Vote for The Footy…please

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My son Scott runs his own football blog and as anyone can tell you there is nothing he does not know about football, he has been entered into a competition and needs votes…your vote…he is currently second place so if you would not mind clicking onto the link below and voting for The Footy…thank you.  PS. The “Blog” he is up against “Inside Left” is no longer blogging !!!


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Stunning Canon 7D footage from Oton Bacar

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7D 2000 fps from Oton Bačar on Vimeo.

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

Everyone want’s a Panasonic AF101

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The world has gone AF101 mad, just over a week till we get the first production models from Panasonic and the phones are red hot with orders…the AF101 is going to be an all time best seller for Panasonic and they will need to up production in order to keep up with demand.

DPs from all over the UK are pledging their support with pre orders, some people are paying up front to beat the 20% vat rise due in January. The last time we had such a rush on a camera was about three years ago with the introduction of the Sony EX-1 but we have not seen such enthusiasm for a long time.

The camera has sparked off so many other facets like Micro Four Third lenses, Prime Lenses, 4/3 lenses, Canon & Nikon lens sales, Lens adaptors, Matte boxes, camera bags, spare batteries and even SDHC card sales.

As we draw closer to “AF101 day” people are craving as much information as possible, bloggers like Philip Bloom and Barry Green have been one of the lucky few to actually shoot with almost production models which is why Panasonic are now struggling to make the December due date as they made final tweaks after taking on ideas and comments given to them from Philip, Barry and a small band of lucky shooters.

Everyone has commented on how fantastic the picture is from the AF101, my chap in the USA, Erik, has a model sitting on his desk as I blog and he is very impressed with the camera. Erik is putting the final touches to his Canon adaptor which will have full control over aperture and focus…electronically, pricing and pictures next week.

I am really exited by this “predicted” phenomenon, the Panasonic AF101 is taking the world by storm and is bringing a lot of third party sales with it, in these hard times it’s good to see such enthusiasm and commitment to a variety of products…all for that coveted shallow depth of field in a camera that’s finally fit for purpose.

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

A Canon to micro 4/3 mount from Hong Kong (£94)

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Those Hong Kong manufacturers have impeccable timing. Just as Panasonic are about deliver the AF101 out comes the best adapter for Canon lenses on the Panasonic GH2 DSLR yet seen. For the first time this one allows you to control the aperture and it costs £94 including postage to the UK.

The iris in Canon EF and EFS mount lenses is electronically controlled, like on many modern lenses. There hasn’t yet been an adapter which promises a full electronic interface between camera and body although an engineering company in the US is working on one, more info plus pictures next week.

So no auto-focus or OIS yet – but at least now we have aperture control.

Canon lenses are wide open when not connected to a Canon body, so this adapter has it’s own iris – a very nice 14 blade aperture, most lenses have half that number of blades. You will get gorgeous round bokeh with it along with the advantage of a sharper image when stopped down even just a little. Most fast F1.4 EF lenses sharpen up around F2, for example.

This will go well with the 85mm F1.8, the 50mm F1.2 and even help get an extremely deep depth of field on super wides, although it will not work with lenses that have unusual mechanics like the 10-22mm with it’s internal zoom and focus system.

IMPORTANT NOTE : This adapter is not compatible for Canon EF S lens, such as:  EF S 10-22mm; EF S 15-85mm; EF S 17-55mm; EF S 17-85mm; EF S 18-55mm; EF S 18-135mm; EF S 18-200mm and the EF S 55-250mm; EF S 60mm.

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AntiSpam programs can do as much damage !

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I have a client who won’t accept my emails because he has an AntiSpam program sitting in place, unfortunately for him he does not realise this is damaging his business. When his AntiSpam filter kicks in it tells me to click on a link and then enter a name and password, then it tells me that by accepting this I will sign up for a 30 day trial of the program !

No chance…I have seen how such programs hinder my clients without me signing up to it as well. Most computers these days have very good spam/junk mail filters without adding any further complications to the process.

My client does not realise he is now off the list of possible Panasonic AF101 owners…because I have no way of contacting him other than email.

One other client has a far “safer” spam filter…it asks you to verify a 6 letter word then tells you that your next emails will be accepted. So the moral of the story is don’t jump in feet first when you see the glossy adds telling you “NO MORE SPAM…EVER” as that very same filter may just cost you the next big purchase or a place in a very long queue.

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Updating micro Four Third lens firmware on the AF101 ?

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About a couple of days ago Panasonic announced a new firmware for their 14-140mm micro Four Thirds lens, firmware version 1.4 promises improved autofocus and image stabilization performance in movie mode.

So the dilemma is as follows…Panasonic “Please note that a camera body is required in order to update any Four Thirds lenses (including Micro Four Thirds lenses), while camera body can be updated without lens”.

The body it refers to is the following DSLR’s DMC-G1, G2, GF1, GH1, L1, L10…In order to update the lens firmware you need a Panasonic micro Four Thirds DSLR camera body which may or may not be easy to obtain.

I have a G2 in the office so this update can be done using the G2s body but what happens to the majority of you who do not have a Panasonic DSLR but you have micro Four Third lenses for your AF101.

Thats a question I will be posing to Panasonic this coming week and I hope to give you all an answer soon.

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

SDHC SxS card adaptors from Sonnet $50

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Low Cost Alternative to SxS Memory Cards

Do you love your new Sony camcorder, but not the prices for SxS memory cards? We’ve got an alternative—Sonnet’s SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot. This Sonnet adapter is designed expressly for use in Sony XDCAM camcorders which record to SxS memory media, and enables you to use lower cost SDHC memory cards in their place(1). When used with Class 10 or faster SDHC cards, the Sonnet SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot duplicates SxS Pro memory cards’ functionality, including support for overcrank and undercrank modes.

Sonnet’s SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot is the same size as an SxS memory card, and, unlike standard memory card adapters, allows the SDHC card to fit flush inside its shell. This critical feature makes the Sonnet adapter interchangeable with SxS cards, and ensures your camcorder’s memory card slot door closes completely with the adapter inserted. Using the SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot is easy. Just insert your SDHC card into the Sonnet adapter, and then insert the Sonnet adapter into your camcorder and format the card—you’re ready to record.

After recording is complete, remove the SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot from the camcorder and swap out SDHC cards using the integrated push-to-eject mechanism. Because SxS cards share the same form factor and interface as ExpressCard/34 adapters, you can insert the Sonnet adapter directly into your notebook computer’s ExpressCard slot to offload the files from the SDHC card.

If your computer lacks an ExpressCard slot, you can remove the SDHC card from the Sonnet adapter and use it with any SDHC-compatible card reader.

For the price of one SxS memory card, you can purchase Sonnet’s adapter and several equivalent-capacity SDHC cards to increase your recording capacity and lower your recording costs. You’ll get hours of extra shooting time without the need to stop, offload the footage and reformat the card to use it again!

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Panasonic release a new 16 page PDF of the AF101 camcorder

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With just 10 days till first deliveries, cross fingers, Panasonic have stepped up a gear to deliver a new 16 page PDF of their new AF101 or as they call it the AF100 series.

You can see the PDF by clicking here  SP-AGAF100-1

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Micro Four Thirds lenses for the Panasonic AF101

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When you purchase your Panasonic AF101 it will not come with a lens, therefore it’s important to purchase one before or at the time but beware to save disappointment pre order your lens in advance to make sure it’s in stock for your camera.

I have been looking at the range of micro Four Third lenses from Panasonic, Olympus and Voigtlander. The Voigtlander NOKTON f0.95 is my favourite standard lens as it’s micro Four Thirds and has a wonderful shallow depth of field (bokeh) at just over £800 it’s quite expensive but in my opinion worth every penny.

Panasonic have a wide range of micro Four Third lenses but the only down side is they mainly start at f3.5 which is not as fast as we would like them to be. That said they are very good lenses and in most cases won’t disappoint. Looking down the field and can I add thats not the full range, we start with the wide angle, standard and lastly various zoom lenses.

I think out of all the wide lenses I would plum for the 7-14mm f4, not as fast as I would prefer but by all accounts a very useful sharp lens, the purists amongst you would probably go for the 8mm f3.5 as it is a prime lens and technically should be slightly sharper than the 7-14mm lens.

A good al-rounder would be the 14-140mm f4.5-5.8, this lens gives you semi wide angle, standard and telephoto. As an alternative the 45mm f2.8 would be a cracking interview lens and at f2.8 is quite a bit faster that the competition.

So there you have it a large selection of Panasonic micro Four Third lenses to choose from but remember you also have Olympus mFT lenses and with a Lumix adaptor you can use Four Third lenses of which there is a far bigger choice and a lot faster.

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Looking at the lens mount of the Panasonic AF101

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People are still confused as to what type of lenses fit the Panasonic AF101 and I have also gone through this self same process…if you read some of Panasonic’s information on this camera you are led to believe you are dealing with a Four Thirds when in fact we have a Four Third type MOS sensor.

What’s happening is that people are seeing the Four Thirds from the sensor itself and assuming the camcorder takes Four Third lenses. Panasonic have their own way of describing the lens mount…

In order to offer the ability to change lenses, the Micro Four-thirds mount, jointly developed by Panasonic and Olympus has been adopted in the AG-AF101. The mounts designed to cover a 4/3 type sensor are Four-thirds (FTS) and Micro Four-thirds (mFTS). In order to achieve a compact camera body and be able to accept the greatest range of lenses, the AG-AF101 uses the Micro Four-thirds mount. The electronic signals are identical between the two mounts, so with the suitable Panasonic adaptor, the auto focus and auto iris functions on Four-thirds lenses can be used with the AG-AF101.

The Flange back distance of mFTS is extremely short at approximately 20mm, meaning that nearly every lens, including those designed for 35mm still cameras can be used with an adaptor.

So there you have it if you want a lens that will fit straight onto your AF101 then it needs to be a micro Four Third lens. Tomorrow we will look at the choice of micro Four Thirds lenses.

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