple mock up as it shows some new switch and control designs that I’ve not seen on a Sony camera before. It has also been stated that this new unit is just part of Sony’s 35mm road map so perhaps there will be more than one new camera. As for pricing, well all that Sony will say is “affordable”. My guess is it will be in the XDCAM EX1 price area depending on lens options. If it uses DSLR lenses and can be purchased without a lens, my guess is that it would be cheaper than an EX but more expensive than a Canon 5DMk2, my guess would be £4k.

So what features can we expect to get? The sensor should have large pixels so it should be good in low light and offer high dynamic range. As it has a 35mm sensor I expect it will shoot 24P, 25P, 30P plus I would hope over-cranking at up to 60fps. It would be really nice if it did 1080P60. It should have decent audio controls and it’s going to need a really, really good viewfinder. I would imagine that you will have a number of different lens options via some form of adapter, possibly being supplied with a Sony Alpha lens mount. The prototype was shown with a PL mount lens and very few users will be able to afford to use them, so there will have to be a lower cost option.

These are exciting times. In the next 12 months we will see a huge change in the tools available for video production. The new 35mm and 4/3″ cameras from Sony, Panasonic and Canon will change the way TV is made forever. They won’t be ideal forsome applications such as news or run and gun, where you don’t want the focus problems that a big sensor will bring, but for drama, documentary and low budget movies I think we will see a dramayic change in the way things are done.


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

Sony PMW-350K user tips “MANUAL MACRO using AUTOFOCUS” ?

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

You may be in the position now and again when you need full manual MACRO focus using the Sony PMW-350K lens. As we don’t get a ‘proper’ manual macro with this lens you have to frig it to make it happen. The one thing I was not prepared for was having to set the lens to auto focus…this goes against the grain and my logic…but in order to have a “Manual Macro” you have to take the lens off manual mode !

Once you know how to achieve manual macro it can be very useful…firstly you switch the MACRO switch to the ON position, leaving the FOCUS switch on the manual position, then you have to go against all logic and move the lens flange at the front of the lens forward to engage auto focus. This now allows you to focus your lens through into macro and it is still in manual mode…you can zoom about half way if you need to but there becomes a point where it throws itself out of focus.

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

The Canon XF305 4:2:2 @ 50Mbs onto CF cards $7950

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Introducing the XF305 and XF300: Canon’s New Pro Camcorders

Industry professionals choose Canon video cameras for a wide variety of projects: electronic news gathering (ENG), wedding/special event videography, feature film and commercial productions, and more. A Canon camera is aninvestment in long-term quality; a dependable workhorse that delivers the finest images time and time again in the most challenging environments imaginable, from a wedding on a sandy beach to the International Space Station.
The XF305 and XF300 models are Canon’s first professional camcorders to support file-based recording, and to take advantage of the broadcast-standard MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps MXF codec (Canon XF codec)
Each new camera design is based directly on feedback from you, our working professionals in the field. And now, the Canon XF305 and XF300 models have arrived, fusing unsurpassed lens quality, renowned ruggedness, and user-friendly body design with the latest in CMOS sensor technology and tapeless workflow. From pre-production through post, it’s destined to become a shooter’s new best friend.
Pre-production: Selecting the Right Tool for the Job
Pre-production is a series of choices dictated by the aesthetics and logistics of each project. The Canon XF305 and XF300 cameras assure that those decisions aren’t compromises.
Whether you’re a news reporter in the line of fire or an independent filmmaker striving for big-budget production value, 1080p digital acquisition is the ideal choice. While the term “High Definition” is a buzz-word that refers to the number of lines of resolution, it doesn’t take into account the amount of compression applied to achieve this. The Canon XF305 and XF300 excel here, delivering a broadcast standard long-GOP MPEG-2 codec with a maximum bit rate of 50 Mbps and 4:2:2 color sampling. This ‘Canon XF’ codec brings a high-end level of quality — usually found only in cameras costing 5 to 8 times more — down to a budget level that will please producers while satisfying the critical eye of a professional shooter.
The XF305/300 cameras offers a full range of selectable frame rates:
24p (23.976) Frame Rate
24p matches the frame rate of a traditional film camera giving the same cadence and temporal motion needed for a “film look.”

30p (29.97) Frame Rate 30p is the ideal frame rate for video viewed on the Internet. It is also an excellent choice for frame grabbing during playback.

60p (59.94) Frame Rate (Available in 720p Mode Only)
In addition to the standard interlaced frame rate of 60i, these cameras are able to capture at 60p. 60p is rapidly becoming the standard for fast-action sports.

Optional 25p/50i/50p Frame Rate Upgrade
In addition to the native NTSC 24p/30p/60i/60p frame rates, the XF305 and XF300 can be upgraded to record in PAL frame rates of 25p/50i/50p, for added versatility. This optional upgrade must be performed by a Canon Factory Service Center at an additional cost.
Slow and Fast Motion Modes allow the XF305 to record a different frame rate than the playback frame rate, resulting in either a fast or slow motion effect during playback. Since the camera is recording real frames and modifying the playback rate, there is no quality loss and maximum image quality is maintained. In 1080 mode, fast motion is supported up to 2.5x the normal rate and as slow as 1/2.5x. In 720 mode, fast motion is supported up to 5x the normal rate and as slow as 1/1.25x.
Compared to CCDs, CMOS sensors draw less power while creating less waste heat, and the images typically feature less noise. The Canon XF305 and XF300 boast three 1/3-inch CMOS sensors with a resolution of 1920×1080, delivering outstanding image quality with a compact, lightweight camera optimized for greater mobility and quick shooting.
In even the most extreme shooting conditions, solid-state recording is the surest way to get the shot while streamlining your workflow.
The XF305/300 uses standard UDMA-compliant CF cards for recording media — read more about this new feature here.
The XF305 and XF300 contain two slots for non-proprietary Compact Flash cards, which allow for hot-swapping in the field as well as copying data from one slot to the other. A single 32GB CF card can hold approximately 80 minutes of footage, using the highest quality 50 Mbps setting. For more recording time, the dual card slots can be used as a “relay”: by swapping cards in an alternating fashion, you could capture a single, uninterrupted take that will last as long as your CF cards.
The image that hits the sensor can only be as good as the glass in the lens. Labeling something “HD” doesn’t take into account what happens to the light during its journey down the barrel. Canon lenses are second to none, and the XF305 and XF300 boast a genuine L-series lens with an 18x optical zoom. In 35mm equivalents, the zoom range is 29.3mm to 527.4mm, which is wider at the wide end than previous Canon models and most other competitively priced cameras. For an extra boost at the telephoto end, there is an additional 1.5x digital teleconverter that can be enabled within the menu system. The lens also features a 6-blade metal iris and glass ND filters (1/4, 1/16, and 1/64) which can withstand the hottest daylight shooting conditions without any warping.
Of special note for professionals is the inclusion of end stops and “witness marks” on both the zoom and focus rings. The zoom ring has the focal length measurements etched onto the barrel itself, whereas the fully manual/Full MF mode on the focus ring must be engaged to reveal the focal distance marks in a window on the side of the lens (measured in feet and meters).
This new video lens offers professional camera operators and assistants more control, with hard focus and zoom stops, as well as distance indicators (when lens is in Full MF mode)
This becomes particularly valuable in narrative filmmaking situations, when a camera assistant relies on these marks and “rides” the focus while watching the talent, so the operator can concentrate on executing the perfect shot.
The lens on the XF305 and XF300 adapts to any shooting style by offering three different modes of image stabilization. If you’re in a news or special event application where you need tosmooth out the vibrations caused by the camera operator’s walking, the new “Dynamic Image Stabilization” setting is designed to do just that. For handheld long lens photography, the “Powered Image Stabilization” mode will suppress vibrations at the telephoto end. This will come in handy while shooting nature docs or news events when you find yourself without a tripod, but the situation proves too dangerous to get close. The “Standard” setting is designed to reduce the widest range of different vibrations on every axis. All of the stabilization settings are accomplished optically, and do not result in any degradation of the image.
The 4:2:2 color sampling doubles the vertical resolution of color components compared to 4:2:0, which had been the previous standard for most smaller handheld cameras. This eliminates “jaggies” along the edges of colored objects within the frame, improves overall color reproduction, and therefore becomes crucial if the project involves any greenscreen or bluescreen work. 4:2:2 is essential for pulling cleaner keys.
If your project calls for time-lapse intervalometer photography (such as a flower blooming in front of our eyes) or other off-speed effects, the XF305 (or the XF300) is the right decision to make. By switching to 720p, you can over-crank up to 60fps for slow motion action photography. Interval Recording can be set in 25 levels, ranging from 1 second to 10 minutes. Even stop-motion animation is now possible with Frame Recording, which allows a specified number of frames to be captured at a time: 1, 3, 6, or 9 frames (in 60i/30p mode) or 2, 6, or 12 frames (in 24p/60p mode).
In Pre REC mode, there is a continuous three-second buffer, so you won’t miss a sudden “live” event.
The 4″, 1.23 Megapixel HD LCD panel offers functional, versatile deisgn, whatever your shooting style: It opens to the left or right, as well as rotating and tilting forward 35° — extremely useful for additional crew members who need to check the monitor, and a great safety feature in case the monitor is accidently bumped into on a busy set.
For example, if the shot involves a lightning strike across a desert plain, you can wait until you see the lightning and then hit REC immediately. Not only will it record from that point forward, but the three seconds before you hit REC will also be added to the shot—including the elusive lightning strike.
The comfortable and flexible form factor of the XF305 and XF300 is ideal for all types of productions. Small and lightweight enough to be handheld in front of the body, the new design also accommodates shoulder-mount shooting while monitoring the large, high-resolution LCD screen, which displays 100% of the image. Compared to previous Canon models, the right-hand grip has been moved more precisely into the camera’s center of gravity, since there is no longer a tape storage compartment on the side of the camera—one of the many benefits of moving to a file-based storage medium. For ENG shooters and documentarians, the cameras are small enough to be portable and unobtrusive, yet substantial enough to impress clients. Wedding photographers will appreciate the light weight and perfect balance, for long hours of uninterrupted shooting in the hot sun and crowded reception halls. Independent filmmakers require a camera that’s both substantial and well-balanced, so the operator can pull off a smooth shot with a camera assistant’s hand on the focus, a line out to the director’s monitor, and a wireless transmitter mounted on-board. The XF305 and XF300 will satisfy even the most demanding shooting scenarios.
Production: Canon’s Got Your Back
No matter how much preparation has been done, the actual period of production is a time to hit the ground running. With the clock ticking and the dollars flying, professional shooters have no choice but to trust the people in the trenches with them and the gear at their fingertips. The full and flexible feature set of the XF305 and XF300 have been carefully crafted to put the buttons where you need them quickly, with the least amount of fishing within the main menu system.
Canon’s high-end HD lens features independent rings for focus, zoom, and iris—complete with witness marks and end stops on the focus and zoom rings.
The XF305/300’s controls are clearer, more functional, and more intuitively grouped. Some professional improvements include: A manual/auto Iris switch; an additional REC button below the lens; and an industry-standard ‘OFF-ON-SEL’ Shutter control
Controls relating to the lens functions are neatly and logically clustered together. Closest to the lens, a slider control allows you to select the different levels of Neutral Density Filters (off, 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64). Directly alongside the ND slider, there is a row of buttons controlling: Focus Mode (Manual or Auto, and “Push AF” to utilize Auto Focus even in Manual mode); Iris Mode (Manual or Auto); and Zoom Control (either “Ring” or “Rocker”). The Shutter control is situated below that, as well as the option to “Push Auto Iris”.
The Shutter control allows you to choose “Off”, “On”, or “Select”. The “Off” option reverts to the shutter speed that matches the frame rate you are shooting (for example, 1/24 for 24fps). The “On” option activates the “Auto Shutter” mode, which will adjust your shutter speed to keep exposure constant. Moving the slider into “SEL” mode allows you to choose whichever shutter speed or ‘shutter angle’ best suits your needs, including a Clear-Scan mode (CS).
A series of newly positioned buttons is lined up in a convenient column next to the lens controls. The “IS” button engages image stabilization, activating whatever mode has been selected in the camera’s main menu (“Powered”, “Dynamic”, or “Standard”). The “Peaking” button activates a focus assist function that electronically enhances the edges of objects within the camera’s viewfinder and LCD screen, allowing the operator to see clearly when the desired focus is achieved. The different intensities and colors of Peaking can be finely tuned within the main menu, and two independent Peaking levels can be set. Similarly, the “Zebra” button activates up to two different striped patterns that help determine areas of over-exposure within the frame, adjustable from 70% to 100% IRE.
Of particular note to industry professionals is the XF305’s and XF300’s “WFM” button.
The XF305 and XF300 both offer enhanced display features invaluable to the professional shooter, including Waveform (pictured above), RGB, and Vectorscope monitors, as well as Edge Monitor Focus Assist (also pictured), and Horizontal Inversion for shooting with lens adaptors
Screenshots taken from pre-production model and may not represent final display appearence
This activates a real-time waveform monitor within the viewing area, which serves as a graphic measurement of luminance across the entire frame. This essential tool removes all guesswork and variables when determining the exposure. By reading the waveform monitor, the operator can see exactly which highlights are losing detail due to overexposure and which areas of shadow are falling off into black. Not only does the waveform monitor help determine exposure in news and documentary applications, it also helps cinematographers light the set during narrative production. A second push of the WFM button brings up a vectorscope (measuring hue and saturation of colors) and a third push reveals Canon’s exclusive Edge Monitor Focus Assist, which is a specialized waveform option that incorporates focus and targets specific zones within the frame. This system displays a red and green waveform monitor at the bottom of the LCD, along with three red focus check areas across the LCD. The green waveform shows overall focus while the red waveform shows the status of each focus check box. With this dynamic focus feedback, shooters can quickly tune focus in a specific area, and move between focus points in a scene with a whole new level of accuracy and speed. In the main menu, you can select different parameters and settings for the waveform monitor and vectorscope.
All of the buttons are laid out in an easy, intuitive manner… but the XF305 and XF300 also leave the door open so users can customize the camera for their own particular needs. There are 13 numbered buttons located all over the camera, which can be assigned any of nearly 30 functions. For example, a shooter can assign the three different types of Image Stabilization to three different buttons, or add reference marks into a clip for easy access during review and editing. The “IS”, Peaking”, “Zebra” and “WFM” buttons can even be re-assigned. If there’s a function that’s not where you want it, chances are you can get it there. In addition, all custom menus and settings can be saved onto an SD card, allowing easy camera set-up and sharing of settings between multiple cameras to ensure consistancy of footage.

The XF305/300 offers high quality 16-bit linear PCM 48 kHz in-camera audio. In addition to the built-in microphone, there are dual XLR inputs for external mics
With the XF305 and XF300’s “Custom Picture” feature, you can virtually design your own “film stock”. Individual menu items allow the user to affect Master Pedestal, Setup Level, Black Level, the Knee of the gamma curve, and individual RGM Color Matrices to a degree usually reserved for much more expensive cameras. This menu system has been re-designed from previous Canon models, and is far more intuitive and easy to navigate. It has been wisely arranged so that the user can view the real-time waveform monitor or vectorscope while making changes to the gamma curve and color matrices. In other words, the operator can actually see the changes manifest on the oscilloscopes in the camera, without worrying about whether black levels have been crushed too far, or whether the reds have been pumped too high.
The XF305 and XF300 feature high-quality 16-bit linear PCM audio, at 48kHz. The two XLR inputs are line/mic switchable with the option of phantom power, and can be individually trimmed and/or attenuated within the main menu system. Per usual, the individual audio levels are set by using the two loackable dials on the outside of the camera.
Every on-set monitoring scenario is covered by the outputs on the XF305 and XF300. From traditional BNC and A/V analog ports to HDMI and Component, the flexibility is there to run a camera assistant’s on-board monitor or clamshell while sending an HDMI signal to the director’s monitor, while simultaneously feeding a signal to the sound-cart.
Both camera models offer extensive connectivity, including USB mini-B, HDMI terminal, HD/SD Component Out, a Video Out, and a LANC remote terminal.

The XF305 (pictured above) offers additional terminals, including HD/SD SDI, GenLock, and SMPTE Time Code In/Out.
The XF305 offers the further flexibility of HD/SD SDI, which can be used to export the uncompressed digital signal. There are also Genlock and Time Code (In/Out) ports available on the XF305, which are not included on the XF300.
The new streamlined menu on the XF305 and XF300 offers an intuitive, easy-to-navigate layout. Particularly handy is the “menu memory”. For example, if you delve into the menu to access a specific function (such as going into the “Camera Setup” page to select the type of Image Stabilization), then turn off the menu to test the results, the next push of the menu button will take you directly back to the same place you left, instead of navigating from scratch all over again.
Post-Production: Finishing Strong
The Canon XF305 and XF300 take care of the image even after the shooting is done. By incorporating MPEG-2 4:2:2 50 Mbps codec, MXF container files, non-proprietary CF cards, and full compatibility with the major editing systems, the XF305 and XF300 ensure that your journey down the post-production pipeline can be smooth and worry free.
The XF305 and XF300 ’s streamlined workflow makes on-set editing a reality. Individual clips can be accessed instantaneously, and the footage will be fully supported by major NLE systems including Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Grass Valley EDIUS. This means an editor has the ability to create a rough assembly of a difficult sequence before shooting has even concluded for the day. For ENG shooters and documentarians, this non-linear workflow is a great benefit when dealing with a large amount of footage.
When the edit is locked and the sound-mix is complete, final color correction is the last step toward realizing the full potential of any project. After shooting with the Canon XF305 and XF300, this stage can be surprisingly easy. The gamma-and-color controls in the Custom Picture menus—used in careful conjunction with the onboard waveform monitor and vectorscope—can get the image close to perfect during production. If a keen eye is kept on the scopes while shooting, there will be far fewer wildly changing exposures and fluctuating color temperatures. Final color correction will always be faster and less painstaking when you have the right tool for the job during the shoot. However, the high-end Canon XF codec captures robust, accurate color detail that allows for any advanced post-production that may be necessary.
That’s a Wrap
Whether you’re in the business of shooting news, documentaries, weddings and special events, government or military applications, or independent feature films… the XF305 and XF300 are a perfect fit. The high-end feature set presents solutions for every challenge that may arise during the course of any production. With the XF305 and XF300 in hand, a professional shooter will be armed with unsurpassed image quality, a superior Canon ‘L’ series lens, flexibility to choose different frame rates at both 1080P and 720P, three CMOS sensors that are 2-megapixels each, the industry standard MPEG-2 codec with 4:2:2 color sampling wrapped in standard MXF container files, the flexibility of tapeless capture using non-proprietary CF cards, and full compatibility with the major editing systems. Canon takes all of this versatility and delivers it at an unprecedented low price point — under $8,000. From start to finish, the new Canon XF305 and XF300 cameras will prove to be every shooter’s new best friend.

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

Apple delay iPad European sales to accommodate “unexpected” USA sales !!!

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

Apple “Citing surprisingly strong US demand, Apple has officially delayed the international launch of the iPad. The device will, as a result, only go on sale in foreign countries towards the end of May, instead of late April as planned. Pre-orders however should open up on May 10th, at which time Apple says it will also reveal pricing in local currencies.”

Tell me Mr Jobbs…the only American I can think of who would get this so wrong is Homer Simpson…you don’t bother telling us what price to expect in Europe and now the iPad is to be delayed till you play catch up with your home market.

“Surprisingly strong US demand…DOH !”  That statement tells me you were not expecting a strong uptake possibly due to a very poor press and surprise, surprise…we see the sneek peek of OS4 for iPhone, iTouch and iPad which addresses the main “BAD PRESS”…muli-tasking.

I reckon no one is playing ball in Europe due to the very negative iPad reviews and Apple are struggling to get the same uptake as they have in the US market, which is why we were given the SNEEK PEEK of OS4….MULI-TASKING….iADD…major tent poles to attract European uptake.

The iPad has been very ill conceived from day one in my opinion…to make a product that looks exactly like an oversized iPhone fit for Desperate Dan is asking for ridicule…and now Europe gets shunted a further month down the line and no pricing is outrageously poor marketing not to mention a public relations disaster !

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

Sony bring out the HXR-MC50E

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments


Wide Angle G-Lens
Experience Sony’s latest lens technology with the professional-quality G Lens. Engineered for superior optical performance, Sony G lenses deliver brilliant, accurate colour reproduction and sharp, amazingly detailed images. In addition, the 29.8mm lens offers a very wide angle of view. The six bladed iris offers superb shallow depth of field videography.

10x Optical / 120x Digital Zoom
10x optical zoom helps to bring the action close up from far away. In addition, Digital Zoom Interpolation means that digital zooming (up to 120x) is clearer, with less distortion than previous types of digital zoom.

Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilisation with Active Mode
SteadyShot image stabilisation with Active Mode represents the next step forward in Sony image stabilisation technology. Active Mode improves on existing SteadyShot image stabilisation by allowing the camera to compensate for greater degrees of camera shake and deliver a stunning level of image smoothness.

1/2.88″ Back-Illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS Sensor
Experience low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain with the back-illuminated “Exmor R” sensor. “Exmor R” technology captures footage with high resolution and high sensitivity, while the advanced Sony BIONZ Image Processor improves camera response time and screens out noise to help ensure that the signal from each pixel is as pure as possible.

BIONZ Image Processor
The BIONZ Image Processor works in conjunction with the Exmor CMOS sensor with ClearVid array for pristine imaging. The BIONZ Image Processor provides Data Noise Reduction, Fast Image processing, and Data compression. In addition, the BIONZ Image Processor enables Sony’s Dynamic Range Optimiser for both video and still image capture. The higher processing speed also allows Dual Recording to capture still images while recording video footage.

Dynamic Range Optimiser
The D-Range (Dynamic Range) Optimiser function adjusts the exposure and contrast of an image to counter the effects of high-contrast shooting condition, allowing better picture reproduction. The D-Range Optimiser suppresses “blackout” in dark areas such as shadows and “whiteout” in bright areas such as skies. As a result, the footage appears more natural.

1920 x 1080 Full High Definition AVCHD Recording
1920 x 1080i FULL HD resolution gives your production exceptional high definition quality

64GB Internal Flash Memory
The built-in 64GB embedded flash memory can record and store up to 6 hours of high definition video footage (HD FX mode at 24Mbps), or up to 48 hours of standard definition footage (SD HQ mode).

Media Card Slot
The camcorder accepts a wide range of removeable media including: Memory Stick Duo / Memory Stick PRO Duo / Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo media and SD/SDHC media (optional)

3.5″ Wide Xtra Fine TruBlack LCD Plus Viewfinder
TruBlack technology brings remarkably higher contrast and brightness to the camcorder’s 3.5″ Wide Xtra Fine TruBlack LCD display, delivering more natural, realistic colours and easier viewing in bright conditions by reducing glare. An adjustable 0.27″ colour viewfinder (201k) allows you to capture video and frame your shots with the LCD closed.

Assignable Dial
Get the most out of your camcorder with enhanced manual controls. The assignable dial allows for control of focus, exposure, white balance, iris, and shutter speed. Adjusting the iris lets you control depth of field, while shutter speed allows for control motion blur. There are a total of 6 settings available: Focus, Exposure, AE Shift, WB Shift, Iris control, and Shutter speed control.

Geotagging with Built-In GPS Receiver and NAVTEQ Maps
A built-in GPS receiver gives you the ability to view your current location on the LCD map display, as well as “tag” your shooting locations with GPS metadata. This metadata can be viewed using the Map Index function on the camcorder or once downloaded to your PC using the supplied PMB (Picture Motion Browser) software. Additionally, the receiver automatically adjusts your camcorder’s clock to the proper time zone.

Dedicated Shotgun Microphone and Headphone Inputs
The HXR-MC50E offers a supplied professional shotgun microphone and mount which coupled with the headphone input allows acquisition and monitoring of location sound. (Headphones not supplied)

Golf Shot
Building on the slow-motion capture capabilities of Smooth Slow Record on models such as the HVR-Z5E and Z7E, Golf Shot captures a few seconds of motion as a sequence of up to 22 still images, which can be viewed/printed individually or as a composite “sequence shot” image, great for analysing the nuances of a golf swing, tennis serve, and other fast action for sports science teaching and sports tutoring applications.

2x Faster Quick AF
With the improved autofocus (AF) system, Quick AF, the focusing speed is twice as fast compared to other Sony compact camcorders. Whether in bright daylight or in a dimly lit environment, Quick AF ensures fast, accurate, and consistent focus lock, enabling users to shoot in a wide range of scenes without missing any important moments. When shooting night scenes, conventional AF might struggle to focus, but thanks to the much improved AF algorithm in Quick AF, you can get that all important shot.

Intelligent Auto (10 iAuto modes)
Intelligent Auto mode goes a step beyond traditional auto modes by analysing your shot and then automatically selecting the appropriate settings from ten distinct scene modes: Portrait Mode, Smile Shutter, Backlight Control, Scenery, Night Scenery Mode, High Sensitivity Mode, Macro Mode, Baby Mode, Tripod, and Low Light Mode ideal for corporate or video diary applications where non-camera operators are shooting.

Film Roll Index
Film Roll Index helps you easily find desired clips. When using this feature, the camcorder previews the beginning of clips and can create clip indexes set at specified display intervals (3, 6, or 12 seconds and 1 or 5 minutes)

Direct Copy to External HDD without a PC
Store your content in a whole new way with the ability to copy content from your camcorder directly to an external hard disk drive (optional), all without a pc or mac. Your camcorder can also access content stored on the external hard drive for playback on an HDMI monitor or consumer TV, allowing you to use the camcorder’s handy playback features, great for viewing full HD rushes.

Smooth Slow Record
The Smooth Slow Record mode increases the frame rate from 50 frames per second (fps) to 200 fps, allowing you to capture 3 seconds of fast motion and play the video back in 12 seconds. This is a great tool for analysing a golf swing or a natural history applications.

12MP Digital Still Capture
12 megapixel still image capture lets you take stunning, high resolution digital photos while the Dual record capability lets you capture 8.3MP still images while shooting high definition video – so you can capture still images without having to switch recording modes.

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

FreshDV interview Jan Crittenden Livingston of Panasonic USA about the AF100

Categories: Miscellaneous No Comments

freshdv_nab10_Panasonic The Panasonic AF100 looks a lot better in the flesh…the stupid concept picture does not do this camera justice…at $6000 this is going to take the market by storm.

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

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 Next

%d bloggers like this: