Micro Review of the Sony HX5V Cyber shot camera with AVCHD

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[xr_video id=”a1b9b12039ac4c58a792e6c57eb85dd1″ size=”md”]

I was so impressed with the video pictures coming out of the Sony HX5V that I decided to produce a Micro Review. Due to it’s very basic sound (2 holes on top of the camera) you will notice some wind noise.

If you are looking for a low cost way to add HD video for example : input from the general public talking about life experiences etc then look no further than the £300 Sony HX5V. Note. This does not produce good low light video footage.

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Sony shows a 35mm SDoF camcorder at NAB possibly using the ALPHA mount ?

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Very unusual…Sony letting a cat out of the bag that’s not due out till 2011…no doubt about it, this looks the business though my first impressions it looks to be a tad front heavy, the lens must weigh a ton yet it’s sitting on a very small body but one things for sure it looks the part unlike Panasonics cine camera effort.

UPDATE : The camera has a 35mm sensor and records video on SxS. It seems that the camera has an Alpha Mount and you will be able to use current Sony Alpha Lenses though the lens on this prototype looks nothing like an Alpha lens…thank goodness. On sourcing a blow up of this picture we can see it is using a 65mm prime lens this is fantastic news for the film boys although I do think this will come at a price.

Once again we are seeing a video manufacturer coming out with a film like camera with SDoF, proper video Hi-Rez swivel viewfinder and XLR sound, I reckon the HDSLR has had a good run for it’s money…but the boys who know how to design proper cine like camcorders will take over…not before time !

Sony – New Small Prototype Digital Cinema Camera – NAB 2010 – Playback from camera department on Vimeo.

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Panasonic AF101 (UK) targeted at film production with micro 4/3″ interchangeable lenses

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Targeted at the video and film production communities, the AF101 delivers the shallow depth of field and wider field of view of a large imager, with the flexibility and cost advantages of use with a growing line of professional quality, industry standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters. The full 1080 and 720 production camera offers superior video handling, native 1080/24p recording, variable frame rates, professional audio capabilities, and compatibility with SDHC and SDXC media.

The design of the AF101’s micro 4/3-inch sensor affords depth of field and field of view similar to that of 35mm movie cameras in a less expensive camera body. Equipped with an interchangeable lens mount, the AF101 can use an array of low-cost, widely-available still camera lenses as well as film-style lenses with fixed focal lengths and primes.

The AF101 incorporates a 4/3-inch, 16:9 MOS imager. The camcorder records 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) in AVCHD’s highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbps). Ready for global production standards, the camcorder is 60Hz and 50Hz switchable.

The AF101 maximises the potential of its high-resolution imager with built-in ND filtering and dramatically reduced video aliasing. Standard professional interfaces include HD-SDI out, HDMI, time code recording, built-in stereo microphone and USB 2.0. The AF101 features two XLR inputs with +48V Phantom Power capability, 48-kHz/16-bit two-channel digital audio recording and supports LPCM/Dolby-AC3.

This newest Panasonic AVCCAM camcorder is the first to enjoy the benefits of advanced SDXC media card compatibility in addition to existing SDHC card support. (SDXC is the newest SD memory card specification that supports memory capacities above 32GB up to 2TB). With two SD slots, the AF101 can record up to 12 hours on two 64GB SDXC cards in PH mode

HDW : Personally I think it could look a bit less like a 1970s cine camera but theres no doubt it will be 10x more practicable than ANY HDSLR on the planet today. At least Panasonic are making an effort but I do think it may be pipped at the post if we are not going to see it till late 2010.

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

Panasonic AG-HMC81 (UK) AVCCAM onto SDHC cards

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With a high-resolution 3-megapixel imager, multiple AVCCAM recording formats, DV support, and enhanced professional functions, the HMC81 delivers the full benefits of AVCCAM for schools, event videographers, government facilities, web designers and corporate users who prefer to work with a shoulder-mount camera and need flexible connectivity and format support. The camera, utilising a professional 3-chip imager, can also take 10.6-megapixel still images and store them as standard JPEGs on the solid state card. AVCHD recordings and stills can be directly played back from the SD card on a wide range of low-cost players including Panasonic Blu-ray players, laptop PCs and game consoles.

The camcorder’s full HD resolution 3-megapixel 3MOS imager produces stunning 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720 AVCHD video with high sensitivity. Because the AVCHD format-based camcorder uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high profile encoding – which provides a doubling of bandwidth efficiency and improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression based formats (e.g. HDV) – recordings look clean and crisp, even during fast motion, without image degradation or dropouts.

The HMC81 records video in all four professional AVCCAM HD recording modes, including the highest-quality PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), the HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), the HG mode (approx.13 Mbps) and the extended recording HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps).

At 60Hz, the camcorder supports the following HD formats in PH mode: 1080/60i, 1080/30p, 1080/24pN, 720/60p, 720/30p, 720/24pN; in HA, HG and HE modes, it records in 1080/60i. In standard definition DV, the camcorder records 480/60i, 480/30p, 480/24p.

The HMC81 records standard-definition DV directly onto SD cards in the AVI Type 2 file format and offers squeeze, letter box and side crop options.

Using just one 32GB SDHC memory card, a user can record three hours of full resolution 1920×1080 video and audio in PH mode, four hours at HA mode and 5.3 hours at HG mode. In the HE mode, the camera can record up to 12 hours of 1440 x 1080 HD content on a 32GB SDHC card. Up to 2 hours of DV content can be recorded on a single 32GB SDHC card.

For the first time in an AVCCAM shoulder-mount, the HMC81 includes such high-end professional features as a user-assignable manual focus ring functions (Focus/Iris/Zoom) for added control; time code/UB recording; time/date stamp; and two wired remote control terminals (for zoom, focus, iris, REC start/stop controls). The camcorder’s lens system captures super sharp images at up to 12X optical zoom and features a 40.8mm (35mm lens equivalent) wide-angle setting. It also offers users useful functions including Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) for smooth stable shooting, Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS), which helps compensate for wide variations in lighting, and a Cine-Like Gamma mode that gives recordings a more film-like look.

The HMC81 comes standard with HDMI output (AVCHD only), USB 2.0 (mini B-type devices), composite output (BNC x 1), analog component (BNC x 3), IEEE 1394 output (DV only), and a built-in stereo microphone as well as a 3.5 mm external mic-in jack. The camcorder features two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line, and +48V Phantom Power capability.

The camera offers useful solid-state recording functions including pre-record, interval recording, shot marker and metadata capture. Additional features include waveform monitor display, focus assists such as focus bar display and enlarged display, auto focus with face detection, white balance, mode display, zebra display, colour bar, tally lamps, slow smooth zoom and soft landing, slow shutter and synchro-scan shutter functions, and three programmable user buttons. A wireless remote is also included.

HDW : Once again we get plastic-cam…Panasonic seem intent on bringing out these strange plastic, cheap looking camcorders and hopefully sell them under the name of “shoulder mount”.

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

ADOBE CS5 is here but not shipping yet

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Today was the big introduction of Adobe’s CS5, the Production suite which most of you will be interested in has some new cool features the main feature being 64bit processing …beating Apple hands down…who knows when or if we are going to see a 64bit version of Final Cut Studio.

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

Sony PMW-320K 1/2″ Shoulder mount camcorder $14,800 (August)

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The main difference between the 350 and the 320 are as follows…

PMW-350 = 2/3″ chipset 59dB S/N

PMW -320 = 1/2″ chipset 54dB S/N

Now thats got to give Panasonic a kick in the pants not only do Sony bring out the 2/3″ 350 but they also bring out the 320 1/2″ shoulder mount as well…not a sign of 1/3″ chips in sight !

Sadly it does not come close to EX-3 prices but if you really need that full shoulder mount kudos then two thousand pounds is a lot closer than finding £6K for the 350 and by all accounts its still a lot quieter than the EX-3.

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The Northern Video Show 2010

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Just an update I will be at the Northern Video Show doing some filming for my blog if you have any questions about kit let me know and I will get answers for you.

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NAB 2010 NEWS Canon HDTV OIS lens £26,349

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As high-definition television production increases, the need for effective image stabilization grows, given that unintentional camera shake is made more noticeable by the HD format’s greater picture detail and width. Addressing this need, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, is proud to introduce the new HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V portable HD zoom lens with a built-in Optical Image Stabilizer. Designed to maintain stable images even when the camera is subject to jolts and vibrations, the HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V uses Canon’s unique Vari-Angle Prism image-stabilizer (VAP-IS) technology to achieve a high level of image stability all the way from telephoto to wide-angle settings.

Canon’s HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V portable HD zoom lens is ideally suited for diverse and challenging outdoor shooting situations because it can stabilize a wide range of vibration frequencies. Examples range from the low-frequency vibrations encountered on a camera operator’s shoulder in a jostling crowd situation, to tripod-mounted operation on shaky platforms, to the higher-frequency vibration that cameras are subject to when operated inside TV news helicopters, motor vehicles, motorbikes, and boats. The lens provides four selectable stabilization modes to allow operators to optimize the degree of correction under diverse, and sometimes unique, shooting conditions.

About This Lens

Canon’s unique VAP-IS technology incorporates a novel optical group made up of two flat glass elements joined by sealed bellows containing a high-refractive-index liquid, selectively placed within the lens’ overall optical system. Physical perturbations to the lens, in the form of jolts or vibrations, flex the bellows proportional to the amplitude of these disturbances. The associated distortion of the liquid instantaneously alters the direction of the transmitted light rays in a manner designed to counter the incoming light-ray displacements created by these disturbances. The system has been optimized to introduce a high-degree of real-time compensation for image instabilities arising from all forms of lens-camera operational unsteadiness.

A major advantage of Canon’s unique VAP-IS system contained within the new HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V portable HD zoom lens is that it totally relieves the camera operator of any concerns with respect to lens-camera stability, allowing full concentration on creative image framing, focusing, and capturing imagery of the subject being photographed. This is of particular importance, considering the extreme image detail and clarity associated with HD video acquisition.

HDW : This is part of an advertising campain that Canon are running with the introduction of their new OIS lens…”Image Stabilisation that won’t shake up your budget”…help ma bob as they say in these here parts at £26,349 it would not only shake up my budget it would put me on the street…it must be pretty good at this price.

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Get all the news from NAB

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Digital Production Buzz

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Adobe CS5 Premiere Pro with new Mercury Playback Engine

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HDW : As a Final Cut Pro user I find this very tempting indeed. In the early days I used Premiere 6.5 moving over to Premiere Pro 1.5 then onto Final Cut Pro. I found Premiere Pro overly complicated with a lot of finicky controls very like Photoshop. The NVIDEA Quadro FX4800 for my MacPro would cost £1500 then add the cost of CS5 and you are looking at an upgrade price of around £3000 !

This new 64bit Premiere Pro with the Mercury Playback Engine is fantastic it’s the first NLE package to be able to run 4 streams of native 4K RED files as a multi-cam production…nothing can touch this as far as I am aware. 9 streams of P2 full HD footage in real time, this baby will bring HD editing beyond the 21st century.

Apple are a long way off bringing FCP anywhere near 64bit and as it stands Compressor and DVD Studio Pro are a joke. The one sole program that saves FCPs butt is Motion. Motion is streets ahead of After Effects and far easier to use but for this one program I for one would kiss good-by to FCP and who knows if the £3K became accessible that jump may be sooner than later.

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